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DATE News (chronologically)
07/01/11
motogp
'King' Kenny Roberts on track at US MotoGP  Triple 500cc world champion 'King' Kenny Roberts will return to the track on a variety of Yamaha machinery during this year's running of the US Grand Prix.

Roberts will take to the track over all three days, beginning with a fan lap on Friday.

On Saturday Roberts will ride a specially prepared factory YZR-M1 distinguished in 50th Anniversary livery for several laps during the lunch break. More ...

07/01/11
f1
Montezemolo “In Formula 1, we never give in”  
Luca di Montezemolo
An important week for Ferrari gets underway on Monday. In Tokyo, President Luca di Montezemolo will present the FF at the Italian Embassy in Tokyo at a special event attended by leading lights from the world of culture and entertainment, alongside important Ferrari owners and collectors and great fans of the marque. “This evening has a special purpose,” explained Montezemolo to www.ferrari.com.

“The FF we are presenting, the first one in Japan, will actually be auctioned along with four polo shirts bearing the message, “Gambaré Nippon” as seen on the nose of the 150§ Italia at the last Australian Grand Prix, signed by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. The proceeds will go to the city of Ishinomaki, badly damaged by the earthquake which hit northern Japan back in March. We have very close ties to this country and we are happy to be able to contribute to its reconstruction.” More ...

07/01/11
f1
Release dates set for Senna documentary in 19 U.S. cities  The award-winning documentary film Senna, which charts the career of the late three-time Formula One world champion Ayton Senna, now has specific release dates throughout the United States.

As announced previously, the film will make its official theatrical commercial debut on Aug. 12, but only in the major markets of New York City and Los Angeles. However, residents or visitors to 17 other cities will also be able to see the film locally as it rolls out to more markets in August and early September.

Official Senna U.S. Release Dates: More ...

07/01/11
nnw
Pole-sitter Harvick leads KHI 1-2-3-4 sweep  Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light Pole award for the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 49.545 seconds (181.653 mph) on Friday.

Kevin Harvick Inc. drivers swept the first two rows, marking the first time a team will start 1-2-3-4 in series history. The only other time KHI swept the front row was Talladega in April 2011 (1. Elliott Sadler; 2. Clint Bowyer).

Tony Stewart will start on the outside of the front row. Stewart is a six-time winner at Daytona, with four of those coming in KHI equipment, including the past two season openers. More ...

07/01/11
nassprint
Petty teammate lead Daytona Cup practice  Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Marcos Ambrose and AJ Allmendinger teamed up to post the fastest speeds at Daytona International Speedway, as NASCAR Sprint Cup teams began preparations for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400.

The two-car draft, very much in evidence here in February, was once again the order of the day, with Ambrose topping the speed chart at a surprising 199.411 mph while Allmendinger clocked in at 199.402 mph during the lone 45-minute practice Thursday. More ...

07/01/11
fil
Indy Lights team quit series saying it lacks integrity  O2 Racing Technology has left the 2011 Indy Lights Series after a row about technical inspection during the David Hobbs 100 Milwaukee Mile race in June led to the team accusing the series sanctioning body, IndyCar, of having an "integrity issue."

O2 had already announced on June 22 that they had withdrawn their entries for the rest of the year after the row led to the team's investors and sponsors pulling their backing.

IndyCar made this exclusion formal and irreversible by announcing on June 29 that O2 Racing Technology's series license and membership was being suspended "for attempting to impede the conduct of the event by encouraging others to breach contracts with IndyCar" by inciting other teams and drivers to pull out of the weekend's race in a protest over IndyCar's officiating. More ...

07/01/11
lmes
Officials delighted about Porsche’s return to Le Mans!  Following the announcement that Porsche is coming back to the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest wishes to congratulate the company on its decision given its historic links with the Le Mans 24-Hours myth, and is again ready to take the fight to the prestigious competitors that are already locked in battle in the race.

The Porsche-Le Mans story is a long one. The German make has built its sporting legend in the Le Mans 24 Hours. It first entered the Sarthe classic on an official basis in 1951. Since then, Porsche has won the race outright on sixteen occasions, a record. Its first overall victory came in 1970 thanks to the mythic 917 (Herrmann-Attwood), and the last was in 1998 (Aiello-McNish-Ortelli) at the wheel of the powerful 911 GT1. More ...
07/01/11
f1
Craig Pollock not happy with engine rule change  PURE Corporation CEO Craig Pollock says he was left feeling ‘very disappointed’ after the FIA agreed to delay and modify Formula 1’s future engine regulations, with the company being forced to change its plans significantly as a result of the decision.

The Geneva-based manufacturer had been designing a powertrain based on the FIA’s rule set published last December, with a switch to 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engines expected in 2013. However, World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) members voted on Wednesday to ratify a new V6 1.6 turbo unit, along with a one-year delay.

"I’m very disappointed," Pollock told GPUpdate.net. "I’m very disappointed basically at high levels, but I understand there has been a huge amount of pressure put on the key parties within the sport. You imagine yourself in that situation, what would you do? You are either going to lose Renault, or you are going to lose Mercedes, that is the threat. More ...

07/01/11
track news
Ticket discounts latest dust up between Speedway, fans  There is more fan outrage over Kentucky Speedway's handling of its first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race. First I exposed anger over the Speedway's no cooler policy. Now some fans say they feel cheated by the track's decision to slash prices on some tickets.

"I feel like I got a dollar sign stamped on my forehead and they're treating me like I'm nothing but a piece of money," said Michael Sallee, a Kentucky Speedway season ticket holder.

Still a week to go before NASCAR "goes racin" at the Kentucky Speedway, but the track already has some fans like Sallee running hot. He paid over $500 for two season tickets to the Speedway. But now the track is slashing prices on the two lesser races leading up to the NASCAR's Quaker State 400. More ...

07/01/11
f2
Bratt leads the way in practice two  Will Bratt headed the timesheets in today's (Friday) second free practice session in the FIA Formula Two Championship at the Nürburgring.

After securing his maiden pole and win at last weekend's event at Spa, the 23-year-old looked strong again, leading the way in the second session by a margin of 0.380s from Thiemo Storz. F2 newcomer Jordan King was an impressive third quickest for the session with Mirko Bortolotti and Christopher Zanella rounding out the top five.

Track conditions were dry as the 45-minute session got underway with Benjamin Lariche laying down the first benchmark early on. A few spots of rain then began to fall at Turn 8 - the Dunlop Kehre - while further down the field Alex Brundle was surprisingly off the pace running down in the midfield. More ...

07/01/11
Team USA
Team USA Scholarship begins search for this year's contenders  For the 22nd year, the Team USA Scholarship will provide opportunities for talented American youngsters to further their careers and follow in the footsteps of a virtual Who's Who of American auto racing.

Both Jimmy Vasser, who secured the inaugural Scholarship in 1990, and Bryan Herta, the 1991 winner, are now successful car owners in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Other notable alumni include Buddy Rice, Paul Edwards, Andy Lally, Joey Hand, A.J. Allmendinger, Bryan Sellers, Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, Dane Cameron, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly who continue to display their talents in a variety of top-tier championships. More ...

07/01/11
track news
Officials: No bidders for track a good thing  A deadline to submit offers to buy the financially troubled New Jersey Motorsports Park passed Wednesday afternoon with no bidders.

However, Motorsports Park officials said the lack of interest in an auction scheduled for July 6 actually is a positive development.

"It's a great thing," General Manager Brad Scott said Wednesday evening. "It just means that our bid will be accepted and we'll continue operations as in the past. We're excited." More ...

07/01/11
nassprint
Kentucky Speedway sold out for inaugural Sprint Cup race  The inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway is a sellout.

The race, scheduled for July 9, will be the first Cup event at the Speedway Motorsports Inc.-owned 1.5-mile oval, located in Sparta, Ky. The track, which opened in 2000, has expanded by about 40,000 seats and all 107,000 tickets have been sold, according to track officials.

There are still campsites available, and tickets for the infield pit road club and standing-room only are for sale. More ...

07/01/11
automotive
GM June U.S. Sales Improve 11 Percent  General Motors dealers in the United States reported 215,358 total sales in June, an 11-percent gain compared to June 2010. The gain was the result of continued solid retail demand for the company’s wide selection of fuel-efficient vehicles. Retail sales for GM’s brands rose 16 percent for the month, compared to a year ago, and were 4 percent higher than May.

For the month, Chevrolet Cruze had retail sales 153 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced, and total sales above 20,000 for the third straight month. The 32 MPG highway-rated GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox compact crossovers saw a combined retail sales increase of 78 percent during the month. Passenger car and crossover retail sales also rose substantially, up 33 percent and 24 percent, respectively. More ...

07/01/11
f1
Vettel to win title easily unless 'stupid' - Villeneuve  
Sebastian Vettel lets others know who is No. 1 by beating them week in and week out.
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve has little doubt this year's title winner will be Sebastian Vettel.

The 1997 world champion said the reigning title winner, who is 77 points clear his nearest challenger and in the dominant Red Bull, is surely heading for back-to-back spoils later in 2011.

"This year, definitely, the favorite is Vettel.  He's going to win it very easily unless he does something stupid," the French Canadian is quoted by Spain's Europa Press.

Villeneuve, 40, added that the 23-year-old German's position at present could be described as being "in the clouds".

"His car is incredible and he has a very strong team; everyone is behind him; the mechanics, the sponsors, a great car.  When things are like that, you're in the clouds -- nothing can go wrong," he insisted. More ...

07/01/11
track news
Charlotte settles lawsuit with one of two local governments  Charlotte Motor Speedway and parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. have settled a lawsuit with one of the two local government entities they sued over incentives originally valued at $80 million.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2009, was re-filed last month against the City of Concord and Cabarrus County, the city and county where the track is located.

The City of Concord issued a news release Wednesday stating it had settled with the speedway. The county has not yet announced any settlement. More ...

07/01/11
f2
Mikkel Mac goes quickest in opening free practice  Mikkel Mac was the quickest man during the opening free practice session at the Nurburgring ahead of this weekend's rounds seven and eight of the FIA Formula Two Championship.

The 18-year-old newcomer posted a best time of 1:51.199s around the F1 circuit closely followed by Mirko Bortolotti and Armaan Ebrahim. Will Bratt, who took his maiden win at Spa last weekend, was fourth fastest with fellow countryman Jack Clarke rounding out the top five for the 45-minute session, which saw competitors have to deal with damp track conditions.

After an early downpour, the capacity field of 24 drivers were greeted with a slippery track for the start of the session. Jordan King headed the timesheets early on - once again impressing after his F2 debut last weekend at Spa in which he secured his maiden points finish. More ...

07/01/11
motogp
Simoncelli tops first Mugello practice  Marco Simoncelli set the pace in the opening practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on Friday. But just barely.

The Italian Gresini rider posted a time of 1m48.987s in the closing moments of the session to outpace championship leader Casey Stoner by 0.040 seconds.

Andrea Dovizioso made it three Hondas in the top three, with world champion Jorge Lorenzo the first non-Honda rider in fourth position on the Yamaha. More ...

07/01/11
irl
De Silvestro back to training after dizzy spells  
Simona de Silvestro
Simona De Silvestro resumed her training program Wednesday, which normally wouldn't be worth noting. This time it is.

A week ago, the 22-year-old Swiss driver was held out of the Izod IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway because of dizziness stemming from her June 18 crash at the Milwaukee Mile.

De Silvestro was diagnosed with post-concussion symptoms after she admitted to dizzy spells with stressful activity.

"Pretty much everything where your heart rate goes up made me dizzy, even like walking up stairs and things like that," she said Thursday in her first interview since being held out at Iowa. "I got dizzy when I tried to run. More ...

07/01/11
roc
The Race Of Champions returns to Düsseldorf  
News image
Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena
Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena is to host its second successive Race Of Champions on December 3-4, 2011 instead of Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena.

In addition to last year’s successful Race Of Champions, the ESPRIT arena has also hosted international football matches, world heavyweight boxing title fights and this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Now this news means the noise of engines will again reverberate round the Düsseldorf stadium in December.

While there is excitement at this outstanding replacement venue, race organizers wish to extend their sincere apologies to the thousands of fans who have already ordered tickets for the event in Frankfurt. As announced last week, this had to be changed due to a late fixture clash with Germany’s Bundesliga football. More ...

07/01/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Alonso's Ferrari
    HRT hopes driver deal with Red Bull 'just the start'
  • Experts say Ferrari no longer in charge of F1
  • Webber moving closer to Vettel's pace - Horner
  • Future 'bright' not clouded for Renault team - Boullier
  • Q&A: FIA on new engine regulations

HRT hopes driver deal with Red Bull 'just the start'
(GMM)  Daniel Ricciardo's F1 race debut is due to a "collaboration deal" with world champion team Red Bull Racing, the Spanish team HRT has revealed. More ...

07/01/11
f1
FIA: No worries about engine sound  UPDATE
(GMM)  Formula one engines will still sound good in the wake of the current V8 era, the governing FIA has insisted.

The unique noise produced by powerful high-revving engines has been an issue each time the regulations substantially changed, including when V8 engines became mandatory at the abolition of the V10 era for 2006.

But the proposed switch in 2013 from V8 to 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbo engines caused unprecedented angst, including from Bernie Ecclestone and the majority of his race circuit promoters, who threatened to boycott F1 if the cars sounded like "tin cans rattling".

A compromise has been reached in the form of a 1.6 liter V6 turbo engine, producing 15,000rpm rather than the 12,000 proposed for the inline-four rules, to debut in 2014. More ...

06/30/11
nassprint
Kurt Busch discusses his divorce  
Kurt Busch the winner at Infineon
Kurt Busch walked in the media center Thursday and wanted to clear the air about his personal life, saying he is going through a divorce and hoping everyone will respect his privacy in a personal matter. "Although we [Busch and his wife, Eva] are no longer together and are legally separated, we appreciate privacy in this situation," Busch said. "All I want to say on this is we are going though the process of terminating our marriage, but we are doing it with respect for each other and we'll always be friends."

"When you win, people want to bring you down," Busch said. "While drivers sometimes have a beef with certain media members, the vast majority are hard working and responsible individuals trying to do their job the best way they can. I realize I'm an entity, but I'm also a person." Busch was asked if his personal situation has impacted his performance on the track this season. He ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup standings with nine top-10s in 16 races, but he also has shown angry moments on the team radio when he was unhappy with his car. "A lot of things are happening on a personal level," Busch said. "But our performance on the race track is the best way for putting all that aside." ESPN
06/30/11
irl
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard Looks Towards Bright Future  16 months ago, Randy Bernard took over the reins of the IZOD IndyCar Series, ready to get the series back in the spotlight.

Bernard got started in sports marketing back in 1984 with professional bull-riding. In the mass of 15 years, he turned the sport around from being worth $2000 to $22 million. Though once he did that, he decided he was ready for a new challenge, which was when the IZOD IndyCar Series was brought forth to his attention. Bernard met with officials for three hours to discuss being a consultant; though 24 hours later, he was offered the position of CEO.

“I was very intrigued with the opportunity, but I also wanted to do my homework,” he said of that moment during the media luncheon in Toronto. “I felt it was very important for me to fly out and meet with all the big names of the sport. I wanted to meet with Penske, with Ganassi, with Dario (Franchitti) and Danica (Patrick), with IZOD – I just needed to make sure that they’d give me the opportunity to work for ‘em and respect me as a promoter and marketer because I wasn’t going to go somewhere there wasn’t a trust level there. I’ve been on the job now 16 months; I absolutely love it.” More ...

06/30/11
nassprint
NFL Star Chad Ochocinco Takes a NASCAR ride  
Jeff Burton and Chad Ochocinco
After trying his hand at professional soccer and riding a bull, Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco came to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday to get a taste of NASCAR racing.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Veteran Jeff Burton and crew were on hand to provide Ochocinco with a high speed tutorial, both on and off the track. After taking a few hot laps in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Ochocinco received a lesson on how a pit stop works with the Caterpillar pit crew. He then tried his hand at changing tires and jacking up the car. More ...

06/30/11
f1
Whitmarsh: USA needs two F1 races  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, If Whitmarsh wants F1 to conquer the US market, they need some American teams and American drivers, and not pull a screw Michael Andretti move like his team did.  Otherwise the market will always just be the 5AM Sunday morning Speed TV F1 fans/freaks. Jim Barrie, Madeira, Ohio

Whitmarsh is dreaming if he thinks two F1 races can be successful in the USA
06/30/11 (GMM)  Formula one needs the US but Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he would have preferred a pair of races on the east and west coasts.

After Indianapolis hosted America's most recent grand prix in 2007, the sport will return to the USA next June to race on a bespoke circuit in the capital of Texas.

But Austin is in the United States' central south rather than on the eastern seaboard featuring New York, or the west close to Washington or California.

"America doesn't need us, but we need to conquer it," Whitmarsh, not only boss of McLaren but also the F1 teams alliance FOTA, said during a fan's forum on Thursday at the British team's Woking factory. More ...

06/30/11
nassprint
Stewart not expecting to expand in 2012  Tony Stewart's goal since becoming co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing prior to the 2009 season was to eventually build the NASCAR Sprint Cup team up from two cars to four. But that probably won't happen next season, Stewart said. Asked by SPEED.com if SHR would remain a two-car team next year, Stewart said, "I would think so. We're kind of in that crunch time of the year where if a package was going to happen, it would pretty much be that the wheels would have to be in motion by now." Nevertheless, Stewart said SHR already has the infrastructure in place to expand, if need be. "The good thing is that our shop is set up and capable of doing a three-car team," Stewart said. "It's not like we have to go build a building just to do it. We have that side of it in place and have made provisions to do it, if something were to come about."  SPEED
06/30/11
irl
Indianapolis 500 to be honored at famed English racing festival  Dario Franchitti joked that he'd like to find a two-seater race car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed so he could drive his mother up the hill. Or was he joking?

The reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, current points leader and two-time Indianapolis 500 champion is joining other series drivers and Indy 500 winners at the annual event in West Sussex, England.

He'll drive a Lotus 38 that his racing hero, Jim Clark, drove to a runner-up finish in the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 and the 2008 Indy 500-winning car of Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon. Not to worry; Dixon will drive the car, too, on another day of the three-day event. More ...

06/30/11
tv news
Wind Tunnel Sunday  
Featured Interview        Mark Martin (Sprint CUP Series Driver, Hendrick Motorsports)
Featured Interview        Marco Andretti (Iowa IndyCar Series Winner)

This Week’s Races:
·        CUP and Nationwide under the lights in Daytona
·        MotoGP in Mugello, Italy
·        AMA Motocross in Buchanan, MI

06/30/11
lmes
alms
Porsche Confirms Factory LMP1 For 2014  Porsche returns to Le Mans with a works-run LMP1 sports prototype. The first outing of the completely new developed race car is planned for the year 2014. With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans. The most recent win was in 1998 with the Porsche 911 GT1.

“Motorsport was always an essential part of the Porsche brand,” emphasized Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG. “So for us it was only a matter of time before we returned as a factory to the top league of racing. Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory.”

With the RS Spyder sports prototype that was run with great success from 2006 to 2008 by the factory-backed Penske Racing team in the USA and to 2010 by several customer teams worldwide, Porsche has set the benchmark recently in the LMP2 category. More ...

06/30/11
f1
Webber to retire and become pilot?  Australian airline Qantas has announced plans to help its ambassador Mark Webber to obtain his pilot's license.  Will Webber become an airline pilot when he retires from racing?

Qantas will provide mentoring support with one of the airlines' training pilots and time in its flight simulators.

The Red Bull driver spent some time at Heathrow airport in the cockpit of a Qantas A380 with one of the airline's training captains.  See Webber's Facebook page

06/30/11
f1
Ferrari happy with V6 engine rules compromise  (GMM)  Ferrari is happy with F1's engine formula for the future.

The FIA had earlier announced controversial four-cylinder engines for 2013, but in the face of opposition from teams and engine makers has now agreed to let the sport be powered by 1.6 liter V6s in 2014 and beyond.

Ferrari, whose founder Enzo Ferrari's main passion was big engines and horse power, had been the most staunchly opposed to the four-cylinder plan.

But after the FIA rubber-stamped the V6 compromise this week, team boss Stefano Domenicali said: "This decision is good for the sport. More ...

06/30/11
Racing news
BMW Motorsport Bids Farewell To Mario Theissen  
Mario Theissen
An era has ended: On Wednesday Mario Theissen was officially bade farewell during an emotional event in Munich’s BMW Classic. On 1st July Jens Marquardt assumes sole responsibility for BMW’s motor racing projects.

More than 100 friends and associates from all phases of his career, including the reigning Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld, Alessandro Zanardi, Peter Sauber, Franz Tost, Norbert Haug, Stefano Domenicali and the current BMW works drivers, looked back together with Mario Theissen on the past years, obviously with a special focus set on his time as BMW Motorsport Director. During his 12-year tenure, Theissen celebrated innumerable victories and titles achieved in a variety of championships and series by BMW teams and drivers. More ...
06/30/11
f1
Ferrari toil flat out to close gap at Silverstone  There’s no pausing for breath in this hot summer of Formula 1. Even though the situation in both championships is not what was hoped for back in the winter, work goes on flat out at Maranello on developing the 150° Italia with a view to making up the performance gap that has developed over the past few months.

The European Grand Prix produced Ferrari’s best result from the first eight races of this year, which is obviously a good thing, but it is definitely not the end product. Fernando Alonso’s second place and Felipe Massa’s fifth confirmed what was already clear from the two previous races in Monaco and Montreal, but it is still not enough, as the next challenge is to try and have a car that is equally competitive at tracks where aerodynamic efficiency is the key factor, such as Silverstone which hosts the next event, the British Grand Prix which is the ninth round of the season. More ...
06/30/11
f1
Q and A with STR's Giorgio Ascanelli  Toro Rosso's tech director Giorgio Ascanelli reviews their 2011 campaign and shares his thoughts on the team's prospects in the upcoming British GP...

Q: Five points finishes from eight races, including the last three consecutively. How do you sum up the season so far?
GA: I believe that, in terms of all aspects of what makes up a Formula 1 team, we are at a level that you would expect from the ninth team. However, our avowed target for 2011 is to finish eighth and currently, we are seventh in the Constructors' classification. So we have to be happy with that, even if it is going to be difficult to maintain it for the rest of the season. The fact we are seventh does not mean we are performing better than our planned 'road map' because although we have got plenty of things right, our position also owes something to other teams sometimes getting it wrong. More ...

06/30/11
karting
NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS and NHRA drivers to do battle  
Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax
Race Industry Week 2011 features one of the most unique and star-studded races on the annual motorsports calendar, as stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, NHRA and more come to Orlando for the Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax
One of the most exciting events of Race Industry Week 2011 will take place this year outside the exhibit hall of the giant Performance Racing Industry Trade Show-the world's largest racing trade show.

Red Bull brings new energy to karting at PRI with a competition that will include stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am, NHRA and other racing series and will compete in one of the most unique and star-studded races on the annual motorsport calendar: Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax.

The popular karting race takes place Thursday night, December 1, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. The race course is a tight, technical, purpose-built race track adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center, housing the 700,000 square feet PRI Trade Show. Over 40,000 racing business people from 65 countries arrive in Orlando each December for the PRI Trade Show to view the latest advances in racing technology by 1,100 racing companies. More ...
06/30/11
irl
Andretti happy to silence critics  
IndyCar needs Marco to put the Andretti name in the Winner's Circle on a regular basis
During an Izod IndyCar Series winless streak that lasted nearly five years, Marco Andretti felt plenty of pressure. None of it, he says, stemmed from his famous last name.

The third-generation driver shed that burden when he took a half-season sabbatical as a 9-year-old who raced go-karts with a heavy crown of expectations upon his head as the grandson of Mario Andretti and son of Michael Andretti— two of the sport's greats.

"I viewed it as, 'Oh man, this is killing me,'" Andretti recalled Tuesday. "I'd win races and say, 'OK, that's what I had to do,' instead of really enjoying myself. More ...

06/30/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • The Ferrari prefers softer tires
    Pirelli ignores Ferrari's call for softer tires
  • FIA rubber-stamps V6 engine rules for 2014
  • Clampdown to cost Red Bull five tenths - Horner
  • McLaren slapped Lauda with three-race ban
  • Buemi insists 'clearly faster' than Alguersuari
  • Council votes to put US GP back on track
  • Toro Rosso shifting focus to 2012 car
  • Buemi carried large piece of debris in Valencia  More ...
06/30/11
f1
Ferrari legend John Surtees tours Maranello  
John Surtees with fernando Alonso at Maranello
John Surtees with Fernando Alonso at Maranello
For the past two days, a truly special guest was welcomed within the Ferrari walls, in the shape of a former Ferrari driver and one of the legendary names of the sport, John Surtees.

He was involved, along with Fernando Alonso in a promotional event organized by Shell at the Fiorano track which saw Ferrari past and present brought together in the garage. “Looking into Fernando’s eyes, I could see the same determination I had when I was racing,” he said. “Time passes, but passion for racing is something that never changes across the centuries and if you have it in you, you see it in others.” More ...

06/29/11
track news
Solar panels to provide about 41 percent of Infineon's energy usage  Infineon Raceway, in partnership with Panasonic, has installed 1,652 solar panels that will cover 41 percent of the raceway's energy usage.

In a further move designed to reduce energy consumption, Panasonic has also provided the raceway with a low-energy LED video board, replacing the current installation on Highway 37. The IZOD IndyCar Series makes its annual trip to the Sonoma Valley circuit on Aug. 26-28.

06/29/11
irl
Power gets back in the saddle at Mid-Ohio test  Back in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car for a test day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Will Power said he "feels fine" following the hard hit into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier June 25 at Iowa Speedway during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer.

Power was cleared to drive by the INDYCAR medical staff July 28 and joined Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe on the 2.258-mile road course. Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes also tested. The IZOD IndyCar Series visits the venue, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, for the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 7.

Power also will join Pippa Mann, who will compete in three races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, on the 1.056-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval for testing July 5. More ...

06/29/11
irl
Bernard making IndyCar relevant again  The not so new boss of the IZOD IndyCar Series isn't shy about shouting out all the things that are right about open wheel racing's top North American loop.

Indeed Randy Bernard would probably object to calling IndyCar the best in North America.

On Wednesday he out and out said his series is the most exciting, fastest, and has the best drivers of any racing in the world.

Yes, you heard that right: Best in the world; better than NASCAR; better than Formula One.

Bernard said NASCAR can't come close to the diversity of courses -- from ovals to temporary street circuits to permanent road courses -- that IndyCar offers fans. More ...

06/29/11
f1
Austin City Council Officially Endorses Formula 1 United States Grand Prix  Austin’s City Council voted today to officially endorse the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix event in 2012. Council Members deliberated on the issue for more than three weeks leading up to the vote and worked closely with representatives of Circuit of The Americas to craft an environmental agreement that is unprecedented for a world-class sports venue.

“We appreciate the Council’s approval of the endorsement,” said Steve Sexton, President of Circuit of The Americas. “Austin is a unique community and the environmental provisions we worked together to craft with Council demonstrate our commitment to produce an event aligned with the values and vision of the City. This is a major step toward our vision of bringing the world to Austin to enjoy one of the most spectacular international events in sports. This partnership sets a new standard that every new sports or entertainment venue around the world can emulate.” More ...

06/29/11
irl
IndyCar's Randy Bernard prepared to quit  
Randy Bernard says he will quit if Vegas season finale a flop
When Randy Bernard was hired to run the IZOD IndyCar Series early last year, he enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon period. Everything he said or did was met with near-universal approval.

But that was then and this is now. So far in 2011, he’s been on the receiving end of near-universal disapproval of everything from instituting double-file restarts during races to determining the starting order of a recent race in Texas by lottery draw.

He expects the criticism to continue and to grow ever louder as the last race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway approaches. Why? Because he wants to add five non-regular-season drivers to the starting field.

He agrees the idea’s going to open a hornet’s nest among other drivers in the race but vows that if it doesn’t drastically improve TV ratings in the United States, he’ll quit his job on the spot. More ...

06/29/11
f1
FIA confirms V6 F1 turbos for 2014  Formula One will feature turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 engines in 2014. The FIA on Wednesday formally ratified the decisions made by the Formula One Commission prior to last weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

That means a V6 turbo formula will come into force in 2014, replacing the four-cylinder units intended for 2013. However, the FIA stressed that energy-recovery systems are still part of the new formula.

Although the FIA has given no details, the V6 rev limit is expected to be 15,000 rpm.

A short FIA statement said: "Following a fax vote by its members, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified the engine regulations recently drawn up in consultation with the main stakeholders in Formula One. The new powerplant will be a V6 1.6 turbo unit with energy-recovery systems. This new formula will come into effect as from the start of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season."

06/29/11
nassprint
irl
NASCAR, IndyCar travel different paths to going green  It’s ironic that NASCAR CEO Brian France was in Indianapolis—the home of the IndyCar Series—on Tuesday cheering the merits of American-made ethanol.

While NASCAR signed a six-year deal to use American-made ethanol starting this year, the IndyCar Series in 2008 signed a multi-year sponsorship and ethanol fuel deal with Brazil-based Apex.

IndyCar’s agreement with Apex is a multifaceted deal that goes beyond fuel, and could lead to even bigger sponsorship deals down the road. A portion of IndyCar’s ethanol does come from a Sunoco plant in upstate New York.

Still, NASCAR and the IndyCar Series are traveling different paths to using a greener fuel. Much of IndyCar’s ethanol comes from Brazilian sugar cane, while NASCAR’s comes from American corn. And in the early days of the IndyCar-Apex deal, American farmers let the open-wheel series hear their displeasure. More ...

06/29/11
fil
IndyCar suspends Lights team and its owner  INDYCAR, the governing body of Firestone Indy Lights, has suspended the entrant license/membership of O2 Racing Technology and the individual membership of team owner Mark Olson until December 31, 2012, for actions during The Milwaukee Mile event June 18-19.

Olson was suspended for attempting to impede the conduct of the event by encouraging others to breach contracts with INDYCAR and withdraw from the David Hobbs 100.  O2 Racing Technology was the only entrant to withdraw, removing its No. 36 and 63 entries from the participant list.

The actions were in violation of multiple rules as listed in the Firestone Indy Lights rulebook: More ...

06/29/11
nassprint
Red Bull crewman fired for homophobic tweets  A Red Bull Racing crewman was fired for an anti-gay tweet he posted Sunday night following the Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway.

Prior to flying out of San Francisco on Sunday night, Jeremy Fuller, a contract employee and tire changer, posted on Twitter a photo of a gay pride banner on a car with the comment, “This is way [sic] I don’t live here!”

One of his Twitter followers responded with a tweet that read, “if we could get rid of them, it’d be a lot better.”

It appeared that Fuller later replied to that tweet, but did not retweet the original message. The response read: “lol.. Don’t we all wish!” More ...

06/29/11
f1
Pirelli announces compounds up to Hungary  F1 tire supplier Pirelli has announced which Slick compounds will be used up to and including the Hungarian Grand Prix of late July. In Valencia on Sunday, the Medium compound made its first appearance and will be back in action for the Nürburgring.

“Our nominations are designed to maximize the opportunities for strategy and find the right compromise between performance and durability,” explains Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director for Pirelli.

“As has been the case up to now this year, we think that there will be quite a wide variety of different strategies for the next three Grands Prix, but for all the races it’s reasonably hard to predict how many pit stops there will be; it ultimately depends on the strategy and strengths of each individual car and team.” More ...

06/29/11
irl
Power cleared to drive  
Will Power happy to be cleared to drive
Will Power, whose No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car made hard contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier June 25 at Iowa Speedway during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, has been cleared to drive by the INDYCAR medical staff.

Power will join Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 29 for a test session. The IZOD IndyCar Series visits the road course, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, for the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 7.

The test is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ET). Spectators can enter through Gate 3 and watch from the Keyhole or infield.

Power also will join Pippa Mann, who will compete in three races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, on the 1.056-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval for testing July 5. More ...

06/29/11
motogp
Capirossi forced to miss home Grand Prix  
Loris Capirossi
The Pramac Racing Team has officially confirmed that Loris Capirossi will be sitting out of his home Italian Grand Prix this weekend. Having already missed Assen after dislocating his shoulder in qualifying at the Dutch circuit, a Tuesday medical check-up confirmed fractures for the ninth and tenth ribs and distortion of the AC shoulder joint.

“I'm obviously very disappointed and angry,” says the 38-year-old from Bologna. “I was hoping I could do to get on-track for this race, but (the injuries) forced me to raise the white flag for the first time in my career for Mugello. More ...

06/29/11
ga
Matt Bell and James Davison Join Michael Shank Racing  
James Davison after winning Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen in 2005
Michael Shank Racing will return to a two-car program in the next round of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series competition as the team has drafted two young talents to pilot the No. 23 Ford-Riley at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Matt Bell (25, California) and James Davison (24, Australia) will co-drive in round 8 of the 2011 championship.

The team opened the 2011 season with a three-car effort in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, netting top-10 finishes with all three entries and coming just feet away from scoring a podium finish with the No. 23 Michael Shank Racing with United Autosports entry as Zak Brown, Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, and Michael Valiante staged a thrilling run to the finish.

The No. 23 returned to action in the Homestead round with Blundell and Valiante sharing the driving duties for a sixth place finish. Michael Shank Racing then consolidated to focus on the No. 60 Crown Royal Extra Rare entry of John Pew and Ozz Negri, with the duo scoring another podium finish for the team recently at Lime Rock Park. More ...

06/29/11
nassprint
TNT NASCAR Coverage Averaging Nearly 5.1 Million Viewers  UPDATE The TNT NASCAR 2011 Sprint Cup Series is off to a solid start through the network’s first three weeks of racing with an average of 5,097,000 viewers, up +7% over the 2010 total season average, and a 3.1 U.S. HH rating (up +3%).

TNT’s coverage on Sunday of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 from Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway earned a 3.2 U.S. HH rating, an increase of 17% from last year’s race.  In addition, the race garnered 5,188,000 total viewers (up + 16%) and averaged 3,743,000 households (up + 21%).

NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy continues to complement TNT’s television coverage with 848,000 video streams during Sunday’s race in Sonoma. Sunday’s race eclipsed last year’s RaceBuddy video stream total from Sonoma by 211% and last week’s video stream total from Michigan by 16% and became the second-highest total in RaceBuddy history behind TNT’s first race of the 2011 Summer Series in Pocono that saw a record-breaking 1.1 million video streams. More ...

06/29/11
f1
F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Mark Webber all set to re-sign at Red Bull
    US GP health better ahead of Wednesday vote
  • Ferrari hopes Pirelli swerves hard tire for Silverstone
  • New Webber deal 'very, very likely' - Horner
  • Experts predict Vettel to win title by Suzuka
  • F1 reliability better than ever in 2011
  • Red Bull set for Renault engine deal extension
  • Herbert: Webber lacking fire
  • Ferrari: Diffuser cutbacks might not be significant  More ...
06/29/11
Racing news
Tanner Foust showing well in Europe  HELL, NORWAY - Rockstar Energy Drink Driver Tanner Foust once again put on a spectacular show for fans of the European Rallycross Championship at Round 4 in Hell, Norway.

The American driver set top times and was the fastest in the third qualifying heat to best hometown favorite -- and defending champion -- Sverre Isachsen.

Tanner Foust at Round 4 in the European Rallycross Championship.

The series visited a new track for this round, Lånkebanen at Hell, near Trondheim. Featuring huge elevation changes and a turn similar to Laguna Seca's famed "Corkscrew," the pressure was on for strong, technical driving. More ...

06/28/11
nhra
Force, Anderson nominated for Best Driver ESPY award  NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champs John Force and Greg Anderson earned two of the four coveted spots in the ESPY award voting for Best Driver, and the NHRA community can help these drivers earn the prestigious awards through online fan balloting.

Force, who won his 15th NHRA Funny Car championship last season, and Anderson, who won his fourth championship, have both been nominated for the award but did not win.

Also nominated this year are NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and IndyCar competitor Dario Franchitti. More ...

06/28/11
f1
Pirelli targets 'faster' tires for 2013  Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport in Valencia during the European Grand Prix weekend, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery discussed a range of proposals that are being considered in an attempt to improve the show still further after a successful return to the sport this season.

The performance of Pirelli's tires thus far has been viewed as a key element in the racing seen to date in 2011 but Hembery said there was still room for improvement.

“After Silverstone we will get together and show the teams a few things,” he said. “Maybe we will increase the number of different tires; maybe we'll bring three compounds to a race, maybe with a total of six to choose from. More ...

06/28/11
nassprint
Geico becomes title sponsor at Chicagoland  Geico has signed a three-year deal to title sponsor Chicagoland Speedway's fall Sprint Cup Series race.

The deal gives Geico significant exposure in one of the nation's largest media markets and a high-profile position as the naming-rights partner for the first race in the Chase for the NASACAR Sprint Cup. It's the first time the company has done a naming-rights agreement in any sport.

Terms of the deal weren't available, but race title sponsorships typically sell for around $1 million a year. Sources said the Geico deal was back loaded so that the company would pay less this year and more in the final two years of the deal. It includes marketing and promotional commitments. More ...

06/28/11
irl
alms
Barcoding and Motorola Solutions to Sponsor Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix  Barcoding, Inc. and Motorola Solutions today announced the joint sponsorship of the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, an IZOD IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series race, to be held Sept. 2-4, 2011, in downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore Grand Prix will turn the city streets of downtown Baltimore into a two-mile race circuit and feature professional motorsports and entertainment. The three-day event will conclude with an IZOD IndyCar Series Race on Sunday.

Jay Steinmetz, president and CEO, Barcoding, said, “As a prominent member of the Baltimore community for over 10 years, we at Barcoding are excited to sponsor the first-ever Baltimore Grand Prix. We look forward to taking part in this great event and watching some of the world’s best drivers race through the streets of our own backyard.” More ...

06/28/11
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Crown Royal drops sponsorship of Roush Fenway No. 17  UPDATE Roush Fenway Racing has been informed that Crown Royal will not return as the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup team for the 2012 season.

“We are obviously disappointed with the news, but first we would like to thank Diageo and Crown Royal for a terrific partnership that has spanned almost a decade,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “They have been a first-class partner all the way around. We look forward to finishing out the season with them on the No. 17 as Matt and the Crown Royal team continue to contend for another championship.

“It’s unfortunate that they will not be able to continue to be a part of our organization. Fortunately, our race programs are operating at a higher level than ever. The No. 17 is an attractive, championship-winning program with a storied history and Matt Kenseth an elite driver. We have already opened the door for discussions and are currently in the process of speaking with companies interested in taking over the program for next season and beyond.” Roush Fenway Racing PR More ...

06/28/11
irl
Honda Indy Toronto signs sponsorship agreement with BMO Financial Group  Honda Indy Toronto announces the addition of BMO Financial Group to its list of sponsors as part of a one-year agreement that grants BMO the title of Financial Services Sponsor along with the right to showcase its latest travel rewards card, the BMO World Elite MasterCard.

“Just like IndyCar fans, our customers have the desire to enjoy life’s rewards in the here and now,” said Su McVey, VP Customer Communications and Marketing at BMO Bank of Montreal. “Our partnership with the Honda Indy Toronto will allow us to provide BMO World Elite customers with special benefits and exclusive experiences, while helping us generate strong awareness of the BMO World Elite advantages amongst a perfectly-suited audience of IndyCar fans.” More ...

06/28/11
Track News
McDowell settles suit over go-kart track  
Michael McDowell
The owners of a more than century-old farm have given up their legal fight against NASCAR driver Michael McDowell's planned go-kart track off Mazeppa Road, after McDowell's DryLake Entertainment LLC agreed to pay them $14,000 to settle the case, court records show. Linda Overcash said she and other landowners who filed the lawsuit against DryLake and the town of Mooresville last year couldn't afford the $20,000 in lawyer fees to continue the case before the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Iredell County Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm ruled against the landowners in March, saying the town's decision to grant DryLake a conditional use permit allowing the track to open wasn't "arbitrary or capricious" and contained no errors of law. Lamm also ruled that landowners failed to present evidence that they'll suffer damages because of the town's decision.

McDowell is partnering with ARCA driver Justin Marks on their 31.68-acre Mooresville Motorplex project in the town's Mazeppa Road Park. Their company paid the town $821,431 for the property, which is at the far end of the park. McDowell and Marks agreed to certain conditions before the board's 2010 vote, including that they will limit use of the track to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. Charlotte Observer
06/28/11
nassprint
NASCAR Chairman Brian France expects few changes in 2012  
Brian France
The month of May is generally the time of year when NASCAR meets with its track partners to discuss the following season’s schedule.

That didn’t happen at Charlotte Motor Speedway this year, which seemed unusual at the time, but NASCAR Chairman Brian France said not to read anything into it.

“I’m not anticipating any significant changes (to the schedule),” 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.” More ...

06/28/11
motogp
Repsol Honda Team back to full strength  
Dani Pedrosa returns from injuries
This weekend, the Repsol Honda Team tackles the Grand Prix of Italy, in the eighth round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship, in good spirits. Not only spurred on by the good results achieved in recent races by Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso, but also by the welcomed return of Dani Pedrosa to the competition.

With his second position at Assen, Casey Stoner has extended his lead in the Championship to 28 points over Jorge Lorenzo, while Andrea Dovizioso, third in Holland, confirms his third position in the overall standings and has reduced his gap to Lorenzo to only 9 points. More ...

06/28/11
f1
F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • McLaren tells Hamilton to reverse his defeatist attitude
    McLaren reads Hamilton the riot act
  • Valencia wants earlier F1 calendar slot
  • 'Too soon' to give title to Vettel - Gene
  • Buemi moves under spotlight at Toro Rosso - reports
  • Brawn asks Rosberg to have 'faith' in Mercedes' future
  • Manager insists Schumacher's 2012 seat secure
  • D'Ambrosio still working to outpace Glock
  • Williams F1 Appoints Jason Somerville and Mark Gillan
  • Sutil: DRS didn’t work in Valencia
  • Williams to run pre-Silverstone aero test More ...
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