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DATE News (chronologically)
03/03/12
f1
Ferrari abandons radical exhaust  
Massa in the new Ferrari
Ferrari’s technical director has pointed out that the team gambled with an aggressive approach to the design of the exhaust system on their F2012, but the project backfired and the Maranello squad have reverted to a more conventional system.

Technical director Pat Fry admitted, “We started off with an exhaust system configuration that was particularly aggressive, but after last week’s test, it was clear this solution still required a lot of development before it could be used in a race. We opted for a more conventional configuration. Obviously, having developed the car to suit this innovative exhaust concept, now we must re-optimize everything in just the few days left before Australia. There aren’t major differences between the two systems in terms of performance, but we really need to analyze everything in detail.” More ...

03/03/12
nnw
At least Danica didn't crash this weekend  
Last year at Phoenix Danica Patrick was involved in this accident, this year she made it to the end but way behind in 21st
The good news for Danica Patrick is she actually got through a race without crashing in 2012.  The bad news is she couldn’t keep pace with the leaders, winding up 21st in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway.

Finishing three laps down in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, Patrick quickly exited her race car and declined to do interviews after the frustrating day on the 1-mile track.

“You just have to chalk it up,” said JR Motorsports co-owner and Patrick crew chief Tony Eury Jr. “We know there’s nine short-track races we’re going to have trouble with this year and going to get more experience and that’s what we’re going to do.”

“Top-10s on the mile-and-a-halves are really what we need to be doing,” Patrick said Friday. “I just get along better with the more banked, grippy tracks. They just are a little more of a translation from my experience at IndyCars than going to flatter, less-gripped tracks like Phoenix.”

03/03/12
irl
Eddie Gossage berates IndyCar drivers  UPDATE IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said there has been no talk of a driver boycott at Texas Motor Speedway, and the series will race there as planned this season.

"IndyCar has an agreement to race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9, and will race there for a 16th consecutive season," Bernard said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday night.

"Never has there been any discussion by IndyCar's drivers about boycotting Texas Motor Speedway. We have so many good things happening in the series, we are not going to let rumors tear down all the positives we have as we continue to move forward." More ...

03/03/12
automotive
Ford Focus gets EPA 105 MPGe, 76-mile range  
The EPA has finished its usual gauntlet of tests and has found that this year's Ford Focus Electric is the most efficient five-seater in America. The agency certified that it gets 105 miles to the electric equivalent to the gallon (divided between 110MPGe in the city and 99MPGe on the highway), which is better than Ford's own claim of just 100MPGe. The company's found cause to celebrate the milestone and throw a few jabs at its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf. In fact, you could say that the House that Henry built has a bit of a complex about the leafy EV -- in the press release that follows, it mentions the rival vehicle no less than nine times.

Ford Focus Electric Becomes America's Most Fuel-Efficient Five-Passenger Vehicle with 110 MPGe EPA Rating

DEARBORN, Mich., – Ford's all-new Focus Electric is now officially America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger car with a certified 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 99 MPGe on the highway. More ...

03/03/12
f1
Barcelona Saturday: Perez ends day on top  
Sergio Perez in the C31 Sauber
Sergio Perez remained on top of the times for Sauber on day three of the final preseason Formula 1 test at Barcelona on Saturday, despite not improving on his morning mark.

The Mexican, ran a 1m22.094s lap on soft Pirelli rubber, but focused on heavy fuel loads during the afternoon.

The majority of the field opted to concentrate on longer runs in the afternoon and as a result no one went close to bettering Perez's time, although McLaren's Jenson Button managed to climb up to second with a1:22.103. More ...

03/03/12
f1
Barcelona Saturday: Perez moves to top  Full lap times as of 1pm local time, on day three of the final four-day F1 group test in Barcelona, Spain.

1. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 22.094s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 22.155s
3. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 22.413s
4. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 22.446s
5. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 22.480s
6. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 22.630s
7. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 22.662s
8. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 22.932s
9. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 23.409s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 25.620s
03/03/12
f1
Barcelona Saturday: Massa leads early, new Red Bull appears  
Vettel in the Red Bull
With just two days of pre-season testing remaining before the start of the F1 season in Australia, Red Bull has introduced a raft of new upgrades onto the RB8 for Saturday running in Barcelona.

Both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel had hinted that there were changes to come with the car following the first two days of running at the Catalunya circuit, with a revised RB8 taking to the track this morning with Webber at the wheel.

“We've had our first glimpse of the new parts on the Red Bull and it's effectively a completely new car,” technical analyst Gary Anderson told BBC Sport. “The chassis is the same, I'm sure, but there's a new front wing and a completely redesigned underfloor and coke-bottle area at the back. More ...

03/03/12
nassprint
Keselowski explains having phone in car  
Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski has no intention of ever using his phone while his tires are rolling. But just having it in the car could lead some young fans to think it's OK to text or tweet while they are driving, already a growing problem on the highways across America. No one wants that, including Keselowski. He told a long story Friday about why he has his cell phone in the race car, which had nothing to do with social media.

Originally, it was all about calling his mom. He crashed in a 2007 Nationwide Series race at Fontana and was airlifted by helicopter to a Los Angeles hospital. He didn't have his cell phone and couldn't contact his mother, Kay, for hours. "That's why I keep the phone with me now," he said.

"I had the team put a little pocket for it in the car. It has a practical purpose." The Daytona oddity was just a bonus -- a 160,000 Twitter bonus. "The phone wasn't there for a red flag at Daytona and a jet-dryer explosion," Keselowski said. "I don't have that much foresight. You can't plan moments like that. They just happen." ESPN
03/03/12
nassprint
Knaus talks about penalty:  UPDATE
Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus talk in the Daytona Garage
More proof that you only win in NASCAR if they want you to, and that NASCAR has it in for Chad Knaus, read these expanded Q&A responses from Friday:

"We didn’t expect this," he says. "It's not the way we wanted to start the season."
The body part in question, Knaus said, was judged illegal on a visual inspection rather than a template inspection.
"It was all visual," he says. "The templates were never actually put on the car.
"It was a visual inspection; we never even got the opportunity to actually present that under templates.
"It is unfortunate there is a bit of subjectiveness to it, and that is why we are going through the appeal." More ...

03/03/12
wec
Deliveries of the new Audi R8 LMS ultra begin  
New Audi R8 LMS
The first four examples of the new customer sport race car, the Audi R8 LMS ultra, have been delivered ready for the 2012 season. The teams Mamerow and Prosperia uhc speed collected the first two 420 kW (570 hp) GT3 sports cars in Neckarsulm on Friday. Two other vehicles were shipped to Japan at the same time.

This marks the start of part two of a success story: Since 2009, Audi has produced more than forty examples of the first generation of the R8 LMS and has achieved 119 international victories with the vehicle. And now its successor is ready to go. Two race customers collected the first examples of the new Audi R8 LMS ultra at the Audi plant in Neckarsulm. Mamerow Racing based in Castrop-Rauxel and Prosperia uhc speed of Roth were the proud recipients of this evolution of the GT3 sports car. Peter Mamerow and his team and Udo Zink, Managing Director of Prosperia uhc speed, both accepted their vehicles in person at the Audi Forum in Neckarsulm. More ...
03/03/12
nassprint
Montoya broke truck arm before Daytona crash  From Friday's media availability at Phoenix:

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TECHNICALLY WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO THE CAR? WHAT BROKE ON THE CAR?
Crew Chief Chris Heroy: "Yeah, it was the truck arm that failed."
WAS IT JUST ONE? CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT'S HOOKED-UP TO AND WHAT ALL THAT DOES?
Heroy: "It's hooked-up to the housing. One failed and then the other, because of the one failing. The housing came out, basically."
DID YOU HAVE ANY INDICATION? YOU SAID YOU FELT A VIBRATION. COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE FIRST ONE GOING BEFORE THE SECOND ONE WENT AND YOU LOST CONTROL OF THE CAR?
Montoya: "No, I'll be honest with you. In my opinion I think it was close to failing and it hadn't failed yet because the guys went underneath the car and they checked everything and they moved and pulled everything and everything was in place. It was just the loading of the car. It was just too high."
DID THIS GIVE YOU EVEN MORE FAITH IN THE (SAFETY) OF THE CARS?
Montoya: "People, like when the COT came out, people complained about it and it wasn't this and it wasn't that and the view and the size and the this. I'll guarantee you if we would have been in the older cars I wouldn't have been okay. So I'm pretty happy we are in these cars. It's pretty amazing what NASCAR does."
DID FIRE SHOOT THROUGH THE CAR AND THROUGH THE COCKPIT?
Montoya: "Yeah, there was a little flames for a second. It wasn't much. It didn't even get hot. It's like I saw the flames everywhere and I'm like, I'd better get out of this fast. That was it."
IS YOUR FOOT BRUISED?
Montoya: "Yeah it's just the top of my feet where it hit; it actually broke the boot (protective heat shield that goes on driver's shoe) and everything.  Chevy PR
03/02/12
automotive
Volt production on hold for 5 weeks  [Editor's Note: This car is too expensive at over $40K.  It should have been made 100% in China, priced around $25K and shipped everywhere.  Then it would be a lot more popular.  $40K is simply to expensive, and is the #1 deterrent from people buying it.) General Motors has told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that they will be temporarily laid off for five weeks as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart, the Opel Ampera.

“Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand,” said GM spokesman Chris Lee.

Lee said employees were told Thursday that production would put on hold from March 19 to April 23.

The Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric car, is both a political lightning rod and a symbol of the company’s technological capability. More ...

03/02/12
nassprint
NASCAR Daytona TV Rating  UPDATE #4 The final TV Rating for the rain delayed Monday Night Prime Time  NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 on Fox was 8.0 with 13.7 million viewers.

The final TV ratings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 on ESPN Saturday was 2.9 with 4.433 million viewers.

The final TV ratings for the  NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 Friday night on Speed was a 1.2 with 1.961 million viewers. More ...

03/02/12
alms
Level 5 Announces Sebring Driver Line-up  On the heels of a flawless three-day private test at Sebring International Raceway this week, Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports are pleased to announce the team's driver lineup for the 60th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida and American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron season. 

Coming off one of its most successful seasons to date, which included the ALMS LMP2 drivers’ and teams’ titles and a podium at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, Level 5 has again assembled a star-studded lineup that’s capable of taking on the world’s best at Sebring and the increased competition that the LMP2 category will bring throughout the year. More ...

03/02/12
nassprint
Waltrip teammates fastest in final Phoenix practice  
Martin Truex Jr.
Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer were fastest in the final Sprint Cup Series practice today at Phoenix International Raceway before Sunday's running of the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

Truex posted a fast lap of 139.481 mph with Bowyer clocking in at 139.227 mph. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's Juan Pablo Montoya (139.002), Phoenix Racing's Kurt Busch (138.841) and Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon (138.244) rounded out the top five. More ...

03/02/12
f1
Barcelona Friday: Grosjean puts Renault on top again  
Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean topped the times on the second day of F1 testing in Barcelona Friday. Grosjean completed a full 60-lap race simulation in the Lotus, using Pirelli's soft and hard compounds.

He then went out and did a series of fast laps, setting the best time of time of 1m22.614s with just minutes remaining, on a set of soft tires.

Jean-Eric Vergne ended the day second, followed by twice World Champion Sebastian Vettel in 3rd with a time of 1m23.361.

Behind Vettel it was Fernando Alonso, who was using soft and medium compound tires. More ...

03/02/12
IRL
IndyCar reschedules Texas test to May  The IZOD IndyCar Series has rescheduled its open test at Texas Motor Speedway for May 7, officials announced today.

"With our teams in the midst of preparations for the first four road/street events of the season, it is more beneficial to move the oval Open Test to early May," said Beaux Barfield, president of competition, INDYCAR. "Teams won't be forced to switch to an oval setup then back to a road course setup the week before the season opener under this new schedule. Additionally this will open the door for teams to utilize this time for one last road course test before the season opener." More ...
03/02/12
autogp
AutoGP: Guerin tops the morning session  Smooth run for the Auto GP World Series cars in the first session of the collective test: the teams gathered on the Monza circuit for the first official outing on the new Kumho Tires, aiming to prepare their cars for the upcoming race weekend and to put both the available tire compounds to the test. With the track still a bit "green" in many spots and generally not providing the right grip in the early hours of the day, the teams decided to tackle the morning session with used tires. The first sets of new Kumho rubber (the harder compound) appeared on the cars with one hour to go, but there's a lot of room for improvement and the lap times are expected to drop consistently in the afternoon. More ...
03/02/12
dtm
Hide-and-seek game is over: the new Audi A5 DTM  
Audi A5
One date in particular influenced the work of the engineers and technicians at Audi Sport in a major way over the past few months: the homologation of the new Audi A5 DTM on March 1.

Exactly 59 days before the racing debut at the Hockenheimring on April 29 the rule now is "rien ne va plus." As of the electronic transmission of all relevant design drawings, CAD data, descriptions and photographs to Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB) for approval ("homologation") the key technical areas of the new DTM vehicles - including aerodynamics - have been frozen. This means that the concept Audi is using to start the "title defense" project in the 2012 DTM has been finalized. More ...
03/02/12
f1
Barcelona Friday AM - Alonso puts Ferrari on top  
Fernando Alonso
Full lap times as of 11am local time, on day two of the final four-day F1 group test at Barcelona in Spain.

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 23.447s
2. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 23.528s
3. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 24.260s
4. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 25.506s
5. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.520s
6. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 26.448s
7. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 27.155s
8. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 28.657s
9. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault No time
10. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault No time
03/02/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  UPDATE Update shown in red below.

03/02/12
  • Lotus suspension problems fixed
    Lotus back on the pace after chassis problem
  • France, Belgium yet to agree race fee with Ecclestone
  • Webber backs Hamilton to bounce back
  • Williams names Adam Parr as future successor
  • Pundits agree Ferrari struggling in 2012
  • Brawn admits Mercedes 'slower than Red Bull'
  • Hembery explains 'blank' Pirelli tires in Spain
  • Strike could derail season opener
  • F1 has already banked Bahrain race fee
  • Barrichello confirms IndyCar move for 2012
  • A perfect start for Caterham, says Gascoyne
  • Circuit of The Americas Releases Spanish Version of Website
  • Williams leaves board of own F1 team New More ...
03/02/12
irl
Andretti might just have something in Milwaukee Mile race  
Can Michael Andretti return the Milwaukee Mile around and draw big crowds that CART used to draw in its heyday, or has the destruction of IndyCar Racing caused by Tony George's creation of the IRL just too much to overcome?
On the way to hear Michael Andretti explain how he plans to save racing at the Milwaukee Mile, I won't admit to coaxing the V8 beyond posted speed limits. That might tend to self-incriminate.

But the IndyCar event over in West Allis does rev my inner motor.

Although I was born and raised around NASCAR, it has not held my attention since home-area legends David Pearson and Butch Lindley left the track. The open-wheel set has been my thing since.

I'm a shameless fan of the race that adds a touch of international panache to the fried-cheese-curd ambience of State Fair Park. It might be the whine of 2.2-liter engines that kick out up to 700 horsepower. It might be the chance to see Ashley Judd in the infield. It might be that the racers are bright, articulate, accessible and witty as interview subjects. More ...

03/02/12
gp3
Daly joins Lotus GP for 2012 GP3 Assault  American Conor Daly is delighted to announce that he will join Lotus GP to contest the 2012 GP3 series. Daly will add to the efforts of German, Daniel Abt and Finn, Aaro Vainio, to help the black and gold team shine in the upcoming season.

Daly and Lotus GP worked together for the first time in the winter tests at Jerez de la Frontera, in December 2011, where Daly finished his day with a spot in the top ten. One week earlier, he had the best time in the tests at Valencia, once again confirming the pure speed, which he had displayed during his first year in the GP3 Series. At the most recent test with Lotus GP in Estoril, Portugal, February 21st-22nd, Daly finished fifth fastest on each of the two days. It will be Daly's second season of GP3, the official Formula One support series. More ...

03/01/12
Racing News
First six Prelude drivers announced  Fresh off the green flag to the 2012 North American motorsports calendar, Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway is excited to announce the first round of drivers confirmed for the 8th Annual Feed The Children Prelude to the Dream. Defending champion Clint Bowyer leads superstars Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Tony Kanaan and Ron Capps as the first six entrants into the charity-driven event.

The process of unveiling some of the world’s greatest known drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA to the Wednesday, June 6 contest will span four weeks as drivers begin to prepare for their once-a-year encounter with the famed high-banked half-mile clay oval. More ...

03/01/12
automotive
GM sales up in February  General Motors Co. today reported total sales of 209,306 vehicles in February, up 1.1 percent compared with the company’s very strong February 2011 results. 

“Chevrolet’s 6 percent sales increase, which was driven by new models, as well as a stronger economy, helped GM exceed last February’s remarkably strong result,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.  “It’s an affirmation of our progress.  We are continuing to execute the same disciplined sales strategy that was the key to our success in 2011.” More ...

03/01/12
irl
Andretti thinks IndyCar will be stronger without Danica  
Michael Andretti does not see a big loss in losing Danica Patrick and thinks IndyCar might turn out to be stronger without her because now the focus will be on the racing and not her sex appeal.  i.e. it will be viewed as a sport once again
As Michael Andretti takes over as the promoter of the struggling Milwaukee Mile IndyCar race, he knows he won't have the mainstream appeal of Danica Patrick to help bring fans back to the track.
He insists that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Andretti, Patrick's former car owner in IndyCar, says the series is better off in some respects without her.

"I think we're strong in our own way," said Andretti, who still is a team owner in the series. "Yeah, we lost Danica, but I'm not sure that's going to be negative. I think she brought a lot of good stuff, but she brought a lot of other things that really took away from the rest of our series. And I don't think that's healthy. And I think NASCAR's going to find that." More ...

03/01/12
nassprint
Mayfield indicted on counts of felony larceny  UPDATE
Jeremy Mayfield makes NASCAR's moonshiners look like saints
Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield surrendered himself to a magistrate in Caldwell County Thursday afternoon. Mayfield turned himself in to a state magistrate in Lenoir, reports WBTV's Steve Ohnesorge.

Mayfield said he is innocent of the four charges of felony larceny he was indicted on.

He was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

Mayfield is alleged to have stolen thousands of dollar worth of equipment from racing shops and other businesses across the area. Several firearms were also found at his home that were stolen. More ...

03/01/12
nassprint
Jet Dryer operators to wear firesuits and helmets  Jet dryer operators will wear firesuits and helmets this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as part of a safety move following Juan Pablo Montoya’s fiery crash in the Daytona 500.

Montoya’s car spun and he crashed into a jet dryer during a caution period in Monday night’s season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Neither Montoya nor Duane Barnes, the jet dryer operator, were injured, but the impact caused a huge fireball as approximately 200 gallons of jet fuel spilled onto the track. More ...

03/01/12
IRL
Barrichello confirmed by KV Racing for IndyCar  UPDATE Added photo of Rubens Barrichello showing his BMC sponsor livery.  Barrichello's deal was confirmed as just one year for now, but Rubens says if all goes well he will be back for more in 2013.

Rubens Barrichello showing his BMC sponsorship colors
03/01/12 KV Racing Technology announced today that Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello will compete in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series as the driver of the No. 8 BMC | Embrase - KV Racing Technology car.

Barrichello, 39, whose Formula One career spanned from 1993-2011, is the most experienced driver in F1 history with 322 starts. He was runner-up in the Formula One championship in 2002 and 2004, and earned 11 victories, 14 pole podiums, 68 podiums performances, 106 top-five finishes and172 top-10 showings.

Now Barrichello will embark on a new chapter in his racing career. More ...
03/01/12
nassprint
Daytona 500 Wins Came More Than Two Decades Apart for Legendary Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig  Jack Roush launched his newly formed NASCAR operation on Feb. 14, 1988 and on the day Roush and driver Mark Martin finished their inaugural run in a back-up car in 41st position, young crew chief Jimmy Fennig led NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Bobby Allison to his final win in the famed Daytona 500.

Twenty-five years later Fennig led another future hall-of-fame candidate, Roush Fenway’s Matt Kenseth, to his second victory in the famed Daytona 500. More ...

03/01/12
irl
What other competitors are saying about Barrichello joining the IndyCar Series  Selection of comments from IZOD IndyCar Series drivers about competing with and against Rubens Barrichello.

TONY KANAAN, driver of the No. 11 GEICO | Mouser Electronics car for KV Racing Technology, fellow Brazilian and 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion: "I have a guy who has 19 years of experience in Formula One; one of the best drivers I've ever seen as a teammate that I can learn a lot and he can learn a lot from me racing on the ovals in the series. We're getting a guy who has the most grand prix races completed in history. For him, he is in a series where he can win races and not be just part of a field because the equipment is not capable of winning. So I am looking forward to the start of the season. I think it's going to be a very exciting year." More ...

03/01/12
IRL
Kanaan (along with Barrichello) also confirmed by KV Racing for IndyCar  
Barrichello and Kanaan
KV Racing Technology announced today that Formula One legend Rubens Barrichello and IZOD IndyCar superstar Tony Kanaan, who often refer to themselves as “brothers”, will both contest the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season for the team.

Barrichello will pilot the No. 8 BMC | Embrase – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine.  Kanaan will drive the #11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology car for 10 races, the MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO KV Racing Chevrolet/Firestone entry at four and the ITAIPAVA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine at Brazil.  GEICO and MOUSER ELECTRONICS will be co-primary sponsors at the Indy 500.  Barrichello and Kanaan join E. J. Viso, #5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, in a three-car effort for the team in 2012. More ...
03/01/12
gp2
Valsecchi quickest again  
David Valsecchi fastest all three days
Davide Valsecchi was quickest again today in Jerez in an eventful test session. The DAMS driver set his best lap time of 1:25.567 early in the day. His closest rival, Stefano Coletti, ended one tenth behind the Italian.

For the final day of testing it was James Calado at Lotus GP who set the early pace but his time was soon bettered by Giedo van der Garde who clocked 1:26.053, a mere two hundredths quicker than Tom Dillmann testing at Rapax today. The proceedings were stopped thirty minutes into the session after a piece of curb came away from the track. As it took approximately 45 minutes to repair, since the day’s schedule was to run from 9am to 12pm, with a one hour break and then run again from 1pm till 4pm, it was decided that the session would run without any break until 4pm. More ...
03/01/12
f1
Final Barcelona Thursday test times  
Romain Grosjean
After missing out on three and half days of testing last week in Barcelona, due to a faulty suspension, Lotus bounced back in the best way possible when Romain Grosjean topped the timing screens at the end of the first day of the last week of Formula 1 2012 preseason testing.
 
Jenson Button ended the day second fastest

A week earlier the E20 was being shipped back to Enstone to sort out a problem with the mounting of the upper front wishbone rear arm thus with half an hour to go in the day’s session at Circuit de Catalunya, Grosjean bolted on a set of Pirelli soft tires and proceeded to set the fastest lap of the day of 1 minute 23.252 seconds. More ...

03/01/12
irl
Dreyer and Reinbold rebrands their team to Lotus DRR  At the end of 2011, Lotus DRR (formerly known as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) and Group Lotus PLC announced that the team would serve as a Lotus factory partner. As a result, the team has taken on a complete rebranding effort and have re-launched a new and improved website using the historic black with gold pinstripe look.

As Lotus DRR enters its 13th season of full-time competition in 2012, making it one of the longest-tenured teams in IZOD IndyCar Series competition, the team has retired its royal blue and gray team colors. During the off-season, the team underwent a significant rebranding effort that represents the cache professionalism and heritage of the Lotus brand. The team now sports the historic Lotus black and gold livery which is now prominently displayed on the team's website along with the new Lotus DRR team logo. More ...
03/01/12
nassprint
Penske confirms move from Dodge to Ford  Penske Racing has announced that it will join Ford Racing as part of a multi-year agreement that will begin with the 2013 NASCAR season.

Penske Racing’s teams will compete with Ford Fusions in the Sprint Cup Series and with Ford Mustangs in the Nationwide Series, beginning next season.

Since 2003, the Penske Racing NASCAR teams have been aligned with Dodge Motorsports. Over the course of the relationship with Dodge, Penske Racing teams have produced 48 wins (26 Cup Series and 22 Nationwide Series), 72 pole positions (50 Cup Series and 22 Nationwide Series) and one series championship (the 2010 Nationwide Series title) in 1,048 starts (832 Cup Series and 216 Nationwide Series) entering this weekend’s racing action. In 2012, Penske Racing will compete with two full-time entries – the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by AJ Allmendinger – in the Cup Series and two full-time entries in the Nationwide Series – the No. 22 Discount Tire/Snap-on Dodge driven by Keselowski and Parker Kligerman and the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts/WURTH Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. More ...
03/01/12
IRL
Milwaukee IndyFest Tickets Now on Sale  Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Milwaukee IndyFest, which will take place June 15 and 16 at the Milwaukee Mile at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. IndyFest will feature an IZOD IndyCar Series race Saturday afternoon as well as many other family-friendly activities, and is being promoted by Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin, an agency led by IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti. The ticket details for the Father's Day weekend event were unveiled today in a news conference at the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Advanced purchase general admission/infield tickets begin at $17.50, with adult reserved seats for Saturday's race starting at $19 in advance. Fans can watch Friday's practice and qualifying sessions from the grandstands for free. Overall ticket prices represent a reduction of more than thirty percent compared to the previous IndyCar event at the Milwaukee Mile. Fans can order tickets online at the official event website www.MilwaukeeIndyFest.com , or they can contact the State Fair Park box office at (414) 266-7100. The box office hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. this Saturday. Normal box office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. More ...
03/01/12
motogp
Strong finish for the Repsol Honda Team in Sepang  The Repsol Honda team leave the Sepang circuit satisfied with a job well done and 1-2 atop the charts.

Casey Stoner set the fastest time of the day with a flying lap of 2'00.473 and team mate Dani Pedrosa recorded the second fastest time with a lap of 2'00.648, just 0.175 from Stoner.

Despite missing yesterday, the two Repsol Honda riders have been able to complete their testing program planned for Malaysia. Casey and Dani spent the test working on their RC213V chassis', focusing on reducing the chattering and both reported a slight improvement. More ...
03/01/12
automotive
Chrysler's February sales jump 40% on car surge  Chrysler Group, helped by a surge in car demand, said its U.S. sales increased 40 percent in February, marking its 23rd straight monthly gain.

The automaker said sales were driven by a 126 percent increase in car deliveries, a more fuel-efficient model lineup, notably the Fiat 500, and continued strong demand for its Jeep and Ram truck lineups.

The Fiat brand had its best sales month since its launch, Chrysler said, with deliveries of the 500 up 69 percent to 3,227 units in February. More ...

03/01/12
f1
Button tops morning test times in Barcelona  
Jenson Button
Jenson Button put McLaren on top of the timesheets after the opening morning of Formula 1's final pre-season test at Barcelona. The 2009 world champion was immediately quick after taking to the track and set his best lap of 1m23.510s on hard tires shortly before 11:30am, proving the McLaren may be the car to beat this year.

That was enough to knock Sergio Perez off the top spot by 0.310s, and with nobody else improving over the remaining time, the Sauber driver remained second. Perez's best time came on medium tires, but he had earlier lapped on prototype medium rubber from Pirelli. More ...

03/01/12
alms
Roush Yates develops twin turbo V6 Ford engine for ALMS  Roush Yates Engines has announced a successful first track test at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR) test facility in Garysburg, N.C., of the long-awaited Ford production-based 3.2L V6 Twin Turbo racing engine.

The engine project, under development for the past 18 months in association with Project Libra based here, received significant Roush Yates in-house engineering and dynamometer testing and analysis. It was with great satisfaction to all involved to at last witness the car and engine package on the race track for the first time earlier this month. More ...

03/01/12
autogp
Sixteen cars in Monza for the Official Test  Sixteen cars will be on the Monza circuit tomorrow for the first collective test of the 2012 Auto GP World Series. The first official outing of the season will give the teams the opportunity to get prepared for the first round of the Championship, scheduled for 9 to 11 March on the same track, testing both the compounds that Kumho will provide for the Series maiden event.

Drivers from 10 different Countries will take part in the test: Campos Racing will field their confirmed line-up (Regalia-Snegirev-Cipriani), as well as MLR71 with Italian F3 Champion Sergio Campana alongside Michele La Rosa. Norwegian Pal Varhaug, coming from GP2, will take the wheel of one of the Virtuosi UK cars, with the other one driven by Swiss talent Zoel Amberg, graduating from GP3. Newcomers Zele Racing secured the skills of Giacomo Ricci, an experienced GP2 racer, showing that they are already aiming high. More ...

03/01/12
irl
IndyCar drivers welcome the chance to beat an F1 driver  To a man, the IndyCar paddock is ecstatic about Rubens Barrichello coming to IndyCar. They not only welcome the publicity, which will trounce anything Danica Patrick did for the series, they welcome the opportunity to beat him week in and week out on the race track in a spec chassis to prove once and for all that F1 drivers are not better.

"I think it would be great to have Rubens in the series," said Team Penske's Will Power, who finished as runner-up in the 2011 championship. "I think all of the drivers feel the same."

"Rubens coming into the series would be all positive," was reigning champion Dario Franchitti's view, who has known Barrichello since they competed together in junior world karting in 1987. "He'd be great for the series. He brings that international recognition as well ... He ups the level of competition in the field yet again." More ...
03/01/12
tv news
nassprint
San Diego TV anchor slams Danica Patrick  UPDATE San Diego TV sports anchor has been suspended for implying a sexist slur when talking about race car driver Danica Patrick Fox 5 San Diego tweeted late Tuesday that Ross Shimabuku has been suspended without pay for a week for his comments about Patrick before her Sprint Cup debut in the Daytona 500.

The anchor stopped just short of calling Patrick a derogatory name on the air after the NASCAR driver complained the media always describe female athletes like her as "sexy." When the broadcast returned to Shimabuku, he responded by saying: "Oh, I've got a few words . Starts with a `B', and it's not `beautiful.' "

Shimabuku has since apologized. He joined the station in 2009.

02/28/12 Forget Ron Burgundy in the movie "Anchorman." San Diego now has a real life television reporter bringing embarrassment to the city.

USA Today reports Fox 5 San Diego's Ross Shimabuku slammed Danica Patrick last week stopping just short of calling her - well a word also meaning female dog.

Shimabuku started his sportscast last Monday calling Patrick a "pretty girl" who makes a lot of "money in sponsorships because of it. But what's not attractive is that she's sexy and she knows it."

The report then cut to a video of Patrick's appearance at NASCAR media day and her discussion of how the media always describe female athletes such as herself as "sexy." More ...

03/01/12
IRL
Next up for Andretti on Celebrity Apprentice  IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti and the men's team, "Unanimous," successfully accomplished its task -- by audience vote -- of preparing a 15-minute show for the Medieval Times dinner and entertainment production to win the second round of "Celebrity Apprentice" on Feb. 26.

The Andretti Autosport owner took on the role of stage manager for the team led by project manager Penn Jilette of Penn & Teller, who received $40,000 for his charity (Opportunity Village). Andretti is competing for donations to his selected charity, Racing For Cancer.

On the March 4 show (9 p.m. ET on NBC), the task will involve creating a themed living window display for the Ivanka Trump Collection. Good luck, Michael, with that one.

So far, Cheryl Tiegs and Victoria Gotti have heard those infamous words from Donald Trump: "You're fired."
03/01/12
fil
Wilson takes getting beat by the AR1.com team in stride  Firestone Indy Lights driver Jacob Wilson talks about his experience in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Media Karting Event Feb. 28 at Andersen RacePark, an event dominated by the AR1.com team (first both on and off the track) who lapped the field twice. See our full race report on our home page.

St. Petersburg, Fla. What a beautiful city. Hopping off the plane from frigid Indianapolis into the 80 degrees we had Monday was a welcoming “Hello,” but the real hospitality was still to come.

This was my first INDYCAR media event of this kind and it was a blast. The Andersen RacePark crew had everything done up very professionally and the karts were ready for everything we gave them, which was a severe beating at times. I was there representing Firestone Indy Lights, the final step before the IZOD IndyCar Series on the Mazda Road to Indy development program, as was my friend Peter Dempsey. More ...
03/01/12
nassprint
Brendan Gaughan returns to Sprint Cup this weekend  The Fresh Fit 500 will mark Brendan Gaughan's 38th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first since the 2010 Daytona 500. The Las Vegas native raced full-time in NASCAR's top series during the 2004 season, posting one top-five and four top -10 finishes. Phoenix marks the first of four Sprint Cup Series starts with RCR for 2012, Gaughan will also race the #33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway events during the month of March. South Point Hotel & Casino will serve as Gaughan's primary sponsor for the #33 Chevy at Phoenix.
03/01/12
nassprint
Tide Gains Exposure During Daytona 500 without paying for it  NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya’s crash into a truck hauling a jet dryer during the Daytona 500 on Sunday “ended up giving Tide huge sums of money in free advertising,” according to Kristi Dosh of ESPN.com. Crews used the powdered detergent “to clean jet fuel leaked by the damaged dryer, giving the brand exposure for at least a half hour on national television.” Tide got the free advertising “without being a NASCAR sponsor.”

NASCAR said that Tide is “not an official partner, and officials are not aware of any sponsorships with drivers, either, although parent company Procter & Gamble is involved with the sport.”

While the Twitterverse was “abuzz with Tide mentions, the @Tide account remained silent, with its last tweet from the account coming hours [before] the race began.” Dosh noted, “To be fair, the account describes itself as being monitored by a ‘Tide expert on clean,’ who will help with stain removal tips, not company marketing.”

Wasserman Media Senior VP/Properties & Media Tag Garson said that “all should not be lost for the company.” Garson: “You could very quickly turn this around and put newspaper ads together that are very creative” ESPN.com
03/01/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • New McLaren said to be fast
    Red Bull and McLaren lead 2012 field - Sauber
  • Perez admits possibility of Ferrari future
  • HRT hoping to debut 2012 car on Sunday
  • McLaren downplays significance of engine mapping clampdown
  • Ferrari sign official energy drinks deal
  • Change of test program for Ferrari
  • Alonso on track at Jarama: “Moving forward step by step” More ...
03/01/12
alms
Opportunity Knocks for Jordan Taylor  Sometimes in racing it’s all about getting your foot in the door; being in the right place at the right time when opportunity knocks.

Over the winter opportunity – in the form of Corvette Racing – knocked HARD on Jordan Taylor’s door. The Apopka, Fla., resident was coming-off a superb 2011 season that saw him finish second in the Rolex GT Series on the strength of six top five finishes including a win at Virginia International Raceway. Now here was one of sports car racing’s most successful teams inviting him to join them for three races in 2012. And not just any three races, but Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. More ...
03/01/12
ga
Kia Returns to Sponsor Race at Homestead  Kia Motors America is partnering again with Homestead-Miami Speedway to sponsor the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race - the Kia 200 - on April 28. The agreement marks the second straight year Kia is sponsoring the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race during the Grand Prix of Miami Weekend.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Kia for GRAND-AM racing," said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. "We're proud to have them as a partner as we again host the best road racing circuit in America. It's a natural given the tremendous success Kia has had on the GRAND-AM circuit with last year's Street Tuner championships and their podium finish at the season opening event last month." More ...
03/01/12
automotive
Peugeot, GM target $2 billion in annual savings from alliance  PSA Peugeot Citroen has agreed to form an alliance with General Motors targeting $2 billion in annual savings within five years.

"This partnership brings tremendous opportunity for our two companies," GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. "The alliance synergies, in addition to our independent plans, position GM for long-term sustainable profitability in Europe."

GM will take a 7 percent stake in Peugeot as part of a share issue by the French automaker, and the two companies will pool research and development, vehicle platforms and technologies. More ...

03/01/12
automotive
Ford's Europe losses may hit $600M in 2012, retiring CFO says  Lewis Booth, who retires April 1 as Ford Motor Co.'s CFO, said the automaker may lose $500 million to $600 million this year in Europe where the financial crisis is exacerbating industry wide overcapacity.

"We'll continue to work on actions to improve profitability in Europe because we don't want to continue to lose money," Booth told reporters Wednesday in an exit interview at Ford's Dearborn, Mich., headquarters.

Ford will reduce the rate of European losses with better products and by "continuing to work on our cost base," he said. More ...

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