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DATE News (chronologically)
06/24/11
nnw
Carl Edwards to skip Road America  Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Billy Johnson, who led the first practice session on Friday at Road America, will drive the #60 Fastenal Mustang in Saturday's Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series road course race. Carl Edwards, who was originally slated to drive the car at Road America, will remain in Sonoma, Calif. and concentrate on his Sprint Cup effort. “I think Billy will do a great job," said Edwards, who leads the Sprint Cup point standings. "In the end, this puts us in the best position with both teams to perform well, so I'm grateful to be able to make the change and I feel like we are doing the right thing. I think this shows you just how much our sponsors and our team are able to work together and change things on the fly," added Edwards. More ...
06/24/11
irl
Don't let Dixon's 23rd starting spot fool you  Although Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon qualified 23rd in Iowa Friday, it’s interesting to note the only other time he’s ever qualified 23rd in his Indy car career (178 starts) was at Nazareth Speedway  in 2001 where he went on to lead 36 laps to win the race – the first victory of his career.
06/24/11
nhra
Rain washes out NHRA in Norwalk  NHRA officials grudgingly yielded to the elements Friday afternoon, canceling first day qualifying leading up to Sunday’s fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.

At 6:30, still faced with a lengthy track drying effort once the rain stopped, officials opted out, setting up a Saturday scramble to secure the qualified fields in Funny Car, Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Two Saturday sessions, the first at 11 a.m, local time, will determine the qualifying order and the pairings for Sunday’s eliminations.  The weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend was favorable.

06/24/11
fil
Oliver Webb to run Indy Lights  As the stars and cars of the Izod IndyCar Series compete on the airport runways in Edmonton Alberta Canada the weekend of July 22nd – 24th, a new face will join the Firestone Indy Lights Championship and the Canadian based Jensen MotorSport racing team. Oliver Webb, a 20 year old rising star from Cheshire England, will be driving the #12 ExpoSystems Team Jensen race car beginning at the Edmonton Indy.

Oliver Webb joins Jensen MotorSport with an impressive resume including 3 wins and 14 podiums as a rookie driver in the highly competitive British F3 Championship en route to a 3rd place finish in the 2010 overall season standings. In 2011, Oliver has been racing in the Formula One development series World Series by Renault with races across Europe at famous circuits including Monza Italy and Monaco. More ...

06/24/11
nassprint
NASCAR increasing road course pace car/pit road speeds  Beginning this weekend at Infineon Raceway, NASCAR officials have increased the caution car speeds by five miles per hour at all four NASCAR-sanctioned road courses  Infineon, Watkins Glen International, Road America and Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve. Pit road speeds also have been increased by 5 miles per hour at Watkins Glen and Infineon. The changes will help alleviate engine strain caused by elevation changes, explained John Darby, NASCAR's managing director of competition and Sprint Cup Series director. "With cars going uphill and downhill, plus the way teams have developed their cars and gear ratios, the speeds were too slow," Darby said. "Engines were overheating, especially with extended caution periods." This weekend's caution car speed at Infineon and Road America is 45 mph. Pit road speed is 40 mph at Infineon and 35 mph at Road America. NASCAR
06/24/11
irl
Simona de Silvestro withdrawn from IndyCar Iowa race  After a week of ups and downs following an accident at The Milwaukee Mile last weekend, Simona de Silvestro met with medical staff on Friday morning at Iowa Speedway and was not cleared to drive in the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Last Saturday, de Silvestro's car made contact with the SAFER barrier on the exit of turn four, in addition to the inside wall of the track. De Silvestro was sent to Froedert hospital, where she was later released.

What followed was a series of medical evaluations throughout the week. The following is a statement from INDYCAR regarding those check-ups: More ...

06/24/11
gp3
Dillmann tops GP3 practice  Fresh off the back of their pole position in the GP2 Series, Addax Team snatched the top spot with Dillmann in what was a closely fought second and final free practice session at the Valencia Street Circuit. The Frenchman’s time of 1:58.969 was just 0.060 seconds quicker than second place man James Calado for Lotus ART, with the top twenty-one drivers separated by less than a second.

The session got underway once again in hot conditions as the drivers battled it out straight out the pits. MW Arden’s Simon Trummer, Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas, Carlin’s Daniel Morad and RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen all took turns at the top of the timesheet, but it was MW Arden’s Mitch Evans who set the early pace and kept hold of the top spot.  More ...
06/24/11
f1
Perez 'completely well' in Valencia - Sauber  (GMM)  Sauber managing director Monisha Kaltenborn on Friday said there is no doubt Sergio Perez will race this weekend in Valencia.

The Mexican rookie sat out both Monaco and Canada with concussion, but was faster than his teammate Kamui Kobayashi in both practice sessions on Friday on the streets of the Spanish port city Valencia.

"Yes, he is completely well," Kaltenborn said late on Friday. More ...

06/24/11
motogp
Second pole for Simoncelli  Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) displayed his determination for his first premier class win by sealing his second pole position of the 2011 MotoGP season. The Italian’s hot lap of 1’34.718 left him just 0.009s clear at the top of the timesheet, ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies. Spies stepped up his pace for the weekend, topping the timings at the halfway point of the hour long session and was the first to break into the 1’34s. Stoner clocked a time of 1’35.008 on his Repsol Honda to join the front row for the Iveco TT Assen race.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) again set the fourth fastest time of the day, with a 1’35.143, followed by Andrea Dovizioso who was 0.101s behind the Spaniard. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow, still injured after breaking his collarbone at Silverstone two weeks ago, bravely rode to sixth on the grid, 0.085s behind the Repsol Honda of Dovizioso. More ...

06/24/11
irl
nassprint
An example of how NASCAR eats IndyCar's lunch in marketing  
The Opening of a Closed Mind: How I Discovered the Nascar Marketing Channel

By: Phil Johnson

It started as a really stupid question. I asked Robin Johnson, the exec VP of business development at Roush Fenway Racing of North Carolina, exactly what kind of cars they race at the Daytona 500. I was at the Business Marketing Association national conference in Chicago last week. At the end of the first day, they had a "networking cruise" on Lake Michigan, and I found myself standing alone without any business cards on the deck of a boat packed with a couple of hundred marketers. I happened to strike up a conversation with Robin, who proceeded to tell me a little bit about his company. That began my introduction into the world of Nascar.

We were quickly descending into that black hole of polite, meaningless business conversation that people use to fill up air space when they have nothing in common. In a million years, I couldn't imagine Nascar being part of my business or personal life. Rather than fake it, I said to Robin, "I don't know a damn thing about Nascar. I've never been to a race, or even watched one on TV. Why do they even call it a sport?" More ...

06/24/11
gp2
Pic heads Addax 1-2 in qualifying  Charles Pic pipped teammate Giedo van der Garde for pole position in tomorrow's feature race in Valencia, claiming the top spot in the final minute of this afternoon's qualifying session to complete the front row for Addax at their home circuit just before Romain Grosjean found the wall from P3 and brought the session to an end.

Pic crossed the line just seconds before his countryman's accident with a time of 1:46.675, stealing pole from his teammate by just 0.052. Grosjean's best lap was also within a tenth of the top spot in a session where the action was just as hot as the scorching temperature.

A black cat ran across the circuit just as the lights went green to release the field, but if anyone was worried that it was an ill omen they were soon proved wrong: Jules Bianchi, Sam Bird, Grosjean, Pic and Esteban Gutierrez claimed and re-claimed the top spot as they all looked for an advantage on the tight and twisty circuit.  More ...
06/24/11
f1
Hispania team boss convicted of fraud  Jose Ramon Carabante – the majority owner of F1 2011 back marker Hispania Racing (HRT) – has narrowly avoided a jail term after being convicted of fraud, reports in the Spanish media have revealed.

Sports newspaper Marca claims that Carabante was involved in the sale of land back in the late 1990s, upon which the promised construction of homes never materialized. According to SPEED.com, the 59-year-old Spanish businessman was a director of the land development company, and as such, charged with signing the contracts and looking after the financial aspects. He was sentenced to three months' imprisonment by a court in Cádiz, but for undisclosed reasons, will reportedly not have to serve time.
06/24/11
f1
Valencia: Alonso gives Spaniard's something to cheer about  
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso delighted his home fans by posting the fastest time in second Friday practice for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

The Spaniard turned his fastest lap on soft Pirelli tires with a time of 1m37.968s, the Ferrari driver out pacing McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by just two tenths of a second.

World champion and championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third ahead of the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa. More ...
06/24/11
f1
Gascoyne vows to retire as Team Lotus technical boss  (GMM) Mike Gascoyne has vowed to end his career with Team Lotus.

The 48-year-old was once the highest paid engineer in formula one, earning reportedly $8 million at Toyota in 2005.

The Briton has also worked with top teams McLaren and Renault, his aggressive management style earning him the nickname 'the rottweiler'. More ...
06/24/11
motogp
Simoncelli tops MotoGP practice on Saturday morning  Marco Simoncelli remained quickest as practice finally resumed at Assen on Friday morning. Following the cancellation of the second session yesterday, the Gresini rider managed a best lap time of 1:36.149 and, although Casey Stoner finished second, all three factory Honda riders suffered sizeable accidents at Assen.

Conditions remained cold although no rain affected proceedings to begin with, with Simoncelli almost two tenths of a second up on the current championship leader. The Yamahas of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were next up, with Valentino Rossi the leading factory Ducati in fifth. More ...

06/24/11
f1
Newey furious with exhaust restrictions  
Adrian Newey
(GMM) An off-the-record Adrian Newey, designer of this year’s dominant Red Bull RB7, was furious on Thursday as the big topic in Valencia was the FIA’s mid-season clampdown on blown exhausts.

When talking about the impact on Red Bull, Newey’s private conversation to Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio was off the record. “Too bad I can’t write what he said. Nor use the tone of his comments,” said the O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent.

Team boss Christian Horner added: “Directly, the FIA’s decision was based on a technicality. Indirectly, you should ask the FIA.”

The ban that takes effect this weekend applies to the aggressive engine mapping settings that some teams, notably Red Bull, have been using in qualifying before reverting a race mode. More ...

06/24/11
gp2
Bianchi steals top spot in practice  Jules Bianchi stole an early march on his rivals by claiming the fastest lap on a final dash for the flag on the last lap in this morning's free practice, pushing countryman Romain Grosjean down the timesheets as Bianchi greeted the checkered flag at the end of the session ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Luca Filippi.

Bianchi's best time of 1:47.681 was less than a tenth ahead of the Dutchman, but it will give the Frenchman hope that he can put his early season troubles behind him as he looks to close down the points difference in the Series tables, as well as on the time sheets.

The session got under way in hot conditions but under a blanket of cloud as Lotus ART teammate Esteban Gutierrez set the early pace, but Series leader Grosjean soon resumed normal service by taking the top spot for himself: when Josef Kral spun and stalled at turn 14 the red flags were out immediately, denying the opportunity for a fight back as everyone returned to the pits for new tires. More ...
06/24/11
irl
nnw
Earnhardt team will not allow Danica to race in Indy 500  I got to talk to Kelley Earnhardt, co-owner of JR Motorsports, the other day. She’s among the most powerful women in the NASCAR. We talked about a variety of subjects and here’s what she said:

Q: Are you set with Danica to run fulltime next year for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.

KELLEY: “I don’t know of her plans yet because we haven’t been able to work thorough anything or work with them on it. My hope is that she is in NASCAR fulltime and is back with JR Motorsports. As far as running Cup with her, we’re happy being a Nationwide team and probably not going to cross that bridge and let her explore options somewhere else with that. Definitely hope she’s back at JRM fulltime next year.

Q: Would you have an issue if she was running Nationwide for you next year that she also ran in the Indianapolis 500? More ...

06/24/11
f1
Austin council delays vote on whether to endorse F1  Formula One will have to wait at least a few days more before getting a final answer from Austin.

The City Council — despite warnings from F1 organizers that the project could fall apart if not endorsed Thursday — decided instead to postpone a key vote until Wednesday: whether to approve an F1 race next year that would be held at a track under construction southeast of Austin.

Council members were mostly supportive of the event itself but said they were concerned the city had not fully vetted the details of pending contracts related to the city's official endorsement of the event. Some council members worried about loopholes in environmental requirements and in an agreement that would eliminate local taxpayer support for the event. More ...

06/24/11
nassprint
Kahne worried about performance of team rest of year  
Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne acknowledged Thursday afternoon he's concerned the remainder of his time at Red Bull Racing Team may be troublesome given the organization's uncertain future. "If everybody is unsure about what they have, I don't think they're going to perform like if they knew where they were going to be next year and knew that they were stable," he said after an Infineon Raceway-sponsored lunch in San Francisco.

"So as of right now, I'm a bit worried, yeah. I don't see how you can't be." Kahne, who went through a similar situation last year with Richard Petty Motorsports, said that in his experience with teams struggling to find financial support, "It slowly falls apart. It's kind of discouraging to be part of it, but at the same time, it's not even about myself," he said. "It's about those people and those families. And that's why (the performance) gets screwed up, because it's them that's getting hurt by this whole deal." SB Nation
06/24/11
f1
Valencia: Webber tops opening practice  
Mark Webber
In what was largely deemed a track cleaning session, Mark Webber was fastest in the opening practice session for this weekend's European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia.

The Australian Red Bull driver posted a time of 1m40.597s to beat Renault's Vitaly Petrov by nearly a full second in a session that was mostly incident-free but really did not mean much because any street circuit is dirty and has very little rubber laid down until Saturday.

Local hero Fernando Alonso was third fastest in the Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton in fourth but already over a second behind the Red Bull of Webber. Nick Heidfeld completed the top five in the second Renault. More ...

06/24/11
f2
Pineiro tops the timesheets at Spa  19-year-old Ramon Pineiro was the quickest driver during the opening free practice session for rounds five and six of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship at Spa.

The Spaniard put in a late surge to post a best time of 2:11.434s around the cold and slightly damp 7.004km current Formula One circuit. Italian driver Mirko Bortolotti was second fastest for the session with Brit Jack Clarke, who secured a best result of fifth when he raced here in 2009, third fastest.

Will Bratt, who earlier this month headed the timesheets during the test session at the all-new Snetterton 300 circuit, was fourth with Mihai Marinescu rounding out the top five. More ...

06/24/11
irl
IndyCar Milwaukee TV Rating  UPDATE #2 The final Rating for last weekend's Milwaukee 225 was a 0.8 on ABC (equal to 1.2 million homes), up 14.2% from the 0.7 final rating in 2009 the last time the race ran, also on ABC.  IndyCar.com reports the rating is up 33% from 2009, but that is incorrect according to our records (See here - 2009 Milwaukee rating was actually a 0.72, so 2011 is only 11.1% higher, not sure where IndyCar is getting 33% higher from as that would mean 2009 was a 0.6 rating, which it was not).  The 2008 Milwaukee race on ABC also earned a 0.8 rating but had fewer viewers, averaging 1,066,000.

06/21/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I found your Milwaukee Mile TV ratings very interesting.

With all the doom and gloom feelings about what might happen to IndyCar TV ratings if Danica Patrick were to move on to NASCAR, as we all expect, I was expecting to see this huge increase in TV ratings from 2005 and beyond. 2005 was the year when Danica hit media stardom when, after having to pit off-sequence late in the race to repair her nose after she spun and took out two other cars, she naturally inherited the lead when the rest of the field (on the normal pit stop sequence) had to make their final round of pit stops. Next, the media went "ga-ga" over her and the IRL, which was on its deathbed by almost every measure, suddenly, with a gift from the gods, found new life and a reason to continue (the split). More ...

06/24/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Christian Horner
    Glock to race in Valencia with cut finger
  • McLaren drivers play down team switch rumors
  • Schumacher admits 'no friend' of mid-season rule change
  • Even Renault happy with V6 compromise - Boullier
  • Approval delay threatens 2012 US GP
  • Horner blasts rule changes timing

Glock to race in Valencia with cut finger
(GMM)  Timo Glock will race on at Valencia this weekend despite nursing a deep cut on his left index finger.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Virgin driver cut himself whilst slicing break earlier this week. More ...

06/24/11
f1
Alguersuari not sure about F1 future  UPDATE
Jamie Alguersuari
(GMM)  Jaime Alguersuari reacted angrily on Thursday after journalists expressed doubt about the health of his formula one career.

The Spaniard had kept cool in the official FIA press conference at Valencia, when reporters asked him about rumors Daniel Ricciardo could replace him at Toro Rosso before the end of the season.

"At the time it was just one more rumor among all the thousands of others.

"But at the end of the press conference I realized for the first time that I'm sick and bored of all the nonsense.

"Apparently the rumor has more weight than the comments of (team chiefs) Franz Tost or Helmut Marko.  I'm not worried about my future. More ...

06/24/11
wrc
Subaru Isle of Man TT Record Attempt  Subaru of America, Inc. has released a new YouTube video of the 2011 Subaru WRX STI setting an all-time course record for the historic Isle of Man TT Mountain Course. The 5 minute 25 second video highlights in graphic detail the speed and drama surrounding rally driver Mark Higgins' lap that averaged 115.356 MPH. After the run, Higgins talks through the "moment" at Brey Hill when he momentarily loses, and then regains, control of the WRX STI at more than 150 MPH.



More ...
06/23/11
ga
alms
Grand-Am like watching paint dry  Dear AR1.com, Watching Grand-Am at Road America today was like watching paint dry.  While it rained most of the day, the track dried just long enough in the late afternoon for Alex Gurney to post a lap of 2:03.132 (118.351 mph) to top all competitors in the first official day of practice for the debut race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype division on the legendary four-mile track.

Contrast and compare that to the ALMS lap speed of 1:46.935 (136.277 mph).  So maybe the Grand-Am cars will go faster tomorrow, but that's almost 20 seconds a lap slower.  That means the ALMS cars will lap the Grand-Am cars once every 9 laps or so, and that is on a long 4-mile course.  They looked so slow I thought I was watching a parade today. Watching paint dry is more exciting. I'm heading home tomorrow, which will cut the attendance by 50%. Yehuda Libinowicz

06/23/11
ga
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing tops opening practice at Road America  GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing took advantage of what little dry-track time there was at Road America on Thursday to post the fastest practice lap of the day with Alex Gurney at the wheel of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley.

This weekend’s Rolex Sports Car Series 250 driven by VISITFLORIDA.com at Road America is a timed two-hour sprint that kicks off the second half of the 2011 season. The race can be seen live on SPEED this Saturday, June 25, at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

While it rained for the majority of the day Thursday, the track dried just long enough in the late afternoon for Gurney to post a lap of 2:03.132 (118.351 mph) to top all competitors in the first official day of practice for the debut race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype division on the legendary four-mile track. More ...

06/23/11
irl
cart
Let no one forget what Tony George destroyed  UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Tony George says he did not start the split!? The total series sponsorship in 1996 under CART was $650 million and went to $34 million last year under the IRL and Anton George!!!!!! Are you kidding me!?  He should be tarred and feathered and run out of Indianapolis, never to be seen or heard of again.  His legacy - the man who destroyed the sport of IndyCar Racing.  Brandon Stevens

06/20/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I read with disgust last week when you published a quote from Tony George that he did not cause the split, but he ended it.  Check out the crowd in this video from the Milwaukee Mile run by CART.  Look at the cars and the sponsorship on them. Thanks again Tony for totally screwing up open wheel racing with your vision. And you're back on the board of IMS?  What a joke. If it were up to me the only job you would get would be "Do you want fries with that?"  I got more excited watching a 20 year old race than yesterday's Milwaukee IndyCar race with hardly anyone in the grandstands.  Thanks again Tony, for ruining the sport I love.  Michael Neubauer

06/23/11
f1
Scorching weekend on cards in Valencia  Whereas umbrellas were all the rage in Canada just under two weeks ago, a parasol will be of far more use in Valencia this weekend. Once again, nothing but bright conditions are expected in Spain’s third largest city, with daytime temperatures failing to drop below the high 20s.

Although light showers are forecast for the early hours of Friday morning, the weekend is expected to enjoy constant sunshine and ambient figures reaching as high as 31°C (88°F). Since its debut in 2008, the 25-turn street track is yet to witness rain on a Formula 1 weekend.

06/23/11
irl
Five teams fighting for third in point standings  
Iowa is up next
Thirty-three points separate five drivers who could use the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer and three subsequent street/road course races as a springboard to challenging for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

Of course, that's easier said than driven, but all have added spice to the chase in the first half of the season. Will Power and Dario Franchitti are tied atop the standings with 271 points. Oriol Servia is third, 73 points arrears. Scott Dixon is three points behind Servia, followed by Graham Rahal (176), Tony Kanaan (171) and Ryan Briscoe (165). More ...

06/23/11
irl
Snyder moves to Sam Schmidt Motorsports  Sam Schmidt Motorsports welcomed Nick Snyder as lead engineer for the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins car driven by Alex Tagliani.

Snyder was most recently the engineer for Andretti Autosport's Mike Conway, who won at Long Beach in April. He also was the engineer for Tony Kanaan when he won at Iowa Speedway in 2010. Todd Malloy was on loan from Bryan Herta Autosport the past two races.

06/23/11
irl
Video: Riding IndyCar To Victory  Randy Bernard speaks with Forbes' Michael Ozanian about returning the open wheel circuit to prominence.

06/23/11
f1
Valencia: Thursday Press Conference  
Mark Webber answers questions
DRIVERS

Jaime ALGUERSUARI (Toro Rosso)
Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari)
Kamui KOBAYASHI (Sauber)
Vitantonio LIUZZI (HRT)
Mark WEBBER (Red Bull)

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q. Jaime, pit-lane to eighth place in Canada. You must have been pretty pleased with that?

Jaime ALGUERSUARI: Yeah it was a good race. We did a good job by changing the set-up for the race on Sunday. We knew it was going to rain and the possibilities to score some points, to finish the race, were difficult starting from the pit-lane. But with all the changes we did for the race it was worth doing it. I felt much better with the car, with the set-up, with everything on the race but not on Friday or even on qualifying. It was a good race from the strategy side, from the team, from my side so I was quite happy, quite pleased with the race yes. More ...

06/23/11
f1
Clampdown is 'big blow' for Red Bull - Schumacher  
Michael Schumacher
(GMM)  The major players are telling a different story, but the blown exhaust clampdown is a "big blow" to Red Bull.

That is the claim of Michael Schumacher, who commented on the likely impact of the FIA's new restrictions on the technology to the SID news agency in Valencia.

"But it will affect everyone else as well," the seven time world champion added.

Runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel, however, has sounded cool when asked about the mid-season rule changes, as has Red Bull's team boss Christian Horner. More ...

06/23/11
irl
Circle K Stores Joins Andretti Autosport's Sponsor Lineup  Andretti Autosport announced today that Circle K Stores ("Circle K") has joined Andretti Autosport's family of official sponsors. As a marketing partner of the team, Circle K will be a major associate sponsor of the #28 car and driver Ryan Hunter-Reay. 

The new sponsorship program begins with this weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. 

For more than 50 years, Circle K has been one of North America's most popular and successful operators of convenience stores. Circle K is a property of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ("Couche-Tard"), North America's largest independent convenience store operator in terms of number of company-operated stores. It owes this foremost positioning to the 53,000 people working in its stores and executive offices and reaches annual revenues of over $15.8 billion.  More ...

06/23/11
irl
IndyCar names Wheldon and Herta Autosport as 2012 new car test team  
Wheldon and Herta enjoyed the fruits of their recent Indy 500 victory
INDYCAR announced today that Indianapolis 500 winners Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta Autosport have been selected as the test organization for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series prototype chassis. 

“Dan, Bryan and (co-owner) Steve Newey have extensive experience in testing and development programs so we know our prototypes will be in the best hands as we finalize the chassis aspect of the program,” said Tony Cotman, project manager for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series car. “This verification testing furthers our commitment to ensure that our new car meets all the performance criteria promised to our drivers, teams and fans.” More ...

06/23/11
f1
McLaren not tempted to build own F1 engine  
Martin Whitmarsh
(GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh has played down the likelihood that McLaren might build its own engine for the new V6 rules in 2014.

The British team's F1 chief said in March that McLaren is "ruling nothing out", after the Woking based outfit produced its own 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8 for its new MP4-12C production sports car.

But asked if the V6 rules agreed by the F1 Commission on Wednesday are tempting to McLaren, Whitmarsh told reporters: "No, there's isn't.

"Formula one is an incredibly powerful marketing opportunity, but the cost is such that you need to amortize that over millions of cars per annum.  Not thousands," he said on Thursday.

"McLaren's maximum planned output, certainly for the foreseeable future, is no greater than 4,500 units per year.  So it really doesn't make sense to use a marketing tool like formula one for the engine."

06/23/11
f1
2014 to see more powerful KERS  The new engine regulations planned for 2014 will also see the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) output increase.

New 1.6 liter V6 turbocharged engines will be introduced as manufacturers attempt to reduce fuel consumption levels with the KERS hybrid technology also integrated. RenaultSport F1 deputy managing director (technical) Rob White told the Red Bull website that the lack of power from the engine will be partly compensated by an increase in performance ten times that of the current KERS units.

"It will be much more potent than KERS is now," White said. "In 2011 KERS is limited to 60kW power, using 400kJ of energy per lap. The equivalent numbers for [the new engine] are 120kW - so twice as much power - but more importantly, up to 4MJ (4,000kJ) will be available to the driver each lap.

"Basically it will contribute performance ten times greater than the 2011 KERS. We've become used to the cars using 60kW for a few seconds a lap. What we're talking about is twice as much power for much, much longer." 

[Editor's Note:  Isn't that taking it too far?  How artificial will the racing become if all passing is done as the result of pressing a button for more power?]

06/23/11
automotive
Saab runs out of cash to pay wages  Saab, the Swedish car company renowned for its sometimes quirky designs, moved closer to bankruptcy Thursday after it conceded that it didn't have any money to pay employees' wages.

After months of production stoppages and problems with paying suppliers, Saab said the situation is so dire that it won't be able to pay its 3,700 employees, raising doubts over how long the brand can survive.

Its Dutch owner Swedish Automobile, previously known as Spyker Cars, has courted Chinese and Russian investors and put the Saab factory up for sale in its attempts to revive the brand it took over from General Motors Co. last year. More ...

06/23/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Updates shown in Red below.

06/23/11
  • Eric Lux files criminal charges against Adrian Sutil after a nightclub fight left Lux bleeding from the neck from a broken glass wound
    Lux files criminal complaint against Sutil
  • Taxpayers sue Texas comptroller over F1 race funding
  • Haug denies Mercedes set for rally switch
  • Vettel-di Resta pairing will show who's best - Haug
  • Bird, Paffett first in line for Mercedes seat
  • FIA 'very happy' with F1 engine rules compromise
  • Spain probes head of Santander for tax crimes
  • Trulli says 2011 could be last F1 season
  • Blown exhaust clampdown 'favors Ferrari' - Marko
  • Bahrain sets sights on successful F1 return
  • Dennis 'very nervous about ability of F1 teams to sustain'
  • Judge rejected Group Lotus appeal - Fernandes New
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06/23/11
nassprint
Michigan Economic Development Corporation to sponsor Michigan race  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will sponsor the Sprint Cup race Aug. 21 at Michigan International Speedway. The race will be called the Pure Michigan 400 as part of the group’s current campaign.

“This partnership will bring our Pure Michigan message to millions of NASCAR fans nationwide,’’ said Michael Finney, Michigan Economic Development Corporation president and CEO.

The race entitlement agreement is a one-year deal.

“Michigan International Speedway and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation want people to come to this state and see all the wonderful things it has to offer – beautiful landscapes, fun activities year-round and awesome NASCAR racing,” said MIS President Roger Curtis.

06/23/11
gp2
GP2 Valencia preview  
Racing Engineering works on one of their GP2 cars
The 2011 season has not been lucky so far for the standings’ leader: after taking control of the rest of the field in Turkey, Romain Grosjean left Barcelona point-less, and it was Giedo van der Garde’s turn to shine at the top of the standings. But the Dutchman was then unlucky in Monaco and lost a position to Sam Bird who ever so briefly took the lead after taking pole position in the Principality. But the valiant Brit had a nightmarish rest of the race weekend, and it was Grosjean’s strong will and great strategy that helped him not only salvage what could have been a disastrous round, but also score ten points overall, enough to put him back at the top of the standings. More ...
06/23/11
autogp
Bucharest dropped from Auto GP calendar  The Auto GP round of Bucharest, that was due to happen from 19 to 21 August, has been dropped from the calendar. The decision was taken today by Auto GP Organization because of the too many doubts still surrounding the event with just two months to go. The Romanian city track still hasn't obtained from FIA the Grade 2 homologation needed to host the Auto GP event, and furthermore the local promoter wasn't able to secure the financial support required to keep the event going. This forced Auto GP to take a difficult but inevitable decision. The Series staff is already at work on various alternatives for a replacement event, and will make an announcement soon.

Enzo Coloni: "We still think that Auto GP would have provided a massive show in the streets of Bucharest, but we have commitments towards our partners, our teams and our drivers and we couldn't accept so many question marks with just two months to go. So we had to take this decision, even if reluctantly. We are already in talks with other circuits for a replacement event, mainly in Italy and Spain at the moment, but we are still open to other options".

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