IndyCar Mid-Ohio Friday Notebook The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, an 85-lap race at 2 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. The USF200 National Championship, the entry level step in the Mazda Road to Indy, will contest two races this weekend.
This is the fifth IZOD IndyCar Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dario Franchitti is the defending race winner at the track. Will Power won the PEAK Performance Pole Award here in 2010. Scott Dixon won the inaugural race in 2007 and won again here in 2009/ Ryan Briscoe won here in 2008. There were Indy car races held here in 1980 and from 1983 to 2003. Helio Castroneves, who won here in 2000 and 2001, is the only other entered driver with a win at Mid-Ohio.
Esteban Guerrieri tops Indy Lights practice at Trois Rivieres The Sam Schmidt Motorsports trio of Esteban Guerrieri, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly swept the top spots Friday in opening practice for the Firestone Indy Lights' Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres.
Guerrieri recorded a fastest lap of 58.3372 seconds during the 45-minute practice session in preparation for Saturday's qualifying session. Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Newgarden followed, clocking his best lap at 58.5050 seconds.
Daly, who claimed the Star Mazda pole last year in the GP3R, clocked in at 58.5668. Stefan Wilson of Andretti Autosport was fourth at 58.7261 and Team Moore Racing's Gustavo Yacaman claimed the fifth fastest lap at 58.8928.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ranks second -- a mile back, mind you -- to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its premier event, the Indianapolis 500, on Graham Rahal's list of venues where he'd love to win an IZOD IndyCar Series race.
He recorded a first step Aug. 5 by topping the time chart on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit in the initial practice session for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with a best lap of 1 minute, 9.6031 seconds.
Mid-Ohio is the "home track" of Rahal, who grew up less than 80 minutes away in New Albany, Ohio. As a youth, he'd spend weekends at the track watching his father, Bobby, compete ... and driving around the sprawling facility at dusk in a golf cart, which was verboten. He also competed on the natural-terrain course in junior formulas.
Stewart, Earnhardt Jr. non-committal about Danica Tony Stewart remains non-committal about reports that he plans to make Danica Patrick part of his team's Sprint Cup program and have her run a partial schedule in 2012. "I've heard all kinds of stuff," said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, on Friday. "I can't say anything (about the rumors)."
But that hasn't stopped discussion of the possibility this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Although Patrick is not at Pocono (she's at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, prepping for Sunday's Honda Indy 200), all indications are she will commit her efforts to NASCAR in 2012.
Patrick, running a partial schedule this season for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports, is expected to ramp up her efforts with a full Nationwide Series schedule.
Earnhardt, however, was not ready to confirm the deal Friday.
Martin returns to the Truck Series For the first time since 2007, Mark Martin will compete in the Camping World Truck Series. Martin will drive the #32 Turner Motorsports Chevy with Hendrick Motorsports horsepower in Saturday's race at Pocono. In his previous 23 truck starts, Martin has earned seven wins, 16 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He has a 7.1 average finish in the series. HMS PR
Trueman family named grand marshal of Honda Indy 200 The Trueman family, owners of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the past three decades, have been named grand marshals of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Barbara Trueman, family matriarch, her daughter, Michelle Trueman Gajoch, president of the facility from 1989 to 2011, and daughter Megan Cindric, will be present during the weekend. Celebrating its 50th season, Mid-Ohio was sold to Kim Green and Kevin Savoree through Green Savoree Mid-Ohio, LLC earlier this year.
“This racetrack has been a big part of our family for the past 30 years,” said Trueman Gajoch, “We’re honored that Kim and Kevin invited us to return to the track as grand marshals. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the staff, sponsors and others in the paddock I’ve worked with for a long time.”
Schmidt is third team to align with Honda A third IZOD IndyCar Series team has aligned with Honda power for the 2012 season. American Honda and its Honda Performance Development subsidiary will provide its turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engines to all Sam Schmidt Motorsports entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series and at the Indianapolis 500.
The team joins Chip Ganassi Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing in partnering with Honda for the 2012 season that will see three manufacturers supply V-6 engines to the series. Chevrolet and Lotus also have engines under development for October testing.
“Following a decade of achievements – and four championships – in Indy Lights, Sam Schmidt Motorsports has logged additional impressive results since the team’s return to full-time IndyCar competition this year,” said Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development and vice president of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda. “Included among those accomplishments are the pole position at this year’s Indianapolis 500 and a second pole two weeks later in Texas (with Alex Tagliani).
Kubica's thumb 'has recovered full movement Robert Kubica is continuing to recover steadily from the career-threatening injuries he sustained in a pre-season rallying accident on the Ronde di Andora in northern Italy back in February – with movement having now returned to most of the Pole's fingers.
German publication Die Welt claims that even if Kubica's right arm will 'probably never recover entirely', the Lotus Renault GP star is able to move his right hand, fingers and arm. There were initial fears that the entire limb would need to be amputated. Now, the newspaper reports, only his 'middle finger still causes problems', whilst 'his thumb has recovered full movement'.
Ford big player in keeping Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush offered details today on Ford Motor Company's contribution to the contract package agreed to Thursday by #99-Carl Edwards. "Ford stepped forward and offered Carl an incentive program," said Roush to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody.
"They also offered up a Ford stock program that will come to fruition after the third year of his contract is complete." Roush admitted that there is "still some work to do" on sponsorship for 2012; both for Edwards and other members of the Roush Fenway Racing stable. "The 3M package for Greg Biffle is done and discussions are ongoing for Matt Kenseth and David Ragan," he said. "We can see our way more than 50% through Carl's program, right now, but the day is past when you can rely on one sponsor to pay the full ticket for any driver. Sponsors like that are fewer and farther between than they were even a few years ago, but we will continue to work hard to put these various packages together." Sirius Speedway
Pepsi Max joins TBR as assoc sponsor Pepsi Max will join Golden Corral for seven races on the #36 Golden Corral Chevy this season. Pepsi Max will have associate placement on the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) machine starting at Pocono Raceway this weekend and return to the Chevy at Bristol, Richmond, Dover, Charlotte, Martinsville and Homestead. Pepsi has been a part of racing for nearly 15 years on the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Golden Corral has served Pepsi's robust portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages in each of its 485 locations since 2007. Golden Corral joined TBR for the Daytona 500 this season and returned for 21 primary events and nine associate events. Golden Corral is currently running a season-long promotion "Racing for America's Families." If the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top-10 in any NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this season, kids get a free buffet the following Monday with a paying adult. The #36 Golden Corral Chevy will hit the track with Pepsi Max logos this weekend for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway TBR
The Detroit race was big in CART's heyday. Then Anton George created the IRL and killed the sport
It hurts me when I look at the racing calendar and find the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, this weekend is hosting what Detroit did a few years ago.
Starting today, the track will be the scene of IZOD IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) activity -- the same combo we had at Belle Isle in 2007-08 before the economy tanked and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick flamed out.
Birmingham businessman and Indy Car owner Roger Penske and ALMS CEO Scott Atherton had been the driving forces in the return of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2007, after a six-year absence.
For two years the racing along the Detroit River was as good, I believe, as any in the country, with new pits and paddock area at Belle Isle for teams and more grandstands for spectators.
Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to make debut in Monterey Porsche’s groundbreaking 911 GT3 R Hybrid will make a return to North American racing as Porsche Motorsport announced today the entry of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid Version 2.0 in the ModSpace American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patr¢n. The six-hour race on September 17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the eighth round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.
Truck Series team hauler clobbers Pocono Raceway flag stand
What's left of the Pocono Raceway flag stand
Pocono Raceway has made several improvements in the last year, including additional SAFER barriers and updated catch fences. A new flag stand, something that was on a list of future improvements, will now be at the top of the list.
A Camping World Truck Series team hauler ran into the flag stand as the haulers were parking Thursday, track president Brandon Igdalsky said. He wouldn’t say which hauler was involved, but did say the flag stand had been heavily damaged.
“One of them got a little too close ... and decided to take it out,” Igdalsky said, laughing. “He just hit the flag stand and knocked it off its moorings. It bent the steel and everything. It’s junk. It’s recyclable now.
Video: Defending Indy 500 Champ to race in Gold Coast 600
Dan Wheldon will join the rest of the top IndyCar drivers in Surfers Paradise in October. The travesty of it all is that with half the IndyCar field there anyway, why isn't IndyCar still part of this event?
The organizers of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 received another massive boost today when two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, Dan Wheldon was signed for the October 21-23 V8 Supercar event.
Wheldon, a US-based Englishman, will drive for the Toll Holden Racing Team with defending V8 Supercar Series Champion and his good friend, James Courtney.
HRT’s other entry will be driven by former V8 Supercars champion Garth Tander and Australian IndyCar star, Ryan Briscoe.
Wheldon is currently without a full-time ride and his only serious start for the year came back in May at Indianapolis when he made a one-off appearance for a part-time team owned by former driver, Bryan Herta.
The midpoint of the 2011 Formula 1 season is upon us. It is, therefore, a good time to take a breather and evaluate the 11 Grands Prix which have taken place up to now. Even though Daniel Ricciardo has only raced in the last three, his arrival at the team was surrounded by excitement. Eager to make the most of his debut in Formula 1, Daniel arrived looking to prove his worth and aiming to help HRT in its quest of achieving its targets for the remainder of the season. These three Grands Prix alongside HRT Formula One Team have been intense but he still has a lot to offer. With his potential and ambition, big things can be expected of this 22 year old Australian.
What did you know about HRT before you joined the team?
Not much. I didn’t really know any of the personnel, everybody was new to me. I spent last year with Red Bull and a bit of this year with Toro Rosso so I was quite enclosed with them and therefore didn’t really know many other people in F1. Coming here was a new experience and my knowledge of the team was very limited.
Truck Series crew chief suspended for four races NASCAR has suspended Joe Denette Motorsports crew chief Chad Kendrick for four races for a fuel cell infraction during the Camping World Truck Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway last week.
The infraction was found during opening-day inspection at the track and the fuel cell was never used that day on the track.
Kendrick, the crew chief for Jason White, was fined $2,500 and suspended through Sept. 7. He will be on probation through the end of the year. He will appeal the suspension and serve as crew chief this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Andretti team up for Mid-Ohio challenge Mid-Ohio Poses Tough Challenge For Andretti Autosport, As Drivers Seek Podium Finishes In Rough Conditions
The hot temperatures and the rolling hills of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course make for the toughest conditions on the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.
And the Andretti Autosport drivers are well-prepared for the difficult task this weekend in the annual Honda Indy 200 at the challenging 2.25-mile, 13-mile permanent road circuit.
The G-loads inside the cockpit and increased summer heat on the drivers have proven to exhibit extreme levels of fatigue. The mental strength to fight through the physically-exhausting battle is always a key to a successful run at Mid-Ohio.
Gary Rodrigues, founder and President of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and M. François Bordeleau, Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières today announced a three-year contract extension that will see the premier open-wheel driver development series in North America competing at the famed GP3R through the 2014 season.
"The GP3R has become a favorite event among Star Mazda Championship teams and drivers and we're delighted to extend our relationship into the future," said Rodrigues. "Everyone likes to come here because the fans are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and because the entire city of Trois-Rivières gets into the spirit of the event. But having a good time is not our sole motive; the GP3R circuit is a highly-technical challenge for our drivers, and the off-track demands on the drivers, the media, the crowds and the busy schedule are perfect training for young drivers on their way up to IndyCar. It fits perfectly with our mission to provide our drivers with the comprehensive, well-rounded education required to make a successful career at the top levels of motorsports."
Keselowski to miss Iowa raceUPDATE “Following careful evaluation, Brad Keselowski has been cleared by respected neurologist Dr. Jerry Petty, M.D. for participation in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Brad is excited to get back in the car and ready to compete this weekend. Sam Hornish, Jr. will now be able to practice, qualify and race the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Penske Racing
“After meeting with Brad Keselowski today it became clear that, despite an avulsion fracture of the left ankle, he would be able to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway without any limitations. Mr. Keselowski saw an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon who indicated that he would be able to put weight on the foot as necessary and should not be inhibited in any way.” Dr. Jerry Petty
08/04/11 "Due to Brad Keselowski's accident while testing at Road Atlanta yesterday, he will not participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Parker Kligerman will practice the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger on Friday, while Sam Hornish Jr. will qualify and race the car on Saturday. Penske Racing will continue to evaluate Brad's condition. Further information will be provided as it becomes known." Penske Racing
In his 200th Grand Prix start, Jenson Button won Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix in entertaining fashion. Heading into the summer break, which includes three free weekends for the drivers, the 2009 World Champion assesses the overall situation.
How do you rate your victory in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix? It was one of my most satisfying wins. I had to push throughout the race, had some great battles with Lewis and we had changeable conditions which weren't easy at the start or when it started to rain with 20 laps to go - it all contributed to what was hopefully an entertaining race for the fans.
It was definitely great fun to be competing in! Having won three of the last five Grands Prix, I think everyone in the team can enter the summer break feeling proud of the work we've put in over the past few months to find competitive pace in the car; we will recharge our batteries and be back raring to go at Spa.
Although he is keen to witness a double Force India points finish, Team Principal and CEO Vijay Mallya is delighted with the respective points finishes of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta in the latest German and Hungarian Grands Prix. The Indian shares his opinions as the summer break begins.
For two races in a row Force India has beaten Mercedes, among others, and had the fourth best car at the finish. How pleasing is that? It’s the result that counts. I’m very encouraged and very happy. Development work through the season is obviously paying off. The car is getting better and more competitive and easier to drive. The drivers are highly motivated and clearly they are putting in their very best. In Germany it was Adrian and in Hungary, Paul.
Are you pleased that the team has been able to keep up its momentum? We had a slow start to the season, because I think the first few flyaway races were just an extension of our development program, but once we got going from the European season onwards - particularly from Monaco - we’ve improved almost every race. These last few races, where we have qualified in Q3, say it all. To be in the top ten in such a fiercely competitive field is quite remarkable and quite satisfying.
Indian track inspection delayed until September Formula 1 governing body the FIA will inspect India’s brand-new Buddh International Circuit on Thursday 1 September following a delay, according to the country’s IANS news agency. The Jaypee Sports-owned venue will then be hosting its inaugural Grand Prix on the final weekend of October.
The official track homologation by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting had been scheduled to take place this week, although the delay has been confirmed due to expected weather conditions in the Greater Noida area.
SMI swings to a loss Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) said Wednesday that it swung to a second-quarter loss, weighed down by a $48.6 million impairment charge and a drop in revenue.
The motorsports marketer, promoter and race track owner said its admissions and event-related revenue continue to be hurt by lower consumer and corporate spending stemming from weak economic conditions, including high fuel prices and unemployment. As a result, the company said it has lowered ticket prices and increased promotional spending.
Speedway posted a loss of $28.3 million, or 68 cents per share, compared with a profit of $23 million, or 55 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Pirelli calls off F1 test for Ken Block (GMM) Pirelli has called off Ken Block's test in the 2009 Toyota.
The 43-year-old American was scheduled to drive the car this week at Monza, as F1's official tire supplier tests privately at the famous high-speed Italian grand prix venue.
Block, a world rally driver, is arguably most famous for his online gymkhana stunt videos, but his large size - 6 foot 2 and 84 kilograms - has proved problematic for the 2009 Toyota.
The car, designed originally for the diminutive Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock and tested this week by Lucas di Grassi, is too small to accommodate Block, Pirelli's motor sport director Paul Hembery said on Thursday.
"Ken is too big," said the Briton. "We are looking at running him in another car."
Cadillac will expand its model lineup in 2012 with a new entry in the compact luxury segment codenamed ATS. General Motors North America President Mark Reuss released this sketch of the model today at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars.
The small Cadillac will begin production next summer at Lansing Grand River, the same Michigan assembly plant that builds the award-winning midsize Cadillac CTS sedan, coupe and wagon. The plant received a $190 million investment and 600 jobs for the new model.
“The car we codenamed ATS is being developed to be a driver's car on an all-new Cadillac-specific RWD-AWD architecture,” Reuss said. “We have extensively and exhaustively studied the competitive segment, and we have benchmarked the best. And when this car comes out, that will be readily apparent.”
Roush Fenway defeats Joe Gibbs Racing in fight for Edwards Roush Fenway Racing, the world’s largest motorsports organization, announced that it has re-signed driver Carl Edwards to a multi-year agreement starting in 2012.
“Carl Edwards has achieved a level of success on and off track that would put him at the top of the list for any race team,” said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. “Carl and the No. 99 team are having a terrific season again this year, and we’re thrilled that our relationship will continue for many more.”
“We saw great potential in Carl a decade ago, and it’s been a thrill to watch him grow into one of the sports’ premier drivers behind the wheel of the No. 99,” added Roush. “We didn’t take our past success for granted when we sat down with Carl to talk about his future. As an organization, we approach each week with an intense focus on being successful in the race to come. Carl’s position atop the points is a testament to that diligence.”
NASCAR junior leagues failing for Dover Motorsports If you are not Bruton Smith (SMI) or The France Family (ISC) you simply don't get a NASCAR Sprint Cup race and you wither and die. It's a closed 'boys club.'
The closing of Nashville Superspeedway by Dover Motorsports is the third such financial move by the company within the past three years. In 2009 it closed and subsequently sold Memphis Motorsports Park. Last year it closed Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill, just east of St. Louis. Each of those tracks also hosted Nationwide and Camping World races. The Memphis facility, bought by Moroso Investment Partners of Palm Beach, Fla., has been renamed Memphis International Raceway and is currently being renovated. Speculation on its seeking the Nashville Superspeedway NASCAR dates was quickly shot down on Wednesday.
GM makes $2.5 billion in 2nd quarter, beating estimates General Motors made $2.5 billion in the second quarter, beating analysts’ expectations by getting more for its vehicles, for its sixth straight quarterly profit.
The 48% improvement over 2010, including a long-awaited profit from GM’s troubled European unit, breezed past the $2 billion estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics. It comes after weeks of gloomy economic news, including worries about unemployment, consumer spending, European countries’ debt crises and a narrowly-avoided U.S. default.
40,000 expected at this year's PRI show in Orlando 40,000 racing industry buyers from 65 countries will gather this December for the world's largest racing trade show--the 24th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.
It features the latest advances in motorsports technology for all forms of auto racing, including sports car, stock car, drag, open wheel, formula, prototype, off-road, karting and more. Approximately 1100 companies will exhibit their new product lines for the 2012 race season in 3,200 booths. The whole event takes up 700,000 square feet.
The PRI Trade Show will be held December 1-3, 2011, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Florida. It is a trade only event, not open to race fans. Attendees must be part of a racing business or professional race team to be admitted, and there is no charge to attend.
MotoGP Round 10 - Interview with Repsol Honda riders Rounding out the first half of 2011 season, the US GP was held at Laguna Seca circuit in Monterey, in the suburbs of San Francisco. It was a hot contest this year too under sunny Californian skies, attracting 136,285 fans over the three-day weekend. They saw a brilliant performance by Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, who turned the race around in the final laps to take his fifth win of the season. Casey's team mate Dani Pedrosa kept up with the top two right from the start to take a well-deserved third place. His second consecutive podium place since he returned to the race after collarbone surgery bears witness that Dani is well on the way to recovering his full abilities. HRC Team Principal Shuhei Nakamoto takes us behind the scenes at the track and sums up the events of the season’s first half.
Video: Cooking on Texas Motor Speedway's track How hot does it get in Texas? How about cooking a flatbread pizza on the track surface of Texas Motor Speedway.
Imagine if F1 stuck to its June race date. If so, we hope the F 1 teams can stand the Texas heat along with the fans. Most will be watching at home with the air on along with some ice cold beers in the fridge.
NASCAR Cafe liquidation sale starts Thursday NASCAR cars & trucks including Dale Earnhardt's #3 car, Carzilla - the largest Pontiac Grand Prix stock car in the world, designed by Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR race wear & uniforms, helmets, flag stands, pictures, prints, photos, gas cans, Cyber Speedway simulators, neon signs, shadow boxes, granite top slot bar w/ back bar, booths, NASCAR pedestal tables & bar stools, light fixtures, paneling, wrought iron hand rails, roll up doors, commercial kitchen equipment, sound & video systems, office furnishings, public restroom items and much more! Buyers can buy NASCAR Cafe items with cash, Visa or MasterCard.
The sale runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Sundays, noon-5 p.m. To see pictures of some of the items, go to www.nclsales.com, and click on the "Current Sales-NASCAR Cafe" option under Liquidation Sales at the bottom of the page.
IndyCar Series racing returns to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Aug. 26-28.
The series, which boasts the fastest speeds of any racing series that visits the Sonoma Valley, features stars like Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti.
Will Power reset the qualifying track record last year with a speed of over 108 mph and went on to win the race from the pole. The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma boasts six winners in as many years, so it's anyone's guess who will take home the checkers.
"To start up front is very important at Infineon Raceway," said Dario Franchitti, 2009 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma winner. "You have to keep the expectations in check because, yeah, we did great last year and the year before, but each race you go to, no matter what you did the race before or the race last year, you've got to start from zero again and get the car working right, and everybody's got to go out and earn it again."
Keselowski taken to hospital after hard crashUPDATE Added photos from accident below.
Kesekowski's damaged race car
08/03/11 Brad Keselowski was airlifted to a Georgia hospital following a hard crash at Road Atlanta.
Kesekowski's damaged left ankle
Keselowski posted on his Twitter page Wednesday that he hit the wall in a 155-mph corner when the brakes on his No. 2 Dodge failed during a test session.
Penske Racing said in a statement that Keselowski, of Rochester Hills, walked from the car and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
Keselowski posted on Twitter that he'll be fine to race this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski is 21st in the standings and trying to earn one of the wild-card berths in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Three-time ROC ‘Champion of Champions’ Mattias Ekström will make his return to the Race Of Champions at this year’s event in Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena.
The Swede has won two DTM championships for Audi in 2004 and 2007. But he has proved himself to be an all-rounder who is equally comfortable in all the cars used by ROC – due in part to eight starts in the World Rally Championship and a recent run in a NASCAR. An instant superstar in the stadiums of the Race Of Champions, Ekström has reached at least one final in every year he has competed, starting in 2005 when he partnered Tom Kristensen to ROC Nations Cup glory for Scandinavia.
Webber stays in 2012, Ricciardo coming in 2013 - Marko
Pirelli wants post-grand prix tire testing
Pirelli not bowing to pressure in tire selection
Kubica crash dimmed Kovalainen's rally hobby
Red Bull's rivals to keep on improving - Brawn
Webber stays in 2012, Ricciardo coming in 2013 - Marko (GMM) As Mark Webber prepares to commit to Red Bull for 2012, team consultant Dr Helmut Marko has given the strongest sign yet that his successor will be another Australian.
Marko reinvigorated the speculation about Webber's future in Hungary by saying that the 34-year-old is likely to retire after racing one more season.
Tree Huggers impede progress worldwide - negatively affecting tens of millions of people, even when 3 and 4 times more trees are being planted as are being cut down
Tree Hugging Baltimoreans — at least some of them — care passionately about their trees. One thousand of them signed onto an online petition by late Wednesday calling on City Hall to "halt the clear-cutting" of trees downtown so race fans could get a better view of the Baltimore Grand Prix. The petition drive's organizer said he planned to go to court to block any further tree removal for the three-day street race.
City officials and race organizers, meanwhile, scrambled to quell the anger by explaining that far fewer trees were being removed for spectator grandstands than previously reported, and that the Grand Prix had agreed to plant nearly four times as many trees as it was cutting down — increasing rather than whacking the downtown's meager tree canopy.
"I don't like taking down any trees, for sure," said William H. Cole IV, the City Council member who represents downtown, "but I will tell you that there's a net gain. … I think at the end of the day it's going to look nicer."
Danica Patrick is probably the best known driver in the IndyCar Series to the general public. Her PR machine, together with her various semi-risque photo shoots and Go Daddy ads, have made her face known to thousands of people. She almost certainly is the highest earner in IndyCar, with an income up there with many regular NASCAR drivers. This from a driver who has only managed one win in her entire car racing career — and that one was a result of good pit work and strategy plus Helio Castroneves almost running out of fuel. She never won on her way up through the minor leagues.
During her IndyCar career, until this year, she has been a high mid-field runner most of the time, especially on oval tracks. There have been several good results, usually due to good strategy. She has always struggled to some extent on the road courses despite coming up through road racing rather than ovals. Her attitude has earned her several less than complimentary nicknames among serious fans. The most common are "The Princess," "Stompin' Danica" and with her very poor showings in the Nationwide series "Princess Lapped a Lot." Many people who follow racing closely also joke about her constant "you know like," "uh" and during races "it's loooose!"
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver Kurt Busch has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the 23rd Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony, Wednesday, August 24, at the Fillmore Theater in downtown Detroit.
Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, currently drives the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing in NASCAR’s top series. He has 23 career NASCAR Cup race wins, more than 150 top-10 finishes and 14 poles, including his most recent in June at Michigan International Speedway where Busch captured a series-leading and third consecutive 2011 pole. The following weekend Busch won his first race of the year at Infineon Raceway, his first career NASCAR Cup road course race victory. The Infineon win extended Busch’s NASCAR winning streak to 10 consecutive seasons.
Drissi Joins TrueSpeed Driving No. 47 Tomy Drissi's weekend triple header at Mid-Ohio will also be the Trans-Am Champion's debut with the TrueSpeed racing team. Tomy will do two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge series in the No. 47 TrueSpeed In Time / Muscle Milk 997 Porsche GT3 Cup car then join Kyle Marcelli in the No. 89 Intersport In Time / Muscle Milk LMPC car for the American Le Mans Series.
"This will definitely be a busy weekend" said Drissi. "Even though the World Challenge sessions are short, that can work both ways. While it isn't as physically demanding, it's less time to acclimate yourself to the car. And, I have the added pressure of fitting in with the TrueSpeed guys."
New talks revealed for New York F1 race (GMM) Yet another attempt to bring the New York skyline to formula one has emerged.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the mayors of New Jersey townships Weehawken and West New York have revealed talks with private investors to put together a street race by 2013.
"In these uncertain economic times when every direct and indirect revenue source is vital, our own formula one race could be a very positive boost to our citizens," mayors Richard Turner and Felix Roque said in a joint statement.
"This said, we need to ensure that the financial benefits from the privilege of having these races in our towns are equitably shared and that no tax dollars are used. The investor group has already told us that our towns would be substantially compensated annually," they added.
A spokesman for New Jersey governor Chris Christie said the mayors have held preliminary talks about the proposal.
2012 IZOD IndyCar Chassis ready for initial test Hearing the turbocharged engine as it went through the gears and seeing the road course prototype aero kit during a visit last month to Dallara Automobili in Parma, Italy, heightened Will Phillips' excitement for the next generation IZOD IndyCar Series car. It also raised expectations.
"I continue to be extremely impressed with what I see. If it can deliver what it looks like it can, it will be fantastic and exciting," said Phillips, INDYCAR's vice president of technology. "Various parties put their pieces away and sorted out their issues and they'll all come back together for the car completion the beginning of next month."
The IndyCar Safety Cell will go through its initial on-track test, with reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon behind the wheel, on Aug. 8-9 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The initial test will not be open to the media or the public.
Phillips said the session will be a shakedown of the chassis that's been mated to a Honda 2.2-liter V-6. Five other two-day sessions on both road courses and ovals are scheduled before the engine manufacturers - Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus - commence on-track testing in early October.
Dixon gives thumbs-up to new Baltimore circuit Scott Dixon picked up the pace on the Pratt Street main straight in the Honda Crosstour before making a sharp right onto Light Street near the Inner Harbor. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver quickly noticed the smooth ride of the 2-mile circuit for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.
"They've done a fantastic job paving," said Dixon, who dropped by on his way to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 to get the lay of the land for the Sept. 2-4 race weekend. "The streets are wide and forgiving, and there are at least three or four corners that should be good for passing.
"I love that it's downtown. The atmosphere will be fantastic."
Newgarden-Castroneves teleconference Firestone Indy Lights point leader Josef Newgarden and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves participated in a teleconference today to preview this weekend's races the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres and IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Q. Josef, has the season been what you thought it would be when you came back to the U.S. to race from Europe?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think so. It's been a very good year. It certainly hasn't been perfect, but I don't think it's ever going to go like that. We've been very fortunate to have a strong run with the team, but it was no surprise when I went and talked to all of the guys at the Sam Schmidt Motorsport shop, and the great stuff they run there. They do an unbelievable job, and they're really a powerhouse in the series.
It's not too much of a surprise by all the effort that they put into everything, but certainly it's been very exciting for us, and I've been enjoying working with them all year.
Hendrick Inks $250,000 Sponsorship With N.C. School District Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools today announced a $250,000 deal with Hendrick Automotive Group that will allow the North Carolina district to "offer a full slate of middle school sports" for '11-12 despite budget cuts. The deal makes HendrickCars.com an official sponsor of CMS athletics, with activation including mentions "when statistics are announced during breaks at high school sports events" and "the right to display its signs at middle and high school events." Rick Hendrick owns both the auto dealer group and a NASCAR team. CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com
Dover sends NASCAR packing Dover Motorsports today announced that it "won't hold NASCAR races" at the Nashville Superspeedway in '12 and "may put the superspeedway up for sale." Dover, which "has been trying unsuccessfully to secure a NASCAR Sprint Cup race" since '01, "decided it couldn't continue without getting onto NASCAR's top schedule." The track has hosted NASCAR truck and Nationwide Series races with and had a "slot on the Indy Racing League schedule before losing that after the 2008 season." Dover said the track's remaining events in '11 will not be impacted. The track this season has already hosted two Nationwide Series races and two Camping World Truck Series races
Australia's multiple World Champions, Sir Jack Brabham and Mick Doohan joined many of the nation's leading motorsport personalities on the Gold Coast tonight for the Queensland Premiere of the award-winning SENNA Movie.
The special screening, presented by Australia's leading motorsport website Speedcafe.com and Universal Pictures International, attracted more than 300 guests at Birch Carroll and Coyle cinemas at Pacific Fair, Broadbeach to celebrate the life of three-time World Formula One Champion, Ayrton Senna.
Heading the motorsport guest list was three-time World Formula One Champion, Sir Jack Brabham, five-time World 500cc Champion, Mick Doohan, five-time Australian Touring Car Champion and three-time Bathurst winner Dick Johnson, former Ayrton Senna mechanic, Bruce Jenkins, V8 Supercars CEO and former FIA media man Martin Whitaker, current V8 Supercar Championship leader, Jamie Whincup and several of his competitors including Paul Morris, Tim Slade, Steve Johnson, Jack Perkins, Jonathon Webb and Alex Davison.
New sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports Roger J. Catarino, President and CEO of First Fruits Beverage Company, LLC, and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) officials have announced a partnership centered around the new patented weight loss water beverage TrimFit. The associate sponsorship will showcase the brand on uniforms as well as on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford. TrimFit will have a presence with both of the RPM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for the remainder of the 2011 season. In addition to a logo on the sleeve of the firesuit of Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion, the company will be featured on the deck lid of the #43 Ford machine. Richard Petty Motorsports
Latest F1 news in brief - Last ThursdayUPDATE According to UK sources, Bernie Ecclestone will be indicted today or tomorrow by German authorities over the bribery case. In the caption below a week ago we asked the question, will this be Bernie's last hurrah? Ecclestone scoffed at claims the scandal could bring him down as F1 chief and even see him jailed.
"The end? Of course not," said the Briton.
"I will be doing what I do best for a while yet -- making good deals to keep a lot of people happy and well off in F1. Some might not want me to continue but I enjoy what I do. That is what I'll be judged on."
Will this be Bernie's last hurrah?
CVC investors 'worried' about Ecclestone scandal
Button eyes longer stay at McLaren
Vettel still on track for 2011 title
Button insists no team orders at McLaren
Top teams pushing for more staff at GPs
Still loopholes in 2012 blown exhaust rules
Signature still missing from Webber deal - Horner
Schumacher only needs good car to win again - Alonso
Chrysler sales surge 20.1%, GM rises 7.6%, Ford up 8.9% The Detroit Three gained U.S. market share in July, as demand for cars and light trucks managed to beat expectations despite troubling economic news.
Chrysler had its best July since 2007 to lead Detroit’s automakers with a 20.1% surge, off a 33% gain in sales to individual customers. General Motors’ U.S. sales rose 7.6% last month and Ford’s grew 8.9%. Japanese automakers continued to lose share to their American rivals as they recovered from the March earthquake and tsunami in their country.
Overall, U.S. sales crept up 0.9% from July 2010. A mandatory adjustment in the calculation of the seasonally adjusted sales rate boosted it to 12.2 million units, IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland said. That’s up from 11.5 million in June. Analysts had expected a rate just under 12 million units.
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