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DATE News (chronologically)
03/10/14
f1
Horner defends Newey's aggressive design  
Did Adrian Newey go too far this time, or will he have the last laugh by the end of the year?
Days before the 2014 F1 season opener, at which his team is not widely expected to embarrass themselves and perhaps not even finish, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has defended his design guru Adrian Newey.

Despite fears that his team could get slaughtered in the opening races, Horner has leapt to the defense of the British designer.

"We aggressively pushed the boundaries on the packaging of the car, as Adrian always does, to try and get every bit of aerodynamic advantage," he is quoted as saying by the Guardian. "Pushing the boundaries in all areas is what Formula One is all about. It's about getting the most out of every single element.

"We took a step over the line at the first test," he continued. "We then engineered our way out of that for Bahrain, and cooling now isn't an issue with the car at all. More ...

03/10/14
nassprint
NASCAR Putting Emphasis On Social Media  
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Twitter photo in front of a statue of his late father at Daytona Int'l Speedway "exemplified the convergence of NASCAR’s emphasis this season on social media to promote its brand, especially to capture coveted young fans, while showcasing a promotion set for Father’s Day on June 15," according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL.

To get its "more than 50 category sponsors on the same page," NASCAR showed the photo "on Friday morning to its company sponsor representatives during NASCAR’s quarterly 'Fuel for Business' networking session" at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. For Earnhardt Jr., the photo was "especially significant from a business perspective because Junior followed through on his promise of creating a Twitter handle if he won the Daytona 500." More ...

03/10/14
f1
Video: The Mercedes PU106A Hybrid Power Unit  Ahead of the season opener, the Mercedes PU106A Hybrid appears to be the must have power unit...

The new Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05, McLaren MP4-29, Williams FW36 and Force India VJM07, are all powered by the technical revolution that is the PU106A Hybrid which combines a turbocharged direct in jection V6 engine with an advanced Hybrid Energy Recovery System to become the most advanced Power Unit in the history of Formula One.

03/10/14
uscc
Guy Cosmo Joins Whelen Motorsports at Sebring  After racing to the finish in the team’s first-ever Prototype race with a 10th place result in the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Whelen Motorsports will look to build on that start with a strong finish in Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

The team, which closed out the GRAND-AM era with a big Rolex GT victory in the 2013 season finale race at Lime Rock Park, has signed Guy Cosmo to the driver line up to share the driving duties in the fabled red and white No. 31 Whelen Motorsports Corvette DP with Boris Said and Eric Curran. Whelen Motorsports racer Max Papis will not be able to make the Sebring weekend due to a scheduling conflict. More ...

03/10/14
irl
U.S. based Dallara IndyCar simulator under construction  
Dallara Simulator
With torso attached to its legs, personnel from multiple countries have begun to connect the electrical systems to bring the fraternal twin to the 3-year-old simulator in Varano de Melegari, Italy, to life in Speedway, Ind.

Not to worry; the mechanical marvel that resembles a black arachnid is firmly secured to the concrete floor – which is 5 feet thick and independent of the rest of the building’s base because the simulator’s movements would shake the entire facility -- and behind a strong door in a two-story corner of Dallara USA’s factory and edutainment center.

It’s been the plan all along, according to Dallara USA CEO and General Manager Stefano dePonti, to house a commercially available companion to the vehicle dynamic simulator in the expansive 2-year-old facility on Main Street. More ...

03/10/14
imsa
uscc
IMSA News And Notes: Sebring International Raceway  TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Next Race: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida
The Place: Sebring International Raceway
The Date: Saturday, March 15
The Time: 10:15 a.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 1, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (ET); 1 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., IMSA.com
Radio: MRN
Race Length: 12 Hours

Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
Next Race: Sebring 200
The Place: Sebring International Raceway
The Date: Friday, March 14
The Time: 1 p.m. (ET)
TV: IMSA.com LIVE; FOX Sports 1, March 19, 1 p.m. (ET)
Race Length: 2 hours, 30 minutes More ...

03/10/14
f1
Pirelli expects 2-3 pit stops in Melbourne  Pirelli is beginning its second three-year stint as Formula One’s exclusive tire supplier in Melbourne, Australia this weekend, having deemed its new P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft compounds the best suited to the street circuit. Slightly harder and more durable than their equivalents last year, Pirelli believes the tires will offer decreased degradation, having supplied the new tires to three winter tests in Spain and Bahrain, but conservatively predicts that most cars will stop two-to-three times. The new regulations in F1 for 2014 suggest that there could be some surprises, especially given Red Bull’s struggles. Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, explained that its predictions are therefore tentative before the racing begins. More ...
03/10/14
uscc
Millennium Withdraws from Sebring  Despite having already been on-track at the Florida airfield circuit last week, Millennium Racing has withdrawn its P2 entry for this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The British-based squad, led by Simon Dowson, along with a handful of other FIA World Endurance Championship teams, completed a Dunlop tire test on the 3.7-mile circuit in preparation for the season-opener at Silverstone in April. More ...

03/10/14
uscc
Dyson Racing Forms Developmental Program  Dyson Racing has formed a new program to promote the development of particularly promising young talent within sports car racing.

In addition to announcing the formation of the Dyson Racing Junior Development Program, the team’s Vice President and Sporting Director Chris Dyson also named the program’s first member, 16 year-old Skip Barber Racing Series and US F2000 graduate Matt McMurry.

"The Dyson Racing Team has during its long history been home to many of the best drivers in sportscar racing,” said Dyson. “Over the past three decades our team has also nurtured the careers of a number of up-and-coming drivers, including my own. With the creation of the Dyson Racing Junior Development Program we’ve made a more formal commitment to accelerating the progress of new generations of driving talent." More ...

03/10/14
track news
Pocono honored for $257.5M economic impact  
Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett (R) congratulates Pocono Raceway President & CEO, Brandon Igdalsky (L) on the results of an economic study that showed Pocono Raceway impact on the State at $257.5M
Pocono Raceway was honored Monday for its impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. State Gov. Tom Corbett and state Senate and House leaders acknowledged the $257,500,000 economic stimulus resulting from the events held at the Raceway last year.

"I want to thank Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania Legislature for taking steps to ensure that not only Pocono Raceway, but Pennsylvania in general, is a great place to visit,” Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President/CEO said in a release. “They are making investments in infrastructure and providing for opportunities for our facility to flourish." More ...
03/10/14
irl
gp2
No IndyCar ride, so Daly is testing GP2  American Conor Daly flew to Abu Dhabi on Sunday night to take part in the three day official GP2 series test at Yas Marina Circuit, March 11-13. Daly will drive for the Venezuela GP Lazarus team joining recent signing, Nathanael Berthon. "It was a bit of a late call up but I am thrilled to be doing the test," commented Daly. "I know the circuit well and after a long cold winter in Indianapolis, I can't wait to get to work."

The GP2 series will conduct two, three day tests prior to the start of the season's opening race in Bahrain, April 4th -6th. The next series test session will be held in Bahrain, March 19th-21st.

03/10/14
IMSA
automotive
IMSA Statement On The Passing Of William Clay Ford Sr.  "All of us at IMSA send our thoughts and prayers to the Ford family on the passing of William Clay Ford Sr.,” said Ed Bennett, IMSA Chief Executive Officer. “He was a great leader in the automotive industry who not only carried on the Ford family legacy but took it to new heights. He will truly be missed but the significant results of his work and leadership will remain with us."
03/10/14
nassprint
Richard Petty Museum completes move back to Level Cross  Richard Petty is going back home to Level Cross, N.C. - the Richard Petty Museum, that is. Ribbon cutting ceremonies and an open house will take place Wednesday evening at the Petty compound in Level Cross. The relocated museum holds much of what NASCAR's winningest driver has ever won or achieved in his legendary career.

It will now be housed in the site of the original Petty Enterprises and Petty Engineering facilities, the same facility where The King developed many of the cars that led him to a record seven Grand National and Winston Cup championships and 200 career wins.

The Petty museum has been housed in nearby Randleman, N.C. since 2003. But a few years ago, it was decided to bring it back within the Petty family compound in Level Cross, where it began in 1988 by Richard's wife Lynda. The team's performance headquarters, Richard Petty Motorsports, will remain in Concord, N.C. NBC Sports

03/10/14
gp2
GP2 Series back in action at Yas Marina  
Yas Marina
The 2014 GP2 Series officially kicks off tomorrow with the first test session of the year at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Teams and drivers have gathered for three days in order to prepare for the tenth season of the category which will open in twenty-five days’ time in Bahrain alongside the Formula One Grand Prix.

Many fresh faces mix with more familiar ones as the field reshuffles. Reigning champions RUSSIAN TIME will fight for another crown with 2012 GP3 Series Champion Mitch Evans and rookie Artem Markelov. Carlin who finished second in the 2013 standings on the same amount of points as their Russian rivals have retained Felipe Nasr who will be partnered with Julian Leal this season. Racing Engineering have bet on Stefano Coletti and rookie Raffaele Marciello to repeat last season’s top form whilst DAMS have chosen to put their faith in the experienced pair of Stephane Richelmi and GP2 race winner Jolyon Palmer. More ...
03/10/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Villeneuve predicts the Red Bull lemon won't even finish the race
    Owners worried demise will hurt F1 - Ecclestone
  • No Vettel title in 2014 'for sure' - Villeneuve
  • Massa 'impressed' with Mercedes power
  • Kovalainen's F1 career is over - Vilander
  • Renault says Red Bull car 'extreme'
  • Melbourne-spec car different on inside - Vettel
  • Every car may retire in Melbourne - supplier
  • Gerhard Berger injured in skiing fall
  • F1 Prepares For Season Of Uncertainty Beginning In Melbourne
  • Ron Dennis: Red Bull's problems are partly 'self-inflicted'
  • Ecclestone reminds us of his importance
  • Prosecutors escalate F1 corruption investigation More ...
03/10/14
irl
Penske praises Montoya's continued weight loss  
When Montoya moved to NASCAR 'lazy-racing' he, like Tony Stewart' put on weight.  Now back in IndyCar he has to get in shape or he will wilt.
Roger Penske is eagerly anticipating Juan Pablo Montoya's debut with Team Penske in the IndyCar season opener this month in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Listen, we're excited. Juan has lost about 25 pounds, so he looks like a track star now," Penske said Sunday after Brad Keselowski gave Team Penske a weekend sweep at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Montoya began a serious fitness commitment well over a year ago, while he still raced for Chip Ganassi Racing in NASCAR. His weight loss was well on its way when he learned Ganassi was not bringing him back this year, and Montoya ultimately signed with Penske to return to open wheel racing.

He's continued his conditioning, which has caused tension between Montoya and his old boss. Ganassi admitted last month at Daytona to telling Montoya he wished he'd been that committed when he drove for him. More ...

03/10/14
ta
Trans-Am: RJ Lopez wins at Homestead-Miami  RJ Lopez and the #06 Disco Optical Lopez Chevrolet Corvette came away victorious from Round 2 of the 2014 Trans Am Championship at Homestead-Miami, his home track and first appearance in Trans Am since 2012.

“It’s a great feeling to win here at home in front of all my friends and family,” said Lopez.  “I thought I was going to be in trouble; the car was wicked loose and the track was incredibly hot and slippery.  I was really holding on, but I guess everyone was too.  I’ve got to be honest with you, I felt like I had to win, with everyone here watching; but I’ve driven thousands of miles on this track, not in this car, but still.  Our equipment was great—Meissen  does a great job with these cars, and we got the job done!” More ...

03/10/14
nnw
Chip Ganassi Signs Dylan Kwasniewski  Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has signed 18-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski to a developmental contract.

The Las Vegas resident made his NNS debut at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Feb. 22, 2014, after winning the pole position and finishing eighth in his first start in one of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series. Kwasniewski won the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship and the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship.

Kwasniewski will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year with Turner Scott Motorsports. More ...

03/09/14
f1
Norwegian Lawmakers Question Wealth Fund's $1.6B Formula One Deal  Norwegian parliamentarians said on Friday that Norway's $850B sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, "must answer questions on its acquisition of a stake in Formula One," according to Dagenborg & Knudsen of REUTERS. The fund, which invests Norway's oil and gas revenues, bought a $1.6B stake in F1 in May '12, together with investors BlackRock and Waddell & Reed. The call by politicians "comes after the newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv questioned whether the fund violated its mandate by making the deal." The fund "can only buy a stake in an unlisted company if the company plans an initial public offering." After the deal was made, a planned F1 IPO "was cancelled." Reuters
03/09/14
irl
nassprint
Ganassi celebrates 25 successful years with Target  
Juan Montoya carried Target livery in 2000 when the CART driver went to Indy and gave the inferior IRLers a driving lesson right before Tony George's eyes.
Chip Ganassi figured his auto racing programs someday would become as big and successful as they are. There wasn't any pretense of failure for the Fox Chapel native, one of the most accomplished owners in motor sports history.

On Friday night, a jubilant Ganassi celebrated his organization's silver anniversary during an event at The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino.

Amid the glitter and rock music that filled a jam-packed ballroom, Ganassi saluted every member of Target Chip Ganassi Racing that launched its journey in 1990 in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. More ...

03/09/14
TV news
NASCAR involved in new online network  A new online-only network that will focus on some of NASCAR's lower-tier series, as well as similar series in sports car and motorcycle racing, will make its debut this Wednesday, March 12. FANSCHOICE.TV, whose motto is "My Series, My Track, My Choice," is partly owned by NASCAR and will feature live streaming of racing on the K&N Pro Series and Modifieds from across the country, as well as AMA Pro motorcycle racing and various sports car series.

Right now, programming on the new website will be free for viewers, supported by advertising and sponsorship dollars. It will only be available online, although one has to wonder if it takes off the way its backers hope, whether it will eventually wind up on TV and be part of a subscription package. NBC Sports

03/08/14
nnw
Keselowski over Busch in Vegas Nationwide race  
Brad Keselowski
Getty Images for NASCAR
In the closing laps of Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch was close enough to make Brad Keselowski uncomfortable.

It didn’t help that Keselowski’s engine sputtered when the voltage in his battery dropped dangerously low.

But Keselowski built a big enough lead after a restart on Lap 168 of 200 to ward off Busch’s charge in the closing stages of the race. More ...

03/08/14
nassprint
Final NASCAR Phoenix TV Rating  Though the numbers were not bad, last week's NASCAR race from Phoenix was the lowest rated second race of the season in 14 years. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup "The Profit on CNBC 500" from Phoenix earned a 5.3 final rating and 8.8 million viewers on FOX, down 5% in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (5.6, 8.8M), and down 5% in both measures from 2012 (5.6, 9.2M).

The 5.3 rating is the lowest for the second NASCAR race of the season since 2000, when the Dura-Lube/Kmart 400 from Rockingham had a 3.9 U.S. rating on TNN. The 5.3 is also the lowest rating for the spring Phoenix race since it moved to the second week of the season in 2010. Sunday's race finished only slightly behind the Daytona 500, which earned a record low 5.6 and 9.3 million viewers. Of course, the Daytona 500 had an unusually poor performance due to factors beyond NASCAR's control - a lengthy rain delay and competition from the Olympics. Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR on FOX was easily the top sporting event of the weekend on any network. In a distant second was the final round of the PGA Tour Honda Classic on NBC (2.6, 3.8M).

03/08/14
nassprint
McMurray tops final practice in Vegas  
Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray set the pace in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

McMurray, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, turned a fast lap of 186.942 mph on the 1.5-mile track as speeds dropped off considerably from Coors Light Pole Qualifying the day before.

Rookie Austin Dillon was second-fastest in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy at 186.896 mph, just seven thousandths of a second off McMurray's time. Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick -- last weekend's winner at Phoenix International Raceway -- completed the top five on the practice leaderboard ahead of Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX). More ...

03/08/14
nassprint
Pemberton addressed shootout qualifying cool-down issues  NASCAR officials say they don't expect to make any changes to the new qualifying process before NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams arrive in Bristol next week for the Food City 500 race weekend.

Several drivers expressed concerns about close calls with slower cars idling around on the apron to cool their engines during Friday's qualifying here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was the first time the three-segment format had been used on a 1.5-mile track as the field was set for Sunday's Kobalt 400.

Because teams aren't allowed to cool their engines through mechanical means while qualifying is taking place, they return to the track after making a qualifying attempt at a reduced speed to force air through the front of the car. More ...

03/08/14
f1
Putin says Russian Grand Prix on track  Preparations for the first ever Grand Prix in Russia are on track, President Vladimir Putin told Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, Saturday, on the sidelines of the Winter Paralympics.

The October 10 to 12 event, the first on Russian soil, will take place at the Sochi Olympic Park in the Black Sea resort, where athletes this week began competing in the Paralympic Games.

Putin, under international pressure over the situation in neighboring Ukraine, where thousands of pro-Russia troops have fanned out across the Crimean peninsula, told Ecclestone the race would be a good use of the Olympic venue. More ...

03/08/14
autogp
Auto GP announces final 2014 schedule  The 2014 Auto GP schedule is ready to go. Eight rounds were confirmed for this season as well as the prize money set to be awarded to the top-3 runners of each weekend. There are no changes to report for the first four races, the first three of them scheduled jointly with the WTCC at Marrakech, Le Castellet and Budapest. Then, after the Monza round, the series will stay in Italy for another meeting at Imola in June.

Also, in addition to the confirmed round at Red Bull Ring in Zeltweg, there will be another pairing with the ELMS. The Auto GP series will join the endurance championship for its finale at Estoril, on the 19th of October. It will be the first time for the Coloni-promoted championship on the venue close to Lisbon, and a welcomed return to Portugal. More ...

03/08/14
f1
Australian GP: Preview - Mercedes  
Lewis Hamilton in the superior Mercedes for 2014
Lewis Hamilton
: The Australian Grand Prix is always an exciting race and the fans are fantastic. They love their motorsport, so it's an event that every driver looks forward to. I'm excited about the new season not just as a driver but as a fan. As a fan, you want to see overtaking throughout the field, you want to see different race winners, you want to see the championship go down to the wire... I hope that the changes for this year will make that happen. This is the year you need to watch Formula One! I think we're as ready as we can be for Melbourne and I'm more fired up than ever. With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that's been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we're capable of. That's not to take anything away from our opposition, who will be incredibly tough to beat as always, but I feel like I'm equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can't wait to get started. More ...
03/08/14
nhra
NHRA Fans To See Double  Gray Motorsports will field two identical COPO Camaros in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Stock Eliminator category.

Veteran drag racer Jeff Strickland will join renowned Gray Motorsports driver Dave Connolly on the NHRA national event tour.

Strickland, 38, of Red Bay, Ala., will drive a naturally aspirated 350 CID COPO Camaro that was constructed in house by the Gray Motorsports team from a rare COPO roller. Strickland brings diverse experience behind the wheel and a winning scorecard to the table. The second-generation racer has earned a threatening reputation in high dollar bracket races and is a respected competitor on the NHRA tour with nine wins in three categories – Super Comp, Stock Eliminator and Super Stock – in a remarkable 24 final rounds. More ...

03/08/14
irl
Jack Hawksworth is revved up for IndyCar season  
Jack Hawksworth
Jack Hawksworth has landed a dream ride in the 2014 IndyCar Series.

Hawksworth has signed a contract to drive the No 98 Honda-powered Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) car in the world famous series, which is the top level of American car racing.

The Yorkshireman, who turned 23 only days before putting pen to paper, said the news still hasn’t sunk in. More ...
03/08/14
nassprint
irl
Kyle Busch would also like to try the double someday  
Kyle Busch
Getty Images for NASCAR
Someday in the future, Kyle Busch would love to emulate his older brother's attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. He just doesn't think he should do the double until he's got a NASCAR series championship in his trophy case.

"I've thought about doing that for years," Kyle Busch said Friday at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"I've always said that I wouldn't do it until I've gotten a Cup championship, which obviously Kurt has (but) I don't have. I've always put it on the back-burner and not really worried about it, but I think it's good. I hope he has fun with it. Hope he don't get too wore out." He understands the challenges faced May 25 by Kurt Busch, who won his series championship in 2004. The double requires about 580 miles of plane travel in between several hours of grueling driving in IndyCar's biggest event and NASCAR's longest race. Associated Press

03/08/14
nassprint
Drivers say qualifying format creates dangers  NASCAR's new knockout qualifying format has been universally hailed as more exciting and interesting than the old single-car system. But for the second week in a row, drivers also said it's extremely dangerous. Since the only legal way for teams to cool their cars is to drive slowly around the track, there's a dramatic speed difference between drivers making qualifying runs and those driving as if they're in a construction zone.

"Riding around the bottom - we've got to do it, it's the only way to keep the engine cool - but that has got to be the most dangerous thing I've ever done in racing," #55-Brian Vickers said after Friday's session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "(#36-Reed Sorenson) went by me at 170 mph faster than I was going. Had he slipped or hit me, I'd be done. It would be so bad." More ...

03/08/14
irl
About time for Indy Qualifying change  Friday's announcement by the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials that they've decided to shake up the month of May once more -- this time, changing the Indianapolis 500's qualifying format -- is another welcome breath of fresh air from the relatively new management team.

Traditionalists -- however not many are actually left -- might complain simply for complaint's sake, but it's hard to imagine even this Cretaceous-aged group of curmudgeons groaning too loudly. Moving the Fast Nine Shootout for pole position to the end of the weekend, on Sunday, May 18, rather than on Saturday as it was for the past four years, actually -- gasp -- makes a lot of sense. More ...

03/08/14
irl
Indianapolis 500 qualifying format change conference call  
Graham Rahal
Yesterday, INDYCAR officials announced a new format to be used for qualifying for the 98th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. INDYCAR announced a new qualifying format to set the 33-car starting lineup for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Qualifying will be enhanced with three sessions of time trials over two eventful days, with the goal of increasing entertainment value, fan attendance and TV viewership for the 2014 qualifying weekend on May 17-18, 2014.

Mark Miles, Derrick Walker and Graham Rahal participated in an INDYCAR Conference Call to discuss the announcement. More ...

03/08/14
nassprint
NASCAR: Leave The Gimmicks To Others  Have you seen what the NFL is talking about doing? They are seriously considering moving the spot of the ball for the extra-point, from the two-yard line back to the twenty-five. The reasoning is that the extra-point has become almost automatic and this will put some excitement into the game. This is clearly a case of trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Why do they always feel the need to change something for change sake?

Most know that I absolutely abhor change, especially when there is no need for it. I have always lived by the mantra that change is bad. When things are genuinely improved, I’ll jump on board. Clearly, the iPhone 5 was a vast improvement over the antiquated model I owned. I made the move two days after they came out and loved it. So don’t think I’m a total curmudgeon that longs for the days when the 8-track will regain its popularity. By the way…can anyone tell me why vinyl records are making a comeback? I haven’t missed warped records that scratch, hiss and make it tough to find a particular track. But for whatever reason – records are once again soaring in popularity. More ...

03/07/14
irl
nassprint
Changes to Indy 500 qualifying will impact Busch  
Kurt Busch
The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 will include three rounds over two days, with the pole-winner emerging from a "Fast Nine Shootout" on what used to be Bump Day. Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17 when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the shootout. On Sunday, the previous days' times will be erased and entries 10 through 33 will complete another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine their starting position. The fastest nine drivers from Saturday will then make one four-lap attempt to determine the prestigious pole winner and starting front row.

It makes life a little more difficult for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, who will attempt to become the first driver in 10 years to run both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Busch will now have to qualify in Indianapolis on Saturday, fly to Charlotte, N.C., for NASCAR's All-Star race that evening, then return to Indianapolis to determine his starting spot in Sunday's qualifying session. Under the old format, had Busch locked himself into the field on Saturday, he would not have necessarily have needed to return to Indianapolis following the All-Star race unless he was in danger of being bumped out. AP Story

03/07/14
uscc
Martin Plowman to Debut with BAR1 Motorsports at 12 Hours of Sebring  BAR1 Motorsports is eager to announce Martin Plowman as their pro driver for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Martin Plowman has an impressive racing background that includes Indy Lights, IndyCar, and most recently clenching a 2013 FIA/WEC LMP2 Championship and 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 win. The Englishman and Snowball Express Ambassador, Martin, recently announced he will compete in IndyCar Series’ “Indy Double” this May, including both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indianapolis 500 with ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing. Martin and BAR1 Motorsports will continue to support Snowball Express for the 12 Hours of Sebring, after a successful Snowflake Event at the Rolex 24. More ...

03/07/14
irl
IndyCar News and Notes, 3/7/14  
IndyCar News and Notes
March 7, 2014

Below, AutoRacing1.com columnist Brian Carroccio covers a few topics making news in the world of IndyCar.

Indy 500 Qualifying:

I’m on record as saying that changes to the qualifying format are not going to increase the excitement of qualifying. Having 50 cars, 4-5 engine manufacturers, different chassis, tire competition, and about 50 entries is what will bring the luster back to qualifying that we saw pre-1996. And I feel pretty comfortable saying, that the opinion expressed above is not exclusively mine.

Now, I’m not saying that the new qualifying procedure is a positive per se. No one will say this directly but the driving force behind the new format was to insure there would be qualifying attempts during the ABC television windows, at 1-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
 
That said, I will credit IMS and IndyCar for this: in making the announcement, they highlighted the clear positives of the new format, in particular the affordable ticket packages available for qualifying. More ...

03/07/14
nassprint
Video: How The Other Drivers REALLY Feel About Danica Patrick  
03/07/14
r2i
Mazda Road to Indy Broadcast Schedule and Talent Confirmed  Andersen Promotions in conjunction with IMS Productions today announced its 2014 television broadcast schedule and on-air talent for the Mazda Road to Indy, which will feature coverage of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on the NBC Sports Network. All shows will be produced by the award-winning IMS Productions team.

The 14 rounds of Indy Lights action will be showcased in 10 shows which will include full coverage of single race events, and highlight coverage of the 40-minute "sprint" race rounds within full coverage of the standard 60-minute feature races at the four double-header events. Seven of the 10 shows will air either immediately before or after the IndyCar Series race broadcast, with the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway airing live on May 23. International rights are held by ESPN International. More ...

03/07/14
irl
IndyCar announces Indy 500 Qualifying Changes  
Ed Carpenter will try to repeat his 2013 Indy 500 pole effort, in a revised format.
INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, March 7, 2014) - INDYCAR announced a new qualifying format to set the 33-car starting lineup for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Qualifying will be enhanced with three sessions of time trials over two eventful days, with the goal of increasing entertainment value, fan attendance and TV viewership for the 2014 qualifying weekend on May 17-18, 2014.

"This new format includes two exciting days of on-track action, all culminating on Sunday with the Fast Nine Shootout," said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman Motorsports. "Fans get to watch their favorite drivers battle to make the field on Saturday, and then fight for a pole position on Sunday. It will be a great show for fans attending the race and watching the broadcast on ABC."

The format is as follows:

• Saturday, May 17 (11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. ET)

  o The fastest 33 cars compose the starting field (but not starting positions).

  o All entries are guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify.

  o The fastest nine entries advance to the Fast Nine Shootout. 

• Sunday, May 18 (10:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET)

  o Saturday times are erased and entries 10-33 must complete another four-lap attempt to determine their starting position in order of the slowest to fastest from Saturday times.

• Fast Nine Shootout, Sunday, May 18 (2-2:45 p.m. ET). More ...

03/07/14
IRL
f1
Andretti to be honored in Long Beach  
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti, the world's most recognized race-car driver, will be honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club at the "RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti presented by Firestone" in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, April 10, prior to the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the RRDC's sixth consecutive annual banquet honoring auto racing's most influential leaders.

Previous honorees were Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Jim Hall and Brian Redman. These "RRDC Evenings" are acknowledged as one of the highlights of the auto-racing social calendar, drawing fans and luminaries from all forms of motorsports.

The Firestone brand will return as presenting sponsor of the RRDC banquet for the fifth straight year. More ...
03/07/14
f1
Williams to run Senna logo all year  Since the tragic death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Williams has placed the iconic Senna double S logo on its racing cars as a mark of respect. To commemorate 20 years since his passing and to celebrate his legacy, the Williams Mercedes FW36 will be adorned with the new 20th anniversary Senna logo for the 2014 season.

Traditionally placed on the front wing struts of each Williams car, the new logo will be placed on the left hand side of the FW36's nose cone and feature a picture of Ayrton alongside the words "Ayrton Senna Always". Designed by the Ayrton Senna Foundation, the logo will be present at a number of events organised by the Foundation this year to honour the life, legacy and values of the three times Formula One World Champion. More ...
03/07/14
f1
2014 Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix Preview - Force India  Force India Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya looks ahead to the start of the 2014 season with anticipation.

Dr Mallya, it’s been a very busy winter – how have things gone for Sahara Force India?
It’s been a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours. That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today.

As you say it’s a different Formula One. A new direction for the sport…
It’s the first time for many years that Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The prospect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very exciting one. More ...
03/07/14
WRX
Tanner Foust Q and A: World RX has it all  Last week American superstar Tanner Foust announced he would contest four rounds of this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy alongside Swedish team Marklund Motorsport in a VW Polo RX Supercar.

Foust – who has been a regular on the rallycross scene since it was first introduced to America in 2010 – will be sure to shake up the proceedings in this year’s all-action Championship which uses IMG as its Championship promoter. The American Top Gear presenter has already racked up 10 medals in the coveted X Games series.

We caught up with Foust to hear his thoughts about motorsport’s newest World Championship. More ...
03/07/14
IRL
nassprint
Donnie Allison did the double best  Amid the talk about how Kurt Busch might fare in this year's Indianapolis 500 as the first pure NASCAR driver to "do the double" in a long time, here's a not-so-trivial question for you: Who is the all-time maestro of the Indy-Charlotte combo in May?

Donnie Allison remains the most successful NASCAR driver ever in the 500 and retains the best combined record for both the 500 and 600.

He had a secret, which we'll reveal in a minute -- one neither Busch nor any other pure NASCAR driver ever at Indy, except for Bobby Allison, Donnie's older brother, has had. More ...
03/07/14
IRL
USCC
Drivers announced for Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race  Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody, multiple Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-producer Brian McKnight, actress Tricia Helfer and three-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Carmelita Jeter are among a field of 20 participants in this year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race.

The 38th annual charity race will take place April 12 as part of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Among the professionals in this year’s race will be six-time Long Beach Grand Prix winner Al Unser Jr. Little Al took first place overall in the 1985 and 2009 celebrity races. Other pros include NASCAR racer and Fox personality Kyle Petty and last year’s celebrity winner Rutledge Wood, co-host of “Top Gear USA.” More ...
03/07/14
f1
irl
Long Beach Formula One race proposal could be costly, vote delayed (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2
With minuscule TV ratings on NBC Sports Network and hence little exposure for the city, the council will likely pick F1 with its huge global TV audience
LAT Photo for IndyCar
After meeting Tuesday in private, the council requested more time to consider its options. "While the current Long Beach Grand Prix is a successful event for all parties, the question is whether or not there is an opportunity to do even better with a Formula One option," Third District councilman Gary DeLong told Gazettes.com.  Of course it can do better, but will the race survive longterm, or will the promoter go bankrupt? 

If the city looks at the NBC Sports Network TV ratings, it's likely they will vote IndyCar out.  But heck, IndyCar is collecting the big NBC Sports Network check.  Pennywise and Pound foolish - it will eventually come back to haunt them.  Teams cannot land enough sponsorship because of the minuscule ratings and events like Long Beach get minuscule exposure for the city when the race is on NBCSN.  Did you notice the Hulman George owned races are not on NBCSN, but on ABC? 

03/05/14 The future of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach's remains undecided as no action was taken in Tuesday night's city council meeting.

"I don't think you can draw anything from them taking no action," Eric Bradley told Racer.com, who covers city hall and politics for the Long Beach Press Telegram. "They can still decide to open it up or simply decide to stay with what they've got with GPALB." More ...
03/07/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Mallya (left) reportedly alluding police
    India GP wants meeting to pursue 2015 return
  • Dennis vows to restore McLaren 'focus'
  • New era 'completely overshadows' drivers - Alesi
  • Long Beach postpones F1 decision
  • Bianchi 'mugged while smoking cigarette'
  • Concorde Agreement era is over - Ecclestone
  • Paddock to celebrate 'popular' Williams revival
  • Wife Fabiana 'wants a baby' - Ecclestone
  • Police unable to find Mallya for a year
  • Alonso: A lot to test on Friday in Melbourne
  • Dennis says Lewis Hamilton could return to McLaren More ...
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