Montoya's contract status: Juan Pablo Montoya was asked about his contract status with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and next season. Montoya is in the final year of his current contract, the transcript in part:
Q) IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR WHERE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS REALLY HEAT UP, ARE YOU PLEASED WITH WHERE YOU ARE?
Montoya: "I can't do anything right now. With the way my contract is I can't really talk or anything. I'm just waiting. I've talked to Chip (Ganassi, team owner) a little bit and we're moving along."
Brazil IndyCar Notebook - Saturday HP campaign featured on Dreyer & Reinbold cars: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's No. 22 car driven by Justin Wilson will have the HP "Everybody On" primary livery for the race weekend. HP also will have an associate level presence on the No. 24 car of Ana Beatriz.
Drivers will have 15 pushes of the Honda overtake assist - an ECU software alteration employed by Honda Performance Development - each lasting 22 seconds during the race. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
Motocross ace Jeff "Ox" Kargola killed in Baja accident Freestyle motocross ace and Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series racer Jeff “Ox” Kargola passed away Saturday after suffering head and other injuries in a motorcycle accident near San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico. He was 27.
Bruno Spengler claims first pole position of the season
A happy Bruno Spengler
Canadian Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) is on pole position for the DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. With his AMG Mercedes C-Class, he claimed the best grid position with a lap time of 1:34.270 minutes in qualifying for the first race of the season. Lining up alongside him on the front row of the grid on Sunday will be Mattias Ekström (Audi).
The Swede missed out on first place by 0.132 seconds. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) in third place and Timo Scheider (Audi) in fourth position will be on the second row of the grid.
Lorenzo snatches pole position at Estoril With dark clouds looming over the circuit, it was race winner from Jerez, Lorenzo who claimed his 17th MotoGP pole and the 43rd in his career. The Yamaha rider’s win in Spain was the 15th time he had stood on the top step on the podium, matched Alex Criville’s record of the most wins by a Spanish rider in the premier class. This is a circuit where the Mallorcan has won the last three races from pole position.
The pole position lap time of 1’37.161 was just over one tenth faster than his nearest challenger Simoncelli. After dominating both Friday practices, the Italian rider had continued to lead the timing screens throughout the qualifying hour until he was pipped by the reigning World Champion in the final five minutes. Simoncelli then was on a lap which was a third of a second up on the Yamaha when he crashed into turn 7 which ruled out the possibility of the 24 year old fighting to regain top spot.
Power nips de Silvestro to lead practice 2 in Sao Paulo
Will Power on the streets of Sao Paulo
For the fourth consecutive race, Will Power earned the pick of groups for Segment 1 of qualifications by topping the combined practice time chart.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 24.151 seconds on the 2.563-mile street circuit in the second session. Qualifying for the PEAK Performance Pole Award is set up in three segments, with the first segment composed of two groups of 13 cars.
Power was the winner of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race in Brazil in 2010.
Wickens goes flag-to-flag in race 1 at Spa Robert Wickens took a flag-to-flag victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Canadian led every lap from pole position and completed his dominance by setting fastest lap. Wickens' Carlin team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was second, 2.6 seconds adrift at the checkered flag.
Front row qualifier Albert Costa made a outbraking attempt on Wickens at Les Combes on the opening lap. After locking-up spectacularly, Costa ran wide over the grass on the exit of the corner and was passed by Vergne. Costa held on to finish 3rd despite flat spotted tires.
Tony Ave in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette at Miller Motorsports Park
Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., top the speed chart in this morning’s Round Two SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series practice session at Miller Motorsports Park, part of the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Grand Prix of Utah. Carlos de Quesada, of Miami, Fla., was second fastest.
Under overcast skies and temperatures near 40 degrees, Ave turned the top time with a 1:49.016 (100.653 mph) in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette. Ave is the defending race winner from a year ago.
Ayrton Senna documentary U.S. release set for Aug. 12 U.S.-based Formula One fans, rejoice: The documentary film Senna, which tells the story of the late three-time world champion, Ayrton Senna, will be released in the United States on Aug. 12 by Producer's Distribution Agency, with the scale of the distribution yet to be determined.
Directed by Asif Kapadia, Senna made its North American premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January. Culled from nearly 5,000 hours of footage--some never seen before--the film received strong critical praise from those throughout the world fortunate to see it already. It won the coveted Audience Award at Sundance this year.
Ryan Briscoe, coming off a runner-up finish in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, topped the time chart in the initial practice session for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle.
Driving the No. 6 Penske Logistics car, Briscoe toured the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street circuit in 1 minute, 25.1072 seconds. He moved to the top on his final lap (19th) of the session.
Team Penske teammate Will Power, who won the inaugural race in 2010, was second (1:25.1421) and Ryan Hunter-Reay -- the race runner-up last year -- was third (1:25.2043) in the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport.
Wickens snatches Race 1 pole at Spa Carlin Motorsport's Robert Wickens secured pole position for the first race of the weekend at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday morning, with the Canadian driver posting a time of 2:02.855 in the closing moments of the session to steal the top spot. Albert Costa also made a late surge to claim second, while Jean Eric Vergne had to settle for third place.
It was an incident packed session.
Despite the calm weather conditions, the Belgian venue played host to some drama in the closing stages of Qualifying 1. Ricciardo went out on new rubber, got caught out at the top of the Raidillon and hit the guardrail. Out came the red flag and Race Control applied the law to the letter cancelling the Australian’s best time. The cars restarted but not for long as the red flag came out again after André Negrao’s (International Draco Racing) accident.
NASCAR running cleaner fuel in cars The stock cars thundering around Richmond International Raceway this weekend will be powered by Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol-based fuel that ramps up horsepower and is better for the environment.
The fuel, which was first introduced at the start of this year's racing season Feb. 17 in Daytona, Fla., is NASCAR's latest move in a campaign to make the racing league greener.
"We're taking a blank canvas approach and considering all options in a major way," said Mike Lynch, managing director of green innovation for NASCAR.
Kasey Kahne knee update A transcript in part from Toyota Motorsports from a press conference at Richmond, with #4-Kasey Kahne answering questions on his recent knee surgery:
Q) How did your knee surgery go and how are you feeling now? Kahne: "It went really good. I thought just doing it Monday right after the Talladega race would be good. I'd have plenty of time to recover. They just had to fix my meniscus again. It actually feels pretty good."
Q) Will your knee injury affect you in the race car? Kahne: "I hope it doesn't, but it's still a little bit sore. I think it may be sore throughout the race, but really as far as affecting the speed or the way that the race plays out, I don't think it will affect that at all."
Tony Kanaan's No. 82 with Itaipava sponsor livery for this weekend
Scott Dixon with Kellogg’s livery this weekend
Danica was giving a press conference, her normal, every weekend meet with the press. I didn't take notes but I heard her say something to the effect: That all the women drivers in the series have done well and did well in other formats before coming to IndyCar. With regard to NASCAR, she said what she liked about NASCAR is you can give back to a driver (retaliate) without putting them in danger (banging fenders). But she didn't say anything about her plans for next year. Personally, we think she'll go full time NASCAR.
There are 26 cars entered. Should be the same as Long Beach. Helio is in a red and white car sponsored by Itaipava and TNT. Kanaan is also sponsored by Itaipava. Saavedra is just listed as Conquest Racing. James Jakes has Visit Orlando as his car name. Dario is in the Kellogg's car this weekend. Briscoe's car name is Penske Logistics, i.e. Roger Penske's wallet.
N.C. gives green light to making stock-car racing the official state sport North Carolina might join the ranks of states that have officially adopted a state sport. The state Senate on Thursday endorsed stock-car racing by a margin of 46-3.
The legislation now goes to the state House. If approved, North Carolina will take its seat among those American regions to have legally declared athletic notoriety, including:
Ferrari have run Felipe Massa at the wheel of the F150° Italia this morning at Fiorano. According to Italian website omnicorse Massa featured in a commercial with a test that allowed the team to run different setup options.
The car running at Fiorano certainly appeared to be running more rake, a setup option that many appear to be investigating after Red Bull's RB7 appears to work marvelous with it.
In an attempt to reduce the gap to Red Bull and McLaren, Ferrari will introduce a new front wing design to gain additional front downforce. It is believed that this is the major culprit for the team, after finding its wind tunnel tests inaccurate. Running more rake will also help reduce the height of the front wing, hence also allowing it to create more downforce.
Along with the new package at Turkey will be an updated rear wing and revised rear suspension.
Estoril MotoGP Friday practice times The MotoGP riders returned to action at the Estoril circuit for the first two free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Portugal nearly a month of inactivity after the Jerez race.
Although the sky threatened rain all morning, the MotoGP riders were thankful to have 90 minutes of dry practice time to start working on the race set up.
Carnegie to be honored May 21 at IMS Tom Carnegie's legendary voice helped to elevate the tension, drama and excitement of Indy 500 qualifying for 61 years, so it's only fitting that Pole Day for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 will be known as "Tom Carnegie Day" on Saturday, May 21 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carnegie, who died Feb. 11 at age 91, served as the Public Address announcer at the Speedway from 1946-2006. He called 61 Indianapolis 500's, 12 Brickyard 400's and six United States Grand Prix races for millions of fans at IMS.
During "Tom Carnegie Day," the new Public Address stand at IMS will be named in Carnegie's honor and his unmistakable, booming voice will be heard at various times over the Public Address system. In addition, highlights of Carnegie's remarkable career will appear on the Speedway video boards.
Wilson Will Pilot The No.22 HP Primary Livery in Brazil
Wilson's HP sponsored car
As Dreyer & Reinbold Racing heads to Brazil this weekend for the fourth round of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season, they are proud to announce that Justin Wilson will campaign the HP "Everybody On" primary livery for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300. In addition, HP will also have an associate level presence on the No. 24 car of Ana Beatriz.
"We are excited that HP will be showcased on Justin Wilson's No. 22 machine and on Ana Beatriz's No. 24 Ipiranga car. Last year in Brazil we qualified third with Justin and we hope to bring the HP car home with a good result," commented Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner. "We are excited to be partnering with HP. This is just another example of how Dreyer & Reinbold Racing continues to grow. Not only will fans see the HP brand on the track, our team and HP are committed to a strategic technology and engineering alliance as well," added Reinbold.
Firestone Indy Lights race in Iowa lands sponsor Sukup Manufacturing Co., will serve as the title sponsor of Iowa Speedway's Firestone Indy Lights race on Saturday, June 25.
The Sukup 100 will be held prior to the Iowa Corn Indy 250 IZOD IndyCar race, as part of an action-packed weekend fueled by Iowa's agricultural industry.
"Sponsoring the Sukup 100 Firestone Indy Lights race provides a great opportunity to connect with our current and potential customers as we join together to cheer our favorite drivers — and the ethanol industry — on to victory lane," said Sukup Manufacturing Co., CFO Steve Sukup.
Sukup Manufacturing Co., is a family-owned grain storage, drying and handling equipment manufacturer located in Sheffield, Iowa. Sukup has been providing top-quality products to agricultural producers since 1963.
Jakes helps Orlando reach out to potential visitors
City of Orlando car
Visit Orlando is the primary sponsor on the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car of James Jakes for the race on the streets of São Paulo.
It's the organization's first-ever sports sponsorship and is part of Visit Orlando's global marketing campaign, "Orlando Makes Me Smile," which recently launched in Brazil.
"James is an outstanding athlete and, as an Orlando resident, we're honored to have him as an Orlando ambassador on this worldwide sporting stage with millions of global fans and viewers," said Gary Sain, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. "It's also fitting that he is a native of the UK, one of Orlando's long-standing top international visitor markets, racing in Brazil, one of Orlando's fastest growing visitor markets."
They quickly got the rhythm of the dance and drums, and subsequently were invited to participate in one of the parades of Carnival in 2012.
"That would be a lot of fun," said Raphael Matos, who joined Helio Castroneves, Oriol Servia and E.J. Viso at the samba school Vai-Vai (loose translation: go and just do it) in São Paulo.
Participants at samba schools -- a gathering spot, social club and community outreach program rolled into one -- in many Brazilian cities plan their theme for Carnival, make costumes and their float, plan and practice the music and dance, etc., for more than nine months. Come Carnival time (in 2012 it's late March), samba schools compete for various prizes and trophies in the multitude of parades that take place in the Anhembi Sambadrome that is part of the circuit for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle.
Spa-Francorchamps: Peugeot and Audi top the bill! The Spa-Francorchamps 1000-kms race on 7th May is part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup for the first time. It has attracted an exceptional field, unfortunately without Aston Martin.
Aston Martin confirmed yesterday that it would not enter its AMR-ONES for the Spa-Francorchamps 1000 kms. This withdrawal is due to the fact that Aston Martin Racing has decided it needs more time to continue preparing and testing its two cars. The British team has decided to give the second round of the ILMC a miss, so as not to compromise its participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Indy 500 to have first Chinese driverUPDATE Autoweek says the team plans to test the Chinese driver – who has raced in GP2, A1GP and Superleague Formula, and tested for the Renault F1 team – at Chicagoland Speedway next week.
04/29/11 The Indianapolis 500 is about to get its first Chinese driver, part of the finalization of the entry list as the calendar turns to May this weekend.
Ho-Pin Tung, a 29-year-old born in The Netherlands, will drive for Dragon Racing, an Indianapolis-based team that reorganized during the offseason. Tung has A1 Grand Prix, GP2 and Superleague Formula experience.
Jay Penske's group went from having no cars a month ago to possibly having two in the 500.
Dragon's second driver depends on what happens with Highcroft Racing, a sports car team eyeing Izod IndyCar Series participation in 2012. Highcroft hopes to use its crew to field a car for its driver, Simon Pagenaud, but either way, Pagenaud could end up as Tung's teammate.
IndyCar leaving inept past in dust It is a southbound racing weekend with NASCAR Sprint Cup in Virginia and IndyCar going Brazilian with a trip to Sao Paulo. And the best one to watch will be the one where cars don't have fenders.
Trading paint in NASCAR is one thing, but it's more hairy in IndyCar where drivers have been trading carbon fiber. It's time to give IndyCars another chance because few remnants remain from 15 nightmarish years of the Indy Racing League when the so-called league was languishing in the minors.
Turn your TV viewing into an experiment: Watch NASCAR on Saturday night, then IndyCar on Sunday, and take notes about each telecast.
The open-wheel race lasts about two hours, one fewer than Saturday's NASCAR race at Richmond, Va. The IndyCar telecast features split-screen viewing of live action during national commercials, so you rarely miss anything.
DeLana "I wear the firesuit in this family" Harvick Selected
DeLana "I wear the firesuit in this family" Harvick
Best known for "wearing the firesuit" in the Harvick family, Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner DeLana Harvick has been selected as a recipient of The Business Journal's 12th-annual Women in Business award and will be honored today at a luncheon along with the other award winners in Greensboro, N.C. For over 10 years, The Business Journal's Women in Business program has honored extraordinary businesswomen in the Triad for outstanding contributions to their profession, employers and community. Sponsored by the Bryan Series at Guilford College and NewBridge Bank, the Women in Business program recognized 15 outstanding business leaders, ranging from entrepreneurs to high-ranking executives.
"It is such an honor to be recognized by The Business Journal's Women in Business program," said Harvick. "Going to the race track with my dad as a child really sparked an interest in motorsports. I feel so fortunate that Kevin Harvick Inc. gives me the ability to go to work every day and do something that I love."
McLaren drivers warn tires will be key Tire degradation could play a big role in the outcome of the Turkish Grand Prix next weekend, according to McLaren's Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
The tires have been the talk of the town as their durability and wear in the first three races of the season forced several teams to rethink their strategies. You only have to look at the Chinese GP for a case in point. Hamilton won the race on a three stopper after Red Bull's decision to pit Sebastian Vettel twice saw him lose valuable time to the McLaren driver in the latter stages of the race.
Button feels strategies could have an even bigger impact in Turkey as the high-speed Istanbul Park circuit will be very demanding on the Pirelli rubber.
Indian battery company sponsors Formula 1 Hispania Racing Team Base Batteries and Hispania Racing, the only Spanish team competing in Formula 1 have reached an agreement by which the Indian battery giants will become the official battery supplier of the racing team during the 2011 season.
India loves sport and 2011 is set to be a big year for Motor Sport in the country through the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, the 18th GP of the 2011 season. This would be the first time India would be hosting a F1 Grand Prix, the sport has a huge fan following in the country, and the world over. Earlier, Base Batteries associated itself with the Canadian World Cup Cricket Team which had a measurable impact on its brand identity.
Richard Petty teams up with Tag Heuer Known throughout the world for his signature sunglasses and cowboy hat, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has partnered with TAG Heuer and can now be seen sporting the TAG Heuer brand of sunglasses everywhere he goes. "I've been thoroughly enjoying my TAG Heuer sunglasses," stated Richard Petty "The fit is great, the quality and workmanship is outstanding and I couldn't ask for a better pair of glasses for protection of my eyes. Whether I'm at the race track or working around the farm, my TAG Heuer sunglasses are always on." Richard Petty is the owner and chairman of Richard Petty Motorsports. RPM PR
Nick Heidfeld has summed up his opinions of the new-for-2011 Drag Reduction System (DRS) following the opening three races of the year. The German, who stepped in at Renault to substitute for the injured Robert Kubica, admits that he is not a supporter of the overtake-assisting device.
“Well, like with everything, the more you use it the easier it gets but we’re still working on getting the perfect switch positions which we should have ready for Turkey,” 33-year-old Heidfeld began.
“I think it’s all working fine and going to plan, even though I’m not a fan of the rear wing because I don’t particularly like things which artificially aim to improve racing.
“The biggest difference is the tires. With the rear wing active and the car in front having similar tires, overtaking might still be difficult, which is exactly as what was planned with DRS.
“However, if you have fresher tires, it might be much easier to overtake. I think we’ve seen far more overtaking than in the past.”
(GMM) Ticket prices for the Turkish grand prix are too high, according to Mark Webber.
The Red Bull driver's comments come amid great uncertainty about the future of the event at Istanbul Park, with organizers saying the race next Sunday will be the last due to Bernie Ecclestone's doubling of the sanctioning fee.
The circuit is popular among the drivers and purists but Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas said actual attendance has always been low because "Turkish people didn't give the races recognition".
FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh, however, blames a lack of promotion.
Ferrari spending a lot of money to get smoked by McLaren and Red Bull
(GMM) Ferrari is F1's biggest spender, while Hispania boasts the smallest budget, an industry publication has found.
But the latest edition of 'Business Book GP' said the teams association FOTA has succeeded in dramatically cutting costs with its resource restriction agreement, according to a report in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.
The average annual team budget has reportedly decreased from EUR 209 million in 2009 to 113m in 2011. It was 119m in 2010.
Ferrari's (199m) is the highest budget, while HRT's (34m) is the lowest.
Racing drivers tend to avoid hospitals and graveyards because those places can remind them of the dangers of the sport.
Those reminders, however, didn’t stop two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon from paying his respects to Ayrton Senna, the legendary Brazilian racing champion, who is buried in São Paulo’s Morumbi Cemetery.
“Popped out to see Senna’s grave,” Dixon wrote on Twitter. “Very quiet in a busy city. What a legend!”
Senna remains a hero to many drivers from around the world but no place more than in his home country. The fact that the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle occurs on the 17th anniversary of his passing (May 1) provides extra motivation to the five Brazilian drivers in the field.
Confessions To Father B Robin Miller hones his comedic chops at the expense of more than a few members of the IndyCar community, particularly Father Brian Barnhart, or as Robin calls him "The Great Brian Barnhart" (TGBB). Read as Robin tears into Barnhart and makes the drivers look like his puppets. Speedtv.com
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