Jacques Villeneuve's former manager and team boss Craig Pollock announced plans on Wednesday to return to Formula One at the helm of a new engine manufacturer from 2013.
Engine rules are due to change dramatically that year, with the governing FIA keen for the sport to ditch the existing V8s and switch to 'greener' 1.6 liter four cylinder turbocharged units that will use hybrid technologies.
The former BAR team principal told Reuters his PURE Corporation expected to meet F1 teams at this month's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and hoped some would be interested in what he was offering.
Hendrick Plane-Crash Suit Settled Hendrick Motorsports and the widows of two former Hendrick employees have settled claims with the U.S. government over the October 2004 plane crash that killed 10 people, including four members of team owner Rick Hendrick’s family.
Lawsuits stemming from the accident were pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals, but recent filings indicate all parties have reached undisclosed settlements to end the litigation.
IMS revives Hulman Indy Challenge Trophy The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today a revival of the Hulman Indy Challenge Trophy as a key part of a strategy to work with corporations and entrepreneurs to define the next generation of automobile, continuing its legacy and leadership role in the development of automotive technology through motorsports.
"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was founded 102 years ago with the mission of providing a proving ground for the automotive industry," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. president and CEO. "We recognize the landscape is changing for the development of the automobile, and we are eager to provide the ultimate showcase for those wanting to prove their products in on-track competition."
2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman® will usher in the seventh year of all-star caliber, pit crew competition.
The family-friendly event features the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews and is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 745-3000. SPEED’s broadcast of the event begins at 8 p.m.
The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman is the only indoor event sanctioned by NASCAR and is part of an all-star lineup of events including NASCAR Rev’d Up on Wednesday, May 18 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (7 p.m., live on SPEED) held Saturday, May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
GM Plans To Spend $100M To Upgrade Corvette FactoryUPDATE General Motors said Wednesday it will invest $131 million in the Bowling Green Assembly plant to support production of the next generation Chevrolet Corvette, adding about 250 jobs.
“This is a significant day for anyone who believes that America should build world-class, high-performance products,” said Mark Reuss, GM North America president. "Corvette has no domestic peer for performance and pedigree and stands alongside the world's best supercars with almost 60 years of continuous heritage.
"This investment in Kentucky is among $3.4 billion made in the United States since mid-2009 to keep or create more than 9,000 jobs for American workers," Reuss said.
Speedway Motorsports loses $1.5M in 1Q Speedway Motorsports Inc. reports a first-quarter net loss of $1.5 million or 4 cents per diluted share. In the same period last year, the Concord-based company earned $9 million, or 21 cents per diluted share.
Revenue fell to $86.7 million in the latest quarter from $118.5 million a year earlier.
Speedway Motorsports says its latest results were affected by challenging economic conditions, including higher fuel prices. Also, two racing events that were held in the first quarter of last year were moved to the second and third quarters of this year.
F1 Would Need ‘Heavily’ Persuading on Takeover, Dennis Says McLaren, Formula One’s second-most successful team, and its competitors need to be “heavily persuaded” to back a takeover bid by News Corp. (NWSA) and Exor SpA (EXO) should the buyers plan to move the sport to pay-television, Chairman Ron Dennis said.
The pair of possible bidders is seeking other investors and a formal offer may not be made, they said in a joint statement yesterday.
Aerodynamic focus in F1 'unacceptable' - Domenicali (GMM) Stefano Domenicali is calling for a "discussion" in formula one about the disproportionate influence of aerodynamics.
As Ferrari struggled with the opening stanza of 2011 and worked to get to the bottom of a wind tunnel problem, president Luca di Montezemolo said aerodynamics is playing an "80 per cent" role in the performance of the cars.
"F1 is also about the mechanical, the engines. This F1 does not sit well with me," he said.
Team boss Domenicali told Auto Bild that he fully agrees.
"Actually, in formula one at the moment there is really only aerodynamic development," he said. "It is 90 per cent of the performance which from the perspective of a car manufacturer such as Ferrari is unacceptable.
Richmond track still has exposed concrete wallsUPDATE #2
05/02/11 It's doubtful this statement from Doug Fritz of Richmond International Raceway will make Jeff Gordon feel any better about his hard contact with the inside backstretch wall during Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Crown Royal 400. Gordon hit an unyielding concrete wall in an area where there is no energy-absorbing SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier.
The track president on Monday issued this statement:
Greenlight releases 1:18 scale Indy Cars for 2011 As all race fans know the month of May marks the start of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”; the Indianapolis 500. The race has been held every year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) since 1911, giving birth to legends and weaving a tapestry of tradition and speed.
IMS is celebrating its centennial milestone in 2011 as a leader in worldwide motorsport entertainment and pillar in racing history. IMS will commemorate the 2009-2011 centennial era with festivities focused around honoring its historic Indianapolis 500 racetrack.
GreenLight Collectibles has recently signed a licensing agreement with the IZOD IndyCar Series. This agreement allows GreenLight to produce 1:18 scale replicas of cars that will be running in the 2011 season. GreenLight has a lot of experience with IndyCar replicas as they were the primary die-cast manufacturer for the series through 2008.
IndyCar boss forced to back down on record run at IMS this May Chasing Indianapolis Motor Speedway's speed record is still being considered, but the exhibition effort won't happen this month, the Indianapolis 500's chief steward said Tuesday.
Brian Barnhart said the timing of the event isn't right, which means Arie Luyendyk's official track record, a lap of 237.498 mph set during qualifying in 1996, will stand a little longer.
But a summer attempt is still possible, he said.
"There's still a lot of interest in doing it," Barnhart said.
Karl Reindler & Steve Owen V8 Supercar crash and explosion at BarbagalloUPDATE Some spectacular photos from the V8 Supercars accident from last weekend have appeared. Note the distance of the two cars between photos 1 and 2, its less then 5 meters (15 feet) between no sign of fire at all and the car of Reindler engulfed in flames.
Month of May gets underway Saturday at IMS Alternative energy will take center stage Saturday, May 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the celebration of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 gets underway with Emerging Tech Day and the Allison Transmission Balloon Festival.
Gates are open from noon-10 p.m., with entry from noon-2 p.m. only through Gate 10 (30th Street) and entry at Gate 2 (Main Gate, 16th Street) also available starting at 2 p.m. Admission is free, with a variety of activities for all ages.
Emerging Tech Day, presented by Allison Transmission, Indianapolis Power & Light, Duke Energy and the U.S. Army, celebrates the Speedway as a proving ground and showcase for sustainable automotive technology. It will feature more than 80 universities racing from noon-5 p.m. in cars designed by students using solar, electric and hybrid power in the Formula Hybrid, Formula Sun Grand Prix and Purdue evGrand Prix series.
It is clear that James Hinchcliffe is fast becoming a worthy heir in the long line of top Canadian drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series. His top-10 finish at the So Paulo 300 on Monday was his second in three races to go with his fourth-place finish at Long Beach.
It is just unfortunate the 24-year-old from Oakville, Ont., had to wait so long to get to open wheels’ top North American loop. Only sponsorship stopped him from jumping into an IndyCar Dallara Honda after the 2009 season when he finished fifth in the Firestone Indy Lights series.
But Hinchcliffe is happy to be with the very respected Newman-Hass racing team this season and with his result from Brazil. “We got another top-ten and were the top rookie so we are relatively pleased,” he said. “We have had two good finishes in a row now and the confidence is high for the team.” Toronto Sun
Packers' Charles Woodson Named Grand Marshal For Milwaukee 225
Charles Woodson, a defensive star of the World Championship-winning Green Bay Packers, has been named Grand Marshal for the Milwaukee 225 IZOD IndyCar Series race set for June 18-19 at the historic Milwaukee Mile in the Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Woodson, 34, was a prime contributor to the Packers’ title drive during the 2010 National Football League season at his starting defensive back position. Woodson was named to the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl for the seventh time in his career.
Small-car sales lead April surge While many automakers are reporting much stronger April sales today, they say that rising gasoline prices — which even hit a historic high in Michigan today — are having a dramatic impact on buying habits.
With consumers flocking to smaller fuel-efficient models, industry inventories of the most popular versions are starting to decline as the replacement pipeline is slowed because of production disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan.
General Motors said today its U.S. sales increased 26.4% in April compared to the same month a year ago. The automaker’s April sales likely outpaced the industry, which is expected to increase by about 14.9% in April, according to Edmunds.com.
Martin Truex Jr. will have new tire carriers and tire changers this weekend at Darlington. Steve Hallam, MWR's Executive Vice President said: "We've seen significant improvement in the overall performance of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in 2011. With our impressive speed comes the added pressure of the entire team to perform.
As we know, the #56 has experienced several challenges on pit road and we feel the need to intervene. Pit crews are professional sportsmen and as such, they understand that sometimes changes need to be made. The team will have new tire carriers and changers beginning at Darlington this weekend. Two of those four athletes we've added come from our Nationwide program and the other two from our back-up squad.
Our organization is fortunate to have the flexibility and depth of experienced crew members to make adjustments from time to time that benefit everyone involved." The new crew members are Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft, Front Tire Carrier: Ricky Coleman, Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Rankin, Rear Tire Carrier: Jake Brzozowski. MWR PR
Lewis Hamilton is the best-paid sportsperson in England, according to figures from ESPN Magazine. The 2008 world champion earned $18,473,684 last year, as drivers made numerous appearances on the list for their respective countries.
Felipe Massa topped Brazil's earners with $17,052,632, Fernando Alonso's $22,736,842 put him at the head of Spain's list, and Robert Kubica is the highest earning Pole with $10,657,895.
From other areas of motorsport, Valentino Rossi's $20,800,000 made him the best paid Italian, while Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya are both doing well for themselves outside of Formula One, with $26,333,333 and $5,088,410 making them the biggest earners in Finland and Columbia respectively.
Honda Canada to sponsor Paul Tracy for Canadian IndyCar rounds Honda Canada Inc. announced today it will sponsor Canadian Paul Tracy’s car for the third consecutive year, and will support Make-A-Wish Canada at the Honda Indy Toronto, set to run July 9 to 10 at Exhibition Place and the Edmonton Indy from July 22 to 24 at the City Centre Airport.
A native of Scarborough, Ontario, and 2003 Champ Car World Series champion, Tracy is one of the most successful and exciting drivers in the history of open-wheel racing. For the 2011 racing season, Tracy will pilot the #8 Make-A-Wish Canada/Dragon Racing/Honda/Dallara/Firestone car.
“At Honda, we believe in ‘The Power of Dreams’ as a way of thinking that drives us forward and is based on the visionary principles of our founder, Soichiro Honda,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc. “In accordance with that philosophy, we are thankful that we can help realize the dreams of Canadian children living with life-threatening medical conditions through our continued association with Paul Tracy and Make-A-Wish Canada.”
Sam Schmidt, Dragon partner for historic Indy 500 entry for Tung
Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung is hoping to become another racecar driver to earn a special place in the Indianapolis 500 record books.
Tung, driving the No. 8 Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry for Schmidt Dragon Racing, will become the first driver from China to attempt to qualify for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." He tested an IZOD IndyCar Series car last fall in Sebring, Fla., with the former FAZZT racing team which is now Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM). The test was funded by Bowers & Wilkins, sponsor of SSM's No. 77 IndyCar team.
"I am very excited to take part in the Indy 500 with Schmidt Dragon Racing," Tung said. "The support for me in China has always been tremendous, and it's a great honor to be the first Chinese driver ever to take part in this special race, especially being the 100th edition. I realize it will be tough since it will be my IndyCar debut, but Sam Schmidt Motorsports has shown great results in the last few races at the Indy 500, and Jay Penske and the Dragon Racing team has proven they can deliver a highly competitive racecar, so I am confident to have a good chance to qualify for the race."
Conway sponsors for Indy announced Andretti Autosport announced today that Hire Heroes USA, 7-Eleven Inc., the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have joined forces to provide primary sponsorship backing for the #27 entry of Mike Conway at the 100th anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500.
As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, Hire Heroes USA's mission is to offer transition support, job-search assistance and job-placement services to those who have honorably served in all branches of the US military - and to their spouses - to reduce veteran unemployment. Hire Heroes tries to match career interests, qualifications and transferable skills of veterans with the needs of hiring companies partnering with Hire Heroes. Veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and/or those who are wounded or disabled, receive priority. Services are provided at no cost to the veteran.
GM sales up 26 percent fueled by economy cars General Motors Co.'s U.S. sales climbed again in April, with the Detroit automaker selling 232,538 vehicles, up 26.4 percent over the same month last year, the company reported this morning.
Rising gas prices and consumers looking to buy more fuel-efficient cars helped give GM a sales boost, even as economic jitters and parts shortages in earthquake-ravished Japan slowed showroom traffic elsewhere in the industry.
BMW has acknowledged that a four-wheel-drive version of its new M5 is being lined up.
BMW’s new rival to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, revealed at the recent Shanghai show, uses a 552bhp twin-turbocharged V8 motor and features a typically conservative body kit with sinister-looking 20in wheels.
BMW is keen to hold back exact details about the car, but officials have confirmed that there are moves to eventually produce a four-wheel-drive version of the M5.
'Good news' on 2011 Bahrain GP due 'soon' - official (GMM) A senior Bahraini official on Tuesday was confident the kingdom's grand prix will be rescheduled for later in 2011.
F1's governing body has given race organizers another month to declare that conditions in Bahrain, where civil unrest forced the cancellation of the season opener at Sakhir, are now good enough for the event to take place.
"It's not cancelled, it's only postponed. We will hear good news soon," Bahrain tourism's acting assistant undersecretary Nada Ahmed Yaseen told Gulf News.
Speedway Says 'Thanks' By Providing 1,000 Coca-Cola 600 Tickets For U.S. Navy SEALs In the wake of Sunday's news of the U.S. Navy SEALs successful mission in bringing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden to justice, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are pleased to announce that 1,000 tickets will be provided by fans and sponsors to send active SEALs and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.
"Charlotte Motor Speedway has a rich history of honoring our nation's military," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "However, we would be the ones honored to have members of the U.S. Navy SEALs join us for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600, through the Let the Troops Race program, as a token of our gratitude for a job well done."
Versus To Debut "IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly" This Afternoon
Versus today at 4:00pm ET will debut "IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly." The show will be co-hosted by Robin Miller, who said, "They always say, 'There's all these NASCAR shows. We don't have anything about IndyCar racing.' So finally Versus gave us the chance to have a show and ... it's not going to be scripted." The show will help the drivers show their "personalities." Miller added that IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard will appear on today's debut show and will "give us a little scoop, we think," possibly on the "2012 car and engine situation"
Number Of U.S. TV Homes Declines For First Time In 20 Years The number of U.S. TV homes has dropped "for the first time in 20 years." Nielsen today will tell TV networks and advertisers that 96.7% of U.S. households own TV sets, down from 98.9% previously. One reason for the decline is poverty: Nielsen research indicates the new TV-less HHs "generally have incomes under $20,000." The other is that "young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets" and are instead "subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet" N.Y. TIMES
(GMM) 2011 is team co-founder Patrick Head's last season in formula one, Williams chairman Adam Parr revealed on Tuesday.
The 64-year-old handed over as technical director some years ago and admitted recently that he is not attending too many races this season as engineering director.
He cashed in millions of his team shareholding for the Frankfurt stock floatation earlier this year, and will head into retirement proper later in 2011, Parr told reporters during a teleconference.
The teleconference was called after Williams announced that Head's successor as technical director, Sam Michael, is leaving -- probably to be replaced eventually by new chief engineer Mike Coughlan who is joining the team next month.
Spygate architect Appointed as Williams Chief Engineer
Williams F1 today announced that ex-Spygate architect Mike Coughlan will join the team in June 2011 in the role of Chief Engineer.
Mike Coughlan undertook his training and education at Rolls Royce and Brunel University. He began his Formula One career at Lotus where he worked his way up to Chief Designer. He subsequently worked for Tyrell, Ferrari and Arrows before joining McLaren in 2002 as Chief Designer. Mike left Formula One in 2007 as a result of his role in the ‘Spygate’ affair. Since then, Mike has applied his skills principally as Chief Engineer in the development of the Ocelot Light Protected Patrol Vehicle. He joins Williams F1 from NASCAR competitor, Michael Waltrip Racing.
When it comes to the great corners of Formula One, tradition generally holds sway: Eau Rouge, Copse and Casino Square, to name but a few, are legendary names in the sport's history. 'Turn Eight' may have a little less mystique than its more historic counterparts, but the longest corner of the season is worthy of the reputation it has acquired since 2005. Turning left through approximately 200 degrees, this 640 meter-long corner has established itself as a firm favorite among Formula One drivers.
Turn Eight is the longest corner of the season. What are the key facts? Turn Eight is 640m long - which equates to 12 per cent of the total lap distance of 5.338 kms - and lasts for 8.5s, equivalent to 10% of the current lap record of 1:24.770 set in 2005. Drivers generally take three apexes, the slowest of which is at 260 kph, with an average corner speed of 270 kph.
How does this compare to the other longest and fastest corners of the season? Turn Eight presents a unique combination of very high speeds and sustained load. In terms of time spent in the corner, the cornering phase through Turns one and two in Shanghai totals 8.7s - which exceeds Turn Eight - but during deceleration rather than at sustained high speed. The Parabolica at Monza lasts for 7.6s, and Barcelona's Turn Three for 7.4s. In terms of speed, comparable corners are 130R at Suzuka (3.7s, 315m) and Copse at Silverstone (3s, 240m) - both have a duration of less than half that of Turn Eight. In terms of distance, the season's next longest corners are Parabolica at Monza (470m) and Spa's Pouhon (460m) - both are over 25% shorter than Turn Eight.
Engineering director Patrick Head plans to cut back on the number of races he attends this year so that he can spend more time at the Williams factory.
The decision comes on the back of Williams' nightmare performances in the first three races of the season. The Grove-based team failed to get a car across the finish line in the first two races while Rubens Barrichello could only manage 13th place in China with team-mate Pastor Maldonado five spots below him.
The team are determined to turn things around and Head has decided to spend more time attending to the FW33's reliability problems at Grove.
"We have some very good people at all levels on our race team, and I was doubtful that I could add to our work there," he told MotorSport magazine.
Pirelli aims to change hard tire Pirelli is planning on changing the compound of this season's hard tire from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Tires have been a focal point of 2011 so far after Pirelli was asked to develop less durable compounds in order to open up the possibilities for more exciting races. The move has worked, as teams have been able to adopt different strategies in their approaches to races, and the differences in tire condition have seen more overtaking taking place.
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembrey, however, says that the tire manufacturer feels that the hard tire does not last long enough. Having tested a harder compound during practice for Malaysia, he said another version would be used on Friday in Turkey with a view to it becoming the new hard compound.
Michael leaving Williams, spygate's Coughlan to join Williams F1 today announced that Technical Director, Sam Michael, and Chief Aerodynamicist, Jon Tomlinson, have resigned from their positions within the company, to take effect at the end of 2011.
Frank Williams, Team Principal, said: “Both Sam and Jon are talented and driven people who have worked hard for Williams over 10 and five years respectively. Nonetheless, they have recognized that the team’s performance is not at the level that it needs to be and have resigned in order to give the team the opportunity to regroup and undertake the changes necessary to get back to the front of the grid. Both will continue to work in their present positions through until the end of the year to ensure that the team maintains focus and momentum during the 2011 season. We are very grateful to Sam and to Jon for their professional approach.”
Red Bull contract not open door for Vettel - Marko
(GMM) Helmut Marko has played down any suggestion Red Bull has simply left the door open for Sebastian Vettel to be poached by a rival team.
As the reigning champion and 2011 title leader recently signed up through 2014, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitted that if 23-year-old Vettel "wants to go to Ferrari or Mercedes ... we would let him go".
However, Marko - Mateschitz's Austrian countryman and right-hand man on motor sport matters - has a slightly different interpretation of the meaning of the billionaire's stance.
He said it is a general Red Bull "philosophy", with the hypothetical situation actually needing to be assessed "over a period of one or two seasons", said Marko, according to Germany's Auto Bild.
'I just passed a baloney sandwich out my nose' Dear AutoRacing1.com, I just read the 12 Hours of Sebring article called 48 Hour Party People by Keith Ori on your home page. That has to be one of the best pieces of racing journalism I have read in 15 years. I laughed so hard I passed the baloney sandwich I was eating right out my nose. Damn that hurt, but the laughs more than made up for it. Donald Dewberry
Motorsports This Week on ESPN NASCAR Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Darlington
ESPN2 continues its coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live, prime time telecast of the 200-mile race at historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday, May 6. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 7:45 p.m. Also from Darlington on Friday, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at 3:30 p.m.
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Vince Welch.
IMSA Announces Michelin as the Official Tire Supplier International Motors Sports Association today announced that leading tire manufacturer and worldwide Porsche technology partner, Michelin, has been named the official tire supplier of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, the 20th Porsche GT3 Cup series in the world.
Michelin currently supplies racing tires for the 911 GT3 Cup cars in Porsche Michelin Supercup and the worldwide Porsche Carrera Cups, for the 911 GT3 RSR in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n and the FIA GT championship.
In addition to providing the series’ official racing tire, Michelin will also award a set of its new Pilot Super Sport street tires to the winner of each GT3 Cup Challenge Canada race. Michelin will also provide a Porsche Design Driver’s Selection watch (worth approximately $1,000) to each second-place driver and $500 cash to each third-place driver.
Superleague Formula Announces World Cup 2011 Superleague Formula today announced its full 2011 calendar, which will see the championship embark on a World Cup, with races on four different continents this season.
The championship, which is about to begin its fourth season of racing, will get underway at one of its traditional venues, Assen in the Netherlands on June 4/5, before heading to Zolder in Belgium in July.
Superleague Formula World Cup will then make a piece of motorsport history by becoming the first major international single-seater championship to race in Russia, with the Superleague Formula Grand Prix of Russia at the Smolensk Ring.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France Visits ESPN NASCAR Chairman Brian France Visits ESPN Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR, visited ESPN on Monday and appeared on NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, and on SportsCenter.
On SportsCenter, France told anchor Kevin Negandhi that the sport has momentum.
“We started off with a really neat champion in the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne, a young kid with an old team, so we had some neat storylines. Some of the drivers that had been struggling, like Jeff Gordon, have already won and they’ve put notice that they’re going to contend for the championship. Jimmie Johnson could do something historic and get to six, and then Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running well, he’s well within our playoff structure to make it, and he’s competing at a high level, so we see a lot of neat things going on right now.”
Mari Hulman George, Foyt To Place Golden Brick Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George and legendary four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt will place a commemorative "golden" brick into the famous Yard of Bricks on Tuesday, May 24 at IMS.
This event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Foyt's first Indy 500 win in 1961 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Former Speedway owner Tony Hulman - Mari Hulman George's father - and inaugural Indianapolis 500 winner Ray Harroun first placed a "golden" brick into the famed Yard of Bricks at the start-finish line of the 2.5-mile oval after the main straightaway was paved with asphalt in autumn 1961, the 50th anniversary year of the race.
The Paul Newman V8 Beetle Paul Newman had a 351 Ford V 8 put into his 1963 VW bug convertible mated to a 5 speed transmission. Talk about a sleeper this was it. Its for sale for $250,000 pretty cool car for old cool Hand Luke. More.....
Rally driver killed in Washington Matthew Marker, 31, of Elk Rapids, Mich., did not survive injuries sustained in a racing accident Saturday during the Olympus Rally in Washington.
Marker’s co-driver Christopher Gordon of Brooklyn Park, Minn., was not seriously injured in the accident.
The crash occurred when Marker’s car went off the road on a right turn, during the sixth competitive stage of the event, impacting a tree with the driver’s side of the car. Medical personnel responded to the scene quickly, but could not resuscitate Marker.
RallyCar Managing Director, J.B. Niday, knew Marker well describing him as, “a generous, loveable personality that wouldn’t think twice about offering parts to other drivers. He loved the sport and was a unique character from the first day he showed up at the Sno*Drift Rally four years ago.”
Olympus Rally organizers and RallyCar officials decided to conclude the Rally American National Championship event at the end of Special Stage 6 and will award points based on those finishing times.
IndyCar race restarted in Sao Paulo - Power winsUPDATE #9 Will Power has won followed by Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe. See Home page soon for story.
05/02/11 Current Top 10 Lap 50 - Power, Rahal, Briscoe, Franchitti, Servia, Conway, Sato, Wilson, Hinchcliffe, Hildebrand.
05/02/11 Sato and Andretti have to pit for fuel and Will Power takes the lead and Rahal is 2nd.
05/02/11 Lap 45 still under green, Sato leads from Andretti, Power, Saavedra, Rahal and Briscoe. Viso was black flagged for blocking. About 6 laps to go. Can Sato hold on or will he need fuel?
05/02/11 Current Top 10 on lap 38 under green after stops: Sato, Viso (Passed Andretti), Andretti, Saavedra, Jakes, Rahal, Franchitti, Power, Briscoe, Servia. KV Racing is 1-2. Can they hold on to win?
05/02/11 Franchitti makes hard contact with the tires in the Turn 1 run off and we have yet another caution on lap 32. Most cars are pitting for a change of tires and fuel. Franchitti continues.
05/02/11 Restart on lap 29 and we have three cars off in the runoff in Turn 1. Andretti is all over Will Power challenging for 2nd. Justin Wilson spun and got back underway. Sato still leads Power, Andretti, Franchitti and Servia. Current Top 10 - Sato, Power, Andretti, Franchitti, Servia, Viso, Briscoe, Dixon, Hildebrand, Tagliani.
05/02/11 Restart on lap 25 and Takumo Sato has outbraked Will Power in a very wet Turn 1 and has taken the lead spot. And Andretti has passed Franchitti to move up to 3rd. However, we are full course caution again as a result of the double file restart. Matos and Kimball were involved. The passes were exciting, the resulting parade behind the pace car is not.
05/02/11 Lap 23 and Sebastian Bourdais is in the tires. Full course caution. Hunter-Reay also had a small spin. No change in the top-5.
05/02/11 The rain delayed IndyCar race in Sao Paulo, Brazil is back underway with Will Power in the lead. The track is wet and all cars are on rain tires. At lap 20 Power leads followed by Sato and Briscoe. Franchitti and Andretti round out the top-5.
Bahrain uncertainty continues after deadline (GMM) A decision about the possible rescheduling of the Bahrain grand prix this year has been postponed for yet another day.
After the May 1 deadline ran out on Sunday, it had been expected that the governing FIA would declare on Monday if a new date could be set for a 2011 race in the troubled island kingdom.
But as the Paris federation and Bernie Ecclestone apparently disagree about whether the organizers should be given even more time, the F1 chief executive was quoted as saying the sport "will go there this year if the authorities can guarantee a peaceful and quiet race".
Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR, will be a special guest on Monday's edition of NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, airing at 5:00 pm/et. France will be in the studio and join part of the one-hour Monday roundtable edition of the program to discuss the sport with ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven, ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton, NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith and host Allen Bestwick.
In addition to appearing on NASCAR Now, France also will be interviewed on SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship news and information program, during the 10 am program. The interview will re-air in later editions of SportsCenter between noon and 3 pm Monday.
14 new teams bidding for 2012 MotoGP grid slot With MotoGP fields being very slim in recent years comes word that fourteen new MotoGP teams are fighting for places on next year’s starting grid, with governing body the FIM and commercial rights holder Dorna Sports having received applications in Portugal at the weekend. Accepted teams will be confirmed at the start of next month.
With 16 applications having been reviewed, the FIM and Dorna elected to provide all outfits bar two with full prospectuses regarding a 2012 entry, with the documents in question detailing terms and conditions of participation.
Start time changed for IndyCar rainout The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle, scheduled for Sunday, May 1, will now restart 8 a.m. (ET) Monday, May 2. and will be televised live on VERSUS at 8 a.m. (ET).
'IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly' debuts May 3 For four days in São Paulo, Brazil, this past week, Kevin Lee had the entire IZOD IndyCar Series – drivers, team principals, officials – all under one roof at the Anhembi circuit. The setting and timing aligned for the VERSUS broadcaster to gather insights and anecdotes for the show he’ll co-host on the network.
“IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly” debuts at 4 p.m. (ET) May 3, with a re-air at 11 p.m. (Pacific). The hour-long format will afford in-depth discussions of the topics du jour and the sport in general.
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, HVM Racing driver Simona de Silvestro and reigning USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson, who will make his Firestone Indy Lights debut in the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 27, will be in-studio guests.
Ave dominates meager Trans-Am field at Miller Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., dominated the competition in today’s SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series Round Two race at Miller Motorsports Park, part of the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Grand Prix of Utah. Doug Harrington, of Kemah, Texas, and Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., finished second and third, respectively.
Ave started from the pole in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette and put on a driving clinic. The only lap of the 33-lap race Ave did not lead was the first one.
On the first lap heading into Turn One, the rookie Carlos de Quesada slid inside of Ave to take the early lead. De Quesada led the first lap before Ave regained the lead on the next lap. Once Ave took the lead, he never looked back winning by 16.957-seconds over Harrington and capturing his first Trans-Am Series win of the season.
IndyCar quotes from Sao Paulo rainout DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy):"What a disappointing day. We started the day 17th with the GoDaddy car and I just wanted to get through the start. The start was going to be chaos, I was pretty sure of that. I left enough room to negotiate if something happened. A car was on the outside of me and we entered turn one side-by-side and went side-by-side through the chicane. Two cars were stopped outside and I had time to react - I slowed down and then got hit and spun around. It's a crash. Things like that happen on a start in a place like this in the rain; cars can't see coming into turn one and there's no room for error. It's really unfortunate. Luckily the guys were able to fix the car during the red flags and we were ready to go again when the race got called for the day. We'll see what tomorrow brings and how they decide to restart the race. Anything could happen at this point."
Brazil IndyCar Sunday Notebook The Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle champion's trophy is a work of art.
It was created by plastic artist Paulo Solarize, a São Paulo resident who in the 1970s competed in motorcycle racing, and will be presented for the second consecutive year in Victory Circle. For this year's race, Solarize also created trophies recognizing the winning team and the driver who sets the fastest race lap on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street course.
"The idea was to do a champion's trophy to represent some characteristic of Sao Paulo," he said. "As the city doesn't have any geographical point that serves as inspiration, as Rio de Janeiro has Sugar Loaf, I found a good one intended to show what Sao Paulo symbolizes for the people. Therefore, the piece will bring family elements to the culture from São Paulo and also Brazilian, with references to the pioneers and the workers that built the richest state of the country."
Barnhart thanks city of Sao Paulo for trying to get race restarted "It's disappointing to have to postpone any event, but especially one that we anticipated to be such a great event," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for INDYCAR, sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series. "The city of Sao Paulo did an outstanding job on improving a circuit that produced 96 passes for position a year ago and had a lot of on-track action, but ultimately, it came down to a visibility issue and safety for our competitors is a priority.
"We thank the city and state of Sao Paulo and the event promoter and track workers for their efforts to dry the track. Hopefully, the great racing fans in Brazil who came today will come back tomorrow and fill the grandstands for the great event they came to see."
Pole sitter Will Power led the first 10 laps on the 11-turn, 2.6-mile circuit before it was red-flagged for 2 hours, 23 minutes the due to treacherous conditions that limited visibility. After a brief attempt to resume the race, it was stopped for a second time at 4:25 p.m. local time.
Brazil IndyCar running order when race resumes Monday
Heavy rains stopped the race
Heavy rains and standing water on the Parque Anhembi temporary street circuit forced IZOD IndyCar Series race officials to postpone Sunday's scheduled Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 after 14 laps. The race is scheduled to resume Monday morning at 8 a.m. EDT. with a warm-up.
Conditions permitting, on Monday the race will restart on Lap 15, with the remainder of the 75-lap event to be broadcast Monday on Versus at 1 p.m. EDT.
Can IndyCar drivers do double file restarts without crashing?UPDATE The answer is no. Today was another debacle as IndyCar actually thinks they can do double file restarts in the rain, when it is proven the drivers can't avoid contact when they try it in the dry. At this rate they'll have to rename the series "The IZOD Parade Series" because week in and week out they parade behind the pace car while the carnage is cleaned up and the TV viewers switch to another program. As we stated for the umpteenth time, they should limit double file restarts to the oval tracks only.
05/01/11 Jeff Olson for Autosport writes, Are double file restarts ever going to work? Can 26 IndyCar cars dive into a sharp Turn 1 on a street course without littering the pavement with carbon? How many more well-publicized errors can the series take before integrity – and ratings – suffer beyond repair?
"I think it's doable," Scott Dixon says. "It's a lot more difficult to achieve visually for the drivers, just because everything happens so fast. On the ovals, I don't see it as a problem, but on the road and street courses, it's tough to pull off.
"What it comes down to is that it's what the fans and racing people want to see. If you've had a bad qualifying, it can be a way to gain track position. It's just that at the moment that you see the space open, it closes. You can't try to make up eight positions on a restart. It's not going to work. Officials need to pull their fingers out of their asses and give penalties, too. You have to police this thing or it won't work.
Well he did it again, but this time he took himself out with a boneheaded outside pass maneuver. Helio Castroneves’ string of making contact in every race this season was extended.
“I thought bad things come in threes, but here’s a fourth,” he said. “Hopefully at Indy we’ve got to have our luck back.”
Franchitti confirmed the contact with Castroneves, but questioned the three-time Indy 500 winner’s choice of places to attempt a pass.
“Helio came alongside me, I got oversteer and we touched and he ended up in the fence,” said the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver. “I’m not sure that was a really a passing point, as bad as the conditions were.”
Video: Massive crash, Porsche Carrera Cup Italia at Imola A massive roll happened to Marco Mapelli on lap 2 of the PCC Italia Race at Imola. If you look closely, the car in front of him (Max Busnelli) had a left rear puncture before losing it, which caused the huge crash... Thankfully all the drivers walked away unhurt !!
Remember 17 years ago at the same place, Ayrton Senna & Roland Ratzenberger passed away during that tragic F1 weekend.
It's raining in Sao Paulo - race halted until MondayUPDATE #3
Oriol Servia in the heavy rain
Persistent rain and standing water forced IZOD IndyCar Series officials to postpone the Itaipava Sao Paulo 300 until Monday at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Fourteen laps in Sunday's scheduled 75-lap race were completed, with most of them run under caution, before officials made the decision to postpone it until the following day.
The first eight laps were marred by a series of crashes due to the inclement weather, including a multi-car incident in the first corner of the opening lap. Dario Franchitti got loose and made contact with Helio Castroneves, which triggered the pileup.
"I'm very upset, because I gave plenty enough room and just wanted to drive and go around the corner, but Dario went up deep," Castroneves said.
It was the second consecutive year that rain brought out the red flag. Pole sitter Will Power held the lead on the restart, with Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe in second, Mike Conway in third and Takuma Sato in fourth.
Bruno Spengler wins Hockenheim DTM race Canadian Bruno Spengler has made his first mark of the 2011 DTM season. Having claimed pole position on Saturday, the 27-year old Mercedes-Benz driver achieved a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the season opener at Hockenheim. “I am very happy and I am looking forward to celebrating together with my team today. The start of the season is already very good, but there are still many races to come and one has to remain realistic”, the race winner said.
A three-way battle for the remaining podium positions between Swedish Audi driver Mattias Ekström, Ralf Schumacher with the AMG Mercedes C-Class and Timo Scheider (Audi) just before the end of the race was a thrilling finale. In spite of problems on his car, Ekström still had the upper hand with a margin of 187 thousandths of a second and ended up second. Schumacher claimed his maiden podium finish in his 33rd DTM race.
Vergne outduels teammate Wickens at Spa After a race that kept up the suspense right to the checkered flag, the Carlin drivers did the double again at Spa-Francorchamps, but in reverse order compared to the previous day. Jean-Éric Vergne (Carlin) took his first win of the season ahead of Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Chris Van der Drift (Mofaz Racing). The two Carlin drivers come away from Spa lying first and second in the Championship standings, with Robert Wickens fourteen points ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne.
The Carlin drivers adopting a winning strategy as of the qualifying session, with Wickens and Vergne driving head to tail to get maximum benefit from the slipstream effect. Vergne got his first pole position of the season ahead of Daniel Zampieri (BVM-Target), who managed to slot in between the Carlin cars.
Di Resta, manager, admit Mercedes interest (GMM) Paul di Resta and his manager are not dismissing speculation the rookie Scot could be snapped up by Mercedes on the back of an impressive start to his formula one career in 2011.
Di Resta, the reigning DTM champion for Mercedes, has been hailed as "exceptional" by Norbert Haug and tipped for a move to the Silver Arrows by British commentary legend Murray Walker, after the 25-year-old outqualified his experienced teammate Adrian Sutil in his first three attempts with Force India.
"It is great that people are talking but at the same time I have got to keep progressing," di Resta told the Telegraph.
Bahrain not cancelling GP as 2011 deadline runs out (GMM) Organizers of the Bahrain grand prix are not ruling out hosting a rescheduled formula one race in 2011, despite the official FIA deadline now running out.
F1's governing body imposed the May 1 deadline for a 2011 race rescheduling and last week said it is still in place, while Bernie Ecclestone indicated the Kingdom might be given a few more weeks to iron out political problems.
The sport's chief executive is quoted in a notably vague statement issued by the Sakhir circuit: "While obviously the Kingdom has had to put its national affairs first I have never been in any doubts that restoring the Bahrain grand prix has been of paramount importance."
EC would block Murdoch takeover - Ecclestone (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday said the European Commission would stand in the way of a sale of F1's commercial rights to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The F1 chief executive was already lukewarm amid the reports of News Corporation's interest in buying F1 from CVC, and he told the Sunday Independent that he has an agreement to keep the sport on free-to-air television.
Murdoch owns the well-known pay-TV channels BSkyB and Sky Italia, and the subscriber-only Times and News of the World websites.
NASCAR, manufacturers schedule meeting NASCAR officials and representatives of the four participating manufacturers plan to meet next week in Detroit. It's all informal, of course. NASCAR President Mike Helton likened the meeting with representatives from Dodge, Ford, General Motors and Toyota to the many town hall sessions with teams and drivers over the last few years. "The idea was for us to be better communicators with the stakeholders - the broadcast partners, the tracks, the teams, the drivers," Helton said. Associated Press
With Biffle signed, Roush will now focus on EdwardsUPDATE
Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said discussions also continue with Carl Edwards, who is the only Roush driver not signed beyond 2011. The team's deal with AFLAC, the primary sponsor of Edwards' #99 Ford, also is up after this season. Roush recently announced extensions concurrently with Greg Biffle and sponsor 3M. It's expected the contract for Edwards would be done the same way.
"The way NASCAR has evolved a little bit is sponsor and driver contracts aren't done in isolation," Newmark said. "They're connected. The driver salary is directly dependent on the sponsor dollars coming in, so that dictates all of it. We've had discussions with AFLAC as well, similar to what we did with 3M and Greg. You try to match everything up; it's putting the pieces of a puzzle together. We continue to have continuous discussions and remain cautiously optimistic about getting a deal done." USA Today
Foul mouthed Kurt Busch has another meltdown After getting bounced around like a ping-pong ball throughout the race, Kurt Busch had a meltdown on the team radio after his Dodge received damage in the Montoya-Newman crash. The profanity-laced tirade blared over the team's radio, and it's likely those in the stands and the media that heard it are still shocked.
Maybe it's a good thing that Busch's team owner, Roger Penske, is in Sao Paulo, Brazil, preparing for Sunday's IndyCar race and didn't have to hear the inflammatory remarks. It will be interesting to see the reaction. SI.com
[Editor's Note: Another embarrassing moment for Team Penske]
A great result for the Repsol Honda team that today saw its three riders placed in the first four positions of the Grand Prix of Portugal with Dani Pedrosa on the top step of the podium, Casey Stoner in 3rd and Andrea Dovizioso 4th.
Dani Pedrosa conquered his first win on this track, after having been glued to Jorge Lorenzo from the 1st to 24th laps, then with a perfect overtaking maneuver he took the lead of the race and ended with a three second advantage.
Superbike team transporters 'found to contain drugs' Lorries belonging to a team taking part in the Superbike World Championship were detained at Dover last month after arriving by road and ferry from Italy.
On board the Kawasaki Racing Team trucks, officers allegedly discovered 18lbs (8kg) of cocaine, 157lbs (71kg) of amphetamine tablets and more than 220lbs (100kg) of cannabis – as well as a handgun and 35 rounds of ammunition, left lying on a table inside one vehicle.
It is claimed that no attempt had been made to conceal the weapon or the drugs.
Vergne takes Spa Race 2 pole Jean-Eric Vergne sealed pole position for the second race of the weekend in fine style at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday morning, as the French driver pipped his rivals with a late effort worthy of the top spot. The 20-year-old will line-up alongside Daniel Zampieri, while Race 1 pole-sitter and winner Robert Wickens claimed third.
Another pleasant morning at the Belgian venue allowed for the fastest time of the weekend to be set by Vergne, almost half a second quicker than the Race 1 pole time. Behind the top three, Chris van der Drift showed more promise for Mofaz Racing, edging out Walter Grubmüller to take the final grid slot on the second row. César Ramos was next up in sixth, ending the session just two thousandths ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who failed to make an impression on the front runners.
The KMP Racing duo of Nelson Panciatici and Anton Nebylitskiy will line-up in eighth and ninth, while Kevin Korjus grabbed the final place inside the top ten.
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Tony Kanaan, who is piloting the No. 82 Itaipava – KV Racing Technology – Lotus for his home race, originally qualified 15th with a lap of 83.684 seconds, but was penalized for an illegal wing change and assigned his fast time prior to the change, (84.2205 seconds.108.401 mph), dropping him to 21st on the grid. He will start on the inside of row 11.
“During our first outing the team noticed that according to our telemetry there was something wrong with the front wing of the car. I came in and the team swapped wings, but I ran out of time to get a good lap. After the qualifying was over we were informed that we got penalized because of the wing change. It will be a long day tomorrow, but this track is good for overtaking, so I’m confident that we’ll improve during the race.”
Kanaan will be making his second start on the streets of Sāo Paulo tomorrow. Last year, he qualified sixth and finished 10th. The talented Brazilian is third in the championship race with 87 points just 35 points behind series leader Dario Franchitti. He is one of four drivers to finish in the top-10 in each of the first three events of the 2011 season and has improved 25 positions (starting position to finishing position) in the three events. Kanaan will be making his 136th consecutive IndyCar start tomorrow putting him just two shy of the Series record.
Bayne Undergoing Medical Tests; Will Not Race in Richmond this WeekendUPDATE
Trevor Bayne remained hospitalized a second night Friday as he undergoes tests for symptoms thought to be related to an insect bite suffered earlier this month. He suffered nausea and fatigue earlier this week before going to the hospital for the second time this month, a Roush Fenway Racing official said. Bayne was hospitalized April 10 upon returning to North Carolina from the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "[Bayne] is undergoing a very comprehensive and thorough battery of tests,'' said Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.
"The doctors will finish those tests and, hopefully, get the results back and figure out what the diagnosis is. In a perfect world, what's going to happen is that they're going to come back and say, 'Roush Fenway, you overreacted.' In our view, the racing is kind of irrelevant right now when you're talking about the health of a 20-year old kid.'' Bayne was scheduled to have competed in Friday night's Nationwide race. He was replaced by Chris Buescher. Roanoke Times
Fire at former Yunick garage intentionally set; reward offered The inferno that swept through the former garage of famed NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick was intentionally set, the State Fire Marshal's office said Friday, and a reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.
The blaze erupted about 7 p.m. Monday, tearing through the last remnants of the historic garage at 957 N. Beach St. where the late Yunick worked his mechanic magic for NASCAR greats Fireball Roberts and Marvin Panch.
Nina Ashley, a spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal's office in Tallahassee, said the fire was "incendiary," which means it was set intentionally. It has not been classified an arson, however, because the intent is not clear.
IndyCar CEO skirts the hard questions on IndyCar TV
Randy Bernard, being politically correct as always, would never admit Versus is a noose around the series neck
In a Racer Magazine Q & A with Randy Bernard on the IndyCar TV situation, the IndyCar CEO skirts the issue when pressed to solve the horrendous TV ratings the series is getting on Versus.
Q: When's the first chance that what are currently Versus races can be seen on NBC? Is it 2012 or 2013?
RB: Well, we start renegotiating our network television deal this month and right now we're in an exclusivity phase with ABC. We're being very respectful to them and we've had some very productive meetings with them.
Q: But ultimately, could ABC's five races end up on NBC, and the remaining 12 switch to the NBC Sports Channel?
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