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DATE News (chronologically)
04/20/12
alms

Hunter Reay Eager to Kick Off SRT Viper Effort
Ryan Hunter-Reay
One of the biggest surprises of the SRT Dodge Viper announcement earlier this month was the name of Ryan Hunter-Reay (far right) above the door on SRT Viper Racing’s SRT Viper GTS-R. SRT used the New York Auto Show to unveil the 2013 street version as well as proclaim its return to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n as a factory-backed entry in the GT class.

Hunter-Reay will drive the Viper race car – being built by Riley Technologies – along with Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens. Even with a full-time commitment to Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, the chance to pilot the Snake was too much to pass up.

Read more & Comment...
04/20/12
f1

Bahrain’s Formula One Gala Not Going as Planned
The Sunni monarchy has been hoping that the Formula One Grand Prix, its showcase annual event, would restore Bahrain’s stature as a stable Persian Gulf kingdom, blighted after months of antigovernment protests by the Shiite majority that led to the cancellation of the race last year. Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. While Bahraini officials vow that the Grand Prix will be held as planned on Sunday, Shiite opposition groups and rights organizations have denounced the race as a public relations stunt that has sought to mask what they call the monarchy’s failures to address causes of political discontent here.

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04/20/12
irl

KV Adds New Engineer For Barrichello
KV Racing continues to add veteran staff to its Chevy-powered three-car program, signing Eddie Jones, formerly of Andretti Autosport, to engineer the No. 8 car piloted by Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello.

A successful former open-wheel driver, Jones' achievements at Andretti Autosport (formerly Andretti-Green Racing) included winning the 2005 Indy 500 and IndyCar Series titles with Dan Wheldon, along with recent engineering stints with Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti.

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04/20/12
f1

Teams not targets of Bahrain violence - Crown Prince
(GMM)  Bahrain's Crown Prince on Friday ruled out cancelling the troubled island kingdom's grand prix.

"I think cancelling just empowers extremists," he told reporters, whilst standing alongside F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Pressure on the race organizers, Ecclestone and the FIA to cancel the race has only intensified after Force India and Sauber revealed their brushes with petrol bombs.

"I can absolutely guarantee that any problems that may or may not happen are not directed at F1," the Crown Prince insisted.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, pointed his finger at the media.

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04/20/12
f1

Sauber reveals brush with Bahrain firebombs
(GMM)  Sauber has become the second formula one team to reveal a brush with Bahrain's civil unrest.

Force India was involved in a Molotov cocktail attack earlier this week, resulting in two team members returning to the UK and Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta sitting out the second practice session on Friday.

Now, the Swiss team Sauber has revealed it saw masked protesters throwing petrol bombs whilst returning from the circuit to their Manama hotel late on Thursday.

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04/20/12
f1

Bahrain GP: Rosberg tops practice 2
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg turned the fastest lap the second practice session Friday for the Bahrain GP with a time of 1m32.816s, ahead of the Red Bulls of Mark Webber, and Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton 4th for McLaren.

Michael Schumacher was fifth in the other Mercedes but more than one second down on his teammate benchmark, with Jenson Button sixth in the 2nd McLaren.

Kobayashi ended the day in seventh spot for Sauber, ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 for Sauber.

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04/20/12
gp2

GP2: Davide Valsecchi leads the way
Davide Valsecchi
Davide Valsecchi showed he will be the man to beat for pole position today. The Italian set the best lap time in this morning’s thirty minutes free practice session in Bahrain, a clear 0.6s ahead of Carlin’s Max Chilton.

The second round of the 2012 GP2 Series season opened up in scorching temperatures in Sakhir, Bahrain. Johnny Cecotto was the first driver to take to the track, but it was Felipe Nasr who set the early pace with a 1:42.713, two tenths quicker than his teammate Valsecchi. A few minutes later, Cecotto moved up to P1 with Chilton making his way to P3, splitting up the DAMS pair.

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04/20/12
irl

Newgarden: Franchitti took me out UPDATE
Newgarden's wrecked Honda. Fast all weekend, the sensational rookie had a legitimate shot at winning the race. It would have been huge for IndyCar given he's American.
Bob Heathcote/AR1.com
Sarah Fisher has a Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach souvenir sitting in her Indianapolis office.

"A left rear (wheel) rim that I can throw away," she said Thursday. "And that (damage) isn't from hitting any walls."

The rim was on Josef Newgarden's Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car that started on the front row of last weekend's Izod IndyCar Series race. But before Newgarden could get through the first corner, his car hit the outside wall.

The question was, how did he get there? A rookie mistake? Normal congestion? Perhaps help from contact from Dario Franchitti?

The answer is in the rim.

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04/20/12
f1

Bahrain GP: Hamilton tops opening practice
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the opening practice session Friday for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.  The McLaren driver set a time of 1m33.572s in the 90-minute session and was clear of second place by 3/10ths of a second.

Second quick was defending world champion Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull followed in third by Paul di Resta's Force India.

Nico Rosberg, winner last weekend in China, and Jenson Button in the 2nd McLaren rounded out the top-5.

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04/20/12
f1

Mercedes' double-DRS 'not massive' gain - Button
Jenson Button
(GMM) Jenson Button doubts other teams will be pushing too hard to rush a Mercedes-style 'double-DRS' to their 2012 package.

The F-duct-style concept is, so far, the highest profile innovation of the season.

So with the FIA declaring it fully legal, and Nico Rosberg breaking through with his maiden pole and win in Shanghai last weekend, it seems a no-brainer that the other teams will now be following suit.

But McLaren's Button doesn't think so.

Read more & Comment...
04/20/12
f1

Force India to limit running for anxious staff
(GMM) Force India on Friday will run a shortened second practice session in Bahrain.

The BBC reports that staff members, some of whom were caught up in a Molotov cocktail attack earlier this week, want to pack up early in order to avoid travelling back to their hotels in darkness.

Deputy team boss Bob Fernley confirmed to Reuters that Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta will therefore run limited second practice programs, and may skip the session altogether.

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04/20/12
IRL

Herta team may skip Brazil
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Bryan Herta Autosport said Thursday night it will not travel to next week's IndyCar race in Brazil, instead focusing on preparing for the Indianapolis 500. The team made the announcement via Twitter, and Herta confirmed the decision to The Associated Press. "It was a logical move after dropping back in points," Herta said. "We will be back stronger for Indy and the rest of the season." Herta said he and driver Alex Tagliani will still travel to Brazil to host guests of sponsor Barracuda Networks. IndyCar will load the team's freight Friday morning and head to Brazil for the April 29 race. The event will still have a full 26-car field because Andretti Autosport had already received permission to enter Brazilian driver Ana Beatriz in her hometown race.

Comment
04/20/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • French broadcaster TF1 not in Bahrain
  • Force India, Ecclestone, deny Bahrain GP boycott
  • Button 'big favorite' for title - Fittipaldi
  • Barrichello takes credit for Williams surge
  • Ferrari is 'sixth or seventh' best team in 2012
  • Changes at Monaco after Perez's 2011 crash

    Read more & Comment...
04/19/12
f1

Monaco announces circuit upgrades
Track changes announced for Monaco
Monaco Grand Prix officials have announced several changes that have been made to the track around the streets of Monte Carlo to improve safety.

The main changes feature around the chicane just after the exit of the tunnel, where Sergio Perez suffered a concussion after crashing heavily in qualifying last year. The track surface on the approach to the chicane has been leveled out, after a laser study of the road revealed changes as big as 8 inches in the height of the track in the braking area. In addition, the wall that Perez hit has been pushed back a further 34ft.

Read more & Comment...
04/19/12
IRL

IndyCar rules in favor of Honda over turbo issue, Chevy to protest UPDATE #2
A.J. Foyt " "This ain’t about racin’ this is about politics.  It’s about control and this isn’t Chevrolet talking, this is Roger Penske. He’s been like that forever, we all know that.’’
The Chevrolet IZOD INDYCAR series teams aren’t going to boycott Brazil next weekend, but General Motors has filed an official protest on the decision to allow Honda to make a change to its original turbocharger specification.

Honda is being allowed to switch to a new housing on its single turbo for the street race in Sao Paulo.

Honda teams installed the part last weekend at Long Beach but had to change back after it was ultimately denied by INDYCAR officials after Chevrolet engineers got wind of the news and protested vehemently.

Tech chief Will Phillips then said he would study all the information and make a decision this week and there had been talk among the GM teams last weekend that if the turbo was approved they might boycott Brazil or take INDYCAR to court.

Read more & Comment...
04/19/12
nassprint

NASCAR Touts Green Initiatives Ahead Of Earth Day Race
NASCAR today issued a white paper detailing various environmental initiatives, including the series eclipsing the 2-million mile mark on Sunoco Green E15 fuel. NASCAR, its partners and Kansas Speedway have lined up several green initiatives specifically for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series STP 400, which coincides with Earth Day. These include Sprint implementing a wireless recycling program, American Ethanol painting the backstretch green and a 30-second NASCAR Green TV spot during Fox' race telecast.  NASCAR PR

Comment
04/19/12
irl

IndyCar teams prepare for fly-away race to Brazil
More than 400,000 total pounds will be swallowed by two Nippon Cargo Air 747-400F planes for the 5,000-plus-mile trip between Indianapolis and São Paulo, Brazil - the initial logistical stage of conducting the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on April 29.

Race cars, a Holmatro Safety Team truck and equipment for two more, pit and scrutineering  equipment, tools, rain tires and consumables will be weighed, wrapped, stacked and set in a staging area this weekend at Indianapolis International Airport by INDYCAR and DB Schenker personnel in a free-form ballet of forklifts and 18-wheelers.

On April 22, the two behemoth cargo planes will take off for Viracopos-Campinas International Airport in the state of São Paulo. Firestone Firehawk slicks, fuel and Dallara parts and equipment departed via ocean cargo vessel last month.

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04/19/12
IRL

Clauson to drive for Fisher Racing at Indy
Bryan Clauson
Short track, open wheel racing fans will see a familiar name and a familiar car number when practice begins May 12 for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

USAC open wheel star Bryan Clauson has been hired by Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman to drive the No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing/RW Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in this year’s ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’ Clauson, from Noblesville, Ind., is a multi-time USAC national champion and has won several races behind the wheel of his family-owned No. 39 USAC midget.

Clauson will be a teammate to another young American driver, Josef Newgarden, from Nashville, Tenn. Newgarden drives the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone car fulltime in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Clauson and Newgarden were teammates in the Firestone Indy Lights Series in 2011.

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04/19/12
IRL

Indy 500 entry list
Three past winners and three IZOD IndyCar Series champions are among the drivers named to the 34 entries filed for the 2012 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

All drivers will compete in the new Dallara chassis that debuted at the start of this IZOD IndyCar Series season. The Indianapolis 500 will be the first oval race for the new car.

Engine competition returns to "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" for the first time since 2005. Chevrolet and Honda each will power 14 entries, with Lotus powering six. The popular, distinctive sound of turbocharged engines also returns to the "500" for the first time since 1996.

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04/19/12
f1

Bahrain DRS zone announced
Bahrain’s first ever DRS zone has been placed on the main straight of the Sakhir circuit. The overtake-aiding system was introduced last year and Bahrain should have been the first country to host a Formula 1 race which included it, but the event was cancelled because of civil unrest.

With the detection beam placed 108 meters before Turn 14, drivers within a second of the car in front (from the third lap after the start or a restart) will be able to use DRS from 270 meters after the final corner, boosting passing opportunities into Turn 1.

KERS - the other tool designed to help overtaking in F1 - has already had an outing at Sakhir, as a handful of teams were running with it in its earliest form three years ago.

Comment
04/19/12
f1

AP journalists prevented from entering Bahrain
Two Associated Press journalists are being prevented from covering the Bahrain Grand Prix because they have not received visas to enter the Gulf kingdom.

The two writers, based in Dubai, were expected to cover practice and qualifying along with Sunday's race. They were granted accreditation to cover the race by the sport's governing body, the Paris-based International Automobile Federation. But they have been told by Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority that their visa applications to enter the kingdom are still "pending."

Other Gulf-based journalists working for international news organizations also had not received visas in time to cover Thursday's practice. The race is the fourth stop on the 20-race Formula One calendar.

Comment
04/19/12
f1

Fear rocks Force India team in Bahrain
(GMM)  Security fears have rocked Force India in Bahrain, as it emerges that a second team member has decided to return to Europe.

Earlier, it was confirmed a team member who was not travelling in the hire car caught up in a Molotov cocktail attack had been given permission to return to the UK.

Now, the Associated Press reports on Thursday that a second team member - one who was in the vehicle - is also leaving Bahrain.

"They were just people working for the team," said a team spokesman.

Force India's drivers confirmed the uneasy feeling in the team.

"It's a difficult one isn't it?  I'm sure it's affecting everybody at the moment," said Paul di Resta.

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04/19/12
alms
wec

Nissan DeltaWing gets first wet weather test UPDATE Added photo of test in the rain below.

04/18/12
DeltaWing in the rain
The experimental Nissan DeltaWing sportscar kicked off its European testing program in England at Snetterton in Norfolk yesterday with Scotsman Marino Franchitti and German Michael Krumm getting the opportunity to sample the car in wet conditions. Steady rain throughout the morning enabled the team to undertake wet weather development with tire partner Michelin with the 1.6 liter Nissan DIG-T turbo-powered car.

Franchitti conducted most of the morning running in conditions that ranged from wet to full monsoon weather – gathering valuable data as to how the car performs. Having only previously conducted some brief wet track running on an artificially damp track at Sebring with the help of a water truck – today’s on-track action was an important step in the development of the wet tires for the car.

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04/19/12
f1

Bahrain Grand Prix chief plays down Force India petrol bomb scare
(GMM)  Bahrain's grand prix chief on Thursday played down the incident that caused a member of the Force India team to pull out of the event.

The team member was granted permission by Force India chiefs to head back to the UK, after a rented van carrying his colleagues was caught up in a Molotov cocktail attack on the return trip from the circuit late on Wednesday.

"They weren't targeted.  They just happened to be there," said the Sakhir circuit's chairman Zayed R Alzayani, according to the BBC.

"It could happen in any place in the world really, getting caught up in a riot or a fight or anything."

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04/19/12
f1

No-one in F1 will be hurt – Humans Rights leader
The Formula 1 community will not be in danger as the sport returns to Bahrain this week. That is according to the leader of Centre for Human Rights, the group fighting for its cause against the Royal Family which organizes and promotes the Grand Prix.

F1 personnel have been arriving in the Kingdom every day this week, with more coming in through connecting Dubai flights on Thursday. With Friday practice beginning in less than 24 hours, a number of the sport’s international newspaper and television reporters have elected to portray the happenings around Manama; their reports have shown a series of demonstrations, some in which tear gas was used.

However, Nabeel Rajab insists that the protests are not a personal attack on F1.

Read more & Comment...
04/19/12
irl
alms

Long Beach Grand Prix would be smart to go 4 days
Pit lane was congested at times
Bob Heathcote/AR1.com
The annual success of the Long Beach Grand Prix was tested last weekend by the heavy rains Friday that curtailed anything on the track and turned the paddock area into the latest body of water in Long Beach, Lake Pine.

At the end Sunday, the Grand Prix had reached 170,000 fans for the weekend, 5,000 below usual expectations but impressive considering the rain made at least 20,000 possible attendees opt for the warmth of their homes.

Several years ago, the Grand Prix actually operated for four days, but that idea was eventually shot down because of complaints from merchants in the area. Frankly, there aren't enough merchants directly affected by the Grand Prix except in a positive way, but that has never stopped them from complaining anyway.

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04/19/12
f1

Bertolini shakes down the Villeneuve 312 T4
Bertolini shakes down the Villeneuve 312 T4
Occasionally, everyone enjoys a special day and that was certainly the case for Andrea Bertolini, who works with Scuderia Ferrari on car development and as a driver in GT races. Today he realized a dream he’s had since childhood. He grew up with the legend that is Ferrari and today will prove to be unforgettable for him. Part of his role is shaking down the historic single seaters, run by the F1 Clienti department, a unique privilege that has seen him drive the majority of Prancing Horse Formula 1 cars.

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04/19/12
f1

Bahrain Grand Prix chief plays down Force India petrol bomb scare
The chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, Zayed R Alzayani, has played down the incident which saw members of the Force India Formula One team caught up in riots between police and protestors, claiming it could have happened anywhere.

The close proximity of civil unrest and danger in Bahrain was made clear on Wednesday night when a firebomb exploded as four mechanics for the F1 team returned from the Sakhir circuit to their hotel.

"They weren't targeted. They just happened to be there," said Alzayani. "I think it's unfortunate. It's an issue of timing. It could happen in any place in the world really, getting caught up in a riot or a fight or anything."

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04/19/12
f1

Ferrari tabs former Red Bull man Agathangelou
(GMM)  Ferrari has bolstered its aerodynamic team by hiring a former Red Bull team member.

Italy's Omnicorse, and Marca in Spain, are reporting that Briton Ben Agathangelou has been signed by the famous Maranello based team, who in 2012 are struggling notably in the area of aerodynamics.

Omnicorse said he was the choice of technical director Pat Fry, who worked with Agathangelou at McLaren.

The report said one of his tasks will be integrating Ferrari's in-house wind tunnel activates with the outsourcing at Toyota's state of the art facility at Cologne.

Among Agathangelou's most recent jobs was with Dallara on the HRT project.  He has also worked with Benetton, Jaguar, Honda and Brawn GP.

Comment
04/19/12
f1

Force India team member leaving Bahrain after attack
(GMM)  A member of the Force India team is returning to Europe following a firebomb attack in Bahrain.

The BBC reports that an incident occurred near a Force India hire car as members of the Silverstone based team came to a halt in a traffic jam after leaving the circuit.

No one was hurt, but "one team member not involved in the incident asked to return to the UK", the BBC said.

"A spokesman said they were not the target of the attack, which took place on the outskirts of the capital Manama," the report added.

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04/19/12
f1

More pull out as F1 resists Bahrain axe pressure
(GMM)  A support-race team and a respected journalist have become the next to pull out of this weekend's highly controversial Bahrain grand prix.

The Porsche Supercup team MRS said its decision to skip the support race in the divided island Kingdom is the "first time in our history that we have had to cancel".

"In the end we have the responsibility for our employees," said team boss Karsten Molitor, citing security concerns.

Another withdrawal - joining the sacked Williams catering staff member, and the TV broadcasters Sky Deutschland, Fuji TV and MTV3 Finland - is the respected correspondent for O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, Livio Oricchio.

"I have decided in agreement with Estado to not go," he said.  "We had the tickets for the entire season, except for Bahrain and the United States, because there was a doubt they would be run.

"Like many journalists, I will not be at Sakhir," Oricchio admitted.

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04/19/12
f1

Rosberg now in top F1 drivers' league - Berger
Nico Rosberg celebrates with his crew in China
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg's F1 breakthrough proves he is ready to fight even for the world championship.

That is the view of former grand prix winner, team boss and co-owner Gerhard Berger, following Rosberg's first pole and win in China last weekend.

"It surprised not me, but all the others who had doubted him," the Austrian told Auto Bild Motorsport.

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04/18/12
scca

Legendary SCCA Member/Racer Andy Porterfield Passes Away
Andy Porterfield, a 55-year member of the Sports Car Club of America, passed away Tuesday evening at the age of 80. He is survived by his wife, Judy, son Tracy, daughter Pamela and his grandchildren.

The two-time SCCA National Champion is widely associated with two things – the Porterfield Brakes company that he started (and is still run by the family), and Corvettes.

“Porterfield? Hell, he was racing Corvettes when I started,” racing icon George Follmer said in the October 1979 issue of SportsCar, over 30 years ago.

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04/18/12
track news

Kentucky Speedway GM confident that traffic problems solved
If there's a lasting image from last year's inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, it doesn't involve the streams of headlights inching toward the racetrack long after the event had started.

It doesn't involve the streams of red brake lights inching away from the track after the race's midpoint, when the state police and speedway officials had no choice but to reverse the traffic pattern and turn away fans who had spent hours in traffic but had fallen short of their destination.

The indelible memory from last year's Cup date was octogenarian track owner Bruton Smith, chairman of parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc., standing in the middle of a clogged intersection, directing traffic at the bottleneck leading to the infield tunnel.

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04/18/12
irl

Chevrolet Dominating IndyCar Engine Competition After Three Rounds
Three races into the 2012 IndyCar season Chevrolet is proving to be the engine to have. The Ilmor-built Chevrolet 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 seems to have the edge in power, acceleration, and fuel economy, which is why all three pole positions and three races have been won by Chevrolet-powered Penskes.

Ilmor, of course, built all the Honda engines, which powered the IndyCar series exclusively from 2006–2011. The new Chevy engine’s twin turbos spool up quickly, providing instant acceleration out of slow corners, such as are found on road and street courses—the first four racers of the season are on such courses. The Chevy engine seems to offer better acceleration and better fuel economy than its rivals.

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04/18/12
track news

Circuit of The Americas clarifies minority partnership dispute
Representatives of Circuit of The Americas today set the record straight about claims that Circuit investor Red McCombs might sell a portion of his ownership interest in the sports, entertainment and business development facility under construction in southeast Travis County to Tavo Hellmund, owner of Full Throttle Productions™ and former Circuit executive.

“To be clear, as Red McCombs has stated, he has no intention of selling his ownership interests in Circuit of The Americas,” Julie Loignon, vice president of public and community relations stated. “One of the partnerships Mr. McCombs has invested in is Accelerator Holdings LLC, which holds a minority interest in the Circuit of The Americas. Even if Mr. Hellmund was to acquire his pro-rata portion of Mr. McCombs’ shares of Accelerator Holdings, that portion would represent an approximate 2 percent interest in Circuit of the Americas. As such, Mr. Hellmund could not influence the seven-member board structure or management of Accelerator Holdings, let alone the board, management team or operations of Circuit of The Americas.

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04/18/12
irl

INDYCAR adds third engine support engineer
Frank McGrath has joined INDYCAR as an engine support engineer. A former associate with Honda Performance Development, McGrath also built Toyota Atlantic engines for Quicksilver RacEngines and was the senior engine builder and oversaw the BMW street performance program at Dinan Engineering.

Comment
04/18/12
nassprint

Mayfield indicted by Iredell County grand jury
Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was indicted by a grand jury in Iredell County on Wednesday for several larcenies dating back to 2010.  Mayfield is charged with five counts of felonious breaking and entering of tractor-trailers and one count of felony larceny. He is also charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny from a building.

Mayfield was also indicted in February by a Catawba County Superior Court after allegedly stealing more than $1,000 worth of goods from three companies and storing the stolen items at his home.

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04/18/12
f1

Bahrain unable to guarantee safety for F1
The government of Bahrain cannot guarantee the safety of Formula One teams and spectators at this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix as violence escalates in the Gulf kingdom, according to the British former police officer who is working on security at the track.

John Yates, the former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police who is employed by the Bahrain government to advise on police reform, told the Guardian: "People say can we guarantee security. Of course we can't guarantee security. I'd be a fool to sit here and say that.

"Is it possible there might be an incursion on the track? Of course there is. It's an open event. Can you stop some idiot running onto the track? There have been other incidents of track incursions."

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04/18/12
alms

ALMS Announces VP Racing Fuels as Official Racing Gasoline Supplier
With a new 3-year agreement beginning in 2012, VP Racing Fuels has increased its level of partnership with the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n and the International Motor Sports Association.  The agreement calls for VP – provider of racing fuel to the Series and its sanctioning body for the last four years – to continue as the Official Racing Gasoline Supplier to ALMS and IMSA through 2014, the organizations announced today.

As such, VP will continue supplying VP100, its ethanol-enriched E10 unleaded fuel, and cellulosic E85 fuels for the ALMS. VP also provides VP100 to the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and Cooper Tire Prototype Lites powered by Mazda. The two are the top-level development championships in the IMSA family, and prepare drivers and teams for competition in the American Le Mans Series.

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04/18/12
racing news

Porsche Supercup squad MRS withdraws from Bahrain citing fears about safety
With regret we had to make this decision. We hope we are wrong in making this decision, but we don’t want to take the chance to get in any sort of problems. We wish all competitors a save and successful Bahrain GP meeting. MRS will join the Porsche Mobil1 Super Cup again at Barcelona in 3 weeks time. MRS Racing

Comment
04/18/12
f1

Hamilton and Button to miss Mugello test
McLaren has announced that neither Jenson Button nor Lewis Hamilton will be attending the upcoming three-day Formula 1 test session in Italy. Instead, reserve drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey will be on-hand to collect data at Mugello.

The Mugello test, running between 1 and 3 May, will be the first official in-season test for F1 race drivers for over three years. Since the start of 2009, the testing ban has dictated that the only track action away from race weekends has been for private, straight-line aerodynamic runs or the Young Driver Test staged in November.

McLaren confirmed the Mugello line-up through Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. No official reason has been given for the upcoming absence of Hamilton and Button.

Comment
04/18/12
IRL

Cunningham enters Indy 500 in second A.J. Foyt car
Wade Cunningham has had success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Firestone Indy Lights. Now the 27-year-old New Zealander is aiming for success in the Indianapolis 500 with A.J. Foyt Racing.

Cunningham will attempt to make his first Indy 500 start, driving the Honda-powered No. 41 ECat/ABC Supply car. Alfe Heat Treating will be an associate sponsor on the No. 41 car for the second year in a row.

“Driving for A.J.? He’s a legend,” Cunningham answered when asked about driving for Indy’s first four-time winner. “A.J.’s from a different era but he’s raced front engine roadsters at the Speedway and ended with the turbo-charged CART Indy cars, so he’s had an amazing career, and his is a very storied team, so it’s quite an honor to drive for him.

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04/18/12
nassprint

NASCAR Texas TV rating


Comment
04/18/12
f1

Move afoot in Bahrain to stop F1 race
A cross party campaign calling for a halt to this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix because of Government crackdowns has been launched in Parliament.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) has won support for an early day motion from Tory Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) and Liberal Democrat Bob Russell (Colchester).

The motion comes as the 12 Formula One teams arrive in the Gulf state to prepare for the weekend's event.

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04/18/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

04/18/12
  • Make no mistake, NJ will be ready for F1, but will F1 be ready for NJ?
    New York trouble could be good for Austin
  • No bitterness as Red Bull congratulates Mercedes
  • 2012 rules 'deliberately' attacked Red Bull - Marko
  • 'Long way' until Schumacher contract decision - Brawn
  • Ferrari setting 2012 pace in the pits
  • Journalist sees more police on first day in Bahrain
  • County agrees to help cover F1 road improvements New
  • Ecclestone proposes 'Grand Slam' F1 races New
  • Ecclestone confirms Concorde row with Mercedes New
  • Ecclestone backs customer cars, not budget cap New

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04/18/12
nnw

Pastrana locked into field for Nationwide debut
Travis Pastrana will have a guaranteed spot in the field for his Nationwide Series debut next week at Richmond. The extreme sports star will race a Toyota that will be fielded jointly between Michael Waltrip Racing and RAB Racing. Kenny Wallace has been the primary driver of RAB's No. 09 car - which will be changed to No. 99 for Pastrana.

Pastrana said being locked into the field takes some of the pressure of him at Richmond.

"The qualifying, running one fast lap, is something that I've been working really hard," he said Tuesday. "But the most difficult thing for me has been to get up to speed in the first couple laps. So this will be huge for me."

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04/18/12
irl

Video: Hideous rear bumper on IndyCar fails to do its job UPDATE IndyCar vice president of technology Will Phillips told Autosport Magazine that the shallow angle and higher closing speed of Andretti's car relative to Rahal's contributed to the nature of the accident, but that it would have been more severe had the DW12's safety measures not been in place.

It's a bird.  It's a plane.  No it's an IndyCar
"The rear wheel guard was designed to reduce wheel-to-wheel contact. It can't eliminate it," Phillips said. "In this instance, it could not prevent it, but it mitigated what could have been a worse accident.

"In several instances during the race it did exactly what it was designed to do. In one instance, it was not able to completely prevent wheel-to-wheel contact."

The horizontal plane of carbon fiber you see extending out under the sidepods increases the surface area of the underside of the car.  Once air gets under this car, look for it to sail to new heights
[Editor's Note: There has been wheel-to-wheel contact at Long beach for over 30 years and the cars never got airborne.  Now with the new wheel guard they do.  So on a high speed oval like Las Vegas, Indy, Fontana, etc  where the differential speeds can be much greater, we can expect to see cars flying through the air.  And with the large horizontal plane of carbon fiber that IndyCar designed into the new Dallara to help with side-to-side contact  -  once air gets under the car it will act like a big sail propelling the car to new heights, literally.  Will we finally see an entire IndyCar sail over the catch fencing and into the crowd?]

04/16/12 Part of the reason the new IndyCar is rear-end heavy is the rear bumper behind the rear wheels.  This hideous looking appendage was added with the excuse it would prevent cars from riding over the rear tire of the car in front and getting airborne.  Well as this Marco Andretti/Graham Rahal Long Beach video proves, IndyCar can now remove this useless appendage that only adds weight and cost to the car but does not prevent a car from getting airborne as intended.  Can you imagine if this was Las Vegas 2011 - a high speed wreck at over 200 MPH (compared to the 75 MPH wreck in this video).  Oh, and BTW, while they are removing the hideous appendage from behind the rear wheels, they may as well remove the even more hideous looking appendage in front of the rear wheels - that bubble of bodywork that makes the new car look like a Blowfish.



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04/18/12
wec

Gene joins Audi as reserve driver for LeMans
Audi has signed Peugeot refugee Marc Gene as a reserve driver for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 38-year-old Spaniard had been part of Peugeot's Le Mans effort from its inception in 2007 to its abrupt cancellation at the end of 2011, taking victory at Le Mans along the way.

In addition to being Audi's standby for Le Mans, Gene will also race one of the team's new R18 ultras in the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in May, substituting for the Timo Bernhard, who is still not fully recovered from his Sebring testing crash.

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04/18/12
irl

IndyCar Long Beach TV Rating up 21 percent UPDATE NBC Sports Network said Tuesday its coverage of the IndyCar Series at Long Beach is up 45 percent in both the national ratings and its number of viewers.

The cable channel had 468,000 viewers and a 0.32 national rating for Sunday's race at Long Beach. That's up from 323,000 viewers and the 0.22 rating from the same race in 2011.

"After growing our IZOD IndyCar viewership by double digits each of the last two seasons, we are very pleased to be attracting more viewers again this year through two races," said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Network.

"We are grateful that the hard work and commitment by our production, marketing and promotional staffs continues to pay dividends. IndyCar fans are the true beneficiaries."

IndyCar, meanwhile, was proud of the 0.46 coverage area rating that NBC Sports scored from Long Beach. The network does not use coverage ratings, which measure viewership in homes that have the cable channel, and instead focuses on the true national rating and actual number of viewers.

In comparison, cable channel Speed uses the coverage ratings and announced Tuesday it had scored a 0.88 for Sunday's broadcast of the NASCAR Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway. Fox News/AP

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04/17/12
fil

Indy Lights rookies learn valuable oval lessons
Tristan Vautier entered the Firestone Indy Lights test at Auto Club Speedway knowing he had a lot to learn.

The Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver got his first lesson on his first oval lap around the 2-mile oval.

"The first time I got out there, I could hear the wind in my helmet and my helmet was moving around because I didn't know you had to have a wicker on," said Vautier, driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car. "(Auto Club Speedway is) a really big oval and it's easier to drive a Firestone Indy Lights car on an oval than a (Star) Mazda. It's more stable and doesn't move around as much. It was good. I need to keep learning a lot of things."

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04/17/12
irl

Franchitti on Deck as Next SAFEisFAST.com Online Driving Instructor
After a successful launch of its Online Driving Instructor program two weeks ago with IZOD IndyCar Series driver and reigning Firestone Indy Lights Champion Josef Newgarden, the SAFEisFAST.com site welcomes a new instructor this week – four-time and reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

SAFEisFAST.com is a free online resource offering video tutorials on safety, fitness, mental skills, race craft, career development, sponsorship, marketing and more to assist the careers of drivers in all forms of racing. The website was created by the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC), led by president Bobby Rahal, in conjunction with the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety and Sustainability. Since its launch, there have been over 90,000 views of the online tutorials with visitors representing 105 countries.

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04/17/12
f1

Video: Niki Lauda's crash rescue as recreated for Rush movie UPDATE
Olivia Wilde will play Lauda's wife Suzie
Oscar winning director Ron Howard is currently filming a new big budget movie based on the 1970s formula one rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

Called Rush, filming of the movie has been underway for months but recently shifted to the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

It was here that Lauda had his fiery, near fatal, accident while fighting Hunt for the 1976 world title. The production had to re-create the horrific accident scene and footage from the set has leaked onto the internet.

The movie stars Australian Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and German Daniel Bruhl as Lauda. American Olivia Wilde also stars as Hunt's wife Suzie.

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04/17/12
irl

Hamilton Plans To Run Oswego Opener
Indy Car veteran and 11-time Indianapolis 500 starter, Davey Hamilton will compete at Oswego Speedway on opening night in the Novelis Supermodified division.  Hamilton, who ran his first supermodified event at Oswego in the 1992 Budweiser International Classic, will be behind the wheel of the Nicotra Racing No. 6 supermodified May 5.

“We’re going to come out and do the opener, which will be the first time I have ever done that,” said Hamilton, whose Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports No. 77 Indy car finished second at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with Simon Pagenaud at the wheel. “The Nicotra team has a couple cars ready and Otto (Sitterly) is prepared to run both of them, so we will be there to run opening night.”

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04/17/12
irl

Franchitti escapes penalty
Izod IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti wasn’t penalized for opening-lap contact with rookie Josef Newgarden in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach because race control wasn’t sure there was contact.

Chief steward Beaux Barfield said his race stewards, including former drivers Arie Luyendyk and Johnny Unser, told him the two camera angles available to them were “inconclusive.”

“That was really the word I was looking for to completely support how I felt about it,” Barfield said today. “I didn’t have real evidence of actual contact. “It was just a little too much conjecture from either camera angle that I had, including Dario’s in-car.  Without that hard evidence, it was difficult for me to make a call.” Indy Star

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04/17/12
nastruck

NASCAR Rockingham Truck race TV rating
According to Nielsen Media Research, SPEED coverage of Sunday’s inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Rockingham Speedway scored a 0.88 HH rating and peaked at a 1.09. 

Season-to-date, the NCWTS is pacing up 15-percent with HH (1.20 vs. 1.04) over 2011, up 24-percent with M35-54 (1.26 vs. 1.02) and up 60-percent among M18-49 (0.72 vs. 0.45). 

The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, at 2 p.m. ET live from Kansas Speedway.  The popular pre-race show, NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda, begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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04/17/12
nassprint

NASCAR Fines Crew Chief Wayne Grubb
NASCAR has fined Wayne Grubb, crew chief of the No. 27 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, for violations during this past weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway. Grubb attends to the No. 27 Ford driven to a sixth-place finish by David Ragan at the 1.5-mile superspeedway.

Grubb was fined $2,500 for violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12 (use of hollow bolts in truck trailing arms and panhard bar) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on April 12.

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04/17/12
f1

Protests as F1 teams land in Bahrain
Hundreds protested late Tuesday near Bahrain's international airport as Formula One teams began arriving in the Sunni-ruled kingdom ahead of a Grand Prix hit by a Shiite-led uprising, witnesses said.

"No going back; we will continue our protests," read banners carried by demonstrators who were gathered at the Shiite-populated village of Al-Deir, near the airport.

"Peaceful, peaceful, our revolt is peaceful," they chanted, as others held up banners that read "Down Hamad" in reference to Bahrain's king, the witnesses said.

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04/17/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

04/17/12
  • Hamilton staying with McLaren
    Hamilton hints not intention to leave McLaren
  • China among best races in F1 history - report
  • Ferrari eyes big step forward for Barcelona
  • Grosjean 'not relieved' despite easing pressure
  • Wolff not Williams' new team boss
  • F1 journalists turn war reporters in Bahrain
  • Rivals must 'count on Mercedes' now - Rosberg
  • 'Results crisis, not Vettel crisis' - Danner
  • Tension mounts as Formula One heads to Bahrain New
  • Vettel must race 'Webber-spec' exhaust in Bahrain New
  • Ecclestone questions New York race for 2013 New

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04/17/12
track news

Irwindale Speedway to re-open April 26
The first major step in the re-opening of Irwindale Speedway will take place when the eighth-mile drag strip opens next week.

A weekly Thursday night program will resume on April 26. Three days later, on April 29, a special program featuring Volkswagens, called Hot VWs Drag Day, will be held. The drag strip will be operated by L.A. Racing Experience, an oval racing school that has not missed a day of business since Irwindale Speedway, LLC filed bankruptcy papers on Feb. 10.

"We wanted to open it this Thursday, but we wanted to do it and operate it right," L.A. Racing owner Jim Cohen said. "It takes awhile to get it right, It will all be new.

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04/17/12
nassprint

Barrett-Jackson Returns to Ragan's No. 34 Ford
David Ragan is back in black.  The black paint scheme with the red Barrett-Jackson logo returns to the No. 34 Ford for the upcoming race weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The 1.5-mile oval could be the scene of Ragan's first top-20 finish with Front Row Motorsports.  His previous six Sprint Cup starts at Kansas have seen him run in the front half of the pack and the No. 34 team is working to keep him there during Sunday's STP 400.  NASCAR statistics over the last eight races at the Kansas City, Kan., track show Ragan among the top 20 drivers in average running position (19th), driver rating (18th), green-flag passes (17th) and green-flag speed (20th).

Sunday's race will be the second that the colors of the automotive auction house adorn the No. 34 Ford.  The Barrett-Jackson scheme debuted in March in Phoenix, where Ragan drove it to a 25th-place finish.

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04/17/12
ta

MAVTV To Air Trans Am Programming Extending Audience Reach
Continuing its aggressive push to bring fans their favorite series' action, the Trans Am Series announced an agreement between GoRacingTV.com Inc. and MAVTV which will bring Trans Am coverage to cable and satellite TV.

“I'm delighted that MAVTV has agreed to partner with GoRacingTV.com,” said Errol Tucker, Sr., Executive Producer for GoRacingTV.com. “We had been working on this for quite some time, and I am delighted that it has become a reality.”

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04/17/12
alms
wec

Dyson team withdraws from LeMans
The US Dyson Racing team has withdrawn from the Le Mans 24 Hours. Dyson, which won last year's American Le Mans Series, had planned to contest the race for the first time with a pair of Lola-Mazda B12/60 LMP1 coupes. Its entries were missing when a revised entry list for the big race on June 16/17 was published this morning.

The team's participation was known to be conditional on it finding the necessary finance to take part. Together with Status Grand Prix, its commercial and logistical partner for the French event, Dyson was seeking funding for four of the seats available, the other two being taken by team regulars Chris Dyson and Guy Smith.

Status is one of the beneficiaries of the Dyson's withdrawal. Its own entry, the Lola-Judd/BMW B12/80 LMP2 it is running in the European Le Mans Series, moves up from the reserve list along with the RLR-run Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan 03. Autosport

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04/17/12
alms

Mowlem joins Dyson
Johnny Mowlem
After a year in 2011 campaigning in the GTE class of International sportscars, Johnny Mowlem is joining the current ALMS championship winning Dyson Racing Team.

He will be driving their LOLA B12/66 in selected endurance races in the American Le Mans Series, starting with the Laguna Seca race in May where he will compete in the lead car alongside defending ALMS driver champions; Chris Dyson and Guy Smith.

" We are delighted to have Johnny join our team. He has exactly the right combination of speed and experience to excel with us. We were looking for someone who could support our championship defense and bolster our development efforts as we look to continue our success through 2012 and beyond. Johnny fit the bill perfectly."

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