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DATE News (chronologically)
08/07/10
nassprint
Scott Pruett runs Jeff Gordon's No. 24  
Pruett practicing in Gordon's car
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
Scott Pruett ran several laps in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet during Friday afternoon NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, so he will be ready to step in if needed if his wife Ingrid goes into labor.

"It's great to be here, and it says about the sport," Pruett said. "You look at the sport and all the big teams and sponsors, but at the core of it, family still comes first. With Hendrick and with Jeff, and even with my team owner Chip (Ganassi), that's the whole thought process for me being here to help if his wife goes into labor and he has to rush out. We're struggling with the setup. I jumped in it to get the mandatory couple of laps, and that car is loose-loose-loose right now. Jeff's working with it to see if they can get it buttoned down." More ...

08/07/10
alms
Michelin sees win streak ended  A nearly  five-year long, 50-race  Michelin winning streak ended by a margin of  0.506 of a second at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the sixth stop of the 2010 American Le Mans Series here today.

In an exciting duel over the final hour of the two hour, 45-minute race, the Dyson Racing Mazda Lola of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith claimed the first overall American Le Mans Series Race victories for Mazda, Isobutanol fuel and Dunlop as they edged the Highcroft HPD prototype of Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham by 0.506 of a second. More ...
08/07/10
irl
Honda to Adopt New IndyCar Engine Formula  
In June, Honda unveiled a new 2.8L twin-turbo V6 sportscar engine for 2011, and has now confirmed a new, different and more expensive 2.4L twin-turbo V6 IndyCar engine for 2012. With different 2012 rules, they could have used the same motor, but then that would have been too smart.
Honda Performance Development, Inc., the racing arm of American Honda Motor Company, Inc., today announced plans to adopt the new engine formula for the IZOD IndyCar Series, extending participation beyond expiration of its current supply agreement at the conclusion of the 2011 season.  It is very likely no other manufacturer will supply engines in 2012, and perhaps beyond.

HPD has provided engines to the Series since 2003, and has served as the single engine supplier to America's premier open-wheel racing formula since 2006. HPD will continue to provide the current Honda Indy V-8 engine to all IndyCar competitors during the 2011 season, after which a new 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 power plant, designed by HPD, will debut when new engine specifications take effect in the series in 2012.

The cost of a season-long lease for the 2012 Honda IndyCar engine will be reduced by up to 40 percent from current pricing. This follows a number of other significant cost reductions which Honda has implemented since taking on the challenge of supplying the entire field of IndyCar entrants in 2006. More ...

08/07/10
fil
Plowman takes Indy Lights pole  Qualifying Saturday for the Mid-Ohio 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. with starting position. car number in parentheses. driver. time and speed:

1.  (27) Martin Plowman, 1:12.8624, 111.564 mph
2.  (2) James Hinchcliffe, 1:13.0068, 111.343
3.  (40) Dan Clarke, 1:13.0425, 111.289
4.  (29) Sebastian Saavedra, 1:13.0625, 111.258
5.  (28) Stefan Wilson, 1:13.1349, 111.148
6.  (26) Charlie Kimball, 1:13.1587, 111.112
7.  (7) J.K. Vernay, 1:13.3039, 110.892
8.  (22) Adrian Campos Jr., 1:13.3515, 110.820
9.  (77) James Winslow, 1:13.7072, 110.285
10.  (49)Philip Major, 1:14.3337, 109.356
11.  (10) Gustavo Yacaman, 1:14.3453, 109.338
12.  (8) Juan Pablo Garcia, 1:15.0550, 108.305
13.  (36) David Martinez, 1:15.0635,108.292
14.  (18) Rodrigo Barbosa, 1:16.4591, 106.316
15.  (4)Giancarlo Vilarinho, 1:18.0560, 104.141

08/07/10
alms
Pickett has broken back, out for season  
Greg Pickett in the Muscle Milk car
Muscle Milk Team CytoSport's Greg Pickett will miss the remainder of the 2010 American Le Mans Series championship after being diagnosed with rib and back injuries overnight.

Pickett, who was involved in a massive shunt near the end of Thursday's promoter test session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, underwent further evaluation Friday afternoon at Mansfield Hospital.

After having a cat scan and x-rays it was discovered he had a compression fracture to the L3 vertebrae as well as fractures to his seventh and eighth left side ribs. More ...
08/07/10
British F3
Calado leads home Carlin 1-2-3-4 at Thruxton  James Calado took his third win of the season today, leading home a Carlin 1-2-3-4 in round 19 of the 2010 Cooper Tires British F3 Series. 

The Racing Steps man passed team mate Jean-Eric Vergne for the lead on lap 15, with Rupert Svendsen-Cook following home the two leaders in third and Adriano Buzaid fourth.  Lucas Foresti finished in a competitive sixth place, while Jazeman Jaafar crossed the line 13th having served a drive-through penalty early on.  Lining up on pole this afternoon, Vergne had team mate Calado along side him, and Svendsen-Cook just behind in third.  As the lights went out, Svendsen-Cook made the best start at the front to beat Calado into the first corner and slot in just behind Vergne for second place.  Calado meanwhile lost out to both Buzaid and Jaafar over the first few corners, but his way back to third by the end of the first lap.  More ...

08/07/10
nnw
Ambrose wins Nationwide pole  
Marcos Ambrose
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
Marcos Ambrose set a course record with his qualifying run, earning the pole for the Zippo 200 on Saturday morning.

Ambrose's speed of 122.410 mph set the record for Watkins Glen's track for NASCAR.  It is much slower than the IndyCars go.

Joey Logano will start second and Kevin Harvick third despite both of them running identical times, down to the thousandths of a second. More ...

08/07/10
f1
Red Bull and Buemi committed to each other  Sebastien Buemi is confident that the time will come when he makes the move from Toro Rosso to senior team, Red Bull Racing.

Buemi has a long-term contract with Red Bull, who opted to place the Swiss racer with their Toro Rosso team at the beginning of last year's Championship.

"We signed the contract a few years ago so now it's still continuing with Toro Rosso," he said in an interview released by the team.

"The team confirmed me for next year so I'm really happy to be part of the family and to continue working together with Toro Rosso for the 2011 season." More ...

08/07/10
f1
Tilke ready to start work on Austin track  The German firm designing the Formula One racetrack in Austin is about to open a local office and already has geologists testing the site in eastern Travis County.

"There is land, there is money, there is a Formula One contract. We are now ready to enter the final stage of the ambitious project," said Christian Epp, a Tilke GmbH executive in charge of the Austin project.

The track and related structures are destined for about 900 acres near Elroy and bordered by FM 812 and McAngus and Elroy roads, about a mile east of Texas 130.

Although the course layout is about 95 percent determined, Epp said questions remain about the type and design of auxiliary buildings. More ...

08/07/10
irl
Drivers all agree - Castroneves broke the rules  Scott Dixon watched Helio Castroneves move his No. 3 Honda a couple car widths to the outside entering Turn 1 at Edmonton two weeks ago, in an attempt to cut off Penske Racing teammate Will Power.

Uh-oh Helio, Dixon thought. That’s a no-no.

IndyCar officials agreed, black-flagging Castroneves for blocking with two laps remaining, a ruling that helped Dixon pick up his second victory of the season while Castroneves was bumped to 10th.

The typically affable Brazilian erupted afterward, earning himself a $60,000 fine for grabbing an official. Castroneves apologized for his behavior but still believes he did nothing wrong on the track, arguing the rule is too vague.

“The calls have been very inconsistent and I felt I should not have been black-flagged and the rules do not say that,” he said. “They change. So it’s sad.” More ...

08/07/10
irl
Castroneves still does not agree with call  UPDATE Helio Castroneves called Izod IndyCar Series rules "subjective" and the officiating of chief steward Brian Barnhart "inconsistent" at a media gathering during testing this week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Helio Castroneves in Edmonton
The comments were made Wednesday, two days after he was fined $60,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season for his tirade in Edmonton after Barnhart penalized him for blocking Team Penske teammate Will Power.

Barnhart ruled that Castroneves, who was leading the race, was wrong to be in the passing lane entering turn one of the airport road course. Power couldn't complete the pass on the outside. Scott Dixon won the race.

"The rules are very subjective and there have been inconsistent calls over many years," Castroneves said. "I was penalized in 2008 (in Detroit), and since then it's been very inconsistent.

"That's one of the reasons that it's becoming hard, and that's why I don't agree because it happened during the race, the same thing, and the calls were not made the same way. You just can't keep pushing.

"I understand it's a very difficult way to call sometimes and difficult to see everyone." More ...

08/07/10
irl
Vasser, Sato at Pebble beach Concours d'Elegance  KV Racing Technology co-owner Jimmy Vasser and driver Takuma Sato – along with the No. 5 Lotus KV Racing Technology show car – will be at the McCall Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center on Aug. 11. They’ll also be on hand during the week at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as Lotus unveils several cars for the consumer. .. Mario Romancini, who competed in the first 11 IZOD IndyCar Series races for Conquest Racing, is at Mid-Ohio as driver coach for Giancarlo Vilarinho, who is making his Firestone Indy Lights debut in the No. 5 Andersen Racing/Allied car. ... There are a season-high nine rookies competing in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
08/07/10
irl
Hamilton returns to cockpit at Chicagoland  Davey Hamilton will return to the cockpit of the No. 21 HP de Ferran Dragon car at Chicagoland Speedway. He was scheduled to race three races, including Texas, but that plan was altered following Indianapolis.

“It was always on the cards that Davey would drive again for us this season,” de Ferran said. “Obviously, he was scheduled to run in Texas, but the accidents in Indy ruined that plan, now we will have him in Chicago. He really helped us a lot in Indy and I am sure the same will be true in Chicago.  I wish we could run two cars full-time as this is very important to a team’s competitiveness with the current testing restrictions.” IndyCar

08/07/10
nassprint
Biffle tops practice at Watkins Glen  Greg Biffle left a special gift for his hospital-bound car owner, Jack Roush, earlier this week -- and if Biffle fulfills the promise he showed in Friday afternoon's two Sprint Cup practices at Watkins Glen International, he might have another for the boss before long.

"You know, our race cars are really fast, these guys spend a lot of time working on these race cars and coming up with these packages and setups -- I feel like we are gaining on it now," Biffle said after Happy Hour. "I feel like our simulation is better and we are showing up closer when we unload at the race track. I am focused and trying hard. It is not like I have been asleep the whole time, but it is now or never." More ...

08/07/10
British F3
Carlin dominate Thruxton qualifying  Reigning British F3 champions Carlin dominated qualifying at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire today, qualifying 1-2-3 thanks to the efforts of Jean-Eric Vergne, James Calado and Adriano Buzaid.  With the drivers’ second quickest times setting the grid for race one later today, Vergne and Calado will once again line-up first and second, with Rupert Svendsen-Cook taking third place making it a second 1-2-3 start for the Carlin team. 

The session got off to a slow start for the Carlin drivers, who made small set-up changes and various pre-race preparations in the opening minutes.  With ten minutes of the session gone none of the Carlin drivers had set a flying lap, with the exception of Jazeman Jaafar who was fourth quickest.  More ...

08/06/10
irl
IRL nearly invisible on Versus  IndyCar TV Ratings for 2010:

Brazil Versus 0.4
St. Pete ESPN2 0.6
Barber Versus (not listed)
Long Beach Versus 0.54
Kansas ABC 0.8
Indy ABC 3.6
Texas Versus 0.3
Iowa Versus 0.2
Watkins Glen ABC 0.9
Toronto ABC 1.0

Average Versus Rating: 0.36
Average ABC/ESPN Rating: 1.38
Meaning on average ABC delivered 1 million more viewers per race than Versus.  How do you grow a series with ratings of 0.36.  Answer - you don't.

08/06/10
fil
Hinchcliffe tops opening Lights Practice at Mid-Ohio  James Hinchcliffe topped the time chart in the initial practice session for the Firestone Indy Lights Mid-Ohio 100.

Hinchcliffe, coming off a victory in the Edmonton 100 in the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car and runner-up in the race at Mid-Ohio in 2009, had a quick lap of 1 minute, 14.2333 seconds. More ...

08/06/10
alms
Drayson team wins ALMS pole  Jonny Cocker put Drayson Racing on pole position for the Mid-Ohio American Le Mans Series race.  The Lola-Judd driver was fastest throughout the session.  Cocker's lap of 1m10.034s put him a whole 0.932 seconds clear of second-placed Chris Dyson's best effort in the Dyson Lola-Mazda.

More to follow.......

08/06/10
nassprint
nnw
NASCAR Pocono and Iowa TV Ratings  UPDATE Final NASCAR TV Ratings from last weekend:
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup: Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 on ESPN 3.8 Rating with 6.202M viewers
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 200 on ESPN2 1.2 Rating with 1.815M viewers
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Pocono Mountains 125 on Speed 0.7 Rating with 1.133M viewers


08/03/10 ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 1, was the highest-rated and most-viewed NASCAR Sprint Cup race on cable so far this season, according to the Nielsen Company. The race earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.4, averaging 6,202,469 viewers. Last year's event at Pocono was rained out and held on a Monday so there is no direct comparison.  But Sunday's rainout got a 4.5 rating as did the race in 2007 and 2008, so a 4.4 actually represents a decline, though slight, it is still a decline.

ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night, July 31, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,815,043 viewers. The rating was up from a 1.3 for last year's race that was run during daylight hours and aired on ESPN. Four of the last five NASCAR Nationwide Series races have seen ratings growth over the corresponding event of a year ago.

08/06/10
ga
Grand-Am announces awards banquet  GRAND-AM Road Racing has announced the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., as the site of the 2010 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Awards Banquet Presented By SunTrust.
The banquet will be held Saturday evening, Oct. 9, three weeks after the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah. Charlotte is approximately 25 miles from the Continental Tire headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C.

The banquet will honor the top three positions in the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes - both driving and team championships - as well as the manufacturer champions for both classes, the "MESCO Building For The Future Rookie of the Year" and numerous other special awards.

For more information, contact:
Michael Harker, GRAND-AM Public Relations, (386) 310-6584 or mharker@nascar.com

08/06/10
nassprint
Allmendinger Signs for Richard Petty Motorsports  
AJ Allmendinger re-signs with Petty Team
Arriving at the 2007 Daytona 500 with less than 150 laps of stock car driving experience under his lap belts, AJ Allmendinger faced an uphill battle as he looked to translate a winning open-wheel background into success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup ranks. Deepening the disadvantage as his career progressed was the constant wave of change, as the Californian worked hard to find success while adapting to different manufacturers, teams, and crew chiefs in an entirely new discipline.

But those hard turns made for an even stronger racer, and now AJ Allmendinger will look to translate a stable home at Richard Petty Motorsports into greater glory in the future as the team announced on Friday at Watkins Glen International that Allmendinger has signed a multiyear contract to drive the No. 43 Ford Fusion in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. More ...

08/06/10
alms
Lola and Roush announce LMP race engines  
Roush Yates, announced Friday that will be an engine supplier in LMP2 starting in 2011. Its initial offering is the Ford V6 EcoBoost Turbo
Lola Cars International are proud to announce today a technical partnership with the Roush Yates company to offer a variety of their engines in Lola LMP designs for the 2011 season onwards.

Initially majoring on the 2011 LMP2 design, Lola are offering the Roush prepared Ford V6 Eco-Boost TurboV6 unit as a standard installation. A low cost, high mileage solution, this unit is built with production-based parts at Roush Yates Engines facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. Roush Yates are also evaluating the Mustang V8 unit for possible future installations. Both Lola and Roush will also investigate possibilities for LMP1 Prototypes, possibly for the 2011 season. More ...

08/06/10
f1
No car changes for new flex tests - Horner  
Vettel's Red Bull car
(GMM)  Christian Horner does not think Red Bull will need to modify its 2010 car ahead of the Belgian grand prix.

Amid suggestions the front of the RB6 and Ferrari's F10 are running too low to the ground at high speed, the FIA has served notice that scrutineering tests will be amended for Spa-Francorchamps and beyond.

It had been expected that most teams would need to make changes in order to pass the new tests, but team principal Horner does not think Red Bull will be among them.

"Based on the correspondence the FIA has sent us, we believe our car still meets those criteria," he told the print edition of Autosport magazine. More ...

08/06/10
Formula BMW
Lotus Racing confirms young driver program  Lotus Racing has today confirmed its commitment to embracing young talent with the announcement that Nabil Jeffri, the 16 year old Malaysian karting prodigy currently competing in Formula BMW Pacific with Eurasia Motorsport, will be driving for the fastest new F1™ team at an aero test the team will be running in early September at an undisclosed location in the UK.

Nabil has enjoyed a bright start to his motor racing career and is currently fifth in the Formula BMW Pacific championship – taking part in the aero test with Lotus Racing will give the young star invaluable experience of working at the top level in global motorsport, and will give the team a chance to put a promising young driver through his paces very early in his career away from the glare of a Grand Prix weekend. More ...

08/06/10
f1
Minardi backs Alonso to win 2010 title  
Fernando Alonso
(GMM)  Gian Carlo Minardi has backed Fernando Alonso to win the 2010 world championship. After a recent slump for the Ferrari team, the Spaniard's title challenge bounced back into life at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring with a healthy 43 points haul.

And team president Luca di Montezemolo is quoted by Tuttosport: "The next two races on fast circuits (Spa and Monza) should be good for us."

But while Flavio Briatore manages both Alonso and the current championship leader Mark Webber, he is tipping the Australian driver to win.

"Mark is a driver capable of exceptional feats.  He has now reached a maturity and inner calmness that can take him really far," the Italian is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport. More ...

08/06/10
f1
Ferrari's blown floor strategy 'not bad' - Haug  
The Ferrari in Germany a few weeks ago
(GMM)  Norbert Haug has quietly praised Ferrari's strategy in integrating a blown diffuser on its 2010 car. Mercedes, McLaren and Renault have all had problems with the Red Bull-like layout at recent races.

But Ferrari, now the closest team in terms of pace to the championship leaders, introduced its version in several phases, beginning at Valencia in June.  Even in Hungary last weekend, the troublesomely hot exhaust gases were only being blown over the top of the Ferrari diffuser, with the full effect to only be seen at the next race at Spa.

"Perhaps it was not a bad decision of Ferrari's not to rush," Mercedes' Haug is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

Meanwhile, Robert Kubica denied that Renault's 2010 car is still suffering from a loss of engine power due to its initial blown floor efforts. "This is now fixed," the Pole said.  "We are back at our old efficiency."

08/06/10
f1
Renault not ruling out driver change for 2011  (GMM)  Enstone based F1 team Renault is not ruling out a driver change for 2011. The likelihood that Vitaly Petrov, a Russian rookie and pay-driver, will retain his seat alongside Robert Kubica next year has improved with some recent good performances.

But the fact remains that Renault is the best team with a potential vacancy for 2011.

"It is true that many drivers want to come to us," team boss Eric Boullier is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo. "But we do want to give Vitaly the support he needs to fulfill his potential.  We are going to wait as long as possible," added Boullier.

08/06/10
f1
Verstappen not impressed by Schumacher apology  
Jos Verstappen
(GMM)  Jos Verstappen was not impressed with Michael Schumacher's next-day apology for his defensive driving in Hungary.

After initially suggesting that Rubens Barrichello's complaint was connected with his six years alongside him at Ferrari, the seven time world champion apologized on Monday with a statement on his website.

But Dutchman Verstappen, a former teammate of Schumacher's at Benetton in the mid 90s, wrote in his latest column for De Telegraaf: "Be a man immediately after the race and apologize then -- that would have come over a lot more sportsmanlike."

It is rumored that Schumacher's apology was encouraged either by Mercedes, or by his friend, former Ferrari boss and current FIA president Jean Todt. More ...

08/06/10
f1
Vergne working with Red Bull on 2011 car  
Jean Eric Vergne
(GMM)  Jean Eric Vergne has confirmed he is becoming "more and more" involved in Red Bull's formula one program.

The 20-year-old is the energy drink outfit's replacement for ousted junior and F1 reserve driver Brendon Hartley.

There is no testing during the F1 season, but the Frenchman - who drives in British F3 and now in Hartley's Formula Renault 3.5 seat - is hoping to do the young driver session in Abu Dhabi in November. More ...

08/05/10
irl
Video: A lap around Mid-Ohio with Marco Andretti  
08/05/10
alms
Graf/Pickett Porsche R Spyder to miss Mid-Ohio race after huge shunt  After enjoying the highs of victory less than two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park, Muscle Milk Team CytoSport endured contrasting emotions today following a massive testing crash at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course that has forced the team to withdraw from this weekend's race.

Everything was running smoothly in the test session for the Muscle Milk squad as they were sitting atop the speed charts. But then with less than 10 minutes to go, Greg Pickett was involved in a huge accident.

Pickett found himself a passenger aboard the Porsche RS Spyder due to a mechanical issue with the car and ended up going straight into the tire barrier at Turn 4. More ...
08/05/10
alms
Graf tops Thursday practice session  
Klaus Graf
Two weeks following its first overall victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, Muscle Milk Team CytoSport and Klaus Graf set the fastest lap time in testing Thursday for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. His lap of 1:12.841 (111.596 mph) led a very close LMP field around Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Whether Graf and Greg Pickett will have a chance to go for their second straight win is in doubt, however. Pickett was involved in a heavy crash near the end of the session when the car finished upside down in the Turn 4 tire barriers. Pickett was transported to MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital where he was observed and released. The car was being evaluated as of Thursday evening. More ...

08/05/10
alms
Expanded ALMS live coverage  Get ready for bonus coverage of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n this weekend from Mid-Ohio! In addition to Saturday’s race and Friday’s qualifying for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, americanlemans.com will stream video from official on-track sessions live – starting with Friday afternoon’s practice. Simply log into americanlemans.com/live to enjoy all the action.

The move is an expansion of the Series’ groundbreaking efforts from May’s race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with broadcast partners TodoCast.tv and Radio Show Limited – the producers of American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche. Viewers from 74 countries generated more than 1.17 million minutes of race coverage. This weekend’s online race broadcast – brought to you by Falken Tire and powered by TodoCast - will start at 2 p.m. ET. Users who registered for the Monterey race already have a seat saved and will not have to register again. More ...

08/05/10
track news
Atlanta and Richmond pick up title sponsors  Emory Healthcare has signed on as the new title sponsor of the Sept. 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The event will now be named the Emory Healthcare 500. The multiyear contract calls for Emory, in addition to sponsoring the 2010 Sprint Cup event, to become the track's official health care provider. The deal allows Emory Healthcare volunteers to provide screenings and educational programs during the race.  Atlanta Motor Speedway

Meanwhile, the Air National Guard has agreed to title sponsor the Sept. 11 Sprint Cup race at Richmond Int'l Raceway. The Air Guard 400 will be the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. Richmond Int'l Raceway

08/05/10
f1
Haug: No doubt Mercedes will win again  Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug is convinced the German car maker will return to winning ways following a disappointing 2010 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes took over world championship winner Brawn GP to race under its own name again this year, but the results have not been what the team was hoping for.

Nico Rosberg has scored the team’s best results with three third places, as Mercedes is 180 points behind championship leader Red Bull.

Having won last year’s championships under the Brawn GP banner, this year’s results have been disappointing, but Haug is adamant the team has all the ingredients to bounce back. More ...

08/05/10
irl
Baltimore prays race will not fail like others  Baltimore officials are hoping the city's new Izod IndyCar Series race will "succeed where other municipalities have sputtered, signing a five-year deal to stage an event" set to kick off in '11.  If the "experience of other U.S. cities is a guide, sustaining the buzz of Baltimore's Grand Prix will be a challenge." Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston and Las Vegas are among the cities that "launched street-circuit races in recent decades amid great fanfare only to see them fall victim to political squabbles, bureaucratic red tape, waning financial support and resentment from local businesses and residents." Baltimore Racing Development Group CEO Jay Davidson said that his group is "close to landing a title sponsor for the race," now operating simply as the Grand Prix of Baltimore. He noted that he is "heartened by what he says has been an enthusiastic response from Baltimore's business community, as well as nearby residents." Davidson also contends that the race "will draw far more than the 100,000 fans projected." WashingtonPost.com
08/05/10
irl
Houston committee formed to bring back IndyCar race  The Grand Prix of Houston Local Organizing Committee was officially formed yesterday "in hopes of bringing open-wheel racing back to Houston for the first time" since '07. The committee, started by Mi-Jack Promotions, Harris County, the city of Houston and SMG-Reliant Park, is petitioning the IRL "to give Houston a spot" on the '12 IndyCar Series schedule. Houston Chronicle
08/05/10
Automotive
GM announces new dealer network  General Motors today announced that it has concluded the dealer arbitration process and that effective Nov. 1, it will have a network of about 4,500 U.S. dealerships to sell and service customers for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. 

The company also reported that many of these dealerships are participating in a major facilities upgrade program, with more than 300 updates already completed and about 1,000 projects scheduled through the end of 2010.

“Our dealers are the face of GM to our customers and valued members of the communities where they do business across America,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America.  “We’re confident our dealer network will be the best in the business.  It will be the right size with the right dealers to give our customers great service during and after the purchase. More ...

08/05/10
racing news
It was a good weekend for Ford  
Five victories, by four drivers, on three continents, over two days.

Indeed, it was a weekend to remember for Ford’s global motorsport program, as the company took major victories in the World Rally Championship, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Chinese Touring Cars and X Games rally competition.

“It’s a great example of how our product is winning the world over,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president of global marketing, sales and service. “Motorsport is such an important part of our company’s DNA, and there’s a lot of pride that we have teams and drivers that are winning all over the world. It’s something we as a company, and as a racing program, have been doing for years.”

Here’s a brief summary of the weekend victories: More ...

08/05/10
f1
Famous F1 manager Willi Weber avoids jail term  (GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg's manager has narrowly avoided a prison term, reports in Germany announced on Thursday.

Willi Weber, who previously managed the Schumacher brothers and is still involved with the commercial aspects of Michael Schumacher's career, was recently back in a German court.

Two years ago, he was sentenced to probation and a hefty fine in a case involving an insolvent Schumacher merchandising company. More ...

08/05/10
f1
Documents say Austin F1 track will cost $180m to build  The Austin F1 track will cost $180m to build, according to documents given to the Statesman newspaper.

Drawings of a twisty track and low-slung grandstands, the promise of 1,200 temporary jobs during Austin Grand Prix race weekends and the expectation that a brand-new facility would be busy 250 days a year were among details about a proposed Formula One track released recently by City Hall.

The plans were contained in papers marked "confidential" but released in response to an American-Statesman open records request. More ...

08/05/10
alms
Corvette Racing in GT: One year on  
The upcoming Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the sixth round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series, will mark the first anniversary of Corvette Racing's debut in the production-based GT category. Corvette Racing unveiled a pair of second-generation Corvette C6.R race cars last year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, finishing second and fourth in the GT2 division. Now one year later, the team is in the midst of a fiercely competitive unified GT category that features entries representing BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, and Ford.

Based on the Corvette ZR1, the GT-spec Corvette race cars were an all-new design that shared virtually no chassis and body components with their GT1 predecessors. Corvette Racing closed out the 2009 season with five podium finishes and one victory in the GT2 class. In the five ALMS races contested in 2010, Corvette Racing drivers Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen finished second in Long Beach and third in Salt Lake City in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta posted a third-place finish in Monterey, Calif., in their No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. More ...

08/05/10
track news
SMI turns a profit, but revenue down  UPDATE Admissions revenue at Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks has dropped 16.7 percent for the first half of 2010, the company reported Wednesday. Of the drop, 44 percent is attributed to lower ticket prices and 56 to decreased attendance for the events. SMI tracks had 14 Sprint Cup and Nationwide races from January-June 2010, the same number as 2009. SMI President Marcus Smith said that ticket sales have increased over the three weeks leading up to events, but several SMI races were impacted by inclement weather. That was especially true at Texas Motor Speedway, where the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup races were postponed by rain until Monday, according to the SMI news release. The ticket sales for Charlotte Motor Speedway also were down possibly because of its postponed race from a year ago. Typically, a rainout will cost the company one or two cents per share, said SMI Chief Financial Officer Bill Brooks. That would translate to approximately $420,000-$840,000. As far as the overall balance sheet, SMI showed a net profit of nearly $32 million in the first half of 2010, compared with a loss of $3.1 million last year, which included a loss of $55.6 million from the devaluation of Motorsports Authentics in the first six months of 2009. SMI showed a net profit of $77.9 million in the first half of 2008. Scene Daily

08/04/10 SMI today reported Q2 revenues of $177.6M, down from $191.9M in Q2 '09, citing declines in attendance and other event-related revenues due to weak economic conditions. Year-to-date revenues are also down to $296.1M, compared to $325.4M in '09. However, SMI had a Q2 net income of $23.0M, or $0.55 per share, compared to a net loss of $23.4M, or $0.55 per share, in the year-ago period. SMI PR
08/05/10
nassprint
Lally returns to #71 at Watkins Glen  TRG team driver Andy Lally will be at the controls of the #71 Adobe Road/TRG Motorsports Chevy for the Sprint Cup Series Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen race. Lally, an accomplished road racer, is currently dividing his time between four series'. He is third in points in the Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class with TRG, he is leading the points in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GTC class with TRG, and drives in the Grand-Am Continental Sports Car Challenge Series. This weekend Lally will be looking to defend his Watkins Glen Rolex Series Six Hour win from June as well as improve, significantly, on his 27th place, after being caught up in someone else's accident, finish in last year's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The Northport, New York native made his first Sprint Cup Series start last year at The Glen. TRG PR
08/05/10
irl
American dream is alive for Adam Carroll  
Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll takes the second step on his American odyssey this weekend when he re-joins the Andretti Autosport team for round 12 of the IZOD IndyCar series at the Mid-Ohio road course at Lexington.

The 27-year-old A1GP champion from Portadown made his US debut at Watkins Glen last month, qualifying in 10th place and then running in a five-car train battling for fifth in the race.

He lost out in a late-race shuffle behind the safety car, dropping back to 16th but still impressing team boss Michael Andretti who said Carroll did “an awesome job”.

Now he moves to Mid-Ohio, a track where he had his first taste of the powerful IndyCars in a test session ahead of the Watkins Glen race. More ...

08/05/10
f1
Briatore says Webber will win F1 title  According to former Renault F1 team boss Flavio Briatore Mark Webber will win the 2010 Formula 1 championship this season. Briatore, who happens to be Webber's manager, has said that Webber is one of the most intelligent drivers at the grid currently.

“Mark my words,” Briatore warns in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. “Webber is on his way to win the championship this season. I'm not just saying this because he is one of my drivers, but because everyone who watches his races lately can see it. Mark is a driver who can deliver exceptional performances on track and shows he is extremely mature on track too.

“In Hungary he was the first driver to realize he could take a bit of a risk to race 75% of the race on the softer Bridgestone compound. That decision brought him his victory in Hungary. It just proves what an intelligent driver he is.”

08/05/10
automotive
McLaren Announces One Hyde Park As The Flagship Showroom  
McLaren London Dealership
McLaren Automotive and Jardine Motors Group are pleased to confirm One Hyde Park; The Residences at Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge as the high-profile and visually stunning landmark location for the McLaren London showroom. McLaren London will move into the showroom in early 2011 in preparation for the spring 2011 launch of the McLaren MP4-12C, the first in McLaren Automotive's new range of high-performance sports cars.

McLaren London at One Hyde Park will represent a true flagship showroom for McLaren Automotive; the architecture of One Hyde Park will establish it as a landmark development, its prime location in Knightsbridge guarantees immediate recognition, and the showroom's exclusivity as just one of the three key retail spaces at the base of pavilions B, C and D ensures a genuinely unique experience for sports car buyers. McLaren London is anticipated to be McLaren Automotive's leading European retailer and, potentially, the busiest in the global network. More ...

08/05/10
track news
Korea track reveals its logo  
The Korea International Circuit (KIC), currently nearing completion and set to host the FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX from October 22 to 24, has unveiled its official emblem – an eloquent combination of national tradition and high-octane excitement.

The design is inspired by the Korean flag, or ‘Taegeukgi’, and incorporates motorsports’ most recognizable symbol, the checkered flag.

The ‘Taegeukgi’ incorporates the four Taoist philosophical ideals of harmony, symmetry, balance and flow, and its swirling treatment on the KIC emblem depicts both the energy of motorsport and the flow of the circuit. More ...

08/05/10
irl
Infineon Raceway to honor Armed Forces over IndyCar weekend  
Last year at Infineon on the IndyCar weekend
If you have been to any of the major events at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma this year, you have probably noticed the military fly-bys, honor guards, cannon salutes, and the recognition of a hometown hero during pre-race ceremonies.

All that is a part of the Sonoma Salutes Our Troops program that has been going on at the track during the 2010 racing season.

At the upcoming IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma racing weekend Aug. 20-22, the track, in conjunction with the Vintage Valley Blue Star Moms and the IndyCar Series, will honor all branches of the military over the racing weekend and before the big Sunday race, which is Military Appreciation Day at the track. More ...

08/05/10
f1
Valencia questions date on leaked 2011 calendar  
Valencia Bridge
(GMM)  The organizers of the European grand prix at Valencia have questioned the accuracy of a leaked draft of next year's formula one race calendar.

After Hungary, an unofficial 20-race calendar was published by a German outlet, showing the Valencia street event scheduled for late August.

But after a late August date in 2009, organizers Valmor Sport had successfully lobbied for a change to late July for this season.

The lower ambient temperatures and the avoidance of clashes with Spanish holidays were credited for the higher ticket sales. More ...

08/05/10
f1
New radio evidence supports Ferrari team order charge  (GMM)  New radio evidence might indicate that Ferrari will have a difficult task convincing the FIA that it did not deploy illegal team orders at Hockenheim.

The famous Italian team will face the governing body's new disciplinary panel in Paris in September, after Felipe Massa moved over for his teammate Fernando Alonso during the German race.

Until now, the only apparent evidence of the imposition of the team order was race engineer Rob Smedley's radio call to his Brazilian driver: "Fernando - is - faster - than - you -- can you confirm you understood that message".

Smedley later apologized to Massa, telling the 29-year-old he was "very, very magnanimous".

But new radio evidence would seem to reinforce suspicions that the "is faster than you" language was in fact a pre-arranged code that Massa understood as a direct order to pull over. More ...

08/04/10
ga
BMW Penalty Rescinded  The two BMW-powered DPs will have a weight break for the final two races of 2010 after a 75-pound penalty was imposed following Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas' victory at Mid-Ohio.

In addition to the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley, also affected were the two Starworks Motorsport entries, the Nos. 7 and 8 BMW/Rileys.

Beginning with the Montreal 200 on Aug. 28, BMW-powered DPs will be restored to their original weight of 2,275 pounds. The engines were found to be in violation of DP Regulations 4-1.1 Engine Eligibility (components and performance levels that must be strictly adhered to), after Mid-Ohio. Since then, changes were made, the engines were retested and found to be compliant, although the revised engines will not be available in time for the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen.

08/04/10
f1
First Formula One sponsor organization revs up  Formula 100, a new organization where Formula One’s leading sponsors can air their views on the sport, is launching with its first event taking place in London on 1st September 2010.

Access to the organization is by invitation only and is strictly limited. We have selected 100 founding members of F100 comprising the top individuals and sponsors in the sport. For the first time these leading sponsorship figures will all be gathered in one room to discuss the key issues affecting the sport today. More ...

08/04/10
scca
Honda announces SCCA Runoff Program  Honda Performance Development and American Honda have released details of their support program for Honda and Acura competitors during the 2010 Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs, Sept. 20-26 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

"Our support program for the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs was a critical component of the grassroots motorsports initiative we announced last year," said Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development, Inc.  "We were very gratified by the response we received from Honda- and Acura-powered Runoffs competitors at Road America. More ...

08/04/10
nnw
MIS Nationwide test open to fans  With the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car making its debut at Michigan International Speedway next weekend, the speedway has decided to open the race track to the public for the new car’s practice sessions on Thursday, August 12. Best of all, it’s free!

The practice sessions will be held from 9 a.m.-Noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The sessions will test the cars in preparation for the Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 race on Saturday, August 14 at MIS.

Fans will be able to view the new car practicing from the Turn 1 grandstands located next to the speedway’s Administration Building. Parking for the practice will be in Lot 10 and accessible off the US-12 entrance to the track. All fans must enter the grandstands through Gate 17 near the water tower. Gate 17 will open at 9 a.m. Trams will be operational during the practice for guests who are camping on speedway property that day. Trams stops will be located outside of Turn 2, Turns 3-4. More ...

08/04/10
racing news
Mazda looking for future stars  With thousands of active club racers across North America, Mazda has developed a grassroots racing program and career advancement system like no other.  Mazda is the only automaker who promotes drivers from a variety of feeder series to reach the next level in their career.  This is known as the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder, and no other automaker in the world offers anything like it. 

Mazda rewarded six 2009 champions with Mazda-funded rides in 2010, and sights are already being set for 2011.  This is support in the form of cold-hard-cash, for a champion or shootout winner, to be used in a Mazda-powered car, in a higher level series the following season. More ...

08/04/10
fil
Plowman's success based on lesson learned at Mid-Ohio  Martin Plowman had a moment of clarity at the Mid-Ohio race weekend last year and it's made all the difference in the results of the young Englishman ever since.

"Last year was a huge education for me," Plowman said. "I started out the year not having a car that was capable of winning, but my mentality was to win as all costs. I drove outside my limits and I made more mistakes.

"When we got to Mid-Ohio last year, I realized that I had to dig deeper and make the car better for me to perform and not overdrive the car. The results started coming."

Plowman, who drove from eighth to fifth at Mid-Ohio last season for Panther Racing, has finished in the top 10 in every race since and is the only driver to complete every lap of every race through the first eight rounds of the 2010 championship.

He'll match James Davison's series record of consecutive races without a DNF should he complete the Mid-Ohio 100 on Aug. 8. But Plowman, who moved to AFS Racing Andretti Autosport in the offseason, is quick to credit his team for his consistency and his third-place position in the point standings. More ...

08/04/10
irl
IRL news tidbits  Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann will be the grand marshal of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Swann, who won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Since 1980, he's been the national spokesman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America…Pippa Mann, who will sit out the Mid-Ohio 100 while recovering from hand surgery, will join Mike King in the broadcast booth for indycar.com's coverage of the Firestone Indy Lights this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
08/04/10
irl
Bernard, de Ferran to answer questions at Mid-Ohio  Fans have opportunities to learn more about the next generation IZOD IndyCar Series car, including the open development of aero kits for the IndyCar Safety Cell, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.

IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard and de Ferran Dragon Racing managing partner Gil de Ferran, a member of the ICONIC Advisory Committee that determined the future car strategy, will answer questions from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Aug. 7 at the IndyCar Fan Zone Stage in the infield of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

They'll also conduct a Q&A with Indy Downforce members at 10 a.m. on Aug.8 in the Honda Pavilion located just outside the Mid-Ohio's Carrousel corner. More ...

08/04/10
automotive
Mazda reports July sales increase  Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported an 8.9 percent increase in sales for July 2010, with 20,732 vehicles sold. Year-to-date sales through July stand at 136,451, and are outpacing last year's sales at this time by 14.3 percent.
08/04/10
track news
NH leaders beg Bruton to keep both Cup races  Business leaders from across the state are asking New Hampshire Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith to keep both NASCAR races at the track that has hosted them since 1997. Last week, 44 business leaders sent the letter to Smith, who will find out later this month whether NASCAR will sanction the move of a race from one of his tracks, possibly New Hampshire, to another NASCAR track.

"We welcome back the IndyCar race scheduled to take place in July 2011 and hope that we will continue to host two NASCAR races for many years to come. Their impact on our local economy is not lost on any of us and we do not take it for granted,'' the letter reads.

Studies have shown each of the races, which attract about 100,000 fans, have an economic impact between $80 million and $100 million on the state's economy. More ...

08/04/10
irl
IndyCar allows expanded field at Mid-Ohio  The Indy Racing League has amended a sub-section of its IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to accommodate 27 entries for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The starting field for each race is a maximum of 28 with the exceptions of 33 for the Indianapolis 500, 26 for Toronto and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (which includes two provisionals), and 24 for Brazil based on available pit lane space. However, rule 8.1 (E) (5) (d) was revised to: Mid-Ohio – 27 cars.

In addition to the 24 full-season cars, including 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion J.R. Hildebrand making his series debut in the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry in place of the injured Mike Conway, the pit lane will include the No. 66 Service Central (Sarah Fisher Racing) for Jay Howard, the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. (Andretti Autosport) for Adam Carroll and the No. 02 National Tire and Battery (Newman/Haas Racing) for Graham Rahal. More ...

08/04/10
nassprint
Fellows driving for Baldwin at Watkins Glen  Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that former Corvette Racing veteran Ron Fellows will drive the #36 Chevy this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Fellows, who has earned three top-5 Sprint Cup finishes and three Nationwide victories at Watkins Glen, is one of the best road-course racers in the sport. Tommy Baldwin Racing
08/04/10
f1
FIA to meet with hopeful 13th teams next week  (GMM)  F1's governing body is pushing ahead with the selection process to fill the final spot on the 2011 grid.

Amid reports the FIA might prefer to keep the space open for now, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear he would even be happy if one or two of this season's new teams do not survive beyond 2010.

And Ross Brawn, Mercedes team boss and also head of the FOTA group's technical arm, warned that time is now tight for 2011, even though Lotus - the best new team this year - prepared its campaign in mere months.

"But it's very difficult," Brawn insisted  "So it looks pretty marginal to me to get a team together in time for next year.

"I think we've also got a pretty healthy grid now.  24 cars is a pretty good size and I don't think it's a disaster if a 13th team didn't come in.  What we need to do is keep the teams we've got," he added. More ...

08/04/10
f
Red Bull 'smarter' than other teams - Sutil  (GMM)  According to Adrian Sutil, Red Bull is leading the pace with its 2010 car because the team is "smarter than everyone else".

Although driving for the rival Force India team, and not enjoying the benefits of a legally flexing front wing, the German driver is open in his admiration for the championship-leading outfit.

"You have to push the rules as far as you can," he said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.  "And Red Bull have been smarter than everyone else.

"Somehow they manage to do everything a little better," added the 27-year-old German.

Sutil acknowledged that while Red Bull's spending is more powerful than Force India's, the old formula of a whopping budget does not explain their success. More ...

08/04/10
automotive
Video: Nissan GT-R chasing Porsche 997 Turbo on Autobahn  
08/04/10
f1
We still want engine parity - Mark Webber  Mark Webber made a fresh call for engine equalization in Formula One as he defended his team's flexible front wing at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix.

Red Bull has been grilled on the legality of its car this season, with its ride height questioned in the early part of the season and the flexibility of its front wing analyzed at more recent races. The car has passed scrutineering at every race this season, although some minor changes have been requested by the FIA.

At the Hungaroring Webber defended his team, saying that it has had to push the boundaries of the aerodynamic regulations in order to make up for the Renault V8's relative lack of power.

"We've been looking for engine parity for the last few years," he said. "We know we don't have the most powerful engine. When we go to a track where there are not many straights, the car is good because we've had to try incredibly hard to get the car performing in this type of situation, so we would love parity with the engine." More ...

08/04/10
f
Stewart: Schumacher ‘bully-boy tactics’ must stop  With FIA Race Steward Derek Warwick having already said that Michael Schumacher came close to being disqualified from Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for dangerous driving, former triple World Champion Jackie Stewart has insisted that the German’s ‘bully-boy tactics’ must be stopped.

Mercedes driver Schumacher has come under much scrutiny for the Lap 66 move on former team-mate Rubens Barrichello, which involved the Brazilian being forced towards the Hungaroring pit wall and just managing to escape a huge accident via the pit exit. More ...

08/04/10
nhra
nascar
NHRA grandson hopes to go straight to NASCAR  Jeg Coughlin Sr. was drag racing before 1960, but the JEGS Automotive/ JEGS Mail Order business he started as a local speed shop in downtown Columbus, Ohio is celebrating its 50th year this season. Coughlin also went to work rearing a family of drag racing champions.

Four Coughlin brothers now work as vice-presidents in JEGS Delaware, Ohio headquarters, but all drag race in various levels in NHRA. John competes in Top Dragster and Comp. Mike races Top Sportsman. Troy races Pro Street and Pro Mod. Four-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Jr. races in Sportsman ranks as well. More ...

08/04/10
nassprint
Sadler's crash hardest recorded by NASCAR  Elliott Sadler says NASCAR officials told him his head-on collision with the inside retaining wall at Pocono Racing on Sunday was the hardest recorded in the history of the sport. NASCAR did not give Sadler the number of G-forces recorded by the black box device and the governing body typically does not release that information. "We do not share those numbers except with the team and the folks at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska," NASCAR said in a statement. "They want to meet with me this weekend," Sadler said on Tuesday. "But we were told this morning that it was the hardest one they have in their data in history."That means harder than Kyle Petty's 2003 crash at Bristol which, according to published reports, was the hardest at the time at more than 80 Gs (80 times the force of gravity). Other hard hits that NASCAR publicly has claimed among the hardest include Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2003 crash at Talladega, David Reutimann's 2007 crash at California and Jeff Gordon's 2008 crash at Las Vegas. ESPN.com
08/04/10
nassprint
Said doesn't expect to be back in the #26  Boris Said says he does not expect to drive the #26 Latitude 43 Motorsports Fords again this season. Said will drive the #83 Red Bull Racing Toyota in Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, and told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, "There's no real polite way to say this, but (team owner) Bill Jenkins owes me a bunch of money. I got a better offer from Red Bull, so I took it." Asked if he expects to have any relationship with Latitude 43 Motorsports going forward, Said replied, "(Jenkins) hasn't returned my phone calls all week, so I guess not. It's a bad deal for me, but it's a great deal for David Stremme. He's a good racer and a nice guy, so I hope it works out for him." Sirius Speedway
08/04/10
nassprint
Q&A with Greg Biffle, winner at Pocono  Greg Biffle’s win on Sunday in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 represented the first points race victory for Ford Racing’s new FR9 engine.  Kasey Kahne won his Gatorade Duel 150 race earlier in the year at Daytona, and the Wood Brothers have run in on their part-time schedule, but this represented the first win since FR9 went full-time among the Roush Fenway and Richard Petty Motorsports teams in June.  Roush Yates engine builder Doug Yates spoke to Ford Racing on Tuesday afternoon about reaching Victory Lane once again.

DOUG YATES, Engine Builder – Roush Yates Engines – YOU MUST FEEL A GREAT SENSE OF SATISFACTION TO GET THIS FIRST WIN WITH THE FR9 IN A RELATIVELY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME IT’S BEEN COMPETING ON TRACK, CORRECT?  “Since we’ve been on the track across the board, which is basically Michigan in June, we’ve had some great runs.  We were second at Michigan with Kasey and had a great run going at Loudon and had some problems, and a second at Daytona, second at Chicago and a third at Indy, so you could definitely see the progress and the improvement from the engine and the cars.  Everything is coming together for the whole organization and Ford Racing.  But I tell you what was probably as gratifying as anything is that, as an engine guy, going to Pocono is a real challenge.  Lots of guys always ask when you go there, ‘What’s the key to success at Pocono?’  Obviously, you’ve got to get around the corners, but you’ve got the longest straightaways in NASCAR, so to have the first win for the FR9 engine at a track like Pocono really makes a statement for the engine, and for all the hard work the guys at the engine shop have put in, and for Ford Motor Company that helped develop this FR9.” More ...

08/04/10
automotive
£40m loan for McLaren factory  McLaren Group has secured a loan of more than £40 million to help fund construction of its new factory, where its new MP4-12C will be built.

The Independent says the loan from HSBC is the first time McLaren has taken on debt of more than £1m since 2005. McLaren Group will own the factory in Woking and then lease it back to McLaren Automotive, the road car side of the business. A total of 300 people will be employed at the factory.

McLaren told the newspaper that the loan would also “provide head room on its facilities to assist in the buyback of the remaining Daimler shares by the end of 2011".

08/04/10
nassprint
Biffle’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Pocono  The No. 16 pit crew, which played a vital role in Greg Biffle’s Sprint Cup victory Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, won the weekly Tissot Pit Road Precision Award.

It was the first Tissot win of the 2010 season for the No. 16 crew, which captured the 2009 Tissot season championship with six wins.

The quick two-tire pit stop by the No. 16 crew in the closing stages of Sunday’s Sunoco Pennsylvania 500 helped Biffle score the first win of the season for Roush Fenway Racing. Biffle dedicated the win to team owner Jack Roush who is recovering from an airplane crash. More ...

08/04/10
superleague
Van der Drift: ‘Brands crash a racing incident’  
After launching over another car, Van der Drift's car hit a bridge over Brands Hatch
Chris van der Drift reckons the 150mph crash at Brands Hatch last Sunday that left him with multiple broken bones was nothing more than a racing incident.
   
The New Zealander suffered two broken ribs, a broken right ankle and right little finger, fractured shoulder blade and severely damaged left index finger after launching over Julien Jousse’s left rear-wheel and into the parapet of a bridge during the weekend’s second Superleague Formula race.

Onboard replays from van der Drift’s car have proven inconclusive as to the events that contributed to the crash. But although the Olympiacos driver does believe Jousse altered his track position twice, he also made clear that the resulting accident was just an unfortunate reality of racing.

“I remember using my push-to-pass, went to overtake on the right hand side and (Jousse) moved once, but I kept my foot hard in it and then he moved again, I went on the grass and we touched,” he said. “I was committed to it as you need to keep the momentum up to get past. The first time he moved was close but the second one left me no room and I was already going for it. It was a racing incident, just one of those things really. I’m still alive, so that’s good. More ...

08/04/10
f1
Mercedes' Haug not a fan of August shutdown  (GMM)  Norbert Haug has joined McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh in admitting he is not a big fan of the August shutdown.

Due to a cost-reducing agreement between the teams, every outfit in pitlane must close their factories for a full two-week period during the month-long gap between Hungary and Spa-Francorchamps.

"I would love not to have a shutdown and be plowing on," Whitmarsh admitted in Hungary on Sunday, in the hours before the team's Woking headquarters closed its doors.

Also keen to keep working on its 2010 car is Mercedes GP.

"This is actually a forced vacation," the German marque's competition director Haug is quoted by DPA news agency.

"Particularly when you're in a catching-up phase, you do not want to be interrupted," he said. More ...

08/04/10
f1
Haug calls for end to Schumacher move criticism  
Norbert Haug
(GMM)  According to Mercedes chief Norbert Haug, a line should now be drawn underneath the recent criticisms of Michael Schumacher.

With his detractors already questioning his competitive struggles in 2010, the seven time world champion sparked a new line of attack with his aggressive driving against former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello in Hungary.

The condemnation was near-universal and stinging, and preceded a rare show of contrition by the 41-year-old German.

"Michael has apologized and accepted his penalty," competition boss Haug is quoted by Der Tagespiegel. More ...

08/04/10
f1
Button insists 2010 car criticism 'positive'  
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button insists his latest criticism of McLaren's 2010 car is "positive".

The British team's group chairman Ron Dennis publicly scolded the reigning world champion and his teammate Lewis Hamilton recently for pointing out the weaknesses of the MP4-25.

But after qualifying two seconds off the pace in Hungary, and finishing the race eighth as both the drivers and the team lost their championship leads, 30-year-old Button insists his current comments are just a statement of fact.

"We're not as quick as the Red Bulls at this moment in time," he said.  "You can see that on the circuit.  It's not a negative thing.  It's a positive criticism." More ...

08/03/10
fil
irl
Recovering young driver eyes Indy Lights and IndyCar  
Picho Toledano
Three years ago, following a severe crash in a Formula Renault 2.0 car, Alfonso “Picho” Toledano was faced with the prospect of losing both his legs.  He was told that amputation was imminent and he would never race again.  Difficult words for anyone to grasp, but even more difficult for a 17-year-old kid whose dream – for the past 13 years – was to become a professional racecar driver.  The outlook was so disheartening and dreadful that Toledano refused to accept it.

The accident happened in 2007, at the Ponce Circuit in Puerto Rico.  Toledano came through a blind corner and lost his brakes before impacting another car which had come to a halt due to a previous incident.  Both of Toledano’s legs sustained multiple fractures in the crash.  While laying in a Puerto Rican hospital bed, it was suggested, by the FIA, that he be flown to Indianapolis, Indiana for a comprehensive examination by OrthoIndy.  Toledano wasn’t about to argue.  The doctors in Indianapolis  – who had experience working with the IRL – were a bit more familiar with this type of injury and suggested immediate surgery.  Not that there was any other option at that point, but they remained relatively sanguine about saving his legs.  The first surgery, on his right leg, lasted eight hours.  The very next week, he underwent surgery on his left leg.  All together he had 18 surgeries. More.....

08/03/10
fil
Shane Hmiel lands Indy Lights ride  
Shane Hmiel
Today, Brownsburg, Indiana based Firestone Indy Lights Team Alliance Motorsports announced the signing of USAC driver Shane Hmiel. Hmiel will pilot the #24 Rotondo Weirich/Three Wide Life entry for the August 28th event at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 30-year-old Hmiel has four years of stock car experience including 29 Truck Series starts with a win at Las Vegas, 83 Nationwide starts and 7 in the Sprint Cup Series. But, by the age of 25, the North Carolina native had failed 3 drug tests from 2003 to 2006 and was banned for life from the stock car circuit.

After being diagnosed with bipolar, Hmiel spent 14 weeks in an Atlanta based drug treatment facility in July of 2007. Since, the young American has had an eye on the IZOD IndyCar Series (but is this former drug addict cut out for road racing, which requires far more talent?)  and has bounced around various USAC divisions, gaining the honor of 'Rookie of the Year' at the 2009 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Passing regular drug tests, Hmiel most recently earned wins in the MOPAR Midget National Series, AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and a win at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the Silver Crown Series. More ...

08/03/10
fil
irl
Peterson eyes entries in Lights and IndyCar  Gary Peterson fielded his first Firestone Indy Lights entry in its inaugural 2002 season as an owner/driver and made 22 starts through 2004 before taking a permanent seat on pit lane to focus on team ownership.

He's since enjoyed success – series championship-winning entries for J.R. Hildebrand in 2009 and Raphael Matos in ’08 – through a joint venture with Andretti Autosport. That partnership continues this season with AFS Racing Andretti Autosport cars prepped for Martin Plowman and Charlie Kimball.

This weekend, Peterson will have a third entry to watch on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Adam Carroll will drive the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers car in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance. More ...

08/03/10
irl
New IndyCar team in the works  James Sullivan has teamed with former NASCAR owner Michael Holigan in motocross and action sports teams, helped produce a reality TV show, even served a stint as the Baylor Bear.

Next up for the Dallas businessman friends call "Sulli" is his most ambitious project: the Indianapolis 500.

Teaming with VPX/Redline vice president TJ Humphreys, Sullivan and newly formed SH Racing have everything but a driver in place to run at next year's Indy 500, with an eye on developing a full-season program by 2012.

"At this point, the check is in the bank," Sullivan said. "We're not waiting on anything other than the very best driver at the best price we can get." More ...

08/03/10
imsa
Radical Sports Cars join IMSA Lites  An additional class will join the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship at the 2010 Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport August 28 and 29, as the Radical SR3 and PR6 chassis join Lites 1 and Lites 2 as a third class designation. 

Interested teams and drivers are encouraged to immediately contact series manager Mike Simons at (678) 447-3881 or msimons@imsaracing.net .

The weekend activities for all three classes will include two 30-minute practices, a 30-minute qualifying session and two races, Rounds 10 and 11 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship.  Round 10 will be a 30-minute event on Saturday, while Round 11 is a 75-minute endurance race requiring the drivers to come into the pit lane for a mandatory pit stop to refuel and take on new tires.  The endurance race will take place Sunday just before the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patr¢n event.

About Radical Sportscars
Radical Sportscars’ unique single-marque racing concept is increasingly popular world-wide. Racing a range of Radical high performance sports cars, supported by factory-trained engineers with full spares and back-up, ensures close and reliable racing throughout the field. With driver training programs and top quality hospitality, Radical one-brand racing is suitable for novices up to prospective Le Mans professionals.

08/03/10
miscellaneous
The recession's decimation of the USA economy  According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 31 million people currently unemployed -- that's including those involuntarily working part-time and those who want a job, but have given up on trying to find one. In the face of the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression, millions of Americans are hurting. "The Decline: The Geography of a Recession," as created by labor writer LaToya Egwuekwe, serves as a vivid representation of just how much. Watch the deteriorating transformation of the U.S. economy from January 2007 -- approximately one year before the start of the recession -- to the most recent unemployment data available today.

Watch The Video.....and weep.  And then after that watch the video below on what successful businessman Steve Wynn thinks why the economy is going nowhere.  Some of you know of him.  He's a multi-billionaire, hotelier and real estate investor in Las Vegas and Asia.  Why these videos on AR1.com?  Because the recession has a direct impact on auto racing and what you need to know to make informed decisions.



It was not even 2 hours after Steve Wynn's interview that he received a invitation from the White House wanting him to explain in person why he said what he said! 
08/03/10
irl
IndyCar group at home in Camden Yards warehouse  
Baltimore Track
The group bringing an IndyCar race to Baltimore’s city streets next year is moving into the warehouse at Camden Yards after negotiating a deal that gives them a break on rent for the first two years.

Baltimore Racing Development Corp. will take up 2,754 square feet of long-unoccupied office space on the fourth floor of the warehouse that also overlooks part of the route of the street race it is planning. The lease agreement is back loaded, meaning BRD will pay more than three times its first year’s rent the final year of the lease.

The five-year lease was approved on Tuesday by the Maryland Stadium Authority, which owns the building, at its monthly meeting.

Baltimore Racing Development will pay a monthly rent of $8 per square foot, or $22,032 per month the first year. Monthly rent will increase each year to $30 per square foot, or $82,620 per month, by the final year of the agreement. Mike Frenz, the stadium authority’s executive director, said it averages out to $20 per square foot, which is market rate. More ...

08/03/10
automotive
Toyota sales drop  Toyota’s sales fell 3.2% in July from a year earlier, partly because it capitalized last July on the cash-for-clunkers program.

Sales of Toyota’s smaller models – Yaris, Corolla and even the iconic Prius hybrid dropped. A year ago all three were among the most popular choices by consumers trading in old vehicles under cash for clunkers. More ...

08/03/10
automotive
GM sales up in July  July sales for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac increased by a combined 25 percent to 199,432 units. Buick and Cadillac brands each sold more than twice as many vehicles in July, compared with the same month a year ago. July marks the 10th straight month in which total and retail sales for GM's brands increased year-over-year, demonstrating the continued strengthening of each brand in the marketplace as GM continues to rebuild momentum a year after its launch as a new company.
08/03/10
nnw
Piquet to make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut  25-year old Nelson Piquet will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the Zippo 200 at the Glen this Saturday, August 7th, driving Baker Curb Racing’s No. 27 Ford Fusion. Piquet made his NASCAR debut at Daytona International Speedway in February finishing sixth in the 2010 NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. He has recorded three top ten finishes in four Camping World Truck Series starts in 2010. The Brazilian driver has also made three starts this year in the ARCA Racing Series, qualifying in the top-10 for all three races. He captured the pole for the Rattlesnake 150 at Texas Motor Speedway and went on to register an ARCA Series-best finish of ninth.  More ...
08/03/10
automotive
Cadillac sales surge 142 percent in July  Cadillac continued its strong sales momentum in July with total U.S. sales of 14,919, more than double the total for the same month last year as SRX posted its best month ever and CTS had its best results of the year. It was the best month for the brand since August 2008.
08/03/10
irl
Castroneves ruling bad for IndyCar  On Monday the IndyCar Series fined Helio Castroneves US$60,000 and put him on probation for the rest of the year after he ignored a black flag in the closing laps of the July 25 round at Edmonton, and heaped invective on a couple of IRL officials immediately after the race. Castroneves was black-flagged while leading following the race’s final restart. Chief steward Brian Barnhart said the Brazilian had weaved to block team-mate Will Power and violated IndyCar’s one-move-only rule.

“This rule is unique to IndyCar racing,” said Barnhart. “It was put in place to protect our competitors, officials and fans, prevent unnecessary damage to these cars and allow for more passing opportunities. Bad things happen when these cars touch and there have been serious incidents with major consequences on temporary circuits throughout IndyCar history. With the new wheel interlocking prevention technology that is coming in our 2012 formula we will be revaluating the rule in the future.”

But many people saw it as just good, hard racing. Castroneves squeezed Power at the apex of the first turn but gave the Australian room to race and enjoyed a better line into the next sequence of corners, while Power took a tight line and lost momentum and a place to Scott Dixon. Compared to the aggressive moves we’ve seen from Michael Schumacher in Formula 1, Castroneves’ maneuvers in Edmonton were fair and sportsmanlike. More ...

08/03/10
superleague
Chris van der Drift medical update  Chris van der Drift is in a stable condition in a Dartford hospital after suffering a huge accident in the second Superleague Formula race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.  The New Zealander was attempting to pass Julien Jousse for fifth place along the fast Pilgrim’s Drop section of the Kent circuit when his front left wheel clipped the AS Roma car’s right rear, sending him skywards, then sideways into the parapet of a bridge.

The Olympiacos car span through the air having broken in half, as it is designed to do, with Chris and the tub detaching from the rear assembly of engine and gearbox, before landing half-way down the straight.

The Panoz/Elan chassis,

similar  to the '06 Champ

Car chassis, falls apart

Despite the severity of both impacts, van der Drift was conscious throughout the accident and incredibly climbed unaided from the wreckage before emergency teams could assess his injuries. More ...

08/03/10
superleague
Video: Van Der Drift's Massive Accident  UPDATE #2 24-year-old Chris van der Drift underwent surgery on his ankle on Monday afternoon at a hospital in Dartford, England and is due to have surgery on one of his broken fingers next. He is expected to be transferred to a hospital near his home in Milton Keynes, England in a few days.

08/02/10 Chris has a leg broken in two places, broken ribs, broken fingers, cracked shoulder blade, dislocated shoulder and many more bumps and bruises.

08/01/10 Video replays of Chris Van Der Drift's massive Superleague crash in race 2 at Brands Hatch today.  Chris is conscious with broken ankle, injured shoulder and hand. More ...
08/03/10
f1
Petrov 'definitely' on track for 2011 seat - Boullier  
Vitaly Petrov
(GMM)  Vitaly Petrov boosted his chances of retaining his Renault race seat for 2011 with a strong weekend in Hungary.

First, the rookie Russian achieved the rare feat of outqualifying his highly rated teammate Robert Kubica, before racing to fifth.

Team boss Eric Boullier has been openly musing a potential replacement for the pay-driver next year, but after Hungary indicated that Petrov is on the right track to securing a new contract.

"You don't take a decision on one race result, but if he starts to shine like this and scores more precious points, definitely he will seal his future with us soon," said the Frenchman. More ...

08/03/10
f
Schumacher lucky to avoid black flag, race bans - Warwick  
Schumacher pushes Barrichello dangerously close to the pit wall in Hungary
(GMM)  Hungaroring steward Derek Warwick has revealed he wanted to disqualify Michael Schumacher during Sunday's race.

Ultimately, the seven time world champion was handed a post-race ten-position grid penalty for the next event in Belgium, after pushing his former Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello towards the pitwall in a 290kph overtaking duel.

But former grand prix driver Warwick told BBC radio's Five Live Breakfast that showing the seven time world champion a black flag "would have shown a better example to our young drivers".

"By the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively," added the veteran of 162 F1 races mainly in the 80s. More ...

08/03/10
f1
Hamilton vows to 'kick' McLaren back onto pace  
Lewis Hamilton thinks he can whip McLaren into shape
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has vowed to contribute to McLaren's off-track efforts ahead of the final seven races of 2010.

The team's factory is currently closed for a mandatory two-week shutdown, so the Briton headed from a difficult race in Hungary for a holiday.

But when Woking's doors re-open, Hamilton vowed to "be on the tail of all the team, all the engineers, making sure they don't miss anything" ahead of Spa-Francorchamps late this month.

"If we were not going on holiday I would love to go straight to the factory," he said.

"I'm not an engineer but I would drag the chief designer down to the wind tunnel, question him many times and try to understand it because that is what I do. More ...

08/03/10
f1
Teams close factories for compulsory shutdown  (GMM)  Formula one teams must close their factories for a mandatory two-week period between last Sunday's Hungarian grand prix and the next race in Belgium.

The shutdown - commenced at the stroke of midnight after the Hungaroring race by McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Sauber - is a cost-cutting measure agreed between the teams.

"It still seems odd to me to have a shutdown but it's probably good for people," said McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh. More ...

08/03/10
nassprint
Dangerous Pocono  UPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Nice comments on Pocono.  I was down for the count sick yesterday and watched the Nascar Race at Pocono.  I often wondered during that race why IndyCars were not there. I know there were safety issues in the past but what a good course that would be. With ISC issues it just seems like a good match for an oval. I live just miles from Michigan and would love to see that come back but now based on it being an ISC track doesn't seem likely......too bad as the Irish Hills are pretty.  Love the road courses but tired of the 1.5 milers. The IRL needs to mix it up a bit and Phoenix or California aren't going to help this Midwesterner. Need a triple crown 500 miler to go with the road course crown. Love your website, John Harless, Fowlerville Michigan

Dear John, Having attended all the IndyCar races run at Pocono I can tell you that besides the safety concerns, the biggest complaint I heard from fans was that because of the shape of the track, and viewing angles of the grandstands, the cars were either not visible or so far away from the grandstands for much of each lap that the cars looked like tiny dots and you could hardly make out who was who, especially team cars with similar paint schemes.  From the main grandstands the safety fence would obstruct your view of the cars along the majority of the main straight as well. Fans stopped attending because it was better to watch the race on TV......which means if only a few attend the race will fail again.  Mark C.

08/02/10 Video of accident:



08/02/10 It could have been worse. But the safety concerns it raised should have been resolved by now.

That was the general consensus among drivers after frightening wrecks Sunday at Pocono Raceway involving Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler. The incidents and scattered debris forced the Pennsylvania 500 to be red-flagged 35 laps from the finish.

Sadler's wreck was particularly horrifying. The No. 19 Ford slid across a grassy area between turns 1 and 2 at speed before plowing nose-first into an old fence and tire barrier.

The impact separated the engine and drive-shaft from Sadler's car and scattered parts and debris all over the track. More ...

08/03/10
irl
f1
Don't blame the USA for its failure to embrace F1  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have read the impassioned article of Mr. Maroney and understand his frustration which is a plea for support for young American drivers that have a dream of reaching F1.

However he is just one of countless thousands of parents that have supported their sons through the junior ranks of motorsport only to run out of money once they have reached or gone beyond the categories of go karting or FF 2000.  Well with respect Mr. Maloney join the club.

There is an old saying you choose it, it did not choose you. More ...

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