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Indy Day 11 Notebook  

Pippa Mann made Indianapolis Motor Speedway history Thursday by becoming the first woman to win the pole position for a race in the 101-year history of the facility, capturing the Sunoco Pole Award for the Firestone Freedom 100.


Entry update: Tony Kanaan has switched from the #11T that he qualified 32nd on Sunday to his #11 car for the Indianapolis 500. He will start 33rd, moving Sebastian Saavedra to the No. 32 starting position.


Drivers and teams from the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship visited IMS this week as part of the inaugural Road to Indy Summit. The Road to Indy is the development ladder system of the Indy Racing League.

The Road to Indy Summit, a three-day, first-of-its-kind instructional meeting for drivers who someday hope to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series, brings together drivers from the three ladder series under the Road to Indy umbrella - the USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda Championship, and Firestone Indy Lights. More ...

Gonzalez penalized after qualifying  Rodolfo Gonzalez has been handed a 3 position grid penalty for tomorrow’s feature race after the race stewards judged him to have impeded rival driver Michael Herck during this afternoon’s qualifying session in Istanbul.  The Venezuelan qualified in 23rd position, but will now start from last place tomorrow.
racing news
Bryan Herta Autosport Chief Mechanic Don Lambert Earns Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award  A multitude of prestigious awards and presentations are made during the traditional festivities that lead up to the world renowned Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but few carry as much weight among the close-knit IZOD IndyCar Series community as the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award.

In a ceremony today as part of the traditional Carb Day activities, Bryan Herta Autosport Chief Mechanic Don Lambert joined an illustrious group of his peers when he was presented with a $5,000 check and a plaque in honor of one of the most innovative, resourceful and successful chief mechanics ever to grace the Speedway.

The award, which is presented annually by the Clint Brawner Foundation and supported by Firestone Racing, recognizes an Indy 500 chief mechanic who “exemplifies the mechanical and scientific creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise” of its legendary namesake. More ...

Cunningham holds off Kimball in Freedom 100  Wade Cunningham became a three-time winner of the Firestone Freedom 100 edging Charlie Kimball by .4368 of a second.

The victory for Cunningham, driving the No. 77 Lucas Oil/BSS/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, gave team owner Sam Schmidt his fifth win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in eight Firestone Freedom 100 starts.

Kimball moved within five points of series point leader J.K. Vernay, who finished 16th after an early mechanical issue. James Hinchcliffe, who started eighth in the No. 2 Team Moore Racing car, finished third. More ...

Paul Tracy will race in Edmonton  The field is now full for the two Canadian stops in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series. The “Team Oh Canada” field that is.

The Honda Indy Edmonton is elated to announce that Canada’s own Paul Tracy and his KV Racing Technology Team will be on the track at the Honda Indy Edmonton, July 23, 24 and 25.

“To have Paul racing in Edmonton again is very, very exciting,” said Northlands President Ken Knowles. “He’s always been a huge favorite with our fans, and we know that Paul’s a fan of the race track at City Centre Airport. Having Paul and Alex Tagliani, the other key member of Team Oh Canada, race against each other will provide some very exciting moments during the three days in July.” More ...

Indy 500 odds  Here are the favorites for the Indy 500 at BroburySports.com. We

Helio Castroneves (5/2)

The Brazilian Castroneves is the defending Indianapolis 500 champion and three-time winner (2001, 2002 and 2009). He just captured his fourth pole, tying him for second on the all-time list. These odds provide good value even as the solid favorite.

Scott Dixon (7/2)

Dixon is from New Zealand and was the 7/2 favorite to win last year after an Indy victory in 2008. He led for the most laps last year (73) and has been putting up some very fast recent practice times. More ...

Overheard at Indy - Carb Day  
Sponsorship boost for Andretti Team Andretti Autosport signed an associate sponsor agreement with Virgin Mobile USA for driver Ryan Hunter-Reay's No. 37 Team Izod car during the Indy 500. Meanwhile, Andretti Autosport also signed Boost Mobile to a sponsorship agreement in support of the team's Izod IndyCar Series program and drivers Danica Patrick and Adam Carroll.  Boost will be featured as a major associate sponsor of Patrick's No. 7 GoDaddy.com car for the rest of the '10 season, and as the primary sponsor on Carroll's car when he makes his IndyCar Series debut at the July 4 Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen

Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi pose with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 trophies
Scott Morris/AR1.com
"The 500 Club" Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi met the media here today as the only team owners to have ever won both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500.  The Harley J. Earl Trophy for the winner of the Daytona 500 (see Photo) was side-by-side with the Indy 500 Borg Warner trophy.  UPS shipped it in and this is the first time it has ever been out of Daytona.  "I've never seen these two trophies side by side," said Penske. "I just asked Chip which one does he want because I don't care if I get two, I'd just like to have one." ....."I don't look at it in terms of winning the two races in one year," said Ganassi. "It would be a huge thing, but right now my focus is like he said, to beat this guy next to me. You know, he's the guy I have to beat. He's the team we're going to have to beat on Sunday to walk away with the Borg-Warner Trophy.  It's, I just have to tell you all something. The night of the Daytona 500 I got a little text on my phone, it said, "Welcome to the 500 Club. RP." (Laughter).  I just wrote back, I said, "Thanks." Then kind of the next day it hit me what that was, the 500 Club. I thought, "Jesus, that's a tiny club." (Laughter) It didn't even hit me at first, you know, what it had meant to win." More ...
Valsecchi doubles up for pole position  
Davide Valsecchi
Davide Valsecchi repeated his free practice trick to claim pole position for tomorrow’s feature race on the last lap of qualifying here in Istanbul, stealing the top spot from Pastor Maldonado and Oliver Turvey.

The Italian came out on top of a session long scrap with his Venezuelan rival, claiming the top spot as the clock rolled down to zero with a lap of 1:34.860, which was just one hundredth of a second faster than Maldonado’s best effort.

With the sweltering heat rising in the period between free practice and qualifying, the tension in the pitlane was thick enough to cut until the cars exploded into life and screamed out onto the circuit. Maldonado wasted no time in getting to the top of the timesheets, and although Sergio Perez, Racing Engineering pair Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris, and Valsecchi briefly put themselves ahead, it was the Venezuelan who was quickly dictating terms once again. More ...

FIA has 'no concerns' with Hamilton's ear studs  (GMM)  F1's governing body on Friday insisted it has "no concerns" about the ear studs worn by Lewis Hamilton during free practice in Turkey.

The 2008 world champion had his ears pierced last week, while in Los Angeles to see his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger perform on a dance television show.

But when he pulled his balaclava and helmet over the studs on Friday morning, some sections of the media recalled article 2.2.1 appendix L of the sporting regulations.

The section prohibits drivers from wearing jewelry for safety reasons.

"The wearing of jewelry in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited," reads the rule.

Ganassi cars 1-2 on Indy 500 Carb Day  The final practice session before Sunday's 94th Indy 500 went off without a hitch, as 1,254 laps were completed without tire issues. Many teams used the session to run full fuel stints for one of the first times this month. Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti posted the fastest lap of 225.574 mph.

"We ran a full tank on a set of tires today. With these hot temperatures, it puts the tires under a lot of stress but the Firestones held up well. As always, tire management is going to be key, with as hot as it's going to be, but we have a good car and we're looking forward to Sunday." More ...
Webber said failed engine already 'on edge'  (GMM)  Mark Webber on Friday played down the significance of his engine failure in afternoon practice.

Towards the end of the second session at Istanbul Park, the Australian's RB6 stopped on track with a failed Renault V8.

But although Red Bull has suffered several reliability problems in 2010, the joint championship leader said the engine fitted to his car was high on mileage.

Drivers are allowed to use any of their allocation of eight engines on a Friday, with one engine only needing to be used consecutively on Saturday and Sunday.

"We were expecting it to be right on the edge," said Webber.

de Ferran Dragon Indy 500 race notes  
The de Ferran Dragon Racing team will make its fourth appearance at the Indianapolis 500 when drivers Raphael Matos and Davey Hamilton start 12th and 14th respectively in the 94th running of the race. This will be the first two-car effort the team has ever had. Ryan Briscoe (2007), Tomas Scheckter (2008) and Matos (2009) have driven for the team at IMS the last three seasons. Briscoe finished fifth; Scheckter and Matos were both running in the top five before finding trouble in the pits on what should have been their final stops. A broken drive shaft ruined Scheckter’s strong run on lap 156, while Matos fell from 5th to 21st when the right rear tire was not fastened on his stop on lap 133. He was involved in a crash with Vitor Meira 40 laps later trying to make up ground. More ...
Red Bull F-duct not yet '100 per cent' - Vettel  (GMM)  Red Bull's new F-duct system in Turkey did not function "100 per cent" on its Friday practice debut.

Sebastian Vettel's RB6 was fitted with the McLaren-style innovation for the 180 minutes of practice, while teammate Mark Webber's was not.

Vettel was the quicker of the pair in the morning, but even with his engine failure in the afternoon, Webber had sped up to be two tenths quicker by the end of Friday's running.

When asked about the F-duct debut, 22-year-old Vettel said: "It did not work 100 per cent and still needs some fine-tuning. More ...

LeMans adds 56th pit, new reserve  The Le Mans 24-Hours organizers have been thinking about increasing the capacity of the pits of their big circuit (13,629 Km), the longest in Europe. The FIA regulations allow the Le Mans circuit to accept more cars on the track provided that there are more pits

Thus, the ACO and the ‘Syndicat Mixte du circuit des 24 heures’ have begun building a 56th pit. It will be located in the space available between the pit building and the extension added in 2008, and will be ready on 4th June 2010.

It wiil give a reserve the opportunity to race in 2010, and the following year the new pit will enable the ACO to invite a team presenting a specific and innovative project in addition to the usual 55 entries for the Le Mans 24 Hours. More ...

Cosworth terminate USF1 contract  UPDATE (GMM)  USF1 will not launch a renewed bid to debut in formula one in 2011. The American team failed to be ready for its 2010 debut, but the recently quiet principals Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor had reportedly not ruled out trying to secure the final 13th berth on next year's grid.

The news emerged by way of a statement issued by engine supplier Cosworth, who said its contract with USF1 has been terminated.

Cosworth said it has taken the action "following the (USF1) team's decision to liquidate its assets as notified by its announcement to creditors dated 19 May 2010".

Cosworth said that until USF1 decided to liquidate, the British marque had supported the team "over the last few months" in preparing for "a proposed entry for the 2011 season". More ...

Bernie on Turkey, USA, tires and Korea  (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Friday scotched renewed rumors about the future of the Turkish grand prix.

It had been reported that the poorly-attended Istanbul Park event could drop off the calendar after its sixth running this weekend.

But on a visit to the media centre, the F1 chief executive told reporters in Turkey not to believe everything they read.

In fact, Briton Ecclestone said talks are already underway for a proposed 10-year extension to the current deal. More ...

F1 should cut Friday from weekend format - Parr  (GMM)  As the F1 calendar looks set to expand, the sport should consider culling Friday's 180 hours of free practice.

That is the belief of Williams' chief executive Adam Parr, who revealed he has proposed to have the traditional race weekend format condensed to just Saturday and Sunday.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone visited the media centre at Istanbul Park on Friday, and smiled broadly when a reporter said he had heard rumors about 24-race calendars in the near future.

But according to Germany's Motorsport-Magazin.com, the 79-year-old Briton wants F1's three-day weekend to remain in place. More ...

racing news
e-miglia 2010: electric car rally  Goal of the e-miglia 2010, the new electrically powered street rally, is to feature the efficiency of electric mobility. The starting signal will sound on August 3rd in Munich and on August 6th the competitive emission-free armada will cross the finish-line in Northern Italian Rovereto. The entry rules are simple: Valid driver’s license and an electrically powered vehicle with two, three or four wheels and you’re set to go. The registration is possible for everyone until June 30th, 2010 at www.e-miglia.com. The entry fee is € 1,500 per participant and the overall winner receives a premium of € 10.000 for the first e-miglia rally.

The Olympic thought is ancient: to take part is everything. But it keeps on getting a new meaning. The e-miglia – the street rally for electromobiles – makes new demands on technology and the participants, as well as on the organization. Rally expert Richard Schalber has just completed scouting the route: “Of course I drove the route with e-cars. I was lucky and able to try out three different models. And I was surprised. Even though there are some weak spots here and there, which need to be corrected, these quiet sportsters really can go and they’re fun.“ There are deviations from the originally planned route in some areas. First-off the most important insights won from the scouting: the daily stages won’t be more than 170 km instead of 200 km. Another change is that there’ll be a mobile charging station made available daily to the participants at the checkpoint after only 80 km into the respective stage. More ...

Turkey GP: Button tops practice 2  Jenson Button's McLaren topped the second practice at Istanbul, with Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel second and third.


Pos Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.280 +0.000 30
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:28.378 +0.098 24
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:28.590 +0.310 26
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.672 +0.392 32
5. Alonso Ferrari 1:28.725 +0.445 30
6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.914 +0.634 22
7. Schumacher Mercedes 1:28.974 +0.694 22
8. Kubica Renault 1:29.225 +0.945 34
9. Petrov Renault 1:29.501 +1.221 36
10. Massa Ferrari 1:29.620 +1.340 26
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:29.629 +1.349 16
12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:29.987 +1.707 17
13. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:30.053 +1.773 34
14. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:30.176 +1.896 34
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.386 +2.106 32
16. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:30.627 +2.347 28
17. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:30.766 +2.486 32
18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.933 +2.653 37
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:31.610 +3.330 37
20. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:33.013 +4.733 28
21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:33.081 +4.801 11
22. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:33.312 +5.032 29
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:33.420 +5.140 35
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:33.740 +5.460 25

Troubled practice for favorites Webber, Massa  (GMM)  Two touted contenders for victory in Sunday's Turkish grand prix had a troubled afternoon practice session at Istanbul Park.

Frustrated Barcelona/Monaco winner and joint championship leader Mark Webber, although second fastest behind Jenson Button, suffered what is suspected to be a failed engine failure.

After skillfully reversing his Red Bull through a gap in the fence, the Australian then amusingly lost his temper with Turkish marshals who could not decipher his desire for a fire extinguisher to be used to chock the wheel.

2006-2008 Istanbul winner Felipe Massa, meanwhile, had the canvas showing on a set of his soft Bridgestone tires after spinning sideways in the challenging Turn 8.

Indy 500 to remain blacked out  It's a year of change at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but one tradition remains constant: The Indianapolis 500 is the only major one-day national sporting event in the country that isn't televised live in the local market.

Speedway officials have more than 250,000 tickets to sell every year. Even in a prosperous economic environment, that's a difficult assignment. For that reason and others, lifting the local television blackout of the 500 seems unlikely "in the foreseeable future," said the chief executive officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp.

"I see some scenarios where we could (lift it)," said Jeff Belskus, who assumed Tony George's position last summer. "Unfortunately, I don't like how most of them play out." More ...

Valsecchi pips top spot in free practice  Davide Valsecchi waited until the very last minute to take the top spot in today’s free practice session in Istanbul, claiming the fastest lap as the clock ran out on the session to inch ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Michael Herck.

The Italian had been in the top ten but not quite at the front throughout the session, but a late pitstop for a tweak gave him the edge to run a time of 1:36.021 to put himself just 0.058 ahead of the Dutchman in an incredibly tight session, which saw 16 drivers all run a time within a second of the top spot. More ...

Hamilton tops first Turkey practice  Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets as practice began on Friday morning ahead of this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix. With McLaren team-mate Jenson Button second, Mercedes GP kept up the symmetry as Schumacher and Rosberg finished third and fourth after Adrian Sutil's Force India suffered a Turn 8 crash in the final three minutes. 

It was a warm morning on the Asian side of the city where east meets west, although ambient temperatures in the high 20s were very much beaten by those of the track surface, which reached figures in the low 40s. More ...
Rahals take advantage of opportunity  Several weeks ago, Rahal Letterman Racing's cars were sitting in the shop, still blue from last year's color scheme for the Indianapolis 500. Graham Rahal was hoping for a ride and looking for a sponsor, his anxiousness even coming across on his Twitter account.Kills me to know Indy cars are on track and I'm not in one," he wrote on April 30. Earlier this month, Rahal Letterman Racing announced Graham would drive for the team in the Indy 500, and on May 15 a one-race sponsor, Quick Trim, was found. Last Saturday, Rahal qualified seventh for Sunday's race, the best starting position for an American driver.

"We didn't work on qualifying stuff too much," Rahal said. "I think that makes us even more proud because for us, really, the first time we tried anything in qualifying was (Friday) afternoon. We did one run." More ...
Korean GP will happen  There should be no worries over this year's inaugural Grand Prix, GPUpdate.net was told on Wednesday morning, despite the current tense relationship between North and South Korea.

With North Korea having severed ties and ceased trading with South Korea, home of the October race at the Korean International Circuit, some fear that the event could be affected although Race Organizers KAVO (Korea Auto Valley Operation) have ensured that the Grand Prix will run smoothly.

"110 percent sure that we will have an F1 race this year in Korea," a KAVO spokesperson told GPUpdate.net. "Do not worry. We have had worse situations in the past and have wisely dealt with matters as such.
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Buemi with injured elbow in Turkey
  • Kubica worried about rivals' F-duct progress
  • Alonso was racing on last Monaco lap - Schu
  • HRT eyes Toyota's Cologne HQ and TF110 car - reports
  • Tester Bottas drove Williams at Silverstone
  • Only Rosberg with own motor home in Turkey
  • Reporter spots new diffuser on Ferrari's F10
  • No truth to Raikkonen/Red Bull rumors - Horner
  • Button splits with Japanese model girlfriend

Buemi with injured elbow in Turkey
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi is wearing a bandage on his right elbow in the Istanbul paddock.

"It was my fault," the Toro Rosso driver is quoted by Speedweek.  "I was jumping over a railing and hit my arm."

Asked by a reporter if his participation in this weekend's Turkish grand prix was ever in doubt, the young Swiss answered: "Not for a second!" More ...

Big crash for Sutil in quiet Turkish practice  (GMM)  Adrian Sutil had a big crash at the end of Friday's opening practice session in Turkey.

The German driver went off the track at high speed on the exit of the Istanbul Park layout's famous four-apex Turn 8 corner, incurring heavy damage to the Force India car.

"He said he had understeer and went off into the marbles, which then put him into the barriers," the team said on its Twitter page once Sutil had returned to the garage.

It was otherwise a fairly quiet session under warm and blue skies and near-empty grandstands, amid rumors there is a chance of light rain for Sunday.

Bruno Senna had to sit out the initial 90 minutes of practice in deference to Friday test driver Sakon Yamamoto, who ended the session slowest of all. More ...

Angie's List and Conquest Racing Team Up on Tire Safety  
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