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DATE News (chronologically)
05/11/12
track news
IMS Statement On Passing Of Carroll Shelby  A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus on the passing of Carroll Shelby.

Automotive design and engineering icon Shelby died May 10 in Dallas at age 89. He drove the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car twice, leading the field to the green flag in 1987 in a Chrysler LeBaron and in 1991 in a Dodge Viper V-10:

"We're saddened to learn of the passing of Carroll Shelby. He made monumental contributions to automotive design and racing engineering that changed the way the world looked at American performance cars. Carroll was an American original. There never will be another quite like him. We were honored that he drove the Pace Car twice at the Indianapolis 500, as his spirit of ingenuity and innovation was a perfect match for 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.' We extend our thoughts, prayers and sympathies to his family and friends."

05/11/12
wc
Pobst All the Way in Monterey Pirelli World Challenge  Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., led all the way to win the Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac Sports Car Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, piloting his Volvo S60 to the GT class win. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., captured the GTS win, while Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., won in Touring Car.

Starting from the pole with his No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, Pobst got the holeshot on the standing start, built a 3.5-second lead over teammate Alex Figge, of Denver, Colo., by lap three and was never seriously challenged to win at the undulating 11-turn, 2.358-mile circuit for the third time, and first since 2006. It was Pobst’s first series win of the 2012 season, the 27th of his career. More ...
05/11/12
irl
Updated Indy 500 entry list  
Car Driver Hometown Car Name Engine Entrant
2 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
2T Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
3 Helio Castroneves (W) Sao Paulo, Brazil Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
3T Helio Castroneves (W) Sao Paulo, Brazil Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet Team Penske
4 JR Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet Panther Racing
4T JR Hildebrand Sausalito, Calif. National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet Panther Racing
5 E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela CITGO/ PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
5T E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela CITGO/ PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet KV Racing Technology
6 Katherine Legge (R) Guildford, England TrueCar-Dragon Racing TBD Dragon Racing
6T Katherine Legge (R) Guildford, England TrueCar-Dragon Racing TBD Dragon Racing More ...
05/11/12
automotive
Carroll Shelby dies  Carroll Hall Shelby, a man whose vision for performance transformed the automobile industry, has died at age 89. Mr. Shelby passed away yesterday at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. The cause of death was not disclosed. (See Home Page for Tribute)

Born on Jan. 11, 1923, Carroll Shelby was one of America’s greatest success stories. Championship-winning racecar driver, “flying sergeant” wartime pilot, philanthropist, entrepreneur, car manufacturer and racing team owner, he embodied the ingenuity, tenacity and grit to overcome any obstacle. He is perhaps the only person to have worked at a visible level with all three major American automobile manufacturers. Carroll Shelby founded Carroll Shelby International, a publicly held corporation involved in many industries. His licensing arm has agreements with industry giants, such as Mattel, Sony, Ford Motor Company and Electronic Arts. More ...

05/11/12
irl
IndyCar turbo decision upheld  Retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore R. Boehm denied an appeal filed on April 30 and upheld INDYCAR's decision to approve use of a 0.71 A/R compressor cover for the single turbocharger.

Justice Boehm conducted the appeal hearing on May 9 in Indianapolis.  Pursuant to Rule 13.11, the appeal decision is final and binding. 

In his role as Appeal Official, and pursuant to rule 13.4, INDYCAR President of Operations and Strategy Brian Barnhart elected to utilize Justice Boehm.

Justice Boehm retired from the Court on Sept. 30, 2010. Justice Boehm brings his substantial and unique experience to bear on matters through mediation, arbitration and private judge services with the Van Winkle - Baten Dispute Resolution group. As a private lawyer, in-house counsel, and managing partner of an Indiana law firm, Justice Boehm has participated in the negotiated settlement of a large number of complex business disputes.  He also had extensive experience in negotiating substantial transactions including business acquisitions and dispositions, real estate transactions and a variety of commercial agreements. He served as Chairman and CEO of the organizing committee for the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, and was the first President and CEO of Indiana Sports Corporation.

05/11/12
gp2
James Calado storms to Barcelona pole  James Calado claimed his maiden GP2 pole position with a controlled but aggressive lap in the opening minutes of this afternoon's qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya, leaving his more experienced rivals in the shade as he took the top spot in the blazing heat ahead of Fabio Leimer and Stéphane Richelmi.

The Briton's 1:30.655 lap gave him a two tenths cushion over his closest rivals, with the gap closing slightly late in the session when Leimer improved his time. Calado, along with most of the grid, chose to go out early on the soft compound tire to take advantage of the F1 rubber on the circuit, and the only question after the first few laps was whether the gamble taken by the few remaining drivers would pay off. More ...
05/11/12
f1
Spanish GP: Button tops Practice 2  
Jenson Button
Jenson Button posted the quickest time of the day in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix. The McLaren driver used Pirelli's soft tires to set a best time of 1m23.399s to beat world champion Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull by 0.164 seconds.

Nico Rosberg put Mercedes in third position, with Button's teammate Lewis Hamilton in fourth and Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen completing the top five. More ...

05/11/12
f1
No rolling heads as Ferrari tackles new crisis  
Stefano Domenicali says no heads will roll
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali has ruled out responding to Ferrari's latest crisis with the old 'rolling heads' technique.

One perception in the paddock is that the fabled Italian team, under intense pressure from the Tifosi and president Luca di Montezemolo, often reacts by emotionally shedding staff, with Aldo Costa and Chris Dyer the obvious recent examples.

So, having installed new faces including Pat Fry but still struggling with the latest F2012 project, will boss Domenicali set heads rolling again?

"Firing people is the work of two minutes," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Bild, "but this would not solve our problem.

"Instead I need to find new people who can improve the organization and push the engineers to improve the car," added the Italian. More ...

05/11/12
nassprint
Motorcycle company sues NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer  A Mitchell-based motorcycle company is suing NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer. Klock Werks Kustom Cycles is alleging Bowyer, 32, failed to pay $30,788.45 for the customization of a motorcycle conducted by the company in late 2008 and early 2009.

In its complaint, dated Nov. 23, 2011, and filed May 2 with the Davison County clerk of courts, Klock Werks says Bowyer contacted the company on or about Nov. 11, 2008, and hired it to customize a 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. After the work was performed at Klock Werks’ Mitchell facility, it was delivered to Bowyer in Daytona Beach, Fla., on or about Feb. 15, 2009, the date of the 2009 Daytona 500 NASCAR race. More ...

05/11/12
gp3
Matias Laine quickest in Free Practice  
Matias Laine
The 2012 GP3 season got underway in Barcelona and it was Finn Matias Laine from MW Arden who made the best start with the fastest laptime of 1:38.878 at the Circuit de Catalunya. He edged out his teammate David Fumanelli by a mere 0.099s.

The first free practice session of the third GP3 Series season opened in sunny and warm conditions as the twenty-six drivers took to the track for their installation laps. Carlin Racing’s Alex Brundle was the first man onto the circuit and the first to set the early pace in the 1’40s.

Marussia Manor Racing’s Fabiano Machado spun off at turn 14, making light contact with the tire barrier but was able to continue on in the session. Antonio Felix Da Costa then went to the top of the timesheets after 15 minutes before Fumanelli shot to P1 and became the first driver to break into the 1.38s barrier, half a second quicker than the Portuguese ace. More ...
05/11/12
nassprint
Shana Mayfield files for bankruptcy  In a move that will allow Jeremy Mayfield to delay the sale of his foreclosed-on property, Mayfield's wife, Shana Sessions Mayfield, has filed for bankruptcy. The move was not a surprise as the Mayfields have seen the bills stack up ever since Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR for what NASCAR officials said was a May 2009 positive drug test for methamphetamines.

Mayfield's wife filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Wednesday in U.S Bankruptcy Court in North Carolina. She lists assets (not including any exempt property) of under $50,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. The Mayfields' property of more than 400 acres in Catawba County was auctioned off for $1.725 million last week to Carolina Farm Credit, which held the mortgage. Because it came within 10 days of the auction and in the time permitted for any additional bids or for Mayfield to pay off the mortgage balance, the bankruptcy filing would put on hold the closing of the sale and allow the Mayfields to at least temporarily remain in their home.

Shana Mayfield said in an email Thursday that the filing was "a natural step in the process of trying to rebuild" and allows her and her husband to delay the foreclosure. Sporting News

05/11/12
irl
Dragon drivers miss rookie program  There was no sign of Dragon Racing on Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cars for rookie Katherine Legge and Indianapolis 500 returnee Sebastien Bourdais did not participate in the Rookie Orientation Program as team owner Jay Penske works through separating from Lotus and signing with Chevrolet.

Penske could not be reached for comment, although he met with IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard about receiving the required approval to switch manufacturers midseason. Bernard said IndyCar could not intervene.

"We can't get in the middle of this dispute," Bernard said. "They have a contract with Lotus."

Team manager Bharat Naran said the crew working out of a Zionsville shop does not know when it will get Chevrolet parts. Some in Gasoline Alley on Thursday estimated it will take Dragon at least two days to make the change.

"I don't know about that," Naran said. "We've never installed one."

05/11/12
f1
Spanish GP: Alonso and Ferrari surprise in Practice 1  It appears the changes Ferrari has made to their F1 car between Bahrain and Barcelona have worked as Fernando Alonso turned the fastest la in opening practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.  Sebastian Vettel was second in the Red Bull ahead of the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi.

American Alexander Rossi showed his potential in his very first F1 outing by posting the 21st best time in the Caterham Renault, two spots back from the team's regular driver Vitaly Petrov.

Results

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 24.430s
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 24.808s
3. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 24.912s
4. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 24.996s
5. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.120s
6. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 25.187s
7. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 25.127s
8. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 25.252s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 25.285s
10. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 25.339s
11. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 25.367s
12. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.433s
13. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.539s
14. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.607s
15. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 25.918s
16. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 26.226s
17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 26.297s
18. Jules Bianchi France Force India-Mercedes 1m 26.630s
19. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 27.475s
20. Timo Glock Germany Marussia-Cosworth 1m 28.267s
21. Alexander Rossi USA Caterham-Renault 1m 28.448s
22. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 28.633s
23. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 29.107s
24. Dani Clos Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 31.318s

05/11/12
f1
Is Alesi fast enough to even qualify for the Indy 500?  Are F1 drivers overrated?  Many have come to Indy only to fail, and judging by the speed of Jean Alesi in rookie practice yesterday, the former Ferrari driver appears set to embarrass himself in 2012.  He only turned 18 laps on Thursday but was too slow to even pass phase 1 of the test where you must run between 200 and 205 MPH around the flat 2.5 mile oval.

The first Lotus got on the track Thursday, reaching a top speed of only 186.387 mph. For Jean Alesi, who last drove a Formula One car in 2001, the 18 laps were his first on an oval track.

Alesi avoided a late-afternoon media interview, but a spokesman for his team, Fan Force United, said the 47-year-old Frenchman was too busy to talk.  Hopefully he did not scare himself silly out there and soil his underwear. More ...

05/11/12
irl
IndyCar ups turbo boost level for Indy to compensate for poor design  Due to its poor design by Dallara, the new IndyCar is too slow around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it's crown jewel race.  So IndyCar announced Thursday that turbocharger boost levels will be increased for "Fast Friday" and the two days of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500.

The standard boost level of 130 kPa (kilopascals) for superspeedways will be upped to 140 kPa for the May 18 practice session, Pole Day on May 19 and Bump Day on May 20. The increase will result in the addition of 40-50 horsepower. More ...

05/11/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Mercedes refuses to sign up to the new Concorde Agreement because rival top teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull have been offered better deals
    F1 must resolve Mercedes dispute for floatation
  • Schumacher happy criticism started tire 'discussion'
  • Karthikeyan admits frustration with HRT situation
  • Ferrari not close to giving up on 2012 - Alonso
  • Spain to host tense drivers' meeting on Friday
  • Senna name scooping up sponsors in Brazil - di Grassi
  • 2012 Caterham 'too slow' - Kovalainen
  • Raikkonen not ruling out Spain victory
  • Rockwell Collins Aviation Technology To Advance Caterham F1 Team More ...
05/11/12
wc
Pobst Charges to Monterey Pirelli World Challenge GT Pole  Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., captured his 37th Pirelli World Challenge pole, and will lead the GT field for Friday’s Cadillac Sports Car Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Tristan Herbert, of Reston, Va., earned the pole positions for the GTS and Touring Car classes, respectively.

Randy PobstDriving the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, Pobst earned his second-consecutive Pirelli World Challenge pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, turning a 1:26.361 (93.292 mph) on his third lap to eclipse the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R.

“For our K-PAX Racing Volvo, it really comes down to balance,” Pobst said. “Dax Raub and Will Moody really found the balance for me today. The car is so fast on the entry to corners, the challenge is getting the car to keep turning as we come out of the corners. Today, the balance was really good.” More ...

05/10/12
irl
Franchitti to run No. 50 at Indy  Four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti will use the No. 50 for the Indianapolis 500 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of sponsor Target Corp.

Target and Chip Ganassi Racing have one of the longest running relationships in auto racing. The team was established in 1990, making this season the 23rd year of partnership between the organizations.

"It's the most important relationship in my life, personally and professionally. It's just way more than a sponsorship," Ganassi said Thursday. "It's obviously their 50th year in business, and I've been there almost half that time. It's about racing for sure, but at the end of the day our relationship goes much deeper than just a sponsor-team relationship.

"It's been my growth. As well as it fueling my business' growth, it's fueled my own personal growth even further."

Franchitti, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who regularly uses No. 10, will have a new paint scheme that uses the trademark Target bulls eye in place of the zero in his number.

Both Franchitti and teammate Scott Dixon will also have the bulls eye on the chest of their firesuits for the entire month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Practice for the May 27 race begins Saturday. More at ESPN/AP

05/10/12
alms
Successful P2 Debut for Dempsey Racing in Monterey  
Patrick Dempsey Lola-Judd
Less than a week after it hit the track for the first time, Dempsey Racing’s Lola-Judd prototype finished Thursday’s test for the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron with the third-fastest time in P2. Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey, fellow team co-owner Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker each got time in the two-hour test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The trio’s best lap was a 1:19.698 (101.092 mph) effort in the lead-up to the third round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. That was good enough for fifth overall among the 35-car entry. More ...

05/10/12
alms
Luhr, Muscle Milk Race to Fastest Test Day Time in Monterey  
Lucas Luhr
One round removed from its first victory of the season in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing set the fastest time Thursday in testing for the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron. Lucas Luhr posted a best lap of 1:16.88 (104.788 mph) in the Honda Performance Development ARX-03a prototype he shares with Klaus Graf for Saturday’s six-hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Graf and Luhr won just a few hours down the road at Long Beach in the previous ALMS round. The pairing will try for their first Series victory together in Monterey.

Luhr turned just 11 laps in Thursday’s test compared to 38 for Level 5 Motorsports’ HPD ARX-03b of Luis Diaz, Scott Tucker and Franck Montagny. Diaz set the car’s best time at 1:17.674 (103.726 mph) to sit second overall and first among the P2 runners. Diaz was 0.723 seconds clear of Dyson Racing’s Lola-Mazda of Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Johnny Mowlem – the second-quickest P1 car. More ...

05/10/12
nnw
NASCAR treating Patrick with 'kid gloves'  
NASCAR pampers their prized possession
Danica Patrick said Thursday she isn't sure if NASCAR will penalize her for intentionally wrecking Sam Hornish Jr. at Talladega Superspeedway.

Patrick was angry after Hornish ran her up the track on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race. She retaliated on the cool-down lap, but insisted her intent was only to hit Hornish to show her displeasure.

After watching a replay of the accident, she called both Hornish and Nationwide Series director Joe Balash. She also exchanged emails with Hornish team owner Roger Penske. More ...

05/10/12
irl
Thursday Indy 500 notebook  Roundtrip Race Day bus shuttle service is available for the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27 at four convenient locations, including three in downtown Indianapolis and one at Indianapolis International Airport.

Tickets are $25 per person for one-way or round-trip service. Tickets can be ordered in advance at  www.indy500parking.com or www.indysportsparking.com . They also can be purchased on Race Day at each location, with credit card, debit card and cash accepted.

Service will be provided by the SODREL Companies, the Free Enterprise System and Star of America Motor Coach, in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans will be served with air-conditioned shuttles and handicapped-accessible vehicles on all routes. More ...

05/10/12
irl
Honda Readies Robust Indy 500 Challenge  
The 4-car Ganassi team leads the Honda charge at Indy
An accomplished 15-driver lineup, including two previous race winners and nine graduates of IndyCar training-ground series, makes up the Honda- powered effort for the 2012 Indianapolis 500, as the company seeks its third consecutive "500" victory with engine-manufacturer competition.

Manufacturer competition last took place at the fabled "Brickyard" in 2005 - a race won by the late Dan Wheldon, the first of his two Indianapolis 500 triumphs with Honda power. Previously, Buddy Rice scored Honda's first Indy 500 victory in 2004.

After six years of Honda supplying engines to the full Indianapolis 500 field - marking the only six times in "500" history with no in-race engine failures - manufacturer competition returns to IndyCar competition in 2012, with Chevrolet and Lotus joining Honda to supply new, turbocharged V-6 racing engines for this year's 96th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series championship. More ...

05/10/12
irl
ga
nassprint
Fans can help select the greatest ever Ganassi driver  With both the IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holding two of their largest events of the season during the month of May, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) is launching their first-ever all-time greatest driver bracket.  The promotion encourages fans to vote for their All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing Driver through the team’s social media platforms.

With over 23 years of history in motorsports, CGRT trimmed their all-time list of over 50 drivers down to 16.  Match-ups will begin Friday, May 11 across all three CGRT Twitter handles - @CGRTeams, @TCGRTeams and @EGRTeams.  There will be a new match-up every day with the finals concluding on Friday, May 25.  Each match-up will be preceded with stats and information on why each driver should be considered. The All-Time Greatest Chip Ganassi Racing Driver will be announced on Saturday, May 26, the day before the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500. More ...

05/10/12
irl
Practice Begins Saturday At IMS For 96th Indianapolis 500  Opening Day for the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, May 12 will feature the new IZOD IndyCar Series car on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while the infield showcases an incredible display of classic/vintage and alternative-energy vehicles at the second annual IMS Celebration of Automobiles.

Public gates open at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 for adults, with fans 12 and under admitted free with an adult.

The on-track spotlight will be on the new Dallara chassis and the return of the distinctive sound of turbo-charged engines to the Brickyard for the first time since 1996. Opening Day will also welcome the first engine manufacturer competition at the Indianapolis 500 in seven years with Chevrolet, Honda & Lotus all looking to win "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing." More ...

05/10/12
irl
Michael Andretti steps in to save Baltimore GP - 5 year deal  UPDATE Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced details of a proposed five-year deal with a group of local business leaders to organize the IndyCar Grand Prix of Baltimore. The event debuted last year but city officials were unhappy with some aspects of the prior organizing group and, pending approval by the city board of estimates next Wednesday, struck a deal with new operators Race On.

Former IndyCar racer Michael Andretti's sports marketing firm is set to handle promotions for the race, to be staged September 2 as the penultimate event of the 2012 IndyCar campaign.

"The Grand Prix was a great event for Baltimore that boosted our local economy and showcased our city on the international stage," Rawlings-Blake said.

"This has been a difficult process but Race On and Andretti Sports Marketing have what it takes to move forward and make this world-class sporting event successful."



05/10/12


Michael Andretti - IndyCar hero
Baltimore city officials today announced that Andretti Sports Marketing "will lead a renewed effort to organize the Baltimore Grand Prix" after having "secured the blessings of IndyCar racing executives." Andretti has formed Race On LLC in conjunction with area businessmen J.P. Grant and Greg O'Neill.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office also announced that it "had severed its contract" with Downforce Racing, the group chosen in February to "take over the race following the financial collapse of the original organizers" BALTIMORESUN.com

05/10/12
irl
Barrichello passes Indy 500 rookie test  KV Racing Technology driver Rubens Barrichello completed all three phases required by the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

Barrichello. No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, who spent the last 19 years competing in Formula One, is the only “rookie” to have won at the Brickyard taking the checkered flag here in the United States Grand Prix Formula One race in 2002 (a road course race that incorporated part of the IMS oval).  The 39-year-old Brazilian passed Phase One of the ROP, running 10 laps at 200-205 mph, Phase Two, 15 laps at 205 – 210 mph and Phase Three, 15 laps at 210+ mph, making him eligible to participate in full practice which begins on Saturday, May 12 and qualifying scheduled for May 19-20.  Barrichello ran on an oval for just the second time, he tested on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway earlier this week, and for the first time on the 2.5-mile IMS oval.  He completed a total of 83 laps today with a top speed of 214,083 mph.

"I enjoyed today very much,” Barrichello said.  “I want to thank IndyCar for having the ROP (Rookie Orientation Program) session.  It allows you to progress gradually without too much pressure, so I was at ease with my car and the whole process.  I have a great teacher in Tony (Kanaan) and the whole team seemed to be out here, even the mechanics and engineers from Tony and E.J.'s car, so everyone was here to help me out.  Overall, I had a very successful day and look forward to practice again on Saturday."

05/10/12
irl
Pagenaud hits bird while turning laps at Indy's rookie orientation  Indianapolis 500 rookie Simon Pagenaud received a rude welcome to the speedway Thursday. During the rookie orientation program, Pagenaud inadvertently hit a bird while driving around the 2.5-mile oval at speeds topping 210 mph. It wasn't clear when the collision occurred, but the impact caused a significant dent in the screen protecting the radiator.

Crew members scrambled to fix the problem as Pagenaud attempted to pass all three phases of his rookie test.

The French driver has had a spectacular start to the season. He's finished in the top six three times, including a season-best second at Long Beach, and he's fifth in points after four races.

Ten drivers have the option of driving Thursday. Practice for all drivers begins Saturday and the 500 will be run May 27.

05/10/12
IRL
Pagenaud gets first lap for 2012 Indy 500  Simon Pagenaud got the honor of turning the first lap of this year's Indianapolis 500. It was a long time coming.

Pagenaud, a Frenchman who drives for Schmidt Hamilton Racing, moved to Indianapolis in 2006. He spent a season in the Indianapolis-based Champ Car World Series before moving to the American Le Mans Series as he pursued a ride in the Izod IndyCar Series, the sanctioning body of the 500. He's finally here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More ...
05/10/12
nnw
Injuries to sideline McClure at Darlington  Eric McClure will miss Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway because of injuries suffered in a crash at Talladega.

Team McClure Inc. said Wednesday that Jeff Green will replace McClure in the No. 14 Toyota.

McClure was injured late in Saturday's race at Talladega when his car hit headfirst into the wall. He spent two nights in an Alabama hospital with a concussion and internal bruising, and was sent home Monday.

Green has 18 career Nationwide Series starts at Darlington, with one win and nine top-10 finishes.
05/10/12
ga
TOTAL Becomes Official Engine Oil Of GRAND-AM  One of the top energy companies in the world has joined forces with the premier road racing organization in North America, with today’s announcement that TOTAL Lubricants USA (a subsidiary of the TOTAL Group) has entered into a multi-tiered relationship with GRAND-AM Road Racing that includes designation as the official engine oil of GRAND-AM.

In addition to that centerpiece status, TOTAL Lubricants USA – with its US headquarters in Linden, N.J. – is sponsoring the new TOTAL Pole Award. At each GRAND-AM Rolex Series race, the fastest qualifiers in both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes will earn the awards.

TOTAL Lubricants USA also becomes title sponsor of the TOTAL Performance Showcase, a new competitive level that debuted April 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The six-race TOTAL Performance Showcase features sub-compact, production-based race cars (Ford, Kia, Mazda, Mini and Nissan) commonly known as “B-Spec.” More ...

05/10/12
automotive
Tesla losses widen but EV maker lifts 2012 revenue target by $10M  Tesla Motors Inc. reported a first-quarter net loss of $89.9 million, worse than its $48.9 million loss last year, as the cost of bringing the Model S electric sedan to market mounted.

The electric vehicle maker raised its 2012 revenue target by $10 million because it expects to deliver the new Model S earlier than planned.

Tesla has described 2012 as a "year of two halves" with the Model S launch as the dividing line. Ninety percent of the company's revenue this year will come from the sedan. Tesla expects full-year revenue of between $560 million and $600 million.

Earlier, it expected at least $550 million in revenue. More ...

05/10/12
automotive
f1
irl
'We won't sell Lotus' says new owner  Lotus’s new owner “is not thinking about a sale” according to sources close to the Norfolk sports car maker.

The managing director of Proton’s new owner, DRB-HICOM, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Bin Jamil, made the comment last week during a visit to Lotus’s Hethel HQ, near Norwich, intended to reassure management and staff.

Dato’ Jamil said he could “never say never” about a sale, but insisted that selling was not DRB-HICOM’s priority. He said his management would “take time” to understand the Hethel business, but would support it financially in the meantime. Formulating a plan for Lotus could take months, he said, because the situation was complex and a careful decision was needed. More ...

05/10/12
nnw
Danica Patrick To Endorse Coke Zero Brand In Multiyear Deal  Coke Zero today will announce a new endorsement deal with Danica Patrick that “will take her into an arena that has remained relatively untapped by the popular NASCAR driver.” In joining the Coca-Cola Racing Family in a multiyear deal, Patrick "becomes the first driver affiliated with a sole brand in the program’s 14-year history." Patrick said that Coca-Cola was “planning commercials with her creative input, and Coke also will donate to her charities every time she drinks a Coke on TV” USA TODAY
05/10/12
f1
Illness sidelines Brawn in Barcelona  (GMM)  Illness has sidelined Ross Brawn ahead of this weekend's Spanish grand prix.

The Mercedes team will instead be led at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya by acting principal Bob Bell.

"We wish Ross a speedy recovery!" said the Brackley based team on Twitter.

A spokeswoman said the team expected Brawn to be back up to speed at Monaco in two weeks.

05/10/12
irl
Honda to Power Bryan Herta Autosport  American Honda and its Honda Performance Development (HPD) subsidiary will power a single-car effort from Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport for veteran Canadian driver Alex Tagliani at the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and for the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, Honda and the team announced today.

Under terms of the agreement, HPD will provide its new, turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engines to Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport's single, full-time entry for Tagliani, a 12- year IndyCar veteran and the pole qualifier at last year's at Indianapolis 500.

Founded in 2009 by former IndyCar driver Bryan Herta and veteran race engineer Steve Newey, Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport made its Indianapolis 500 debut in 2010 and last year won a thrilling 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 with the late Dan Wheldon driving. More ...

05/10/12
nnw
arca
Weekly NASCAR Cheating Report  UPDATE The ARCA Racing Series has issued a penalty to Talladega Superspeedway event winner Brandon McReynolds (son of NASCAR TV announcer and former crew chief Larry McReynolds) and team owner Kevin Cywinski after the race-winning car failed post-race inspection.

Based on post-race technical inspection after Friday’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega, the Win-Tron Racing No. 32 team has been fined $6,000 and team owner Kevin Cywinski and driver Brandon McReynolds have been penalized with the loss of 100 championship points.

The penalties were issued for violation of the minimum rear quarter panel height rule per the 2012 ARCA Rule Book and race event technical bulletin.

The victory was the first ARCA triumph for McReynolds in only his seventh series start. He was on the verge of winning the season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February before running out of gas at the exit of turn four on the last lap.  (In NASCAR if you ain't wrecking you ain't racing, and if you ain't cheat'n you ain't win'n.) More ...

05/10/12
racing news
Video: The world's tiniest V12  Apparently the builder's name is Yesus Wilder and he only used three materials to build the engine. Stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze.

05/10/12
nassprint
Darlington is final points race to get into All Star Race  Saturday night's race at Darlington Speedway marks the final points race before the May 19 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. That means it's the final opportunity for drivers not already locked into the field to do so. In a way. In actuality, after this weekend's race, those not already locked into the all-star field can do so by finishing either first or second in the Sprint Showdown or winning the Sprint Fan Vote. But no driver wants that kind of pressure. The Sprint Showdown is blink-of-an-eye quick (two 20-lap segments), so anything but a fast start likely spells trouble. And with some fan-favorite names on the Sprint Fan Vote ballot (i.e. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.), it's not wise to rely on that. So, Darlington it is. Those thoughts swirl in the heads of some huge names, namely Earnhardt, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #20-Joey Logano, #1-Jamie McMurray, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #31-Jeff Burton and #22-AJ Allmendinger. All sit in the top 20 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, and all are currently without an all-star nod. NASCAR
05/10/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Michael Schumacher
    Karthikeyan not guaranteed full season at HRT
  • McLaren reacts after pitstop problems
  • Lauda tips Schumacher to win in 2012
  • Montreal must improve track or lose F1 race
  • Toro Rosso plays down drivers' race to Red Bull
  • Barrichello reveals Ferrari 'threat' of 2002
  • Ecclestone quotes high price to Magny Cours
  • Maldonado pins hopes on Williams updates
  • Stewart: di Resta should replace Massa
  • Red Bull Racing goes Spectacular with Pachleitner
  • Kristensen named as Barcelona steward  More ...
05/09/12
alms
Patrick Dempsey to Make ALMS Driving Debut in Monterey  
Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey is set to make his long-awaited debut in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n this week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Hollywood star and Dempsey Racing co-owner is confirmed in the lineup for the team’s Lola-Judd prototype – part of the P2 field at the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patr¢n.

Dempsey will partner with fellow team principal Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker in Saturday’s six-hour race – the third round of the ALMS championship. Dempsey Racing has a Prototype Challenge entry in the race as well.

The decision to enter the Mazda Raceway round comes after a successful shakedown and initial three-day test of the Lola-Judd on Michelin tires at Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City. Dempsey took his first laps in the prototype Friday. More ...

05/09/12
nassprint
Tony La Russa Named Grand Marshal of Toyota/Save Mart 350  Tony La Russa, one of the greatest managers in the history of Major League Baseball, has been named Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 22-24.

La Russa will be honored on Friday, June 22, of race weekend at the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The gala is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. He will also take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, June 24, and participate in the official command of, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines." More ...

05/09/12
gp3
Ocean Racing Technology prepares to enter the GP3 Series  
Kevin Ceccon
Spain's Montmelo circuit will be witness to a first in the history of Ocean Racing Technology. The Portuguese team that has been involved in the GP2 Series since 2009 will be making its start in the younger sister series, the GP3 Series.

The trio of drivers tasked with defending Ocean Racing Technology's colors is the same as the one who took part in the last winter tests at Silverstone: Kevin Ceccon, Robert Cregan, and Carmen Jorda. For this first meeting of the season, for the team and its drivers, the main objective is to evaluate the relative performances of each compared to the competition. Kevin Ceccon is the reigning AutoGP champion and, after a promising entry into the discipline at Silverstone, the 18 year old Italian driver is confident, even if he did not take part in all the winter tests. "I can't wait to start the season following a long winter. I think that we are well prepared for this season opener and we are determined to get the best result possible. We will see what this first meeting has in store for us," declared Kevin Ceccon. More ...
05/09/12
nassprint
Postal worker wins $1 million from Mayfield in dog attack  
If they had a contest for the 'ultimate loser,' Mayfield would win it hands down.
On Wednesday, a Forsyth County judge ordered former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield to pay $1 million to a Catawba [NC] postal carrier attacked last year by Mayfield's five pitbulls. This is the latest salvo against Mayfield, whose home was auctioned off for failing to pay about $3 million he owed on the property. He also faces drug-possession, larceny and stolen goods charges in three North Carolina counties and was suspended from NASCAR in 2009 for testing positive for methamphetamine.

Judge William Z. Wood of Forsyth Superior Court awarded Mary E. Bolton $1 million. Bolton, who lives in Catawba County, filed a lawsuit against Mayfield and his wife, Shana Mayfield, in June in Forsyth Superior Court. The suit was filed in Forsyth because Bolton's attorney, Marc Madonia, is based in Winston-Salem, NC. Bolton alleged that the Mayfields were negligent in allowing the dogs, pitbull/Labrador mixes, to run loose on their property in Catawba County.

She was delivering mail the morning of April 21, 2011, and had a package too large for the mailbox outside the Mayfields' gate. She drove through the gate, past "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dogs" signs, to deliver the package and encountered the dogs that attacked her. Mayfield heard the commotion, shouted at the dogs to scatter them and carried Bolton into the house. He and his wife called 911, and Bolton was taken to Catawba Medical Center for treatment. Animal control confiscated the dogs from Mayfield, but no criminal charges were filed against him. The dogs were later euthanized. Bolton suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has nerve damage, Madonia said.(more at the Morganton News Herald

05/09/12
automotive
Come November vote all those crooks out of office  UPDATE This article sheds more light on this topic.

05/08/12 VW is not allowed by the US government to sell high mileage cars to US consumers. VW even makes the cars here in the USA that get 78 mpg but must ship them overseas. Here is a link that shows a test drive world record with the Passat which was 65 mpg US.  Watch the video, then come November vote all those crooks out of office!

05/09/12
irl
Lotus confirms Alesi Indy 500 entry  
Jean Alesi
One of Jean Alesi's first stops upon arriving May 7 in Indianapolis was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it wasn't to tour the museum.

The 47-year-old former Formula One veteran of 13 seasons announced in September that he sought to compete in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time for the "mighty but hugely attractive challenge," and with official paperwork submitted to INDYCAR on May 8 he took the initial step to making it a realization.

On May 10, Alesi will join seven other first-year competitors in the Rookie Orientation Program at the 2.5-mile oval in a Lotus-powered Dallara entered by Firestone Indy Lights team Fan Force United. Alesi is a Lotus ambassador and his personal sponsor, FP Journe - a Swiss watchmaker - is the primary sponsor of the Month of May effort. More ...

05/09/12
irl
INDYCAR augments Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program  INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today that it will condense its Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) into three speed phases from its traditional four, while still maintaining a total of 40 laps for the program.

Phase I will consist of 10 laps at speeds ranging from 200 to 205 mph.  Phase II will consist of 15 laps at speeds ranging from 205 to 210 mph, and Phase III will focus on 15 laps at 210 mph and over. Data and car settings will be monitored by officials as drivers progress through the phases.

Driver coach and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk will oversee ROP on behalf of IZOD IndyCar Series officials along with Race Director Beaux Barfield. Tony Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and driver for KV Racing Technology, will serve as a driver advisor. More ...

05/09/12
irl
Foyt Family Wines Continues Growth  The month of May brings welcoming weather, beautiful flowers and plans for the upcoming summer.

For the Foyt family, May brings an event that all open wheel racing fans spend each year looking forward to: the annual running of the world’s most famous automobile race, the Indianapolis 500. Foyt family patriarch, A.J. Foyt Jr., labeled the King of Indy, is probably best known for his dominance of that race for decades, starting with his first Indy 500 win in 1961.

So how does this tough Texan, known for his prowess at Indy and on race tracks across America, find his name on bottles of fine wine? Foyt Family Wines was created by son Larry Foyt and grandson A.J. Foyt IV because of their passion for fine wine, but it quickly became a means of paying tribute to A.J. and his amazing career. Each wine offering has been labeled with a number significant in A.J.’s career, either a car number (No. 14 was the first) or a year in which he won an important race. More ...

05/09/12
tv news
nassprint
Carl Edwards to Join ESPN for Two Races  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Carl Edwards will move from the cockpit of his race car to the broadcast booth as he becomes an analyst for ESPN on two upcoming telecasts of NASCAR Nationwide Series races.

Edwards will make his debut during ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday night, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. ET. Edwards also will serve as an analyst for the June 29 event at Kentucky Speedway.

For the Darlington race telecast, Edwards will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Andy Petree in the booth. While Edwards has never called a race, he has worked closely with ESPN the past two years during ESPN’s portion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule by doing post-race analysis for SportsCenter. More ...

05/09/12
track news
Quicken Loans and MIS Announce Partnership  
Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. today announced it has teamed with Michigan International Speedway (MIS)  in Brooklyn, Michigan, to sponsor the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS on Sunday, June 17.

“We saw the Quicken Loans 400 as another way to further our support of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series and to showcase our culture and focus on the client experience to the millions of NASCAR fans around the country,” said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer for Quicken Loans.  “This year marks Quicken Loans’ first season as a primary sponsor of driver Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing.  This partnership with MIS will take our participation in the sport to a new level, allowing us to further connect with these amazing race fans.” More ...

05/09/12
irl
Country Music Superstar McBride To Sing National Anthem At '500'  GRAMMY-winning country superstar Martina McBride will sing the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies at the 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A Kansas native, McBride is known for having one of the most spectacular voices in any genre of music. She is a four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and has sold more than 18 million albums, producing six No. 1 hit singles. Three-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year McBride was most recently nominated for Female Video of the Year at the upcoming CMT Music Awards on June 6. Fans can vote daily until June 4 at  www.CMT.com. More ...

05/09/12
nassprint
Hendrick in longest winless streak since 2002  More than a decade has passed since Hendrick Motorsports slogged through this kind of drought. Back in 2001, Hendrick went the final eight races without a win. Then in 2002, the squad went the first nine winless. That 17-race drought ranks as the team's sixth-longest in an NSCS history that began in 1984. The seventh longest? This one. Right here, right now. Sixteen races have passed since Hendrick's last win, but one of its top tracks awaits - Darlington Raceway. Hendrick has 13 victories at The Track Too Tough To Tame, most by any owner all-time. On Hendrick's personal wins list, Darlington ranks tied for third with Dover behind only Martinsville (18) and Charlotte (16). NASCAR
05/09/12
irl
Briscoe's thoughts on the new Indy car at the Milwaukee Mile  
Ryan Briscoe
Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe was in town Tuesday to talk up Milwaukee IndyFest, the June 15-16 return of the IZOD IndyCar Series to the Milwaukee Mile.

(And to chat Packers -- the Australian is a big fan, thanks to his wife, ESPN's Nicole Briscoe, who is a Wisconsin native. But that's another topic altogether.)

Our half-hour interview took numerous turns, ranging from the Lotus news of the week, the dominance of his teammate Will Power, the test of the new car at Texas Motor Speedway, the challenges facing Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello as an IndyCar and oval-track rookie and, of course, the Mile.

One problem. More ...

05/09/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Ferrari men know Spain crucial for title
  • De Villota not ruling out Friday drive
  • Mateschitz hopes Webber stays at Red Bull
  • Mercedes hints no plans to quit F1
  • Abu Dhabi criticizes young driver test shakeup More ...
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