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Michael Shank Racing, Ford Working On Turbocharged Engine For 2014  As GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n continue to work towards a unified series in 2014, the Daytona Prototype class may see significant changes going forward.

Michael Shank Racing has been working with Ford and GRAND-AM to bring the EcoBoost powerplant into the DP class beginning in 2014, helping usher in a new era of turbocharged engines to the top prototype class of the unified series. The car – which was displayed by Michael Shank Racing at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at Daytona International Speedway in January – has a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, direct-injection V6 engine. More ...

Ferrari worked on set-up changes to manage tires  
Fernando Alonso
Third day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Fernando Alonso’s last day at the wheel of the F138. The Spaniard will be back on track here next week for the final pre-season test session.

The team’s work program was completed without any problems and it included set-up work aimed at adapting to the Soft tires, which Fernando was trying for the first time this year and the Hards. Fernando covered a total of 97 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.21.875. More ...

Daytona 500 Starting Lineup  
Pos. No. Driver Pos. No. Driver
1 10 Danica Patrick 2 24 Jeff Gordon
3 29 Kevin Harvick 4 18 Kyle Busch
5 16 Greg Biffle 6 5 Kasey Kahne
7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 8 33 Austin Dillon
9 48 Jimmie Johnson 10 15 Clint Bowyer
11 78 Kurt Busch 12 20 Matt Kenseth
13 14 Tony Stewart 14 55 Mark Martin
15 2 Brad Keselowski 16 27 Paul Menard
17 13 Casey Mears 18 31 Jeff Burton
19 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 20 1 Jamie McMurray
21 22 Joey Logano 22 34 David Ragan
23 47 Bobby Labonte 24 9 Marcos Ambrose
25 38 David Gilliland 26 43 Aric Almirola
27 87 Joe Nemechek 28 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
29 26 Michael Waltrip 30 7 Dave Blaney
31 95 Scott Speed 32 35 Josh Wise
33 21 Trevor Bayne 34 39 Ryan Newman
35 11 Denny Hamlin 36 99 Carl Edwards
37 56 Martin Truex Jr. 38 51 Regan Smith
39 93 Travis Kvapil 40 83 David Reutimann
41 32 Terry Labonte 42 36 JJ Yeley
43 98 Michael McDowell
Budweiser Duel Race 2: Busch holds off Kahne  
Kyle Busch celebrates
Kyle Busch took advantage of other drivers' misfortunes during green flag pit stops to win the second Budweiser Duel Daytona 500 qualifying race Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Busch won a Duel five years ago.

"Stay out front and try to hold everybody off behind you," Busch said when asked how he won the race. More ...
'The tyres were looking like cauliflowers'  Jean-Eric Vergne thinks the characteristics of the new Pirelli tires will suit his style in qualifying this year, despite some initial issue in testing.

In the cold pre-season tests the tires have offered one good lap before degrading quickly due to graining and Vergne said that had made things difficult during thelast two weeks in Spain.

"I was saying previously in the meeting that they were looking like cauliflowers," he said. "I used this expression in French quite a lot when I was in karting... it's really tricky. I have only one lap, then you have a lot of graining, so it's difficult." More ...
KV Racing Technology Hosts STEM Tours  KV Racing Technology hosted three groups of high school students studying physics at Decatur Central High School as part of the team's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach program. The tours focused on the importance of STEM in the racing industry and in particular how those areas affect the performance of an Indy Car.

STEM Tour GroupSeveral members of the team including three of the team's engineers, spent time interacting with the students as they rotated through the different stations set up for the tour. The stations included explained aerodynamics, fuel, the gearbox, shocks, the chassis, the cockpit and the engine as well as the engineering aspect of racing. Team members encouraged students to ask questions and help with demonstrations by awarding trading cards depicting parts of the car. The student with the highest engagement level and having earned the most cards received a small prize to reward their efforts. More ...

Daytona Duels to move to Thursday night  The Daytona Duels, the 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced Thursday.

Scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, the Duels will start under the lights and will be televised by FOX Sports Media Group.

“To earn a coveted starting spot in the Daytona 500, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have to perform under the lights and in front of a prime-time audience in the Budweiser Duel,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said in a press release. “Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.” More ...
Castroneves to work with new engineer in 2013  Two full-season entries at Team Penske for 2013 will allow technical director Ron Ruzewski to focus on the big picture.

Ruzewski, who also had been the engineer for the No. 3 Chevrolet-powered car driven by Helio Castroneves, has moved over for Jonathan Diuguid. Ruzewski will oversee the Nos. 3 and 12 entries, the latter driven by 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship runner-up Will Power.

Diuguid last season was the engineer for the No. 2 car driven by Ryan Briscoe, who earned the pole for the Indianapolis 500 and won at Sonoma Raceway in August. He directed the Feb. 19 test session at Sebring International Raceway. More ...

STP to sponsor Spring Race at Martinsville  Martinsville Speedway and the STP brand announced a multi-year entitlement sponsorship agreement today at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The sponsorship kicks off with the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for April 7, 2013 at the historic Virginia track.

“STP and Martinsville Speedway have both been a part of the NASCAR family for decades. To work with a company that has such legendary status in our sport is exciting to me,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Bringing together two companies that have so much history and such fan recognition is going to be a winning combination for everyone, especially the fans.” More ...

Barcelona Day 3: Day ends with Alonso on top  Full lap times, as of 5pm local time and the end of the third day of the F1 2013 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.875secs 97 laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 22.160secs 91 laps
3. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1min 22.188secs 119 laps
4. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 22.611secs 107 laps
5. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 22.675secs 79 laps
6. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 22.826secs 67 laps
7. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 22.840secs 71 laps
8. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 22.877secs 78 laps
9. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.024secs 108 laps
10. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.366secs 106 laps
11. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 26.329secs 57 laps
12. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 26.416secs 93 laps

Barcelona Day 3: Alonso stays on top  Full lap times, as of 3pm local time on the third day of the F1 2013 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.875secs
2. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 22.160secs
3. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1min 22.188secs
4. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 22.611secs
5. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 22.675secs
6. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 22.826secs
7. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 22.840secs
8. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 22.877secs
9. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.024secs
10. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.366secs
11. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 26.329secs
12. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 26.416secs
Force India to muse driver decision this weekend  (GMM)  With just three weeks until the circus congregates in Australia for the 2013 opener, Force India is still yet to name Paul di Resta's teammate.

To that end, Adrian Sutil - the team's long-time German driver who sat out 2012 after his assault conviction - is testing the new VJM06 in Barcelona on Thursday.

But also hot in the running is Jules Bianchi, the rookie Frenchman who was reserve driver last season and is strongly supported by Ferrari, and handled by Felipe Massa's manager Nicolas Todt.

Indeed, some see Sutil versus Bianchi as less about a head-to-head talent 'shootout', and more a question of which one is better backed by a supplier of expensive turbo V6s. More ...

McLaren software causing problems for F1 teams  (GMM) Pirelli's heavily degrading tires were not the only 'control' components causing problems for F1 teams in Barcelona this week.

The standard electronics used by every team, and supplied by McLaren subsidiary MES according to a FIA tender contract that was recently extended, was also toying with the patience of engineers up and down pitlane as the 'middle' pre-season test in sunny Spain got into gear.

Red Bull - not McLaren's closest friends in the paddock - were being the most vocal at the Circuit de Catalunya, saying the new software supplied by the McLaren company was causing frustration. More ...
Barcelona Day 3: Alonso leads early  Full lap times, as of 11am local time, on the third day of the F1 2013 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 22.510secs 18 laps
2. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 22.675secs 14 laps
3. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.055secs 25 laps
4. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1min 24.296secs 21 laps
5. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 25.577secs 28 laps
6. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 27.153secs 18 laps
7. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 27.344secs 24 laps
8. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 35.802secs 10 laps
9. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 37.079secs 8 laps
Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes No time 13 laps
Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes No time 6 laps
Carlin announce F3 line-up  British team Carlin will enter a four car team powered by Volkswagen in the new FIA European Formula 3 Championship this season, following the reduction of the British F3 championship to four rounds.  British racer Harry Tincknell will continue his relationship with the team and will be joined by Canadian racer Nicholas Latifi and British drivers Jann Mardenborough and Jordan King.

British F3 race winner Tincknell will make the move to Europe following two years in the British Series, with 2012 marred by bad luck Tincknell is looking to use his experience to get to the front in the new FIA championship.  Despite a tough season, Tincknell finished fifth in the British F3 standings in 2012, following nine podiums, including four wins and finished the year with a strong top ten result in the Macau Grand Prix last November, on his first visit to the winding street circuit.  More ...
Rising British star Josh Webster joins Status GP3 Series  
Status Grand Prix has signed British driver Josh Webster to join its attack on the 2013 GP3 Series as the championship enters its new era with a 400hp engine.

The 19-year-old makes the step up to the Formula One support series with the support of long-time sponsor Nine Group, who have backed Webster in his previous three seasons of racing in the Formula Renault BARC series in the UK. He joins Swedish driver Jimmy Eriksson in the line-up at the Silverstone-based Status GP team. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Perez surprised by Pirelli tire wear
    Extreme tire wear 'an unpleasant surprise' - Perez
  • Force India has 'other priorities' than drivers - Senna
  • Sutil 'not nervous' ahead of crucial F1 test
  • Powerbokers Ecclestone, Todt, to meet Thursday
  • New McLaren 'adapted' for Button's style - Perez
  • Mercedes moving forward, says Hamilton
  • Vettel not worried by reliability issues More ...
Video: Danica has a big weight advantage  At the end of the video Bob Dillner talks about the rule change this year that gives Danica Patrick an even greater weight advantage than last year, 50 pounds or more.

Williams Renews Sponsorship Deal With Finnish Business Enterprise Wihuri  The Williams F1 Team has renewed its partnership agreement with Finnish business enterprise Wihuri. The new partnership agreement will see Wihuri increase its level of commitment to the team for the '13 season. The Wihuri logo will be featured on the rear wing end plate of the Williams Renault FW35 in all races outside of Europe and North America. In Europe and North America, the logo will be featured on the rear wing end plate and read Wipak and Winpak, respectively. The Wihuri logo will also be featured on the drivers’ helmets and overalls, as well as on team clothing. Williams F1
Gearbox issue sidelines Raikkonen  Kimi Raikkonen concluded his second day of running at Barcelona with a gearbox problem keeping him off the track for much of the morning and part of the afternoon session at the Circuit de Catalunya. Whilst the team ultimately diagnosed and rectified the issue, vital running time was lost.

Once Kimi did get out on track, he immediately set the third fastest lap time, which is where he ended the day.

The test program today for Lotus included systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation and assessment of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package. More ...

Ferrari admits some exhaust concerns  
Alonso in the new Ferrari
Ferrari's head of engine and electronics Luca Marmorini says the team will have a new exhaust layout at the final pre-season test but admitted some concern over introducing it to the car so late.

Fernando Alonso's running on day two of the second test at Barcelona was reduced after some burnt bodywork had to be replaced when Ferrari ran an exhaust to the end of its life. Last year the team struggled to get the Coanda effect exhausts working on the car in pre-season testing, and Marmorini admitted that not having enough time to test a new solution before Melbourne carried some risk. More ...
Perez complains of 'extreme' tire degradation  
Sergio Perez (R) says Pirelli tire degradation is extreme this year
McLaren driver Sergio Perez has described an 'extreme' level of degradation with Pirelli's new tire compounds, with the Mexican admitting that it has been difficult to learn a great deal about the handling of his new MP4-28 at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Perez, who set the pace on the second day of the gathering, suggested that the field will be forced to make an abnormal amount of pit-stops if conditions are similar to those experienced in Barcelona this week, with the cold weather increasing tire wear. More ...

Barber Motorsports Park will host IndyCar Open Test  INDYCAR announced today that Barber Motorsports Park will play a key role in the preseason preparations for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights seasons by hosting an Open Test on March 11-13.

IZOD IndyCar Series teams will be on the 2.38-mile circuit in Birmingham, Ala., that features 80 feet of elevation change, March 12-13 for the Open Test. Firestone Indy Lights teams will test at the facility March 11. More ...
Kahne tops practice 4 at Daytona  
After an action-packed earlier practice that included a crash and a blown engine for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Wednesday's second session at Daytona International Speedway was relatively uneventful.

Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick stand as big winners, each earning top-six times in each of the qualifying and practice runs they’ve completed thus far. Kahne posted the fastest time in the second session, finishing his third lap in 45.515 seconds, while topping out at 197.737 mph. The driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet was sixth in the first session and sixth in Sunday’s qualifying. More ...
Cindric Pleased With Allmendinger Test  Penske Racing president Tim Cindric tells speed.com's Marshall Pruett he's happy with how AJ Allmendinger's first Team Penske test went, and what's up next for Dinger. Penske Racing president Tim Cindric left Sebring in a positive mood on Tuesday after the Team Penske IndyCar team met all of its objectives during a one-day test.

“I think for us it was a good rehearsal just as a team with the changes we've made in the off-season to come out here and get everybody working together. Either Will [Power’s] guys and Helio [Castroneves’] guys, it's two different chemistries that you start to develop. Sebring is always a very difficult place to make too many judgments as far as on-track. You can be fast at Sebring and I don’t care if it’s Champ Car IndyCar, CART, or what it is, and show up for the first race and be off the mark. More ...

NASCAR Wednesday Practice 1 - speeds hit 198 mph  Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran 11 laps before suffering a blown motor and going to the garage during first practice on Wednesday for the Duels. He will change his engine and have to move to the back.

Earnhardt wasn't worried at all about the blown motor, saying the team will figure out what happened and that it was probably something logical.

"Everything seemed like it was working," he said. "Just trying to find a little more speed, and we found a few things that seemed to help the car. We'll try to get out in this next practice, and see what else we can learn, but everything should be fine." More ...

Ryan Newman discusses practice crash  Newman discusses drafting accident in Wednesday's practice: #39-Ryan Newman crashed during first practice run; will repair the car - not going to back-up.

: "I don't know. I want to watch first (after watching the replay). My car came around. I don't know if it was the air off of Carl's (Edwards) car or what. My car just came around. (Referring to the replay) You can see the backend getting light there. I think it's just an aero situation, but that was news to me. Carl (Edwards) came over and said 'hey man'& I said 'I don't even know what to tell you yet'. It was unfortunate for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet, but that is why we had practice. That was my first experience, but I guess my car just got light in the back going into the corner." More ...

Earnhardt Jr. loses engine  Earnhardt Jr. loses engine in first practice on Wednesday: Dale Earnhardt Jr. comments following engine failure during practice for the Budweiser Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races:

Earnhardt Jr:
"We broke a motor, it's as simple as that. They'll figure out what happen. I'm sure there is some logical explanation as to what happened, but, we'll just put a new one in and start at the back of the Qualifier tomorrow, and race up through there."

Earnhardt Jr
: "No, it's just part of racing."

Earnhardt Jr
: "Not really. Everything is good. We were just making some single car runs by ourselves. Everything seemed like it was working. Just trying to find a little more speed, and we found a few things that seemed to help the car. We'll try to get out in this next practice, and see what else we can learn, but everything should be fine."

Earnhardt Jr
: "No."

Sainz Jr fastest as second generation GP3 car makes its debut  The long winter is over! The GP3/13 car made its eagerly anticipated first appearance for the inaugural official pre-season test at Circuito Estoril today. With a full grid of 27 drivers, the new car has already proven to be a success with a trouble free day and already more than 3 seconds faster than its previous generation on the same track. Two teams join the Series: Koiranen GP from Finland and Bamboo Engineering from the UK.

The atmosphere in the pitlane was electric with nerves and excitement amongst the teams and drivers as expectations were high. Luis Sa Silva (Carlin) made history becoming the first driver to fire up the new 400hp car and venture onto the circuit. The roar of the engine was an incredible sound as it marked the start of the 2013 GP3 Series season. More ...
FDP Joins NASCAR Family Of Sponsors  NASCAR and FDP Friction Science, a leading manufacturer and supplier of brake pads, announced today a new agreement that designates the Duralast brand as the Official Brakes of NASCAR.

With more than 50 years of brake technology and friction development experience, FDP manufactures Duralast Brakes, which are sold exclusively at AutoZone.

NASCAR fans are more likely to be do-it-yourselfers when it comes to automotive maintenance and repairs. According to Scarborough Research (USA+ 2012 Release 1), among U.S. consumers who have a vehicle, NASCAR fans are approximately 15 percent more likely than non-fans to have had a brake repair in the past year and are approximately 50 percent more likely to have either done the brake repair themselves or have someone do the brake repair for free. More ...

racing news
Brian Redman to be honored by RRDC at Long Beach  Brian Redman, whose internationally-acclaimed career as a sports-car, Formula One and F5000 racer has spanned more than 40 years, will be honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the "RRDC Evening with Brian Redman" in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, April 18, prior to the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the RRDC's fifth consecutive annual banquet honoring the legends of the sport.

Previous honorees were Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske and Jim Hall. These "RRDC Evenings" have become acknowledged as one of the highlights of the auto-racing social calendar, drawing fans and luminaries from all forms of motorsports. More ...

Yacaman & Pizzonia In Second Shank DP  Michael Shank Racing has signed Colombian Gustavo Yacaman and Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia to co-drive the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley for the remaining 11 events in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season.

Pizzonia and Yacaman will utilize the same Ford-Riley DPG3 combination as the sister No. 60 Michael Shank Racing effort from John Pew and Ozz Negri.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here, making this announcement with Gustavo and Antonio,” said Shank. “We’ve been working for a long time to be back to a two-car effort and while there were a lot of good options for us, the biggest thing was to know that we’d be coming to each race with an opportunity to be successful. I really believe that with these two drivers, we’ve got the tools we need to be competitive, and hopefully this will be a strong platform for us to build on and prepare for 2014 and beyond.”

Q and A with Fernando Alonso  
Fernando Alonso in the garage at Barcelona
After missing the first pre-season test of the year in Jerez whilst he concentrated on preparing himself physically for the 2013 season, Fernando Alonso was back behind the wheel at Barcelona on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who finished a close second in last year’s world championship, completed 110 laps of the demanding Circuit de Catalunya as he acquainted himself with Ferrari’s F138 machine. Afterwards, he spoke to the media about his first impressions of the new car and his determination to - once again - challenge for the title in 2013…He talks to Formula1.com More ...

Wrangler Produces Video Series With Dale Jr. Honoring Father  Wrangler has produced an online video series featuring NASCAR driver Dale Jr. and team owner Richard Childress discussing memories of late driver Dale Earnhardt "as part of the company’s personal endorsement deal" with Earnhardt Jr. Wrangler VP/Marketing Craig Errington said Earnhardt Jr. will be in "national TV, national print, national radio and online marketing as well." Errington said of the online video series, "Having the relationship we’ve had with them and having the great opportunity to be tied in to a great part of racing history, we really wanted to try to bring that more to life to our current followers and fans, both Wrangler fans and NASCAR fans."  SPORTINGNEWS.com
Driver-Centric NASCAR Campaign Focuses On Online Offerings, Appeal To Hispanics  UPDATE Added video:

02/19/13 NASCAR's creative effort with new ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., will launch Sunday and is previewed by Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. NASCAR Brand, Consumer & Series Marketing Managing Dir Kim Brink said that Ogilvy & Mather has “been developing ‘a new brand direction and a new creative platform’ for NASCAR, which are to include commercials in Spanish and more emphasis on NASCAR’s online offerings."

NASCAR drivers will also “contact fans and followers this week in social media like Facebook and Twitter to alert them the effort is coming.” The initial elements include TV commercials that present drivers in “larger-than-life poses,” and the drivers in the spots “deliver brief, emotional comments directly to the camera, often finishing one another’s sentences.” In a spot called “Rivals,” defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski says, “In order to finish first ...” The thought is completed by Clint Bowyer, who declares, “ ... somebody’s got to finish second.” Kasey Kahne chimes in, “I hate second.” In a commercial called “We Are,” the drivers offer “pithy phrases that are meant to pique interest” in their personalities. More ...
Barcelona Day 2: Perez puts McLaren on top  Sergio Perez put McLaren on top on day two of Barcelona Formula 1 testing.

Final Wednesday's times

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m21.848s +0.000s 97
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349s 84
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.697s +0.849s 43
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.726s +0.878s 121
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.247s +1.399s 76
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m23.561s +1.713s 98
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.718s +1.870s 70
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.971s +2.123s 62
9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.205s +2.357s 88
10. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.115s +3.267s 67
11. Charles Pic Caterham 1m26.243s +4.395s 102

blu eCigs Joins RLL Racing's IndyCar Program  
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that blu eCigs, the electronic cigarette brand widely known for superior style and quality, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 17 Indy car driven by 2011 winner Mike Conway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race event April 19-21, 2013. In addition, blu eCigs will be an associate sponsor of the team’s No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal for the full 2013 season. The partnership will include both strategic branding and personal services as blu eCigs will take on a high-profile role in open-wheel racing across the Indy car team.

“We’re excited to be breaking into IndyCar racing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, an iconic organization which has a deep championship legacy in the sport,” said Jason Healy, president of blu eCigs. “We’ve seen a very positive response by fans and crew alike from our previous involvement in motorsports, and feel we can create some really engaging marketing and promotional opportunities and drive excitement throughout the 2013 season.” More ...

Barcelona Day 2: Vettel moves to top in early afternoon  Full lap times, as of 1pm local time and lunch, on the second day of the F1 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 22.197secs
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 22.726secs
3. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1min 22.743secs
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 23.247secs
5. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 23.561secs
6. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.718secs
7. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1min 23.971secs
8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 24.638secs
9. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1min 26.985secs
10. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 28.900secs
11. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault No time
No Mercedes DTM seat for Kubica  (GMM) Robert Kubica has been left out of Mercedes' lineup for the German touring car series DTM in 2013.

Last month, the Pole tested one of the German marque's cars, with Toto Wolff saying it was a "proper test in a proper race car".

"Let's see how it goes," said Mercedes' new motor racing director.

While now successful in lower-tier rallying, former Renault and BMW driver Kubica is still unable to drive a powerful single seater due to the limitations of his right arm, which was almost severed in an early 2011 rally crash. More ...
Test with Penske gives Allmendinger chance to see if he can still cut it in IndyCar  UPDATE #2 A reader disagrees, Looking at the times, less than 1 second off Tako first time back in an IndyCar?  I’d say that’s cutting it and the reflexes didn’t suffer greatly from the NASCAR malaise, especially considering the comparative lack of seat time.  I could easily see Dinger closing that 1 sec gap especially with the team behind him.  I have to think the Captain is thrilled with these results and hopefully considering accelerating an IndyCar program around Dinger. Andy Fogiel, Lansing, MI

02/20/13 He was next to last in speed on his first day back.  After doing NASCAR (what Niki Lauda calls slow lazy racing) does Allmendinger still have the reflexes to drive an IndyCar?  He should be OK on the ovals - fast reflexes not as important. More ...
More Force India trouble  
Force India needs a ride buyer with a big check or before long they will likely be putting the covers back on and planning the team's funeral
Last week the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced that it has asked banks in India to freeze bank accounts belonging to the Sahara group and some of its directors.

Sahara is the part-owner and primary sponsor (in terms of livery) of the Force India F1 team, [which is also in trouble financially because their own Mallya' airline Kingfisher is in bankruptcy.]

To understand the story one needs to look back at a series of battles dating back more than five years between Sahara and Indian regulators over how the company conducts its business. Early in 2012 this led the authorities to order Sahara to refund $4.4 billion to its 30 million small investors, with suitable interest. Sahara fought the charge again, but in August it lost its case in the Indian Supreme Court and was told to pay up by the end of November. Sahara has failed to do this, despite being given additional time to find the money. The company has cast itself as a victim in the affair and says that it has paid all but $670 million of the $4.4 billion. More ...

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

  • Maldonado in the new Williams
    Not good enough for F1 says F1 paddock
    FIA tells Williams exhaust solution illegal
  • New Ferrari 'ok' says Alonso
  • Sutil, Bianchi shape up for Barcelona 'shootout'
  • Danica Patrick not good enough for F1 - Marko
  • Williams not replacing Gillan, Wolff
  • Williams F1 Team Signs New Deal With Experian, Renews Deal With Randstad
  • Red Bull's progress hampered by software issue
  • McLaren: It was a productive day
  • Lotus: Electronics issues cost us track time
  • Mateschitz: Equal status for Webber
  • Williams enjoys 'very good' FW35 debut
  • Williams F1 Team and Kemppi Announce Upgraded Sponsorship Agreement New
  • Williams F1 Team and Wihuri Increase Partnership Commitment for the 2013 Season New
  • Alguersuari unlikely to race outside F1 in 2013 New More ...
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NASCAR Sees Drop For Sprint Unlimited; Daytona 500 Qualifying Up  UPDATE FOX was first in the ratings (1.3 in the 18-49 year-old target demographic) and also in overall viewers (5.157 million) with NASCAR's "Sprint Cup: The Sprint Unlimited" from Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which drew a 1.3 rating and 5.16 million viewers. While the race was just an exhibition race before the season starts next Sunday, it was still strong enough to lead the night in ratings.  However, with Danica Patrick on the pole, ratings for the Daytona 500 are expected to rise this year.

02/19/13 The NASCAR season also got under way with the Sprint Unlimited (formerly the Budweiser Shootout). The event earned a 3.3 overnight on Fox on Saturday night, down 17.5% from a 4.0 overnight last year. Fox' Daytona 500 qualifying earned a 1.9 overnight on Sunday afternoon, up slightly from a 1.8 last year.
Earnhardt who? Danica-mania in high gear at Daytona  
Danica Patrick, the greatest driver in NASCAR history, is taking the sport to new heights.  She is the star and Dale Jr. is now just a distant memory.  Will she someday surpass Richard Petty's 200 wins and be known as 'The Queen'?
The marketing machine at NASCAR has been busier than normal the past 24 hours.

They can thank Danica Patrick for that.

Since Sunday, when the 30-year-old Stewart-Haas Racing driver won the pole for the Daytona 500 -- the first time a woman has earned the top spot in a Sprint Cup race -- there has been a significant spike in interest in the sport.

From ABC's "Good Morning America" to "CBS This Morning" to CNN, Patrick's accomplishment was everywhere Monday. She is scheduled for another round of national shows Tuesday, including ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption." More ...

As planned, Danica Patrick's pole win boosts ticket sales at Daytona  Barriers are a big part of racing history, and Danica Patrick broke one Sunday by winning the pole for the Daytona 500, becoming the first woman to ever achieve the feat -- a feat that's not lost on race fans now flying the No. 10 in the infield.

"I think she's, hopefully, going to create a lot more interest for the women, too, but it's a new spark," said Pam Chehaske, a race fan at Daytona International Speedway.

Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said Patrick's pole win could not have come at a better moment, with time left to lure in viewers and spark ticket sales, since there are still plenty of tickets left, a point not lost on the conspiracy theorists who maintain the NASCAR timing and scoring computers were programmed to put Patrick on pole as evidenced by her mysterious spurt on the backstraight on her qualifying laps. More ...

Danica Patrick must make sure she doesn’t wreck pole-winning car  
Will she wreck at Daytona again?
Danica Patrick can breathe easy now. She doesn’t have to worry about whether she will qualify for the Daytona 500.

All of the worry about where she will need to finish in the qualifying races Thursday has gone out the door. Thanks to her winning the pole for the Daytona 500, she knows she will race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Oh wait.

There is something the Sprint Cup rookie has to worry about in practice Wednesday, in the qualifying race Thursday and in practice again Friday and Saturday. More ...
Saavedra Impresses On Dragon Debut  
Sebastian Saavedra
It was only 40 solo laps on a cool, dirty Sebring short course on Monday, but Dragon Racing’s latest acquisition, 22-year-old Colombian driver Sebastian Saavedra, left his new team feeling rather impressed.

“[Saavedra] showed a lot of maturity and smarts today,” said Jay Penske, who founded the Dragon team in 2007. “It took a few sets of tires, but he was within a few tenths of Sebastien Bourdais. A very good day.”

Sebastien Bourdais, the 4-time Champ Car titlist, had a similar take on his new teammate who will helm the Chevy-powered No. 6 entry this season. More ...

Rossi: "I did not forget how to ride"  The main question on Valentino Rossi's mind ahead of his Yamaha MotoGP return was whether he could adapt to the 'new' kind of riding style perfected by Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.

Fresh from suffering the only winless seasons of his 17-year grand prix career at Ducati, a relieved Rossi set competitive times from the start of the Sepang test - his first dry laps on an M1 since he left Yamaha in 2010.

"I was quite sure that after two bad seasons I had not forgotten how to ride. But in the last two seasons the way to ride the bike has changed very much, especially the electronics and the tires," Rossi explained.

"The riding style of the top guys - Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo - is very different compared to 2008 and 2009 [when Rossi won his most recent titles]. So I have to change a lot and I didn't know if I am able to. More ...

Barcelona Day 2: Mercedes again fastest  Full lap times, as of 11am local time, on the second day of the F1 group test at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona

1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 23.274secs
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.653secs
3. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 24.216secs
4. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 25.354secs
5. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1min 25.481secs
6. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 25.773secs
7. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1min 26.985secs
8. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 28.900secs
9. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari No time
10. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes No time
11. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault No time

racing news
Phil Remington Celebration - March 16th - Riverside Museum  Message below from Phil Remington's daughter, Kati.

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for the outpouring of love and support over the past few days since we lost “Grandpa Rem”.  It has been a comfort to our family to read all of your sentiments, stories, and recollections.

Many of you have inquired about a service.  We have decided to have an open “Celebration of Life” on March 16th from 11:00 to 2:00 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum. More ...

Sebring Test Times Day 1  UPDATE Tuesday's Final Lap Times:

1: Takuma Sato 51.947 seconds
2: Scott Dixon 52.017
3: Will Power 52.153
4: Dario Franchitti 52.322
5: Justin Wilson 52.327
6: Tony Kanaan 52.381
7: Helio Castroneves 52.410
8: Graham Rahal 52.413
9: Charlie Kimball 52.439
10: Simona de Silvestro 52.442
11: Josef Newgarden 52.498
12: AJ Allmendinger 52.618
13: Oriol Servia 52.690 More ...

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