Rookie Antonio Giovinazzi has adapted quickly to the Baku City Circuit: P2 in the free practice session this morning, he emerged on top in a dramatic qualifying session this afternoon. The Italian set a blazing laptime of 1:51.752 denying Nobuharu Matsushita by 0.08s in the dying minutes. Sergey Sirotkin took P3.
The early evening session opened under grey skies and in windy conditions. The drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Supersoft tires and it was Oliver Rowland who set the early pace in a 1:54.156 through heavy traffic, but his laptime was soon bettered by three tenths by Matsushita. Pierre Gasly then became the first man to dip under 1m53s.
Video: Scott Dixon on First Le Mans Experience Scott Dixon says "I can't wait for the race; it's going to be an awesome experience," as the four-time IndyCar champion catches up with RACER ahead of his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut. Comment
Porsche and CORE Renew GT Partnership During the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche has renewed the contracts with Manthey Racing and CORE autosport after many years of successful collaboration.
With Manthey Racing, Porsche recently won the 2015 GT championship titles for manufacturers, drivers and teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and paralleled this with three GT titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA and Canada with CORE autosport.
Curb problem puts Baku under cloud (2nd Update) UPDATE After problems with curb retaining bolts coming loose and causing cut left rear tires in FP, the exit curbs at Turns 6 and 12 will be removed, and replaced with painted versions.
During FP2 teams were told by the FIA to ask their drivers to avoid the curb at Turn 6, which was believed to be responsible for the tire issues seen in the first session.
The apex curb is also being removed from Turn 13, although it is not actually used as the racing line.
Sandell wins pole for Red Bull GRC Daytona In a repeat of last year, and carrying his momentum from a victory in Dallas two weeks ago, Patrik Sandell posted the fastest time in qualifying for the first Red Bull Global Rallycross round at Daytona International Speedway. With a lap of 36.981 seconds, Sandell topped Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver and points leader Tanner Foust to earn the pole.
Sandell was one of three Ford drivers to advance to the second round of qualifying, compared to two Hondas and one Volkswagen. Foust posted the fastest time of the first round at 37.113 seconds, but fell off slightly in the final round to relinquish his three-race pole streak.
Ford Taking Many Officials, VIPs To Celebrate Return To Le Mans After 50 Years
All the Ford bigwigs will be there including Mark Field. If they get beat it will be a major embarrassment
Ford will have around 700 guests at this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, including many of its top execs, underscoring the high level of importance it has put around the event writes Adam Stern of Sportsbusinessdaily.com.
The Michigan-based automaker, which announced at last year’s event that it would return to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing for the first time since it won the event in ’66, will have execs on hand including Exec Chair Bill Ford, President & CEO Mark Field, Americas president Joe Hinrichs, Europe president Jim Farley and BOD member Edsel Ford II.
Members of Ford Performance, which is the company’s motorsports arm, who will be on hand include Global Dir Dave Pericak, Global Marketing Manager Henry Ford III and Exec VP/Product Development & Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair. Ganassi Racing also has a number of execs and guests on hand including co-Owners Chip Ganassi and Rob Kauffman and execs from sponsors who were interested in seeing what WEC events and sports car racing have to offer.
DRS set to be introduced for LMP1 privateer teams in 2018 (Update) UPDATE Changes to the LMP1 non-hybrid technical regulations designed to reduce the performance gap between the manufacturers and privateers are unlikely to attract further entries for 2017, according to Strakka Racing team principal Dan Walmsley.
In a raft of announcements made at yesterday’s ACO press conference, it was confirmed that the privateer cars would see a reduction in their minimum weight, receive a greater aero allowances on the nose and rear wing and be allowed to use DRS from 2018.
Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to test The Glen on Monday
The recently paved Watkins Glen International circuit will get its biggest critique yet Monday afternoon when several IndyCar drivers and teams are expected to attend a five-hour, Firestone tire test.
The test, in preparation for the Labor Day weekend IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen, had to apparently be shoehorned into a busy Glen club rental calendar. It takes place from 3-8 p.m.
Drivers expected to test at The Glen on Monday: Scott Dixon, a three-time race winner at WGI and the reigning IndyCar Series champion; Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner; Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner; Simon Pagenaud, the current IndyCar leader; and James Hinchcliffe, who won the Indy 500 pole last month.
Tanner Foust leads the GRC standings entering the Daytona doubleheader
IN BRIEF: Red Bull GRC marches on this weekend with two rounds of action at the iconic Daytona International Speedway, the second doubleheader event of the year. Supercar points leader Tanner Foust and 2015 series runner-up Sebastian Eriksson enter the event as defending race winners.
TUNE IN INFORMATION:
Sunday, June 19, 2:30PM ET on NBC Sunday, June 19, 3:30PM ET on Red Bull TV
GP2 qualifying rescheduled after curb issue The qualifying session for GP2's round at the European Grand Prix in Baku has been rescheduled due to concerns regarding the curbs at the new street circuit.
Drivers filtered onto the all-new Baku City Circuit at 15:00 local time for the 30-minute grid-deciding session but the red flags were brought out after just 77 seconds.
Tickets for the prestigious 59th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race will officially go on sale Monday, June 20 at 9:00am/et.
Race fans will have the opportunity to experience the 2017 DAYTONA 500, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26, in the world's only motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that span the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
Video: Ferrari review Baku challenges Sebastian Vettel's race engineer, Ricardo Adami, discusses the challenges which teams are likely to face as the sport prepares to visit Baku for the first time this weekend. Comment
GP2 Series leader Norman Nato had the perfect start to his race weekend today as he topped the timesheet in the free practice session at the Baku city circuit in a 1:55.394 ahead of rookie Antonio Giovinazzi and Sergey Sirotkin.
The session opened under sunny but windy conditions as the drivers fed onto the dirty Azerbaijani track on Medium Pirelli tyros. Nato set the early pace in a 1:58.148 as the drivers got to grips with the twisty and technical new track. The RUSSIAN TIME pair were the first drivers to challenge the Racing Engineering man: Artem Markelov went top first, but Raffaele Marciello bettered his teammate’s time in a 1:57.464 to sit pretty at the top of the standings. The session was interrupted by a first Virtual Safety Car as an ambulance was moved out of the run off area at Turn 15.
Rain at LeMans locks up front row for Porsche, Ford on GT pole
No. 2 Porsche will start from pole Saturday
The Porsche Team with the innovative 919 Hybrid secured the 18th pole position in total for the brand at the Le Mans 24-Hours. Due to mostly wet track conditions in both qualifying sessions on Thursday, held from 7 pm to 9 pm and from 10 pm until midnight, there were no improvements in lap times for the top cars compared to the first qualifying session from Wednesday night.
The unbeaten best time for the field of 60 cars was achieved by Neel Jani on Wednesday. The Swiss had lapped the 13.629 kilometer long circuit in 3:19.733 minutes. In difficult track conditions he stayed above his qualifying record of 3:16.887 minutes that he achieved in 2015 and that now remains for the current track layout of the Circuit des 24 Heures.
Video: Brad Keselowski's first IndyCar test at Road America Raw video footage from the Verizon IndyCar Series June 15 test at Road America, in which NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski tested Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud's No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. Comment
Video: Racing a Le Mans Hybrid Prototype What’s the secret of driving these hi-tech machines? Well SafeIsFast's latest video, some of the best in the business explain just how it’s done. Join three-time Le Mans winner Allan McNish, WEC Champions Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, and Brendon Hartley for a lively discussion. We think you’ll find it very interesting - and it might even improve your own driving technique. Comment
The FIA/ACO has chosen the prestigious Le Mans 24 hour race as the venue to launch the new LMP2 2017 engine. The GK428 engine will be unveiled at a press conference today ahead of the 24 hour race on Saturday.
Repton based engine manufacturer Gibson Technology has been chosen by the FIA/ACO as the single engine supplier for LMP2 class sportscars from 2017 to 2020. Gibson has developed and will manufacture a new 4.2 liter V8 engine, supplying all LMP2 teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Asian Le Mans Series (from 2019 onwards).
M&M'S Racing Pit Crew Takes Spotlight in 360 Pit Stop Video To celebrate M&M’S 75th birthday in 2016, 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch and the iconic chocolate brand are flipping the script and giving M&M’S Racing fans a special gift – a 360 video capturing every aspect of a race day pit stop.
Sporting a sweet new number to celebrate M&M’S birthday, No. 75, the video provides fans never before seen footage of Kyle Busch’s pit crew during pit stop practice at Joe Gibbs Racing, and in race footage from the All-Star Race in Charlotte on Saturday, May 21. Fans can watch every angle of the pit stop -- from the car being jacked to the last lug nut being screwed.
(GMM) F1's leap across the world in the space of mere days has left a couple of teams struggling for spare parts.
In perhaps the sport's oddest ever pair of 'back-to-back' grand prix weekends, the traveling circus has somehow assembled for the inaugural race in Baku within short memory of last Sunday's Montreal event.
"It's the same for everybody and actually we relish the challenge really," said Ferrari's Jock Clear.
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest announces its 2016 innovations and the future regulations Today, Thursday 16th June, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest held its annual press conference in the museum before the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours, which will take place on 18-19 June 2016. The ACO announced its innovations for the LM P1 private teams' category, LM P2 and the future path of the LM P1 category.
There was a bit more of a racing groove here at Kentucky Speedway for the second and final day of an organizational test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, thanks in part to yesterday's on-track activity as well as high temperatures. "It's changed a lot, really changed in a good direction," Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, said Tuesday.
"Yesterday there was really no grip at all and it just took time. By the end of the day it was starting to get pretty good. Today there's even more rubber on the track. I think a good thing about this is it's hot and the rubber is laying down. When we come back, hopefully it's hot. I think if it's hot it will create a much better race and let us kind of move around and lay more rubber on the race track." Fourteen teams were on hand Monday, with only the #78 Toyota of Furniture Row Racing with driver Martin Truex Jr., not returning for the final day.
Michigan Post-race penalties and warnings NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the FireKeepers Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on June 12th.
#42-Kyle Larson was given a P3 penalty for violations of Sections 12-1; 184.108.40.206.2 (Failed the post-race Laser Inspection Station measurements). Interim Crew chief (Philip Surgen) has been fined $25,000; team has been assessed with the loss of 15 championship owner and 15 championship driver points
While NASCAR no longer releases attendance numbers, MIS President Roger Curtis said there was a slight decrease in ticket sales for the June 10-12 FireKeepers Casino 400 race weekend. The numbers were what MIS expected, Curtis said, given the rain last June and the lack of action in the August race.
Meanwhile, local business owners said they saw no decrease in sales, with some saying sales were slightly higher than during the 2015 June race weekend. This includes JR's Hometown Grill and Pub and Buddy's gas station and convenience store, both in Brooklyn.
Joey Hand returns to Circuit de la Sarthe for his second appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the powerhouse entry from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing that is fielding four of the debuting Ford GTs in this weekend's 84th running of the twice-around-the-clock race in an effort to win the lowest class of cars at LeMans: GTE-Pro.
Hand is one of two Americans on the Ford GT program at Le Mans with fellow Californian Billy Johnson, who will co-drive the No. 66 entry with Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke.
As a factory BMW driver, Hand finished third in the GT2 class with co-drivers Dirk Mueller and Andy Priaulx in his Le Mans debut in 2011. He returns once again co-driving with Mueller and local Le Mans favorite Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 Ford GT.
Team RLL is among the growing contingent of American teams that could be on the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future, with Bobby Rahal eying a prototype effort in the French endurance classic writes John Dagys of sportscar365.
Rahal, who has made his first trip to the event since last driving here in 1982, has revealed he’s hoping to put together a LMP2 program in time for next year.
“Cleary I’ve expressed an interest in having our own team here or being associated with a team that already exists in Europe,” Rahal told Sportscar365. “For us, the P2 category is most interesting.
Video: LeMans Porsche Opening Practice Highlights A video from free practice for the 24 hours of Le Mans, round 3 and highlight of the World Endurance Championship WEC 2016. While the innovative Porsche 919 Hybrid set fastest times on the "Circuit des 24 heures", the Porsche 911 RSR cars continue their preparation for the legendary race. Comment
Neel Jani led a Porsche one-two in free practice for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Wednesday afternoon with a lap set just before a red flag ended the session.
Jani's 3m22.011s with 10 minutes moved the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid half a second clear of the No. 1 Porsche.
The session was brought to an early end when Stephane Sarrazin crashed the #6 Toyota TS050 on the exit of Indianapolis, while Ines Taittinger also lost the #28 Pegasus Morgan at the Porsche Curves around the same time.
Audi was the first to bring 'dirty diesel' engines to LeMans
Audi has made history at Le Mans. In 2006, the premium brand became the first manufacturer to win what is arguably the world’s toughest endurance race with diesel power. 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of this achievement. Today, the TDI engine is more efficient than ever before and part of a highly complex diesel-hybrid powertrain. Never before has an Audi LMP1 race car been as powerful and fuel-efficient as the current Audi R18.
The revolution, literally, came quietly. The “higher-further-faster” of TDI power was heralded a decade ago with a sound that was unusual even to the ears of seasoned campaigners. The Audi R10 TDI raced around the circuit so silently that it was near-imperceptible. “At high speed, even the wind noise was louder than that of the engine,” recalls Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen who, with nine victories, clearly leads the all-time winners’ list of the 24-hour race. Driving and shifting according to the sound level from 2006 on was history in the LMP1 race car.
Jeff Gordon releases excerpt from upcoming book Four-time NASCAR Cup champion and FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon made an appearance on FOX Business Tuesday morning to discuss his new television career, as well as his new biography.
"Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny," written by five-time New York Times bestselling author Joe Garner, is set to be released Oct. 18.
An excerpt from the book, which is available for pre-order, has been released. Read the excerpt by clicking here.
Gehl Returns to RLL as Primary Sponsor For Rahal at Road America
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the Gehl brand, part of Manitou Americas, Inc. has returned as co-primary sponsor of the team’s No. 15 Verizon IndyCar Series entry for Graham Rahal in the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America June 24-26. The official name of the entry will be the No. 15 Gehl / D-A Lubricant Honda. Manitou Americas, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of Gehl, Manitou, and Mustang branded equipment for construction, agriculture, mining, energy industries and beyond.
Gehl was an associate sponsor of the race team from 2006-2008 and in 2014 and is in their 11th season of involvement with Graham Rahal, whom they have had a personal services contract with since his 2006 Atlantic Championship season where he was runner up to the champion.
Fernando Alonso Tours Baku Ahead of 2016 F1 Grand Prix of Europe
Fernando Alonso back in Baku
With only days to go before the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE, Fernando Alonso, the race’s Official Ambassador, returned to Baku to meet some of his many fans in Azerbaijan and take a cultural tour of the city before the first F1 engines roar across the streets of the sport’s newest home.
He began his tour of Baku by walking along the START/FINISH straight of the latest street circuit to be added to the F1 calendar, before visiting the Azer Ilme Carpet Weaving Center to experience for himself one of the great national crafts of Azerbaijan. The Azer ilme factory is the home of the traditional art of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan, where it mixes modern technology with ancient techniques to create some of the finest and most sought after carpets in the world. During his visit, Alonso was presented with his very own carpet in recognition of his ambassadorial work for the first ever F1 race in Azerbaijan.
Honda Indy Toronto grows off-track, family-friendly entertainment lineup in 2016 The one-month countdown to Honda Indy Toronto is on and event organizers revealed today a robust line up of off-track activities for the upcoming festival, which runs July 15-17 at Exhibition Place. With 55 per cent more interactive exhibits, activities and vendors than last year, race fans can expect more things to see and do all day than ever before.
Families will also find accessing the event a little lighter on their wallets as organizers announce that kids under 12 will be admitted free this summer, when accompanied by an adult who has purchased a ticket.
(GMM) Sir Jackie Stewart says bringing big companies like Heineken into formula one is "even better" than winning world titles.
The F1 legend and triple world champion was instrumental to the multi-million dollar tie-up between the Dutch beer multinational and F1.
He told Russia's Championat that helping to conclude deals like that is "even better than winning races and championships".
"I was always interested in doing things with sponsors -- entering into contracts, building relationships and completing the transactions on mutually beneficial terms," said the 77-year-old Scot, who was also involved with the Rolex and Genii brands.
IndyCar, NASCAR Drivers Take Shot At "American Ninja Warrior" Course (Update) UPDATE We added a video from the event below.
06/14/16 Last night’s edition of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” (taped earlier) featured Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden, and NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. competing on the ninja obstacle course in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles was in attendance wearing an “INDYCAR NINJA” T-shirt and cheering on the drivers.
Co-host Matt Iseman said, “We’re in the racing capital of the world.” Stenhouse’s girlfriend, fellow NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, was in attendance to cheer him on, with Iseman calling them “the sport’s royal couple.” Newgarden and Castroneves got the farthest among the drivers.
Nazareth Speedway won't return to its glory racing days
CART at Nazareth in 2000
While Lehigh Valley developer David Jaindl has said he has no solid plans for the former Nazareth Speedway he recently purchased, he knows what it won't be: a racetrack.
The Orefield turkey farmer and real estate developer said in a news release Friday that a "competition clause" from the former property owner, International Speedway Corp. of Daytona Beach, Fla., precludes him from reopening the site for future racing. The condition of sale is a legally binding "restriction on all motor sports entertainment activity."
But a headline on the release also said the Speedway's future is "bright," and Jaindl is exploring options that "pay tribute to the legacy of the track."
You can now look back on three DTM race weekends. What are your initial thoughts? Esteban Ocon: "The first race weekend at Hockenheim actually started off quite well. We were pleased with our pace, but the races themselves were best forgotten. I had no luck at all and was unable to finish either of the two races. So obviously it wasn't exactly the sort of debut you would wish for. Then, at Spielberg and the Lausitzring, we weren't strong enough to finish in the points. But we are working hard to raise our performance to a level where we can soon be scoring points and making podium appearances."
Video: #ThisIsDTM: Motorsport Festival Terrific atmosphere at the Lausitzring! The 67,500 spectators who came through the turnstiles on the third race weekend of the DTM 2016 season were thrilled by racing action on two wheels and four - and of course by the maiden DTM victory for Lucas Auer. Comment
Video: Meet #GrandpaLewis! What's it going to be like in 40 years when Lewis is telling his grandchildren about his exploits in Formula 1 racing and about how he won his world championship titles? This commercial for Allianz Road Safety takes a humorous look into the future. Comment
Video:Behind the scenes: Mercedes Team evening in Montreal Formula 1 moves on directly from the Canadian Grand Prix to its debut in Azerbaijan. Back-to-back race weekends make huge demands on the team. Consequently, they took advantage of a suitable opportunity which presented itself on the Wednesday before the race weekend in Montreal to organize the traditional team dinner. Toto Wolff and Nico Rosberg offer some insights into what goes on behind the scenes. Comment
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