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DATE News (chronologically)
04/07/11
dtm

Mercedes signs Vietoris, van der Zande
Renger van der Zande
A new DTM season gets underway at the official launch event in Wiesbaden: there will be nine drivers racing for Mercedes-Benz in the ten races that count towards the championship, plus the new show event scheduled for the Olympic Stadium in Munich. The newcomers to this year’s Mercedes-Benz squad are Christian Vietoris (22, Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) from Germany and Renger van der Zande (25, stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) from the Netherlands.

During the 2010 season, 22-year-old Vietoris competed in GP2, the supporting series to Formula One. He had previously competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series for Mücke Motorsport in a Mercedes-Benz-powered Dallara car in 2008 and 2009, finishing as runner-up in his second season with four wins. 25-year-old van der Zande competed in the 2010 GP3 series (also a supporting race event on GP weekends), having contested before the German Formula 3 Championship, the Formula 3 Euro Series and the British Formula 3 Championship in MB-powered cars under the wing of the Mercedes-Benz young driver scheme between 2006 and 2009.

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04/07/11
f1
nastruck

The F1 paddock must be rolling on floor in laughter UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, After some research I saw where Kimi in 2007 was one of the most highly paid athletes in the world earning as much as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordon making $53 million a year. My question is why would he be interested in NASCAR? I see he is going to be in the Camping world race at Charlotte and paid 100,000 to do it with a laughable sponsor? If he is paying for it why does he even need a sponsor and why wouldn’t he rather spend that one hundred grand on a Indy 500 ride? Certainly more of a prestigious race than the Camping world 200! Wouldn’t the IRL be a better fit for him than NASCAR?  Doug

Dear Doug, We have a sneaky suspicion that Kimi is doing it to spite Bernie, knowing that Bernie is worried about NASCAR's international expansion interests.  Perhaps Bernie did not support his return to F1.  It's only speculation, but how else would you go from making $53 million per year (with endorsements) to buying a ride in the lowly Truck Series?  Mark C.

04/06/11 Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen will be sponsored by Perky Jerky (is that corny or what?), a beef jerky that includes an energy boost, when he launches his NASCAR career next month. 

Perky Jerky calls their product "Meat with a Motor," which sounds like a porno movie. NASCAR fans can wash down their Perky Jerky with a ice cold BUD or maybe an AMP energy drink that Dale Jr has as a sponsor for a double kick in the pants. The F1 paddock will get a real laugh out of this we assure you.

Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion, plans to drive in three to five Camping World Truck Series races for Kyle Busch Motorsports. His first race with the Perky Jerky logo on the hood of the truck will be May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Kimi Raikkonen is a savvy competitor and marketer worldwide, and he is a perfect fit for the culture of our lifestyle brand,” said Perky Jerky founder Brian Levin in a news release.

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04/07/11
irl

Tallahassee Honda Dealer Announces IndyCar Sweepstakes
Proctor Honda serving Tallahassee Honda shoppers is pleased to announce that Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes is back.  The promotion gives race enthusiasts the opportunity to win a ride in an IndyCar 2-seater driven by an Indy 500 champion during an incredible three day trip.

Tallahassee Honda fans with a racing spirit can enter to win a trip to one of these six races: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Firestone Twin 275s Fort Worth, TX, Honda Indy 200 Lexington, OH, Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, and Baltimore Grand Prix.

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04/07/11
f1

Horner frustrated as McLaren finger-pointing continues
Horner tired of McLaren whining
(GMM)  Christian Horner expressed frustration as the latest flexible wing saga spilled into the Sepang paddock.

Told that, elsewhere in the paddock ahead of the Malaysian grand prix, Lewis Hamilton has once again been talking about Red Bull's front wing, Horner exclaimed: "He's done it again today?  Oh Christ!"

But while most others issued a 'no comment', Hamilton's McLaren teammate Jenson Button was also talking about the wing, and how it passes the FIA legality checks but is so obviously lower to the ground at speed than the others in the field.

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04/07/11
f1

Dell Becomes a Team Lotus Technology Partner
On the eve of its Malaysian home grand prix, Team Lotus is delighted to announce that Dell has upgraded its commitment to become a Technology Partner. Dell’s world famous brand will make its debut on the T128 at the 2011 UBS Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Dell’s additional investment also gives Team Lotus access to a new level of technological solutions which will provide the team with the power to do more, faster.

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04/07/11
v8

Power, Briscoe to drive V8s
Aussie IndyCar drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe have all but confirmed they will be on track at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in October.  The pair said in their interview on SPEED News Australia that while they won’t confirm which car they’ll be in, they will be on a plane almost immediately after the conclusion of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The final race of the IndyCar championship is in Las Vegas on October 16 while the Gold Coast V8 Supercars event commences on October 21.

With the time differences and amount of time it takes to fly from the US to Australia, the pair will could be on track just hours after arriving in the country.

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04/07/11
automotive

Kia Motors Posts 21.9% Global Sales Growth in March
Kia Motors Corporation announced its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for March 2011, recording a total of 216,219 units sold. This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 21.9%. In March, Kia posted strong double digit year-on-year sales increases in all regions of the world – 41.8% in North America (49,573 units sold), 21.3% in Korea (46,100 units sold), 17.9% in China (33,951 units sold), 17.4% in general markets (41,237 units sold), and 12.1% in Europe (45,358 units sold).

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04/07/11
IRL

Move over Danica, here comes Simona
Simona de Silvestro
With rumors that Danica Patrick may be on her way to NASCAR fulltime in 2012, IndyCar has wisely decided they had better turn attention away from an asset that may be leaving the series and focus on one that has a bright future - Swiss Simona de Silvestro.

Nearly a half hour after completely stealing the vinegar from Dario Franchitti's season-opening win at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, in which the two-time defending Izod IndyCar Series champion had led 94 of 100 laps, the 22-year-old de Silvestro stared at a mass of people pining for her autograph. They were lined up three deep, jostling for position along a flimsy barrier, waving and calling to this once obscure Swiss female who had captured their imagination not just with a fourth-place finish, but with how hard she'd tried to get more.

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04/07/11
ga

Pruett and Rojas top opening Grand-Am practice
Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas ran fastest Thursday in opening practice for this weekend’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 at the scenic 2.3-mile, 17-turn circuit Barber Motorsports Park.  The 2-¾-hour timed sprint race goes green at 3 p.m. local time, Saturday, April 9, and will be telecast on SPEED the next day, Sunday, April 10, at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

Barber Motorsports Park is known for being a challenge for both drivers and tires. Many teams spent the majority of the day working through setups that will suit the new series-standard Continental Tires.

Sharing the card this weekend at Barber with the IZOD Indy Car series, on track time for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is fairly limited.  Grand-Am teams only have one more practice and a quick qualifying session, all on Friday morning, before Saturday afternoon’s race.

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04/07/11
f1

Malaysian GP: Thursday Press Conference

Felipe Massa
DRIVERS

Sebastien BUEMI (Toro Rosso)
Jenson BUTTON (McLaren)
Felipe MASSA (Ferrari)
Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes)
Jarno TRULLI (Lotus)

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q. Let's start with a little question to Jenson and Felipe. Just talk about the battle that kept us so entertained in Australia. Jenson, your version perhaps.

Jenson BUTTON: Looking back on it now, I would say it was a pretty fun battle to be involved with. Frustrating for me as I couldn't find a way past. I think Felipe did a very good job of blocking and I couldn't find a way past. So, it was frustrating but when you look at it now, it looks like a good race, I would say. But even with the DRS it is still very tricky to overtake at a place like Melbourne with such short straights. If you cover the inside line it is very difficult to overtake.

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04/07/11
usf2000

USF2000 to Host Mazda Road to Indy Oval Clinic
The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda will conduct an oval training clinic for Mazda Road to Indy drivers on May 6 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In conjunction with INDYCAR, sanctioning body of the ladder programs and the IZOD IndyCar Series, the clinic will offer valuable insight into the intricacies of oval racing to all USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights drivers, many of whom will be making their oval racing debuts in May over the Memorial Day weekend.

“The USF2000 series has prepared hundreds of drivers to advance in their careers over the past 17 years and many have climbed the ladder to the top rung – the IZOD IndyCar Series,” said  Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “One of our main goals is to provide complete training on all types of circuits to enable our drivers to achieve positive results as they climb today’s Mazda Road to Indy ladder. This oval clinic is an integral part of that plan. Our instructors are all experienced professionals on ovals, and some came up through the USF2000 ladder on their way to the top. The clinic will provide significant assistance to drivers and we are proud to present it for the first time.” 

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04/07/11
karting

HPD Karting Parts Now Available
Honda CR125 engine parts and rebuild kits are now available to kart racers throughout the United States via the Honda Racing Line, the parts and service program for amateur and entry-level professional racers operated by Honda Performance Development (HPD).

The Honda CR125 engine is used in the popular Spec Honda and Stock Moto classes by a variety of karting sanctioning bodies. The Honda Racing Line now offers racers a new source for CR125 parts, engine-rebuild kits and technical support.

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04/07/11
f1

DRS to making Sepang overtaking 'easy' - drivers
(GMM)  There will be only one 'DRS' overtaking zone this weekend, but top drivers believe passing could be too easy in Malaysia.

24 hours ago, Felipe Massa expressed concerns amid rumors the FIA was considering allowing drivers to use both of Sepang's long straights to adjust their rear wings to overtake rivals during the grand prix.

But when asked if he had heard that only the entire length of the pit straight has been declared for DRS this weekend, the Ferrari driver answered on Thursday: "Yes.

"In my opinion, in this direction (with two straights) it would have been very easy to overtake," said Massa.

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04/07/11
nassprint

Interstate Moving Services sponsoring TRG for two races
Interstate Moving Services has signed-on with TRG Motorsports as the primary sponsor on the #71 Interstate Moving Services Ford for the Sprint Cup Series races at Texas and Talladega. The "surf green" colors will ride on the 71 Ford driven by Andy Lally at this weekend's running of the Samsung Mobil 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Interstate Moving Services is part of the Interstate family of companies encompassing a worldwide group of relocation management, transportation and logistics management solutions serving government, corporate, and individual clients. The Springfield, Virginia based company will be with TRG Motorsports as the primary sponsor for both Texas and Talladega. "This is a really big weekend for TRG Motorsports", said Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team owner. "In addition to welcoming Interstate as a new primary sponsor, we have also completed the switch to Ford Fusions with Roush/Yates power. This should provide our team with a big boost." TRG PR

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04/07/11
irl

Conway to drive in support of Window World Cares in select 2011 IndyCar events
Andretti Autosport announced today that its #27 entry driven by Mike Conway will race in support of Window World Cares at select IZOD IndyCar Series events in 2011, beginning with this weekend's race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. 

Window World Cares is Window World Inc.'s charitable foundation used for donations, community outreach programs, and other benevolent events. Since its creation in 2008, Window World Cares is responsible for raising more than $1.6 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - enough to operate the hospital for one day. 

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04/07/11
f1

Alonso smirks at Hamilton's Senna-Prost comparison
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Thursday smirked as he heard about Lewis Hamilton's depiction of him as Alain Prost.

"I see him (Alonso) as my Prost ... if you were to say 'choose a driver' I would clearly choose Ayrton (Senna).  And maybe I would put him as Prost," McLaren driver Hamilton said recently.

The pair clashed memorably as McLaren teammates in 2007 and many still regard the duo as the ultimate rivals in modern F1.

Asked on Thursday if he agreed with Hamilton's Senna-Prost comparison, Ferrari's Alonso told EFE news agency: "If (like Prost) I win four world championships, I like it."

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04/07/11
f1

New HRT wing en route to Sepang - Liuzzi
(GMM)  HRT has received the green light to debut its 2011-specification front wing in Malaysia this weekend.

After failing to qualify in Melbourne with the 2010 wing cobbled onto the new car, the component has now passed the mandatory FIA crash test and is being shipped to Sepang.

"We should have it before the start of the Friday session," Vitantonio Liuzzi is quoted by the Spanish newspaper AS.

"We are getting many new parts and are much more positive about being at a higher level than in Australia," added the Italian.

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04/07/11
nascar

Raikkonen will help drive NASCAR international appeal
Is Kimi Raikkonen serious about pursuing a career in Sprint Cup? It sure sounds like he is, based upon his released statement before testing for Kyle Busch's Camping World Truck team Monday and Tuesday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia. Raikkonen has a multi-race deal with Busch for this year, starting at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," Raikkonen said. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing."

NASCAR has seen an influx of ex-F1 drivers in recent years, starting with Juan Pablo Montoya in 2006. Scott Speed arrived in Trucks in 2008 and made it to Cup by the next season. Jacques Villeneuve has made cameo appearances since 2007, but hasn't been able find the sponsorship for a full-time job in any of the three touring series. Nelson Piquet Jr. is running full-time in Trucks this year and Narain Karthikeyan ran nine Truck races last year.

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04/07/11
lmes

Luyendyk Completes United Autosports' "Stellar" 24 Hours of Spa Line-Up
Arie Luyendyk
Double Indianapolis 500 race winner Arie Luyendyk contests his first serious race in almost 10 years when the “Flying Dutchman” drives for United Autosports in the Total 24 Hours of Spa (July 30-31).

Somewhat surprisingly considering that Arie was born 150-miles from the majestic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Luyendyk will be racing at the Belgian venue for the first time. He visited the 4.35-mile track last month (March 29) when he tested the GT3 class Audi for the Anglo-American team currently at Paul Ricard (France) for 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship Media Days.

1990 & ’97 Indy 500 race winner Luyendyk, who raced for 10 years in Europe before moving permanently to America where he remains today, tested at Spa along with Matt Bell (GB), Richard Meins (GB) and Henri Richard (F) while Johnny Herbert (GB) also joined the action having flown in from the Australian Grand Prix where the Briton was present in the role of an FIA Steward at the season-opening Formula One race.

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04/07/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Jean Todt blames races
    Abu Dhabi eyes changes to improve F1 overtaking
  • F1 popularity waning due to 'unacceptable' races - Todt
  • Button glad dominant Red Bull struggling with KERS
  • No 'Korea-type situation' for Indian GP - Kafitz
  • Renault engine burns fuel to help F1 customers
  • No Mercedes offers for Vettel since 2009 - Haug
  • Todt: F1 needs to bring in TV viewers
  • Pirelli add stripes to help identifying tires
  • HRT lands Mercedes wind tunnel deal 

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04/06/11
nassprint

Larry McReynolds on Tires, Earnhardt Jr. and Texas
“The greatest thing that ever happened to Goodyear in NASCAR was what happened at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2008.  It was a huge black eye for the company and the sport but it was a wake-up call.” Larry McReynolds

Tire issues were the talk of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage last Friday at Martinsville Speedway, but when the post-race dust settled Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. emerged the headliner with his second-place run.  Below, SPEED analyst Larry McReynolds discusses recent tire issues, whether or not Earnhardt Jr. is “back” and this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. 

SPEED has the first look at the weekend’s storylines Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. ET with live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup practice from Texas Motor Speedway.  For further technical analysis by McReynolds and crew chiefs Chad Knaus and Bootie Barker, tune in to NASCAR Performance on SPEED Friday at 12 a.m. ET.

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04/06/11
f1

Alonso: We have minor updates for Sepang
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso finished fourth in the opening race of the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship in Australia a couple of weeks ago. The Ferrari team underperformed after a strong preseason testing campaign, but the Spaniard is not overly concerned. He looks ahead to round two of the title battle:

“I arrived in Malaysia a few days ago, having stayed a while in Australia, on Hamilton Island. I decided to stay in this part of the world so as to be used to the local time zone, given we now take on two races in the Far East, first in Sepang and then in Shanghai.

It’s important to get used to the weather conditions, especially here where the temperatures are around the 30 °C mark and, much more significantly, it’s very humid. I have done some sport, because it’s essential to keep training: in this race you lose a lot of liquid and it’s very tough driving in these conditions, so you need to be on top form to tackle the weekend properly.

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04/06/11
irl

Entry list taking shape for 100th Anniversary Indy 500 as deadline arrives
Last-minute entries for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 continued to arrive when the entry deadline was reached April 6, as the field of drivers and teams attempting to earn a spot in the "Most Important Race in History" is taking shape.

The initial entry list for the Sunday, May 29 race will be released soon. All full-season IZOD IndyCar Series teams will field entries in the race, with some adding Indianapolis-only entries to their lineup. Some teams also are fielding entries only for the "500." A look at some of the limited-season or "one-off" entries with assigned drivers already announced for the Indianapolis 500:

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04/06/11
irl

Inside Track: Honda GP of Alabama


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04/06/11
fil

Winslow back at Andretti Autosport for Barber, Long Beach
Englishman James Winslow will continue to drive for Andretti Autosport as team officials confirmed that he will race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Long Beach.

The 27-year-old native of Witham, England rallied for an early race incident to finish 10th at the season-opening event at St. Petersburg and is focused on bringing the No. 26 Andretti Autosport car back to the front of the field.

"I'm looking forward to building on our strong start at St. Petersburg," Winslow said. "The team did a great job and we showed that we are going to be a strong in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights championship. It will be great to get back in the car on Friday at Barber to see what we can do."

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04/06/11
irl
alms

Ramsey to serve as Long Beach grand marshal
"Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares" host/chef Gordon Ramsay will be the grand marshal of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17.

Ramsay, who owns and operates high-profile restaurants around the globe, will welcome IZOD IndyCar Series drivers to a dinner service taping of "Hell's Kitchen" on April 15 in Los Angeles.

One of four chefs in the UK to maintain three Michelin Stars, Ramsay was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry.

Tickets for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, featuring the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, are available from the Grand Prix ticket office by calling (888) 82-SPEED or at www.gplb.com.

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04/06/11
British F3

Huertas & Magnussen quick in final pre-season testing
The final pre-season test of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series saw Carlin’s Carlos Huertas and Kevin Magnussen set the pace, Colombian Huertas the quickest man on track this morning and Tuesday pacesetter Magnussen the fast man of the afternoon.

Though he went comfortably quicker than he did yesterday or this morning, Danish driver Magnussen’s afternoon best of 1m 39.671s was insufficient to unseat Huertas from the top of the timesheets. Carlos managed a 1m 39.521s in the more favorable, slightly cooler conditions of the morning session.

There was further encouragement for the Double R team and its 17-year-old Brazilian driver Pipo Derani, who followed up his good showing of yesterday with second-quickest time to Huertas this morning, third overall for the day as a whole.

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04/06/11
Racing News

Darren Law Named COO of Bondurant Driving School
Darren Law has been appointed to the newly created position of chief operating officer for the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix, effective immediately.

Reporting to the chief executive officer, Bob Bondurant, Law will be responsible for development and implementation of a strategic management and marketing program for the school, which is the largest purpose-built driver training facility in North America.

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04/06/11
nassprint

2013 Sprint Cup cars moving forward
Development of the proposed new 2013 Sprint Cup Series body styles is progressing on schedule, as the sanctioning body works hand-in-hand with automakers to increase brand identity on the race track. Multiple sources say Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Toyota are expected to submit their final roof and rear deck lid designs in the near future, allowing NASCAR to move forward with the process of creating a unique body for each brand, while maintaining a similar aerodynamic footprint.

The current Sprint Cup Series bodies are virtually identical, with the exception of a vinyl graphics package applied to the headlight, grille and rear taillight areas of each car. Beginning in 2013, however, the sanctioning body hopes to have each model be easily identifiable from the front, rear and sides. In an effort to allow manufacturers more design leeway, NASCAR will reportedly cease to distinguish between steel and lexan, allowing manufacturers to contour their NASCAR windshields and side windows identically to those found on their stock, production models. The change would allow teams to do away with the bulky, steel B-pillars required under current NASCAR rules, replacing them with thin "support strips" anchored to larger, lexan side windows.

The move will greatly enhance brand identity, something automakers have lobbied hard for in recent years. It could also remove the main stumbling block cited by General Motors executives for not keeping their popular Chevy Camaro out of NASCAR competition. GM has staunchly refused to modify what it calls the "iconic body line" of the Camaro for NASCAR competition. But with new rules in place for the 2013 season, there is a chance the Detroit automaker could reconsider that decision. Sirius Speedway

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04/06/11
irl

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Signs Bertrand Baguette
Bertrand Baguette
Prepared to add another chapter to a legacy of success stories with young racing talent, Rahal Letterman Lanigan today announced the expansion of its Indianapolis 500 plans to a two-car effort by adding Bertrand Baguette to its lineup for the 100th anniversary running of the 500-mile classic.

Baguette, who will look to make his second start in the Indy 500, joins a previously-announced joint effort between RLL and Sam Schmidt Motorsports to field the #88 Service Central entry for Jay Howard. The two-car entry marks the first time since 2008 that RLL will field two cars at Indianapolis. Baguette will drive the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone with the support of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium and Aspria.

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04/06/11
irl

Pagenaud to replace Beatriz in Alabama
Simon Pagenaud back in an IndyCar
Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that Brazilian, Ana Beatriz, will not participate in this weekend's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama due to an injury sustained at the IZOD IndyCar Series opener in St. Petersburg, Florida two weeks ago. Filling in for her for Sunday's event will be Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.

Last Sunday, the 26 year-old incurred the injury on the fifth lap in Turn 5 when she made contact with the No. 38 car driven by Graham Rahal.  The Brazilian managed to soldier through the race as she advanced six positions and brought the car home in 14th place.  As a result of the incident, she fractured her scaphoid bone (wrist) and had to have surgery last Tuesday.

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04/06/11
f1

Todt versus Bernie knives being sharpened
FIA president Jean Todt has outlined he will look to renegotiate the commercial agreement motorsport’s governing body has with Formula One – a deal that was brokered by his predecessor, Max Mosley – which is likely to further irk and irritate F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Former Ferrari CEO Todt succeeded Mosley at the helm of the FIA in October 2009 and is seeking to make changes to an agreement signed back in 2001. Under Mosley’s stewardship the FIA had approved a 100-year deal with Bernie Ecclestone’s SLEC Holdings concerning the broadcasting and commercial rights to F1.

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04/06/11
dtm

Coulthard and Schumacher to race for Mercedes-Benz
The two former Formula One drivers David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher will once again be racing the AMG Mercedes C-Class for the 2011 season. They are the best-known members of the DTM Mercedes-Benz teams. Both drivers each have more than twenty years’ motor racing experience, and from a joint total of 426 Grand Prix starts they secured 19 Formula One wins between them. David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher have quickly become fan-favorites in the DTM.

David Coulthard, 40, Scotland, made his DTM debut in 2010. He marked the end of his first year by securing his best result of the season at the final race in Shanghai (8th place) and by posting the fastest lap. In 2011, the Scotsman will line up on the grid once more for Team Mücke Motorsport in the Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class.

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04/06/11
f1

Naming dispute cost us sponsors - Tony Fernandes
Tony Fernandes
Tony Fernandes has admitted the Lotus naming dispute cost his team sponsors heading into its second year in Formula One.

Team Lotus is currently in court fighting road car manufacturer Group Lotus over the use of the iconic name in Formula One. The case was preceded by a very public slanging match between the two sides, which Fernandes believes has put potential investors off.

In an interview with his team's in house e-magazine, Team Lotus Notes, Fernandes was asked if his outfit was looking to build up a broad sponsorship portfolio similar to the likes of Sauber. "Yes," he responded. "The only blip in that is this court case, which has probably put some sponsors off. The thing is that people just don't know who's right and who's wrong, it's confusing for people. But it's changing. I think many people now realize that it doesn't matter what our name is, you're investing in the people and the attitude. Sponsors who realize that will like us."

He added: "We'll fight our corner. I think we've proven that. We've taken on a Malaysian Government-linked company, we've taken on Group Lotus and we've taken on Force India. We won't give in but we'll do it in a proper way."

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04/06/11
automotive

Maserati to Enter India in 2011
The Modena‐based luxury and sports car maker, in partnership with the successful Indian luxury retailer, the Shreyans Group, will open its first Indian showroom in Mumbai this year and plans are well advanced to open a second dealership in New Delhi in early 2012, with plans to cater to seven major Indian cities by 2015.

The Maserati India office will combine the experience in service, customers service and network management of Maserati professionals with the Indian market expertise of the Shreyans Group, which has established it as a key player in India's luxury market in many sectors from cars to superbikes and fashion.

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04/06/11
racing news

Lola appoint new Technical Center manager
Chris Jones
Lola Group are delighted to announce the return of Chris Saunders as its Technical Centre Manager. Chris rejoins Lola after four and a half years working for the Red Bull and Toro Rosso F1 organizations.

Chris will bring a wealth of experience in Wind Tunnel facilities, which stretches back to working with Williams and McLaren F1 teams in the 1980’s.

One of the founding fathers of the Lola 50% scale on-site Wind tunnel; Chris will be spearheading a new drive in commercial business for the renowned technical capabilities at Huntingdon. Chris implemented the planning and building of the Lola wind tunnel, executing the vision of Lola owner and Executive Chairman, Martin Birrane to create one of the very best commercially available technical centers in the country.

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04/06/11
nassprint

Johnson neutered by NASCAR UPDATE #3 Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, was on “Tradin’ Paint’’ on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR Channel on Tuesday afternoon and talked about the pit road and speeding.

One of the questions he was asked is how NASCAR calculates pit road speeding and why GPS isn’t used to determine it.

Here’s what Pemberton said on “Tradin’ Paint’’ …

“What we do is we feel like it’s in the best interest of the competition to do time over distance. You used to see the state police hanging out on the exit ramp and he’s got a stopwatch and there’s two lines that are painted on the Interstate and he knows to run 60 miles an hour, whatever that distance is, it should be (for example) 4 seconds when you go through there. He knows 4 seconds equals 60 miles an hour. If you got through there in 3.5 seconds, he knows that you’re running 68 or 70 miles an hour.

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04/06/11
fil

Lee Bentham re-joining Jensen MotorSport as Driver Coach
Lee Bentham won the 1998 Atlantic Championship with two wins and eight podiums in 13 races driving for Forsythe Racing
Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that Lee Bentham is re-joining the team as Driver Coach on our Firestone Indy Lights program.

Bentham (40) previously managed Driver Development for Jensen MotorSport during the 2007 ChampCar Atlantic season, working with drivers Tom Sutherland and Frankie Muniz. Bentham’s resume also includes his Head of Driver Development role at Forsythe Championship Racing, where he developed successful drivers including Robert Wickens, John Edwards, and newly announced IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe.

A native of Toronto Canada, Bentham also has an impressive resume as a race car driver. Bentham WON the 1998 ChampCar Atlantic Championship driving for the Player’s / Forsythe Racing Team, and also won races in the 1997 Firestone Indy Lights Championship en route to a 5th overall finish in the season standings.

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04/06/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Opponents says they know Red Bull's front wings flex downward at speed but admit they don't have the intellectual capacity to figure out how they do it and still pass scrutineering
    Ecclestone, teams paid more by F1 - report
  • Company in trouble as HRT stalls on payment
  • De la Rosa laments rain for Pirelli test
  • Mercedes teammates 'close' in pace - Haug
  • Engineer admits Red Bull flex wing mystery
  • Brazil federation eyes run-off for Interlagos corner
  • Pirro to be steward, Valsecchi to test Lotus
  • Sochi on track for F1 debut in 2014
  • Rain to make Sepang 'distressing' in 2011
  • Massa opposed to expanded DRS use at Sepang
  • June 2012 deadline achievable, say Austin organizers 

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04/05/11
alms

Long Beach wins hard to come by for ALMS teams
Since the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron first raced at the historic Long Beach circuit in 2007, multiple victories have been hard to come by.

Only one driver pairing in the last four seasons managed back-to-back class wins in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach – Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long for Flying Lizard Motorsports and Porsche in 2009 and 2010. In addition, Corvette Racing’s Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin took GT1 victories in 2007 and 2009.

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04/05/11
nassprint
irl

Penske offers insight to NASCAR, IndyCar series issues
Roger Penske
One of motorsports’ legendary figures, team owner Roger Penske, sat down in his team’s motorcoach trackside recently, ready to discuss all things racing as his team prepared for the March 27 IZOD IndyCar Series’ season opener at St. Petersburg.

Rising to greet and shake hands with a handful of journalists invited for a rare “all-things considered” interview, Penske was game for an hour of questions about everything from NASCAR’s crowds to the economy to the future of IndyCar. He also shared his thoughts about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, which he has won 15 times as a team owner, amassing a trophy collection likely never to be equaled.

Penske’s cars had been running well all weekend at St. Pete – driver Will Power finished second the next day -- and he was in a good mood, alternately joking with the small group and offering a perspective no one else in the industry can provide:

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04/05/11
fil

VERSUS' coverage of Firestone Indy Lights begins at Barber Motorsports Park
VERSUS' coverage of the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season takes the green flag this weekend with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama from Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. ET.

VERSUS, the exclusive cable home for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, will super-serve motorsports fans by covering eight Firestone Indy Lights races live, including the Firestone Freedom 100 on Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.

The IZOD IndyCar Series television window on VERSUS will expand to include the live broadcasts of Firestone Indy Lights events at Barber Motorsports Park, Streets of Long Beach, Iowa Speedway, Streets of Toronto, Edmonton City Centre Airport, Streets of Baltimore and Kentucky Speedway.  The Firestone Indy Lights stand-alone event - the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres on the Streets of Trois Rivieres, Canada - will be taped for air at a later date.

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04/05/11
f1

Russian F1 circuit construction on target
Officials for the first ever Russian Formula 1 race say that construction workers are continuing make good progress. The Sochi venue, set to host its inaugural Grand Prix in 2014, will also be home to that year’s Winter Olympics.

“It's well on track,” Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi organizing committee, is quoted as saying by Reuters on Tuesday.

He went on to add that the race will complement the Games, as opposed to fears claiming the opposite

“It's a great project in terms of creating the additional legacy and to fulfill the Olympic Park with the post-Games activities. This is a great attraction to speed up and attract the potential owners of the commercial property that will be built.

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04/05/11
irl

Qualifying Tweak Made For Road Courses
Segment 2 of IZOD IndyCar Series road/street course qualifications has been reduced from 15 to 10 minutes, pursuant to a bulletin the sanctioning body sent to teams.

The alteration will take effect April 9 at Barber Motorsports Park during the three rounds of qualifying for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy. The segment winnows the 12 cars that advanced from Groups 1 and 2 in the first segment to six -- based on quickest lap time -- to compete in the Firestone Fast Six that determines the PEAK Performance Pole Award winner and sets the first three rows for the race.

"It's a combination of the new rule that allows one set of tires, either primaries or alternates, per segment and the 12 cars in Segment 2 that have clearly demonstrated the ability to be quick so they don't need the 15 minutes," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for INDYCAR.

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04/05/11
Track News

Watkins Glen construction update UPDATE Watkins Glen is also preparing for a large music festival by the band Phish over the July 4th weekend.

04/05/11 Despite constant weather changes ranging from snow to rain to sunshine, Watkins Glen International has been a hotbed of activity.  The capital improvements project announced in December 2010 has kicked into high gear with construction currently taking place on three grandstands, new lighting poles, and the addition of new showers in two locations.  The contracts for all projects to-date have been awarded to New York-based companies keeping the financial benefits inside the state and supporting the regional economy.  The entire capital improvement project is scheduled to be completed prior to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, August 11-14.

Turn 10 Grandstand Turn 11  Grandstand Green Grandstand

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04/05/11
irl

'The Donald' to pace Indy 500 UPDATE
Donald Trump
Global business icon Donald J. Trump will drive the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Pace Car to lead the field of 33 drivers to the start of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, "The Most Important Race in History," starts at noon (ET) Sunday, May 29 and will be televised on ABC for the 47th consecutive year.

"It's a great honor to be selected as the Pace Car driver for such an American institution as the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500," Trump said. "The Indianapolis 500 has been the gold standard of motorsports for a century, and I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Camaro and bring the famous field of 33 drivers to the green flag."

Trump is the very definition of the American success story. He has set new standards of excellence while expanding his interests nationally and internationally, with personal involvement in every one of his ventures.

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04/05/11
racing news

Motorsports agents partner to form new driver representation firm
Motorsports agents Chris Biby and Jay Schulthess and former Baker Curb Racing executive Matt Crews have formed Fullcircle Ventures, a management and marketing firm that will represent drivers as well as work on sponsorship programs.

Investors in the company include music and motorsports executive Mike Curb, motorsports attorney Cary Agajanian and financial planner Steve Meehan. Meehan recently purchased Baker Curb Racing.

Biby was formerly a vice president at Agajanian’s Motorsports Marketing International and Schulthess has run his own sports management firm based out of New York.

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04/05/11
British F3

Magnussen leads testing at Snetterton
Kevin Magnussen topped the timesheets in official testing today, as the Carlin team prepared for the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series.  The Danish racer was quickest in both the morning and afternoon sessions, while team mate Carlos Huertas finished the day second quickest, with Felipe Nasr completing a Carlin top three.

Today’s test at the Snetterton 300 track was the first taste of the newly reconfigured circuit for the British F3 drivers. Having undergone a complete renovation, the circuit now extends to 2.99 miles, with several new corners, including those inspired by the Montreal circuit and Monza’s Parabolica.

The drivers were greeted with a wet track this morning as testing got underway. Magnussen made the most of the wet conditions, going quickest in this morning’s session. Huertas continued his consistent pre-season preparations at the front of the field and was third quickest, just ahead of Jazeman Jaafar who was fourth while Felipe Nasr was seventh quickest.

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04/05/11
irl

Bell, Howard, Officially Entered in 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500
Veteran Townsend Bell and rookie Jay Howard have been named to drive cars entered by Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) in the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. The official entry forms were mailed to the INDYCAR office on April 1, 2011.

Bell, from San Luis Obispo, Calif., will drive the No. 99 Herbalife Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car. Howard, from Basildon, England, will drive the No. 88 Service Central Schmidt/RLL Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.

The 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 29. It is the 95th running of the historic event, which was first conducted in 1911, but not contested in 1917-18 (World War I) and 1942-1945 (World War II).

Bell, who will attempt to qualify for his fifth Indianapolis 500, will return to the Speedway with the same team for the first time in his career. Driving for SSM in 2010, Bell finished 16th after qualifying 10th. His best finish at Indy came in 2009 when he finished fourth driving for KV Racing.

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04/05/11
gp2

Grosjean on top at Silverstone
The first 2011 pre-season testing opened today at Silverstone in cold, wet and windy conditions. While Christian Vietoris rejoined Racing Engineering for the European season, Ocean Racing welcomed a new line up consisting of Johnny Cecotto and rookie Kevin Mirocha. Davide Rigon returned to GP2 at Scuderia Coloni and Oliver Turvey assisted Carlin in the absence of Mikhail Aleshin.

The twenty-six drivers braved the tricky track conditions as soon as the pitlane opened this morning, all of them eager to get as much mileage as possible in the GP2/11 car on Pirelli wet weather tires. GP2 Asia Series Champion Romain Grosjean was the early pacesetter ahead of Davide Valsecchi and Esteban Gutierrez. But at mid-session, it was iSport’s Marcus Ericsson who went top, five hundredths quicker than the Dams’ man. As the clock kept ticking, GP3 Series Champion Gutierrez became the first man to break the 1:58 barrier setting a lap time of 1:57.400 – six tenths quicker than Ericsson. Grosjean later matched the young Mexican’s performance, but Gutierrez stayed in control of the timing sheets. Lotus ART’s Jules Bianchi then went quickest, going under 1:57 and improving his teammate’s lap time by seven tenths. Carlin’s Max Chilton and Cecotto also improved to edge Gutierrez out.

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04/05/11
irl

Hinchcliffe Joins Newman/Haas Racing; Sprott Inc. to Sponsor Entry
James Hinchcliffe
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) announced today that Canadian James Hinchcliffe will drive for the team in the North American events of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season including his debut in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and events in his hometown of Toronto as well as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Mr. Eric Sprott and Sprott Inc., a leading independent asset manager based in Toronto, will be the primary sponsor of Hinchcliffe’s entry.

“Finally making my IndyCar debut really is a dream come true and the end of a 15-year journey getting me to this point,” said James Hinchcliffe, 24, who will make his series debut at this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala. “Having the support from a prominent Canadian company as I start this next step in my career is extra special.  I can't thank Eric Sprott and Sprott Inc. enough for their commitment and I'm sure we can do Canadian sport proud!”

Sprott Inc., founded by Eric Sprott, currently operates through four business units: Sprott Asset Management L.P., Sprott Private Wealth L.P., Sprott Consulting L.P. and Sprott U.S. Holdings Inc.  It is their first sponsorship in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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04/05/11
f1

Signs of progress at Formula 1 site in Elroy
Signs of progress can clearly be seen on FM 812 in Elroy, the site of the Formula 1 Texas racetrack.

If passersby glance past the earth movers on the F1 site they can just make out the outline of a soon-to-be state of the art race track.

“The neat part about the construction site right now is that you can actually see the contours of where the race track is going to be,” said Jeff Hahn, the owner of Hahn Texas, a public relations firm hired by F1 promoters in February.

Hahn Texas shared never-before-seen video with KVUE on Friday which clearly shows the outline of the tracks’ straightaway.

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04/05/11
nassprint

NASCAR getting ready to test fuel injectors
The first on-track test of fuel injection in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series could come as early as July 7 at Kentucky Speedway, provided NASCAR finalizes specifications for system hardware and software in time for teams to prepare. Because the Cup series will race at Kentucky for the first time on July 9, NASCAR has OK'd extra practice on Thursday, July 7. Cup teams are scheduled to spend four hours on the track that day, and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines chief engine builder Danny Lawrence hopes that will also provide the first test of fuel injection for the series.

"Hopefully they'll know (about specifications) in a week or two, because there's getting to be a pretty big push for people to run at the Kentucky test," Lawrence told Sporting News on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. "They're going to have a test day before the race, and if they have everything spec'ed out by then, we'll try to run there - that'll be our first deal. I know they're working on it really hard, and hopefully, they'll have it figured out in a few days."

NASCAR announced in February at Daytona International Speedway that McLaren and Freescale Semiconductor will partner in the development and manufacture of engine control units (ECUs) designed to manage fuel and ignition systems in Cup cars. Fuel injection will replace the carburetors that have been part of Cup engines since the series' inception in 1949, with the transition targeted for the 2012 season. Sporting News

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04/05/11
automotive

Credit Suisse upgrades Ford's rating
Ford Motor Co. got a rating upgrade to neutral from Credit Suisse, as the automaker works to regain the investment grade status it last held in 2005.

The rating agency had Ford at underperform but upgraded the automaker for being a stronger company than it was a year ago, despite fourth-quarter earnings that did not meet analysts' expectations.

"Since late April 2010, a number of things have changed," Credit Suisse analyst Christopher Ceraso write in a report released today.

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04/05/11
f1

Sepang Red Bull preview
Red Bull dominated last year's race
The Malaysian Grand Prix may be the hottest and most humid on the calendar, but for us, it’s a place where a shiver of excitement runs down our collective spines. It was in Sepang last season where we started the ball rolling in our successful pursuit of two championship titles.

Frustrations in the opening two races were forgotten as Sebastian took the checkered flag ahead of Mark for the first Red Bull Racing one-two of 2010. The race ultimately came down to the first 500 meters when Sebastian Vettel overtook pole-sitter Mark Webber, and from then on our drivers put on dominant, flawless displays for a sensational result for the team.

Last year’s podiums were our first in six attempts – the nearest we had come previously was sixth place, achieved by both Mark and David Coulthard in 2009 and 2005, respectively.

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04/05/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Buemi not getting along with Toro Rosso teammate
    Renault pair to wear gold overalls in Malaysia
  • Todt wants 'correct' F1 revenue for FIA
  • Toro Rosso pair share 'silence' on Malaysia flight
  • Calls for safety tweak after Interlagos fatality
  • Renault to bring upgrades to Sepang
  • Changes hopefully fixed Webber's car

Renault pair to wear gold overalls in Malaysia
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov will not be wearing their regular black overalls in Malaysia this weekend.

Instead, in the usually punishing Sepang heat and humidity, the pair will wear "sparking golden" suits at the wheel of the Lotus-sponsored black and gold Renault, German driver Heidfeld confirmed.

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04/05/11
fil
gp3

Conor Daly's next few weeks will be tough
MAZDASPEED driver, Conor Daly is currently one of the most active open wheel drivers in America having travelled more than 8000 miles since the opening round of the Firestone Indy Lights championship in St. Petersburg, Florida, April 27th. After proving to be the fastest Indy Lights driver on race day (fastest in warm up - fastest race lap) and finishing in second place on the streets of St Petersburg, Daly then completed three days of GP3 testing in Silverstone, England, March 29th-31st. In an eleven day spell, Daly was in a race car for eight of those days on two different continents.

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04/05/11
nassprint

NASCAR still stuck in the stone ages
A reader writes, NASCAR, the last top racing organization to implement the HANS Device (which resulted in Dale Earnhardt and Adam Petty's death), the last organization to ban leaded fuel, the last organization still running engines with carburetors, no transponders on the car so you can verify whether qualifying grids are computer generated or not, one of the last organizations still running Goodyear Tires, etc. etc. comes out with their Car of Tomorrow and it still has no stuck throttle sensor?  Clearly the CAR of Tomorrow, like everything else in NASCAR, is the Car of Yesterday.

To have a stuck throttle on Truex's car at Martinsville is unbelievable!  At that level it is unforgivable.  The much vaunted car of tomorrow is full of safety features, but has no stuck throttle sensor?  Indycars have had one for at least 10 years. The 1999 Reynard in my shop has one! John Miller

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