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DATE News (chronologically)
07/29/09
nassprint

Mayfield sued by stepmother
News get worse for Mayfield
Lisa Mayfield is seeking damages against her stepson, suspended Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield, for public comments he made in regard to his civil case against NASCAR, according to court documents. Lisa Mayfield is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $10,000, punitive damages in excess of $10,000 and any other "relief as the court may deem just and proper." The complaint was filed Wednesday in the Iredell County Civil court in Statesville. Read the full story at ESPN.com

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07/29/09
nassprint

Lally to make Cup debut with TRG at Watkins Glen
Sports car ace Andy Lally is set to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips race at Watkins Glen International Raceway on August 9. Lally will join TRG Motorsports regular David Gilliland in a second car at The Glen. The 34-year old Lally, originally from Northport, New York, has always called Watkins Glen his home track. The sports car veteran has an impressive road racing background having won Rolex Series championships in three different classes, GT in 2006, SGS in 2004 and SRPII in 2001. In addition, Lally anchored the GT class winning Rolex 24 Hour GT team this past February. He currently drives the #67 TRG Porsche in the Rolex GT Series.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
automotive

Penske Net Falls 63%
Penske Automotive Group Inc., the second-largest U.S. retailer of cars and trucks, said quarterly profit fell 63 percent, a smaller decline than analysts estimated, as sales expenses declined.  Chief Executive Officer Roger Penske said on a call with analysts that negotiations with General Motors Co. on his company’s acquisition of GM’s Saturn brand “are past midfield,” and that “we would still hope to have them completed by the end of September.” The company signed a memorandum of understanding on a purchase last month.

Penske’s profit declined as U.S. sales of cars and light trucks failed to reach a 10 million annual pace in the quarter, after averaging 14.1 million a year earlier. Consumers, worried about rising unemployment and tighter credit, bought fewer vehicles. Penske’s revenue fell 30 percent to $2.32 billion.

Profit adjusted for one-time items was 22 cents a share, Penske said. That beat the 15-cent average of 7 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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07/29/09
irl

NHLR's Craig Hampson comments on IndyCar rule changes
Craig Hampson
Craig Hampson, senior engineer for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing was asked about the possible impact of recent rule changes in the IndyCar Series that are being introduced in an effort to enhance the racing.  The new technical rules will debut at this weekend’s Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.  Hampson’s comments are below:

“As in most cases, I think the teams with the most money can react fastest to rules changes like these, because they can quickly get into the wind tunnel and properly evaluate what all the possible permutations do - and what knock-on effects they have for other parts of the car and setup.

“The IRL has not created any new parts for the speedways, but they have re-legalized parts which were previously banned several years ago.  I think the teams which were in the IRL many seasons ago will have some small advantage with the rules changes, because they do have the experience and aero data from when these parts were last legal.  We don't have that.  But the good thing is that we had all of these parts in our inventory already, so we didn't have to purchase anything new.  And in this economy, that's good for everyone's budget.

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07/29/09
fil

Firestone Indy Lights Q&A
Roger Bailey, executive director of the Firestone Indy Lights, participated in a Q&A session this week, discussing the 100th Firestone Indy Lights race under the Indy Racing League banner.  Below is his interview.

Q: This weekend marks the 100th Firestone Indy Lights race under the Indy Racing League sanction. Does it seem like it's been 100 races since the first one in July 2002?

ROGER BAILEY: "First, it seems like we reached 100 Firestone Indy Lights races much sooner than the last time we reached 100 races (in the CART-sanctioned Firestone Indy Lights). It seems like only yesterday that we came on board at Kansas and the time has really flown by. All the while, Firestone has been a great partner to me and the series since Day 1. Sometimes they don't get the credit they deserve because they are always there for us and we always expect them to be. But they've done a lot for us and achieved a lot for us."

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07/29/09
irl

Options added to improve IndyCar Series competition
IndyCar Series teams will have option of adding aerodynamic pieces to their cars as well as bursts of additional horsepower in an effort to increase passing opportunities.

Rear tire ramps, sidepod extensions and wheel backing plates used together, or in any combination will be optional items for the 1.5-mile ovals, beginning this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

"The tire ramps and wheel flips should really help so we'll have grip when we are in traffic behind people," said two-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon. "I think those are good options. We are heading in the right direction. One, it gives you more grip and two, it gives you more drag so it's easier to get a draft on somebody or suck up behind them."

Teams will be required to remove half-inch rear wing endfence wickers to provide efficient downforce, remove drag and improve the ability of a trailing car to follow more closely. The optional pieces will give up to an additional 300 pounds of downforce.

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07/29/09
nassprint

Mayfield vs. NASCAR Trial date - Sept 2010
Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR has been set to be heard in a trial jury beginning on Sept. 13, 2010, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The date was ordered by U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen. Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR on May 9 after testing positive for methamphetamines, a violation of the substance abuse policy. The suspension was lifted by Mullen in June, but reinstated by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals last week. Mayfield contends he did not take methamphetamines and is seeking to be fully reinstated. He also is seeking damages. In its most recent filing seeking that the suspension be permanent as long as the case is pending, NASCAR said it has several witnesses willing to testify that Mayfield took methamphetamines. Attorneys already have filed an affidavit from Mayfield's stepmother saying Mayfield has taken amphetamines since 1998.  ESPN

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07/29/09
irl

Video: Tony Kanaan Pit Lane fire
Notice how hard it is for Kanaan to get out of the burning car.  Not good.


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07/29/09
f1

Schumacher to replace Massa immediately
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro intends to put Michael Schumacher in Felipe Massa's car until the Brazilian driver will be able to race again. Michael Schumacher said he is ready and, over the next few days, will undertake a specific training program at the end of which confirmation will be given of his participation in the Championship with effect from the European Grand Prix on the 23rd of August.  Ferrari PR

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07/29/09
automotive

Peugeot Citroen reveals $1.4bn loss
PSA Peugeot Citroen, French carmaker, has reported a $1.4n loss in the first half of the year, as the global recession continues to affect the industry. The company, which had made a $733m profit a year earlier, said it does not expect the market to recover until the end of 2010.

Philippe Varin, Peugeot Citroen's chief executive, said the results "reflect the bad conditions in the European market which have only been partly offset by efficiency gains and the launch of new models".

The company, whose cars include the Peugeot 207 and Citroen's C4 Picasso, said first-half sales for 2009 were down 21.8 per cent.  Despite the reported loss, shares in the carmaker jumped on Wednesday, as efforts to improve the company's cash appeared to have paid off.  Peugeot Citroen cut its inventory by 31 per cent in the first six months of the year, and reduced its debt from $4bn to $2.8bn.

The company maintained its forecast for a 12 per cent drop in the European car market for 2009, with "the beginning of a recovery seen towards the end of 2010".  Peugeot Citroen also reiterated that it expects to record a recurring operating loss this year of between $1.4bn and $2.8bn.

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07/29/09
f1

Doctor: Massa will drive again
Felipe Massa has today been moved out of intensive care, with his personal doctor convinced he will race again.  Massa's rapid improvement since undergoing surgery on Saturday to repair a fractured skull has prompted doctors at the AEK military hospital in Budapest to move the Brazilian to his own private room.  It means Massa is now off the critical list, although the 28-year-old will continue to be closely monitored because, given the nature of his injury, caution is still required.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is to see Massa again today after initially paying a visit on Monday when there were fears he may never drive again due to concern surrounding the sight in his left eye. However, Massa is able to converse in three different languages - Portuguese, Italian and English - and has now started to take his first few tentative steps out of bed.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

BMW will also not supply engines in 2010
(GMM)  BMW will not remain in formula one even to supply its V8 engines to customer teams, board member Klaus Draeger insists.

"No.  We will not be available in the forthcoming season as an engine supplier," he said in Munich on Wednesday.

BMW's decision to withdraw from formula one follows that of Honda late last year, and amid rumors Toyota and Renault may soon follow.

But BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said he does not get the feeling that more manufacturers are set to depart.

"We spoke all together last weekend in Budapest," said the German, referring to the FOTA alliance also comprising Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota and Renault.

"I did not get the impression that similar decisions are approaching with other teams or manufacturers, but of course only the teams themselves can say that for sure," Theissen added.

Comment
07/29/09
irl

Meijer Indy 300 Fast Facts


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07/29/09
f1

Piquet ends career by slamming boss Briatore
(GMM)  If Nelson Piquet's future was previously only in doubt, it is now a near certainty that the 23-year-old will never return to the cockpit of a Renault.

The Brazilian said team boss Flavio Briatore, who is believed to have told Piquet in Budapest last weekend that he has been ousted in favor of reserve Romain Grosjean, only cares about profits and "doesn't understand shit about F1".

"He is my manager.  But in his role of team boss he doesn't respect me," Piquet told the Italian magazine Autosprint.

"He only thinks about money, about how much money he can pocket in everything he's involved with.  He's a man with no friends."

The outburst followed Briatore's claim that Piquet had "opened the booked of excuses" to explain his struggle to get up to speed in F1 since making his debut early last year. 

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

Massa believes he could have won Hungarian GP
(GMM)  Good news continues to flood out of the intensive care unit of the AEK hospital in Budapest, where Felipe Massa is making rapid progress following his life-threatening crash during Hungarian GP qualifying last Saturday.

According to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Brazilian will imminently leave the ICU to a general ward, having taken his first steps and demanded to know who won the Hungarian grand prix.

He is also able to sit and speak in a regular sitting position, has demanded his first solid meal since last Saturday's lunch, and asked to have a proper shower.

Massa, 28, is also reported to have asked his wife Rafaela in what position he had qualified at the time of his crash, and who was the winner of Sunday's 70-lap race.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

Peter Sauber says team survival to be 'difficult'
(GMM)  Peter Sauber on Wednesday played down hopes he might simply step back in and resume leadership of his Swiss-based formula one team.

The 65-year-old, who sold his Hinwil based outfit to BMW at the end of 2005, said he fears the Munich manufacturer's withdrawal from formula one could mean the closure of the team.

"I respect and accept the decision but am still finding it hard to digest," Sauber, who retains a 20 per cent shareholding of the team he founded in 1993, told the German news agency DPA.

It has been suggested that Sauber could now step back in and resume running the outfit as a privateer, but the Swiss played down that prospect.

"The position we are in now makes it very difficult," he said, without elaborating. (See related rumor)

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07/29/09
nascar

NASCAR. announces Online Fan Voting for HOF
NASCAR.com announced today that fans will be able to take part in the voting process for the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame.  This is the first time a major sport has allowed fans to be part of a Hall of Fame election process.  Beginning today, July 28th, fans can log-on to http://www.nascar.com/hall to cast their vote for up to five legends for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  NASCAR fans collectively will represent one of the 51 ballots on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Committee.  In an effort to educate fans on the accomplishments of the 25 nominees, videos, photos and bios are available on the site.  Fans must register to vote and can only fill out a Hall of Fame ballot one time.

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07/29/09
nassprint

Knaus Named Crew Chief of the Race at Indy
Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Lowe's Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson, has been named the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race after Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson and the #48 team started the race in 16th position going on to capture his third Brickyard victory in four years. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be honored as the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season's end.  Wypall PR

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07/29/09
nassprint

Biffle's Pit Crew Grabs Tissot Win at Indy
Greg Biffle's #16 team won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award during the Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the fourth victory of the season for the #16 pit crew, which took over sole possession of first place in the Tissot standings, breaking a three-win tie with Jeff Gordon's #24 crew. Biffle's #16 3M Ford Fusion spent the least amount of time on pit road during the Indy race - 191.906 seconds. The pit crew effort helped Biffle to a strong fourth-place finish. The #16 over-the-wall crew at Indy consisted of: Todd Zeigler (front-tire changer), Colin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Kyle Power (rear-tire changer), Kevin McDowell (rear-tire carrier), Rodney Fetters (jackman), Billy Manchester (gasman), Shane Wood (catch can) and Chris Elliott (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Erwin and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward. Biffle's crew will collect $5,000 for the pit road win. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule will receive a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver.  Tissot PR

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07/29/09
f1

NASCAR Allstate 400 TV rating
The TV Rating from the telecast of the Allstate 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was 4.8 down 5.9% from last year's 5.1. ESPN said the race had an average viewership of 6,487,450 for the second most-viewed Cup race ever on ESPN, exceeded only by last year's Indianapolis race 6,667,729.

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07/29/09
f1

Transcript of BMW's exit from F1
Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, explains BMW’s decision to quit F1

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us at such short notice here today.

Yesterday, the Board of Management made the following decision:

• We will realign our motor sports activities.

• The BMW Group will end its Formula One activities at the end of the 2009 season.

• We will remain active in the field of motor sports, focusing on close-to-production motor sports and promoting young drivers.

• We will pool our expertise and financial resources in the fields of sustainability and new technology development.

In 2007, we set the foundation for a strategic realignment of the BMW Group by adopting our Strategy Number ONE. Now we are rolling out this strategy in all areas within the BMW Group.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

41,000 people working on Abu Dhabi circuit
On the impressive Ferrari motorhome's roof we find the terrace of Aldar, the company from the Arab Emirates, which is planning the extraordinary Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Theme Park on Yas Island. Sunday morning in Budapest we met Aldar's CEO John Bullough on the terrace to ask him a couple of questions about how the works are going at the Ferrari Theme Park, which will be inaugurated in a year's time.

John Bullough told us that "the works are at a good point. The structure is now virtually complete, we're starting with the works of the logo on the roof, the biggest Ferrari logo ever built in the world, like the biggest indoor theme park, you'll see in a year."

What about the experiences one can make in this immense space? "It will be an absolutely unique experience. Completely in the spirit of Ferrari, from the owners to the fans, from the kids to the adults, for the families, from road cars to Formula 1 and racing cars. We'll have two roller coasters, one, the fastest in the world, dedicated to F1, and another one with two competing GT cars.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

FIA statement on BMW exit
The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW’s intended withdrawal from Formula 1 but is not surprised by it.

It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis. Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula I when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer.

This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically. These measures were needed to alleviate the pressure on manufacturers following Honda's withdrawal but also to make it possible for new teams to enter.

Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided.

Nevertheless, as a result of a sustained cost-cutting campaign by the FIA, new measures are in the process of being agreed which should make it easier for new teams to enter and enable existing ones to participate on much reduced budgets.

It is no secret that these measures do not go as far as the FIA would have liked but a compromise was needed in the interests of harmony in the sport. Hopefully it will be enough to prevent further withdrawals and provide a solid foundation for Formula One.

As the guardian of the sport, the FIA is committed to ensuring that Formula One remains financially sustainable for all competing teams and it will always act to ensure that this remains the case.

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07/29/09
f1

So just how hard did Massa and Surtees get hit?
All the energies are calculated using the old kinetic energy = 1/2 * mass * velocity^2 formula.

- 100 mph fastball from Nolan Ryan: 145 joules
- Barry Bonds’ swing (33 oz. bat at 70 mph): 458 joules
- 9mm handgun: 513 joules
- .44 Magnum handgun: 1,510 joules
- The spring that hit Massa (800 grams at 160 mph): 2,046 joules
- AK-47 (7.62mm round): 2,599 joules
- 12 gauge shotgun slug: 3,580 joules
- The wheel that killed Henry Surtees (an estimated 12 kg at 120 mph): 17,267 joules

Comment
07/29/09
f1

Toyota, Mercedes, not following BMW out of F1 (Yet)
(GMM)  Both Toyota and Mercedes on Wednesday played down speculation they may follow in BMW's footsteps and withdraw from formula one.

"With the reductions of costs we are continuing our formula one engagement," a spokeswoman for Toyota is quoted as saying by the German news agency SID.

"That has been communicated to us from Japan," she added.

However, the other carmaker mentioned as likely to emulate BMW and Honda's decisions to quit - Renault - has not made any comment so far.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said: "We regret the formula one withdrawal of BMW.  This decision does not have any influence on our formula one engagement."

It was said at the end of last weekend's Hungarian grand prix that the ratification of a new Concorde Agreement was imminent.  Once this occurs, all signatories will be bound to the sport minimally until 2012. [Prediction - With the rats now running the F1 asylum, after 2012, having destroyed the sport, they will exit the sport]

Comment
07/29/09
f1

Ousted Max Mosley being vindicated
Ousted FIA president Max Mosley won't be around much longer to save F1 from itself.  Now the rats will be running the asylum.
FIA president Max Mosley, easily the most intelligent person involved with F1, has been forced out of the sport he was instrumental in making a huge success after this year by F1 teams with backing from huge corporations.  Mosley was forcing major cost-cutting down their throats in an effort to save F1 from itself in this sagging economy.

It is largely agreed that F1 team principals are fat cats living the high life on the money from major corporations.  And the small Brawn team has shown that you can beat the big teams and put on a good show, even without a big budget.  Essentially F1 has been proven to be 5 times more expensive than it needs to be.

F1's governing body on Wednesday suggested it is the bosses of other manufacturer-backed formula one teams who are to blame for BMW's decision to quit the sport.

A statement issued by the FIA (led by Mosley) in the wake of the Munich carmaker's decision said it is "not surprised" by the news.

After Honda pulled out late last year, Mosley moved to introduce budget cap rules that led to the F1 carmakers' group FOTA, of which BMW was a member, threatening to set up a breakaway championship.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

KERS success could change F1 attitude - Haug
Lewis Hamilton and McLaren showed that KERS is now the way to go.  Max Mosley was right again - KERS can be a proven technology.  Will the IRL put it on their new car?
(GMM) FOTA teams have agreed not to race with KERS systems in 2010, but the breakthrough success of the energy recovery technology could result in a change of attitude, according to Mercedes' Norbert Haug.

The 'boost button' hybrids were recently dismissed as an expensive flop for formula one and dropped by the BMW and Renault teams.  Toyota, Williams, Brawn, Force India and the Red Bull teams never even fitted KERS to their race cars this year.

But at the Hungaroring last weekend, the only two teams that have persevered with KERS - McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari - finished first and second, in an historical first success for the technology.

So while KERS was previously written off, "it is now a different story", Haug is quoted as saying by formule1.nl.

"If KERS can help you win then it will be taken seriously," the German added.

Haug conceded that while FOTA's 2010 KERS ban will not be overturned, it is possible that other teams will fit the systems to their cars at some of the remaining seven races of this season.

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07/29/09
f1

It's official: BMW quit formula one
(GMM)  BMW announced at an urgent press conference in Munich on Wednesday morning that it will withdraw from formula one at the end of the 2009 season.

"I can understand why this decision was made from a corporate perspective," said team boss Mario Theissen, who admitted he was disappointed.  (See full story on our Home Page)

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07/29/09
f1

Haug should push out Kovalainen and sign Rosberg - Stuck
(GMM)  Mercedes' struggle to get a German national at the wheel of a works McLaren indicates a failure of the Stuttgart marque's management.

That is the assessment of Hans-Joachim Stuck, a former formula one driver who now represents the motor racing interests of the Volkswagen brand.

Stuck said there was a downside to Lewis Hamilton's breakthrough 2009 win last weekend in Hungary, and that was the fifth place finish of the Briton's Finnish teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

"How is it possible for Hamilton to win with the best car but Kovalainen is blown away by the brilliant Nico Rosberg in the weaker Williams?" he told Germany's Sport Bild.

It is speculated that Mercedes is trying to convince McLaren to pit Hamilton against 23-year-old Rosberg for the 2010 season.

But Stuck isn't convinced.

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07/29/09
f1

Poor results moved BMW to quit F1 - Ecclestone
BMW got tired of spending so much money for so little results says Bernie.  Therefore, look for Renault and Toyota to follow suit.  In the end, low-cost Cosworth engines will save the day for F1.
(GMM)  As the clock ticks down to the BMW announcement, Bernie Ecclestone said it was the Munich marque's failure to win the world championship that led to the decision to quit formula one.

BMW's withdrawal follows fellow car manufacturer Honda's decision late last year, and the big fear now is that Renault and Toyota may quickly follow suit.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone said a recent conversation with BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen indicated that the company's board had set a deadline for championship success.

But after ten races in 2009, the Hinwil based outfit has scored just 8 points and is the lowest placed carmaker in the constructors' standings.

Ecclestone told BBC radio that Theissen was recently confident about competing for the title.

"It appears it's not quite been like that, so perhaps that's why they've (chosen) to stop," he said.

Read more & Comment...
07/29/09
f1

No memory of crash, but Massa's appetite returns
(GMM)  Felipe Massa has no memory of his Hungarian GP qualifying crash but he has not forgotten his appetite, the Brazilian's father Luiz Antonio has revealed.

As the 28-year-old Ferrari driver's previously life-threatening condition continues to steadily improve, Massa's dad told his local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo that Felipe this week asked for a proper meal.

He said Massa is now improving almost by the hour, but that doctors are not yet ready to allow him to return to solid foods.

Felipe's first words to doctors and family members, including his close brother Eduardo, were along the lines of "why am I in hospital?  What happened to me?", indicating he has no memory of being struck in the helmet by a steel damper spring at the nearby Hungaroring last Saturday.

Read more & Comment...
07/28/09
irl

Kanaan cleared to drive
Tony Kanaan, who now calls himself Tiki Torch on Twitter after being in a fire inferno during the Edmonton race, has been cleared by Indy Racing League medical officials to compete Aug. 1 in the Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Red Barron and Edy's at Kentucky Speedway.

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07/28/09
nassprint

Brian France comments on current NASCAR issues
Monday, July 27th on "Sirius Speedway" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, who called in to the show unannounced.

Host, Dave Moody: "Nice surprise. We weren't expecting you today."
Brian France: "Well, I listen to you guys, like most of the NASCAR community does, frequently and I love just calling in once in awhile to check in and say hello. And, obviously, we had a lot of exciting things happen over the weekend so it's good to be with you."

On Juan Pablo Montoya's pit road speeding penalty Sunday at Indianapolis:
Brian France: "There's nothing that dropped our hearts more than to see that speeding violation flash up on the computer which is in the television booth which is in our booth. Everybody has access to it, which they should. And it is what it is. It's sort of like a team that's dominated a football game or something and they step out of bounds on the crucial play that would have gotten them in the end zone. That's just the way it is. Now, that's the bad news for Juan Pablo and Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. The good news is they're going to be a contender, I think as it's turning out, for the whole thing. I think they're going to make the Chase. At least that's how they're running. But nothing would have made us happier had he earned - and he definitely had the best car and he was driving the wheels off it to have had Montoya win that race and made a little history with the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400. But the rules are rules."

Read more & Comment...
07/28/09
nassprint

Crown Royal renews with Roush
Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday that Diageo, parent company of Crown Royal, has renewed its multi-year sponsorship. Crown Royal will serve as the primary sponsor for Matt Kenseth and the #17 Sprint Cup team at 18 Cup events in 2010. "I'm excited about teaming up with Crown Royal," said Kenseth, one of only five drivers in NASCAR history to win the Sprint Cup rookie of the year award, a Sprint Cup Championship and the Daytona 500. "I worked with Diageo's Smirnoff ICE brand back in 2003 and we developed a great relationship. They were a part of our championship season and we were able to take part in a lot of really cool promotions and events to promote messages associated with responsible drinking. I'm really looking forward to representing Crown Royal and continuing that great work." Diageo has been a partner of Roush Fenway Racing dating back to 2003 where Kenseth was first paired with the Smirnoff Ice Brand. In 2005, Crown Royal entered the sport as sponsor of the #97 team of Kurt Busch and in 2006 became sponsor of Jamie McMurray and the #26 team. "We will miss Jamie (McMurray) as he has been an amazing partner both on and off the track taking our 'Be a champion. Drink Responsibly,' campaign to new heights. We were lucky to have him as part of our team and whatever sponsor aligns with him will have a great person working on their behalf. We wish him well," said Dan Sanborn, Sr. Director, Corporate Relations for Diageo. "We are pleased that we found a suitable home within Roush Fenway Racing for one of the greatest brands in the world," said Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith. "With the conclusion of the contract arrangement with Crown Royal, Roush Fenway Racing's Sprint Cup driver lineup will see #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards and #6-David Ragan joining Kenseth to round out our four approved entries. We are still hoping to be able to transfer the #26 team, intact, to Yates Racing in order to keep everyone employed and racing within the Ford community." Roush Fenway Racing

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07/28/09
irl
cc

IndyCar adopts Champ Car's P2P concept
In a move to improve overtaking, the Indy Racing League has decided to allow a push-to-pass system on the cars for the remainder of this year's IndyCar Series.

Drivers will be allowed twenty twelve-second powerboosts per race, the Indianapolis Star reports. Each boost could provide up to twenty additional horsepower on the Indycar Honda engine, which should make overtaking easier.

This year especially, the series has suffered from a persistent lack of passing on both road courses and ovals, much to the dismay of both drivers and fans.

The approval of Champ Car's push-to-pass system is the latest in a series of countermeasures adopted by the Indy Racing League, including giving teams a wider range of aerodynamic parts to choose from.

The push-to-pass system will make its IndyCar debut on this weekend's Meijer 300 at the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway.

Comment
07/28/09
racing news

Rahal to be keynote speaker
Racing legend and current team owner Bobby Rahal has been announced as one of two keynote speakers for the inaugural Motor Sports Business Forum-North America (MSBF-NA), preceding the 22nd Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Dec. 10-12.

Rahal was a three-time CART champion and won the 1986 Indianapolis 500 during a distinguished racing career that twice saw him named as the U.S. Driver of the Year.  As a team owner, he's won both a CART title and the IRL Indianapolis 500.  His Rahal-Letterman Racing team currently campaigns in the American Le Mans Series.  He also is a successful businessman and past CART president and chief executive officer.

"The PRI Show is one of the most important and vital gatherings of racing people in the entire country and I am honored to serve as one of the keynote speakers in the first-ever Motorsports Business Forum to be held in conjunction with PRI,” said Rahal.  “The organizers are fully committed to motorsports and I look forward to a full week of participation with the forum and everything else we are doing with the Road Racing Drivers Club and with Formula BMW Americas."

Read more & Comment...
07/28/09
alms

Peugeot confirms 2 cars for Petit LeMans
Peugeot confirmed today that it will attempt to add the trophy from Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 to its collection with entries into the cornerstone event for the American Le Mans Series. The reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans champion will send two of its diesel-powered Peugeot 908 closed-top prototypes to compete on North America’s grandest sports car racing stage, just as it did to open the season at the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.

The race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, September 26 at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta layout. Pedro Lamy, Nic Minassian, Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin will make up the driving lineup for Peugeot.

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07/28/09
f1

Massa's eye undamaged, personal doctor says
(GMM)  Felipe Massa's personal doctor Dino Altman has countered reports the injured Ferrari driver's left eye was damaged in his crash during Hungarian GP qualifying.

The 28-year-old Brazilian is now out of coma and expected to walk out of hospital sometime next week with no long-term effects from his serious head injuries.

But the damage done to his left eye remains largely unknown, amid reports the optic nerve was damaged when his helmet and visor was struck by a 800 gram steel damper spring at 275kmh last Saturday afternoon.

An official of the AEK hospital on Tuesday is quoted by Italy's ANSA news agency as saying checks on the injured eye will only be able to be conducted "in a week to ten days, not before".

But Massa's personal doctor, also attending to Massa at the AEK military hospital in central Budapest, insists: "His left eye has no problem, his eyesight is okay."

Massa's father Luiz Antonio said: "Felipe is better and better, I would not say from day to day but rather from hour to hour."

Comment
07/28/09
f1

Williams not willing to close factory in future
(GMM)  Williams' chief executive has warned against future attempts to close formula one team factories during the summer break.

On the grounds of cost-cutting, all teams have agreed to the FOTA initiative to shut down completely for a two-week period in between Sunday's Hungarian grand prix and the Valencia race late next month.

And while non-FOTA member Williams has gone along with the move, its chief executive Adam Parr said on Tuesday the Grove based team has "no intention of ever doing it again".

"It's a complete waste of time," he told Reuters.  "It will increase our costs, it won't reduce them."

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07/28/09
roc

Button signs up for 2009 Race of Champions
Jenson Button will head straight from Abu Dhabi to the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing after the final round of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship, with the Briton confirming he will take part in this year’s Race of Champions on November 3-4, along with F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel.

With the 2009 Formula One World Championship delicately poised, and potentially set once more to be decided at the final round, the Beijing fixture could offer an enticing ‘extra time’ duel between Button and Vettel, should the destiny of this year’s championship be decided by a showdown between the pair in Abu Dhabi. 

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07/28/09
f1

Sam Michael on Hungary GP
Williams' tech director Sam Michaels reviews the Hungarian GP, which yielded another top eight finish for Nico Rosberg and points-less for his teammate.

Q: Did Nico's fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix meet expectations?
SM: Yes. Before the race we knew it would be difficult to stay in front of the KERS cars going into turn one so Nico did well to exit the first corner in front of one of the McLarens as it enabled him to cover a lot of ground in the first stint. We cleared the Red Bull after the first pitstop, but Mark Webber managed to make it back past Nico which ultimately set the tone for the second stint.

Q: Nico had a problem during his first stop. What caused it and could he have finished third without it?
SM: We lost a lot of time during Nico's first pitstop and then as well during the laps proceeding it. The two issues combined cost us a place to one of the McLarens, but we recovered that during the second round of stops. 

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07/28/09
f1

Call for F1 to look at Windscreens
2001 Ferrari test of a windscreen.
With the cockpit safety cell immensely strong, both freak accidents have demonstrated that drivers remain vulnerable to flying objects, with such occurrences so tragically claiming the life of Surtees before hospitalizing Massa only six days later. With Ferrari having trialed a safety screen with Rubens Barrichello at the wheel in 2001, then technical director Ross Brawn explains how such a part could be made compulsory in F1.

"We need to keep perspective on this," said the Brawn GP team principal. "From what's been seen last weekend and this weekend we need to have a proper study and see if something needs to be done. It gets into the area of structures, windscreens and canopies. Anything is possible, but I think first we need to digest what's happened and understand it properly. I must say, without knowing the details, it seems like the work that's been done on the helmets in the last few years has been essential today; the helmets have been improved quite a lot over the last few years, so the work that's been done there is a great credit to the people who initiated that and pushed it through."

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07/28/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Massa could leave hospital in one week
  • Another bad result and 'we're screwed' - Button
  • Silverstone can wait until December for 2010 GP date
  • McLaren may win again in Valencia - boss
  • Tost excuses Buemi after poor Hungarian GP
  • F1 personnel warned about Valencia robberies
  • Gene not ready to eye injured Massa's seat

Massa could leave hospital in one week
(GMM)  Felipe Massa's personal doctor believes the Ferrari driver will be able to check out of hospital in central Budapest within one week.

Dr Dino Altman's prediction to the Brazilian media was backed up by the Hungarian intensive care doctors, who agree that if the current rate of progress continues, Massa should be ready to return to Sao Paulo in between a week and ten days.

"(Massa is) sleepy but he gives adequate and spontaneous answers to questions we ask him," said AEK's chief surgeon Lajos Zsiros.

Massa's father Luis Antonio revealed that his son may be out of intensive care within two days.

"He is doing well and soon he will be giving joy to all in his little red car on the track," Massa's pregnant wife Rafaela told Brazil's Globo.

Zsireos added that the drain for Massa's skull wound was removed, on the same day the period of induced coma was ended and artificial breathing stopped.

"(Massa is) very well and everyone is very happy with his condition," Altman continued.  "He wants to know what happened to him and he answered some questions."

Another bad result and 'we're screwed' - Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button has likened his championship position to being the wearer of the yellow jersey with tired legs at the foot of a mountain climb.

The Brawn racer is 18.5 points ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber in the drivers' standings, but three difficult races ago he was far ahead and reportedly to cruise to the 2009 crown.

Button, 29, begins his summer break this weekend by contesting the London Triathlon.

"We've got to sort it out.  We're leading the championship, but it is inevitable they are going to overtake us if performances keep going like they are," he said.

Three full weekends will pass before the F1 circus heads to Valencia, with factory closures to save money for teams throughout the August summer break.

"If we can't get a good result in Valencia we're screwed," Button added.

"It's like wearing the yellow jersey knowing that when you get to the mountains you're going to be useless and overtaken."

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07/28/09
track new

The Glen sells out McDonald's grandstand
Tickets in the McDonalds Family Grandstand are SOLD OUT for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 6-9.  The family-friendly grandstand offers one of the best seats in the house, allowing fans to watch the stars of the Sprint Cup Series zip through the Esses and head for the backstretch.  For the first time in recent memory, the McDonald’s Family Grandstand has sold out two weeks before the green flag falls at The Glen. 

Other great seats at The Glen are still available for the upcoming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 6-9.  General admission weekend tickets begin at just $80, which allows seating in general admission grandstands Thursday-Saturday only.  For just $85, fans can purchase a weekend ticket that includes a reserved grandstand seat for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 9.  In addition to three great races, weekend tickets allow fans to attend all of the special events going on off the track, including the Red Cat Concert on Saturday night and various autograph sessions.

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07/28/09
irl

Edmonton delivers for the IRL
"We are thrilled overall," said IRL commercial division president Terry Angstadt. "We started at St. Pete's (Fla.) with bigger ticket sales, bigger crowds. Long Beach, our first event there, was fantastic. Kansas was soft and we think we know why. Indy was off the charts. Toronto was great.

"There are challenges in certain areas. We know we have challenges, but compared to other sports, we're pretty pleased."

Figures for the Rexall Edmonton Indy will not be released -- it's in the agreement with the IRL that attendance is not made public--but Mike Burton, major events coordinator for Northlands, said prior to Sunday's race that IRL officials were very pleased with what they saw through the first two days, especially for Friday's first day of practice.  Sunday's crowd was estimated to be well over 50,000.

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07/27/09
f1

NASCAR claims they have more witnesses against Mayfield
NASCAR has a "significant number" of witnesses who will testify that suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield used methamphetamines, a NASCAR official said Monday.

That official said those witnesses would testify to both recent and long-term use.

Those remarks followed a court filing Monday by NASCAR attorneys U.S. District Court. The filing asked U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen to lift an injunction he granted Mayfield earlier this month so he could return to racing. Mayfield was suspended May 9 after a positive test for what NASCAR later identified as meth.

An appeals court last week put on hold Mullen's injunction, but Monday's filing is part of a larger lawsuit between NASCAR and Mayfield.

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07/27/09
irl

Edmonton delivers despite Power's dominance
The large crowd in Edmonton was treated to some pretty boring racing because Will Power was untouchable up front.  Some credit Penske with having the best shock package for the bumpy airport circuit
"This is a great event (Edmonton) up here, (but) the race was a little bit boring," said Tony George, the former IRL president. "Will certainly had it in the bag. He was pretty strong all weekend. Everyone is trying to catch up. (Penske and Ganassi have) got quite a bit of a lead on everybody."

Their experience and expertise keeps showing, just as Newman/ Haas ruled Champ Car when it came to Edmonton for three years.

Penske and Ganassi have won 10 of 11 IRL races this year, and somebody from one of those teams will win the drivers title. When the circuit comes back here a year from now, it's not much of a stretch to expect the dominance of those two teams to continue.

Granted, some fans might not even care. They might not know an E. J. Viso from an A. J. Allmendinger or Foyt. They come for the corn dogs and the spectacle and Sunday's race still provided something for most of the senses.

There was the noise of those ethanol-burning cars and flyovers by the Snowbirds and Hornets. Twenty-three cars on the grid is an impressive enough sight. The beer was surely tasty on such a hot day.

Whether or not the race delivers on an inherent promise of high-speed drama, it still produces the biggest buzz of the summer in Edmonton for the over 50,000 fans in attendance.

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Abu Dhabi gets F1 front wing inspired building
The Wing
A stunning new addition to the skyline of Abu Dhabi is taking shape on the Corniche. Named ‘The Wing’, this unique venue is destined to become an iconic social and architectural fixture for residents and visitors in the Capital. The front wing of a Formula One racing car inspires the design of this multi-functional venue - a combination of restaurant, lounge, boutique, auditorium, meeting and function facilities.

Throughout, the flexible design and layout of the building allows uninterrupted panoramic views of the Corniche. Developed by Aldar Properties PJSC and operated by Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, The Wing will link the city to Yas Marina Circuit, the venue for the first Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix held from October 30 to November 1 this year.

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07/27/09
starmazda

Dempsey Sweeps Star Mazda Autobahn Doubleheader
Peter Dempsey
In a remarkable display of driving consistency, amid a remarkably consistent weekend of racing, Irish racing driver Peter Dempsey accomplished the motorsports equivalent of pitching a 'perfect game' in baseball; fastest in every practice session, on the pole for both races, on the top step of the podium both Saturday and Sunday – a total sweep of Rounds 8 and 9 of the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda.  Driving the #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda, Dempsey has now won four races so far this season – equal to his 2008 season total, but with four races still remaining on the 2009 Star Mazda schedule.  He has accomplished this driving for two different teams, winning on both road courses and ovals; he leads the championship with 342 points.

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07/27/09
nassprint

Allstate terminates sponsorship of Allstate 400
Officials for Allstate today announced they are ending their sponsorship of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race after five years.  The timing comes after a 20 percent attendance drop from last year, though Allstate officials said that had nothing to do with their decision.

“When we looked at all of our business results, they were just stronger in the other properties,” said Allstate Director of Sponsorships and Promotions Pam Hollander in a statement.

Despite an attendance drop to 180,000, IMS officials said they were pleased with the turnout. Sports business experts said since many of the tickets were discounted, revenue from the event was likely off 30 percent or more. IBJ.com

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Despite challenges, F1 delivers commercial value
Neither a sluggish global economy or threat of a breakaway series has derailed the thrill and commercial power inherent in Formula One, reports motorsports-exclusive marketing agency Just Marketing International (JMI). Sponsor and fan indicators suggest the sport is positioned to retain its well-established following and commercial pull.

Thus far, 2009 has provided a memorable storyline for the world’s most popular motor sport series. Fresh faces and unlikely race winners have provided F1’s massive global TV audience with new reasons to tune in. And following months of very public exchanges between teams and the sport’s governing body, anticipated adoption of a new Concorde Agreement promises to remove the prospect of a splinter series in 2010.

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07/27/09
automotive

Jaguar/Land Rover reportedly chalks up $1.1B loss
The steep downturn of the world's luxury automotive markets has taken a toll on Jaguar/Land Rover, and the company's bottom line has taken a huge hit as a result. Automotive News is citing a Financial Times report that says Tata Motors' British luxury marquees lost 673.4 million pounds ($1.11 billion U.S.) in 2008. That's a $2 billion swing from the 641.5 million pound ($1.05 billion) profit the British brands earned in 2007. Tata Motors said last month that Jaguar/Land Rover lost 306 million pounds ($504 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2009.

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07/27/09
f1

Massa out of coma, speaks first words
(GMM)  The latest reports from the Budapest hospital AEK about the condition of recovering Ferrari driver Felipe Massa are very positive.

It is said that the Brazilian, seriously injured when flying debris struck the front of his helmet during Hungarian GP qualifying last Saturday, has been woken from his induced coma and will not be put to sleep again.

Another scan on Monday afternoon showed that the 28-year-old's brain swelling had subsided, moving the medical team to wake him up and withdraw the artificial breathing.

Massa is said to now be conscious and has spoken his first words since the crash.  A full recovery is now expected, with the biggest concern now being the condition of his damaged left eye.

There were reports on Monday that Massa's optic nerve behind his left eye had been damaged to an unspecified degree.

It is however believed that his personal doctor Dino Altmann will not now push for the transfer from Hungary to Paris, given Monday afternoon's positive news indicates a far shorter hospitalization.

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Ecclestone hopes Alonso to race Ferrari at Valencia
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Monday said he hopes Ferrari turns to Fernando Alonso to fill injured Felipe Massa's cockpit for the forthcoming European grand prix.

It was rumored in the Spanish press that, with Renault banned for the Valencia race, the former double world champion could be called up by Ferrari while Massa recuperates in a Budapest hospital.

In the wake of the Renault ban news, organizers of the Valencia event expressed concern that Spain's driving hero may be missing from the grid.

"If Renault would release Alonso, and if Ferrari want him, it would be the best thing for formula one, for Valencia, for everybody," F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Germany's Auto Bild.

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07/27/09
f1

Massa injury prompted Renault race ban - Brundle
(GMM)  Martin Brundle on Monday made a link between the recent terrible incidents involving Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa, and FIA stewards' decision to ban Renault from the forthcoming European grand prix.

The French team's strong reprimand was issued after Fernando Alonso was released onto the circuit with a loose wheel nut, which subsequently led to the heavy wheel cover and then the entire wheel falling off the Spaniard's car.

Brundle, a former grand prix driver of the 80s and 90s and an award-winning commentator for British television since 1997, believes the penalty is a reaction to the Surtees and Massa crashes.

In both cases, the drivers' helmets were struck by flying debris with unpleasant results.

"The team almost certainly would not have been penalized for the same situation at the previous race," Brundle wrote in his latest column for the BBC.

"We have seen many cars lose a wheel without retribution," he added.

In 2007, the FIA threatened to pursue Brundle for libel, after suggesting in another column that the McLaren spy scandal was akin to a "witch hunt".

Comment
07/27/09
irl

IRL announces addition of Barber Motorsports Park to '10 schedule
Barber Motorsports Park and the IndyCar Series have announced a three-year partnership today that will bring the series to Birmingham beginning in April 2010.

The "Indy Grand Prix of Alabama," will be contested the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

"The Barber Motorsports Park is the finest road track in North America and deserves an event of this caliber and prestige. We were fortunate to have the assistance of both Governor Riley and Mayor Langford, both of whom understand the benefits the IndyCar Series bring to our city and state. This will be the only IndyCar Series race in the deep-south meaning it is a great tourist draw for the region. Plus, having the automotive world focus on our state enables us to highlight our growing automotive industry," explained Gene Hallman, President of Zoom Motorsports, the track's exclusive promoter.

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07/27/09
f1

FIA statement of safety investigation
FIA President Max Mosley has asked the FIA Safety Commission to prepare a report on the recent debris-related accidents in the FIA Formula One World Championship and FIA Formula Two Championship.

The FIA Safety Commission, which is made up of medical and technical representatives from all areas of motor sport, will submit its report and recommendations to the World Motor Sport Council.

Preliminary findings suggest the helmet being used by Felipe Massa may have played a significant role in limiting the injuries sustained. The FIA 8860 helmet, which took eight years to develop by the FIA and FIA Institute, provides increased protection in all key impact areas.  FIA Press Release

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Lauda: 'Nobody makes a helmet for that kind of accident'
Niki Lauda has spoken of Felipe Massa's freak accident in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday. The Brazilian, who lies in an induced coma in a Budapest hospital, struck an 800 gram metal damper which knocked him unconscious. Triple World Champion Lauda believes that the incident was an 'accident waiting to happen'.

Having come perilously close to losing his life in a Ferrari during a fiery accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix, Lauda is fully aware of the dangerous involved in motor racing. "It is a wake-up call for everyone," the Austrian said. "The human brain is so stupid that it forgets how dangerous this sport is.
Since the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger we have had little more than a broken finger, more or less. It was an accident waiting to happen. This sport is dangerous. If you drive these cars at these speeds it is dangerous."

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07/27/09
f1

Stewards ban Renault from Valencia GP UPDATE (GMM)  The promoter of the European grand prix at Valencia, Valmor Sport, has urged F1's governing body to reconsider the ban that will prevent Spanish hero Fernando Alonso from contesting the street race next month.

Renault has asked the International Court of Appeal to set a date for an appeal, after stewards in Hungary ruled the team knowingly released the Spaniard from a pitstop with a loose wheel nut.

The local news agency EFE said Valmor is strongly supportive of safety measures, but said not allowing Alonso to race in Valencia is also penalizing his Spanish supporters.

"As well as safety we must also think about the fans, many of them having bought tickets only to see Fernando Alonso," said Valmor's Jorge Martinez Aspar.

"We should see to it that they are not harmed by this decision," he added.

Aspar added that Valmor Sport has already been in contact with the Spanish motor racing federation about the issue.

Adrian Campos, boss of the new Campos F1 team for 2010, said Alonso's absence on the Valencia grid would be a "disaster" for the Spanish race, whose ticket sales had already been slow.



07/26/09 (GMM)  Renault has been banned from the forthcoming European grand prix.

Stewards summoned officials for the French team to race control following the Hungarian grand prix in Budapest because Fernando Alonso's right front wheel had fallen off in the wake of a pitstop.

They said video and radio transmissions were studied, and found that Renault "knowingly" allowed the Spanish driver to rejoin the race with a loose wheel nut.

The FIA officials also charged Renault with failing to inform Alonso of the problem "even though the driver contacted the team by radio believing he had a puncture".

"This resulted in a heavy car part (the aerodynamic wheel cover) detaching ... and the wheel itself detaching at turn 9," the stewards' report added.

Renault has been suspended from the next grand prix at Valencia and "reminded of (its) right of appeal".

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07/27/09
nassprint

Roush's Smith talks about 2010 plans
Sunday on "The SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show", SIRIUS XM's Claire B. Lang spoke with Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith about the possible changes to the team's roster of drivers before next season.
Geoff Smith: "If you're asking about our team plans for 2010, we're settled that Carl Edwards and Aflac, Greg Biffle with 3M, and David Ragan with UPS will be staying put and that sponsorship is going to kind of determine whether or not the #17 or the #26 are going to have to be the teams we shut down and move, if we can."
Smith: "There are difficulties. You just can't assume that a team can transfer intact just because you want it to. There are sponsors that get to vote as to what organization they're going to sponsor. So we have to work through that, which is what I've been saying. I expect, now that the DeWalt cloud has been removed, we're going to move very quickly to lock in the sponsorship and then that sponsorship will determine [whether] the #17 stays or goes."
Host, Claire B. Lang: "Meaning that we could see a past champion, Matt Kenseth, moving?"
Smith: "It all depends on the sponsorships. Our objective is to keep both of those teams (the #17 and the #26) in the Ford Motor Company community. We're hoping that we don't have to keep one and then lose one out of the Ford community entirely. So if we can keep them both in the [Ford] community by shuffling the #17 we would do that. Pretty unlikely that Matt Kenseth or the #17 will move at this point." SIRIUS NASCAR Radio

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Sir Jack Brabham on dialysis treatment
Jack Brabham, 83, who was knighted for his services to motor sport in 1979, said he now spent three days a week in hospital having the treatment since his kidneys started to fail two years ago.  Brabham was F1 champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966 and is the only driver in the sport's history to win the championship in a car of his own construction. Unfortunately, I don't get the time to do the things I want any more," Brabham told The Daily Telegraph.

"I really only get two days a week where I can do anything. I am a dialysis patient and it takes five hours, three days a week. I have really had my wings clipped."

Brabham, who drove in 126 Grands Prix from 1955 to 1970, said he has had to adjust to the restrictions imposed on him by his illness.

"The last Formula One event I went to was in Melbourne a couple of years ago," he said.

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07/27/09
irl

Barber added to 2010 IndyCar schedule UPDATE The IndyCar race at Barber will be a doubleheader with the Grand Am Series.

07/26/09
Barber Motorsports Park
The Indy Racing League's decision to bring its high-speed, high-tech, open-wheel cars to Barber Motorsports Park for three years starting in 2010 fills a scheduling void for the circuit in the Southeastern United States.

"We know there are lots of motorsports fans in the Southeast," Terry Angstadt, Indy's president for commercial affairs, said Saturday. "This fills in a nice spot for us in the Southeast."

The IRL will not formally announce its 2010 schedule until Aug. 1 at Kentucky Speedway, and some decisions about where to race still remain for America's premier open-wheel racing series, Angstadt said.

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07/27/09
f1

Angry Franchitti 'totally screwed' by Andretti
Dario Franchitti raced hard yesterday -- and had blisters on his palms to prove it.  However, the series points leader heading into the Edmonton Rexall Indy had trouble keeping up with the leaders and finished fifth. The result knocked him out of top spot in the points standings, slipping behind Scott Dixon, who finished third behind Helio Castroneves and winner Will Power.

"It was a long day," Franchitti said. "I didn't expect it to go green flag the whole way. I thought the car was good at the start with the red tires, I was able to hang with the leaders. But it wasn't so good with the black.

"We just never found a balance we were comfortable with all weekend. I think Scott found something he was happy with, but we could never find something I was totally happy with."

"I was totally screwed by Marco when he was a lap down," Franchitti said. I don't know what he was up to. I didn't appreciate that."

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07/27/09
nassprint

Belskus: Allstate 400 here to stay
IMS CEO Jeff Belskus reiterated Sunday that NASCAR will return to the Brickyard for additional races.

"(The event) will be here for years and years to come," Belskus said. "We want it here and NASCAR wants it here."

Concern for the event has centered on a smaller crowd, which Belskus and others attribute to a struggling economy and the tire issue that plagued last year's race.

The announced attendance for Sunday's 16th annual event was 180,000, which pleased IMS officials, even if it was about 20 percent less than last year.

"(All tracks) have the economy working against them, and the tire situation last year was something unique we had to deal with, but we think we can build this event back up with some work," Belskus said. "It's still a profitable event." Indy Star

Comment
07/27/09
nassprint

Stewart: Boring Stock cars not made for IMS
"I thought it was a boring race. To me, it was single file. There were a couple guys that passed. The 48 (Jimmie Johnson), it seemed like it took him pretty much the whole race to get up to the front.

"Better racing than last year, but not good racing. A decent points day for us. We gained on three (drivers) and probably lost on three (others). We're just keeping our head above water. That's what we're doing with the Haas Automation Chevrolet.

"(Indianapolis Motor Speedway) is just flat and it's fast. Our race cars aren't made for that. Our race cars aren't designed for that. They designed this race car to put it on a high banked racetrack, and although it works here, it just doesn't put on a great race.  I'm done, man." Indy Star

Comment
07/27/09
f1

Webber won't ask for 'number 1' status yet
(GMM)  Mark Webber overtook his Red Bull teammate as Jenson Button's nearest championship challenger in the Hungarian grand prix on Sunday.

But with the team's policy of driver equality so far lasting ten races in 2009, the 32-year-old Australian insists his boss Christian Horner still should not nominate a 'number 1' for the remaining six grands prix until the title finale in November.

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07/27/09
f1

Injured Massa able to communicate - hospital
(GMM)  More positive news emerged from the AEK hospital on Monday, as Ferrari driver Felipe Massa begins his recovery from serious head injuries.

Officials at the hospital in central Budapest, where the Brazilian was transported after his frightening qualifying incident last Saturday, said Massa had responded when once again roused from his induced coma.

The 28-year-old did not speak but made "passive communication" with doctors, and also moved his hands and feet.

Another brain scan showed positive signs, the officials added, and an ultrasound revealed "nothing that would give cause for concern" with regards to internal injuries.

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07/27/09
racing news

Quotes of the Week
"I swear on my children and my wife that I was not speeding!" he shouted over his radio. "There is no way! Thank you NASCAR for screwing my day.  If they do this to me, I'm going to kill them," Montoya said on his radio.  We ha it in the bag and they screwed us because I was not speeding. I swear on my children and my wife"  Crew chief Brian Pattie begged his driver to calm down and focus on salvaging a solid points day, to no avail.  "Don't tell me to relax, dude! We had this in the bag." Juan Montoya after NASCAR penalized him for speeding on pit lane while dominating the AllState 400

Now, I don’t think it is a secret that most IndyCar and Champ Car teams have relied heavily on financial support from series owners to fund or subsidize their operations over the last 5 years.  In fact, I know that in the case of the IRL, every team that has ever competed in the series, since inception, has received support to some degree.  Given those facts, it is a testament to the commitment of the teams and sponsors in the series today that they have persevered this season without any subsidy from the League.  Tony George, ex-IndyCar and IMS CEO

"I honestly don't believe in coincidences in life.  Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message.  Imola, where Ayrton Senna died in 1994, was a message and the cars were improved. Unfortunately, we lost Surtees, which is tremendously sad. It is not a coincidence something happened right now. In the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association) we talked quite a lot about it yesterday - and something needs to be done. Absolutely."  Rubens Barrichello, Formula 1 driver, Brawn GP, commenting about a spring coming off his car during qualifying for the Hungarian GP and severely injuring Felipe Massa 

"What happened today was a shock.  We've got to make sure we do everything we can to make Formula 1 as safe as it can be. But a spring coming off and being in a collision four seconds later is an incredible circumstance and coincidence. You have to remember that motor racing is dangerous and that racing drivers are incredibly brave. It's all too easy to become blasé about that."  Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal, McLaren, commenting on Felipe Massa's freak accident while qualifying for the Hungarian GP

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07/26/09
nassprint

Carter buys Mayfield's team UPDATE Suspended Sprint Cup owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield has sold his hauler and inventory of cars and parts to John Carter, who plans to compete in as many races as he can the rest of the season. Carter said the deal included six cars, including one Terry Labonte ran in Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Labonte has agreed to drive in five races -- Indianapolis, Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Charlotte -- and could drive in more if sponsorship is available. Carter will run the team out of his shop in Tacoa, Ga., and the shop Mayfield rented in the Charlotte, N.C., area. Four of Mayfield's crew members, including crew chief Tony Furr, are now employed by Carter. The deal did not include an opportunity or Mayfield to drive for Carter if cleared. "That wasn't even discussed,'' Carter said. ESPN

07/24/09 Tony Furr, Jeremy Mayfield's long-time crew chief, says that Mayfield has sold his #41 team hauler and cars to Georgia businessman, John Carter, who has been in racing for a while, and Furr says he expected Labonte to run the rest of the season with the team, in as many races as it can make. Furr says the team will continue running out of Mayfield's old shop. Furr is overseeing the operation, and said Friday morning Mayfield may well be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway sometime this weekend. However NASCAR won a legal appeal Friday afternoon in the U.S. 4th circuit court of appeals that should put Mayfield back on suspension. The latest legal move, in NASCAR's favor, would apparently put Mayfield back on suspension, until the court case itself can be resolved. And that case might not get going for several months. “John Carter owns it, bought it from Jeremy," Furr says. "I haven't talked with Jeremy in about a week so I don't know if he'll be here. Terry is going to run the car wherever we run it, and we may run it the rest of the year, don't know yet." Toyota's Joey Arrington is doing the motors; Jeremy Lafave is the crew chief. Furr says he himself "is mainly a consultant." MikeMulhern.net

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07/26/09
f1

Montezemolo to be in Budapest with Massa
Tomorrow Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo will be in Budapest to be close to Felipe Massa and his family. "I hope I will have good news," Montezemolo said on the Ferrari website.  "Today's result, the best in this difficult season so far, is for Felipe! Compliments to Kimi for a great race and to the Team, for working well and very concentrated despite these very difficult circumstances."

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07/26/09
f1

Damaged cable caused timing chaos
(GMM)  A damaged cable caused the timing problems that ruined the climax to an exciting qualifying session at the Hungaroring on Saturday, Formula One Management and F1's technology partner LG have revealed.

"The finish line sensor suffered a mechanical failure in the form of a damaged cable," a media statement issued on Sunday confirmed.

"Standard procedures were followed and the back-up sensor used.  Once the verification procedures were complete the full results were published.  At no time was any timing data lost," the statement added.

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07/26/09
f1

Massa doubts may last 'months' - Hartstein
(GMM)  Rubens Barrichello on Sunday fought back tears as he contemplated returning to his beloved Brazil, while his fellow Paulista and friend Felipe Massa is asleep in a Budapest ICU.

The Brawn driver told reporters that doctors would not let him see Massa, 28, when he visited the AEK hospital on Saturday, and that they "weren't able to tell me if he will be okay".

"It is a bit of an emotional moment," said Barrichello, who admitted he is torn between wanting to stay in Hungary and returning home to his wife and children.

"It is burning a little bit in my stomach, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking of him in the middle of the race," he added.

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07/26/09
f1

Renault to appeal Valencia GP ban
(GMM)  Renault on Sunday evening said it will appeal the team's exclusion from the forthcoming European grand prix.

FIA stewards at the Hungaroring circuit earlier issued a one-race suspension after ruling that Renault knowingly released Fernando Alonso from a pitstop with a loose wheel nut.

Initially the wheel cover, and then subsequently the entire tire and wheel, fell off the Spaniard's R29, sparking fears of another similar incident in the wake of the Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa crashes.

In a document signed by team manager Steve Nielsen and sent to the Budapest stewards, Renault said it "formally files notification of its intention to appeal" the ban.

Renault also paid the necessary 6,000 euros appeal fee.

The actual appeal must be lodged within 48 hours of the stewards' decision, and the grounds of appeal within 8 days.

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07/26/09
f1

Hospital cautious amid Massa recovery
(GMM)  Hospital officials remained cautious on Sunday despite saying Felipe Massa's recovery from serious head injuries is showing positive signs.

The medical director of the AEK hospital in central Budapest, which is renowned as one of the best neurological units in Europe, created alarm overnight when he said the Ferrari driver's injuries were "life-threatening".

Ferrari and formula one officials insisted that prognosis was alarmist, but Peter Bazso repeated his concern on Sunday, having awakened 28-year-old Massa briefly to conduct further tests.

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07/26/09
starmazda

Peter 'The Irish Steamroller' Dempsey wins race 1
Peter Dempsey
Peter 'The Irish Steamroller' Dempsey has re-confirmed his nickname with a dominant win from the pole in the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix of Mazda.  This achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider the path he has taken; after winning four races in 2008, including three in a row, only to finish third in the championship, he returned in 2009 and scored his first win of the new season at Virginia International Raceway with AIM Autosport.  Forced by economic circumstance to change teams just before the first of two oval track races on the 2009 schedule, he finished 4th at the Milwaukee Mile and won from the pole at the Iowa Speedway, not only his first oval track win but also an emotional first victory for the fledgling Juncos Racing team.  To that already impressive total, he adds being quickest in every practice session at Autobahn, winning the pole and leading every lap of the race.  He is currently the only driver in the series with three race wins so far this season.

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07/26/09
motogp

Dovizioso takes first MotoGP victory in eventful Donington swansong


Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso closed the MotoGP stay at Donington Park with a first ever premier class victory, coming out on top in what became a ‘semi flag-to-flag’ race. The Repsol Honda rider made sense of the madness that ensued with steady rainfall to earn 25 points and the honor of being the last premier class winner at the Midlands circuit.

The race was one of the most unpredictable of recent years, with twists and turns every step of the way. Besides the maiden triumph there were falls for the top two in the World Championship, a disastrous pre-race decision from a title contender and riders holding on instead of coming in for a bike change.

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07/26/09
f1

Vettel blames Raikkonen for DNF
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel blamed Kimi Raikkonen for his retirement in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.  Vettel retired from the race on lap 32 with front suspension damage after making contact with the Ferrari driver at the start.

"I had a collision," Vettel told the BBC. "I made contact in first corner with Kimi. I was on the inside, had a clean run to accelerate and then his car came sideways and yeah, we touched. He crashed into my car, so...

"It can happen, but in the end I mean it was the reason why the first pitstop already was bad. And then at some point the front left suspension gave up and we had to retire the car."

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07/26/09
motogp

Rossi surprised with British Grand Prix pole
Valentino Rossi had not topped a practice session for the British Grand Prix all weekend, but came good in qualifying for a second consecutive pole position. It is the first time since a Turkey-China double pole in 2007 that the reigning MotoGP World Champion has taken two top spots on the bounce, coming as a surprise even to the Italian himself.

“I am quite surprised to be on pole today because we had a couple of problems this afternoon! This morning unfortunately we didn’t try the hard Bridgestone tire but we weren’t worried because everyone else had good grip with it. But this afternoon when we finally tried it we found the grip to be not as we expected and our pace with it wasn’t so good,” said Rossi on Saturday afternoon at Donington Park.

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07/26/09
irl

Mike Conway Partners With Petrol
Mike Conway
The Driver Mike Conway has joined the ranks of IndyCar's Ryan Briscoe, Indy Lights racer Pippa Mann, American Le Mans driver Chapman Ducote, and Grand-Am Series veteran Max Angelelli as professional drivers now wearing Petrol Eyewear. He currently wears the Petrol Carburetor, a sport-styled Grilamid® frame featuring Petrol's polarized RepeliumTM lens.

"The frame is comfortable, and the lens quality is outstanding," remarked Conway. "The toric lens shape provides a great fit and a great look."

One of the most promising young drivers in IndyCar, Conway began racing in his native England at age 8 and honed his skills in European formula cars. Racing in the GP2 Series in 2008, he notched an impressive win at the famed streets of Monaco. He also served as a Honda F1 test driver from 2007-2008. Conway won the British Formula 3 Championship and the Macau Grand Prix in 2006, and was recognized twice by the British Racing Drivers' Club for his achievements in Formula 3 in 2005. Now in his rookie season in American open-wheel racing, Conway has notched two top 10 finishes thus far and will be in contention at every remaining race in the 2009 campaign.

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07/26/09
f1

Positive news about Massa from Hungarian hospital
Felipe Massa
(GMM)  Felipe Massa will remain in induced coma for two more days but the result of his brain scan on Sunday was "reassuring", the medical director of the AEK hospital in central Budapest said.

"It (the CT scan) brought the result we had expected concerning an injury of this type," Peter Gaszo said.

He revealed that the 28-year-old Brazilian, who underwent emergency surgery after sustaining skull damage and brain contusion in a qualifying incident on Saturday, was woken for a short time on Sunday.

Massa responded to his family, including his father, brother and wife who are at his bedside, and then sedated again, reportedly as standard procedure with head injuries of this type.

Baszo said the coma will continue until Tuesday.

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07/26/09
nassprint

Back problems continue for Gordon
Jeff Gordon's bad back may end his career early
The AP reports that Jeff Gordon has decided not to have a second procedure to deal with an achy back and instead will try to deal with the pain. Gordon said Saturday during qualifying for Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that the first procedure didn't help much and he doesn't see the point in having another injection of anti-inflammatory medication. Gordon has been dealing with a sore back for several months but ruled out surgery because it was too invasive. Instead he will continue to focus on a series of stretching exercises and physical training in hopes the condition will improve.

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07/26/09
irl

Officials meet to discuss future Indy plans for Edmonton UPDATE Two years ago, when Edmonton Northlands took over the running of the Rexall Edmonton Indy, they were awarded a three-year contract by the Indy Racing League.

At the same time, the other race accommodated in the merger with Champ Car, the Long Beach Grand Prix, signed a five-year deal.

The Edmonton race has more fans on Saturday than most IndyCar oval races have on race day
Asked why only three years for Edmonton, Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division, answered simply:

"They only asked for three."

Yesterday Northlands asked for a two-year extension for the event and Angstadt, just back from Brazil where he was working on a two-race project for the country which has four drivers in today's race, says he believes Edmonton will be accommodated.

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07/26/09
gp2

GP2 Race 2: Van Der Garde holds on for first win
Giedo van der Garde
Giedo van der Garde soaked up race long pressure from Luca Filippi to claim his first win of the season this morning at the Hungaroring, showing a steely determination and turning around iSport's disappointing season in the best way possible to hold on for the victory by half a second from the Italian and Lucas di Grassi.

The victory was set up at the start when the Dutchman stormed off the line when the lights went out to slice his way past poleman Davide Rigon and into the lead, with Filippi slotting in behind him into turn one. Unfortunately for Rigon his getaway was slow and Pastor Maldonado was all over him, with the pair touching at turn nine: Rigon was out on the spot, with his rival eventually returning to the track at the back of the field.

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07/26/09
gp2

GP2 Race 1: Hülkenberg hat trick in Hungary
Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg repeated his dominant form from the Nurburgring by easily claiming his third win in a row today at the Hungaroring ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Javier Villa, stretching out his lead in the championship as he gave his rivals a racing lesson this afternoon.

The German made a strong start when the lights went out, moving up two places to third behind poleman di Grassi and Villa, with front row starter Vitaly Petrov making a slow getaway after being last man to make the grid while Davide Rigon went the other way: the Russian was ninth by the end of the lap while the Italian moved up from ninth on the grid to fourth on the road.

But with the twisting, undulating nature of the circuit making overtaking as difficult as ever it was clear that pitstop strategies were going to be all important, and so it proved: Villa was setting fast laps until he was the first of the front men to make a stop on lap ten, forcing the German to come in on the next lap. He emerged ahead and, with di Grassi coming in one lap later ahead of his rivals, it looked like the race was run.

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07/26/09
irl
fil

Edmonton Notebook - Saturday
Several Firestone Indy Lights competitors are paying tribute to Formula 2 driver Henry Surtees with a memorial decal on their cars.

The idea was sparked by British drivers Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann, who knew the driver, the son of former Formula 1 champion John Surtees. The younger Surtees was fatally injured in a racing accident in England on July 19.

"Although we never raced against each other, we met in several occasions when I was doing the Porsche Cup races back in England last year," Mann said. "Henry and his dad bought a bunch of my karting gear when I moved up to open-wheel (racing). We knew each other, and I can say that he was a genuine nice person and it was just a really bad weekend for motorsports around the world, not only when you lose someone as talented as Henry, but also such a nice person".

Plowman's family distributed the decals to all driver and will take a shirt and poster - carrying the same memorial decal and signed by the Grand Prix of Edmonton field - back to England and deliver it to the Surtees family.

"The first time I met Henry was actually the first time that he sat in a go-kart," Plowman said. "I was at an opening of a brand new track in England and they invited one driver from every class to do some demonstration laps, and I was there demonstrating the 60cc class. He was there taking his first laps on a go-kart. After that he was like a familiar face on the paddock. He was truly a nice guy. When I got the news I was devastated… It was a very bad day for the sport. It's just a tragedy and this weekend we'll race for him and I wish his family all the best".

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07/26/09
f1

Failure on Barrichello's Brawn car caused Massa injury
A rear spring flew off Barrichello's Brawn and struck Massa in the head.  "Something broke on my car," said Barrichello, "but I don't know what. We need to sit down and have a look at it. I think the cars are a hell of a lot safer, really a lot safer, but there is no coincidence on this and something needs to be looked at."
Barrichello later led the calls for more stringent safety measures to be looked into.  Referring to Surtees, the veteran Brazilian refused to believe the two incidents were coincidental.

"I honestly don't believe in coincidences in life," he said. "Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message.  Imola, where Ayrton Senna died in 1994, was a message and the cars were improved. Unfortunately, we lost Surtees, which is tremendously sad. It is not a coincidence something happened right now. In the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association) we talked quite a lot about it yesterday - and something needs to be done. Absolutely.

Lewis Hamilton described the crash as "very scary" and said it must be looked into, while Jenson Button said it proved there "is still more we need to do on safety".

Button and Barrichello's team boss Ross Brawn said the team were "naturally concerned" about Massa's condition.

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07/26/09
f1

BMW eyes Vettel reunion in future
(GMM)  Mario Theissen insists he stands by his decision to let Sebastian Vettel return to the Red Bull family last year.

While a BMW test driver in the middle of 2007, the German marque released Vettel to race with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

Now just 22, the German stayed in the STR cockpit last year and then moved to main team Red Bull Racing this year, on a new two-year contract.

Moreover, if Red Bull is in contention for the 2010 championship, it is believed the energy drinks company will have the option of retaining Vettel for a further three years.

Theissen told the German daily Der Tagesspiegel that he doesn't regret letting Vettel slip through his fingers while opting instead for Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.

He said Kubica and Heidfeld contributed to BMW's rate of progress between 2006 and 2008, and that the opportunity to reunite with Vettel may arise in the future.

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07/26/09
f1

F1 to study head exposure after incidents - Brawn
The head of the driver in a modern open wheel car (2009 Renault - top) is not exposed anywhere near like it was a long time ago (1967 Brawner Hawk IndyCar - bottom).  There has been danger in open wheel racing for years, so unless they want to put a fighter jet canopy over the driver's head, it will always be dangerous.  The accidents of Massa and Surtees were freak accidents.
(GMM)  Ross Brawn has admitted there are measures possible to further protect the exposed heads of formula one drivers.

Following the recent accidents caused by debris striking the helmets of Henry Surtees (F2) and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has commissioned Prof. Sid Watkins to investigate possible reactions to the situation.

Since stepping down as F1's long time travelling doctor in 2005, Watkins is now president of the FIA institute for motor sport safety.

It was the 800 gram damper spring that came loose from the rear suspension of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car four seconds before it struck Massa on the front of his carbon-fiber Schuberth helmet.

Barrichello's team boss Ross Brawn, head of the technical committee of the F1 teams association FOTA, told reporters late Saturday that there are things that can be done to try to prevent repeats of the Surtees and Massa accidents.

"There are -- but we need to keep perspective on this," said the Briton.  "From what's been seen last weekend and this weekend we need to have a proper study and see if something needs to be done."

It is said that despite the huge advances in formula one safety since the last fatalities in 1994, it is the open-nature of the cockpits that expose the greatest risk to the drivers.

It has been suggested in the past that cages or enclosed cockpits may be one remedy, especially now that the risk of a driver needing to quickly escape in the event of a fire is reduced.

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07/26/09
f1

Renault records highest costs in F1 history
Flavio gets a hefty $1.5M salary
(GMM)  Formula one team Renault's costs last year were the highest in the history of the sport, according to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Compiled after Renault filed its most recent accounts, the report said the $17m (USD) losses were more than double those of 2007, while the costs of nearly $260m represent a 38 per cent increase.

The result runs contrary to the belief that Renault is a modest-spending F1 team, with the record costs requiring its French parent to increase rather than decrease its spend.

Renault Group struggled markedly in 2008 while losing nearly $3 billion in net income and announcing mass job losses.

But at the same time its UK-based formula one team added 17 staff, and boss Flavio Briatore's $1.5m fee slightly increased.

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07/26/09
f1

Massa still stable in hospital - Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari issued a brief update on the condition of Brazilian driver Felipe Massa on Sunday morning.

It had been expected that the 28-year-old, operated on in a central Budapest hospital after his qualifying accident and currently in intensive care, would be roused from his induced coma in the hours prior to the Hungarian grand prix.

"Felipe Massa's condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night," Ferrari said shortly after 10am in Hungary.

"He will be given another CT scan today, which will provide more precise information," the Maranello based team added.

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07/26/09
f1

F1 will react to Massa, Surtees crashes - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has promised formula one will react to the recent accidents of both Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa, following the latter's crash during qualifying for the Hungarian grand prix.

The F1 chief executive was speaking at the AEK military hospital in central Budapest, having attended to check on the progress of Ferrari's Massa, who is in induced coma after being struck on the face by a small piece of steel debris.

28-year-old Brazilian Massa's accident, sustaining skull fractures and brain concussion, comes less than a week after Surtees died when a wheel struck his helmet in the Brands Hatch F2 race.

"This is not nice," Ecclestone said on Saturday night.  "I thought we had seen an end to all this sort of thing.  It's mad.  This is just a few days after one death and it is very disturbing.

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07/26/09
tv news

Ray Evernham and Buddy Parrott guests on Wind Tunnel UPDATE A reminder that Ray Evernham and Buddy Parrott will be the featured guests on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain tonight, Sunday, July 26.

07/24/09 This Sunday, July 26, Dave Despain will talk with former CUP team owner and current short track owner, Ray Evernham. Dave paid a visit to Ray last week at his East Lincoln Speedway dirt track in Stanley, North Carolina to talk about Ray’s transition from being a CUP team owner to a dirt track promoter. And at the end of the night, Dave got a first-hand look at the racing surface as Ray himself took Dave for a ride in his 2-seat sprint car!

Retired Sprint CUP crew chief, Buddy Parrott, will also be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday.  During his career in NASCAR, Parrott was involved in some of the sport’s most memorable moments. As crew chief, he earned 21 wins with Darrell Waltrip, tuned Richard Petty to his 200th victory, took Derrike Cope to victory lane in the infamous 1990 Daytona 500, and won 10 races with Rusty Wallace in 1993 during a tough championship battle with Dale Earnhardt.  Parrott ended his career with Roush Racing in 2001 when he was the organization’s Performance Development Manager.

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs Sunday, July 26 at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.

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