Hats off to IndyCar's new Race Director A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I would like to applaud the new IndyCar race director, Beau Barfield, for an outstanding job Sunday at the Alabama IndyCar race. The difference has been immediate and very much appreciated.
In the past, whenever there was any type of minor incident on the track it was an automatic FULL course yellow. In today’s race, there were numerous minor incidents and the race director let the race continue to play out, relegating the incidents to LOCAL yellows. What a welcome change this was and it finally allowed the race the flow naturally over the 90 laps. He even allowed a piece of bodywork to stay in the middle of the track b/c it was off the racing line and it was not precluding drivers from making a pass into the next corner.
Richards Out After Capps DNQ Tim Richards is out as crew chief for the Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car of Ron Capps.
Team owner Don Schumacher expects to announce next week the new crew chief for the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car driven by Capps after Richards resigned from the position on Saturday night.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T failed to qualify for Sunday’s championship elimination rounds of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Richards took the position after four of 22 national events last season and tuned Capps to national event wins at Sonoma, Calif. and the fall Las Vegas race.
Englishman Jack Hawksworth, fresh off a win from the pole in Race 2 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg last weekend, has won his second race in a row - from the pole - in today's Star Mazda Race 1. Driving his #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda, Hawksworth (black suit) crossed the finish line 6.9 second ahead of 2nd-place finisher Sage Karam (orange / white) in the #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda. This was his first podium of the season after winning two races last year but getting off to a rocky start with mechanical problems in Round 1 at St. Pete.
NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and car owner Junior Johnson has been hospitalized in North Carolina. Johnson, 80, is dealing with health issues associated with his 2009 back surgery, said Junior Johnson Racing general manager Keith Barnwell.
Junior Johnson was a member of the first class to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He is in stable condition but still being treated at the hospital, Barnwell said.
“We want to thank everybody for their prayers and concerns,” Barnwell said.
Sebastian Saavedra Wins Indy Lights Race at Barber Sebastian Saavedra outpaced the 15-car field in efficient manner in the 40-lap Grand Prix of Alabama. It was the fourth victory in the series for Saavedra, driving the No. 27 Team AFS car, and first this season.
Tristan Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car and the race winner at St. Pete, retained the series championship points lead by finishing second. Saavedra is eight points behind heading to the street course race at Long Beach on April 15.
Esteban Guerrieri, who started fourth in the No. 11 Pistas Argentina’s/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, advanced to claim a podium finish.
Simon Pagenaud was quickest in the final warm-up session ahead of Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. The Schmidt-Hamilton rookie went to the top with his final flying lap of 1m11.2414s. Second quick was Will Power, sometimes known as Willie P.
Takuma Sato was third-fastest in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda machine ahead of Penske's Helio Castroneves and Ganassi's Graham Rahal.
Auto GP: Quaife-Hobbs storms to Valencia Race 2 win
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs won the Sunday Race of the Valencia Auto GP weekend after storming through the pack from P7 on the grid.
The championship leader built his success on a great start that allowed him to jump to third place already before the first corner, and on the early pit-stop strategy chosen by SuperNova, that meant he could make the most of his stunning pace on a traffic-free track: with a 36" gap from the lead when he emerged from the pit-lane on lap 5, Quaife-Hobbs started gaining more than one second per lap, and when everybody had made his mandatory tire change he found himself in the lead by an amazing 7", clinching an impressive win.
At just 16 Sergey Sirotkin became the youngest race winner of the Auto GP history taking a stunning success in today's Race 1 in Valencia. The only driver of the whole grid to start on a set of new medium tires (all the others were on used softs), Sirotkin made the most of the extra grip he had available to make a great start that allowed him to jump ahead of poleman Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
The brit pushed as much as he could to stay close to his rival, but Sirotkin's pace in the first laps was impossible to match, and by lap 7 he had already built a gap of more than 4 seconds. Still focused on giving his opponent the hardest possible time, Quaife-Hobbs managed to close the gap from 4"5 to 1"5 with two very good in and out laps and a great pit-stop by SuperNova when both drivers stopped to change tires on lap 13.
GP to rev up Long Beach business It's no coincidence that the opening of The Auld Dubliner nine years ago occurred before the start of the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
"It was specifically timed so we could get the doors open right before that mass of people come to downtown," said co-owner David Copley.
AR1.com file photo from 2001 - a panoramic view pieced together from several images
This year will be no different for the 71 South Pine Avenue restaurant and pub, where there will be Tecate- logoed umbrellas and event signs welcoming race fans as well as staff members prepared to work around the clock.
Friday leaders Lucas, Hight, Line remain atop Vegas fields
Robert Hight will attempt to earn his third consecutive Funny Car victory of the season Sunday from the No. 1 qualifying position at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) will lead their categories into tomorrow’s 11 a.m. eliminations as the No. 1 qualifiers in their categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Hight, the defending winner of this event, raced to his second No. 1 of the season and 41st of his career with a performance of 4.132 seconds at 310.41 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Hight, who earned victories in Phoenix and Gainesville in the last two events, will face veteran independent racer Terry Haddock in the first round.
Ben Bowlby Wins RACE TECH Aerodynamicist of the Year Award
Ben Bowlby (L) accepts the reward at the Race Tech Symposium
Arnaud Martin, Ben Bowlby and Flybrid Systems were the recipients of the Race Engine Designer, the Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist and the Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year awards respectively in a night of celebration during the RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium.
Arnaud Martin, head of engine design at RML, the leading team that runs the Chevrolet Cruzes in the World Touring Car Championship, produced an entirely new 1.6 liter engine from a clean sheet of paper. While the blue and white cars picked up 21 wins in 25 races, claimed the pole position at every single round and also led for more than twice as many laps as all the other teams combined, what was particularly impressive about this engine was that Arnaud and his small team of engineers produced it in just eight months on a very limited budget.
Barrichello wants IndyCar to classify him a rookieUPDATE IndyCar chief steward Beaux Barfield said he won't re-classify Barrichello as a rookie, but he can have more test days on ovals since he's never competed on one.
03/30/12 Rubens Barrichello wants IndyCar to classify him as a rookie. The IndyCar Series has said no. The Brazilian driver has a record 322 Formula One starts, including 11 wins and 1.5 million Twitter followers.
None of that matters to Barrichello.
He said piloting a still-unfamiliar car at venues where he's never raced makes him every bit the neophyte these days and deserving of the extra practice session granted to rookies and drivers ranked outside the top 10.
Team owner Richard Childress (left) celebrates win with his driver Kevin Harvick
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kevin Harvick may have relinquished ownership in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, but he hasn't lost any speed in the process.
Harvick crushed the rest of the field in Saturday's Kroger 250, winning in seemingly effortless fashion by .953 seconds over Richard Childress Racing teammate Ty Dillon.
A caution for David Reutimann's right-front tire on Lap 227 of 250 erased Harvick's 1.4-second lead at that point, but after a restart on Lap 245, Harvick's claim to the trademark grandfather clock trophy was a mere formality.
Firestone Indy Lights driver Sebastian Saavedra, driving the No. 27 Team AFS car, posted a best lap of 1 minute, 16.4968 seconds on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course to earn the Sunoco Pole Award for the 45-lap Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1.
Saavedra, who topped the time sheet in the lone practice session March 30 (the second was canceled because of a downpour), jumped to the top of the qualifying time sheet with just under five minutes left in the 45-minute session and remained there when a red flag flew for a one-car incident involving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car driven by Oliver Webb.
Fog delays IndyCar practiceUPDATE The track has just gone green at 23 minutes (late) after the hour. Because of the fog, every car only got one lap in for practice for installation. Warm-up is checkered.
Barber is socked in with fog this morning
03/31/12 IndyCar practice has been delayed due to heavy fog in Birmingham. It Should clear by qualifying time.
10% chance of rain after yesterdays downpour leaving a muddy bog in areas of the track. Track will dry but could be interesting for anyone who goes off.
Honda recalls 554,000 SUVs in U.S. over headlights Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 554,000 sport utility vehicles in the United States to inspect for faulty wiring in headlights.
Honda said in a statement that the recall affects CR-V SUVs from model years 2002 to 2004 and Pilot SUVs from model year 2003. The Japanese automaker will inspect and replace parts of the headlight wiring system that could fail, causing the low-beam headlights not to work and increase the risk of crash.
No injuries or crashes have been reported relating to the issue, Honda said.
Letters will be mailed to affected owners in late April, but consumers can see if their vehicles require repairs by going to www.recalls.honda.com or calling 800-999-1009.
Sergio Perez is Mexico's first Formula One driver to reach the podium in 40 years, which means in Latin America he is being compared to the late Brazilian great Ayrton Senna.
Perez, speaking Friday in his hometown of Guadalajara in western Mexico, shrugged off the comparisons and suggested fans should revisit the subject in two or three seasons when he might be ready to challenge for the Formula One season title.
The 22-year-old Sauber driver finished second in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix behind winner Fernando Alonso of Spain.
Servia gets engine penalty Oriol Servia has been issued with a 10-place grid penalty for this weekend's IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park following an unauthorized engine change.
The Dreyer & Reinbold team changed the Lotus unit in the Spaniard's car after Friday's second practice session, although it was not immediately clear whether it change was precautionary or due to a failure.
Rule 15.6.1 of IndyCar's sporting regulations prevent unapproved engine changes except in the event of an engine failure.
Weather update for IndyCar and NASCAR Sprint Cup IndyCar - Birmingham, AL Today - Cloudy this morning followed by isolated thunderstorms this afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High near 80F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%
Sunday - Plentiful sunshine. Warm. High 84F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
NASCAR - Martinsville, VA Today - Showers early with some clearing for the afternoon. Warm. High 79F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Sunday - Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals. High 76F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
Three Drivers Lead the Early Race for Sponsor Exposure in NASCAR Through television coverage of the this season's first four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, defending champion Tony Stewart leads in securing on-screen time for his sponsors, while Carl Edwards collected the most verbal mentions for his supporting brands and Jamie McMurray bested all drivers with $18.3 million of exposure value.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc.— which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 28 seasons — McMurray's appearance on the Fox set during the Sunday rain-delay portion of last month's Daytona 500 led to quality exposure for several of his brands during some of the most valuable broadcast time of the season.
Englishman Jack Hawksworth, fresh off a win from the pole in Race 2 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg last weekend, has won his second PEAK Performance Pole Award in a row with a split-second effort on a soaking wet track here at Barber Motorsports Park.
Driving the #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda amid a flock of rooster-tails, he took the premium starting spot on the gird - if there can be said to be such a thing under these conditions - by a mere 93/100ths of a second over Martin Scuncio in the #22 Juncos Racing / Pullman Bus Mazda.
Line, Lucas, Hight lead after opening day in Las Vegas Morgan Lucas continued to make Top Fuel headlines Friday, racing to the qualifying lead at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Lucas, who won two weeks ago in Gainesville with a dominating performance, rallied from a 10th place effort in the opening round of qualifying to vault to the No. 1 spot during the day’s final session with a leading run of 3.817 seconds at 321.96 mph in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster.
Since he came over from Champ Car, Will Power has been consistently the fastest driver in the series on road and street circuits. Today was no different at Barber.
Well it appears Power has the respect of the other drivers, and affectionately they have come up with a new nickname for him.
Marco Andretti was sixth quickest in the first afternoon practice session Friday, and followed up by turning the fifth quickest lap of the second session, run under a steady rain shower.
"The new car (the Dallara DW12 chassis) really has a lot of grip in the wet. I think the braking was really good in those (wet) conditions. I think we have a chance to be in the top-five tomorrow (in qualifying) whether it's rain or shine. If you looked at the first session, we still have a few tenths (of a second) to make up on Willie P (Will Power), but we're going to get the most we can."
Wind Tunnel Sunday After making the most starts in Formula 1 history (322) which includes 11 wins, 68 podiums, and a runner-up finish in the driver’s championship twice to Ferrari teammate, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello has moved over to the IZOD IndyCar Series for this season. Rubens is teamed with good friend, Tony Kanaan, at the KV Racing Technology team which is co-owned by former series champion, Jimmy Vasser. We’ll talk to Rubens Sunday after the IndyCar race in Birmingham, AL. This will be his first appearance on the show.
As the MotoGP series prepares for their season opener next week in Qatar, 1993 series champion, Kevin Schwantz, will join us to preview the event and share the latest on MotoGP’s planned race in Austin, TX of which Kevin is helping to organize for next year.
Roger Sportsnet One bolsters ALMS TV Canadian motorsport fans are among the most passionate and knowledgeable in the world. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is making certain that its loyal following north of the border can follow North America’s premier road racing championship throughout 2012.
Rogers SportsNet One airs the full season of ALMS competition to its audience of 6 million viewers. That includes a live broadcast of the upcoming Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach on April 14 and the ALMS’ annual Canadian stop – Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on July 22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
NASCAR and IndyCar weekend TV ratingsUPDATE #3 The final rating for the IZOD IndyCar race at St. Petersburg on March 25 was 0.9, down 25% from the 1.2 final rating for the same race on ABC a year ago. IndyCar had two big events to compete against. There also was an NCAA basketball game that day that drew a large audience. Golf did very well with Tiger Woods in the hunt.
03/29/12 Hampered by rain, airing directly against the NCAA Tournament on CBS and a Tiger Woods fueled PGA event on NBC, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX posted a 3.8/9 (6.2 million viewers) on Sunday for the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway. That’s down -17% from last year’s 4.6/10 (8.1 million), and ranks as the lowest-rated race this season on FOX. Season-to-date, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.8/12 (9.7 million viewers), off -6% from last year’s 6.2/14 (10.8 million viewers). We do not have the final IndyCar TV Rating from St. Pete yet.
03/26/12 The television rating, for IndyCar, is acceptable, especially considering the race was up against Tiger Woods and the NCAA tournament.
03/26/12 NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage for the rain shortened Auto Club 500 on FOX earned a 3.4 overnight from 3:15-5:00pm ET. That figure is down 17.1% from a 4.1 rating for the race last year. The Izod IndyCar Series also began its ’12 season with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on ABC yesterday afternoon. Their overnight figure of 1.1 is down 16% from a 1.3 overnight for the same race last year.
The overnight rating includes only major markets and is designed to provide an early idea of the rating. The final rating including all measured markets will come later this week. Last year the final rating for the St. Pete IndyCar race was 1.2.
KVRT announces new sponsors KV Racing Technology is pleased to announce that PowerOne Capital Markets Limited (“PowerOne”) and Delavaco Capital Inc. (“Delavaco”) have joined the team as sponsors for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
PowerOne and Delavaco will be represented on the Tony Kanaan No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car.
“I am very excited to announce that PowerOne and Delavaco have joined KV Racing Technology as sponsors of Tony Kanaan’s car during the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season,” said KVRT General Manager Mark Johnson. “Both are outstanding companies and we are honored to have them join our team. We look forward to a successful season with PowerOne and Delavaco on board.”
Nationwide driver loses sponsor after ESPN rejects commercial Many Nationwide Series drivers will do almost anything to get their sponsors more publicity.
Blake Koch and his sponsor were even willing to pay ESPN for exposure.
But ESPN rejected the advertisement from Koch’s sponsor, the Rise Up and Register Campaign, which is designed to educate people about the importance of registering to vote in upcoming elections.
Koch said the network rejected the advertisement, in part, because of his religious activism. A devout Christian, the 26-year-old driver often speaks at churches on race weekends, at numerous religious outreach events and on television shows.
HendrickCars.com on #5 Hendrickcars.com, which returns as a primary partner with the #5-Kasey Kahne Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, will open its first physical retail location on Monday, April 2, in Charlotte, N.C. The dealership, located at 9029 South Boulevard, brings the online inventory of Hendrickcars.com to the offline shopper in a retail facility. Hendrickcars.com offers 20,000 new and used vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick's personal collection. A second Hendrickcars.com physical location will open later this month in Hickory, N.C. Hendrick Motorsports
Penske, Shell partner with Common Ground Alliance The #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge will feature the 811 logo during the month of April, on National 811 Day, and during the final race of the season. Shell has teamed up with the Common Ground Alliance for the fourth consecutive season to raise awareness for 811, the national "Call Before You Dig" hotline. Like last year, the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge will carry the 811 logo during National Safe Digging Month in April. Due to the program's success in previous seasons, the partnership will expand this year, with new Shell-Pennzoil driver AJ Allmendinger featuring the logo on his car during the Watkins Glen race, as part of National 811 Day on August 11. The logo will also run on the car during the final race of the season in Homestead, FL.
Every digging project requires a call to 811 - even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. The quick and easy call will connect you with a local One Call Center operator who will record information about your dig location and notify the underground facility operators so they can mark the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines. Once the lines are marked, you can begin to dig, but always dig with care. Shell PR
Video: Sauber F1 Team - Dive into the world of motorsports Dive into the world of motorsports! Turn up the volume and indulge yourself with stunning pictures. Meet our team, take a close look behind the scenes, enjoy a different view of a pit stop and become one with our drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio "Checo" Pérez as they speed along straights and race through tight corners.
There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Both the #2 Miller Lite Charger (Brad Keselowski) and the #22 Shell Pennzoil Charger (A.J. Allmendinger) will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine. "We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering.
"We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous 'open deck' block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske's engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to "compacted graphite iron" similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity." Allpar.com
Pacific Series Opens Ninth Season at ‘Fastest Road in the West’
Conner Ford en route to victory 2011
The Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care opens its ninth season 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 re-christened the Pacific Formula 2000/Formula F Super Series will once again provide twelve races over six race weekends with the Formula F drivers competing in ten races, skipping the series return to Portland International Raceway in July.
In addition to Willow Springs and the familiar tracks such as Auto Club Speedway, Buttonwillow Raceway Park and Las Vegas Motor Speedway the series will again venture to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah and Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon.
News Corp. Said to Plan U.S. Sports Network to Rival ESPN Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA) is taking steps to start a national U.S. sports network on cable television aimed at challenging Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
News Corp. is assembling the required rights from pay-TV carriers and sports organizations, said the people, who requested anonymity because talks are private. While a final decision to move forward hasn’t been made, the company is considering converting its Fuel action-sports network to the new channel, two of the people said.
Video: Your Ride Is Here We thought you would like to see this video of a wonderful program in Austin called "Your Ride is Here" to assist cancer patients with their transportation to their treatments in exotic cars. "Your Ride Is Here" is a film about those unable to get to and from cancer treatment and those willing to provide transportation to them from everyday cars, to some of the rarest high-end exotics in the World.
Donohue, Edwards Lead Thursday Rolex Series Practice at Barber
The No 99 Gainsco Corvette was third quick
Bowties were in style on Thursday at Barber Motorsports Park as Chevrolet drivers David Donohue and Paul Edwards led their respective classes in practice for Saturday's Porsche 250.
David Donohue turned in a best lap at 100.825 mph (1:22.122) in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to head the Daytona Prototype field, while Paul Edwards posted a best lap at 91.010 mph (1:30.979) to lead GT in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R.
"We deliberately tried to go quick," Donohue said. "It's not like I can say, ‘It's just a practice.' We were trying and that's what I had at the moment. Maybe we'll get some more later, who knows? I don't think everybody else is showing everything they got."
NASCAR's shrinking seating capacity Want to know about the state of affairs in NASCAR? Look at this list of NASCAR tracks and their seating capacity! Look how the capacities have SHRUNK and they're still not coming close to selling out!
Goodyear schedules tire tests for repaved tracks at Michigan, Pocono When NASCAR visits Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway in June, they’ll run back-to-back events at tracks that have been repaved during the offseason.
Not only will drivers and crew chiefs need to learn about the new surfaces, they’ll have to learn how a new tire works on that track.
Goodyear has scheduled tire tests at both those tracks as well as at Dover International Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway in the upcoming weeks.
NASCAR and Goodyear work together to choose drivers and teams for each tire tests, trying to divide them among different teams and car manufacturers.
Legendary race car driver Michael Andretti is no stranger to Milwaukee. In the past, Andretti has won the Milwaukee IndyCar race five times as a driver and three times as a team owner.
Now he is back in Milwaukee as race organizer and promoter. Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin, led by IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti, announced several weeks ago that it would promote the race and festival at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis June 15-16.
The event will be headlined Saturday afternoon by an internationally televised IZOD IndyCar race and also will include many other events at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds, including a post-race concert.
Formula One brands get Bahrain Grand Prix boost The Bahrain Grand Prix is one of the most commercially successful events on the Formula One calendar, beating renowned races such as the Monaco and British Grands Prix, according to new research by the sport’s industry monitor Formula Money.
The 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix generated broadcast exposure worth $90.4m for the 103 brands with coverage at the race. This was well above the 2010 race average of $78.0m worth of exposure, representing 6.1% of the $1.5bn value of F1's total brand exposure.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, which joined the F1 calendar in 2004, performed extremely well when compared to high profile traditional races. In both 2009 and 2010, Bahrain generated a higher value of exposure for F1’s teams and trackside advertisers than the five oldest races in the sport, the Monaco, British, German, Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.
Kahne helping to prop up the Truck Series. Without Cup drivers competing, who would watch?
Kasey Kahne, who drives the No. 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, joined host Steve Byrnes on the set of NASCAR Race Hub for the first time in his career today.
The occasion - to announce that Kahne is set to pilot the No. 4 Turner Motorsports, Rockwell Tools-sponsored entry in the upcoming NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on Sunday, April 15, a race that can be seen live on SPEED starting with NCWTS Setup at 12:30 p.m. ET.
He spoke with NASCAR Race Hub host Steve Byrnes, and here are highlights from the interview, starting with quotes from his announcement.
Hitachi Automotive Joins Team Penske as Sponsor of No. 2 IndyCarUPDATE Added photo of Hitachi car below.
Hitachi Briscoe car
Penske Racing announced today that Hitachi Automotive Systems will join the Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series program as a sponsor, beginning with the 2012 season.
Hitachi Automotive will serve as a primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet IndyCar driven by Ryan Briscoe this season. The No. 2 machine will proudly carry the Hitachi name and be branded at eight IndyCar Series races this season, beginning this weekend in Birmingham, Ala., and subsequent races in Long Beach, Calif., Sao Paulo, Brazil, Detroit, Mich., Toronto, Canada, Edmonton, Canada, Qingdao, China and Sonoma, Calif. Hitachi will also serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 2 car during the balance of the IndyCar races this season.
IndyCar news bits The third Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K Run, Walk 'N Wheelathon on March 23 raised almost $38,000 through the support of more than 700 event participants. All proceeds will benefit the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and All Children's Hospital. … KV Racing Technology general manager Mark Johnson said the team has taken measures to rectify the battery issue that knocked out Tony Kanaan after only 21 laps of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. … The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 souvenir program is a Gold SABRE award finalist. ... Will Power, who set an IZOD IndyCar Series track qualifying record, had the fastest race lap on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn St. Petersburg street course at 1 minute, 2.7575 seconds on Lap 4 of 100.
Softer tire will make new IndyCar go faster at Barber Firestone Racing engineers have selected primary and alternate tire specifications that are new for Barber Motorsports Park.
The compounds are softer (less durable) than their 2011 counterparts and were tested in November at the track. The construction has changed slightly compared to 2011 and has been designed to improve grip.
"After winning in St. Pete, Helio Castroneves was very complimentary of the direction Firestone Racing engineers have taken for 2012, noting that tires played a key role in his victory," Firestone Racing executive director Al Speyer said. "Both the primary and alternate specification Firestone tires proved to be consistent and durable in the first round, and we expect to see the same level of performance at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend."
Of note: In 2011, Will Power put 31 laps (74 miles) on a used set of alternate Firestone Racing tires en route to leading all 90 laps for a dominant victory.
Honda drivers visit with associates in Lincoln Honda drivers Scott Dixon, James Jakes, Charlie Kimball and Takuma Sato visited the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama auto assembly plant in nearby Lincoln, Ala., on March 29.
HMA has the capacity to build up to 300,000 Honda cars and trucks annually.
Garcia hopes to make his mark at Barber Juan Pablo Garcia has raced part-time in three different Firestone Indy Lights seasons with three different teams. This season, he's looking to make a bigger splash in the series with his full-time ride with Jeffrey Mark Motorsports.
After a seventh-place finish at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Garcia turns to Barber Motorsport Park for Round 2 of the schedule on April 1.
The Mexico City native raced in the first four events of 2011 with Jensen MotorSport. He signed with Jeffrey Mark Motorsport on March 6 as the full-season driver for the new owner.
"I am very happy to be back in the series for my first full season," Garcia said. "Even though I had the opportunity to test my car before the season, I know it's going to be a tough season. But with the help of Jeffrey Mark Motorsport and Bryan Herta Autosport, I know we will improve with each race."
Visitors to Barber Motorsports can't miss the newest addition to the scenic facility's artwork collection: the Lady in the Lake just past the Fan Zone on the right-hand side.
It joins other whimsical sculptures, such as metal ants toting a motorcyclist outside the first turns and the giant spider and young brood that overlook the hairpin.
Graham Rahal said he'll swim out and kiss the Lady in the Lake and have the post-race victory celebration at Rusty's BBQ in Leeds -- his favorite dining spot in Alabama -- that evening should he win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1.
David Scotney 1950-2012 Lola Group is very sad to report the passing today of one of its longest serving and distinguished employees - David Scotney, who has worked for the company since 1978. After a valiant and typically courageous battle against illness over the last three years, David passed away peacefully at the Royal Marsden hospital in London this morning.
Leading the tributes to David was Lola Executive Chairman Martin Birrane."I got to know David at Le Mans in 1981 when he helped Dorset Racing with a De Cadenet which I was driving. We became firm friends immediately and he continued to work on and run my various racing cars for many years both before and after my purchase of Lola. I had complete trust in him to provide me with a safe racing car.
Pro Stock legend Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins dies NHRA Pro Stock icon Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, a master of the internal combustion engine and a legend among the Chevrolet faithful, died March 29. He was 81.
Jenkins, voted No. 8 among NHRA Drag Racing's greatest racers in a 2001 experts poll, scored just 13 NHRA national event wins but earned his well-deserved spot in drag racing's top 10 because no other individual has contributed more to the advancement of normally aspirated engines for drag racing competition than the legendary "Grump."
A Week in Motorsport with Lotus FORMULA ONE – LOTUS F1 TEAM AT MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
Lotus F1 Team’s Kimi Raikkonen drove a strong race at Sepang to convert his tenth-place start into fifth place and ten points. It was a tough race with mixed weather conditions, made tougher by a gearbox change penalty that put the Finn five slots back on the grid from his impressive qualifying time.
On Saturday, Kimi set the fastest time in Q2 and the joint fourth fastest time in Q3, a 1:36.461 shared with Mark Webber. It highlighted the raw pace of the Lotus E20. Team-mate Romain Grosjean, meanwhile, delivered the seventh fastest time and was promoted to P6 on the grid due to Kimi’s penalty.
Romain had a very strong start, bursting through the field and taking third at Turn 1. However, as rain fell and visibility was compromised, he had contact with Michael Schumacher and the two were sent spinning out. A few laps later, stuck out on intermediate tires as the rain lashed down, Romain aquaplaned off into the gravel. His race was over.
Kimi fell to 13th after switching to extreme wets on Lap 5, just before the Safety Car came out and, finally, the race was red flagged. After nearly an hour sheltering under gazebos on the grid, the race was restarted.
On Lap 13, Kimi was back in for intermediates. With the track drying he made his third and final stop on Lap 40 having scythed his way back up the field to P6. On dry tarmac, Kimi set the fastest lap of the race and when Sebastian Vettel lost a rear tire he was promoted to fifth place behind Mark Webber.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was my first time on wet weather Pirellis - I didn’t know how they would react. I just tried to stay on the road and pushed as hard as I felt comfortable. When I changed to dry I could push much harder. The conditions changed a lot today so it was always a case of adapting and looking for grip. A fifth today is okay but we’re always looking for better results.”
Romain Grosjean: “It felt like the perfect start off the line. With KERS I managed to weave through the cars in front without touching anybody. Coming out of the first two corners I was up to third, which was an amazing feeling. In Turn 4 Mark Webber edged in front. Michael Schumacher tried to follow him through but there was not enough space and we touched, and both spun. From there things were really tough. The visibility was so poor. There was far too much water. I had a massive aquaplaning into Turn 5 and went backwards into the gravel.”
GP2 – SEPANG, MALAYSIA
Lotus GP scored a lights-to-flag one-two on Sunday, in the sprint race that rounded-off the 2012 GP2 Series’ first race weekend.
British rookie James Calado lined up sixth on the grid for Race 1, with Mexican team-mate Esteban Gutierrez back in 15th, recovering from a practice crash with Barwa Addax’s Johnny Cecotto. Esteban made a lightening start, carving through to 10th by the third corner. Calado maintained his position, pitting on lap 12, while Gutierrez led the race before pitting three laps later. He stormed into the pit entry road a bit too hot, got on the grass and just saved it, losing 2.5 seconds. It put him back behind Calado, who was now running ninth, and the pair started to drill into the field again. On lap 25 of the 30 lap feature, Esteban passed James at the hairpin to snatch seventh. Calado resisted pressure from Giedo Van der Garde until the finish. It had been a particularly tough race for the rookie. His water bottle broke, as did his radio. It was most fortunate his crew was there when he came in to pit.
By finishing eighth, James was on pole position for the second race. Esteban was right behind on the front row. Down to Turn 1 the Mexican challenged, but James had the inside line and the pair maintained their positions at the front all the way to the flag. Calado leaves Malaysia third in the championship, with Gutierrez just one point behind. Lotus GP is second in the title chase, five points adrift of DAMS.
James Calado: “In Race 2 Esteban’s start was better, but I kept to the inside for the first corner. From there I drove like a slug, so slow, just trying to conserve the tires. I couldn’t believe the degradation, but it’s the same for everyone. It’s nice to get a win under my belt. My objective this weekend was just to score points, and that’s what I’ve done without taking any silly risks. That’s the way I’m approaching every round this season.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “I played it safe in Race 2 because it’s essential to get the points. My one chance was the start, I didn’t manage to take the lead from James, but from there we had a very strong race and it’s the perfect result for the team. Yesterday’s start was really good, I found a lot of grip and had I not been blocked I think I could have been P5 from P15! It was still good enough to get in the top ten. When I went into the pits I was a bit optimistic. I need to minimize these kinds of mistakes. Today, there were no errors from either James or I and we got this great one-two, so we’re very happy.”
INDYCAR – ST PETERSBURG, FL
Lotus’ IndyCar engine debut showed a lot of promise, but with minimal testing reliability was a victim. Three of the five Lotus-engined cars failed to finish, but Sebastian Bourdais’ Lotus Dragon Racing car was in play for a top five finale and a lot of vital data was gained throughout the weekend. The potential is there, they just need to iron out the creases.
Bourdais, #7, started 26th and last but fought his way up to the sharp end. “I was able to match some of the top running drivers, at certain times, during the race. I was running in the top 10, then in top five. I was P1 from sectors 4 to 8. But then, all of a sudden, it was like the ignition went off. The car just stopped, with so few laps left in the race”. The issue was traced to an electrical problem.
Just a few laps into the race, Katherine Legge’s #6 Lotus Dragon Racing stalled on the front straight bringing out the first caution flag. The car was towed back to pitlane, where the team re-started it and Legge re-joined the field. Throughout the race, Legge experienced shifting and throttle problems, causing the car to lose power. After two thirds of the race, the #6 car stopped at the end of the front straight leaking fluids.
Lotus HVM Racing’s Simona De Silvestro had high hopes going into today’s race. Unfortunately, the team suffered a setback when the car stalled on track on lap 23. Unable to restart the car in pit lane, the team pushed the car to the garage, working frantically to fix the issue and get Simona back into the race. Unfortunately, they missed the cut off of 15 laps to go.
Alex Tagliani and his Lotus-BHA crew earned a fifteenth place finish, the highest of the Lotus-powered cars in the competition. The team made consistent improvements throughout the race weekend, leading up to Saturday's qualifying effort, where Tagliani earned P17 on the starting grid. On Sunday, the Canadian driver completed 100 incident-free laps.
Lotus-DRR’s Oriol Servia finished 16th. On Lap 12, Oriol pitted on the same lap before the yellow came out, making his a three-stop strategy. Servia pitted again on Lap 43, receiving a full fill of fuel and switched from the alternate tires to primaries. As he was leaving pit lane, the #2 machine stalled several times due to the clutch not being able to engage. Oriol was unable to put the car into first gear as result and he lost a lap. Oriol came in for the final time on Lap 72 to fill full with fuel. He was excited to finish the race.
Oriol Servia, Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: "I'm the happiest I've been all weekend. I was pulling away in the corners. We're lacking top speed, there's no doubt, but I'm super encouraged at the improvement that we made with the car. We had a little hiccup with the clutch. Those are mechanical things that in racing you cannot avoid, especially with a new car. We kept our heads down after a tough qualifying and we came up with a good racecar, which gives me confidence for the next 15 races."
Claudio Berro, Director of Lotus Racing: “The performance of the Lotus cars during the race was good, but we still need to work on the car to improve it. We got going six months later than the other two big manufacturers. It was not easy to arrive this weekend on top. We improved the engineering in some areas. We were confident that the teams would give us good support, and they did. In order to speed things up, all the Lotus teams decided to share the data right from the beginning. We need to work on the mapping, the throttle. Three out of five cars didn’t finish, for different reasons. We need to go back and analyze these engines. We have a lot of information to compute, if we are going to go forward. But, we feel good about everything we have learned this weekend, and we will improve week by week.”
RALLYING - ST REMO TEST
Lotus made significant progress this week in developing the new Exige R-GT rally car. The Lotus International Rally team headed to the legendary rally Tarmac of St Remo, Italy, with works drivers Bernardo Sousa and Luca Rossetti. The Exige ran for 85km on Tuesday and 75km on Wednesday this week, and the testing was largely trouble free except for a small supercharger problem, which was remedied by changing the compressor belt. The team will carry out another two-day test ahead of the R-GT's race debut in FIA European Rally Championship on 19-21 April in Italy's Rally 1000 Miglia.
Bernardo Sousa: "I'm loving every km in the car, there is some work to do, but I'm sure that in the near future we will have some very good results, the car has great potential"
Claudio Berro, director of Lotus Racing: "The Lotus Exige R-GT's development continues to go to plan and we were satisfied with the performance, mileage and data we got from the car and drivers. We did a lot of work on set-up, and we should be perfectly prepared with a final two day test, schedule within the next ten days. Next week we'll be having a visit from the FIA to homologate the car, so things are coming together quickly. It's really exciting."
IZOD IndyCar Series to race in Houston in 2013UPDATE #2
This was the Houston 1.7-mile circuit used by Champ Car in 2007
The 1.7-mile track used in the previous races at Reliant Park featured 10 turns and offered few passing areas. There were even fewer actual passes during Houston’s final CCWS race, won from the pole position by Sebastien Bourdais.
But the likelihood of that recurring should be diminished.
“The track surface, where the cars will race, was repaved to concrete,” Kosich said. “The whole parking lot and street started off as asphalt. But to make the thing work, they dug that up and put (in) concrete. (IndyCar officials) think there is enough concrete in areas we haven’t used that they can change the configuration so that there will be much more passing.”
03/28/12 Bobby Rahal, a co-owner of a racing team with Lanigan, said the addition of the Houston race is exciting news for the circuit.
“I joined Mike several years ago to speak with the business community about the potential of having a Grand Prix,” Rahal said, “and it was clear that there is a tremendous amount of local support for the event, which is critical for long-term success. It will be a marquee event for the series.”
Markus Pommer goes quickest during F2 pre-season test at Silverstone
German Markus Pommer
Markus Pommer headed the timesheets during Wednesday official FIA Formula Two Championship test at the Silverstone GP circuit. The session also marked the first outing for the new upgraded 2012-spec F2 car, which lapped the circuit two seconds quicker than during last year’s pre-season test.
The 18 drivers were blessed with warm, spring sunshine for the test session at the 5.901km track, where the opening rounds of the season get underway in just over two weeks time (14/15 April).
Pommer was the first driver to get to grips with the new Yokohama tires and carbon brakes, with the German leading the way in both the morning sessions and lapping in the 1:48s -already two seconds up on the 2011 pre-season test times.
New U.S. Rallycross Series Rally America and New Jersey Motorsports Park have joined forces to create the Rally America U.S. Rallycross Series, with the first event being held May 19. The U.S. Rallycross Series will consist of at least four events at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, with other venues to be added later in the year.
The U.S. Rallycross Series marks a return to the Rally America schedule after a taking a year off from the sport. Rally America introduced Rallycross to the U.S. for the first time in 2010 with a four-event series at New Jersey Motorsports Park and also worked closely with ESPN to introduce Rallycross competition to the very popular X Games.
This article talks about Marco Andretti's IndyCar career and how it has been mediocre at best. Draw your own conclusions but indeed, now at 25-years old and in his 7th season of IndyCar, it is the time in every great driver's career that they start to win on a more regular basis.
Does Marco have more great performances in him like we saw last year at Iowa, or has he become complacent driving for his father's team where he knows he won't get fired?
He carries the burden of the great Andretti name, adding pressure that you're expected to win. A heavy burden to carry indeed, but the famous name opened the doors to get him to IndyCar, so now it's a burden he must bear......not unlike Dale Earnhardt Jr., John Andretti, Adam Petty, Nico Rosberg, and Bruno Senna.
Road to Indy adds Skip Barber as official schoolUPDATE #2 The IZOD IndyCar Series and Skip Barber Racing School are teaming up to complete the MAZDA Road to Indy driver development ladder by making Skip Barber Racing School the official racing school of the IZOD IndyCar Series and by announcing the creation of the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy. Skip Barber Racing School has a 37-year history of training, developing and elevating the best young drivers in the world and the new Skip Barber IndyCar Academy continues that tradition which has advanced four generations of drivers to the pinnacle of motorsports. Now more than ever the MAZDA Road to Indy starts at Skip Barber Racing School.
Eligibility for the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy is simple: graduate from one Skip Barber 3-Day Formula Car Racing School in 2012 . There is no age-limit to participate in the program, but individuals must meet the following criteria to be nominated for the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy:
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