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Allmendinger leaving IndyCar option open  Former open-wheel driver A.J. Allmendinger says he might be open to racing in IndyCar's season finale in Las Vegas for a chance at $5 million.

Allmendinger, who switched to NASCAR in 2008, says while driving in the Oct. 16 race is an unlikely scenario, the prize money would be good incentive to give it a try.

IndyCar announced last week that it will allow up to five qualified drivers from outside the series a chance to win $5 million if they're able to win the race. More ...

Phoenix race sold out  All 50,000 grandstand seats at Phoenix Int'l Raceway have been sold out for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500. Hillside general-admission tickets and infield passes remain available. This comes after a "major NASCAR schedule realignment" moved the Phoenix race from April to a "prestigious spot" after the Daytona 500. Track President Bryan Sperber said Trevor Bayne's win last week "produced an uptick in race-week sales" ARIZONA REPUBLIC
Max Snegirev switches from F3 to Formula Two  Russia's Max Snegirev is the latest addition to the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship line-up after his place on the grid was confirmed today. 

Snegirev moves up to F2 after competing in F3 in 2010. Max took part in all four days of the F2 winter testing at the end of 2010 and acclimatized very well, being regularly in the top ten on the time sheets.  He was particularly impressive at Portimão, where he challenged for fastest time alongside experienced F2 drivers Jack Clarke, Alex Brundle and Benjamin Lariche.

Prior to testing, Max spent 2010 competing in the British F3 International series with Fortec Motorsport. At the end of the season he then contested the final two rounds of the Formula Palmer Audi Championship, enjoying great success as he claimed one win and three podiums from the seven races. More ...

Bernard clarifies who is eligible for $5M bonus  Randy Bernard said today that it will take being a legend for a former IndyCar driver to be eligible for the $5 million challenge in October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In other words, Michael Andretti or Al Unser Jr. will be approved by the selection committee if they want to pursue a ride.

“(They) would sell tickets … create viewership,” Bernard said. “I don’t want anybody holding out (on the season) just to do this. Like Tony Kanaan. He wouldn’t be eligible.

“I’ve had several calls from guys like that. There’s no chance of that (happening).” More ...

tv news
Other Daytona TV Ratings  
NASCAR Nationwide Series on ESPN2 - 2.1 rating with 3.247M viewers
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Gatorade Duels on Speed - 1.2 Rating with 1.915M viewers
Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One team starts go-kart category  The Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One team is pleased to announce that it is supporting the exciting new karting category Formula KGP with effect from this season.

Formula KGP is a new seven round National Karting Championship, which joins the Super 1 Series. Marussia Virgin Racing will use the collaboration as the foundation of its young driver program, the first stepping stone for exceptional young karters to progress all the way through to Formula One.

Karting is the first step to gauging the potential of a future World Champion and Marussia Virgin Racing will be keeping a close eye on the stars of the future. At the end of the season, the top three drivers and one ‘wild card’ - a driver who has demonstrated outstanding ability in the new Formula KGP Championship irrespective of points placings – will win a Formula Renault test.

To underline its support for the category, the Marussia Virgin Racing logo will also appear on the karts, drivers’ suits and helmets as well as being integral to the Championship identity.

The launch will take place on Saturday 26 February at the PF International Kart track in Lincolnshire. A show kart, complete with the Marussia Virgin Racing colors and team logo, will be presented and the Formula One team’s driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio will conduct some demonstration laps.

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia Virgin Racing
“Karting is the beginning of a long but ultimately very rewarding journey. I believe very strongly in nurturing the talent of tomorrow and providing opportunities for drivers to move through the ranks. It’s not an easy progression, so if the talent is there, it should be supported. As a team, we have to think today about the drivers of tomorrow and that means ensuring there is a rich pool of talent to draw from further down the line.”

Andy Cox, Managing Director, Formula KGP
“Formula KGP is delighted to form this collaboration with Marussia Virgin Racing. Karting is a crucial step in the development of a driver; perhaps in many ways it could be the very discipline that defines a driver for the future. With this collaboration, karting connects directly with a Formula One team and an entire grid can race under the gentle eye of Marussia Virgin Racing, with such an innovative approach, a future talent could be discovered. With a test drive in Formula Renault at the end of the season, I can't think of a better situation for a driver to showcase their talent to a Formula One team.”

New 2011 date for Bahrain 'very difficult' - Haug  
Norbert Haug
(GMM)  Norbert Haug on Friday admitted he is concerned there is not room on the 2011 calendar for a rescheduled Bahrain grand prix.

With a mid-season date unlikely due to harsh weather, a new spot paired with nearby Abu Dhabi at the end of the schedule is considered most likely.

But that would create a triple back-to-back, with three races abroad on three consecutive weekends to put unprecedented strain on F1's travelling circus.

"Finding the right gap in the firmly subscribed calendar is going to be a very difficult task," Mercedes' Haug is quoted by SID news agency. More ...

Final F1 test pushed back 1 day  (GMM)  An extra test day has been added to the forthcoming four-day schedule in Barcelona, it has emerged.

Following the cancellation of the Bahrain test, the F1 teams agreed instead to simply regroup at the Circuit de Catalunya early next month.

It was believed the test would take place between March 8 and 11. More ...

Trulli slams Pirelli F1 tires  Jarno Trulli has delivered a damning verdict on Pirelli's tires, saying the Italian company does not appear to have done enough development.

Although some drivers are relishing the heavy wear rate of the new Pirelli tires, confident it will improve overtaking, others have not been as impressed.

In fact, Trulli, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, reckons the tires are too inconsistent, the balance is out and that it's a sign that Pirelli haven't done enough development. More ...

New Mercedes hampered by cooling problems  Ross Brawn is not overly concerned about the gap in performance between the new Mercedes and the early pacesetters in pre-season testing.

Despite setting the fastest time on two separate days at recent tests, Brawn has admitted the new W02 is off the pace in its current guise.

"It's a fair statement," he told the Mercedes website. "We are well aware of the pace of our current car, the distance to the current front runners and the reasons for this, which include the compromises brought about by our cooling issues. Our intention was always to launch the car in a fairly basic specification to allow more time to focus on the upgrade package. This inevitably means that we look further off the pace than people might expect. Knowing all of the facts, I am comfortable with our current position and the developments that we have to come." More ...

F1 teams were prepared to boycott  Williams Chairman Adam Parr has said that his team as well as the rest of the Formula 1 field would have boycotted the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on safety grounds, had it not been postponed by race organizers.

With F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone having left the decision with Bahrain’s Royal family, it eventually announced the cancellation of the race plus its preceding four-day test session on Monday evening. More ...

Kubica won’t sue organizers after horror crash  (GMM)  Robert Kubica has ruled out suing organizers of the minor Ronde di Andora rally event in Italy.  The F1 driver is recovering from horror injuries after Armco barriers pierced his Skoda Fabia in a crash during the rally nearly three weeks ago.

The Polish press agency Polska Agencja Prasowa said Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli confirmed on Friday that he will not be taking legal action.

Morelli was also quoted by the Ansa news agency in Italy as saying: "After testifying to police a week after the crash, Robert decided not to sue the organizers."

Final F1 test pushed back 1 day  The final Formula 1 test of the winter has changed dates - moving from 8-11th to 9-12th March.

Williams technical director Sam Michael confirmed to AUTOSPORT that a one-day date adjustment for the Barcelona sessions had recently been agreed.

track news
Changes to Indian GP circuit to help  Organizers for this October’s Indian Grand Prix have explained that small circuit tweaks continue to be made in order to create as many overtaking possibilities as possible ahead of the inaugural race at the Greater Noida-based track.

India’s first taste of Formula 1 will arrive on the weekend of 28-29-30 October, with the project being headed by Vicky Chandhok – father of former Hispania racer Karun and President of the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI). More ...

Russian Zimin joins Jenzer for 2011  Jenzer Motorsport has announced that Russia’s Maxim Zimin will be part of its GP3 line-up for the upcoming 2011 season, which begins in Turkey in May. Currently 16 years ago, Zimin hails from Siberia and began karting at the age of 6.

After karting for the first time in 2001 and winning the Moscow Cup in 2005, a switch to Finland followed plus a collection of a trophy at the 2008 FIA Champions Gala in Monaco. Zimin graduates to GP3 after finishing fifth overall with Jenzer in last year’s Italian Formula Abarth championship.

“I will give my very best to get great results,” said the new team-mate to Switzerland’s Nico Müller. “I'm very happy to remain in the Jenzer Motorsport family because last season I felt at home in the team. More ...

Gray, Enders surprise Thursday field leaders in Pomona; Brown leads Top Fuel  Johnny Gray in Funny Car and Erica Enders in Pro Stock are the surprise first-day low qualifiers at the Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Antron Brown leads the Top Fuel field with one of four qualifying sessions in the books.

The event marks the kickoff of NHRA's 60th Anniversary season, which will feature a yearlong tribute to the sport's history and its legends. A special display honoring Don "the Snake" Prudhomme is a highlight in the pits this weekend as hordes of fans have descended upon the Snake Pit to look at a collection of some of his legendary race cars.

Cool weather that descended on Southern California this week undoubtedly helped performances as temperatures hovered in the mid-50-degree range with track temps in the low 90s. NHRA Full Throttle drivers will have three more qualifying passes this weekend, with another lone pass Friday and the final two sessions Saturday. More ...

Auto GP champion and best Under 21 to get GP2 test  With 100.000 euros to be assigned at each race weekend for an astounding total of 700.000 euros, Auto GP already has one of the biggest jackpots in motorsport. Despite this, the Series Organization has decided to go beyond, adding a prize GP2 Test to what's an already impressive package. In putting the GP2 test up for grabs, Auto GP will give its drivers a privileged path to a championship that in the last few seasons proved to be the best feeder series to F1, giving them a valuable help for their careers. The GP2 test will be the prize for the Series champion but that's not all. Auto GP has also decided to create an Under 21 Trophy, and the driver who will top this special ranking will also get the prize test.

Enzo Coloni: "I believe that this prize GP2 test can be a great opportunity for our drivers, especially for the younger ones. That's why we decided to create the Under 21 Trophy: besides the already confirmed Venturini and De Jong we have many young talents that are in talks with teams to compete in Auto GP, and I think that this test can be the icing on the cake for them. It's a plus that we are adding on top of the prize money and the worldwide TV exposure granted by Eurosport and WTCC. Now we have a package that nobody can match".

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Boss says 'tired' Sepang should host night race
  • Raikkonen insists 'no interest' in F1 return
  • Williams' share float is fully subscribed
  • 'Lucky' Kubica looking ahead to 'long' recovery
  • Schumacher insists 'still good enough' for F1
  • New HRT car to make test debut in Barcelona
  • Barcelona admits looking to renegotiate GP deal More ...
Bayne, Woods Head to Phoenix Still Savoring Daytona 500 Triumph  
After a week filled with media appearances, Trevor Bayne and the crew of the Wood Brothers No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are headed to Phoenix International Raceway this week for the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

It’s the Woods first trip to a track less than a mile-and-a-half since the team went to a partial schedule in 2009.  Bayne has just three appearances there overall, all coming in the Nationwide Series. His best Phoenix run to date was last year, when he qualified ninth and finished 14th in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford. The Woods best Phoenix finish came in 1995, when Morgan Shepherd finished seventh.

But for Bayne and the Woods, and for sports fans everywhere, the past week has been spent savoring the stunning victory in the Daytona 500. More ...

Quote of the Week  Mari Hulman George has always been a big fan of thoroughbreds and now she’s housing her son's Trojan Horse.  Robin Miller on the Hulman George family allowing Tony George back on the IMS board and the possibility he will undermine everything Randy Bernard has built up for IndyCar in one short year.

If TG just had that one spot on the board, it would only be him, his three sisters (Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi Conforti-George) and mother Mari Hulman George. No big deal. That was the same power structure that sent him packing.

Ah, but here’s the kicker. Those three businessmen who were also named to the board (Andre Lacy, Michael Smith and Jerry Throgmartin) with Tony last week not only represent the first non-family members to be allowed a seat, they’re all friends of Tony’s. More ...

IndyCar teams head to Barber to tune up for 2011 season  A.J. Foyt Racing team director Larry Foyt scheduled two days of testing at Barber Motorsports Park as Round 1 of preparation for the 18-race IZOD IndyCar Series season, which includes the first four events on road and temporary street circuits.

Round 2 will be the Open Test at the same venue March 14-15, where the team can fine-tune setups on the No. 14 ABC Supply car driven by Vitor Meira.

"The Open Test can get pretty busy so at the private test we'll get a lot of track time," Foyt said. "We decided that the permanent road courses and that type of track was our weakness or Achilles' heel last season so we really felt that getting a good baseline setup on that type of track would help us throughout the season.  At the Open Test with everybody there, we'll be able to gauge where we are and then fine-tune from there. More ...

De Ferran deep sixes IndyCar team, Kanaan again without a ride  UPDATE #2 The de Ferran Dragon operation, which signed Tony Kanaan last December, officially closed its doors Thursday.

“We worked hard to fund this thing and tried everything we could but, at the end of the day, we just couldn’t raise enough funds to do it properly,” Gil de Ferran told SPEEDTV.com.

“It’s a shame because we kept our full crew (16 employees) through the winter, did a lot of R&D and I was confident we had a good season ahead of us.” More ...

Simona De Silvestro Tours Grand Gulf Nuclear Station  
Simona De Silvestro
The IZOD INDYCAR Series meets nuclear energy as HVM's Simona De Silvestro drives a new understanding for both industries.

Simona has been a busy woman since she and her HVM Racing team announced their title sponsorship in Baltimore just last month. But, before she got too comfortable in the cockpit of her #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy machine, her new supporters at Entergy invited her to a place few people have had the fortune to visit: inside one of their nuclear energy plants that is also one of the largest reactors in the world, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.

Team owner Keith Wiggins, team partner Imran Safiulla, and Simona were all part of a plant tour, being given a rare insight into what actually goes on inside the nuclear energy facilities that provide 20 percent of all electricity in the United States.control room. More ...

Youths can visit Indy 500 Gasoline Alley with Junior Garage Credential  A new generation of fans will have unprecedented access to one of the most fascinating, cool places in worldwide racing - Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2011 Indianapolis 500 - through the new Junior Garage Credential program.

Fans age 9-17 can visit the world-famous Gasoline Alley garage area at IMS from Opening Day, Saturday, May 14 through Saturday, May 28 with the purchase of a Junior Garage Credential. All Junior Garage Credential holders must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who has a Bronze Badge credential, which also grants garage area access. More ...

Ferrari ALMS Paddock Hospitality Passes  Ferrari North America is offering a premium hospitality package for the 12 hours of Sebring and other select ALMS events. Experience the excitement of 458 GT2 first season of competition in the ultra competitive GT class while enjoying the comfort and premium hospitality of Ferrari.
Package Details

The package is an all inclusive two day experience (Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th) Ferrari VIP hospitality package that provides a comfortable, luxurious, and private setting that is exclusively available to Ferrari owners. Located in the paddock adjacent to the race team's center of operations, Ferrari enthusiasts will enjoy the race as virtual members of the Ferrari race team – Risi Competizione. More ...

Toyota recalling 2 million vehicles in U.S.  Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling more than 2 million vehicles in the United States to address trapped accelerator pedals in floor mats.

The massive recalls resolve a yearlong government investigation into whether it recalled enough vehicles.

Toyota said it was adding about 1.4 million vehicles to its November 2009 recall for pedal entrapment in floor mats. All told, Toyota has now recalled nearly 7 million vehicles in the United States over the issue.

The recalls are the latest blow to the company that has now recalled nearly 15 million vehicles in the United States since January 2009. Toyota — which got good news when two government studies found no evidence that electronics were to blame for sudden acceleration — has been struggling to put its recall problems behind it. More ...

Virgin needs new wing to bridge big gap to Lotus  (GMM)  Virgin designer Nick Wirth is working on a new wing to help close a one second per lap deficit to nearest competitor Lotus.

That is the claim of the team's lead driver Timo Glock, who told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that there is a problem at the rear of the new MVR-02 car.

"It's on the aerodynamic side," he said when asked about the problem.  "We believe we have found it.  Now we have to make sure we can resolve it."

Glock, who turns 29 next month, has said Virgin has taken a big step forward compared to a year ago with regards to the new car's reliability.

But he admitted: "The gap to Lotus is already pretty big.  On Sunday (at Barcelona) they were a second ahead of us.  We know we have a problem and we need to solve it.

"So we just need Nick Wirth to build some new wings and we can move forwards," he added.

Repsol Honda makes clean sweep of Sepang testing  
Casey Stoner
The final day in Sepang witnessed an incredible display of speed from all three Repsol Honda riders . Within 10 minutes of the track opening for the final day's testing, Casey Stoner on his first flying lap of the day recorded a time of 2'00.122 - five hundredths faster than his quickest (and top of the day) lap on day two. However, on his next lap, Stoner put in a sub two minute lap of 1'59.665 almost a second quicker than the circuit best lap recorded in 2009, which remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.

Within fifteen minutes of this incredible feat, Dani Pedrosa also lit up the timing sheets as he clocked a time of 1'59.803 - putting the two Repsol Honda riders out of reach from the rest of the pack, while the other Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was fourth in 2'00.541 - all these times recorded in the first forty-five minutes of the day. More ...

Williams still cannot make flywheel KERS viable in small F1 cars  The Kinetic Energy Recover System (KERS) makes a comeback in Formula 1 this year, Williams admit that they have been unable to make use of the flywheel system which they hoped to debut in 2009 but will attempt to use next year.

KERS first made an F1 appearance two years ago before the teams agreed not to deploy the system in 2010 on cost-cutting grounds.

During the 2009 season, however, Williams had hoped to use their revolutionary system which is powered by a flywheel and not a battery, although it remains out of action for now. More ...

Williams reveals new livery for 2011  (GMM)  Williams on Thursday revealed the livery for its 2011 car, the FW33.

In all navy blue, the car has already been extensively tested this winter in Spain.

The race livery, featuring more white than usual, was shown for the first time from the British team's Oxfordshire headquarters.

The design, particularly from the side where the familiar shapes and familiar red line is visible, strongly reminded nostalgic observers of the team's famous Rothmans liveries of the 90s.

Rubens Barrichello did not attend the launch after receiving permission to stay in Brazil for his wedding anniversary.

At least she didn't say Connecticut  

Danica Patrick did not know what state Bristol is in
Danica Patrick revealed she had no clue what state Bristol Motor Speedway is in. That prompted track general manager Jerry Caldwell to give her a gift basket to help her figure it out.

Her first clue? The basket was in the shape of the state of Tennessee and included a bottle of black label Jack Daniels (from Lynchburg), Moon Pies (from Chattanooga), a Tennessee-recipe cookbook, apple butter from Cracker Barrel (based in Lebanon), and CDs from various Tennessee artists including Elvis, Usher and Kenny Chesney.  SBsun.com

Sergio Pérez to drive F1 car in Guadalajara  
Sergio Perez
Before Sergio Pérez lines up for his first-ever Formula One race, he will be dropping in on his home city of Guadalajara along with his F1 race car. On 26th February, the 21-year-old Mexican will put in some demonstration runs with the C29 in this city of 1.5-million inhabitants.

The 1.5 kilometer-long street circuit is located in the historic city centre of Guadalajara, which is in the State of Jalisco in the northwest of this vast country. The action will take place next to the City Hall and the Cathedral.

Pérez is looking forward to his whistle-stop visit: “Mexico is hugely excited about the coming season,” he says, “and it’s great we can offer the people an event like this in the run-up to it. It will bring the whole thing to life for them by letting them see, feel and hear what Formula One is all about. And for me it’s a small way to express my thanks to the people for their support.” More ...
Fans remain leery Tony George's return will spell doom for IndyCar  
Anton 'Tony- I am Indy' George, the man blamed for nearly destroying the sport of IndyCar racing, is back.
Revolution and talks of regime change swirl around the Middle East these days.

It wasn't too long ago that open-wheel racing in the United States had its own Civil War. Champ Car and the Indy Racing League fought for more than a decade before it was settled in 2008 under the IRL umbrella, now called INDYCAR.

Tony George, open-wheel racing's most polarizing figure during that split, is back in the picture and sparking a lot of debate on Internet blogs and other social media.

George was recently reinstated to the board of directors of his family-run Hulman & Company corporation which owns and operates, among other things, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IZOD INDYCAR Series. More ...

Evernham suing Gillett  
Ray Evernham talking to Jeff Gordon
Ray Evernham has filed a lawsuit seeking $19.3 million from the man who purchased the majority interest of Evernham Motorsports from him in 2007. The suit, filed on Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, was filed against Booth Creek Management and Gillett GEMS, LLC for money not paid in the sale. Gillett GEMS, LLC is a corporation of four members that includes George Gillett Jr., who purchased Evernham Motorsports, which later became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and then Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham charges in the suit that Gillett breached an agreement to pay the remaining 20 percent owed for the Sprint Cup organization. ESPN.com
Forbes names NASCAR's most wealthy  The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall.

Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown?

Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by Forbes count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which Forbes value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. More ...

Safety-Kleen Renews Partnership With NASCAR  NASCAR announced that it has reached a multi-year agreement to renew its relationship with Safety-Kleen as an official partner of the sport. Safety-Kleen, a NASCAR official partner since 2004, provides on-site trackside support with its NASCAR performance cleaning products and through its oil recycling and re-refining services to more than 200 NASCAR-sanctioned races a year, ensuring that all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants used in NASCAR racing are recaptured and re-used. Safety-Kleen is also an "Official Partner of NASCAR Green," a category of sponsors that contribute in a substantial and measurable way to the sport's goals around environmental conservation and serve as a green demonstration platform while creating jobs. NASCAR PR
Waltrip team fined just $25K  NASCAR may have a new championship points system but there’s a very familiar problem plaguing the sanctioning body only one week into the 2011 season.

How to handle a winning car – or truck – that doesn’t pass post-race inspection.  You can cheat every race, go down as the winner of every race, pocket the winner's share of the purse and then pay a small fraction of it back in a fine.  No wonder there are so many cheaters in NASCAR - where cheaters do indeed prosper. More ...

Petty sold his name.....forever  
Richard Petty built the family brand when he was winning big in the 60s and 70s
We don’t normally read, let alone act on any PR emails we receive, but when I got a message about Forbes upcoming feature on NASCAR’s wealth, I got excited.  Every year, Forbes magazine does a ranking of the most valuable teams in NASCAR, along with a list of the highest paid drivers.  The leaders on both lists were Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. respectively (no surprise there).  But what really caught my eye was a piece they did on Richard Petty’s re-emergence as the head of Richard Petty Motorsports.  In the story, some new information about the deal made with Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron emerges, and the numbers and details are staggering. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Richard Branson
    Ecclestone slates Todt, Branson in new book
  • F1 worried amid Bahrain rescheduling rumors
  • Ferrari with most reliable 2011 car so far
  • Trulli critical of Pirelli tire behavior
  • Valencia denies trying to change F1 contract
  • Champion Vettel weighs up title challengers
  • Kubica to start real rehabilitation 'soon' - doctor
  • Tricky contract situation for Liuzzi - report
  • Massa confident of putting team orders behind him
  • Red Bull wants Vettel to make team 'legendary' More ...
Drayson quits ALMS for electric series  American Le Mans Series race-winning team Drayson Racing is to switch to a new championship for electric cars this year. Lord Drayson's squad was conspicuously absent from the 2011 entry lists for the Le Mans 24 Hours and its associated championships when they were revealed earlier this month. And it has now announced that it will turn its attention to the new EVCUP.

Drayson will run a Westfield iRACER in the Sports EV section of the brand new zero-emission series.

Lord Drayson, a former minister for science and innovation in the UK government, has long championed environmentally-friendly motorsport projects and says the EVCUP is a natural move for his team.

"Drayson Racing have paved the way in green racing over the past four years with second generation biofuels, and we have been looking at electric vehicle technologies for a while, waiting for the technology to mature and for the right time to enter this exciting new field," he said.

"The team at EVCUP have taken a bold step forward to create the world's first electric racing series. As one of the world's leading green motorsport teams, we want to be a part of it and we want to win it."  Autosport

Patrick earns Hall of Game honor  Danica Patrick has been the recipient of numerous awards during her motorsports career, and now she's receiving one from the Cartoon Network.

The IZOD IndyCar Series star was voted the award for "She's Got Game" (best female athlete) as part of the inaugural sports awards show, Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. Other nominees were skier Lindsey Vonn, golfer Michelle Wie and tennis player Serena Williams.

The show, hosted by Tony Hawk, airs on the Cartoon Network at 7 p.m. (ET) Feb. 25. More ...

Howard reunites with Schmidt for Indianapolis 500  
Jay Howard
It will be a reunion of a championship team when Jay Howard joins Sam Schmidt Motorsports in an attempt to qualify for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500.

In 2006, Howard earned the Firestone Indy Lights championship by winning two races and recording five top-five finishes while driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. In May, Howard will be behind the wheel of a SSM-prepared car.

"With the success we had as a team in 2006, I can't wait until May gets here," said Howard, a veteran of nine IZOD IndyCar Series races. "SSM puts together a great race car and I like my chances for racing in this historic Indianapolis 500. I definitely have some unfinished business at Indy." More ...

Cadillac Racing Returns to Sebring with CTS-V Coupe Racecars  Cadillac Racing returned to Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 22, for a second round of testing prior to the beginning of the 2011 Sports Car Club of America World Challenge GT season.

For the first time, both CTS-V Coupe racecars hit the track with full exterior colors, decals and numbers. Driver Andy Pilgrim will pilot the No. 8 car for Cadillac Racing, and teammate Johnny O’Connell will be behind the wheel of the No. 3 coupe.

Cadillac is reentering the World Challenge GT series this year, beginning with the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 25-27. Cadillac previously competed in the World Challenge from 2004 to 2007.  More ...

Abu Dhabi would help Bahrain situation  The organizers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have admitted that it would be possible to reschedule the cancelled Bahrain round close to its season-ending date should the need arise.

The two races were originally granted slots at opposite ends of the F1 calendar due to their geographical proximity and the desire to give the UAE as much exposure for its two races as F1 attempted to build a strong foundation in the region, but the cancellation of the season-opener earlier this week could lead to Bahrain needing to be returned to the calendar later in the year.

Although F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone knows that it would take a lot to restore the original 20-race schedule, not least the cessation of unrest in Bahrain and finding an agreeable slot in between the remaining rounds, Mohammed ben Sulayem, the president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, insists that Abu Dhabi would be willing to accommodate its neighbor if necessary. More ...

Sepang Day 2: Honda still on top  After leading the way as Sepang testing resumed on Tuesday, the Repsol Honda team has maintained the leading two spots in Malaysia on Wednesday. However, behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso confirmed a complete top three lockout for the Japanese marque.

Not only did the chiefly orange-colored bikes top the timesheets at sweltering Sepang today, but both Stoner and Pedrosa dipped inside Valentino Rossi’s previous lap record as the Italian himself was unable to take part due to illness.

With track surface temperatures reaching incredible figures of 60°C (140°F), Stoner lowered his best morning time of 2:00.229 to an even quicker 2:00.171 in the afternoon, confirming that the 2-minute barrier should be broken on Thursday. More ...

Renault and Mercedes trail top three - Marko  UPDATE Mercedes boss Norbert Haug believes Mercedes can spring a surprise at the first grand prix of the season in Australia.

In recent weeks the team has been playing down its chances but has made several references to an aerodynamic upgrade for the final test. Haug hinted that the Mercedes package is now starting to come together.

"Because we were able to do more laps [in Barcelona], we understand the car and the tires better, and that brings us lap time," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "If everything goes in the right direction, the Silver Arrow may surprise you." More ...

Liuzzi won't pay for HRT drive  
Tonio Liuzzi
Tonio Liuzzi is not prepared to pay for a Formula One drive this season. He is currently in talks with HRT after losing his seat at Force India to Paul di Resta over the winter. Last season HRT favored drivers with budgets and Narain Karthikeyan is bringing financial support to the team with his sponsor Tata this year. But Liuzzi insists he is not in a position to start paying for a place in F1.

"They would prefer a driver that brings money I guess, but it's not my case because I've never done it and I cannot start now," he told ESPNF1. "I bring my experience, my speed and I do my best for the team, that's for sure. The rest I would try to help as much as I could to find sponsors, but I cannot afford to pay to be a driver. I will put my 100% into the team as I always have done." More ...

Front Row gets #38 car locked in  Front Row Motorsports likely will have all three of its cars locked in for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this week as the #77 Rusty Wallace Racing car is not entered for the second Sprint Cup event. The RWR team wasn't expected to enter, and with that team's top-35 owners points (from Penske Racing) not being used, the 35th guaranteed spot will go to the next team in owners points-the #38 Front Row Motorsports car driven by Travis Kvapil. Sporting News
Daytona 500 TV ratings a fluke?  UPDATE  If not for last year's Daytona track repair issues that killed TV ratings, this year's Daytona 500 may very well have continued NASCAR's 4-year trend of a drop in ratings. The 2011 Daytona 500 earned an 8.2/18 final TV rating, a +17% boost over last year's 7.0/14 when the race was interrupted twice by track repair delays. Fast national ratings have already been issued for the Daytona 500, with the race posting an 8.7/20 (15.6 million viewers) . Sunday's 8.7/20 is a +13% gain over last year's 7.7/16 and the average viewership of 15.6 million is +17% better than last year's 13.3 million . The Daytona 500 fell into a pattern established last weekend by the Bud Shootout and Daytona Qualifying in that it beat 2010's ratings but fell short of 2009 benchmarks. Sunday's 8.7/20 is -5% lower than the 9.2/19 that FOX posted for the rain-shortened 2009 Daytona 500.

02/21/11 Fox earned an 8.7 fast-national Nielsen rating and 15.6 million viewers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 yesterday, up 13% and 17%, respectively, from a 7.7 rating and 13.3 million viewers for last year’s race. The telecast peaked at a 10.9 rating from 5:00-5:30pm ET during the race’s green-white-checkered flag finish. Fox saw gains among all key male demos, as well as the best rating among teen males in six years. Dayton, Ohio, topped all markets with a 20.4 local rating while Greensboro finished second with a 20.1 rating. Fox
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • The new Mercedes might be a dog but at least it goes fast in a straight-line
    Williams changes share price after Bahrain axe
  • Bahrain axe could help Red Bull - Horner
  • New Mercedes quickest in straight line - report
  • Pirelli means Massa 'super confident' for 2011
  • Motorland boss doubts 2011 calendar to have 20 races
  • Ecclestone not charging Bahrain for axed race
  • Ecclestone to boycott launch of authorized book
  • Di Grassi says Virgin seat lost due to sponsorship
  • Villeneuve doubts Vettel 'maturity'
  • Kubica to spend more weeks in hospital - manager More ...
Formula One Management will pick up the $40 million tab for cancelled GP  Hitting back at reports that he waited for Bahrain’s rulers to call off next month’s season-opening race so that he would not miss out on the staging fee, Ecclestone claimed that he is not charging them a penny.

Although FOM’s commercial contracts are normally a closely guarded secret, the 80 year-old said that inaccuracies in what is being reported were such that it was necessary to clarify matters.

“The fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid,” Ecclestone said. “I am not charging them for a race they are not getting.

"Whether they are covered by their insurers for loss of revenues, ticket sales etc I am not sure. But if anything is force majeure then that [the political unrest] is. More ...

Baby girl for the Kenseth family  
Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford with Roush Fenway Racing, and his wife Katie welcomed a new bundle of joy into their family early Tuesday morning with the birth of the couple’s second daughter.  Grace Katherine Kenseth was born February 22 at 3:49 a.m. EST weighing in at seven pounds and eight ounces.  Both mother and daughter are doing well as the family welcomes Grace into the family to join their other daughter Kaylin and son Ross.

Kenseth will be able to spend a few days with his brand new baby girl before traveling out west for this weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.  Kenseth has earned top-ten finishes in his last two races at the track as the No. 17 team looks to rebound from a 34th-place finish at Daytona last weekend after getting caught up in a multi-car wreck early in the race.

Allison Transmission and Sarah Fisher Racing Team-up for Indy 500  Allison Transmission Inc., the premier global provider of commercial duty and military fully automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsions systems, announced today that they will partner with Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) for the historic 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 race in May 2011.

Lou Gilbert, Allison Transmission's Director of North American Marketing, said, "Sponsoring Sarah Fisher's No. 67 car and driver Ed Carpenter makes good sense for Allison Transmission."  Allison and Sarah Fisher Racing are neighbors in Speedway, Indiana, and Carpenter is a well known Hoosier open-wheel driver.  "Over the years, we have all worked together in various community and customer related activities," Gilbert added, "We are especially happy to be a part of this historic 100th Anniversary Indianapolis Motor Speedway race." More ...

IndyCar offer $5 million bonus to any driver  The Izod IndyCar Series confirmed its 2011 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with an enticing twist: A $5 million reward to any driver from another series who can win the race.

"We showcase our drivers as being the very best, fastest and most versatile in the world," IndyCar Randy Bernard said. "We are putting our money where our mouth is. If any race car driver in the world outside of the IZOD IndyCar Series can win the Vegas race, we will give you $5 million. We will accept five entries for this challenge, with entrants being determined by mid-summer."

DHL to sponsor Hunter-Reay  DHL, the world's leading logistics company, announced today it signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Andretti Autosport, a winning IZOD IndyCar Series team owned by Michael Andretti. As the Official Shipping and Logistics sponsor of Andretti Autosport, DHL will serve as a co-primary sponsor of the new car driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay and as an associate sponsor for the car driven by the team's newest member, Mike Conway.

"Andretti Autosport has a history of success grounded in the same attributes required to be the First Choice among logistics providers for our customers - speed, reliability, and a "team" spirit focused on putting the "fans" - our customers - at the center of everything we do," said Wolfgang Gil, senior vice president  for Corporate Brand Marketing for DHL. "We're pleased to sponsor this winning motorsports team which provides an excellent opportunity to promote the DHL brand and align with Andretti Autosport in U.S. and global markets." More ...
Sepang Day 1: Stoner on top  The MotoGP riders enjoyed a return to the track today as testing resumed at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. Casey Stoner resumed testing with the same set-up he had on the final day in the first test. He spent the day alternating between the two chassis options and making comparison work to achieve the best set-up.  He finished on top ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate.
Testing Results
1 Casey Stoner 2.00.987 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 2.01.360 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 2.01.468 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
4 Colin Edwards 2.01.654 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Andrea Dovizioso 2.01.747 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
6 Ben Spies 2.01.808 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
7 Hiroshi Aoyama 2.01.939 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
8 Marco Simoncelli 2.01.996 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
9 Valentino Rossi 2.01.999 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
10 Alvaro Bautista 2.02.224 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
11 Hector Barbera 2.02.645 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
12 Nicky Hayden 2.02.680 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
13 Toni Eias 2.02.779 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
14 Randy De Puniet 2.02.920 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
15 Cal Crutchlow 2.02.936 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
16 Loris Capirossi 2.03.082 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
17 Karel Abraham 2.03.167 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
Three newcomers for Audi in the DTM  
The 3 new Audi drivers skiing in Europe (L to R) Albuquerque, Mortara and Frey
Audi will start the 2011 DTM season with a newly formed driver squad including three newcomers with the goal of bringing back the title of the most popular international touring car series to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

New to the Audi DTM team are Swiss Rahel Frey (25), Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque (25) and Italian Edoardo Mortara (24). "All three made an excellent impression during our driver sighting tests in December," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "I’m convinced that they will be a genuine reinforcement to our driver squad and that we are in a good position for the 2011 season."

Albuquerque, whose full first name is Filipe Miguel Delgadinho, comes from single-seater racing and was Formula 1 test driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso. In 2010 he drove an Audi R8 LMS for Audi Sport Italia in the Italian GT Championship and was runner-up after scoring two victories and ten podium finishes. The Portuguese made international headlines following his sensational "Race of Champions" triumph in Düsseldorf in November 2010 where he beat Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. More ...
If not for Edsel Ford, Wood Brothers might have folded  
Edsel Ford came to the rescue of Leonard (above) and the rest of the Wood Brothers family
While everyone — rightly so — were singing the praises of 20-year-old Trevor Bayne on his Sunday afternoon drive that made him the 2011 Daytona 500 champion, not enough was said about the Wood Brothers team that got him to the big race in the first place.

The Wood family have been around NASCAR since stock cars were being raced on the sand of Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach.

Through the good times and the bad times, the family endured with such championship drivers as David Pearson and Bill Elliott. More ...

Businesses line up to sponsor Las Vegas' NASCAR race  From race cars painted with brand logos to drivers' suits smothered with sponsor patches, NASCAR fans are bombarded with an advertising blitz whether they're at the track or watching on television.

There's no avoiding it, not that it bothers them. NASCAR's estimated 50 million fans have been pegged as the most loyal of all sports customers, three times more likely to buy a product associated with their favorite driver.

When they need laundry detergent, they're going to buy Tide. Darrell Waltrip and Ricky Rudd drove that car. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Later season start gives McLaren 'more time' - Hamilton
  • HRT absent and Lotus packs up early as Barcelona test ends
  • Pirelli 'marbles' to make overtaking hard - Vettel
  • Journalists slam FIA, Todt, over Bahrain handling
  • Berger doubts Mercedes can catch up in 2011
  • Most Melbourne councilors support grand prix - report More ...
Ecclestone says axed Bahrain GP could return in 2011  (GMM)  The 2011 season opener in Bahrain has been called off.

The news, late on Monday, followed hot on the heels of reports that the final pre-season test at the same Sakhir venue will also not take place, due to the civil unrest in the island Kingdom.

But while the ink was still dry on the cancellation statements, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was stressing the possibility of a rescheduled Bahrain grand prix later in 2011.

"Obviously it would depend on the political situation there, so we would not plan anything in the next few months," he told the Daily Express. More ...

tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN  
NHRA Kicks Off 60th Anniversary Season at Pomona

As the National Hot Rod Association celebrates its 60th anniversary, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season kicks off the 2011 season with the Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., this weekend. ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 11 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. NHRA fans also can watch the full day of eliminations live on ESPN3.com starting at noon.

Every February since 1961, fans have flocked to Southern California for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions: the unveiling of new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships at the season opener, where teams hope to use the season kickoff as a springboard in their pursuit of a spot in the Countdown to the Championship at the fabled Pomona facility known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and record performances. This year’s event will feature a special tribute to legendary racer Don “the Snake” Prudhomme. More ...

100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 to start at noon Sunday, May 29  The 33 greatest drivers in the world will cross the famed Yard of Bricks to take the green flag for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 at noon (ET) Sunday, May 29, 2011.

The start time has been 1 p.m. since 2006.

"With less than 100 days until the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, we are excited to finalize our start time so our fans can begin to make plans to celebrate with us at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. "Starting the race at noon gives us an additional hour of daylight to ensure we can complete all 500 miles of the race in case we were to encounter any kind of inclement weather. Noon also has the green flag waving in a time slot that is better for our West Coast viewers. More ...

NASCAR.COM Delivers Record Setting Traffic for Coverage of 2011 Daytona 500  Turner Sports announced today that NASCAR.COM, the official site of NASCAR, delivered record breaking traffic for its online coverage of Sunday's 2011 Daytona 500, won by 20-year old rookie Trevor Bayne. The site raced to a Daytona 500 record setting day of traffic with 1.6 million daily uniques, +11% over last year. NASCAR.COM also enjoyed strong growth in page views both on the site with 11.2 million (+ 8%) and mobile page views with three million (+169%).

Turner Sports acquired all of NASCAR’s interactive rights in October 2000 and became the exclusive producer of NASCAR.COM in January 2001. NASCAR.COM is one of the fastest growing sports league sites on the Web, consistently ranking among the top three sport sites on the Internet. In 2003, NASCAR.COM was awarded an Emmy® by the National Television Academy for its TrackPass with PitCommand application and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for TrackPass RaceView.

Sexton Named President of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix  
Steve Sexton, former President and CEO of Churchill Downs Entertainment and former President of Churchill Downs, has joined the Formula 1 United States management team as President. Sexton’s appointment strengthens an executive team engaged in creating the country’s finest international motorsports and entertainment center.

“Steve brings more than 25 years of major sports and entertainment management experience to our project. He understands our aspirations as an owners group and we have every confidence he will be a tremendous asset to our operation going forward,” said Tavo Hellmund, founding partner and Chairman of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. More ...

Barcelona Day 4: Massa finishes up on top  
Pos Driver Team Car Time Behind Laps
1. Massa Ferrari F150th 1:22.625 + 0.000 121
2. Webber Red Bull Racing RB7 1:23.442 + 0.817 69
3. Buemi Toro Rosso STR6 1:23.550 + 0.925 90
4. Heidfeld Lotus Renault GP R31 1:23.657 + 1.032 95
5. Hamilton McLaren MP4-26 1:24.003 + 1.378 107
6. Maldonado Williams FW33 1:24.057 + 1.432 121
7. Sutil Force India VJM-04 1:24.177 + 1.552 64
8. Perez Sauber C30 1:24.515 + 1.890 74
9. D'Ambrosio Virgin Racing MVR-02 1:26.501 + 3.876 50
10. Schumacher Mercedes GP W02 1:27.079 + 4.454 114
11. Trulli Lotus F1 T128 1:29.992 + 7.367 18
12. Petrov Lotus Renault GP R31 No Time- 0

Bahrain withdraws opening race  Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have announced they have decided to withdraw the race as the opening event of the 2011 Formula 1 season, after days of uncertainty following the unrest in the country.

The decision was finally confirmed by the track organizers on Monday afternoon. The Crown Prince informed Bernie Ecclestone of the decision by telephone earlier today.

"We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest," Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said. More ...

Cosworth electronics help Ford to podium clean sweep  Cosworth played a starring role as the new-look FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) got underway with Rally Sweden at Karlstad earlier this month. In one of the closest rallies ever seen, Ford's all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car, featuring some of Cosworth's most advanced electronics systems, secured a podium clean sweep.

Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen took the spoils for the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team after three days of exhilarating rally action in Sweden, finishing just 6.5 seconds ahead of Mads Oostburg and Jonas Andersson for M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team. Hirvonen and Lehtinen's team-mates took the final podium spot Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila - all three cars benefitting from state-of-the-art Cosworth electronics which have been a crucial feature in Ford's World Rally Cars for a decade. More ...

Barcelona Testing Day 4: Webber on top early afternoon  
Pos Driver Team Car Time Behind Laps
1. Webber Red Bull Racing RB7 1:23.442 + 0.000 29
2. Buemi Toro Rosso STR6 1:23.550 + 0.108 55
3. Maldonado Williams FW33 1:24.057 + 0.615 41
4. Sutil Force India VJM-04 1:24.226 + 0.784 36
5. Massa Ferrari F150th 1:24.929 + 1.487 66
6. Hamilton McLaren MP4-26 1:25.094 + 1.652 66
7. Heidfeld Lotus Renault GP R31 1:26.203 + 2.761 22
8. Perez Sauber C30 1:26.914 + 3.472 48
9. Schumacher Mercedes GP W02 1:27.079 + 3.637 54
10. Trulli Lotus F1 T128 1:29.992 + 6.550 18
11. D'Ambrosio Virgin Racing MVR-02 1:31.713 + 8.271 27
12. Petrov Lotus Renault GP R31 No Time - N/A
No news yet as F1 awaits Bahrain cancellation  (GMM)  At midday in London, there was no decision about whether the 2011 season opener in Bahrain will take place.

There had been widespread speculation 24 hours ago that midday on Monday would provide the answer as to whether the political turmoil in the island Kingdom would mean this year's championship instead takes place in Australia.

"The statement remains the same as before," said a spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit on Monday.

He said the facility would "respond appropriately to any further developments". More ...

Melbourne residents vote 10 to 1 against race  UPDATE The Melbourne Member of Parliament whose constituency includes the Albert Park street circuit has explained that local residents have voted with a ten to one favor against the Australian Grand Prix being staged in the city after its current contract expires in 2015.

The event, despite being immensely popular with fans, has continued to make losses in recent years, much to the dismay of taxpayers. Member of Parliament Michael Danby has now said that the Grand Prix, which has made annual losses in the region of 50 million Australian dollars (31.1 million pounds) since 1996, should not see its deal renewed after 2015. More ...

British F3
Chandhok tests BF3 car at Pembrey  Karun Chandhok was finally back in a racing cockpit earlier this week, with the former Hispania Racing Formula 1 driver having tested for the Double R British Formula 3 team in Pembrey, Wales. He now hopes to seal an F1 test agreement imminently. In wet-dry conditions, the Chennai man posted 140 laps in Carmarthenshire.

“It's no secret I've been edging towards a test contract in F1 over the past few weeks and after the winter break I felt it was important to do some miles in a competitive race car before getting back in a Formula 1 car,” said Chandhok, who was present at the recent F1 test session in Valencia as a Team Lotus guest.

“My good friend Anthony Hieatt (Team Principal) at Double R Racing kindly offered to wheel one of his F3 cars out for me at Pembrey and I have to say I've come away enormously impressed with the current generation of F3 cars.”

Mancuso Joins JDC Motorsports Star Mazda Driver Line-Up  In its continued pursuit of adding more race wins to its trophy case, JDC MotorSports has announced that Nick Mancuso will run a limited campaign in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. As part of a multi-car effort by the two-time series champion, the American will make his junior formula car debut in the highly-rated driver development series.

Given JDC MotorSports’ history of helping talented drivers develop, both in and out of the cockpit, it should come as no surprise that the Minnesota-based team has added series newcomer Mancuso to its 2011 Star Mazda roster. The Illinois racer, having previously tested with JDC, will make the switch to junior formula action this coming season after focusing on sedan and sports car racing the past few years. With support from the Indeck Group of Companies, Lake Forest Sportscars, F.A.S.T. Race Products, and the Max Schewitz Foundation, Mancuso will run a limited campaign to start in the Mazda Road to Indy series, with the goal of finding additional funding to run more races in the future. More ...

Ragan surprised, Jack Roush miffed over late-race penalty  David Ragan couldn’t believe the call by NASCAR that dropped him from the lead to the rear of the field prior to the final restart in the Daytona 500. Ragan was penalized for not staying in his lane on the lap-203 restart and violating a rule that NASCAR emphasized during the prerace drivers meeting (but has not often called during a race).

Leading on the restart, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was ruled to have come down from the outside lane to the inside before getting to the start/finish line.

“I guess I broke that plane from outside to inside earlier than what they wanted,” Ragan said. “I felt like once we could get to the start/finish line, I could do whatever. But I didn’t think I moved down the whole way at the line. I haven’t seen a replay and I’ll have to have it explained to me.” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Haug admits new Mercedes not in top ten
  • F1 figures push for Abu Dhabi test
  • McLaren still stuttering with 2011 car
  • Government not guaranteeing Spanish GP after 2011
  • Lauda says adjustable rear wings 'a poor compromise'
  • Alonso, Webber, think Pirelli to mean more passing
  • Alonso buoyed by Barcelona breakdown
  • Liuzzi set for HRT race seat talks this week
  • De la Rosa hoping for third driver role in 2011
  • Glock wants 'bigger step' from Virgin
  • Toro Rosso set for 'strong' season surprise More ...
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