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DATE News (chronologically)
04/08/12
MotoGP

Lorenzo wins in Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) took his first premier class victory at the Losail International Circuit to open the 2012 MotoGP™ season in the best possible manner, after battling reigning World Champion Casey Stoner and the Australian's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for the duration of the 22-lap race. It was also a superb start to the new 1000cc era in MotoGP, as the CRT machines also made their debut in an action-packed race.

Starting from pole for the first time since the US Grand Prix last July, Lorenzo held the lead until the third lap before Stoner assumed first position with a pass on the start/finish straight. Lorenzo then followed Stoner for the majority of the race before passing his rival with three laps to go, and he eventually crossed the line 0.852s ahead of Pedrosa who placed second as Stoner ended the race third.

Read more & Comment...
04/08/12
motogp

Stoner tops MotoGP warm-up
Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) led the 20-minute MotoGP warm up session at the Losail International Circuit, as the premier class made its last on-track preparations prior to Sunday evening's Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar.

The Australian, who will start the race from the middle of the front row, put in a lap of 1'55.999 – over a second slower than his qualification time – to edge ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and pole man Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) as the Honda pair sought a solution to the chatter problems they encountered in qualifying.

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04/07/12
motogp

Lorenzo Delivers Perfect Pole in Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo made his 2012 intentions clear tonight scoring a scorching pole position at the Losail circuit for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Qatar. The 2010 World Champion was on top form, pushing his YZR-M1 to the limit, taking full advantage of Bridgestone’s softer compound tire to put himself 0.221 seconds clear of second place rider Casey Stoner. Lorenzo was also delighted to be joined on the front row by fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow.

Teammate Ben Spies had also been delivering impressively quick laps on the softer tire and was on target for a front row start until a fall minutes from the end of the session. The Texan was unhurt and walked away but had to settle for fourth and a second row start for tomorrow’s race with a best lap time of 1’55.512, 0.878 from pole.

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04/07/12
irl

Tech Inspection for the new DW12 Chassis
INDYCAR Technical Director Kevin Blanch explains the totally redesigned technical inspection area for the all new IZOD IndyCar Series Dallara DW12 chassis.



Comment
04/07/12
EuroF3

Dallara unveils the new chassis for 2012
Dallara F312 being tested
The Italian constructor has unveiled the F312, the new Formula 3 chassis, which will race in the F3 Euro Series and F3 championships starting next season.

When it comes to the new chassis, increasing the safety once again while reducing the costs at the same time represented the top priority. In addition, the space for in-house developments for the teams was limited, for instance regarding the aerodynamics or by stipulating the minimum weight of several important components.

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04/07/12
British F3

Pipo Derani wins 2nd British Formula 3 race at Silverstone
Pipo Derani
Pipo Derani scored his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 race victory this afternoon at Oulton Park, the Brazilian seizing control of the 20-minute ‘reverse grid’ sprint race early on and hanging on for a classy win despite a lengthy late safety car period. The 18-year-old from Sao Paulo gave the Fortec Motorsport team and engine supplier Mercedes-Benz their first win of the season.

Derani, who started fourth on the grid, moved in front on the fifth lap, having seized second from T-Sport man Nick McBride on the second lap. The man in front early doors was Australian National class runner Spike Goddard, who did a manly job in only his second British F3 race after starting from second on the grid.

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04/07/12
alms

Rogers SportsNet One Bolsters ALMS TV Distribution
Canadian motorsport fans are among the most passionate and knowledgeable in the world. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron is making certain that its loyal following north of the border can follow North America’s premier road racing championship throughout 2012.

Rogers SportsNet One airs the full season of ALMS competition to its audience of 6 million viewers. That includes a live broadcast of the upcoming Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach on April 14 and the ALMS’ annual Canadian stop – Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on July 22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

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04/07/12
f1

Bahrain Activist’s Hunger Strike Belies Image of Calm Ahead of F1 Race
Two weeks before Bahrain is scheduled to hold a prestigious international motor race, the kingdom’s attempts to project an image of calm were shattered on Friday when the police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters in the capital, Manama. As The Associated Press reports, the security forces dispersed marchers demanding the release of a leading rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 58 days.

The Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One race, which was canceled last year amid concerns about a crackdown on dissent, is supposed to begin on April 20, under the banner, “Unified: One Nation in Celebration.”

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04/07/12
Blancpain Endurance Series

Valentino Rossi secures sportscar outing at Monza
Valentino Rossi is to return to the sportscar cockpit later this month when he takes part in the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza on April 15.

The former MotoGP champion will drive a Ferrari 458 alongside friend Alessio Salucci for the Kessel Racing team.

"We really decided at the last minute to participate in the Blancpain Endurance Series event in Monza, and to race in partnership with my friend Uccio is a very big pleasure," said Rossi about his one-off appearance.

Comment
04/07/12
British F3

Harvey leads Carlin 1-2-3-4 at Oulton Park
Jack Harvey took a stunning lights to flag victory at Oulton Park this morning, in race one of the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 Series.  The Racing Steps driver dealt well with the pressure of his first pole position to take victory by 7.7 seconds from team mate Jazeman Jaafar.  Carlos Sainz Jr completed a Carlin podium lock out in third in his first ever F3 race, while Harry Tincknell was fourth.  Pietro Fantin recovered from contact at the start of the race to finish eighth.

Harvey made the most of his pole position at a wet Oulton Park this morning to lead the field into the first corner at the start of race one.  Behind him team mates Harry Tincknell and Jazeman Jaafar were involved in a close battle, with PETRONAS backed Jaafar snatching second by the second corner.  Sainz meanwhile had held onto fourth on his first F3 start, while Fantin had dropped from sixth to 11th after light contact with Felix Saralles.

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04/06/12
alms

Eric Bachelart on his move to ALMS
Conquest Endurance caught up with team owner Eric Bachelart after successfully debuting in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron at the 12 Hours of Sebring with the No. 37 Morgan-Judd P2 car...

Question: After many years in the open-wheel world, Conquest Endurance made its sports car racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring, what have been some of the challenges and how has this transition been so far for the team?

Eric Bachelart: The main challenge has definitely been dealing with a very short time period to work on the car. We only received it a few days before Sebring so we didn’t even have time to get it to our shop and that made it difficult. The second challenge has been getting used to the specifics of racing in the American Le Mans Series and doing endurance races which is very different than what we’ve been used to doing before. But overall the team did a great job and to get on track and be successful in such a small window of time is very impressive.

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04/06/12
irl

Sir Speedy-Monrovia Partners with Lotus HVM Racing
IndyCar teams are built on speed, technology and a solid reliance on business relationships. These principles go hand-in-hand with businesses across the globe, making the IZOD IndyCar Series a perfect partner and the reason why many large companies invest their marketing and sponsorship budgets in the series. 

Small businesses also see the value of IndyCar and today Sir Speedy-Monrovia is proud to announce that it will be partnering with Lotus HVM Racing and Simona De Silvestro for the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season. De Silvestro drives the Lotus powered No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, which will be racing next Sunday, April 15, on the streets of Long Beach.

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04/06/12
motogp

Jorge Lorenzo tops Friday practice in Qatar
Jorge Lorenzo
The final free practice this evening ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Qatar saw Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo set the MotoGP pace. The Mallorcan finished in second place in the penultimate practice session earlier in the evening, 0.214 seconds behind leader Casey Stoner as he continued to develop his set up. A strong final session on hard tires was then delivered before a softer rear option at the end provided the extra speed to take the top spot, 0.154 seconds ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in second.

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04/06/12
automotive

Feds order executive pay cuts at bailed-out GM, Ally Financial, AIG
The U.S. Treasury Department said today that it had frozen the total compensation for General Motors CEO Dan Akerson and reduced compensation of several other top GM executives.

The Treasury Department can limit executive compensation at GM, AIG and Ally Financial because it owns stock in all three companies as a result of bailing them out in the 2008 financial crisis. The U.S. government still owns about 26.5% of GM stock.

AIG still owes taxpayers around $50 billion. General Motors owes about $25 billion. Ally Financial about $12 billion.

Akerson in 2011 received $9 million in total compensation, including a $1.7-million salary, $2 million in long-term restricted stock and $5.3 million in stock salary.

Comment
04/06/12
nassprint

NASCAR Martinsville TV Rating UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX averaged a final rating of 4.3/10 (6.8 million viewers) on Sunday April 1st for the race at Martinsville Speedway. Though that's off one-tenth from last year's 4.4/10 (7.2 million) for the same race on the same weekend, it ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the day. Through six races, NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX is averaging a 5.5/12 (9.2 million viewers), down -5% from last year’s 5.8/13 (10.0 million viewers).

04/02/12 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 on Fox Sunday was a 3.9, which is even with last year's 3.9 overnight rating.  The final last year rose to 4.4.  This year's final will not be out for a few days.

Comment
04/06/12
f1

Kimi Raikkonen on Top Gear 2012 Series 18, Episode 7


Comment
04/06/12
automotive

Ford to spend $600M to hike China production
Ford Motor Co. is jointly investing another $600 million in its southwest China factory to raise annual production by over 50 percent to help meet its goal of selling 8 million cars a year by 2015.

Ford said on Thursday the investment with joint venture partner Changan Ford Mazda Automobile would raise annual production to 950,000 at the Chongqing plant, already Ford's biggest factory outside southwest Michigan.

The new investment will increase Ford's total investment in China to approximately $4.1 billion, the company said.

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04/06/12
British F3

Jack Harvey wins provisional British F3 pole
Jack Harvey turned on the pace this afternoon at Oulton Park to bag pole position for two of tomorrow’s three season-opening races in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. After lagging behind his Fortec rivals in free practice this morning, the 19-year-old from Lincolnshire set a blistering pace when it mattered in official qualifying, the only man in the field to break the 1m 28s barrier around the 2.7-mile Oulton International circuit.

Celebrating his maiden British F3 poles, Racing Steps Foundation-backed Harvey said: “Happy days! We changed quite a few things after testing; the Fortec cars looked really fast this morning and that required us to push forward quite a lot. We needed to make some decent-sized changes, which is not usual so close to qualifying.

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04/06/12
irl

IndyCar Viewership Down 27% Through First Two Races
The Izod IndyCar Series has averaged 813,000 viewers for it first two races (one on ABC, one on NBC Sports Network), down 27% compared to the same races at the start of the ’11 season. Last Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on NBCSN averaged 218,000 viewers, marking the lowest viewership for the race since it was added to the IndyCar schedule in ’10. The season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg averaged 1.3 million viewers on ABC on March 25, down 30% from the opener last year. SportsBusiness Journal

Editor's Note: As predicted, the new IndyCar was not going to win IndyCar any new fans.  And just because Versus was renamed to NBC Sports Network, it's low viewership numbers (218K is horrible) are still a noose around IndyCar's neck.

Comment
04/06/12
f1

Circuit of the Americas seeks assistance from Travis County
Circuit of the Americas officials are asking Travis County to pay for at least some new road construction in the vicinity of their $300 million racetrack and entertainment complex southeast of Austin.

The work would include widening Elroy Road to four lanes and the extension of little-used Kellam Road to Pearce Lane to create a new way to get to the track property.

"We are proposing to start work on the road improvements now, with (Circuit of the Americas) paying the upfront expense. We are also proposing that Travis County would then provide COTA with a performance-based reimbursement for the county road improvements once they were complete. The percentage of reimbursement would be determined with county officials," said Julie Loignon, a spokeswoman for the circuit.

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04/06/12
f1

Circuit of the Americas seeking experienced race marshals
To:    SCCA Flagging and Communications Workers
From: Jeff Dahnert, President, SCCA
Terry Ozment , Vice President of SCCA Club Racing

Re:    2012 Formula One Race in Austin , Texas

Date:  April 5th, 2012

SCCA Nationally Licensed Flagging and Communications workers may now apply to work the Grand Prix of USA Formula One Event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 16-18th, 2012.

To apply, you will need to fill out your application at http://circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer.You will be notified by the event organizers if you are approved to work the event.  Once approved, assistance will be available regarding lodging arrangements. Additional event information will be available on the Circuit of the Americas website circuitoftheamericas.com.

Your contact regarding this event will be Bob Pierson and he can be reached via bpierson46@yahoo.com.

We hope those chosen to staff this exciting event will be great ambassadors of SCCA on the worldwide stage.  We’re sure you will enjoy working the event and that you’ll find the return of Formula One to the USA to be a memorable experience and one you’ll want to repeat next year.

Sincerely,
Jeff Dahnert                                          Terry Ozment
President, SCCA                                  Vice President, Club Racing

Comment
04/06/12
irl
alms

Grand Prix to rev up Long Beach business
This article ran on the front page (above the fold) in the Sunday edition of the Long Beach Press telegram.  Other IndyCar races could have the success Long Beach enjoys if the local newspaper would get behind the event like the Press Telegram does.

LONG BEACH - It's no coincidence that the opening of The Auld Dubliner nine years ago occurred before the start of the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"It was specifically timed so we could get the doors open right before that mass of people come to downtown," said co-owner David Copley.

This year will be no different for the 71 South Pine Avenue restaurant and pub, where there will be Tecate- logoed umbrellas and event signs welcoming race fans as well as staff members prepared to work around the clock.

"It's basically all hands on deck from Thursday 4 p.m. through Sunday evening at close," said Copley, who expects a 40 percent increase in business that weekend. "Business during Grand Prix weekend is great. It brings in a ton of people and we see a tremendous amount of repeat customers that come year after year."

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04/06/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Ross Brawn
    Brawn admits 'cheap' F-duct not easily copied
  • Whiting admits exhaust rule tweak likely for 2013
  • Ligier pushing Magny Cours as French GP host
  • Major Upgrades in Pipeline for Marussia
  • Brawn: Mercedes to sacrifice qualifying pace for race
  • Ferrari to launch the 'Ferrauber'
  • Newey: I’m very proud
  • Lotus have ‘exciting’ upgrade package

    Read more & Comment...
04/06/12
nassprint

Hendrick Motorsports junks Jimmie Johnson’s ‘illegal’ car
The infamous Hendrick Motorsports car that failed inspection at Daytona for what NASCAR officials said were illegal C-posts won’t be raced again.

According to ESPN, the car that led to Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus being penalized has been taken to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s property in Cleveland County, N.C., where Earnhardt Jr. has a collection of damaged cars he calls “yard ornaments.” Included in his collection is the car Juan Pablo Montoya wrecked when he hit a jet dryer during the Daytona 500.

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04/06/12
automotive

GM sets March sales record in China
General Motors Co. sales in China, where it is the largest foreign automaker, rose 11 percent from a year earlier to a record for March led by demand for vehicles including the Buick Excelle and Chevrolet New Sail.

Deliveries of cars and Wuling minivans increased to 257,944 units last month, the company said on its website Thursday. Unit sales for the three months ending March jumped 8.7 percent to 745,152 units, a record, according to the statement.

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04/05/12
automotive

Chevy Volt pays for itself in 27 years
The Obama Chevy Volt is so expensive hardly anyone will buy one.  Obama made a big deal about the car as the future.  It should be made in China, shipped to the USA, and sold for 1/3 the price.  But the Obama bailout money dictated the car be made in the USA, and so it has failed.
If you're thinking about buying a fuel-efficient hybrid, electric or otherwise eco-friendly vehicle as a way to save money over time, do your homework — or be prepared to wait.

Buyers who choose Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan's Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even, according to a new report by The New York Times that examines the cost of fuel efficiency.

For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer— 26.6 years.

A few vehicles begin paying off relatively soon after leaving the dealership. Two hybrids— Toyota's Prius ($23,537) and Lincoln's MKZ ($33,887)— as well as Volkswagen's diesel-powered Jetta TDI ($25,242) all take less than two years before they start saving their owners money.

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04/05/12
wsr

Weather, technical gremlins ruin Rossi's test
Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi joined his Arden Caterham Motorsport World Series by Renault team for the second collective FR3.5 test at the Circuit de Catalunya, near Barcelona this week. However torrential rain, mixed conditions, mechanical and electrical car issues meant that the newly formed squad made limited progress into its planned running program on either day of the test.

Day one provided extremely wet conditions from the start, but with Alexander setting the fastest lap time straight out of the box. Unfortunately luck was not on his side and on lap 4 he lost his engine and had to return to the garage.

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04/05/12
automotive

Ferdinand Porsche, creator of 911, dies at 76
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the designer of the original version of the iconic 911 sports car, died today in Salzburg, Austria. He was 76.

"As creator of the Porsche 911, he established a design culture that molds our sportscars still today," said Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, in a statement. "His philosophy of good design is for us a legacy that we will also honor in the future."

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who created the original Volkswagen, designed the first 911 in 1962.

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04/05/12
irl

IMS, Churchill Downs Providing Extra Horsepower For Fans
For the first time, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., will offer special Horsepower vs. Horsepower ticket packages for two of the world's most legendary sporting events, the Indianapolis 500 and the Kentucky Derby.

These special packages include tickets for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 5 and the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27. Also included are tickets to the 138th Kentucky Oaks for 3-year old thoroughbred fillies on Friday, May 4 at Churchill Downs and Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25 at IMS. Miller Lite Carb Day features the final Indianapolis 500 practice, Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race, the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and a concert featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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04/05/12
nassprint

Max Q Motorsports looking for deal to keep team running
Larry Gunselman, owner of the Max Q Motorsports #37 Sprint Cup team is seeking new opportunities to keep his #37 team operational. The RWR plans to purchase Max Q and run for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year fell through when negotiations to purchase a top 35 team after race 5 failed. "Rick Ware and I have been good friends for many years and I wish RWR the best of luck and we may put another program together in the future," stated Gunselman.

"The #37 team is back-up for sale and having made every attempt in 2012 the team would be in the next 2 races in case of a rain out. Our goal is to put a new program together in the next couple of weeks or I will be forced to liquidate company assets." The team is in the process of moving from the RWR shop in Thomasville back to their fully operational shop in Mooresville and has a fleet of seven Sprint Cup racecars, transportation equipment including a truck, transporter and pit equipment, as well as, all of the equipment necessary to run a small and efficient Sprint Cup operation. Max Q PR

Comment
04/05/12
motogp

Qatar: Stoner tops opening practice
Casey Stoner
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship began tonight under the footlights of the spectacular Grand Prix of Qatar.

The MotoGP riders took to the Losail circuit for the first time this season in a short free practice of 45 minutes, and started to work on the set up of their bikes for the opening race of the Championship.

Casey Stoner set the fastest time with 1'56.474.

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04/05/12
irl
alms

Taylor Dayne will sing the National Anthem for Long Beach GP
Taylor Dayne
Multi-platinum recording artist Taylor Dayne will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the Sunday, April 15 IZOD IndyCar Series race at the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Signed to Arista Records in 1987, Dayne’s first song to crack the top ten – “Tell It To My Heart” – was a worldwide smash hit and reached number one on the music charts, leading to worldwide fame.  The New York-born artist’s three albums for Arista Records – “Tell It To My Heart,” “Can’t Fight Fate” and “Soul Dancing” – produced 12 of her 17 Top-20 singles, among them the chart-topping “Love Will Lead You Back” and “Prove Your Love To Me.”

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04/05/12
irl

Rookies Newgarden, Pagenaud, Clauson pass oval rookie test
IZOD IndyCar Series competitors Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud along with two-time USAC National Driver's Champion Bryan Clauson successfully completed IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie Testing on April 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The trio was cleared to compete in all oval events by INDYCAR President of Competition and IZOD IndyCar Series Race Director Beaux Barfield, who supervised the test.

"I knew that Josef (Newgarden) and Simon (Pagenaud) would get up to speed quickly, and they did, but Bryan (Clauson) was equally as impressive," Barfield said. "He was on pace and consistent throughout the day. All three drivers were comfortable and worked the various lines and setups. It was a productive day for all three, even though it was technically a rookie test."

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04/05/12
irl

IZOD IndyCar Series viewership up in Brazil
Is it the Barrichello bounce?

Household ratings for the first two IZOD IndyCar Series races on TV Bandeirantes, which broadcasts races live in Brazil, are up 40 percent over the same events in 2011 -- a display of the series' international appeal.

The 7.2 household share (households watching TV) and 3.0 rating (households watching BAND) for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama were higher than every race in 2011 and 2010 but the Indy 300 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg recorded a 5.8 share.

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04/05/12
racing news

Bruce Penhalls son Killed by drunk driver
The son of Hall of Fame motorcycle racer Bruce Penhall, who reportedly was killed by a drunk driver, was part of a contract crew working for Caltrans on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park, police said.

Connor McDermott Penhall, 21, of Corona, was struck about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday on the westbound side of the freeway by a Toyota Rav4 that drove through the construction barricades, said California Highway Patrol officer Kerri Rivas.

KTLA-TV reported that Penhall was the son of Bruce Penhall, the former motorcycle racing champion and TV and film star.

The younger Penhall attended Lee Pollard High School in Corona, according to his Facebook page.

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04/05/12
irl

Beatriz To Pilot Andretti Autosport's No. 25
Andretti Autosport has added Ana Beatriz to the team's driver lineup for two IZOD IndyCar Series races in 2012. Beatriz will race for Andretti Autosport in her hometown event, the São Paulo Indy 300 (April 27-29), and then attempt to make her third Indianapolis 500 start in May as a co-entrant for Andretti Autosport with operational support from Conquest Racing. Beatriz will race the No. 25 Chevrolet sponsored by Ipiranga, one of Brazil's iconic petroleum and convenience retail companies.

The 27-year-old Beatriz will drive the fourth entry for Andretti Autosport at São Paulo, joining teammates Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. For the Indianapolis 500 she will pilot a fifth DW12 for Andretti (Sebastian Saavedra will be the team's fourth driver in an AFS Racing co-entry). Beatriz completed a test session with Andretti Autosport in March at Sebring International Raceway.

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04/05/12
irl

Parnelli Jones to be Grand Marshal Sunday at Toyota Grand Prix of LB
Parnelli Jones
The legendary Parnelli Jones has been named Grand Marshal for the Sunday, April 15 IZOD IndyCar Series race at the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It was once said that, if it had wheels, Parnelli Jones could take it to Victory Circle.  Few, if any, racing drivers were as versatile and successful as Jones, whose family moved to Torrance from their home in Texarkana, Ark., when Jones was a youngster.

When he was 17 years old, he participated in his first race – for jalopies – at Carrell Speedway in Gardena, then graduated to sprint cars, winning the Midwest Region sprint car title in 1960.

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04/05/12
wsr

Rain ruins another day of testing at Barcelona
Nico Muller set the pace for the second day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing at Barcelona on Wednesday on a rainy day.

The Draco driver set a best of 1m48.116s early in the morning session, and the conditions made it impossible for the field to beat him through the remainder of the day.

The FR3.5 teams will return to testing action at Motorland Aragon on April 18-19.

Read more & Comment...
04/05/12
track news

Billionaire Bruton Smith seeks state aid for Bristol track
Bristol Track
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the owner of Bristol Motor Speedway discussed potential state assistance for the NASCAR venue Friday, two days after plans were announced to renovate the struggling track.

Haslam and Bruton Smith, the North Carolina-based owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., met in Nashville to hold “preliminary discussions” about potential aid. Speedway Motorsports plans to resurface Bristol before its next race in August in response to declining attendance and fan complaints about the quality of racing at the state’s only Sprint Cup track.

“Bristol is a huge part of our state, revenuewise,” Haslam said. “They didn’t have any specific proposals for us, nor did we have any for them, but it’s important for us to be in conversation with them about how they can get their attendance back to where they want it to be and where we want it to be, too.”

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04/05/12
miscellaneous

Motorcycle group caught at speeds up to 138 mp
Last Saturday night, Franklin, Tennessee Police clocked a pack of about 10 motorcycles on Interstate 65 northbound at speeds between 113 and 138 miles per hour, according to an incident report.

Officers got on the interstate around McEwen Drive attempted to catch up to the last motorcycle, which occurred around Moores Lane.

The motorcycle’s speed the officer caught and pulled over was 115 mph in a 70 mph speed zone and the motorcycle in front was 122 mph, according to the report. The top speed listed was 138 mph.

Channon L Wilson, 32, was the rider pulled over and stated he was part of a motorcycle club called “EOD,’’ according to the police report.

Wilson was issued misdemeanor citations for speeding, driving without a valid motorcycle license and no proof of insurance.

Comment
04/05/12
nassprint

Five Drivers Test Goodyears At Michigan
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch concluded two days of Goodyear Tire testing at Michigan Int’l Speedway Wednesday.

The test is a result of the track’s repave, finished last November. The track was built in 1968 and this was the fourth repave — 1977, 1986 and 1995.

During the latest project, 22,000 tons of asphalt was placed on the surface, enough to construct about 5 ½ miles of a two-lane county road.

Milling of the race track began last August and took approximately three weeks to complete. Three-quarters of an inch of asphalt was taken off the top during the milling process.

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04/05/12
irl

Smash Mouth to Headline Milwaukee IndyFest Concert
The sweet sound of turbocharged IndyCar engines won't be the only music heard at the Milwaukee IndyFest, June 15-16. Smash Mouth, the California party band with multiple number one hits and 10 million albums sold, will headline the post-race concert in the infield of the Milwaukee Mile, Saturday, June 16. All ticket holders for Saturday's race are invited to attend the concert at the conclusion of the IndyFest 225 race for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Smash Mouth has two number one hits in the U.S. - "Walkin' on the Sun" and "All Star" - in addition to a long list of rock radio staples such as their cover of the classic hit "I'm a Believer" that appeared on the soundtrack to the film Shrek. The 60s-influenced garage band represents the spirit of fun that is part of the each element of the Milwaukee IndyFest.

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04/05/12
f1

Adrian Newey Hit Factory - the designer’s greatest creations
‘Adrian Newey has come up with something new’ are eight words guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of even the sturdiest technical directors. For over the last 20 years, Newey has established himself as one of the most innovative - and successful - Formula One car designers. His 2011 creation - the championship-dominating RB7 - ruled the roost and saw the Englishman claim his eighth world title. But last year’s Red Bull...... More....

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04/05/12
nnw

JR Motorsports Makes Crew Chief Change for its Nos. 5 and 88 Teams
JR Motorsports has implemented a crew chief swap to its No. 88 and No. 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series teams, general manager and co-owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced today.

Crew chief Bruce Cook has taken over responsibilities for the No. 88 Chevrolets driven by Cole Whitt. Until now Cook has spearheaded the organization’s third team – a part-time entry primarily driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. – while lending assistance to the company’s two full-schedule teams. That role will now fall to Tony Eury Sr., who takes charge of the No. 5 team while continuing his role as JR Motorsports’ competition director. Tony Eury Jr.’s role as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the No. 7 GoDaddy.com team remains unchanged.

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04/05/12
irl

Scenes from Indy testing Wednesday


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04/05/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Sergio Perez
    Pressure mounts on F1 to cancel Bahrain again
  • Perez developed skills in Mexican rain - father
  • Lotus wants 'no more crashes' from Grosjean
  • Mercedes' clever F-duct not easily copied - report
  • Barrichello not ruling out Ferrari return
  • Lack of development budget 'a shame' - Kaltenborn
  • 'Honest' Vettel no 'smiling boy' after losing
  • Raikkonen to 'have his say' on 2013 Lotus design
  • Grosjean crosses fingers for French GP return
  • F1 comeback easy with 'good car' - Raikkonen
  • HRT sign up Ma Qing Hua to driver development program

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04/05/12
irl

IndyCar musings
Just some random thoughts from the IndyCar paddock:

1.  “Mike Conway may be good enough to make A. J. Foyt Racing relevant again.”  The real improvement is that Larry Foyt took over the team’s day to day operations.  It’s like when Jim Irsay took over the Colts from his old man (Bob), and the team went from laughingstock circa 1988 (no wins) to uber-champions.  Or for that matter, the Lions as William Clay Ford hands over the reigns to his heirs, taking the no-win Lions to respectability and the playoffs. 

Conway is a great driver on the street/road courses.  If he could avoid being a crash dummy at Indy, he’s all set.  That’s a big “if”.  I hear that Mike even talks, but I’ve never heard him talk. 
 
2.  Ask any long-time Indy fan where they’d want to go next (that isn’t on the schedule) and they’ll say “Road America.”   
 
3.  Sorry Robin, but Michigan won’t be on the Indy schedule anytime soon.  Okay, strange things happen in motor sports, but I’ll bet that MIS won’t be on the 2013 or 2014 schedule, at least.  Consider:

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