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DATE News (chronologically)
05/11/17
irl

Andretti to race Schmidt
Mario Andretti kisses the ground after testing the SAm car and not killing himself. Note the face on his passenger.
Mario Andretti kisses the ground after testing the SAM car and not killing himself. Note the face on his passenger still inside the car.
Verizon IndyCar Series team owner Sam Schmidt and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti will meet the media at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 12 on the fourth floor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center, previewing their race in semi-autonomous cars on the IMS road course Saturday, May 13 before the INDYCAR Grand Prix.

Schmidt, who is paralyzed from the neck down, will drive the Z06 SAM Car, a semi-autonomous vehicle that global technology company Arrow Electronics modified for him. Sensors mounted on a high-tech headset that Schmidt wears connect to infrared cameras mounted on the dashboard and detect his head-tilt motions to steer.

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05/11/17
f1
irl

Alonso will get to keep his Indy 500 car
Win or lose, car going to Alonso's museum
Win or lose, car going to Alonso's museum
Fernando Alonso has confirmed that he will be allowed to keep his McLaren-Honda-Andretti Dallara DW12 car from this year’s Indianapolis 500 to go in his racing museum.

Alonso has set up a racing museum with a number of his racing cars and a go-karting track in his native Spain, and revealed on Thursday that No. 29 car that races in the ‘500 on May 28 will be going there a well.

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05/11/17
irl

Why is the IndyCar GP so poorly attended (Update)
UPDATE Added a reply to the reader below.

Simon Pagenaud takes the checkered flag to win in 2016 before a huge crowd
Simon Pagenaud takes the checkered flag to win in 2016 before a huge crowd
05/11/17

A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, What is IndyCar thinking? They schedule the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis 2 weeks before the Indy 500 and expect to sell tickets for it?  How many tickets do they think the local market can support in the span of 2 weeks - the Grand Prix, Indy Qualifying and then the 500? Are Indianapolis fans rich or something? I suspect many live paycheck to paycheck.

With those empty grandstands that you can shoot a cannon into and not hit anyone, IndyCar comes across to the world as a complete loser. Sponsors run for the door.

If you choose to publish this letter can you put one of those head butting emoticons after my name? Thanks. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles

Dear Mordichai, Will they ever learn? Sometimes we bang our head so hard against a wall at the silly things IndyCar does that it hurts. The IndyCar GP is never going to take off. For some reason, Indianapolis race fans have never supported road course racing. Formula One flamed out. IMSA flamed out. The MotoGP flamed out. The crowds just never got behind road course racing. They need to deep-six the GP and move the second IndyCar race to the end of the season and run a 400-miler on the 2.5-mile oval to end the IndyCar season. It will be spectacular. Will it outsell the 500? Hell no. But it will draw at least 100,000 (and probably a lot more) and that would make it the 2nd biggest race on the schedule overnight. Mark C.

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05/11/17
irl

SPM and KECO Team Up for 2017
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has re-signed longtime sponsor KECO Coatings.

KECO Coatings, which supplies coating processes to high-performance industries, has sponsored SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt since he began his career as an IndyCar driver in 1997.

"KECO is an extremely important sponsor because its relationship with me goes all the way back to my first year driving an Indy car," Schmidt said. "It continually works to improve its coatings."

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05/11/17
f1

Which F1 tracks are hardest on brakes? Find out.
Brembo Brake Chart
Brembo Brake Chart
Which circuits are the toughest on the brakes? Brembo's forecast for the most challenging tracks on the 2017 Formula 1 brakes

“The straightaways are the boring bits between the corners," is a famous quote from Stirling Moss. The allure of Formula 1 comes from its corners because it's nearly impossible to find two the same. Even when the angle, the slope and the turn-in speed of the single-seaters appear similar, there are other variables that differ like the grip and the temperature of the tarmac.

All of these factors significantly influence the stress the braking systems are under. Since each circuit is a story unto itself, the Brembo technicians, who work in close contact with the top Formula 1 teams, have ranked the 20 World Championship tracks. To do the ranking, they used a scale from 1 to 10 which is directly proportional to the amount of stress the different tracks place on the brakes.

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05/11/17
nasmon

NASCAR Talladega TV Rating (Update)
Big crowd at Talladega Sunday, but the TV ratings are dropping like a lead sinker.
Big crowd at Talladega Sunday, but the TV ratings are dropping like a lead sinker.
UPDATE
 The NASCAR Geico 500 Cup race from Talladega Sunday earned a 3.5 final rating, drawing in 5.9 million viewers. It was the seventh year in a row that the ratings for the Talladega race have been flat or declined. Overall, the race fell by 13 percent in ratings and 11 percent in viewership from last year. Worse than that, this was the least watched spring race at Talladega Superspeedway since 2001, and the lowest rated in nearly 20 years, when it previously aired on cable. Even a rainout in 2006 ranks higher than the 2017 race, pulling a 4.4 rating and 7.2 million viewers. With NASCAR's two biggest heroes retiring soon - Dale Jr. and Danica Patrick - we could see a further 50% decline in ratings.

05/08/17 Fox yesterday afternoon drew a 3.4 overnight rating for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from Talladega, down from a 3.8 for the same race last year, which started an hour earlier. With the drop for Talladega, seven Cup races have now seen year-over-year declines. The race also drew a 3.8 in ’15.

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05/11/17
nasmon

Earnhardt has more Interactions/Views on social media than all NASCAR drivers combined
When Dale Jr. retires all the NASCAR tracks will have to remove half their seats....and that is after already removing 40% of them
When Dale Jr. retires all the NASCAR tracks will have to remove half their seats....and that is after already removing 40% of them
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had more interactions and views on his social media posts "than all other NASCAR drivers combined so far this year," according to data from social media firm Hookit cited by Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com.
 
His social media value from Feb. 23-March 1 (Daytona 500 was Feb. 26) was 86.4% of the "earned value of all drivers."
 
Earnhardt has "gained 396,382 new followers this year (including 238,227 on Twitter) through April 30, and overall he has had 34.7 million interactions and views -- more than 30 million more than the next top driver (Jimmie Johnson)."

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05/11/17
irl

'Victory View' Places INDYCAR Grand Prix Fans at Heart of Post-Race Celebration
Simon Pagenaud - 2016 winner
Simon Pagenaud - 2016 winner
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Verizon IndyCar Series fans can celebrate in the heart of Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13 through the new “Victory View” fan area.

During the post-race Track Invasion, fans can stand adjacent to Victory Circle as the podium finishers and their cars arrive after a successful race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course. Fans then can watch as the top three finishers celebrate with their teams and stand atop the podium in Victory Circle.

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05/11/17
F1

Alonso will race where he can win in 2018
Fernando Alonso (C) wants a car he can win with
Fernando Alonso (C) wants a car he can win with
Fernando Alonso says it's too early to talk about next season, particularly because it's such a busy time in his life with his IndyCar debut later this month, and therefore he is not committing himself to anything just yet.

However the Spaniard says Formula 1 will be his priority, but only on the condition that he has a car capable of winning races and should McLaren not show signs of that later this year, he is open to switching teams or even quitting the sport entirely.

"Now it’s a bit of a busy period, with IndyCar, so it is not the time to think if it’s time to find other challenges outside Formula 1, or if Formula 1 will be an opportunity to win the championship, which is my main goal – I’m very open to anything."

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05/11/17
irl

Michael Shank Racing With Andretti Autosport Unveil Joint Indianapolis 500 Entry
Jack Harvey Indy 500 livery
Jack Harvey Indy 500 livery
INDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 2017) – It was announced in April that Michael Shank Racing would join forces with Andretti Autosport to field the No. 50 car of rookie driver Jack Harvey for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. The two successful racing teams combine their on-track experience and knowledge to set the stage for Mike Shank’s future ambitions as a full-time owner in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CEO, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
“As everyone has read, the Month of May is going to be big for us. We’re really excited to be partnering with not only McLaren and Honda for Fernando Alonso, but also with Michael Shank Racing in a joint entry on the No. 50 for Jack Harvey. Michael (Shank) and the partnership with his organization was instrumental in allowing us to run six cars in the 101st Indy 500. The six drivers and engineering teams will work closely together as we defend our win from 2016.”

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05/11/17
automotive

Mercedes throws in the hat - no diesels for USA
Which one of you likes to sit behind a diesel vehicle and smell those fumes, raise your hand.

Daimler AG confirmed to Automotive News it has dropped plans to seek U.S. approval to sell 2017 Mercedes-Benz diesel models. The company is currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Air Resources Board (CARB) and a prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, into possible emissions tampering on Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. Last month, the automaker said the investigations could lead to significant penalties and recalls.

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05/11/17
f1

Video: Max Verstappen Previews the 2017 Spanish GP
A year on from the stunning Spanish Grand Prix drive that secured Max Verstappen his first career F1 win and instant superstar status, the young Dutchman returns this weekend to Barcelona for another crack at the tricky and technically demanding Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

In this exclusive video guide to the circuit, Max explains what the 2017 cars' greater downforce will mean for cornering speed, how the lap time will be affected, why Turn 4 is "never a perfect corner" and why Turn 9 provides the biggest thrills for him.

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05/11/17
irl

Q&A with Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay spoke to Detroit Free Press sports writer George Sipple this week as he prepares to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series IndyCar Grand Prix on Saturday, ahead of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Hunter-Reay, the Verizon IndyCar Series champion in 2012, won the 2014 Indianapolis 500 by 0.0600s of a second over Helio Castroneves in the second-closest finish in the history of the iconic race. 

Hunter-Reay will then come to Detroit to drive the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, June 2-4.

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05/11/17
f1

Chilton says for Alonso Indy will be mental
Max Chilton
Max Chilton
Max Chilton thinks that Fernando Alonso will be "up against it" when he makes his IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis 500 later this month, but is confident that the Spaniard will do well.

"Obviously they call it the month of May, and it is basically that you're in the car for a month," Chilton explained. "You start off with the grand prix, and then you have the 500 which is basically eight days straight, which includes two days of qualifying the weekend prior to the race.

"As a driver, it's very rare that you're in a car for that many days straight. Luckily I had done Indy Lights the previous year, won at Iowa, and I'd done Phoenix at the start of the season.

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05/11/17
f1

Formula 1 launches new Fan Festival in Barcelona
Fan Zone race simulators
Fan Zone race simulators
F1 CEO Chase Carey suggested this week to the introduction in Barcelona of new initiatives aimed at encouraging fan engagement in F1.

It appears Formula 1 will launch a Fan Festival in Spain which will include a dedicated fan television channel, a specific Fan Zone, with simulators, a zip-line and a pitstop challenge.

There will also be a series of competitions which fans will be able to enter to win an exclusive access to F1's Paddock Club and rides in an F1 two-seater.

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05/11/17
Fe

Faraday Future Dragon Racing Ready For Monaco Return
Loic Duval
Loic Duval
Competing on three continents since the start of the 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship, the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team returns to the most famous and historic street circuit for the second rendition of the Monaco ePrix.

The team displayed prowess and resourcefulness to get the drivers and their cars in the lead for the Mexico City ePrix, but Faraday Future Dragon Racing drivers Loic Duval (no. 6) and Jerome D'Ambrosio (no. 7) saw their share of unfortunate circumstances. The coming contest in Monaco, however, will provide a different strategy.

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05/11/17
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Why would Kvyat get the call up to Red Bull before Sainz Jr.? Bigger check!
    Why would Kvyat get the call up to Red Bull before Sainz Jr.? Bigger check!
    Kvyat could return to Red Bull - Valsecchi
  • Sauber 'not worried' about 2018 Honda switch
  • Renault bringing revised rear wing to Spain
  • Berger nephew good enough for F1 - Wolff
  • Alonso to decide future after summer break
  • Hamilton 'more talented than me' - Rosberg
  • 'Calm' no advantage over Hamilton - Bottas
  • Stroll says still in F1 learning phase
  • Red Bull Racing's Dan Fallows Previews The Spanish GP

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05/11/17
F1

Arjun Maini Joins Haas F1 Team as Development Driver
Arjun Maini, like Santino Ferrucci, pays the Haas team a huge sum of money to be a development driver
Arjun Maini, like Santino Ferrucci, pays the Haas team a huge sum of money to be a development driver. The Haas team is desperate for money right now
Haas F1 Team has signed Indian racer Arjun Maini as a development driver alongside 18-year-old American Santino Ferrucci

The 19-year-old Maini is competing in the GP3 Series for Jenzer Motorsport after running 14 of the 18 GP3 Series races in 2016. Despite missing the first four races, Maini finished 10th in the championship standings with a best finish of second, earned July 23 at the Hungaroring in Budapest.

Maini will be available to media today at 11 a.m. CEST outside of Haas F1 Team hospitality in the paddock at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

"It’s an honor to be a part of Haas F1 Team’s driver development program," Maini said. "All of my racing to date has been with the focus of becoming a Formula One driver, and this opportunity puts me one step closer to my goal. I am eager to learn, understand and experience how a Formula One team operates. Everything I learn can be used immediately in GP3 while preparing for my ultimate goal of Formula One."

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05/11/17
irl

Video: Tony Stewart drives AJ Foyt's '61 Indy 500 car
RACER's Robin Miller is on the scene for a historic meeting between IRL and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and 4-time Indy 500 winner AJ Foyt to drive Super Tex's 1961 roadster at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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