McReynolds, Petty, Despain and Wallace on Childress/Busch Incident The Richard Childress/Kyle Busch watch shifted into high gear Sunday after NASCAR concluded Busch’s involvement in an altercation with car owner Richard Childress following Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway did not violate his six-race probation. However, the sanctioning body continues to look into any possible punishment it may impose on Childress for allegedly punching Busch in the Truck Series garage Saturday following the race.
Below, SPEED on-air personalities weigh in on the incident, the motivation behind Childress’ frustration and in what manner NASCAR should intervene:
Hildebrand's character praised The checkered flag was going to wave the instant Panther Racing National Guard IndyCar driver J.R. Hildebrand soared over the yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This rookie driver was heading toward an exhilarating, unbelievable, breathtaking finish.
I was fortunate to be watching from the inside the main straightaway. The blur while it was racing would not have allowed you to notice the camouflage paint scheme of the car. I remember telling my wife, Rowana, that I could not believe that we were going to win the Indianapolis 500 -- on its 100th anniversary.
Allgaier Coasts to Nationwide Win The final lap of a NASCAR race is usually a blur of speed.
Saturday night's STP 300 was something else. Justin Allgaier coasted across the finish line to win despite running out of fuel after passing Carl Edwards on the final lap at Chicagoland Speedway as Edwards also ran out of fuel.
Both were traveling about 50 mph when they rolled across the finish line, even as Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was barreling toward them from behind. Bayne finished third.
Heidfeld: My race pace is as fast as my car will allow Nick Heidfeld looks forward to returning to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix next weekend, a race he believes to be one of the most memorable on the Formula 1 calendar. Four more points for the team in Monaco, what is your reflection on the last race?
Well, naturally we went to Monaco expecting more from the weekend. We were predicting a better performance and more points all around, we thought we would be quite strong there. I do feel, however, that we have come away from that weekend having learnt a lot more about the car, which is positive, and I’m sure we can take that knowledge into Canada and the races beyond in order to bring our performance up to a higher level.
Busch Speaks out on Childress IncidentUPDATEWhat happened between you and Richard Childress following Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race? "There was an altercation in the garage area -- in the Truck garage area -- on my way out to my motorhome. Fortunately, NASCAR is taking the situation seriously and is looking into it, and making their decisions based what facts they can discover."
Did you meet with NASCAR and what did you discuss? "I met with NASCAR (Sunday morning). Just discussed with them the incident to my best recollection and from there they will take all their discoveries and all their findings and make the best decision they feel possible."
Do you think NASCAR should penalize Richard Childress? "That's not my decision. That's NASCAR's decision. Whatever they feel best to protect their sport and to protect what we have going on here is to their best discretion. I'm all for whatever they decide to do."
Interview with Renault's Eric Boullier Lotus Renault GP had a mixed weekend on the streets of Monte Carlo last time out, with Nick Heidfeld claiming points for the squad while Vitaly Petrov dramatically hit the wall after running wide at the Swimming Pool Complex. Team Principal Eric Boullier discusses the race, looks ahead to the next round in Montreal and shares his thoughts on the reinstated Bahrain Grand Prix.
It was an eventful race in Monaco, what’s your verdict now you have had time to reflect on that weekend?
Firstly, I was relieved to learn that Vitaly had not broken or fractured anything after he was caught up in the crash. It was a worrying moment when it happened but we were glad to learn soon afterwards that there was nothing seriously wrong at all. After that, came the disappointment of missing a good opportunity to score points.
German driver Martin Tomczyk (Audi) has won the third DTM season round at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. In front of a capacity crowd, the 29-year old crossed the finish line after 38 laps at the 4.326 kilometers long track as the winner of the race. For Tomczyk, it was his fifth victory in a DTM race while his Audi Sport Team Phoenix celebrated its maiden victory in the DTM. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) finished second, 0.462 seconds down, scoring his best DTM result to date.
Oliver Jarvis (Audi) completed the podium. Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) defended his points' lead by finishing fourth and now has 23 points. Following his victory at Spielberg, Martin Tomczyk is now runner-up in the drivers' standings with 20 points.
Despite missing out on pole position, Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner took the lead in the second corner and faced no challengers for the entire 25-lap race. Reigning MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo finished just under two-and-a-half seconds behind him across the finish line, cutting the Mallorcan’s championship lead over the Australian to just seven points.
Lorenzo got a great start and was first into turn one, but he could not hold off Stoner, who passed the reigning World Champion in the second corner and held the lead. Ben Spies started from fourth and quickly moved in to third position, where he remained until he crossed the finish line for his first podium finish for Yamaha Factory Racing this year.
NASCAR President Mike Helton absolved Kyle Busch of any blame for the fight with Richard Childress after Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Helton, though, said Childress actions were not appropriate and that he faces penalties, which could be announced as early as Monday.
Media reports indicate that Childress threw multiple punches at Busch after the truck race. Busch and Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter made contact on the final lap as they raced for fifth and Busch tapped the side of Coulter’s truck on the cool-down lap.
Helton met with Busch, Childress and Joe Gibbs before Sunday’s race.
Here’s what Helton said in a brief session with reporters.
Petty pleased with 2 car effort Richard Petty believes the decision to cut from four to two Sprint Cup teams is working for Richard Petty Motorsports. Another thing that could make running well easier is that improved performance always helps when seeking sponsorship. The team has STP on Allmendinger's # 43 car as part of a renewed relationship between Petty and the company. STP, which is under new ownership, is looking to revive its rich motorsports heritage and it's obvious it wants to do it with "The King," who drove an iconic STP paint scheme for decades. The easiest way to entice STP to come back for more races is with performance. The organization gets its cars from Roush Fenway Racing and its engines from Roush Yates Engines. The improved performance by both those groups has helped RPM. "[We wanted to] get a real good, strong two-car team before we ever even look at going to three or four cars," Petty said. "Eventually we would like to do that. But we're not going to do that until we get a good base with our two cars." Scene Daily
Toyota Announces Sponsafier 4 Contest Toyota Racing today announced the fourth round of its popular Sponsafier contest, where fans can design and enter their own Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup car at http://www.toyotaracing.com beginning June 5 until Aug. 28, 2011. Similar to Sponsafier 3, the contest provides one lucky fan the chance at a visit from his or her favorite Toyota NASCAR driver
"The Sponsafier contest has really taken on a life of its own," says Ed Laukes, corporate motorsports marketing manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS). "The creativity displayed by fans during the first three rounds of the Sponsafier contest has truly been remarkable, and we've had an unbelievable amount of positive feedback about the contest. We look forward to seeing thousands more designs submitted from fans and unveiling our fourth contest winner at Phoenix in November."
The unquestioned class of the field in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway, Clint Bowyer won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season in dominating fashion.
Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., beat Johnny Sauter to the finish line by 1.695 seconds to claim his third victory in 11 starts in the series. Todd Bodine ran third, followed by James Buescher and Joey Coulter, who passed Kyle Busch on the last of 167 laps for the fifth spot.
It was a watershed race for Bowyer, who posted his first NASCAR national series victory in his home state in the 400th race in Truck Series history. Previously, Bowyer had finished second in the 2007 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track and second in the 2008 Nationwide Series event here.
“We’ve come close here,” Bowyer said. “We’ve had good runs here, but we just haven’t been able to seal the deal. To finally be able to do a burnout on the frontstretch in front of that crowd is big, man. It’s a good feeling.
“This place means a lot to me. I watched this place being built. I dreamed of being able to race here in anything, and to be able to roll into victory lane ... is pretty cool.”
Bowyer, however, has unfinished business at his home track.
“I want to win a Cup race here bad,” said Bowyer, who will start 27th in Sunday’s STP 400 Cup event.
A debris caution on Lap 98 was a godsend for Bowyer and Sauter, who hadn’t been to the pit for fuel and tires since Laps 50 and 59 respectively. Both took advantage of the yellow and came to the pits.
After restarting third on lap 103, Bowyer took the lead from Todd Bodine on Lap 109, two laps before Shane Sieg smacked the Turn 2 wall to cause the sixth caution of the race. Bowyer returned to the pits under yellow on Lap 112 to take on enough fuel to go the distance.
Though he restarted 11th on Lap 116, Bowyer quickly moved to the front, passing Bodine to regain the lead on Lap 122. Bowyer, Sauter and Busch all remained on the track under caution for Clay Rogers’ spin off Turn 2 on Lap 131.
Bowyer led the field to the green flag on Lap 138 and after battling Sauter for half a lap began to pull away.
Notes: Bowyer led 124 laps, including the first 49 ... Sauter took over the series lead from Cole Whitt, who fell to second and trails Sauter by 12 points ... Polesitter Austin Dillon, who finished 12th Saturday, gained one spot to third in the standings.
Richards Captures ARCA Racing Series Pole at Chicagoland Speedway In only his seventh start in the series, Josh Richards has captured the pole for today's ARCA Racing Series event at Chicagoland Speedway. The 23-year-old driver will make his first pavement start in 2011 this afternoon piloting the No. 25 Kentucky Fuel/Texas Corral/Joy Mining Machinery Toyota fielded by Venturini Motorsports.
"I couldn't be happier with earning the pole award today. The Venturini guys have given me a really good racecar and I think we're going to be really competitive in today's race. I'm excited to get another pavement race under my belt, and really looking forward to getting a good finish today for Venturini Motorsports, Kentucky Fuel, Texas Corral and Joy Mining Machinery," said Richards.
Record fields highlight final SuperNationals qualifying Cruz Pedregon raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car Saturday at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took the top spots in their respective categories at the eighth of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Video: Marshal hit by Buemi's F1 car Yesterday a marshal was hit by Sebastian Buemi's Red Bull F1 car in Makuhari, Japan during a charity demo run for the tsunami victim's. It appeared the marshal wasn't aware of the speed of an F1 car whilst he was trying to cross the road in front of it ... What's more amazing is that this guy wasn't hurt at all ... apart from his pride!
The Sounds Of Indy Cars Testing Excites Drivers And Fans The sweet sound of 650-horsepowered IZOD IndyCar Series open-wheel machines rang through the historic Milwaukee Mile one-mile oval this week when 23 talented drivers returned the famed track in preparation for the June 17-19 Milwaukee 225 racing weekend.
Coming off a wild 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 last Sunday, drivers such as champions Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan as well as fan favorites Will Power, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Simona de Silvestro, Graham Rahal and Helio Castroneves set their respective race cars through high-speed paces as bright sunshine (70 and 80 degree weather) returned to the Wisconsin State Fair Park as well.
"It never rains in California..." And, yes, it pours. Saturday's official opening day of the Second Annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival dawned with rain showers dampening the 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., but not the spirits of the 400 participants, as many took to the wet course for practice and qualifying for Sunday's 13 group races. Fine wine, fine food and vintage and historic race cars are highlighting the weekend activities for race fans and foodies in the heart of Northern California's wine country. Sunday's weather predictions show clear skies.
Mark Webber has become the first driver to make a statement on the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying "I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event". Webber was the only driver to speak out prior to the WMSC's decision yesterday, saying "When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let's hope the right decision is made." The FIA, however, have reinstated the race despite ongoing unrest in the Island Kingdom, and Webber issued a statement on his official website criticizing the outcome.
"My opinion is unchanged since I was first asked about this in late February," Webber said. "Even though a decision has been made, I'll be highly surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead this year.
Tristan Gommendy (France – Girondins de Bordeaux) grabbed a superb pole position in a thrilling qualifying session in Assen at the opening round of the 2011 Superleague Formula Nations Cup on Saturday.
Gommendy, who was only confirmed in the Azerti Motorsports-run car earlier in the week, was left visibly emotional after beating Earl Bamber (New Zealand) in the final of the series’ unique qualifying knockout stages to secure the top spot on the grid for Sunday’s opening race.
Having made it past Frederic Vervisch (Luxembourg) and Antonio Pizzonia (Brazil) in the earlier rounds, Gommendy’s win in the pole shootout came despite Bamber leading in the opening sector of the lap, the Frenchman eventually overcoming his deficit to grab victory by 0.432 seconds.
For Bamber, a first pole shootout appearance and second on the grid for tomorrow’s opening race continues the youngster’s stunning start to life in Superleague Formula following his superb performances at the end of last season in China.
(L to R) Oliver Jarvis, Martin Tomczyk and Ralf Schumacher
In a turbulent qualifying at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Martin Tomczyk (Audi) secured pole position for the third DTM round in Austria. In the fourth qualifying heat, he completed the 4.326 kilometers long lap in 1:40.001 minutes and classified ahead of his fellow Audi driver Oliver Jarvis, who was second. In changeable conditions, Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) secured third place on the grid from Edoardo Mortara (Audi). A full press release with quotes will follow shortly.
Bubba Stewart arrested again Motocross star James "Bubba" Stewart's legal problems aren‘t over. Police on June 3 arrested Stewart and booked him into the Polk County, Fla., jail on a charge of impersonating a police officer. The arrest stems from a previously reported incident on March 28 when Stewart was arrested at the Orlando International Airport. According to police at the time, Stewart was driving a Toyota Tundra pickup when he pulled behind another vehicle and illuminated red and blue emergency lights, which he later said he had bought at a flea market.
Unfortunately for Stewart, the car he flashed the lights at contained off-duty police officers, who called for help. Though Stewart was arrested after he reached the airport, prosecutors did not file a charge. Stewart's case was transferred to Osceola County, where the felony charge was filed. Stewart was released on $1000 bail.
Budapest, Race 1: Easy win for Ceccon It was an easy win for Kevin Ceccon in Race 1 in Budapest, after a race that was deeply influenced by the Safety-Car that came on track on lap 9 for a crash involving Marco Barba. The Safety-Car picked up Filippi but the Italian driver wasn't the leader anymore, as he had just served his mandatory pit-stop. Ceccon was leading in that moment and with all the group blocked behind the Safety-Car, he had the chance to complete two laps at nearly full racing speed, building up an impressive advantage that allowed him to change his tires without worries, then taking the checkered flag with a 50" advantage on the nearest rival. At the end of the race, anyway, Race Direction decided to hand Ceccon a 60" penalty for not slowing enough during the caution period; With the penalty dropping Kevin to P5, Ombra immediately filed an appeal that freezes the classification giving Ceccon an easy win until the matter will be discussed by the Hungarian ASN.
Simoncelli soars to first pole at Catalunya Marco Simoncelli shot into a surprise pole position in the last 30 seconds of qualifying, pulling out a fast lap of 1’42.413 in front of the Casey Stoner, who had otherwise lead the entire qualifying session, but was relegated to second. Stoner, who holds both the best pole position time and the fastest lap at the Montmelo track, qualified just 0.016s behind the Italian. Last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo completed the first row with a third fastest time of 1’42.728.
Ben Spies was in top form, just missing out on a front-row start by a margin of 0.014s, having held second in the timings with 3 minutes remaining. Spies will head the second row, in front of Repsol Honda rival Andrea Dovizioso. Finishing the second row is Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who matched his previous best grid position of 2011 in sixth.
FOTA to discuss controversial Bahrain decision (GMM) Leading formula one teams have vowed to discuss the sport's controversial decision to return to Bahrain this year.
Despite the recent and ongoing turmoil in the island Kingdom, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on Friday voted unanimously to reschedule the earlier postponed event in late October.
Bernie Ecclestone insists the decision has nothing to do with Bahrain's annual $40 million fee, but journalists and commentators are aghast that it comes amid reportedly widespread human rights violations, and ongoing security concerns.
Fans flock to Assen for Superleague Formula street demo Downtown Assen reverberated to the high-pitched scream of 750bhp V12 engines on Friday night as the Superleague Formula Nations Cup wowed the packed crowds with a spectacular street show ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the 2011 season.
An incredible 15,000 spectators, even more than last year’s impressive turnout, lined the town centre’s canal to catch a glimpse of home favorites Yelmer Buurman and Robert Doornbos powering their Netherlands – PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands cars up and down the main street.
Hornish to drive in Pocono Sprint Cup race Mike Joy mentioned during SPEED's coverage of final practice at Kansas that former Cup driver Sam Hornish Jr., who was demoted to the Nationwide Series this year, would be in the Front Row Motorsports #38 next weekend at Pocono because Travis Kvapil will be in Texas for the Camping World Truck Series race that weekend.
Hildebrand (above) would have won the Indy 500 if slow moving Charlie Kimball had been down on the apron where he belonged
If it seemed JR Hildebrand came upon fellow rookie Charlie Kimball quickly on the final lap of last weekend's Indianapolis 500, he did.
Track segment times released by the Izod IndyCar Series show that Hildebrand, who crashed trying to pass the lapped car, was traveling about 94 mph faster than Kimball in the north short chute of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and still 83 mph faster in turn four.
In giving Kimball room, Hildebrand's right-side tires got into the slippery higher groove, which pushed him into the wall. Dan Wheldon passed him 900 feet from the finish to win.
Documents show that Kimball, who was low on fuel and perhaps out altogether, was going only 103.634 mph in the timing sector from the short chute to turn four. Hildebrand's speed was 186.865 mph, and that included the area at which the accident started.
What Bernie really wanted to say: "Yeah, It's about the money stupid"
Bernie Ecclestone has cited "unusual circumstances" as the reason behind Friday's decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix on this year's F1 calendar.
However, far from it being the end of the matter, with the race due to be staged on October 30 and the Indian Grand Prix now scheduled for December 11, it is only the beginning.
Press Association Sport understands no team is interested in racing in Bahrain this year - not only from a moral standpoint, but also in regard of insurance issues for team employees - whilst sponsors are expected to show resistance.
Understandably, there was an immediate backlash to the position of the World Motor Sport Council as human rights groups voiced their opposition, whilst on various forums fans were left outraged.
Renault says it has been given clearance to run its current livery in next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix by the Quebec authorities after discussion over whether it complied with the region's anti-tobacco legislation.
As part of Renault's title sponsorship deal with Group Lotus, the team carries a black and gold color scheme inspired by the original Lotus Formula 1 team's 1970s and 1980s livery - when it was backed by cigarette brand John Player Special. Although JPS does not feature anywhere on the 2011 Renault, there were concerns that the color scheme still carried implicit tobacco overtones.
Team boss Eric Boullier said the Quebec officials had accepted that the 2011 livery had no tobacco connection.
After laying low a bit in yesterday's second Free Practice session choosing not to use new tires, Luca Filippi broke cover in today's qualifying: the SuperNova driver took pole position with an impressive 1'33"374, 6 tenths quicker than anybody else.
Second placed was Kevin Ceccon, the Italian being the best Under 21 driver and the only one together with Filippi to break the 1'34 mark. Furthermore, Ceccon was the only driver in the top pack to post his ideal time, so making the most of his potential. Doing so he managed to keep Fabio Onidi at bay, the Lazarus driver finishing 3rd just 0.020 adrift. Fourth was Giovanni Venturini with the Griffitz Durango car, with 1'34"106.
Third row of today's Race 1 will see an improved Marco Barba starting 5th and happy about a setup that now suits his driving style more, especially under braking. Barba will start ahead of Tambay, who had a better potential but had to back off in his best lap due to slower drivers on the racing line.
Soucek fastest in FP2 Andy Soucek celebrated his recent announcement as driver of the Turkey – Galatasaray car by topping the timesheets in Friday’s second Free Practice session at the 2011 Superleague Formula Nations Cup season-opener at Assen.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, a front runner in the series last season, was only 11th quickest in the first session, but lowered his morning’s best time by 2.3 seconds in the afternoon – a 1:25.471 proving to be the benchmark time.
Jordan King adds F2 program Emerging British driver Jordan King today (Friday) confirmed he is to join the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, and will become the youngest ever driver to race in the new era of the series.
The 17-year-old from Harbury in Leamington Spa will take part in the next three rounds of the series as well as join the F2 regulars for official testing at the new Snetterton 300 circuit next week (7 June).
Jordan will race in F2 whilst continuing his current Formula Renault UK campaign, commencing at Spa on 24-26 June followed by rounds at the Nürburgring and Brands Hatch.
Sponsor extends 26-year deal with John Force Racing Automotive lubricant brand Castrol has extended its long-term sponsorship of NHRA team John Force Racing.
The BP-owned brand's sponsorship renewal sees the partnership between the two organizations continue into its 26th year, making it one of the longest active sponsorships in sports.
"We’ve grown up together," team owner and driver, John Force said of his relationship with Castrol. "This is 26 years and now I really want to break the [30-year] record Kenny Bernstein had with Budweiser. That’s what I’m shooting for."
FIA confirms turbos in 2013 regulations Following a Barcelona meeting for the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) on Friday, Formula 1’s governing body has officially confirmed numerous technical regulations for 2013 onwards. These include turbocharged, four-cylinder, 1.6-litre engines limited to 12,000 revolutions per minute.
2013 Technical Regulations approved by the FIA are as follows:
- Power units will be four cylinders, 1.6 liter with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar with a maximum of 12,000 rpm, with extensive energy management and energy recovery systems (now known as ERS), reflecting the decision taken by the WMSC in December 2010
Worsham, Hight, Gray, Savoie lead SuperNationals fields Robert Hight raced to the qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday night at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Shane Gray (Pro Stock), and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took the provisional top spots in their categories at the eighth of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Date Announced for F1 U.S. Grand Prix The World Motor Sport Council has published the 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix race calendar, and June 17, 2012 is the date assigned to the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Forgotten Man Who Built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway When the field for the first Indy 500 left the starting line 100 years ago this month, a big, white Stoddard-Dayton touring car led the way. At its wheel was a man now forgotten by most Americans, but in his day he was a regular in the sports and business pages of newspapers from coast to coast. Carl Graham Fisher drove the pace car in the first five installments at Indy, and for good reason: Fisher spearheaded the creation of both the 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Motoring America's debt to him goes far beyond that, though. Fisher also organized two of the country's earliest interstate auto roads, helping to kick-start the nation's first primitive highway network. He marketed the first practical automotive headlight, which turned car travel into an all-hours proposition, and he may also have made one of the first lengthy road trips by auto.
NASCAR changing Cup qualifying procedures NASCAR is changing its NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying rules effective next week at Pocono Raceway .... qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice. The times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first. The go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. The NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. And all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell.
Provisional pole for Stoner in Catalunya The Repsol Honda riders reached the top of the timing sheets today in the first day of free practice of the Grand Prix of Catalunya, after dealing with a range of weather conditions. Casey Stoner was the fastest rider on track and Andrea Dovizioso the third fastest in the combined free practices times.
The Repsol Honda team who will compete in the fifth round of the Championship without Dani Pedrosa due to his injured right collarbone, completed two successful sessions today before the all important qualifying, to be held tomorrow.
With clear skies in the morning and light rain that delayed the start of some riders in the afternoon, both Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso rode consistently and had good pace. The Australian was the only rider capable of lapping in 1'42 when with fifteen minutes of the session remaining, all riders put on slick rear tires to attack the clock. Dovizioso and Stoner both improved their lap times by one second from the morning to the afternoon and both find themselves placed on a provisional front row.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Again Partners with Sam Schmidt To Run Jay Howard Rahal Letterman Lanigan turned some heads at last week’s Indianapolis 500 when its two-car team put in promising outings, but more importantly, the strong showing earned the team and one of its drivers an opportunity to build on that promise in next Saturday’s Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jay Howard (#88 Service Central SSM/RLL Dallara/Honda/Firestone) will reprise his role as the driver of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports/RLL entry that he piloted to a spot in the top half of the field early in the Indy 500. His day was cut short by a Lap 62 crash triggered by a loose wheel as he came off of Pit Lane, leaving him to finish 30th in his first Indy start. Encouraged by his speedy showing through the initial stages of the race, Service Central, Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Rahal Letterman Lanigan worked diligently to get Howard another opportunity to drive the #88 Indy Car.
FIA decides October 30 for new Bahrain dateUPDATE (GMM) The Bahrain International Circuit and the FIA have confirmed reports the troubled island Kingdom's postponed race date has been rescheduled for 2011.
Although the governing body is yet to issue a statement to the wider media, sources said the FIA is now confirming October 30 for the Bahrain grand prix.
That means India will need to move its inaugural race, but the precise date is yet to be decided, with teams most unhappy at the prospect of prolonging mechanics' holidays until mid December.
"On behalf of Bahrain, I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and the FIA and the rest of the motor sport community for the support and understanding they have extended to us this year," said Bahrain circuit head Zayed R Alzayani.
IndyCar to run road course at Motegi The IZOD IndyCar Series announced today that it will run the 2.98-mile, natural-terrain road course during its final visit to the Twin Ring Motegi motorsports facility in Japan on Sept. 18.
The race was scheduled for the 1.5-mile, egg-shaped oval, but it sustained damage during the March earthquakes. Raised ridges to the track surface prevent the IZOD IndyCar Series cars from competing on the oval.
"In conjunction with Mobilityland, we have made the decision to move forward with our race in Motegi after closely monitoring the on-going situation in Japan for several months," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "After weighing a variety of options, we felt it was best to move the race to the road course. We understand that Japan is steadily moving forward with reconstruction and we look forward to entertaining our strong fan base at Motegi with our inaugural run on the road course."
Buurman tops first practice session of 2011 Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands – PSV Eindhoven) topped the first practice session of the 2011 Superleague Formula Nations Cup as the new season got underway in earnest at Assen on Friday morning.
The Dutch driver, a race winner in each of the last three seasons, gave the home fans something to cheer with a best time of 1:25.564, four tenths of a second quicker than closest rival Neel Jani (Belgium – RSC Anderlecht), who was the only other driver to dip below the one minute 26 seconds barrier.
Craig Dolby (England), who missed out on the Superleague Formula title by just two points in 2010, was third fastest ahead of another home favorite, Robert Doornbos (Netherlands).
Schumacher exited about two DRS zones From next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix onwards, Formula 1 governing body the FIA will be placing two DRS zones on the circuits. The increased overtaking opportunities on a track which has traditionally featured much passing is a cause for excitement for Michael Schumacher, who has won in Montreal seven times.
“We have the two DRS zones this year for the first time, so it will be interesting to see the impact that this makes,” Mercedes’ seven-time World Champion said on Friday.
“It is really difficult to have an idea of how our car will perform in Montreal. There is no doubt that Monaco was a tough weekend for the team but, as always, we will learn our lessons and be ready to fight again in Canada.”
Two DRS zones will also be in place for the following European Grand Prix and this is likely to be the case for the remainder of the season, if deemed successful.
Q&A with Trevor Bayne Trevor Bayne makes his long-anticipated return to the race track this weekend when he gets back behind the wheel of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang for the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night. Bayne, who has not raced since the Cup race April 17th at Talladega, caught up with Ford Racing to talk about getting back behind the wheel in the Windy City this weekend.
DO YOU FEEL A LITTLE BIT LIKE YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW, WITH THE HURRY-UP-AND-WAIT, HURRY-UP-AND-WAIT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH? “I have. This has probably been the toughest five weeks that I’ve experienced. At the same time, it’s been a good five weeks because I got to realize how lucky I am to get to drive a race car every weekend. Just going to test and sitting in the car now seems like the best thing in the world. When I finally get to go race again, I can’t imagine how good it’s going to feel. It’s like every week I say ‘I’m ready. I’m ready!’ And they say ‘You need to wait.’ When they finally tell me I can go again, I’m going to be on it. I just can’t wait for that day.”
McNish gets lesson in F1 race Stewardship Allan McNish admits that he has seen Formula 1’s FIA stewards in a different light since being part of the panel in Monaco at the weekend. Prior to his return at the Hungaroring in July, the Scot has shared his view of events in the famed Principality.
“It changes my opinion a little bit on how the system works because, obviously, when you are a driver then you are usually taken into the stewards room for negative reasons,” the Scot explained to India’s F1Pulse.
“Every time I have been to them it’s never been a kind of congratulations, pat-on-the-back visit. You then understand that actually they have got the overall global view, a much better view than you have through your visor.
Stoner fastest in first Barcelona practice Honda’s Casey Stoner led the way in the first Catalonia practice session on Friday. Behind the Australian's best lap time of 1:43.918, satellite rider Marco Simoncelli managed second for Gresini as World Champion Jorge Lorenzo completed the top three. Injured compatriot Dani Pedrosa is unable to compete this weekend.
On a somewhat cloudy morning at the Circuit de Catalunya, with sunshine attempting to break through, the session began shortly after 10am local time.
Bowyer running American Ethanol Chevy at Kansas Clint Bowyer has returned near his hometown to drive the American Ethanol-sponsored Richard Childress Chevy Sunday in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, the closest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track to his home. Bowyer's #33 Chevy will have new black, silver and green livery of American Ethanol for the STP 400. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America's farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country. American Ethanol
In just a few days time, GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez is going to see all of his dreams come true when he competes at Le Mans in the Signatech Nissan LMP2 car. Since he won GT Academy in 2008, Lucas has been on a steep learning curve and has now made the grade as a professional sportscar racer.
"Le Mans has been my dream since I was ten-years-old," said Lucas. "It is the most important race in the world and a very important event for my family. My father has all the yearbooks, which I used to read as a kid, never thinking I would one day be part of it. Even after winning GT Academy I never expected to get this far and I don't think I'm really going to believe it until it happens. The Test Day was an amazing experience for me; on my first lap is started to rain so it was pretty scary along the Mulsanne. After that though I enjoyed the moment, going through all those legendary corners and I can't wait to go back there for the race."
Indy 500 finish of JR Hildebrand makes Hitler very upset 2011 Indy 500 crash of JR Hildebrand makes Hitler very upset. JR Hildebrand crashes on the last turn of the last lap of the 2011 running of the Indianapolis 500 dashing Hitler's hopes once again, as "Operation Hildebrand" comes to a sudden end.
Coca Cola 600 finish with Earnhardt Jr. running out of gas and Hitler getting upset The 2011 Coca Cola 600 ends with Dale Earnhardt Jr. running out of gas and falling to 7th. Hitler, who suffered a heartbreaking loss at the Indy 500 earlier in the day, goes ballistic yet again and is struck by the eerie similarities between the two races and feelings of having been there before.
Ron Fellows revved up over Mosport You can now add race track owner to the long and distinguished resume of Ron Fellows.
The winner of a 24 Hours of Le Mans class championship, a five-time NASCAR Nationwide Series winner and a three-time American Le Mans Series champion, Fellows announced on Wednesday that he and a group of partners have purchased Mosport International Raceway from American Don Panoz .
It returns the legendary racing complex to Canadian hands for the first time in almost two decades.
Fellows teamed up with Toronto businessmen Alan Boughton and Carlo Fidani to make the deal late Tuesday.
Sponsor shortage forces Joe Gibbs team to miss Nationwide race The top Nationwide Series car on the circuit won’t race this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, and another one of the series regular entries won’t compete next weekend as teams continue to seek sponsorship.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team, which leads the series owners standings by 15 points over the JGR No. 18 team, won’t race this weekend as sponsorship did not materialize for the stand-alone event at Chicagoland Speedway.
JGR will still field the No. 18 car with Kelly Bires as the driver and the No. 11 team of Brian Scott, but the No. 20 has withdrawn from the event, according to NASCAR.
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