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DATE News (chronologically)
03/18/15
irl

11th annual Firestone Grand Prix will attract 100,000 to St. Pete weekend
St. Pete IndyCar fans
More than 100,000 racing enthusiasts will converge March 29 on southwestern Florida for the 11th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, marking the beginning of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Now more than a decade old, the Firestone Grand Prix is an important event in the Tampa/St. Pete community and an important event for the Firestone brand, officials say.

Lisa Boggs, director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports, and Dale Harrigle, Bridgestone Motorsports chief engineer and manager of race tire development, said tire selection and strategy will play an important role in this season’s marquee races.

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03/18/15
uscc

Conor Daly joins Sebring lineup in Performance Tech PC
Conor Daly
Although he's tested an IndyCar this offseason and banked a bunch of GP2 experience, Conor Daly is going to have his next race in a sports car.

The 23-year-old American will join the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports lineup for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the Prototype Challenge class, along with James French and Jerome Mee.

Daly will have his first crack at the race where his dad, Derek, has won twice.

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03/18/15
f1

Giedo Van Der Garde Makes Plea For Rights Of Aspiring Drivers
Giedo van der Garde
Giedo van der Garde
Dutch F1 driver Giedo van der Garde has made an "impassioned plea" for the rights of aspiring Formula 1 drivers "broken" by the sport as he announced a "multimillion-pound settlement after his controversial court action against the Sauber team," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES.

Van der Garde called for "new regulations to protect the rights of drivers" in a sport that has been transformed by the clamor of "pay" drivers "trying to get on to the grid to further their careers."

The 29-year-old "had the resources to pursue Sauber through the International Court of Arbitration in Switzerland and then the Victoria Supreme Court." But other drivers "have been dumped in the past and not taken legal action against teams not upholding contracts."

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03/18/15
fe

India's Mahindra Enters Racing, but With Eye on Tesla
Formula E on the streets of Miami
Formula E on the streets of Miami

At first blush, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and the FIA’s Formula E racing series are strange bedfellows.

Mahindra is India’s biggest sport-utility seller and best known in the U.S. for its small tractors. It also has a big IT business in the U.S., a startup scooter company, and a stable of other businesses.

Formula E race cars are among the most progressive machines on any racetrack in the world. In a series that began late last year, drivers from 10 teams—including powerhouses like Audi AG, Renault SA and Andretti Autosport—race high-performance electric cars for an hour at a 140 mph top speed; they need to finish without running out of battery power.

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03/18/15
nassprint

Darrell Waltrip Weighs in on Latest Sprint Cup News
NASCAR's "West Coast Swing" concludes its third of three consecutive stops this weekend at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) after competing in Las Vegas and Phoenix.  FOX Sports offers 18 hours of live coverage of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES from Fontana, culminating with the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race live on FOX on Sunday, March 22 (3:30 PM ET), with pre-race coverage beginning at 3:00 PM ET on FOX NASCAR SUNDAY.

Mike Joy leads the FOX NASCAR booth from the one-mile track with analysis from NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds.  The trio is joined on pit road by Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum.  Chris Myers hosts the network's coverage alongside analyst Michael Waltrip. Myers also hosts FOX NASCAR SUNDAY from the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside Darrell and Michael Waltrip.

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03/18/15
il

Brabham And Andretti Together For St. Pete Indy Lights
Matt Brabham
Matt Brabham
Matt Brabham will make a return to Indy Lights for the first event of the 2015 season at St. Petersburg, Florida (March 27-29) with Andretti Autosport.

The arrangement sees the Brabham and Andretti names come together once again after a successful first Indy Lights season in 2014 and clinching the Pro Mazda Championship together in 2013.

Matt was in Indianapolis for a seat fitting and will test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday prior to the Florida race.

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03/18/15
irl

Rain washes out today's IndyCar aero testing in Texas
Castroneves tests the road course version of Chevy's aero package at Barber
Helio Castroneves and Ed Carpenter were willing to wait out the rain Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in order to test out the new aero kits produced by Chevrolet for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The weather, however, wouldn't cooperate and they had to wait until Saturday to run through the tests. But that willingness shows how eager these drivers are to get behind the wheels of their new rides.

The new kits in the updated cars have essentially been designed to increase the downforce configuration on road courses and short ovals. On the bigger tracks, such as TMS, more consistent downforce.

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03/18/15
wec

Circuit of The Americas welcomes back Lone Star Le Mans Sept. 17-19
div>AUSTIN, Texas (March 18, 2015) – Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is bringing the “Spirit of Le Mans” back to the Lone Star State Sept. 17-19 for an exciting festival weekend of sports car racing into the night, with the return of the Lone Star Le Mans racing event.
The Lone Star Le Mans event mixes the best of international endurance racing, echoing the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, with the sights, sounds and flavors of Austin. The prestigious series competing include the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and their support series, all on the same weekend.

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03/18/15
grc

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Expands Into Red Bull Global Rallycross
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. (CGRT) announced today the formation of a two-car team in the Supercar class of Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) with new partner Loenbro and drivers Brian Deegan and Steve Arpin. CGRT joins the vibrant and growing series and looks to continue its history of on-track success while also complementing the team’s continued focus on reaching millennials as a vehicle to grow interest in motorsports.

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03/18/15
irl

Why Dracone was so slow at Barber test (Update) UPDATE
Francisco Dracone
For what it's worth, we looked up Francesco Dracone's qualifying results from his two IndyCar starts with Conquest Racing in 2010.

At Mid-Ohio, Dracone posted a qualifying time of 1:11.3968. Dracone's time was 26th of 26 drivers who made qualifying attempts and two seconds slower that the 25th qualifier Jay Howard, who clocked in at 1:09.5028. Will Power won pole with a lap of 1:07.1997.

At Sonoma, Dracone's qualifying time was 1:21.2262, more than four-and-a-half seconds slower than Power's pole time of 1:16.5282. Dracone did avoid being the slowest qualifier at Sonoma, as Milka Duno who started the Mid-Ohio but didn't post a qualifying, posted a lap of 1:22.298.

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03/18/15
usac

Penske Leads USAC Hall Of Fame Inductees
Roger Penske
The initial eight 2015 inductees into the USAC Hall of Fame have been announced and four more, selected by popular vote from a list of 16 eligibles distributed through social mediums, will be announced April 15.

The fourth annual USAC Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held July 25 at the Lincoln Tech Indianapolis Speedrome in Indianapolis, Ind., in conjunction with the inaugural “Tony Stewart Classic” Midget race.

The eight-member class of inductees announced today includes five drivers, two car owners and a chief mechanic. They are (alphabetically) Clint Brawner, Butch Hartman, Lindsey Hopkins, Jim Hurtubise, Fred Lorenzen, Roger Penske, Shorty Templeman and Sleepy Tripp.

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03/18/15
nassprint

MWR sued by former employee (Update) UPDATE A former Michael Waltrip Racing tire changer claims he was fired from his $160,000-a-year job in August after he demanded to have surgery for an injury suffered on pit road, while the team states he was released because he stole a specially made gun on the day he asked for permission to talk to other race teams.

Brandon Hopkins sued the team in January in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) filed its response last week while also having the case moved to North Carolina Business Court.

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03/18/15
track news

Charlotte Motor Speedway copies Indy for Newest Camping Craze - Glamping
Copying something started at the Indianapolis Motorspeedway, the latest craze in camping has arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and fans looking for the ultimate in luxury, entertainment and glamour at the track will find it all while "glamping" in the infield during the 10 Days of Thunder.

"At Charlotte Motor Speedway, we're always looking for unique ways to reinvent the race experience for our fans," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway. "Glamping is our latest effort, providing ultra-exclusive, luxury accommodations right in the heart of all the action."

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03/18/15
irl

Dooling Machine Tools Up With KVSH/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing/Bryan Clauson
KVSH/Jonathan Byrd's Racing is proud to announce another new partner for our 2015 Indianapolis 500 program, as Dooling Machine Products joins the every-growing list of enthusiastic supporters of Bryan Clauson and the team.

Dooling Machine Products, Inc. is a provider of contract machining services.  Dooling Machine is a complete mobile machine shop facility, providing on-site machining services, and offering their clients substantial savings on down time and cost.  With their mobile machine shop, Dooling’s customers get to see their work being done on-site and first hand.

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03/18/15
nassprint

NASCAR's TV deal helps BMS overcome attendance downturn
Bristol Speedway
NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) aren't having sellout crowds like they did in the past, but they do have a saving benefactor.

The benefactor is broadcasting revenue aided by 21st Century digital dollars.

BMS' publicly traded owner, Concord, N.C.-based Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), is participating in a new 10-year deal with NASCAR, FOX Sports and NBC Sports for the broadcasting and digital rights to NASCAR Sprint Cup and other related racing events.

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03/18/15
nassprint

Busch request to reopen Driscoll case denied
Kurt Busch's request to have his protective order hearing reopened by a Kent County (Del.) Family Court commissioner was denied Tuesday.

The decision by Commissioner David Jones, while not in Busch's favor, now allows Busch to proceed with his planned appeal of the decision to a family court judge.

Busch's legal team filed the motion to reopen the hearing Feb. 19, four days after Jones granted the protective order and one day before Jones released his findings and conclusions on why he had determined that Busch had likely committed an act of domestic violence on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

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03/18/15
irl

Team Penske Off To A Strong Start With New Chevrolet Aero Kits
Penske's Juan Montoya
The new-look Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series program got back to business after a busy off season with two days of testing on Monday and Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala. Team stalwarts Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya, along with newcomer Simon Pagenaud, all took turns laying down some impressive lap times around the picturesque circuit as the teams got their first experience testing the new aerodynamic body kits that have been introduced to INDYCAR this season.

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03/18/15
uscc

Familiar Ferrari Battleground at Twelve Hours of Sebring
Bruni Ferrari
Ferrari has enjoyed unparalleled success on the bumpy airways of Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. The world-famous twelve hour race saw a Ferrari visit victory lane for the first time in 1953, with 32 additional overall and class victories coming in the years since.

Some of Ferrari's most famous models, such as the 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GTO, 250LM, 512, and 333SP have represented Maranello in Sebring’s victory lane. Three Ferrari 458 Italias will seek to put Ferrari back in victory lane at this weekend’s Twelve Hours of Sebring.

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03/18/15
irl

Karam crash ignites calls for more tire barriers at Barber
Sage Karam before crashing
A top IndyCar executive told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday that he'll ask Barber Motorsports Park to add a tire barrier where Sage Karam crashed Monday before the series returns to the track for a race next month.

Drivers complained Tuesday morning about the situation during their drivers' meeting, but Derrick Walker, IndyCar's president of operations and competition, said he'd already determined during a track inspection Monday that he would ask for a tire barrier in that area of the track.

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03/18/15
irl

Mario Andretti delivers meals for Meals on Wheels
Mario Andretti, left talks with Lorainne Curtis and her son-in-law Craig Bartholomew as he delivers a meal to her home. Race car driving legend Mario Andretti helped deliver meals to Nazareth area residents March 9, 2015 for Meals on Wheels of Northampton County. This is the second year Andretti has volunteered to deliver as part of the agency's March for Meals campaign. Also volunteering were Pennsylvania state Sen. Lisa Boscola and Tony Iannelli, CEO and president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Comment
03/18/15
automotive

Porsche 918 Spyder is faster than the McLaren P1
Porsche 918 Spyder
The Porsche 918 Spyder has turned out to be even faster than one of its main rivals, the McLaren P1, during a recent test.

The fastest road legal car to ever lap the famous German track, the Nurburgring, is the Porsche 918 Spyder, as it managed to do it in just 6 minutes and 57 seconds, while the McLaren P1 said to have done it in “less than 7 minutes”, along with the other rival, the Ferrari LaFerrari. During a recent speed test made by Motor Trend, the Porsche 918 Spyder has turned out to be faster on the Laguna Seca raceway than its German competitor as it managed to do a potent lap, with standard Michelin Pilot Super Cup tires, in 1:29.89, while the best lap of the McLaren stood at 1:30.71.

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03/18/15
automotive

Video: Ferrari 488 GTB - Behind the scenes
The Ferrari 488 GTB as you've never seen it before: a behind-the-scenes look at the shooting of the official video. Watch the new Ferrari lapping the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia and negotiating the roads around Saragozza and Tortosa.



Comment
03/18/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Boullier and Dennis
    McLaren denies tension as Alonso returns
  • Wins 'still possible' for McLaren-Honda - Boullier
  • Mercedes' Wolff says Ferrari step 'impressive'
  • Van der Garde camp set to outline Sauber deal
  • F1 keeps same 'radio clampdown' rules for 2015
  • Van der Garde admits 'F1 dream probably over'
  • Singapore Airlines becomes official airline for Sauber


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03/18/15
irl

Chevy Teams Complete Two-Day Preseason Test at Barber Motorsports Park
Simon Pagenaud in his Penske Chevy
The Chevrolet IndyCar teams put the all-new Chevrolet Aero Kit through its inaugural paces during the first official Verizon IndyCar Series on-track test of the 2015 season.

The four Chevrolet-powered IndyCar organizations expected to field 12 cars in the season-opening race set for March 29 on the Streets of St. Petersburg utilized every minute of the two-day Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park to begin to build their notebooks on the Chevrolet Aero Kit for the start of the 16-race season.

"The Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park is always an exciting moment in the IndyCar season when our Chevy engineers get to see the fruits of their off season labor in the hands of our Team Chevy racing partners," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for Verizon IndyCar Series.

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03/18/15
irl

AJ Foyt Racing Testing Report: Barber Motorsports Park
Jack Hawksworth
The ABC Supply team came away from their first three days of testing with the new aero kit satisfied in the direction they are taking after leaving Barber Motorsports Park.

Twenty-one drivers who tested at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course just outside of Birmingham, Ala. eclipsed last year’s pole speed set by Will Power by a full second.

Takuma Sato was the second quickest Honda driver (behind fifth place Graham Rahal who popped ahead on the charts in the final 20 minutes), while Jack Hawksworth was the sixth quickest Honda driver.

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03/18/15
automotive

All Ferrari LaFerrari units for fire hazard
LaFerrari FXX
All units of the impressive Ferrari LaFerrari are the subject of a recall which has been recently announced by the carmaker because of a fire hazard.

A recall of the Ferrari LaFerrari will never be made public and chances are owners of the hypercar will be getting some benefits in order to keep their mouths shut about this condition but according to a new report, such a recall is true and it has been recently announced by the Maranello based automaker. The hybrid supercars don’t have a mechanical issue and it seems the only thing affecting them is a fire risk due to a paint job.

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03/18/15
f1

McLaren's Alonso set for Wednesday simulator return
Will Alonso really return while the McLaren Honda is still a complete backmarker?
Fernando Alonso’s return to the cockpit of his McLaren MP4-30 is edging closer with the double world champion set to spend some time in the team’s simulator on Wednesday.

The McLaren returnee was forced to  sit out last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after suffering concussion in a pre-season crash at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Alonso has since been “giving everything” in order to be fully race fit for the Malaysian Grand Prix, round 2 of this year’s Formula One world championship held on March 27-29.

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03/18/15
f1

Mercedes to further squash other F1 teams
The Mercedes parade will be further ahead in Sepang
It's not exactly the news that Mercedes' rivals - especially Red Bull - wanted to hear, but Toto Wolff believes the sandbagging Mercedes team will improve further in Malaysia.

The defending Champions dominated the season opener in Australia this weekend with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg securing a 1-2 and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari more than 30s off the pace in third place.

With Malaysia's Sepang circuit comprising of plenty of high-speed corners, Wolff believes the W06 will be a bit quicker.

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03/18/15
Racing News

Zanardi to Compete in Spa 24
Alex Zanardi will compete in the Total 24 Hours of Spa this year, a new challenge for the Italian, as he’ll share his cockpit with other drivers for the first time.

After a break of four years Zanardi returned to racing in 2014 as a BMW works driver and competed solo in the Blancpain Sprint Series with a BMW Z4 GT3 modified to his special needs.

The Spa 24 Hours and endurance racing in general however require the presence of teammates.

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