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Veach Takes Control with Emphatic Victory at Barber Motorsports Park  
Zach Veach
As in the opening two races of the year, Turn One decided the outcome of today's first round of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 at Barber Motorsports Park. Polesitter Zach Veach held off dueling Belardi Auto Racing teammates Alex Baron and Gabby Chaves in the first corner and emerged unscathed from the ensuing fracas to take his second victory of the year.

The first two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires events had seen the second-place starter get a nose in front in Turn One and then keep his competitors at bay for the remainder of the race. Veach, 19, driving the #26 RePLAY XD/The Young Marines/Ads IT Solutions/Zakosi Data Back Up entry for Andretti Autosport, was determined that would not be the case today. Taking a defensive line into Turn One, he left little room for the two Belardi Racing teammates behind him. More ...

Spencer Pigot Continues to Hold the Upper Hand For Juncos Racing  Leeds, Ala. - Spencer Pigot continued his domination of this year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with another commanding performance this morning at Barber Motorsports Park. Pigot took off into the lead from pole position and held on to score his third race win in as many starts for Juncos Racing.

Scott Hargrove, who won last year's Cooper Tires UF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, earning a MAZDASPEED scholarship prize to graduate into Pro Mazda for this season, never allowed Pigot to relax and finished just 1.6111 seconds behind after 20 laps. More ...

IMS racing to have course ready for Grand Prix  Saturday's race against time was just as important for Indianapolis Motor Speedway as it was at the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Barber Motorsports Park.

The first test for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis is Wednesday at IMS, and the reconfigured infield road course is still getting its final touches.

Some 60 to 75 crew members are working through the weekend — and likely right up to the point cars take the track — on such things as sod installation, line striping and grandstand erection.

"Really, most of it is cosmetic," track President Doug Boles said by telephone from the IMS infield. More ...

Saturday Road To Indy Results at Barber  Spencer Pigot of Orlando, Fla., claimed the first of this weekend’s Pro Mazda  Championship race earlier today. It was the third consecutive win for the 20-year-old, who entered the weekend with the series’ point lead.


Zach Veach of Stockdale, Ohio., claimed the Legacy Indy Lights 100 sprint race earlier today. It was the second win for three starts for Veach, who entered the weekend with the series’ point lead.


R.C. Enerson of New Port Richey, Fla., completed a sweep of today’s Cooper Tires USF2000  Championship powered by Mazda races. It was the third consecutive win for the 17-year-old, who entered the weekend with the series’ point lead.

F1 Chinese GP USA TV ratings remain miniscule on NBCSN  Last Sunday’s Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix earned 301,000 viewers on NBCSN, up 171% from last year (111K), and the network’s most-viewed "overnight" race since acquiring F1 rights.  However, keep in mind that infomercials get those same miniscule numbers too.

Overall, the race ranks as the third-most viewed Formula 1 telecast ever on NBCSN (17 telecasts dating back to last year), trailing only this year’s race from Bahrain (594K) and last year’s race from Abu Dhabi (354K).

Through four races, the 2014 Formula 1 season has averaged 348,000 viewers on NBCSN — up 150% from last year and up 33% from 2012 on Speed Channel.  However, let's put it in perspective.  If you get just 1 viewer one year, then 2 the next, you can claim a 100% increase.  If you get 3 people watching, you can claim a 200% increase.  These numbers are laughable.
Danica Patrick hasn't 'figured out' Richmond yet  Danica Patrick said she hopes her run at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday will be a learning experience because she hasn't "figured it out yet."

Patrick finished 29th and 30th in her previous NASCAR Spring Cup Series starts at the track.

"If anybody has the key to Richmond, please pass it along because I have not figured it out, yet," she said in a news release. "I haven't run well at Richmond, yet. I loved going there in IndyCar, and I had good success there. … It just hasn't been that way in stock cars. More ...
Hinchcliffe fastest in 3rd IndyCar practice at Barber  
James Hinchcliffe gave Andretti Autosport and Honda engines a sweep of all three IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.  Hinchcliffe's lap of 1m07.9206s beat the Chevys of Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Will Power.

Sixth fastest was Hinchcliffe's teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay who topped both Friday sessions.

Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, Takumo Sato and Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top-10. More ...

Marko suspects 'crack' in Vettel's car  
Marko suspects crack in Vettel's Red Bull lemon
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel will definitely be at the wheel of a new 'Suzie' for the start of the European season.

Earlier this week, we reported that Red Bull was looking into whether an underlying fault with his 2014 car was contributing to the reigning world champion's struggle to keep up with teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

So when a new version of the RB10 is built by the Milton-Keynes team, "Vettel will get it," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko said.

Marko has now told Germany's Auto Bild that Vettel's new 2014 chassis will be ready for the first European race, at Barcelona mid next month. More ...

Bernie exhausted after just one day  Bernie Ecclestone's bribery trial is expected to last until September but already the F1 supremo says it is "exhausting" and "stressful."

Ecclestone is standing trial in Germany after being charged with bribing German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to the tune of $44 million during the sale of F1 to CVC.

The German prosecutor alleges that Ecclestone paid Gribkowsky to facilitate the sale to CVC, Ecclestone's preferred bidder who had agreed to him being chief executive of F1. More ...
Senna's family 'didn't expect the worst'  Watching on TV, Ayrton Senna's family expected him to walk away from the San Marino crash that claimed his life, according to his nephew Bruno.

Next Thursday, 1 May, will be 20 years since the Formula 1 legend tragically lost his life when he crashed while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. More ...
McLaren to stick with blockers  Others teams have not been convinced of their benefit, however, and believe that the blockers actually increase drag, which can have knock-on effect in terms of fuel efficiency.

With McLaren struggling with a lack of downforce this season, the team elected to double-check the benefits of the blockers during the post-Bahrain GP test. More ...
Rain washes out Richmond qualifying, Larson on pole (Update)  UPDATE
No. 42 Kyle Larson happy to start up front
Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 AXE PEACE CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway following the cancelation of qualifying.  Based on the rules set forth by the NASCAR Rule book the starting grid has been set based of first practice times.  Larson was the quickest in the first session and will lead the field to the green flag for the first time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.

“We were debating before practice started to start in qualifying trim or go to race trim and do that.  I wanted to start out in qualifying trim and was able to kind of talk Shine (crew chief Chris Heroy) into doing it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect on my lap, but we came here and tested last year for Goodyear and had a good baseline.  I was pretty confident with going out in qualifying trim without getting used to the car yet.  Was able to lay down a fast lap and then we switched over to race trim and we were good in that too.  Excited about the AXE Peace Chevy, I think it should be a good race tomorrow.  It’s nice starting off from the pole.  I don’t know if I will count it as my first career pole, but it’s still pretty cool to start on the front row.” More ...

Alabama heat at Barber requires IndyCar drivers to 'man up'  
Josef Newgarden says drivers have to 'man up' this weekend.
You might have noticed that it's hot outside this weekend in Birmingham.

The IndyCar drivers running in Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama practice Friday at Barber Motorsports Park noticed it as well.

Following his second-fastest practice runs of the day, Sebastien Bourdais noted how different the conditions were compared to when he and other drivers were at Barber in March for testing.

"We come here and test for two days and it's drizzling and it's British weather in the 50s, no wind and the track is awesome. The car feels great and it's super fast," he said. "Then we come back and the track is 125 degrees, and it's gusty." More ...

Winterbottom plans to lead to the end after ITM 500 Auckland success  Mark Winterbottom is the new V8 Supercar Championship leader after clocking just the third Ford win in the history of the ITM 500 Auckland, and backing it up with second in the final race of the day.

In front of a massive New Zealand crowd Winterbottom joined only Marcos Ambrose (2004) and Will Davison (2013) as the only Blue Oval V8 Supercar winners in New Zealand, then overtook Craig Lowndes (tenth and sixteenth) by just two points.

Winterbottom pushed the Pepsi Max FPR Crew Falcon though a tough first day where he still managed a solid result and then capitalized on Lowndes' rough patch. More ...

Schumacher has not woken up - manager (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2 (GMM)  A respected German journalist has denied rumors Michael Schumacher has woken up from his coma.

The reports late on Friday suggested the seven time world champion, already confirmed to be having "moments of consciousness and awakening", had woken up and recognized his wife.

The reports said the great 45-year-old's manager Sabine Kehm had confirmed the news to German television RTL.

"Sorry, but those rumors from Spain are apparently not true," Nicola Pohl, a respected correspondent for the major German daily Bild, said. More ...

Barber IndyCar qualifying groups  
Group 1 Group 2
#11 Sebastien Bourdais #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
#12 Will Power #67 Josef Newgarden
#3 Helio Castroneves #27 James Hinchcliffe
#2 Juan Pablo Montoya #25 Marco Andretti
#77 Simon Pagenaud #9 Scott Dixon
#34 Carlos Munoz #8 Ryan Briscoe
#83 Charlie Kimball #19 Justin Wilson
#20 Mike Conway #14 Takuma Sato
#17 Sebastian Saavedra #7 Mikhail Aleshin
#18 Carlos Huertas #15 Graham Rahal
#16 Oriol Servia #10 Tony Kanaan
- #98 Jack Hawksworth
Honda teammates fastest in Argentina MotoGP Friday  The inaugural Grand Prix of Argentina got underway Friday as the MotoGP paddock took its first official practice sessions on the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit.

Yet again tire wear proved to be the biggest challenge of the day as most MotoGP riders experienced issues with the rear tire on the new circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest man in the first ever session in the morning, leading FP1 by nearly half a second with a fastest time of 1’42.804. More ...

Johnson and Harvick Leaders in NASCAR Television Exposure  Jimmie Johnson has accumulated the most television on-screen time for his sponsors during the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of 2014. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick, coming off a victory at Darlington, ranked second in cumulative on-camera time, but at the same time racked up nearly twice as many brand mentions for his corporate backers as Johnson.

According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc., which specializes in measuring the scope of sponsorships across all forms of media , Johnson's sponsors as a group appeared for 11 hours, 11 minutes, 40 seconds (11:11:40) during live and replayed race broadcasts. Johnson's sponsors were also mentioned 37 times by the FOX/FS1 announcers. More ...

Richard Petty expected back at Richmond (Update)  UPDATE Richard Petty met with the media Friday morning at Richmond:
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK? "I just felt like I needed to sort of had a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now. I am just learning to live all over again."

DO YOU THINK BEING AT THE TRACK WILL BE A GOOD DISTRACTION? "Yeah, doing the things we were supposed to do the last few weeks have been put off so starting Monday we were in Georgia and Tuesday we were in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming and now here on Thursday. The busier they keep me the better off I will be." More ...
IndyCar issues points penalties to both Chevrolet and Honda  A total of 50 points have been deducted from Chevrolet’s manufacturer championship total and Honda’s total has been reduced by 30 points for violation of engine sporting regulations.

The Nos. 11, 12, 17 and 20 cars with Chevrolet power and the No. 98 Honda-powered car were found to have violated rule 10.6.4 (non-minor engine repair). In accordance with the rule, 10 points will be deducted for an engine undergoing a non-minor repair that requires a component change, subject to INDYCAR approval. The engine will no longer be eligible for points from Rule More ...
Pigot Delivers Third Consecutive Pole for Rising Star Racing at Barber  It was back to the top of the time charts for Rising Star Racing driver Spencer Pigot on Friday when he posted a quick lap time of 1:21.2127-seconds among the 20-car Pro Mazda field at Barber Motorsports Park. That time will set Pigot and his No. 7 Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/Vitamin-DPro App/California Scents/Juncos Racing machine on pole position.

Rising Star Racing teammate Neil Alberico was not far behind in the No. 2 Bondurant School/eFormulaCarNews.com/J&M Trophy Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing entry as the series rookie netted his best qualifying result to date with a fast lap of 1:21.3622-seconds earning him a spot on the inside of row two for Race 1. More ...

Veach Secures Second Straight Pole at Barber for Andretti Autosport  Zach Veach doubled his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship lead this afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park by claiming the Sunoco Pole Award for tomorrow's 40-minute "sprint" race - the first of two races which comprise this weekend's Legacy Indy Lights 100.

Veach, 19, from Stockdale, Ohio, arrived at the challenging and undulating 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course with a one-point advantage over recent Long Beach winner Gabby Chaves. His lead has now been stretched to two points after he made the best of a slippery track as temperatures reached toward the high 70s - and the track surface ran into the 115-degree range. More ...

tv news
Despain's Motorsports Interview Show Set To Debut On MAVTV  Veteran motorsports journalist Dave Despain will debut his new interview show on cable outlet MAVTV on Friday at 8:00pm ET. The former host of Speed’s "Wind Tunnel" will conduct a "series of in-depth conversations with some of the biggest names in auto racing." Despain signed a two-year deal with MAVTV to host "The Dave Despain Show" and to be "involved in other live-event programming on the network." MULTICHANNEL.com
RIR Invites Fans Onto Track Surface Before Sprint Cup Race  Richmond Int'l Raceway is holding a "Track Takeover" ahead of Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400, allowing fans onto the racing surface in an effort to "bring more of them" and "bring them back." Richmond has previously allowed fans onto the front stretch, but on Saturday they will be able to "walk the entire surface, take in live music, tour a NASCAR hauler and pose for pictures." Track President Dennis Bickmeier said of the turnout, "We don't know if we're going to have hundreds of fans, or thousands." AP
Hunter-Reay stays on top in P2 at Barber  
Ryan Hunter-Reay off to a strong start at Barber.
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay led practice 2 Friday afternoon for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. With a lap of 1:08.7836, the 2013 winner at Barber was 0.14 seconds ahead of second-place Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing. Team Penske’s Will Power was third.

Hunter-Reay also paced the early session in the #28 DHL Honda as Honda-powered drivers posted three of the top five times in a pair of practice sessions around the scenic 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala.

Hunter-Reay led both the morning and afternoon practice sessions, in a tightly-packed field that saw just 1.1 seconds separating all 23 drivers.. The Verizon IndyCar Series will be back on track at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning for practice session 3, with qualifying scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, where Hunter-Reay will be looking to repeat his pole winning effort from 2013. More ...

IMSA Statement on the Passing of Motorsports Ministries' Richard Anderson  "On behalf of everyone at the International Motor Sports Association, I want to offer sincere condolences to the family of Richard Anderson, the leader of Motorsports Ministries who lost a long and courageous battle with cancer Friday morning," said Scott Atherton, IMSA President and COO. "Richard was an icon for years in both the GRAND-AM and American Le Mans Series paddocks; on countless race weekends he was, in effect, our ‘church.’

"Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends throughout the sports car industry. Richard will be sorely missed by all of us."

Long Beach City Council approves three-year contract extension for GP  
Hands down, Long Beach is the best event on the IndyCar schedule.  The Indy 500 is bigger, but fans have more fun at Long Beach.
IndyCars will continue to zoom along Shoreline Drive each spring until at least 2018.

The City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday to approve a three-year contract extension for the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, which runs the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The race could remain in the city through 2020, with two one-year renewal options included in the deal.

This year’s Long Beach Grand Prix, the 40th annual running, was held April 11-13. The race, which featured a standing start and several lead changes in the last laps, was won by British driver Mike Conway.

Organizers reported about 180,000 attendees over the three-day race weekend. More ...

Ecclestone denies $400m plea deal reports  (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone on Friday rubbished reports he is preparing to plead guilty in order to avoid jail.

As the F1 chief executive's Munich trial began on Thursday, London's Times newspaper reported that Ecclestone, 83, might reach a plea deal and exchange a custodial sentence for a massive $400 million-plus penalty.

"No, that's total nonsense, rubbish," the 83-year-old told Germany's Bild newspaper, having returned to London from Germany. More ...
Hunter-Reay leads opening practice at Barber  
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads opening session at Barber
With a lap of 1:08.847, Ryan Hunter-Reay posted the fastest time in the recently concluded opening practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Josef Newgarden made it a Honda 1-2, posting the second fastest time in the session interrupted by three red flag periods. Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves was third, fastest of the Chevrolet teams.

The next practice session for the Verizon IndyCar Series will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET. Full results below More ...

Mario Andretti's old home destroyed by fire  Mario Andretti's former home in Nazareth was torched by a smoky fire last night.

Smoke from the home at 53 Victory Lane was visible for at least a mile when the fire started after 7 p.m. Nazareth resident Brielle Arnold was at a nearby park when she saw smoke and followed it where she saw "the whole house in flames."

"They were coming out of the top, out of the sides, out of everywhere," she said.

Mario Andretti, reached by phone while dining in Clearwater Beach, Fla., said he was saddened to learn his former home had been damaged by fire. More ...
Franchitti to be Formula E TV commentator  
Dario Franchitti
Four-time IndyCar champion, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Britain’s greatest motorsport export to the US Dario Franchitti is to join the host television commentary team for the FIA Formula E Championship.

Franchitti, who recently retired from racing following a glittering career, will act as co-commentator and driver pundit when the season gets underway in September alongside lead commentator Jack Nicholls. Anchoring the coverage will be presenter and pitlane reporter Nicki Shields. More ...
Motor racing-Search for safety has IndyCar going in circles  
She sure ain't pretty. But credit Dallara and IndyCar for improving the on-track product and safety of its oval races since the advent of the DW12.
(Editor's note: This article is nothing new. AutoRacing1 has been saying for years that ovals are infinitely more dangerous than road courses. While we do believe that ovals are a fundamental part of the American Open Wheel Racing heritage and should remain on the schedule, the writer here is basically presenting common sense in noting their danger.

And although you cannot dispute the numbers cited, the article does conveniently overlook the safety improvements IndyCar has made to its oval racing since the advent of the DW12. They have returned the driver to the equation by eliminating the insane pack racing, and at the same time improved safety for the drivers.)

(Reuters) - While an entire generation of Formula One fans has grown up without knowing the emotional trauma of a racing death, followers of IndyCar have been constantly reminded about the ultimate price some drivers must pay. More ...

NASCAR to announce engine changes by All-Star race  
Expect NASCAR to announce engine changes before this year's All-Star race.
NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations has said that a formal announcement on engine changes for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season will come before next month's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. At a sponsor summit for Iowa Speedway, Steve O'Donnell said that the final overall racing package for 2015 would also see changes involving downforce, aerodynamics, and tires.

In additional comments to The Des Moines Register, O'Donnell said that teams have already been notified of where NASCAR was going with the changes and that the process of finalizing the 2015 engine package was underway. O'Donnell wouldn't divulge exact details of the package, but did perhaps show a glimpse of how drivers would have to adapt to it. 

"If you combine the aero package with that [reduction of] horsepower [and] allow some aero changes with the engines going into the corner, drivers have to get off the gas and they're able to maneuver around a little bit more," O'Donnell said according to the Register's Chad Leistikow. "Combine that with Goodyear and a little softer tire, now you're able to move around a little bit more." NBC Sports
Chevy: Cosworth welcome in IndyCar  
Amongst numerous other Indy style cars, Cosworth powered this elegant DP01 Champ Car driven by Paul Tracy in 2007.
The head of Chevrolet's IndyCar program believes that Cosworth could compete with the current manufacturers on an equal footing if it progresses with plans to enter the series reports Autosport Magazine.

Chevrolet and Honda currently the only engine suppliers in the series following the closure of the farcical Lotus project after one season in 2012.

Cosworth CEO Hal Reisiger went public with his interest in IndyCar earlier this year, and Chevrolet's IndyCar program manager Chris Berube believes that there is no reason why it could not be competitive. More ...

LeMans Entries in Flux as Countdown Continues  With less than 60 days until the 82nd Le Mans 24 Hours, there are still questions surrounding a number of notable teams for the twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic.

Between new car delays, funding issues and other variables, close to a dozen entries are still in flux, with Friday’s deadline for a partial refund in entry fees set to potentially trigger at least a few withdrawals over the next 48 hours.

The new-for-2014 LMP1 regulations has resulted in delays for both LMP1-L cars from Rebellion and Lotus, although the Angl0-Swiss squad's ORECA-built Rebellion R-Ones are on track to debut in next weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. More ...

Nissan to support development of Ligier JS LMP2 car  
Shulzhitskiy and the Ligier JS P2
Nissan today announced its engine and driver support to Onroak Automotive’s development of the Ligier JS P2.  The closed LM P2 sports prototype is the first racing car to be designed and built in-house by the team at Onroak Automotive.

Winner of the first GT Academy Russia competition in 2012, Mark Shulzhitskiy, is currently at Estoril in Portugal carrying out endurance test duties in the Ligier JS P2. Shulzhitskiy made his LM P2 race debut at the Shanghai round of the FIA World Endurance Championship last year after just a few preparation laps at Snetterton. The Russian racer finished the 6 Hours of Shanghai fifth in class, along with his Greaves Motorsport team-mates Bjorn Wirdheim and Eric Lux. More ...

racing news
Honda Continues Pikes Peak Hill Climb Support  As a further extension of its growing commitment to grassroots racing in North America, Honda announced today that it is making a major commitment to the 2014 running of the legendary Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, as both a sponsor and race participant, with plans to field products in seven distinct race classes. In addition, Honda will be working with the AMA and the Pikes Peak sanctioning body on improvements which will provide new levels of safety to the Motorcycle / ATV / UTV / Sidecar competitors.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will return as the Partnering Sponsor for the 2014 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the second time the company has participated as a corporate sponsor of the legendary race event. The 92nd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place on Sunday, June 29. In addition, Honda Power Sports will be the official ATV / UTV of the event, showcasing its latest products to support the sanctioning body. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Rossi gets to help clean the track again this year in the last place Caterham
    Ricciardo silenced Red Bull doubters - Marko
  • Domenicali linked with Italian basketball move
  • McLaren close to finalizing title sponsor
  • Boullier: No reason for McLaren to panic
  • Update on Bernie's trial
  • Rossi to help clean track in Canadian and US Grands Prix More ...
Pirelli World Challenge Debuts At Barber  The third race weekend of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge season sees the series head to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. for the first time.

The event at the 2.38-mile permanent road course features Rounds three and four for the GT, GT-A and GTS categories, while the season kicks off with Rounds 1 and 2 for Touring Car (TC), the new Touring Car A class (TCA) and the Touring Car B-Spec class (TCB).

More than 70  cars are expected in what will be the Pirelli World Challenge’s biggest total car count. Only a handful of drivers have racing experience on the circuit. More ...

Next generation Herta makes Mazda Road to Indy debut  
Colton Herta
Here's one for the record books: Colton Herta will make his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debut this weekend, becoming the first driver born this century to compete in an INDYCAR-sanctioned race.

Herta, who celebrated his 14th birthday March 30, won the Pacific F1600 Championship in 2013 and was the runner-up in the Skip Barber Racing Summer Series. He's the eldest son of Verizon IndyCar Series team owner and former racer Bryan Herta.

"It's a ginormous step in my career," said Herta, of Valencia, Calif. "I'm very excited."

He was sixth quick in the initial practice session and seventh in the afternoon on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park, which hosts Rounds 3 and 4 of the season April 26. More ...
Dixon looks to shake runner-up status at Barber  Part of Scott Dixon's success at Barber Motorsports Park relates to another flowing road circuit, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver has won four of the past seven Verizon IndyCar Series races.

Dixon has been the runner-up in each of the four races on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park, and though the top step in Victory Circle is the goal each outing the points accumulated have greatly helped in the championship chase. Dixon, driver of the No. 9 entry, earned his third series title in 2013.

"I guess you could say I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the track," said Dixon, who has 31 career second-place finishes. More ...
Hinchcliffe, Newgarden revel in Space Camp adventures during Huntsville visit  
Hinchcliffe and Newgarden
James Hinchcliffe steered the massive spaceflight trainer contraption to its finish platform and proclaimed, "The Eagle has landed."

Considering his fellow IndyCar racer Josef Newgarden was still wrestling with the controls of his mechanism and darn near lost in space, Hinchcliffe then taunted, "Take that Josef. First win of the weekend!"

Hinchcliffe then added, "I don't want to say it was amazing ... but wasn't it?"

It was a morning of equal amazement at the Space and Rocket Center's Space Camp, for both the drivers and their audience that was, as the cliché goes, kids of all ages. More ...

PPG Continues Partnership with Team Penske in 2014  PPG Industries’ automotive refinish business will continue its long-standing support of Team Penske in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series. The season began March 30 and extends through August 30 with 18 races in 15 locations across North America. PPG will be featured on Team Penske’s IndyCar entries driven by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya in upcoming races including:

April 27, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.
July 6, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Penn.
July 12, Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
July 19-20, Streets of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
August 17, The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wisc. More ...

Pagenaud, Aleshin Fine-Tune Details for Barber Success  
Mikhail Aleshin at last month's Barber test.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 24, 2014) - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) teammates Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin return April 27 to the gently rolling hills of Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, an event that requires equally large amounts of focus and fitness.

"It's all about the details in your driving at Barber," SPM driver Simon Pagenaud said. "You have to be incredibly focused and fit. I believe this is the most difficult place we race at physically."

Pagenaud and Aleshin tested at the 17-turn, 2.38-mile permanent road course March 17-18 during the Verizon IndyCar Series' preseason open test.

"Most teams will have their cars sorted when they arrive for the first practice session since we've all tested there, but there are variables we'll need to adjust for like temperature change from the winter," Pagenaud said. "One thing we can expect is for lap times to be very close throughout the entire field. Just like Long Beach, it will be very tight in qualifying. One-tenth of a second could gain or lose you six spots. It's going to be about being on top of your game as a driver and providing your absolute best each time you sit down in the car." More ...

Chaves tops opening Barber Indy Lights test session  
Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Total Laps
1 5 Chaves, Gabby D/ /C 01:17.6450 106.639 --.---- --.---- 8 17
2 83 Brabham, Matthew (R) D/ /C 01:18.0751 106.052 0.4301 0.4301 8 16
3 26 Veach, Zach D/ /C 01:18.1069 106.009 0.4619 0.0318 12 18
4 42 Harvey, Jack (R) D/ /C 01:18.1957 105.888 0.5507 0.0888 16 21
5 7 Razia, Luiz (R) D/ /C 01:18.2111 105.867 0.5661 0.0154 18 19
6 2 Meyer, Zack (R) D/ /C 01:18.4751 105.511 0.8301 0.2640 15 18
7 4 Baron, Alex (R) D/ /C 01:18.5950 105.350 0.9500 0.1199 7 19
8 77 Piedrahita, Juan (R) D/ /C 01:19.0578 104.733 1.4128 0.4628 13 22
9 22 Ghirelli, Vittorio (R) D/ /C 01:19.0609 104.729 1.4159 0.0031 18 21
10 28 Read, Lloyd (R) D/ /C 01:19.4122 104.266 1.7672 0.3513 11 12
11 10 Garcia, Juan Pablo D/ /C 01:19.7863 103.777 2.1413 0.3741 13 17
Blackstone tops opening ProMazda Barber test Session  
Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Total Laps
1 28 Blackstock, Shelby M/C 01:20.8794 102.375 --.---- --.---- 13 19
2 3 Hargrove, Scott (R) M/C 01:21.1442 102.041 0.2648 0.2648 12 14
3 7 Pigot, Spencer M/C 01:21.3865 101.737 0.5071 0.2423 8 19
4 2 Alberico, Neil (R) M/C 01:21.7966 101.227 0.9172 0.4101 15 16
5 5 Gutierrez, Jose M/C 01:21.9608 101.024 1.0814 0.1642 17 19
6 6 Ballario, Julia M/C 01:22.1559 100.784 1.2765 0.1951 15 17
7 18 Kaiser, Kyle M/C 01:22.3044 100.602 1.4250 0.1485 5 7
8 81 Derani, Pipo (R) M/C 01:22.3071 100.599 1.4277 0.0027 13 15
9 54 Johnson, Michael (R) M/C 01:22.3684 100.524 1.4890 0.0613 14 15
10 82 Newey, Brandon (R) M/C 01:22.5419 100.313 1.6625 0.1735 14 17
11 91 Connery, Kyle (R) M/C 01:22.6869 100.137 1.8075 0.1450 12 13
12 16 Bumgarner, Michele M/C 01:22.9170 99.859 2.0376 0.2301 12 18
13 99 Costa, Nicolas M/C 01:22.9218 99.853 2.0424 0.0048 11 17
14 19 Booth, Ryan (R) M/C 01:23.6274 99.011 2.7480 0.7056 13 15
15 37 Horak(E), Jay M/C 01:24.2944 98.227 3.4150 0.6670 16 17
16 13 Eberle(E), Bobby M/C 01:26.9373 95.241 6.0579 2.6429 8 8
17 11 Piria, Vicky (R) M/C 01:28.9743 93.061 8.0949 2.0370 9 10
18 27 Grist, Garett (R) M/C 01:32.2877 89.719 11.4083 3.3134 2 2
USF2000 Barber Test Session 1 Results  
Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Total Laps
1 7 Enerson, RC V/M/C 01:24.3160 98.202 --.---- --.---- 5 7
2 96 Furuseth, Henrik V/M/C 01:24.8416 97.594 0.5256 0.5256 5 6
3 41 Jamin, Nico (R) V/M/C 01:24.9257 97.497 0.6097 0.0841 5 6
4 4 Burkett, Daniel V/M/C 01:25.5029 96.839 1.1869 0.5772 5 6
5 2 Eidson, Jake V/M/C 01:25.5541 96.781 1.2381 0.0512 5 6
6 98 Herta, Colton V/M/C 01:25.7572 96.552 1.4412 0.2031 5 6
7 5 Telitz, Aaron (R) V/M/C 01:25.8974 96.394 1.5814 0.1402 4 6
8 24 Portante, Peter V/M/C 01:26.3363 95.904 2.0203 0.4389 4 6
9 97 Toppe, Clark V/M/C 01:26.5164 95.704 2.2004 0.1801 4 6
10 23 Owen, Will (R) V/M/C 01:26.8862 95.297 2.5702 0.3698 5 6
11 91 Starrantino, Adrian (R) V/M/C 01:27.6417 94.476 3.3257 0.7555 4 6
12 77 Cindric, Austin V/M/C 01:27.9752 94.117 3.6592 0.3335 5 6
13 10 Latorre, Florian V/M/C 01:28.3322 93.737 4.0162 0.3570 5 6
14 79 Lozano, Santiago (R) V/M/C 01:29.3194 92.701 5.0034 0.9872 4 5
15 13 Maldonado, Juan (R) V/M/C 01:29.3913 92.626 5.0753 0.0719 5 6
16 3 Andres Soori, Keyran (R) V/M/C 01:32.5395 89.475 8.2235 3.1482 4 6
Ecclestone smiles, jokes as bribery trial begins  
Ecclestone appears confident
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday showed he has not lost his sense of humor, despite the seriousness of his predicament.

Facing the loss of his job in charge of formula one, hundreds of millions of dollars in potential penalties and even jail, the sport's diminutive chief executive found a reason to smile as he arrived in court.

"I'm confident, the sun is shining," the 83-year-old, flanked by his legal team, told reporters in Munich.

He was just as jovial in court.  Asked by the judge if he is married or divorced, Ecclestone answered: "Both!  But I like to remember the divorce part." More ...

German Prosecutors Reveal F1's Bernie Ecclestone Was Blackmailed (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2 Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has rejected accusations of bribery, telling a Munich court today that the German banker who received a disputed $44 million (£26m) payment didn't tell the truth.

In a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, Ecclestone said in a personal statement, read out in German by his lawyers, that he was "grateful" to be able to give his side of the story - though he told judges that he would answer questions from the Munich state court through his lawyers, rather than personally.

The defense made clear that it will attack Gribkowsky's credibility, and Ecclestone said in his statement that the banker didn't tell the truth.

Ecclestone has said in the past that he was "shaken down". More ...

Swan Racing Sold to Two New Owners  Swan Racing announced on Wednesday it has sold its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to separate team owners.

Anthony Marlowe, a Swan Racing co-owner, merged his ownership of the No. 26 team into BK Racing. Cole Whitt remains behind the wheel of the No. 26 Toyota.

John Cohen, the owner of XxxTreme Motorsports, bought the No. 30 Toyota, which will compete with driver J.J. Yeley. Stephen “Bones” Lane will serve as crew chief, and be joined by several former Swan Racing crew members.

Parker Kligerman – who had been driving the No. 30 car – remains under contract with Swan Racing, which will try to find options for him to get back on track. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Even if he wins in court, Bernie may be forced out
    F1 board admits Ecclestone reign 'over'
  • Top two teams hard to chase in 2014 - Lopez
  • Hakkinen blasts Vettel for ignoring orders
  • One word caused China GP 'flag-gate'
  • McLaren plans for future without Fallows
  • More changes at Ferrari after Domenicali exit
  • Singapore Airlines replaces SingTel as GP sponsor
  • Gatorade to supply Sahara Force India
  • Kazakhstan calling?
  • Mercedes chiefs disagree over team orders New More ...
NBC Sports Revs Up IndyCar Series from Inside New Remote Production Truck  [Editor's Note: Production is not the problem, no one watches the channel] With the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series grand prix season underway alongside the glamour of the F1 season the NBC Sports motorsports team, led by coordinating producer Rich O’Connor, is in high gear to deliver all the racing action. “It’s hard to compare the two because with F1 we’re mandated to take their feed which they pretty much control,” says O’Connor. “So we just take their feed into our building [in Stamford, CT] and integrate it here.”

The 13-event IndyCar Series, however, gives the NBC team much more control. Three mobile units from IMS Productions (HD-5, B-1, and C-1) are used to produce two HD feeds with 5.1 Surround Sound that are sent from the various circuits back to the aforementioned NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center. There are also six support trucks, including IMS ST-1, OPS-1, BSI for wireless cameras, JHE, Midwest Uplink for international needs, and a Calhoun Uplink for NBC Sports Network needs. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series grand prix schedule began on April 13 with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, CA, and concludes with the MAVTV 500 on August 30 in Fontana, CA. More ...

Penske Files: Ryan Blaney Gives Directions  In this week's episode of The Penske Files, a Team Penske employee asks Ryan Blaney for directions to a Discount Tire for new tires.

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