Wide-Open USF2000 Field Set for Mid-Ohio Triple-Header The Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio is likely to be crucial to the outcome of this year's Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Seven different winners have emerged from the first nine races of the 14-race season, including a pair of first-time winners two weeks ago on the streets of Toronto, Ont., Canada. The top three contenders are separated by just 22 points. With a total of 97 points available from the trio of races slated for this weekend in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series - and a MAZDASPEED Scholarship up for grabs to advance to the next step of the Mazda Road to Indy, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2015 - consistency and speed will share equal importance.
Such has been the case so far for Florian Latorre. The 17-year-old Frenchman, who finished fourth in one of the three Mid-Ohio races during his rookie season in 2013, finally scored his first victory at Toronto, but it was his unbroken sequence of eight top-six finishes which enabled him to snatch the championship lead from early-season pacesetter RC Enerson.
The 2015 Camry is so revolting and has such poor aero lines for racing, NASCAR should let them use a Chevy body and put Toyota front grill decals on it
Toyota will have a new face for 2015 - and we're not just talking about Carl Edwards. Long before the 2015 production Camry's coming out party at the New York Auto Show in April, Toyota Racing Development was hard at work to development a vehicle for competition in NASCAR's Sprint Cup division. In concert with Calty, Toyota's car design studio, the project has been in progress since fall of 2013. Toyota presented its' "first look" to NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. earlier this month - which was returned for further development.
"We had a preliminary submission, but we have more work to do," [David Wilson, president and GM of Toyota Racing Development] said. "We've been working with NASCAR on the car. They give you the opportunity to see where you are and of course our objective is to get the most performance out of it as possible. We have to pass their submission criteria, so we're going to have another go at it and hope to have that put to bed in the middle August. Then we'll unveil it to the public and get ready for 2015." Changes to the 2015 include a new front fascia, tail and character lines. Motorsport
Four drivers can clinch chase spot at Pocono Four more drivers cleared the two toughest hurdles for entry into the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, joining #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #2-Brad Keselowski, both of whom locked up a spot on the Chase Grid at New Hampshire. At Indianapolis, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards and #22-Joey Logano all either scored a second win (Gordon) or clinched a top 30 points spot (Johnson, Edwards and Logano).
Now, those six drivers need only to attempt to qualify for the remaining six races to "officially" earn a spot in the Chase. As a reminder, any driver with multiple wins guarantees himself a spot in the top 15 winners (or top 16, if the points leader after race No. 26 has a win).
Video: Josef Newgarden Interested In Sports Cars Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's Josef Newgarden has three seasons of Verizon IndyCar Series experience under his belt, and says he'd like to branch out into sports car racing as so many other open-wheel aces have done for decades. Of course in sports car you get paid to drive, whereas in IndyCar you typically have to buy your ride, so it's a chance for drivers to make some money.
Formula E postpones Malaysian round The Malaysian round of the inaugural Formula E campaign has been postponed by five weeks.
The event, to be staged in the city of Putrajaya, was originally slated for October 18, but it has been pushed back to November 22 following a request from the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak.
Due to other commitments, the Prime Minister would not have been able to attend the race on its original date.
The blind leading the blind Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles keeps looking for ways to fill seats.
He has a full weekend of NASCAR and sports car races leading up to the Brickyard 400, and it's a failure. He's kept motorcycles on the summer schedule at Indy and added road races and vintage car races, and they are all failures. He's hired headline bands for concerts and camped inside the historic venue. But every year the challenge of keeping racing fans engaged gets a little tougher.
When IndyCar was the only series that raced at the speedway, everything was a sellout. Since Anton George brought in NASCAR, then F1, then MotoGP, and now Grand-Am/Tudor and Nationwide it's been all downhill. Simple fact is that the Indianapolis market cannot support all those race series. Simply not enough discretionary money in the bank accounts of the race fans in that market.
If they want to sell out two IndyCar races (Indy 500 and Indy 400) at the speedway every year, a few simple steps have to be taken - Kick out Sprint Cup, kick out Nationwide, kick out the Tudor sports cars and kick out MotoGP.
Ricky Stenhouse will carry Zest branding on the #17 Ford in 2015.
On Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing announced that with the departure of driver Carl Edwards at season's end, one of Edwards' primary sponsors -- Fastenal -- would be a primary sponsor on the Ford of Roush teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. next season as part of a multi-year agreement.
On Wednesday afternoon, the news got even better for Stenhouse, as RFR announced in a team release that the Zest soap brand will be back on board Stenhouse's No. 17 Ford as a primary sponsor in 2015, as well.
Zest, which first joined Roush Fenway in 2012, has been a primary sponsor on RFR's No. 17 Ford the past three seasons in the Sprint Cup Series. The company will be Stenhouse's primary sponsor for "multiple races" in 2015, as well as a season-long associate sponsor on the car.
"It's great to know that the No. 17 team will keep running 'Zestfully Clean' next year," said Stenhouse, a two-time Nationwide Series champion who is in his second Sprint Cup season.
Pro Mazda Rivals Pigot and Hargrove Set Their Sights on Mid-Ohio Palmetto, Fla. - American Spencer Pigot and Canadian Scott Hargrove will continue their battle for supremacy in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix on August 1-3. After nine races and with five rounds remaining, the pair are separated by just 17 points prior to this weekend's twin bill of 40-minute races at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
During the month-long hiatus since the last two races in Houston, Texas, Pigot and Hargrove have continued their rivalry in the Canadian Porsche GT3 championship, each of them winning once two weeks ago on the streets of Toronto. Now the stakes are even higher, with the Pro Mazda series champion set to pocket a MAZDASPEED Scholarship which will pave the way toward graduation to the top step on the Mazda Road to Indy, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2015.
SMI Sees Slight Revenue Drop In Q2 Speedway Motorsports Inc. blamed bad weather at two races and a weak economy for a slight decline in revenue during Q2. The company reported revenue for the quarter of $175.9M, down from $176.8M for the same period last year. Revenue for the first half of the year was $260.4M, down from $261M in '13. SMI COO Marcus Smith said that the company has seen increases in track rentals and suite, hospitality and camping revenue, but those gains were offset by "poor weather," which affected NASCAR race weekends at Texas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals To Sponsor Chicagoland Sprint Cup Race Chicagoland Speedway signed Janssen Pharmaceuticals to title sponsor its fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The race, which is the first in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, will be known as the MyAFibStory.com 400. The name is designed to raise awareness about atrial fibrillation – AFib for short – a condition caused by irregular heartbeat. Janssen Pharmaceuticals makes a drug called Xarelto that helps prevent blood clots. Chicagoland’s Sprint Cup race was previously sponsored by Geico from '11-13. Tripp Mickle/SportsBusiness Daily
Video: New generation of Indy Lights car ready to roll On Trackside 6, Tony Cotman gives us the first look at the brand new Indy Lights car they’re rolling out this week, which will be put into competition next season.
It has 25 more horsepower but weighs less. It’s designed to better prepare Indy Lights drivers for the next step of becoming a driver in the IndyCar Series.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's familiar 2.25-mile, 13-turn configuration hasn't changed in decades, but don't tell that to Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.
For them, the track they first experience in practice Friday morning is nowhere near the same as the track they will race on during Sunday afternoon's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. And the track they experience at the start of the race is vastly different from the won they finish on.
"The course is challenging," points leader Helio Castroneves said. "The course is tough because with the lapping it gets more grip." IndyCar veteran Takuma Sato broke it down even further.
The GT86 CS-R3 rally car will make its public debut at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the ninth round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) can confirm.
TMG has chosen to return to its rallying roots with a rear-wheel-drive car to entertain drivers and fans alike, following in the wheel tracks of cars such as the spectacular Celica Twin Cam Turbo (TA64), a rally winner in the 1980s.
That decision perfectly reflects a global TOYOTA theme of ‘fun to drive, again’ whilst following the company’s enthusiasm for encouraging participation through grassroots motorsport initiatives.
Caterham fights back against ex-staff allegations (Update)UPDATE (GMM) Caterham has hit back after it emerged sacked staff are moving to sue the backmarker team's new management.
Earlier in July, following founder Tony Fernandes' sale of the green-colored team to mysterious Swiss-Middle Eastern investors, new bosses Colin Kolles and Christijan Albers ousted about 40 of Caterham's Leafield-based workforce.
Caterham announced at the time that it was a "necessary step" for the "future of the team".
But a lawyer representing the workers announced during the Hungarian grand prix weekend that the sackings were "without warning or consultation".
Columbus Blue Jackets players announced as Grand Marshals for Honda Indy 200 Two NHL players with the Columbus Blue Jackets will serve as Grand Marshals for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, taking place August 1-3, and Verizon IndyCar Series driver and Ohio-native Graham Rahal’s two favorite charities will benefit as a result.
Blue Jackets Jared Boll and James Wisniewski will share Grand Marshal duties as the Verizon IndyCar Series takes to the track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for its 14th of 18 season stops during the 2014 season. Boll and Wisniewski will perform the standard Grand Marshal duties that include giving the famous “drivers, start your engines” command to start the afternoon race on Sunday, August 3.
How Tony George devastated the sport of IndyCar Racing
George proclaims himself Indy. The most ridiculous ad campaign in the history of sports
This excellent article by Matt Schafer lays complete blame on the destruction of IndyCar Racing on Tony George. One cannot draw any other conclusion. A must read.
American open wheel racing was dealt a massive blow when then Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George decided to form his own racing series with the Indy 500 as the lone jewel. Imagine if Bruton Smith decided to split with NASCAR, form his own series and ban NASCAR from all of his eight tracks. That’s what Tony George did to the most successful form of racing in America at the time. No series could survive that sort of competition. It muddied the waters and drove away casual fans, and the sport hasn’t recovered six years later. Indy 500 ratings were good this year, but still a third of what they were before Tony George found the Indy Racing League.
Never in the history of sports has one man's poor misinformed judgment cost so many people so much.
MotoGP's Move Toward Pay-TV Pay-TV is where the future of broadcasting is, said Dorna Sports Media Managing Dir Manel Arroyo. Ahead of the '14 season, Dorna Sports, the rights holder of MotoGP, signed several deals with pay-TV operators in some of the sport's most important markets such as Spain, Italy and the U.K.
Arroyo said that MotoGP's move toward pay-TV simply follows the path of the industry. He said, "The biggest sports, the biggest content and the premium content are on pay-TV. We are proud of the switch." The series is now on the same platforms as other premium sports.
Pietro Fittipaldi tearing up Protyre Formula Renault
Emmo two years ago with his grandson Pietro
AR1's Brazilian sources have instructed us to keep an eye on the very talented 17-year old grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion and two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, Pietro Fittipaldi.
Fittipaldi was born in Miami but moved to Davidson, NC in his early years. He began karting at age 7, and debuted in stock cars in 2010. In 2011, he captured the NASCAR Limited Late Model Series championship, before contesting the Whelen Modified Series in 2012. Last year Fittipaldi moved to Europe in the hopes of pursuing a career in Formula 1.
Stewart would like to have Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Eldora (Update)UPDATE Tony Stewart might want a Nationwide or Sprint Cup race at his Eldora Speedway, but NASCAR seems content with having the focus at that track on the Camping World Truck Series.
Enjoying a second consecutive successful truck race, Stewart publicly lobbied through Wednesday for a Nationwide or Cup race at the half-mile dirt track that has about 18,000 seats plus a hillside for general admission.
"This is something that we feel like is very important to the sport," Stewart said. "I think it is the best way we have been able to tie major NASCAR racing to grass-roots racing. … We hope we continue to have this event every year.
V8 Supercar drivers went back to their racing roots at the Ipswich Kart Club today to warm up for this weekend's Coates Hire Ipswich 400.
V8 Supercars pilots Lee Holdsworth and Scott Pye turned back the clock by jumping into a go-kart as part of V8 Supercars donating $5000 to the Ipswich Kart Club's Mayoral Karts Program.
The Mayoral Karts Program is an initiative between the Ipswich Kart Club and Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pissasle and is being developed to give school-aged children the chance to get behind the wheel of a kart and learn vital driving techniques and car control skills before they obtain their road license.
Brickyard 400 attendance between 65K and 85K (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 In this audio interview Robin Miller rips the Brickyard 400 and says there were maybe 50,000 people there (and AR1.com says a 2nd IndyCar race added on Labor Day weekend). He says the race is boring and needs to go away. He says the malaise for oval track racing is everywhere. This year the Speedway placed giant tarps over thousands of seats between Turns 1 and 2, and between Turns 3 and 4, rather than have television cameras showing swaths of empty grandstands.
07/28/14 Indy Star's Curt Cavin also "estimated 30,000" for Saturday's Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250. But a source said that an IMS official "told him 27,000." Still not impressive.
07/28/14 This year’s Nationwide race at Indy drew a mere 15,000 with only a few thousand fans showing up for Friday’s United SportsCar race. Adding those two races to the Brickyard 400 weekend has been a money loser and a waste of time.
With entire grandstands closed off, the Brickyard 400 attendance continues to dwindle
Question: I saw you estimated 85K people for Sunday's Brickyard 400. How accurate do you think that is?
Answer: I'd say it's reasonably close, but I wouldn't be surprised if the count came in at 75,000 or 90,000. My friend Dave Furst of WRTV-6 estimated 65,000, and I think that's probably a tad low, but again, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the actual number. The reality is, it's impossible to know for sure. It's a large facility and people are spread out, some on the infield mounds, some walking around, some arriving late or leaving early. There are suites, too, and I'd expect a lot of them to be occupied on a warm summer afternoon. As I've said in the past, I hate the process of estimating crowd attendance because it goes against the fact-finding exercise journalists are supposed to go through with every other fact we report and distribute.
NEWTON, Iowa – Brad Keselowski will run the NASCAR Nationwide race in Iowa on Saturday, just a day before the Sprint Cup event at Pocono.
Keselowski will make his seventh start in NASCAR's second-tier series this season. Keselowski, who has already won a pair of Nationwide races in 2014, will replace Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 car so Blaney can run a trucks race in Pocono on Saturday.
Keselowski has won twice in four Nationwide races at Iowa Speedway, including the inaugural event in 2009.
Keselowski will fly back to Pennsylvania following Saturday night's race to run the No. 2 car at Pocono on Sunday.
A Chip Ganassi Racing car has won the past five races at Mid-Ohio and the team, which is winless in 2014 is aiming to end its drought at the track. Charlie Kimball, driving the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car, won his first Verizon IndyCar Series race last August.
"You have to give a lot of the credit to the team for the success we've had," said reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who has won four of the past seven races at Mid-Ohio. "The thing that is out of our control is that it changes each year -- the tires are a little different, we changed manufacturers to Chevy this year and development of dampers and the set-up is constant. There are always things you can improve on."
Hands-on development continues as series tries to limit arm injuries INDYCAR continues testing and evaluation of three mechanisms that either independently or in unison could be utilized to reduce the incidence of Verizon IndyCar Series driver hand and wrist injuries.
James Hinchcliffe drove his No. 27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosport car with a steering damper fitted during a 20-car test July 24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to gauge any handling and steering affects. In June, it was installed in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Charlie Kimball at Sebring International Raceway during a test day for the same purposes.
BofA, Hendrick Motorsports Agree To Extend Sponsorship Deal Bank of America and Hendrick Motorsports today formally announced an extension of their sponsorship deal through '15, adding to the agreement a presenting sponsorship of the race team's website and official mobile app. BofA will continue to utilize NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in marketing and advertising materials. Hendrick Motorsports PR
Toronto race is most-watched since 2011 Mike Conway's victory in Race 2 was the most-watched Verizon IndyCar Series race telecast on NBCSN since the 2011 Grand Prix of Baltimore.
Through eight races on NBCSN, viewership is up 46 percent from the 2013 average viewership over eight races.
"INDYCAR is definitely on the upswing, whether it's ratings or putting buns in the seats," Dixon said.
"(This season) has been up and down with so many different drivers winning and even a rookie winning. It's strong for the sport and fun for the fans to see different cars at the front. The competition is the deepest it's ever been. I think it's exciting."
Motorsports This Week on ESPN NASCAR Sprint Cup at Pocono Live on ESPN The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits the "Tricky Triangle," Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., for a 400-mile race on Sunday, Aug. 3, and ESPN will have a live telecast. NASCAR Countdown airs at noon ET with the race’s green flag at 1:19 p.m. Also from Pocono, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practices on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The race also airs live in Canada on TSN and will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on Aug. 4 at 4 a.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider.
Race Team Alliance to add NASCAR teams in fight vs. France family
RTA chairman Rob Kauffman
Race Team Alliance chairman Rob Kauffman said Sunday the rest of NASCAR's full-time teams should soon be added to the group that is working on issues facing the sport.
The RTA formed this month as an alliance of nine of NASCAR's top teams. Kauffman met with other owners this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and says they are on board. The RTA wants to lower costs for NASCAR teams and create one voice on issues.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France this week said the RTA wasn't necessary, and the sanctioning body believes listening "to one voice is just a bad idea."
Gibbs, Stewart-Haas planes bump-draft at Charlotte airport A Joe Gibbs Racing plane collided with a parked plane from Stewart-Haas Racing at Concord Regional Airport on Sunday night as the NASCAR teams were returning to the Charlotte area after Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to the Haas team.
A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team’s empty, parked plane was hit by a Joe Gibbs Racing plane as it was parking. The plane’s wing clipped the tail of the parked SHR plane. No one was hurt, the spokesman said. Charlotte Observer
Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Lineup
Greg Biffle to be #1 driver at Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) lineup will consist of three teams anchored by two-time NASCAR champion Greg Biffle. Biffle, driver of the #16 Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford and also a two-time NASCAR champion will be joined by Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne in the #6 Ford. The lineup features a veteran perennial 'Chase' contender in Biffle - who is currently competing to become the first driver to win a championship at all three of NACAR's premiere series - as well as two of the sport's most promising up and coming drivers.
"I have had the privilege of fielding entries for the world's best race car drivers in NASCAR for nearly 30 years, and feel quite fortunate to have an opportunity to do that again next year," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We have always prided ourselves in developing talent at Roush Fenway, and our 2015 line-up is a testament to the success of our organization in that respect. Greg Biffle is one of the most purely talented racers I've ever seen behind the wheel of a car, and his experience combined with the raw natural abilities, enthusiasm and desire in both Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne have me very excited for the future. Although we still have a lot to accomplish this year, both John Henry and I are looking forward to going to the track in 2015 with this blend of veteran leadership and youthful potential."
Fastenal to Serve as Primary Partner for Stenhouse in 2015 Roush Fenway Racing announced that long-time partner Fastenal will team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., serving as the anchor sponsor on the #17 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for a multi-year agreement beginning next season. Fastenal first joined with Roush Fenway in 2010 and has served as a primary partner for multiple Roush Fenway teams and drivers in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NSCS. "Fastenal is a first class partner and we are extremely pleased to have them team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 team starting next year," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "Ricky has accomplished a great deal in a short time, and continues to improve each week. We have very high expectations for his success in the future and I'm thrilled that Fastenal will be a part of that."
Ford Racing Statement on Carl Edwards Departure Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing - "Carl Edwards has been a part of the Ford family for a decade, and it will certainly be tough to see him leave Ford and Roush Fenway Racing. During Carl's time with Roush, he has represented Ford Motor Company with the utmost class, both on and off the track. We at Ford Racing did everything to facilitate keeping Carl a part of the Ford Racing & Roush Fenway family, but in the end that option did not come to fruition. While we are disappointed in his decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing, we certainly want to extend our appreciation for Carl's contributions winning races and a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in a Ford, and especially for his outreach to Ford fans. That said, with this decision out of the way, our plan for 2014 has not changed. We will go forward strongly with our stated goal of securing a NASCAR championship for Ford." Ford Racing
Leading politicians pile pressure on F1 to cancel October's Russian GP (Update)UPDATE Deputy British PM Nick Clegg demanded that organizers of the Russian Grand Prix "be stripped of the right to host the race." While Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, was not speaking for the government in his call for the race to be canceled, "it now poses the question as to what Downing Street's view is." Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander had previously said that FIFA "should be making contingency plans for moving the 2018 World Cup due to be held in Russia, suggesting Labour may also be against the grand prix in Sochi." TELEGRAPH
Bernie will take anyone's money, even dictators like Putin
Senior politicians cast doubt on the Russian Grand Prix on Tuesday night and called for the race to be cancelled. The event in Sochi has been thrust into the limelight after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine, killing 298 people, with the sport anxiously watching developments.
On the day relations between Britain and Russia plummeted further, with a public inquiry into the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, F1 has come under attack from politicians and academics.
Conservative MP David Davis, a former minister in the Foreign Office and shadow home secretary, said that the race on Oct 12 should be called off. "If Russia continues as they have been doing, then the grand prix is one of many things that they should be denied,” he said. "The morally proper thing to do is put the race on hold.
New war erupts between F1 teams and media (GMM) Lewis Hamilton versus Nico Rosberg is not the only raging battle in formula one.
Red Bull's Christian Horner lost his temper with "the negativities" being spread by journalists during the Friday press conference in Hungary.
"All we do is focus on the negatives and it has to be said, it gets pretty boring for us to sit up here and field these questions," he said.
Not only that, amid some alarming TV ratings and dwindling crowds for the Hockenheim-Hungaroring double-header, it is believed the issue of the media's role to play was discussed at length during Bernie Ecclestone's meeting with key teams on Saturday.
Rosberg ran down Hamilton but needed one more lap to pass him
(GMM) A thriller at the Hungaroring has thrown fresh fuel on the simmering relations between Mercedes' championship rivals and teammates.
On Saturday, his charred W05 in the background, Lewis Hamilton had expected his 14-point deficit to blow out well beyond 20 by the end of Sunday's race.
Actually, Nico Rosberg's lead has shrunk to 11, with the German's easy control of the race ending with an untimely safety car, and his progress then thwarted when Hamilton refused to obey a repeated team order to let the sister car past.
"Why is he not letting me through?" Rosberg, on a different strategy, asked on the radio.
Vandoorne flies to victory in Budapest McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne delighted both ART and his F1 supporters with a crushing display of dominance in this morning’s sprint race in Budapest, taking the lead at the start and pulling away over the next 28 laps to easily lead home title rivals Jolyon Palmer and Williams tester Felipe Nasr to put himself third in the drivers’ standings.
The result was set up when the lights went out: Vandoorne had a solid start from P2 to edge into the lead despite a great start from Nasr, who followed the Belgian through poleman Nathanael Berthon at turn one with Daniel Abt, Palmer, yesterday’s winner Arthur Pic, Conor Daly (courtesy of a tremendous start from P13) and Marco Sorensen behind them.
Magnussen and Hamilton to start from pitlane Sunday Kevin Magnussen admits he is facing an uphill task in Sunday's Hungarian GP following his mistake in Q3.
The McLaren driver looked set for a decent position on the grid, but it started to rain during the final qualifying session and he failed to react quickly enough in wet conditions.
Just moments after Nico Rosberg's Mercedes went wide at Turn 1 due to the damp track, the Dane also went sliding off in the same area. However, while Rosberg managed to get his car back on track, Magnussen went side-on into the tire barriers causing quite a lot of damage to his chassis.
McLaren have been forced to change his chassis and gearbox, which will result in a start from the pitlane.
Brickyard 400 Saturday notebook Kevin Harvick set a new track record and won the pole position Saturday for the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
During the first knockout qualifying session, Harvick posted a lap of 188.889 mph in his No. 4 Jimmy John's Chevrolet, which bettered the previous standard of 187.531 mph set last year by Ryan Newman, who won from the pole at the 2013 Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
Harvick secured the pole position in the third knockout qualifying session with his lap of 188.470 mph. Harvick also won the pole at IMS in 2003 prior to winning the race the next day.
Pic keeps cool in Budapest scorcher Arthur Pic has claimed his maiden GP2 win with a remarkable drive in difficult conditions, keeping cool as two safety car periods threw everyone’s strategies out the window and pushing when needed to pick up the victory in today’s feature race in Budapest ahead of Stefano Coletti and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
The start suggested a very different race when series leader Jolyon Palmer blasted past the Campos pair of Pic and Kimiya Sato to slot in behind the front row starters Felipe Nasr and Tom Dillmann, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello also swamping Pic into turn one as the Frenchman just held off Johnny Cecotto: Palmer eased by a slower Dillmann next time by and it looked like the result had almost been written.
Hamilton's hopes up in flames in Hungary (GMM) Lewis Hamilton's championship hopes went up in Mercedes-flavored fire on Saturday.
Far from keeping his target of a Hungaroring hat-trick on pole position, having aced every practice session this weekend, the Briton's silver Mercedes erupted in flames with a fuel leak at the very start of Q1.
"I feel so bad for Lewis because this is such a tight championship," said team boss Toto Wolff, speaking exactly a week after Hamilton's qualifying crash at Hockenheim caused by brake failure. "I'm gutted."
Ford, FBI investigating former engineer for possible espionage
Leach acknowledged hiding recording devices under tables to help her transcribe meetings, her lawyer said. "It didn’t involve anything of a spying nature,” Tauber told the News. “She wanted to record conversations of meetings she attended but didn’t know how to do it. She was insecure about her note-taking."
A longtime engineer recently fired by Ford Motor Co. is being investigated for possible espionage by the company and FBI after the discovery of listening devices installed at the company's headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
A lawyer for the mechanical engineer told the The Detroit News, which reported the probe earlier today, that officials in charge of security at Ford feared the engineer was stealing trade secrets by hiding and using recording devices in conference rooms.
The News, citing a copy of one of the search warrants used to search Ford's headquarters, identified the former engineer as Sharon Leach, 43, of Wyandotte, Mich.
The FBI searched Leach’s home on June 20 and seized more than two dozen items, the paper said.
Fox and NBC, what were they thinking? NASCAR Sprint Cup Television ratings are spiraling downward even with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the midst of a career year and Jeff Gordon a strong contender to win his fifth championship. Fifteen of the first 16 races saw a drop in ratings (excluding three races that were either delayed a day or moved from network to cable because of rain).
Despite no longer being made public, NASCAR Sprint Cup attendance continues to decline. Wide swaths of empty seats have been visible at several tracks. Dover International Speedway's CEO apologized in the pre-race drivers' meeting for the lack of spectators prior to the June 1 event. Venues such as Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway have combated this by removing seats. Daytona has gone so far as to remove a whole section of grandstands.
Now think about the record television deal that kicks in next season. One which FOX and NBC will pay a combined $8.2 billion to broadcast Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races for the next 10 years and you have to think the brass at Fox and NBC must be kicking themselves for bidding so high for a sport in decline.
Hamilton accuses team of sabotaging his Mercedes (Update)UPDATE Video of Hamilton's car on fire. On his first lap at the Hungaroring, the 29-year-old slowed before crawling into the pit lane with smoke and flames bellowing out of the back of his Mercedes. His engineer tells him to jump out of the car.
Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 qualifying woes continued at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday when a fuel leak in Q1 caused his Mercedes car to burst in to flames.
Fire marshals attended to the fire when Hamilton stopped in the pit lane entry, but the damage to his car was extensive.
Hamilton was hugely disappointed with his second successive car problem in qualifying, having suffered brake failure in Q1 at last weekend's German Grand Prix.
"I think it is getting to the point where it is beyond bad luck," said Hamilton, who will start 21st on the grid, as if to say that it's not bad luck but the German team sabotaging the Brits car. While he did not say that specifically, reading between the lines it sure appears that was his intent.
Rain delays final practice session at Indy Heavy rain Saturday morning will have Sprint Cup teams scrambling as their final practice session will be shortened, and possibly completely washed out, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A 30-minute storm Saturday soaked the track, delaying the 9-10:50 a.m. session. Nationwide Series qualifying is set for 12:10 p.m. followed by Cup qualifying at 2:10 and then the Nationwide race at 4:50 p.m.
Rain also could threaten the Crown Royal 400 on Sunday.
NASCAR Closes Fueling Loophole NASCAR issued a technical bulletin to teams this week with some new language regarding where fuel filler cans could be filled at the track. The new rule basically states that fuel cans can only be filled at the designated Sunoco fueling stations in the infield. This move by NASCAR closes a loophole that some teams were exploiting on pit road to get an advantage with fueling during pit stops.
These days, when discussing fueling during pit stops, teams talk about things like head pressure and flow rates. It’s all fancy terminology used to describe how teams can get the fuel out of the cans and into the cars faster. What teams discovered, is that filling cans as full as possible allows the fuel to flow faster from them. But when cans get filled at the Sunoco stations at the track, they aren’t filled to capacity. The Sunoco workers put approximately the same amount of fuel in each can, which leaves a little extra space. Crew members were then taking these cans to pit road, and adding extra fuel to them from storage cans.
If the Hulman George family had any common sense whatsoever, they would kick all the non-IndyCar events out of the Brickyard and run two IndyCar races only - the Indy 500 and an Indy 400 to close out the IndyCar season. They don't
It was a royal wedding that thundered and resounded around the planet -- "a really, really, really a big deal in the racing world, all over the world," Richard Petty remembered Friday.
It was the marriage of America's most popular motorsport, NASCAR, to the world's most hallowed track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During the two-year engagement, first with a private test and then a public one, anticipation had become an electric groundswell.
And finally, in 1994, the green flag dropped to the thunder of 300,000-plus fans who had packed every cranny of the massive grandstands, after buying all the seats within 24 hours after they went on sale. And it wouldn't have taken that long had the demand not overloaded Indianapolis Motor Speedway's computer system.
Now? Well. You know. A 20-year marriage just isn't the same as it was the day the bells rang. There is still, uh, mutual respect, and ... uh ... some mutual love.
For the second straight season, a Ferrari 458 Italia crossed the world-famous yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in first position.
Friday evening’s Brickyard Grand Prix saw the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia go from a starting position of ninth in the GT-Daytona class to first at the drop of the checkered flag. Starting driver Jeff Westphal advanced as high as first place, before Alessandro Balzan took the Ferrari to the checkered flag, scoring their second win of the season.
The win is the tenth for the Ferrari 458 in North American endurance racing, and the third in this season’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Ferrari now leads the GT-Daytona manufacturer championship standings.
IndyCar driver Newgarden Enters Formula Ford Festival Verizon IndyCar star Josef Newgarden, the only American to ever win in the famed Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, has been confirmed to participate in the Sports Car Club of America Formula F 45th Anniversary at Barber Motorsports Park Aug. 9-10.
Newgarden will race on Sunday in a Honda-powered Piper Formula F, and participate as a speaker in the Formula F birthday celebration on Saturday night.
Newgarden will take a break from his current job as the driver of the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda to return to his roots for the weekend. The prestigious Team USA scholarship selection in 2008 allowed Newgarden to win the Formula Ford festival (Kent class) and spend a season racing in the British Formula Ford series, among other rides. The Nashville native returned stateside in 2011, and began his IndyCar career in 2012.
Fittipaldi Earns Victory 19 Years After Indianapolis 500 Debut
LAT Photo for IMSA
The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP team used outright speed to take the lead in Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then used pit strategy to put an exclamation point on a day that ended with drivers Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa kissing the circuit’s famed “yard of bricks.”
Barbosa took the Prototype lead from Jordan Taylor with 48 minutes remaining and never looked back, maintaining a healthy lead for much of his stint while also conserving fuel. When the Prototype contenders hit pit road with less than 20 minutes remaining, Barbosa was able to stay out and took the checkered flag 48.964 seconds ahead of the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP of Scott Pruett.
The winning Viper of Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer
LAT Photo for IMSA
SRT Motorsports drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer stood atop the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium after scoring the first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory for the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R on Friday in the Brickyard Grand Prix.
Bomarito qualified the car third and yielded to Wittmer to start the race. With 44 minutes elapsed in the two-hour and 45-minute race, Bomarito took over behind the wheel. Just over an hour later, Bomarito passed Nick Tandy in the Porsche 911 RSR for the lead and held it until the checkered flag.
"I was second in 2012, and I've got to tell you, I was pretty jealous watching those guys kiss the bricks," said Bomarito. "To come back here and experience that first hand with the team…everybody that is part of this team was out there kissing the bricks. I hope, and I know, it drives everyone to push even harder between now and the race at Road America."
Hungarian GP: Mercedes again 1-2 in final practice
Hamilton again fastest
As we said yesterday, every driver has 'their' track and Lewis Hamilton owns the Hungaroring. Hamilton has led every practice session, including the final one this morning as he topped Saturday morning free practice.
The Mercedes driver knocked teammate Nico Rosberg off top spot with four minutes remaining.
Rosberg was just 47-thousandths behind as the two Mercedes drivers continue to make a mockery of F1 with their 130 HP advantage as F1 fans fall asleep from the boredom.
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