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IndyCar evolution continues in 2013 with multiple aero kits
That’s new” one of the thousands of spectators on Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway remarked as the No. 8 KV Racing Technology car prepped for Rubens Barrichello cruised past on an installation lap.

Yes, there’s plenty new relating to the IZOD IndyCar Series cars:

• New, safer chassis from Dallara that will compete for the first time on an oval May 27.
• Consumer-relevant 2.2-liter V-6 engines supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus. Chevy and Lotus are twin turbocharged.
• Engine competition at the Speedway for the first time since 2005, and the sound of turbochargers at the Speedway for the first time since 1996.
• Engines fueled with E85.
• Superspeedway-specific aerodynamic bodywork, featuring rear-wheel guards that have a slightly different shape than the sets being used on the road/street circuits and the oval races at Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile.
• Options for set-up, including experimentation with a rear-wing mainplane angle of between 0 and -10 degrees, underwing strakes and sidewall extensions (to keep air from becoming turbulent under the car), wickers on the front- and rear-wing mainplanes and the beam wing, and radiator inlet shutters.

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ALMS Monterey four-hour update
The third hour of the American Le Mans Monterey started with a bang, when the No. 055 Level 5 HPD ARX-03b of driven by Franck Montagny made contact with a GTC car - the JDX Racing No. 11 Porsche 911 GTC Cup driven by Chris Cumming. Montagny was running second overall at the time.

The No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03a continues to lead overall with Lucas Luhr behind the wheel, but the incident between the No. 055 and No. 11 promoted Scott Tucker in the sister Level 5 P2 entry to second overall. Tucker may not be as happy as you’d think about that turn of events. He is scheduled to drive in both Level 5 cars this race, but elected to score points with the No. 055 car. He does hold a comfortable lead over Conquest Endurance’s Morgan-Nissan driven by Martin Plowman.

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Rookie Newgarden tops opening day at Indy
Rookie Josef Newgarden topped the timesheets as preparations began for the 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Newgarden, who won the Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at Indianapolis in 2011, posted the quickest lap on the 2.5-mile oval of 220.250 mph in the No. 67 Dollar General car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

The top three cars of the session were driven by American graduates of Firestone Indy Lights.

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Hamilton stripped of Spanish GP pole
Lewis Hamilton
(GMM)  Stewards stripped Lewis Hamilton of pole position for the Spanish grand prix.

"This is such a disappointment.  Today's qualifying session was one of the best I've ever driven," said the 2008 world champion, who has been relegated to the very back of the grid.

His McLaren engineer had instructed him to stop on the track with a "problem" after completing his pole lap. It emerges that the team was worried Hamilton would not have enough fuel left in the car for the mandatory 1 liter FIA sample. But rule 6.6.2 requires drivers to return to the pits after qualifying under their own power.

Sam Michael, the sporting director, argued a case of 'force majeure'.

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Schumacher-Hamilton incident under investigation UPDATE Michael Schumacher has been issued with a reprimand from the FIA race stewards for his incident with Lewis Hamilton during the final practice session in Barcelona.  The Mercedes driver overshot Turn 13 before rejoining the track on the apex of Turn 15, the result of which impeded Hamilton's McLaren. The German could have received a fine or a grid penalty ahead of qualifying but the FIA stewards agreed that the occurrence was only a minor one. The incident failed to trouble Hamilton, who starts tomorrow's race from pole position.

05/12/12 Michael Schumacher is being investigated for an incident which took place in the final Barcelona practice session on Saturday morning. Both the Mercedes driver and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton have been talking to FIA race stewards.  On-board pictures captured by FOM television show Hamilton tackling the RACC Chicane as Schumacher, who had overshot Turn 13 and taken to the longer loop of the track, rejoined in front before slowing on the apex of Turn 15.

Possible sanctions for Schumacher include a reprimand, fine or grid penalty ahead of qualifying. The driver representative steward for this weekend is multiple Le Mans 24 Hour winner and ex Formula 1 test driver Tom Kristensen.


Van der Garde flies to feature victory
James Calado (Lotus GP), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham Racing), Stefano Coletti (Scuderia Coloni)
Giedo van der Garde snatched an against the odds victory with the help of a strong start and a smart pit strategy to claim the feature race win today in Barcelona ahead of poleman James Calado and Stefano Coletti.

The paddock held its breath as the lights went out, and a few of the drivers did too: Calado and fellow front row starter Fabio Leimer struggled to get away, with the Englishman moving sharply across the track to stop his rival finding a way by, while behind them Stéphane Richelmi and Max Chilton were even slower to move off the line.

Van der Garde and Coletti, however, made perfect starts to slide behind the front row pair into turn one, ahead of series leader Davide Valsecchi, Chilton, Nathanael Berthon and Fabio Onidi as the field shook itself out for the long race ahead, with the teams now looking at pit strategy to gain an advantage.

Most of their rivals came in on the next lap, including van der Garde: the Dutchman's choice of changing the rears only compared to Calado's 4 tires made the difference next time around as he stole the lead.

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Mitch Evans wins GP3 season opener at Barcelona
It was the New Zealander’s day; Mitch Evans claimed the first victory of the 2012 campaign at the Circuit de Catalunya, a circuit the MW Arden driver has a good record at his only other win in GP3 came here back in 2011.

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Schumacher explains Q3 absence
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher says his decision not to run in Q3 was based on the need to save tires for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was one of three who did not set a lap time in the final qualifying shoot-out, however, unlike his rivals Kamui Kobayashi did not do so before his car was out of action.

Therefore it was just Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who will line up P10 and P8 respectively, who intentionally did not set times with both drivers just putting in a lap before heading back into the pits.

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Ferrari switch not better move for Webber - Mateschitz
(GMM)  Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has dismissed as "a rumor" speculation Red Bull could lose Mark Webber to Ferrari.

"I would wish him a great Ferrari contract," the Austrian billionaire surprisingly told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

"But that's what every driver wants as well."

Webber has been linked with struggling Felipe Massa's Ferrari seat, but reports have also mentioned the likelihood of a new Red Bull deal for the 35-year-old Australian.

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Andretti-led Baltimore Grand Prix team must speed through preparations for race
Before glossy race cars careen around downtown streets over Labor Day weekend, another high-speed race must be run.

The team promoting Baltimore's Grand Prix — a group announced by city officials this week after the collapse of two other race organizers — has less than four months to hawk sponsorships, market the event, sell tickets and set up the racecourse and grandstands.

Sports marketing experts say Race On, the new organizers that include racing champion Michael Andretti, must make those tasks their top priorities and also reassure racing fans that the event is on despite months of setbacks. With Andretti and two well-heeled local investors on board, experts say the race could be a success, though it still faces headwinds.

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Dodge circling the drain in NASCAR UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Don't worry, Dodge will get 'the call' by NASCAR many more times this year so they win races and don't leave the series. Bank on it.  Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles

05/12/12 As Brad Keselowski celebrated in Victory Lane at Talladega, it was a scene both bittersweet and conflicting. Dodge had just won at Talladega for the first time since 1976, and yet there was precious little for the manufacturer to celebrate.

Two wins by Keselowski, coupled with teammate AJ Allmendinger — who’s been in position to win in the closing laps at both Martinsville and Talladega (before causing a massive wreck driving in a straight line) —indicate that Penske Racing will become (or already is) a force to be reckoned with throughout the balance of the year.

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Barbosa, Bomarito Quick in Opening Rolex Series Practice at New Jersey
It didn’t take many laps for either Joao Barbosa or Jonathan Bomarito to work up to speed at New Jersey Motorsports Park as both drivers topped their respective class time charts in the opening practice session for the Global Barter 250 presented by Susan G. Komen For The Cure.

Barbosa turned a best time of 1:15.630 (107.100 mph) on his sixth lap in the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to lead the Daytona Prototype class, while Bomarito led GT at 1:22.088 (98.675 mph) on his fifth lap in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Mazda/ModSpace/Castrol Mazda RX-8. Ricky Taylor was second in DP at 1:15.796 (106.866 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP, followed by Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley at 1:15.848 (106.793 mph).

Jordan Taylor was second in GT at 1:22.100 (98.660 mph) in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R and Dane Cameron posted the third-quickest GT time at 1:22.185 (98.558 mph) in the No. 42 TheRaceSite.com Mazda RX-8.

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American F1 dream takes shape for Rossi UPDATE Added 3 photos to the article.

Alexander Rossi
One small step for Alexander Rossi on Friday marked a significant stride for Americans eager to see a U.S. driver back on the Formula One starting grid.

When the Californian stepped into a Caterham cockpit and roared out of the pits in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, he became the first American to take part in a Formula One race weekend since Scott Speed in 2007.

"It's only free practice but it is a step in the right direction," the 20-year-old British-based driver told Reuters in the Barcelona paddock.

"It was quite cool for me ... it was an actual Formula One official session with the entire team being here and me being one of their first drivers on the track and them looking at me for information.

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Vettel tops final practice for Spanish GP
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel topped the final practice session in Barcelona for Sunday's Spanish GP, with a best lap of 1m23.168s in his Red Bull-Renault.

Pastor Maldonado was a strong second for Williams Renault, ahead of Kumai Kobayashi in the Sauber, Mark Webber fourth in the 2nd Red Bull and Sergio Perez in fifth in the other Sauber.

Fernando Alonso finished the session in sixth for Ferrari, with Vergne seventh, Jensen Button eighth, Kimi Raikkonen ninth in the Lotus and Nico Rosberg rounded out the top 10 for Mercedes.

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Felix Da Costa flies to maiden pole in Barcelona
Portuguese driver Antonio Felix Da Costa started his 2012 campaign in style by taking pole position at the opening round of the GP3 Series in Spain. The Carlin’s driver best lap of 1:38.642.was faster than Conor Daly by 0.078s at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Qualifying was run in 23 degrees under the strong early morning sunshine with the new class of GP3 Series - full largely of rookies eager to make a positive first impression. MW Arden’s David Fumanelli was the first driver onto the circuit, with the other 25 drivers following hot in pursuit.

Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas headed the timesheets early on with Alex Brundle then setting an identical lap time with the drivers setting times in the 1’39s. Mitch Evans (MW Arden) then shot to P1, just 0.077s quicker at the midway point in front of Felix Da Costa, Daniel Abt and Marlon Stockinger.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • McLaren to follow Red Bull to Abu Dhabi
    McLaren to join Red Bull teams at Abu Dhabi test
  • Grosjean can win grands prix - Alonso
  • Top teams criticize in-season testing
  • Ferrari 'dangerous' with new B car - Vettel
  • Lotus and Sauber set for Barcelona shock - reports
  • Lotus 'biggest surprise' of 2012 - Mateschitz
  • Upgrade last chance for F2012 project - Massa
  • Hamilton 'lucky' to escape Bahrain penalty - Whiting
  • Red Bull loyalty 'a mistake' - Alguersuari
  • Kaltenborn has 'big plans' for Sauber
  • Williams also 'pretty good' 2012 option - Raikkonen
  • New Light Shining at Scuderia Toro Rosso

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