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DATE News (chronologically)
06/27/11
f1

McLaren kicking themselves for letting Adrian Newey get away
You are not winning championships in F1 without Adrian Newey
Adrian Newey makes a F1 team successful.  Period. End of story.

When the Williams team was great, it was Newey designing the car.  When McLaren was great, it was Newey designing the car.  Red Bull was nowhere until they hired Newey to design their car.

Both teams thought they were bigger than Newey and could make a go without him.  Boy have they learned their lesson as his Red Bull car kicks their posterior week in and week out.

Red Bull's championship rivals McLaren and Ferrari are almost ready to write off the Formula One title following runaway leader Sebastian Vettel's sixth victory of the season in the European Grand Prix.

The defending F1 champion stretched his overall lead to 77 points over McLaren's Jenson Button and teammate Mark Webber, who finished third along Valencia's street circuit.

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06/27/11
LMES

BMW's Andy Priaulx Had Surgery, Sits Out Nurburgring & Imola
Andy Priaulx
Shortly before the start of the Nürburgring 24 Hours (DE), Team BMW Motorsport received the positive news that everyone in the team was hoping for: The results following the operation, which forced Andy Priaulx (GB) to miss the 24-hour race and next weekend's ILMC race in Imola (IT), showed the lump removed along with part of his thyroid gland was benign.

This gives Team BMW Motorsport an additional boost on its quest to repeat last year's victory at the “Green Hell”. In this interview, Priaulx talks about his relieved feelings, his own future and the race at the Nürburgring.

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06/27/11
irl

PPG back in IndyCar UPDATE Motor racing team Penske Racing has announced that PPG Industries will serve as the primary sponsor on Ryan Briscoe’s car in two upcoming IndyCar Series races.  Recall that PPG was the CART Series title sponsor for many years as CART (CART PPG IndyCar World Series), with the help of PPG, grew the sport of IndyCar Racing to record heights.  That was all destroyed when the IRL was created.  The total annual series sponsorship in 1996 under CART was $650 million and plummeted to $34 million last year under the IRL and Anton George - his legacy for splitting the sport and destroying it. 

According to an official press release, 'the car will prominently feature the PPG Automotive Refinish logo on its right and left side pods and the PPG corporate logo on its nose and rear wing' at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on 25th June and the Honda Indy Toronto on 10th July.

Although financial details of the agreement were not released, typically primary sponsorship of an IndyCar entry is worth between US$250,000 to US$350,000 per race.

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06/27/11
nassprint

Jimmie Johnson Earns Two ESPY Nominations
Jimmie Johnson
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has earned two nominations in The 2011 ESPYs co-presented by Capital One and Castrol EDGE, hosted by Seth Meyers. All nominations have been revealed and voting has begun, and the complete list of The 2011 ESPYs nominees is available for voters at espn.com/espys.

Johnson, who won his fifth consecutive NASCAR championship in 2010, has again been nominated in the “Best Male Athlete” category and in the “Best Driver” category. He could become the first auto racer to win “Best Male Athlete” – also nominated are tennis star Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzski of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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06/27/11
alms

Team Panoz looks toward Mosport return
The racing version of Panoz Auto Development Company’s newest road-going supercar has been hard at it with a dynamic test program in advance of its next appearance at the fabled Mosport International Raceway circuit on July 24th. The Grand Prix of Mosport will serve as the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series. The Mobil 1 presents Grand Prix of Mosport – the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, will mark the first race outside the U.S. for the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ GT entry.

“The race at Mosport this year will have special meaning for the team. As you know we recently announced the return of the track to Canadian ownership so to see the Abruzzi on track will be very poignant,” said Don Panoz, founder of Panoz Motor Sports Group. “The demanding nature of Mosport and the very close racing we always see at this wonderful track is the perfect platform for the continued evaluation of our development program whilst we await the final government certification on the road car. Furthermore, it makes sense at this time in the track’s history that we are grateful participants at this historic facility.”

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06/27/11
tv news

Wind Tunnel Upcoming Guests (July 2011)
Dave Despain will be on vacation for 5 straight weeks from middle of July (7/24) through middle of August (8/21). Wind Tunnel will have substitute hosts for those 5 shows.

Sunday

7/3/2011
Featured Interview Marco Andretti (Iowa IndyCar Series Winner)
Featured Interview TBA
Sunday 7/10/2011
Featured Interview Zak Brown (Founder & CEO, Just Marketing International)
Featured Interview TBA
Sunday 7/17/2011
Featured Interview Chris Carr (7 time AMA Grand National Flat Track Champion)
Featured Interview TBA
Sunday 7/24/2011
Guest Host TBA
Featured Interview TBA
Sunday 7/31/2011
Guest Host Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)
Guest Co Host Dario Franchitti (3time IndyCar Series Champion)
Featured Interview TBA

Comment
06/27/11
f1

Paul Ricard circuit boss steps down
Gerard Neveu has stepped down as head of the Paul Ricard circuit, shortly after the announcement that he was heading up the taskforce entrusted with getting the French Grand Prix back on the Formula 1 calendar.

French prime minister Francois Fillon announced the formation of the GP taskforce last week, with Neveu joined in the group by Renault team boss Eric Boullier and ex-cabinet minister Gilles Dufeigneaux. The nation has not had a grand prix since France dropped off the calendar in 2008.

Neveu will leave his Ricard role on September 23rd. He was track manager from 2001 to 2009 before becoming the circuit's managing director.

Comment
06/27/11
f1

Newey: It was Audi that wanted a 4-cyclinder engine
Adrian Newey has revealed that Audi was the driving force behind the aborted plans for Formula One to switch to four-cylinder engines in 2013.

Last December the FIA's World Motor Sport Council agreed on the switch to four cylinders, only for the F1 Commission to change its mind last week and propose V6s be brought in for 2014 instead. Newey said Audi's wavering commitment had contributed to the switch from four-cylinders to six, after the German car giant made a u-turn on a pledge to join the sport if it switched to four pots.

"The initial decision from the engine working group was for a four-cylinder turbo to be introduced for 2013," said Newey. "The big driver behind that was Audi. They said they would come into the sport if there was a four-cylinder turbo, and that's what everyone agreed in order to get Audi in. They subsequently decided that they won't bother after all, thank you very much, and we were lumbered with a four-cylinder turbo."

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06/27/11
f1

Q&A with Sam Michael, Williams Technical Director 
Q: AT&T Williams took several upgrades to Valencia. How effective were they?
SM: We had a new rear wing in Valencia which we raced with. We also took a new exhaust system but we decided not to run this before qualifying. Having reviewed the practice and race data, we now plan to run the revised exhaust system again at Silverstone.

Q: How did the new engine mapping freeze affect the team’s performance in qualifying?
SM: It restricted some of the changes we would normally make, but it wasn’t our first order.

Q: Rubens was second fastest through the speed trap in qualifying. What conclusions can be drawn from that?
SM: Rubens had a considerable tow on one of his laps early in the session which was the main contributor.

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06/27/11
nhra

Two DSR teams win crew awards at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
The NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and FRAM/Prestone Top Fuel dragster teams won their respective categories’ “Full Throttle Hard-Working Crew Award” for their efforts during this past weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

The award, which carries a cash prize of $3,000 for the winning team in addition to a plaque and pre-race recognition at the next event, is presented to the crew selected as the hardest working on during the event.

Ron Capps drove the NAPA car to a runner-up finish from the number-two qualifying position. The Full Throttle judges recognized that, “The pairing of Ron Capps and new crew chief Tim Richards (in his fifth race as tuner of the Don Schumacher Racing NAPA car) is starting to pay dividends, as Capps made it to the finals for the first time this season.”

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06/27/11
fil

Iowa results boost confidence of TMR teammates
Gustavo Yacaman and Victor Garcia didn't win the Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway, but the Team Moore Racing teammates left Iowa Speedway feeling like they had.

Yacaman finished a career-best second after notching his first front-row start in Firestone Indy Lights, while Garcia moved back into third place in the championship after finishing fourth despite starting from the back in the 115-lap race.

"This was the hardest frigging race I've ever driven, so close on so many occasions," said Yacaman, who last finished on the podium at Toronto in 2010. "Between Bryan (Clauson) and I, a fly couldn't be able to be there. We were running so close."

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06/27/11
irl

Marco Andretti never doubted team, himself

Marco Andretti and family
Andretti Autosport entered the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season with three entrant championships, two Indianapolis 500 victories and 36 wins since 2003.

The knock, however, has been what had the four-car team led by Michael Andretti done lately.

Earning the series championship and winning the Indy 500 in '07 with Dario Franchitti, the team collected four victories and 57 top-five finishes (of 58 collective races among seven drivers) the succeeding three seasons. In the first half of this season, Andretti Autosport already has equaled its Victory Circle appearances of 2010 and '08.

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06/27/11
irl

Iowa Corn Indy 250 ratings up 35 percent over 2010
Overnight ratings of 56 metered markets for VERSUS' broadcast of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer under the lights June 25 at Iowa Speedway were 35 percent higher than the 2010 afternoon race broadcast on the network.  The rating of 0.35 (400,000 households) is still not big, but moving in the right direction. 

Marco Andretti, who started 17th in the No. 26 Team Venom Energy car, overtook former Andretti Autosport teammate Tony Kanaan on Lap 232 and went on to a 0.7932-of-a-second victory. It was Andretti's first since August 2006.

Through five IZOD IndyCar Series races aired on VERSUS, ratings are up 14 percent over the same number in 2010, and the Iowa Corn Indy 250 broadcast was 30 percent higher than the 2010 season average on the network.

The race will be rebroadcast at 5 p.m. (ET) June 27 on VERSUS.

Comment
06/27/11
nassprint
nnw

NASCAR Sonoma and Road America TV Rating
TNT earned a 3.0 overnight Nielsen rating for its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway yesterday from 3:00-6:30pm ET, up 20% from the telecast last year. TNT has now seen gains for each of its three Sprint Cup telecasts thus far this season.

ESPN earned a 1.0 overnight for the Nationwide Series Bucyrus 200 at Road America on Saturday from 5:30-9:00pm, up from a 0.9 overnight for the race last year on ESPN2.

Comment
06/27/11
nassprint

Video: Brian Vickers vs. Tony Stewart at Sonoma
Stewart "intentionally" wrecked Brian Vickers, claiming he was "blocking". A few other drivers also sustained damage from the incident. Then, later in the race, Vickers wrecked Stewart, putting him up on the tires in the hairpin turn.



Comment
06/27/11
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Daytona in Prime Time

Under the lights and in prime time, the NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Daytona International Speedway in the Subway Jalapeno 250 on Friday night, July 1. ESPN will have a live telecast of the race with NASCAR Countdown at 7 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 7:49 p.m. Also from Daytona, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series practice on Thursday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. and qualifying on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Daytona race is the first in the 2011 Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash, a bonus program designed to reward Nationwide Series championship contenders. The top four drivers in the series standings prior to the Daytona race are eligible for a $100,000 bonus to be paid to the highest-finishing of the four in the race. One of the drivers has the possibility of winning $1 million over the course of the four select races. 

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06/27/11
gp3

Three GP3 drivers get penalties
Three drivers have been handed penalties following the second GP3 race of the weekend in Valencia on Sunday.

For triggering respective collisions, ten-place grid drops for Silverstone are given to Manor’s Rio Haryanto, RSC Mücke’s Nigel Melker and Tech 1’s Thomas Hylkema.

The GP3 standings are currently headed by New Zealand’s Mitch Evans, who holds a four-point advantage over Melker as the top five drivers are separated by ten points.

Comment
06/27/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday UPDATE Updates shown in Red below.

06/27/11
  • Vettel has the same equipment as his teammate Webber, but Vettel is so much better than the rest of the drivers in F1 he makes the races sometimes look like a snoozefest
    F1 circuits want 18,000rpm for new engine rules
  • Hamilton criticizes McLaren for avoiding 'risk'
  • Media slams Vettel's 'snooze control' in Valencia
  • Alguersuari 'shuts mouths' with improved form
  • Schumacher must trigger 2012 contract option
  • Newey expects some rivals to gain from exhaust clampdown New
  • FIA to discuss red flag regulations New
  • Teams consider option of Formula 1 buyout New
  • Haug insists Schumacher has three-year contract New

F1 circuits want 18,000rpm for new engine rules
(GMM)  The vast majority of the formula one race promoters are threatening to boycott the sport over proposed engine rules for the future.

The FIA is set to scrap the controversial four-cylinder rules for 2013 after the teams and engine makers agreed instead to run turbo V6 engines in 2014.

Read more & Comment...
06/27/11
nassprint

Fox interested in moving some races to SPEED UPDATE Even though Fox confirmed recently it was considering moving some of its races to Speed, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday at Infineon Raceway that the question is still open. "We're having a lot of discussions right now," France told Sporting News before the Toyota/Save Mart 350. "We're unsure where that's going to go. We're having good discussions, and they're our partner for a long time. We've got to make sure that all of our interests get met. We're not at that place (of moving the races to Speed). There are going to be a lot of discussions. That's just not a direction we're going right now." As to the Cup schedule itself, France says there won't be as many big changes as there have been over the past two seasons. "I'm not anticipating any significant changes," France said. "There are always requests and always tweaks-but nothing like we've done in the last couple of years, when we made some significant changes, so I don't anticipate that."  Sporting News

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06/27/11
gp2

Grosjean gets penalized 10 grid positions
Romain Grosjean
GP2 championship leader Romain Grosjean will start ten places further back from where he qualifies for the next round of the championship at Silverstone.

The ten-place penalty was applied after Sunday’s Sprint Race in Valencia, with the Frenchman being adjudged to have caused an avoidable accident.

At the start, the DAMS pilot - Saturday's winner - was involved in contact with Sam Bird before spinning and being hit by both Rodolfo González and Charles Pic.

Heading to Great Britain, Franco-Swiss Grosjean holds a one-point lead over The Netherlands’ Giedo van der Garde, with the top five drivers covered by just ten points.

Comment
06/27/11
alms

Baltimore creating ALMS race team
Sixteen years after competing in his first motorsports race on the Camden Yards parking lot, Monkton professional driver Marc Bunting is returning to the drivers' seat and his roots.

Bunting is putting together Team Baltimore Racing, a sports car team, that will compete in the American Le Mans Series race here Sept. 2 as part of the Baltimore Grand Prix weekend. With the Baltimore race happening, it renewed my interest," said Bunting, 42. "It will be fun to race around Baltimore — legally. And it's exciting to think about racing in my hometown. I think Baltimore is a great place for a race, that it's a great idea and a great opportunity for Baltimore to get some positive public relations."

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06/26/11
motogp

Yamaha postpones 1st 2012 1000cc prototype test
Yamaha Factory Racing has made the decision to re-schedule the planned Mugello 1000cc test for the 2012 bike.

To allow for further time for the development of the bike the decision has been made to postpone the test to a later date.

The new plan foresees Yamaha’s 2012 1000cc prototype tested by Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies following the Czech Republic round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Brno circuit.

Comment
06/26/11
f1

Petrov incident cost me points, says Schumacher
Michael Schumacher believes he could have added to his championship points tally if it wasn’t for an incident with Renault’s Vitaly Petrov in Valencia on Sunday. The Mercedes GP driver damaged his front wing after making contact with the Russian on Lap 15, forcing another visit to the pit lane en route to 17th place at the checkered flag.

"Not a very satisfying race for me today," the seven-time Champion began. "The outcome was decided after Lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved.

"Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident. I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him.

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06/26/11
irl

Q and A with Iowa IndyCar winner Marco Andretti
Marco Andretti relates the story of his second IndyCar win, and first since 2006 at Infineon Raceway, in the Iowa Corn 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Q. Great battle tonight. Talk about making that big move on TK.

MARCO ANDRETTI: I mean, it was fun racing. You know, it's always nice at the front. You know you can always trust those guys. It was close, it was dicy, but that's what the fans want. We had a packed house tonight. It was good to see. I'm glad we could put on a bit of a show anyway.

But yeah, I think the last 30 laps I was really asking how many laps to go because I didn't want to wait until three laps to go to make the move because if he would have chopped me or something, I would have been way back kind of like what I did to him. I wanted to kind of be in the driver's seat and kind of make the move when he was least expecting it, and from there we had to really put our head down.

I got the lead a couple times so I kind of knew what I needed to stay on the bottom. I was really aggressive with the tools in the car and stuff, and we made it work.

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06/26/11
nassprint

Save Mart Signs Extension with Infineon Raceway
Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway, track officials announced today.

The partnership continues the raceway’s long-standing relationship with Save Mart Supermarkets, a Modesto-based grocery chain. Save Mart has been either title sponsor or co-title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway since 1992.

Save Mart Supermarkets’ status as either title or co-title partner of the annual Cup event in Sonoma is one of the longest runs in all of NASCAR Cup racing. It celebrates its 20-year anniversary in 2011 as a sponsor of NASCAR in Sonoma.

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06/26/11
f1

Vettel has demoralized Hamilton and Alonso
(GMM)  Two of Sebastian Vettel's key rivals on Sunday wrote off their chances of chasing down the runaway championship leader in 2011.

By winning on the streets of Valencia, German Vettel pulled out a 77 point lead over his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, setting a record for the first ever F1 driver to stand on the top two steps of the podium in the first eight races of a season.

"It's finished really, in the sense of the championship it's almost over already," conceded Lewis Hamilton, fourth in the standings behind his McLaren teammate Jenson Button.

And Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, a further 10 points behind Hamilton and a whopping 99 points behind Vettel despite finishing second on Sunday, admitted: "The championship is not in our calculations.

"If anyone thinks we can win the championship being eight tenths behind (Red Bull), they don't understand formula one."

Comment
06/26/11
gp3

American Conor Daly shows first signs of real success in GP3
MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly, second-generation formula car racer, put in the drive of the race to move from his 12th starting position to finish in 7th place at the checkered flag. It was how he got there however, that was impressive. On a circuit where it is notoriously difficult to pass, Daly provided the highlights of the race by relentlessly pursuing the leaders until he began to pick them off.

Having moved from 25th on the grid to finish 12th in race one on Saturday, Daly would start race two from the 12th starting position in round six of the 16 race championship. After a good start he was 10th at the end of the first lap. He moved to 9th on lap five after passing British driver, Nick Yelloly. Two laps later he caught the leading group of eight cars and passed Saturday’s race winner, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in a difficult outside move in the brake zone. Next up was Saturday’s pole sitter and Red Bull development driver, Lewis Williamson. With three laps to go, Daly was able to execute the same perfect outside move in the same brake zone on Williamson. At this stage Daly had become the feature of the race on the European television broadcast, as he was the only driver in the race making real progress through the field.

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06/26/11
f2

Bortolotti dominates second Spa race
Mirko Bortolotti
Mirko Bortolotti took a commanding win during round six of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship at Spa Francorchamps today (Sunday) and in doing so now leads the drivers’ standings – albeit by a margin of five points from Christopher Zanella.

Swiss driver Zanella secured second place, with pole-sitter Will Bratt third and Miki Monras and Mihai Marinescu rounding out the top five. A trio of Brits were next up with Jack Clarke, Alex Brundle and F2 newcomer Jordan King sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Kelvin Snoeks and Thiemo Storz completed the top 10.

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06/26/11
ga

Video: Camaro flies over catchfence in huge Road America brash
A Heavy Crash Huge Crash at Road America with Chevrolet Camaro flies over catchfence. 2011 Grand Am Rolex Road America Elkhart Lake Chevrolet Camaro GT.R Mazda RX-8 Joe Foster Gunter Schaldach Huge Vig Massive Crash Shunt.



Comment
06/26/11
starmazda

Andretti protege Karam wins Iowa Star Mazda race
The autographs that Sage Karam was signing after his victory in the Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday may be worth a lot of money someday soon.

If the 16-year-old has his way, he’ll be racing in the Indianapolis 500 before he’s done with high school, and someday will win America’s most prestigious race.

Growing up across the street from the Andrettis in Nazareth, Pa., will cause you to dream big.

“My dad became pretty good friends with Michael (Andretti), and he talked my dad into buying me a go-kart for my 4th birthday,” Karam said after his second consecutive victory in the Mazda Star Series, in which he’s the youngest competitor. “It just kind of took off from there.”

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06/26/11
irl

IndyCar Iowa Saturday notebook
British racer Oliver Webb will join Jensen MotorSport beginning with the doubleheader race weekend at Edmonton next month.

The 20-year-old native of Manchester, England will drive the No. 12 ExpoSystems Team Jensen race car as teammate to David Ostella for the Canadian-based team.

"Jensen MotorSport and team sponsor ExpoSystems are excited to announce Oliver Webb as our newest driver," said team owner Eric Jensen. "With his impressive results in European racing, it will be interesting to see Oliver challenge the most talented drivers in North America."

Webb joins Jensen MotorSport with an impressive resume including three wins and 14 podiums as a rookie driver in British F3. Webb, who finished third British F3, has been racing in the World Series by Renault this season.

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06/26/11
gp3

Calado wins Valencia GP3 thriller
James Calado
James Calado took his and reigning champions Lotus ART’s first win of the 2011 season in an action packed race at the Valencia Street Circuit today.

The race was won from the start when the British driver made a clean getaway to retain the lead, and went unchallenged for the remainder of the 14-lap race. Calado is the sixth winner of the season, from six races, proving how competitive the young Series is.

When the lights went out for the early morning race start Calado made a good getaway at the front of grid to hold off his teammate Valtteri Bottas for the lead. Behind the ART duo Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims was defending hard, but was unable to stop a charging Dean Smith from taking third. The Addax driver then set his sights firmly on Bottas, whilst MW Arden’s Mitch Evans and Lewis Williamson were locked in battle with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs straight off the line.

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06/26/11
gp2

Gutierrez sprints to Valencia GP2 victory
Luiz Razia (Caterham Team AirAsia), Esteban Gutierrez (Dams), Giedo van der Garde (Barwa Addax Team)
Esteban Gutierrez has taken his first GP2 victory with an effortless display of raw speed to dominate this morning's sprint race in Valencia, claiming the win by almost 13 seconds from Luiz Razia and Giedo van der Garde.

The Mexican's biggest effort came at the start: he followed poleman Josef Kral off the line and was briefly side by side with Razia but held his nerve to hang onto P2. Behind the top three Sam Bird had made a good start but was hit by Romain Grosjean at turn 3: the Briton was forced to limp back to the pits for repairs while the Frenchman spun on his own at turn 5, leaving Rodolfo Gonzalez and Charles Pic nowhere to go but into (or over) his stricken car.

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06/26/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday
  • Lewis Hamilton wants to keep Jenson Button as teammate
    US GP circuit asks supporters to pressure council
  • Red Bull powers ahead despite engine mapping clampdown
  • PM wants winning Frenchman on F1 grid - Boullier
  • Marko weighs up future for Webber, Alguersuari
  • Hamilton wants McLaren to keep teammates together
  • Pirelli want qualifying changes

US GP circuit asks supporters to pressure council
(GMM)  The Circuit of the Americas has moved to play down fears its 2012 US grand prix project is under threat.

The Texas state funding for the project is reportedly in doubt, after a group of taxpayers filed legal action against the public comptroller, and the Austin City Council delayed a crucial vote on the receipt of the money.

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06/25/11
fil

Newgarden wins Iowa Indy Lights race
Josef Newgarden, who overtook pole sitter and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri on Lap 26, turned a 0.3574 of a second advantage into a 5.4724-second victory.

Newgarden, earning his third victory of the season, improved his championship points lead from 13 to 46 over Guerrieri, who retired midway through the race with a mechanical issue (steering) and was credited with 12th place.

Gustavo Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, recorded a Firestone Indy Lights-best runner-up finish. Clauson, competing in his third Firestone Indy Lights oval race, was 5.8 seconds back but also finished a season-high third.

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06/25/11
motogp

American Ben Spies lands first MotoGP victory
American Ben Spies, who was edged out of pole position by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), rode a perfect race to cross the line 7.697s ahead of Casey Stoner in second place. The Texan had a good start, allowing him to narrowly avoid the drama of the first lap, when pole starter Italian Simoncelli took out Spies’ team mate Jorge Lorenzo in the third corner. Simoncelli had hoped to finally reach the podium in the Saturday race, but the Italian fell victim to a cold tire early on.

Stoner led team mate Andrea Dovizioso to the finish, where the Italian claimed his third top three finish of the 2011 season. Stoner is now 28 points ahead of Lorenzo in the Championship while Dovizioso remains third, but is now only nine points behind the Spaniard.

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06/25/11
gp3

Quaife-Hobbs takes maiden GP3 victory
Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his maiden GP3 Series victory today, after a flying start from the Brit saw him take the lead when the lights went out. MW Arden locked out the rest of the podium with Lewis Williamson finishing second and Mitch Evans third.

Quaife-Hobbs stormed off the line to pass both Addax Team’s Dean Smith and polesitter Williamson before the first corner. Status Grand Prix didn’t have a good start to the race; Alexander Sims received a 10 spot grid penalty before the race was underway for a collision in qualifying, and before the first lap was over both Antonio Felix Da Costa and Ivan Lukashevich were in the pits. A brief safety car period ensued after different incidents on lap 1 saw MW Arden’s Simon Trummer, Jenzer’s Maxim Zimin and Tech 1 Racing’s Thomas Hylkema retire from the race. 

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06/25/11
gp2

Grosjean back to the top in feature race
Romain Grosjean has claimed his second win of the season after a strong drive, and a drive through for title rival Giedo van der Garde put the Frenchman on top in this afternoon's eventful feature race in Valencia, sharing the podium with the Dutchman and Davide Valsecchi.

There was bad news from the start for local team Addax when polesitter Charles Pic stopped on the way to the grid: he was unable to get restarted on his own and had to be helped back to the pits, undoing all of his good work from yesterday but handing teammate van der Garde a free pass when the lights went out, controlling the grid from the front ahead of Grosjean, a fast starting Dani Clos, Luca Filippi and Esteban Gutierrez.

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06/25/11
f1

Trulli denies eyeing Le Mans switch for 2012
(GMM)  Jarno Trulli on Saturday denied suggesting 2011 could be his last season in formula one.

The Italian veteran told La Gazzetta dello Sport this week he is not enjoying this season with Team Lotus and "could have a look around" outside of F1 for the future.

His former boss Eddie Jordan on Saturday asked the 36-year-old if it is true Trulli has ruled out IndyCar but thinks Le Mans could be a good option for 2012.

"To be honest I never said that," the veteran of approaching 250 grands prix said on British television BBC.  "Someone just came up with that opinion.

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06/25/11
f1

FIA's Whiting plans DRS tweak for Silverstone
Charlie Whiting
(GMM)  The FIA is considering applying a second 'activation point' for the overtaking system DRS at Silverstone in two weeks.

At Canada and again this weekend in Valencia, there are two zones in which chasing drivers can use their adjustable rear wings in the race, but only one 'activation point'.

FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting told reporters on Friday that the single activation point in Canada, where a chasing driver can trigger his DRS if he is within one second of his prey, was not adequate.

Fernando Alonso said he is more hopeful for the similar setup on the streets of Valencia on Sunday.

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06/25/11
f1

Horner denies Vettel ordered to collect rival team info
Christian Horner
(GMM)  Christian Horner on Saturday denied Sebastian Vettel was ordered to look inside the cockpits of the rival McLaren and Ferrari cars after qualifying at Valencia.

After proving the engine mapping clampdown had not dented his dominance of qualifying, serial pole sitter Vettel spent time in parc ferme staring at the back of the steering wheels of Red Bull's main opponents in the Valencia parc ferme.

"That's a specific request from someone at that team," predicted former McLaren driver Martin Brundle on Saturday after witnessing the German staring at the McLaren and Ferrari cars before heading up to be interviewed by the world's media.

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06/25/11
f2

Bratt secures maiden F2 in opening Spa race
Will Bratt secured his maiden FIA Formula Two race win during today's (Saturday) opening F2 race at Spa Francorchamps.

The Briton started fifth on the grid but capitalized on the treacherous conditions to lead by the end of the first lap. Mirko Bortolotti put his post-qualifying penalty behind him to secure second with Christopher Zanella third. Pole sitter Ramon Pineiro had a disastrous opening lap and fell a long way down the order, before recovering to seventh.

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06/25/11
nassprint

Bowyer wants three-year extension with RCR
Clint Bowyer said the only thing standing in the way of a three-year extension at Richard Childress Racing is sponsorship money.

"I've said from Day 1 that I want to stay at RCR and we're actively pursuing that," Bowyer said at Infineon Raceway. "As far as I'm concerned, sign us up for three more years."

Bowyer is in the final year of his contract with RCR. His name was recently mentioned as a replacement for Kasey Kahne at Red Bull, but any potential deal fell apart when Red Bull said this week that this is its last season in NASCAR.

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06/25/11
gp3

Last gasp GP3 pole for Williamson
A happy Lewis Williamson
MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson pipped his fellow countryman Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to take his first GP3 Series pole position in a frantic qualifying session at the Valencia Street Circuit today. The Manor driver looked like taking the team’s first pole in the Series, but was knocked off the top spot in the final minutes of the session. 

Once again the thirty young GP3 drivers had to content with extremely hot conditions as they battled it out for a front row race start. Williamson was first to set a competitive time around the 5.419 km track with Quaife-Hobbs a fraction behind in second spot, but a few minutes into the session and Barcelona’s poleman Mitch Evans took control of the timesheet once again. Also close to the New Zealander’s time were Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas, Tech 1 Racing’s Aaro Vainio, Addax Team’s Dean Smith and his teammate Tom Dillmann.

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06/25/11
f2

Bortolotti secures pole position at wet Spa, then penalized UPDATE Formula 2 pole position winner Mirko Bortolotti has been stripped of his Saturday pole position at Spa-Francorchamps. The Italian will now start third for being adjudged to have ignored yellow flags this morning. The revised order means that Spain’s Ram¢n Pineiro inherits pole position, sharing the front row with Britain’s Alex Brundle.

06/25/11
Italian Mirko Bortolotti shows great speed in the rain
Mirko Bortolotti delivered a masterclass in wet weather driving at Spa to qualify on pole position for this afternoon's first F2 race. The Italian set a time 1.398 seconds faster than Spaniard Ramon Pineiro with 20-year-old Alex Brundle third.

The session was affected heavily by rain, with relentless conditions making this already challenging circuit all the more demanding.

21-year-old Bortolotti topped the leaderboard late in the session, grabbing provisional pole with five minutes remaining with a time that would have secured pole anyway, before setting another time with just moments remaining that almost doubled his margin to Pineiro in second place.

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06/25/11
motogp

Dorna, IRTA agree new five-year contract
A new five-year contract has been signed between Dorna and MotoGP teams' association IRTA, running from 2012 to 2016.

The relationship between the two organizations commenced in 1992, when Dorna acquired the commercial rights for MotoGP from the FIM.

IRTA will continue to represent the interests of its members, which includes all teams and major service companies, via its representation in the Grand Prix commission and the day-to-day relationship with Dorna.

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06/25/11
f1

Valencia: Vettel tops final practice
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel turned the fastest lap in his Red Bull in the final free practice session for the European Grand Prix in Valencia Saturday morning.  The world champion was 0.420 seconds faster than Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and  Felipe Massa while Mark Webber was 4th in the second Red Bull
.
Jenson Button was the quickest McLaren in fifth ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, teammate Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

The two Renaults of Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld completed the top 10.

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06/25/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Nico Rosberg eats words
    Perez felt dizzy in Valencia practice
  • Vettel urges Red Bull to finally fix KERS
  • Rosberg backtracks after insulting athletes
  • Schumacher pays tribute as Fangio turns 100
  • Whiting denies changing rules to hurt Red Bull
  • De la Rosa to stay in F1 until 'too old'
  • Construction goes quiet at US GP track site - report
  • Pirelli considers qualifying tire for future

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06/25/11
f1

F1 Track Simulator - Mark Webber at Valencia
Mark Webber talks you through a lap at Valencia in the Red Bull Simulator as he prepares for the European Grand Prix.

The custom-built Red Bull Racing simulator puts the driver on a 10-foot, hydraulically-controlled hexapod. Atop this platform is a 180 degree screen fed by three projectors, along with an exact recreation of the RB6 cockpit. All of these elements combine to create one of Formula One's most advanced simulators.

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06/25/11
f1

Reserve driver Hulkenberg wrecks di Resta's car
Force India’s Paul di Resta was left to rue a lack of track time at Valencia on Friday, with reserve driver Nico Hülkenberg damaging his car during the early stages of first practice. The time required to repair his damaged VJM04 saw di Resta side-lined for much of practice two, completing only seven laps en route to 14th place on the timesheets.

"The way things unfolded today has been quite unfortunate," di Resta explained. "Nico’s accident this morning meant that my car wasn’t ready for the start of second practice and I had to sit and wait.

"The guys did a great job to get everything repaired in time for me to get out for the final few minutes of the session, but I only managed three timed laps. It means there is plenty of work to do in final practice tomorrow morning to make up for the lost track time."

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06/25/11
irl

Franchitti an ESPY Award nominee
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti is a nominee for the “Best Driver” in the 19th ESPY Awards.

Stick car driver Jimmie Johnson and drag racers John Force and Gary Anderson are other nominees in the category. Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, is tied with Team Penske's Will Power for the championship points lead heading into the June 25 Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer at Iowa Speedway.

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06/25/11
f1

Gascoyne trying to make Lotus team a winner
Mike Gascoyne
Mike Gascoyne, 48, is the chief technical officer of Team Lotus, the team that he put together from a sheet of paper in his home in 2009. Previously, he had worked in similar roles at several other teams, having started in F1 at the McLaren team in 1989. In recent years, he has worked for teams at the lower end of the grid and helped them climb to the top, as he did at Jordan in the late 1990s, at Benetton and then Renault in the early 2000s and at the Force India team until he started the Team Lotus project in 2009. He has been building up the current team with many of the engineers from his previous teams. Gascoyne, an Englishman who studied fluid dynamics at Cambridge University, has spent most of his career in Formula One. He spoke with Brad Spurgeon of the International Herald Tribune.

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06/25/11
irl

Iowa polesitter in final practice crash
Iowa pole winner Takuma Sato tangled with Alex Tagliani in the final practice session tonight in preparation for tomorrow night's Iowa corn Indy 250.  His KV Racing-Lotus team has to burn the midnight oil to be ready for Saturday night's race.

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "I'm very disappointed. I'm upset for the boys because it's going to be a lot of work. We had a very racey car in this session. We were making good improvements and running side-by-side early on so I felt comfortable racing with (Sato). I was on the outside for a couple of laps early on and then we did some pit stops. Then I was on the bottom. I felt like (he) crossed down into the bottom lane and my right front touched his left rear. And that's a situation where the two cars are not clear. You really have to give room when you are out there."

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06/25/11
irl

Race promoter not sure of IndyCar Milwaukee return
The group that put on the Milwaukee 225 hasn't given up on bringing IndyCar back to the Milwaukee Mile next year after a disappointing turnout last weekend.

But ultimately, the decision is not theirs.

Interest by IndyCar management and greater support from the business community will determine what's next for AB Promotions, CEO Chris McGrath said Friday.

"Is there a market for IndyCar in Milwaukee on that weekend?" McGrath said. "That's the thing I think everybody has to look at."

The race attracted a crowd estimated at no more than 15,000 people and didn't have a title sponsor to help defray costs and assist with advertising and promotion.

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06/25/11
gac

Matt Bell Wins at Road America With Edwards
Matt Bell and his Stevenson Motorsports co-driver John Edwards delivered an outstanding start-to-finish performance at Road America to score his first victory of the season in his race debut at the historic Wisconsin road course. Bell and Edwards combined to run at the front of the field throughout the entire 2.5-hour race with the No. 9 Camaro GS.R leading a race-high 27 laps.

Bell delivered another dominant performance as he opened the Road America 200 with a charge to the front – making up six positions in just the first lap. Laying down consistently quick lap times, Bell methodically moved his way forward into the second position by lap seven and challenged for the lead prior to the first full course caution as the SPEED commentators raved about his car control and deep braking capabilities.

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06/25/11
fil

A Sam Schmidt car wins 4th straight Indy Lights pole
Esteban Guerrieri topped provisional pole sitter Gustavo Yacaman with a two-lap average speed of 160.787 mph in the No. 7Lucas Oil Sam Schmidt Motorsports car to earn his fourth Sunoco Pole Award of the season.

A Sam Schmidt Motorsports car will be making its fourth consecutive start from the pole.

Yacaman (159.520), driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, will be making his first front-row start.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates Bryan Clauson (159.434) in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Curb Records/SSM car and Josef Newgarden (159.408), driving the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car, will share Row 2.

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