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DATE News (chronologically)
05/27/09
gakoni

Riley Technologies Chevrolet Camaro Koni GS / FIA GT 4
Car Overview
The Riley Technologies Camaro is a production based race car designed to run in the Grand Am Koni GS class in North America, and the FIA GT 4 class in World competition. The car is tuned by famed race car constructor Riley Technologies and optimized for the rules packages.

Standard Features
• 2010 Camaro race optimized bodywork
• Production LS3 V-8 engine (used with solid engine mounts)
• Aluminum racing radiator
• Upgraded engine oil cooler
• Transmission and differential coolers
• Seam-welded production Camaro sheet metal chassis
• Carbon Fiber / Composite body panels as rules permit
• Rain system including electric motor, wiper, windscreen defroster and wiring for heated glass windscreen
• Window nets installed as per KONI / GT 4 rules from Riley Technologies factory
• 6 Point Driver Safety harness, SFI / FIA approved.
• Roll cage designed to meet Koni / GT 4 rules.
• FIA approved seat.

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05/27/09
irl

Ronn Motor Company, Inc joins with Nelson Philippe
Nelson Philippe
Ronn Motor Company, Inc. announced today it has joined with Nelson Philippe and the Indy Racing Team, I Drive Green, to promote, advance and teach the art of eco-driving to minimize fuel consumption and emissions without unduly compromising performance.

Details are being addressed to incorporate the I Drive Green concept as another of Ronn Motors eco-friendly product offerings. At the same time, in keeping with their values of promoting eco-friendly awareness within the transportation sector, I Drive Green is planning to install H2GO(TM) real-time, hydrogen generation systems onto the big rigs that haul their racing cars between the many IRL racing events.

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05/27/09
irl

Tony George Addresses Job Rumor
Watch this uncut video of Tony George explaining his rumored ouster.  Video might load slow.

Comment
05/27/09
f1

Hamilton tees off in pro-am golf tournament
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton may be unlikely to defend his drivers' title this year, but he is taking the opportunity to indulge a new passion -- golf.

The McLaren driver took a shining new set of clubs with him to the Monaco grand prix, admitting he is "not very good yet but I love the game".

After finishing twelfth on Sunday, he then cancelled his flight from the Principality on Sunday night when he discovered that former double world champion and McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen was planning a round of nine on Monday.

It then emerged that the Briton, 24, was due to take part in his first pro-am tournament this week, playing alongside world's no. 5 Henrik Stenson, at the London Golf Club in north Kent.

The golf course lies just across the M20 from the Brands Hatch racing circuit.

The pro-am, on Wednesday, is a precursor to the start of the European Open on Thursday morning.

Comment
05/27/09
irl

Highlights of Paul Tracy AJ Foyt conference call
Q. I know the press release yesterday said it was only a one-race deal for Milwaukee. What about future races? Is there a timetable to fill your famous 14 for Texas and beyond?

A.J. FOYT: Well, I'm going to talk to Paul and see what he really wants to do. Sure, we'd like to have him for all the races. You know, since Vitor is laid up, he can't do nothing, he was our primary driver. But I've been hurt before and people had to drive for me. You know, racing goes on with or without you.

You hate to be that way, but that's the way racing is. I mean, it's a tough sport. When you hook that seat belt, you don't know if you're going to be the one to unhook it or not. It's nothing new in racing, you know, for somebody to step in. I'm just glad that he was available.

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05/27/09
irl

Tracy and Kendall become bus drivers
Ever wonder what your favorite racecar driver does after recording a Top 10 in the Indianapolis 500?  Maybe hop on a Lear 60 and go home to relax, or shoot down to the Caribbean for a few days to celebrate his success?  In most cases, you would likely be correct, unless of course you are talking about Paul Tracy, who is certainly the most colorful, unpredictable racecar driver in the business. 

If you were driving down the highway yesterday and looked over and thought you saw Paul Tracy driving a bus; you did.

Twenty-four hours removed from driving his GEICO/KV Racing Technology car to a 9th place finish in the biggest race in the world, he began yet another race, in a much bigger vehicle.  PT would grab his close friend, racing legend Tommy Kendall, and somehow talk him into embarking on a trip that would cover 1,871-miles from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Tracy’s front door in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tracy proposed that the two of them drive his bus back to Las Vegas themselves.  The crazy thing is that Kendall agreed!  Also, please keep in mind that Tracy actually has a motor home driver, who Kendall has affectionately nicknamed ‘Chuckles’.

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05/27/09
nassprint

Weekly NASCAR Cheaters report
NASCAR has issued penalties to the #7 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules violations committed at Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this week. The #7 car, driven and owned by Robby Gordon, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4I (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-10.6H (rear axle housing exceeded the maximum specified toe of plus or minus one degree) of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. The violation was found during post-race inspection on May 25. As a result, Gordon has been penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points. Crew chief Kirk Almquist has been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. NASCAR PR

Comment
05/27/09
irl

IMS statement on rumor Tony George was ousted
At a regular meeting of the board of directors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 26, board members asked Tony George, chief executive officer of the IMS companies, to devise a plan for management of Hulman & Company, the Indy Racing League, Clabber Girl and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that would allow him to focus on the business which requires the greatest attention. This plan is to be presented to the board at a meeting later this year.

IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George said: "There was a general discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing all of our companies and where most of our energies need to be spent. All of our properties are doing well, given the challenges of the current economy. The Indy Racing League represents our greatest growth opportunity and therefore deserves the most attention at this point."

Tony George said: "Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS. Our board of directors met yesterday, and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses. This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board. But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made. We don't normally comment on board deliberations concerning our family business. However, the widespread, inaccurate reports and rumors caused my mother and me to conclude that it was necessary to set the record straight. If changes are made in the management of the company that are newsworthy, we will announce them when they are made."

Comment
05/27/09
irl
nassprint

TomTom Teams with Target Chip Ganassi Racing
TomTom Inc. today announces that it will become an associate sponsor of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for both the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) during the 2009 racing season.  TomTom will be the primary sponsor for multiple races of the No. 10 Honda Dallara driven by Dario Franchitti in the IndyCar Series, and the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

"We are very excited about the partnership with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing,” said Tom Murray, vice president of market development at TomTom Inc. “As IndyCar and NASCAR continue to capture the attention of race fans and drivers everywhere, this partnership provides TomTom with an ideal means of reaching our target audience throughout the race season.  We are excited by the opportunity to partner with organizations such as Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, and by the opportunity to promote the TomTom brand in conjunction with Target.”

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05/27/09
irl

Vitor Meira released from hospital
The driver at the wheel of this year's most frightening Indy 500 crash got out of the hospital Wednesday morning.  Vitor Meira still has a long recovery ahead and though his body is broken, his spirits are great.

Meira broke two bones in his back in a violent collision late in Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Meira had to hang on while his car took a wild ride along the wall.

He left Methodist Hospital Wednesday morning in a wheelchair, but he gamely stood up to talk with reporters.

Meira said he will probably not have surgery on the two broken vertebrae he suffered, though he will stay in a body brace for some time to come. He said he hopes to make it back for the season's final race.

"I want to shoot for that. It's up to the...actually it's up to me. I have to get better soon, and fast, so the doctors can release me," said Meira. WishTV

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05/27/09
f1

Vettel to drive old Toro Rosso on Sunday
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel will on Sunday return to the cockpit of a Toro Rosso.

The 21-year-old German moved up from the Faenza based team to its parent outfit Red Bull Racing at the end of last year.

But it is for his achievements at the wheel of the Ferrari-powered STR3, including winning the Italian grand prix at Monza, for which he is being honored with the prestigious Lorenzo Bandini trophy.

To mark the occasion in style, Vettel will drive the 12 kilometers along the scenic Via Fireze, from the Faenza factory to Bandini's nearby hometown Brisighella, at the wheel of a Toro Rosso.

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05/27/09
track news

The only thing running in Kentucky in 2010 will be horses
A hearing in the appeal pursued by Kentucky Speedway’s former owners likely will not occur until mid-June or later in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was not on the oral argument calendar posted Tuesday on the court’s Web site for the first half of a two-week session starting June 8. A hearing could still be scheduled for the week of June 15-19 or even added to the docket if a spot becomes available during the upcoming session.

But the longer the appeal drags on, the less likely it is that Kentucky Speedway will host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next season.

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05/27/09
irl

Rahal team to sell race shop
The Rahal Letterman team had helped driver Oriol Servia rise from a start in 25th to as high as 10th before the engine lost fuel pressure on lap 102.

"We had a great car; we were running 10th and moving forward," Servia said. "We were fast and the car was a pleasure to drive. I was having my dream race out there today."

Meanwhile, team co-owner Bobby Rahal confirmed the team's shop in Hilliard is for sale. It is located in a prime location in the expanding suburb, and the team plans to explore options for another shop in central Ohio. Columbus Dispatch

Comment
05/27/09
f1

FOTA suspends Williams team
Following Monday’s confirmation that the team has submitted its formal entry for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Formula One Teams Association has today decided temporarily to suspend Williams F1 from membership of FOTA.  Frank Williams, Team Principal: “FOTA’s decision, although regrettable, is understandable. However, as a racing team and a company whose only business is Formula One, with obligations to our partners and our employees, submitting our entry to next year’s Championship was unquestionable.  In addition, we are legally obliged under our contract with FOM and the FIA to participate in the World Championship until the end of 2012.”

Comment
05/27/09
f1

Teams tell Mosley to tear up 2010 rules UPDATE It is believed that the progress made in Monaco involves the teams having agreed to remain committed to F1 until 2012 – as per the commercial rights-governing Concorde Agreement – provided Mosley defers the introduction of the cap until 2011 and agrees to other concessions regarding his increasingly under-fire governance of the sport. The teams are also demanding a greater share of the financial pie from television rights, controlled by Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

The ever-outspoken Nicki Lauda, meanwhile, has echoed the thoughts of current stars such as Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa in blasting the prevalence of political infighting in the top flight, and suggested the teams should have better informed the media about the way the talks have been going. Four of the present incumbents – Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull – have threatened to walk away at the end of the season in the absence of a satisfactory resolution to the conflict, and the Austrian accused them of being ‘stupid’ in not keeping the press properly briefed of proceedings, leading to inaccurate and exaggerated stories about the extent of the crisis.

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05/27/09
irl
nassprint

Petty left Indy race at half-distance
A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, What was up with Richard Petty sponsoring John Andretti at the Indy 500?  He hardly did anything but show up to have his photo taken and shake a few hands.  What does he know about IndyCar Racing? Deborah, Indianapolis

Dear Deborah, Richard left mid-race so that goes to show you how much his heart was in the Indy 500. John Andretti had some sponsorship money so Richard helped him out but it would seem that maybe he did it to get NASCAR's biggest name out in front of open wheel racing's biggest event.  Nothing like some free PR for NASCAR.  We don't expect him to do it again until next year's Indy 500.  Mark C.

Comment
05/27/09
nassprint

Weekly NASCAR cheating report UPDATE #2 Carl Long says his appeal is scheduled for June 2, the Tuesday after Dover. Long is appealing the NASCAR penalty for the oversized engine in his car last week. NASCAR fined his crew chief $200,000 and suspended Long and his wife (listed as the owner) for 12 events. Long says his engine size was 358.17 cubic inches. The limit is 358.0, although supposedly NASCAR allows up to 358.09 cubic inches.

05/21/09 First of all I would like to wish Charles Swing, my crew chief, well. Since this incident he was admitted Monday night to a Georgia hospital with heart problems. He is a stay at home dad who loves to go racing.

We purchased an engine from a reputable builder at the beginning of the season. We overheated the engine in practice and had to change it. We had the option to withdraw and go home before admitting it to inspection. Trusting that our blown engine wouldn't have any problems passing NASCAR tech, we submitted it and put our other motor in the car to get ready for the Showdown. As everyone knows it didn't pass tech. The rules are 358 cubic inches and ours is 358.17 cubic inches. The .17 is as wrong as if it would have been 400 cubic inches. This engine is 50 horsepower less than top teams but it was all that could be afforded. I would have never knowingly went to the race track with a big engine!!!

This suspension has not only stopped me from racing, it has also hurt me with my everyday job. It's hard to make a living working at the race track when NASCAR will not let you in. I can only hope that the appeal board will see things differently than the ones that came up with this penalty. I don't consider myself a cheater. I am addicted to the worse drug ever...RACING!!! Every dime we have been able to scrape up, we use to race, because we love the sport. It takes about a half million in equipment to be able to build an engine, so I have to rely on other people and this time it bit me. Thanks for supporting me in wherever this goes!!!  Carl & DeeDee

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05/27/09
nassprint

NASCAR opens floor to drivers, owners
NASCAR officials spent more than four hours in two meetings Tuesday discussing with drivers, owners and team management everything from the sport's drug testing policy, to how to improve the new car, to the economy. It was a big change from the days when the governing body made decisions and solved problems by talking to one or two drivers in the back of a hauler at the track. All of those involved described the meetings as positive and expected more to follow in the future. "Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new form of communication," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. Chairman Brian France said open lines of communication are needed because "things are more complex."

"One-one-one meetings and trying to cover all the issues of the day either at a shop or at the track, that becomes hard to do," he said. "There are too many complicated issues. It was consistent with where we need to be. And we have a lot of smart people in the industry. We had Roger Penske here. We had a good communication line in the first place. We just want to build on that." Hunter said a lot of good ideas were broached, some that would have to be considered short term. He did not elaborate, but among those under consideration are double-file restarts with all of the leaders up front.

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05/27/09
lms

Audi names driver teams for Le Mans
Timo Bernhard, Alexandre Prémat, Romain Dumas
Audi
The three driver teams with which Audi Sport Team Joest will tackle the 77th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13/14 have been confirmed.

The Audi R15 TDI designated as car number "1" will be driven by last year’s winners Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland), the same squad that already won the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA).

The Audi R15 TDI designated as car number "2" also features the same lineup that ran at Sebring: The three Germans Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner will take turns at the wheel of this car.

The cockpit of the Audi R15 TDI – car number "3" – will be shared by the German Timo Bernhard and the two Frenchmen Romain Dumas and Alexandre Prémat.

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05/27/09
alms

No rest for Brabham, Sharp after Utah
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Patr¢n Highcroft's David Brabham took part in a 30-hour endurance test with Peugeot only a few days after placing second in Utah with Scott Sharp.
There wasn’t much time for David Brabham and Scott Sharp to catch their breath after a runner-up finish in the Patr¢n Highcroft Racing Acura at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The next day saw Brabham heading back across the Atlantic for a final pre-Le Mans test with Peugeot Sport, one that was an astonishing 30 hours. Sharp made his return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

“They’d had a look at my test mileage and realized I hadn’t done a lot,” Brabham wrote in a blog on americanlemans.com. “I was more than happy to reorganize my week just to get more time in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP and be more familiar with the car and the team, so that when I get to Le Mans I am in a good state of mind and feel well prepared…

“(During the test) there were five drivers and we all double stinted, which was really tough. By the end of the test I was totally exhausted. I knew I would be as Salt Lake is such a demanding circuit physically. Going straight from there to an endurance test, I knew I was going to have to dig deep. I did it but it’s not the ideal preparation for a 30-hour test.

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05/27/09
irl

Castroneves is enjoying life right now
Helio hugs the Borg Warner trophy
IMS
Maybe he's greedy.

But these days, Helio Castroneves is loving life more than ever, so forgive him if he wants to both soak in the accolades awarded an Indianapolis 500 winner and return to work as soon as possible.

"I want to be back in the car," Castroneves said Monday, less than 24 hours after becoming the newest three-time Indy winner. "That's the best place to be, and I was already talking to my engineer about Milwaukee.

"But everything has its time, and this time right now is to just tell the world it was a very happy day."

Castroneves has lived through the drill. After a long Sunday night, the winner comes back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for more photos and interviews and ultimately the victory banquet.

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05/27/09
ga

Fogarty and Gurney on Live Chat today
Watkins Glen International will host the third and final driver chat leading up to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Wednesday, May 27th.  GAINSCO Racing teammates Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will both be available to fans 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM. 

The live chats are open to all race fans that are registered on the WGI Fan Talk Forum.  All fans will need to do in order to participate is log into the fan forum and click on the link that appears following a successful login.  Not registered yet?  Simply go to the WGI website (www.TheGlen.com), click on the “Community” tab at the top of the page, fill out the registration form on the forum and you are ready to post! 

Comment
05/27/09
f1

Richards yet to decide on 2010 F1 entry
(GMM)  David Richards says a decision about whether to submit a formula one team entry for the 2010 world championship by Friday's deadline is still yet to be taken.

The former BAR and Benetton boss is considering running a new budget-capped outfit from next year, possibly with Prodrive, Aston Martin or Middle Eastern branding.

He said three months of groundwork including chassis design has already been done, and is now waiting on how the sport's political situation develops.

"Everything depends now on two questions: will the new rules permit us to enter with a chance of sporting success?  And are there the basic financial conditions that would allow a new team to have a lasting and practical business model?" he is quoted as saying in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

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05/27/09
f1

Briatore also derides new F1 entrants
Flavio Briatore
(GMM)  After Ferrari derided next year's prospective entry list as turning F1 into 'Formula GP3', Flavio Briatore has followed suit.

The Renault boss says the sport risks watering down its prestige and value by opening the door to outfits worthy of junior categories.

"We are devaluing formula one," Italian Briatore is quoted as saying in Spain's El Mundo newspaper.  "It is not correct that teams of GP2 race with us; it brings down our image and our technology."

The 59-year-old also rejected claims that making it easy for new teams to enter formula one is necessary because of the risk of existing competitors pulling out.

"It is said that the constructors will go.  But with normal regulations, I do not believe that any constructor would go," Briatore said.

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05/27/09
f1

FOTA to meet in London today
(GMM)  The F1 teams' alliance FOTA will meet later on Wednesday, as the May 29 deadline for official 2010 entries looms.

We reported on Tuesday that, because the series of get-togethers at Monaco last weekend netted no concrete result, the scene of the next meeting would be London.

Williams has already broken ranks and lodged its paperwork to compete next year, and the move - that could lead to fellow independents McLaren, Brawn and Force India following suit - is understood to have angered other FOTA teams.

Prospective entries USF1 and Campos Racing have also signed up, and Ferrari derisively suggested last week that more of the same would make a name change from formula one to Formula GP3 "more appropriate".

FOTA sent a letter to Max Mosley on the day of the Monaco grand prix.

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05/26/09
automotive

Latest on 2010 Camaro
The official 2010 Chevy Camaro brochure is here.

This link is the Indy pace car hero card.  Note other images down left-hand side - not to be missed.

Comment
05/26/09
irl

Tracy to replace Meira at Milwaukee
Paul Tracy
Like politics, racing has been known to make strange bedfellows. Two outspoken stars of the sport have joined forces for the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt 225 at Milwaukee this weekend. A.J. Foyt has hired veteran driver Paul Tracy to replace injured Vitor Meira to drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Indy car. It is Tracy’s first time driving for Foyt; at this point, it is a one race deal.

“For me I’m excited to get an opportunity to drive albeit as a fill-in for Vitor as I know it’s a short-term thing,” said Tracy, who has won 31 Indy car races as well as the 2003 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Driver’s title. “When I started my career [1991], I competed against A.J. He was one of my idols growing up. I haven’t told too many people this, but he was one of the guys I modeled myself after. I’m a little rough around the edges like him and I say what I feel, there’s no b.s. and that’s one of the things I’ve always admired about him.”

Foyt said, “Paul Tracy is a hard charger and our type of driver, much like Vitor. I believe we can put the right equipment under Paul, and we’ve both had success there, so I think we can put our heads together and have a good race. It’s a very important race for us because it’s sponsored by our team sponsor ABC Supply, which is based in Wisconsin, so Milwaukee is their home track,” adding, “and it is the AJ Foyt 225.”

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05/26/09
nassprint

NASCAR Newscast: Coca-Cola 600 Recap


Comment
05/26/09
track news

Indy 500 fans can renew tickets Saturday for 2010
Existing ticket holders who renew their seats online for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 by Monday, June 8 will receive an opportunity to purchase a Victory Lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for only $10.

Fans can renew their Race Day tickets and purchase their Victory Lap online in the Tickets section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The 2010 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 30, 2010.

For just $10, renewal customers can take a 65-mph ride in a passenger vehicle around the same track where Helio Castroneves sealed his IMS legend May 24 by becoming just the ninth driver to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" at least three times. Customers who renew their tickets and purchase a Victory Lap also will have their photo taken at the world-famous "Yard of Bricks" with a pace vehicle and receive free admission to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.

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05/26/09
irl

Tagliani honored as Rookie of Year
Conquest Racing’s Alex Tagliani was honored last night at the 2009 Indy 500 Victory Banquet. After an excellent performance on Sunday from him and his team that allowed him to move up from 33rd on the grid to 11th, Tagliani was selected as the 2009 Chase Rookie of the Year, given to the outstanding first year driver in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. He was presented with a $25 000 bonus prize and the Chase Rookie of the Year trophy.

Tagliani joins the likes of Mario and Michael Andretti, Rick Mears, Arie Luyendyk, Nigel Mansell and fellow Canadian Jacques Villeneuve as winners of the Rookie of the Year award.

“I’m very proud to have won the Chase Rookie of the Year award for this year’s 500,” said Tagliani. “It’s something that you only get one chance at winning so it’s very special to have been chosen. It means a lot to me. It’s been a month filled with ups and downs and so much emotion and this is the perfect way to close out my first Indy 500. 

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05/26/09
f1

Q&A with Timo Glock
Following the good performances seen during the early season, including a belief that victory was possible in Bahrain, the Toyota team lost some ground in Spain before heading to the Monaco Grand Prix with confidence.

However, right from the first practice sessions, it became apparent to the team that their weekend was going to be a tough one.

The lack of pace carried over into the all-important qualifying session: Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock found themselves at the far end of the grid, no longer holding any expectations of victory nor points.

While Trulli finished his Monaco Grand Prix in 13th position, Glock had a good run indeed when considering that he managed to reach 10th place despite taking the start form the pitlane - a feat on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo!

Although the reasons for the difficult weekend are still unclear, the German driver's performance showed that the Toyota TF109 has the potential to do better.

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05/26/09
racing news

Quotes of the Week UPDATE "...Danica, bless her, but her rear was a little wide on pit lane, and I mean that in the nicest way..." Indy 500 driver Townsend Bell obviously referring to her blocking him on pit lane in Sunday's race.

05/25/09
"Can a world championship with teams like them - with due respect - have the same value as today's Formula One, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete?  Wouldn't it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?"
Ferrari F1 team, having lost its bid to have the 2010 rules declared invalid, openly mocked a band of teams including Wirth Research, Epsilon Euskadi, RML and Formtech wanting to enter Formula One next year .

"It's difficult to keep talking positive about it (Formula 1) when we wash our clothes in public so often."
  Mark Webber, Formula 1 driver, Red Bull, hit out at the sport's state of dire politics, as more than half the current teams threaten to walk out over the dispute with the FIA.

"Well, I am concerned, I don't want them [Ferrari] leaving. I don't think anybody doesWe've had more than 70 teams in and out since F1 started. The only people who have been consistent are Ferrari, because they have been there from day one. So we don't want to lose Ferrari." 
Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association

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05/26/09
lms

Verstappen wads up his Aston Martin at Monza
Jos Verstappen
Jos Verstappen crashed his Aston Martin in testing at Monza on Monday.  The Dutchman, who is the reigning Le Mans Series LMP2 champion, went off the circuit after losing control under braking for the Parabolica, and stated on his website that the 15G impact had written off the chassis.

"I was not even pushing for a quick lap time," said Verstappen, who was taking part in his first test for the team. "I was 1.4s slower than my fastest time.

"At the Parabolica I braked at exactly at the same point where I had on the previous laps. We can see from the data that there was less than a meter’s difference. But the moment I touched the brake pedal, the rear wheels locked and I spun the car.

"Then I hit the barriers at 308km/h and that was it. The impact was almost 15G and the car is written off."

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05/26/09
f1

Red Bull to stick with double diffuser
(GMM)  Red Bull is planning to stick with its new 'double diffuser' for the Turkish grand prix and beyond.

The concept's debut on the RB5 at Monaco last weekend was later than many of the team's rivals, because it required a substantial reworking of the unique characteristics at the rear of the car.

And after beginning to look at match at recent races for the dominant Brawns without the diffuser, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were slightly off the boil on the Principality's streets.

Moreover, Vettel dropped dramatically off the pace with ruined soft tires at the beginning of Sunday's race, leading to his crash and retirement at Ste Devote.

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05/26/09
f1

BMW set to debut 'multi-level' diffuser
Dear motorsport enthusiasts,

It goes without saying that everyone at the BMW Sauber F1 Team had envisaged the Monaco Grand Prix turning out very differently to what it did. However, what hinted at being a problem in Thursday's first free practice session set the tone for the entire race weekend, from qualifying to the end of the race. We could not keep the tires at the optimal operating temperature in Monaco, which resulted in us clearly being to slow.

Just two weeks ago, at the first European race of the season in Barcelona, our new aerodynamic package allowed us to take an important step forward after the disappointing start to the season. However, there was no sign of this progress in Monaco. Of course the conditions in Monaco are unique - mechanical grip is more important here than anywhere else. However, our performance in the Mediterranean principality did not meet the standards we have set ourselves.

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05/26/09
f1

Virgin delay no threat to Brawn health
(GMM)  The expansion of Brawn's Virgin sponsorship deal never materialized, but CEO Nick Fry insists the health of the team in 2009 is not in doubt.

"There is no issue whatsoever with funding through this year," the Briton is quoted as saying by ITV.

"Even if we didn't get another penny in sponsorship we'd be able to do what we need to do," added Fry.

Insiders were expecting Brawn and Virgin to announce an expansion of their current arrangement more than two weeks ago in Barcelona.

But at Monaco last weekend, the speculation was that Sir Richard Branson, who began backing Brawn in Australia to the tune of $250,000 per race, has so far been reluctant to up his offer in line with the Brackley team's total dominance of the season so far.

Fry, however, said he is not worried about the situation, because there is no shortage of other companies interested in backing the team's success.

"The beauty in our situation is that we don't need to take the first deal that comes along; indeed we haven't taken the first deal that comes along," he revealed.

Comment
05/26/09
f1

Renault to introduce upgrades in Turkey
Fernando Alonso is confident that Renault can move closer to the front of the pack in Turkey, where the team will once again be introducing upgrades to their R29.

"The team is working hard to introduce some new developments to the R29 for Turkey. We could therefore take a step forward and perhaps make up some ground on our rivals," the Spaniard said.

"I remain convinced that we can have a strong second half of the season if things unfold as we expect them to. We just need to continue working hard, keep our expectations high and the results will follow."

Flavio Briatore has also urged the team to react quickly in order to ensure that Renault are in the hunt for points - and even a possible victory - as the season progresses.

"We are working harder than ever and plan to introduce another step forward, starting at the next race in Turkey. We have shown we can react fast and hopefully the rest of the season will see us bring in serious points for the team," he said.

Comment
05/26/09
f1

FOTA set for yet another crisis meeting
(GMM)  Yet another meeting of the F1 teams' alliance FOTA has been scheduled for this week.

After the series of get-togethers at Monaco last weekend netted no concrete result, it is believed the scene of the next meeting will be London.

With Friday's deadline for official entries looming, and Williams now one of three outfits to lodge paperwork, a resolution is not yet in place that would cause existing teams to abandon their threats to quit the sport at the end of 2009.

Read more & Comment...
05/26/09
f1

Howett denies Toyota sure to exit F1
(GMM)  John Howett has dismissed as "spin" speculation that Toyota, and possibly another one or two carmakers, are set to walk away from formula one at the end of 2009.

Multiple outfits are already threatening to quit over the Max Mosley dispute, but the FIA president said in Monaco that even if the rules were completely to their liking, they might still be planning to depart because of the global recession.

Top of the watch list is Toyota, whose leading figures were already warning before the start of the season that another year of failing to win would likely be terminal for the Cologne based outfit.

The local Cologne newspaper Express reports that Toyota, having put in a disastrous performance at Monaco, "has decided to exit formula one".

It is said that the Japanese marque is using the Mosley dispute as a reason to justify the decision.

Read more & Comment...
05/26/09
f1

Now Button can cruise to 2009 title
(GMM)  After six races in 2009 and with eleven to go, Jenson Button is looking a sure bet to win the world championship.

"I'd definitely put my money on him," said the defending drivers' title winner, Lewis Hamilton.

Coulthard's friend David Coulthard, meanwhile, wrote in his Telegraph column after Monaco: "That's it.  All bets are off."

But don't say that kind of thing to the 29-year-old Brawn driver's face, who after his fifth win of the season at Monaco last weekend, extended his points lead to 16 points over teammate Rubens Barrichello, and 28 over Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

Told by a reporter that the championship is now his to lose, Button retorted: "You are sort of putting a bit of negative energy in there.  I wouldn't put it like that.  It is all to play for."

Despite Ferrari's form leap at Monaco, the main non-Brawn challenger remains Red Bull, and Ross Brawn said he is concerned about the RB5 going into next weekend's Turkish grand prix.

"Perhaps the area of the high-speed performance (is) where we know we are not quite as good as Red Bull," the team owner and boss admitted.

Before leaving Monaco, Brawn also reminded the press that his Brackley team is a "boutique" outfit rather than a hugely-resourced team like Ferrari or McLaren.

Certainly the sport's paymasters are hoping Brawn and Button are seriously challenged, with Bernie Ecclestone admitting on the Monaco grid that he was concerned the season is becoming too "predictable".

F1 majority owner CVC's Donald Mackenzie was also in Monte Carlo and heard to confess that Brawn's current dominance is not doing the business "any good".

Christian Horner, Vettel's team boss at Red Bull, told the Austrian news agency APA: "The championship is not over yet for Sebastian.  It's much too early to say that."

However, with the current points system, and if Button simply stays consistently on the podium, it may already be too late for Vettel to catch up even if the 21-year-old German begins a winning streak.

On the other hand, with Ecclestone's 'medals'-type system in place, Vettel would be able to win the next four races and tie the championship in time for the Valencia street race in August, and then have a further six rounds until the Abu Dhabi finale.

"Jenson's lead is now so big that he doesn't really have to win any more, he can drive more tactically for podium finishes," Ferrari's Felipe Massa told spox.com.

"For sure he is in a very good position to win the championship, but in formula one anything is possible," the Brazilian added.

Comment
05/26/09
nassprint

NASCAR stops race in honor of fallen soldiers
During the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR officials stopped the race in request of President Obama to pay tribute for our fallen soldiers.



Comment
05/26/09
gakoni

Hand Prevails in GS Battle with Lally at Lime Rock Park
Joey Hand got around Andy Lally coming out of Big Bend with 22 minutes remaining and held on to win Monday's Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport portion of the Lime Rock Park Road Racing Classic.

Driving the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 started by Chris Gleason, Hand went on to post a 4.735-second margin of victory in the two-hour, 30-minute event over Lally in the No. 41 TRG/Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 started by John Potter.

Read more & Comment...
05/26/09
tv news
irl

Castroneves on Live! with Regis and Kelly show
Helio Castroneves, winner of the Indy 500, will be a guest on the "Live! with Regis and Kelly" show on Tuesday, May 26.  The network varies.  The show airs at 9:00 am - 10:00 am in most time zones.  Please check your local listings for your time zone.

Comment
05/25/09
irl

Castroneves wins record $3M for Indy 500 win
Helio Castroneves and the Borg-Warner Trophy
Dana Garrett/IMS
Helio Castroneves earned a record $3,048,005 from an overall purse of $14,315,315 for his emotional victory May 24 in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Castroneves and his family shed tears of joy in Victory Lane after he took his third career victory in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, only two days he was cleared of the final charge in a series of federal tax evasion charges that threatened his freedom. Castroneves had a dream-like month of May at Indianapolis, winning the PEAK Performance Pole Award, the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and the race.

The previous record winner's purse was $2,988,065 awarded to Scott Dixon in 2008. This year's event purse - the second-largest in "500" history behind the $14,406,580 sum from 2008 - is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League awards, sponsor awards and other designated awards.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
fil
WoO

World of Outlaws Veteran Signed to Firestone Indy Lights for '10
PDM/Racing Associates JV, a joint venture between PDM Racing, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN and Racing Associates, Inc. of Anthem, AZ, has signed veteran World of Outlaws driver Lucas Wolfe to a deal to drive in the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2010. 

Mickey Meyer, Jr., President and Managing Director of Team Operations for Racing Associates, is elated about the deal.

“We believe bringing Lucas on board builds a solid foundation for our strategic goal of developing championship IRL and FIL teams, and more than that, Lucas is the right fit at the right time and we plan on a long and fruitful relationship. Our partner, Paul Diatlovich, is a master at developing young drivers in this series and getting them to the next level.”

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
irl

Broken back for Meira in 500 UPDATE "Vitor's recovery time will be four to six months," Dr. Terry Trammell told SPEEDTV.com. "His injuries are very similar to Bruno's (Junqueira), just not as severe. It was on the borderline or whether to operate or not but we decided it was best to treat it with a back brace. He was up this afternoon and he'll probably be released in a day or so."

05/24/09 There were eight cautions during the Indy 500 race. The final incident on Lap 174 involved rookie Raphael Matos and veteran Vitor Meira. Meira was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after sustaining fractures of the L1 and L2 vertebras. He will be treated with non-operative management under the supervision of Dr. Terry Trammell and fitted with a back brace.

Comment
05/25/09
irl

Kanaan suffers 3 broken ribs
Tony Kanaan suffered three broken ribs and is black and bruised all over from his massive accident in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 but the plucky veteran intends to run Milwaukee this weekend.

"I'm a mess, I'm hurting all over and last night (Sunday) was the worst of my life but I am going to Milwaukee and I will be driving," said Kanaan, who crashed heavily when his suspension evidently broke on Lap 98. "I've got two and a half broken ribs, my right femur, my right knee and right foot are black, I've got big bruises on my hands, elbows and pelvis.

"But I ran Indy with a broken arm once and how can I not race when (Alex) Zanardi races without his legs and my buddies in 500 CC motorcycle racing still ride with broken arms, legs and shoulders. They would laugh at my injuries." SPEEDTV.com

Comment
05/25/09
nassprint

Hanging your hat on an 'also-ran' bad for business
Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith has his own take on the impact of a sub-par season so far for NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. "It personally affects the sale of souvenirs, which you know we are in that business. I guess that means that Dale Jr. is losing fans rapidly and I don't like that because he's great for the sport," Smith said. "I've talked to Rick (Hendrick) and Rick is working with him. I've got to believe you will see a change. Dale Jr. is improving. He is tired of some of the bad press he's been getting. I think you will see Dale will start to win some races." Charlotte Observer

Comment
05/25/09
nassprint

Baldwin appoints three drivers to finish out Cup season
Mike Skinner, Patrick Carpentier and Brian Simo will share the driving duties of the Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota for the remainder of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 

Skinner will drive 17 of the remaining 25 races on the 2009 schedule. Carpentier will be behind the wheel for both Pocono events, the June 28 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Sept. 12 race at Richmond International Raceway and wrap up with the Sept. 27 race at Dover International Speedway. Simo will navigate the No. 36 machine during the two road-course weekends. Driver Scott Riggs announced he is parting ways with the team following Monday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The team is currently outside the top 35 in owners points and must make each race based on qualifying speed.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
track news

Dover, Pepsi announce seven-year agreement
“We’re happy to renew our relationship with Pepsi Bottling Ventures,” said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “Pepsi is a world-renowned brand, and we are proud to serve their products to the hundreds of thousands of race fans who come to the Monster Mile each year. We look forward to working together with them to promote our races and their line of products.”

Pepsi is involved in several aspects of the sport, from a sponsorship agreement with Jeff Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports team to the partnership with Dover.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Nationwide Series on ABC from Dover

The NASCAR Nationwide Series makes its first appearance of the 2009 season at Dover (Del.) International Speedway this weekend, and ABC will have a live, high definition telecast from the 1-mile track on Saturday, May 31, at 2 p.m. ET as the series races for 200 miles on the track known as the “Monster Mile.” ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. The race re-airs Sunday, May 31, at 11 a.m. on ESPN Classic.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC’s coverage from Dover, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
miscellaneous

Red Bull Cola could be banned in Germany
Germany is considering a nationwide ban on the high-energy drink Red Bull Cola after traces of cocaine were found in it.

Authorities in the states of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia have ordered retailers to stop selling the beverage - which is available in the UK.

The consumer ministries in the two states confirmed they had ordered retailers to pull the drink off their shelves after a food safety institute in North-Rhine Westphalia found the drug in samples.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
nassprint

Rain Again Delays Coca-Cola 600
The 50th running of the Coca Cola 600 has again been brought to a halt by rain. 71 laps were completed when the skies opened up for the second time today. The race is currently under a red flag with Robby Gordon leading. Pete McCole from Lowe's Motor Speedway

Comment
05/25/09
f1

Final news briefs from Monaco
(GMM)  F1 drivers campaigned to have a huge billboard depicting an attractive woman removed prior to Sunday's Monaco grand prix.

The advertisement for Martini stood right in the drivers' line of sight as they accelerated out of the Loews hairpin and turned right.

Race winner Jenson Button admitted to Bild newspaper: "Every time you passed her, it was as though she was looking right at you."

The model, 29-year-old Jessiqa Pace, was in Monaco, laughing at the story but admitting she would have felt "terrible if someone got hurt".

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
f1

FIA rejected request for May 29 extension
(GMM)  F1 teams asked for a grace period beyond Friday's deadline for 2010 entries, Flavio Briatore has revealed.

"We asked and we had no luck," said the Renault boss, also a leading light of the teams' alliance, FOTA.

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said before departing Monaco that he is expecting the days of this week to be "very long", as May 29 and the closing of official team entries for next year looms.

"Every year it (the entry deadline) is in November, and this year it is in May.  I do not understand why," Briatore is quoted as saying on Monday by Spanish newspapers.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
f1

Alonso 'tired' of F1 midfield
(GMM)  According to the Spanish press, Fernando Alonso is growing weary of life in the formula one midfield.

With every passing day, the signs are growing stronger that the Spaniard will definitely leave Renault - perhaps at the end of this season - to join Ferrari.

In multiple press interviews now, the 27-year-old has spoken glowingly about the famous team, and on Sunday said he was "excited" to hear that a poll in an authoritative Italian newspaper showed that the country's fans want him to occupy a red car in 2010.

On the other hand, Alonso is increasingly downbeat about his current mount, the Enstone built R29, even after boss Flavio Briatore promised him an improved package for Turkey and a race-winning car before the end of the season.

Briatore, blaming traffic in Monaco, said: "I think today Fernando could have easily competed with Ferrari and Red Bull, but not Brawn."

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
racing news

11 Spectators Hurt In Speedway Crash UPDATE A co-owner of the Columbus Motor Speedway said he is optimistic that the track will reopen for this weekend's races after a crash injured 12 spectators Saturday night.

The wreck left a 5-foot-wide hole in a 4-foot-high concrete restraining wall ringing the speedway. Jeff Nuckles said he hoped a repair crew would fix it this week, in time for the track to host its normal Saturday night stock car races.

But safety is the speedway's priority, he said -- proper planning and construction actually kept the spectators from being injured more severely. Hamilton Township Fire Chief Jerry Lupfer, whose department responded to the crash on Saturday, said yesterday that the restraining wall appeared to have done its job.

"I think it worked, and I think the catch fence worked," he said.

Two school buses were racing as part of a "Crash-A-Rama" at the speedway in Obetz when one hit the other and both crashed into the wall in front of a grandstand. Flying chunks of the wall hit spectators, although most of the people injured were actually leaning on a fence in front of or at the side of the grandstand, Lupfer said. There is a gap of several feet between the wall and the fence.

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
nassprint

Goodyear to test tires at Indy, June 1-3 UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, They should rename the race the MayPop 400 because you never know when a Goodyear tire may pop! Mike Neubauer, Ohio

05/25/09 Goodyear has two tire tests scheduled next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the tire manufacturer tries to find a way to avoid last year's debacle in the Allstate 400. Nine cars are scheduled to test June 1-3. Those scheduled to test are #14-Tony Stewart, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #9-Kasey Kahne, #7-Robby Gordon, #36-Scott Riggs, #12-David Stremme, #16-Greg Biffle, #21-Bill Elliott, and either #07-Casey Mears or #31Jeff Burton. The second test is expected to have at least a dozen teams June 15-17. Roanoke Times

[Editor's Note: Will Power ran 49 laps on a single set of  Firestone tires during the Indy 500. Why can't Goodyear do this? They are really out to lunch when they claim the Indy surface is too abrasive.  Yes it is abrasive, but not as abrasive as it once was when they first ground it several years ago.  We wonder what tire company NASCAR will choose after the Goodyear contract is up.  Their patience must be wearing thin.]

Comment
05/25/09
irl

32 Arrested Outside Indy Speedway
Thirty-two people were arrested Saturday night and Sunday morning outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indiana State Police said most of the arrests were on charges of public intoxication or disorderly conduct.  Sgt. Anthony Emery said that's a typical number of arrests on the night before the Indianapolis 500.  Many fans roam the streets and consume alcohol many hours before the big race, and it is the only open wheel race in the USA that is typical of a NASCAR crowd - fans camping out, drinking themselves into a stupor, and....well, what happens when men and woman drink themselves silly......If we told you some of the things we saw this weekend at the Speedway your eyes would roll.

Comment
05/25/09
nassprint

Riggs-Baldwin parting ways after Coke 600
Scott Riggs is parting ways with #36-Tommy Baldwin Racing following the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the driver said Sunday. Riggs has qualified for eight of the first 12 races with a top finish of 25th in the Daytona 500. Riggs ran only 54 laps at Richmond and 101 laps at Darlington before his day ended because of mechanical issues. Riggs said Sunday he wasn’t optimistic that the #36 Toyota team could continue to compete for the full length of future events without significant sponsorship and that, combined with the team’s performance, made it time for him to leave. He will start the Coca-Cola 600 in the 43rd spot. “I’m a competitor and I’m a racer,” Riggs said. “… It kills my soul to know that we go to the race track and we’re not going to be competitive. Even if the car is competitive, we’re not going to be there around at the end to be competitive. I knew when we first started this deal it was going to be a possibility, I knew it was going to be hard and a struggle to get sponsorship and get it off the ground. … I just know we needed something to change.” Riggs said he and Baldwin talked about the situation this past weekend and the decision was made for him to leave. SceneDaily

Comment
05/25/09
nassprint

NASCAR drug tests 10 crew members during delay
NASCAR randomly drug-tested 10 crew members from 10 teams during the rain delay at the Coca-Cola 600, an apparent tweak to the first three months of in-season testing. Prior to Sunday night, crew chiefs said NASCAR typically informed them when the garage opened if a team member had been selected to give a sample. The individual had four hours to report to testing. Drivers can be tested on any day of the race weekend. But at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR waited until after the scheduled start of the Coca-Cola 600 to inform teams and ordered individuals to report for testing at the end of the race. Because rain delayed the start, crew members were seen entering the infield care center, where the tests were conducted during intermittent showers. NASCAR toughened its testing policy this season, in part because former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike admitted to using heroin, even on days he raced. It led the sanctioning body to implement mandatory preseason testing for all drivers and crews, as well random testing throughout the season. Previously, NASCAR tested only on reasonable suspicion. Now, at least four drivers, 10 crew members 2 NASCAR officials from all three national series are tested at every event. Associated Press

Comment
05/25/09
irl

Foyt slams Matos for accident, but was it Meira's fault?
Vitor Meira's car climbs the wall as Matos goes spinning.  It was just a racing incident for sure
Dan Helrigel/IMS
Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos came together entering Turn 1 late in the Indy 500, resulting in a big crash and Meira breaking his back.

Car owner A.J. Foyt, the four-time 500 champion, was true to old-school form and didn't mince words even though he probably was wrong once again.

"I don't know what the kid is doing," Foyt said of Matos, a 27-year-old rookie. "There's too many damn road racers who don't know how to run ovals (Editor's Note: Castroneves is a road racer and he won for the 3rd time.  As usual Foyt is blowing smoke out of you know what).

"He should have seen that (Meira) had the groove and then to turn right down on his right rear, that's just driving with your head up your (butt). I hate to say it, but it's pretty stupid what the kid did."

Read more & Comment...
05/25/09
f1

Williams submits official 2010 entry
(GMM)  Williams on Monday lodged paperwork with F1's governing body to officially enter the 2010 world championship.

Presently, the move is at odds with the other members of the FOTA teams alliance, who as recently as Sunday told Max Mosley in an unanimous letter that they would not be making the May 29 deadline unless the proposed rules are repealed.

But the Grove team's CEO Adam Parr, whose boss Sir Frank Williams signed the Mosley letter in Monaco on Sunday, insisted to the Reuters news agency that it does not mean Williams no longer backs the alliance.

"Williams has - and has always maintained - that we have a binding contract with both FOM (Formula One Management) and the FIA to participate in the world championship from 2008 to 2010," he said.

"We have been paid in full for our participation and we feel both morally and legally obliged to make it clear that we will participate in formula one in the future as we have in the past 30 years.

"We owe this to our employees, our sponsors and the fans, all of whom are affected by statements that the teams may not enter next year's championship," added Parr.

Comment
05/24/09
irl

Conquest Racing’s Alex Tagliani Top Rookie in Indy
Conquest Racing and Alex Tagliani, who returned to rookie status this month due to making his first appearance at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, posted the best finish by a rookie today at the 2009 Indianapolis 500 on the strength of a solid performance by the driver of the #36 ALL SPORT/BIG RED car and his crew. The 11th place finish was also Conquest’s best result at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

In addition to the top rookie finish, Tagliani was the driver who moved up the most positions throughout the race, gaining 22 spots from his 33rd place on the grid. The Canadian driver battled it out on-track but was also assisted by the excellent work of his Conquest crew who helped him gain valuable positions throughout the race during his pit stops.

Read more & Comment...
05/24/09
ga

AR1.com Video Highlights from Laguna Grand-Am weekend

2009 Verizon Festival of Speed from Patrick Barrett/AR1.com on Vimeo.

Comment
05/24/09
nassprint

Rain Forces Postponement of Coca-Cola 600
Rain has washed out Sunday's 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Officials pushed back the scheduled start time of 5:45pm while waiting out the weather before announcing the postponement at 8:30pm.

NASCAR will attempt to run the race on Monday with the green flag scheduled to fly at noon. The forecast for the start of the race calls for a 70 percent chance of rain.

Pete McCole from Lowe's Motor Speedway

Comment
05/24/09
nassprint

Rain delays Coca-Cola 600
Rain has delayed the start of tonight's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. If they do not get race in tonight it will run tomorrow.

Comment
05/24/09
f1

Tire strategy was particularly relevant in Monaco
Brawn GP driver Jenson Button used a two stop, super soft – soft – soft tire strategy to win a fast paced and tactical Monaco Grand Prix in hot and sunny conditions on the streets of Monte Carlo. Button finished 7.6 seconds ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who used the same tire strategy.

The final podium position went to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Kimi Raikkonen who used a soft – soft – super soft tire strategy for third. His team-mate Felipe Massa used the same strategy to finish fourth, showing a return to form for the reigning constructors’ champions. Massa used the soft tire to set the race’s fastest lap, a 1min 15.154secs, on lap 50.

Tire strategy was particularly relevant in Monaco, with the track surface evolving significantly over the course of the race making it even more difficult than usual to predict the best strategy.

Read more & Comment...
05/24/09
nnw

NASCAR keeps four cars after Nationwide race
NASCAR held four Nationwide Series cars after the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night in an effort to keep aerodynamic improvements in check.

Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said Sunday that NASCAR wanted to make sure the teams stay within the box that the sanctioning body wants them in.

One car from each manufacturer was rechecked: Jeff Burton’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Paul Menard’s Yates Racing Ford, Brian Vickers’ Braun Racing Toyota and Justin Allgaier’s Penske Racing Dodge.

The cars all passed inspection, so there were no issues with any of the bodies.

“We don’t want to lose track of where these cars are even though we’re working on the next one,” Balash said. “We always have to keep doing our due diligence on the current trends in the garage.”

Comment
05/24/09
irl

Fuel pump stops great run by Servia
Oriol Servia’s charge through the Indianapolis 500 field was almost too good to be true as the driver of the #17 Rahal Letterman Racing DAFCA Special needed just 97 laps to storm from 25th to ninth.

But happens normally when things appear too good to be true, things went bad in hurry as a failure with the fuel pump feeding Ethanol to the team’s Honda powerplant stopped the car in its tracks. Servia had just moved into ninth place, owing to Tony Kanaan’s crash, but as he described it, ‘the car just shut off like someone threw a switch’.

The engine stopped running on the backstretch of the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leaving Servia to coast back to the pits as the RLR squad waited to diagnose the problem. The team quickly diagnosed the problem and tried a couple of remedies before discovering that the problem was terminal.

“The car was really good and I was faster than most of the people around me all day,” Servia said. “I was just waiting on the race to play out but I honestly felt that we had a car that could win the race. Everything was going according to plan. The car was amazing.”

Comment
05/24/09
nassprint

Bruton blasts NASCAR
Bruton Smith, who is chairman of Speedway Motorsports which owns Lowe's Motor Speedway, had some choice words today for the way NASCAR has handled two recent controversies - the drug suspension of driver Jeremy Mayfield and the record-setting penalties against driver Carl Long.

On Mayfield, Smith said NASCAR "should come out and say what the substance is" that he tested positive for. "Why do we need all this secrecy behind it?"

On Long, who was banned for 12 races and fined $200,000 for an unapproved engine, Smith said "the fine is ridiculous. Why would you fine this man $200,000? What is it proving?"

Read more & Comment...
05/24/09
f1

Brawn hoping to keep Button for 2010
(GMM)  Jenson Button is moving towards signing to remain with Brawn GP beyond 2009, the team's chief executive said on Sunday.

29-year-old Button agreed to screw up a lucrative long-term contract ahead of this season, that was inked before big-spending Honda decided to pull out of formula one.

"I could have taken the money and run -- because it was a lot of money," the Briton told The Times earlier this week.  "But what would be the point?  What was I going to do with it?"

In its place, Button agreed a single-year deal on a much reduced retainer for 2009, and CEO Nick Fry believes the winner of 6 grands prix is now likely to renew it.

Read more & Comment...
05/24/09
lms

Award for "Truth in 24"
American directors Keith Cossrow and Bennett Viseltear won the first-place award at the MIFF Film Festival in Milan for their movie "Truth in 24" in the "Company Film" category. The team accompanied Audi Sport Team Joest on the way to its third triumph at the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Audi R10 TDI. The 96-minute documentary was aired by US sports channel ESPN in March and celebrated its European premiere in Milan.

Comment
05/24/09
lms

GT3 victory for Audi at 24-hour race
Audi AG’s new GT3 sports car successfully passed the ultimate endurance test: At the fastest 24-hour race the Nürburgring has ever seen all four Audi R8 LMS that started from the grid crossed the finish line. Christian Abt, Jean-François Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer and Lucas Luhr (Team ABT Sportsline) clinched an unexpected second place overall in front of 235,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) and secured victory in the GT3 class for the Audi R8 LMS at its first 24-hour run right away.

Comment
05/24/09
irl

Indy 500 Pit Crew List
Indy 500 pit crew list for each driver including Strategist, Engineer, Chief Mechanic, Tires changers, jackman, fueler and spotter.

Read more & Comment...
05/24/09
irl

Sunday Notebook from Indy - 5
Air Force Gen. Thomas Stafford, commander of the Apollo 10 mission that in May 1969 included a test of the lunar module in lunar orbit, says that Luczo Dragon Racing driver Raphael Matos would "make a good astronaut candidate." Stafford is attending the race as a guest of the team.

Stafford was cited in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for highest speed ever attained by man - on the Apollo 10 re-entry (24,791 statute mph, which would be the equivalent of a lap around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in about three-tenths of a second).

Stafford logged his fourth space flight as commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in July 1975, culminating in the first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts. He was the one who shook hands with the Russian cosmonaut.

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05/24/09
f1

Sunday news briefs from Monaco
(GMM)  Vijay Mallya, the owner of an airline and also the Force India team, was not worried about his personal carbon footprint this weekend.  After watching Thursday practice and attending Friday's crisis meetings in Monaco, he jetted to South Africa in time to see his cricket team Bangalore Royal Challengers take on the Indian Premier League finals.  If the team had not progressed to the grand final (they did), the billionaire would have then returned to the Principality for the grand prix.

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After Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the Monaco GP, TV viewers caught a glimpse of his modified helmet for this event.  The design featured shiny 'disco ball' and casino-themed features.

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05/24/09
f1

Piquet slams 'young' Buemi UPDATE (GMM)  Sebastien Buemi, the only rookie in the 2009 Monaco grand prix, apologized in person to Nelson Piquet after taking his Brazilian rival out of the race.

Renault's Piquet, despite having only a year's more experience than the Swiss 20-year-old, hit out at "young drivers" after being pushed into the Ste Devote barriers by the Toro Rosso.

"I went and apologized to him," Buemi revealed.

The pair were among a train of drivers being held up by the sluggish Sebastian Vettel, but Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost remarked that Buemi's approach to passing 23-year-old Piquet was not correct.

"You end up in the barriers if you don't have the discipline to wait a little bit," said Austrian Tost, who over the years has gained a reputation as one of the toughest bosses in the sport.

Buemi's teammate Sebastien Bourdais had been on the working end of Tost's mood after the Barcelona tangle two weeks ago, but on Sunday it was the Frenchman who was delivering a point for the Faenza team.

Tost said the result was "very important" for Bourdais, and moved to quash speculation that the 30-year-old might be ousted soon by noting that Sunday was good for Bourdais' confidence going into "the next few races".

05/24/09 A furious Nelson Piquet was less than satisfied to have been taken out of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix when Sébastien Buemi drove into the back of the Renault. Piquet was not amused with the Toro Rosso driver's move and believes that 'young drivers' should be more careful during races. "I'm very angry because Monaco's a long race and that's why these young drivers need to be careful with what they're doing," 23-year-old Piquet said. " I don't know what he was thinking there - we planned a long first stint and, if it wasn't for the crash, I could have ended up in seventh."

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05/24/09
f1

'Solution' to F1 crisis in sight now - Mosley
(GMM) A crisis that was threatening to rip formula one apart eased dramatically on the day of the Monaco grand prix.

Teams held a meeting in the Renault motor home, and later on FIA president Max Mosley was willingly telling reporters that a solution to the budget cap dispute is in sight.

It is rumoured that the mood of reconciliation may have been triggered by McLaren indicating that it too - like Williams, Brawn and Force India - fully intends to meet the May 29 deadline for 2010 entries.

Mosley told more than one news outlet on Sunday that he now expects all teams, including the previously furious Ferrari, to lodge their paperwork by Friday.

It is believed that all sides - the governing and commercial bodies as well as the FOTA team alliance - have made concessions and now agreed in principle to a scenario for 2010 and beyond that safeguards the future of the sport.

Rumours suggest that Mosley is willing to give teams until 2011 to come down to his 40 million pounds sterling budget cap, while teams have agreed on caps of their own -- such as on the number of staff allowed at factories.

"Quite a lot of progress has been made because we can see solutions now. I don't think there is any fundamental diversity of view," Mosley said.

Ecclestone is believed to have agreed to release more commercial revenue for the teams, while on the thorny issue of governance, the F1 Commission may be reconvened so that teams have more say on the implementation of rules.

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05/24/09
irl

Sunday Notebook from Indy - 4
KV Racing Technology has added FORDAHL-FOQ Group as an associate sponsor for the 2009 Indianapolis 500. FORDAHL-FOQ Group, one of the leading global players in the industry of time components for telecommunications systems, will be an associate sponsor on the No. 15 GEICO-KV Racing Technology machine driven by Paul Tracy.

KEVIN KALKHOVEN (Co-owner, KV Racing Technology): "We are pleased to welcome back FORDAHL-FOQ Group as a sponsor of KV Racing Technology for this year's Indy 500. "FORDAHL-FOQ Group is an outstanding company and a leader in the industry. This is a particularly welcome announcement since FORDAHL-FOQ previously was a sponsor of KVRT in 2007, so it is like teaming up with an old friend."

NILS ENGDAHL (President, FORDAHL-FOQ Group): "We are proud to support KV Racing Technology and Paul Tracy in this year's effort for the Indianapolis 500. As Kevin (Kalkhoven) said, we are old friends teaming up again. This is a great opportunity for our group to re-assess our presence on the North American market, and we are also very happy to see a great driver like Paul back on the track."

***

HVM Racing is officially fit to be in the pit. The pit crew members dropped 107 pounds in a two-month weight-loss challenge - seven pounds beyond their goal of 100.   

The HVM team kicked off the "Gotta Be Fit to Be in the Pit" challenge at the IndyCar Series season opener in St. Petersburg on April 5. Driver E.J. Viso and Dr. Luigi Gratton of Herbalife, a sponsor of HVM and Viso, encouraged the crew members to lose weight for their own well-being and to ensure strong performance in the pit. 

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05/24/09
irl

Sunday Notebook from Indy - 3
Ran into ex-Indy 500 driver and sprint car sensation Steve Chassey who was elated about his first grandchild, Peyton Nicole Chassey.  The proud grandfather was showing photos to one and all.....Less than 2 hours before race time and the sun is still shining through a high haze, though a chance of showers are still in the forecast.  It is a bit humid today, but not unbearable....The grandstands are beginning to fill nicely as Jim Nabors makes his way through the media center to say hello to many old friends in the media.....If the price of parking on neighborhood lawns is any indication, attendance will be up this year as the merger between the IRL and Champ Car finally appears to be catching hold and fans who stayed away for years are returning in droves.....Beer sales have been huge, which is another sign things are well in Indy......We interviewed Honda HPD's Erik Berkman this morning on the concept next generation Indy Car his company (Acura/Honda) designed (See our related rumor)........ Mark C. reporting from Indy

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05/24/09
racing news

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Monaco Results
The glamorous Monaco circuit of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup was won by 33-year old Richard Westbrook (Federsand-Jetstream Motorsport). Coming in 2nd and 3rd on the Monaco Principality podium were the 22-year old reigning champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Rene Rast (Veltins MRS Racing) and 27-year old reigning Champion Jeroen Bleekemolen (Konrad Motorsport) respectively. Tudor driver Patrick Huisman was proud to have participated in the prestigious Monaco circuit following some last minute repairs and moved from a start position in 12th to a final finishing position in 9th. Unfortunately, his teammate Richard Williams (GBR) was the victim of a rail in the chicane before the grandstands and was not able to finish the race because the minor accident had deteriorated the radiator. 

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05/24/09
irl

Sunday Notebook from Indy - 1
The sun is shining this morning on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the weather looks to be good up through 2 PM.  After that there is a chance of showers, but we think the race will run to completion in the dry........The traffic coming into the track this morning at 5 AM was worse than we ever saw it.  Normally we can drive right into the media lot in the infield at that time of the morning.  Not so today, it was already gridlock, which may indicate a huge crowd will be on site for this the 93rd running of this famous race.  We will be bringing you more reports as the day progresses..... Mark C. reporting from Indy

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05/24/09
f1

Glock to start from pitlane
Toyota's Timo Glock will start this afternoon's Monaco Grand Prix from the pitlane, after his car was taken out of parc ferme conditions after qualifying. Glock qualified last of the 20 drivers in one of Toyota's worst qualifying sessions since joining the sport in 2002, and in an attempt to make up some ground during the race, his team decided to change his car's set-up, forcing a pitlane start.

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05/24/09
f1

McLaren expect 'ingenious' new rear wing to be 'head-turner'
Note notch in forward edge of rear wing
McLaren-Mercedes is pinning its hopes of an improved performance in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix and the races to come on what it describes as an ‘ingenious’ rear wing innovation on the MP4-24 – something it predicts will be worth in the region of three or four tenths of a second per lap and will prove to be ‘a head-turner’ around the streets of the glamorous Principality.

The multiple world champions have endured a torrid start to the 2009 Formula 1 campaign both on-track and off, with the recalcitrant MP4-24 ill-at-ease in particular in high-speed corners, leading to defending title-winner Lewis Hamilton struggling woefully en route to a lowly ninth spot at the checkered flag in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona last time out.

Hopes for this weekend in Monte Carlo – whose narrow, tortuous nature far better suits the car’s inherent characteristics – were considerably higher...or at least they were until the British star lost control entering Mirabeau in the Q1 phase of qualifying and clouted the unforgiving Armco barriers, with a subsequent gearbox change resigning him to 20th and last place on the starting grid. Nonetheless, his team remains confident that with its new addition it may have stolen something of a march on its rivals when it comes to low-speed, high-downforce circuits.

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05/24/09
f1

Mosley says F1 budget cap could be phased in
Formula One teams may get a year's grace before a 40 million pounds budget cap is introduced, International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Max Mosley said on Sunday. "I can imagine we maybe take it through one year, it's possible, but that's something under discussion," he told Reuters at the Monaco Grand Prix after meeting team principals.  "(There could be) a higher figure (next year), and then going to the full cap in 2011," he added. "This is a possibility."

Mosley also said one or two manufacturer teams could leave the sport at the end of the season, with or without a budget cap, but he was confident that champions Ferrari would remain despite their threat to quit. Reuters

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05/24/09
nassprint

Kahne to run new Dodge engine at Dover
Kasey Kahne will break in Dodge's new engine for Richard Petty Motorsports next weekend at Dover International Speedway. RPM has been slow in introducing the new R6P8 engine that the other Dodge organization, Penske Racing, has used all season. Vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said last month that the engine would be used at Dover, but he wasn't sure which of RPM's four drivers would use it. Kahne was selected because officials are confident in the engine's durability and believe the added horsepower will help propel the driver into the Chase. Kahne is 16th in points, 66 out of the top 12 that make the Chase, heading into Sunday's 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600. "We feel where we're at he has a good chance at the Chase," Loomis said. "More than anything we want the performance." #44-A.J. Allmendinger and #19-Elliott Sadler are 25th and 26th, respectively, in points. #43-Reed Sorenson is 23rd. ESPN

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05/24/09
nassprint

NASCAR calls mandatory driver meeting UPDATE The shape of Tuesday's big meeting between NASCAR officials and Sprint Cup teams is slowly becoming clearer: And it is now sizing up as a day-long series of small meetings, rather than any full town hall scene. Each of NASCAR's top Cup operations will have its own individual face-to-face with NASCAR executives, to discuss ideas and raise suggestions about what NASCAR could do to make Cup racing more compelling – for better TV ratings and for better ticket sales. All Cup team owners and their drivers are expected to attend the sessions at NASCAR's nearby R&D center. No specific agenda items have been listed, but one hot topic is expected to be the car-of-tomorrow, which has become an expensive engineering problem for crews, particularly small teams without the hefty engineering and computer. The Carl Edwards-Brad Keselowski-Ryan Newman crash at Talladega could be another issue. NASCAR has said little about what it might want to do to deal with that issue of flying race cars, though Newman himself has said several times it is a major issue that needs to be attacked. mikemulhern.net

05/22/09 NASCAR has called a mandatory meeting for all Sprint Cup drivers for Tuesday [May 26th] morning at the Research and Development Center in Concord. Officials would not reveal the nature of the meeting. Speculation in the garage was that it is to clear up the confusion created by Jeremy Mayfield's indefinite suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy. ESPN

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05/24/09
f1

Hamilton 'doing well' in 2009 - Button
(GMM) Unlike at some points in the past, Lewis Hamilton is not currently enjoying a rose-tinted road in the popularity stakes.

Once heralded as typifying British multiculturalism, talent and success, the reigning world champion is now often derided for his personality, faded on-track fortunes and an image badly dented by the 'lie-gate' saga.

In 2009, it is Britain's new championship favourite Jenson Button that is the darling of the press and public and who can do no wrong.

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05/24/09
f1

Yet another meeting as Monaco GP looms
(GMM) The steady stream of crisis meetings continued on Sunday, mere hours before the prestigious Monaco grand prix.

After similar meetings this week on Flavio Briatore's yacht, at the Automobile Club de Monaco and in the Toyota motor home, on Sunday it was the turn of the Renault motor home to host the ten formula one teams.

The French squad took the precaution of papering over the windows of the structure, for fear of reporters and photographers capturing the expected histrionics within.

This time, the latest fire to extinguish is independent team Williams' apparent intention to meet the FIA's May 29 deadline for 2010 entries.

If the Grove squad breaks ranks with the works-backed rebels, who are threatening to quit the sport over the dispute with Max Mosley, it is likely to spur fellow privateers Brawn and Force India to follow suit.

"Williams exist to build formula one cars and believe they cannot permit politics to interfere with their business operation," a report in Sunday's Daily Mail said.

Some figures involved have in Monaco been signalling "constructive" talks and a looming end to the crisis, but respected commentator Martin Brundle explained the conundrum that will not reach an easy conclusion.

"It is right to fight for the new teams and to save the competitive souls already in the pitlane from their own excesses. Honda exited stage left. Renault or Toyota could go at the drop of a hat," the former driver wrote in his column for the Sunday Times.

Former quadruple world champion Alain Prost, also at Monaco, can also not predict the outcome, despite his vast experience as a driver and team owner.

"I have thought about it a lot, but I do not have the solution: I can understand both the FIA and the FOTA viewpoints very well," the Frenchman told Germany's SID news agency.

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