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Wind Tunnel Sunday
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having one of the best Sprint CUP seasons he’s ever experienced. Currently, his average finish of 8.1 with 100% of laps completed are the tops of his career. Dale’s crew chief, Steve Letarte, is largely credited with this success and will join Dave Despain and co-host, Leigh Diffey, in the Wind Tunnel studio to talk about the team’s strong season and Saturday’s race in Daytona.

Bob Varsha will join Dave and Leigh to talk about Sunday’s British Grand Prix while Robin Miller will check in from the IndyCar Series race in Toronto.

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Toronto: Vautier tops Indy Lights Practice 2
Rank Car Driver Time Diff. Gap Laps
1 77 Tristan Vautier 1:04.7297 0.0000 0.0000 27
2 27 Sebastian Saavedra 1:04.8965 0.1668 0.1668 21
3 26 Carlos Munoz 1:05.0276 0.2979 0.1311 26
4 11 Esteban Guerrieri 1:05.0941 0.3644 0.0665 22
5 7 Oliver Webb 1:05.1199 0.3902 0.0258 16
6 9 Peter Dempsey 1:05.2281 0.4984 0.1082 21
7 2 Gustavo Yacaman 1:05.2379 0.5082 0.0098 24
8 22 David Ostella 1:05.5903 0.8606 0.3524 24
9 3 Victor Carbone 1:05.6265 0.8968 0.0362 26
10 76 Juan Pablo Garcia 1:06.5443 1.8146 0.9178 28
11 4 Jorge Goncalvez 1:06.6104 1.8807 0.0661 30


Marussia update on injured driver Maria Villota
Earlier today, Maria underwent further surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. This was a planned procedure that would depend upon the continued stability of Maria’s head injuries, and this morning the medical team were sufficiently happy with her progress to allow the operation to go ahead.

The surgeons successfully completed the next phase of surgery required to address Maria’s facial injuries. After the lengthy initial procedure, which commenced on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday, today’s secondary operation took significantly less time.

Since the operation today, Maria’s condition in relation to the head trauma she received has further improved, to the extent that she is now “serious but stable”.

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Crew members injured in Toronto UPDATE #2 Medical Update from Dr. Mike Olinger on Crew Members:

Michael Cole of Dale Coyne Racing and David Martin of Dragon Racing were treated and released from infield care center.

Chuck Homan of Dragon Racing was transported to St Michaels for further evaluation of a leg injury.

Raffi Aroyan of Dragon Racing is being transported to St Michaels for further evaluation of an ankle injury.

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Ron Howards - RUSH Sneak Peak Film Preview (2013)
The movie Rush is a biography of Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Bruhl) and the 1976 crash that almost claimed his life. Mere weeks after the accident, he got behind the wheel to challenge his rival, James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth).


Toronto Practice 2: Franchitti on top again
Dario Franchitti had a positive start to the race weekend at Exhibition Place, topping the first day of practice with a lap of 1:00.2786 (104.813 mph). Rookie Simon Pagenaud was second quick (1:00.3904) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car. Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, who was runner-up in the race last July, was third at 1:00.5423.

The top 21 cars were separated by 1 second. Practice (9:45 a.m. ET) and the three rounds of qualifications (1 p.m. ET) are scheduled for July 7.

Justin Wilson was fourth on the time chart (1:00.6485) in the No. 18 Sonny's BBQ car for Dale Coyne Racing and Ryan Briscoe (1:00.6936) was fifth in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske entry.

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Leimer flies to Silverstone pole
Fabio Leimer
Fabio Leimer has decimated his rivals with an untouchable string of laps in this afternoon's qualifying session in Silverstone that put him almost a full second ahead of his closest competitors Johnny Cecotto and local driver Jolyon Palmer to claim an easy pole position for tomorrow's feature race.

The Swiss driver stopped the clock at 2:01.889 in cold, wet conditions, with temperatures dropping further from the earlier lows in free practice this morning. Leimer set the running for almost the whole session, with his rivals seemingly unable to do anything about his pace in the treacherous conditions.

Series leader Davide Valsecchi was the first man on track, hopeful of taking advantage of a clear track in the session which promised to be one of the most difficult in recent memory, and duly set the running next time around. But Leimer cut 2 seconds out of the Italian's time to be the first man into the 2:07s, and although Valsecchi sneaked ahead on his next lap, it was the Swiss driver who was to set a string of fastest laps from then on, seemingly in competition only with himself.

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Rain causes traffic jam around Silverstone
The Formula 1 community and fans alike have been surprised by the number of traffic problems heading into Silverstone on Friday. The jams have been caused by a combination of poor weather conditions and people attempting to check into camp sites.

Silverstone was infamously connected with wet weather and traffic issues for the 2000 race, which was hosted in April and was in the headlines because of muddy car parks more than the on-track action. Although a number of F1 personalities – such as McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett and BBC Radio 5 live commentator Jaime Alguersuari – found themselves in heavy traffic today, the grandstands have been full for Friday practice.

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Repsol Honda Team on top in Germany
Dani Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda Team had a very positive start on the first day of free practice at the Grand Prix of Germany, Dani Pedrosa finishing on top in both sessions and team mate Casey Stoner very close behind in second in the combined times. The MotoGP paddock was again subjected to adverse weather conditions in Germany, with one dry session and one wet session.

Sachsenring welcomed the riders with sunshine in the morning´s FP1 and both Dani and Casey found pace very quickly, setting up their RC213V machines and working with the soft tires for this unique circuit, with 10 of its 13 corners to the left.

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Toronto: Franchitti tops opening practice
On a hot humid day in Toronto, Dario Franchitti led a Honda 1-2-3 sweep of the opening practice session for the Honda Indy Toronto race on the 1.76-mile 11-turn street circuit at Exhibition Place. 

Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon was 2nd fastest.  Rookie sensation Simon Pagenaud was 3rd quick.

Tony Kanaan led a contingent of six Chevys in fourth with E.J. Viso rounding out the top-5.

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Pirelli offers up more rain tires in soggy England
Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has said that it will attempt to offer more Wet tires at Silverstone, should the teams all agree on the idea. Complaints came on Friday as most drivers sat in their garages for the majority of the first and second practice sessions, as only three sets of the Wet compound are available for the race weekend.

Each driver is limited to four sets of Intermediates and three sets of Wets, which must cover all practice sessions plus qualifying and the race. This is due to FIA Sporting Regulations and the rule existed before Pirelli joined F1 at the start of last season.

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Silverstone: Hamilton tops 2nd wet practice
Schumacher slogs through the England rain
Lewis Hamilton topped Friday's 2nd practice session at Silverstone ahead of Sunday's British GP.  On a track soaking wet from the heavy rain that saw Ferrari's Fernando Alonso go aquaplaning off into the barriers in his Ferrari, Hamilton's lap of 1m56.345s was enough to top Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber and Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg both in Mercedes.

Bruno Senna also aquaplaned into the barriers on the way out of the Becketts complex. The heavily-damaged Williams caused a 10-minute red flag period. Senna stepped out unhurt.

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Toronto: Saavedra tops Indy Lights practice
Sebastian Saavedra topped opening practice for the Indy Lights race on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada Friday morning.

With a small field of only 11 cars, Saavedra beat Victor Carbone and Carlos Munoz on a hot day here north of the border.


Rank Car Driver Time Diff. Gap Laps
1 27 Sebastian Saavedra 1:05.4443 0.0000s 0.0000s 31
2 3 Victor Carbone 1:05.4921 0.0478 0.0478 40
3 26 Carlos Munoz 1:05.9276 0.4833 0.4355 31
4 77 Tristan Vautier 1:06.0432 0.5989 0.1156 35
5 7 Oliver Webb 1:06.1171 0.6728 0.0739 35
6 9 Peter Dempsey 1:06.2708 0.8265 0.1537 23
7 11 Esteban Guerrieri 1:06.2779 0.8336 0.0071 29
8 2 Gustavo Yacaman 1:06.5586 1.1143 0.2807 32
9 4 Jorge Goncalvez 1:06.6824 1.2381 0.1238 38
10 76 Juan Pablo Garcia 1:07.3709 1.9266 0.6885 33
11 22 David Ostella 1:07.5206 2.0763 0.1497 33


Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton celebrate Silverstone 2012
It's 2012. And Britain is enjoying a year of patriotic celebrations. Join Johnnie Walker and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as they prepare to entertain a sell-out Silverstone crowd.


Crestani reigns in wet free practice
Fabrizio Crestani put himself on top of the GP2 time sheets in a rain affected free practice this morning, tiptoeing around in treacherous conditions to post the quickest lap between red flags to lead the session ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Max Chilton.

The Italian's laptime of 2:23.035 was heavily impacted by the constant rain which fell throughout the session and caused three red flag periods in a session which saw almost every driver spin sometime during the 30 minutes track time.

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Romain Grosjean tops very wet first practice for the British Grand Prix
Romain Grosjean was quickest as heavy rain hit the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Conditions were wet throughout.

Daniel Ricciardo was second for Toro Rosso, 0.275 seconds behind Grosjean.


Pos Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m56.552s +0.000s 13
2. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m56.827s +0.275 10
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m57.174s +0.622 6
4. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m57.664s +1.112 11
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m58.119s +1.567 7
6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m58.463s +1.911 7
7. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m58.483s +1.931 19
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m58.493s +1.941 10
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m58.942s +2.390 8
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m59.076s +2.524 12
11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.414s +2.862 11
12. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m59.614s +3.062 9
13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m59.733s +3.181 7
14. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m59.787s +3.235 10
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 2m00.125s +3.573 5
16. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 2m00.253s +3.701 6
17. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m01.834s +5.282 6
18. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 2m01.835s +5.283 6
19. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 2m04.341s +7.789 9
20. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 2m05.022s +8.470 11
21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 2m11.760s +15.208 6
22. Fernando Alonso Ferrari - - 4
23. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes - - 3
24. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes - - 1


Dixon driven despite being low on IndyCar engines
Scott Dixon has run out of IndyCar-approved engines. That doesn't mean the veteran driver has stopped believing he can contend for the series championship.

"You've got to roll with it," Dixon said Thursday as he prepares for the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday. "There's nothing we can change. It is what it is. A little bit of concern, but you can't do anything by sitting up all night worrying about it."

Third in the season standings, Dixon is the most notable of five drivers on their fifth and final engine. And that means Dixon would be penalized 10 spots on the starting grid the next time he switches to a new engine.

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Racing News

Former race driver Alex Zanardi pursues Paralympics
Relaxing while on vacation this week on a boat in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Italian coast, Alex Zanardi was nonetheless eager to return to his training routine.

The two-time CART champion is 61 days from what he calls "the big one." That would be the start of his participation in London's Summer Paralympic Games, an event for athletes with physical disabilities that is, in Zanardi's view, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn an international gold medal.

Zanardi turned to hand cycling a few years after the Champ Car crash at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany, that resulted in the amputation of both of his legs. He is as gifted on such a bike as he was in a race car, but he will turn 46 a month after the Paralympics.

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Felix Da Costa leads the way in rainy Silverstone
Round 4 of the GP3 Series opened with a rain soaked Silverstone for Free Practice and it was Antonio Felix Da Costa who set the early pace to finish P1 with a laptime of 2:11.463. The heavens opened up over the circuit as the drivers took to the track for their installation laps and it was MW Arden’s David Fumanelli who was first out. As the rain poured down throughout the session it gave the drivers their first opportunity to run with the Pirelli wet tyres and test their limits ahead of qualifying tomorrow morning.

With the treacherous conditions, visibility was very poor for the 27 drivers with the vast amount of spray, thus creating a lively session with many drivers finding themselves spinning and some having a premature end to their free practice.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Whitmarsh defends Michael
    Finger-pointing at Sam Michael premature - Whitmarsh
  • Vergne insists even Vettel struggled at Toro Rosso
  • Schumacher rejects six-week deadline for 2013 decision
  • Hamilton 'ready' to end uncertainty over future
  • Silverstone braced for soaking grand prix
  • 'Greedy' di Resta admits eye on better team
  • Renault reverts to 2011 alternators after failures
  • Vettel denies safety car conspiracy theory
  • FIA admits Alonso and Hamilton escaped Valencia sanctions
  • Senna admits he must 'do well' to stay at Williams
  • Chance of new Ferrari deal 'better' now - Massa
  • De Villota still 'critical' after test crash

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