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British F3

Triple Podium Joy for T Sport
Sergio Perez took his 4th win of the season, and his first podium finish since Monza, after getting a great start in Round 14 at Brands Hatch.  The Mexican was under pressure from Marcus Ericsson for the entire race but the Swede made a mistake two corners from home, spinning off into the barriers and promoting Atte Mustonen and Oliver Turvey to the final podium places.  In the National Class it was a 1-2 for T Sport as Steven Guerrero scored his second win leading home teammate Salman Al Khalifa, with Jay Bridger in 3rd.  (See AutoRacing1.com exclusive race photos)

Twenty seven cars lined up on the grid for Round 14, including the Ultimate Mygale of Alistair Jackson, the Ulsterman being given the all clear by the medics after his heavy accident in Round 13.  At the start it was Ericsson who led the field away but it was second placed Perez who got an even better getaway to get alongside the Swedish driver into Paddock Hill and sweep into the lead.  Oliver Turvey also got the drop on his Carlin teammate Jaime Alguersuari to slot into 4th behind Atte Mustonen at the first corner.  John Martin stalled on the grid and once he had fired the Mercedes engine into life he set off in last place.

Perez had Ericsson Fortec Dallara filling his rear view mirrors as they crossed the line for the first time, followed by Mustonen, Turvey, Alguersuari, Hartley and Tandy.
As the laps counted down the leading pair continued to circulate with just 0.3 seconds separating them as they pulled away from third placed Mustonen who was having the fend off the attentions of Turvey.

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racing news

Moscow City Racing powered by Bavaria
Two Russian models pose
The first edition of Moscow City Racing powered by Bavaria is a fact. Today several international top drivers demonstrated their skills around the Kremlin, in the heart of Moscow. The 4.6 km track along the Vasilius Cathedral and the Presidential Residence was covered by e.g. the Williams and Red Bull team. It’s the first time that such a big event can take place around the Kremlin.

Peer Swinkels, member of the board of Bavaria: “Together with Rotterdam Racing and Derk Sauer we worked very hard to organize a world class race-event What seemed to be impossible became a huge success today and we are proud of that!”

Initiator of the City Racing concept and co-organizer of Moscow City Racing powered by Bavaria, Robert Heilbron from Rotterdam Racing: “The 13th of July 2008 is, thanks to the City of Moscow and The Kremlin, a historic day for Russian motorsports. It is our second event, besides Bavaria City Racing in Rotterdam and I am very proud that we got the possibility to let this take place in the heart of Moscow. The public was really enthusiastic and I feel Russian motorsports has entered a new era today”.

Bavaria, Rotterdam Racing and Derk Sauer are the three motives behind Moscow City Racing powered by Bavaria. Today, the result of this Dutch cooperation moved hundreds of thousands spectators in Moscow. Drivers like Nico Rosberg and Michael Aleshin were surprised by the enthusiasm of all Russian fans. The interest of the (international) media was unheard. The press-conference just before the event, which was attended by Sir Frank Williams, attracted more journalist/TV crews than the visit of President Bush.


Another Audi one-two-three-four win at Zandvoort
Audi showed a dominant performance at the sixth DTM round at Zandvoort and, like last year, celebrated a one-two-three-four victory in the Netherlands. It was the new Audi A4 DTM’s best result so far and Audi’s 45th victory in the DTM. One day before his 30th birthday, title defender Mattias Ekström celebrated his second exploit of the season, after winning the season opener at Hockenheim. Following the twelfth DTM triumph of his career, the two-time champion is now the best Audi driver in DTM history.

Mattias Ekström had prepared the ground for his victory the day before: by clinching his dominant tenth pole, he had secured the top grid position, which he perfectly converted into the lead in the race straight at the start. During the two pit stops the Swede – with his Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline – defended his lead as well, ahead of his team colleague Timo Scheider, who had started the race from position two on the grid.

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Pedrosa to be examined for finger and ankle fractures

A crash suffered while leading the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland could have left Dani Pedrosa with a broken finger and fractured ankle.

Dani Pedrosa crashes out of the lead at Sachsenring

While some of his MotoGP World Championship rivals will be making a direct journey to Laguna Seca for next weekend’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, Dani Pedrosa will be making a brief stopover in Barcelona to undergo examination on a suspected broken index finger and ankle injury.

The Repsol Honda rider was leading the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland when he crashed out of the race, taking a big impact as he was flung from his RC212V. The fall dealt a double blow to the Spaniard, who not only conceded the lead in the World Championship but also could be affected by the latest in a string of injuries.

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Stoner wins in the wet

A run of three victories in a row from pole position was continued by Casey Stoner in Sachsenring.

Casey Stoner in action in Sachsenring (MotoGP)

MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner continued his spectacular return to form with victory at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, his third win in as many races. The Ducati Marlboro rider braved the wet conditions of the Sachsenring circuit and appeared equally adept to the task as he had been in the dry practice sessions, a sign that will have his title rivals preoccupied for the second half of the season.

The race had looked set to be a wet weather repeat of Dani Pedrosa’s comprehensive 2007 victory, after the Repsol Honda rider once again used his finely-honed launch control to take the hole shot. He stormed out of the blocks and immediately created a 2 second gap. The advantage increased to 7.5 seconds by the time the Spaniard crossed the line for a sixth time, but just moments later disaster struck as he lost control of the RC212V and picked up his first DNF of 2008.

Pedrosa’s crash allowed Stoner to return to the script written in practice sessions for the German race, and the Australian needed no further invitation. He assumed the reigns in the same style with which he had taken the win at the past two races, breaking free and riding solo for 23 laps right up until the checkered flag was waved.

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racing news

Quotes of the week
"I don't mean this in a bad way, but I would not have any interest in purchasing it [Dale Earnhardt Inc.]. I would not have any interest in purchasing any race team, just to have the ownership. I didn't ever feel like she [Dale's stepmother Teresa] would be interested in selling the company. I don't think that is in Teresa's character to give that company up. She feels that strong about it. She felt that strong about it a couple of years ago. But maybe she sees the trend and some of the other things that are happening with other owners. Maybe she's changed her mind." Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR driver, Hendrick Motorsports

“It's a big night for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Every time we ran this car, I've won with it, here at Nashville and at Watkins Glen. It's been a hell of a lot of luck for us, but you could not have been luckier than we were tonight. It was a miscommunication on the pit call. That's the only reason that I didn't come in. I was angry for a few laps, but when I saw that rain coming down, I thought, ‘Oh, this could work out pretty good. (Tony Kanaan) was pretty strong and he seemed to get the worst out of it."  When asked if he had learned to play the guitar yet, Dixon replied "I haven't. If I do, it might be bad luck, so I'm not going to learn for a long time." Scott Dixon, IndyCar driver, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, winner of Nashville race

“I have to thank these guys.  I gave up on myself and didn’t think I could do that.  I’ve watched Jimmie Johnson do that a few times and I don’t know how I did that.  This M&M’s Toyota team is just phenomenal tonight.  Great pit stops all night.  Every time we came down pit road we had fast pit stops.  I can’t believe this. I really don’t believe how good things are going.  It’s just been a phenomenal year.  Something just so special.  I have to thank the good Lord from up above.  I don’t know where this is coming from, but he’s blessing us all at Joe Gibbs Racing this year.  This is just a privilege to be a part of and we’re so proud.” Kyle Busch, NASCAR's dominant Sprint Cup driver, Joe Gibbs Racing, winner of Chicagoland race

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Fuel saving tips
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Formula 2

FIA pushes on with low-cost F2 plans UPDATE (GMM) The FIA has defended its plans to resurrect Formula 2 next year as an ultra low-cost feeder category for formula one.

Dismissed by some as a ploy amid Max Mosley's power struggle with Bernie Ecclestone, others - including one unnamed GP2 team boss - slammed the stated ideal budget of 200,000 euros per car per season as "bullsh*t".

"Even if everyone worked for free and we set ourselves up as a registered charity, the team's travel expenses alone would be more than 200,000 euros," he said.

But in a press release to announce the launch of the tender process, the Paris based federation explained that the 200,000 euros figure is only a guide for interested bidders.

"No minimum or maximum price is indicated in this tender," an excerpt of the FIA statement reads.

The FIA also said Formula 2 will be a ten-round annual championship in Europe between April and September, with events taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

There will be six days of official testing per season, the statement added.

07/13/08 The FIA has launched the tender process for the proposed FIA Formula 2 Championship. The tender instructions and requirements are now available on the FIA website. Interested parties are invited to tender to become the exclusive supplier of the single seat, open wheel racing cars to be used by the competitors in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The Championship will comprise ten events in Europe between the months of April and September.

Each event will take place over a Saturday and Sunday with one hour of free practice, one hour of qualifying and one race of approximately 175km. There will be six official testing events, of one day each – three before the first race of the season and three during the season.

It is hoped that the cost to a competitor of competing in the Championship for a calendar year – to include full participation in all official testing and events – could be in the region of €200,000 per car, though no minimum or maximum price is indicated in this tender.

Bids must be submitted by 29 August 2008.  FIA press release

British F3

Red Bull Driver Wins Red Flagged Race
Jaime Alguersuari dominated Round 13 at Brands Hatch from pole position but the race was red flagged after 16 laps following a heavy accident involving Alistair Jackson at the exit of Surtees.  Oliver Turvey finished second after passing Atte Mustonen at the start.  Jay Bridger won the National Class from pole but it was a great result for Jonathan Legris on his British F3 debut, finishing a strong second in the LitespeedF3 SLC R1.  (See AutoRacing1.com exclusive race photos)

Jaime Alguersuari got the best start off the line to lead the 27 car field into Paddock Hill for the first time.  Third placed Oliver Turvey got a better start than Atte Mustonen to demote the Finn into the first corner by one place.  Further back 5th placed Sebastian Hohenthal and 8th placed Henry Arundel both stalled their cars causing the drivers behind them to take avoiding action off the line, luckily with no incidents.

Brendon Hartley went down the inside of Max Chilton at Graham Hill Bend, gaining the New Zealander three places before the end of lap one.  Another driver making a good start off the line was John Martin, the Australian making up six places as he crossed the line for the first time to end the lap in 10th, the place he would've started before his qualifying penalty for a yellow flag infringement.

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Mid-year report
The war is over. The open wheel Split is no more. Now the fans will return and pack the stands. The TV ratings will skyrocket. Sponsors will be banging down the IndyCar Series team’s doors.

Well? What is the problem?

TV numbers and attendance for the most part remain flat. The Indy 500 did show improvements, but that is more likely due to the weather compared to last year.

The cars remain unattractive and sound horrendous.  The flat-out oval racing fails to inspire.  The dubious victory of Danica Patrick along with the incessant marketing of this average racer has turned off many fans.

Consecutive races at Richmond and Watkins Glen were comedies of error in which drivers looked inept and yellow flag caution periods seem to drag on more than necessary.

The expected return of Champ Car fans to the merged series has not materialized, as most of them do not consider it so much a merger but a sellout by the owners.

The IndyCar Series is not planning on having new cars or engines until 2010 at the earliest, when the current Dallara design will be 10 years old.  That is ancient in racing terms.

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Whitmarsh and Haug look for German GP win
After Silverstone, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team begins preparations for its second ‘home’ race; next week’s Santander German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug talk about their expectations for this important race.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula 1, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes:
Nine races gone and nine to go: what’s your evaluation of the team’s progress at this halfway stage in the world championship?
“We’re leading the drivers’ championship with Lewis and are third in the constructors’ championship. And while we remain encouraged by the pace we’ve recently shown and the victories we’ve achieved, there’s a feeling that we could still be doing more to consistently score strongly. Several opportunities for victory, most notably in Istanbul and Montreal, have slipped through our fingers; we’ve suffered a few penalties – which we took squarely on the chin – and, through no fault of his own, Heikki has finished out of the points on several occasions, either due to us being unable to provide him with a suitable car or through circumstances that were largely beyond his control. So as we head into the second half of the season, our primary objective must be to work harder to iron out these imperfections, to provide our drivers with race-winning machinery at every opportunity and to sharpen our focus on the world titles – both of which are still achievable for us. I think Heikki’s pole position and Lewis’s win in the Santander British Grand Prix win were good for our momentum; the atmosphere back in Woking on Monday morning was incredibly upbeat and positive because we all know we’re strongly back in the hunt for the world championship. And we’re not going to easily let go of that.”

Has it been difficult to get an accurate read on the team’s overall competitiveness in the last few races?
“I know the fans would love to see a straight fight between ourselves and our rivals – but fate, and the weather, has conspired against that happening in the four most recent races in Monaco, Montreal, Magny-Cours and Silverstone – so we can still only estimate where we sit in terms of overall performance. But the reality is, we’re keenly aware of the steps we’ve taken to improve the car and feel confident that we’ve currently got a fantastic race car that can be developed sufficiently for the rest of the season. We’re confident we’ll be competitive in Hockenheim next week, but one of the beauties of Formula 1 is that you just can’t tell until the red lights go out on Sunday afternoon.”

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Moss, Williams fear British GP doomed UPDATE A skeptical Frank Williams has admitted he would be very surprised to see his team racing in Donington Park in 2010 with so much work still to do at the Derby circuit.

Bernie Ecclestone made the shock announcement last week that Donington Park has secured a 10-year contract to host the British Grand Prix, starting in two years time.

A skeptical Frank Williams
While many have already voiced their dismay at Silverstone’s loss of the prestigious race, Williams is more concerned by the lack of progress in the five-year £100 million development project, which has yet to receive planning permission.

“When I’m at Donington in 2010, if I’m really there I’ll believe it, but I’m not certain,” he told his team’s official podcast.

“I’m sure they can do all the things they must to get the circuit ready in time - two years is a lot of time with which to achieve it - but it will be immensely expensive.

“I don’t know much about Silverstone’s affairs but I would guess it is a much more expensive project than the one Silverstone are required to do, if they wish to retain the Grand Prix.

“I will just find out in course where we are supposed to be,” continued Williams.  Setanta Sports

07/12/08 Sir Stirling Moss fears for the future of the British Grand Prix following the announcement that it will be held at Donington Park from 2010.  Now Moss, winner of 16 grands prix, has expressed his fears that the days of the British Grand Prix may be numbered.  He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I doubt that (it will stay at Silverstone).

"I'm afraid it may be run in some foreign country because other countries can run national (grands prix). It could go somewhere else but nevertheless I think we'll still have good racing at Silverstone which is what matters. I'm afraid he (Ecclestone) might (move the race abroad).  I would like to hope the car owners would say 'no, we want to race in England, it's the centre of motor racing in the world now and we would like to race there even if it doesn't carry points the people will come and it will be a great occasion."

Moss also believes Donington will not be ready in time although he has no fears for the future of Silverstone.  "In one word, no I don't, actually. It's a worry. Silverstone we've had taken away from us which is a great shame but then the track is in such a good condition, the drivers love it and so on and there are so many other races and motorbikes, I'm not really worried for its future because it is so good."


Problems keep Montagny/Andretti from win
Franck Montagny
Franck Montagny made the AGR Acura LMP2 car as fast as any car on the track Saturday evening at Lime Park for the ALMS race.  But it was not enough to overcome the setbacks the team had.  His teammate Marco Andretti was simply too slow (from lack of seat time and trying to also race in the Nashville IndyCar the same day) and then the radiator had a problem.

"It was very difficult for Marco at the beginning of the race: starting last on this very short and narrow track, he lost almost 30 seconds after three laps and he was lapped after 14 minutes. He had a problem with the radio, too. Then, after I replaced him at the wheel, I had a radiator problem [much gravel on the track] and had to stop again, losing two other laps. But I was the fastest on the track in the second part of the race, and I set the best time of the day. I was asked to let David Brabham go ahead, as he was battling for the victory, but I was able to follow him and the Porsche he was chasing without any problem. Without the penalty and the obligation to start last [as Marco didn't drive the car in practice and qualifying], we should have been able to fight for the win, even if we didn't have the same new Acura splitter as the Highcroft and De Ferran teams. But we'll have it for the next race at Mid-Ohio, next weekend."


Ganassi Racing gets 100th win
Scott Dixon's win in the IndyCar Series Nashville Superspeedway race Saturday marked the 100th overall win for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with a new sponsor, Target. Today, his teams include two IRL IndyCars, and along with Felix Sabates he has two cars in the Sprint Cup Series, one entry in the Nationwide Series and a Daytona Prototype in the world of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series racing. Ganassi Racing PR


New NASCAR testing proposal
NASCAR handed teams a draft of a new testing policy Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. The sanctioning body will take more input from teams before finalizing it. The proposal gives each organization 24 test days at tracks where the Sprint Cup teams compete, with a maximum of two cars per test. All of the team’s drivers can test, but no driver can test for a team for which he does not drive. New teams would get test days depending on how much they race. There is typically a week blackout period before a race and a blackout period from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15. The Daytona tests will remain and not be included. There is no rookie provision. SceneDaily.com


Weekly NASCAR cheater report UPDATE #2 After the race, NASCAR met with Hall of Fame racing co-owner Tom Garfinkel and apparently cleared the team of any wrongdoing. “NASCAR had reason to believe we were doing something we shouldn’t have been doing – and we weren’t doing it,” Garfinkel said. “But they had sufficient reason to believe that because of some mistakes in procedure that we made.” Yeley said that each week, his team uses a drink system that requires crew members to put a cold water bag into the car before the race. If they put it in early, it gets too hot and isn’t drinkable. But NASCAR apparently felt something was amiss, and ran the car through inspection both with and without the water bag to address weight concerns. Officials apparently suspected that the #96 team had gone to the old trick of putting lead in the water bag to make extra weight. After the race, Pemberton said the team had “served our penalties. We’re done with them,” he said. “We’re comfortable with that team and we feel like they weren’t trying to pull the wool over our eyes.” SceneDaily.com

07/12/08 Hall of Fame Racing's No. 96 Toyota was held in the inspection bay at Chicagoland Speedway by NASCAR officials until shortly before the start of Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400.  The car failed pre-race inspection when two water bottles were found in the car containing lead, NASCAR officials said.  Driver J.J. Yeley was allowed to join the field after the 42 other cars had already started the pace laps and then was required to serve a stop-and-go penalty on pit road after taking the green flag.  Any additional penalties for the infraction will be announced next week, NASCAR officials said.

07/12/08 NASCAR confiscated the brake calipers from the Roush Fenway Racing car of Carl Edwards following the Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway.  The calipers were not on NASCAR's list of approved parts, a NASCAR spokesman said late Friday night. Penalties would be announced next week.

tv news

NASCAR drivers to appear on American Dream with Jim Cramer UPDATE A reminder that this program will be shown Sunday night, July 13.

07/12/08 CNBC's Jim Cramer, host of "Mad Money w/Jim Cramer" and one of the best minds on Wall Street, heads to NASCAR's Pit Road for his first NBC special "The American Dream with Jim Cramer" premiering on Sunday, July 13th at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm ET. With high gas prices, plummeting home values and shrinking nest eggs, too many Americans feel like the American Dream is fading. But, in this one-hour special CNBC's Jim Cramer reminds viewers that it is still alive and well and that he, himself, is living proof. Cramer helps Americans unlock the wealth of money-making opportunities everywhere, even in their favorite pastime.

Cramer had an unprecedented, all access pass to NASCAR, and the best part about it is you never know who you are going to bump into.... Cramer spent time talking cars, dreams, winning and yes, money with some of NASCAR's brightest and most magnetic stars including Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Casey Mears. NBC PR

tv news

Weekend USA TV Reminders UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday are shown below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Driving Force 
4:00am-4:30am (R) -The Journey Home
4:30am-5:00am (R) -A Brave New Track A&E
Check local listings for your time zone
NHRA Raceday Denver 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix Lakeville, CT 
12:00pm-3:00pm (7/12/08) SPEED
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Germany
1:00pm-2:00pm (SD)
Check local listings for your time zone CBS
Prelude to the Dream Eldora Speedway 
3:00pm-5:00pm (R) SPEED
MotoGP 250 Germany 
5:00pm-6:00pm (SD) SPEED
American Dream with Jim Cramer
Financial special featuring a NASCAR theme
Appearing: Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards
Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears 
7:00pm-8:00pm NBC
Check local listings for your time zone
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Chicagoland 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
NHRA Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Denver
8:00pm-11:00pm (SD) ESPN2
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Darrell Waltrip (NASCAR Analyst)
Ben Spies (AMA Superbike & MotoGP) 
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV programs, see TVRacer.com


Woman wins Indy Lights race
Results Saturday of the Sunbelt Rentals 100 Firestone Indy Lights event July 12 at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any) and money earned:

1. (2) Ana Beatriz, 77, $32,500
2. (8) Bobby Wilson, 77, $25,000
3. (5) Arie Luyendyk Jr., 77, $21,000
4. (10) J.R. Hildebrand, 77, $17,000
5. (4) Raphael Matos, 77, $16,000
6. (9) Logan Gomez, 77, $15,500
7. (13) Franck Perera, 77, $15,000
8. (11) Sean Guthrie, 77, $14,500
9. (12) Andrew Prendeville, 77, $14,000
10. (20) Pablo Donoso, 77, $13,500
11. (7) Brent Sherman, 77, $14,000
12. (14) Richard Antinucci, 75, $11,500
13. (19) Cyndie Allemann, 75, $10,500
14. (16) Robbie Pecorari, 75, $10,000
15. (6) Jeff Simmons, 73, $9,500
16. (1) James Davison, 44, Contact $9,000
17. (15) Jonny Reid, 43, Contact $8,500
18. (18) Chris Festa, 39, Handling $8,000
19. (3) Dillon Battistini, 23, Mechanical $8,500
20. (17) Micky Gilbert, 9, Mechanical $5,500
      Race Statistics
      Winner's average speed: 147.778 mph
      Time of race: 40:38.5208
      Margin of victory: 1.2392 seconds
      Cautions: 2 caution flags for 11 laps
      Lead changes: 1 change among 2 drivers
      Lap leaders: Davison 1-32, Beatriz 33-77.
      Point standings: Antinucci 325, Matos 310, Beatriz 286,
      Battistini 276, Luyendyk 273, Hildebrand 267, Simmons 241,
      Gomez 227, Wilson 207, Sherman 205.


Joe Gibbs talk about Stewart departure
Joe Gibbs talks to reporters
Diane Schenk/AutoRacing1
Joe Gibbs had the following to say today about Tony Stewart at Chicagoland Speedway:

Question: Why did you let Tony go before next season?

Joe Gibbs: First of all, we did not let Tony go. He came in and said he wanted to leave. This was brought to a head between Tony and us. Home Depot had no part in this decision, they did not have a choice. We decided for him and us for both of us to get started with going in a different direction.

Question: It looks like Brett Favre is looking for a ride, would you consider him?

Joe Gibbs: Just my luck. Now Brett Favre whipped us last year up there. Then I said oh my gosh this guy is going to kill us so I might as well get out of football. I get out and then he retires. If I was in there some place I would be trying to get him. Rick Schenk reporting from Chicagoland

formula bmw

Rossi and Juncadella win at Lime Rock
Rounds 8 and 9 of the Formula BMW Americas Championship were held at the reconfigured 1.51-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn. Daniel Juncadella (Euro Junior Team), a guest driver from the Formula BMW Europe series, won Round 8. Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) maintained his lead in the overall point standings with the win in Round 9.

Round 8: Formula BMW Europe driver Daniel Juncadella (Euro Junior Team), of Barcelona, Spain, won Round 8 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship today at Lime Rock Park. He finished 4.195 seconds ahead of Formula BMW Junior driver Ricardo Favoretto (Eurointernational), of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the 25 lap contest.

This was Favoretto's third consecutive runner-up finish of the season. He will, however, take the winner's 20 points (guest drivers are not eligible for points) and consolidate his hold on second place in the overall standings. Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team), of Longueuil, Canada, finished third despite feeling ill. This was his third podium appearance of the season. Rookie point leader Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica) finished fourth. Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) recovered from a spin after contact with Favoretto on lap 18 to round out the top-five finishers and retain the lead in the overall point standings. Rossi set a new race record of 57.798 seconds on lap 20. The top-finishing Rookies in Round 8 were Raimondo (P4), Ostella (P6), Grenier (P7), Ruiz (P9) and Vilarinho (P10).

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Matthias Ekström with Audi A4 DTM on pole at Zandvoort
Reigning DTM champion Mattias Ekström (S) got himself into the best possible start position for the sixth DTM round of the year on Sunday (live on ARD from 12.45 h) by claiming pole position at Zandvoort. The 29-year old Audi driver lapped the 4.307 kilometers long track in the dunes at the North Sea in 1.31.012 minutes, the fastest lap time. For the Swede, it was his tenth pole in the DTM and the 40th for Audi.

“I am very happy, that was a great qualifying for me”, said Ekström. Second fastest in qualifying was points’ leader Timo Scheider, 0.219 seconds down. The Audi trio in front was completed by Dane Tom Kristensen. In seven races held in The Netherlands since 2001, only one driver was able to convert pole position into a race win, and that was Mattias Ekström during his championship title year, 2004.

Jamie Green qualifyed on 4th place
Jamie Green qualified on 4th place

Best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver on Saturday evening was Brit Jamie Green in fourth place, the driver who already won in Mugello and at the Norisring this year. In the battle for the DTM title, the 26-year old is only one point behind Scheider and is thus the German’s fiercest rival. His fellow Mercedes-Benz driver, Bruno Spengler from Canada, ended fifth in the hunt for grid positions and is standing alongside the Audi A4 DTM of Martin Tomczyk (D), who will be starting sixth into the race over 38 laps and a distance of 163.666 kilometers. Behind Brit Paul di Resta (Mercedes), Audi’s Oliver Jarvis (GB) was the best-placed driver with a year-old car in eighth place. The top ten was completed by Germans Markus Winkelhock and Mike Rockenfeller (both Audi).

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euro f3

Hülkenberg stripped of Euro F3 win UPDATE Hülkenberg was caught cheating and has been stripped of the win.  In the final tally he was not classified.  If it was NASCAR he would have kept the win, but in real racing series like Euro F3 cheaters never prosper.  Mika Maki was declared the winner.

07/12/08 Nico Hülkenberg (ART Grand Prix) was the dominant winner of the ninth season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series at the 4.307 kilometers long former Grand Prix circuit at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. The 20-year old German scored a dominant lights-to-flag win from the two rookie drivers Mika Mäki (Mücke Motorsport) and Jules Bianchi (ART Grand Prix). This allowed Hülkenberg to close up to only four points behind championship leader Edoardo Mortara (Signature-Plus). The 21 year old Italian retired early after a driving error and failed to score any points for the first time this season.

Hülkenberg’s third season win was never in danger. On the first meters already, the test driver of the Williams Formula 1 team pulled a gap over his rival Mika Mäki and took the checkered flag with a margin of 5.098 seconds. For 20-year old Finn Mäki, it was already his third podium finish in the world’s toughest junior race series. For the second time this season, Frenchman Jules Bianchi was allowed to take part in a prize-giving ceremony, the 18-year old took the trophy for third place.

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One of Champ Car's many failures
This SpeedTV article points out one of Champ Car's biggest failures - to capitalize on the talents of All-American kid Ryan Hunter-Reay. Instead Champ Car put him in the worst car on the grid, which made him look bad, and then threw him under the bus on live TV by trying to blame the performance on the driver instead of the car. Champ Car is where it is today because of such stupidity.


Q and A with Marco Andretti
Marco Andretti sits in his Acura
Marco Andretti arrived at Lime Rock Park and back in the American Le Mans Series on Saturday morning, just hours after arriving Friday night from Nashville and qualifying for the IndyCar Series. Andretti will drive Andretti Green Racing’s Acura ARX-01b with Franck Montagny and was third-fastest overall (second in LMP2) in Saturday morning’s 25-minute warm-up. After starting from the rear of the field this afternoon and following his first stint, Andretti will fly back to Nashville for tonight’s IndyCar race. He spoke on the experience Saturday morning.

Doing the double:
“It would be tougher if you were going back and forth from two different road courses. This car drives differently than an Indy car on a road course. You have to switch your brain in a different mode when you go back to Nashville. The Acura has traction control, a couple of more assists and a lot more downforce so it would be easier to drive in the corners. It takes a couple of laps to adjust to the style of driving. This is the way to do it if you’re going to do it.

On Lime Rock:
“It’s definitely tough to pass. It’s not great for us today because we have to start in the back. But we’ll be looking to march forward. There are places we can get by. I think we should be able to get through pretty quickly. If you catch the slower cars in the wrong spot, there’s nothing you can do but sit behind them. We’ll be looking to be as quick as we can. We obviously have the pace. If we can get up front I think we can stay there.

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Stoner wipes up in Germany qualifying

Casey Stoner broke the pole position record and was nearly four-tenths faster than his nearest rival on Saturday afternoon, taking his fourth consecutive pole position.

Casey Stoner in action in Sachsenring (MotoGP)

Casey Stoner completed his dominance of the practice timesheets at Sachsenring with his fourth consecutive pole position, setting a new record along the way. The reigning MotoGP World Champion –chasing his third victory in a row- set the fastest time ever recorded at the track with a 1´21.067 lap of the German circuit. Stoner had previously gone round lower than the existing record using race tires on Friday.

Stoner had done enough to confirm his place at the head of the grid with over fifteen minutes remaining in the qualifying session, but further left his mark with an audacious final hot lap that further lowered his time by nearly three-tenths of a second. Last year he suffered from a tire problem that ruled him out of the running for victory, but it appears that it will take something special to defeat the Australian on Sunday afternoon.

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NHRA announces purse increase, '09 schedule
NHRA has released its 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule today featuring 24 events. In addition, NHRA announced an event purse increase in excess of $1.3 million.

Beginning in 2009, national event winners in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will each receive $50,000, an increase of 25 percent. Pro Stock national event winners will receive $25,000, and Pro Stock Motorcycle winners will receive $10,000. At the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the 55th running of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, winners in the top two nitro classes will receive a check for $100,000, and Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle winners will earn $50,000 and $20,000, respectively.   

Increases at national events also were announced for runners-up, semifinalists, and second-round finishers. At the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, increases were announced for semifinalists and second-round finishers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle received increases for runner-up and second-round finishers. In all, the total increase in event purses in the four Professional classes is $1,353,700.

In 2009, the total purse for professional categories for all POWERade Series races except the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is $660,000 for events including Pro Stock Motorcycle and $625,000 for those without bikes. The total professional category purse for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in 2009 will be $862,500.

The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the same venues as 2008, with only slight changes to the dates due to the change of holiday weekends. The series, however, will celebrate several landmark anniversaries at some of its long-standing and fan-favorite facilities. Celebrating its 40th anniversary and serving as the East Coast kickoff to the season will be the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville (March 12-15). The NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown (June 11-14) also will feature a 40th anniversary theme. Also celebrating significant special anniversaries will be the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver (July 10-12), the 25th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals in Phoenix (Feb. 20-22), the 25th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading (Aug. 20-23), and the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas (April 2-5). 

The season will begin at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California with the 49th annual NHRA Winternationals Feb. 5-8. Scheduled for its traditional Labor Day weekend date will be the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-7 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The world's largest drag racing event will represent the final race in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship regular season and serve as the last opportunity for racers in all four Professional categories to lock down a spot in the top 10 and a chance in the last six events of the season (five events for Pro Stock Motorcycle) to win the inaugural NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championship. 

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Enrique Bernoldi miffed at teammate Jaime Camara
Bernoldi went to the hospital after last weekend's crash and is still in a lot of pain
Enrique Bernoldi was miffed at teammate Jaime Camara last weekend for the accident that became a 58 G vertical impact for Bernoldi when his car slammed the ground after getting airborne.

"I'm still in a lot of pain, and it was really frustrating to have a crash like that," he said. "My teammate tried to out-brake me in an area where he was not going to. I think he was a bit optimistic.

"To have that happen and to be as slow as we were, I'm sure it was the worst race of my career."

Bernoldi did not say what his future holds in the series.  IndyStar


Pedrosa tops final Sachsenring practice
Dani Pedrosa in action in Germany
Honda's Dani Pedrosa edged out Casey Stoner's Ducati for top time in the final practices session for Sunday's German GP MotoGP race at Sachsenring.  Pedrosa's Honda teammate Nicky Hayden was third.



Rider Bike Tire Time Behind
1. Daniel Pedrosa Honda (M) 1:22.343 +0.000
2. Casey Stoner Ducati (B) 1:22.377 +0.034
3. Nicky Hayden Honda (M) 1:22.935 +0.592
4. Alex de Angelis Honda (B) 1:23.065 +0.722
5. Andrea Dovizioso Honda (M) 1:23.129 +0.786
6. Sylvain Guintoli Ducati (B) 1:23.556 +1.213
7. Randy de Puniet Honda (M) 1:23.604 +1.261
8. Toni Elias Ducati (B) 1:23.670 +1.327
9. Valentino Rossi Yamaha (B) 1:23.863 +1.520
10. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki (B) 1:23.880 +1.537
11. Shinya Nakano Honda (B) 1:23.933 +1.590
12. James Toseland Yamaha (M) 1:24.120 +1.777
13. Marco Melandri Ducati (B) 1:24.455 +2.112
14. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha (M) 1:24.591 +2.248
15. Colin Edwards Yamaha (M) 1:24.841 +2.498
16. Loris Capirossi Suzuki (B) 1:25.124 +2.781
17. Anthony West Kawasaki (B) 1:29.301 +6.958


Penske cars to carry special decal
The Team Penske cars driven by Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe will carry a special decal in memory of employee Bill Passwater. Passwater, 33, passed away on Wednesday morning.

He is survived by his wife, Heather, and their baby daughter, Lyla Grace.

Passwater had been employed at Penske Racing since 2005. He was the transportation coordinator for the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams.


In other news from Nashville - Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Senator John McCain, will ride in a pace car Saturday at 4:30 p.m. CT.


NHRA announces safety task force
NHRA has announced the members of its safety task force created to investigate, analyze and determine ways to implement the initiatives recently outlined by NHRA to continue to enhance safety. 

The current task force is made up of NHRA officials and Top Fuel and Funny Car crew chiefs and conducted its first conference call among its members earlier this week.

The task force is headed up by Dan Olson, NHRA director of top fuel and funny car racing.  He is joined by: Austin Coil, crew chief for John Force Racing; Jim Head, Funny Car driver/crew chief; Alan Johnson, crew chief for the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster; Jon Oberhofer, crew chief for the Doug Kalitta-driven Top Fuel dragster; Mark Oswald, co-crew chief on Melanie Troxel's Funny Car; and Tim Wilkerson, Funny Car driver/crew chief.  Other representatives from NHRA and the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) will also participate.

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euro f3

Nico Hülkenberg fastest in qualifying once more
For the fourth time this season already, Nico Hülkenberg (ART Grand Prix, 1:32.087 min) set the fastest lap time in qualifying of the Formula 3 Euro Series. At the 4.307 kilometers long circuit through the dunes of Zandvoort, the 20-year old test driver of the Williams Formula 1 team outpaced rookie Mika Mäki (Mücke Motorsport, 1:32.167 min) from Finland by 0.080 seconds. The second grid row for the ninth season round of the Formula 3 Euro Series on Saturday will be occupied by 18-year old Frenchman Jules Bianchi (ART Grand Prix, 1:32.225 min) and Brit Sam Bird (Manor Motorsport, 1:32,372 min), his senior by three years, For both drivers, it was their best qualifying result of the season.

Behind the best four junior drivers, Jean-Karl Vernay (Signature-Plus, 1:32.512 min) qualified fifth. For the 20-year old Frenchman, qualifying was over with one minute to go when he landed in the gravel trap after a driving error. He still ranked fifth ahead of Japanese Koudai Tsukakoshi (Manor Motorsport, 1:32.539 min). Edoardo Mortara (Signature-Plus, 1:32.862 min), who came to Zandvoort as the points leader in the Formula 3 Euro Series, 15 points clear of Nico Hülkenberg, was only 15th.

Nico Hülkenberg (ART Grand Prix): “It was not easy, because I had expected more grip on the track. I think that a lot of sand was blown onto the track because of the wind and that it was slippery as a result. With my first set of tires, the balance of my car wasn’t that good, but with the second set, we managed to adapt the set-up to the track conditions in a better way.”

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Nashville: Dixon tops practice 2 as well
Scott Dixon topped the final practice session for Saturday night's IndyCar race on the dusty and bumpy concrete 1.33-mile Nashville Speedway. 



Car Driver Team Laps Time Gap To 1st Speed
1. 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 72 22.9172 204.213
2. 3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske 64 22.9733 0.0561 0.0561 203.715
3. 10 Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 63 22.9745 0.0012 0.0573 203.704
4. 7 Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 60 23.0098 0.0353 0.0926 203.392
5. 11 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 58 23.0330 0.0232 0.1158 203.187
6. 6 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 55 23.0402 0.0072 0.1230 203.123
7. 4 Vitor Meira Panther Racing 44 23.0452 0.0050 0.1280 203.079
8. 26 Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 49 23.0529 0.0077 0.1357 203.011
9. 20 Ed Carpenter Vision Racing 65 23.1319 0.0790 0.2147 202.318
10. 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing 55 23.1336 0.0017 0.2164 202.303
11. 06 Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 38 23.1434 0.0098 0.2262 202.217
12. 8 Will Power KV Racing Technology 67 23.1703 0.0269 0.2531 201.983
13. 15 Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 48 23.1720 0.0017 0.2548 201.968
14. 19 Mario Moraes Dale Coyne Racing 47 23.1775 0.0055 0.2603 201.920
15. 36 Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing 64 23.2054 0.0279 0.2882 201.677
16. 27 Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green Racing 53 23.2112 0.0058 0.2940 201.627
17. 02 Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 43 23.2293 0.0181 0.3121 201.470
18. 2 A.J. Foyt IV Vision Racing 60 23.2858 0.0565 0.3686 200.981
19. 5 Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology 34 23.3034 0.0176 0.3862 200.829
20. 23 Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 49 23.3351 0.0317 0.4179 200.556
21. 18 Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 63 23.3698 0.0347 0.4526 200.258
22. 14 Darren Manning AJ Foyt Racing 51 23.4360 0.0662 0.5188 199.693
23. 34 Jaime Camara Conquest Racing 43 23.4939 0.0579 0.5767 199.201
24. 24 Marty Roth Roth Racing 47 23.7195 0.2256 0.8023 197.306


Davison on pole as Indy Lights field shrinks
As the season has gone on the Firestone Indy Lights fields is shrinking.  James Davison won the pole for this weekend's race in Nashville.

Results on the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway

1. (11) James Davison, 180.401
2. (20) Ana Beatriz, 180.368
3. (15) Dillon Battistini, 180.278
4. (27) Raphael Matos, 180.252
5. (26) Arie Luyendyk Jr., 179.726
6. (2) Jeff Simmons, 179.569
7. (16) Brent Sherman, 179.100
8. (17) Bobby Wilson, 178.697
9. (23) Logan Gomez, 178.550
10. (25) J.R. Hildebrand, 178.459
11. (4) Sean Guthrie, 178.368
12. (5) Andrew Prendeville, 178.021
13. (55) Franck Perera, 177.910
14. (7) Richard Antinucci, 176.439
15. (9) Jonny Reid, 176.023
16. (43) Robbie Pecorari, 175.242
17. (54) Micky Gilbert, 174.794
18. (24) Chris Festa, 174.220
19. (18) Cyndie Allemann, 170.548
20. (22) Pablo Donoso, no speed

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Nashville: Dixon tops practice 1
Scott Dixon topped the opening practice session for Saturday night's IndyCar race on the dusty and bumpy concrete 1.33-mile Nashville Speedway.  A lot of the times were grouped together by team as speed on this 100% throttle track is pretty much governed by car setup.  The driver just holds the throttle wide open and turns left.



Car Driver Team Laps Time Gap To 1st Speed
1. 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 45 22.8711 204.625
2. 11 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing 44 22.9266 0.0555 0.0555 204.130
3. 26 Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing 50 22.9674 0.0408 0.0963 203.767
4. 7 Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing 56 22.9866 0.0192 0.1155 203.597
5. 27 Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green Racing 58 23.0156 0.0290 0.1445 203.340
6. 3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske 73 23.0304 0.0148 0.1593 203.210
7. 4 Vitor Meira Panther Racing 72 23.0686 0.0382 0.1975 202.873
8. 20 Ed Carpenter Vision Racing 73 23.0851 0.0165 0.2140 202.728
9. 5 Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology 60 23.1410 0.0559 0.2699 202.238
10. 8 Will Power KV Racing Technology 71 23.1635 0.0225 0.2924 202.042
11. 15 Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 62 23.2183 0.0548 0.3472 201.565
12. 06 Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 79 23.2519 0.0336 0.3808 201.274
13. 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing 53 23.2547 0.0028 0.3836 201.250
14. 2 A.J. Foyt IV Vision Racing 68 23.3085 0.0538 0.4374 200.785
15. 19 Mario Moraes Dale Coyne Racing 52 23.3230 0.0145 0.4519 200.660
16. 02 Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 50 23.3268 0.0038 0.4557 200.628
17. 34 Jaime Camara Conquest Racing 71 23.3441 0.0173 0.4730 200.479
18. 23 Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 59 23.3487 0.0046 0.4776 200.439
19. 14 Darren Manning AJ Foyt Racing 59 23.3489 0.0002 0.4778 200.438
20. 36 Enrique Bernoldi Conquest Racing 50 23.3919 0.0430 0.5208 200.069
21. 6 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 11 23.3972 0.0053 0.5261 200.024
22. 10 Dan Wheldon Chip Ganassi Racing 36 23.4899 0.0927 0.6188 199.235
23. 18 Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 43 23.5567 0.0668 0.6856 198.670
24. 24 Marty Roth Roth Racing 67 23.6263 0.0696 0.7552 198.084


One-win Danica remains IRL's No. 1 draw
This article talks about Danica Patrick still being the IRL’s biggest draw despite leading only 3 laps this year and only 1 race win in her entire career.


Montagny quickest early at Lime Rock
Franck Montagny
Franck Montagny made quite a splash in his first session of American Le Mans Series competition by turning in the best time of Friday morning’s hour-long practice at Lime Rock Park for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. The Frenchman turned in a lap of 48.504 (111.331 mph) in Andretti Green Racing’s Acura ARX-01b.

Montagny tested the Acura for the first time Tuesday at Mid-Ohio. A freshly paved, reconfigured track helped balance the learning curve but the Formula 1 talent didn’t appear to need much help. He will drive this weekend with American phenom Marco Andretti, who will see Lime Rock for the first time Saturday morning.

Three of Acura’s four entries were in the top four, which was populated exclusively by LMP2 entries. David Brabham was second for Patr¢n Highcroft Racing, based about an hour away, in the Acura he will share with Scott Sharp. Brabham’s time of 48.623 (111.059 mph) was almost a full half second better than Penske Racing’s Porsche RS Spyder of Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen with Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud another 0.211 seconds back for Acura.

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The final TV ratings for last weekend's NASCAR races were:
  • Nationwide Series Winn-Dixie 250 on ESPN2 garnered a rating of 1.7 =  2.54M viewers
  • Sprint Cup: Coke Zero 400 on TNT garnered a rating of 4.5 = 6.390M viewers

racing news

Bernard Cahier dies
Bernard Cahier
One of motor racing's leading photojournalists, Bernard Cahier, passed away earlier this week at the age of 81.

Cahier began photographing Formula One in 1952 and along with his son, Paul-Henri, amassed one of the sport's most complete and important photographic archives.

In 1983, Bernard retired and turned over the 'family business' to his son Paul-Henri, who continues in his footsteps as one of the most talented photographers on the Formula One scene. Paul-Henri was the photographer pushed over onto his back by Kimi Raikkonen as he lined up for a close-up shot of Raikkonen on the grid just before last Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Born in Marseilles, France in 1927, Cahier fell in love with racing at an early age, attending the Marseilles Grand Prix when he was 5. He grew up quickly after World War II broke out, joining the French Resistance at age 17. Cahier was awarded Croix de Guerre and the American Presidential Citation for heroism. After the war, Cahier moved to America, attended UCLA, married an American girl and took a job in an import car dealership alongside Phil Hill and Richie Ginther.

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Casey Stoner tops Friday times in Germany
MotoGP riders made a steady start to their German GP weekend at the Sachsenring today.  Defending World Champion Casey Stoner turned the fastest lap overall.

1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1'21.582
2 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini) 1'21.993
3 Colin EDWARDS Tech 3 Yamaha  1'22.463
4 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)  1'22.617
5 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)  1'22.759
6 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)  1'22.894
7 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)  1'22.922
8 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)  1'22.975
9 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP) 1'22.999
10 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP) 1'23.116 17
11 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team) 1'23.209
12 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) 1'23.274
13 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team) 1'23.366
14 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) 1'23.411
15 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1'23.452
16 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1'23.698
17 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha) 1'23.864


Adrian Sutil Q&A: 'I'm really looking forward to this race'
Adrian Sutil
Having competed in the European GP at the Nurburgring in 2007 Adrian Sutil will this year enjoy his first experience of driving in a German GP at Hockenheim, the event he regards as his real home race.

We asked him for his thoughts on Hockenheim and the season so far.

Q: How do you feel about racing at Hockenheim and your first German GP?
'Actually it was the first track I ever saw. When I was 12 we went to Aachen, where some of my family lives, and we passed through Hockenheim. It was right when I was starting in karting. I asked my mother to stop there, and I went up to the stand. I was sitting there watching for half an hour, no cars running, nothing at all! At this time the long straights were still there, going into the forests. I was thinking one time I want to drive here, it's the goal in my life. It was such a special feeling when I was sitting there, just dreaming.'

Q. How often have you raced at Hockenheim?
'I've been there with many different cars and had many races there, so it's really a home race for me. I did Formula Ford, Formula BMW, F3, even the Beetle Cup as a guest starter! So going there in an F1 car will be really nice.'

Q: What kind of success have you had there?
'Good success! I always had some of my strongest races in Hockenheim. I had a few wins there and always when I finished I was on the podium. So I have really good memories. I'm really looking forward to this race, because it's one of my favorite circuits.'

Q: Have you ever actually been to the German GP?
'In 2006, when I was a test driver, I couldn't go because I was in Japan. But I was there in 2005, watching from the stands, which was really nice.'

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Latest F1 news in brief - 2
  • McLaren undecided over racing new shark fin
  • Pantano sees GP2 as road back to F1 grid
  • No F1 for VW in next three years - Stuck
  • Kubica statistically best driver of 2008

McLaren undecided over racing new shark fin
(GMM)  McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen on Friday said the British team may not race at next Sunday's German grand prix the 'shark fin' engine cover it debuted at this week's Hockenheim test.

His teammate, joint championship leader Lewis Hamilton, told reporters earlier this week that he didn't notice a difference when he turned laps with the new bodywork.

"We will test it again I think," said the Briton.

Finn Kovalainen, however, said in a team interview that he thinks the piece was an "advantage" over the standard configuration.

"But it's still too early to say; maybe Hockenheim is not the best place to try this new wing and we need to see if it is affected by crosswinds -- it was quite windy at the Hockenheim test, but we didn't seem to be too affected by the wind," the 26-year-old added.

"It's definitely encouraging for the future."

Pantano sees GP2 as road back to F1 grid
(GMM)  Giorgio Pantano has confirmed that, despite a four year absence, his ambition is to return to the formula one grid in the near future.

The 29-year-old Italian raced nearly a full season for Jordan in 2004, thereafter reverting to the support category GP2 where he holds the record for the most races completed and most wins.

He is currently atop the 2008 standings, ahead of the likes of Bruno Senna, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi, having won the most recent Magny-Cours and Silverstone feature races.

Like Senna, he is openly saying his target is to win the title and then switch to F1.

"I know that it will not be simple," Pantano is quoted as saying by Motorsport Aktuell.  "I am Italian, which nowadays is not an advantage, because the interesting markets are elsewhere."

He also declared that he doubts he could show his worth with a less competitive team like Force India or Toro Rosso.

"In order to really show what I can offer, I would have to be accommodated by a midfield team, say Red Bull Racing."

In 2004, Pantano was replaced at Jordan by Timo Glock, and this season once again watched the German steal his thunder by progressing as GP2 champion to a race seat at Toyota.

Is he jealous?  "No, I am annoyed only about formula one, in which real second chances are rare."

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Ferrari and McLaren settle dispute
The scandal that rocked Formula One last summer and resulted in McLaren paying a record $100m fine to the FIA is now over. Today McLaren and Ferrari issued statements stating that 'various disputes' between the rivals teams have been resolved.

McLaren has agreed to pay the cost incurred by Ferrari and the Italian team has pledged to give the proceedings to charity. The team are however to continue legal action against former team engineer Nigel Stepney.

McLaren statement
"In light of the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren, and of McLaren’s public apology to Ferrari which we have reiterated, Ferrari and McLaren have agreed to bring the various disputes between them in relation to this matter to a final conclusion."

"McLaren has also agreed to the reimbursement of Ferrari’s costs and expenses relating to these matters and a concluding payment.

Ferrari statement
"Ferrari acknowledges McLaren's reiterated apology for the well known events which occurred during the 2007 F1 Championship and, in the best interests of Formula 1 and taking into account the formal closure in December 2007 of the FIA and FIA World Motor Sport Council proceedings against McLaren, it confirms that it has accepted to put an end to all outstanding controversies between the two teams. Ferrari will donate to charity the concluding payment received from McLaren."

"Ferrari will pursue its claims against Nigel Stepney in connection with the matter."


Ruby Tuesday team switches to Riley chassis
Ruby Tuesday Crawford
After more than two and a half seasons running a Crawford chassis, the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team today announced that it will campaign a Riley chassis for the remainder of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season beginning with the round nine race at Barber Motorsports Park on July 18-20.

Both Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand are excited about making the switch.

"I am totally elated," Auberlen said. "I think everyone involved is really excited about going to Barber with a Riley chassis. It's been a long time since I've been this happy. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to this.

"I think there will be a tiny learning curve. But, we have a lot of great people involved. You can't set the expectations too high right away because we are coming in with something brand new to us and something that others have had all year. With that being said, I think we'll get the hang of it fairly quickly. As much as I say we need to be realistic about our expectations, my expectation is to be on the podium at the end of that race.

"I like Barber and its Joey's favorite track. We're going to a place where that guy is going to take charge and go after it. If the team does exactly what the team has done all year and the Riley performs the way I think it will, we should have some really great finishes.

"This is big news for us," Hand said enthusiastically. "Right away this puts us on an even playing field and I am very happy about that. I think moving to the Riley is the right thing to do and Bill and I are 100 percent behind this decision. Now we feel that we are going to be really competitive and have a shot to win right away.

"We have six races left and it's go time. As a driver, you are always looking to finish the season well. Barber is my favorite racetrack. I am really excited about going to Barber with a Riley. I have really good speed there. I won there in a GT car in 2005 and I've always been in contention to win there."


Earnhardt Jr. not interested in buying DEI
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted at least 51 percent of Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season before he opted for a fresh start at Hendrick Motorsports. If the company were up for sale now? "I don't mean this in a bad way, but I would not have any interest in purchasing it," Earnhardt said following Thursday's first practice at Chicagoland Speedway. "I would not have any interest in purchasing any race team, just to have the ownership." The subject was broached because of an Internet report earlier in the week that claimed DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt had commissioned the investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to locate a buyer or financial partner. DEI president Max Siegel refuted the report, saying the company is not for sale. ESPN.com


Button signs up for The Race of Champions
Jenson Button has signed up to fight for national honor this December, by confirming he will compete at Wembley stadium when The Race of Champions returns to the UK for a second successive year on Sunday 14 December. In doing so he has set up the first national grudge match of the event, as Britain tries to wrestle the ROC Nations Cup from its old sporting rivals and reigning champions, Germany.

Last year Team England – made up of Button plus three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx – got through to the semi-finals of the ROC Nations Cup before being knocked out by Germany’s Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who went on to win. This year, instead of an English and Scottish squad, Team Autosport Great Britain will be the first of two British teams, leaving more options for potential drivers to enter.

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Franchitti to meet with Ganassi on Friday
Understandably, Dario Franchitti has not been in the best mood. He is a little more than a week removed from being informed by team owner Chip Ganassi that his Sprint Cup team, with no sponsorship, would be shut down. "It was a big shock that it happened," Franchitti said Thursday. "Myself and 70 people lost their jobs in Concord. A lot of people are upset right now, but I understand if there's no money, there's no money.

Franchitti is racing again for Ganassi this weekend -- in the Nationwide series. The two men are expected to meet Friday to discuss Franchitti's future with the team. Meanwhile, Franchitti said his phone has been ringing, and he has been hearing about options from a number of "different places." "Tomorrow is quite a big day with this meeting with Chip," Franchitti said. "We're starting to look around, starting to talk, [but] nothing is going to happen until I talk to Chip and see what his plan is for the future and see if it's something I'm interested in. I certainly owe Chip that much." Franchitti also believes that if possible, he owes it to himself to remain in the Sprint Cup series. ESPN.com


DEI plans to appeal crew chief, car chief suspensions
Dale Earnhardt Inc. is appealing at least the suspensions of No. 1 team crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and car chief Gary Putnam.
Manion and Putnam were working in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway today, and suspended personnel are not allowed at the track unless their penalty is being appealed. DEI Vice President John Story confirmed Thursday afternoon that the team will appeal.
The appeal will be heard July 21.

“We’ve been granted an opportunity for appeal and anything we have to say about the appeal will be done during the hearing we’ve been granted,” said Story, who would not elaborate on the scope and basis for the appeal.

Formula BMW

Formula BMW license courses at Valencia
Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo
The next generation of Formula BMW young guns is raring to go. At Valencia (ES), both Formula BMW Europe and Formula BMW Americas are holding a total of five license courses in July and August. The majority of the young talents contesting the courses in the Formula BMW Racing Center at the “Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo” come from karting. At Valencia, the best drivers born between 1990 and 1994 can qualify for scholarship courses in their respective series. The successful completion of the license course thus represents the first vital step for talents that want to qualify for the BMW Motorsport promotion scheme.

As BMW Juniors they will attend the extensive BMW Motorsport Education and Coaching Program and will be supported financially. In 2008, this support amounts to €75,000 in Formula BMW Europe. In addition, participants in the coveted promotion program also become part of the BMW family. Experienced instructors teach the drivers how to perfectly deal with the 140bhp FB02. The timetable features everything from driving advice regarding the correct racing line and the perfect braking spots to theoretical education on topics such as driving technique and flag lore.

Currently, there still are a small number of license course seats available. Interested teams and drivers please contact:

Formula BMW Europe:
Adrienne Watson
Phone: +44 1295 760 742
Email: adrienne.watson@partner.formulabmw.com

Formula BMW Americas:
Michele Henn
Phone: +1 201 4638828
Email: michele.henn@partner.formulabmw.com

Formula BMW Europe:
License course 1: 30th/31st July 2008
License course 2: 6th/7th August 2008
License course 3: 8th/9th August 2008

Formula BMW Americas:
License course 1: 28th/29th July 2008
License course 2: 4th/5th August 2008

Formula BMW

Rossi celebrates three wins in four races
Alexander Rossi
In June, the Formula BMW Americas drivers faced a tight schedule. Within the space of two weeks, the young racers proved their skills in four races. In three of the four rounds, Alexander Rossi (US) made it to the highest step on the podium.

When the young-gun series travelled to Montreal to contest one of its season highlights – the rounds held on 7th and 8th June as part of the support program of the Canadian Grand Prix - Rossi had to share the glory with BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto (BR) who delivered in fine style on the wet track: In the third round of the season, Favoretto claimed victory in front of the huge GP crowd. In the second round at the “Circuit Gilles Villeneuve”, however, Favoretto experienced bad luck when he was involved in a collision and had to retire. Rossi used this chance and secured his maiden win of the season.

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Latest F1 news in brief
  • Fisi crashes again, Massa fast at test
  • Hockenheim to host dry German GP
  • F1 news briefs: Friday
  • Toyota latest to try 'shark fin' bodywork
  • STR wants Bourdais to find more speed
  • Kubica hopes to stay in title fight
  • Vettel welcomes endorsement for RBR job
  • Hamilton still learning says father-manager
  • Sato would accept F1 testing role

Fisi crashes again, Massa fast at test
(GMM)  Giancarlo Fisichella crashed his Force India as the Hockenheim test concluded on Thursday.

The Roman, who also crashed heavily in the recent Silverstone test, was taken from the scene of the accident in the 'Motodrom' section by a medical car, but he was not hurt.

Force India's post-session press document described the shunt as a "heavy impact", preceding two hours of repair work.

"The rear of the car went away and I just lost control through the stadium complex," Fisichella said.

"The car went across the road and there's not much run off area there so I went into the wall.  I'm fine, but the car was quite badly damaged," he added.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was the fastest runner on Thursday, but Lewis Hamilton - having handed over to McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen for the final day - posted the quickest lap of the test overall.

After his disastrous outing at Silverstone last Sunday, Massa expects to have a competitive car for the forthcoming German grand prix.

Asked by reporters if he is worried by Hamilton's Hockenheim form this week, the Brazilian said: "No, definitely not.

"For sure they are quick, but we can be quick as well."

Hockenheim to host dry German GP
(GMM)  After rain was a constant threat throughout the last few formula one rounds, Hockenheim is expected to host a warm and dry German grand prix next Sunday, according to a long-range weather forecast.

Rain affected the group test at the circuit earlier this week, but conditions were hot and sunny for the final of three days on Thursday, following an overcast Wednesday.

F1 news briefs: Friday
(GMM)  Organizers of F1's inaugural Singapore night race marked the completion of the three-storey pit, media, race control, paddock club and podium building on Friday with a simple ceremony.  The formula one event takes place on September 28.


Veteran French formula one photographer Bernard Cahier, whose son Paul-Henri has been in the press this week, has died at the age of 81.  Cahier began photographing F1 in 1952 through to the 80s.


Donington Park has released more details about its $200m plans to host the British grand prix from 2010.  Work on a new pit building will begin in the autumn, while work to lengthen the existing circuit from 4 to 4.8 kilometers, including a new sweeping corner, will begin at the end of the season.


FIA president Max Mosley's court action against the British tabloid News of the World received a significant boost on Thursday when a key witness for the defense failed to appear.  The prostitute who secretly filmed the orgy, and who had been expected to testify about alleged Nazi elements of the affair, did not show up because of her "emotional and mental state", according to the newspaper's disappointed lawyers.  The case resumes on Monday.

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