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DATE News (chronologically)
03/11/15
fe

Miami Mayor Says Ball In Formula E's Court After City Commission Approves Extension
Formula E's return to South Florida is in the hands of series promoters after Miami's city commission approved a five-year extension. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado told SBD Global that the future of the Miami ePrix, scheduled to make its debut on Saturday, depends on Formula E and event organizers Andretti Sports Marketing.

"The city commission just approved a proposal that I presented to sign for five years," he said. "It was a unanimous vote. Now it's up to Formula E." Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said that the series would love to stay in Miami until '19. "From our side we are committed to continue racing in Miami," he said. Despite this obvious agreement regarding future Formula E races, Regalado does not expect an official announcement from the series until the season is over. "We are going to have a symbolic signature of documents on Friday afternoon. I mean it's up to them [Formula E]," he said.

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03/11/15
f1

Mexico F1 Rights Holder Fox Sports To Delay Coverage Of 10 Of 20 Races
Mexico F1 rights holder Fox Sports announced that the season starting this weekend in Australia "will not be live broadcast in its entirety in Mexico," according to LA AFICION.

The broadcaster said that the decision was made because "races held at dawn in Mexico will have more viewers during a rebroadcast than they would live."

Fox Sports said in a statement, "For the last 14 years Fox Sports has broadcast Formula 1, we know the races people watch live and in which races the ratings for a rebroadcast are even better than live; based on this experience we created the broadcast calendar for this year."

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03/11/15
fe

Formula E Team Dragon Racing Expects To Sell All Sponsorship
Formula E team Dragon Racing is expecting to sell out its sponsorship inventory by the end of the series' inaugural ’14-15 season. The team, which is owned by Jay Penske, has been able to attract interest from a number of potential sponsors as the series makes its U.S. debut this Saturday in Miami. “Judging by the interest and the meetings we have lined up in the next few weeks, I will be very surprised if we are not already fully sponsored by the end of the season,” said former driver Oriol Servia, who was named partner and managing director of Dragon Racing on Wednesday. Currently, the team’s most prominent partners are security software company McAfee and entertainment trade publication Variety, which is owned by Penske Media Corp. Dragon Racing co-Managing Dir Paul Woolnough declined to comment on the terms of the team’s current deals.

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03/11/15
f1

Study Names Fernando Alonso Most Marketable F1 Driver For Second Year
Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has once again been named the most marketable driver in F1 by Repucom. Based on the perceptions of people from the racers’ native countries using Repucom's Celebrity DBI index, McLaren’s new driver has once again been crowned as the "Most Marketable F1 Driver," as he was ahead of the '14 season.

The Spaniard’s overall marketability has increased, as has public awareness of the driver. In Spain, more than 98% of people know of Alonso, 88% of which say they see him as an effective brand endorser and 83% saying they trust the two-time World Champion. Alonso is followed by ex-teammate and current Williams’ driver, Felipe Massa, Ferrari's four-time World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, and reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

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03/11/15
nassprint

Q and A with Kurt Busch after being reinstated by NASCAR (Update)
UPDATE SHR statement on Kurt Busch: The following is from Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer regarding NASCAR's reinstatement of driver Kurt Busch.

"We appreciate the steps Kurt Busch has made while following NASCAR's process for reinstatement. He has taken this path seriously, which allowed him to return to our race team. With his reinstatement and the conclusion by the Delaware Attorney General to not file charges, our focus is on the future."(SHR / TrueSpeed Communications), Stewart-Hass says Busch will return to the #41 this weekend at Phoenix.

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03/11/15
nassprint

Bristol Speedway Adds Open-Air Box Seats For NASCAR Event
Bristol Motor Speedway GM Jerry Caldwell today announced the facility has constructed additional open-air box seats, dubbed "Boxes At The Edge," for this year's NASCAR events. The Turn One seats were first introduced during the August NASCAR weekend in '14. The section includes attendant service, a Racing Electronics headset and scanner and access to The Edge Deck. The seats also come with a pre-race track walk pass and a $25 Levy food credit.

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03/11/15
nassprint
nasx

Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes
Carl Edwards celebrates his 2013 spring win at Phoenix
TOYOTA TIDBITS

PHOENIX FLIPS:  After 21 career starts at the one-mile desert oval, Carl Edwards will head to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this weekend driving for a new team – Joe Gibbs Racing – and a new manufacturer with Toyota. Edwards is one of only five active drivers to visit victory lane at Phoenix more than once in his career. The Missouri-native has accumulated two wins, seven top-five results and 12 top-10 finishes in his starts at the Arizona track. In addition, Phoenix is the site of the most poles in the NSCS for Edwards with a total of three.

TOYOTA 120 RETURNS:  The NASCAR Mexico Series returns to Phoenix International Raceway on Friday for the Toyota 120, the season-opening race for the series.  This year marks the third-consecutive season the series has raced north of the border in the United States. Toyota driver and defending race winner Daniel Suarez will be the grand marshal for the 120-lap race prior to competing in Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at PIR. This year's Toyota 120 will take place at 7 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on NBC Universo.

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03/11/15
nassprint

NASCAR reinstates Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
NASCAR lifted its suspension of Kurt Busch and announced Wednesday that he will be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Joe Custer issued a statement welcoming the 2004 champion back to the team. Busch will return to the No. 41 car this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

"We appreciate the steps Kurt Busch has made while following NASCAR's process for reinstatement," Custer said in a statement. "He has taken this path seriously, which allowed him to return to our race team."

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03/11/15
gp2

Rossi completes first GP2 test with new team
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi
The 2015 GP2 Series year kicked off in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit with all teams attending the first of the two pre-season tests.

The first session took place on Monday morning and with the circuit suffering from dusty and windy conditions, most of the teams used the first two hours of the session to work on the set-up of their cars. Towards the end of the first morning Alexander went fastest with a time of 1:50.845s, a positive start to the three day test.

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03/11/15
fe

Servia appointed as director of Dragon Racing

Oriol Servia
Oriol Servia
Dragon Racing have announced that Oriol Servia has been appointed at the team as partner and managing director. Servia had previously driven the Dragon Racing entry at the first four races, scoring points at every round.

Loic Duval has been confirmed to replace Servia for the upcoming Miami ePrix on March 14. Duval currently competes in the 2015 WEC programme for Audi and was the 24 Hours of Le Mans winner in 2013 and World Endurance Champion as well as former Formula Nippon and Super GT champion in Japan.

“I am very pleased to have Loic join the Dragon Racing team for the first ever Formula E race in the United States,” said Jay Penske, Owner of Dragon Racing. “It’s never easy to step into a new series, but his preparation and simulation sessions went exceptionally well and we’re confident he’s ready for this challenge. I look forward to seeing Loic ascend in Miami and am eager to watch he and Jerome create a winning combination.”

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03/11/15
fe

Discovery Communications, Liberty Global Unveil Deal For Stake In Formula E Series
Discovery Communications and Liberty Global on Monday "unveiled a deal to take a stake in the company behind the Formula E electric racing circuit after previously looking at a deal for Formula One," according to Georg Szalai of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Financial details were not disclosed. However, sources said that the combined investment was approximately $55M for a "one-third stake in the company behind the circuit" HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com.

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03/11/15
irl

Andretti Autosport announces 4th driver for St. Pete
Simona de Silvestro
Simona de Silvestro
Simona de Silvestro was announced today as the fourth driver to the Andretti Autosport Verizon IndyCar Series lineup for the 2015 season. The Thun, Switzerland native is currently confirmed for the season opener with the four-time IndyCar Championship winning team later this month.

"I am very excited to be joining Andretti Autosport and to become part of a team with such a successful history," de Silvestro said. "It feels really special to have been given this opportunity to drive for them. I also want to thank Michael for believing in me and I can’t wait to start working with the team. Also, I am looking forward to get back behind the wheel of an Indy car."

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03/11/15
TV news

BBC cancels 'Top Gear' after host Jeremy Clarkson punches out producer (Update) UPDATE After the surprise announcement earlier today that Jeremy Clarkson had been suspended from Top Gear for an unspecified "fracas" with a producer, more details have made it to the U.K. press: According to Radio Times, the host was suspended after throwing a punch at a BBC producer. The report also says that the final two episodes of this season of the show have been canceled.

The Radio Times report states that, while the incident occurred last week, it was reported to the BBC only yesterday, prompting today's action against Clarkson. Initially, the BBC announced that the upcoming episode of Top Gear would not air on March 15 as scheduled, but Radio Times says the final two episodes of season 22, scheduled for March 22 and 29, have also been canceled. The BBC had not updated its statement at the time of this writing.

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03/11/15
gp2

Richie Stanaway quickest on final GP2 test day at Yas Marina
Stanaway
Stanaway
The final day of the pre-season testing at Yas Marina opened once again in windy conditions. Alexander Rossi was the first driver to feed onto the track, closely followed by teammate Jordan King, but it was Stoffel Vandoorne who was the early pace setter. The proceedings were halted within the first forty minutes after Artem Markelov stopped on track at Turn 7.

When the pitlane went green again, some drivers switched to super soft Pirelli tires and put their visor down. Raffaele Marciello was the first man to dip under 1m50s, but Mitch Evans bettered the Italian’s laptime to break the 1m49s barrier. Vandoorne went even quicker and set a laptime of 1:48.921 just as a second red flag period occurred courtesy of Evans who stopped at Turn 9.

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03/11/15
f1

Frank Williams back up to speed after hospital stay
Sir Frank Williams
Sir Frank Williams
(GMM) Sir Frank Williams is out of hospital and back up to speed.

Late last year, when the Grove team's 72-year-old boss and co-founder stopped coming to races, it emerged he had been hospitalized with pressure sores.

The Briton, whose daughter Claire is Williams' deputy team principal, has been tetraplegic and confined to a wheelchair since a road car crash in 1986.

He was in hospital for several weeks, but Britain's Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday revealed that Williams is now back at work and planning to attend 15 grands prix in 2015.

"I'm seven days a week here," Sir Frank confirmed. "I just love what I do."

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03/11/15
f4

Newey's son to team with Schumacher's son
Van Amersfoort Racing has signed Harrison Newey as driver for the upcoming season of the ADAC Formula 4 series. The young Briton (16) will race 6 out of 8 rounds in this debuting German single-seater series as part of the Dutch team, that has a history as an excellent stepping stone for young talents. After racing with Van Amersfoort Racing last year, Max Verstappen is to make his debut in Formula One.

Harrison Newey, son of legendary Formula One designer Adrian Newey, stepped out of karting into single-seater racing last October within the French Formula 4-series, followed by racing the BRDC Formula 4 Winter Series. This season the British racing driver will combine racing in both the British BRDC- and the ADAC Formula 4 series.

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03/11/15
irl

IndyCar Test Scheduled for Friday at Texas Motor Speedway
Four-time  Texas  Motor  Speedway  winner  Helio  Castroneves  and defending Firestone  600  champion  Ed  Carpenter will  conduct  a  Verizon  IndyCar  Series  test  Friday  at  Texas  Motor Speedway.

In addition to testing at Texas, other tests will take place at NOLA Motorsports Park and Sebring International Raceway prior to IndyCar’s spring training at Barber Motorsports Park, March 16-17.

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03/11/15
f1

Watch Judge make ruling in van der Garde case
Listen and Watch the judge in Victoria Australia make his ruling in favor of van der Garde who was screwed out of his F1 contract with Sauber.

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03/11/15
f1

Van der Garde appeal delayed until Thursday
Giedo van der Garde
(GMM)  A resolution of Sauber's legal dispute with Giedo van der Garde is facing yet another delay.

After the Dutchman successfully petitioned to race for the Swiss team this weekend, Sauber lodged an appeal.

It was heard on Wednesday afternoon, but it is believed Sauber applied for leave until Thursday -- the day before opening practice at Albert Park.

"Court of Appeal will hear Sauber's application and appeal tomorrow (Thursday) at 9:30," the court confirmed on Twitter.

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03/11/15
f1

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

03/11/15
  • A age 20 Kvyat is the pot calling the kettle black
    Kvyat, 20, thinks Verstappen too young for F1
  • Merhi needs a sponsor to keep Manor seat
  • Berger says Mercedes well clear of rivals
  • Sauber appeals van der Garde ruling
  • Lowe: Mercedes taking nothing for granted
  • Audi chief 'will not comment' on F1 rumors New
  • Experts worry about McLaren-Honda project New
  • Rosberg vows to improve wheel-to-wheel skills New
  • Mercedes announces new partnership with Bose ahead of 2015 season New

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03/11/15
automotive

117 Dealers Suing TrueCar For $250M
A lawsuit in New York has pitted dealers against TrueCar. 117 dealerships have sued TrueCar in New York district court for $250 million dollars over major concerns about their business practices. This suit, first reported on by the Automotive News, alleges that TrueCar engaged in false advertising and created unfair competition.

The lawsuit reads that dealers end up in competition with TrueCar in directly and indirectly “in sales of new automobiles to consumers.” The suit reads in part, “TrueCar’s advertisements falsely claim that consumers using its services can purchase an automobile with no haggling and “no negotiation” and that TrueCar benefits consumers by removing surprises at the dealership.” The suit goes on to indicate that TrueCar just provides dealers with leads and customer contact info and that consumers still have to “haggle” with TrueCar affiliated dealerships prior to their vehicle purchase. The allegation is that consumers are turned off by this and leave dealerships where they didn’t expect to negotiate. The result? According to the lawsuit it’s lost sales and “harm to the plaintiffs’ goodwill.”

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03/11/15
f1

Ricciardo Wants Australian GP Kept In Albert Park Until 2025
Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo
Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo "called on the State Government to lock in the contract for the Melbourne Grand Prix until 2025, to guarantee the long-term future of the race at Albert Park," according to Rolfe & White of the HERALD SUN. Sports Minister John Eren "warned Victorian sporting fixtures were under threat from rival states hungry for a piece of the event tourism pie."

A new five-year deal for the Melbourne Grand Prix "begins next year." But a clause in the contract "gives Victoria an optional five-year extension."

Ricciardo "urged the State Government to exercise it."

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03/11/15
fe

Formula E Expects Number Of Manufacturers For Season Two
Formula E organizers believe the final number of manufacturers participating in the second season of the series will be less than the eight it announced in February. The all-electric racing series, which will make its U.S. debut in Miami on Saturday, will lift its restrictions and allow manufactures to develop their own innovations, beginning with the development of powertrains in '15-16.

During the inaugural '14-15 season, the 10 Formula E teams are using identical single-seaters and powertrains. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told SBD Global that having eight manufacturers entering the series for season two exceeded his expectations.

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03/11/15
nassprint

Allgaier and Keselowski penalized after Las Vegas
Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
The #51 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during post-race inspection March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This infraction is a P3 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
20.3.5: Added ballast containers:
a. Any and all ballast added to the vehicle must be bolted inside an added ballast container, inside the main frame rails, and/or inside the front sway bar.
b. Added ballast must be secured in a manner that will prevent movement of the ballast during an event.

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03/10/15
f1

Van der Garde denies being 'unprepared' for Sauber seat
(GMM)  Giedo van der Garde on Wednesday declared himself "happy, fit and ready to drive" this weekend in Melbourne.

A local court has ruled that the Dutchman can take his place at Sauber this year, after the Swiss team signed him but then replaced him with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

The ruling is devastating news for Sauber, after the team almost collapsed late last year and only immediate sponsor payments from Ericsson and Nasr kept it afloat.

In Monday's hearing, the team's lawyer said letting van der Garde drive in Melbourne was a safety risk, given that all the testing and car modifications have been made with a different pair of drivers in mind.

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03/10/15
f1

Sauber statement on van der Garde ruling
Melbourne, March 11, 2015. – After the application defended by Sauber on Monday, March 9, the outcome is unfortunately not as expected. Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team, said: “We are disappointed with this decision and now need to take time to understand what it means and the impact it will have on the start of our season. What we cannot do is jeopardise the safety of our team, or any other driver on the track, by having an unprepared driver in a car that has now been tailored to two other assigned drivers.”

Sauber F1 Team

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03/10/15
f1

Haas confirms purchase of U.K. base
Haas F1 Team officially confirmed its recent purchase of a facility in Banbury, England. The 3,655 square-meter building, which was the home of now defunct F1 team Marussia, will serve as the team's European base. The facility will provide Haas F1, which is set to join the F1 grid with the start of the '16 season, with easier and quicker access to its overseas suppliers, such as Ferrari, as well as streamline logistics to F1 venues in Europe. Haas F1 CMO Adam Jacobs said that the next step is to continue to work on the base itself and get it up to speed. "At this point we’ve only acquired the things that make our program better, such as the facility," he said. "All these things help us transition from vision to an actual brand."

The U.K. facility is in close proximity to the Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix, in an area dubbed "Motorsport Valley." Six of the nine F1 teams participating in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix have their HQs within an 80-minute drive of Silverstone. While those teams have all of their resources under one roof, Haas F1 has two facilities on different sides of the Atlantic.

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03/10/15
gp2

Alex Lynn quickest on Day 2 of GP2 testing
Alex Lynn
Alex Lynn
The second day of pre-season testing at Yas Marina circuit opened in windy conditions. Stoffel Vandoorne set the early pace ahead of Alexander Rossi and Arthur Pic as most drivers focused on long runs and race simulations this morning. At the halfway mark, Alex Lynn took control of the time sheets with a laptime of 1:50.602. As the clock ticked down, the British driver put on super soft Pirelli tires and improved further to dip under 1m50s.

His teammate and yesterday’s fastest man Pierre Gasly (also on super softs) moved up to P2 in the closing stages and at the checkered flag, both DAMS cars sat pretty at the top of the standings ahead of Raffaele Marciello. The Italian driver set the exact same laptime as Vandoorne, but he did it earlier than the Belgian ace. Mitch Evans, Rossi, Julian Leal, Pic, Andre Negrao and Jordan King rounded up the top ten.

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03/10/15
irl

Rahal team adds multi-year associate sponsor
DA Lubricants livery then and now
DA Lubricants livery then and now
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that D-A Lubricant Co., a privately owned heavy duty, and industrial lubricant compounder/blender, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal at the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana April 10-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park.  In addition, D-A Lubricant Co. has joined the team as a multi-year, major associate sponsor of the entry.

This partnership marks a return to Indy car racing for D-A Lubricant Co., based in Lebanon, IN, who sponsored entries in the Indianapolis 500 from 1955 - 1958 with a highest finish of sixth in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 1956 with driver Bob Sweikert. D-A-sponsored cars also ran in the USAC Championship Car series during that time period, earning one win in 1957 and four wins in 1958. 

In addition, the relationship provides a business-to-business opportunity with the LANCO Group of Companies, whose president is RLL co-owner Michael Lanigan.  D-A Lubricant Co. will provide additional technical support to the team in ‘development’ of performance lubricants that will be used on the race car.

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03/10/15
f1

Bianchi family not ready to close Suzuka chapter
Bianchi Parents Philippe And Christine
Bianchi Parents Philippe And Christine
(GMM)  Jules Bianchi's father has not ruled out taking action against those "responsible" for the horror crash at Suzuka five months ago.

Little has been heard from the French driver's family in the past weeks, but Philippe Bianchi says that is because there has been little to report.

"Jules is still in a coma," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.

"As long as he does not wake up, the only thing we can do is wait.

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03/10/15
f1

Familiar faces lining up at Haas
Rob Taylor
Rob Taylor
(GMM)  Familiar faces are beginning to line up at the 2016 entrant Haas.

Team boss Gunther Steiner, formerly of Jaguar and Red Bull, has appointed former Marussia chief Dave O'Neill to be team manager.

Former Red Bull man Rob Taylor will be chief designer, and aerodynamics boss Ben Agathangelou comes straight from technical partner Ferrari, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport on Tuesday.

"He (Agathangelou) and Taylor have already made a 60 per cent wind tunnel model" of the Ferrari-powered 2015 car, correspondent Michael Schmidt wrote.

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03/10/15
f1

Alonso 'giving everything' for Malaysia return
Alonso has a worried look on his face
Alonso has a worried look on his face
(GMM)  McLaren on Tuesday confirmed that Fernando Alonso is on course to return in Malaysia.

The Spanish driver is being replaced by Kevin Magnussen in Melbourne this weekend after his mysterious Barcelona testing crash.

In a race preview provided by the British team, Alonso was quoted as saying while he is "disappointed" to not be in Australia, he "understands" the recommendations of the doctors to rest for now.

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03/10/15
f1

Newey's 'step back' not too big - Ricciardo
Newey still fairly involved, but his cars are strapped with the inferior Renault engine
Newey still fairly involved, but his cars are strapped with the inferior Renault engine
(GMM)  Adrian Newey's "step back" has not been too noticeable so far, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo said on Tuesday.

Team technical boss Newey is no longer full time in the team's F1 offices at Milton-Keynes, as he gets involved in other design projects including the America's Cup bid of top British sailor Ben Ainslie.

But as Red Bull seeks to track down Mercedes' big advantage, Australian driver Ricciardo said on Tuesday he thinks Newey, 56, remains heavily involved.

"I know Adrian Newey was supposed to step back a lot this year but that hasn't really been the case," he said.

"He's been at most of the tests and he looks to be keeping a pretty strong interest in the car.  So I think he definitely wants to win again as well," said Ricciardo.

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03/10/15
track news

PIR considering SAFER upgrade to safety tire wall
Phoenix Raceway
Phoenix Raceway
NASCAR drivers apparently won't know until after Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 if the tires stacked inside Phoenix International Raceway's Turn 4, near pit entrance, will be replaced with a permanent SAFER barrier to soften impact against the concrete wall. Safety - specifically, increased use of so-called "soft" wall technology - has been a major issue since Kyle Busch suffered leg and foot fractures last month at Daytona International Speedway. He's sidelined indefinitely.

Jeff Gordon avoided injury after a hard hit two weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Both struck walls not protected with SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers, first used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002, which reduces G-force impact kinetic energy by over 50%. A NASCAR official last week recommended the 160-foot long tire wall - four high and two deep - after a track inspection.

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03/10/15
nassprint

Arrest warrant issued in theft of Team Xtreme's race car
An arrest warrant has been issued in the theft of Team Xtreme's #44 NASCAR Sprint Cup car, which was stolen from a hotel parking lot Feb. 27. Sgt. Larry Oglesby of the Morrow (Ga.) Police Department, told NASCAR Talk that the warrant was issued Friday. Oglesby said the warrant was for a person of interest in the case who declined to be interviewed by police. Oglesby said he's talked to the person's attorney. The stock car and pickup truck have been recovered. The trailer remains missing. Among items not recovered include a spare race engine and various tools. NBC Sports

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03/10/15
track news

Financial reports provide insight into seating capacities for track
Each year, publicly traded companies that own race tracks must list their grandstand seating capacities. International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 tracks that NASCAR races, issued its report in January. Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight tracks NASCAR races, and Dover Motorsports Inc., which owns one track with Sprint Cup races, issued their reports last week. With those reports, a list of seating capacities can be compiled for the NASCAR circuit.

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03/10/15
nassprint

PIR's Park 'N Ride program available for fans
Phoenix International Raceway has announced the operating schedule for its Park 'N Ride program - encouraging race fans to take advantage of the convenient shuttle service when traveling to and from the CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 15. After much success in recent years, the Park 'N Ride program returns to Ak-Chin Pavilion, located just two blocks north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue (Exit 135) at 2121 N. 83rd Ave. All NASCAR fans heading to PIR are encouraged to enter at the 83rd Avenue entrance and park on Pavilion grounds, from where shuttle bus service (provided by First Student Charter of Phoenix) will take you to the Gate 4 area at the track.

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03/10/15
nassprint

Spike to re-air 'I Am Dale Earnhardt' documentary
NASCAR Productions and Spike TV joined forces to create a captivating and revealing documentary on the life of a legendary American sports hero -- Dale Earnhardt. The original film, "I AM DALE EARNHARDT," premiered on Monday, March 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV, and you can see it twice more.

On Sunday, March 15, you can catch it at 11 a.m. ET and again on Wednesday, March 18 at 11 p.m. ET.

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03/10/15
nassprint

Las Vegas NASCAR TV Ratings
NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Las Vegas drew a 4.3 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, up 5% from last year (4.1) but down 7% from 2013 (4.6). All five NASCAR on FOX telecasts this season, including the Sprint Unlimited and Daytona Pole Qualifying, have had increases in overnights. The race was the highest rated sporting event of the weekend in the metered markets - topping the Duke/North Carolina college basketball game on ESPN and final round of the PGA Tour at Doral, both of which earned a 2.6. Sports Media Watch / Sports Business Daily

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03/10/15
FIAGT

Sanchez and Paletou to race in Blancpain Endurance Series for Nissan
In just a few weeks’ time two more winners of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy will start their dream job, racing a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Gaetan Paletou (FRA) and Ricardo Sanchez (MEX) won the European and International GT Academy competitions in 2014 and, after hitting the steep learning curve of Nissan’s driver development program, they took their prize drive in the Dubai 24 Hours in January.

If, and only if, a GT Academy winner is good enough to become a fully-fledged NISMO Athlete they receive the good news after Dubai that they will be competing full-time for Nissan. Paletou and Sanchez made the grade and have been selected to race in the Blancpain Endurance Series, one of the world’s toughest GT racing competitions.

In 2015 NISMO Athletes will compete in racing competitions across the globe, including the FIA World Endurance Championship, Super GT, Japanese F3, the European Le Mans Series, ADAC GT Masters, the Pirelli World Challenge and more.

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will enter two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s in the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series. For the first time the team will enter a PRO car, which will be raced by Alex Buncombe (UK), Katsumasa Chiyo (JAP) and Wolfgang Reip (BEL).  Paletou and Sanchez will compete in the sister PRO-AM entry, where for the first race at Monza they will be joined by Florian Strauss.

Reip, Strauss and Chiyo are fresh from their brilliant victory in the Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia so they will be looking to continue their winning form at Monza in April. 

Paletou and Sanchez demonstrated at the Dubai 24 Hours in January that they have made the transition from virtual to reality, finishing in fifth place overall and second in class at what has become the traditional season-opener for Nissan and career starter for the graduates of GT Academy.

“I feel ready for Monza but I still find it hard to believe that I am going to be racing there,” said Paletou.  “This time last year I had no idea of what was ahead of me and now I have landed my dream job.  I know that Monza is a good track for the GT-R as we have such a strong engine so we are in a good position to get a good result.”

“I still find it hard to believe what is happening in my life,” said Sanchez. “Every time I think about it I smile as this has always been my dream. The hard work really starts now though. Monza is a very fast track with a lot of history so I feel proud to have the opportunity to race the GT-R there.  I want to do the best job I can for Nissan and bring home a great result!”

“We are now in the strong position of having our own production line of talent,” said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. “GT Academy winners only become NISMO Athletes if they have the talent and the determination to go all the way. There are no free rides here.  With our sports car ladder now firmly in place we can reward our top GT Academy graduates with the drive of a lifetime in LM P1 and that is what we did when we selected the drivers for our new program. We are finding genuine talent and that is something we are very proud of.”

NISMO NEWSBITES
  • Nissan will return to the ‘Green Hell’ in 2015 with a two-car entry at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. Alex Buncombe, Wolfgang Reip and Jann Mardenborough will join German GT Academy winner, Florian Strauss, who made his mark at last year’s event, in one GT-R. The sister car will be raced by Lucas Ordonez, Michael Krumm, Kazuki Hoshino and Katsumasa Chiyo.
  • The Winner of 2011 GT Academy USA, Bryan Heitkotter, will compete in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge, which began last weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
  • The winner of 2013 GT Academy Germany, Florian Strauss, has been snapped up by the MRS Molitor team to race in the ultra-competitive ADAC GT Masters Championship in Germany. The team will field two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s and fresh from his victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour, Florian knows how to handle the GT3 GT-R.


Comment
03/10/15
uscc

Haase: Sebring is US motorsport cultural heritage
Chris Haase
Chris Haase
Ingolstadt – The endurance race at Sebring, held for the first time in 1952, has developed into a motorsport classic in the intervening years. On Saturday, March 21, the next edition of the 12-hour endurance race is held under Florida’s sun. On the grid: Audi GT driver Christopher Haase in the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Paul Miller Racing. 

"This race is US motorsport cultural heritage. Every winner of this race joins an elite list of drivers," raves the 27-year old German about the USA’s oldest sports car race. Haase will compete in the GT Daytona class as he did on his Sebring debut last year. He will share driving duties in two-hour stints with local heroes Bryce Miller and Dion von Moltke. His goal: "To finally tick the ‘victory’ box."

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03/10/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Despite 4 World Titles the Italians did not pay attention to Vettel until he signed with Ferrari
    Vettel 'did not exist' in Italy - Briatore
  • Mercedes rivalry more intense in 2015 - Lauda
  • Williams to challenge Mercedes in 2015 - Lauda
  • 'Too early' for Lotus podiums - Grosjean
  • New McLaren 'better than it seems'
  • Briatore wants McLaren, FIA to explain Alonso crash
  • Schumacher ski story is 'tragedy' - Ecclestone
  • Button denies Olympic bid reports
  • Rosberg has 'huge motivation' after title loss

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