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DATE News (chronologically)
02/05/11
nassprint
Jeff Gordon testing at Pike Peak  Jeff Gordon traveled to Colorado on Friday to test his #24 Chevy at Pikes Peak International Raceway through today Saturday. Gordon arrived in Colorado early Friday morning before heading to the Pikes Peak track, just south of Colorado Springs in Fountain, CO. Gordon wants to test on a downforce track. Pikes Peak's low banking - the corners rise just 10 degrees - mimics the corners at Phoenix International Raceway. The Phoenix track - which has an 11-degree corner bank and is 1-mile long, like Pikes Peak - will host the Sprint Cup race that follows Daytona, on Feb. 27. Gordon and his team will be at the Pikes Peak raceway all day today. Testing is open to the general public, though admission is $10. Denver Post
02/05/11
nassprint
TRG Motorsports to run Daytona 500 with Lally  TRG Motorsports will field its #71 Chevrolet in the Daytona 500 with Andy Lally at the controls. "We're going to stand on our own two feet," said TRG owner Kevin Buckler today. "We had a lot of people contact us about doing various owner point deals, but we decided to say `no" to them all. We're going to put Andy Lally in the car for the Daytona 500 and make use of our own owner points." Lally made seven Sprint Cup starts for TRG last year, with a top finish of 18th at Watkins Glen. He is fresh off a GT class win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona driving for TRG, and will be a guaranteed starter in the 500. Buckler declined to comment on what offers he received for his 35th-place 2010 owner points, laughing, "I'm staying completely out of that." Sirius Speedway
02/05/11
nassprint
NASCAR owner points shenanigans  UPDATE #27-Paul Menard will be a guaranteed starter in the 2011 Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing. A spokesman for Richard Childress Racing confirmed an "equity partnership" had been formed between Childress, who will once again field four Cup Series teams this season, and Thomas Pumpelly. Pumpelly, who in 2010 was part of the partnership group involved with TRG Motorsports, "divested himself from his partnership with TRG and took with him the #71 car points," the spokesman said. TRG Motorsports used eight drivers to finish 35th in the Cup Series owners' standings in 2010 and had been planning to come to Daytona's Speedweeks with a program in place to contest the full Cup schedule, owner Kevin Buckler said in early January. As a new team, Menard's car was going to be forced to qualify on speed until at least the sixth race of 2011, but with the new deal, will be guaranteed a starting position for the first five races of the season, until 2011 owners' points are used. The RCR spokesman said Pumpelly will be the listed owner of the #27 Chevrolet to start the season.  NASCAR.com

02/05/11 NASCAR has approved a reassignment of owners points, according to sources familiar with the situation. Richard Petty Motorsports and Wood Brothers Racing have partnered to create Wood Brothers II LLC. As a result, Trevor Bayne will be locked into the Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the #21 Motorcraft Ford. Richard Petty Motorsports ended last season with four teams inside the coveted top 35 in owner points, which guarantees them a starting spot in the first five races of the season. However, as the organization shrank from four teams to two, it allowed the opportunity to create the partnership with Wood Brothers. Bayne is expected to run 17 Sprint Cup Series races for the Wood Brothers to gain seat time. A decision on Bayne's rookie status in the series has yet to be determined. The Wood Brothers could not be reached for comment.

A similar deal was worked out between RPM and Kevin Buckler, who will receive the #98's owner points for the #71 TRG Chevy. Calls to Buckler and TRG CMO Torrey Galida were not returned. Sources say Buckler will start the season with Andy Lally behind the wheel. TRG remains a customer of Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines  FoxSports
02/05/11
tv news
ESPN2's NASCAR Now Returns Feb. 7  ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now returns for its fifth season on Monday, Feb. 7, at 5:00pm/et to coincide with the beginning of the 2011 NASCAR season. The program includes highlights, opinion, debate, analysis and the latest news from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders.

With hosts Allen Bestwick, Nicole Briscoe, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake, NASCAR Now originates from ESPN's high definition studios in Bristol, Conn., with reporters and analysts checking in from locations around the country wherever NASCAR news is happening. In addition to reports from races, NASCAR Now reporters also visit race shops and special events.

Monday's show [Feb 7th] will include interviews with NASCAR president Mike Helton and five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Chad Knaus as well as thoughts from ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett. More ...
02/05/11
irl
Edmonton to unveil new circuit layout  Montreal-based Octane Motorsport Events Inc. officials on Tuesday will unveil a new track layout for the Edmonton IndyCar City Centre circuit caused by the closure of a runway, which features grandstand and trackside suite locations that are "a few meters from the track," according to the race website.
02/05/11
irl
Edmonton Promoters ready to fire up Indy marketing campaign  Edmonton's new Indy promoters have 171 days to sell their product to a market that believed the open wheel auto race had died and wasn't officially notified of its miraculous reincarnation until well after the Christmas ticket-buying season.

So there's that.

Montreal-based Octane Motorsport Events Inc. officials will begin doing their retail best on Tuesday by unveiling a new track layout for the City Centre Airport's closed eastern runway, which features grandstand and trackside suite locations that are "a few meters from the track," according to the race website. More ...

02/05/11
f1
Ecclestone to make rare Melbourne visit  (GMM)  Amid a controversy over the future of the Australian grand prix, it seems Bernie Ecclestone will attend the 2011 edition.

The F1 chief executive declared recently that F1 doesn't "need Australia", after Melbourne's Lord Mayor and premier questioned the value of the Albert Park event for taxpayers.

The state Victorian government has since committed to the F1 race, but Ecclestone's lack of enthusiasm is symbolized by the fact that he hasn't made the long haul to Australia for several years.

The local Herald Sun newspaper therefore interprets it as "a mercy dash" the 80-year-old's plans to attend this March.

"I am sure that it is Mr. Ecclestone's intention to be in Melbourne," a spokesperson for the Briton confirmed.

02/05/11
f1
Force India sets Tuesday launch for VJM04  (GMM)  Force India will launch its 2011 car early next week.

With last year's VJM03 having been used for the opening group test at Valencia this week, it had already emerged that the new car would make a later bow at Jerez.

The Jerez test takes place from next Thursday.

Mercedes-powered Force India has announced that the VJM04 will be revealed online two days earlier, on the afternoon of Tuesday February 8.

02/05/11
wsr
Alexander Rossi gambles with career in move to World Series by Renault  
Alexander Rossi
American racing driver Alexander Rossi has been confirmed to drive for the Fortec Motorsports Ltd team competing in the 2011 World Series by Renault (Formula Renault 3.5 Series) Championship season, choosing to make a lateral move with his career to further his race craft, rather than making the step up to GP2 from GP3 where he raced last year.

Rossi has grabbed the attention of the European motorsport community with his winning performances and race craft. A strong World Series debut in Monaco was followed by an impressive performance in the 2010 post season tests in Aragon, Spain, which saw him top the time sheets. Rossi joins the multiple Championship winning Daventry-based team on the back of a strong 2010 inaugural GP3 Series season, where Rossi finished fourth in the Championship with two wins and five podiums. More ...

02/05/11
f1
Ferrari pleased with debut, but not complacent  
Fernando Alonso in the new F150
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admits he is 'pleased' with the F150's performance in Valencia, but knows there is a lot of room for improvement.

Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets on day two of pre-season testing, having finished second behind Sebastian Vettel on the opening day. While a fire in Felipe Massa's car on the final day hampered progress, Domenicali was on the whole happy with week's work.

"As we already said at the launch, the important thing is to do many kilometers at the first test and in that we have succeeded," Domenicali told Ferrari's official website.

"However, the stopwatch revealed little and that will also be the case in the next test sessions.

"We are pleased with our debut, but we are perfectly aware that there is still a lot of work to do, both on track and in the factory. More ...

02/05/11
f1
Max Mosley speaks about his interest in sado-masochism  
Max Mosley says sado-masochism is like homosexuality - a quirk in your gene pool
The former-Formula One boss said his "deep interest" in physical pain as part of sexual activity started when he was just three or four years old but he did not know where it came from.

In 2008 the High Court awarded Mr. Mosley £60,000 damages against the News of the World after ruling that there was no justification for a front-page article and pictures about his meeting with five prostitutes in a London flat.

The 70-year-old is now campaigning to oblige newspapers to notify their "victims" before exposing their private lives.

He has taken his case to the European Court of Human Rights, where judges will deliver a verdict later this year. More ...

02/04/11
track news
Texas Speedway Iced-Out  
Texas Speedway covered in thick ice and snow
Texas Motor Speedway, like numerous business establishments throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, was expecting to reap the regional economic benefits of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, but the continued inclement weather has iced those plans.

Texas Motor Speedway had been targeted this weekend as a major destination for companies seeking a unique entertainment option for their Super Bowl guests and clients, but ice and snow throughout the week have led to the cancellation of the busiest, single-day track rental date in the speedway’s 15-year history on Saturday as well as one of its more lucrative on-track rental weekends. More ...

02/04/11
nassprint
Backup drivers arranged in case Kenseth goes on baby duty  With the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season set to return to action at Daytona International Speedway next week, Roush Fenway Racing’s Matt Kenseth and his wife Katie are expecting great things for the month of February with the addition of a new baby.  The Kenseths expect to welcome the latest addition to the family by the end of the month, and Roush Fenway Racing will look to two drivers to be on-call in case Kenseth needs to travel home to be with his family. 

Kenny Wallace and Brian Ickler will be ready to jump in to the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford for any practice and qualifying needs the team may have.  Wallace will be ready to assume driving duties throughout Daytona International Speedway’s Speedweeks events, while Ickler will be at the track for both Phoenix and Las Vegas race weekends. More ...

02/04/11
f1
Williams F1 to Float on Frankfurt Stock Exchange  Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Williams) confirms its intention to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Swiss-based Bank am Bellevue AG will act as sole global coordinator and sole global book runner.

The offering will consist of up to 27.39% or 2,739,383 existing shares, with a nominal value of GBP 0.05 each, of which up to 330,000 shares will come from an over-allotment option. Sir Frank Williams will remain the majority and controlling shareholder of Williams and Team Principal of the AT&T Williams team.

Book building is expected to begin on 9 February 2011 and is scheduled to conclude on or around 28 February 2011. The first day of trading on the Entry Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is expected on 2 March 2011. The book building price range and final placement price are expected to be published on or around 9 February 2011 and 28 February 2011 respectively. More ...

02/04/11
nassprint
Joe Gibbs Racing's engine department damaged in explosion  An explosion early Friday rocked the headquarters of Joe Gibbs Racing, causing significant damage to JGR's engine department. There were no injuries reported. According to a team spokesperson, around 9 a.m. members of the engine department were running a routine test on one of the Gibbs team's two engine dynamometers. Dynamometers are machines used to run an engine through its paces to measure power and performance under the strain of race conditions.

A source within Gibbs' team says that it was during this test session that one of the engines exploded, resulting in a fire that significantly damaged the dynamometer on which is was mounted and caused at least some damage to a second dynamometer located in an adjacent room. More ...

02/04/11
f1
AkzoNobel extends partnership with McLaren  
AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has announced an extension to its deal with the world’s leading decorative paints company, AkzoNobel. The agreement was renewed on the day of McLaren’s 2011 car launch, with the MP4-26 being revealed in Berlin on Friday.

AkzoNobel currently employs over 50,000 people, with its headquarters situated in Amsterdam. The company will feature on the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button this year, with its logo being displayed on the rear-wing endplates of McLaren's new MP4-26.

“Our innovative capabilities are well suited to McLaren’s high performance requirements,” AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers said. “The shared knowledge we have gained from the existing partnership has already enabled us to translate 80 percent of the tailor-made solution supplied to McLaren Racing into a commercial value proposition for AkzoNobel customers. More ...

02/04/11
nnw
Key Motorsports Signs NASCAR Veteran Scott Wimmer for 2011  Curtis Key and his Key Motorsports team will again be fielding the #40 Chevrolet, now with the new Impala, in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. For this coming season Curtis has gone back to the well with a driver that he is very familiar with, and knows can show the true ability of his team and the equipment they are putting on track in Wausau, Wisconsin native Scott Wimmer. In limited action in 2010 Wimmer led every race in which he competed, finishing with three Top-10’s in just five races.

“I’d really like to thank Curtis for putting his trust in me to run with his team this season” Wimmer continues; “I’ve spent a lot of time at the shop, and really like the team he’s put together, and think we’ll have a strong season with these new cars, Daytona can’t get here soon enough!”

02/04/11
gp2
Team AirAsia Confirms 2011 Driver Line-Up  New GP2 entrant Team AirAsia has today confirmed its driver line-up of Luiz Razia (Brazil) and Davide Valsecchi (Italy) for the forthcoming GP2 Main and Asian 2011 series. Both drivers have been testing with Team AirAsia in Abu Dhabi ahead of the opening races of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit on 11th / 12th February.

Riad Asmat, Team AirAsia Team Principal: “We are very pleased to have confirmed that Luiz and Davide will be driving for us this season. They bring us a wealth of talent and experience in GP2 with a proven record of strong results, so we are very excited about the season ahead. Team AirAsia is the perfect platform for young talent to develop, and we are excited about seeing Luiz and Davide continue to grow with us throughout 2011.” More ...

02/04/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

02/04/11
  • Virgin to race with Russian license in 2011
  • Contenders cautious as Valencia test ends
  • 600 meter zone for rear wing overtaking - FIA
  • Hembery defends Pirelli after Valencia test
  • No 'twilight' race time change for Melbourne New
  • Sauber rules out aping Williams' stock market move New
  • Fernandes turned down $10m Lotus settlement offer New More ...
02/04/11
nassprint
Nemechek's plans for 2011  NEMCO Motorsports will be back for a third season in the Sprint Cup Series. Planning on sending two cars to Daytona, the team will field Kevin Conway in an ExtenZe sponsored ride for the #97 entry. With just a little under three weeks in preparation, NEMCO and crew are working hard to get ready to head off to Daytona. "I've been doing this a long time, and we have some good stuff going on with both the 87 & and the 97," says owner driver Joe Nemechek. "Kevin made a phone call to me, saying he needed help, and I said OK." Right now, the team's two car operation is a one race deal, but future races could be added to Conway's schedule. Sponsorship past Daytona looks uncertain for Joe Nemechek's car. "We have picked up sponsorship for Speedweeks," said Nemechek. "We have HeatRedefined.com back with us for our Cup car, and DAB Constructors is helping us out with our Nationwide car for Daytona, but we're still trying to seek sponsors for Phoenix, and California, and everywhere else after that." In regards to his Nationwide schedule, "We're going to try and run the whole [schedule], but it all depends on sponsorship," said Nemechek. "Unless you have some financial help, it's pretty much impossible to do on your own." The Racing Experts
02/04/11
nassprint
Hendrick Motorsports rent CMS for pit practice  Hendrick Motorsports held a fully suited dress rehearsal for its pit crews at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Apparently the organization rented the track for a closed session for all four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. The four cars used for the exercises include two #5's (of Mark Martin), the #48 with Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel and the #88 Chevy with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. The #24 team of Jeff Gordon was pitting the second #5 car. The drivers were running different sequences and pitting in every other pit with the pit stops being filmed from the flag stand, according to a source who attended the test. The session lasted less than three hours FoxSports
02/04/11
nassprint
National Corn Growers Association Becomes Official Partner Of NASCAR  As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists. NASCAR
02/04/11
alms
Robertson Racing confirm pair of Michelin-shod Ford GTs for 2011 ALMS  2011 promises to be an exciting season for American Le Mans Series regulars Robertson Racing who can today confirm a number of developments for the coming year.

The biggest news concerns the completion of a deal with one of motorsport’s most successful ever technical partners – Michelin – who will support the Atlanta-based squad’s efforts next season.

The French company is the most successful tyre manufacturer in ALMS history, having helped take 33 class titles and over 100 wins since the series’ inception in 1999. Last year also saw it notch up a 13th consecutive overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours to take its total tally to 19. More ...

02/04/11
f1
Force India continues technical alliance with McLaren  Following on from its most successful FIA Formula One World Championship season to date, the Force India F1 Team is pleased to announce the first in a series of developments to aid the team in its campaign to reach the upper echelons of the sport.

The team, based in Silverstone, UK, is delighted to confirm it has extended its technical partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies until the end of the 2012 season, giving it complete technical stability for a further two years. From the 2009 season Force India has enjoyed a highly successful relationship with McLaren, which has supplied gearboxes and hydraulics. Over the same period Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines has also supplied its renowned V8 engine, effectively giving Force India the same drivetrain as the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, which secured five wins in the 2010 championship. More ...

02/04/11
nassprint
Ragan signed thru 2014  Previous reports had #6-David Ragan of Roush Fenway Racing as a free agent after this season. According to Roush Fenway Racing, the UPS sponsorship is up at the end of 2011, however, Ragan's contract extends through 2014 FoxSports
02/04/11
automotive
Volvo sales up 23% in 2010  During the fourth quarter of 2010, the Volvo Group continued to grow at a good pace with higher sales in all regions, improved profitability and a very strong cash flow. Year-on-year sales were up 23% to SEK 73.4 billion. Operating income improved to SEK 5.5 billion and the operating cash flow from Industrial operations amounted to SEK 15.1 billion.
02/04/11
irl
Sato and Viso sign with KVRT-Lotus for 2011 IndyCar season  
Takuma Sato
KV Racing Technology co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser announced today that Takuma Sato and E. J. Viso will contest the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season for the KV Racing Technology – Lotus team. 

“We are very excited to have Taku and E. J. back with us for 2011," said Vasser.  "The fact that both drivers are returning for their second year with the team gives us continuity in the cockpit.  I believe that having a second season with the same driver and engineer combinations will be beneficial to our team and will produce some very positive results.” More ...

02/03/11
f1
Schumacher also has doubts about movable rear wing  
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is not yet convinced whether the new-for-2011 adjustable rear wing will provide enough of an advantage to overhaul the car in front.

“I think the rear wing is a good innovation, I’m happy to see developments like that,” Schumacher said in Valencia.

“The simple fact is, we know we have an issue in Formula 1 with following other cars and we need to change the relationship between mechanical grip and aerodynamic grip in a massive direction, so we can follow other cars more easily - you need something to allow you to at least get closer to the car in front. More ...

02/03/11
automotive
Ford recalls their best selling vehicle  Ford Motor Co. said today it is recalling 360,000 F-150 pickups in North America over concerns the door handle spring could fail and cause the door to open in a crash.

The recall covers 280,946 2009-10 F-150s with chrome interior door handles in the United States, 68,000 in Canada and 14,000 in Mexico.

Ford will add spring reinforcement and, if necessary, replace the side door interior door handle module, when replacement parts are available starting in April.

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said no injuries or accidents have been reported.

Ford will begin notifying owners of the recall on Feb. 14.

02/03/11
alms
New HPD LMP2 Engine Ready  
Honda V6 Turbo
The 2010 season was the most ambitious - and successful - year for Honda Performance Development (HPD) since the company entered the sports-prototype arena in 2007.  But HPD is not resting on its laurels, and has embarked upon an extensive test program of its new 2.8-liter V-6 engine, in preparation for next month's 12 Hours of Sebring and the upcoming prototype racing seasons in both Europe and North America. 

Late last month, Highcroft Racing, with drivers Marino Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud, wrapped up a series of on-track tests of HPD's new HR28TT engine at Motor Sports Ranch-Houston. The two-day test at MSR followed previous multi-day tests in November and December at Carolina Motorsports Park.  In addition to meeting the performance goals set by HPD, track testing also confirmed the reliability of the twin-turbo V-6, with the same engine completing a total of 2,163 miles over the three tests. More ...

02/03/11
nascar
Court rules Brian France's divorce dispute will be public  NASCAR Chairman Brian France's messy divorce and legal dispute with his ex-wife should play out in open court, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. Brian and Megan France had sought to keep their court proceedings secret, but the appeals court upheld a Charlotte judge's order refusing to close their court hearings. The appeals court ruled Brian France had failed to show that his interest in keeping the litigation secret outweighed the public's right to open court proceedings. The court, however, allowed previously filed documents in the case to remain sealed, leaving it to the Charlotte judge who handles the Frances' trial to decide which, if any, documents should be made public. The judge will also have to decide whether courtroom testimony related to sealed documents should be closed. Among the sealed documents is a confidential agreement between Brian and Megan France concerning their separation, property settlement, child support and custody and alimony. Brian France's lawyer had said the agreement involved "intensely private" matters involving their children and finances. Tuesday's ruling can be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. If it isn't, the case will probably go back to Mecklenburg District Court for trial. See full article at the Charlotte Observer
02/03/11
f1
Valencia Day 3: Kubica's Lotus Renault on top  After three days of pre-season testing a third constructor topped the timesheets on Thursday, with Robert Kubica's Renault seeing off Adrian Sutil's Force India.

Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull ended the opening day on top before Fernando Alonso piped the German to the post on Wednesday, but it was Kubica who recorded the fastest time of the week, beating his more fancied competitors to the first 'win' of the season.

After two days fraught with problems, matters looked to be improving for Mercedes GP, with Schumacher posting the third fastest time of the morning with a 1:14.537, 0.108 faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg's quickest lap yesterday. More ...

02/03/11
motogp
Injury slows Rossi  Valentino Rossi believes that he is losing at least half a second per lap as a result of his shoulder injury, which is still yet to fully heal following his Free Practice crash at Mugello last year. Thursday saw the former World Champion finish Sepang testing tenth fastest.

“Of course I was really finished by the end, in part because the rest of my body has to work differently,” the Ducati man explained.

“My left arm has to do extra work, so it’s very tired, but I’m really happy with my shoulder because it’s improving day-by-day and, even after the stress of having ridden a MotoGP bike at the limit, I don’t have any problems.

“Now it’s just a question of strength. My mobility has improved a lot and I no longer think my physical limitations cost me a second – let’s say I lose five or six tenths, especially on braking and in corner entry.”

02/03/11
f1
Lotus waiting for steering parts  Over halfway through the third and final day of testing at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit, Jarno Trulli is yet to set a lap time and will not do so until the squad commences its private run on Friday. At present, the Norfolk-based outfit is awaiting a delivery of power steering parts to the circuit.

Under new-for-2011 sporting regulations, all constructors are able to trade in a day of official testing for a private run, with Team Lotus set to remain in Spain on Friday after not electing to run as rivals’ programs began on Tuesday.

‘New parts for power steering not available until tomorrow, so don't expect any lap times from us today, but plenty of work to do,’ Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne explained via his personal Twitter feed.

02/03/11
motogp
Sepang MotoGP test times - final day  
The first test of the 2011 season in Sepang, Malaysia came to an end today, with all 3 Repsol Honda riders very happy with their results.

Stoner - who finished 2nd for the day with a time of 2.00.811 and just six hundredths off Marco Simoncelli, spent the final day making further comparisons between two different 2011 option chassis. He remained unharmed after a minor accident in turn twelve - losing the front end after touching the white line. After lunch he tested some new traction control software which helped improve corner speed. He ended the day assessing new Bridgestone tires. This was a positive first outing for the newcomer to the Repsol Honda Team, learning valuable information about the RC212V.

Andrea Dovizioso continued to test the geometry on his 2011 bike to better understand the feeling in the front. He also worked on the traction control and clutch set-up. Using the softer tire, the Italian rider set his fastest lap time of the day on his 11th of 51 laps completed. In the afternoon, he tested two different new rear tires. More ...

02/03/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Updates shown in Red below.

02/03/11
  • Vettel in the new Red Bull
    Bold Marko hails 'amazing' new Red Bull
  • Alonso not worried about bad season with Ferrari
  • Marko scoffs at Red Bull 'biggest spender' claims
  • New McLaren 'looks different' to rivals - Hamilton
  • Pirelli to keep de la Rosa, Lotus not signing Chandhok yet
  • Ferrari turned away new Red Bull sponsor Geox
  • Vettel answer excites Italian reporter
  • Fiery start for Massa New
  • Hulkenberg confirms Friday deal with Force India New
  • Mercedes, Brawn not confirming team buyout reports New More ...
02/03/11
alms
Scott Sharp introduces new ALMS Ferrari  The first taste of Ferrari’s new F458 Italia is only heightening the anticipation for Extreme Speed Motorsports. Scott Sharp and Ed Brown were at Ferrari’s official test track in Italy last week to shake down the first of two F458s that ESM will field for the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

And if first impressions really are crucially important … well, judge for yourself!

“The car is so much sportier looking, and the engine is totally different … more powerful,” said Brown, who will team with Guy Cosmo for the full ALMS GT season. “The suspension is all new, providing a lot more grip and adjustability. There is a totally new transmission; after the Winter Test we will be going to a paddle shifter. This car is the best of the best – Patron and Ferrari have never been better!” See Photo

Sharp, the 2009 ALMS LMP1 champion, was just as effusive. More ...
02/03/11
f1
An interview with Ross Brawn  An interview with Mercedes GP Team Principal Ross Brawn.

Q: Do you feel under pressure to perform this year?

There's always a lot of pressure both internally from ourselves and from the company - we are part of a very important brand so we want to do well. But most of the pressure comes internally - we are all very competitive; the drivers, myself, the team.

Q: Will you all have to copy the Renault exhaust?

I don't think so. You will see a number of teams with different solutions before we get to Bahrain. Ferrari was hinting that they had some options. There are some solutions you can do to get the benefit of exhaust energy. More ...

02/03/11
irl
City council signs off on final Indy losses  The money-losing Edmonton Indy motored out of city council’s hands Wednesday when it approved a $3.3-million payment to cover the final deficit and other costs.

“We made a choice probably 12 to 18 months ago to go ahead or not,” Coun. Don Iveson said.

“We understood the choice was to spend about $3 million on cancellation fees, more or less, or spend $3 million and have a race.”

The 2010 Indy run by Northlands lost $2.8 million, less than expected due mainly to lower costs, but the city was also on the hook for $400,000 in expenses from the 2008-09 events, says a report. More ...

02/03/11
f1
First impressions really good, says Maldonado  
Pastor Maldonado
Q: You had your first official outing for AT&T Williams yesterday, how did it feel?
PM
: Driving the FW33 and getting a feel for the new car was great! My run wasn’t that long, but we are concentrating on learning the car to begin with and I was preparing myself for today’s program.

Q: Did you run KERS and the rear wing flap yesterday?
PM:
We didn’t run KERS. On some laps I did use the rear wing flap, but not many. Yesterday’s run was really just to understand the new car and to gather more data.

Q: Are you up to speed on all the new systems in the car so you can concentrate on the test work?
PM
: Not yet, but I think it is the same for everybody, and it’s not easy because you are very busy during a lap. I am getting more confident every time I go out though and I feel really ready to do my job. More ...

02/03/11
f1
Q&A with Rubens Barrichello  
Rubens Barrichello
Williams’ Rubens Barrichello got his first taste of the team’s 2011 car on Tuesday. Among the numerous changes on the FW33 is the addition of two new steering wheel buttons - one for KERS and one for the adjustable rear wing. Barrichello discusses his first impressions of the new car - and how drivers will cope with so many cockpit controls…

Q: How did your first day in the FW33 go?
Rubens Barrichello:
We learnt a lot. It is a very different car to the FW32 and needs a different set-up and understanding. The balance of the car was difficult, but it’s always hard to get a car to feel good on that amount of fuel. I will just have to work on it and see what we get back. Unfortunately, we lost a bit of time yesterday due to a problem with the KERS, but we kept going out to build up mileage. It was all positive; the only drawback from the day is that the number of buttons on the steering wheel can distract you from the driving. More ...
02/03/11
gp2a
Romain Grosjean sets the pace in Abu Dhabi  
Romain Grosjean
Today marked the beginning of GP2 Asia Series pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi with all thirteen teams – including newcomers Carlin and Team AirAsia. The twenty-six drivers had their first taste of the new GP2/11 car – the third generation machine since the Series’ inception- and of the Pirelli tires.

The session opened under blue skies and on a very dusty track following yesterday’s sandstorm, and with strong winds sweeping every curb and straight of the 5.555km long layout. It was thus a slow morning with drivers going out mainly for installation laps. Davide Valsecchi at the wheel of the Team AirAsia car was the first one to take to the track with teammate Luiz Razia in tow. The main focus of the first three hours for the teams was to gather valuable data, rather than setting fast lap times. It was GP3 Series graduate Stefano Coletti at Trident Racing who set the pace ahead of Carlin’s Max Chilton and Arden’s Rodolfo Gonzalez. But the session was cut short, thirty minutes before the scheduled time after it was decided that more time was needed to clean the track before the afternoon session. More ...

02/03/11
tv news
SPEED TV News  
Adam Alexander
In 2011, SPEED is expanding its motor sports news efforts, rebranding its popular weekly program, adding multiple weekend news updates and increasing use of the SPEED Ticker to keep fans current on everything from the world of racing.

“This is going to revolutionize the weekend programming on the network,” said Patti Wheeler, SPEED EVP of Programming & Production. “If you are a fan of almost any kind of racing, we will have all the latest news and information for you in real-time with our amped-up Ticker and in our many live SPEED Center reports throughout the weekend. Instead of simply offering a weekend racing roundup Sunday evening, SPEED will be the go-to source for breaking news and updates from race tracks and paddocks around the world all weekend long.” More ...

02/03/11
fil
Liberty Engineering to partner with Belardi Auto Racing  Liberty Engineering, a provider of turn-key engineering solutions primarily for the food manufacturing industry, will be a primary sponsor of Belardi Auto Racing beginning in the 2011 season. The company plans to use its sponsorship of the race team as a promotional vehicle.

"Certainly the brand attributes of INDYCAR's Firestone Indy Lights align well with our mission here at Liberty Engineering. Innovation, technology and speed are all key components to our success in providing service to the biggest names in the food industry," said John Akelaitis, Liberty Engineering General Manager. "But beyond branding, it's truly the business-to-business opportunity offered by the team in the motorsports environment. The ability to allow our customers to leverage the many tools of motorsports marketing, i.e. trackside sampling and interaction with customers, hospitality for entertaining, and utilizing showcars at tradeshows and retail locations, are tremendous resources to be able to pass on to our customers." More ...

02/03/11
irl
Penske Racing Sponsorship Announcement Teleconference  THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everybody, to today's IZOD IndyCar Series conference call. Earlier today Penske Racing made two separate sponsor announcements with GuidePoint Systems coming onboard to sponsor the team's three IZOD IndyCar Series entries and serve as primary sponsor of the cars driven by Helio Castroneves for five races and Ryan Briscoe for two races.

The team also welcomed aboard PPG, which extends its long-time partnership with the team, to include sponsorship of the three IZOD IndyCar Series cars as well as primary sponsorship for Ryan Briscoe's car for three events at Milwaukee, Iowa and Kentucky.

We're joined today by Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, Geoff Dixon of GuidePoint Systems, Bill Shaw of PPG, and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves. More ...

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