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Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Is Deeply Saddened  Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is deeply saddened with the news of Window World CEO, Todd Whitworth’s unexpected death.  The team would like to offer their sincere condolences to his family and the Window World community.  DRR had the opportunity to work closely with Todd during the month of May last year when Window World sponsored the No. 43 entry with John Andretti.

Statement from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-owners:

Dennis Reinbold: “Both Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and myself personally are saddened by the unexpected loss of Todd Whitworth. We spent a lot of great time with Todd during the month of May for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 when we had the privilege of working together. We send our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time.”

Robbie Buhl: “I am saddened to learn of Todd’s sudden passing. It was a pleasure to spend quality time with Todd during the Indianapolis 500 this past year. The Whitworth family is in our thoughts and prayers.”
Genoa Racing takes delivery of its LMP2 car  Genoa Racing is the latest team to take possession of an ORECA FLM09 prototype for the American Le Mans Series’ Le Mans Prototype Challenge class. The Indiana-based team took delivery of its car Friday afternoon and plans to have the FLM09 at the annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway later this month.

The team, owned by Angelo Ferro, is returning to its roots after recent years in open-wheel competition. In more than 240 formula car starts its heritage includes a championship, 17 victories, 20 poles and a front-row starting position at the 1998 Indianapolis 500 in conjunction with Thomas Knapp Motorsports. Some of its past drivers include Ivan Capelli, Juan Manuel Fangio Jr., Thiago Medeiros, Jimmy Vasser and Greg Ray.

More ...

Atlantic Series lowers price of entry  Atlantic Series Officials announced a significant price reduction for competitors in the 2010 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. This price reduction is part of a new movement by the Atlantic Championship to help aspiring drivers onto the “Road to F1”.

The Atlantic Championship Series is offering a full season of racing for a fixed cost of $495,000, including 12 races at 10 venues. The 2010 season will include world class championship level racing throughout the year, starting with the historic 12 Hours of Sebring event and finishing with the renowned Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta. The fixed price budget is available direct from the series and interested parties should contact David Bowes at DBowes@AtlanticChampionship.com

“I am delighted to confirm that we have negotiated a fixed budget for all of our drivers in 2010," stated Atlantic Championship owner Ben Johnston. "It is a fact that the Atlantic Championship consistently demonstrates, above all other series, that it promotes its drivers into the highest levels of motorsport. We are now able to do all of that for less, which is a huge opportunity for all current and future competitors.”

In addition to the reduced fixed price for the 2010 season, the Atlantic Championship has announced it will be hosting a two-day test at Spring Mountain Motorsports Park, Nevada - just outside Las Vegas - on February 22-23 for all drivers considering competing in the 2010 season. Series officials have confirmed that at least one current European F1 team manager will be in attendance throughout the two-day test to watch and evaluate potential future F1 drivers. This is the first of similar opportunities that the Atlantic Series will be offering to drivers this year as part of its new “Road to F1” vision. Interested drivers should contact David Bowed for more details. eFormulaCarNews.com
Johnson sells NYC loft  Jimmie Johnson has just sold his 3,200-square-foot loft in Chelsea [New York City] for $4 million. Johnson paid $3.975 million for the three-bedroom three-and-a-half bath condo in 2007. He put it on the market last March for $4.395 million, eventually cutting the price to $4.25 million. He and his wife, Chandra, a former model, used the apartment as a pied-à-terre 9a temporary or second lodging); their primary home is in Charlotte, NC. The couple are expecting their first child in July. The listing agent, Lisa Rose of Halstead Property, declined to comment. He is not forsaking New York City. He recently closed on another three-bedroom three-and-a-half bath condo, this one for $8.33 million, at Superior Ink, a new complex with a 61-unit building and seven town houses at West 12th and West Streets in the West Village. New York Yimes
Tom Kristensen in rehabilitation  At the beginning of January, Tom Kristensen tore the heel tendon of his left leg while playing badminton. The Le Mans record winner underwent surgery and has started an extensive rehabilitation program under the supervision of Audi Sport’s team physician Dr. Christian John in order to be fit in time for the start of the season. The Dane will also participate in the traditional Audi winter camp in Ofterschwang.
Two private Audi R10 TDI cars at Le Mans  A total of five Audi prototypes will compete in the 24-hour race at Le Mans on June 12/13. The private Kolles team had their two entries accepted and, like last year, will field two Audi R10 TDI cars. In addition, the private German team has entered the entire 2010 Le Mans Series.
Lucas Luhr will be reserve driver for Le Mans  Audi has nominated Audi "factory" driver Lucas Luhr as a reserve driver for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France). The winner of the 2008 American Le Mans Series will be more extensively involved in Audi’s GT3 project this year. At Sebring, he ran tests in the endurance version of the Audi R8 LMS that will be used by several customer teams in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.
ECR engines show power in Shootout  
No. 29 Kevin Harvick
Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines powered Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team to victory and two other teams to top-10 finishes in the February 6 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

Harvick led five times for a total of 21 laps en route to his second consecutive Shootout victory, becoming the fourth driver to earn back-to-back wins in the non-points event’s 32-year history. Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) and Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) finished third and 10th, respectively. McMurray led twice for two laps.

“All the hard work during the off season is paying off already,” said Richie Gilmore, chief operating officer of ECR Engines. “It was obviously a great start for Harvick and the Shell-Pennzoil team and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet also had a strong night. The Caterpillar team and the Target team were strong in practice and looked good during the Shootout. Everything we had in the engines for the Shootout is the same things we have in the engines for the Duels and the Daytona 500. We’re really excited about what we brought to Daytona and we’re looking for more good things next week.”

Rain could affect Jerez test this week  (GMM)  This week's second test of the 2010 winter season is likely to be affected by bad weather.

Forecasts ahead of the four-day session at Jerez, in south western Spain, predict rain.

The rain will almost certainly hit early in the week, ahead of the first test day on Wednesday.

Williams spokeswoman Claire Williams said the British team expects "rain for one of the Jerez days".

Other forecasts are calling for a more than 50 per cent chance of rain on all four days of the test.

The news is not good for Red Bull, Force India and Virgin, who are all set to get their 2010 cars up and running at the test this week. More ...

Lotus fires up 2010 car, set for Tuesday shakedown  (GMM)  The Cosworth engine in the rear of the first completed 2010 Lotus car has been fired up.

The new Malaysian-backed, Norfolk (UK)-based team announced recently that the single seater will be launched at London's Royal Horticultural Hall this coming Friday.

It was thought that Lotus would run the car for the first time in the hands of Jarno Trulli at Silverstone on the day after the launch, before joining the third group test at Jerez later in February.

But it has now emerged that the car was in fact fired up at the Hingham factory on Saturday, and is scheduled to be shaken down on Tuesday.

A BBC report said the engine fire-up followed "some minor technical delays". More ...

Crash ends Milka Duno's stock car debut  IndyCar's 2nd greatest driver of all-time (as measured by the length of her autograph line, 2nd only to Danica Patrick's) Milka Duno made her stock car racing debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway today and despite power issues was able to qualify for and compete in her inaugural stock car race. A major fourteen-car pile-up in the early laps caught Duno's #90 Toyota and ended her race prematurely.

CANTV was on-board as primary sponsor and Celebrity Jazz as associate sponsor for Duno's first effort in today's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona.

At the ARCA Series open test at Daytona in December, and in her very first time in a stock car, Milka was the fastest stock car rookie on the second day of the three-day test. On the third day of the test the car developed a loss of power which ended her session early. More ...

A virtual lap around the Sao Paolo IndyCar circuit  
Valsecchi storms to sprint race victory  
(L to R) Herck (2nd), Valsecchi (1st), and Ricci (3rd)
Davide Valsecchi has solidified his championship lead with a brilliant drive to victory this evening in Abu Dhabi, claiming the win with a measured but aggressive run from seventh on the grid to steal the victory from Michael Herck, who led all race until the second last lap but nevertheless claimed his first ever GP2 podium finish ahead of teammate Giacomo Ricci.

Herck was handed the lead at the start when poleman Max Chilton bogged down as the lights went out: Herck was first into the first turn with Alexander Rossi and Ricci held up just enough by Chilton to give the Romanian a clear path to the corner, while behind them Joseph Kral was caught up in the melee between Sergio Perez and Luca Filippi as they all stumbled over each other as they looked for a way through, prompting a safety car period to allow Kral’s broken car to be removed. More ...

Davidson to continue BBC radio role in 2010  (GMM)  Former formula one driver Anthony Davidson will continue to attend grands prix in 2010 as a radio commentator.

The 30-year-old was last year a full time feature of the British broadcaster BBC's Radio 5 Live commentary team.

Despite previously aiming for a return to the grid this season, the former Minardi, BAR and Super Aguri driver will again provide "a driver's perspective to events" on BBC radio in 2010, a press release issued on Friday said.

It was also announced that David Coulthard will continue to be an expert pundit on British television in 2010, despite rumors linking the Scottish veteran with a seat in the German touring car series DTM.

NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson Named Grand Marshal For Daytona 500  To mark the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 triumph, NASCAR legend Junior Johnson will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 52nd running of NASCAR's most prestigious race -- the Daytona 500 -- on Sunday Feb. 14.

As Grand Marshal, Johnson will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports -- "Gentlemen, start your engines."

"Junior Johnson is an icon in NASCAR racing," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "His accomplishments are remarkable and we're proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 win by having him preside as Grand Marshal of NASCAR's most storied event." More ...

Cosworth satisfied with engine reliability  The Cosworth CA2010 engine passed the first test of racking up 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) during Valencia testing this week as the Northamptonshire-based company returns to Formula 1.After an absence of three years, the British firm makes a comeback to supply Williams once again as well as the sport's four new teams, amassing to a total of 10 of the grid's 26 cars.

Of the five teams running Cosworth this year, only Williams was present for the first official pre-season session in Valencia although no reliability gremlins showed up with the brand-new Cosworth unit.

Williams only technical problem, in fact, came in the shape of a software bug which caused Rubens Barrichello to stop on-track on Monday.

"Our work with Williams was very important to collect data and to get feedback from the drivers," explained Mark Gallagher, CEO of the Cosworth F1 project. "The first results were measured between the new CA2010 engine and the brand-new FW32 chassis."

Oliver Turvey scores maiden win in Abu Dhabi as Rossi stars  
(L to R) Valsecchi (2nd), Turvey (1st) and Bianchi (3rd)
Oliver Turvey claimed his first GP2 Asia victory Friday night leading from start to finish and fending off his teammate’s constant attacks all through the animated race. Davide Valsecchi and iSport International increased their advantage in the GP2 Asia Series standings.

As the sun set on the Yas Marina Circuit and the race started, Turvey took off perfectly passing poleman Charles Pic who was then immediately under the pressure from Valsecchi. The Italian charged the Arden man at the end of the long back straight and claimed second before Lap 2. The Top three were soon joined by Jules Bianchi and Javier Villa.

Turvey leads teammate Valsecchi
The Spaniard was the first of the leaders to obverse his mandatory pitstop on Lap 6. Pic pitted two laps later, but as he came back out, he had lost a position to his teammate. Valsecchi and Bianchi stopped the lap after that and while the Italian came back out in front of Villa, Bianchi found his way in between the two Arden cars.

Comfortably leading, Turvey pitted on Lap 10, emerging right in front of Valsecchi. The Italian showed no mercy and immediately attacked his teammate on the outside of Turns 11, 12 and 13. The two cars slightly came together, went off the track before rejoining, Valsecchi ahead of Turvey. But the Italian soon after that gave way for the Brit to get back into the lead. More ...

racing news
Quote of the Week  What happened to that "Hammer" that Anton George used to bring to work everyday? Steve Levinson, LA referring to the hammer he brought to work each day in an effort to destroy the most successful open wheel series the USA ever had - CART.  It was auctioned off in one of his garage sales. Robin Miller, SPEEDTV.com:
Virgin team ready for full testing  
Lucas di Grassi
Virgin Racing are all set to begin pre-season testing after successfully completing a two-day shakedown at Silverstone today.

Having conducted a few initial exploratory laps in the VR-01 yesterday, Timo Glock kicked things up a notch on day two, completing 42 laps of the 1.8km Stowe circuit during the morning.

This afternoon, Timo reluctantly handed over the cockpit to Lucas di Grassi, who took to the track for the very first time as a fully-fledged Formula One racer. He went on to record a total of 36 laps. When asked how it felt to drive the car for the first time, Lucas said: “It feels good. It feels like home! I’m really happy and our first impressions of the car are very positive. It’s amazing what the team has achieved in such a short space of time. I think we have a strong car and a great team to get things started in Jerez. It was important for me to learn as much as possible here so I can start to put some real mileage on the car next week.” More ...

Window World and John Andretti racing with heavy hearts  Window World Inc., John Andretti and the Window World Racing community will be racing in the memory of Window World CEO Todd Whitworth during the 2010 race season.  Whitworth passed away unexpectedly on February 5.

Window World's foundation, Window World Cares, is the primary sponsor of John Andretti and the No. 34 Ford team for Front Row Motorsports and Boris Said and the No. 26 Ford team for Latitude 43.

Window World has been heavily involved in motorsports since the beginning of 2009.  America's largest window replacement company first partnered with Andretti during the 2009 Daytona 500.  The relationship expanded to seven NASCAR Sprint Cup events and the famed Indianapolis 500 when Andretti raced with Richard Petty Motorsports.  Window World and Andretti were the only driver/sponsor combination to race in both the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 - two of the largest sporting events in the world. More ...
Hendrick cars 1-2-3 in Daytona 500 practice 1  
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 188.679 47.700 Leader
2 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 188.616 47.716 -0.016
3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 187.950 47.885 -0.185
4 21 Bill Elliott Ford Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 187.884 47.902 -0.202
5 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Monster Energy 187.872 47.905 -0.205
6 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation 187.766 47.932 -0.232
7 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 187.680 47.954 -0.254
8 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 187.512 47.997 -0.297
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 187.484 48.004 -0.304
10 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 187.379 48.031 -0.331
11 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 187.352 48.038 -0.338
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 187.211 48.074 -0.374
13 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 187.130 48.095 -0.395
14 12 Brad Keselowski Dodge Penske Racing 187.087 48.106 -0.406
15 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 187.060 48.113 -0.413
16 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 187.040 48.118 -0.418
17 13 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 186.928 48.147 -0.447
18 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 186.862 48.164 -0.464
19 71 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 186.862 48.164 -0.464
20 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Old Spice / Office Depot 186.788 48.183 -0.483
21 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 186.749 48.193 -0.493
22 82 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull 186.734 48.197 -0.497
23 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 186.730 48.198 -0.498
24 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal 186.706 48.204 -0.504
25 151 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 186.660 48.216 -0.516
26 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 186.660 48.216 -0.516
27 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 186.474 48.264 -0.564
28 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 186.451 48.270 -0.570
29 190 Casey Mears Chevrolet Keyed-Up Motorsports 186.440 48.273 -0.573
30 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Kroger Floral 186.401 48.283 -0.583
31 98 Paul Menard Ford Peak / Menards 186.254 48.321 -0.621
32 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 186.224 48.329 -0.629
33 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 186.027 48.380 -0.680
34 132 Reed Sorenson Toyota Dollar General 186.020 48.382 -0.682
35 34 John Andretti Ford Window World Cares 185.847 48.427 -0.727
36 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 185.847 48.427 -0.727
37 36 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Wave Energy Drink 185.712 48.462 -0.762
38 19 Elliott Sadler Ford Stanley 185.647 48.479 -0.779
39 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 185.406 48.542 -0.842
40 9 Kasey Kahne Ford Budweiser 185.387 48.547 -0.847
41 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 185.361 48.554 -0.854
42 09 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Phoenix Racing 185.345 48.558 -0.858
43 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports 184.011 48.910 -1.210
44 38 Robert Richardson Jr. Ford Mahindra USA 183.217 49.122 -1.422
45 26 Boris Said Ford Window World Cares 182.253 49.382 -1.682
46 37 Travis Kvapil Ford Extenze 180.126 49.965 -2.265
47 197 Jeff Fuller Toyota NEMCO Motorsports - - -
48 192 Mike Wallace Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports - - -
49 127 Kirk Shelmerdine Toyota Kirk Shelmerdine Racing - - -
50 46 Terry Cook* Dodge Whitney Motorsports - - -
51 157 Norm Benning Chevrolet Norm Benning Racing - - -
52 55 Michael McDowell Toyota Prism Motorsports - - -
53 49 David Gilliland Toyota Warner Music Nashville - - -
54 175 Derrike Cope Dodge Asset Protect/ Strutmasterspro.com - - -

* Denotes Rookie
IndyCar - confusing the fans?  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Who the hell came up with this scheme?  Let me get this right.  Tune in and support a competing racing series and we'll give you a discount to the Indy 500!  Indy Car should be distancing themselves from this turncoat as much as they can.  What are they thinking?  They have got to stop the crazy Danica mania especially as she is not going to be around much longer.  Anyone would think she is the only driver in the IRL. This is a desperate and dangerous way to put fans in seats.  Ray M.

02/05/10 New Indianapolis 500 ticket customers can cash in on Danica Patrick’s participation in the ARCA Racing Series season opener Saturday, Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway.

It’s up to Danica how much they’ll cash in.

If popular IZOD IndyCar Series driver Patrick leads many laps, she’ll drive big Tower Terrace ticket price reductions for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She is driving the No. 7 Go Daddy machine for Andretti Autosport in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

For instance, if Patrick leads 40 laps, fans will receive a $40 reduction from the regular $90 price of a Tower Terrace ticket purchased between Saturday, Feb. 6 through Saturday Feb. 13. If she leads all 80 laps of the race, fans will receive the $90 ticket for $10!

In honor of Patrick's ground-breaking 19-lap run at the front in the closing laps of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2005, the Speedway will offer at least $19 savings on Tower Terrace tickets for the 2010 Indy 500 purchased during the promotion dates. If Patrick doesn't qualify for the ARCA race or leads 19 or fewer laps in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, the ticket price reduction remains $19.

Penske donates trucks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to support relief efforts  Penske Corporation and its family of companies announced that today it has donated over $1 million worth of diesel-powered flatbed trucks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

“I’m pleased the Penske Corporation has stepped up to donate more than $1 million worth of trucks, which will be instrumental in mobilizing food and lifesaving supplies in Haiti,” President Clinton said. “Their generous contribution is an example of what the private sector can do to help Haiti rebuild and recover from the massive earthquake, and I’m grateful for their leadership.”

"The catastrophe that has struck Haiti is almost unimaginable," said Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "These trucks will assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti by facilitating the distribution of critical supplies that will help ease the suffering of the Haitian people."

RCR memorial for lost crew member  Richard Childress Racing will honor former pit crew member and front tire changer D.J. Richardson with memorial decals during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.

The No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet will carry the decals behind the front tires for the February 6 Budweiser Shootout. All three of RCR’s Sprint Cup Series entries will carry the decals for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on February 14, and its Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series entries will also carry the decals for their season-opening races.

Richardson passed away December 25, 2009, from complications from the H1N1 virus. He joined RCR in July 2009 and finished the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS team. The Leominster, Mass., native was 37.

“D.J. should be jumping off the wall and changing tires for us again this season so we wanted to honor him in this special way,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “He was a valued member of the RCR family and is missed as we start the 2010 season.”
France residency at center of Mayfield case  Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was back in federal court Thursday concerning a lawsuit he filed against the racing organization and CEO Brian France after Mayfield was banned for allegedly failing several drug tests. The evidentiary hearing will be used to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward with a case, but court officials must first determine where that case would be heard. If the judge decided that NASCAR president Brian France's primary residence is North Carolina, the case would be likely held in state court  that's what Mayfield's legal team wants to see happen. But if it's Florida, as NASCAR's attorneys contend, the case will likely continue in federal court. France testified that he owns multiple homes and condos in Daytona Beach, Charlotte and California, and at least eight cars in three states. Mayfield's attorney, Mark Geragos, says France claims Florida for income tax purposes but he claimed North Carolina residency during his divorce and custody agreement. "It's obvious that he resides here in North Carolina and it's obvious to me, at least, or anybody else that's ever paid taxes, that the reason he's claiming Florida is it's a tax dodge so that he doesn't have to pay North Carolina taxes," Geragos said. France's ex-wife, Megan, said France moved her and their children to Charlotte after they married. They've since divorced but he keeps a North Carolina home to make visitation easier. France's 2009 marriage license to his new wife was filed in North Carolina. NASCAR officials say all of this is just a distraction from the real issue "Now let's remember what this case is about. This case is about failed drug tests by Jeremy Mayfield, who has tested positive on more than one occasion for methamphetamine," company spokesman Ramsey Poston said. A decision on Thursday's hearing is several weeks away. Attorneys have two weeks to file their arguments with the federal judge and then the judge will have to make a decision.(News14.com)
Iconic Jaguar marque returns to LeMans  The year 2010 marks 75 years of the Jaguar name on both road and race cars. As a continuation of this great heritage, Jaguar can confirm it will return to the famed Le Mans 24 hours. With a total of seven wins at Le Mans 24 hours between 1951 and 1990, Jaguar is the single most successful British make in the race's history. Jaguar will return to its favorite hunting ground and will line up on the starting grid on 12th June 2010 with an XKR GT2 run by JaguarRSR. 

Paul Gentilozzi, Principal Partner, JaguarRSR commented: "We are delighted the ACO has granted us entry in the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans. It is a race that is held dearly in the hearts of motorsport fans across the world and for Jaguar to be racing again is something special. More ...
Danica to start 12th in stock car debut  James Buescher captured the pole for Saturday's ARCA Racing Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway while Danica Patrick will start 12th in her stock car debut

With all eyes on where Patrick would start, Buescher went out and backed up his fast practice lap from yesterday to top the 47-car qualifying field on a windy day in Daytona.

“We definitely have a good car,” Buescher said. “It was top of the board all day yesterday. I’m happy with the car and I think it will race real good.”

Mikey Kile qualified second with Joey Coulter in third.

“The wind was a pretty big factor today,” Coulter said. “It was really going to be a toss up between us three.”

Dakota Armstrong and Bryan Silas rounded out the top five.

Patrick posted a lap of 179.788 mph behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet, arguably the best car in the field.

Tomorrow’s 80-lap race will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Frampton to perform at Texas race  Peter Frampton, a Grammy Award-winning artist and one of rock-n-roll’s legendary guitarists, will be the headliner of the pre-race show for the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, April 18, at Texas Motor Speedway. Frampton will take to the stage on the front stretch at 12:30 p.m. CT and perform an hour concert that will highlight the three-hour pre-race show. The concert will lead into the running of the Samsung Mobile 500, which will start at 2 p.m. CT.

“I am really excited to play in front of the NASCAR fans at Texas Motor
Speedway; those guys are always so much fun,” Frampton said. “But can I ride in the pace
car, please?” More ...

Crown Royal renews with Roush and Kenseth  
Matt Kenseth
Roush Fenway Racing announced today that Crown Royal has extended the number of races in which it will be primary sponsor of driver Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Sprint Cup Series team.  Crown Royal will serve as the primary sponsor for 35 Cup Series races in 2010.  Kenseth will debut his new Crown Royal Ford Fusion when it hits the track for his fourth-career Budweiser Shootout appearance on Saturday, Feb. 6.

The makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a subsidiary of Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO), have been partners with Roush Fenway Racing dating back to 2003. In 2005, Crown Royal entered the sport as sponsor of the No. 97 team, and in 2006 became the sponsor of Jamie McMurray's No. 26 team. “I’m thrilled that Crown Royal chose to expand their sponsorship of our team for the entire 2010 season,” said Kenseth, one of only five drivers in NASCAR history to win the Sprint Cup rookie of the year award, a Sprint Cup Championship and the Daytona 500. More ...

Mallya- Dissolution does not threaten Force India competition  Force India team owner and Principal Vijay Mallya has stressed that the team's future in Formula 1 in not in doubt following reports on Friday that the Silverstone-based company has failed to submit accounts and may be closed by the British government as a result.

With newspaper The Telegraph having published a report stating that Companies House in the United Kingdom is threatening to dissolve Force India F1, should its accounts for 2008 not be submitted by Thursday February 25, it is believed that the team has already been handed a deadline extension after it missed the original date of October 31 2009.

"Force India's participation within the F1 championship has not, and will not, be in jeopardy," Indian Mallya said via a statement on Friday afternoon. "It is not unknown for companies to file their annual returns late, the reasons for which are varied." GPUpdate.net

Webber to give new Red Bull track debut  (GMM)  Mark Webber will do the honors when Red Bull's 2010 car is given its track debut at Jerez next week.

In order to maximize the RB6's factory development time, the Milton Keynes team was absent at Valencia when the winter testing ban lifted this week.

But when the second test kicks off next Wednesday, the new car will hit the Jerez circuit alongside its key 2010 rivals, including Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

It emerges that Australian Webber, 33, will be at the wheel for the opening two days, before Sebastian Vettel concludes the four-day test. More ...

Bridgestone to keep green markings for F1 tires  (GMM)  Bridgestone will continue to distinguish its tire compounds in 2010 by painting green circles around the edges of the sidewalls.

The practice was a compromise given last year's switch from grooved to slick tires, but some pointed out that white paint would be a better choice for visibility.

"We have used the color green as it shows our support of the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign," said the Japanese supplier's technical manager Tetsuro Kobayashi.

Bridgestone also said a compound 'gap' would be left between its tire allocations in 2010, despite some heavy criticism last year. More ...

World Series team to race in Lotus F1 colors  (GMM)  A team in the World Series by Renault category in 2010 will bear the same livery as the new F1 entrant Lotus.

After Lotus' Malaysian reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy competed with Mofaz Fortec Racing in 2009, it will become the 'Lotus F1 Racing Junior Team' this year.

Mofaz will also run the same livery as the F1 outfit, according to a World Series by Renault statement.

Meanwhile, Renault F1 test driver Jan Charouz, a Czech and the reigning champion of the Le Mans Series, will race with P1 Motorsport.

The Tech 1 lineup boasts Red Bull's full reserve driver contingent of Daniel Ricciardo alongside Brendon Hartley, while 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell's son Greg will drive for Comtec Racing.

Rossi again tops MotoGP testing in Sepang  Valentino Rossi led the way for the second day running in Sepang today, concluding the first test of the year on top of the standings. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was also on the pace today, finishing the test third fastest behind Casey Stoner.

Rain this morning meant the track did not fully dry out until lunchtime and it was after one o'clock before Rossi left the garage on his 2010 YZR-M1. The World Champion, who turns 31 in ten days time, completed 32 laps and set a best time of 2'00.925, only half a second slower than the record pole time for the track, which he set last year. Lorenzo put in a few laps in the late morning but the track was still wet in places and so he, too, waited until after lunch to really get started. The 22-year-old made a big improvement from yesterday and felt much more comfortable on the bike, finishing third fastest in a time of 2'01.680 after 60 laps. More ...

Massa not promising to stay at Ferrari forever  
Felipe Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has declined to echo teammate Fernando Alonso's pledge to never again switch to a rival formula one team.

After signing a new long-term contract with Ferrari, 28-year-old Alonso said recently the probability is "100 per cent" that he will end his career with the Maranello based team.

But Brazilian Massa, although the same age as his new Spanish teammate, said he cannot make the same pledge.

"I am 28.  How can I promise?" he said in an interview with Italy's Corriere dello Sport.

"Alonso is right when he says that leaving Ferrari to go to a better place is unlikely if not possible," Massa continued. More ...

Pecking order unclear after Valencia test  (GMM)  Nico Rosberg has played down fears Mercedes will be off the pace in 2010 with its newly launched and tested W01 car.

Team figures including Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and Rosberg's famous teammate Michael Schumacher this week conceded that the Brackley built car was not the quickest at the opening Valencia test.

But 24-year-old German Rosberg told Bild newspaper: "Next week at the Jerez tests the veil will continue to be lifted and a more detailed picture will emerge.

"We will certainly be at the top," the former Williams driver added.

Bild suggested that Mercedes GP may have sandbagged at Valencia by driving with high loads of fuel. More ...

Virgin, Force India, make Silverstone debuts  
Timo Glock
(GMM)  Virgin on Thursday became the first of F1's four new teams to get a car up and running.

In the hands of Timo Glock, the newly launched VR-01 began a two-day shakedown on bitterly cold Silverstone's shorter Stowe circuit.

The team said the German driver completed a "few exploratory laps", and a photo showed the new black and red car fitted with rain tires.

"The program really gets underway tomorrow (Friday) with a full day of on-track evaluation for both Timo and Lucas (di Grassi)," said technical director Nick Wirth. More ...

track news
Corvette Corral at the 2010 Toyota Grand Prix of LB  The Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at the April 16-18 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will have special meaning for Corvette Racing drivers like Olivier Beretta, Jan Magnussen, Johnny O'Connell and Oliver Gavin.

The four will have their own special rooting section in the form of the "Corvette Corral," with more than 100 Corvettes and their owners sharing a special private Friday and Saturday hospitality area behind Grandstands 24-26.

Corvette Corral members will enjoy a weekend filled with visits from ALMS drivers, tech talk and swapping stories, touring the free Lifestyle Expo and enjoying Saturday's racing, which also includes the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, IndyCar qualifying and Team Drifting Challenge.

Similar Corvette Corrals are popular at many other racing venues across the United States and Canada. More ...

Edwards' luck of draw earns pole for Shootout  
Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards is on the pole for the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. The starting lineup for the 24-car field was determined by a draw Thursday night.

The 75-lap exhibition will be broken into segments of 25 and 50 laps.

From what I've seen so far, there might not be many cars left after the first 25," said Edwards, referring to crashes in practice Thursday. "This race is going to be very interesting. It's going to spread out a little bit. It's going to become a handling race. It doesn't matter where you start unless if somebody misses a gear, we'll be in front of it." More ...

ALMS to be well represented at LeMans  A total of seven full-time American Le Mans Series teams with nine entries are set to compete at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s premier motor race. The Series’ representatives cover three of the four classes in the 78th edition of the French classic organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which announced the list of accepted entries Thursday morning.

Flying Lizard Motorsports, Risi Competizione and Corvette Racing will lead the American Le Mans Series' GT2 charge at Le Mans.

More ...
Texas race times pushed back two hours  Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR to move the start times of its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the upcoming season to be consistent with the Western Region start times. The Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18 and the Lone Star 500 on Nov. 7 will now have 2:00 pm Central Time starts, moving both races ahead two hours from their originally announced 12 noon CT times. The move was a result of Texas Motor Speedway petitioning NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time as well as potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start. "On behalf of our fans, we greatly appreciate NASCAR, along with television broadcast partners FOX (Samsung Mobile 500) and ESPN (Lone Star 500), hearing their collective voice and making the time changes to better suit their wishes and needs," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "NASCAR has made it clear that they are going to a 'back to basics' approach, and accommodating their promoters on behalf of their fans as well as avoid some potential logistical issues defines that new approach." More ...
Q+A with Mark Gallagher, Cosworth GM  Cosworth has enjoyed its first Formula 1 track action as an engine supplier since 2006 as the company accelerated preparations for the 2010 season with two of its customer teams this week.

The AT&T Williams team carried out a three-day test session at the Valencia circuit in Spain, putting Cosworth’s CA2010 V8 engine through its paces in earnest for the first time at a race track.

The new Virgin Racing team unveiled its Cosworth-powered, digitally-designed VR-01 race car for the first time on Wednesday before carrying out an initial shakedown of the new car at Silverstone today. More ...

Bridgestone pleased with tire evaluation in Valencia  Bridgestone Motorsport, the Official Tire Supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship, has completed the first group test of the exciting new 2010 season after three days at the 4.05 km Circuit Comunitat de la Valenciana, in Spain. This was the first opportunity for teams, drivers and observers to see in action the final specification of the new narrow front Potenza F1 tire developed by Bridgestone for this season

With a tire size of 245/ 55R13, the new front tire when fitted to a rim is 20mm narrower than the 2009 specification and is designed to redress the balance of the cars after grooves were removed from the tires ahead of the 2009 season. Bridgestone will again have four dry tire compounds (Hard, Medium, Soft and Super Soft) to cover the 19 race calendar, with two selected per race weekend. Two of these four compound designations of 2010 dry tire: the Soft and Super Soft; were available for use by the teams in Valencia this week, as well as the current specification intermediate and wet weather tires. Seven teams attended the test, which took place between 1-3 February, with sunny conditions and moderate winds prevailing over the course of the three day test. More ...

Daytona practice marred by multicar crash  If the first practice is any indication, Speedweeks could be filled with aggressive driving, big wrecks and backup cars.  An on-track tangle between Mark Martin and Denny Hamlin triggered a seven-car accident Thursday that may set the tone for two weeks of ramped-up racing at Daytona International Speedway.

"Trust me, we're not finished," said Greg Biffle, who was involved in the wreck.

Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer also were part of the melee, which happened halfway into the first practice for the Budweiser Shootout. More ...

2010 Le Mans 24 Hours entries  
# Team Car Drivers
#1 Peugeot Peugeot 908 HDi Wurz, TBA, TBA
#2 Peugeot Peugeot 908 HDi Minassian, TBA, TBA
#3 Peugeot Peugeot 908 HDi Bourdais, TBA, TBA
#4 ORECA Peugeot 908 HDi Panis, Lapierre, TBA
#5 Beechdean-Mansell Ginetta-Zytek Z09R Mansell, Mansell, Mansell
#7 Audi Audi R15 TDi Kristensen, McNish, Capello
#8 Audi Audi R15 TDi Lotterer, Fassler, Treluyer
#9 Audi Audi R15 TDi Rockenfeller, Bernhard, Dumas
#10 Dome Dome S102-Judd Philippe, TBA, TBA
#11 Drayson Lola B09/60-Judd Drayson, Cocker, TBA
#12 Rebellion Lola B10/60-Rebellion Belicchi, Boullion, TBA
#13 Rebellion Lola B10/60–Rebellion Prost, Jani, TBA
#14 Kolles Audi R10 TDi Albers, TBA, TBA
#15 Kolles Audi R10 TDi Bakkerud, TBA, TBA
#17 Pescarolo Pescarolo 01-Judd Tung, TBA, TBA
#18 Sora Pescarolo 01-Judd Tinseau, TBA, TBA
#19 Autocon Lola B06/10-AER Lewis, TBA, TBA
#007 Aston Martin Lola-Aston Martin Primat, TBA, TBA
#008 Signature-Plus Lola-Aston Martin Ragues, Mailleux, TBA
#009 Aston Martin Lola-Aston Martin Turner, TBA, TBA
#24 Oak Pescarolo 01-Judd Nicolet, TBA, TBA
#25 RML Lola B08/80-HPD Newton, Erdos, TBA
#26 Highcroft Acura ARX-01c-HPD Brabham, Franchitti, TBA
#29 Racing Box Lola B08/80-Judd Pirri, TBA, TBA
#35 Oak Pescarolo 01-Judd Hein, TBA, TBA
#37 Welter/Salini WR-Zytek Salini, TBA, TBA
#40 Quifel-ASM Ginetta-Zytek 09S Amaral, Pla, TBA
#41 Bruichladdich Ginetta-Zytek 07S Ojjeh, Greaves, TBA
#42 Strakka Acura ARX-01c Watts, Leventis, TBA
#50 Larbre Saleen S7R Berville, Bornhauser, TBA
#52 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DBR9 Nygaard, Enge, TBA
#53 Peka Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Kumpen, TBA, TBA
#61 Matech Ford GT Gachnang, Allemann, TBA
#69 JLOC Lamborghini Murcielago Yogo, TBA, TBA
#70 Marc VDS Ford GT de Doncker, TBA, TBA
#72 Alphand Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Alphand, TBA, TBA
#73 Alphand Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Gregoire, TBA, TBA
#63 Corvette Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Magnussen, O'Connell, Garcia
#64 Corvette Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Gavin, Beretta, TBA
#75 Prospeed Porsche 997 GT3 RSR van Splunteren, TBA, TBA
#76 IMSA Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Narac, TBA, TBA
#78 BMW BMW E92 M3 Muller, TBA, TBA
#79 BMW BMW E92 M3 Priaulx, TBA, TBA
#80 Flying Lizard Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Neiman, TBA, TBA
#81 Jaguar RSR Jaguar XKR GT2 Pruett, Goossens, Gentilozzi
#82 Risi Ferrari F430 GT2 Jonsson, Krohn, TBA
#83 Risi Ferrari F430 GT2 Melo, TBA, TBA
#84 Modena Ferrari F430 GT2 Rusinov, TBA, TBA
#85 Spyker Spyker C8 Laviolette Coronel, TBA, TBA
#89 Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GT2 Farnbacher, Simonsen, TBA
#92 JMW Aston Martin Vantage Bell, TBA, TBA
#96 AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT2 Perez-Companc, Russo, TBA
#97 BMS Ferrari F430 GT2 Malucelli, TBA, TBA
Charles Pic storms to pole position in Abu Dhabi  Fast in Free Practice earlier today in Abu Dhabi, Arden’s Charles Pic gave his absolute best during qualifying and fended off Davide Valsecchi’s attacks to claim a maiden pole position on his second GP2 race weekend. iSport’s and rookie Oliver Turvey will start next to him on tomorrow’s grid.

On a still dirty track, GP2 Asia Series’ leader Valsecchi was rapidly on top of the timesheet and was looking to repeat his performance from last round at that same track. Although quickest earlier during Free Practice, Luca Filippi’s hopes to shine again in qualifying were ruined after thirteen minutes following a technical gremlin on his Meritus car. More ...

Alexander Rossi disqualified  
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi has been moved to the back of the grid for the first GP2 Asia race in Abu Dhabi tomorrow after a front wing infringement was found in post-qualifying checks. The American had qualified his Meritus car in fifth place prior to the stewards' decision.

"During a pitstop, a mechanic adjusted the front wing hole setting on one side to 17 and on the other side to hole 18 which is not allowed - a simple human error," said a statement from the team.

Daytona Shootout: Practice 1 times  
Pos No Driver Make Time Gap To 1st Speed
1. 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 46.559 0.000 0.000 193.303
2. 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 46.574 0.015 0.015 193.241
3. 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 46.581 0.007 0.022 193.212
4. 151 Michael Waltrip Toyota 46.790 0.209 0.231 192.349
5. 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 46.986 0.196 0.427 191.546
6. 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 46.990 0.004 0.431 191.530
7. 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 47.057 0.067 0.498 191.257
8. 9 Kasey Kahne Ford 47.072 0.015 0.513 191.197
9. 20 Joey Logano Toyota 47.090 0.018 0.531 191.123
10. 29 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 47.126 0.036 0.567 190.977
11. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 47.133 0.007 0.574 190.949
12. 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 47.145 0.012 0.586 190.900
13. 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 47.167 0.022 0.608 190.811
14. 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 47.175 0.008 0.616 190.779
15. 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 47.175 0.000 0.616 190.779
16. 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 47.175 0.000 0.616 190.779
17. 16 Greg Biffle Ford 47.182 0.007 0.623 190.751
18. 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 47.183 0.001 0.624 190.747
19. 99 Carl Edwards Ford 47.212 0.029 0.653 190.630
20. 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 47.240 0.028 0.681 190.516
21. 82 Ken Schrader Toyota 47.240 0.000 0.681 190.516
22. 34 John Andretti Ford 47.799 0.559 1.240 188.288
23. 71 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 48.155 0.356 1.596 186.896
Harvick ill, misses practice  Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick is battling flu-like symptoms at his home in North Carolina so teammate Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet in today’s two practice sessions for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout. Harvick has received medical attention for the illness and hopes to make it to Daytona later this evening. Bowyer, the driver of RCR’s No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, did not qualify for this year’s non-points event.
At Ford Racing, Quality (Control) Is Job One  The Nascar season kicks off this weekend in Daytona, Fla., and Ford Motor Co. is hoping to return to championship form. Ford has a competent stable of drivers, with Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth among them, but its title chances may very well rest with a 57-year-old former middle-school teacher named Mary Ann Mauldwin.

Her official title at Roush & Yates Racing Engines is director of operations, but what she really does is look for waste and inefficiency. Hired five years ago by Ford's primary Nascar-engine builder, Ms. Mauldwin has overseen a complete restructuring of the business, changing everything from inventory control to how the engines are put together. More ...

Stefan Wilson Signs with Bryan Herta Autosport  Bryan Herta Autosport owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey today announced they have signed British driving talent Stefan Wilson to contest the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship. Wilson, winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, will embark on his first full year in the development series following six starts in 2009.

“Stefan showed great pace last year in his limited program, so when we had the opportunity to sign him for this season we did not hesitate,” said Herta. “As this is our sophomore season in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, we know expectations will be higher for us and I’m confident that Stefan will deliver the results he and the team are expecting.” More ...

IndyCar mandates new car be American made  The Indy Racing League announced today objectives for its next IZOD IndyCar Series chassis, which is scheduled to debut at the start of the 2012 season.

Attributes desired by the Indy Racing League in developing its next iconic chassis look include:

·        Safe: The new chassis must adhere to the league's already high safety standards while exploring new technology to improve safety in all aspects of the car.

·        Raceable: The new chassis must continue to produce the exciting racing that has become signature of the IZOD IndyCar Series while not affecting other cars on track (i.e. less sensitive to the turbulence).

·        Cost-effective: The league continues to work to reduce the cost of participation for teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which remains an important priority in this economic climate. The new chassis must have a price point that adheres to that goal.

·        American-made: The new chassis must be built in the U.S., preferably at an Indiana-based facility.

·        Less mass/More efficient: A lighter chassis with less mass that produces the same aerodynamic effect in an efficient way.

·        Relevant technology: The league would like the new chassis to be relevant to the future of the consumer auto industry; innovative technology that is born on the racetrack and can translate to consumer cars.

·        Modern Look: More space for sponsor logos, cars easily identifiable.

·        Green: The Indy Racing League prides itself on its role in the greening of racing and wants to maintain its position as a leader in environmentally-friendly initiatives with this chassis. More ...

Cosworth returns to the track with AT&T Williams and Virgin Racing  Cosworth has enjoyed its first Formula 1 track action as an engine supplier since 2006 as the company accelerated preparations for the 2010 season with two of its customer teams this week.

The AT&T Williams team carried out a three-day test session at the Valencia circuit in Spain, putting Cosworth’s CA2010 V8 engine through its paces in earnest for the first time at a race track. The new Virgin Racing team unveiled its Cosworth-powered, digitally-designed VR-01 race car for the first time on Wednesday before carrying out an initial shakedown of the new car at Silverstone today. More ...
Glock hits the track with the Virgin VR-01  One a very cold Silverstone day, Timo Glock gave the new Virgin VR-01 Formula One car a shakedown.

The former Toyota driver hit the track in the well-turned out red-and-black racer after it's web-unveiling on the team's Web site on Wednesday, was severely flubbed.

The German and his rookie teammate, Lucas di Grassi, will sort the car out all day Friday before joining the other teams at the F1 group test at Spain's Jerez circuit on Feb. 10.
Ferrari says despite testing pace "long way to go"  Stefano Domenicali has stressed that Ferrari is by no means counting chickens before they hatch after setting the fastest lap times in Valencia testing this week. Following its statistically worst season of the decade in 2009, the Italian squad continues to develop relentlessly.

After Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso easily set the fastest times in Spain on the first three days of the week, Ferrari - which began developing its F10 at the end of last summer - appears to be the early favorite.

"We know very well that the tests' lap times, especially this year, have to be handled with care," Domenicali said. "Using an Italian expression from football, we're still in 'August football' - we can't forget where we were, in terms of performance, at the last Grand Prix of last year.

"There is still a lot of work to do to close the gap and there are still many problems we have to solve; also, we don't know the petrol loads the other cars had on-board, so it's impossible to get a clear idea of the relative strengths on the track. Maybe someone wants to play hide and seek and some still have to present their cars."

Domenicali added that Ferrari is happy with the reliability of its car and explained that both Massa and Alonso are pleased with its performance. "They were both very happy with how things went," Stefano continued. "They are both extremely motivated and have a great desire to drive - it would have been frustrating if we hadn't started on the right track here.

"There are no miracles in Formula 1: if you want to be fast, you have to work hard for months and months and then you'll meet your competitors, who have as much capacity and are as motivated as you. We can't take anything for granted and we shouldn't delude ourselves by indications which could be completely misleading." GPUpdate.net

Comcast/NBC merger hearing...live  With the huge exposure and broadcast prospects of the Comcast/NBC merger, and how this will impact the IRL and their deal with Versus (owned by Comcast), we thought it relevant to notify our readers about the public hearing in the House of Representatives regarding the merger approval.

This merger could represent a major shift in the prospects for the IRL, and certainly must be something that IRL CEO Randy Bernard is paying close attention to.

The hearing is being aired live online on CNN at the following link http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream4&hpt=T2. Since this is a streaming video bank, you may need to located the hearing from the menu on the right of the screen

We will keep you posted on the progress of this merger, and what it means for the IRL.

Stoops Replacing Capels on USAC Board Chair  The United States Auto Club announced today significant changes to its Board of Directors, including the election of Jeff Stoops as Chairman, replacing the retiring John Capels.

Stoops is a long-standing USAC Board Member and former car owner whose achievements include the 1987 and 1988 USAC National Sprint Car Owner championships. He fills the seat vacated by Capels, who ends an eight-year tenure as Chairman. Capels served as USAC’s President from 1998-2002. Stoops is President of Stoops Freightliner, one of North America’s largest dealers with locations throughout Indiana and Ohio.

Additionally, the Board nominated Charlie Mancuso, President of Feld Motorsports, to the USAC Board of Directors. Mancuso oversees one of the world’s leading television producer& promoter of motorsports, including Monster Jam Series, AMA Supercross Series, AMA Arenacross Series, Freestyle Motocross, Nuclear Cowboyz and Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series sanctioned by IHRA.

Mr. Mancuso joins many prominent members which comprise the current USAC Board of Directors including Tony George, Brett Frood, EVP of Stewart-Haas Racing, Curt Brighton, CEO of Hulman & Company, Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile, Peter Morse, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, and Ricky Johnson, seven time AMA Motorcyle Champion.

Upgraded F2 car set for test debut  UPDATE The upgraded Williams JPH1B F2 car has enjoyed a hugely impressive track debut during pre-season testing at Spain and Portugal. The car ran for the first time at Barcelona last Thursday, 28 January, and on the first day of the test program achieved an impressive 1m 35.7sec best lap - which compares remarkably with the pole position time of 1m 39.0 set by Robert Wickens for the first F2 race at Barcelona last year and the 1m 38.0 fastest time for race two qualifying.

The operation then moved to Portimão, Portugal, where the team continued to make significant advances whilst also gathering further valuable information about the new upgrades. Soucek again made substantial improvements, posting a best effort of 1:33.280s - almost three tenths faster than the 2009 pole time for Formula Renault 3.5.

01/28/10 The Formula Two car has been significantly upgraded by MotorSport Vision and Williams F1 ahead of the 2010 season, and the F2 team are currently putting the two development cars through a vigorous testing program in Europe.

Increased engine power, aerodynamic gains and new tire compounds are just some of the improvements made to the Williams JPH1B, which is expected to be up to three seconds per lap faster than its predecessor. Detailed analysis on all of the upgrades will be featured on the official Formula Two website shortly. More ...

Rossi says F1 switch would be 'difficult'  (GMM)  Valentino Rossi has indicated it is unlikely he will switch to formula one.

The multiple champion of MotoGP recently tested a Ferrari for the sixth time, reinvigorating persistent speculation he might switch codes as soon as in 2011.

"If there was the possibility in 2011 and he wanted to do it and had the possibility for testing and adapting to F1, then why not?" Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said at the recent launch of the Maranello based team's new car.

But even though his current Yamaha contract is set to expire, Rossi attempted to ease the rumors when he spoke to reporters on Thursday at Malaysia's Sepang circuit, where MotoGP testing began this week. More ...

Highcroft headed for Le Mans 24 Hours debut  
Patron Highcroft Acura
Reigning American Le Mans Series LMP1 champions Highcroft Racing will race in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans after being announced this morning as one of the 55 teams selected to contest the French endurance classic.

Highcroft Racing's David Brabham - the winner of last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans with Peugeot - was in attendance at the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) press conference this morning in France.

The Danbury, CT-based team will take its 2010 American Le Mans Series entry, the Honda Performance Development factory-backed ARX-01c chassis to contest the LMP2 class at Le Mans on June 12-13. More ...

Rossi tops opening MotoGP test  The MotoGP teams began the first official test of 2010 today as the winter break came to an end at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.  The greatest MotoGP rider of all time, Valentino Rossi, led the session by 1/2 second and made it known to the other riders he is not resting on his laurels and is out to win another title.

Official Times

V. Rossi  Fiat Yamaha  2:01.411
C. Stoner  Marlboro Ducati  2:01.902
C. Edwards  Yamaha Tech3  2:01.932
L. Capirossi  Rizla Suzuki  2:02.102
J. Lorenzo  Fiat Yamaha  2:02.165
A. Dovizioso  Repsol Honda Team  2:02.630
N. Hayden  Marlboro Ducati  2:02.792
D. Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team 2:02.866
M. Kallio  Pramac Ducati  2:02.987
H. Barbera  Aspar MotoGP 2:03.030
A. Espargaro  Pramac Ducati  2:03.133
B. Spies  Yamaha Tech3  2:03.142
R. De Puniet  LRC Honda  2:03.456
A. Bautista  Rizla Suzuki  2.03.558
M. Simoncelli  San Carlo Honda  2:03.563
M. Melandri  San Carlo Honda  2:03.609
H. Aoyama  Interwetten Honda  2:03.651

2010 Fiat Yamaha MotoGP Team unveiled  

Yamaha YZR-M1
The Fiat Yamaha Team unveiled its new 2010 livery today, on the morning of the first MotoGP test of the pre-season in Sepang, Malaysia. The championship-winning team will field the same line-up as last year with World Champion Valentino Rossi and runner-up Jorge Lorenzo once again spearheading its attack.

The two-day test began today, 4th February, the first of three pre-season tests before the first race at Qatar on 11th April.

The new 2010 YZR-M1 of both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo as well as several videos of the riders and Team Managers are now available for you online.

Go to www.yamaha-racing.com, visit the MotoGP photo and video gallery and be the first to discover the new 2010 livery! More ...
Fisichella to race Ferrari in Le Mans Series  UPDATE As reported a few days ago, Giancarlo Fisichella has entered the 2010 Le Mans Series alongside his role as test driver for the Scuderia Ferrari. Fisichella will be racing alongside former F1 driver Jean Alesi in a GT2 class Ferrari F430 from the AF Corse team.

02/01/10 (GMM)  Giancarlo Fisichella has signed up to contest the Le Mans Series in 2010.

The 37-year-old is a veteran of 231 grands prix since 1996, but he will be Ferrari's reserve driver this season.

However, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's Le Mans Series said on Monday that Fisichella will contest "the whole season" of the endurance sports car calendar in 2010.

A full entry list will be published within days, but it emerges that he will drive a Ferrari F430 with AF Corse in the LMGT2 category.

Two Le Mans Series races clash with F1 rounds in 2010: May 9's 1000km of Spa (Spanish GP), and the 1000km of Silverstone (Italian GP) in September.

Audi names its driver line-up for Le Mans  Audi will start the 78th edition of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12/13 with a total of three diesel-powered racing sports cars. At a press conference of the organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), in Le Mans (France), Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich announced Audi’s driver line-up for the most important sports car race of the year.

The Audi squad will be spearheaded by the Italian Dindo Capello, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and the Scot Allan McNish, who in total, have scored twelve Le Mans victories. In 2008, they jointly clinched the eighth Le Mans triumph for Audi. More ...
Virgin car passes last crash test  Virgin Racing's first Formula 1 car has passed the final compulsory FIA crash test ahead of its track outing at Silverstone on Thursday. The Cosworth-powered VR-01 was revealed on Wednesday before Timo Glock stepped into its cockpit for the Northamptonshire roll-out. With the team proud to present F1's first 'all-digital' car, developed only by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) with no use of a wind tunnel, the Nick Wirth-designed machine successfully passed the rear impact structure test 'with flying colors' on Tuesday night.

"We are delighted to have sailed through the sign-off of the VR-01's structural integrity, in accordance with the FIA's crash-testing requirements," Technical Director Wirth commented.

"We're all set for our initial shakedown before heading out to Jerez to begin three weeks of testing. Everyone is looking forward to finally seeing the VR-01 on-track."

Despite cuts, GM still leads incentive spending  General Motors Co. slashed the amount of discounts slapped on the hoods of vehicles last month but still led incentives offered by Detroit's Big Three automakers, who spent a combined $1 billion in January, research shows. GM spent an average $3,103 on incentives per vehicle in January, $721 more than the industry average, with the biggest expense coming from peddling castoff brands Saturn and Hummer, according to consumer Web site Edmunds.com.

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Whitacre Jr. has complained that GM spends more than other automakers and said reducing that expense was among his top priorities. In December, the month Whitacre assumed CEO duties following Fritz Henderson's forced resignation, GM outspent the next closest competitor, Ford Motor Co., by almost $1,000.  More ...

NASCAR Tracks lose over 150,000 seats  Some race tacks are downsizing by either eliminating some seats for fan zones of widening seats. The result is a decrease of 115,599 seats, based on changes in seating capacity this year to last year as noted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup media guide. Richmond held 112,029 seats before making changes. Now, the track's seating capacity is listed in the media guide as 97,912. Virginian-Pilot
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Alonso happy after first day in Ferrari  
Fernando Alonso in his new Ferrari
At 6:30 pm Fernando Alonso’s first day as an official Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro came to an end. That was when the Spanish driver left the circuit at the end of an intense day with lots of work done and incredible sensations. Fernando’s debut in red was eagerly awaited by the media – there have never been so many journalists at a test session – and by the fans: at the end there were 36,000 spectators on the grandstand watching Fernando on the track. An incredible crowd, considering that today was a weekday. The Spanish fans were definitely satisfied by what they had seen when they left the track: their hero was the fastest man on the track in today’s session during the whole day with a lap time of 1.11.470. Fernando was also the driver with the most laps driven, overtaking Hulkenberg when the session came to an end: 127 laps for the Ferrarista and one less for the German driver from Williams. More ...
Mercedes team signs Heidfeld  MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is pleased to confirm that Nick Heidfeld will join the team as Reserve Race Driver and Test Driver for the 2010 Formula One season. Nick will therefore complete the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver line-up with race drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. 

Like Michael Schumacher before him, Nick is another former Mercedes Junior who returns to his motorsport roots. After winning the 1997 German Formula 3 Championship, as a junior driver supported by Mercedes, Nick tested a McLaren Mercedes Formula One car for the first time. 

Nick was the McLaren Mercedes test driver for the 1998 and 1999 seasons, during which time he had two successful years in Formula 3000, as runner-up in 1998 and winning the Formula 3000 Championship, held alongside the Formula One races, in 1999.  More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Mercedes figures admit W01 down on pace
  • Button frustrated, Alonso cautious after test
  • New Renault not far off Ferrari's pace - Kubica
  • De la Rosa rules out wins, podiums for Sauber
  • Schumacher to remain team 'number 1' - Horner
  • Thyroid surgery for Mercedes' Haug
  • McLaren engineer Slade resurfaces at Renault

Mercedes figures admit W01 down on pace
(GMM)  Key figures of the Mercedes GP team have admitted they have work to do to bring the new W01 car up to speed.

"I think we are behind somewhat," Michael Schumacher told Germany's Bild newspaper, after achieving the third best time on the final day of the opening test of the pre-season.

But a list of combined best lap times from the Ricardo Tormo circuit showed that the German, albeit quicker than his teammate Nico Rosberg, was just the seventh fastest driver in Spain.

"I do not assume that we are equal to the fastest ones or ready to win the first race, but that is not important.  What is important is to be able to achieve good points from the beginning and then to develop well," added the 41-year-old German.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug said: "Our speed could be better, but everything is in the right direction.

"There are still more than four weeks until the first race and our car is going to change greatly," said the German.

Team boss Ross Brawn, pointing to handling imbalances, admitted to the BBC that the W01 is "a little bit off on pace".

The W01 also had several cracked exhausts replaced at Valencia, and on Wednesday Schumacher's test ended with an hydraulic leak.

"We are not as quick as Ferrari and Lewis (Hamilton) looked quick so it looks like we've got a bit of work to do," Brawn added.

Schumacher acknowledged that the new Ferrari seems "very strong". More ...

Petrov happy with first F1 test day  Vitaly Petrov was pleased with his work after racking up another 75 laps on his first outing for Renault. The 25-year-old team-mate to Robert Kubica makes Formula 1 history this year by becoming the sport's first ever Russian driver.

Hailing from Vyborg, Petrov was eventually last year's closest challenger to GP2 Champion Nico Hülkenberg, who also made his Formula 1 testing debut on Wednesday, with Williams.

"I really enjoyed my first day in the car and everything went well," Petrov reported. "The car is very impressive compared with a GP2 car and I enjoyed experiencing the power and braking performance.

"After about 30 laps I was starting to feel comfortable and understanding the limits of the car. It was also my first chance to work with my engineers and so far everything is going really well, so I'm happy with the day."

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