Rolex Hoping To Overcome Omega Through New Formula One Sponsorship There is "strong evidence" that Rolex’s recent deal to become F1’s global partner and official timepiece is an attempt to outmaneuver Omega "and halt the erosion of its position as the world’s biggest watch brand," according to Robin Swithinbank of the Financial Times.
A report released by Digital Luxury Group revealed that the gap in global interest between Rolex and Omega "has shrunk" from 8.4% in '09 to 2% in '12. Omega’s brand value "was given a significant boost" in '12. DLG’s Founder & CEO David Sadigh said that Rolex’s F1 deal "is a last roll of the dice to prevent Omega from usurping its top position."
Van der Garde gets 5-place grid penalty Giedo van der Garde has been given a five-place grid penalty for the next round of the season at Silverstone, with the Montreal stewards of the view that the Caterham driver failed to slow down sufficiently under blue flags during the Canadian Grand Prix.
The incident in question occurred on Lap 47, with van der Garde running into the back of Nico Hülkenberg at the final chicane. After studying the relevant footage and data, the stewards have argued that the Dutchman did not yield to the required manner.
Canadian GP: marshal killed in crane accident The FIA is sad to announce the death of a Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada circuit worker, at 6:02 pm.
The worker, a member of the Automobile Club de l'Ile Notre Dame, was the victim of an unfortunate accident that occurred at the end of this afternoon’s Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. The worker was helping to recover a car which had stopped during the race. The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.
It's been more than a decade since a car owned by Jim Hall has sat in a spot in an IndyCar Series garage.
But even as the cars have changed over the years, the innovations that Hall and his team manufactured in the 1960s through the 1980s are still present today. Not only with the wings and ground effects, but also Hall's method of combining science and engineering to make a race car go faster.
Walking the garage area at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend at the Firestone 550 the descendants of those innovations are visible everywhere; even now Hall's work is talked about with a little bit of awe.
Texas Pre-race Report It's hot as hell and the "breeze" is akin to a convection oven. JR Rutherford welcomed me to his home town. The drivers are nervous. I must be in Texas.
- Will Power told me that he was looking forward to race, and Scott Dixon admitted to be smiling from ear to ear. However, not many of the drivers are all that comfortable this weekend. Josef Newgarden joked with me about the possibility of the “butt pucker factor” improving grip. Most of the rest are left muttering that everyone is in the same boat, and they hope they hit the setup, and above all, they need more downforce. Gosh, they miss downforce. Did we mention that they believe they’re missing a few hundred pounds of downforce from last year? IndyCar says that they didn’t make rule changes to eliminate downforce, but drivers beg to differ.
Mark Webber set the fastest time in a another rain hit Montreal Formula 1 practice session. Webber snuck in a fast time on a drying track at the waning moments, so the times are really not indicative of who is quickest.
Half the session was lost to barrier repairs, required following a heavy crash at Turn 11 in a Ferrari support race.
With Formula 1 regulations stipulating a minimum two-hour gap between practice and qualifying, and television schedules precluding a delayed start to qualifying.
Rahal: Car is too slow Another miserable qualifying session for Graham Rahal has made me wonder how long he and engineer Gerry Hughes will continue working together in that dynamic. Hughes, who was rather effective last year in his first IndyCar season with then-RLLR driver Takuma Sato, has yet to jell with young Rahal, and it's hard to imagine the team will continue to struggle through the second half of the season while waiting for things to improve.
“The car was slow,” said Rahal after qualifying 19th at 213.8, way off Power's pole speed of 219.1. “I don't know what else to say. I don't know where we find four or five miles an hour.” Racer.com
Mario Andretti knows racing. He also knows when he’s hungry. The Andretti patriarch, son Michael and grandson Marco were honored Friday with a trio of sandwiches created by local sub shop chain Weinberger’s Deli called “The Andretti Green, White and Checkered.”
“Thumbs up,” said Mario, about his “Green Sub,” which featured strips of capicola, mortadella, genoa, salami, black and green olives, mozzarella cheese, pepperoncini, artichokes, banana peppers, red peppers, button mushrooms, romaine lettuce, red onion and chopped sun dried tomato served on a hoagie.
Montoya is learning that NASCAR officials will never side with a foreigner.
Juan Pablo Montoya, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed last week's restart at Dover. The transcript in part:
Q) JIMMIE (JOHNSON) CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THAT YOU CLEARLY AND DELIBERATELY DID NOT RESTART YOU STOPPED FORCING HIM TO RESTART AHEAD OF YOU TO GET TO THE LINE. THEN HE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HE TRIED TO GIVE THE POSITION BACK AND YOU WOULDN'T TAKE THE POSITION BACK. WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON THAT:
Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway, and discussed the restart at Dover. The transcript in part:
Q) DID YOU TALK TO NASCAR ABOUT THE RESTART AT DOVER AND WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON IT NOW?
Johnson: "I did a little bit after the race and then sat and digested things this week and I'm going to go and speak to them now that we have a lot of time this morning since it's raining and just walk through it some more. It's an interesting thing that took place in my opinion. I feel that in NASCAR and auto racing there are very few moments where maybe a penalty could be drawn or a foul could be drawn like we would see in the NBA Finals or something right now there is flopping that goes on.
Toyota dialing back its Sprint Cup engines for two races Nearly all of Toyota's Sprint Cup crew chiefs and drivers gathered on leather couches in the back room of the manufacturer's mobile headquarters Friday morning at Pocono Raceway. It was the first meeting chaired by David Wilson since his appointment as acting president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, yet this wasn't a perfunctory get-to-know-you affair.
With Toyota's engines failing at an alarming rate, including those in the Camrys of Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last week at Dover International Speedway, the subject matter was serious: How to improve reliability without dialing back performance.
Starting with Sunday at Pocono Raceway and continuing next week at Michigan International Speedway, Toyota will be more conservative with its tuning at two superspeedways known for putting heavy stress on engines. USA Today
IndyCar hammers Saavedra with $30K fine IndyCar issued $40,000 in fines - $30,000 to Sebastian Saavedra for making an obscene gesture - and placed two drivers on probation Thursday for incidents at Detroit last weekend.
Saavedra was penalized for flashing both of his middle fingers at Marco Andretti after contact between the two in Saturday's doubleheader opener at Belle Isle ended Saavedra's day. The obscene gesture was caught on live television. IndyCar said in fining Saavedra he can pay the money or work it off by making appearances on behalf of the series.
"Quite an expensive one," Saavedra tweeted moments after the penalty was announced. "I guess ill stop getting my everyday hair massage until I pay it off."
Swiss team Rebellion Racing is pleased to confirm their commitment to the future of the LMP1 category and to announce that they will have a new LMP1 car for 2014 developed and built by ORECA : the new car will be christened the Rebellion R-ONE.
Rebellion Racing have expressed many times their desire to continue to compete in LMP1, the premier class of endurance racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
With Endurance racing beginning a new chapter in its history in 2014 with the introduction of fresh regulations and a new technological approach, the Swiss team had to make a decision regarding their strategy for the coming seasons and the choice of the race cars to be run.
N.J. Formula One Race Is 'Definitely On' The promoter behind a plan to bring a Formula One race to the doorstep of midtown Manhattan said Thursday that despite some bumps, the race is "definitely" on.
In his first public comments on the race's scheduling in months, Leo Hindery Jr., the founder of the YES network and the driving force behind bringing the so-called Grand Prix of America to the banks of the Hudson River in New Jersey, said all necessary agreements are in place with the London-based racing series—not just for the inaugural race, which he said is scheduled for June 2014, but "for the next 15 years."
IZOD IndyCar Series engine penalties for Texas race IZOD IndyCar Series officials have announced there will be three cars that will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes between the Belle Isle race and today:
#78 De Silvestro (Rule 126.96.36.199)
188.8.131.52. (In-Race Failure): The Engine Manufacturer must inform its INDYCAR engine support engineer of the engine failure within five (5) hours of the end of the Race. Note: Took place at Belle Isle.
Texas Final Practice Report Tony Kanaan got things fixed. Visibly angry after qualification, he was the fastest in the final practice at 218.551. James Hinchcliffe was a tick slower at 217.575. Will Power, Scott Dixon, and James Jakes rounded out the top 5.
James Jakes has been vocal in his opposition to running tall banked ovals such at Texas. However, he told me today that his comfort level is growing. Tonight’s strong showing might even make him enjoy the experience.
No heroes is holding IndyCar back (4th Update)UPDATE #4 Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, While many feel that the racing at Indy and Detroit was among the best fans have seen in years, this is still not drawing in the fans. The article written by Derek Daly has some very valid points, and I do think that this is part of the problem that the sport has in connecting with the fans/viewers. However I think that many of the fans are now turning to NASCAR drivers as their "American Heroes" in motorsports. Guys like Dale Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson (Who's 5 straight Championships was never equaled in IndyCar) are the new heroes for race fans.
The problem that IndyCar has right now with foreign drivers is that the are also "ride buyers" that come and go with the check. The fans do not have time to connect with a driver before they are onto something else when their sponsorship dries up. IndyCar has had many foreign drivers over the years that have been very successful and popular, such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Teo Fabi, Tony Kanaan, David Hobbs, Mario Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Raul Boesel, and the list goes on. It is not whether they are non-American, it is whether or not they are talented, and can live up to the Hero-like standard.
ABC's ratings for Detroit event (Update)UPDATE #2 Here are some NASCAR TV Facts regarding this weekend's events. The one thing that strikes us is the fact that even on a major network like ABC, and coming off the Indy 500, the IndyCar audience is dismal at best. Even the Nationwide race had 48% more viewers than the IndyCar Race, and they were on ESPN, not network, which underscores why NASCAR should buy IndyCar.
NASCAR Network Television Viewership NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 on FOX at Dover International Speedway
3.8 rating on FOX, +3 percent over 2012
No. 2 sporting event of the weekend behind only the NBA Playoffs (Game 6 – Miami/Indiana)
No. 1 program of the week on FOX (5/27 – 6/2)
Key viewership increases among Kids 2-17 (+33 percent), Males 18-34 (+14 percent), and Females (+8 percent)
Through 13 events, an average of 7.7 million viewers have tuned in to each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on FOX.
Currently ranks as the highest rated and most-watched sport in season
Eight of 13 event weekends, NASCAR on FOX delivered ratings equal to or greater than last year
Twelve of 13 event weekends, NASCAR on FOX ranked among the top two sports of the weekend on television
Marty Hunt Joins Grand Prix of America Marty Hunt joins the Formula One Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial as director of operations and the newest member of its senior executive team. Hunt has worked in raceway operational management for more than 25 years, bringing vast experience and knowledge to the event. He joins an established team that recently welcomed motorsports leader Christopher Pook. Other executive team members include YES Network founding chairman and CEO Leo Hindery, Jr., sports and entertainment veteran Dennis Robinson, and sports marketing and corporate development executive Dick Goldschmidt.
Rain washes out Pocono Quals, Johnson on pole Qualifying for Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway has been canceled due to persistent inclement weather. There was no track activity today.
The starting grid has been set per the provisions in the NASCAR rulebook.
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet SS, and current point leader will lead the field down to the green for Sunday’s 160-lap contest.
Q and A with the Andrettis at Texas MICHAEL ANDRETTI, OWNER OF ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT, MARCO ANDRETTI, DRIVER OF NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET AND MARIO ANDRETTI met with members of the media at Texas Motor Speedway. Full transcript:
WILL POWER SAID AMERICAN’S SHOULD GET BEHIND THEIR AMERICAN DRIVERS IN THE SERIES. THEY ARE REALLY STARTING TO EMERGE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
MARCO ANDRETTI: “Yeah, I agree. I think it can’t be a bad thing for us to be at least competing for the top right now. Obviously there is a lot of unfinished business for me. I want to start stringing some wins together to hopefully generate even more interest. It’s been a decent start to the season, but we’ve got to keep going. I don’t see a negative anywhere.”
Texas Early Report Marco Andretti led the opening practice session at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 217.950. Tony Kanaan followed 4/100 of a second behind, followed in turn by Will Power, James, Jakes, and Simona De Silvestro. The Honda guys are relieved that their big oval woes seem to be behind them. Honda engineers thought they’d found some speed on Carb day -- they knew that they weren’t competitive for the Pole, but fully expected to be at least as good as the Chevy engines for the Indy 500 -- and were dismayed at the race results.
Canadian GP Promoter Discusses Event, Negotiations With Bernie Ecclestone
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is in discussions to extend the Canadian Grand Prix
The F1 Canadian Grand Prix takes place this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and the Montreal GAZETTE's Kevin Mio conducted a Q&A with race promoter Octane Motorsports President & CEO Francois Dumontier. Below are excerpts from the Q&A.
Q: Have there been any modifications to the track or on-site facilities for fans this year? Dumontier: We are introducing Wi-Fi this year, on the western half of the track. It is a two-year process, with the whole track getting Wi-Fi next year. Also this year, when you buy your ticket, you can also buy your lunch in advance. In previous years, you could buy your metro ticket and program. Now, you go through the website and order your ticket and you can pick up [your] lunch at a designated spot so you don’t have to do the lineup. This is a new thing we are trying.
Texas Early Report Well, the headlines will scream “Helio looks to go to NASCAR” or some such thing. In a press conference this morning Helio was asked if he’d like to try NASCAR, and he said, “If there is an opportunity, yes.” However, this is the same answer that Helio has said for years at places like the preseason tests in Daytona. If you ask any race car driver if they’d like to try another series (okay, except Simona, who gets miffed when I suggest trying USAC sprints and midgets) they’ll say “Hell yes!” And of course, it’s the polite thing to say that “Yeah, I’d like to at least try a NASCAR ride” when you’re at a NASCAR venue. However, nothing to see here – no doubt he’s seen the struggles of Sam, Dario, and Danica over in NASCAR-land.
Mercedes expected to face FIA hearing in June (GMM) Mercedes is expected to face the FIA's international tribunal before the British grand prix at the end of the month, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport is reporting.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt cited sources in saying the sport's governing body is speeding up the process, which in theory could be pushed out as far as 45 days.
But "The process should take place before the British grand prix," said Schmidt from Montreal early on Friday.
Schmidt also reported on Friday that many in the paddock are surprised that former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, now the FIA president, excused Ferrari from the proceedings.
NASCAR on FOX season summary NASCAR on FOX concluded its 2013 portion of the season as the highest-rated and most-watched sport in-season for the 13th straight season, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. The complete 2013 NASCAR on FOX Sprint Cup season averaged a potent 4.8/10 household rating/share for the third time in four years (2010, 2012 & 2013).
In addition to its 13-year in-season reign, the 2013 NASCAR on FOX season also outperformed the NBA Playoffs on ABC by +41% (4.8 vs. 3.4), as well as complete NBA Conference Finals coverage on all networks by +7% (4.8 vs. 4.5). NASCAR on FOX is the only major sport on a broadcast network not to post a year-to-year ratings decline this year. NASCAR on FOX also continues to be a ratings force among male viewers watching events live. Compared to broadcast network prime time entertainment programming, live NASCAR on FOX viewership ranks No. 2 among Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 from February through the end of the broadcast season.
More cautions in Sprint Cup races this season NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have crashed more often this season than at this point in each of the past two years as they continue to understand the new car. Such incidents also have led to significantly more cautions than a year ago and changed the racing. Through 13 races this season:
- There have been 52 cautions for accidents according to NASCAR race reports. There were 29 cautions for accidents at this time last year. In 2011, there were 51 cautions for accidents. - There have been 28 cautions for multi-car accidents compared to 17 last year. - There have been 68 cautions for accidents and spins this year. That total was 36 a year ago. - Ten of the 13 tracks had more accidents this year than in last year's race. - There have been 104 cautions this season compared to 73 at this time last year. (See full post at Motor Racing Network)
Weather will be a factor at Pocono on Friday & Saturday The weather forecast for Long Pond, PA and the Pocono Raceway this weekend does look good at all for Friday [Practice & Qualifying] or Saturday [Practices]:
The forecast for Friday: Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 62. Southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
Friday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a low around 56. East wind 7 to 13 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Saturday: Showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 9am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. West wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms
NASCAR Dover TV rating dwarfs IndyCarUPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX concluded its 2013 campaign with a 3.8/9 (6.0 million viewers) final rating on Sunday afternoon for the FEDEX 400 from Dover. That's up +3% over last year's final of 3.7/9 (5.7 million viewers) for the same race and ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the day.
06/03/13 The overnight ratings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday from Dover on Fox was a 3.5, dwarfing the 0.7 and 0.8 ratings the two IndyCar races in Detroit got on ABC. However, while the IndyCar TV ratings are up, the NASCAR rating is down 10% from last year and the attendance was also way down from year's past.
Pagenaud to race Honda up Pikes Peak Honda-powered IndyCar racer Simon Pagenaud of France, winner of Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Detroit Grand Prix, and eighth at the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, will make his Pikes Peak International Hill Climb debut on June 30 at the 91st edition of the storied race, driving a highly-modified Honda Odyssey in the Exhibition Automobile division as part of Honda’s record-setting 11-vehicle, nine-class effort in America’s second-oldest motor sports race.
“This is something I’m really looking forward to,” the 29-year-old Pagenaud said of Pikes Peak. “I’ve done a little bit of rallying in France, and I used to watch highlights of the Pikes Peak race on television as a kid. Our entry will be unique, to say the least! A Honda Odyssey with power similar to an IndyCar will raise some eyebrows for sure! But with the preparation it is getting from Team Honda Research, it will be a proper race car, and I’m very excited about it.”
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports get contract extension with sponsor Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks are installing additional vertical cables at various parts of its catchfences, according to a report in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
SMI Chairman Bruton Smith talked about the new cables during the Kentucky Speedway media day Wednesday. More than 30 fans were injured at Daytona International Speedway in February when parts and pieces from Kyle Larson’s car flew into the grandstands during a Nationwide Series crash. A wheel and suspension parts from Larson’s car landed in the stands while the engine tore through the catch fence. NASCAR and track officials have been working on ways to reinforce the catch fences since the crash.
DuPont extends with Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Axalta Coatings Systems, which bought the DuPont paint line earlier this year, has extended its 10-race sponsorship of Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports through 2016.
DuPont had sponsored Gordon for 20 years and Axalta in the buyout assumed the contract that was scheduled to end after 2013. Axalta will be the primary sponsor for 10 races and an associate for the remainder of the season for Gordon, who has won 87 Cup races and four Cup titles.
The announcement Thursday coincided with the launch of the new Axalta brand.
IndyCar Detroit cheating report INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today penalties following the June 1-2 races at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
The No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry driven by James Jakes was fined a total of $10,000 for violating Rule 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. Both violations were found during post-qualifying inspection for Race 1. The team was fined $5,000 for each violation.
Caterham announces details of Driving Academy Caterham F1 Team has launched Caterham Racing Academy, a driver development program that gives a clear route to F1 for future champions and enables young motorsport talent from around the world to excel in all the attributes required by racing drivers to achieve success in 21st century motorsport.
Caterham Racing Academy drivers will have a clear path from the junior formulae right up to F1 and each participant has a bespoke program created for them to enable them to learn and develop in both practical and virtual motorsport environments. The Academy drivers are given personalized development plans that cover every aspect of a modern racing driver’s life, including detailed work on racecraft and engineering feedback, mental and physical training and media and sponsor relations, all designed to help them achieve their own potential.
Vettel, Rosberg clash over 'tiregate' (GMM) Germans Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg on Thursday revealed their vastly different opinions about the 'testgate' saga that has gripped formula one.
Mercedes is being hauled before the FIA tribunal to face possible sanctions for breaching the rules about in-season testing, after running its 2013 car during a test with Pirelli recently at Barcelona.
World champion Vettel, whose Red Bull team lodged the original protest together with Ferrari, said Mercedes obviously got an unfair advantage.
"I see it as a critical issue," he told Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Q and A with Richard Petty When ‘The King’ Richard Petty speaks, people listen. The NASCAR Hall of Famer, who’s the sport’s all-time victory leader at 200, spent an extended amount of time on FOX Sports’ SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub this evening and covered many topics within the sport.
Petty, the car owner for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Aric Almirola (No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford) and Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford), talked about everything from his current team, brother, Maurice Petty’s recent election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to how he evaluates new drivers and talent.
NASCAR Race Hub co-hosts Danielle Trotta and Steve Byrnes both sat down with Petty; and the following is what he had to say;
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