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racing news
Top Race V6
Villeneuve flops again  
Jacques Villeneuve has a long list of creative excuses for his poor  results
The former Formula 1 champion had to leave the race seven laps to the checkered flag in the Top Race V6 series race at Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of his rivals bumped him and took him out of the competition. He will race two months from now in Buenos Aires. "I want to have better result over there", he noted.

"Now I want to improve and get a better result in Buenos Aires,” said Villeneuve before leaving his Mercedes TRV6 box in Interlagos, after he was out of the race with seven laps to go in the Argentinean Top Race V6 series.
The former Formula 1 champion admitted not feeling good about his performance at Interlagos, a circuit in which he won in 1997 while in Formula 1. "I'm not happy with my performance, because I came here from very far away and I couldn't meet the expectations. Maybe it was the car, maybe we could have avoided the bump, or probably it was me,” he expressed. [It was him, he's washed up.] More ...
racing news
Grönholm's Ford Fiesta runs out of steam, settles for 2nd  As a two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm seen just about everything in a rally course . . . until he came to Pikes Peak. 

Gronholm drove his production based Ford Fiesta prepared by Olsbergs Motor Sport Evolution to second in the ‘Unlimited Class’ and fifth fastest time overall in the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb here Sunday.  Grönholm captured Pikes Peak Rookie of the Year honors as he posted a run of 11:28.963 up the 12.4-mile, 156-turn course which runs up the famed Pikes Peak Highway.

Grönholm fought not only the high altitude and diverse road and weather conditions of the famed course’s 14,000 feet of elevation, but he battled a mechanical issue with the turbo charger on his 800-horsepower Fiesta rallycross car that resulted in a power reduction during the crucial final climb to the top. More ...

tv news
ESPY Awards to be shown on ESPN  The ESPY Awards show held on July 15 will be shown tonight, Sunday, July 19, at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET on ESPN.  Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves are nominated in the Best Driver category of the ESPYs.  Castroneves also is nominated in the Best Moment category for his celebration and reactions following a third Indianapolis 500 victory in May.  Danica Patrick will be one of the presenters.
tv news
Danica Patrick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! show  UPDATE #2 We have added an AOL video of Danica's guest appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show where she discusses being a presenter at the ESPY Awards, her IndyCar career, and interest in the NASCAR series.  Listen to Danica's response to Jimmy Kimmel's statement that "You're not wearing pants!" when he sees her sexy outfit.

07/17/09 A reminder that Danica Patrick will be a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show tonight, Friday, July 17.

07/13/09 Danica Patrick will be a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show on Friday night, July 17.  The shows airs at 12:05 am - 1:05 am ET (early Saturday morning) on ABC.
Tottenham Hostpur claims opening race scalp at Zolder  Tottenham Hotspur claimed the opening Superleague Formula by Sonangol race honors at Zolder this morning.

The British club’s driver Craig Dolby led home the front row starting Glasgow Rangers machine of John Martin (AUS) by 2.075secs in the 44 minute plus one-lap race which featured two Safety Car periods.

SF championship leader Adrián Vallés (SP) increased his lead for Liverpool FC by finishing third – a further 1.3secs adrift – managing to stave off the advances of FC Basel’s Max Wissel (D) who set the fastest race lap. More ...

Weekend Winner Liverpool FC outscores opposition in Belgium  “Weekend Winner” honors went to Liverpool FC when Adrián Vallés (SP) placed third in both the first and second races of the Superleague Formula by Sonangol at Zolder today (19 Jul) after out-scoring the opposition to collect the €100,000 top-prize.

Tottenham Hotspur and Al Ain won the two 44min plus one lap races at the Belgian venue courtesy of Craig Dolby (GB) and series newcomer Esteban Guerrieri (ARG). Liverpool’s Vallés heads for Donington Park (UK) next month (1-2 Aug) leading the 6-rounds series by 24-points from Al Ain with Spurs, second and third respectively in the “weekend winner” contest for the highest combined points scorers from both races, a further seven points adrift.

RSC Anderlecht, the Belgian club in the single-seater series representing world-famous soccer clubs, netted eighth and 14th places and now lies 12th in the standings – Yelmer Buurman (NED) having begun the weekend second. More ...

Henry Surtees dies from injuries in F2 race  
John Surtees and his son Henry
Henry Surtees, the son of 1964 Formula 1 world champion John Surtees, has died following an accident in a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch today.

During the second of the weekend's races, the 18-year-old was struck on the head by a wheel and tire from the car of Jack Clarke, who had spun into the wall exiting Westfield Bend.

Surtees was knocked unconscious in the accident and his car failed to negotiate the following Sheene Corner, running straight off the track and into the barrier.

Medical crews were swiftly on the scene to extract Surtees from the car, before he was taken to the track's medical centre. He was stabilized at the circuit's facility before being airlifted to the Royal London hospital where he was pronounced dead that evening.

Surtees joined the newly formed Formula Two series after racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 series. Yesterday, he became the first Briton to score a podium finish in the series. He finished third in Saturday's race one.

"It's a bit of a relief really to pick up the podium! I only have two points so far this season even though we've had a pole in Brno and been fast in the other rounds. It's nice to actually finish a race - I haven't quite been so lucky in the last four races, so it's good to finally get a solid points finish," Surtees commented.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Surtees family in this difficult time.

racing news
Colombian driver Londono killed by assassins  (GMM) Ricardo Londono was killed in Colombia on Saturday, according to the South American country's Caracol Radio and the newspaper El Tiempo.

Aged 59 when killed by assassins, Londono had practiced for the 1981 Brazilian grand prix with Ensign at Jacarepagua, but because he did not receive an FIA license he was replaced for the actual race by Marc Surer.

The assassins reportedly used guns to kill Londono and two of his business colleagues.
Video of Surtees crash  Here is the video of the Henry Surtees crash.

It seems so uneventful, until you really look at it. Especially since his visor is up when he comes to a stop, which is a universal signal from the driver that they are OK. We guess it popped up from the wheel hitting him, or when he hit the rail.

It doesn’t look good though. Not good at all. Our best wishes are with him.
Andy Soucek claims victory in race two at Brands Hatch  Andy Soucek has taken victory in this afternoon's heavily-interrupted race two at Brands Hatch, extending his lead in the FIA Formula Two Championship.

The Spaniard made an excellent getaway from pole position, but Mikhail Aleshin made the most ground, moving up from fifth to third at the first corner. Robert Wickens maintained second in the early stages.

Behind them, a number of incidents on track and a brief rain shower on the opening lap led to a number of retirements and three separate red flag stoppages. More ...

FIA statement on injured Henry Surtees  
John Surtees and his son Henry
FIA Formula Two Championship statement

This release provides an update on the accident involving Henry Surtees in the Formula Two race at Brands Hatch on 19 July.

Henry was driving between Westfield and Sheene corner when he was struck on the head by a wheel and tire from another car which had hit the tire wall ahead of him just before. Henry was immediately knocked unconscious and his car failed to negotiate the following Sheene corner and collided with the barriers. More ...

Faultless Rossi holds Lorenzo off for Sachsenring win  
Rossi battles Yamaha teammate Lorenzo
Valentino Rossi was never under any illusions that he would have it easy in his defense of the MotoGP world title, and once again the Italian was made to fight for glory at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Fiat Yamaha rider took the win at Sachsenring by just the smallest of margins from persistent rival Jorge Lorenzo in a breathtaking race to extend his lead in the World Championship.

After starting from pole for the first time at the German track, Rossi took the lead of the race after thirteen laps. Both the Italian and teammate Lorenzo eked out an advantage to make it a two-way battle to the checkered flag, with a last lap battle reminiscent of the Barcelona round of the series one month ago. Rossi’s definitive pass had come at the end of the home straight with two laps to go, and he brushed off the young pretender’s overtures for his fourth win of the 2009 season. More ...

NASCAR to meet with NNS teams about COT  NASCAR will host Nationwide Series owners and drivers at a meeting at its research and development center in Concord, N.C., on July 28 to inform them of plans to roll out the car of tomorrow for the 2010 season, series director Joe Balash confirmed Saturday. NASCAR already has informally told teams the new car will be used on restrictor-plate tracks and road courses next year. The July 28 meeting will officially detail the use of the car. Track testing is likely to take place after the October Sprint Cup race at Talladega, despite NASCAR’s testing ban this season. The car has been track tested twice, at Richmond and Charlotte last year, but only by a few teams. Most Nationwide teams don’t have a COT, and some teams will likely buy old Cup chassis and convert the bodies to Nationwide specs. SceneDaily
Harvick set on 2010 sponsorship  Kevin Harvick Inc. owner Kevin Harvick said sponsorship for his #33 team is set for next year, and he hopes to have only two drivers in the car in 2010. KHI has fielded the #33 full time this season with six drivers, including Harvick. “We’re all set for next year,” Harvick said after qualifying for Saturday night’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. “It’ll be pretty much the same thing with myself for the majority of the races and probably a few less drivers. We’re working on getting that part situated, but sponsorships all done.” Harvick said he hopes “it’ll be a younger guy,” perhaps Kelly Bires, who has driven KHI’s car in two races this year, finishing fourth and 10th. “I really like Kelly Bires,” Harvick said. “Cale Gale’s done an OK job, but I really like the Bires route, if he’d be interested in that.”  SceneDaily
track news
Local group won't buy Gateway  All the rumors about Gateway International Raceway being sold can now be put to rest.

The local group that had inquired about purchasing GIR from Dover Downs Entertainment, the company that owns Gateway among its four tracks, has broken off talks.

"I wished that I had better news to report," said Kenny Nowling, president and chief executive officer of the American Drag Racing League, the company that had been in talks with Dover. "My investors kind of soured a little bit after finding out ... we weren't aware that Gateway doesn't own this property. Dover owns a very small portion of this property. More ...

Danica Patrick rules out USF1 drive in 2010  (GMM)  Danica Patrick has all but ruled out switching to formula one next year.

The 27-year-old American female racer, who currently drives in the United States' premier IndyCar open wheel category, has been linked with the new USF1 team.

But speculation also hints at a NASCAR move for the diminutive Patrick, and when questioned about her plans for 2010 is quoted as saying by the LA Times: "I'd say it's probably not F1".

She said she has little interest in the USF1 outfit, whose principals Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor are targeting American drivers and have named Patrick specifically.

"Not really, and the fact is that to my knowledge they've never called," she revealed.

In 2005, Patrick turned down the offer of a demonstration run in a formula one car at Indianapolis, and last year Honda chief executive Nick Fry's invitation of a proper test drive reportedly went unanswered. More ...

Inge Passes Miller, Wins Race One at Summit Point  
Inge took his second win of the year and gained a few points back in the championship
On a beautiful day in West Virginia, Matthew Inge passed Chris Miller and inherited the lead when Tim Minor spun to notch his second win of the season for St. Clair Motorsports and gained back a few valuable points on championship leader Chris Miller who finished second. Miller started from pole and gained bonus points for fastest race lap. Fabio Orsolon finished third with Remy Audette, hanging on with a broken differential and Victor Carbone rounding out the top five.

“This was an absolute team effort,” said Inge in victory lane. “I also have to thank my parents for all their support, the car St. Clair Motorsports prepared was totally awesome. I managed to get by Chris (Miller) going into one and then we caught Minor. He was sliding the car all over the place and eventually spun off. From there I just made sure to keep enough of a gap to make sure Miller couldn't catch the air off my rear wing down the straight.” More ...

tv news
Coyne, Gronholm, Miller, Waltrip guests on Wind Tunnel  UPDATE Marcus Gronholm, 2-time World Rally Champion, will also be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday, July 19.  After retiring from the World Rally Championship at the end 2007, Gronholm, is back in competition. This weekend, Marcus is driving a Ford Fiesta Rallycross car at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in an effort to become the first to break the 10-minute mark on the 12.4 mile course.

07/17/09 Dale Coyne, owner of Dale Coyne Racing, will appear live on SpeedTV’s Wind Tunnel program Sunday, July 19 at 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. ET.

Wind Tunnel will also feature Darrell Waltrip, FOX Sports and SPEED NASCAR Analyst.

The guest co-host of the program will be Robin Miller (SPEED open-wheel racing analyst) and will interview Dale Coyne about his 25 years in open-wheel racing from his start as a driver to his transition to team owner, culminating with the historic win at Watkins Glen on July 5, 2009.

Wind Tunnel co-host Robin Miller knows all the right buttons to push about the top stories in motorsports.  Viewers are urged to call into the program at 866-WTUNNEL to chat with both Dale and Robin.  Find out more at http://www.speedtv.com/programs/wind-tunnel-with-dave-despain.

Dale Coyne and chief engineer Bill Pappas will also be featured on SPEED Report on Sunday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET.  Watch Robin Miller’s interview with Dale and Bill from the Honda Indy Toronto circuit and catch the latest motorsport news from around the globe.

Hornaday Wins Third Race in a Row  
Ron Hornaday
Ron Hornaday Jr. rallied in the final 24 laps Saturday for his third straight victory in the Camping World Truck Series, beating Mike Skinner by a truck length in the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway.

“On Lap 45, if you had told me we’d win this race, I’d have told you were lying,” Hornaday said. “We brought the truck back to where we could run (Turns) 3 and 4 wide open. We definitely had to pass some trucks.”

Hornaday was sixth for the Lap 127 restart in the 150-lap race on the 1.5-mile track. Crew chief Rick Ren made chassis and air pressure adjustments to the tires on the final two stops to give Hornaday a faster truck. More ...
Q&A with Renault's Bob Bell  Renault is looking to make more progress in Hungary after a noteworthy improvement in performance at the German Grand Prix seven days ago. Team technical director Bob Bell explains the mechanical reasoning behind the upping in pace of the R29, driven by Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet. Bob, the team took a big step forward in Germany. What do you feel made the difference?

The upgrades we introduced certainly improved the aerodynamic and mechanical performance of the car and allowed us to be much more competitive. When you develop the car to a level where the drivers feel really comfortable and confident with it, you often get a lot more gains than you would expect from the sum of those parts on paper. I think we saw a good example of that at the Nürburgring and Fernando in particular was able to raise his game and get the most from the new parts that he had on his car. More ...
Red Bull Racing's contract problems  It was reported June 10 that Brian Vickers had agreed to a new multi-year deal with Red Bull Racing and that an announcement would come later that week. So where's the contract? Vickers described the situation last weekend as "strange" and said he'd hoped to have the new deal signed before now. "Right now, we still haven't agreed on a contract," Vickers told reporters at Chicagoland Speedway. "There were many times where I went into the week expecting it to be signed and sent to me to sign, and that didn't happen. Why? I can't answer that. That's a question for Red Bull and a question for Jay Frye." Frye is Red Bull's general manager. He was scheduled to meet with team owner Dietrich Mateschitz this week in Austria to work on Vickers' deal and a manufacturer for next season. Red Bull is in the final year of its contract with Toyota, which would like to re-sign the organization. Frye also has been in discussions with Hendrick Motorsports about forming a technical alliance in which HMS would supply engines and chassis as it does for Stewart-Haas Racing. If an alliance occurs with HMS, Red Bull also could be a potential landing spot for Brad Keselowski, although Frye recently said he had no plans to expand. ESPN Insider
De Silvestro becomes winningest female driver  2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Simona De Silvestro became the winningest driver in the 36-year of the series with another dominating performance at Lime Rock Park.

Driving the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine for Team Stargate Worlds, De Silvestro started from the pole position and led every lap en route to a 10.004-second victory over John Edwards. It was the third victory of the season for De Silvestro and the fourth of her career, moving her one win ahead of Katherine Legge, who won three races in her lone Atlantic season of 2005. The win also enabled De Silvestro to extend her lead in the championship standings to 17 points, 89-72, over a second-place tie between Edwards and Jonathan Summerton after five of 12 races. More ...
Brabham fastest in Lime Rock Warm-up  Eager for a repeat of last year’s magical victory at Lime Rock Park, David Brabham set the fastest time in the 20-minute raceday warm-up for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. The reigning Le Mans champion turned in a time of 48.778 in the Acura ARX-02a that he will drive with Scott Sharp.

The pairing gave Patr¢n Highcroft Racing and Acura their first overall victory in 2008 with a late-race pass. The car will start on the outside of the front row after Friday’s qualifying.

Adrian Fernandez, the LMP2 pole-winner, was second quickest overall and first in P2 with a 49.015. Fernandez and Luis Diaz haven’t lost in class this season in Lowe’s Fernandez Racing’s Acura ARX-02a. The car was 0.611 seconds clear of Gil de Ferran and de Ferran Motorsports’ overall pole-winning Acura, which saw Simon Pagenaud take fast qualifier honors Friday. More ...

Eng wins dramatic race one at Brands Hatch  Austrian Philipp Eng has taken a brilliant maiden F2 win at Brands Hatch this afternoon (Saturday) after enduring race-long pressure from championship leader Andy Soucek.

Eng didn't make the best of starts off the line, but Soucek was unable to capitalize on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend. Henry Surtees and Kazim Vasiliauskas were side-by-side behind, and it was the Lithuanian who grabbed third on the opening lap.

Notable incidents in the early stages included Alex Brundle running through the gravel at Druids Hairpin on lap two and Jens Höing sliding off at Paddock Hill Bend. Brundle was able to continue, whilst Höing retired after making contact with the barriers. More ...

Rossi storms to Sachsenring pole in Germany  

Valentino Rossi shows who is boss
Valentino Rossi added a third pole position to enviable haul from 2009 at Sachsenring on Saturday, coming out on top in a drenched qualifying session for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Rossi’s last gasp 1’32.520 lap was not only enough to head the timesheet by over six-tenths of a second, but it was also sufficient to give him a first ever MotoGP pole at the German track.

Rossi relegated Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo to second on the grid, and the two share the front row for the sixth time this season. Joining them in the first line of attack will be fellow title contender Casey Stoner, a further six-tenths down on Rossi’s marker in the qualifying run.

Lorenzo and Stoner had experienced big crashes at Laguna Seca last time out, but this time they were two of the few riders not to have experienced a moment in preparation for the Sachsenring race. The area at and ahead of turn eight proved costly for a number of riders on Saturday afternoon, with falls for Marco Melandri, Toni Elías, Randy de Puniet, Alex de Angelis, Nicky Hayden and Niccolò Canepa adding to Chris Vermeulen’s Friday hit and James Toseland’s morning moment. Canepa first hit the gravel of his own accord, then later became involved in Hayden’s crash when the American speared him off track. All riders escaped unhurt. More ...

Mayfield affair an embarrassment for NASCAR  Jeremy Mayfield may be completely bat-guano crazy. He may also be a man of extraordinary principle. Or maybe it's just the methamphetamine talking.

Now read those three sentences again and tell me you're not hooked on what comes next.

Of all the bizarre stories that have graced our eyes this year, this is the platinum standard - or double platinum standard, or even kryptonite standard. Nothing tops it, and nothing will, not for awhile. Nothing comes close. Not Burress or Beckham, LeBron or Lesnar, not Kobe or Kung-Fu Panda. This is the one, and you may want to strap on the Kevlar before you advance.

Mayfield is a NASCAR driver (hang with us here) who tested positive for meth (ahh, I see your eyelids twitching) by NASCAR (OK, shades of baseball and football testing), fought the subsequent suspension (now it seems like Roger Clemens, sort of), even going to court to get an injunction against his suspension (now it's way like Clemens), was re-tested positive by NASCAR (OK, now we're getting into serious vendetta territory), and his stepmother was one of the people who ratted him out (see? I told you this would get weird), and then he spoke out.

Now here comes the good stuff. Wait, the good stuff? There's good stuff after this? More ...

Soucek takes maiden F2 pole  Andy Soucek took pole position for race two this morning at Brands Hatch, after another thoroughly entertaining qualifying session.

Robert Wickens and Sebastian Hohenthal traded quickest times in the early stages, whilst Soucek was some way down the order. Tom Gladdis also impressed in the opening laps, holding third briefly.

At the halfway point of the 30 minute session, the majority of drivers changed on to new Avon tires and the times immediately tumbled. Julien Jousse was the first driver to dip under the 1:18s barrier, as Jolyon Palmer also improved to move into third behind Wickens. More ...

Mayfield accuses NASCAR of "spiking" his urine samples  Jeremy Mayfield's battle with NASCAR has become a he-said, they-said, she-said affair.  Mayfield says he is fighting back against allegations of drug use.  WBTV Reporter Sarah Batista interviewed Mayfield at his home in Catawba County Thursday night.  He accuses NASCAR of conspiring against him.

"I've never done meth," Mayfield said.

Mayfield says there's no doubt in his mind that NASCAR is trying to make an example out of him but he says he's not going down without a fight. [Editor's Note: Mayfield exposed his ex-boss Ray Evernham for having an affair with a female driver, and some suspect because that action destroyed Evernham that eventually forced him out of NASCAR, NASCAR is now paying Mayfield back]

NASCAR says Mayfield tested positive once again for methamphetamine on July 6th less than two months after he was suspended for a similar infraction.

Mayfield told WBTV the results of this test were not accurate.  He claims the results turned up positive because he took allergy medicine and Adderal for his Attention Deficit Disorder. 

"When you look at 15 tests since May 1st, and two have tested positive, why are they all negative for meth except two?" Mayfield asked.

He claims the only reason NASCAR won't let him have the backup samples retested is because they "doctored it up" and "spiked my urine." More ...

Danica rejects notion she's intimidated by NASCAR  

It's been suggested that you're not capable of driving a 3,400-pound Sprint Cup Series stock car competitively, especially in 36 races on NASCAR's various kinds of tracks. Do you reject that notion?

"Of course I do, because I believe in my ability. Any time I've been tested and put in a car, in something I've never driven before. . . . I've always done really well. It's going to take some getting used to. But I can't make everyone think I'm a good driver.

"I used to be more intimidated by the length of the season, but I spend so very little time at home and I am always on the road. I'm much less intimidated by that."

Would you want to be in a Cup car from the start, or would you be willing to drive a few races in NASCAR's secondary series to get up to speed?

"Probably a while ago when I started thinking about the future a little bit and what I was going to have a look at . . . I definitely thought you'd go straight from the top of one sport to the next. But in [listening to] people's advice and what they think is right, they say take your time and they say you need to start a little slower than that. People want me to do well, if I ever do it, if I get to Cup.

"At some point you have to stop being naive and stop being stubborn and listen to people, so if that's the route I go, I would be open to doing some lower-formula stuff. I would take that advice." More ...
Formula BMW
Formula BMW Lime Rock qualifying results  Qualifying for this weekend’s Formula BMW Americas doubleheader at Lime Rock Park tested the teams and drivers with a pair of drastically different conditions, as dry and fast racing gave way to a wet and tricky session to end the day as the fields were set for the eighth and ninth rounds of the 2009 season.

Friday’s opening session was dry and lightning fast as Eurointernational’s Gabby Chaves set a new track record in scoring his third pole of the year ahead of Autotecnica’s Giammarco Raimondo. The afternoon saw the Formula BMW Americas series run its first wet-weather session of the year, as Autotecnica’s Alex Ellis beat the raindrops to secure the first pole of his racing career while the Colombian-American Chaves scored the second starting spot. More ...

Tracy not surprised Bourdais was fired  Having watched last Sunday's German Grand Prix and seen what proved to be the final F1 race for Sebastien Bourdais in a Toro Rosso, Paul Tracy was not surprised to read Thursday's news of his ousting. "I'm not surprised he's got the boot," the Canadian KV Racing driver wrote for Racer. "The guy was a misery even when he had the best car and was winning everything, so I guess he's been pretty unbearable this last 18 months."

Having scored a point in Monaco but being generally outshone by rookie teammate Sébastien Buemi, Bourdais has since claimed that no action of his own could have influenced the team's decision and that a contract which should have taken him to the end of the year is resulting in legal issues with the team. He has, however, stated that he will continue to attempt an extension of his F1 career as opposed to returning to the United States.

"He's a great driver but I bet his attitude didn't exactly encourage the team to solve his problems," Tracy continued. "I'm in two minds about this; I'm dreaming of the day that I'm able to give Bourdais the gears again but I will be mightily p***** if he walks back into a deal when I've been working my tail off - doing promotions and helping to sell tickets for race organizers - and don't get a fulltime ride."

Shank Racing fastest Friday at Barber  Michael Valiante "won" another practice session Friday at Barber Motorsports Park, running a lap of 1:20.692 (102.612 mph) to lead the opening day of preparation for Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union, Round 8 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

Valiante has led at least one session at seven of the eight events this season in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley. He holds the track record, 1:20.251 (102.830 mph), set in qualifying for this event last year when Valiante piloted the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara.

Qualifying begins at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, with the race taking the green flag Sunday at 2 p.m. (SPEED live, 3 p.m. ET).

"We've got a pretty good record going in practice, so we just have to get a little luck in some of the races," Valiante said. "We've just had a few issues. We've got a podium (second at Virginia International Raceway) and we're fifth in the points, so we'd definitely like to get a victory before the season ends." More ...

Hungary F1 race tech file  The high summer temperatures also make life difficult for the drivers, who need to be in peak physical condition to cope with a race that gives them very little respite over its 70-lap distance.


The twisting, 14-corner layout of the Hungaroring features just one legitimate overtaking opportunity per lap, into turn one. Apart from this straight of just over 700m, the circuit is filled with sequences of low to medium-speed corners, with short braking distances which make overtaking nearly impossible. The result is that the teams all run with maximum downforce levels, similar if not identical to those used in Monaco, in order to optimize not just cornering speeds, but also braking and traction. Maximum speeds achieved on the main straight rarely exceed 300km/h with the V8 engines. More ...
Philipp Eng takes his maiden pole position  Philipp Eng has taken his maiden Formula Two pole position this afternoon, after a breathless first qualifying session at Brands Hatch.

The young Austrian set his best time just before the session was red flagged after Pietro Gandolfi spun off at Clark Curve with 5 minutes to go.

The restart led to a frantic shootout, with the majority of the cars taking to the circuit for one last shot at pole. Andy Soucek took full advantage to leap up the leaderboard and take second place, missing the top spot by just 13 thousandths of a second. More ...

Summit Racing renews NHRA sponsorship  
Length of contract: 3 years
Annualized value: US$500,000
Overall value: US$1.5 million
racing news
Australia racing could take big hit  Australian sport could be hit by a US$240 million blow if a blueprint to fight disease that would bring an end to alcohol sponsorship is introduced.

Cricket Australia, the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League and Australian Rugby Union would all be robbed of millions of dollars in sponsorship and advertising revenue under the scheme.

According to a report commissioned by the government, alcohol-related disease cost the state more than US$12 billion last year.

The government-backed taskforce is also calling for an end to alcohol advertising on the internet and in youth magazines, while pub opening hours could be reduced.

[Editor's Note: How long before the USA bans alcohol advertising in sports because of all the drunk driving deaths each year - drunk drivers, not only killing themselves, but innocent victims when they hit them head-on?]

An inside look at Lime Rock by Risi  Back in the U.S. with yet another Le Mans GT2 championship trophy in hand, Risi Competizione hopes to get back in the habit of winning in the American Le Mans Series. First up is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. As is tradition, team technical director Rick Mayer takes us through the preparation and strategy for the week on the Risi Ferrari F430 GT.

Car count will be up again, as at Miller Motorsports Park in May, with the addition of some slower GT3 Porsche Cup/ Challenge cars which changes the complexion of the race a bit compared to last year. This is a short circuit - 1.51 miles - with a 55-second lap for GT2. This year the LMP traffic has been less of an issue with the larger performance difference between the LMP1s and P2s, and with reduced numbers. This was a big issue last year in traffic and caused us to pit early for a cut tire in the race.

Track particulars: The pavement has seasoned now (repaved last year) and should have more grip. We’ll run the same circuit configuration as last year and the track should still be smooth so bumps won’t be an issue. It will still be all right turns with one left plus the two chicanes - the chicane curbs are important for a quick lap time. Turn 1 will still be the biggest passing opportunity, and the hill leading down onto the front straight will still be important to get a good run. More ...

Bourdais latest from America to fail in F1  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, It's not a glorious list. Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Cristiano da Matta and now Bourdais all arguably underachieved in F1 given the championship-winning form they displayed in America.  Question, how can you consider a FIA Formula One World Champion an underachiever? (A la Jacques Villeneuve) or a driver who won 8 FIA Formula One Grand Prix events including the most prestigious grand prix race at Monaco and currently holds the record for the fastest  race at Monza an underachiever? (A la Montoya).  Although I agree with the general premise of the story line, but does that make Timo Glock who raced in Champ Car a success?  Or does that mean that any current or former driver who has not won more that 8 races a success or underachiever?  Dan in the LBC

Another reader writes, Bourdais is just another whiner.  He should go back to the IRL and race for Andretti Green.  He will fit right in there with Michael and Danica.  They always have an excuse for everything (except last weekend in Toronto where even those two couldn't come up with one). F1 seems to really show up the talents of those who made it in CART/Champ Car/ IRL but couldn't make in happen in Europe.  There's a whole list.  Makes you really respect those who lead the F1 pack.  They obviously have something special. Kelly Konzelman

In America the heroes ride on their father's coattails or bring sponsorship money to land the ride.  This results in a system of mediocrity.  What other sport do you know where the heroes are not the best athletes?
07/17/09 Confirmation that Sebastien Bourdais has been dropped midseason by the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team is another punch in the gut for aficionados of American open-wheel racing.

The latest failure of a star from the American scene to consistently produce in the harsher environment of F1 destroys what little remaining credibility U.S. open-wheel racing had left on the worldwide stage.

It's not a glorious list. Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Cristiano da Matta and now Bourdais all arguably underachieved in F1 given the championship-winning form they displayed in America.

"In Sebastien's second year with us, the partnership has not met our expectations and therefore we have decided to replace him as from the next round of the world championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix," stated Toro Rosso team director Franz Tost.

The 30-year-old Bourdais is likely to be replaced by Jaime Alguersuari, a Spaniard who at age 19 would become the youngest driver to start an F1 Grand Prix. More ...

German GP F1 TV Ratings  The TV Rating from the F1 Santander German Grand Prix taped-delayed last Sunday on Fox was a 0.5/1 share.
Pagenaud tops first Lime Rock practice  Simon Pagenaud has picked up where de Ferran Motorsports left off two months ago in the American Le Mans Series with the fastest lap in the opening practice session for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix on Friday. The young Frenchman’s best time was a 47.858 (112.834 mph) around the 1.51-mile, 10-turn circuit at Lime Rock Park.

Pagenaud is driving the team’s XM Acura ARX-02a with team owner Gil de Ferran. The duo won the last two rounds before the break for Le Mans, and their Acura was 1.146 seconds better than Luis Diaz in Lowe’s Fernandez Racing’s Acura ARX-01b entry, the quickest P2 car.

Diaz, whose best lap was a 49.004 (110.195 mph), and teammate Adrian Fernandez are a perfect 4-for-4 this season in P2. Acura also has swept the Series’ two prototype categories at the last three Series events. More ...

Stoner on top in Friday practice  

He has been under the weather in recent weeks, but Casey Stoner proved to be on top of conditions at the Sachsenring on Friday afternoon. A damp track following rainfall in the 125cc Free Practice session gave the riders plenty to think about in their first run for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, but in the end it was the Ducati Marlboro man who proved most at ease.

Stoner was some three tenths of a second quicker than any other rider, with a time of 1’22.779. Whilst he was the standout rider, behind him was a group of three riders separated by less than a tenth of a second. Laguna Seca race winner Dani Pedrosa headed said pack, showing no fear in the face of a track that so viciously took him out of action on RaceDay last year.

World Championship leader Valentino Rossi and LCR Honda’s Randy de Puniet also made their presence felt, whilst Alex de Angelis and Colin Edwards showed their versatility in preparation for an important race for their respective MotoGP futures. More ...

AJ Foyt IV to get hitched this weekend  The IndyCar Series has this weekend off before they head to Edmonton, Alberta which is why A.J. (Anthony) Foyt IV and his fiancée Casey Irsay plan to get married this weekend.  They're getting married in Napa Valley, Calif.  AJ Foyt and his wife Lucy, their daughter Terry, their son Jerry and his wife Kate, AJ's buddy Jim Greer and the team publicist Anne and her husband Drew Fornoro are all flying out together on Saturday.

AJ Foyt had this to say about Foyt IV's marriage, "I wondered if I'd live long enough to see Anthony get married but he found a real winner in Casey, and I mean that in the best sense. She's a pretty little thing and so sweet that she could be from Texas! She's been great for him and he's lucky that she said yes."

racing news
Vatanen criticizes Mosley for recommending Todt  (GMM)  Ari Vatanen has criticized outgoing FIA president Max Mosley for recommending Jean Todt to succeed him.

In a letter to FIA member clubs earlier this week, Briton Mosley lauded the former Ferrari boss as "the outstanding motor sport manager of his generation" and the "ideal person" to be elected in October.

On the other side of the presidential battle is 1981 world rally champion and former European parliamentarian Vatanen.

"It is wrong that Max wants to impose the new leader," the Finn, 57, is quoted as saying by Spain's Diario AS newspaper.

"The FIA is not a kingdom but rather a republic whose leaders are elected democratically," Vatanen added.

racing news
Todt wants to 'give something back'  Jean Todt has said he wants to "give something back" to motorsport should he be elected as president of the FIA.  The former Ferrari team principal confirmed on Thursday he is to stand for the election on October 23, Todt having been named by outgoing president Max Mosley as his preferred successor.

Setting out his manifesto in a letter to the FIA member clubs, Todt intends "to offer continuity, but also to encourage change to meet the new challenges facing the sport and motoring in the years ahead".

He wants the FIA to encourage a new era of global mobility and motor sport and, if elected, will promote three major themes: affordability and competition; innovation and excellence; team-work and co-operation.

Todt remarked: "I have been very fortunate in my career to have enjoyed considerable success in motor sport and benefit from the hard work of previous leaders of the FIA in creating a global platform on which to compete.

"I feel that for me the time is now right to give something back to the sport and the FIA's clubs that have given me so much.

"I would also like to assist my colleagues from the mobility clubs in their important work representing the motoring public.

"For these reasons I am enthusiastic and excited to serve as president of the FIA."

The Countdown To A1GP Season Five Begins  The 100 days countdown to the start of Season Five of A1GP World Cup of Motorsport started on Tuesday, 14 July, and the organizers of the Nitro SuperGP in Surfers Paradise on the Australian Gold Coast celebrated this landmark by announcing Surf Life Saving Queensland as an official charity of the event on 22 – 25 October.

Nitro SuperGP General Manager, Greg Hooton, made the announcement about the organization saying: “SLSQ are an icon of Queensland and I look forward to seeing their volunteers in action over our event as they celebrate 100 years of life saving and over 100,000 rescues.

“As the Nitro SuperGP ticks off its own 100 days to go milestone, preparations for the event are moving along swiftly with the event set to be officially launched next week here at the Southport Surf Club, our new pit facility is also to be unveiled shortly and ticket pre-sales are on-track.” More ...

Q&A: Red Bull's Christian Horner and Adrian Newey  Red Bull Racing has reached the mid-point of the season in fine form, with consecutive one-two finishes in the British and German Grands Prix. Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner and Red Bull Technology Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey explain the groundwork that went into producing these results. The team currently lies second in both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships.

Q: As we go into the second half of the season are the pressures you now have to deal with different to those of last year, or even at the start of this season?
Christian Horner, Red Bull-Renault (Team Principal): The rewards on track are different, but the pressures are the same. We are working as hard as possible to get as much performance as possible, as quickly as we can. Everyone at the factory has a spring in their step at the moment, even if the pace of development required to meet this year's major regulation change has been relentless. There are a lot of unsung heroes at the factory, putting in superhuman efforts and hours to get the components on the car. More ...

Horner says Red Bull has best drivers in F1  Red Bull Racing is the team with all the momentum at the moment after two consecutive results in the British and German Grand Prix. With a disappointing 2008 season finishing with seventh place in the constructors' championship, ten points behind its sister team, a title assault is now in full swing. With Brawn out front at present, Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have now moved ahead of the English team's Rubens Barrichello for second and third places in the drivers' standings. "The rewards on track are different but the pressures are the same," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. More ...
Truex to field car for ARCA race at Kentucky  NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Jesus Hernandez will take another step forward in his career Saturday night when he competes in the ARCA race at the Kentucky Speedway. Hernandez will compete in a car entered by his fellow worker at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. (#1 Bass Pro Chevy). Hernandez will pilot the #56 Chevrolet. The car will have support from lavendar Boutique and G.C. Pollex and Associates. Hernandez will be making his second career ARCA start, previously racing in this event in 2007, finishing an impressive sixth in his debut. The team, made up of many Sprint Cup employees moonlighting on this project, has made this a true grassroots effort. The team has worked for nearly eight months preparing this car for Saturday night’s race. Hernandez, 27, has competed this season in the Camping World East Series and has collected three top-10 finishes, including one top-five. Breaking Limits
Johnson repeats as Best Driver in ESPYs  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevy, picked up the ESPY for Best Driver during the 17th annual ceremony Wednesday at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Fans can watch the ESPYs, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, this Sunday at 9:00pm/et on ESPN. This marks the second year that Johnson has won the award, which is based upon a fan vote. Johnson, the three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, also was nominated for Best Male Athlete, which was presented to 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. NASCAR has dominated the Best Driver category, picking up 11 of the last 14 awards. Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammates have won five of them: Jeff Gordon in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2007, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004. NASCAR PR
GM dumps sponsorships  UPDATE #2 Some of NASCAR's biggest stars will have to do more with less, now that General Motors has been chopped in half, with a 'good' GM and a 'bad' GM. GM's bankruptcy court is allowing GM executives to cancel a number of sponsorships Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Rusty Wallace, Clint Bowyer, California Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway, and Charlotte's May 600 Festival.

All those contracts, and more, including apparently show-car sponsorships, are likely to be folded into the 'bad' GM.  Earlier GM announced it was dropping Truck and Nationwide sponsorships and would no longer back the Nationwide teams of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Mikemulhern.net

07/14/09 In order to emerge from bankruptcy protection, General Motors had the legal right to reject contracts that it had previously signed. GM has now emerged from bankruptcy, but 54 sponsorship agreements it terminated as part of the bankruptcy were filed with the courts yesterday. Some NASCAR related cuts mentioned in the article:
Track Agreements
California Speedway Corp. (Fontana) -– 70 suite passes w/ pit row access, 35 VIP parking passes
Daytona International Speedway –- 65 seats w/ 77 tickets, 11 parking passes
Dover International Speedway –- 50 seats w/65 suite passes, 30 VIP
Lowe's Motor Speedway –- 66 suite tickets, 16 pit passes, 10 parking passes
Richmond International Speedway –- 60 person suite, 30 pit passes, 15 parking passes
Racing Team Sponsorship Agreements
Jeff Burton, personal service agreement (RCR)
Ryan Newman Motorsports
Other Sponsorships Agreements
IMG Worldwide (official car) CNBC

07/14/09 For General Motors, it's lights out in the Big Apple and game over in Lansing.

A federal judge Monday let General Motors Co. shed dozens of sponsorship deals and pricey perks that included VIP suites at international speedways, naming rights for a Lansing baseball stadium and Times Square billboards.

The move frees GM from spending millions on marketing, sponsorship and promotion-related agreements that did not directly relate to the automaker's core operations. In all, GM shed 54 contracts, but it was unclear how much money the automaker -- once the nation's largest advertiser -- will save. More ...

Adding double diffuser was 'huge', says Newey  Adrian Newey has explained that the job of incorporating a double diffuser to the Red Bull RB5 was a mammoth task in the first months of the season as the car has not been designed to include such a feature. Since redesigning the rear end of the Renault-powered car, the Milton Keynes squad has launched an aggressive attack on Brawn GP for the championship.

With Brawn, Toyota and Williams achieving an initial jump on the field with their innovative, downforce-friendly designs at the beginning of the season, Red Bull was one of a number of teams to introduce such a feature later in the championship, with the first version of its 'double-decker' apparatus appearing in Monte-Carlo. More ...

Matt Lee to race Atlantics at Lime Rock  With the backing of a new sponsor in JoJo Energy Drinks and with an excellent test session under his belt yesterday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Matt Lee is looking forward to competing in Saturday's Atlantic Championship race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

Lee, 19, of Syosset, N.Y., returns to Conquest Racing in what is currently a one-race arrangement. He competed with that same Indianapolis-based team in the Atlantic series in 2007. More ...

racing news
7th Annual WIWC Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser  
Race fans and racing dignitaries are welcome to attend the 7th Annual Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation (WIWC) Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser Thursday, July 23, 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Plaza Hospitality Village Pavilion (located in the IMS infield directly behind the Pagoda) 4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222.  Parking is available in the media lot adjacent to the Plaza.

The awards ceremony is 1:30 to 3 p.m. and tickets are $100.  Click here to register. At noon there will be media-only interviews and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. a VIP Reception and Media Interviews/Photo Ops

The Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation (WIWC), a 501(c)(3) foundation, receives all net proceeds from this event.  The WIWC Foundation was established in 1994 by Lyn St. James as an educational organization developing, mentoring and advancing women in the motorsports industry, especially women who aspire to become race car drivers. Project Podium is a matching-fund grant program of the WIWC Foundation.

Master of Ceremonies: will be Lyn St. James, Indianapolis 500 driver and Women in the Winner’s Circle founder; and Jamie Little, ESPN/ABC NASCAR pit reporter.

Honorary Co-chairs: Cheri Daniels, Indiana first lady and Winnie Ballard, Indianapolis first lady

MEET: • Leadership Award (Tom Binford, former Indianapolis 500 chief steward) and Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award (Gertrude Crain, Crain Communications chairman emeritus) recipients awarded posthumously
• USAC Kara Hendrick Spirit Award winner
• Opportunity Award winners
• Project Podium grant recipients
• Over 20 Driver Development Program representatives including Melanie Troxel, NHRA driver; Sarah Fisher, IndyCar driver; and Jutta Kleinschmidt, 2001 Paris to Dakar Rally champion • Industry Leaders including Mike Helton, NASCAR president; Tom Compton, NHRA president; Kevin Miller, USAC president, Roger Edmonson, Grand-Am president

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Williams' KERS may never be used in F1
  • Glock moves away from Toyota's F1 factory
  • Sponsors pay 2m euros for Alguersuari debut
  • Haug hits back after Lauda criticism
  • Gracia not yet supporting Vatanen or Todt
  • Manager wants Williams debut for Hulkenberg

Williams' KERS may never be used in F1
(GMM)  All will not be lost if Williams does not race its KERS system in formula one.

The Grove team has been busy developing an unique flywheel-based system, but after nine races in 2009 it still has not been fitted to the FW31.

Moreover, the F1 teams have unilaterally decided not to use KERS at all next year.

But even though Williams' system may never see the light of day on the grid, Sir Frank Williams said the technology nonetheless "has very useful and truly interesting commercial applications".

"It's got its own life in that direction," he is quoted as saying by Reuters.

Only Ferrari and McLaren are still persevering with KERS in 2009, after Renault and BMW abandoned their systems.

BMW-Sauber has been a staunch supporter of KERS throughout, but even the Hinwil team's technical director Willy Rampf admits the project has been a flop for the sport.

"If I'd have known at the time what I know today, I would have designed the (2009) car without KERS," he told spox.com.

Rampf refuses to blame KERS for BMW's problems this season, but he admits that the F1.09 features many inherent "compromises" due to having to accommodate the heavy hybrid system.

"The best approach for sure was to build a car with no compromises, like for example the Red Bull," he admitted.

Glock moves away from Toyota's F1 factory
(GMM)  Timo Glock has moved away from Cologne, the locally based Express newspaper claims.

The German driver only recently moved to Junkersdorf, a suburb to the west of Cologne and just a five minute drive to Toyota's formula one headquarters.

But Glock is quoted as insisting his schedule simply did not give him time to make the most of his proximity to the team, and is believed to have moved two hours away to Frankfurt.

Reportedly the move, close to the international airport, is to be closer to his girlfriend Isabell.

Last week Glock, 27, dismissed as "a rumor" reports that he is a contender for Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren seat in 2010.

Glock is believed to have a firm Toyota contract for 2010, but another big rumor in the Nurburgring paddock was that the Japanese carmaker may be close to announcing its decision to withdraw from formula one. More ...

ALMS Stars bring smiles to kids  
"Danielle" makes quick friends with Lowe's Fernandez Racing's Luis Diaz (left) and Adrian Fernandez.
The American Le Mans Series and Lime Rock Park hosted its annual media and community day in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday to kick off the second half of the 2009 season. Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, drivers from Lowe’s Fernandez Racing, united with LMP2 adversaries Guy Smith and Marino Franchitti from Dyson Racing outside the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, alongside Bill Auberlen from BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team, who represented the competitive GT2 class and BMW as the official car of Lime Rock Park.

Strategically positioning the BMW 335 diesel in between the two battling prototypes on the grounds of the medical center, patients and their families began flooding the corridors and sidewalks to meet their drivers and their exotic sports cars, which will be featured on the common area television sets within the medical center on Saturday for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, live at 2 p.m. ET on SPEED. More ...

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