>


Advertisement
Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
05/12/10
nassprint
Weekly NASCAR Cheaters report  UPDATE Robby Gordon was docked 25 driver and owner points Wednesday for unapproved additional door braces discovered last week at Darlington Raceway, dropping him a spot in the owner standings to 35th and just 18 points ahead of Front Row Motorsports' David Gilliland for the final locked-in position.

The violation was found during initial inspection Friday at Darlington. Gordon will not appeal the penalty, which makes him dangerously close of falling out of the top 35 and needing to qualify for future races on speed.

Gordon remains 34th in the driver standings. Crew chief Samuel Stanley was fined $25,000. More ...

05/12/10
irl
Tracy joins KV Racing for 4-car assault on Indy 500  Paul Tracy believes he has some unfinished business at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his three KV Racing Technology teammates want to do some serious business in the May 30 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Tracy is joining Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes for the four-driver KVRT attack in the world’s biggest auto race at the world’s most famous racing plant.

The popular Canadian racer, who placed a controversial second place at Indy in 2002, bring his No. 15 GEICO—KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine to the Brickyard with a little added firepower this year.  Tracy teams up with his former team boss Barry Green and engineer John Dick to formulate one of his strongest combinations ever at Indy.  Tracy returned to Indy last year for the first time since his 2002 protested finish and placed ninth after running as high as fourth.  Recently shedding 35 pounds from a tough workout regime, the personable racer has been preparing for his Indy return for six months.  Now, he believes this year’s effort with GEICO, Green, Dick and KVRT will provide a superb chance to take him to victory lane. More ...

05/12/10
miscellaneous
PT and Tanner Foust to duke it out on SPEED  
Paul Tracy
Actor and automotive enthusiast Lee Reherman, host of SPEED series Forza Motorsport Showdown and the voice of Hot Rod Television, is set to lead the network’s new original, Battle of the Supercars. The series will roll out 13, 30-minute episodes on SPEED beginning July 22 at 10 p.m. ET.

A WATV production out of Los Angeles, the show spotlights the driving talents of Tanner Foust (Top Gear USA & Supercars Exposed), the 2007 and 2008 Formula Drift ‘Pro Drift’ champion, and open-wheel standout Paul Tracy, the 2003 IndyCar Series Champion, as they battle it out by driving some of the world’s most exotic cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and other top-end manufacturers. Both drivers, while successful in their driving disciplines, are extremely competitive and will bring polar opposite approaches and personalities to the table. More ...
05/12/10
irl
Jewel to sing national anthem at Indy 500  
Jewel
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jewel will perform the national anthem before the start of the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

Jewel has sold 27 million albums worldwide since her smash debut in 1995, "Pieces of You," which went platinum 12 times. She has won an American Music Award and an MTV Video Music Award and has been nominated twice for a Grammy Award.

Her ninth studio album, "Sweet and Wild," is set for release June 8 on the
Valory label. More ...
05/12/10
British F3
British F3 European swing report  
Robert Wickens
British Formula 3 teams begin a hectic spring tour of European racetracks next weekend (22/23 May) at the French Grand Prix circuit of Magny-Cours, venue for rounds seven, eight and nine of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series. A week later they will be at the home of the German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, for another triple-race weekend and, the week after that, many will make the trek to the Dutch seaside circuit of Zandvoort for the European 'Grand Prix of F3', the RTL Masters. More ...
05/12/10
nassprint
SPEED Nascar and HOF coverage schedule  For the fourth consecutive year, SPEED is the exclusive television home to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, with live coverage of the annual event beginning at 7 p.m. ET on May 22.

“In what will be a historic weekend for NASCAR, with the inaugural induction ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday (live on SPEED at noon ET), Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on SPEED will showcase the best drivers of this generation,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “There is no question that fans will be watching guys that already have places reserved in future Hall of Fame inductions. These guys are the best of the best … all battling for a $1 million payday.” More ...

05/12/10
atlantic
Drive an Atlantic car at Buttonwillow!!  
Swift 016.a
With the cancellation of the 2010 Atlantic Championship season earlier this year, many of its teams were left with their cars and equipment, and not much else. The adversity of the cancelled season has led to the evolution of an exciting new program for the Team Stargate Worlds / US RaceTronics organization (TSGW/USRT).  After much planning, TSGW/USRT is happy to announce the launch of The Arrive and Drive Experience.

Rather than allowing their inventory of Atlantic Swift 016.a race cars to go rusty and ignored, Team Principals Shane Seneviratne and Imran Safiulla have launched a  new initiative aimed at their commercial partners and a broad spectrum of racing enthusiasts.  With the TSGW/USRT Arrive and Drive Experience you don't have to be a professional race car driver, in order to get to experience the thrill of racing these modern race cars. The program features self paced testing, which utilizes an advanced Pi Sigma data acquisition system with TSGW/USRT instructors on hand to evaluate and help the client’s performance. More ...
05/12/10
irl
Rahal talks about racing for dad, Long Beach  
Graham Rahal
Graham Rahal talks in his Racer magazine blog about racing for his father, and the Long Beach weekend. Check out the whole blog post here

"So here we are again, fans. The biggest race in the world, and I'm going to be racing for the winner of the 1986 edition of the event – or as I call him, Dad."

"There's actually a sense of relief in that, because a) I trust the team to be strong and have a competitive car; b) I have a ride at all; and c) there's now a stretch of three weeks where I can focus on cars, racing and not the whole worrying about the future beyond that. Don't get me wrong – I want to do the rest of the season, but it's been such a strange start to the year for me that it's good to be able to get back to what I do best: racing a car."
05/12/10
f1
Monaco GP: Wednesday Press Conference  
Felipe Massa
Drivers:
Seb Buemi
Robert Kubica
Timo Glock
Jenson Button
Felipe Massa

Q: A question to you all. Just look back at last weekend and look ahead to this weekend. What do you think of this circuit? What are your chances? Sebastien, perhaps we can start with you.

Sebastien BUEMI: Barcelona was a new start to the season with all the new updates. I think we didn't do too bad considering we are a small team, so I am expecting to have a good car here in Monaco. We were quite competitive last year and we have some new bits coming for here, so it should not be too bad. We should be near Q3, 10th space, 11th space, so that will be our objective and to score points.

Q: You have had a lot of bad luck so far this year. How can you get rid of that as this is not the best place to get rid of bad luck is it? More ...

05/12/10
irl
Andretti endorses Bernard, pushes for change  
Mario Andretti
Practice starts this weekend for this year’s 94th Indianapolis 500. Qualifying takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22-23, with the race on May 30. But most of the talk in IndyCar circles is about the future, as the IRL debates its new formula for 2012. In Tuesday’s Indianapolis Star, the IRL’s new CEO Randy Bernard declared the time has come to leave the IRL brand behind and find a new, more fan-friendly identity for IndyCar racing. Mario Andretti says he hopes Bernard can achieve the many goals he’s set for himself.

“I’m excited with the prospects for Randy Bernard,” said Mario. “The jury is still out, but he’s beginning to show the elements of leadership that we’ve all been hoping for, for so many years. He’s talking to a lot of people and I think he’s listening. More ...
05/12/10
f1
Sutil plays down Monaco traffic drama  (GMM)  Adrian Sutil on Wednesday played down the fuss that is being made about the traffic chaos that is likely to affect the Monaco GP weekend.

With 24 cars on the grid this year, and six of them circulating at vastly slower pace, mainly leading drivers are vocally worried about being thwarted between the Armco barriers -- particularly in Q1.

But Force India's Sutil told Motorsport-Magazin.com: "Some years ago it was normal that cars were within five, six seconds and someone was often held up.

"At that time nobody complained while today a big drama is being made of it.  You have to take the situation as it is," added the German. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Stepney sabotage trial begins in Italy  (GMM)  Three years after the 'spygate' scandal of 2007, a case alleging sabotage by espionage conspirator Nigel Stepney began in Italy on Wednesday.

As the Monaco paddock is set up on Wednesday, the case harks back to the fabled street race of 2007, with sacked former chief mechanic Stepney accused of trying to ruin Ferrari's chances by adding white powder to the fuel tanks.

According to reports including by the ANSA news agency, the trial began on Wednesday in a court in Sassuolo, in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region.

Briton Stepney did not appear in person, the German news agency SID reported.

05/12/10
f1
FIA confirms Damon Hill to be Monaco steward  (GMM)  Damon Hill will be the fourth steward at this weekend's Monaco grand prix.

We reported last month that, amid FIA president Jean Todt's new initiative to have well-known and experienced former drivers sitting alongside the three regular stewards at each race in 2010, Hill would preside at prestigious Monaco.

The 1996 world champion never won at Monaco, but his father Graham Hill won the blue-ribant event no fewer than five times in the 60s, earning the nickname 'Mr. Monaco'. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Mercedes confirms Deutsche Post sponsor deal  (GMM)  On Wednesday in Monaco, Mercedes confirmed that it has concluded a sponsorship deal with Deutsche Post.

We reported in March that the German logistics giant, who through its subsidiary DHL is already an official partner of the world championship itself, is in talks about backing the Brackley based team.

It was rumored that the deal could be ready to debut in Spain last weekend, but in fact the logos will be added to the livery and front wing of the grey W01 car in Monaco.

"The team has been very successful in attracting new partners over the past months and Deutsche Post is a very welcome addition," said team chief executive Nick Fry.

05/12/10
f1
No reversion to 'old' Mercedes, Haug insists  (GMM)  It is wrong to describe Mercedes' original 2010 car as the "old" one, Norbert Haug insisted on Wednesday.

Despite the German team only debuting its 'new' longer wheelbase version in Spain last weekend, it has been confirmed that Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will be driving the previous specification this weekend in Monaco. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Teams still working on motor homes in Monaco  (GMM)  Monte Carlo's famous glamour was yet to arrive in the formula one paddock on Wednesday.

It is just two days since the checkered flag waved at the Circuit de Catalunya, meaning that it has been the shortest turnaround between back-to-back races in the sport's history.

Mercedes and Red Bull sent old motor homes to Spain so that their real facilities were ready for Wednesday, the unofficial first day of the Monaco event given that Thursday will see the initial 180 hours of practice. More ...

05/12/10
irl
Rahal is popular in Arabic  Ed Note: the Rahal family heritage is Lebanese, so this makes sense.

RAHAL in Arabic means Traveler, and is the name of a loyalty program offered by Afriqiyah Airlines.

Customers enrolled in the program accumulate Miles or points corresponding to the distance flown on Afriqiyah . Accrued Miles or points can be redeemed for free air tickets for other goods or services, or for benefits, such as airport lounge access or priority bookings. More....
05/12/10
f1
Diamond luck in Monaco  Once again, the McLaren steering wheels will be encrusted with diamonds for the Monaco Grand Prix, courtesy of a partnership between the Woking team and Steinmetz. Lewis Hamilton will also be running with a modified helmet design, which includes two red dice on its reverse side.

A number of diamonds have been raced in Monaco in past years, not least in the helmet of winner Kimi Räikkönen in 2005 and also on the front nose cones of the 2004 Jaguars, although the idea proved to be a costly one after a diamond was stolen following a Grand Hotel Hairpin crash for Christian Klien. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Renault picks up eco-sponsor  
Trina Solar now appears on Renault F1 car
Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products from ingots to modules, today announced through its subsidiary, Trina Solar (Switzerland) AG, has become a sponsor of the Renault F1 Team, a new partnership that is expected to increase Trina Solar's global brand awareness while promoting the wide-scale adoption of sustainable technologies.

The sponsorship will take the form of on-car logo branding on the nose of the R30 race car, ensuring excellent opportunities for worldwide marketing exposure. Furthermore, this partnership will showcase day-to-day applications of solar PV technology in various high-visibility areas of the Renault F1 Team operations including the team's paddock motorhome and VIP hospitality facilities. More ...
05/12/10
f1
Schumi plays down Monaco chances  
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is optimistic that his Mercedes will be closer to the pace in Monaco, but warned his fans not to get carried away about his return to the track where he won five times in his original Formula 1 career.

Although Schumacher achieved the best result of his comeback by taking fourth in Spain, and also out-paced team-mate Nico Rosberg all weekend for the first time, the whole team was frustrated to be over a minute behind winner Mark Webber's Red Bull at the finish.

Schumacher believes the latest Mercedes will be more in tune with Monte Carlo, but played down expectations. More ...
05/12/10
irl
IZOD continues big IndyCar promotion  
IZOD and Ryan Hunter-Reay billboard in New York's Times Square
You have to hand it to IZOD, they spend BIG money promoting the IndyCar series, as seen here for their win with Ryan Hunter-Reay at Long Beach.
05/12/10
f1
Still no new Virgin for Lucas di Grassi  (GMM)  Lucas di Grassi will spend one more race weekend at the wheel of the original Virgin car.

After it was discovered that the fuel tank was not big enough to reach the checkered flag with normal pace, the new British team embarked on a significant redesign that debuted in Timo Glock's hands last week in Spain.

But di Grassi had to race in Barcelona with the older car, due to the volcanic ash disruptions in the wake of the recent Chinese grand prix. More ...

05/12/10
f1
KERS almost definite for 2011  Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) are l likely to return to Formula 1 next season.

AUTOSPORT reports that teams will be allowed free choice on which system they use - so they will not be forced to run a standard unit – while smaller teams are likely to be given the option of buying KERS from a manufacturer team or from independent supplier like Flybrid.

Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry told AUTOSPORT that he expected several teams would run KERS in 2011.

"We are looking at the application of KERS," he said. "We haven't come to a definitive solution, but I am a proponent of that type of technology. I would not be surprised to see it on several cars next year." More ...

05/12/10
f1
Cosworth’s Guide to the Monaco Grand Prix  
Monaco Grand Prix from an Engine’s Perspective
“Monaco is arguably the circuit which generates the most superlatives of the season; it is the shortest lap of any circuit on the calendar and the shortest race distance of the year, the race has the highest number of laps but the slowest average speed. It is also widely recognized as the most challenging race of the season from a driver’s point of view.

A maximum downforce circuit, it is not one of the toughest tracks on the calendar in terms of outright engine power – with just half the lap spent at full throttle - but it is still a rigorous test of an engine’s performance. The lack of any long straights and the number of low speed corners means that cooling becomes a critical issue. The engine homologation regulations prevent the addition of any special engine cooling devices for this race, so cool or wet weather conditions would be welcome to prevent the engine overheating. More ...
05/12/10
track news
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, police at impasse  Even after the governor assembled a committee to deal with New Hampshire Motor Speedway's concerns about the cost of police and fire coverage at the track, the speedway and Loudon police Chief Bob Fiske are about $100,000 apart on the cost of covering next month's NASCAR race weekend. Fiske said he will present the Loudon selectmen tonight [Tuesday, May 11th] with a memorandum of understanding, to be signed by Jerry Gappens, the speedway's executive vice president, stating that the town of Loudon will be paid $174,500 for police and fire coverage, the same cost as the September 2009 race weekend.

But Gappens says track owner Bruton Smith believes adequate coverage can be provided for $75,000. The Loudon track is the only one of eight speedways owned by Smith's company, Speedway Motorsports, that pays for police and fire coverage, Gappens said. Gappens said he considers Fiske's request that he sign a memorandum of understanding to be "an insult" to the relationship forged between town and speedway. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Horner: Flexibility key in Monaco  Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner feels flexibility will be the name of the game in Monaco qualifying this weekend.

Plans to split the initial 20-minute session around the streets of Monte-Carlo have been quashed, which means there may be all 24 cars on track at the same time struggling to get in a clean lap.

Many drivers have expressed concern about the chaos that could ensue given how slow Formula One newcomers Virgin, Lotus and Hispania Racing have proven to be.

It has been worked out if every car is on the two-mile track, which takes 75 seconds to lap, each one would be just three seconds apart.  More ...

05/12/10
automotive
Porsche Presents the New 911 GT2 RS, the Most Powerful Porsche Ever Built  
Porsche GT2 RS
The time: seven minutes, 18 seconds on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

The power: 620 hp. The weight: 3,020 lb (1,370 kilograms) in road trim with all fluids on board.

The car: the new 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

90 More Horsepower, 154 lbs Less Filling

The latest 911 is the fastest and most powerful road-going sports car ever built in the history of Porsche. With horsepower (hp) up by 90 and weight down by 154 lbs (70 kilograms) in comparison with the previous 911 GT2, the new 911 GT2 RS has a power-to-weight ratio of just 4.9 lbs (2.21 kg) per horsepower, by far the best power/weight ratio in its class. These are the ideal ingredients for an ultra-high-performance sports car with supreme agility and truly blistering performance on the road. Perfectly illustrating Porsche Intelligent Performance, the 2011 GT2 RS achieves a reduction of approximately 5 percent for both fuel consumption and CO2 emission reduction when compared with the previous 911 GT2. More ...

05/12/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Whitmarsh confirms wheel failure for Hamilton
  • FIA installs higher curbs for 2010 Monaco
  • Brawn happier without name above team garage
  • Alonso leading 2010 title under old points system
  • Monaco traffic just an 'extra challenge' - Alonso
  • Mercedes 'wrong' to focus on Schumacher - Jordan

Whitmarsh confirms wheel failure for Hamilton
(GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that a failed wheel rim caused Lewis Hamilton to crash on the penultimate lap of last weekend's Spanish grand prix.

Shortly after the Briton's sudden tire deflation, the McLaren team boss speculated that "debris" rather than an actual tire problem probably caused the accident.

Bridgestone's initial analysis was similar, but it did not stop some pundits from hinting that Hamilton's aggressive driving style might have been a contributing factor.

But the damaged parts were returned to Woking for analysis on Monday, and Whitmarsh confirmed on Tuesday that a wheel rim failure looks the likely cause.

"The rim failure is being investigated," he told reporters during a teleconference.

"It could be debris related, it could be an issue of deflection, or it could be a lack of tightness in the wheel nut, which allowed some flexing.

"What we know is the rim failed, probably human error somewhere in the process caused it, and that led to a deflation and the accident," Whitmarsh added. More ...

05/11/10
nassprint
Hendrick thinks Gibbs has caught up and passed HMS  Rick Hendrick says fellow Sprint Cup owner Joe Gibbs has done more than catch Hendrick Motorsports in performance this season. "Looks like he passed me," the owner of HMS said during Tuesday's grand opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "He didn't catch me. He lapped me." Joe Gibbs Racing has won the past two Cup races and four of the past six since NASCAR switched from the wing to the spoiler. Denny Hamlin, who won Saturday night at Darlington, has won three of those. Kyle Busch won the other. HMS, which won three of the first five races with four-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, is winless during that stretch. But it's not just wins that has JGR looking like the organization to beat 11 races into the season. Hamlin and Busch have combined to lead 695 laps in the past six races after leading only 76 in the first five. More at ESPN.com
05/11/10
nnws
New Nationwide car testing dates set  The new car for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will participate in a two-day test session on Tuesday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 19 in preparation for its competition debut in the July 2 Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, part of the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola.

Among the drivers expected to participate in the test include 2007 Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Steve Wallace, Brendan Gaughan, Paul Menard, Colin Braun, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brian Scott, Michael Annett, Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, Trevor Bayne, Joe Nemechek, Landon Cassell, Steve Arpin and James Buescher. More ...

05/11/10
nassprint
Martinsville entertainment announced  Drivers will be getting in the racing groove on June 6 in the Made In America Whelen 200/UNOH Performance 200 at Martinsville Speedway. But the night before, fans can “Get In The Groove” on the front stretch of the historic speedway.

Martinsville Speedway will present  “Get In The Groove,” an evening of music and fun on Saturday, June 5 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. More ...

05/11/10
irl
Indy 500 festivities schedule  After a full schedule of activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 28, race fans can eat, drink and laugh as three Indianapolis 500 drivers share the hot seat at the 38th Last Row Party.

The Last Row Party, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET) at the pavilion at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, honors the drivers starting on the 11th and final row of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" with a dinner and roast. More ...

05/11/10
f1
Whitmarsh blames Hamilton puncture on debris  UPDATE McLaren has confirmed that a left-front wheel rim failure was the reason for Lewis Hamilton's penultimate lap retirement from Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, meaning the Englishman retired because of an almost identical problem to the one which beset team-mate Heikki Kovalainen at the same race two years ago. More ...
05/11/10
nassprint
Larry Pearson talks about his vintage NASCAR crash  During a recent ESPN interview, Larry Pearson spoke about his crash and recovery in a recent NASCAR nostalgia race. We have always wondered about vintage racing and the safety. If they would not allow race cars with that safety level today, should they be raced at all?

“I saw his eyes and they looked very big. I’m sure it was a shock for him to see me as much as it was a shock for me to see him and I’m sure my eyes were big too … I can laugh about it now but it was so funny … I looked and I’m wondering ‘surely he's not going to hit me." More ...

05/11/10
nassprint
McMurray's crew wins Darlington pit crew award  Jamie McMurray’s over-the-wall crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night’s (May 8) Showtime Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the historic Darlington Raceway.

The No. 1 crew, which became the 10th different Tissot winner of the season, edged out the competition in Darlington with seven quick pit stops. The performance helped McMurray post a second-place finish.

McMurray’s McDonald’s Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road – 305.523 seconds – during the 367-lap, 500-mile Mother’s Day weekend race. More ...

05/11/10
f1
Di Resta to sit out Monaco practice  (GMM)  Paul di Resta will not be at the wheel of a 2010 Force India car when free practice kicks off in Monaco on Thursday morning.

The Scottish 24-year-old has tested during the initial session of practice at every grand prix event this year with the exception of the Bahrain season opener.

Regular racers Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi have been alternatively giving up their cockpits for the Mercedes DTM driver.

Di Resta will however sit out Monaco, with the Silverstone based team explaining that both Sutil and Liuzzi's track time will be maximized "due to the challenging layout of the circuit that demands the most precise setup of the year".

Di Resta will still be trackside as reserve driver.

05/11/10
irl
Andretti Autosport announces new sponsor  Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed e-mail marketing and interactive marketing provider ExactTarget to a sponsorship agreement in support of the team's 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series program.

ExactTarget, headquartered in downtown Indianapolis, is a leading global provider of on-demand email marketing and interactive marketing solutions.

The ExactTarget logo will be featured specifically on the #26 Team Venom Energy Drink car of Marco Andretti for the remainder of the 2010 season and also on the #37 IZOD machine of driver Ryan Hunter-Reay in the Indianapolis 500 and at Texas Motor Speedway. More ...

05/11/10
irl
Caged Animal - Tracy ready to let loose at Indy  
P.T. - Caged Animal
It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since Paul Tracy made his first return visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 2002.  While a questionable call by the race steward sent Tracy home with a broken heart in 2002, last year was a bit of a different story.  In fact, if not for a Tony Kanaan crash where Tracy collected debris and sustained slight aero damage, he may have won the Indianapolis 500 for a second time, er, for the first time.  He instead recorded a 9th place finish in the #15 GEICO car and just minutes after the race voiced his intentions to return to Indy in 2010 and put his name in the history books. More ...
05/11/10
f1
Glock wants progress from struggling team Virgin  
Timo Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock is looking for an improvement from Virgin Racing before committing long-term to the new British team.

Despite interest from established teams for this year, the German signed with Virgin with a contract that is believed to be for a multiple-season term.

The team has notably struggled for pace and reliability, with Glock only notching up his first finish of the season last weekend in Spain.

That was with the much-vaunted updated VR-01 car featuring a bigger fuel tank, which was not substantially faster in Barcelona than the older model still driven by Lucas di Grassi.

Asked if he is already contemplating how to extract himself from his long contract, 28-year-old Glock said on Tuesday: "If the situation never changed, eventually you would have those sorts of thoughts. More ...

05/11/10
f1
No 'negative' pressure from bosses - Hulkenberg  
Nico Hulkenberg
(GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg insists he is not yet under 'negative' pressure from his bosses to up his game in formula one.

The German rookie has outqualified Rubens Barrichello twice so far in 2010, including in Barcelona, but he has generally been outshone by his more experienced teammate.

Williams, although having groomed the reigning GP2 champion with test seats in both 2008 and 2009, is famous for not having a lot of patience for tardy or struggling drivers.

But Hulkenberg, 22, said he doesn't feel under pressure, even though the British team's overall performance has not been good in 2010. More ...

05/11/10
lms
Seven Audi R8's at Nürburging  
Audi R8 LMS
More than 200 vehicles will contest the Nürburging 24 Hours this weekend – including seven Audi R8 LMS cars entered by the Audi customer teams ABT Sportsline, Black Falcon and Phoenix Racing.

More than 200,000 spectators are expected to turn out for the 38th edition of the endurance classic around the notorious Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Audi has been providing the official vehicles for the popular event in the "Eifel" since 2002 via its sporting subsidiary quattro GmbH. And since this season Audi Sport also offers a vehicle to private teams which makes it possible for them to fight for overall victory in the 24-hour race: the Audi R8 LMS.

Last year when the new GT3 sports car made its debut in the 24-hour race with support from Audi Sport, Team ABT Sportsline with Christian Abt, Jean-François Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Luhr immediately clinched victory in the strong field of the SP9 class and finished as the overall runner-up. More ...
05/11/10
automotive
Kia posts 36% sales increase  Kia Motors Corporation announced today its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs) and commercial vehicles for April 2010, recording a total of 174,505 units sold. This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 36.0%. In April, Kia posted impressive double digit year-on-year sales increases in all sales regions: 62.9% in general markets (38,926 units sold), 54.6% in China (28,082 units sold), 32.8% in Korea (38,513 units sold), 24.1% in Europe (33,891 units sold) and 17.4% in North America (35,093 units sold).
05/11/10
automotive
Toyota quarterly profit $1.2 billion as sales recover  Toyota moved back into black in the latest quarter as the world's top carmaker cut costs and was helped by the global auto sales recovery while fighting to salvage its reputation for quality.

But the automaker's top executive and analysts alike said Toyota is still far from a full recovery while another potential blow to its image looms after U.S. federal authorities launched a fresh investigation into a steering recall.

Toyota Motor Corp. said today that January-March profit totaled 112 billion yen ($1.2 billion) compared with a 766 billion yen loss the year before.

Quarterly revenue jumped to 5.28 trillion yen ($57 billion) from 3.54 trillion yen a year earlier, when purchases of cars and other vehicles were slumping amid the global financial crisis.

05/11/10
f1
Hamilton to get new helmet, like Monaco  
Lewis Hamilton - no yellow helmet in Monaco?
Lewis Hamilton is hoping a new helmet design will lead to a change of fortune ahead of what he believes could potentially be "the most exciting and unpredictable Monaco Grands Prix for many years."

Hamilton has always been synonymous with a yellow helmet as sported by hero Ayrton Senna during the three-times champion's illustrious career.

For the previous three races around the principality, specialist jewelers Steinmetz have provided the McLaren drivers with diamond-encrusted helmets.

This year, though, it sounds like Hamilton has something a little different up his sleeve as he is refusing to give the game away just yet.

"I'll be wearing a specially-painted helmet for the occasion," said Hamilton on this year's race at Monaco.

"When you see it you'll know why I'll be hoping for it to swing the odds in my favor." More ...

05/11/10
irl
Bernard wants to 'blow up' IRL  
Randy Bernard wants to get rid if IRL and keep IndyCar
What's in a name? Apparently too much in the case of the Indy Racing League, according to the organization's new boss.

Randy Bernard said Monday that those words -- and their acronym, "IRL" -- need to be removed from the sport's vernacular. He said they remind too many open-wheel fans of the nasty split Tony George created when he formed the Indianapolis-based series as an alternative to CART in 1996.

CART and the IRL, along with their fans and competitors, were divided for 12 often contentious years until unification occurred in 2008. That's when one Izod IndyCar Series came to be.

Much of the healing has taken place as drivers from both series have won races, but Bernard thinks there will be scars as long as "IRL" is around as a reminder. More ...

05/11/10
f1
Schumacher: Still a lot of work ahead of us  
Schumacher
2010 marks nine years since Michael Schumacher last celebrated victory in Monaco, arguably the scene of the incident that forced his first retirement from Formula 1 in 2006. This weekend, the 7-time World Champion returns to Monaco but insists that his Mercedes GP team is continuing to play a game of catch-up. Although he may not have crossed the street circuit's finish line first since 2001, Schumacher can still boast five Monaco Grand Prix victories, having won for Benetton in 1994 and 1995 before repeating the feat for Ferrari in 1997 and 1999 as well as the season which saw him pick up world title number four.

In 2010, Michael returns to the famous venue after enjoying his best result so far this season, fourth in Barcelona on Sunday. More ...

05/11/10
f1
Red Bull warns rivals ahead of Monaco  
Christian Horner
After dominating Sunday’s Spanish grand Prix from start to finish, Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has warned their rivals to expect more of the same at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, despite the fact that the Monte Carlo circuit is not a speed track.

Traditionally this track has not been kind to Red Bull but Horner is confident that their rivals will once again be left scratching their heads as the two Red Bull contenders storm their way through qualifying and Sunday afternoon’s race. More ...

05/11/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Hamilton must 'calm down' and nurse tires - Villadelprat
  • Merc's new motor home cost 7 times less than Red Bull's
  • Backmarkers to make Monaco a 'disaster' - Hamilton
  • Wet weather forecast for Monaco GP
  • Bridgestone says F1 still important and significant
  • 'Unrealistic' to expect Red Bull defeat - Heidfeld

Hamilton must 'calm down' and nurse tires - Villadelprat
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton needs to temper his aggression if he wants to add another title to his tally.

That is the claim of Joan Villadelprat, the F1 veteran who is bidding to bring his Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi onto the grand prix grid next year.

He also writes a column in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"Lewis Hamilton needs to calm down a bit to get the most out of his potential," wrote Villadelprat.

"For me, he is one of the top three drivers in formula one, on the level of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso."

Whilst running second in Barcelona and eyeing second place in the drivers' championship, Hamilton suffered a tire failure and crashed.

McLaren believes debris caused the problem, but even Hamilton was amazed that he has suffered more tire failures since debuting in 2007 "than most people have in their whole lifetime".

Villadelprat added: "I'm not saying what was the cause of his problem on Sunday.  But his history has shown that as a result of aggressive driving, he is one of the drivers who most consumes his tires.

"And now that the tires must withstand runs in excess of 50 laps, it can cause many problems," said the Spaniard. More ...

05/10/10
tv news
SPEED To Launch SPEED2 Broadband Channel  SPEED2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming events that will complement the tremendous offerings of the linear SPEED network, is set to launch Summer 2010, it was announced today by SPEED President Hunter Nickell.

A beta version of SPEED2 will be available in June 2010 with a wider consumer debut targeted for July. Available only to SPEED subscribers as an authenticated online network, SPEED2 also will provide a variety of video-on-demand international motor sports content and compelling automotive and motorcycle enthusiast programming.  More ...

05/10/10
nascar
NASCAR HOF void of many sponsors  When customers enter the $200 million NASCAR Hall of Fame for the first time this week, they’ll find the sparkling showplace surprisingly free of sponsor clutter.

That’s not by design. The three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility, which opens Tuesday in downtown Charlotte, has finalized four sponsorships with Lowe’s, Mars (M&M’s), Food Lion and the NASCAR Performance Group.

NASCAR will be showcasing many of its aftermarket partners, including 3M, Goodyear, Mobil 1, O’Reilly Auto Parts and others. Those companies will be on display when the Hall of Fame opens, and their deals range from $200,000 to $700,000 annually and go from three to five years in length.

NASCAR receives a 10 percent cut on sponsorship sales and between 7.5 percent and 10 percent on other revenue from admissions, retail sales and tours. More ...

05/10/10
irl
Ana Beatriz for DRR at Indy  
Ana Beatriz
Brazilian driver Ana Beatriz will drive the No. 25 car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at the Indianapolis 500, it was announced on Monday.

This rounds out a sizeable group of female drivers for this years 500 miles spectacle. Danica Patrick, Simona deSilvestro, Sarah Fisher, Milka Duno and Ana Beatriz. We also hear that Pippa Mann might squeeze into rookie orientation and give it a go, which could be six pairs of "X" chromosomes in the field, which could give the name of that group of drivers and their impact on the race "The X Factor"

It will be the team's fourth entry in the race. Beatriz made her IndyCar debut in Brazil earlier this year. She has competed in Indy Lights the last two seasons, and was third in championship points in 2008. More ...

05/10/10
irl
2010 Indianapolis 500 notebook for Monday  The 2010 Indianapolis 500 opens with a full day of activity with Indianapolis Star Opening Day on Saturday, May 15, kicking off a busy schedule of action until Race Day, Sunday, May 30.

Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday, with admission just $5. Children 5 and under are free.

Veteran drivers will be on track from noon-2 p.m. Saturday on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, followed by the first day of the Rookie Orientation Program from 2-6 p.m.

Two concerts will take the spotlight on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza. Multi-platinum popular rock powerhouse Everclear will play live at 4 p.m., with opening act Stereo Deluxe at 3 p.m. More ...
05/10/10
tv news
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC  
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Dover on ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Saturday, May 15, and ABC will have a live, flag-to-flag telecast. NASCAR Countdown presented by Hellman’s airs at 2 p.m. ET, while the race telecast starts at 2:30 p.m. with the green flag at 2:45 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the series all season, with selected races airing on ESPN and ABC.

Also from Dover, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on race day at 10 a.m. as well as final practice on Friday, May 14, at 1 p.m. More ...

05/10/10
nassprint
RCR, LENOX® Continue Partnership  Richard Childress Racing and LENOX Industrial Tools, a leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, hand tools, torches, solder and band saw blades, continue their partnership with driver Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Chevrolet Impala team through the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.  The RCR/LENOX partnership began in 2007 and continues to be a core component of the LENOX motorsports program.

LENOX will be the No. 31 team’s primary sponsor at the June 27 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and both Jeff Burton and Richard Childress will support LENOX through customer appearances and advertising.

The RCR partnership will also serve as a platform to honor the life of Pete Dingeman, the 2009 “LENOX Extra Mile Hero.” Pete dedicated his life to supporting the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) and last year donated his entire $31,000 winnings from LENOX to support this cause.  Sadly, Pete passed away in December of last year after a life-long battle with neurofibromatosis (NF).  In recognition of his heroic efforts, a decal honoring Pete will be placed on the No. 31 paint scheme, and the 2010 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 will be dedicated to him.

05/10/10
tv news
SPEED to air Earnhardt Special  SPEED will air a one-hour biography on Dale Earnhardt, seven-time champion and inductee to the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class, Friday at 11 p.m. ET following NASCAR Camping World Truck Series coverage from Dover. 

Brian Williams, a personal friend of Earnhardt’s and host of NBC Nightly News, will narrate the special that features a never-before-aired interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the days following his father’s death in February 2001.  The program also includes interviews with Richard Childress, Kevin Harvick, Brian France, Mike Helton, Tony Eury Sr. and Tony Eury Jr., as well as perspective from some of Earnhardt’s fans. More ...

05/10/10
irl
Kingdom Racing backs Hamilton effort  For the third consecutive year, Kingdom Racing (www.kingdomracing.net) has joined forces with veteran driver Davey Hamilton and will partner with Luczo Dragon/de Ferran Motorsports for Hamilton’s 2010 IZOD IndyCar season, it was announced today.

Hamilton will make three starts this season beginning with the Indianapolis 500 May 30. It will be his first multiple race season since 2001 when he suffered career-threatening injuries in a horrific crash at Texas Motor Speedway. He made his remarkable IndyCar return at the 2007 Indy 500 and launched his partnership with Kingdom Racing a year later at the 2008 Indy 500. More ...

05/10/10
irl
BAT principles talk about IndyCar engines and safety  Bruce Ashmore and Alan Mertens of BAT engineering were recently interviewed for an article by Gordon Kirby

When asked about the engine dilemma for IndyCar, and the notion of the Global Racing Engine being used, Ashmore said "The problem with the 'World Racing Engine' is it doesn't produce enough power for an Indy car...It's around a 500 bhp engine which is not enough to have an exciting show on a road course. The current road course car has only just over 600 bhp and everybody that I've spoken to wants to see the road courses back where they used to be in the nineties which was 900 horsepower. So you need to be 750+ and you can't get that level of horsepower out of an in-line four-cylinder turbo and have it last 500 miles."

"If you believe you need more than 700 horsepower for the road courses that's not the in-line four 'World' engine. That engine doesn't really fit Indy car racing. It fits a lot of other series--Formula 3, touring cars and so on. There are a lot of applications where that engine would work. But it's not powerful enough for an exciting Indy car."

They go one to talk about the basis for the car design not being about one kind of car beating another, and that safety and other design considerations come to the forefront for that. Though the product of this is positive, we have to ask...isn't one car (and driver) beating another what this sport is all about?

We have to wonder if the direction racing is going is an evolution or simply the wrong direction. When we get there, will this even resemble what racing is supposed to be? This is not specific or critical of the BAT design, but more about the overall direction we see things going in almost all of racing in recent years.

05/10/10
irl
Golfer's vodka brand to sponsor Ed Carpenter at Indy  
Ed Carpenter
Vision Racing is proud to confirm Indiana's own golf legend Fuzzy Zoeller's involvement as a supporter of the No.20 Dallara/ Honda/ Firestone entry, driven by Ed Carpenter for Panther Racing, by introducing Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka as primary sponsor for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

Known as one of the most fun loving personalities in the history of the game, Indiana native and professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller entered into the spirits business in July 2009, launching his own ultra premium vodka which will be displayed on the No.20 livery for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing", the famed Indianapolis 500, deepening the Indiana connection. More ...
05/10/10
formula bmw
Michel Lewis makes Formula BMW debut  
Michael Lewis
The 2010 Formula BMW Europe season launched in full force this past weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, where a full field of young drivers took the grid for Rounds 1 and 2. Young American driver Michael Lewis made his European racing debut with the Italian Eurointernational team along with his two teammates Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat. More ...
05/10/10
irl
Danny Sullivan - "It's gone"  Danny Sullivan was asked this week on Dave Despain's Wind Tunnel on SPEED, what he thought was the weakness of the current IndyCar product.

"Back at that time, we had big names in the sport, Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Emerson, all that...and we don't have that fan base for the drivers anymore. You gotta build the drivers back up. You have to get those fans cheering for those drivers." More ...

05/10/10
f1
Christian Horner has plays down RBR lack of reliability  
Christian Horner
Christian Horner has played down his team's reliability issues, which once again hampered Sebastian Vettel in Spain.

On track for second place after his team-mate Mark Webber stormed away into the lead, Vettel had a slow first pit stop, which meant he then had to wait for rivals to pass by before he could exit his pit box.

Added to that, 15 laps before the end of the grand prix he lost the front left brakes and had to back off, dropping him down the order. He eventually finished P3 after a late promotion due to Lewis Hamilton's retirement. More ...

05/10/10
f1
Schu's back, Barca not boring, Massa under pressure - press  
Schumacher is back according to the F1 media
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher bounced back into shape in Barcelona, a race that was not boring, according to the international press.

"Schumacher is once again a great man.  There he is again!" exclaimed Italy's Corriere dello Sport, after the German consistently outpaced his teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time in his return to formula one.

Another previously critical Italian source, the sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, added: "Perhaps Barcelona was his real start to the season", while Austria's Osterreich said Spain had been Schumacher's "best race since returning" to F1.

Niki Lauda agreed: "This was Michael's resurrection.  He drove well and aggressively."

Meanwhile, there was very little talk in the world's press about Spain being a boring race. More ...

05/10/10
f1
Mercedes to use old 2010 car in Monaco  (GMM)  Mercedes will revert to its original 2010 car for the Monaco grand prix this weekend.

The Brackley based team unveiled a car with a longer wheelbase in Spain last weekend, which is tipped to have helped Michael Schumacher get the upper hand over his teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time in 2010.

But according to German media sources, the pre-Barcelona package - which in Rosberg's hands was driven to the podium twice in four races - will be up and running again in Monaco because it better suits the slow and twisty curves of the unique street layout.

The shorter-wheelbase car will however be fitted with the latest aerodynamic innovations in Monaco, including the knife-like rollover structure and engine cover air inlets.

"I am very optimistic that we will be more competitive than in Barcelona," team CEO Nick Fry is quoted as saying by Germany's RTL.

05/10/10
f1
Teams vote for F-duct ban on grounds of safety, cost  (GMM)  A written plea by McLaren did not convince the British team's rivals that controversial 'F-duct' innovations should be allowed to stay in F1 in 2011.

During a team meeting last weekend in Barcelona, a majority of the bosses voted for a rule tweak that will outlaw the controversial downforce-stalling solutions for next year.

After McLaren invented the straight-line speed boosting concept this season, teams including Sauber, Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes have experimented with their own versions. More ...

05/10/10
f1
Ferrari planning aggressive car development  
Alonso's Ferrari in Barcelona.  Ferrari just cannot keep pace with Red Bull right now, nor can anyone else.
Fernando Alonso has warned that the Ferrari team is preparing an extensive car update prior to upcoming races on the calendar. The Spaniard finished second in his home Grand Prix on Sunday but understands that the red cars are currently lacking in raw pace when compared to rivals such as Red Bull Racing.

Delighted to have finished on the podium in front of his home crowd for the first time since 2007, Alonso admitted after the Spanish Grand Prix that he would have crossed the line fourth, had it not been for problems which Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton experienced. However, the Oviedo man is confident that Ferrari will soon enjoy a dramatic step up. More ...

05/10/10
gp3
Just how good is Alexander Rossi?  
Rossi (Center) on top step in Barcelona
Young American sensation Alexander Rossi, who already has F1 teams taking notice of his blinding speed, scored a resounding victory in the opening weekend of the new GP3 series in Barcelona on Sunday, May 9. After problems in qualifying on Saturday, Alexander started the feature race from 28th position (last row) for this inaugural, historic race start.

As the lights went out, the 18-year-old Californian immediately showed his class. In an incident-strewn opening lap, Alexander overtook 13 cars. Over the race distance, he worked his way up to finish eighth, carving the pack on the 4.655km (2.893m) Circuit de Catalunya.

Finishing 8th meant, starting from pole for Sunday’s sprint race – and Alexander maximized his opportunity. Rossi led the pack cleanly into Turn 1 and methodically pulled away from the field, winning by over 10 seconds. In easing his way to victory, he set fastest lap and the quickest lap of the GP3 weekend.

Standing in the center of the podium beneath the US flag, the 2008 Formula BMW America and World Champion could also reflect on a great opening GP3 weekend for his Paris-based ART Grand Prix team. The ART crew worked all night on Saturday preparing race cars for their first and historic GP3 victory. More ...

05/10/10
f1
Ferrari confused by Massa's lack of pace  It seems this is the week for investigations as Ferrari revealed they are to launch one of their own into why Felipe Massa struggled in Spain.  Hot on the heels of McLaren confirming that they will look into the cause of Lewis Hamilton's tire failure, Ferrari announced that they are attempting to find the reason why Massa is struggled compared to his team-mate Fernando Alonso.

For the past four races, Massa has floundered compared to his teammate, a strange statement given that in two of those he actually finished ahead of the Spaniard. More ...

05/10/10
nassprint
Daytona repaving gives Goodyear tight timeline  Daytona International Speedway is repaving the 2.5-mile super-speedway for the first time since 1978. While work will begin following the Coke Zero 400 in July, track officials don't expect the asphalt to be ready for testing until Jan. 1. That's more than a month before NASCAR teams return for Speedweeks and it may not leave Goodyear ample time to perfect a tire for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials informed Goodyear of an open Daytona test scheduled for mid-January (rumored to be Jan. 15th but denied by top brass from the sanctioning body). Goodyear traditionally begins manufacturing tires in October for Speedweeks with the usual run of 6,000 units. With a test involved, as is anticipated given a completely green and unknown track surface, Goodyear would likely up the tire inventory to 8,000 tires for all the Daytona events - the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duels, Camping World Truck race, Nationwide Series race and the 500 (and practices for all those events). Originally, Stu Grant of Goodyear had hoped to start the testing process no later than Nov. 1, using the current Daytona tires as the control tires and build a data base. Should Goodyear not have time for a tire test prior to January, the Daytona open test sessions would become the tire test. Lane Construction recently repaved Talladega using the same asphalt compound for Daytona, so Grant says Goodyear would now use the Talladega tire as the control tire. Goodyear has received pavement samples from Lane but if testing is not an option, the tires will have to be developed by engineers in the lab instead of on the track. The selection process begins with a control tire and usually requires four to six weeks to assemble the materials, then build and cure the tires. Even if Goodyear could test a tire on Jan. 1, teams would not have track-tested tires for a full Cup Series test on Jan. 15. Although it would be a push, teams could have the new tires for the opening day of Speedweeks on Feb. 9. Fox Sports

[Editor's Note:  When is the NASCAR media going to start treating Goodyear Tire with kid gloves?  The Rolex 24 Hour race, which uses a good portion of the Daytona oval, runs weeks before the Daytona 500 and those tire manufacturers will have to have their tires ready for Daytona well before Goodyear, but no mention of that in this article.  The fact is that when race tracks are resurfaced worldwide you don't hear about tire blowout, explosions and poor tire wear from other tire manufacturers.  If it happens, it's isolated incidences.  It's just poor Goodyear that can't get it right, time and time again.]

05/10/10
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Teams suspect Barcelona stones caused race problems
  • Webber threw helmet into crowd after Spain win
  • Red Bull asked Vettel to quit Spanish GP
  • F1 world wings way to Monaco by road
  • Ferrari will not use F-duct in Monaco

Teams suspect Barcelona stones caused race problems
(GMM)  The shattered remains of Lewis Hamilton's front left corner is being rushed back to Woking for analysis.

Almost within sight of the checkered flag in Barcelona, the 2008 world champion's McLaren speared into a barrier after a sudden tire failure, costing him second place both in the race and in the world championship standings.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh immediately speculated that "debris" probably caused the problem, while Bridgestone said its initial impression was that "this was not caused by a tire issue".

"We are working closely with McLaren to understand what happened," added the Japanese supplier's Hirohide Hamashima.

As the sun rises again in Europe on Monday morning, the leading theory now is that a stone became stuck in the wheel rim.

After qualifying, Rubens Barrichello took photos with his mobile phone camera of his FW32 and his helmet, so amazed was he about the damage caused by flying stones.

And he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that he had to nurse his vibrating Williams to the checkered flag after feeling a "strong shock" on the left front.

"We had to slow him down to ensure we didn't have a problem with the tires," confirmed technical director Sam Michael.  "We'll be looking into that for the next race."

Barrichello suspects a stone got stuck in the wheel rim, and a similar cause was also not being ruled out to explain Sebastian Vettel's brake problem.

After the Red Bull was inspected, Christian Horner revealed that the brake disc "was a bit damaged".

"We will only know for sure in the factory," added the Briton. More ...

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003
2004200520062007
2008200920102011
2012201320142015

Search Hot News
Search Help