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The fallacy of Ethanol: Ethanol related to unrest in Egypt  [IndyCar and NASCAR take a bow.] Demonstrators standing on an army vehicle in Tahir Square. Image via WikipediaEgypt, the world’s largest importer of wheat, brings 11 millions tons into the country each year. This year, due to heavy rains in Canada, drought in Russia and floods in Australia food prices in the country have  skyrocketed. While adverse weather conditions  can be blamed for a disappointing harvest in many wheat producing nations, in an effort to promote the ethanol industry the United States has been enticing farmers to grow less wheat and more corn, further increasing world food prices and discontent.

Responding to rising demand and diminished supply, the worldwide food price index has risen to all-time highs, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The cost of all cereals, which includes wheat, rice and maize, jumped 39 percent in 2010, the World Bank reports, and the price of wheat alone rose by a staggering 74 percent between June and November. More ...

The fallacy of Ethanol: Brazil's biofueled paradise is looking more and more like a carbon-spewing wasteland  [Brazil Ethanol is in the pocket of IndyCar.  Read what Ethanol production in Brazil is doing] When you fill up your car with a gasoline and ethanol blend most likely you are burning ethyl alcohol produced from U.S. corn. A few years from now, however, your commute may be powered by ethanol made from sugar cane cultivated in the Brazilian cerrado. An economic powerhouse dynamically bursting forth on to the world stage, Brazil is the Earth's largest producer of sugar cane ethanol. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has jumped on the ethanol bandwagon, repeatedly remarking that his country's fortunes depend on a future in which "we plant and harvest fuel." In São Paulo, a sprawling city of 18 million, motorists can fill up their tanks with either gasoline or ethanol, known in Brazil as alcool. Most opt for ethanol, not surprising given that this biofuel costs half the price of gasoline. More ...
Kubica set for long recovery from crash injuries  
Robert Kubica in for a long recovery.  See video below
(GMM)  Robert Kubica's career is in the balance, and his 2011 season almost certainly over, after his rally crash on Sunday.

Also with right leg fractures reportedly caused by Armco barriers piercing the car, the Pole underwent seven hours of surgery conducted by seven doctors in Italy with the main focus being efforts to save his badly damaged right arm and hand.

"He ... suffered severe cuts to his forearm, which could have an impact on his right hand mobility," confirmed his F1 employer Renault.

The statement said doctors are "reasonably satisfied" after the surgery, but 26-year-old Kubica remains in a serious condition in an induced coma. More ...

Kubica's injuries 'very severe' - source  UPDATE #8 As opposed to earlier reports, Kubica's Skoda Fabia S2000 did not crash into a church wall, but into a metal guardrail when the 26-year old Pole was on his way to the start of the Ronde di Andorin rally in Italy. The crash occurred in one of the hairpins in the region of Testico in the Andorran hills. Apparently, a tree root that had raised a part of the asphalt was the reason why Kubica lost control of his car, his Skoda lost grip, turned 80 degrees and hit the sharp end of the guardrail very hard, which in turn pierced right through the engine compartment and into the cockpit.

When the guardrail entered the cockpit of the car it broke his right leg, arm, hand and caused other internal injuries. He is lucky it did not pierce his body cavity, which would have killed him in the most inhumane ways possible.  According to Italian reports, fire fighters had to remove the engine from the car to free Kubica.

02/06/11 Robert Kubica's agent believes the Polish Formula One driver will make a full recovery from serious injuries suffered in a crash in the Ronde di Andora Rally today. The condition of Kubica's right hand has caused most concern, but the driver's agent, Daniele Morelli, speaking to reporters outside the hospital, sounded optimistic.

"The surgeons are trying to restore the functions of his right hand," he said. "They have already revascularized the limb and repaired the bone structure.  Now they have to think about the muscular functions but Robert has strong character and he will make it."

02/06/11 Lotus Renault GP number one driver Robert Kubica is no longer at risk of having his hand amputated, Daniel Morelli, his manager, confirmed in a press conference this afternoon. Kubica suffered serious injuries this morning following a high-speed crash on the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy. 

While the news with regard to his hand is good though, it remains unclear whether or not the Pole will recover complete functionality with it.  He was taken into the operating theatre around 9:00 AM Eastern Time. Igor Rossello is the doctor in charge.  It is thought he should come out of surgery around 2:00 PM Eastern Time. More ...

Michael Herck tops Sunday GP2 test times  A second two-day testing session began this Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit but on a shortened track configuration of 4.730 kms that will also be the configuration for the fourth GP2 Asia Series season’s opening round next Thursday. And with the opening round just around the corner, today’s focus for most of the field was on race simulations and finding the right set up for this new layout. 

Lotus ART’s Jules Bianchi set the early pace this morning, and by the hour mark Josef Kral at Arden went top in a 1:37.804 ahead of last session’s quickest man Giedo van der Garde at Addax. The Czech dominated the rest of the field for most of the session which was briefly interrupted by three red flags -  courtesy of Julian Leal, Mikhail Aleshin and Oliver Turvey. But with less than an hour left on the clock, Carlin’s Max Chilton briefly moved to P1 until Bianchi clocked in a best laptime of 1:37.365. He then improved his time by two tenths with Max Chilton at Carlin and Kral in tow. Michael Herck at Scuderia Coloni slipped into P2, a shy tenth away from the Frenchman, but in the dying minutes of the session iSport’s Marcus Ericsson went under the 1m37s barrier in a 1:36.912 while Dani Clos at Racing Engineering moved to P2. Things seemed to be over for the morning, but Kral put his head down one last time and clocked in a best lap time of 1:36.609, three tenths clear of Ericsson. More ...
Chandhok to test Team Lotus car - Fernandes  (GMM)  Karun Chandhok will test at two forthcoming formula one tests, Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes confirmed on Sunday.

Indian Chandhok, the former HRT driver, was seen wearing a Team Lotus jacket at the opening pre-season test at Valencia last week, amid reports he is a frontrunner to occupy a reserve driver role in 2011.

"We would like him to be reserve driver but we've got to see whether it all works out, that's the plan," team owner Fernandes said from Malaysia after it was announced he has been appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). More ...

The Genius of Ronald Reagan's Humor  This is NOT racing news so you may want to skip over it.  However, today, February 6th, former USA President Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old and the world is remembering him, making him more appreciated today than he was while he was President.  Perhaps his genius was his ability to crack a joke about himself and laugh about it.  Would it not be fantastic if we could find a leader in racing that had some of his traits? More ...
Speedway agencies approve gift bond issue for Dallara  A bond issue aimed at helping develop the racing industry in Speedway has won approval from town agencies. The Speedway Economic Development Commission this week approved a request for a $6.5 million bond to pay for the new Dallara building.

The Speedway Redevelopment Commission will guarantee the bond, which will be paid using future tax revenues from the Dallara project, said Scott Harris, the commission's executive director.

State funding for the project may be available in the form of federal disaster relief aid allocated to Marion County after flooding a few years ago, Harris said.

The 100,000-square-foot plant at 1201 Main St. will house the Italian race-car maker's IndyCar chassis manufacturing facility and the Indy Racing Experience, its U.S. distributor. Indy Star

racing news
1-2 victory for Audi R8 LMS at Bathurst  
Audi 1-2 on Sunday
Audi achieved a dream debut of its 2011 motorsport season in Australia: The Audi R8 LMS entered by Audi race experience Team Joest celebrated a 1-2 victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour after a fierce battle. Bathurst rookies Marc Basseng/Christopher Mies/Darryl O’Young (D/D/CN) won the 12 hour race 0.7 seconds ahead of their Australian team mates Mark Eddy/Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff.

In its inaugural race of the 2011 season, Audi celebrated the biggest possible success since the customer sports program has been restructured: The R8 LMS won its first of three endurance races this year. After locking out the front row on the grid, Audi race experience Team Joest celebrated a 1-2 win far away from home in a race that went down to the wire. The Audi R8 LMS that has been developed by Audi specifically for customer sport activities was the most reliable and the fastest car in the field. The GT3 sports car achieved a new lap record at Mount Panorama in Bathurst and took the 65th win of its career that spans back only two years. More ...
TV News
Remembering Dale Earnhardt - who died needlessly  
Dale Earnhardt would still be with us today had NASCAR not failed to mandate the HANS Device.  He died of a Basel Skull fracture, the very injury the HANS Device was designed to prevent. In fact his wreck was not that violent at all.  CART, F1, IRL and other series had already mandated HANS.  NASCAR dug their heals in and it cost Earnhardt his life.
It was one of those moments when time stands still, a moment most any NASCAR fan can recall with vivid clarity and detail.

Everyone knows where they were when they heard the news Dale Earnhardt had been killed on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. 

As SPEED prepares to honor that fateful day 10 years ago in The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt, a one-hour special premiering Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, several of those closest to Earnhardt share their recollections of that afternoon and the man who left an indelible mark on the sports world.

Below are excerpts from interviews from The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt with Michael Waltrip, who won the 2001 Daytona 500 for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI), Ty Norris, then EVP of motorsports at DEI and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s spotter that day, and Kenny Schrader, who rushed to Earnhardt’s No. 3 Chevrolet to check on his friend after the accident.  Additionally, key figures in Earnhardt’s life recall where they were when they learned of his passing and share their favorite memories of the man larger than life, the one forever immortalized as The Intimidator. More ...
John Force fastest on Day 2 of NHRA test  Mike Neff opened the second day of testing for John Force Racing blasting down the Palm Beach International Raceway track in 4.034 seconds at 312.06 mph. Neff’s Castrol GTX Ford Mustang was the first car to go down the track in the morning. During the PRO Winter Warm-Up event John Force and his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang closed out the event in the last pair versus Cruz Pedregon with the second quickest run of the weekend a 4.037 second shot at 313.80 mph.

“We still have a few things to test,” said Neff at the end of the day. “We want to be consistent. That 4.03 run felt good. It was the easiest run I have made so far. The other runs have been a bit of a hand full. You are in that Mustang holding on. That first run was really nice.” More ...

Tony Fernandes Awarded CBE By Queen Elizabeth II  
Tony Fernandes
Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus Team Principal, AirAsia Group CEO and Malaysia's iconic entrepreneur, has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire honor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The citation says the award was conferred "for services to promote commercial and educational links" between the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Fernandes, together with three partners, took over the loss-making AirAsia from a Malaysian government-linked company in December, 2001. In just over nine years under his leadership, AirAsia has soared to become Asia's largest Low-Cost Carrier as well as a Truly ASEAN airline that links the Southeast Asian region to the larger world with its low fares, route connectivity and high-quality service. More ...

Costa: Most 'balanced' car will be fastest  Ferrari Technical Director Aldo Costa believes a 'balanced' car will win the F1 title in 2011.

“I think the fastest car will be the car which can get the best blend between aero performance, mechanical characteristics and reliability, so we have to see,” he explained.

“If you’ve done an extreme solution you can maybe pay the penalty so, again, it needs to be very balanced to be fast and to have a winning car.”

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