Scott Atherton: Never more confident in the outlook for the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.
American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton wishes he had more fingers.
As he begins to count all the positive and progressive things that have happened during the offseason, he runs out of digits quickly. The toes may be next. As the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n rolls into its 12th season March 20 with the 58th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida in a few weeks, Atherton’s enthusiasm is evident.
“I know that according to the pundits, this season is not supposed to give much indication that things are turning around yet,” Atherton said during Media Day at the Series’ annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway, “but sometimes the pundits are wrong – at least when it comes to the American Le Mans Series.”
Atherton began his address to the media at the annual Sebring Winter Test with an emphasis on the record number cars, 28, attending the test. Later in the evening, he helped introduce Tequila Patr¢n as the presenting sponsor of the world’s leading sports car racing championship.
Video: New McLaren supercar With the MP4-12C's development entering its final phase, McLaren Automotive is releasing a video of the latest Experimental Prototypes (XP) undergoing a series of tests in Spain's Applus IDIADA facility and on public roads near Tarragona. The XP8 and XP10, two XP Beta-phase prototypes are featuring significant technological advancements such as a revised iteration of the M838T twin-turbo engine, a transmission featuring new gear ratios, a more efficient cooling package, a new suspension geometry and an upgraded electrical architecture.
France family moves mouth of NASCAR to Grand-Am Veteran motorsports broadcaster Eli Gold (and one of the best in the business) has added a new title to his long list of accolades - "Voice of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 radio coverage." Gold and Preston Root will call the action live for the Motor Racing Network (MRN) for the remaining 11 races on the 2010 Rolex Series schedule, beginning with the Grand Prix of Miami.
The Grand Prix of Miami, Round 2 of the 2010 season, takes the green flag at 5 p.m. ET Saturday, March 6, and will be broadcast live both on SPEED and on selected MRN affiliates.
Gold has been with MRN since 1976. His NASCAR Live show, heard Tuesdays on more than 475 stations from 7-8 p.m. ET, has been a mainstay of the MRN schedule since 1982. In addition to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Gold has also called action in the World of Outlaws sprint cars, NHRA drag races and IRL IndyCar Series.
Tony George's legacy In 2000, NASCAR raised $558 million in sponsorship revenue and CART $492 million, compared with Indy Racing League’s $143 million, according to Chicago-based IEG Inc., a leading sports marketing analyst. It’s difficult to believe, 10 short years ago, there was $635 million in sponsorship cash coming into open-wheel racing in the USA, almost $60 million more annually than was coming into NASCAR. Be fore the IRL was created CART's annual sponsorship revenue was nearly double that of NASCAR (1995 and prior).
However, the open wheel split, caused by the creation of the IRL, has resulted in open wheel racing today generating under $100 million per year, much of it brought by ride-buying drivers.
This will be, folks, Tony George's legacy. The almost complete destruction of open wheel racing in the USA. And for what?
22 IndyCar drivers testing at BarberUPDATE Car # 78 driver change - Doornbos is out and Simona de-Silvestro is in. This might indicate Robert Doornbos will drive KV Racing Technology's 3rd car at Barber.
02/23/10 These driver/team combinations are preparing for the IRL test at Barber Motorsports Park:
Penske Racing is sporting a different look for the 2010 Indy Racing League season -- not to mention three drivers coming off strong seasons. The team unveiled its new look Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park with its cars painted black with white accents and a little red instead of the red and white of the previous two decades.
The change comes in the first season since 1990 without longtime sponsor Philip Morris USA.
The team will enter three cars for the full season for the first time since 1994. They'll be driven by Brazilian Helio Castroneves and Australians Ryan Briscoe and Will Power.
Verizon Wireless will sponsor Power's No. 12 Dallara/Honda and serve as a secondary sponsor for the No. 3 driven by Castroneves and Briscoe's No. 6.
De Ferran Luczo Dragon to Announce Plans for 2010 IZOD IndyCar Season Gil de Ferran, Jay Penske, Raphael Matos and Davey Hamilton will discuss plans for 2010 IZOD IndyCar Season Wednesday, February 23rd at the Barber Motorsports Park. Look for a 2nd car for at least the Indy 500, perhaps more.
Force India restructures tech dept. The Force India F1 Team today announced a restructure to its technical department ahead of the 2010 season, due to James Key, technical director, leaving the team to pursue new opportunities. Mark Smith, formerly design director, will now become technical director and will assume responsibility for the entire mechanical and aerodynamic design of the team's challengers.
James has been a long-standing member of the team, first joining Jordan Grand Prix in 1998 as a data engineer before progressing to test engineer and later senior race engineer for Takuma Sato. In 2003, James joined the aerodynamic group and was then promoted to head of vehicle science towards the end of that year before becoming technical director in 2005.
Fifth firm to reveal IndyCar 2012 concept next week Three Indianapolis 500 winning designers have joined forces in a bid to become the next IndyCar chassis supplier. The BAT project, named after its three principals, Bruce Ashmore, Alan Mertens and Tim Wardrop, combines not only tremendous experience but also an initiative to rebuild the racecar industry of Indiana.
If it is successful in its bid, the firm will design and build the entire car within a 30-mile radius of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, using American labor.
BAT's initial move was to meet with Indianapolis surgeon, Dr Terry Trammell and IndyCar's Safety and Technical Directors, Jeff Horton and Les Mactaggart. This enabled them to establish the safety features of the design, in particular the cockpit and driver position. The goal has been to combine the safest cockpit available while at the same time positioning the driver in such a way that he can drive the car in a more aggressive fashion.
Krohn Racing continues with Risi Competizione in 2010
Krohn and Risi Ferraris finish side-by-side last year at LeMans
Endurance racing champions, Risi Competizione, will be fielding two Ferrari F430 GTC cars in the hugely competitive GT class of the forthcoming Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, one of which will be for the Krohn Racing driving trio of Tracy W Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Eric van de Poele.
Continuing with an extremely successful endurance racing partnership – now in its fourth year – Krohn Racing will once again be joining with Risi Competizione for the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. In addition to these two races, the distinctively-liveried green and blue #61 car will also be campaigned by Krohn and Jönsson at the 6-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California in May.
Texan Krohn, Georgia-domiciled Swede, Jönsson, and van de Poele of Belgium will, as in 2008 and 2009, be returning to the Houston-based fold in a bid to continue with their successful run of results in the Ferrari F430. The highlights of the last three years include second and third places at the world’s most famous, and grueling, twice-round-the-clock event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a third place finish at the notoriously challenging 12 Hours of Sebring.
Mercedes Formula One chief Nick Fry quits boardUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, So nick Fry has resigned as a board member of the new Mercedes team eh. Well if you didn't see this coming you weren't looking.
He ran the old Honda team into the ground with some of the dumbest marketing schemes ever in F1. Then when Brawn came on board and through a giant sized loop hole stole last year’s championship he continues to do everything in his power to destabilize the team and it's drivers.
Even though many believe Button was a gonner well before the end of the season, it was Fry who berated him in public and called him a traitor. Sending the World Champ hurrying into the arms of McLaren.
How long did anyone think the guys from Stuttgart were going to put up with this guy? So now he has "resigned" as a board member...or was he pushed. And more to the point, how long will we see him on pit wall?
Reading this quote from the Mercedes spokeswomen I'd say he won't be there at season's end.
Cosworth ready for final pre-season F1 test in Barcelona Cosworth was further buoyed by the performance of its CA2010 engine during last week's four-day test session at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain, in spite of the intermittent and often heavy rain that blighted the opening days. This was the third of four official pre-season tests, and followed an encouraging track debut by the Cosworth engine in Valencia and the first Jerez test.
This latest test came to an end last Saturday with three of Cosworth's customer teams accumulating valuable mileage on a dry track. AT&T Williams, Virgin Racing and Lotus Racing were all present in Jerez over the four days with the Lotus-Cosworth T127 making its track debut.
Spyker finalizes purchase of Saab from GM General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today announced that they have finalized the deal for Spyker to purchase Saab Automobile AB.
Going forward, Saab and Spyker will operate under the Spyker (AMS:SPYKR) umbrella, and Spyker will assume responsibility for Saab operations. The previously announced wind down of Saab operations has ended.
Bryan Herta Autosport Signs Sebastian Saavedra, Indy 500 bid Bryan Herta Autosport continues its expansion with owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey today announcing the addition of Colombian rising star Sebastian Saavedra to the team’s 2010 Firestone Indy Lights campaign. Saavedra will join British talent Stefan Wilson, who was named earlier this month. The second-year team also will make its first foray into the IZOD IndyCar Series, fielding an entry for Saavedra in the Indianapolis 500.
“This is a very proud day for Bryan Herta Autosport,” said Herta. “Sebastian and Stefan will make a very formidable driving team and will help to raise our program to the next level. I know they will be pushing us and each other all season long. And to be able to announce our entry into the Indy 500 this year is another step in the plan Steve and I set for the team when it was formed just one year ago. There is much work ahead for us but today we want to take a breath and enjoy this moment. We can’t wait for the season to get started.”
Conquest Racing continues its tradition of progressing the careers of gifted young drivers by signing driver Mario Romancini as a full-time entrant for the Izod IndyCar Series in 2010. The 22-year-old Brazilian rookie will be graduating from the Firestone Indy Lights series where he drove for the RLR/Andersen Racing team.
“We are thrilled to announce we have reached an agreement with Mario for the full year,” said Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart. “He is a young, talented driver who performed exceptionally during his 2009 rookie year in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, with particular excellence on ovals. Mario fits in well with our quest to develop new and promising drivers in the next step of their career. We look forward to helping him advance successfully in the Izod Indy Car Series this season.”
The young rookie, who has proven his ability both domestically and abroad, gained attention from the paddock last season when he claimed four podiums, one pole, and victories at the Milwaukee Mile and Homestead tracks.
2000 Barber Dodge champ fugitive in eBay scam Nilton Rossoni (50) was convicted in October of hauling in $717,000 from more than 5,500 eBay buyers, by creating at least 260 different auction accounts, and using dozens of e-mail addresses with Yahoo, Google and AOL, as well as nearly 60 private postal boxes.
Rossoni engineered the intricate online retail scheme with the help of his son, Nilton Joel Rossoni, 28, according to an indictment. The younger Rossoni is a former Brazilian race car driver who graduated with a business administration degree from the University of Miami in 2007. He is believed to be on the lam in his native Brazil.
From 2003-08, the father auctioned thousands of products, from horse saddles to rotisserie grills, without delivering anything to the winning bidders. Miami Herald
The official Formula Two website spoke to 2009 FIA Formula Two Champion Andy Soucek today (23rd February) following confirmation that the Spaniard has signed with the Virgin F1 team as their official reserve driver for the 2010 season. Andy is currently testing the Williams JPH1B F2 car in Barcelona and the 24-year-old took time out to talk about his F1 future and Formula Two…
Tell us how you feel having achieved a lifelong ambition to reach Formula One.
“It feels great. I couldn’t quite believe it even as I was signing the contract. To have joined a Formula One team and knowing that I could be competing in Grands Prix if I am required is a fantastic feeling. It will be a difficult job, but I know that I will learn a lot in preparation for racing in F1. One of the key aspects that excited me about this project is that I will be heavily involved with the team from the outset. I will get to use the simulator, I will be at every test and Grand Prix, and I will be in every meeting between the drivers and engineers, so I will be a real member of the team.”
Ferrari launches bitter attack on new teams (GMM) Ferrari has launched another bitter attack on formula one's four new teams.
The famous Italian is critical of former FIA president Max Mosley's low-cost vision of the sport, earlier mischievously suggesting the arrival of unknown names had earned the sport the new moniker 'Formula GP3'.
Referring to the two that have made their test track debuts, Virgin and Lotus, Ferrari said in a new and unprecedented attack that they are circulating at "much reduced pace".
Campos, according to Ferrari, has benefitted from a cash injection from a "munificent white knight", even though the Spanish outfit might end up fulfilling "the role of loyal vassal".
Toyota expands acceleration recall Toyota said last night it was expanding an upgrade of brake software that overrides accelerator pedals in emergencies to three additional models, on the eve of two congressional hearings into sudden acceleration in its vehicles.
The Japanese automaker said while the so-called brake override system is “not an integral part” of a recall over floor mats that could trigger sudden acceleration, it was offering the upgrades as an “extra measure of confidence.”
FAZZT Race Team Barber test preview Based on the forecast for lower than normal temperatures in the Birmingham, Alabama area this week, the FAZZT Race Team and driver Alex Tagliani have made the decision to forgo the IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test and instead continue shop based preparations for the season opening IZOD IndyCar Series event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 14. Alex will still participate in the scheduled media day on Tuesday, February 23 at Barber Motorsports Park but the team will not run their #77 B & W FAZZT Race Team entry in the scheduled open test on Wednesday and Thursday.
FAZZT Race Team General Manager Rob Edwards elaborated on the decision saying, "We are in the fortunate position of having had very successful tests at Homestead and Sebring in January. Since those tests, our engineers have continued testing on the seven-post rig, gearbox rig and in the wind tunnel to further develop our race package. Given the inclement weather forecast for Barber over the next few days and after much discussion, we believe the best use of our time is to continue our preparations for Brazil here in Indianapolis."
V12-powered screamer sets pace at Sebring It didn't take long for Adrian Fernandez and Aston Martin Racing to find their comfort zone at Sebring International Raceway. The exquisite Aston Martin-powered Lola coupe was the quickest car on the first day of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n's annual Winter Test at Sebring.
The two-day test in a warm-up for the Series' 2010 opener, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.
The screaming V12-powered Lola-Aston Martin prototype turned a best lap of 1:47.826 (123.532 mph) in the day's first four-hour session. Fernandez, last year's LMP2 winner at Sebring, got his first taste of driving the Aston Martin Racing factory car. He is driving with Harold Primat and Stefan Mücke.
The United Parcel Service team members began the task of unloading their car hauler in the garage area of the Auto Club Speedway. They carefully unloaded the #6 chocolate brown UPS Ford Fusion, entered by Roush Fenway Racing, with driver David Ragan's name on it and then proceeded to unload the literally tons of equipment needed to participate in the Auto Club 500. All of this happened because "Ryder" did his job in a very timely manner.
Dewayne "Ryder" Zirkle is the primary hauler driver for the #6 UPS team. Since 2002 it's been his job to make sure the truck leaves the team's Concord-North Carolina headquarters on time and then makes an even more timely arrival at the next garage area on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' schedule.
This early part of the 2010 season was a little demanding for Zirkle and his race car hauling colleagues. He was in the midst of making NASCAR's annual west coast swing that includes stops in Fontana-California and Las Vegas-Nevada before he gets to see his North Carolina home again.
David Reutimann is one of the NASCAR good guys A NASCAR Sprint Cup driver works off of an extremely difficult schedule. They usually arrive at the next stop of the series' tour on a Thursday morning. In addition to preparing for the race on the following Sunday, there are also frequent obligations such as sponsor commitments, media interviews and fan interaction activities. Very rarely can they walk more than a hundred feet without being stopped by a fan requesting an autograph or a photo.
That's just the way that life works. But you'll never hear these drivers complain. These drivers are all well aware that their lives have been blessed by NASCAR Sprint Cup racing and they are allowed to live their great American dream because of it. The vast majority of these drivers find time in their already tight schedules to share those blessings by participating in community and charitable events. These are the NASCAR good guys.
Virgin announces Soucek The Virgin Racing Formula One team is pleased to announce that it has signed Andy Soucek to the role of Reserve and Test Driver, finalizing the team’s driver line-up for the 2010 season.
The 24 year old Spaniard, winner of the 2009 FIA Formula 2 Championship, will attend Grands Prix with Virgin Racing during its inaugural season, benefiting from being part of the team’s race weekend preparations whilst standing by to deputize for one of the race drivers if required.
Andy will also provide valuable car development support back at the team’s technical base in Bicester, assisting in the ongoing simulator program with race drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi between Grands Prix.
No regrets as Klien settles for Le Mans reserve role
F1 hopes for 'good' weather at final test
Alonso says McLaren debacle was 'good for my career'
Petrov insists he's not 'number two' driver
No 2010 return for Ralf Schumacher
Sauber missing from latest FIA entry list (GMM) Sauber is not yet showing on the FIA's latest 2010 entry list.
The governing body said in December that the Swiss team's application to race this year in the place of the departed Toyota had been "successful".
But in the official season guide, Sauber's name - and those of drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa - are missing.
The apparent anomaly has raised speculation that the reason for the delay is the uncertainty about F1's new (and hopeful) entrants.
By omitting Sauber for now, the entry list features just 12 teams, with the FIA rules allowing a maximum of 13 entrants.
With USF1 admitting that it is not ready to contest as many as the first four races of 2010, the situation could result in the American team dropping out of the sport before a wheel has even turned.
A report in Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the FIA has confirmed talks about the situation are taking place with USF1.
If USF1 does drop out, Sauber - as another existing team with FIA approval - could take USF1's place and its race numbers 22 and 23.
This would leave a new entry slot open for Stefan GP, the Serbian entrant that is pushing hard for approval after taking over the departed Toyota's 2010 package.
Team owner Zoran Stefanovich told Autosport on Monday that the scheduled test debut of the red S-01 at Portimao this week has had to be called off because Bridgestone will only release tires to confirmed entrants.
"We are expecting that the situation will be clarified soon," he said.
"Everybody knows that some teams are facing certain problems, and we are looking to clarify this situation."
Tequila hospitality at last year's Long Beach race
For the third straight year, Tequila Patr¢n will be the title sponsor of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Race at the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-18.
But this year, the company is going one better!
Tequila Patr¢n announced today it will become the Presenting Sponsor for the entire nine-race ALMS Championship for 2010. Aside from Long Beach, America's #1 street race, the ALMS runs at some of America's great racing venues, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Lime Rock Conn., Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake, Wis. and Road Atlanta. The series also includes an August race at Mosport Park in Canada.
Lynn St. James blames media Danica Mania Lyn St. James, former sports car, Champ car and IndyCar Series driver, was Dave Despain’s guest Sunday night on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED. St. James, who runs the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, lent her perspective concerning Danica Patrick’s stock car venture and the challenges women drivers face. Before her foray into professional racing, Patrick participated in St. James’ program two times during her teenage years.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
Despain: Women have been prominent in racing for years … you all convinced me that by now, 2010, there would be so many women not just driving race cars but winning races and winning championships that we wouldn’t even notice this anymore. Clearly, that is not what has happened with the obvious exception of drag racing. You tell me how you feel about the progress in general of women racers.
Genoa is pleased to announce plans to participate in the Barber Open Test, with Richard Kent driving the #36 Traka car. From Milton Keynes, England, Kent has competed throughout Europe and the United States in Formula Palmer Audi and Star Mazda. Making his mark in Star Mazda, he scored 3 race wins, 5 pole positions, 4 podiums, and 9 top 10 finishes.
“After our success in Star Mazda, we are keen to move up to Lights. I am confident that I’m ready to take the next step, winning races and competing for the championship in the Indy Lights Series. I had a good test with another team, but I really feel that Genoa has the expertise to not only compete on the race track, but also the marketing expertise to promote myself and my sponsors to the next level – IndyCar. The 36 car looks great, and we’re definitely ready to go at Barber. I can’t wait!”
Team President Mark Olson states:
“We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to work with Richard. From his earlier tests, he has demonstrated the ability to be on the pace right out of the box. For the Open Test at Barber, we’ve got an aggressive test plan to work through, and we’re looking forward to getting the most out of the track time.”
Genoa has enjoyed tremendous success in International Formula 3000, Atlantic, Indy Lights and IndyCar competition. In over 240 formula car starts, its heritage includes a championship, 17 victories, 20 poles, and a front-row starting position at the 1998 Indianapolis 500. Some of Genoa’s past drivers include Ivan Capelli, Juan Manuel Fangio Jr., Thiago Medeiros, Jimmy Vasser and Greg Ray.
Genoa will tweet and facebook live updates from pit road at the Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park.
Delta Wing generating mainstream news - MSN.com This article appeared on MSN.com about the Delta Wing concept. No matter what happens with this concept, it is creating buzz. Even negative buzz gets the juices flowing and creates awareness, which the sport can certainly use.
Stefan GP cancels test Formula 1 hopefuls Stefan Grand Prix have been forced to call off a test in Portugal this week after failing to secure a tire supply from Bridgestone. The Serbian outfit hopes to race with Jacques Villeneuve and Kazuki Nakajima this season as US F1 continues to struggle with its preparations.
Stefanovic hopes to compete with 2009 Toyota chassis
With the American team having questioned F1 governing body the FIA about skipping races whilst Stefan continues to develop its car after purchasing key components from Toyota at the end of last year, the Belgrade-based team has already said that it plans to run its contender over the course of the season, should it not secure a place on the starting grid.
However, although the Stefan 01 chassis is ready, a test at Portimão has been cancelled as no tires are available. "We cannot do the test at the moment and we are still trying to find a solution," team owner Zoran Stefanovic explained to Autosport, with Bridgestone permitted to supply only those teams which are entered for this year's championship.
Formula 1's sole tire supplier can provide only those teams signed up for the 2010 campaign "We have no tires and will not test on tires that are not suitable for the car to go testing at full speed. We now need to see what our options are - but we definitely need to do something to sort this situation out."
Stefanovic added that his team awaits further news on the US F1 situation and reiterated that ex Williams racer Nakajima and 1997 Champion Villeneuve are likely to shape the squad's line-up, should it be racing in 2010.
"We have already agreed terms with Nakajima and we expect to conclude a deal with Villeneuve," the businessman continued. "We think it is a good decision for us and it makes sense for him." GPUpdate.net
Mutoh to Newman Haas team Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) announced today that Japanese driver Hideki Mutoh, 27, will join the team for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season and pilot the No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic Dallara-Honda-Firestone entry. It will be the third full season of Indy car competition for Mutoh, who earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2008.
"Hideki has shown he is able to adapt quickly to new challenges by finishing second overall in the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2007 when he competed on an oval for the first time,” said Carl Haas on behalf of the team. “The 2008 battle for the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in the newly-unified series was very close with Hideki emerging as the winner. In his two years in the IndyCar Series he has earned several podium finishes and we are looking forward to adding more."
Mutoh is a graduate of Honda’s driver development program, Honda Formula Dream Project, and progressed through various ladder series in Japan and Europe before he came to the United States in 2007 to compete for Super Aguri Panther Racing in the Firestone Indy Lights series where he finished second to champion Alex Lloyd. He made his IndyCar Series debut at the 2007 season-finale at Chicagoland Speedway for Super Aguri Panther Racing and moved to Andretti Green Racing for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
“Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has always been known for their success and I am proud to add my name to all of those who have driven for the team before me,” said Mutoh, who was born in Tokyo and resides in downtown Chicago, near the NHLR base in Lincolnshire. “I started watching Indy car racing when Nigel Mansell came to race in the United States from Formula One so I am happy to be racing for the same team he raced for. I already have taken my picture with his race car that is in the lobby of the team’s race shop. I’m looking forward to starting the season.”
Mutoh’s first full season of IndyCar Series competition in 2008 saw him earn Rookie of the Year honors and a 10th place season-ending rank during the first season of the reunification of open wheel racing. In 2008, he also earned his best series start to date of third place at Nashville Speedway and best finish to date of second place at Iowa Speedway. In 2009, he finished 11th overall in series standings and his best start of fifth place came at Infineon Raceway while his best finish of third came at Iowa Speedway.
Peugeot Sport confirmed Monday its entry to the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida with two diesel-powered factory Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs. It will mark the third straight year that Peugeot has contested the Sebring classic in central Florida.
Peugeot finished as runner-up in 2009’s classic duel with Audi Sport, just 22 seconds behind the winning Audi R15 TDI. The French manufacturer went on to win at Le Mans for the first time since 1993 and then at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans.
Anthony Davidson, Marc Gené and Alexander Wurz – the latter two drivers part of the winning Peugeot with David Brabham at Le Mans last year – will share one Peugeot 908 at Sebring. Sebastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Nic Minassian will drive the second car.
Additionally, Patr¢n Highcroft Racing star Simon Pagenaud was confirmed to the factory squad for Le Mans. He will drive with Bourdais and Lamy.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED.
You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes) and on our Facebook page and the official YouTube channel.
Newman-Wachs Racing moves to GrandAm MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development today announced that 2009 Atlantic Championship winner John Edwards will team with 2009 Star Mazda Championship winner Adam Christodoulou in a SpeedSource-prepared Mazda RX-8 in the Grand-Am GT class, starting with next weekend’s Homestead Grand Prix. This will be the first time either young driver has raced a Grand-Am GT car, and is the start of a full-season program where the two will hone their skills in an unfamiliar form of racing, with the intention of helping Mazda win the 2010 Grand-Am GT class manufacturers’ championship.
The RX-8 will be entered by SpeedSource/Newman Wachs Racing. Edwards won the 2009 Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda title with NWR, and the car will carry sponsorship from Entergy and the Nuclear Energy Industry (NEI). NEI’s objective is to ensure the formation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies around the world. Entergy is the second largest owner and operator of U.S. nuclear energy plants. They operate 11 nuclear power plants in the NE region and SE.
MRN and Pay the Fan partner for new fantasy racing league Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Pay the Fan have partnered together to offer fans an opportunity to win $50,000 as well as other cash prizes in a unique fantasy racing challenge. Entry is free with the purchase of a ticket to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at participating International Speedway Corporation racing venues or $19.95 per team.
By participating in the action, fans can set up their own leagues to compete against friends and MRN on-air personalities, and earn up to $132,500 in cash prizes. After the 26th race of the season, the four lowest scores will be dropped so fans can still register and compete for the $50,000 prize up until the start of the 5th race of the season.
“We’re thrilled to offer this exciting opportunity to our race fans,” said MRN President David Hyatt. “Our partners at Pay the Fan have developed this unique offer for our fans, and we look forward to rewarding a lucky winner with the $50,000 top prize.”
To get involved in the fantasy racing action, log on to motorracingnetwork.com and click on the fantasy racing tab. Gamers will also find the most in depth driver statistics for racing on the website to help them decide which drivers to start each week. Get on the network, get in the race and let motorracingnetwork.com be your one stop shop for fantasy racing.
MRN Radio is the primary source for NASCAR stock car racing and related radio programming. Their award-winning play-by-play coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series is delivered via satellite to more than 600 radio stations nationwide.
MRN Radio is the largest independent sport radio network in America. For more information on MRN Radio, visit www.motorracingnetwork.com . MRN Radio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities, currently promoting more than 100 racing events annually, as well as numerous other motorsports-related activities. For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.internationalspeedwaycorporation.com .
Pay the Fan is a fantasy sports website that provides the best fantasy players a place to compete for the biggest cash prizes in the industry. Launched in 2007 by CHSG Partners, Pay the Fan is hosting a full season stock car competition, a 10 week chase competition and fantasy football competition. All competitions are "Total Points" competitions. Pay the Fan has paid out $3 million dollars to their fantasy winners since December 2007. Pay the Fan’s goal is to provide fun and engaging fantasy competitions where fantasy players can get “Paid like the Pros.”
KV Racing Technology announced today that IndyCar Series veteran E. J. Viso will join the team for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Viso will drive the #8 KVRT entry supported by PDVSA, Herbalife, CANTV, SBA Airlines and team partner Plantronics.
“We are very excited to have E. J. join our driver line-up for 2010,” said General Manager Mark Johnson. "We have been in talks with E. J. for quite some time now and successfully tested him at Sebring. Over the last two seasons he has impressed both Jimmy (KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser) and I with his race craft and growth as a driver. E. J. brings IndyCar and oval experience to our team, which will be extremely valuable as we progress through the season. I would also like to welcome commercial partners PDVSA, Herbalife, CANTV and SBA Airlines to the KVRT organization. We look forward to working with all of them.”
Commenting on the announcement Viso said, “I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser, Mark Johnson and my valued partners PDVSA, Herbalife, CANTV and SBA Airlines for making it possible for me to race with KV Racing Technology this season. As I have said before KVRT is an outstanding team and I think joining them is the best thing for my racing career right now. I believe the structure KVRT has in place will provide for a very productive 2010 season.”
Viso, 24, spent the last two IndyCar Series seasons competing for HVM Racing. His best finish is a fourth at St. Petersburg in just his second IndyCar race. He also led his first career IndyCar Series laps at St. Petersburg (12).
Viso joins Takuma Sato, who signed with the team last week, in a two-car effort for KVRT during the 2010 IndyCar Series season.
Racing this week on ESPN The NASCAR Nationwide Series races for 300 miles Saturday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ESPN2 will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the third event of the 2010 season. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with select races airing on ESPN and ABC.
NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs Saturday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. ET. The race telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com and starts at 4:30 p.m. with the green flag at 4:46 p.m. Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN2’s race coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Evernham, Craven, McGee on NASCAR Now Roundtable
NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven and ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, March 1, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Nicole Briscoe hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Thursday of this week at 5 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m. Briscoe also hosts the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mike Massaro and Marty Smith will report from the speedway. .
NASCAR Now is hosted by Massaro, Bestwick and Manske and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include reporters Marty Smith, Shannon Spake and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Marty Reid, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.
NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Action on ESPN2
Drag racing fans can watch an hour of action featuring the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 10 a.m. on ESPN2. The program will include highlights of the Sportsman cars and drivers from the recent event at Auto Club of Southern California Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Yancey's Fancy joins ALMS sponsor stable The American Le Mans Series today announced at its Sebring Winter Test that Yancey’s Fancy has become the official cheese of the world’s premier professional sports car circuit. The largest producer of cheese curd on the East Coast will partner with the Series for activation opportunities that will include special events, at-track presence and promotions that will include the introduction of new and exciting brands.
“We are very excited to establish this partnership with the American Le Mans Series,” said Mike Wimble, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Yancey’s Fancy. “Yancey’s Fancy is New York’s Artisan Cheese and our brand has been built on exciting flavor profiles that are always on the cutting edge of the industry. We look forward to sharing in the innovation and success of the American Le Mans Series both on and off the track in 2010.”
Yancey’s Fancy activation plans include using the American Le Mans Series logo on signage at promotional events nationwide, with point-of-sale opportunities in sales promotions with customers in existing Series’ race markets, for regional and national tasting events and on select Yancey’s merchandise, the corporate website, and press releases.
Located in Pembroke, NY, Yancey’s Fancy has been manufacturing fine artisan cheese since 1947. With more than 70 years of experience and a long-standing tradition of excellence, Yancey’s Fancy specializes in New York State aged cheddar, flavored sharp cheddar like Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce TM , Aged Cheddar with Horseradish, Roasted Garlic, as well as traditional Euro-style wheel cheeses.
“It continues to be gratifying that non-endemic corporations understand that the American Le Mans Series offers a unique opportunity and return on investment,” said Scott Atherton, Series President and CEO. “The ability to activate and offer Yancey’s Fancy brands to our constituents and fans who not only demonstrate an intense loyalty to the Series but represent an extremely favorable audience for our new partner creates a perfect scenario for both parties.”
The American Le Mans Series, based in Braselton, GA, opens its season March 20 with the 58th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, America’s oldest and most revered sports car race.
Recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing because of its unique use of alternative fuels and energy sources, the American Le Mans Series operates in the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with multiple classes of cars, Prototype and Grand Touring, racing on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. More automobile manufacturers and marques are involved with the American Le Mans Series than any other major race series in the world as they develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. It operates a nine-race schedule in top markets throughout North America.
ALMS, Intersport partner for CBS Sports programs The American Le Mans Series is taking its television platform to the next level by way of an agreement with Emmy Award-winning Chicago based Intersport which will serve as the production partner for the Series’ two CBS Sports broadcasts in 2010. The Chicago-based media and marketing giant gives the American Le Mans Series a premium partner for two of its showcase events in 2010.
Working alongside the American Le Mans Series, Intersport will use its creative and innovative approach to create two 90-minute ‘docu-drama / lifestyle / feature type’ television programs based on Series’ events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August. Coupled with track action, interviews and other timely content from each race, Intersport will inject revealing, behind-the-scenes look at the American Le Mans Series as well as explaining the science, technology and a historical perspective of road racing.
“This is admittedly a very bold step for us to take, but I believe it also represents a tremendous opportunity for the American Le Mans Series and all our stakeholders,” said Scott Atherton, President & CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “Intersport has established a reputation for creating innovative media content that gets results. It also has set the benchmark for creativity in generating a ‘buzz’ around its projects that makes people want to watch. We could not be more pleased to be working with them on these new television and social media initiatives.”
Intersport is a name familiar to fans of the American Le Mans Series and sports car racing around the world. It produced the highly acclaimed “Truth in 24” documentary in 2008, an award-winning film that chronicled Audi Sport’s quest for a fifth consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Intersport also created a ‘Road to Daytona’ special for Fox in 2009. A seven-time Emmy Award winner, Intersport is the only producer delivering original sports content to all major broadcast networks as well as major cable outlets with recent projects including NCAA basketball and football, NFL, NASCAR, Kirk Herbstreit’s Varsity Football Series, USOC, professional golf and many others as one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment producers.
The production of online content and social media is a priority for both organizations, and Intersport is an industry leader in the area. Starting at the Winter Test, Intersport will be gathering footage for use across the Series’ video and social platforms before, during and after its two CBS shows in the summer.
“We are thrilled to help tell the unique story of the American Le Mans Series. As we go behind the scenes finding the best stories, we will showcase the talented teams, technological advances and personalities found in the series, while keeping an eye on introducing new fans to this exciting style of racing,” said Scot Thor, Senior Vice President-Programming at Intersport.
Intersport’s competitive advantage is the combination of its full-scale production division and its renowned event marketing and corporate hospitality group. This unique blend of media and event marketing expertise allows Intersport clients to reach a mass audience through original TV and digital media, provide intimate consumer interaction through event marketing, and use corporate hospitality as the ultimate entertainment vehicle.
“Let’s face it, all aspects of television as we’ve known it are changing rapidly,” Atherton said. “And we believe that taking a status-quo approach and expecting a better result isn’t going to work. We recognize the inherent risks of what we are doing with these CBS network broadcasts but, more importantly, we also believe there is an opportunity to deliver unprecedented entertainment to our fans and value to our teams and corporate partners.”
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED.
You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes) and on our Facebook page and the official YouTube channel
Comments from Rebellion Racing on Andretti's addition to the team for LeMans:
American Marco Andretti will drive alongside Frenchman Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani from Switzerland in the #12 Lola-Rebellion LMP1 during the legendary Le Mans race. The son of Michael Andretti and grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti will have his first drive in the Lola-Rebellion when he joins the team during the official Le Mans Series test days at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track on 7th and 8th March.
With their highly talented driver squads, mixing strong experience of the Le Mans race and young guns, the Swiss team is, once again, demonstrating its ambition for success in la Sarthe.
Team Manager, Bart Hayden, welcomed Marco to the team, "we believe that Marco will fit perfectly with his two co-drivers in the #12 Lola-Rebellion. He has shown that he has the ability to compete at the highest level of motorsport. All three drivers in the #12 car raced at the same time in the A1GP series so they know each other from those days. When we get to Le Mans, Marco will be able to draw on the experience of the rest of the guys in the team and we are looking forward to seeing him in the car at the Paul Ricard test in March."
Rebellion Lola testing in Portugal this week
Today Alexandre Pesci confirmed that Marco Andretti will join Rebellion Racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as the official test days at Paul Ricard. Pesci announced signing the American driver during the ‘Motors’ radio show of French broadcaster RMC. After his father and grandfather took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans years ago, Marco Andretti will make his debut in France in June, just over two years after making his sportscar debut with the Andretti Green Racing Acura in the 2008 American Le Mans Series.
Anthony Davidson joins Peugeot for LeMans Anthony Davidson will be one third of Peugeot's Le Mans line-up as the French manufacturer attempts to defend its title in the coveted race once again the year. The Englishman, Formula 1 commentator for BBC Radio 5 live, will share the drive with fellow ex F1 racers Alexander Wurz and Marc Gené. GPUpdate.net
Quotes from Eddie Gossage on Randy Bernard and their 3 hour dinner "I had a three-hour dinner this week with Randy Bernard, the new CEO of the Indy Racing League. Since it was just the two of us, it was great to talk uninterrupted.
The guy is a sponge. He barely said hello before launching into a series of questions. The IRL has some big decisions facing it with regards to chassis and engine agreements. He is trying to learn as much as he can about the sport, the people in the sport, the IRL staff and more. Quickly.
My sense is this is a very good hire. Bernard served as CEO of the Professional Bull Rider's Tour. The PBR has rocketed from infancy to huge success over the last 15 years under Bernard's direction.
One thing I did learn is that Bernard is a promoter. That's his first instinct. The IRL racing product is quite good (especially since changes were made before last August's Kentucky race). What it needs is a promoter to market the product to the mainstream and help build the names of its stars. That person also needs to be able to juggle the needs of fans, teams, sponsors, promoters, media and the rest.
Bernard has experience in both. He has a flair for colorful promotion. Go to a PBR event and see the production, pyro, spotlights, sound and more to realize he can build an event to a crescendo. He, too, had to balance the needs of fans, bull riders, stock contractors, sponsors and more.
He's experienced in both. I look forward to helping him."
Eurointernational is pleased to announce the participation in the 2010 Italian Formula 3 Championship with American driver Gabby Chaves and the Mygale M-10 FPT chassis.
Gabby Chaves, 16, won the 2009 Formula BMW Americas Championship with Eurointernational and will debut with the Italian Team in the F3 Italia Championship. “ It is very important for me” said Gabby Chaves” enter the Italian F3 Championship with Eurointernational. In the 2009 Formula BMW Americas Championship I have been always on the podium with Eurointernational, winning 5 races and the Title, with all Formula BMW tracks records in the Americas series. The F3 Italia is a very difficult championship and I will run on new tracks, but my Eurointernational run only for win and has a technical structure with great experience. I know very well the Team and the engineers have shared with me all 2009 season. I want to thank my Sponsors, my Family and Antonio Ferrari for allowing to race in the F3 Italia championship.”
Meyrick joins Dyson for Sebring and LeMans British racer Andy Meyrick will be joining Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the No. 16 LMP2 Mazda Lola Coupe for the three 2010 American Le Mans Series long-distance races. Starting with the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 20, Meyrick will also partner in the six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patr¢n on May 22nd, the season-closing 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans on October 2 and may join the team at additional tests throughout the season.
Reigning Formul’Academy Euro Series Champion Benjamin Bailly has become the latest driver to enter the FIA Formula Two Championship for 2010.
Since making his karting debut in 2004, 19-year-old Bailly has cut a rapid ascent through the motorsport ranks. He finished third in the French Elite Championship in 2006, and claimed fifth overall in the premier Formula A World Karting Championship the following year.
Bailly enjoyed his most successful season to date in 2009, where a superb campaign saw him claim the overall Formul’Academy Euro Series championship with six wins, five podiums and three pole positions from the 14 races. He took victory in the second race in his debut weekend at Valencia and his run to the title also included a win in Oschersleben and a double victory at Monza – all circuits that F2 will visit in 2010.
NASCAR confiscates the #66 car When Dave Blaney headed to the garage in his #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota after 43 laps [at Auto Club Speedway], NASCAR officials were waiting. Three laps earlier, #55-Michael McDowell drove the other Prism Motorsports car to the garage. The final race report concluded that both cars had engine failures. So why did the sanctioning body confiscate the #66 car? "Because they can," said Bill Henderson, crew chief of the #66 team and general manager for Prism Motorsports.
Henderson, who has just two cars for the team, was told the car will not be returned until next Saturday - long after qualifying is over. However, the primary car has the basics of racing - swaybar, shocks and springs - that the team simply can't afford to duplicate on the backup car. Without those necessities, Henderson will not be able to race. Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said he hopes to perform the inspection at Las Vegas in order to return the car to the team in a timely fashion, but that's hardly a guarantee.
Which begs the question: Is NASCAR attempting to send the message to "start and park" teams -those that enter a race primarily to collect a check and don't always try to finish - not to stink up their show? Prism Motorsports wasn't the only team that ended their day prematurely Sunday at Fontana.
Looks like the bubble has burst....UPDATE Despite the half empty grandstands at the Auto Club 500 Sunday, track president Gillian Zucker believes Auto Club Speedway deserves to keep two annual Sprint Cup events.
Sparse crowd Sunday
CIA Stock Photo
"There are facilities that are smaller than ours," Zucker said. "All tracks are not equal. If you're at a track that holds 50,000 people and sells out, is that better than a track that holds 92,000 [at ACS] and is growing? I don't think it is.
"I can also tell you we will be fighting tooth and nail to keep both our events. I believe they belong here."
The estimated crowd Sunday was 55,000, down from last year's February event of more than 60,000. ACS has not sold out any of its Cup races since going to two events a year in 2004.
"The crowd count was about flat, maybe a little off," Zucker said. "But considering the economy in this part of the country, I think that says something. It's been hard-hit here. People are struggling." ESPN.com
02/21/10 We have never seen the amount of empty seats at Fontana for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race as we see today. After NASCAR's popularity has dropped the past several years it appears to be continuing in 2010. Looks like the bubble has burst...
Grosjean lost seat due to mid-season mistake - Petrov
Petrov says Campos, Sauber were 2010 options
More negative headlines for Flavio Briatore
Indonesia not ready for grand prix bid - Todt
Too early to say Ferrari in front - Vettel
Teixeira considers lawsuit after Campos deal
News about Lopez's F1 future expected Monday
New Campos bosses tell Senna his seat is safe (GMM) Bruno Senna met with the new bosses of the Campos team on Sunday.
Under the former leadership of Adrian Campos, the nephew of the great Ayrton Senna was signed by the Spanish based team late last year.
But as the rescue takeover by Jose Ramon Carabante and new team principal Colin Kolles was announced, it was said the 2010 driver lineup would be confirmed in "due course".
It raised speculation that Senna, 26, might be dropped in favor of drivers who can bring more direct funding.
Jose Maria Lopez, the well-funded Argentine driver whose 2010 employer USF1 is not ready to contest the first four races of the season, and Indian Karun Chandhok have been linked with Campos under the team's new leadership.
Brazil's Globo reports that Brazilian Senna met to discuss the situation with Carabante and Kolles on Carabante's yacht in Alicante.
They reportedly told the 2008 GP2 runner-up that he will not be asked to obtain more sponsors in order to safeguard his race seat, although additional funding "would be welcome".
Quotes of the Week "Danica, do you think these commercials are going too far, getting too hot?" an attractive female reporter asked Danica Patrick after the Nationwide race Saturday. "That depends," Patrick cooed. "What is your definition of too hot?" Just then, a veteran NASCAR reporter blurted out: "Apparently not you on this racetrack, Danica."
“It kind of sucks when that happens, but it made the race a little more interesting and everyone on this Target keeps doing an amazing job. We've got good race cars. Things like that will happen; it's racing. Well, put it the other way around: I could have wrecked in Daytona and finished 10th here. It is what it is; it's racing." Juan Pablo Montoya when the engine on his No. 42 Chevrolet blew up along the frontstretch
Fan dies at NHRA raceUPDATE A woman attending Sunday's Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway died after being struck by a tire from Antron Brown's NHRA Top Fuel dragster. The unidentified female was transported by helicopter to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
"You could see the tire flip and he started flipping over," Ron Derosett said. "He hit the wall."
Video taken at the event shows the car's left rear wheel break away as the car careens out of control.
Amazingly, Brown was not harmed in the crash.
While cameras stay on the car continuing down the track, the wheel that broke free bounced over several barriers and hit the woman.
Witnesses say she was in a mobility scooter, near a mobile home not even watching the racing.
"I saw the car on the rail, the tire fly off, the explosion," Shannon Jimenez described. "It was something that...Oh my God, I almost cried."
Fan can win the ultimate Sebring hot lap Less than a week remains for Sebring fans to register to win the ultimate on-track experience during the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. A hot lap around the Sebring circuit with five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell is now up for auction on ebay from now until February 27th.
Bell, a member of the Sebring Hall of Fame, will drive a Lola T70 at speed with the high-bidder riding along (lap will take place Saturday morning, March 20th, exact time to be determined). The winning bidder will also receive two four-day Sebring Supertickets, an invitation to Friday's Hall of Fame cocktail party, and a souvenir program.
Bidding closes at 7:07 pm EST on Saturday, February 27. The winner must wear a helmet and driver suit (provided).
Mayfield's files motion to move case There's a lot of politicking going on in Jeremy Mayfield's case against NASCAR and both sides recently filed court documents hoping to sway the judge on an upcoming decision that could be pivotal. Included in those documents is a motion by Mayfield's side to move the case back to state court and for NASCAR to pay for Mayfield's attorney fees that were related to this issue alone. Based on court documents, Mayfield's attorney fees were listed at nearly $70,000 on just this issue. NASCAR filed paperwork that the case remain in federal court. Remember that Mayfield's former attorney, Bill Diehl, filed a lawsuit in November claiming that Mayfield owed Diehl's law firm at least $371,973.66, plus attorney fees, interest and late charges. Diehl's firm represented Mayfield from May until October when Mayfield hired attorney Mark Geragos.
Earlier this month, an evidentiary hearing was held in U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen's court room. At issue is where is NASCAR Chairman Brian France's residence. Judge Mullen has not yet issued his decision. For this case (remember this is about Mayfield challenging NASCAR over a failed drug test) to be in federal court, both parties have to be from different states. Mayfield claims residency in North Carolina and France claimed it in Florida. In the motion on behalf of Mayfield, his side said that along with the case being moved back to state court, NASCAR should pay Mayfield's just costs and actual expenses, including attorney fees as a result of Defendant's removal ... i.e. what it cost Mayfield in attorney fees and such in fighting this issue (this is not for the total in attorney fees Mayfield has racked up). Virginian Pilot
GM's Whitacre in line to get $9M salary package General Motors Co. Chief Executive Ed Whitacre Jr. is in line to get a $9 million pay package and the automaker, in a surprise move, rehired former CEO Fritz Henderson as a $60,000-a-month consultant.
Whitacre, who took over as acting CEO Dec. 1 after Henderson was pushed out, will receive cash salary of $1.7 million annually, retroactive to Jan. 1, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The pay package has been approved "in principle" by the U.S. Treasury's pay czar, Ken Feinberg, but he could still opt to reduce it. The compensation must have Treasury's support because the government has to endorse pay for the 25 highest-paid executives of companies that received significant federal aid.
Daytona starts fixing race trackUPDATE North American Testing Corporation, is the construction and design division of International Speedway Corporation, hence the France company has hired the same company (they own) to patch the track surface that came unraveled during the Daytona 500 that failed to recognize that it's time to repave the Daytona Speedway after 32 years. 32 years is way past the life expectancy of an asphalt overlay under such loads as 3200 pound race cars exhibit.
02/18/10 Daytona International Speedway has begun installing reinforced concrete in Turn 2, track president Robin Braig said Thursday, a temporary solution to repair the pothole that caused two stoppages totaling more than two hours in Sunday's Daytona 500. After a team of engineers and asphalt specialists from North American Testing Corporation conducted a thorough examination of the damage, track officials decided to repair the damaged portion of Turn 2 as an immediate first step. Tests are also being conducted on the entire track. "This is the correct course of action to repair the track," Braig said in a statement. "Our team of engineers and asphalt specialists with North American Testing Corporation has previous experience with concrete being used on an asphalt track and it is a proven solution." The damaged area is along the 31 degrees of banking in Turn 2, making the utilization of concrete the best solution. Repairs will take about two days to complete, followed by several days of cure time, according to Braig. The engineering team concluded that a combination of unusually cold and wet weather exacerbated by race cars bottoming out in that section of the track contributed to the breakdown of the pavement during Sunday's race. International Speedway Corporation tentatively has scheduled a $20 million project to repave the entire track in 2012. Spokesman Lenny Santiago said whether that time frame will be moved up depends on the recommendation from NATC. Daytona hasn't been repaved since 1977. It has been battered by numerous elements, including a flood last year after 17 inches of water were dumped on the area. ESPN/AP
Once again, Goodyears tire problems They give American manufacturing quality a bad name pretty much every race. After 4-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had tire problems at Daytona that saw his tires wear right through to the chord, Goodyear officials took 23 unused tires from the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series garages that showed signs of thin tread at Auto Club Speedway.
After Sprint Cup practice Friday, Goodyear officials saw three tires with a small patch of localized, rapid tread wear. They then asked Goodyear technicians in Akron, Ohio, to re-examine the X-rays of the 2,000 right-side tires that were brought to the track with a more thorough look at the area where those other tires had shown the thin tread, Goodyear global racing tire manager Stu Grant said Saturday. The X-rays are originally done so technicians can look for foreign particles or other abnormalities in the tires after they come off the production line.
NASCAR's biggest star, Danica Patrick. The NASCAR fans and media worship her
"Thanks guys," NASCAR's biggest star Danica Patrick radioed after completing 152 laps on the 2-mile oval. "Sorry I sucked today. But I'll figure it out."
After parking her Chevrolet in the pits and walking briskly to the garage, Patrick cooled down with a 20-minute debriefing (and likely a quasi-pep talk) with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. inside the JR Motorsports hauler.
"I'm a competitor, and I'm used to running up front, so it's shocking when you go that far back," she said. "You know what? This is a whole new ball of wax for me, and it's all different. I have to disconnect from the results for quite some time because they're probably not going to be what I'm used to."
Logano wins pole as NASCAR's biggest star languishes in 36th
Joey Logano is on the pole for the Nationwide race at Fontana while NASCAR's biggest star, Danica Patrick, will start 36th.
Patrick's lap of 172.990 mph actually was 39th fastest in time trials and nearly 9 mph slower than what put Logano on the pole. He'll be joined by Joe Gibbs teammate Kyle Busch on the front row, with Brian Scott and Carl Edwards behind them in Row 2.
Big crowd gathers for final Jerez test day (GMM) Until a few spots of rain worried a few faces on the pitwall, the F1 circus was enjoying a second consecutive day of fully dry conditions on the last day of the winter's penultimate test session.
With Fernando Alonso in action for Ferrari, the arrival of the weekend, and the mainly blue skies, a big crowd gathered at the Jerez circuit on Saturday, scene of eight days of recent group testing.
In similar conditions, Friday's fastest was Mark Webber, whose Red Bull was nearly a full second quicker than Alonso and the rest of the field.
The Australian played down the feat.
"In Malaysia (for the third race) we will not be talking about the second test in Jerez," said Webber.
NASCAR again goes ga-ga over Danica - Expands TV coverage Saturday NASCAR TV starts on SPEED at 12PM ET to cover Danica Patrick's every move in Fontana. Maybe their TV cameras will follow her to her rest room breaks too. Coverage continues until 5PM on ESPN2 as the most popular star in the history of NASCAR rubs fenders with the big boys.
NASCAR TV ratings savior Danica Patrick's lessons continued Friday as she struggled to feel comfortable in her car during two practice sessions. The difference between Daytona and Fontana is that at Daytona it takes very little talent, being a 100% throttle track if you have good HP the car pretty much drives itself. At Fontana you have to actually drive the car.
It does not matter if she is slow or not, as Americas most popular driver, and a hero to many aspiring young drivers, she is sure to boost TV ratings for the race.
Patrick was 37th (among 44 cars) in the first practice session and 27th of 49 cars in the final practice session.
"The tough thing for me is I don't know how it's supposed to feel," Patrick said. "Until the car is right, I can't have an expectation level. I'm just like, 'hmm, do I deal with this, do I not? I don't like this. Maybe it has to be like that. Maybe I always have to drive around this issue.' So I really don't have any of those answers at this point. It just takes time."
Maassen returns with Cytosport Muscle Milk Team Cytosport will again add German ace and Porsche expert Sascha Maassen to its American Le Mans Series driving squad for the major endurance races in 2010.
Maassen, who finished on the podium with Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf last season at Petit Le Mans, will once again be partnered with the duo, this time for three races, starting with the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida in March.
After taking part in the team's first running of the 12-hour race, Maassen will return behind the wheel of the Michelin-shod No. 6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder for the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans rounds of the 2010 season.
Popular Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 Hungness yearbooks on sale now A wide variety of popular Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 yearbooks is available now at the IMS Online Store and IMS Hall of Fame Museum Gift Shop, giving fans an in-depth, colorful look back at some of the great races in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history.
The yearbooks, published by Carl Hungness from 1973-97, feature a complete recap of that year's race, colorful pictures and detailed historical information about the complete history of the event to that date. Each book also features a detailed cover portrait of major personalities from that year's race, including the winner.
Soft-cover editions of each yearbook cost $10, hard-cover editions $20. Books can be purchased in the Media section of the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 areas of the IMS Online Store at store.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum Gift Shop.
Indianapolis 500 Yearbooks are available from 1969-72 (one book) and each year from 1974 through 1997. Brickyard 400 Yearbooks are available from 1994 and 1995.
Spinning the plummeting Daytona TV ratings The one benefit of two lengthy track repair delays during last week's Daytona 500 was the unique opportunity for Fox to conduct interviews with an unprecedented 27 of the 43 drivers, and 10 crew chiefs. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. - which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast since the mid-1980s - by the time Fox signed off Sunday night from Daytona, a total of 46 separate driver interviews had been conducted, lasting a cumulative 46 minutes, 48 seconds (46:48).
Never far from the attention of the Fox crew, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s three interview segments ran for a total of 4:53 to lead all drivers. As a result, Earnhardt's primary sponsor AMP Energy accumulated the most verbal mentions during the telecast with 10. When comparing the verbal exposure to the cost of a 30-second commercial during the Great American Race, AMP Energy collected nearly $1.7 million of exposure value. Earnhardt's sponsor was also mentioned on four occasions during MRN's national radio broadcast of the Daytona 500, good for another $26,000 of exposure value.
Bruton Smith sues Wayne Newton Las Vegas Motor Speedway executive O. Bruton Smith is suing singer Wayne Newton, charging Newton is delinquent on a $3.35 million loan and seeking to foreclose on Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah ranch in Las Vegas.
The lawsuit was filed in Clark County District in Las Vegas Feb. 9 by Smith, chairman and chief executive of Speedway Motorsports Inc., against Newton, his wife, Kathleen McCrone Newton, Newton company Desert Eagle LLC and a Newton Living Trust dated Dec. 19, 2001.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Mark Ferrario and Brandon Roos of the Las Vegas office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig on behalf of Smith, whose company based in Concord, N.C., owns tracks around the country for NASCAR and other races.
Whilst his Red Bull team mate, Sebastian Vettel, spent Wednesday and Thursday dodging rain showers at Jerez, Mark Webber enjoyed a much drier day of work in the RB6 at the Spanish track on Friday. After setting the session's best time, Webber answered questions from the assembled media…
Q: Mark, how was your running on Friday? Mark Webber: Every dry lap is pretty important these days, and the weather was much better than expected. It also looks as though it will be half decent on Saturday. It’s a good base to prepare for next week in terms of consistent testing.
Q: Has the test program changed much over the last few days? MW: Not really. Seb and I wanted to test pretty similar things, because as a team we have highlighted things we need to test. We both do pretty much the same things for the team. After so many days of rainy conditions, we need more track time to evaluate things.
Record level of corporate involvement at Sebring Sebring International Raceway has reached a record level of corporate participation for next month’s 58th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Hospitality, sponsorships, advertising and other corporate involvement is the highest ever achieved since joining the American Le Mans Series in 1999.
“These are challenging times, especially in our industry,” stated Sebring President and General Manager Tres Stephenson. “However, we have managed to set a new record this year in terms of corporate involvement. This is a testament to Sebring’s legendary status in motorsports and its proven record as a sports marketing tool with a worldwide audience. Together with the American Le Mans Series, Sebring has poised itself for another decade of growth.”
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