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British Property Investor Andrew Ruhan Pays $1.5M For Stake In Lotus F1 Team  British property investor Andrew Ruhan "has bought a 2pc stake in the Lotus Formula One team" for an estimated price of £1M ($1.5M), according to Christian Sylt of the London Telegraph. In February, Ruhan "joined the board of the Oxfordshire-based team, but it denied that he had become an investor." Lotus "is owned by private equity firm Genii Capital, founded by Gerard Lopez, an early investor in Skype." Lopez said Ruhan “is not a large or a controlling shareholder in the team. He is a friend and a business partner in some substantial real estate developments, loves cars, racing and has purchased, if I am not mistaken, two percent of the equity to be on the board and feel involved -- for sure, not a substantial deal for either party.” Telegraph
Munoz tops Sunday times at the Brickyard  
Carlos Munoz
Carlos Munoz, who breezed through Indianapolis 500 ROP a day earlier, topped the speed chart on the second day of practice for the 97th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

The Firestone Indy Lights point leader, who hopes to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and Firestone Freedom 100 in the same weekend, recorded a lap of 223.023 mph (40.3545 seconds) in the Chevrolet-powered No. 26 Unistraw car. More ...

Q and A with Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier  
MODERATOR: We have Tristan Vautier, Simon Pagenaud. Thank you for coming in before a busy day's work. Two very interesting drivers here today. Tristan is in so many ways the embodiment what the ladder system is, which we've worked on a variety of ways, Star Mazda, the F2000 series. He's gone through Indy Lights. Now he's with us as a rookie.
The gentleman who was the IZOD Rookie of the Year last year, Simon Pagenaud. Simon, I was thinking as we came in today, fifth place in the final points. I suspect there's a lot of people that that does not cross their mind. They don't realize what a fine year you had. You're coming in with three straight top-10s.

SIMON PAGENAUD: It's been a pretty amazing season last year. Rookie of the Year is an honor. It's something you see there's only a few men that have been able to do it. I feel so blessed I'm a part of them. It's something quite special.
But then finishing fifth in the championship is great for the team, a one-car team against the big powerhouses like Penske, Ganassi and Andretti. We're taking great pride.
Wouldn't be possible without the crew and Honda. It's good to be able to put a great performance all together. More ...

Frijns wins Saturday GP2 race in Barcelona (Updated)  UPDATE Jolyon Palmer lost his podium from the first Barcelona GP2 race after being one of three drivers penalized for incidents during the event.

Palmer was given a 20-second post-race penalty for forcing Sam Bird off the road while defending his position late in the race. The punishment drops Palmer from third to 10th in the results, and elevates Jon Lancaster onto the podium in his GP2 return with new team Hilmer, which also claimed victory with Robin Frijns.

Bird spun into retirement as a result of his clash with Palmer, but also gets a penalty of his own for an earlier collision with polesitter Marcus Ericsson, whose DAMS car sustained suspension damage in the tangle at the chicane. More ...

Coletti dominates GP2 sprint race in Barcelona  
Coletti pumps his fists
Stefano Coletti has claimed his second win of the season with a mature drive after a storming start for a dominant victory in today’s sprint race in Barcelona, controlling the pace all the way to lead home Robin Frijns and Felipe Nasr.

The win was set up at the start: poleman Johnny Cecotto made a decent getaway but Coletti’s was even better, getting alongside the front man ahead of turn one before going all the way round the outside for the lead. Behind them Tom Dillmann stalled, but Frijns snuck inside while his rivals tripped over each other, giving the Dutchman a clear run to the first corner.

Cecotto tried in vain to fight back but Coletti had the measure of the Venezuelan, who lost grip for just long enough to allow Frijns and Nasr to blow by, while Jolyon Palmer, Alexander Rossi, a slow starting Kevin Ceccon and Rio Haryanto slid in behind. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday (Updated)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Ecclestone invests in New Jersey F1 race
    Ferrari wants 'rapid recovery' for Fry
  • Whitmarsh says McLaren not moving to oust him
  • Mercedes not expected to win in Spain
  • Maldonado - 'no idea' how to fix Williams slump
  • Ecclestone wants Spanish hosts to share grand prix
  • Teams beginning to sign 2014 Pirelli tire deals
  • F1 puts money into New Jersey race - Ecclestone
  • Alonso confident of giving stricken Fry Spain podium
  • Five drivers for Canada FOTA Fans' Forum New
  • Barcelona will not share race with Valencia New More ...
Penske raises dividend 7%  Penske Automotive Group Inc. increased its quarterly dividend by 7 percent, to 15 cents per share, for the first quarter, the company announced today.

The dividend is payable on June 3 to shareholders of record on May 20. The dividend is up 1 cent per share from the previous quarter’s payout. More ...

Goodyear decides on Indy tire  Goodyear's Stu Grant says he's decided on the Brickyard 400 tire package for the July race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams will run the same right-side tires used last summer; Nationwide teams will run the same left-sides used last summer but Cup teams will run a new left-side.
Vainio wins 50th GP3 race  
Vainio, Korjus and Niederhauser
What a debut: Koiranen GP, newcomers to GP3 Series this season, certainly made an impression with a superb one-two with Aaro Vainio and rookie Kevin Korjus in their maiden race weekend. Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser joined the pair on the podium.

Vainio made a superb start from fourth on the grid to be leading at the first corner in front of his teammate Korjus who had started from reverse pole. Tio Ellinas, Race 1 winner, also made an impressive getaway from P8 up to fifth but best start of the day went to his fellow Marussia Manor Racing driver Dino Zamparelli, who started from last on the grid and was P13 by the end of lap one.  More ...
Ferrari's Fry in Barcelona hospital (Update)  UPDATE Fry will be undergoing an appendectomy this evening!

Fry (L) talking to Tombazis
(GMM)  Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry was missing from the pitwall during qualifying in Barcelona.

Spain's El Mundo Deportivo reports that the Briton was taken to a hospital in the city on Saturday after suffering from pain.

49-year-old Fry was reportedly diagnosed with kidney stones, and is expected to be back in action shortly.

Kanaan gets Geico backing for Indy  KV Racing Technology announced today that GEICO will be an associate sponsor on the No. 11 HYDROXYCUT - KV Racing - SH Racing car for the 2013 Indianapolis 500. This will be the sixth consecutive year that GEICO has sponsored a KV Racing Technology car at the Indy 500.

"KVRT and GEICO have worked closely together over the past six years and we're excited to have them back again this year. This gives us the opportunity to maintain a relationship that is extremely important to us as a team," said KVRT Co-Owner Jimmy Vasser. More ...

Carpenter tops opening day at Indy  Ninety minutes was all that was necessary for three first-year Indianapolis 500 competitors to complete the three phases of the Rookie Orientation Program on Opening Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"We really economized," Tristan Vautier joked.

Vautier, driving the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, joined AJ Allmendinger and Carlos Munoz in breezing through the session that split full field practice. They were then cleared to join veterans on the 2.5-mile oval for practice building up to Pole Day qualifying on May 18. More ...

Allmendinger fastest on Rookie Orientation Day  
Pos Car Driver Engine Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Laps
1 2 Allmendinger, AJ(R) Chevy 00:41.0511 219.239 --.---- --.---- 61 66
2 26 Munoz, Carlos(R) Chevy 00:41.4772 216.987 0.4261 0.4261 48 62
3 55T Vautier, Tristan(R) Honda 00:41.9098 214.747 0.8587 0.4326 54 54
Kurt Busch Serious About Indy 500   When I first heard Kurt Busch was going to test Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Indy car a couple days before practice began for the 97th Indianapolis 500 it seemed like bad timing. Why do we want to focus on a NASCAR star just before IndyCar’s biggest event?

Shouldn’t we be promoting the American who won last year’s championship instead of letting Busch drive his car? If any group needs publicity, it’s IndyCar drivers, not stock car regulars who are watched by millions every weekend.

But after watching Busch breeze through his rookie test and, more importantly, talking to the 2004 Cup champ and hearing his desire to come back next May and do it properly, it changed my mind.

It was good for IndyCar because one of the best in the most popular form of North American motorsports spoke with reverence about what many of us love: the Indy 500 and open wheel racing. More ...

Ganassi wants “great events,” not tracks for IndyCar  IZOD IndyCar Series team owner Chip Ganassi believes that cultivating strong events is more important for the series’ future than simply visiting new tracks.

"I don’t want to go to great tracks — I want to go to great events," Ganassi told Indianapolis’ WXIN-TV after he took part in a motorsports business panel discussion this morning at his race shop in the city. The discussion also featured his drivers, Dario Franchitti, Charlie Kimball and Scott Dixon, as well as Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles. More ...

Miles says Indy road course would be improved  
Mark Miles gets it
The uninspiring road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will get a makeover if it is to host an IndyCar Series race next year, company boss Mark Miles said today.

“We will certainly spend money to make improvements, make it a better example of that genre,” said Miles, who is about to experience his first Indianapolis 500 as Hulman & Co. CEO.

Miles isn’t ready to commit to staging such an event, but he believes having one could help both IMS and IndyCar. He has said it’s “a solid business venture.” More ...
Ellinas edges Niederhauser for victory in Barcelona  
From left, Niederhauser, Ellinas and Daly
What a start to the 2013 GP3 Series for Tio Ellinas: The Cypriot becomes the first driver in GP3 history to win consecutive races in different seasons, following his victory in Monza 2012 and becoming victorious in the opening round of this year. It was the perfect start with Ellinas pocketing 31 points with pole and fastest lap. It was a nail-biting conclusion with Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser glued to the back of his GP3 machine until the checkered flag with ART Grand Prix's Conor Daly joining in the titanic tussle.

Poleman Tio Ellinas made one his traditional lightning getaways to secure the lead with the top three holding station in a trouble-free first lap. MW Arden’s Daniil Kvyat was the man on the move, passing Carlin’s Nick Yelloly and ART Grand Prix’s Facu Regalia early on. More ...
Schmidt Peterson Files Second Entry For 97th Indianapolis 500  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has filed a second entry for the 97th Indianapolis 500, increasing the entry number to 35 for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

No driver was listed for the No. 99 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone. A backup car was entered.

Schmidt Peterson's second entry was the 35th for this year's race, which will breed even more competition for the 33 starting spots during Pole Day qualifying Saturday, May 18 and Old National Armed Forces Bump Day qualifying Sunday, May 19. More ...

Massa, Gutierrez hit with grid penalties  Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez will drop three places on the Spanish Grand Prix grid, having been penalized for blocking in qualifying.

Massa has been hit with his penalty for impeding Red Bull rival Mark Webber between Turns 11 and 13 in Q2, while the stewards have opted to demote Gutiérrez after the Mexican affected the end of Kimi Räikkönen's run in the opening phase of qualifying.

After the penalties have been applied for Sunday afternoon's 66-lap race, Massa will drop from sixth to ninth on the grid, while Gutierrez will fall from 16th to 19th position.

NASCAR undeterred by appeal setbacks  NASCAR president Mike Helton insists the governing body did not have its power undermined by recent reductions in penalties through the appeal process. "I don't feel like this in anyway undermines what we do," Helton said Friday at Darlington Raceway. "And in most cases the process doesn't come back with anything that really changes our mind much [about the severity of the penalties]. We do our job and the due process exists for others to have an opportunity for others to listen to it and decisions are made to it."

While disappointed in [the reductions of penalties to Penske & Gibbs], Helton stands by the original penalties and says NASCAR would respond in a similar way if faced with the same violations. He added that the rules may be written even more specific in the future so teams and those involved in the appeals process understand more clearly why the penalties were given. "First of all, the integrity of the appeal process needs to be maintained as independent of the regulating arm of NASCAR,'' Helton said. "But we do learn from the appeal process as to how we may be able to write or be more clear so that you can show a third party why we reacted the way we reacted." ESPN

Kurt Busch considers running IndyCar races  
Unlike other former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, Kurt Busch kicked off the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway attempting to pass his rookie test – for the IndyCar Series. “For me to go up there and experience the track, experience an IndyCar and go through a rookie orientation — to have (IndyCar President of Race Operations) Brian Barnhart hand me my card and license at the end was really neat,” Busch said. “The way the team helped me get up to speed, it just shows how they’ve been doing it for years, that they’re one of the best groups out there, and to have (team owner) Michael Andretti put his arm around me and coach me through the whole experience, it was the chance of a lifetime.

"(IndyCar driver James) Hinchcliffe came by, and it was cool to have a current guy that’s been in the car to teach me about paddle shift and the pit-road limiter and all that stuff that’s current. Just to have Andretti’s wisdom and his guidance through the whole experience made it that much better." More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  
  • Button gets service from his McLaren crew as they struggle to make this year's lemon fast
    McLaren downcast as car upgrade fails
  • Kubica 'faster than Raikkonen' - Loeb
  • Pirelli considers changes after latest failure
  • Kovalainen in talks to continue driving role
  • 2014 winter season to begin in January
  • Demerit points will make bad drivers 'suffer' - Massa
  • Hamilton scoffs at Vettel-to-Mercedes rumor
  • Pirelli concerned by Di Resta tire failure
  • Alonso: F138 seems to be competitive
  • Button unsure over extent of McLaren gains
  • Newey expects minor visual changes in '14 More ...
Massa tops final practice for the Spanish GP  
Felipe Massa
Ahead of qualifying, Ferrari's Felipe Massa topped final practice for the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Catalunya with a time of 1m21.901s, just 0.006s clear of Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus. 

Mark Webber was third for Red Bull, ahead of the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean in fourth.

The second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel was fifth and Fernando Alonso a rather disappointing sixth in front of his home crowd. More ...

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