303 Died in G.M. Crashes With Failed Air Bags, Safety Group Says As lawmakers press General Motors and regulators over their decade-long failure to correct a defective ignition switch, a new accounting of federal crash data shows that 303 people died after the air bags failed to deploy on two of the models that were recalled last month.
The calculation, in an analysis commissioned by a safety watchdog, adds to the mounting reports of problems that went unheeded before General Motors announced last month that it was recalling more than 1.6 million cars worldwide because of the defective switch.
The analysis looked at cases in which the air bags failed to deploy, but did not attempt to evaluate what caused the crashes.
Drino Miller, whose successes in motor racing spanned the distance from Baja's off road races to professional sports car racing, and from the driver's seat to an engineer's drafting table, lost his final race, against cancer, on March 4th. Born on July 30, 1941, he was 72 years old.
In auto racing, legendary status is usually reserved for drivers, and a very few team owners. Los Angeles-area native Drino was only briefly a driver or team owner. Yet such were his accomplishments over four decades that racing insiders from all forms of motor racing acknowledge that he was indeed a legend. A racing renaissance man, Drino excelled as a driver, a team manager, a team owner, an engine builder, and an engine and chassis designer.
With a degree in political science from UCLA, Drino was well equipped for motor racing's notorious, byzantine politics, but was equally adept as a self- and experience-taught engineer.
Pressure on rookie F1 drivers The three drivers who will start a Grand Prix for the first time in Melbourne this weekend "will be acutely aware that Formula One is an environment with little mercy for rookies who fail to prove their worth rapidly."
McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson "will be under pressure to deliver results." The short-lived F1 experience of Giedo van der Garde and another '13 rookie, Marussia’s Max Chilton, "is a cautionary tale for the three newcomers."
They can "take heart" from Esteban Gutierrez, who after an unpromising start at Sauber "kept his seat with a series of excellent late-season performances," and Valtteri Bottas, who has "shown his ability in preseason testing of the much improved 2014 Williams." Financial Times
Cities Line Up To Host Formula One Grand Prix Despite Fragile Economy Despite the "fragile global economy, there is no shortage of hosts willing to stump up hundreds of millions to persuade the F1 caravan to bring a race weekend to their city," according to Roger Baird of the FINANCIAL TIMES.
The reason "is clear." If you "get it right," the way newer circuits such as Singapore and Austin, Texas, have done, the "event nets tens of millions in local spending." Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley said, "Singapore and Austin are shining examples of how a Grand Prix can help showcase a region. In Singapore, people now come into the country days before the race, or stay on and spend money."
Ferrari Signs Agreement For 'Ferrari Land' Theme Park Outside Barcelona
PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U. has signed a licensing agreement with Ferrari to build Ferrari Land, a Prancing Horse theme park, inside the PortAventura resort and theme park outside Barcelona. The project will involve an investment of more than €100M ($139M).
The theme park will cover 75,000 square meters and offer various attractions, including Europe's highest and fastest vertical accelerator. Ferrari Land will also include the first Ferrari-themed hotel, which is to be built inside PortAventura.
The park is scheduled to open in '16 (Ferrari). In Madrid, David Padilla reported Ferrari Land "will also have simulators like those used by F1 drivers." It is "not the first time" Ferrari has built a theme park -- "Ferrari World Park" was built in Abu Dhabi in '10. MARCA
Scott Dixon keeps IndyCar drivers on top - Sebring Practice 3 results The No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates came out of the blocks strong in Thursday’s practice sessions, leading TUDOR United SportsCar Championship preparation for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
Saturday’s race serves as both the second round of the TUDOR Championship and the Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup. The event begins at 10:15 a.m. ET with live FOX Sports 1 coverage from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET and the remainder of the event streamed on IMSA.com. FOX Sports 1 also will air a three-hour highlight telecast on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Three-time and defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon had the fastest lap of the day on Thursday, at 1 minute, 52.357 seconds (119.832 mph) in the Ford he co-drives with fellow open-wheel drivers Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam to lead the Prototype (P) class. After running his best lap in the first of three sessions, Dixon also was fastest in night practice with a lap of 1:53.090 (119.056 mph).
NHRA and INDYCAR drivers join, visit Children's Hospital
NHRA Mello Yello drivers Brittany Force, Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal
NHRA Mello Yello drivers Brittany Force, Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal made an appearance together today at Shand’s Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. to bring some racing-themed goodies to current patients at the facility.
“I was really glad to be able to go Shand’s Hospital with my sister and Graham today before racing starts for the weekend. All we wanted to do was to leave there knowing that we made the kids smile and hopefully made their day a little better. People are always saying they think NHRA drivers are really brave, but I think those kids are the brave ones. A lot of them wished us luck for this weekend and I’ll definitely be thinking about them while we’re out there,” said Castrol Edge Top Fuel Dragster driver Brittany Force.
The driver tour consisted of a group-setting in the activities room, where the children we able to try on the driver’s helmets and play with goodies the drivers brought with them. They then went to bedside visits, followed by a stop in the ER pediatric unit. The kids received mini diecasts of John Force Racing and Graham Rahal race cars, autographed hero cards and hats, stickers and John Force all-time No. 1 qualifier foam fingers.
The much-anticipated debut of Mopar’s newest Pro Stock class vehicle, the Dodge Dart, will take place this weekend at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, following its reveal by world champion drivers Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin Jr. at Two Tails Ranch near Gainesville Thursday.
Joining the Dodge Charger R/T in the Funny Car class and the Dodge Challenger in Sportsman competition, the Dodge Dart was chosen as the next-generation Pro Stock vehicle and developed on a virtual platform, using production-based technology and tools used for street vehicles, with Chrysler Group LLC race and production engineers working hand in hand with the race teams.
Matthew Brabham, of Indianapolis and Gold Coast Australia, was presented the 20th Gorsline Scholarship by John Gorsline today at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida.
Brabham, 20, is part of the Brabham Family dynasty as grandson of three-time Formula One champion Jack Brabham, son of four-time IMSA GTP champion Geoff Brabham and nephew of two-time ALMS LMP champion David Brabham. With this scholarship he will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, on an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, and will benefit from a unique training program at Jim Leo's PitFit Training - all courtesy of Gorsline Company.
The Gorsline Scholarship is presented by Gorsline Company, of Rochester, N.Y., the leader in high-risk motorsports insurance. It recognizes aspiring drivers by providing programs with tools that will assist them in developing skills on and off the track to help attain their professional goals.
IndyCar stars topping the charts in Sebring The Indy-to-IMSA shuttle is up and running this weekend, with nine IndyCar Series regulars racing in the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, set for Saturday at Sebring International Raceway.
The second race of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season is a nice set-up for those nine in terms of acclimation; the IndyCar season opens in two weeks in St. Petersburg, just a two-hour drive from this sleepy Central Florida community that awakens dramatically each spring when sports cars arrive.
"I think this is, number one, obviously a benefit from the merger and it's taking everyone back a little bit to the old days of sports car racing when stars from other series came to the big sports car events," said Scot Elkins, IMSA's vice president of competition and technical regulations.
Mercedes front wing fails crash tests The Mercedes Formula 1 team will be using an old-specification front wing at Australia, after their updated version has failed the mandatory crash tests.
The new wing, which is designed to aid airflow underneath the car and improve all-round aerodynamics is one of many upgrades the outfit were planning to bring to the season opener at Albert Park, but it appears as it will have to wait until Malaysia before it is debuted.
Designer, Aldo Costa commented earlier in the season stating Mercedes' intentions for the upgrade; "With the new front wing we are on an extreme way." It appears as if their aggressive approach has not paid off, and it may see the team slip behind the likes of Williams and McLaren for Melbourne.
CBS Sports Network to Broadcast Pro/Celebrity Race at Long Beach
Al Unser Jr and Keanu Reeves Celebrate in 2009
The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and CBS Sports officials announced today that CBS Sports Network will air the 38th annual Pro/Celebrity Race, which will be run during the 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend,. The race, which pits stars, musicians, athletes and inspirational figures against professional drivers in a 10-lap race for charity, will premiere Sunday, April 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to air the always popular Pro/Celebrity Race on CBS Sports Network this year,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “It is the perfect choice to convey all the excitement and drama that is part of this race each year.”
Chevrolet Becomes Latest IMSA Partner With the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida providing the backdrop, officials from Chevrolet and the International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA) announced today a multi-year agreement making Chevrolet an Official Automotive Partner of IMSA, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
“Chevrolet is proud to partner with IMSA,” said Jeff Chew, manager of business strategy and operations for Chevy Racing. “Our involvement in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship gives us a relevant platform to showcase our premier performance vehicles on the race track to our loyal customers and fans. Chevrolet’s participation in the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype and GT Le Mans classes – plus the GS category in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – illustrates our commitment to IMSA.”
Montezemolo sends open letter to Ferrari tifosi Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has sent an open letter to fans of the Scuderia across the globe.
It seems incredible but another season is about to begin and I, like you, am anxious and in a state of strong trepidation - as happens to me every year, even though I have gone through so many championships as President and, before, as sporting director.
There are more unknowns and uncertainties about this season than in the past. The rule changes are profound and numerous. It's not just a matter of the new six-cylinder turbo engine, but also systems with integrated electric engines, control units with innovative and complex software, a new package of aerodynamics... In essence it's a complicated car that will also require a different driving style.
Dixon Leads Sebring First Practice Scott Dixon led Thursday’s opening one-hour practice for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, second round of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The defending IndyCar Series champion clocked in a flier of 1:52.357 in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley. It’s a car he’ll share with fellow open-wheel stars Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam.
Alex Brundle was second in prototypes and overall at 1:52.858 in the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan. Rolex 24 at Daytona winners Action Express Racing were third, with Joao Barbosa at 1:53.404 in the No. 5 Corvette DP.
Ozz Negri Set for Return to Interlagos in Brazilian Stock Car
Negri to run Brazilian Stock Car Series at Interlagos
Sebring, Fla. (13 March 2014) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian driver Ozz Negri will have a busy stretch of racing once again, as the Rolex 24 Champion is set to return to his native Brazil to compete in the hugely popular Brazilian Stock Car Series next weekend.
Before he heads home for his first race at the fabled Interlagos, Negri will team with John Pew and Justin Wilson this weekend for Round 2 of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida this week at Sebring International Raceway (FOX Sports 1, 10:00 AM).
“It will be fun; it's been 23 years since I last raced in Brazil” said Negri. “It will be pretty cool to race in my home town of Sao Paolo and at Interlagos, which is the track that I drove for the first time in a race car and where I also won my first race [both in Formula Ford]. So it will be very cool to do it while my parents, brother, family and friends will all be there.”
Gehl Returns to RLL as an Associate Sponsor for the IndyCar Series Program
Gehl to continue their support of RLL.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the Gehl brand, part of Manitou Americas, Inc. has returned as an associate sponsor of the team’s IndyCar Series program. Manitou Americas, Inc. is a producer of Gehl, Manitou, and Mustang branded equipment for construction, agriculture, mining, energy industries and beyond. In addition, Gehl will enter into their ninth season of involvement with Graham Rahal, whom they have had a personal services contract with since his 2006 Atlantic Championship season where he was runner up to the champion. Gehl was an associate sponsor of the race team from 2006-2008.
“We are very excited to expand our relationship with Graham and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team in 2014,” said Dan Miller, CEO of Manitou Americas and President of the Compact Equipment Division. “Graham has been a part of the Gehl brand for over nine years. Over the years, we have developed a strong relationship with Graham that has extended to our dealers and customers. And now, with him driving the Army National Guard INDYCAR, our partnership with Graham and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing team will further enhance the excitement of our customers and dealers and we are honored to be part of it.”
Tagliani To Drive Second Indy 500 Car For Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
Tagliani to drive for SFHR in the Indianapolis 500.
INDIANAPOLIS (March 13, 2014) - Open-wheel racing fans will see a familiar face behind the wheel of a second car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) when practice opens May 11 for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Veteran Alex Tagliani was announced today as the second driver for Indianapolis-based SFHR in the 2014 edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." 2011 Indianapolis 500 polesitter Tagliani will join the team's full-time IndyCar Series driver, Josef Newgarden, in a potent lineup for the team owned by Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman.
Tagliani, a native of Lachenaie, Quebec, will drive the No. 68 SFHR/RW Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in May at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
GP2 Day 3: Jon Lancaster tops final day at Yas Marina
The final day of pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit was delayed by twenty minutes for gantry repairs at Turn 13. When the pitlane turned green, cars fed onto a sandy track in windy conditions. Stoffel Vandoorne set the early morning pace before a first short red flag period after Facu Regalia stopped at Turn 19.
At the restart, Jon Lancaster went top with a laptime eight tenths better than Vandoorne’s. It was then Stefano Coletti’s turn to claim top spot, but Johnny Cecotto became the first man to break the 1m50s barrier lapping the track four tenths quicker than the Monegasque driver. Lancaster improved again and headed to the top of the timesheet with a laptime of 1:49.653. A second red flag halted the proceedings thirty minutes before the end of the session after Rene Binder span and stopped at Turn 13. At the checkered flag, and behind Lancaster, Cecotto, Jolyon Palmer, Daniel Abt, Mitch Evans, Vandoorne, Coletti, Alexander Rossi, Raffaele Marciello and Julian Leal rounded out the top ten.
Hilmer Motorsport joins GP3 Series GP3 Series organizers are pleased to announce Hilmer Motorsport will join the field for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The German outfit led by Franz Hilmer replaces RUSSIAN TIME.
Hilmer Motorsport made a very successful debut in their maiden season in the GP2 Series finishing sixth in the 2013 Team Standings, achieving four wins and seven podiums.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Hilmer Motorsport to GP3 Series. Their rookie year in GP2 Series in 2013 was quite strong with four wins and seven rostrum finishes. This will provide another good link-up to GP2 with five of the nine GP3 teams racing in both Series’ giving the drivers even more opportunity to move up the ladder. I am confident Hilmer Motorsport will put together a GP3 team that will be ready and competitive for this exciting new challenge.
Cooper confirmed as World RX tire supplier Cooper Tire Europe has signed a three-year agreement with the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy which will see the tire manufacturer supply its tires to drivers on all 12 rounds of the all-action Championship.
World RX, which is promoted by IMG Motorsport, has made a number of significant announcements over the past few months including the signing of former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve and several broadcasters who are set to air race action live to fans across the globe.
Wraps come off circuit design for Beijing Formula E GP
Beijing Formula E Track
Organizers of the FIA Formula E Championship have today revealed the location and circuit layout of the Beijing Formula E Grand Prix – exactly six months ahead of the opening round of the new global electric race series.
Taking place on Saturday, 13th September 2014, the inaugural Formula E race has been set around the grounds of China’s iconic Olympic Stadium, more commonly known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. At 3.44km in length and featuring 20 turns, the anti-clockwise temporary circuit has been custom made by designer Rodrigo Nunes, working in close cooperation with the FIA, Formula E, the Republic of China Motor Sport Federation (FASC), the Olympic Park Committee, the Beijing Mayor, the Chinese Government and event organizer Team China Racing.
NASCAR fans held prisoner in ‘free’ parking at Las Vegas At least one NASCAR fan remains livid at Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials after he and thousands of other race fans who attended Sunday’s Kobalt 400 race were not allowed to leave a locked parking lot until an hour after the race was over.
Medical researcher David Morehouse of Las Vegas said speedway parking attendants, backed up by Las Vegas police and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers, told him fans in the free parking lots could leave only after paid lots emptied. The speedway has more than 10,000 free parking spaces. Crowds usually exceed 100,000 people for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Morehouse said he tried to leave with 40 laps left in the race, which is part of NASCAR’s top Sprint Cup series circuit, but instead both missed the end of the race and couldn’t leave to beat the traffic. He said he waited about two hours to get away.
Video: Renault decodes the new V6 power units This year, for the first time in the history of the sport, cars will be powered throughout a Grand Prix by both fuel and electrical energy, produced by turbocharged, V6 internal combustion engines and powerful energy recovery systems.
In this new and exclusive video Renault Sport F1 explains how the changes impact car performance and how the two types of energy are balanced over both one lap and a race distance.
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