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Summerton takes pole for race 1 in NJ  
Jonathan Summerton
In weather conditions that alternated between wet and dry at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Jonathan Summerton scored his second pole position of the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season for Saturday’s first race of a doubleheader weekend at the Mazda Formula X presented by Cooper Tires (HDNet, Live, 6/13 at 1 p.m. ET).

As the track dried rapidly in the final minutes of the 30-minute qualifying session, Summerton clocked a best time of 1:11.417 (109.386 mph) in Genoa Racing’s No. 19 Barker Specialty/Geller Group/Genoa machine on the final lap of the session. It was Summerton’s third career pole in Atlantic competition. He has qualified on the front row for every race thus far in the 2009 Atlantic season, and for the fifth consecutive time dating to a second-place qualifying result the penultimate round of the 2008 Atlantic Championship at Miller Motorsports Park. More ...

Robby Gordon responds to SCORE penalty  Robby Gordon was moved from the winning spot to 7th early today as SCORE International handed out penalties from last weekend’s 432-mile race. The “black box” tracking information needed to be examined in order to verify that Gordon didn’t violate the Mexico highway speed limits and deviate from the racecourse. It has been revealed the Robby Gordon was not penalized for course deviation, but was assessed a 10 minute penalty for exceeding the maximum allowed speed of 60 mph while traveling on the highway and Gordon was assessed a 90-minute penalty for the fueling violation.(DirtNewz.com) and see official results at score-international.com now show Robby Gordon in 7th and not winning the Baja 500. More ...
Chris Andrews added to No. 6 UPS team  In an effort to improve communication between driver David Ragan and the engineering support group at Roush Fenway Racing, Chris Andrews will be working with the No. 6 UPS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for the next five weeks.

Andrews, RFR’s Engineering Manager, has been with the organization for almost three years and will assess what changes may be necessary to benefit the team’s performance.

“I made the decision on Chris’ special assignment for the next five weeks after consulting with Robbie Reiser, our General Manager, and the other RFR crew chiefs,” said Jack Roush.  “We arrived at the consensus for Chris to assist Jimmy and David with the application of our engineering tools to help with pre-weekend preparation and tuning at the track.”

Jimmy Fennig will continue to call the races for the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion and be involved in on-track activities throughout the weekend.

Conor Daly on Star Mazda Pole in New Jersey  
Conor Daly
After topping both practice sessions on Friday, Conor Daly went on to complete the trifecta with his first pole of the 2009 season.  With a lap of 1:15.696 sec. (102.831 mph) in the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda, the son of racing legend Derek Daly will start from the inside of the front row for tomorrow's first race of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear double-header in the second annual Mazda Formula X weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

"The beginning of the season has been just OK, but to come here and rebound and get the pole and being fast all day is really good," said Daly, who has one podium and one top-5 in the first three races of the 2009 season and currently sits seventh in the championship battle. "It feels just great and it's very reassuring for me and the team.  This weekend the track seems a bit slower; when the Andersen team and I tested here last week we were really quite a bit faster than what the pole time was.  But I'm still pleased as long as everyone else is going a bit slower than me, it's OK.  I really like the track and it's been a great weekend so far." More ...

Jim Hunter puts his spin on Chevy NASCAR pullback  Is General Motors Corp. pulling its support from the  NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series?

Word today at Michigan International Speedway is that Chevy may be out of both series soon from a factory standpoint or reduce its monetary and technical support.

The Meijer 300 Nationwide race will be held at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night, while the Camping World Michigan 200 is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at MIS.

Asked if he knew of GM’s intentions, truck points leader Matt Crafton, who runs the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet for Thorsport Racing, said: “I’m racing Saturday, and next week … I’ll race like it’s my first race. I’m proud to be in a Chevrolet; it’s good to be driving a race truck. On the other subject, I’ll talk to my crew chief.”

A statement provided to the Free Press from a Chevrolet motorsports spokesman at the track did not confirm or deny the auto manufacturers’ future plans in the series.

It said: “Chevrolet’s involvement in racing is a sound business decision that translates into the sale of cars and trucks. It is essential, however, that we continue to look at every penny we spend as General Motors takes the necessary steps to become a leaner company with a significantly stronger balance sheet.

“While Chevy racing is talking to its business partners about ways to reduce cost and maximize the return of investment, it is our policy not to talk about the details of business relationships with our partners.” More ...

Cup teams to also feel GM's axe soon  General Motors is planning to cut back on its support of NASCAR teams in all of the sanctioning body's professional series. Chevy spokesman Terry Rhadigan says GM, which is reorganizing through bankruptcy, is discussing what he described as incremental cutbacks in support. He says cuts will be made soon and that the discussions are "indeed NASCAR-wide." Rhadigan would not say if one series would be affected more than others, nor would he say the size of the cuts or how much GM spends on NASCAR. The automaker, through its Chevy brand, provides cash and other support to teams including engines and parts. Associated Press
Rossi tops Friday MotoGP practice  Valentino Rossi stamped his authority on the opening MotoGP practice of the weekend with the fastest time of Friday afternoon at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, lapping the Barcelona track on his Fiat Yamaha M1 in 1’43.038.

The Italian star has never finished outside the top three in a premier class race at the Mediterranean venue and he signaled his aspirations for victory at round six, having not won since the third race of the year at Jerez, by starting the weekend on the front foot.

Behind Rossi on the time-sheet was his factory Yamaha colleague Jorge Lorenzo who was 0.302s off the World Champion’s pace on a far better Friday than last year at his home track – where he crashed in practice and missed the race due to concussion.

Third on the timesheet was Mugello race-winner and 2007 Barcelona victor Casey Stoner who went round just over half a second slower than Rossi on his Ducati Desmosedici, despite a small crash near the end of the session. More ...

track news
USA Today names VIR Camp in top-10  USA Today has named Camp Motorsport's Adult/Child program as one of the ten best multi-generational summer camp programs in America.

"We are thrilled to have been selected" shares Director Diane Tyrrell. "We are pleased to offer a program where kids and adults can participate together at camp. The Adult/Child Camp Sampler Weekend program is a wonderful bonding opportunity for adults & children to spend some quality time together".

Camp Motorsport is a race car driving resident camp that operates at a real live racetrack at VIRginia International Raceway, near Danville VA. In the Adult/Child program, participants spend the weekend getting a taste of a little bit of everything the camp has to offer- driving, swimming, and participating in other activities which are both racing-related & recreational. More ...

tv news
Final USA TV Ratings from Last Weekend  
Race Network Rating
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Federated Auto Parts 300 ESPN2 1.1
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Pocono 500 TNT 3.4
Off Road Racing: Traxxas Torc Truck Series (taped) ABC 0.6/1 Share
F1: ING Turkish Grand Prix (taped) Fox 0.6/2 Share
Friday Snippets from LeMans  Up and down the paddock at Le Mans on Thursday, the universal thought was that the evening’s qualifying session was less about going for class pole positions but rather getting sorted for the 24 Hours. Even the pole-winning teams and drivers admitted their quick times were on race setups, albeit on softer tires for the night running.

A glance at last year’s race shows that Risi Competizione’s GT2-winning Ferrari started sixth in class but worked its way up to second by the end of the second lap and took the lead in the second hour. So a good-handling car can solve all sorts of problems.

“We are pleased with our car,” said Chris Dyson, part of the RML lineup in a Mazda-powered Lola coupe that will start fourth in LMP2. “We started the week taking a very measured approach and keeping the big picture in mind - which is the race this weekend. Ultimately for this race, you have take what the car gives you and not be caught up in running too hard a pace. The LMP2 class has proven the past few years that if you are around at the finish, you can get a very good result. RML knows how to win here (with class wins in 2005 and 2006), and we’re confident in our strategy.” More ...

FOTA statement after release of 2010 entry list  The entries to the 2010 FIA F1 Championship submitted by BMW-Sauber, BrawnGP, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Toro Rosso and Toyota were based upon conditions that have still yet to be met.

FOTA will continue to act constructively on resolving differences with the FIA. Regrettably FOTA is being forced to outline in detail our objections to the new arbitrary FIA proposals and we will release details of our concerns in the near future which will constructively explain why the FIA's proposals are bad for the future of Formula One, the jobs of those employed within the motor-racing industry and especially the millions of loyal fans who are dismayed and confused at the internal bickering within our sport.

FOTA reaffirms the unity and strength of its members, welcomes the three new F1 entrants announced today and remains committed to work with all the bodies of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile to resolve our differences.

[Editor's Note: At this point Max Mosley has determined he can get enough cars without the FOTA teams.  So in essence he has told the FOTA teams get in line or go pound sand.]

Rebel teams sympathize with 'dismayed' fans  (GMM)  As the row with F1's governing body gets set to drag on for at least another week, the rebel alliance FOTA on Friday sympathized with "dismayed and confused" fans.

"We're all very sad we're not focusing on the racing and what's exciting about formula one.

"But I really believe FOTA's ambition is to improve the sport for the long term," John Howett, Toyota team president and vice-chair of the Formula One Teams Association, said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

In an official statement, FOTA then acknowledged fans "who are dismayed and confused at the internal bickering within our sport".

But also in the wake of the controversial 2010 entry list published by the FIA, the teams' statement hit out at the "erroneous" suggestion that Ferrari and Red Bull's two teams are signed up unconditionally for next year.

The FIA said it is giving the remaining FOTA teams, McLaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Brawn, another seven days to come on board, but FOTA hit back by insisting its members remain united and opposed to the governing body's "new arbitrary proposals".

Howett said the main concern is the lack of a "sensible basis of governance so that the regulations aren't changed willy-nilly, so there is involvement of the teams in a proper process and that process is not deviated from".

FOTA said the "details" of its concerns will be released "in the near future".

Indy 500 left impression on Tagliani  INDIANAPOLIS - In the first part of this special feature, Alex Tagliani told about his experiences at the Indy 500 up until Bump Day. In this second and final part he shares what happened a couple of hours after being bumped as well as some more of his ‘Indy firsts’, like the Last Row Party and, of course, Race Day.

It was hard for Tagliani to accept the fact that he had been bumped out of the Indy 500, having fallen victim to exceptional circumstances. However, his dream was still meant to come true. About two hours after the end of qualifying, team owner Eric Bachelart informed the Canadian that the team had decided to stick with their primary driver and put him in the #36 All Sport/Big Red car that had been qualified by Bruno Junqueira.

“At that exact moment when Eric told me, I didn’t know how to feel, I was happy and sad and thinking about Bruno. The team’s decision made me feel privileged. I felt supported and I will always be thankful to Bruno for his understanding of the situation.

“Even now, three weeks later, I still can’t believe what happened. It feels a little surreal. Let’s just say it kept adding to the roller coaster ride of emotions, but from that point on it was an uphill ride. My dream was coming true!”

That week, Tagliani didn’t really have time think about what just happened, he was kept busy with a trip to New York, the rookie luncheon, autograph sessions, and media appearances. He also added some new ‘rookie’ experiences to his growing list of Indy 500 firsts. More ...

IMS takes action to bolster sagging NASCAR ticket sales  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis are teaming up to offer ticket packages for three exciting NASCAR races July 24-26 and other value-added features for less than $100.

The packages, available starting Monday, June 15, provide fans with special offers on reserved-seat race tickets and food coupons for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 26 at IMS, the Kroger 200 Nationwide Series race Saturday evening, July 25 and the AAA Insurance 200 Camping World Truck Series race Friday evening, July 24, both at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

Round-trip luxury motorcoach transportation between IMS and O'Reilly Raceway Park, provided by TourHendricksCounty.com, also will be among the many benefits of the packages. More ...

Vision Racing loans out Hunter-Reay to AJ Foyt team  Considered a win-win situation for all involved, Vision Racing driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will be taking over piloting duties of A.J. Foyt's ABC Supply entry for the remainder of the 2009 IndyCar season beginning at next weekend's Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 20-21.

Hunter-Reay, who drove the No.21 Vision Honda Dallara to a second place podium finish in the 2009 season opener at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, is currently tenth in the IndyCar Series Championship driver points standings. 'RHR' will have his driving services transferred to A.J. Foyt Racing as a temporary replacement for the injured Vitor Meira.

Meira, who is recovering from a back injury sustained in the Indianapolis 500 last month, is expected to return for the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where AJ Foyt Racing is expected to field two cars for the season finale in October.  More ...

tv news
SPEED renews for LeMans for 3 years  SPEED, the definitive network for motor sports and the automotive lifestyle, and L’Automobile Club De L’Quest have reached a three-year agreement to continue its popular live broadcast coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, including 19 hours of live coverage on the linear network and more than six hours on SPEEDtv.com from this weekend’s event.

The agreement starts with this year’s much-anticipated show, and extends through the 2011 fete at the famous 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, located within the picturesque countryside of France. Also a part of the agreement, SPEED will have extensive rights to online and new media content through SPEEDtv.com and its multi-platform partners, including live in-race video streaming and on-site chats, which will start during this year’s edition.

Each broadcast will be a partnership with the TWI world feed.

“Le Mans has long been one of the network’s staple events,” said Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Studio Production & Operations. “This announcement reinforces our commitment to bringing you the best coverage from one of the world’s greatest motorsports events. And with the new platforms and access we have to the event, the volume of information we will provide will be the most extensive yet.” More ...

Interest in low-cost F1 'reassuring' - FIA  (GMM)  The interest of 15 potential new teams vindicates the efforts to lower costs in formula one, the sport's governing FIA said on Friday.

While eight of formula one's existing teams are still at loggerheads with Max Mosley, three new outfits were on Friday toasting the FIA president for rubber-stamping their applications to debut in 2010.

USF1, Manor and Campos, to all be powered by Cosworth's customer engine, were granted unconditional entries for next season, while due diligence was carried out on nine other prospective outfits, the FIA said.

Pending the new June 19 deadline for the resolving of the FOTA crisis, Prodrive and Lotus are near the top of the FIA's reserve shortlist, as is the British racing car company Lola.

"The Lola F1 Team is not currently listed as an entrant but will continue to remain in discussion with the FIA as a potential new entry until the extended deadline of June 19 2009," read a statement.

Currently at Le Mans where he is preparing to race for Peugeot in the famous 24 hour endurance sports car race, Alex Wurz said Team Superfund has also been placed on the reserve list.

The FIA said the excess of interest in F1's lower-cost future is "reassuring".

"This exercise has demonstrated that the only reason there have been vacancies on the F1 grid for many years was the excessive cost of participation," read a media document released by the Paris body.

GM cutting support in Nationwide & Truck Series  General Motors is cutting factory support for Chevy teams competing in NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series as the automaker restructures under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to a story that will appear in Friday's edition of SportsBusiness Journal. According to SBJ's Michael Smith, who wrote the story, the cost-cutting measures are likely to have the greatest affect on larger organizations, such as Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields teams in both series, and Rusty Wallace Inc. and JR Motorsports, which field teams in the Nationwide Series. As Smith points out, support from manufacturers typically comes in the forms of engines, parts and cash. In most cases, factory support goes to larger, more substantial organizations, while smaller teams receive little assistance, if any. "Chevy's (and GM's) involvement in racing is a sound business decision that translates directly into the sale of cars and trucks," an unidentified GM spokesperson said in a statement provided to SBJ. "It is essential, however, that we continue to look at every penny we spend as General Motors takes the necessary steps to become a leaner company with a significantly stronger balance sheet. While Chevy Racing is talking to its business partners about ways to reduce cost and maximize the return on investment, it is our policy to not talk about the details of business relationships with our partners." Sporting News
Patrick Dempsey at LeMans  
Patrick Dempsey
The American actor, Patrick Dempsey is not just at Le Mans to shoot another episode of the TV Series 'Grey's Anatomy'. Patrick, alias Dr. Shepherd, is here in his role this time as a genuine race driver. He, along with Advanced Engineering team members Joe Foster and Don Kitch Jr., are here on behalf of the Humanitarian action of "Team Seattle," a team which races in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring to raise funds for the US Seattle Children's hospital. Here at Les 24 Heures du Mans the team has paired with Mecenat Chirurgie Cardiaque to raise money for disadvantaged children with rehabilitating heart conditions.

The Advanced Engineering team will be driving the Ferrari F430GT #81, which will carry the colors of the Cardiac Surgery Sponsorship and which was baptized "Racing for Children" to the track during Les 24 Heures du Mans. Dempsey's Ferrari will be one of the 55 cars taking part in the 77th edition of this famous automobile endurance race, but this team aims to use the power behind motor racing to raise funds and awareness for a good cause. More ...

Nearly 10,000 Can Am Spyders recalled  It shouldn't come as a surprise that a vehicle as innovative as the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder would face a few teething problems within its first few years on the market. Unfortunately, one particular aspect of the machine's power steering system has reportedly caused at least three injuries, though none have so far been life threatening. To remedy the apparent defect, Can-Am has agreed to voluntarily recall some 12,500 Spyders (9,932 of them sold in the United States) that were manufactured between July 2007 and May 2009.

The recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which can be viewed here, seems a bit ambiguous on the actual cause or effect of the steering problem, saying only that "the operator of an involved vehicle may need to exert a force greater than expected to initiate the turning of the steering handlebar off centre in order to correct vehicle drift from a straight line path." Uh-huh. Company spokeswoman Johanne Denault shed a little more light on the problem when she told The Canadian Press, "The vehicle is not going to start zig zagging, it's only a small drift." More ...

2010 F1 entry list: the fallout begins  (GMM)  The fallout of the FIA's newly published 2010 entry list began without delay on Friday.

Williams said it was "pleased" to receive an unconditional entry, but for Ferrari and the two Red Bull teams, the reaction was starkly different.

Ferrari said it has been named despite its "previous written notice to the FIA not to do so", as the two sides no doubt now prepare to challenge the other's interpretation of a prior agreement.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso each issued nearly identical statements, both rejecting their unconditional entries and pledging their ongoing commitment to FOTA and "all its principles".

At the same time, a FOTA letter was dispatched to the World Motor Sport Council, seeking its assistance in resolving the conflict.

David Richards expressed his disappointment that Prodrive was left off the entry list, as he believes his outfit has the necessary "resources and set-up". More ...

FIA 2010 Formula One entry list:  (GMM)  F1's governing body has given five of the eight FOTA teams another week to lodge unconditional entries for the 2010 world championship.

McLaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Brawn were listed provisionally on the entry list for next year, which was published on Friday by the FIA.

"The FIA has invited them to lift those conditions following further discussions to be concluded not later than close of business on Friday 19 June," a statement issued by the Paris based federation read.

Ferrari and Red Bull's two teams also lodged unconditional entries on the May 29 deadline, but have been assigned full status on the 2010 entry list reportedly due to existing contractual agreements with the sport's ruling bodies.

Those three teams, particularly Ferrari, will undoubtedly challenge the decision, because they are firmly united with FOTA, opposed to the announced regulations, and threatening to leave the sport.

Three new teams, to all be powered by Cosworth engines, were also named on the 2010 entry list: Campos Grand Prix, Team USF1, and the British F3 and Formula Renault outfit Manor Motorsport, to be called Manor Grand Prix.

Curiously, David Richards' Prodrive was not named, and all 26 spots on the 2010 grid are potentially occupied.  More ...

Cosworth to return to F1  Cosworth, the world’s leading performance technology specialist, has agreed relationships with 3 teams whose entries to the 2010 Formula One World Championship have been accepted by the FIA.  An identical package comprising high-performance Cosworth engine and technical support will be provided for Campos Grand Prix, Manor Grand Prix and Team US F1 for a period of 3 years.

The deal to supply a high performance solution that represents exceptional value for money is in alignment with Cosworth’s business strategy, which aims to deliver advanced technologies to customers that lead the way in the global aerospace, defense, marine, automotive and energy generation markets. The Cosworth engine will be supplied to conform to the FIA regulations mandated for the 2010 F1 season, which seek to deliver a sound basis for the continuation of Formula 1 in a sustainable manner.

Tim Routsis, Chief Executive Officer, Cosworth: “I am pleased that Cosworth's exceptional mix of capabilities has enabled us to provide a solution for Formula One that sits so neatly with our existing operations in the aerospace and defense sectors. Cosworth is proud not only to be able to provide a solution that will deliver the performance needed by these  teams to compete in this most technologically challenging sport, but also to extend its long association with Formula One as a truly independent provider of competitive motive power.”

“The engineering expertise we have accumulated over four decades in the sport has enabled us to broaden our reach into many different high-technology sectors. Today our engineering capabilities extend beyond racing, encompassing high-technology applications in the aerospace, defense, energy, marine and automotive industries. Cosworth has the necessary infrastructure to fulfill the supply of Formula One engines without affecting our other activities.”

Pocono NASCAR TV Rating  On Sunday TNT garnered 3.4 TV rating with a 9 share (5.5 million viewers) for the Pocono 500, down 13% from last year's Pocono race (3.9/9)
Fired crew member sues Roush Fenway  A former employee of Roush Fenway Racing is suing the organization for firing him shortly after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Jason Myers says his February termination is in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. He has filed a civil complaint in Cabarrus County Superior Court that seeks more than $10,000 in damages. Myers spent three seasons as car chief for Carl Edwards but was demoted to mechanic this year. According to the lawsuit, he attempted suicide by overdosing on Tylenol and insulin on Feb. 10 - six days before the season-opening Daytona 500. He says Roush officials fired him the next week because he did not report to work following his discharge from the hospital. Associated Press
Dumas talks about 24 Hours of LeMans  Romain Dumas contests the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001. On June 13 and 14 the Frenchman experiences a premiere in his ninth race: Dumas tackles the track for the first time in a diesel prototype on the Le Mans début of the Audi R15 TDI. In the interview the 31-year old Frenchman explains to what extent he must relearn the 13.629-kilometer track in the Audi and what is important.

You drove for the first time at Le Mans with a diesel prototype in free practice. How did the encounter go?

Romain Dumas: "Everything ran very well, even though the conditions in the rain weren’t exactly easy. My first laps were not bad. The goal was obviously to learn the track in this car without making any mistakes, like a spin for example, in the process.” More ...
track news
Kentucky greases Bruton's pockets  
Bruton Smith gets $30M from Kentucky
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has unveiled details of his economic incentives legislation, including potentially more than $30 million in incentives to Bruton Smith’s Speedway Motorsports Inc. if he brings a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to Kentucky Speedway.

Smith has said he wants to move a Cup race to the track, and the governor apparently doesn’t want to take any chances of Smith’s desire waning while he waits for the realignment to come to fruition.

To receive the incentives, Smith must invest $30 million in expansion of the track and get a Cup date. He also must agree to a benchmark hiring target of 100 percent of contractors with facilities in Kentucky and at least 75 percent of the workers from Kentucky.

The proposed legislation will be part of a special session of the Kentucky legislature that begins next week.

SMI bought the 1.5-mile oval in Sparta for $78.3 million (including $63.3 million in debt) last January. Smith has said he wants to move a Cup date to the track, but NASCAR won’t allow him to realign one of his dates from another track until an antitrust lawsuit filed by the track’s former ownership group is resolved. It is unlikely a resolution will occur in time for the track to get on the 2010 schedule. SceneDaily.com

NASCAR suspends crew chief  During Saturday's Nationwide Series coverage expect to hear a lot about the suspension of a crew chief over allegations concerning racing slurs. On Thursday morning NASCAR announced the indefinite suspension of Bryan Berry who is the crew chief for driver Brendan Gaughan and Rusty Wallace Racing.

NASCAR's official statement said that Berry was in violation of section 12-1 of their rule book which pertains to "actions detrimental to stock car racing." However team owner Rusty Wallace assessed the situation as being "an alleged racial incident" against Afro American driver Marc Davis. The incident was alleged to have occurred on the evening of June 6th when the NASCAR Nationwide Series was racing at the Nashville Super Speedway.

During the course of that race Gaughan was coming down on pit road when there was a collision with the Davis car. The 19 year old Davis was in the process of turning left through a gap in the pit wall that leads to the garage area. Gaughan was in the process of compiling a very good finish in the race before the collision happened. While both vehicles sustained heavy damage, Gaughan was able to return to the race. However, on his car radio , a still angry Gaughan was heard to say "don't let him leave until he sees me." It's believed that it was during the course of taking his car to the garage area for repairs when Berry allegedly made his remarks regarding Davis.
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Senna thinks chances 'good' for 2010 F1 debut
  • All eyes on FIA as 2010 entry list looms
  • Brabham family takes action against F1 bid
  • Benetton rules out returning to F1
  • Cosworth not yet confirming F1 return

Senna thinks chances 'good' for 2010 F1 debut
(GMM)  Having missed out on the Brawn seat this year, Bruno Senna rates his chances of making his formula one debut in 2010.

The 25-year-old nephew of the late triple world champion Ayrton Senna is currently at Le Mans, where he is preparing to take part in the famous 24 hour sports car race for the first time.

But he told Reuters that his only ambition is to step up to motor racing's premier category as soon as possible.

"I have been talking to a few people, there are good chances in formula one I think next year," the Brazilian, this weekend driving for Team Oreca, said.

Senna added: "The market is going to be a bit more open, there are some contracts that are ending, some teams that are interested in joining formula one.  It should be a bit more stable than it was this year really."

He said he is in talks with "more than two teams", but admits that it is not currently a good time for drivers to be making plans for F1 in 2010, given the political turmoil.

"I don't think anyone is confident that they are talking to the right people," said Senna, the 2008 GP2 runner-up.  "No one knows who is going to be in and who isn't or whether there is going to be a formula one as it currently stands." More ...

Furfari tops Star Mazda testing in NJ  
Michael Furfari
New Jersey Motorsports Park -- The last time we heard from Michael Furfari, the 16-year old driver of the #13 Juncos Racing / Furfari Paving Mazda, he had amazed one and all by turning the fastest lap during two days of Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear testing at the Milwaukee Mile oval… his first time ever on an oval.  A 'true rookie' in a field full of 'technical rookies,' Furfari is the shortest (5-ft. 5-in.), lightest (120 lbs.) and youngest (turned 16 just before the season opener at Sebring) in the Star Mazda Championship.

And now he's done it again, setting the fastest lap of the day, a 1:15.903 sec., in the first practice session of the day.  Unfortunately, his times in the remaining two sessions of the day were abysmal, right at the tail end of the field.  Mix that in with the fact that Furfari's best finish in three races so far this year was 9th at Miller Motorsports Park, preceded by a 25th at VIR and a 12th in the season-opener at Sebring.  It would be tempting to write these two fast laps off as a fluke, save that he backed up his Milwaukee time with another lap just 1/100ths of a second slower; and he did set his fastest lap at New Jersey Motorsports Park on the coldest, dirtiest, most un-fast track conditions of the entire day. More ...

racing news
Delaware passes a sports-betting bill  The Delaware state legislature has passed a sports-betting bill, making Delaware the only state in the East where wagering on sports will be legal. Nevada, Oregon and Montana are the only other states that offer sports wagering. Delaware hopes to have the betting system in place in time for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in September. This means NASCAR fans will be able to place bets on their favorite drivers. “Martha, I’m putting $10 on Tony Stewart to win. How ‘bout y’all? $10 on Jeff Gordon to win?”

“We’ll do everything they do in Vegas except straight bets on one team over another,” Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway, said. He added that point spreads are needed to legally be a lottery. We’ll be the only state east of Montana where fans will be able to bet legally. “We should be able to attract a whole new demographic that we don’t get from slots.”

track news
NASCAR fan sues Lowe’s Motor Speedway  A spectator in the stands hit by a flying car shock absorber during a race in May 2006 in what is now the Nationwide Series has filed suit against Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Robert James Kaine claims a piece of metallic debris “sliced open [his] right thigh area just above the knee” late in the event, according to the complaint filed in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. Kaine, who resides in Canada, claims his injuries are permanent. There were no further details of the injuries suffered by what Kaine identifies as a part of a shock. Kaine claims that the injuries were caused by the negligence of LMS because of inadequate fencing . SceneDaily
NASCAR's most penalized driver is ...  Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot did some research on which driver has been penalized the most so far this season so far. Infractions include pitting before pit road is open (something many do after they've been in an accident or had some mechanical troubles), lug nuts not all installed, speeding and pit crew members not taking care or tires or too many during a stop or something like that. #7-Robby Gordon has been penalized 17 times. After him, it's Aric Almirola at 11 in only 7 races run, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #00-David Reutimann, #12-David Stremme, #55-Michael Waltrip and #29-Kevin Harvick with 10 penalties each. Again, a lot of these penalties -- but not all -- were for pitting before pit road was open. #19-Elliott Sadler, for example, had problems early at Las Vegas and pitted five times before pit road was open, incurring five of his seven penalties this season just in that race. As for speed penalties #43-Reed Sorenson, #18-Kyle Busch and #34-John Andretti (12 races) have each had 4 speeding penalties. More at the Virginian-Pilot
Q&A with Ryan Newman  
Ryan Newman
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman took part in a teleconference today with Northern California media members in advance of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, June 19-21 (Father’s Day weekend). A transcript of the teleconference is below.

Ryan, with Father’s Day approaching and the special relationship you have with you father, Greg, can you explain his role in your racing career, and a special gift you got for him in Michigan in 2004?
RN: My dad spots for me, so I get listen to him and he gets to listen to me talking about the race.  He’s been around my racing career the entire time, and he knows how I typically drive and he knows a lot about racing, he’s been a fan his whole life.  Having him as my spotter is definitely an advantage for me.  Michigan was very special.  I told him, “I’m only going to try to get you one thing today and that’s a win.”  I didn’t get him a card or anything else, I just went out there and drove as hard as I could and we were fortunate enough to get a win and he said that was just what he wanted.  Obviously, it was no small task.

Is the Sonoma race just another race on the Cup schedule, or is it something different that you look forward to?
RN: In all reality, it is another Cup race, but it’s different like you said. It’s the first time we get to run a road course and typically there’s a different type of cream that rises to the top there.  I enjoy it.  I enjoy hustling the racecar around the track, and Infineon’s a good road course.  Personally, I enjoy Watkins Glen (N.Y.) a bit more, but I enjoy them both and I look forward to racing out there.  It’s a big track position race, and fuel mileage has become a big part of the racing there, but it’s the same for everybody. More ...

IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights add new sponsors  The IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights recently signed new sponsors for the 2009 season and beyond. DB Schenker is the official freight logistics sponsor of the IndyCar Series, and KYMCO USA is the official scooter and off-road utility vehicle of the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.

DB Schenker is a worldwide logistics company with operations in approximately 2,000 locations and 130 countries. The IndyCar Series will coordinate logistics via DB Schenker's American operation based in Freeport, N.Y., and the company's Sports Event Group. Overall, the company will arrange transportation logistics for the series' four Honda Accord safety cars at events across the United States and Canada in a specially designed and branded transporter.

The safety cars include the car driven by three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford that paces all IndyCar series events. The other safety cars are used for VIP and special guest hot laps at all events as well as being on display in the IndyCar Series paddock. More ...

Session 1: Audi easily tops LeMans qualifying times  
Pos # Class Drivers Team Car Time Gap To 1st
1. 1 LM P1 D.Capello, T.Kristensen, A.McNish Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI 3:23.650 - -
2. 8 LM P1 S.Bourdais, F.Montagny, S.Sarrazin Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3:24.852 1.202 1.202
3. 17 LM P1 J.C.Boullion, S.Pagenaud, B.Treluyer Pescarolo Sport Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3:25.062 0.210 1.412
4. 2 LM P1 L.Luhr, M.Rockenfeller, M.Werner Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI 3:26.352 1.290 2.702
5. 7 LM P1 C.Klien, P.Lamy, N.Minassian Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3:26.992 0.640 3.342
6. 9 LM P1 D.Brabham, M.Gene, A.Wurz Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 3:27.026 0.034 3.376
7. 3 LM P1 T.Bernhard, R.Dumas, A.Premat Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI 3:27.106 0.080 3.456
8. 008 LM P1 A.Davidson, D.Turner, J.Verstappen Aston Martin Racing Lola B09/60-Aston Martin 3:29.522 2.416 5.872
9. 23 LM P1 P.Hardman, N.Leventis, D.Watt Strakka Racing Ginetta Zytek 09S 3:29.798 0.276 6.148
10. 16 LM P1 C.Tinseau, J.Barbosa, B.Jouanny Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo 01-Judd 3:30.466 0.668 6.816
11. 13 LM P1 A.Belicchi, N.Jani, N.Prost Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola B08/60-Aston Martin 3:30.552 0.086 6.902
12. 15 LM P1 C.Albers, C.Bakkerud, G.Mondini Team Kolles Audi R10 TDI 3:31.192 0.640 7.542
13. 007 LM P1 J.Charouz, T.Enge, S.Mucke AMR Eastern Europe Lola B09/60-Aston Martin 3:32.456 1.264 8.806
14. 10 LM P1 B.Senna, T.Ortelli, T.Monteiro Team ORECA Matmut AIM ORECA 01-AIM 3:33.708 1.252 10.058
15. 009 LM P1 S.Hall, P.Kox, H.Primat Aston Martin Racing Lola B09/60-Aston Martin 3:34.176 0.468 10.526
16. 14 LM P1 N.Karthikeyan, A.Lotterer, C.Zwolsman Team Kolles Audi R10 TDI 3:34.414 0.238 10.764
17. 11 LM P1 O.Panis, N.Lapierre, S.Ayari Team ORECA Matmut AIM ORECA 01-AIM 3:34.686 0.272 11.036
18. 31 LM P2 C.Elgaard, K.Poulsen, E.Collard Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder 3:38.110 3.424 14.460
19. 4 LM P1 J.Campbell-Walter, V.Ickx, R.Ianetta Creation Autosportif Creation Judd 3:39.240 1.130 15.590
20. 12 LM P1 P.Ragues, F.Mailleux, D.Andre Signature Plus Courage LC70-Judd 3:39.326 0.086 15.676
21. 5 LM P2 S.Ara, K.Kunimoto, S.Maassen NAVI Team Goh Porsche RS Spyder 3:40.434 1.108 16.784
22. 6 LM P1 L.Tomlinson, R.Dean, N.Moore Team LNT Ginetta Zytek 09S 3:40.856 0.422 17.206
23. 33 LM P2 J.Kane, B.Leuenberger, X.Pompidou Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola B09/80-Judd 3:43.744 2.888 20.094
24. 40 LM P2 M.Amaral, O.Pla, G.Smith Quifel-ASM Team Ginetta Zytek 09S 3:44.298 0.554 20.648
25. 25 LM P2 T.Erdos, M.Newton, C.Dyson RML Lola B09/86-Mazda 3:44.432 0.134 20.782
26. 35 LM P2 M.Lahaye, K.Ajlani, G.Moreau OAK Racing Pescarolo 01-Mazda 3:46.182 1.750 22.532
27. 41 LM P2 K.Ojjeh, C.Y.Gosselin, P.Peter GAC Racing Team Zytek 07S 3:46.376 0.194 22.726
28. 30 LM P2 T.Biagi, M.Bobbi, A.Piccini Racing Box SRL Lola B09/80-Judd 3:46.478 0.102 22.828
29. 32 LM P2 J.Barazi, S.Moseley, P.Bennett Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S 3:52.956 6.478 29.306
30. 39 LM P2 H.Noda, J.de Pourtales, M.Marsch Kruse-Schiller Motorsport Lola B07/46-Mazda 3:54.204 1.248 30.554
31. 63 LM GT1 J.Magnussen, J.O'Connell, A.Garcia Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 3:54.230 0.026 30.580
32. 64 LM GT1 O.Gavin, O.Beretta, M.Fassler Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 3:54.702 0.472 31.052
33. 26 LM P2 P.Bruneau, T.Greaves, M.RostaN Bruichladdich Bruneau Radical-AER 3:55.320 0.618 31.670
34. 66 LM GT1 L.Lichtner-Hoyer, A.Muller, T.Gruber Jetalliance Racing GmbH Aston Martin DBR9 3:56.126 0.806 32.476
35. 72 LM GT1 L.Alphand, P.Goueslard, S.Gregoire Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 3:57.170 1.044 33.520
36. 24 LM P2 J.Nicolet, R.Hein, J.F.Yvon OAK Racing Pescarolo 01-Mazda 3:59.450 2.280 35.800
37. 73 LM GT1 Y.Clairay, X.Maasen, J.Jousse Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 4:01.230 1.780 37.580
38. 80 LM GT2 S.Neiman, D.Law, J.Bergmeister Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:03.202 1.972 39.552
39. 77 LM GT2 M.Lieb, R.Lietz, W.Henzler Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:03.232 0.030 39.582
40. 97 LM GT2 F.Babini, M.Malucelli, P.Ruberti BMS Scuderia Italia SPa Ferrari F430 GT 4:04.260 1.028 40.610
41. 76 LM GT2 P.Long, P.Pilet, R.Narac IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:05.422 1.162 41.772
42. 78 LM GT2 G.Bruni, L.Perez Companc, M.Russo AF Corse SRL Ferrari F430 GT 4:05.442 0.020 41.792
43. 99 LM GT2 C.Bouchut, Y.Lebon, M.Rodrigues JMB Racing Ferrari F430 GT 4:05.852 0.410 42.202
44. 89 LM GT2 A.Simonsen, D.Farnbacher, C.Montanari Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari F430 GT 4:06.612 0.760 42.962
45. 82 LM GT2 J.Melo, M.Salo, P.Kaffer Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT 4:06.986 0.374 43.336
46. 92 LM GT2 R.Bell, A.Kirkaldy, T.Sugden JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT 4:08.366 1.380 44.716
47. 83 LM GT2 T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, E.van de Poele Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT 4:08.758 0.392 45.108
48. 70 LM GT2 H.Felbermayr Jr, H.Felbermayr Sr, M.Lecourt IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:10.014 1.256 46.364
49. 87 LM GT2 J.Cocker, P.Drayson, M.Franchitti Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage 4:10.048 0.034 46.398
50. 85 LM GT2 T.Coronel, J.Janis, J.Bleekemolen Snoras Spyker Squadron Spyker C8 Laviolette 4:10.462 0.414 46.812
51. 84 LM GT2 P.Ehret, L.Mansell, R.Rusinov Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT 4:11.192 0.730 47.542
52. 75 LM GT2 D.O'Young, P.Hesnault, P.Kralev Endurance Asia Team Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 4:11.670 0.478 48.020
53. 81 LM GT2 P.Dempsey, J.Foster, D.Kitch Jr Team Advanced Engineering Ferrari F430 GT 4:13.920 2.250 50.270
54. 96 LM GT2 M.McInerney, S.McInerney, M.Vergers Virgo Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT 4:14.114 0.194 50.464
55. 68 LM GT1 M.Apicella, A.Yogo, Y.Yamagishi JLOC Lamborghini Murcielago 4:22.158 8.044 58.508
Follow LeMans action on SPEED and Satellite Radio  American fans of Le Mans have more ways than ever to keep up with the action at the world's greatest endurance race. Full and live coverage from the 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will air on Sirius XM, courtesy of the Radio Le Mans team, with unprecedented online video from SPEEDtv.com.

SIRIUS and XM subscribers will hear uninterrupted Radio Le Mans coverage of the race, produced by Radio Show Limited, from 9 a.m. ET on Saturday through the finish at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 243. The coverage will also feature an hour of pre-race news and analysis starting at 8 a.m. ET Saturday as well as an hour of post-race coverage following the finish, with the podium ceremony and interviews with the top finishers.

On Thursday, SIRIUS XM will air Legends qualifying from 10 to 11 a.m. ET, immediately followed by live coverage of 24 Hours Qualifying on SIRIUS channels 113 and 126 and XM channel 243. More ...

French drivers Dalmas and Bourdais in spotlight at LeMans  Yannick Dalmas has one major regret: that he never received a Rolex on the podium of Les 24 Heures du Mans. At the time of his four victories, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1999, the partnership between the prestigious Swiss watch company and the Le Mans circuit was not yet in existence.

Yannick is a great fan of Rolex watches, "I actually own more than fifty and I'd never let go of a single one. But I think the most beautiful of all is without a doubt the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona I bought for myself after my first win for Peugeot, and my Rolex Cosmograph Daytona from the 1980s that I got in the US while I was over there."

The four-time winner answered some questions about his presence at Les 24 Heures du Mans 2009:

Q1 How do you feel when you return to Le Mans?
It's an incredible pleasure. To come back to Le Mans for Eurosport is a new role for me and is like rediscovering the sensations of racing. More ...

Brabham family sues Brabham GP Ltd  Triple Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and the Brabham family today confirmed that it has been necessary to commence legal action against Brabham Grand Prix Limited following Formtech’s application to enter the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2010 in that name.

The Brabham family have made numerous approaches to Formtech with proposals to amicably resolve the situation. In the absence of any response from the team, the family has been left with no alternative but to issue the relevant proceedings to protect the family name, irrespective of whether Formtech is granted an entry by the FIA on Friday 12 June.

The Brabham name has always been the property of the family and it is sad that once again steps have to be taken to protect it.

Silverstone’s hopes of reclaiming British GP over  Donington Park boss Simon Gillett has told Silverstone to forget its aspirations of reclaiming the British Grand Prix after confirming that he now has a 17-year contract to host the event.  Gillett, talking exclusively to AUTOSPORT, added that there was no chance that Donington Park would not be ready to host the British Grand Prix in 2010 with the investment-raising debenture scheme now due to be launched next month.

"Sitting here today, I can't see any reason for doing that," said Gillett. "What Bernie Ecclestone has done is given us a safety net. Part of the problem with our financing has been that everyone is out there saying it doesn't matter if Donington doesn't make it because Silverstone will pick it up.

"So that's a distraction for our financiers - they read in the press that Silverstone will get it back so ask why they should go with us. But what Mr. Ecclestone did was very carefully say that if Donington is there in 2010, he'll wait because it's not going back to Silverstone.

"In doing that, he has made 2010 even more viable because now finance houses understand that it is our contract. To give us one-year breathing space is an absolute show of commitment."

Dalziel lands Grand-Am ride  Ryan Dalziel has been signed up by the Virginia-based Motorsport Technology Group organization to race their Porsche 997 GS in the remainder of the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge, sanctioned by Grand-Am.  The Scottish racer, who resides in Orlando, will make his 2009 debut in the series in Round 7 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Friday 19th – Sunday 21st June.

Dalziel’s deal for the rest of the season potentially means he’ll combine double duty at some events with forthcoming commitments ahead in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series - where he’ll continue to race in the Daytona Prototype class having earned his maiden win in the fiercely-competitive category last season at Laguna Seca.

“I have to say I’m pretty excited to be filling up my schedule for the rest of the season,” stated Dalziel on completing his deal with Motorsport Technology Group.  “I’ve had a bit of time on my hands lately so it’s good to know that with this deal and some other things I’m working on, I’ll be kept pretty busy in the sports car community.  I’m grateful to Steve (Marcus) and Larry (Hahn) for their approach and I’m looking forward to doing my bit to keep their Porsche entry at the head of the pack!” More ...

Mosley meets teams as zero-hour looms  (GMM)  In what is no doubt an eleventh-hour effort to stave off disaster, Max Mosley is meeting with the FOTA teams in London on Thursday.

Less than 24 hours before the FIA publishes the entry list for the 2010 world championship, a standoff that saw the eight teams lodge only conditional entries by the recent deadline is still yet to be resolved.

The Formula One Teams Association, whose expelled members Williams and Force India broke ranks and signed up unconditionally for next year's season, met in London also on Wednesday.

The remaining members, comprising Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Toyota, BMW Brawn and the two Red Bull teams, do not accept FIA president Mosley's budget cap plans, and also want a new Concorde agreement signed immediately. More ...

Horner denies Red Bull teams sign up for 2010  (GMM)  Christian Horner on Thursday flatly denied rumors that the two Red Bull teams have broken ranks and signed up unconditionally for next year's formula one world championship.

Like fellow independents Williams and Force India, who have already lodged their paperwork and will appear on Friday's FIA entry list, Red Bull and Brawn GP are not subject to the same $50m bond that is holding together the unity of the remainder of the FOTA group.

Williams and Force India were expelled from the Formula One Teams Association, but the defection of Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso would leave the alliance weakened with just six members: all car manufacturers.

Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz's loyalty to FOTA has been questioned from the very beginning of the dispute with Max Mosley, as he is a close personal friend of the FIA president.

But Horner, team principal of Mateschitz's senior F1 team, shot down the speculation, telling motorsport-total.com that it is "not true at all".

However, it remains possible that the Red Bull outfits - as well as Ferrari - will be listed along with Williams and Force India on the FIA entry list, due to the teams' apparent contractual arrangements with the sport's ruling bodies.

Artist Sam Bass ‘heartbroken’ over Kyle Busch’s guitar smash  UPDATE A video has been added of an interview with Sam Bass commenting on Kyle Busch smashing the one of a kind Gibson guitar trophy.

06/09/09 As a follow-up to our feature article yesterday by Dave Grayson on the antics of Kyle Busch in the Nashville Victory Lane, Sam Bass, the longtime NASCAR artist who painted the Gibson guitar smashed by Kyle Busch after the Nashville Nationwide Series race on Saturday night, said he was “stunned and heartbroken” to see his work destroyed in victory lane.

Though Busch immediately told Bass he “meant no disrespect” to anyone – the artist, Gibson or the track – Bass said Monday he’s struggled to accept the incident.

“It’s like raising a child,” Bass said. “You start out with nothing and you finish it and you hope people will take care of it. And it was stunning, absolutely stunning to see that thing destroyed within seconds of him getting it.”

Bass said Busch told him he would order two more guitars from Gibson to be painted like the one that got smashed, and the artist said he understood the “rock-star thing” Busch was trying to accomplish.

“It’s his trophy, he can choose to do with it what he wants,” Bass said. “But I’m not going to lie about it. If he had asked me, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about destroying that trophy guitar whenever I win it, what do you think,’ of course I would have told him, ‘No! Please don’t. Let us give you a prop guitar.’”
Ecclestone: FOTA will fail  The main issue behind the fight between FOTA and the FIA is Mosley's proposed budget cap, which the FOTA members are opposed to. Ecclestone, though, believes this year's championship race, which sees Brawn GP and Red Bull leading the pack, is proof that money doesn't buy success.

"This is a great championship for most people because they like having Brawn and Red Bull at the front rather than Ferrari and McLaren as usual. This has happened because of the rule changes and because we have stopped testing in a season, which I was always against," he said.

"What has happened here this year is exactly like when Colin Chapman ran Lotus when he was the guy who introduced the ground-effect car. Everyone said he was cheating, it was just that Colin spotted what he could do and other people couldn't.

"Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey have come up with the best cars this year, different styles, one with diffuser, one not, at the start. It shows it can be done with the right people. More ...

Chrysler-Fiat deal done and approved  The long-awaited tie-up between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA has been finalized, and now the company must get back to the business of building and selling cars and trucks. The two sides signed off on a partnership this morning that creates a new automaker to be known as Chrysler Group LLC, allowing the new company to emerge after a 40-day stay in bankruptcy. It begins operations immediately under new chairman Robert Kidder and Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who is also CEO of Fiat. The vice chairman of the former Chrysler, Jim Press, has been appointed Deputy CEO and Special Adviser, reporting to Marchionne and responsible for restructuring the company to create a "new leaner, flatter" organization, Chrysler said. The new Chrysler combines the most valuable assets of the bankrupt automaker with small-car and engine technology from Fiat, which is not putting cash into the deal. Fiat has an initial 20 percent stake in the company, which will grow to 35 percent if Fiat meets three benchmarks. Fiat can buy a majority stake in Chrysler -- only after $6 billion in government exit financing loans are repaid. But Chrysler isn't required to pay back the more than $7 billion that Chrysler received earlier. Some of the bad Chrysler assets remain under Chapter 11 protection pending liquidation. Detroit News
Risi Wednesday LeMans report  After the long wait and buildup, the green flag finally dropped at 6:00 pm this evening for the first six hours of track time in preparation for the weekend’s 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  When the timing clocks stopped at midnight, Jaime Melo had set the second fastest time in the GT2 class and fastest time of the 10 Ferrari 430s present at Le Mans. 

Despite the practice session being run in very varied weather conditions, the Risi Competizione team achieved all it set out to do and the six Risi and Krohn Racing drivers were satisfied that good progress had been made in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying and the race itself. 

In the brief period of time that the track was dry the #82 Ferrari F430 GT concentrated on set up, using last year’s baseline as a starting point, while the #83 car worked primarily through a program of driver re-familiarization and tire evaluation.  As much of the session turned out to be wet, it was an ideal opportunity for all drivers to not only complete their mandatory night laps after 10:00pm but also to assess what compromises might have to be made between wet and dry set ups should conditions change suddenly during the coming weekend’s race.  While it is currently forecast to be dry and warm tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, there is the possibility of thunderstorms on Sunday. More ...

TV News
Atlantic Series races from NJ live on HDNet  The tight battle for the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear heats up this weekend with a double-header – broadcast live on HDNet -- during the second annual Mazda Formula X event at New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend.  Each of the four Star Mazda broadcasts will be live for three hours (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT).

This is the first of two Mazda-centric weekends – including the Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda at the Autobahn Country Club on July 25 – 26 – that will be broadcast live on HDNet.  Both weekends will feature a Mazda triple-header with races on both Saturday and Sunday, featuring: More ...

Corvette Wednesday LeMans report  After months of planning, weeks of preparation, and long hours of anticipation, tonight's six-hour free practice session signaled the start of the buildup to the 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With weather conditions changing frequently throughout the session, Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen recorded the quickest time in the GT1 category with a 3:57.876 lap around the 8.47-mile circuit in the No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Oliver Gavin notched the second quickest time in the GT1 category at 3:59.586 in the No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R.

Despite the adverse conditions, all six Corvette Racing drivers completed their three mandatory laps in darkness after 10 p.m. The No. 63 Corvette C6.R ran a total of 43 laps and the No. 64 Corvette C6.R completed 40 laps. The Corvette Racing crew parked the cars in their garages shortly after 11 p.m., electing not to run the final hour of practice. More ...

Aston Martin Wednesday LeMans report  The three Aston Martin crews have all completed the necessary running to go through to qualifying at Le Mans on Thursday, after the opening six-hour free practice session at La Sarthe.

The practice session, which lasted from 6pm until midnight, was the first opportunity that teams had to drive the legendary Le Mans circuit, in both daylight and night-time conditions. The weather throughout the evening was wet and dry with intermittent rain, making grip levels extremely inconsistent.

Nonetheless, according to the rules of the Le Mans 24 Hours, all the drivers had to complete three laps of night-time running to be sure of taking their place during qualifying -- which is scheduled for Thursday evening. Furthermore the 'rookie' drivers at Le Mans had to complete 10 clear laps in order to be allowed to participate in the race. More ...

Peugeot Wednesday LeMans report  Although much of this evening's free practice took place in heavy rain, Team Peugeot Total profited from the six-hour session to get in some valuable running time and set-up work. The crews of the three Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs reported good progress ahead of tomorrow evening's qualifying session and in readiness for the weekend's race which is due to start at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

Following the cancellation this year of the preliminary test day, which traditionally gives competitors a chance to work on the set-up of their cars round the full 13.629km circuit a fortnight before the race itself, the organizers decided that this evening's six-hour practice session would have no incidence on grid positions for Saturday's start. The teams were consequently free to organize their programs as a function of their specific requirements, without having to worry about the shoot-out for pole-position. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Bad news for Lotus, Superfund 2010 entries
  • F1 news briefs on Thursday
  • Friday looms as the day F1 split
  • BMW undecided about KERS for Silverstone
  • Renault tells suppliers F1 exit possible
  • Kovalainen must perform to keep seat

Bad news for Lotus, Superfund 2010 entries
(GMM)  The Lotus Cars company has followed the Brabham family in distancing itself and threatening legal action against a proposed formula one team bearing its name.

It emerged last week that 'Team Lotus' could return to the grid next year in the form of British F3 team Litespeed, who said they were granted permission to use the name from rights holder David Hunt.

Hunt, who bought Team Lotus from the bankrupt outfit at the end of 1994, is the brother of the 1976 world champion James Hunt.

However, Lotus Cars Limited, the ongoing sports car maker that is based on the company founded by Colin Chapman in 1952, clarified on Wednesday that it is in no way associated with the prospective 2010 team.

"Group Lotus plc will take all necessary steps to protect its name, reputation and brand image," it said in a statement.

There was more bad news for a 2010 F1 hopeful on Wednesday, when it was rumored that Superfund, the Austrian investment company, may have been struck off the FIA's list due to the emergence of an unpaid debt relating to motor racing of nearly 4m euros. More ...

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