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DATE News (chronologically)
04/14/11
irl

Vasser inducted into Long Beach Walk of Fame
The City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach honored KV Racing Technology – Lotus co-owner Jimmy Vasser today by inducting him into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame at the sixth annual ceremony in Long Beach, California.

Vasser, along with Target Chip Ganassi Racing which was also honored today, join an illustrious list of drivers and teams which include: Mario and Michael Andretti, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Newman Haas Racing, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman and Al Unser Jr.

“This is fantastic…a great honor…a great surprise…I am humbled,” said Vasser.  “I want to thank the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach for this honor.  To be inducted with all of these great names in motorsports is tremendous and my first reaction was that I was not worthy.  I think it was my last win here, in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race last year that pushed me over the top and got me inducted.

“I looked out from the podium today and I think it is a little serendipitous.  The guy who gave me my  first ride at age six, my dad (Jim Vasser Sr.) is here.  The guy who ran my first IndyCar team, Mike
Hull is here.  The guy who’s team I had most of my success with, Chip Ganassi is here.  And, the
guy who gave me my last IndyCar ride and got me started in my new career as a team owner, Kevin  Kalkhoven is here.  I think that is very special.

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04/14/11
wsr

Alexander Rossi ready for start of Renault Season
Alexander Rossi
Following three successful pre-season tests, Fortec Motorsport driver, Alexander Rossi is ready for the opening rounds at Motorland Aragon, Alcaniz for the 2011 World Series by Renault Championship.

In March, Rossi and Fortec Motorsport had six productive pre-season collective test days in Barcelona, Paul Ricard and Motorland Aragon. Rossi, a veteran to the circuits but new to championship winning team Fortec Motorsport, used this valuable time to fine tune the set up for his driving style and build internal relations with team. These tests were diverse with mixed weather conditions, enabling Rossi and his team of engineers to prepare, collecting valuable data for a variety of situations for the upcoming season.

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04/14/11
f2

Capacity field for F2 at Silverstone this weekend
A capacity field of rising stars from across the world will chase a prize test drive with the Williams F1 team starting this weekend at Silverstone (16/17 April), when the British circuit hosts the opening rounds of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship.

Now entering its third season, Formula Two will feature a full grid of 24 drivers from 14 different nations and they will start their title charge on the Silverstone Arena F1 circuit - competing in identical specification Williams JPH1B cars. A coveted prize test drive with the Williams F1 squad is on offer to the 2011 champion, with GP2 test drives offered to the second and third-placed finishers. All three will also qualify for an FIA Superlicense, enabling them to compete in Formula One.

F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer said: “The fact that F2 has completely filled in such difficult times is a tribute to the FIA’s foresight in launching F2 in 2009, since when the world economy has toughened substantially and is likely to remain so for some time. As fewer are able to find the big budgets required to buy a top drive in other series, there will inevitably be an increase in the competiveness of the far more affordable and equal F2. The 2011 F2 title will be fiercely contested, with some outstanding ability within the field of 24 drivers from 14 different countries and I’ve no doubt the winner will have the talent to justify F1.”

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04/14/11
TV News

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Featured Interview        John Force (15-time NHRA Funny Car Champion)
John Force will come visit the Wind Tunnel studio for the first time this Sunday following the 4-Wide Nationals at ZMax Dragway in Charlotte. This should be fun…or entertaining at least.

Featured Interview        Kevin Schwantz (1993 MotoGP World Champion)
Kevin Schwantz will join us Sunday night to talk about the big announcement he helped make this past Tuesday that MotoGP will be coming to Austin, TX in 2013.

Featured Interview        Red Farmer (One of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers)
Alabama Gang member, former NASCAR champion, and recognized as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Red Farmer will make his Wind Tunnel debut this Sunday to chat about Sunday’s race in Talladega and to talk about his racing career which for the nearly 80-year old, is still going strong.

This Week’s Races

·        CUP and Nationwide in Talladega
·        Formula 1 in China
·        IndyCar and ALMS at Long Beach
·        NHRA in Charlotte
·        World Superbike in Assen, Holland
·        AMA Supercross in Seattle

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04/14/11
nassprint

Earnhardt Jr. winless streak at 100
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a perfectly round winless drought: 100 races. That's a career-long stretch for a driver with a hefty 18 career wins. He owns the statistics that make him a favorite at the 2.66-mile track: five wins, a second-best Driver Rating of 92.7 and laps led in the last 10 races, and in 20 of 22 career starts overall. The last 100 races have not been kind to Earnhardt, but 2011 has a different feel. Earnhardt has finished in the top 10 in two consecutive races, and four of the last six. He is currently sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, the highest he has been this late in the season since 2008. That season, he won his last race, and made his last Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

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04/14/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday UPDATE Updates shown in Red below.

04/14/11
  • Mario Andretti agrees with AR1.com and Bernie Ecclestone that the sound of the cars is very important
    F1 teams warned before Shanghai race
  • Chinese official calls Vettel 'Fernando Alonso'
  • Red Bull step 'significant' for Shanghai - Marko
  • Kovalainen not looking for Team Lotus switch
  • Andretti opposes 2013 rules, Todt visits Ferrari
  • Di Resta gets initial practice for first time in 2011
  • McLaren lineup good for 'five more years' - Whitmarsh
  • Happy Buemi pushes to keep Toro Rosso seat
  • Stuck tells Mercedes to design 'new chassis'
  • F1 should 'applaud' Pirelli 'risk' for 'show' - de la Rosa
  • 'Bullets' the buzzword in Shanghai New
  • Red Bull still not sure on KERS for Shanghai - Vettel New
  • Mercedes 'my dream car' in F1 - Rosberg New
  • Virgin might not qualify in China - Glock New
  • Webber snarls in China amid Vettel dominance New

    Read more & Comment...
04/14/11
alms
irl

Engines to roar for thundering Long Beach GP kickoff
Can't wait until the first day of races Friday to get revved up about the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach?

Then come check out tonight's Tecate Thunder Thursday, the downtown street party that launches the 37 th annual event weekend.

The Downtown Long Beach Associates and The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach have put together an evening filled with fast cars, music, motorcycle stunts and a beauty pageant.

The party scene plays out on Pine Avenue and Broadway, where professional drivers also will be hanging out to sign autographs, show off their hot rods and compete in pit stop competitions.

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04/14/11
nassprint

Transparency apparently not an option for NASCAR officials
It’s way past time for NASCAR to clear up the controversy about its method of patrolling speeding on pit road.

NASCAR uses an electronic monitoring system on pit road consisting of scoring “loops” to determine average speed between spots on the track. If a driver exceeds the announced pit road speed – plus a 4.99 mph tolerance – a computer flags the driver for speeding.

The problem has been that NASCAR officials in race control are the only ones who see the computer results in real time, all the time. Competitors are shown read-outs after the fact, if requested.

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04/14/11
roc

Frankfurt to host 2011 Race Of Champions
German motor racing superstars Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are celebrating again at the news that the Race Of Champions will return to their home soil in 2011 at Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena.

The annual end-of-season competition brings together the world’s greatest drivers from all motor sport’s disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans and NASCAR – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 3 December, before the individual Race Of Champions takes place on Sunday 4 December.

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04/14/11
automotive

Chevrolet to debut All-New Malibu in High Definition Web Broadcast
When Chevrolet unveils the all-new Malibu in the United States on Monday night, people around the world will be able to watch in full-screen, high-definition video streamed live over the Internet. The timing of the Web reveal coincides with the April 19 auto show debut of the new Malibu in Shanghai.

The HD streaming is an auto industry first, and represents Chevrolet’s effort to globalize important product introductions by revealing the all-new Malibu simultaneously on two continents, on multiple social networking and media sites, and iPad and iPhone personal mobile devices. Standard internet viewing will also be available.

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04/13/11
alms

Fehan to speak at Long Beach City College
Doug Fehan
Doug Fehan, program manager of the most successful race team in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, will speak Thursday to students at Long Beach City College’s Alternative Transportation Technology Center from noon to 1 p.m.  The event is held in partnership with the Long Beach Clean Cities Coalition. 

Fehan, who directs operations for Corvette Racing, will deliver a presentation to aspiring alternative fuels technicians from LBCC and Cabrillo High School. The presentation will focus on engine technology, alternative fuels, future of the auto industry and career opportunities.

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04/13/11
irl

Bernard looking for a 0.6 for Barber race UPDATE Versus fails IndyCar yet again.  Bernard was looking for an increase from last year's 0.4 rating for the Barber race up to a 0.6, a 30% increase.  Instead he got a 25% decrease to this year's 0.3 rating, also on Versus. Mr. Bernard is not responsible for this problem however.  Those involved with the negotiations, before he arrived on the scene, were simply pennywise and pound foolish.

IndyCar CEO would be satisfied with a measly 0.6 TV rating for Barber
Scott Morris/AR1.com
04/10/11 Today's race at Barber was a test for the IZOD IndyCar Series' TV ratings, according to IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard.

The season opener at St. Petersburg, which was on ABC, drew a 1.4, a significant boost over 2010. Barber's race was the first Indy broadcast for the Versus cable network, which carries most Indy races.

Bernard said he's hoping for a 0.6 rating from Barber. Last year's broadcast on Versus drew a 0.4.

He also said he has no problem with the Barber race having to compete for a TV audience with The Masters golf tournament.

"If we can't stand alone and compete with any other sport out there, what are we?" he said. "I'm more excited that NASCAR was last night and we aren't up against NASCAR."

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04/13/11
irl

Milwaukee ticket office now open
After selling tickets online and via the telephone, the promoters of the return of the IZOD IndyCar Series to the Milwaukee Mile now have a physical presence, as well.

AB Promotions will have the Mile ticket office open at the traditional location at 7722 W. Greenfield Ave with limited hours through April and expanded hours from the beginning of May to the June 19 Milwaukee 225.

The office is open from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and from 4-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

The website remains active, as does the toll-free phone number, 800-722-3840. Click here for a complete rundown of prices, but in general, Saturday general admission is $25 and Sunday tickets run from $35-$80.

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04/13/11
irl

Indy 500 champions to drive iconic winning cars before race May 29
Legendary Indianapolis 500 champions Mario Andretti, Arie Luyendyk, Bobby Rahal, Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser each will each drive a winning car from "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" around the fabled Brickyard oval during pre-race ceremonies at the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

The participants, with the years of their victories and the cars they will drive on Race Morning:

Mario Andretti (1969): The Boyle Maserati that won in 1939 and 1940 with Wilbur Shaw.

Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997): The No. 30 Domino's Pizza Lola/Chevrolet Indy in which Luyendyk won in 1990. Luyendyk averaged 185.981 mph, which stands as the race record.

Bobby Rahal (1986): The No. 14 Miller that won in 1928 with Louis Meyer.

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04/13/11
irl

Road course qualifying procedures altered for Long Beach
Long Beach
INDYCAR officials have modified the IZOD IndyCar Series road course qualifying procedures beginning with this weekend's race on the Streets of Long Beach, Calif.

Friday practice sessions will play a key role in determining the starting lineup for the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The times from Friday's practice sessions will be used to determine the qualifying groups with the driver posting the fastest combined practice lap time having the option of selecting qualifying group.

All odd numbered positions in practice (fastest, third-fastest, fifth-fastest, seventh-fastest, etc.) will be in one group and all even number positions in practice will make up the other group.

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04/13/11
fil
gp3

Commute for Europe is first race for Daly
Before Conor Daly can record his first laps around the famed Long Beach Grand Prix street circuit, he'll have to rack up some more frequent flier miles by racing nearly halfway around the globe.

Daly, who is competing in a limited schedule of Firestone Indy Lights road/street course races for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, has been "commuting" between Europe and the U.S., as he prepares to compete in GP3 this season.

"It hasn't really been too bad, so far," said Daly, whose itinerary since the St. Petersburg season opener has included GP3 tests in England and France, the Firestone Indy Lights race in Birmingham, Ala., and another GP3 test in Spain. "If I keep up with a bid of sleep and get some nutrients in me, I think I'll be all right."

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04/13/11
irl

Paul Tracy & Jay Penske Teleconference
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Paul Tracy and Dragon Racing owner Jay Penske participated in a teleconference today discuss Tracy's 2011 season debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with Dragon Racing. Below are selected quotes from the call.  We will have full transcript later

Q. Paul, how excited are you to get behind the wheel of a car finally.

PAUL TRACY: I'm really excited to get the opportunity to work with Jay and his crew; to come back to Long Beach, which is really the place where I started my IndyCar career. My first ever start was there with Dale Coyne, and then my first ever win with Roger and Marlboro was there.

It's been a fantastic venue for me. It's one of the crown jewels of the series and I've been lucky enough to win it, win the race four times.

So you know, from that standpoint, it's been extremely difficult having to kind of sit and watch the last couple of years, and I've been there the last couple of years making press announcements for other races that I've been doing but having to walk the paddock has been extremely frustrating.

So I'm excited for the opportunity to work this weekend with Jay. And like I said, we've got a whole fleet of new sponsors on board with Ralph's and Pepsi and Frito-Lay and Rock Star and the list goes on and on of people that have come on to support us. It's going to be an exciting weekend that's for sure.

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04/13/11
racing news

STP back in racing
When STP and Richard Petty first signed a deal in 1972, it forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing. To mark its 39 year history in racing, the STP brand is building its presence in the sport through multiple series' including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, Infineon Speedway, and at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks. STP's racing portfolio includes:

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04/13/11
Racing News

Dan Gurney is 80 today.
Legendary American Racing Driver and Constructor Dan Gurney is celebrating his 80th birthday today.

If you would like to send a quick Birthday Greeting to Dan, the email address at All American Racers is HERE.

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04/13/11
f1

FIA announces China Movable Wing Zone
The FIA has announced the DRS zone for the Chinese Grand Prix, allocating a section of the back straight between turns 13 and 14.

The straight is the second longest in Formula One, and in order to prevent overtaking becoming too easy, drivers will not be allowed to activate the DRS until a point that is 0.56 miles from turn 14, while the full length of the straight is actually 0.73 miles. The detection point to measure the gap between drivers is located in turn 12.

After plenty of overtaking in Malaysia, drivers are expecting to see a lot of position changes once again due to the layout in China, and Paul di Resta said it was likely to be one of the most conducive tracks for the system.

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04/13/11
f1

Q and A with James Allison, Renault F1
Two podiums in a row for LRGP – you must be a happy man?
I’m happy for the entire team. It’s been a mega effort and I feel we’ve really got the most out of the car in the last two races. Also, the car has scored podiums on two very different tracks and has performed well in the temperate conditions of Melbourne and the heat of Sepang. It all bodes well for the season ahead.

We saw the R31 demonstrate good race pace in Sepang – arguably stronger than its qualifying pace – what is you verdict?
We’ve seen that twice now. It was a characteristic of last year’s car that it performed well on high fuel and the same seems to be true of the R31. But we still have work to do on both qualifying and race pace before we can call ourselves properly competitive.

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04/13/11
f1

Ecclestone decides 3pm GP start on India visit
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has decided that that inaugural Indian grand prix this year will start at 3pm in New Delhi.

Earlier, the first race at the newly-named Buddh International Circuit was given a 30 October date, subject to the approval of the track by the FIA.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, Bernie Ecclestone travelled direct from Malaysia last weekend to India, to check out the progress at F1's newest destination before flying on to China.

It is reported he has settled on a 3pm local start-time, ensuring a late morning start for the bulk European television audience.

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04/13/11
f1

Mercedes GP have low expectations for the Chinese Grand Prix
Mercedes GP have low expectations for the Chinese Grand Prix with Norbert Haug predicting it will be a "difficult and challenging weekend".

The team made a nightmare start to their season when both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg retired at the Australian Grand Prix. Things went slightly better in Malaysia when Schumacher picked up their first points with a ninth-place finish.

However, that result is a far cry from where the team and their fans expected to be after two races as pre-season testing suggested they could just be off the pace of the likes of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

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04/13/11
nassprint

Doug Richert Named Crew Chief at TRG Motorsports
Doug Richert has been named crew chief on the No. 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Fusion for TRG Motorsports.  Richert will take over the reins for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 to be run at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 17.

Richert is a championship winning crew chief and is best known as the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt's first Cup championship as well as guiding Greg Biffle to 10 Cup victories.  In addition to having experience across the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series', Richert is also a familiar face on the SPEED Channel.

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04/13/11
lmes

Robertson Racing confirms two cars for Le Mans test day
Robertson Racing will take a step closer to making their Le Mans 24 Hours debut next Sunday (April 24) when the team travels to Circuit de la Sarthe for the event’s official test day.

Since receiving their invite to contest the legendary race’s 79th running on June 11/12 from organizers the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) back in February, the Braselton-based squad has been busy preparing both Ford GTs that will make the trip to north-west France.

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04/13/11
nassprint

Vickers Unsure of 2012 Plans
With the health conditions seemingly behind him and Chase prospects, for now, looking dim, the most intriguing story surrounding Vickers and Red Bull Racing is whether they will remain together in 2012. "I haven't made any decisions yet. I like Red Bull. I've enjoyed my time there as a Red Bull brand. I think I fit the brand and the brand fits me. There's no doubt about that. It is a high energy, be yourself, love life, extreme athlete, extreme sport kind of brand. And they allow me to do the things that I love to do and that is great," said Vickers in a phone interview with News/Talk WSB.

"Most importantly, we've got to win races and I think that is what we both want. And hopefully we can both figure that out together and I can finish my career out at Red Bull. If we can't, then there's other options on the table and maybe we'll look at those. For right now, I'm committed to Red Bull and to this season and that's where my focus is as of right now."

A possible factor in Vickers' decision may be who Red Bull Racing picks as his teammate next season. "Obviously, Kasey Kahne is going to be gone next season and we're going to have to fill that car. It's definitely going to be an interesting year for Red Bull Racing." WSB Atlanta

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04/13/11
autogp

Budapest to host second Auto GP round
Budapest will replace Marrakech in the Auto GP calendar, hosting the second round of the 2011 season: the Hungarian permanent circuit will step-in for the Moroccan street course keeping the same date, the weekend from 3 to 5 June. Obviously, the tie-up with the World Touring Car Championship is confirmed: at Hungaroring Auto GP and WTCC will share the track for the second time after Monza, where the 2011 Auto GP season will debut on May 14. For the Series this is a really high profile replacement, as the track located in the outskirts of Budapest is part of the F1 calendar from 1986, with the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix set for the end of July. So, for the Auto GP drivers this will be a great opportunity to learn the secrets of a track that is widely considered among the most technical and tricky in the whole Formula One calendar.

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04/13/11
irl

IndyCar: Long Beach preview
The IZOD IndyCar Series will run its third consecutive road/street course race of the season this weekend in Long Beach. Defending series champion Dario Franchitti kicked off the season last month with the win at St. Petersburg, Sports Network

Will Power's win at Barber last weekend allowed him to take over the points lead. He holds a seven-point advantage over Franchitti, who finished third there.

Franchitti won at Long Beach in 2009 and finished 12th here last year.

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04/13/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Texas F1 track named 'Circuit of the Americas'
  • Hulkenberg eyes 2012 Force India race seat
  • Montezemolo wants Alonso for PM, no job for Massa
  • Horner vows to get Webber back into 2011 fight
  • Razia and Valsecchi to drive Lotus cars on Friday
  • Virgin must speed up to stay ahead of HRT - Glock
  • Sepang 'fascinating' not confusing - Coulthard
  • Interlagos run-off to be ready for 2011 race

    Read more & Comment...
04/13/11
irl
alms

Simon PagenaudSimon Pagenaud ready for IndyCar challenge
Reigning American Le Mans Series LMP1 co-champion Simon Pagenaud pulled out a stunning performance in his IZOD IndyCar Series debut last weekend.

Filling in for the injured Ana Beatriz at Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, Pagenaud finished eighth overall after starting 23rd and finished the race looking for a way past three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves.

While the ex-Formula Atlantic champ spent a season in Champ Car competition in 2007, Pagenaud had never sat in an IndyCar prior to last weekend and had never been to Barber Motorsports Park.

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04/13/11
f1

The Engine in Shanghai
The Shanghai circuit
Other circuits may dispute the fact, but the Shanghai International Circuit currently boasts the longest straight in Formula One. The run from turns 13 to 14 totals 1170m - the equivalent to 11 football pitches laid end to end, or the same length as three and a half of the world's biggest aircraft carriers - and represents one of the toughest tests of the year for a Formula One engine. This special challenge in Shanghai led us to delve into exactly what stresses and strains the engine undergoes during the lap and on that extremely long straight... 

How long is the back straight in Shanghai and how does it compare to other circuits?

The back straight at Shanghai International Circuit covers 1170m, equivalent to 21.4% of the total lap distance. This is the longest straight encountered during the Formula One season, closely followed by Abu Dhabi (1140m), Monza (1120m) and Yeongam (1050m). 

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04/12/11
f1

Q&A with Williams' Adam Parr and Sam Michael
Sam Michael
After notching up a second double retirement at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, a miserable Williams are currently languishing in 11th place in the constructors' standings. Chairman Adam Parr and technical director Sam Michael discuss the team's recent trials and tribulations and outline their strategies for improvement...

Q: Adam, what is your assessment of the team's start to the season?
Adam Parr:
Like everyone at Williams, I am both surprised and frustrated with our start. In spite of having an ambitious concept for the FW33, the benefit of continuity with our engine, and moving into our second season with Rubens, we have come up short. It is particularly bad in view of our relative strength in pre-season testing and the exceptional amount of work that everyone across Williams has put into this car.

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04/12/11
motogp

Texas Lands MotoGP for 2013
Dorna Sports, S.L., 3FourTexasMGP, L.L.C. and Full Throttle Productions, L.P. have signed a 10-year contract to bring MotoGP to the new Circuit of the Americas beginning in 2013. The agreement includes the three categories of the Championship, the MotoGP class - the pinnacle of motorcycling, Moto2 and Moto3. The 10-year MotoGP deal is coupled with the already scheduled ten-year deal to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, for which the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas is currently under construction.

“We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas to the MotoGP calendar. It is an honor to expand our Championship to Texas, which has a rich history of producing World Championship riders,” said Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, S.L. “We have had a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin Schwantz for twenty years and often talked about a mutual dream of increasing the popularity of MotoGP in the U.S. and raising our already successful worldwide profile. Now, with what Tavo Hellmund is doing in Austin, we have realized that situation and are looking forward to this new venture together. The 10-year agreement is a sign of our confidence and commitment to the future success of MotoGP racing in Austin.”

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04/12/11
irl

Carpenter, Fisher launch in Laps for Literacy
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter and team owner Sarah Fisher have started a program entitled "Laps for Literacy" developed by Heather Carpenter and supported by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

"I am very excited to finally start our 'Laps for Literacy' program," Carpenter said. "We have all been working very hard to put this together, and I especially have to thank my wife, Heather, for heading this program. I can't wait to meet all of the kids and talk to them about our sport and the importance of reading and education in everyday life. Leading into the Centennial 500, I can't think of a better way for our team to serve the kids and schools of our state."

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 in May, the duo will be visiting 100 classrooms across Indiana.

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04/12/11
irl
alms

General Colin L. Powell Announced as Grand Marshal for Baltimore Grand Prix
The Baltimore Grand Prix announced today that former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin L. Powell, will be the honorary Grand Marshal for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix to be held Sept. 4.

As Grand Marshal, General Powell will give the command to "Start Your Engines" to the field of IndyCar drivers at the start of the 80-lap event which will be televised live on VERSUS. Gen. Powell will also be given the opportunity to take a 180 mile per hour tour of the 2.0 -mile temporary street circuit in downtown Baltimore from the passenger seat of the famed INDYCAR Racing Experience two-seater.

"I've always had a passion for racing and a passion for the city of Baltimore," said General Powell. "The opportunity to be Grand Marshal for the inaugural grand prix is an honor as it will showcase the city of Baltimore and the beautiful Inner Harbor to a worldwide audience and I'm very happy to be a part of that, and I must admit, I'm really looking forward to my 180 mile per hour tour of the city."

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04/12/11
irl

Dragon Racing, Tracy to debut at Long Beach
Paul Tracy's Ralph's Supermarket car
Jay Penske, former co-owner of de Ferran Dragon Racing and Luczo Dragon Racing, today announced the formation of Dragon Racing, a new team created to compete in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Dragon Racing will begin the 2011 program with a start on April 17 at the Long Beach Grand Prix, and has secured the services of veteran Paul Tracy as the driver for Dragon Racing's No. 8 entry. A total of five races are planned with Tracy during in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season, including Long Beach, Texas, Toronto, Edmonton and Sonoma. In addition, the team will enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 with a driver yet to be named.

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04/12/11
Track News

Circuit of the Americas(TM) Partners with Texas Schools
Students from four Texas schools are playing an important part in building Circuit of the Americas, future home of Formula 1™ and MotoGP™ Grand Prix World Championships. Texas A&M University, St. Edward’s University, Huston-Tillotson University and Del Valle ISD are participating in unique partnership programs linking classroom learning to practical application work occurring at the construction site.

“With Circuit of the Americas we are building a small city,” said Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, L.P. and Chairman of Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™. “It offers an incredible opportunity for students in a variety of disciplines to put their classroom lessons to work building what will be a premier business and entertainment destination. At the same time, we benefit from the fresh perspective, creativity and the enthusiasm they bring.”

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04/12/11
Skip Barber

Skip Barber Racing School Will Move Offices to Road Atlanta
Skip Barber Racing School announced it will move its administrative offices from Lakeville, Connecticut to Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

Administrative functions such as accounting, marketing, sales and information technology will move to Skip Barber Racing School’s existing Georgia facility which has unutilized office space.

Skip Barber Racing School will continue to operate its racing and driving schools full time at Lime Rock Park. The company will continue to make an annual economic impact of $12MM in Connecticut’s northwest corner. The company also operates schools and race weekends at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sebring Raceway, Road America and 20 other racetracks around the United States.

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04/12/11
track news

Austin facility named Circuit of the Americas
The United States Grand Prix group responsible for bringing Formula 1™ back to the United States in 2012, has officially named its Austin facility, Circuit of the Americas. The brand signifies that the center will be a premier destination in the western hemisphere where business leaders, entertainers and sports fans come to see world-class performances. The name draws on the history and tradition of motorsports racing globally and serves as an invitation to every fan seeking a premier entertainment experience.

“We are building a destination for entertainment and business, not simply a race track, and this brand reflects that entire idea,” said Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, L.P. and Chairman of Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™. “Racing days will account for a total of about 30 days a year, but great performances and winning ideas will be inspired by this brand every day.”

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04/12/11
f1

Barrichello hoping new exhaust helps
Rubens Barrichello frustrated
Rubens Barrichello is confident that a new exhaust system can propel his FW33 up the grid after a disappointing start to the 2011 season. The Brazilian's Williams squad has suffered two double retirements in as many races, but the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix race winner is optimistic of an improvement on his eighth visit to the venue.

"I like Shanghai a lot," Barrichello began. "I like the layout of the circuit and I have good memories here, having won the inaugural race in 2004. We have an upgrade to the car this weekend which I hope will improve our speed and overall performance.

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04/12/11
irl

Giant Toys for Attracting Much Older Boys UPDATE Hot Wheels® fans can get the best view available of the IZOD Presents Hot Wheels Fearless at the 500 world-record distance jump attempt through a special Race Day ticket package for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.

The package includes options for either a Head On Experience or Profile Experience as the Team Hot Wheels stunt drivers try to break the world-record distance jump of 302 feet in a four-wheeled vehicle during pre-race ceremonies at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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04/12/11
racing news

"The General" Brian Deegan joins Ford Racing
Brian Deegan
At the age of 17, Brian Deegan left his home in Omaha and headed for Southern California with only the F-150 he drove, a credit card and his dirt bike, dreaming of becoming the next big thing in Motocross. That 1989 Ford truck carried him and his dreams halfway across the country and to an entirely new life – the one he pictured growing up in the heartland.  In the 17 years since Deegan has become a recognized innovator of FMX, one of the most decorated X Games athletes and an icon in action sports.  He’s not done yet. Deegan is now looking to take that same competitive fire to four-wheel motorsports and again looks to Ford to help him get there.

Deegan’s partnership with Ford Racing announced today will allow him to race Fords in multiple action motorsports platforms, including the Ford Raptor in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series, Global RallyCross Championship and at X Games 17 in Los Angeles.

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04/12/11
gp3

Felix Da Costa quickest at Circuit de Catalunya
Felix Da Costa
Status Grand Prix’s Antonio Felix Da Costa set the quickest time of the day today marking the start of the final official pre-season GP3 Series test at Circuit de Catalunya.

In a change of fortunes from the previous two tests, the temperature was soaring and there wasn’t a cloud in site as the cars took to the Spanish track. RSC Mucke Motorsport was the first team to have all three drivers across the line, with Christensen going top. Soon after the session was briefly interrupted by a red flag, caused by Addax Team’s Thomas Hylkema going off track. When the track went green Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs moved to the top of the time sheets, but only briefly.

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04/12/11
lmes

LeMans test set to go April 24th
The majority of teams racing in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours will take part in the Test Day on the Le Mans circuit on Sunday 24th April – open to the public for 10 euros – but the list of entrants has evolved.

Kick-off! The teams entered for the 79th Le Mans 24 Hours will invade the Le Mans circuit next week. There has been one withdrawal in the prototype category as the Signatech Nissan team will bring along just one car in LM P2 instead of two with Soheil Ayari, originally down to drive the Team Oreca Oreca 03, at the wheel. As a result the Extreme Limite AM Paris team, first on the reserve list, has been selected to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours. It will enter a Norma M200P chassis powered by a Judd-BMW engine in LM P2 with Fabien Rosier, former ACO Volant, as the nominated driver. This game of musical chairs puts the Belgian team Kronos Racing at the head of the reserve list. In the case of another defection, the Lola-Aston Martin of Vanina Ickx will be on the grid in June. The powerful English prototype will be present at the Test Day on Sunday 24th April.

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04/12/11
nassprint

Camping World To Sponsor Bayne's Ride In Two Sprint Cup Races
Camping World today will announce a "two-race sponsorship deal" with Wood Brothers Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 21 Ford driven by Trevor Bayne. Sources said that Camping World's Good Sam Club will serve as the primary sponsor of Bayne's ride in Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway and the May 21 All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reps from the sponsor, Wood Brothers and both tracks will be on hand for the announcement.  CharlotteObserver.com

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04/12/11
f1

Kubica to attend late Pope beatification on May 1
(GMM)  Robert Kubica is recovering so well he is reportedly planning to attend the beatification of his late Polish countryman and former Pope John Paul II on May 1.

The Renault driver, recovering from horrific rally crash injuries in an Italian hospital, already has a fragment of the late pontiff's robe and a drop of his blood in a medallion to help aid his recovery.

300,000 pilgrims are expected to descend on Rome on May 1 for the beatification ceremony, the first step to sainthood for John Paul II.

The news agency SID said 26-year-old Kubica's recovery is going so well it has "surprised doctors", as he is already putting weight on his badly injured foot, clenching the fist on his injured right hand, and pushing to leave the hospital soon.

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04/12/11
f1

Montezemolo not satisfied with Ferrari's performance
Luca di Montezemolo has expressed his feelings over Ferrari’s low-key start to the 2011 Formula 1 season. Two races in, the Italian outfit lies third in the Constructors’ World Championship but with only half the points sum of leaders Red Bull Racing.

“I am certainly not happy with how the season has started but have extraordinary confidence in people who know how to react in difficult circumstances,” company Chairman di Montezemolo explained, with leading team personalities having travelled back to Italy as opposed to China directly.

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04/12/11
f1

Richard Branson loses bet, will dress as woman
Tony Fernandes has confirmed a new date for the much-awaited flight which will see Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson dress up as a stewardess. On-board one of Fernandes’ AirAsia X flights, the duo will be supplied with music entertainment from F1 team owner turned BBC television pundit Eddie Jordan.

 

The bet, which began shortly before Christmas in 2009, ended in Fernandes’ favor as the Formula 1 team of fellow airline owner Branson finished lower down in the 2010 Constructors’ Championship.

“It’s official,” Team Lotus’ Fernandes posted via his personal Twitter feed on Monday. “Richard Branson will serve as stewardess on May 1st. Special AirAsia X flight. Seats on sale at AirAsia GO. All money to charity. DJ and Eddie Jordan performing.”

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04/12/11
FIAGT

Lambo dominates FIA GT at Zolder
Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock completed a dominant weekend in Zolder, romping to a comprehensive Championship Race victory in their All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini No.38 - a day after collecting the team's first GT1 win in the Qualifying Race. 

It was an impressive performance from the German duo who led from pole and crossed the line over nine seconds ahead at the flag, capturing the lead in the Drivers' Standings in the process.

Second was the Aston Martin No.4 of Christian Hohenadel and Andrea Piccini who again benefitted from some slick work from the Hexis crew in the pit stop.

Third place went to the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 of Alex Muller and Tomas Enge with the Swiss Racing Lamborghini No.5 of Karl Wendlinger and Peter Kox pipping the Exim Bank Team China Corvette No.11 of Mike Hezemans and Nicky Catsburg at the line to clinch fourth.

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04/12/11
f2

Mihai Marinescu, Will Bratt commit to F2 for 2011
Mihai Marinescu
Romanian Mihai Marinescu has confirmed he will return for a second season of F2, after an accomplished debut campaign last year. He will join the grid at Silverstone this weekend after receiving backing from the Romanian Tourism Department, the City of Brasov and KG Clean Energy. He becomes the 21st driver to be confirmed so far in the 2011 championship.

Mihai joined Formula Two on the back of a competitive year in Formula Renault 3.5 with the Interwetten team, and he scored nine points finishes over the course of the 2010 season. He made a composed start to his F2 campaign with two top eight results in the opening round at Silverstone, before superb qualifying performances at Monza saw him line up third and fifth for the two races – his best two results of the year. He finished fifth in the opening race, but clashed with Jack Clarke in the second and retired.

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04/12/11
irl

Versus IndyCar talent makes turn for the better
The following analysis was done by Speedtv.com and we found it to be spot on.  The re-tooled Versus IndyCar broadcast was a major improvement. Wally “gee, gosh and golly” Dallenbach Jr. was a great addition to the booth. Robbie Buhl did a good job in his two years alongside Bob Jenkins and Jon Beekhuis, but with three low-energy guys in the commentary box, replacing one with Dallenbach’s enthusiasm helped the overall product quite a bit.

Dallenbach will need a few races to get the terminology down, but he provided a distinctly different presentation style and perspective than Beekhuis, which helped the show to flow.

On pit lane, Kevin Lee followed Dallenbach’s beat to add smart observations and it was obvious he prepared like mad to help make a smooth transition from last year’s cast on pit lane.

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04/12/11
motogp

Dani Pedrosa starts rehabilitation
Dani Pedrosa
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa today begins the second stage of his recovery in order to participate in the Grand Prix of Portugal, which will be held at Estoril circuit on May 1st.

Yesterday, Dani had the first medical check up after the operation he underwent on April 5th at Teknon Medical Centre to decompress the left subclavian artery. The doctors who performed the intervention verified that the wound is healing properly, with no infection, and expect to remove the stitches next week.

Dani Pedrosa, who has had five days of rest after the surgery, will today start rehabilitation, consisting with a first stage of passive exercises of the left shoulder with the help of a physiotherapist.

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04/12/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Luca di Montezemolo
    Montezemolo wants less aerodynamics in F1
  • Red Bull say perfecting KERS will take time
  • Button would like V10 engines back in F1
  • Perez needs new chassis after Sepang smash
  • Lotus court verdict to be known next week
  • Vettel eyes Schumacher's consecutive wins record
  • Rosberg 'a strong driver' says Red Bull's Marko
  • Kubica still 'part of Renault team' - Heidfeld

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