Barber: Day 1 Notebook Victor Carbone has joined Team Moore Racing as driver of the No. 22 TMR for the remainder of the Firestone Indy Lights season. The Brazilian will compete in his third Firestone Indy Lights season after spending two years with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
"I am very happy to be a part of Team Moore and I am looking forward to what this year will bring me," Carbone said. "I am excited to work with all the team and achieve the best results we can together."
Carbone's two previous seasons netted him two sixth-place championship finishes, a race win, two poles and three podium finishes. The Sao Paulo-native resides in Miami, Fla., where he attends classes at Florida International University. Team co-owner Mark Moore feels that adding a race-winning driver to the team will be a good fit for the team that won two races in 2012.
Carlos Munoz was quickest in both practice sessions for the Legacy Indy Lights 100. The 21-year-old Colombian recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 14.3433 seconds in the afternoon session in the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport.
Andretti Autosport teammate Zach Veach was third quick (1:14.9433) in the No. 12 K12 car, just behind Sage Karam (1:14.7432) in the No. 8 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian entry.
Juan Pablo Garcia posted the fourth-best lap (1:15.3927) in the No. 2 TMR-International-Euclid Chemical car. Victor Carbone, making his 2012 debut this weekend, was fifth-quick on the day in the No. 22 TMR-Nevoni-Xtreme Drilling & Coil car.
Stewart says blocking unacceptable, becoming big problem in NASCAR Tony Stewart defended his stance against blocking in NASCAR races Friday and defended his block at Talladega Superspeedway last year that caused a 25-car wreck.
Two weeks after nearly coming to blows with Joey Logano following the March 24 Cup race at Auto Club Speedway, Stewart didn’t want to talk about the late restart when Logano ran him down onto the apron of the track to protect his position.
But he did talk extensively about blocking Friday at Martinsville Speedway. He doesn’t like the tactic and doesn’t think drivers should pull moves like Logano did.
Team Penske extended its record of strong performances at Barber Motorsport Park on Friday as the team recorded three of the eight fastest lap times during the first day of practice for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Helio Castroneves posted the fastest lap of the day, needing only 68.5540 seconds to navigate the 2.38-mile road course in his No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet.
Teammates Will Power and AJ Allmendinger were not far behind as Power recorded the fifth-fastest time among the 26 drivers on track with a lap of 68.8066 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon machine and Allmendinger’s 68.9119-second lap in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet earned him eighth place on the practice rundown.
Fogarty shatters record to put No. 99 Gainsco Chevy on pole Another race, another TOTAL Pole Award for Jon Fogarty, who extended his GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series record to 25 poles in Friday’s qualifying for the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
For the second straight event, Fogarty waited until the final minute of the 15-minute Daytona Prototype session before unleashing the power of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP. The “Red Dragon” responded with a track-record lap of 104.878 mph/1 minute,8.949 seconds. It was Fogarty’s third pole at Barber, and fourth for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at the circuit. Co-driver Alex Gurney won his first career pole at the scenic 2.3-mile layout in 2005 in only his second DP race.
Tristan Vautier led a Honda 1-2 in the opening practice session for the Honda GP of Alabama at the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham. Vautier caused the session to be extended by 5 minutes because he crashed and crews found it hard to get his car out of the pea gravel where it was situated.
Scott Dixon was second driving the Target Chip Ganassi entry while defending series champion Ryan Hunter Reay jumped up to third in the closing minute.
Charlie Kimball and Will Power rounded out the top-5.
Barber: Vautier crash causes red flag in session 1
Rookie Tristan Vautier still sits atop the charts in the opening practice session for the Honda Indy GP of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park while crews work to get his car out of the pea gravel in a precarious location.
Pocono tire test open to fans Fans are invited to Pocono Raceway on Wednesday to watch an Izod IndyCar Series tire test. Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power will participate. The results will help determine the Firestone tires to be used during the Pocono IndyCar 400 weekend July 5-7.
This will be the first time an IndyCar has turned a lap at Pocono since the series last competed at the 2.5-mile triangular track in August 1989.
Gates will open at 9 a.m. and fans will be directed to grandstand seating areas near the start-finish line. Concession stands will not be open, so fans attending should consider bringing a cooler with food and drink.
After winning at Sebring, the 2013 Audi R18 e-tron quattro races for the first time in Europe
Last year, Audi won the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone. April 14 will mark the beginning of the "title defense" objective with the further developed Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car at the 6-hour race on the tradition-steeped English race track.
It will be the first race of the 2013 WEC season but the second sports car event for Audi Sport Team Joest this year. In March, the brand with the four rings celebrated a one-two victory at the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida, a race that was not part of the WEC. At the WEC season opener in England, the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars will be meeting with two hybrid sports cars from challenger Toyota. At the wheel of the two Audi sports prototypes will be the current World Endurance Champions, Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer/Benoit Treluyer (CH/D/F), plus Loic Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB).
Jenson Button says next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix will serve as a fresh start to his season, with the McLaren driver eager to make up for two disappointing races in Australia and Malaysia.
"In a funny way, the Chinese Grand Prix almost feels like something of a reboot of the start of my season," Button commented. "Taking home two points from the first two races obviously wasn’t what we had in mind at the beginning of the year, but I think everybody in the team has picked themselves up and really attacked the task of addressing our car’s issues.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are in a position to claim multiple race victories and challenge for the title in 2013. This is the view of three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who has praised the team’s start to the season.
Hamilton has enjoyed a smooth transition from McLaren to the Silver Arrows, picking up a fifth place finish in Melbourne before stepping onto the podium at Sepang. This leaves Stewart certain that it is only a matter of time before a race win is achieved.
"Yes, they can win races," 73-year-old Stewart explained to BBC Sport. "Lewis will drive the living daylights out of whatever car he's got. They can challenge for the title, but they will need to keep up with Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of development.
Nico Rosberg says he has 'a positive feeling' ahead of next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, with the German optimistic of achieving another strong result at the scene of his maiden Formula 1 victory.
Having started the season with a retirement in Australia, the Mercedes driver quickly bounced back at Sepang to claim fourth place behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn says the outfit must not become complacent after a promising start to the 2013 season, insisting that constant upgrades need to be applied to the F1 W04 chassis to further close the gap to the front of the order.
Following Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's respective third and fourth place finishes in Malaysia, Brawn is hopeful that the tireless efforts of staff at the team's Brackley factory will pay dividends as the Formula 1 fraternity arrives at the Shanghai circuit.
F1 tires explained: Differences between Pirelli's 2012 and 2013 compounds Caterham F1 Team Head of Tires Peter Hewson explains how the Pirelli Formula 1 tire compounds have evolved from between 2012 and 2013.
Ganassi not rushing Larson Kyle Larson, who has been praised as a potential superstar by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, is back to work crisscrossing the country racing anywhere he can during a long break in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series. He spent last weekend at home in California racing at Antioch and Calistoga in Outlaws and 360 sprints, was back in North Carolina to run his kart at MMX on Wednesday, then was off again Thursday to Sacramento to repeat last week's schedule at Antioch and Calistoga again. Next week it's back to MMX for karting and then on to Texas Motor Speedway to resume racing in the Nationwide Series. So far, team owner Chip Ganassi hasn't been disappointed. But Ganassi is being cautious.
2013 Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Season Gets Underway The 2013 season of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) will kick off on April 13 at Northern California’s Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California. This season promises to be one of the best seasons in USTCC history with some terrific venues and lots of competition.
The season starts out at Thunderhill where many teams admit that they will not be fully ready. Round two will be at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park where the USTCC teams will race at the same weekend with the Lucas Oil Off Road series. The June race will test the engine performance of the normally aspirated engines as the turbocharged cars will certainly perform better in the high elevation. The teams next will head out to another special venue, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California’s Monterey Peninsula. This is a special invitational event hosted by the National Auto Sport Association and will be the first time that they have hosted such an event. After the July event, the teams get a short break before the main event of the year at Sonoma Raceway. The double header weekend in September is once again headlined by the FIA World Touring Car Championship. After the big weekend, the teams head to Southern California’s Buttonwillow Raceway in October before finishing off with another major challenge in Sonoma with a two hour endurance season finale.
Pirelli seeks 'balance' between sport and show - Brundle
Pirelli Tire choices
(GMM) Amid criticism of the Italian marque's approach, Martin Brundle has defended F1 tire supplier Pirelli.
After the winter test period and the first two races of 2013, countless drivers and top teams including Red Bull and Mercedes complained loudly that disintegrating tires are now overly and artificially dominating the sport.
Mark Webber sees it as a balance between competition on the one hand, and 'the show' on the other.
"I think it's quite good for the neutral, good for the fans and probably good for new people that are following formula one," said the Australian.
(GMM) Paul di Resta is worried Force India will struggle to keep up with the development race in 2013.
Driving for one of F1's small-to-middle budget teams, the Scot is concerned that the huge technical challenge of improving the current car as well as preparing for the radical new rules in 2014 will be a major hurdle for the Silverstone squad.
"We have fewer resources than the top teams," the 26-year-old is quoted by Speed Week.
"This will be a disadvantage. At some point we will need to shift development to the 2014 car. Until then, we need to develop really well, because from June or July we will have to stop (developing the 2013 car)."
Some, however, are concerned about the noises being made by di Resta; linking his dip in form late last year to his disappointment in missing out on a top drive for 2014.
Mayfield loses bid to have more criminal charges droppedUPDATE Former NASCAR Driver Jeremy Mayfield was hoping a ruling from a judge Wednesday would solve his legal troubles in Catawba County. Instead, the ruling means he likely will go to trial on charges of possession of stolen goods, possession of methamphetamine and several other charges. Mayfield's attorneys had filed a motion to throw out a search warrant that was obtained by law enforcement in 2011 and led to the discovery of what authorities believe were stolen goods and methamphetamine in Mayfield's Catawba County home. The defense argued that there was no credible basis for the warrant to be issued. Catawba County Sheriff's Lt. Aaron Turk testified he obtained the warrant after speaking with an informant. Turk said the informant was John Franklin, a convicted felon who was facing more drug charges when he spoke with him. He was killed last year in a motorcycle wreck while fleeing from police. His girlfriend, who was riding with him, died as well. Methamphetamine was found on the motorcycle after the wreck. Despite that, the court ruled that the search warrant was properly handled and denied the defense motion to throw it out WBTV
Medal of Honor Recipient Dakota Meyer to be Toyota Grand Prix of LB Grand Marshal
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer will serve as Grand Marshal for the 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21, saying the most famous words in auto racing – “Drivers, start your engines!” – just prior to the start of the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.
Meyer is a former U.S. Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his 2009 actions in Afghanistan. He also will drive in Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of seven racing events set to run during the famous Long Beach, Calif. weekend.
Since receiving the Medal of Honor, Meyer wrote Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War and fundraises with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Most recently, Meyer has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Toyota for the Hiring Our Heroes program.
ISC pays $1.1 million deductable for crash Daytona International Speedway parent company International Speedway Corporation has paid a $1.1 million deductible in insurance costs related to the treatment of injuries for more than 30 fans hurt by debris Feb 23.
On the final lap of the Nationwide Series race, the car driven by Kyle Larson got airborne and hit the catch fence in the area that can be unattached to allow fans and officials to go to and from the stands before and after a race.
The fence buckled, causing the front end of Larson’s car to disintegrate, showering the stands – including the upper deck — with debris. A tire and suspension from Larson’s car went through the fencing and hit fans in the lower rows.
Loeb to tackle Pike peak in Peugeot One of the world’s most decorated auto racing stars is coming to Pikes Peak this summer.
Nine-time WRC World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb of France has entered the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, adding more international luster to the nation’s second-oldest motor sports event behind the Indy 500 and helping to make the field the best in the race’s storied history..
The 91st running of the race will be held on Sunday, June 30 with the help and support of title sponsors Discount Tires, Hankook Tire USA and TCI Tire Centers.
After 'Lazy Racing' Allmendinger finding IndyCar difficultUPDATE Team Penske has won all three of the IZOD IndyCar Series races at Barber Motorsports Park (Will Power in 2011 and '12; Helio Castroneves in 2010).
That provides AJ Allmendinger with the knowledge that the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske car he'll drive in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7 is capable of winning on the road course.
"I have high expectations of myself and I don't want to go out there and waste anyone's time and (team owner) Roger (Penske's) money. I want to go out there and be up front from the start," he said. "There's a fine line, though, of having lofty expectations and realistic expectations."
Dale Coyne Racing announced that Ana Beatriz will be in the driver's seat of the No. 18 Honda-powered car this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park and through the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
"I am very excited to be back and race at Barber and Long Beach," said Beatriz, who will mark her 25th IZOD IndyCar Series start in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. "I didn't think I would be back in a car until Brazil, but I want to thank Ipiringa and Dale for making it possible for me to drive full time through Indianapolis.
"We didn't have the finish we would have liked to in St. Petersburg, but I am confident that we can get a better finish for the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda at Barber this weekend."
ISC's Q1 Income Falls 21% As Track Attendance, Spending Decline ISC today reported that its Q1 income fell 21% "as tough economic conditions continued to hurt attendance and spending at its race tracks." Revenue "edged up" less than 1% to $128.6M, compared to $127.4M in Q1 '12. The company said that revenue "got a boost from a successful Budweiser Speedweeks event, which featured increased corporate sponsorship, hospitality and ancillary rights revenue." Motorsports-related revenue increased 5% to $84.6M, but was "largely offset by declines in admissions and food, beverage and merchandise revenue"
Meyer, Leonard To Be Inducted Into Auto Racing Hall Of Fame
Sonny Meyer Jr.
Legendary chief mechanic and engineer Louis "Sonny" Meyer Jr. and 1968 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Joe Leonard are the 2013 inductees to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Meyer and Leonard will be inducted in two ceremonies during Race Week of the 97th Indianapolis 500 in May.
A public Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Friday, May 24 on the Pagoda Plaza Stage during Coors Light Carb Day. The invitation-only 29th Annual Oldtimers Recognition Dinner and Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Lorenzo Leads Opening MotoGP Practice The opening round of the 2013 MotoGP Championship began this evening at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. The first free practice wound up with Yamaha leading the class and dominating the top of the time sheets. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was quick to find a set up on his YZR-M1 and spent the session challenging within the top few positions. As the track conditions improved in the last ten minutes so did the times, the Mallorcan taking the top spot in the last two minutes and increasing speed again to finish with an impressive 1’56.685.
Teammate Valentino Rossi’s first race weekend back on the YZR-M1 began in style this evening, the Italian nine-time MotoGP Champion took almost immediate possession of the number one spot on the timesheets and was only rarely troubled there throughout the session. Only teammate Lorenzo and fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow were able to contend for the fastest time, with all three ending the session within one tenth of a second from each other.
The 33 directors of the 500 Festival received their Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Camaros in a ceremony Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a longtime tradition leading into the Month of May and "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
The "Festival cars" have reminded Indianapolis-area residents of the upcoming Indianapolis 500 since the 1960s, and this year's unique cars will capture more attention and start more conversation than usual as they are driven around Central Indiana.
Each of the 500 Festival cars this year is a special Camaro Hot Wheels Edition convertible, which will arrive at Chevrolet dealerships this spring after a limited, one-time production run. It's the first time a full-size, production Hot Wheels car has been offered for sale by any manufacturer.
Pietro Fittipaldi joins 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship
Pietro and Emerson Fittipaldi
Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of double F1 World Champion Emerson, will race in the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship, as he competes on UK soil for the first time.
The 16-year-old Brazilian, the series’ sixth international driver so far, completes a three-car line-up for Mark Godwin Racing (MGR) alongside British racer Jake Dalton and Mexican Diego Menchaca. Fittipaldi will race with backing from Claro and telecommunications company Embratel.
Barber IndyCar pre-race quotes JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, POINTS LEADER (ONE 2013 WIN): "I’m looking forward to getting back to Barber. Obviously for us the open test went pretty well and the race last year went pretty well so there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic and certainly riding a bit of a high form (the St. Pete win) two weeks ago. So we’ll see, it’s definitely going to be a long, physical race with the faster times we saw at the test there – it was definitely taking a toll on the drivers so we’ll see how everybody holds up over the distance. Definitely doing a lot of neck work since the test so hopefully that holds up. Other than that just looking forward to another strong race and hopefully putting the GoDaddy Chevy back up front."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2ND IN STANDINGS: "It was great to start the season with a podium finish and I feel confident we can carry the momentum into Barber this weekend with the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet. The high speed corners and elevation changes make this one of my favorite tracks to race on and hopefully we can repeat the success from last year."
Regan Smith is returning to Sprint Cup Series racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. He's hopping behind the wheel of the No. 51 Hendrickcars.com Chevy fielded by Phoenix Racing for Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500. It will mark his first Cup Series start since the Daytona 500, when he piloted the No. 51 car to a seventh-place finish. Smith hopes his reunion with Phoenix Racing leads to another prosperous run.
Smith has eight Cup Series starts at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. He's finished inside the top 20 three times and scored top-15s in two events. His best finish is 13th place, which he achieved in 2011.
Allmendinger looking forward to IndyCar debut at Barber
Allmendinger testing at Barber last month
A.J. Allmendinger will compete in an open- wheel race for the first time in seven years this weekend when the IZOD IndyCar Series runs at Barber Motorsports Park.
Allmendinger is scheduled to drive the No. 2 car for Team Penske in at least two IndyCar races this season -- Barber and the May 26 Indianapolis 500. He has tested an Indy car three times in the past seven weeks, including practice last week at Texas Motor Speedway to better prepare for racing on an oval.
After a three-year career in the Champ Car World Series, Allmendinger switched to NASCAR in 2007. He drove for team owner Roger Penske in the Sprint Cup Series last year but lost his ride with the team after the first 17 races of the season when he was suspended for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. He is running a limited Sprint Cup schedule for Phoenix Racing this year.
Hamlin will go to Martinsville; hopes to return at Richmond
Showing minimal aftereffects of the crash that has sidelined him in Sprint Cup, Denny Hamlin was in good spirits and solid stature Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing. He smiled broadly while holding his 2-month-old daughter, Taylor. He joked with reporters. He seemed relatively ambulatory while walking around the shop wearing a back brace beneath his black FedEx polo shirt. But his discontent with Logano hasn't.
"I don't blame him for the particular injury," Hamlin said in his first extensive interview since returning home last week from an overnight hospital stay. "I do for the wreck. The injury was circumstantial. A wreck on a 2-mile speedway, you risk getting hurt. That frustrates me the most. Listening to him say, 'I'm sure Denny's fine, these cars are safe.' That really gets to me because he's taking for granted no matter how hard you wreck, you're going to be fine.
Toyota Racing and ZF begin technical partnership Toyota Racing has begun a technical partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) which will enhance its challenge in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The partnership will see TOYOTA Racing implement ZF’s high-performance clutch technology in the TS030 HYBRID race car, starting already in 2013.
The two companies will also work together to investigate other potential performance-enhancing technology, utilizing ZF’s proven track record in endurance racing.
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