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DATE News (chronologically)
04/04/16
irl

Video: IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix 2016 highlights
Dixon wins at Phoenix to tie Al Unser for fourth in all-time victories.



Comment
04/04/16
f1

Montezemolo, Trulli named in 'Panama Papers'
Jarno Trulli
Jarno Trulli

Alitalia President and former Ferrari chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Italian banks UBI Banca and Unicredit were among the subjects to be named in the so-called 'Panama Papers' case over offshore accounts and companies.

The leaking of around eleven million documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has created a worldwide scandals after many world leaders and famous personalities, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and soccer player Leo Messi, were named.

Holding offshore accounts is not illegal.

But such accounts are often linked to tax evasion and other illegal activity.

Read more & Comment...
04/04/16
irl
nassprint

Phoenix IndyCar: Johnson sets off Twitter war of words
Johnson pans IndyCar for boring follow-the-leader parade
Johnson pans IndyCar for boring follow-the-leader parade
Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson inadvertently set off a little bit of a Twitter war over the weekend when he chastised the IndyCar racing series for, well, its lack of excitement.

Johnson made his comments on Twitter during Saturday night's IndyCar race at Phoenix International Raceway -- the first IndyCar race at PIR in 11 years.

Scott Dixon took the lead from Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan with 155 laps left in the 250-lap event and never relinquished control, winning the IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix.

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04/04/16
irl

IndyCar oval racing favors 'stupidity' says Chilton
Max Chilton thinks you have to be stupid on IndyCar short ovals
Max Chilton thinks you have to be stupid on IndyCar short ovals

Some IndyCar Series drivers "don't give a damn" and show their "stupidity" in short-oval racing, ex-Formula 1 driver Max Chilton to Autosport's Bruce Martin.

He said the mid-pack racing had been an eye-opening experience.

"I can't say what I learned because it's rude," Chilton said.

"It favors the stupidity of certain people. I'm new to taking and learning those risks.

Read more & Comment...
04/04/16
f1

F1 teams told to consider 'aggregate' qualifying (Update)
UPDATE 
In an effort to stop the Mercedes 1-2 parade in Qualifying and the races, Ecclestone and Todt will try anything to stop plummeting viewership
In an effort to stop the boring Mercedes 1-2 parade in qualifying and the races, Ecclestone and Todt will try anything to stop plummeting viewership

Sebastian Vettel has labeled the proposed aggregate qualifying format as a "s%&# idea" for Formula 1.

Under the aggregate system, drivers' grid positions would be based on their two best laps in each qualifying session.

"It's time to go to the circus," Vettel told Sky when asked about the proposed new system.

"It's a good idea if you want random things to happen, but Formula 1 should be about racing. It's a s%&# idea."

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04/04/16
nassprint

Fire contained at Richard Petty Museum, Petty's Garage
A fire earlier Saturday at the longtime location of Petty Enterprises in Level Cross, North Carolina, did only minimal damage to the historical site, according to officials with the organization.
 
The former race shop compound now houses the Richard Petty Museum and Petty's Garage, a high-performance speed and restoration shop.

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04/04/16
nhra

Lowes Foods named title sponsor of 4-Wide Nationals
zMax Dragway
zMax Dragway
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. in the last weekend of April for the annual 4-Wide Nationals.

This year, Lowes Foods - a homegrown company based out of Winston-Salem, N.C., which was founded in 1954 and now employs approximately 9,000 people and operates 94 full-service supermarkets in the Carolinas and Virginia - will serve as the title sponsor for the race. Lowes Foods joins Bank of America, Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the North Carolina Education Lottery and zMAX as in-state partners of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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04/04/16
automotive

China's Companies leaping into Driverless Car
Traffic jams and air pollution is spurring on autonomous vehicle research in China
Traffic jams and air pollution are spurring on autonomous vehicle research in China

Gansha Wu was a veteran engineering manager at Intel Corporation and director of Intel Labs China when two events upended his world last year.

First, he listened to the veteran technology writer Michael Malone tell an audience of Intel employees that if they were too cautious they would fail. Then he attended a leadership training session for Intel executives. The trainer told them that "to be a leader is to design a future that is unpredictable and which nobody bets on."

He couldn't sleep at night, thinking about his well-ordered, 16-year career at Intel. So he decided to take a risk. With four colleagues, he made the decision to take the uncertain path, which today is becoming more common in China than even in Silicon Valley: He quit his job to begin a start-up that specializes in autonomous, or self-driving, cars.

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04/04/16
f1

A long day at the office for the Mayor of Hinchtown
The weekend started off bad for Hinchcliffe, with his car careening off the Turn 1 wall
The weekend started off bad for Hinchcliffe, with his car careening off the Turn 1 wall
To a certain extent, this past Verizon IndyCar weekend might be titled Deception in the Desert for the Mayor of Hinchtown.

"The bad news, we were running up hill all weekend after a crash in early practice Friday.

The good news? Our great team got us back on the track to the point that we got in maximum laps on a notorious short oval, something that should help us later in the year", said the driver of the No.5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, James Hinchcliffe.

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04/04/16
f1

Haas F1 Driver Romain Grosjean is Latest 'Ask a Pro'
Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean
Fresh from his stunning fifth place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, just two weeks after he sensationally scored points in Haas F1’s debut race, Romain Grosjean is the latest online driving instructor for SAFEisFAST.com.

During his five seasons spent racing in Formula One, Grosjean has driven for Renault, Lotus and now the all-new American squad, Haas F1. In that time he has racked up ten podium finishes and 295 points.

Read more & Comment...
04/04/16
Irl

IndyCar Series eye even bigger, better Phoenix race in 2017 (update)
UPDATE I really don’t know what to make of Phoenix promoter Bryan Sperber’s gushing over the commercial "success" of the IndyCar "return to Phoenix" on Saturday night. He told John Oreovicz of ESPN.com that “there was so much buzz and excitement in town about this race coming to Phoenix.”

Look, nobody wants to see IndyCar succeed more than I do. I love auto racing of all kinds and I am particularly partial to IndyCar racing. But I am not in the public relations or promotion business. I’m a reporter, a journalist, and I know buzz and excitement. Buzz and excitement is the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays. Buzz and excitement is the NBA All-Star game in Toronto. Buzz and excitement was the Molson Indy of the 1980s and ‘90s. Buzz and excitement is where everybody’s aware of what’s happening and talking about it and the venues are all sold out.

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04/04/16
irl

Gap between Honda, Chevrolet still wide
Graham Rahal could not touch the Chevys
Graham Rahal could not touch the Chevys
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Graham Rahal drove a terrific race Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway, and he finished fifth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay drove what he described as "one of my best races ever" in the same race, and he finished 10th.

Neither of which is particularly good news for Honda, the manufacturer they work with, as the next oval track on the schedule approaches.

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04/04/16
F1

Latest F1 news in brief: Monday
  • Alonso defends Button
    Alonso defends Button
    Alonso says Button criticism 'not fair'
  • McLaren 'can count on' Vandoorne in future
  • Azerbaijan says fighting no risk to F1 race
  • Ferrari plays down reliability flaw rumors
  • Ferrari will not use veto over qualifying
  • Haas taking F1 on wrong road - Symonds
  • F1 Teams Experiencing Sharp Drop In Sponsorship Income
  • Silverstone Sale Puts British Grand Prix's Future In Jeopardy

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04/04/16
fe

Alain Prost Urges Formula E To Increase Promotional Efforts
Alain Prost
Alain Prost
Alain Prost is calling on Formula E organizers to step up their promotional efforts. The former F1 world champion and Formula E team co-founder told SBD Global ahead of Saturday’s Long Beach ePrix that promotion for the series’ lone U.S. race was lacking.

“In general, in racing you need to improve a little bit of everything,” he said.

“Maybe more promotions before the events like this one. Maybe it is lacking a little bit on that.”

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04/04/16
fe

U.S. Teams Stress Importance Of Long Beach ePrix To Remove Corporate America's Doubts
Long Beach ePrix
Long Beach ePrix
Formula E’s two U.S.-based teams have stressed the importance of the Long Beach ePrix to prove the series’ value to corporate America writes HJ Mai in the Sports Business Daily.

Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing told SBD Global they have seen increasing sponsorship interest from U.S. companies, but resistance remains. “We have to prove that the series is here to stay,” Amlin Andretti Team Principal Roger Griffiths said.

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04/03/16
F1

Baku confirms new start time
(GMM) Race organisers and F1 have confirmed reports that the race start time for the inaugural grand prix in Azerbaijan is changing.

We reported on Saturday that after daylight saving was scrapped in the country, Baku promoter Arif Rahimov had asked the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone to agree to wind back the official start time from 6pm to 5pm local.

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04/03/16
Irl

Will Power: "You gotta be a body builder to drive these things"
Will Power
Will Power
Will Power returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series and claimed a podium finish at the Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday evening.

But the Australian Team Penske driver admitted it was hard going and extremely physical around the one-mile oval, but was happy to see the chequered flag in third place.

Read more & Comment...
04/03/16
Nassprint
irl

Vickers unsure of plans after Texas; looking at Indy 500
Brian Vickers
Brian Vickers
Brian Vickers doesn't know how much he will race in 2016 beyond next week. He could have more races as a substitute for Tony Stewart. Or he could find himself competing in the Indianapolis 500. That could be unsettling for some drivers. For a driver who has been sidelined four times by the effects of blood clots, Vickers can handle fluid situations.

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04/03/16
Nassprint

Hamlin says drivers would like to see winnings published
Hamlin
Hamlin
The introduction of the new charter system - and the subsequent restructuring and distribution of purse money and other revenue streams - caused some feverish preseason reworking of driver contracts. It also caused some hand-wringing among stars who were accustomed to being paid by a percentage of a purse that was posted publicly in every race box score, along with the winnings for each finishing position.

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04/03/16
F1

F1 bosses still cannot agree to fix qualifying mess
(GMM) The farcical qualifying format saga is set to run and run, with bosses on Sunday only agreeing the date of the next meeting.

The team chiefs got together before the Bahrain grand prix with Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt to discuss the future of the 'musical chairs' format, amid widespread hopes it will be scrapped.

But although the meeting took 90 minutes, Mercedes' Toto Wolff told reporters as he exited that "No decision has been made" except that returning to the popular 2015 format is "not on the table".

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04/03/16
irl

Andretti and Penske call for common IndyCar aero package
Penske supports move
Penske supports move
Mario Andretti’s suggestion for all cars to use the same aero bodywork for next month’s 100th Indianapolis 500, as reported Saturday in an exclusive azcentral sports interview, isn’t likely to happen even though Andretti believes it would make the race more entertaining.

Chevrolet and Honda have each developed their own aero kits at significant expense and Jay Frye, IndyCar’s competition president, said “to completely change, to go to one aero kit by (May) ... I don’t see how that could be feasible ... to completely discard everything we’ve done, I understand what Mario is saying, but I don’t see how it could be feasible.”

Multi-car team owner Roger Penske said he supports eliminating the different aero kits as a cost-saving move and to create more of a level playing field. Chevrolet and Honda officials declined to comment.

Comment
04/03/16
F1

Latest F1 news in brief: Sunday
  • Mercedes worried Ferrari will smoke them at the start again
    Mercedes worried Ferrari will smoke them at the start again
    Mercedes asks parent for new clutch design
  • Magnussen qualified just to beat Palmer
  • F1 governance unlikely to change until 2020 - Todt
  • Todt backs doctors amid Dennis' frustration
  • Mercedes open to MotoGP test for Hamilton
  • Jury out over Williams' new nose - Massa
  • Whiting responds to fears over 2017 rules
  • Wolff: Qualifying supporters should be 'crucified'

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
motogp

Argentine GP to be raced with new tire spec (Update)
UPDATE Michelin Press Release:

Following an incident with the rear tyre of Scott Redding’s Ducati at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina – which saw the British rider safely park his motorcycle off the track with the tyre still inflated – Michelin, in agreement with Dorna, IRTA and all the teams, has on the grounds of safety taken immediate steps to withdraw both versions of the rear tires that were available to all riders.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
irl

IndyCar ready for an exciting night of racing at Phoenix


Comment
04/02/16
il

Kaiser dominates at PIR
Kyle Kaiser put on a clinic
Kyle Kaiser put on a clinic

Kyle Kaiser and his Juncos Racing team put on a clinic today when the top tier of the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development ladder, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, made its return to the Phoenix International Raceway oval following a 10-year hiatus.

Dubai-based Englishman Ed Jones, 21, pushed as hard as he could for the Carlin team but never quite had the pace to challenge for the lead. RC Enerson, 19, from New Port Richey, Fla., completed the podium in this afternoon’s Indy Lights Grand Prix of Phoenix for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian.

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04/02/16
irl
nassprint

How Phoenix International Raceway came to life
Phoenix 1-mile oval
Phoenix 1-mile oval
Did you know the original plan for Phoenix International Raceway was to be a road course?

Yes, real estate developer and amateur sports car racer, Richard Hogue had been impressed with Riverside International Raceway outside Los Angeles and wanted to create a road course here in Arizona that would resemble the topography and elevation changes of the great European tracks such as the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Brands Hatch.

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04/02/16
motogp

Marquez puts Honda on pole in Argentina
Marc Marquez Has taken the MotoGP pole position in Argentina despite crashing out in the final minutes.

Valentino Rossi snatched second from team-mate Jorge Lorenzo on his last lap.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
f1

Hamilton keeps pole despite breaking rule
F1 bad boy Lewis Hamilton always finds a way to get into trouble
F1 bad boy Lewis Hamilton always finds a way to get into trouble
Lewis Hamilton has been reprimanded by the Bahrain stewards after reversing his car in the pit lane at the end of Saturday's qualifying session.

The incident breached of Article 28.3 of the FIA's sporting regulations, which states that "at no time may a car be reversed in the pit lane under its own power".

After hearing accounts from Hamilton and a Mercedes team representative, officials decided not to impose a penalty "due to the fact that no clear instruction was given to the driver on where he should park the car after qualifying".

Comment
04/02/16
irl

Saturday Morning Update from PIR
Takuma Sato was the first to hit the turn 1 barrier Friday
Takuma Sato was the first to hit the turn 1 barrier Friday
It's about 10:45 a.m. local time on race day at Phoenix International Raceway. If you've been reading my posts over the past few days you know that the weather has been glorious here in the Valley of the Sun, and today is expected to be no different.

In just under three hours Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires will contest its third race of the season with Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser starting from pole. The green flag for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix is expected around 6:15 p.m. local time. For live race updates from Phoenix, follow @AutoRacing1 on Twitter, which I will be updating.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
f1

Todt open to returning to 2015 F1 qualifying
Jean Todt
Jean Todt
(GMM) In an ultra-rare paddock appearance for the media, FIA president Jean Todt on Saturday said it was race organizers who pushed for the introduction of the now-hated 'musical chairs' qualifying system.

"The organizers asked us to make qualifying more attractive," he said.

After the format's farcical debut in Australia, the same system will decide the grid in Bahrain after some teams refused to accept any solution other than reverting to the 2015 qualifying.

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04/02/16
f1

Alonso gatecrashes live TV to slam critic Herbert
Alonso puts Herbert in his place
Alonso puts Herbert in his place
(GMM) Fernando Alonso gatecrashed live British television on Saturday to slam former F1 driver turned pundit Johnny Herbert.

Earlier, the veteran of 165 grands prix, 51-year-old former Benetton and Sauber driver Herbert, had advised Alonso to use his chest injuries as a final excuse to retire.

"I don't think Fernando should come back," Herbert told Sky.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
f1

Ferrari gives Mercedes some taste of its own sandbagging medicine in FP3
Sebastian Vettel turns it on
Sebastian Vettel turns it on
Ferrari was sandbagging on Friday as we suspected. as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen unleashed the Ferrari's full potential in FP3 by locking up the top two positions in final practice for the Bahrain GP at Sakhir.

With Mercedes dominating the opening day of action around the Bahrain International Circuit, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton was expected dominate the entire weekend.

However, sandbagging on Friday, Ferrari forged ahead in final practice, with Raikkonen first coming through with a lap fourth tenths faster than Rosberg, before Vettel improved the benchmark by another 0.040secs to 1m 31.683secs.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
irl

IndyCar should look overseas
Penske likes attending IndyCar and NASCAR races on the same weekend.  He can't do that if IndyCar goes overseas
Penske likes attending IndyCar and NASCAR races on the same weekend. He can't do that if IndyCar goes overseas
IndyCar has always been a predominantly North American-based series, with only a small selection of races being held overseas.

However, with IndyCar’s popularity gathering significant momentum both in America and internationally, the burning question is should the sport adapt and re-introduce several overseas races?

Esteemed team owner Roger Penske recently hit out against such an idea, as well as adding more races to the IndyCar calendar. 

"I would like to have 15 or 16 good races," explained Roger Penske to reporters.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
nassprint

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will donate his brain for concussion research (Update)
UPDATE Dale Earnhardt, Jr. discussed his decision more in-depth Friday at Martinsville:

AS FAR AS THE TWEET ABOUT DONATING YOUR BRAIN TO SCIENCE, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DO? OR IS THAT SOMETHING NEW? WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE PEOPLE WOULD LEARN FROM YOUR BRAIN?

Earnhardt, Jr. "Hopefully, they don't have to look at my brain whenever I pass away they have learned enough science to study the brains of living adults. Hopefully, the science has advanced enough to where they no longer need to be poking around inside my brain.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
nassprint

Johnson favors tougher concussion tests
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s decision to donate his brain to scientific research has added another layer to discussion about concussion issues in auto racing. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson weighed in on the topic Friday at Martinsville Speedway, saying medical evaluation equipment that reversed a concussion diagnosis that kept IndyCar driver Will Power from competing in a race last month should be available at NASCAR tracks.

Power missed the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., after he crashed in practice, experienced nausea and then was diagnosed with a mild concussion Sunday - race day and two days after the initial crash - by IndyCar medical personnel. Later, tests at the University of Miami hospital's Concussion Program showed that Power did not have a concussion but probably was suffering from an inner ear infection. Power had been experiencing problems with his inner ear since early March, including at a test at Sebring, Fla.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
irl

IndyCar race at PIR part of building process
IndyCar will be extremely lucky to get 15,000 for tonight's IndyCar race unless they open the gates and let everyone in for free
Hopefully IndyCar won't look like a losing series in Phoenix tonight with mostly empty grandstands, but odds are it will
A crowd about the size of a Suns’ home game - 15,000 - is likely for Saturday night’s return of the Verizon IndyCar Series to Phoenix International Raceway after an 11-year absence.

“There’s been a lot of buzz about the event,” said PIR President Bryan Sperber about the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. “It’s a building process for us; it’s the first year of many. If we have an enthusiastic crowd and it feels like it’s resonating, I think that will be a winner.”

Sperber said PIR is prepared for brisk walk-up ticket sales and added the track did “very well” in terms of corporate hospitality sales

“The measuring stick is we are committed enough to actually be in a business partnership,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said.

“We’ll see how that works out. We don’t have a bottom line, fish or cut bait, on the future. I will never be part of coming to a place thinking we give it a one-year spin and see how it works.” Michael Knight/AZcentral.com



Comment
04/02/16
irl

With Honda's Struggles, Is It Time to Move on From IndyCar's AeroKits?
The poor Honda teams are sucking Chevy's exhaust
The poor Honda teams are sucking Chevy's exhaust

AVONDALE, AZ – After two practice sessions and a qualifying round to set the field for Saturday night’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway, the question of whether or not we should have this current slate of aerokits has gotten louder and louder.

Prior to the 2016 season, almost every driver and nearly every car owner had said they didn’t think this aerokit, that was adopted last year, was moving the sport in the right direction.

Read more & Comment...
04/02/16
F1

Latest F1 news in brief: Saturday
  • Vijay Mallya (L) with Nico Hulkenberg
    Vijay Mallya (L) with Nico Hulkenberg
    Force India plays down absent boss Mallya's troubles
  • F1 Commission seat for driver 'would be nice' - Button
  • Ecclestone set for more Monza future talks
  • McLaren angry with FIA over Alonso injuries - reports
  • Rosberg saved drowning child in Monaco
  • Hamilton defies paddock 'Snapchat' ban
  • Renault hits out at 'huge' Magnussen penalty
  • Mercedes working to catch Ferrari on race starts
  • Austria secures lower fee for F1 TV rights
  • Kvyat not worried Verstappen could derail F1 career
  • McLaren admits Alonso return talks 'ongoing'
  • Vettel: Ferrari cautious over reliability

Read more & Comment...
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