Bittersweet LeMans for Toyota Hybrid TOYOTA Racing experienced thrilling highs and extreme lows during an eventful Le Mans 24 Hours which ended in the 11th hour.
An impressive start to the team’s first race saw the TS030 HYBRIDs fighting at the front, reaching a pinnacle when Nicolas Lapierre, sharing the #7 with Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima, took the lead as the six-hour mark approached.
However, the team’s joy at seeing its super capacitor-based hybrid powertrain lead the field was ended only seconds later due to a heavy accident for Anthony Davidson in the #8 he drove alongside Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi.
IndyCar mistakenly penalized Dixon WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Scott Dixon was confused and annoyed. As it turns out, he had every right to be.
Dixon was penalized for jumping a restart Saturday in the IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile, and race director Beaux Barfield acknowledged afterward that he shouldn’t have been.
“I’m actually very excited to see what the hell they’re talking about,” Dixon said after the race. “I’m disappointed.”
After explaining the situation to the team, Barfield acknowledged the mistake publicly, noting that a failure in their timing and scoring system caused them to look at the wrong replay. A clock was off by 36 seconds, throwing off their system.
Pavement at Milwaukee needs to be fixed A reader writes, Like usual you guys were absolutely correct yesterday when you stated that the new pavement in the low groove in turns 1 & 2 would make it a one groove track. It robbed the race of the usual passing drama that those corners provide. I've been coming to the Milwaukee Mile since 1993 and I've never been more dissapointed in the race because of that. My seats provide a perfect view of turn 1. Whenever I noticed a car attempt to take the low groove, all the guy in the high groove had to do was hold the other guy down on that god-awful new asphalt and the attempted overtake would be lost by lack of grip. Of course, this had a knock-on effect on attempted passes going into turn three because of the lack of speed from people taking the low groove at the other end of the track. Oh well . . . That said, the turn-out seemed great from where I was sitting. And, when I got home I had an email waiting that said that Michael Andretti's company would be promoting the event next year and that's GREAT! Congratulations and thank you to Michael Andretti and his people. Oh yeah, great run by Ryan Hunter-Reay and his crew. So congratulations to Michael Andretti again! --Daniel Manchester
DeltaWing forced to retire at LeMans The Nissan DeltaWing may be listed on the results sheet as a retirement, but after being forced out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the revolutionary car has undoubtedly won the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world.
Six hours and 15 minutes into the race, the Nissan DeltaWing with Satoshi Motoyama behind the wheel was pushed off the road by the Toyota prototype of Kazuki Nakajima and suffered a hard impact into the wall on the exit of the Porsche Curves.
Motoyama worked for more than 90 minutes to try to repair the car to get it back to the pits but the damage to both the right rear and front of the car was too severe.
Davidson sustains broken back in LeMans crashUPDATE #2 Anthony Davidson has sustained a broken back in his airborne accident at the end of the Mulsanne straight earlier in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Toyota driver suffered breaks to his T11 and T12 vertebrae after the #81 AF Corse collided with the hybrid prototype, causing it to flip into the air before crashing heavily into the barriers.
Initially it seemed that Davidson had emerged unscathed from the crash, but was diagnosed with his injuries after he was transferred to a local hospital from the circuit's medical center.
06/16/12 Anthony Davidson was taken to the circuit medical centre following his accident during the Le Mans 24 Hours. Doctors at the circuit have confirmed that Anthony is suffering from shock and back pain, however there are no signs of any injuries and he is walking and talking with no problems. He will be taken to a local hospital for precautionary checks but the team is relieved and happy to hear he is okay. Further updates will follow in due course.
06/16/12 Anthony Davidson gets together with F458 Italia driven by Perrazini, goes airborne and crashes hard into the wall. Both drivers got out of the car on their own, Davidson needed the help of the medical team but it has been reported that he is walking on his own with no serious injuries.
After an early challenge from Toyota, Audi's R18 e-tron quattros continued to run 1-2-3 in the ninth hour at Le Mans.
Andre Lotterer continued to lead the way in the #1 machine, although his advantage was slashed after he lost time in the first sector 10 minutes before the turn of the hour.
Warren Hughes led LMP2 in the Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan
In GTE Pro, the Ferrari 458's ability to run longer between fuel stops enabled Gianmaria Bruni to stay in touch with class leader Tommy Milner's Corvette. Antonio Garcia was third, a lap behind the class leaders but with over 40s in hand over Frederic Makowiecki.
LeMans Hour 5: Toyota takes the lead The No 7 Toyota now leads the 24 Hours of LeMans race from the Audi e-tron No 1. Toyota also runs third of the No. 2 and No. 4 Audis.
The Toyotas are giving the Audis a real run for the money using better reliability rather than outright speed. We do not expect the Toyota to stay up front for long because of the Audis do have more outright pace.
Rain mixes up MotoGP qualifying Once again, the cold temperatures, strong winds and temperamental weather have plagued the MotoGP riders here in Silverstone. This morning track temperatures didn't rise above 16 degrees C and then during a very busy qualifying session rain arrived in the final 10 minutes preventing the riders from maximizing their final set of soft tires.
As a result the grid is mixed up from the norm with riders you do not normally see at the front now rubbing elbows with the big boys.
Apparently the Italians did not learn after Robert Kubica was severely injured in a rally car accident when he hit the end of a guard rail and the steel beam impaled the car.
Welsh rally co-driver Gareth Roberts was killed in a crash during today’s Targo Florio Rally in Sicily, race organizers said.
Roberts, 24, was the navigator in a car being driven by Craig Breen which crashed during the eighth stage of the race. Medical crews attended to Roberts at the scene.
“Despite their best efforts, Gareth Roberts succumbed to his injuries and the remainder of the event has been canceled as a mark of respect,” a statement on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge website said. “Craig Breen was unhurt in the accident. No spectators were involved.”
Roberts and Breen were in sixth place when the accident took place. They were competing in the event for the first time, organizers said.
Unexpected rain hits Milwaukee Proving once again that the weathermen wouldn't know an accurate weather forecast if it smacked them in the head, one hour before race time and it has begun to rain here in Milwaukee. Expect the start to be delayed. Too bad because the parking lots were full and the infield Fanfest was a big hit. Now we wonder how many fans will leave and not wait it out.
LeMans Hour 3: Audi leads, Toyota 2-3 Benoit Treluyer took over from Andre Lotterer and kept the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at the head of the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours after three hours but trouble hit the other Audis and Nicolas Lapierre drove the #7 Toyota TS 030 into second. Lapierre had been shadowing Duval.
And to make matters worse for Audi, Sebastien moved the second Toyota up so the Japanese rival currently hold second and third positions.
Corvette, Aston Martin and Ferrari's lead cars ran together covered by less than two seconds in the GTE Pro series. Tommy Milner in the #74 Corvette and Darren Turner in the #97 Vantage traded top spot several times.
New F1 owner ups stake by $500m (GMM) One of F1's new owners has bought even more of the sport, it has emerged.
Amid expectations last month that the Singapore floatation was going ahead, the US based asset managers Waddell and Reed, and others, bought a $1.6 billion stake in the formula one business from existing owners CVC.
Reuters and Sky News are now reporting that Waddell and Reed has lifted its new stake by $500 million, to almost 21 per cent.
CVC, having cut its stake from 63 per cent to 42 per cent, confirmed the news.
The news follows F1's plans to delay its stock market floatation due to market turmoil.
Goodyear to change left-side recommendation at Michigan Based on the higher than expected speeds NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams ran in pre-race practice on the newly repaved Michigan International Speedway, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has decided to change its left-side tire recommendation for Sunday's race. In the final Sprint Cup practice on Friday afternoon, #16-Greg Biffle ran an average speed in excess of 204 mph for his fastest lap. For comparison's sake, when Goodyear tested at Michigan in preparation for this race on April 3-4, the fastest average lap speed topped out in the 198-mph range. The higher speeds caused significantly higher left-side tire temperatures, which caused Goodyear to take this step.
NASCAR practice speeds continue to soar at MIS A day after numerous teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series topped the 200 MPH mark, the speeds continued to be the theme. And the speeds only got faster after the teams fine-tuned their cars.
Greg Biffle set the pace and it was one fast lap. He finished the day with a mark of 204.708 MPH. The next fastest driver was Marcos Ambrose who had a lap of 203.551 MPH.
In the final practice session on Friday, 43 of the 45 drivers surpassed the qualifying record of 194.232 MPH. Ryan Newman set the previous mark in 2005 and owns a pair of victories in the Irish Hills.
NASCAR defends pit road timing system Roughly a third of the field in last Sunday's Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR was busted for speeding on pit road. Several drivers received multiple penalties. Among them, the offending drivers collected 22 speeding penalties, eight more than the previous record of 14 doled out at Kansas in 2006. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said NASCAR was satisfied with the way the system worked at Pocono but would take another look before the Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono in August.
"We'll go back and we'll look at the equipment and things," Pemberton said. "All of our inputs were correct. The dimensions (of the pit road segments in which cars are clocked) were correct. We go out of our way to not penalize -- contrary to popular belief. We'll go back and make sure if, for some strange reason, something went wrong, but we haven't seen that. We looked at it all with all our backup systems during the event. We never saw any of that. But we'll go back, just like they (the teams) did, because we want to make sure that everybody's OK." NASCAR Wire Service
Wet warm up for 24 Hours of Le Mans It was a very wet track which greeted the 56 entrants for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and there were numerous incidents of cars leaving the track because of the conditions. These included Treluyer (No.1 Audi R18), Charouz (No.25 ADR-Delta Oreca) and Rostan (No.29 Gulf Racing Middle East Lola) and a red flag was shown for several minutes to clear them from the gravel traps.
At the re-start, a small fire on the No.16 Pescarolo forced Collard to stop between the two Hunaudières chicanes. On track, the remainder of the field carried on for the 45 minute warm up. It was Loic Duval who set the best time (4:03.933) in the No.3 R18 ultra ahead of Dindo Capello and André Lotterer.
Nissan announces diesel engine for LeMans and ALMS in 2013
Mazda Motorsports today announced that it will sell racing versions of its new SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL engines to teams competing in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class of racing’s greatest endurance challenge – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Le Mans engine program will make its debut at the 2013 running of the race. Mazda was the first – and to this day, remains the only – Asian manufacturer to score an overall win at the race, in 1991.
“This reopens our love affair with Le Mans,” said Jay Amestoy, Vice President of Mazda Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “In 1991 we made history, winning with rotary technology. Now we’re looking to return to the winner’s circle with what we believe will be the most advanced and cleanest production-based powerplant the sport has ever seen. We’ll do it in current Mazda style, with engines being available for sale to European and U.S. customers competing in the LMP2 class for both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).”
Vautier leads Milwaukee Lights race flag-to-flag Tristan Vautier, who earlier in the day earned the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights 100, held off Sebastian Saavedra of Team AFS by 0.3370 of a second to provide Sam Schmidt Motorsports its 50th victory in the series. The team has been in the series since its inception in 2002.
It was the second victory this season from the pole for Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car. Teammate Esteban Guerrieri, last year's race winner who started sixth in the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car, advanced to third place.
Milwaukee: Wilson tops practice 2 Justin Wilson, riding the high of victory last Saturday night in Texas, turned the fastest lap in a hot 2nd practice session for the IndyCars at Milwaukee Friday afternoon.
Josef Newgarden who topped practice 1 in the morning when the track was cooler, was 2nd quick in the heat of the day proving he will be a force to be reckoned with on Saturday. Honda ended the session 1-2, with Graham Rahal 5th giving Honda three of the top fastest laps and Chevy two.
Helio Castroneves and EJ Viso were third and fourth quick. Ruben Barrichello backed up his 6th in the morning with another sixth in practice two.
Texas declines to host IndyCar's 16th race Statement from Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR, regarding Texas Motor Speedway announcement that the track has declined opportunity to host an additional IZOD IndyCar Series race this season: "We appreciate Texas Motor Speedway exploring the opportunity with us. We continue to speak with various tracks to find the right venue for our potential 16th race."
This is all the other riders saw of Casey Stoner on Friday
World Champion Casey Stoner led the way on the first day of free practices at the British Grand Prix, with American Ben Spies clocking the 2nd best time for Yamaha.
The British weather played a big role in both sessions, and the MotoGP riders had their first taste of Silverstone's notoriously tricky conditions. After a wet session in the morning, teams were hoping for a dry afternoon session to begin set up work on their bikes with the new front tire. However, a brief shower at the beginning of FP2 prevented the riders making the most of the 45 minute session.
Buller on top after Valencia Test Britain’s William Buller set the pace on the second and final day of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo after producing a laptime of 1:26.389 which was three tenths faster than Matias Laine on day one. Mitch Evans (MW Arden) headed the afternoon timings by just one thousandth of a second over the Carlin man.
There was one change to the line-up with Robert Visoiu absent from the test due to an exam so Irishman Gary Thompson made his debut in the Jenzer Motorsport car.
The session started in glorious sunshine and much hotter temperatures than yesterday, with the drivers eager to set a fast time early on. Trident Racing’s Nico Muller set an early benchmark and was on another hot lap when his team mate Vicky Piria spun into the gravel after 20 minutes, thus causing a halt for a red flag. Buller who was in second, soon went P1, a tenth faster than the Swiss driver.
Milwaukee: Newgarden tops opening IndyCar practice Josef Newgarden driving for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing turned the fastest lap in opening practice for Saturday's IndyCar race at the historic 1-mile flat oval in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Newgarden turned at lap at 165.916 mph in his Honda to beat the Chevys of Helio Castroneves (165.268 mph) and EJ Viso (164.021 mph).
Alex Tagliani (Honda) and JR Hildebrand (Chevy) rounded out the top-5 in the incident free session. For being here the first time, Rubens Barrichello was an impressive 6th fastest.
Dale Coyne explains team's side of winning car penalty after Texas raceUPDATE #2 Justin Wilson saw comments by Dario Franchitti and others regarding an unapproved aerodynamic piece being on Wilson's winning car at Texas Motor Speedway, and he has a rebuttal.
"I think (criticism) is misguided," Wilson said Thursday. "That part was for drag reduction. IndyCar put it on the cars at Indianapolis to get the speeds up.
"I don't think it gains (the car) downforce; I think it reduces drag. Usually when you reduce downforce, you reduce drag."
Wilson's bottom line: "I don't think it helped us."
MIS interested in IndyCar replacement for China Brooklyn, Mich.— If IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard gives Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis a call about having the series' season-ending race at the two-mile speedway, he'll listen.
Bernard needs to schedule another race after announcing the event at China — originally scheduled for Aug. 19 — has been cancelled.
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage confirmed Wednesday that IndyCar officials approached him about the possibility of having the facility host the 2012 finale. The high-speed oval just held the latest IndyCar race last Saturday night, with Justin Wilson winning.
Go Daddy Ditches Danica In New `Conservative' AdUPDATE
Sexy Danica Patrick may not fit GoDaddy's marketing theme going forward
While people have been buzzing about GoDaddy's recent announcement that it has hired an ad agency (Deutsch NY) to create a more conservative and technologically-oriented campaign, there has been little about race car driver and GoDaddy spokeswoman Danica Patrick's future with the company.
"Our Go Daddy Girl is not in our new Olympics campaign," Barb Rechterman, CMO of GoDaddy, told Business Insider. "Danica and Go Daddy have worked very well together, no doubt ... but we are going to make our initial shift without Danica."
Although Patrick's contract with GoDaddy goes through next year and she will continue to drive GoDaddy's racing car, her spot is not secure.
"Phil Parsons and HP Racing Fined in N.C. Workmen’s Comp case" The North Carolina Industrial Commission has levied fines against Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey, owners of HP Racing, now Phil Parsons Racing, for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for most of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Parsons, who also works as a television analyst for SPEED, and Humphrey were also ordered to pay medical bills and wages to an HP Racing employee who suffered a work related injury last summer.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission, the state agency that handles disputed workers’ compensation claims when people get hurt on the job, determined that Parsons and Humphrey failed to have the proper workers’ compensation insurance from February 11, 2011 – October 27, 2011. Workers’ compensation insurance was obtained by HP Racing just five days before the claim was initially set to be heard before the Deputy Commissioner of the Industrial Commission. The Commission also determined that the HP Racing employee had sustained a compensable injury by accident during the non-insured period. The North Carolina Assistant Attorney General’s Office, Fraud Unit was also involved in the claim against HP Racing, Parsons and Humphrey.
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