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DATE News (chronologically)
03/26/14
promazda
Florida Driver Pigot Seeks to Continue his Winning Ways in St. Petersburg  
Spencer Pigot
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will kick off its 2014 season with a pair of races this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. A stellar 20-car lineup will contest the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, headed by Orlando's Spencer Pigot, a rising star of American motorsports who took the recent four-race Cooper Tires Winterfest mini-series by storm with two victories and four pole positions.

For the second year in a row, Allied Building Products returns as title sponsor of the doubleheader which will further challenge its competitors with standing starts. After serving as presenting sponsor for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at several races the past three years, Allied extended its support to select Pro Mazda races beginning in 2013. Allied's guests serve as trophy presenters and honorary starters, in addition to trackside entertaining and dinners with series drivers. More ...

03/26/14
usf2000
Local Teenager Enerson Begins USF2000 Title Challenge in St. Petersburg  A field of over 20 talented young drivers representing nine different nations will line up for a pair of races this weekend as the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda gets under way with the Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Among those expected to be fighting for top honors is 17-year-old high school student RC Enerson, from nearby New Port Richey, Fla., who won the recent six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest mini-series with locally based Team E Racing and thereby marked himself among the "regular season" title favorites.

USF2000 represents the first step of the Mazda Road to Indy, one of the most successful driver development programs in the world which provides a unique, scholarship-funded path all the way from karting via USF2000, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will see action this weekend in support of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar Series opener. More ...

03/26/14
gp3
GP3 Series returns to action in Estoril  
The 2014 GP3 Series gets underway tomorrow with the first official two day test session at the Circuito Estoril in Portugal. GP3 enters its fifth season of existence with racing kicking off in Barcelona in May.

The paddock welcomes back many familiar faces, along with some new recruits, all eager to follow in the footsteps of our reigning GP3 champion and current Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat.

Current Team Champions ART Grand Prix have brought in the experienced Alex Fontana and Dino Zamparelli and welcome German rookie Marvin Kirchhofer. Arden International (formally known as MW Arden) line-up with the double race-winning pairing of Robert Visoiu and Patric Niederhauser, whilst British driver Jann Mardenborough will make his debut in the Series. More ...
03/26/14
irl
Tino Belli Joins INDYCAR as Director of Aerodynamic Development  INDYCAR announced today that longtime development and race engineer Tino Belli will join the sanctioning body's technical group as Director of Aerodynamic Development in early April.

Belli, whose motorsports roots date to 1984 as chief aerodynamicist at March Engineering, will oversee implementation of the distinct aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

He also will provide INDYCAR data collection to determine track-specific configurations; provide direction and requirements for future regulations; support on-track, wind tunnel and straight line testing; and support the technical inspection process. More ...

03/26/14
track news
Sonoma Raceway Aims To Expand Operations By Hosting Non-Racing Events  Sonoma Raceway "will seek permission to hold non-racing events" at the track, seeking to host a "four-day rock festival as a way to refresh its operations and restore some lost revenue," according to Jeremy Hay of the Santa Rosa PRESS DEMOCRAT.

Track President & GM Steve Page said that the facility on Monday unveiled plans to "seek county approval for changes in its use permit that would redefine one of California's largest motor sports complexes as a 'special events and entertainment' facility." Page said, "Our use permit reflects a snapshot of activity at the raceway nearly two decades ago. The professional sports and entertainment industry has changed dramatically in that time and our business model needs to change with it.” More ...

03/26/14
racing news
Andretti Sports Marketing Awarded Volkswagen Experiential Activations  Andretti Sports Marketing announced today that it has been selected as a provider of experiential marketing services for Volkswagen of America, Inc.  Beginning in 2014, as part of a multi-year agreement, Andretti Sports Marketing will manage experiential activations for Volkswagen at events throughout North America.  The platform includes auto racing activations, Volkswagen enthusiast experiences, and support of Volkswagen's partnership with USA Cycling as its official automobile partner. More ...
03/26/14
usf2000
Local Teenager Enerson Begins USF2000 Title Challenge in St. Petersburg  
R.C. Enerson celebrating one of his two victories at Cooper Tires Winterfest
Palmetto, Fla. - A field of over 20 talented young drivers representing nine different nations will line up for a pair of races this weekend as the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda gets under way with the Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Among those expected to be fighting for top honors is 17-year-old high school student RC Enerson, from nearby New Port Richey, Fla., who won the recent six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest mini-series with locally based Team E Racing and thereby marked himself among the "regular season" title favorites.

USF2000 represents the first step of the Mazda Road to Indy, one of the most successful driver development programs in the world which provides a unique, scholarship-funded path all the way from karting via USF2000, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will see action this weekend in support of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar Series opener.

The new season will feature an intriguing mix of returning veterans and rookies, all of them intent upon following in the footsteps of other rising stars such as Matthew Brabham and Scott Hargrove. Brabham parlayed his 2012 MAZDASPEED scholarship prize into another title-winning season in Pro Mazda in 2013, and now will attempt the trifecta as he graduates into Indy Lights with another fully paid ride. Hargrove, the 2013 champion, has plans to follow the same route as he graduates into Pro Mazda with his own MAZDASPEED scholarship.

Enerson, who finished third in the 2012 National Class and went on to place ninth in the top-level Championship division last season, is improving all the time. He burst out of the blocks quickly at Winterfest, winning twice and adding two more podium finishes, and is keen to perform at the highest level in front of his home crowd in St. Petersburg. More ...

03/26/14
irl
Tino Belli Joins INDYCAR as Director of Aerodynamic Development  
INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, March 26, 2014) - INDYCAR announced today that longtime development and race engineer Tino Belli will join the sanctioning body's technical group as Director of Aerodynamic Development in early April.

Belli, whose motorsports roots date to 1984 as chief aerodynamicist at March Engineering, will oversee implementation of the distinct aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

He also will provide INDYCAR data collection to determine track-specific configurations; provide direction and requirements for future regulations; support on-track, wind tunnel and straight line testing; and support the technical inspection process.

As part of its long-range focus on innovation, INDYCAR announced last June that aero kits would be introduced in 2015 and include separate specifications for superspeedways and road/street courses and short ovals. Beginning with 2016, additional engine manufacturers and/or third party vendors will be eligible to be an INDYCAR-approved supplier. Correspondingly, Chevrolet and Honda will be able to upgrade their aero kits, which will be approved through homologation. More ...

03/26/14
il
Vittorio Ghirelli to Pilot #22 for Team Moore Racing in 2014  
Vittorio Ghirelli will contest the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship.
Pittsboro, IN March 25, 2014 - Team Moore Racing announced today that it has signed 19 year-old Italian Vittorio Ghirelli to drive the #22 car for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2014 season. The young Italian was the Auto GP World Series Champion (with 12 podiums, three poles, and seven fastest laps) as well as the Under 21 Auto GP World Series Champion in 2013. He has raced in the WSR 3.5 series with some top ten finishes (2012), F Renault 2.0 ALPS (five podiums) and Eurocup (2011) and Italian F3 (2010).

"It's very exciting and challenging to come and race here in the US, as my entire career was mainly concentrated in Europe. I am sure TMR is the right place to be, being one of the most competitive teams in Indy Lights. The atmosphere in the team is a winning atmosphere which is what a driver needs to feel comfortable and go for it," said Ghirelli. "For sure, I feel very confident after winning the Auto GP World Series Championship last year. And, even though everything is new for me here, I will not hesitate to give it my all," he continued. "I have to thank my family, my sponsors, Mr. Moore and Mr. Wood who are all making this happen. Without their help I wouldn't be here. Let's get started!" he concluded.

Team Co-owner Mark Moore added: "We are thrilled to add Vittorio to our driver line-up. This will be an exciting season with two young guns in the TMR cars. Vittorio may be young, but he is already an accomplished driver and champion. It will be great to have two strong contenders in the hunt for the championship this year. It is always a pleasure to work with young drivers in accomplishing their goals in our series on their way to IndyCar. It is what Indy Lights is all about."

The season kicks off this weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

Team Moore Racing PR

03/26/14
uscc
Tudor Joins Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sponsors  
TUDOR Watch U.S.A. now the Official Timepiece of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 25, 2014) - Race officials announced today that TUDOR Watch U.S.A. is an Official Sponsor and the Official Timepiece for the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to run April 11-13.

As part of its sponsorship of the Grand Prix, TUDOR will also entitle the top-of-the-line hospitality suites available during race weekend, the TUDOR Pit Row Suites and TUDOR Pit Lane Club.

In addition, TUDOR is the Entitlement Partner of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, a merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series, running under the auspices of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The 13-race series makes its third stop of 2014 on the streets of Long Beach with the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase, slated to take the green flag at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. The series has already run at Daytona and Sebring. More ...

03/26/14
pro mazda
Team Pelfrey Set for St. Petersburg Pro Mazda Season Opener  
Team Pelfrey set for this weekend's Pro Mazda season-opener.
PALMETTO, FLA. (March 25, 2014) - Team Pelfrey will close out a hectic off-season this week by traveling the short distance from its new base in Palmetto to the streets of St. Petersburg where its talented, multi-national, three-driver lineup will chase victory in the opening two races of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dalton Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada and Brandon Newey, from Indianapolis, Ind., are all expected to challenge for honors on the demanding and unforgiving 1.8-mile downtown street circuit. The venue will play host to all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy (Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000) in addition to the headline Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg - the opening round of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Derani, 20, is making the move to North America after achieving success in Formula 3 in Europe during recent seasons, while both Kellett, also 20, and Newey, 21, are stepping up from the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. More ...

03/26/14
irl
St. Petersburg 1 of only 5 races on ABC  
St. Pete and 4 other races get ABC TV coverage.  The rest are on NBC Sports Network that no one watches.  All races should be on ABC so IndyCar could discontinue their Leader Card welfare program
In one of racing’s most picturesque settings, the 2014 season for the Verizon IndyCar Series opens this weekend with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

ABC will have a live telecast of the event on Sunday, March 30, with pre-race at 3 p.m. ET. The green flag will fly at 3:27 p.m.

The race will be run on a 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary racing circuit that includes St. Petersburg city streets as well as part of an airport. With the Florida city’s skyline and adjacent Tampa Bay providing a scenic backdrop, the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series will race for 110 laps.

The new season looks to be one of IndyCar’s most intriguing with a deep and competitive field of drivers and cars. More ...

03/26/14
wec
Rebellion Racing renews Andrea Andrea Belicchi  
Andrea Belicchi
REBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that the team has extended the contract of Andrea Belicchi for their 2014 campaign in the FIA WEC.

The Italian driver has been part of the team since the beginning and has successfully driven in GT, LMP2 and LMP1 with the Swiss team.
In 2013, Andrea won two rounds of the LMP1 Endurance Trophy at Fuji (and 3rd overall) and Shanghai in the FIA World Endurance Championship on top of 3 other class podium finishes in the year.

Andrea Belicchi: "I am delighted at the prospect of being again a REBELLION Racing driver in 2014. The championship will be really exiting with the new regulations, all the new cars and our new R-One LM P1. I have followed the development of the car and was involved at some stages of the development. I can't wait to drive it! More ...

03/26/14
irl
Briscoe racing for IndyCar title 'and nothing less'  
Ryan Briscoe
They don’t come much nicer or faster than Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe.

Nice in the fact that he is polite and courteous, always ready to talk about racing …

Fast — well, fast enough to have won eight times in IndyCar and to have captured the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in 2012 and qualify second in 2009.

Briscoe, 32, who is driving the No. 8 Dallara/Chevrolet this year for Chip Ganassi Racing, was in the Detroit area Tuesday to pump the start of the IndyCar season at St. Petersburg, Fla., this weekend and to visit Windsor and promote ticket sales to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix doubleheader on May 30-June 1. More ...

03/26/14
irl
Detroit Grand Prix renews partnership with City of Windsor  
Detroit GP
The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is proud to continue to work closely with its neighbors across the Detroit River as the event has renewed its partnership with the City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. As a part of the enhanced relationship in 2014, Canadian fans will once again be able to experience an easy, safe and cost-effective way to cross the international border and enjoy the world-class auto racing, exciting off-track activities and family fun during the Grand Prix, May 30 – June 1 at beautiful Belle Isle Park.

Through this unique partnership, Canadian fans will be able to purchase a special Grand Prix ticket and transportation package through the City of Windsor.

The Canadian ticket package includes a reserved seat in the Canadian section of Grandstand 1, located at the start/finish line on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course. Also included is a round-trip ticket to and from Belle Isle on a dedicated Transit Windsor bus and free access to the fan activity areas including the Meijer Fan Zone as well as concerts on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage all weekend long at the Grand Prix. Single-day tickets start at $56 CAD per person (HST included) for the lower rows and $76 CAD per person (HST included) for the upper rows of the grandstand. More ...

03/26/14
irl
Conway To Debut in No. 20 ECR/Fuzzy's Vodka Chevy this weekend  
Mike Conway
Mike Conway has been working hard in the off-season to prepare for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series season opener in the streets of St. Petersburg, the 110-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Conway, a former street race winner at Long Beach and Detroit, makes his debut in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in Sunday’s (March 30) main event at the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit located near the St. Petersburg harbor.

The 30-year-old England native won last year’s race in the streets of Belle Isle near Detroit and captured the prestigious Long Beach Grand Prix in 2011. In addition, he won the 2006 Macau street race over several current Formula One drivers. More ...

03/26/14
nassprint
Earnhardt, Jr. wants NASCAR to address Hamlin's issue  
Denny Hamlin
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to know why there hasn't been more information about what caused Denny Hamlin to miss Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin was taken to a local hospital shortly before the race with what Joe Gibbs Racing said was a sinus infection that affected his vision. But Earnhardt wondered aloud why there has been no official NASCAR statement or further explanation from Hamlin on what happened.

No further updates were expected from NASCAR or Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday and Hamlin has not been officially cleared for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt said there were questions because he'd never heard of a driver being pulled from the race shortly before the start after not being cleared to race by NASCAR. "I'm worried the perception is bad for NASCAR and the perception is bad for Denny," Earnhardt said Tuesday. " More ...

03/26/14
wec
Audi unveils the new R18 e-tron quattro  
Audi began the 2014 WEC season with a spectacular appearance. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro did not do its initial kilometers at Le Mans on the legendary race track in Western France but in public traffic. Audi factory driver Tom Kristensen, with nine victories under his belt the record holder of the Le Mans 24 Hours, drove the diesel hybrid sports car from the Saint-Julien du Mans cathedral in the city center to the famous race track.

Accompanied by TV cameras and photographers, and featured in a live worldwide broadcast on the internet, Audi’s new LMP1 race car completed the near-ten-kilometer distance through the city in a motorcade, did a lap on the Circuit Bugatti and arrived in front of the race track’s modern Welcome Center amid the applause of the invited international journalists and guests. “I’ve been competing at Le Mans since 1997 but this was absolutely new for me, too, and very exciting,” said Tom Kristensen, who in 2006 had driven the revolutionary Audi R10 TDI on its world premiere – in Paris – in public traffic as well. More ...
03/26/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Renault expecting more problems with their Power Unit in Sepang
    Renault expecting 'issues' in Malaysia
  • De Silvestro's F1 race chance '1 per cent' - report
  • Sepang not joining chorus to make F1 louder
  • Montagny doubts Lotus can return to the top
  • Ex F1 doctor thinks 'really bad news' about Schu coming
  • F1 race going ahead despite Malaysian plane crash
  • Williams: FOTA void can be filled
  • Majority Of Germans Oppose Inaugural Russian F1 GP Due To Crimea Crisis
  • Eddie Jordan launches his new Sunseeker 155 yacht
  • The FIA knew seven years ago the tree huggers would win More ...
03/25/14
fe
Trulli applauds new Formula E car following test drive  
Jarno Trulli
Grand Prix winner Jarno Trulli has applauded the fully-electric Formula E car – the Spark-Renault SRT_01E – following a recent test drive at the La Ferte Gaucher circuit near Choisy-le-Roi, France.

The 39-year-old Italian, who last week signed up to the Championship’s Drivers’ Club, spent a whole day at the wheel of the now fully-tested single-seater using the final race-going 200kw (270bhp) battery.

Trulli is one of the most experienced drivers in the history of F1, competing in 256 Grand Prix and lying third on the all-time entry list, behind Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and joint with Riccardo Patrese. He was renowned for his qualifying pace and during his 15-year F1 career has driven for Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault – where he secured a memorable win on the streets of Monte Carlo – Toyota and Lotus (now Caterham). More ...

03/25/14
irl
Honda Unveils 2014 V6 Twin-turbo IndyCar Engine  
Honda HI14RTT engine
In anticipation of the season opening race at St. Petersburg this weekend, Honda Performance Development (HPD) is showing off its new HI14RTT engine that will power seven teams in this year’s Verizon IndyCar series.

Although not fully dressed with the required twin Borg Warner turbochargers, the official photo of the 2.2-liter V6 does reveal major changes to the air box to accommodate twin inlets when compared to the previous HI12R. The electrical wiring is also different as are the intake manifold and various plumbing lines.

While both Honda and Chevrolet, which supplies engines to IndyCar teams through its British partner Ilmor (follow this link for more info), were allowed to make designated designed for homologation this year, the overall package remains quite similar to the previous generation — with the big exception being the turbos. More ...

03/25/14
f1
Ecclestone made Melbourne a deal they rejected  
Melbourne
Bernie Ecclestone tried to lump Victoria with a watered-down Grand Prix contract that would have cost taxpayers more and robbed the state of unique Melbourne branding beamed to the world.

Melbourne’s Grand Prix almost came to a screeching end last year, the Herald Sun can reveal, when the billionaire British businessman tried to force a deal that would have removed sweetheart conditions written into the Albert Park contract.

Mr. Ecclestone tried to get Melbourne to sign up to a "global contract" with standardized conditions in line with other F1 races throughout the world, considered a "deal-breaker" by Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker, who took several months to broker a different deal. More ...

03/25/14
irl
Indy 500 winner’s daughter set to sing in St. Pete (Update)  UPDATE Photos added.

03/25/14
Anna de Ferran
Anna de Ferran, the daughter of 2003 Indy 500 winner and two-time IndyCar Champion (2000 and 2001), Gil de Ferran, is used to basking in her father’s glory, but this year at the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (March 30th on ABC), she will be the focus of attention as she sings ‘God Bless America’ during the pre-race ceremonies.

At 19 years of age, this will be the young singer and songwriter’s biggest ‘gig’ by far – a fact not lost on her greatest fan, her father Gil, who will be happy, in this instance, to take a back seat.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Anna,” said Gil. “She has been working on her repertoire and performing in small venues back in the UK and over here near our home in Fort Lauderdale, but this will be a tremendous opportunity for her to perform in front of a much larger audience.  Although it will be very daunting for her it will also be a familiar setting with lots of familiar faces. She has been brought up in and around the motorsport community and attended her first race as a tiny baby in 1995; it is perfect that she is able to combine her two passions – music and motorsport – for this audience.” More ...
03/25/14
nassprint
Richard Petty's wife dies (update)  UPDATE
Richard and Lynda Petty at Richard NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction in 2010
The following is a brief statement from the NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley on the passing of Lynda Petty.

"On behalf of the entire NASCAR Hall of Fame team, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Richard, Kyle, Sharon, Lisa, Rebecca and the entire Petty family on the passing of Lynda Petty. Lynda was such an incredible person in so very many ways, far too numerous to count. In addition to being a devoted wife to Richard and an incredible mother and grandmother, she was a tireless worker for the causes that benefited others—such as helping start the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary, serving on as a member of the Randolph County School Board for 16 years and as chair for eight years and on numerous other boards and volunteer capacities. She always met everyone with her big smile and warm, welcoming personality and charm. Lynda will be dearly missed but her legacy and impact on so many will live on forever. " 

Victory Junction's COO, Austin Petty, makes a statement on the passing of his grandmother, Lynda Petty: More ...

03/25/14
irl
Bourdais pumped to start season  
Sebastien Bourdais
Four-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his KVSH Racing debut this weekend at the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 28-30, 2014 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, which is where he lives.

Bourdais, who will pilot the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine on the challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit, will be making his first start for KVSH after agreeing to drive for the team following the conclusion of the 2013 season.

"I am really pumped for the start of the season with KVSH Racing and all my sponsors; Hydroxycut, Circle K, Mistic E-Cigs, GEICO, Plantronics, American Racing Wheels, everyone," Bourdais said. "The team and I came to an agreement early and I think that has paid off in terms of getting a full off-season of testing. I think overall, things went well, but you never really know until you get to a race. At this point, based on our testing, I'm confident we will be competitive and I am looking forward to getting started." More ...

03/25/14
irl
Environmental Rail Solutions to sponsor the #77 car in St. Pete  There have been lots of questions about what sponsor will be on Simon Pagenaud's bright blue No. 77 car in 2014.  The team announced today that at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Environmental Rail Solutions will be featured on his sidepods.
03/25/14
track news
Official statement on the passing of Road America board member Jim Jeffords  A statement from Road America President and General Manager, George Bruggenthies, about the death of long time Road America board member and racer, Jim Jeffords:

"Jim Jeffords was the definitive example of a gentlemen racer with a heart of gold. He loved racing for the thrill of competition, not for the money. Jim will be best remembered for how his passion for racing carried over into many successful years behind the wheel and many more beyond that serving the fans, volunteers, shareholders and employees here at Road America. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's family and friends." More ...

03/25/14
IRL
uscc
Tudor joins Long Beach sponsor family  
Race officials announced today that TUDOR Watch U.S.A. is an Official Sponsor and the Official Timepiece for the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to run April 11-13.

As part of its sponsorship of the Grand Prix, TUDOR will also entitle the top-of-the-line hospitality suites available during race weekend, the TUDOR Pit Row Suites and TUDOR Pit Lane Club.

In addition, TUDOR is the Entitlement Partner of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, a merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series, running under the auspices of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The 13-race series makes its third stop of 2014 on the streets of Long Beach with the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase, slated to take the green flag at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. The series has already run at Daytona and Sebring. More ...
03/25/14
irl
Rahal trailer catches fire  The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) team transporter caught on fire en route to the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg last night. Transporter drivers Phil Davis and Paul Sheehan discovered the fire while in Louisville, Kentucky, approximately two hours from the team’s Brownsburg race shop. It is believed that the fire originated in the engineering lounge where the damage was restricted. The exact cause is under investigation.

The No. 15 race cars to be driven by Graham Rahal and most of the racing equipment was not damaged due to the early efforts of Davis and Sheehan as well as the Zoneton Fire Protection team, who responded within a few minutes. The transporter returned to the race shop last night and the equipment is being transferred to another transporter and will depart today.

03/25/14
f1
Only alternative to Renault is own engine - Mateschitz  (GMM)  The only missing link in Red Bull's title campaign for 2014 is a 'state of the art' engine.

That is the view of billionaire team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who told the Austrian news agency APA on Tuesday that Red Bull's only alternative to struggling supplier Renault would be for the team to build its own engine.

Asked if all of Red Bull's current problems are in the area of Renault's new turbo V6 'power unit', Mateschitz answered: "Yes.

"I think our car is once again 'state of the art', but in order to prove this, it also needs a perfect power unit in terms of hardware and software," he insisted. More ...

03/25/14
irl
RLL Team Transporter Damaged Due to Fire  
Thankfully, everyone from RLL is ok, and the damage appears minimal. The team transporter caught on fire en route to this weekend's season opening race at St. Pete.
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 25, 2014) - The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) team transporter caught on fire en route to the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg last night. Transporter drivers Phil Davis and Paul Sheehan discovered the fire while in Louisville, Kentucky, approximately two hours from the team's Brownsburg race shop. It is believed that the fire originated in the engineering lounge where the damage was restricted. The exact cause is under investigation.

The No. 15 race cars to be driven by Graham Rahal and most of the racing equipment was not damaged due to the early efforts of Davis and Sheehan as well as the Zoneton Fire Protection team, who responded within a few minutes. The transporter returned to the race shop last night and the equipment is being transferred to another transporter and will depart today.

03/25/14
irl
Franchitti to Drive Camaro Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car  
Franchitti
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It's the eighth time a Camaro has served as the pace car, starting in 1967 - and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race.

Franchitti won the Indy 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012 and he is only the third driver ever to win at least three consecutive IndyCar titles - among four championships overall. Franchitti's appearance in the Camaro Z/28 pace car signals a new start in his career as he embarks on a driver development role with Chip Ganassi Racing, which will use Chevrolet power in the 2014 IndyCar season. More ...

03/25/14
IRL
2014 Last Indy 500 for Jim Nabors  At Jim Nabors’ sprawling Diamond Head beachside retreat, photos with silver screen legends such as Debbie Reynolds and Carol Burnett are scattered throughout his house, revealing a glimpse into Hollywood’s glamorous past.

In one framed photo, Nabors stands in a crowd with TV stars Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke and Bea Arthur, to name a few.

But the man who has starred in television and films, recorded numerous albums and headlined a show in Vegas for 35 years says the enormity of his fame still hasn’t hit him.

“I just never think of that,” he says. “It was just a lot of fun work, and I felt very blessed to be able to do that.” More ...
03/25/14
f1
gp3
Force India adds GP3 team  Sahara Force India is delighted to announce a further expansion of its driver development program as it enters GP3 in partnership with Hilmer Motorsport.

The expanded programme, which will see Hilmer compete in the series with three cars under Sahara Force India colours, follows a similar deal for the GP2 series. Together with Sahara Force India’s successful Academy programme, the GP3 partnership represents a logical step towards creating a full motorsport ladder for talented drivers.

The GP3 team will make its first on-track appearance at the Jerez test on April 10-11, while the racing debut will take place in Barcelona at the beginning of May. More ...
03/25/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Will Mateschitz make good on his threat to pull his 4 Red Bull cars out of F1?
    Renault ends road car deal with Caterham
  • Designer doubts Mercedes to dominate
  • Melbourne pace 'was a surprise' - Vettel
  • Sirotkin to push for F1 license in Sauber test
  • Lauda hits back at F1's 'new era' critics
  • Marussia hopes Red Bull loses appeal
  • Red Bull Owner Threatens To Quit F1 More ...
03/25/14
racing news
15-year-old Florida girl killed attempting to qualify for first race  
Niokoa Johnson
A 15-year-old girl died Sunday from injuries she sustained the day before while racing at Bubba Raceway Park off Gainesville Road north of Ocala.

Niokoa Johnson was conducting a time trial in a race-ready Nissan Sentra at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. This was her first time on the track and she was the only driver on the track when the crash occurred, according to a Marion County Sheriff's Office news release.

Witnesses reported she was making a second lap toward the north end of the track when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a concrete barrier. More ...

03/25/14
f1
Mediapro Purchases Rights For Free, Pay-TV F1 Rights In Latin America From '15-19  
Spanish driver Fernando Alonso
Spanish multimedia group Mediapro "plans to start a regional 24-hour Formula One channel after acquiring the series' rights for most of Central and South America and the Caribbean," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Mediapro said in an e-mailed statement that it "bought the free-to-air and pay-TV rights for the regions, excluding Brazil," from '15-19, "without disclosing financial terms." Mediapro is entering a regional sports pay-TV broadcasting market that Sportcal media analyst Catherine Davies said is "dominated" by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and ESPN. Davies added that Fox Sports has "owned Formula One rights for Latin America for the last decade." Davies: "It will make people sit up and take notice of Mediapro, which has largely flown under the radar until now." BLOOMBERG More ...
03/24/14
irl
In an effort to break the Indy 500 record, IndyCar allows bigger turbos (Update)  UPDATE
Honda IndyCar engine
With two years of strong competition between Chevy and Honda under IndyCar's 2.2-liter turbocharged engine formula, planned upgrades for the 2014 season have given both manufacturers some leeway to make more horsepower and torque.

The 2.2-liter displacement remains unchanged, but many items have either been opened for re-homologation or redefined.

Of the open areas for Chevy and engine partner Ilmor Engineering, and Honda through its Honda Performance Development arm, almost everything that attaches to the block was available for a complete redesign or major modifications.

"The whole top end, basically from the fire face up is what Chevrolet took a look at and improved on or went away and redesigned and hopefully came up with a gain," Ilmor IndyCar program director Wayne Bennett told RACER. "That's what we did. Basically from the fire face up, the heads are different based on the same casting, the plenum is different, induction system, fuel system. All of things we're allowed to change we did." More ...

03/24/14
nassprint
Was it bad tires or a bad track in Fontana?  
Did you ever see a track with such huge seams between the asphalt sections?  As the cars slide over them they tear the tires apart.  Time for the France family to spend some of their fortunes and resurface the entire track.  The seams are bad all the way around.
How many times have you heard someone describe a race track as having a unique ‘character’?

That’s one word that was used to in pre-race coverage to describe the Auto Club Speedway, venue for the last weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup festivities.

Since the Southern California track opened 17 years ago the same asphalt has been hammered by race cars, creating a washboard of bumps, especially down the back straight approaching turn three. These, along with the seams the paving process left between the lanes, have helped the track develop a ‘character’.

In many ways for a two mile oval some individuality is vital, and is even better when it’s something that manifests itself very physically for the fans watching at the track, or on TV. In a world in which non-NASCAR or non-Motorsports fans dismiss oval racing shots of a driver wrestling with the handling of his car over the bumps into a corner can only been a good thing.

Perhaps more important to Auto Club Speedway’s current appeal is the ability the beat up surface gives the drivers to take all manner of different lines through the corners, resulting in the sort of racing that is all too rare at many of the intermediate tracks visited in the modern era of NASCAR. More ...

03/24/14
uscc
Successful Return to Brazil for Ozz Negri  
Ozz Negri
Sao Paulo, Brazil (24 March 2014) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian driver Ozz Negri made a much-relished return to racing in Brazil this weekend as he was invited to race in the high-profile season opening event of the hugely popular Brazilian Stock Car series at Interlagos. The weekend marked his first time racing on the Formula 1-grade track after some 23 years.

It was a quick turnaround for Negri after finishing in the top-10 just the weekend before in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Racing as an invited co-driver as part of a star-studded field, Negri joined 2008 Champion Ricardo Mauricio and the Euroforma RC squad in the No. 90 Eurofarma car to tackle the 2.677-mile track. More ...

03/24/14
f1
Graeme Lowdon fears appeal win for Red Bull would open the floodgates  Marussia's Graeme Lowdon has warned a victory for Red Bull in their appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification in the Australian GP "would open the floodgates" to other challenges to the FIA.

Red Bull are pushing ahead with contesting their car's exclusion from second place in the season-opening round for exceeding fuel flow rates with their case to be heard by the International Court of Appeal six days ahead of the Chinese GP on Monday April 14.

Although stewards ruled that Ricciardo's RB10 'consistently exceeded the maximum fuel flow of 100kg per hour', the team cited "inconsistencies" with the FIA's sensors and are adamant their own readings showed they were within the 100kg/h parameters. Discrepancies between the Technical Regulations and subsequent Technical Directives issued by the FIA regarding fuel flow rates, and the distinction between them, are also set to prove a central aspect of Red Bull's defense. More ...

03/24/14
f1
Video Sepang: On Board with Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Simulator!  Lewis Hamilton guides us through a lap of the Sepang International circuit - home to the Malaysian Grand Prix - in the Formula One simulator.

03/24/14
track news
Silverstone calls on PM to stop Circuit of Wales funding  Silverstone has called on David Cameron to halt a proposed £30 million in "illegal" state funding to help build a new circuit in Wales, according to a report in the Times.

Silverstone, which is contracted to host the British Grand Prix until 2026, fears the proposed Circuit of Wales will enjoy a massive financial advantage over themselves and fellow British circuits, as it emerged the developers behind the project are seeking financial backing from the Welsh Assembly. The company steering the project, Heads of the Valley, claim the £280 million circuit could generate 6,000 jobs and attract 750,000 visitors annually. More ...

03/24/14
f1
Lewis Hamilton Set To Race In His Mercedes in  Barbados  Top Gear Festival Barbados and the Barbados Tourism Authority announced today that Lewis Hamilton will appear on track behind the wheel of his MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One car during an adrenaline-fuelled motoring weekend on May 17 & 18.
Barbados Logo.

Fans can expect to hear the spine-tingling roar of the F1 W04's Mercedes-Benz Formula One engine as the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS car makes history with its Caribbean debut by appearing at the newly renovated Bushy Park Circuit. More ...

03/24/14
nassprint
Bobby Waltrip dies  Robert Lynn "Bobby" Waltrip, middle brother of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and Fox Sports announcer Darrell Waltrip and NASCAR team owner and fellow Fox Sports announcer Michael Waltrip, died Sunday. It's unknown when Darrell and Michael Waltrip were informed of their brother's death. Both worked the Fox Sports' Sunday afternoon telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Michael, the youngest of the three Waltrip brothers, confirmed his brother's passing on Twitter Sunday evening. Moments later, Darrell, the oldest Waltrip brother, also paid homage to brother Bobby. More ...
03/24/14
irl
Miles bullish on Verizon IndyCar awareness plans  Less is more for Verizon Wireless as a company, according to Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles.

As Verizon has scaled back its sports sponsorships to just the National Football League and now title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series, there is more room for growth, activation and promotion for both.

The NFL may be the sports behemoth, but IndyCar appeals to Verizon from a technology standpoint. Miles explained it during an appearance on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick, in an interview with reporter Bill Brenner. More ...

03/24/14
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC  
IndyCar Season Opener Live on ABC
The Verizon IndyCar Series opens its 2014 season with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Florida city’s picturesque and action-packed street circuit and ABC will have a live telecast at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 30. The race’s green flag will fly at 3:27 p.m. ABC will televise four other Verizon IndyCar Series races this season, including the May 25 Indianapolis 500, marking the 50th consecutive year the race will air on ABC. 

Announcers:
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer: Allen Bestwick; analysts Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever.
Pit reporters: Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Vince Welch. More ...
03/24/14
automotive
irl
nassprint
Scientists admit they were wrong, Ethanol is bad  [Editor's Note: Can't say we did not tell you so.  AR1.com published numerous articles on why biofuels are bad for the environment and for this earth.  Now it appears we were right.]

It just goes to show you that sometimes, consensus in science amounts to a “whole lot of nothing” as this story from Robert Mendick in The Sunday Telegraph tells us.

Growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, IPCC admits in dramatic U-turn

The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The British newspaper The Telegraph reports.

A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse. More ...

03/24/14
f1
Video: F1 Legends Gerhard Berger Interview on 1989 Imola Accident  
03/24/14
nassprint
Goodyear Tire failures impact many NASCAR teams Sunday  Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway produced a massive number of tire failures, as Goodyear Eagles exploded with shocking regularity from the opening 20 laps until the end of the race. #48-Jimmie Johnson, #4-Kevin Harvick, #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Brad Keselowski, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #15-Clint Bowyer were among the top drivers who saw their races go out the window because of tire failures. But afterward, most of the drivers weren't pointing the finger at Goodyear as the source of the problem. Instead, they pointed to changes with the cars and how they are set up for 2014. Last year, NASCAR loosened rules on how much air pressure the teams must run in their tires and how much camber they can run. This year, NASCAR added downforce with a new, larger rear spoiler. More ...
03/24/14
racing news
Bill Simpson presented with The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award  Bill Simpson was presented today The Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award at Auto Club Speedway. Named in honor of former Los Angeles Times sports writer Shav Glick, the award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to motorsports in California. Simpson, who was both a driver and safety innovator during his motorsports career, will be remembered for over 50 years of safety contributions in all forms of racing. Today Simpson is focused on his new company, SG Helmets, which has taken racing technology and incorporated it into football helmets used at the youth, varsity, and professional levels. Shunch PR
03/24/14
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Controversy as Ferrari arrives in Malaysia
  • Hamilton's Melbourne engine still firing
  • Todt urges Domenicali to ignore criticism
  • Ferrari 'only did well with Schumacher' - Montoya
  • 'Limit' to what Red Bull will accept - Mateschitz
  • FIA open to making F1 louder, less fuel-efficient - Todt
  • Magnussen in Malaysia for son's second race
  • 'Submarine' risk with new noses realized - report More ...
03/23/14
f1
Like most F1 races, Indian GP will need government funding to return  Indian Grand Prix promoter Jaypee Sports Int'l CEO Sameer Gaur said that F1's return to the Buddh Int'l Circuit in '15 "will depend on how the next central government treats the sport," according to IANS. Gaur said that he will meet F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone next month "in his bid to get the race back next year after it was dropped from the 2014 calendar owing to bureaucratic and tax issues faced by the stakeholders."

Ecclestone said earlier in the month that "he wanted financial guarantees from Jaypee Group for the race to see out its five-year contract." Gaur "was confident that he would convince Ecclestone for a round next year, but in the long run the government support to the event was a must." Gaur: "We made this facility for F1 and we will try everything for the race to stay here. The government needs to realize F1's potential and embrace the sport." IANS

03/23/14
nassprint
Auto Club 400 sold out  All 68,000 grandstand seats "have been sold" for today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 in "another boost for a once-struggling" Auto Club Speedway.  Of course the track used to have 91,200 seats but they removed 23,000 to avoid the embarrassment of empty seats.  They also went from two Sprint Cup races a year to one, so count how few seats they sell now compared to what they used to.
03/23/14
motogp
Marquez overcomes Rossi to take Qatar win  
Marquez
World Champion Marc Marquez started his MotoGP title defense with a brilliant victory in Qatar, beating Valentino Rossi in an epic battle, with Dani Pedrosa coming home third.

Repsol Honda’s 21 year-old rider produced a gritty performance to take maximum points despite breaking his leg in preseason and missing the last two MotoGP tests.

In further drama Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo crashed out of the race lead at turn 15 on the first lap, meaning his season starts with a DNF after he had struggled with grip issues throughout the weekend. More ...

03/23/14
f1
De Silvestro spending lots of time at Sauber shop   
Simona De Silvestro

Sauber's "affiliated driver", Simona De Silvestro, has been spending lots of time at the team's HQ ahead of her maiden outing for the Swiss team.

"I've been there quite a bit because I started my training program a week ago so I've been there pretty much every day," she told F1web.it. "Not a lot of people are there right now because they're at the Grands Prix, but I've seen everyone else and have been there a lot since we signed.

"I haven't tested in the simulator yet," she admitted, "but I do have some sessions scheduled." 

The Swiss youngster, who in 2010 became the first woman to earn a podium finish on a street circuit in IndyCar, revealed that she hopes to gain her superlicense at the forthcoming test sessions at Barcelona or Silverstone; "but it's not yet decided".More ...

03/23/14
f1
automotive
Red Bull F1 vs. V8 Supercar vs. Mercedes C63 AMG  
03/23/14
nassprint
10 cars have tire issues in final practice (Update)  UPDATE A Goodyear official said there were 10 incidents with tires during practice at Auto Club Speedway the past two days as some Sprint Cup teams struggled to adapt setups. With new suspension rules leading to increased speeds and downforce, tires were facing more stress than ever on a 2-mile oval whose abrasive surface already causes as much wear as any track in NASCAR's premier series. "I think everyone is trying to be aggressive and get as much grip as possible," Goodyear's director of race tire sales Greg Stucker said after the final session Saturday afternoon for the Auto Club 400. "A couple of guys had more problems than others."

Team Penske was most affected with five tire problems between the Fords of #22-Joey Logano and #2-Brad Keselowski. Logano will start from the rear of Sunday's race in a backup car after hitting the wall, as will Furniture Row's Martin Truex Jr., who suffered a left-rear flat in his # 78 Chevrolet when entering turn 1. More ...

03/23/14
automotive
McLaren Finally Makes Money After P1 Hypercar Sells Out  McLaren Automotive posted profits for the first time in company history in 2013.

McLaren Automotive, sister company to McLaren's highly successful Formula One team, was buoyed by booming sales of its megabuck P1 hypercar.

Though the company has not yet released detailed financial figures, McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Mike Flewitt did tell The Guardian that the automaker reached profitability a year earlier than expected.

"We expected to break even in 2013 but we actually made a small profit so we're slightly ahead. It's a very significant development," Flewitt said. More ...

03/23/14
uscc
Q&A with Ford Racing’s Jamie Allison  
Jamie Allison
Prior to its breakthrough victory in last weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sportscar365 caught up with Ford Racing director Jamie Allison to get his thoughts on the progress of its new factory EcoBoost DP program, and what the future holds, both in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

What was the reason behind going with the EcoBoost program in DP?

“There were three factors where the planets aligned, so to speak. We were very involved in GRAND-AM, both in the GS as well as our 5.0 liter engine in Daytona Prototypes since its inception.

“Obviously, there was always outreach and consideration of what was going on in ALMS, so the opportunity when the two came together, it gave us that impetus that you can have one, instead of a fractionalized approach to sports car racing in America. More ...

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