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DATE News (chronologically)
05/21/09
irl
AJ Foyt Racing adds sponsor  Forte Healthy Energy Shot™ will enter its first Indianapolis 500 as an associate sponsor of A.J. Foyt IV's No. 41 ABC Supply Indy car. Foyt IV will start 19th in his sixth Indy 500 this Sunday afternoon.

"It's great to have the Forte Energy Company as an associate marketing partner of our team for the Indy 500," said Larry Foyt, team director of A.J. Foyt Racing. "We're proud to be the team to debut their brand here at Indy. With the busy schedule we have during the month of May, Forte's Healthy Energy Shot is a welcome addition to our garage." More ...

05/21/09
tv news
Robin Miller, Ben Spies and Indy 500 winner on Wind Tunnel  Robin Miller, SPEED Open Wheel Analyst, will be the guest co-host on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday, May 24.  Robin will be live from Indianapolis for the full hour to help recap the 2009 Indy 500 and to interview the race winner.

Ben Spies, World Superbike title contender, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel.  After winning three consecutive AMA Superbike titles for Suzuki, Spies moved to World Superbike for 2009 riding a factory Yamaha.

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs on Sunday, May 24, 9:00 pm-10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.

05/21/09
irl
Newman/Haas/Lanigan mechanic dies in bar brawl  UPDATE #13 An Indianapolis man who delivered a fatal kick to the head of an IndyCar Series crew member last year in a bar fight was sentenced this afternoon to 14 years in prison.

The bar fight May 4, 2008, in the run-up to last year’s Indianapolis 500, led to murder charges against James P. Brackin. He pleaded guilty last month in Marion Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter, a lesser offense, and admitted his role in the death of David “Davey” Evans.

Evans, 63, a British racing veteran based in Chicago, had just arrived in town with the crew for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, for which he’d worked nearly continuously for 23 years. He ran the team’s engine department.

Evans died of a stroke just moments after receiving the kick to the head outside Kazablanca, a bar and restaurant in the 5800 block of Rockville Road. Friends of both were involved in the melee, which began inside when Brackin confronted Evans after seeing him speaking with Brackin’s girlfriend at the bar. More ...

05/21/09
irl
Conquest team confirms sponsors for Indy 500  Following the non-qualification of the #34 Rexall Edmonton Indy car for the running of the 2009 Indianapolis 500, Conquest Racing confirmed today that the partners associated with the #34 car will continue their presence at this year’s Indy 500 on the #36 entry that Alex Tagliani will be driving this week.

ALL SPORT/BIG RED will remain the primary partner of the car with Rexall Edmonton Indy, King Tut at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, LifeLock and AmazingMail also on board.

“It is in the true spirit of partnership that Gary Smith and All Sport, Inc. immediately came to the team following the 34 car’s ‘bump’ from the field on Sunday to inform us that they wanted to include our #34 car sponsors on the #36 ALL SPORT/BIG RED machine,” said Conquest Commercial Director Jim Freudenberg, of Rubicon Sports Agency. “We truly admire the cooperative spirit of our partners and thank them once again for their support.” More ...

05/21/09
irl
Thursday Notebook from Indy  The 10th annual Racing to Recovery Gala sponsored by the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation raised more than $250,000 this year. The event, which included dinner and a live auction, attracted more than 500 people, including IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Raphael Matos, Ed Carpenter and Alex Lloyd, and Firestone Indy Lights drivers Ana Beatriz, James Hinchcliffe, Gustavo Yacaman and Wade Cunningham.

Live and silent auctions at the event included vacations, jewelry, wines and racing memorabilia signed by IndyCar Series and NASCAR drivers. Roger Warrick, a renowned motorsports artist, created a live painting during the evening, which was also auctioned off. More ...

05/21/09
fil
Cunningham wins Freedom 100 pole at Indy  
Wade Cunningham
Wade Cunningham won the pole for the Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, marking the second time the 2005 series champion will start the race from the inside of Row 1.  Cunningham also started from the pole in 2006 when he led every lap.

Cunningham recorded a two-lap qualifying time of 1 minute, 34.6485 seconds, an average of 190.177 mph in the No. 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, setting an event qualifying record. He bettered Jaime Camara's 2005 qualifying effort of 189.870 mph.

Sebastian Saavedra qualified second at 190.023 mph, recording his third front-row start of the season.

J.R. Hildebrand and Ana Beatriz will start in Row 2, and Martin Plowman and 2006 series champion Jay Howard will start in Row 3. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Williams surprised by Ferrari 'veto power'  (GMM)  The confirmation of Ferrari's previously secret right to 'veto' proposed FIA regulations has caused a great deal of rumbling in the Monaco paddock so far this week.

Sir Frank Williams, the 67-year-old formula one stalwart, boss and team co-owner, on Thursday mentioned what many observers have wondered: how the agreement is legal in the eyes of the European Commission.

Williams said the revelation of Ferrari's special rights, which are not possessed by the other nine teams on the grid, had caught him by surprise.

"I think many of us thought it mainly made a commercial advantage and that
would be what they deserve," said the Briton. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Three teams confirm budget cap support  (GMM)  Three F1 team chiefs on Thursday said they would welcome the imposition of a budget cap in 2010 and beyond.

With five of their rivals clearly threatening to quit over the dispute with FIA president Max Mosley, Williams, Force India and even BMW said setting a maximum expenditure limit would be acceptable.

Mercedes-Benz, too, has already explained its desire to find an agreement with F1's governing body rather than threaten to quit.

"We are clearly wholly in support of it (a budget cap)," said Sir Frank Williams, co-owner and team principal of the famous and historically successful Oxfordshire based team.

"It suits us," he insisted, adding that a "glide path" for hugely funded rivals like Ferrari and Toyota may be necessary. More ...

05/21/09
irl
Pitstop competition part of busy Friday at Indy  Ten of the top pit crews in the Indianapolis 500 will participate in the 32nd Indianapolis 500 Pit Stop Challenge on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 22 with $40,000 of the $90,000 overall purse awarded to the winner.

The competition will get underway at 1:30 p.m. on Miller Lite Carb Day with four rounds of action.

The 2008 Pit Stop Challenge was canceled due to rain. But the No. 3 Team Penske crew of 2009 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Helio Castroneves is the leading contender entering the 2009 event, as it has won the popular competition in 2006 and 2007. Penske has won this competition a record 10 times, including the last three years the event was held. The No. 6 Penske crew won in 2005.

But Castroneves’ crew will face tough competition from the Penske Racing crew of teammate Ryan Briscoe and also from IndyCar Series standouts Andretti Green Racing, Luczo Dragon Racing, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Vision Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing. During every pit stop in the competition, crews must change all four tires while making a simulated fuel hose connection to the car. The fastest crews will advance. More ...
05/21/09
irl
78 Indy 500 ROY Larry Rice tribute  
Larry Rice at Indy in 1978
Larry Rice, a two-time USAC Silver Crown champion and USAC Midget car champion who was co-rookie of the year in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, died on Wednesday, May 20. He was 63.

Rice, who enjoyed a distinguished second career as a racing broadcaster, had two starts in the "500" (1978 and 1979) and was the answer to a popular racing trivia question in that the driver with whom he tied for the 1978 "500" rookie honors was eventual four-time race winner Rick Mears. Rice finished 11th in that race, blowing an engine while running in 10th place, just as Al Unser was about to take the checkered flag.

The genial Rice had been in ill health for some time but had continued through life in his remarkably bright and breezy style-even as his situation worsened-shrugging off any concern over his well being.

Rice raced with the United States Auto Club for 24 seasons, taking the green flag in more than 650 feature events. He won five Silver Crown races, three sprint car features and 15 midget car main events, combining for a total of 100 finishes within the top three. He won the Silver Crown championship in 1977 and 1981, the Midget car title in 1973, and was runner-up in the Sprint car standings in 1983. More ...

05/21/09
irl
Conquest and Tagliani give young racer a shot in arm  Conquest Racing and driver Alex Tagliani along with the Fondation du Sport Motorisé du Québec (Quebec Motor Sports Foundation) are teaming up to give a young promising driver the experience of a lifetime this week. The Excellence program, which is supported by Tagliani, consists of giving up and coming drivers the chance to get an up close and personal look at a professional race team as well as receive training in all facets of the sport from driving to public relations.

The foundation recently announced Jeffrey Petriello, from Terrebonne, Québec, as the first recipient of their Excellence program.

What does this entitle the 20-year-old racer to? Jeffrey will get the chance to test an Atlantic Championship and Star Mazda car at Putnam Park outside of Indianapolis today as well as receive valuable advice from Tagliani and the Conquest crew and engineers. His experience inside a professional race team won’t end there. Jeffrey will also be able to experience the Indy 500 as a special VIP guest of Conquest Racing at this weekend’s race and get to attend the Victory Banquet on Monday night in the company of Tag, team owner Eric Bachelart and other team members and partners. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Quit crisis won't damage F1 - Theissen  (GMM)  Mario Theissen on Thursday said he does not believe the current crisis in formula one will do the sport any lasting damage.

Three of the car manufacturers involved in F1, plus Red Bull, are threatening to quit over the budget cap and governance row with FIA president Max Mosley.

The German carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz are towing the FOTA line, but their stance has been markedly less ruthless than the aforementioned rebels.

Indeed, while even the usually tenacious Bernie Ecclestone admitted concern in the Monaco paddock, BMW motor sport director Theissen suggested this brand of politicking is par for the course in F1.

The loss of multiple marquee teams in one hit would do immense damage to the F1 brand, so it is clear Theissen believes a compromise will ultimately be found. More ...

05/21/09
irl
Firestone to sponsor IndyCar finale  With some of the closest competition in motorsports, the IndyCar Series championship inevitably seems to come down to the wire - and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) looks forward to being a part of the excitement surrounding the crowning of this year's champion by serving as title sponsor for the IndyCar Series championship finale, held for the first time at Homestead-Miami Speedway, just outside Miami, Fla.  The Firestone Indy 300 will be contested on Saturday, October 10, 2009.

"The past three IndyCar Series championships have been decided on the last lap of the last race of the season," commented Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing.  "In the final lap of this year's Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, just as they have on every other lap this season, drivers will rely on their Firestone Firehawk tires to carry them to the checkered flag.  It is fitting that this year's title winner will be crowned at a track that presents Firestone Racing engineers with one of their greatest challenges, as whoever emerges on top, both in the race and in this year's championship, will truly have earned the rewards considering the diversity of the IndyCar Series schedule and its deep field of talented drivers.  We are proud to see the Firestone brand associated with the best of the best." More ...

05/21/09
f1
No double diffuser for Toro Rosso in Monaco, Turkey  (GMM)  It will be two more races until Toro Rosso's drivers can look forward to enjoying the competitive fruits of a 'double diffuser'.

In Monaco this weekend, parent team Red Bull have rolled out the controversial rear aerodynamic concept for its RB5, which apart from a different engine is nearly identical to the Toro Rosso chassis.

But Swiss 20-year-old Sebastien Buemi, the only rookie in the Monaco field this year, said Faenza based Toro Rosso cannot expect to receive the diffuser until after the Turkish grand prix early next month.

"We're not going to have it in Istanbul," he is quoted as confirming to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Buemi explained that the car modifications to accommodate the diffuser are "quite massive".

05/21/09
f1
Briatore's boat to host Friday FOTA meeting  
Briatore's Force Blue yacht docked in Monaco (Hardly a super-yacht by our standards.  A minnow among real yachts)
(GMM)  Flavio Briatore's super-yacht, moored in the trackside harbor, will be the scene of a crucial FOTA meeting on Friday.

At 2pm, it is on the Renault boss' triple-storey boat, called 'Force Blue', that the formula one teams alliance will devise their strategy for a subsequent meeting with the FIA president.

During a London meeting last Friday, the teams told Max Mosley that they wanted to go away and devise an alternative to his budget cap plans, which have sparked a spate of quit threats.

Mosley reportedly wanted his meeting with FOTA to take place at 3.30pm on Friday, which is a traditional 'free day' in between Thursday practice and Saturday's track action.

"He wanted to have us under time pressure," surmised Red Bull boss Christian Horner, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The Mosley meeting was therefore moved back to 4pm, and the outcome is highly anticipated, even by the unusually anxious Bernie Ecclestone.

"Well, I am concerned, I don't want them (Ferrari) leaving," the F1 chief executive admitted to reporters in Monte Carlo.  "I don't think anybody does."

05/21/09
f1
Haug applies brakes to McLaren boost  (GMM)  Norbert Haug on Thursday applied the brakes to suggestions that Monaco is the scene of McLaren's return to form.

An enthusiast of the street layout and last year's winner, Lewis Hamilton, was never out of the two three during the initial three hours of free practice.

Prior to the weekend, it was expected that the lack of many high speed corners could mean a better showing for the MP4-24, which after five races is a distant 55 points behind the championship leaders Brawn.

So Haug, racing boss of McLaren's works partner Mercedes-Benz, said it is too soon to say that Thursday's form is the beginning of a trend.

"Monaco is completely different to all the other circuits," he is quoted as saying by the SID news agency.

"I think we need still two months until we are where we want to be," the German added.

05/21/09
tv news
irl
Hunter-Reay on Last Call with Carson Daly  UPDATE The date of Ryan Hunter-Reay's appearance on "Last Call with Carson Daly" was incorrect in the article posted yesterday.  We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.  The segment with Ryan Hunter-Reay will be shown on the "Last Call with Carson Daly" at 1:35 am-2:05 am ET early Friday morning, May 22 (late Thursday night, May 21) on NBC.  Please check your local listing for your time zone. 

05/20/09 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Vision Racing, will be featured on the "Last Call with Carson Daly" show late tonight.  Hunter-Reay recently opened his Dana Point, California house for a look into his lifestyle.  "Last Call with Carson Daly" airs at 1:35 am-2:05 am ET early Thursday morning, May 21 (late Wednesday night, May 20) on NBC.  Please check your local listing for your time zone.
05/21/09
racing news
Tony Brunetti passes away  UPDATE Tony Marc Brunetti 50, of Indianapolis passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2009. He was born April 15, 1959 in Great Bend, Kansas the son of Lawrence Brunetti and the late Ethel Brunetti. In 1980, at age 20, Tony moved from Las Vegas, NV to Indianapolis to pursue his dream of working with an Indy Car team. George Bignotti opened that door for him. In 1993 he joined Jerry Forsythe at Forsythe Racing where he continued to work until his death. Tony is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Barbara Lynn Brunetti; his two sons, Gianni Marc Brunetti and Nicholas Ryan Brunetti; his daughter, Christen Anne Brunetti; and his father Lawrence Brunetti.

Funeral services to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 23, 2009 at Lakeview Church in the Main Sanctuary, 47 Beachway Drive, officiated by the Reverend Norman "Butch" Smith. Interment will follow at West Ridge Park Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, May 22, 2009 at Family Funeral Care. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Brunetti children’s college fund. 

Arrangements are in the care of Family Funeral Care, 5791 Rockville Road.

05/20/09 Mr. Tony Brunetti has passed away. He has been in open wheel racing most of his life most recently with Jerry Forsythe's team. He passed away Tuesday afternoon at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. His funeral will be Friday and he will be buried on Saturday.  More info as we get it......
05/21/09
f1
Rosberg tops 2nd Monaco practice  (GMM)  Sebastian Vettel was smoking in the morning, but in the final 90 minutes of Thursday practice, it was Robert Kubica's V8 engine that gave up the ghost.

The spectacular failure, involving plumes of white smoke and fire, left the Pole unable to set a single flying lap in his BMW-Sauber, while his teammate Nick Heidfeld ran to a woeful 17th quickest.

There was better fortune for Nico Rosberg, whose Williams so often tops the practice timesheets, followed by the promising form of Lewis Hamilton, who was within the top three all day in the Monte Carlo sunshine.

Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, has so far been consistently quicker than his teammate and championship leader Jenson Button in the Principality, while Ferrari's Felipe Massa also looks to be near the ultimate pace.

It is reported that Button spent time in the garage following a light brush with an Armco barrier. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Aldar Becomes Official Partner of Ferrari team  Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s leading property development, investment and management company, has officially partnered with Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari’s racing division, to become the sponsor of the Ferrari Formula 1™ Team Motorhome Terrace.

As part of its sponsorship, Aldar, the company behind Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari theme park, and Yas Island, the venue for the 2009 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Grand Prix in November, will have exclusive use of the terrace of the Team Motorhome at each of the European races of the FIA Formula 1™ World Championship, and exhibition space in the Ferrari Paddock Club Hospitality Suite at the non-European races. More ...

05/21/09
gp2
Grosjean on top in free practice  Romain Grosjean showed the rest of the field how best to deal with the famous Monaco traffic by claiming the top spot in this morning's free practice session in Monaco, just ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Luca Filippi.

The Frenchman ran on a different schedule to most of his closest rivals to set a best lap time of 1:21.267, almost two tenths faster than his nearest rival who was changing tires as Grosjean set a string of quick laps halfway through the session.

The session opened under clear blue skies, with Andreas Zuber and Alberto Valerio swapping fastest times early in the session, but it was Filippi who was soon sitting on top of the timesheets while Grosjean was caught out in heavy traffic at Rascasse, tapping the rear of an almost stationary Davide Valsecchi and prompting an early stop. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Massa pleads for 'more sport and less politics' in F1  Echoing the thoughts of many within the grand prix paddock, Felipe Massa has claimed Formula 1 would benefit greatly from ‘more sport and less politics’ – given that the early part of the 2010 campaign has been persistently beset by off-track squabbling and one dispute after another.

“The way this championship has started has been very different compared to other years,” the Brazilian told the Press Association in Monaco this weekend. “We have had a lot of political fighting in many areas, and I don’t think that has helped the sport.

“Many people have become upset because of these fights, and it would be nice to have more sport and less politics – that’s what we’re here for. We are not here for political reasons; we are here for sport, to fight for positions. That’s the good thing about Formula 1. More ...

05/21/09
irl
Edmonton predicting $1.5M loss on race  The 2008 event was a financial wreck and this summer's edition will lose at least $1.5 million, but Edmonton Northlands officials are already talking about extending their three-year deal with the Indy Racing League.

"We have been working on the future of this race since we took it over and we learned a lot last year," said Mike Burton, Northlands director of major events.

"We probably will be considering an extension after 2009, after we have reviewed the performance. We haven't asked (the IRL) about an extension, but last year they were very impressed."

The inaugural Rexall Edmonton Indy was indeed impressive, right up until Northlands announced a $5.3-million loss, a whopping $4 million more than they forecast. The pool of red ink brought out the yellow flags. More ...

05/21/09
racing news
Mopar Pulls Out Of Drifting, is NASCAR next?  In a surprising turn of events.  Mopar has pulled out of backing Sam Hubinette and the Nuformz Racing Dodge Viper/Challenger team.  In a post ran on Sam Hubinette’s twitter last night.  He confirmed that “Mopar pulled out of our Drifting program. Crazy times!!”  We tried to reach Mopar’s PR company and was unavailable to get a quote from them at this time.  As Sam posted, these really are “crazy times” for all.  We wish Sam and the Nuformz team good luck with locating a new sponsor.

*Updated* Mopar sponsorship will run through the New Jersey event that is scheduled for June 5-6th.  Mopar® Announces Plan To End Sponsorship Of NuFormz Racing  Decision is part of Chrysler LLC’s comprehensive restructuring plan. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Kubica buys world rally Skoda  (GMM)  Robert Kubica has bought a world rally car and is rumored to be considering entering a round of this year's championship.

The 24-year-old's new mount is a Skoda Fabia, formerly raced by the Czech driver Jan Kopecky.  Reports say Kubica, a Pole, made the purchase for "private tests and fun".

But rumors insist he may be planning a professional outing this year, possibly at the Rally Poland following next month's British grand prix.

-

Former Super Aguri racer turned BBC commentator Anthony Davidson will contest the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans next month for Aston Martin.

05/21/09
wrc
ISC releases proposed 2010 WRC calendar  International Sportsworld Communicators, the promoter of the World Rally Championship has published the proposed calendar for next year’s series.

Autosport.com reports that rallies in Monte Carlo, Indonesia and Russia are out, opening the door for the return of Rally Great Britain, which had originally been dropped due to the sport’s event rotation policy. Also in is Rally Bulgaria, pending its successful run this year. If the Bulgarian event does not come up to scratch, Rally Argentina will step in as the reserve.

The calendar must be approved by the FIA at next month’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris. Autosport.com reports that there are likely to be objections to factors such as the loss of the Acropolis Rally or any event in Italy, but that FIA sources have said the body is unlikely to refuse approval of the calendar. More ...

05/21/09
nassprint
Mayfield's lawyer talks to Sirius Speedway  Wednesday on "Sirius Speedway" on Sirius NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with Bill Diehl, the attorney for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield.

Host, Dave Moody: "Has there been at this point and will there be a lawsuit filed in this matter?"
Bill Diehl: "First question, no lawsuit has been filed. Will there be a lawsuit? That will depend on what happens between Jeremy and NASCAR which ought to be known in the next couple of days."
Moody: "What kind of conversations are being had between Jeremy and yourself and NASCAR and their representatives right now to try and settle this?"
Diehl: "The conversations I'm having with Jeremy I'm not going to tell you about. The conversations I'm having with the NASCAR lawyer with whom I've been dealing I'm not going to talk about. But they're obviously focused on whether or not Jeremy was suspended properly. Is what happened to him legitimate and should he stay suspended? Should he have to go through some type of rehabilitation, if you will, that they've asked for? So those issues are what we're talking about. Should that happen? Or, the alternative is, has he been mistreated and have they improperly deprived him of a way to make a living? There are some side issues. They've said a lot of unpleasant things about him that Jeremy doesn't believe are true. There's a separate remedy for that kind of behavior." More ...
05/21/09
irl
Indy hotels struggle to fill up  Ticket sales for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 are holding steady, but race fans and sponsors appear to be cutting corners this year, opting for cheaper choices that could put a pinch not only on local hotels but on the economic impact of the city's most significant tourism event.

What's happening at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel is just one example. The hotel is usually sold out by now, said Mitch Divens, assistant director of sales at the Sheraton. Instead, the hotel's occupancy was at 85 percent Tuesday afternoon.

Divens said a key reason is that corporate business from companies that sponsor cars has dropped off this year.

"There are (regulars) that are not coming anymore, companies that have dropped out as being sponsors," Divens said. "Those companies are not traveling here as groups anymore." More ...

05/21/09
f1
A smoky start for Vettel at Monaco  (GMM)  Sebastian Vettel's bid for Monaco victory suffered a smoky setback, as practice action kicked off in the sunny Principality on Thursday morning.

The German had completed 16 laps of the famous street layout when the Renault engine at the rear of his Red Bull let out a terminal stream of blue smoke.

He was able to return to the pits, but remained there for the balance of the 90-minute session as his mechanics set to work on replacing the damaged V8 before action resumes this afternoon.

Teammate Mark Webber's practice was also interrupted when he returned to the pits with a vibration at the rear of his RB5.

Rubens Barrichello topped the session, a few tenths ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa and the two McLarens. More ...

05/21/09
alms
On to LeMans for ALMS teams  
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As they did at Sebring, Audi and Peugeot will lock horns again at Le Mans next month
With the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix now in the proverbial rear-view mirror, a select group of American Le Mans Series drivers and teams can now turn their attention to the pinnacle of motorsport – Le Mans.

This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is the 77th edition of the world’s greatest and most demanding auto race, and as in years past the American Le Mans Series is well represented. Approximately 40 drivers from the Series will attempt to tame the 8.3-mile circuit that winds its way through the permanent race circuit as well as the public roads of Le Mans.

The competitors from the American Le Mans Series have a lot to live up to. Since its foundation in 1999, the Series has seen multiple championships for its teams in each season including eight overall victories and 23 class wins. In addition, Series teams have taken three of the four class championships on three occasions. More ...
05/21/09
irl
Patrick follows Shaq in new sponsorship plan  IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race, has launched a new Twitter service in conjunction with a sponsor. Tissott watches will receive extensive branding on her page on the social networking site.

Patrick, the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season, has been consistently linked with a move to Formula One, speculation that only increased after she won the 2008 Indy Japan 300.

When she was named in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list earlier this year, she said of Twitter: “I just don’t get it. I don’t want people to know where I am all the time. I don’t think it’s healthy or safe.“ However, Tissott appears to have persuaded her that the commercial opportunities available make it a worthwhile venture. ‘The company sees social media as less invasive than in-your-face advertising,‘ said one analyst. More ...

05/21/09
f1
Williams to open Monaco GP with new sponsor  The Williams Formula One team has secured a new sponsor, and will carry the logo of Ridge Solutions at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

The African real estate, agriculture and natural resources company’s branding will appear on the nose of the AT&T Williams race cars and on the sleeve of Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima’s uniforms.

“We are proud to join AT&T Williams and to be able to contribute to the team’s Formula One program,“ said José Ferreira Ramos. “We have two principal goals for the partnership. The first is to bring Williams and Formula One to Africa to help with various social programs on the continent, from road safety to motor sports development. The second is to support the marketing of Ridge Solutions to international investors, in particular in the Middle East and Asia.“ More ...
05/21/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • More news briefs from Monaco
  • Alonso to attend Le Mans next month
  • BMW, Brawn, quiet over 2010 entry deadline
  • Sutil says Force India not ticket to title
  • Ferrari boss does not deny Alonso rumors
  • Button a top class F1 racer - Schumacher

More news briefs from Monaco
(GMM)  One of the leaked names mentioned as a prospective F1 entrant for 2010 has denied it is considering setting up a budget capped team.  The GP2 outfit previous known as Campos, now Barwa Addax, said in a statement it is "not involved in any project of this kind".

-

Championship leader Jenson Button, once denounced by Flavio Briatore as an aloof playboy, has revealed that formula one success in 2009 has turned him into a "right boring bastard" because all he thinks about is his next shot at a race win.

-

The worldwide economic recession has toned down Monaco's usual glitz and glamour in 2009, but someone forgot to tell billionaire Vijay Mallya, owner of the Force India team.  He has moored his 95-metre yacht in the Principality's harbor and already sent out invitations to two parties.

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The global meltdown has, however, ruined the weekend for former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.  Having not missed a Monaco GP since the 1960s, the Scot was not invited to this weekend's event to represent the embattled Williams sponsor RBS.  Last year, the Scot's hotel suite cost the Royal Bank of Scotland more than 10,000 euros per night. More ...

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