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Ferrari hard at work on new upgrades  A very busy time for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro today at the Valencia street circuit. The focus for the team during the two free practice sessions was twofold: firstly looking at the usual work of defining the set-up for the car best suited to this track and the comparison between the two types of tire available and secondly, an evaluation of the new technical updates introduced at this event.

“I would say that our weekend has got off to a positive start, but it’s too early to draw any real conclusion,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “From what we saw today, we are on the pace on a track that has some similarities to the one in Montreal. Now we have to analyze all the data gathered over these three hours, to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and especially for the race. As usual, a good grid position will be vital, especially so here on a track where overtaking is very difficult.” More ...

Wind Tunnel Sunday line-up  Sunday 6/27/2010

Featured Interview      Jaime Allison (Director, Ford North America Motorsports)

Ford’s director of North America Motorsports, Jaime Allison, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday June 27th. While Ford has been very successful in NHRA, Grand-Am, and World Rally this season, they’ve only got 1 NASCAR win to their credit in 2010...that coming just last week when Carl Edwards took his Nationwide car to victory lane at Road America.

We’ll talk to Jaime about the challenges of winning at the NASCAR level and get his thoughts as the company debuts their new Mustang Nationwide Car of Tomorrow next week in Daytona. More ...

Button: Red Bull has wasted chances  
Jensen Button
Red Bull have squandered chances to make the most of their speed advantage and rivals are now closing in, according to Formula One world champion Jenson Button.

"They haven't got it together as often as I had thought they would," the McLaren driver told Reuters ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix, ninth of 19 races.

"Last race (in Canada) they were quite quick considering the type of circuit but again they finished fourth and fifth and it seems one of the cars always has an issue in the race and they need to back off," added the Briton. More ...

Autoglym becomes official Status GP partner  Status Grand Prix is delighted to announce an agreement with Autoglym, the UK’s leading producer of premium car care products, to be an Official Technical Partner of its GP3 Series team.

The extensive range of Autoglym car cleaning and finishing products will be used by the team to prepare its Dallara-Renault GP3 cars to the highest levels of presentation. Status GP’s cars will also carry the company’s famous red logo throughout the 2010 season in the Formula One support race series, starting at this weekend’s European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. More ...
Kubica undecided about future amid Mercedes rumors  (GMM)  Robert Kubica on Friday said he is no closer to making a decision about his future.

In the wake of Felipe Massa's re-signing by Ferrari, it had been expected the Pole would stay with Renault in 2011.

But a specialist Italian website claims that, amid criticisms of Michael Schumacher's recent performances, Mercedes has made an offer to accommodate the impressive 25-year-old next year.

Asked about his situation in Valencia, Kubica told the Guardian: "I don't know.  I haven't made my decision yet.  It's not keeping flexible. More ...

'Naughty' Ferrari breached test ban 'spirit' - Horner  (GMM)  Christian Horner on Friday accused a "naughty" Ferrari of breaching the "spirit" of the in-season testing ban.

The Italian team tested its new Red Bull-like low exhaust layout at its own Fiorano test circuit last week, under the guise of a "filming and promotional" day.

Indeed, Ferrari did distribute media photos of the event and even a video of Fernando Alonso driving the car with a camera mounted on his helmet.

"It was arguably within the letter of the laws but not within the spirit," Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing, told the Telegraph. More ...

NASCAR Infineon TV Ratings  The final TV rating of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota/SaveMart 350 last Sunday on TNT was a 2.7 with 4.479 million viewers tuned in
Gutiérrez tops the times in Valencia  ART Grand Prix driver Esteban Gutiérrez shot a warning to his rivals during today’s free practice and proved he will be one to watch at the Valencia Street Circuit this weekend.   

The Mexican driver set the pace this afternoon claiming the top spot in the session with a time of 1:59.459 just two tenths ahead of teammate Alexander Rossi after a last gasp effort from the American shot him up the time sheets. More ...

Venezuela backing Maldonado for F1 race seat  (GMM)  GP2 championship leader Pastor Maldonado claims Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez wants him to debut in formula one.

The well-sponsored 25-year-old has been linked with F1 seats several times, including when he was close to inking a deal with the hopeful Serbian outfit Stefan GP.

"We were nearly ready to sign ... but at the end it didn't get an entry," he told Reuters at Valencia on Friday.

The news agency said Maldonado is backed by the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. More ...

YouTube's Hurley says F1 foray with Ferrari would be 'great'  (GMM)  Chad Hurley has done little to dampen speculation he is still interested in entering formula one.

The co-founder and CEO of YouTube bankrolled the disastrously ill-fated USF1, and is quoted on Friday as telling the Financial Times: "I was willing to bet on a horse, but they didn't even have a horse."

Hurley's aide Parris Mullins said recently he is exploring "other ways" of entering F1, amid Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's claim he would like to see a "third Ferrari managed by an American team". More ...

McLaren to struggle to beat 'blown diffuser' teams  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton on Friday admitted McLaren might struggle to keep up with rapidly-progressing rivals this weekend in Valencia.

While the British team will only run the innovation in two weeks at Silverstone, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have got Red Bull-style 'blown diffuser' exhaust layouts up and running on the streets of the Spanish port city.

Hamilton is the championship leader and has won the past two races, but on Friday afternoon was just fifth fastest, behind and surrounded by the 'blown diffuser' teams. More ...

Red Bull deciding whether to race F-duct  (GMM)  After Friday practice in Valencia, it was still not clear whether Red Bull will use its improved F-duct system for qualifying and the race.

The team used an initial version of the downforce-stalling concept in practice in Turkey, but then decided to leave Adrian Newey in the factory to develop it rather than take the famous Briton to Canada.

The RB6 was fitted with a developed F-duct on Friday in Valencia, where Sebastian Vettel came within mere thousandths of beating Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to top spot. More ...

European GP: Alonso tops 2nd practice for Ferrari  
Fernando Alonso
The Much to the delight of the Spanish crowd, Spaniard Fernando Alonso led the way in second practice for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.  His time of 1m39.283s was just 0.056 seconds over Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull.

Vettel and teammate Mark Webber, who was third, were both within 0.144s of Alonso.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1m39.283s +0.000S 33
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.339s +0.056s 27
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m39.427s +0.144s 29
4. Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.650s +0.367s 22
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.749s +0.466s 24
6. Kubica Renault 1m39.880s +0.597s 28
7. Massa Ferrari 1m39.947s +0.664s 22
8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m40.020s +0.737s 30
9. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.029s +0.746s 27
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.174s +0.891s 33
11. Schumacher Mercedes 1m40.287s +1.004s 24
12. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1m40.387s +1.104s 33
13. Petrov Renault 1m40.618s +1.335s 29
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.906s +1.623s 34
15. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.945s +1.662s 30
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.115s +1.832s 35
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m41.371s +2.088s 30
18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.457s +2.174s 36
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m42.467s +3.184s 31
20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m42.993s +3.710s 30
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m43.811s +4.528s 14
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m43.854s +4.571s 27
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1m44.095s +4.812s 24
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1m44.566s +5.283s 21

Tired Kovalainen drove to Valencia while F1 world slept  (GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen arrived in Valencia on Friday with just hours to spare before morning practice.

We reported on Thursday that the Finn had been absent in the paddock on Thursday, with his team Lotus staging a pitlane photoshoot for the marque's 500th race without him.

Like many figures in the world of formula one, he was held up on the way to the Spanish port city by air traffic controller strikes in France.

Kovalainen had sat at Geneva airport for many hours waiting for his flight delay to end, before deciding to commence the 1,200km trip by road.

Before outpacing his teammate Jarno Trulli in both 90 minute practice sessions, he confirmed he had arrived in Valencia shortly after 5am.  More ...

Practice shows Valencia to be hotly contested  (GMM)  Little more than half a second separated runners for five different teams as Friday's practice running concluded at Valencia.

The only car inside the top six without a so-called 'blown rear diffuser' was Lewis Hamilton's McLaren, as Fernando Alonso led the pace with the heavily revised Ferrari.

Close behind were the Red Bulls, followed by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, while the Renault of Robert Kubica was sixth quickest featuring an impressive emulation of the Red Bull-style rear exhaust layout.

"I can't talk in high enough terms about it," BBC pit reporter Ted Kravitz said on Friday, adding that the R30's solution "is wonderful".

After Red Bull earlier looked set to walk the 2010 title, before McLaren looked to have taken the upper hand more recently, victory in Valencia could be hotly contested.

"The cars are merging together, we're not seeing one or two teams moving into the distance.  It's very exciting," said British commentator Martin Brundle.

Perez on top in free practice  Sergio Perez has set the running in this morning's free practice at his Addax team's home circuit in Valencia, claiming the best time in the session ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi. The top three swapped fastest laps throughout until the Mexican made the top position his own with a best lap of 1:46.670 just minutes before the checkered flag, putting himself two tenths ahead of his Venezuelan rival.

All of the drivers were straight out on track when the green light came on, although Dani Clos didn't make it to the first turn as he ground to a halt and waited for the marshals to push him back to the pits. Maldonado and Valsecchi were immediately swapping fastest laps until Sam Bird went into turn 13 too hot and lost his rear wing against the barriers, prompting red flags to clean up the debris. More ...

British F3
British F3 to try mandatory pit stops  British Formula 3 drivers will be forced to make compulsory pit-stops in the first of the three races at Rockingham next weekend. The initiative, which will hand competitors an 8-lap window in which to come in, is designed to allow drivers to practice pitting ahead of future racing series such as GP2 and Formula 1.

Race 1 in Northamptonshire will involve the pit window opening a third of the way through the race and must see the pit-stop lollipop touching a front wheel of the car. Also, no stops will be permitted during Safety Car periods. Any driver who fails to stop in the valid window will be penalized accordingly. More ...

FIA reduces pit lane speed limit  The FIA has reduced the pitlane speed limit for qualifying and the race from 100 to 60 km/h this weekend in Australia in order to improve safety in the pitlane. Usually, the pitlane speed limit is set at 60 km/h for free practice, before being bumped up to 100 km/h for qualifying and the race, but the short and narrow pitlane at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne has prompted the FIA to keep the speed limit at 60 km/h for the duration of the weekend.

Under the regulations, the FIA must seek permission from the stewards to reduce the pitlane speed limit, as per Article 30.12 of the sporting rules, with the 4-man stewarding panel duly accepting the FIA's request just before the start of first practice earlier this afternoon. More ...

Ferrari Store Grand opening on Manhattan’s Park Avenue  
New York, NY -- The Ferrari Store of New York has officially opened its doors, unveiling a retail space offering an array of branded apparel and lifestyle products. The 200 square meters space is dedicated to the Ferrari Store, sitting next to the Ferrari Showroom. It is situated on the corner of Park Avenue and 55th street, with windows on Park Avenue: a prime Midtown Manhattan location off Park Avenue, mere footsteps away from the impeccable shopping destinations of Madison and Fifth Avenues. The New York store is the 37th store worldwide to open.

A private event for Prancing Horse friends was held yesterday evening, where Hollywood actors Zach Braff, Kiera Chaplin, Justin Theroux along with fashion designer Prabal Gurung and a host of New York’s elite turned out to celebrate the occasion. Zach Braff said to Ferrari.com “I remember when I was a kid I had pictures of Ferrari on my walls in my bedroom. I love it. I love the design and sound of it.”. On display throughout the event were relevant cars in Ferrari’s history, a 1959 250 California and a 1984 GTO, together with the current product range: the brand new 458 Italia, the Ferrari California, the 612 Scaglietti, and the special limited 599 GTO. More ...

European GP: Rosberg tops opening practice in Valencia  
Nico Rosberg
The first practice session of the 2010 European grand prix took place under sunny skies on Friday morning.

In Valencia, expected to remain fine for the whole weekend, Nico Rosberg ended the 90 minute session with the fastest time as Mercedes experimented with its new Red Bull-like exhaust layout and driver-adjustable F-duct.

He was faster than the McLarens, but Renault, Ferrari and Red Bull were all also within a second or so of the leading pace.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel clocked the sixth fastest time, amid breaking news his Montreal-spec gearbox has been repaired, meaning he will not move back five places on Sunday's grid.

Mark Webber was seventh in the second Red Bull, ahead of Michael Schumacher eighth, Fernando Alonso ninth and Rubens Barrichello rounding out the top ten. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Mercedes 'not interested' in Ferrari designer Tombazis
  • Renault not using F-duct in Valencia
  • HRT's Senna not worried about 107pc rule return
  • F1 teams to test Pirelli tires in Abu Dhabi
  • Pirelli denies FIA relationship already strained
  • Reliability now Red Bull's priority - Marko

Mercedes 'not interested' in Ferrari designer Tombazis
(GMM)  Ferrari has denied that Nicholas Tombazis is being replaced.

Athens born Tombazis has been the Italian team's chief designer since joining from McLaren in 2006.

But it emerged this week that Ferrari has signed McLaren's joint chief engineer Pat Fry to work alongside technical director Aldo Costa beginning next week.

A Ferrari spokesman, however, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that Briton Fry will "complement" rather than "replace" the existing structure.

Nonetheless, it has been rumored that Tombazis could be set to switch to Mercedes, but boss Ross Brawn said he is "not interested". More ...

Tester Klien to drive HRT on Friday morning  (GMM)  Christian Klien will be back on track for the new Spanish team HRT at Valencia.

The Austrian test driver also drove on the Friday morning in Barcelona, before his Japanese colleague Sakon Yamamoto took at turn at the wheel in Turkey.

"In Montreal I was unavailable due to my obligations in Le Mans," said Klien, 27.  "Now (boss) Colin Kolles has decided to put me in the car again." More ...

IRL's Versus TV ratings 50% of what ESPN gave them  Versus drew a 0.3 U.S. rating and 518,000 viewers for the recent IndyCar Series Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway, an 11% increase in viewership from last year's race (467,000) and the largest audience ever for an IndyCar telecast on the network. Through four races, Versus is averaging 434,000 viewers for IndyCar coverage, up 25% from last year (348,000), but down 51% from 2008 (893,000 on ESPN/ESPN2).

The Texas race was worth just $40,809 in advertising value to sponsors. 

The recent NASCAR Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono drew its worst rating since 2007. However, it still managed to draw 5.3 million U.S. television viewers on TNT.  5,300,000 viewers * $0.078781098838767 = $417,540.  Therefore, the NASCAR Cup race at Pocono was worth $417,540 in promotional value to sponsors of the top teams. More ...

tv news
Mazda races LIVE from NJ on HDNet this weekend  A quick reminder for this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park and the Mazda Motorsports Festival presented by VISITFLORIDA.com 

HDNet will broadcast LIVE TV coverage on BOTH Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET each day.

The featured races each day are:

Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup

Brumos Porsche 250 Broadcast Time Moved To 1 p.m.  GRAND-AM Road Racing officials announced today that the broadcast time for the Saturday, July 3 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway has been moved to 1 p.m. ET on SPEED.

The two-hour, 30 minute race will take the green flag shortly after 11 a.m. that morning.

The event will mark the 100th race for the Daytona Prototype, the premier class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

The television coverage will run from 1-4 p.m., including the post-race activities.

Weekly NASCAR cheating report  NASCAR has fined Front Row Motorsports’ Nationwide Series crew chief Scott Eggleston $5,000 for a throttle violation found during opening-day inspection at Road America last week on the No. 34 car driven by Tony Raines.

NASCAR found the combined thickness of throttle shaft and throttle plate was less than required.

The No. 34 car is fielded by Front Row through a partnership with TriStar Motorsports.

Conor Daly Quick in Star Mazda Test Day 1 at New Jersey  
Conor Daly
Conor Daly continued his front-of-the-pack ways today, setting the quickest time in the second of two promoter test sessions leading up to Rounds 6 & 7 of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.  His time of 1:15.990 (102.803 mph) in the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda was substantially slower than the official lap record of 1:14.744 set in qualifying for Race #2 last year by Englishman Richard Kent, who won from the pole.  Daly, who has won four races in a row so far this season, and won Race #1 here last year, doesn’t expect to break that particular record. More ...
Ilmor Engineering opens $7M marine-engine plant in Mooresville  British company that’s a predominant engine maker for IndyCar and Formula 1 racers has quietly opened a marine-engine plant in Mooresville.

Ilmor Engineering Ltd. of Northamptonshire, England, has hired 15 workers and is producing test engines from a facility it’s leasing at the Penske Racing South campus.

The company is investing nearly $7 million in the facility. Ilmor, operating under its U.S. company, Ilmor Marine, will expand the operation to 30 employees by year end. More ...

Road to Indy series visit New Jersey  While the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams are taking a well-deserved weekend off, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda are racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park as part of the Mazda Motorsports Festival presented by VisitFlorida.com.

Conor Daly, the 18-year-old son of former Indy car and Formula One driver Derek Daly, has won the last four Star Mazda events and goes for a series-record fifth win at New Jersey, where he won in 2009. The field also features veteran AMA superbike rider Larry Pegram, who will make the jump to four wheels and race in the Expert class for drivers 30 and older. More ...

Franchitti earns ESPY nod  Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti is one of five champion racers nominated for best driver at the 2010 ESPY Awards.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner is joined by NASCAR champions Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday and NHRA top fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the category which will be awarded July 14 in Los Angeles.

The ESPYS will be hosted by Seth Meyers of "Saturday Night Live" and televised live (9 p.m. ET, ESPN). Voting for the award is underway at ESPN.com.

Lorenzo leads the way during first Assen Practice  Just four days after his commanding win at Silverstone, Lorenzo served up more of the same form during the first free practice session at Assen today. The Mallorcan continued to keep the Fiat Yamaha Team at the forefront of the action despite Valentino Rossi's absence with a dominant performance at his favorite track on the opening day of the 80th Dutch TT.

Lorenzo found himself comfortable and fast on his M1 from the start of the session, taking the lead mid-way through and remaining at the top of the standings as he consistently improved his time. The 23-year-old tried both the soft and hard Bridgestone tires and worked especially on the front tire, having encountered some small problems in that area at this race last year. The track has undergone an alteration to the chicane at turns six and seven, meaning Lorenzo's time today was almost a second quicker than Rossi's pole of last year. Casey Stoner finished just 0.011 off Lorenzo today, with a further half-second gap back to Nicky Hayden in third. More ...

French strikes leave Kovalainen missing in Valencia  (GMM)  A notable absentee in the Valencia paddock on Thursday was Heikki Kovalainen. Like many figures in the world of formula one, the Finn has been held up on the way to the Spanish port city by strikes in France.

The strikes, involving air traffic controllers, are about proposed reforms to the French pension system.

Lotus driver Kovalainen's flight from Geneva was delayed for so long he decided to commence a 1,200km road trip to Valencia.

Mercedes also confirmed that Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher were delayed for the same reason en route to Valencia, "but they are both here now".

Button hopes rivals struggle with exhaust problems  (GMM)  Jenson Button on Thursday predicted problems this weekend for those teams planning to debut a Red Bull-style exhaust layout.

Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are planning to run updated cars, with exhausts pointed towards the cars' double diffusers, during the European grand prix event.

Button's McLaren team will not test a similar layout until the British grand prix in two weeks, and the Briton told reporters in Valencia that there is a chance his rivals have got their numbers wrong.

"The floors are going to be getting very hot, so they're going to get through a lot of floors, I'm sure," he said, referring to the fact the layout blasts the car's bodywork with hot exhaust fumes. More ...

Pirelli to stay on budget, test F1 tires with GP2 car  (GMM)  Entering formula one will not cause Pirelli to increase its budget, chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera said on Thursday.

The Italian company has won its bid to succeed the sport's departing exclusive supplier Bridgestone in 2011, but its boss played down suggestions the sport is still extremely expensive for participants.

Tronchetti Provera confirmed that teams are paying Pirelli for service over the next three years, adding that the cost to the marque "will be zero compared to our budget".

And "the advertising campaign ... will be switched from other races where we've reduced our presence, first of all rallying, where there are new rules starting next year", he is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. More ...

Schumacher not taking criticisms seriously  (GMM)  Michael Schumacher on Thursday accused British pundits of exaggerating their criticisms in the wake of his performance in the Canadian grand prix.

His former teammate Martin Brundle had said the seven time world champion drove "appallingly badly" in Montreal, while fellow BBC commentators Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard also criticized Schumacher.

"I don't take them seriously because there are different elements to formula one, and one part is show business," the 41-year-old is quoted by PA Sport in Valencia, a street circuit on which he has never raced. More ...

'Proximity wing' plans leave F1 drivers dubious  (GMM)  F1 drivers on Thursday sounded unconvinced about the debut next year of moveable 'proximity' rear wings.

The scheme, ratified by the FIA this week, will see chasing drivers able to press a button and boost straight-line speed if they are within a designated distance from the car in front, in a bid to improve the chances of overtaking.

But veteran Rubens Barrichello said in Valencia: "I don't know if I like the idea that the one in front cannot use it and the one behind can."

Robert Kubica had already voiced his opposition to the plan, and added on Thursday: "I don't think there is a lot of entertainment in seeing cars overtake each other on a straight. More ...

USF1 forfeits entry fee, barred from F1 forever  (GMM)  Defunct USF1 has been fined EUR 309,000 and barred from ever competing in formula one.

The American outfit, headed by principals Ken Anderson and journalist Peter Windsor, was granted an entry for the 2010 season but failed to appear.

USF1 has since liquidated its assets, and the sport's governing body joined the list of creditors with a decision made public on Thursday.

A fine "equivalent to the entry fees for the championship" has been imposed, while USF1 is "definitely" excluded from "any competition" for breaching the sporting regulations and the international sporting code. More ...

Good weather in Valencia  This weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia will take place in perfect weather conditions for both drivers and fans. Temperatures in Valencia are up to 28 °C this week and won't change a bit during the Grand Prix weekend that will get under way at 10.00am Friday morning.

Formula 1 teams will face a bit of wind at the street circuit in Valencia but other than that the weather is just sunny without a single cloud in the sky.

GP2 Series with Pirelli in 2011-2013  GP2 Series, Formula One’s strongest feeder category, have announced today an agreement with tire manufacturer Pirelli who become their official supplier starting from 2011 and for the following two seasons. Few days after having been chosen by the FIA as Formula One’s sole supplier (2011-2013), Pirelli has reached a similar deal with GP2 to supply this Series as well.

Furthermore, GP2 will conduct some development work for Pirelli. GP2 Series organizer Bruno Michel said: “I am delighted that we have signed Pirelli as GP2 tire supplier for the coming seasons. Following their deal in F1, it was natural for Pirelli to join GP2 as well. More ...

Kubica cautious before Renault runs low exhausts  (GMM)  Robert Kubica on Thursday said he is reserving his judgment about a Red Bull-like exhaust layout that will debut on the Renault car this weekend.

Like Ferrari and Mercedes, the Enstone based team has also readied a 'blown' exhaust setup - as seen on Red Bull's RB6 this year - in time for Valencia, opening up a bigger channel of air and also directing the engine fumes through the double diffuser.

But Pole Kubica, the highest-scoring runner in a car other than a McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes, told reporters about the update in Spain: "It's quite a complex thing to make it work and it's not so easy.

"So there might be some positive effect but also some negative effects, we'll have to see."

Alonso expects new teams to speed up in 2011  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Thursday did not back Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's latest attack on the new teams.

Montezemolo insists that the grid should be filled by bigger teams fielding three cars, while struggling outfits like Lotus, Virgin and HRT "are supposed to race on Sunday mornings" in GP2.

The Italian also said Alonso's push for victory in Canada two weeks ago was ruined by the lapping of backmarkers. More ...

Renault, Mercedes to run low exhausts in Valencia  (GMM)  Renault and Mercedes will join Ferrari in debuting Red Bull-style 'low exhausts' at this weekend's European grand prix.

We reported earlier this week that McLaren is also looking to emulate the unique rear layout of Red Bull's impressive 2010 car design.

Ferrari's F10 car is equipped with its heavily updated car for Valencia, while McLaren and Williams look more likely to be ready by Silverstone.

We reported on Monday that Mercedes' W01 car might be running the Red Bull-like layout this weekend, and the news has now been confirmed by BBC Sport. More ...

Video: Interview with Nico and Alain Prost  
F1 figures to answer fan questions in London  (GMM)  Team bosses and F1 figures are to appear for a question-and-answer session with fans.

The initiative, organized by the teams association FOTA, will see bosses including McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh and Lotus' Tony Fernandes front an audience at London's British Academy of Film and Television Arts next Thursday.

Telegraph writer Tom Cary revealed that Nico Rosberg's race engineer Jock Clear, as well as Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni and Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta, will also be on the panel.

Sauber applies to drop 'BMW' from official name  UPDATE (GMM)  F1's Swiss team will keep the 'BMW' in its name until the end of the season. After the F1 Commission meeting on Monday, it emerged that the BMW Sauber F1 Team had applied to change its name to simply Sauber Motorsport. The next step was the approval of F1's governing body, who met for a World Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. A spokesman for the Hinwil based team said on Thursday that the FIA approved Sauber's request, with the change to take effect after November's season finale in Abu Dhabi.

06/22/10 (GMM)  The word 'BMW' is set to be officially dropped from the title of formula one's Hinwil based team.

Although the German carmaker pulled out of the sport at the end of last year, Peter Sauber's once-again independent team retained the official title BMW Sauber F1.

It is believed the reason was so that the commercial rewards due from Sauber's participation in the 2009 world championship, resulting in sixth place in the title, were not jeopardized. More ...

racing news
Blundell, Cheever and Johansson to team  Ex-Grand Prix drivers Mark Blundell (GB), Eddie Cheever (USA) and Stefan Johansson (Sw) are to compete in the Spa 24 Hours (31 July-1 Aug) driving a brace of Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports cars for the American-owned, UK-based United Autosports team.

Mark and Eddie will share one Audi, along with the team’s co-owners Zak Brown (USA) and Richard Dean (GB), with Stefan alongside Mark Patterson (USA), Alain Li (F) and Emil Assentato (USA) in the second Audi.

Blundell, Cheever and Johansson will test their respective Audi sports cars at Spa on Wednesday 7 July.

LeMans winner Romain Dumas a product of ACO driving school  
Romain Dumas (C)
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and its President Mr. Jean-Claude Plassart are delighted to celebrate Roman Dumas’ victory in the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours. He is part of a talented generation that includes Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud who all began their careers in the Volant ACO on the Bugatti circuit.

Each of these four talented drivers was in the running for victory this year. The battle for first place between Audi and Peugeot was a hotly-contested one, but there had to be only one winner. And what a winner!

François Migault almost pulled it off with second place in 1976 and third in 1981. Sarrazin and Bourdais also distinguished themselves by setting the last four pole positions: 2007-2008-2009 for Sarrazin and 2010 for Bourdais.

The 78th Le Mans 24 Hours also saw several drivers from Formula Le Mans taking part in the race. Natacha Gachnang, David Zollinger and Gary Chalandon all raced in the 2009 FLM Cup before making their debut in the 24 Hours.

The ACO, which now has a real endurance ladder, beginning with the Young Driver Criterium for the youngest, then Karts, the ACO Volant the Formula Le Mans and the Le Mans Series as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours wanted to congratulate its former pupils by putting their names in golden letters in the fabulous history of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Below is an exclusive interview with Romain Dumas. The French driver gave the ACO a little of his precious time to answer a few questions about his apprenticeship in the ACO Driving School.

What made you try your luck for the Volant ACO?

"Every year, my parents and I went on holidays in a camping car and we said ‘what about heading for Le Mans rather than Le Castellet. We go south every year and it’ll be a change!’ So my parents decided to go to Le Mans. And that day I had absolutely no idea what would happen afterwards. I arrived there and I didn’t even know how to brake let alone how to heel and toe!"

What memories do you have of the ACO driving school?

"I’d never driven a single-seater in my life. After getting through the opening phases of qualifying, I realized that I had a chance of winning the Volant. Coming first in the final gave you a season in Formula Campus. My dad said to me, ‘if you win, you’ll start in single-seaters. If not, then at least you’ll have had your chance.’ On the way back home we understood it was the start of something big. That day, I beat Arnaud Sarrazin as well as Bourdais, Tréluyer and Cochet!"

At the time did you dream of having a particular career?

"No, I didn’t even think of the future. I thought I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps and do some rallies. A fortnight after my victory I was in Sports Studies in the ‘Lycee Sud du Mans’ and I was driving a Formula Campus at the weekends. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I wasn’t even thinking about a career."

Did you have a driver as a role model at the time?

"Senna had died a few weeks earlier and he impressed me because of his sheer talent. Alesi too. They had the ability to compensate for the poor performance of their cars. The Scuderia Ferrari also made me dream, but to tell the truth I saw myself continuing in rallies and it was rally drivers who were my references."

So you didn’t really think about winning the Le Mans 24 Hours one day?

"No. All that seemed to me to be so far out of my reach that I didn’t even dare think about it. As I was born in the Cevennes I saw myself trying to do even better than my father, which didn’t look all that easy."

The ACO driving school has evolved and now Pescarolo prototypes are the school cars. You were a Pescarolo Sport driver. What do you think about it?

"A modern prototype is a single-seater covered in bodywork. It’s a bit wider, a bit heavier but it’s still a top level single-seater. You learn very quickly driving a car like this. Le Mans makes people dream and allowing debutants to learn on a prototype is as prestigious as learning in a single-seater. My first open–wheeler had an aluminum chassis and a Renault 18 turbo engine! With the little prototype developed by Pescarolo, it’s just as good. The guy who manages to get the best out of this car will be able to get by anywhere."

What advice would you give a young debutant driver who’s starting his career with the Volant ACO?

"Work, work, work! There’s no mystery. When motivation is combined with work, the results follow.  You must never give up as in this sport things aren’t always easy, and you must never hesitate to call yourself into question."

New Mustang V6 gets 48.5 MPG; runs 1,457 laps at Bristol  The 2011 Ford Mustang, which made history when it became the first car ever to deliver more than 30 mpg and 305 horsepower, has set a new record by running 1,457 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway while averaging 48.5 mpg. 

The Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge was designed to demonstrate that a stock production Mustang V-6 could run 1,000 laps and 533 miles on a single of tank of fuel.  With the aid of fuel efficient driving techniques by Ford engineers, the Mustang far surpassed its goal of 1,000 laps. 

“To see a Mustang post average fuel economy of 48.5 mpg while running at Bristol is impressive,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer.  “The new V-6 engine along with the advanced six-speed transmission in the car is a key element in delivering both fuel economy and performance for Mustang.” More ...

Yoshikawa to join Fiat Yamaha Team in Rossi's absence  
Wataru Yoshikawa
Wataru Yoshikawa
Yamaha Motor Racing is pleased to announce that Wataru Yoshikawa, their experienced Japanese test rider, will join the Fiat Yamaha Team from the Barcelona round of the MotoGP World Championship. The two-time Japanese Superbike Champion will ride in the place of the injured Valentino Rossi, with Rossi's team and the YZR-M1, until the Italian is back to full fitness following his broken leg.

It is expected that Yoshikawa will be with the Fiat Yamaha Team for at least three races, after which more should be known about Rossi's expected return date. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Pirelli staying with current F1 tire rules for 2011
  • Frentzen to be FIA steward in Valencia
  • De la Rosa paid three times more by McLaren
  • Michelin did not apply to be 2011 supplier - Shorrock
  • Cosworth preparing engines to accommodate KERS in 2011
  • Ferrari poaching McLaren's Fry 'wise' - Verstappen
  • Group pushes for Hamilton to lose Swiss license
  • Mercedes 'not dropping' 2010 car - Brawn

Pirelli staying with current F1 tire rules for 2011
(GMM)  Pirelli will supply four different dry tire compounds to formula one teams in 2011, the Italian company has announced.

It was confirmed by the FIA on Wednesday that Milan based Pirelli will succeed the departing Bridgestone as F1's new supplier until 2013.

It had been expected that - unlike at present with Bridgestone offering super-soft, soft, medium and hard compounds - Pirelli's compounds would number just three.

But Pirelli has confirmed that on offer in 2011 will be four dry weather tires, plus a full wet tire and an intermediate.

"Following current formula one regulations laid down by .. the FIA, the new contract ensures that Pirelli will provide teams with six different types of tire for the season," read a statement.

It is believed the reason the "current" rules are remaining unchanged is due to the long delay in the appointment of Bridgestone's successor.

The F1 teams recently agreed to commence the designs of their 2011 cars on the basis of Bridgestone's 2010-specification tire.

Also postponed is the touted move from the current 13-inch wheels to a much lower profile.

But Pirelli said "research into innovative new tire developments is a vital part of this exciting program".

The company will also supply GP2 and GP3. More ...

OnStar Reaches “No. 1” Milestone in China  Only six months after being launched, General Motors’ OnStar has become the largest in-vehicle communications provider in China with more than 29,000 subscribers. OnStar President Chris Preuss made the announcement Wednesday as part of the second “Drive to 2030” Sustainable Urban Mobility Forum at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at Expo 2010. General Motors hosted the “Mobility Internet - Connecting the Virtual Superhighway Forum” at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at Expo 2010.

With the promise of connecting automobiles to each other and to the transportation infrastructure, the Mobility Internet built on technologies like GM’s OnStar in-vehicle safety, security and communication service could revolutionize urban mobility and the global automotive industry. 

The Mobility Internet is GM’s vision for a future of connected cars.  It refers to the technologies that allow vehicles to collect process and share enormous amounts of data by linking them to each other and to an urban network, much as the Internet links computers today.  The Mobility Internet will enable vehicle users to connect to their social networks, creating social interaction while on the road. More ...

Tight race brewing for Indy oval championship  In a 250-lap sprint at Iowa Speedway, Scott Dixon went from 11 points arrears of leader Dario Franchitti to three points clear of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate in the A.J. Foyt Oval Championship standings.

Through four oval races on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, Dixon has 151 points after finishing sixth in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer on June 20. Franchitti, the reigning series champion, led a field-high 69 laps and was looking to pad his points lead. But a gearbox issue with 50 laps remaining left the Indianapolis 500 champion in 18th place.

"We had a winning car, but it wasn't anybody's fault," he said. "The Target team did a great job. These things just happen."

But, he added: "We can't afford to be giving points away." More ...

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