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DATE News (chronologically)
03/17/13
f1
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone Tops Sport's Rich List With A $9.3B Fortune  F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE, 82, "tops the sport’s Rich List" with a £6.2B ($9.3B) fortune -- ahead of Red Bull Team Owner Dietrich Mateschitz, according to THE SUN. Even EPL Queens Park Rangers and Caterham Owner Tony Fernandes "only sneaks into the top 10 in the sport of the mega-wealthy." The Sun
  • Ecclestone: Worth £6.15B. British. Aged 82. F1 Group CEO.
  • Mateschitz: Worth £4.755B ($7.2B). Austrian. Aged 68. Owner Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso.
  • John Paul Dejoria: Worth £2.68B ($4B). American. Aged 68. Co-owns Circuit of the Americas.
  • Ong Beng Seng: Worth £1.07B ($1.6B). Malaysian. Aged 68. Singapore GP promoter.
  • Mansour Ojjeh: Worth £940M ($1.4B). French/Saudi Arabian. Aged 60. Part Owner of McLaren.
03/17/13
f1
Nigel Frank International, Lotus F1 Agree To Three-Year Sponsorship  Microsoft recruiter Nigel Frank Int'l has agreed to a three-year sponsorship deal with the Lotus F1 team. Nigel Frank Int'l will be helping to source top candidates for IT positions within Lotus F1 team. The Lotus F1 team has also joined forces with Microsoft for a three-year sponsorship. The Microsoft Dynamics logo will be featured prominently on both the Lotus F1 team cars and the drivers' overalls. The partnership debuted at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
03/17/13
nassprint
Logano, Hamlin confrontation leads to crew scuffle after wreck at Bristol  UPDATE


03/17/13 Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano used to be teammates, but there appears to be no love lost between the two as their budding feud escalated again Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin wrecked Logano while battling for second on Lap 349 and Logano went to Hamlin’s car to talk to his former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate following the Food City 500. More ...
03/17/13
f1
Raikkonen wonders if Lotus budget big enough for title  
Race winner Kimi Raikkonen stares to the sky and prays for more money
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen, 2013's early championship leader, has questioned whether Lotus can keep up its winning pace throughout the season.

The Finn beat formidable opponents Fernando Alonso, of Italian giants Ferrari, and Red Bull's triple consecutive reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel to the checkered flag in Australia.

Asked if Lotus - whose budget is also eclipsed by McLaren and Mercedes - can keep up the pace in F1's era of constant and rapid-fire car development, former McLaren and Ferrari driver Raikkonen was unsure. More ...

03/17/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

03/17/13
  • Maldonado says new Williams undriveable
    New Williams 'undriveable' - Maldonado
  • Ecclestone happy Austrians in charge at Mercedes
  • Zytek interested in F1's 2014 engine rules
  • Ecclestone's big hope for 2013 is Ferrari revival
  • Alonso says Red Bull leading pack is 'nothing new'
  • Forgotten man Massa is back
  • Whitmarsh admits McLaren made qualifying errors with both cars
  • Raikkonen is first 2013 title leader
  • We're not as good as we thought says Webber New
  • Slugmobile - McLaren recovery 'will be long process New More ...
03/17/13
nassprint
Carl Long's fine still hanging over his head  Denny Hamlin's recent refusal to pay his $25,000 fine has reawakened the plight of Carl Long, a driver who lacks the financial resources to settle his debt with NASCAR. Long's career as a Sprint Cup Series driver essentially ended when his team was penalized for having an illegal engine at the 2009 All-Star race.

Long's crew chief was fined $200,000, an amount he was unable to pay. Under NASCAR rules, the fine was reverted to the car owner, which was Long's wife, DeeDee. Unable to drive until the fine is paid, Long was still able to work in the Sprint Cup Series garage because his wife was technically responsible for settling the debt. But last year, Long said NASCAR transferred the fine to his name and he's no longer allowed inside the Cup garage. More ...
03/17/13
racing news
Crash at California race track leaves 2 dead  A driver lost control of his car on Saturday evening at Marysville Raceway Park in California, slamming into a wall in the track's pit lane and killing two people, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee and News10 KXTV.

The driver was 17-year-old Chase Johnson, who is a student at nearby Petaluma High School. Racetrack announcer Steven Blakesley was the first person to report on the crash, tweeting out the following just after 6 p.m. PT:

We have had a very serious accident. Chase Johnson had a problem and flew into the pits. Several people appear to be injured. More ...

03/17/13
irl
Auto Racing Hall of Fame expanding induction  Ceremonies surrounding the induction of the newest members of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame will expand in 2013, with increased public access to the legends of the Indianapolis 500 enshrined in auto racing's most prominent museum.

The Auto Racing Hall of Fame, established in 1952, is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The greatest names in Indianapolis 500 history - drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, designers, officials and more - earn racing immortality through induction into the Hall. More ...

03/17/13
nassprint
Rain could threaten Sprint Cup race at Bristol  Rain still threatens Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway but the forecast has improved.

The National Weather Service originally predicted a 60 percent chance of rain for most of Sunday but the chance of rain has declined to 45 percent until 2 p.m. and to 35 percent later in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s Sunday.

The 500-lap Cup race is scheduled for 1:13 p.m. More ...

03/16/13
alms
Sebring Hour 10: Di Grassi, Audi Lead with Two Hours to Go at Sebring  The No. 2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro driver Lucas di Grassi held a 10.546-second lead over teammate Oliver Jarvis in the No. 1 Audi with two hours remaining in the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

The two Audis were four laps ahead of the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota being driven at the 10-hour mark by Neel Jani. More ...

03/16/13
alms
Sebring Hour 8: Audi Still Strong In P1 After Eight Hours  As Audi continues to lead in P1, a tight GT battle is brewing with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida entering the final one-third of the race. Allan McNish (No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro) held a narrow lead over teammate Marcel Fassler (No. 1 Audi R18) as Audi Sport maintained a multi-lap lead over third place Rebellion Racing.

The race was under a yellow flag at the eight-hour mark for an incident involving Bill Sweedler (No. 23 Ferrari F458 Italia) in Turn 14. More ...

03/16/13
nhra
Kalitta, Pedregon, Edwards, Smith lead Gatornats fields  Veteran Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta raced to the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were No. 1 qualifiers and will lead their categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Kalitta claimed his second straight top qualifying effort of the season and 33rd of his career with a 3.779-second run at 326.32 mph in his 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster. Kalitta moved around defending world champ Antron Brown on his final qualifying attempt to claim the No. 1 spot at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. Kalitta will face rookie Leah Pruett in the first round. More ...

03/16/13
uscr
United SportsCar Racing Partners With ACO  UPDATE
SEBRING, Fla. - The link between Le Mans and professional sports car racing in North America lives on into the future. Officials from United SportsCar Racing – a result of unifying the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n and GRAND-AM Road Racing – today signed agreements with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) that will keep the Le Mans brand of sports car racing firmly entrenched in North America.

“The ACO is delighted through this alliance partnership that goes beyond a simple licensing agreement, to continue our collaboration that started 14 years ago with Don Panoz and the creation of ALMS, and which has been of great benefit to both partners,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.  More ...

03/16/13
alms
Sebring Hour 6: Kristensen Leads at Halfway in Twelve Hours  
No. 2 Audi leads at halfway mark
Tom Kristensen already holds the record for most overall victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, with six.

He’s halfway to a seventh.

Driving the No. 2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Kristensen held an 8.133-seconds lead over teammate Benoit Treluyer in the No. 1 Audi with six hours down and six to go. The Audi teammates were two laps ahead of the third-place running No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota. More ...

03/16/13
alms
Sebring Hour 4: Penalty Sets Back No. 1 Audi As Audi Still 1-2  
Audi still leads the P1 class
While the rest of the competition has struggled to keep up with the pace of the Audi Sport R18 e-tron quattros this weekend, a penalty to race leader Allan McNish set one of the top two cars in the P1 class back at Sebring International Raceway. McNish made contact with Mirco Schultis in the No. 81 DragonSpeed Mishumotors close to the Hour 3 mark and was black flagged for incidental contact. The penalty (stop and go, plus 60 seconds) put the No. 2 Audi R18 at the end of the lead lap, behind the team’s No. 1 Audi R18, before retaking the lead on pit stops at the Hour 4 mark. More ...
03/16/13
f1
Williams car so bad may have to start over  
Mike Coughlan
Williams technical director Mike Coughlan has admitted that the team must revert the specification of its car to closer to the launch configuration.

The team has struggled throughout the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with Pastor Maldonado describing the car as "undriveable" after qualifying.

While Coughlan said that it would be "simplistic" to describe the team as having to revert all the way to the launch specification, he accepts that the development direction has been wrong after a promising first test for the FW35.

"The philosophy is to backtrack a little bit to where we thought we had made a significant step forward," Coughlan told AUTOSPORT. More ...

03/16/13
alms
Sebring Hour 2: Audi Runs 1-2 Through Two Hours  Audi Sport Team Joest’s pair of Audi R18 e-tron quattros were the class of the field through the first two hours of the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

The No. 1 Audi held the lead at the two-hour mark with Marcel Fassler at the wheel ahead of Allan McNish, who was just behind in the No. 2. The pair of German prototypes was a lap ahead of Neel Jani in the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota.

Tom Kimber-Smith led in P2 driving the No. 41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan ahead of David Brabham in the No. 01 HPD ARX-03b and IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 552 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b. More ...

03/16/13
irl
alms
IndyCar stars ready for 12 Hours of Sebring  One week before IndyCar opens its 2013 season at St. Petersburg, a handful of drivers who competed in the 2012 season are racing in Sebring for the 12-hour race that opens up the American Le Mans Series season.

Ryan Briscoe scored the pole in the P2 class for Level 5 Motorsports. The 2012 Team Penske driver will share an HPD ARX-03b with Marino Franchitti, Dario’s younger brother, and Level 5 team principal Scott Tucker.

Meanwhile, defending IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and 2012 rookie-of-the-year Simon Pagenaud share the second Level 5 HPD with Tucker, line up second in class. More ...
03/16/13
nassprint
f1
Danica smart enough not to try F1  
She never came close to a win on a road course in IndyCar once the good drivers from Champ Car came over, so Danica is smart enough to know her limitations.  She excels at 100% throttle, only turn left tracks
Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Danica Patrick addresses recent comments by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone that he would like her to run F1:

DID YOU SEE BERNIE ECCLESTONE'S COMMENTS YESTERDAY? "Yes I did see something about Bernie's comments and they sounded complimentary. It looked like he was kind of acknowledging my ability to drive a car. So that was kind."

ANY THOUGHTS? WOULD YOU EVER WANT TO TRY IT (FORMULA ONE RACING)? "I've always said that unless that it would be something I would want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don't see any point in testing it. It is a lot or work to get fitted in the car comfortable enough to go drive it. Then as a driver, for me at least, I run the risk of what if it doesn't go well, and then people judge me for that. So, unless it was something that I was really serious, I wouldn't do it. I will say that Bernie over the years has actually sent a lot of messages. Any kind of big high point that happens in my career, whether it be at Indy, or Daytona now, or winning in Japan  things like that, he has sent messages. He even sent me like a big picture one time that was signed by him. He's actually been really nice. I don't necessarily think that his comments a long while back are representative of his opinion of me."  Chevy PR
03/16/13
automotive
f1
Sergio "Checo" Perez test drives the McLaren P1  
03/16/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

No night race for Melbourne
03/16/13
  • Race boss rules out Melbourne night race
  • Tost wants winter testing in Middle East
  • Prost worried 2013 could be Red Bull whitewash
  • McLaren electronics causing trouble in Melbourne
  • Maldonado struggles with 'undriveable' FW35 New
  • Ralf Schumacher announces retirement New More ...
03/16/13
f1
Qualifying in Australia postponed until Sunday  
Mark Webber
After a pre-season spent grappling with European winter, F1 on Saturday faced a washout in Melbourne.

Although the southern city has only just emerged from a heat wave, the decisive Q2 and Q3 segments of qualifying had to be delayed until Sunday morning, as cars slipped, slid and crashed while 2013 struggled to get out of first gear.

"You could say that 30 years ago they probably would have raced in these conditions, but safety has come a long way in terms of the circuits and the way that we view safety," said McLaren's Jenson Button. More ...

03/16/13
f1
F1 USGP generates nearly $200m of media coverage for Austin  The city of Austin gained global media coverage worth $191.2 million from hosting the 2012 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, according to new research by Formula One industry monitor Formulamoney.

This comprised $166.7 million in exposure generated verbally and visually through television broadcasts and a further $24.4 million through mentions of Austin and F1 in print and major online media.

The event also generated a high level of exposure for the other brands involved in F1. The 162 brands displayed on cars and trackside hoardings during the race gained exposure with an advertising value equivalent of $150.9 million. This total ranks the United States GP as the best race of 2012 in terms of brand exposure, giving F1’s sponsors bigger benefits than famous events such as the Monaco, British and Italian Grands Prix. More ...

03/16/13
f1
Australian GP Practice 3: Grosjean quickest as rain hits Melbourne  
Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean put Lotus on top of the times in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix as the rain hit the Albert Park circuit and Sebastian Vettel hit trouble.

Grosjean posted a best time of 1m26.929s right before the heavens opened and that kept the Frenchman ahead of his rivals until the end.

As they were in yesterday’s first session, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and teammate Felipe Massa were second and third ahead of Force India's Paul di Resta and Grosjean's teammate Kimi Raikkonen. More ...

03/15/13
nassprint
Checkmate NASCAR: Hamlin drops appeal of fine  UPDATE #2 Hamlin discusses dropping appeal of fine: From #11-Denny Hamlin's Friday media availability:
How do you feel about having this incident concluded?
"The biggest thing is I think that we won in the judge of the people and their opinion I think some of the peers of mine -- at least the ones that have a backbone had the nerve to stick up for what they know is right and wrong -- agreed. But what was the point in going another week or so. We've got bigger fish to fry than to argue over what I said just for $25,000 and it's better just to move on and let NASCAR get its credibility back and they're going to do that and I'm going to move on and just focus on a championship."
Is this something that Joe Gibbs helped to mediate?
"No, (Joe) Gibbs (team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing) really supported -- whatever I wanted to do, he was fine with it. Ultimately, I had some conversations with Brian France (NASCAR CEO) and we had a lot of the same ideas. And I think that in hindsight I really believe they (NASCAR) overreacted and I believe that they think they overreacted once they thought about it a little bit, but now we're at a point that we're good with each other and we're just going to move on from here." More ...
03/15/13
usf2000
Alberico Bounces Back At Sebring  Neil Alberico began the season as a hot favorite for top honors in this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda after winning five of six races in the Cooper Tires Winterfest mini-series last month.

His regular season began with disappointment yesterday in the first of two races at Sebring Int’l Raceway when his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing Van Diemen-Mazda encountered a problem at the start, but the 20-year-old Californian rebounded magnificently this morning as he took a convincing victory in round two. More ...

03/15/13
nassprint
Jeremy Clements Press Conf. Transcript  
Jeremy Clements met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed his recent suspension, the support he has received from other drivers and much more.  FULL TRANSCRIPT

ADDRESSING THE MEDIA IN REGARDS TO THE REASON FOR HIS SUSPENSION:

“I want to start out by saying I made a remark that has no place in our society, kidding or not.  I want to apologize to NASCAR, the reporter, my team, my family, my sponsors and of course all the fans out there.  I didn’t mean to offend anybody at all.  I’m sorry I let you all down.  It doesn’t represent who I am or how I was raised.  My Grandpa Crawford Clements who I looked up to and respected and got me started racing when I was seven was a crew chief for Wendell Scott in 1965.  I was raised to respect everybody.  It has been a challenging time for me.  I want to grow from it and help other people from it.  Anytime a race car driver gets sat out any amount of time it is the worst thing that can happen to anybody.  I don’t want to watch anybody drive your car when you are supposed to be in it driving.  I had a lot of time to think about my action.  I want to thank Dr. (Richard) Lapchick and his team for their time and helping me learn.  I’m excited to be back here at Bristol and get a chance to race again.  Hopefully, put all this behind me and move on.” More ...

03/15/13
nassprint
NASCAR Las Vegas TV Rating  UPDATE #2 The final TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas last Sunday on Fox was a 4.7 with 7.5 million viewers tuned in. The 4.7 is down 9.6% from last year's 5.2 final rating.

The final rating for the NASCAR Nationwide Series also from Las Vegas on ESPN2 was a 1.3 with 2.111 million viewers tuned in.

03/12/13 Fox earned a 4.4 overnight for its coverage of the Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That figure is down 4% from the Sprint Cup race at the track last year. ESPN also saw a slide for the Nationwide Series race from LVMS on Saturday (1.3 vs. 1.4).

03/11/13 The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX averaged a 4.4/10 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 for the Kobalt Tools 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. While yesterday's rating is off 2/10th's from last year's 4.6/10 for the same race, it still managed to rank as the highest-rated event of the weekend among the metered markets. This marks the third straight week in which NASCAR on FOX was the #1 event of its respective weekend. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX is averaging a 6.6/14 among the metered markets. That's up +14% over last year's season-to-date average of a 5.8/11.
03/15/13
f1
Button worried about McLaren’s lack of pace  
Jenson Button
"Clearly we're not as quick as we'd like to be," was Jenson Button's blunt assessment at the end of the first day of free practice in the 2013 F1 world championship.

That was something of an understatement. Last year's race winner was almost two and a half seconds off the Red Bull driven by Sebastian Vettel at the end of three hours of free practice running at Albert Park in Melbourne, and things weren't getting any better as the day progressed. More ...

03/15/13
f1
Rivals assumed Red Bull was sandbagging  
Why are these men smiling?
Red Bull's rivals are unsurprised to see the reigning world champion team setting the pace in free practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber topped the timesheets, with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg best of the rest, four tenths off the pace.

This is despite the best Red Bull lap during the eight days of testing at Barcelona being just over 2.3 seconds away from the best time.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has no doubts that Red Bull was sandbagging in testing.

"The Red Bull is massively quick as it always is, obviously they have been sandbagging the whole time in winter, as expected," said Hamilton. More ...

03/15/13
f1
Lewis Hamilton unconcerned despite practice crash in Melbourne  
Lewis Hamilton before he crashed trying to keep up with his teammate Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton was unconcerned after being thoroughly wiped by his teammate on the first day of the new season.

Even though he was faster in the morning session the 2008 champion ended the day in seventh, four-tenths of a second and four places down on Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton careered off the circuit in the final minutes of the afternoon session and the German pulled over at nearly the same time with a broken gearbox.

But the signs are positive for the Brackley operation despite their problems as the only team who were fastest at the end of Friday practice were – inevitably – Red Bull. More ...

03/15/13
f1
Pastor Maldonado downcast over new car  Pastor Maldonado admitted he was disappointed after the first day of practice in Melbourne and was also surprised at the lack of pace of his and team-mate Valtteri Bottas' Williams.

"I think we are far away from the top guys today," Maldonado told Autosport. "We need to work very hard, try to understand our problems. The thing is they are clear … we just need to work very hard to solve it and that is it.

"We are a bit surprised by the performance here. But this is not the end; we need to work and that is it. We need to analyze why we are that slow." More ...

03/15/13
f1
Pecking order becomes clearer in Melbourne  
Vettel happy with new car
(GMM)  After three hours of running in Melbourne, the fog of the winter pre-season has finally begun to clear.

Lotus, like Mercedes and Ferrari, looks quite competitive, but "The front row will be all Red Bull," said Romain Grosjean.

Lewis Hamilton agreed: "They (Red Bull) have obviously been sand-bagging the whole time in winter as expected.

"But I don't feel we're miles away."

With Mercedes confirming its pre-season promise, and McLaren definitely struggling in Australia, Hamilton's winter switch now seems inspired. More ...

03/15/13
irl
Bo Jackson to be Grand Marshal at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama  Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports announced today that former Auburn University running back and Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson will be this year’s Grand Marshal for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama held April 5 – 7.

Jackson, a Birmingham, Ala. native, played college football and baseball at Auburn University where he won college football’s highest individual honor, the Heisman Trophy in 1985.  Jackson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.12 seconds, which is still the fastest NFL Combine 40-yard dash on record.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers then drafted him as the first pick in the first round of the 1986 NFL draft. He went on to play running back for the Los Angeles Raiders and left field for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels. More ...

03/15/13
f1
Circuit of The Americas announces on-sale date and ticket prices  Circuit of The Americas today announced that tickets for the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, set for Nov. 15-17 in Austin, Texas, will go on sale Thursday, March 21, at noon CDT. Tickets for the penultimate race of the Formula 1™ season, held at the United States’ only purpose-built Grand Prix facility, start at $169 per person for three-day general admission passes.  Three-day passes include individual tickets to Friday’s practice sessions, Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions and Sunday’s races.

Circuit of The Americas hosted its inaugural Formula 1 event in November 2012 and enjoyed rave reviews from race fans, national and international media, and F1™ teams and drivers while achieving the second-highest attendance for a Grand Prix race last year, with 117,429 spectators on race day, Nov. 18. More than 265,000 fans visited the Circuit over the three-day sports and entertainment spectacle, making it the third most-attended event of the 2012 season. The nail-biting race was won in the final laps by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who starts the 2013 season for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. More ...
03/15/13
wec
2013 Le Mans 24 Hours Withdrawal of Sebastien Loeb Racing  Sebastien Loeb Racing will not take part in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. The 9-time World Rally Champion was supposed to enter an Oreca 03-Nissan in LM P2, which will now be replaced by the Race Performance Oreca 03-Judd.

The second withdrawal among the 56 cars entered for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours has been notified to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. The Oreca 03-Nissan (LM P2) entered by Sébastien Loeb Racing will not be at the start of the 81st event.

This team was chosen by the Le Mans 24-Hours Selection Committee, and it was supposed to take part in the European Le Mans Series from which it has also scratched its entry. According to the team management this decision was taken following the withdrawal of a financial partner who was supposed to join the French squad. More ...

03/15/13
gp2
Sergio Canamasas signs for Caterham Racing in GP2  Spanish racer Sergio Canamasas has today finalized a deal to contest the 2013 GP2 Championship with Caterham Racing.

In addition to his GP2 role Sergio will be Caterham F1 Team’s 2013 Development Driver and his duties will include F1 simulator work at Leafield Technical Centre, as well as straight-line aero testing for the F1 team.

The 24 year old drove for the team at both pre-season tests in Spain and performed consistently throughout. He will drive the number 14 Caterham Racing car in 2013 and partners GP2 rookie and Caterham F1 Team Reserve Driver Ma Qing Hua in the number 15 car. More ...

03/15/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Everyone chasing the latest Adrian Newey Red Bull
    Todt suggests F1 teams' cost agreement in doubt
  • Five teams could win in Melbourne - Lauda
  • Raikkonen denies racing only for money
  • Maldonado no longer certain Venezuela backing will flow
  • No F1 comeback any time soon - Kubica
  • No extra testing for V6 rules debut - Whiting
  • Grosjean admits to 'fatigue' after 2012 season
  • 'Something wasn't right' at McLaren - Hamilton
  • Boss 'worried' about pace of new McLaren More ...
03/15/13
f1
Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Melbourne  
Vettel fastest at Albert Park
Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull 1-2 in the second free practice session for the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, to show that not a lot has changed since 2012.

The world champion - who also topped the times in first practice - lapped in 1m 26.070s on Pirelli’s medium tires before cutting that back to 1m 25.908s on the supersofts. Both times were faster than team mate Mark Webber’s, the Australian lapping in 1m 26.172s on the supersofts to go second fastest. Webber survived a half spin at Turn 13. More ...

03/15/13
alms
Kristensen Gives Audi Thursday Sweep at Sebring  
Audi night practice
For the third time in three Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida practice sessions on Thursday, Audi Sport Team Joest found its way to the top of the time charts in night practice.

Six-time Sebring overall winner Tom Kristensen took the honors in the darkness, pushing the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to a best lap at 1:46.660 (126.233 mph). Kristensen – who shares the ride with four-time Sebring champ Allan McNish and Lucas di Grassi – was 0.026 seconds quicker than teammate Benoit Treluyer in the No. 1 Audi. More ...

03/14/13
f1
Vettel tops opening practice in Melbourne  
It's an ominous sign whenever Sebastian Vettel is fastest in opening practice
The 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship finally got underway under sunny skies and in decent track temperatures in Albert Park on Friday afternoon, as FP1 in Australia threw up few major surprises.

Sebastian Vettel set the pace for Red Bull - perhaps as expected - but was only 0.078s ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa as team mate Fernando Alonso, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen gave chase.

There was relatively little action for the first 45 minutes as everyone opted to save rubber, and when the times did come they were all set on Pirelli’s medium tires. More ...

03/14/13
nassprint
MWR uses sex to lure male fans  Michael Waltrip Racing has "created a new track-based, social media platform that is sure to cause a buzz in the stock-car community," according to Godwin Kelly of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. A team of "digitally savvy models will roam the garage, infield, sponsor midway and hospitality areas to interact with NASCAR fans."

One of the models "is Miss Florida Latina, speaks fluent Spanish and will lead MWR’s effort to take the MWR/NASCAR experience to the Latino audience." Team owner Michael Waltrip said, “We wanted to create some buzz around our teams and partners. These young ladies are not only attractive, but exceptionally smart and will give fans a taste of what goes on at the track away from just the competition.”

He added that over the last month MWR has "interviewed almost 20 models." Waltrip: "We can’t sit still and expect our sport to grow, so we are trying to be creative and innovative. We think this will be fun and something the fans will enjoy." News-JournalOnline.com
03/14/13
alms
Fassler Fastest For Audi in Second Sebring Practice  
Bruni in the Risi Ferrari
Marcel Fassler kept Audi Sport on top in the early going at Sebring International Raceway with the fastest time in the day’s second practice session for the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Fassler, two-time and defending winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours for Audi, set a best time of 1:45.806 (127.252 mph) in the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro he co-drives with Benoit Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis.

The best lap of Fassler came on his 30th and final lap. He was nearly two seconds clear of Andrea Belicchi in Rebellion Racing’s No. 13 Lola-Toyota. More ...

03/14/13
alms
DeltaWing unveils Coupe Version  
DeltaWing Coupe
DeltaWing Racing Cars is pressing ahead on development not just with its open-top version, but also is revealing a coupe version that will premiere this week at Sebring International Raceway. A show car version of the coupe will be on display starting Thursday in the Austin Hatcher Foundation booth near the paddock, on vendor row just across from the back side of the pit lane structure.

The coupe version of the DeltaWing features a new tub and wider driver greenhouse, among other new elements, to comply with the new 2014 LMP1 regulations. The car will debut in the American Le Mans Series later this year, possibly as early as at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. More ...
03/14/13
v8
Melbourne V8 Supercars: Fabian Coulthard takes pole  Fabian Coulthard led team-mate Jason Bright in a Brad Jones Holden one-two in qualifying for V8 Supercars' non-championship races at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Coulthard put himself clear of the pack with a 1m55.6682s lap, 0.3491 seconds ahead of Bright. The latter will fall to fourth on the grid, though, due to a penalty for failing to go directly to the pits after first practice. More ...

03/14/13
f1
Abu Dhabi Sports Acquires TV Broadcast Rights To '13 F1 Season  Abu Dhabi Media "has secured the exclusive MENA region broadcasting rights" for the '13 F1 World Championship for the fourth year in a row, according to GULF NEWS. Abu Dhabi Sports will broadcast all 19 of the upcoming F1 races from around the world, starting with the '13 season opener in Melbourne, Australia from Friday until Sunday. All races will be broadcast live "on free-to-air Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya +2." Abu Dhabi Sports subscribers "can also follow the entire event in HD on Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya +6" Gulf News
03/14/13
f1
F1 Wants To Stay Down Under As Cost Concerns Threaten Australian GP’s Future  Growing complaints about the high cost of hosting the Australian F1 Grand Prix, which are, according to Australian newspaper reports, around A$34M ($44M) annually, have threatened the future of the race. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, however, downplayed the uproar and said, “We hope we're going to be in Melbourne forever, although we do get a bit of criticism, and I don't know why. We're happy with Melbourne, and I'd be happy to sign a 50-year contract.” The Australian Grand Prix Corp., which organizes the Australian GP, rejected Ecclestone’s statement as nothing more but a “wonderful sentiment.”

The 2012 annual report of the Australian Grand Prix Corp. revealed that last year’s race lost A$56.6M, as revenue of A$36.4M stood opposite expenditures of A$93M. The deficit had to be picked up by the Victorian state government. Annual reports also revealed that the Grand Prix’s losses have increased from A$34.6M in ’07 to last year’s A$56.6M. The race’s contract with Formula One Management is set to expire in ’15. Despite recently saying that he intended to come to Victoria to start negotiations for a contract extension, Ecclestone will snub the Melbourne race for a fifth straight year. The Australian Grand Prix Corp. did not respond to multiple interview requests.  More ...
03/14/13
f1
Marussia F1 Team announces new Russian partnership with BC Liga Stavok  The Marussia F1 Team announced that it has agreed a new partnership for the 2013 season with BC Liga Stavok, a Russian betting company.

BC Liga Stavok was founded in 2008 by Oleg Zhuravsky, President of the National Association of Russian Bookmakers, and Yuri Krasovsky. The company focuses on the development of the betting industry in Russia and is active in the support and promotion of Russian national sports. BC Liga Stavok has the reputation of having the best betting shop in Russia and CIS countries and the highest European standards. The company operates in strict compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, based on license ?6 (08.07.2009), and, at present, the company has more than 500 Customer Service Centers in over 120 cities of the Russian Federation.

The Marussia F1 Team has worked with BC Liga Stavok previously, having entered into an event sponsorship agreement for last year’s Moscow City Racing competition on the streets of the capital city. For 2013, BC Liga Stavok will benefit from branding on the MR02 race car, Team and driver apparel and other elements of the trackside environment throughout the 19 Grands Prix of the coming season.
03/14/13
Racing News
Drivers Announced For "Revved Up to Race" 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race  The red carpet and race cars are ready as Toyota announced today the participants from film, television, music, sports and the military who will compete for checkered flag glory in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.  The 37th annual charity race will take place April 20 on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif., as part of the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The field of racers will navigate the new 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race vehicles through high speed turns to benefit "Racing for Kids," a national fundraising program supporting children's hospitals throughout the United States.  This year's field of popular celebrity racers includes: More ...

03/14/13
usf2000
Hargrove takes USF2000 opener at Sebring  Scott Hargrove drove to a convincing victory in the opening round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at Sebring International Raceway.

Hargrove, 18, from Vancouver, British Columbia, qualified his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing car on the pole position with a lap record and finished the 12-lap race almost seven seconds clear of his nearest challenger. More ...

03/14/13
ga
alms
American Le Mans, Grand-Am Series To Come Under Unified Branding  

With uniqueness and modernity at the forefront, the new United SportsCar Racing platform was revealed (#TheReveal) today at Sebring International Raceway, resulting from the merger of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.

United SportsCar Racing will debut in 2014 with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

"The new name says it all," said GRAND-AM President and CEO Ed Bennett. "In only six months since we announced the merger, GRAND-AM and the ALMS have taken huge strides to become one organization that will redefine sports car racing in North America. United SportsCar Racing reflects the fundamental spirit of how we are working together toward a common goal." More ...

03/14/13
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

03/14/13
  • Can Rosberg put it to Hamilton?
    Rosberg could beat Hamilton with 'other strengths'
  • F1 owner CVC 'milking' money from sport - Fernley
  • Vettel calls 2013 car 'Hungry Heidi'
  • Vodafone confirms McLaren exit
  • New title sponsor already decided - McLaren
  • Valencia could return to F1 in 2014
  • Ferrari won't copy Red Bull's 'Newey' approach
  • Shell launches Lego brand with Ferrari
  • Di Resta 'had personality make-over' for 2013 New
  • Button hits back at Hamilton's McLaren criticism New
  • Ousted Petrov's manager joins Caterham New
  • Button could struggle to continue winning trend New
  • Mercedes to 'protect itself' before McLaren-Honda New era

Rosberg could beat Hamilton with 'other strengths'
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg insists he is not worried about being beaten by his new teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Germany's Sport Bild told the 27-year-old that although he beat the great Michael Schumacher at Mercedes over the past three years, many perceive it as more to do with the seven time world champion's decline.

"I can assure you that Michael was still on it," Rosberg insisted.

Whatever the case, the German's skills will be tested yet again in 2013, now that Lewis Hamilton - undisputedly one of the very fastest in F1 - is his teammate.

Years ago, the pair were teammates in the upper classes of go-karting.

"He (Hamilton) was super-fast," Rosberg admitted.

He thinks, however, that he might have the upper hand now that they share identical formula one cars.

"Karting is pure, but in formula one, my other strengths come into play much more," said Rosberg.

"I always get the most from the setup; I am very consistent," he said, raising the idea that Hamilton is more of an instinctive driver.

"There are drivers who have days where not everything fits together.  I have less of them," added Rosberg.

F1 owner CVC 'milking' money from sport - Fernley
(GMM)  Force India has lashed out at F1's owner CVC, accusing the private equity firm of not being interested in developing the sport.

The financial news agency Bloomberg quoted deputy team boss Bob Fernley as saying new deals that give more money and power to the bigger teams are a "disaster".

"CVC is not interested in developing the sport, it's interested in making as much money as possible and then selling it," he said.

"The income split doesn't support formula one."

Many of F1's smallest teams are struggling, and former Renault boss Flavio Briatore told Sky Italia this week: "I can't understand why none of the team bosses are saying anything".

Spanish backmarker HRT folded over the winter, the woes of Force India's owners Vijay Mallya and Sahara are making headlines, and Marussia and Caterham have had to dump their number 1s in order to sign 'pay drivers' in 2013.

Still referring to CVC, Fernley continued: "You need to have an investor who gets a good return but one that also has an interest" in F1.

"CVC has milked it and anyone investing in it should be looking very closely at what they're getting."

However, former Minardi owner and boss Paul Stoddart has warned that equality up and down pitlane is "a lovely dream but it isn't going to happen".

In fact, he said a team like Force India gets about $35 million per year in income from CVC, insisting: "I would have crawled over hot coals to get" that."

Vettel calls 2013 car 'Hungry Heidi'
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel and his mechanics have named the reigning world champion's 2013 Red Bull 'Hungry Heidi'.

Giving his chassis a light-hearted female moniker is now among the German's various superstitious habits, as he bids for a near-unprecedented fourth consecutive drivers' title this season.

Bild newspaper said Vettel and his crew decided on the name just before midnight on Wednesday, over dinner at the Melbourne steakhouse 'Vlado'.

The report said the name is connected to German-American model Heidi Klum, who once had a relationship with former Renault boss Flavio Briatore.

"They (Klum and Vettel) don't even know each other," Klum's father Gunther told Bild.  "But of course it is a nice touch."

Meanwhile, Vettel's boss Christian Horner has played down Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton's constant intimations that Vettel - despite his recent successes - is not among the very best drivers on the grid.

"They both seem to have found a mutual admiration with the common denominator being that Sebastian has done all the winning over the past three years," Horner said in Melbourne.

"It is impossible to ignore what Sebastian has achieved."

Vodafone confirms McLaren exit
(GMM)  McLaren's title sponsor Vodafone has decided to pull out of formula one.

It emerged mid last year that the lucrative deal could be in doubt beyond 2013, with the Financial Times reporting that the British telecommunications giant was "reviewing" its major sponsorships.

The same newspaper, citing a company spokesman, said Vodafone has indeed decided to end the estimated $75 million per year McLaren deal.

Amid the speculation last year, McLaren decided to replace the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton with Sergio Perez, a Mexican who entered F1 in 2010 with the lucrative backing of the billionaire Carlos Slim-linked Mexican telcom Telmex.

Despite Perez's switch, Telmex still sponsors Sauber, but rumors will surely now intensify about a switch to McLaren to replace Vodafone.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said last September: "I did have a conversation with Carlos Slim ... but we have made an offer to Sergio, we are paying him well and there are no side deals.

"I'm not saying that ultimately there won't be other fresh partners coming forward because of it (Perez's signing) but that wasn't the motivating force."

New title sponsor already decided - McLaren
(GMM)  McLaren on Thursday swiftly confirmed reports that Vodafone will definitely end its seven-year title sponsorship at the end of 2013.

"Having met and exceeded all the highly ambitious targets that Vodafone had set for its title partnership with McLaren, the company has now decided to focus on business priorities away from formula one sponsorship," the British team announced in a press release.

Amid speculation it will team up with the Sergio Perez-linked Mexican giant Telmex, McLaren announced that its next title sponsor will be announced in December.

"While the current title partnership is in place ... McLaren will not disclose its new title partnership, but (the team) will make an exciting announcement on 2nd December 2013, following the last grand prix of the season," said the Woking based team.

As it has since Perez entered F1 in 2010, Telmex currently sponsors Sauber.

Ferrari won't copy Red Bull's 'Newey' approach
(GMM)  Ferrari insists it is happy with its technical structure, despite not having a high-profile figure like Adrian Newey in the limelight.

"The goal," said the Italian team's Greek designer Nicholas Tombazis, "is to combine respect with victory, which is what we have failed to do in recent years."

Indeed, in the wake of Kimi Raikkonen's title for the Maranello marque in 2007, the coveted drivers' championships have subsequently gone to McLaren, Brawn, and then Red Bull, whose technical head Newey is widely proclaimed a 'genius'.

"Without knowing the details," Tombazis told Italy's Autosprint in an interview, "I think the way we are organized is quite different.

"We do not have a person who does everything, who pretends to know everything, while all the others are slaves.

"We have a strong team and also quite a 'deep' one, that we have been able to re-examine in recent years because we were not winning.

"From the technical point of view I think it's hard not to feel admiration for Adrian Newey.  From the human point of view, I know other people," he added.

Shell launches Lego brand with Ferrari
The Rolex Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix marks the much-anticipated start of the 2013 Formula One World Championship, and to kick-off the event-filled weekend, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa joined media and locals to launch a new Shell promotion in collaboration with Ferrari and the LEGO Group in Australia.

To mark the occasion, the Scuderia Ferrari official drivers, showcased the world’s first life-size Ferrari F1 car model built by LEGO for fans in Melbourne today. At the event Alonso and Massa also raced young fans with six limited edition Ferrari model LEGO cars with pull-back motors, along with two giant LEGO minifigures.

“The life-size LEGO Formula One car is travelling around the world supporting an exciting offer from three significant global brands.”

The offer introduces six exclusive Ferrari model LEGO cars based on some of the most iconic vehicles in Ferrari’s motoring history: the Ferrari 150° Italia, the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta passo corto, the Ferrari F40, the Ferrari FXX, the Ferrari 458 Italia and a Scuderia Ferrari Truck.

The limited edition Ferrari model LEGO cars have the smallest pull-back motor ever produced by LEGO Group. They are capable of performing over 300 pulls, propelling the 30 g vehicle up to two meters. Shell and LEGO worked on the development of the mini-motor for over 18 months, expressing the spirit of technological innovation and improved performance that is at the heart of Shell V-Power fuel and Shell’s partnership with Ferrari.

“This campaign represents the joint passion for performance that Shell shares with Ferrari, whilst incorporating the fun and imaginative nature of LEGO. Whether our customers are fans of Ferrari, motorsport or LEGO bricks, we think these toys will provide an exciting opportunity for them.”
Jane Morwick, Shell Retail Business Manager

From Monday 18 March, customers will be able to purchase exclusive Ferrari model LEGO cars at Shell Coles Express sites across Australia. A new model will be available each week for six weeks.

Di Resta 'had personality make-over' for 2013
(GMM)  According to some, a 'new' Paul di Resta has walked through the 2013 paddock turnstile.

Writing in London's Evening Standard, journalist Matt Majendie calls it an obvious "personality make-over", after Jenson Button's manager Richard Goddard took over the handling of his career.

"(Goddard has) clearly had a word with the Force India driver", Majendie said, after some observers suggested part of the reason for the Scot not getting the call to a bigger team was due to his lack of charisma.

"In formula one, being media savvy and pleasing sponsors is as important as raw speed," said Majendie.

Asked on Thursday by F1's official website, 26-year-old di Resta acknowledged that he has taken the criticism on board and made a change.

"Yes, probably," he said.

"But relationships actually do grow over time, so I think it is also something about being in the paddock long enough to get a reputation and have people's confidence and take things and comments the right way.

"I think it has been a good winter to look at all possible aspects of change," he added.

Button hits back at Hamilton's McLaren criticism
(GMM)  Jenson Button on Thursday took issue with former teammate Lewis Hamilton's description of McLaren as an overly-controlling team.

Hamilton, who ended his long association with McLaren over the winter as he moved to Mercedes, said recently the British team is "a really controlled environment where you are restricted to do and say what you are told".

On Thursday, he repeated his claim that he is now far more relaxed in F1.

Button, who was not close friends with Hamilton over the past three seasons and often clashed with the brasher Briton, said in Melbourne that he was "very, very surprised to hear" Hamilton's criticism.

"The freedom I have in this team is phenomenal," he insisted.

"It's so not like that," said Button, referring to Hamilton's description.

"It's a very open team, free team, and a team that will do anything for you."

According to a report in the Associated Press, the difference between McLaren and Mercedes is that the German carmaker can partly fund its team with mass road car sales.

Button agreed: "In this team, you work, you have to work, and perhaps harder than in other teams.

"Initially when I came to the team, it was a shock.  You learn to understand, to adapt -- that is the job."

Button could struggle to continue winning trend
(GMM)  Jenson Button is leaving nothing to chance.

When he won the Australian grand prix in 2009, 2010 and 2012, he stayed in the very same Melbourne hotel room.

The Briton has done the same for this weekend.

And that's not all.  "Yesterday I rode the same bike that I've ridden down here for the past three years," he is quoted on Thursday by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"And I drank a beer in the same pub that I always do.  Not that I'm superstitious!"

In fact, not all is going to plan for Button, who arguably had the very best car in the field as he finished last season with a win in Brazil.

Bucking the trend up and down pitlane, McLaren has not just evolved its 2012 car for the last season of the V8 engine rules.

The MP4-28 is all new, and the Woking based team is just starting to 'understand' it.

"If this was the Spanish grand prix in Barcelona, I would be worried," said Button in Australia.

"Some of the test laps that were being done there (Barcelona), we couldn't do.

"But Melbourne is completely different."

Indeed it is, and so is the weather in the southern hemisphere, but still it might not be enough.  Some believe Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and even Lotus are ahead of McLaren at the moment.

Auto Motor und Sport cited paddock whispers that, on low fuel, Button was a second behind a comparative specification of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes as the test season concluded.

A McLaren engineer is quoted as saying: "It could take three or four races before we can reap the benefits of our approach."

Mercedes to 'protect itself' before McLaren-Honda era
(GMM)  Toto Wolff has added fuel to speculation McLaren could be preparing for Honda power in 2015.

It is now strongly rumored that, as per the British team's contract with Mercedes, McLaren will use German engines next year for the start of the new V6 era.

Then, the switch will be made to works Honda power, as the Japanese marque returns to F1 for the new era.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the situation is making Mercedes nervous, because McLaren - and therefore Honda - could gain a lot of knowledge from Mercedes' approach to the V6 rules before going it alone in 2015.

Wolff, the Mercedes team shareholder and director, is quoted as suggesting the German marque is indeed nervous.

"You can never completely prevent a transfer of technology know-how," he said.

"But we can try to protect ourselves."

His comments would suggest that, given the complexities of the all-new rules next year, Mercedes' efforts to shut out McLaren could be a clear disadvantage for the Woking based team ahead of its rumored Honda switch.

Ousted Petrov's manager joins Caterham
(GMM)  The Russian driver is no longer there, but Vitaly Petrov's manager Oksana Kosachenko has re-emerged in a new role for 2013 at Caterham.

A press release issued by Manuscript Agency said the green-clad team "has confirmed" that Kosachenko has joined as commercial director.

She will be in charge of "the acquisition of new commercial partners for the team and will attend races and team events in her new role which started in February 2013".

Petrov has targeted a return to F1 in 2014.

03/14/13
nassprint
Hendrick Motorsports still most valuable team according to Forbes  Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's most valuable team with a value of $357 million, up 2%. Hendrick is worth twice as much as second-ranked Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick is the only four car Sprint Cup team left and brings in $125 million in sponsor revenue a year. Lowe's extended its deal last month through 2015 as the primary sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 car. Earnhardt Ganassi (ranked #8 with a value of $72 million) announced it would switch engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick starting in 2013. This will add to Hendrick's coffers, which are already full as NASCAR's most profitable team with an estimated operating income of $16.6 million in 2012. More ...
03/14/13
nassprint
Forbes names highest paid drivers  Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the highest-paid driver in the sport for the fifth straight year with total earnings of $25.9 million in 2012 by our [Forbes] count. We estimate that Earnhardt earned $12.9 million in combined salary and his share of prize money, which is split with Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt signed a contract extension with Hendrick in 2011 that will keep him part of NASCAR's most valuable team through at least 2017. But what really separates Earnhardt from the rest of NASCAR's top drivers is his off-the-track earnings, which were $13 million last year. While Earnhardt's licensing income is down like all drivers (some as much as 80%), he still generated the most licensing dollars in the sport last year. More ...
03/14/13
nassprint
No. 98 team still searching for sponsorship  Interviewed by Frontstretch, #98-Michael McDowell discussed the team's sponsorship status:

Bowles: You guys announced a sponsor for Vegas, but it appeared you pulled it in early. Where are you at in terms of races you'll run the distance?

McDowell: It is week by week. We have one more race for Curb, we have one more race for K-LOVE. We're working on lots of deals, but really right now we have two more races and that's it. Sponsorship is key to whether or not we're able to run, and run competitively. Like I said, we're constantly working on it. It's not something where we're sitting back and waiting for a deal to show up. We're having meetings every week with potential sponsors and it's just a hard sell right now. It's hard to get things rolling. So, we'll see what happens, but the goal for us, like in years past, is stay around, stay relevant and when things start to move and shake, we'll be in a good position. Frontstretch
03/14/13
f1
Another ride-buyer announced as Marussia reserve  Rodolfo Gonzalez has been announced as Marussia's reserve driver for the 2013 season, joining Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton at the team. The Venezuelan finished 22nd in last year's GP2 standings and was team-mate to Giedo van der Garde.

"I am very excited to be joining the Marussia F1 Team at such an exciting time in their development," said Gonzalez. "Working closely with the race drivers and engineers at every stage of the race weekend is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn outside of the car and I hope that I can make a significant contribution to the Team’s progress."

Gonzalez will travel to all 19 races this season in the event that he is required to substitute for either Bianchi or Chilton. The 26-year-old will also take part in selected opening free practice sessions and the Young Driver test later this season.
03/14/13
f1
Rob White on the evolution of the F1 V8  The 2013 Australian Grand Prix will be the final time Albert Park reverberates to the sound of V8 Formula 1 engines. Used since 2006, the V8 will have been in service for eight years by the end of the 2013 season.

We caught up with Renault Sport F1 deputy managing director, Rob White, to discuss the life of the V8, its evolutions and its potential performance, engine freeze notwithstanding. In future technical features we’ll then look at key elements of the V8 in detail. More ...

03/14/13
automotive
Mark Webber hits the track in Australia's first all-new Renault Clio RS 200  Australian motor racing star Mark Webber has swapped his Formula 1 car for the latest vehicle from Renault ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix in Melbourne. Webber given the opportunity to drive the all-new Clio RS a year ahead of its release on the local market.

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