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DATE News (chronologically)
07/17/10
nhra

Dixon, Brown Run 1-2 In Sonoma Qualifying
Reigning Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Hector Arana became the new qualifying leader at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., while Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) held onto their field-leading positions. Interestingly, of the No. 1 qualifiers, only Dixon has won the event before, and he's only done it once, in 2003.

The event is the middle leg of the annual Western Swing segment of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. After racing last weekend in Seattle, the teams will leave Wine Country and head east to Denver for the Swing’s conclusion in the challenging high-altitude conditions of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. After the Denver event, only one race, the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., will remain on the regular-season schedule before the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis.
Larry Dixon

The Top Fuel teams, who lost their second shot at the track Friday night due to curfew, got in their two blasts Saturday, but Dixon remained atop the field with his Friday 3.839 from the Al-Anabi Racing dragster to claim his fifth No. 1 of the season and the 45th of his career.

“We weren’t really sure whether that pole time would stick or not,” said Dixon. “I think the conditions warmed up enough it made it difficult to get into the low 3.8s. We were fourth quick the first session today and second quick on the second session. There were some things that Alan [Johnson] and Jason [McCulloch] and the team were working on, some good, some bad, and hopefully, it will pay off tomorrow.

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07/17/10
irl

IRL to be no more
The Indy Racing League name is synonymous with the near-destruction of the very successful CART series that built IndyCar Racing into something bigger than NASCAR.

"On Jan. 1, IRL will be banned from being used in our offices," series chief executive Randy Bernard said. "It's going to be known as IndyCar.

"With the divorce in the mid-1990s (from Champ Car), there's no secret we lost 15 to 20 million fans and IRL gives people heartburn.

"When you go and use IRL in Europe or Brazil, they don't know what that is, but you use the word IndyCar and everyone knows what that is. Those 15 to 20 million fans, they didn't just disappear or die, they're out there ... and they're low-lying fruit."

Comment
07/17/10
British F3

Jean-Eric Vergne extends point lead at Rockingham
Jean-Eric Vergne extended his overall Cooper Tires British F3 International Series points lead this afternoon (Saturday) at Rockingham, where he won his sixth race of the season at the wheel of the Red Bull-backed Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen. The fast Frenchman nicked the lead on the opening lap after passing the slow-starting car of pole man Oli Webb and diving inside the car of Carlos Huertas into the Deene hairpin.

Though Colombian Carlos gave strong chase throughout and closed on to Vergne’s tail in the closing laps, Jean-Eric was 0.28s clear at the checkered flag. Vergne was delighted and perhaps slightly surprised to pinch another win after a frustrating qualifying session left him third on the grid. But his start was sublime and the maneuver which deprived Raikkonen Robertson driver Huertas of the lead was the mark of a champion. Said Jean-Eric: “I wanted to win, of course - this is always the target. I had a really good start, one of my best I guess, and then I pushed really hard in the opening laps.” He built an early lead of 1.6 seconds over Huertas, but Carlos quickly recovered his composure to give chase and to narrow the Frenchman’s lead to a couple of tenths. His big chance came four laps from the end when he challenged Vergne on the outside into Deene and then again on the inside at the next turn, Yentwood. But Jean-Eric had it covered and Carlos was repulsed.

“I should have won that race,” said Huertas. “I defended at Deene but it was a bit wet so I left him perhaps a little more room and he took it. I lost it at the beginning.”

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07/17/10
f2

Kazim Vasiliauskas snatches pole for race two
Kazim Vasiliauskas claimed a dramatic pole position for tomorrow's second Formula Two race at Brands Hatch, the Lithuanian setting a time of 1:16.061s to beat Philipp Eng and the impressive Tom Gladdis to the front spot.

Eng had set the early pace in what turned out to be a disjointed second qualifying session at Brands Hatch, with a late red flag period disrupting several drivers' hot laps. With just three boosts available over the 30 minutes, that meant many were unable to improve when the session restarted.

Kazim Vasiliauskas took full advantage of the confusion to storm to the top of the timesheets with little over two minutes of the session remaining. Eng went on to complete his personal best lap to move back up the order and into second, just over seven hundredths of a second slower than Kazim's benchmark.

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07/17/10
nascar

New hire at NASCAR
NASCAR has announced that Andrew ("Andy") Schwalb has been named Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer for NASCAR and NASCAR Media Group. Schwalb will oversee NASCAR's entire technology function, carrying out strategic technological initiatives encompassing the business, media and competition aspects of the sport. He will report to NASCAR Chief Administrative Officer Ed Bennett. Schwalb had most recently been the Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, where he had been employed for 13 years. NASCAR PR

Comment
07/17/10
fil

Vernay nips Hinchcliffe for Indy Lights pole in Toronto
J.K. Vernay
Frenchman J.K. Vernay stole the pole. Less than 24 hours later, the Firestone Indy Lights points leader hopes to steal the show.

Vernay recorded the quickest lap – 1 minute, 5.2989 seconds -- in qualifications for the Toronto 100 with a minute left in the 50-minute session to earn the pole for the 50-lap race on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn street circuit at Exhibition Place.

It was the second pole and fourth front-row start of the season for Vernay in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/CJ/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car (and the 34th Firestone Indy Lights pole for the team). James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, was atop the time sheet throughout the session with a best lap of 1:05.3478 and will start second for the second year in a row in his home race.

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07/17/10
motogp

Lorenzo grabs 4th straight pole
Jorge Lorenzo
The Fiat Yamaha rider secured pole position in a session that was red flagged midway through due to his M1 spilling oil on the track, an incident that resulted in crashes for Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa will join the Championship leader on the front row, and Valentino Rossi will start from fifth.

Jorge Lorenzo took his fourth consecutive pole of the 2010 campaign with the top time in qualifying for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, setting a fastest lap of 1’21.817 on Saturday. The Championship leader had a dramatic session, in which an oil spill from his M1 resulted in a red flag after crashes for Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet, but he went on to ensure he will go for a fourth straight win from top spot on the grid on Sunday.

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07/17/10
nnw

More on NASCAR trying to limit Cup drivers
NASCAR Chairman Brian France seems determined to change the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

France hinted earlier this month that changes to the Nationwide Series could keep Sprint Cup drivers from winning the series championship.

“You’re likely to see us make some changes in the Nationwide Series … because there’s such a concentration of Cup drivers, which we like on one hand, but we want to make sure that that division is our version of college football – that there’s drivers, owners, crew members all building their identities and careers through that channel, and there needs to be a big enough place for them to do that,” France said two weeks ago at Daytona.

“If it’s just narrow, if there’s not many seats available because we don’t accomplish a lot of things, … you’re gonna see from us a policy standpoint begin to deal with that issue beginning in 2011. That’s something that we’ll do carefully.”

“We like Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series,” France said. “We need to make sure the stage is not crowded out so much so that we can’t give opportunities to Nationwide young regulars who need that experience.

“And you know what? In my discussions with the Sprint Cup drivers, they agree with us. They think just that way, too. The owners certainly agree with us. So there are going to be some things that we can do.”

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07/17/10
f1

Virgin wants to keep Glock
Virgin Racing are keen to retain Timo Glock for next year's Championship, according to tech boss Nick Wirth.  Glock joined the newcomers at the beginning of this season, and after a dismal start of four successive retirements, has succeeded in finishing four of the last six events.

But with Renault, who has linked to ahead of this year's campaign, believed to be interested in signing the German, Virgin could face a tough task retaining Glock.

Wirth, though, is confident the former Toyota driver will remain at Virgin next season.

"We've got another year on the contract with Timo, but like anything in life everyone has got to want to carry on," Wirth told Autosport. 

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07/17/10
f1

Ferrari to keep developing 2010 car UPDATE Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has issued a rallying call to his troops, as Ferrari attempts to rescue its faltering title bid.  Since Bahrain, the Maranello-based outfit has failed to keep in touch in both championships, and now sits 113 points behind McLaren in the constructors’ standings.

However, speaking at a meeting between the team’s senior management, the Italian refused to concede that Ferrari’s title ambitions were over and called on the rest of the team to remain motivated.

“Anyone who does not believe that we can win the World Championship would do better looking for another job,” said Domenicali on the team’s official website.  “No-one here is giving up. There are still nine races to go and anything can happen.  “We will have to do our job perfectly, that is to say the Ferrari way, and then the results will come.”



07/13/10 (GMM)  Another bad race in the bag and now 47 points behind, Fernando Alonso still thinks he can win his first world championship with Ferrari in 2010.

It was rumored before Silverstone that the Italian team would need to perform strongly in Britain, Germany and Hungary or its focus would switch to next year's car.

Updates for the F10 showed promise in Valencia and Silverstone, but the actual results of both rounds were bad.

Alonso said on the radio after finishing fourteenth on Sunday: "Heads up guys, we can still win the championship."

"Things are not going well and it will be difficult, but I am convinced of winning," the Spaniard, who set the fastest lap of the race at Silverstone, is quoted by the AS newspaper.

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07/17/10
irl

Wilson on top in Toronto
Justin Wilson
True to his word, Justin Wilson topped the third practice session for the IndyCars on the streets of Toronto this morning.  After finishing 2nd fastest on Friday, Wilson said afterward they knew exactly what changes to make to the car to go fast on Saturday and those changes appear to have worked. 

EJ Viso was 2nd for KV Racing ahead of fast man on Friday Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Penske's Helio Castroneves and Andretti's Tony Kanaan rounded out the top-5.

Raphael Matos and Milka Duno both hit the wall. 

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07/17/10
f2

Stoneman romps to home win
Dean Stoneman romped home to an emphatic eight second victory in the opening race at Brands Hatch, the Briton closing to within five points of Jolyon Palmer in the overall championship as a result. Starting from pole, Stoneman made a great start as fellow front-row man Sergey Afanasiev bogged down, bunching the field up behind him and allowing Stoneman to pull clear through the opening few corners.

Jack Clarke stormed around the outside of Afanasiev at Paddock Hill Bend and the Russian then made contact with Will Bratt at Druids. Bratt briefly got airborne as both cars lost further ground - Ivan Samarin and Tom Gladdis profiting as a result to move into third and fourth respectively. While Bratt and Afanasiev continued without damage, their collision marked a remarkable start for Samarin, who found himself improving from sixth to third before the cars had even reached Graham Hill Bend for the first time.

Race leader Stoneman had pulled a gap of more than five seconds at the quarter distance stage while Clarke held a comfortable second, but it was the quartet fighting for third that provided the entertainment during the 40 minute race.

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07/17/10
irl

Matos crashes
Raphael Matos in the wall at Turn 6
Raphael Matos crashed in Turn 6 in this morning's IndyCar practice session for the Honda Toronto Indy. Matos went into the tire barrier hard on the outside of Turn 6 and the car suffered heavy left side damage on his Luczo Dragon Dallara.

The drivers all say that Turn 6 is the hardest corner on the circuit.  It is blind and goes on a long way with a wall on the inside that makes it hard to get your line just right.  The drivers have to commit to full throttle well before they can see the exit of the turn.  Get it wrong and you are in the wall, which is what happened to Matos.

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07/17/10
fil

Hinchcliffe tops 2nd Lights practice
Canadian James Hinchcliffe turned the fastest lap in Saturday mornings Indy Lights practice on the streets of Toronto. On his last lap JK vernay moved up to 2nd quick. Vernay is very talented and even as a rookie has come in and given Hinchcliffe a real run for his money. Qualifying is at 11 this morning.

Comment
07/17/10
motogp

MotoGP: Lorenzo back on top in 2nd practice
Jorge Lorenzo’s lap of 1’22.253 placed the Fiat Yamaha rider at the top of the rankings in the second practice session at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, as he found a vastly improved feeling on his M1 to set the fastest lap of the weekend so far. The session started on a wet track which dried rapidly as the session progressed, allowing the Championship leader to go faster than Dani Pedrosa’s top time from the first session by almost three-tenths.

Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner was second, as he had been on Friday, at 0.140s off Lorenzo, with Valentino Rossi continuing his remarkable return to action by completing the top three at 0.433s down on the lead time as he further proved his agility on his M1.

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07/17/10
automotive

U.S. carmakers top imports in J.D. Power survey
USA auto brands outscored imports in a new poll that shows U.S. automakers growing more competitive after retiring lackluster models and replacing them with appealing vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both performed well in J.D. Power and Associates' 2010 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study, a survey released Thursday that focuses on how much owners like their vehicles.

Ford had more standout vehicles than any other manufacturer with five of the 20 models leading their segments.

GM also came out well with its four core brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac -- all exceeding the industry average.

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07/17/10
automotive

Toyota, Tesla to build electric RAV4
Toyota Motor Corp. and its Silicon Valley partner, Tesla Motors Inc., will develop an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 SUV.

The two companies will work on prototypes combining the popular RAV4 with a Tesla electric powertrain. They expect to sell the SUVs in the United States in 2012, the two companies said.

A first prototype already has been produced.

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07/17/10
nastruck

Truck Series race at Gateway postponed due to power outage
The NASCAR trucks race has been postponed because of a power failure at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis.  The race was moved to Saturday at 1:30 ET. Lights went out in and around the 1.25-mile oval at 7:55 p.m., 23 minutes before the scheduled start of the 200-mile race.  After a 1 hour, 39-minute wait, officials decided to postpone the race.  Kevin Harvick, who has won two of three trucks races this season, took the pole position in qualifying early in the day, the first trucks pole of his career.

Comment
07/16/10
ga

GAINSCO Racing tops both sessions on opening day in NJ
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing swept Friday’s pair of opening practice sessions for Sunday’s New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) 250 presented by Crown Royal on NJMP’s Thunderbolt Raceway where Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will be looking for their first victory of the season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley.  The 2-3/4-hour timed New Jersey race is Round Nine of 12 events on the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule and the race can be seen live on SPEED, July 18, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

“It was definitely a good day,” said Gurney, who turned Friday’s overall fastest lap time of 1:15.685 (107.023 mph) in the morning session. “We actually rolled off the trailer quite good but I think we all had a good feeling about this place.  The general way we setup the car tends to work in the heat, it is obviously really hot here, and hopefully we will have more of the same the next two days.  Either one of us could have turned the fastest lap in the morning, and this afternoon it was hotter and slipperier, and a little dirtier.  It was also a little less cooperative with the GT cars, but the track itself was not hugely different.”

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07/16/10
irl

Swift reacts to IndyCar loss
Swift Engineering, Inc. issued its first statement on Friday following Wednesday's announcement that the 2012 IndyCar chassis would be built by Dallara, with aero kits eligible by other builders. The California-based company offered its congratulations to its Italian-based rival, but gave no indication whether it would take part in the aero packaging process.

“Just as in motorsport, every fiercely fought race produces one victor,” said Jan Wesley Refsdal, Swift's president. “We congratulate Dallara on being chosen to provide the next generation IndyCar chassis. We would also like to recognize all of those in this competition whose technical innovation, strategy and execution helped promote the series and American motorsports. Given a more favorable economic climate and the freedom of an open business model, Swift would have welcomed the opportunity to compete with other manufacturers in a truly open chassis competition environment.”

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07/16/10
nassprint

Villeneuve to attempt to qualify for Brickyard 400
1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, trying to join one of the most exclusive clubs in motorsports.

1995 CART champion and 1997 Formula One World Champion Villeneuve will drive the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota for Braun Racing at the Brickyard. If he makes the 43-car field during qualifying Saturday, July 24, he will join Juan Pablo Montoya as the only drivers to compete in the three major auto racing events at IMS - the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and United States Grand Prix.

Villeneuve won the 1995 Indianapolis 500 in his second start at IMS. He also made five starts in the USGP Formula One race, 2000-03 and 2006, with a best finish of fourth in 2000.

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07/16/10
fil

Hinchcliffe tops Indy Lights practice
James Hinchcliffe topped the time chart in the lone practice session for Firestone Indy Lights teams on the Toronto Exhibition Place course.

POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 2 Xtreme Coil Drilling Team Moore Racing): "We've had a good street course car all year obviously at St. Pete and Long Beach so I knew we'd have a strong baseline. But this track is a little bit different; it has an interesting mix of high- and low-speed corners that are a little tough to set up for and it seems to get bumpier every year so that throws us another curveball. It's also hot, so it was a slippery mess out there. I don't think the car is perfect yet. I think there's time in it and time in me, and that first session doesn't mean much but it's a good way to start off the weekend." (About wanting to win in his home): "Watkins Glen was the one that got away, but I've been saying that was a lucky win for J.K. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. He was lucky. We were good. Luck runs out, but you don't run out of good. J.K. has been quick on the road courses all year so it's by no stretch going to be easy. They have a good package and we have a good package, so it just comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes." 

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07/16/10
irl

Honda Toronto Indy Friday Notebook
Honda overtake assist

Overtake assist was introduced to the series in August 2009 and will make its debut on the streets of Toronto in the Honda Indy Toronto.

The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.

For the 1.75-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place course:

15 uses

16 seconds duration each use

10-second recharge period between uses

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07/16/10
irl

Toronto: Late lap puts Hunter-Reay on top
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving with his left hand still in pain from his injury in the Indy 500, turned the fastest lap of the 2nd practice for the Honda Toronto IndyCar race Friday afternoon and he waited until his final lap of the session to do it. 

Another former Champ Car driver, Justin Wilson was 2nd quick ahead of Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power. 

Raphael Matos rounded the top-5.

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07/16/10
nassprint

2010 Brickyard 400 notebook
Brickyard 400 fans can party on Race Day, Sunday, July 25 at the Brickyard Beach Bash located in the IMS infield, which will feature a sandy beach, swimming pools and more.

The Brickyard Beach Bash will start at 10 a.m. off Shaw Drive, near Turn 3, in the IMS infield. It's open to all ticket holders, reserved or general admission.

Playboy Playmate AJ Alexander will serve as host of the Beach Bash, which also will include beer pong, beach volleyball, music from DJ Metrognome and more.

Bathing suits are encouraged for all Beach Bash partiers!

Another fun spot to party on Race Day is the HANK FM Party Stand in Sections 46 and 47 of the Northeast Vista Backstretch reserved seating area.

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07/16/10
motogp

Pedrosa tops German GP practice
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa finished on top of the timesheets today in first practice for the German Grand Prix and laid the foundations for a strong weekend at the Sachsenring. The 24-year-old lapped consistently quickly on his RC212V and finished the practice period a significant 0.274s ahead of his nearest rival in a very close session where the top 13 riders were covered by less than one second. Dovizioso was just 0.875s back from his Repsol Honda team-mate, which translated to tenth position due to the closeness of the times.

Pedrosa once again displayed his affinity with the tight and technical German track by setting four laps in today’s session that were quicker than any other rider. Tomorrow he will be looking for a repeat of the pole position he secured here in 2006 during his debut MotoGP season.

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07/16/10
f2

Dean Stoneman storms to Brands Hatch pole
Dean Stoneman celebrates
Dean Stoneman converted his dominant practice form into his third pole position of the season at Brands Hatch, the Briton finishing four tenths clear of the rest of the field and breaking the F2 lap record in the process.

Jack Clarke had held provisional pole for much of the session, just 0.001s ahead of Sergey Afanasiev, but Stoneman made his charge as the field stopped for fresh rubber at the halfway stage. He went on to set a blistering 1:15.758s lap time - nearly 1.2 seconds quicker than Andy Soucek's pole time from 2009.

With championship rival Jolyon Palmer starting seventh, Stoneman will be hoping to score maximum points as he bids to overhaul the 26 point advantage Palmer currently enjoys.

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07/16/10
f1

Chandhok to sit out Hockenheim for Yamamoto
Sakon Yamamoto
(GMM) Sakon Yamamoto will return to the grid with HRT at Hockenheim next weekend, this time in the place of team regular Karun Chandhok.

Last weekend at Silverstone, the new Spanish team replaced Bruno Senna with 28-year-old Japanese Yamamoto, who reportedly has $5 million in sponsorship backing.

In a statement on Friday, Hispania Racing said Yamamoto "gave a very positive performance in Silverstone" and will have "another opportunity to drive the car" in Germany, this time alongside the returning Senna.

HRT's other test driver, Christian Klien, said on Friday that HRT from now on will "nominate any of the four drivers for the race seat".

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07/16/10
f1

Group seeks state support for South African GP
(GMM) Plans are afoot for a grand prix in South Africa.

On the day of the world cup final in Johannesburg, Bernie Ecclestone said at Silverstone last Sunday that he hopes South Africa will be on his sport's calendar "in about three years time".

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07/16/10
irl

Toronto: Dixon fastest, then crashes
Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was fastest in opening practice for this weekend's Toronto Honda IndyCar race at Exhibition place.  However, Dixon got into the back of Takuma Sato in turn 2 and spun Sato around.  Bertrand Baguette came around the blind corner and ran right into the back of Dixon's gearbox, damaging both his and Dixon's car.

Justin Wilson was 2nd quick in the Dreyer & Reinbold car ahead of Canadian favorite Alex Tagliani.  Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti rounded out the top-5.

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07/16/10
f1

Schumacher excited to be in Mercedes for German GP
“There is one thing for sure; no matter how long you are around, it is always something special to race in front of your home crowd. At Hockenheim, I will definitely try my best for my fans who give me such a lot of support, especially over the race weekend. But the German Grand Prix is very special for any German driver. There are very few areas on any race circuit worldwide comparable to the Motodrom, and as a driver you feel that energetic atmosphere when entering.

It will be the first time for me to come to Hockenheim as a Mercedes driver and I am very much looking forward to the experience. Driving in front of our Grandstand and in front of all the employees, members and friends of Mercedes-Benz will be an emotional moment. I will therefore be extra motivated to give them a weekend to remember. We will have some updates for our car which we hope will give us a step forward so we can look forward to an exciting race.”

Comment
07/16/10
f2

Stoneman tops Brands Hatch practice
Dean Stoneman set the pace in the opening free practice session at Brands Hatch in one of the closest sessions of the season so far.

The Briton topped the times late on, as the top six drivers were separated by just two tenths of a second. Stoneman even had time to make light contact with the barrier at Stirling's following his flying lap, but the 19-year-old recovered to the pit lane without damage.

Stoneman's compatriot Tom Gladdis continued his impressive return to Formula Two after the 19-year-old went second quickest as the checkered flag fell. The youngest driver in the field has been missing since the opening round at Silverstone after budget problems curtailed his campaign. Gladdis was a consistent front-runner during Tuesday's test day at the Kent circuit however, and he has continued that rich vein of form here this morning.

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07/16/10
f1

McLaren sets practice plan for diffuser
McLaren will use Friday practice at next week’s German Grand Prix to carry out a major test evaluation of its MP4-25 with, and without, the ‘blown diffuser’ as it bids to get the concept race ready as soon as possible.

The championship-leading outfit was forced to abandon the system – which sees exhaust gasses redirected through the diffuser to increase rear downforce – after the opening day of running at Silverstone after it caused handling and overheating problems.

McLaren has spent this week at its factory carrying out tests on the concept as to tries to learn more about the best way to optimize it – but team principal Martin Whitmarsh says only when it is track tested on the MP4-25 again next Friday will the team really be able to see how much progress it has made.

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07/16/10
f1

All four HRT drivers eligible to race - Klien
(GMM)  Christian Klien on Friday hinted he might appear on the formula one grid at the wheel of an HRT car in 2010.

At Silverstone, Bruno Senna was mysteriously dropped by the struggling Spanish team, replaced for the British event by test driver Sakon Yamamoto.

Austrian Klien, 27, is also a Hispania test driver.

When asked why Senna was sidelined at Silverstone, team boss Colin Kolles told the Australian broadcaster One-HD: "We have four drivers."

For now, Klien said he is hoping to make another appearance in the F110 car during Friday practice.

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07/16/10
irl

Quotes on the new IndyCar UPDATE Additional quotes from selected IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, team owners, manufacturer representatives and others about the 2012 car strategy unveiled by the IZOD IndyCar Series on July 14 (in alphabetical order):

"We at Apex-Brasil celebrate the new IZOD IndyCar strategy for the 2012 season and beyond, featuring a rolling chassis with an enhanced safety cell produced by longtime series partner Dallara, based on a recommendation from the ICONIC Advisory Committee, which also recommended ethanol-fueled engines that will produce between 550 and 700 horsepower. We certainly believe this decision will contribute to bring even more excitement and emotions to the IZOD IndyCar Series, keeping costs under control and improving safety at the same time. We look forward to continue our very successful relationship with the IZOD IndyCar Series for many years to come."
-- Apex-Brasil, Brazilian Trade and Promotion Agency

"I spent eight years fully understanding professional sports and the struggles that are involved in forming and managing a team in this business climate. I see the value in having the manufacturer of your race car located just minutes from you business. As an attorney and a marketer that works with businesses on legal issues, communication and sponsorship issues and other business issues, I find this approach to the new chassis for IndyCar to be good solution to a difficult task.  As a manager of professional race car drivers and a consultant on sports sponsorship spends for various companies, this is exciting news for drivers and corporations invested in IndyCar."

-- J. Douglas Boles, attorney and former COO/CMO of Panther Racing

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07/16/10
usac
irl

Dirt track drivers will again get smoked in IndyCar
[Editors Note: Here we go again - another inexperienced leader of IndyCar who thinks a driver who came up driving on dirt with the engine in front of them can even remotely compete in a rear engine car on asphalt on ovals, street circuits and road courses. A driver who has come up through the road racing ranks driving rear engine cars will just make the USAC drivers look silly. The USAC drivers are at a distinct disadvantage, which few if any can overcome. Which is why they all failed before and why they will all fail again. It makes for a good story but will end up with the same sad result.]

It's now clear Randy Bernard wants sprint car champions such as Levi Jones in the Izod IndyCar Series, and the feeling is mutual.

Jones not only attended Wednesday's IndyCar chassis unveiling at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, he was mentioned in the introductions and spoke in favor of Bernard's push to get drivers like him in the series. Jones, 28, said Bernard, IndyCar's chief executive officer, went to Sunday's Indiana Sprint Week race at Kokomo Speedway. Bernard hasn't announced how he would like to help Jones, but it figures to be through funding as the U.S. Auto Club's sprint car champion. He is the current points leader.

Ideally, Jones (and other USAC drivers) would work through the Firestone Indy Lights Series, but there are ways Bernard could help make an Indianapolis 500 ride happen, too.

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07/16/10
f1

Ferrari denies Whiting responded 'immediately' in England
(GMM) Ferrari has denied Charlie Whiting's claim that the FIA official "immediately" advised Fernando Alonso to let Robert Kubica re-pass at the recent British grand prix.

The Italian team was critical of the timing of Spaniard's Alonso's drive-through penalty, describing it as a "fact" that "decisions are taken slowly" by the authorities.

FIA race director Whiting this week hit back, revealing that - before the penalty was imposed - he advised Ferrari "three times" that Kubica should be allowed to re-pass Alonso, including "immediately" after the illegal overtake.

But Ferrari's team manager Massimo Rivola has now moved to clarify Whiting's contradiction, revealing that the Briton at one point said the matter would be investigated by the stewards after the race.

"We just want to explain the facts so it is understood that we are not crazy," he is quoted by La Stampa newspaper.

Rivola said he asked Whiting after Alonso's pass "what should we do" and Whiting responded almost two minutes later.

"One minute and fifty five seconds is not immediately."

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07/16/10
f1

F1 Teams outlaw ‘filming days’ as tests
Following meetings at the British Grand Prix last weekend, Autosport reports that Formula 1’s teams have mutually agreed to put a stop to additional test outings which some have been able to manage this year, despite there being a strict ban on in-season running outside of race weekends.

Since the start of 2009, F1 has cut back on testing in order to limit spending; however, both Mercedes GP at Rockingham (with its new engine cover) and Ferrari at Fiorano (with its exhaust-blown diffuser) have run their cars – with new parts on-board- in what were described as ‘filming days’ for promotional activities.

FOTA Chairman Whitmarsh has discussed the matter with all other team heads However, the loophole in the sporting regulations has now been rectified; filming days remain allowed although all components on the car must have already been run in a race.

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07/16/10
f1

'EJ wanted Dennis charged with criminal damage'
It seems Red Bull were not the only ones having problems at Silverstone with reports claiming Eddie Jordan wanted Ron Dennis charged with criminal damage. According to The Sun, Jordan was left 'spitting feathers' after his post-race interview with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was 'sabotaged.'

EJ, working for the BBC, was interviewing Horner in the midst of Red Bull's latest controversy when the wires from the control box on his belt to his ear-piece were cut.

The former F1 team boss blamed ex-McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who was spotted standing behind Jordan when the interview started only to 'disappear into the crowd smiling.'

A BBC source told tabloid: "Eddie was really spitting feathers and wanted the BBC to charge Dennis with criminal damage."

The Sun added that Dennis has subsequently contacted the BBC, although hasn't offered a formal apology. PlanetF1

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07/16/10
f1

Lopez: USF1 lied to me
Jose Maria Lopez says that US F1 management didn’t tell him the truth and admits that his short involvement with the failed team was ‘embarrassing.’

The Argentine driver was announced by the team in January after co-founder Peter Windsor met the country’s president. Days later it became apparent that the project was in serious trouble.

Lopez went to the British GP with his manager Victor Rosso in attempt to find an opportunity for next season.

“At the time I felt terrible,” Lopez told this blog. “I was lucky to have the opportunity, but the way that everything went put me and the people working with me in an embarrassing situation. They met the president, they promised us everything. All the time we were asking if they will make it, all the time they would say no problem we’re going to make it.

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07/16/10
f2

Stoneman tops Brands Hatch practice
Dean Stoneman set the fastest time of the opening practice session for this weekend's Formula 2 round at Brands Hatch.

Tom Gladdis was second fastest on his return to the series, having missed all four rounds since the season opener at Silverstone.

Jonathan Kennard was third quickest in the series' test car, with Philipp Eng - a winner at Brands last year - fourth, just 0.073s slower than Stoneman.

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07/16/10
irl

IRL did best they could given situation
Yes, IndyCar stuck with Dallara for their new chassis and it looks like Honda will again be the only engine supplier, but given the economy, a sport destroyed by the split, and straddled with an ancient car, IndyCar made the right decision on Wednesday. By allowing multiple body packages on a standard rolling chassis the IRL got the best of both worlds - low cost with variety. If they had opened it up and approved multiple chassis manufacturers, costs would have skyrocketed - loss of economy of scale, and there would be an increased risk of a huge disparity between makes resulting in less competitive racing. We like the idea that the cars will look different from body kit to body kit, and if a team wants to completely change makes, it is just a $70K cost to buy another body kit instead of $500K to buy an entire car today.  But not seeing or hearing a word from Michael Andretti, Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske speaks for itself - they cannot be happy because they supported the Delta Wing project, and we are told even funded a portion of its development.  Mark C.

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07/16/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Buemi denies signing 2011 Toro Rosso deal
  • Webber's conspiracy theory 'on wrong track' - Marko
  • Brawn at factory, not on fishing holiday - Mercedes
  • Promoter admits 2013 delay possible for US GP
  • Signs grow that Raikkonen to keep rallying
  • Teams clarify ban to prevent new component testing

Buemi denies signing 2011 Toro Rosso deal
(GMM)  Sebastien Buemi has denied he has signed a contract to remain at Toro Rosso in 2011.

In a team-distributed interview on Thursday, boss Franz Tost said 21-year-old Swiss Buemi as well as Jaime Alguersuari are "both confirmed" for next year.

But Buemi told Blick newspaper: "I haven't signed yet.

"There are some details missing and the driver market is still open," he added.

At Silverstone last weekend, Renault chief Eric Boullier said Buemi "is on our list" of potential replacements for the Russian pay-driver Vitaly Petrov.

And Red Bull's driver consultant Helmut Marko said the energy drink company "might consider placing him (Buemi) in the Red Bull (Racing) team in 2012."

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