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DATE News (chronologically)
05/16/11
irl

Initial odds to win Indy 500
Released today

Dario Franchitti
4/1

Helio Castroneves
5/1

Scott Dixon
5/1

Ryan Briscoe
6/1

Will Power 
7/1 

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05/16/11
f1

Renault updates worth 0.2s
Renault technical director James Allison says the team will run new updates worth up to 0.2s per lap in Barcelona.

Having made an encouraging start to the season by securing podium finishes in both of the first two races, Renault have slipped off the pace slightly and finished seventh and eighth in Turkey. In an attempt to move closer to the front, Allison said the R31 would have a number of small upgrades which would make up a more substantial step in performance.

"We bring another handful of aerodynamic upgrades for the next race - the development race never lets up," Allison said. "None of them are individually large, but there are six in total and they add up to another 0.15-0.20 secs/lap. It isn't a huge upgrade but if we can keep that up for every race then it starts to tell."

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05/16/11
nastruck

Raikkonen following path to obscurity paved by Montoya
Kimi Raikkonen’s NASCAR debut in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race draws both comparisons and contrasts to former Formula One teammate Juan Pablo Montoya’s NASCAR entrée.

Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion, makes his NASCAR debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (live on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET; NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda at 7:30 p.m. ET).

Flash back to 2006, when Chip Ganassi tapped Montoya, with whom he had won the 1999 CART championship, to compete in four NASCAR Nationwide Series races and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead.  Montoya’s interest in NASCAR seemed to appear out of nowhere, much as Raikkonen’s did with Kyle Busch.

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05/16/11
alms

Highcroft and Honda split up
After a highly successful five seasons as partners, Highcroft Racing and Honda have concluded their relationship – the combination’s giant-killing performance at the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year was the final curtain for the partnership.

Highcroft was selected as one of the initial factory Acura teams for the brand’s debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2007.

Throughout the partnership, Highcroft established itself as not only the highest ALMS point-scoring team out of four factory outfits, but also collected back-to-back ALMS championships in 2009 and 2010.

The team also won the 2010 Michelin Green X Challenge Championship for optimizing overall on-track performance, while using the least amount of fuel.

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05/16/11
irl
alms

Collective Soul to play Baltimore Grand Prix
The Baltimore Grand Prix announced the concert line-up for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix to be held September 2-4, 2011 in downtown Baltimore.  Headlining the concert series in the Infield Party Zone during the event weekend will be national recording artist, Collective Soul and a representation of top bands that make Baltimore their home. 

“We’re going to have an amazing weekend of entertainment at the Baltimore Grand Prix,” commented

Baltimore Grand Prix President and CEO, Jay Davidson, “Accompanying the roar of the IZOD IndyCars will be a fantastic line-up of bands that will keep the party going all weekend in the Infield Party Zone.”  Baltimore’s 98 Rock will be the host DJ’s for the concert stage and will kick-off the weekend festivities on Friday night and continue the party through Sunday afternoon.  The concert stage is set at the intersection of Howard and Camden streets in the heart of the Infield Party Zone and will allow Grand Prix ticket holders to enjoy free, non-stop concerts during the Grand Prix event weekend. 

Headline artist Collective Soul, originally from Stockbridge, Georgia, stormed onto the music scene in 1993 with their first hit single “Shine” from their debut album---Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid; which went Double Platinum.  The band has continued to perform and record and to date has seven number one hits on its lengthy resume of accolades and awards.

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05/16/11
f1

Ecclestone claims credit for Silverstone's transformation
Speaking ahead of the official launch of the Northamptonshire circuit’s new pit and paddock complex on Tuesday, Formula One’s 80-year-old chief executive said Britain finally had a venue to match the very best in the world.

“Thank God I persisted because now we’ll have a super circuit,” Ecclestone said. “One that when people say ‘We are building a circuit; can we come and have a look at Silverstone?’ I can happily say, ‘Yes, build it like this’. Whereas before it was the last place I would encourage them to see.”

After years spent at loggerheads with the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which owns the circuit, Ecclestone awarded Donington Park a 17-year deal to stage the British Grand Prix from 2010. When that fell through he threatened to take the race off the calendar entirely unless the BRDC met his demands.

The redevelopment of the circuit came after intense negotiations that led 18 months ago to a contract that should keep the grand prix at Silverstone until 2027.

The new complex, dubbed the Silverstone Wing, represents the second phase in a multi-million pound facelift for the former Second World War airfield. Last year a new section of track was added between Club and Abbey.

The Duke of Kent and the BRDC president, Damon Hill, will officially open the facility in a presentation ceremony attended by the great and good of motor sport at lunchtime on Tuesday. The Telegraph

Comment
05/16/11
nassprint

Dover TV Rating
The overnight TV rating for the Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday on FOX was a 3.8, up 5.6% from last year's 3.6 overnight, also on Fox.

Heading into yesterday's Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400, Fox' ratings were "up 19 percent among males 18-34 from this point last year, helping the network's overall ratings increase 2 percent in the same period."

Fox Sports Exec VP/Research & Programming Bill Wanger: "To us, it's a very important step and a great sign for the sport that those young guys are starting to come back in a much greater degree than some of the other demographics." However, Long reported as much as the 18-34 male audience has increased, its number "remains lower than in 2009, showing that NASCAR has more work to do."

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05/16/11
motogp

Pedrosa hurt again UPDATE Immediately following yesterday's race, Dani Pedrosa returned to Barcelona with the X-ray scans from the Le Mans circuit medical centre. He visited his doctors at Teknon Medical Centre and further medical tests confirmed a clean break of the right collarbone.

Pedrosa spent the night in the hospital, immobilized with a compressive dressing, and will decide in the next few days if he will undergo surgery to repair the fracture with a new plate or let the bone heal itself without intervention. In either case, his presence in the Grand Prix of Catalunya, to be held on June 5th, is uncertain.

Dani Pedrosa
05/16/11 A bitter Dani Pedrosa has broken his right collarbone after an incident with Marco Simoncelli during the French Grand Prix on Sunday. The Spaniard failed to slow down in time when Simoncelli turned in at Chemin aux Boeufs, leading to contact before Pedrosa was thrown off his bike in the surrounding gravel trap.

"I was having a good race, the goal was to ensure another podium and I had it in my grasp," the Repsol Honda rider explained. “Now it counts for nothing. Simoncelli overtook me, I passed him back and I had the better line.

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05/16/11
nassprint

Even with best car, Dale Jr. can't qualify for All-Star race
Despite now having the best car and crew in all of NASCAR, for the first time since, well, he’s been a Sprint Cup driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not in the Sprint All-Star Race.

As a rookie in 2000, he qualified with a win at Texas Motor Speedway in April, just over a month before the all-star race. Then he won the all-star race – the first rookie to win it – to give him a 10-year exemption into the annual event.

Now those 10 years are up and without a win in 2010 or 2011, Earnhardt Jr. must run the Sprint Showdown qualifying race that precedes the main event Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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05/16/11
Automotive

Yokohama Tires signs Phillies sponsor deal
Yokohama Tire Corporation has added one of Major League Baseball’s most dominant teams – the Philadelphia Phillies – to its line-up of sports teams in 2011.

“The sponsorship is designed to drive consumer traffic to our dealers,” said Shawn Denlein, Yokohama director of sales, Consumer Products.  The sponsorship agreement includes a combination of signage behind home plate and on the first and third base lines; pre-game, post-game and in-game spots on the Phillies flagship radio station throughout the season;  in-stadium displays and in-game announcements on the public address system and LED scoreboard.

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05/16/11
nastruck

Bozzano and Jontex sponsor Piquet
Bozzano, the leading men’s healthcare brand and Jontex, the leading brand of condoms in Brazil are the new sponsors of Nelson Piquet Jr and his Kevin Harvick Inc #8 Chevrolet Silverado in the 2011 season NASCAR Truck Series.

The sponsorship comes less than a month after Nelson scored second place in Nashville in late April, the best result of a Brazilian driver in NASCAR. "I am very happy to promote Brazilian brands in the U.S. and hope to contribute to the business of my new sponsors, both in Brazil and abroad." Nelson says. 

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05/16/11
TV News

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Iowa on ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, this weekend and ABC will have a live telecast of the race on Sunday, May 22. NASCAR Countdown airs at 1:30 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 2:14 p.m. 

Allen Bestwick will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. 

NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

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05/16/11
f1

F1 teams vote against radical rule changes
Formula 1 teams have voted against the planned undertray rule changes for the 2013 season, with the FIA announcing the idea as part of a series of substantial regulation tweaks last December. Alongside more fuel efficient 1.6-litre turbo engines, ground-effect underbodies were initially outlined, but Williams Team Principal Sam Michael believes making less dramatic modifications would be a better option.

"The only point of contention between FOTA and the FIA has been on the tunneled floor having a shaped undertray," Michael explained to BBC Sport. "Everything else is pretty much the FIA proposal, or pretty close to it with just some tweaks. The biggest concern was that it's a massive amount of investment for the teams. It's quite a big departure.

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05/16/11
f1

News Corp, Ferrari shareholder looking into F1 bid UPDATE News Corporation's confirmed interest in gaining control of the sport from current majority owners CVC Capital Partners has been boosted with the revelation that an American 'boutique merchant bank' has come on-board.

The grand prix paddock has been abuzz in recent weeks with talk that Rupert Murdoch's global media empire is evaluating making a bid to seize the F1 reins, and News Corp has confirmed the speculation – adding that a somewhat controversial partner in the consortium is Exor, an Italian financial holding majority-owned by the same Agnelli family as wields a controlling stake in FIAT and therefore, by extension, Ferrari. There have also been rumors about the possible involvement of TELMEX billionaire Carlos Slim.

The latest development, according to SPEED.com, is that the New York-based Raine Group LLC is interested in joining the potential buy-in. Co-founder and CEO Jeff Sine was previously associated with F1 sponsor UBS, and Sky News reports that he has made contact with News Corp and Exor regarding a possible investment. The Financial Times claims Raine – affiliated with similarly New York-based global sports and media company IMG – has $500 million available to spend on sports, media and entertainment acquisitions.

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05/16/11
f1

Mark Smith's First Day As Team Lotus Technical Director
Team Lotus has announced today that Mark Smith has started work at the Anglo-Malaysian team’s Hingham, UK factory on his first day as Technical Director. Reporting to Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne, Mark completes the technical department and joins Lewis Butler (Chief Designer), Marianne Hinson (Head of Aerodynamics), Dieter Gass (Deputy Technical Director) and Elliot Dason-Barber (Head of R&D and Vehicle Dynamics) to continue the development of the T128 and begin work on the 2012 car.

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05/16/11
WSR

Rossi up to 2nd in standings
Rossi salvaged a 2nd place in Monza
After a challenging start to Round 3 of the World Series by Renault Championship in Monza, Italy, American driver Alexander Rossi ended the weekend with a very strong drive to second place and has climbed his way back up to 2nd place in the Championship standings.

The American driver started Saturday morning’s qualifying session for race one strongly and was running in P4 and just 0.07 seconds off pole.  Unfortunately, Rossi suffered a car failure halfway through the session and was unable to set a time in the second half of the session, which saw him line up 16th for the first race of the weekend.

In race one on Saturday, Rossi made a strong start in his Fortec Motorsports car. By the end of the first lap he was up to P14.  Despite having suffered severe tire degradation and flat spots during the opening laps, Rossi continued to battle strongly throughout the race and eventually crossing the line in 11th position. Despite a difficult qualifying session and race, Rossi was still able to maintain his third place in the Championship upon conclusion of Race one.

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05/16/11
superleague

Superleague Formula unveils first four drivers for 2011
Craig Dolby
Superleague Formula today announced the first drivers who have signed in the 2011 Superleague Formula World Cup season. The championship gets underway at Assen in the Netherlands on June 4/5 and British driver Craig Dolby, who has finished as championship runner up in the past two seasons is amongst the first names to be announced.

“I certainly have unfinished business in Superleague Formula coming so close to the title in the last two seasons.” said Dolby, “I have one goal for 2011, and that’s to be on the top step of the podium at the end of the season.”

“One of the big decisions of the winter was to stay with Alan (Alan Docking Racing), we had some good offers but the team is more like a big family and it seemed the only place we could be.  There is a real hunger throughout the team to win the championship, more than ever before, but is just seems that everyone is excited and positive and at the same time having fun,  it’s a great environment to work in.”

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05/16/11
irl

Servia takes Indy rain in stride
Oriol Servia earlier this year at Barber
Newman-Haas Racing driver Oriol Servia has a practical attitude about the weather in Central Indiana in May.

"You know it's going to rain and you hope it doesn't," he said. "There's nothing you can do. It's always been like this."

What has changed is the schedule, and that's what concerns several drivers, Servia included.

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05/16/11
MotoGP

Stoner fined for track rage during French MotoGP
Casey Stoner wasn't letting a fine for a moment of track rage take any gloss from an otherwise perfect weekend at the French MotorGP.  The Australian claimed his second win of the 2011 Moto GP season at Le Mans on Sunday, having started from pole and also topped the timesheets in every practice session.

But he also left with a 5000 euros ($A6,687) fine after striking French rider Randy de Puniet on the arm during the morning warm-up session.

The Honda star lashed out at de Puniet on track after the Pramac Ducati rider moved into his path while going significantly slower.

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05/16/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Helmut Marko dismisses breakaway talks
    Marko plays down Montezemolo's breakaway talk
  • Glock admits 107pc fears for Virgin
  • Interlagos corner changes set for 2012 race
  • Red Bull, McLaren oppose Todt's plan for more testing
  • No driver moves at Toro Rosso now - Tost
  • Irvine tops British F1 rich list
  • Red Bull team not heading to Austria - Mateschitz
  • Webber 'can take points off others' - Marko
  • Williams to test updated diffuser in Spain

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05/15/11
nassprint
irl
cart

Controversy over Closed Course Speed Record UPDATE #3 Thank you for the update.  Again, I would like to congratulate Gil de Ferran and the Penske team on what is without question a significant achievement.  Were the FIA to tabulate records for two mile courses, I'm sure it would be at the top of the list.  But the terms of the World Closed Course Record do not make such a limitation and, therefore, the Foyt record clearly takes the day.

In view of the questions raised, I'd like to clarify the status of that record.  At the time the Foyt record was set, the FIA did not have such a thing as a World Closed Course Record.  So that record went into the FIA record books at the time (because it was FIA observed and sanctioned) in another class.  Subsequent to the establishment of the World Closed Course Record, no competitor made a sanctioned attempt at it.

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05/15/11
TA

Ave drives flag-to-flag to win Trans-Am at VIR
In three career starts at VIRginia International Raceway, Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., had three consecutive runner-up finishes until today when he drove flag-to-flag to capture his first-ever SCCA Pro Racing Tran-Am Series win at the scenic 3.27-mile track. Daniel Ramoutarsingh, of La Romain, Trinidad, finished second.
Driving the No. 4 Lamers Racing/Bebee Racing/Optech/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette, Ave weathered two full course cautions en route to a 25.228-second margin of victory (average speed 86.282 mph) over Ramoutarsingh, who inherited second place on the last lap. This was Ave’s second consecutive win.
“This win means a lot,” Ave said. “I love racing up here. We test a lot here too. So, it shows how good our car ran. Larry Beebe gives us great equipment and we build it all. But he’s the one that owns it and has to authorize it all. I don’t know what happened to my buddy DJ [David Jans]. It looks like he dropped out. But, it was a good weekend for the team. To finally win here, after three seconds, is great.

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05/15/11
irl

Indy announces 33 greatest Indy 500 drivers
The three four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500 - A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser - are starting from the front row of "The Greatest 33" after earning the most votes from Indianapolis 500 fans worldwide.

Racing fans selected their dream lineup of the 33 greatest drivers in Indianapolis 500 history from March 18-May 14 at thegreatest33.com. The top 33 drivers in the balloting were revealed Sunday, May 15 during practice for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

"It's only fitting that the three greatest legends of the Indianapolis 500, A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser, are leading 'The Greatest 33' to the green flag," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief operating officer. "We hope the fans have really enjoyed picking their perfect starting lineup and sharing their memories about the drivers who have created 100 years of history at the world's greatest race."

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05/15/11
irl

Indy Day 2 a washout
A wet day in Gasoline Alley
IndyCar
Rain washed out practice for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.

Rain fell steadily on the Speedway throughout this morning, and IZOD IndyCar Series officials canceled the day's track activities at 1:08 p.m. (ET).

It is only the third time in four years that an Indianapolis 500 practice day has been completely rained out. Rain washed out practice on Monday May 17, 2010 and prior to that on Thursday, May 8, 2008.

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05/15/11
irl

Passing the time on a rainy Sunday at Indy
It's a rainy, chilly Sunday morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is about the worst set of circumstances for IZOD IndyCar Series teams that want to continue on-track preparations for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.

So what to do while being a captive in the garage area?

• Sarah Fisher Racing's Ed Carpenter hosts the crew of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The flight demonstration team is in Indianapolis for a local air show this weekend, and performed a flyover the Speedway on Opening Day. Carpenter, a private pilot, gives the pilots and crew a detailed description of the No. 67 Dollar General car.

Petty Officer A.J. Varner, the crew chief, is a Chesterfield, Ind., native He said there's a special bond between him and the pilots of the F-18s.

"When the pilot gets in the jet, there's handshake signaling to him that I've checked the jet," Varner says.

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05/15/11
track news

Pace car owners can tour IMS next Saturday
Owners of more than 250 vintage Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars will have the opportunity to take a ceremonial lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of Pole Day/Tom Carnegie Day on Saturday, May 21.

Held in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and a month-long celebration of great race and passenger cars at IMS, more than 250 Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars will appear May 21-22 at the Racing Capital of the World. This special two-day event, which will be highlighted by the ceremonial pace lap just after 6 p.m. Pole Day, will showcase the largest collection of vintage Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars ever assembled.

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05/15/11
autogp

Onidi clinches Race 2 win at Monza
If yesterday the Auto GP youngsters did send a clear message taking two steps of the podium, today it was Fabio Onidi who gave them the right answer of behalf of the experienced drivers: the driver from Milan clinched a dominating win in the second race of the Monza weekend, keeping first place from flag to flag. Fabio had a very good start from pole position (as he often does) and then steadily increased his advantage; only during the first laps his lead was threatened by an aggressive Adrien Tambay, but lap after lap Onidi stretched the gap, eventually crossing the line with three seconds on the Frenchman.

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05/15/11
dtm

Maiden victory for Mike Rockenfeller at Zandvoort
Mike Rockenfeller
He had to wait for this victory quite long. In his 44th DTM race, Mike Rockenfeller scored his maiden victory. The 27-year old Audi driver from the German village of Neuwied started from third place on the grid into the second round of the 2011 DTM season at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, showed an error-free race with a perfect pit stop strategy and crossed the finish line as the winner after 41 laps. “I am relieved. Hockenheim was very frustrating after a good qualifying and the poor race. Fortunately, we have found the problem and solved it. The result was a good qualifying and a great race. Today, the foundation was the start, plus two excellent stops and a good pace”, an overjoyed Rockenfeller said.

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05/15/11
f2

Zanella doubles up at Magny-Cours
Chris Zanella
Christopher Zanella completed a clean sweep of the silverware in rounds three and four of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship at Magny-Cours, promoting him to the top of the drivers’ standings.

After winning Saturday’s rain-affected round three, the 21-year-old Swiss driver today secured his second consecutive win in round four, closely followed by Brit Alex Brundle, son of former Grand Prix racer Martin, and Mirko Bortolotti.

Zanella held off a charging Brundle at the start and protected his lead throughout the 24-lap race at the former Formula One Grand Prix, whilst Bortolotti and an impressive Mihai Marinescu kept them in check. Brundle tried very hard to close on the F2 rookie, running wide at one point but the Swiss driver led confidently, buoyed by his performance from yesterday.

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05/15/11
motogp

Stoner roars to second victory of the season at Le Mans
Winner Casey Stoner waves to crowd
Stoner took his 25th win in his MotoGP career after a dominant ride to pull away at the front and win by a margin of over 14 seconds. With his second win of the season, the Australian has now jumped up to second place in the standings, now 12 points behind Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

It was record-breaking attendance for the French GP with 88,400 fans attending the Le Mans circuit for today's MotoGP race, with 176,200 for the full 3 days of action. The rain managed to stay away and an eventful race was enjoyed by the large and enthusiastic crowd. There was action throughout the field but at the end all eyes were on the dice between Dovizioso and Rossi. As in the previous race in Portugal, the Honda rider managed to deny the advances of the nine time World Champion and record his best finish of this year’s campaign. For Rossi, it was his best result of the season and the second Ducati podium of the year.

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05/15/11
wsr

Ricciardo over Rossi at Monza
Red Bull development driver and rumored to soon be F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo has won Monza race 2 of World Series by Renault after a race long battle with teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.  Ricciardo actually finished behind Vergne, but Vergne was penalized 10 seconds for cutting a chicane.

That elevated American Alexander Rossi to 2nd place for Fortec.  Rossi, who won the first race of the season against a very talented field, appears headed to F1 as we predicted a few years ago.  He still needs a bit more seasoning, and he can be hot or cold, depending on whether the car is right, but obviously the speed is there as Ricciardo is very highly regarded in F1 circles and Rossi is never far behind him, and sometimes beats him.

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05/15/11
f2

Zanella on pole for race two
Race one winner Christopher Zanella will start from pole for today's round four of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Magny-Cours.

The Swiss driver set his fastest lap, using overboost late in the session, to claim his maiden F2 pole and continue his strong run of form at the former French Formula One track.

British racer Alex Brundle, son of former Grand Prix racer Martin, narrowly missed out on his second pole place to secure P2 and a front-row start while Romanian Marinescu secured his best qualifying position to date with third.

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05/15/11
irl

Tracy top Canadian at Indy 500
On a rain interrupted first day of practice for the IZOD IndyCar Indianapolis 500, Ed Carpenter was a surprise fastest hitting 224.786 m.p.h. in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Racing Dallara Honda.

The top Canadian was Paul Tracy who put down a lap of 222.295 m.p.h., good enough for 11th fastest among 32 cars who took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile quad oval on Saturday in the No. 23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing machine.

Rookie James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., was 17th on the leaderboard at 221.454 m.p.h. in the No. 06 Newman Haas Racing car.

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05/15/11
irl

Video: 100 years of the Indianapolis 500
A look back at some of the greatest moments of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

Comment
05/15/11
ta

Ave captures Trans-Am Series pole at VIR
Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., continued his dominance at VIRginia International Raceway by capturing his third consecutive SCCA Pro Racing Tran-Am Series at this venue. Ave grabbed the pole by 1.878-seconds over RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra, Fla., will start third on the grid.
Ave will start from the pole at VIR (photo credit: F & S Enterprises)Ave has never won at VIR, but he has been fast all weekend in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/Bebee Racing/Optech/PME Engines Chevrolet Corvette. In fact, he has been fast in every session including capturing the pole with the top qualifying time of 1:47.437 (109.571 mph).
“We thought we’d go faster than that,” Ave said after qualifying. “It [the car] didn’t hook up as well as I thought it would. We got a good lap right away. My second lap, Amy [Ruman] spun in front of me and I had to slow down. So, we lost a bit of time there. I was doing the next one and RJ had his problem. I was disappointed we did not go faster, but obviously we were fast enough. Our car is really good. We’re going to run during the warm-up [tomorrow morning] because there are some things I want to try in terms of race setup. But, I am happy that I am on the pole for sure.”

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05/15/11
nassprint

NASCAR revises procedure for pit road officials
NASCAR will change how it dispatches its officials after a race in response to the pit road incident between #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch on Saturday night at Darlington. The change is to make sure all cars are clear of pit road before series officials are released to head toward their post-race duties. The move is intended to help NASCAR better control pit road. At Darlington, Harvick stopped his car near pit entrance and blocked Busch after the race. The cars sat for several seconds before Harvick exited his car and reached in to hit Busch as he sat in his car. Busch ran into the back of Harvick's car as he drove off, sending Harvick's car into an inside pit wall. At the time of the incident only a couple of Harvick's crew members were in the vicinity of the cars. NASCAR's officials were positioned further down pit road where the top five finishers (and any random cars) stop, or in Victory Lane to monitor the winning car or throughout the garage. Video replays showed that after Busch hit Harvick's car, several of Harvick's crew members were en route to the scene along with three NASCAR officials. Virginian Pilot

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05/15/11
nassprint

Martin not worried about 2012
Mark Martin, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs out at the end of this year, doesn't know where he'll be racing in 2012. Nor is the veteran driver particularly concerned about it. "Well, lucky for me, I don't need a job, so I don't have to worry about it," Martin, 52, said on a national teleconference this week. "If I was 20 years younger, I would be concerned about it. But I'm in a good position right now, you know, being able to wait it out and let things play out the way they will." Martin, who joined Hendrick in 2009 and later agreed to remain with the company through 2011, has previously indicated he plans to continue Sprint Cup racing next season in either a full-time or part-time role with another organization. "Something really, really fun and exciting is going to work out for me, something that will be very rewarding, and I'm in no hurry to force that to happen," said Martin, who will be replaced by Kasey Kahne at Hendrick next season. "I'll just wait until it sort of falls in my lap, just like the 5 car did. I wasn't looking for a job when the 5 thing fell into my lap." SPEED

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05/15/11
irl

Dan Gurney's Eagles once dominated Indy
All American Racers is proud of the contribution their drivers, team and Eagle racing cars have made to the world's most famous race and the part they played in the history of the 500 in the 1960's and 1970's.

Eagles won the race in 1968 (No. 3 with Bobby Unser, Leader Card/Rislone team), in 1973 (No. 20 with Gordon Johncock, Pat Patrick/STP Team) and in 1975 (No. 48 with Bobby Unser, Gurney-AAR Jorgensen team).

Dan Gurney came to the Speedway for the first time in 1962 driving Mickey Thompsons' Buick Special. He invited Colin Chapman, the most gifted designer of his era, to visit the track and look over the existing technology. Dan paid Mr. Chapman's round trip plane ticket and introduced him to Ford Motor Company in Detroit. This led to the Lotus Ford/Indy effort with Dan and Jim Clark as team mates for the next three years and ushered in the rear engine revolution at the Speedway in a big way.

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05/15/11
wsr

Ricciardo inherits pole after Wickens penalty
Daniel Ricciardo will start World Series by Renault Race 2 at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza from pole position, with stewards deciding earlier in the afternoon to penalize Robert Wickens following an incident in the first race. The Canadian set the overall fastest time, but he will start from fifth on the grid after being hit with the four place drop.

Wickens was able to put aside any thoughts of the 4-place penalty and post a time of 1:36.870, the only effort of the afternoon to make it under the 1:37.000 barrier. Ricciardo was a little under two tenths shy of the Canadian on his effective pole lap, with fellow ex-British F3 Champion Jean-Eric Vergne a further 0.082 seconds adrift. 

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05/15/11
alms

ALMS Week in Review
THE SWEET SOUNDS OF TESTING AT ROAD ATLANTA
Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing was one of multiple teams from the American Le Mans Series that made trips to Road Atlanta this week for some testing. If you’ve missed the intoxicating scream of the Aston Martin V12, check out the footage captured at Road Atlanta on Wednesday.

JUNQUEIRA, DA MATTA AIMING TO BRING JAGUAR TO THE FRONT
Could 2011 be JaguarRSR’s breakthrough season? With a talented duo like Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira behind the wheel, the future certainly looks bright for the second-year team. Read why broadcaster Jeremy Shaw’s favorite moments from the Tequila Patr¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach included da Matta and Junqueira wheeling the Jaguar XKR GT to a sixth-place class finish.

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05/15/11
nnw

Update Regarding Injured Kevin Harvick Inc. Crew Member
Glen Wheeler, a member of the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team, will be kept overnight at a local Dover hospital for further observation after sustaining left leg injuries by debris from the accident at the conclusion of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. Wheeler was evaluated in the infield care center before being transported to the area hospital for additional evaluation.

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