Automakers must meet 2016 35.5 MPG fleet average The Obama administration will unveil national tailpipe emissions standards and mileage requirements Tuesday, which will force automakers to dramatically boost the efficiency of vehicles by 2016 to a fleet-wide average of 35.5 miles per gallon, but also give them a single national standard.
The program will cost automakers $1,300 per vehicle, a senior administration official said -- a move that could cost automakers $13 billion to $20 billion annually based on total auto sales. That's $600 ahead of the prior planned fuel efficiency increases.
Under a compromise, California and 13 other states' efforts to impose a 30 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions are to be essentially adopted by the Obama administration and extended to the rest of the country. The federal government will set mileage standards that are consistent with those emissions requirements -- 39 mpg by 2016 for cars and 30 mpg for light trucks.
Administration officials said the new requirements would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and eliminate 900 million metric tons of greenhouse gases -- equivalent to taking 177 million cars and trucks off the roads.
The move will force automakers to average 35.5 mpg overall by 2016 -- four years ahead of a congressional deadline and require the companies to boost efficiency by an average of 5 percent per year. It is the first-ever U.S. regulation of tailpipe emissions, rather than simply setting fuel efficiency standards.
But Congress is planning to offer automakers billions more to help them meet the requirements. A revised 942-page version of a climate change bill released late Monday doubles to $50 billion a program to offer low-cost retooling loans to automakers and parts producers to help produce more fuel-efficient models. [Editor's Note: Sell more plug-in electric cars and build more nuclear power plants. Fleet average can then be over 100 MPG. Problem solved.]
Q and A: Bob Bell on Monaco Renault’s technical director Bob Bell looks ahead to Monaco.
Bob, the team seemed more competitive in Spain – were you pleased with the overall performance? We were a little bit disappointed with our pace in the final part of qualifying, but during the race we saw the performance that we expected and overall we were pleased with the result. We knew we weren’t going to jump to the front of the pack, but we were determined to close the gap to the leading teams, and I think that’s what we’ve done. Considering where we were at the start of the season, it was a nice reward for all the hard work and effort that has gone in behind the scenes.Read more & Comment...
Monaco may be the most unique race on the Formula 1 calendar, but for the engineers the challenge remains the same: fine-tuning the car to achieve maximum performance around the demanding street circuit.
It’s an unforgiving place, and getting the most from the R29 around the twisty streets will require an unusual set-up and total commitment from the driver.
As a street course, the track usually offers low grip in the early part of the weekend, but come Sunday, the track will be nicely rubbered-in and will continue to improve until the final lap of the Grand Prix.
Ride Heights The roads in the principality may feel billiard-table-smooth at the wheel of a road car, but they are incredibly bumpy for the stiff suspension of a Formula 1 car. To cope with the variations in track surface, ride heights are raised between 5 and 7mm relative to the norm. The public roads are also sharply cambered and very slippery – especially on the traffic markings that are dotted around the circuit which require caution, especially if the track is damp.
Indy 500 on ABC since 1965 When the Indianapolis 500 aired on ABC for the first time, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, the NFL Championship was almost two years away from becoming the Super Bowl, the Beatles and Beach Boys were at the top of the charts and Bewitched and Bonanza ruled the TV airwaves.
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network continues on Sunday, May 24, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 45th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at noon ET, with the green flag at 1 p.m.
Television coverage of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has come a long way since highlights first appeared in black-and-white on ABC’s Wide World of Sports program following the 1965 edition of the race.
Indy 500 legends to visit New York Indianapolis 500 legends Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser Jr., and 2008 Chase Rookie of the Year Ryan Hunter-Reay will sign autographs at IZOD's "In Pursuit of FAST: 100 Years of Indy Racing Fashion and Design" exhibit May 19 at Macy's Herald Square in New York.
The exhibit, which opened May 13 and runs through June 3, brings to life a century of American racing through archival elements - hundreds of original photos, logos and artwork from artists such as Leroy Neiman, vintage cars and memorabilia, and the Borg-Warner Trophy - that visually tells the history of the Indy 500. Race cars from every generation will be featured in the display, starting with the infamous "Baby Interstate" of 1916 to Danica Patrick's 2005 race car, which led the Indy 500.
Mears is one of only three drivers to win the "500" four times. Rutherford is a three-time winner, and Unser Jr. is a two-time winner.
Lunchtime foot and motor traffic came to a standstill May 18 as Indianapolis 500 past and present converged on Herald Square, the New York landmark made famous by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Fronted by the yellow car that started it all - the 1911 Marmon Wasp - and the biggest prize in motorsports - the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy - drivers competing in the May 24 race lined up in the traditional 11 rows of three for a photo op in front of Macy's flagship store (where it's been located since 1902).
The event, which preceded a media gathering at Calvin Klein headquarters in Times Square South and followed multiple national TV appearances by front-row starters Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti, was held in conjunction with IZOD's exhibit "In Pursuit of FAST: 100 Years of Indy Racing, Fashion and Design" at Macy's on Broadway through June 3.
Richards not committing to 2010 team entry (GMM) The fight between existing formula one teams and the FIA is a spanner in the works of David Richards' prospective entry for 2010.
The former Benetton and BAR boss was planning a budget-capped entry for next year, to run under his Prodrive or Aston Martin brands, or in the guise of a Middle Eastern-funded foray.
But with major current teams now threatening to quit over Max Mosley's cost-slashing methods, Richards is not yet committing to making the May 29 deadline for a 2010 team entry.
"We are very concerned about the controversy these proposals have created with the existing teams and the uncertainty that this has created," he told GPWeek.
"It is important for us and our partners that there is stability in the sport with broad alignment on the future direction of formula one and this will be a critical issue in our decision making process as to whether or not to make an entry," added Richards.
In fact, given the uncertainty and the existing teams' threats, it is likely that, come May 29, only three or four teams will actually meet the FIA's entry deadline.
But that doesn't mean that, despite the 13 two-car team vacancies, the May 29 deadline will lock in a six or eight-car grid for 2010.
An FIA spokesman confirmed that entries after May 29 "would be accepted with the appropriate late entry fee".
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC Indianapolis 500 Airs on ABC for 45th Consecutive Year
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network will continue on Sunday, May 24, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 45th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins at noon ET, with the green flag at 1 p.m.
Brent Musburger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Jack Arute, Jamie Little, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch.
ESPN will use 59 cameras to televise the race fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Track Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. And ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, playback and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers.
Tagliani replaces Junqueira for 500UPDATE "I'm not happy with the situation and obviously it's very upsetting but I think Eric must have had some big money reasons to do it," said Junqueira late Sunday evening.
Bruno Junqueira got screwed but took the news professionally
"I put my butt on the line today, did a good job and was very happy because Alex and I were both in the race. Now I don't feel very happy."
Tagliani got bumped by Ryan Hunter-Reay as the clock expired on time trials and Bachelart said late Sunday it was the worst possible situation.
"I felt so good to have two good drivers in the field and then I couldn't believe what happened in the last 10 minutes of qualifying," said Bachelart, referring to the flurry of bumping.
"We've had some sponsors following Tag all season, the Rexall people from Edmonton are coming to the race and we've got some other deals working and we were going to have to sacrifice Alex to keep Bruno in the car.
"So I went to Bruno and said I had a huge favor to ask him. I was sick to my stomach about it and he was very professional. I offered him compensation and I told him I'll do everything I can to put him in a car again some day. He was totally outstanding today and I am so impressed with him." SPEEDTV.com
05/17/09 Conquest Racing announced late Sunday night that they will be replacing Bruno Junqueira aboard the #36 Conquest entry with the team’s primary driver Alex Tagliani for this year's Indianapolis 500. The following are statements from the drivers and team principal.
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner “We had the chance to qualify two excellent drivers today. Unfortunately we didn’t have the same fate for both entries despite excellent work from everyone on the team. Bruno has once again shown the world how talented a driver he is and we truly appreciate the work he has done for us in this short amount of time and thank him for his excellent work. Alex didn’t make the show and it wasn’t for a lack of speed or a fault of his own. He simply fell victim to exceptional circumstances. That’s how the magic of Indy works sometimes; it can be good or bad. We’ve been working with Alex for a long time now and have built our commercial and marketing program around him. He has been our primary driver since the start of the season and we felt that it was in the best interest of the team and our partners to have him in the car for the Indy 500 as we continue to build our future together.”
Ross Brawn denies Button (L) is shown any favoritism over Barrichello (R)
Following the Spanish GP, which saw Rubens Barrichello lose to Jenson Button after the Brit was swapped to a two-stop strategy, the subject of team orders came to the fore with Barrichello threatening to quit should he ever feel as if he's being made to play second fiddle to his team-mate.
The Brawn team, though, were quick to deny that team orders had come into play at Barcelona, stating that they did not, and would not, favor one driver over the other.
And now, building up Monaco, team boss Brawn has once again clarified his outfit's position on driver status.
"We do not have a number one driver and we do not intend to have one. Jenson and Rubens are on equal terms and conditions and they both get exactly the same equipment as best as we can," Brawn told his team's website.
"Jenson and Rubens have been with the team for a few years now and they are fully integrated. Both are great team players.
"One of the key factors in creating such a good atmosphere comes from complete honesty. We have been, and will continue to be, completely honest with the drivers. They know the situation, their engineers know the situation, the team knows the situation.
BMW Motorsport and NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. extend partnership. BMW Motorsport and NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. have extended their successful partnership in the motorsport arena. Under the terms of the new agreement - the world's No1 spark plug manufacturer will supply spark plugs to BMW teams in Formula One, the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and, for the first time, also to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
As in the past three years, NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. is named "Official Supplier" to the BMW Sauber F1 Team and to BMW Team Germany that competes in the World Touring Car Championship. In addition to this, NGK Spark Plug now also supplies the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team as Official Supplier for the American Le Mans Series. The WTCC cars and the drivers' suits will prominently display the NGK logo to mark the cooperation.
'Politics' threaten French F1 project - Alain Prost
Swiss F1 driver Heini Walter dies
Vettel needs a manager - Jackie Stewart
Rookie Buemi escaped disaster by '10 cm'
FOTA breached Ferrari's 'veto' rights - Mosley (GMM) Max Mosley believes Ferrari will lose its court action on Tuesday.
The case, an application for an injunction against the 2010 rules to be heard by a French court, is based on the Italian team's 2005 agreement with the sport's governing body.
Amid the last 'breakaway' threats three years ago, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone reached a private agreement with Ferrari, offering more commercial income, stable rules, and special 'veto' power regarding major upheavals.
Ferrari claims this agreement has been breached, but Mosley believes that it is the Maranello outfit that did not live up to its end of the bargain: loyalty.
"They were in a position where they had whatever they had under the old 1998 Concorde agreement in return for being loyal," he said.
Mosley believes Ferrari broke the agreement by establishing the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), of which president Luca di Montezemolo is chairman.
"Essentially, they walked away by forming FOTA. They were always supposed to be loyal to the FIA, work with us and cooperate," said the FIA president.
Busch Dominates At Iowa Kyle Busch accomplished on Sunday what previous visiting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers could not do – win the NASCAR Camping World Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway.
While Kevin Harvick had to settle for second place in 2007 and Kasey Kahne came away as the runner-up in 2008, Busch took the first-place trophy in the Long John Silver's 200.
Busch, fresh from competing in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte Saturday night, made the most of a Sunday morning practice session at Iowa to fine tune the set up of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He went on to capture the Coors Light Pole Award and dominate the race – leading 168 of the 200 laps.
With the victory, Busch locked up a secure starting spot in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
Quotes of the Week "The idea that they [Ferrari] are indispensable is nonsense. It's a little bit like poor Senna. He was the most important driver in 1994 but when he very sadly got killed, formula one went on. Lotus were very important once, so were Brabham. I think the chances of a breakaway are smaller this time. After all, we are giving them a chance to race and spend less money." MaxMosley, President FIA
"I'm optimistic. Whenever change has been required the teams have cried Armageddon -- engine freeze, V10s to V8 and so on. On each occasion there were those who claimed F1 would fall apart. These experiences tend to make the FIA more resilient to all the hysteria." Tony Purnell, FIA Technical Advisor, commenting on Ferrari's threats to quit Formula 1 in 2010 because they are enraged by the concept of low budget capping, and unimpressed by the sport's governance processes.
"It's good [legal action by Ferrari], it keeps it in the bloody newspaper. They should have done it before (now) -- idiots." Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
Indy 500 Bump Day Notebook - 3 Monday will be a busy day for the 33 starters of the Indianapolis 500, as well as League and Speedway executives. Front Row qualifiers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti, as well as driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, will fly to New York tonight for Monday morning media appearances. The Front Row drivers will appear on FOX's "Morning Show with Mike & Juliet" and on XM Sirius' Mad Dog Radio. Hunter-Reay will appear on Bloomberg News and will be joined by Indy Racing League President, Commercial Division, Terry Angstadt on Fox Business' "Money for Breakfast."
The rest of the 33 starters will depart Indianapolis at 7 a.m. Monday. The entire field will pose for photographs in the traditional 11 rows of three at Herald Square, home of the flagship Macy's department store. All drivers will participate in a media luncheon with more than 100 national and international correspondents.
Indy 500 Bump Day Media Conference PAT SULLIVAN: Tomas, we've still got press upstairs, a reminder it's also streamed on the Internet, and we're also not getting as much advance because it's so hectic at the very end, which you were right in the middle of that. But you solidified your position with a terrific qualifying effort of 221.496, if I can read my own scribbles. But I thought the last time you were here that was going to stick without any problem, and suddenly you're back out qualifying. That had to be a little unnerving.
TOMAS SCHECKTER: Yeah. Mentally, I always say qualifying around here is the toughest, and it's so mentally strange. You really prepare yourself on a qualifying day to come here and really just focus on low downforce in that field. After yesterday, you know, we thought we were safely in. I got told I was safely in by a couple people, but I still went to bed thinking, and then I woke up in the morning and I saw warm-up, and I thought, 'These guys are going quick.' We still thought, 'Oh, no, you'll be fine.' And then people started going quick, and we did a race run and then after a race run we were speaking about doing something else, and I said, 'Guys, let's get this car back on the pad, and let's put the qualifying setup on.' And Bill Pappas said, "Yeah, let's go do that.' We had to change some stuff on the car, and I went to the motor home, it was a bit of a mad rush, as well, because just getting everything together. To get back out on the track we did two runs, we took some downforce out of it and did a great run there.
De Silvestro sweeps Utah weekend en route to second win in row
Simona De Silvestro
Simona De Silvestro had a perfect weekend at Round 2 of the 12-race 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship, the $50,000-to-win Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.
The 20-year-old Swiss racer led both practice sessions on Friday, took her first career Atlantic pole position on Saturday and dominated Sunday’s race to score the second victory of her Atlantic career. Driving the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/CME/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies/Maakoa machine, De Silvestro sped into the lead as soon as the lights went out on the race’s standing start and quickly checked out on the rest of the field, leading throughout the 50-minute, 31-lap race. The Team Stargate Worlds driver won by 11.7 seconds ahead of John Edwards.
It was De Silvestro’s first Atlantic win since the 2008 season opener at Long Beach, where she became the second woman in series history to win a race behind Katherine Legge, who won three races in 2005. On Saturday, De Silvestro became the second woman in series history to win a pole position behind Danica Patrick, who took a pole position at Portland in 2004. De Silvestro became the first woman in series history to win a race after starting from the pole position.
Open letter to Ferrari, Red Bull/Toro Rosso, Renault and Toyota A reader writes, As an F1 fan for over 40 years I have simply had enough of the restrictive rules and inconsistent decisions affecting the sport I love. I am thrilled that you have all taken a strong position against the FIA and I would urge you to take this one step further by establishing your own Grand Prix Series.
The thought of a 2 tier system in F1 is just ludicrous. Attracting underfinanced and second-rate teams also does nothing for the top motor sport series. Add to that the fact that the USA, Canada and now possibly the UK will not have races next year and you have the recipe for the complete demise of F1 as we know it.
The fans have had enough of both the FIA and Mr. Ecclestone. Ironically I have to believe that all the cost cutting needed could be achieved by simply getting out from under FOM and Mr. Ecclestone. I, for one, will support you to the fullest extent in a new series.
I believe I am just one of millions who share this view. Let this be the start of a new era in F1 where racing, technology and the fans take precedence over politics, fines and knee-jerk rule making. Ray Masters, Hawaii
Indy 500 Bump Day Notebook - 2 As of 2:30 pm, only one car has been bumped out -- the 43 car of John Andretti. The 21T car of Hunter-Reay is on the bubble right now at 219.502. Given the speeds being posted today, anything under a 221.5 should not be considered safe.
Two cars withdrew and requalified. The first was Nelson Philippe, who posted a 220.754, some 2.7 mph faster than yesterday's time.
Then, the crowd was electrified as Milka Duno went out and posted a 221.106, over 3 mph faster than yesterday. When AR1 asked her about yesterday's run, she playfully replied, "Don't talk about war... only about good things!" She continued, "We have a more solid car today, because yesterday the wing so much of the car. And when we put the car with less aerodynamics, the wind was affecting so much, is why I just lost the front... WAHHHHAAAAA!!!! ...in turn 1, oh my goodness! But today was more solid car."
Ghost Town A reader sends this email from their Blackberry: Dear AR1, I am here in Laguna Seca for today's Grand-Am race. There are maybe 1,000 paid fans here for the warm-up. I have seen only about 100 this morning, I am adding 900 for error. Contrary to what the France family may tell us, it is clear to me that the only reason Grand-Am is in business is to keep ALMS from getting too big. It's obvious the fans don't care at all about Grand-Am. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles
NASCAR and iRacing to Partner NASCAR and iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations announced today that the two organizations are joining forces to create a NASCAR-sanctioned online racing series, a new competition division that will be licensed by NASCAR and organized and hosted by iRacing. Beginning early in 2010, NASCAR fans anywhere in the world will be able to log onto the internet and compete against one another, as well as a number of NASCAR drivers, in an official NASCAR series featuring digital duplicates of real-world NASCAR cars and tracks in the most realistic NASCAR racing environment ever created.
“The online world is an ever growing marketplace filled with NASCAR fans. To provide those fans with the most realistic NASCAR racing environment, iRacing was the right partner for us,” said Blake Davidson, NASCAR managing director of licensed products. “Bill France, Jr. had the original vision for this series more than ten years ago. He foresaw a day when NASCAR fans could experience NASCAR’s side-by-side racing from the comfort of their own homes; that day has come. The iRacing product is so realistic, that a number of our NASCAR drivers, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Brad Keselowski, A.J. Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose and Colin Braun are already iRacing members, which makes it even better. From the beginning, these drivers have raved about the incredible accuracy of the cars and the tracks that iRacing has produced and their involvement, along with NASCAR Competition, in the development will make the experience even more authentic.”
It’s a landmark weekend for the American Le Mans Series at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The next wave of energy technology has arrived with Corsa Motorsports’ Ginetta-Zytek 09HS hybrid prototype for LMP1, which has Johnny Mowlem and Stefan Johansson sharing driving duties. Some of the key players involved from the team, Zytek Engineering, the American Le Mans Series, and IMSA and the U.S. Department of Energy spoke on the significance and relevance of bringing such a technological advancement to the race track.
Bill Gibson, President, Zytek Group “We originally did a hybrid project for Don Panoz 11 years ago now. The big difference between that car and this car is the battery. The one in the Q9 was 250 kilos. The battery in this car, you can look inside of the car and see that it’s a tiny thing. This project is about developing the battery. The motor and electronics are in many ways road car pieces. The batteries are a huge problem for hybrids and pure EV (electric vehicles), which is what Zytek’s future is in. And in my mind, future road car technology is pure EV. And at the moment we can use hybrids to develop these new technologies for pure electric vehicles. This car is about developing battery technologies – pushing and pulling the energy so fast, maybe 10 or 20 times faster than the process in road cars.
Spanish star Jorge Lorenzo found the perfect remedy for his Jerez frustrations at Le Mans, bouncing straight back from his DNF in Spain with a brilliant win at the Grand Prix de France in highly difficult conditions - to return to the top of the standings.
Lorenzo took the lead on the first lap and shot away at the front, building up a big advantage on wet tires as the track dried quickly, eventually being the last rider to change onto slicks in his first ever ‘flag-to-flag’ contest and riding superbly on both sets of tires to win by a 17 second margin.
Another brilliant effort by Hayate Racing’s Marco Melandri saw him cross the line second for his first podium since 2007, having been unsure of his MotoGP future over the winter.
Audi managed a perfect start to the 2009 DTM season at the 100th race of the new DTM: Tom Kristensen (Denmark), Timo Scheider (Germany), Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain) and Markus Winkelhock (Germany) clinched a fourfold victory of the Audi A4 DTM and delivered the best start to a season in AUDI AG’s DTM history at the Hockenheimring in front of 91,000 spectators.
It could have even been a fivefold victory for the brand with the four rings but a puncture on the penultimate lap cost Mattias Ekström (Sweden) the win that already seemed sure. The two-time DTM Champion had been dominating the race after starting from the pole position and achieved a lead of more than ten seconds when debris on the track slit the rear left-hand tire of his Audi A4 DTM. Ekström had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop on the penultimate lap and dropped to seventh place.
For Audi, the win marked the 49th triumph at a DTM race, for Tom Kristensen the fourth after Oschersleben in 2004 and 2006 as well as Zandvoort in 2006. "Of course, Mattias (Ekström) would have clearly deserved this victory," said the 41-year-old Dane. "But I know only too well how Mattias feels now: In 2006, at Brands Hatch, I also lost a race I’d been leading with a dominant advantage almost up to the finish. But the crucial thing is that, today, only Audi drivers are on the podium. My thanks go to Audi, my team, my engineer and my boys – both pitstops were perfect."
Indy has turned up the drama quotient for Bump Day at Indy. Due to the perfect weather -- a light breeze directly down the front straight, with no gusts, and cool temps -- the consensus on pit road is that anything under 220.600 mph is not safe, which would pretty much include everyone in the last 3 rows.
The weather here is almost perfect, with the possible exception of the cool temps. Ryan Hunter-Reay joked with AR1 about wearing a snowmobile suit, because drivers do get cold at these temps while on the track (what is the wind chill index at 220 mph?).
The speeds during morning practice are reflecting the perfect conditions. Milka Duno is a full 2 mph faster than yesterday, and as of 11:06 a.m. is on top of the leaderboard (no, I'm not making this up) at 221.586. Nelson Philippe is in second spot at 220.694. Stanton Barrett is pulling top gear down the front stretch today due to the breeze, and is at 219.597. Tim Wohlford reporting from Indy
F1 crisis action to resume on Tuesday (GMM) F1's insurgent teams will be back in deep conference early this week, as the battle over a budget-capped future continues.
Following the meeting with Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone last Friday in London, the FOTA members have now resolved to sit down in Monaco on Tuesday, ahead of the Principality's famous grand prix.
The topic of the meeting will be alternatives to FIA president Mosley's cap: such as reductions in wind tunnel use and freezes in the low cost of customer engine offers, according to The Guardian newspaper.
It is believed that Mosley is giving the teams until free-day Friday in Monaco - one week before the 2010 team entry deadline - to finalize their proposal.
Slowest qualifier Philippe expects to be bumped Nelson Philippe after qualifying at the Indy 500:
“I’m happy I’m in the field. I also know it doesn’t mean anything because obviously tomorrow is Bump Day and I’ll be the first guy to be bumped. The good thing is that because we were in line at the end of the day today I will be the first in line tomorrow and we hope to go faster.
“The most important thing is to qualify. We just want to be in the show.”
Two Dreyer & Reinbold drivers at risk of being bumped Co-team owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl had to take a sigh of relief Saturday evening as three more of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing drivers qualified for the 33-driver lineup in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race set for Sunday, May 24.
Reinbold, working from pit lane with each of his three drivers, John Andretti, Mike Conway and Milka Duno, and Buhl, working in the Versus television booth as a race analyst, already had Davey Hamilton in the field last Sunday when the Idaho veteran averaged 221.9 miles per hour to secure the 22nd position. But Saturday was tough for Reinbold and Buhl to watch at times in the windy conditions.
However, when the 6 p.m. gun fired, Andretti, Conway and Duno had placed their respective cars in the field entering the final day of time trials Sunday. Andretti and Duno attempted early runs, but handling problems with their mounts caused the drivers to pull into the pits without completing their four-lap runs. Both returned to the track later in the day to notch positions in the field.
Alliance Motorsports announces new sponsor Alliance Motorsports announced a partnership with the eFusjon energy club for a primary sponsorship of the team's Firestone Indy Lights car for the upcoming Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 22.
"We at Alliance Motorsports are extremely proud to have the eFusjon energy club, as well as their network of distributors, on board with us for the biggest race of the season," said Jeff Matthews, co-owner of Alliance Motorsports. "To form a relationship with a company that shares many of the core values that our organization is based on, is a tremendous accomplishment, and we couldn't be happier."
Christodoulou Wins Star Mazda Round 3 at Miller Given that he dominated all but one of the four practices session over the two days leading up to the race, and put his #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda on the pole by a margin of more than 3/10ths, it came as no surprise to anyone that he eventually crossed the finish line ahead of 32 other cars to win Round Three of the 2009 Star Mazda Championship at Miller Motorsports Park. The manner of it, however, was a bit more interesting.
Christodoulou, starting from the inside of the front row, got an excellent start and pulled into the lead; his intent to drive a clean race from the front and leading every lap seemed to be going according to plan. Then a full-course yellow resulting from contact between two mid-pack cars – as it so often does – nearly changed everything. After two laps of full-course yellow, on the re-start, it was Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin who emerged from the four-abreast charge into Turn One leading the pack. And this he continued to do for the largest part of the race until, in one of those inexplicable things that happen in racing, while changing the settings on his cockpit-adjustable sway bars, Ardoin's finger just ticked the engine shutoff switch… with predictable results; off into the gravel, madly scrambling to get the engine re-started and the car back on track. Which he did. In sixth. And there he stayed until the checkered flag fell. Needless to say he was too devastated to speak about it afterward.
Johnson, Elliott, Smith guests on Wind Tunnel Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, 3-time Sprint Cup Champion, will be the co-host on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on Sunday night, May 17. Bill Elliott, 1988 Sprint Cup Champion, Wood Brothers, and Hajek Motorsports; and Marcus Smith, President and General Manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, will be the featured interviews. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs Sunday, May 17, at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.
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