Plowman tops opening ALMS practice at Mosport Martin Plowman’s first trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park started pretty well. The English driver set the fastest time in testing for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on Friday – a 1:09.927 (126.595 mph) in Conquest Endurance’s Morgan-Nissan prototype.
Plowman, driving with the No. 37 P2 entry with David Heinemeier-Hansson, was the only driver to post a time below the 1:10 range. The four fastest cars – two P1s and a pair of P2 entries – were within 0.768 seconds in preparations for Sunday’s fifth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
Michael Schumacher Onboard Crash - Free Practice 2 German GP Michael Schumacher put his hands up after crashing out of the second Hockenheim practice session on Friday afternoon. The Mercedes driver damaged both the front and rear ends of his car after losing control while entering the stadium just four minutes before the checkered flag.
“I wasn’t concentrating fully, basically,” admitted the seven-time Champion, who last won in Germany for Ferrari in 2006. “I was making (in-car setup) changes and was on the radio when I touched the white line. It is what it is, so you have to make the most of the situation and we’re probably going to be qualifying in the wet tomorrow as well.”
Edmonton: Pagenaud leads Honda 1-8 sweep in opening practice Honda powered cars dominated opening practice for the Edmonton IZOD IndyCar race Friday morning with rookie sensation Simon Pagenaud leading the practice times by 4/10ths of a second.
Mike Conway was 2nd in the AJ Foyt machine followed by Dale Coyne's Justin Wilson.
Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top-5.
Ellinas leads the way in GP3 Free Practice at Hockenheim Round 5 of the GP3 Series got underway in Hockenheim as Free Practice was run in the early evening, making a change for the drivers who normally take to the track early on Friday. After the rain had bucketed down throughout the day, the track was declared wet for practice. Alice Powell was the first driver to venture onto the circuit as only a few drivers attempted tentative laps in early part of the session.
With a few drivers circulating on wets, most drivers waited patiently in the pits as the track was in the tricky state of not wet or dry. After 15 minutes, the slicks went on and the action began! Marussia Manor Racing’s Dmitry Suranovich was the first driver to set the pace, however it was short lived when practice was stopped due to a power failure. This caused a short delay while the drivers returned to the pits. 17 minutes, 56 seconds were left on the clock as the time was stopped but once the session was resumed, 15 minutes were left for the drivers to do battle! Mitch Evans was fastest at this point from William Buller, Suranovich, Marlon Stockinger and Alex Brundle.
Combined final for the ELMS and the ALMS The 2012 European Le Mans Series season will end in the United States! The entrants in this series have been invited to take part in the Petit Le Mans, one of the most prestigious races in America for a combined final.
Europe meets America! The entrants in the European Le Mans Series have been invited to a great final. It will take place in the Petit Le Mans (17-20 October), a race that will also mark the end of the American Le Mans Series.
This decision was taken by the organizers of the European Le Mans Series together with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in agreement with the American Le Mans Series as it will add more prestige to both championships.
Giedo van der Garde held his nerve in heavy weather to take his second pole position of the season this afternoon in Hockenheim, clinging on as his rivals slid all over the circuit in the wet conditions to take the top spot ahead of James Calado and Fabio Leimer.
The Dutchman's best time of 1:44.022 pipped his British rival by just 0.012 just as conditions worsened, giving the rest of the field no chance to improve their position as the clock wound down to zero. The session started with steady rain falling, and worsened slowly but surely as time went on. Accordingly all drivers (apart from Giancarlo Serenelli, who was unable to take part due to the damage picked up this morning) were straight on track to set some banker times, although most were unable to stop sliding in the treacherous conditions.
German GP: Maldonado tops wet practice 2 Pastor Maldonado emerged fastest from the second Friday practice session for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, as rain showers meant the order was largely decided by who was on track at the right moment.
Davide Valsecchi has got his weekend under way in fine style by topping the timesheets in a rain (and red flag) affected free practice session this morning in Hockenheim, claiming the top spot just in time to sneak past Luiz Razia and Esteban Gutierrez.
The session got underway under overcast skies but on a dry circuit, with the field storming out on track to make the most of the conditions while the teams kept an eye on the radar screens forecasting rain on the way. Gutiérrez and Marcus Ericsson set the early pace, swapping the top spot each time across the line as many of their rivals went too wide at turn one and paid the price with their times.
The talk in Hockenheim about Bernie/Gribkowsky Affair According to widespread reports in the German newspapers the Munich prosecution service is preparing an official investigation into Bernie Ecclestone’s involvement in the Gribkowsky Affair. The Prosecution Service itself is saying nothing.
The investigation is, however, entirely predictable after the recent comments by the judge when sentencing Gribkowsky to eight and a half years in jail. In fact, it is fair to say that the Bavarian prosecutors do not really have a choice, as it is their duty to investigate any matter as soon as an allegation of criminal activity has been raised. The reports in Germany suggest that the prosecution service has completed an eight-hour interview with Gribkowsky during which he repeated the same claims as he made in his confession in court, admitting bribery, breach of trust and tax evasion and alleging that Ecclestone paid him a $44 million bribe. Ecclestone has denied this and says that Gribkowsky was trying to get money from him to not report the F1 boss to the British tax authorities.
HANS Hopes New Device Will Save More Drivers’ Lives Despite the series of wrecks which took a number of drivers’ lives in recent years, and despite the fact that hardly a weekend goes by during which other high-profile drivers credit their ability to walk away from horrifying wrecks to the effectiveness of head-and-neck restraint systems, large numbers of drivers still refuse to use the systems.
Especially at venues where they may be needed most – local and regional short tracks.
Reasons for the refusals vary, but one of the main issues has been comfort.
On Thursday, HANS Performance Products, the inventors of the head and neck restraint, announced they are introducing an adjustable version of their system. xxxx
“Because it’s adjustable in five-degree increments, this new HANS will improve the fit and comfort for all
Danica Patrick climbs into here car with HANS in place. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)
racers,” said HPP co-founder Jim Downing. “Our goal is to bring the award-winning safety of HANS to all drivers in any type of car, especially the weekend warriors who too often put themselves and their families at risk.”
The “HANS Adjustable” meets the SFI Foundation’s Spec. 38.1 for head and neck restraints. It’s company says it enables all drivers “to purchase a HANS with full confidence of a comfortable fit no matter what type of car or racing seat they use.”
Previously, customers ordered a HANS Device in a fixed angle according to the driver’s physical size and type of seating position in the car – such as an upright seat in stock cars or a reclined seat in open-wheel machines.
That resulted in less than comfortable situations. And it may have ended up endangering drivers who opted out of using the devices.
In racing, trends tend to filter down from above as drivers at the lesser levels of pro and amateur series mimic what the stars to.
That has not been the case vis a vis some safety advances. Not even after drivers like Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick emerged from wadded up hunks of metal which were, moments before, shiny sleek race cars and proclaimed they would have been in bad trouble had they not been wearing head and neck protection.
A recent study conducted by the Charlotte Observer found that racing deaths in the U.S. actually increased in the decade after Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s fatal accident at Daytona in 2001 due to fatalities on weekly short tracks and drag strips.
According to that newspaper’s study, which was released in 2011, there were at least 235 deaths in U.S. racing in the wake of the Earnhardt crash.
That was up from at least 217 deaths in the decade before Earnhardt died.
The data in the study contained deaths in all levels of U.S. racing – from premier NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA events to dirt-track races. The study begins with deaths in 1990. It excludes deaths from youth go-kart, motorcycles, monster trucks, mud racing and racing schools.
“We believe the new HANS is going to create another revolution in head and neck restraints, especially for the weekend warrior,” said Downing. “For over a decade, the HANS has demonstrated its ground-breaking safety technology all over the world in all types of crashes, including multiple impacts and oblique impacts. The HANS Adjustable is another huge step forward. There’s no reason why every driver should not be wearing a HANS head and neck restraint.”
The HANS Adjustable is eligible for use in most U.S. racing series, Downing said. NASCAR, which conducts its own evaluations, currently has the HANS Adjustable under consideration for approval. After passing all the required strength tests, the new device is under final consideration by the safety committee of the FIA, the international sanctioning body.
In the years after Earnhardt’s death, which was caused by a wreck on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, a number of advances in safety have taken place. Things like SAFER barriers (aka soft walls) and cocoon style seats.
Neither of those things in themselves, however, have obviated the need for head and neck restraint systems which keep the head from lunging forward on impact.
And few local short tracks and few local drivers can afford the costs of SAFER barriers and customized carbon fiber seats.
The hope is the new, relatively inexpensive HANS Adjustable will keep drivers at all levels safer and their families happier. RacinToday
Marino Franchitti to drive for PR1 Franchitti and Dobson finalize driver lineup for round five of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n season. R1/Mathiasen Motorsports has announced that longtime sports car racing fan favorite, Marino Franchitti will join the team for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport this weekend. Partnering with PR1/Mathiasen team driver, Ken Dobson, of Sonoma, CA, Franchitti will be getting his first taste of an LMPC machine in the #52 Quest Software/ Aviation Gin Oreca FLM09 this Friday during a two hour test session at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Homestead qualifying moves to Friday Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race, the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400, at Homestead-Miami Speedway has been moved to Friday, November 16.|Gatorade Pole Qualifying is now set for 6:10 p.m. Friday during Ford Championship Weekend. It was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying returns to the more traditional Friday and rounds-out that day’s activities. Friday’s NASCAR on-track schedule now includes: Nationwide Series practice (10:00 a.m.), Camping World Truck Series final practice (11:00), NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Pole qualifying (6:10 p.m.), and the Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (8:00 p.m.).|The change in days also means fans at the track Saturday will be able to watch two separate Sprint Cup practices in the same afternoon – one starting at 1:00 and another at 3:00.
“This is great news for our fans attending the races,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “On Friday, fans can watch the Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 qualifying, followed minutes later by the Camping World Truck Series championship race – all at the most affordable prices of the weekend. Then, Saturday, they can watch the final Sprint Cup Series practices of the year, followed by the Nationwide Series championship race.”
In terms of competition, it allows for greater consistency from track to track for Sprint Cup Series teams and provides the opportunity to focus on qualifying separate from race set ups for the cars.
The Ford Championship Weekend schedule is as follows (all times listed are local EDT):
Friday, November 16:
9:00 a.m. ET
Gates open for fans
NASCAR Nationwide Series Practice
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Final Practice
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice
NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Practice
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying (TV: SPEED)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Pole Qualifying (TV: SPEED)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (TV: SPEED; Radio: MRN)
Saturday, November 17
Gates open for fans
NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying (TV: SPEED)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice
NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 (TV: ESPN2; Radio: MRN)
Sunday, November 18
Gates open for fans
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 (TV: ESPN; Radio: MRN)
Lotus Cars unveils new sports car at opening of flagship store
Lotus Exige S
Lotus cars took the wraps off their new Exige S sports car as they opened a flagship store in the heart of London’s West End.
The new car is the centerpiece of a state-of-the-art store, which is spread over 4,800 sq. feet of floor space in a landmark building that once housed the famous Café Royal, just a short distance from Piccadilly Circus.
The shop opening and sports car unveiling mark a new chapter for both Lotus and its parent company PROTON after being taken over by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM earlier this year. DRB-HICOM with its vast experience and presence in the entire automotive industry value chain, coupled with long-standing collaborations with other global automotive giants reiterated their commitment to drive this iconic British brand to greater success.
Will Power dismisses the notion that with four of the five remaining IZOD IndyCar Series races on road/street circuits, the championship is his to lose. He doesn't waver, however, that he'll be in the hunt.
Power enters the eighth Edmonton Indy as a two-time winner (2011 and '09) and a two-time pole sitter (2010 and '09) in the four races on the City Centre Airport (old and current) under INDYCAR sanction. But with Ryan Hunter-Reay parlaying three consecutive victories into the driver's seat of the title chase, Power is 34 points back.
The streets of Miami are about to get hotter as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim gets underway July 19 – 23 with a packed schedule of 32 designers showing their 2013 collections alongside the newest Mercedes-Benz convertibles including the all-new 2013 SL63 AMG.
With many of the fashion industry's top swimsuit designers showing off their most innovative collections during the five-day event, Mercedes-Benz will roll-out the new SL63 AMG and showcase its unparalleled capability to create bespoke vehicles out of the highest-quality paints, leathers and trims.
Di Resta looking to seal deal for 2013 Paul di Resta is eager to have closure with regards to his Formula 1 drive for next year, but insists that the process is on hold until after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Following next weekend’s race in Budapest, the sport will move into a five-week holiday period.
The Scot entered F1 at the start of last year, having won the previous season’s DTM title. He is hotly tipped for a move to the Mercedes works team alongside Nico Rosberg, but only should Michael Schumacher elect to retire at the end of the ongoing campaign.
IndyCar not missing Danica one iota Danica Patrick is gone. And she’s not being missed.
“She was good for the series and the series was good for her, but I don’t know if anybody is missing her at all,” said Bobby Rahal.
It was Rahal who gave Danica her start in the Formula Atlantic Series for two years and then gave her a ride with Rahal-Letterman Racing in 2005, when she was both Indy 500 and IndyCar Series rookie of the year. After a second season with Rahal-Letterman, Patrick moved on to Andretti Autosport from 2007 to 2011.
“The Indianapolis 500 this year was one of the best ever and she wasn’t even there,” said Rahal.
Indy race named Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 When local firefighters saved Troy native Curtiss Shaver's life during a tragic farming accident, Shaver knew he'd found his calling. Though the accident claimed the lower part of his left leg, Shaver persevered and began a lifelong career as a firefighter and certified EMT with the goal of giving back to his community. In a special event [Wednesday] at Troy Fire Station No. 1, a ceremonial Yard of Bricks was revealed to recognize Shaver as winner of Crown Royal's "Your Hero's Name Here" program. The national contest renames the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29th after a deserving American hero.
In an effort to bring a little piece of the famed track to Troy, Alabama, Crown Royal orchestrated a special ceremony that resulted in the laying of a replica "Yard of Bricks" in Troy's downtown area. The final engraved brick bearing the race logo was personally laid by Shaver, culminating the ceremony. This race will mark the sixth time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. This year, the program focused on all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities, from firefighters and police officers, to first responders and local volunteers. In addition to being a firefighter and certified EMT, Shaver is a husband and father of three. His career in the field began as a volunteer, less than two years after his farming accident. This sense of hard work and dedication were major components of his contest nomination, submitted by fellow Fire Lieutenant Brandy Cox. IMS
New upgrades this weekend for McLaren McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that the team will be introducing 'noticeable' changes to the MP4-27 this weekend as they strive to arrest their dramatic loss in form.
Although Whitmarsh's confident prediction that Lewis Hamilton will sign a new deal with the team dominated Wednesday's news agenda, it's the confirmation that McLaren are preparing to unveil a suite of upgrades at Hockenheim that will have a more immediate bearing on both Lewis and Jenson Button's short-term future.
IndyCar Testing at Mid-Ohio Fans are invited to attend free of charge as several IZOD IndyCar Series teams prepare themselves for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 3-5 by coming to the track in Lexington, Ohio for a test day on Thursday, July 26.
There are 18 drivers on 11 teams tentatively scheduled to test at the track next Thursday. Among those expected to test include Ohio native Graham Rahal, current points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay, three-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon and four-time series champion racer Dario Franchitti.
Opposition to London Stadium race begins Although most Formula 1 fans are sure to be excited that a bid for hosting a Grand Prix in and around the London Olympic Stadium has been formally accepted, not everybody is cheering. Since the tender was officially acknowledged by officials, the idea has come under fire from a number of campaigners based around the Stratford area of the city.
Two London Grand Prix ideas have circulated in recent months; one is the proposal for a private firm to rent out the Olympic Stadium, once the games have finished, whereas the other was an idea heavily promoted by Santander to race around the more famous streets of the city centre.
Obama's signature car a complete failure The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The liberal media is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the liberal media is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
The Press has failed to mention at least five Volt fires, myopically focusing on the one the Obama Administration hand-selected for attention.
Status GP signs up Scottish racer Williamson for Hockenheim GP3 Talented Scottish racer Lewis Williamson has joined Status Grand Prix for this weekend’s GP3 Series races at Hockenheim supporting the German Grand Prix.
Williamson, 22, was a race winner in the GP3 Series in 2011 with the MW Arden team. He switched to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for 2012, but now makes his GP3 return.
He will join Filipino-Swiss Marlon Stockinger and fellow Briton Alice Powell in the Status GP line-up for Hockenheim. He replaces Japanese racer Kotaro Sakurai, who has experienced sponsorship problems.
Congresswoman: Wasting Taxpayer Money Subsidizing NASCAR Must StopUPDATE The campaign by the motorsports industry to defeat the McCollum/Kingston amendment, which would have prohibited military sponsorships by the Department of Defense in motor sports, has been successful. The vote was 202 for and 216 against the bill.
Sponsoring Dale Jr was a total waste of money
07/17/12 Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) expressed her outrage and disbelief at the level of waste in the National Guard’s recruitment budget.
In 2012, the National Guard is spending $26.5 million to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #88 car in NASCAR races for the purposes of recruitment. Over the past five years Earnhardt’s racing team has received over $136 million in taxpayer funds from the National Guard – making him the highest paid military contractor in professional sports.
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