Weekend TV Ratings - NASCAR, IndyCar and F1 (Update) UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Michigan earned a 2.0 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Sunday afternoon, the same as last year, but down 23% from coverage on TNT in 2014 (2.6). Going out to the hundredth, it had a 2.04 overnight - up 4% from last year's 1.97. It was just the second Sprint Cup race of the season to avoid a decline in the overnights, joining Kansas on FS1 in May (+10%). That does not include races that were rained out last year. Both this year and last, the race faced mitigating circumstances. Last year's race was repeatedly delayed by rain and halted after 138 of 200 laps. This year's race, on a far more serious note, aired on a day of major national news that overshadowed all other event.
Kurt Busch off to Azerbaijan for first-hand look at F1
Kurt Busch tried IndyCar, would he ever try F1?
Stewart-Haas driver Kurt Busch is getting a taste of Formula One in Baku, Azerbaijan, this weekend, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver says he’ll be keeping his eyes open for anything that can help him on the NASCAR side.
Busch drives for owner Gene Haas, who also calls the shots for Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez in Formula One.
“I can’t wait to hang out with Grosjean and Gutierrez and have the opportunity to sit next to a Formula One driver and see the tools he uses -- whether it’s simulation, whether it’s mapping,” Busch said. “I’m hoping that I can discover things that I’ll be able to ask Gene, ‘Hey, Gene, why don’t we have that? Let’s bring that back over to the North Carolina side and use it for the Sprint Cup teams.”
Tesla to build a plant in China by 2018, exec says According to a media report, Tesla plans to build a factory in China by the end of 2018, as part of the company’s global expansion plan.
China is not only the largest auto market in the world, but it is also seen to soon become the biggest one for electric vehicles, as sales of new EVs more than quadrupled last year to 330,000 cars. And Tesla will definitely seize the moment, considering its bold production targets of making 500,000 electric cars by 2018. Moreover, by then, it aims to start building cars in China at its own plant, according to Robin Ren, vice-president of Tesla and president of its Asia-Pacific region who told China Daily about the company’s plans, without providing though further details.
The 2016 Formula One World Championship continues this weekend with Round Eight, the European Grand Prix, from the Baku City Circuit
Lewis Hamilton: Last weekend was a really positive one for me. I felt strong on Friday, got the pole on Saturday and then just felt phenomenal in the car during the race. The balance was perfect and I had the speed whenever I needed it, which is everything you want as a driver. After the first five races, I could never have predicted I'd be back at the sharp end of the title fight so soon. But we're starting to have cleaner weekends as a team and are showing real strength as a unit - coming through with results even when things aren't perfect. That's a big confidence boost for everyone. Winning is our lives - it's what we work all day for and go to bed dreaming of. Of course, there's still a very long way to go and work to be done. From my side, there's never been a doubt in my mind in terms of what I can do with this car and I've shown once again that I'm just as focused as ever. I can't wait to get to Baku, experience another new country and see what we can do out on track.
Sponsors, vendors also waiting for refund from Boston IndyCar race
The IndyCar name continues to get tarnished from the failed Boston GP. Race organizers are bankrupt and ticketholders can vendors can likely kiss that money goodbye
It's not just fans who are still waiting for their money back from the sputtered-out Grand Prix of Boston.
Ticket holders to the now-cancelled Grand Prix of Boston race have been promised a full refund, but many are still waiting, and the attorney for the race organizers tells wcvb.com (channel 5) Investigates the organization is out of money.
LogMeIn, a prime sponsor of the race, confirmed it's waiting for money back. Local lender Leader Bank paid $37,500.
"We have asked for it back but we have not heard anything back from Mr. Casey," said Leader Bank President and CEO Sushil Tuli, referring to Grand Prix of Boston CEO John Casey.
Full canopy would have been the only thing to have protected Newgarden Drivers in the IndyCar paddock remain uncertain that a halo or aeroscreen would have helped protect Josef Newgarden in his shunt yesterday. Below AR1.com's Mark Cipolloni explains why the only thing that is going to work is a full canopy.
While IndyCar's VP of competition and engineering Bill Pappas is aiming for IndyCars to be fitted with Red Bull F1-type aeroscreens in 2017 to better protect drivers, those aeroscreens failed miserably in FIA testing the they nixed them. They certainly are not strong enough in such an accident, or when the driver's head hits a fence pole.
Reigning champion Scott Dixon earlier this year told Motorsport.com he was impressed with the halo concept albeit with reservations regarding its application on ovals.
But following Josef Newgarden's shunt in the interrupted and now postponed race at Texas Motor Speedway, neither Hunter-Reay nor Herta are certain whether an extra structural device around the cockpit would have been a help or a hindrance.
"First of all, let's be grateful that Josef is relatively OK," Herta told Motorsport.com. "That was really, really scary at that speed and that angle.
"I think constant safety improvements are a good thing, but I'd need to look at the shunt more closely to decide whether a halo would have helped in those circumstances or not.
"But I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to protect these guys, and trying to protect their heads."
Asked if he had any objections on purist grounds of trying to retain open cockpits, Herta scoffed: "If racing progress through the ages had been decided simply on purist grounds, these guys would have no seatbelts and still be wearing leather helmets."
Said Andretti Autosport ace Hunter-Reay: "I need to check the details [of Newgarden's shunt], but my understanding is that even the rollhoop on Josef's car was compromised, and if that's compromised then a halo structure would be compromised… and that comes into the cockpit.
"I don't know. There's a lot of information that we all need to understand first but I'd be worried that something not as robust as the actual rollhoop would fail in that situation.
"Whatever will help safety, absolutely we should do it. But I was just talking to [Newgarden's team owner] Ed Carpenter about this. If the rollhoop can fail, how would a less structurally sound device cope in those circumstances?"
AR1.com President Mark Cipolloni, a licensed professional engineer, had this to say - "In the case of Newgarden's crash, or Dan Wheldon's crash, a rollhoop, aeroscreen or a halo are going to fail. Structurally they cannot be designed strong enough to fully protect the driver. Their shear strength is never going to be high enough.
"In the case of an accident F(force)=M(mass of the car)*A(deceleration of the car upon impact), F=M x A. Deceleration is a function of time (Velocity divided by time). The rollhoop shears off rather easy in these sort of accidents because the velocity of the car is 200 MPH or more and the cars rollhoop sticking up in the air attempts to change the velocity very suddenly (i.e. the time is milliseconds). Because the denominator is very small, the A (deceleration) is very high hence the shear force applied to the rollhoop is high and it shears right off. It's the sudden deceleration that is the culprit.
"The safest thing is a full fighter jet style canopy because they make the denominator much larger by 'spreading the deceleration over a larger period of time.' hence F(=v/t) is a much smaller number because 't' is much larger. They are smooth enough to deflect flying objects, strong enough to bend but not break, and they offer enough resistance to deflect and rotate the car around a fence pole (in the case of Wheldon's crash). In the case of Newgarden's crash, whereas the rollhoop failed because it took the full force of the impact, a full canopy would distribute the impact load along the lower edge of polycarbonate over a much longer period of time. There is a very high liklihood that Dan would still be with us today if his car was equipped with a fighter jet canopy.
"When the car is up in the air, as Dan's was, the resistance force exerted by the canopy would likely have either rotated the car around the fence pole or pushed the car away from the fence pole rather than the pole hitting Dan's head and killing him.
Fighter Jet canopy.
"The canopy on a Fighter Jet is a multi-layer structure. In case of the F-16, it consists of three layers:
The innermost layer is 0.5 inch thick polycarbonate and drape-molded into the compound curvature shape.
The center layer is 0.05 inch polyurethane to bond the inner to the outer layer.
The outer layer is a 0.125 inch layer of acrylic (PMMA).
"The canopy is bolted to a metal frame for assembly. They are extremely strong and designed to deflect large birds at 2,000 MPH.
"Watch the video below and see how the aeroscreen fails (but does deflect the object) but the canopy deflects and distributes the load over a larger time. We are still talking about milliseconds, but a time of even 2 milliseconds vs. 1 millisecond in the denominator reduces the force in half. 3 milliseconds the force is reduced by 66%, etc. The beauty of the canopy is its ability to distribute the deceleration of the car upon impact over a longer period of time. So they can talk about halos, aeroscreens and rollhoops, but nothing will work to protect the driver as well as a fighter jet style canopy. Nothing."
Talent War for Autonomous Vehicles Rages in Car Industry Bibhrajit Halder left the Midwest and a job developing autonomous trucks for Caterpillar Inc. about a year and a half ago to join Ford Motor Co. in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the auto maker is working on self-driving vehicles writes Christina Rogers of the Wall Street Journal.
The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker, however, soon lost the software engineer to Faraday Future Inc., an electric-car startup luring auto industry veterans with Silicon Valley-like perks including stock options, free health care, catered lunches and foosball tables.
Leading Edge Grand Prix To Add Usf2000 Program In 2017 Leading Edge Grand Prix is focused 100% on its F4 United States Championship program this year with its three young drivers, but is looking to expand its program in 2017 to include a two car operation in the USF2000 Championship.
"We were not that interested in the USF2000 Series in the past as it used tube frame cars and manual shift gearboxes," stated Leading Edge vice president, John Lewis.
Nikola Motor Company Generates $2.3 Billion in Pre-Sales in First Month
Nikola (pronounced Neek-oh-la) Motor Company Founder and CEO Trevor Milton today announced that $2.3 billion in reservations have been generated in the first month, totaling more than 7,000 truck reservations with deposits. The company announced last month that it will launch an electric class 8 semi-truck, dubbed "Nikola One."
"Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions. We are the only OEM to have a near zero emission truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds. To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than 2.3 billion dollars, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented," said Milton.
The Baku GP promoters are going to lose a lot of money
Baku, Azerbaijan will host its inaugural F1 grand prix this Sunday. The sale of tickets for F1 has brought to Azerbaijan only 2% of spending on the “royal racing" in the center of Baku, according to AZERBAIJAN BUSINESS CENTER.
Azerbaijan Youth & Sports Minister Azad Rahimov announced that the country spent approximately 100M Azerbaijani manats ($66.3M) "on the holding of the European Grand Prix in the F1 class in Baku" and received almost 2M Azerbaijani manats ($1.3M) from the sale of tickets.
Ford, Eurosport To Air 24-Hour Advertisement For Le Mans 24 Hours
The first live 24-hour advert featuring live sport will premier during this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours following the announcement of a new partnership between Ford and Eurosport. The Live Ad will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans. At the '66 race, its Ford GT40 finished on the top three positions on the podium.
The Ford Live Ad will be produced by Eurosport to run on Eurosport websites and mobile apps -- during the 24-hour endurance race. Fans will see a live feed of an on-board camera from one of the four Ford GT supercars competing in the LMGTE Pro category race. Once visitors click through, they’ll be able to follow the on-board cameras on all four cars on a dedicated Ford Live Hub. The campaign was developed in partnership between Ford, Eurosport and global media agency Mindshare. Eurosport
Ed Carpenter Racing told motorsport.com that JR Hildebrand will replace the injured Josef Newgarden in the #21 car at Wednesday’s Road America test, and until Newgarden is ready to return.
After breaking his right clavicle and fracturing his right hand in a 200mph crash at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday, Newgarden’s absence is for an as yet undefined period. However, with the 25-year-old American being in no fit state to drive an IndyCar at Road America just 72 hours after that shunt, team owner Ed Carpenter has called up Hildebrand to sub for him.
Andretti announces Andretti Optics LOS ANGELES (June 13, 2016) -- Andretti Autosport and Luna-C Clothing have joined to launch Andretti Optics, a luxury eyewear Collection.
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Andretti Autosport, the winning team of the 100th Indianapolis 500!" says Lee Davis, CEO of Luna-C Clothing. "We timed this pretty well, didn't we? Congratulations to Alexander (Rossi), Michael and the entire Andretti Organization for an amazing, historic victory. To celebrate this accomplishment, we're thrilled to launch Andretti Optics with 100 Limited Edition, numbered examples autographed by Michael Andretti. Quality, style and performance are truly descriptive of both our organizations, and Andretti Optics captures the essence of these qualities."
The smooth wall took off Newgarden's rollhoop. IndyCar is working on a windscreen but we'll warn you ahead of time, it's going to look hideous.
Bill Pappas, VP of competition and engineering, has told David Malsher of Motorsport.com that IndyCar intends to introduce extra cockpit protection, and that Josef Newgarden’s rollhoop-tearing shunt “reiterates the importance of that.”
A shunt on lap 42 of the now postponed Firestone 600, saw Newgarden’s Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy flip onto its side between Conor Daly’s Dale Coyne Racing-Honda and the wall. The top surface of Newgarden’s car then made two impacts with the SAFER barrier, in the course of which his rollhoop broke as it dug into the impact-absorbing SAFER barrier.
Pappas told Motorsport.com: “We’re working flat out on figuring what is the right way to substantially improve cockpit protection.
“We were hoping to get something out before the end of the year and we’re still hoping for that,” he said. “Newgarden’s shunt just reiterates the importance of that.”
Pappas, who was a close friend of Justin Wilson, who died after being struck on the helmet by debris at Pocono Raceway last year, has been an advocate of increased head protection for open-wheel racing.
He says it is likely to take the form of an aeroscreen – as tested recently on the Red Bull Racing RB12 Formula 1 car – rather than the Mercedes- and Ferrari-style halo devices.
Roush Yates Engines captures 100th win Sunday's win by Joey Logano is the 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points win for Roush Yates Engines. Roush Yates Engines was formed after the 2003 season when Jack Roush and Robert Yates decided to merge their engine operations. In its first season, the new organization swept the front row in qualifying for the 2004 Daytona 500 and won the series championship later that year with driver Kurt Busch. A total of 14 different drivers have won at least one series race since RYE opened for business. Ford Racing PR
NASCAR satisfied with downforce package at Michigan
Better racing at Michigan
The new lower-downforce aerodynamic package under evaluation for 2017 got its first test in a points race at Michigan, and NASCAR officials liked what they saw in the 400-miler. "It was definitely different than we've seen here before, a lot of action on the restarts, a lot of movement there," said Scott Miller, NASCAR's senior vice president of competition.
"Obviously, we all watched it get strung out a little bit, which we weren't hoping for longer into the runs. I think we saw a lot of things that we liked, some other things that may need a little bit of reevaluating, but I think overall, for such a big move in downforce, that it was a really pretty successful day and something that we can build on."
If the new configuration, or a variation thereof, is adopted for next year, Goodyear will have time to build a tire designed for the new package and the track. "I think we probably need to come back to a bit more work on the tires, which these tires have not been tuned to this package, so we'll work with our Goodyear folks," said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR senior vice president, innovation and racing development.
Firestone 600 stopped by rain after 71 laps, will be completed Aug. 27 The Firestone 600 will have to wait another day for its completion. Another two months, in fact.
The scheduled 248-lap event at Texas Motor Speedway - the ninth race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season - was stopped after 71 laps today by heavy rain. INDYCAR and track officials announced that the race was suspended and will be completed Aug. 27 as a night race.
Firestone 600 IndyCar race red-flagged, rescheduled, Newgarden injured (4th Update) UPDATE Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden sustained a fractured right clavicle and a small fracture on his right hand in his heavy crash in Sunday's Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, INDYCAR has announced.
According to Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR medical director, Newgarden is expected to be released from the hospital tonight.
"Thank you to Dallara, IndyCar, the Holmatro Safety Team and everyone we work with at Texas Motor Speedway," Newgarden said. "The car held up great and the response from the safety team was amazing. I'm banged up a little bit but I'm generally OK. That's all thanks to IndyCar and all the work everyone within the series does.
Paul Fix, in the No. 50 StopFlex.com/ TheCarCoach.com/ Chevron Techron Chevrolet Corvette, secured his first victory of the year at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Round 4 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, taking the lead with only two laps remaining. Fix was joined in victory by Andrew Aquilante in TA3 and Ernie Francis, Jr., in TA4 in the 27-car, 101.25-mile multiclass race.
Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, led 39 of the 45-laps of the race with Fix holding second position from lap 12 onward. Ultimately with just two laps remaining, the duo, who had separated themselves from the remainder of the TA field, were held up by lapped traffic; and with Ruman delayed on her line, Fix capitalized, making his move on the inside.
Video: Gordon/Keselowski Interview on their controversy On Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY on FS1, FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon sat down with Brad Keselowski to discuss the controversy that ensued last week when Gordon compared Keselowski’s No. 2 team’s rules violation at Pocono to an incident at Las Vegas for which the team was not penalized. Following Gordon’s comments on-air during Monday’s FS1 telecast from Pocono, Keselowski publicly criticized what he claimed was Gordon’s conflict of interest in the television booth.
TV programming changes to Terrorist Killings in Orlando With NBC covering the horrible terrorist act in the Orlando Gay Club last night, the F1 race has been moved from NBC to NBCSN at 2:00 and the postponed IndyCar race from Texas has been moved to CNBC at 2:00 pm. As always IndyCar gets the short end of the stick. Some 'partner' NBCSN with IndyCar. Not.
'220 mph not that scary:' NASCAR drivers dish on new rules package
Tony Stewart practicing at MIS Friday
Martin Truex Jr. is one of the few NASCAR drivers to have firsthand experience with the updated aerodynamic package at Michigan International Speedway.
The driver of the Sprint Cup Series No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota took part in the test sessions at MIS in early May. While the test was hindered by rain, Truex Jr., who picked up his first win of the season in the Coca-Cola 600, said he thinks the updated rules is a "fun" step in the right direction writes Ben Raven of MLive.com.
Video: 2016 NASCAR Michigan Xfinity Post-Race Q&A NXS - Race winner Daniel Suarez (No. 19 ARRIS Toyota), crew chief Scott Graves (No. 19 ARRIS Toyota), Steve DeSouza (Executive Vice President, XFINITY Series Development, Joe Gibbs Racing), David Wilson (President and General Manager - TRD) and second-place finisher Kyle Busch (No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota) Comment
IndyCar: Wet track conditions forced postponement of Firestone 600
Ryan Hunter-Reay with fans in grandstands
The Firestone 600 may have been postponed due to lingering wet track conditions at Texas Motor Speedway, but Verizon IndyCar Series drivers still made the night memorable for many of the patient fans at the track.
Daylong rain saturated the 1.455-mile oval Saturday, and INDYCAR and track workers were unable to get the track suitably dry before announcing the postponement at 11:30 p.m. ET. The 248-lap race, the ninth of 16 on the 2016 schedule, is set to take the green flag at 2:15 p.m. ET Sunday and will be telecast live beginning at 2 p.m. on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.
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