With rain on and off throughout the opening practice session for the Australian GP at Albert Park in Melbourne, not all drivers had a chance to run slicks, and two drivers - Vettel and Sainz didn't even bother to put in a timed lap.
Lewis Hamilton in the superior Mercedes turned the fastest lap of 1m29.725s on slicks to lead the session. However, there is a lot more to come from the Mercedes once the track really dries up. The question on everyone's mind is whether Ferrari has caught up or whether Mercedes has in fact widened their performance advantage. Given they have ex-Ferrari designer Aldo Costa from Italy designing their car, don't be surprised if Mercedes has widened the gap.
Australian F1 Grand Prix's Promotional Value Worth Financial Losses, Chairman Says
Victorian taxpayers will once again have to pick up the bill after Formula 1's traveling caravan leaves town, but organizers say it is worth it. Australian Grand Prix Corp. Chair John Harnden told SBD Global that Sunday's season opener "is a promotion" for Melbourne and Victoria.
"When you look at the grand prix it's about an investment," he said. "It's an investment that the state has made to promote itself and to generate benefits."
But those benefits come at a price. Last year's Australian Grand Prix lost close to A$62M, as total revenue of A$39.8M stood opposite expenditures of A$101.5M. Since '11, the event has cost taxpayers nearly A$280M, and this year's event will add to that figure. "There are certain costs and there are revenues," Harnden said.
Penske endorses new IndyCar President of Competition Jay Frye
Was Jay Frye brought in from NASCAR to clean up IndyCar ahead of the France Family's rumored purchase?
Team Penske owner Roger Penske believes Jay Frye is a perfect fit for the role of President of Competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Frye was appointed on the back of Derrick Walker’s resignation at the end of the 2015, and Penske believes Frye’s team owner background will be beneficial, especially when it comes to saving money.
“We feel good about Jay Frye,” said Penske, who is running four drivers in the IndyCar Series in 2016 for Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.
“He was a team owner, so he’s been through the trials and tribulations of drivers, mechanics, changing rules and so on. He has an understanding of a level playing field and not changing things overnight. That’s a positive.
Major automakers and the U.S. government have reached an agreement to make automatic emergency braking standard on most cars by 2022, two people briefed on the deal said.
The agreement will be announced Thursday by automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Automakers will phase in the equipment on nearly all models except some with older electronic capabilities and some with manual transmissions, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the agreement haven't been announced.
Automatic emergency braking uses cameras, radar and other sensors to see objects in the way and slow or stop a vehicle if the driver doesn't react.
F1 Woven Into Rich Racing Tapestry Of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Historic F1 cars at Laguna Seca
The start of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season this week provides the opportunity to look back on how some of the biggest names in the series’ history played important roles in the 60-year history of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Formula 1 season starts anew with the Australian Grand Prix at the 16-turn, 3.295-mile street circuit around Albert Park Lake in central Melbourne. Since 1950, 32 different drivers have been crowned World Champion, from Italy’s Giuseppe “Nino” Farina in an Alfa Romeo that first season to England’s Lewis Hamilton last year in a Mercedes-Benz. And while it’s true Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has never hosted a round of the World Championship, scores of Formula 1 drivers, including 14 World Champions, have competed here over the decades and are in part responsible for its international acclaim.
Early-bird ticket pricing for Long Beach ePrix extended until Tuesday
Formula E returns to the streets of Long Beach April 2nd.
John Bosma/Grand Prix Association of Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 17, 2016) -- Early-bird ticket prices, starting from $25, for the April 2 Long Beach ePrix have been extended until Tues., March 22.
The $25 general admission ticket gives fans access to unreserved seating, the popular eVillage and a number of other activities for the entire race day. For an extra $10, fans can secure exclusive access behind the scenes with access to the race paddock. In addition, from now until March 25, fans can buy three tickets and get a fourth ticket free.
Children 12 years old and under, enter for free. Discount tickets, for children ages 13-16 and adults 60 and over, are priced at $20.
Video: Ford GT Documentary - The Return: Chapter 1 (The Decision) The desire to win at Le Mans is what drove Henry Ford II to create the Ford GT 40 in the 1960s. It took vision, ingenuity and fearlessness to take the dive into racing at Le Mans. Taking the Ford GT racing now is yet another defining moment for the company. It’s time for the Ford GT to return. In all, four Ford GTs will compete globally for championship titles in 2016 for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. Two will race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and two will race in the FIA World Endurance Championship. All four will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
"The Decision," the first of five video shorts, features Bill Ford Jr., Raj Nair, Dave Pericak and Edsel B. Ford II, who attended the 1966 race with his father Henry Ford II. The shorts will culminate in one long-form documentary that will follow the development of both the Street Car and Race Car version of the Ford GT from the decision to build the cars to the return to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
QUOTES "You have to be at your best to win a race, because the competition is so, so hard. Every second matters. Every millimeter on the car matters. That’s what’s really sexy about racing, is what it takes to win."
"I always say ‘we work for a company called Ford Motor Company, but we actually work for a family - and that’s called the Ford family.’ So it’s important for us to be able to go back to Le Mans and do it in a way that celebrates the heritage and also, hopefully, if we’re successful, give the Ford family something I would love to give them, which is that trophy."
- Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Performance
"To win a race, you have to have incredible commitment."
"I think we’ve always been thinking about building another Ford GT. I think what drove it was the 50th anniversary of the win in ’66 coming up. We felt we really had to do something to honor that win…It represents honoring our heritage. Our heritage is very important. At our heart, we’re a family company."
- Raj Nair, Executive VP, Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer
"You race to win. You don’t race to hope you do well. You don’t race to have a nice looking car. You race to win."
"Sure, it’s a big risk, but not when you add in reputation, halo effect, and the morale boost it gives anybody who loves the Ford brand. This car will, in the scheme of our earnings, not make much difference. But in the reputation of Ford Motor Company, which is something I care deeply about, this car will be huge.
- Bill Ford Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
Riders in the MotoGP World Championship completed their first official practice session of 2016 with Lorenzo ahead of Rossi and Iannone.
Due to the Losail International Circuit’s location, the first sessions of the day are frequently hindered by a dirty track as a result of sanding blowing over the circuit. Fortunately for riders in the MotoGP World Championship, the Moto2 and Moto3 class riders did most of the work to prepare the track during their first sessions. However, the junior classes also have a different tyre supplier, thus leaving a different rubber on the track surface that in the past has changed grip levels.
Action Express leads first two Sebring 12 Hours practice sessions Action Express Racing team took an early lead on Sebring 12 Hour timesheets as its two entries topped both of Thursday's opening IMSA SportsCar Championship practice sessions.
Dane Cameron lapped the 3.74-mile circuit in an unbeaten time of 1m52.447s in the morning's hour-long session in the #31 Chevrolet Corvette DP, 0.779 seconds clear of the #5 sister car.
The Daytona-winning Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier wasn't far off the pace in third in the hands of Johannes van Overbeek in the morning, while Oswaldo Negri Jr set the fourth fastest time in Michael Shank Racing's own Ligier JS P2.
Budweiser Signs On As Associate Sponsor Of Rahal Racing Team Budweiser’s famous association with IndyCar's Rahal family will be rekindled once again this year, as the beer brand has signed a deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to serve as an associate sponsor for races during the month of May. The deal, which a source valued at $50,000-75,000, was negotiated locally rather than by A-B InBev’s national office, an A-B rep said, and will be activated just locally as well. Graham Rahal was already sporting the Budweiser logo on his uniform at last weekend’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Adam Stern/SBD
Bubba Burger named title sponsor of IMSA Long Beach race LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 17, 2016) – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that BUBBA burger® has become the new entitlement sponsor of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Saturday, April 16 as part of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The race will be called the “BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.”
As an official partner of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, BUBBA burger® will be featured prominently in signage around the Grand Prix circuit including a pedestrian bridge over Turn 2. BUBBA burgers will also be available for purchase throughout the race weekend at their vending location at the circuit.
BUBBA burger Named Title Sponsor of IMSA Race at LB The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that BUBBA burger has become the new entitlement sponsor of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Saturday, April 16 as part of the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The race will be called the “BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.”
Alfe Heat Treating to Sponsor Third AJ Foyt Racing Entry for the "Indy Double"
Heat Treating will sponsor the No. 35 Honda Dallara to be driven by Alex Tagliani in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, a.k.a. the Indy Double.
The number 35 was chosen to honor A.J. Foyt’s record 35 straight starts in the Indianapolis 500--from 1958 through 1992. The car’s livery will evoke memories of the black No. 14 Copenhagen cars that Foyt drove in the latter part of his legendary career.
Starworks Confirms Riley-Multimatic LMP2 Effort for 2017 While a singe engine manufacturer has yet to formally announce its DPi involvement, teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are already putting their plans in place for 2017 and beyond.
Starworks Motorsport team principal Peter Baron confirmed to Sportscar365 on Wednesday that he’s placed an order for a new Riley Mk. XXX, with a to-be-determined engine for next year.
Mercedes preview of the Australian GP Technology and instinct – two components that are crucial to Formula 1 success. Join MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team driver Nico Rosberg and Race Engineer Simon Cole in a pre-race briefing. Nico and Simon will give you some unique insights: set up demands, personal moments, and key sections of the Melbourne Circuit. Enjoy the very first Allianz Formula 1 2016 track preview episode of the season! Comment
MotoGP Rule Changes For 2016 The new season represents a major challenge for the Repsol Honda Team and the rest of the premier class grid. This winter, they have worked hard to adapt to changes to the MotoGP rules.
When the first Grand Prix of the year begins on Sunday in Qatar, the 21 bikes that make up the MotoGP grid will kick off the season’s racing with a series of changes that have come into effect this year. Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Repsol Honda have had to adapt over recent months to modifications set to make the field more competitive than ever.
NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and the Commissioners of the NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS, led a group from across nine major professional sports leagues Monday at New York University to collaborate on social responsibility in sports. The industry summit was hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business.
NASCAR at MIT: During the milestone 10th MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, NASCAR Senior VP of Strategic Development Eric Nyquist participated on a panel entitled 'Road to the Championship: Playoff Analytics.' Joined by executives from MLB, the NCAA and MLS, Nyquist spoke about the evolution of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and how analytics played a role in shaping the new format of NASCAR playoffs. NASCAR
The anti-race group in Boston are doing everything they could to stop the race. Their latest tactic is to increase costs for the promoter
Where do you put 2,000 concrete barriers that you won’t need until August?
That’s the problem facing organizers of the IndyCar race coming to Boston after they were told they could no longer use a site at the industrial park along the Boston waterfront because the land is reserved for maritime uses.
The barriers started arriving weeks before tickets went on sale to the general public on Tuesday. Now it’s unclear where race organizers will relocate them. They struck a month-to-month deal with the Massachusetts Port Authority to store them at the industrial park site. Organizers initially said they hoped to store the barriers there until construction on the 2.25-mile race loop nearby in South Boston begins in mid-August for the Labor Day weekend event.
IndyCar says 22,000 tickets sold thus far for Boston GP
Boston Street Circuit
IndyCar Boston has sold 22,000 tickets since they went on sale to insiders on Friday and the public on Tuesday, a spokesman said -- although residents say they remain wary about the traffic and construction the Labor Day weekend race will bring to Boston's Seaport District.
South Boston resident Francis Flaherty raised concerns at a community meeting last night at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center about race-track construction near a contaminated site on Cypher Street.
"That place is a contaminated hellhole," Flaherty said. "They are digging up trouble. This is very poorly planned, this whole organization, and now we are in the 11th hour."
NBC reveals full 2016 F1 TV coverage plan for NBC Sports Group's comprehensive coverage of the 2016 Formula 1 season will feature more than 200 hours of coverage, and begins Sunday, March 20, with the Australian Grand Prix at 12:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
NBC, NBCSN and CNBC will combine to present all 21 races of the F1 season. NBCSN will present 14 races, NBC four, and CNBC three. NBC's coverage begins on Sunday, May 29 with the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, and continues Sunday, June 7, with the Canadian Grand Prix. NBC's coverage returns on Sunday, Oct. 23, with the United States Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and concludes on Sunday, Oct. 30, with the Mexican Grand Prix.
Video: Daniel Ricciardo Drives Iconic Sandman With Jamie Whincup Ahead of the 2016 Formula One Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo satisfied his need for speed with fellow Aussie, V8 Supercar driver Jamie Whincup.
The duo got behind the wheel of the one-off, race spec Triple Eight Sandman which features state-of-the-art technology yet to be seen in V8 Supercars, including a six speed electro-hydraulic paddle shift gearbox and fly-by-wire throttle control. Sandown International Raceway played host to the drivers as they took turns in taking the 705BHP piece of engineering art for a spin.
FOX NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway Quotes & Programming Schedule FOX Sports offers 21 hours of live NASCAR programming this weekend from Auto Club Speedway, site of the final of three races comprising the “NASCAR Goes West” portion of the 2016 season. Included are FS1’s live NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race coverage on Saturday, March 19 (4:00 PM ET), and live NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race coverage on FOX on Sunday, March 20 (3:30 PM ET). Pre-race coverage begins on FOX NASCAR SUNDAY (3:00 PM ET).
On Sunday, Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth from Fontana with analysis from NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip, four-time champ Jeff Gordon and former crew chief Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum cover pit road. Chris Myers hosts the network’s coverage alongside analyst Michael Waltrip.
Hall of Famer Alex Job goes for win no. 11 at Sebring
Going for win #11
The success Alex Job Racing has had at Sebring International Raceway is unparalleled, amassing 10 class victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida since Job formed AJR in 1988. And Job says he isn’t through yet.
AJR is joining the Sebring Hall of Fame for 2016 – the team will be honored at the Hall of Fame Luncheon on Friday, the day before Saturday’s 64th running of the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The race takes the green flag shortly after 10:30 a.m. ET when live television coverage begins on FS1.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season continues with one of America’s premier endurance races, the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 19.
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.
CalPERS and other big investors sue VW for $3.57 billion Volkswagen Group's big institutional investors, including California's huge public pension fund, are suing the German automaker for $3.57 billion in damages over its handling of the emissions scandal, which has seen VW's stock price shrivel by a third.
Attorney Andreas Tilp said Tuesday that the suit in the German regional court in Braunschweig was joined by investors from 14 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Britain. Among the plaintiffs is the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, the giant pension fund for government employees in California.
This season sees FALKEN Motorsports taking to the track in a Porsche 911 GT3R (991), fielding a strong and proven line-up for its team of drivers. Wolf Henzler, Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori will battle it out for FALKEN, aiming for top three places in the VLN Championship as well as the Nurburgring’s 24h-Race.
The FALKEN Porsche 911 GT3R (991) is powered by a water-cooled six-cylinder engine and has a total weight of approximately 1,220 kg – around 60 kg lighter than its predecessor. The new racer’s wheelbase is 8.3 cm longer, and its center of gravity has been optimized by using advanced lightweight techniques in building the bodywork, chassis and add-ons, aimed at maximizing the vehicle’s performance.
INDYCAR announced today that results of an extensive evaluation at the University of Miami Concussion Program revealed no definitive evidence of a recent concussion for Verizon Team Penske driver Will Power. The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion passed the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test and a MRI/DVI study was normal in all parameters. Power was evaluated by a team of physicians specializing in concussions.
Power has been cleared to return to Verizon IndyCar Series competition after sitting out race day on-track competition for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 13.
V8 Supercars Take On Albert Park Following a spectacular start to the season at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, V8 Supercars head to the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this weekend.
2016 will be the 20th year V8 Supercars have competed in non-championship races at the Melbourne event.
Some of V8 Supercars' biggest names have won on the streets of Albert Park, including Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Todd Kelly, Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin.
Another Podium Sweep in the Works for Corvette DPs?
No. 5 Corvette DP won in 2015
Barbosa, Fittipaldi and Action Express Racing defending race winners
Wayne Taylor Racing, Visit Florida Racing started 2016 with Rolex 24 podiums
Thirty victories for Corvette DP program since launch in 2012
DETROIT -- Corvette Daytona Prototype teams return to Florida this weekend for another chance at history as part of the 64th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Recreating the magic from last year’s race will be top of mind for the four Corvette DP teams entered as they try to put Chevrolet on the top of the podium for the second straight season.
In 2015, Chevrolet won overall at Sebring for the first time since 1965 with a sweep of the podium. Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais claimed victory in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Corvette DP to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Bowtie Brand. It marked the first time in 11 years that one manufacturer finished in all three podium positions.
Ganassi: Next-gen IndyCar must focus on cockpit safety Cockpit protection needs to be the focus of future open-wheel racecar designs, IndyCar team-owner Chip Ganassi told motorsport.com.
"Everyone wants to maintain the integrity of the sport and the history and tradition, but at the same time we don't want to be hurting guys.
"So the next area of development in any open-wheel car has to be around the cockpit area -- driver protection -- and finding what we can do there. Let's face it, ultimately we will need a global open-wheel solution that works everywhere."
We should know more today about Stewart's back (2nd Update) UPDATE Tony Stewart has good news to savor in terms of his health. "You're not waiting on me as far as my mind, I'm ready to go," Stewart told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio after Sunday's Good Sam 500, won by SHR driver Kevin Harvick in thrilling fashion. Four races into his final season, Stewart has yet to turn a lap because of a burst fracture of his first lumbar (L1) vertebra -- the uppermost bone in the lower back -- in an all-terrain vehicle accident Jan. 31.
"It's just, we had a good doctor visit this week and the X-rays were good," he added. "It wasn't really to see about the bone growth as much as just making sure the rods and screws were staying in place where they wanted them. They were really happy." A return to the cockpit is still on indefinite hold for Stewart.
NBC Sports announces 2016 NASCAR Broadcast Schedule After presenting more than 360 hours of live, trackside NASCAR coverage across 22 states in 2015, NBC Sports Group returns as the home of NASCAR's Championship run in 2016. NBC Sports' NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series racing schedule kicks off in primetime, amid Independence Day weekend festivities, on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, at the newly-renovated Daytona International Speedway. NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup swings into action on Sunday, Sept. 18 from Chicagoland Speedway and culminates with the Sprint Cup Championship from Miami on Sunday, Nov. 20.
Formula E organizers are looking to close the gap between each race to a maximum of three weeks to create more engagement for fans and sponsors.
The electric series’ schedule currently stretches from late October until early July and includes several breaks of more than four weeks between races. It is a circumstance that Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag despises. "I don’t like it, I hate it," he told SBD Global at the inaugural Mexico City ePrix over the weekend.
"We will try to make it more compact and try to go to a calendar from the end of November or December until July, [with] the races a maximum of two or three weeks apart."
More Than 33,000 Attend Inaugural Race Mexico City ePrix
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
The inaugural Mexico City ePrix drew more 33,000 spectators at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday. Formula E organizers anticipated 40,000 spectators for the series' debut in the Mexican capital but in the end had to settle with an official attendance of 33,319.
The atmosphere created by the Mexican fans, however, could almost make you forget the pockets of empty seats along the front stretch of the circuit. The racetrack's "Foro Sol" stadium section was the place to be and provided the noise that's missing from the Formula E cars.
Organizers avoided disaster when with less than 10 laps to go, the circuit's main building suffered a power outage. While fans at the track showed their dissatisfaction by whistling and booing, TV viewers were not affected by the mishap.
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