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Answering the bell at Road America  The joke going around at Bell Motorsports has the team wanting to paint a target on its Aston Martin DBR9 so they can pick where the car will be hit next. Sometimes that’s the best thing to do when adversity is staring at you in the face…just laugh it off.

So it’s with a sense of humor – and urgency – that repairs have been made to Bell’s GT1 challenger in time for this week’s Generac 500 presented by Time Warner Cable at Road America. There admittedly were late nights Thursday through Saturday to get the car ready to load onto the Bell transporter Sunday night in Miami.

Terry Borcheller and Chapman Ducote will drive in Saturday’s four-hour race. The car had to be rebuilt following a massive crash in April at St. Petersburg and didn’t race again until Lime Rock Park in mid-July. The team’s return lasted 61 laps before a crash with an Audi prototype barely an hour into the event.

Fortunately the tub was intact. All four corners had body damage, the front framerails were bent and two radiators blew. The inner bumper and the framerails were the last replacement parts to come in from supplier Prodrive.

The 4.048-mile Road America circuit should be a good fit for the V12-powered Aston Martin as it battles Corvette Racing’s two factory Corvette C6.Rs. The last time a DBR9 competed there was 2006 when Stephane Sarrazin qualified on the GT1 pole position.

The Generac 500 at Road America presented by Time Warner Cable is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 from Elkhart Lake, Wis. The four-hour race will start at 4 p.m. CT with SPEED televising the race starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 10. XM will air the race from 4 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday via Sports Nation Channel 144. Live radio coverage will be available from American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring.

Shell will pave Singapore GP circuit  By the time the first Formula One night race takes place in Singapore this year, it will not just be long-time technical partner Ferrari feeling the benefit of Shell's advanced technologies. Shell Bitumen was selected to supply premium grade Bitumen for the new track surface at the Singapore Grand Prix circuit.

The track laying work has been underway since April 2008 and was completed in June. In reflection of the race itself, track surfacing work was carried out overnight (midnight -- 6am), so as not to disrupt the daily traffic on the streets of Singapore. More than 15,000 tones of asphalt has been laid in that time.

Shell has been involved in Formula One since the very first Grand Prix in 1950 and fully understands the importance of cutting-edge technology. A complicated project, the Singapore Formula One track surfacing was completed in cooperation with contractor Hanson Heidelberg. The challenges associated have included development of an asphalt formulation unique to the demands of the Singapore venue, not only because of its dual purpose as a busy city road by day and a Formula One circuit by night, but because of the varied climate and temperatures. The formulation created by Shell and Hanson is a mix of specially selected aggregate (stone) from Malaysia and Shell Cariphalte Racetrack Bitumen technology.

Shell Bitumen technology is proven worldwide and has already been used at the Formula One circuits of Sepang in Malaysia, Sakhir in Bahrain, Hockenheim and Nurburgring in Germany and Ferrari's own Fiorano test track in Italy. Asada Harinsuit, Shell Bitumen Vice President said: "Shell Bitumen is renowned for its technical solutions and long experience. We are pleased to see Shell Cariphalte Racetrack selected as the right product for the Singapore Grand Prix circuit."

"For this application, the track surface has to remain constant, whilst being subjected to a range of weather conditions and extreme punishment from the Formula One cars. The binder we use has a much higher cohesive strength so it can withstand horizontal sheer forces when a race car accelerates or when the car brakes into the corner." Shell.com PR

Jones replaces Yeley at Watkins Glen  Veteran road racer P.J. Jones has replaced J.J. Yeley in the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Toyota on the NASCAR Sprint Cup entry list for this weekend's race at Watkins Glen International.
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Renault to review Ferrari pitstop data
  • Renault unlikely to win in 2009 - Alonso
  • Klien wants to keep BMW test seat
  • Aguri tester to go racing in US
  • Schu to test Ferrari again at Monza
  • Bourdais sees no end to struggle with car

Renault to review Ferrari pitstop data
(GMM)  Reports in the Spanish press have raised suspicions about a pitstop involving the Ferrari of world champion Kimi Raikkonen during the Hungarian grand prix.

The reports, in the daily newspapers Diario AS and also the sports publication Marca, marvel at how the Finn managed to make such a quick stop to leapfrog Spain's Fernando Alonso, who had battled on track during the Hungaroring race.

'AS' said Renault is investigating how Raikkonen's refueling was completed so quickly, given that the standard Intertechnique fuel rigs deliver petrol to the cars at a uniform rate.

"I don't know how they did it," Alonso is quoted as saying.  "We will carefully study the data and see if they have something that allows them to fill up faster."

Renault unlikely to win in 2009 - Alonso
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Tuesday said he is unsure Renault will be able to return to the front of the formula one field in 2009.

"From one year to the next it is difficult to improve so drastically," the former double world champion is quoted as telling the Spanish radio El Larguero program.

"It may be difficult for Renault to step up to the level of the top teams in 2009," explained Alonso, who is contracted to stay with the French squad next year but also able to switch to a rival team.

Speculation in recent days hints at a deal with Honda, but the 27-year-old is also rumored to see a role at Ferrari as part of his future.

Some teams are viewing the sweeping regulation changes for next year as an opportunity to improve their relative competitiveness.

Alonso acknowledges this, but explains: "Never has a team gone from being one of the worst to winning (in one year)."

He is expected to decide his team for 2009 in September. More ...

IndyCar Series, Infineon Raceway reach new 3-year deal  The IndyCar® Series and Infineon Raceway have reached a three-year agreement that will keep the country’s premier open-wheel series in the Sonoma Valley through the 2011 season.

The series has been a staple on the raceway’s calendar since 2005, which marked the return of major open-wheel racing to the Sonoma Valley for the first time in 35 years (1970). With the recent unification of the IndyCar Series and Champ Car, raceway officials felt it was the right time to extend the relationship beyond year-to-year.

“This series has tremendous momentum, with larger fields, emerging new stars and terrific racing,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway.  “The future of IndyCar racing is bright indeed and we’re excited to see that future play out on the corners and straightaways of Infineon Raceway.”

Infineon Raceway is the only facility in the country that hosts every major form of motor racing – stock cars (NASCAR Sprint Cup), motorcycles (AMA motorcycles), drag racing (NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series), sports cars (Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series) and open wheel (IndyCar). More ...

Superleague testing to kick off in Rome  The Superleague Formula pre-season test program continues at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome tomorrow with local heroes AS Roma and Fisichella Motor Sport hitting the track for the fist time.

The Roma car will be driven by ex-F1 test driver Enrico Toccacelo (pictured above) – a local Roman and, like his team boss Giancarlo Fisichella, a life-long AS Roma fan.

Other drivers ready to hit the track tomorrow (August 6) to Friday (August 8) include Robert Doornbos (AS Milan), Borja Garcia (Sevilla), Andi Zuber (Al Ain), Max Wissel (FC Basel), Yelmer Buurman (PSV Eindhoven) Jason Tahinci and Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray) and Davide Rigon (Beijing Guoan).

Superleague Formula teams conducted their initial shakedown last week at Barcelona and the teams will conduct further test sessions at Donington Park on August 21 and 28.

Teams scheduled to run this week include Scuderia Playteam (AC Milan and Galatasaray); Azerti (PSV and Al Ain); GU Racing (Olympiacos and FC Basel); Zakspeed (Borussia Dortmund and Beijing Guoan); Fisichella Motor Sports (AS Roma); Team Westec (Rangers and FC Porto); Eurointernational (Corinthians) and Astromega (RSC Anderlecht and Flamengo). More ...

Quotes from ESPN Analyst Andy Petree on Watkins Glen  Andy Petree, NASCAR analyst for ESPN, was a 25-time NASCAR Sprint Cup race winner and two-time series champion during his career as a crew chief.

Q – Are race teams still building special cars for road courses, even with the new Sprint Cup car?

Andy Petree- Yes, they are. You will see some teams run a car that they’ve run on an oval, but most teams are starting to have cars for specialized race tracks like Watkins Glen. A lot of that is because of packaging, although they are petty limited to what they can do. Since Watkins Glen is primarily right hand turns you are going to want to place the oil tank and batteries on the right- hand side of the vehicle. But, now NASCAR tells you where to put a lot of that stuff. The angle of the front tires is going to be different. The base of the car is going to be the same but the way it’s packaged is going to be different. Most teams will probably have a specialized car.

Q – What makes a NASCAR driver good on a road course?

Andy Petree- The main thing is to get the car stopped in the shortest amount of time and distance and letting the car roll through the middle of the corner. That is a real skill that many of the road course ringers have learned and really refined because they do it so much. Oval track racing is different. You’re really carrying a lot of momentum and speed on ovals and you’re not trying to slow down the car a lot. How a driver is going to bleed off the speed when they enter those turns and how they can carry that speed and do it in a shorter time is the skill set needed to be a good road course racer. More ...

Rob Bell drafted in by Risi team  British driver Rob Bell heads to America this weekend to join the Risi Competizione team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the Road America Circuit. Bell, the reigning GT2 Le Mans Series Champion will partner Harrison Brix in place of the injured Patrick Friesacher for the race and will drive a Ferrari 430 in only his second ALMS event.

The outing will be the first time Bell has driven at the four mile Road America track in Wisconsin and will also be his debut outing with the Risi Competizione team. Bell has already raced in the ALMS this season at Sebring in March, when he made his debut in the GT2 class with Tafel Racing, driving a Ferrari. Bell’s wealth of experience and proven abilities in Europe in the Ferrari 430 for both the Virgo Motorsport team in the Le Mans Series, and CR Scuderia in the FIA GT Championship, has brought him to the attention of the Risi Competizione team.

Bell commented about the up coming race, “It’s great to be asked to join the Risi Competizione team this weekend, it’s a bit last minute but I’m really looking forward to it. The Road America circuit is renowned for being a driver’s circuit and a great challenge, and it will be a new track for me, which will give me good experience.  I’m driving with a new team for me, in only my second ALMS event, but I’m optimistic. From racing GT’s in Europe I am very familiar with the Ferrari 430 car so I hope to be able to step up to the plate and be as competitive as my teammate.”
Hill not betting on Hamilton title  (GMM)  Following the Hungarian grand prix, 1996 world champion Damon Hill says he is ready to bet on a different outcome to this year's title chase.

The Englishman, who was in Budapest to commentate for British television, said before Sunday's 70-lap race that pole sitter and recent back-to-back race winner Lewis Hamilton seemed set to cruise to the checkered flag.

But even though Felipe Massa's Ferrari engine did not make it to the end of the race, the Brazilian was the surprise pacesetter at the Hungaroring and would have taken the championship lead if not for his reliability woes.

"Ferrari's pace is the real danger," Hill, who retired in 1999, is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

"If you had asked me before the race in Hungary who I would put money on, I would have said Lewis, but I have to say I would want my bet back."

Hill, 47, believes McLaren driver Hamilton also would have been surprised about Massa's pace on Sunday.

"He said before the race 'I'm not counting any chickens and getting ahead of myself', but I'm absolutely certain he thought it was in the bag," the Briton said.

Detroit Big 3 ask for government welfare  Detroit's three automakers are urging Congress to make as much as $35 billion to $40 billion in low-cost loans available during the next two to three years to assure that the companies survive long enough to retool and build a new generation of fuel-efficient vehicles.

Chief executives Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally and Robert Nardelli -- of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, respectively -- talked Friday and agreed that access to capital is their most critical short-term need during this volatile period of high fuel prices and slumping SUV and truck sales, sources told the Free Press.

Top lobbyists for GM, Ford and Chrysler followed up Sunday with phone calls to leaders of Michigan's congressional delegation -- including U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, plus Reps. John Dingell and Sander Levin -- to drive the point home. All three Detroit companies are hemorrhaging cash and having trouble borrowing.

On Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama proposed $4 billion to help Detroit's automakers build the cars of the future. Obama's advisers called it a first step. Stabenow told me some of the money would go to battery research, but a big chunk of it could be used to help leverage loans of more than $10 billion for retooling plants.  More at Detroit Free Press

Q and A with Martin Whitmarsh  
Martin Whitmarsh
McLaren-Mercedes CEO Formula One Martin Whitmarsh looks back at Heikki Kovalainen's maiden victory at the conclusion of the Hungarian Grand Prix: the third Finn to do so bearing the team's colors.

Additionally, Whitmarsh comments on several other subjects including Lewis Hamilton's performance, Ferrari, aerodynamics, and preparations for the inaugural Grand Prix on Valencia's urban circuit.

You've seen young drivers take their first wins for McLaren before - what will Sunday's result mean for Heikki?

"We have a strong Finnish tradition in the team, and I've seen both Mika (Hakkinen) and Kimi (Raikkonen) take their first Grand Prix wins while driving for McLaren. With Lewis, too, that maiden victory firstly stands as a validation of their skill and only really underlines what we at McLaren Mercedes have always believed about our drivers: we hire them because we believe them all to be winners, and once we can provide them with the equipment to do that, it is clearly only a matter of time before they start winning, and winning regularly."

"With Heikki, yesterday's (Sunday's) result was fully justified and very much deserved: he's had his fair share of bad luck during the early part of the season and his win in Hungary showed that he'd let none of that misfortune pile up on his shoulders. He's as committed as ever and fully focused on winning for the team."

"And we've seen with all our other drivers that once they get that winning feeling, it's something they want to keep doing. 

And none of us in the team are left in any doubt that Heikki is a superb racing driver and this result will only strengthen his ambition in the second half of the year. I'm fully confident that Heikki will win another Grand Prix before the end of the season and we fully aim to provide him with the equipment to do so."

"Clearly, we are targeting Ferrari in the constructors' championship and it will only be to our benefit to have both our drivers pushing as hard as possible to close down that points gap." More ...

Earnhardt eats his words  In the wake of the Allstate 400 at Indy, where Goodyear's tires were so bad that the longest green-flag run was 12 laps, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had this to say last week: "I'll tell you this. Tony George [owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway] said that they weren't changing the track and I don't blame them. It's expensive to pave the track. But diamond-grinding the race track with the grooves does directly have an effect on tire wear. Directly. And anyone who wants to say otherwise is just in denial. All right? So, with that said, obviously I wouldn't expect [Tony] to repave the race track, even though they did diamond-grind it for no good reason."

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was repaved in 2004, and when the track was actually too slick and too smooth following the repaving, IMS officials diamond-ground the surface before the 2005 Indianapolis 500. The diamond ground surface has produced some incredibly competitive Indy 500s during that time and NASCAR has now competed on that same surface in four Brickyard 400s.

Then again Earnhardt Jr., born in the deep south, probably never heard of the Indianapolis 500.  They've been holding that race ever since 1911, so he might have heard about it. Then again, it's not a NASCAR race, so it probably wasn't taught in the school he went to.

Only 33 NCTS teams entered at Nashville  Only 33 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams are on the entry list for Saturday night's Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, so everyone qualifies.
Indianapolis 500 veteran Weld dies at 64  UPDATE Added photo below of Greg Weld.

Greg Weld poses for 1970 Indy 500 photo
08/04/08 Richard Gregory "Greg" Weld, a participant in the 1970 Indianapolis 500, 1967 USAC National Sprint Car champion and founder of the hugely successful Weld Wheels, died unexpectedly Aug. 4 in Kansas City, Mo. He was 64.

The barrel-chested and always cheerful Weld was only 21 when he burst on the USAC scene in 1965. He almost won the Sprint title the first year, leading in points for a good portion of the season and losing out in the final race by the narrowest of margins to then-rising star Johnny Rutherford.

Weld had passed his rookie test at Indianapolis in 1965, but in spite of coming close several times, his only "500" start came in 1970 when he was teammate to the late Art Pollard on a Grant King entry. His car lasted only 12 laps due to piston failure, and he was credited with 32nd place.

Weld was the last person ever to drive a Novi at Indianapolis, a minor wall contact after two incomplete qualifying attempts coming on the final day of time trials in 1966. More ...

Man Critical after Pocono Raceway Stabbing  A 43-year-old man is in critical condition today after being stabbed in the heart at Pocono International Raceway on Sunday, police said. Michael Gualtiere, of Seaford, on Long Island, N.Y., was treated at the infield care center at the raceway around 7 p.m. and flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital Center where he remains in critical condition after surgery, according to Pocono Mountain Regional Police. Police said they are executing a search warrant on a vehicle involved in the incident and they have identified a person of interest. Police believe the public is not at risk and the investigation is ongoing. Pocono Record
New sponsor for GEM Dodge at MIS & Talladega  Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced that Tow Truck in a Box will sponsor Patrick Carpentier's #10 Dodge at the Michigan and Talladega Sprint Cup races. "We are honored to have Tow Truck in a Box join us on the #10 Dodge as well as our Nationwide car," said Carpentier who made the announcement Friday in Montreal. "Michigan, Talladega and Watkins Glen [Nationwide] are all very different tracks but I know we will represent Tow Truck in a Box well." Tow Truck in a Box is new automotive tool. It allows any driver stuck in snow, sand, mud, or ice to easily dislodge their auto without effort. The product comes with 3-patented traction plates made of aircraft quality alloy. It's easy to use and assembles in seconds. The tool is lightweight and comes in a carry case the size of a child's lunch box. The product works on all cars, SUVs, and small trucks. It's received critical acclaim winning numerous awards including being a 2-time MotorTrend/TruckTrend "Outstanding Product" winner". More info at towbox.com GEM PR
racing news
ESPN acquires European racing website  ESPN today announced the acquisition of Racing-Live.com – the world’s leading independent motor racing website.

Racing-Live.com covers Formula 1 (F1-Live.com), Moto GP & Superbike (Moto-Live.com), Rally (Rally-Live.com), off road Rallies (Raid-Live.com), Endurance Sports-Cars and Kart racing.  The site provides fans around the world locally tailored up-to-the-minute news and information in English, French, Japanese, Italian, German and Spanish.  Racing-Live.com has earned a loyal following of three million unique users per month.

“Motor racing has a global fan base, and this agreement will allow us to serve fans more motor sports coverage than ever before,” said Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International.  “We continue to build our online business through key acquisitions like Cricinfo.com and Scrum.com while expanding our current offerings including fantasy and localized versions of ESPNsoccernet.com.  Serving sports fans online is priority for us and this acquisition complements our extensive NASCAR and Classic motor sports coverage across our multi-media platforms around the globe.” More ...

New Australia Indy Car race sponsor announced  
Sport Minister Judy Spence, together with Indy 300 Chairman Terry Mackenroth and General Manager Greg Hooton, today announced Nikon as the naming rights sponsor of the Gold Coast motorsport event which will now be known as the Nikon Indy 300.

Ms Spence welcomed the partnership with Nikon - recognized as a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology.

"The Nikon Indy 300 will see four days of the world's best motorsport entertainment on the streets of Surfers Paradise,” said Spence.

"Nikon is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance - a perfect fit for our world-class event.

"We know the stars of the IndyCar Series and the V8 Supercars are really looking forward to this event from October 23-26, as a major highlight on the annual motorsport calendar.

"With the naming rights sponsor now announced, we are powering full-steam ahead towards this year's event – which is now less than three months away.

“Nikon has a one-year deal with an option for a further two years." More ...

track news
Pikes Peak International Raceway Appoints President  The new owner of Pikes Peak International Raceway, LLC today announced Arden Weatherford as president of PPIR, responsible for overseeing all track operations and facility rentals.
Weatherford is a seasoned motorsports professional.  In 1993, he renovated and redeveloped property near Aspen, CO, and formed the Aspen Racing and Sports Car Club, the first private motorsports club in the U.S. with its own track facility.  His concept set a standard that today is popular within the motorsports industry.  In 1999, Weatherford sold the club to its members.

Most recently, Weatherford imported the Formula Renault 2000 and Formula Renault Junior into the U.S. under the Fran-Am name.

“The track facility is a central component in developing a larger plan for PPIR,” said John Molloy, CEO, Pikes Peak International Raceway, LLC.  “Our concept to personalize the use of PPIR for private car owners, clubs, race teams and performance driving experiences requires us to put someone at the helm that is respected within the motorsports industry.  Arden is a trusted resource to help us bring back the vitality once associated with PPIR,” he said. More ...

No Rain Tires in Sprint Cup  NASCAR’s use of rain tires in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race was an unqualified success, but don’t expect to see any Sprint Cup races run in the rain.  “No, not anytime soon,” NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Sunday at Pocono. “We have them available in the Nationwide Series primarily for scheduling reasons.”  Pemberton indicated there’s enough latitude built into the Cup series schedule to accommodate the occasional rainout.

Lame excuse of course. the question is whether the drivers are good enough to race in the rain.  In the Nationwide Series the road course drivers dominated the NASCAR regulars when the rain began in Montreal.

Fellows to replace Smith in No. 01 DEI entry this weekend  Ron Fellows said after winning the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that he will drive Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s No. 01 Chevrolet in this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.  Fellows will replace regular driver Regan Smith the No. 01 entry. Smith is entered in the DEI No. 81, giving the organization five cars in the race.
Intense battle for Firestone Firehawk Cup  One of the closest title battles in Firestone Indy Lights history is also one of its most competitive.

With four races remaining in the battle for the 2008 Firestone Firehawk Cup, 15 drivers are mathematically eligible to win, with frontrunners Raphael Matos, Ana Beatriz, J.R. Hildebrand, Arie Luyendyk Jr., and Dillon Battistini within 77 points of points leader Richard Antinucci.

Antinucci, who leads with 376 points, has a 1-point advantage over Matos. Antinucci has held the points lead after seven of 12 races this season, and hasn't been lower than second. The nephew of 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner, Eddie Cheever, has two wins and leads the series with seven podium finishes.

Matos, who is hoping to add his third championship crown in four seasons, has stayed in close contact with the leaders all season. Matos has a series-best three victories – all on road/street courses – and climbed from fourth to the top of the point standings from Watkins Glen to Mid-Ohio.

Beatriz, the first female driver to win a Firestone Indy Lights race, moved from sixth to third following her win at Nashville Superspeedway. Beatriz, who has five top-five finishes in the last six races, trails Antinucci, her Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate, by 41 points. More ...

Six remain eligible for IndyCar Series title  With four races remaining in the battle for the 2008 IndyCar Series championship, six drivers are mathematically eligible to win. Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe and Danica Patrick all remain alive for title contention.

Dixon, who leads all drivers with 505 points, has a 65-point lead over Castroneves. Dixon has held the points lead after 10 of 13 races this season, and has held it consecutively since winning the 92nd Indianapolis 500 in May. The 2003 IndyCar Series champion has recorded five victories, and along with Castroneves, is the only driver with 11 top-five finishes.

Castroneves has stayed a close second behind Dixon since Indianapolis. Castroneves, who led the points for three races in April, has finished second six times this season but has yet to find victory lane.

Wheldon, the 2005 IndyCar Series champion, started the season with a third-place finish on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami and followed with a victory on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas. He also won at Iowa and has eight top-five finishes in 2008. He trails Dixon, his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, by 115 points.

Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion, is just three points behind Wheldon for third. Kanaan has two poles and a victory in 2008, and along with Dixon and Castroneves is the only driver with 11 top-10 finishes this season.

Briscoe, in his first season driving for Team Penske, has wasted no time throwing himself into championship contention. Following a slow start to the season that saw him finish 19th or worse in three of the first five races, Briscoe has recorded two victories. He is 181 points behind Dixon.

Patrick is 209 points behind Dixon. The Andretti Green Racing driver has not been lower than seventh in the point standings all season and was as high as third following her first career victory at Motegi in April.

Assen gets a taste of new A1GP car  The A1GP Powered by Ferrari car made its debut in the Netherlands this weekend giving the packed grandstands at the Rizla Racing Day in Assen a taste of what the series has in store for season four.

Renger van der Zande was behind the wheel to give the spectators and members of the press the opportunity to hear the distinctive notes of the Ferrari engine that will be propelling all the cars on the A1GP grids as it powered around the Dutch circuit. The A1 Team Netherlands car was also on display in the paddock.  More ...

Childress-Howard Motorsports Debut at Watkins Glen  The No. 4 AT&T Daytona Prototype Pontiac Crawford fielded by Childress-Howard Motorsports will make its 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series debut Aug. 8 in the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Sports Car racing legend Andy Wallace and multi-time Rolex Series champion Andy Lally will be the co-drivers. It will be the third time the duo has co-driven an entry after competing in two races in another series last year.

CHM is a joint effort between Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, and Rick Howard, president of Howard Motorsports. The announcement of the team’s formation was made Jan. 21 during the NASCAR Media Tour stop at RCR. Current plans are to compete in at least one other race this season and then the full season in 2009. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Praise for Massa, pressure for Raikkonen
  • Hamilton to work hard in break - Dennis
  • Heat to blame for fuel rig fires
  • Toro Rosso to add staff to Faenza workforce

Praise for Massa, pressure for Raikkonen
(GMM)  The Italian press was all praise for Felipe Massa in the wake of the Hungarian grand prix.

Following McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's earlier dominance of the event, Brazilian Massa looked set for an inspired win against the odds until his Ferrari engine cruelly failed within kilometers of snatching back the championship lead.

"What more can Ferrari ask of its driver?" the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport wondered.

Another difficult weekend for reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen, however, leaves speculation raging about the future of Ferrari's other driver.

"He seems a pale imitation of the driver of the past," Tuttosport, an Italian national sports newspaper, said.

"This Raikkonen is not the driver that Ferrari needs.  He needs to ask himself whether he really still has the desire."

The Finn himself is refusing to commit to formula one beyond 2009, but he insists the rumors about his future - especially those predicting retirement at the end of this season - are without basis.

"I never said anything like that.  Somebody made it up," Raikkonen said.

Hamilton to work hard in break - Dennis
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton is in for a busy August after saying in Hungary he could do without the three-week summer break.

Sunday's checkered flag marked the end of a relentless stretch of eleven grands prix and tests in between.

For most of August, the three-week break until Valencia and the test moratorium means much of the tired F1 world can pull away and recharge for the final seven-race sprint that will crown the 2008 champion.

But championship leader Hamilton said: "I don't need a break."

The Briton's comments did not go unnoticed by his boss, McLaren team principal Ron Dennis.

"I think Lewis has definitely set himself up for a more intense training program for the next three weeks by saying that," he is quoted as saying by the Daily telegraph.

Dennis has always been one of the staunchest supporters of the August break, which will not appear in the schedule in 2009.

"This break is essential for the mechanics and the rest of the people who travel with us," he added.

Heat to blame for fuel rig fires
(GMM)  The ambient temperature at the Hungaroring is most likely to blame for the small fires during pitstops on Sunday.

Small fires blighted the pitstops of Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Williams' Kazuki Nakajima, while Sebastien Bourdais had fiery moments during two of his stops on Sunday and even had to stop again so Toro Rosso mechanics could clean fire extinguisher foam from his visor.

It is believed that so-called 'back-pressure' caused by the high temperatures in Hungary contributed to the problem in more than one case on Sunday.

But Honda sources are reporting that they believe Barrichello's small fire was caused simply because the nozzle was not applied completely squarely.

The heat may have affected the Intertechnique fuel rigs, but the drivers seemed unfazed at the end of the 70-lap race.

"I don't feel (the heat) limited or slowed me down at all," said race winner Heikki Kovalainen.

"It was ok," his Finnish countryman Kimi Raikkonen concurred.  "It's harder for the cars, for everybody, but it was no problem."

Toro Rosso to add staff to Faenza workforce
(GMM)  Toro Rosso has launched a major recruitment drive ahead of needing to become a full constructor by 2010.

With Red Bull's long-term support faltering, and the looming crackdown on customer cars, it is believed team co-owner Gerhard Berger has ordered the addition of 50 staff to the Faenza based ranks.

Toro Rosso will continue to receive Red Bull Technology's input on the chassis front in 2009, but the team may need to go it alone for the following season.

"We are trying to grow, and if we want to improve our performance we have to grow," Berger is quoted as confirming to GPWeek.

"I wouldn't say 50 people but I would say that we definitely want to strengthen ourselves for the future," he added.

It is reported that the first major new appointment at Toro Rosso is Fabio Segalini, who was heavily involved in the design of the first GP2 car.

Battistini tests IndyCar  Dillon Battistini has taken the next step towards graduating to the senior IndyCar Series by testing Vitor Meira's regular mount at Kentucky Speedway.

Rescheduled after a previously-planned outing at the Watkins Glen International road course was cancelled earlier in the year, the test provided a first taste of the more powerful Dallara-Honda IndyCar for reigning Asian F3 champion Battistini, who hopes to step up to the senior class either later this season or in time for 2009.

“It was a thrilling day for me," the Briton admitted, "I am very pleased with my run, and it felt great to finally get behind the wheel of an IndyCar. I'm happy to be able to have this opportunity to show what I can do.”

Battistini turned a fastest lap of 24.590secs in the #4 Delphi/National Guard car around the 1.5-mile oval, putting him on pace with the best times of the day.

“The car felt faster then what I am used to, but it didn't feel quite as fast as I thought it would," he revealed, "It is much more physical to handle then my Indy Lights car, but I got used to that quite quickly. I want to thank [team owner] John Barnes for giving me the opportunity, and also want to thank Vitor, [race engineer] David Cripps and the rest of the crew for helping me out during the test.”

Battistini not only left an positive impression on many of the Delphi National Guard crew, who thought that he had exceeded expectations, but also on team-mate Meira.

“I was impressed with the way that Dillon drove the car," the Brazilian noted, "He adjusted quickly, which is not an easy thing to do, and was pretty fast.” More ...

Famous fan hopes Alonso goes to Ferrari  (GMM)  Even the world famous opera singer Placido Domingo has an opinion about whether Fernando Alonso made a good move from McLaren to Renault for this formula one season.

One of the Three Tenors, Spaniard Domingo - in Hungary for a concert - took the opportunity to visit the formula one paddock at the weekend, where Alonso gifted him an autographed helmet.

"I was quite surprised by this, it was very sweet," Domingo said.  "I'm going to make an exhibition of this beautiful present in my home."

Domingo, 67, admits to being a motor racing fan, and said he did not enjoy seeing former double world champion Alonso's troubled time at McLaren last season.

He backs the Spaniard's return to Renault in 2008.

"Now I see a Fernando that is a lot more relaxed.  He knows the difficulty of his situation this year, but he's getting on with it," Domingo said.

It is strongly rumored that Alonso's next move might be to Honda, but Domingo hopes the driver's apparent ultimate ambition is fulfilled soon.

"To me, it would be incredible if he ends with Ferrari because it would be the unison of two great passions," he said.

Verizon/Alltel hopes to continue NASCAR sponsorship  Scott Ford's speaking appearance at a July 22 gathering of the Rotary Club of Little Rock produced a couple of anecdotes related to the planned $28.1 billion sale to Verizon Corp. The CEO of Little Rock's Alltel Corp. said Verizon was interested in continuing the sponsorship of Ryan Newman's #12 Dodge Charger on the NASCAR circuit. Ford described the publicity gained from the Alltel car as providing a 6-1 advertising leverage. He said the only better investment, on a cost-per-eyeball basis, was Alltel Arena in North Little Rock. Newman's #12 car, sporting Alltel's familiar blue and white colors, won the Daytona 500 back in February. Arkansas Business
Prisoner Gene Haas "In Good Standing" With NASCAR  Often lost in the circumstances involving the formation of Stewart-Haas Racing is the fact that one of those two namesakes currently resides in federal prison.

But unlike Michael Vick--who may face further discipline from the National Football League following his release--Gene Haas will be welcomed back into NASCAR with open arms.

"He's in good standing with NASCAR, that's all they told us, and that's all we need to know," team General Manager Joe Custer told the Press Sunday morning.

Haas reported to prison in January to serve a two-year term after pleading guilty to one count of tax fraud. That followed a plea bargain resulting in the dismissal of several charges, which included reporting false race team expenses.

"They were dropped," Custer said of charges related to the race team. "That's the point. It they're dropped, they're not an issue."

Stewart was unavailable for comment, as his spokesperson, Mike Arning, cited the driver's interest in focusing on his current team, Joe Gibbs Racing. But Arning indicated that the criminal case never gave Stewart a moment of pause about involving himself with Haas' company. Stewart was first offered 50 percent of Haas CNC Racing in Dec. 2007, the month before Haas' incarceration. Custer repeated past comments that Haas and Stewart never spoke (which Arning seconded). Custer said that Haas was never consulted by anybody on the deal, even though it involved half of one of his companies being given away.

"We don’t know too much about any of the legal circumstances surrounding Gene Haas, so we won’t comment," Arning said. "We do know that it hasn’t had an impact on Haas CNC Racing’s initiatives and our excitement in the new partnership." More at Long Island Press

Reliability hampering Ferrari in 2008  Fresh focus on Ferrari's level of reliability has been cast after the team revealed that Kimi Raikkonen was forced to slow down at the end of the Hungarian GP due to a problem that was unrelated to Felipe Massa's sudden engine blow.

Massa's misfortune was the second time in barely a month when a Ferrari driver had lost a race due to mechanical unreliability, although on that occasion, in France, he was the beneficiary as he inherited a win from a luckless Raikkonen. While the high-profile malfunction of his engine in Hungary has inevitably caused embarrassment at Ferrari, the team have also confirmed that Raikkonen had to end his pursuit of Timo Glock and second place in Budapest after they spotted another problem with his car.

"We just asked him to slow down in the same lap as we had the failure of Felipe," revealed team boss Stefano Domenicali. "We saw there was something on the mechanical side on the rear that was not properly working so we said that, on the same lap, to bring the car home."

Having just ordered Raikkonen to slow down, the team then suffered the ignominious shock of Massa's car crawling to a halt in front of their pitwall with smoke billowing from its broken engine. "Unfortunately we had no warning, we just had the smoke in front of us, and it was very bad," lamented Domenicali.

"Unfortunately there was no signal, no information, no warning on the telemetry."

Wind Tunnel testing completed for A1GP car  
Scale model of new car in the wind tunnel
Wind tunnel testing has been a key element in the development of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Powered by Ferrari car for season four. The car that had its first public running at the Mugello circuit was the product of many hours spent by the A1GP technical team in wind tunnels at the University of Southampton’s School of Engineering Sciences.

John Travis, A1GP Technical Director: “To ensure we continue the A1GP tradition of strong racing, coupled with lots of overtaking, the effort of the design team has been to provide a chassis that has a good level of down force, but without the normal penalties. This will make for much closer racing particularly in the corners as cars will be able to run together. We have spent in excess of 300 hours in the wind tunnel and have tried hundreds of different aerodynamic variations to ensure the close, exciting racing the series is famous for not only continues but gets better.”

The University of Southampton’s School of Engineering Sciences has a variety of wind tunnels which have been used extensively by Formula One, Indy Racing League and CART racing teams over the years. A 40 per cent scale model of the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car was tested at the facility and performed just as expected giving the development team a good set of aerodynamic data to work with as they continue the on track testing program in Europe.

The testing has been continuing in France with Andrea Bertolini in the car for three days at Paul Ricard near Marseille with 400-kilometres covered on one day alone. Testing then moved to Magny-Cours, with Patrick Friesacher at the wheel last week increasing the total distance covered by the new A1GP car to 5,667 kilometers.

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2008-09 season will officially get underway later this year with A1GP Mugello, Italy, 19 – 21 September 2008.

Flat-spot led to Hamilton puncture  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton exposed himself to a greater risk of getting a puncture by flat-spotting his tire during the Hungarian grand prix.

That was the analysis at the Hungaroring of Bridgestone's racing boss Hirohide Hamashima, who said immediately after the race that the McLaren driver's problem was probably the result of hitting debris rather than a failure.

"A flat spot makes you more vulnerable to a puncture," the Japanese told the Telegraph, "because it makes the tire thinner in that area and therefore you have less protection against debris damage."

Hamilton had three tire problems in his rookie title challenge last year, leading some to suggest his notably aggressive driving style may be contributing to the problem.

He told reporters in Budapest: "I was the one to get a puncture and it was a case of 'Oh no, not again'.

"I had it three times last year and that's what really lost me the championship," Hamilton added.

racing news
Quotes of the Week  
"There have been races this year where I've been in a position to challenge for victory but had something go wrong for me. Halfway through this race, things started working for me and I started pushing Felipe hard, and it worked. I feel sorry for Felipe because he drove a great race, but my car felt good and I knew I could push for the victory. This is a great moment for me, something I've been targeting for many years. Hopefully, this victory will be the first of many." Heikki Kovalainen, Formula 1 driver, McLaren-Mercedes, commenting on his maiden F1 win in the Hungarian Grand Prix

"It happened completely without warning, without giving the slightest indication. I was managing the race, because I had a good advantage over second place after Hamilton was delayed with a problem and I was taking no risks whatsoever. I am very frustrated at the moment, because today we had a great car and we had done everything perfectly until just a few kilometers from the finish. Unfortunately, racing can be a cruel sport. We had given it our all, but these things can happen. Now we must not give up, but instead we must react quickly. There are seven races to go and 70 points up for grabs, which means there is plenty of time to make up ground. Our rivals are strong but we have shown we are at their level." Felipe Massa, Formula 1 driver, Ferrari, commenting on his comfortable lead in the Hungarian Grand Prix when his engine suddenly blew up with just three laps to go

"You can't see any strings leading to Heikki's shoulders or you can't see anyone's hands up his back. When you're in a team and you know your teammate has the opportunity to win the race and you don't, if you have the right values that are not lodged solely and exclusively in your own motives and your own objectives and your own selfishness, then you take a decision which is to allow the driver past and allow him a chance to win the race." Dennis insisted that "only one" former McLaren driver has ever complained about driver inequality. Alonso suggested in Hungary that if had he stayed at McLaren in 2008, he would have been forced to accept a support role alongside Lewis Hamilton. Ron Dennis, Team Principal, McLaren Formula 1 team, commenting on Fernando Alonso's criticism of the McLaren team

“It started off a little bit rough. Scott [Pruett] got into the back of me at the start and spun me around which pretty much put me dead-last. We came from the back of the pack and the car was great. I think we had the fastest lap of the race during my stint. I think I passed all the way to seventh. Then I passed it off to Mark and he did a great job. He kept us in contention. He did a great job of conserving fuel, short shifting and coasting into the braking zones. We also need to thank Ford, because I think we had the best fuel mileage today and we have great power every time. I feel for the No. 58 guys. They’ve been knocking on the door all year. Darren drove a beautiful race today. At the same time, we’ve had terrible luck all year. I had my heart ripped out at Barber. But that’s just racing. Sometimes it breaks you and sometimes it’s awesome. Today was just awesome.” Brian Frisselle, Grand-Am driver, AIM Autosport, winner along with teammate Mark Wilkins, of closest Grand-Am race in history in Montreal

“Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, NASCAR filled up the whiner trough with slop, and all the hogs have jumped in there, and there’s no room at the trough.  I’d just as soon hang out with a higher-quality person anyway. What this does is, I’m a little concerned about potential violation of trust because I feel like our teams have to trust these guys to look after our interests. But we also understand that they have to look after everyone’s interests. And we have to understand that everyone’s who’s been at that whiner trough soaking up all that slop has been characterizing that their sponsors don’t have any opportunities unless they have a Toyota. I'm almost of the opinion that being singled out in this fashion is the highest compliment that NASCAR could have paid us for our effort, our hard work, the materials we have, the expertise we have, our teams, our drivers.”  Lee White, Toyota Racing Development President and General Manager referring to Ford's Jack Roush and other habitual whiners More ...

Tire 'cut' deflated Hamilton - Bridgestone  (GMM) Bridgestone F1 boss Hirohide Hamashima said on Sunday he believes championship leader Lewis Hamilton's tire puncture during the Hungarian grand prix was caused by a cut in the sidewall.

He added: "However we are still investigating the reason as (the cause) is not immediately apparent from initial analysis."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, meanwhile, said it was "damage" that caused the British driver's left front puncture.

A Bridgestone statement said "the exact cause" of the lap 41 puncture "is being investigated by Bridgestone and the team".
NASCAR doesn't trust Goodyear tires, will throw yellow  NASCAR will throw a competition caution after lap 20 is completed in today's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.  Rains on Saturday made the track green, and the caution will allow teams to check tire wear.  Teams cannot refuel prior to the competition yellow.

Rain making the track green.  In other forms of racing it is not necessary to throw a competition yellow if it rains the day before the race.  However, NASCAR uses Goodyear tires exclusively, whereas other series, on other brands, do not have this problem.  You decide.......

McCain's wife visits NASCAR at Pocono  
Cindy McCain (R) talks to NASCAR president Mike Helton
Jim Garrahan/AutoRacing1
Republican Presidential candidate John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, made a surprise visit to the NASCAR garage Sunday morning at Pocono International Raceway where the Sprint Cup teams are preparing for today's 500 mile race.  AutoRacing1.com was on hand to capture all the action.

At right NASCAR president Mike Helton explains something to McCain.
NHRA News: New auxiliary pit vehicle rules  As NHRA events have grown, the pit area has become increasingly congested, and as a result, the risk of operating auxiliary pit vehicles within certain areas populated by spectators has increased. We have experienced a significant increase of incidents involving pit vehicles resulting in injuries and/or property damage. NHRA also is receiving a growing number of complaints from spectators regarding pit auxiliary vehicles.

NHRA believes this risk and subsequent potential for accidents are such that it is necessary to implement additional policies regarding auxiliary pit vehicles. It is in the best interest of the sport, racers, sponsors, fans, and vendors to provide a safer venue for pedestrians. Therefore, the following rules and regulations are effective immediately.

More ...

Teams fail to agree to delay KERS until 2010  (GMM) Another attempt by formula one teams to call off the scheduled introduction of KERS has failed.

Bosses of all ten teams met in Sunday in the Toyota motor home, where the hottest topic was the controversial energy-recovery technology.

Not only have some teams been experiencing problems in their development of KERS systems for 2009, chiefs including Renault's Flavio Briatore believe the implementation would be considerably cheaper if the technology is delayed for another full year.

In fact, in the Hungaroring paddock on Sunday, six of the ten teams voted to establish a gentleman's agreement to voluntarily delay racing KERS-equipped cars until 2010.

There is nothing the FIA could do to compel teams to run KERS systems next year, as using the technology in 2009 is not mandatory.

According to the new FOTA alliance of teams, however, it is understood that a majority of seven out of ten votes is necessary for decisions to go through.

It is believed that Williams and BMW-Sauber - despite the latter team encountering an electrocution issue with a KERS-equipped car at a recent test - are the most stridently committed to the technology for 2009.

McLaren and Honda, meanwhile, are believed to have also voted to race ahead with KERS technology in 2009.

Dennis hits back at 'selfish' Alonso  (GMM) Ron Dennis on Sunday hit back at former driver Fernando Alonso's renewed criticism of the McLaren team.

When he spoke to reporters this week as he arrived in Hungary, the apex of his spectacular falling out with Dennis' outfit one year ago, Alonso suggested that had he stayed at McLaren in 2008, he would have been forced to accept a support role alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Dennis was asked about the comments on Sunday, and made no secret of his belief that Spaniard Alonso, who returned to Renault this year, may have breached the conditions of his termination agreement with McLaren by speaking critically about the team.

Alonso, 27, was replaced for 2008 by Heikki Kovalainen, who in the wake of Dennis' comments inherited his first victory at Budapest.

"You can't see any strings leading to Heikki's shoulders or you can't see anyone's hands up his back," Dennis said. More ...
Force India to run new gearbox at Valencia  The Force India Formula 1 team enjoyed a successful three-day test at Jerez last week with the team's brand-new seamless shift gearbox. The team continued testing the new gearbox on Friday in Hungary and decided to race with it in Valencia.

The Force India F1 team expects to win at least a few tenths of a second with the seamless shift gearbox and is thus looking forward to run it during a race. The team has now confirmed it will race the new gearbox at the next race. "We are very optimistic about running the seamless shift gearbox and look forward to actually racing it in Valencia," confirmed the team's co-owner Vijay Mallya.

The Valencia Grand Prix will take place in three weeks time.

Sebastien Buemi wins GP2 sprint race in Hungary  Sébastien Buemi has dominated the field in scorching conditions this morning in race two at the Hungaroring, blasting by his fellow front row starter Andy Soucek to take a strong win ahead of the Spaniard and Bruno Senna. The win came as a result of the mounting pressure he put on his rival, with Soucek running slightly wide at turn 12 and handing a clear run through to the flag for the likeable Swiss driver.

At the start it was Soucek who came off the grid best, getting a great start when the lights went out to lead Buemi, Mike Conway and super starter Lucas di Grassi into turn one: the latter tapping the Briton as they entered the corner but both men held their lines ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna. The front two were in a class of their own, swapping fastest laps as they built a lead over di Grassi, whose fight with Conway spilled over when they came together at turn two on the second lap, with the Brazilian continuing but the Briton spinning around.

Di Grassi was soon handed a drive through penalty for his antics, promoting Maldonado to an astonishing podium position after failing to even make qualifying on Friday, a great return by anyone's standards, but all eyes were on the Soucek / Buemi battle as the pair left everyone else behind. The Spaniard held his own for 12 laps, but eventually the pressure blew: with an oversteering car he ran wide into turn 12 and that was all the incentive Buemi needed, nipping through into a lead he would not relinquish to anyone. More ...

Hungary signs new GP deal through 2016  (GMM)  Hungary has extended its contract to host the grand prix near Budapest until 2016.

The existing contract was set to expire in 2011, but Hungarian sport minister Istvan Gyenesei announced on Sunday morning he signed a five year extension this weekend with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, tsr.ch reports.

The Hungaroring, in Mogyorod about a thirty minute drive from historic Budapest, hosted its first grand prix in 1986.

We framed Mosley, say prostitute and husband  (GMM)  The theory that Max Mosley was set up by his formula one enemies has been dealt a blow.

The prostitute who secretly filmed the FIA president at his Chelsea flat earlier this year has told a British newspaper that her husband - a sacked MI5 officer - simply saw her high-profile client as a way to make money.

'Woman E' is quoted by the Mail on Sunday as saying her husband rang the News of the World offering to sell the story.

"He knew exactly who (Mosley) was," the prostitute said, adding that her husband is "keen and knowledgeable about motor racing" and knew that Mosley was "wealthy, powerful and successful".

She said they simply saw the Mosley story as a way to make money.  "Never in a million years did we think it would cause so many problems," she added.

She said her hidden camera, concealed in her uniform, was "all fixed up" by the News of the World.

The prostitute's husband, meanwhile, insists that MI5 - the British security agency - wasn't involved in the setup.

"Nobody from any organization including MI5 spoke to either my husband or myself before or after he contacted the newspaper," the prostitute agrees.

"It was entirely our decision and the result of a moment of madness."

tv news
Weekend USA TV Reminders  UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday are shown below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
GP2 Series Hungary
6:00am-7:30am SPEED
Movie: World's Fastest Indian (2005)
6:30am-8:45am Showtime
Check your listings, as Showtime channels vary
Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
7:30am-10:00am (L) SPEED
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
NASCAR in a Hurry Pocono 
10:30am-11:00am SPEED
NASCAR Raceday Pocono 
11:00am-1:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Sprint Cup Pennsylvania 500 Pocono
1:00pm-2:00pm (L) Pre-race
2:00pm-6:30pm (L) -Race ESPN
Formula 1 Replay Hungary 
2:30pm-5:00pm (R) SPEED
AMA Supersport Mid-Ohio 
5:00pm-6:00pm (SD) SPEED
AMA Superbike Honda Supercycle Weekend Mid-Ohio
6:00pm-7:00pm (SD) -Day 2 SPEED
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Pocono 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Tim Cindric (Penske Racing) 
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
10:00pm-11:00pm ESPN2
All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV programs, see TVRacer.com
Goodyear Announces Actions to Address NASCAR tires  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced actions focused toward solving the tire issues that hampered last weekend’s event at the Brickyard. Stu Grant, General Manager, Global Race Tires for Goodyear, said engineers are working around the clock to completely understand the issues, and as part of the forward plan, the company is enlisting the knowledge and experience of the NASCAR racing industry to address the short and long term elements of the plan.

“We have a proud history in racing with 54 continuous years of NASCAR involvement, and have enjoyed worldwide success in all forms of racing,” Grant said, “but all should be assured that no one was more disappointed than we were with the events in Indianapolis. “We are the first to admit that we missed the mark with the combination for this race. There are many reasons, but they are only important today from the perspective that we learn from those issues and move forward successfully.” Grant said that he has shared Goodyear’s forward focus with NASCAR and the sanctioning body was supportive. Next steps include:

• Completing the extensive post-race analysis in process that includes all internal aspects of tire design and manufacturing and discussions with key external stakeholders, including representatives from NASCAR, team owners, crew chiefs and drivers to gain insight to information that will provide clarity to the final analysis.
• Engaging research scientists and engineers, including available assets and modeling capabilities from the Sandia National Laboratories, to develop a range of potential short-term solutions. More ...

Hamilton thinks he's as good as Schumacher  Lewis Hamilton warned Ferrari he is already as good as Michael Schumacher after storming into pole position for today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

McLaren driver Hamilton is on course to become the first man to complete a hat-trick of Formula One victories since German legend Schumacher in 2006.

He holds a four-point drivers’ championship lead over Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and is seven points ahead of the Italian team’s Kimi Raikkonen.

And Hamilton, who has team-mate Heikki Kovalainen behind him on the Budapest grid, boasted: “I am at my best. So far, this is as comfortable as I have ever been.

“I feel pretty much on top of things and I still have room to improve.

“You can never feel too comfortable, but I feel safe in the position I am in. I couldn’t be in a better position to push for a win.”

Schumacher was handed a consultancy role with Ferrari when he quit Formula One.

He was at the German Grand Prix, where he was in radio communication with Massa and Raikkonen in practice, and is expected to do more testing.

Ferrari are hoping Schumacher’s experience in the cockpit will help Massa and Raikkonen to start winning again, but Hamilton believes he is on a par with the seven-time world champion.

“I think Michael’s presence at Ferrari is a compliment to us,” said Hamilton. “We are not doing that and we are still winning races. Sunday Express

British F3
Hartley Hares to Victory in Belgium  Brendon Hartley won Round 16 of the 2008 British F3 International Series at Spa passing Sergio Perez on the last lap after fighting his way back up from 5th after being delayed at the start after pole position holder Oliver Turvey was stranded on the grid.  Nick Tandy scored his first ever British F3 podium finish after briefly leading on the opening lap.  Jay Bridger took his fourth National Class win with a last lap move on Steven Guererro.  It was a triple podium joy for the T Sport team as Salman Al Khalifa took his second podium finish of the weekend.

After being fastest all weekend in free practice, in qualifying and winning Round 15 Oliver Turvey was hopeful of making it a clean sweep at Spa as he lined up on pole position for Round 16.  However the Mercedes engine in the back of his Carlin Motorsport Dallara had other ideas and as the lights went out to being the race Turvey’s car ground to a halt causing the cars behind him to take avoiding action.  Luckily nobody hit the hapless driver but it did shake up the order with 5th placed Nick Tandy and 6th place Sergio Perez exiting La Source in 1st and 2nd respectively.  Perez harried Tandy all the way through Eau Rouge and up the hill to Les Combes, with the Mexican overtaking the Mygale before the corner and then Jaime Alguersuari deciding to have a look down the inside of Tandy as well but the Englishman held onto second place.

Behind these the front runners John Martin and Walter Grubmuller collided at La Source with the unlucky Atte Mustonen getting caught up in the mayhem, putting all three cars into retirement. Another casualty was Sam Abay who limped into the pits with a punctured front left tire after a clash with Marcus Ericsson.  Abay rejoined after receiving replacement Avon rubber but his hopes of his first podium finish after qualifying third were completely dashed. More ...

NASCAR first - parading in the rain  NASCAR's Nationwide Series is racing in Montreal, Canada, and they have mounted up the rain tires, hooked up the brake lights, windshield wipers, and defoggers.  It might not be racin' but it sure will be entertaining.  In the dry they were 30 seconds per lap slower than the F1 cars, meaning they would be lapped by the F1 guys every 2 laps or so.  In the rain they are about 45 seconds per lap slower than the F1 cars in the rain, meaning they would be lapped every 1.5 laps or so.
Wet Saturday at Pocono  A race weekend at Pocono almost always involves one wet day. This year was no exception. Practice for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway has been cancelled due to rain. Rain flooded the main tunnel leading into the infield and the track workers used a fire truck to pump the water out.
Arie has surgery  Arie Luyendyk Jr. underwent surgery on his left knee on Friday, July 25. His injury occurred from continual bruising of his left knee that occurred over the past few races. As a result, Luyendyk Jr. suffered a staph infection inside the knee joint as well as an infected bursa sac. The surgery was needed to remove the sac and the infection. Luyendyk Jr. was released on Sunday and is scheduled to follow up with Dr. Hupfer of the Indiana Orthopedic Hospital on Tuesday August 5th to assess the healing of his left knee. At this time, no decision has been made on whether or not Luyendyk Jr. will compete at Kentucky Speedway on August 9th.

"I am determined to get healthy as quickly as possible. I have never had surgery before, but am hoping my recovery is swift so I can compete for the Firestone Indy Lights championship at the next event in Kentucky. I would like to thank Dr. Hupher and his medical staff for their care and support in getting me healthy again." Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Chrysler to offer longer loans, cash incentives  Chrysler LLC, the U.S. automaker that stopped offering leases today, will extend six-year loans and $2,000 cash rebates on many of its models to trim buyers' monthly payments.

Chrysler is using the incentives to help stem further U.S. sales declines from the loss of leasing that it says accounts for 20 percent of its volume.
Di Grassi powers to victory in Hungary  Lucas di Grassi has opened his win account for the year in fine form at the Hungaroring today, taking the lead at the first corner and then holding on despite race long pressure from Andreas Zuber to take the checkered flag by just 0.7 seconds to put himself third in the championship, with Bruno Senna rounding out the podium and closing the gap on championship leader Giorgio Pantano.

The win was set up at the start when di Grassi made his now customary storming getaway, along with teammate Vitaly Petrov, while poleman Romain Grosjean was very slow to get started: the Brazilian went inside Zuber at the first turn to claim the lead and tore off down the road with the Russian playing wingman, while Senna's equally impressive start put him up four place to fourth on the first lap, just behind Zuber.

A lap later and Pantano was not waiting around, pulling a move around the outside of Grosjean at turn 4: the pair came together and the Italian was spun around before restarting at the back of the field, while the Frenchman came straight back to the pits to have a flat tire changed, and Mike Conway managed to sneak through Karun Chandhok for fifth place in the melee. More ...

Without Schumacher Ferrari falling off pace of McLaren  The starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix will see the two Ferraris line up on the second and third rows, with respectively Massa in third place and Raikkonen sixth. Having set the fastest time of the day in Q2, Felipe could not do better than third in Q3, in part because of a bit of traffic on his second timed run.

A mistake at Turn 4 cost Kimi precious time on his final quick lap, dropping him to sixth. "Obviously, we cannot be happy with this result, especially when our main opponents have the front row to themselves," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Our main aim this weekend was and still is to get the most out of our car-tire-team package and today we failed to do that, especially in the final part of qualifying. Now we have to try and do it in tomorrow's race: it will be tough because our grid positions are not the best and we are up against very strong opposition, but it is not an impossible task. We have strong potential which we saw today: it will be a case of getting all the elements to come together as well as possible."

Felipe Massa: "It's a shame I didn't manage to get the best out of the car in Q3, mainly because of traffic, especially on my second run. In the first two parts of qualifying the car felt good, as can be seen from my times, but then I never managed to prepare the tires in the best way. Clearly, overtaking isn't easy but we have a good pace and I will try and exploit that in fighting with the two drivers ahead of me on the grid."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I made a mistake on my final flying lap which cost me precious time, and that followed on from not having got a great lap on my previous attempt, which explains why I'm sixth. Of course I am not happy and, starting from the third row, my race will be an uphill struggle. I will try and make the most of this situation, given that the car today was not that bad. We are going through a bit of a difficult time but we mustn't give up: all we need to do is put together all the pieces of the jigsaw and then the results will come to us again."

Luca Baldisserri: "Having our main rival's two cars on the front row is definitely not the most promising start for the race, but it in no way means the race is already lost for us. Tomorrow it will be important to make a good start, trying in Felipe's case, to take advantage of starting on the more rubbered-in side of the track, and to manage tire performance as well as possible, given that we can expect very high temperatures. On top of that come the usual parameters - strategy, reliability, team work - that have to operate at their best in order to get a good result. We have to try our hardest to bring home as many points as possible and only at the end of the race will we see if we have done enough or not."

Kovalainen - I will try to beat Hamilton (Yeah right)  
Heikki Kovalainen says he will try to beat Hamilton to cover up for the fact that he is the designated Number 2 at McLaren.  He will not beat Hamilton unless Hamilton has a problem
(GMM)  Heikki Kovalainen on Saturday said he will try to win the Hungarian grand prix, despite suggestions he is now merely supporting teammate Lewis Hamilton's title push.

The Finn qualified his McLaren behind championship leader Hamilton at the Hungaroring, raising the possibility he will simply defend the Briton's rear wing on Sunday and dutifully follow him home.

Kovalainen lies 30 points behind Hamilton in the drivers' chase, while Hamilton is just four and seven points ahead of the Ferrari duo.

"I will attack tomorrow as much as I can at the start and we will see how it works out," Kovalainen, who qualified ahead of Hamilton's current main title rival Felipe Massa, said.

"Ideally I can push Lewis and keep Felipe behind me.  I will fight with Lewis, try to pass him, and of course he will try to defend," he added.

Kovalainen insists, however, that the two occupants of the silver MP4-23s - which is clearly the fastest car this weekend in Hungary - will be clever about the quest for a team one-two.

"We will respect each other because at the end of the day we are employed by the team, and we will try to do our best for the team," he said.

Two weeks ago at Hockenheim, following the safety car shuffle, Kovalainen moved aside for Hamilton as the fast Briton carved his way back to the front.

But Kovalainen says he is free to race.

"Like you saw at Silverstone, we do race, but we also know where the limit is, and that's how it is for all the guys at the top of formula one," he explained.

Bourdais penalized for Heidfeld block  (GMM)  Sebastien Bourdais has been demoted five positions on the grid for the Hungarian grand prix.

The Frenchman qualified his Toro Rosso in 14th position on Saturday, but BMW-Sauber competitor Nick Heidfeld - who subsequently dropped out of the initial 'Q1' segment - complained that he was held up through the final corner.

F1 rookie Bourdais, who will now start the grand prix from P19 following the stewards' enquiry, was on an out-lap at the time.

"Sebastien was right in my way," an angry Heidfeld, who did not get out of his car immediately after missing the cut, said.

He explained: "I was hoping it was so obvious he would be penalized right away and I could still get into Q2."

Toyota backs Renault amid engine freeze spat  (GMM)  Toyota has sided with Renault in the trackside spat about the legality of formula one engines.

First team boss Flavio Briatore, and then Renault racer Fernando Alonso, griped this week that they believe the French squad has fallen behind its competitors because of the 'freeze' on most engine development.

While they say Renault really did cease tinkering with its homologated 2.4 liter unit, some outfits - possibly including Ferrari and McLaren - continued making performance steps in the guise of allowable tweaks to improve reliability or reduce costs.

It is believed that, like Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, BMW have also made permissible changes to its homologated engine.

"From the Toyota side, we have obviously had the same approach as Renault -- that means more legal than legal," the Japanese squad's Pascal Vasselon said in Hungary.

"It was an engine freeze, our engine has been frozen," he added.

A call for France to resign  UPDATE There are two reasons that the Indianapolis backlash was so ravenous in the couple of days after the race, aside from the actual race itself. The first reason was NASCAR's initial reaction -- that good fans will shut up and keep buying tickets. And the second reason is that this has happened before -- Charlotte or Atlanta, take your pick -- so there really isn't much explanation for the problem to have grown this big. Goodyear may bear some responsibility, at the very least since they should be aware that their name is attached to this. But ultimately, NASCAR is culpable for their product being in a decline that is growing steeper with the unacceptable piling up of preventable displays like we saw in Indianapolis. A local short track charging a tenth of what NASCAR collects for seats would have been embarrassed by it. Indy 2008 is going to be historic, and for awful reasons. The CEO needs to take responsibility for that. Where is Brian France in all of this? NASCAR's CEO hasn't done anything publicly to address yet another black eye in a sport that doesn't have a lot of unblackened eyes left. And it continues an ongoing reign in which few positives can be found.  The Frontstretch

08/02/08 Did you know that Brian France, in addition to being CEO of NASCAR, manages a marketing company called “Brandsense”? One of his clients…We swear, we are not making this up…is Britney Spears. Talk about a joke that writes itself!  Frontstretch.com
Firestone doesn't foresee issues like Goodyear had at Brickyard  Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports executive director Al Speyer only watched the final 20 laps of Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

But he had plenty of e-mailed updates during the race about Goodyear's tire wear issues.

"Let's hope we don't ever (have a problem like that)," said Speyer, whose Nashville-based company provides tires for the Indy Racing League.

Speyer said Firestone tests its tires repeatedly to ensure they hold up.

"We have had times where we've had to go back to a track repeatedly to find the right solution," he said. "But we went back and found it."

Firestone's contract with the Indy Racing League ends after the 2010 season.

Speyer said if Firestone and the IRL remain happy, the two would remain partners. Speyer did not know if the company would be interested in ever producing NASCAR's tires. Goodyear's contract with NASCAR runs through 2012.  The Tennessean

Hungary GP: Hamilton tops practice 3  Lewis Hamilton looks ready to take pole position for this weekend's Hungarian GP after finishing the final practice session before qualifying on top of the timesheets.

The McLaren ace was the fastest driver on track on Friday and continued his impressive form on Saturday morning, posting a blistering lap of 1:20.228 seconds.

Hungarian GP, Practice 3


Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.228 + 0.000 14
2. Massa Ferrari 1:20.567 + 0.339 14
3. Glock Toyota 1:20.623 + 0.395 21
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.657 + 0.429 15
5. Piquet Renault 1:20.917 + 0.689 21
6. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:21.096 + 0.868 15
7. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.179 + 0.951 21
8. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.184 + 0.956 22
9. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.187 + 0.959 18
10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:21.195 + 0.967 19
11. Alonso Renault 1:21.228 + 1.000 21
12. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:21.357 + 1.129 17
13. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:21.489 + 1.261 16
14. Trulli Toyota 1:21.601 + 1.373 18
15. Barrichello Honda 1:21.703 + 1.475 20
16. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:21.752 + 1.524 17
17. Button Honda 1:21.772 + 1.544 19
18. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:21.975 + 1.747 18
19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:22.189 + 1.961 22
20. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:22.550 + 2.322 23

tv news
IRL TV ratings trending upward  Through July 20, viewership for IRL telecasts is up 18% from last year across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The most viewed non-Indy 500 race was the Honda Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio, which drew 1.8 million viewers in the post-British Open spot on ABC. The largest audience for a race on cable came for the Bombardier Learjet 550, which drew 1.1 million viewers on ESPN2 June 7.
Fittipaldi: new car is beautiful  
Emerson Fittipaldi tries out the new A1GP car for size
Emerson Fittipaldi has described the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car as ‘beautiful.’

The A1 Team Brazil boss and double Formula One world champion never drove for Ferrari in his F1 career, but was so excited when the Ferrari partnership was announced last October that he immediately pledged to drive and test the car when he could.

Fittipaldi witnessed the first public running of the car at the launch event for A1GP earlier this week, and even tried out the cockpit for size.

“It was an historic day for A1GP,” Fittipaldi said. “The new car is beautiful, much longer and wider than our old car, and has a lot of power.

"A1GP has still maintained its concept of running without electronic aids, so next season should see some very exciting races and will be a challenge for the drivers. The A1GP and Ferrari partnership is wonderful and our series will benefit from Ferrari’s 60 years of experience in motor racing."
Scary moment for Steve Wallace  Steve Wallace had a scary moment Friday during the final Nationwide Series practice at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, when a part in the transmission failed, exploding the casing and causing the driveshaft to snap in two.

A piece of the driveshaft kept spinning coming through the bottom of the car and hitting Wallace’s seat. Wallace was unhurt but said he would have a “big bruise” on his right leg.

“It just started spinning and ripped the whole rear end out,” Wallace said. “It bent the seat real bad and tore the whole interior out. Scary.”
Hamilton - I don't need the August break  (GMM)  When the checkered flag waves on the Hungaroring pit straight on Sunday, many elements of the formula one circus will breathe a sigh of relief.

It marks the end of a relentless stretch of eleven grands prix and tests in between.

For most of August, the three-week break until Valencia and the test moratorium means much of the tired F1 world can pull away and recharge for the final seven-race sprint that will crown the 2008 champion.

But McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who leads the drivers' standings, would rather do without a summer vacation and just keep racing.

"I don't need a break," he is quoted as saying in Hungary by The Sun.

"In fact, now is a better time than ever to keep pushing."

Hamilton, 23, has won more races than any other driver this year, and the last two on the trot.

On Sunday, he could become the first driver since Michael Schumacher in 2006 to secure a rare hat-trick of wins.

"It's of no importance to me," the Briton insists.  "I just want to continue with the momentum I've got."

tv news
Tim Cindric to be guest on Wind Tunnel  Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday night, August 3.  Fielding cars in NASCAR, IndyCar, and ALMS, the team has had a banner year winning the Daytona 500 and the 12 Hours of Sebring.  Recently they earned the organization’s 300th win.  Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET live on SPEED.
Pruett takes pole in Montreal  Scott Pruett broke the Grand-Am Rolex Series track record early this afternoon at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a lap of 1:33.199 (104.641 mph) and will lead the field to the green flag of the Montreal 200, a 74-lap race with a two-hour time limit, which is set to fall at 4:21 this afternoon (SPEED, 8 p.m. ET).

It was the first pole position of the season for Pruett and the 11th of his career. He will look to join co-driver Memo Rojas in victory lane for the team's seventh victory in 10 Daytona Prototype races, as the duo share the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley Daytona Prototype.

Joining Pruett on the outside of the front row was Jon Fogarty, whose team repaired the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley he co-drives with fellow Daytona Prototype co-champion Alex Gurney. Fogarty ran a lap of 1:33.707 (104.073 mph). The car sustained bodywork damage in a practice accident Thursday afternoon. Brian Frisselle qualified third at 1:34.197 (103.531 mph) in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley he co-drives with Canadian Mark Wilkins. He will be joined on the second row by another Canadian, Michael Valiante, who posted a time of 1:34.341 (103.373 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley co-driven by Max Angelelli.

On the third row will be Bill Auberlen in the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Ruby Tuesday Porsche Riley (1:34.383; 103.109 mph) and Nic Jonsson in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola (1:34.583; 103.109 mph). Overall, the top nine drivers eclipsed Fogarty's year-old track record of 1:35.071 (102.580) More ...
Rossiter To Join Montagny in Andretti Green's Acura  Andretti Green Racing (AGR) announced today it has signed James Rossiter as co-driver of the XM Satellite Radio Acura for upcoming American Le Mans Series stops at Road America and Mosport International Raceway.

Rossiter will be paired with Franck Montagny at the next two series events. Montagny joined Andretti Green's ALMS program last month as the primary driver of the XM Acura.

James Rossiter, #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura: "I'm really looking forward to driving the XM Acura for Andretti Green Racing in the ALMS and in the United States. I'm looking forward to the new challenge as well as racing with Franck (Montagny). I really just want to enter into this with the goal of learning as much as possible. AGR has a great history as a great team, so hopefully we can do some great things together."

Michael Andretti, co-owner, Andretti Green Racing: "We feel very good about adding James to our lineup for at least these next two events. He's a promising, young talent and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do here. During the past couple of events, the XM Acura has shown the necessary speed to contend for the podium and we just need a couple breaks to go our way."
Sutil has Force India contract for 2009  (GMM) Adrian Sutil on Friday said he has a contract to remain with the Force India team in 2009.

Alongside veteran Giancarlo Fisichella this year, the 25-year-old German has had a less spectacular season than as a rookie in 2007 -- when speculation singled him out as a potential replacement for Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

The plaudits have been quieter in 2008, but Sutil said in Hungary he is comfortable about his future.

"For the moment I am relaxed," he is quoted as saying in Budapest by motorsport-total.com.

"My contract is valid also for next year," Sutil confirmed.

Sutil said he is not worried about the threat posed to his seat by Karun Chandhok, the Indian driver who is hoping to move up from GP2 next year with the team owned by his countryman and long-time supporter Vijay Mallya.

"For the moment I see no danger," Sutil insisted. "The contract is firm, and the team has always been very loyal to me.

"Both of us (current drivers) have done well so I think there is no reason why the team would want to change," he added.
Heidfeld 'relaxed' about future at BMW  (GMM) No-one at BMW-Sauber will talk about the team's driver lineup for 2009, but Nick Heidfeld in Hungary said he is feeling "relaxed" about his future.

The 31-year-old German driver struggled to match teammate Robert Kubica's pace in the first half of the season, but a few good performances recently calmed speculation he might be replaced.

In fact, Heidfeld has scored more points - 21, compared with championship leader Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa's 20 apiece - in the last four races than any other driver on the grid.

It is well-known that Heidfeld and Kubica have been specifically told by team boss Mario Theissen to not discuss their contractual situations with the press.

But when asked if he is feeling relaxed about his future in Budapest, Heidfeld said: "Yes. I am now.

"I had some problems, but we've turned things around and I am quite happy with how it is going so far," he is quoted as saying by metro.co.uk. More ...
Kova can ace Hungary qualifying - Hamilton  (GMM) Despite leading his teammate in the points standings by 30 points, Lewis Hamilton on Friday said he would not be surprised if Heikki Kovalainen pips him to pole position in Hungary.

While the 23-year-old Briton was Friday's fastest at the circuit near Budapest, his McLaren teammate is arguably the favourite to dominate qualifying, Hamilton said.

"Heikki's car is easier to get a lap out in qualifying than mine. I accept that," he is quoted as saying by the British newspaper The Sun.

Along with Monaco, Hungary is among the slowest and twistiest tracks on the F1 calendar, meaning qualifying is often more important than usual.

Hamilton said: "Last year I tended to be quickest in qualifying but this year I have sacrificed a little in order to be stronger in the race.

"Over the year, I have pushed the team in a certain direction. It has worked sometimes to my advantage and at others to Heikki's -- especially in qualifying," he added.
Hungary: Grosjean wins GP2 pole  Romain Grosjean has claimed his first pole position in the GP2 Series this afternoon at the Hungaroring, edging out Andreas Zuber and Lucas di Grassi by less that one tenth in an enthralling qualifying battle.

The Frenchman was delighted, and somewhat relieved, to finally take the top position in qualifying with a last minute lap of 1:27.782 after struggling with the final corner throughout the session: his rivals were both just 0.08 behind him when the checkered flag fell at the close of the session.

Zuber opened the session in style, setting the early running while teammate Pastor Maldonado watched from back in the paddock after the team were unable to repair his car in time after his big shunt in free practice this morning, but di Grassi was determined to take the top spot and overtook Zuber on the timesheets when many of his rivals came in for an early pitstop just six minutes into the session. More ...

NASCAR truck race TV rating  Speed's coverage of last Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Power Stroke Diesel 200 drew a 0.81 rating (590,000 HHs), up 72% over a 0.47 (335,000 HHs) for the '07 event (Speed).
British F3
Carlin takes 1-2-3-4 at Spa  Carlin Motorsport took a historic 1-2-3-4 finish at Spa-Francorchamps today, as Oliver Turvey led home his three Carlin team mates in round 15 of the 2008 British F3 International Series.  The Racing Steps Foundation driver led a lights-to-flag victory despite coming under pressure from Red Bull driver Brendon Hartley at the start.  Jaime Alguersuari and Sam Abay fought a close battle to come home in third and fourth respectively. 

As the lights went out, Hartley made the best getaway, just leading Turvey into the first corner.  Turvey fought back however, and the two were side by side going into Eau Rouge, with Turvey taking back the lead into Les Combes.  Behind them, Abay had lost out to Ericsson into Eau Rouge, and was down to fifth place by the end of lap one.  The young Australian fought his way back however, taking advantage of a squabbling Alguersuari and Ericsson to slot in behind Alguersuari and take fourth place at the end of lap two. 

The Carlin drivers dominated the remainder of the race, with Turvey and Hartley pulling away from the rest of the field.  Despite setting the fastest lap of the race on lap six, Hartley couldn’t quite get close enough to Turvey and had to be satisfied with second.  Behind them, Alguersuari and Abay were running closely in third and fourth to take Carlin’s best ever result in British F3.  More ...
Hungary GP: Team-by-team summary: Friday  
In the morning, championship leader Lewis Hamilton was the slowest of the marquee McLaren and Ferrari runners, but after another 90 minutes of practice he was back to the top of the timesheets.  "Things look very promising for tomorrow," said Heikki Kovalainen, who was a tenth quicker than his teammate in the morning and third at the end of both sessions.


The French team's drivers made their presence known at the circuit near Budapest on Friday -- both inside the top eight in the morning, before Nelson Piquet ended the afternoon just two tenths shy of pacesetter Hamilton.  "Our fuel load was slightly lower than normal, but even so we look competitive," said engineering chief Pat Symonds.  Fernando Alonso was fourth.


In the morning, it seemed Ferrari - despite not usually shining at the Hungaroring - might dominate on the circuit's tight turns in 2008, but by the end of the afternoon Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were just fifth and sixth fastest.  "Our main rivals seem to be still a little bit quicker than us," said the reigning world champion, referring to McLaren. More ...

Rosberg staying at Williams in 2009  (GMM) Nico Rosberg clarified on Friday that he will stay with the Williams team in 2009.

Prior to the confirmation of Heikki Kovalainen's contract for next year, it had been speculated that Rosberg - who was also shortlisted at the end of 2007 as a possible replacement for Fernando Alonso - could move into the second Mercedes-powered seat.

23-year-old Rosberg, however, was always under firm contract to Grove-based Williams, and team chief Sir Frank Williams has never been in the mood to sell up.

"I don't regret anything," the German driver said in interview with the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau.

"That would not help me. Instead I always look forward and try to make my decisions work. You have to have patience and show the best you can with the car you have.

"I am sure my time will come," Rosberg explained. "Next year there are completely new regulations and we could be at the front."

The German admits Williams has not made good progress since the beginning of the 2008 season.

"We did drop back," he acknowledges. "Red Bull, Toyota and Renault, with whom we compare ourselves, are now simply faster.

"But there are some more circuits coming up that should suit our car, and I trust the team that we will improve -- otherwise I would have not signed for 2009," Rosberg added.

Renault 'shocked' by dead F1 employee  (GMM) The Renault F1 employee found dead at the team's Enstone headquarters earlier this week shot himself in the head.

It emerged on Thursday that the death of the man, now identified as 53-year-old William Millar, may have involved the use of a gun.

We can now confirm that Millar, who has worked for the now French-owned outfit since its Benetton and Toleman days, was a research and development engineer.

He was found dead just before midday on Wednesday on a footpath outside the team's UK base with a bullet to the head.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

"Everyone at the team is deeply shocked to lose such a valued member of staff who had been with the team for 27 years," a spokesman said.
Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes  This is the second time Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to Pocono Raceway, having successfully raced on these codes at the track in June . . . Sprint Cup teams have also raced this tire set-up earlier this season at Bristol . . . as on all NASCAR's ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 34-36 laps, based on fuel mileage. Goodyear PR
Hungary GP: Hamilton tops practice 2  Lewis Hamilton topped Friday afternoon practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a 1:20.554 lap on soft tires.  Nelson Piquet, his job on the line, was 2nd quick ahead of Hamilton's McLaren teammate Kovalainen.

Sebastian Vettel, whose Toro Rosso had a hydraulic failure in the morning, only five laps before stopping in virtually the same place on the track.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 0.000 1:20.554 35
2. Piquet Renault 1:20.748 + 0.194 38
3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.760 + 0.206 33
4. Alonso Renault 1:20.928 + 0.374 35
5. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.009 + 0.455 35
6. Massa Ferrari 1:21.010 + 0.456 36
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:21.138 + 0.584 46
8. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:21.363 + 0.809 36
9. Trulli Toyota 1:21.505 + 0.951 42
10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:21.581 + 1.027 34
11. Glock Toyota 1:21.662 + 1.108 39
12. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:21.733 + 1.179 43
13. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:21.837 + 1.283 34
14. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:21.902 + 1.348 33
15. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.955 + 1.401 41
16. Button Honda 1:22.150 + 1.596 41
17. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:22.197 + 1.643 36
18. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:22.358 + 1.804 37
19. Barrichello Honda 1:22.448 + 1.894 33
20. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:22.945 + 2.391 5

GM posts huge $15.5 billion 2Q loss  General Motors Corp. says its losses widened to $15.5 billion in the second quarter as North American sales plummeted and the company faced expenses due to labor unrest and its massive restructuring plan.  It's the third-largest quarterly loss in company history.  The company says the loss includes $9.1 billion in one-time charges, including $3.3 billion for the buyouts of 19,000 U.S. hourly workers.  [Editor's Note: Stick a fork in GM, it's almost done.  This should warrant CEO Wagoner getting paid millions again this year.  Given the magnitude of the loss, they may be forced to cut their NASCAR budget further.]
Hydraulic problem for Vettel in morning  (GMM)  A hydraulic problem sidelined Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso during the morning practice session in Hungary on Friday.

After just four laps of the twisty 4.4km Hungaroring circuit near Budapest, the German driver ground to a halt and finished the 90 minute session slowest of the twenty cars in action.

"It was a problem with the hydraulics.  It's not the end of the world," Vettel, 21, confirmed to reporters at the track.

Vettel said he will be back in action in the afternoon.

BMW sales, profits down  Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world's largest maker of luxury cars, fell the most in seven years in Frankfurt trading after abandoning its profit forecast on falling U.S. sales, the dollar's decline and rising costs for plastics, steel and oil.

BMW fell as much as 10.8 percent. Second-quarter net income dropped to 507 million euros ($790 million) from 753 million euros a year earlier, the Munich-based company said today, missing the median estimate of 703 million euros in a Bloomberg survey. Sales declined 0.9 percent to 14.6 billion euros.

Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer plans to cut production by more than 20,000 vehicles, raise prices and ship cars produced for the U.S. to other markets after sales ``deteriorated sharply over the past weeks.'' His prediction of ``another difficult year'' in 2009 comes seven days after Daimler AG lowered its forecast. Car sales in the U.S., BMW's biggest market, have fallen 10 percent this year as soaring gasoline prices and slowing economic growth hurt consumer spending.

``What's surprising is the size of the cut,'' said Georg Stuerzer, an analyst at UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking in Munich, who recommends investors buy the stock. ``Next year won't become easier due to currency risks and commodity prices.''

Reporter tries to spark new Mosley scandal  (GMM)  A journalist at the Hungaroring tried his hardest to spark a new scandal involving Max Mosley.

Just as the sex scandal seems close to winding down, the reporter approached championship leader Lewis Hamilton - the first black driver in formula one - armed with a nearly 50-year-old interview the FIA president gave to an obscure student publication when in his 20s.

In the archaic magazine Parson's Pleasure, a young Mosley was asked whether he backed the views of his father Sir Oswald, the founder of the British Union of Fascists and a supporter of Adolf Hitler.

"All that I have come across, yes," Mosley said.

About West Indian immigrants like Hamilton's grandfather, the law student Mosley - who said he was also opposed to mixed marriages - added: "I feel they should return home."

McLaren driver Hamilton, who now wears a bracelet bearing the prison number of Nelson Mandela, was asked by the Evening Standard reporter for his response to the new revelations about Mosley.

"Obviously it doesn't make me happy," the 23-year-old said.

Via a spokesman, Mosley replied by denying he is racist.

"Everyone who knows me, knows I abhor prejudice of any kind.  I am an old fashioned liberal.

"I have no earthly recollection of this interview taking place or of making any such comments, which would have dated from 50 years ago," he added.

Dixon on Danica: 'She's a menace' on the track  UPDATE #2 Scott Dixon re-opened the debate by criticizing the IRL's poster girl Danica Patrick's performance in Edmonton.

Patrick was one of the drivers to be lapped by Dixon during his run to victory in the Rexall Edmonton Indy on Saturday, but the Kiwi points leader was clearly unhappy as he struggled to find a way past the Motorola car with title rival Helio Castroneves hot on his heels.

"I don't even know Danica's situation in the race, but to have me sit behind her for three or four laps was kind of bizarre," he said after the checkered flag, "I don't know what she was thinking. I don't know if she thought she was racing me for the lead or something. But that's the way it goes."

06/25/08 Danica Patrick doesn't know why Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon called her "a menace" after last weekend's IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway, and the sport's chief steward, Brian Barnhart, said today that he saw nothing unsportsmanlike about her driving.

But Barnhart warned that Patrick's reputation as a driver is at stake when competitors complain.

"What I think is happening is that guys are getting a little frustrated (with her)," Barnhart said. "She needs to be a little careful that if things aren't going so well (with her car) she needs to treat her fellow competitors with respect and if she doesn't that will probably come back to cost her."

Patrick, a fourth-year series driver who finished two positions behind Dixon in sixth at Iowa, said she was surprised by the remark of the series points leader.

"I would hope that I've earned the respect of the drivers; it's something I've worked hard for," she said. "I've always made sure that when I've been in a situation that's not ideal that I cut slack around me and made sure that I did that because it would come back (to me).

"I've always tried to play fair."

But Patrick, who drives for Andretti Green Racing, admitted that she doesn't care what the Ganassi Racing driver thinks.  "I have the respect of my teammates and that, to be honest, is the only thing important to me," she said. IndyStar.com

06/22/08 IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon called Danica Patrick “a menace” on the track and questioned her decisions behind the wheel following the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway.

“She’s lucky that’s all she got man,” Dixon said when asked about what he perceived was a near brush with trouble by Patrick during the race. “She’s a menace man.”

Another driver voiced similar concerns about Andretti Green Racing’s Patrick, one of the biggest names and faces in the sport who won her first Indy Racing League championship in Japan earlier this season.

Ed Carpenter, of Vision Racing, hit the wall in Turn 2 of Lap 39 to create the race’s first yellow flag.

“I just started working with my car, working towards the front but Danica was doing her normal supreme block job,” Carpenter said. “She is the new Scott Sharp of the series as far as I am concerned. That is two races in a row.”

“I don’t know,” Dixon told The Des Moines Register shortly after the race. “It might just be me, but it’s tough when you get drivers that don’t stay where they should be.” Desmoinesregister.com

Man dies at Renault F1 factory  UPDATE Renault have confirmed that a staff member William Millar died at their factory earlier this week.  The Oxfordshire police are currently investigating of Millar, who worked in the R&D department.

07/31/08 (GMM)  Paramedics and police were dispatched to Renault's formula one headquarters at Enstone on Thursday morning following the death of an employee.

The local newspaper Oxford Mail suggested that a firearm may have been involved in the incident, which is being investigated by police.

Police confirmed officers were called to the scene but would not comment on whether a firearm was involved.

An ambulance service spokesman confirmed a man died at the scene.

Hungary GP: Massa tops track-cleaning practice  Felipe Massa led a Ferrari one-two ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in opening practice at the Hungaroring, a session that was, for the most part, a track cleaning exercise.  The Hungaroring is hardly ever used and is always very dusty. 

McLaren teammates Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton ended the session in third and fourth places, with Fernando Alonso 5th for Renault.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Massa Ferrari 1:20.981 + 0.000 19
2. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.345 + 0.364 21
3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.410 + 0.429 17
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.535 + 0.554 18
5. Alonso Renault 1:21.802 + 0.821 18
6. Glock Toyota 1:21.931 + 0.950 22
7. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:22.267 + 1.286 18
8. Piquet Renault 1:22.326 + 1.345 19
9. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:22.370 + 1.389 22
10. Trulli Toyota 1:22.457 + 1.476 25
11. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:22.654 + 1.673 23
12. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:22.700 + 1.719 16
13. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:22.900 + 1.919 26
14. Button Honda 1:22.917 + 1.936 27
15. Barrichello Honda 1:23.093 + 2.112 26
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:23.147 + 2.166 21
17. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:23.274 + 2.293 22
18. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:23.353 + 2.372 25
19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:23.459 + 2.478 28
20. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.923 + 2.942 4

Hungary GP: Thursday Press Conference  
Participating: Fernando ALONSO (Renault), Timo GLOCK (Toyota), Heikki KOVALAINEN (McLaren Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

Press Conference

Q: Timo, any after effects from your accident in Hockenheim?

Timo GLOCK: No, not really. Maybe too many interviews and stuff like this. But at the end I am okay. I did the test in Jerez without any problems, 80 laps or 78 laps without any problems.

Q: In some ways was it a relief to know that it was a mechanical failure rather than any problem you had?

TG: You know you have to see it from two sides. Until I came into the medical centre I was sure that maybe I made a mistake and came a bit too wide out of the curb and with a heavy fuelled car I felt some bottoming, so I thought it might be my mistake.

But then they told me that the rear suspension collapsed and that was the reason for the crash. When I saw it the first time it looked more spectacular than it felt in the car. For sure it was a bit painful on the back in the first impact but when you see so much stuff flying around, it looks more spectacular than it was right at the end. More ...

British F3
Turvey takes second pole for Carlin  Carlin F3 driver Oliver Turvey continued his dominance around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this morning, to take his second pole position of the weekend.  The Carlin team enjoyed another strong outing, with three of its drivers qualifying in the top four for round 16 of the 2008 British F3 International Series.  Sam Abay was on top form on his first visit to the F1 track to qualify third, with team mate Brendon Hartley just behind him in fourth.  Jaime Alguersuari will line up seventh. 

Once again, the Carlin drivers waited 10 minutes before hitting the track for qualifying, with Sam Abay the first to leave the pits.  The Australian F3 rookie’s first lap was enough to put him second on the timing screens, but in the space of a few seconds, three Carlin drivers took provisional pole, with Hartley going P1, followed by Abay and then Turvey.  More ...

MotoGP riders' views are mixed on IMS  MotoGP riders Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden were at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend for an up-close look at NASCAR, but they also discussed the facility's reconfigured road course that will be used Sept. 12-14 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

The veterans had mixed feelings about the final turn that will put the motorcycles on the front straightaway of the oval (near the fourth turn). Hayden said it's a suitable transition; Edwards wants to see it in action before he decides.

"By the time you get to accelerating and get out toward the curb, you're going to be well over 100 mph, and that wall comes up pretty tight," Edwards said. "But that's something that can always be changed during the (race) weekend if some guys have a problem with it. It's better to be safe than sorry."

"It was always an issue coming onto the straight with the banking. Daytona is really bad because you actually use part of the oval . . . but that won't be a problem here," he said. "The banking is not that steep."

Chrissy Wallace to make ARCA debut  Germain Racing driver Chrissy Wallace [and Mike's daughter] will make her ARCA RE/MAX Series debut this weekend at Pocono Raceway driving in the Hattori Racing Enterprises #01 Germain Toyota Camry. Wallace, a graduate of late model stock car racing, has run three Craftsman Truck Series races this season. ARCA Racing
Carpentier hopes to know 2009 plans by mid-August  UPDATE Gillett Evernham will decide Aug. 15 if Carpentier will be with the team in 2009. A boost to Carpentier's contract renewal would be a top-35 finish in owner's points, guaranteeing his Dodge a starting spot in the first five races of next season. Carpentier is four spots behind that cutoff, still forced to qualify his way into each race. But he has only missed three races this year, two because rain canceled qualifying and the third for a blown tire. Qualifying, Carpentier says, is the easy part. USA Today

07/26/08 Rookie #10-Patrick Carpentier said he should know by mid-August what car owner has planned for him for 2009. "And it all depends on sponsors, you know," said the popular Carpentier. "I expect to be back next year, yes…. but I'm sure Dario Franchitti expected to run the full season too." Winston Salem Journal
Pruett, Werner Lead Rolex Series Practice at Montreal  Scott Pruett and Dirk Werner set times faster than last year's qualifying records in Thursday's practice sessions and hope their co-drivers can carry over momentum in Friday's qualifications for the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Round 11 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Cask No. 16 will be held Friday at 4:21 p.m. (Speed, 8 p.m. ET) on the 2.708-mile, 15-turn circuit.

Pruett ran a lap of 1:34.250 (103.473 mph), surpassing co-driver Memo Rojas' best lap of 1:34.380 (103.331 mph) to lead the Daytona Prototype field in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. Pruett and Rojas have combined to win six of nine Daytona Prototype races this year, and have built up a 60-point lead in the standings.
Second overall was Jon Fogarty, running a lap of 1:34.721 (102.959 mph), followed by David Donohue at 1:34.802 (102.871 mph), defending race winner Max Angelelli at 1:35.068 (102.583 mph) and Marc Goossens at 1:35.073 (102.578 mph).

Donohue shares the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley with Law and the pair has finished second in three of the most recent four races. Angelelli, who won last year's event co-driving with Jan Magnussen, is now paired with Canadian Michael Valiante in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara. More ...

tv news
SPEED Adds Indy NASCAR Confidential Special  UPDATE A reminder that this one-hour special edition of NASCAR Confidential, "What We Learned at Indy," will premiere Friday night, August 1 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET on SPEED, and re-air on Saturday night at 11:00 pm - 12:00 am ET on SPEED.

07/30/08 With apologies and promises it will never happen again and investigations still underway looking at just what went wrong at last weekend’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, SPEED will take NASCAR fans deep inside the real-time crisis management exercise at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Adding a special edition of its popular behind-the-scenes documentary series NASCAR Confidential, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group will use their exclusive access to examine, from multiple perspectives, what went on last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when dangerous and excessive tire wear took center stage.

NASCAR Confidential: What We Learned at Indy, the one-hour special will premiere Friday at 6 p.m. ET and re-air Saturday at 11 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Confidential continues to deliver a viewpoint never before offered to race fans on a regular basis,” said SPEED SVP of Programming Steve Craddock. “The scale of what happened last weekend is unique and required quick-thinking and pressure-filled decision making from everyone involved. This program will show race fans just how complicated the process was and how everyone rose to the occasion to pull off a complete race under incredibly adverse conditions.” More ...

Michael Phelps on No. 31 AT&T Car  
Michael Phelps
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are fast approaching and Team USA swimmer Michael Phelps, 23, is in rare form.  At the 2008 U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Phelps set two world records (200 individual medley, 400 individual medley) and one U.S. Open record (200 freestyle), ultimately qualifying to compete in eight events in Beijing (5 individual and 3 relays).

Phelps – a 22-time world record holder – has cemented his status in the upcoming games as “one-to-watch”.  He is already an eight-time Olympic medalist with six gold and two bronze medals from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

To drive excitement and show support for Team USA, AT&T recently announced a new paint scheme for Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) No.31 AT&T Chevrolet, driven by NASCAR Cup Series veteran Jeff Burton.  Featured on the car is an image of Phelps (seen here) along with Nastia Liukin, a rising star in her own right from Team USA’s gymnastics squad.

“The excitement and encouragement we receive from fans around the Olympic Games is incredible, and it really motivates us to compete at our very best,” said Phelps.  “The new paint scheme will help drive that enthusiasm for the Olympic Games, and it’s a privilege to be showcased on the No. 31. AT&T Car.”

The custom paint scheme will run during the Pennsylvania 500 on Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway.

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