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INDYCAR seeks to initiate catch fence study  Initiating a study of racetrack catch fencing is among the priorities of INDYCAR orthopedic consultant Dr. Terry Trammell at the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety’s thrice-annual meeting next week in France.

Trammell, Dr. Henry Bock and Dr. Steven Olvey are the founding fellows of the organization that includes the motorsports medical community throughout the world.

“The big focus this round is the technique used to extricate an unconscious driver from a race car and whether you need too at all,” Trammell said. “We have a great deal of data to support how INDYCAR does it, what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. More ...

Karam Iowa PoleSage Karam on Star Mazda Pole at Iowa  After setting the fast time in practice yesterday, Nazareth, PA native Sage Karam waited patiently for a light rain shower to pass and the jet blower to dry the track before taking his #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda out to win the PEAK Performance Pole Award for tonight's Iowa Speedway Foundation Star Mazda 100.  His lap of 21.907 (146.912 mph) marks his third straight pole at this track - 2010 in USF200 and 2011 in Star Mazda.  If he wins the race this evening, he will have scored a 'hat trick' in the most complete sense of the word.

Staring on the outside of the front row will be the current Star Mazda championship points leader, English racer Jack Hawksworth in the #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda.  His lap time of 21.931 (146.751 mph) is, like Karam's, under the existing Star Mazda lap record at Iowa Speedway, a 21.933 set in 2010 by Conor Daly.  More ...

Evans eases to victory in Valencia  
Mitch Evans
New Zealander Mitch Evans raced to his third win of his GP3 career at the Valencia Street Circuit in Race 1. After starting from pole, Evans also claimed the fastest lap making it a perfect start to his weekend in Spain. Aaro Vainio finished in second with David Fumanelli (MW Arden) achieving a career first GP3 podium.

Evans made a clean getaway and retained P1 while Vainio got the jump on Fumanelli to sneak into P2. Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) made a great start from fifth on the grid and by the end of the first lap he was into third, displacing Fumanelli. It was a lively start with Robert Visoiu (Jenzer Motorsport) running into the back of Tamas Pal Kiss which ended his race prematurely. Status Grand Prix also had a nightmare at the beginning of their race after Alice Powell made contact with the rear of teammate Marlon Stockinger which brought them both into the pits. Stockinger rejoined a lap down with Powell also losing a lot of time. More ...
Gutierrez scorches to dramatic 2nd GP2 victory  
Lotus driver Gutierrez gets thumbs up from team
We told you a few days ago he will be the next Mexican in F1.  Esteban Gutierrez has shrugged off the pressure of a slow start with a superb win in an action packed feature race in Valencia, adding his first feature win in the Series at the location of his first sprint win as he held his nerve to lead home Marcus Ericsson and Luiz Razia under the scorching Spanish sun this afternoon.

The race, which looked for a long time to belong to Lotus teammate James Calado, was broken up by three safety car periods as the extreme heat seemed to be affecting everyone adversely, although the start was smooth enough with poleman Calado easing away while fellow front row starter Felipe Nasr dropped back into the pack, handing a clean line through for Giedo van der Garde and Gutierrez. More ...
Fingers point at Pirelli after 'odd' qualifying  
di Montezemolo stares at timing and scoring monitors in horror
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo pointed his finger at Pirelli on Saturday as he slammed an "odd" qualifying session at Valencia.

A surprise and rare visitor in the Ferrari garage, team president Montezemolo was bitterly disappointed after neither F2012 made the Q3 cut.

"We were fastest and then everything changed when we put on the soft tires," he told Italian broadcaster Rai.

"We need to take care that this does not become a tire manufacturing championship," Montezemolo warned. More ...

Danica Patrick among NASCAR’s biggest disappointments so far in 2012  Here’s a look at NASCAR’s seven most disappointing drivers after 15 races:

1. Jeff Gordon

That Gordon is 20th in the standings 15 races into season is almost incomprehensible. The four-time Cup champion has never been this low in points at this point of the season in his 20-year career—not even as a rookie in 1993.

Gordon’s luck has perhaps been worse than any driver this year, miring him in the standings and leaving him desperate for wins just to earn a wild card into Chase. If not, he will miss the playoffs and finish outside the top 10 in points for only the second time in his career. More ...

Ganassi to prop up Indy Grand-Am race with Cup drivers  Ganassi Racing will field Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray instead of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon in next month's inaugural Grand Am sports car race at IMS.
Another Goodyear Tire test set for MIS  In response to blistering issues that prompted a Saturday switch to a harder left-side tire last weekend at Michigan, Goodyear has scheduled another tire test at the two-mile track for July 30, the Monday after the Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Because the timing -- namely, too tight a schedule to construct a new tire for the Aug. 19 Pure Michigan 400 -- the test will be a confirmation of the tires Goodyear expects to bring to Michigan for that race. "Because there isn't enough time to run a 'normal' tire test and then build a full complement of tires for the race in mid-August, we are planning to do a 'confirmation' test with a large number of teams at Michigan on July 30th," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager for worldwide racing. "We anticipate 15 to 20 cars will participate in the test. We expect the August race set-up will be very close to what we saw last Sunday, so we have a good plan in place for the test." Goodyear is still making the final determination on which tires it will confirm during the test. The rain date is July 31. NASCAR Wire Service
Markus Pommer storms to maiden Spa pole  Markus Pommer put in a superb late lap to storm to his maiden pole during today's (Saturday) closely-fought Formula Two qualifying session at Spa.

The 21-year-old German waited until the closing stages to post a blistering 2:04.623s to edge out Daniel McKenzie, who had held the top spot for much of the 30-minute session, by a mere 0.050s, with Mihai Marinescu securing third. More ...

Another open wheel talent wasted in NASCAR  
Struggling AJ Allmendinger feeling no pressure from Penske brass
AJ Allmendinger believed he had the best opportunity of his NASCAR career when he signed with Penske Racing last December.

He still believes he has a career opportunity, and he is still looking for consistent results as he sits 24th in the Sprint Cup standings 15 races into the season. But Allmendinger said he is the one putting pressure on himself more than Penske management.

“I’ve learned in this sport you never say, ‘I have got all the time in the world,’ but I’ve also had no pressure put on by them to say ‘OK, you have a month more or we’re going to have to start looking,’” Allmendinger said Thursday. More ...

Red Bull and Vogue spruce up the Valencia Pit Lane  Something completely different this morning at Valencia: F1 being used by Vogue Spain and Red Bull for some fashion shots.....this must please Bernie.

Evans blazes to Valencia pole  
Mitch Evans
New Zealander Mitch Evans stormed to pole in today’s qualifying session at the Valencia Street Circuit in a sweltering session and he will be joined by his MW Arden teammate David Fumanelli on the front row. GP3 Series leader Aaro Vainio will start in P3.

The thirty minute qualifying session got underway with temperatures of 24 degrees, as the heat intensified on and off the track for the fierce battle for pole. The Lotus GP trio were first to make their way onto track with Conor Daly on a mission as the American has a ten place grid penalty applied to his qualifying position for Race 1 later today. After the initial installation laps, it was Evans who led the pack in front of Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) until Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) and Fumanelli displaced the Cypriot. More ...
European GP: Button tops Practice 3  
Jenson Button
Jenson Button, using his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton's setup, beat him and all others with a lap of 1m38.562s to top the final practice session in Valencia, Spain ahead of qualifying for the European GP in a few hours.

Romain Grosjean was second for Lotus ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.  Nico Rosberg was fourth for Force India.

Paul di Resta was fifth in the second Force India, with Sergio Perez sixth for Sauber, Michael Schumacher seventh for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton eighth, Felipe Massa in ninth spot for Ferrari and Pastor Maldonado 10th for Williams.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.562 +0.000s 17
2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m38.655s +0.093 18
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m38.759s +0.197 18
4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m38.819s +0.257 17
5. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.892s +0.330 17
6. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.084s +0.522 20
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m39.141s +0.579 15
8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.178s +0.616 17
9. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m39.318s +0.756 15
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m39.357s +0.795 18
11. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.358s +0.796 19
12. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.395s +0.833 15
13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.434s +0.872 13
14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m39.543s +0.981 13
15. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.946s +1.384 20
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.037s +1.475 17
17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.134s +1.572 20
18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m40.681s +2.119 15
19. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m41.282s +2.720 4
20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m41.931s +3.369 15
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.758s +4.196 14
22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m42.815s +4.253 16
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m42.943s +4.381 14
24. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.124s +4.562 16

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  
  • Sergio Perez headed to Ferrari?
    Behind the glitz, F1 looks to solve costs crisis
  • Perez spotted at Ferrari amid Kovalainen rumors
  • Force India 'massively quick' at Valencia
  • 'No mystery' as Sauber enjoys Pirelli season
  • Hamilton cheery or cheesed off as Button copies setup?
  • Bandage on Alonso's knee, Glock unwell
  • Paul Ricard mentions September deadline for GP certainty
  • Schumacher puts focus on rear tire life More ...
Roush blamed for almost killing himself  
Jack Roush bloodied but alive after 2010 plane crash
The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that the 2010 plane crash in which team owner Jack Roush was injured was caused by pilot error.

The NTSB released Friday its determination of probable cause in Roush’s July 27, 2010 crash at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The report confirmed Roush’s version of what happened — that he was concerned about a plane taking off on the same runway where he was landing, causing him to ground-loop his airplane. More ...

Sports car racer Mark Pombo hospitalized  Sports car racer Mark Pombo has been hospitalized with a concussion, broken clavicle and broken nose after crashing at Road America on Friday morning.

A series spokesman said Pombo was in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and will remain there overnight. Pombo was conscious when he was transported to the hospital.

Pombo was practicing for the Continental Tire Series race at the track, a four-mile road course in central Wisconsin that also is hosting the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend.

Iowa IndyCar: Franchitti wins Heat 3 and pole  Dario Franchitti passed Marco Andretti on the outside of Turn 4 on Lap 8 and drove away to win Heat 3 and the pole for the Iowa Corn 250 IndyCar race by 1.46s.  Helio Castroneves will start 2nd ahead of Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe.

Heat 3 Results


St Car Driver Engine Diff. Gap
1 2 10 Dario Franchitti Honda 0.0000s 0.0000s
2 3 3 Helio Castroneves Chevy 1.4671 1.4671
3 1 26 Marco Andretti Chevy 5.1884 3.7213
4 6 27 James Hinchcliffe Chevy 5.9813 0.7929
5 5 2 Ryan Briscoe Chevy 6.5813 0.6000
6 4 12 Will Power Chevy 7.3642 0.7829
7 7 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Chevy 7.8433 0.4791
8 8 9 Scott Dixon Honda 9.2963 1.4530
More ...
Vautier wins Sukup 100 Firestone Indy Lights pole  Tristan Vautier's first qualifying lap of 160.066 mph on the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway oval paved the way to a two-lap average of 159.973 mph (40.2368 seconds) and the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 on June 23.

Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car, earned his third pole of the season -- and second in a row. He went on to win the race last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile. More ...

Iowa IndyCar: Kanaan wins Heat 2  Last year's runner-up finisher Tony Kanaan has won the 2nd Heat Qualifying race in his Chevy ahead of the Honda of Alex Tagliani with his KV Racing Chevy teammate Rubens Barrichello in third.

Heat 2 was more exciting than Heat 1 as first Barrichello, then Tagliani and finally Kanaan led.

Heat 2 Results


St Car Driver Engine Diff. Gap
1 4 11 Tony Kanaan Chevy 0.0000s 0.0000s
2 2 98 Alex Tagliani Honda 3.1255 3.1255
3 1 8 Rubens Barrichello Chevy 6.0818 2.9563
4 3 18 Justin Wilson Honda 7.9310 1.8492
5 6 83 Charlie Kimball Honda 10.0818 2.1508
6 8 6 Katherine Legge Chevy 13.7490 3.6672
7 5 19 James Jakes Honda 14.0032 0.2542
8 9 78 Simona de Silvestro Lotus 1 LAPS 1 LAPS
9 7 77 Simon Pagenaud Honda 1 LAPS 2.9599
More ...
Iowa IndyCar: Rahal wins Heat 1  All the drivers ran in a parade just the way they started.  No one passed anyone.  Yawn.

Heat 1 Results


Car Driver Engine Diff. Gap Start
1 38 Graham Rahal Honda 0.0000s 0.0000s 1
2 67 Josef Newgarden Honda 6.2134 6.2134 2
3 4 JR Hildebrand Chevy 6.5594 0.3460 4
4 5 EJ Viso Chevy 7.4531 0.8937 3
5 22 Oriol Servia Chevy 8.3586 0.9055 5
6 14 Mike Conway Honda 10.8144 2.4558 6
7 20 Ed Carpenter Chevy 13.4036 2.5892 7
8 15 Takuma Sato Honda 18.5671 5.1635 8
More ...
Rain Washes Out Road America GRAND-AM Qualifying, Grid Set by Points  A sudden downpour at Road America led race officials to cancel Friday’s qualifying session and set the field for Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series 250 driven by VISITFLORIDA.com by team points.

Memo Rojas will start on the Daytona Prototype pole in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley co-driven by Scott Pruett, and will be joined on the front row by the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Terry Borcheller and David Donohue. More ...

Andretti again tops Iowa IndyCar practice session 2  Make no mistake about it, Marco Andretti loves the Iowa oval.  He won this race last year and so far today he's been unbeatable.  They unloaded his Andretti Autosport Chevy and it has been fast right from the start.

After leading the opening practice session this morning, Andretti topped 186 mph after only his 8th lap in practice 2 and no one was able to touch him the remainder of the session.

Dario Franchitti (Honda) came closest, on his last lap he turned a 185.715 mph lap, 0.03s behind Andretti.

Except for Franchitti's Honda, Chevy dominated the top-7 in this session. More ...

Calado powers to GP2 pole in Valencia  James Calado has claimed his second pole position of the season with a scorching lap in hot conditions to take the top spot by just 0.007 seconds from Felipe Nasr and Esteban Gutierrez this afternoon in Valencia.

The Briton's best time of 1:47.342 was set at the halfway point of the session on the soft compound Pirelli tires, on which most of the field started, and everyone’s tires was affected when Giancarlo Serenelli spun at the bridge on the first flying lap, grinding to a halt in the middle of the track and prompting a red flag period as his rivals made their way back to the pits, with most unable to complete a lap. More ...
Chevron to Sponsor Second GRAND-AM Entry for Ganassi at Indianapolis  Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today a partnership with Chevron to field a second Daytona Prototype (DP) in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) July 27 (4:30 PM ET, SPEED).

The No.02 Chevron Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will return to action for the team for the first time since January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.  The second entry will run alongside the season-long effort (No.01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley) driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who hold the distinction of being the most successful driving duo in series history with 23 race wins.

Defending champion Andretti leads opening Iowa IndyCar practice session  Marco Andretti topped the opening practice session for this weekend's Iowa Corn 250 IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Andretti, who drivers for his father's team, won last year's race at the 7/8th mile oval, set the pace with a best lap of 184.832mph to finish up just ahead of Sarah Fisher Hartman's Josef Newgarden and Bryan Herta Autosport's Alex Tagliani. Ryan Briscoe (Penske) and Scott Dixon (Ganassi) completed the top five.

Up next is another practice session and then the heat races, which will set the grid for the race on Saturday. More ...

Kentucky Police To Manage Traffic, Parking For NASCAR Race At Speedway  Kentucky State Police “will take the lead under the overhauled parking and traffic management plan that will be in place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and two support races next week at Kentucky Speedway,” according to Kevin Kelly of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Kentucky Speedway GM Mark Simendinger said, “I’ve seen the document the Kentucky State Police [have] prepared as the traffic management plan. It looks like Bill Belichick’s playbook. It’s extensive.” The plan “takes lessons learned last year and incorporates the more than $11 million spent since then by the state and speedway on infrastructure improvements around the venue.” Kentucky State Police “will be in charge of traffic and parking.” Simendinger said that the speedway is “paying for the state manpower” CINCINNATI ENQUIER
St. Petersburg Looks To Extend Honda Grand Prix Deal Through '17  UPDATE The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will “roar on despite complaints about barriers and fences on city streets,” according to Mark Puente of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The City Council “unanimously approved a three-year contract extension with race officials Thursday that will keep the Grand Prix” in the city through ‘17. Leaders at the Mahaffey Theater and the Salvador Dalí Museum wanted the city to renegotiate a shorter time that their venues could be penned up behind concrete and steel barriers. The contract “allows 68 days for setup and removal.” Puente notes the Dalí museum is “inside the race course and sealed off from the rest of downtown for more than a month.” Several downtown residents before the council's vote Thursday “complained about the barriers and the noise associated with the race.” Council member Bill Dudley said that the “bickering sends a bad message to race officials.” Dudley: "Indy Car is watching. There are people in line waiting to take our spot. … Forty-five days is very reasonable." The race's owner “pledged that the firm will work to reduce the time" TAMPA BAY TIMES More ...
IndyCar update from Iowa  A bulletin went out to IndyCar teams today updating the rules for the qualifying heat race.  Please see the rule that was added in the bulletin as it relates to the second practice sessions, which determines which line-ups for the 3 heat races.

a. During the second practice session, if a Car interferes with a lap of another Car as determined by the Race Director:

a)      On the first occurrence, the Car’s best two timed laps shall be disallowed.

b)      On the second occurrence, all session times shall be voided, and the Car shall not be permitted to participate in the remainder of the session.

Also, Graham Rahal has had an unapproved engine change, which will result in a ten-spot grid penalty for Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway

Susie Wolff to test Williams next week  (GMM)  Susie Wolff is gearing up for her first Williams test next week.

She revealed to Austrian broadcaster ORF that she is scheduled to drive the Renault-powered FW34 in a straight-line test outside of Barcelona on Tuesday.

29-year-old Scot and DTM driver Wolff, nee Stoddart, was appointed as a test driver this year for Williams, the famous British team that is co-owned by her Austrian husband Toto Wolff.

She said her second outing will also be for an aerodynamic test.

"I'm lucky that I'm very good at driving straight," she joked. More ...

Circuit of The Americas to host Historic Grand Prix during Formula 1 weekend  Circuit of The Americas is proud to announce the Historic Grand Prix (HGP) as the first support series for the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, November 16-18. The Historic Grand Prix organization provides a glimpse into the sport’s past for both drivers and fans. It is comprised of more than 50 owner-drivers of authentic, vintage Formula One™ cars from the FIA 3-litre Formula model that ran from 1966-1983. The focus of the organization is to preserve the historically correct presentation and on-track performance of the cars.

“The cars of Historic Grand Prix encompass Formula One's Golden Era of the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s when the dramatic on-track action and distinctive personalities captured the imagination of a fast-growing, world-wide audience,” said Director of Historic Grand Prix James King. “HGP honors the brave drivers of these cars and the innovative designers and fabricators who crafted them without the aid of computers or wind tunnels by showcasing the authentic original cars in an exciting and colorful race at the Circuit of The Americas.” More ...
European GP: Vettel tops practice 2  
Sebastian Vettel
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 39.334s
2. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 39.465s
3. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 39.595s
4. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 39.601s
5. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 39.644s
6. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 39.700s
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 39.733s
8. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 39.868s
9. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 39.901s
10. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 39.926s
11. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 39.945s
12. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 39.990s
13. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 40.075s
14. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 40.147s
15. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 40.244s
16. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 40.511s
17. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 40.963s
18. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 41.121s
19. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 41.197s
20. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 41.263s
21. Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth 1m 42.424s
22. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 42.958s
23. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth 1m 44.201s
24. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 44.260s
Daly blamed for Monaco accident  GP3 frontrunner Conor Daly has been hit by a controversial 10-place grid penalty for Saturday's opening Valencia round by race stewards after they decided his actions were responsible for the accident that led to him flying into the catch-fencing in Monaco last month.

Lotus GP driver Daly, who was second fastest in practice in Valencia this morning, was judged to be at fault. He had stormed from 12th place from 23rd on the race two grid on the opening lap in Monaco, but then got stuck behind Dmitry Suranovich.

Daly hit the Manor car during their battle, removing Suranovich's rear wing, but the Russian continued in front of him. More ...

Ericsson on top in free GP2 practice  
Marcus Ericcson
Marcus Ericsson has got his weekend off to a great start by setting the pace in this morning's free practice session in Valencia, claiming the top spot in the closing minutes to squeeze past Davide Valsecchi, Giedo van der Garde and teammate Jolyon Palmer at the top of the timesheets.

The Swede's best lap of 1: 48.088 was set with just over a minute remaining in the session to take P1 by less than two tenths in a red flag affected session, with the overcast conditions bringing yesterday's extreme temperatures down but with high winds causing additional problems for the field. More ...
Heidfeld and Andretti amongst names for Gold Coast 600  International drivers Nick Heidfeld, Marco Andretti and Darren Turner have been confirmed as starters in this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 at the launch of the event today.

Heidfeld and Andretti are set to pair with David Reynolds (The Bottle-O Racing) and Todd Kelly (Jack Daniel’s Racing) and respectively, while Turner’s place in Walkinshaw Racing’s three-car line-up is yet to be revealed.

Turner was a late addition to last year’s Gold Coast field after being drafted in to drive in place of Dan Wheldon, who was killed in an IndyCar accident the week before the event. More ...

After three spins Danica not complaining  A week ago, Danica Patrick was talking about how much fun she was having racing in NASCAR.

That was before she wrecked three times in the Nationwide Series race at Michigan.

One of those accidents came when Austin Dillon took the air off her rear spoiler, causing her to lose control of her car and spin.

“The biggest thing to do is just remember it,” JR Motorsports crew chief and co-owner Tony Eury Jr. told Patrick over her team radio. “All this (stuff) people are doing to you, remember it and when you get to them and you want to race them dirty, race them the exact same way — put your bumper right underneath there and take their air off. More ...

Drivers want oval restart zone moved back to Turn 4  IndyCar drivers have asked race director Beaux Barfield to stop restarting oval-track races on the front straightaway even though it has been exciting this season.

Barfield said Thursday he is considering a change, perhaps in time for Saturday night's Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway.

In previous years, the restart zone was in the middle of the fourth corner. The issue came up as a result of Scott Dixon being wrongly penalized for passing on an aborted restart in last weekend's race at the Milwaukee Mile. More ...

European GP: Maldonado quickest in first practice  Pastor Maldonado was fastest in the opening practice session for the European Grand Prix at Valencia in his Williams.

The winner of the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year, posted a best time of 1m40.890s.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was just 0.083 seconds behind, with teammate Mark Webber only a hundredth of a second back in third.

Jenson Button posted the fourth fastest time while teammate Lewis Hamilton could only muster eighth position. More ...

Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio fastest in Free Practice in Spain  
Aaro Vainio
GP3 Series leader Aaro Vainio set the pace in the forty-five minute practice session at the Valencia Street Circuit for Round 3 of the 2012 Series.

The session got underway with a track temperature of 23 degrees in very muggy and windy conditions as the MW Arden trio were first to take to the track. The circuit was very dusty to begin with as the drivers set their installation laps and cleared away the material as the times began to quicken.

Mitch Evans led the way for the start of the session, ahead of Ocean Racing Technology’s Kevin Ceccon and Matias Laine. The Carlin duo of William Buller and Antonio Felix Da Costa soon shot up to P2 and P3 after 15 minutes of practice had run until Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) snuck into second. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen and Valtteri Bottas
    Ecclestone in crisis as bribery affair develops
  • Raikkonen denies Lotus rift
  • Bottas' girlfriend to swim at Olympics
  • Massa not ruling out return to Sauber
  • Schumacher real key to F1 'silly season' - Marko
  • Button to attempt return to form with Hamilton's setup

Ecclestone in crisis as bribery affair develops
(GMM)  The reinvigorated F1 bribery affair has raised questions not only about the viability of the sport's planned floatation, but about whether Bernie Ecclestone will lose his job or even face jail in Germany. More ...

Tomy Drissi Making Sprint Cup Debut in Toyota/SaveMart 350  
Tomy Drissi
Tomy Drissi announced today he will make his debut appearance in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma, Sunday, June 24. The Trans Am Champion will pilot the No. 10 Ice Age 3 / Continental Drift  Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Best known for his road racing expertise in Trans Am, American Le Mans and World Challenge sports cars, Tomy has also recorded starts in NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge of driving a cup car on the Sonoma road course. I've enjoyed good success on this track and I'm confident I can turn in a good result for the Tommy Baldwin Racing Team. We'll be campaigning the No. 10 that Danica Patrick ran at Daytona and a few other races this year… my job is to get a solid finish for TBR and some exposure for Ice Age 3. I think we're in good company to make that happen!" More ...

‘We reached our goal’ - Don Panoz on the Nissan DeltaWing  The Nissan DeltaWing was by far the most popular car at Le Mans this year. No amount of Audi and Toyota propaganda could diminish the popularity of the #0 car and the unprecedented effect it had on fans and media alike. From initial skepticism by many, its ontrack looks and performance soon made everyone a fan.

Tragically, just after 9pm on the Saturday evening of the race, a poor move by the #7 Toyota resulted in contact and elimination of the car from the race just after the Porsche curves. The sad moment was further compounded by the DeltaWing’s driver, Satoshi Motoyama, trying in vain to repair the car himself in an effort to limp the car to the pits where further repairs could be undertaken. Sadly this was not to be the case and a crestfallen Motoyama tearfully abandoned the car more than 2 hours after the accident. Not long before the retirement we spoke to a still upbeat Don Panoz about the car and his views on it, and the impact that it has made at Le Mans. More ...

Iowa Speedway tire specs issued by Firestone  
IZOD IndyCar Series - Iowa Corn Indy 250
Iowa Speedway - Newton, Iowa
June 22-23, 2012 - Round 9 of 16

Race Distance: 223.5 miles/359.75 kilometers (250 laps on the 0.894-mile/1.439-kilometer short oval).
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
- Each entry receives nine sets (36 total tires) for practice, the qualifying heats and the race. A total of 1,128 tires are available. This is a new Firehawk tire specification that pairs the right-side tire spec used two weeks ago at Texas with the left-side compounds used last month at Indianapolis, along with the larger tire stagger typically seen on short ovals. More ...

Some people should not have a Drivers License  
A BMW made its own parking spot Thursday morning when it landed on top of two other cars.

The SUV was on the third floor of a parking garage around 11:15 a.m. at 20 E. Randolph St. in Chicago when the driver suddenly hit the gas, said Vicky Baftiri, who witnessed the incident. More ...

Franchitti gets speedy flight  Dario Franchitti was looking forward to seeing the decidedly new spin on the helicopter June 20 in Grand Prairie, Texas. He saw it -- and the ground -- from different angles.

The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and helicopter pilot was among more than 1,000 guests, including Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, at the event to view the new X3 hybrid at American Eurocopter. The X3 can cruise at 264 mph, considerably faster than a conventional helicopter, and demonstrates unique maneuverability.

Following the public unveiling, Franchitti attended a briefing conducted by Eurocopter flight test engineers to go over the characteristics of the X3 before climbing into the co-pilot seat for a 20-minute test run.

"The flight was really incredible," said Franchitti, who has flown and owned a Eurocopter EC120 and AS350 B3. "(American Eurocopter president Marc Paganini) and I had this joke that my IndyCars are faster than all of his helicopters, but I guess that they've fixed that one now. The X3 is now faster than the IndyCars. That says it all."

Franchitti, driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, enters the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 23 with two victories in four starts at Iowa Speedway.

Camera on IndyCar starter to aid Race Control  In response to IndyCar penalizing Scott Dixon for jumping the start in Milwaukee by mistake, IZOD IndyCar Series Race Director Beaux Barfield said a video camera will be fixed on the starter to capture green flag on starts and restarts, which will be recorded in the DVR and automatically synchronized to the other video in the system, eliminating the need to manually sync to Timing & Scoring. "It unquestionably improves our ability to precisely officiate starts and restarts," Barfield said.
IndyCar engine manufacturers can submit proposed changes to INDYCAR  In mid-June and again at the end of the year, manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2.5 percent deficient in power may, at the discretion of INDYCAR, make improvements to components to be homologated.

Alterations are allowed to make up 2 percent of shortcomings, and they will be introduced on only new engines being sent to the track. (Lotus is submitting article)

Manufacturers must present data to support their case, which is reviewed with relevant data collected by the sanctioning body's engine support engineers. Manufacturers provide which components they seek to modify, along with projected gains and their scheduled introduction. INDYCAR will permit all, some or none of the proposals and the manufacturer may revise its plans accordingly. More ...

Heat is on in three short Iowa qualifying races  Rahal Letterman Racing managing director of motorsports Tom Anderson knows all too well that though they're 30-lap heat races to set the starting lineup for the Iowa Corn Indy 250, nonetheless they're races.

"It is going to be challenging because the drivers will all nod and say, 'Yes, this is just a qualifying race and it's only to determine a specific position to start and, really, the big show is Saturday night,' '' Anderson said. "That somehow seems to change when they put their helmets on, so it will be quite interesting to see and I'm sure it will be worth the ticket price for those that show up (June 22)."

Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries on the 0.875-mile oval in the second (45-minute) practice session (3:30 p.m. ET). More ...

IndyCar Milwaukee TV Rating  UPDATE #2 The final rating for the Milwaukee IndyCar race on ABC Saturday was a 1.0 which represents well over 1 million viewers and was up 20% from last year.  Viewership average was 1,409,366, up 14 percent from last year.  Compare and contrast that with the 200K to 400K viewers IndyCar normally gets on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) and you begin to understand why Izod wants out of their IndyCar series sponsorship.  The noose that was Versus still hangs around IndyCar's neck.

06/18/12 Rain-affected coverage of Sunday’s IndyCar Series Milwaukee IndyFest drew a 1.0 overnight rating on ABC Saturday, up a tick from the same race on the same weekend last year. Race coverage lasted one hour on ABC before moving to ESPNEWS. The previous weekend, the Firestone 550 from Texas drew 384,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network, down 27% from last year (525K). This year’s race aired opposite Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and Game 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final.  Sports Business Daily, NBC Sports

06/18/12 The overnight TV rating for the rain delayed IndyCar race from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Saturday on ABC was a 1.0.
Alonso tops all drivers globally in earnings  According to Forbes, Floyd Mayweather tops the list of 100 highest paid athletes in the world between June 2011 and June 2012.  The top moneymakers in motorsports, based on salary/winnings plus endorsements, are:

19.  Fernando Alonso - $32 million, Formula One
20.  Valentino Rossi - $30 million, Motorcycle racing
20.  Michael Schumacher - $30 million, Formula One
23.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $28.2 million, NASCAR
24.  Lewis Hamilton - $28 million, Formula One
42.  Jeff Gordon - $23.6 million, NASCAR
47.  Tony Stewart - $22.3 million, NASCAR
53.  Jimmie Johnson - $21.5 million, NASCAR

More at Forbes

Lotus Submits Mid-Season Performance Upgrade Request  Monday, June 18th, marked the first and only opportunity for IndyCar's three engine manufacturers to lobby the series for performance upgrades during the season, and although you won’t see any major signs of improvement this weekend at Iowa, when the IZOD IndyCar Series returns next month on July 8th at Toronto you may.

By then, the Lotus-powered HVM Racing entry driven by Simona de Silvestro could pose a more consistent threat to the middle of the grid thanks to Rule 4.7 in the engine regulations.

Rule 4.7 defines the parameters necessary to qualify for the one-time helping hand from the series while the championship is under way, and also outlines what will happen if too much help is given, stating: "At June 18th and again at the end of the year manufacturers whose engines are statistically more that 2.5% deficient in power may, at the sole discretion and evaluation of INDYCAR, make improvements to be homologated immediately. More ...

Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico next F1 driver, previews Valencia  
Sergio Perez is doing well in F1, and look for Esteban Gutierrez to soon become Mexico's next F1 driver.  Both are backed by Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world
Valencia, Spain - Fresh from a spell at home in Mexico, Esteban Gutierrez returns to Europe after GP2’s month off reinvigorated and ready to get his season back on track. He’s currently sixth in the championship with 60 points.

Valencia is one of Esteban’s favorite tracks, having taken his first GP2 victory in the sprint race here last year. He also won the feature race in GP3 in 2010 en route to the championship, and in 2008 dominated Formula BMW with pole, fastest lap, and the victory. Therefore there are high hopes that Esteban will take his first win of 2012 right here.

Valencia Street Circuit winds around a harbor and across a dynamic-looking swing bridge, which is welded shut, forcing yacht captains to get their berths in the harbor before the track action begins. More ...
Q and A with Toyota Racing team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita  
Yoshiaki Kinoshita
Toyota Racing arrived at the Le Mans 24 Hours for its very first race expecting a challenge for its new TS030 HYBRID prototypes.

A fine qualifying effort saw the #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima take fifth place on the starting grid, but #8 managed even better. Anthony Davidson, who shared the car with Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi, took third place in qualifying to set up a dramatic race.

Throughout the opening hours, the two TOYOTA Racing cars used their hybrid system - which recovers energy under braking, stores it in super capacitors and releases it under acceleration for a significant power boost - to fight at the front of the field. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Bernie Ecclestone
    Ecclestone hits back after Gribkowsky bribe admission
  • Pirelli wants to stay in F1 beyond 2013
  • McLaren confident Button slump to end now
  • McLaren helped design British armored vehicle
  • Door open for Perez despite commitment to Sauber - Slim
  • Massa 'smiles' as brighter future looms
  • Domenicali fuels Vettel-to-Ferrari rumors
  • No 'special trick' as midfield shines in 2012 - report
  • Mercedes strengthens Schumacher's team for Valencia More ...
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