Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced the re-launch of their updated mobile app, which was one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing. The application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT.
Legge races in Sao Paulo Indy 300; Holbrook in PrivacyStar Utah Grand Prix Two members of the TrueCar Racing team will compete on opposite sides of the western hemisphere this weekend, tackling two very different kinds of tracks and unique sets of challenges. Shea Holbrook, racing in the Touring Car class of the Pirelli World Challenge Series, faces off in three races at the PrivacyStar Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Her teammate Katherine Legge will compete over 6000 miles away in round four of the IZOD IndyCar Series Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
While both women share the experience of being a female race car driver as part of TrueCar’s “Women Empowered” initiative – along with Ashley Freiberg, Verena Mei, Emilee Tominovich and Shannon McIntosh – their weekends will be vastly different. Legge will be racing on a long, unfamiliar street circuit (most likely in the rain according to local forecasts) while Holbrook has to contend with a dusty road course located at such a high altitude that it will affect the power output of her car’s engine. Neither woman has raced at their respective venues.
Japanese GT ace Motoyama to drive Nissan DeltaWing
(L to R) Franchitti, Krumm and Motoyama
Nissan and NISMO Japanese Super GT star Satoshi Motoyama has joined the ground-breaking Nissan DeltaWing driving squad for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
A triple Japanese Super GT champion, Motoyama, will join Briton Marino Franchitti and German Michael Krumm, who won the 2003 JGTC (formerly SUPER GT) title with Motoyama.
The Nissan DeltaWing is an experimental project that aims to change the face of endurance racing by attempting to complete the famous French round-the-clock race using half the fuel and half the tires.
Motoyama will get his first taste of the innovative Nissan DeltaWing car at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, UK, today and will now work with the rest of the team as it continues its challenging journey to Le Mans on June 16/17.
Goodyear will test at Bristol's new surface With the track changes at Bristol Motor Speedway, Goodyear felt the need to hold a tire test to evaluate the new surface. We're happy with our current tire set-up at Bristol but we always have to keep up with track changes, so we plan to run a test to determine what will best suit the specific modifications made to Bristol," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing.
"We will start out our test with the existing Bristol tire set-up, in order to determine if the changes to the track surface require any changes to our tread compound formulation. We'll then evaluate if the track surface has changed and if we'll need to bring back something different for the race in August." Being a concrete surface, we always need to manage the 'rubbering in' process," added Grant.
"Concrete seems to be more sensitive to taking rubber, so we need to make sure we get the right combination of tires to match up with this race track. The most important thing to us is making sure the actual racing surface is the same from the bottom of the track to the top." Goodyear's tire test will be held at Bristol on June 12-13. Participating teams are to be determined.
Video: Ferrari HY-KERS 2012 Ferrari will offer its first gasoline-electric hybrid system in 2013. The technology will be featured in the as-yet-unnamed car that will replace the limited-edition Enzo.
"We are entering the market with our Formula One-derived hybrid system, which will slash fuel consumption and increase performance," Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the Beijing motor show.
Ferrari said that in testing, its so-called "HY-KERS" hybrid has slashed fuel consumption by about 40 percent while decreasing the time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 124 mph by about 3 seconds compared with a Ferrari model without the system.
Rosberg to drive Fangio’s Mercedes on Saturday As a late celebration of his and Mercedes’ success in China, Nico Rosberg will drive Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1955 car when the DTM season begins at Hockenheim this weekend. The Argentine - who won five world titles between 1951 and 1957 - had been the silver arrows’ last Grand Prix winner, at Monza 57 years ago.
“I have good memories of the DTM from the time when my father was still an active driver,” Nico says of 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg. “I am delighted to return to Hockenheim as a Grand Prix winner and can’t wait to drive Fangio’s 1955 car.”
On Sunday, Michael Schumacher will take to the track in the 2011 model.
Barrichello admits he is still adapting to IndyCar Not even the hometown fans will be able to give Rubens Barrichello enough of a boost to make him a top contender at IndyCar's Sao Paulo 300 this weekend.
Barrichello is thrilled to be racing in front of his Brazilian fans for the first time since joining IndyCar, but admits he still is adapting to the series and won't be racing among the leaders on Sunday.
The Formula One veteran said that despite racing at home, he will be facing the same difficulty he encountered in his first three races of the season, when his best finish was an eighth place in Alabama.
Hunter-Reay to be featured in INDYCAR 36 Just about everywhere Ryan Hunter-Reay went during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, an IMS Productions camera was rolling for "INDYCAR 36."
The third episode, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at IZOD IndyCar Series drivers on race weekends, airs at 10:30 a.m. (ET) April 29 on NBC Sports Network as the lead-in to coverage of the Sao Paulo Indy 300.
KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal have been featured in "INDYCAR 36" so far.
"You don't realize when you shoot them how it's going to come out, and I can't thank the NBC guys enough for what they did," Kanaan said. "I'm getting very positive feedback from everywhere. We tried to have some fun and be as natural as we could, so I hope everyone liked it."
Pre-Indy grid penalties to be served after Indianapolis 500 Any 10-grid position penalties for unapproved engine changes in the three weeks following the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on April 29 will not be served for the Indianapolis 500, INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips said.
The period covers the IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on May 7 at Texas Motor Speedway, rookie and team testing, and on-track activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through Bump Day on May 20.
"We do not intend to apply any penalties that will disrupt the Indy 500 starting field from their qualifying positions," Phillips said. "We're not saying there will not be any penalties; the penalties just won't be served at Indianapolis. They'll carry that penalty forward to the next event. Likewise, if someone racks up two penalties, they will go forward to the next two events."
From the year of the NASCAR driver to the year of the quarterback. Last year three drivers from the NASCAR circuit made [the Forbes] list of America's Most Influential Athletes, led by perennial Sprint Cup Series champ #48-Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR hasn't exactly faded. Johnson, whose talent and guy-next-door demeanor endears him to fans, as well as to marketing chiefs of brands like Chevrolet, Quaker State and Lowe's, repeats as America's most influential athlete, based on public opinion polling.
But fellow drivers #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (down from #3 to #7) and #24-Jeff Gordon (off the list this year) didn't keep up, making way for newcomers like Jeremy Lin and Manny Pacquaio, and for the rise of several pro quarterbacks.
Turn for turn, Austin track's design, layout should look familiar to F1 drivers
An irony of the Circuit of the Americas project is that two people who played key roles in the design of the 3.4-mile road course promoter Tavo Hellmund and motorcycling legend Kevin Schwantz may have little to do with the track in the future.
Hellmund, who conceived of the project, had a nasty rift with the track's investors and is currently suing them. Schwantz, the 1993 motorcycling world champion and Hellmund's long-time friend, seemed to be the likely face of the circuit's MotoGP Moto GP event, which was announced at a splashy press conference a year ago. But because of a contract dispute, it's now unclear whether MotoGP Moto GP will race at the circuit next year or any year.
KV Racing fined IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized the No. 11 KV Racing Technology car for failing post-race technical inspection following the April 15 race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. The team did not comply with Rule 14.7.2 and has been fined an undisclosed amount.
Per the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook: 14.7.2. The maximum capacity of the fuel cell shall be 18.5 U.S. gallons.
Europe clinging on to its F1 venues There has been some movement in the future shape of the F1 calendar with confirmation from Bernie Ecclestone that from next year onwards Valencia and Barcelona will share a slot. And at the same time he said that a deal has been concluded for France to return to the schedule, in a deal alternating with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.
“The deal is done,” said Ecclestone. “We agreed the financial terms last Tuesday with the minster of sport, David Douillet. As soon as France is ready, we will sign.”
The sign off for the French Grand Prix is clearly waiting for the French presidential election to be concluded, as is usually the way. It looks quite possible that there could be a new administration in France. Although everyone is working on the assumption that the French race will take place at Paul Ricard in the South of France, paddock sources suggested to me at the weekend not to discount a possible switch and a return to Magny Cours, which hosted the race from 1991 to 2008.
SPEED Signs Multi-Year Deal with 24 Hours of Le Mans SPEED and the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) have reached agreement on multi-year deal that includes expanded digital rights and keeps the celebrated 24 Hours of Le Mans with the North American television home it has had since 1996.
“The 24 Hours of Le Mans certainly is one of the crown jewels of motor sport,” said SPEED President Scott Ackerson. “Together with our coverage of the Daytona 24, this deal cements SPEED as the continued home for the world’s premiere sports car endurance racing.”
NASCAR Truck Kansas TV Rating According to Nielsen Media Research, SPEED coverage of last Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway was up 21-percent (0.86 vs. 0.71) when compared to last season’s equivalent race at Nashville and peaked at a 0.98. Ratings were up 37-percent with M35-54 (0.86 vs. 0.63) and 113-percent with M18-49 (0.51 vs. 0.24) over the Nashville event. Season-to-date, the NCWTS is pacing up seven percent with HH (1.11 vs. 1.04), 14-percent with M35-54 (1.16 vs. 1.02) and 49-percent among M18-49 (0.67 vs. 0.45) compared to 2011.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the May 18 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. SPEED offers live coverage of the race beginning at 8 p.m. ET. NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda airs at 7:30 p.m. ET
NASCAR Hall of Fame Now Offering Multi-year Memberships The NASCAR Hall of Fame now is offering Multi-year Memberships to the interactive, entertainment attraction featuring two- and five-year options starting as low as $90.
The Multi-year Memberships give guests the chance to enjoy the ever-changing scene and experiences at the NASCAR Hall of Fame including new Great Hall and Hall of Honor Inductee exhibits, NASCAR celebrity appearances and annual special events like Spring Break From the Ordinary, Cure for the Common Summer and UnDeck the Hall.
“On many occasions, guests tell me that there is so much to experience during their visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame that they must make multiple visits,” said Winston Kelley, executive director of the facility. “Usually, those guests become Members. The Multi-year Membership offers the convenience of only having to renew every two or five years. The Multi-year Member is not going to miss anything happening at the Hall. Since we are still relatively new, it will be a unique experience for them to see the evolution of the Hall over the next few years.”
Caterham F1 Team Confirm Gonzalez, Petrov & Kovalainen for Mugello Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that Rodolfo Gonzalez will be joining race drivers Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen at the fourth official test of the 2012 F1 season, taking place at Mugello, Italy from 1st to 3rd May 2012.
Gonzalez, currently competing with Caterham Racing in the 2012 GP2 series, will be in the car on 1st May. Vitaly Petrov will take over on 2nd May and Heikki Kovalainen on 3rd May.
Dollar General Returns to Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for Indianapolis 500 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing proved it was a force to be reckoned with when the team won at Kentucky Speedway last fall with Dollar General onboard as a sponsor. The two will join forces again for one race in 2012 where the stakes will be higher-- the Indianapolis 500.
“Dollar General is excited to once again partner with Sarah and her team for the Indy 500 in the 96th running of this iconic race,” said Rick Dreiling, CEO of Dollar General. “We look forward to having Dollar General represented in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
With its win at Kentucky Speedway in October 2011, SFHR was the last IZOD IndyCar series team to win on an oval. The team is eager to return to its home track with Dollar General.
Power wins first quarter Driver of Year voting IndyCar’s Will Power narrowly edged NHRA’s Robert Hight in the vote for the first quarter DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2012.
An elite panel of 21 broadcasters and journalists had a difficult time this quarter with many worthy drivers.
Australia’s Will Power came from near the middle of the grid on twisting road and street courses to claim back-to-back victories in the Indy Car series. Ironically, when he won the pole at the season opener, in St. Petersburg, he finished seventh. With those performances he has a healthy lead in the series points standings.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Lotus Part Ways Today it was announced that Lotus and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have reached an amicable resolution to end their agreement. The two entities had entered into a contract back in November for Lotus to be the team's engine supplier in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Lotus remains completely committed to IndyCar and has worked diligently to rise to the challenge. Given the circumstances of the regulatory requirement to supply multiple teams, the late timing of Lotus' entry and the unanticipated difficulties caused by the change of ownership, Lotus has made the decision to reduce the number of cars it runs.
Jourdain Jr. Returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for Indy 500
Michel Jourdain Jr. in Long Beach in 2004 when he also drove for Rahal's CART team.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Michel Jourdain Jr., who brought the team Indy car wins in Montreal and Milwaukee Champ Car World Series races in 2003, will return to the team for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. Jourdain’s No. 30 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry will be sponsored by Office Depot Mexico with associate sponsorship from Roshfrans, Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi.
“I am extremely happy about this new opportunity,” said Michel Jourdain, 35. “My best years professionally came with Bobby Rahal. I have been working out harder than ever to make sure I am as fit as possible. I know it is a huge challenge, to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after so long and with this type of car, but I hope that I will feel at home in a few days. For me, this is not only a professional project, it is also personal, and having Office Depot Mexico, their suppliers and Roshfrans supporting me like they did 10 years ago means a lot to me. This shows that we did a good job for them.”
It's Official: Lotus Reduces IndyCar Commitment When Lotus entered the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, the regulatory requirement to supply multiple teams and the late timing of Lotus’ entry placed a significant restriction on the development program. It was clear from the start that the 2012 season was going to be a huge challenge as Lotus debuted its IndyCar engine, but it was a challenge that Lotus was determined to meet.
Lotus was further hindered by unanticipated difficulties caused by the widely reported change of ownership and the subsequent restrictions on resources. To have achieved a top ten position under these circumstances is pretty impressive.
Lotus technical director James Allison looks back at Bahrain
Q. James, a great result in Bahrain must be a huge boost; did you feel from the start of the weekend that the team had the pace to get this result? JA: "I'm very pleased with our performance, and it's a good base for the rest of the season. On Friday and Saturday I felt good about the car, and was a little bemused by our less than stellar qualifying performance. Overnight strategy simulations showed that a podium was possible but only if both cars made good starts and subsequently revealed the extremely quick race pace that we had seen on Friday. Fortunately, that is exactly what happened. Three places for Romain at the start and four for Kimi followed by fast, consistent lap times in keeping with our expectations."
Senators question U.S. loan to Fisker Automotive Two Republican U.S. senators have asked the Obama administration to explain why it approved a $529 million loan to startup Fisker Automotive, which has suspended U.S. production of a heavily touted plug-in electric car as it revamps its business plan.
Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and John Thune, a senior Republican member of the Finance and Commerce committees, asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu whether it was wise to grant financing to Fisker, which ran into production problems after receiving part of the loan.
Pagenaud's IndyCar prepares for trip to Brazil IndyCar is loading up for Brazil (see video on our iPhone and iPad apps), even as the focus starts to shift to the big race on Memorial Day weekend.
"We're taking approximately 400-thousand pounds worth of cargo with all the team's equipment, all their race cars, spare cars and spare parts and tooling to carry out the race in Brazil," said Bill Van De Sandt, Director of Operations for IndyCar.
The 2012 Beijing International Auto Show kicks off today, and Lotus Cars is showing off its full model range for the first time, including a very special supercar that’s been custom-made for China.
When the Lotus Evora GTE was unveiled at the Frankfurt show last year, the Chinese market went crazy for this, Lotus’ most powerful road-going model ever. Now the British sports car company has prepared the Evora GTE China Limited Edition, which makes its world debut in Beijing.
Lotus’ eminent chassis engineers have adapted the GTE to suit Chinese roads, and the interior comes with more leather and carbon fiber to make it more luxurious inside, without compromising performance at all. Its 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine fires out 444 horsepower. Well, this is the year of the dragon!
Minor alterations to the 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit and venue for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle certainly will be noticeable to drivers and spectators this weekend in São Paulo, Brazil.
Circuit designer Tony Cotman said the painted Turn 1 runoff, which became a skating rink when wet last year, has been addressed along with a “pretty significant” bump in the transition from the concrete surface of the Anhembi Sambodromo to the asphalt leading into Turn 1.
“The layout of the track has not changed and the curbs have not changed,” Cotman said. “Reducing some of the bumps was among the goals that have been addressed. Also, drainage in five or six locations has been addressed. Now that it’s all done, we hope we don’t need it.”
Victory Junction asks camp founder Pattie Petty to take a back seatUPDATE Kyle Petty doesn’t believe the removal of his wife, Pattie, as chief executive officer of Victory Junction Gang Camp will negatively impact the camp the couple founded in memory of their son Adam.
The Kansas City Star reported Sunday that Pattie Petty had been removed from the day-to-day operations of the camp. She has accepted a position as goodwill ambassador and chairwoman emeritus of the board that oversees the camp, according to a news release issued by the camp on Monday. “It doesn’t impact anything, it really doesn’t,” Kyle Petty, a former NASCAR star, said Monday. “Basically, the board had decided to ask Pattie to take an emeritus role and just be a spokesperson. … I have no concerns with the direction of the camp at all. Period.”
Spirit of Daytona signs Valiante for partial Grand-Am Series schedule
Spirit of Daytona announced today that Michael Valiante will be joining the team's driver line-up in select events for the 2012 Rolex Sports Car Series season. Valiante will be driving the No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype along with Richard Westbrook at New Jersey, Detroit, Mid-Ohio and Montreal.
Valiante is a proven winner with experience in the GRAND-AM series.
In 2008, he joined SunTrust/Wayne Taylor Racing and captured three pole positions, four podiums and two second-place finishes alongside teammate Max Angelelli. In 2009, Valiante joined Michael Shank Racing and scored four top-fives, two podiums and four fastest race laps.
MSR files Indy 500 entry for Jay Howard, Needs engine Michael Shank Racing (MSR Indy) has filed an entry for the 96th Indianapolis 500 with Firestone Indy Lights champion Jay Howard. MSR Indy principal Michael Shank filed the entry last week and with the funding in place to compete in the race, the team awaits to receive an engine program.
“Filing the entry is just the first step for us,” said Shank, who oversaw his team’s victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“We have the sponsor package in place, and we believe Jay (Howard) is the kind of driver who could really shine in the 500. The challenge remains for us to acquire the right to utilize a engine to practice, qualify, and race in the Indianapolis 500. We look forward to making everything final, and will be making announcements regarding the program when appropriate.”
Lotus asks two teams to switch engine suppliersUPDATE Lotus is about to become a much smaller outfit in the Izod IndyCar Series. The engine manufacturer that got a late start to the new equipment package this season is nearing releases with two teams, a senior IndyCar official said today.
Those two teams are Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (driver Oriol Servia) and Bryan Herta Autosport (Alex Tagliani). BHA is skipping this weekend’s IndyCar race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in part because of Lotus’ struggle to provide engines.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said a resolution to the issue should be coming “in a day or two.”
Team officials could not be reached for comment, but it’s expected they will sign deals with Chevrolet and Honda in preparation for next month’s Indianapolis 500.
Lotus will be left with HVM Racing and Dragon Racing as full-time teams plus Newman Haas Racing for the 500.
IndyCar will allow Lotus to focus on its smaller lineup this year before requiring growth for 2013. Indy Star
Racing school at Laguna Seca owes county $700,000 County Supervisors Tuesday agreed to give a racing school at Laguna Seca more time to pay $700,000 it owes in overdue rental fees for its facilities at the track.
The supervisors, with Dave Potter absent, voted to amend the county’s 10-year contract with Skip Barber Racing School so the school can pay $708,433.74 in past-due rent over the next 18 months.
Skip Barber rents the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for 128 days per year, has an office at the complex and holds racing classes year-round. Monthly rent can be as high as $120,000 in busy months, when thrill-seeking customers pay big bucks to pretend to be Mario Andretti. But rental payments to the county, which owns Laguna Seca, have been seriously late.
Cadillac announced at this week’s Beijing Auto Show that it will build the all-new XTS luxury sedan in China in conjunction with joint venture partner Shanghai General Motors (SGM). The production expansion for the Chinese market is a major landmark in the brand’s global growth.
The new 2013 Cadillac XTS launches in North America later this spring with production beginning in the coming weeks at the Oshawa, Ontario Assembly Plant. XTS production will begin in China this fall. The XTS is a new approach to the luxury sedan, blending traditional Cadillac spaciousness with advanced technologies, some of which are industry and segment firsts.
Max Snegirev has confirmed he will contest the remainder of the 2012 FIA Formula Two Championship, beginning with rounds three and four in Portugal next weekend.
The 24-year-old Russian returns to the series after a promising debut last year in which he was a regular top 15 finisher against a very competitive field. After making an impressive start with a points finish in his first race at Silverstone, he continued to show consistent progress with his best weekend coming at the Red Bull Ring in Austria with seventh following a season-best qualifying result of sixth.
Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge. "We're working on that," JGR president J.D. Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin's victory at Kansas Speedway. "We'll be with Toyota for a long time to come."
Dodge has been looking for a team to anchor its 2013 program since Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would leave the manufacturer for Ford next season. JGR, since its contract with Toyota is up after this season and because the organization has the infrastructure to build its own engines, became a natural target. Gibbs said that is not a consideration. ESPN
Audi wows the crowds A week before the start of the DTM at Hockenheim, Audi put on an impressive show for the enthusiastic crowds at the DTM presentation in the center of Wiesbaden (Also see feature article on Home Page).
The perfect precursor: All eight Audi factory drivers agreed that the DTM presentation in Wiesbaden was the perfect way to get geared up for the first race in Hockenheim next week. 72,000 fascinated fans flocked to the capital of the state of Hesse to be wowed by racing taxis performing spectacular drifts, lightning-quick pit stops, the chance to collect the drivers’ autographs, and the world of motorsport up close.
Bahrain race stewards have cleared Nico Rosberg of dangerous driving during Sunday's grand prix and ruled no further action should be taken against the Mercedes driver.
Rosberg was put under investigation by race stewards at Sakhir for two separate incidents during the course of the 57-lap race for what to be appeared very robust defenses of position on the straight between turns three and four from Lewis Hamilton and then Fernando Alonso.
However, the stewards - Garry Connelly, Radovan Novak, Emanuele Pirro and Mazen Al Hilli - have now cleared Rosberg of all wrongdoing.
Fernando Alonso has reacted with disbelief to the decision of race stewards to clear Nico Rosberg of dangerous driving in Bahrain, claiming only the circuit's expansive run-off areas prevented a major accident in his incident with the Mercedes driver.
Rosberg was at the centre of two controversial incidents during the course of Sunday's 57-lap Grand Prix which were subsequently investigated by stewards after the end of the race, the second of which involved Alonso as the pair came onto the straight between turns three and four.
Wind Tunnel SundayUPDATE Due to injury suffered in last night’s Monster Energy Supercross event in Seattle, Ryan Villopoto will be unable to be a guest on Wind Tunnel tonight. The current line-up is as follows:
Featured Interview James Hinchcliffe (IndyCar Series Rookie, Andretti Autosport) Featured Interview Robert Hight (NHRA Funny Car Points Leader)
04/20/12 They have added current NHRA Funny Car points leader, Robert Hight, to this Sunday’s guest line-up. Robert won his 4th straight Funny Car event this past Sunday in Charlotte…becoming only the 5th Funny Car driver in NHRA history to do so. The record for consecutive wins in the division is five which Robert hopes to tie next week in Houston. Hight won the 2009 NHRA Funny Car championship and drives for his father-in-law, John Force.
Featured Interview James Hinchcliffe (IndyCar Series Rookie, Andretti Autosport) Featured Interview Ryan Villopoto (2-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion) Featured Interview Robert Hight (NHRA Funny Car Points Leader)
Hamilton calls for pit-stop review by McLaren Lewis Hamilton has urged McLaren to promptly investigate the problems they continue to experience with pit stops this season before it causes any further damage to their championship challenge.
The British-based team have experienced several problematic pit stops since the start of the season on, including one for Jenson Button last Sunday in China owing to a sticky wheel nut - which cost the Briton any realistic hope of overhauling Nico Rosberg for victory.
In Bahrain on Sunday similar problems with left-rear wheel nuts cost Hamilton chunks of time at both his first and second stops which sent him spiraling down the order.
Amid general problems for the team to replicate the kind of pace they had hitherto shown all season in the hot conditions, Hamilton ultimately finished down in eighth and afterwards told Sky Sports F1 that an inquest into the pit-stop problems was needed.
"There should be [an investigation] because we gave a lot of points away today which championships are lost from," he told Natalie Pinkham.
"So we have to try and make sure we pick up on the next race because we can't afford to lose points like we did today."
To illustrate his point, Hamilton's lowly finish meant he lost the lead of the world championship to reigning title holder Sebastian Vettel following the German's first win of the season on Sunday. Sky Sports
Pirelli fends off criticism after Bahrain (GMM) Pirelli went on the defensive on Sunday, following criticism in the wake of the Bahrain grand prix.
British commentator Martin Brundle said the Italian marque's heavily-degrading 2012 product, so difficult to keep alive and in the narrow performance 'window', is overly dominating the season so far.
Also critical after Bahrain, where tire performance fell away rapidly in the desert heat, was Michael Schumacher, who told reporters he wanted to talk with Pirelli chiefs about how to improve the situation.
Faced with that sort of criticism on Sunday, Pirelli's motor sport director Paul Hembery said on Twitter: "At the end of last year we had huge criticism for conservative choices and races were boring.
"Make your mind up. We are doing what is asked."
Hembery also argued that how teams tackle their tire strategies will continue to play a big role for only "a few more races, then like last year all change as they get used (to the tires)".
Kimi defends Lotus tactics Kimi Raikkonen has defended Lotus' decision not to order team-mate Romain Grosjean to let him pass at a critical juncture during Sunday's Bahrain GP by blaming himself for not taking victory.
Pipped to the post by just three seconds by race winner Sebastian Vettel, the Finn brushed off his disappointment at narrowly missing out on a race victory by insisting Lotus ought to be happy with a double-podium finish. Pressed on whether victory would have been achieved had the team instructed Grosjean to let him through when the Finn was running on the faster and softer Pirellis tires, Raikkonen opted instead to blame himself over his failed move on Vettel just before their final round of pit-stops.
Chevrolet Delivers Record First Quarter Global Sales Chevrolet sold 1.18 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2012, a 6.5 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of record-breaking sales for the brand. In the last two calendar years, Chevrolet has grown faster than other high-volume global brands, bringing its global market share to 6.3 percent.
“The strongest lineup of cars, trucks and crossovers in Chevrolet’s history delivered record-breaking sales in 2011 and equally impressive results in the first quarter of 2012,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “To keep our momentum going, GM has more than 20 major vehicle launches in 2012, and some of the most important are Chevrolets, including the Sail in Asia, the Colorado in South America and the Spark in North America.”
The Chevrolet Cruze led the brand with global sales of more than 180,000 in the first quarter, a nearly 20-percent increase over 2011, making it the best-selling Chevrolet nameplate around the world. Sales of the recently launched 2012 Aveo/Sonic small car and 2013 Malibu mid-size sedan are increasing as more vehicles become available in dealer showrooms.
(L to R) Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus GP), Davide Valsecchi (DAMS), James Calado (Lotus GP)
It was another good day at the office today for Davide Valsecchi: the DAMS ace pocketed a second consecutive win in Bahrain this Sunday in Bahrain, from P8 on the grid. The Italian spoiled Esteban Gutierrez’ race when he passed the Mexican on the last lap and dashed to the checkered flag. James Calado completed the podium.
Action-packed seemed to have been the key word again this morning as the twenty-six GP2 cars made their way to the grid for the Sprint Race. The start was aborted when Felipe Nasr who was last on the grid stopped a few meters away from his starting position. More drama occurred when Tom Dillmann stalled from P3 for the second formation lap. Both men were pushed back into the pitlane and had to settle for a start from there.
Hole found in Kansas Speedway track A routine inspection of the Kansas Speedway racing surface Friday night turned up a five-inch long, two-inch-deep and two-inch wide chuck of loose asphalt in turn one along a seam where different slabs meet.
With the surface set to be repaved after today’s STP 400, the lump of asphalt, which Warren brought to the media center for show-and-tell, became proof of the resurfacing’s necessity.
Brad Keselowski was among a dozen or more drivers who considered a repave unnecessary and indicated that he like the racing surface as it is. But he conceded that he wouldn’t want a jagged hunk of rock coming loose during a race.
“I’d be glad (for the repave) if it was that piece that went through my grill and ruined my day — yeah, absolutely,” Keselowski said. “I can respect the decision accordingly."
Buescher wins at Kansas for first Truck victory Buescher pulled away in the closing laps for a convincing 5.320-second victory over Timothy Peters, who passed Brad Keselowski for the runner-up spot with three laps left in Saturday's SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway.
Buescher earned his first win in the Camping World Truck Series, to go with his maiden Nationwide Series victory at Daytona in February. It was the second consecutive victory for Turner Motorsports, which sent Kasey Kahne to Victory Lane last Saturday at Rockingham.
"Turner Motorsports trucks are pretty awesome," Buescher said. "Two in a row is saying something. Having our first win [for the team] last week with Kasey, and running second to him, we wanted to come here and win one for ourselves."
Truex Jr., MWR talk new deal Team owner Michael Waltrip said on Saturday at Kansas Speedway the organization is negotiating with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and primary sponsor NAPA on an extension. Truex Jr.'s contract expires at the end of the 2012 season. "NAPA is very happy right now," Waltrip said. "Everybody would be very happy to go into 2013 just like this." Truex said he never felt like he was on the hot seat coming into this season, and he's confident he will be with MWR long-term. "I know where I stand with my race team, Michael and (co-owner) Rob (Kaufman)," Truex said. "There was never a part of me that said I need to step it up, I need to do better. I know I've always gotten everything I possibly can get out of my equipment. I feel like they know that, too." ESPN
Oryx Racing forced to miss Homestead event Oryx Racing owner Humaid Al Masaood (UAE) has reluctantly withdrawn his entry for the third round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Al Masaood must now unexpectedly remain in the United Arab Emirates due to unforeseen business commitments during the week of the “Grand Prix of Miami” at the Homestead Miami Speedway (US State of Florida) on April 29.
Al Masaood, who is driving the Audi R8 GRAND-AM along with Steven Kane (GB) in the North American series for the first time, believes it would be of no benefit, at least on this occasion, to retain an entry and run with a “substitute” driver.
Toyota to unveil 2013 Camry On May 22 at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in Salisbury, N.C., reporters will get their first look at the new Camry to be raced by Toyota teams in 2013. Ford and Dodge already have revealed their 2013 Fusion and Charger, respectively. Chevrolet has yet to schedule the unveiling of its 2013 race car. NASCAR Wire Service
Luiz Razia (left) Davide Valsecchi (center) and Esteban Gutierrez (Right)
Davide Valsecchi has once again proved his speed and skills at the Bahrain International Circuit: the DAMS ace dominated today’s feature race from start to finish in spite of a safety car period around mid-race. Valsecchi crossed the finish line 7.7s ahead of Luiz Razia. Esteban Gutierrez snatched third place over Max Chilton on the last lap.
When the lights went out, Valsecchi made the perfect start and kept the lead from Gutiérrez. Further down, Johnny Cecotto made his way to P3 whilst Razia moved up from eighth on the grid to P5, sneaking in behind Felipe Nasr. From then on, Valsecchi pulled away and started to build up a gap that none of his closest rivals could ever reduce.
Beatriz/Andretti livery revealed After running the first portion of her IZOD IndyCar Series career with a darker blue/yellow Ipiranga livery, the revised livery for Brazilian Ana Beatriz features a heavier yellow presence with a lighter blue trim and accent.
Todt plays down F1 protester death (GMM) FIA president Jean Todt was unmoved on Saturday despite reports a Bahraini protester has been killed during anti-F1 demonstrations.
Opposition groups, calling the dead protester a "F1 martyr", claimed the latest clashes with police resulted in a body being left on the roof of a building less than 10 kilometers from the capital Manama.
Sky News in Britain said the Kingdom's government declined to comment.
"We know protests can have a negative result," Frenchman Todt told the BBC when asked about the reported death.
"We are a governing body running sport, you can have lots of protests and there can be consequences, and I am not sure the protests would not have happened if the grand prix would not have happened."
The FIA president said all the teams support the Bahrain grand prix.
Norisring switch for British Formula 3 A late change in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series calendar will see the championship heading for Germany rather than France this summer, when the series will join with the F3 Euro Series teams at the Norisring instead of visiting the Paul Ricard circuit.
The switch is to add support to the FIA, whose introduction of the European Formula 3 Championship in 2012 has been welcomed by participants. A round of the new series is scheduled to take place at the Nuremberg street track over the weekend of 29 June/1 July.
Rossi and Arden Caterham Make Headway Developing New Car in Spain
The new Arden Caterham Formula Renault 3.5 team completed its final pre-season test in northern Spain this week. After clocking up its maiden kilometers, gaining experience of the new systems and collating seven sets of dry tires data, whilst at the same time building relationships within the rookie team, Alexander and Arden Caterham are confident of progress ahead of their inaugural race on 5th May.
After a rain drenched test in Barcelona, the FR3.5 teams were relieved to find ideal conditions in Alcaniz for the first day of testing on Wednesday. The morning session ran smoothly, with Alexander running qualifying set-ups, but the team struggled to find early pace. The afternoon session began with the 26-strong field practicing race-start procedures on the grid before a slow formation lap. The focus then turned back to testing and at the end of the day Alexander had completed 51 laps to finish 18th overall on the time sheet.
Hacker group takes down F1.comUPDATE (GMM) Internet hackers have threatened to wreak havoc as they sided against formula one over the sport's decision to push ahead with the highly controversial Bahrain grand prix.
The well-known 'hacktivists' Anonymous brought down F1's official website on Friday, slamming Bernie Ecclestone as "evil" and threatening the "worst sh**storm" if the track action continues to proceed this weekend in the troubled island Kingdom.
"Attacks on their (the teams') computer servers could prevent the race taking place," the Daily Express newspaper speculated.
Anonymous also took control of another specialist website, posting a statement that accused the sport of supporting the Bahrain government despite the country's "human rights situation" and saying F1 will now "be punished".
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