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DATE News (chronologically)
04/05/10
starmazda

MaryEve Dufault to Compete in Star Mazda
Maryeve Dufault
In partnership with Team Apex, FAZZT Race Team announced  that development driver Maryeve Dufault will be driving in three Star Mazda Championship Series events over the course of the 2010 season. Maryeve will begin her season testing a Midget in preparation for the first oval Star Mazda test at O'Reilly Raceway Park on May 5 and 6 and then run the Night Before the 500 on May 29 at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Following that event will be Iowa Speedway with IRL on June 20 and  Trois-Rivières on August 15.

"Interest in helping Maryeve get her racing career moving forward is very high, and we are pleased to have put together the Star Mazda tests and races that coincide with the IndyCar Series as well as a Canadian event," explained team COO Jim Freudenberg.  "Our sponsorship plans for Maryeve came together quite quickly and we are excited to announce she will be joining Team Apex Racing to run her car for this three race program.  We will be announcing her sponsors in the coming weeks." 

Read more & Comment...
04/05/10
automotive

All GM cars to have brake override system
General Motors today announced it's expanding the use of brake-override systems into all of its vehicles sold globally by the end of 2012.

Eight or nine GM vehicles in the U.S. are already sold with the system, said Alan Adler, a GM spokesman. It works by reducing power to the engine when the brake and accelerator pedals are being depressed at the same time.

GM said it already uses a braking performance standard in all vehicles that requires a braking vehicle to stop within a specific distance.

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04/05/10
irl

Indy Racing League's car of the future is no easy task 
The Izod IndyCar Series had gained some leadership and direction in terms of determining its new engine and chassis formula for the future. But the decision remains controversial.

Spurred by the unveiling of the radical Delta Wing concept, there's been a lot of recent talk about the new chassis. But things have gone quiet on the engine front.

That is, until Roger Penske, the most successful team owner in Indy car racing history, stepped into the fray when he met with reporters at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Citing cost concerns for the teams, Penske advocated introducing the new engine formula first and retrofitting it into the current Dallara chassis, which has been the default chassis of the IndyCar Series since 2003.

Read more & Comment...
04/05/10
automotive

Feds seek $16.4M fine against Toyota
Federal regulators want to impose a $16.4 million civil fine against Toyota Motor Corp. for failing to notify the auto safety agency of the dangerous "sticky pedal" defect for at least four months, despite knowing of the potential risk to consumers.

The penalty is the maximum the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can levy under federal law -- and would be the largest NHTSA has ever imposed against an auto manufacturer. It also reflects a new far more aggressive stance by the safety agency.

Approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled in January for the sticky pedal defect. Toyota separately has recalled 5.4 million vehicles over pedal entrapment issues -- though some vehicles are impacted by both.

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04/05/10
nnws

Sauter to drive for R3
For this Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, Johnny Sauter will make a one-race appearance driving the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports.

Sauter, a three-time winner in the series, was called upon to help keep the team’s upward momentum in the all-important Owner’s Points standings. Coming into last week’s race at Nashville Superspeedway, the No. 23 team was 31st in points trailing 30th by 15 markers.

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04/05/10
nassprint

Sponsor still values NASCAR despite recent declines
Despite recent declines in attendance and TV ratings, the soft-drink company remains bullish on the stock-car set. Earlier this month, Coke signed a new deal with track operator Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI) through 2015. Terms call for a consolidated contract – rather than the previous arrangement of signing individual deals with various SMI tracks – encompassing six speedways: Atlanta; New Hampshire; Infineon (Sonoma, Calif.); Las Vegas; Charlotte and Texas. Coke also retains naming rights to the Memorial Day weekend race in Charlotte.

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04/05/10
nhra

Four-wide drag racing a fiasco, owners group says
You won't find a drag racer who has competed on a track owned by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. with anything bad to say about the pioneering octogenarian.

He built and owns the best drag racing facilities in the country, including Las Vegas Motor Speedway and his newest, zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Smith had a vision of four-lane drag racing when he built the Las Vegas track 11 years ago. The combination of cost and the NHRA's disapproval of four-wide racing at the time led him to scale back Las Vegas to a traditional two-lane track.

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04/05/10
f1

Red Bull would support ride-height change rule tweak
(GMM)  Red Bull would support a rule to allow a suspension change in 'parc ferme' conditions between qualifying and the grands prix.

We reported late on Saturday that the solution is being touted by the FIA and rival teams as a solution to F1's latest technical controversy.

Some teams suspect Red Bull is somehow regulating the right-height of the RB6 between qualifying and the race, perhaps with an ingenious compressed gas system that can be legally drained or re-filled in parc ferme conditions.

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04/05/10
irl

'Augusta of racetracks' suits Barber
Through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the control/media building parallel to pit lane, George W. Barber surveys the expansive park-like venue that bears his name and points to the larger-than-life metal spider in the infield – among the dozens of whimsical pieces of artwork populating the 740 acres.

“One of my favorites,” he says before motioning to track manager Mark Whitt, who’s quickly on the radio requesting that someone pluck a notebook-size piece of paper from its grassy perch.

There’s not much that escapes Barber’s attention. He’s a personable, frank-speaking Southerner – a lifelong resident and bachelor of Birmingham, Ala., whose 2.38-mile twisting ribbon of asphalt will host the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights this weekend for the first time.

The racing facility and accompanying Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum are arguably the most popular attractions in the state (maybe with the original Dreamland Bar-B-Q in Tuscaloosa and “Bear” Bryant’s gravesite in Birmingham), which is what Barber set out to accomplish more than a decade ago.

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04/05/10
f1

Webber says Red Bull were cruising
Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber has said team-mate Sebastian Vettel and him weren't racing on the limit on Sunday but had the luxury of saving their engines and tires as they were comfortably leading the race. He admits it would have been different though when Ferrari and McLaren started higher up the grid. "It was a luxury today, for Sebastian (Vettel) and I, not to have to kill the engines, kill the tires, kill everything because the gap to the other guys was more comfortable, no question about it," Webber said on Sunday evening. "But Nico (Rosberg) drove a good race, but I think there were some quicker guys, maybe particularly Lewis (Hamilton), who had a different day, starting at the back. Tactically the race could have been a little bit different if he was around, or Fernando (Alonso) or Felipe (Massa). I obviously didn't see how their race went. Obviously Fernando didn't finish at the end.

"As Jack Brabham used to say: 'win at the slowest possible speed.' One second or thirty seconds is the same result. We were very much in control of today's race. It's not always going to be like that but when it is, you have to make the most of it."

Comment
04/05/10
nassprint

DuPont hospitality program experiences a revival
DuPont's once robust NASCAR hospitality program suffered enormous cuts last year, but the longtime #24- Jeff Gordon sponsor is back in 2010 with more guests and events at each track. Just a few years ago, DuPont had the largest hospitality program in NASCAR, hosting guests at every race on the Sprint Cup circuit, a number that reached 20,000 people a year. Their guests ranged from body-shop owners who used DuPont paint to building contractors who bought the Tyvek brand of house wrap. The company would bring as many as 1,000 people to a race, and virtually the entire focus of the sponsorship was based on creating business-to-business activity. DuPont entertained customers with meals, question-and-answer sessions with Gordon and bags of swag, all the while making new relationships or deepening existing ones. But DuPont hospitality was largely a casualty of the recession in 2009. Instead of entertaining at all 36 Cup events as it had done in the past, DuPont cut back to six races and 2,000 guests, 10% of what it used to do. DuPont wasn't the only corporate entity slashing its spend. Tracks reported that revenue from hospitality was down 20 to 25% last year. What DuPont discovered, though, was how important the hospitality program was to its sales. So in 2010, it's back with hospitality events at 23 races, and it'll entertain 4,000 to 5,000 guests. Those numbers are still a fraction of what used to be the biggest hospitality program in NASCAR, but it's a start. DuPont's revival in 2010 comes at a pivotal time in its sponsorship, having renewed its league deal as the official auto finish, a distinction it has had since 2003. The team deal with Gordon and #24 car owner Hendrick Motorsports expires at the end of this year, and renewal discussions are ongoing, although it's uncertain if DuPont will maintain its current commitment level as the primary sponsor for 75% of Gordon's Sprint Cup races. National Guard and Pepsi are the other sponsors on Gordon's car. DuPont owns the longest-running driver-sponsor-owner relationship in NASCAR, having sponsored Gordon since he first started driving the #24 in 1992. Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal

Comment
04/05/10
f1

Glock fined for pit lane speeding
Formula 1 governing body the FIA has imposed a fine upon Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock, who exceeded the pit lane speed limit at Sepang on Saturday.

With the speed limit for practice sessions being 60km/h (37mph), Glock's car was measured driving at 70.2km/h (43mph).

The incident ensured a breaking of article 30.12 in the sporting code and has resulted in a fine of €2,200 (£1,900 pounds approx).

Comment
04/05/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Renault says Hamilton weaving should have been punished
  • Press hails Hamilton, Alonso, after Sepang struggles
  • HRT must look beyond finishing races - Senna
  • Rivals still rate struggling Schumacher
  • 'Lucky' F1 needs to fix boring formula - Ecclestone
  • Ferrari and Sauber engine problems not related
  • Ferrari to race F-duct 'as soon as possible'
  • Sepang promises track improvements for 2011

Renault says Hamilton weaving should have been punished
(GMM)  Renault team boss Eric Boullier believes Lewis Hamilton should have received an actual penalty for weaving during Sunday's Malaysian grand prix.

During the McLaren driver's battle with Vitaly Petrov, Hamilton made four or five weaving maneuvers on a single straight in order to prevent the Russian rookie from passing him.

According to the rules, drivers may only make one defensive move, and then another before the brazing zone to return to his racing line.

The incident, successfully enabling Hamilton to stay ahead of Renault's Petrov, was reported by the race director to the stewards during the Sepang race.

But the 2008 world champion was merely warned, and shown a black and white flag for bad conduct.

Renault did not mention the weaving in its official press release, but Boullier is quoted as saying by Spain's AS newspaper: "We have expressed our opinion (to the FIA).  The warning was not enough."

The newspaper also quoted Ferrari test driver Marc Gene as describing Hamilton's driving as "wrong", while Virgin tester Andy Soucek said the Briton should have penalized "absolutely, without any doubt".

And former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson told BBC radio: "I don't know what Lewis was doing, weaving all over the track.  I think he thought he was playing a Playstation rather than real life."

Read more & Comment...
04/05/10
f1

Renault has issue with Hamilton
Enthralled fans worldwide watched the action packed Malaysian grand prix yesterday as several top drivers fought their way up through the field from the back of the grid. One such battle included the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton and the Renault of rookie racer Vitaly Petrov, a battle the McLaren eventually won, collecting a warning from the stewards for his trouble.

After making a move on the Renault and taking the place with relative ease as he sliced his way through the field, Lewis Hamilton was taken by surprise when the young rookie took the position back soon afterwards. Resuming the battle, Hamilton took a little longer to get past again, however when he did so he was determined not to let the Renault back past.

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04/05/10
f1

Bridgestone Malaysia GP summary
Sebastian Vettel led his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber across the line to win a scintillating Malaysian Grand Prix with a soft – hard Bridgestone Potenza tire strategy at a searing hot Sepang.

The rain which visited the circuit for every afternoon in the build-up to the race remained absent, meaning it was tire strategies using Bridgestone’s two dry tires which defined performance, with a good mix of timing and order of use of the hard and soft compounds.

Read more & Comment...
04/05/10
irl
alms

Free trips keep the peace (and quiet) for Grand Prix neighbors
Long Beach circuit.  The Breakers is adjacent to the Yellow ticket entry gate
LONG BEACH — While some residents look forward to the sights and sounds of Grand Prix weekend, others just can't wait to take a bus out of town.
 
"I can't stand the noise," said senior Leanora Weber, whose room in The Breakers assisted living home overlooks the race track. "When those cars are zooming, I can't hear myself think."
 
For years, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach has offered a solution for residents in many of the city's historic buildings along Ocean Boulevard. Each year on the Saturday and Sunday of Grand Prix weekend, residents of The Breakers, The Blackstone, Cooper Arms, International Towers, Long Beach Towers, Sovereign Apartments and Villa Riviera get a free, daylong bus trip courtesy of the Grand Prix.

Read more & Comment...
04/04/10
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Nationwide Series in Prime Time from Phoenix on ESPN2

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races in prime time at Phoenix International Raceway and ESPN2 will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the 200-mile event on Friday night, April 9. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 9 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 9:30 p.m. with the green flag at 9:45 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.

Also from Phoenix, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Friday at 5 p.m.

Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN2’s race coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by Wallace.

Read more & Comment...
04/04/10
f1

Mercedes signs new sponsor, no announcement
(GMM)  Mercedes ran a new sponsor on the livery of its 2010 car at Sepang this weekend, despite not officially announcing the deal.

It is believed the Brackley based team instead wanted to devote its full corporate attention to title sponsor Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned oil company that also owns the naming rights of its home race at Sepang.

But a new deal had clearly been reached by Mercedes GP with a company called Autonomy, whose name and 'A' logo was seen on the monocoque sides as well as the aerodynamic piece in front of the sidepods.

Autonomy is a jointly UK and US-based software company.

Comment
04/04/10
f1

Vettel survives post-win stewards inquiry
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel survived a scare after winning Sunday's Malaysian grand prix.

The German, who was leading before technical defects hit in Bahrain and Melbourne, was summoned by the stewards after the Sepang race.

During Sunday's race, the 22-year-old passed Lotus' Jarno Trulli while yellow flags were waving, and a stewards report said Vettel "did breach ... the international sporting code".

But the stewards, including former grand prix winner Johnny Herbert, said the Red Bull slowed down in the yellow flag area, and noted that Trulli at the time had "an obvious problem".

They did not impose a penalty.

Comment
04/04/10
f1

Rain forecast for Malaysian GP
(GMM)  In the wake of Saturday's slippery qualifying session at Sepang, more of the same weather is forecast for the Malaysian grand prix in less than an hour.

Some in the Sepang media centre are convinced they have felt a drop or two of rain up and down the paddock on Sunday, but it has been a mainly dry, hot and humid day as the F1 circus prepares for round three of the world championship.

There have been thick and ominous-looking clouds constantly in the sky, however, and forecasts are predicting the typical late afternoon showers to also feature on Sunday.

Bernie Ecclestone joked to a reporter that he has ordered a rain shower for 4.15 local, which will be a few laps into the 56-lap race.

Comment
04/04/10
f1

Head surprised after early Hulkenberg struggle
(GMM)  While the big-hitters at Ferrari and McLaren floundered in Malaysia, Nico Hulkenberg had the first breakthrough of his young F1 career.

After struggling to keep up with his vastly experienced teammate Rubens Barrichello earlier this season, the 22-year-old reigning GP2 champion qualified an impressive fifth at slippery Sepang.

"Yes, he (Hulkenberg) did a good job," team co-owner and engineering director Patrick Head told the Times.  "But it wasn't particularly a surprise that he did so.

"I would say it was more of a surprise that he didn't quite get it together in Bahrain and Melbourne," he added.

Barrichello, 37, warned the team not to get too carried away.

"I don't think we would have achieved P5 and P7 in a dry session," insisted the Brazilian.

Comment
04/04/10
f1

Webber hurt hand after paddock stairs descent
Mark Webber
(GMM)  Mark Webber will race with a bruise and a Band-Aid under his right-hand glove in today's Malaysian grand prix.

After setting pole with an astonishing 1.3 second margin, having gambled on running on intermediate tires at slippery Sepang, the Australian climbed the staircase to be interviewed by the world's media.

But with the press conference over and on his descent down the stairs back into the paddock, 33-year-old Webber tripped and hurt his hand when he slapped the wall, according to the Swiss publication Blick.

However, the Red Bull driver is far from badly hurt, even though the wound briefly bled before it was covered with an adhesive bandage.

Comment
04/03/10
nnw

Harvick wins Nationwide race
Kevin Harvick took advantage of a late caution to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.

Harvick and crew chief Ernie Cope gambled by taking two tires when the eighth yellow flag of the day came out with 34 laps to go. That enabled Harvick to seize the lead from Kyle Busch, who was unable to mount a challenge as the race wound down.

"We were 10 laps short (on fuel) and it seemed like there were a lot of cautions," Harvick said. "We were in conservation mode so we did what we needed to do to play it both ways. We had options and weren't in a box like some other guys were, having to pit under green. If you have to do that you're pretty much done." 

Read more & Comment...
04/03/10
nnw

Earnhardt plane hit by lightening
An ExpressJet charter bringing Nationwide Series crew members from JR Motorsports, Rusty Wallace Racing and other teams for the Nashville 300 today landed safely after it was struck by lightning during a rainstorm on its descent into an airport in Smyrna, Tenn., at about 8:45 a.m. EDT today.

Jeff Shoaf, the front tire carrier for the JRM car driven by Kelly Bires, said the crewmen were told that a different plane will have to bring the team back to the Charlotte area after the race today at Nashville Superspeedway.

“All of a sudden there was a loud pop, like a bang,” Shoaf said. “We saw a flash and [some] thought an engine had backfired. It was about a minute before the stewardess came over the intercom and [said] we were struck by lightning.”

Shoaf said some of the crewmen were shook up.

“After we maintained how we were, I knew everything was going to be fine,” Shoaf said. “It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. It definitely woke you up. It was a loud pop. It was a jolt. It definitely got everybody’s attention, that’s for sure.” Scenedaily.com

Comment
04/03/10
f1

Heidfeld criticizes top teams for weather gambles
Nick Heidfeld
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld was critical on Saturday after top teams' trust in the weather radar at fickle Sepang left them stranded down the grid for the Malaysian grand prix.

During the rain at the start of Q1, top players including the runners for McLaren, Ferrari and - initially - Mercedes stayed in the garages in the hope that the rain would pass.

"I was very surprised," Mercedes reserve driver Nick Heidfeld told German television Sky.

"There was very little to gain and so much to lose, as we saw," he said, referring to the fact that both McLarens and both Ferraris were later stranded on an even wetter track and are now at the bottom of Sunday's grid.

"It was obviously a very bad decision, and surprising that it came from people who have been around for a long time.  For me, it's not understandable," added Heidfeld.

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04/03/10
f1

Now F1 world braced for Sepang race chaos
(GMM)  As evening fell at Sepang on Saturday, the paddock chatter was about what the weather might now bring for the Malaysian grand prix.

True to week-long predictions, the late afternoon downpours arrived right on cue for qualifying, and so disruptive that the red flags had to wave during Q3.

"Malaysian rain is like English tea: it comes around five and it's the same temperature," joked Toro Rosso's Italian engineer Giorgio Ascanelli.

The weather radar played havoc with F1's cleverest top teams, with big title players including the Ferraris and McLarens now stranded down the grid after initially gambling on easing rain.

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04/03/10
f1

Hamilton accepts they made mistake
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton accepted he and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button made the wrong call after they crashed out of the first phase of a rain-disrupted qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix today.

After a shower had fallen before the start of the session, the two opted to stay in the garage in the hope the rain would subside.

However, conditions instead worsened as the rain continued to fall and when they finally headed out onto the Sepang circuit, Button spun his McLaren into the gravel to bring an end to his session while Hamilton struggled to find the pace to get him through to Q2.

Consequently, Button lines up 17th on the grid with Hamilton in 20th while Red Bull are in prime position to close in on their rivals after Mark Webber secured pole with Sebastian Vettel lining in third.

"I think we started a bit too late, but we went out at a similar times to all the other top teams, but it was just unlucky," said Hamilton.

"It was one of those days. It's been a good weekend so far, but we didn't expect it to rain any more and it got wetter and wetter and we couldn't get the time, so It will be hard work tomorrow, but I'll do my best."

Comment
04/03/10
f1

Hamilton's flaws are McLaren's fault - Whitmarsh
Some of the flaws in Lewis Hamilton's race-driver character are McLaren's fault, team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted.

In the wake of the 2008 world champion's controversial Melbourne weekend, where he had a brush with police and then criticized his race strategy two days later, Whitmarsh said the 25-year-old's development as a driver was a "pretty artificial existence".

"We hooked up with him at 12 and looked after him," he is quoted as saying by the Telegraph. "Most of his decisions were taken for him -- in his life, in his career, in everything.

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04/03/10
f1

Sauber happier with 'F-duct' after Sepang runs
Sauber was happier with its latest version of the McLaren-like 'F-duct' system during Friday practice at Sepang.

The Swiss team abandoned the prototype model after practice in Melbourne, and used a modified version aboard the C29 cars in Malaysia.

"We are still too slow," boss Peter Sauber told Blick newspaper, "but at least our rear wing system seems to work."

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04/03/10
f1

USF1 closes doors
USF1, at least for now, is finally dead.

The American team, who had an entry for the 2010 season but failed to be ready in time, has completely closed down its operations at its Charlotte base.

In the past week, permanent layoff notices were sent in writing to all of the USF1 staff, who until now had been on unpaid leave.

In the letters, team principal Ken Anderson noted that the employees might be rehired in the future "if business conditions improve", but explained that "serious economic and funding challenges" have ended the project.

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04/03/10
f1

Team eyed Coulthard for F1 return
(GMM)  David Coulthard on Saturday said a formula one team phoned him last year expressing interest in giving him a race seat.

The 39-year-old Scot retired from the sport after a 15-season career at the end of 2008, freeing up a place at Red Bull for Sebastian Vettel.

He is now a travelling expert pundit for British television, and confirmed in Malaysia that he is set to race in this year's DTM championship with Mercedes.

But the winner of 13 grands prix insists his F1 days are definitely over, despite some interest last year.

"I had a call from one of the teams which I never returned because people in F1 knew I wasn't looking to make a return in F1," Coulthard told the BBC at Sepang.

Comment
04/03/10
f1

Disappointed Willis considers quitting HRT
(GMM)  Geoff Willis' time at the struggling new HRT team may be coming to a short-lived end.

The formerly high-profile Williams, McLaren and Honda technical boss, who mysteriously left Red Bull last year, started working with the Campos/Hispania project only a few months ago.

But he has now given an exclusive interview to Germany's motorsport-total.com in which he admits he is "disappointed" with the Dallara-built F110 car.

The Briton said part of the reason for the car's shortcomings was the stop-start nature of its design program, amid the team's pre-season struggle for survival.

But Willis says the basic "technology" of the Cosworth powered car does not "comply with modern F1 standards".

Read more & Comment...
04/02/10
irl

BAT reveals more IndyCar concept details
BAT Engineering and the three Indianapolis 500-winning designers Bruce Ashmore, Alan Mertens and Tim Wardrop have released new design renderings to accompany their bid to build the next IZOD IndyCar for 2012.

First publicly announced in March, the BAT Engineering proposal builds on the experience and innovation that the triumvirate of Ashmore, Mertens, and Wardrop bring to the project, with the three having designed and engineered machines that have travelled thousands of miles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as tracks around the world.

The BAT Engineering proposal has now been officially recognized by the Indy Racing League, which recently announced the formation of the ICONIC (Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) IZOD IndyCar Series Advisory Committee to manage and guide the selection process as the future of the sport is charted.

Read more & Comment...

04/02/10
alms

Extreme Speed back in the game
Extreme Speed Motorsports is well on its way to having one of its Ferrari F430 GTs fully repaired and ready for a cross-country trip to the next round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The Florida-based team is putting the finishing touches on repairs on the car that went up in flames with team owner Scott Sharp at the wheel 10 hours through the season-opening 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.

Thanks to some quick thinking and reactions under pressure, the damage to the Sharp/Johannes van Overbeek Ferrari was limited to the rear body and a few components, team manager Derek Granison said.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/10
alms

Mowlem to run LMP-C
Johnny Mowlem is to join the American Le Mans Series' new LMP Challenge class for the next two rounds with debutant team PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. Former Atlantic squad PR1 is a new addition to the ALMS' single-make division for the ORECA-built machines originally used in Formula Le Mans in Europe, and will join the series in Long Beach two weeks from now. Mowlem will line-up with Tom Papadopoulos in the car.

"I've been very impressed by Bobby Oergel and his team, and I get a really good feeling that their lack of ALMS background will not matter at all, as they bring a real single seater professionalism to the way they approach a race weekend," said Mowlem.

"Having watched the new class' first race at Sebring and the quality of drivers that it attracted, both professional and amateur, I saw that LMPC had almost immediately established itself as a very competitive and worthwhile prototype class.

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04/02/10
miscellaneous

Petty Charity Ride Across America registration begins
The 16th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is challenging community members along the 2010 Ride route to take part in a grassroots awareness and fundraising effort.  The funds raised through the Charity Ride Dream Team Challenge will support Victory Junction, a year-round camp for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses and other children’s charities. Teams are encouraged to register at www.kylepettycharityride.com/dream_team.

Led by NASCAR driver and racing analyst Kyle Petty, the Ride will depart Indian Wells, Calif., on May 1, and travel east, making overnight stops in North Las Vegas, Nev.; Richfield, Utah; Durango, Colo.; Amarillo, Texas; Texarkana, Texas; Choctaw, Miss.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Asheville, N.C.; before reaching Victory Junction on May 9.  Prior to the Ride’s arrival in these cities, community members are invited to form “Dream Teams” to raise funds for and awareness of the Ride and its beneficiaries.  Dream Teams will be invited to present donations to Kyle Petty and Ride participants at special events along the Ride route.

“Communities are encouraged to spread the word about the Ride prior to our arrival and assist us in getting these Dream Teams excited about helping kids,” said Petty.  “The funds collected will go towards providing life-changing opportunities for deserving children and their families.  Every little bit helps.  It’s all about making a difference in a kids’ life.”

In 2009, donations from The Dream Team Challenge totaled more than $10,000. 

Teams of all ages and sizes are welcome to participate in the Charity Ride Dream Team Challenge and may register on the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Web site.  Registration is free.  Registered teams will receive “Dream Team Packs” containing background information on the Charity Ride and Victory Junction, as well as ongoing updates and fundraising tips.

Fundraising efforts should begin after a team has selected a captain and team members have reviewed the information in the Dream Team Pack.  Then, the sky is the limit!  From bake sales and lemonade stands to black-tie galas and silent auctions, teams should choose fundraising activities that align with individual members’ interests and strengths. 

Teams from around the country are encouraged to participate, and those along the Ride route may join riders at pre-determined stops.  Collected donations should be mailed to Kyle Petty Charity Ride, Inc., 125 Floyd Smith Drive, Suite 45, Charlotte, NC 28262.  Checks should be made payable to “Kyle Petty Charity Ride, Inc.”

Since Victory Junction’s inception, the Charity Ride has sent more than 7,000 children to the life-changing camp at no cost to their families.  Petty and his wife, Pattie, founded Victory Junction in Randleman, N.C., in 2004.  The year-round camp serves children, ages six to 16, with a variety of health issues that would typically prevent them from attending camp.  The camp operates solely on the donations of corporations, organizations and individuals. 

For more information on the Charity Ride Dream Team Challenge and the 16th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, visit www.kylepettycharityride.com. Fans are also encouraged to become a fan via Facebook (Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America and Kyle Petty) and follow us on Twitter at (@kpcharityride and @kylepetty).

Comment
04/02/10
tv news

NASCAR wins the rainout TV coverage rating game
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 (rainout coverage) on FOX last Sunday earned a 3.1 Rating.

Meanwhile, the Izod IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (rainout coverage) last Sunday on ABC earned a 0.6 Rating.

Comment
04/02/10
f1

Sauber not yet looking to sell team
(GMM)  Peter Sauber on Friday said he is not currently looking to share his burden of formula one team ownership.

The 66-year-old Swiss stepped in to rescue the Swiss team he founded, after BMW pulled out of the sport and the Qadbak takeover failed.

"Our budget is now smaller by 40 per cent and we had to reduce the number of employees from 390 to 260," he said in an interview with the German news agency DPA.

Sauber is currently the sole owner of the Hinwil based outfit, despite happily entering retirement when BMW took over at the end of 2005.

"I am not looking for a buyer at the moment," he insisted.  "We are looking for stability, performance and sponsors for 2011."

Comment
04/02/10
f1

Q&A Vettel frustrated
Sebastian Vettel
Despite finishing a close second to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton on the Friday practice timesheets for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was pretty downbeat in the Sepang paddock. Vettel reviews his progress and looks ahead to Saturday’s qualifying session…

Q: After suffering reliability issues in Bahrain and Australia, you must be feeling frustrated…
Sebastian Vettel: Yes, it is frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. We also have a lot of positive things to take from the opening two races, as we know that our car is very fast in both qualifying and the race. We are approaching this weekend in the same way that we approached the last two - with our heads held high. I am very confident that it will not happen again.

Q: What is your target for this weekend?
SV: The same as at the last two races. We will try to win, and if we are not quick enough, we will try to get some solid points.

Q: Last year you missed out on winning the championship by five points. If things had gone to plan, you could have scored 50 points so far this season...
SV: Maybe I should have 50 points now, but this is not the case. What happened at the previous races does not matter at all. We are working very hard, especially now that we have had two rare failures. But this is life. It took a lot of points from us, but this is now history. We are focusing on this race. Our failures were not major ones, like engine failures, but as you can see small things can also have a big impact. Formula One cars are built on their limits, and that’s the name of the game. For everyone there is a chance that something can happen. We have understood what went wrong, and now I think we are on top of it.

Q: What happened during Friday practice?
SV: We had some smaller issues. Mark (Webber) obviously had to stop, and we still do not know the reason for that. We think that it was the engine, but we still have to confirm that. So we have not been 100 percent happy. We still need to be a little quicker. McLaren and Mercedes look very quick. Ferrari also have quite a decent long-run pace.

Q: Will pole position be possible on Saturday?
SV: We still have to see where we are after today, and then we will set our targets. I think for sure that we will be in Q3, so we will aim as high as possible.

Q: What do you think about the conditions here in Malaysia?
SV: Hot and humid. But they are the same for everyone. And the track is one of the tougher ones, so it will be a long race. formula1.com

Comment
04/02/10
f1

Q&A Hamilton says McLaren has stepped forward
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton ruled the roost in Malaysia on Friday, setting the pace in both the morning and afternoon practice sessions. But while he’s confident his MP4-25 is performing well around the Sepang circuit, Hamilton believes there’s more work to do if he wants to clinch pole position on Saturday afternoon…

Q: Lewis, you were quite frustrated about the team’s strategy decision during the Australian Grand Prix…
Lewis Hamilton: I think the situation is understood. We sat down together afterwards. I went back to the garage and was happy for the guys. To see them all in the red (victory) t-shirts was a great feeling. Whether I win or my team mate wins, it’s a great feeling, because that is what we work so hard to get. It is the one special thing the team gets to experience during a race weekend. We make split-second decisions and we are also still trying to understand how long these tires will last within the non-refueling regulation. I don't think we thought the tires would last that long. 

Read more & Comment...
04/02/10
f1

Schuey says car has aero challenges
Michael Schumacher on Friday warned that Mercedes is unlikely to be setting the pace in Formula One for some time yet.
The W01 is consistently named among the quickest four cars in 2010, and with a big upgrade due at Barcelona next month, the team's optimism about joining the ultimate pace has been high.

But despite the silver single seater looking almost as quick as Lewis Hamilton's pace-setting McLaren at Sepang throughout the initial day of practice, Schumacher said: "It (getting on the pace) might take us a bit longer than we hoped for."

The seven time world champion spent much of the Australian GP behind Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, and he says the car is "aerodynamically very sensitive".

"We have a problem when we're driving behind the others," Schumacher is quoted as saying by Bild newspaper.

Team boss Ross Brawn replied: "If we soon have more performance, then Nico and Michael will be able to overtake. It's all about the performance.

"I wouldn't say that our car is more sensitive than the others," insisted the Briton. Motorsport.com

Comment
04/02/10
f1

Vettel 'not happy' after Sepang practice
(GMM)  After setting pole and leading in both Bahrain and Australia, Sebastian Vettel said he is not "100 per cent happy" after Friday practice for the third round of the world championship.

"I think we still need to get a little bit quicker.  The McLarens and the Mercedes look quick and Ferrari have a decent long run pace, so we'll have to see where we are," said the Red Bull driver at Sepang.

Teammate Mark Webber, who lost time in the second session with a Renault engine failure, said the RB6 felt "pretty good".

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton led both 90 minute practice sessions in hot and humid Malaysia, and the grey Mercedes cars also looked quick.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Red Bull 'concerned' about mirrors rule tweak
  • Herbert may also be steward later in 2010
  • Alonso happy with other teams' disputes
  • Alonso does not back Todt 'protocols' rumors
  • Fauzy not sure about future 'Friday' appearances
  • More Red Bull reliability scares in Sepang practice
  • Friday news briefs from Malaysia
  • 4pm and it's raining again at Sepang!
  • F1 mirror ban delayed until Barcelona

Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull 'concerned' about mirrors rule tweak
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has confirmed reports that Red Bull is "concerned" with the FIA's banning of outboard-mounted mirrors ahead of the forthcoming Chinese grand prix.

Like some key rivals including Ferrari - but not McLaren or Mercedes - Red Bull has been asked by the governing body to attach mirrors to the cockpit sides rather than far away from the driver on flimsy aerodynamic mountings.

Asked if he is worried about a recurrence of his recent reliability troubles this weekend, German driver Vettel is quoted as responding to the Independent newspaper: "We are much more concerned that from the next race we'll all have to run the mirrors inboard and our car is losing quite some performance due to that."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa said he does not think driver visibility needed improving.

"For me, I have no problem," he told Spain's AS newspaper, "but I don't think we are going to lose anything by moving them from one place to another."

Force India is another team that will need to move its mirrors.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/10
f1

Hamilton again fastest in Sepang
McLaren thumbed its nose at all challengers on Friday
The skies opened at Sepang in between Friday's first and second practice sessions.  The initial 90 minute session occurred in hot and humid conditions. Then, about an hour before the second session scheduled for 2pm, a heavy downpour of rain struck the circuit, which is located about a 20-minute drive from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

The rain quickly passed and the sun remerged, but the track is still wet with 30 minutes to go until FP2.

As the paddock inhabitants were ducking for cover at lunchtime, team bosses had been summoned to a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, and the FOTA group is scheduled to meet at 4.30pm.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the day's earlier session and repeated the feat in the afternoon.

Mark Webber had to retire from second practice at Sepang on Friday with a suspected engine failure.

After the RB6 was returned to the Red Bull garage with gravel trap stones stuck to its tires, team members were spotted mopping up puddles of leaked oil shortly afterwards.

It is yet another reliability problem for the highly competitive team, whose back-to-back pole sitter Vettel suffered a spark plug failure and then a wheel problem whilst leading in Bahrain and Australia respectively.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
f1

Hamilton tops opening practice in Malaysia
Lewis Hamilton led the first practice session in Malaysia Friday. His time of 1m34.921s beat Nico Rosberg who was second.  Jenson Button was third in the second MP4-25, with Michael Schumacher fourth.

Robert Kubica was fifth quickest, followed by Mark Webber in sixth place for Red Bull.

Results

Pos

Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.921 +0.000 19
2. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.106 +0.185 19
3. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.207 +0.286 25
4. Schumacher Mercedes 1:35.225 +0.304 14
5. Kubica Renault 1:35.402 +0.481 22
6. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:35.479 +0.558 22
7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:35.955 +1.034 20
8. Alonso Ferrari 1:35.959 +1.038 20
9. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:35.043 +1.122 19
10. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.100 +1.179 20
11. Massa Ferrari 1:36.451 +1.530 22
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.503 +1.582 28
13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.645 +1.724 18
14. Petrov Renault 1:36.712 +1.791 9
15. di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.891 +1.970 25
16. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.899 +1.978 24
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:37.802 +2.881 27
18. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:38.278 +3.357 18
19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.460 +4.539 21
20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.755 +4.834 17
21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:40.159 +5.238 25
22. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1:40.721 +5.800 19
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:41.832 +6.911 27
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:41.966 +7.045 24

Comment
04/01/10
f1

Alonso and Button disagree
Jenson Button slammed the critics who claim F1 is getting boring. Britain’s world champion responded to a “boredom” broadside from Fernando Alonso, who added his voice to those claiming excitement has gone from the sport.

“For me, there is overtaking in the sport,” said Button. “I disagree that there hasn’t been any overtaking for the past 20 years. Last year, there was quite a bit and in the last race.

“We are driving missiles. But if there was overtaking at every corner, we would find it boring. It wouldn’t mean so much. In F1 when you see a move, you really respect it as you know how difficult it is to do. I don’t think F1 is on a downer.”

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
racing news

Impact Racing's products decertified, recertified UPDATE #3 A U.S. District Court Judge approved an agreement between IMPACT Racing and SFI Foundation on Thursday that enables Bill Simpson’s safety company to give his 2009 and 2010 racing products a seal of approval.

SFI Foundation, the organization which sets the minimum performance standards for all forms of racing equipment, announced last week it was decertifying all IMPACT gear (excluding helmets) after a complaint from a former employee.

But, following Thursday’s hearing in Indianapolis and testimony from Simpson, SFI agreed that no counterfeit SFI conformance labels were used on IMPACT gear made in 2009 and 2010.  So the decertification was lifted for these two years but still in affect for years 2005-2008. More at SPEEDTV.com

03/27/10 Statement from Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations, Indy Racing League:

The Indy Racing League acknowledges the SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI) standards are credible and important in establishing levels of performance and quality in safety products used in our series. The league also continually inspects safety equipment, including helmets, at the start of each race weekend as part of its technical inspection process.

We will not comment further until more information is made available.

03/27/10


03/27/10 SFI Foundation, Inc., has issued a Notice of Decertification; Notice of Cease and Desist, and a notice terminating all Contracts of Participation to Impact Racing (Impact Racing is a Bill Simpson company that competes directly with and is not affiliated with Simpson Performance Products, the company Simpson originally founded but was later forced out.).

Effective April 27, 2010, all products manufactured and/or distributed by Impact Racing pursuant to SFI Specification Programs 3.2A, 3.3, 16.1, and 16.5 are decertified. Evidence obtained by SFI shows that over a period of years Impact Racing has engaged in the production and use of counterfeit SFI conformance labels and patches, and affixed them to Impact products for use in motorsports. Under the Contracts of Participation between SFI and Impact, SFI conformance labels and patches may only be obtained from SFI and no other source. Evidence shows that Impact had counterfeit SFI labels and patches made in Asia and then affixed them to Impact products it distributed to members of the racing community. To SFI’s knowledge, Impact never advised its customers that its products contained phony SFI labels and patches. Impact never advised SFI of its systematic and longstanding practice of counterfeiting and distributing SFI patches and labeling.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
nascar

Fordham Student Has His Sights Set on NASCAR
Chase Mattioli, a 20-year-old sophomore business administration major at Fordham, reached under the bed in his dormitory room and pulled out a large blue plastic tub. He pried open the lid to reveal its contents: a steering wheel, a set of pedals and a gearshift.

When the mood strikes him (and when his Internet connection is trusty), he hooks the instruments to his computer and simulates racing a stock car online. He is not the only college student with a cool video game. But he is not just playing the game. He is practicing.

Mattioli, the grandson of Joseph and Rose Mattioli, the founders of Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., is planning to drive in 20 races this year in the Automobile Racing Club of America series, which is to the Sprint Cup Series what Class AA baseball is to the major leagues.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
miscellaneous

Mitty returns to Road Altanta
The oldest historic car race on the East Coast returns to Road Atlanta, April 29-May 2 with the Classic Motorsports MITTY presented by Mazda.

Legendary auto figure Peter Brock is the Grand Marshal of this year’s 34th annual festivities that will feature 28 races over three days featuring a lineup of more than 250 historic cars, offering something for every racing fan.

Brock is a noted designer, builder and racer having stamped his legend by designing the World Championship Shelby Daytona Cobra and giving Datsun its first C Production National and Trans-Am 2.5 championships with his BRE stable of winning cars. He will be honored at a special dinner Thursday night at the track.

“I’m greatly honored to be the grand marshal of the Mitty,” Brock said. “This is the premier event of its kind. To have the history of BRE recognized is a great tribute and truly a walk down memory lane. I’m looking forward to meeting with my old crew, the fans and seeing some old friends.”

Brock has a long and storied history of excellence in the automotive industry. He began his career as a designer for General Motors where he penned the original Stingray concept. Later, Brock moved to the West Coast to work for Carroll Shelby, starting his School of High Performance Driving, which ultimately led to designing the Cobra Daytona Coupe. The still-young Brock continued his meteoric rise by creating Brock Racing Enterprises at the end of 1965. His team of BRE Datsun race cars quickly began winning trophies and championships across the country, proving to critics that these early Japanese imports could compete with the world. The BRE Datsuns won four national championships and had an unmistakable livery that is among the most recognizable in all of racing. Many fans, in fact, created BRE “tribute” cars replicating the famous livery. On Saturday Brock will judge the best “tribute” cars.

“Historic Sportscar Racing has been bringing fans fantastic racing featuring some the great names in racing for two decades,” said Ken Fengler, HSR Vice President of Race Operations. “This year’s Mitty promises to offer fans some of the best racing ever among a broad variety of championship-winning cars and drivers.”
Lotus will be a featured marque with a 20-lap Formula 5000 race at noon Sunday, May 2. Tony Adamowicz, the 1969 F5000 champion, will be among the competitors in his Eagle Mk5. In addition, spectators will be given free track laps in the all-new Lotus Evora during the weekend.

Porsche will be in the spotlight with the Klub Sport Challenge which enters its 14th year of competition for all Porsches from the 1950s, 60s and 70s for 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter Porsche 911s, 914s, 356s and CP models. Additionally, the Cayman Interseries features 2009-2010 Caymans painted in historic racing paint schemes.
Mazda fans will enjoy the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, the only professional event of the weekend, which will be run Saturday afternoon.

In addition there will be seven other classes of racing including Vintage Production, Historic Production, Open Wheel, Historic GTP/Group C/WSC/DP, Championship of Makes, Historic Stock Cars and IMSA Historic GT.

A vintage event for motorcycles will be held for nostalgic two-wheel marquees such as Norton, Triumph, Vincent and Matchless. They will race both Saturday and Sunday.

Several non-racing activities will appeal to fans as well at the infield 2010 Speedfest. The Factory Five/Cobra Corral will be center stage of the infield vendor alley with car displays and vendor booths. More than 20 car clubs, including Jaguar, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Cobra, Lotus and Fiat-Lancia, also will be on display in the infield. The Mazda owner’s party Friday night is open to all Mazda owners who can attend by showing their car keys. The Saturday Night Party, sponsored by Moss Motors, will offer live entertainment with music by Wes Cobb.

An added bonus for fans will be the Concours d’LeMons, which puts a bitter twist on traditional Concours events by celebrating unloved and underappreciated classics, automotive oddities and cars whose owners aren’t afraid of a little self-deprecation. Judges will present several awards for cars that are especially foul, such as “Most Dangerous,” “Worst in Show,” and the “Biggest Loser” for the car with the greatest level of value depreciation.

Among the top drivers competing in this year’s MITTY will be George Robinson, Bill Adam, Butch Leitzinger and Travis Engen, all winners at the HSR season-opener in Sebring, Fla., as well as Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Jack Baldwin and Chip Robinson, to name a few.

“The variety of race cars competing includes everything from 1950s-era production models and sports cars to former IMSA and Trans-Am racers, NASCAR stock cars and current production Porsches. Many of the 250 entrants will sport vintage livery from the past that fans will readily recognize,” Fengler added.
The Mitty is the second of eight races on the HSR 2010 schedule. For more information, go to www.themitty.com or www.hsrrace.com.

Comment
04/01/10
automotive

Chevrolet Volt Passes Production Milestone
First Volt rolls off line
Validation of the production process for the Chevrolet Volt passed a major milestone on March 31, when the first pre-production Volt rolled off the line at the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant. 

These pre-production versions of the Volt will not be sold at dealerships, but will be used to assure all steps in the production system will meet the quality targets set by the Volt engineering team.

Assembly workers will build more pre-production Volts in the coming months.  These vehicles will be examined by manufacturing engineers as the plant prepares to build retail models later this year.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
automotive

Ford sales up 39.8%
Ford said today that its total U.S. sales increased 39.8% in March compared to the same month a year ago, when industry sales were at near-record low levels.  For the month, Ford sold 183,783 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo cars and trucks compared with 131,465 a year ago.

Without Volvo, which Ford is in the process of selling, Ford’s total sales in March increased 43% compared with last year.

Ford said its performance in March was driven by an increase in almost all models of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks. Ford said sales of its cars increased by 53%, SUVs increased 46% and pickups increased 30%.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
automotive

Buick and GMC sales increase 54%
Buick and GMC dealers in the U.S. reported sales for those brands in March that were 54 percent higher than March 2009. This led to an overall gain of 43 percent for the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands in the U.S. Total combined sales for GM’s four brands were 185,406 during the month. This represents a 34-percent increase from February 2010.

These results are evidence that the company’s plan to create sustainable and profitable growth is on track, according to Susan Docherty, GM vice president of marketing. “Our March results show continued progress toward our growth plan. By investing in our brands and remaining disciplined in our approach to the U.S. market, we posted solid results,” said Docherty. “Our new vehicles, like the Chevrolet Equinox, Buick LaCrosse, GMC Terrain, and Cadillac SRX, are being well-received by customers for many good reasons, including quality, safety, excellent fuel economy, and higher resale values.”

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04/01/10
gp3

Rossi shows again why he will be America's best F1 hope
It was business as usual for ART Grand Prix in a qualifying session to determine 2010 race numbers. 26 drivers took part in a qualifying shootout around noon today in Le Castellet to decide race number allocation for the season. The 30 minute session took place on a 3D configuration track between 11:45 and 12:15 local time. Final classification was decided by the fastest lap set out of the three drivers from each team. After a closely fought session it was American Alexander Rossi who took the top spot for ART Grand Prix. The American was also the first GP3 driver to break the 1m19s barrier, posting a time of 1:19.927. Rossi s teammate Esteban Gutierrez took second place. Robert Wickens ended the session in third spot claiming numbers 4,5,6 for his team Status GP. Numbers 7,8,9 have been allocated to Manor GP after James Jakes posted the fourth quickest time, and RSC Mucke Motorsport will run with numbers 10,11,12 after Renger van der Zande claimed fifth place for the team.

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04/01/10
irl
nassprint

Eddie Gossage is nuts...in a good way UPDATE #2
Ed note: Legally speaking of course, April Fool's Day was not until today. So it seems they might be legally bound to follow through on this deal...

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage admitted Thursday that his $100,000 challenge to Terry Dorsey, host of the Dorsey Gang morning show on Dallas/Fort Worth country music radio station 96.3 KSCS, was indeed an April Fool’s Day prank.

03/31/10 This time Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage truly is going to have to put his money where his mouth is in regard to his $100,000 challenge to Terry Dorsey, host of the Dorsey Gang morning show on Dallas/Fort Worth country music radio station 96.3 KSCS.

Dorsey announced this morning on the show that he will indeed accept Gossage’s six-figure offer to legally change his name to TexasMotorSpeedway.com for one year and get a permanent TexasMotorSpeedway.com tattoo. 


03/30/10 Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage has been known for some outlandish promotions over the course of his career, but this one may be near the top of the list.

Gossage was a call-in guest Tuesday morning with the Dorsey Gang on Dallas/Fort Worth country music station 96.3 KSCS and offered $100,000 to host Terry Dorsey to legally change his name to TexasMotorSpeedway.com for one year and get a permanent TexasMotorSpeedway.com tattoo. Gossage has given Dorsey, a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and the 2009 Academy of Country Music's Disc Jockey of the Year, just a 24©hour window to make the decision before the six-figure payday offer expires.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
irl

DeltaWing Announces First Wind Tunnel Test
DeltaWing LLC, of Indianapolis, which introduced its proposed chassis for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series at the Chicago Auto Show, today announced an important step in the development of its revolutionary car. DeltaWing will test its full size scale model in the state-of-the-art Windshear wind tunnel on April 6, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina. Windshear’s tunnel features a 180 mph rolling road which will allow the DeltaWing technical team to corroborate the computer simulation work they have been conducting over the past year.

“From the beginning of the DeltaWing project, the design of the car has gone through hundreds of iterations,” said Ben Bowlby, Designer and Chief Technology Officer of DeltaWing LLC. “It is now time to put our full size model into the wind tunnel to validate the extensive computer simulation work that we have done. The Windshear facility is one of the best tunnels in the world and we are confident that the data we collect on the performance of the DeltaWing will support our CFD findings.”

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
f1

Hamilton admits Melbourne outburst was wrong
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton on Thursday admitted he had been wrong to criticize his race strategy after last Sunday's Australian grand prix.

During the Melbourne race, the 2008 world champion slammed the "freaking terrible decision" to have him make a second pitstop, later telling reporters that the "strategy was not right" and vowing to identify the person who made the call.

During the week, however, the 25-year-old revealed that after sitting down with the team, he now understands the reasons for the strategy, and in the Sepang paddock he even accepted that he had been wrong to doubt his team.

"My heart was so into the race, my adrenalin was sky-rocketing and so you don't always say the right things when you get out the car," said Hamilton.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
f1

F1 Paddock muses wheels, ride-heights, F-ducts and mirrors
(GMM)  Red Bull has made a tweak to its wheel nuts and hubs, after back-to-back pole sitter Sebastian Vettel speared out in Melbourne whilst leading last Sunday.

The team's reliability problems, dating back to Vettel's failed spark plug in Bahrain, were the talk of the Sepang paddock on Thursday, but it was not the only point of discussion.

Also on the agenda was the news that Sauber will try a modified version of the McLaren-style 'F-duct' system on its C29 on Friday, after the results of the prototype system at Albert Park last Friday were not overly positive.

"If it works, fine.  If not, we will wait one more grand prix.  But we are pushing 100 per cent on this," said Pedro de la Rosa.

Read more & Comment...
04/01/10
f1

Monsoonal thunderstorm strikes Sepang
(GMM) With the F1 circus bustling around the Sepang paddock late on Thursday afternoon, the skies opened.

There was thunder, lightening, and reams of driving rain, and similar conditions - rain in the late afternoon after a hot and humid day - have been observed in and around Kuala Lumpur for the past few days.

Moreover, local forecasts say the weather is staying put for the remainder of the week and the weekend, with a particularly high chance of rain around 4pm -- precisely the same time scheduled for qualifying and the race.

"The rain is expected to start around 4pm and normally lasts two hours," said a spokesman of the Malaysian Meteorological Department.

Comment
04/01/10
f1

'Outboard' F1 mirrors to be banned
Outboard mirrors on Sutil's car.  Red Bull and Ferrari also had them
No outboard mirrors on the Mercedes of Schumacher
(GMM)  This weekend's grand prix will be the last for the sort of 'outboard' rear view mirrors that are becoming commonplace in F1.

In Australia last week, veterans Rubens Barrichello and Pedro de la Rosa led the calls for better driver visibility, with mirrors increasingly integrated on flimsy aerodynamic bodywork mounted away from the cockpit sides.

"They have to come back to the monocoque, with the old style, as that is the best position to work," said Spaniard de la Rosa.

"We have to compromise -- this is a safety issue," he added.

Ahead of this weekend's Sepang event, Williams driver Barrichello said: "As far as I'm concerned it's agreed that we need better visibility, so the change could come as early as the next race."

Comment
04/01/10
nassprint

Clarifying The "Fin Rule"
A number of Sirius Speedway listeners and readers have asked about the apparent disparity in the so-called "shark fins" used by Sprint Cup teams last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Some teams elected to use the full-length fin, running from the top of the rear window to the rear spoiler. Others ran smaller fins, or no fin at all on the trunk lid. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston provided a clarification of the new rule today, saying that the rear deck fin will not become mandatory until the series races at Texas Motor Speedway on April 18. Fins will be mandated to be 3.5" tall, and must be at least 17" in length. Teams may run any length fin from the 17" minimum to the full 25" version, tailoring the length to help fine tune the handling characteristics of their cars. Full (25 inch) fins will be mandatory at both Talladega and Daytona. Sirius Speedway

Comment
04/01/10
f1

Wirth Research to pay for its major blunder UPDATE (GMM)  Nick Wirth has confirmed reports that his company will foot the bill for the major redesign of Virgin's 2010 car.

Wirth, 44, is the new British team's technical director, engaged through his separate Oxfordshire-based engineering group Wirth Research.

After it emerged that the current VR-01 design will not accommodate enough fuel to reach the end of races, media reports have estimated the cost of the necessary redesign at 1 million pounds.

Reports on Wednesday said Wirth had admitted that his company will pay the bill.

"The chassis supplier is us -- nothing to do with engine supplier or fuel supplier," Wirth is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.  "What that means is that we are fixing it for the team.  We are not charging the team.

"It's our responsibility to provide cars that can finish a grand prix.  It's down to us," he said.

An ironic twist to the fuel tank story is the fact that, due to a separate fuel pick-up issue, drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi are having to qualify with too much fuel aboard their VR-01s.

"We've got problem after problem," Wirth is quoted as saying by the Times.

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04/01/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • No points for Toro Rosso on Tilke tracks - Alguersuari
  • Bigger 'shark gills' to help cool Ferraris at Sepang
  • Schu hits back after reports say comeback underwhelming
  • 'Shabby' Sepang eyes revamp to please Ecclestone

No points for Toro Rosso on Tilke tracks - Alguersuari
(GMM)  Toro Rosso is not likely to trouble the points-scoring ranks on the "predictable" circuits like Malaysia.

That is the admission of Jaime Alguersuari, who battled throughout last Sunday's Australian grand prix with Michael Schumacher but ultimately lost the final championship point to the seven time world champion.

But ahead of this weekend's event at Sepang, which was the first of the modern breed of Hermann Tilke-designed circuits in F1, the 20-year-old Spaniard is not confident of a repeat of his Melbourne battle.

"At the permanent circuits, especially the wide, safe and predictable Tilke ones, right not we are not able to score," said Alguersuari, who was just a 1-year-old baby when Schumacher made his grand prix debut in 1991.

Quoted by the Spanish agency Europa Press, he added: "But I am convinced that we are close and soon we will have aerodynamic improvements that will help us make a good step."

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04/01/10
racing news

2010 Toyota GP Pro/Celebrity driver line-up
It's that time again as the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race take to streets of Long Beach. The race will raise more than $100,000 for Racing For Kids and children's hospitals of southern California. 

Celebrities include Keanu Reeves, Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, Christian Slater and pop star Jesse McCartney among others, while skate-boarding icon Tony Hawk will join with professional drivers Jimmy Vasser (1996 Toyota GP winner, who also closed out his Indy car career by racing one final race at Long Beach in 2008), Steve Millen, XGames gold medalist and drifting star Tanner Foust, Olympic gold medalist Marty Nothstein and BMX rider Jamie Bestwick.

2010 TOYOTA PRO/CELEBRITY RACE
Celebrities Scheduled to Participate

TELEVISION & FILM

CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
ADRIEN BRODY Academy Award Winner - The Brothers Bloom,” Limited,” “The Village,” “The Jacket,” “King Kong,” “The Pianist” (Oscar), “Dummy,” “Summer of Sam” etc.
BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Freddie," “Beverly Hills 90210” (David Silver)
ZACHARY LEVI “Chuck” (Chuck Bartowski), “Less Than Perfect,” “Stuntmen,” “Shades of Ray,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqeakquel,” “Big Momma’s House 2” etc.
MEGYN PRICE “Rules of Engagement” (Audrey), “Grounded for Life” (Claudia Finnerty), “LateLine” (Gale Ingersoll), etc.
CHRISTIAN SLATER “The Forgotten” “My Own Worst Enemy,” “The Good Shepherd,” “Windtalkers,” “3000 Miles to Graceland,” “Robin Hood,” “Pump Up the Volume” etc.
PATRICK WARBURTON Star of “Rules of Engagement” (Jeff) “Rock Slyde”, “Bee Movie,” “Sophomore”, “Less Than Perfect,” “The Tick,” “Seinfeld” (David Puddy), “Dave's World” etc.
MUSIC CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
JESSE MCCARTNEY Singer/Songwriter, “Leaving”, “Beautiful Soul”, formerly in boy band Dream Street, co-wrote “Bleeding Love”
DAY-TIME/SOAP CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
TIKA SUMPTER “One Life to Live” (Layla Williamson), “Stomp the Yard 2”
SPORTS CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
TONY HAWK Iconic pro skateboarder
MISC. CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
ADAM CAROLLA Radio/Television Host, Comedian, Actor “Crank Yankers,” “The Man Show,” “Dancing With the Stars” (2008-2009)
TOYOTA DEALER CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
CHRIS ASHWORTH VP & General Manager, Toyota of North Hollywood
PROS CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
JAMIE BESTWICK Pro BMX rider, 5 XG Vert gold medals and 4 straight overall Dew Tour Vert titles.
TANNER FOUST Drift Champion and X Games Rally Gold Medalist
STEVE MILLEN Multi-series racing champion and open wheel, sports cars and twice off road champion with Toyota. Owner of Stillen Performance Auto Parts for past 25 years.
MARTY NOTHSTEIN American professional road bicycle racer and track cyclist. He is a 3-time world champion in track events and an Olympic gold and silver medalist. Now drives an NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car for Follow A Dream
KEANU REEVES Last year’s celebrity winner – “Matrix” “Replacements”
JIMMY VASSER CART and TGPLB champion in 1996; Won 1991 LB Toyota Atlantic race; drove his final Indy car race at Long Beach in 2008;Currently an IRL team owner and Toyota dealer.
CHARITY AUCTION WINNERS CREDIT/BEST KNOWN FOR
DAVE PASANT Charity auction winner
JERRY WESTLUND Charity auction winner

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