Auto racing legend Mario Andretti stepped away from driving full time in 1994, but even now at 77, he's able to push a racecar to 180 mph, as he shows Mo Rocca (pictured below, with Mario) during an interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING to be broadcast Sunday, March 19 (9:00 a.m. ET) on the CBS Television Network.
"I just love my driving," Andretti says after giving Rocca a high-speed thrill ride around the Sonoma Raceway. "I just can't get enough. I'm an adrenaline junkie. You know, and without adrenaline I'd die."
CEFC Manor TRS Racing extends their driver line up for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship with ex Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne. The 26 year old French driver has vast experience in single seaters including Formula 1 and Formula 3 but this will be his first season in sports cars. He will be racing in WEC alongside his drive in Formula E this year.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director "We are very happy to welcome Jean-Eric to the team. He is a very talented driver that we have followed over the years as we have raced alongside him in Formula 1. We are really looking forward to starting the season and working together with Jean-Eric and I hope that, together, we will have a really successful year."
With attendance and rating plummeting, NASCAR teams will have to start cutting costs
Penske learned from IndyCar, when Tony George destroyed the sport fans and sponsors flew the coup and teams had to cut costs
Team Penske owner Roger Penske says the next big issue NASCAR needs to address is cost reduction and he readily admits teams will be the first to balk.
"I think the next big step we’ve got to make is cost reduction within NASCAR. People have to give up things that maybe we think we’ve got a competitive advantage, we have to give up some of that stuff to get there,” Penske told a group of reporters last weekend at the IndyCar Series opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"That’s always the case, someone thinks they’ve got an edge and don’t want to give it up."
The implementation this season of the five-minute clock to work on body damage before a car has to return to the garage for the remainder of the race was a step in the right direction, Penske said.
Video: Ferrari: 70 Years of Emotion It was 12 March 1947 when Enzo Ferrari revved up the engine of the 125 S, the first car to bear his name. The history of the modern Ferrari began with that test drive on the roads around Maranello. What was then a small factory born from a dream – to create an exclusive racing car in a country that was rising from the ashes of war – has over the years become the symbol of Brand Italy around the world. Seventy years later, on this symbolic day, Ferrari is kicking off the official celebrations for its anniversary.
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and Long Beach Area Boy Scouts Announce Partnership
Turn 1 at Long Beach
The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and Long Beach Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America today announced a partnership that will see local Boy Scouts ages 16+ acting as a service corps to help race fans at the April 7-9 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Scouts will assist the Committee of 300 grandstand supervisors as ushers, helping race fans find their seats during the race weekend. In return, the Boy Scouts will have a major display in the Long Beach Arena portion of the Lifestyle Expo which will feature various Scouting activities as well as a slot car competition.
The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team is one big, happy family but has other members apart from the racing drivers. We would like to introduce you to the people behind the scenes. In the spotlight today: Fabien Chenin, Tire Engineer.
Fabien works closely with the race and performance engineers
Together, they try to set up the car to perfectly suit the driver’s needs
Fabien Chenin: “The tire is one of the most complex parts of the car, so you have to take time to understand it”
IMSA could hold an end-of-year non-points event at Sebring International Raceway, aimed at its pro-am, global-spec classes, according to the sanctioning body’s CEO Ed Bennett.
Bennett revealed to Sportscar365 that the concept, currently under the working title of “IMSA Encore,” could feature a combination of LMP3, GT3, GT4, GT Cup and MPC machinery in an endurance race format.
The crowd for the Brickyard 400 has become pathetic and playing games with the schedule won't help it. Instead of a 400-mile IndyCar race at the Speedway to end the season, they play host to their arch-enemy. It will be a cold day in hell before IndyCars are allowed to race at Daytona.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will announce Thursday that it is making a number of changes in hopes of improving the fan experience at the Brickyard 400 race weekend, July 21-23.
Highlights include the introduction of a Friday fanfest and a shift in scheduling, with qualifying for the 400 immediately following the Xfinity series race on Saturday evening. Many of NASCAR's top stars are scheduled to appear during the new fanfest, which also will feature other entertainment options for families. Following the fanfest will be the annual Hauler Parade.
Attendance at the Brickyard 400, one of the NASCAR season's signature races, has waned in recent years. Not long ago, the track drew upwards of 200,000 fans, but last year attendance was estimated at 50,000.
What's the Verizon and Firestone contracts worth if each race delivers at least 1 million viewers?
UPDATE More on the IndyCar ABC numbers:
While the 2017 numbers (below) are down from 2016, they are up double digits from 2015 (+25 pct rating, +35 pct viewership). They are also on pace with ABC's average from last year for their four non Indy 500 races (0.79 average, 1.151 million viewers) - numbers NBCSN simply cannot deliver for IndyCar. Could network NBC deliver those numbers? Probably. But the bottom line is that 100% of IndyCar races starting in 2019 need to be on network TV if IndyCar is ever going to experience any meaningful growth in sponsor dollars in the paddock. If you are not pulling at least 1 million viewers every race you are essentially invisible to potential sponsors.
Video: Team Chevy NHRA Pro Stock drivers preview 2017 Gatornationals With a victory each in the first two races of the 2017 NHRA season, both defending and three-time Pro Stock champion Jason Line and teammate Greg Anderson, four-time Pro Stock champion are looking forward to the upcoming Gatornationals. In this video from the AR1 youtube site, the pair of Summit Racing Camaro drivers preview this weekend’s race and talk about the importance of collecting a Wally for winning one of the biggest races on the schedule. Comment
Williams Appoints Paddy Lowe as Chief Technical Officer
Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Ticker: WGF1) is pleased to announce the appointment of Paddy Lowe as Chief Technical Officer for the Williams Group.
Paddy will join Williams today, 16 March, and will take overall management responsibility for the engineering operation at Grove. Paddy will also join the company’s Board of Directors and take a shareholding in the company, underlining his passion and commitment to working with Claire Williams and Mike O’Driscoll to drive the Williams Group forward.
ISC has developed a new event-level suite product at Phoenix Raceway that puts premium patrons next to competitors during NASCAR races. ISC officials provided Don Muret of THE DAILY a sneak peek at the new premium-seat options in advance of this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 500 at the facility.
The new garage suites, part of the track’s $178M renovation, are motorsports’ version of dugout suites at MLB parks and field-level suites at NFL stadiums, said track VP/Sales & Marketing Scott Rovn.
Audi offices, plants in Germany raided by prosecutors amid VW diesel scandal
Audi likely cheated too
German prosecutors searched Audi's two biggest plants and other sites on Wednesday in connection with the emissions scandal still rocking parent Volkswagen Group, adding to pressure on the luxury division and its CEO Rupert Stadler.
Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that up to 11 million of its vehicles worldwide had software installed that cheats emissions tests, unleashing its biggest ever crisis.
Valvoline named presenting sponsor of August 26 INDYCAR event Gateway Motorsports Park today announced a new, multi-year agreement with Valvoline as a presenting sponsor of its inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race on August 26. The new race title will be the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline.
“We are proud to announce Valvoline is partnering with Gateway Motorsports Park. Valvoline is an iconic and respected brand in motorsports and the automotive industry with a rich tradition of excellence and winning,” said Chris Blair, Gateway Motorsports Park’s Executive Vice President and General Manager.
GM to keep another 900 jobs in the USA General Motors today announced it will add or retain approximately 900 jobs across three Michigan facilities during the next 12 months. The 900 jobs are in addition to the 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in U.S. investments GM announced earlier this year.
GM also outlined a series of programs the company is supporting to promote the overall development of skills required for future job growth in Michigan and the U.S.
World of Hyatt Extends Sponsorship of Graham Rahal's Honda
Hyatt announced the second year of its sponsorship with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR), an auto racing team that currently races in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The RLLR sponsorship is a natural extension for World of Hyatt, Hyatt’s new global platform, which creates genuine and trusted experiences for guests and loyalty program members in a truly meaningful way.
“World of Hyatt is about connecting our community to the people, places and experiences at the heart of their world – both within and beyond the walls of our hotels,” said Debra Goetz, senior vice president of corporate marketing for Hyatt. “RLLR is part of the extended Hyatt family, and we are thrilled to build on our sponsorship to give our passionate fans a one-of-a-kind experience they will always remember.”
North Seattle gas pump on fire after being hit by Uber driver An SUV, being driven by an Uber driver with a passenger, first clipped a Honda which smashed into a tree. It then kept driving and went airborne through a Shell Station. Comment
7-Eleven and Oberto Beef Jerky Funny Car Debuts at Florida Race
Jim Dunn car
The Jim Dunn Racing 7-Eleven and Oberto Beef Jerky Dodge Funny Car will make its debut at this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals. The team is coming off a semi-final round finish at the recent NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, and ranks #7 in Championship points for the NHRA Mello Yello Series.
No penalties for Logano-Busch incident NASCAR released the Post-Event Penalty Report for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There were no penalties for #18-Kyle Busch or #22-Joey Logano, who were involved in a pit road scuffle after the Kobalt Tools 400 at LVMS.
Two crew chiefs were fined $10,000 for lug nuts (one lug nut) not properly installed: #13 Germain Racing crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker and #78 Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season continues with one of America’s premier endurance races, the 65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday, March 18.
The sports car classic might be half as long as the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, but many veteran observers describe the race on the 17-turn, 3.74-mile converted airport circuit as being twice as tough.
Indycar Driver Jay Howard Enters Youngest Team In F4 U.S Paddock
The Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda is a youth-focused, cost-contained series serving as a building block to open-wheel racing for competitors transitioning from karts to cars. Veteran IndyCar driver and Motorsports Driver Development lead principal Jay Howard is encompassing the series mantra with full-force, entering the overall youngest team in F4 U.S.
Howard confirmed his three-car lineup with two of the three entered coming straight from his karting program. Sam Paley, 14, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Max Peichel, 15, of Edina, Minnesota, and Parker Locke, 15, of San Antonio, Texas, round out the grid for the Indianapolis-based team.
Norman Nato set the fastest time of the 3 day FIA Formula 2 Championship test when he topped this morning’s penultimate session in Barcelona, setting a qualifying style lap of 1:27.834 to take home the first pre-season bragging rights ahead of Oliver Rowland (0.054) and Alexander Albon (0.105). In the final session of the test, Luca Ghiotto stopped the clocks at 1:29.565 to top the afternoon ahead of Johnny Cecotto (0.262) and Nyck De Vries (0.426).
Ex-Formula 1 driver, David Coulthard, today visited Baku to take a closer look at Baku City Circuit, the newest street circuit in Formula 1, as it prepares to host its second successive Grand Prix this coming June 23rd-25th. He began his stay in Baku by immediately taking a tour of the street track, inspecting some of its key features which proved such a unique challenge to the drivers last summer.
Today’s tour - taking place just over three months before the return of F1 to Baku’s streets and just a week ahead of the season opener in Australia- allowed Coulthard to return to the scene of last year’s fastest street race and see for himself how much progress has already been made along the track’s route as Baku City Circuit continues its daily preparations to ensure the street circuit is once again operational in time for the second race weekend in the city this coming June.
Herta Becomes Indy Lights Youngest Winner with AER's Mazda MZR-R Power
Second-generation racer Colton Herta had lots of challenges to deal with on his way to taking the 2017 Indy Lights series point lead at the St. Pete Grand Prix this past weekend – the challenging Florida street circuit was sight-unseen, he was surrounded with other talented young drivers and he had to manage restarts after caution periods. But one thing the 16-year-old rookie never had to give a thought to was the reliability and performance of the 450-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine that powered him to second place in the Saturday season-opener and the following day made him the youngest-ever race winner in the series’ 31-year history.
Ford eyes weight-saving carbon fiber subframe Canadian supplier Magna International Inc., in cooperation with Ford Motor Co., says it has developed a prototype carbon fiber composite subframe that reduces mass by 34 percent from a stamped steel equivalent.
The subframe would reduce vehicle weight, increasing fuel efficiency.
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES driver Joey Logano, who was involved in a post-race confrontation with former teammate Kyle Busch Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, joined NASCAR RACE HUB Tuesday on FS1 to discuss the incident. Logano’s appearance alongside NASCAR RACE HUB co-hosts Adam Alexander and Shannon Spake was part of his regular duties as an analyst on the one-hour program. Below are excerpts from Logano’s comments regarding the events that unfolded on and off the track with Busch:
Spake: There has been a lot of discussion on social media about whether or not the punch landed. Did it land? Did it not land?
Audi tells Penske he can't run their cars at LeMans
VW and Audi got enough bad press about their diesel passenger cars. No way their diesel race cars will ever see the light of day again.
Roger Penske says he asked Audi about running its LMP1 cars on a privateer basis at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year – but the German manufacturer said no.
“I talked about if we could get a privateer [effort] with some of those cars,” Penske told Motorsport.com. “But under the current situation with Audi, all the things they’re going through, they just said they’ve got enough eyeballs on them, they don’t need to be showing up at Le Mans.
“I’d love to run at Le Mans, but if I did I’d love to run at the front.”
Audi’s then-motorsport chief Dr Wolfgang Ullrich told Motorsport.com last year: “You will not see any ‘historic’ Audis in the WEC” – and confirmed that the 2017 Audi was never built beyond a 1:8 model.
Alexander Albon stepped up a spot overnight to take the day two honors with the fastest time in this morning’s FIA Formula 2 Championship test session in Barcelona, grabbing the top spot from Johnny Cecotto and Artem Markelov by 0.175s, while Nyck De Vries stole the top spot this afternoon in a session largely dedicated to race simulations, ahead of PREMA pairing Antonio Fuoco and Charles Leclerc.
The Thai driver topped this morning’s session with a time of 1:28.225 under sunny conditions, claiming the top spot in the final hour of a session which was stopped twice by red flags: first to allow the circuit operators to inspect a section of the track which has had heavy recent use by the Formula 1 teams, and secondly as a result of Gustav Malja stopping on track.
Mars, Inc. condemned Kyle Busch's post-race actions on Sunday, saying starting a fight with Joey Logano and Logano's pit crew was "not consistent with the values" of the company, according to FS1's Alan Cavanna.
Busch started the physical altercation following the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Mars in the statement said, "While we are disappointed with the situation, we hope the drivers and team members involved learn from this experience and continue to grow as professional athletes representing the sport."
By removing the apron they have reduced the degree of banking and in doing so the track is now 20 feet wider
Drivers prefer racing on older surfaces, but Texas Motor Speedway’s new surface received positive reviews Monday.
NASCAR Cup driver Chris Buescher felt the track "did a nice job," joking he got up to 120 mph in a pace car. IndyCar owner and driver Ed Carpenter echoed those sentiments, saying the surface is "greatly improved."
TMS underwent a much-needed capital project to repave the track and improve the drainage system. Rain delays plagued every race weekend in 2016. The IndyCar race was red-flagged for 76 days because of issues drying the track in June.
The Volkswagen Group on Friday pleaded guilty to three felony charges relating to its diesel emissions cheating scandal as part of January’s settlement with the Justice Department and Customs and Border Protection regarding any criminal misconduct tied with the scandal.
The charges included conspiring to defraud the United States, obstructing justice, and the importation of goods by means of false statements.
The judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox, didn’t deliver a sentence, although the Justice Department recommended Cox follow the original terms outlined in VW's settlement. He has deferred the sentencing until April 21 due to the "serious" nature of what has transpired.
Video: Remembering John Surtees 1934-2017 Mobil 1 The Grid remembers John Surtees – the only man in motorsport to have won world titles on both 2 & 4 wheels. The British legend won the 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960, before going on to win the Formula One World Championship in 1964. Comment
Honda all smiles after Bourdais' Last to First win
Bourdais takes the checkered flag
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sebastien Bourdais and his Dale Coyne Racing team used a fast Honda and perfect race strategy to come from 21st and last on the starting grid to win Sunday's Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
A crash in qualifying on Saturday left Bourdais starting shotgun on the field at the green flag for the 110-lap event, but a series of passes and early caution flags saw him move to 12th after just 10 laps. Another caution on Lap 25 – in the midst of scheduled first-round pit stops – presented him with a huge opportunity, and Bourdais was quick to take advantage, restarting in second and then passing for the lead on Lap 37.
McLaren Increases Factory Driver Stable As Blancpain GT Plans Come Together
McLaren 650S GT3
McLaren has confirmed British drivers Jonny Kane and Dean Stoneman as additions to its Factory Driver roster for 2017, which has grown to five drivers as the season plans have been finalized. The growth in its elite driver stable showcases an increasing commitment to the top levels of customer GT racing around the world as the 650S GT3 enters its third season of competition.
McLaren is also delighted to confirm that all five Factory Drivers -- Rob Bell, Jonny Kane, Somme Ledogar, Alvaro Parente and Dean Stoneman -- will provide the foundation for customer team Strakka Racing’s ambitious Blancpain GT Series Pro class driver line-up as part of the expansion.
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