Names in the news Shell Pennzoil GP of Houston hired Jason Potter as manager of corporate development.......ISC hired Russell Branham as Director of Public Relations for Talladega Speedway and Executive Director for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Stefano Coletti tops GP2 wet Day 1 Stefano Coletti started his three-day test session in the best possible way, topping the timesheets in the afternoon session and on a drying track. James Calado was quickest in a wet morning session.
A short few days following the end of the first GP2 Series pre-season test session in Jerez, the paddock remained in Spain, but relocated to Barcelona for the second and final testing days before the eighth season starts in Malaysia later this month.
The conditions could not have been more miserable as the session opened this morning at Circuit de Catalunya with heavy rain and strong winds sweeping over the track. Simon Trummer was the first driver to test the track conditions, but after thirty minutes of running, only four drivers had set a lap time, Daniel De Jong topping the timesheets.
At season kickoff, IndyCar drivers express optimism for the future Standing in the freezing drizzle just hours before it turned to snow, James Hinchcliffe engaged in a conversation with two die hard fans of the Izod IndyCar Series.
“It’s great to see the support,” said the Andretti Autosport driver of those who came out despite the frigid conditions to the Pan Am Plaza for the series’ kickoff festival. “IndyCar has some of the best and most loyal fans especially here in town.
“So to have a day like this-a bit cold, a bit wet-and still have people come out, it shows we’ve got the support there we like.”
F1 Looking At Proposal For Alternating Melbourne Grand Prix Night Races The start time at Albert Park "would change annually to include a night race every three years under the proposal from former world champion Lewis Hamilton, backed by rising Australian star Daniel Ricciardo," according to Peter Rolfe of the HERALD SUN.
The man widely regarded as the future world boss of F1, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, also said that "Melbourne should consider a night race to broaden the appeal of the Albert Park event globally."
Blackberry gets it all wrong again - big mistake not featuring drivers
BlackBerry will not feature F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in its advertising, "despite reportedly paying $12M a year to sponsor the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team," according to Matthew Chapman of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The smartphone maker will launch activity with Mercedes and its drivers to coincide with the start of the season this month, "but will eschew traditional celebrity product endorsement."
BlackBerry Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said ads will focus on showing the BlackBerry 10 operating system in a "real life" context rather than "paying a celebrity to say you should buy the device because I’m famous and I’m telling you to do it." Hamilton and Rosberg "will be used in ‘content-oriented projects’ along similar lines" to BlackBerry’s activity with singer Alicia Keys and author Neil Gaiman. Marketing Magazine
NASCAR Phoenix Nationwide TV rating ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 2, was the No. 2 sports event of the weekend on cable TV with an average audience of 2.5 million people.
The telecast earned a 1.6 household coverage rating (1.4 U.S. rating), slightly down from a 1.7 rating for last year’s race but up from a 1.5 for the 2011 race.
Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that Reed Sorenson will fill in for NASCAR Nationwide Series team driver Michael Annett, who was injured in a crash at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and had to undergo surgery for a fractured and dislocated sternum.
Sorenson will race the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford beginning this week at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and remain the driver until Annett is healed and cleared by NASCAR officials to race. Sorenson made his Nationwide Series debut in 2004 and has collected four wins, 38 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes.
Penske worth $1.2 billionUPDATE Mexican Carlos Slim remains the richest man in the world with a net worth of $73 Billion. He of course is sponsoring F1 drivers Perez and Gutierrez and bringing back the Mexican GP. He was behind CART's big IndyCar push into Mexico, but that was destroyed by the IRL taking away CART's biggest race, the Indy 500, which ultimately led to the demise of CART. And former IndyCar team own John Menard is 56th richest and worth $7 billion.
03/05/13 According to Forbes Magazine Roger Penske is the 377th richest person in the USA with a net worth of $1.2 billion, self made. Former race car driver Roger Penske is one of the richest people in racing. He owns his own NASCAR and IndyCar team, Penske Racing. The billionaire founded his eponymous company in 1969, distributing diesel engines for GM. Today, Penske Auto Group operates more than 300 car dealerships, both in the United States and abroad. While the recession briefly knocked Penske's net worth below a billion dollars in the middle of 2011, Penske is back up. In 2009, Penske abandoned his attempt to buy car-maker Saturn from GM and turn it into an independent company. An alumnus of Lehigh University, Penske is a director of GE and the Universal Technical Institute, Inc.
Agreeing with AR1.com - Hulman-George proves that they no business owning IMS or Indy Car From Autoextremist.com - I suppose it should be surprising to no one that the Hulman-George family had to hire a consulting firm from Boston to evaluate "business operations," according to a Jenna Fryer/Associated Press story that appeared last week. But for the record, that's exactly what happened. The Boston Consulting Group came back with a passel of recommendations that ranged from the obvious to the flat-out ridiculous. The highlights of ideas they came up with, according to Fryer: "a 15-race IndyCar schedule in major American cities held over 19 weeks; a three-race playoff with a season finale on the road course at Indy; a new marketing strategy promoting IndyCar's ''daredevil drivers'; using just one U.S. television partner instead of both ABC/ESPN and NBC Sports Network; overhauling the ticket pricing at IMS in tiers that would raise the cost of the most expensive Indy 500 ticket from $150 to $200 and lower almost every ticket for the Brickyard 400 and Red Bull Grand Prix."
Tung to tackle Asian Le Mans Series in OAK Racing-run Morgan LM P2 Following the official launch of the Asian Le Mans Series in Hong Kong earlier today, OAK Racing is proud to announce that Chinese ace Ho-Pin Tung will lead its driver line-up behind the wheel on the French squad’s #24 Morgan LM P2.
The championship sees four countries across Asia hosting six three-hour events similar to those of its European Le Mans Series counterpart. Like the ELMS, LM P2 has been designated as the premier prototype category, allowing OAK Racing to fight for overall race victories and the championship with its Onroak Automotive designed and built prototype that will this year carry its traditional pink and black livery.
Toyota Engine Trouble David Wilson, Senior Vice President of Toyota Racing Development, joined co-host Danielle Trotta on tonight's edition of NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED to talk about the recent engine trouble hampering Toyota's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams. He talked about some of the early season difficulties and how the manufacturer, working with the teams, is remedying the situation. Here is what Wilson had to say:
Danielle Trotta: You've described the problems that we've seen in the first two races as an emotionally charged issue, what has the past few weeks been like for you and TRD?
Brabham's ESM signing sparks 2013 blue ribbon ambition London, UK - David Brabham’s recent signing with Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda puts the sportscar legend on course for a unique racing program in 2013, in which he hopes to tackle the major sportscar and V8 Supercar events across the globe.
The double American Le Mans Series Champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner now has his sights set on exploring opportunities to also contest the 24 Heures du Mans, Spa 24 Hours, Bathurst 1000, Sandown 500 and Gold Coast 600 races. Through his illustrious 20-year sportscar career, Brabham already boasts titles from five of those seven flagship events, with wins only required at Sandown and on the Gold Coast to complete the impressive set.
Tequila Patron Back With ALMS Next week marks the start of the 2013 season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and Tequila Patron is back for the fourth year as the Presenting Sponsor of the entire 10-race competition.
Excitement on the track will be at an all-time high this year, as Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM), the Tequila Patron-sponsored ALMS team owned by veteran driver Scott Sharp, recently announced that it will field two Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b prototypes – in the P2 class – to replace the GT-class Ferrari 458 Italias the team entered in previous years.
Firestone Racing extends Texas race sponsorship Firestone Racing Executive Director Al Speyer announced March 4 at Texas Motor Speedway’s annual media day that the tire manufacturer has signed a three-year extension as the race entitlement sponsor for the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The title sponsorship of the Firestone 550 extends through 2015. The race on June 8 (8:30 p.m. ET) will be first prime-time IZOD IndyCar Series race broadcast by ABC. Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing prevailed in the drama-filled race last year, overtaking Graham Rahal’s mishandling car on Lap 226 of 228. It was the first oval victory of Wilson’s career.
Paul Tracy, Adrian Fernandez To Be Inducted Into Motorsports Walk of Fame
Paul Tracy 2003 winner at Long Beach
Two of the most popular drivers to ever turn a wheel at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Paul Tracy and Adrian Fernandez – will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thursday, April 18.
The public is invited to the free, 8th annual, induction ceremony which will be held at 11 a.m. on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
“Paul Tracy and Adrian Fernandez have made legendary contributions to the field of motorsports, and they have truly earned their place on the Motorsports Walk of Fame” said Mayor Bob Foster, who will be presenting medallions to the honorees. “Paul Tracy has four wins here at Long Beach, and Adrian Fernandez is one of the sport’s greatest international ambassadors.”
Video: I've Got A Secret: AJ Foyt & Ray Harroun June 1, 1961 AJ Foyt, 1961 Indianapolis 500 Winner & Ray Harroun, winner of the inaugural race of 1911 on I've Got A Secret from June 7, 1961. Foyt had scored the first of his 4 Indy 500 victories the week before. This was the 50th anniversary race.
New DeltaWing Livery Unveiled DeltaWing Racing Cars has revealed the livery for the DeltaWing powered by Elan, before its first on-track test scheduled for this Wednesday at Road Atlanta.
After running a fully black livery with some yellow, then red trim on the roll hoop accents in 2012, the 2013 DeltaWing livery marks a radical departure. The DeltaWing will take the grid in 2013 with a striking chrome paint scheme, now highlighted with red accents on the roll hoop and just behind the front tires, from new tire partner Bridgestone.
The chrome is a natural evolution for the car that has made its mark on the sports car racing world simply by being different. It’s the latest new element for the DeltaWing’s 2013 season.
Daly to Test GP2 with Hilmer Motorsport American Conor Daly is in Barcelona, Spain to have his first test in a GP2 car over the next two days, March 5th & 6th. It was a surprise call to Daly from German Team, Hilmer Motorsport who are still looking to fill both of their seats for the upcoming season. "This was totally unexpected," said Daly. "I was in England and within a day the deal was talked about by The KINC agency and I was on a plane. I'm very much looking forward to the experience. I know the engineers and the team have assembled some very experienced people. The weather forecast is not great but I will still learn a lot."
MOMO Announces 2013 Global Racing Plans The iconic brand of MOMO is increasing its commitment to racing in 2013 with a presence in many racing series across the globe.
In the U.S., MOMO will launch a two-car assault in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the 12 Hours of Sebring with two Porsche GT3 cars in the GTC class. The legendary No. 30 MOMO-liveried car will feature MOMO owner/driver Henrique Cisneros, Brit Sean Edwards and German Christian Englehart. The No. 31 MOMO-liveried entry has drivers Kuba Giermaziak, Mario Farnbacher and Carlos Gomez. Both cars will be expertly prepared by NGT Motorsports. The No. 30 entry will be a full-season ALMS effort with Cisneros and Edwards.
Coughlan agrees with driver Maldonado Williams Technical Director Mike Coughlan agrees with his drivers about his team’s prospects for the Australian Grand Prix following the conclusion of winter testing in Barcelona. With both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas talking up the handling of the FW35 chassis, the recently applied aero-upgrades appear to have had the desired effect.
Backing up Maldonado's praise of the updates, Coughlan said: "We’ve concluded a very successful couple of tests with the FW35, without any major problems to stop us running. We brought an upgrade package and in race trim the car looks competitive."
Why Danica and Ricky Could Hurt Other Female Racers
Danica and Ricky share a touch and stare moment
Getty Images for NASCAR
Even if you are not a NASCAR fan you have probably still heard of Danica Patrick. As a spokesperson for GoDaddy.com, her face, and more, have been seen in commercials during some of the most viewed sporting events in the world, including the NFL's Super Bowl. You have probably also heard of her recent divorce, and current relationship with fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. How she handles that relationship could not only affect her career, but also those of the women looking to follow in her footsteps.
Women are more emotional than men. Whether that is true or a generalization is open to debate. What is not in the world of sports is success is imitated, while failure will get an idea, or even a person, shelved for a long time, maybe forever. NASCAR is no different. At one time it was thought you needed a driver with lots of experience to get the job done. Then young drivers became the popular choice of car owners. Lately, the emphasis has been on drivers with experience on dirt. Now the sport has Danica.
Russian team gets entry for the GP2 Series in 2013 GP2 Series organizers are pleased to announce that RUSSIAN TIME have been allocated an entry for the 2013 season. Currently based in Germany, the squad becomes the first Russian team to join the thirteen team field in replacement of iSport International.
RUSSIAN TIME will run their GP2/11 cars this week at Circuit de Catalunya where the final official pre-season testing of the Series takes place on March 05-06-07.
GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel said: “I am pleased to welcome RUSSIAN TIME to the GP2 Series. I am certain that they will be a great addition to our field. Igor Mazepa has already put in place a team of staff with some great GP2 experience which will help them be able to be on pace very quickly.
Peterson, Lawrence and Seuss take home Trans-Am victories
The green flag drops on the start of the 2013 season
Doug Peterson, Cameron Lawrence and David Seuss all took home silverware in their respective classes after the conclusion of the first race of 2013 Trans Am Season at Sebring International Raceway. Bob Tullius, who won the first ever Trans Am race, which took place at Sebring International Raceway 46 years ago, gave the order to start the engines and the race was on.
The race began with Tony Ave in the #4 Lamers/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette on pole, side by side with teammate Peterson, in the #87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette. He was quick to speed to a large lead, powering past Peterson and the rest of the TA field. He was followed by defending TA Champion Simon Gregg, driving the #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, and Amy Ruman, in the #23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, who both were quick to overtake Peterson.
Barrichello struggles in stock car debut Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello struggled in his first race after joining a stock car series in Brazil, finishing 25th after blowing a tire at Interlagos circuit on Sunday.
The 40-year-old Barrichello started in the middle of the 34-car grid and stayed there during most of the race until a blown right-rear tire forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop.
Barrichello is competing in Brazil again after more than two decades racing abroad. He ended his F1 career two years ago and couldn't secure a seat for a second season in the IndyCar Series in 2012.
No roof cams at Phoenix and other tracks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars competing on the series' intermediate tracks this season will be doing so without the familiar roof camera, beginning with Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. According to series director John Darby, the removal of the camera (for approximately two-thirds of this year's points races) is just one of several moves made during the offseason as officials worked through changes on the new Generation-6 car.
Of primary concern was how to lessen the impact of turbulent air that previously hampered side-by-side competition at the series' intermediate tracks. Roof cameras will continue to be used at Daytona and Talladega, the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, as well as the series' smaller venues. According to Rich Feinberg, vice president of motorsports production for ESPN, the same company provides the in-car camera systems for ESPN, FOX and TNT. "And we are in the process now of developing new options to replace (the roof camera)," Feinberg said. "Perhaps behind the rear-view mirror, various places inside the car." NASCAR.com
Video: Danica slams the wall hard in Phoenix A flat front tire sent Danica Patrick into the wall only to bounce off into the oncoming #34. The impact popped her hood up as she coasted to the inside of the track blind.
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE DANICA? "Obviously I blew a right front. No real warning. I wasn't that tight either; I was sliding a little bit. I felt like most of the day I was chasing the rear. It was a little unexpected. I took a hard hit to the right, and then on the left. I'm fine. The cars and the tracks are so safe. As a driver that's a nice feeling. It doesn't change the fact that we aren't going to get any points really coming out of today, and it would have been nice. I was just saying that there isn't enough garage space for all of the cars, so unfortunately we're parked in the dirt this weekend. It would have been nice to get these points here, and then...especially off of our eighth last weekend (in the Daytona 500), and then have a decent run in (Las) Vegas. Then when they re-establish the pits and the garage area, we would have been in better shape. But, these points in the beginning of the year are so important. We were making progress, but unfortunately, our day ended early."
Luiz Razia would be welcome back at Marussia in the future, says team boss Graeme Lowdon, as long as his check does not bounce this time.
"Luiz is a really great guy," Lowdon said. "He drove for the team in the past and I have no issue with Luiz at all. He's a very quick driver and I'd certainly hope that we can explore some opportunities with him.
"It would be nice to see him get a good opportunity. We're certainly remaining in contact."
Wind him up and turn him loose. True to his nature, SPEED analyst Kyle Petty offered his honest and unfettered opinion of all things NASCAR 2013 on Sunday’s edition of NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED from Phoenix. Following are excerpts from his comments:
Q: Danica Patrick claimed the pole position and ran up front in the Daytona 500. Did she change your mind about her?
Petty: “No, I don’t believe the hype. I’m going to drop some of The King’s wisdom on you: Some drivers can go fast and some drivers can race, but not all fast drivers can race. We know she can go fast, but she’s got to show me she can race.”
New Auto GP car completes Vallelunga test The new Auto GP car successfully completed its scheduled 2-day shakedown at Vallelunga. The brand-new racer marks the start of a revolutionary era for the series and showed to have speed and reliability in the hands of Ibiza Racing Team. The Italian-based operation announced their entry just one month ago and they were off to a flying start at Vallelunga, with nice weather, clear skies and a temperature of 13° C. The Auto GP technicians focused on set-up development with Giuseppe Cipriani behind the wheel.
Busch mom in golf kart accidentUPDATE Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies stated that the "golf cart had too many people on it , causing it to roll over." They also have clarified that "no one was significantly injured" in the crash.
03/03/13 Gaye Busch, the mother of Kurt and Kyle, was injured near the end of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Mrs. Busch was one who was being treated for injuries in a crash in the tunnel.
Details are still unknown as to how the accident happened just prior to Kyle Busch taking the Nationwide series win on the tri-oval. The first clue that something was amiss was when Kurt Busch sent a tweet to apologize to his younger brother: "Congrats to my little bro @KyleBusch 4 putting the @MonsterEnergy car in victory lane. Sorry I couldn't be there- mom too" which makes one wonder if Kurt was in the golf cart also.
Nico Rosberg ended the final pre-season F1 test quickest for Mercedes, with the fastest lap seen over eight days of running at Catalunya. But we won't know if anyone was sandbagging until the series gets to Melbourne, the opening race of the 2013 season.
Nico Rosberg I'm pleased with our pre-season testing program. We have achieved a lot of mileage and I can feel that the balance of the car is good. I have the general feeling that we are in a better position than in the second half of last year but this is testing not racing, of course. The conditions in the first race will be completely different to here as it will be much hotter in Melbourne and Sepang so we need to wait and see. Thanks to the team here at the track and back home at the factory for all their hard work over the last month. I hope it pays off and we can look forward to a positive season ahead together.
Barcelona Day 4: Rosberg still fastest at 3 PM Nico Rosberg stays top as the final pre-season test of the F1 off-season goes into the final two hours. Laps times at 3pm local time on the fourth and final day of F1 pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 20.130secs 2. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 20.494secs 3. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 21.444secs 4. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 21.541secs 5. Paul di Resta Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 21.664secs 6. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 22.415secs 7. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 22.514secs 8. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1min 23.115secs 9. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1min 23.167sec 10. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.628secs 11. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1min 23.762secs 12. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 24.882secs 13. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 30.080secs
(GMM) Having consistently played down his expectations for 2013, Lewis Hamilton is now predicting a win.
Until this weekend, most pundits had been forecasting a Red Bull versus Lotus battle for the forthcoming season opener, with next-best McLaren and Ferrari perhaps slightly off the ultimate pace.
But on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton exploded to the top of the times with the winter's best lap time. Nico Rosberg then went even quicker in the first half of Sunday, the last day of running before the circus heads off to Australia.
"Everywhere in the paddock, respect is being shown for Mercedes," said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner.
Danica Patrick can't handle a loose race car at Phoenix
Even though almost all the drivers outqualified Danica Patrick in Phoenix NASCAR still paraded her through the media center as a poster child. The sport has gone from the best drivers getting all the media attention to the prettiest
Getty Images for NASCAR
Drivers know the fast way around a race track is with a slightly loose car. NASCAR's best drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and the like are good at that.
Danica Patrick will start almost dead last in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix Sunday after becoming NASCAR's biggest star by winning the pole at Daytona. Danica starts just 40th in the 43-car field after a lap of 132.890 mph in qualifying, because her car was loose and she could not handle it. Like in IndyCar, she is good at the 100% throttle, car planted to the asphalt, tracks where you just have to turn the wheel about 2 degrees.
“It’s really disappointing. … It was just not a good qualifying effort, really not what I was looking for,” Patrick said.
NASCAR fans lucky to be alive in upper deck from debris that sailed over the fence NASCAR continues to say nothing about the tire and debris that flew clear over the catch fence at Daytona last Saturday, striking people in the upper deck. Instead they are trying to blame the gate in the fence as the problem. Story from Sporting News follows......
Steve and Gaylene Johnson love racing and have attended many motorsports events over the last 15 years.
They didn't expect to get hit by flying debris from a crash — especially sitting about 30 rows up in the upper deck for the Feb. 23 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
New Williams appear to be more competitive Pastor Maldonado had plenty of positive words to say about the upgrade package Williams tested at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday. The Grove-based squad applied a heavily-revised rear bodywork layout to its new FW35 chassis for the final two days of running, with the Venezuelan driver instantly feeling more downforce.
"This car is even easier, we have more downforce," Maldonado told reporters in Barcelona. "The car feels a bit different; the new aero package is quite big so you feel the difference. It’s working quite good.
Nico Rosberg blew teammate Hamilton's lap time out of the water Sunday morning
Yesterday the British F1 media were ga-ga over the fact that Lewis Hamilton turned the fastest lap of the week at Barcelona with a time of 1m20.558s. Today is only half over and already two non-British drivers blew that time out of the water but the British F1 media are not saying much about that.
At the lunch break it's Nico Rosberg (a German) on top with a time of 1m20.130s proving the Mercedes is the fast car so far this year, and easily faster than Hamilton's lap from yesterday. Fernando Alonso (a Spaniard) also beat Hamilton's time with a 1m20.494s lap. Jenson Button is third for McLaren.
Laps times at 11am local time on the fourth and final day of F1 pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona
1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.024secs 2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 21.277secs 3. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 22.844secs 4. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 23.302secs 5. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 23.778secs 6. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 23.986secs 7. Paul di Resta Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 24.284secs 8. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 24.664secs 9. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1min 24.840secs 10. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1min 29.169secs 11. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault No time
While tire flew clear over the fence NASCAR still focusing on fence gate While we watched in horror last Saturday as an entire wheel assembly flew clear over the fence and smashed into race fans somehow NASCAR has missed that fact, or prefers to ignore it. Instead NASCAR is primarily focusing its investigation into the gruesome crash last Saturday in Daytona, Fla., on the construction of a gate along the fence line.
That’s where Kyle Larson’s No. 32 car catapulted into the fence, sending debris into the stands, injuring 28 fans, two critically.
NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell said the gate is getting extra attention “because of where (the car) hit, the pieces that got through and it being a gate area.’’ While O’Donnell assured the gate was locked and secured, the fact that it’s a moving part draws extra attention.
NASCAR impounded Larson’s wrecked car and it’s been examined the past week in Daytona. Now it will be shipped to NASCAR’s research and development center near Charlotte for additional scrutiny.
NASCAR grabbed new Danica fans, but can it keep them? I doubt anybody watches the NBA and thinks, “This better be good or I’m never going to watch LeBron and Kobe and Chris Paul again.”
I doubt anybody watches the NFL and thinks, “This better be good or I’m never going to watch Peyton and Cam and Adrian Peterson again.”
Thousands of potential NASCAR fans, however, will turn to the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at 3 p.m. Sunday (Fox). And if they don’t like what they see, many will return to their regularly scheduled programming.
Problems With NASCAR's High Tech Inspection Process? There is more to NASCAR's newest inspection device than meets the eye. The device, a laser system to measure particular parts of a Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet headed out to qualify or race, is causing some serious head scratching from a larger number of race teams then might be expected. Privately numerous team members are raising serious concerns over the ability of the device to be consistent from week to week. There are growing concerns transportation of the device from track to track is enough to cause issues each and every week. Publicly, no one is vocally complaining. Privately, the words are different.
Speed Channel rebranding nears Fox Sports is expected to announce this month its plans for Charlotte-based Speed channel. While motorsports will continue to be a big chunk of programming, the company is likely to retire the Speed name late this summer and replace it with a channel called Fox Sports 1.
This would provide Fox a platform to broaden the channel’s focus into other sports, including content drawn from the network’s NFL and Major League Baseball contracts.
It is not clear what the impact will be on Speed’s modern production hub at Harris Boulevard and Interstate 85, but it will probably grow. A broader variety of programming should result in more production from the center.
Hamlin to start at the back Sunday Denny Hamlin will start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the rear of the field after his Joe Gibbs Racing team changed engines in his Toyota Saturday. Hamlin qualified eighth Friday.
Brabham Dominates Round 2 as Ferreira Retains Points Lead with Second
Matthew Brabham was disappointed to finish third in yesterday’s opening round of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the Circuit of The Americas, especially after setting the pace consistently during pre-season testing. Last year’s winner of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda more than made amends in this afternoon’s Round 2, run over 12 laps on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course, sweeping from third to first at the drop of the green flag and never being seriously challenged.
Brabham, from Manalapan, Fla., found the perfect way to celebrate his 19th birthday earlier in the week by stretching out a huge lead once the race was finally underway after a melee at the exit of Turn One caused the first couple of laps to be run behind the Pace Car. The #83 Team Andretti Autosport driver stretched out an advantage of almost eight seconds by Lap 7, and even though that was negated by another full-course caution after Colombian Juan Piedrahita had an incident at Turn 15 in the #9 Petrosur/Sisolec/GFK Motors/Red Line Oil entry run by JDC MotorSports, Brabham kept his wits about him and eased clear again over the final three laps to take the checkered flag 4.771 seconds clear of his nearest challenger.
Allmendinger and Penske continue a remarkable journey Eight months removed from the biggest mistake of his life, AJ Allmendinger understands just how extraordinary second chances are - especially coming from the man who was forced to fire him. Before the 2012 season even started, Allmendinger had attained a lifelong dream. He was hired to drive team owner Roger Penske's #22 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After 17 races in the Penske ride, his career was in shambles, as Allmendinger fell victim to a singular lapse in judgment and to a random drug test, administered at Kentucky Speedway, that discovered amphetamine in his system. Penske had no choice but to dismiss the 31-year-old driver after a "B" sample confirmed the results of the initial test. But Penske did so reluctantly, and since then the car owner, convinced that Allmendinger's mistake was a one-time occurrence, has been working to help his former driver repair a shattered dream.
Laps times at 5pm local time on the third day of the final F1 pre-season test of the year at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona
HamiltonThere's still a lot of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be but the team is doing a great job. The guys are working so hard at the factory and here at the track; it's been really nice to get to know everyone in the garage and how they work together over the past few weeks. The reliability, the mileage and the step-by-step improvements that we have achieved during the three tests are all very encouraging. Whilst we've been focusing on our own performance, we definitely haven't seen the full potential of our competitors yet, so it's difficult to predict where we might be. I'll be back at the factory next week doing some final preparation work on the simulator and with my engineers, and then it's off to Melbourne for the first race of the new season with my new team."
Barcelona Day 3: Hamilton still fastest at 3 PM Laps times at 3pm local time on the third day of the final F1 pre-season test of the year at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona
1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 20.558secs 2. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 21.627secs 3. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 21.673secs 4. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 22.305secs 5. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1min 22.553secs 6. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1min 22.694secs 7. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.116secs 8. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.223secs 9. Davide Valsecchi Italy Lotus-Renault 1min 23.448secs 10. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1min 24.231secs 11. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1min 24.307secs 12. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 24.520secs 13. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault No time
Mercedes tops BMW to extend U.S. luxury lead Mercedes-Benz reported a 22 percent surge in U.S. sales last month, building on its early lead as it tries to unseat BMW as the leader in luxury-auto deliveries this year.
Mercedes said today it delivered 22,040 vehicles last month, its best February, helped by sales of the C-class sedan, which rose 39 percent to 7,302. BMW-brand sales increased 0.5 percent to 21,311 vehicles, boosted by a 22 percent gain for its X5 SUV. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus rose 3.9 percent to 17,339, led by the RX SUV, which gained 20 percent to 6,938 deliveries.
Kurt Busch forced to backup car at Phoenix After a solid first qualifying lap at the Phoenix International Raceway 1-mile oval Friday, Busch's No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS scraped the wall during the second lap due to a malfunction in the coolant system.
The damage (right-front and right-side) was enough that the team will go to the backup car for Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup race.
“Kurt did a great job saving the car from further damage,” said team crew chief Todd Berrier.
IndyCar at Phoenix? Not yet. Phoenix International Raceway has had no recent talks with the IndyCar series about a 2014 race, according to track President Bryan Sperber. Randy Bernard — released as IndyCar CEO after last season — had said a 2014 PIR race was “a must.” The race should be run under the lights.
IndyCar Consulting firm agrees with AutoRacing1.comUPDATE #2
Turn 1 for the road course as proposed by AR1.com would not be here like it was for the F1 Cars. Turn 1 would be the oval Turn 4 and the cars would not enter the infield until they also traversed turn 3 of the oval and reached the back straight.
A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, Why did you originate the idea of using the Indy Road Course as a season finale IndyCar race? Isn't that one heck of a boring road course? Bob Dole
Dear Bob, As for the road course being boring, it can easily be reconfigured to 'speed' it up by eliminating a couple of Mickey Mouse corners. The road course for the Indy Cars should not turn in before what is Turn 4 on the oval, but instead should use Turns 4 and even Turn 3. Remember the IndyCars are built to race on the oval, whereas F1 cars are not, so they never used that part of the track. As for why Labor Day weekend, it is simple really, IndyCar needs to finish its regular season before Football begins and Labor Day weekend can be another big holiday weekend at the Speedway. It is a long 3-day weekend and people can travel. And in most cases kids are not back to school yet.
Barcelona Day 3: Hamilton on top early Laps times at 11am local time on the third day of the final F1 pre-season test of the year at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona
1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 21.534secs 2. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 23.999secs 3. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1min 24.317secs 4. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 25.238secs 5. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1min 25.279secs 6. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1min 25.338secs 7. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 26.835secs 8. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1min 27.971secs 9. Davide Valsecchi Italy Lotus-Renault No time 10. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes No time 11. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault No time
Scuderia Ferrari is continuing its preparation for the season in Barcelona, where yesterday, Fernando Alonso got through another busy day of testing. The F138 seems to be moving forward with every lap, clearly responding to any modifications made and eating up the kilometers, with a further 102 laps of the Catalunya Circuit added yesterday, equivalent to 475 to be precise. The rain certainly didn’t help, but it was not enough to stop the men in red, as they worked through a program focused on important aero checks and some vital reliability testing, all aimed at getting a better understanding of the car prior to the now rapidly approaching first Grand Prix.
Vettel: Too early to tell who is fastest this year
Sebastian Vettel on a wet day in Barcelona
With just two days of testing remaining before opening practice in Melbourne, reigning world champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are still giving little away about their prospects for 2013. Here’s what Vettel had to say to Formula1.com after a wet day’s work in Barcelona on Friday…
Q: Sebastian, what can you say about your day today? Sebastian Vettel: Ha, not much, really. I didn’t do that many laps! The weather wasn’t good. It’s a shame that it’s so cold and the tires aren’t really working properly. I think that was an issue for all of us - we all struggled to make the tires last for more than one lap. That makes it impossible to compare what you are testing with what others do.
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