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DATE News (chronologically)
06/09/08
motogp
Stoner fastest, Pedrosa hospitalized  MotoGP riders commenced a two-day test session at Catalunya this afternoon, and Casey Stoner was fastest, but yesterday's race-winner Dani Pedrosa ended the day in hospital after a heavy tumble at the one/turn two chicane.
 
Pedrosa suffered a highside tumble, landing heavily on his back. He was taken to Barcelona's Dexeus hospital where x-rays confirmed that he has no broken bones, but he has bruised his back and will need 48 hours of rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Pedrosa will not test tomorrow.
 
"The crash happened while I was changing direction in the first chicane," said Pedrosa. "It was a highside and I fell quite heavily. My back and my shoulders hurt. I crashed at the start of my second lap of that run, maybe because the tires weren't fully up to temperature. When I fell I was doing some tire testing with the standard engine. I only did ten laps with the pneumatic-valve engine so it's still too early to give any comments."

MOTOGP LAP TIMES
1 C.Stoner (Ducati) 1’41.533
2 V. Rossi (Yamaha) 1’41.857
3 S.Nakano (Honda) 1’42.039
4  J.Toseland (Yamaha) 1.42.505
5 A. De Angelis (Honda) 1’42.699
6 N.Hayden (Repsol Honda) 1’42.721
7 S. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’42.755
8 R. De Puniet (Honda) 1’42.775
9. C.Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1’42.782
10 A.Dovizioso (Honda) 1’42.818
11 C.Edwards (Yamaha) 1’43.127
12 T.Elias (Ducati) 1’43.197
13. D.Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) 1’43.552
14 J.Hopkins ((Kawasaki) 1’43.630
15. M.Melandri (Ducati) 1.44.326

06/09/08
f1
Theissen praises entire team: 'Mission Accomplished'  BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen has expressed his sheer delight following the BMW Sauber F1 Team's maiden win that was secured by the Hinwil based squad’s Polish driver, Robert Kubica, at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal on Sunday. Speaking to the team’s official website, Theissen revealed how he is thrilled that the team’s goal of securing their maiden victory was achieved, however he knows that there is still a lot of work to do before they are regular visitors to the top step of the rostrum.

“The 8th June 2008 will remain be a special date in the, still short, history of the BMW Sauber F1 Team. After all, it was our only 42nd race, but in the Canadian GP held on this day we succeeded in celebrating our maiden win, nevertheless. The fact that it turned out to be a one-two turned this day into a truly memorable one. We have accomplished the next step on our agenda. More ...

06/09/08
f1
Kubica thanks Hamilton after first Grand Prix win  Robert Kubica did not forget to express his gratitude to Lewis Hamilton. “I have to thank him that he chose Kimi and not me,” quipped Kubica after making history with victory in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Kubica has enjoyed good results this season including two second-place finishes, but it took a “stupid” mistake from Hamilton to set the stage for a first GP win for Kubica, his home country Poland and his BMW-Sauber team.  More at The Star Online

06/09/08
Racing News
Quotes of the Week  UPDATE New quotes have been added from Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.

“If there is a pitlane speed limit and two cars are stopped and you hit them, it is stupid. I saw the red light and chose to stop. Unfortunately, someone [Lewis Hamilton] saw a red light and chose not to." Kimi Raikkonen, reigning F1 World Champion, Ferrari, commenting on the pitlane incident at the Canadian Grand Prix 

"Obviously I am not happy but they can throw what they want at me, I will come back stronger.  I was trying to be cautious.  I looked at the red light and I looked back and they'd stopped.  There were two cars side by side.  If they'd been in a line I would have seen it a bit faster.  It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and are angry, it is not like that. I apologize to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen."  Lewis Hamilton, F1 driver, McLaren-Mercedes, commenting on his ten position grid penalty at the French Grand Prix in two weeks

06/08/08 "It is fantastic, I am overwhelmed. It is difficult to find the right words. Today just everything worked well. We hoped for another podium here in Montreal, but would not have dreamed to get a one-two victory. Congratulations to Robert and Nick and to the entire team at home in Munich and Hinwil. Today we achieved a milestone. Both drivers worked with no errors and the strategies paid off. I think we will have to celebrate a lot today." Mario Theissen, Motorsport Director and Team Principal, BMW Sauber

"I'm very happy at having won the first race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. I'm also happy for Poland and all my fans. It was a very difficult race for me. I started on the dirty side of the track and Kimi Raikkonen was nearly able to pass me, but I just managed to keep him behind. The timing of the Safety Car was unlucky for me, because I wanted to pit, but then the yellow light went on just about three seconds too early, so I had to continue. When the pitlane was open, almost everybody pitted together. I stopped at the exit because the light was still red. Kimi stopped beside me, and then I heard the noise when Hamilton crashed into his car. I have to be grateful to Lewis as he chose Kimi and not myself. After this pit stop I was stuck behind the one-stoppers and lost a lot of time. Timo Glock was the last one of them to stop, and only then could I push. I had just eight laps to increase the gap to 21 seconds, which was a huge challenge. I finally managed to get a 24 second lead, which meant I was able to stay ahead of Nick. From this moment on I took it a bit easier, but even then it's very easy to make a mistake, particularly because of the tarmac that was destroyed in some places. But it all worked out and I'm just happy."  Robert Kubica, F1 driver, BMW Sauber

"It's just been a bad weekend all round.  The race went much as I expected it, because of the really bad track conditions from the mid point on or even earlier. In these conditions, some guys did really well, like Sebastian [Vettel], but I could not do anything with the car. I went slightly off the line and got the gravel. If this happens once or twice you are concerned it can happen again which is not good, especially when you're running last. It was a complete disaster for me so I just forgot about the possibility of trying to drive fast, just trying to bring the car home…and even doing this was a challenge.  This was the worst race ever for me, the worst weekend of my entire career. I have never experienced anything like it. I'm looking forward now to the next race, my home race and at a circuit where the track doesn't break up!"  Sebastien Bourdais, F1 driver, Toro Rosso Ferrari More ...

06/09/08
f1
Rampf plays down talk of BMW title charge  
Willy Rampf
BMW Sauber technical director Willy Rampf says it is too early to talk of a world championship challenge despite the Swiss-German team earning their maiden grand prix victory in Canada at the weekend. Robert Kubica led his German teammate Nick Heidfeld to BMW 1-2 in Montreal and the talented Pole now tops the driver's championship - four points ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Kubica now has a good chance to extend his lead in France later this month where Hamilton's McLaren will be hit by a ten grid place penalty as a result of his race ending accident in Montreal. However, Rampf, who has spent most of his career with Sauber, refused to get carried away with the excitement of the first win and insisted that the team would not be getting ahead of themselves.

"I think it is too early to say," said Rampf. "We are very proud of what we achieved up to now with this first victory, and the position one and two is even better. It is what you dream of. To think about the world championship is nice, but much too early." Kubica's victory was partly a result of Hamilton taking himself and world champion Kimi Raikkonen out of contention in a pit lane accident, a fact not lost on BMW Sauber. More ...

06/09/08
f1
Heidfeld says no team orders  
Nick Heidfeld denies team orders
Probably mindful that any such admission would prompt a penalty from the FIA, Nick Heidfeld has denied that he let Robert Kubica past him during the Canadian GP on instruction from their BMW team.

Having emerged from his first pit-stop just behind Heidfeld, Kubica instantly swept past the one-stopping German and proceeded to build up an advantage that enabled him to take his second and final pit-stop without losing the lead of the race. With the two cars on different strategies and Fernando Alonso harrying Kubica, it was inevitably speculated that Kubica's easy passage past Heidfeld was the product of team orders.

Asked specifically in the post-race press conference whether he 'let Robert past voluntarily or were you advised by the pit?', Heidfeld replied: "Well, as there are no team orders allowed, no, but as I was on a one-stop, a lot heavier than Robert, knowing that, it's clear within the team that I wouldn't make it too difficult for Robert."

As a team man, Heidfeld dutifully celebrated BMW's first win in the sport, but there was no mistaking his disappointment at being trumped by his teammate. "It was the best chance I've had so far to win a race," he reflected mournfully. "Obviously I'm happy for Robert as he did a great job today. He deserves the win but what racing driver would I be, driving in the same team, being so close to my first victory not to be a bit disappointed?" SkySports.com

06/09/08
f1
Ron Dennis remains positive  
Ron Dennis  is still optimistic
McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has refused to be downbeat about Lewis Hamilton's chances of sealing world title success after a nightmare race in Canada. Hamilton lost his drivers' championship lead to Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber on Sunday in Montreal after he failed to see a pit line red light and crashed into the back of title rival Kimi Raikkonen, knocking them both out of the race.

Hamilton had been in peak form all weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, taking pole position and leading the race comfortably before a safety car was deployed and all the main contenders decided to refuel at the first opportunity at the end of the 18th lap. That led to the Hamilton error which cost him not only the race but also a 10-place drop down the grid for the next race, the French Grand Prix on June 22, as punishment from the FIA race stewards.

The BMW Sauber one-two for Kubica and Nick Heidfeld also saw McLaren drop from second to third in the constructors' championship but Dennis took comfort from the pace Hamilton had got out of the MP4-23 car ahead of his demise. More ...

06/09/08
Formula BMW
Favoretto, Rossi win in Montreal  Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship saw drivers from eight countries compete in front of the Canadian Grand Prix crowd. With the finish of Round 4 today, the flags of Brazil, Canada and the US had flown over the podium. Ricardo Favoretto and Alexander Rossi each took one win.

Round 3

BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto (Eurointernational), 19, of Sao Paulo, Brazil took his first career Formula BMW victory in Round 3 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship today at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In front of the Canadian Grand Prix crowd, Favoretto, starting from his second career pole position, squeezed past a hometown race inspired Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) on the final lap to win the 13-lap contest by a scant .053 seconds. BMW Junior Mikael Grenier, 15, of Stoneham, Quebec, finished third.

BMW Junior Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica), of St. Catherines, Ontario, finished fourth to retain the Overall and Rookie points lead. He set the fastest lap, 1:47.900 minutes, on lap 12. American Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) rounded out the top-five finishers.

Outside front row starter Daniel Juncadella (Euro Junior Team) fell back to 12th after serving a stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start, but recovered to finish the race in sixth. He was the highest finishing Formula BMW Europe driver in the field.

Following post-race technical inspection Pelletier and Grenier were excluded from the results and all the finishers below them moved up two positions. More ...

06/09/08
NASCARSprint
Hornish tangles three times at Pocono  Sam Hornish Jr. pulled off his own trifecta Sunday - three wrecks, the last of which sent him out of the race with 70 laps to go. Two of the accidents involved Patrick Carpentier, 11 laps apart leading to back-to-back caution flags.

The first bump came 58 laps in when both cars spun out down low, with Hornish's Dodge skidding sideways into the infield, before Carpentier's Dodge later appeared to get loose out of the same turn and bumped into Hornish. The third wreck involved Dario Franchitti around the first turn, which sent Hornish out for good.

"Pretty bad day for us, for sure. We got involved in a couple altercations early and that right there was my fault," Hornish said. "Not a very good weekend for us, for sure." More ...

06/09/08
f1
BMW proud to be a top team now  A jubilant Robert Kubica has hailed his victory in the Canadian GP as proof that BMW are now a 'top team' in F1. The Pole secured his - and his team's - maiden win in the sport by taking full advantage of Lewis Hamilton's race-ending crash with Kimi Raikkonen. Although mindful that he probably would not have won but for that incident, Kubica pointed to his status at the head of the drivers' championship as confirmation that BMW should now be regarded in the same esteem as both McLaren and Ferrari.

"I think when you are leading the world championship after seven races as a driver, you have a car that can win races and can fight for top positions, so if a team can build a top car, it's a top team. That's very clear, I think," he stressed. More ...

06/09/08
f1
Kubica and Heidfeld keep their feet on the ground  The BMW drivers say they will keep their feet on the ground after their astonishing one-two in Canada. Robert Kubica claimed his and the BMW Sauber team's first win in Montreal yesterday, leading home teammate Nick Heidfeld. The result put Kubica into the drivers' championship lead, and closed BMW to within three points of Ferrari in the constructors' standings.

But while celebrating his victory Kubica accepted that it would have been hard to beat Lewis Hamilton had the McLaren driver not crashed into Kimi Raikkonen. We did it in a difficult race with not the best pace in the field, I would say," Kubica said. "Clearly Hamilton was the quickest driver here this weekend, but he made a mistake. You pay for your mistakes and we did a good race, I think. But what will happen in the future we don't know and we have to work, we have to fight, to push." More ...

06/09/08
f1
Peter Sauber vows to go blonde  (GMM) Peter Sauber does not have a lot of hair, but it will apparently be dyed blonde this week as he honours a promise to the formula one team that still bears his name.

The 64-year-old Swiss, who sold the majority of his Hinwil based outfit to BMW ahead of the 2006 season, revealed to 'Radio Zurisee' that he pledged to pull out a bottle of peroxide when BMW-Sauber wins a race.

Travelling members of the outfit were expecting to catch a glimpse of Sauber's new hairstyle when they touch down at Zurich airport early this week.

Under Peter Sauber's independent reign of more than 200 grands prix between 1993 and 2005, the team collected 195 points and 6 podiums, but no wins.
06/09/08
f1
Kubica would welcome Alonso as BMW teammate  (GMM) New grand prix winner and championship leader Robert Kubica said he would enjoy having double world champion Fernando Alonso as his BMW-Sauber teammate.

The 23-year-old Pole is close friends with Spaniard Alonso, and the pair often spend the evenings during race weekends out to dinner or playing cards.

Kubica is likely to remain at the Hinwil based team with a higher retainer next year, but his current teammate Nick Heidfeld - albeit with a valid 2009 contract - has struggled notably this season.

Asked by the Spanish newspaper El Pais if he would welcome Alonso to BMW, Kubica replied: "I would have no problem with that. I get along with him very well.

"I do not know what the future holds, but if we do both drive for BMW, we would have a lot of fun," he added. More ...
06/09/08
f1
Gene did make trip to Canada  (GMM) Despite receiving a reprieve from his Italian employer, Ferrari test driver Marc Gene did travel to Canada for Sunday's Canadian grand prix.

The Spaniard was hospitalised following a huge shunt in Le Mans testing recently, and was ordered to rest by doctors so that he is fit to contest the famous race for Peugeot this weekend.

"I'm not quite a hundred per cent but I'm close," the Spaniard told the news agency EFE at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Although not on official reserve driver duty for Ferrari in Canada, Gene commentated for the Italian sports channel Sky.

"The team told me not to worry, but I preferred to come anyway," Gene, 34, smiled.

In his column for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, meanwhile, Gene backed the stewards' decision to penalise Lewis Hamilton following his shunt with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in the pitlane.

But he also thinks the incident is yet another example of the "absurd and very confusing" current safety car rules.

Gene also wrote that he is surprised about the current form of his countryman and former double world champion Fernando Alonso.

"I have never seen him commit two errors in succession like this," Gene said, referring to the Renault driver's clash with Nick Heidfeld at Monaco, and his spin into the wall on Sunday.

"These are the kinds of races where you have to use your head," he added.
06/09/08
f1
F1 pundit in hot water over Montreal gaffe  (GMM)  Former grand prix driver Martin Brundle has found himself in hot water following an off-beat remark on British national television prior to Sunday's Canadian grand prix.

While interviewing Bernie Ecclestone on the Montreal grid, the 49-year-old asked the F1 chief executive what he thought about the "pikeys putting tarmac down at turn 10".

Used mainly in the UK, pikey is a slang term referring to gypsies, and Brundle's comment is thought to have been a reference to door-to-door vagrants who ask householders to do odd jobs.

The watchdog Equality and Human Rights Commission condemned Brundle's use of the word.

"This word has been used on television in the past and is highly derogatory," a spokesman said.

"They have caused much offence in the past."

The British newspaper Daily Mail reports that another ITV television reporter last year apologized for using the word on air.

A spokesman for the British network apologized for Brundle's gaffe, but did not say if there had been any other complaints.

06/09/08
f1
Montreal considers big track fix for 2009  (GMM)  Organizers of the Canadian grand prix will consider completely resurfacing the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ahead of the next formula one race there.

Despite similar problems at the Montreal venue in recent years, the asphalt crumbled notably at the weekend.

Makeshift overnight and pre-race repairs ensured that Sunday's problems were not as bad as they were in qualifying.

"On one side it was not what an F1 circuit should look like.  On the other hand it was a lot better than I expected after yesterday," BMW-Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld said after the 70-lap race.

Race executive Francois Dumontier said a complete resurfacing for 2009 would cost about $1m and "isn't out of the question", according to the local Gazette.

But he also suspects that the problem was exacerbated by the actual layout of the circuit, "and it's possible the hairpin might have to be reconfigured", the Montreal newspaper added.

06/09/08
f1
Penalty likely to cost Hamilton France win  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's ten-position grid penalty will make it almost impossible for him to win the French grand prix in two weeks, McLaren executive Martin Whitmarsh insists.

The Mercedes-powered team did not protest the stewards' decision on Sunday afternoon at Montreal, but Whitmarsh initially told the media that he thought the punishment was "severe".

"There was a different view taken at Monaco," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail, referring to the stewards decision at Monaco to not penalize Kimi Raikkonen for punting Adrian Sutil out of the race.

In a media document on Monday, however, Whitmarsh accepted Hamilton's Montreal penalty as "hard but fair".

"Hard in the sense that it clearly makes Lewis's task more difficult in Magny Cours, but fair on the grounds that we have no argument with their contention that he did cause an avoidable accident," the Briton said.

"In this instance, we'll take the loss of a likely win and the 10-place grid penalty squarely on the chin."

Hamilton's teammate Heikki Kovalainen had an off-pace weekend in Canada, but Whitmarsh said the Finn is now "our best hope of winning" in France next weekend.

06/09/08
nassprint
Pocono race falls 15K short of sellout  The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 500 drew an estimated crowd of about 85,000 yesterday, "short of the usual 100,000." There were "vacant seats in the grandstand and some empty spaces in the infield"  Philadelphia Daily News
06/09/08
f1
Q and A with McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh  
Martin Whitmarsh
A disappointing result, but what positives do you take away from your Canadian Grand Prix weekend?
Despite the result, there are still positive signs to draw from the weekend. Lewis's qualifying lap was obviously a highlight and a fantastic performance from him. The overall pace of the car at the beginning of the race was also very impressive. We had good top-speed at Montreal, which was important given that we'd worked hard to improve that.

Why was Lewis jumped by Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen at that first pitstop?
Along with a number of other teams, we took a decision to come in under the Safety Car as soon as the pitlane was opened. We felt that was the right decision and fueled Lewis long enough to enable him to run longer than the other cars because we felt we had the pace to be able to stay with them. During the stop itself, there was a bit of a hesitation, which didn't help. But overall, I don't think the stop was too bad given the amount of fuel we put into the car. If we'd got out in front we would have been in a very strong position; if we'd come out behind - by virtue of having a longer fuel-load, we'd still have had the ability to hopefully have come through at the second stop.

What went wrong at the pit-exit?
Clearly, with the overwhelming majority of the cars pitting at the same time, the pitlane was unusually congested. As a result, Lewis not only had to monitor the two cars ahead of him but also keep an eye on the red lights at the pit exit. We all saw what happened next - and that's racing. You have to feel sorry for Kimi and Ferrari, who were the innocent victims on this occasion. More ...

06/09/08
British F3
Devaney's Ultimate Delight  Michael Devaney made British Formula 3 history by scoring the first ever win for a Mygale and the first victory for himself and his Ultimate Motorsport team.  The Irishman led from the start holding off a very determined Jaime Alguersuari for the entire 28-lap race.  It was a double podium for Red Bull as Brendon Hartley took his third podium of the season.  Jay Bridger took a well deserved victory in the National Class well ahead of a resurgent Andy Meyrick and Columbian Steven Guerrero.

The 27 car field formed up on the grid in perfect summer sunshine behind the Mygales of Michael Devaney and Nick Tandy.  The lights went out to begin the race and Devaney got the perfect start to lead into the first corner at Riches with Brendon Hartley getting the jump on his Red Bull teammate Jaime Alguersuari to move into 3rd place as they headed down the Revett Straight.  Devaney pulled away from the rest of the chasing pack as Tandy defended his second place in vain.  The three cars went into the Esses three abreast with Alguersuari regaining the place from Hartley and both Red Bull cars passing the JTR Mygale of Tandy.

Behind the leaders Max Chilton stalled his Hitech Dallara on the grid and was delayed by half a lap before he fired up his Mercedes engine and joined in the race. More ...

06/09/08
f1
Ferrari raced without wheel covers  
No wheel covers on the Ferraris in Montreal
Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari removed their usual front wheel covers ahead of the Canadian grand prix, it has emerged.

The aerodynamic devices were reportedly causing heat to build up in the F2008's brakes, which are tested to the limit on the arduous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed the news but insists that "many cars" had problems with the brakes in Canada this weekend.

06/09/08
f1
Kimi, press, slam 'stupid' Hamilton  
Raikkonen's broken rear wing was the result of Hamilton running into the back of his car while stationary
Ferrari
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton declared himself "not happy" with his FIA penalty after shunting championship rival Kimi Raikkonen out of the Canadian grand prix on Sunday in a bizarre pitlane crash.

Stewards ordered that pole sitter Hamilton, and also Nico Rosberg, be demoted ten places down the Magny Cours grid in two weeks, after ignoring the pitlane traffic light and plowing into stationary cars.

"Obviously I am not happy but they can throw what they want at me, I will come back stronger," the McLaren driver said as he left Montreal.

23-year-old Hamilton, however, did not have many allies in the wake of the incident, even among the normally giddy British specialist press.

The Daily Star said the former championship leader "looked like a learner driver" in Canada, the scene of his maiden win a year ago. More ...

06/09/08
a1gp
2008/09 A1GP race schedule  
Date                            Event
1) 21 September 2008  A1GP Mugello, Italy
2) 05 October 2008 A1GP Zandvoort, Netherlands
3) 09 November 2008 A1GP Jakarta, Indonesia
4) 23 November 2008 A1GP Sepang, Malaysia
5) 14 December 2008 China - TBA
6) 25 January 2009  A1GP Taupo, New Zealand
7) 22 February 2009 South Africa - TBA
8) 15 March 2009 A1GP Mexico City, Mexico
9) 29 March 2009 TBA
10) 12 April 2009  A1GP Algarve, Portugal
11) 03 May 2009 Great Britain - TBA

A1GP is currently in negotiations with a number of venues in China, including Shanghai and Zhuhai.

The 2008/09 calendar is subject to FIA approval.

All team testing will take place at Silverstone on 18 - 20 August 2008 and Mugello on 17 - 18 September 2008.

06/08/08
f1
McLaren: Red light and red faces  UPDATE For Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen, the Canadian GP came to an abrupt end. Räikkönen and subsequent winner Robert Kubica stopped for the red light at the exit of the pit lane, but the Briton failed to notice and piled into the back of the Ferrari. Hans Joachim Stuck’s ironic take on the accident: “Surprising really because, coming from England, he should have realized you’re supposed to veer to the right to avoid a collision.”

Talking to motorsport-magazin.com, Christian Danner was even less inclined to spare Hamilton’s blushes. “That was stupid. Hamilton was party to a doubly stupidity,” he raged. “Firstly because he didn’t look up and see whether the light is on red, and secondly because his team didn’t radio him that the light is on red.” Danner is unable to understand why the teams continue to make the same mistake year after year. “It’s a mystery to me.” Hans Joachim Stuck does not share this opinion: “When you’re leaving the pit, you’ve got a lot of things on your mind: you’ve got controls to operate and you really need to concentrate. Sure it was stupid but... He may have come away empty-handed this time but there’s no way he’ll make the same mistake again. The team radio wouldn’t have saved him. From the control box, you can’t see the pit lane exit lights anyway.”

06/08/08 Felipe Massa failed to spot the red light at the end of the pitlane at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year, but this year Lewis Hamilton failed to see the very same light and two stationary Formula One cars as he made contact with the back of Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane following a safety car period in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton led from pole position until the safety car intervened but lost out in his pit stop to both Raikkonen and eventual race winner Robert Kubica before the incident took place. Hamilton and Raikkonen both retired on the spot and the team leave Montreal with no points as Heikki Kovalainen took the checkered flag in ninth position.

Hamilton will reportedly take a ten position grid penalty to the next race in Magny Cours as he drops to joint second in the championship tied with Massa and Robert Kubica. More ...

06/08/08
f1
Theissen: It was fantastic!  
Mario Theissen
After years of watching his engines get beat in the back of the Sauber chassis, Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director) took extra delight with today's first win in Canada.

"It is fantastic, I am overwhelmed. It is difficult to find the right words. Today just everything worked well. We hoped for another podium here in Montreal, but would not have dreamed to get a one-two victory. Congratulations to Robert and Nick and to the entire team at home in Munich and Hinwil. Today we achieved a milestone. Both drivers worked with no errors and the strategies paid off. I think we will have to celebrate a lot today." 

06/08/08
f1
Alonso blames team, track surface for spin  In an interview with Marca, Fernando Alonso lamented a terrible strategy mistake by Renault as the cause of not being able to finish or get any points. His position was ruined and he consequently went off the circuit when attempting to make up for it.

"We had a horrible mistake with the strategy when we stopped with the safety car. We were still six or seven laps. Heidfeld was in the same situation but continued and passed all of us. When I came out it was true that I was third, but it was misleading" he said.

In fact, Heidfeld managed to get a lead during the laps after the SC procedure that put him in a comfortable position to make his stop and still be well placed.

After being stuck behind Heidfeld for 10 laps, Alonso tried everything to pass the German as he would fall out of the points after his pitstop. As he slightly went off the clean line, the bad Canadian surface cost him badly.

"I was outside the points and had to do everything possible, but I took the dirty part and I left. This happens in racing, but it - the strategy - simply was too big a mistake."

06/08/08
f1
Hamilton, Rosberg, punished for pitlane smash  (GMM) Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were both penalized by stewards for the bizarre pitlane collisions during Sunday's Canadian grand prix.

The pair will move ten places back on the Magny Cours grid in a fortnight, the French news agency AFP said.

Former championship leader and pole sitter Hamilton, 23, was the first to slam into the stationary Ferrari of Raikkonen, who was duly waiting for the pitlane traffic light to turn green.

Rosberg, who drives for Williams, then hit Hamilton.

06/08/08
f1
Hamilton apologizes to Raikkonen  A mistake by Lewis Hamilton put both he and Kimi Raikkonen out of the Canadian Grand Prix.  Raikkonen and Robert Kubica stopped side-by-side at the red light at the end of the pitlane on lap 20, but Hamilton drove into the back of the Ferrari and both men had to retire.

An angry Raikkonen spoke to Hamilton after the crash, pointing at the light.

"It wasn't a great stop. I saw the two guys in front battling in the pitlane and all of a sudden they stopped. I saw the red light but by the time I stopped it was too late," said Hamilton.

"It is a lot different if you crash into the wall and are angry, it is not like that. I apologize to Kimi if I cost him the race, but these sort of things happen.

"I would rather neither of us were out, we were so quick, I was in front. Next time."

06/08/08
tv news
f1
Sebastien Bourdais will be a guest on Wind Tunnel  UPDATE A reminder that Sebastien Bourdais will be a special guest on Wind Tunnel tonight.  Also joining Dave Despain will be F1 experts Peter Windsor and Bob Varsha to discuss the eventful Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal today where Robert Kubica and BMW scored their first-ever win.

06/07/08 Sebastien Bourdais will be a special guest on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday.  After winning four consecutive Champ Car titles for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Bourdais made a move to the Formula 1 Toro Rosso team in 2008.  Also joining Dave Despain will be SPEED Formula 1 reporter, Peter Windsor.  Peter will be live from Montreal, the site of this Sunday’s Grand Prix of Canada.  Host of SPEED’s Formula 1 broadcast, Bob Varsha, will also be a guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday. Bob will join Dave Despain and Peter Windsor in a discussion about this year’s season in Formula 1.  Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain is shown live at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET on SPEED.
06/08/08
tv news
irl
TMS IndyCar race to be replayed on ESPN Classic  For those of you who may have missed the entire broadcast of the Bombardier Learjet 550k IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night due to the Nationwide race running late, it will be replayed on Monday morning, June 9, on ESPN Classic.  The replay of the IndyCar race will air at 9:00 am - 11:00 am ET on ESPN Classic.   
06/08/08
f1
FIA holds firm despite breakaway threat  (GMM)  The Max Mosley-led FIA has vowed to hold firm in the face of reports that Bernie Ecclestone may be pushing to lead a 'breakaway' championship.

Although no teams have publicly backed wanting to race in an independently-regulated category, the breakaway rumors are a further sign that Mosley is finding it difficult to command unity in the wake of the sex scandal.

"If Mosley has done such a great job ... why is there a lack of support for him in the paddock among the teams, manufacturers and the media?" commentator Martin Brundle wrote in his Sunday Times column today.

The former grand prix driver said the sex scandal was simply "an ideal catalyst" for the ructions that are now taking place, but an FIA spokesman sounded in a fighting mood when asked about the latest intrigue at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"There are those who have sought to destabilize the FIA and undermine its independent authority for their own gain," he said.

"The overwhelming support the president received from the General Assembly confirms that our membership will not allow this to happen.  Anyone who thinks that this is not the case is deluded."

06/08/08
nnw
Keselowski Gets First Series Win In Nashville  After narrowly missing victories on multiple occasions this season, Brad Keselowski claimed his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win on Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway, taking the lead from points leader Clint Bowyer with five laps remaining in the Federated Auto Parts 300.

Keselowski led early in the event, staying on track on Lap 79 when then-leader Joey Logano led other lead-lap cars down pit road. That set the stage for the evening, putting Keselowski on a different pit strategy than most of the leaders. With his counterparts opting to make their final stop of the night with 77 laps remaining, Keselowski, under the guidance of crew chief Tony Eury Sr., made his final stop of the night 41 laps from the finish.

It initially appeared that David Reutimann would run away with the race (though he was pushing it on fuel mileage), but a caution flag fell with just 10 laps remaining after Brad Teague spun off of Turn 2. That bunched the field back up behind Reutimann for a restart on Lap 217 of 225.

On that restart, Reutimann was ambushed by Bowyer and Kyle Busch. Bowyer took the lead after contact with Reutimann but only temporarily, as Keselowski dropped his No. 88 Chevrolet to the inside of Bowyer's No. 2, taking the position. More ...
06/08/08
motogp
Pedrosa wins at home  
Dani Pedrosa speeds to victory
MotoGP
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa stormed to a stunning runaway victory at Catalunya today, cheered all the way by more than 113,000 adoring fans.  A breakaway plan from Pedrosa worked to perfection in the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, as he took the holeshot at his home race and never looked back. The win ended a long premier class run without a local winner in Barcelona, stretching back to 1999 and a popular triumph for Alex Criville in the 500cc category.

Keen to avoid a battle between himself and predicted podium finishers Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi, the Repsol Honda rider burst out of the blocks and set about putting space between himself and the rest of the field. A new circuit record was made by Pedrosa by the second lap, and he kept the pace up throughout the 25 lap race.

A fourth consecutive win proved a wish too far for Fiat Yamaha star Rossi, who nonetheless fulfilled expectations by fighting his way up from ninth on the grid. A penultimate lap slipstream of Stoner gave him second place, a sixth consecutive podium and, most importantly, the advantage necessary to maintain the lead in the MotoGP World Championship.

Andrea Dovizioso was spot on in his Saturday prediction, having noted that all three of last year’s rostrum finishers would repeat their form in 2008. What the JiR Team Scot rider was not so sure about was his own form, but a fourth place –equaling his previous best MotoGP finish from Qatar- was a remarkable performance for the highest placing satellite rider.

As in qualifying, the Tech 3 Yamaha pairing of Colin Edwards and James Toseland took fifth and sixth place, respectively, with the latter holding off Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen. In a sprint to the line. Nicky Hayden, Shinya Nakano and John Hopkins completed the first ten past the checkered flag. More ...

06/08/08
f1
Bernie heads another F1 crisis meeting  
Is Bernie really moving to start a breakaway series or is this just another one of his annual media gimmicks to get F1 some free publicity?
(GMM) The political undertone to this weekend's Canadian grand prix event continued on Saturday, with a second crisis meeting in as many days.

Bernie Ecclestone again chaired a gathering of team bosses, amid paddock speculation the F1 chief executive is adeptly driving suggestions of a split with the controversial Max Mosley-led FIA.

Following the sex scandal, the rift between formula one and Mosley has taken on a new significance as it becomes clear that a war is being waged about a new Concorde agreement.

Whether the breakaway threat - for a new championship called 'GP1' - is genuine or not, Ecclestone is making the stakes abundantly clear to Mosley: "They (the FIA) have the rules but no teams and no contracts."

He told the Sunday Express: "I'm certainly not advocating a breakaway but in theory they (the teams) could do their own deal for TV, whatever.

"NASCAR do it all for themselves in the States but I don't know if they really want to do this in F1."

The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reveals that Ecclestone has the backing of Honda and McLaren, while Toyota and Williams are reluctant.

A Ferrari indicated the Maranello team is for now not taking a side, while BMW's Mario Theissen said: "At the moment I do not have a clear picture.

"In all scenarios, a separate series would not be the first option," he added.
06/08/08
f1
Crumbling track worries F1 racers at Montreal  UPDATE After multiple complaints about the track surface breaking up during qualifying, mainly at the hairpin, and drivers losing a lot of time as they travelled over the ‘train tracks’, organizers at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit have already started resurfacing the bad sections ahead of Sunday afternoon’s race.

"We have been monitoring the situation extensively,” the track’s Francois Dumontier was quoted as saying by Autosport. "This year we chose a new specialist to settle the issue, but obviously conditions related to the technological evolution of the race cars do create some problems. Aggressive adhesion of grooved tires, removal of traction control systems and the actual physical configuration of the hairpin corner itself could all be probable causes for this situation. We will correct this problem as soon as the last car leaves the track today, and everything will be rectified for tomorrow's races."

This is not the first time the track has suffered these problems with the surface also breaking up in the 2006 event, however, that didn’t occur until Sunday’s race. This year it has happened a lot earlier and hopefully with tonight’s work, the drivers will be able to have a clean race.

06/07/08 (GMM) The track surface at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is once again causing problems.

Following similar concerns in previous years, including in 2007, the dark-colored repaired asphalt areas during qualifying on Saturday began to break loose, particularly at the turn 10 hairpin but also elsewhere.

Mark Webber lost his chance to join the Q3 action after he crashed at the end of the second phase of qualifying, musing afterwards that competitors will need "motocross bikes" rather than grand prix machines for the race.

Asked what effect the loose stones of broken track, swept off the racing line by marshals between qualifying segments, will have on driver mistakes on Sunday, the Australian answered dryly: "Good for the spectators."

World champion Kimi Raikkonen slammed the situation as a "joke" after he slipped at the hairpin and trailed Lewis Hamilton's pole position by nearly a full second.

"It will be a nightmare in the race," the Ferrari driver added.

Toyota driver Timo Glock also predicted "major problems" for the 70-lap grand prix, and teammate Jarno Trulli described the issue as a "huge concern".
06/08/08
irl
IndyCar Texas attendance continues to slide  An estimated crowd of 83,000 for Saturday's Bombardier Learjet 550 continued a trend of declining attendance for the IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

TMS president Eddie Gossage blamed the series schedule, which has included a Milwaukee race between Indianapolis and TMS since 2006. While TMS still fields the second largest crowd in the series after the Indianapolis 500, attendance has dropped since an estimated 102,000 watched the 2005 race, which immediately followed Indy. It's clear that inserting a race between Indy and Texas had an effect," Gossage said. "We spent more money on advertising and promotion this year than ever before. We've been selling tickets at a great pace since Robbie Knievel's jump was announced, but it wasn't enough to dig us out of the hole we were in prior to that. We love IndyCar racing and hope to get the IRL's help in turning this trend around."

Gossage has persistently lobbied to return to the spot immediately after Indianapolis. The IRL's contracts with TMS and Milwaukee will expire after next season.

The estimated attendances for the IndyCar races at TMS since 2005 when TMS cut back from two Indy Car Series races per year to one:

Year  Attendance
2005  102,000
2006  91,000
2007  86,000
2008  83,000  Dallas News

06/08/08
FIL
Perera lands Indy Lights ride  
Franck Perera
Franck Perera, the 23 year old native of Montpellier, France, will jump back into action to compete in the Firestone Indy Lights series for the remainder of the 2008 season. Watch out for this young gun to make an immediate impression in the IRL as he has already done so impressively in his career to date.

Perera's astonishing resume stems from deep roots in European open-wheel racing where he won the Italian Formula Renault Championship in 2003 and went on to compete against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock in both the F3 Euro Series (Rookie Champion 2004) and the GP2 Series (Runner-up to Hamilton at Monaco 2006). Franck was also a member of the exclusive Toyota Driver Program and was entrusted with testing Toyota’s Formula One car on several occasions. More ...

06/08/08
tv news
Weekend USA TV Reminders  UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday have been added to the schedule below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Sunday
NASCAR Performance 
12:00am-12:30am SPEED
Tradin' Paint Pocono 
12:30am-1:00am SPEED
Nationwide Replay Federated Auto Parts 300 Nashville 
12:30am-2:30am (R) ESPN2
ARCA RE/MAX Replay Pocono 200 
3:00am-5:00am (R) SPEED
NASCAR in a Hurry 
10:00am-10:30am SPEED
NASCAR Now 
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
NASCAR Raceday Pocono 
10:30am-12:30pm SPEED
NHRA Raceday Joliet 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NASCAR Sprint Cup Pocono 500
12:30pm-2:00pm (L) -Pre-race
2:00pm-6:30pm (L) -Race TNT
Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Montreal
1:00pm-3:00pm (L) FOX Sports
MotoGP 250 Catalunya 
2:00pm-3:00pm (SD) SPEED
Movie: Days of Thunder (1990)
2:00pm-4:30pm CMT
Check local listings for your time zone
MotoGP World Championship Catalunya
3:00pm-4:00pm (SD) SPEED
AMA Superbike Elkhart Lake, WI
4:00pm-5:00pm (6/7/08) -Day 1
5:00pm-6:00pm (SD) -Day 2  SPEED
NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals Joliet, IL
5:00pm-7:00pm (SD) ESPN2
AMA Motocross Hangtown Motocross Classic Rancho Cordova, CA
6:00pm-7:00pm (6/1/08) SPEED
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Pocono 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Movie: The Circuit (2008)
8:00pm-10:00pm ABC Family
Check local listings for your time zone
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Sebastien Bourdais (F1)
Peter Windsor (F1 Reporter)
Bob Varsha (F1 Host)   
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
Monday (Partial)
IndyCar Replay Bombardier Learjet 550 Texas
 
9:00am-11:00am (R) ESPN Classic
NHRA Replay Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals Joliet, IL
11:00am-1:00pm (R) ESPN Classic
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Replay Sam's Town 400 Texas 
12:00pm-12:30pm (R) -Pre-race
12:30pm-3:00pm (R) -Race SPEED
All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com
06/07/08
arca
Stenhouse Wins ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Pocono  Ricky Stenhouse Jr held off a hard charging Scott Speed and won the ARCA Re/MAX 200 at Pocono Raceway.  Speed made it four wide down the front stretch with just two laps to go, but drove high into turn one and could never make up the ground on Stenhouse who won his first race ever at Pocono.

Also to note... Chase Mattioli, grandson of track owner Dr Joe Mattioli, finished in 32nd in his Pocono debut after getting caught up in an early race tangle.

06/07/08
racing news
Jim McKay dies  A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Tony George about legendary ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay, who died June 7 at age 86. McKay anchored ABC’s broadcasts of the Indianapolis 500 from 1967-74 and 1976-85. He was the host of the broadcast in 1986-87.

McKay also was a talented writer. He won his 12th Emmy Award in 1988 for the openings of ABC’s coverage of the 1987 Indianapolis 500, the British Open and the Kentucky Derby.

“Jim McKay was an icon, a legend in broadcasting. He helped build ABC Sports and the Indianapolis 500 through a true partnership and always remained a friend and a fan. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway family offers its condolences to his family.”
06/07/08
f1
Gearbox penalty compounds STR misery  (GMM) After both Toro Rossos crashed on Saturday morning, the Italian team's fortunes then turned from bad to worse in the approach to the qualifying hour.

By 2pm, it was already clear that Vettel, whose practice crash had been the heaviest of the pair, would not be able to join the qualifying action as his chassis was too badly damaged.

Indeed, as the reduced field of 19 took to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, mechanics in the STR garage were already working on building up a new car for the young German for Sunday, which he will have to start the race from the pitlane.

Teammate Sebastien Bourdais was at least able to qualify, but he will start the Canadian grand prix dead last, because his car's gearbox was damaged in his own morning crash.

Because the gearbox change is out of sequence with the FIA's new mandatory four-race rule, the Frenchman receives a five-grid demotion from his 16th fastest qualifying pace.
06/07/08
nassprint
Happy Hour is Over at Pocono, Busch crashes  
Carl Edwards was fastest in Happy Hour.
Doug Belliveau/ AutoRacing1
It's a warm and humid afternoon at Pocono Raceway and Happy Hour has concluded with Carl Edwards posting the fastest time at 164.769 mph.  Pole Sitter Kasey Kahne was second fastest and Elliot Sadler was third quick in his Stanley Dodge.

Kyle Busch crashed hard in the morning practice session and will have to start the race with a backup car.  Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Sam Hornish all spun in practice with Hornish tearing up his ride and also resolved to running a backup car for tomorrow's race.

Hornish qualified 41st based on owners points and will start 42nd with the backup car.

"We weren't good in practice all day.  We were trying a lot of different things on our Mobil One Dodge to make it better" said Hornish.  "I just got loose going into turn 1 and lost it.  We tore the front end up a bit and will go to the backup car for tomorrow."

See all the Final Practice Speeds

More ...

06/07/08
track news
What's up with the Pocono Patch?  While Pocono Raceway hasn't undergone a major resurfacing in years, drivers have the Pocono Patch to deal with this weekend.  The "patch" is actually 3800' of asphalt that was replaced from the exit of turn 2 and completely through turn 3 onto the front stretch.

The repairs were brought about after the August NASCAR race when track owner Dr. Joe Mattioli was walking the track and visually inspecting the surface.  A series of cracks in the pavement prompted the repairs, much to the drivers liking this weekend as the Pocono Patch gives a new racing surface with traction to spare.

Two time Pocono winner Denny Hamlin loved the patch.

"Even with that little patch in Turn 3, everybody is fighting for that one lane of new asphalt," he said. "Nobody is running the bottom and everyone is running that one lane and 43 cars are not going to fit on it."

06/07/08
f1
Both Toro Rossos crash on Saturday  (GMM) Toro Rosso will have its spare parts department tested to the limit at Montreal, after both Sebastian Vettel and his teammate separately crashed in the final practice session before qualifying on Saturday.

Vettel's high speed crash, at the exit of turn 9, was the most severe, while although leaving him unhurt, the red flags waved for nearly ten minutes so that marshals could clear the debris.

The stoppage left just a few minutes on the clock when the session resumed, but Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais - in the sister Ferrari-powered STR3 - then clouted the wall at turn 5.

The late-session chaos left Williams' Nico Rosberg leading the timesheet, with his teammate Kazuki Nakajima a promising fifth for the Grove team.

Vettel ended the 90 minute session tenth overall despite his crash, while Bourdais remained twelfth.
06/07/08
f1
Canadian GP: Rosberg tops practice 3  With the last fifteen minutes of the session interrupted by accidents from the Toro Rosso drivers, Nick Rosberg’s earlier fastest time gave him the top spot at today’s morning practice session in Montreal with 1:16.555.  Most of the drivers were unable to set fast times on the super soft tires, as they had left it too late into the session to come out onto the track. Rosberg was followed by Raikkonen, Hamilton, Massa and Nakajima, with Trulli rounding out the top six.

Results

Pos

Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:16.555 -0.000 16
2. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:16.589 -0.034 22
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.725 -0.170 17
4. Massa Ferrari 1:16.787 -0.232 19
5. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:16.898 -0.343 16
6. Trulli Toyota 1:16.946 -0.391 20
7. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.952 -0.397 16
8. Piquet Renault 1:17.060 -0.505 19
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:17.062 -0.507 16
10. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:17.085 -0.530 16
11. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:17.109 -0.554 17
12. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:17.282 -0.727 17
13. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:17.322 -0.767 20
14. Barrichello Honda 1:17.557 -1.002 19
15. Glock Toyota 1:17.557 -1.002 20
16. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:17.608 -1.053 24
17. Alonso Renault 1:17.683 -1.128 16
18. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:17.766 -1.211 17
19. Button Honda 1:18.178 -1.623 19
20. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:18.424 -1.869 21

06/07/08
automotive
Oil cost sinks auto stocks  Many investors dumped their auto stocks Friday as the price of crude oil surged more than $10 a barrel, to more than $139, after a major investment bank predicted it could jump to $150 a barrel in the coming weeks.

The price of regular gasoline averaged $3.98 on Friday, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That is up from $3.13 a gallon a year ago.

Shares of Detroit's automakers, foreign rivals and all large public suppliers took a dive as a result of the increases.

Ford Motor Co. shares Friday closed down 36 cents, or 5.63%, at $6.04. In April, Ford shares had reached $8.40 a share after Ford announced a surprise $100-million first-quarter profit. But now it is intensifying its cost cutting as the market continues shifting toward fuel-efficient cars.

Meanwhile, shares of General Motors Corp. closed down 83 cents, or 4.9%, at $16.22.

On Tuesday, GM said it will idle four truck plants and intensify its focus on fuel-efficient cars.

[Editor's Note: Oil up $11 in one day.  The Arabs look at all the stupid greedy Americans driving their gas-guzzling big trucks and SUVs and say, raise the price.....$10 per gallon here we come.]

06/07/08
nassprint
Morning Practice Speeds from Pocono  
See all the morning Happy Hour speeds from Pocono...

More ...

06/07/08
motogp
Stoner takes pole in Spain  
Casey Stoner
With his first pole position since the race at Misano in 2007, World Champion Casey Stoner broke his top spot drought in qualifying for the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya. The Australian did so with a new record time of 1´41.186, preventing a home pole for Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

Last year’s race winner, Stoner had a spectacular last lap of the Barcelona circuit where he cut his teeth in the Spanish championship, putting behind him any grip problems experienced early on Friday. The 22 year-old had been fastest in the previous two practice sessions.

For Pedrosa, another front row will not come as too much of a disappointment, with his other immediate title contenders either down the order or out of action. The big worry for the home rider will be a breakaway from the man immediately to his left on the grid, and whether the standard Honda RC212V engine still being used by the factory team has the power to stick with the Ducati Desmosedici GP8 over the long home straight. A bike problem early on left him without time to test his race tires, and using his second machine.

The Repsol Honda representation on the front row will be two-strong tomorrow afternoon, Nicky Hayden taking off from the first line of attack for the first time in 2007. He put his cards on the table late on in the session, with only extremely impressive runs from Stoner and Pedrosa ousting him from the top spot.

On the front row last year, Randy de Puniet was using a different machine and tires to those of 2007, taking his Michelin-shod LCR Honda to the head of the second line. The Frenchman is still suffering from a finger injury picked up in Mugello, but showed that he has some serious pace despite the pain. More ...

06/07/08
f1
Villeneuve not looking to restart F1 career  (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve's is a notable face in the Montreal paddock this weekend, but the 1997 world champion has played down any suggestion of a possible bid to return to formula one.

The Canadian local was spotted in conversation with many a notable grand prix powerbroker on Friday, but the venue is - after all - named after his famous late father Gilles.

37-year-old Villeneuve's mother has also been spotted at the track that bares her late husband's name.

"I'm here to enjoy the ambiance," Jacques Villeneuve, who last raced for BMW-Sauber in 2006, told the Canadian daily newspaper Edmonton Sun.

"I am busy at my restaurant (Newtown) and with my two children at home," he added.

Villeneuve did, however, confirm reports he is looking to re-start his abortive NASCAR career.

"We are still exploring sponsorship," he said.

06/07/08
f1
Euro 2008 rivalry to remain civil  (GMM)  Their countries are fierce Euro 2008 adversaries, but BMW-Sauber's international driver lineup will not let the football tournament back home - kicking off on Saturday - descend into nastiness.

"We tease each other a little," test driver Christian Klien, of Austria, admitted to Auto Motor und Sport in Canada.  "But I think Nick has the advantage," he added, referring to Germany race driver Nick Heidfeld.

The other driving member of BMW-Sauber's F1 team is Poland's Robert Kubica.  All three countries have been brought together in 'Group B' of the popular football competition, sparking a press war, particularly between Poland and Germany, whose historical rivalry is obvious.

In a sort of reversal of the Hitler era, however, Thursday's front page editions of the Polish tabloids Fakt and Super Express declared war on the German football team, calling for the heads of player Michael Ballack and coach Joachim Loew.

06/07/08
f1
News briefs from Montreal: Saturday  (GMM)  The last tickets for this weekend's Canadian grand prix sold out on Thursday, meaning that the three-day attendance will top 300,000.
-

David Coulthard (Red Bull) and Williams' Kazuki Nakajima were both fined for speeding in pitlane on Friday.  Japanese Nakajima's infraction cost him only 400 euros, but veteran Coulthard went a whopping 25kph too fast in the 50kph-limited zone, incurring a 3000 euro fine.
-

African automobile association D.N. Njoroge took exception to comments made by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone this week and is calling for an apology.  He said it was a "derogatory, demeaning and uncalled for attack" when Ecclestone derided Max Mosley's confidence victory in Paris.

"Just because he gets a few clubs from Africa voting for him will not make the king of Spain want to shake his hand," the F1 chief executive had told a British newspaper.
-

Hot on the heels of rumors that Kimi Raikkonen is contemplating retiring after next year, it is being reported by the German newspaper Bild from Montreal that Ferrari has offered the reigning world champion a new $40m per year deal.

When asked if talks with Ferrari have begun, the Finn said in Canada: "Kind of, yes."
-

According to local forecasts, free practice and qualifying at Montreal on Saturday should be dry, although a high chance of rain persists for race-day Sunday.  Not all paddock residents, however, agree.

"Our projections indicate that it will be dry on Saturday and Sunday," BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen is quoted as saying by Motorsport Aktuell.

06/07/08
nassprint
Kyle Busch Crashes in Happy Hour at Pocono  Fresh off of returning from Texas and a second place finish in the Sam's Town 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck race Kyle Busch was third fastest in Happy Hour at Pocono but then it happened.  Busch lost the race car coming off of turn three and tried to bring it down pit road, but lost control again and slammed into the Pocono pit road heavily damaging the Gibbs Toyota.

Busch was fast, but loose, in Happy Hour and will need to go to a backup car for the Pocono 500 on Sunday.  Carl Edwards was fastest in Happy Hour, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Busch (who starts from the rear in a backup), Jamie McMurray and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 5.

While Kurt Busch has enjoyed success at Pocono (2 wins and 7 top 5's in 14 starts), Kyle has not yet enjoyed the same favor with only a single top 5 finish in 6 starts.

The crash occurred towards the end of Happy Hour and NASCAR brought out the black and red flags after the crash ending the session for all.

06/07/08
motogp
Stoner tops Saturday morning practice  A cold Saturday morning in Barcelona saw the Ducati of Casey Stoner finally top the practice timesheets for the first time since Qatar this year. The Bridgestone-shod Australian set a time marginally quicker than former World Champion Nicky Hayden, clocking in at 1’43”013.

Colin Edwards and his former partner Valentino Rossi were third and fourth fastest respectively this morning, with one tenth of a second separating the two.

Not far behind in fifth place is Australia’s own Chris Vermeulen, whose fastest time of 1’43”261 was marginally quicker than Yamaha’s James Toseland in sixth.

Randy de Puniet was the second fastest Honda in seventh place, with Dani Pedrosa not far behind in eighth, with Andrea Dovizioso and Loris Capirossi rounding out the top ten.

MotoGP results : More ...

06/07/08
automotive
Even worse fuel mileage for gas-guzzler Cadillac Escalade  All models of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade will be able to run on either ordinary gasoline or E85 ethanol, or any combination of the two, General Motors announced Friday.

And customers will have the fueling choice at no additional cost, but when they use E85 the fuel mileage the driver gets, which is already horrible, will plummet.

The Escalade, Escalade EXT and Escalade ESV as well as the GMC Denali, join the previously announced 2009 Chevrolet HHR, Buick Lucerne and Hummer H2 and H2 SUT as additions to GM’s industry-leading flex-fuel lineup .

“The success of E85 as an alternative fuel depends on having the fuel readily available and having a range of cars and trucks that can use it,” said GM Vice President of Environment, Energy and Safety Policy Beth Lowery . “We will offer more than 15 flex-fuel capable models for 2009 compared with 11 this year.” More ...

06/07/08
nassprint
DISH Network® to Sponsor Travis Kvapil  Yates Racing announced today that DISH Network (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation’s second largest satellite TV provider and leader in the digital transition, will sponsor the No. 28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for this weekend’s Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 8. 

“We are thrilled to have DISH Network as our sponsor this weekend at Pocono,” stated Kvapil.  “There is a lot of momentum and excitement right now at Yates Racing and we are honored that DISH Network wanted to participate in our program.  We are always very grateful that companies recognize our increased performance both on and off the track this season and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend at Pocono for our No. 28 DISH Network team.”

“DISH Network is proud to sponsor Travis Kvapil, a promising new driver from Wisconsin,” said Jessica Insalaco, senior vice president of Marketing for DISH Network. “NASCAR and Travis are both about winning on the track and with their fans, which goes hand-in-hand with DISH Network’s own commitment to winning – winning with the best programming.

06/07/08
f1
Williams Formula One Team lawn mower  
Since their F1 cars are so slow Williams had to get into the Lawn Mower business.  Wonder which is faster?
British ride-on lawn mower manufacturer, Countax Ltd., have launched a new Williams Formula One Team model at this years’ Chelsea Flower Show. The new Williams FW-4WD is equipped with a 16hp twin cylinder engine, and with 4WD capability, this new mower has been designed to cut and collect grass on slopes up to 30°, and in marshy areas of the garden where greater traction is required.

The four wheel drive ‘4TRAC’ technology has been developed by Countax specifically for its ride-on lawn mowers, with a unique ability to increase and decrease the turning speed of the front wheels to eliminate scuffing. 4TRAC offers ultimate scuff-free slope performance for the perfect lawn. A unique Countax built-in safety feature, the Electronic Slope Alert, sounds an alarm to warn the operator before reaching an incline too great for safe mowing.

The Williams FW-4WD sports the latest team colors and is fitted with a 107cm/42” cutter deck as standard, however, alternative cutter decks are available including 97cm/38” mulching deck, and for really tough areas, the 92cm/36” high grass mulching deck will tame any paddock, scrubland or high grass area. Dense weeds, nettles and brambles can all be mulched into small particles, and large areas can be cleared very quickly All Countax tractors feature the unique Operating Management System, with microprocessor control, which keeps the operator fully informed with a dashboard display of functions, including indication of 4WD engaged and correct RPM for optimum performance. The Williams FW-4WD has the added benefit of electric deck lift, allowing the operator to adjust the cutting height with the touch of a button.

The new Williams FW-4WD ride on mower comes with a complimentary cover and security wheel clamp and is available from all Countax dealers, SRP £5245 inc vat, 107cm/42” cutter deck and powered grass collector.

06/07/08
Formula BMW
Canadian GP: Formula BMW qualifying  Friday's single qualifying session for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Formula BMW Americas Championship was held under clearing skies. The drying track put a premium on the ability of the 16 young drivers to put together not one, but two fast laps, to qualify for both races.

BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto (Eurointernational), of Sao Paulo, Brazil, set the fastest lap of the session to score the Round 3 pole, the second of his career. His lap of 1:46.284 minutes around the 2.71-mile, 13-turn Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was just .261 seconds ahead of Daniel Juncadella (Euro Junior Team). Juncadella, of Barcelona, Spain, stands third in the Formula BMW Europe series and is one of six drivers from that series to make the trip to Montreal this weekend. Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) was third, only .018 seconds behind Juncadella.

Overall and Rookie points leader Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica) set the fourth fastest time in the session, a 1:46.571 minute lap, and backed it up with a lap only .016 seconds slower to score the Round 4 pole. Rossi, with a second lap of 1:46.651 minutes, will start on the outside of the front row in Round 4 and Favoretto will start third.

The top-five qualifying Rookies in Round 3 were Raimondo (P4), Grenier (P5), Millroy (P9), Vilarinho (P10) and Ruiz (P11). In Round 4, again it was Raimondo (P1), Grenier (P5), Millroy (P9), Vilarinho (P10) and Ruiz (P11). More ...

06/07/08
starmazda
Star Mazda Qualifying at Watkins Glen  
Alex Ardoin
Louisiana driver Alex Ardoin has re-established himself as a force to be reckoned with by winning the pole for Round Three of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Watkins Glen this weekend.  His lap of 1:46.223 in the #51 Mundill/Oral & Facial Surgery Center/Performance Drink/ Twister Trailer Mazda was 0.152 seconds clear of the 2nd-place car of British driver Charles Hall, who led every practice session in the #77 Andersen Racing/Blimpie/ AccentBanking.com/Pardoes Solicitors/Allied Mazda.  Hall finished 2nd in both Round One and Round Two, and is currently 2nd in the championship.

Ardoin’s last pole position was at Trois Rivières during the 2007 Star Mazda Championship season, and he won the season-engine race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to finish 6th in the championship.  He finished 4th in the 2008 season-opener at Sebring but endured a disastrous weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, persevering to finish 10th in a car that started the weekend with a small fire and ultimately had to be re-built from the ground up – including a new chassis – before the race.  He is currently 5th in the championship. More ...
06/07/08
irl
Merger has brought no TV revenue growth  After the checkered flag dropped on this year’s Indianapolis 500, the green flag fell on negotiations for a new television contract between the Indy Racing League and ABC/ESPN.

The current deal doesn’t expire until the end of next season, but the contract calls for the parties to discuss an extension starting this month.

Sources close to both sides said ABC/ESPN pays the IRL about $10 million annually, but getting that kind of guaranteed cash beyond 2009 could be difficult.

Still, network officials have made their interest in the series clear.

“We hope to continue the relationship well beyond next year,” said George McNeilly, ESPN senior communications director.

While ABC/ESPN is likely to ask for a discounted or restructured revenue-sharing deal, IRL officials are likely to ask the network for increased promotions, including on-air and Web advertising, and possibly pre-race, post-race and other special IRL shows.

The differing demands could lead the IRL to shop its deal to other networks. Motorsports sources said NBC and Turner Broadcasting have interest in the openwheel series. NBC, sources said, would like to wrestle the Indianapolis 500 away from ABC, which has aired the race 44 consecutive years.

One thing is certain. Lots of people are watching the IRL’s TV ratings in what has become a critical year for the series. While the buzz around the series is growing, that hasn’t yet led to significant ratings gains, and some in the broadcast industry are growing impatient.

ABC/ESPN officials said they have seen no bump in advertising during race broadcasts this year despite the IRL’s unification with rival Champ Car, Danica Patrick’s recent victory, and Helio Castroneves’ exposure on the “Dancing with the Stars” TV show.

The IRL’s ratings have been mostly static since entering the deal with ABC/ESPN in 2004. In 2006, the average viewer rating for 14 races, including the 500, was 0.97, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Co. Last year, the average was 0.94 for 17 races. A 1.0 rating equals about 1 million households nationwide.

Ratings for the Indianapolis 500 have hovered around 5 the last five years. It was 4.5 this year, and 4.3 last year when rain delayed the race. The series’ TV ratings, which so far this year are down a bit, don’t give the series much leverage in its extension negotiations.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that the [IRL] is a money-losing deal for ABC and ESPN,” said Jeffrey Cokin, a former NBC executive who now heads his own broadcast consulting firm, Connecticut based Cokin Communications. “You can bet they’ll be trying to negotiate that price down.”  More at IBJ.com

06/07/08
irl
Gossage warns IRL to stick to ovals  UPDATE #2 Some driver scorned Gossage's comments about racing on 80 percent ovals, while others simply brushed them off.

"If that's the way he feels, then we shouldn't race here," Tony Kanaan said. "It amazes me that he said that. If somebody who has such good vision and can organize a race as good as this thinks we should be racing on 80 percent ovals, (then he) isn't looking out for the series' best interests. He's looking out for his own interests. We don't need those people around if that's the way they think."

Series points leader and Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon smiled when told of Gossage's opinion.

"Eddie should stick to running his track and let the series run itself," Dixon said. "He's probably a little biased because he's got an oval. Everybody is going to have different views. I'm biased because I like road courses. He's just putting that out there because he and his owners (Speedway Motorsports Inc.) have a long list of racetracks, and most of them are ovals."

[Editor's Note: The majority of drivers think Gossage is an idiot for saying they should race on 80% ovals.  One driver, who shall remain nameless, said, "It's not his life on the line now is it.?"  In a related article, this author also calls Gossage nuts.]

06/06/08 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Eddie Gossage is so far off base it's ridiculous. 

1. The ALL OVAL STRATEGY by the original IRL failed miserably. Look at Phoenix, Fontana, Loudon, Dover, Michigan and the diminution of the INDY 500.

2. Look at the cost of running an all oval series, as well as the injuries.

3. IRL "WON" because Penske came over and brought Toyota and Honda to IRL's prime event and the Biggest Show in Open Wheel the INDY 500 Steve Levinson

06/06/08 Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has a warning for the newly merged IndyCar Series:

Stick to the oval tracks if you want to make the merger work.

"IndyCar officials have to understand that it will take 80 percent ovals to truly succeed," Gossage said. "Otherwise, this is nothing more than a niche sport.

"If they're comfortable with that, fine, but I don't think they are. The Indy 500 and high-speed ovals like TMS are why the IRL won this war."

Gossage is concerned that the IndyCar Series will add too many road and street courses that were part of the Champ Car schedule.

Long Beach, which was run as a separate event this year, will be part of the IndyCar schedule next year. The Edmonton Grand Prix was added to this year's schedule, and the Toronto Grand Prix probably will be part of the 2009 schedule.

All three events are successful street races that were part of the Champ Car schedule. More ...

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