Dempsey Racing Porsche Accepted for 91st 24 Hours of Le Mans With the memory of last year’s race-leading and career-best fourth-place finish still fresh in all of their minds, Dempsey Racing, and team principals and drivers Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, took their first step this past Thursday in returning to this June’s 91st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans when it was announced in Paris that the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has been accepted by the Selection Committee of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) as an entry in the GTE-Am class.
The Dempsey team once again takes up the challenge of the classic French endurance race in partnership with top German Porsche racing team Proton Competition, and the No. 77 was officially entered as Dempsey Racing-Proton.
Video: Happy Valentine's Day from Courtney Force and Graham Rahal In honor of Valentine's Day, NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force answers trivia questions with her valentine, IndyCar driver Graham Rahal!
Feedback on Simona's move to F1 Oddly, I received a fair amount of feedback regarding my recent IndyCar article, in which I covered a myriad of topics, one them being Simona de Silvestro’s move to Sauber F1. I essentially stated that I didn’t see the logic in the move for de Silvestro, due to the simple fact the odds of her earning an F1 race seat, much less ever being relevant on the Grand Prix circuit, are in my opinion, incredibly long. Others argued that F1 was her dream, and that she should pursue that, in part because her options in IndyCar were limited second-tier rides such as Dale Coyne Racing and Panther.
Now, I should add that the details of this matter are still not entirely known. For example, what role did de Silvestro’s management, sponsorship, etc., play in this decision is at this point at least, pure conjecture. Also, let me point out that I am rooting for the likable, classy, and talented de Silvestro to succeed, and not the “hater,” some suggested. Rather, my skepticism surrounds the wisdom of the move, from the perspective of de Silvestro’s driving career.
Pescarolo Team Closes its Doors Only days after the announcement of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans entry list, French newspaper Ouest-France reported that Henri Pescarolo’s team was officially dissolved on Feb. 7 by the Le Mans Court of Commerce. The company, led by Henri Pescarolo himself, was registered on Dec. 16, 2010.
The reason for the closure was lack of assets.
The Le Mans-based operation last fielded entries in 2012, with mixed results in the 24-hour race. Efforts to return to the grid last year did not materialize.
Mother of Dale Earnhardt miffed No. 3 is back on the track (Update)UPDATE Team owner Richard Childress talked to Dale Earnhardt's mother Friday and feels he has her support to have his grandson racing Earnhardt's famous #3 in the Sprint Cup Series. Childress is bringing back the #3 to Cup racing this year with grandson Austin Dillon behind the wheel. Dillon has raced the number throughout his NASCAR career but the Daytona 500 next week will be the first Cup race with the #3 on the track since Earnhardt died in the 2001 Daytona 500. Dillon will drive one car that is black, white and red when sponsored by Dow and another that is yellow and black when sponsored by Cheerio's. While the number is slanted in the #3 style that Earnhardt drove to six of his seven Cup titles, it will never be an all black car, Childress said Saturday. He said he talked to Martha Earnhardt on Friday, a couple of days after her comments on "RaceHub."
"I understand her feelings," Childress said Saturday in the Cup garage. "We've talked. She doesn't have a problem with him running. What she said is (she) doesn't want it to look exactly like Dale's car, solid black. Her and I talked yesterday. Everything is great." Earnhardt's family has been generally supportive about the return of the #3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been a vocal proponent for the number coming back. He said Thursday he had not talked to his grandmother about her feelings. "We haven't talked about that," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I'm sure that's got to stir up a lot of emotions for a lot of different people. Some will be stronger than others, and that's just up to the individual." SceneDaily
Video: Hollering and shoving breaks out in ARCA garage after race A loud confrontation with “hollering and shoving” in the ARCA Racing garage after the Lucas Oil 200 Saturday and another on pit road between the Roulo Brothers Racing Team and a Hendrick Cars team will get a closer look from series officials over the next couple of days.
“We will review all the video we have,” said Mark Gundrum, ARCA vice president. “Any penalties or fines will be released on Tuesday.”
Several witnesses said team members with Roulo Brothers Racing Ford started the confrontation by shouting insults at crew members for the No. 9 Chevy, driven by Chase Elliott, the 18-year-old grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott.
One of those witnesses later posted a video of the confrontation on You Tube.
Petty stands by his comment: Danica cannot win unless everyone else stays home
Richard Petty does not give a crap about be politically correct, he tells it like it is.
Richard Petty stood by his comments that Danica Patrick can't win a Cup race and the Hall of Famer said it was unfair he has been labeled a sexist.
Petty, the seven-time champion, took some heat when he said Patrick only gets attention because she's a woman, but added that publicity is good for NASCAR. He said the only way Patrick, the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole, could win a Sprint Cup race was "if everybody else stayed home."
Petty said Saturday night that no one would make a fuss about his remarks if he was talking about a male driver.
"What's unfair is the sexist part," Petty said at Daytona International Speedway. "If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it. So y'all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me."
Justin Wilson and Dale Coyne Prepare for 2.01/4 (Update)UPDATE Added photo of Dale Coyne and Justin Wilson below.
Dale Coyne helps to shoehorn in Justin Wilson
Plainfield, Illinois - No, it is not a typo. When you are preparing for the 2014 IndyCar season with a driver that is nearly 2.0 meters tall (6’ 3.5” to be exact) and new safety regulations require you to add 1/4 inch of side intrusion panels, it takes some fitting.
Justin Wilson was in the Chicago based shop of Dale Coyne Racing last week to prepare for the upcoming test in the Dallara DW-12. Part of that preparation was fitting the talented and lanky Brit into the tub with the safer side intrusion panels that have been mandated this winter.
“It has made it a little bit tighter. We had to make a couple of adjustments for elbow room so I can turn the wheel,” commented Justin. “All in all, it will help driver safety and everyone is trying to learn and make the cars safer every day.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BASS PRO SHOPS/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS – EXPERIENCED AN ENGINE FAILURE DURING NSCS PRACTICE 2 FOR THE DAYTONA 500
WHAT DID YOU FEEL INSIDE THE NO. 14 WHEN THE ENGINE EXPIRED? “Just something in the bottom end broke. It happened all at once. I was talking to Scottie Maxim (director of track support at Hendrick Motorsports) one of the head engine guys at Hendrick and went over everything. It’s a good thing about having the telemetry with the motor side is you can see what goes on, what’s happening, but it wasn’t anything that we knew with some warning. It just happened all at once. The good thing is we have a lot of depth at Hendrick and the motor they will put in for tomorrow will be just as good as this one.”
AFTER CONVERSATIONS WITH SCOTT MAXIM, IS THERE ANY CONCERN WHATSOEVER AFTER THOSE TWO ENGINE FAILURES? “Not that I’m aware of. We basically just went over what happened. He said the one that is coming down, our back-up motor here; it’s just as good as this one. Not really concerned about it. We only have to make a small run tomorrow. I’m pretty confident we will be fine.”
FIA relents, F1 donuts now allowed In many racing series, particularly in the U.S., donuts are an integral ritual of a race winner. Rotate in a circle The car with spinning wheels on the spot - so are regularly celebrated success in NASCAR and Co.
In Formula 1, such rituals have long been frowned upon, until Sebastian Vettel after his World Cup triumph in India broke this taboo. Now everyone in F1 wants in on it.
Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards made his case that drivers are athletes when he visited Bristol earlier this week for some final off-season conditioning.
Edwards participated in a ‘mock’ NFL combine at Velocity Sports Performance, where he was worked out by former University of Tennessee and national championship head football coach Phillip Fulmer and current East Tennessee State head coach Carl Torbush.
Activities at the combine tested skills of agility, quickness and flexibility and included everything from stretching to executing true passing and blocking drills.
IndyCar lost a real deal in Simona de Silvestro. She was fast and not driving race cars because she was an object of desire that some sponsor wanted to be associated with.
The topic of women and their role in racing has come to the forefront once again this week with several high-profile stories presenting vastly different perspectives.
Let’s start with the negative, work our way to the positive, and then – since this is a website about North American open-wheel racing – talk about the implications of it all for IndyCar.
The King says women aren’t meant to be racers
Earlier this week, Norris McDonald at Toronto Star Wheels published a set of quotes from Richard Petty regarding Danica Patrick that went viral.
For those who missed it: The King was in Toronto last weekend to greet fans and sign autographs at the Canadian Motorsports Expo. He spent some time with the media and was asked the same question that gets asked of everyone involved in NASCAR these days: will Danica Patrick ever win a Cup race?
Kevin Harvick will look to win his fourth Sprint Unlimited tonight
Tonight, NASCAR will hold its annual Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The exhibition event features the 16 pole-winning drivers from 2013, plus prior Sprint Unlimited winners Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte. Overall, there will be nine previous winners in tonight’s field. The race will feature three segments totaling 75 laps. Fans will decide the number of laps for each segment and how the field whether the field will be determined by the following criteria:
1. Most career poles 2. 2013 championship finishing order 3. Results from final practice before Sprint Unlimited
We obviously won’t know the results of final practice, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET today. However, we can give the starting order for the first two.
Stewart says leg feels fine after Daytona practice
Getty Images for NASCAR
All along, it seemed to be a cruel twist of fate that Tony Stewart – the man who perhaps loved to race more than anyone in NASCAR – was deprived of driving for more than six months.
His long wait finally ended at 4:42 p.m. on Friday, when he climbed back into his No. 14 car at Daytona International Speedway and strapped in to drive for the first time since badly breaking his right leg in an Aug. 5 sprint car crash in Iowa.
Gone was the #SmokeWillRise Twitter hashtag painted over the driver's door, which had been a constant as Max Papis, Austin Dillon and Mark Martin finished the 2013 season in the Chevrolet as Stewart was sidelined for the final 15 races. On Friday, the name over the door just said "Smoke."
Fans To Vote On Race Format For The 2014 Sprint Unlimited Fans To Vote On Race Format For The 2014 Sprint Unlimited: For the second year in a row, fans will decide upon a number of competition elements for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, the 75-lap, non-points race that kicks off the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season on Saturday, February 15. Fans can cast their votes to set the overall format and determine key racing elements. Fans will again set the number of laps in each of the three segments, while also voting on how drivers will line up at the start of the race and how they will line up for the restart of the final segment.
"We are excited to build off of the success of last year's event and give our fans another opportunity to help make key decisions that will enhance the excitement around this highly anticipated race," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development. "This interactive element is unique to NASCAR - and all of sports."
CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Entries Confirmed The most demanding auto race in the world again will have a distinctive American flavor with the returns of Corvette Racing to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For its 15th consecutive appearance in the French classic, Corvette Racing will be armed with the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Two of the new GT challengers were accepted to race at Le Mans in the GTE Pro class.
The goal of the two Corvette C7.Rs, numbered 73 and 74 for Le Mans, is to give Chevrolet and Corvette Racing an eighth class victory in the 24 Hours since 2001.
"It is always an honor to earn an invitation to race at Le Mans," said Mark Kent, Chevrolet's Director of Racing. "It is one of the most important races in the world for Chevrolet and is the ultimate proving ground for the technology that goes into our production line. The Corvette C7.R and 2015 Corvette Z06 are perfect examples of that automotive evolution and are the benefactors of Corvette Racing's previous success at Le Mans."
SPM testing update: Sonoma Raceway Tuesday Feb. 12th: Simon Pagenaud: “I think we tried to make the car very similar track to track so it’s easy for me to extract the best out of it. That’s what we’ve been working on in our preseason testing so far. We’re happy right now because the feeling of the car at Sonoma was very similar to how it behaved on a street circuit.
To get the best out of your driver, you need to have a consistent car at every event. I think we managed to get there in Sonoma, and the pace was very good. The Honda twin turbo was also strong, and it’s been very interesting testing so far. There’s always something to gain here and there despite testing a lot.
I would like the car to have a little more front grip in slow speed corners right now to help me carry more speed and get better lap times. We’re very close, though, and I think we’ll be ready when St. Petersburg gets here. We’re very focused, and we’re working very hard to complete this task.”
Entries filing in for Sebring test IMSA returns to action at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 20-21, with two full days of testing for both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
The testing will be in preparation for the next event on the IMSA calendar, the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 15. The weekend includes the second round of the Continental Tire Challenge on Friday, along with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
The winning cars from the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes from the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona are among the early entries for the test. Action Express Racing entered the No. 5 Corvette DP for Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais, while Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet will return to the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
Will Power interviews IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya for Team Penske Mostly everyone has experienced a job interview or two and know how important and nerve racking they can be. But going through the Penske Files, we found a very interesting interview between Team Penske drivers, Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Denny Hamlin topped Friday's final practice for the Sprint Unlimited, posting a speed of 199.867 mph to take the top spot -- something that could pay dividends for the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
The final practice results are one of the voting options fans have to set the starting lineup for Saturday night's race. In addition to voting on how the starting lineup is determined, fans can also vote for the race format and restart order for the final segment. Fans can vote to define the rules for the Sprint Unlimited here.
Voting for the race format ends at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, voting for the starting order ends at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and voting for the restart order for the final segment ends at the conclusion of the second segment in Saturday's race.
Fan Force United Bringing Jonathan Byrd's Back To Track Fan Force United is very pleased to announce the return of long-time IndyCar supporter Jonathan Byrd’s to their roster of team sponsors for the 2014 Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires season. Jonathan Byrd’s first joined with Fan Force United in 2012, partnering with the team as a sponsor for their inaugural Indy Lights campaign, as well as their first Indy 500 entry with Jean Alesi.
Based just off of Interstate 65 in Greenwood, Indiana, Jonathan Byrd’s (www.jonathanbyrds.com), with its cafeteria line, take-out, bakery, drive-thru, banquet hall & conference center, and catering business, has been in operation since 1988, serving more than 13,000,000 meals since opening its doors.
Mike Conway returns to the World Endurance Championship Mike Conway will compete in the 2014 World Endurance Championship under the newly-formed Millennium Racing banner.
Conway, 30, made his debut in WEC last year and his consistent speed and talent was recognized during his debut season when he was awarded ‘Revelation of the Year’ at the FIA WEC Prize Giving in December. Mike and his co-drivers won five out of eight races and finished second overall in the championship standings.
Hinchcliffe announces promotional deal with Honda of Canada
The Mayor celebrating his epic win last season in Sao Paolo.
(Editor's Note: The relationship between Honda Canada and James Hinchcliffe outlined in the press release below is a very important one for IndyCar going forward. Hinchcliffe combines the charisma and talent to become Canada's next great driving hero. Plus, with a number of talented Canucks in the ladder system, Hinchcliffe is perfectly positioned to spearhead a revival of North American open wheel in the racing hotbed that is The Great White. Does IndyCar have the wherewithal to capitalize on this opportunity of a star driver partnering with a major manufacturer to grow their product and brand? We doubt it. But hey, IMS sure does look great covered in snow.)
TORONTO, ON (February 13, 2014) – It’s the middle of winter, but Canadians have reason to get excited for the upcoming IndyCar season. Today, Honda Canada and James Hinchcliffe entered into a one year partnership that will see the ‘Mayor of Hinchtown’ working with Honda to promote the Honda brand across Canada. Hinchcliffe will be featured in various Honda product advertising and promotions throughout the year, including the Honda Indy Toronto.
Renault plays down early season crisis (GMM) Renault on Friday played down the seriousness of its early season engine crisis.
After Renault-powered teams struggled for laps at the Jerez test recently, former F1 team boss Gian Carlo Minardi this week repeated rumors world champions Red Bull may be looking for a new supplier of turbo V6 engines.
Minardi said he has also heard that Renault is looking beyond the walls of its Viry factory and "shopping" for technical fixes.
"This news can only feed suspicions of structural problems in the engine that are not easy to solve in the short term," he said.
Goodyear Expands Use of Multi-Zone Tread Technology in 2014 Last year, Goodyear brought a tire concept to America's most popular motorsport that 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski has said could "revolutionize" the sport. That innovation was Goodyear's Multi-Zone Tread technology, which features two distinct compounds in one tire - creating one zone for enhanced traction and another for greater endurance. Goodyear first employed Multi-Zone Tread technology in passenger car tires like the Assurance TripleTred All-Season, which features three zones for superior traction in wet, icy and dry conditions.
In 2013, Goodyear debuted its Multi-Zone Tread technology at two NASCAR races - Atlanta Motor Speedway and the fall event at Kansas Speedway. Because the two tracks were at opposite ends of the tire wear spectrum, the compound combinations were different for each.
"Atlanta is a unique track that presents several challenges for us as a tiremaker - it is extremely abrasive, but at the same time it's extremely fast," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales.
Greg Biffle, met with members of the media at NASCAR Daytona Media Day and among the issues discussed was his contract with Roush Fenway Racing, which expires at the end of the 2014 season, the transcript in part:
HAVE YOU HAD ANY TALKS WITH ROUSH FENWAY? Biffle: "Yes, absolutely. We've been in that for about the last half of last year and over the winter talking with 3M and it's kind of a mutual negotiation, so we're well on our way to probably announcing something I would think in the first quarter, but we'll wait and see."
Q) SO YOU'RE CONFIDENT YOU'LL BE BACK? Biffle: "Oh yeah."
Wood Brothers ready for Daytona The Wood Brothers team will be ready for action in Daytona, despite numerous problems with the weather. Throughout the last few weeks, they have battled rain in Daytona during the test, a postponed Talladega test due to a snow covered track, and sleet on the roadways in the southeast this week. Despite all of this, nothing stopped Donnie Wingo and the Wood Brothers from arriving at Daytona International Speedway with a Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion ready to race.
Wingo and the Motorcraft Quick/Lane team kicked off the Woods' 64th NASCAR season - and the team's 14th with Motorcraft/Quick Lane colors on the sides of the iconic #21 - in January with a planned two-day test in advance of the 56th annual Daytona 500. When rain washed out the first day, Wingo, Trevor Bayne, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team returned for the second day and literally ran from daylight to dark, turning 47 laps in a rain-delayed session before the track closed at 9 pm.
de Silvestro done with IndyCar, now with Sauber F1
Simona de Silvestro moves to F1
Simona de Silvestro has joined Sauber F1 as an "affiliated driver" ahead of the 2014 Formula 1 season and has been removed from our 2014 IndyCar Silly Season page.
The Swiss, 25, has been competing in the US since 2006, and for the past four years has contested the IndyCar series, taking her maiden podium finish on the streets of Houston in the closing stages of the 2013 campaign.
She joins Sauber with a view to gaining a super license and securing a seat on the 2015 Formula 1 grid, and is expected to undertake on-track testing, simulator training, as well as mental and physical preparation.
"This is a major step towards me achieving a life-long dream and I'm so happy to have the opportunity to take this step with such a great team," said de Silvestro.
Richard Petty says Danica cannot win unless everyone stays home (2nd Update)UPDATE #2
Pretty Danica Patrick laughing all the way to the bank
During NASCAR media day at Daytona Thursday, Danica Patrick brushed aside Richard Petty’s comments about her inability to win a race unless everyone else stays home because she is a marketing machine raking in big dollars so she could care less.
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion," she said. "I still believe that. That’s what makes sports and journalism great is that everybody has their own opinion. The things that I focus on is when a young kid runs up to you and wants to hug you or the ones that are so shy that don’t know what to say or the ones who say they want to grow up and be like you. I feed off that."
"I'm giving it my all every single time I get in the car.''
Petty did say in the interview that Patrick has been good for the sport from a PR perspective.
IMSA Adds To Technical Department The International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA) today announced the addition of motorsports veterans Scott Raymond and Jeff Mishtawy to key technical roles, along with reallocation of responsibilities for three existing members of the competition department.
Raymond, a race- and championship-winning engineer in IndyCar and sports car racing, has been named IMSA Technical Director and will report to IMSA Vice President of Competition and Technical Regulations Scot Elkins. Raymond will oversee all technical aspects for the seven IMSA-sanctioned series. Raymond won the 2012 IndyCar championship as part of the engineering team for Andretti Autosport and has been a professor of motorsports engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis since 2011.
Kurt Busch still thinks he can run the Indy 500 in 2014.....until he gets 'The Call' in the middle of the night..."Boy you run that Indy 500 and give our enemy free publicity and you will never win another NASCAR race. Got that boy?"
Add Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing and KV Racing Technology to Andretti Autosport as the IndyCar Series teams NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is talking to about competing in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, completed the Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last May with Andretti Autosport. While he admits Andretti is the team he would like to drive for in this year’s Indianapolis 500, Chevrolet would prefer he line up with a Chevrolet IndyCar Series team.
Busch, who was at NASCAR Media Day on Thursday at Daytona Int’l Speedway, confirmed the three Chevrolet teams that he is in discussion with includes Ed Carpenter Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and KV Racing Technology.
“My forecast hasn’t changed from the other week when I said I was 70 percent sure that I would run the Indy 500 this year,” Busch said. “I’m still confident in that forecast. If I were a weatherman I’d say bring an umbrella.”
Bobby Gerhart picked up where he usually does at Daytona Int’l Speedway Thursday.
The veteran ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver turned the fastest lap of the four-hour practice session during his first two laps on the track. He ended up the fastest of the 42 cars to practice, running at a top speed of 182.808 mph.
“We’re not going to get too excited yet,” Gerhart said. “The weather changed and it looks like the speed slowed down a bit; but we’re not the only ones it looks like. We got the most out of the car – that’s all we can ask. The car is really good and I’m excited about our chances tomorrow (in qualifying)."
Penske reports record net income for Q4 and year Penske Automotive Group Inc. today reported its highest fourth-quarter and full-year net income in company history, driven by higher retail sales and cost controls.
The company expects its revenue to grow at a “double digit” percentage clip this year. It said half of the growth will come from increased same-store sales and half from acquisitions.
Last year, Penske completed acquisitions or was awarded new stores that are expected to contribute $850 million in annual revenue.
For the fourth quarter, Penske’s net income rose 21 percent to $59.7 million, as revenue increased 15 percent to $3.86 billion.
The higher revenue came on an 11 percent increase in retail sales to 90,622 units, with sales of new units rising 7 percent and used units rising 18 percent. On a same-store basis, retail sales -- new and used combined -- rose 10 percent to 87,924.
Russian F1 GP Offers Sochi Future After Winter Olympic Games
F1's newest venue "is a fenced-off building site, lines of skips and diggers parked along what will be the main straight, on the rubble-strewn fringes of an otherwise glittering Sochi Olympic Park," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.
Spectators entering the Park on a balmy winter's day with tickets for the hottest show in town -- Olympic figure skating or ice hockey -- "may not even realize they are walking along part of a racetrack." It "will be very different in eight months' time when what organizers hope will be a lasting legacy of the Winter Olympics takes shape in a much noisier and faster form" -- Russia's first F1 Grand Prix on Oct. 12.
Organizers said that "all is on schedule, even if the attention is currently on very different sports and brand new arenas a short stroll away." Race promoter Oleg Zabara said, "Construction of the Autodrome in Sochi keeps moving forward. All works are being carried out according to the schedule. The racing track is 91 percent complete. Everything is according to plan, and there aren't any problems during Olympic period."
8Star Motorsports returns to FIA World Endurance Championship for 2014
8Star Motorsports returns to the FIA World Endurance Championship as the only American team, looking to repeat the title reached in the GTE-Am class in 2013. 8Star Motorsports will have its #90 458 Ferrari GT participating once again in the GTE-Am class, replacing the victorious #81 from 2013.
After winning two races in 2013 and claiming the GTE-Am class championship, Team CEO and Driver Enzo Potolicchio has set its goals in having a better performance in the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans and repeating the title accomplished in 2013.
“Not many drivers have had the opportunity to win the World Championship two years in a row,” said Enzo Potolicchio. “The goal of repeating the victory achieved in 2012 at the 24 hours of Le Mans, was cut short by a punctured tire after we were having a great weekend. For 2014, we have set our eyes on winning the 24 hours of Le Mans and repeating the team’s championship.”
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has "three news firesuits and two new paint schemes" for NASCAR's No. 42 Target team in '14. The new design is "an edgier and modern update to the traditional firesuits" and comes as driver Kyle Larson heads into his rookie season. Target VP/Experiential Marketing & Alliances Dan Griffis said, "The debut of Kyle Larson in the No. 42 car was a perfect opportunity for a fresh and enhanced design for Team Target." Each firesuit "highlights Target's recently launched digital savings program, Cartwheel." AP
Wilson joins MSR for Sebring 12 Hours Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian will bring a set of familiar and fast faces when the team makes its debut competition appearance at Sebring International Raceway next month, as Justin Wilson will return to race with the squad alongside full season pilots John Pew and Ozz Negri in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on March 15.
The trio will share the driving duties on the 3.74-mile circuit in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ford Ecoboost Riley for round two of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Small American presence at LeMans as most USCC teams know they cannot compete There won’t be a huge American team contingent at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans because the France owned Tudor USCC series does not compete at that level, which is a lower cost dumbed down version of sportscar racing.
Only four teams, with six cars – Corvette Racing, SRT Motorsports, Dempsey Racing-Proton and 8Star Motorsports – will race under the U.S. flag.
Corvette and SRT are the obvious ones in GTE Pro, as they are GT Le Mans competitors in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Corvette returns to Le Mans with its pair of new C7.Rs racing at Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time, while SRT seeks to improve on its 2013 results of eighth and ninth with the improved, now-tried-and-tested SRT Viper GTS-Rs.
Video: Mercedes F1 drivers preview what to expect in 2014 Excitement is building before the start of the 2014 season. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton give us an insight into what we're about to see this year. What are you most looking forward to this season?
Chevrolet to Oversee Restoration of Historic Corvettes To help the National Corvette Museum recover from the massive sinkhole that opened under the facility this week, Chevrolet will oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged. General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., will lead the project.
“The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. “There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens.”
Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.
Le Mans Entry List The 56 entries revealed Thursday for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans will feature 10 LMP1, 17 LMP2, 12 GTE Pro and 16 GTE Am entries, plus the experimental Nissan ZEOD RC as the Garage 56 entrant.
Of the 56, 31 are full-season entrants in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Two surprises emerged, one in regards to the GTE field and additionally with a new logo for the event, with the Le Mans letters underneath the 24H. It replaces the prior one, which was introduced in 1978.
In LMP1, seven of the 10 total class entries fall under the new LMP1-H designation for hybrid technology, with three Audi R18 e-tron quattros, two Toyota TS040 Hybrids and two Porsche 919 hybrids.
CuttersRT and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Partner to Enter Indianapolis 500 via Crowd Funding (Update)UPDATE As the arrangement goes, the second car of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will carry the names of everyone who donated at least $100 to the effort. If the goal is achieved, Fisher has vowed to put no other sponsor decals on the car.
“I don’t know if they can do it, but good luck to them,” Fisher said. “They have great entrepreneurial spirit.”
Falling short won’t be a lost cause, Fisher said.
“We’ll do something with these folks no matter what,” she said.
Fisher said she hopes to finalize the entry during the season-opening weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. (March 28-30). No driver has been selected, although Fisher said she “has some ideas.”
Big smile on Michael’s face today after welcoming Mario and Mia.
IndyCar legend and Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti's wife Jodi gave birth to twins today in Indianapolis. Son Mario, and daughter Miata "Mia," are first children for Michael and Jodi. Michael, of course, has three children from previous marriages, Marco, Marissa, and Luca.
We here at AutoRacing1 congratulate the Andrettis, and wish Michael, Jodi and the entire Andretti family the best.
Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable (Update)UPDATE There is news today in the cable TV industry in the US where market leader Comcast has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC) for a whopping $45 billion. The deal heads off a takeover bid of TWC by John Malone’s Charter Communications and creates an empire which USA Today reckons will include 68 million subscribing households across the nation with revenues of $88 billion. This is a blow for Malone, who wanted to take over TWC with Charter Communications, which has about six million subscribers and revenues of around $8 billion a year. Malone has been promoting market consolidation for some time but this is not what he was hoping for. It remains to be seen whether this will increase or decrease his interest in the Formula One group, which he sees as a valuable content provider for his global TV networks.
As one can see from the numbers involved these companies are large enough to snap up the F1 business without too much trouble.
Jacques Villeneuve will compete in the FIA's new World Rallycross Championship in 2014.
The 1997 F1 World Champion was confirmed as one of Albatec Racing's two drivers for the new season, driving alongside team principal Andy Scott. It's a first foray in to RallyCross for Villeneuve, who has mainly been racing in NASCAR and a number of touring car championships since leaving Sauber in 2006.
Looking ahead to the move, Villeneuve said the stature of the new championship proved too enticing to turn down.
“I am really looking forward to entering the RallyCross arena with Albatec Racing,” Villeneuve said. “With my previous ice-racing experience, I'm excited about driving sideways in a 600bhp, four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 over the combination of loose and tarmac surfaces, not to mention the jumps. With the added incentive of it being an FIA World Championship, the opportunity was really too good to miss.
GP2 announces new sporting rules for the 2014 season
Can American Alexander Rossi win the GP2 title in 2014 despite driving for backmarker Caterham? If anyone can, it's Rossi.
In a change of regulations in 2014, GP2 Series organizers are pleased to announce that they have extended the free practice session for a further fifteen minutes bringing its total duration to forty-five minutes during race weekends.
Moreover, in an effort to always get closer to Formula One, GP2 Series organizers have decided to tweak their tire rules. The GP2 Series uses slick Pirelli tires in four specifications (super soft, soft, medium and hard) which are predetermined by Pirelli in advance of the race weekend .Each driver has five sets of dry-weather tires per weekend – three of “prime” specification and two of “option” specification.
In 2014, each driver will have to use at least one set of each specification of dry-weather tires during the Feature Race (unless they have used wet-weather tires during the race,). Compared to the previous season, this will change the teams and drivers’ approach to the race weekend.
Red Bull Global Rallycross Signs Multi-Year Deal With NBC Red Bull Global Rallycross is pleased to announce the launch of a multi-year partnership with NBC Sports Group, beginning with the 2014 season. In 2014, nine Red Bull Global Rallycross events will be broadcast on NBC, with rebroadcasts taking place on the NBCSN.
“This is a great step forward for Red Bull Global Rallycross,” says series CEO, Colin Dyne. “Partnering with NBC will allow us to bring our events to millions of our existing fans, and welcome new fans as well. We look forward to delivering unparalleled, high-octane race action.”
The 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross broadcast schedule is as follows:
AutoTrader Inks Separate Deals With Logano, Earnhardt Jr A pair of AutoTrader brands, AutoTrader.com and Kelley Blue Book, have struck sponsorship deals with two of NASCAR’s most prominent teams. AutoTrader.com will have an associate sponsor’s position with Penske Racing driver Joey Logano on the team’s No. 22 Ford. That deal includes a primary paint-out for a single race, the July 13 Sprint Cup event in New Hampshire, in addition to the season-long associate sponsorship. In a separate but similar deal with Hendrick Motorsports, Kelley Blue Book will be a season-long associate on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet, with one race as the primary.
Both multiyear deals were negotiated by AutoTrader Senior Dir of Consumer Marketing & Creative Services. Michael Smith, SportsBusinessDaily
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Radio is back, bigger and better
Fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Radio, the online digital experience found at DaleJr.com and common podcasting outlets such as iTunes, will have even more programming to enjoy in 2014.
Set to debut are three new shows that will occur weekly throughout the NASCAR season – The Monday Recap, Fast Lane Family, and JRM 360 The Podcast. Those programs will accompany the maiden show, The Dale Jr. Download, as the full lineup in 2014. The official launch for all programming is the week of Feb. 24 following the Daytona 500, though some will begin next week.
“If last year’s goal for Dirty Mo Radio was to launch, this year’s goal is to offer variety,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We’re always looking to grow, and we’re pretty passionate about it.”
Scott Dixon adds another award to what is becoming a very crowded trophy case.
2013 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon has won the Halberg Award for sportsman of the year in New Zealand. The article below mentions Dixon and the other Kiwi athletes honored at the prestigious awards ceremony.
Kiwi golfing phenom Lydia Ko has beaten an impressive field of athletes to be named the 2014 supreme winner of the Halberg Awards.
Ko who has made a habit of beating much older and experienced opponents in her golfing career repeated the formula in tonight's awards defeating Scott Dixon, the All Blacks, Sophie Pascoe to claim the top award.
2013 Indycar champion Scott Dixon was winner of the sportsman of the year award but was not able to attend the awards due to being in the US for car testing.
Some fans still recovering from last year's Nationwide crash at Daytona
Kyle Larson's car hits the fence
The fence that was damaged by a flying race car has been repaired, but some of the seriously injured fans who were seated in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway last year continue to heal, and it isn't clear if they will return for Speedweeks.
Kyle Larson's race car sent debris — including an engine and a tire –– flying when it crashed into a fence designed to protect fans during the Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Feb. 23, 2013. The crash injured at least 28 spectators, 14 of whom were transported to area hospitals.
Whitney Turner, 34, of Indiana suffered a broken leg from the accident. She declined an interview but provided a written statement about her injuries.
Stewart ready for Daytona, no standby driver planned
Tony Stewart will not have a driver on standby this weekend at Daytona International Speedway as he plans to get back in a racecar for the first time since breaking two bones in his right leg in August.
Stewart, whose leg was punctured by a front-end piece of the sprint car he crashed when trying to avoid another vehicle in an Aug. 5 race at Southern Iowa Speedway, has estimated that his leg will be 65 percent healed when practice starts Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
The three-time Cup champion has had three surgeries to repair his leg, including one where an aluminum rod was inserted. After undergoing intensive therapy, Stewart expects his leg should have the full strength he needs to race.
NASCAR Rule Book Reveals More on Infractions The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Rule Book provides more details on what type of infractions can lead to particular penalties and includes a list of members of the Appeals Panels that reveals four new members. This year's Rule Book is 208 pages, 16 pages more than last year's version.
The book lists 34 people in the pool for the appeals panels. There were 48 in the pool last year. The Rule Book also provides more explanation of its penalty structure. NASCAR's new deterrence system divides infractions into warnings and penalties labeled from P1 (least severe) to P6 (most severe).
The Rule Book states that if a team receives two warnings during an event or two warnings during two consecutive events, then that may result in a P1 penalties that could include the team having the last choice in pit selection, reduction of track time in practice or qualifying or be selected for post-race inspection, among various possibilities. More at Motor Racing Network
ABT Sportsline will contest the first season of the new FIA Formula E Championship with former Formula One racer and Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi and German youngster Daniel Abt. The German outfit is the first of the ten teams in the field to have presented its driver line-up. The inaugural event of the new fully-electric race series will take place in Beijing, China, on 13 September 2014.
”In Daniel and Lucas we’ve signed our absolutely ideal pairing,” says team owner Hans-Jurgen Abt. ”My thanks go to Audi who released Lucas for the Formula E commitment. He’s been involved in the development of the series right from the beginning and is one of the most sought-after names on the scene – we’re proud that he’s opted for us.”
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