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Webber tops opening practice in Sepang  Mark Webber was fastest in first practice for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix with a time of 1m36.935s, 0.068s clear of Kimi Raikkonen. Sebastian Vettel was third in the other Red Bull, with Fernando Alonso three-tenths back in fourth place, Kimi Rosberg fifth and Adrian Sutil in sixth for Force India.


Pos Driver Team/Car Time Behind Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.935s +0.000s 15
2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m37.003s +0.068s 15
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.104s +0.169s 21
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.319s +0.384s 13
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.588s +0.653s 19
6. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m37.769s +0.834s 17
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.771s +0.836s 15
8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.773s +0.838s 15
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.840s +0.905s 18
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.915s +0.980s 17
11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.173s +1.238s 16
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.673s +1.738s 16
13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.830s +1.895s 17
14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.054s +2.119s 17
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.204s +2.269s 16
16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m39.208s +2.273s 19
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.284s +2.349s 17
18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.567s +2.632s 16
19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m40.728s +3.793s 17
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.996s +4.061s 14
21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m41.163s +4.228s 18
22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.513s +4.578s 14
RCR Honors Warner Hodgdon  Richard Childress Racing will honor former NASCAR track and team owner Warner Hodgon, who passed away March 20, with a memoriam decal at this weekend's NASCAR events at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Hodgon was also president of Black Gold Oil Company, a RCR sponsor in the late-1970s when Richard Childress was both owner and driver of his No. 3 Chevrolet.

"Warner was a great friend and partner who helped change the landscape of NASCAR team ownership in the late 1970s," said Childress. "I learned a lot about business from the advice he gave me over the years. He was there to help me with sponsorship from Black Gold when I really needed it. Warner was an entrepreneur with a great vision for where stock car racing could go and we stayed in touch long after his time in racing ended. He was a great friend and will be missed."

Vautier lands sponsorship for St. Pete race  The Florida Lottery, which currently sits at $260 million, is the primary sponsor this weekend of the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car driven by St. Petersburg resident Tristan Vautier.

"I played the lottery a few times this winter hoping it would help me get my first ride in an IndyCar," joked Vautier, who won the Firestone Indy Lights race on the street circuit in 2012 and will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Target Chip Ganassi partnership at 99 and counting: The Target Racing Program, which began with Minneapolis-based Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, is one win shy of 100. The first victory came in 1994 with Michael's Andretti's Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia.
Novo Nordisk increases partnership involvement  Novo Nordisk, which became INDYCAR's official diabetes care provider in 2012, has increased its promotion of the sport by sponsoring the Emergency Care Vehicle for 2013.

The company also will move its Race With Insulin display, designed to raise awareness of diabetes to visitors, into the INDYCAR Fan Village. Novo Nordisk is a global leader in innovative insulin delivery systems such as FlexPen, which is used by IZOD IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball.

"The Race With Insulin program is an important piece to Novo Nordisk's involvement with INDYCAR and moving it inside the INDYCAR Fan Village will expose the program to many more race fans," said George McAvoy, vice president of diabetes marketing for Novo Nordisk. "Our sponsorship of Charlie Kimball shows that having diabetes doesn't have to slow you down on the track, and expanding our partnership with INDYCAR will bring that message to more race fans."
Hunter-Reay's role reversal  Underdog to the hunted: Asked by a reporter about having a target on his back Ryan Hunter-Reay jokes that he now knows what it's like to be Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti.

Achievements are only as valuable as the vision they inspire.

Ryan Hunter-Reay has it mentally tattooed entering the 19-race IZOD IndyCar Series season - six months after exiting balmy Southern California with his first series championship in a hard-fought, season-long duel. More ...
Mutual of Omaha joins Andretti sponsor lineup  Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series C hampion Andretti Autosport has again widened its sponsorship portfolio with the addition of Mutual of Omaha. Founded in 1909, this Fortune 500 mutual insurance and financial services company will serve as an official associate sponsor to Andretti Autosport, and the Mutual of Omaha branding will be proudly displayed on the No. 25 Chevrolet piloted by series veteran and third-generation racer Marco Andretti.

"We are really proud to have Mutual of Omaha join our team as a corporate partner supporting Marco Andretti and his No. 25 IndyCar entry," said Doug Bresnahan, Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for Andretti Autosport. "Mutual of Omaha is a leader in their field and our organizations both share a tradition of excellence and winning legacy. We look forward to representing Mutual of Omaha, their employees, affiliates and customers on the track this season as Marco contests the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship." More ...
USGP tickets go on sale  Tickets for the 2013 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX Nov. 15-17 at Circuit of The Americas go on sale today at noon CDT at www.circuitoftheamericas.com and via phone at 800.745.3000. Three-day passes 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 general admission. Three-day passes include individual tickets to Friday’s practice sessions, Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions and Sunday’s races.

Reserved grandstand bleacher seating is available at Turns 3, 4, 5, 9, 11 and 12, ranging in price from $299 to $499 per person for a three-day ticket. Personal seat licenses (PSL), which guarantee purchasers the ability to choose and hold their same seats for the length of the license, are available in the Circuit’s best viewing areas:  the Main Grandstand, Turn 1 and Turn 15. Three-day premium passes, which afford PSL-like vantage points at a premium price, are also available in these highly desirable areas. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE #2 More updates shown in blue below.

03/21/13 Updates shown in red below.

  • Laughing at his critics.  At just 25 Vettel has won more poles and more races than Villeneuve and Coulthard combined
    Villeneuve, Coulthard, say Vettel not great
  • Red Bull too focused on qualifying - Marko
  • Salo doubts Williams can bounce back in 2013
  • Massa wins record for longest Ferrari drought
  • Mercedes yet to finalize Lowe role
  • Renault and Alain Prost extend partnership
  • Jenson Button says 2013 McLaren will not win a race without radical change
  • CNN and Caterham F1 Team Renew Multi-Year Sponsorship Agreement New
  • Marussia confirms Caterham merger talks collapsed New
  • Williams' daughter shaping up as new team boss New
  • McLaren begins task to improve flawed 2013 car New
  • Ferrari actually fastest in Australia - Brawn New
  • Montezemolo: La Speranzosa is living up to our expectations New
  • Domenicali: No room for complacency as nothing is set in stone New
  • No regrets despite McLaren crisis - Perez New More ...
IndyCar's new leader: 'We have a lot of work to do'  Mark Miles, the man tasked with rebuilding the Izod IndyCar Series, was feeling good about his new job last week. He was sitting with Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg in DreamWorks' in-house theater watching its new Indy-themed animated feature, which is slated for a July release.

Turbo, the self-titled story of a snail voiced by Ryan Reynolds with superpowers that decides it wants to race the Indianapolis 500, has been exceeding expectations with families and young children during test screenings. More ...

COTA and V8 Supercars release race format  
Nissan GTR1
Australia's action-packed V8 Supercars will put on a show for Texans to remember when the panel slamming monsters make their U.S. debut at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin May 17-19.  The Circuit and series organizers have unveiled the race formats as well as the official event name and logo, with the V8 Supercars Austin 400 being raced on the 2.3-mile short track at the spectacular venue. More ...
Karthikeyan set to race in Monza AutoGP World Series with Zele Racing  
Narain Karthikeyan
Zele Racing has invited Narain Karthikeyan to join them and compete in the first round of the 2013 AutoGP World Series at Monza, Italy.

In 2005, Karthikeyan became the first Indian driver in the history of Formula One, making his debut with Jordan F1. He extended his spell in motor racing's elite class as the third driver for Williams F1 in 2006 & 07, before entering the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Team India, winning two races along the way. More ...

racing news
Honda 2013 Motorsports Strategy Announced  
Earlier this year, Honda Motor Co., Ltd announced Honda’s worldwide motorsports overview for 2013. With the company racing in more than 100 motorcycle and automobile racing categories around the world, Honda feels confident in its ability to meet the needs of its customers and expand the joys of racing. Today, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM) and its subsidiary, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), announce the North American overview for 2013.

Our founder, Soichiro Honda, believed that the “racing spirit” should live within every Honda associate. The “racing spirit” embodies the will to be the best, to make the highest-quality products for our customers, and to be a company that society wants to exist. This spirit fuels our company’s passion for competition, quest for innovation, and preparation for the performance necessary to achieve success. Our 2013 motorsports programs demonstrate that the “racing spirit” is alive and well through their continued support of our motorsport customers. More ...

NASCAR and NHRA Stars set for softball showdown  Drivers from the uniquely exciting motorsports worlds of NASCAR and NHRA will find common ground on Wednesday, April 17, when they square off to raise money for charity in a slow-pitch softball game, slated for 7:00 p.m. at CMC - Northeast Stadium in Kannapolis, N.C.  In addition, popular country recording artist Darrell Harwood will sing the national anthem prior to the game, and will then be the star of a post-game concert.

Currently, a bevy of popular drivers have committed to participate in the charity softball game, while additional players may be added in the near future. More ...
track news
Do IMS Events really add $510 Million Annually Into Indiana Economy?  UPDATE
Author says IMS moved to add "rent-a-civic" leaders like Mark Miles to its management team
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is thinking out loud, at least, like a true fiscal conservative in questioning a legislative plan to give up to $100 million in state tax dollars to the privately-owned Indianapolis Motor Speedway to make improvements to the track and related facilities. State Sen. Mike Young sprung the legislation in the Senate near the end of action for bills in the first house, leaving virtually no opportunity for public debate, before the Senate rammed the legislation through on a bipartisan, 37-12 vote. The IMS doled out more than $100,000 in campaign contributions in the lead-up to the introduction of the unprecedented public subsidy as the IMS moved to add "rent-a-civic" leaders like Mark Miles to its management team. WTHR has more on Pence's comments: More ...
track news
Auto Club Set To Unveil Pit Box Lounge; Pit Road Suites  Auto Club Speedway is set to "unveil the Pit Box Lounge for the Nationwide Royal Purple 300 on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 on Sunday," according to Louis Brewster of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. The lounge, "located on the terrace suite level at the entrance to pit road," will feature a "two-story slide from the terrace suite to pit road."

It includes "access to seating on the suite rooftop and a slide to the new Victory Lane Bar, located where the old victory lane used to be." Initial reports show this year's sales are "double last year's premium offering." Other items in the package include a "race time pit tour, a race scanner, pre-race pit pass, access to the 'Frontrunners Garage' elevated area inside Garage 2, Victory Lane access, souvenir program, speedway lanyard, Hard Card membership and preferred parking." L.A. Daily News
NBC Sports Network announces TV schedule for F1 Malaysia Grand Prix  NBC Sports Network continues its live coverage of Formula One this weekend with the Malaysia Grand Prix airing at 3:30 a.m. ET on March 24, followed by the F1 Extra post-race program at 6 a.m.

Coverage of the Malaysia Grand Prix includes live practice on March 22 at 2 a.m., and live qualifying on March 23 at 4 a.m.

There will be a change in the broadcast booth this week, as Bob Varsha will fill in for Lee Diffey, who is calling the IndyCar debut in St. Petersburg. Varsha will serve as lead announcer for this week's Formula One race. Sharing the booth with Varsha will be former driver and former Speed TV announcer David Hobbs and analyst Steve Matchett. More ...

Annett Gives an Injury Update on NASCAR Race Hub  Sidelined Richard Perry Motorsports driver Michael Annett, who received serious injuries to his sternum as a result of a multi-car incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, made a post-incident media appearance on NASCAR Race Hub this evening.

Annett, who’s reported to be out for an indefinite period of time, gave an update on how healing has progressed, when he expects to be back in a race car and what it feels like to watch replacement driver Reed Sorenson pilot his No. 43 entry. More ...

VeriStor Announces Primary Sponsorship of the #35  VeriStor Systems, an industry-leading virtual infrastructure and data storage technology solutions and services provider, and Devin Jones Racing today announced a marketing partnership for the #35 NASCAR Camping World Truck which will make its inaugural appearance at Martinsville Speedway on April 6. VeriStor has also announced its continued partnership of the Devin Jones #35 Late Model Stock for the 2013 UARA-STARS racing season. More ...
Firestone Indy Lights features competitive field  The Firestone Indy Lights field for the season opener at St. Petersburg may be one of the most competitive in series history from top to bottom.

St. Petersburg will be a highly sought-after victory to start the season, with the last three winners at St. Pete going on to take the championship. Reigning title-holder Schmidt Peterson Motorsports enters the season with the top-three championship finishers from the 2012 Pro Mazda season - champion Jack Hawksworth, runner-up Gabby Chaves and long-time standout Sage Karam. More ...

Castroneves goes for fourth win at St. Pete  
After winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2012, Helio Castroneves bounded to the fencing in Turn 10 and patted the Dan Wheldon Way street sign.

The scene reverberated in his mind throughout the season, and he takes it into the season opener this week.

"Having the Dan Wheldon sign in respect over there and to celebrate, it was a memorable coincidence and it was just really great, great to remember him the way he lived and not what happened the year before," said Castroneves of the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and St. Petersburg resident who died in a racing accident the previous October. "So it was a very emotional, crazy win." More ...

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

  • Whitmarsh pressured
    Still no F1 commercial deal for Marussia
  • McLaren apologizes for Webber's ECU glitch
  • Pressure on McLaren 'captain' Whitmarsh - Coulthard
  • Quitting DTM right decision for Ralf - Coulthard
  • Defeat makes Lauda moan about Pirelli - Hembery
  • Heidfeld admits to badly missing F1
  • Hulkenberg to have new chassis in Malaysia
  • Higher temperatures will suit us - di Resta
  • McLaren 'not considering' 2012 car reprise New More ...
Car setup for the Malaysian GP  -
Sepang: three corners in detail

Turns 1 & 2
Turn 1 is a big engine braking zone, coming directly after the pit straight where the engine has been at full throttle for a touch under 11secs. The driver will brake down from 7th to 2nd gear and just 80kph for the entry of the turn before lightly applying the throttle between T1 and 2. At this point the engine needs to have good torque response as the revs drop to 9,000rpm. Renault Sport F1 engineers will do this through the pedal maps, giving enough sensitivity when the pedal is low. More ...
FR3.5 champion Frijns doesn't have money to buy GP2 seat  
Robin Frijns
Robin Frijns will not be on the grid for the opening races of this year's GP2 campaign in Malaysia, the Dutchman and Sauber reserve confirmed to GPUpdate.net on Tuesday. Despite impressing for both Trident and Russian Time throughout testing, the respective outfits have now confirmed rival drivers for the upcoming season.

"I am currently empty-handed," Frijns explained to GPUpdate.net. "It is ultimately about money, which I don't have. I'm not going to start a season if I'm not sure whether I can finish it. I do not want to do half a job. When I do something, I want to do it well." More ...

Developing 'United SportsCar Racing' Name  
We’ve all heard the expression, coined by the late great “Bill” Shakespeare:

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet;”

But would you really be as quick to inhale the pleasant scent of a Goosefoot Violet?

While the real world examples may not be as starkly ridiculous as that, in branding the right name acts as the foundation for all future efforts and can either aid or hinder. The motorsports ecosystem is rife with branding pitfalls: the pressure to become just another acronym, the need to feature sponsor logos above all else, and a split, opinionated and vocal fan base make the challenge all the more real. From CHAMPCAR to PSCR - or “chump car” and “p*sser” as they were known colloquially - the possibility of becoming another wreck on the side of the track was high. More ...

U.S. upgrades probe of fuel leaks in 250,000 Mercedes E-Class models  U.S. safety officials have upgraded an investigation into an estimated 250,000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans for a possible leak from the fuel tank.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration upgraded its probe of model-year 2003 to 2008 E-Class cars to an engineering analysis, from a preliminary evaluation, based on 533 complaints received by regulators and Daimler AG's Mercedes. More ...

Ferrari fears wind tunnel switchover will be a setback  
Fry and Tombazis (R)
Ferrari chief designer Nikolas Tombazis has admitted that the changeover from using Toyota's Cologne wind tunnel to its refitted one at Maranello will compromise work on its 2014 challenger.

After correlation problems last year, Ferrari decided to shut down its Maranello wind tunnel to upgrade it, a process which is not set to be completed until around October this year.

Aerodynamic work on the 2014 car is currently ongoing in the Toyota tunnel, but will return to Italy once the Maranello upgrade is completed. More ...

Allied to sponsor Pro Mazda, USF2000 events  Allied Building Products has expanded its partnership and title race sponsorship for 2013 with Andersen Promotions, promoters of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, to include the Pro Mazda Series.

A leader in the wholesale building materials industry, Allied will be the title sponsor of five Pro Mazda and USF2000 events encompassing 10 races. The company has added two venues in its third year of support and will kick off with this week's Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a Pro Mazda doubleheader in support of INDYCAR in St. Petersburg, Fla. More ...

IndyCar removes push-to-pass delay for 2013 season  UPDATE Standardized push-to-pass parameters are among the engineering updates incorporated into the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook.

Push-to-pass, which was introduced to the new engine-chassis package last July on the streets of Toronto, will have parameters for each of the road/street course events, including doubleheader races at Detroit, Toronto and Houston. The option gives drivers a turbocharger boost from 21.7 Psi to 23.2 Psi and additional 200 RPM with the push of a button located on the steering wheel.

There's no delay in activation or refresh time. More ...

New IndyCar partners added for 2013 season  INDYCAR has strengthened its sponsorship portfolio adding Jostens and SOS Global Express as official partners for 2013.

SOS Global Express, which will be INDYCAR's official logistics supplier, is a full-service domestic and international freight forwarder that has served the broadcast industry since 1986. Its primary responsibility will be to handle the transport of the IZOD IndyCar Series' equipment and team cargo to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the event in May. More ...

McLaren says nothing wrong with Webber's ECU  UPDATE McLaren Electronic Systems, the manufacturers of Formula One’s standard Engine Control Unit (ECU), have now admitted their mistake and apologized to Mark Webber and Red Bull for a software-related issue that affected the Australian racer on the formation lap in Melbourne.

The new standard ECU, which features on all Formula One cars, was introduced by McLaren Electronic Systems in winter testing and will power the 2.4-litre V8 engines this season and the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines that are set to be introduced in 2014.

McLaren Electronic Systems say that whilst all the ECU’s ran without incident in Australia, Webber's garage data system had to be re-started during the formation lap and, as a result, his preparations for the start of the race were disrupted. More ...

Sepang get two DRS zones for 2013  Two DRS zones will be in place for this year's Malaysian Grand Prix, with governing body the FIA deciding to add an extra activation area along the back straight.

The detection line for Zone 1 has been placed between Turns 12 and 13, with DRS usage permitted along the penultimate straight. The second zone, preceded by its Turn 15 detection point, runs from the beginning to the end of the start-finish straight.

Eric Boullier Q&A: Lotus is truly a top team now  Just one race into the 2013 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Lotus have already matched their win total from 2012. But do the Enstone-based squad consider themselves to be championship contenders? Team principal Eric Boullier answers that question and more…

Q: Let’s start with Melbourne – first race, first win. Did you think the team could do it?
Eric Boullier
: After Kimi’s start I was secretly hoping that we could be on a podium, but then during the second stint - where we saw the other teams pitting for the second time – showing that they were on a three stop strategy, then I thought ‘yes we can do it’. We had decided on a two-stop strategy before the race, even for Romain. Unfortunately, when he got stuck in traffic he changed strategy otherwise we could have had a strong result from both cars. More ...

Ganassi announces sponsorship deal with PNC  Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) have formed a strategic sponsorship for the 2013 race season. The relationship, which includes assets across the CGRT’s IndyCar, NASCAR and Grand-AM programs, will be focused around key motorsports events for each series in the Indianapolis market.

“It is always great when a highly respected company like PNC values the reach of motorsports and makes it part of their marketing mix,” said Chip Ganassi, owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. “Personally, I’ve been a PNC customer for many years and know first-hand what a great bank and a great team they have.  We could not have asked for a better alignment with our race teams.” More ...

Ferreira and Brabham Lead Pro Mazda Field to St. Petersburg  ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Diego Ferreira and Matthew Brabham shared the victory spoils when the new Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires commenced at the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas road course in Austin, Texas, earlier this month, and duly head the point standings as the contenders travel to Florida this weekend for two Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg races in support of the opening round of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Ferreira, 19, from Maracay, Venezuela, displayed steady progress with Juncos Racing during his rookie campaign in 2012, finishing among the top five in each of the final five races. He put that experience to excellent use in the 2013 season opener, qualifying on pole and leading from start to finish in Race 1, then adding a second-place finish in Race 2 to claim an early advantage in the championship. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Hamilton happy to prove critics wrong
  • Alonso, Lauda agree - Red Bull still fastest
  • F1 tire situation 'fundamentally wrong' - Lauda
  • Vettel quiet as contract extension reports gain speed
  • ECU glitches could be Red Bull's fault - Whitmarsh More ...
Video: Barracuda Racing No. 98 Car  The 2013 Barracuda Racing #98 car, from beginning to the finished product!

No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R Brings 8th 12-Hour Victory to Corvette Racing  
Winning No. 4 Corvette
SEBRING, Fla.– Tommy Milner made a late pass for the lead and then held on for the final 15 minutes as the No. 4 GT Compuware Corvette C6.R won the American Le Mans Series GT class 61st Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday.

The No. 4 Corvette C6.R – driven by 2012 Drivers’ champions Milner and Oliver Gavin, and Richard Westbrook – overcame an early electrical issue and two key penalties to win the 2013 ALMS opener. It is Gavin’s fifth victory at Sebring; Milner and Westbrook each recorded his first. More ...
track news
Nurburgring racetrack confirmed for sale  The legendary Nurburgring racetrack in Germany is up for sale. The track complex could be broken into pieces or sold as a single entity. Jens Lieser, a state-appointed liquidator, confirmed the sale on Monday.

The North Loop (Nordschleife) was built in the 1920s around the village of Nurburg in the Eifel Mountains. The track eventually featured four configurations including the 17.5-mile Gesamtstrecke (Whole Course), the 12.9-mile Nordschleife, the Sudschleife (South Loop) and the Zielschleife (Finish Loop). A new grand prix circuit was added in 1982; it is now used for all major events at the track.

In addition to the circuit, the Nurburgring complex now includes hotels, amusement rides, restaurants and other exhibits attracting thousands of tourists per year. More ...
Senna's arrival prompts P&G deal with Aston Martin Racing  
Bruno Senna at the wheel of the Aston Martin
Aston Martin Racing has signed a new sponsorship agreement with consumer products giant Procter and Gamble (P&G).

The one-year contract will see some of P&G's best-known brands, including Gillette and Head & Shoulders, partner the British team’s 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign, which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours race.

P&G’s investment follows the arrival at Aston Martin Racing of former Formula One driver Bruno Senna, who has a long-standing relationship with the company. More ...

Lotus announce tie-up with Columbia Records  The Lotus Formula One Team, whose driver Kimi Raikkonen won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne last weekend, has entered into a new partnership with Columbia Records.

As part of the tie-up, the American music label will offer free-to-stream playlists on Lotus’ official website and CDs at the team’s hospitality during races, whilst its ‘Walking Eye’ logo will feature on Lotus’ E21 cars throughout 2013.

Announcing the partnership on their website on Saturday, Lotus said that ‘bespoke CDs and vinyl products, as well as music guests and performances are also on the menu, with a few surprises thrown in along the way...’ More ...

Group Lotus plc NOT facing liquidation, or so they say  UPDATE #2 Autocar reports: This matter may be over for now but Lotus' poor sales don't look to have improved in recent months.  Lotus sold 329 cars in 2011. In 2012 they sold 137 cars. A spectacular drop of 58.4%. Will Lotus even survive 2013? The legal bills over the battle for the Lotus name in F1 must have come to more than Lotus make each year.

03/18/13 Group Lotus pls has now issued the following statement:

“Contrary to rumors initiated by Autocar, Lotus is not being liquidated.

“Earlier this year, Lotus was in a contractual dispute which was resolved amicably a number of weeks ago. However the High Court process meant that the matter was still shown on the High Court website, as there was a hearing scheduled for today. This is what appears to have been seen and misunderstood. The case was only listed for the proceedings to be disposed of.

“The claim has now been dismissed with no order as to costs.” More ...

Some charges against Mayfield dropped  Jeremy Mayfield's quest to race in NASCAR again has taken a positive turn as 10 felony burglary-related charges were dropped in Iredell County because the primary witness against him died in a motorcycle accident last year. Mayfield, suspended by NASCAR in May 2009 for a failed drug test, still faces nine felony charges in two other North Carolina counties. Some of the Iredell County charges  stemming from alleged burglaries at Red Bull Racing and Fitz Motorsports were dropped in November and the final one was dropped March 6, according to the court file.

The dismissal sheets state that there is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution because "co-defendant/primary witness against defendant is deceased" and "witness who can establish property was stolen from alleged victim is deceased." More ...
Beatriz to pilot the DCR No. 18 in St. Pete  Ana Beatriz, who has made 22 IZOD IndyCar Series starts over three seasons, will compete in the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the Honda-powered No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car.

Beatriz tested for the team for three sessions last week during an Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. Justin Wilson, driving the No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q car, will return for his second season with Dale Coyne Racing.

A lesson in global marketing that IndyCar will never understand  
German free-to-air TV channel RTL "has recorded around half-a-million less viewers to its Australian F1 Grand Prix broadcast in comparison to last year's race," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. A total of 2.81 million viewers tuned in to watch Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen win the race at Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit. In the target demographic 14-49, the channel obtained a 41.3% market share. In addition, Sky's broadcast also received less viewers than it did in '12. An average of 230,000 viewers watched the race on the pay-TV channel. The number translated into a 3.5% share. In the target demographic, the race recorded a 3.2% share.  DWDL

SPAIN: Free-to-air channel Antena 3's live morning broadcast of the Australia F1 Grand Prix was watched by 1.3 million viewers and a 60% share. The channel re-aired the race later in the day to the tune of a 29.3% share and 2.95 million viewers. Vertele
Unilever Showcases Sponsorship Of F1 Team Lotus With New Deodorant Line  Unilever is "seeking to capitalize on hype" surrounding the new F1 season with a SureMen antiperspirant range showcasing its sponsorship of the Lotus F1 team, according to Matthew Chapman of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The launch of the products "coincides with the beginning of Unilever’s three-year global sponsorship of Lotus" after its driver Kimi Raikkonen won the first Grand Prix of the new season in Australia. Additional marketing in the £4M ($6M) push "will include TV, digital, outdoor and experiential activity" that will launch in May. Marketing Magazine
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN  
NASCAR Nationwide Series in California on ESPN
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., this weekend for a 300-mile race and ESPN will have a live telecast on Saturday, March 23. NASCAR Countdown begins at 4:30 p.m. ET with the green flag at 5:17 p.m. The race telecast is presented by Kawasaki. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Ricky Craven Brad Daugherty (analysts). More ...
Kraihamer will race with Lotus LMP2  Dominik Kraihamer is going to compete with Lotus in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The 23-year-old Austrian will drive alongside German Thomas Holzer in the Lotus T128 sports car #32.

Kraihamer is a young and talented race driver, who has gained experience in FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and also at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Dodo”, as he is called by his friends and colleagues in the paddock, participated two times in the endurance classic at the Sarthe. However, he could not finish the race yet. At his third attempt at Le Mans, Kraihamer is keen on racing until the end with Lotus. More ...

Pirelli World Challenge TV Schedule on NBC Sports Network Announced  Denver, CO - WC Vision today announced the television schedule for the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Championships that will air on NBC Sports Network. All races will be broadcast in either 90-minute or two-hour programs airing Saturday or Sunday. Additionally, WC Vision and NBC Sports Network have signed a two-year broadcast agreement that is inclusive of 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Renowned motorsports announcers Greg Creamer and Calvin Fish will again provide play-by-play, color commentary and in-depth series analysis. Ashley van Dyke and Jeff Lepper will join Creamer and Fish for pit lane, and pre- and post-race segments. The broadcasts will include unique feature segments, series personalities and behind-the-scenes footage. More ...
If it's not too loose, it's too tight - NASCAR Superstar lapped 5 times  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Danica will do well again at Talladega, because it is a low skill, flat out and hold on track like Daytona......Tim DeCesaro

Danica Patrick, NASCAR's biggest superstar
Danica Patrick didn’t want to fight a loose racecar at Bristol Motor Speedway after spending the previous two races thinking she was going to spin out.

But the Sprint Cup Series rookie found it to be just as difficult to race with a tight car—which wouldn’t turn well—at Bristol. Patrick finished five laps down in 28th in the Food City 500, her third consecutive disappointing finish.

Patrick, who finished eighth in the season-opening Daytona 500, had been running on the lead lap when she was wrecked at Bristol last summer with just 66 laps remaining, so she had higher hopes in her Stewart-Haas Racing car. More ...

Spavone and Ghirelli join Super Nova for the 2013 Auto GP  Super Nova International is delighted to announce that Antonio Spavone & Vittorio Ghirelli will form its driver line for the 2013 Auto GP World Series, with the team also exploring the possibility of entering a third car.

In what will be his sophomore season, the first driver that Super Nova has put its faith in is the 18 year old Neapolitan, Antonio Spavone. The young Italian driver impressed the team with his development throughout last season and he showed his ability and potential to fight at the front during testing in December, convincing the team to push to find an agreement with him for 2013. More ...
Valentino Rossi visits Brazil  
Following on from the week’s private test at Circuit of the Americas, Valentino Rossi headed directly from Austin to Brazil for PR commitments. On Saturday, under the watchful eyes of 300 people, the nine-time World Champion rode a Yamaha R1 at the Velo Citta Circuit.

The nine-time MotoGP World Champion delighted employees of Yamaha Brazil in Sao Paulo yesterday, dressed in a one-off Brazilian football shirt with the number "46", the MotoGP star made a personal visit to spend time with them and enjoy a meet and greet with YMDB President Shigeo Hayakawa. More ...

Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Present: "Test Drive"  Jeff Gordon and Pepsi MAX go to a car dealership where a disguised Jeff Gordon takes an unsuspecting car salesman on the test drive of his life.

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Christian Horner (L), shown here talking with Adrian Newey, criticizes McLaren's ECU
    Horner criticizes McLaren for ECU troubles
  • Vettel's 'Hungary Heidi ate the tires’ - report
  • 'Massa should not be happy' - Briatore
  • Red Bull make heavy work of success - Alonso
  • Sutil stuns paddock with F1 comeback
  • Hulkenberg to use new chassis in Malaysia
  • Perez hopes backer Telmex joins McLaren
  • Ferrari asked Perez to 'take care' of Alonso
  • McLaren offered more money for 2013 - Hamilton More ...
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