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Red Bull controversies 'boring tactic' - Webber  (GMM)  Mark Webber has described the high profile of technical controversies involving Red Bull as a "tactic" deployed by rival teams.

This week, a reportedly "furious" Ferrari hit back at Helmut Marko's claim that the Italian team was also caught with a hand-adjuster in its 2012 single seater.

Marko's claim followed the most recent technical controversy involving Red Bull, with the sagas so far in 2012 involving hand-adjusted ride heights, engine mapping, holes in the floor, and others. More ...

Sauber not worried about 2013 driver situation  (GMM)  Sauber is "laid back" about its driver situation for 2013.

That is the claim of chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn, despite reports Kamui Kobayashi has underperformed, Sergio Perez is on Ferrari's radar, and Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen could be joining the Swiss team next year.

"We are not worried," she told F1's official website, when asked about speculation Mexican Perez could be lured to a bigger team off the back of his good performances in 2012. More ...

Good news from F1 hosts Austin and Russia  (GMM)  There is good news from new formula one hosts in Texas as well as Sochi, Russia.

Austin's new Circuit of the Americas announced that three-day general admission tickets for its inaugural grand prix in November have sold out.

US media reports said the venue estimates a whopping 120,000 spectators will attend on all three days of the race weekend.

"Worldwide fan interest has been remarkable," spokesman Geoff Moore said. More ...

IndyCar Mid-Ohio: Power tops opening practice  UPDATE
Will Power
Team Penske's Will Power set the pace as IZOD IndyCar Series teams began preparations for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Power, who is third in the championship standings entering Round 12, had a quick lap of 1 minute, 6.8632 seconds - which was just off the IZOD IndyCar Series lap time record on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Scott Dixon, who has won three of the past five races at Mid-Ohio in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, was second quick (1:07.0213) and Marco Andretti was third (1:07.0644) in the No. 26 Team RC Cola car. Simon Pagenaud was fourth (1:07.1063) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, and Graham Rahal finished fifth (1:07.1088) in the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing car. More ...
Vautier leads Indy Lights practice at Trois-Rivieres  TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec  - Three drivers with plenty of experience on the street course in Trois Rivieres  led the opening day practice at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres.

Tristan Vautier, who won one of the two Star Mazda races in 2011, led the way with a lap of 58.1293 seconds on his final lap in the 45-minute practice session. The Frenchman's lap was  .0864 of a second faster than Belardi Auto Racing's Peter Dempsey. More ...

Car 98 - Unapproved Engine Change  The #98 entry of Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian driven by Alex Tagliani has been issued a 10 spot grid penalty for Sunday’s IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio for an unapproved engine change.
Ganassi drivers to be featured on cereal boxes  The Team Target drivers Dario Franchitti (INDYCAR), Scott Dixon (INDYCAR) and Juan Pablo Montoya (NASCAR) will be the new faces on select Kellogg’s brand packaging nationwide starting August 19.  The dynamic trio, who has given Target and Chip Ganassi Racing 45 career wins, including four in the Indianapolis 500  and six championships, will now be featured on limited-edition Kellogg’s foods, including Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and Vrooms cereal, which will all be sold for a limited time only at Target stores.

Through the Target Racing relationship, partner Kellogg’s will activate their relationship away from the race track for the first time with driver imagery on packaging that will include driver images, tidbits, fun facts and games – all tying into an on-pack sweepstakes where one lucky fan will win the “Ultimate Racing Experience” prize package and attend a NASCAR or INDYCAR race in 2013.

NASCAR Brickyard TV ratings  The final TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Crown Royal 400 at Indy last Sunday on ESPN was a 3.3 with 5.055 million viewers tuned in.  This represents a drop of 17.5% from last year's 4.0 final rating and 6.377 million viewers.

The final TV rating for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at Indy last Saturday on ESPN was a 1.4 with 2.025 million viewers tuned in.

track news
Austin first layer of asphalt is complete  Excitement levels are rising at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA), which will be hosting the returning United States Grand Prix in mid-November. The first full lap of tarmac has now been laid on the inside line of the track.

The process, known as ‘marrying the track’, took place on the start/finish straight, as the first phase of asphalting was completed between the first and last corners of the circuit. More ...

Austin General Admission tickets sold out  Circuit of The Americas announced Friday that, due to "overwhelming demand," it has concluded sales of three-day general admission tickets to the inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix set for Nov. 16-18 at the new purpose-built circuit outside Austin, Texas.

“Worldwide fan interest has been remarkable, with guests in every U.S. state and 37 foreign countries purchasing tickets since our public sales began three months ago,” said COTA chief marketing and revenue officer Geoff Moore. “We've allocated the maximum number of tickets we feel comfortable selling in our general admission areas to ensure guests who will be viewing the races from the grassy berms and numerous public spaces have a great experience and easy access to services and accommodations. More ...
Pirelli opposed to tire war  Pirelli's Paul Hembery has indicated that the manufacturer may leave the sport if they aren't the sole tire supplier.

The Italian company took over as the sole supplier to F1 at the beginning of last year, with Bridgestone following Michelin in leaving the sport.

Pirelli's tenure has been dogged by controversy, with many saying that they have turned F1 into a lottery and called for the return of competing manufacturers. More ...

track news
Woman sues Daytona International Speedway over tram crash  A woman who claims she was hurt badly in a wreck while a guest during the 2011 Rolex 24 is suing Daytona International Speedway.

The suit filed by Dena Barton of Longwood states she was visiting the Speedway on Jan. 29, 2011, as a passenger in a tram towed by a new Chevy pickup.

The suit alleges the pickup driver, Angela Warren, a Speedway employee, "negligently operated" the truck while going through a tunnel at the race track, causing a crash. More ...

Shank wants Allmendinger in Grand-Am car  
Allmendinger (center) was on Shank's winning team at this year's Rolex 24.
What's next for AJ Allmendinger? During a short telephone interview with FOXSports.com on Wednesday, Allmendinger expressed regret as well as gratitude for the outpouring of support from fans, which he acknowledged "helped me get through all of this." He said he has met with the administrator for NASCAR's Road to Recovery program and was given a "road map" to follow throughout the process.

Team owner Michael Shank, who campaigns in the NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and won the Rolex 24 with Allmendinger behind the wheel at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 29, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he would field a car for the driver once he satisfies the sanctioning body's requirements for reinstatement. "He has to go through the Road to Recovery - which we all accept and we all agree with," Shank said. "That process, I'm told, can take anywhere from a month to three months. We'll be testing in Daytona in October and November with the Daytona prototype and some new stuff we have from Ford Racing coming. If that's the case, as soon as NASCAR says it's been satisfied, we'll get him back in." Fox Sports
Kid Rock to serve as Pure Michigan 400 Grand Marshal  Rock and Roll is coming to Michigan International Speedway, the fastest track in NASCAR.  Recording artist, and Michigan resident, Kid Rock has been named this year’s Pure Michigan 400 Grand Marshal.

Known for his award-winning music and philanthropic efforts, Kid Rock will say the most famous words in racing, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” in his role as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on August 19. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Daniel Ricciardo
    Ricciardo expects to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013
  • FIA bans Enge for 18 months after drugs test
  • 'Furious' Ferrari denies Marko's hand-adjuster claim
  • F1 gearing up for August shutdown
  • Now McLaren working on 'double DRS' system
  • Valencia aims for F1 return in 2014
  • 'Why would Kimi want to be a No 2?' More ...
Honda unveils new WTCC engine  
Japanese automaker Honda "unveiled a new racing engine," which it will use in its Word Touring Car Champion cars that are based on the Civic model during the '13 season. The engine called "HR412E" was developed at the Honda Research and Development Center in Tochigi, Japan. It is "a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with a turbo charger and gasoline direct injection." Honda will test its car and engine in three races during the '12 WTCC season, Suzuka, Shanghai and Macao, before fully joining the racing series for the '13 season. More ...
Click here: Dodge skipping Martinsville test with no 2013 teams lined up  While Dodge has a car approved for 2013, it will skip the first tire test for the 2013 car next week at Martinsville Speedway. Dodge is still looking for teams to campaign its 2013 Dodge Charger in Sprint Cup. Its only manufacturer-backed team, Penske Racing, announced in March that it would switch to Ford. Since that announcement, Dodge has continued to meet all the deadlines and work on its 2013 body despite not having a team signed for 2013.

“Earlier this week, NASCAR announced that all four manufacturers have met the necessary targets for their 2013 Sprint Cup Series race cars,” said Beth Paretta, director of marketing and operations for the SRT Brand and Motorsports.

“Due to the lack of time to prepare for the on-track test for the 2013 cars scheduled next week at Martinsville, we have elected to forgo that test opportunity.” More ...
Firestone Previews M-O IndyCar race  
Race Distance
: 191.9 miles/308.9 kilometers (85 laps on the 2.258-mile/3.634-km permanent road course).

Television/Radio Broadcast: Live – Sunday, August 5, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC, IMS Radio Network, Sirius Radio 212 and XM Radio 94.

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:

·    Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 636, each entry receives five sets (20 total tires); More ...

Conquest team announces deal with DrivingXllence  Conquest Endurance is proud to announce that it has partnered with DrivingXllence (DXL), the leader in premiere exotic car driving experiences in North America and Europe, for the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. 

DrivingXllence allows guests to experience the exhilaration, adrenaline, and lifestyle of being behind the wheel of the world’s newest and best Supercars. The tours take guests through the top driving roads and racetracks in North America and Europe while enjoying the best lodging and culinary experiences. More ...

Marsal Returns to ALMS Competition with Dyson Racing  Michael Marsal will be back in race action this weekend as his busy summer continues at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for his third American Le Mans Series race start with Dyson Racing in the No. 20 Mazda B11/66 Lola.

While the event may mark Marsal’s first time driving the prototype machine around the challenging 2.4-mile Ohio road course, Marsal is no stranger to Mid-Ohio with four starts at the track already under his belt. More ...

Muscle Milk's Luhr Sets Mid-Ohio Pace in Testing  
Lucas Luhr
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s try for a fifth straight victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n is off to a good start. Lucas Luhr set the fastest time in testing Thursday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – a 1:12.331 (112.383 mph) in the team’s No. 6 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a.

Luhr and Klaus Graf’s winning streak dates back to Long Beach in April. They enter Mid-Ohio leading the ALMS’ P1 championship by 12 points over Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. Class winners in Saturday’s race earn 20 points, and the Graf/Luhr won here last season. More ...

Ferrari also had hand-adjuster - Marko  UPDATE Ferrari says Marko's claims are incorrect – and that the outfit has never run anything like that.

"This is completely untrue," a team spokesman told AUTOSPORT in reference to Marko's comments.

When asked for a response to Red Bull's suggestions that it broke the rules, the Ferrari spokesman added: "Did they really accuse us of cheating? Are you sure? Anyway, we have all the confidence in the FIA's role to make sure all the regulations are fully respected." More ...

Enge nailed for prohibited substance use  
Tomas Enge
Hot on the heels of NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger getting nailed, former Prost driver Tomas Enge has been banned from motor racing for the period of a year and a half. The Czech, now 35, raced in three Formula 1 Grands Prix for Prost in 2001 and had been spending this year in the FIA GT1 World Championship.

“Greetings to all of my fans and supporters,” he writes on his personal Facebook page. “I would like to inform you about the punishment that was given to me for using freely available drugs. As I informed you after the race in Navarra, banned substances were found…according to strict anti-doping legislation, the athlete is responsible for even unconscious use of a prohibited substance or its use by negligence.” More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Update shown in red below.

  • Kimi Raikkonen
    Former drivers impressed by Raikkonen in 2012
  • Nurburgring future looking brighter this week
  • Perez pushes Ferrari for 2013 seat decision
  • Alguersuari picks Alonso for third F1 title
  • 2012 sagas 'binding Red Bull together' - Vettel New

Former drivers impressed by Raikkonen in 2012
(GMM)  Former F1 driver Karl Wendlinger has admitted he has been impressed with Kimi Raikkonen in 2012. More ...

tv news
Earnhardt Jr. Sit-Down Interview Airs Sunday  SPEED host Steve Byrnes sits down with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. this weekend at Pocono Raceway in an extended interview whose first segments air on Sunday’s NASCAR RaceDay (10 a.m. ET).

Byrnes, host of NASCAR Race Hub, will cover topics ranging from Earnhardt’s assumption of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points lead last week at Indianapolis to his pursuit of his first Cup Series championship.

Additional segments of the interview will run next week on NASCAR Race Hub, which airs Mondays-Thursdays at 6 p.m. ET.

GM announces 2Q profit decrease  General Motors Co. today announced second quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 billion, or $0.90 per fully diluted share. In the second quarter a year ago, GM's net income attributable to common stockholders was $2.5 billion, or $1.54 per fully diluted share.

Net revenue in the second quarter of 2012 was $37.6 billion, compared with $39.4 billion in the second quarter of 2011. The decrease was due almost entirely to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus other major currencies. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $2.1 billion, compared with $3.0 billion in the second quarter of 2011. Total restructuring expense included in EBIT-adjusted for the second quarter of 2012 was $0.1 billion.

“Our results in North America, our International Operations and at GM Financial were solid but we clearly have more work to do to offset the headwinds we face, especially in regions like Europe and South America,” said GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “Despite the challenging environment, GM has now achieved 10 consecutive quarters of profitability, which is a milestone the company has not achieved in more than a decade.”

NASCAR excuses for poor ratings and attendance are getting pretty thin  
A massive crowd at Indy for another failing France family series- Grand-Am.  They raced but almost nobody came.
As the crowds in the grandstands and the number of viewers on television for NASCAR races seemingly get thinner and thinner, so do the excuses as to why such is the case. After the television ratings for the snooze fest known as the Brickyard 400 came in on Tuesday, the networks and the sanctioning body quickly embraced the idea that the Olympics were the cause of a 17% drop off from the same race last year.

Apparently, America’s appetite for Olympic rowing and beach volleyball simply overwhelmed ESPN’s coverage of the Sprint Cup race from the famed track. Luckily, the Olympics only come around once every four years or else NASCAR would probably revert back to a radio only sport as its television viewers would be unable to take their eyes off of weight lifting, judo and skeet shooting long enough to watch racing. More ...

AJ Allmendinger gave Roger Penske little choice  
Allmendinger in 2006 with his future wife Lynn Kushnirenko.  Even she has dumped him.  AJ ruined his career when he switched to NASCAR, winning nothing, getting a DWI, failing a drug test and now losing his beautiful wife and his FIA license.  There's always swamp buggy racing.
Brad Keselowski was right three weeks ago when he said the failed drug test by Penske Racing teammate AJ Allmendinger was a "death sentence."

Team owner Roger Penske was right on Wednesday when he let Allmendinger go.

He had no choice, really.

In a world dictated by sponsors and perception, in a world where the participant is more of a danger to others than in arguably any other sport if under the influence of drugs, there is no room for violators of the substance abuse policy. More ...

Desperate NASCAR track owners are trying everything to bring fans back  The roar of 43 rumbling stock cars remains the main attraction. But to combat sagging attendance, NASCAR track operators are adding personal touches to make races more enjoyable for fans — and to keep them from staying home and watching on TV. 
From concerts to paved parking lots to improved Wi-Fi, tracks are enhancing entertainment options to fill their increasingly empty grandstands.

"That's why we're here: the fans," said Roger Curtis, president of Michigan International Speedway. "If there's no fans, none of this is happening. Nothing. Zero. They have to know that we sincerely care and that we're not just cashing the checks and taking the money and walking off." More ...

Fans could not give away tickets to Brickyard 400  
A sparse crowd watches the action along the main straightaway at the Brickyard 400 on Sunday
Doug McSchooler, The Indianapolis Star
Fans couldn't give tickets away for Sunday's Brickyard 400, according to The Indianapolis Star, a thud of a finish for Indianapolis Motor Speedway's "Super Weekend" push.

The Indianapolis Star The NASCAR Sprint Cup race won by Jimmie Johnson was seen by 125,000 fans, according to a NASCAR estimate ( a generous number). The total was a hefty bite lower than last year's 138,000 and continues the free-fall from the 280,000 that watched the race in 2005. More ...

Marco Andretti's Home Tour  This was formerly his father's house.
Trevor Bayne to Appear on “Good Morning America”  Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, will make a special appearance on “Good Morning America” Thursday, August 2, on ABC at 8:30 am ET. Bayne was a guest on the popular show last March after his improbable Daytona 500 win.  The segment will feature Bayne and the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion.

Bayne’s historic Daytona 500 victory as a 20-year-old in only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start last season propelled him into the spotlight and on a whirlwind media tour from Los Angeles to New York City.

[Editor's Note: Besides backing into a lucky Daytona 500 win, what has this driver done to warrant being on Good Morning America?  Did someone grease ABC's pockets in the way of a big advertising buy?]

track news
Speedway Motorsports Today Reports Higher Q2 Revenue, Profit  Speedway Motorsports Inc. today reported that it had "rebounded from a second-quarter loss last year to post" a $27M Q2 profit. Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $181M, up from $153M in the year-ago period when the company incurred a $48.6M one-time goodwill impairment charge. SMI saw increases "in every revenue category during the quarter." Admissions revenue increased to $39M, up from $31M, while event-related revenue rose to $55.6M, up from $51.9M. NASCAR broadcasting revenue rose to $78M, up from $62.4M.
Australian F1 Grand Prix Exposure Worth $204M A Year To Host City Melbourne  Research by Formula Money has revealed that the Australian F1 Grand Prix “has generated" more than $816M for Melbourne over the past four years, according to PITPASS.com. That averages to $204.1M per race. Exposure to the 515 million unique viewers who tune into F1 race broadcasts annually is one of the main reasons that venues around the world compete to host grand prix.

The ’12 total includes $145.1M of exposure of the city itself during broadcasts of the race; $3.2M through exposure of Melbourne-branded trackside hoardings during race and qualifying coverage; $45.7M of exposure of branding through news and sports highlights programs; and $23.1M of exposure from global print media coverage of the event. F1 is "broadcast in 187 markets worldwide," which gives Melbourne unparalleled exposure as no other int'l annual series has this level of coverage across free-to-air networks.

The race in Melbourne's Albert Park "receives significant print media coverage from hosting the Australian Grand Prix, and this leads to a boom in coverage of the city during March, the month in which the race takes place." During the last three years, March has averaged more than 38,000 monthly articles. In contrast, April averaged only 33,700 articles and February 33,200.  PITPASS.com
Dixon hopes to remain master of Mid-Ohio  
Scott Dixon
There's a simple explanation as to why Scott Dixon has been successful on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: "It seems to suit my style," the New Zealander said.

Dixon has won three of the five IZOD IndyCar Series races on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, and he'll need another strong effort in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car this weekend in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio to close the gap in the series championship chase.

Dixon trails front-runner Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport by 51 points - equivalent to earning the pole and winning the race - in the standings. In between are Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves (-23 points) and Will Power (-26). More ...

Maryeve Dufault Back in the Car at Pocono Raceway  
Maryeve Dufault
Canadian racecar driver Maryeve Dufault today announced her return to ARCA competition driving car #40 M5 Sports Entertainment/Descendo Fine Art/Dodge for CM2 Motorsports this weekend  at Pocono Raceway in the Pennsylvania ARCA 125.

Maryeve made her ARCA debut in 2011 when she earned one top-10 and six top-13 finishes in her first year of Stock Car racing. She improved from her starting position in eight of the 15 races she contested, earning two “Hard Charger” awards.  This weekend’s race at Pocono will be her first in 2012, “I am so excited to be back in the car, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.  I had a competitive rookie year last year, I had a lot of good races, and I just can’t wait to get back on the racetrack. It will be special to make my return at Pocono, it’s one of my favorite tracks.” More ...

Penske fires Allmendinger  UPDATE The following statement should be attributed to Penske Racing:

Penske Racing announced today that AJ Allmendinger has been released as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series.  Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week for a positive drug test. 

"Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR's substance abuse policy and we are disappointed with AJ's positive drug test results," said Roger Penske. "AJ is a terrific driver, a good person and it is very unfortunate that we have to separate at this time.  We have invested greatly in AJ and we were confident in his success with our team.  The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances.  As AJ begins NASCAR's ‘Road to Recovery’ program, we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him compete again in NASCAR." More ...

IndyCar moves to stop P2P as a defense mechanism  Surprise and strategy will accentuate the push-to-pass system for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 5.

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, will introduce a five-second delay to the overtake assist for the 85-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. A total of 100 seconds will be afforded drivers, with a maximum of 20 seconds per activation. There's no recharge time between activations.

"After that five seconds, when the driver gets to full throttle or already is at full throttle, the overtake will come on. That's to stop from using it as a push to defend," said Trevor Knowles, INDYCAR's director of engine development. "They'll have to plan ahead." More ...

Carpenter Enjoys His Dual Role with ECR  
Ed Carpenter - out to lunch on the road courses
Ed Carpenter’s dual role in 2012 has been a challenge for the only team owner and driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

But the Butler University graduate has enjoyed almost every minute so far.

Carpenter’s incredible charge from 28th to third in the Indianapolis 500 was one of the highlights this year for the driver, team owner and his team.  Only the Indy finish (21st) wasn’t what he wanted.

“We had a good run going at Indianapolis and we were in the top three with 25 laps to go,” said Carpenter, owner/driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. “But we ultimately spun out as we were fighting a front wing issue all day. We haven’t had the standout result we have been looking for this year yet.  Hopefully we’ll have a chance at a victory.  But the experience has been fun.” More ...

NASCAR schedules tests for 2013 cars  Cup teams will have the 2013 model for an Aug. 7-8 test at Martinsville Speedway that is aimed at rules tweaks to make the cars lighter and help Goodyear develop tires with more grip to improve racing. The 2013 car also will be tested Oct. 4 at Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 9-10 at Texas Motor Speedway and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway. Dodge is taking part in the tests. The manufacturer hasn't announced any replacements for Penske Racing, which will join Ford next year.  USA Today
Dale Jr. is NASCAR  If NASCAR were to lose Dale Earnhardt Jr., one has to wonder if it would collapse.  This year, Action Racing Collectables (ARC), the popular die-cast brand owned by Lionel NASCAR Collectables, celebrates its 20th year of producing NASCAR die-cast cars. In July of 1992, Action began marketing its first die-cast product. Since then, the brand has become part and parcel of the racing world. To celebrate the 20-year milestone of Action Racing Collectables (ARC), Lionel NASCAR Collectables is releasing an ARC 20th Anniversary Commemorative die-cast. This 1:24 scale special edition die-cast is deco'd with the 20th Year logo and marks. More ...
Lotus LMP2 shows first photo of the new Lotus T128  
Lotus LMP2 prototype
Lotus LMP2 is working with full determination on the development of its own LMP2 car that already has taken advanced shape.

Tests in the wind tunnel already took place and more will follow in the next weeks in order to complete first test runs just after the season final of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

A study of the new Lotus LMP2 sports car has been shown in June and now there is a first picture showing the new Lotus T128 during wind tunnel tests and giving a first impression of the look of the new racing car.

The sports car prototype has been developed in accordance with the new regulations set by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and will be a state of the art car in terms of aerodynamics and monocoque design. The Lotus T128 can be run by customer teams in many sports car race series all over the world, for example in FIA World Endurance Championship or the Le Mans Series in Europe, America and Asia.

track news
ISC to install fiber optic cable networks at tracks  International Speedway Corporation is working with American Tower Corporation and Corning Cable Systems, to design and install fiber optic cable networks supporting the deployment of distributed antenna systems at 12 of ISC's major motorsports facilities. "We are committed to enhancing the fan experience at all of our major motorsports facilities to better grow ISC's business," stated ISC's Vice President, Multi-Channel Marketing and Chief Information Officer, Craig Neeb.

"Our customers want greater ability to communicate using their wireless devices when they attend our events. We too want the ability to connect with these customers as they enter our motorsport facilities with timely information to enhance their event day experience." Under the terms of the agreement, American Tower will design and install DAS and other wireless infrastructure solutions at ISC's motorsports facilities to enhance wireless signal strength and distribute radio capacity for customer use and general track operations during events. International Speedway Corp
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Dr. Helmut Marko
    Jealousy fuels Red Bull controversies - Marko
  • Domenicali hints Ferrari seeking 'number 2' driver
  • 'Double DRS' to be banned for 2013 - reports
  • De Villota walks into Spanish eye clinic
  • Sell-out crowd guaranteed for Belgian GP
  • Hamilton now a major title contender
  • Williams F1 car on display in London
  • Lawsuit filed over property near Austin F1 racetrack site

Jealousy fuels Red Bull controversies - Marko
(GMM)  The paddock noise about Red Bull 'cheating' is fuelled by jealousy, the team's Dr Helmut Marko has claimed.

So far in 2012, the reigning champions have been at the centre of most of F1's technical controversies, including holes in the floor, wheel hubs, engine mapping and ride height adjusters.

In a headline-writer's dream, team boss Christian Horner let his temper slip this week when German reports quoted him as denouncing the sagas as "bulls**t".

And Austrian Marko, who is team owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right hand man, denied in an interview with the German broadcaster RTL that Red Bull is overly "aggressive" when it comes to interpreting the rules.

"We are just more creative," he said.

"We live within the regulations, but of course we also see how we can make them work best for us."

Marko said "other teams" are simply not as good as Red Bull on that front.

"When they see us do something, they either copy it or they try to have it forbidden," he said.

"The jealousy and envy that we see in the paddock is because we have won for the past two years, and because we are not a traditional racing team.

"I think this has fed this resentment and these attempts to disturb us in some way," he added.

Domenicali hints Ferrari seeking 'number 2' driver
(GMM)  Stefano Domenicali has warned that Ferrari is only on the market for a number two driver.

With the 2013 option on Felipe Massa's contract running out last week, a large number of drivers have been linked to his seat for next season.

Reportedly the latest on the list is the team's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

"Kimi was a world champion with us and I have seen the gossip -- but nothing more than that," team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted by the Sun newspaper.

Quotes attributed to Domenicali by the German broadcaster Sky, however, appear to play down the likelihood that Fernando Alonso will be paired with an equal next year.

"It has always been Ferrari's philosophy," the Italian explained, "to have a great champion and then a very good driver who is close to him."

In effect, he is referring to the paddock perception of Ferrari's 'number 1 and number 2' approach to its driver lineups.

So does that mean drivers like Raikkonen, or McLaren's Jenson Button - both world champions - are actually unlikely teammates for Alonso in 2013?

"I think these drivers have contracts with other teams," Domenicali answered.  "And we are not in a rush."

Number 2 or not, however, money could be a factor.

Brazilian correspondent Livio Oricchio thinks Lotus' Raikkonen could double his estimated EUR 5 million in 2012 retainer by taking Massa's Ferrari seat.

And according to Raymond Blancafort, writing in El Mundo Deportivo, the transaction would also work out for Ferrari, because a Raikkonen-like haul of points for Massa would see the Italian team in front in the lucrative constructors' championships.

With Ferrari currently ranked just fourth due to Massa's meager tally of 25 points, the situation stands to cost Ferrari many tens of millions when the sport's 2012 income is divvied up.

"The Brazilian at the moment is very expensive to Ferrari," Blancafort said.

Domenicali is keen to play down the speculation for now.

"We are aligned with Felipe and we want to protect him.  It is important for this championship," he said.

'Double DRS' to be banned for 2013 - reports
(GMM)  The technical concept known in the paddock this year as 'double DRS' looks set to be banned for 2013.

Mercedes debuted the controversial straight-line speed-boosting concept earlier this year, moving Lotus to lodge an official protest.

But instead of taking the FIA's decision to allow Mercedes to keep the system to the international court of appeal, Lotus emerged with a new interpretation of 'double DRS' during practice at Hockenheim recently.

The team practiced with the system on Kimi Raikkonen's car again at the Hungaroring, technical boss James Allison saying the tests helped "bring it a step closer to deployment in a race sometime in the future".

Speculation suggests Lotus will indeed debut it at the forthcoming Belgian grand prix, with Spa-Francorchamps undoubtedly Raikkonen's favorite track, and the system said to provide a good advantage on the long straights.

"Spa has always agreed with Kimi," former Finnish driver Mika Salo told the broadcaster MTV3, "and if the updates improve what is already the best car, he will be looking very good if he is able to start from the first two rows."

Media headlines at Marca (Spain), Turun Sanomat (Finland), Globo Esporte (Brazil) and elsewhere, however, say the entire 'double DRS' concept looks set to be banned for 2013.

De Villota walks into Spanish eye clinic
(GMM)  A Spanish publication has spotted a walking and apparently well Maria de Villota entering an outpatient clinic in Spain this week.

After 17 days in a UK hospital, and several more days in hospital in her native Madrid, the 32-year-old finally went home last week.

La Nueva Espana now reports that, almost a full month since her horror Duxford testing crash, de Villota was seen visiting the Instituto Oftalmologico Fernandez-Vega - an eye specialist clinic - in Oviedo, Spain.

The report said she arrived in a black Mercedes with members of her family, with her hair shaved after several recent operations.

La Nueva Espana said wounds were clearly visible, as was a blue eye patch.

The report said video and photographs of de Villota leaving the car and entering the clinic were taken, but they are not being published "at the request of the family".

Sell-out crowd guaranteed for Belgian GP
The Belgian Grand Prix has already sold all of its tickets ahead of the 2012 race, despite there being over a month still to go until the meeting takes place. The event is one of few this year to lower all of its Formula 1 ticket prices.

Spa-Francorchamps has made headlines in recent seasons for more reasons than one, but has often been associated with financial struggles and for not selling all tickets. The track is frequently labeled the finest F1 circuit in the world. Popular viewing points include the Gold and Silver stands which line Eau Rouge.

General Admission entrances do remain, at discounted rates, and are available through official ticket partner Sportstadium.com.

Hamilton now a major title contender
Lewis Hamilton is now in a far better frame of mind for winning the world title this year. That is the opinion of Formula 1 driver turned television commentator Martin Brundle, who believes his compatriot is now the ‘happiest’ he has been for some time.

Hamilton’s victory in Budapest marked his second of the season and was a major boost for the McLaren driver, who heads into the summer break fourth in the standings.

Hamilton celebrates victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix “Lewis Hamilton was the happiest and most open that I've seen him for ages,” Brundle, who was dropped by Jordan after 1996, wrote on the Sky Sports website.

“He's become a Twitterholic, he left the circuit embracing his dad and he was much more approachable and not charging around the place head down, under a cap, and behind dark glasses.

“He answered media questions with polite charm and engagement. From Friday morning until the checkered flag on Sunday afternoon he looked like the man most able and determined to win the race, in and out of the car.

"He's put himself back in the title hunt and a happy Lewis in that upgraded McLaren can clearly be a major force every race now.”

Championship leader Fernando Alonso carries an advantage of 40 points over Mark Webber, but continues to view Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as his main rivals.

Williams F1 car on display in London
As the London 2012 Olympic Games continue, a Williams Formula 1 car is on display to the general public. It can be found in the Design Museum as part of the Designed to Win exhibition. A hybrid flywheel is also available for viewing.

The museum, situated near Tower Bridge on the River Thames, started running the exhibition last Thursday. It will continue until Sunday 18 November.

“It was a real honor when the Design Museum approached us about including some of our technology in their exhibition,” says Williams CEO Alex Burns.

“We constantly push the technological boundaries in a bid to gain a competitive edge and I am looking forward to sharing these two innovations with the public.”

Lawsuit filed over property near Austin F1 racetrack site
An Austin investor has filed a lawsuit accusing his former financial advisor of malfeasance involving a 78-acre tract of land near the Formula One racetrack site in southeastern Travis County

Hillary Ryan accused his former advisor, G.H. “Kam” Kronenberg, of steering him away from purchasing the tract, which turned out to be adjacent to the Circuit of the Americas racetrack site, according to the suit filed in state district court in Travis Country.

The lawsuit alleges that instead of Ryan purchasing the property, “Kronenberg and his business partners eventually purchased the property through Land Accelerator, LLC, thereby enriching themselves, at Ryan’s expense, in an amount believed to be in excess of $20 million.”

Kronenberg could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Ryan’s attorney Gene Egdorf of the Lanier Law Firm said that Kronenberg intentionally steered his client away from buying the site in 2010.

“(Kronenberg) absolutely told him, ‘This track’s never going happen, this property’s not worth buying, don’t do it,” Egdorf said.

The lawsuit says the property is “adjacent to, and fronting the Formula One race facility in southeast Travis County.”

The under-construction Circuit of the Americas racetrack in southeastern Travis County is expected host its first Formula One race in November. The Statesman

Volkswagen's The People's Car Project  Volkswagen gathers ideas from the people of China to help innovate future cars. This shows amazing creativity, but is also a strong indication of the competition the Western world can expect from China and other developing countries in the decades ahead.  The Hover Car is only a fanciful concept, though one based on sound, if very advanced, science and engineering. Until the future arrives, you can get a taste of what it is like in the rather believable video below.

IMS gives discount to fans who reorder Brickyard tickets  As a special thank you to the greatest race fans in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days for the 2013 Kroger Super Weekend for those who reorder their Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard tickets by Monday, Aug. 13.

Fans reordering tickets to the 2013 Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will be entitled to special "Fan Prices" on tickets to the following days: More ...
Sonoma track modified for IndyCar  
Modified Sonoma Layout
Officials with the raceway in Sonoma unveiled a modified track layout for the GoPro Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma, which is designed to enhance passing opportunities for the upcoming race in August.

Steve Page, president and general manager of the raceway in Sonoma, and Team Penske driver Ryan Briscoe made the announcement during a press conference on Turn 11 of the road course on July 31.

The site of the announcement was appropriate as Turn 11 is one of three areas that will be modified for the race, Aug. 24-26. Turns 7 and 9 will also be modified. More ...

Double DRS to be banned for 2013  Mercedes led the way at the start of this season with a radical design that feeds air via a hole in the rear wing endplate, all the way through the car and out the front wing - which is then stalled when DRS is activated. This helps provide a straight line speed boost.

Rival team Lotus lodged a protest against the concept at the Chinese Grand Prix, but it was rejected by the race stewards who were adamant that channeling air through a hole that is opened when DRS is activated was not against the regulations. More ...

NASCAR Brickyard TV Ratings plummet against Olympics  On the opening weekend of the Olympics, ESPN’s live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 29, earned a 3.8 household coverage rating (3.3 U.S. rating), averaging 5,054,089 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.

Last year’s Brickyard 400 telecast, which did not air against Olympic competition, earned a 4.6 household coverage rating and tied with the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as ESPN’s highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup telecast of the year. More ...

Pantano to sub for injured Kimball  Giorgio Pantano will fill in for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing driver Charlie Kimball in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio this weekend after Kimball fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand in a testing incident at the road course July 26.

Evaluation in Indianapolis revealed the sophomore IZOD IndyCar Series driver of the No.83 NovoLog FlexPen car would not be ready to return for the 85-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.

Pantano, 33, of Italy, competed in three late-season road/street races for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2011 (best finish of 16th at Twin Ring Motegi) as a substitute for the injured Justin Wilson. He made his first two starts in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005 at Sonoma and Watkins Glen (started second, finished fourth). More ...

Massa: Future is still unclear  Formula 1 teams have abandoned the idea of a extra mid-season test in 2013, after agreeing plans for just three pre-season tests next year.

Technical chiefs learned that the three tests before the start of the 2012 campaign gave them enough mileage to be prepared for the first race, so teams have decided that there is no need for a fourth week of running as had happened previously.
Penske reports 26% gain in Q2 profits on higher retail sales  Penske Automotive Group reported a 26 percent increase in net income for the second quarter driven by strong retail vehicle sales -- particularly at Toyota and Honda dealerships.

The retail group's second quarter net income was $49.1 million compared to $39.6 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today.

Total revenue increased by 19.2 percent to $3.4 billion. It was driven by a 21 percent increase in total retail unit sales. The increase in retail vehicle sales was highlighted by a 25 percent boost in new vehicle sales and a 16 percent increase in used vehicle sales. Total same-store retail sales increased 12 percent in the second quarter. More ...

Video: Interactive 360° Onboard Lap - Sauber F1 Team  Sauber F1 Team fans won't have to do without F1 during the summer break! Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi present another exciting gimmick the Sauber F1 Team came up with: an interactive 360° lap around a race track offering amazing perspectives never seen before. Make sure not to miss the 360° pit stop at the end of the lap! And let the film loop as often as you want to see all the details from every angle!

NASCAR at the Brickyard - everything is wrong  This article talks about NASCAR's falling popularity.  But as Stephan Cox explains in this AR1.com article, all of racing is losing its younger fan base and there is a serious problem.  The average age of race fans is getting higher each year and has reached a critical level.  The Cox article makes an argument that the younger generation has fallen out of love with the automobile and this is the reason racing is suffering.  And his argument is valid.  Some people blame the economy, but if it was the economy, TV ratings would not be falling too.  There is a deeper rooted issue and racing had better figure it out and fast.

Jimmie Johnson won his fourth Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, tying him with mentor and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon. I choose to ignore all of the ritual hand-wringing by the media tallying Gordon's and Johnson's four wins while comparing them to the greats who competed at the Indianapolis 500, because it's completely irrelevant. NASCAR at The Brickyard is the Sideshow Bob of motorsport, and even with the depleted popularity of the Indy 500, the NASCAR machine is comfortably mired as a Tier 2 event at The Speedway. More ...

Star Mazda Trois-Rivieres Advance  
Trois Rivieres 2011
While the nature of the narrow, highly-technical, heavily-crowned street circuit at Trois-Rivières guarantees that any race will  be a 'tempest in a teapot,' this weekend's Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear double-header promises to be particularly intense with familiar winner from last year locked in a battle royal with a quick - and stunningly successful - newcomer.

To set the stage-- last year, French racer Tristan Vautier started from the pole in Race 1 and scored his second victory of the season.  He went on to win the championship and is again racing at Trois-Rivières, this year in Indy Lights with scholarship funding from the Mazda Road to Indy.  In Race 2, with the starting grid determined by each car's quickest lap in Race 1, Vautier again started on the pole, but a rare miscue allowed the Team Pelfrey duo of Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries to slip by and finish 1-2.  More ...

track news
Construction Begins for the Grand Prix of Baltimore  
Baltimore GP
Construction began Monday evening on the Grand Prix of Baltimore race circuit. The track is a 12-turn, 2-mile course, traversing through downtown Baltimore's Inner Harbor area with a southern loop around Camden Yards. The Grand Prix will take place Labor Day weekend, August 31 - September 2, and will feature the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. A news conference to position a ceremonial track barrier took place this morning along the Inner Harbor, and included IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden.

"For the Grand Prix of Baltimore, we are building in sections around the city instead of the traditional method of building a track in sequence," explained Tony Cotman, founder of NZR Consulting, the track design and construction company working with Andretti Sports Marketing. "This is far more difficult and time-consuming, but it's done to allow businesses access until the latest possible time before the Grand Prix." More ...

track news
Track founder Metzler lived life in fun and fast lane  
Great Lakes Dragaway founder "Broadway" Bob Metzler was fond of wearing air-brushed T-shirts, odd sunglasses - one with frames shaped like martini glasses - and Zubaz pants.
Bob Metzler built a business with money he'd made playing cards with fellow Marines.

He rode on the nose of a jet-powered dragster with a beer in one hand and survived a shower of flaming metal from a piece of farm equipment that had blown up - on purpose.

And Metzler threw himself an 80th birthday party that took two days because, he said, so did his birth.

"When I was born, it was 1928, near the start of the Great Depression," Metzler said in a 2008 interview. "Just before midnight on (September) the 27th, I started to pop out. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Schumacher making more mistakes than when he was a rookie 20 years ago
    Schumacher mistakes 'shouldn't happen' - Danner
  • Technical reshuffle at Mercedes
  • Rossi hails Ferrari's 2012 recovery
  • Lotus 'definitely' eyes same drivers for 2013
  • Anthony Hamilton suing di Resta over firing
  • Button not ready to help Hamilton
  • Maldonado plays down 'mistakes'
  • Ferrari plans aggressive development push 
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas teams up with Bharti Airtel More ...
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