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Panther Racing Files Lawsuit (Update)  UPDATE The Racer article has been updated with further information. "That's the first I've heard of this," Rahal told RACER Tuesday morning. "I have not been notified by my lawyers whatsoever."

Added Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles: "It is unfortunate that it is now a matter being litigated. We are pleased that the National Guard has decided to continue its involvement in IndyCar racing."

On Tuesday afternoon, Panther issued the following statement on the matter:

"Panther Racing is a proud member of the IndyCar series and looks forward to a successful 2014 season. As a company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation. However, as we have for more than 15 years, Panther Racing is committed to always acting with integrity and conducting business in an ethical and legal manner. Our singular focus remains on fielding a strong IndyCar race team on the track and being a responsible corporate citizen off of it. We remain active members of the Indianapolis community and will continue to support U.S. servicemen and women through our work with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, Fisher House and the USO, among others." More ...

Pigot Takes Control of Cooper Tires Winterfest Pro Mazda Round 3  
Spencer Pigot might have relinquished his advantage in Round 2 of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park last Saturday, but he well and truly made amends this afternoon when the four-race mini-series reconvened for the first of two more races at the scenic and challenging Barber Motorsports Park.

Pigot once again set the pace in morning practice, then cemented his authority by claiming his third consecutive pole position for Juncos Racing. Pigot's best lap in qualifying, 1:20.249, was comfortably quicker than the existing track record of 1:21.166 set in 2011 by Tristan Vautier - a testament both to Pigot's speed and the effectiveness of the latest breed of Cooper tires. More ...

3D printers speed up racecar design process  Engineers working for Caterham, a UK-based Formula One racing team, have embraced a new way to keep up with their rivals: 3D printing. The creation of titanium and aluminum parts via modern 3D printers makes for cheaper, faster production of prototype parts in a sport that demands continuous upgrades if a team wants to stay competitive.

This kind of 3D printing—referred to in the F1 paddock as "rapid prototyping"—lets Caterham's engineers print parts to exact specifications, which saves the company both time and money. Prototype parts are printed to a 60% scale and tested in a wind tunnel prior to finalization.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, prototype manager Ian Prince revealed that Caterham is printing upwards of 800 parts a month to meet demands for "constant development all year round." The process is saving the team as much as $800,000 each year—a number that's expected to rise as associated costs of 3D printing drop. More ...

Epps and Pigot capture Winterfest victories at Barber  
Spencer Pigot scored his second Winterfest victory today at Barber.
Michael Epps of Belardi Racing has taken the checkered flag for both of today's US F2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest races at Barber Motorsports Park. New Port Richey, Florida native R.C. Enerson was third with France's Florian Latorre third.

In Pro Mazda, Orlando native Spencer Pigot of Juncos Racing took his second Winterfest victory. Canadian Scott Hargrove, last year's US F2000 champion, finished second, with Brazilian Pipo Derani third.

AR1 Staff

Earnhardt's victory working exactly as intended (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, So when is IndyCar going to learn from NASCAR's playbook, or are they just dumb?  If they had any brains, Marco Andretti will win this year's Indy 500 and Mario Andretti will plant a big Andy Granatelli kiss on his cheek in Victory Circle some 45 years after Mario's win.  It will be heart wrenching.  The crowd and the media will go wild. And the next year Graham Rahal will magically win the Indy 500 and Christie Brinkley will sit on the pole.  American's love a feel-good story. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA

02/25/14 FS1's Trevor Pryce said, “Everything is perfect at this point for NASCAR. ... Even if you’re not a NASCAR fan, we all know Dale Earnhardt Jr.” The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay: “Sometimes it’s great to have the upset, but sometimes it’s great when your superstar delivers.” "Crowd Goes Wild," FS1

02/25/14 In Miami, Greg Cote wrote Earnhardt's win likely had NASCAR officials "high-fiving inside their soundproof suites." It is "good for the business of NASCAR." Earnhardt, Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are "still the big-four drivers to casual fans, and none bigger" than Earnhardt. He is to his sport what Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson "in the hunt are to the PGA Tour." There is "no substitute." MIAMIHERALD.com

02/25/14 Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s victory in Sunday's Daytona 500 "might mark a watershed turnaround" for NASCAR, which "still is battling lagging TV ratings and attendance," according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. NASCAR now "gets three consecutive days to showcase its 10-time most popular driver in national media outlets turning attention away from the Winter Olympics for the first time in more than two weeks."

Driver Jeff Gordon said of Earnhardt's win, "The world is right right now. That is a sign that the NASCAR season is going to be a good one." Ryan notes Earnhardt will have "many high-profile opportunities to maintain the momentum."

He started yesterday on ABC's "GMA" and finished it on CBS' "Late Show," with "many talk show spots in between." Earnhardt will be "omnipresent today on ESPN and make publicity rounds" in L.A. and Austin. His "mainstream appeal might have casual fans talking, too." USA TODAY

13 teams selected for the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series  Renault Sport Technologies and the World Series by Renault Organizing Committee confirmed, Tuesday 25 February 2014, the teams selected for the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The teams entered begin testing today.

The 13 teams preselected in November have confirmed their desire to participate in the championship while providing the necessary guarantees to the organization. More than ever before, continuity will be the watchword of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, because all 13 teams entered in 2014 are returnees from 2013.

There are three name changes for this season. Arden Caterham Motorsport will now be known as Arden Motorsport. P1 Motorsport by Strakka now races under the Strakka Racing banner, the same name as the team competing in Endurance. And AV Formula will now race as AVF. More ...

racing news
An addition to the board at Cosworth  Cosworth has been trying to beef up its board in recent months with the appointment of some interesting non-executive directors in Adam Parr, Carl-Peter Forster and Alan Donnelly. The group has now been joined by an additional non-exec in sponsor-hunter Zak Brown. He is the founder and CEO of Just Marketing International, which is owned these days by Chime Communications PLC.
track news
Field of Dreams land purchased from City of Millville  In a major development for southern New Jersey off-road enthusiasts, New Jersey Motorsports Park announced today that it has made a land purchase for the planned Field of Dreams off-road park from the city of Millville.

The sale, finalized today, is effective immediately.

“We have been working on this project for so long, and to finally see if coming to fruition is just a phenomenal feat and unbelievable feeling,” said Clayton Keeler, Field of Dreams managing partner. “All of the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together and we are extremely excited to work with NJMP and create a facility like none other,” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • If you don't have a Mercedes or Ferrari power unit in 2014 you won't be winning any races
    Engine pecking order to 'dominate' 2014
  • Tilke says Sochi 'on schedule' for F1 debut
  • Ecclestone tips Schumacher to 'wake up'
  • Williams' Nasr the 'real third driver' - manager
  • Back 'ok' after Bahrain crash - Raikkonen
  • Williams Bolsters Race Operations Line-Up
  • Sauber F1 Team publishes 2013 environmental report
  • Allison says all is going to plan at Ferrari
  • Smedley joins Massa at Williams New
  • Ferrari to receive major upgrade New More ...
US F2000
Enerson and Toppe Score Breakthrough Maiden Victories at NOLA Motorsports Park  
Texan Clark Toppe celebrates his US F2000 race 2 victory this past weekend at Cooper Tires Winterfest.
New Orleans, La. - American teenagers RC Enerson, from New Port Richey, Fla., and Clark Toppe, from The Woodlands, Texas, scored emphatic victories as the first three races of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda concluded today at NOLA Motorsports Park.

The 17-car field enjoyed cool, clear conditions today at the 16-turn, 2.75-mile road course situated just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans. They certainly proved to the liking of 16-year-old Enerson, who started from the pole in Round 2 and quickly established his superiority over an extremely competitive field.

His advantage grew to as much as three seconds by Lap 11, whereupon yesterday's winner, Brazilian Victor Franzoni (Afterburner Autosport) fully hit his stride and began to whittle away at the deficit. The gap was down to 1.4 seconds with just two laps remaining, but Franzoni's hopes of being able to mount a serious challenge were dashed by a full-course caution after the erstwhile third-placed car of Danilo Estrela (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) ground to a halt on the backside of the race track. More ...

Pigot leads Winterfest points heading into Barber  
Orlando native Spencer Pigot leads the Pro Mazda division of Cooper Tires Winterfest heading to Barber Motorsports Park.
New Orleans, La. - This afternoon's second round of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was decided at the start when outside front row qualifier Garett Grist jumped clear of the field at the rolling start. The teenaged rookie from Grimsby, Ont., Canada took full advantage by romping to a decisive win for Andretti Autosport.

Polesitter Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) fell to sixth before Turn One, but charged back through the field and was able to regain second place when Brazilian debutant Pipo Derani made a mistake with just three corners remaining in the 18-lap race. Pigot now leads the standings by 10 points over Grist as the mini-series heads almost immediately to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., for two more races on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25/26.

The top seven cars ran virtually in nose-to-tail formation for the opening five laps before Grist, a race winner last year in USF2000, settled into his stride and began to inch clear. He finally took the checkered flag 4.495 seconds clear of Pigot. More ...

Team Pelfrey drivers show promise during Winterfest  
Team Pelfrey's Pipo Derani (right) after finishing third in Pro Mazda race 2 this weekend at Cooper Tires Winterfest.
Team Pelfrey's 2014 season began this weekend with the first two of four races that will comprise the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park. New recruits Pipo Derani and Dalton Kellett both performed well after overcoming some mechanical gremlins on Friday, with Derani confirming his promise during a fine run to third place the following afternoon.

Both drivers encountered difficulties during the lone qualifying session on Friday morning, restricting them to ninth (Kellett) and 13th (Derani) on the starting grid. Derani, indeed, was unable even to complete a lap.

An intense effort by the Team Pelfrey crew brought dramatic improvement beginning with the first race on Friday afternoon. Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada, jumped into sixth at the start and maintained his position throughout the 18-lap race. Derani, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was obliged to start the race in the team's backup car, despite which he made excellent progress to finish hot on the heels of his teammate. More ...

Park Place Motorsports on Top at Sebring Test  
Park Place Motorsports Porsche
Following a two-day test at the infamous Sebring International Raceway in advance of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Park Place Motorsports emerged on top of the time sheets among GTD competitors in the IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.

"We're definitely headed to the race with a lot of confidence," stated Patrick Lindsey, co-owner of Park Place Motorsports. "Walking away at the top of the time sheets in such a competitive field is a huge boost of confidence for us, and it's what we needed as we prepare. Kevin and Connor did an excellent job in the 73 car, and it was great to see Dr. Jim, Craig, and Norbert make progress with the 71. Our team is looking very strong." More ...

Kanaan unveils 2014 Indy 500 ticket  
2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan and Doug Boles unveil this year's ticket
2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan unveiled the artwork for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 ticket during a 500 Festival Corporate Members event Feb. 24 at the Crane Bay Event Venue in downtown Indianapolis.

Every 2014 Indianapolis 500 reserved seat ticket will show a smiling Kanaan hugging the world famous Borg-Warner Trophy after his victory in 2013, and the 2014 Indianapolis 500 event logo. Indianapolis 500 tickets traditionally honor and feature the previous year's champion.

Kanaan's thrilling victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" came in his 12th career "500" start, tying an event record for earning a victory latest in a driver's Indy 500 career. After enduring such a long wait, Kanaan was thrilled to see his smiling image on the ticket for the 98th Indianapolis 500. More ...

Giuseppe Cipriani enters 2014 Auto GP with Ibiza Racing Team  Ibiza Racing Team will be back fielding its team-owner behind the wheel for the 2014 season. The Spanish squad will be led by Italian businessman and racer Giuseppe Cipriani, back in control of his 550-horsepower after an issue to his back sidelined him in 2013. Cipriani is the first driver announced by Ibiza Racing Team but talks are getting finalized for the second car. In 2013, the team ended up with the runner-up spot in standings.

Giuseppe Cipriani
“I’m proud to be back driving an Auto GP. This car is highly-powerful and it took a while to be back in shape from a physical standpoint. Nonetheless I’m happy to line-up for the start of the 2014 season. After the brilliant results secured at its maiden run in the series, Ibiza Racing Team is aiming for a repeat, and will once again rely on the technical skills of Ferdinando Ravarotto and on the sporting management of Modesto Benegiamo. We will be off for a shakedown in the next few weeks in order to be ready for the collective test at Valencia"

Earnhardt Jr. Quotes on FOX Sports 1  
He's a hero
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared on FOX Sports 1's FOX SPORTS LIVE Sunday evening and on NASCAR RACE HUB on Monday afternoon.  Following are excerpts from his interviews:

Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. on FOX SPORTS LIVE

"What makes this win so special is the people I am doing it with. My family is here, my sister, my whole group at JR Motorsports -- all our staff, my girlfriend, Amy, and my team. All these people that I work with … Steve (Letarte) puts so many good people around me and we all really enjoy working together. At the end of last season, we all said it was probably the most fun any of us had had in the sport. A lot of these guys have been in the sport forever … it meant a lot to me that they were enjoying themselves. When you win, it's awesome, but when you win with people you love and you enjoy working with and you love spending time with, it just means so much more." More ...

Drivers ability to 'stroke it' crucial in WEC now  
On the long straights at Le Mans, the Audi drivers might be lifting earlier to save fuel
Motorsport is changing: When the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is pitted against its competitors in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) the Audi factory drivers have to deliver an additional quality. Not only will they need to master the races in a flawless, fast, reliable and intelligent manner as before, but in a highly efficient one as well. Otherwise, penalties are a possibility.

The new regulations in endurance racing take their toll on those involved. While the Audi Sport engineers were challenged to pay attention to maximum efficiency with every component, the operation of the latest sports car from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm requires a sensitive touch as well. "Reproducing lap times with accuracy down to a tenth, has long been a hallmark of professional race drivers such as ours," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "But in 2014, we’re making even higher demands on our WEC drivers. Lap by lap they have to meet an exact consumption target (i.e. stroke it around the track at less than 100% of your ability or the cars ability) while continuing to battle for the best position on track. So the fans will continue to see thrilling action in the future." More ...
GAINSCO Suspends Operations for Rest of 2014 Season  Following the accident that saw No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype driver Memo Gidley suffer severe injuries at this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racings has elected to suspend operations for the balance of the 2014 season.

“It is with great regret that we will have to suspend operations for the balance of the 2014 season,” said team owner Bob Stallings. “Since Daytona, priority one for us has been on Memo’s recovery. Everyone on the team has been focused on his care and comfort, and it has meant the world to see such support from the fans and the racing community at large. More ...

Kobayashi: Caterham at GP2 level, maybe lower  Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi has expressed grave concerns about the new CT05 following the second 2014 F1 pre-season test in Bahrain, adding that currently the Leafield-based outfit would probably be better off using a GP2 car.

Kobayashi was in action on days two and four of the test in Sakhir last week, concluding proceedings a lowly 16th on the combined times, his best effort a 1 minute 39.855 seconds, leaving him more than 6 seconds off the pace set by Mercedes man, Nico Rosberg.

It is a situation that clearly worries the former Toyota and Sauber pilot, as he looks to bounce back after having to spend 2013 on the sidelines. More ...

Brazil GP dropped from 2014 MotoGP calendar  
Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet circuit in the capital city Brasilia
MotoGP's planned return to Brazil has been put on hold after the FIM officially confirmed it has been dropped from the definitive 2014 MotoGP calendar.

The event, which was planned to be held at the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet circuit in the capital city Brasilia, was due to herald Brazil's first MotoGP race since 2004 when the series raced in Rio de Janeiro at Jacarepagua.

However, the venue – which is located close to Brasilia's stadium for the upcoming FIFA World Cup - was always subject to homologation on provisional drafts of the calendar, with local rumors suggesting that construction to upgrade the grandstands and facilities was not on schedule. More ...

tv news
NASCAR Daytona TV ratings  
Despite the rain loyal NASCAR fans stayed tuned in.
Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway annually marks the beginning of a new NASCAR season, and what a beginning it was for FOX Sports’ coverage of America’s most-watched motorsport.

NASCAR’s SPRINT UNLIMITED in prime time on Saturday Feb. 15 averaged 3,526,000 viewers, making it the most-watched program on FOX Sports 1 since launch, easily surpassing FOX Sports 1's previous audience record of 2,179,000 for the Oregon State-Oregon college football game on 11/29/13.  The event helped drive FOX Sports 1 to a record-setting day, according to audience information issued by Nielsen.  On a total day, 6:00 AM-6:00 AM basis, the channel averaged 964,000 viewers, smashing the previous total day record (522,000 on 10/19/13) by 85%. 

On Thursday, Feb. 20, the BUDWEISER DUEL AT DAYTONA, the twin races that determine most of the starting order for the DAYTONA 500, averaged 3.122 million viewers, making it the second most-watched program on FOX Sports 1 since launch behind Saturday’s SPRINT UNLIMITED, and it is the most-watched NASCAR “Duel” event since 2000 (4.296 million on CBS). More ...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- LIQUOR BEFORE BEER ... You're In the Clear!  Dale Earnhardt Jr. tells TMZ Sports ... he celebrated his big Daytona 500 victory by boozin' with his team 'til around 4AM -- so why isn't he a hungover mess this morning??? Simple. He followed the cardinal drinking rule.

You know how it goes ...

"Beer before liquor, never been sicker.
... Liquor before beer, you're in the clear."

Dale Jr. was out in NYC yesterday and told us he abides by the code -- usually startin' with some Jim Beam before switchin' to suds.

*Warning -- cardinal drinking rule does not always work. Booze with caution*

Montoya, Saavedra and Munoz proud to represent Colombia  Sebastian Saavedra credits countryman Montoya with having an indirect hand in his path to reaching the IndyCar Series.

"I was only 8 years old when he won Indy 500. I was just starting my go-kart career then," said Saavedra, who embarks on his first season with KV AFS Racing. "It surely gave a little bit of, 'Hey, if you're a Colombian, you can make it happen.' Since then we've had a couple of contacts. I raced in the 500 miles (karting race) of Brazil. That was actually the first time we got to speak. I was 13.  Since then we never spoke again until the Race of the Stars at the end of the year, when we became a lot closer.

"I do accept that he's one of those guys that came through on a very important time of my life, thinking, 'Is this what I want to do for my whole career?' And it was, and of course, Roberto Guerrero was another guy that came through on my first Indy 500 (in 2010). I've been very blessed with very good people around." More ...

Montoya battles himself first before rest of the field  
Juan Montoya
Through a half dozen test sessions and a month before the season opens, Juan Pablo Montoya isn't looking at the depth of the field.

"Right now, I'm my biggest rival. I feel like a complete rookie right now," the 1999 CART champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner said. "Because I feel like I got to do a job, push myself.  It's good to have a guy like Will (Power) on the team that's really quick and gets the job done.  Helio (Castroneves) has a lot of experience. If I have my experience plus what they do, I think it's pretty good."

Montoya expects to win, and soon, but he doesn't expect the transition from stock cars to the IndyCar Series will be as smooth as his initial foray at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He led 167 of the 200 laps on the 2.5-mile oval in winning by 7.184 seconds over Buddy Lazier. More ...

Hinchcliffe kicks off St. Pete build  James Hinchcliffe began defense of his win of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Feb. 24 by helping with the ceremonial start of the track build for the season-opening IndyCar Series race on March 30.

More than 20,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete block will line the picturesque but challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit that incorporates a runway of Albert Whitted Airport.

"St. Pete has been a special race for as long as I've been going," said Hinchcliffe as he looked over the yacht club on Tampa Bay. "Being out there on the water, it's a cool atmosphere. It's a cool backdrop for the race. I'm pretty sure (teammate Ryan) Hunter-Reay parks his mega yacht out there for race week." More ...

IMS considering "Garage 34" for Indy 500  
Could the Indy 500 be in the Delta Wing's future? Who cares.
This Racer.com article talks about the possibility of a 34th entry in future Indianapolis 500s. "Garage 34," would be similar to Garage 56 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the 34th entry would be reserved for vehicles featuring experimental technology. A perfect example would be the Delta Wing.

We at AR1, think have no problem with a 34th entry per se. Certainly, we're not going to decry tradition, which we believe went out the window with stock cars at Indy, Porsche Super Cup, guaranteed starting spots in the Indy 500, 33 becoming only a number, etc. Further, we suppose, a concept car would help generate some interest, buzz and media coverage ahead of the Indy 500. That said, we continue to be concerned about the approach of IMS and IndyCar management in addressing the shortcomings regarding the sport. More ...

tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC  
NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix Live on ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway for a 200-mile race on Saturday, March 1, and ABC will have a live telecast. NASCAR Countdown airs at 3:30 p.m. ET while the green flag will fly at 4 p.m.  The race telecast will air on ESPN Deportes at 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 2.


Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.

Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch.

Daytona 500 Winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Visits ESPN Tuesday More ...

Video: Watch the power of Earnhardt's Chevy  Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived the longest rain delay in Daytona 500 history and a spate of accidents to score a hugely popular and emotional win at Daytona International Speedway Sunday night using a car that suspiciously appeared to have more power than anyone else as no one could catch up to his rear bumper even in the draft.  His father's No. 3 was on pole and Dale Jr. wins the race.  The PR NASCAR got out of Daytona can't be measured. More ...
Video: Ryan Newman Out in 3rd Big Wreck  Austin Dillon gives Ryan Newman a hard bump, sending him into the wall and taking out all the cars behind him.  But he is a hero because he put the Dale Earnhardt No. 3 on the pole which sold a lot more race tickets.

NASCAR’s Tandem Drafting Rule causes controversy  NASCAR team owners and fans both expressed the fact that they did not tandem drafting at Daytona so a solution was drawn up. NASCAR outlawed the act, saying that if a driver locked bumpers with another, they would be brought to pit road to serve a pass-through penalty.

During the course of the DRIVE4COPD 300, the drivers – in NASCAR’s eyes – behaved and followed protocol all the way till 35 laps to go, when they deemed that James Buescher had broken the rule.

“I never locked bumpers,” Buescher said over his radio.” There’s a camera on that 22 car. I never locked bumpers. We’re gonna talk about it after the race.” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Ecclestone won in court but is a few million poorer
    Court victory cost Ecclestone millions
  • Ecclestone wants Russia night race
  • Haas to meet FIA bosses over 2015 F1 entry
  • Red Bull still in crisis as Mercedes streaks ahead
  • F1's V6 cars much faster on straights
  • Teams agree qualifying tweaks for 2014
  • Less Pirelli 'marbles' in 2014 - Hembery
  • Rosberg turns down fiancee's ice-cream
  • Williams' Wolff gets Friday role for 2014 New
  • Romain Grosjean glides on ice in Moscow New
  • Kimi Raikkonen's back 'much better' after surgery New
  • Ferrari to focus on race-pace New More ...
track news
Pocono changes grandstand seating labels  
Pocono Seating
Pocono Raceway announced this past week they have simplified the way fans will find their grandstands seats while attending NASCAR and INDYCAR events at "The Tricky Triangle."

This announcement comes one year after the Raceway introduced way-finding signage throughout their facility. During this simplification process, the actual location of previously purchased and/or available grandstand tickets will not change.

The grandstands have been split into three towers with Petty Tower, named after Pocono's inaugural NASCAR race winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, France Tower, named after the founding father of NASCAR Bill France, Sr., and Donohue Tower, named after Pocono's first open-wheel race winner Mark Donohue. More ...
Formula E - Interview: Steven Lu, China Racing  China Racing is no stranger to the motorsport scene, beginning 10 years ago in A1GP and going on to compete in the Superleague Formula and FIA GT1. Last year they became the second team to sign up to the FIA Formula E Championship and, as Team Principal Steve Lu explains, they are looking forward to getting started.

What originally attracted you to the series?
Team China Racing has been competing in various international racing since 2004 and we are always looking for new opportunities. Formula E is going to be a top level electric series and we are delighted to be able to take part. We are confident that we will be able to perform well given all the teams are starting on a level playing field. More ...

Larson's Daytona 500 debut slowed by 2 incidents  
Kyle Larson the latest open wheel star to be wasting his time in NASCAR
Kyle Larson's Daytona 500 debut got off to a rough start because of two early issues.

The Sprint Cup Series rookie hit the wall on the opening lap of Sunday's race. It caused his right-front tire to go flat, forcing him to pit under green for repairs to the No. 42 Chevrolet.

The incident immediately put the 21-year-old down one lap from the rest of the field.

Larson then developed another problem with his tire and spun through the Daytona International Speedway grass on Lap 22 to bring out the race's first caution. More ...

Rain causes Daytona 500 red flag  The Daytona 500 has been red flagged after 38 laps due to rain. There have been five leaders and five lead changes. Kyle Busch currently leads. One driver is out - Martin Truex Jr. blew his Chevy motor.

They still hope to get the race in. The track dryers are out.
Richard Petty ready to come out of retirement to race Danica Patrick (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3 Was Billie Jean King's 'Battle of the Sexes' win rigged by the mafia?

02/22/14 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I smell a rat.  Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason and this story makes me think this Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs story was planned from Day 1.  How many poles or wins will the backmarker Richard Petty team now get?  Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.

02/22/14 The Richard Petty-Danica Patrick-Tony Stewart saga just won't stop. Goaded by "Fox & Friends" hosts on Friday morning, Petty accepted Stewart's offer to set up a head-to-head race between Patrick and the NASCAR Hall of Famer. "I'm 76 years old, OK?" Petty said, grinning, during a live spot from Daytona International Speedway. "It's been 25 years since I've been in a race car. But I'll take that challenge." When pressed, he reaffirmed, "Oh, yeah. When is this going to happen?" When asked by Fox hosts about his critique of Patrick's career, he stated, "I judge by results." ESPN More ...
Three Races, Three Different Winners in Cooper Tires Winterfest for USF2000  
Race 2 Podium
American teenagers RC Enerson, from New Port Richey, Fla., and Clark Toppe, from The Woodlands, Texas, scored emphatic victories as the first three races of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda concluded today at NOLA Motorsports Park.

The 17-car field enjoyed cool, clear conditions today at the 16-turn, 2.75-mile road course situated just across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans. They certainly proved to the liking of 16-year-old Enerson, who started from the pole in Round 2 and quickly established his superiority over an extremely competitive field. More ...

COTA, Bahrain Confirmed as WEC Night Races  Two regular season rounds of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship will be run at night, it has been confirmed.

The FIA WEC announced the starting times for all seven of its six-hour events, with the American race set to take place from 4:30-10:30 p.m. on Sept. 20.

It will run on the same day as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race following a reshuffle in the event’s weekend schedule. More ...

track news
Nashville Superspeedway still idling  
Trying to race IndyCars on a NASCAR oval with a slippery concrete surface in NASCAR land was never going to succeed longterm
The Nashville Superspeedway will remain idle for yet another season this year, according to owners Dover Motorsports, Inc.

The concrete oval track located at 4847 McCreary Road in Lebanon stretches 1.33 miles, and during its days on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series it was the longest concrete oval in NASCAR.

Permanent capacity for the complex sits at approximately 50,000 with the ability to expand to 150,000. The complex also includes lights for nighttime racing and foundation work to make a dirt track, short track and drag strip.

The Superspeedway, which is nestled in the middle of Wilson County, was built in 2001 and ran for 11 years before owners Dover Motorsports announced in 2011 it would not seek any NASCAR sanctions for the 2012 race season. Additionally, the track did not see racing action for the 2013 season either. More ...
Grist Wins, Pigot Leads Points After Pro Mazda Double-Header  
Garett Grist leading
Saturday afternoon's second round of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was decided at the start when outside front row qualifier Garett Grist jumped clear of the field at the rolling start. The teenaged rookie from Grimsby, Ont., Canada took full advantage by romping to a decisive win for Andretti Autosport.

Polesitter Spencer Pigot (Juncos Racing) fell to sixth before Turn One, but charged back through the field and was able to regain second place when Brazilian debutant Pipo Derani made a mistake with just three corners remaining in the 18-lap race. Pigot now leads the standings by 10 points over Grist as the mini-series heads almost immediately to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., for two more races on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25/26. More ...

Ganassi explains why 'Earnhardt' is no longer part of team name  For the first time since 1996, there will not be a team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with "Earnhardt" in its corporate name. The string began in 1996 when the late Dale Earnhardt formed Dale Earnhardt Inc. In less than a decade, it had become one of the premier teams in Cup competition, with son and namesake Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its on-track figurehead. But once Junior left DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, the once-feared company began by the man they called The Intimidator began to slowly disappear. More ...
Explanation why #4 failed post-race inspection in Budweiser Duel  From a Team Chevy press release, Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition at Stewart Haas Racing, comments on the #4 Budweiser Chevy of Kevin Harvick failing post-race inspection after finishing 2nd in the first Budweiser Duel at Daytona:

Zipadelli: "The track bar had more rake in it than allowed after the qualifying race. (John) Darby and them are up top; we'll wait for them to come down and see what it is. I guess they're telling us we're starting at the rear. It's one of those areas. There's a rule, it's three inches. Everybody in the garage has adjusted their cars during the race and it's never been an issue afterward. But I mean it's a different deal here. We need to figure that stuff out on our side and make sure we don't put ourselves in this position again." More ...

Budweiser Duel TV Ratings  The amazing high-speed pile up that concluded the Budweiser Duel at Daytona International Speedway, one that saw the #15 Toyota of Clint Bowyer do an airborne 360, land on its wheels and the driver walk away unharmed, wasn't the night's only spectacular occurrence. The Budweiser Duel averaged 3.122 million viewers, making it the most-watched NASCAR "Duel" event since 2000 when CBS aired it on a Saturday (4.296 million). It is now the second most-watched program on FOX Sports 1 since launch behind Saturday's Sprint Unlimited (3,526,000 viewers).
Q and A with Renault's Rob White on F1 woes  Renault's deputy managing director Rob White explains the state of matters for the Renault drivetrains, saying they are on the right track, but still considerably behind schedule.

What were the key steps taken between Jerez and Bahrain ?
"We made a number of specification changes to the Energy Store (battery), involving modified hardware, requiring some gymnastics in engineering, procurement, assembly and logistics.

We also introduced two levels of PU control system software updates; the first being effectively what would have been a decent starting point for Jerez. It eliminated some bugs that allowed us to make mapping and calibration corrections, which subsequently allowed us to operate the cars in a more robust way to gather mileage.

"The second layer of software changes had more functionality to allow a greater authority to the control systems, giving better performance and drivability, and a larger degree of Power Unit systems integration.

"All the cars started on the first route and all 4 cars migrated to the second solution as we gathered mileage." More ...

Kimi 'wouldn't say' it was his fault  Kimi Raikkonen has downplayed the crash that brought an end to Saturday's action in Bahrain, saying it didn't cost the team much time.

Putting in the laps at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday, the fourth and final day of the second pre-season outing, Raikkonen crashed heavily with just a few minutes remaining in the day.

The Finn lost control of his Ferrari F14T and crashed into the wall at Turn 4 causing heavy damage to the car.

"I was on a curb and got some fairly massive wheelspin," he explained to Autosport. More ...

Grist wins Pro Mazda race 2  Canadian Garett Grist has won Pro Mazda race 2 of Cooper Tires Winterfest at New Orleans Motorsport Park. Orlando native and race 1 winner Spencer Pigot finished second, with Brazilian Pipo Derani third. The full results of Pro Mazda race 2 are below


2 27 Garett Grist Grimsby, Ontario, Canada Andretti Autosport 18 1:32.524 14 106.999
2 1 7 Spencer Pigot Orlando, Florida Juncos Racing 18 5.181 1:32.336 12 5.181 107.217
3 6 81 Pipo Derani San Paulo, Brazil Team Pelfrey 18 5.793 1:32.593 15 0.612 106.92
4 4 3 Scott Hargrove Vancouver, BC, Canada Cape Motorsports w/ WTR 18 6.298 1:32.612 16 0.505 106.898
5 3 18 Kyle Kaiser San Jose, CA Juncos Racing 18 9.604 1:33.126 15 3.306 106.308
6 8 5 Jose Gutierrez Monterrey, Mexico Juncos Racing 18 10.324 1:33.056 11 0.72 106.388
7 5 28 Shelby Blackstock Nashville, Tennessee Andretti Autosport 18 11.133 1:32.993 15 0.809 106.46
8 7 80 Dalton Kellett Orlando, FL Team Pelfrey 18 14.621 1:33.136 14 3.488 106.296
9 9 2 Neil Alberico Los Gatos, California Cape Motorsports w/ WTR 18 15.081 1:32.957 13 0.46 106.501
10 10 54 Michael Johnson Flint, Michigan JDC MotorSports 18 21.375 1:33.140 18 6.294 106.292
11 11 6 Julia Ballario Marcos Juarez, Argentina Juncos Racing 18 33.716 1:33.828 18 12.341 105.512
12 13 16 Michelle Bumgarner Manila, Phillippines World Speed Motorsports 18 56.33 1:34.821 16 22.614 104.407
13 12 13 Bobby Eberle(E) Missouri City, TX World Speed Motorsports 18 1:01.038 1:35.093 17 4.708 104.10
Dixon to be guest of honor at Detroit Pistons game  
Roger Penske and the organizers of the reborn Detroit event continue to put on a clinic in race promotion.
DETROIT, Mich. (February 21, 2014) – The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) are teaming up for "Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Night" at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday, March 5 as the Detroit Pistons take on the Chicago Bulls. Reigning IndyCar Series champion and 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix winner Scott Dixon will be the guest of honor as he will participate in activities before and during the game that evening.

Fans will be able to purchase a special Pistons "Drive to Detroit" Ticket Package for the March 5 game. The $80 ticket package includes two game tickets, two postgame shots on the court, two autographed photos and a meet and greet with Dixon, IndyCar's winningest active driver and the 2013 IndyCar Series champion. To purchase tickets to the game call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.pistons.com/grandprix .

Any fan that attends the March 5 Pistons game will also receive a $5 discount on the purchase of any single-day admission ticket to the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, held May 30-June 1. More ...

Mazda Scholarship Winner Telitz Joins ArmsUp Motorsports in 2014  
New Orleans, LA. (Feb. 21) - Today ArmsUp Motorsports announced the addition of American Aaron Telitz as the third driver to the team for the 2014 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. Alongside fellow American Peter Portante and Canadian James Dayson, the 22 year old Wisconsin native will compete for the full season, representing sponsor Rice Lake Weighing Systems.

"I couldn't be more excited to get my season underway with ArmsUp Motorsports," said Telitz. "I mesh well with all the guys on the team, and I know we'll have a lot of fun and success this year! We have everything in place to contend and win the championship!"

Telitz started his racing career at the age of seven, racing go karts, and by age twenty, he made the transition to open wheel cars in 2011, winning a $20,000 scholarship in the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout. The scholarship helped fund his first season in open wheel racing in the Skip Barber Winter Series, where he earned a second place in the championship. In 2013, he competed in the 2013 F16000 Championship Series, finishing third in the championship. He again competed and won again in the Skip Barber Championship Shootout that same year, earning a $200,000 Mazda Scholarship to move him up to the first step in the Mazda Road to Indy, the USF2000 Championship. Aaron's first race with ArmsUp Motorsports in the USF2000 Series will take place this afternoon at the Cooper Tires Winterfest Round 1 at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. More ...

Andretti Autosport driver quotes from Cooper Tires Winterfest  
Andretti Autosport's Matthew Brabham celebrating victory last year at St. Petersburg
The Indy Lights duo participated in two test sessions at NOLA Motorsports Park today.

Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

• First session - P3 at 1:29.382
•Second session - P8 at 1:29.846

"Today we made a lot of progress, but some things didn't go exactly the way we wanted it to. We only got about 11 laps in on that last session due to some gearbox issues, but that's the reason we're here. We're here to try a lot of new things, so time-wise we might be really quick or we might be off, but we want to figure everything out now and go to St. Pete with everything finalized to take the win there. My Andretti Autosport guys did a great job to get my car back together and the RePLAY XD car will be back where it belongs tomorrow." More ...
Rosberg keeps Mercedes on top in Bahrain as Red Bull's 2014 lemon falters again  MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS concluded the second pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit today, with Nico Rosberg taking the wheel of the F1 W05 for the final day. Nico's time of 1:33.283 topped the timesheets and proved to be the fastest lap of the four-day test.

The team's program consisted of shorter runs this morning, followed by a race simulation in the afternoon.

However, they suffered from two red flag stoppages for their car, both for different reasons but neither of which are insurmountable. Overall, the team was happy with the lap count and the work achieved this week, and look forward to the final test. All the teams will be back to continue their pre-season program in Bahrain next week with the third and final test beginning on February 27th. More ...
Q and A with rookie Kyle Larson at Daytona  
Kyle Larson
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed his outlook for this Sunday’s Daytona 500, his rapid ascent into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, his relationship with teammate Jamie McMurray and many other topics.  Full Transcript:

“It’s going to be a lot of fun come Sunday.  I feel like I learned a ton last night in the second duel.  I was able to make a few moves, most that didn’t work so I learned from that.  Sunday is going to take a lot of patience’s to log some laps there for the first half of the race, then to try to position yourself good for the end of it.  We got a little front-end damage yesterday in that wreck.  My Target guys made some repairs on that stuff.  I’m sure it will be fine come Sunday.  Just really looking forward to it and hope to get a good finish.” More ...

Q and A with Chip Ganassi at Daytona  
Chip Ganassi
CHIP GANASSI, OWNER OF CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAMS WITH FELIX SABATES, met with members of the media and discussed Kyle Larson, outlook for season, state of the business of motorsports, changes NASCAR has made to qualifying, the Chase, etc., racing at Daytona and other topics. Full transcript:

THOUGHTS ON KYLE LARSON GOING FORWARD: “I think it is one step-at-a-time, and I thought he did a great job last night (in the Duel at Daytona). He kept his nose clean; he stayed out of trouble; he learned a lot; he went to the front; went to the back…well almost to the front…went to the back and came back to where he was, so I thought it was mission accomplished last night.” More ...

What's in a name?  
Marco Andretti kind of glad he wasn't named after grandfather Mario
Marco Andretti said that the names of the newest Andrettis gave pause to him and his brother, Luca. Michael Andretti's wife, Jodi, gave birth to twins (Mario and Miati) Feb. 13 in Indianapolis.

"Lucca and I were talking when we heard the names and we were pretty surprised," Marco said of naming the boy for his grandfather, who ranks second on the Indy car victory list. "But I guess Dad felt the generation was far enough apart that it was OK."

Is Marco, who turns 27 on March 13, glad his wasn't named Mario? "It's not always that easy being Marco Andretti," he said. More ...
Brazilian Franzoni Wins Cooper Tires Winterfest USF2000 Opener  New Orleans, La. - Victor Franzoni might be small in stature at just 5' 3" but he certainly stood tall in this afternoon's opening round of the six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, taking a hard-fought victory for Afterburner Autosport at NOLA Motorsports Park. Norway's Henrik Furuseth finished second for JAY Motorsports, while polesitter RC Enerson, from New Port Ritchey, Fla., completed the podium for Team E Racing.

The 18-year-old Franzoni, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who has raced Formula Renault cars in Europe the past two years, started third in the 17-car field but vaulted into the lead shortly after a mid-race restart and remained out in front when the race was concluded under a second full-course caution. More ...

Kalitta, Force, McGaha lead Phoenix fields  
John Force
Force set national and track records at the NHRA season opener in Pomona two weeks ago and continued his impressive early season hot streak Friday by racing to the qualifying lead in Funny Car at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) also were the leaders in their respective categories at the season’s second of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.

Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to track record runs for both elapsed time and speed at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Force posted a performance of 3.990 seconds at 317.79 mph on his second qualifying attempt, knocking teammate Robert Hight from the No. 1 spot. The run made Force the first Funny Car driver to record a time quicker than four seconds at the multi-purpose motorsports facility near Phoenix. More ...

tv news
FOX Sports live sets new mark  The amazing high-speed pile up that concluded last night’s DUEL AT DAYTONA, one that saw the No. 15 car of Clint Bowyer do an airborne 360, land on its wheels and the driver walk away unharmed, wasn’t the night’s only spectacular occurrence.

Directly following the twin races that determine most of the starting order for Sunday’s 56th DAYTONA 500 (coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET on FOX), FOX SPORTS LIVE, FOX Sports 1’s nightly news, highlights and analysis program, set a new audience mark, attracting 2.272 million viewers, obliterating by 335% its previous record of 522,000 viewers set following the Oregon-Oregon State football game on 11/29/13.  It is now the third most-watched telecast in FOX Sports 1 history. More ...

racing news
Three candidates named for 20th Gorsline Scholarship  Three of auto racing's rising stars under the age of 21 who have already demonstrated their talents on North American race tracks for at least a dozen years are candidates for the 20th Gorsline Scholarship in 2014.

The Gorsline Scholarship is presented by Gorsline Company of Rochester, N.Y., the leader in high-risk motorsports insurance. It recognizes aspiring drivers and presents a program that provides tools that will assist these drivers in developing skills on and off the track to attain their professional goals.

The scholarship winner will be named on Thursday, March 13, during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (Fla.) fueled by Fresh From Florida, and will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, to create an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, courtesy of Gorsline Company. More ...

Pigot Reigns supreme at NOLA  Spencer Pigot began the new season precisely as he wanted at NOLA Motorsports Park. The 20-year-old from Orlando, Fla., qualified on pole position for 2010 championship-winning team Juncos Racing, jumped into a clear lead at the start and was never seriously challenged.

Pigot also set the fastest lap of the race for good measure to ensure he would start from the pole in Race 2 tomorrow afternoon.

Shelby Blackstock, from Nashville, Tenn., finished second for Andretti Autosport, while teenager Kyle Kaiser, from San Jose Calif., claimed third in a second Juncos Racing entry. All three podium finishers are entering their second season of Pro Mazda competition. More ...

Action Express Stays Fast In Sebring  The No. 5 Corvette DP from Action Express Racing continues to build momentum in the early stages of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as Sébastien Bourdais drove the Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning machine to the top of the time chart on Friday for the second consecutive day at the Sebring Int’l Raceway winter test.

The two-day test in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida included 42 cars across four classes. The March 15 race is the second round of the TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup.

Bourdais – who last month co-drove to the Rolex 24 victory with Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa – posted a best time of 1:52.488 (119.693 mph) around the 3.74-mile circuit. The lap was slightly slower than Bourdais’ best lap on Thursday of 1:52.480 (119.701 mph), but still kept him and the Action Express Racing team atop the chart as the two-day test concluded. More ...

Le Mans Track Safety Improvements Revealed  When teams head to Circuit de la Sarthe in June for the 82nd annual 24 Hours of Le Mans, they’ll be greeted by a number of safety improvements to the legendary French circuit.

Most notably, changes have been made to the Tetre Rouge corner, which claimed the life of Allan Simonsen in last year’s race.

A new metal guardrail has been installed on the exit of the high-speed corner, while two rows of tires will be added in front of the guardrail. Simonsen’s Aston Martin had made heavy impact on the barriers, which were not covered in tires, and is believed to have bent the guardrail around a tree.

No changes, however, are expected to be made to the grove of 100-plus-year-old trees on the entry of the Mulsanne Straight, which is the property of the local government. More ...

Porsche Sweeps GTLM, GTD Testing At Sebring  Porsche put a punctuation mark on a successful two days of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing, topping the GT Le Mans (GTLM) charts in all four sessions and the GT Daytona (GTD) charts on Friday at Sebring International Raceway.

Each of Porsche North America’s two Porsche 911 RSRs led two sessions with Patrick Pilet driving the No. 911 entry he shares with co-drivers Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz to the fastest lap in class with a time of 1:59.395 (112.769 mph) in the final 45 minutes of Friday’s afternoon session. The two-day winter test is in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 15, the second round of the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup. More ...

F1 news update: Nasr, Schumacher, Bahrain, Ecclestone  
(GMM)  Brazilian Felipe Nasr, and his sponsor Banco do Brasil, have joined Williams.

GP2 frontrunner Nasr, 22, is the British team's new reserve driver, and Williams said he will take part in five Friday morning practice sessions this year.

In a separate media statement, it was announced that the logos of Banco do Brasil, the largest bank in Latin America, will appear on the FW36's engine cover.

"I can't wait to get behind the wheel of a formula one car for the first time in Bahrain," said Nasr. More ...

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