Mosport: ALMS Friday notebook Bryce Miller definitely feels that Mosport International Raceway owes his team more than a bit of good luck. It was a savage crash late in last year’s Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport that caused a lengthy red flag and an eventual finish under the yellow flag after teammate Luke Hines collided with a prototype on the fastest section of the track while leading the GT Challenge class.
Miller and Sascha Maassen will drive Paul Miller Racing’s Yokohama-shod Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in a highly competitive GT class of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The duo are coming off a season-best sixth place finish two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.
X Games star Travis Pastrana wants shot at IndyCar's $5 million prizeUPDATE "Look, given the opportunity to drive an IndyCar, I'd be an idiot to turn it down," Pastrana told reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday. "Of course I've got to get in that car, I've got to test it and I've driven pretty much every other form of racing. I feel like I can be safe. Whether or not we are competitive for the $5 million is a whole other question, but definitely working that out and seeing what is possible, what licensing I need to get and I'd be an idiot not to go for it."
"If I want to do the Indy race in Las Vegas for $5 million, I've got to dedicate a lot of time on how to figure out to drive an IndyCar," Pastrana said.
Alex Gurney tops opening practice in New Jersey GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and driver Alex Gurney, topped the times sheets Friday in opening practice at Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) where the team’s morning session lap of 1:16.969 (105.237 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley held up as the fastest time of the day. The American Red Cross 250 is a 2-3/4-hour timed sprint race can be seen live on SPEED this Sunday, July 24, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
Gurney and the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” team were the only competitors Friday to lap the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt road course under the one-minute and 17-second mark. GAINSCO’s goal Sunday is to score consecutive victories at both NJMP and in the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season. GAINSCO, Gurney, and co-driver Jon Fogarty won their first race of the year two weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Just like that winning weekend, the No. 99 was fast off the trailer today at NJMP.
Vitor Meira got in three laps on the new City Centre Airport circuit, though it was in a golf cart.
That doesn't count in helping Meira and 25 other IZOD IndyCar Series competitors learn the 2.24-mile, 13-turn course. With persistent rain washing out two practice sessions -- northern Alberta being one of the few places in North America where it wasn't bone dry and feeling like being inside a convection oven -- it will be a crash course so to speak July 23.
The schedule (all times local; add two hours for Eastern time):
Charles Pic claimed pole position for tomorrow's feature race at the Nurburgring with a late surge against the run of play in this afternoon's qualifying session: the Frenchman found time on his second set of tires while his rivals struggled to squeeze his Addax car past Luca Filippi and Romain Grosjean for the top spot.
The Frenchman's best time of 1:40.317 was set with four minutes remaining: Pic's pole came by just 0.076 seconds as he left his rivals floundering in traffic as they tried in vain to better his time before the clock ran out.
Pic was the first man to set a competitive lap, but in short order Sam Bird and then Grosjean bettered his time, the latter driver doing so despite running wide through the gravel at the chicane on his hot lap. Traffic was playing havoc with a number of driver's best efforts though, as Filippi looked set for the top spot with purple sectors 1 and 2 before slowing in the final sector, and Giedo van der Garde losing time similarly.
Felix Da Costa sets the pace Status Grand driver Antonio Felix Da Costa was the quickest man during the second of two Friday practice sessions, with the Portuguese driver finishing just 0.037 seconds ahead of Tom Dillmann.
After a tough weekend in Silverstone two weeks ago things have been steadily improving for Felix Da Costa since arriving at the German track. The 19-year-old set his best laptime at the midway point of the session and the remainder of the field unable to match his pace.
The field hit the track once again in gloomy and cold conditions, but thankfully the threatened rain held off and the drivers were able to stay on Pirelli’s P Zero slick tires. Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto was the first driver to set a quick time during a frantic first half of the session, with James Calado, this morning’s quickest man Lewis Williamson, Aaro Vainio, Valtteri Bottas, Dillmann and the Status duo of Alexander Sims and Felix Da Costa all battling hard and swapping positions at the top of the timesheet.
Stoner tops opening practice at Laguna Seca The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed a strong start in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix today in Monterey, California.
Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, separated by just one tenth of a second, took the top two positions in the first free practice session at the Laguna Seca circuit.
With colder temperatures on the ground compared to last year, the riders began working on the set up of the bikes with a softer tire that Bridgestone brought to America. Casey's best lap time this morning (1'22.300) is still one second slower than his circuit record lap (1'21.376 in 2010), but with higher track temperatures this afternoon, the times will soon improve in the second free practice session starting at 14h10, local time.
Rain in Edmonton While the U.S. Midwest copes with another hot and dry day, the weather forecast for today in northern Alberta is for persistent rain and a high temp in the mid-60s (F) where the IndyCar series is gathered to race this weekend on the airport runways in Edmonton.
In fact, the rain has created standing water on the course -- fine for aircraft landing but not for race cars -- that forced the practice schedule to be reconfigured for Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series.
The latest: 4-5 p.m. (ET) Firestone Indy Lights all cars. 5:15-6:45 IZOD IndyCar Series all cars.
Bumper field and live TV for British Formula 3 at Spa The largest international Formula 3 grid of the season will gather at Spa-Francorchamps next week when the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series joins up with the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy for a trio of races at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit.
A field of 29 drivers from 15 different nations is expected at Spa. Among the anticipated highlights is the return of a former British F3 Champion, Marko Asmer, and the prospect of the current British championship leader, Carlin’s Felipe Nasr, going head to head with Prema Powerteam’s Roberto Merhi, who leads both the FIA F3 Trophy and the F3 Euroseries.
Further excitement comes with the news that the Spa 40-minute feature race is to be shown live throughout Europe by Motors TV, in addition to the customary edited-highlights TV package screened in the UK on Channel 4 and across Europe via satellite.
Teams modify overalls to comply with regulations No less than three Formula 1 teams have been forced to make small changes to their drivers’ race overalls at the Nürburgring. The modification came after governing body the FIA reminded them that insignia – explaining that the overalls are deemed legal – must be sewn on to the back of the collar, instead of screen-printed.
Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India are all believed to have screen printed the various digits to the back of the drivers’ overalls in a novel bid to save weight, as opposed to placing the badge by means of embroidery.
FIA rules relating to the matter read as follows:
‘The label shall be embroidered directly onto the outermost label of the outer garment and on the rear of the collar so as to be easily visible.’
Trulli looks into 2012 despite sitting out Germany (GMM) Jarno Trulli on Friday sounded confident about his future with Team Lotus, despite sitting out this weekend's German grand prix.
The Italian veteran, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new power steering system for the T128 car, is not racing this weekend as boss Tony Fernandes hands over the seat to Indian reserve driver Karun Chandhok.
But Fernandes insisted when he announced the Chandhok news that Trulli can expect a new contract for 2012.
Singapore worried about smoke haze for GP (GMM) Singapore is concerned forest fires could affect the city-state's night formula one race in September.
The fires in western Indonesia are causing a haze in surrounding regions, including Malaysia and Singapore.
"They (Singapore) are worried about the haze from our forest. They are afraid it will disturb the running of the grand prix," said Indonesian climate change staff member Agus Purnomo, according to detik.com.
German GP: Webber tops 2nd practice Mark Webber was quickest in the second practice at the Nurburgring for Sunday's German GP, with a best lap of 1m31.711s. He beat fast man in practice 1, Fernando Alonso by 0.168s.
Sebastian Vettel was third and Felipe Massa fourth. The Mercedes duo to Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg ended the day fifth and sixth, ahead of Lewis Hamilton in seventh and Nick Heidfeld eighth.
Vitaly Petrov finished just behind his Renault teammate in ninth and Adrian Sutil rounded out the top 10 for Force India.
Baltimore Grand Prix: Behind the wheel with Jay Davidson Jay Davidson is, admittedly, no gear-head.
But as the president of the Baltimore Grand Prix, Davidson has been living and breathing all things IndyCar the past several months.
The inaugural race will bring dozens of high-speed open-wheel cars to Baltimore on Labor Day weekend, competing on a roughly two-mile course through downtown.
To prepare, city workers have had to shut down sections of major roads for repairs, angering many commuters. But the race and the festival that surrounds it will be worth all the aggravation, Davidson promises.
Grosjean leads the way in free practice Romain Grosjean has picked up where he left off in Silverstone by claiming the top spot in free practice this morning at the Nurburgring, leading all through the session to finish 0.7 ahead of Dani Clos and Jules Bianchi.
The Frenchman's best laptime of 1:40.484 was set just ten minutes into the session, improving on his own times to garrison the top of the timesheets throughout, and handing his rivals an unanswerable challenge in the time remaining.
The session opened under overcast and cold conditions, but at least the rain held off as the 26 cars headed out on track: Grosjean was the first man to set a competitive time, with Esteban Gutierrez, Clos and Christian Vietoris pushing hard to catch up until Grosjean set his best lap, putting over a second on everyone else in the field.
Edmonton grandstands selling out for IndyCar Two more grandstands and the pit lane suites were declared sold out for the Edmonton Indy Thursday.
The No. 1 grandstand at the top of pit lane and the No. 12 grandstand at the top of the straightaway were both declared sellouts early in the day, joining grandstand No. 20 at turn three and four.
Of the major grandstands, only the two biggest at Turn 1 at the end of the straightaway where all sorts of action is expected and grandstand No. 22 at the hairpin on Turn 5 remain with seats available.
All grandstand seats are sold on a three-day basis only as was the case with the motor home locations, the first to sell out months ago.
General admission tickets for the standing room, walk around and bring-a-lawn-chair crowds are sold on an individual day basis. Edmonton Sun
2012 IndyCar engine running in Italy The sound of IndyCar's 2012 equipment change was heard this week in Parma, Italy, as Dallara officials started the first new chassis with a turbocharged engine. There were no major issues.
The car was equipped with a Honda engine because Chevrolet and Lotus do not have new powerplants ready to install. The first official test of the car is set for Aug. 8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will drive it. Indy Star
Tracy to meet with Bernard IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said he will meet with Paul Tracy this weekend in Edmonton to discuss Internet comments attributed to the Canadian driver following the race in Toronto. Tracy denies making the comments that suggested Bernard interfered with race officiating due to pressure from a sponsor, insisting his email account was hacked. IndyCar has been investigating. Indy Star
Castroneves on a mission to win race stolen from him
Helio Castroneves - other drivers say he continues to block
Helio Castroneves is returning to Edmonton to defend a win he says was stolen from him in 2010.
"I can't wait to be there to turn my season around and get my second victory in a row for Edmonton," the 36-year-old Brazilian said. "Unfortunately the series didn't agree with me."
Castroneves provided the most controversial ending to an IndyCar race last season when he drove to victory at Edmonton's City Centre Airport. But he had already been penalized for blocking his teammate Will Power three laps from the finish.
Dixon to partner Ford star Shane van Gisbergen in Surfers
Scott Dixon and wife Emma are expecting their 2nd child in October
Shane van Gisbergen will be part of one of the strongest pairings in the Gold Coast 600 after Stoner Brothers Racing driver confirmed IndyCar star Scott Dixon will co-drive the SP Tools Falcon.
The Kiwi and former Indianapolis 500 winner partnered Todd Kelly at Jack Daniel’s Racing at Surfers Paradise in 2010 and the pair finished 20th in the first race and did not finish the second.
But the Brisbane-born driver is confident he can take home a coveted surfboard from a podium finish with van Gisbergen, who’s in fine form in 2011 and finished just meters behind TeamVodafone star Jamie Whincup in the second race of the event in 2010.
The fifth round of 2011 GP3 Series kicked off this morning with the first of two Friday practice sessions at the German circuit, with the British driver picking up where he left off after winning Race 2 in Silverstone two weeks ago. Williamson claimed the top spot with a time of 1:50.766 nearly four tenths quicker than Antonio Felix Da Costa in second.
The field hit the track with Pirelli P Zero slick tires, and Addax Team’s Tom Dillmann led the way early on in the dry but chilly thirteen degree conditions ahead of RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker and Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller. MW Arden Mitch Evan’s was the closest to knocking Dillmann into second, but it was Melker who eventually moved ahead followed by Valtteri Bottas for Lotus ART. Williamson had improved to third with Dillmann now down in fourth.
Vautier and Karam quick in Star Mazda Mosport testing
It hot and cold (relatively speaking) that told the tale of today's Star Mazda Championship test sessions at Mosport International Raceway. During the course of three test sessions on a miserably hot and humid day, it was French racer and current points leader Tristan Vautier who set the quick time of the day, a 1:16.070 in his #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda, during the relative cool of the morning.
"There was no change of balance in the car between the morning and afternoon sessions, just a decrease in the overall level of grip," says Vautier, who won Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park and has led the championship chase ever since. "Since our race on Sunday is so early in the morning, I think we have a good setup and are in good position for the weekend. Our goal is to be at the top of every session because where you qualify will be important in the race."
Canadian Daniel Morad will join Team Moore Racing for the Edmonton Twin 100s at Edmonton City Centre Airport.
The 21-year-old native of Ontario will drive the No. 22 TMR/Xtreme Coil Drill car in his debut races in the Firestone Indy Lights in place of Victor Garcia, who has returned to Spain and will not compete again this season with TMR due to an unfortunate set of circumstances.
"The decision for Victor not to continue with TMR was extremely painful for all us," said team co-owner Mark Moore. "It's hard to believe our race winner from Barber and championship contender cannot continue. We are all very fond of Victor and he has been huge part of our program. The economy in Spain has made it impossible and we are all very sorry that this has happened now. "
New Edmonton circuit is a first for everyone There's only one first time, which James Jakes considers a blessing.
In the Dale Coyne Racing driver's maiden voyage through the diverse IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, every race weekend is a learning experience. Such was the case two weeks ago on the Toronto circuit - a concrete canyon that demanded technical skills leavened with a deft touch in traffic.
Jakes, in the No. 18 Acorn Stairlifts car, was the lone driver of the 26 not to have competed previously on the temporary street course in either the IZOD IndyCar Series or Firestone Indy Lights.
"It's a bit of a disadvantage being the only driver that hasn't raced there," said Jakes, among the six in the running for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award.
Will Power's acute frustration has been downgraded from boiling to simmering. Still, the Team Penske driver isn't about to forgive and forget the incident in the Honda Indy Toronto less than two weeks ago involving IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Dario Franchitti.
"He had the choice to fall behind me, and (instead) he hit me," Power said of the Turn 3 bump and run on Lap 56 of 85 that dropped him like a rock in the running order. "That's just a simple fact. Result: I end up not finishing, and he ends up with the win."
The longer term result: Power, who exited Toronto in 2010 with a 42-point advantage over Franchitti in the title chase, enters the Edmonton Indy this weekend 55 points arrears. Power, who also had choice words for Alex Tagliani after their cars made contact in the closing laps, was credited with 24th place after starting from the pole. It was his second consecutive DNF - another source of frustration.
ECR issues apology for illegal engine The following is a statement from Richie Gilmore, chief operating officer of ECR Engines, regarding NASCAR's July 20 announcement of a penalty involving the July 16 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
ECR Engines apologizes for the steps that led to the disqualification at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. There was absolutely no intent on our part to circumvent the rulebook. We simply made a mistake when building the engine. We offer our sincere apologies to Kevin Manion and everyone at Kevin Manion Racing, Ryan Newman and his fans, and NASCAR.
Slight chance of rain Sunday for German GP Rain last affected an F1 race at the Nürburgring as a handful of cars flew off the circuit in 2007. According to the latest forecasts, showers could also intervene this Sunday.
The first drops are expected on Thursday, when maximum air temperatures of 17°C (63°F) are poised to be the highest of the race weekend. Jackets and trousers are therefore going to be the name of the day, unlike the t-shirts and shorts of Valencia.
Friday and Saturday should be bright with cloud cover, although there is a chance that rain could affect Sunday, with wind speeds increasing to 19 km/h (12mph).
Level 5 Motorsports Makes Switch to New HPD LMP2 Car While the 2011 international sports car season is far from over, Level 5 Motorsports is already getting a jump start on next year. The Scott Tucker-owned organization announced today a new alliance with Honda Performance Development that will see the championship-winning team compete with the manufacturers’ new LMP2 car, beginning with the Six Hours of Silverstone in September.
Level 5’s mid-season switch comes following a successful start to its LMP2 program, with victories at the Twelve Hours of Sebring and Grand Prix of Long Beach. Tucker and co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa also achieved podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Six Hours of Imola in a separate Honda-powered, Microsoft Office 2010-sponsored prototype.
FIA rubberstamps 15,000rpm rev limit Formula 1 governing body the FIA has agreed to limit engines to 15,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) for when the new format is introduced in 2014. The confirmation came on Wednesday, when the latest set of Technical Regulations was released.
In a shift from the current 2.4-litre V8 engines, in 2014 F1 will be making use of 1.6-litre V6 turbo units. Initially, talk had revolved around limiting the powerplants to 12,000rpm, although this was met by opposition from engine makers and fans.
In article 5.1.3 of the regulations, the FIA states: ‘Crankshaft rotational speed must not exceed 15000rpm’ - a bid to help retain the sport’s spectacle, in terms of noise.
(GMM) Karun Chandhok on Thursday set out his stall for a full-time race seat at Team Lotus for 2012.
Finn Heikki Kovalainen is regarded as a favorite of the Tony Fernandes-led squad, while the Malaysian businessman at the Nurburgring revealed that talks to renew Jarno Trulli's contract have already commenced.
But at the same time, Chandhok has been drafted into Trulli's race seat at the Nurburgring, raising the Indian reserve driver's hopes that he can expect a regular ride next season.
"I would really like to be with Team Lotus next year, it would be great to contest a full season with them," said the 27-year-old, according to German reports.
"I think Tony said earlier that one day he would like an Asian in the lineup," added Chandhok.
Rockstar Parking This is probably one of the most spectacular parking jobs you'll ever see. Great way to avoid the valet, but now he's going to have to walk all the way across the parking lot. And his Porsche took up two parking spaces. The nerve of him!
Title hopes 'very small' admits Hamilton (GMM) Lewis Hamilton on Thursday admitted he harbors only minor hopes of winning the 2011 title. The McLaren driver lies almost a century of points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, but still he refuses to write off his chances altogether with ten races to go.
"The chance to win the championship is very small, but it's not impossible," he told the German news agency SID at a sponsor event ahead of the German grand prix.
"As long as there is even a small chance you have to put on as much pressure as you can. If we win the next five races, we're back in it," insisted the Briton in Hamburg.
Hamilton however acknowledged that the contest for the constructors' championship, with McLaren behind Red Bull, is perhaps more achievable.
"There is also the constructors'," said the 26-year-old. "It's not just about the drivers but also the team."
More IndyCar testing coming to Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will again open its gates to the public for Izod IndyCar Series testing on July 28. In late June, the track hosted fans who watched the trio of Penske Racing drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power practice along with Dale Coyne Racing.
The upcoming session will be more comprehensive. Expected to participate will be Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso, Oriol Servia, Ed Carpenter, Ana Beatriz, Justin Wilson, J.R. Hildebrand, Martin Plowman, Alex Tagliani, Sebastian Saavedra, Sebastien Bourdais and James Jakes.
Fans can watch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by entering Gate 3. Open areas for fans will be in the infield and in the Keyhole. They are welcome to bring food and coolers. The test is in preparation for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio slated for Aug. 5 to 7.
Moffitt is new CEO of RPM According to the Richard Petty Motorsports website, Brian Moffitt has been named CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports. Prior to his July 2011 appointment to CEO, Moffitt served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. A long-time Petty associate, Moffitt spent the past 15 years overseeing the acquisition of sponsorship and services for team owner Richard Petty and his entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Before that, he held the position of Sales Representative at UPS. Moffitt has Associate Degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration. He also attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
Save Mart Supermarkets Signs Multi-Year Extension With Infineon Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway, track officials announced today.
The partnership continues the raceway's long-standing relationship with Save Mart Supermarkets, a Modesto-based grocery chain. Save Mart has been either title sponsor or co-title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway since 1992.
Save Mart Supermarkets' status as either title or co-title partner of the annual Cup event in Sonoma is one of the longest runs in all of NASCAR Cup racing. It celebrates its 20-year anniversary in 2011 as a sponsor of NASCAR in Sonoma.
(GMM) Jarno Trulli is sitting out the German grand prix as Team Lotus gives Karun Chandhok an opportunity to race the Italian regular's car.
Team boss Tony Fernandes said he wanted to give Indian reserve driver Chandhok, 27, his first opportunity to contest a grand prix since he was ousted by HRT a year ago.
The Malaysian businessman said Trulli, who has struggled to perform at the wheel of the T128 due to its existing power steering system, was "extremely accommodating" in stepping aside.
"I am delighted to confirm that we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his (Trulli's) contract with us and we are all looking forward to unveiling the details of that very soon," added Fernandes.
It is expected that Trulli, who will be at the Nurburgring this weekend, will return to the car in Hungary, where a new steering system will debut.
2014 F1 cars to be all electric in the pitlane The FIA has released an early summary version of the 2014 technical regulations which, among the more regular information which is widely known, they also outline a few other interesting tidbits.
The regulations confirm the new V6 engine which will operate at 15,000rpm - something which still concerns the majority of race organizers who have threatened to boycott Formula 1 if the noise isn't similar to present.
One of the more interesting bits of information is in relation to the KERS, or ERS as it will be known from 2014. The system will provide a 120kwh boost, double that of the current systems which produces 60kwh. This extra power should amount to about 160bhp for a limited amount of time, though that time limit is yet to be specified.
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