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Danica relieved to be done with road courses for a while  
There probably isn't another driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series looking forward to a return to the ovals more so than Danica Patrick.

Face it, the starlet of racing has had a terrible season -- from her three disappointing attempts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to her four IndyCar races for Andretti Autosport that have left her 16th in the standings.

After finishing fifth in the points race last year, Danica heads to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval for Saturday's Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 not even cracking the top 15. More ...

Alonso comments on Hamilton and Schumacher  
Fernando Alonso
While in the past, Hamilton has come in for some stick from the stewards, lining up the penalties, this year has seen a different story.

In Malaysia, caught weaving in front of Vitaly Petrov out on track, Hamilton was given just a warning while one race later in China, he was handed nothing more than a reprimand for his pit lane antics with Sebastian Vettel.

"No, I don't think so," Alonso said when asked if Hamilton was in 'privileged position' when judged by the stewards.

"The decisions are perhaps not very consistent, because there will be other times when the same happens and someone gets a penalty for it. So it varies a bit, but I don't think that's very important.

"He got two warnings and maybe he will be penalized in the next race if he does something wrong. It's like referees in football: their intention is not bad, but sometimes they make a decision and other times a different one."

As for Michael Schumacher, his fans and the media may be expressing concerns about his slow comeback but Alonso insists his rivals are not.

"No, there's no such feeling (of disappointment)," he told Autosport.

"It's not like we spend too much time thinking about what the others are doing, but we have a huge respect towards Schumacher and every driver on the grid knows it's been a bad start for him, with very few points in the first races, but I believe there's nobody ready to say the Championship is over for him.

"We knew what he's capable of doing so we have to respect him and we know the best is yet to come from him." PlanetF1.com

Branson tops Ecclestone on rich list  UPDATE Member Ric Johnson was the first to submit the correct answer: John Menard (Forbes est. $4.0Bil, down from $7.3Bil in 2007) Apparently this was not much of a surprise to as many people as we thought. We will try to make the next one a little harder!

04/26/10 Ed Note: Who is the richest man in racing? Send us your answer and you wont win a prize, but we will give you bragging rights and put your name here!

Virgin boss Richard Branson has overtaken Bernie Ecclestone to become the richest Briton in F1, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Branson’s personal wealth has been estimated at £2.6bn this year, up £1.4bn from last year as the end of the credit crunch has boosted Virgin’s revenues. He is 18th on the list.

Ecclestone, who is ranked 38th, sees his estimated wealth has slip by £91m to £1.375bn, largely because of the losses suffered by F1 during the credit crunch and because of the withdrawals of Honda, BMW and Toyota. More ...

skip barber
SBRS National series results round 5 and 6  Rounds 5 and 6 of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda proved to be a thrilling race weekend at Virginia International Raceway. Both races had intense battles for the lead positions and the last laps of both races brought epic shuffles in the field.  Several drivers came into the race weekend with struggles behind the scenes to overcome. In a Skip Barber Regional Finale race in Sebring two weeks ago, Dennis Trebing broke a bone in his hand and entered the race weekend with a temporary cast. More ...
Newman's car to honor military health care personnel  The paint scheme on Ryan Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet for Saturday night's (May 1) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway will pay tribute to the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) and the men and women who comprise the highly-trained Army Health Care Team.

During the Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 Cup event, Army Medicine will be showcased on the hood and rear quarter panels of the No. 39 car along with the AMEDD logo on the hood. More ...
racing news
German Prince killed at Nurburgring  
Hereditary Prince Carl Friedrich zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg was killed yesterday during the third round of the German Endurance Championship in auto racing at Nürburgring.  He was 43 years old. Carl Friedrich, who raced using the name Leo Löwenstein, was driving a GT4 Aston Martin, when he collided with two other cars in the 22nd round of the race.  His car hit the guard rail, and burst into flame.  Although medics and others were able to get to the car immediately, the Prince was unable to free himself, and he died as the result of smoke inhalation.

The funeral will take place on  at  2:30 p.m. on Friday April 30 at the Roman Catholic church at Kleinheubach.
Video: Underground Racing Lamborghini cracks 250 mph  
Delta Wing announces technical partnership  DeltaWing LLC, of Indianapolis, today announced an important step in making motorsports even safer in the future. DeltaWing’s prototype chassis for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series will feature Milliken & Company’s revolutionary Thermoplastic Composite, Tegris®, which will make the DeltaWing car one of the lightest, most impact energy absorbent and intrusion resistant open wheel racing cars ever created.

“From the beginning of the DeltaWing project, enhancing safety was a top priority so we looked for new technologies that could be applied to make the chassis stronger and safer, while reducing mass at the same time” said Ben Bowlby, Designer and Chief Technology Officer of DeltaWing LLC. “Milliken’s Tegris material has excellent impact energy management characteristics while being extremely light weight. This is an example of a new material that has helped the DeltaWing design team achieve its extraordinary efficiency performance targets.”

“Our designers were inspired by the remarkable properties of Tegris and the extensive application of the material in composite armor for US military vehicles,” said Dan Partel, CEO of DeltaWing LLC.

“We are thrilled to be working with the DeltaWing team on one of the most revolutionary concepts in motorsports in many years,” said Jonathan Kane, Global Market Manager, from Milliken & Company. “Tegris provides a unique combination of attributes which will allow DeltaWing to meet the exceptionally stringent safety standards of IndyCar racing. Additionally, Tegris is fully compatible with polypropylene recycle streams which helps DeltaWing meet its goal of helping motorsports become more sustainable and environmentally responsible.”

Key Features of Tegris 

·        Impact Resistance
Tegris provides 2X to 15X improvement in impact resistance over typical thermoplastic and thermoset composites. Tegris maintains this performance level even at low temperatures (-40°C).

·        Stiffness
Tegris is suitable for applications that have traditionally turned to carbon fiber or glass reinforcement to achieve stiffness requirements.

·        Weight Reduction
Tegris allows for tremendous weight reduction at comparable stiffness compared to other, higher density, composite structures.

·        Recyclability
Tegris is fully compatible with polypropylene recycle streams. While the material has uniquely engineered properties, these all return to standard PP upon full melting normally encountered in recycle extrusion.

·        Glass/carbon-Free
Tegris is free from the safety and processing issues associated with glass or carbon-filled composites, namely skin irritation and tool wear.

          Design Flexibility
Tegris allows for the creation of a wide variety of composite structures. A single layer of Tegris fabric is 0.005" (0.132 mm) thick and weighs 0.02 lbs/ft² (0.11 Kg/m²) which allows for composites to be "tuned" to a high degree of precision based on impact or stiffness requirements.
FIA approved for anti-intrusion
Tegris has met the FIA’s standard for anti-intrusion panel performance.

“This is the first of many technology partnerships that DeltaWing will announce in the near future as we work towards the debut of our first running prototype later this year,” said Bowlby. “This is another example of the unique approach that has created the DeltaWing car and overall business model.”

Racing this week on ESPN  The NASCAR Nationwide Series races under the lights in prime time at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 30, and ESPN2 will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 7 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 7:30 p.m. with the green flag at 7:43 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.

Allen Bestwick will be the lap-by-lap announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Dr. Jerry Punch. Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio, with analysis by Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR Now Begins Fans Series on May 1

NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will begin a month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Sunday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET. The program also will preview that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The segments on fans will air in the weekend edition each week during May.

Featured in the May 1 show will be Mike Wright of Disputanta, Va., a dedicated fan of Richard Petty. Wright, 40, has been to more than 250 NASCAR races and considers Petty his absolute hero in life. The long-haul trucker has gotten an autograph from “The King” more than 150 times.

Wright and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday” by Andrew Giangola.

NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven and ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, May 3, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 with host Allen Bestwick.

Shannon Spake hosts half-hour episodes of NASCAR Now airing Tuesday through Thursday of this week at 5 p.m. as well as the weekend edition. Marty Smith and Nicole Briscoe will report from Richmond, joined by analyst Rusty Wallace.

NASCAR Now is hosted by Mike Massaro, Briscoe and Bestwick and originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. Contributors include reporters Marty Smith, Shannon Spake and Angelique Chengelis, analysts Ray Evernham, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Ricky Craven and Randy LaJoie, and ESPN.com reporters Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton. The NASCAR on ESPN team event coverage team of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Marty Reid, Dr. Jerry Punch, Andy Petree, Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch also make frequent contributions to NASCAR Now.

IZOD IndyCar Series Live on ABC from Kansas

With the Indianapolis 500 only a few weeks away, the IZOD IndyCar Series will stage its first oval track race of the season when it visits Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, May 1. ABC will have a live telecast of the race from the 1.5-mile superspeedway at 1:30 p.m. ET. Marty Reid will call the action on the telecast with analysis from former IndyCar star Scott Goodyear. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little and Vince Welch.

The event is the second of five races in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season that will be produced by ESPN and air on ABC. The schedule also includes the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, marking the 46th consecutive year that the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will air on ABC, as well as upcoming events at Watkins Glen International and Toronto.

NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in St. Louis

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs Sunday at 7 p.m. 

Contested in the shadow of the famed St. Louis arch at multipurpose Gateway, the 2007 event was the first to be held in cooler May climes after a change in the schedule from its traditional summer date. Since its inception, the event has become known for surprise winners. The Madison, Ill., quarter-mile hosts the fourth event of the season for riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.

Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 10 a.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.

Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.
McLaren not happy with car  
McLaren MP4-25
Martin Whitmarsh stated McLaren is not content with the speed of the MP4-25 right now, despite currently leading the world championship, and heading into the segment of the season that normally favors them.

Not many people would have predicted McLaren to come away with two victories in the first four races this year. Whitmarsh reflects the attitude of the entire McLaren organization, that never rests, and constantly pushes for more.

"There is no secret that we will keep pushing," said Whitmarsh, who is well aware that Red Bull has secured pole position at every race so far. More ...
Alonso says pneumatic engine flaw reports 'false'  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Monday declared "false" reports that Ferrari's engines problems in 2010 have been narrowed down to a general flaw of the pneumatic air system.

We reported late last week that the Italian team might ask the FIA for permission to make changes to its 2.4 liter V8 design on the grounds of reliability.

But when asked about the problems during a sponsor media event near Madrid on Monday, Spanish driver Alonso insisted he is "calm" and "not worried" about the technical problems.

"The car will be good," said the 28-year-old, referring to next weekend's Spanish grand prix at Barcelona. More ...

Sponsor insures Alonso's thumbs for 10m euros  (GMM)  During an event for Spanish team sponsor Santander on Monday, it was announced that Fernando Alonso's thumbs have been insured.

The bank said the Ferrari driver's life as well as his thumbs - presumably to safeguard his ability to confidently greet his fans at grands prix with positivity - have been insured to the tune of 10 million euros.

More pertinently, he said he is happy with his start to the 2010 season, as he trails championship leader Jenson Button by 11 points. More ...

Flaw in Mercedes design was slowing Schumacher  UPDATE (GMM)  Team boss Ross Brawn has confirmed that Michael Schumacher will race a different Mercedes chassis at next weekend's Spanish grand prix.

We reported after the recent Chinese grand prix that not only will the seven time world champion have a new development package at Barcelona featuring a longer wheelbase, the physical chassis will also be completely new.

The 41-year-old struggled significantly in Shanghai, and Mercedes' Norbert Haug acknowledged that his actual chassis may have been damaged throughout the first four races of 2010.

"It's not a new chassis per se, it's a chassis we used in testing," Brawn confirmed on Monday, at a fundraising event for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution on the banks of the River Thames.

"The one he had got damaged during the first few races and we repaired it as best we could at the races.

"But now we are back at base we are going to reintroduce the test chassis and he will be using that in Barcelona," he is quoted as saying by The Guardian, and the German news agency SID reported the same news on Monday. More ...

Monteiro to join V8 Supercars round  Former Jordan driver Tiago Monteiro has confirmed that he will be driving in Queensland's round of the V8 Supercars season. The Portuguese driver, a regular in the World Touring Car Championship, will drive a Holden Commodore VE for Centaur Racing.

Usually at the wheel of a SEAT Le¢n in Europe, Monteiro will compete in the series formerly known as the Australian Touring Car Championship at the wheel of the car usually piloted by Tony d'Alberto; the Gold Coast 600 will see Tiago return to the track at which he competed in Champ Cars in 2003.
"Above all, it is an honor to be invited to take part in this event as well as some of the best drivers in the world," he commented. "I am always curious to discover different championships and I always loved racing in Australia when I was in ChampCar and F1.  More ...

Peugeot commits to ILMC  
Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP
Following the Automobile Club de l’Ouest's announcement of the creation of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) in 2010, Peugeot has decided to enter this competition that features three races on three continents:

- September 10-12 1,000km of Silverstone (Great Britain)
- September 29 – October 2 13th annual Petit Le Mans (USA)
- November: (China)

The exact driver line-ups in the 908 Hdi FAPs for these races will be announced at a later date.

Force India engineer runs London Marathon  (GMM)  Force India's chief engineer Dominic Harlow made it back from China in time to contest the 2010 London Marathon.

He completed the 42 kilometer course around the Thames on Sunday in just over three and a half hours.

Even faster was F1's former safety car driver Oliver Gavin, 37, whose time under 3 hours placed him 657th overall amid 35,000 runners.

"My time today should now be enough to qualify me for the Boston or New York marathons ... if I want to do either of them.  My legs need to recover first!" he laughed.

Another F1-related runner was Sir Richard Branson, whose Virgin brand sponsored the event.

He crossed the line after 5 hours.

Lotus eyes one second boost from Spain GP upgrade  (GMM)  If the new team's predictions are right, Lotus is set to take a big step forward at the Spanish grand prix next weekend.

"We are hoping for a time saving of more than a second (per lap)," Heikki Kovalainen told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The Finnish driver, however, acknowledged that most other teams will also field quicker cars at Barcelona, the first European race of the season and usually the annual scene of major developments.

"But we might have more room (for improvement) than our competitors," added Kovalainen, referring to the car's conservative cooling solution, the basic double diffuser and the steel suspension uprights fielded so far this season. More ...

Hulkenberg admits on-form Barrichello's pace 'puzzling'  (GMM)  Rookie Nico Hulkenberg has joined Williams team bosses in raving about the form of F1's most experienced driver Rubens Barrichello.

At the end of a miserable 2008 season with Honda, the veteran Brazilian seemed destined to bow out of F1 on a low.

But the team instead reinvented itself as Brawn, where Barrichello out-performed his teammate and eventual champion Jenson Button in the second half of 2009.

Barrichello, 37, has moved to Williams this year and so far has shown the way to his highly rated young teammate Hulkenberg, the reigning champion of GP2. More ...

racing news
Impact Racing and SFI at it again  Contrary to the assertions of SFI, there is no safety risk to users of Impact Racing suits bearing SFI 3.2A/5 certification tags. The issue that has been created by SFI involves thread used in Impact’s fire suits. The error in the assessment of SFI is revealed by its assertion that thread used by Impact Racing “melts away in a fire”. According to the analysis presented by SFI “this causes the fabric to come apart since there is no longer thread to hold the suit together”. This conclusion demonstrates the lack of understanding on the part of SFI as to what causes a fire suit to work and what causes a fire suit to be safe.

The thread about which SFI complains is not intended to “hold the suit together”. The fabric does not “come apart” in a fire. In a fire, the layers of fabric must be allowed to expand because it is expansion that creates the layer of air that insulates a racer from fire. Impact Racing understands the necessity of this process in fire suit construction. SFI does not. More ...

Keselowski wins Nationwide race after a fiery last-lap wreck  
Brad Keselowski celebrates winning the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, a win that gave him the points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
Brad Keselowski powered past Kevin Harvick on the last lap of the Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race to win at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

The victory on a green-white-checkered finish came as a massive wreck unfolded behind him coming out of Turn 4.

Jamie McMurray, who was contending for the win, got turned around in the middle of the field and triggered a wreck that sent Dennis Setzer up into the catch fence in a flaming heap. The wreck happened before the start of the grandstands near the exit of Turn 4.

It was Keselowski's second race of the day. He said he almost wasn't allowed to drive in the Nationwide race because his carbon monoxide levels were so high from the first race. The Nationwide race had been scheduled to run on Saturday but was postponed to Sunday because of the severe storms on Saturday. More ...

Hendrick close to re-signing crew chiefs  Team owner Rick Hendrick said he is days from announcing contract extensions for crew chiefs #5-Alan Gustafson and #48-Chad Knaus. Hendrick has been working on an extension with Knaus since late last season, when driver Jimmie Johnson agreed to a deal to drive at Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. The driver and crew chief have won a NASCAR record four consecutive championships together. Gustafson is currently crew chief for Martin in the #5 Chevy. Kahne has already agreed to drive that car in 2012, but Hendrick says he has not yet determined his crew chief lineup. The owner did say, though, that the #5 team belongs to Gustafson, the first indication that he could be paired with Kahne. ESPN.com
Roberto Merhi wins action-packed Hockenheim race  For the first time, Roberto Merhi (Mücke Motorsport) climbed onto the top step of the podium after a Formula 3 Euro Series race. At the 4.574 kilometers long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Spaniard won just ahead of his compatriot Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam), who ended up as the best-placed rookie of the race. After an entertaining race, Edoardo Mortara (Signature) took the checkered flag in third place, followed by Marco Wittmann (Signature). Thus, the Italian will travel to the fifth round at Valencia as the points' leader in the Euro Series. More ...
ARCA Team loses hauler to fire  Andy Belmont Racing's transporter caught fire on the way home from Talladega on I-85 in Georgia around mile marker 166.. No one was injured. Apparently a tire blew on the tractor, grease from the drive hub caught fire, flames from the hub hit the generator cabinet on the front of the hauler and ignited the diesel fuel from the generator. The truck is a total loss. Trailer is destroyed. Fire company contained the trailer fire to the front of the trailer and the lounge, but all the team uniforms, helmets, hans devices, radios are lost. The fire company saved the cars and everything behind the lounge, certainly there will be smoke and water damage. Belmont fields the #1 driven by Chad McCumbee and the #14 piloted by Chase Mattioli, the grandson of the Pocono Raceway owners. Mattioli finished 13th at Talladega and McCumbee finished 33rd.
Paffett wins DTM season opener at Hockenheimring  
Gary Paffett celebrates
Hockenheim. Spring was in the air for Mercedes-Benz. The brand from Stuttgart locked out the first four places in the DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. After 39 laps and 178.386 kilometers, British driver Gary Paffett crossed the finish line as the race winner. The 29-year old was followed home by his fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Bruno Spengler from Canada, Briton Jamie Green as the best-placed driver of a 2008-spec car and Scot Paul Di Resta.

“Winning the first race is a great way to start the season. Last year, the season started just the other way round for me. Today, our goal was to score as many points as possible. The team has done a tremendous job and I like the car – it is just running well. I could see the rest of the season going like this”, said the winner of the opening round immediately after the race. Paffett, the 2005 DTM champion, scored his 15th DTM race win at Hockenheim.” More ...

Filippi wins the maiden Auto GP race  Luca Filippi is the first ever Auto GP winner. The Italian talent drove an amazing race, taking full advantage from Euronova's tactics. Being one of the few drivers (alongside Piscopo and Tappy) still having a set of new tires, Filippi chose an early pit-stop on lap 4, and from then on had pushed as hell with a clear track in front of him. From the tire change on, Filippi's laps were all below 1'45, and this allowed him to comeback passing all his opponents while they were doing their pit-stops.

Despite being very fast on track, Edoardo Piscopo and Fabio Onidi could not match Filippi's pace, and had to fight for second position, from two very different race tactics. Onidi decided to stop for tires at the last possible moment, but having no new sets was clearly disadvantaged. When the Lazarus driver got back on track after the pit-stop, the DAMS car of Piscopo was in front of him: very fast and focused from the start, Edoardo clinched a well deserved second place. More ...

Hunter-Reay Road & Track column  In this Road & Track article, Ryan Hunter-Reay talks about his season so far, and is pretty bullish on the IndyCar series.

"With the rapidly approaching Indy 500 and the new changes to the Izod IndyCar Series, it is a bright time in American open-wheel racing. Our on-track product is as good as any open-wheel racing in the world. Compared to the Grand Prix of Bahrain, the IndyCar race at São Paulo was a far more competitive and exciting event, with good close racing and plenty of passing. And it is only going to get better. With Izod on board as both my personal sponsor and the title sponsor for IndyCar, you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of activation and exposure. The fact that Izod purchased ad time during the Super Bowl to promote the season opener is an indication of how seriously they take their involvement in the series."

track news
Kansas Speedway Schedule - IndyCar race to run Saturday  
9 a.m.:
Parking lots open

9:30 a.m.: Grandstand gates open (Gate D only; NOTE: Fans showing a ticket to IndyCar or Trucks race receive free admission)

10 a.m.: IZOD IndyCar Series practice

1 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Series practice

4 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying More ...

track news
Critical Hill now says new Silverstone 'a corker'  
Silverstone's Arena Circuit under construction in March © Silverstone
(GMM)  Less than three months after slamming Silverstone's new formula one layout, Damon Hill is now singing its praises.

The 1996 world champion, who is president of the circuit-owning British Racing Drivers' Club, said in February that the new 'Arena' section is a "frustrating compromise" that risks "destroying the essence" of the historic venue.

But Hill is now quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "We think we have produced a racetrack of the future.  It looks like it has the potential to be a real corker." More ...

Ferrari propose new fuel efficiency rules  Ferrari are keen to see F1 introduce Gasoline Direct Injection technology should the sport switch to smaller turbocharged engines in 2013.

Engines are one of the hot topics being debated in Formula One's circles at present as the sport looks to nail down the regulations for the 2013 season.

One of the ideas being touted - and which looks likely to be agreed upon - is a switch from the current 2.4l V8s to 670bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged engines. More ...

A.J. Foyt IV to Drive Second Foyt Entry in the Indianapolis 500  Lucky number 7! A.J. Foyt IV returns to the cockpit of the No. 41 ABC Supply Indy car for what will be his seventh Indianapolis 500, and fifth one driving for his legendary grandfather A.J. Foyt, Jr. Foyt IV joins Vitor Meira who drives the No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series

"It's great to be back in an Indy car and I'm grateful to my grandfather for giving me another opportunity to drive at Indy," Foyt IV said. "Although I haven't been in a car since Texas, I feel pretty confident going into this year's 500. I know Larry and A.J. have been working hard to step up the team's performance and it really shows." More ...

Weather looking good for Talladega today  The weather forecast today in Talladega calls for a mix of clouds and sun with a high 83F so NASCAR should be able to get in the postponed Nationwide race as well as the Sprint Cup race this afternoon.  The Sprint Cup race starts at 1 PM ET on FOX and the Nationwide race will run immediately afterward.
Correction on Dayton Speedway Article  CORRECTION: In this article on Dayton Speedway we published back in January, we listed Mario Andretti as one of the last living survivors who raced at Dayton.  We are unable to find any record that he raced at Dayton but his twin brother Aldo definitely did.
Paffett claims first DTM pole of the year  Gary Paffett claimed the first pole position of the 2010 DTM season at Hockenheim. In qualifying for the season opener, the Mercedes-Benz driver lapped the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg in 1:33.214 minutes.

“The car was good from the very beginning and I continuously improved, I could close up to the front runners. After the first qualifying heat, I was quite happy and after the third heat, I had a really good feeling. We will try to score as many points as possible, but of course, we want to win the race”, said the 29-year old about his first place on the starting grid. More ...

track news
ISC decides to pave Daytona  UPDATE #2 Photos and illustration of the Daytona Speedway Repaving:

Engineers work on the initial paving of Daytona International Speedway in 1958 Daytona International Speedway is repaved for the first and only time in 1978. The track will be repaved again in 2010. Layers in the 2010 repaving of the Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway

04/24/10 For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway will be repaved following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July, track President Robin Braig announced.

“This is a historic moment for NASCAR’s most storied race track -- Daytona International Speedway,” Braig said. “Daytona was originally repaved in 1978 and the time has come again to put new asphalt on this legendary race track.”

Since the conclusion of the 52nd annual Daytona 500 in February, International Speedway Corporation’s team of engineers and asphalt specialists have conducted a thorough evaluation of the entire track, and upon completion of that analysis, the results were delivered to the ISC Board of Directors where the decision was made to repave the race track following the 2010 Coke Zero 400.

Daytona International Speedway’s entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin. More ...

Jonny Reid is the first Auto GP poleman  Jonny Reid is the first poleman of the Auto GP history. The SuperNova driver managed to put two tenths between his best time and his opponents' in a very difficult qualifying session. That was because the track conditions were very different compared to the previous days, with less wind a much warmer temperatures, things which made the track slower and slippery.

In this conditions, the first set of new tires was wasted, because the drivers needed to understand the new track limit. Only from the second set on, and after some changes in the set-ups, the Auto GP drivers had the chance to push harder. With such a complex situation, things were easier for the most experienced drivers. It wasn't by chance that the fastest drivers were Reid, who raced with the same car and SuperNova in A1 GP, and Fabio Onidi, who contested the last Euroseries 3000 season on the Lola B05/52. The italian driver, who was among the fastest in Free Practice, did the right set-up choices with Team Lazarus and will start Race 1 from the 1st row, the ideal spot to try one of his renowned great starts. In his mirrors, Onidi will have to keep an eye on Edoardo Piscopo. The DAMS driver confirmed the same good shape of the testing and free practice days. Adrian Zaugg, behind him, was less than a tenth slower, disappointed for missing the first row but still confident for tomorrow's race. More ...
Brawn admits design error hampering Schumacher  Ross Brawn says changes Mercedes is set to make to the W01 for the Spanish Grand Prix should help improve the car's weight distribution, after admitting it was one area the team got wrong on the car.

After lagging behind its three chief rivals at the front of the field in the opening flyaway rounds, the reigning world champion Brackley-based squad is aiming to start closing the gap from the next race when it will introduce a particularly big car upgrade.

Mercedes has struggled with understeer with the W01 so far this season – issues that have hampered Michael Schumacher’s performances in particular.

Team boss Brawn admits that in the design of the car the squad didn’t come up with a weight distribution that allowed it to get the most of out the narrower 2010 front tires that were eventually introduced, prompting the changes to the car that will be made for Barcelona.  More ...

Laffite, Brundle back Schu to rekindle 'old magic'  (GMM)  Two former grand prix drivers have called for patience amid criticism of Michael Schumacher's return to formula one this year.

After the first four races of the seven time world champion's comeback, the 41-year-old is 40 points behind his teammate Nico Rosberg, who has outqualified him at every venue so far.

"I'm not worried about Michael Schumacher," said Frenchman Jacques Laffite, who won six grands prix in the 70s and 80s.

"The (Mercedes) car just does not fit his driving style," the 66-year-old told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"You can see on the track that he is struggling with understeer," said the TF1 commentator. More ...

Rosberg: Schumacher won't be down long  
Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg, one of the men most in the know, is adamant Michael Schumacher will be back in top form sooner rather than later.  Rosberg has been by far the better of the two Mercedes GP drivers this season, beating Schumacher in all four qualifying sessions and grands prix.

The younger German also has two podium finishes to his name, putting him second in the Drivers' Championship on 50 points, 40 ahead of his seven-time World Champion team-mate.

And although Rosberg admits he is enjoying his time as Merc's leading driver, he doesn't believe it will last much longer.

"I'm happy to be ahead of him but I don't know how long it will last," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. More ...

track news
Pocono takes on sponsor  Pocono Raceway will have corporate sponsorship for its June Cup race for the first time since 1996. Pocono's June 6 race will be called the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 Presented by Target. Pocono's June race had been called the Pocono 500 since 1997.

"The time was right," track president Brandon Igdalsky said. "We've been looking for quality sponsors. I thought it was time to find another one for the June event."

Track owner Joseph Mattioli said last year that Pocono didn't have sponsorship because he didn't need the money.

"I don't need the money and if you don't need the money, what the hell is the sense of sponsorship?" Mattioli said last June. "We call all the shots. All the VIP's on race day are our people, not the sponsor's people."

Igdalsky, Mattioli's grandson, said Mattioli was "on board" with the decision.

"It's not his first choice of what to do," Igdalsky said. "He understands the sports world is different now and you've got to go with the flow. You can't turn the money away."

F1 teams trickle back to Europe  Formula One bosses were breathing a sigh of relief yesterday as the teams and their equipment finally returned to Europe - four days after the Chinese Grand Prix.  Most of the F1 circus freight planes carrying the cars and equipment were due to land a few hours ahead of team personnel yesterday.

By then, a few of the most intrepid travelers among the team bosses and drivers had already found their own way home to beat the air chaos created by ash eruptions from an Icelandic volcano.

And, ironically, the newly-reborn Lotus Racing team - struggling for speed on the track -- were among the first to see their staff, plus several members of the media, home safely to their base in Norfolk, via Stansted airport - thanks to team boss Tony Fernandes’ special intervention in his ‘day time’ job as boss of Air Asia. More ...

Kurt Busch signs long term deal, no terms mentioned  No terms or length were mentioned but Penske Racing's Kurt Busch confirmed that he has signed a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing to drive the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger beginning in 2011. From a Dodge Motorsports transcript:

WHEN WAS YOUR CONTRACT UP AND HAVE YOU TALKED TO ANY OTHER TEAMS BEFORE RE-SIGNING WITH PENSKE? "I knew that I was committed through 2010 and 2011's option was picked up by Roger (Penske). So what that meant was a perfect opportunity to talk about what the future could bring; not just 2011, but 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond. We started with just a light-hearted sit down at a dinner one night, almost like one of those napkin sketches of, 'Hey, this is what I'd like to see and this is what might happen.' Then this (Shell/Pennzoil) opportunity just came up a few weeks ago and it changed the whole landscape that we ended up with. No, I didn't talk to any other teams. When I weighed my options personally, with my wife Eva and my manager (John Caponigro), we looked at other teams, we tried to find scenarios that would fit for us, but none of them were as powerful as creating the longevity with Penske." More ...
Stefan launches plans for 2011 team, Serbian F1 circuit  (GMM) Stefan GP has re-launched its plans for a formula one team.

The Serbian outfit, headed by Zoran Stefanovich, also said it has "signed an agreement" with the mayor of Stara Pazova, located 25 kilometers from Belgrade, for the construction of a F1 circuit and team headquarters.

"This is proof that we want to put ourselves on the map as a serious hi-tech company, and that we are serious about competing in formula one for the long term," said Stefanovich on the team's re-launched website.

Stefan GP confirmed that it is bidding for next year's final spot on the grid, revealing that talks for its failed 2010 plans had taken place with drivers including Sebastien Loeb, Christian Klien and others.

However, Mike Coughlan appears no longer part of Stefan's plans, due to the publication of an airbrushed photograph that once featured the disgraced former McLaren designer.

"We want to be a part of F1 for both the long and short term future, and I hope that we will finally have the success we deserve," added Stefanovich.
D&R adds Scheckter for Indy  Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced that Tomas Scheckter will drive the team’s No. 23 car as a third entry in the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

Scheckter, from Cape Town, South Africa, raced for DRR in 2009, competing in 10 IZOD IndyCar Series races for the team. He earned three top-10 finishes. More ...
Germany to host ROC  Germany will play host to the annual Race of Champions event later this year, organizers have confirmed.

The end-of-season event, which brings together drivers from leading motor sport series to do battle in identical machinery, will take place at Dusseldorf's ESPRIT arena on November 26-27.

The decision marks the return of the event to Europe after Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium played host last year. The Stade de France in Paris and London's Wembley Stadium have also staged the event in recent years. More ...
Harvick wins Nationwide pole at Talladega  Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race as he turned a lap of 187.375 mph Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Harvick is driving a Kevin Harvick Inc. car in the race, which is scheduled for Saturday but with thunderstorms expected to threaten the area could be postponed to Monday.

Starting on the outside of Harvick will be Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards, whose lap was 185.754 mph around the 2.66-mile track.

Rounding out the top five were Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JR Motorsports rookie Steve Arpin (making his series debut) and ML Motorsports’ Shelby Howard. More ...

Restrictor Plate size could change at Talladega  NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Friday morning that a decision on the size of the restrictor-plate that will be used in Sunday's Aaron's 499 will be made after practice this afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Sunday's race will be the first at Talladega with a blade rear spoiler instead of a wing on the new-generation Sprint Cup car at a restrictor-plate track. With the new aerodynamic package, it remains to be seen what speeds the cars will run at on the track. If the cars lap the 2.66-mile superspeedway at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour in the draft, NASCAR will mandate the use of a smaller restrictor-plate during Sunday's race. Conversely, if speeds are slower than anticipated, a larger plate could be used. Pemberton said that NASCAR has adjusted plate size between practice and the race before, so this is not setting a precedent. "The good news is, it's a beautiful day, so we should be able to get plenty of drafting in," said Pemberton. There will be two rounds of Sprint Cup practice today, a 45-minute session beginning at 2:00pm/et, and a one-hour session at 3:30 pm/et. Both will be televised live on SPEED. SPEED
Kevin Harvick says team is uncertain  Kevin Harvick says he doesn't know where he'll drive next season, but it's fair to say he will remain with Chevrolet.  Harvick said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway that he's had "many, many, many" conversations with team owner Richard Childress about staying with Richard Childress Racing when his contract expires after this season.

He did not elaborate when asked if he's had conversations with other owners, such as Chevrolet owner Tony Stewart, with whom he reportedly was linked last season. But Harvick made it clear he's burnt no bridges with RCR, where he has driven in the Sprint Cup Series since replacing the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001. More ...

Weather Watch for Talladega  From the folks at AccuWeather for this weekend's Talladega race: AccuWeather.com reports the same system that sparked tornadoes over the southern Racing Plains Thursday evening will produce waves of dangerous thunderstorms and heavy rain at Talladega Superspeedway this evening through Saturday evening. Rather than just being one line of storms or heavy rain for a several-hour period, it now appears that as many as several rounds of potentially severe thunderstorms will roll through east-central Alabama. The thunderstorms will bring the risk of damaging wind gusts, flash flooding, large hail, and even a tornado. Lightning will pose the greatest danger, as many people will be outdoors in unprotected areas. Remember tents, pavilions and grandstands do not offer adequate protection from lightning. During strong thunderstorm winds, tents, tarps and canopies can be tossed about and destroyed, with debris potentially causing serious injuries.

While the odds of a tornado striking the immediate Superspeedway area are relatively small, there will be multiple opportunities Dangerous storms for severe weather conditions and tornadoes. The first round of thunderstorms with locally strong winds is expected to roll through Friday evening. Fans hanging around for activities following Sprint Cup practice and Nationwide Series qualifying Friday could get soaked. Repetitive drenching showers and locally strong thunderstorms are expected late tonight into Saturday morning. Any brightening that occurs Saturday midday may only entice another round of nasty thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening. The Nationwide Series race and Sprint Cup qualifying -scheduled for 11:40am/et] could be rained out. The good news is that fans, drivers and officials should get a break from Mother Nature Sunday. Crews could be working to dry off the track in time for the start of the Sprint Cup race at 1:00pm/et p.m. While the chance of rain is not zero for Sunday, the vast majority of the time will be rain-free. There is a slight chance for a passing shower. With the wild and, at times, dangerous weather expected this weekend, NASCAR fans are encouraged to keep an eye on the weather, while keeping the other on their favorite pastime. AccuWeather.com
Peugeot to defend Petit LeMans title  Peugeot announced Friday that it will return to Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans in September as part of an entry into the inaugural International Le Mans Cup. The French manufacturer – which currently holds overall titles from Le Mans and Petit Le Mans last year and this year’s running of the Sebring 12 Hours with its 908 HDi FAP prototype – joins diesel rival Audi Sport and Drayson Racing as the first confirmed LMP1 entrants for the global championship.

In addition to serving as the second of three rounds in the International Le Mans Cup, the 13th annual Petit Le Mans is the season-finale for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The 1,000-mile/10-hour classic - the Series’ cornerstone event - is scheduled this year for September 29-October 2 from the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course roughly one hour northeast of Atlanta. More ...

All charges dropped for driver France  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, This sickens me to know that the police department in Daytona is clearly in the back pockets of the France Family who control pretty much everything in Daytona.  Here is a guy caught drunk, with cocaine and racing across a bridge and he gets off 'scot-free'.  Like they are trying to do with all racing series they do not own, they ride roughshod over them and squish them like a bug using their power, financial might and political clout.  To get off free of charge on such serious matters by some loophole in the law is a travesty.  Anonymous

04/23/10 J.C. France, grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., will be behind the wheel of a race car soon, now that a technicality has wiped out the charges lodged against him in an October arrest.
On Thursday, France was reinstated to Grand-Am Road Racing to compete in Rolex Series events after a five-month suspension following his arrest last year by Daytona Beach police.

Grand-Am spokesman Kevin Hinson confirmed that the 44-year-old France was issued a competitor's license earlier this week after a circuit judge granted a motion to suppress all the evidence collected against the race car driver when he was stopped in Holly Hill.

Therein lies the technicality.

France was stopped in Holly Hill by a Daytona Beach cop.

The officer, Charles Fields, initially heard a BOLO (be on the lookout) on the police radio by Daytona Beach Capt. Steve Szabo. The BOLO concerned two cars racing westbound over the Seabreeze Bridge. Police said France, in a 2007 Lamborghini, was racing against his half-brother Russell Van Richmond, who was driving a Porsche Cayenne. More ...

FIA presidency was 'beyond' Vatanen - Mosley  (GMM)  Max Mosley was relieved at the outcome of last year's FIA presidency elections, because he thinks the job was "completely beyond" Ari Vatanen.

After his long reign, Mosley's preferred successor Jean Todt was voted in, in the wake of a bitter campaign against the former world rally champion Vatanen.

Asked by a reader how he would have felt had Vatanen won office, Mosley told the latest edition of the British magazine F1 Racing: "I'd have been very worried, because I think Jean, with all his ability, is finding it quite a struggle.

"It's so much more complex than when I took over (in 1993), and I think it would've been completely beyond Ari." More ...

IndyCar testing rained out  IndyCar testing at Kansas Speedway was rained out Thursday after only a few laps. The session for rookies will be Wednesday. Practice and qualifying is April 30; the race is May 1.
Tagliani took his future into his own hands  
Alex Tagliani
Finding a full-time ride on the Champ Car series and then the IndyCar circuit was an almost annual struggle for driver Alex Tagliani so the 37-year-old Lachenaie, Que., native changed his role so he now has one foot on the gas pedal and one foot in the corporate room.

When Tagliani takes to the downtown airport track for the 2010 Honda Indy Edmonton in July he will do so for the first time as both IndyCar driver and owner after joining with racing veterans Jim Freudenberg, Andre Azzi, Rob Edwards and actor Jason Priestley to form FAZZT racing.

"It's a dream come true and it's not as hard as it sounds because we have an amazing group of people ... so you can just focus on driving," Tagliani said Thursday at a news conference to promote the July 25 Edmonton race.

"It's kind of back to what racing was all about and I'm enjoying it more than ever." More ...

IndyCar copies Champ Car again  IndyCar teams will no longer be able to keep technical secrets from one another following the launch of a new Technical Review Committee, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine reports. The group has been formed by the Indy Racing League in the wake of controversy surrounding Penske, which is understood to have been given permission to run a damper set-up, which other teams believed was illegal, on road courses.

Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske's main rival, led the complaints last weekend in Long Beach.

"We were clearly misled and maybe lied to," said Ganassi managing director Mike Hull. "We were told in August 2008 that ride control could not be used and it was found it would be taken off."

Penske, which has a sister company that specializes in racing dampers and shock absorbers, has stayed quiet on the matter, but IndyCar bosses have now clarified that all proposals put forward by teams will be made available to their rivals, which was done in CART and Champ Car for years.

Given the path the IRL is on, eventually they will get back to what CART was in 1995.

De la Rosa hopes Ferrari fixing engine glitches  
Pedro de la Rosa
(GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa is hoping Sauber can make a big step forward at his home grand prix next month.

The C29 car has not only been off the pace so far in 2010, de la Rosa's 12th place in Australia was the team's only race finish.

It has also been rumored that the 39-year-old risks losing his race seat, but he told Spain's El Mundo Deportivo: "We have high hopes for Barcelona.

"We have new parts to improve the car's performance, it is a major leap.

"And we hope that Ferrari have now solved the engine problem," de la Rosa, who retired in China with a second consecutive engine failure, added. More ...

Edmonton Indy weekend schedule  
Friday, July 23 . Minutes
10:30 Gates Open to Public .
10:45 - 11:45 IZOD IndyCar Practice 60
12:00 - 12:30 2 Seater Program 30
12:30 - 1:00 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Practice 30
1:15 - 2:15 FIL Practice 60
2:30 - 3:30 IZOD IndyCar Practice 60
3:45 - 4:45 to be announced 60
5:00 - 5:45 NASCC Eurasia Cup GT Invitational Qualifying Race 45
Saturday, July 24 . .
9:00 Gates Open to Public .
9:15 - 10:00 FIL Practice 45
10:15 - 11:15 IZOD IndyCar Practice 60
11:30 - 12:15 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Qualifying Race 45
12:30 - 1:30 NASCC Eurasia Cup GT Invitational Race 60
2:15 - 3:15 FIL Qualifying Race 60
3:30 - 4:50 IZOD IndyCar Qualifying Race 90
5:00 - 5:30 Pace Car Program 30
5:30 - 6:00 2 Seater Program 30
Sunday, July 25 . .
9:00 Gates Open to Public .
9:00 - 10:00 2 Seater Program 60
10:00 - 10:30 IZOD IndyCar Warm-up 30
11:00 - 12:15 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Race 75
12:30 - 1:00 FIL Pre Race 30
1:00 - 2:00 FIL Race 60
2:10 - 2:50 Pace Car Program 40
3:00 - 4:00 IZOD IndyCar Pre Race 60
4:00 - 6:00 IZOD IndyCar Race - Live Versus 120
Honda Indy Edmonton adds 2 new entertainment zones  Honda Indy Edmonton today announced two new on-site entertainment areas for the 2010 event —the Bud Zone (general public) and the Bud Zone VIP Club—sponsored by Labatt Breweries of Canada. The Honda Indy Edmonton is scheduled for July 23-25.

“In our continuing efforts to provide fans with a full weekend experience, the Honda Indy Edmonton has created these two new hospitality areas  giving race fans optional viewing opportunities for all of the on-track excitement”, said Mike Burton, Northlands Director of Major Events. “This is the second year that we have been able to partner with Labatt as our official brewery for the Honda Indy Edmonton.”

The Bud Zone (general public) offers a hub of activity in the prime turn one viewing area including a beer garden, access to victory podium presentations and other selected programs. It is open to all ages. More ...

Goodyear completes Indy tire test  A total of 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams descended on Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week to perform a tire test for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The two-day test, held Tuesday and Wednesday, saw teams run more than 2,000 laps as they gathered the data that the Goodyear engineers will use to determine the tire recommendation for this year's Brickyard 400, to be held at the Speedway on July 25. While Goodyear tested several new set-ups, the early opinion is that the tire manufacturer will return in 2010 with the same, or very similar, combination to that run successfully at the Speedway in 2009.

"We still have to review the results and go over the data in detail before our decision is finalized, but we found our control tire set-up, which was the 2009 race tire, still performs very well and is a very comfortable package," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "We saw some definite improvements with various elements of the development tires we evaluated during the test, but we didn't have clear consensus from the drivers on which change would be a sure improvement over the control. It's important to maintain the proper balance with the overall race package for all the cars in the field." More ...
IRL Rookies prepare for oval racing  
Simona DeSilvestro
Now it's time to tackle the equally challenging set of diverse ovals.

De Silvestro, Takuma Sato of KV Racing Technology and Mario Romancini and Bertrand Baguette of Conquest Racing will participate in rookie testing April 23 at Kansas Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval will host the first IZOD IndyCar Series oval race of the season May 1.

Twenty-seven cars are entered in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 (1:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

John Andretti, driving the No. 43 Team Window World entry for Richard Petty/Andretti Autosport, will be one. He'll participate in a refresher day at Kansas Speedway on April 22. Joining him on the track will be KV Racing Technology's E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes, and Dan Wheldon in the National Guard Panther Racing car.

On April 21, Jay Howard of Sarah Fisher Racing, Luczo Dragon Racing/de Ferran Motorsports' Raphael Matos, plus Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske will get in laps. The three days of testing are closed to spectators.

De Silvestro, driving the No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing car, already has led laps this season (Brazil), has run in the top 10 consistently and - given a little more luck - would have finished in the top 10. The 21-year-old Switzerland native is looking forward to her first oval experience.

"I am constantly learning and will use that knowledge as I compete in many other races," she said.

IZOD IndyCar Series technical director Kevin Blanch and veteran IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter will observe the rookies, who will have a list of items to practice.

"You want to see if they're reasonable in their speed and consistent with their line," Blanch said. "What I always tell them is that I'm not interested in how fast you go necessarily; you just need to be consistent. Whatever you do, do it every time.

"The first three-fourths of the day they need to go out and learn to be consistent. Get back up to speed where you just left off. If you were running 205s, and you came in and the team made a change, you need to go back out and run 205. Work on pit stops. Work on entering pit lane the right way and getting back on the racetrack the right way.

"Toward the end of day they need to be somewhere near where the (other veteran drivers) have been running. There's no pressure. It's not real intense. We want them to get familiar with the car, so when we come back and there are 26 others out there with them they're not worried about moving the roll bars or the pit speed rev limiter. They've been down that road so it's really just about them and the racetrack."

Q & A: Justin Wilson  
Justin Wilson
Q. Justin, you're off to a strong start to 2010 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. You're fourth in points and have a pair of runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. Has the year started off the way you've hoped?

JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah. It's been a great start to the season and exactly what I was hoping for. The Z-Line Designs 22 car has been pretty quick. We had a strong showing in qualifying in Brazil, but had everything happen to us in that race. I was disappointed with 11th, but I knew the potential was there and it came through in St. Pete and Long Beach.

Q. Going back to Long Beach, you had a bit of an incident with Alex Lloyd, which damaged your front wing. You were able to rally for second, but after the race you seemed to be upset with him. Have you had a chance to speak to him since the race?

JUSTIN WILSON: I haven't had a chance to speak with him yet, but I'll find him at Kansas and let it was like from my point of view. He was so focused on his own race he didn't seem to see my coming. I'll have a chat with him, but I'm sure there are a few other drivers who want to speak with him, as well. We'll see if we can help him out.

Q. Next weekend is the first oval of the season at Kansas Speedway. Are you looking forward to that race, the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300?

JUSTIN WILSON: I actually really like the way the series is laid out at the minute with the four road courses then four ovals then back to the road courses then back to the ovals to finish the season off. It's divided up really nice so you can apply yourself and learn from weekend to weekend. You spend so much time focusing on one thing and you want to put into practice what you've just learned. It's really good. I'm looking forward to Kansas and seeing what the Dreyer & Reinbold car is like on an oval. From what I remember last year, they were pretty strong. Looking forward to working with them, and seeing if we can move our championship along.  Obviously after that we have Indy, so hopefully, we can learn something at Kansas that will help us for Indy."

Q. Do you think the aerodynamic changes made for last year will make this year's race at Kansas more exciting?

I think so. You never can tell. The slightest little changes on the ovals sometimes make the biggest differences. It's not like the cars are changed that much to reduce the racing. After a few races last year, the (IZOD) IndyCar Series made some changes and you saw the differences at Kentucky and Chicagoland where we going wheel-to-wheel again. I hope we are going to be able to race (like that) at Kansas, but it seems to me that the wind has a bigger effect than anything. It blows the cars around and makes it a bit of a handful. I'm looking forward to getting out there and giving it a try.

Q. You have Larry Curry in your pit, who obviously has had a lot of success with drivers on ovals. Do you think having him calling your races is an ace up your sleeve?

JUSTIN WILSON: Larry has a lot of experience and done this for years and he's seen it all. It's good to have him working with myself and also working with (engineer) Matt (Curry). We have a really good combination and I'm looking forward to learning from them on the ovals. That's their background. My background is road racing and theirs is on the ovals. I think all in all we have a mix between the three of us and that is what has so being so competitive this year.

Q:You haven't been on an oval this year. How many laps have you put in on 1.5-mile ovals on iRacing?

JUSTIN WILSON: I haven't had a chance to get on iRacing. I did a little bit of it in the offseason, but that was just for fun. I've been doing other things getting life sorted out before we go on the next big road trip. I'm actually doing a bit of travelling. I have an event with TranSystems on Tuesday and it means life is bust and I'm enjoying it.

MODERATOR: We let some fans ask some question via our twitter account. So the next few ones are from the fans .


Q.Mike in Iowa wants to know about your biking. You regularly tweet photos from his rides. Just how much bike training do you do?

JUSTIN WILSON: I do quite a bit and I enjoy it. Living here in Colorado I have the benefit of doing road cycling and also mountain biking. Usually I take a picture and post it on Twitter when I get to the top of one of  my climbs. It's a great view looking out at the mountains or back at the plains. It's fun. I really enjoy it. I'd like to do more, but obviously as we get into the season and the weather picks up, we're not here. Just try to make the most of it whenever I can.

Q. Matt wants to know how Mike Conway is as a teammate and if you can tell us who your other teammates for Indy will be?

JUSTIN WILSON: Mike is a great teammate. We have a very similar driving style, and so far this year, when one of us is doing better than the other, we've been able to implement those changes to the other car and get the other car up to speed. So that's a big benefit, and on top of that, Mike's a good guy. It's a good, fun, relaxed atmosphere. There's no edge on the team. There's no ego, so we're able to concentrate on making cars go quicker. I don't know who else is going to be my teammate at Indy. I've heard rumors on the Internet that we're going to add a car, but I'm not in the loop and I don't need to be. The team has its own business and we'll leave them too it.

Q. Quigley wants to know. How has it been watching your younger brother Stefan race in Firestone Indy Lights? Do you offer him much advice at the track?

JUSTIN WILSON: It depends on the advice. Sometimes I try to offer him advice and guide him but at Long Beach weekend I hardly saw him. I didn't see him on track or off track. We're both so busy and you have to concentrate on your own thing, you don't get to spend as much time. It's frustrating but also what needs to happen. When I do get to watch him, it's great. I do try and guide him any way I can. But there's only so much you can learn from other people's experiences. He's learning it for himself, and that's a good thing. It reminds me how tough it is to be watching. With my brother on track, it's not easy. I can't imagine what it's like to be a parent and watching your son or daughter race. I hope my daughters aren't interested and go off a get a boring job somewhere else.

ALMS Family Showcase weekend  The American Le Mans Series will be part of a focal weekend in downtown Atlanta as it plays host to a “Family Showcase Weekend” at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art from Friday through Saturday in support of the museum’s “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition.

The three-day event will be heavy on Porsche content with the display in the Atlanta backyard of Porsche Cars North America headquarters. So it comes as no surprise that American Porsche factory racer Patrick Long will be on hand to participate in a number of activities at the High. More ...

Petty's Brain Tumor "Completely Gone"  Lynda Petty's brain tumor is "completely gone," the Petty Family Foundation has reported on its Facebook page.

"Lynda went to Duke today for another MRI and the Brain Tumor/Cancer is completely gone!" the foundation reported in a post that went up Monday evening and was reposted Thursday on the Jayski NASCAR website.

"The entire Petty Family is very pleased and would like to thank everyone for the many, many prayers and thoughts as she went through a very difficult time! This is GREAT news! Thanks again to everyone!" More ...
IndyCar article spot on  A reader writes, Having attended many races since 1963, I wholeheartedly agree with every point made in Brian Mackey's article, "IndyCar’s success will be won or lost at the track." And, his comments are equally relevant for every American racing series, from the ALMS to World Challenge. It was, indeed, the excitement of attending my first race at Watkins Glen that got me to watch other F-1 races on TV.  I watch numerous series on TV to follow the drivers, cars and teams that I see in person.

Also proving Brian's opinion, is my experience with motorcycle racing. I never followed it.  Not for 30 years. An employee of Infineon Raceway convinced me to attend their AMA event. Now, a friend and I attend at least three races each year, and watch all the TV coverage for five series.

Further proof is my experience taking friends to races. Some return to future races, and some don't. But, nearly all of them at least occasionally watch coverage on TV.

Barber Motorsports Park is a beautiful and extremely fan-friendly track. Their initial IRL race is a special case for first time fan excitement. Nonetheless, everything that can be done to get fans to see a race in person should be done -- by the track, the race series, the sponsors, long-term fans, and the TV network involved. Roger Wyman, Pleasant Hill, CA
Red Bull's Horner talks about volcano travel nightmare  Red Bull team boss Christian Horner discusses the long journey back home from China among other things.

Q. Christian, how did you get back to the UK after the Chinese Grand Prix?
CH: "It was a five-stop strategy. Mark Webber and I left the hotel in Shanghai at 0430hrs on Sunday morning. We got a 0715hrs flight from Shanghai to Dubai on Monday, then went from Dubai to Rome, arriving 2030hrs local time. We got a flight from the other Rome airport to Nice, had a night there, then got a flight early on Tuesday morning to Glasgow.

"I think we were one of the first airplanes to go over British airspace. We landed in Glasgow at 1205hrs on Tuesday, only to find out that Mark had forgotten his passport! After enjoying some local hospitality, we managed to get a helicopter transfer from Glasgow to Oxfordshire; arriving in Oxfordshire at 1600hrs on Tuesday.

Q. And how did Sebastian Vettel get home?
CH: "He was lucky and managed to get a lift with Bernie Ecclestone, who I understand went to Istanbul. Sebastian got another flight from there to Nice and drove home from there - so he got home before all of us early on Tuesday morning. Predictably Bernie beat all of us back. I phoned him from Glasgow, very proud that we'd landed on British soil, only for him to say that he'd already been in the office for three hours!"

Q. And what was the team's return journey?
CH: "The majority of the team stuck together. We managed to get them on a direct flight today (Thursday), which arrives in the UK later this afternoon. The cars and freight will also arrive back today, probably beating the team home by an hour or two."

Q. What impact, if any, will the delayed return of the team and freight have on preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix?
CH: "Thankfully, the way the calendar is with the extra week between the Chinese and Spanish Grand Prix, it has a very limited impact. There's still over a week to turn the cars around and a lot of the components for the next race are produced here in the factory. The factory hasn't been affected - obviously the turnaround components are a little bit out of sync now coming back two or three days late, but with the additional week, we're confident it won't cause us any major issues."

Germans think Schumacher comeback was mistake  (GMM)  More than 60 per cent of the respondents of a survey believe Michael Schumacher's decision to return to formula one in 2010 was a mistake.

There has been much criticism of the seven time world champion's comeback after four races, as he trails his teammate Nico Rosberg's points tally by 40 points and has been outqualified on every occasion so far.

With results published on Thursday by the German news agency SID, the Dortmund-based German market research company Promit said 63.3 per cent of the respondents classified Schumacher's return a mistake. More ...

Force India, HRT teams still in China  (GMM)  Most of the Force India and HRT teams are still stranded in Shanghai, it emerged on Thursday.

Four days after the checkered flag waved at the end of the Chinese grand prix, it was reported that most teams - and the crucial F1 freight and cars - are now arriving back on European soil.

Red Bull's Christian Horner said the air travel delays due to the famous volcanic ash cloud will have little effect on the team's plans for Barcelona, while Lotus' Mike Gascoyne said planned developments for Spain will be applied "to both cars". More ...

F1 back on track as cars returned to Europe  (GMM)  Christian Horner on Thursday said delays caused by the Icelandic volcano will not disturb preparations for next month's Spanish grand prix.

With the sport's freight - and all the cars - stranded in China while FOM's 747s were grounded in Europe, it was feared that teams' car developments would not be ready for the next race in Barcelona.

Red Bull boss Horner said before departing Shanghai with his travelling companion Mark Webber that an F-duct should be on the RB6 in Spain "providing we make it back to Europe" soon.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh was also worried about the delay, explaining that if it (the delay) is a week or so ... it will become an issue". More ...

Goodyear tests at Indy to avoid embarrassment of 2008  
Tony Stewart
This Indianapolis Star article talks about Tony Stewart testing at IMS this week for Goodyear. Of course they would be testing at Indy, because last year their tires were a disaster. We find it interesting that Tony Stewart is doing the testing because he has panned the Goodyear tires on numerous occasions.

We know there are all kinds of excuses...new car, heavy car, hot temperatures, debris on the track, new paving, abrasive surface...etc. Is it really that hard to make a tire that doesn't blow (up)? If anything, make the tire super hard, and just let the drivers drive it.

Let's hope they can make a decent tire that won't shred underneath the car when it turns...
Mosley slams Ferrari and di Montezemolo  Former FIA President Max Mosley has openly criticized Scuderia Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and his team in an interview in the May edition of F1 Racing. According to Mosley, di Montezemolo is a weak character and his team would not be able to win races when they would use the same budget as its rivals.

Mosley responded to a question of one of the readers of F1 Racing who wanted to know if the FIA favored Ferrari. He said: "We never did favor Ferrari, although there was this perception that we did. You could go to Ferrari and they would be completely honest and open with you; most of the other teams wouldn't do that." More ...

Canadian GP ticket sales strong  Formula One organizers say they're on track to welcome back the Grand Prix race to Montreal in June.

The Montreal race was erased from last year's calendar because of a contractual dispute between the city and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The British sports entrepreneur eventually accepted a new five-year, $75-million deal after municipal, provincial and federal authorities in Canada pooled their resources with Tourism Montreal.

Canadian Grand Prix promoter François Dumontier says ticket sales for this year's event are going well. More ...

GM pays back government in full  General Motors Company Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre today announced that GM has made its final payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada, paying back its government loans in full, ahead of schedule. The announcement came at a ceremony to highlight an investment of $257 million at GM's Fairfax, Kansas, and Detroit Hamtramck assembly centers. The investment will prepare Fairfax to build the next generation of Chevrolet's award-winning Malibu.
Latest F1 news in brief  
  1. More pundits back Schumacher amid criticism
  2. Now MotoGP sponsor wants F1 switch for Rossi
  3. No threat to Spain GP as volcanic ash eases
  4. De la Rosa's Sauber seat 'not in doubt' - Gracia
  5. No quick fix to lack of Williams pace - Barrichello

More pundits back Schumacher amid criticism
(GMM)  Two more of Michael Schumacher's supporters have backed the seven time world champion amid his currently lackluster 2010 return to formula one.

On Wednesday, Bernie Ecclestone and Norbert Haug hit out at the negative reports about Schumacher's form in the W01 Mercedes, and now his younger brother Ralf Schumacher is asking the critics to "lay off a bit" and "stay fair".

"He himself knew that, after a three-year break, he could not go in and win again straightaway like before," 34-year-old Schumacher told the German daily Bild.

"But the expectations from outside were, of course, very big.  Clearly Michael probably hoped to be somewhat nearer the front after four races.

"With regard to the times he is not so far away as the points make it seem.  I believe a good result is soon possible," added Ralf.

David Coulthard said in the German press after Shanghai that the weekend had been "the darkest" in the 41-year-old's entire career.

But on Wednesday, ahead of his debut in the DTM series this weekend, Coulthard insisted it is "ridiculous" to write off Schumacher now.

Niki Lauda said after China that the German's performance had been "mediocre" but he thinks it can be remedied with "practice, practice, practice".

And another former GP winner Jochen Mass, who raced in the 70s and 80s, said he is neither "surprised nor disappointed" about Schumacher's current form.

"No one should forget that he hasn't driven for three years and could do hardly any testing," he told Express.

"We might not see the old Michael back again, but he can still be very good, further forward in the rankings and with a little luck winning again," added Mass. More ...

Penske steals Pennzoil from RCR  UPDATE As you can see from this link, Pennzoil and Penske have had previous relationships.

04/21/10 The global business alliance provides an opportunity for Shell and Pennzoil to expand their presence not only within motorsports, but also as a preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. Beginning in 2011, Shell and Pennzoil will be the “Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier” to the Penske organization in the U.S. and the organizations will look to extend their alliance with business development opportunities in several other countries.

The Penske organization is one of the world’s most successful and recognized automotive-based business enterprises and provides unique activation opportunities. Additionally, this alliance continues to enable further product development for Shell and Pennzoil both on and off the track through the invaluable knowledge gained surrounding fuels, lubricants and engine technologies. Like Shell and Pennzoil, Penske Corporation has a close relationship with Chrysler and Ferrari, both part of the Fiat Group. More ...

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