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DATE News (chronologically)
03/03/10
f1
British GP tickets selling fast  Tickets for the British Grand Prix are reportedly selling fast. Silverstone announced on Wednesday that general admission tickets for race day have sold out. However, three-day Grandstand and individual day tickets for practice on the Friday and qualifying on the Saturday are still available

The circuit, which is in the process of adding a new section of track for the 2010 race, is also adding three new grandstand locations.

"Tickets have been selling well over the last few months, but we still have a long way to go to sell-out in all areas," managing director Richard Phillips said. "Fans have made the most of our early booking offers and the 'General Admission' tickets are always among the first to sell-out. Whilst they don't offer access to grandstands, fans enjoy being able to watch the action from different locations, on raised banks around the circuit. These tickets are extremely popular, and have sold out even faster than in previous years."

03/03/10
irl
Not liking the Delta Wing  A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I saw all your data charts and CFD computations on the Delta Wing but want I want to know is WHO CARES!? If you think the international racing community laughs at NASCAR just put this thing out on track and suddenly 200+ MPH taxi cab racing will have some legitimacy compared to taking a car that has absolutely no similarities to any other racing car on the planet! No feeder series will have anything to offer drivers to prepare them for the massive difference in driving technique, no series to progress to after that and most of all the car simply looks like a joke. I watch F1, IRL road courses and motorcycle racing and I wouldn’t waste a second of my life watching such a ridiculous car.  Mark Bartlett
03/03/10
automotive
Bob Lutz to retire, but will it be for good?  General Motors Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz will retire effective May 1, 2010, capping a 47-year career in the global auto industry that included senior leadership positions at four of the world’s leading automakers.
03/03/10
tv news
nassprint
New play-by-play announcer for TNT races  Speed TV pit reporter and former Motor Racing Network announcer Adam Alexander will take over as play-by-play announcer for TNT's coverage of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series this summer, ThatsRacin.com and The Charlotte Observer have learned.

Alexander replaces veteran Bill Weber, who was removed from the broadcast team following a controversial off-track incident during the June race weekend in New Hampshire last season.

Multiple sources confirmed Alexander as TNT's choice and that other changes to TNT's crew could be in store when the official announcement is made later this week.

TNT spokesman Jeff Pomeroy would not confirm Alexander's hiring and said the network was not in position to make an announcement at this time.

03/03/10
irl
alms
LBGP Vista Club seating  The new Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Vista Club, located high atop the roof of the 17-story Hyatt Regency Hotel, is the hottest new hospitality location from which to watch America's #1 street race, April 16-18!

The Vista Club boasts an incomparable panoramic view of the front straightaway and turns 1 through 6 ... a view that also includes much of Long Beach's famous shoreline and the ocean!


View of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit from the roof of the Hyatt Long Beach, where the Vista Club will be located

In addition to the unparalleled view, the Vista Club includes, among its many amenities: More ...

03/03/10
f1
USF1 an embarrassment to USA, FIA ponders green light for Stefan - Ecclestone  UPDATE #2 Felipe McGough, Manager of José María L¢pez, has publically criticized US F1 Team Principal Ken Anderson, claiming that the American is the 'main culprit' in a situation which has seen the Charlotte-based team 'fool' several parties including its own employees and those who run Formula 1.With L¢pez having been signed as a US F1 driver at the end of January, the Argentinean's debut in the sport looks unlikely this year although a reserve drive at Hispania Racing (formerly known as Campos Meta) is still on the cards.

"The main culprit of all this is Ken Anderson," McGough explained to Argentina's FOX Sports. "These people fooled the FIA (F1 governing body), FOTA and all the teams, FOM (F1 commercial rights holder), all the employees they hired, 'Pechito' L¢pez and (ex F2 driver) Miloš Pavlovic, the other driver they had signed to be in the project.

"It's not like they only fooled us. The US F1 situation in Europe is some sort of scandal amongst teams because it makes F1 looks very bad; Argentina is just a small part of the problem but it's very, very big for Formula 1."

McGough added that L¢pez's deal was signed only two days after an FIA inspector noted that the US F1 project was running properly and now confirms that the driver is no longer part of the outfit, whose chiefs are expected to travel to Argentina in order to make a formal apology.

We spent all day talking with the team and finally managed to get released from the contract," McGough continued. "We had a meeting with Ken Anderson, with Chad Hurley (head of primary team sponsor YouTube)'s representatives, with Peter Windsor (Sporting Director) and with team lawyers.

"It was a very complex situation because they had not breached the contract but we knew that they would not make it to Bahrain, so we had to find a solution so that José María would not be tied to the team and could then find an alternative - that's what we achieved after many hours of negotiation."

03/03/10 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, What did you expect?  Ken Anderson's claim to fame was the lowly G-Force IndyCar.  Did anyone really think he could pull off designing an F1 car?  This project was destined to fail from Day 1.  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California.

03/03/10 (GMM)  USF1's dream is definitely over, after the FIA reportedly decided to reject the American team's request to freeze its official entry until 2011.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the governing body is now deciding whether or not to immediately pass the final team slot to Stefan GP mere days before the season begins in Bahrain.

Bernie Ecclestone said passing in the entry for an official tender process so close to the Bahrain deadline makes "little sense".

"As far I know, Stefan GP could race in Bahrain," said the F1 chief executive.  "Yet you should not believe everything you hear because we don't want the opposite to come true. More ...

03/03/10
gp3
Morad joins opening GP3 Series  Lebanon’s number one race driver, Daniel Morad, is opening the next chapter in his motorsport career by driving in the inaugural GP3 Series test at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit this week.

The 19-year-old, who made Lebanese racing history last year with his strong results for A1 Team Lebanon in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, will drive with UK-based team Status Grand Prix in the first competitive sessions with the all-new GP3 Series car.

Morad will gain experience of the turbocharged, 280hp Renault-powered Dallara chassis over two days of running on March 4th and March 5th at the track in southern France. More ...

03/03/10
alms
Tickets still available for Sebring Hall induction  Tickets are still available for the Sebring Hall of Fame Luncheon to be held Friday, March 19th at Sebring International Raceway. This year’s luncheon will honor 2010 inductees Hurley Haywood, John Morton, Derek Daly, Phil Walters, Reginald Smith and Michelin. Derek Bell will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Several other racing legends will be attending the event, which begins with a reception at 11:00 a.m. ET. Dress is casual.

The Sebring Hall of Fame luncheon is held at the Four Points by Sheraton Chateau Elan, overlooking Sebring’s famous Hairpin turn. Tickets are a $200 donation to the Sebring Hall of Fame, a 501(3)C non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Sebring’s motorsports history. To purchase tickets call Jan Shoop at 800-626-7223 x218. More ...

03/03/10
irl
nassprint
100% throttle IndyCar Racing taught Hornish nothing  No one is more surprised than Sam Hornish Jr. that he hasn't had more success in the Sprint Cup Series.  Surprised?  100% throttle racing with your car glued to the track teaches a driver nothing.  In NASCAR the car slides and moves around and a driver must have good car control.  In NASCAR Hornish is a complete backmarker, so what does that tell you?

Hornish, who drives the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, is in his third full season in the Sprint Cup Series.

Hornish, who won a pair of IndyCar Series titles, has yet to win in the series and has just seven top-10 finishes in 75 starts.

It's not exactly the kind of results Hornish became accustomed to when driving Indy cars.

"I could be frustrated with how the last couple of years have gone and I am," he said. "But it has been challenging. It has been everything I kind of wanted it would be. Don't get me wrong, I want to get to the point where we can win."

03/03/10
f1
Liverpool planning F1 street demonstration  The British city of Liverpool hopes to see Formula 1 cars on its streets in May in order to celebrate the 'Liverpool Pageant of Power' event. Roads in the city centre will be closed to the public on Tuesday 25 May in order to allow F1 cars, amongst others, to zoom through. With Silverstone confirmed as home of the British Grand Prix for the next 17 years, fans will be treated to an early arrival of F1 this year as a selection of motor vehicles are taken to Merseyside including motorbikes, speedboats and a 100 mile per hour JCB dragster, accompanied by classic cars and an Airshow.

The event, organized by the property development firm which build the two billion-pound Liverpool ONE shopping centre (which celebrates its second anniversary this year), will serve as a preview for the 'Cholmondeley Pageant of Power', which will be held at Cholmondeley Castle at Malpas in Cheshire this July. More ...

03/03/10
f1
Campos to change name to Hispania Racing F1 team  UPDATE Campos Meta 1 has been renamed "HRT F1" Team, ( Hispania Racing F1 Team) following Jose Ramon Carabante's acquisition of Campos Meta 1 earlier in February. The new team name and identity is strongly linked to its Spanish roots and the team base will be in Murcia, near Alicante, Spain.

The highly motivated squad around Dr. Colin Kolles continues its preparations at full speed to make its F1 debut at the first round of the FIA 2010 F1 season at the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on 14 March.

Dr Colin Kolles, Team Principal comments, "The new team name signifies a new birth for our Formula One ambitions and highlights the incredible effort that is going on behind the scenes to ensure we make a successful debut in Bahrain on 14 March. While we are a new team in the paddock, we will be very proud to stand alongside such legendary names as Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Lotus, as we hope to build our own reputation in the coming years."

The team presentation will be held in Murcia (Spain) on Thursday March 4, 2010.  Team PR

03/02/10 (GMM)  Campos Meta 1 intends to change its name to Hispania Racing F1 Team before the start of the 2010 season next weekend.

Jose Ramon Carabante, who had already been the team president, took over the outfit from former Minardi driver Adrian Campos last month.

Grupo Hispania is the name of 57-year-old Spaniard Carabante's company.

The Spanish newspaper Diario AS said the name change, which must be approved formally by the sport's authorities, will be unveiled officially on Thursday in the Spanish city of Murcia. More ...

03/03/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Toro Rosso tests STR5 at Imola
  • New team 'chaos' as F1 awaits final entry list
  • Teams plead pessimism before 2010 Bahrain thriller
  • Hamilton resists calls for Sunday warm-up session
  • Sabine Kehm to be Schumacher's new manager
  • Marc Gene signs with Spanish F1 broadcaster

Toro Rosso tests STR5 at Imola
(GMM)  Toro Rosso on Tuesday gave its 2010 car one final track outing before next weekend's season opener in Bahrain.

The Ferrari-powered STR5 circulated in pleasant weather at Imola, formerly the long-time host of the San Marino grand prix.

Imola, whose full title is the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, is located just a short drive from Toro Rosso's Faenza factory in northern Italy.

In front of a few hundred spectators, both Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari took turns at the wheel of the car.

"Although the track has changed it has not lost its qualities," said Spaniard Alguersuari.  "I would like to have taken the car to its limit." More ...

03/02/10
f1
Luca di Montezemolo tempers expectations  The F10 is going like a dream, Alonso seems ready to tear the track to pieces and Massa is champing at the bit to make up for lost time. It was up to the Ferrari chief then, to call the ranks to order: "There's too much excitement, we need to keep our feet on the ground. We still have work to do because we're not the best yet, but we have what it takes to be the best." Speaking to Sky Sport24, Montezemolo talked about the excitement building around Ferrari after the excellent pre-season tests: "Last year we were very far behind, and we still have a lot to do to get back on top."
03/02/10
automotive
Ford outsells GM  Now that the Obama Administration is calling the shots at GM and Chrysler Ford Motor Co. outsold General Motors Co. in February for the first time in more than a decade. Ford sold 334 more cars than GM in the U.S. It was the first time since August 1998 that Ford outsold GM.

Ford's said Tuesday its sales jumped 43 percent thanks to strong demand for its cars. The automaker grabbed some sales from Toyota, which is struggling with a massive safety recall.

Ford said it saw renewed demand from rental-car companies and other corporate fleets, which are buying again after weak sales in 2009. Ford's fleet sales surged 74 percent over February of last year.

Ford had expected sales to climb from last February, when U.S. sales plummeted in the midst of the recession.  Ford says car sales climbed 54 percent as consumers continued to shop for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

03/02/10
irl
SFR adds Kansas to Howard's 2010 schedule  TBC Retail Group announced its sponsorship expansion between Jay Howard and Sarah Fisher Racing to include the May 1 race at Kansas Speedway. The 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion also will compete at Indianapolis, Texas, Mid-Ohio and Chicago in SFR's No. 66 Service Central car.

"We added this race to our schedule because of the optimism the entire SFR team demonstrated during the recent practice sessions and we think this is a great kick-off to Jay's race season," said Bob Crostarosa, Senior Vice President Marketing and Advertising, TBC Retail Group. "Jay is the driver to watch this year."

Fisher also will compete in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway - the first oval race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.

"TBC Retail Group has become a great marketing partner of our No. 66 program this year and to be adding Kansas is a huge plus for our 2010 efforts," said Howard, who participated in the first IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test last week at Barber Motorsports Park. "The track time at Kansas prior to heading into the Month of May for the Indianapolis 500 is huge for our growing program. I've competed at Kansas before and I'm grateful that TBC has added that to my schedule to start out the season."

03/02/10
nassprint
DEI being sued  Dale Earnhardt Inc., founded by the late seven-time Nascar champion, was sued by a financial firm that accuses it of reneging on a deal to sell the firm a $3.25 million claim in General Motors Corp.'s bankruptcy. The Seaport Group LLC, based in New York, sued Feb. 25 in federal court in New York. The company wants the court to force Dale Earnhardt Inc. to deliver the claim or to award money damages.

"After DEI signed a binding contract to sell its claim to Seaport, the value of the claim increased dramatically, and DEI refused to honor the deal," Seaport Group wrote in its complaint. Dale Earnhardt Inc., based in Mooresville, North Carolina, agreed to sell the claim for $783,604, according to the complaint. A call to DEI wasn't answered. Business Week
03/02/10
track news
Gehl returns as Toyota GP of Long Beach sponsor  For the 19th consecutive year, Gehl Company, based in West Bend, Wis., a world leader in designing and manufacturing compact equipment for the construction and agricultural  markets, will be the "Official Construction Equipment" sponsor for the 2010 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-18.

Grand Prix race course construction crews are using Gehl equipment to help move and position the 1,800 concrete dividers necessary to build the 1.97-mile street circuit.  During race weekend, Gehl equipment will be involved in removing any crashed or disabled cars from the race circuit. More ...

03/02/10
irl
Herbalife Announces Indy 500 Sponsorship  Herbalife (NYSE: HLF), a global nutrition and direct-selling company, announced today that the company will serve as the primary sponsor for the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports/Chip Ganassi Racing entry in the 2010 edition of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race driven by Herbalife-sponsored athlete Townsend Bell.

Bell, 34, of San Luis Obispo, Calif. comes back to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”  in the bright green HERBALIFE SSM/CGR Dallara Honda open-wheel car  after recording a sensational charge at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in finishing fourth behind the wheel of the Herbalife machine in the 2009 running of the world’s biggest auto race.

Bell, the 2001 Indy Lights champion, started 24th in last year’s event and drove his way through the field to score his highest Indy 500 finish.  He also finished tenth at Indy in 2008 and was the fast qualifier on the second day of time trials.  Bell will be making his fourth Indy 500 start on Sunday, May 30. More ...

03/02/10
automotive
Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac Sales Up 32 Percent  Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers in the U.S. reported sales of 138,849, up a combined 32 percent compared to February 2009. These results were driven by the continued strong growth of new GM crossovers and passenger cars.

GM’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands continue to build momentum in the marketplace, according to Susan Docherty, GM vice president, Sales, Service and Marketing. “Although we’ve been operating as a new company with four brands for just seven months, our February results demonstrate that our long-term plan is already paying dividends,” Docherty said.

Retail sales for GM’s four brands were up 7 percent for the month, driven by strong consumer demand for GM’s crossovers. February retail sales of GM’s newest crossovers – Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX – were up 198 percent compared to the vehicles they replaced. This was the seventh month in a row that retail sales of these vehicles were up more than 100 percent. More ...

03/02/10
automotive
Ferrari goes electric  Supercar maker Ferrari has ditched its famous red livery and gone 'green'.

The legendary Italian car-maker and F1 racing stable has unleashed a 200mph eco-friendly electric hybrid vehicle that aims to cut pollution and fuel consumption - while still giving breathtaking acceleration and performance.

But in a shock to traditionalists (but not AutoRacing1.com who predicted long ago that electric cars are the future) who delight in the explosive roar and rumble of a Ferrari firing up  - this one can start silently and is pollution-free.

Green machine: Ferrari's new petrol-electric hybrid 599 can switch between zero-emissions electric power, petrol power, or a mix of the two, cutting emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and boosting fuel consumption

Green machine: Ferrari's new petrol-electric hybrid 599 can switch between zero-emissions electric power, petrol power, or a mix of the two, cutting emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and boosting fuel consumption

Ferrari stunned visitors when it unveiled its new petrol-electric hybrid 599 at the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland today.

Not only is it in a bright metallic green paint - rather than traditional Ferrari red -  it also has a zero-emissions electric motor backing up its 6.0 liter V12 petrol engine.

03/02/10
nascar
Earnhardt donates $1 million to Victory Junction  Dale Earnhardt Jr. has donated $1 million to the Victory Junction camp for children with serious illnesses.  The donation will be used to build The Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheater at the camp that honors the late Adam Petty. Earnhardt made it to kick off Victory Junction's "Keeping the Dream Alive" campaign.

Petty was killed in 2000 during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway. He had a passion for trying to help seriously ill children, and his parents started the camp in his memory.

Earnhardt says the donation was in memory of "my buddy, Adam Petty," whom he called genuine and a great friend.

03/02/10
automotive
GM to recall 1.3M cars for steering fix  General Motors will recall 1.3 million compact vehicles to correct a power steering problem, the company announced late Monday.

GM plans to replace defective power steering motors that are prone to failure, but an exact fix for the affected cars isn't yet ready; customers will be notified when one is, and company officials say the cars can be safely driven until a fix is prepared.

"While greater steering effort under 15 mph may be required, these vehicles are safe to drive because the customer can still steer the vehicle," Jamie Hresko, GM's vice president of quality, said in a statement.

"When the condition occurs, both a chime will sound and a 'Power Steering' message will be displayed."

03/02/10
gp2
f2
Ricardo Teixeira switches from GP2 to Formula Two  
Ricardo Teixeira
Angolan racer Ricardo Teixeira will compete in the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship after making the switch from GP2 today (02/03).

Teixeira will be one of the most experienced drivers in the F2 field this year, having spent two seasons in the British F3 International class in 2007 and 2008, whilst also contesting the Zandvoort Masters and RTL GP Masters of F3. In 2008 he made the switch to the GP2 Asia Series with Trident Racing, before staying with the team for an assault on the main GP2 series in 2009.

Ricardo has already experienced the Williams JPH1 F2 car, having joined all four days of official winter testing last December. He showed promising pace from the outset, finishing inside the top eight in Valencia. More ...

03/02/10
f1
nassprint
F1 TV numbers dwarf NASCAR  

Source: Delta Sky Magazine, March, 2010
03/02/10
f1
Lopez exits USF1 contract, eyes Friday role with Campos  (GMM)  Jose Maria Lopez has set his sights on becoming reserve driver in 2010 at the new team currently known as Campos.

Victor Rosso, who is part of the Argentinean driver's entourage, told Cadena 3 Cordoba radio that manager Felipe McGough has been working on extracting the 26-year-old from his contract with the failing USF1 team.

It is expected that Campos, to shortly rename its team Hispania Racing, will contest its debut season this year with Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna in the cockpits.

"There is a big chance he can be the Campos reserve driver," said Rosso.

He also said McGough is working on getting back the $830,000 advance that was paid to USF1.

"Being able to turn the tables at the last moment gives us a little bit of relief, because the past 15 days we have lived would not be wished upon my worst enemy," said Rosso. More ...

03/02/10
f1
Hamilton to no longer be managed by father  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton will no longer be managed by his father Anthony.

The 25-year-old confirmed in a teleconference on Tuesday that he is now mature enough to tread his own path, and wants a better relationship with Anthony Hamilton.

At the same time on Tuesday, it emerged that Hamilton Snr's new Silverstone based business GP Prep, giving drivers the chance to test F1 cars outside of the sport's tight test restrictions, had obtained Bernie Ecclestone's official approval.

"We believe that we offer the best test and development career path solution for rookie racing drivers who aspire to become formula one racing drivers," said Hamilton, who now manages the Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta. More ...

03/02/10
f1
Kovalainen says Minardi comments story 'not fair'  (GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen insists his comments comparing Lotus with F1's defunct perennial backmarkers Minardi were "taken out of context".

The 28-year-old driver was quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat this week as saying his new T127 car is "missing more aerodynamically" than the Minardi he tested at Vallelunga in late 2003.

Kovalainen wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that his comments were "taken out of context" and the reports therefore "not fair for our team".

03/02/10
automotive
Honda goes more electric  
The Honda 3R-C concept makes its world debut in Geneva, alongside the EV-N concept which makes its European premier. The 3R-C, a three wheeled battery electric model, envisions a single occupant vehicle for zero emission commuting. The two-door EV-N concept is envisioned with a Lithium ion battery pack, and small electric motor for predominantly urban use. This model incorporates Honda's own solar panels in to the roof, to charge the car while it is parked.
03/02/10
automotive
Porsche goes electric  This morning, at a press conference at the Geneva Auto Show, Porsche revealed three new advanced hybrid vehicles that include a high-performance super sports car concept, a revolutionary new race car and Porsche's first production hybrid, the new Cayenne S Hybrid.

Porsche's President and CEO Michael Macht took the wraps off what promises to be one of the show's highlights, the 918 Spyder - a mid-engine super sports car concept that employs plug-in hybrid technology to achieve approximately 78 mpg while also providing the raw power needed to propel it from a standing start to 100km/h (62 miles per hour) in under 3.2 seconds (See video Home Page).

Macht also revealed another innovative hybrid technology developed especially for racing - the 911 GT3 R Hybrid that uses two electric motors on the front axle to supplement the 480 horsepower engine driving the rear wheels. Instead of the heavy batteries usually found in a hybrid road car, an electrical flywheel power generator is installed next to the driver delivering energy to the electric motors. More ...

03/02/10
automotive
Renault goes electric  In line with the brand's Renault eco2 environmental policy, Renault Z.E. electric vehicles are poised to be marketed on a large scale with a view to taking a decisive stand on the environmental front. Renault will begin selling affordable mass-production electric vehicles in 2011. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is targeting number one status regarding the sale of mass-market Zero-Emission vehicles.
03/02/10
f1
Lotus Racing Announce CNN Partnership  Lotus Racing and CNN International have today announced a partnership deal that sees the newest Formula One™ team entering into a long-term agreement with the world’s leading news network. CNN’s world famous logos will feature on the T127 race cars, the drivers’ overalls and on all team clothing.

The deal will be managed by CNN’s commercial ‘Partner Solutions Group’ and is led by Rani Raad, senior vice president CNN International Advertising Sales. More ...

03/02/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Stefan GP to be on Bahrain grid - Eddie Jordan
  • Russia to sponsor Renault with Lada branding
  • Button must prove he's as good as Hamilton - Ecclestone
  • Button does not believe Schumacher pessimism
  • Force India's accounts uncertainty now over
  • Two F1 champions to miss 2010 season opener

Stefan GP to be on Bahrain grid - Eddie Jordan
(GMM)  Having earlier predicted Michael Schumacher's 2010 return to formula one, Eddie Jordan now thinks the Serbian outfit Stefan GP will be on the Bahrain grid next weekend.

"My understanding is that they will be in Bahrain with Jacques Villeneuve driving," the former F1 team owner and boss, and now expert pundit for British television, told the BBC.

38-year-old French-Canadian Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion who has been out of F1 since he lost his BMW-Sauber seat in 2006, reportedly had a seat fitting at departed team Toyota's Cologne factory on Monday.

The Cologne facility currently houses Stefan GP, who despite not having an official entry for 2010 have prepared Toyota's 2010 package.

Jordan said the team will take the place on the grid currently reserved for USF1, the failing American outfit that has asked to lodge a seven-digit US dollar bond so that its FIA entry is frozen until 2011.

But after the FIA's Charlie Whiting recently visited USF1's Charlotte base, it is rumored that the governing body might revoke the entry.

USF1's woes are bad news for sporting director Peter Windsor, whose role as the pit presenter for Speed TV has been filled, and also James Rossiter, who had been lined up to be Jose Maria Lopez's teammate but will instead race in the IndyCar series.

Irishman Jordan, 61, said USF1 backer Chad Hurley - the chief executive and co-founder of YouTube - might also switch his support to Stefan GP.

In a recent statement, Stefan GP - headed by Serbian businessman Zoran Stefanovic - said it has the "ability" to contest the entire 2010 world championship.

But after the team recently called off its test debut due to a lack of tires, it is rumored that the real reason for the cancellation was because it has not yet fully paid Toyota and completed the build of a second car. More ...

03/01/10
irl
Team Stargate World and HVM announce partnership  In a collaborative effort with HVM Racing, Team Stargate Worlds will enter the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series with driver Simona De Silvestro.  Known as Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing, the team will carry primary sponsorship from Stargate Resistance and associate sponsorship from Bernard Richards Manufacture (BRM), FireSky, Cheyenne Mountain Games, and Cardinal Technologies.  De Silvestro and the # 78 entry will also lead the Do Not Text “N” Drive campaign which is designed to increase public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.

Both groups partnered up and spent the offseason testing De Silvestro in both an Indy car and an Indy Lights car and by all measurements the tests were successful and more importantly, a glimpse of the promising possibilities.  De Silvestro, who enters her 6th year in North American open-wheel racing stunned the open-wheel world in 2009 by winning 4 races in dominant fashion, earning 4 pole positions, and gathering an extraordinary 9 podium finishes in the 2009 Atlantic Championship season.  She would go on to finish third in the series.  Her success was not only impressive but it was also record breaking.  De Silvestro was the first woman is series history to have earned the most wins, pole positions, and led the most laps in a single season.  “Racing in the IndyCar series, alongside the class of competition that I will be racing with is a true honor.  I am very grateful for this opportunity and for the type of team that I will have alongside me.  I am equally grateful for the support that I have from my sponsors, family, friends and fans.  I am very eager for my debut in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season,” states the young 21 year old from Thun, Switzerland. More ...

03/01/10
track news
TMS secures sponsors for Sprint Cup, IndyCar race  Texas Motor Speedway announced Monday that it has title sponsor agreements with AAA Texas for the November NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and with Firestone for the June IZOD IndyCar Series race.  The track has a five-year contract with Irving-based AAA Texas, which takes it through the 2014 fall race. The event, now known as the AAA Texas 500, is the eighth race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season. AAA Texas replaces Dickies, who was the title sponsor since the race's inception in 2005. More ...
03/01/10
racing news
Motorsports Hall of Fame 2010 Inductees  Racing luminaries Dale Armstrong, Joie Chitwood, Alan Kulwicki, Jeremy McGrath, Ken Squier, Jerry Titus and Rich Vogler will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Aug. 25, 2010 at The Fillmore Detroit.

“The Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 features champion drivers who doubled as an innovative crew chief, a showman and stunt man, a race team owner and a magazine editor.  Joining them are an all-time win leader in sprint cars and midgets, a ground breaking broadcaster and a legendary Supercross rider whose nickname was ‘Showtime.’  Their exploits on and around the race tracks of America make them true hall of famers,” said Ron Watson, president of the Hall of Fame. More ...

03/01/10
irl
IRL launches new website  Indy Racing League re-launches official Web site: The Indy Racing League re-launched www.indycar.com today, the official Web site of the Indy Racing League, IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.

In addition to a new design, the Web site re-launch features several new interactive aspects to further immerse fans into the sport. More ...

03/01/10
nastruck
Another NASCAR substance abuse case  William Hileman, a crew member for the No. 76 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

On Feb. 25, Hileman was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.

03/01/10
irl
OneAmerica, Andretti Autosport Announce Contract Extension  Executives from the OneAmerica companies and Andretti Autosport announced today that they will again team up for the 2010 and 2011 seasons with sponsorship of the #11 entry driven by 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan and the #26 program of Andretti Autosport driver Marco Andretti.

OneAmerica's sponsorship includes a presence on the #'s 11 and 26 Indy cars and driver uniforms, and significant marketing-based initiatives during the IZOD IndyCar season, including the Indianapolis 500, May 30 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More ...
03/01/10
f1
Cosworth achieves pre-season testing targets  Cosworth concluded its pre-season testing program at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on Sunday having accomplished all of its objectives ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Cosworth-powered cars have totaled a cumulative 11,336km, or 2,547 laps, over the four official pre-season tests in Valencia, Jerez and Barcelona with AT&T Williams, Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing all taking to the track powered by Cosworth's CA2010 V8 engines.

Last week's four-day Barcelona test saw the culmination of the pre-season testing program with Cosworth taking great satisfaction from the continued reliability and performance of the CA2010. AT&T Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg topped Friday's timesheets with a best lap of 1m20.614s, less than two-tenths-of-a-second shy of the fastest lap of the entire Barcelona test. More ...

03/01/10
track news
IMS business so bad it asks fans to buy hospitality suites  Luxury hospitality at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, once reserved for large corporate clients, is available for individuals and small groups at all three IMS events in 2010.

There is a wide variety of premium individual hospitality packages for the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Red Bull Indianapolis GP, with prices and amenities to suit everyone.

Package options can be viewed by clicking the Hospitality link at the IMS ticket site, imstix.com. For more information, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

"Recognizing the need for luxury hospitality for individuals and small groups, we've created Brickyard and Gasoline Alley Clubs as premium opportunities to enhance the experience for those attending the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400," said Chris Schwartz, IMS vice president of marketing and communications. "This is a natural extension of our successful VIP Village and Corner 9 Club that have existed for Red Bull Indianapolis GP since its inception." More ...

03/01/10
nassprint
Gordon looks ahead to retirement  As his family expands, so does the timeline on #24-Jeff Gordon's Sprint Cup career. Once planning to retire from NASCAR at 40, he now wants to drive several more seasons with Hendrick Motorsports so his children can appreciate the success of the sport's sixth all-time winningest driver (82 victories). Gordon has a 2-year-old daughter, Ella Sofia, and his wife, Ingrid, is due with their second child in August. "I've always said I don't want to race for the money," said Gordon, who turns 39 on Aug. 4. "I really want my family to be able to be a part of it in a way that they can see and experience and be proud of what I've done." Gordon has a lifetime contract to drive the #24 Chevy for Hendrick, which is working to extend a deal with his primary sponsor, DuPont, beyond the 2010 season. "You go through life and find you really care about what you do and how important it is," he said. "You think about what life would be like without it. I'm enjoying what I do." John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather who oversees the four-time champion's business affairs as general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc., told USA TODAY the four-time champion is five to six years away from retiring. More at the USA Today
03/01/10
nnw
Plattenberger Named Interim Crew Chief  Steve Plattenberger has been named the interim crew chief for R3 Motorsports and the team’s No. 23 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series; effective immediately. He replaces John Quinn, who is no longer with the team.

Plattenberger, who has been the team’s shop foreman since last season, has prior crew chief experience and brings more than two decades of knowledge to the team. He’s led the efforts of drivers such as Robert Pressley, Stacy Compton, John Andretti and Jeff Fuller in the past. In 1995, he led Fuller to Rookie of the Year honors in the Nationwide Series.

The first race for Plattenberger on the pit box for R3 Motorsports will be the upcoming Bristol Motor Speedway event on Saturday, March 20.

03/01/10
tv news
f1
SPEED announces 2010 F1 coverage  The familiar faces of Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett once again will lead the SPEED/FOX Sports Formula One broadcast team as SPEED rolls into its 15th year as the exclusive U.S. cable broadcaster of the FIA Formula One World Championship, beginning with live coverage of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14 at 7:30 a.m. ET. One face, however, will be new to the U.S. viewing audience.

Will Buxton, the 29-year-old founding editor of GPWeek magazine, will report from the grid, replacing Peter Windsor, whose efforts remain focused on his start-up US F1 project.

“First up, I've got to admit that I’m just massively excited about the whole thing,” said Buxton, who will join the team    shortly after he and wife Emma welcome their first child. “It’s a huge honor to be joining the SPEED team, and in particular to be doing so at the start of what could be an incredible era in the history of Formula 1. More ...

03/01/10
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN  NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven and ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Tuesday, March 9, at midnight ET (late Monday night) on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

Mike Massaro hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of this week at 5 p.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m. Massaro also hosts the one-hour weekend edition that airs Sunday, March 7, at 9 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Nicole Briscoe and Marty Smith will report from the speedway. More ...
03/01/10
f2
Sergey Afanasiev confirmed in Formula Two line-up  
Sergey Afanasiev
Sergey Afanasiev has today (01/03) become the second Russian driver to join the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship.

Afanasiev, part of the Lukoil Driver Support Program, joins the series after an impressive 2009 campaign which saw him finish as runner-up in the International Formula Master series. He scored one race victory and nine podiums from the 16 races, including top three finishes at Brno, Brands Hatch and Oschersleben – all circuits F2 will visit in 2010. The 21-year-old also competed in IFM in 2008, recording one victory, two podiums and one pole.

Despite his young age the Russian’s single seater career dates back to 2004 when he won the Formula Russia championship in his maiden season. He went on to become a multiple race winner in Formula Renault 2.0 and also competed in the F3 EuroSeries and Formula Renault 3.5. More ...

03/01/10
f1
Mateschitz worried about Renault's F1 commitment  (GMM)  Dietrich Mateschitz on Monday admitted he is worried about Renault's long-term commitment to formula one.

In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten, the Red Bull energy drinks mogul played down claims his Milton Keynes based F1 team could now become the French carmaker's works partner.

"I doubt it, because I suspect Renault does not intend to be in formula one for so long," said the 63-year-old billionaire.

Although the Renault F1 Team for now retains its name and identity, the French carmaker has essentially withdrawn from F1, selling a major stake in its British based outfit to the Luxembourg based private equity firm Genii Capital.

Renault also supplies its 2.4 liter V8 engine to Red Bull Racing, even though Mateschitz's team looked into switching to Mercedes power for 2011.

"That Renault does not have a long-term connection is for us a little bit of an uncertainty," he added.

03/01/10
nnw
Townley cited for underage possession of alcohol  UPDATE NASCAR Nationwide Series driver John Wes Townley started the 2010 season feeling like his racing career had received the boost he had dreamed of. Famed championship team owner Richard Childress signed the young driver to lead his Nationwide Series efforts for this season. His long time sponsor, Zaxby's, signed on with the program. It was a golden opportunity for a talented young driver to prove he was worthy of sitting inside of a Childress car.

Unfortunately, Townley found himself being the subject of a very embarrassing story line this past Thursday night in Las Vegas. The 20 year old driver received a citation for underage possession of alcohol and in the process learned a very hard lesson about the down side of dealing with public relations.

By Saturday afternoon the appropriate apology was issued by the young driver. In that statement Townley said "I made a big mistake and I feel terrible about it. I have learned a valuable lesson and will do everything I can to make it up to those I have let down." More ...

03/01/10
nascar
Lowest-finishing, non-wrecked car to be inspected  NASCAR has instituted a new postrace inspection policy for Sprint Cup races in which the first car out of the race that is not involved in an accident will be held for teardown, much like the cars that currently finish in the top five. That meant that Aric Almirola's #09 Phoenix Racing's Chevy was thoroughly inspected after the Las Vegas Motor Speedway race. His engine was taken to be torn down later this week at the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, NC.

The policy is expected to impact the start-and-park teams - teams that typically bring a car but don't have funding to run the entire event. These teams often are not in the top 35 in owner points, so they are required to qualify on speed. The new policy means it is likely that one of the cars that qualify on speed for every race will end up getting torn down. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Sunday the move was not to discourage start-and-park teams. More ...
03/01/10
nassprint
Montoya blames teammate for wreck, calls him a wanker  
Teammates Montoya and McMurray crash
Getty Images for NASCAR
PABLO MONTOYA, #42 TARGET IMPALA - involved in crash with teammate Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch - Finished 37th

WHAT HAPPENED?
"He (McMurray) runs straight into my ass. He nearly ran me into the fence in (Turn) 2 as well. I don't know. He's not doing himself any favors. I'm sure (McMurray) is going to say, 'Oh, I didn't mean that.'
"Just Jamie (McMurray) plain and simple just wrecked us. Every time I am around him, he wants to run the shit out of me. I don't know if it is ok to say that but I just did (LAUGHS). On the restart I was inside of him, I think he got tight and never lifted, I didn't hit the fence because.....it was a miracle. Then I arced it in to three and he just plain and simple just wrecked us. I'm sure on the radio it was "Ah, I didn't mean that." He is just trying to prove to people he can drive a race car and I guess he isn't doing too many favors on this team."

HOW BAD IS THE CAR? "We will get it back out. I know he is trying to prove a point and show everybody he can drive a race car, but it really ruined our day. For the Chase, this doesn't help. We had a problem last week with the motor and this week this. It is painful. He nearly ran me in to the fence out of two as well. Going in to three just plain and simple just wrecked us. Oh well but not doing himself too many favors." More ...
03/01/10
f1
Stefan GP waits on FIA OK to race  With reports continuing that USF1 and Campos Meta will more than likely miss the upcoming 2010 Formula one championship after gaining entry last year, Stefan grand Prix has reiterated that they are ready willing and able to make the start of the championship as soon as they are given the all clear.  Using last year's Toyota F1 car, the team did not have to design an entire new car for 2010.  They will be slow, but at least they are willing to race.

“SGP would like to re-confirm its desire and, importantly, its ability to compete in the whole of the FIA 2010 Formula One World Championship,” they said. “It recognizes that this can only happen with the consent of the FIA and the FOM, but has faith that the Formula One 'family' will make the correct decision in the end. There will be no more press releases on this subject and we look forward to being allowed to show everyone our team in Bahrain.”

With teams scheduled to ship out this week for next weekend’s season opener, Stefan Grand Prix is said to already have their equipment ready and waiting in Bahrain. Now it is a case of wait and see if they will actually be able to race!

03/01/10
f1
Q&A with Bridgestone's Hirohide Hamashima  
What are Bridgestone’s conclusions from pre-season testing?

The major change of the narrower front tire is working well and has made a positive change to car grip balance. Teams have made good progress despite the limited dry running this month. Our objective of improving the warm-up of all of the dry compounds has been achieved and the tires are working well with the new, heavier cars.

How important was it to get dry weather in Barcelona?

After a lot of rain in Jerez it was good to get dry running here. The first test in Valencia was also dry, however with only seven teams there was a limited amount of data. If Valencia had been the only dry test, then there would be a lot still to learn in Bahrain. Of course, in Barcelona the weather was not perfect. The first day the track was green so it wasn’t until the second day that we had a good amount of rubber laid. There was rain on the third day, which didn’t help, but overall this final test has been very valuable. More ...

03/01/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Alguersuari nearly lost 2010 seat - father
  • F1 world holds breath for Mercedes 'super diffuser'
  • Clock winds down for Stefan, Campos and USF1
  • New Lotus car worse than Minardi - Kovalainen
  • Attempts to name 2010 favorite 'absurd' - Massa
  • FIA commissions Aus GP relocation study
  • Lopez looks set to lose 2010 race seat

Alguersuari nearly lost 2010 seat - father
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari's father has confirmed speculation the Spaniard almost lost his Toro Rosso race seat for 2010.

Before the Red Bull-owned team announced the re-signing of the 19-year-old driver for this season, it was rumored Toro Rosso had demanded he bring some sponsorship funding to the seat.

"At the time, it (the speculation) was true," his father Jaume, involved in the running of the Formula Renault 3.5 series, is quoted as saying by El Pais.

"I went to most of the large Spanish companies but had to return to (team boss Franz) Tost and say I found nothing.  He was devastated.

"But in the end everything worked out," Alguersuari Snr said.

The newspaper said Alguersuari, whose 2010 retainer is about EUR300,000, is still not substantially backed by any sponsors.

El Pais said the decision to retain Alguersuari was made by Dietrich Mateschitz's motor racing advisor Helmut Marko. More ...

02/28/10
racing news
Mario turns 70 today  UPDATE Happy birthday to Mario Andretti, who turns 70 today. And the party will continue to the first race of the F1 season as Andretti will go to Bahrain to be part of the celebrations of the 60 years of the Formula One World Championship, and he will be joined by a bunch of other champions and his Lotus 79 in which he won the 1978 title.

Mario and his Lotus 79
Andretti will be reunited with the Lotus 79 in which he won the 1978 Formula 1 drivers' title at this year's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The American racing legend, who turned 70 today, is one of a number of former champions who will attend the season opening F1 race in Bahrain to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the F1 World Championship (started in 1950). Triple champions Sir Jack Brabham and Sir Jackie Stewart, double title winner Emerson Fittipaldi, and 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell will also appear.

"I'm delighted to be invited and to be part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of F1," said Andretti, for whom the visit will be his first to Bahrain. "This is something very special to me.

"I have followed the six previous races with great interest. It looks like a spectacular venue and I can't wait for what will certainly be a weekend of excitement on the track, as well as fun and reminiscing with good friends."

02/28/10 Mario Andretti was born on this day (February 28th) in 1940, in Montona, Italy.  He now 70-years old.
02/28/10
track news
Another sellout in Las Vegas  Las Vegas Motor Speedway recorded its ninth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellout with Sunday's running of the Shelby American.  Speedway officials sold the final grandstand seats Sunday morning prior to the green flag for the 13th annual event. The capacity crowd marked the largest crowd of the season.

"In what are still challenging economic times, today's turnout is a testament to the popularity of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this great city and NASCAR's premier racing series," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "We really appreciate the thousands of race fans who chose to spend the day with us."

02/28/10
nassprint
Bodine's bobsled wins gold medal  The United States Olympic drought that lasted over several generations of bobsledders and at least one lifetime ended Sunday afternoon when driver Steve Holcomb drove his Bo-Dyn four man crew to a gold medal at the Whistler Sliding Center. It marked the first four-man gold medal since the Winter Games of 1948. Helped by track records in the opening two heats on Saturday, Holcomb, with crew members Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz on the brakes came to the 16-turn track Sunday with a 0.4 of a second lead over Canada's Lyndon Rush and .44 ahead of German icon Andre Lange. Holcomb, in the Bo-Dyn Night Train bobsled that captured the world championship one year ago, extended the advantage to 0.45 with the best third run. With no troubles on the fast and treacherous course, the Night Train safely negotiated its way to the third best final leg and wound up defeating Lange by 0.38 of a second. Rush, second through the first three runs, was overtaken by Lange in the finale and placed another 0.01 behind and in the bronze medal position. More ...
02/28/10
f1
F1 preseason ends showing close field  Warm weather in Barcelona provided the backdrop for the final day of F1 preseason testing.  Lewis Hamilton had a strong performance on the final day of testing at Barcelona in Spain on Sunday - setting the quickest time in qualifying simulations in the morning and also doing a impressive race distance simulation run in the afternoon.

Hamilton spent the morning focusing on qualifying simulation work.

His best time of 1m20.472 came while most of his potential title rivals were working on qualifying simulations too - and showed how competitive the field will be this year at least in terms of single lap pace with the top-8 separated by just 1/2-second.

Just two weeks from today, they will be racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Results

Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:20.472 134
2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:20.496 61
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.539 114
4. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:20.611 100
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:20.667 76
6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:20.745 123
7. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:20.870 84
8. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber 1:20.911 67
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:22.135 88
10. Robert Kubica Renault 1:23.175 107
11. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:25.251 65
12. Lucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing 1:26.160 49

02/28/10
f1
Last F1 test day at lunch: a pecking-order snapshot?  (GMM)  As the 2010 pre-season winds down on Sunday, F1's pecking order for the forthcoming world championship continued to develop.

On the final overcast morning of the Barcelona test, many runners took fuel out of their cars and fitted new tires to gauge raw qualifying pace.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton went into the mandatory lunch break with the quickest time of the entire test, having already said the MP4-25 is "light years" better than its predecessor.

Driving the same upgrade as had Jenson Button a day earlier, it is believed Hamilton has a better grasp of the silver car than the reigning world champion.

"I'm reasonably happy with it," Button said on Friday after testing the new front wing, diffuser, engine cover and exhausts. More ...

02/28/10
f1
Mosley, Fernandes back Branson over Ferrari outburst  (GMM)  Tony Fernandes and Max Mosley have backed Sir Richard Branson against Ferrari's outburst about new teams in formula one.

After the famous Italian team slammed the former FIA president and the small incoming teams, Virgin owner Branson said the 'Horse Whisperer' column was "sad".

On a flying visit to the final pre-season test at Barcelona, the British billionaire added: "I think it was a pity that they (Ferrari) were resistant to the budget cap and I think it is foolish actually.

"I think the one thing the Virgin team will prove is that you can have a really good racing team, running very fast, within a very tight budget," said Branson.

Previously, Branson and Lotus team boss Fernandes' rivalry has been feisty, as the pair challenged one another to play airline stewardess if they are beaten in 2010.

But on the Ferrari issue, Malaysian Fernandes is backing Branson, and he wrote on Twitter: "Wonder what Ferrari would be like on Virgin's budget."

Mosley's own reaction was predictable, telling a select few British press men last week that Ferrari is like "a frumpy old woman at a dance who sees a couple of pretty young girls come in and they resent it". More ...

02/28/10
tracks news
Patch no longer an issue at DIS  The tiny pothole that brought the mighty Daytona 500 to its knees has been eliminated as a racing nuisance.

The hole, which started as a gouge from the chassis of a Sprint Cup Series stock car, caused NASCAR to stop the 500 twice for more than 2 1/2 hours to repair the area.

The pothole was fixed with a concrete patch four days after the checkered flag fell on the Daytona 500, capping three weeks of auto racing events. The area was allowed to "cure" for several days to complete the repair. More ...

02/28/10
f1
Massa head cam from Jerez  

02/27/10
nnw
Video: Danica talks about Vegas crash  
02/27/10
nnw
Harvick wins Vegas Nationwide race  The best car in the Sam's Town 300 finally got to the front -- just in time to win the race.

Frustrated by slow stops on pit road and a variety of different tire strategies on the part of his competitors, Harvick passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with 25 laps left in Saturday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and pulled away to beat Hamlin by 1.361 seconds.

The victory was Harvick's first of the season and the 35th of his career, second best all-time in NASCAR's Nationwide Series. More ...

02/27/10
f1
Button questions pace of new McLaren  Just a day after 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher questioned the pace of his Mercedes, current title holder Jenson Button has hinted that his McLaren may also require improvements before he is able to challenge for race victories in his season of title defense.

Having taken his six victories of 2009 in the first seven races of the campaign, Button's victory tally could be somewhat the opposite this season as the Englishman knows that there is already room for a step up with his MP4-25.

"There's definitely more to come from this car," Button explained to GPUpdate.net at the Circuit de Catalunya, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton set to take over at the wheel tomorrow. "The day was too short, I would rather have another day of testing. Out of the box I'm happy with the consistency but don't think that we're at our maximum yet - there will be more to come." More ...

02/27/10
track news
Sam's Town, LVMS extend sponsorship agreement  The NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will continue to be sponsored by Boyd Gaming and its Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, officials of the sponsoring hotel and the speedway announced today.

The race name remains the Sam's Town 300, which has been the name since the 1998 event. Only Food City has been on Bristol's fall Nationwide Series race longer.

"We've been very fortunate to find what we believe to be the best title sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series," said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager. "This event has become one of the most popular on the circuit, and our friends at Boyd Gaming and its Sam's Town property share a great deal of responsibility for that success." More ...

02/27/10
nassprint
NASCAR #2 star spins into pit road, only incident of final practice  The only incident on Saturday during Sprint Cup Happy Hour in Las Vegas came when NASCAR's 2nd biggest hero (behind Danica Patrick) Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun his No. 88 Chevrolet while trying to enter pit road. He was able to drive away without further incident and the car appeared to suffer no apparent damage.
02/27/10
nassprint
RCR Forms Partnership with Hall of Fame Racing  Richard Childress Racing has entered into a partnership agreement with a group led by San Diego Padres executives Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel.

Moorad, the Padres’ vice chairman and chief executive officer, and Garfinkel, the team’s president and chief operating officer, will assist RCR in its business development and growth opportunities, and cooperate on other strategic initiatives. They will also participate on RCR’s internal advisory group.  More ...

02/27/10
nnw
Kesolowski wins Nationwide pole, Danica slow again  Brad Keselowski scored his first pole with Penske Racing when he took the top spot for today's NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It's Keselowski's fourth career NNS pole and it came after he posted a lap of 185.427 mph in the No. 22 Dodge. His last pole came at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2009.

Kevin Harvick qualified second for his third top-10 start of 2010 and his sixth in ten races at LVMS.

Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

NASCAR's biggest star, Danica Patrick was too slow to make the field but got in on owners points. More ...

02/27/10
f1
Schumacher concedes Mercedes team not yet good enough  UPDATE (GMM)  Michael Schumacher on Saturday steered away from claims his 2010 car might not be a winning one.

When asked 24 hours ago whether the W01 Mercedes car will travel to Bahrain next month as the favorite, he told reporters at the Barcelona test: "Maybe not."

Is this Mercedes GP car a dog?  Would be a first for Ross Brawn
But as he spoke to the media again on Saturday, as his teammate Nico Rosberg set the pace at the showery venue in front of more than 20,000 Spaniards, the seven time world champion sang a different tune.

"This was an initial feeling and it looks like that maybe we were running more fuel than others on Friday and that is why track times didn't look so good," said the German, who is 41.

"Now I've looked at the data it looks not so bad, it looks very reasonable.  So let's see where we are in reality," Schumacher added.

However, the winner of a record 91 grands prix repeated his feeling that he might not be at the top of the podium immediately this season.

"Yesterday I was a little bit pessimistic but after studying the data last night actually it looks more reasonable than I thought," he said.

Schumacher said "several" teams look set to battle for supremacy early in 2010, but admitted that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, "at the moment, look the target". More ...

02/27/10
gp2a
Rossi penalized, but proves he's Americas next star  
19-year old Alexander Rossi
A tough day today for Meritus' Alexander Rossi from America who had to prematurely retire from today's GP2 Asia sprint race in Bahrain.

On top of scoring no point this weekend, Rossi was handed a ten grid position penalty by the Marshalls after he was found guilty of forcing Ocean's Fabio Leimer off the track during the early stages of today's event.

This penalty will be effective next feature race in Bahrain where the last round of the third GP2 Asia Series will take place in two weeks, alongside Formula One's season opener.

"I had a great start and dashed from the back up a good number of positions," said Rossi. "Then on the third lap I touched Will Bratt and that was the end of my race on lap three - a racing accident that has been investigated by the Stewarts of the race after the event and that will cost me a ten grid position drop for next race. I am sorry for the team, and the engineers because I had a good car."

Alexander Rossi (USA, Meritus) leads Jules Bianchi (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Sam Bird (GBR, ART Grand Prix)
Too bad about Rossi not finishing as he was on a real charge. Starting 24th and last, he had raced up to 12th before the incident that took him off. This guy knows how to race.  Leimer brake tested him on the straight while the two were dicing and he clipped his front wing on Leimer's car, breaking it and causing him to slide into the back of Will Bratt in the Coloni car as he couldn't stop. The penalty seems a bit harsh given some of the wheel banging that goes on in GP2 - a lot worse goes unpenalized!  It was great to see real driving out there. Best show of the race.

Rossi was flying, it is real shame to get penalized for fighting as hard as was. He picked up 12 spots from the back in 2 laps and on pace for points, maybe podium. And we are not talking about mediocre drivers here, we are talking about GP2 where any one of the drivers could compete in F1, GP2 being the stepping stone into F1.  Yesterday he set fastest lap in the race before retiring and some say Rossi is the fastest driver in GP2 and he's still a rookie!  America should be proud to have this youngster racing in Europe. He is the real deal.  We predict he will make it to F1 and is probably America's next best hope to win an F1 title.

02/27/10
gp2a
Pic wins first GP2 Asia race  Charles Pic bagged his first GP2 Asia win today in Bahrain sprint race after overtaking initial race leader Adrian Zaugg on Lap 4 and then pulling away from his closest rivals Giacomo Ricci and Javier Villa.

Today’s polesitter on the reversed grid Zaugg took off perfectly and kept the lead coming out of the first corner. Behind him, chaos ensued when Alvaro Parente and Sergio Perez came together while fighting for second place at Turn 4, with Perez earning a broken wing and Parente spinning into the barriers a few meters farther. More contacts in the field led to newly crowned Davide Valsecchi and countryman Luca Filippi having to go back to the pits to fix their damaged cars. More ...

02/27/10
f1
Rosberg fastest at lunchtime as rain arrives in Spain  It's been a frustrating morning's running in Barcelona today as the final pre-season test of 2010 resumed at the Spanish Grand Prix venue, with the arrival of rain hampering the teams' work from mid-morning. After a dry start to the morning, rain hit the circuit at about 11.00, with the circuit remaining damp ever since.

Before the rain arrived, it was Mercedes' Nico Rosberg who topped the timesheets, clocking a time of 1m20.686s, marginally slower than yesterday's fastest set by Nico Hülkenberg. Rosberg set his time during a series of short runs, showing the potential pace of the W01 for the first time. More ...

02/27/10
nascar
Danica, not Dale Jr. now NASCAR's biggest star  
Danica Patrick.  Is she headed to NASCAR full time in 2 years?
Due to hit the newsstands March 2nd, NASCAR illustrated features Danica Patrick on the cover. 

Based on her TV ratings and media popularity, she has instantly replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr. as NASCAR's biggest star.

Unfortunately Dale Jr. is far from being the best driver in NASCAR and his fan base is probably starting to realize that.  There are no excuses left for his poor performance now - he is with the best team and is the worse driver on the team.

Danica Patrick risks the same potential downfall.  She is a big star now but if she doesn't start producing the results on the race track, fans and the media will eventually lose interest.
02/27/10
superleague
9 teams, 18 cars for Superleague  The final selection has now taken place for Teams to enter into the upcoming Superleague Formula by Sonangol campaign due to kick off at Silverstone on April 2nd.

The roster, increased by two from the end of last season, sees each squad fielding two football clubs each.

Due to compete alongside existing teams Atech, Alan Docking Racing, GU Racing, Reid Motorsport, Azerti and Epsilon are Emilio de Villota Motorsport and Laurent Redon, as well as one further outfit still to be announced. More ...

02/27/10
irl
nnw
Patrick badmouths IndyCars and stock cars  When Danica Patrick speaks to the NASCAR media, she subtly downplays IndyCar, saying the car has so much downforce that she can hug the white line while a stock car is a driving challenge. But when she returns to IndyCar, she has a much different explanation of a stock car and it's not exactly flattering.

"It doesn't do much very well because it is just a stock car," Patrick said. "It is very simple. It is 1970s technology and it is just old."  SI.com

02/27/10
racing news
Target Race Carts debuts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway  
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced that sponsor Target will activate a new motorsports product sampling program during the 2010 racing season at select NASCAR and IRL events. The new Target At-Track Mobile Series will demonstrate the unique nature of the Target Racing program and also will showcase its valued sponsor partners. The focal point of the program will be customized, completely operational and oversized Target Race Carts patterned after Target shopping carts. Trained Target street teams will drive and accompany these race cart vehicles throughout the race track property beginning on Friday and running through Sunday of select race weekends. They will distribute samples and coupon books for brands including: Glad, Energizer, Breathe Right, Gillette, Air Wick, Nicorette, Armor All and TUMS. The program will debut at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Feb. 28), and continue at NSCS race weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 30), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 27), and the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Infineon Raceway (Aug. 22).

Target Race Quick Facts:
· Nearly 10 feet tall, more than five feet wide and more than 13 feet long
· Travel at speeds up to 35-miles per hour and will be powered by an eco-friendly, 250 cc, propane engine
· Can seat two adults and hold more than 500lbs. of product
· Will be transported to the track via an open bed trailer, allowing for visibility when on the road EGR
02/27/10
nassprint
No new Ford engines at Vegas  There are no "FR9" engines being run this week in any of the 12 Fords that are entered and guaranteed starting spots in Sunday's Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ford Notes/RFR
02/27/10
nassprint
Kahne still uncertain about future plans  
Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne talks about his slow start to the 2010 season and uncertainty of his plans past 2010 with RPM:

YOU'VE HAD SOME ISSUES THE FIRST TWO WEEKS.
"The car has been decent. At Daytona and last week I think we've been top 10 cars. We got in a wreck at Daytona and last week I just made a mistake and cost us a lot of points and a top 10. It's disappointing, but those things happen once in a while. Hopefully, we'll get things turned around and have good, strong run this whole weekend."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE IN A HOLE?
"I don't think our season is over, but we're definitely in a hole as of today. We're thirty-something in points, so that's not very good, but we still have plenty of racing to go." More ...
02/27/10
track news
Biffle buys himself a race track, starts series  Greg Biffle announced that he has acquired partial ownership of Sunset Speedway in Banks Oregon. Biffle also announced the formation of the "DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin Williams" a new late model series with title sponsorship from DAA Northwest and Sherwin-Williams. Sunset Speedway, a third of a mile clay dirt track located just outside Portland, Oregon will host 35 events in 2010. Saturday nights between April and September see more than 100 cars compete for championship points in six divisions. With partner Jerry Schram, the track has already made significant improvements to both the facility and point's programs. The DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin-Williams will see late model drivers from around the Northwest compete in 22 events on six tracks for a piece of the $25,000 series point's fund. Sunset Speedway will begin the 2010 season starting April 10. The inaugural season of the DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin-Williams starts April 24 at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon. Roush Racing PR
02/27/10
irl
And Americans wonder why they can't make it in racing?  
Simon Pagenaud, Raphael Matos and Graham Rahal - Atlantic drivers in 2006
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I am not surprised that Graham Rahal cannot find sponsorship to race in IndyCar this year.  He's only won one race, but more importantly, is he hungry enough?  I snapped this photo in the media center at Road America in 2006.  Look how Mr. Rahal is slouched over and looking very unprofessional, even in front of the media, while Simon Pagenaud and Raphael Matos sit upright, look professional, and appear to be attentive to what is going on.

Raphael Matos came to America with 10 cents in his pocket and he still has an IndyCar ride.  Not because he brought sponsorship, but because he does not act as if racing owes him anything.  He is professional and teams and sponsors want drivers like that.  At the end of the day they want to back a winner and in Matos, and Pagenaud you get that feeling.

I have seen other "big name" American drivers with the same sloppy attitude/style.

The devils in the details as they say, and that includes conducting every part of your business in racing with your full attention and class. Debbie Richardson, England

02/27/10
f1
Stefan slams USF1 'dreamers' as entry push continues  (GMM)  Stefan GP on Saturday continued its feisty push to race in formula one in 2010.

Amid rumors the Serbian outfit may not have sent containers of equipment to Bahrain for the first race as it earlier claimed, copies of the actual transport orders were published on Stefan GP's official website.

In a media statement, the team was also highly critical of the fact that - despite USF1 struggling to raise money and complete its car - it is possible Stefan GP will not be granted an official entry.

"If case we don't receive the chance to compete in Bahrain, and also when some of the (confirmed) teams fail to show up, somebody should be in trouble explaining what is happen to all of us," read the statement posted only in poor English. More ...

02/27/10
f1
F1 needs 'quality not quantity' on entry list - Webber  
Richard Branson
(GMM)  Sir Richard Branson is in the Barcelona paddock on Saturday, and he made clear his distaste for Ferrari's recent outburst.

Ferrari's 'Horse Whisperer' column poured scorn on the new wave of struggling small teams in formula one, including Branson's Virgin Racing.

"I think it's a bit sad to see Ferrari carrying on with those kinds of words," said the flamboyant British billionaire.

"Ferrari should be welcoming new teams because they make the sport much more exciting," Branson added.

But as the headlines talk about the failing USF1 team, Campos' push to get two cars to Bahrain, and the hopeful and feisty Stefan GP, Australian driver Mark Webber admitted he sees the sport's situation as "totally mad". More ...

02/27/10
f1
Amid rain in Spain, pecking order also clouded  
Nico Rosberg
(GMM)  Rain threatened to put a dampener on the Barcelona test early on Saturday, but the 2010 pecking order was also clouded.

"P1 today is nice but means nothing, to be honest," Williams' Nico Hulkenberg said after topping Friday's timesheets.

Also quick on Friday was Ferrari, while McLaren and Mercedes seemed to be struggling for pace, and Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull could manage just the fifth fastest time.

"I don't know what was going on with McLaren and Mercedes today.  I haven't looked that closely but they didn't seem to be that quick," said German Vettel. More ...

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