Barcelona Day 3: Rosberg finishes on top After a wet morning the track dried out in the afternoon and for the third time in three days a German has recorded the best time in Barcelona where the teams are testing ahead of the 2011 season. After Sebastian Vettel was on top for 2 days in a row it was Nico Rosberg's turn. The GP-Mercedes driver ran the best time of the week so far, a 1:23.168. Vitaly Petrov in the Renault and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton finished second and third.
Daytona 500 pushed back a week in 2012 The 2012 Daytona 500 will be held a week later than normal, eliminating the early off date and shortening the Sprint Cup season. The "Great American Race'' will be held next year on February 26. "We have a very short offseason,'' said Steve O'Donnell, a senior vice president with NASCAR. "This gives us a little more time shortening up the season.'' Beyond moving the date to shorten the season, O'Donnell said NASCAR wanted to get ahead of any potential moves to an 18-game schedule by the NFL that could push the Super Bowl later than normal. There are no plans to condense the length of Speedweeks, although the date of the Budweiser Shootout has not been officially set at the weekend before the 500. ESPN.com
[Editor's Note: Huge mistake. A large majority of fans make the trek to Daytona each year because it falls on the long holiday weekend (President's Weekend). Moving the date a week later should make a significant dent in attendance.]
People starting to revolt in China - will F1 race be in jeopardy? Authorities rounded up dozens of dissidents and cracked down on calls for a "Jasmine Revolution," which urged demonstrations in more than a dozen Chinese cities Sunday apparently modeled after the wave of pro-democracy protests sweeping the Middle East.
The source of the call was not known and many activists seemed not to know what to make of it, even as they spread the word. They said they were unaware of any known group being involved in the request for citizens to gather in 13 cities and shout, "We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness."
The authoritarian government, always on guard to squelch dissent, appeared to be taking the threat of protests seriously and moved to stamp out the spread of the message that first appeared on U.S.-based Chinese-language website Boxun.com.
WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO Bahrain army kills citizens in cold blood WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO Bahrain's ruling family has defied mounting international criticism by ordering the army to turn on its people for the first time since pro-reform demonstrations erupted five days ago. As protesters attempted to converge on Pearl Roundabout, a landmark in the capital Manama that has become the principal rallying point of the uprising, soldiers stationed in a nearby skyscraper opened fire.
Since they took to the streets, Bahrain's protesters have come to expect violence and even death at the hands of the kingdom's security forces. At least five people were killed before yesterday's protests.
Racer magazine readers name Force 2010 Racer of the Year
The readers of Racer Magazine have voted NHRA Full Throttle champ John Force as 2010's Racer of the Year, an award that encompasses all of the world’s various auto racing disciplines including Formula 1.
Force, who rallied from a 2007 crash and a pair of mediocre seasons to win the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car Championship, earned 37 percent of the vote for Racer of the Year, an award presented by Mobil 1. He easily out-polled 2010 Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and 2009 Racer of the Year Jimmie Johnson. Vettel got 15 percent of the vote; Johnson 14.
It’s the first time a drag racer has earned the top honor in the 16-year history of the magazine’s Racer of the Year awards which also include Oval Racer of the Year, Road Racer of the Year and Drag Racer of the Year. After winning his 15th series championship, Force was named Racer ’s Drag Racer of the Year for the ninth time with a whopping 79 percent of the vote.
Bernie: Bahrain Prince will make the call Bernie Ecclestone has revealed the under-threat Bahrain GP could be moved to later in the calendar if pro-democracy demonstrations lead to it being postponed. Ecclestone will leave a decision on whether it is safe enough for the race to go ahead to Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa after violence in Manama. Asked when a decision on the race's future would be made Ecclestone told BBC 5 Live's Sportsweek program: "Probably Tuesday.
"I haven't spoken to the Crown Prince this morning so I don't know what's happened there. If anybody's going to sort it out he's the guy to do it.
"He would decide whether or not it's safe for us to be there.
No end in sight for Lotus dispute The chances of resolving the complex Lotus naming dispute out of court look increasingly bleak, meaning there could be two teams starting the new Formula One season with almost the same name.
It is yet another headache for the sport's bosses - the season-opening race is scheduled to take place in the second week of March in Bahrain, currently scene of anti-government protests that have left at least five people dead.
Automaker Proton, which owns a controlling stake in Lotus Group and says it alone has the rights to the Lotus name, and aviation tycoon Tony Fernandes have so far failed to agree on an out-of-court financial settlement.
Jenson Button has admitted McLaren needs to sort its reliability issues over the coming tests in order to stay in touch with the lead teams.
McLaren launched the MP4-26 one week later than its rivals and while the team sticks by its decision, a lack of spares at Jerez and Barcelona has meant the car has had limited running. On Saturday hydraulics issues kept Button in the garage for much of the morning before he finally completed some meaningful laps in the afternoon.
"We're not doing as many laps as we'd like, so we're a little behind some of the other teams, which is a bit of a disadvantage, but that's something we're addressing," he said after completing 54 laps on Saturday. "Over the next two days, hopefully our reliability will be better, and we'll be fully equipped with spare parts."
F1 teams want Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled (GMM) It is believed most formula one teams would like next month's season opener in troubled Bahrain to be cancelled.
Western countries are advising against travel to the island Kingdom, where mainly peaceful protesters have been clashing violently with the government in past days.
"The F1 community has agreed privately that it would be both irresponsible and indefensible to arrive in Bahrain at a time when the country is counting its dead after a week of bloodshed," read a report in the Daily Mail, one day after a FOTA meeting in Barcelona.
Rain in Spain - Barcelona Day 4: Massa on top Although he just spun his Ferrari backward into the gravel on a very wet Barcelona, Spain track, Felipe Massa leads F1 testing on Day 4 at the lunch break.
Sergio Perez also crashed his Sauber into the barriers at Turn 4 and Pastor Maldonado had light contact with the barrier at turn 5 in his Williams.
The sun has begun to shine on the Circuit de Catalunya. The expectation is that in the afternoon it will be better weather, and that the teams will put more laps in.
Ferrari boss to lead Rome Olympic bid Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo is set to lead Rome's bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Di Montezemolo met with Italian cabinet undersecretary Gianni Letta on Saturday to discuss the role and the conditions of the bid, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported.
"Luca Di Montezemolo is the right man," Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci said. "He is one of the most famous Italians in the world and he will improve our chances."
Di Montezemolo was head of Italy's organizing committee for the 1990 World Cup.
He took over the presidency of Ferrari in 1991 and in 1999 led the team to its first constructors' championship since 1983. A year later Michael Schumacher won Ferrari's first world championship since 1979.
No more changes planned for Daytona 500UPDATE NASCAR has made one final tweak to the cooling-system rules for the Daytona 500. With a forecast for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s for Sunday, NASCAR will allow teams to increase the size of their grille openings from 50 square inches to 60 square inches. That will allow more air through the ducts to cool water temperatures. It is estimated it could lower engine fluid temperatures by about 10 degrees.
02/18/11 Barring a major shift from what was seen in Thursday's two qualifying races, NASCAR doesn't plan any additional changes to the Sprint Cup cars before the Daytona 500, series director John Darby said Friday. "You never want to say no, we're not going to do any changes. If somebody is holding onto something and we get a group in practice on Saturday and it gets really nuts, we'll look at it," Darby said. "Typically, we won't drop ourselves into a box until we drop the green flag on Sunday. But no changes are planned." Since Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, where cars reached speeds of 206 mph, NASCAR has gone to a smaller restrictor plate hole, reduced the opening in the front grill and mandated a lower radiator pressure to slow the cars. ESPN.com
ALMS week in review ALMS Fans Enter to Win an XBOX Prize Package
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n is giving fans an opportunity to celebrate the start of the 2011 season in style. From now through midnight ET on Friday, March 18, fans in the US and Canada can register online to win an XBOX prize package containing: a 4GB XBOX 360 console, Forza Motorsport 3 game, a limited edition Evolution Racing Seat, and a one-month XBOX Live Gold membership package. Gold members can catch all the live action from all ALMS races and qualifying sessions through the package's ESPN3.com app.
Victor García joins Team Moore Racing for 2011 Firestone Indy Lights Series
Victor Garcia from Spain will race with Team Moore Racing in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights Series.
The Spanish driver Victor Garcia will cross the Atlantic to join the Team Moore Racing to compete in the 2011 season in the Firestone Indy Lights as a driver of car # 22 sponsored by Xtreme Coil Drilling.
"I have to thank Team Moore Racing for giving me this opportunity, " Garcia said. "I am delighted to have joined the team. We have worked together and get along with all equipment. We will work hard to get the best performance during the 2011 season. "
Garcia recently competed in the World Series by Renault after competing before in British F3, F3 Euroseries and Spanish F3.
Minnesota Congresswoman wants to ban military from NASCAR sponsorshipsUPDATE #2 The U.S. Army, which represents Ryan Newman and his No. 39 car, defended its NASCAR sponsorship on Friday after a Minnesota congresswoman recently targeted the Army's motorsports funding as a waste of money. Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley said the $7.4 million per year the Army is spending to sponsor NASCAR is being put to good use, as he estimates 46,000 leads have come directly from NASCAR and the environment gives recruiters a great way to reach young people.
"We know this is having an impact on recruiting and helping our recruiters with their jobs," Freakley said Friday. "The alternative to this is having a recruiter walk up and down a mall and talking to about 150 people just to get one person to engage them."
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., scrutinized NASCAR's effect on Army recruiting and felt the money could be better spent elsewhere.
The latest Adrian Newey creation is starting to show speed
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel went quickest again today day as the team continued work on the second day of its test weekend in Barcelona.
Today, with race team personnel present, the team aimed to get through simulations of a race weekend P3, qualifying session and a race simulation.
The work largely went according to plan as Head of Race Engineering, Ian Morgan, explains: “Generally it was good today and we got through almost everything we wanted to. We had a few small problems, such as an issue with a heat shield. But that’s why we do these tests, to iron out any little problems, and generally the simulations went well.”
Walmart and NASCAR Team Up Walmart and NASCAR, announced a new relationship designed to give Walmart customers and race fans new NASCAR branded merchandise and special savings on race tickets available on Walmart.com/NASCAR for select races. The new retail program, branded "Race Time", is the largest retail promotion in NASCAR's history and launches in 1,500 Walmart stores just in time for the start of the season with the 53rd running of the Daytona 500. This new relationship will begin with select NASCAR and NASCAR team licensed merchandise in Walmart stores and grow in the future to include more merchandise and various sponsor products. Participating Walmart stores will offer exciting merchandise such as T-shirts, racing flags, and tailgating food and beverages with even more selection of merchandise on Walmart.com/NASCAR. In addition, Walmart customers and NASCAR fans can save money by purchasing a discount ticket package available exclusively through Walmart.com/NASCAR for select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Ticket packages include four race tickets, four hot dogs, four beverages and one race program for just $99, a savings of approximately $100. NASCAR
Offers roll in for Brian Keselowski With a sustained push from his brother, Brian Keselowski finished fifth in Thursday's second Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying event and raced his way into Sunday's Daytona 500. Since then, his phone hasn't stopped ringing. Ray Evernham called with an offer to pick up Keselowski's tire bill for the weekend - a cool $10,000 or so. Keselowski is driving a 2006 Dodge Charger that Evernham built years ago, and he came to the track this weekend with one set of tires. Penske Racing, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Keselowski's younger brother, Brad Keselowski, offered to supply a stronger engine for the #92 Dodge. Unlike other well-heeled teams, Keselowski doesn't have a fresh engine to put in the car for Sunday's race. A complication is that Keselowski is running an older generation R5 engine. The new R6 power plant available from Penske requires, among other things, completely different motor mounts and an external fuel pump. According to Keselowski's father and crew chief, Bob Keselowski, the team might not be able to install the engine in time for Saturday's practice. Keselowski also is working on a sponsorship deal with Golden Corral, which already had sent him a mockup of the paint scheme for Sunday's race. "Honestly, I couldn't answer all the calls," Brian Keselowski said. "It's just been insane. By the time I got out of the media center and got dressed (after the race), I looked at my phone, and I had 50-something messages and text messages and phone calls. It's been crazy" Sporting News
Career start #400 for Dale Jr. The Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 will mark Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start. The 36-year-old driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy began his Cup career in 1999, and since then has amassed 18 wins, 91 top-five finishes, 150 top-10s and nine pole positions in 399 starts. He's gone to Victory Lane twice at Daytona International Speedway. He won the prestigious Pepsi 400 in 2001 and took the checkered flag in the July 2004 event. Earnhardt earned the pole position for Sunday's race during qualifying on Feb. 13, but will be reassigned to the rear of the field after being involved in an accident during the Feb. 16 practice session. HMS
400th race, 10 year anniversary of Daddy's death. Look for Earnhardt to win the Daytona 500....by the grace of God.
God again shines down on NASCAR 10 years ago (to the day) when Dale Earnhardt died at Daytona on the final lap of the 500, it was Michael Waltrip who sped to victory. So like happens so many times in NASCAR, God shed his light down on the blessed series and lo and behold, guess who wins last night's truck race on the 10 year anniversary? You guessed it, Michael Waltrip.
And how did God do it this time? As Michael Waltrip came off Turn 4, all it took to nail down an emotional victory 10 years after the date of Dale Earnhardt’s death – and Waltrip’s own Daytona 500 triumph – was a last-ditch run to pass Elliott Sadler.
It was then that Waltrip’s spoiler laid down flat enabling him to gain straightaway speed and the win; and everything from that moment on, despite a compelling drive to victory for him, remains under a cloud of uncertainty Saturday morning.
Ecclestone hopes race to go ahead in 'quiet' BahrainUPDATE #2 In the last few days and this morning several governments, including UK, Germany etc and at least in Europe, issued a negative travel-advice to Bahrain. This means, amongst others, your travel-insurance is invalid and if anything happens to you, you are on your own ... We can't imagine Bernie wants to risk this for all of his F1 people, i.e. all the teams and their personnel in F1, GP2 Asia and Porsche Super Cup, journalists, sponsors, track marshals, PR and marketing people and in particular spectators and fans etc, etc. ...
Instead of the Bahraini government getting the situation under control, it actually escalates ...
British Foreign Office - We advise against all but essential travel to Bahrain until further notice.
02/18/11 Quiet Bernie? Bahraini riot police have attacked pro-reform protesters with gunfire and tear gas at a major square and hospital compound in the capital Manama, injuring at least 50 people and sending many more fleeing for safety.
The clashes came as tens of thousands of protesters continued to defy a government ban on demonstrations Friday by flocking to Pearl Square, the symbolic centre of the uprising against the Middle East nation's leaders.
Dozens of injured men, women and children rushed into the hospital, many drenched in blood and with head, chest and abdominal injuries, according to Dr. Ali Ebrahim, the deputy chief of staff at Salmaniya Hospital.
"The hospital resuscitation room was in chaos," Ebrahim told CBC News.
Enjoy Bookend IndyCar and NASCAR Weekends For Only $99 April is a good month to be a race fan in Alabama. Both IndyCar and NASCAR make stops in the state, with only one week and 30 miles separating the events. Best of all, $99 buys admission to all the racing action.
The $99 Speed Week package, created by Talladega Superspeedway and Barber Motorsports Park, gives race fans access to all six days of racing at the April 8-10 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park and the April 15-17 Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega.
“We are excited to once again partner with Barber Motorsports Park to welcome both IndyCar and NASCAR fans to the great state of Alabama,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “The $99 Speed Week package is a great value for race fans and we look forward to a strong turnout at both events.”
With Superleague Formula about to begin its fourth season we caught up with Competitions Director Robin Webb to get the lowdown on the championship.
1. What is the current state of Superleague Formula?
“Superleague Formula is in an interesting phase right now. We’ve come out of a very successful 2010, which was our third season, and some would argue that it was our first ‘proper’ year in terms of championship status. We delivered 12 rounds with 36 races (actually 35 due to Beijing’s bad weather) and we had the biggest prize fund in non F1 motorsport. We had our first million euro champion, in a championship season that was not decided until the very last race and with just a two point gap. We also had probably our best line-up of drivers and our first non euro ‘flyaway event’ in China. We have many football clubs, circuits, race teams and drivers all wanting to be a part of SF. So from my perspective Superleague Formula is an excellent place right now.”
Ecclestone changes tune again after more Bahrain violence
Bernie Ecclestone may be forced to pull the plug on Bahrain
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone on Friday changed his tune after earlier sounding hopeful that the 2011 season opener might be able to take place in "quiet" Bahrain.
On the ground, another day of shocking government violence against protesters was taking place in the island Kingdom, causing F1's chief executive to admit he had been misinformed by some FOM cameramen in a Bahrain hotel.
"So when I made my earlier statement it was based on the information I had at that time, as opposed to what is happening," said the 80-year-old.
Asked if he now fears he will have to cancel the race, Ecclestone answered: "I don't fear anything, I just think things have changed and that we should wait and see over the weekend exactly what changes there have been.
The Dallara factory in Speedway, Indiana is just a pile of rubble. It was paid for by bondholders and does not look like any cars will be assembled anytime soon. To make matters worse the design and manufacturing will all be done in Italy, with the only work done in the USA is bolting the cars together.
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, As a avid life long IndyCar fan, and a resident of the town of Speedway I wanted to share my disappointment with what has been going on lately with the new Dallara factory. When the news first broke about Dallara supplying the new Indy car , and building a factory on Main Street in Speedway I was ecstatic. Sure, we all would have loved to have more then one manufacture building the new car, but with the commitment from Dallara to put up a state of art building in Speedway, Indiana, to build the new era of race car, it was a win, win for IndyCar, and the town of Speedway, or so it seemed.
As it turned out it looks like the town is paying for the building of the factory with a 6.5 million dollar, 20 year bond that passed a few weeks ago, and the construction is going nowhere. I'm not so impressed.
Here is what the building site looks like today, and has looked like for the last month. With just a little over a year before the new cars will be racing, it appears this project is not as great of a deal as was presented to the towns people, or the racing community. Lets hope this situation changes. Randy has done a great job for Indy Car so far, and I wish him, IndyCar and the IMS the best, but this deal sucks. A concerned racer from Speedway
Dillon wins pole for Daytona Truck race Austin Dillon won the pole Thursday for the NextEra Energy Resources 250, the season-opening Camping World Truck Series event slated for Friday on the newly repaved Daytona International Speedway.
The 20-year-old grandson of team owner Richard Childress won seven poles last year and took the top spot to open 2011 thanks to the top speed Thursday at 179.047 mph.
The top five spots belonged to Chevrolet, with Turner Motorsports’ James Buescher (178.423) and Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Ron Hornaday Jr. (178.153) second and third on the chart.
Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton will lead the field to the green flag for the 53rd running of NASCAR's biggest race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the race but wrecked in practice and had to go to a backup car, forcing him to drop to the rear of the field for the start of the race. Gordon won the other front-row starting spot while Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton earned the third and fourth starting spots through Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying races.
Liuzzi to test the Hispania Racing car tomorrow in Barcelona Hispania Racing is pleased to announce that Vitantonio Liuzzi has joined the Spanish team for tomorrow’s Saturday session test in Barcelona. The Italian driver will be behind the wheel of the Spanish outfit for the whole day.
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “As I always said our target is to get the best possible package. Tonio is a strong contender for the second seat given that he has a lot of experience in Formula One. We hope his comments and feedback will help the team to progress in the right direction”.
Vitantonio Liuzzi: “I am happy to be back in a car again here in Barcelona for the upcoming test. Hispania Racing is a team with potential that can grow in the future and could have a good package for the season with the new car. There is still a lot to do because we are starting tomorrow with the first test, but there will be a lot to come. I am sure it will be a good day and I am looking forward to the next step”.
Barcelona Day 1: Vettel on top The F1 teams were back in action at the Circuit de Catalunya today for testing, which saw Sebastian Vettel at the wheel of the RB7 on top for the first day of the Barcelona test.
A damp start to the day gave the teams a chance to test the intermediate Pirelli tires, before conditions began to dry. Drivers had a couple of minor offs in the morning session.
Teams like Mercedes ran full race distances in the afternoon and did not focus on qualifying laps.
Sebastian Vettel said: “Unfortunately, we didn’t complete many laps today, as we had a long break – longer than expected. It wasn’t anything big, nothing broke, but at the test if you think there might be a problem then you’d rather take the car apart and check. The boys did their best and we still got some runs towards the end of the day – not as much as we’d like, but the car feels good and hopefully we’ll do more tomorrow.”
Mattias Ekstrom injured in sports accident Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström (32) has broken his left-hand wrist in a sports accident. The Swede must therefore cancel his participation at the beginning of March in the famous "Vasaloppet." His rehabilitation program should be concluded in time to start the 2011 DTM season on May 1.
Déjà vu: A year ago Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen tore the Achilles tendon on his left foot while playing tennis with his son. Now Mattias Ekström: In the training camp the Audi driver fell so awkwardly while playing volleyball with his team mates that he broke his left-hand wrist.
RPM already looking in to expansion Expansion is already on Richard Petty Motorsport's plate for 2012, Team co-owner Andrew Murstein is looking towards growth to help boost a program whose #43 car hasn't won since Spring 1999 at Martinsville. Here's the catch: in a world full of 2012 free agents, where Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and Greg Biffle top the list of possibilities, this car owner is looking to break the mold by picking an unproven driver -- but not just any rookie. "If there was one driver that was out there, I would go for something new and different," he says. "I think that's what the sport's lacking. There's no perfect answer for that, but a woman driver would be a terrific accomplishment for us. Whether it's someone like Danica Patrick], or it's someone like Johanna Long. If there was an up-and-coming African-American driver, that would be my focal point. I want to make a game-changing decision in this sport to try to bring it to another level." Sports Illustrated
Danica Patrick uncertain about future Two days before Danica Patrick begins her 2011 racing season, in which she'll race both stock cars and Indy cars, she said she's unsure of her plans for 2012 and beyond. "It depends on what I want to do, it depends on sponsorship, it depends on a lot of things," Patrick said on Thursday after turning in a speed of 193.515 at Nationwide Series practice, the third-fastest run of the day. "Luckily, though, it's only Feb. 17, so I have a lot of time to think about it and figure it out." Her contracts for both NASCAR and IndyCar end after this season, meaning she could likely choose to race stock cars full-time next year. But she doesn't intend on making a decision anytime soon, and she's unsure when that decision will be made.
"The season ends when the season ends and it starts next year when it starts," she said. "So, somewhere in that time frame." Patrick will race in 12 Nationwide races again this season, looking to improve her stock after an up-and-down showing last year. She's only a part-time driver in the Nationwide Series, which is 34 races in all. Orlando Sentinel
Fox debuts thermal-cam at Daytona 500 During FOX Sports' exclusive live coverage of the 53rd Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 from Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida, the network unveils FOX Thermal-Cam, a special camera designed to register variations in the heat signature of objects in its line of site. It's FOX's plan to use the unique feature during the race-cast to demonstrate the extreme temperatures which develop during typical racing conditions. A feature made more important this season as cars running in the rear of a piggy-backed pair lose air flow while drafting and must eventually switch places with the lead car to avoid overheating the engine. It can also reveal the on-track groove cars are using, as well as the difference between tires about to be changed compared to fresh replacements. The camera is supplied to FOX by FLIR, a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems with US headquarters in Boston. Fox PR
21-year-old Indian driver Armaan Ebrahim has his sights set on championship glory after confirming his return to Formula Two in 2011.
Ebrahim enjoyed an impressive campaign in the series in 2010, cementing his reputation as his country’s best young prospect by scoring points in all but one round during the season and finishing tenth in the overall championship. He also the ended the year on a high, qualifying inside the top three for both races at the final round in Valencia and going on to secure his maiden F2 podium.
Armaan scored strongly on several other occasions during the year, notably taking a brace of sixth-place finishes on the streets of Marrakech and top five results at Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix, and Zolder.
Anton 'Tony' George. Can you imagine, as CEO he actually approved the use of the most ludicrous slogan in the history of motorsports "I am Indy." People were walking around with I am Indy hats. If that isn't the dumbest thing, we do not know what is. Can you imagine that he's now back to destroy what Randy Bernard has resurrected, bringing back all the best things CART created and which Anton George had destroyed?
Hulman & Company announced Feb. 17 an expansion of its Board of Directors in an effort to best position the company to take advantage of the promising outlook over the upcoming years.
The changes were made during a regularly scheduled shareholders meeting.
Hulman & Company will add four members to the existing board, expanding from four members to eight members. Anton "Tony" H. George, Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith and Jerry W. Throgmartin will be added as members to the board of directors.
"As we strive to position Hulman & Company to be more competitive and relevant in this marketplace, the current board believes we can strengthen our position by calling upon the successful business expertise of these additional board members," said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board. "We are pleased to welcome Andre, Mike and Jerry to the board. In addition, I am particularly pleased that we will be adding Tony to the Hulman & Company board, a board upon which he has been a member in the past.
Star Mazda champion Conor Daly will join British race team Carlin for the 2011 GP3 Series. Daly makes the move to Europe having dominated the 2010 Star Mazda championship, and will also compete in non-clashing rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2011. The 19 year-old American is the first driver to be announced in Carlin’s 2011 GP3 squad.
Daly, who is sponsored by Mazda as part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsport Development Ladder, dominated the 2010 Star Mazda Championship, taking seven wins from 13 races, and racking up an impressive 12 podiums, 9 pole positions and seven fastest laps. Before racing in Star Mazda, Daly won the prestigious Skip Barber Championship and in 2008 won the British Formula Ford Walter Hayes Trophy.
NASCAR Pioneer Wendell Scott Featured in Film In conjunction with Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group and Max Siegel Inc., ESPN Films will document the story of Wendell Scott, the only black driver to win a NASCAR race, with the first airing of Wendell Scott: A Race Story on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The 60-minute documentary will chronicle Scott’s only NASCAR victory, at Jacksonville Speedway in 1963, and his positive impact on the sport.
Learn to live, before you die Not Racing: Some words of wisdom from one of the great innovators of our generation. As reports have surfaced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs' cancer may have returned and he does not have long to live, perhaps we can all learn from this 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address - Learn to live before you die.
Bahrain decision 'next week', could be cancelledUPDATE A statement on behalf of the organizers read: “The safety of all Bahraini nationals, expats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the Kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit.”
“Our focus at the present time remains on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. We continue to monitor the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities. Our priority at this time is ensuring the wellbeing of everyone associated with this event, and we will respond appropriately to any further developments.”
Virgin Racing team principal John Booth added: “If the local government, along with FOM, and the FIA say it is safe to go, then we go.
“We will trust their judgment. They will have people on the ground assessing the situation all the time, and I’m sure they are well informed of the risks. The only complication is the test, with most of us out there for 16 days, so a decision will need taking by the 25th when the freight goes out, and a week after for the race.”
Philips gears up for IZOD IndyCar Series as official emergency care equipment sponsor Royal Philips Electronics announced today that it is the official emergency care equipment sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The sponsorships will last through the 2012 season.
The IZOD IndyCar Series is the premier level of American open wheel racing and holds 17 events in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Japan. As part of the sponsorship, the IZOD IndyCar Series medical team will have advanced medical technology from Philips at each racing venue. The team will be identified by its Philips-branded medical vehicle and racing suits.
Power earns Road Racer of the Year from RACER Will Power missed out on winning the IZOD IndyCar Series title, but the Verizon Team Penske driver's prowess on road/street courses did not go unnoticed.
Power was voted Road Racer of the Year by the readers of RACER Magazine, narrowly defeating Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel in the vote.
The annual RACER of the Year Awards presented by Mobil 1 celebrate the drivers, cars and events that shaped the last 12 months in motorsports, and the four biggest awards - overall RACER of the Year, plus Oval Racer, Road Racer and Drag Racer of the Year - are all voted for by race fans.
The winners are all featured in the March issue of RACER.
Franchitti honored by Motor Sport Magazine Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti joined Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Frank Williams and Jody Scheckter in being the second class of inductees into the Motor Sport Magazine Hall of Fame during ceremonies Feb. 15 in London.
Franchitti, of Scotland, is a three-time IZOD IndyCar Series title-holder, including winning the past two, with Andretti Green Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He recorded three victories in 2010, tying Rodger Ward for 11th on the all-time Indy car victory list with 26 (16 in INDYCAR, 10 in CART). Johnny Rutherford (27 wins) is next on the list.
Conor Daly to compete in GP3 and Indy Lights in 2011 Conor Daly has spent the past three years racing with Mazda, winning two championships along the way. For 2011 Conor will showcase his talents as a part of both the newly created Mazda Road to Indy with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, and in the European GP3 series.
“The past two-and-a-half years has presented enormous business challenges for drivers, manufacturers, and race series. Conor has done an outstanding job of delivering the goods both on-track, and off-track to his business supporters. As we transition into the Mazda Road to Indy beginning with the 2011 season we needed to make sure that Conor could take a step up in his career, while meeting everyone’s business objectives. Thanks to Mazda, the people at INDYCAR, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, and Carlin, Conor should have an outstanding year,” noted John Doonan, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Team Development Manager.
Lally Files for NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Andy Lally, driver of the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS has filed his application to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Rookie of the Year. The quest will begin with this weekend's Daytona 500 to be run at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, February 20.
Lally, an accomplished road racer with three Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona wins to his credit, will be attempting to win the NSCS Rookie of the Year for 2011. The Northport, New York born racer is looking forward to the challenge.
"It's a really neat opportunity to be able to run for the NASCAR Rookie of Year," Lally said. "To be able to race for such a cool award is going to be great. I am looking forward to the challenge. I am hoping that a few more guys will come out to compete for the award. As a racer I want to compete, having a few more guys running for the prize would add another level of competition to the weekend for me."
Lally will be making his ninth NSCS start on Sunday in the Daytona 500. Lally entered into NASCAR racing with team owner Kevin Buckler back in 2007 when Buckler and a group of investors purchased Darrell Waltrip's Camping World Truck Team.
GP2 race cancelled amid Bahrain violenceUPDATE (GMM) The prospect of F1's 2011 season opener being cancelled took a big step towards reality on Thursday.
As Bahrain descends into worsening Egypt-inspired violence with anti-government protesters locked in deadly street fights with police, the GP2 Asia race at the Sakhir circuit was called off.
F1's feeder series confirmed in a statement that the event was cancelled "at the request of the Bahrain Motorsport Federation".
With the governing FIA and commercial promoter Bernie Ecclestone admitting concern prior to Thursday's news, the world of formula one is currently scheduled to fly into the Gulf island for pre-race testing in just two weeks.
The 21-year old Sauber F1 Team driver Sergio Pérez faces his Rookie season in Formula One. After driving the Sauber C30-Ferrari in Valencia and Jerez, the Mexican shares his thoughts.
How did testing go so far? Sergio Pérez: “Those four days of testing have been very good for me. I have adapted to the car and the team well. I feel more comfortable every time I jump in the car. I’m also getting more and more familiar with all the procedures. So I’m really looking forward to the next test in Barcelona and to the start of the season, where I need to gain a lot of experience in order to be up where I want to be.”
What was the most important thing you have learnt? Pérez: “It would not be right to just mention one thing. I have learnt a lot in many different areas: the different tire compounds, the car as a whole, all the various procedures and the work with the engineers. All together it’s really many areas where I’m constantly improving.”
What is the most difficult aspect for a driver who is new to Formula One? Pérez: “Maybe it’s the tires, especially the different compounds. When you are driving on the track the behavior of the tires and the car is changing constantly, which means you have to adapt all the time and I think this also comes with experience.”
One day in Valencia you covered 103 laps – how was that for you physically? Pérez: “It wasn’t a problem. I’m physically in good shape. I’ve done a lot of training over recent months. So I feel I’m well prepared for the next tests and then the season opener in Bahrain. I was able to complete a lot of laps so I’m ready on the physical side.”
It is a lot of work – but is it also fun? Pérez: “Of course it’s fun! Driving a Formula One car is awesome! I feel great being in Formula One and I’m enjoying every single lap. So, yes, it’s hard work but also great fun!”
After the Barcelona test you will be going to your home town Guadalajara in Mexico for a road show on 26th February – what can you tell us about that? Pérez: “This will be a very special day for me, being at home with my family and all my friends, and running the Formula One car in the city. This will be an additional boost for my motivation before leaving for Bahrain.”
Baltimore issues over 2,000 red light camera tickets with dead officer's signature IndyCar and ALMS team members and fans beware. Getting pulled over and ticketed by law enforcement makes for a bad day, and we're quite certain the feeling is amplified when the citation comes in the mail days after the infraction occurs. There's no surprise, then, that most drivers can't stand traffic cams, and in many cases, the ticketed fight the infractions tooth and nail. In the city of Baltimore, MD, there are 2,000 ticketed motorists who may have a solid case.
WBAL-TV 11 reports that a police officer who tragically died in a car accident 'signed' those 2,000 tickets months after he passed away. That's a big problem, because each red light camera citation is supposed to be reviewed by an officer of the law before getting sent out. City officials claim that the residents received the wrong notice, and that the tickets were in fact properly reviewed before being issued. We're guessing that those ticketed won't buy that explanation and the courts in Baltimore will be quite busy for the next few months. More at WBAL TV
Dario Franchitti has no doubts cousin Paul di Resta will shine in Formula One this season. Di Resta joins fellow Britons Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button on the grid for the forthcoming F1 campaign after landing a drive at Force India. The team informed the 24-year-old Scot just prior to Christmas he would be stepping up from his previous role as reserve driver. Three-time IndyCar Series champion and double Indianapolis 500 winner Franchitti believes Di Resta has what it takes to not only come through his debut year, but to push on for the future.
"I was thrilled for him when I heard he had got the nod," said Franchitti.
"I'm just really proud of him. He's worked hard for it, but in some ways the hard work now begins.
NASCAR copies IndyCar againUPDATE Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway not only opens up the 2011 NASCAR racing season, it also opens the garage gates to some very important fans. A revision in NASCAR's garage access policy allows an adult with approved access, either via annual credential (hard card) or a single event license (SEL), to bring his or her children in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garages on race days. The policy is in effect only during the "cold" pre-race period.
Each child will be issued a special credential. There is no minimum age requirement. Some "Need to Know" parameters for this new policy:
* Parents must complete a minor's release form prior to receiving a minor's credential. * Releases and credentials will be available at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series registration hauler or at the garage location. * NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series children credentials will be available at those series' at-track registration locations.
Also updated for 2011: The dress code for all NASCAR pit and garage areas. Attire must remain appropriate for both a major sporting event and a family environment, but has been relaxed to include shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless blouses and skirts/dresses. NASCAR
02/14/11 Monkey see Monkey do. After IndyCar announced that they were going to allow children in the garage area this year comes word that NASCAR is become more kid-friendly this year by allowing children into the garage on race days.
The revision to the garage access policy will permit adults with approved credentials to bring their children into garages during the pre-race period on race days.
Each child will be issued a special credential. There is no minimum age requirement.
The policy announced Monday follows a relaxed dress code NASCAR implemented before the season. NASCAR will for the first time allow shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless blouses and skirts and dresses in the garage.
Hendrick signs Bill Elliott's son Chase Hendrick Motorsports has signed Chase Elliott to a multi-year driver agreement. Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, will continue to compete for his family-owned team until meeting age requirements for entering NASCAR national series events. Bill Elliott Racing, based in Dawsonville, Ga., will field Chevrolets with support from Hendrick Motorsports. "The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree with Chase," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "I've always admired Bill's ability in a race car and how he handled himself with the fans. I see those same traits in Chase, with his natural driving talent and an awareness of what he needs to do away from the track to be successful. He comes from a great racing family, and it shows. We think it's a terrific situation. Chase already has a strong support system in place (in Dawsonville) that will allow him to focus on his education and grow as a driver, and Hendrick Motorsports will provide whatever kind of assistance the Elliotts need in any area."
Dale Jr. wades up his 500 pole winning car After having won the pole on Sunday for the Daytona 500 in what many rumor mongers are saying was another NASCAR computer generated grid, Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost crashed the car in practice and may have to switch to his backup car, which means starting last.
Earnhardt Jr. was drafting behind teammate Jimmie Johnson in turn four when Johnson’s car appeared to lose traction. Earnhardt Jr. slowed in front of the following car of Martin Truex Jr., and both Junior and Truex slid off the track.
Earnhardt's car hit the inside wall and received significant damage. It hit Truex’s car after bouncing off the wall, causing damage to the right front of No. 56 Toyota.
Both Earnhardt Jr. and Truex will go to backup cars for the 500, and Earnhardt Jr. thus will lose the advantage of winning the pole.
“I really don’t know what was going on there,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “There were guys on the inside who looked like they were going to stay low, but they started creeping up. Jimmie lifted and I got off the gas and guys were coming behind me. We ran up on some guys who didn’t have their heads on straight.”
Now NASCAR reduces size of restrictor plate NASCAR has made a change to the restrictor plate size for Sprint Cup cars at Daytona that will sap the cars of about 2-3 miles an hour in the draft. The new restrictor plate will have holes 57/64ths of an inch in diameter, 1/64th of an inch smaller than what cars had for the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 qualifying last weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
The move was made to slow the cars after Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip posted laps of 206 mph in the Budweiser Shootout Saturday night.
NASCAR already had made a couple of changes to the engine cooling systems to limit drivers’ ability to run several consecutive laps in a two-car draft. The size of the grille opening was reduced and NASCAR is installing a valve on the radiator that will release water when it reaches a temperature of around 240 degrees – as much as 60 degrees cooler than the limit that some drivers saw during the exhibition race Saturday. Those changes are designed to make engines overheat quicker in a two-car draft.
TV Ratings for Bud Shootout & Qualifying The 2011 NASCAR on FOX season got underway this weekend with the Bud Shootout and Daytona Qualifying. The Bud Shootout posted a decline in the overnights (-7%, 3.9/7 vs. 4.2/7) but fast national ratings have already been issued and in those figures the Shootout posted a slight increase over last year. The Bud Shootout earned a 4.5/8 (7.8 million viewers) nationally on Saturday night. That's +2% better than last year's 4.4/8. The Bud Shootout gave FOX an easy win for the night among broadcast networks. FOX's race averaged a 2.4 among Adults 18-49, more than doubling the 0.9 earned by both ABC and CBS. Although the household rating was up, average viewership was down -4% (7.8 mill. vs. 8.2). and ratings were down slightly across the most important demographics, including dips of -7% among Men 18-34 (1.4 vs. 1.5) and -9% among Men 18-49 (2.9 vs. 3.2).
Daytona 500 Qualifying averaged a 1.9/5 on FOX yesterday afternoon, a +19% gain over last year's 1.6/4. In what may be an indication of the season to come, both the Bud Shootout national rating and the Daytona Qualifying overnight were better than last year, but not quite as good as 2009.
Aaron's partners with Don Schumacher Racing Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation’s leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has joined the powerful stable of Don Schumacher Racing partners.
As part of this exciting agreement, Aaron’s will be the primary sponsor of the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman at 12 races and the major associate sponsor for the remaining 10, as well as the primary on the Top Fuel Dragster driven by Antron Brown for three races during the upcoming NHRA Full Throttle season.
How Goodyear came up with the Daytona 500 tire If everything Goodyear learns making tires for NASCAR inspires what it rolls into tires for everyday drivers, Daytona International Speedway may have been its biggest classroom.
While February Daytona Speedweeks marks the “official” beginning of the 2011 NASCAR season, preparation for the new season began in August of 2010 for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR’s three major national series. The first repaved surface at Daytona since 1978 posed a unique challenge to Goodyear as the surface would not be complete prior to the October deadline to begin tire production for the race. Using its years of experience, numerous analytical tests and some innovative thinking, Goodyear produced a tire package that performed well and was positively reviewed by drivers during the December 2010 tire test and January NASCAR open test at Daytona.
NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge set for May 19th The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, a fan-friendly, pit-crew competition featuring the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews, is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will begin at 7:00pm/et and also will air on SPEED at 9:00pm/et that evening. Entering its seventh year, the competition is the signature lead-in event to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday, May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, Sprint has been an integral part of the growth and the development of the event since its inception in 2005. Presenting sponsor Craftsman has been a long-time sponsor in the sport providing reliable tools for NASCAR, auto mechanics and do-it-yourself car enthusiasts.
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Construction Underway
The 37th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to take place April 15-17, took its first step toward the green flag when construction began this morning on Shoreline Drive, the famed racing circuit’s front straightaway.
The construction got underway with an assist from Formula Drift driver Joon Maeng who appeared at the track for a kickoff photo shoot with his Team Bergenholtz Full Tilt Poker Mazda RX-8. Maeng is preparing to contest the upcoming Formula Drift season which gets underway the weekend before the Grand Prix on Turns 9, 10 and 11 of the 1.97-mile circuit in downtown Long Beach.
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