Pierre Gasly has continued his winning ways by easily claiming victory in this afternoon's Feature Race at the Hungaroring, controlling the start and leading the way to the pitstop before waiting for the various strategies to shake out and hand him back the lead for a strong win ahead of teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and Sergey Sirotkin.
The heavy storms of earlier in the day were a distant memory when the grid formed under hot and sunny conditions, and when the lights went out the Red Bull tester made a strong start to easily hold the lead from pole, while fellow front row starter Sirotkin was swamped by Giovinazzi and Norman Nato but led Arthur Pic, ART Grand Prix teammate Nobuharu Matsushita and Raffaele Marciello, who was first of the hard tyre starters as the shape of the race shook out.
Busch and Johnson tops Brickyard practice sessions
Kyle Busch closed out final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice atop the leaderboard Friday afternoon, recovering from a spin earlier in the day and landing the fastest speed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch, the defending race winner, lapped the track with a best speed of 184.619 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota as teams made mock qualifying runs ahead of Saturday's time trials. It marked an improvement over his 12th-best time during Friday's opening 85-minute session at the 2.5-mile track.
Video: Porsche qualifying report from the Nurburgring Watch the qualifying video from the Nurburgring where the two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start from the second row of the grid for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The reigning world champions Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) claimed third on the grid for Sunday’s six-hour race at the Nurburgring (DE).
Next to them on the grid will be the sister-car of the current championship leaders Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE). In GTE, two Porsche 911 RSR claimed first row on the Am grid. Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen finished qualifying 6th in class GTE Pro.
A bitter fight to take control of one of the world's most iconic racetracks will come to a head next week when three competing teams of auto sports enthusiasts make their cases to a ruling panel according to Charles Fleming of the LA Times.
At stake is the management of the Laguna Seca racing venue, host for almost 60 years to some of the power sports industry's most important automobile and motorcycle competitions.
On Monday, according to sources close to the battle, the teams will appear before the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in a hotel in the quaint seaside city. They hope to persuade officials to give them control of the historic raceway, built on former military property inland from the popular tourist towns of Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach, and run as a county-owned facility since 1957.
Don't look for Stewart and Gordon to help Brickyard's attendance drop
Some grandstands will be completely empty on Sunday. Why is NASCAR allowed to race on IndyCar's hallow ground yet it will be a cold day in hell before IndyCars race at Daytona?
It's Tony Stewart's final Brickyard 400, and retired four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon was a late addition to the entry list at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Can they make a difference to NASCAR's fastest falling event asks John Oreovicz of ESPN?
Let's be honest: No. Two of modern stock car racing's biggest stars have strong ties to the state of Indiana, but that's not likely to create a noticeable boost in attendance for the race that serves as the most dramatic example of NASCAR's fall from grace over the last decade.
Only 20 years ago, when stock car racing was still relatively new and novel at IMS and the Indianapolis 500 was starting to show the effects of the Indy car civil war between CART and the Indy Racing League, I called the Brickyard 400 "the Speedway's premier race."
Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was asked the process Stewart-Haas Racing would use to find a replacement driver in the future, if needed:
Stewart: "We never thought of that actually. It is something that I thought about since the talk came about Jeff getting back in the car. We don't have a feeder system. We don't have an Xfinity team. We don't have anybody that's in our system to bring up if that is the case. We will talk about it at some point, but I am definitely open to that scenario if it were to happen down the road and we needed somebody, I would be open to doing what Jeff is doing this weekend." Chevy Racing
McLaren protege and ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries produced the goods in qualifying today by posting the quickest lap in the dying seconds to claim his first GP3 pole. The Dutchman clocked a laptime of 1:32.979 which was almost half a second faster than Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry who had been sat pretty at the top of the timesheet. Trident and Ferrari Driver Academy’s Antonio Fuoco was third after leading the qualifying battle early on.
Very hot temperatures set the scene for the thirty minute qualifying session with Campos Racing’s Alex Palou setting the initial pace. Fuoco was then busy lighting timing screens in purple in sector two and three to go P1 ahead of Matevos Isaakyan, Artur Janosz, Jake Dennis and Giuliano Alesi.
Nico Rosberg turned the fastest lap in final practice Saturday morning for the GP of Hungary but not by much. The Mercedes driver put up a lap of 1m20.261s that was just enough to beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 0.002s. The fight for pole might be close this afternoon.
Third quick was the second Red Bull of Daniel Riccardo 0.5s back while the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was 4th.
Ferrari is now the third best car in F1 and that was clear from this session with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel only 5th and 6th fastest nearly 1-second behind and out to lunch.
Video: NASCAR Brickyard 400 Pre-Race interviews Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1 / Chevy Summer Sell Down Chevrolet); Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet); Ryan Newman (No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet); Roush Fenway Racing announcement with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 SunnyD Ford Fusion); Kyle Busch (No. 18 Skittles Toyota); Wood Brothers Racing announcement with Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center); Jeff Gordon (No. 88 AXALTA Chevrolet) and Rick Hendrick Comment
Agendas varied in the one-day team test Thursday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but they shared one common goal: finding the quickest way around the 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio, that plays host to The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio from July 29-31.
A total of 17 cars logged test laps, with official times not reported since it was a team test day. Some teams used the day to fine-tune setups for the upcoming race weekend. Several others used the opportunity to test and evaluate current or former Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, a testing incentive built into the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.
Claman De Melo and Harvey to Test for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Update) UPDATE Jack Harvey's testing crash at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday may prevent the British racer from making his Verizon IndyCar Series race debut later this season writes Paul Hensby of The Checkered Flag
Schmidt Peterson Motorsport were giving the quick Briton a test this week with a view to giving Harvey a seat in a third car at one of the season ending rounds at either Watkins Glen or Sonoma, but shunted the car at turn six during the morning session that curtailed his day's running.
Mazda Road to Indy Driver Advancement Program Announced for 2016
Rotax MAX Challenge
Joining forces in 2014, Andersen Promotions and the MAXSpeed Group announced today their continuation of the Mazda Road to Indy (MRTI) Driver Advancement Program in 2016. After two successful years of exposing qualified Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) drivers to the first rung of the MRTI ladder system, two drivers will be chosen to participate in a two-day test in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda during off-season testing.
"Kart racing is the foundation for all forms of motorsports,” explains Richard Boisclair, President of the MAXSpeed Group. “Through our continued alliance with Andersen Promotions, the Rotax MAX Challenge is a clearly defined path to the Mazda Road to Indy. We have already seen success with the program, and 2016 is sure to be just as rewarding."
Gasly burns to pole in Budapest Pierre Gasly crushed his rivals' hopes with a stunning performance in this afternoon's Qualifying session at the Hungaroring, keeping cool in scorching conditions to run out of sequence and grab pole position ahead of Sergey Sirotkin and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.
The Red Bull tester's best time of 1:25.612 was more than half a second faster than anyone, with the Frenchman setting the two fastest laps of the session as his rivals floundered while they tried to find any improvement. The session opened with a cooler track but higher air temperatures than this morning's Free Practice, and everyone except the PREMA Racing pairing were immediately out to take advantage of the F1 rubber.
After Lewis Hamilton was forced to sit out the majority of the second free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix after suffering a crash at the Hungaroring, his Mercedes teammate topped the session ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel.
The defending champion got out of shape on the entry to the fast Turn 11 right-hander, the Mercedes sliding across the tarmac run-off area and firmly striking the barrier on the W07's left-side.
Hamilton was able to get the car going and nurse it back to the pit lane, but he was unable to run in the rest of the session.
Video: Whincup focused on taking the ton Six-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup is aiming to make history with his 100th race win at this weekend’s Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.
The Red Bull Racing driver goes Queensland Raceway sitting on 99 career wins, second only to Craig Lowndes on the all-time winners list. Whincup admits he would have liked to have hit the ton earlier this season and is focused on reaching the milestone this weekend.
Pierre Gasly has set a target for his rivals to match by taking the top spot in this morning's Free Practice session in Budapest, setting the pace for almost the entire session to come home almost half a second ahead of Alex Lynn and Sergey Sirotkin.
The Red Bull tester stopped the clocks at 1:27.138 a third of the way through the session, beating his own top time to extend the gap back to his rivals in scorching conditions at the Hungaroring: with track temperatures increasing throughout there was little chance for the rest of the field to improve their laptimes, and attention was turned to fine tuning the cars for tomorrow's race.
Not many people show up for the Brickyard 400 anymore, but the TV money is so good IMS still makes a profit
When NASCAR invaded the hallowed ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway around 20 years ago it was akin to the Beatles invading America. It was just as loud, with the primary difference being instead of mop tops there were mostly unruly mustaches. And that none of the drivers was named Ringo, writes Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Review Journal.
That was 1994. A NASCAR record 85 cars were on hand to compete for 43 starting berths. The massive grandstands were full to the brim. The Brickyard 400 was the hottest ticket in town.
Now it’s 2016. A not-so-grand total of 41 cars will compete for 40 starting spots. Roughly 70 percent of the massive grandstands will be empty or covered by advertising banner disguises. The Brickyard 400 is now shown on NBCSN, which is sort of like ESPN 8 -- The Ocho. Only without dodgeball.
Will Jeff Gordon get 'The Call' in Indy and deliver NASCAR the headlines it needs?
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Gordon’s return for a post-retirement run in the Brickyard 400 has been a commercial boon for Indianapolis Motor Speedway writes Brant James of USA Today.
Track president Doug Boles told USA TODAY Sports Thursday that ticket requests for the Sprint Cup race began to spike within 90 minutes of hendrick Motorsports’ announcement on Wednesday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would miss his second-consecutive race and Gordon, an Indiana native, four-time series champion and five-time Brickyard-winner who retired last season, would take over the car.
Boles said ticket sales generally ramp up in the days preceding the event but said a Gordon bump was tangible, with ticket sales up 35% on Wednesday this year compared to Wednesday before race in 2015.
Overnight rain meant intermediate tires were required for installation laps, but once the dry tires went on it was clear this weekend looks to be another waltz in the park for the Aldo Costa designed Mercedes cars. Lewis Hamilton set the pace in opening Formula 1 free practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The three-time world champion put up a lap of 1m21.347s on the super-softs Pirellis.
Nelson Piquet Jr. will return to pilot the #07 SH Rallycross/DRR Ford Fiesta at the upcoming Washington, D.C. Red Bull Global Rallycross race. Piquet won the D.C. round last year but left GRC this season due to conflicts in Formula E and the WEC.
"Last year Nelson did a fantastic job bringing us our first GRC win," said team owner James "Sulli" Sullivan. "The opportunity arose for his to race with us again for the Washington D.C. event, so we felt it only fitting that we put him back behind the wheel and if he can make magic again."
No word on the status of Jeff Ward, who has piloted the #07 thus far in 2016, or who will drive for the team at the Atlantic City round at the end of August.
U.S. F4 debut to be televised across country INDIANAPOLIS – The inaugural race weekend of the Formula 4 United States Championship powered by Honda will be featured on television across the country starting this weekend.
The first of seven episodes of “F4 U.S. Championship Today” will air Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on Altitude Sports and will debut on NESN National on Monday at 12:30 a.m. ET. The episode will feature the debut weekend of the series from Lexington, Ohio, earlier this month.
In a "master plan" published Wednesday night, Musk revealed plans to sell electric buses, pick-up trucks, semis and a small SUV. He also envisioned allowing Tesla owners to turn their cars into self-driving taxis.
The updated plan includes an explanation of why Tesla wants to purchase SolarCity (SCTY), the solar energy company that Musk is chairman of. Musk wrote that Tesla could not create a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar roof and battery product if the two companies are separate.
In Musk's dream world, energy collected from a home's rooftop solar panels would help power a person's electric car.
Motorsport Safety Foundation Race with Restraint Initiative Provides Safety Equipment to Hooked on Driving Coaches
Hooked on Driving coaches will use the FHRs provided by the Motorsport Safety Foundation while coaching HPDE participants nationwide.
The Motorsport Safety Foundation has presented each region of Hooked on Driving (HOD), one of the nation's leading high-performance driver training providers, with two Frontal Head Restraints (FHR) as part of its Race with Restraint initiative.
Driving coaches will use the FIA-approved Hybrids made by Simpson Race Products while coaching participants at High Performance Driving Experience (HPDE) events across the country. These FHRs can be used with three-point seat belts, so drivers at all levels, including those in street cars, can take advantage of the latest in safety technology.
"Everyone at the Motorsport Safety Foundation is pleased to be able to give back to the HPDE community via Race with Restraint," Chief Operating Officer Scot Elkins said. "We are grateful to all of the people who helped fund the program, as we are now able to provide state-of-the-art safety equipment to driving coaches nationwide.
Capacity Crowd On Hand For NASCAR Dirt-Track Race At Eldora
A "capacity crowd of more than 20,000" attended last night's Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. The event on the half-mile track marks NASCAR's "annual return to its roots," being the sanctioning body's "only national series dirt race" SPORTINGNEWS.com.
Prior to the race, driver Tony Stewart "held a special event on Eldora Speedway's kart track." His foundation attempted to "set the Guinness World Record for the largest game of Heads or Tails." A total of 561 people "showed up," eclipsing the "mandatory minimum of 250 people for the record." Participants donated $10 to the foundation to "play Flip It For A Good Cause." DAYTON DAILY NEWS
Video: Corey Parker takes to the track NRL star Corey Parker swapped the Steeden for a Supercar when he got behind the wheel at Queensland Raceway ahead of this weekend's Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.
The Brisbane Broncos captain made his first official appearance as a Supercars Ambassador alongside Chaz Mostert. The pair became friends after Mostert's horrific crash at Bathurst last year and today Mostert took Parker for some laps around Queensland Raceway.
Video: Manufacturing the McLaren MP4-31 Formula 1 pushes a driver's skill to the limits on track, but the demands of racing don’t end at the finish line. Mobil 1 The Grid caught up with Simon Roberts, McLaren-Honda’s Operations Director, to find out exactly what it takes to maintain and run the MP4-31. Comment
Investment Firm Longbow Finance Acquires Sauber Team
100% of Sauber team sold
The financially struggling Sauber F1 Team has been taken over by Longbow Finance.
The Swiss investment company has acquired 100% of the shares of Sauber Holding, which is the holding company behind Sauber Group.
The Swiss team confirmed the acquisition by Longbow Finance on Wednesday. The agreement will secure the team's future in F1 with Longbow Finance saying it intends to stabilize the group and create the basis for a successful future. Financial details were not revealed.
Tequila Patron ESM Switches to Michelin Tire Tequila Patron ESM has made the switch from Dunlop to Michelin tires, beginning with this weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Nurburgring.
The Florida-based team, which has run every FIA World Endurance Championship race to date on Dunlops, has opted for the French tire giant, after reportedly facing setup challenges with its Ligier JS P2 Nissan on the new-for-2016 Dunlop LMP2 tire in the opening three races.
Brickyard 400's profit margin getting perilously thin for IMS
Why is NASCAR allowed to race at the hallowed grounds of IndyCar, yet it will be a cold day in hell before IndyCar is ever allowed to race at Daytona?
I wrote an article for IBJ in 2003 about the Brickyard 400 that seems like a lifetime ago.
The headline was "Drafting off NASCAR."
The story detailed the financial prowess of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Brickyard 400, which debuted in 1994, and how then-Speedway boss Tony George used the money from the NASCAR race to prop up the Indy Racing League--now the IndyCar Series.
The story noted that the NASCAR race brought in about $35 million in annual revenue in those days and $25 million or more in profit--yes, profit--for the Speedway. Back then, motorsports business experts said the race brought in more than $20 million in ticket revenue alone and that over the first decade of the race, it netted the Speedway about $300 million in profit. Chicago-based motorsports business consultant Tim Frost called the race "the ultimate use of a fixed asset."
Fan injured from Austin Dillion's 2015 wreck at Daytona sues NASCAR A Florida man who alleges he was hit in the head and shoulder while shielding his wife from flying debris after Austin Dillon's car flew into the Daytona International Speedway catch fence has filed a lawsuit against the track and NASCAR.
William Fulton claims in the lawsuit, filed Monday in Florida state court in Volusia County (Fla.), that he was sitting in Row 6 when the crash happened at the finish of the July 2015 Coke Zero 400.
Autonomous cars will get new federal guidelines Companies working on self-driving cars need to focus on safety -- "we want people who start a trip to finish it," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Tuesday, saying his department will issue new guidelines on the vehicles this summer.
"Autonomous doesn't mean perfect," he told attendees at an industry conference in San Francisco. "We need industry to take the safety aspects of this very seriously."
VW Emissions Cheating Ran Deep Volkswagen AG's emissions cheating spanned more than a decade and arose from deliberate efforts by dozens of employees to mislead regulators and consumers about diesel-powered vehicles, according to a lawsuit from New York's top law-enforcement official.
The decision to use software to manipulate emissions tests traced back as far as 1999, when engineers at the company's Audi luxury unit developed technology to quiet diesel vehicles, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The technology, rolled out in 2004, made vehicles exceed European emissions standards, so the engineers added software they called “acoustic function” to turn it off during emissions tests, the lawsuit said.
Earnhardt, Jr. Ruled Out For Indy and Pocono, Gordon To Fill In Hendrick Motorsports announced this morning that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has not been cleared by doctors to return to competition and will sit out the next two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24th and at Pocono Raceway on July 31. Four-time Sprint Cup Champion and current FOX Sports NASCAR commentator Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement to drive the no. 88 Chevrolet at both events.
Gordon retired from full-time competition following last season's finale at Homestead. He is the all-time wins leader at Indianapolis with five wins - his most recent in 2014 - and at Pocono with six victories.
Earnhardt, Jr. missed last weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with concussion-like symptoms following crashes during the previous weeks events at Michigan and Daytona. Earnhardt, Jr., who missed two races in 2013 suffering from concussion symptoms following a crash at Talladega, had consulted with neurologists before deciding to sit out Sundays race and underwent further evaluation yesterday and was still suffering balance issues and nausea.
HMS said Earnhardt, Jr. will not travel to either event as he continues to recover.
Priests join IndyCar circuit to take care of spiritual needs of drivers, crew
Fr. Jeff Calia
When the Indy comes to town, organizers bring almost everything a race team could need -- including a priest to celebrate Mass.
At the recent Honda Indy, held in Toronto over the July 15-17 weekend at the Exhibition Place grounds, the padre on patrol for the weekend was Fr. Jeff Calia, parochial vicar of St. Peter the Apostle University & Community parish in New Brunswick, N.J.
"There are about half a dozen other priests" who serve the Indy ministry, said Calia. "We just kind of fit in where we can and try to make sure that the whole schedule is covered so that there is a priest at every event."
Andretti Formula E Driver Robin Frijns to Test in IndyCar (Update) UPDATE
"It's a new car, a new track - there's a lot to learn and I have to get used to it," Frijns told Autosport's Bruce Martin, who drives for Andretti in FE. "It's been a while since I drove a really high downforce car - I have to go back to the Formula 1 days. "There's lots of new things I'm not used to - hopefully I'll learn a lot before I jump in the car.
"Of course I want to be competitive, but with one day to learn everything, it's quite tough."
Ring return for Conway Mike Conway and the Toyota Gazoo Racing team return to action just a month after their heartbreaking Le Mans 24 Hours, determined to respond with a strong result in the 6 Hours of Nurburgring, the fourth round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Conway and his teammates Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi, in the #6 TS050 Hybrid, finished second at Le Mans to stay in contention for the drivers’ World Championship and, like their sister car, they aim for a first win of the season at the Nurburgring.
This weekend OAK Racing took part in the third of the six rounds in the European Le Mans Series. Its nos 4 and 24 Ligier JS P3-Nissan-Michelins, crewed respectively by the following driver line-ups, Erik Maris – Jean-Marc Merlin and Jacques Nicolet – Pierre Nicolet, raced in the Red Bull Ring 4 Hours. In front of 15.000 spectators and in a field comprising 38 cars including 19 LM P3s, the red and black sports prototypes entered by the French team clinched 5th and 16th places in their category.
The OAK Racing team and its gentlemen drivers had two 90-minute free practice sessions to find the right setups for their Ligier JS P3s and tame the Austrian circuit’s 4,326-km rapid, undulating layout on which all four were racing for the first time.
Video: Halftime in the 2016 DTM The fifth race weekend at Zandvoort marked the halfway point in the 2016 DTM season. As the Mercedes AMG DTM Team embarks on its short summer break before returning to action at the Moscow Raceway, the drivers look back on the most emotional moments of the first half of the season. Comment
Video: The F1 pit stop explained It took just 2.33 seconds before Lewis Hamilton was sent on his way to wrap up a home victory at Silverstone - and also to claim the fastest pit stop of the race. But what makes the perfect pit stop? Silver Arrows Sporting Director Ron Meadows describes the preparations made by the pit crew and explains the procedures they run through. Comment
Video: AUTOBALL! Who will score first? In the run-up to the 2016 German Grand Prix, current world championship leader Nico Rosberg has challenged fellow German Formula 1 drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Pascal Wehrlein to a drift contest. However, not just any drift contest but - Autoball! Which of the three F1 stars will get the ball in the net first? Comment
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