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DATE News (chronologically)
05/19/12
nhra

Brown, Pedregon, Johnson on Pole at Topeka
Antron Brown
Antron Brown earned his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) also will lead their respective categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations as No. 1 qualifiers at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

No one improved on Brown’s Friday performance of 3.797 at a track record speed of 324.98 mph in his Matco Tools dragster. The best runs of Saturday’s two sessions were turned in by Top Fuel teammates Brandon Bernstein and Morgan Lucas, who posted the four quickest runs of the day.

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05/19/12
nassprint

Earnhardt, Jr. Wins Sprint Showdown
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Getty Images for NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the checkered flag in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Showdown to advance to the 28th Annual NASCAR Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Pole winner A.J. Allmendinger staged a stunning comeback to nab second place in the final laps to earn the second transfer spot.

Jamie McMurray was third, followed by Martin Truex, Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Earnhardt, Jr. led all 40 laps to make his 13th All Star start. He has one win in the event, coming in his rookie season in 2000.

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05/19/12
IRL

Ryan Briscoe wins Indy 500 pole
The 2012 Indy 500 Pole Day is in the books, and the first in 2011 were mostly last in 2012, and what was last was first this year.

Ryan Briscoe won the 9-car shootout, posting a fast lap of 226.484. James Hinchcliffe was only an eye blink slower, at 226.481, and a subsequent attempt didn't do any better.

In all, 3 Andretti Racing cars in the top 9. To say that Andretti will have a much different post-Pole Day party this year than last year is an understatement. Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified 3rd, and Marco Andretti qualified 4th.

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05/19/12
irl

Crash and Burn in the First Hour of Pole Day UPDATE Watch as front engine dirt track driver Bryan Clausen loses control of his rear engine Dallara and wipes it out.  Dirt track drivers have always struggled to make the transition to IndyCars.  Dirt track racing is not the proper training ground for IndyCar and F1 drivers.



05/19/12 The DW12 IndyCar chassis has finally been crash tested.  While there were a few smaller crashes on the road / street courses, there hadn't been a major hard impact.  Bryan Clauson's tire dipped below the white line in the south short chute, the rear end wagged a bit, and Clauson slapped the end of turn 2.  The undertray of the car -- that massive "shelf" section between the front tires and the side pods -- wedged itself under the SAFER barriers and took some time to remove. 

Clauson, the USAC star that is being given a "scholarship" to help him get into IndyCar, was uninjured.  The car will need to be repaired, since Clauson doesn't have a backup car.

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05/19/12
motogp

Pedrosa takes pole with Stoner in second
Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow's Grand Prix of France from pole position (1'33.638) with team mate Casey Stoner in second place (1'33.941) after a stressful qualifying practice that was decided in the final minutes.

Rain affected the session at the Le Mans circuit, after three free practices in dry conditions, and choosing the right moment to make the time attack for the best grid position was key.

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05/19/12
irl

Indy Qualifying Update 2:00
Oriol Servia just parked his car in the north end of pit road -- the hard way.  Spinning out of turn 4 when the rear broke loose, he took off both ends of the car before coming to a rest at the entrance to the pits. 



Earlier today, Oriol commented to AutoRacing1, "It's good to know that if we do everything we should do, we have a chance...  That's the minimum that a driver needs."  Of course, he was referring to his jump from Lotus engines to Chevy engines.  However, hard luck bit the team yesterday when their Chevy engine blew on startup, resulting in no practice yesterday.  Today, he had 17 laps of practice -- but at the bottom of the grid -- before the attempt that resulted in the crash.

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05/19/12
irl

Correction: Boost Limit Story
I hate it when I get it wrong here at AutoRacing1.com.  More directly, I hate it when reputable people tell me the wrong things, 'cause I get it wrong often enough all by myself.  As it turns out, part of my article on the way that IndyCar regulates boost was, putting it politely, wrong.  Or at least there was a difference of opinion. 

In the current DW12, the turbo boost is controlled by the ECU ("Computer, aka "brain").  This limit is pre-set by IndyCar officials, a team of IndyCar geeks (or "tuners" I guess) called the "Technical Group."  One of their engine support engineers, Darren Crouser, asked to talk with me this morning, and he was nice enough to explain to me how the McLaren ECU works.

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05/19/12
dtm

Paffett strong at his home round: pole for the points’ leader
Gary Paffett
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) will be starting from pole position for his home round at Brands Hatch on Sunday. In the shoot-out qualifying, the Briton set the fastest lap time of 41.266 seconds and secured the first starting grid position for the third round of the 2012 DTM season. For Paffett, it is the ninth pole position of his DTM career. His fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris will be lining up next to him on the front row. The German came within 0.144 seconds of Paffett’s fastest time. Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) will be on the second row in third and fourth position respectively.

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05/19/12
nassprint

Dale Jr. talks about a bill that could ban military spending in sports
Dale Earnhardt Jr. met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed many things including Military sponsorships in the sport, the transcript in part:

Q) THERE'S A BILL THAT JUST PASSED THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE THAT INCLUDES AN AMENDMENT TO BAN MILITARY SPENDING FOR SPORTS SPONSORSHIPS. AS SOMEBODY THAT REPRESENTS A MILITARY BRAND, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THOSE IN CONGRESS THEY SHOULD BE LOOKING AT OR THINKING ABOUT AS OPPOSED TO BOTTOM-LINE ISSUES?
Earnhardt Jr.: "I think the Republican from Georgia that is heading the bill hasn't even been to a NASCAR race. At least it states that in the article today. I would encourage them to do more homework, get more facts, understand the situation a little more. I know just talking to the (National) Guard, and we went through this before, and talking to them, they can't express to me enough about how much this program helps their recruiting. They are committed to the belief it has a profound effect on their recruiting and their ability to recruit. It's important for them to be visible and to push their brand, and work on their brand giving people an opportunity to learn more about how to get involved in the military. I think their NASCAR sponsorship is a great way to reach a lot of people. We are one of the biggest sports. We've got more people attending races and attending our sport than a lot of other avenues they could be going. I think it's good and healthy for them to be here. I think it works for them or they wouldn't be a part of it."

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05/19/12
nassprint

Kurt Busch discusses incident at Darlington
Kurt Busch met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed many things including last week's incident with Ryan Newman, the transcript in part:

Q) YOU AND (RYAN) NEWMAN DIDN'T HAVE AN ISSUE ON TRACK (LAST WEEKEND IN DARLINGTON) SO WHY DID YOU BUMP HIM AFTER THE RACE?
Busch: "That is where everybody checked-up coming in the garage. I was taking my helmet off so I didn't have a problem with (Ryan) Newman. I didn't have a problem with his crew guys. Then things just really got out of control in a hurry."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU LEFT PIT ROAD?
Busch: "I was just trying to beat the pace car out. I didn't think anything of it other than we have put up a good fight this whole year. Trying to just work as hard as we've worked, trying to complete the day and get those top-10 finishes. These guys work harder than anybody else in this garage. This No. 51 Phoenix Racing team, I love them to death. They have my back, I've got theirs and we just wanted to finish on the lead lap. I was trying to get off pit road as quick as I could. Newman, he left his pit, I don't know, a good 10 seconds before us. I didn't think there was any reason to think that any crew guys were in danger. One guy has a problem with it and it just escalated from there."

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05/19/12
nassprint

Waltrip explains why Fox gives backmarker Danica Patrick so much coverage
Cover girl and beauty queen Danica Patrick poses for a photo op.  She's now NASCAR's biggest star
A vocal group of fans was upset after Fox spent a significant amount of time talking about Danica Patrick during Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington.

Patrick, who finished six laps down in 31st place, received plenty of attention for making just her second Cup start on a very difficult racetrack -- and some fans didn't like it.

But Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip said the coverage was mostly warranted.

"Maybe," Waltrip said when asked if there was too much Danica coverage. "But she's Danica, and she was the only girl in the field.

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05/19/12
24HrNurb

BMW storms to pole for the 24H race at the Nürburgring
Pole winning BMW
Dirk Muller, Jorg Muller, Dirk Adorf and Uwe Alzen, in the #19 BMW Z4 GT3 run by BMW Team Schubert, secured Pole position at the 40. ADAC Zurich 24h race at the Nürburgring. 2nd on the grid will be the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Mamerow, Abt, Ammermüller and Hahne and 3rd will be the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 driven by Edwards, Bleekemolen, Metzger and Schall. A total of 171 race-cars will start the race on Saturday at 16h00 local time.

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05/18/12
irl

Barrichello calls Indianapolis Motor Speedway 'the most difficult four corners'
KV Racing Technology general manager Mark Johnson, team co-owner Jimmy Vasser and drivers Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, and E.J. Viso met the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday. Here's the transcript of that press conference on the eve of pole day for the Indianapolis 500:

MODERATOR: We have our fine folks with us from KV Racing Technology. Delighted to have you all. Jimmy, we'll start with you. Welcome back to Indianapolis. It's delightful to have you here. You have a good driver lineup, obviously.

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05/18/12
irl

Rahal says IndyCar better off without Danica
As the driving force behind Danica Patrick’s ascension to Indy Car and now NASCAR stardom, Bobby Rahal is uniquely positioned to comment on the effect that the diminutive driver had on open-wheel racing – and on how the sport is affected by her departure to the stock-car world.

“At least we get to focus on the racing now, and the people who are here, who are damn good drivers,” Rahal said in a press conference today. “The other drivers that were here didn’t get the attention they should have gotten. Now we get to get back to what it’s all about, which is great racing.” Patrick wore Rahal Letterman colors on her meteoric rise to racing fame, including carrying the iconic team marks to the cover of Sports Illustrated, which had been verboten to Indy Car drivers for the 10 years prior to her arrival. And while her arrival to the series brought a ton of much-needed publicity to the sport, Rahal believes that the benefits of that spotlight obscured the brilliance of the rest of the paddock.

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05/18/12
nassprint

Allmendinger On Pole For Sprint Showdown
Allmendinger wins Shootout pole
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
A.J. Allmendinger won the pole for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, looking for a chance to advance to the All Star event and a shot at $1 million dollars.

Allmendinger turned in a lap of 192.465 mph on the no. 22 Pennzoil Dodge for his first ever pole in the Showdown, which will be run just prior to the All Star race on Saturday.

The first- and second-place finishers in the 40-lap Showdown will transfer to the All Star race, along with a driver voted in by a fan vote.

Allmendinger, currently in his first season driving for Roger Penske, have five starts in the Sprint Showdown, winning the event in 2008 to transfer to the All Star race, where he finished 17th.

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05/18/12
nastruck

Dillon Takes Charlotte Truck Series Pole
Austin Dillon
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Ty Dillon scored his first career series pole in Friday's qualifying for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, making his first series start at the track where is legendary grandfather and car owner Richard Childress has scored eight NASCAR victories.

Dillon was the last of the 41 qualifiers to take to the track and knocked Justin Lofton off the top spot with a lap of 181.616 mph in the no. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for his first pole in just his seventh series start.

"We've been really fast all day and I knew we had a really good shot at the pole," said Dillon. "This is so awesome, to get my first pole at Charlotte, the track I've grown up at. I've seen every single race here since I've been alive, it seems like."

Lofton will start second with a lap of 181.500 mph, followed by Joey Coulter, Timothy Peters and Jason Leffler.

Four drivers failed to make the field for the event, including Johnny Chapman, Jeff Agnew, Norm Benning, B.J. McLeod and Wes Burton.
Pete McCole/AR1.com

Comment
05/18/12
irl

Observations from Indy - Fast Friday (Andretti fastest) UPDATE Well, we think that Andretti Autosport has corrected last year's qualification woes.  For most of the day, all 4 Andretti cars (Ana Beatriz, Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, and Ryan Hunter-Reay) were in the top 5.  Around 5:00 pm, Marco threw down a lap of 227.540, without a tow.  Earlier Ryan Hunter-Reay ran a lap of 226 even without a tow, then another at 226.2 with a tow.  The day ended with Andretti's lap being the fastest of the day, followed by Ryan Briscoe at 226.835, followed by Helio Castroneves in third, Hunter-Reay in 4th, and Scott Dixon -- the fastest Honda -- in 5th.

Results

Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Time Speed Diff Gap Total Laps
1 26 Andretti, Marco D/C/F 00:39.5535 227.540 --.---- --.---- 36
2 2 Briscoe, Ryan D/C/F 00:39.6764 226.835 0.1229 0.1229 41
3 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/F 00:39.6973 226.716 0.1438 0.0209 35
4 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/C/F 00:39.7526 226.400 0.1991 0.0553 22
5 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F 00:39.7836 226.224 0.2301 0.0310 60
6 27 Hinchcliffe, James D/C/F 00:39.8276 225.974 0.2741 0.0440 20
7 25 Beatriz, Ana D/C/F 00:39.8842 225.653 0.3307 0.0566 24
8 4 Hildebrand, JR D/C/F 00:39.8987 225.571 0.3452 0.0145 15
9 50 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F 00:39.9344 225.370 0.3809 0.0357 54
10 11 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F 00:39.9428 225.322 0.3893 0.0084 19
11 12 Power, Will D/C/F 00:39.9488 225.288 0.3953 0.0060 42
12 5 Viso, EJ D/C/F 00:39.9757 225.137 0.4222 0.0269 30
13 67 Newgarden, Josef (R) D/H/F 00:39.9963 225.021 0.4428 0.0206 43
14 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/F 00:40.0064 224.964 0.4529 0.0101 45
15 19 Jakes, James (R) D/H/F 00:40.0071 224.960 0.4536 0.0007 53
16 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F 00:40.0096 224.946 0.4561 0.0025 49
17 15 Sato, Takuma D/H/F 00:40.0312 224.825 0.4777 0.0216 43
18 38 Rahal, Graham D/H/F 00:40.0375 224.789 0.4840 0.0063 47
19 17 Saavedra, Sebastian D/C/F 00:40.0604 224.661 0.5069 0.0229 16
20 14 Conway, Mike D/H/F 00:40.1190 224.333 0.5655 0.0586 42
21 8 Barrichello, Rubens (R) D/C/F 00:40.1299 224.272 0.5764 0.0109 18
22 18 Wilson, Justin D/H/F 00:40.1324 224.258 0.5789 0.0025 43
23 39 Clauson, Bryan (R) D/H/F 00:40.1384 224.224 0.5849 0.0060 52
24 98 Tagliani, Alex D/H/F 00:40.2547 223.576 0.7012 0.1163 40
25 41 Cunningham, Wade (R) D/H/F 00:40.3773 222.898 0.8238 0.1226 30
26 77 Pagenaud, Simon (R) D/H/F 00:40.4065 222.736 0.8530 0.0292 44
27 99 Bell, Townsend D/H/F 00:40.5885 221.738 1.0350 0.1820 45
28 30 Jourdain, Michel D/H/F 00:40.6511 221.396 1.0976 0.0626 12
29 7 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F 00:40.6888 221.191 1.1353 0.0377 58
30 6 Legge, Katherine (R) D/C/F 00:41.0154 219.430 1.4619 0.3266 44
31 64 Alesi, Jean (R) D/L/F 00:42.1697 213.423 2.6162 1.1543 40
32 78 de Silvestro, Simona D/L/F 00:42.3498 212.516 2.7963 0.1801 44


*********
Today, as with the rest of the month, the Chevy motors have a slight, but noticeable edge.  Today, that edge got wider, as the Honda people struggled with tuning their single turbo system.  Scott Dixon, as stated, was the fastest Honda, in 5th.  Eight of the top 10 speeds were posted by Chevy motors.

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05/18/12
motogp

Repsol Honda Team set the pace at Le Mans
Casey Stoner
After announcing yesterday in the official press conference his plans to retire at the end of this season, Casey Stoner got back on track and set the fastest time (1'33.740) in the first day of practice at the Le Mans circuit. His team mate, Dani Pedrosa, finished the day close behind (1'34.005), just two tenths off the Australian.

The Repsol Honda Team had a positive start to the Grand Prix of France with both factory riders already showing good pace in the morning session, taking first and second on the time sheets on their first outing here with the 1000cc machines. In the afternoon, with slightly higher track temperatures, Stoner managed to improve his time by 0.6 seconds and Pedrosa by 0.9.

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05/18/12
f1

HRT moves to new shop
The day has come for HRT Formula 1 Team to officially open its doors to the new headquarters at the Caja Magica in Madrid. Team Principal, Luis Perez-Sala, and drivers Pedro de la Rosa, Dani Clos and Ma Qing Hua acted as the hosts of this meeting with the press, sponsors, suppliers and friends of the team. The Mayoress of Madrid, Honorable Madam Ana Botella and the President of the Spanish Motorsport Federation and Vice-President of the FIA, Mr. Carlos Gracia, wanted to accompany the team on such a special day. They toured the new facilities alongside the maximum representatives of the team, through the management, administration, operations and engineering areas up until the workshop where the mechanics were working on the F112 for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Everyone who assisted got an insight of the facilities where the entire team is already working and saw the result of the team’s effort in these short but intense months.

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05/18/12
f1

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tickets selling fast
On the fast track to a fourth consecutive sell-out, only 30% of tickets to the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are remaining for purchase. With a greater demand from international agents and fans, and only two weeks to go until 31 May when the 20% early bird discount ends, Yas Marina Circuit is urging F1 fans near and far to take action now to avoid disappointment.

“The 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is set to be the most exciting one to date,” said Richard Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit, which will host the race on 2-4 November.

In addition to an expanded variety of seating and hospitality upgrades available for the first time, fans can also expect a wider entertainment program both on and off track.

On track, the popular Australian V8 Supercars series will be the official F1™ support race. Race goers can also buy select seating packages granting exclusive weekend access to both V8 Supercar and F1 pits, while all fans will have access to their favorite motorsport stars at any one of the planned Oasis area autograph sessions.

Off track, free concerts are planned for the Corniche, and the wheels are in motion for an even wider program of events that will include, as in previous years exclusive F1 ticket-holder only entertainment.

“In developing these options, we want to ensure that every fan, whether it is their first or fourth Grand Prix has an extraordinary experience before, during, and after the race has ended,” added Cregan.

Tickets categories available now with the 20% early bird discount include North, South, West, and Marina Grandstand tickets. From now until 31 May, these two day tickets are available at AED 1500 and three day tickets are available AED 1,665. After 31 May these tickets will be available at AED 1,875 for two days and AED 2,080 for three days.

Other ticket options include Marina Club and South Club upgrades, and for corporate fans or groups, the Yas Viceroy Hotel Private Suites & Terrace Tickets and Marina Grandstand Boxes are also available.

Tickets are now available through a wide range of outlets, including selected Etihad Airways shops, Virgin Megastores across the UAE and GCC, the Yas Viceroy Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit itself. They are also available from the 800 927 (YAS) call centre and from the website at www.yasmarinacircuit.ae.

Comment
05/18/12
irl

Increased turbo boost will up speeds for qualifying
The turbo boost gets cranked up today at Indy
IndyCar drivers expect more excitement today as engines get more oomph for the weekend.

That could be good or bad.

Speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will climb, for sure, after Izod IndyCar Series officials approved turbocharger boost increases that should be worth 4-5 mph. But that might come at a price.

Scott Dixon, who ran the quickest lap Thursday at 223.088 mph (second- fastest of the month), said there will be less tire grip and more opportunity for trouble.

"The next level after this is going to be a big (step)," he said.

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05/18/12
f1

Full day for Daly with Sahara Force India
American, Conor Daly completed his first day of running in a Formula One car today after assisting Sahara Force India in completing the first of four in season aero data mapping sessions. Data mapping sessions are used to correlate wind tunnel results with actual full scale running of the race car to make sure that the wind tunnel results are accurate.

"It was more than cool for me today. I got out of the car just twice during the whole day. We got through a ton of tests and everyone seemed pleased" said Daly. "I was free to accelerate as hard as the car would go and brake as aggressively as I could. Seven gears and 18,000 revs sounded just awesome and working with things like torque maps was very enlightening."

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05/18/12
automotive

Chevrolet Volt Saves Supertanker of Gas
Most Volt owners drive less than 40 miles per day and therefore never add a drop of gasoline to their car.  Do the big oil companies hate the Volt?  You bet they do.
Chevrolet Volt owners collectively have saved a supertanker of gasoline since the electric car with extended range went on sale, compiling 40 million miles on electricity and avoiding the use of more than 2.1 million gallons of gasoline.

“With each click of the odometer, Chevrolet Volt owners are measuring their contribution to reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and to preserving the environment,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.  “Volt owners are also saving at the fuel pump with more than $8 million in combined savings.”

Chevrolet recently introduced a rolling ticker on its website that showcases real-time daily driving statistics for Volt owners based on OnStar data. Results in total number of miles driven, electric miles driven and gallons of gas saved are viewable. As of today:

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05/18/12
f1

Q and A with F1's latest new winner
Pastor Maldonado
Following his victory at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, Williams F1 driver Pastor Maldonado gives his thoughts on his first win in Formula One and the season so far.

Q: You visited the team’s factory in Oxfordshire today, what was the atmosphere like?
PM
: I arrived at the factory this morning and everybody I have met has been congratulating me and there seems to be a lot of optimism about what we can achieve this season. We had a gathering this morning with all of the people in the factory to celebrate our win and this allowed me to thank all of them for their hard work.

Q: After your victory in Barcelona do you think you have a realistic chance of winning at the next race in Monaco?
PM
: We will certainly do our best. Our package is definitely getting better and although we don’t have the quickest car right now, we are improving very quickly. I have always liked Monaco and after Sunday I am certainly full of confidence.

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05/18/12
irl

Fans at IMS approve of new IndyCar design
Fans like the look of the new car
Fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had a generally positive opinion after they had their first up-close look at this year's new IndyCar design.

"I think it looks something like the Batmobile," said one fan.

"I like the fact that it is so much different from what we've seen," said another.

The new car is certainly a different design, one fan described it as "pretty sporting looking."

The most notable difference in the new car is the additional body molding that extends up to and almost around the rear wheels.

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05/18/12
f1

Mercedes previews the Monaco GP
The Monaco Grand Prix, Round Six of the 2012 World Championship, is without doubt the most prestigious and unique race on the Formula One calendar. Taking place around the streets of the principality on Sunday 27 May, this year's race will mark the 70th anniversary of the event.

* During a typical Monaco qualifying lap, the driver makes over 130 significant steering movements

* Including other functions like KERS, a driver makes around 200 car inputs per lap - not including brake and throttle pedals

* On average, the drivers change gear once every 54 meters around a lap - in Spa, it's once every 146 meters

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05/17/12
f1

Newey no longer key to success in 'new' F1
(GMM)  Red Bull is lamenting the limited role that can be played in 2012 by F1's aerodynamic genius Adrian Newey.

For the past few years, the energy drink owned team has enjoyed its dominance largely because of the airflow magic wrought by Briton Newey.

But in 2012, with reigning back to back world champion Sebastian Vettel just one of the five different winners so far, Pirelli rubber is king.

"I doubt Williams really know why they were so strong," team boss Christian Horner, referring to Pastor Maldonado's shock Barcelona pole and win last weekend, is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

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05/17/12
alms
ga

Dempsey Racing’s Biggest Weekend of Competition in Team History
Dempsey Racing’s biggest weekend of racing competition to date in its 10 seasons of operation went into the record books this past weekend, May 11 – 13, as a foundation for the future that will see even further expansion for the Patrick Dempsey-owned professional motorsports organization based in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

The five-car and 12-driver effort, a milestone in what is also the biggest year of business operations for Dempsey Racing in 2012, was highlighted by the debut of the new ALMS P2-class No. 27 Trina Solar/GNC Beverages/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Judd-powered Lola B12-80 Coupe in the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patr¢n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  The Lola-Judd was driven by Dempsey, his co-driver and motorsports business partner Joe Foster, and young British driver Jonny Cocker.

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05/17/12
automotive

Acura recalling TLs for leaking power steering hose
Acura will voluntarily recall 52,615 model-year 2007-2008 TL sedans in the United States to replace the power steering hose. Over time, the power steering hose may deteriorate and develop a fluid leak. Leaking power steering fluid could lead to loss of power steering assistance or, if it leaks onto a catalytic converter it may result in smoke, or in the worst case, fire. No crashes, injuries or fires have been reported related to this issue.

Acura is announcing this recall to encourage owners of all affected vehicles to take their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from Acura. Mailed notification to customers will begin in mid-June 2012. In addition to contacting customers by mail, in mid-June, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicles require repair by going on-line to www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 382-2238, and selecting option 4.

Comment
05/17/12
ga

Andretti happy Ferrari is winning in Grand-Am
Ferrari is back in GRAND-AM, and the sports car industry is taking notice. Joining the Rolex Series in 2012 with a model built specifically for GRAND-AM competition – the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am – Ferrari has won consecutive races to take the lead in the GT class championship standings.

Back-to-back victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and New Jersey Motorsports Park put Ferrari atop the Rolex Series GT manufacturer's championship. The latter victory broke a tie to move the Italian automobile manufacturer into the championship lead over Porsche, 128-123, with Mazda
third at 117.

This news brought a smile to racing legend and former Ferrari factory driver Mario Andretti.

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05/17/12
nnw

Penske brings back Villeneuve for road course races
One of the most accomplished racers in recent history will join Penske Racing for two upcoming road course races on the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule.

Former world champion driver Jacques Villeneuve will compete behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NNS races at Road America (June 23) and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (August 18). He will return to the Dodge at these venues for the second-consecutive season. Villeneuve will round out a talent-rich lineup for the No. 22 Dodge that will also include 2010 NNS champion Brad Keselowski and Parker Kligerman throughout the 2012 season. 

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05/17/12
irl

Observations from Indy - Thursday (No Lotus, no 33 cars) UPDATE 7:00 PM Update: Back in the days when Indianapolis didn't do daylight savings time, the "happy hour" was 6:00 - 7:00 EDT.  That IndyCar allowed Katherine Legge to complete the second phase of her rookie test during the old "happy hour" should be viewed as something of a gift.  Given that there are only 33 cars to compete for 33 spots, probably no one in the IndyCar paddock really fretted about it, but it does show that Indy is intent on doing whatever it takes to get 33 cars -- and a solid team -- into this year's show.

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The day's practice went off w/o so much as a serious bobble or scary moment.  Scott Dixon posted the day's fastest speed followed by Josef Newgarden.  Newgarden posted his fast speed at the beginning of the day, in the same car that spun and bushed the wall yesterday -- the only "incident" for the entire month.

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05/17/12
automotive
nassprint

Holden to announce export of the Commodore to U.S. as Chevrolet SS UPDATE
2013 Camouflaged Chevrolet SS Sprint Cup car
Holden has announced a new export program, confirming that Commodore will return to North America in late 2013 as the new Chevrolet SS performance sedan. The limited production derivative of the yet to be launched VF Commodore will arrive in North American showrooms late next year. It will be the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the US. The SS will also become Chevrolet's next NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar debuting next year in its race configuration at the world renowned Daytona 500.

Based on the much anticipated Australian-built car, the Chevrolet SS will benefit from significant technology advances including innovations in light weighting and fuel efficiency. Mark Reuss, GM President of North America said as a passionate race fan and performance enthusiast he was thrilled with today's announcement.

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05/17/12
motogp

Casey Stoner to retire UPDATE Casey Stoner believes MotoGP is 'going backwards' saying the series no longer holds his interest.

"It is not starting again from the beginning, it is going backwards," said Stoner, referring to the arrival of the production-based CRTs and consideration given to a more production-based future.

"For me it is not the championship I fell in love in. It is not the championship I always wanted to race in and, except for my competitors around me, they are the only ones who give respect for each other.

"Nobody else has enough respect for the people that do their jobs, working at the teams, working in the trucks, and putting this show on every week. It is not easy.

"There are many, many different reasons but it is basically me losing my patience with the racing and my enjoyment of this sport. For sure I am going to enjoy this year but if I continue [beyond that] it will be a mistake on my half. It would not be correct to Honda and everyone at the team if I did not give 110 per cent."

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05/17/12
irl

Curb/Agajanian Joins SFHR to Sponsor Clauson in Indy 500
The Indianapolis 500 is built on tradition, and Curb/Agajanian has been right in the mix of the storied events of the 500-mile race by sponsoring and entering cars in the field for the past 40 years, including being the co-owner of Dan Wheldon’s winning car in last year’s centennial Indianapolis 500.

For 2012’s “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” Curb/Agajanian will join forces with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) as an associate sponsor for Bryan Clauson in the No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing with Curb Agajanian/ Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.

Clauson and Curb/Agajanian have a history of their own, and Curb/Agajanian was the co-owner and sponsor for Bryan Clauson in 2011 when he won the overall USAC National Championship which included midget, sprint and Silver Crown cars. As a multi-time USAC national champion, Clauson has more than 50 victories.

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05/17/12
tv news
irl

Derek Daly joins NBC Sports
Former IndyCar driver, Derek Daly, will return to IndyCar television broadcasting when he joins NBC Sports for the upcoming live Indy 500 qualifying, May 19th - 20th. When he retired from competition in 1992, Daly already had eight years of television experience with ESPN. In 1996 he moved to SPEED channel where he spent 10 years covering Formula One and IndyCar. He also continues to work for CBS affiliate WISH-TV, Indianapolis as their motor sports analyst - a position he has held for 24 years. 

"I'm preparing for two long days. I'll be on the air from 7:00am on Saturday until 6:30pm with two one hour breaks. On Sunday the real marathon starts as I will be on the air locally from 7:00am to 10:00am. Then I move to NBC Sports for most of the day before moving back to WISH-TV for their evening reports and an 11:00pm studio sportscast", said Daly.

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05/17/12
irl

IndyCar approves Dragon move from Lotus to Chevy
INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, confirmed today that it has approved an engine partner change for Dragon Racing.

The team will transfer from Lotus to Chevrolet power for the entries driven by Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge.  The change is effective immediately.

Lotus and Dragon Racing have worked together to find a solution they are both happy with.

"We are pleased to see this issue resolved as we head into the final practice days in advance of qualifying," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "I have to thank all parties for working together to help preserve the traditions of the Indianapolis 500."

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05/17/12
irl

Dragon hits track with Chevy power
Sebastien Bourdais
Dragon Racing has finally made its season debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The No. 6 car driven by Sebastien Bourdais turned its first lap shortly after 8 a.m. this morning. Bourdais turned 21 laps in the first hour, a fastest lap of 205.116 mph.

The team has been mired in a legal dispute with Lotus, but it is transitioning to Chevrolet, the engine that powered today's laps.

Dragon also plans to field Katherine Legge in her Rookie Orientation Program effort. Bourdais drove her car.

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05/17/12
irl
alms

Baltimore Grand Prix Organizers To Start Selling Tickets This Month
New Baltimore Grand Prix organizers Race On said that tickets for the second iteration of the Izod IndyCar Series race "should be on sale by the end of the month." The group, composed of local investors in partnership with Andretti Sports Marketing, also "finalized sanctioning agreements" with IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series for the Labor Day weekend festival. Andretti Sports Marketing Managing Dir Kevin Healy said that the group plans to announce sponsors "in the coming weeks"

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05/17/12
irl

Lotus dangerously slow, could cause accident
Dragon Racing's engine is finally ready to fire at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Actually, a Chevrolet was wheeled into the team's Gasoline Alley garage Wednesday afternoon and the car was ready to go, but team owner Jay Penske put the brakes on it. Seems all the legal work wasn't complete. It apparently is now.

Barring a late snag, Dragon will have Katherine Legge on the track at 8 a.m. today for a 90-minute rookie program. It's also possible that teammate Sebastien Bourdais, who needs to take an IMS refresher course, will go first to get the car set up, since it hasn't been on an oval.

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05/17/12
nassprint

Stewart hopes to re-sign Newman
Tony Stewart would like Stewart-Haas Racing to have three full-time teams in 2013, but has not yet signed driver Ryan Newman to a new deal. Newman agreed to drive for the team when Stewart became co-owner starting with the 2009 season. Newman is not yet signed for 2013. Danica Patrick is expected to drive for the team full time next season in the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevy after a 10-race Cup schedule this year. "I want him back next year," Stewart said Tuesday. "Obviously we're working on sponsorship to make sure we have got the funding to keep that going. Ryan and I are on the same page. He knows what we're trying to do and I have every intention of keeping him for next year." Sporting News

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05/17/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Will Monaco produce yet another first-time winner in 2012?
    F1's sixth winner shapes up for Monaco
  • Ferrari say Massa contender for 2013 race seat
  • Maldonado a future champ, not 'pay driver' - Williams
  • Germans tip Schumacher to retire in 2012
  • 2013 F1 budget cap possible - report
  • Russian Helicopters Becomes Official Partner Of Caterham F1 Team
  • Kobayashi: “Definitely a step forward“
  • Button worried about lack of pace

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05/17/12
automotive

Video: Ferrari driver kills self, Taxi driver
A wealthy Chinese expatriate who crashed his million-dollar Ferrari into a taxi killing himself and two others has sparked outrage in Singapore, where anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise.

Websites were swamped Monday with postings attacking Chinese and other foreigners in the city-state after it was reported that a 52-year-old local cabbie had died of his injuries following Saturday's pre-dawn accident.

The crash instantly killed the 31-year-old Ferrari driver, Ma Chi, while the taxi passenger, a 41-year-old Japanese woman, died in hospital two hours later, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

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