AJ Foyt Racing Indy Testing Report Veteran Takuma Sato and rookie Martin Plowman took to the brand new 2.439-mile, 14-turn road circuit inside the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and came away with positive impressions.
"They’ve done a fantastic job in terms of laying down the road course," said Sato. "The circuit, the corners, curbs—everything seems to be very, very well done. The track is very smooth and fun to drive. It’s nice to be back in Indy on a road course. It’s been a long time since I drove the road course here in F-1 and the layout is pretty different."
Plowman was also complimentary, saying, “I like the track; it’s heavy-braking, it’s technical in a few places, has really fast change of direction corners, and it should be a good racing track in terms of overtaking. We should see a lot of passes and hopefully put on a good show for the fans."
Team Penske spent Wednesday getting acclimated to the revamped road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the upcoming Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10. In doing so, all three drivers recorded times inside the fastest eight laps of the day among the 25 Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that tested on Wednesday.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves toured the 2.439-mile road course in 1:10:0209 seconds for the fourth-fastest time of the day in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet. Castroneves completed 74 laps around the newly-configured circuit.
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan turned the ceremonial first lap of the new 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, but he was quickly was joined by 24 other eager Verizon IndyCar Series drivers during an Open Test.
It didn't faze the drivers that they were crossing the Yard of Bricks on the front straight in a clockwise direction.
"Driving the car it doesn't feel strange because you're focused on hitting your marks. But every time I'm on pit lane and looking at the cars going out it just doesn't look right," said Ryan Briscoe, who was second quickest overall at 1 minute, 9.6558 seconds in the No. 8 NTT Data car for Ganassi Racing. "It's just a lot of fun to drive and fun to be learning a new track."
Barber IndyCar TV Rating IndyCar from Alabama was the most-watched Alabama race ever on NBCSN, and the most-watched IndyCar race on NBCSN since Long Beach in 2012 (4/15/12; 468,000). The rain-delayed race averaged 400,000 viewers, up 58% from the same race last year (4/7/13).
Video: Panorama Bernie Ecclestone Lies, Bribes and F1 Bernie Ecclestone has dominated Formula One motor racing for forty years and made billions from the sport. But two courts say he paid a $44m bribe, a judge recently concluded that it was 'impossible to regard him as a reliable or truthful witness', and he may have avoided a billion pounds of UK tax. Panorama's Darragh Macintyre investigates the truth about the boss of F1, Bernie Ecclestone, and asks why he is still in charge.
Montoya to drive two Sprint Cup races in 2014 Team Penske announced today that Juan Pablo Montoya will make two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for the team in 2014.
Montoya will pilot the No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on June 15 and he will also compete for Team Penske in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on July 27. The No. 12 car sponsor for the Brickyard 400 will be announced at a later date. NASCAR veteran Greg Erwin will work with Montoya as crew chief of the No. 12 Ford entry.
Engage Mobile, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to Make History with Google Glass Four members of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL), a premier team competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series will make history today as they provide a first-person perspective of driver Graham Rahal’s pit stop in the No. 15 National Guard Honda car at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway using the latest technology from Google Inc. — Google Glass.
The event will pair cutting-edge technology from the world of motorsports with wearable computing. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is working with Engage Mobile Solutions, the Kansas City, Mo.-based mobile strategy, mobile development and mobile marketing firm, to see what it is like to be inside the action of a tightly choreographed Indy car pit stop. The project will capture the “real time” perspective of driver Graham Rahal and various other members of the pit crew as they scramble to provide a full pit stop including tire change and refueling. The pit stop will take place during a practice session at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway April 30 to showcase Google Glass’ unique ability to record and share high-definition video.
China's Ho-Pin Tung tests fully-electric Formula E car
Ho-Pin Tung – the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula 1 car – reckons that the all-new FIA Formula E Championship will feature ‘super-close’ racing, after testing the fully-electric Spark-Renault STR_01E race car for the first time last week.
Tung, who has tested F1 cars for Williams and Renault, piloted the single-seater at the Circuit Monteblanco in Spain. He completed three race simulations and was impressed by what he experienced.
“There’s going to be super-close racing because you can brake really late,” he said. “Having seen the Beijing track layout, it looks like there’s going to be lots of overtaking opportunities and with the Fan Boost system you will have to be really strategic with the way that you use it. Obviously you can save on some laps and then use extra energy on the other laps, so an energy saving strategy is going to be very important during the race and I think you’ll see a lot of drivers looking for and creating chances and making an opportunistic move on the inside into a corner.”
Remember when there use to be 50 entries for the Indianapolis 500? Remember when Al Unser, Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi failed to qualify the Penske cars in 1995? Does anyone remember Willy T. Ribbs' celebration in 1991 when he became the first African-American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500?
That won't be the case in 2014. As of now, we count 32 entries, 30 of which are confirmed (Dale Coyne hasn't confirmed Pippa Mann and Carlos Huertas, although we expect him to run both).
Below is a list of entries divided by manufacturer. We imagine the Hulman-George family will do what it takes to insure a field of 33 and avoid the negative publicity that would come as a result. Again, as we have documented in our three-part series The IndyCar Malaise. For more on this see Part 1: Why the public is indifferent and Part 2: IndyCar is its own worst enemy, both currently on the AR1 home page.
High-schooler Sage Karam to race in Indianapolis 500
Sage Karam is still in high school
High school seniors all over the Lehigh Valley, PA are preparing for some important things these days: the prom. Graduation. A senior trip. Perhaps college.
Not Sage Karam. He might be thinking about a $2 million payday.
The 19-year-old soon-to-be-graduate of Nazareth Area High School, who has been waiting since October for a door to the Indianapolis 500 to open, got his wish when Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced Tuesday that it signed him to a multiyear deal as a development driver.
The specifics of exactly what being a development driver means for Karam in the long run are not all spelled out, but one thing is: His first assignment will be at the 98th Memorial Day weekend classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Will the same judge that put Gerhard Gribkowsky (above) in the slammer, get the 'Teflon Don' too?
After watching a TV program about the affairs and habits of Bernie Ecclestone, an immediate reaction is to check your wallet. That's the effect of a flood of clever detail that baffles in the manner you imagine Ecclestone intended. It's legal; it's correct. And yet, if you believe the innuendo espoused by some of the interviewees on the BBC's Panorama: Lies, Bribes and Formula One it's a scandal verging on daylight robbery.
The investigation, despite diligent research by presenter Darragh MacIntyre, amounted to no more than insinuation and talk of ambiguity over Ecclestone's myriad affairs and methods. When you hear Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General, say: "He [Ecclestone] should be held to account" and, later in the 30-minute program: "There is something wrong and should be investigated", the urge is to shout at the telly: "You keep saying that! Why don't you do something?" But, of course, those in Official Opposition can't and others have tried and failed. Exactly, as you suspect, Bernie knew they would.
This is no surprise. If you cast your mind back to 1997 and Ecclestone's £1m donation to the Labour party, there was outrage and the money was handed back because the payment might be construed as a means of easing regulation on tobacco advertising in motor sport.
Advance pricing for 2014 Mid-Ohio tickets ends May 2 With 58 days until its first event of the season, one of America's most competitive racetracks, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, is getting ready to kick-off an exciting summer of world-class, high-performance racing. This week is the last chance for race fans to take advantage of the track's advance ticket pricing, which ends Friday, May 2.
"It's been a long, cold winter and we are eager to go racing again, and we know our fans are too," said Craig Rust, President of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "Mid-Ohio has one of the most varied motorsports and fan experiences in North America and now is the time to get your tickets and take advantage of the lowest prices of the season."
IndyCar Malaise In case you missed the first two parts of our 3-part series on IndyCar Malaise and why the series is not growing on our home page, here are the links. Tonight we will publish Part 3 - the fix.
Every team must dedicate one of its eight in-season test days to tire testing, with Mercedes, Williams and Caterham doing so in the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test earlier this month.
Hembery believes this will make a significance difference in development of its 2015 tires.
"To be able to go from a race and then try a few solutions on the current cars was a monumental step forward from running around in a three-year-old car," said Hembery when asked by AUTOSPORT about the value of the test.
"It did help a lot being able to verify a couple of particular parameters on an actual car.
(GMM) The nuclear lobby is powering Simona de Silvestro's push for a Sauber race seat in 2015.
That is the claim of the Swiss newspaper Blick, as it revealed some of the secrets behind the 25-year-old female driver's recent F1 test debut at Fiorano.
Former IndyCar driver de Silvestro is now an "affiliated driver" of the Hinwil based F1 team, and she got her duties started over two days last weekend at Sauber engine supplier Ferrari's private test circuit in Italy.
Sauber has confirmed that she will be back in action in the two-year-old car at Valencia in June.
Company to help F1 turn up V6 volume (GMM) Formula one is pushing ahead with efforts to make its new V6 engines louder.
After decades of screaming, naturally-aspirated V12s, V10s and V8s, the markedly lower volume of this year's energy-recovering turbo 'power units' was a shock.
"I did not find it exciting," said former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, as he explained to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport why he watched only the first five laps of the recent Chinese grand prix on television.
"And I missed the noise," the Colombian added. "At least on TV. I don't know how the engines sound in reality, but I think it is definitely not close to the screams of the high-revving V10s from my time."
IndyCar getting flak over Barber decisions (Update)UPDATE As an IndyCar fan, I agree completely with the decision by race officials to shorten the Barber race distance to accommodate the television window. The decision may have impacted race strategy decisions, however it is really a specious argument as the situation did not prejudice any team. It was the same for everyone. As professionals, I am confident the teams had plenty opportunity to determine their strategy.
As a fan, who sat in front of the television on a beautiful Sunday, I was very happy to get to see the race. The quality of the race was not diminished for me in any manner by the decision. If the race was postponed until the following day, I would have not been able to watch it and I am sure the same is true for many fans.
For a sport that has ratings that are dwarfed by bass fishing and bowling, I believe that the race officials made their decision in the best interest of the fans both at the track and in front of their televisions who waited out a long, boring race delay, and they should be applauded for this. Ira Fierberg
News And Notes: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda Fast Facts
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship The Place: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca The Track: 2.238-mile, 11-turn road circuit The Format: Two races on Sunday, May 4; Prototype Challenge/GT Daytona Prototype/GT Le Mans The Times: (PT/local) PC/GTD: 10:15 a.m. P/GTLM: 2:45 p.m. Television: FOX Sports 1: 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (ET), LIVE Radio: MRN, 1:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. (ET) LIVE
Videos-Photos of Villeneuve test at Indy Tuesday (Update)UPDATE
Jacques Villeneuve and other drivers tested at the brickyard today in preparation for the Indy 500 in May. Villeneuve was a previous winner during the best years of the 500 (the CART years), so he is not a rookie, but was given track time because he has been away from the sport for so long.
Marcos Ambrose Accepts NASCAR Penalty Marcos Ambrose accepts the penalties levied by NASCAR after his actions at Richmond International Raceway where he punched out Casey Mears. Ambrose will not appeal.
Ryan Hunter-Reay receives congratulations from son Ryden after winning his second consecutive race at Barber.
Less than 48 hours ago, the Verizon IndyCar Series concluded round 3 of its 2014 championship with Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay took his second consecutive victory at the picturesque 2.38-mile road course in Leeds, Alabama. And it is here where we will start our Barber Postscript.
Over the past two weeks the 2012 series champion took something of a beating for what many (including this writer) deemed to be amateurish driving at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Of course, with a rather opportunistic overtaking attempt of then-leader Josef Newgarden, Hunter-Reay triggered an accident taking out himself, Newgarden, teammate James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, and Jack Hawksworth.
Central to the criticism surrounding Hunter-Reay was the fact he was somewhat unapologetic after Long Beach. In RHR’s mind, he was going for the win, there was a gap, he went for that gap, and well, that was that. As for fact he took out his teammate, a popular diver from a small team going for his first win, and others didn’t really seem to affect him.
Chip Ganassi Racing signs Sage Karam Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today an agreement with reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam on a multi-year deal as a development driver which will begin with contesting the 2014 Indianapolis 500 through an alliance with Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing to drive in the No. 22 Chevrolet.
Karam competed twice with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) earlier this season in a second Prototype (P) fielded in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s (TUSC) Rolex 24 At Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Karam was most recently part of the No. 02 driver lineup with Target Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, who earned the most points from Sebring’s three segments toward the season-ending $100,000 Patron Endurance Cup for the (P) class with a sixth-place result.
Klipsch Audio will sponsor Josef Newgarden's #67 Honda in the GP of Indy.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 29, 2014) -- Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) announced Tuesday, April 29 that Klipsch Audio will be its primary sponsor on the No. 67 entry for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10.
Indianapolis-based Klipsch, a leading global manufacturer of premium speakers and headphones, has partnered with the Verizon IndyCar Series team since 2013 as an associate sponsor.
Josef Newgarden will drive the No. 67 Klipsch Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in the first IndyCar race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 16-turn permanent road course. The event will open the famed "Month of May" at IMS.
"Serving as the primary sponsor of Klipsch brand ambassador Josef Newgarden during Indianapolis' inaugural Grand Prix will be a legendary moment for our company," Klipsch CEO Paul Jacobs said. "Our relationship with the SFHR team has given us a direct link to the sport and its fans for which our headquarter city of Indianapolis is most known. We look forward to the upcoming race, as well as the continuation and growth of our partnership."
IndyCars will soon stream racecar telemetry straight to your home (Update)UPDATE Interesting read, but we seem to remember that Player’s Racing had live telemetry on their web site with steering, throttle, brake, gear, lateral g’s, longitudinal g’s, speed and RPM back in the late 1990’s. CART and then Champ Car had it on their web site as well. CART had it with the Quokka site and Champ Car had it as well. Granted, the Cosworth Live On Air system is using updated technology, but what they are doing isn’t new, it’s just a new way of doing it. More recently, NASCAR offers some of this data with their SportVision delivered experience and Verizon (you know, the sponsors of the INDYCAR Series), has telemetry (speed, RPM, Gear, Brake, Throttle, Steering) in their mobile app. Of course we don’t know what Cosworth is offering in terms of presenting it to fans new and exciting ways, so maybe this is news.
Busch to undergo Rookie Orientation Andretti Autosport unveiled Monday the black-and-white #26 car that Kurt Busch seeks to race in the Indianapolis 500, and Busch will drive that car Tuesday in the first day of rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch is attempting to become the fourth driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have done it. Stewart finished in the top 10 in both races in 1999 and 2001. The double was last run by Robby Gordon in 2004.
Rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway consists of three phases where drivers must maintain a consistent speed within a preset range. Typically the range is 200-210 mph, 210-215 mph and then 215 and above. Once they have met those standards while being judged by observers, they are cleared to practice for the Indianapolis 500.
After starring in the opening two rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Sam Bird is poised to complete the balance of the season with Starworks Motorsport.
Team owner Peter Baron confirmed to Sportscar365 that the GP2 star will team with Martin Fuentes in the newly rebuilt No. 7 Oreca FLM09 for next weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Baron said the tentative plan would be for Bird to complete the season, although the 27-year-old Briton will return to Starworks’ No. 8 entry with Renger van der Zande and Mirco Schultis for Petit Le Mans.
Lucas Oil Extends NHRA Partnership Lucas Oil Products has signed a multi-year extension with the National Hot Rod Ass’n (NHRA) to remain one of the drag racing sanctioning body’s cornerstone sponsors.
The all-encompassing partnership includes series sponsorship of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, title rights sponsorship of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., naming rights at historic Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and designation as the Official Oil of NHRA.
"I've said it before and I’ll say it again: Lucas Oil is an integral part of NHRA," said Tom Compton, NHRA president. "Our sport has grown because of their involvement and, conversely, Lucas Oil has grown as a result of NHRA race fans being so product-loyal."
Prediction came true: George's Big Gamble would ruin IndyCar Racing
Tony George wore the hat declaring himself Indy. The hundred+ drivers that sustained broken bones, broken backs, paralysis and even death in the IRL were sacrificial lambs to the all-oval cause. The sport is now but a shadow of what it once was under CART. This article talks about how it all started.
From the archives: May 19, 1996 PHILADELPHIA - An acronym beginning with "IR" makes Mario Andretti's radiator boil over.
It's not IRS. Try IRL.
The Indy Racing League is the invention of Tony George, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Worried that the established IndyCar racing series would be muscling in on control of the Indianapolis 500 and that the cost of racing was soaring, George launched the IRL this year. The Indy 500 has been sanctioned by the U.S. Auto Club for decades.
George also is concerned that the IndyCar circuit, sanctioned by Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), is overflowing with foreign drivers who crowd out promising Americans.
The inaugural IRL series has five oval races, with the Indy 500 as its centerpiece. CART's 16-race schedule includes only six oval events.
The political give and take between George and CART might not have erupted into a car war had George not guaranteed the top 25 drivers in IRL a starting position in this year's 33-car Indy 500 field. This move infuriated the major car owners in CART such as Roger Penske, Pat Patrick, Carl Haas and Rick Galles.
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has denied avoiding a potential tax bill
Bernie is always five steps ahead of the authorities next move
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has denied accusations that he avoided a potential tax bill" of more than $1.6B by settling a long-running investigation by U.K. tax authority HMRC into his affairs for $16.8M, according to Sean Farrell of the London GUARDIAN. In a BBC Panorama program to be broadcast on Monday night, "it is claimed that HMRC investigated the Ecclestone family's tax affairs for nine years" before offering to settle for a $16.8M payment from the family trusts in '08. The program said that "the trusts make that much in interest every six weeks." Ecclestone said that "the payment was not a settlement to call off the investigation and that it was instead the amount HMRC found he had underpaid in tax." Ecclestone: "The Revenue investigates you and if they find out something is wrong they say, 'This is wrong and you should have paid this amount' and you pay it." GUARDIAN
The BBC reported Panorama's investigation goes back to '95 when Ecclestone "secured ownership of the lucrative TV rights of Formula 1." Shortly afterward "he moved this prize asset offshore, giving the rights to his then wife, Slavica." She transferred them to a family trust in Liechtenstein, "before selling them for a huge profit," free of U.K. tax. It "may be the biggest individual tax dodge in British history," and is legally watertight provided Ecclestone did not set up, or control, the trust. Barrister and tax expert Jolyon Maugham said this was a "pretty substantial" loss of tax. Maugham: "I'm certainly not aware of anything else remotely approaching that sort of magnitude, in my fairly extensive experience." BBC
Kurt Busch Indy 500 Unveiling The RACER Channel's Robin Miller interviews 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch after his Andretti Autosport Honda Indy car was unveiled ahead of his rookie run at the Indianapolis 500.
Five Entries Withdrawn from LeMans There’s been a significant shakeup in the entry list for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the ACO confirming Monday the withdrawal of five cars for the twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic.
Both Millennium Racing Oreca 03 Nissans, as well as two Aston Martin Racing entries and an additional Aston Martin Vantage V8 from Craft Racing will not take part in the race on June 14-15.
As a result, the remaining five entries on the reserve list have been given confirmed positions on the grid.
Townsend Bell gets another sponsor for Indy Defending Indianapolis 500 champions, KV Racing Technology and driver Townsend Bell announced today that Royal Purple will be an associate sponsor on the No. 6 Robert Graham - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry for the 2014 Indianapolis 500, May 25, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
"I first raced with Royal Purple last year at the X Games in Munich, Germany," Bell said. "It is really cool that they have added their support to my Indy 500 effort in addition to their support of my TUDOR United SportsCar Championship AIM Autosport Ferrari program. I just want to thank everyone at Royal Purple and I look forward to enjoying the whole Indy 500 experience with their employees and customers."
Andretti Autosport unveiled today the Indy car in which, in just a few short weeks, Kurt Busch will make his first career Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempt. Busch will pilot the No. 26 Suretone Honda as he endeavors to become only the fourth driver in history to contest the "Double" - competing in IndyCar's historic Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's 600-mile race in the same day.
"It's an exciting day," Busch said. "Reality is setting in that this is real and it's go time. For me, it's a dream come true, but the kid in a candy store moment is all behind me. Now it's the focus of practice time and settling in with Andretti Autosport. Just to have Andretti Autosport and to have Michael (Andretti) himself involved, this is the right way to do things. Their team experience will help lead my inexperience."
Florida Lawmakers Have A Week To Decide On Daytona Funding The Florida Legislature heads into the last week of its annual session, where it could determine whether Daytona Int'l Speedway's renovations "qualify for tax incentives." The "chance is still there" for the track to get $2M a year in sales tax revenue, with a proposal before the state Senate "on its special-order calendar for a vote" tomorrow. The state House on Friday passed a bill that "would create a competitive process for the Speedway and other stadiums to apply" for the tax incentives. Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL
Meanwhile, Palm Beach County's John Prince Park is "back in the running as a possible spring training site after a game of behind-the-scenes political hardball among elected leaders." State lawmakers this week could "make it easier for the county to get more tax dollars for the construction" of a ballpark. A revised site plan shows "how a two-team facility could fit on 84 acres at the north end of the 728-acre park without affecting existing public amenities." PALMBEACHPOST.com
Toyota WEC team like 'home' for Spa race TOYOTA Racing makes the short journey to the Ardennes forest this weekend for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The team heads to Belgium in high spirits, and in the lead of the World Championship, after starting the season with victory and its first-ever one-two finish at the Six Hours of Silverstone on 20 April.
That marked a highly-successful debut for the new TS040 HYBRID, which at 1,000PS delivers more power than its predecessor whilst simultaneously using 25% less fuel thanks to its hybrid system, advanced aerodynamics and other efficiencies.
NASCAR will look at Ambrose, Mears incident (Update)UPDATE
Casey Mears didn't let a punch keep him away from a race Sunday morning. The driver of the #13 Chevy was in Huntersville, NC for a 5K race put on by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. It came not long after the checkered flag fell in Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway. Mears finished 19th in that race, and left with a bruised left eye after a punch from fellow driver Marcos Ambrose.
"He got me pretty good with that shot." Mears told NASCAR.com after completing his 5K run. Mears wore sunglasses for most of Sunday's event, but it was clear the punch left a gnarly bruise and swollen left eye. Replays of the incident show Mears and Ambrose talking just after the race ended. The situation escalated when Mears forcefully shoved Ambrose. The driver of the #9 Ford then returned with a right hook to Mears' face.
Verizon plans to bring more fans into the Indy racing fold With the 2014 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in the books and 74,910 in attendance throughout the weekend event (which is not good, but considering the rain, not bad), it's pretty obvious that Indy racing has loyal fans (and Alabamians love a good show).
The sport, though, is always trying to expand its market and make a bigger name for itself in the sporting world. It still runs behind many other sports in accessibility and visibility.
To that end, the IndyCar Series announced two weeks ago that Verizon is its new title sponsor; it replaces Izod in that role. The move was hailed from those throughout the Indy community as a "game changer."
Marco Andretti overcomes radio problems for Barber runner-up
A damp Barber Motorsports Park was tough enough for Marco Andretti in today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, but radio issues in the cockpit proved to be just as big an obstacle.
"I was driving blind today,” Andretti said to NBCSN after today’s Verizon IndyCar Series race. “The only way I knew how to pit – when to pit – was out of the corner of my eye, I saw [teammate] Ryan [Hunter-Reay] stop.
"So I’m like, ‘I guess I’m coming in the next lap’. It was definitely a blind race, but I just had my head down and tried to hit my marks."
V8 Supercar Drivers Call For Second New Zealand Race Weekend Leading V8 Supercars drivers "are calling for a second New Zealand race weekend to be added to the series' calendar," according to David Long of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. It is a "costly logistical exercise to fly over all the cars, equipment and staff," but with the success Kiwi drivers Scott McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen are having, there "may never be a better time to add another New Zealand round."
Coulthard said, "I definitely think there should be another race in New Zealand."
McLaughlin "has also joined the call for there to be back-to-back New Zealand rounds and also suggested that the other event could be a street race."
Marquez leads Honda 1-2 in Argentina An enthralling MotoGP race at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina saw Marc Marquez clinch his third win of the year, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in the top three.
As the race at Termas de Rio Hondo got underway Marquez got caught up in the crowd on lap one but played it patiently, picking off his opponents to get into second - eventually hunting down early leader Lorenzo, with his winning move coming 8 laps from the end.
It was a good day for the Repsol Honda team as Pedrosa stayed in the chase throughout the race, eventually overtaking Lorenzo on the penultimate lap for second.
Deluge at Barber (Update)UPDATE The weather has let up a bit. Race control is looking an approaching window, but it's still periodic thunder outside, and we're seeing red pockets (meaning severe weather) in our path. The valleys after turns 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 is pretty wet and flooded, but that part drains quickly...
It's up in the air right now...but they are shooting for a 4:15 PM central time start. Surprising amount of people still hanging in there considering how hard it has rained. Scott Morris reporting
04/27/14 It's not looking good for today's GP of Alabama. It's absolutely pouring buckets here. There are small rivers through the media center...
The weather took a big shift from the way they thought it would track on Friday. This may not actually letup till Tuesday. We're checking the rules on cancelled races. It might get cancelled with the weather forecast the next few days.
We just read the IndyCar rule book, and in case of flooding, all team must switch to jet skis, and retain their qualifying positions.....just kidding.
Champagne that Gabby Chaves poured over his head in Victory Circle was quickly washed away by rain increasing in intensity at Barber Motorsports Park.
But while Belardi Auto Racing crew members scrambled to move the No. 5 car back to the cover of the transporter, the sophomore Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver was wrapped up in the celebratory moment of his second victory of the season.
Chaves, who started from the pole position on the back end of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 doubleheader weekend on the 2.83-mile, 17-turn road course, won by 1.5904 seconds over teammate Alex Baron in the No. 4 entry. Zach Veach, who won the first race a day earlier, was 3.5136 seconds back in third in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport car.
Pigot Remains Perfect in Alabama Despite Hargrove's Challenge
Rising American star Spencer Pigot remains perfect in this year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, sweeping both of this weekend's races at Barber Motorsports Park and extending his unbeaten win streak to four. But once again he had to work hard as 2013 USF2000 Champion Scott Hargrove took the pole and pressured him through most of this morning's 20-lap race.
Hargrove started from pole position for the fourth round of the championship, which was held in distinctly cooler conditions in comparison to yesterday and under cloudy skies. The 19-year-old Canadian was unable to solidify his advantage at the start, however, as Pigot remained on his outside all the way around Turn One which gave him the preferred inside line heading into the long, right-handed Turn Two. It was an aggressive move by Pigot, and ultimately one that would prove decisive.
Namath praises Alabama IndyCar track, AJ McCarron Joe Namath had never been to an IndyCar race before Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, but he made sure to check out the track from the air.
Namath, who lives in Florida, was flown over Barber Motorsports Park in a private plane on Saturday a day before serving as grand marshal, and praised the track with his characteristic enthusiasm.
"This is spectacular," the former Alabama and New York Jets quarterback said. "I've never seen anything like it, really. I was lucky enough to come in (Saturday) and get an overview from the sky, and then being out here looking at it, seeing the elevation changes, the turns. I mean, this is spectacular, along with everything that goes with the park. It's a thrill and it's an eye-opener for me to see this."
Video: Huge Start Crash 2014 ADAC GT Masters at Oschersleben A massive crash at the start has halted the second GT Masters race of the weekend. Six cars were involved, but it was Nicki Thiim who got the worst of it as he rolled several times down the front straight. Nobody got hurt.
de Silvestro completes first F1 test for Sauber (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Sauber F1 Team affiliated driver Simona De Silvestro enjoyed her second day of testing in a Formula One car on the Ferrari test track in Fiorano. In a two year old Sauber C31 she completed 68 laps on day two, making it a total of 180 laps for the two days without the slightest issue.
Paul Russell, Test Engineer: "We continued today where we left off yesterday with the acclimatization program for Simona. Over night she had the time to reflect on a lot of things and was able to adapt her driving accordingly. She learned the track well yesterday, so we had the opportunity to get some set-up work done today. Simona drove very well, had a good pace and was consistent. Overall these were two very positive days."
Simona De Silvestro: "It was another good day. Everything feels more familiar to me compared to yesterday, when things were new to me. We made some changes to the set-up, which gave me the opportunity to get a feeling for those changes and learn how the car reacts to them. I can say that I already feel confident in the car, which is very positive. I’m quite happy with what I was able to achieve over the two days. A big thank you to the team who did a fabulous job explaining everything to me, and giving me the time to reflect on this. I had a lot of questions, and I got all the answers from the engineers, who took the time to show me the data and discuss it with me in all detail. I’m already looking forward to my next opportunity to test the C31."
Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone gets $100 million a year from his ex-wife Slavica
Bernie Ecclestone (L) with his foot taller ex-wife Slavica and their two daughters. Bernie is always 5 moves ahead of his adversaries and the governments who try to take him down.
For most billionaires, the greatest fear in getting married is what the divorce might cost. Not so Bernie Ecclestone. Official court papers show the formula one tycoon is, as a result of his split from his second wife Slavica, perhaps the world's best kept man.
Documents show that since his divorce in 2009 he has received $US500 million ($540 million) from his ex-wife's trust fund. In a highly unusual divorce settlement, rather than Mr. Ecclestone paying Slavica Ecclestone a good chunk of his fortune, she appears to be paying him at the rate of $US100 million a year.
The details of the divorce settlement are disclosed in a 256-page indictment, laid before a German court last week. Mr. Ecclestone is currently on trial in Munich, where he is accused of paying a more than £25 million ($45 million) bribe to a German banker.
Sunday morning update from Barber (Update)UPDATE Our pick Newgarden was fastest in morning warm-up. Kimball backed the car in hard. He will have to go to backup car.
Talked with Connor Daly and he says he really doesn't see any opportunity for him in IndyCar in the current environment. He also said that the collegiate racing league story that AR1 did, makes way too much sense to be something IndyCar would do. He said he is keeping an eye on the Haas F1 team and hopes their priority is to put an American driver in the car.
We are expecting a rain race today as raindrops are beginning to fall . Look for Sato to be super fast. Rumor has it he runs a dry setup in the rain and is very quick that way. One driver who didn't want to be quoted said "Taku is an animal in the rain...heck yeah...he brings it." Scott Morris reporting from Barber
04/27/14 The weather has changed the forecast for today's IndyCar race. It is now mostly cloudy and we woke up to a misty rainy fog.
Birmingham, AL. (Apr. 27) - Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, ArmsUp Motorsports earned their first podium finish of the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season. Twenty-three year old Aaron Telitz from Birchwood, Wisconsin started in 4th Saturday afternoon to race clean and methodically to the podium.
ArmsUp Motorsports The ArmsUp season got off to a difficult start last month at St. Petersburg, when both Aaron Telitz and co-driver Peter Portante of Plainville, Conn., were collected in contact and unable to continue in both races. The Wisconsin based team worked quickly to repair both cars for Rounds 3 and 4 at Barber Motorsports park. Focusing forward, the team arrived to the track with a renewed sense of vigor, finishing inside the top eight for both practice sessions. Telitz qualified the #5 ArmsUp Motorsports Race Lake Weighing Systems car in 4th for Race One, and went on to finish in 5th. He set the 4th fastest lap for the race, determining his 4th place starting position for Race 2. An alternate tire strategy for Peter Portante qualified him in 11th in the #24 ArmsUp Motorsports Intercity Lines Special/Spar go Construction car for Race 1. The early laps brought contact for Portante, forcing him to pit for a new wing. He rejoined the field in 19th and raced strong and consistent, ultimately finished 13th. His fastest lap of the race earned him a 5th place starting position for Race 2.
Josef Newgarden posted the quickest lap in a shortened warm-up for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a lap of 1 minute. 9.2469 seconds on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course.
The scheduled 30-minute session was cut short by almost 7 minutes because of an incident involving the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Ganassi Racing car driven by Charlie Kimball, which slid off the course and across the grass into the Turn 13 tire barrier. Kimball was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive.
Newgarden, who tied his career-best qualifying effort of fourth in the No. 67 Hartman Oil/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, recorded 10 laps in the session. Helio Castroneves, who qualified sixth in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske car, was second quick in the session (1:09.3458) and Ryan Hunter-Reay was third -- the same spot he'll start the 90-lap race -- in the No. 27 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.
Winterbottom claims prized JR Trophy to extend V8 Supercars lead Mark Winterbottom now holds two of the most prized trophies in V8 Supercars and just as importantly leaves the ITM 500 Auckland with no plans to stop his Championship assault.
Winterbottom is the first person to hold the Jason Richards Memorial and the Peter Brock Trophy he won at Bathurst last year with a slender points win over Kiwi hero Scott McLaughlin. Winterbottom's young team-mate Chaz Mostert was third in the longer 200km race.
The Pepsi Max Crew FPR driver now has a 107 Championship point lead over Red Bull Racing Australia's Craig Lowndes who is 10 points ahead of Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard. Reigning Champion Jamie Whincup is 166 points back in sixth.
Goodyear Tire problems cause cars to catch fire at Richmond
Goodyear tires - Some races they explode, others they catch fire. Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 AAA Insurance Toyota, heads to the pits after catching fire
Several Sprint Cup drivers battled tire issues Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, causing some cars to catch fire from the burning rubber.
The issues didn’t come as a surprise as Nationwide Series teams had issues the night before. But unlike the Nationwide drivers that experienced problems with the right front after about 75 green-flag laps, the higher-horsepower Cup cars were having issues after 50-60 laps.
Among the drivers who had problems were Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Reed Sorenson.
Goodyear brought a new tire combination to Richmond, with its new multi-zone tire on the right side. The outward 10 inches of the right-side tire had the same compound as last year but the inside two inches of tread surface was designed for more endurance, with a tougher, more heat-resistant compound.
Fans enjoy sights and sounds at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Barber is a beautiful track
Alabama - Beautiful weather and world-class racing drew both novice fans and Indy aficionados to Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday for the second day of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
The Red Diamond Fan Zone was a popular destination, as children and adults enjoyed a view of the races from the stands, the sights and sounds of a carnival midway and the opportunity to get autographs from their favorite Indy drivers.
Tom Gish and his son traveled to Birmingham from Louisville to see their third straight Indy race of the season.
The preposterous notion of an IndyCar race in Alabama turns out to be a rousing success
Barber is physically hard on the drivers due to its undulations and sweeping corners
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Preposterous, really.
First, simply to build the place. It hardly seemed some Kinsella-ish, field of dreams, "build it and they will come" sort of operation. This wasn't like creating a diamond in a cornfield.
But it turned out to be a gem in the hills and forests into which Birmingham was encroaching to the east.
It was all well and good for the expensive toy collection of George Barber, the avuncular, low-key former dairy magnate who reaches for the push-to-pass button any time he feels the limelight creeping up on him from behind. The museum he created Barber Motorsports Park is a Smithsonian of breathtaking vintage cars and motorcycles.
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