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New front wing for Renault  The Renault team will be running with a new front wing as the yellow cars hit the track in Australian Grand Prix practice on Friday morning. The R30s of Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov will also feature modifications to the rear wing. It was an unlucky start to the 2010 season for Renault in Bahrain as Kubica, who qualified ninth, was tipped into a spin by Adrian Sutil at Turn 2 as Petrov rose from 16th to 11th at the start but eventually retired with suspensions problems. For Melbourne, however, Chief Race Engineer Alan Permane expects a step up. More ...
Stoddart calls for refuelling back in F1  After all the cries about a ‘boring’ season opening Bahrain Grand Prix due to the banning on refuelling this season, former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has added his two cents to the situation ahead of round two in his native Australia this coming weekend.

Stoddart, along with many other formula One personalities, believes that Formula One is headed for disaster if what happened in Bahrain is repeated, and as far as he is concerned, due to the durability of the tires and the no refuelling, there are several circuits that could see fans walking away in droves....

"At certain tracks, the racing will be very boring," Stoddart told the Herald Sun. "That's not good for Formula One or the business of Formula One. In Monaco, cars will be able to run the full distance without stopping. That's not good. There are some races, like Valencia, where it will be so boring that people will walk out or fall asleep. In this case, common sense needs to prevail. Something needs to be done." More ...

Bristol far from a sellout  UPDATE For 55 straight races the Bristol Motor Speedway has sold every seat for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. That ended today as the ‘official’ NASCAR estimate of 138,000 fell far short of the 160,000 seats available.

The really sad part is that other estimates pegged the crowd at more in the area of 115,000 fans in attendance, that means up to 45,000 empty seats. For over 27 years, the Cup races sold out, during some of the past years the sellout occurred prior to the end of the previous race season. This was the track where folks would wait in the rain, or stay on phone lines for hours every November when what seats were left over, after ticket renewals, went on sale. The first year they did that sale on the website, the internet was crashed over a nine state region. Other years, the entire 423 area code went off line from an overload.

03/21/10 Historically the Bristol NASCAR Sprint Cup races are always sellouts.  Not this year where it was clear tens of thousands of seats remained empty for today's race.
Charlotte Motor Speedway Opens Sprint Cup Test to Fans  Fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite drivers in action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in 2010 during Sprint Cup Series testing March 23-24. The test will be held for the new spoiler that will soon replace the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup Series car. Ticket holders to any 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 16, will be granted special access to watch testing from the infield. The VIP seating area located behind pit road near Victory Circle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer forum with available drivers; meet Miss Sprint Cup during an autograph session in Victory Circle; and take their picture with the Charlotte Motor Speedway show car. Concessions and souvenirs will be available in the infield. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com. CMS PR
Larry Pearson badly injured in NASCAR exhibition race  UPDATE Jim Wozniak, a Welmont Health System spokesman, said Pearson would undergo surgery on a compound fracture of the left ankle, and that he suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured right hand. "He is awake and alert, and in good spirits," Wozniak said of Pearson, who was listed in fair condition late Saturday night. Wozniak also said that Glotzbach was in good condition, but provided no further details regarding his injuries. Bristol Herald Courier

03/21/10 Two drivers taking part in an exhibition race among NASCAR legends at Bristol Motor Speedway were injured in a violent wreck and transported to a local hospital Saturday afternoon.

Larry Pearson's family confirmed through track officials that the driver had a compound fracture of his left ankle, a fractured pelvis and a fractured right hand. He was to have surgery late Saturday.

According to BMS officials, Charlie Glotzbach is listed in good condition.

On Lap 30 of the 35-lap event, Pearson spun and hit the outside wall. As his car drifted back down the track, it was T-boned on the driver's side by Glotzbach. More ...

Terry Earwood named 2009 Motorsports Person of the Year  BFGoodrich Tires has named Terry Earwood of Skip Barber Racing School as the 2009 BFGoodrich Tires Motorsports Person of the Year.

Earwood was presented with the award that recognizes the achievements in each series that BFGoodrich Tires competes during the awards ceremony at the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda at Sebring International Raceway. Earwood currently serves as a Chief Instructor at Skip Barber Racing School and has been instrumental in providing a seamless BFGoodrich Tires and Skip Barber experience for all participants who attend the school’s driving schools and events. More ...
track news
Access Tunnel collapses at Spa-Francorchamps  UPDATE #2
Here is a better photo showing the portion of track under the runoff area and guiderail that collapsed. 

It is evident that the failure was due to a heavy infiltration of water

03/21/10 We don't speak French, but it appears the track surface did have some damage.

03/21/10 (GMM)  An access tunnel underneath a section of track near Spa-Francorchamps' famous Blanchimont corner has partially collapsed.

Local reports said no cars were circulating the Belgian GP venue at the time of the collapse, and that the only damage to the surface itself is some cracks.

It is not believed anyone in the vicinity of the tunnel, which despite recent renovations at the circuit dates back to the 70s, was hurt.

The collapsed tunnel, providing access to trucks and also pedestrians, was 6 meters in height.  Damaged in the collapse was some run-off area, guard rails and a television camera.

Spa, scheduled to host formula one in late August, will be closed this week due to the collapse.

Gordon to speak with fans at Infineon  Vallejo, CA native Jeff Gordon, who holds the track record for wins at Infineon Raceway, will be front-and-center for race fans on Sunday, June 20 (Father’s Day), with a special chalk-talk session just hours before the drop of the green flag for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Race fans can secure preferred access for this special Q&A by purchasing the “24 Special” ticket package, which gets you one ticket to the race at the regular price, plus a second for just $24 (total price, $119). That’s a savings of $70.

“I enjoyed this question and answer session with the fans last year, and I'm looking forward to it again this summer," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet and five-time winner in Sonoma. "We had a great turnout in 2009 — a turnout I hope we exceed this year.” More ...

Ticket office opens for Toyota GP of LB  Tickets for the April 16-18 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, featuring six races including the IZOD IndyCar Series, are now available for purchase at the downtown Long Beach ticket office.

The Grand Prix downtown ticket office, located at 300 E. Seaside Way in Long Beach (near the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center box office) will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More ...

Free tickets for IRL St Pete race  Big ad today in the local St. Petersburg newspaper from Macys.....spend $40 or more on IZOD apparel and get two tickets free to the St. Petes race weekend..courtesy of Macys and IZOD (while supplies last).
NASCAR Bristol TV rating  The overnight TV rating for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup: Food City 500 from Bristol on Fox was a 4.2, up slightly from last year's 4.1 overnight, but down from the 5.0 overnight in 2008.

The overnight TV rating for Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series: Scotts Turf Builder 300 on ABC was a 1.5.

Star Mazda St. Pete GP preview  To the international cast of rising open-wheel racing stars that comprise the grid of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, high-speed, wheel-to-wheel racing in front of huge crowds through the concrete canyons of a street circuit is not a novel experience; the Star Mazda Championship schedule includes a well-rounded selection of street circuits, road courses and ovals.  And this is the college varsity of IndyCar racing, so by the time a driver reaches this level they are seasoned veterans of a hundred green flags and the rush of adrenaline that comes with it.

What makes this weekend's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg something significant in the world of open-wheel racing in North America is that this is the first time all of the series that comprise the Indy Racing League's newly-formed 'Road to Indy' will be sharing the same stage.  After a decade of confusion about how a driver makes his or her way from the entry level to the starting grid of the Indy 500, the way is now clear: the Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda; the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear; and the Firestone Indy Lights Championship.  And all, including the IZOD IndyCars, will be howling around the 1.8-mile, 14-turn course, accelerating like buckshot down a shotgun barrel over the course of the 3-day Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. More ...

Stefan GP refusing to give up  USF1 was one of four new teams handed a place on the 2010 grid but their F1 dream came to an end before it even began due to a lack of funds.

And although the team requested that the FIA defer their entry into the sport until next season, motorsport's governing body instead announced last week that they had opened the selection process to replace USF1.

One of the favorites to take the American team's slot is Serbian outfit, Stefan GP, however, team owner Stefanovic would rather start racing this season than next.

According to Autosport, in a bid to make that happen, the Serbian businessman has agreed a deal to purchase USF1 so that he can take over their entry.

But it remains to be seen whether the FIA will agree to hand him the 13th place on the grid as, Autosport claims, the FIA believe USF1 forfeited their place on the grid when they failed to pitch up in Bahrain.

It was also subsequently been revealed that Stefan GP have ended their relationship with Toyota, having previously agreed a deal to use the former F1 team's chassis and technical know-how.

"For 2010, it's not feasible to do it anymore," Stefanovic said. "We have some other (plan) in mind, we will see.

"We are very grateful to Toyota, which is a great company and doing a great job in what they are doing. They are now organizing things differently, they are now more profit centered in TMG in Cologne."  Planet F1

Zanardi shooting for Paralympic medal  Fresh off a win in the Rome marathon, Alex Zanardi announced he will be competing for a hand cycling medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London

The former grand prix driver took top placing in yesterday's event with a time of 1h15m53s, more than two minutes ahead of the second place finisher, which is characteristic of a man who has always achieved great things.

"Racing here has been very exciting, a lot more than when I used to wait in a car for the lights to start a motor race - maybe because it had been habit," Zanardi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"To find myself among many people cheering me and pushing me on is completely different - you feel the warmth and the pleasure of the support right on your skin, you live it moment by moment."

Zanardi tackled the challenge of hand cycling in earnest, after finally retiring from World Touring Car Championship at the end of last season, and the auto racing profession.

"I train practically every day for at least 60km and I've even done a 120km run to verify my stamina. The end result obtained here in Rome is excellent – it could have been better, but the route isn't easy and I faced some winds towards the end.

"I have an objective and I won't deny it. I hope to go to London for the 2012 Paralympic Games and fight for the podium."

The 2012 Paralympic Games will be held in London from August 29 to September 9, following the Summer Olympics from July 27 to August 12.

Bernard appoints advisory committee to choose next IndyCar  As the next step in its search for the new iconic IZOD IndyCar Series car, the Indy Racing League has announced plans to develop an advisory committee representing key fields of the open-wheel racing industry to review research and recommend a future chassis and engine platform.

The advisory board will include a league representative, a team owner, an engine expert, a marketer/promoter and a racing engineer. The project will be named the ICONIC (Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) IZOD IndyCar Series Advisory Committee.

"The Indy Racing League always has taken pride in its role in automotive innovation," said Randy Bernard, chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series. "The search for a new chassis and engine has been about enhancing innovation in our sport and renewing the IZOD IndyCar Series as the automotive industry's proving ground. More ...

Doornbos and Karthikeyan confirmed in Superleague  Former Formula 1 drivers Robert Doornbos and Narain Karthikeyan have been confirmed as drivers in the Superleague Formula for 2010, as the Dutchman returns and the Indian makes his debut in the series which features each team taking on the name of an international football squad.

Having raced in the championship for AC Milan last year as well as a full-time drive in the IndyCar Series with Newman/Haas/Lanigan, former Minardi and Red Bull driver Doornbos has made the switch to Corinthians for the upcoming Superleague campaign.

"After evaluating many options for 2010, I decided to accept the offer from Azerti Racing for Corinthians," the Rotterdam driver explained. "After one year in the USA, I want to win races again. I'd like to state that my adventure in the USA is not over yet but Superleague is very competitive, with many ex F1 drivers."

Having been the first Indian in F1 courtesy of his Jordan driver five years ago, Karthikeyan will make his Superleague debut this season with PSV Eindhoven.

Conquest Racing adds 2nd IndyCar for Baguette  
Bertrand Baguette
Conquest Racing announced today that it will enter a second car in the IZOD IndyCar Series for Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette, beginning with the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 11th through the remainder of the season.  The car will carry the colors of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium’s National Team.  The RACB is the Belgian motorsports governing body. 

“I have always been attracted to racing in America,” commented Baguette.  “American open wheel has a rich heritage in competitive races and legendary drivers, and I couldn’t be happier about following in their footsteps.  Racing in the US is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am excited about entering into this next step of my career.” More ...

Bridgestone still intends to quit F1 in 2010  (GMM)  Bridgestone is not reconsidering its decision to pull out of formula one at the end of 2010.

We reported earlier this month that both Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt, supported by many of the leading teams, were pushing the Japanese company to stay.

Its three year contract as the sport's sole tire supplier runs out at the end of 2010, and despite new suppliers needing significant lead-time to prepare a project, the FIA has not yet instigated a new tender process.

"We could certainly find a replacement," said F1 chief executive Ecclestone, "but I hope that they will rethink their decision.  We are working on it." More ...

GM sues Ohio company for rare 'Vette replicas  The 1963 Corvette Grand Sport roadster is the rarest and arguably most important Corvette model ever made. Only five were built, and they sell for millions at auction.

But an Ohio company is being sued by General Motors for churning out replica versions that sell for less than $90,000.

The lawsuit was filed this month in U.S. District Court against Mongoose Motorsports LLC of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, which specializes in building replica 1984-88 GTP models and the legendary Grand Sport. More ...

Stefan GP confirms end of Toyota deal  (GMM)  Stefan GP confirmed on Monday that its relationship with Toyota has ended for now.

With an office at the Japanese marque's former F1 headquarters in Cologne, Stefan GP intended to race this year with the 2010 Toyota car/engine package.

But we reported earlier on Monday that, with no official entry, the Stefan/Toyota had almost certainly lapsed, as Toyota reverted to a new era offering external support to other motor sport clients.

Germany's motorsport-total.com added that Stefan GP had also made deals with the failed American outfit USF1 that have also now ended.

Referring to the agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH, Stefan GP chief Zoran Stefanovich said: "For 2010 it is no longer feasible.

"We already have another plan in mind, but we'll see what we can do."

The Serbian businessman also said a decision about whether to apply for the vacant team entry for 2011 has not yet been taken.

The official Stefan GP website says it is "under reconstruction".

Q&A with the IRL's Randy Bernard  
Randy Bernard
Nearly three weeks ago, Randy Bernard began his new job as CEO of the Indy Racing League, taking over for the embattled Tony George. Bernard, 43, spent the past 15 years as the CEO of the Professional Bull Riders Association. His days begin at the gym at 5:30 a.m. in Indianapolis, then he's at the office by 7:30. He leaves around midnight. From two-hour lunches and dinners with team owners, drivers and "passionate" fans, to weekly two-hour trips to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to learn the tradition and culture of the Indy Racing League, Bernard is doing everything he can to learn, then build the open-wheel racing brand. In advance of next Sunday's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Bernard talked with the St. Petersburg Times about his dedication to growing the sport, rejuvenating the worldwide fan base and the current television contract, among other priorities.

You weren't an internal hire. What did people who've been there for awhile like (IRL President of Competition) Brian Barnhart and others who have been in the organization tell you that made you believe it was something you wanted to be a part of?

Before I accepted the job I flew around the country doing quite a bit of due diligence. I wanted to talk to some of the staff and I also wanted to talk to team owners, as well as drivers. And I also wanted to talk to every board member and look them in the eyes and make sure they would support me 110 percent before I did this. The common denominator with everyone I spoke with was the passion that everyone had for the sport. Whether you were talking to Brian Barnhart, a board member or a team owner, everyone wants this to work. And that's a big step. I feel we have great momentum right now. Everyone is working together. Everyone wants this to work. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • FOTA survey shows Schu most famous F1 driver
  • Hulkenberg 'tried too hard' in Bahrain - Barrichello
  • Red Bull not 'ridiculously faster' than Ferrari
  • Ricciardo is Red Bull reserve for all of 2010
  • Mercedes eyes 2.5 second pitstops in future
  • Kobayashi learned Albert Park on Toyota simulator

FOTA survey shows Schu most famous F1 driver
(GMM)  The first results of the latest formula one fan survey have emerged.

The survey was launched in early February with the backing of Formula One Management and the teams association FOTA.

"We would like to thank all those who took part and completed the survey.  The results will be published and used by FOTA to help it decide what changes need to be made to make F1 better for fans," reads the front page of the survey website.

It is believed that more than 90,000 fans answered the survey.

Full results have not yet been published, but it has emerged that Michael Schumacher was nominated as the best-known F1 driver with 19.5 per cent of the vote.

Next-best was Fernando Alonso with 9.7 per cent, followed by Kimi Raikkonen, even though the Finn has switched for 2010 to world rallying. More ...

Epsilon Euskadi to apply for 2011 F1 debut  (GMM)  The Spanish outfit Epsilon Euskadi will apply to become F1's thirteenth team in 2011.

With USF1 failing to race this year, groups interested in filling the American team's spot next season have been invited to express interest along with a EUR1000 fee by 15 April.

Full applications will need to be submitted by the end of June, followed by "due diligence leading to a decision in July 2010", the FIA announced.

Epsilon Euskadi, involved in junior single seater categories as well as Le Mans with a prototype car, applied to make its F1 debut this year but was beaten to the places by USF1, HRT, Lotus, Virgin and Sauber. More ...

Button calls for F1 changes  Jenson Button feels crucial decisions will have to be taken after the next few races if Formula One fails to brighten up its act. Button has expressed his frustration at the new regulations which turned last Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix into a processional bore.

The reigning world champion has admitted to being "annoyed" at the end of the race after spending the final third of it stuck behind Michael Schumacher, with no opportunity to make a move. It means the pressure is on for F1 to improve over the next three grands prix, starting in Australia next Sunday, otherwise the 30-year-old believes changes will then have to be made.

"I don't know how we're going to make the racing more exciting than it is," admitted Button. "I hope it's just because of the new layout in Bahrain, and it was the first one, that it wasn't so exciting.

"I hope when we are racing in Melbourne we are going to have a bit more action out there and a few more ideas on pitstops. The thing is now it seems the eight or 10 cars at the front, they pull away from the pack and wait until they've got a gap to fall into. More ...
Brawn admits his car isn't fast enough.....yet  According to Mercedes Grand Prix Team Principal Ross Brawn, the Brackley team is currently not competitive enough to fight for championship titles this season. The Englishman is realistic as he looks ahead to Melbourne, admitting that work must be done in order to close the gap to the leaders. The team did a good job in Bahrain but we accept that we were not competitive enough and that we have work to do to close the gap to the leaders," Brawn said.

"I was very pleased with the performance of Nico (Rosberg) and Michael (Schumacher) and the way that they worked together to provide clear and consistent feedback to develop the car over the weekend.

"Whilst our car is fundamentally strong, we have a development plan in place for the next few races which should bring the required performance improvements to compete at the front. Looking ahead to the next two races, the Australian Grand Prix is always a popular race with the teams and the fans so we hope to see a more exciting race at Albert Park next weekend."

Small upgrades expected for McLaren's MP4-25  The McLaren Formula 1 team travelled from Bahrain to Melbourne this week with little time to come up with any changes to the team's 2010 contender. According to team principal Martin Whitmarsh though the team hopes to introduce a number of small improvements to the car ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. Coming just a fortnight after the opening race in Bahrain, there's been only minimal time to add developments to the MP4-25," Whitmarsh said. "But we've got a number of smaller components that we expect to add to the car ahead of the race. More ...
Stoddart has 'no time' for F1 team return  (GMM)  Even with Max Mosley gone and a new era of small teams dawning, Paul Stoddart seems unlikely to mount a return to the formula one paddock.

The 54-year-old Australian ran Minardi between 2001 and 2005, when he sold out to Red Bull in the wake of a furious political fracas with the then FIA president Mosley.

He said two years ago that only when Mosley's reign ends "will I come back to the sport as a team opener".

So with the FIA presidency now in the hands of Jean Todt and the Paris federation inviting new teams to apply now for 2011, is Stoddart ready to come back to F1? More ...

Hamilton making excuses for getting beat again  
Lewis Hamilton cannot accept the fact that Sebastian Vettel is a far better driver than he is
Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull should be further ahead of the rest of the pack as they the fastest car on the grid "by quite a big step".

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel claimed the first pole of the season in Bahrain and then led the race for a long period before an engine problem relegated him to fourth place. His team-mate Mark Webber was less impressive, qualifying sixth and finishing eighth in the season opener.

McLaren driver Hamilton says Vettel and Webber have had the best equipment in the field for quite some time now. More ...

Sebring: Bourdais Peugeot leads at halfway mark  
Pos Num CL Driver Car Laps Behind Gap CP Fastest Driver
1 08 P1 Sebastien Bourdais Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 189 --- --- 1 Nicolas Minassian
2 07 P1 Alexander Wurz Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 189 -30.695 -30.695 2 Anthony Davidson
3 007 P1 Adrian Fernandez Lola B09 60/Aston Mart 186 -3 lap -3 lap 3 Adrian Fernandez
4 1 P2 Simon Pagenaud HPD ARX-01c 184 -5 lap -2 lap 1 David Brabham
5 6 P2 Greg Pickett Porsche RS Spyder 181 -8 lap -3 lap 2 Sascha Maassen
6 8 P1 Jonny Cocker Lola B09 60/Judd 174 -15 lap -7 lap 4 Emanuele Pirro
7 62 GT2 Jaime Melo Ferrari 430 GT 169 -20 lap -5 lap 1 Pierre Kaffer
8 92 GT2 Bill Auberlen BMW E92 M3 169 -20 lap -5.812 2 Bill Auberlen
9 45 GT2 Marc Lieb Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 169 -20 lap -33.054 3 Patrick Long
10 90 GT2 Dirk Mueller BMW E92 M3 168 -21 lap -1 lap 4 Dirk Mueller
11 36 LMPC Tom Sutherland Oreca FLM09 167 -22 lap -1 lap 1 Tom Sutherland
12 01 GT2 Dominik Farnbacher Ferrari 430 GT 167 -22 lap -140.341 5 Dominik Farnbacher
13 55 LMPC Christophe Bouchut Oreca FLM09 167 -22 lap -8.078 2
14 17 GT2 Wolf Henzler Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 166 -23 lap -1 lap 6 Bryan Sellers
15 02 GT2 Joao Barbosa Ferrari 430 GT 165 -24 lap -1 lap 7 Joao Barbosa
16 61 GT2 Nic Jonsson Ferrari 430 GT 164 -25 lap -1 lap 8 Nic Jonsson
17 44 GT2 Darren Law Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 164 -25 lap -1.917 9 Richard Lietz
18 99 LMPC Gunnar Jeannette Oreca FLM09 161 -28 lap -3 lap 3 Christian Zugel
19 4 GT2 Emmanuel Collard Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 160 -29 lap -1 lap 10 Olivier Beretta
20 40 GT2 David Murry Doran Design Ford GT 158 -31 lap -2 lap 11 Andrea Robertson
21 3 GT2 Antonio Garcia Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 158 -31 lap -15.077 12
22 81 GTC Leh Keen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 158 -31 lap -15.437 1 Butch Leitzinger
23 23 GTC Jan-Dirk Lueders Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 156 -33 lap -2 lap 2 Jan-Dirk Lueders
24 32 GTC Bret Curtis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 156 -33 lap -84.731 3 James Sofronas
25 69 GTC Galen Bieker Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 155 -34 lap -1 lap 4 Cory Friedman
26 80 GTC Luis Diaz Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 153 -36 lap -2 lap 5
27 63 GTC Andy Lally Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 148 -41 lap -5 lap 6 Andy Lally
28 88 GTC Shane Lewis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 148 -41 lap -1175.292 7
29 16 P2 Guy Smith Lola B09 86/Mazda 137 -52 lap -11 lap 3 Guy Smith
30 89 LMPC Mitch Pagerey Oreca FLM09 124 -65 lap -13 lap 4 Brian Wong
31 11 LMPC Tom Weickhardt Oreca FLM09 85 -104 lap -39 lap 5 Kyle Marcelli
32 95 LMPC Scott Tucker Oreca FLM09 81 -108 lap -4 lap 6 Scott Tucker
33 75 GT2 Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKRS 11 -178 lap -70 lap 13 Paul Gentilozzi
34 12 P1 Bryan Willman Lola B06 10/AER 0 -189 lap -11 lap 5 -
Sebring: Peugeot still 1-2 at 4 hour mark  
The Start
Peugeot ran 1-2 overall at the four-hour mark of the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida with the Anthony Davidson Peugeot swapping the lead with the Nic Minassian Peugeot during pitstops one-third of the way through the opening round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.

The two Peugeots started from the front row and were two laps clear of Harold Primat in Aston Martin Racing’s Lola B09/60-Aston Martin. It’s been Peugeot all the way with the exception of a fantastic scrap early on between Drayson Racing’s Emanuele Pirro and the two Peugeots. The Drayson Lola-Judd lost several laps with alternator issues, however.

Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham led in LMP2 driving the HPD ARX-01c held a one-lap gap over Muscle Milk Team CytoSport’s Porsche RS Spyder and Sascha Maassen. More ...

The NASCAR-Edwards-Keselowski Meeting  Penske Racing owner Roger Penske discusses the meeting between NASCAR, the #99 Roush Fenway / Penske Racing drivers / owners:

Roger Penske addresses the media
CIA Stock Photo
ROGER PENSKE (Chairman & CEO Penske Racing)

WHAT CAME OUT OF THE MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "Obviously it was important that we all got together from the standpoint of just having open conversation - the drivers, Jack (Roush) and myself. I think it was good conversation. I think Carl (Edwards) realized that what had happened last week wasn't what he expected - the car flying. To me, it was just good, open communication. The guys agreed that they're going to race hard. They're going to race fair and give themselves some room on the race track so that we don't become the poster boys every weekend on what's happening. I said, 'Hey, at the end of the races, if we're racing for the lead and there's a lap or two to go, you guys are gonna have to run hard, but try and stay out of each other's way during the race.' It was a good conversation. They're both good guys. To me, it's just great that we have an environment where we can sit down." More ...
Mercedes to run V8 supercar series - No  UPDATE Speculation of the week is that Mercedes-Benz is to enter V8 Supercars. But it won't happen. Merc's international motor sports boss, Norbert Haug, says as much. And so does Mercedes-Benz's local PR chap, David McCarthy.

Head-office policy is unequivocal: M-B Australia doesn't get involved in motor racing. But, McCarthy concedes, privateers and dealers could decide to run a Mercedes V8 Supercar.

03/10/10 Mercedes-Benz is poised to split the grid between Ford and Holden, with plans to join the V8 Supercars series under serious consideration as the sport prepares to open itself up to other manufacturers.

Fifteen years after the sport was closed to all bar the two major Australian manufacturers and their V8 staples, the Commodore and the Falcon, V8 Supercars Australia is expected to open the door again with the unveiling of their Car of the Future template.

The template will relax rules governing components such as engines and suspension - while continuing to run it as a series exclusively for V8s.

Hyundai, Toyota and BMW have also been suggested as new entrants. More ...

track news
Bristol boss Jeff Byrd undergoing medical treatment  Jeff Byrd, one of the mainstay promoters in Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports empire, as head of Bristol Motor Speedway for 15 years now, will miss Sunday's Food City 500, a first for the ex-R.J.Reynolds sports marketing man since taking the reins here.

Byrd, who is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed medical matter, says the specific issue has been diagnosed and doctors began treatment last week.

"Things are going well,” Byrd said in a statement just released by the track. "It is going to be very difficult for me not to be at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend to be with more than 150,000 of my closest friends. But I will be there in spirit, and as I have said before, I expect to see everyone in August."

That would be Bristol's annual night Cup event.

"Claudia (his wife)), the rest of the family and I have been overwhelmed by everyone's thoughts and prayers," Byrd added. "I hope they keep it up...and appreciate so many people coming to Bristol this weekend." MikeMulhern.net

Sebring: Bourdais Peugeot leads at 2 hour mark  
Pos Num CL Driver Car Laps Behind Gap CP Fastest Driver
1 08 P1 Sebastien Bourdais Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 60 --- --- 1 Sebastien Bourdais
2 07 P1 Marc Gene Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 59 -1 lap -1 lap 2 Alexander Wurz
3 007 P1 Stefan Mucke Lola B09 60/Aston Mart 58 -2 lap -1 lap 3 Adrian Fernandez
4 8 P1 Jonny Cocker Lola B09 60/Judd 58 -2 lap -10.194 4 Emanuele Pirro
5 1 P2 Marino Franchitti HPD ARX-01c 57 -3 lap -1 lap 1 Simon Pagenaud
6 6 P2 Greg Pickett Porsche RS Spyder 57 -3 lap -27.888 2 Greg Pickett
7 55 LMPC Christophe Bouchut Oreca FLM09 55 -5 lap -2 lap 1 Christophe Bouchut
8 95 LMPC Scott Tucker Oreca FLM09 54 -6 lap -1 lap 2 Ryan Hunter-Reay
9 62 GT2 Gianmaria Bruni Ferrari 430 GT 53 -7 lap -1 lap 1 Gianmaria Bruni
10 92 GT2 Bill Auberlen BMW E92 M3 53 -7 lap -9.413 2 Bill Auberlen
11 45 GT2 Patrick Long Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 53 -7 lap -6.549 3 Patrick Long
12 4 GT2 Olivier Beretta Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 53 -7 lap -1.728 4 Olivier Beretta
13 01 GT2 Johannes van Overb Ferrari 430 GT 53 -7 lap -13.567 5 Johannes van Overb
14 61 GT2 Nic Jonsson Ferrari 430 GT 53 -7 lap -14.196 6 Nic Jonsson
15 90 GT2 Joey Hand BMW E92 M3 53 -7 lap -0.791 7 Dirk Mueller
16 17 GT2 Bryan Sellers Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 53 -7 lap -0.202 8 Wolf Henzler
17 36 LMPC Andy Wallace Oreca FLM09 53 -7 lap -65.145 3 Andy Wallace
18 02 GT2 Ed Brown Ferrari 430 GT 52 -8 lap -1 lap 9 Guy Cosmo
19 44 GT2 Richard Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 52 -8 lap -29.015 10 Richard Lietz
20 99 LMPC Christian Zugel Oreca FLM09 52 -8 lap -35.139 4 Gunnar Jeannette
21 3 GT2 Antonio Garcia Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 51 -9 lap -1 lap 11 Johnny O'Connell
22 81 GTC Leh Keen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 51 -9 lap -70.125 1 Leh Keen
23 32 GTC James Sofronas Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 51 -9 lap -30.183 2 James Sofronas
24 88 GTC Shane Lewis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 51 -9 lap -0.779 3 Shane Lewis
25 40 GT2 Andrea Robertson Doran Design Ford GT 51 -9 lap -41.748 12 David Murry
26 63 GTC Andy Lally Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 50 -10 lap -1 lap 4 Andy Lally
27 69 GTC Cory Friedman Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 50 -10 lap -9.236 5 Cory Friedman
28 80 GTC Luis Diaz Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 50 -10 lap -11.233 6 Luis Diaz
29 23 GTC Romeo Kapudija Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 49 -11 lap -1 lap 7 Romeo Kapudija
30 89 LMPC David Ducote Oreca FLM09 33 -27 lap -16 lap 5 Mitch Pagerey
31 11 LMPC Joel Feinberg Oreca FLM09 25 -35 lap -8 lap 6 Joel Feinberg
32 16 P2 Chris Dyson Lola B09 86/Mazda 20 -40 lap -5 lap 3 Chris Dyson
33 75 GT2 Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKRS 11 -49 lap -9 lap 13 Paul Gentilozzi
34 12 P1 Bryan Willman Lola B06 10/AER 0 -60 lap -11 lap 5 -
Ferrari chief issues warning  
Stefano Domenicali
Warning to McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull: Ferrari's one-two season-opening win in Bahrain last Sunday is just the start, and they believe they can do a lot better. Team chief Stefano Domenicali looked back on Ferrari's analysis of their first day triumph and beamed with pleasure, but ahead of the Melbourne Grand Prix a week on Sunday he only marked it with an eight out of ten.

'We had a pile of problems and we did well, so I have to say that given that trouble, the team did a good job, but I would say it was only an eight out of ten weekend. We can do better,' said Domenicali.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain led the way home after taking full advantage of German Sebastian Vettel's mid-race loss of power with his Red Bull-Renault car to snatch a great win, with Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa following him home in second.

'Of course, that was excellent, to finish first and second, an outstanding achievement,' said Domenicali.

'But it is a long season. And we had a long list of problems in Bahrain that we plan to fix before we reach Australia - we don't want to repeat them. So I hope we can be stronger, but we are very respectful too of our rivals. Yes, our car is competitive, but there are a lot of other teams that are very strong and we are ready for whatever lies ahead, I hope.'

KYMCO Announces National IZOD IndyCar Series Sweepstakes  KYMCO USA, in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series, Andretti Autosport Team IZOD driver Ryan Hunter-Reay and Team IZOD sponsor AirTran Airways, is launching the "Live Like an IZOD IndyCar Series Driver" sweepstakes, giving fans the opportunity to win a trip to the IZOD IndyCar Series season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The sweepstakes launch will coincide with the IZOD IndyCar Series race on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL on March 28, 2010. During the six month sweepstakes period, fans will have the opportunity to pick up a free entry coupon at IZOD IndyCar Series events by visiting the IZOD IndyCar Series Fan Zone and at participating KYMCO dealerships. After entering their information and code on the sweepstakes website, the winners will be notified by September 15, 2010. More ...
Chandhok: Debut tougher than expected  
Karun Chandhok
Karun Chandhok's short F1 debut last weekend was tougher than he expected and the Indian driver admits his Hispania (HRT) team faces a long, hard season.

Chandhok retired on lap two of last Sunday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix when he hit a bump and went off the track, having first driven the car in qualifying a day earlier.

"I knew my F1 debut was going to be tough but never realized it would be so tough," the 26-year-old told the Times of India.

"This was definitely not how imaged my F1 debut but unfortunately this is how it was."

"It was surreal," he added. "The paddock was very welcoming. Most of the drivers welcomed me, saying 'welcome to the gang'."

"The best moment was the drivers' parade... My mother later pointed out that only 24 people in the entire world were part of that little group and it felt great."

Keselowski to ask for boundaries in NASCAR meeting  
Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski wants NASCAR to explain the limits on the "boys, have at it" policy series officials are applying this season to self-policing between drivers. Keselowski said Friday he plans to ask NASCAR for a definition when he meets with series officials, Carl Edwards and their respective owners at Bristol Motor Speedway. The meeting, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, was called to discuss Edwards' intentional accident with Keselowski two weeks ago at Atlanta.

Keselowski's car went airborne after the contact, and Edwards' was placed on probation for three races for actions some felt warranted a suspension.

The deliberate contact was the first test since NASCAR decided to relax its stance on aggressive driving. More ...

Stoner tops final test day in Qatar  The MotoGP riders concluded their pre-season preparation last evening with another strong performance in the humid Qatar night, Casey Stoner was first followed by Valentino Rossi. This was the last time the riders will be on track before the first race, back at the same circuit in three weeks time.

Friday Test Times
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'55.353
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'55.860
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 1'55.879
4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'56.115
5. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'56.195
6. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'56.504
7. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'56.504
8. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'56.722
9. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 1'56.767
10. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'56.779
11. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 1'56.897
12. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'56.898
13. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1'56.935
14. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'57.222
15. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 1'57.223
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JAP) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 1'57.251
17. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'57.379

Losail: Record Lap C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1'55.153 Losail: Best Lap J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1'53.927

Britain’s Dean Stoneman joins Formula Two  
Dean Stoneman
Formula Renault UK race winner Dean Stoneman has become the latest driver to have signed up for the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship.

19-year-old Stoneman gained a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young prospects after a superb breakthrough year in the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship. Dean took three wins, nine podiums and three pole positions in his first year in the series – a better record than former Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s debut season in the same formula.

Dean’s performances earned him a nomination for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, won in the past by David Coulthard and reigning F1 champion Jenson Button. He remained in Formula Renault for the 2009 season, finishing fourth overall with one victory, eight podiums and one pole to his credit despite some misfortune and reliability issues. More ...

FIA tells 2011 entrants to express interest  (GMM)  Groups interested in filling the final slot on the F1 grid in 2011 have been invited to submit a "formal expression of interest" and a EUR1000 fee by 15 April.

In the wake of USF1's failure to race this season, the FIA opened a new selection process for a thirteenth team - as well as "one or more possible reserve entrants" - on Friday.

"The overall long-term interests of the championship will determine which candidates are selected," said the governing body.

The obvious candidates are USF1, who recently wanted its official entry to be carried over for 2011, and the Serbian outfit Stefan GP.

Rumors indicate that Stefan's Zoran Stefanovich attempted once again to merge with USF1 in order to race this season, but was told by FIA president Jean Todt that the American team's entry has definitely been revoked. More ...

NASCAR to test at Road America  NASCAR will conduct a test at Road America on Wednesday, March 24 to gather data to share among teams that will compete at the track on June 19, 2010 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series RA 200, Presented by Menards.

NASCAR has turned to Roush Fenway Racing and crew chief Mike Kelly to conduct the test while road-course ace Boris Said will be the driver. Said has 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts to his credit and 14 of those have come on road courses. He has collected two poles and six top-five finishes in those races. His best result was a second-place finish in the 2006 event in Mexico City from the pole. He has run in each of the three races in Mexico City and Montreal, however he won't compete in the June 19 event at Road America. That factor is a must for the test driver.

"Boris and RFR will provide plenty of data from Road America that we'll share with the teams so they can prepare their setups accordingly without being on the track," said Joe Balash, the director of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. "Their data will give the teams a starting point when they come in for a full day of practice the day before the official start of on-track activity.

"This is a demanding road course with multiple elevation changes and a number of hard braking areas that will create some exciting passing and challenging side-by-side racing. It's a long course - 4.048 miles - with 14 turns that offers great vantage points all around for the fans. We're excited to have the opportunity to race there."

tv news
Wind Tunnel Sunday  Dave Despain will be on vacation this week and Robin Miller will be hosting the show for the 2nd time.

Special Host  Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)

Featured Interview      Randy Bernard (CEO, Indy Racing League)

New Indy Racing League CEO, Randy Bernard, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday March 21st. Bernard comes to the sport of IndyCar racing from Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) where he served as CEO since 1995 and is credited with taking that organization to new heights.

He replaces Tony George at the IRL and has been given the task of rebuilding IndyCar racing into a profitable and sustainable sport that fans, sponsors, and television networks embrace.

Featured Interview      Damon Bradshaw (2009 Monster Jam Freestyle World Champion)

2009 Monster Jam Freestyle World Champion, Damon Bradshaw, will also be a featured interview on Wind Tunnel this Sunday. In his 4th season in the sport, Damon was previously a star in AMA Supercross...winning 25 events and is a 2-time winner of the prestigious Motocross Des Nations.

As driver of the Air Force Afterburner monster truck, Bradshaw claimed the biggest victory of short career last season when he won the Freestyle Championship at the World Finals in Las Vegas...a title he hopes to defend next week as the series heads back to Sin City.

This Week’s Races

Sprint CUP and Nationwide in Bristol
ALMS in Florida for the 12 Hours of Sebring
AMA Supercross in Arlington, TX

Harvick puts his team on notice  
Kevin Harvick

While Richard Childress Racing is enjoying a strong start to the 2010 season, including Kevin Harvick atop the Cup series points standings, Harvick said it’s too early to tell whether the improvement is enough to entice him to re-sign with RCR.

“The most important thing to me is that we take that next step – like making the cars better, making the engines better, making everything better,” Harvick said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “We need to keep the competitiveness of the team at the level where it needs to be because everybody is going to continuously get better.

“You can’t always play catch-up; at some point you have to be ahead to win a championship.” More ...

McLaren signs Magnussen's son  The son of former McLaren-Mercedes test driver Jan Magnussen, Kevin Magnussen, has been signed up by the McLaren team for its Young Driver program. Magnussen was runner up in the Formula Renault 2.0 Nothern European Cup last year and will move to the German F3 championship in 2010.

Kevin's father, Jan Magnussen, enjoyed his Formula 1 debut at McLaren replacing Mika Hakkinen for one race. He finished tenth and wouldn't return as a race driver until the Danish driver joined Stewart Ford in 1997.

The 17-year-old Kevin will now move a step closer to his ultimate dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver. He does realize though he will be closely watched by the McLaren team and thus there will be more pressure on the young driver. "I am now under constant surveillance and pressure but that motivates me a lot," Kevin said. "I now have this rare opportunity and know that there is just one chance to make it. Martin Whitmarsh has shown a lot of confidence in me and I will do my best not to disappoint him." GPUpdate.net

ACO expands participation of International Cup  The Automobile Club de l’Ouest – the governing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans – confirmed Friday the launch of the 2010 Intercontinental Cup with the 13th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta as the second of the three-race global championship.

Rémy Brouard, the General Manager of the ACO; Vincent Beaumesnil, the ACO Sports Manager; and American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n President and CEO Scott Atherton discussed the new initiative to increase the worldwide presence of Le Mans-sanctioned events. The 2010 Intercontinental Cup will feature three races on three continents: Silverstone (Great Britain) on September 12, Petit Le Mans (US) on October 2 and a yet-to-be determined event in China in early November.

New for the international competition is the inclusion of a championship for GT2 manufacturers to go alongside a similar title for LMP1 manufacturers. Beaumesnil also announced the addition of team championships for all four ACO-sanctioned classes. More ...

Renault catches a break from FIA  The FIA will allow Renault to make a 'large' number of improvements to its engines for cost and reliability reasons, even though the FIA has ruled out any form of power equalization measures for 2010.

Renault appealed to the FIA just prior to the start of the season requesting that changes be made allowed for its power unit. There were at the time certain suggestions that the FIA might implement allowances to equalize engine performance for 2010.

This comes after Renault's customer partner Red Bull Racing openly express concern that other makes had gained performance and reliability over the off season, despite a supposed engine freeze.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said: "I think the problem is if you don't allow some development, then you freeze in an advantage for one team or a disadvantage for another.

"So there has to be a balancing of that, otherwise we will end up with Mercedes-powered cars winning all the races - which I think is not good for F1. And other manufacturers may choose to leave F1 off of the back of that.

"The engine isn't supposed to be a key performance differentiator and therefore hopefully the ruling body will balance out somewhat the differences there at the moment."

Apparently, the FIA decided not to call this allowance 'equalization' because it of a lack of evidence that there was a big performance difference between the various power units.

Lauda predicts Schumacher back on top in Malaysia GP  
Niki Lauda
Three-time champion Niki Lauda is confident Michael Schumacher will be back at his very best by the time the F1 circus reaches Malaysia for the third round of the season.

Lauda returned to the sport in 1982 after two years in retirement and went on to win his third title in 1984. Lauda said Schumacher's comeback in Bahrain, where he qualified seventh and finished sixth, was as good as could have been expected from someone who had taken three years out of the sport. More ...

Solid field expected for Indy 500  It has been a scramble in recent years to ensure that the Indianapolis 500 has 33 competitors, but that does not seem to be a dilemma now for the Izod IndyCar Series.

There were 24 car-and-driver combinations in last weekend's season-opening race in Sao Paulo, Brazil -- the second-most for the series since 2003 -- and all are expected to participate at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis Star

Additionally for the 500, there are six other confirmed programs and plenty more being considered. More ...

Q&A with Cosworth's Mark Gallagher  Q: How was the Bahrain Grand Prix from Cosworth's point of view?
"After the many months of work developing and implementing our return as an engine supplier to Formula One it was good to finally get the racing underway. It was satisfying to see all four of our teams in action and to witness the three new teams enjoy their Formula One debuts. From an engine performance point of view, I think we can be very satisfied with the performance of the CA2010 in Bahrain. Both AT&T Williams drivers finished the race with Rubens picking up a championship point for tenth, while Lotus Racing achieved a significant milestone in having both cars secure a classified finish and produce a step-change in performance as a result of being able to race so effectively."

What about Virgin Racing and HRT?
"From a Cosworth perspective both teams worked well and although hampered by reliability issues, good progress was clearly being made. Virgin Racing have been able to take a lot of positives out of the weekend and Saturday's qualifying performance demonstrated the potential in the Virgin-Cosworth VR01. In HRT's case, the mere fact that they got two cars ready for the race was an achievement in itself and, in that respect, Cosworth's provision of the full electronics solution in only three weeks was a key factor. Bruno Senna's retirement was caused by a broken water fitting from the radiator which meant he lost all the water from his car. The implications of that failure on his engine were apparent for all to see and the engine is being returned to our headquarters." More ...

Williams wants to keep Hulkenberg for 'long time'  (GMM)  With Rosberg now at Mercedes, Williams has turned its attention to securing a long-term future with F1's new 'Nico'.

As Nico Rosberg's contract with the Grove based team ran out last year, Sir Frank Williams said he would "most certainly like to keep him" in 2010.

Instead, the 24-year-old accepted an offer to join Mercedes' new works team, where in Bahrain last weekend he outpaced the great Michael Schumacher all weekend.

Williams replaced Rosberg with another young German, the reigning GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg, who struggled all weekend on his F1 debut in Bahrain to keep up with the vastly experienced Rubens Barrichello. More ...

Domenicali gives Bahrain win only an 8 out of 10  Stefano Domenicali reckons Ferrari's performance over the Bahrain weekend rates only an eight out of ten as there is still room for improvement.

Qualifying second and third for the season-opening grand prix, Ferrari were forced to change the engines in both F10s on Sunday morning, stating at the time that it was a 'precautionary' measure.

The day improved for the Scuderia as Fernando Alonso went on to claim the victory, beating his team-mate Felipe Massa to the checkered flag. More ...

Mercedes saying no to engine equalization - Horner  (GMM)  Red Bull continues to rail against the supposed horsepower advantage enjoyed at present by its rivals with Mercedes engines.

After several engine problems last year, the Renault powered team attempted to switch to Mercedes for 2010, but according to Helmut Marko was vetoed not only by the marque's Brackley based works team but also by McLaren.

Instead, Red Bull has applied to the FIA to allow Renault to improve the performance of its engine, but the governing body has declined, insisting that it is instead up to the best engine makers to agree to de-tune their power plants.

"We have 3.5 to 4 per cent less power than Mercedes," Red Bull's team boss Christian Horner told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport. More ...

Ford MoCo getting even greener  Ford's research-and-development center in Dagenham in Essex will receive funds to pay for the research, development and manufacture of low-carbon technology for both cars and commercial vehicles.

Ford's factory in Bridgend is gearing up to produce a new EcoBoost engine that will debut in the new Ford C-MAX this fall.

Its Southampton plant also will receive new investment, as will its Dagenham factory. Detroit News

Feds blame N.Y. Prius accident on human error  Ed Note: Sure, Toyota had a big "oops!" with their various pedal problems. However, how come we need to be the ones to say that this should not be some kind of panic situation at all? Has it ever occurred to anyone that you can simply turn off the key and hit the frikking brake? Really. Or, just hit the brake. It's not like the Prius exactly has a powerful engine anyway. The brakes will overpower the engine in most cars. If its the brakes that are a problem, that is what the emergency brake is for after all. Though it is a problem for Toyota, the hysteria is really the product of sadly inept drivers we put on the road, in the interest of selling a lot of cars.

Federal investigators say last week's highly publicized accident involving a suspected runaway Toyota Prius in New York was caused by human error, not bad brakes.

"Information retrieved from the vehicle's onboard computer systems indicated there was no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open," NHTSA said Thursday in a statement about a Harrison, N.Y., crash.

NHTSA officials said the findings mean the accident was caused by the driver. More ...

Franck Montagny joins Superleague grid with  Superleague Formula by Sonangol is delighted to announce that reigning French champions, FC Girondins de Bordeaux will join the grid for its third season in 2010.

Alongside Olympique Lyonnais, Bordeaux will become the second French club to race in Superleague Formula, meaning the two Ligue 1 giants will extend their rivalry from the football pitch to the race circuit, ensuring huge interest this season, particularly during the club’s home race at Magny-Cours on 22-23 May. More ...

Tom Kristensen's LeMans countdown  
Tom Kristensen

"Hello again! Today I’m writing to you from Florida where we’ve been busy testing our Le Mans car for this year, the R15 plus, since Monday. Before I left for the United States, I made a quick stop at Audi Sport’s workshop in Ingolstadt. Even there I could really feel that the new season is just around the corner and everyone’s just dying for the first race to start – whether they’re part of our sports car team, the DTM squad or in customer sport with the R8 LMS.

This feeling has even been stronger at our first test with the 2010 Audi R15 TDI. Everyone’s fully motivated, focused and has got just one thing on their mind: to give us drivers a car on June 12/13 for the Le Mans 24 hours in which we can fight for victory. More ...
Spanish MotoGP replaces cancelled Hungary race  The MotoGP due to take place in Hungary this year has been replaced by a fourth race in Spain.

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) said that the Hungarian round was being cancelled because construction work at the circuit would not be finished in time for the September 19 race.

UK newspaper The Guardian reports that the Grand Prix of Aragon at the Motorland Aragon circuit will replace it, on the same weekend.

Spain's other three MotoGP races are at Jerez in May, Barcelona in July, and Valencia in November.

Former F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan to make Truck debut  
Narain Karthikeyan.  NASCAR's penetration into the Indian market has been huge. There is more media coverage in India than Karun Chandhok in Formula One
Former Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan will become the first driver from India to race in NASCAR when he competes in the Truck Series’ Kroger 250 March 27 at Martinsville Speedway.

Karthikeyan will drive the No. 60 Wyler Racing truck in a partnership with Starbeast Motorsports. Karthikeyan, who raced for the Jordan Formula One team in 2005, tested an ARCA car at Daytona in December. He is currently racing in the A1 Grand Prix and the Le Mans Series.

“The opportunity to compete in a NASCAR series is a dream come true for me,” Karthikeyan said in a release from the team. “I have raced all over the world, but this is a different kind of challenge for me and I look forward to learning everything I can about racing in this environment.

“NASCAR is known for its passionate fans. I am excited to be introducing India to this sport and hope to help develop an equally passionate fan base there.” More ...

BigSpot.com sponsoring NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott  As previously announced, BigSpot.com will be sponsoring NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott and the Braun Racing Team in 2010. BigSpot.com's sponsorship schedule will be as follows: More ...
track news
Another pink slip at IMS  After 21/2 years as vice president of marketing and communications at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chris Schwartz resigned Thursday. A former marketing director at Penske Racing, Schwartz's responsibilities at IMS covered all marketing, ticket sales and customer service activities for the 500, Brickyard 400 and MotoGP race  IndyStar
McLaren launches MP4-12C  
At a press conference in the McLaren Technology Centre based in Woking, UK, Chairman Ron Dennis confirmed McLaren Automotives ambition to compete head-to-head with the world's best high-performance sports car brands. The MP4-12C is the first model in this range of lightweight, high-quality, mid-engined two-seat sports cars, and will be produced at the new £40 million McLaren Production Centre. Up to 1,000 12Cs will be produced in 2011 and will be distributed through a global network of dedicated McLaren retailers in all major markets.  Click image to play video.  More ...
Harvick calls Edwards a 'fake'  
Kevin Harvick had no intention of holding back when asked about the Carl Edwards Brad Keselowski Atlanta incident on Wednesday's "Bubba The Love Sponge" radio show (www.BTLS.com).
Harvick had strong words for Edwards, but supported NASCAR's decision to place Edwards on a three-race probation.
Harvick said, "I'll be honest with you, I'm not a huge Carl Edwards fan. I think he's fake as hell. But, for me the whole situation is, I think NASCAR handled it good. I wasn't critical of it, I just said that I guess I grew up getting in trouble in NASCAR in the wrong era because it cost me a hell of a lot more money than it did these guys. But, that's OK. It's a new era and new things and new restrictions and I agree with letting the drivers handle things between themselves."
"I still think if Carl had to do it over again he would do it a little bit differently. You can make life hell on somebody for a long time and they can think your going to wreck them for a year, so it's all how you want to use it. It's all just how you want to use that and for how long you want to use it before you get even. Either way, you at least wait until the corner, you don't crash them in the middle of the straightaway. I wouldn't have handled it that particular way, I would of at least waited until the corner." - John 'Captain Thunder' Nevins - www.CaptainThunderRacing.com
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Red Bull equipment in road crash near Melbourne
  • Now Monza wants GP contract through 2021
  • Schu says he was faster than Rosberg in opener
    11 per cent of McLaren still owned by Mercedes
  • Prost to reprise stewards role in 2010
  • New teams battling for 'millions' in 2010 - Gascoyne
  • No jetlag for fast-moving Kovalainen

Red Bull equipment in road crash near Melbourne
(GMM)  A truck carrying equipment of the Red Bull team has been involved in a road crash near Melbourne.

A witness told local radio station 3AW that the incident occurred on the major Princes Freeway about 20 minutes from the city.

The witness said there were two trucks in the convoy carrying containers, and "Red Bull Racing is written over the side of the containers".

The Age newspaper quoted a police spokesman as saying a car was also involved in the accident, which was "nothing serious" despite "some debris" being scattered.

An ambulance spokesman said a 32-year-old man was treated at the scene.

The newspaper said the Renault-powered RB6 cars had been due to arrive in the Albert Park pitlane on Friday. More ...

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