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DATE News (chronologically)
05/06/09
ga
Record crowd turned out in NJ for Grand-Am race  The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 drew a record crowd for the second consecutive weekend in Sunday's Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Only eight days after the Bosch Engineering 250 had a record event attendance at Virginia International Raceway, Sunday's Round 3 of the Grand-Am Rolex Series saw a 30 percent gain despite steady rain at Thunderbolt Raceway, part of the Millville, N.J., racing complex.

"Under these conditions, this was a hearty showing by dedicated race fans," said Kevin Wittman, General Manager of New Jersey Motorsports Park. "The entire Mid-Atlantic region, including South Jersey, is really embracing road racing and this facility. This weekend's attendance is a testament to that." More ...

05/06/09
automotive
NY Times Square Ferrari Stunt Crash  UPDATE Early this morning, an SUV jumped a curb not three blocks from where the prior accident had occurred and injured nine people, some of whom were members of the movie's production crew. The woman driving the SUV was not associated with the film, but it appears this film is destined to include some real body count.

05/06/09 Early Monday morning, a black Ferrari F430 crashed into the Sbarro restaurant on 47th Street in Times Square while filming a stunt for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a movie starring Nicolas Cage.  The Ferrari and a silver Mercedes-Benz were involved in a chase scene at around 1 a.m., when the Ferrari slid out of control. According to the police, which had cordoned off parts of Seventh Avenue, the Ferrari stunt driver, identified as Jeremy Fry, was supposed to “power slide” the car on Seventh. The Ferrari slid too far, jumped a curb, knocked over an electrical pole and smashed into the entrance of the Sbarro.

05/06/09
automotive
Porsche and VW to merge  Carmaker Porsche says it has agreed a merger with fellow German manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) after weeks of talks between the two firms' management.

The luxury carmaker said in a statement that it wanted to see the "creation of an integrated car manufacturing group".

VW hailed the decision of the Porsche and Piech families, owners of Porsche group, to create the merger.

It means a Porsche takeover of VW will not happen. The format of the new group will be decided in the next four weeks.

Talks will now take place between the two carmakers, VW's home state of Lower Saxony, and employee representatives.

The state's president Christian Wulff said in a statement: "We are ready for discussions, which must be carried out quickly."

05/06/09
irl
Philippe passes rookie test  
Nelson Philippe
Nelson Philippe became the fifth rookie to pass the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program, completing the final phase of the four-step process in the first 35 minutes of practice. Less than 15 minutes later, a persistent rain moved in, forcing the cancellation of the remainder of on-track activity.

With the final scheduled ROP session cut short, Thursday's schedule has been expanded to begin at 9:30 a.m. instead of noon. Stanton Barrett, the final rookie with two more phase of ROP to pass, will have one hour of track time before the track opens for all cars at 10:30 a.m.

Philippe completed 18 laps Wednesday with a best lap of 41.3436 seconds, 217.688 mph on the 2.5-mile oval. Barrett and Alex Lloyd were the only other drivers to turn laps, combining for 16 before the rains came. More ...

05/06/09
irl
Rain halts Wednesday's Indy action  UPDATE Only three cars made it onto the track at Indianapolis this morning before rain fell on the Speedway.

Alex Lloyd was on track for more 'refresher' training. Two of the drivers, Nelson Philippe and Stanton Barrett, still need to complete their mandatory rookie test to be eligible to qualify on Saturday. Philippe, clocked the fastest speed in the brief session at 217.668 mph.

Rookies Mike Conway, Robert Doornbos, Alex Tagliani and Raphael Matos completed their tests Tuesday. The full IndyCar field is expected to have their first practice later today.

05/06/09 Only three cars made it onto the track at Indianapolis this morning before rain fell on the Speedway.

Alex Lloyd was on track for more 'refresher' training. Two of the drivers, Nelson Philippe and Stanton Barrett, still need to complete their mandatory rookie test to be eligible to qualify on Saturday. Philippe, clocked the fastest speed in the brief session at 217.668 mph.

Rookies Mike Conway, Robert Doornbos, Alex Tagliani and Raphael Matos completed their tests Tuesday. The full IndyCar field is expected to have their first practice later today.

05/06/09
automotive
Corvette's future is secure  The future of the Chevrolet Corvette is secure, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson says, even has GM dramatically slashes its size and costs.

In an exclusive interview with AutoWeek, Henderson says that not only is the Corvette's current platform undergoing continual development, but the future seventh-generation car, dubbed C7, is also on track.

He would not specify when the C7 Vette would hit showrooms.

Henderson was bullish on Corvette. Not only is he a Corvette enthusiast who drives one, he knows that it contributes to the company's bottom line.

According to GM's top man, "Corvette pays its rent." More ...

05/06/09
irl
Panther Racing sues over deal gone bad  Indy Racing League team Panther Racing has filed a lawsuit against locally based video and Web production company Pathway Production Co., which is now owned by Mays Chemical Co. President William Mays. The lawsuit seeks $1.58 million.

Panther co-owner John Barnes claims Pathway failed to develop Web-based interactive audio and video curriculum for the fledgling Panther Education Center, a program to introduce junior high and high school students to motorsports careers and show them practical applications of academic topics, such as science and math.

Barnes said he negotiated the deal with former Pathway owner Michael Husain in early 2006, but never received any goods or services. Barnes is seeking the return of his original payment, plus all the materials he turned over to Pathway.

Barnes also is seeking compensation for a Panther Education Center franchise he had sold but was unable to deliver because Pathway never produced the materials Barnes requested.

“Pathway is defunct, there are no assets there,” Mays said. “So Panther can go ahead and sue Pathway, but I’m not sure what good it’s going to do.”  IBJ.com

05/06/09
f1
Q&A with Vijay Mallya  Force India followed Renault in becoming the second team to get a prototype double diffuser onto the VJM02 for the Bahrain GP, thus beating the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, BMW and Red Bull in the development race.

The cars clearly found pace, although Adrian Sutil was delayed after a push from Kazuki Nakajima and Giancarlo Fisichella was given a nudge by Felipe Massa. We asked Dr Vijay Mallya for his thoughts on the Bahrain weekend, and the return to Europe.

Q: Both drivers had strong races in Bahrain, although both were also hit by other cars – a Ferrari in Giancarlo’s case. What are your thoughts on that?

‘That’s racing, I wouldn’t complain about it! Both drivers were running up in 10th position at one point and then after the pit stops we dropped down. I’m satisfied that we were racing, and we were racing some of the best teams in the business. We beat the BMWs, which is not something I could have predicted with any degree of certainty last year!’ More ...

05/06/09
automotive
Chrysler ups incentives to $4,000  Chrysler LLC announced its latest round of incentives this morning: up to $4,000 off a new 2009 Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge.

"Consumers are telling us that the net purchase price of the vehicle is the most important factor right now, so we are pleased to introduce incentives that address what the consumer is looking for," said Steven Landry, executive vice president in charge of North American sales and marketing.

The incentives take effect today. There also is a $1,000 owner loyalty incentive for those who have a Chrysler-made vehicle, and that offer is good for most 2008 and 2009 models.

05/06/09
f1
Mosley cancels trip to Spanish GP  (GMM)  FIA president Max Mosley has cancelled his scheduled visit to the Spanish grand prix this weekend.

The 68-year-old was scheduled to appear at the Circuit de Catalunya for round five of the formula one world championship, but is now to remain in Britain to be with his family.

On Wednesday the sport's governing body confirmed reports that 39-year-old Dr Alexander Mosley, Mosley's eldest of two sons, has died.  See related article.

05/06/09
f1
Ferrari to debut new diffuser in Barcelona  The Ferrari team will be taking a new double diffuser to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend as the Italian squad strives to catch the likes of Brawn, Red Bull and Toyota at the front of the field. As well as the diffuser, the Scuderia will be introducing a lighter car for 2008 Spain winner Kimi Räikkönen, the heavier of the two drivers.

With a total of 104 points, the top three teams already have more than treble the amount of points in the constructors' championship than the rest of the field added together. Ferrari lies ninth in the standings, ahead of only Force India, although a combination of KERS and a cocktail of new aerodynamic parts is looking to boost the red cars in Barcelona.

The F60's newest components include changes to the bodywork as well as front and rear wing additions and modifications. The team has also brought forward changes due originally for the Grands Prix of Turkey and Great Britain in June, with development of the new diffuser hurried since the FIA's approval of the devices on 14 April. Although testing during the season is essentially banned this year, running for aerodynamic purposes is permitted for limited days during the year; Marc Gené tested the car in Italy last week, with his test team reporting larger amounts of downforce as a result of the new diffuser. More ...

05/06/09
irl
Doornbos and Luyendyk speak same language  
Robert Doornbos
Robert Doornbos is being coached by fellow Dutchman Arie Luyendyk, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. The collaboration is working because they agree that too much advice is worse than too little.

"I'm at a point where I've got to feel it for myself, then we'll talk again," Doornbos said. "This is a place you have to experience for yourself."

Luyendyk took his pupil for a ride around the track Monday in a pace car -- "He tried to scare me, but it didn't work," Doornbos said -- to show the proper line through the turns and advise Doornbos to not try to do too much too soon. These rookies are getting it from all sides, so I just need to be a calming factor," Luyendyk said. "He just needs that one guy he can ask, 'What do I do here?' We talk about the little things, not a lot about the big things. He's got a lot of talent, but ovals are still new to him."

Both are fluent in Dutch.

"But the only time we use it is on the radio when we're talking about the engineers," Luyendyk joked.

05/06/09
fil
Doctors clear Indy Lights driver for practice  Firestone Indy Lights driver Dillon Battistini has been given a medical clearance for practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Battistini was hospitalized for one night after a crash last week at Kansas Speedway. But Indy Racing League medical director Michael Olinger says he has been re-evaluated at the Indianapolis track's medical center and will be allowed to practice for the May 22 Firestone Freedom 100.

The 31-year-old Englishman started from the pole and won last year's race at Indianapolis in the IRL's developmental series.

05/06/09
nnw
NASCAR suspends drug addict  NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Cardinal Motorsports crew member Richard Gray for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy, according to a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.

Gray, a member of the Nationwide Series crew for driver Peyton Sellers, was found to have violated the policy April 30, the day prior to the Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The team issued a statement indicating it had cut ties with Gray. More ...

05/06/09
automotive
Judge approves sale of Chrysler  A federal bankruptcy judge late Tuesday greenlighted Chrysler's plan to review and accept bids for the automaker's quick sale of the company, despite an objection raised by a state agency over Chrysler's workers' compensation obligations.  U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez said there is an "urgent need for the sale to be consummated" and said the bidding process "provides a fair and orderly sale process."

He also agreed to give potential bidders another five days -- until May 20 -- to bid for Chrysler's assets and pushed back the date to hold a hearing to approve until May 27 -- one week behind the initial plan. More ...

05/06/09
nassprint
Gibson Named Crew Chief of the Race at Richmond  Tony Gibson, crew chief for the #39 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Ryan Newman, has been named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Saturday's Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The #39 team finished a respectable 4th place in Saturday's race after qualifying 10th. The team, led by Gibson, was strong early in the race, putting Newman in the lead four times (for a total of 45 laps) by lap 313. After being involved in a wreck on lap 314, Newman lost valuable track position, putting him back in 15th following the pit stop on lap 316. Determined to get back up front with the lead pack, Gibson continued to coach his driver as he worked his way through the field. With Gibson's guidance, Newman was back up to 4th with 44 laps remaining. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead. Wypall Wipers PR
05/06/09
nassprint
Jeff Gordon’s Team Wins Tissot Pit Crew Award in Richmond  Jeff Gordon’s #24 crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night’s (May 2) Sprint Cup race at Richmond. It was the third win in the last five races for the #24 crew, which has a solid lead in the season-long Tissot pit road competition. After 10 of 36 Sprint Cup races, Gordon’s team has three pit crew wins while seven other teams each have one. The pit crew win at the 0.75-mile Richmond track was a result of Gordon’s DuPont Chevrolet Impala SS spending the least amount of time on pit road – 279.607 seconds. The quick effort helped lift Gordon to an eighth-place finish and a return to first place in the Sprint Cup driver point standings. Gordon's pit crew consists of: Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Mike Houston (front tire carrier), Tim Ladyga (rear-tire changer), Jeff Knight (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Cook (jackman), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can) and Andy Kruep (eighth man). The pit crew coach is Greg Morin. Gordon’s crew will receive $5,000 for the Richmond pit road win. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule will earn a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Tissot PR
05/06/09
nassprint
10 cars to test tires at DIS  With the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2-4 two months away, 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test on Monday and Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Among the drivers participating in the test includes #5-Mark Martin, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #82-Scott Speed, #98-Paul Menard, #33-Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, #20-Joey Logano, #26-Jamie McMurray and #44-A.J. Allmendinger.

“When you get here, they let you get your stuff sorted out and get your car handling good and then they start throwing tires at you and getting your input on which one you think is best,” said Bowyer on Monday after the first day of testing. “We were able to get out there and draft a little bit and just try to get the speeds up as much as possible and go through the motions of the different tires and which we think is best.” Having such a big group of drivers here for the two-day test on the 2.5-mile tri-oval has helped Goodyear engineers gather a significant amount of information. “Just having three or four cars out there drafting, you don’t get the effect, you don’t get the sensation of the speed, what the cars go through in the draft, so we needed a few more cars here then just two or three cars out there drafting for a tire test,” said Bowyer, who drives for Richard Childress Racing. “The tire doesn’t get the abuse that it does when you are under the loads of drafting with 40 cars out there. I think they got a good amount of cars here, the right amount.” More ...
05/06/09
f1
Formula One can live without Ferrari says Mosley  UPDATE After making it abundantly clear that they are not happy with the FIA’s plan to introduce budget caps from the 2010 season onwards, Ferrari have been told by FIA President Max Mosley that although it would be sad, Formula One could easily continue without the Italian marque in its ranks.

"The sport could survive without Ferrari," Mosley told the Financial Times. "It would be very sad to lose Ferrari. It is the Italian national team. I hope and think that when a team goes to its board and says, 'I want to go to war with the FIA, because I want to be able to spend £100m more than the FIA want me to spend,' the board will say, 'Why can't you spend £40m if the other teams can do it?'"

Despite Ferrari’s discontent with the situation, the news is already seeing the possibility of at least three new teams entering the series next year, after years of teams leaving due to financial problems. Apart from Brawn GP, which is basically Honda rebranded with a new engine deal, Toyota was the only brand new team to enter the series this millennium.

Therefore, with three more teams eager to join due to the budget cap, Mosley has confirmed that it is here to stay and nothing Ferrari says or does will change the situation….

"The cost cap is here to stay. There is room for discussion, it might go up or down in 2011 and if the economy picks up, say in 2014, then it might go up. You might adjust the cap in the interests of the sport, but you'll have everyone on a level playing field. The credit crunch hasn't really hit F1 yet. Obviously we lost Honda, but the real crunch will come when current contracts come to be renewed. Those contracts were signed before their share prices took a dump. I believe FOM will not be able to give the teams as much money as they have."

Max Mosley prepared to take Ferrari on
05/02/09  Even though F1 would lose 60% of its fans, Formula one could live without the sport's most famous, successful and longest-serving team, Max Mosley insists.

The FIA president's disquieting comments come after war threatened to break out between the Paris body and Maranello based Ferrari, enraged at the introduction of budget caps.

The furious Italian team has been making subtle noises about quitting F1 over the dispute, even though it issued a statement on Friday saying it wants to avoid "harmful" and "pointless controversy".

Ferrari, the only team to have contested every season of the modern world championship since 1950, is the sport's most evocative name whose absence would be an incalculable blow.

But "The sport could survive without Ferrari," Mosley told the Financial Times, although acknowledging the potential seriousness of the loss.

"It would be very, very sad to lose Ferrari.  It is the Italian national team," said the Briton. More ...

05/06/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • BMW confirms no double diffuser for Spain
  • Merc receives 'inquiries' about F1 KERS
  • 'Fast' Hulkenberg eyes 2010 Williams seat
  • Haug does not back 'winner takes all' system
  • Ferrari sticks with KERS for 'B' car
  • Suzuki admits hopes for Super Aguri return

BMW confirms no double diffuser for Spain
(GMM)  Mario Theissen has confirmed that BMW-Sauber's major aerodynamic upgrade for the Spanish grand prix does not include a so-called 'double diffuser'.

We reported recently that the Hinwil based marque's first effort in the concept did not suit the F1.09 package.

"In hindsight it would have been better if we had started on this (diffuser) subject earlier," the BMW motor sport director told the German press in Munich on Tuesday.

"We are working on it, but you don't want to change too much at one time," he added, also pointing out that Sebastian Vettel is a title contender even without a double diffuser on his Red Bull.

Brawn, Williams and Toyota began the season with the controversial solution, and were subsequently followed recently by the McLaren, Renault and Force India teams.

Ferrari will roll out an initial version of the double diffuser this weekend in Barcelona, while Renault's R29 will feature its second iteration of the concept.

Red Bull is targeting the Monaco grand prix later this month for its diffuser debut. More ...

05/06/09
irl
This time Andretti has two full weeks to prepare for 500  John Andretti will actually get to unpack his bags and settle into his hometown as he prepares for his 10th appearance in the Indianapolis 500 this week.

Andretti, the Indy native and one of the most versatile drivers competing in auto racing today, hasn’t had the opportunity the last two years to run the full days of May at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  A winner in Indy Cars, NASCAR Cup Stock cars and world-renowned sports cars, Andretti has been vaulted into a second weekend of qualifications in a late entry for the 33-driver field.

Each time, the Mooresville, N.C., resident has placed a car in the starting lineup on the final days of time trials and turned in a solid race performance without much preparation. More ...

05/05/09
fil
First laps at Indy leave Strous raring to race  
Junior Strous
IRL
He grew up hearing stories of Arie Luyendyk’s victories in the legendary Indianapolis 500 and during an open test Tuesday at the Indianapolis, Junior Strous got to run his first laps on the track where his fellow Dutchman scored his biggest victories.

The driver of the No. 18 Shell V-Power Dallara was one of 21 drivers in the Firestone Indy Lights series who took advantage of five hours of open testing on the famed 2.5-mile oval. He will get to race there on May 22 when the Speedway hosts the fifth round of the 2009 championship, the Freedom 100.

The 23-year-old rookie from Wassenaar, The Netherlands, ran scrubbed tires in his first few stints to get acclimated to the track and then ran his quickest laps in the heat of the afternoon to wind up 10th fastest overall. Strous recorded 70 laps with a top lap average speed of 189.576 miles per hour (47.4744 seconds). Fellow series rookie Sebastian Saavedra set the quick time of the day (47.0520 seconds) in the morning under cooler, more ideal conditions. More ...

05/05/09
nassprint
RPM plans to use new Dodge engine  Richard Petty Motorsports plans to switch to the new Dodge engine in time for the May 31 race at Dover, vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis said Tuesday. Loomis said only one of the organization's four drivers likely will use the R6P8 that the other Dodge organization, Penske Racing, has used all season. A decision on which driver will use it will be made in the upcoming weeks. #9-Kasey Kahne could get the nod if the organization believes the engine will help get him back into the top 12 to qualify for the Chase. RPM's marquee driver is 17th in points after Saturday night's 29th-place finish at Richmond. If not Kahne, then #44-A.J. Allmendinger (28th), #19-Elliott Sadler (29th) or #43-Reed Sorenson (22nd) will get the engine. "We talked about using it for the All-Star race or maybe the [Coca-Cola 600]," Loomis said of the upcoming races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "It's just risk versus reward. We were not comfortable bringing it out in the 600." Loomis said RPM is about a month behind the planned schedule to introduce the engine. He said the process was slowed when the organization committed to Allmendinger beyond the first five races, noting that engineers who might have spent time on the R6P8 had to build engines for an additional car. Loomis said the lack of horsepower with the old engine has been obvious, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway, where RPM's top driver qualified 35th. ESPN.com
05/05/09
irl
Tracy fastest as 4 rookies pass Indy 500 test  
Paul Tracy in the GEICO KV Racing Technology car
IRL
It didn’t take long for open-wheel superstar Paul Tracy to get up to speed.  In his first appearance for KV Racing Technology at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway and first at the Brickyard since his controversial runner-up finish in 2002, Tracy, in the #15 GEICO – KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, turned the fastest lap of the day with a speed of 223.089.

Tracy, who ran a “refresher” course for veterans during rookie orientation today, went out for the first time at 2:00 p.m.  His first session consisted of just six laps, but by lap three he posted a speed of 220 mph.  The talented Canadian, who is a fan favorite, ran a total of 26 laps (23 timed laps) and was consistently over 220 mph.  His fast lap came on the 21st of his timed laps. More ...

05/05/09
F2
24 cars make F2 debut  
Robert Wickens
The 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship is officially underway as all 24 cars took to the track for the first time at Snetterton today (5 May).

After a formal introduction by Jonathan Palmer, the drivers got to familiarize themselves with their cars during a short stint of run-in and installation laps. Whilst no official timing was recorded today, the F2 drivers were able to steadily increase their pace and complete some solid runs as the day progressed. All 24 cars have run well throughout each session.

Testing is due to continue in grouped sessions tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, before the pit lane is opened for the first time to all drivers in the afternoon. Tomorrow will also be the first time that the cars run on bespoke Avon compounds and live timing will be made available on the official Formula Two website. More ...

05/05/09
irl
Conquest Racing Announces Title Partnership with Rexall Edmonton Indy  
Alex Tagliani acts like an "Egyptian" with his new car paint scheme
IRL
In addition to unveiling the new King Tut livery of its #34 Dallara Tuesday, Conquest Racing announced the return of Northlands and its premier event, the Rexall Edmonton Indy as title sponsor for the 2009 Indianapolis 500. The team also revealed the signing of AmazingMail and LifeLock for the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

After joining Conquest Racing at the season opening race in St. Petersburg, Edmonton-based Northlands, which promotes the Rexall Edmonton Indy that takes place July 24 – 26 at City Centre Airport in Edmonton, will once again have the logo of their signature event outfit the sidepods of Canadian Alex Tagliani’s #34 Rexall Edmonton Indy car.

“Northlands is extremely pleased to play our part in bringing Alex Tagliani to the starting grid for the 2009 Indy 500 through our sponsorship of the #34 Rexall Edmonton Indy car,” said Ken Knowles, Northlands President. “Our sponsorship provides an incredible opportunity to further profile Edmonton and the Rexall Edmonton Indy to the world - reaching unprecedented international audiences through one of the biggest sporting events in the world.” More ...

05/05/09
f1
Council gives Donington June deadline  (GMM)  The 2010 British grand prix is still on track, after the North West Leicestershire District Council met on Tuesday evening.

The council's planning committee considered rescinding planning permission for formula one renovations at Donington Park, following a paperwork dispute.

But they decided to give bosses until the end of June to resolve the matter and sign the necessary documents.

The track leaseholder, Simon Gillett, is being sued by the owner of the site for unpaid rent.  They will meet at Derby County Court on June 8.

"We will be in a position to be able to sort that out very soon," Gillett is quoted as saying by the BBC.

"We are in in-depth meetings to button down the finances and you should see a resolution on this situation soon."

05/05/09
f1
BMW joins Ferrari in F1 quit threat  (GMM)  BMW has joined Ferrari in hinting that it is willing to quit formula one if the 'two-tier' budget cap is imposed for 2010.

The newly-published regulations for next year offer teams the option to be limited to a 40m pounds sterling cap, affording them more technical freedoms than their big unlimited-spending rivals.

Max Mosley's revolution has enraged Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, and BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen revealed on Tuesday that the board of the Munich manufacturer is similarly unimpressed.

"A two-class formula one is not attractive to BMW," the German said at a media event in Munich.

The BMW board re-approved the BMW-Sauber project in February, but Theissen warned that if the landscape in F1 dramatically changes, it would have "the same impact on the project".

The heated situation makes the meeting of the F1 teams alliance FOTA in London on Wednesday crucial.

Theissen expects the gathering to be a long one, but as Bernie Ecclestone suggested this week, the chasm between the big teams' position and that of the FIA president may not be unbridgeable.

But to the German press, he said of Mosley's 40m cap: "In one go you cannot just evaporate by a factor of three.  A moving path, for example over two or three years, would be possible."

05/05/09
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN  
NASCAR Nationwide Series Racing Under the Lights at Darlington

The NASCAR Nationwide Series makes its only appearance of the 2009 season at historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway this weekend, and ESPN2 will have a live, high definition telecast from the 1.366-mile track on Friday night, May 8, at 7 p.m. ET, as the series races in prime time. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. The race re-airs Saturday, May 9, at 1 p.m. on ESPN Classic.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage from Darlington, joined in the booth for analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Wallace and Brad Daugherty, owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, in the ESPN pit studio. More ...

05/05/09
Formula BMW
Formula BMW To Hold Licensing Courses  As one of the world's top driver development programs in open-wheel racing, the Formula BMW Americas series is constantly looking to the future, despite the fact that the current 14- race championship has yet to reach the halfway mark.

So to ensure that all qualified drivers get a chance to prove themselves ready to step from karting into open-wheel racing in 2010, Formula BMW Americas today announced that it would hold a pair of licensing courses during the 2009 season.

The licensing courses, which take place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on July 8-10 and August 17-19, will allow entrants to complete driver training that will qualify them to apply for an official FIA International C License. In addition, the licensing courses will also see the Formula BMW Americas series select invitees to its Scholarship Qualifying meeting, which provides up to four Formula BMW Junior scholarships worth up to $80,000 each for participation in the 2010 Formula BMW Americas season. More ...

05/05/09
alms
Panoz was ahead of time on Hybrid revolution  The Corsa Motorsports Ginetta-Zytek 09SH hybrid prototype that will debut at the American Le Mans Series’ Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix is a revolutionary entry that looks to change the landscape of motorsports. But it’s not the first hybrid to test the waters of endurance racing.

Series Founder Dr. Don Panoz commissioned the design and build of an electric hybrid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998. “Sparky”, as the hybrid was affectionately called, was a Panoz GTR-1 coupe that used a Zytek electric motor paired with the Roush-Ford V8. The Panoz Q9 barely missed qualifying for the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans (with James Weaver at the wheel) but finished second in GT1 in the inaugural Petit Le Mans that same year and completed all 1,000 miles.

“We were the first with Sparky to race an electric-hybrid car,” Dr. Panoz said. “The world in 1998 wasn’t paying much attention to it so we couldn’t get a lot of traction. Obviously even as far back as 1998, I thought the ability to have a hybrid car that could be fuel efficient and energy efficient would be important. Unfortunately that car has gotten old but other people have taken up that mantle. (They) believe in the greening of motorsport. They’re presenting products that are competing and racing with green backgrounds.” More ...

05/05/09
nassprint
Gordon can surpass Yarborough at Darlington  With a win on Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Jeff Gordon can tie Cale Yarborough in victories.  And, because of a name change, he can surpass Yarborough, too.

Gordon, who has 82 career NASCAR Sprint Cup victories, is one shy of fifth-ranked Yarborough on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list and only two away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third.

At Darlington, Gordon has seven wins, three poles, 16 top-fives and 19 top-10's in 28 starts. Five of those victories occurred in the Southern 500, tying him with Yarborough for most victories in that famed event. But the Southern 500 has not been held at the historic track in five years.

Since 2005, there has been only one Cup race each season at Darlington –  and it has not been named the Southern 500. However, the iconic name returns this weekend in celebration of 60 years of racing at the South Carolina track. And who will be leading the field to the green flag of the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com as the honorary pace car driver? Cale Yarborough. More ...

05/05/09
f1
STR4 to try significant upgrade in Spain  Every F1 team will be running with an upgraded car compared with the chassis they started with in Melbourne one month ago. At Scuderia Toro Rosso it won't be any different. The Italian team announced significant upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix.  Scuderia Toro Rosso will introduce a significant upgrade according to Toro Rosso chief engineer Laurent Mekies but the team was unable to test any of the upgrades as testing is forbidden this year in between the races. "Obviously we don't have testing now so we have to understand how the upgrade suits the direction we have taken so far," said Mekies.

"Does it push in the same direction or does it ask us to reconsider some of the choices we have made already? Mainly the update is from the developments at Red Bull Technology, carried on from work started in the winter. Significant items of that development program will reach us in Barcelona, so they are not directly influenced by what we did in the first four races. More ...

05/05/09
f1
BMW to ditch KERS this weekend  UPDATE (GMM)  For the first time this season, neither BMW-Sauber car will be equipped with a KERS system this weekend in Spain.

While Robert Kubica raced the energy re-use technology for the first time two weeks ago in Bahrain, his teammate Nick Heidfeld's sister F1.09 has been equipped with the system throughout 2009.

But team boss Mario Theissen on Tuesday explained that, for Barcelona, it was a case of opting either for keeping KERS, or installing a major aerodynamic update.

"The tuning time on Friday would be too short," he said, while BMW confirmed that the KERS absence will only be "temporary".

However, Theissen said the Hinwil built cars will also be without KERS at Monaco in just over a fortnight.

"We may come back to KERS in Turkey.  From a technical point of view, the results are positive.  The system has worked flawlessly up to now," the German said.

05/05/09 BMW Sauber drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld will not race the team's KERS system at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. Heidfeld used KERS during the first four races of the season while Kubica has so far only raced with it in Bahrain.

The Pole's greater height and weight place him at a disadvantage relative to his team-mate because the energy recovery system reduces the chance to distribute weight around the car and improve set-up.

However, the decision to introduce an "extensive aerodynamics-focused development package" in Barcelona has had a knock-on effect on their usage of KERS.

"We will not have KERS in our two cars in Barcelona, because bringing in an aero update and running KERS does not work," team principal Mario Theissen is quoted by autosport.com.  "We will have KERS on our cars probably in Turkey again."

05/05/09
GA
ALMS
Patrick Dempsey will star in "The Art of Racing in the Rain"  Patrick Dempsey certainly had the opportunity for some good practice in playing the part of Denny in “The Art of Racing in the Rain” this past weekend at the rain drenched Grand-Am race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park.  Dempsey will produce and play the part of his loyal and insightful dog, Enzo's, beloved master, Denny, a race car driver, in Garth Stein’s terrific book “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”
05/05/09
irl
Rookies and rusty veterans to hit Indy track today  Robert Doornbos, a two-time Champ Car winner who raced last year in the A1 Grand Prix circuit, is one of six Indy rookies with varied backgrounds in other series who will be paired with past Indy 500 winners for a two-day primer on the 2.5-mile track starting today ahead of official practice opening later this week. Other first-timers include:

• Conquest Racing's Alex Tagliani, another former Champ Car veteran who made two IRL starts last year.

• Curb/Agajanian/Team 3G's Stanton Barrett, a NASCAR driver.

Also participating are Raphael Matos, Mike Conway and former Champ Car driver Nelson Philippe.

Paul Tracy, who hasn't run at Indy since he finished second in 2002 (most say he was robbed, but the race was awarded to an IRL team - Penske, rather than give it to a Champ Car driver even though he had passed Castroneves before the caution light came on), also will be hitting the track Tuesday.

Others taking a refresher course: John Andretti, A.J. Foyt IV, Davey Hamilton, former winner Buddy Lazier, Alex Lloyd and Scott Sharp.

05/05/09
nassprint
10 cars to test tires at DIS  In a normal Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway, there may be three or four participating stock-car teams collecting data for the NASCAR supplier.  As a prep for the July 4 Coke Zero 400, Goodyear has 10 Sprint Cup Series stock cars and a dozen drivers turning laps over the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The two-day test concludes today.

"Just having three or four cars out there drafting, you don't get the (desired) effect, you don't get the sensation of the speed, what the cars go through in the draft, so we needed a few more cars here, then just two or three cars," driver Clint Bowyer said.

"The tires don't get the abuse they get when you're under the loads of drafting with 40 cars out there. They got the right amount of cars out here."

Goodyear, which came under heavy fire last season for tire issues at Atlanta and Indianapolis, has pulled out all the stops for this Daytona test with a record number of participants. More ...

05/05/09
irl
Latest Indy 500 entry list  
No. Driver Home town Team Race strategist
2 Raphael Matos * Belo Horizonte, Brazil Luczo Dragon Racing Jay Penske
2T Raphael Matos * Belo Horizonte, Brazil Luczo Dragon Racing Jay Penske
3 Helio Castroneves + Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Tim Cindric
3T Helio Castroneves + Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Tim Cindric
4 Dan Wheldon + Emberton, England Panther Racing John Barnes
4T Dan Wheldon + Emberton, England Panther Racing John Barnes
5 Mario Moraes Sao Paulo, Brazil KV Racing Technology Mark Johnson
5T Mario Moraes Sao Paulo, Brazil KV Racing Technology Mark Johnson
6 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Roger Penske
6T Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Roger Penske
7 Danica Patrick Roscoe, Illinois Andretti Green Racing Michael Andretti
7T Danica Patrick Roscoe, Illinois Andretti Green Racing Michael Andretti
8 TBA TBA KV Racing Technology TBA
8T TBA TBA KV Racing Technology TBA
9 Scott Dixon + Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mike Hull
9T Scott Dixon + Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mike Hull
10 Dario Franchitti + Edinburgh, Scotland Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chip Ganassi
10T Dario Franchitti + Edinburgh, Scotland Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chip Ganassi
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil Andretti Green Racing George Klotz
11T Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil Andretti Green Racing George Klotz
12 Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Penske Racing John Erickson
12T Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Penske Racing John Erickson
13 E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela HVM Racing Michael Cannon
13T E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela HVM Racing Michael Cannon
14 Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil A.J. Foyt Enterprises A.J. Foyt
14T Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil A.J. Foyt Enterprises A.J. Foyt
15 Paul Tracy Scarborough, ON, Canada KV Racing Technology TBA
15T Paul Tracy Scarborough, ON, Canada KV Racing Technology TBA
16 Scott Sharp Norwalk, Connecticut Panther Racing TBA
16T Scott Sharp Norwalk, Connecticut Panther Racing TBA
17 TBA TBA Rahal Letterman Racing TBA
17T TBA TBA Rahal Letterman Racing TBA
18 Justin Wilson Sheffield, England Dale Coyne Racing Bill Pappas
18T Justin Wilson Sheffield, England Dale Coyne Racing Bill Pappas
19 TBA TBA Dale Coyne Racing TBA
19T TBA TBA Dale Coyne Racing TBA
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis, Indiana Vision Racing Jeff Britton
20T Ed Carpenter Indianapolis, Indiana Vision Racing Jeff Britton
21 Ryan Hunter-Reay Boca Raton, Florida Vision Racing Neil Fife
21T Ryan Hunter-Reay Boca Raton, Florida Vision Racing Neil Fife
22 TBA TBA Bryan Herta Autosport TBA
22T TBA TBA Bryan Herta Autosport TBA
23 Milka Duno Caracas, Venezuela Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Larry Curry
23T Milka Duno Caracas, Venezuela Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Larry Curry
24 Mike Conway * Bromley, England Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dennis Reinbold
24T Mike Conway * Bromley, England Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dennis Reinbold
25 TBA TBA Roth Racing TBA
25T TBA TBA Roth Racing TBA
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pennsylvania Andretti Green Racing Kyle Moyer
26T Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pennsylvania Andretti Green Racing Kyle Moyer
27 Hideki Mutoh Tokyo, Japan Andretti Green Racing Kim Green
27T Hideki Mutoh Tokyo, Japan Andretti Green Racing Kim Green
31 Nelson Philippe * Valence, France HVM Racing TBA
34 Alex Tagliani * Lachenaie, QC, Canada Conquest Racing Brandon Fry
34T Alex Tagliani * Lachenaie, QC, Canada Conquest Racing Brandon Fry
36 TBA TBA Conquest Racing TBA
36T TBA TBA Conquest Racing TBA
41 A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas A.J. Foyt Enterprises TBA
41T A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas A.J. Foyt Enterprises TBA
43 John Andretti Indianapolis, Indiana Richard Petty/Dreyer & Reinbold TBA
43T John Andretti Indianapolis, Indiana Richard Petty/Dreyer & Reinbold TBA
44 Davey Hamilton Nampa, Idaho Dreyer & Reinbold Racing TBA
44T Davey Hamilton Nampa, Idaho Dreyer & Reinbold Racing TBA
48 TBA TBA A.J. Foyt Enterprises TBA
48T TBA TBA A.J. Foyt Enterprises TBA
52 TBA TBA Roth Racing TBA
52T TBA TBA Roth Racing TBA
67 Sarah Fisher Commercial Point, Ohio Sarah Fisher Racing TBA
67T Sarah Fisher Commercial Point, Ohio Sarah Fisher Racing TBA
68 TBA TBA Sarah Fisher Racing TBA
91 Buddy Lazier + Vail, Colorado Hemelgarn Johnson TBA
98 Stanton Barrett * Bishop, California CURB/Agajanian/Team 3G Owen Snyder
98T Stanton Barrett * Bishop, California CURB/Agajanian/Team 3G Owen Snyder
99 Alex Lloyd Manchester, England Chip Ganassi/Sam Schmidt TBA
02 Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing John Tzouanakis
02T Graham Rahal New Albany, Ohio Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing John Tzouanakis
06 Robert Doornbos * Rotterdam, Netherlands Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Todd Malloy
06T Robert Doornbos * Rotterdam, Netherlands Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Todd Malloy

* Rookie
+ Race winner
05/05/09
nastruck
Bodine lands Copart sponsorship  NASCAR driver Todd Bodine, of the Germain Racing team, will be sponsored by Copart for six races this year.

Bodine, who competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will have Copart as his main sponsor, while the company will also provide backing for his fellow drivers Max Papis and Michael Annett.

"Copart is an exciting company and we are glad to have them sponsor Germain Racing," said team owner Bob Germain. "We're looking forward to developing the relationship with Copart both at the race track and at our dealerships. Copart wants to get the message out that people can find a variety of cars at Copart.com and the No. 30 Copart Tundra will help deliver that message to the NASCAR fans." More ...

05/05/09
f1
Tuesday a key date for British GP future  (GMM)  Tuesday is a crucial date for the future of the British grand prix.

Following a paperwork dispute, the North West Leicestershire District Council is due to vote on whether to rescind planning permission for formula one renovations at Donington Park.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph, another possibility is that the council will give the circuit a stay of execution until May 31, but either way time would be tight to get the venue ready for next July's race.

Eagerly awaiting the verdict will be Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion and president of the BRDC, the club that owns current British grand prix venue Silverstone. More ...

05/05/09
f1
Nakajima admits Toyota 'help' to F1 seat  
Kazuki Nakajima
(GMM)  Kazuki Nakajima has confirmed widespread paddock speculation that his links with Toyota helped him secure the Williams race seat.

The 24-year-old Japanese joined the formula one grid at the end of 2007, the same year the British team had linked up for a semi-works engine deal with Toyota.

Unlike his father whose career was linked throughout to Honda, Kazuki Nakajima was part of Toyota's young driver program and stayed with the marque all the way to his Williams test seat.

But he insists that, now in his second full season on the F1 grid, his enduring Toyota link is no guarantee of a future in the sport. More ...

05/05/09
track news
Bruton Smith changing New Hampshire fencing  Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith said Monday that tracks need to evaluate their fencing after Carl Edwards got into the catch fence last month at Talladega Superspeedway and debris injured seven fans, and that he is changing it at the New Hampshire track his group owns.

Smith, whose company does not own the Talladega track where the crash occurred, and whose last fan racing-related tragedy came in 1999 when debris from an Indy Racing League car killed three people, said he already had started the process of replacing fencing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which he bought prior to the 2008 racing season.

“Let’s fix it because the sport is at risk,” Smith said Monday following the unveiling of the Coca-Cola 600 trophy, later adding, “The thing we need to do at all the speedways [is] to make sure we have the strongest [fencing] there is.” More at Scenedaily.com

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