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DATE News (chronologically)
02/17/12
f1

Mercedes Benz AMG F1 W03
Following a successful first run for the F1 W03 in Silverstone, and to help you pass the days until our official launch next week, we are pleased to offer you a sneak preview of the 2012 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One car of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. We cannot show you too much until the covers are taken off next week, but we hope you enjoy your first lap of the year with F1 W03.



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02/17/12
nassprint

Mapei / Menards join up with Robby Gordon for Daytona 500
Robby Gordon will be piloting the #7 Mapei / Menards Dodge Charger in his 24th attempt at the Daytona 500.

"Daytona is the 17th race of the 2012 season for us," says Gordon who's hoping to carry the momentum from the off-road program to his stock car efforts. "Racing is still my passion and in order to brand our product, SPEED Energy, we need to race. We are fortunate to have Mapei and Menards on board for the 500 and I look forward to the challenge of putting our car into the show," he continues. The restrictor plate races have been good to Robby Gordon Motorsports, who feels they have something to prove. "We'll see how the new NASCAR rules break up the two car draft, but if not, we certainly have a fast car that can be pushed to the front," Gordon remarked.

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02/17/12
nassprint

NASCAR Budweiser Shootout Practice: Multi Car Crash
Tony Stewart spins out Kurt Busch collects Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, & AJ Allmendinger in the Multi Car Crash also Jeff Gordon just misses the wreck also Martin Truex Jr might got a piece of the wreck but he misses the wreck in the 2012 NASCAR Budweiser Shootout Practice at Daytona International Speedway.



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02/17/12
IRL

Milwaukee IndyCar race deal not done yet
Milwaukee contract with Andretti not signed yet
A couple of details need to be set completely straight regarding the arrangement that would have Andretti Sports Management bring IndyCar back to Milwaukee this season.

This comes in regard to comments made by Kevin Healy, managing director of Milwaukee IndyFest, in an interview with the Journal Sentinel that appeared both in a story in the Thursday paper and on JSOnline and in a transcript of that conversation in the JSOnline racing blog. Nothing he said was incorrect, but implications could leave a reader with an incomplete characterization of what has exactly is happening.

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02/17/12
autogp

Auto GP becomes Auto GP World Series
Auto GP keeps growing steadily: entering its third year, the Championship has changed its name to become Auto GP World Series. Not a big change in terms of wording, but an important update that reflects the intercontinental evolution that the Series undertook for 2012, as the Organization confirmed the expansion plan announced last September. So Auto GP will race alongside WTCC for the whole season, with a calendar that for the first time will see the Series leave Europe to hold the last two rounds in Brazil (Curitiba) and USA (Sonoma with IndyCar).

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02/17/12
f1

Pic given three days of testing in Barcelona
Charles Pic
Charles Pic will enjoy the majority of driving duties for Marussia F1 in Barcelona next week, with the second of three pre-season tests kicking off at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The 22-year-old Frenchman, who makes the step up from GP2 this year, will drive the team's 2011 challenger for three of the gathering's four days, taking to the wheel on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with team-mate Timo Glock on-track in between.

Marussia missed the opening test at Jerez as part of a pre-planned program, with the outfit's new car set to be revealed prior to the final four-day Barcelona outing.

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02/17/12
fil

NBC Sports Network to televise all Indy Lights races
NBC Sports Network to televise all Firestone Indy Lights races in 2012: The full Firestone Indy Lights 2012 schedule will be televised by the NBC Sports Network, highlighted by live coverage of the Freedom 100 on May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The June 22 race at Iowa Speedway and July 21 race at Edmonton City Centre Airport will have same-day coverage, while nine races - St. Petersburg, Barber, Long Beach, Detroit, Milwaukee, Toronto, Trois Rivieres, Baltimore and Auto Club Speedway - will be tape-delayed for air at 5 p.m. (ET) the Thursday following each event.

Formerly known as VERSUS, the NBC Sports Network serves as a 24/7 cable platform for NBC Sports' rich heritage of unmatched storytelling, best-in-class production and broad promotional power.

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02/17/12
gp2

Venezuela GP Lazarus joins GP2 Series
GP2 Series organisers are pleased to announce that Venezuela GP Lazarus have been allocated an entry for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Founded in 2009 by Tancredi Pagiaro, the Italian squad joins the thirteen team field in replacement of Super Nova Racing. Venezuela GP Lazarus will run their GP2/11 cars for the first time in two weeks in Jerez where the first official pre-season testing of the Series will take place on February 28-29 and March 1st.

GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel said: “We are pleased to welcome Venezuela GP Lazarus to GP2 Series. They are a great addition to our competitive field of thirteen teams. Tancredi Pagiaro and most of his staff have been involved in GP2 in the past years and I am sure they will be able to be on pace very quickly.”

Venezuela GP Lazarus Team Principal Tancredi Pagiaro commented: “We are very excited to be part of GP2 and I would like to thank the organisers for giving us this entry. This Series is the most prestigious and competitive category after F1. I am proud that we have reached such an important agreement with the Venezuelan sponsors. With their help, we have been able to enter the prestigious GP2 Series. We know this will be a big challenge but we are ready for it and cannot wait to get started.”

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02/17/12
IRL

Andretti and Panther to test at Phoenix
Andretti Autosport and Panther Racing will test at Phoenix International Raceway on Wednesday. IndyCar hasn't raced there since 2005, but many diehards in the sport would like to see Phoenix return to the schedule where of course hardly anyone will show up and IndyCar will make themselves look like losers again. As Albert Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If Phoenix is willing to remove 50 percent of their grandstands perhaps it could work. Ditto for the season finale this year in Fontana. All eyes will be on IndyCar as they determine who wins this year's championship and the attendance will make the series look bad. Even NASCAR has a hard time in Fontana these days.

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02/17/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

A happy Petrov
02/17/12
  • Caterham dumps Trulli for Petrov
  • Gascoyne to attend 'most' races in new Caterham role
  • Secret debut for new 'conventional' Mercedes
  • Suspicions linger after Newey's 'cooling slot' claim
  • Salo 'surprised' Ferrari kept Massa for 2012
  • Lotus says losing seat vital 'shock' for Petrov
  • HRT admits Karthikeyan not promised full season New
  • Petrov could stay at Caterham beyond 2012 - manager New

    Read more & Comment...
02/17/12
IRL

Shank continues sponsor search
Michael Shank, whose Michael Shank Racing Grand-Am team opened the year with a bang by winning the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, said an expected partnership program for IZOD IndyCar Series team he announced in October did not develop, which could leave the upstart team off the grid for the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25.

“We’ve got the car in the shop and the people we need to go run the car, but at this point we are still working to have the full budget in place to go racing,” said Shank, who has teamed with NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger and Columbus (Ohio)-area businessman Brian Bailey to form MSR Indy. “I don’t want to be in a position to just go out and make up the numbers. We want to show up and have a competitive presence.

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02/17/12
nassprint

Q and A with NASCAR's biggest star, Danica Patrick
Not surprisingly, it was a part-time Sprint Cup driver who attracted the biggest crowds during Thursday’s Speedweeks Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. The driver was Danica Patrick, now NASCAR's biggest star because she is sexy, who will drive a handful of races for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Cup series, and a full season for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. Because SHR was able to cut a deal for owner points, Patrick is locked into the 500 field and will attempt to become the first female driver to win stock-car racing’s biggest event.

During her interview session Patrick talked about the 500, racing for Tony Stewart, sexism in racing, demands on her time and a variety of other subjects.

What follows is the full transcript of her Media Day session:

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02/17/12
nassprint

RCR Partners with K&N Engineering for ECR Engines Program
Richard Childress Racing and K&N Engineering, Inc., the inventor and leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications, have reached agreement on a multi-year partnership for ECR Engines' NASCAR program. The technical partnership provides ECR Engines with K&N Engineering air and oil filters as well as research and development support. K&N Engineering will receive marketing rights to Richard Childress Racing's drivers, cars and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. All RCR race cars will be adorned with the K&N decal through the NASCAR Contingency Sponsor program as well as having the K&N logo under the hood of every car.

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02/17/12
irl

Rahal And Kimball Test Updated Oval-Spec Dallaras
Ganassi Racing’s one-day test on the Auto Club Speedway oval in southern California got off to an slow start when rain pushed Wednesday’s planned activities back to Thursday, but the team pronounced itself pleased with the updated Dallara DW12-Honda oval package.

The Ganassi team, along with Team Penske, tested at the 2.0-mile Fontana facility last November and worked through a number of information gathering exercises to help INDYCAR and Dallara find directions on how best to fix the car’s Superspeedway handing and aerodynamic deficiencies.

With the fruits of those efforts on the cars of Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball for Ganassi’s second visit to ACS, the remedies produced by Dallara left everyone involved in feeling extremely positive about the car.

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02/17/12
irl

Construction begins on IndyCar track in St. Pete
St. Pete Construction begins
Start your engines - or at least get out the hammers, fences and concrete barriers.

Construction on the 1.8 mile, 14-turn IndyCar course begins Friday. It will take weeks to get the course ready before the March 25 race.

The 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the beginning of the IndyCar season. The street race is one of the city's premiere events and draws around 140,000 people to the city during race weekend.

During track construction, workers will use 20,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete barriers and 44-thousand feet of chain link fencing.

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02/16/12
karting

NJ Motorsports Park announces 2012 Karting schedule
New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) is excited to announce its 2012 F1 New Jersey Competition Karting schedule. This year's program will include a variety of racing options in an attempt to accommodate everyone's kart racing needs. The 2012 calendar is loaded with excitement starting with their own F1 New Jersey Championship ten race Club Series. They will also be hosting four regional race events, two from the Northeast Rotax Max Challenge and two from WKA New Jersey Sprint Series. Another exciting "first" will be their hosting of the F-Series Gear Up Challenge event- an exciting new regional series that builds upon the highly successful F125 class. Last, but certainly not least, the highly-coveted WKA Gold Cup National Series will be held at NJMP September 21st through 23rd.

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02/16/12
nassprint

Earnhardt Jr. does not like racing at Daytona
Dale Jr. says rules ruin Daytona
There was a time when no one looked forward to racing at Daytona more than Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Not anymore.

Earnhardt Jr., who still is frustrated with NASCAR’s restrictor-plate rules, admits he is more anxious to get to Phoenix or Bristol or other unrestricted tracks than he is racing in Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout and the Daytona 500 next week.

“Daytona, this is probably the worst odds for me all year because of the way the racing is here,” Earnhardt Jr. said at NASCAR Media Day Thursday. “This is going to be a fun experience, but I’m looking forward to getting to Phoenix and the rest of the tracks to start getting control of my destiny and trying to make some things happen for me and win some races.

Read more & Comment...
02/16/12
irl

Race fans invited to see Barrichello test at Infineon
The all-new 2012 INDYCAR race car will make its Sonoma debut later this month, and race fans are invited for a FREE preview, as four IZOD IndyCar® Series teams hit the track for a test session at Infineon Raceway.

The two-day test, Feb 25-26, is being held in advance of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar® Series season, which kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, March 25.  The series will make its eighth consecutive visit to Northern California for the Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma, Aug. 24-26.

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02/16/12
nassprint

Bayne and the Woods Return to Daytona as Defending Daytona 500 Champions
Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers are back at Daytona International Speedway as the defending Daytona 500 champions, reflecting on the big win of a year ago but, more importantly, focusing on this year’s Great American Race.

Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, said he spent some of his first days of Speedweeks 2012 thinking about the team’s triumph last year, a victory that kicked off a strong year for both NASCAR and the Wood Brothers.

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02/16/12
automotive

GM's Q4 profit
Stronger pricing and increased sales in North America drove General Motors' net profit to $7.6 billion last year, even as the worsening picture in Europe hurt its fourth-quarter results.

Net income for the October-December period fell 7 percent from the year-earlier period to $472 million, the automaker said today. A $562 million loss in Europe -- the steepest of the year there -- weighed on the automaker's bottom line. North American earnings nearly doubled in the quarter.

The results magnified the pressure on GM to stem the red ink at Opel, its European unit. The losses there came despite a restructuring begun more than two years ago that resulted in $900 million in restructuring costs through Sept. 30, including 5,800 job cuts, according to a regulatory filing.

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02/16/12
irl

New IndyCar engine rules at a glance
The engine rules will be stable through the 2016 IZOD IndyCar Series season, with any corrections or modifications decided by INDYCAR after consultation with the engine committee.

Manufacturers will provide a pool of engines, which INDYCAR officials will allocate to corresponding teams in a random manner. INDYCAR engine support engineers will employ and monitor torque sensors on selected manufacturers’ engines to ensure compliance with homologation regulations.

“It’s to track that nobody’s getting left behind and to track that all their teams are getting equal treatment,” Knowles said.

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02/16/12
USF2000

McIntosh lands ride with Pabst for 2012
Shannon McIntosh will compete in the 2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda for Pabst Racing Services, team officials announced Feb. 16. McIntosh will pilot the No. 18 car sponsored by TrueCar.

"After testing Shannon at Autobahn this past October, we were impressed with her intensity and commitment to work with the team to get results,” said Augie Pabst, President, Pabst Racing Services. “We are thrilled to be working with Shannon and Truecar for the 2012 USF2000 Series season and can't wait to get started!"

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02/16/12
PF2000

2012 Pacific F2000 schedule
Today the Pacific F2000 Series presented by Corsa Car Care Products announced an enhanced prize money package for 2012.  For the past several years the series has had a year-end prize fund but no purse for races.  Multiple donors have come forward with the funding to put purses in place totaling $20,000.00.  All of the Pacific F2000 weekends are double-headers consisting of 12 races over 6 weekends.  Prize money payouts for each race will be $600 for 1st place, $400 for 2nd, $200 for 3rd, $100 for 4th and $50 for 5th as well as $150 for the highest placing Expert class driver for competitors between 35 and 50 years old, and $150 for the highest placing Master class driver for those over 51 years old. 

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02/16/12
irl

IndyCar CEO says Baltimore's Grand Prix will succeed
IndyCar has put their trust in new Race Promoter Dale Dillon (above)
The head of IndyCar racing came to Baltimore Thursday and assured the city's residents that this September's grand prix race would not end up in financial ruin as last year's did.

"There's no room for errors. We have to be successful and the promoter has to be successful," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said at the Intercontinental Harbor Court Hotel before showing off the cars and new technologies that would be used in the Labor Day race.

"They feel the pressure," Bernard said. "There needs to be pressure on everyone. We owe it to the City of Baltimore. We owe it to the residents of Baltimore."

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02/16/12
f1

Mercedes releases preview shots of 2012 car UPDATE Mercedes enjoyed a successful first run of its 2012 Formula 1 car at Silverstone today ahead of its test debut at Barcelona next Tuesday reports AUTOSPORT. The Mercedes F1 W03 completed the 100 kms of running permitted on a filming day using Pirelli demonstration tires, with both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher taking turns behind the wheel.

Vice president of motorsport Norbert Haug hopes will allow the team to "hit the ground running" next week.

"Judging the performance on a roll-out day is very difficult because you run on demo tires and it was on the short circuit, but the car did everything it was supposed to do," Haug told AUTOSPORT.

"There's a limit of 100 kms so Nico did 50 kms in the morning and then we changed to Michael. There were no teething problems and now we are heading to Barcelona."

Details of the new car are sketchy, but the glimpses seen of the car so far reveal that, like all but one of the teams who have so far unveiled their new machines, it features the so-called 'platypus' nose that only McLaren has opted against.

"The nose is the most discussed issue," said Haug. "It's a stepped nose as some have seen. It's a very nice solution really and a very dynamic one."

Read more & Comment...
02/16/12
nassprint

49-car Daytona 500 Entry List
No. 1 - Jamie McMurray - Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
No. 2 - Brad Keselowski - Penske Racing
No. 5 - Kasey Kahne - Hendrick Motorsports
No. 6 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - Roush Fenway Racing
No. 7 - Robby Gordon - Robby Gordon Motorsports
No. 09 - Kenny Wallace - RAB Racing
No. 9 - Marcos Ambrose - Richard Petty Motorsports
No. 10 - Danica Patrick - Tommy Baldwin Racing
No. 11 - Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 13 - Casey Mears - Germain Racing
No. 14 - Tony Stewart - Stewart-Haas Racing
No. 15 - Clint Bowyer - Michael Waltrip Racing

Read more & Comment...
02/16/12
f1

Mike Gascoyne Appointed Caterham Group CTO
Mike Gascoyne
Mike Gascoyne has been appointed Caterham Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) with immediate effect. Reflecting the ongoing evolution of the Caterham Group, and its determination to continue to develop and provide new opportunities for its staff at all levels, Mike will now be responsible for proposing, supporting and coordinating key technical initiatives in Caterham Group’s motorsport activities (F1 and GP2), Caterham Cars, Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology & Innovation. He will report directly to Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat and will coordinate overall strategic technical projects across each of the Caterham Group companies.

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02/16/12
nhra

Auto Plus Retail Chain Agrees To Sponsor NHRA in Gainesville
Uni-Select USA and its chain of auto retail stores known as Auto Plus have signed a naming-rights sponsorship for the NHRA's drag strip in Gainesville, Fla. The drag strip will be known as Auto-Plus Raceway. In addition to the naming-rights deal, the retail outlet will be the title sponsor of the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Dragway in Reading, Pa.

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02/16/12
nassprint

Zest to sponsor Kenseth in 4 races
Roush Fenway Racing today announced that Zest brand bar soap and body wash will serve as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 17 Ford driven by Matt Kenseth for four races in '12

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02/16/12
automotive

Video: The Porsche Macan is coming


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02/16/12
karting

AJ Allmendinger and Walldinger Racing Create Karting Scholarship
As the child of two parents who went to work every day (and sometimes nights, as mom is a nurse ) AJ Allmendinger didn't come from the kind of background that provided him an unlimited budget to go racing. Fortunately, significant parental sacrifices, Allmendinger's natural talent and desire, and some well-timed help from racing scholarships helped him race his way to the pinnacle of the sport.

Having seen firsthand the impact that some outside help can have on a racer's career, Allmendinger is very pleased to announce a new program that will see a deserving young karter receive a scholarship to race in the 2012 World Karting Association championship starting March 23-25 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. The scholarship winner will also be set to compete in the Rotax Grand Nationals in August and SKUSA SuperNationals in November.

Read more & Comment...
02/16/12
nassprint

McDowell To Drive Phil Parsons Racing
Michael McDowell
Fifth-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael McDowell will pilot the #98 Ford Fusion for Phil Parsons Racing (PPR) for the entire 2012 Sprint Cup season, it was announced today by PPR's Phil Parsons and new partner Mike Curb. Parsons, the former NASCAR driver and current television commentator on SPEED, merged the assets of his PPR team with Whitney Motorsports during the offseason in an effort to bolster his 2012 Sprint Cup effort. Curb, owner of Curb Records who also has long and successful history of race team ownership in the NASCAR and open-wheel ranks, among others, becomes a partner in the PPR effort for 2012. "Combining our efforts with Whitney Motorsports with the support of Mike Curb and having Michael (McDowell) behind the wheel of the #98 Ford means we'll open the season at Daytona better prepared than ever before," Parsons said. "We feel the timing couldn't be better for us to build this program into a proper Sprint Cup Series effort."

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02/16/12
nassprint

Nemechek gets sponsor for Daytona 500
Joe Nemechek
NEMCO Motorsports announced that AM FM Energy LLC will be the primary sponsor of Joe Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports #87 Toyota, running in the Daytona 500, with an associate sponsorship on the #87 Toyota in the Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race, both to be run at Daytona International Speedway. With the sponsorship, NEMCO is welcoming AM FM Energy back for a third year. After Daytona, AM FM Energy will be on both the Sprint Cup Toyota and the Nationwide Toyota on select races throughout the year. "There is nothing that seems to beat the winning combination of our name on the NEMCO team cars," said Andy Mays, president of AM FM Energy. "Each time we are on the cars, we can see a notable boost in our business and that's because we know Joe has earned high respect and visibility in NASCAR and has some of the most loyal fans." AM FM Energy is a notable distributor of the high quality Timber Ridge line of wood and pellet stoves, and has recently added BBQ grills and tailgating accessories to their product line.

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02/16/12
irl

Dillon is IndyCar's man in Baltimore and maybe Ft. Lauderdale
Can this team of Reck, Dillon and Dawson deliver for Baltimore? Do they have the event promotion experience?
Construction magnate and self-described "gearhead" Dale Dillon has built offices for high-speed racing teams, laid tracks for IndyCar contests in two cities and, despite having only one leg, raced open-wheeled cars competitively around the country.

Now, the Indianapolis-based contractor is poised to become the face of Baltimore's Grand Prix race. He confronts the daunting task of crafting a new image for the racing festival — which drove the previous organizers to financial collapse — and pulling together the massive event in little more than six months.

Those who know Dillon well say the 57-year-old's passion for racing, no-nonsense attitude and business acumen make him an ideal candidate to take over the troubled Labor Day weekend event.

Read more & Comment...
02/16/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Maldonado bought Williams F1 ride for $46M per year.  He could have bought at top line IndyCar ride for 7 years for that much money
    Ecclestone wants new contract for Nurburgring race
  • Bianchi's sponsor signs up with Force India
  • Team unity can survive FOTA turmoil - Whitmarsh
  • Raikkonen could be 'serious' title opponent - Vettel
  • Mercedes late to 'hide something special' - Red Bull
  • Invoice shows Williams' PDVSA deal worth $46m
  • Vergne predicts strong season for Toro Rosso
  • Hamilton 'disappointed' with 2012 McLaren - reports
  • Toro Rosso to give new drivers more than one season
  • Vettel to begin Red Bull’s Barcelona program

Ecclestone wants new contract for Nurburgring race
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone insists he wants to sign a new race contract with beleaguered German venue the Nurburgring.

Read more & Comment...
02/15/12
irl

Rain washes out Fontana test early
Two IndyCar drivers came to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to test the series' new race car Wednesday, only to have the test washed out by rain after it barely had started.

But one driver, Charlie Kimball of Camarillo, said that was enough to get him excited about racing the new car around the two-mile oval where the cars top 200 mph.

"We did a few laps before the rain came," said Kimball, who drives for Chip Ganassi Racing and arrived Wednesday with teammate Graham Rahal. The new car "is going to lend itself to really good racing," Kimball said.

Read more & Comment...
02/15/12
automotive

Penske earnings rise 67% in Q4 as sales grow
Penske Automotive Group, the second-biggest U.S.-based auto dealership group, today posted a 67 percent gain in fourth-quarter net income on an 11 percent sales rise.

The company, in a statement, said it posted earnings of $47.7 million during the quarter compared with $28.5 million during the same quarter last year.

Penske said it posted revenue of $2.96 billion, up from $2.67 billion a year earlier.

Read more & Comment...
02/15/12
automotive

Tesla's fourth-quarter loss widens to $81.5 million
Tesla Motors Inc.'s fourth-quarter net loss widened to $81.5 million, as electric Roadster sales end ahead of the release of Model S sedans.

The company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $51.4 million in 2010.Tesla is selling the final units of its $109,000 Roadster sports car.

The Model S, intended to expand the company's sales volume with a base model priced at $57,400, won't go into production until the middle of this year.

Until then, Tesla's main revenue source is supplying battery packs and other parts to Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG, two of its investors.

The company also said today it's starting "a development program with Daimler for a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle with a full Tesla powertrain. This represents an increase in the scope and scale of our deepening relationship with Daimler," Tesla said, without elaborating.

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02/15/12
irl

NBC Sports Network aims to beat ESPN
IndyCar TV partner intends to grow their NBC Sports Network to cable's equivalent to ESPN.  They took another step toward giving ESPN a run for the money when they hired Ron Wechsler away from ESPN and made him vice president of Original Programming at NBC Sports Network.  Wechsler will create original programming for the network.

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02/15/12
nassprint

Bill Elliott to run for NEMCO Motorsports in Daytona 500
NEMCO Motorsports announced that Bill Elliott, past Sprint Cup Champion and Daytona 500 winner, will pilot the #97 Toyota for the Daytona 500 to be held at the Daytona International Speedway. This synergy will bring Front Row Joe, Joe Nemechek and Million Dollar Bill, Bill Elliott together as a powerful pair to kickoff the 2012 NASCAR season. "I am really excited to be racing with NEMCO Motorsports and Joe Nemechek, who has been a friend and respected competitor through the years," said Bill Elliott. "This will be a great way to start off the 2012 NASCAR season in Daytona."

"This is a great and fun moment in racing for us at NEMCO Motorsports," said Joe Nemechek. "We believe the talent and skill of Bill will steer the 97 car to a great showing for us and I am excited to be racing right along with him, this time on the same team."

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02/15/12
nassprint

Ford Eco Boost to sponsor Stenhouse in Daytona 500
EcoBoost, the line of Ford production car engines that provides increased power and fuel efficiency while reducing emissions, is coming to NASCAR, but not under the hood. Ford is reaching out to its huge racing audience through a multi-tiered marketing campaign focused on EcoBoost beginning with this month's Daytona 500.

EcoBoost, which first appeared on the NASCAR landscape as the paint scheme on the 2013 Fusion race car for its reveal in Charlotte, N.C., January 24, will serve as the primary paint scheme when defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. makes his Daytona 500 debut in the #6 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion at the end of the month. EcoBoost will also be featured for select races on the #17 Fusion of former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth throughout the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign.

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02/15/12
nassprint

Terry Labonte to run Daytona 500
Just as they did to begin the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season last year, FAS Lane Racing announced they are heading to Daytona for the 2012 season opening race with Terry Labonte. The two time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will pilot the #32 Ford in the running of the Daytona 500. In addition to the team and driver reunion, FAS Lane Racing welcomes back C & J Energy Services as the Primary Sponsor for the annual season opener at the Daytona International Speedway.

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02/15/12
cart

Danny Sullivan survives head-on collision
Indianapolis 500 winner and 1988 CART World Series champion Danny Sullivan appears to be OK after a potentially devastating road-car crash on Feb. 10 in California.

Sullivan, the 1985 Indy 500 champion and who scored 17 wins in a CART career that spanned 12 seasons, on the morning of Feb. 10 left his Monterey, Calif., home at about 8:15 a.m. Pacific time. Shortly thereafter, another driver--a German tourist who was texting at the time and driving on the wrong side of the undivided two-lane road, according to someone close to Sullivan who spoke with Autoweek--struck him head-on in a rental car. The crash totaled Sullivan's new Audi R8 GT supercar, but both drivers walked away.

However, Sullivan on Wednesday told Autoweek--ironically, via text--that he is bruised badly and was in a hospital awaiting a CT scan to check for more serious consequences of the accident. AutoWeek

Comment
02/15/12
racing news

Jim Hall to be honored by RRDC at Long Beach April 12
Jim Hall
Jim Hall, known worldwide as one of the significant innovators in the history of American auto racing, will be honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the RRDC Evening with Jim Hall on Thursday, April 12, at the organization’s fourth annual West Coast banquet prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The race-car driver, designer and team owner who made the name Chaparral famous around the world was born in Abilene, Texas, in 1935 and raised in Colorado and New Mexico. He was a student at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena when he started driving his brother’s Austin-Healey at weekend road races in 1954.

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02/15/12
automotive

Tesla scores electric Mercedes-Benz deal
Tesla reported fourth quarter and full year earnings on Wednesday and in its shareholder’s letter revealed that it has started a development program with Daimler to build a new electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle with a Tesla powertrain. Daimler is already an investor in Tesla and uses Tesla battery packs for its electric Smart cars. Daimler’s electric Mercedes plans have been talked about for years.

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02/15/12
irl

IndyCar news bits
Travelers spending a few minutes in baggage claim at Birmingham International Airport can check out the new Dallara road course car on display until April 2…Jason Clark, former general manager of the Milwaukee Mustangs (Arena Football League) and assistant athletic director at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has joined INDYCAR as senior manager of partner strategy. … Sam Schmidt Motorsports has retained Front Row Marketing Services, a subsidiary of the sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, to market and sell the team's commercial rights. … Tickets for the June 15-16 Milwaukee IndyFest go on sale March 1, but fans who would like more details or to be notified when tickets are available can sign up at www.MilwaukeeMile.com.

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02/15/12
irl

Third set of new IndyCar chassis' ready from Dallara
Another batch of new chassis, totaling 15, is expected to be picked up by IZOD IndyCar Series teams this week from the Dallara Automobili facility in Speedway, Ind.

Teams trucked away 15 cars to their shops on Dec. 15 and another 16 were ready to be picked up Jan. 16. Team testing is ongoing, with multiple-car sessions at Auto Club Speedway, Barber Motorsports Park, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Infineon Raceway and Sebring International Raceway.

An IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test is scheduled for March 5-6 and 8-9 at Sebring.

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02/15/12
fil

Goncalvez returns to Belardi Auto Racing
Venezuela's Jorge Goncalvez will return to Belardi Auto Racing for his sophomore season in Firestone Indy Lights, joining Israel's Alon Day in the team's 2012 lineup.

Goncalvez will return to the No. 4 entry, in which he earned 10 top-10 finishes, five top-fives, four podiums and a fifth place finish in the point standings. Goncalvez  recently competed in the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona with Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian and finished third in the marathon race.

"We are very happy to have Jorge back for a second season in Firestone Indy Lights," team owner Brian Belardi said. "A top five in the championship and the four podiums that Jorge earned last year were such great accomplishments for us as a first-year team, as well as for Jorge in his first year of Indy Lights.

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02/15/12
alms
irl

IndyCar, ALMS close to new sanctioning deal with Baltimore Grand Prix
Officials with IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series American Le Mans Series Latest from The Business Journals DC Electronics sets up racing-systems shop in Mooresville Baltimore Grand Prix selling on the defensive Baltimore Grand Prix boosted hotel revenue by 44%, officials say Follow this company said they hope to have a sanctioning deal in place with the new organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix within the next seven to 10 days.

The city announced Wednesday that it had reached a deal with Downforce Racing to organize the Baltimore Grand Prix for the next four years. The group is led by Indianapolis race promoter Dale Dillon and his partners Felix Dawson and Dan Reck, former Constellation Energy Group    Constellation Energy Group Latest from The Business Journals Baltimore Grand Prix looking to hire a handful of workers. Rowe Price sells millions of Constellation Energy shares Spurned by Exelon, former McCormick site not in line for tax breaks Follow this company (NYSE: CEG) executives who now lead Baltimore’s Wilkes Lane Capital.

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02/15/12
FIAGT1

FIA releases GT1 schedule
2012 FIA GT1 World Championship Schedule

April 8: Nogaro (France)
April 22: Zolder (Belgium)
May 22: Navarra (Spain)
July 8: Algarve (Portugal)
Aug. 26: Beijing (China)
Sept. 2: Ordos (China)
Sept. 16: Moscow (Russia)
Oct. 7: Zandvoort (Netherlands)
Nov. 4: San Luis (Argentina)
Dec. 2: New Delhi (India)

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02/15/12
f1

Pirelli confirms compounds for first three F1 races
Pirelli has announced which Slick tire compounds will be taken to the opening trio of 2012 Formula 1 races in Australia, Malaysia and China. For the Milan company’s second year back in the sport, all compounds have been modified and the firm expects at least two pit-stops per car, per race.

For Rounds 1 and 3 in Melbourne and Shanghai, the Medium (white) and Soft (yellow) compounds will be in use, whereas Hard (silver) and Medium (white) will be taken to Kuala Lumpur for the second event of the season. Once again, the harder compound of a weekend is known as ‘Prime’, with ‘Option’ being the softer of the two.

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02/15/12
tv news

Ray Evernham Returns to ESPN as NASCAR Analyst
Ray Evernham
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham is returning to ESPN as a NASCAR analyst for the 2012 season.

Evernham will join ESPN’s team at Daytona Speedweeks and will be part of NASCAR Countdown before the NASCAR Nationwide Series race that airs on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 25, at noon ET. He also will appear on NASCAR Now and SportsCenter from Daytona as ESPN’s multimedia platforms surround the opening of the NASCAR season.

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02/15/12
track news

Daytona International Speedway to add short track races in 2013
There will be no gap in the 2013 Speedweeks stock-car schedule.

Beginning next year, Daytona International Speedway's "dark days," or the Monday and Tuesday before the Daytona 500, will be filled with a mega national event on a short track carved from the backstretch area fronting the Lund Grandstands.

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02/15/12
irl

IndyCar 'very excited' for Dillon group to take over Baltimore Grand Prix
Daniel Reck, left, Dale Dillon, center, and Felix Dawson head Downforce
Dale Dillon is viewed as the man who saved the Baltimore Grand Prix last year.

And now he’s charged with ensuring its survival for the next five years.

Hardly a well-kept secret, Dillon was named on Wednesday to lead a new group taking over the troubled Labor Day weekend Grand Prix. He was considered to be this company ’s choice to run the race well before the city announced the deal early Wednesday.

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02/15/12
nascar
ga

Tim Bell to test for Creation Cope Racing
P1 Groupe driver Tim Bell has earned the chance to test with Creation Cope Racing, a NASCAR Team that field’s cars in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and K&N Pro Series. The team was formed by former Daytona 500 Winner Derrike Cope and Michael Jankowski of Creation Autosportif.

Conversations following the opening weekend of the 2012 GRAND-AM Road Racing season at Daytona International Speedway granted Bell, who was tagged to drive the #6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series for 2012, the chance to sit behind the wheel of Creation Cope’s K&N Pro Series Dodge Charger on both Tuesday February, 14th and Wednesday, February 15th. Creation Cope’s Marketing Director, Andy Woolgar was one of the men instrumental in getting Bell to Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, North Carolina this coming week, and his comments regarding the event solidify the team’s excitement to have Bell in their pit.

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02/15/12
gp3

Marussia Manor Racing Confirms Fabiano Machado for GP3
Marussia Manor Racing GP3 is pleased to announce that South American Formula 3 Champion Fabiano Machado will join the team for the 2012 GP3 Series season.

The 25 year-old from São Paulo began his racing career in karting, showing great promise by winning the Paulista Championship and the Brazilian South Region Championship as well as finishing third in the PanAmerican Championship, Cup of Brazil and Brazilian Championships. In 2010 he won the RBC Karting Championship and he was rewarded with an F3 test. He stepped up to single-seater racing later that season, competing in 12 of the 24 South American F3 races with the Cesario Formula 3 Team.  He won four races and ended the season 4th in the Championship.

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02/15/12
nnw

JR Motorsports Signs Sponsorship Deal With Ingersoll Rand
Cole Whitt
JR Motorsports announced today the beginning of a strategic sponsorship with Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments.

The sponsorship features a one-race primary sponsorship of the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Cole Whitt in the NASCAR Nationwide Series later this year and full-season associate sponsor placement. 

“As long as I’ve been in this business of racing, there have been Ingersoll Rand tools in my tool box.  That’s not a corporate talking point, that’s just the truth,” said JRM co-owner and crew chief Tony Eury Jr.  “This partnership between JR Motorsports and Ingersoll Rand might be new, but we are not new customers.  To be able to add Ingersoll Rand to our arsenal of sponsors only makes us better.”

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02/15/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

02/15/12
  • McLaren signs former driver Magnussen's son
  • Schumacher to be first to test new Mercedes
  • Ecclestone, FIA, circuit say Bahrain GP still on
  • Clos 'trusts' HRT to deliver Friday promises
  • Mateschitz not ruling out Webber for 2013 contract
  • 'Splitting with Key was logical decision' - Sauber New
  • Aethra joins Sahara Force India for 2012 New
  • Sutil to 'fight' for 2012 F1 seat - manager New 
  • James Allison: The car we take to Melbourne will be significantly different New

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02/15/12
nassprint

Some Budweiser Shootout rules a mystery for drivers
Most of the drivers in Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout still don’t understand all the rules. Some may not even know they’re in the race.

The exhibition race at the Daytona International Speedway will have its 11th format change in 33 years when the green flag waves at 8:10 p.m.

This year the field has been extended to the top 25 drivers from last year’s Sprint Cup Series standings, as well as former Bud Shootout and Daytona winners.

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02/15/12
irl
alms

Baltimore to unveil new Grand Prix contract
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration has struck a five-year deal with a new team to manage the Baltimore Grand Prix race, including new safeguards designed to insulate the city from losses — a provision crafted after last year's financial debacle left millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and vendor bills.

Officials plan to unveil a contract Wednesday with Downforce Racing, a company headed by an Indianapolis contractor and two former Constellation Energy Group Inc. executives, to run the second annual Baltimore Grand Prix. The company takes its name from the strong force exerted as a racecar hits high speeds. The contract, which still could be tweaked, must be approved by the city's Board of Estimates.

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02/15/12
irl

Long Beach CEO is a race driver too
Placing the first of more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks this week that will line the racing circuit for the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach swells Jim Michaelian’s anticipation for the event as much as it did for the inaugural race.

The event marked the beginning of two months of preparation for the 175,000 fans expected during the April 13-15 race weekend that features the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. More than three miles of fencing will be erected, complementing 16 spectator grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and super-size vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage.

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02/15/12
USTCC

USTCC announces HoverCam Award
T3 document camera
HoverCam will support the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) racing teams by providing the HoverCam Photo Finish Award at every race of the USTCC.  At the conclusion of race, the winner of the closest battle will win the HoverCam Photo Finish Award consisting of the HoverCam T3 document camera.

Pathway Innovations & Technologies, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of the HoverCam cameras and software, is based in San Diego, California.  They develop innovative products that enhance learning and communication.  HoverCam document cameras are used by everyone from attorneys and marketing people who use it for presentations to educators and teachers to get their message across efficiently. As the most innovative document camera on the market, the HoverCam T3 scans, records voice & video, and integrates with interactive whiteboards and web conferencing systems.

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