USF2000 Back on Track with Series of Tests The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is back in action this week as a field of 24 drivers will take to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course tomorrow for a pair of official series test days on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course. The outing will offer 15 total hours of track time to prepare drivers for Rounds 6 and 7 of the championship when the series returns to the Lexington, Ohio-based circuit on August 4 and 5, and additional road course events at Road America and Virginia International Raceway.
On Friday, drivers will travel to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Oval Clinic, joining their fellow competitors in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights. Hosted by INDYCAR’s Director of Grassroots Initiatives Jason Penix and led by multiple driving champion and USF2000 driving coach Gerardo Bonilla, the clinic covers all aspects of oval racing with the intricacies supported by video footage.
Alonso tops opening test day at MugelloUPDATE What the men behind the wheel had to say after a damp start in Italy...
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "It's a shame about the rain, which complicated the running of this first day of testing and a shame for the spectators who deserved to see more of a show," commented Fernando. "We had a pretty busy work program, but we only managed to get through a part of it. Therefore, it's impossible to give a serious evaluation, especially as we did so little dry running. I can only say that, for me, it was a pleasure to be driving at this track again: the first and only other time was back in 2001, when I was testing for Minardi. It's a spectacular track and it would be nice to be able to race on it!"
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg: "It was a good session for me this morning and a positive start to our testing program. It's nice to see that we have some new parts for the car and that the ongoing process of in-season developments is working well. We were able to learn some things in the wet conditions this morning which is always useful, and we picked up a few lessons. Mugello is an impressive track which is very fast and good fun to drive. It's also good preparation for the next race in Barcelona with the high-speed corners. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car again on Thursday and continuing our program."
INDYCAR, Lucas Oil team up with Indianapolis Motor Speedway to hold Indy 500 Soiree INDYCAR and Lucas Oil Products announced today that they have partnered with Indianapolis Motor Speedway to celebrate one of Indianapolis' richest traditions, the Indianapolis 500, and give back to the community with the Indy 500 Soiree presented by Lucas Oil.
The Indy 500 Soiree presented by Lucas Oil will be an evening filled with distinctive entertainment, gourmet food, cocktails, live music, dancing and other surprises. It is scheduled to take place at the Lucas Estate, Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. This annual event will raise money for charities which support Indianapolis and the surrounding community. Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation and its Riley Hospital for Children Child Life Zone project will be the beneficiary of the proceeds raised during this year's party.
NASCAR Richmond Nationwide TV rating ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 27, earned a 1.0 household coverage rating (0.9 U.S. rating), averaging 1,391,701 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Viewership was up slightly from the last time the race aired on ESPN2 in 2010.
Last year’s race aired on the SPEED network.
In 2010, the race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,357,449 viewers.
INDYCAR to offer IZOD IndyCar Series races on YouTube INDYCAR announced today that it will offer IZOD IndyCar Series races to fans for the first time ever on the INDYCAR YouTube channel.
Starting with the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle, which took place this past Sunday on the streets of Sao Paulo, full broadcast or specially-customized broadcast versions of each 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series race will be posted on YouTube for fans in the U.S. to view within 36 hours after the telecast.
"This is more than merely a great opportunity for INDYCAR to populate its YouTube channel with more racing footage," said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. "It's a chance for our drivers, teams and sponsors to receive more brand exposure and recognition and an opportunity to bring the thrill of INDYCAR racing to new audiences."
In addition to making current IZOD IndyCar Series races available, INDYCAR will also bring archival footage, like historical fan-favorite races, to INDYCAR's YouTube Channel.
Chrysler U.S. sales soar 20% in April, Ford declines 5%, GM down 8.2% Sales of Chrysler vehicles increased 20% in April as the automaker recorded its 25th straight month of year-over-year increases, while Ford said its sales declined 5% for the month and GM sales fell 8.2% from a year ago.
All automakers are scheduled to report April sales today.
There were three fewer selling days in April 2012 than in April 2011, only the second time in the past 10 years that has occurred.
Several Chrysler models recorded their best April results ever or since 2008. They include the Fiat 500, Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger muscle car and Jeep Wrangler SUV. Sales for the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan increased 47%, its best month ever.
New experience as F1 tests at Mugello (GMM) Tuesday was a new experience for many F1 regulars; a rare in-season test on an unfamiliar track.
Some teams wanted the three-day session to take place at Barcelona, saving money ahead of the Spanish grand prix at the same venue, but Ferrari pushed hard - reportedly even waiving the circuit rental fees - for its circuit in Tuscany to get the nod.
The day did not start well weather-wise, but the spectators - reportedly 25,000, and visibly more than in Bahrain last weekend - came nonetheless.
Tony Stewart steamed at another NASCAR 'fake' caution Tony Stewart knew exactly why he lost Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Richmond, Va.
“We did everything we could to throw it away; it got taken away,” the defending Sprint Cup champion said. “I’m pretty ticked off about it.”
Stewart, Columbus, Ind., had led four times for 118 laps and was out front when NASCAR called a caution for debris 12 laps from the finish. The leaders pitted, Kyle Busch beat Stewart off of pit road and easily handled the champion on the restart.
Stewart was annoyed with NASCAR over the caution, and his team for the slow pit stop.
“When the caution is for a plastic bottle on the backstretch, it’s hard to feel good about losing that one,” he said. “And we gave it away on pit road. That’s the best car I’ve had at Richmond in a long time. But we’ve got some work to do on pit stops right now.”
NASCAR has a history of throwing these 'debris' cautions at the end of a race to artificially close the field up for a tight finish. It's called managed racing. By bunching up the field toward the end it leads to many crashes and many retries at a Green-White-Checkered finish. And as a recent survey showed, the majority of NASCAR fans go to see wrecks. To a typical NASCAR fan, "if you ain't wrecking, you ain't racing."
Video: Alessandro Zanardi - Golden dreams "Alex Zanardi has escaped with his life from the crash at the Lausitzring, but he will never race again," wrote Spiegel Online on 16th September 2001, joining reporters around the world in declaring the Italian's career to be over. This was one day after his horrific crash in the CART series, in which he lost both his legs. "Well, those people just didn't know me back then," says Zanardi, smiling as he steadily screws together his handbike, on which he is about to take to the Lausitzring.
Littelfuse Sponsors Weekend Race Promotion at Upcoming IndyCar Events Littelfuse, Inc., the worldwide leader in circuit protection, has created a “behind-the-scenes” IndyCar weekend Race Experience for the engineering community. The “Speed2Design” promotion, connected to five upcoming races on the 2012 IZOD® IndyCar schedule, will bring participants behind the scenes for the weekend to spend time with the team engineers and pit crew behind the Littelfuse co-sponsored No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS/GEICO/KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara driven by IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan. “Speed2Design” participants will be chosen at random during the next few months and there’s no cost to winners; a travel voucher, lodging and event expenses will be covered by Littelfuse. To enter and learn more, visit www.speed2design.com.
Mayfield’s property goes for $1.7 million at foreclosure auction Jeremy Mayfield didn’t bother to go see how much his property was auctioned for Monday afternoon.
The former NASCAR driver, who was suspended in 2009 after the sanctioning body determined he tested positive for methamphetamines and was unsuccessful in a lawsuit against NASCAR, didn’t need to know who would buy the property that has been foreclosed on.
Carolina Farm Credit, the original lender, submitted the only bid at $1.725 million during the auction Monday on the steps of the Catawba County (N.C.) Courthouse. The bank can’t close on the property until 10 days elapse with no other bids. Mayfield also can pay the balance—$2.38 million in principal, plus $401,000 in interest and fees—and keep the property before the sale closes.
IndyCar Series seeking new group for Baltimore Grand Prix Just four months before high-speed cars are set to whirl through downtown streets, the IndyCar Series is seeking a new team to take over the Baltimore Grand Prix.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Monday that leaders of the racing series "are currently visiting with some potential partners or promoters" who could put on the Labor Day weekend racing event. If necesssary, IndyCar would take over the management of the race directly, he said.
"The city and IndyCar continue to work together to ensure this event takes place," Bernard said in an email. "We are currently evaluating a couple different options and we understand that time is of the essence."
Mayfield giving up on lawsuit against NASCAR Jeremy Mayfield said Monday he likely will not pursue any additional appeals in his lawsuit against NASCAR over a May 2009 drug test the sanctioning body said was positive for methamphetamines. Mayfield has until June 25 to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but he said Monday he likely will move on from the case that has lasted nearly three years. The lawsuit started less than a month after the May 1 drug test, which Mayfield claims was a false positive for the prescription medication Adderall and the over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin D. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of NASCAR in January 2010 before the case ever went to trial.
The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in March. "We're probably going to move on," Mayfield said. "They won on a technicality, a paper I had to sign to participate."
Mayfield was speaking after a court appearance in North Carolina Superior Court in Caldwell County. He faces four felony larceny charges stemming from a Feb. 27 indictment that states he was in possession of stolen goods. The case was continued until Sept. 10. Mayfield would not blame NASCAR for what was scheduled to happen later Monday-as a result of foreclosure, his property in Catawba County is scheduled for auction Monday afternoon. He said he plans to move once the sale is finalized. Sporting News
Mike Ford replaces Irwin as Almirola's crew chief Richard Petty Motorsports asserted its commitment to winning with the hiring of Chase-proven Mike Ford as crew chief for the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola. The veteran crew chief joins the team after leading Denny Hamlin's #11 team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega. The 42-year-old Morristown, Tenn., native spent the past six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing as Hamlin's crew chief. In that span, he led his team to 17 wins, 66 top-five finishes and 108 top-10 finishes and never missed a Chase appearance. The 12-year Sprint Cup veteran also previously held crew chief roles for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports. Ford replaces Greg Erwin, who joined the team in mid-2011. Richard Petty Motorsports
Streaking Power takes point lead to Indianapolis The champagne wasn't flowing yet in Victory Circle when Will Power, winner of the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle for the third consecutive year, was speaking of his next objective.
"I'm very happy to get that third win (in Brazil) and third in a row," said Power, who prevailed April 29 in the Chevrolet-powered No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car on the temporary street course by 0.9045 of a second over Ryan Hunter-Reay. "We need to make it four in a row. The most important race is next."
That, of course, is the 96th Indianapolis 500, and drinking from a quart of milk over a magnum of champagne in Victory Circle has been Power's goal since early in his junior formula driving days.
Race car hauler catches fire at JD Motorsports on Sunday night, total loss JD Motorsports, the No. 01 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, suffered a total loss to their hauler on Sunday evening when it caught fire at their race shop.
There were no injuries and the tractor was detached and pulled away before suffering any damages. However, their hauler loaded with equipment, some uniforms, back-up parts, engines, shocks and springs for their operation was a total loss.
The only good part was the primary and backup No. 01 Restaurant.com Chevrolets for this weekend’s NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway were not on the hauler. The race shop itself didn’t suffer any damage, as well.
Kentucky Speedway Shows Off Improvements At Ford Fan Day Kentucky Speedway during Saturday's Ford Fan Day unveiled to the public more than $11M in parking and infrastructure improvements made since last summer. The free event also included "live music, games for children, U.S. Legend International Racing on the quarter-mile track, and unprecedented access to areas typically off-limits on a race weekend." Many fans "walked the track, took photos in victory lane, and got an up close look at the Quaker State 400 trophy." Track GM Mark Simendinger: "I would assume we'll do this again next year" CINCINNATI.com
F1 teams look ahead to novel Mugello test (GMM) Like Ferrari, Red Bull is another team looking keenly ahead to this week's test at Mugello.
"Not only do we have many new parts in the luggage," promised team advisor Dr Helmut Marko, according to Auto Motor und Sport on Monday.
"For the first time in a long time, we are also going to give much more attention to the car setup. There are still gaps in our understanding," he said, a week after Sebastian Vettel's breakthrough first win of 2012 in Bahrain.
This week's three-day test in Tuscany - the first such event for several years - is timely, given the way the pecking order has been shuffled and reshuffled, mainly due to the Pirelli tire situation.
McLaren, however, will be there only with test drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey, despite Lewis Hamilton suggesting recently that the race drivers should be on the bill.
Lucas, Neff, Nobile, Hines collect Houston victoriesUPDATE Mike Neff continued John Force Racing's dominance in Funny Car as he raced to his first victory of the 2012 season Sunday at the 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway. With the win, Neff gave John Force Racing its sixth consecutive win to open the season.
Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also earned victories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event near Houston.
Neff powered his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past Ron Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T in the final round of eliminations. Neff’s 4.239-second pass at 301.67 mph was too much for Capps, who hazed the tires in the Texas heat and clocked a 4.476, 211.79.
Video: Nissan DeltaWing Snetterton Testing update - Marino Franchitti Marino Franchitti reports in from the round of testing at Snetterton in the UK where the Nissan DeltaWing has been undergoing development with Michael Krumm and Satoshi Motoyama joining Franchitti behind the wheel.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega on ABC The NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, NASCAR’s biggest track, and the race airs live on ABC on Saturday, May 5. NASCAR Countdown airs at 3 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 3:34 p.m. Also from Talladega, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Friday, May 4, at noon.
Announcers: Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree. Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch.
NHRA Atlanta Action on ESPN2, ESPN3 The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will compete the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and drag racing fans can watch action on both ESPN2 and ESPN3. All NHRA programming on ESPN2 and ESPN3 is also available on computers, smart phones and tablets through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Caterham's New F1 Engine Partner General Electric is one of the world's mightiest industrial conglomerates, and thanks to its sponsorship of the Caterham team, a Formula One minnow can now call on this awesome technical powerbase. The relationship won't be entirely one way, however…
In Formula One circles there's a certain skepticism about the term 'technical partnership'. Deals between partner and team where each truly benefits from the other's technical skill-set are rare, yet the notion of technology transfer between a race team and a larger manufacturing group is seductive for both parties.
Motor sport is well used to explaining how its hightech achievements seep into the automotive mainstream (a classic recent example is VW-Audi's road car adoption of FSI technology after trailing it in racing). But it tends to struggle to explain the reverse flow – how automotive mainstream technology helps to advance the science of F1. And if race cars and road cars can't have a mutually beneficial technical partnership, then who can?
Why bother? Just 12 fans turned out for the GP2 Feature Race at Sakhir on Friday, less than a week after was the focus of global attention.
When the F1 circus left town last Sunday, dropped out of the headlines almost overnight, the media, like the sport, appearing to move on to pastures new, in F1's case Mugello and then Barcelona. However, with a further round of the GP2 Series taking place just a few days later, meaning that participants had to hang around in the Gulf state for another week, it was surprising that there was so little concern as to their safety considering the speculation over the F1 event.
On Twitter on Friday, Ferrari's Luca Colajanni wrote: "No moral or security questions/doubts for the GP2 race weekend in ? Something has changed in one week?" He had a point.
IndyCar Teams move forward after turbo decisionUPDATE This speed.com article talks in depth about the change that was allowed to the single turbo for Honda. How is it working so far? Whereas Chevy cars held the top-10 spots through the speed trap at Long Beach, Honda held the top-7 spots through the speed trap at the end of the longest straight in Brazil (see table below). However, what we do not know is how much wing/drag the cars were running. Ed Carpenter was the fastest Chevy yet he was the slowest Chevy for a full lap in Brazil.
First F1, now Bahrain wants to host OlympicsUPDATE (GMM) Bahrain could launch a bid for the Olympic Games, off the back of its highly controversial return to the formula one calendar.
"Why not? Yes, we will," an official for the island Kingdom's ministry of works said.
The Olympics will take place in London later this year, and in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro four years later.
04/27/12 After their successful run at hosting Formula One, Bahrain could now be gearing up to bid for the Olympics.
“Why not? Yes, we will,” Rajaa Yousif Al Zayani, Chief of Strategic Planning, Ministry of Works in Bahrain told this website. Zayani was in Dubai to participate in the Middle East Balanced Scorecard Forum.
The official elaborated on how hosting the Formula One was a huge achievement for Bahrain in the sporting world.
“During the Formula One race, I was crossing my finger all the way. And, when we passed, all my friends started congratulating me. It was like I had graduated or something,” she beamed.
Edwards questions penalty on late race restart That #18-Kyle Busch won his fourth consecutive spring race at the 0.75-mile oval was overshadowed by the fact that #99-Carl Edwards and #14-Tony Stewart both thought a possible win was ripped from their clutches. Edwards felt he was incorrectly penalized for jumping a restart with 82 laps to go. A black flag forced him to pass through the pits at 40 mph, dropping him from second to 15th.
"I don't think it's right. I don't agree with it," said Edwards, who wound up 10th. Stewart, meanwhile, thought a debris caution that ultimately cost him the lead on the race's final restart with nine to go wasn't necessary.
Vickers to drive for AF Waltrip in SPA & Le Mans AF Waltrip Racing announced its driver line up for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16 as well as the six-hour FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium on May 5. Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman and NASCAR driver Brian Vickers will join Rui Aguas behind the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia competing in the LMGTE Am class at both events. The AF Waltrip entry is a joint effort by the Italian AF Corse team and NASCAR's Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers replaces two-time Daytona 500 Champion Michael Waltrip whose television and NASCAR duties will keep him out of the driver lineup at both races. Vickers, who'll drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine in eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012, said he relishes the opportunity to compete in major sports car races. The Ferrari 458 will carry the logos of RK Motors Charlotte in both races. RK is the country's leading retailer of investment-grade classic and collector cars, selling hundreds of vehicles each year. Michael Waltrip Racing
Superb win for Stoner and another podium for Pedrosa at Jerez
Casey Stoner took his first ever MotoGP victory at the Grand Prix of Spain and Dani Pedrosa, third on his 100th race in MotoGP, joined him on the podium at the Jerez circuit, where the Repsol Honda Team has celebrated the second consecutive double podium of the season.
The current World Champion had a difficult start but quickly recovered proving to have something extra in his pocket to fight for his first victory of the season after a superb race in front of a strong Lorenzo.
Dani Pedrosa had a perfect start again, but he got passed on the second lap and dropped to the fourth position. The Spaniard was quite cautious at the beginning and lost precious time that he was unable to regain in the second half of the race, when he started lapping faster than the leaders.
Driver dies at Goodwood A racing driver has died in a tragic crash at Goodwood motor racing circuit. The incident happened during a time trial event at 2.50pm on Saturday 29 April when 27-year old Sandra Harrison-Moore, of Blackthorn Grove, Milton Keynes, who was driving a 'Caterham' type sports car apparently lost control coming out of the last bend during a race and collided with a tire wall.
She was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with serious head injuries but died there at 10.10pm the same day. Sussex Road Policing officers were called to the circuit and have been investigating the crash on behalf of HM Coroner for West Sussex but there is no evidence of any other vehicle being involved.
The motorsport fans have the DTM fever and built a record crowd for the season opener: 142,000 spectators wanted to be there for the start into the new era of the DTM during the race weekend at the Hockenheimring Baden- Württemberg.
On the Sunday of the race alone, 71,000 spectators celebrated the three-way battle between the premium manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz and race winner Gary Paffett (GB). The 31-year old Mercedes-Benz driver survived the turmoil after the start and after great duels, he crossed the finish line to finish first from his fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers and compatriot Jamie Green. Paffett said about his 18th race win in the DTM: “Last year was really bad for me. Nevertheless, I didn’t lose my self-confidence. Great, the way it has started now. At the start, I managed to stay out of traffic and the duel with Jamie was really fair.” Mercedes-Benz scored its sixth consecutive race win at Hockenheim.
Morning update from a soggy Sao Paulo It's a wet race day at the Anhembi circuit for the 26-car field in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle (11 a.m. ET).
Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in morning warm-up on a wet track at 1m36.0166s. He was followed by E.J. Viso and Will Power. Justin Wilson and Rubens Barrichello rounded out the top-5. Barrichello's 5th best time delighted the Brazilian crowd and they are hoping his skill will get him to the front as rain is the great equalizer.
Will Power, who has won both races in Brazil -- and the past two IZOD IndyCar Series races -- starts from the pole in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti will join him on Row 1.
"Rain always mixes things up. Mixed up conditions always makes it fun for the fans and sometimes an interesting result," Power said.
Rain cancels Grand-Am qualifying at HomesteadUPDATE More heavy rains are reported to cycle through the Homestead area until early afternoon, just before the 1:00pm (EST )start of the "Grand Prix of Miami".
04/28/12 Rain canceled qualifying for Sunday’s Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, putting the championship contenders together at the front of the field with points leader and Ft. Lauderdale-based Starworks Motorsport on the pole in the Daytona Prototype class.
With rainy conditions continuing, GRAND-AM and Homestead-Miami Speedway officials opted to cancel Saturday’s scheduled qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Miami and replace it with optional practice. Today’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Kia 200 remains set for 2:45 p.m. EST.
Mr. Ecclestone’s plans stepped up a gear last week when a presentation about the financial performance and prospects for the business was given to a packed room of analysts at The Savoy hotel in London.
The meeting was led by Mr. Ecclestone and bosses from the F1 Group’s majority shareholder, the private equity firm CVC, whose headquarters are next door to the hotel. The prospectus will lead to a listing on the Singapore stock exchange.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS are the lead bookrunners for the IPO. Research analysts from the banks heard at the presentation that once the prospectus is lodged, the board of F1’s holding company, Delta Topco, will be asked to approve the flotation. It will value the F1 Group at around $10bn and up to 30pc of it will be listed, with CVC remaining the majority owner.
Engine spat still alive after Sao Paulo qualifying
Chevy teams not happy that Honda was allowed to change their turbo. They say Honda will have a real advantage now at Indy, Fontana and Texas - all 100% throttle tracks where the single turbo has less overall back pressure
The IndyCar engine controversy seems far from over and now it’s the Chevrolet teams that are saying they’re at a disadvantage against those with the Honda power. The teams using Honda were allowed to get an upgraded engine for the first time during practice and qualifying for the Sao Paulo 300 on Saturday, improving their performance and giving Chevrolet reason to complain.
Honda was allowed to change the turbochargers on its engines after a three-person panel on Thursday upheld an IndyCar decision against an appeal by Chevrolet.
Will Power won the pole position with a Chevrolet in his Penske, but six of the top 10 drivers on the grid Sunday will be using a Honda engine.
Long Wins Pirelli World Challenge GT at Utah Patrick Long, of Belleaire, Fla., checked out for the Pirelli World Challenge GT win at the Privacy Star Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant, but the real fireworks came in a GTS finish that allowed Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., to take his first series win.
Long took the overall win by 3.032 seconds in the No. 1 Privacy Star/Entrust/TruSpeed Porsche 911 GT3, averaging 96.168 mph in the 23-lap, 70.104-mile race, but the last-lap focus was on the GTS class battle.
Lee’s No. 20 Best IT Chevrolet Camaro entered the last lap in fourth place in the GTS class, trailing Kinetic Racing teammates Michael Galati and Colin Braun in the Nos. 36 and 38 Infinity Audio/Kia Motors USA Kia Optimas and Peter Cunningham’s No. 42 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Braun closed the gap to Galati, and the two were battling for the lead on the last corner of the 3.048-mile Outer Course configuration when the cars hit, sending both off course, collecting Cunningham, and letting Lee race to the win. The crash was named the Kia Turning Point of the Race.
Lacy and Ford Victorious at Miller Motorsports Park in Rounds 3
Tooele, Utah – Under clear skies and cool temperatures, surrounded by snow capped mountains the Pacific F2000/Formula F Super Series Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care held round 3 on the 2.2 mile West Track at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The event was run as Part of the Utah Grand Prix weekend where it joins the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Qualifying was held on Friday morning due to the number of on-track events being held and was led by Ian Lacy, a Tooele resident on his home track driving the #12 VP Fuel Van Diemen. Lacy last raced in the series in 2005 and on his return posted a time of 1:24.859, over half a second ahead of series point leader Bobby Kelley in his #21, A & B Equipment, Dave Freitas Racing Van Diemen who clocked in at 1:25.514 to join him on the front row of the grid.
Friday's leaders hold on through final NHRA qualifying in Houston Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas raced to his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway.
Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were No. 1 qualifiers and will lead their categories into Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event near Houston.
The GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel team ran low e.t. of the event Friday evening, and the 3.772-second pass at 327.74 mph held up as the No. 1 qualifying position throughout Saturday’s warm weather conditions.
IndyCar Brazil Saturday notebook The following cars will receive 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes:
#6 Legge (carryover penalty from Long Beach race)
#15 Sato (engine change after Practice 2)
New tire specs, used already: The Firestone primary and alternate tire specifications are new for Brazil, but both specs have already seen race action this year at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. The specs feature updated tread compounds applied to the same Firehawk street course tire construction used throughout 2011.
The Firestone rain tire for this weekend is the same rain spec used in the last half of 2011.
Chevy seeks to make strong impression: Chevrolet's Agile and Prisma are favorites of taxi operators in São Paulo. It's no coincidence as Brazil boasts one of the strongest global retail markets for the General Motors brand.
The race weekend on the street circuit will be the first for the IZOD IndyCar Series engine manufacturer.
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo is yet again the man to beat after a thrilling qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez this afternoon.
Race fans witnessed an incredible 29 changes of provisional pole position as the riders fought it out on ever changing track conditions. Lorenzo was initially off the pace, running outside the top ten as dark clouds and a damp track threatened to ruin any chance of an improved time.
Some small set up changes and fresh rubber combined with the Mallorcan’s trademark determination saw him climb quickly up to the top spot, a position that was then hotly contested until the last moments of the session. Lorenzo finally beat fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) to pole by 0.135 seconds.
IndyCar team owner finedUPDATE Barnes had tweeted "Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope @IndyCar gets their act together. It has been embarrassing."
04/28/12 INDYCAR has fined and placed Panther Racing CEO and managing partner John Barnes on probation through Dec. 31 for posting a comment using improper or disparaging language in reference to INDYCAR on his Twitter account pursuant to Rule 184.108.40.206 of the rulebook.
The amount of the fine is $25,000.
Rule 220.127.116.11 of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook: Using improper, profane or disparaging language or gestures in reference to Officials, Members or actions or situations connected in any way with INDYCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series or any Event.
Brazil: Franchitti tops 2nd IndyCar practice With the help of a little better turbo performance, Dario Franchitti put Honda on top for the second IndyCar practice session on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Will Power, who topped the first session, and who is the favorite to win the pole, was 2nd just 0.0816sec behind in hi Chevy.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was third in another Chevy. Scot Dixon (Honda) and Ryan Briscoe (Chevy) rounded out the top-5.
Victory never tasted so good for Tom Dillmann: the French rookie took a lights-to-flags win in today’s Sprint Race after having to hold off a charging Luiz Razia in the final laps. He took the checkered flag 0.1s ahead of the Arden man and thus pocketed his first ever GP2 win.
When the lights went off, polesitter Dillmann had to defend his position at Turn 1 to keep the lead ahead of Marcus Ericsson. Further down the pack, Esteban Gutierrez and Felipe Nasr took a blazing start. The Mexican entered Turn 1 from the inside slightly came together with Giedo van der Garde. The Dutchman spun but was able to rejoin safely. By then, Razia had made his way to P3 from fifth on the grid.
Mattias Ekstrom won the pole position for the opening round of the 2012 DTM at Hockenheim for Audi. Jamie green was second for Mercedes, but the big surprise was BMW's Dirk Werner who shocked the paddock with third position and on the second row in BMW's return to DTM.
In qualifying at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the Swede set a fastest lap time of 1:34.680 minutes to secure the best starting grid position.
Green missed the apex on one corner on his fast lap and he wound up 0.215 seconds behind Ekstrom, who claimed his 20th DTM pole.
Brazil: Power leads opening IndyCar practice Just 1 second separated the top-15 cars in opening practice for the IndyCar in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Chevy powered Will Power on top ahead of the Honda of Dario Franchitti.
Franchitti's Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon was third, followed by the Hondas of Simon Pagenaud and rookie Josef Newgarden who continues to impress everyone in the paddock.
If they ain't wrecking, NASCAR fans ain't watching
If they ain't wrecking, NASCAR fans ain't watching
The racing's been so clean this season that most NASCAR fans are falling asleep from sheer boredom watching the cars drone around lap after lap in circles. It's enough to make a zombie out of anyone.
So NASCAR fans have asked for more wrecks - torn up machinery that costs the team owners a lot of money, because if they ain't wrecking, NASCAR fans ain't watching. For many it's the only reason they go to a race. There's nothing like hearing and watching a good wreck unfold right before your eyes. The fans stand and cheer as they watch a driver they hate have their car all wadded up.
Bristol Motor Speedway will remove progressive bankingUPDATE Added photo of laser mapping machine being used to map the track surface in 3D before they will take out the progressive banking.
Mapping the surface of Bristol before milling it
Less than a month after fan feedback convinced him to make changes to the concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced his plans for significant modifications to the track. "I said when this process began last month that I would listen to what the fans said they wanted," Smith said. "After a week to 10 days, there was no question that the overwhelming majority was asking for alterations to the track. Since March 28, when we announced that changes would be made, we have listened to fans, heard from drivers and talked to engineers about what to do and how much time we had to do it. Once we knew the direction, we located the right equipment to make it happen." The changes concentrate on the progressive banking applied when the current track surface was put in place in the summer of 2007. "The majority of fans we heard from said they wanted adjustments made and the bulk of those said the progressive banking was what they didn't like," said Smith in explaining the decision-making process. "So, that's the focus of our efforts. And that is what we are working to change." When the deteriorating BMS track surface was replaced in 2007, variable banking was added. Often referred to as "progressive" because the degrees increase from bottom to top, the layout provided multiple lanes of racing on the famed short track. Smith said the choice to change the track surface did not come easy, but listening to the race fans always has served him well. "More and more fans kept asking us to do something to the track," Smith said. "So I put it out there. They spoke and we listened. I want them to be happy; I want them to love their experience in Bristol. This will accomplish that and I know they will be pleased with the result." BMS
Danica can't handle a loose race car Not every race car driver is talented enough to drive a car loose. It absolutely can be nerve wracking. But if you can do it you're great, and of you can't well, it's going to be a long race staying out of everyone's way.
If it was a 100% throttle high downforce IndyCar Danica Patrick could mix it up with the boys. But if you have to hang the tail out and run the car loose (the fast way around the race track) Danica would always fall back. Friday night in Richmond was no different.
She fought a loose racecar all night in what turned out to be a long evening culminating in a 21st-place finish, two laps behind winner Kurt Busch.
Pescarolo to delay launch of its 2012 LMP1 race car until Le Mans Sports-car legend Henri Pescarolo has delayed the debut of his new LMP1 contender until the Le Mans 24 Hours.
His team had planned to race its new Pescarolo-Judd 03, which is based around the monocoque and suspension from last year's Aston Martin AMR-One, at the Spa 6 Hours on May 5. The car now will not be ready in time for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which means that Pescarolo Team will be forced to hold off its race debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Pescarolo blamed the late start date for the project for the postponement. He said there would be no chance to test properly before Spa.
Rosberg and Schumacher to drive classic and modern Silver Arrows
Rosberg (L) in Fangio's 1955 W196 Silver Arrows and Schumacher (R)
Mercedes Petrobras driver Nico Rosberg’s first Formula 1 win in the Chinese Grand Prix one week ago was also the first for a works Silver Arrow since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. The victory in Shanghai came precisely 20,671 days after five-time Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio won the world championship at Monza in his Mercedes-Benz W196. In the 55 years between 1955 and 2010, there was no such thing as a thoroughbred works Silver Arrow in Formula 1. Rosberg's win came in the 41st Grand Prix of the new era.
To thank his German fans for their incredible support, Rosberg will be performing demonstration laps around the Hockenheimring in Juan Manuel Fangio’s race-winning Silver Arrow from the 1955 season.
It is currently 63 degrees F in Sao Paulo and overcast. The forecast calls for 40% chance of showers today and a high of 77F when the IndyCars will be practicing a qualifying. Things go downhill after that. Raceday forecast calls for a 90% chance for rain and thunderstorms and a high of 79F.
04/27/12 Just got into Brazil this morning. Raining steadily with low cloud cover. Seemed like we couldn't see the ground in the plane until we were from about 500 feet altitude.
Was a bit surprised to see Tagliani here. Evidently the team is not here but both Bryan Herta and Tag are here to fulfill some sponsors commitments. Tag was very upbeat and really glad that he'll have a competitive engine for Indy. "The good news is, I'm going to have a shot at the pole again," he said.
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