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DATE News (chronologically)
05/27/10
irl

IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge brackets
Below are brackets for the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, which takes place at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, May 28 during Miller Lite Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The file is in PDF format.

The winning team receives $50,000.

Comment
05/27/10
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Featured Interview 2010 Indy 500 Winner

Where else can race fans talk to the Indy 500 winner hours after the drop of the checkered flag? Nowhere. Whoever wins this year’s Indy 500, he/she will be LIVE on Wind Tunnel this Sunday night!

Featured Interview Troy Corser (2-time World Superbike Champion)

As he prepares for Monday’s World Superbike event in Utah, 2-time World Superbike Champion, Troy Corser, will drop by via satellite to chat about his racing career and tell us about his new BMW S1000 RR.

Expert Analyst Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)

SPEED’s Robin Miller will join us from Indianapolis to re-cap the day’s Indy 500.

This Week’s Races:
IndyCar in Indianapolis for the Indy 500
CUP and Nationwide in Charlotte
F1 in Turkey
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in Charlotte
Rolex Series at Lime Rock in Connecticut
World Superbike in Utah

Comment
05/27/10
irl

Indy 500 Day 10 Notebook
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network will continue on Sunday, May 30, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 46th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC's live, high-definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway is presented by GoDaddy.com and begins with a one-hour pre-race show at noon (ET) and the green flag at 1 p.m.

Brent Musberger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IZOD IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Jerry Punch and Vince Welch

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05/27/10
irl

Mann sets record with Freedom 100 pole
Pippa Mann became the first female pole winner in the 101-year-old history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earning the top starting spot for the Firestone Freedom 100.

Mann, driving the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, is the second female pole sitter in Firestone Indy Lights history, joining Sarah McCune in 2005 at Chicagoland Speedway. She recorded a two-lap average speed of 187.989 mph (1 minute, 35.7505 seconds) on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 40-lap race on May 28.

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05/27/10
f1

Donnington saved
The troubled future of the racing circuit at Donington Park looks to have been settled in the best possible way – by the appointment of a new leaseholder with all the expertise needed to set it back on its feet.

In a statement released via the Save Donington Facebook group, circuit owner Kevin Wheatcroft announced that the Bromsgrove-based Adroit Group had beaten off competition from experienced motorsport businesses to become the new operators of the circuit following the collapse of former leaseholder Simon Gillett and his Formula One hopes.

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05/27/10
irl
nassprint

Penske: the way its done
At the heart of the gargantuan headquarters of Penske Racing, there is a long concrete hallway tall and wide enough to fit an 18-wheeler.

Employees of the 427,000-square-foot shop have nicknamed it "The Mason-Dixon line." On one side, the Sprint Cup cars of Kurt Busch, Sam Hornish Jr. and Brad Keselowski are assembled. Behind the other wall is the IndyCar operation supporting Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power.

But the gap isn't meant to separate the teams. In their fourth season of sharing an address, those who toil in divergent disciplines are finding commonality, or "cross-pollination" as team owner Roger Penske prefers.

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05/27/10
irl
nassprint

IndyCar 4, NASCAR 0, zilch.
The big Memorial Day weekend auto races are three days away, but an intriguing result has already appeared on society's cultural scoreboard:

IndyCar 4, NASCAR 0.

That's four women set to drive in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, the most to ever qualify for the nation's fabled holiday weekend race. And that's zero women, unfortunately, in the field at the mighty NASCAR event later that day, the Coca-Cola 600.

NASCAR has been so dominant in recent years that this raises a simple question: How is the auto racing giant possibly losing any battle these days to Indy cars?

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05/27/10
f1

Kubica: Not time to talk about the future
Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica insists it's still too early to talk about where he'll be next season despite rumors linking him to Ferrari.

According to reports, Ferrari are keen to sign the Polish driver as Fernando Alonso's 2011 team-mate, parting ways with Felipe Massa.

However, Renault are determined to hold onto Kubica while Massa's manager is adamant he will be staying at Ferrari.

As for what Kubica thinks about the matter, he's not letting on.

"It's not the time to talk about it," he said. "There will be a time to talk about staying with Renault or not.

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05/27/10
irl

Tracy to visit Danville YMCA
PT
Just a few days removed from experiencing his greatest heartbreak, IndyCar driver Paul Tracy will be visiting the Danville Family YMCA in Danville, Illinois, on Friday, May 28th, at 11:30 AM (CDT) to sign autographs, take pictures and visit with the public. Danville is the hometown of Tracy’s business associate, Doug Barnette, who is a longtime financial supporter of the YMCA. 

Tracy is regarded as one of the top racecar drivers in the world, but on Sunday he became the latest victim of Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he failed to qualify for the 2010 Indianapolis 500. Tracy joins a distinguished list of famous names who have missed qualifying for the world’s biggest race, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., Bobby Rahal and Roger Penske, just to name a few.

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05/27/10
irl

Sunoco joins IndyCar as series sponsor
Sunoco’s open-wheel racing history includes sponsorship of the No. 66 Sunoco McLaren/Offy car that Mark Donohue drove to victory in the 1972 Indianapolis 500 for the Roger Penske-owned team. The duo also won the inaugural Indy car race at Pocono with the Sunoco sponsorship.

Now Sunoco, a world leader in supplying quality products to consumers and industry for 120 years, has entered into a multi-year partnership to be the official fuel retailer and convenience store of the Indy Racing League’s IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.

Sunoco manufactures refined products – gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, residual fuels and commodity petrochemicals – at four company-owned and -operated refineries in the United States for outlets that include more than 4,700 gasoline stations.

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05/27/10
f1

Turkey GP Thurs press conference transcript
DRIVERS: Rubens BARRICHELLO (Williams), Karun CHANDHOK (HRT), Michael SCHUMACHER (Mercedes), Jarno TRULLI (Lotus), Mark WEBBER (Red Bull)

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q: A question to you all about your Monaco experiences. Varying experiences for different people. Jarno, would you like to start?

Jarno TRULLI: My Monaco experience has not been very successful this year, probably the worst ever. I had a very bad weekend and I couldn't turn it around at all. Then in the race also I was very unlucky as I had a bad pit stop where the team was unlucky because one gun didn't work, so I found myself last after the pit stop. Then I was following Karun and for more than half the race trying to find a spot to pass him as I was quicker. A few laps to go I saw that he was struggling then I tried and obviously the move was not very successful. We collided and I was glad that no-one was injured. The accident was worse than I had expected as when you try to make a move you always try to calculate what might happen. In fact I could never have believed I would park my car on top of his car. But that was it. It was not a very successful move, but I tried. After spending more than half the race behind him I had to try. We know that in Monaco it can happen when you try to overtake someone else and that was it.

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05/27/10
f1

Damaged chassis 'explains' recent struggle - Vettel
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel on Thursday refused to deny that unspecified damage to his chassis caused him to trail his teammate in Spain and Monaco.

It was those back-to-back races that Mark Webber won commandingly from pole, and after which Red Bull decided to replace the sister RB6 driven by 22-year-old Vettel.

"I think it (the damage) explains a lot and on top of that we found also other things that weren't in proper shape anymore," he told reporters in Turkey.

Asked to specify how the damage affected his recent pace, Vettel added: "It's difficult to say.

"Whereas he (Webber) always seemed to be quite happy, I wasn't."

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05/27/10
nassprint

Jeff Gordon Foundation hosting karting event benefit
Charlotte, N.C. (May 27, 2010) – The Jeff Gordon Foundation, with presenting sponsor Pacific Technical Resources, Inc., hosted the Foundation’s annual “Ultimate Speed” go- kart event at Victory Lane Karting on Wednesday.  Proceeds from the event will help purchase state-of-the-art cardiac/respiratory monitors for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord.    John Roberts, host of SPEED Channel’s NASCAR Raceday and Victory Lane, emceed as 21 teams in nine different heats raced four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon.  The event also featured a live auction and the Italian dinner was catered by Paventi’s Pizza.  Prior to the green flag waving, Gordon announced the Foundation’s efforts to fund 14 Phillips IntelliVue Cardiac/Respiratory monitors needed in the Pediatric Unit.  The new monitors will have a bandage-type saturation probe which more accurately and comfortably assesses oxygen levels in the patient’s blood during their stay at The Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital.  These monitoring systems will reduce the risk of human error and increase available staff time to care for other pediatric patients.    “Our Pediatric Unit at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital currently uses several individual pieces of equipment to monitor the cardiac and respiratory status of our patients,” said Brandi Newman, Director of Women’s & Children’s Services, NorthEast Medical Center.  “One cardiac/respiratory monitor performs the functions of all the various pieces of equipment, providing more accurate monitoring which could lead to better treatment and outcomes for our patients.  Our patients truly deserve the highest level of care.”

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05/27/10
f1
irl

Gossage welcomes F1 to Texas, but not IRL to Houston
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage says he would not consider the announced addition of Austin to the 2012 Formula One schedule as “an invasion” of Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s Lone Star State turf.

“I hope they have success because that’s what makes more race fans,” said Gossage, referring to an announcement on Tuesday. “It’s not the type of racing we’re engaged in. I follow it…but we would never have an interest in F1 racing here. The kind of racing they do vs. the kind of racing we do…it’s not some sort of ‘invasion’ of our turf. Hopefully it creates more race fans.”

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05/27/10
irl

Danica gets a Boost for Indy
Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed one of the top prepaid wireless service providers, Boost Mobile, to a sponsorship agreement in support of the team’s IZOD IndyCar Series program and drivers Danica Patrick and Adam Carroll.

Boost Mobile, which offers monthly unlimited plans with no long-term contracts, will be featured as a major associate sponsor of Patrick’s #7 GoDaddy.com car for the rest of the 2010 season and as the primary sponsor on Carroll’s car when he makes his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at Watkins Glen International later this season. The Boost Mobile logo appeared on Patrick’s car and suit at last week’s qualifications.

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05/27/10
f1

Lotus running new wing in Turkey
The debutant Lotus team will be rolling out brand-new rear wings on the cars of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen in Turkey this weekend. The update is one of several for Istanbul, with both mechanical and aerodynamic parts have been transported to the circuit.

Of Formula 1's three new teams this year, Lotus continues hold the edge it has possessed since the start of the campaign and now hopes to pull further away from Virgin Racing and Hispania as it targets the back of more established outfits.
We'll be using our new pillar-mounted rear wing here and have some new parts which will enable us to optimize the weight distribution, so again, I'm quietly confident we'll bridge the gap to those in front that little bit more," Technical Director Mike Gascoyne said on Thursday afternoon.

"We're fully prepared and I'm looking forward to practice tomorrow to see what the new wing gives us and where we are after seeing such good pace in the car in Monaco," Finn Kovalainen added. GPUpdate.net

Comment
05/27/10
f1

Vettel names new chassis 'Randy Mandy'
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel (showing that he is still a child at heart) has named his latest RB6 chassis 'Randy Mandy'. Giving his cars an amorous female name has become one of the 22-year-old German's several F1-related superstitions.

He religiously steps into his cars and dismounts from the left-hand side, and slides a lucky coin behind the laces of his boot.

Vettel called his original 2010 Red Bull 'Luscious Liz', following on from its 2009 predecessor 'Kate's Dirty Sister'.

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05/27/10
f1

Austin F1 track land secured UPDATE Although Hellmund has yet to divulge details of what he calls a “killer location”, he confirmed that the site is to the east of the city, a few miles from the airport. It is said to be in hilly countryside that has provided Tilke with a good starting point for a design.

The German has been asked to create a fast circuit with challenging corners that resemble those of classic established circuits such as Silverstone, Hockenheim and Spa. It will be over 3-miles in length.

Tilke first sent a representative of his company to Austin around two years ago, and has made personal many visits since. He is currently looking for office space in the city in which to base the project. Adam Cooper on F1

05/27/10 The group aiming to bring Formula One racing to Austin has secured a site and hired a German engineering firm known for building and redesigning F1 tracks, the attorney for the promoter said Wednesday.

Richard Suttle Jr., attorney for Full Throttle Productions of Austin, said it's "a safe assumption" that the land — in excess of 500 acres — lies along the Texas 130 corridor, but wouldn't say more about the location. "We're just not ready to disclose it yet," he said.

Engineering firm Tilke GmbH has designed numerous racetracks around the world, including Formula One tracks in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi; the name is almost synonymous with the sport. Racing industry insiders have estimated that constructing a new facility capable of holding an F1 race would cost upward of $250 million.

Comment
05/27/10
f1

Red Bull to test F-duct in Friday practice
(GMM)  Red Bull's already-dominant RB6 will feature an F-duct concept for the first time this year during Friday practice in Turkey.

Back-to-back race winner Mark Webber confirmed the news during Thursday's FIA press conference at Istanbul Park.

Team boss Christian Horner had already announced recently that the team would begin experimenting with the concept in Turkey.

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05/27/10
nassprint

Ford Racing director not pleased with NASCAR results
Jamie Allison is tired of second best. Ford Racing's director says that while he is pleased with the results his team has shown so far, he's confident that they can -- and should-- do a lot better. "I'm a Ford fan, I've been at Ford for 20-something years and it's just gut-wrenching to me when I see us not having the results that we should," Allison said. "We are better than the results." Ford has had only one win in the last 46 races and is looking into a variety of initiatives including purchasing more simulation programs and equipment to strengthen its team.  Scene Daily

Comment
05/27/10
f1

Force India to debut F-duct in Turkey
(GMM)  Force India has become the latest team to incorporate a F-duct style concept in its 2010 formula one car.

After McLaren pioneered the rear downforce-stalling innovation this year, teams including Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams and Sauber have followed suit.

The already-dominant Red Bull is also expected to debut an F-duct this weekend in Turkey, as will Force India.

The Silverstone based team said on Thursday that the version for the VJM03 car is called a switchable rear wing or SRW.

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05/27/10
f1

Force India F-Duct for Turkey
Tonio Liuzzi
The Force India team has arrived at Istanbul Park with an f-duct system, ready to be used for the first time this weekend. Vitantonio Liuzzi is confident that the device, first introduced by McLaren, will make a significant difference for both himself and team-mate Adrian Sutil.

The Silverstone-based team, which enjoyed its first ever double points finish in Monte-Carlo last time out, has moved firmly ahead of Williams in the Constructors' Championship but now finds itself behind Renault, currently trailing the newly-owned Enstone squad by 35 points.

However, Liuzzi is confident that the installation of a rear wing-stalling f-duct - which allows drivers to control airflow to the back of the car and therefore reduce downforce and increase top speeds on straights - is the way forward.

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05/27/10
f1

Button's issues not Jenson's
Jensen Button
McLaren-Mercedes managing director Jonathan Neale has sprung to the defense of reigning world champion Jenson Button in response to accusations that the British star’s form has been frustratingly unpredictable in F1 2010 to-date – insisting the fault lies with the car rather than with the driver.

His two bold and tactically-inspired triumphs in Melbourne and Shanghai aside, Button has finished no higher than fifth in the opening six grands prix of the campaign. What’s more, an early bath in Monaco last time out has resulted in the 30-year-old sliding from the top of the title standings to fourth place arriving in Istanbul for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, around a sweeping circuit at which on paper the MP4-25 should excel.

Last year, the Frome-born ace commandingly pinched victory from under the noses of Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Turkey – and give the man the tools, Neale contends, and he will do the job again.

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05/27/10
nassprint

Ford getting tired of not-winning
Jamie Allison is tired of second best. Ford Racing's director says that while he is pleased with the results his team has shown so far, he's confident that they can -- and should-- do a lot better. "I'm a Ford fan, I've been at Ford for 20-something years and it's just gut-wrenching to me when I see us not having the results that we should," Allison said. "We are better than the results." Ford has had only one win in the last 46 races and is looking into a variety of initiatives including purchasing more simulation programs and equipment to strengthen its team. fannation.com

Comment
05/27/10
irl

Push-To-Pass to play a factor in 500
Helio Castroneves has everything he needs to win another Indianapolis 500.  A fast car, an experienced team, the pole position and a crew who seem to win the pit contest every year.

This year, Castroneves might need another ingredient for a record-tying fourth victory - good chess moves to outmaneuver the other 32 Indy drivers in Sunday's push-to-pass game.

The "push-to-pass" button is making its Indy debut this week. On Sunday, drivers will get 15 chances to use the new feature, which provides 18 seconds of extra horsepower. Drivers then must wait 10 seconds before hitting the button again.

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05/27/10
f1

Kubica's guide to Istanbul
Success in Turkey is all about how a driver tackles Turn Eight at the Istanbul Otodrom, according to Renault's Robert Kubica.

"When I think about Turkey the first thing that comes to my mind is that it's normally a very hot race. Also, the traffic is always busy, especially over that bridge which links Europe and Asia. That's why I always try and stay in a hotel on the Asian side - that saves a lot of time and your nerves too!

"Istanbul Park is one of the best of the modern tracks with a great first sector which has lots of long, smooth corners. The first corner is quite tricky because there is a blind apex and you begin to turn in before you can see the inside curb. Then you go up the hill through turn two, which is a very long corner and on the opening lap of the race it's quite exciting with a bit of action as the cars run alongside each other.

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05/27/10
nassprint

Fox, TV networks concerned about NASCAR’s loss of young, male viewers, ratings
David Hill worries about NASCAR losing young men.

Not on the track, but on sofas and bar stools. Hill, the top executive at Fox Sports, points to steep drops in young male viewers – the key audience for any major league sport – as a primary reason for NASCAR’s five-year ratings swoon since hitting historic highs in 2005.

“The biggest problem facing NASCAR is that the young males have left the sport,” he says. “And if I was NASCAR, and I was an owner (of a race team), it would be something that I would be burning the midnight oil on a nightly basis, worrying where they’ve gone and how do I get them back.”

With Fox closing out its 13-race portion of the NASCAR schedule on Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600, Hill sees cause for optimism, as well as caution flags.

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05/27/10
lmes

Jaguar team announces driver lineup for 24 Hours of Lemans
Ryan Dalziel, Marc Goossens and Paul Gentilozzi are the confirmed driver line-up for JaguarRSR at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2010 marks Jaguar's return to the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 15 years.

Racing a XKR run by JaguarRSR in the GT2 class is Scottish-born Ryan Dalziel, who has never experienced the Le Mans track. "It has always been my dream to drive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a British driver, to be at the wheel of a Jaguar, being that it's such a prestigious British brand makes it even more special," commented the 28-year-old. He added, "It will be without doubt the highlight of my racing career to date and I know that the team will represent Jaguar and all its fans around the world with pride."

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05/27/10
f1

Formula One stunned by Texas race deal
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has caused a major surprise by announcing he has secured a ten year deal to hold a Formula One race in the city of Austin, Texas. Significantly, a purpose-built Formula One venue will be constructed to host the Grand Prix – the first of its kind in the United States. Should the plans materialize the first event in Austin will be staged in 2012, marking the first return to the country for the sport since 2007 when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted its last Grand Prix.

Funding and organization for the event would appear to be a combined public/private effort. Ecclestone’s Formula One Management (FOM) has signed an agreement, through to 2021, with Full Throttle Promotions, LP, who will be the local promoters of the race. Full Throttle is a Texas-based company run by part-time racing driver Tavo Hellmund. However Texas Governor Rick Perry and Sudan Combs, the Texas comptroller of public accounts, have both been involved in putting the deal in place. Combs said: "The visibility and prestige of this event will spotlight our state on an international stage."

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05/27/10
f1

Di Grassi's new Virgin heavier than Glock's
Lucas di Grassi
(GMM)  Lucas di Grassi will this weekend finally race Virgin's updated car, but it may still be slower than the one piloted by his teammate Timo Glock.

Due to the volcanic ash cloud and then the short turnaround between Spain and Monaco, di Grassi had to drive the original car with the famously small fuel tank while Glock raced one with significant developments.

Rookie di Grassi, 25, will finally receive the longer-wheelbase VR-01 in Turkey, he confirmed to Brazil's Globo.

"For the first time I have the upgraded car," he said ahead of the Turkish grand prix, "although it is a little heavier than Glock's, because of our difference in height."

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05/26/10
irl

Vote to name Oval, Road IndyCar Championship Trophy
The IZOD IndyCar Series has released the nine legends of the sport that fans can choose to honor by naming the trophies given to the oval and road champions after a legend of the sport.

Media selected the top-five nominees from each discipline and through June 3, IZOD IndyCar Series fans can vote for the legend they prefer to honor on www.indycar.com.

The league will work with the legends to secure the rights to names for the trophies. The oval trophy honoree will be announced during the IZOD IndyCar Series event weekend at Texas Motor Speedway while the road trophy honoree will be revealed at Watkins Glen International.

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05/26/10
irl

Tracy stuck in Canada, expired passport
Several hours after Toronto’s Paul Tracy attended a press conference yesterday to announce details of his ride in this year’s Honda Indy Toronto (he’ll be sponsored by Honda Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays and will race in support of the Make-A-Wish Canada children’s charity), he discovered he couldn’t get out of Dodge.

His passport had expired and anybody who tries to travel to the United States knows that you need one to be admitted to that country, particularly if you travel by air.

Said Tracy in a "tweet" to his fans: "I can’t leave Canada, my passport is expired. I need to go to the passport office in the morn(ing). Maybe I was not meant to be in Indy this year."

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05/26/10
irl

Bernard and Belskus say IRL will be out of the red next year
In May, hope springs eternal in the land of open-wheel racing.

And why not?

The Indianapolis 500 isn’t quite the cash cow it used to be, but it’s still the land of milk and honey when it comes to the IndyCar Series.

With the corporate suites sold out for Carb Day and nearly sold out for race day and a crowd of near 300,000 expected this Sunday, there’s still reason for optimism.

Make no mistake, the Indianapolis 500 is still quite profitable for the Hulman-George empire.

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05/26/10
irl

Hot Wheel teams with Dreyer & Reinbold
Hot Wheels® was joined today by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Dad’s Root Beer along with team driver Mike Conway to reveal a custom-designed #24 Dad’s Root Beer IRL racecar.  The racecar, unveiled for the first time, will be on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today then travel to the Iowa Speedway where it will compete in the IZOD IndyCar® Series June 20th race on Father’s Day weekend.

“For more than four decades, Hot Wheels has been passionate about speed, power, performance and creating the most thrilling vehicle designs," said Christian Zentner, director of marketing, Hot Wheels®.  “We are excited to expand our presence on track with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and another iconic brand, Dad’s Root Beer, and design a one-of-a-kind racecar livery like only Hot Wheels can.  We look forward to seeing this awesome racecar cross the finish line in June.”

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05/26/10
f1

Austin F1 Promoter thinks Texas is perfect for F1?
Austin Texas seems quite an odd and surprising pick for a Formula One race. However, Tavo Hellmund, one of the partners of the rights holder and promoting group Full Throttle Productions, begs to differ.

"Austin is more of an F1 crowd than a NASCAR crowd," Hellmund told the newspaper. "The geography, the tech money, the nightlife, the music. It all just fits with what Formula 1 is all about."

"Texas has never had an annual global sporting event," he added. "I think everyone is going to be really proud of it."

Comment
05/26/10
irl

Danica struggles to gain momentum, fan support at Indy
Danica Patrick
My, how things have changed. Heading into the 94th Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick is no longer IndyCar's fairy tale. Not after she was booed following her qualification attempt on Saturday's Pole Day.

Patrick wasn't booed because her slow four-lap qualification average of 224.217 mph left her 23rd out of the 24 cars that made the 33-car starting lineup in the first round of qualifications. Rather, it was because she wouldn't take any responsibility for the car's performance, blaming it on her team in comments heard over the public address system.

"I think it was absolutely awful," Patrick said of the car. "I wasn't flat the last two laps and I was scared to death flat the first two. And, it didn't get any better. I've never been bad here before. I've never been outside the top 10 on a finish or qualifying so, um, it's not my fault. This car is not good."

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05/26/10
f1

A third-generation Hill in F1?
Josh Hill
Five F1 Champions have seen a son of theirs enter the sport. However, the Hill family is unique in that it is the only one to have produced father and son title-winners since the championship began in 1950. Now, more history could be in the making as the next generation continues to rise through the rankings. 19-year-old Joshua Hill, son of Damon and grandson of the late Graham, talked to GPUpdate.net's Stijn Keuris.   

Joshua, tell us a bit about your career so far.

I have done a year of Formula Ford and a year before that I drove in the Ginetta Junior Series. It has been three years now since I started racing and it's going very well.

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05/26/10
automotive

Nissan's Electric Leaf set for production
Nissan Motor Co. has collected nearly 20,000 pre-orders for an all-electric Leaf car that it plans to start selling in the United States and Japan in December.

"The production for 2010 is already sold out," said Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan and its French partner and shareholder Renault SA.

Nissan has gathered 13,000 pre-orders from prospective American buyers who paid a $100 refundable deposit, and 6,000 pre-orders in Japan, Ghosn said. The automaker will start taking firm orders in August.

Speaking before the Detroit Economic Club, Ghosn said the nearly 20,000 hand-raisers were individuals, not fleet buyers.

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05/26/10
nassprint

Drivers talk about concrete patch at Daytona
Drivers at the test for NASCAR’s new Nationwide Series car last week at Daytona International Speedway had more than just the new car to test.

They had a new concrete patch on the Daytona track to test as well.

The patch – 6 feet wide, 18 feet long and 6 inches deep – covers the pothole that developed between turns 1 and 2 during the Daytona 500. The rest of the track surface is asphalt, but drivers reported no issues in going from asphalt to concrete and back the asphalt.

“The patch felt fine,” said Kevin Harvick. “You really couldn’t even tell that it was there. Everybody ran through it lap after lap and it didn’t bounce the car around. They did a good job fixing it. I don’t think it will be an issue.”

Daytona will host Sprint Cup and Nationwide races with the patch July 2-3, and then repave the entire track after the July race weekend.

“I didn’t even see it and until someone brought it up, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we patched the race track somewhere,’” Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch said. “I found it and it didn’t do anything. Nothing – no concerns there.”

Michael Waltrip Racing rookie Trevor Bayne said his car bottomed out over the patch but it had no effect. Track officials say cars bottoming out and scraping the track was one of the issues – as well as heavy moisture and cold temperatures – that resulted in the pothole.

“These cars are hitting the earth pretty good right now … so for it to hold up that well is awesome,” Bayne said. SceneDaily.com

Comment
05/26/10
irl

Adam Carroll gears up for IndyCar
Ireland's Adam Carroll is gearing up for a number of races the US Indycar series, their equivalent of Formula One, writes John Kenny.

It was also recently announced the former A1 Grand Prix champion has signed to Andretti Autosport to drive a limited schedule of events in the second half of the season.

Carroll, who raced with Team Ireland in the now defunct A1 series hasn't turned a wheel in anger since winning season four of the World Cup of Motorsport as he pushed hard to get into either Formula One or the Indycar championship.

The Irish driver had chances to move to a lower Formula, but the 28 year old has already competed for two seasons in GP2, one step down from F1, where he was a race winner, beating the likes of Lewis Hamilton who went onto win the 2008 F1 championship.

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05/26/10
irl

Jack Nicholson to wave the green at Indy 500
Academy award winner Jack Nicholson will wave the green flag to start Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the IZOD IndyCar Series announced this morning.

Nicholson will send pole sitter Helio Castroneves and the rest of the 33-car field on their way.

Nicholson is famed for playing charming, anti-authoritarian characters. He won the Academy Award for best actor for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 and “As Good As It Gets” in 1997, and best supporting actor for “Terms of Endearment” in 1983. Indianapolis Star

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05/26/10
irl

TW Steel announces Dario Franchitti edition
TW Steel, the Dutch watchmaker specializing in oversized watches, has unveiled the fruits of its collaboration with brand ambassador Dario Franchitti in the form of the ‘TW Steel Dario Franchitti’ execution – set to retail in early July.

Franchitti, two-time IndyCar Series Champion and the 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner, took a personal role in the design and development of the TW607 (45mm) and TW608 (48mm) editions that bare his name and reflect his passion for watches.

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05/26/10
f1

Herbert to be F1 steward again in Turkey
(GMM)  Johnny Herbert will this weekend once again act as F1's driver steward.  The 45-year-old Briton, who won three grands prix during his career spanning 165 races until 2000, debuted in the role in Malaysia.

Since the 2010 season opener, former drivers including Alain Prost, Alex Wurz, Derek Warwick and Damon Hill have also served alongside the three regular stewards.

But former Benetton, Tyrrell, Lotus, Ligier, Sauber, Stewart and Jaguar driver Herbert is the first driver to officiate at more than one grand prix.

Also touted to appear in 2010 are Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Salo and Nigel Mansell.

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05/26/10
tv news

SPEED's Trackside Live Takes Party to Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte Friday
SPEED will take its highly popular Trackside Live program from the infield to uptown Charlotte Friday at Food Lion Speed Street live at 7 p.m. ET.

In what typically is one of the wildest shows of the entire NASCAR season, host Steve Byrnes and panelists Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond, Larry McReynolds and Rutledge Wood will welcome guests Richard Childress, Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle during the one-hour program.  Trackside will air from the Coca-Cola stage at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets for the ninth consecutive year.

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05/26/10
irl
f1

Patrick not keen on "unfriendly" F1
Patrick, who was the first woman to win an Indy car race, has been linked in the past with a move to Formula One but the 28-year-old reveals she is put off the sport by the often icy tone in the F1 paddock.

"Something that's very important to me is having fun." Patrick told The Sunday Times.

"I think the environment of F1 is a little bit less friendly than American racing. In F1, you just don't see the drivers hanging out. Drivers such as Takuma Sato, who came over after doing F1 for a while, says everyone's so nice here. And it's true - everyone is so calm, relaxed and friendly."

Despite learning her trade in Briton where she participated in the Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford series for three years, Patrick insists it was an experience she neither enjoyed nor would want to repeat.

"As soon I was old enough to race cars, I took it to the next level. I was told that I could learn more in a year in the UK than I could in five years in the United States," she explained.

"It felt much more old-school over there [in Britain], though. Women still cooked and cleaned. I feel the women's movement happened a little faster over here [in America].

"I remember I was the quickest one day in practice, and one of the team owners I drove for couldn't believe it. To the male drivers he was like, 'She's the quickest - what are you doing? Get out there, go!' as if it wasn't okay to be slower than me," she added. PlanetF1

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05/26/10
usf2000

JDC MotorSports Visits USF2000 Victory Lane in California
Junior formula car leaders JDC MotorSports added a pair of victories to its all-ready impressive record this past weekend (May 22-23), as Mikhail Goikhberg scored the Championship class wins in both races of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fellow rookie standout Martin Sala added a runner-up finish in race one, before finishing fourth in race two at the Northern California track.

Run in conjunction with Rounds Five and Six of the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care, the duo got their first chance to sample the renowned undulating Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course on Thursday via a pair of test sessions. While no official times were taken, the Russian and Colombian racers were both believed to be among the fastest drivers on-course, despite primarily focusing on learning the track and working on ideal qualifying and race setups.

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05/26/10
f1

Italian police seize Briatore's yacht UPDATE Rome’s crackdown on suspected tax dodgers has unsettled owners of super-yachts considering Italy as a summer destination, after the tax police’s seizure of the 63-metre Force Blue owned by tycoon Flavio Briatore.

Flavio's super-yacht
Some legal advisers are telling their worldwide clients, 90 per cent of whom have their yachts under a Cayman Islands flag, to take care before venturing into Italian waters.

A spokesman for the Guardia di Finanza tax police, who intercepted Force Blue off La Spezie last week and forced Mr Briatore’s fashion model wife and infant to leave their temporary home on the vessel, said that three similar cases of super-yacht tax evasion were under investigation. He declined to give further details.

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05/26/10
f1

'Joy and doubt' as US GP news draws mixed reaction
(GMM)  The reaction has been mixed since F1 announced it is heading to Austin, Texas, for 10 consecutive United States grands prix beginning in 2012.

Britain's Sun newspaper quoted Williams chief executive Adam Parr as saying: "We are a global sport and not having a race in America has been a big hole in the calendar.  Our partners will be thrilled."

But the announcement was short on detail, including where in the Texan capital the venue will be built, and why Austin can succeed where the likes of Donington failed.

McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale said in a teleconference on Wednesday: "I'd say it is fantastic news if it turns out to be true and if we can make it happen."

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05/26/10
nassprint

Front Row Sprint Cup teams announces changes
Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 

The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the No. 34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the No. 37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the No. 38 Ford Fusion.  The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization. 

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05/26/10
f1

Heidfeld would be F1 tire tester in 2010
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld has admitted he is prepared to become F1's tire tester later this year. With Bridgestone departing and a new supplier set to enter formula one in 2011, it has been rumored that amid the current testing ban, some tire-specific track outings might be sanctioned.

"That would be an attractive thing.  If I am asked, I would not say no," German Heidfeld, who this year is Mercedes' reserve driver, is quoted by Sport Bild magazine.

The 33-year-old is a veteran of 167 grands prix, and he is bidding to be back on the F1 grid in 2011.

"I want to be racing again (in F1) no later than 2011," he confirmed.  "I feel too young for DTM or for taking part in the Le Mans 24 hours," added Heidfeld.

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05/26/10
f1

15 teams apply for final F1 grid place
(GMM)  No less than 15 teams have applied for the final place on the 2011 formula one grid. Italian website 422race.com reports that the governing FIA has now written to all those who expressed interest in the place made vacant by the demise of USF1.

June 21 has been set as the deadline for the teams' actual application and dossier, at which time EUR12,750 must be paid.

The frontrunners must be successful GP2 team ART, headed by FIA president Jean Todt's son Nicolas, and the Spanish Le Mans competitor Epsilon Euskadi.

422race.com claims that more than one team may be selected by the FIA, in case HRT or Sauber run further into financial trouble.

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05/26/10
lmes

Michelin and ACO launch virtual LeMans racing
Michelin and Automobile Club de l’Ouest have teamed up to launch the first online strategy game based on the celebrated 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. In June 2010, participants will have the opportunity to make history by winning the first running of 24 Hours of Le Mans, the virtual race.

The idea to create a virtual race came from Michelin, which then contracted with Many Players (creator of VirtualRegatta and VirtualRally) to develop the game based on real data – such as tire performance, race strategy and lap times – recorded at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2009.

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05/26/10
f1

Newey staying put at Red Bull
Adrian Newey
(GMM)  Adrian Newey looks set to stay at Red Bull for the foreseeable future.

The 51-year-old Briton joined the Austrian team from McLaren in 2006, and as chief technical officer is widely credited for the success of the dominant RB6.

Germany's Sport Bild claims Newey, arguably the most sought-after figure in the entire world of formula one, intends to stay put.

"Contractual matters are confidential, but it's true," team boss Christian Horner said of the report.

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05/26/10
automotive

Kruse Auto Auctions gets shut down by government
Dean Kruse joined his family’s auction business more than 50 years ago.

Tuesday, he watched the empire slip away, as the Indiana Auctioneer Commission stripped Kruse and Kruse International of their licenses to conduct auctions for years, condemning Kruse for bad business practices that left dozens of consignors waiting to be paid.

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05/26/10
irl

P2P number set for Indy 500
IndyCar officials announced drivers will receive 15 chances to push a button for an extra boost of engine horsepower. The surge will last 18 seconds and take 10 seconds to reset.

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05/26/10
irl

Video: IZOD IndyCar party in Boston


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05/26/10
f1

Singapore denies no time for F1 track preparation
(GMM)  A Singapore official has played down concerns the city-state will run out of time to prepare the floodlit street circuit for this year's formula one race.

Singapore will host the Youth Olympic Games in the same Marina Bay area until the end of August -- less than a month before the F1 circus arrives in town for round 15 of the 2010 world championship.

But Justin Chew, the Singapore Tourism Board's executive director of F1 projects, told the state-owned MediaCorp: "We do have enough time.

"Based on the timeline set by the Youth Olympic Games organizers, they will take at least two to three weeks to vacate the circuit completely.

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05/26/10
f1

Bourdais has 'stopped chasing' F1 return
Bourdais, who got smoked by his teammates in F1, and was subsequently fired by Toro Rosso, has given up on F1.
(GMM)  Sebastien Bourdais has admitted he is unlikely to ever return to the formula one grid.

The Frenchman, who was ousted by Toro Rosso mid-way through the 2009 season, now races in the Superleague series and a Peugeot in Le Mans races.

He arrived in F1 in 2008, after establishing himself as the dominant driver of the now defunct American open wheeler series Champ Car.

But Bourdais admits a lack of sponsorship is preventing his return to a top seat in the US, and he also acknowledges that returning to F1 is unlikely.

"I am 31 years old," he told France's sports.fr.  "I don't see how I could be back in a F1 cockpit, especially since it already did not go so well.

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05/26/10
f1

Alguersuari reveals earlier Red Bull/Toro Rosso 'problems'
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari has indicated he risked losing his F1 seat this year due to "problems" between Toro Rosso and Red Bull. In between the 2009 and 2010 seasons, it was strongly rumored the Faenza based team was considering replacing the then teenage Spaniard with a pay-driver.

Alguersuari, who had debuted only several races earlier due to the mid-season expulsion of Sebastien Bourdais, told Diario Sport in an interview this week that he never felt his career was in jeopardy.

He revealed: "I had a contract with Red Bull and the word of Dietrich Mateschitz.  I knew I was a future project for them and that it made no sense for them to make me quickly debut and then leave me out for the next season.

"The only thing about the situation is that Toro Rosso had economic and contractual problems with Red Bull, but I just kept doing my work in a calm way," added Alguersuari.

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05/26/10
f1

Dallara F1 car inferior UPDATE #2 (GMM)  HRT on Wednesday morning confirmed that its relationship with Italian chassis maker Dallara has ended.

Amid multiple criticisms of the F110 car from within the new Spanish outfit, it has been reported for some time that the Dallara contract was terminated.

"It was clear from the outset that the contract with Dallara is completed," team boss Colin Kolles was quoted as saying last month.

"It ended on the date on which we ran our cars," he added.

In a press release on Wednesday morning, the team confirmed the split, insisting it is "on amicable terms".

But the statement also revealed that after six races in 2010, "no further chassis development was made by Dallara".

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