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DATE News (chronologically)
William Rast Announces Partnership with Danica Patrick  William Rast, the "New America" denim culture brand, founded by Justin Timberlake in 2005, and winner of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, has signed a multi-year endorsement agreement together with their eyewear license partner Viva International Group, for racing superstar Danica Patrick to endorse William Rast Eyewear and William Rast Racing Eyewear. Patrick will be wearing William Rast, on and off the racetrack and be featured in upcoming campaigns.

Patrick's endorsement of William Rast, coincides with the consumer launch of the William Rast Eyewear line this year, which includes both optical frames and sunglasses for women and men; and a special William Rast Racing Eyewear collection, that features sporty, athletic styles with upgraded materials and features. More ...

NASCAR hero Stewart admits he's not good enough for IndyCars  It's been 10 years since Indiana native and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart last pulled off the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double.

Don't expect it to happen again.

"In my heart? Absolutely, I would love to do it," Stewart said. "The problem with it is that IndyCars have become so competitive now." [Editor's Note:  Correct, when Tony drove IndyCars it was against a field full of wankers.  When the CART drivers invaded Indy they buried him.]

Stewart, who turned 40 earlier this month, competed in both races the same day in 1999 and 2001. He became the only driver to post two top-10 finishes despite thinking that he might be hallucinating during the last 100 miles at Charlotte 10 years ago. More ...

Simona de Silvestro warms up to Milwaukee Mile  Following a bittersweet month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Simona de Silvestro is focused on good results for the remainder of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. In preparation, she and her team at HVM Racing participated in Wednesday's test at The Milwaukee Mile.

The No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was one of twelve to hit the track. It was de Silvestro's first run on the historic oval and after 154 laps of testing, the team felt it went well. She quickly found her stride in the morning and was able to improve as the day went on, ending up as one of the quickest of the group. More ...

Indiana TV station defends cutting off Indy 500 finish  A South Bend television station is defending its decision to cut away from the finish of the Indianapolis 500 for a severe weather report.

WBND news director Aaron Ramey tells the South Bend Tribune that tornado warnings had been issued for the area on Sunday, and "public safety is a priority" for the ABC affiliate.

No tornadoes touched down in the area, but two funnel clouds were reported. More ...

Track News
F1 developers' offer to help pay for Austin road work  Travis County commissioners could vote today on an agreement for racetrack developers to pay $375,000 of an estimated $1.5 million face-lift for a five-mile stretch of FM 812, which will be the main entrance to the $400 million venue southeast of Austin.

The improvements would allow FM 812 , now configured for two lanes, to handle four lanes of traffic on race days. The pavement repair, sealing and topping is scheduled to begin in August and be completed by year's end.

The road borders the southern edge of the Circuit of the Americas, which will be home to Formula One auto races .

No county money would be spent for the Texas Department of Transportation project. The county would serve as a conduit for the developers' money to be passed on to the state.

The section of FM 812 slated for repair stretches east from San Jose Avenue near FM 973 to the Bastrop County line.

"It's been on our plan to do preventative maintenance on that road for a while," said Carlos Lopez, TxDOT's Austin district engineer. Lopez said it was coincidental that the road work falls at the same time as construction of the track, which was announced in May 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in June 2012, in time for its first Formula One race.

Lopez said the road was rebuilt and sealed in 1990 and then got another coat of asphalt in 2000. It has received only routine maintenance since then, he said.

FM 812 is described as a two-lane road, but the five-mile segment to be reworked has shoulders on both sides that allow slower-moving cars to be passed. The lanes are now 12 feet wide, the shoulders 10 feet wide. After the resealing, all lanes would be striped to be 11 feet wide.

"It's not being widened in any way, shape or form," Lopez said.

TxDOT spokesman John Hurt said that on race days, three lanes would be oriented in the main direction of flow — toward the traffic entrance before the race, away from it afterward — while one lane would handle traffic in the opposite direction.

The track's developers will pay for additional improvements to FM 812 near the main entrance to the circuit , including turn lanes. Those improvements require adding pavement, seven feet on the eastbound approach and 13½ feet on the westbound approach.

The cost of those changes is estimated at $375,000. The developers will post the money with the county, which will then pay the state.

County officials and track developers are expected to meet later to discuss other road-related problems.

Grand-Am Series teams secure sponsorship deals  Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series team AIM Autosport has announced Gamma88 as its primary sponsor for the races at Road America, Watkins Glen International and Montreal.

Gamma88 becomes the official fuel and oil supplement manufacturer of AIM Autosport’s BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype cars for these three races, having sponsored the team during two races earlier in the season.

Ian Willis, team principal of AIM Autosport, said: “I’m extremely happy that Gamma88 will return for three more races this year. This reinforces that our program is an effective way for Gamma88 to strength its brand and accelerate its growth in the fuel and oil supplement market. We’re confident that we can continue to deliver results with Gamma88 and grow the program next year.” More ...
Racing News
Formula SAE racing team at OSU wins back-to-back national championships  
Winning Oregon State Car
The Formula SAE racing team at Oregon State University recently became only the third team in history to win back-to-back national championships, following a competition at the Michigan International Speedway. 

The win was even more dominant than the victory in 2010, as the OSU team won the three most prestigious aspects of the competition – engineering design, endurance, and the overall win, along with eight other awards. They were far ahead of the second place team from the Technical University of Munich.

“The team took the winning design from last season and made it better,” said Anthony Casson, one of the team members. “Our engineers changed exactly what they needed to change, nothing more.” More ...

F1 revenue rising  Annual revenue from Formula One's commercial rights is set to double in the next five years to more than 3.7 billion dollars thanks largely to race hosting fees.

A statistical review of Formula One's finances, uses data from various sources in a sport where official figures are hard to obtain and sponsorship details are kept secret.

Formula One's commercial rights are owned by private equity firm CVC and managed by the sport's 80-year-old supremo and dealmaker Bernie Ecclestone. More ...

De Silvestro's confidence shaken after Indy crash  The burns on Simona De Silvestro's hands are getting better. Restoring her confidence is another matter.

The 22-year-old Swiss earned the respect of her fellow IndyCar drivers by rallying from a frightening crash in a practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to qualify for the Indy 500 and start the race.

De Silvestro said the crash made her think about quitting. And even with Indy in her rearview mirror, she admitted she's still a little shaken up and that her mindset isn't yet back to where it was before the accident. More ...

Senna – review  You don't need to know, or care, about motor racing to enjoy Senna. In sports-cinema terms, it's closer to something like Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno's Zidane than recent releases like TT3D or From the Ashes: an inventively crafted portrait of an exceptional individual. Yes, we're taken chronologically through the Brazilian driver's stellar track career, with team-mate Alain Prost as his Dick Dastardly-like arch-rival. But beneath the helmet, Ayrton Senna was a fascinating, contradictory mix of religious faith, boyish innocence, global celebrity and reckless determination; you couldn't have made a film like this about Nigel Mansell. The film's masterstroke is its exclusive use of archive footage, with no visible talking heads or modern-day interruptions. With so much recorded footage of Formula One available, it has been possible to fashion Senna's story as a live action drama rather than a posthumous documentary; we're not so much hearing what happened in the past as seeing it happen before our eyes. The immediacy of the approach is exhilarating and, as we approach the inevitably tragic ending, undeniably emotional. The Guardian

Note: The official United States release date for SENNA is now set for August 12th

Superleague Formula Nations Cup announces full line-up  
Driver Team
Neel Jani SF Belgium – RSC Anderlecht 
Yelmer Buurman SF Netherlands - PSV Eindhoven
Filip Salaquarda SF Czech Republic - AC Sparta Praha
Frédéric Vervisch SF Luxembourg
Earl Bamber SF New Zealand
Duncan Tappy SF Japan
Robert Doornbos SF Netherlands
María de Villota SF Spain - Atlético de Madrid
Andy Soucek SF Turkey - Galatasaray SK
Ho-Pin Tung SF China
Antonio Pizzonia SF Brazil
John Martin SF Australia
Craig Dolby SF England
Tristan Gommendy SF France - Girondins de Bordeaux
Three Questions with Lotus' Dany Bahar  
Following the result of the naming rights court case, is there an update regarding Group Lotus’ F1 involvement?

Dany Bahar: The judgment grants Group Lotus the rights to use the name 'Lotus' and the Lotus roundel on their own within F1, we are, therefore, even more committed than ever before to our long term plan within the sport.

The Judge also found that Team Lotus, run by 1Malaysia Racing Team, has the right to continue to race in F1 under the name Team Lotus and using the Team Lotus roundel. As a consequence, it is inevitable that the similarity of the names Lotus and Team Lotus will cause confusion not only amongst F1 supporters and the wider public, but also amongst F1 commentators who use the word ‘Lotus’ interchangeably for both teams as demonstrated throughout the season so far. With the full support of our parent company, Proton, we are seeking leave to appeal so that this point can be clarified for the benefit of all interested in F1.

With regards to our involvement with Lotus Renault GP, as Lotus we stand united with Genii Capital and have every confidence in the future success of Lotus Renault GP. More ...

Video: Tour of Marco Andretti's home  
Milwaukee IndyCar Test Times  
Hunter-Reay: #28 - 22.21 sec.
Sato: #5 - 22.53 sec.
Andretti: #26 - 22.58 sec
de Silvestro: #78 - 22.58 sec.
Meira: #14 - 22.65 sec
Kanaan: #82 - 22.67 sec.
Viso: #59 - 22.77 sec.
Patrick: #7 - 22.90 sec.
Conway: #27 - 22.99 sec.
Carpenter: #67 - 23.26 sec.
Saavedra: #34 - 23.36 sec.
Jakes: #18 - 24.19 sec.
Hill urges F1 to skip Bahrain in 2011  (GMM)  Damon Hill has urged formula one to take the moral high ground and resist the urge to take Bahrain's money and reschedule the 2011 Bahrain grand prix.

The FIA will meet in Barcelona on Friday to discuss reshuffling the inaugural Indian grand prix to December to squeeze the troubled island Kingdom into this year's F1 calendar.

Martial law in Bahrain ended on Wednesday, but reports of violence continued to emanate and Hill, the 1996 world champion and president of the British grand prix organizer BRDC said F1 should not go there this year.

"You can't just base your decision to hold a race in a country on that country's ability to pay," he is quoted by the Daily Mail.

"Formula one cannot put its head in the sand concerning the Bahrain grand prix because it is a very volatile situation out there and F1 is involved," said the Briton. More ...

MW Arden dominate in Hungary  Bottas quickest this afternoon, but Australian team MW Arden top three out of four sessions at GP3 Series mid-season test in Hungary.

The cool morning temperatures at the Hungarian track on day 2 of mid-season testing meant when the lights turned green and the pitlane opened that all the drivers fed out onto the track for their initial installation laps, before swiftly returning to the pits and switching to new tires. 

James Calado was the first driver to post a quick time on new rubber, but soon after the Lotus ART driver found himself swapping fastest lap times with Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims, MW Arden’s Mitch Evans and Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller – the latter setting a laptime over half a second quicker than yesterday’s fastest man Lewis Williamson. But, with less than thirty minutes gone in the session, the Scot was back on top and continuing his good form from the previous day. Müller was bumped down to second ahead of Calado, Evans, Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Carlin’s Conor Daly.  More ...
December date 'great' for India - Chandhok  (GMM)  Bahrain is the buzzword in F1 circles at present, on the eve of the FIA's decision about the reinstatement of the troubled island Kingdom's 2011 race.

Indian motor racing chief Vicky Chandhok, the father of Lotus reserve driver Karun, stirred the nest on Thursday by suggesting India is keen to move its scheduled inaugural date to make way for the Bahrain rescheduling.

"The weather would be great," he told PTI news agency, referring to the controversial December 11 date that has been proposed.

Bahrain has embarked on a charm offensive ahead of the FIA's Friday meeting of the World Motor Sport Council; the deadline for the race's possible rescheduling.

The move is unpopular in F1 circles but Bernie Ecclestone is keen given the reported $40 million race fee on offer.

"Let's bring Bahrain formula one back.  Together we can," read signposts in Bahrain's capital Manama on Thursday.

The Bahrain International Circuit did not return two phone calls.

Simoncelli gets slap on wrist over Pedrosa collision  Marco Simoncelli has been official warned by MotoGP officials after the coming together between himself and Dani Pedrosa in the French Grand Prix. Summoned to discuss the moment at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, the Italian talked through the incident with FIM representatives and Team Principal Fausto Gresini.

The crash resulted in a broken collarbone for works Honda rider Pedrosa, who continues to recover and has been forced to miss his home race this weekend. More ...
Jenson Button reviews his Monaco GP  
Q: You started second, led the race commandingly and pulled away during the second stint, yet you ended up third at the checker - is that the cause of satisfaction or disappointment?
JB: "On the one hand, it's pleasing that we've had a package capable of winning the race for the last two grands prix. Of course, it's never satisfying to see a potential victory slip away from you, but that's Monaco, sometimes. There are still lots of positives to take away from the weekend, though. We arrived with a very well-sorted car and were immediately on the pace. As always, the engineers did a brilliant job between Thursday and Saturday to improve the set-up and balance, and we went into qualifying with a really strong car. I was pleased with second, but, if it hadn't been for the red flag, I think we could've gone faster. Would it have been enough for pole? Who knows? But second was a good place to start. And it was all feeling pretty easy in the race. The engineers did a good job to keep me informed of what was happening and the car felt pretty easy to push, particularly during that second stint when we were extremely quick. I don't think I did much wrong out on the track, but, unfortunately, it was taken away from us by circumstances beyond our control. Like I said, that's the way Monaco goes. While it was disappointing that we couldn't take the win - which would have been fantastic for the team - we got some decent points and we're nicely set up for the next couple of races, I think."  More ...
Track News
Don Panoz explains sale of Mosport  Following Wednesday's announcement of the sale of Mosport International Raceway to Canadian Motorsport Ventures, Inc., Panoz Motor Sports Group Founder Don Panoz reflects on his ownership of the historic Canadian venue, which he purchased more than a dozen years ago.

Q. Why did you buy Mosport initially?
In 1997, Professional Sports Car Racing, Sebring and Mosport were all under the control of Andy Evans. By the end of that year and toward the last race, the series was falling apart. I was told that if someone didn’t step up and buy Sebring and Mosport, another group would take over the sanctioning. So I stepped up and agreed to buy it.

I have to say that I wasn’t completely aware of all the history of Mosport at the time. Then almost immediately I started to find out through Myles (Brandt, Mosport President and GM) the history of the track, being the first place Formula 1 raced in North America, and tradition of the track. It’s really one of the best road tracks in all of Canada and has a very good reputation as a road track in North America. It needed some work. We built new pits, a new pit entry. We started doing maintenance and improving the track year-by-year. We took the ALMS there in 1999 and saw the numbers grow and watched the Canadian support grow. It’s a great track with a great history. More ...
Superleague Formula Nations Cup available in over 400m TV households  The Superleague Formula Nations Cup today announced that it has concluded a number of broadcast deals, which will see the championship available in over 400m homes worldwide for the 2011 season.

The agreements will see coverage of the series, both live and delayed, in over 180 territories from major European markets to countries as far apart as the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

The series will also stream races live via its own website www.superleagueformula.com and also through a number of online partnerships.

The innovative race production is fully produced by Endemol Sport. The live package includes two 40 minute races, separated by a 20 minute gap, in which the broadcasters will have full live access to the drama and emotion of the pit garages as crews and drivers prepare for the second race. More ...

New Camaros Turn Heads in Trans-Am Series TA2 Class  While there has certainly been a wide variety of machinery used throughout the 45-year history of the Trans-Am Series, most followers tend to equate American muscle cars with the series.
That’s definitely the case in the 2011 SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series, with the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang being the weapons of choice for a majority of the competitors in the top class of the series, which is simply known as Trans-Am or “TA” for short. However, a new American muscle car has begun turning a lot of heads this season in the Trans-Am 2 (or “TA2”) class, the Chevrolet Camaro.
A pair of Texans -- Gregg Rodgers, from Southlake, and Bob Stretch, from Arlington -- have driven Camaros to TA2 victories this season. Rodgers won the TA class in the first two races of the season at Sebring International Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park in his white No. 40 PinnacleAutosports.com/Eagles Canyon Raceway/Petfinder.com Camaro, while Stretch has taken the TA2 win in the past two events at Virginia International Raceway and Mosport International Raceway in his black No. 98 Wheels America Camaro. More ...
Le Mans looms large for Robertson Racing  Just over a week remains before the French Tricolore drops signaling the start of the 79th Le Mans 24 Hours (June 11/12). It will be a significant moment in the short history of Robertson Racing who are set to make their first appearance at the greatest motor race on earth with one of the event’s most iconic machines, the Ford GT.

The American outfit, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has been preparing for this moment for the past four years when team owners/drivers David and Andrea Robertson first set out on the road to Le Mans via the American Le Mans Series. Now their self-developed #68 Doran/Ford GT Mk VII returns to its forbearer’s ancestral home and scene of the Blue Oval’s most celebrated achievement in motorsport: the four consecutive overall victories of the 1960s. More ...
Shannon McIntosh won't give up hope on making it to IndyCar  Nintai. The Japanese term embodying perseverance holds elevated significance for Shannon McIntosh.

After all, when the 21-year-old driver from small-town Ohio found herself unable to fund a burgeoning racing career, she took up three jobs while attending college in North Carolina, yet had little time to race. Upon returning to her home state, McIntosh took up a job as a nanny and would simultaneously babysit and work the phones to get sponsorships. Now she competes on the IndyCar's Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 National Championship Series after making the switch from oval racing to road.

And all it took was a little nintai. More ...

Virgin and Wirth part company  UPDATE (GMM)  Virgin on Thursday confirmed reports Nick Wirth has left the struggling team.

Chief executive Andy Webb told us in a statement that the decision followed a "comprehensive review" in the wake of Russian carmaker Marussia's arrival as title sponsor and investor.

The statement said "it is readily apparent that the team must take major steps in order to accelerate its rate of improvement".

"Consequently, the decision has been taken that the team will take greater control of its own destiny," added Webb, revealing Virgin has therefore been "obliged to terminate our relationship" with Wirth and his company Wirth Research.

"Looking ahead, we will now be pursuing an alternative technical path and look forward to announcing our plans in more detail over the coming weeks," he said. More ...

Series races two-wide into Texas, Milwaukee  Tony Kanaan pointed to Turn 1 at the Milwaukee Mile and joked “that’s where we’ll have to have the acceleration point” on restarts. Actually, he might not be far off the mark.

Kanaan, a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series race winner at the Mile, was among the dozen drivers to put in a testing day on the racetrack in advance of the series’ return June 17-19 for the Milwaukee 225.  Eleven more drivers will test June 3, and 13 Firestone Indy Lights driver/car combinations will be on the track June 2 in preparation for the David Hobbs 100.

Fans can watch testing each day (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) from the hill outside Turn 2, and Milwaukee 225 promoters will host a watching party (food, drinks, apparel, tickets for purchase) June 3 in the Gate 1 parking lot off Greenfield Avenue. More ...

Danica, Danica, Danica - Stop Already  
The IRL built IndyCar on Danica and no other drivers.  When she leaves for NASCAR what will happen to the series when its biggest asset walks out the door?
Chris Jenkins from the Associated Press and I were talking during IndyCar testing Wednesday at the Milwaukee Mile. I asked him if he was there working on anything in particular. He was just there to write about what Danica Patrick had do say. Or, more accurately, didn’t have to say.

The chances of her spilling anything on her future were nil, and yet . . . yet . . . yet . . .aaaaggghhhh, Chris was right. (And he’s a guy who covered Brett Favre and NFL labor, so he knows a lot about covering stories that need babysitting.) The media that have told Patrick's story ad nauseum, complicit with the fans who have continued to read and watch, and have made Patrick’s story as much about the story as about Patrick herself.

Follow? Let me try it another way. Why is Kim Kardashian famous? Because, well . . . she’s famous. Acclaim is one of those sorts of things that can just build on itself. She of the ample backside and “reality” series will sell perfume and someone will buy it not because she had a track record for producing pleasing if slightly overpriced scents but because she’s the one selling it.  More ...

Hylkema replaces Caldarelli at Tech 1  Tech 1 racing has announced that Andrea Caldarelli, who is currently second overall in the GP3 standings, is no longer racing for the team. From Valencia onwards, the Italian will be replaced by Dutchman Thomas Hylkema, who is testing at the Hungaroring on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

With Caldarelli having received a request from Toyota to compete in Formula Nippon, the reasons for his departure are confirmed by Tech 1 Team Manager Simon Abadie:

“It gives our heartstrings a bit of a tug to see Andrea leaving, but that’s how it is. He couldn’t turn down an offer from a manufacturer like Toyota and we fully understand his position. Toyota has been backing him for several years and it’s good for his career to go to Japan to race. More ...

Q&A with Danica Patrick  
IndyCar's biggest star headed to NASCAR
With the Indianapolis 500 over, a NASCAR Nationwide race on tap for this weekend and in the midst of speculation regarding her future, Danica Patrick was one of a dozen IndyCar Series drivers testing Wednesday at the Milwaukee Mile in anticipation of the June 19 Milwaukee 225. During the lunch break, she fielded 15 minutes worth of questions from local media.

Q. How do you feel about the race being back here at the Milwaukee Mile after being away last year?

A. I complained like heck we didn't come here last year. I said to all the people at the series that was a mistake, that this is the best track for racing for us. There's really two very good grooves for us. The outside one you can use more throttle, and the inside one you have lift a little more so it's very even and it really allows you to move around and use the space for how your car is changing over a run. More ...

Drivers complete tire test at Kentucky  Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Joey Logano, Mark Martin and David Reutimann became acquainted with the race conditions at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday during a Goodyear tire test held just 36 days before the 107,000-seat venue makes its Sprint Cup Series debut with the July 9 "Quaker State 400."

Biffle was pleased with his #16 3M Ford's setup off the hauler and the performance of the Goodyear tire compound. "We brought notes from Chicago, Kansas and basic mile-and-a-half racetracks, then, from what we did here before. We looked at all of that and picked out of a basket as to where to start. We hit it on the nail head right out of the garage. We haven't made a lot of changes and we're running the same speed as all the guys. The track is taking rubber perfect. It's turning color and you can see the groove coming in. When we're through, you'll be able to stand in the grandstands and see the distinct black line around the racetrack where the cars are running," Biffle said.

Joe Gibbs Racing's Logano, the only driver to reel off three consecutive NNS pole awards and 300-mile race victories at the track, also gave the tire compound solid reviews. "Goodyear brought one tire here, basically reassuring themselves that this is the tire they want. They've never had tire issues here before with the Nationwide Series, so I don't see this one being a problem. The tire isn't putting too much rubber down and I feel like it has decent grip." Kentucky Speedway PR

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Massa  getting same equipment
    Virgin set to confirm Wirth split
  • Alonso not getting better equipment than Massa - Gene
  • Raikkonen refused entry to Briatore club in Monaco
  • Haug laughs off joke about Schumacher's age
  • No peace in Bahrain as FIA decision looms More ...
Honda Indy revving up 1  Honda Indy Toronto is more than just race cars burning rubber — it’s a weekend that revs up the economy.

Workers for the IndyCar Series race were beginning to set the track Wednesday, gearing up for the 25th anniversary of the event which runs July 8-10 at Exhibition Place.

Indy Toronto officials say the event pumps more than $50 million into the local economy through ticket sales, job creation and race-related tourism.

“Then you add in the additional television exposure for two hours around the world to 200 countries in a very positive promotion for the city and province, to buy that kind of advertising is absolutely astronomical,” said Honda Indy Toronto vice-president Charlie Johnstone. “It’s been a steady economic boost over 25 years.” More ...

Chrysler sales up 10%, Ford flat, GM down 1.2%  Chrysler defied the general slowdown in new vehicle sales in May, reporting a 10% increase from a year earlier, when it was preparing to launch the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Sales of the revamped Chrysler 200 more than doubled the year-earlier performance of the Chrysler Sebring it replaced with 7,096 units sold in May, but sales of its Town & Country minivan tumbled 51% and sales of the redesigned 300 full-size sedan fell 28% to 2,539.

Chrysler’s Jeep brand drove the Auburn Hills’ automaker's overall gain with a 55% increase from May 2010, as sales of the Grand Cherokee nearly tripled to 9,484. More ...

Fastenal Adds an Additional Seven Races to Nationwide Schedule with Roush Fenway  On the heels of its sweeping one-two finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway last Saturday, Fastenal announced today it will add an additional seven races to its 2011 Nationwide Series schedule; serving as the primary sponsor on the No. 60 Ford Mustang of Carl Edwards. 

“With all the success we’ve had on the track with Carl Edwards and the entire Roush Fenway team, we feel our racing program has taken a big step forward this season,” said Fastenal’s Executive Vice President of Operations Cory Jansen. “We’re excited to keep the momentum going for the expanded race schedule and, hopefully, get the Fastenal name into victory lane a few more times in 2011.”

Fastenal was originally the scheduled primary on the Roush Fenway No. 60 Ford Mustang for 15 NASCAR Nationwide races in 2011, but will increase that number to 23 events with today’s announcement. More ...

Zytek To Supply Engines For Formula Renault 3.5 Series  Zytek Engineering has been chosen to supply the engine for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series 2012 - 2014. The Repton based manufacturer was a logical choice, as its incredibly reliable engines have been the specified power units for Formula 3000, A1GP and the Auto GP series. Zytek engines have also won in class at Le Mans and powered Zytek’s own chassis to overall victories in the Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series races, along with the LMS LMP2 drivers and team championships in 2009.

The engine has been specifically designed for the Formula Renault 3.5 car. A 3.4-litre V8, code named the ZRS03, will generate 530bhp at 9,250rpm, fifty more horsepower than the series current engine. More ...

MW Arden's Williamson leads the way in GP3 testing  Lewis Williamson was the fastest man on track at the Hungaroring, after setting the best time of 1:38.330 on day one of official GP3 Series testing.

The GP3 Series teams gathered for the first of two mid-season tests, and were greeted with cool but dry conditions in Hungary. RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen set the benchmark time for the rest of the field this morning, and the Dane topped the time sheets until the mid-way mark when his time was bettered by GP3 rookie and race winner Mitch Evans. The MW Arden driver’s 1:38.508 lap on fresh tires went unbeaten for the remainder of the uninterrupted morning session, with Christensen holding on to second spot. Five hundredths of a second behind in the closely matched session was Nico Müller – just one second covered the top seventeen drivers. Teammates Valtteri Bottas and James Calado showed Lotus ART’s speed by posting the fourth and fifth quickest times respectively. More ...
Repsol Honda Team to face the GP of Catalunya without Dani Pedrosa  Unfortunately, this weekend the Repsol Honda team will compete the fifth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, the Grand Prix of Catalunya, without Dani Pedrosa.

The Spaniard had surgery on the 18th May to repair a fractured right collarbone caused during his crash in the Le Mans race. It was hoped that through rehabilitation he would be ready to participate this weekend in the Grand Prix of Catalunya, however, due the bone healing slower than anticipated he has been forced to follow a more conservative treatment. How the injury heals from this point on will determine the timetable for his return to competition. More ...

Costa joins Ferrari road car division on full pay  GMM)  Aldo Costa has become a very highly-paid member of Ferrari's road car design department.

The Italian was stepped down as technical director of the Maranello based marque's formula one team after a disappointing start to the 2011 season.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, he has been moved to the road car division to sit out the remainder of his two-year contract -- at full F1 pay.

The move is expensive for Ferrari, but it will ensure he is not easily snapped up by a key rival.

On the subject of money, the magazine overheard a fascinating exchange between Williams' Patrick Head and Bernie Ecclestone in Monaco, in which the former was certain the latter could not possibly be eyeing buying back F1 "with your own money!?"

As for what Ecclestone would do if he does buy back F1, the 80-year-old joked to Head: "Give it to the teams."

Anderson Driving for Five in Englishtown  After a weekend off to observe Memorial Day, the world’s best quarter-milers return to action this weekend with the NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., the eighth stop on the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing schedule.  Held at venerable Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, it is one of defending Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing team’s favorites for a variety of reasons. 

For starters, the naturally-aspirated “factory hot rods” are among the knowledgeable Garden State fans’ favorites, as conditions often allow for some of the quickest runs of the year.  In addition, with legends Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, “Dyno Don” Nicholson, Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson among those gracing its winner’s circle over the last forty years, a Raceway Park Wally is among the most cherished in the sport.  Finally, it has been the site of great success by Anderson and his KB Racing crew, with their four wins tied for the most in Pro Stock history, a pattern they hope to continue this weekend. More ...

Flying Lizard reveals LeMans livery  Flying Lizard revealed today a commemorative livery for the No. 80 and No. 81 Flying Lizard Porsches for the 2011 24 Heures du Mans.

Created by California-based artist Troy Lee, the livery celebrates the history of Porsche at Le Mans, featuring the 28 drivers who have won the 24 Heures du Mans overall in a Porsche. The No. 80 and No. 81 designs are identical, implemented in complementary colors: candy metallic orange for the No. 80 and candy metallic blue for the No. 81; both anchored by a deep ocean blue. Primary colors provide a backdrop for the driver names and flags which weave throughout the design on the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

More ...

Track News
Panoz sells Mosport to Fellows group  Panoz Motor Sports Group today announced the return of Mosport International Raceway to its Canadian roots with its sale to Canadian Motorsport Ventures, Ltd. Comprising that group are transportation industry leader, Al Boughton; famed Canadian racer Ron Fellows; and real-estate developer Carlo Fidani. The new owners intend to build upon Mosport’s storied history and respected reputation to create new and exciting opportunities for race fans, corporate partners and racers on an international scale. More ...
Tagliani loves Edmonton Indy layout  
The new Edmonton track layout
Mention the new IndyCar circuit at Edmonton City Centre Airport and Alex Tagliani gets all revved up.

"I think this configuration is going to be amazing," says the 38-year-old driver who last week became the first Canadian to win the pole at the Indy 500. "I think it's going to be the future configuration for race courses for our sport."

What Tagliani absolutely loves about the layout that will play host to the IndyCar crowd on July 22-24 are three mile-long straightaways . . . right in front of the crowd.

"Open wheel racing with wings is very unique," he explained. "You need long straightaways for people to draft and do a lot of braking to be able to pass. Having the track built in a way where people in the grandstand are going to have a visual of three different opportunities for that is very unique. More ...

'Renault on sound financial footing'  Renault boss Eric Boullier has dismissed reports that his team are in financial trouble.  Reports surfaced over the weekend suggesting that Renault owed a considerable sum to their parent company, an amount that has left them on shaky ground.

However, Boullier - while admitting that the team do have outstanding loans - has quickly rubbished such assertions.

"It is very funny how stories can blow up like this and constantly come back," Boullier told Autosport.

"It is maybe not a coincidence, but there is some old guard from Renault here [in Monaco] so maybe they keep spreading rumors on their own. More ...

TV News
LeMans highlights SPEED's next two weeks  The 79th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours – the world’s most prestigious endurance race – highlights a diverse lineup of motor sports disciplines to be featured on SPEED the second weekend of June. Uninterrupted live, multi-platform race coverage from Circuit de la Sarthe starts June 11 at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.

SPEED and SPEED.com are lining up 25 hours of fully produced, flag-to-flag high-definition coverage from this historic endurance event. With 18 hours on the linear network and seven hours slated for SPEED.com, lead sports car voice Leigh Diffey and former racer Brian Till are handling the play-by-play. Scott Pruett, the three-time and defending Grand Am Series Daytona Prototype champion, joins former sports car shoes Dorsey Schroeder and Calvin Fish for color commentary. Justin Bell, Jamie Howe, Andrew Marriott and Greg Creamer are rotating pit road and paddock area duties to communicate the latest storylines. More ...

Wheldon gets his 2nd morning-after Photo Shoot  
Dan Wheldon, winner 2011 Indy 500
Waiting for the initial volley of early-morning TV and radio guest appearances, Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon reflected on the hectic race that transpired a few hundred feet from his victory podium perch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

His milk- and champagne-soaked firesuit washed overnight for a photo shoot, Wheldon went shopping for clothing for the multi-city Victory Tour that started May 31st.

Volvo testing KERS flywheel technology  
Volvo KERS technology
A light, cost-efficient and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six-cylinder, at the same time as reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. This autumn, Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the world's first car makers to test the potential of flywheel technology on public roads. The company has received a grant of 6.57 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Energy Agency for developing next-generation technology for kinetic recovery of braking energy in a joint project together with Volvo Powertrain and SKF.

"Our aim is to develop a complete system for kinetic energy recovery. Tests in a Volvo car will get under way in the second half of 2011. This technology has the potential for reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. What is more, it gives the driver an extra horsepower boost, giving a four-cylinder engine acceleration like a six-cylinder unit," relates Derek Crabb, Vice President VCC Powertrain Engineering.

60,000 revs per minute
The new system, known as Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), is fitted to the rear axle. During retardation, the braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving off again, the flywheel's rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission.

The combustion engine that drives the front wheels is switched off as soon as the braking begins. The energy in the flywheel can be used to accelerate the vehicle when it is time to move off once again, or to power the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed.

"The flywheel's stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods. However, this has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that the combustion engine will be able to be turned off about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle," explains Derek Crabb.

Since the flywheel is activated by braking and the duration of the energy storage - that is to say the length of time the flywheel spins - is limited, the technology is at its most effective during driving featuring repeated stops and starts. In other words, the fuel savings will be greatest when driving in busy urban traffic as well as during active driving.

If the energy in the flywheel is combined with the combustion engine's full capacity, it will give the car an extra boost of 80 horsepower, and thanks to the swift torque build-up this translates into rapid acceleration, cutting 0 to 62 mph figures significantly.

Carbon fiber for a lightweight and compact solution
Flywheel propulsion assistance was tested in a Volvo 240 back in the 1980s, and flywheels made of steel have been evaluated by various manufacturers in recent times. However, since a unit made of steel is large and heavy and has rather limited rotational capacity, this is not a viable alternative.

The flywheel that Volvo Car Corporation will use in its test car is made of carbon fiber. It weighs about six kilograms and has a diameter of 20 centimeters. The carbon fiber wheel spins in a vacuum to minimize frictional losses.

"We are not the first manufacturer to test flywheel technology. But nobody else has applied it to the rear axle of a car fitted with a combustion engine driving the front wheels. If the tests and technical development go as planned, we expect cars with flywheel technology to reach the showrooms within a few years," says Derek Crabb. He concludes: "The flywheel technology is relatively cheap. It can be used in a much larger volume of our cars than top-of-the-line technology such as the plug-in hybrid. This means that it has potential to play a major role in our CO2-cutting DRIVe Towards Zero strategy." More ...

Sadler suing Petty Motorsports  
Elliott Sadler
Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C.

The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year.

In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit. Scene Daily

Affliction Clothing sponsoring Kenseth in 2 races  
Matt Kenseth
Roush Fenway Racing announces a new primary sponsorship for 2003 Cup Series Champion, Matt Kenseth and his #17 team from Affliction Clothing. Affliction Clothing will serve as the primary sponsor for Kenseth's team for the Sprint Cup Series race weekends in June at Kansas Speedway for the STP 400 as well as the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. The Affliction family of brands exists at the intersection between the spirited artistry and hard edged attitude of the fast-living modern generation. Affliction defines and meets the needs of their style savvy customer with an ever-expanding collection of contemporary fashion focused on an innovative combination of style, fit, fabrics, finishes and quality. A true culture phenomenon and a commercial powerhouse; Affliction brands are rooted in and beloved by the hard rock and sports communities. Roush Fenway Racing.
Bayne will return for Chicago Nationwide race  
Trevor Bayne
Trevor Bayne will make his ninth start of the season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway in the STP 300. Bayne: "I'm looking forward to concentrating on our Nationwide program this weekend at Chicago. I am thankful to be able to get back into a race car and I am going to savor this moment forever. We as race car drivers are so blessed to be doing this for a living and I think we take that for granted sometimes. I am ready to get back to work and compete at the highest level. Our Nationwide program has been unstoppable as of late and I want to contribute to that success as much as I can. Chris Andrews and the guys give me awesome race cars to drive, so there is no doubt in my mind that we can win this thing on Saturday night." Roush Fenway Racing
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Is there any question who is the better driver at Ferrari?
    FIA to listen to teams about Bahrain - official
  • FIA pressing ahead with new F1 spectacle
  • Alonso is in charge at Ferrari - Hamilton
  • Petrov 'fine' after Monaco crash - Alesi
  • Kubica 'will recover' insists manager
  • 2012 Mercedes will be 'excellent' - Brawn
  • Meteoric Vettel racing to title - Wurz
  • Monaco to tweak tunnel run-off for 2012 More ...
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