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DATE News (chronologically)
03/31/11
gp3

Michael Christensen quickest on final day at Silverstone
RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen was the quickest man on track today, after setting the best time of 1:51.799 on the final day of 2011 official GP3 Series testing at Silverstone Circuit.

As per the past two mornings, the teams were greeted by wet and windy weather at the British track. Pedro Nunes was the first man to complete a lap for Lotus ART, but from the outset there were a number of red flags breaking up proceedings as the young drivers once again got to grips with the tricky conditions. Alexander Sims, Conor Daly and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs all shared the top spot in the wet, but as the track started to dry and the times dropped, Valtteri Bottas moved ahead – the Finn from Lotus ART recovering well from an earlier incident. 

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03/31/11
irl

Vasser and Target Chip Ganassi Racing to be Inducted into LB Walk of Fame
Jimmy Vasser
The City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach will honor racing legend Jimmy Vasser as well as the legendary racing team of Target Chip Ganassi Racing at the sixth annual Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame induction ceremony.  Both honorees have won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach during their illustrious careers.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. at the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center, along the route of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The public is invited to attend.

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03/31/11
irl

Sarah Fisher is pregnant, won’t race at Indy
Sarah Fisher
Izod IndyCar Series team owner and driver Sarah Fisher won’t compete in this year’s 100th-anniversary Indianapolis 500 as a driver. Fisher on Thursday announced on her Web site that she’s four months pregnant with her first child. She is due on Sept. 29.

Ed Carpenter is scheduled to make his season debut with the team in May. It’s also possible that the Indianapolis-based SFR could field a second car.

Fisher is married to the race team’s crew chief, Andy O’Gara.

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03/31/11
nassprint

NASCAR Fontana TV Ratings UPDATE NASCAR on FOX notched a final 4.6/10 (8.1 million viewers) this Sunday for racing from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. The rating is down 18% from last year's Fontana race, which aired in the post-Daytona window last year and earned a 5.6/11 Share.

03/28/11 NASCAR on FOX notched a 4.1/9 in the metered markets Sunday for racing from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. This was the fifth Sprint Cup points race of the season and yesterday's 4.1/9 is off -2% compared to last year's fifth race, a 4.2/9 at Bristol. Yesterday's race aired against NCAA regional finals games, and from that angle there is no comparison to last year because the Martinsville race that would have faced similar basketball games last year was rained out. The least relevant comparison is to last year's Fontana race, which aired in the post-Daytona window last year and earned a 5.0/10 (-18%). Through five races, the 2011 NASCAR On FOX season is now pacing +8% ahead of last year in the metered markets (5.4/12 vs. 5.0/10)

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03/31/11
automotive

GM Announces Sale of its Stake in Delphi Automotive for $3.8 Billion
General Motors Company today announced the sale of its Class A Membership Interest in Delphi Automotive LLP (Delphi) back to Delphi for $3.8 billion. GM acquired the Class A Membership Interest in October 2009 in conjunction with the creation of Delphi.

“We are systematically delivering on our commitment to strengthen and simplify our balance sheet,” said Dan Ammann, GM senior vice president and chief financial officer as of April 1.

GM will report a book gain of approximately $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2011 related to the sale.  Earlier this month, GM sold its Ally Financial Series A preferred stock for $1.0 billion in a registered public offering.  The Ally transaction will result in a book gain of $0.3 billion to be recorded in the first quarter of 2011.

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03/31/11
usac
woo

Chevy and GM back Stewart's Sprint Car team
Racing is a part of Chevrolet’s DNA, and racing has always been the cornerstone of product development and marketing at GM Performance Parts. Now, the two powerhouse automotive brands have expanded their motorsports footprint by partnering with Tony Stewart Racing (TSR).TSR, owned by two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, fields multi-car teams in USAC and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series out of a state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Ind.

“Our sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing helps contribute to Chevrolet’s future success in motorsports,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “USAC and the World of Outlaws have served as development series for a number of today’s premier drivers. It makes sense for Chevrolet to be in each series, not only to groom the talent that will one day compete in NASCAR and the IZOD IndyCar Series, but for us as a company to reach a very dedicated and passionate fan base. In addition, we want to establish Chevrolet as the engine manufacturer of choice for open-wheel racers around the country.”

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03/31/11
f1

Ticket sales for Malaysian GP below target
Organizers of next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix are struggling to sell tickets for the second round of the Formula 1 World Championship at Sepang. Business F1 reports that 40% of tickets have not been sold with only a week to go before track action begins on Friday, 7 April but race director Razlan Razali said, “Malaysians tend to buy their tickets at the last minute. We expect to see increased sales in the last days before the race.”

With a number of F1 themed demonstrations and promotions scheduled for this weekend in the country, Razali remains hopeful, “Fans will be able to see F1 cars rolling through the streets. Having seen this, we hope they want to see more and will pay to come see the race. ”

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03/31/11
irl

Franchitti to drive Kellogg's-backed car in two races
Kellogg's Livery for Franchitti
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) announced today that it has partnered with Kellogg Company – the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods – to become a primary sponsor on the No. 10 Indy car driven by three-time and reigning IZOD IndyCar Series Champion and two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Franchitti will pilot the No. 10 Kellogg’s Honda Dallara for TCGR in Round 4 in Brazil for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle (May 1 on VERSUS), and Round 14 on the Streets of Baltimore for the Baltimore Grand Prix  (September 4 on VERSUS).

Visit kelloggsracing.com to find more details about the Kellogg’s Racing program.

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03/31/11
f2

James Cole graduates to F2
James Cole
James Cole is the latest driver to confirm he will be competing in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, after a standout performance at the recent pre-season tests at Silverstone and Snetterton. The 22-year-old Briton impressed by frequently running in the top ten over both days and even topping a session at the new Snetterton 300 circuit yesterday (Wednesday), despite his previous lack of experience in the Williams JPH1B F2 car.

The highly-rated youngster has already been part of the MSA British Race Academy, as well as a McLaren Autosport Award finalist and BRDC Rising Star. In 2009 he won the British Formula Ford Championship and came third in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, before stepping up to the British F3 National Class last year, finishing as runner-up. James now makes the step up to F2 and international racing for the first time.

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03/31/11
f1

Alexander Rossi to try Lotus in KL
American rising star Alexander Rossi will be driving the Lotus T128 on the streets of Putrajaya this weekend. It will be the young Californian’s second chance to test a Formula 1 car, having tested a BMW Sauber F1.09 back in 2009, as part of his prize for winning the previous year’s Formula BMW World Final. Rossi was signed to be the reserve and test driver for the USF1 team in 2010, although the project failed to get off the ground.

The Lotus run is little more than a demonstration, but it is still good news for Rossi, who is competing this year in the Renault World Series. It is going to be a highly competitive year in the series with Rossi up against some serious opposition in Robert Wickens, Brendan Hartley, Jean-Eric Vergne and Arthur Pic, in addition to the developing Spanish star Albert Costa, who is the son of a successful bike racer and brother of another and a family friend of Jaime Alguersuari.

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03/31/11
f1

Petrov's success will attract sponsors - Renault
Renault owner Gerard Lopez is confident Vitaly Petrov's on-track success will open up more sponsorship opportunities in Russia.

Petrov, born in Vyborg near the Russian-Finnish border, took the first podium of his Formula One career at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend. Lopez believes there are more to come and is hoping his driver's success can open up a valuable revenue stream for the team.

"Quite a few Russian companies are strong partners of Lotus Renault GP this year," he told Renault's website. "They seem to enjoy what our platform offers and the visibility they get. I'm sure that Vitaly's showing in Melbourne will attract even more partners, especially as his performance did not look like a one off. I'm definitely optimistic."

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03/31/11
nassprint

Montoya: Kimi welcome in NASCAR
Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya reckons NASCAR would be good for Kimi Raikkonen and the Finn would be good for NASCAR.

Raikkonen, who left F1 at the end of 2009 to move to the World Rally Championship, confirmed earlier this week that he would be embarking on a NASCAR career later this year.

The 31-year-old will take part in some Truck series events before moving on to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series.

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03/31/11
f1

Vettel and Webber to open Red Bull Ring
This May, Red Bull Racing will be conducting demonstration runs to signal the official opening of the Red Bull Ring – formerly known as A1-Ring and home of the Austrian Grand Prix. World Champion Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber will both be in attendance using last year’s double title-winning RB6.

According to Brazilian website TotalRace, the weekend will also feature a selection of historic Formula 1 cars at the venue and will follow an unofficial opening for the track on 16 April, with a regional touring car race acting as a rehearsal for circuit organizers.

The confirmation of the launch date is already fuelling speculation in the Austria about a possible return to the country for Formula 1, which last hosted an event in 2003 as Michael Schumacher escaped a fiery pit-stop to enjoy victory for Ferrari.

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03/31/11
nastruck

Earnhardt released by Rick Ware Racing, accused of shopping UPDATE Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive for Rick Ware Racing at Martinsville Speedway this weekend after all.

A day after both sides lobbed accusations that blamed the other for their sudden breakup, the team announced Wednesday that Earnhardt will continue to drive the No. 1 truck in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville as originally scheduled.

The team will have to find sponsorship for Earnhardt beyond Martinsville.

“We just want to race, and sometimes the issues of business just seem to make us lose focus on why we are here,” team owner Rick Ware said in a statement. “Jeffrey will be in the truck at Martinsville and we will work hard to continue to keep him in that seat.

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03/31/11
lmes

Zhuhai to host Le Mans Cup season finale
The final round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will be held at Zhuhai on 13th November 2011 thanks to a new agreement reached with the management of the International Chinese circuit.

 
Since the publication of the 2011 ILMC calendar, there was still a question mark hanging over which circuit in China would host the last of the seven rounds. It is now official. As in 2010, the Zhuhai International circuit will have the honor of organizing the final of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Please note that in addition to the ILMC teams, this race will be open to GTC (equivalent to GT3) and Formula Le Mans cars entered by local teams. Their presence, in addition to the 26 cars already competing in the ILMC on a yearly basis, means that the Zhuhai field should be a big one.

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03/31/11
motogp

More surgery for Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda team has released an official statement confirming that Dani Pedrosa will require another operation after this weekend’s race at Jerez. The Spaniard has been diagnosed with intermittent compression of the subclavian artery, resulting in numbness and a general lack of strength in the left arm.

The operation will follow earlier surgery for the Barcelona man in October of last year, which settled a double fracture of the left collarbone following his crash in Japan.

“It’s never nice to have an operation, but we've had a lot of time searching for an answer to the effects of this injury and I’m relaxed because I finally know what has happened,” Pedrosa commented on Thursday afternoon.

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03/31/11
Track News

TRG drops plans to build facility in New Jersey


Comment
03/31/11
nassprint

NASCAR Crew Chief fined over infraction
Peter Rondeau, crew chief for the #78 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been penalized for a rule violation committed last week at Auto Club Speedway. Rondeau has been fined $25,000 for violating sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred during practice on March 25.

Comment
03/31/11
nassprint

Stremme gets ride with new team
Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year David Stremme will return to the series at Richmond later this month with the new Inception Motorsports team.

Stremme will drive the #30 Inception Chevy in a select schedule of events this season, beginning with the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond on April 30, with a goal of running the full 2012 Sprint Cup schedule. Veterans Steve Lane and Gus Larkin will be a part of the new operation, with Lane serving as crew chief and Larkin -- who most recently served as the Team Manager at JR Motorsports - managing the team's day-to-day business. Inception Motorsports will be based in Mooresville, N.C., and will be privately funded through the Inception Investment Group.

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03/31/11
f1

Q and A with Jenson Button
Jenson Button is confident that McLaren’s strong performance was no fluke.

A race of mixed emotions, perhaps?

Definitely. On the one hand, I'm disappointed to have only finished sixth, because I know our car was much better than that on Sunday. But, on the other hand, I'm really encouraged by what we achieved in just a couple of weeks and to be here now feeling disappointed about sixth place, despite having a drive-through, tells you a lot about just how pleased we are with our current state of progress.

Your race was certainly compromised by that penalty but, apart from that, your performance was incredibly solid...

I still feel like I had a good race. Like you say, I lost around 25 seconds through the penalty, but at no point did the car ever feel anything less than totally planted underneath me. That’s the most encouraging thing.

At the start of the race, I was stuck behind Massa and, even when I was in the tow, I could still pretty much keep the car right up behind him. Our car just felt incredibly strong through the corners. He was moving about a bit trying to keep me behind on the whole he did a good job of defending, but it got a bit frustrating because it was pretty clear that I was faster than him.

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03/31/11
nascar

Brian France suing Britney Spears
Even though there is nothing in this or any other article stating that Brian France is suing Britney Spears, in fact, Brand Sense is owned and controlled by Brian France.  Maybe its a reach, but if Brian owns and controls the company, he is (almost directly) suing Britney.

Here's the "Our People" page of the Brand Sense website showing Brian France as Chairman.

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03/31/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Adrian Newey
    'No dismissals' after Melbourne rear wing saga - Sauber
  • HRT to beat Lotus and Virgin by May - owner
  • Ricciardo to skip race for Chinese F1 duty
  • Red Bull exhaust copycats 'a pain' admits Newey
  • 'Far ahead' Red Bull hard to catch - Rosberg
  • Hamilton 'a topic' for Red Bull in 2012 - Marko

'No dismissals' after Melbourne rear wing saga - Sauber
(GMM)  Peter Sauber has denied rumors the disqualification of the C30 cars in Australia cost technical director James Key his job.

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03/31/11
PF2000

Pacific F2000 Attracts Youngsters and Veterans to do Battle at Willow Springs
A new season of the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care will commence this weekend on the fast and undulating 2.5-mile Willow Springs International Raceway near Rosamond, Calif., where a pair of 30-minute races will run as part of VARA’s High Desert Challenge.

The series has attracted its usual mix of seasoned veterans and ambitious youngsters, ranging from series promoter and long-time competitor Les Phillips, who will turn 70 later this year – and still shows no signs of slowing down – to 14-year-old phenom Conner Ford, who scored a sensational victory in his very first weekend of car racing at Willow Springs one year ago. The youngster from Carson City, Nev., made only a couple of appearances in 2010 but has been busy testing over the winter with the multiple championship-winning PR1 Motorsports team, from Fresno, Calif., and fully intends to challenge for top honors this year.

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03/30/11
irl

Indy 500 fans: Buy race, qualification tickets, get vintage Pace Car ride
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - Indianapolis 500 fans can receive a memory of a lifetime this spring by riding around the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in a vintage Pace Car driven by an Indy 500 veteran.

The first 100 customers to purchase four reserved seats for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 and four tickets to either Pole Day on Saturday, May 21 or Bump Day on Sunday, May 22 will receive this exciting benefit. Current Indianapolis 500 reserved seat ticket holders also are eligible to become one of the 100 participants in this special program if they purchase four additional tickets to either Pole Day or Bump Day.

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03/30/11
nascan

Dan Clarke to drive NASCAR Canadian Series UPDATE Today Simone-Meade Autosports is pleased to announce their plans to campaign two full time entries in the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.  Since joining forces mid way through last season Simone Autosport and business leader Donald Meade have begun implementing their strategy to take their racing program to the front of the field and also create awareness to the serious problem of injurious micro-organisms and eliminate the mould pandemic. 

The Simone-Meade Autosport driver line up will once again see Anthony Simone behind the wheel of the #95 Mouldie Meade Dodge.  Joining Simone this year driving the #18 RxRemedy Dodge with support from Boomerang Bob’s Mixers is Open Wheel Racing star “Speedy” Dan Clarke.

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03/30/11
f1

Ecclestone to co-chair Canada charity event
Following the resounding success of last year's inaugural edition, the Grand Prix du Canada announced today the return of the gala "The Grand Evening". The exclusive social event, which will once again this year serve as the inaugural soirée of the 2011 Grand Prix du Canada, will be held on Thursday, June 9 at Windsor Station's Salle des Pas Perdus. Once again, the event will be co-chaired by Mr. Bernard Ecclestone and the Honorable Michael Fortier. All the proceeds will jointly benefit the CHU Sainte Justine and Hospital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Foundations.

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03/30/11
track news

LBGP and House of Blues team up for ticket deal
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and three Southern California House of Blues locations are offering a unique combination discount ticket offer to the public.

Visitors to the House of Blues in Hollywood, Anaheim and San Diego -- as well as online visitors to houseofblues.com – will receive a promo code enabling them to order special discount tickets to the 37th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 15-17.

The tickets can be ordered by phone at (888) 82-SPEED or by visiting gplb.com

Race fans can then enjoy discount admission to a popular Sunday House of Blues Gospel Brunch, which includes inspiring gospel performers and a terrific buffet, by mentioning “Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach” when ordering in advance by phone.

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03/30/11
irl

Rahal to entertain Holmatro race guests
Holmatro Incorporated, sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, and Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing entry, are pleased to announce a partnership that will provide Holmatro’s race guests with an opportunity to get a driver’s perspective on the challenges of racing in the IZOD INDYCAR Series.  During each race weekend Graham will meet with Holmatro’s guests and explain some of the advanced technology in his car, the intricacies of the car’s setup for different tracks and how he prepares himself for racing in the fastest race series in the world.

According to Giff Swayne, President of Holmatro, “Partnering with Graham Rahal is an excellent opportunity for Holmatro to provide an unforgettable race weekend experience for our guests.  Being able to meet and talk with one of the IZOD INDYCAR Series most promising and recognizable drivers about racing, the cars and the Series will ensure that our guests leave the event with a truly memorable experience.” 

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03/30/11
gp3

Gabby Chaves back on top at Silverstone
Once again it was Addax Team’s rookie Gabby Chaves who was the quickest man on track at Silverstone Circuit, after setting the best time of 1:50.799 on day two of second 2011 official GP3 Series testing.

With rain forecast for the afternoon session, the teams all hit the track when the lights turned green in the morning to make the most of the dry conditions. However, the session was less than smooth, with a flurry of red flags breaking up the running. RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen was the early pace setter posting a time of 1:51.242, two tenths quicker than yesterday’s fastest man Chaves. He was later bumped off the top spot by teammate Nigel Melker. The MW Arden duo of Simon Trummer and Mitch Evans were also on the pace, as were Atech CRS GP’s Marlon Stockinger and Jenzer’s Nico Müller. 

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03/30/11
irl

Sunoco steps up with $50K IndyCar award
With the IZOD IndyCar Series' successful season kickoff this past weekend at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR enjoys new and renewed relationships and deeper investments from several of its partners.

AirMed International, the award-winning air ambulance company, has been signed as the official air ambulance of the IZOD IndyCar Series. The fleet of ICU-equipped jet aircraft will transport injured drivers and staff to hospitals in an emergency.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association also has begun a partnership with INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, to support the 2011 IZOD INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sunoco, the official fuel of INDYCAR, has expanded its involvement by entitling the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. The highest-ranked driver based on points will receive a $50,000 bonus.

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03/30/11
f1

Button feels McLaren closer to Red Bull
Jenson Button believes McLaren is closer to Red Bull's race pace this year than it was at the start of last season.

After the first race in Australia the hard facts indicated that Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull was quicker in qualifying trim by about 0.8 seconds and 22 seconds faster over a race distance. But Button believes those statistics are misleading and is confident the McLaren is quicker than it looks, especially in race conditions.

"Clearly, the Red Bulls are quick, Sebastian's pole lap showed everyone that," he told his official website. "But, on race pace, it would look as if we're already a lot closer at this stage of the season than we were last year. I know you can say that Red Bull weren't using KERS Hybrid, which puts a couple of tenths in your pocket, but I don't think it's as clear-cut as you might have believed on Saturday evening.

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03/30/11
nassprint

Sadler Returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville
Hermie Sadler, an Emporia, Virginia native, will be back behind the wheel of the No. 71 Eco Fuel Saver Chevrolet in this weekend’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500. This will mark Sadler’s 11th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway and his second start for TRG Motorsports. 

“I had a lot of fun running for TRG Motorsports last fall at Martinsville,” said Sadler. “Kevin Buckler asked me if I would be willing to do it again, and I jumped at the chance. It’s always fun to get back behind the wheel and it’s an added bonus to do it at Martinsville Speedway, a track that is close to home. It means so much to me to be able to race at one of my favorite tracks in front of my hometown fans. I am truly appreciative of the opportunity.”

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03/30/11
automotive

Truck Trend Says Chevrolet, GMC ‘Best in Class’
Truck Trend magazine says the GMC Sierra 2500HD and Silverado HD are the “Best in Class 2011 Work Truck” and GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe are judged  “Best in Class 2011 Full-Size SUV.”

In its June issue on newsstands Wednesday, Truck Trend picked Sierra and Silverado three-quarter ton trucks over the Ford F-250 and Dodge Ram. Yukon tied with Tahoe, topping the Toyota Sequoia.

Truck Trend lauded the GM heavy duties as pickups “you’ll see on construction sites… expected to work hard and take abuse every day.” In terms of capability, editors pointed to the Silverado and Sierra RWD regular cab for towing capacity (17,800 pounds) and payload capacity (4,192 pounds).

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03/30/11
f2

Miki Monras tops final F2 pre-season test at Snetterton
Miki Monras topped the final FIA Formula Two Championship test of the season as the series took to the new Snetterton 300 circuit for the first time today.

The Spanish GP3 graduate set the fastest time of 1:37.211s in the opening morning session, whilst Will Bratt impressed with the second fastest time despite not having driven an F2 car since the 2010 season finale in Valencia last September. German Tobias Hegewald, also switching to F2 from GP3, was third fastest.

Local Kings Lynn-based driver Alex Brundle repeated his excellent form from Silverstone last week to set the fourth fastest overall time, with Jack Clarke and Mirko Bortolotti completing the top six. Brundle was the fastest driver in the second session, while James Cole timed his run in the third element of testing to perfection to set the fastest time just as the rain began to fall. Will Bratt continued to show good pace in the afternoon and was the fastest man in the wet final session.

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03/30/11
f1

Adrian Newey wins Seagraves award
At a special award lunch today (Wednesday 30 March) held at the Royal Automobile Club, London, Formula 1 designer Adrian Newey became winner of the Segrave Trophy for 2010. Newey was awarded the trophy for being the only Formula 1 designer to have designed championship-winning cars for three different teams – Williams F1, McLaren and, in 2010, Red Bull Racing.

The Segrave Trophy is awarded to a British subject with 'the Spirit of Adventure' for the most outstanding demonstration of transportation by land, air or water; the award was created in 1930 to commemorate the life of Sir Henry Segrave. This year’s Segrave celebration was the first of a number of events being held throughout 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Automobile’s Club House in Pall Mall.

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03/30/11
irl

Newman/Haas Racing Returns to No. 2
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) announced today that it will return to car No. 2, which has brought the team much success in the past.

NHR earned its second of eight series championships to date in 1991 when Michael Andretti matched a CART-record eight wins and poles competing in the No. 2, and was rewarded with the honorary No. 1 to use the next season.  Following that, Mario Andretti (1992), Sebastien Bourdais (2003, 2004), Bruno Junqueira (2005, 2006), Oriol Servia (2005) and Graham Rahal (2007) competed in a No. 2 NHR car.  In total, the team has earned 20 of its 107 wins and 24 of its 109 poles running the No. 2.

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03/30/11
f1

Red Bull wing flex not illegal - Whiting
(GMM) Charlie Whiting has dismissed fears Red Bull could fall afoul F1's rules prohibiting flexible aerodynamic components.

As was the case in 2010, the dominant team has again been accused of running a car whose front wing extremities bend to the track -- so much in Australia that mechanics were constantly repairing damage to the endplate undersides.

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03/30/11
nassprint

Biffle says extension with Roush Fenway is close
Greg Biffle says he's close to signing an extension with Roush Fenway Racing, and would be surprised if teammate #99-Carl Edwards does not do the same. Biffle has said since the start of the season that he's working on a new deal with team owner Jack Roush. He said Tuesday at an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway's zMAX Dragway that he's not had an overwhelming interest to test the free-agent market. He says a combination of the economy, the current driver lineups and the improvement at Roush Fenway has made him comfortable driving the #16 Ford. Biffle also believes that the organization has shown so much improvement through the first five races of this season, that teammate Edwards would have a hard time finding a job better than the one he has.

Comment
03/30/11
nassprint

Goodyear plans to use California tire at Bristol in fall
Goodyear plans to bring the right-side tire that teams used in Sunday's race to Bristol in August. Goodyear officials brought a different right-side tire to Bristol last week, but it didn't rubber the track as quickly as hoped and caused tire issues. So, a different batch of tires was brought and Nationwide and Cup teams raced with those. Stucker said they're confident in the California tire and don't plan to test at Bristol before the August race. Goodyear is scheduled to test at Dover on April 19 to confirm the tire selection for that race. Goodyear is scheduled to test April 26-27 at Indianapolis with Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne and the Richard Childress Racing team. Goodyear also is scheduled to test at Kentucky on May 17 in preparation for that track's first Cup race in July. Virginian-Pilot

Comment
03/30/11
TV News

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NHRA Racing in Las Vegas

As the National Hot Rod Association celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2011, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season races this weekend in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. ESPN2 will air action from qualifying on Saturday, April 2, at 7 p.m. ET and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday, April 3, at 4:30 p.m. NHRA fans also can watch the full day of eliminations live on ESPN3.com starting Sunday at 2 p.m.

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03/30/11
racing news

Andretti Foundation to Benefit Local Dallas Charities
The Michael Andretti Foundation, in conjunction with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announces today that it will be hosting an event in Dallas to benefit the Children's Museum in the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science with a portion of proceeds going to Speedway Children's Charities at Texas Motor Speedway. The event will be held Thursday, June 9, 2011 at Gilley's Dallas.

This limited event will include both live and silent auction packages featuring wine country travel packages, authentic racing memorabilia from the Andretti's personal collection and once in a lifetime IndyCar experiences. Throughout the evening guests will also experience:

  • A special greeting from Michael Andretti
  • Live entertainment
  • Guest appearances by INDYCAR drivers (including Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway and Danica Patrick)

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03/30/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • McLaren to scrap expensive diffuser
    Berger no fan of F1 overtaking debate
  • Raikkonen to combine rally with NASCAR in 2011 (April Fools Joke?)
  • Alguersuari says Buemi to blame for Heidfeld damage
  • McLaren to scrap titanium diffuser for Malaysia
  • Briatore tells Ferrari to 'focus on 2012'
  • Fallout continues after costly Sauber blunder
  • HRT hopes to qualify with new wing - Karthikeyan

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03/29/11
nassprint

France family trying to get into death business
The France family wants your money even in death
Racing fans who might have dreamed of making the Daytona International Speedway their eternal home had their hopes dashed today, as a Florida Senate committee voted down a bill that would have made those dreams possible.

The Senate Committee on Regulated Industries rejected the bill by a 5-7 vote, which would have allowed columbariums to be built at both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. Columbariums are buildings that house urns.

The state House companion bill had already passed two committees, and was scheduled for its third and final committee hearing Thursday.

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03/29/11
gp3

American Rookie Gabby Chaves tops day one at Silverstone
Gabby Chaves
Addax Team’s rookie Gabby Chaves was the fastest man out on track today, after setting the best time of 1:51.449 on day one of official GP3 Series testing at Silverstone Circuit.

The GP3 Series teams gathered for the second of three pre-season tests, and were greeted with dry and sunny conditions this morning in Northamptonshire. Status Grand Prix was first to take to the track, with Antonio Felix Da Costa setting the benchmark time for the rest of the field. The Portuguese driver topped the time sheets until his lap time was bettered at the two-hour mark by reigning champions Lotus ART and newcomer Valtteri Bottas.

The remainder of the session was relatively quiet for the thirty strong young guns, until a final ten minute dash, which saw the Finn improve his personal best time with a 1:51.608 lap ahead of MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson and Simon Trummer. Any hope the rest of the field had of a last minute fight for the top spot were dashed when a red flag caused by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs thirty seconds from the end of the session halted proceedings. The checkered flag was shown and the top final top ten was set: Bottas, Williamson, Melker, Trummer, Muller, Costa, Quaife-Hobbs, Stockinger, Calado and Nunes.

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03/29/11
fil

Gregory & Appel to honor Firestone Indy Lights' top winner
Gregory & Appel Insurance announced today that it is continuing the tradition of presenting the "Securing Tomorrow" Award for the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season. The award is in its sixth year.

The "Securing Tomorrow" award is a $5,000 cash prize given to the Firestone Indy Lights driver who wins the most races during the season. The past winners include Alex Lloyd (2007), Dillon Battistini (2008), JR Hildebrand (2009) and J.K. Vernay (2010).

"We are very pleased to continue to give back to the series", said Darren Hickey, Vice President and Motorsports Practice Leader at Gregory & Appel. "The Firestone Indy Lights series is a vital part of the Mazda Road to Indy. We look forward to presenting our award to a driver who will be racing in INDYCAR in the near future."

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03/29/11
irl

AirMed, LVCVA, AVIS and Others On Board for 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series
With the IZOD IndyCar Series' successful season kickoff this past weekend at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, INDYCAR enjoys new and renewed relationships and deeper investments from several of its partners.

AirMed International, the award-winning air ambulance company, has been signed as the official air ambulance of the IZOD IndyCar Series. The fleet of ICU-equipped jet aircraft will transport injured drivers and staff to hospitals in an emergency.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association also has begun a partnership with INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, to support the 2011 IZOD INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

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03/29/11
irl

Scheckter first Indy 500 entry with KV Racing
Tomas Scheckter
With just 61 days until the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway accepted March 29 its first entry for the race, from KV Racing Technology-SH Racing.

Veteran Tomas Scheckter was named as the team's the driver for the race Sunday, May 29 at IMS. He will drive the No. 07 Team REDLINE Xtreme Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

"I am excited to be competing with this team for my 10th Indianapolis 500," said Scheckter, a South African native who resides in Indianapolis. "The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest race in the world, and from my first time here in 2002, I have wanted to win this race. I believe that this organization will provide me with a great opportunity to reach that goal."

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03/29/11
f2

Natalia Kowalska returns for a second season in F2
Natalia Kowalska
21-year-old Polish driver Natalia Kowalska is the latest driver to be confirmed for F2 in 2011, where she aims to build upon a promising first season in which she frequently demonstrated fine race craft.

Following a year on the sidelines in 2009, Natalia immediately made an impression in the opening rounds at Silverstone in 2010, making up a total of 11 places over the two races. This was followed by an 11th place finish on the streets of Marrakech, narrowly missing out on the points.

Natalia’s most successful weekend came in the Portuguese sun at Portimão, where she qualified 13th and 12th, her best performance so far. In race one she overtook eventual champion Dean Stoneman to finish 10th and claim her first points in the series. Inspired by this success, she went one better in the second race to finish 9th.

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03/29/11
automotive

Cash for Clunkers 2: The Return of Government Motors
Ready for another cash for clunkers program? It looks like General Motors is attempting to replace its own consumer incentives with tax payer money. The car company, bailed out of bankruptcy in 2009 by the American tax payer, appears to be turning the government into an automatic rebate provider.

The Obama administration and their friends on Capitol Hill are floating around a proposal to change the $7500 tax credit for green vehicles. This change can be found not only in President Barack Obama's budget but also a bill proposed by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat.

Edmunds.com, a 45 year old trade magazine company that provides automotive information, posted a Department of Energy document listing the department's funding highlights. The proposed Obama Budget, changes the existing $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit “into a rebate that will be available to all consumers immediately at the point of sale.”

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03/29/11
F1600

Honda and Ford Pledge Support for F1600
The F1600 Formula F Championship Series has announced that Honda and Ford have pledged support to Series entrants, in an unprecedented move, virtually unheard of for entry-level professional open wheel racing in America for some four decades.

Competitors have the option of using the new Honda Fit motor or the more traditional Ford Kent engine in the inaugural season of the new pro series, with both manufacturers offering contingency programs along with a Series purse.

"With the unprecedented involvement and support of these two major automotive manufacturers, our F1600 Formula F Championship Series and the competitors fighting for race wins and positions will all be ushering in a new era of entry level open wheel road racing in 2011,” said Series Managing Director Michael Rand.

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03/29/11
f1

Sauber duo disqualified from Australian GP UPDATE #3 After examining all the facts, the Sauber F1 Team has decided not to appeal against the verdict of the stewards following the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday. The two drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi had crossed the finish line in Melbourne in seventh and eighth places respectively, but were subsequently excluded from the results. The post-race scrutineering check by the race stewards revealed that a radius on the upper rear wing element on Perez’ and Kobayashi’s cars contravened the regulations by a few millimeters.

“It did not bring us any performance advantage, but the fact is that it was a deviation from the regulations. We take note of the stewards’ decision,” said James Key, the team’s Technical Director.

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03/29/11
f1

Interview with Williams’ Sam Michael
Sam Michael
Williams was one of two teams to experience a double retirement at the start of the new season, with both Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado suffering transmission failures. Technical Director Sam Michael reviews Melbourne before looking ahead to Kuala Lumpur.

Neither FW33 finished the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. What caused the retirements of Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado?

We had transmission failures on both the cars this weekend. We had a failure on Pastor’s car early on in the race, with Rubens retiring on Lap 48. We are still currently investigating both problems.

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03/29/11
automotive

Japan to affect every automaker
Every major automaker will be affected by the disaster in Japan by mid-to-late April, according to a report released today by automotive forecasters IHS Global Insight of Northville.

"It is not a matter of if, but when," said Michael Robinet, director of Automotive Forecast, in an analysis of the impact on the auto industry of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in northern Japan. The damage halted domestic vehicle production and affected the supply chain, which is causing disruptions at plants around the world that rely on Japanese-sourced parts.

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03/29/11
nassprint

Gibbs working to identify cause of engine problems
Joe Gibbs Racing officials are scrambling to uncover the cause of an unusually high number of engine issues during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season. JGR had two issues this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California. The engine in #20-Joey Logano's Toyota had to be replaced on Saturday when valve leakage was discovered following the final practice. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue. In all, JGR has had three engine failures in races and three more engines replaced prior to a race because problems arose.

Last season, the organization had only two DNFs due to engine failure between Hamlin, Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. "Is there concern? Of course," said Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. More alarming, Makar said there were very few changes made to the engines during the offseason. He said the organization purposely left things the way they were, with minor adjustments to improve fuel mileage that may have cost Hamlin the championship last season, before experimenting with new ideas. ESPN.com

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03/29/11
irl

Rahal: Don't expect Barber's IndyCar race to be a wreckfest like St. Pete
Graham Rahal could see it coming. It was the start of the IZOD IndyCar Series' first race of the season Sunday at St. Petersburg and before the field had cleared Turn 1 there was already a six-car wreck with Marco Andretti upside down.

"I expected it. Everybody should have," said Rahal, who was in Vestavia Hills on Monday to speak to elementary school students and promote the April 10 IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park. "There's so much adrenaline going on in the first race of the year and everybody's pushing so hard it gets out of control," said the 22-year-old driver in his first season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

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03/29/11
f1

Barrichello hampered by glitch in Wing system
Williams have said that Rubens Barrichello had a problem with his Drag Reduction System (DRS) during the Australian Grand Prix which meant it was wrongly programmed for use on a different part of the track.

Barrichello ran wide on the first lap at turn three, and had to try to fight his way back through the field. Williams team manager Dickie Stanford said that he was hampered by incorrect sector settings, which meant he was unable to use his rear wing to aid overtakes on the pit straight.

"Something in the race control system was wrong," Stanford told Auto Motor und Sport. "Barrichello couldn't use his rear wing on the home straight even though a few times he was close enough to the car in front. It was (mistakenly) programmed for the second sector."

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03/29/11
irl

LBGP president happy that Franchitti has become the face of IRL
Dario Franchitti
Jim Michaelian was on the line early Monday morning, and the president/CEO of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was marveling at Dario Franchitti's dominating victory Sunday in the IZOD IndyCar Series opener in Florida.

"What a start for Dario!" he said of Franchitti's seven-second triumph over pole-sitter Will Power in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. "We all know Dario has been dominant on the oval, but this was a street race and he also proved to be dominant in that."

Of course, Franchitti proved that in the 2009 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which he won to give his actress wife Ashley Judd a stirring gift on her 40th birthday.

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03/29/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Ferrari was out to lunch in Melbourne
    Red Bull investigates Webber's Aus struggle
  • Rivals will struggle to catch Red Bull - Briatore
  • Ferrari identifies downforce issue on 2011 car
  • Sauber reveals team's 3mm rear wing rule breach
  • Kubica enjoyed 2011 opener on TV - manager
  • FIA glitch grounded Barrichello's wing in Aus
  • Spanish FIA chief slams Hispania team
  • FOTA approves Turkey tire test for de la Rosa
  • Long flights no problem before Malaysia - Hamilton
  • Vettel not as good as Mansell - Hamilton
  • FOTA chief not backing 'fake rain' proposal
  • Hamilton says Red Bull wings still flexing

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