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DATE News (chronologically)
08/07/13
track news

ISC Announces Plans For Mixed-Use Development Near Daytona HQs
ISC signs Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theatre as anchor tenants of One Daytona
ISC today announced it plans to move forward with a mixed-use and entertainment development near its HQs across the street from Daytona Int'l Speedway. The company signed a 50-50 joint-venture agreement with Atlanta-based developer Jacoby Development for the project, which will be called One Daytona. It also secured letters of intent from two anchor tenants, Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theatres. It plans to move forward with the project in the next year.

The preliminary designs call for 1.1 million square feet of shopping, dining, hotel, movie theater and other space across from the speedway. ISC’s land-use entitlements allow for 660 hotel rooms, 1,350 residential units and a movie theater with 2,500 seats. In a statement, ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy said, "Combined with the recently launched DAYTONA Rising project at the Speedway, we believe these efforts will strengthen our business while delivering an unprecedented boost to the region's prosperity for years to come." Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer, SportsbusinessDaily.com

Comment
08/07/13
nassprint

Allmendinger returns to the #47
This weekend AJ Allmendinger is slated to race the #47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry for JTG Daugherty Racing in the Cheez-It 335 At The Glen. This is his third time behind the wheel of the #47 car. In four starts at Watkins Glen International, the 31-year-old has one top-five and two top-10 finishes. The California native's finishes at the road course include 11th, 13th, fourth and eighth respectively since his first visit in 2008. His best start is second place (8/15/11). Allmendinger's average finish is 9.0 and his average start is 15.3. His average running position of 14.2, ninth-best and his driver rating of 92.4, eighth-best. JTG Daugherty Racing

Comment
08/07/13
motogp

Stoner completes full test day as weather improves in Motegi
Stoner talks to Honda engineers
After a frustrating first day yesterday, where Casey Stoner only managed six full laps due to bad weather, the second day of testing has been very productive. He completed 47 laps and was able to fulfill the test program scheduled by HRC and execute all of the tasks that had been planned.

This morning, Casey tested a few small items on the 2013 RC213V and continued into the afternoon before switching onto the 2014 machine, the same as Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez tested in Aragon.

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08/07/13
irl

GoDaddy bringing Hinchcliffe to Seattle to recruit software developers
James Hinchcliffe girlfriend Kirten Dee
The extremely hot Kirsten Dee and boyfriend James Hinchcliffe
We’ve seen lots of unusual tactics in the competition for engineering talent, but this must be a first.

GoDaddy plans to bring its IndyCar driver to Seattle later this week, adding a bit of star power to an invite-only recruiting event on the shores of Lake Washington for its new Seattle-area employees and, more to the point, software developers it’s hoping to hire.

Sorry, that doesn’t mean Danica Patrick is coming to town. As racing fans know, Patrick continues to be sponsored by GoDaddy but has shifted from IndyCar to NASCAR.

No, the guest of honor is GoDaddy IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe. We’re hearing that he might also bring his girlfriend, Australian swimwear model Kirsten Dee. In addition to food, drink and a festive atmosphere at an upscale waterfront home, we understand there might be Jet Skis involved.

How’s that for a recruiting tactic? Unfortunately, the party is not open to the public — you’ll need to know someone to wrangle an invite, and it will help if you know how to code.

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08/07/13
f1

Hakkinen 'working hard' on Bottas' future
Will Bottas be one (year) and done?
(GMM)  Mika Hakkinen says he is "working hard" to secure the future of Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas, the 23-year-old Finn, made his debut this year just as the British team's competitiveness slumped.

Teammate Pastor Maldonado, the strongly PDVSA-backed Venezuelan, has scored Williams' only 2013 point to date.

And there are rumors Williams, having partnered with GP2 team Russian Time, could pair Maldonado with a Russian driver next year.

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08/07/13
f1

Vettel backs Ecclestone amid legal troubles
Vettel and everyone else in the F1 paddock hope Bernie does not go to jail
(GMM)  World champion Sebastian Vettel has jumped to the defense of F1's embattled chief executive.

Already under fire by German prosecutors over the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribe affair, Ecclestone's troubles worsened this week when a London court ordered his bosses at F1 owner CVC to release hundreds of documents about the sale of the sport years ago.

The Financial Times said the documents relate to German media group Constantin Medien's $171 million lawsuit claiming F1 was undervalued when it was sold to CVC in 2006.

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08/06/13
irl

AR1's Brian Carroccio on location as construction begins for The Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT
The official ceremony commencing the building of the race course for The Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT took place this morning outside the Baltimore Convention Center. On hand this morning were Race On LLC Managing Partner J.P. Grant, Grand Prix of Baltimore General Manager Tim Mayer, and Corvette Racing's Tommy Milner. The Grand Prix weekend will be August 30-September 1, 2013.

I was on location for this morning's ceremony, and was able to speak with both Mayer and Milner. Below are a few tidbits of information in no particular order that I took away from this morning's event.

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08/06/13
nassprint

Papis To Drive No. 14 Chevrolet in place of Tony Stewart
Part-time driver Max Papis made his NASCAR debut in 2006 for Furniture Row
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart underwent surgery on his right leg early Tuesday morning, Aug. 6 after suffering a broken tibia and fibula in a sprint car crash Monday night, Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Stewart did not sustain any other injuries.

The surgery served as a preliminary procedure to stabilize and clean the Grade 2 injury. A second surgery will be necessary. In the meantime, Stewart will remain hospitalized for observation.

Stewart was leading the 30-lap American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) feature when a lapped car spun in front of him. Stewart hit the lapped car and flipped.

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08/06/13
nassprint

Tony Stewart to fans: ‘I will be back’
While recovering surgery on his broken leg, Tony Stewart wanted to two things — his phone and to send a message to his fans.

"I told someone to go get my phone or else I was going to get up and get it myself," Stewart said in a message posted on his website. "Finally got reconnected to the world and just want to say thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. My team will remain strong and I will be back."  Stewart was injured in a sprint car crash in Iowa Monday night and is expected to miss at least this week’s race at Watkins Glen and possibly several more events.

Stewart-Haas Racing has not yet announced a replacement for Stewart.

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08/06/13
nassprint
irl

Kurt Busch still exploring IndyCar opportunity (Update) UPDATE NASCAR driver Kurt Busch now says it's “a good possibility” that he will race an Indy car in October to prepare himself for a run at next year's Indianapolis 500.

“We just have to keep our fingers crossed,” Busch said.

Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti said a couple of proposals are being considered by companies to sponsor Busch's IndyCar effort. He said Chevrolet needs to know by early September if another engine is needed.

Asked if a deal has been agreed to with Busch, Andretti said: “Not yet, but we're working on it.” AutoWeek
08/02/13
Kurt Busch talks to Michael Andretti before testing his car at Indy
Kurt Busch is looking at doing the double. The Auto Club/Talladega double, that is.

Busch, 14th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings and attempting to secure a spot in this year's Chase For the Sprint Cup, was asked about a possible effort to run next year's Indianapolis 500 earlier this week while testing with his Furniture Row Racing Cup team at Watkins Glen International.

It's something very much on his radar, he said, but added that he would like to run an oval race with the open-wheel series before possibly jumping into an Indy 500 attempt.

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08/06/13
track news

ISC loses $30M on Staten Island property (Update) UPDATE ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy in a statement said the money from the sale could be used for "a mixed-use and entertainment destination development" across the street from Daytona Int'l Speedway. Morningstar analyst Jaime Katz said the price for the Staten Island property "seemed to be fair" and should make ISC investors "feel better about (the company's) plans for Daytona Rising now that they have cash that’s accessible." Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL

08/06/13 International Speedway Corporation announced that it sold its 676-acre parcel of property located in Staten Island, New York, to Staten Island Marine Development, LLC. Marine Development purchased 100 percent of the outstanding equity membership interests of 380 Development LLC, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of ISC and owner of the Staten Island property, for a total sales price of $80.0 million. ISC paid approximately $100 million in 2004 in hopes of building an oval track on the property.  So between the $20M loss on the sale coupled with the taxes, studies ISC did on the property since 2004 and real estate transaction fees, ISC is estimated to have lost at least $30 million.

The Company, as a result of the sale, expects to receive a cash tax benefit of approximately $41.5 million, based on its current corporate tax rate, that combined with the net proceeds will provide ISC with approximately $117.7 million in incremental cash flow. In addition to the sale proceeds, ISC has already received $4.2 million in non-refundable payments from Marine Development to have had the exclusive negotiation rights for the Staten Island property. ISC received $7.5 million of the purchase price at closing. The remaining purchase price will be financed with the Company holding a secured mortgage interest in 380 Development as well as the underlying property. ISC PR

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08/06/13
f1

Horner: Bernie is the right man
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Bernie Ecclestone remains the "right guy to be running" F1.

Ecclestone has been head of the Formula One show for more than 40 years, but his leadership is currently under scrutiny as he is facing two separate court cases.

He has been indicted in Germany for bribery in a case related to the sale of a F1 stake to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky of Bayern Landesbank (Bayern LB) eight years ago.

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08/06/13
nassprint

TV analysts discuss Stewart injuries and Ramifications
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart underwent surgery late Monday night for a broken right leg sustained in an accident in a sprint car race at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.  At minimum, Stewart will miss Sunday’s Cup Series event at Watkins Glen International, likely ending his shot at qualifying for this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Below, NASCAR on FOX analysts Steve Byrnes, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Kenny Wallace offer their perspectives on the situation:

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08/06/13
nassprint

Will the next Jimmie Johnson please come forward
As NASCAR tries to "attract a younger fan base, the top talent keeps getting older with no signs of that changing," according to David Newton of ESPN.com. The average age of drivers in the top 10 in the standings "is 36.5, four years older" than in '08.

Not since Jimmie Johnson in '02 "has there been a young driver who successfully and consistently challenged the old guard for championships." So now the sport "needs a young, hot superstar to challenge Johnson." NASCAR "recognizes this issue," as the governing body has "lowered the age limits in most of its developmental series since 2007 to encourage more participation and speed up the learning curve." NASCAR in '11 began the "NASCAR Next program to help spotlight rising stars and increase fan awareness of young talent."

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08/06/13
ga

SFP Supporting Kansas Grand-Am Race
Kansas Speedway and Leawood, Kan.-based SFP announced today a partnership for Kansas Speedway’s inaugural GRAND-AM Road Racing weekend, the newly titled SFP Grand Prix. The SFP Grand Prix is scheduled for Aug. 16-17.

“I’m excited that our partnership with SFP has continued to grow and to have a Kansas-based company supporting our inaugural Grand-Am race is great,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “I look forward to our continued partnership with SFP.”

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08/06/13
automotive

Chevy lowers price of Volt significantly
Chevy volt, now priced to compete with the Toyota Prius
The Chevrolet Volt, already recognized for having the most satisfied owners will soon come with another people pleaser: a lower price. The 2014 model will start at $34,995, including an $810 destination fee (excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees).

If consumers include federal tax credits ranging from $0-$7,500 (depending on individual tax liability), pricing could start at $27,495. Individual tax situations differ, so consult a tax professional prior to claiming any credits to confirm eligibility for vehicle tax benefits.

“The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership,” said Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “The 2014 Volt will offer the same impressive list of features, but for $5,000 less.

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08/06/13
nassprint

Hamlin calls Kyle Petty a moron (Update) UPDATE Kyle Petty, the driver-turned-analyst with the unfiltered opinions, has angered someone new. Petty didn't mean to make Denny Hamlin mad with his televised comments before Sunday's race at Pocono. Turns out, Hamlin had every right to be upset. Petty admitted on Monday he had misinterpreted previous statements made by Hamlin, and the opinion Petty presented pre-race about Hamlin was incorrect. "If you are going to run your mouth, if you are going to dish it out, you gotta take it, and the bone of contention here is that Denny is 100 percent right," Petty said. "I can take it, I can say that I'm wrong and that I misinterpreted what Denny said." Petty would have reached out to Hamlin or apologized for making a mistake, but then came the "moron" tweet. "Denny's argument was a typical Twitter argument, he calls me a moron and then he goes personal," Petty said. "So I'm just not going to acknowledge it." Associated Press

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08/06/13
motogp

Weather impedes Stoner's return on MotoGP machine
Casey Stoner on Tuesday in Japan
Double World Champion, Casey Stoner, climbed aboard a MotoGP machine for the first time today since retiring from the sport in November 2012. However, Bad weather affected his return and the Honda development test at the Twin Ring Motegi in Tochigi, Japan.

The original plan was for Casey to re-familiarize himself with the RC213V - 2013 machine, in the morning and then test the new 2014 prototype in the afternoon and a few other test items. Unfortunately, after just 6 laps the rain arrived and halted testing for the day.

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08/06/13
f1

Alexander Rossi on his F1 hopes and popularity in the USA
Aspiring American Formula One driver Alexander Rossi says the sport’s return to the Circuit of the Americas this year will be a “true test” of whether the sport can succeed in the USA. Rossi told F1 Fanatic what he thinks it will take for Formula One to be successful in the States and what he’s doing to become the first American on the grid since 2007.

Year two the “true test” for COTA

Formula One returned to America last year with a well-received new race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Rossi called the event “a step in the right direction” for F1?s hopes of gaining popularity in the USA.

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08/06/13
promazda
IRL

Mazda PH throws support to Michele Bumgarner's Indy bid
BERJAYA Auto Phils., the country's distributor of Mazda vehicles, has announced its support to race driver Michele Bumgarner in her bid to compete in the North America Indy Car championship. Bumgarner will first be joining the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship, which is part of Mazda US' Road to Indy development program.

Bumgarner, who has competed in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship and is a multiple Philippine motor sports Driver of the Year, expressed her gratitude on the partnership with Mazda Phils. as, according to her, the Indy 500 race is one of her "dream competitions."

"Thanks for helping me get closer to my goal," Bumgarner said. "I hope that this would be a long and lasting relationship."

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08/06/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Webber won't miss getting smoked by 'boy' Vettel
  • Lotus struggling with 'money problems' - reports
  • Calado on track for Force India future
  • 'Any change' good for struggling Williams - Maldonado

    Read more & Comment...
08/05/13
automotive

New Caterham to get 660cc turbo
Caterham has announced its next Seven will be powered by the smallest engine the company has ever used.

Yes, folks, the all-new entry-level Seven will be powered by a 660cc Suzuki engine, featuring just three cylinders and one turbo. You read that right: a turbocharged three-pot engine with considerably less than a liter capacity.

Caterham Seven

Caterham says this tiny engine will be matched to an equally tiny Suzuki five-speed gearbox, sitting on a completely re-engineered Seven chassis featuring "major revisions to the suspension layout". We've not been given any clue as to power, weight or performance, but the entry-level Roadsport - with its 125bhp 1.6-litre four-pot - hits 60mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Read more & Comment...
08/05/13
irl

Kimball delivers message with victory at Mid-Ohio
Charlie Kimball
On Oct. 16, 2007, life changed for Charlie Kimball.

It was that day that the then-22-year-old's quality of life and blossoming racing career was dealt a blow as he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"I remember that day being pretty dark. And today is pretty bright," Kimball said after posting his first IZOD IndyCar Series victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 4. "To come five years later and get a race win in what I think is the most competitive open wheel series probably in the world at the minute is pretty fantastic."

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08/05/13
irl

Video: Charlie Kimball post-race interview
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race winner Charlie Kimball tells RACER about his breakthrough victory, what it means to him as the latest TEAM USA scholarship recipient to reach Victory Lane, and the significance of winning while managing type-1 diabetes.



Comment
08/05/13
irl

Video: Ganassi's excitement results in spill
IZOD IndyCar Series team owner Chip Ganassi was understandably psyched about his third-year driver, Charlie Kimball, scoring his first career IndyCar win this afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

But in the midst of his excitement, Ganassi stumbled as he attempted to cross the pit wall – presumably to greet his American driver – and fell to the ground.

Of course, the spill wasn’t enough to dampen his enthusiasm after Kimball brought Chip Ganassi Racing its fifth consecutive triumph at Mid-Ohio (Scott Dixon – 2009, 2011-12, Dario Franchitti – 2010).

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08/05/13
tv news

Despain, Gordon, Miller & Varsha Mark Final Wind Tunnel Episode Next Sunday
When legendary motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain signs off next Sunday live on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET, he marks the final episode of Wind Tunnel.

Wind Tunnel, a signature SPEED program for 11 years, celebrates its 594th and final episode Aug. 11 with familiar guests Robin Miller and Bob Varsha. Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, one of Despain’s favorite guests over the years, will be the final interview. Additionally, a series-ending “Best of Eye Candy” segment is planned featuring the greatest racing shots from the show’s tenure, plus lighter on and off-air moments over the years.

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08/05/13
f1

F1 costs are a runaway train wreck
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has revealed that F1 teams face a "15, 20 million" increase in costs next season.

Next year's Championship will see the beginning of a new era for Formula One as the sport welcomes the new 1.6-litre turbocharged engines that will replace the current V8s.

The new units, which are expected to come with a massive price increase, will change the design of the cars meaning even spending more money for the teams.

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08/05/13
nassprint

Kvapil not happy with Patrick after accident
Danica wads up yet another car
Getty Images for NASCAR
Just when it looked like #10-Danica Patrick had figured out NASCAR's big superspeedways, she was involved in another wreck at Pocono Raceway. Patrick was running 18th and racing #93-Travis Kvapil when she appeared to get loose and drift into Kvapil's car on Lap 110.

Patrick said she simply got loose and lost control of her car. This wasn't the first time Patrick and Kvapil have gotten together on the track as she took the blame for a wreck at New Hampshire last month. Patrick grimaced and nodded her head in agreement when asked if she and Kvapil seemed to be having a lot of contact on the track. Kvapil was obviously frustrated.

"I'm done just getting run over and wrecked and racing her clean," Kvapil said. "I don't know. It's pretty frustrating. She's one of the best cars out there. We're a middle-of-the-pack car running in the top 20 and get wrecked again. It is just really frustrating. & When you're in vulnerable situations, you have to guard yourself and take care of your stuff. She is a rookie and you've got to learn that, but that's a couple of weeks in a row for me." Kvapil said he felt he deserved an apology after New Hampshire and never got one. He expects one after Pocono. Sporting News

Comment
08/05/13
f1

Russia moves to end 2014 race uncertainty
(GMM)  Russia on Monday moved towards ending the uncertainty over its inaugural grand prix at Sochi.

Earlier, the country's automobile federation, the RAF, missed the July 31 deadline to apply to host the race in 2014, due to failing to reach an agreement with the promoter, Omega.

But the Russian sports daily Sport Express on Monday said Omega is now set to reach an agreement with the RAF.

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08/05/13
usf2000

Did you know?
Austin Cindric, who competes in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda for Andretti Autosport, is adding to his family's memories at Mid-Ohio.

The 14-year-old resident of Mooresville, N.C., finished ninth in the third USF2000 race on the racetrack owned for four decades by his grandfather, Jim Trueman, and the Trueman family after his death in 1986.

Cindric's father is Penske Racing president Tim Cindric.

Comment
08/05/13
irl

Filippi Finishes 16th in IndyCar Debut at Mid-Ohio
Luca Filippi proved he belongs
Luca Filippi and his Barracuda Racing team earned a hard-fought 16th place finish in Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Despite a mistake in qualifying one day earlier that put him in last place on the starting grid, the 27-year-old Italian driver had a solid debut weekend, which included being the fifth fastest on the combined practice score sheets and an impressive qualifying run.

When the green flag dropped at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Filippi picked up three spots in the first three laps of the race. He continued to advance in position, running as high as 11th place on lap 64.

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08/05/13
nnw

Keselowski rises to the occasion
Brad Keselowski, the only NASCAR Sprint Cup visitor in the field, led the final 35 laps to win the August 3d U.S. Celluar 250, presented by the Enlist Weed Control System, NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Iowa Speedway.

The event marked Keselowski's third series win of the year, his 23d career win, second Nationwide Series win at Iowa and his third series win in a row as a part time visitor.

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08/05/13
irl

Davison impressive in IndyCar debut
James Davison
About every racecar driver that has ever donned the Nomex and helmet has dreamed about the first time they had a steering wheel in their hand.  For 26-year-old Australian driver James Davison that dream came true today and it had a happy ending.  Davison finished on the lead lap enroot to a 15th place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sunday afternoon.

Davison qualified his newly branded Sonny’s Bar-B-Q car an impressive 16th, just a whisper off of the likes of 2013 IZOD Indy Car race winners Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe.  He ran as high as sixth in the pit stop sequencing in a race that saw 23 cars running at the end of the race.

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08/05/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Petrov to return?
    Petrov eyes F1 return with Williams, Marussia
  • Renault chief thinks 2014 cars to be faster
  • Coulthard doubts Alonso real option for Red Bull
  • Ferrari drivers 'come and go' - Montezemolo
  • Summer break a 'win' for F1's hard workers
  • Gutierrez not worried about 'speculation'
  • Ecclestone vows to help F1 hopeful Felipe Nasr
  • Setback For Ecclestone After FOG, CVC Ordered To Release F1 Sale Documents

    Read more & Comment...
08/04/13
irl

Final Thoughts from Mid-Ohio
I spent a good half hour walking the grid prior to the command and let me tell you: the grid was CROWDED! You had to walk around people, stand and wait for groups of people to come through, and overall be careful of where you were going. And whether it was the weather, promotion, whatever, the crowd was very good.

Also, I ran into Bryan Herta about ten minutes prior to the command to start engines, and asked him about the team's plans. He said no decisions had been made regarding the driver of the #98 Barracuda Racing Honda past this weekend, noting that Alex Tagliani was still under contract and they were likely going to take things race to race for the remainder of the year. However, he made it clear that he was very impressed with Luca Fillipi.

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08/04/13
IRL

Mid-Ohio Attendance – it looks good!
When asked, Mid-Ohio officials gave us a nice “We don’t give out attendance numbers.” Then he paused and said, “It’s a good crowd. We’re very happy.” And yes, it is a profitable weekend for the facility. Certainly not on par with the mega-crowds of old, but today’s crowd is very good, with the usual spectator areas full of fans. Best of all the weather is seasonably cool, with fluffy clouds and a cooling breeze, so last-minute sales won’t be deterred by either hot or rainy conditions.

Circuit officials tell us that they’re a confirmed “go” for next year as well. Given the attendance from Honda, Chevy and Firestone executives, it’s hard to not imagine this race happening for years to come. -- Tim Wohlford, reporting from Mid-Ohio!!

Comment
08/04/13
IRL

Mid-Ohio Indy Lights Wrap
Gabby Chavez put on a driving exhibition at Mid-Ohio, landing his first career win in Indy Lights. Peter Dempsey came in second, and Jack Hawksworth played defensive driving all race long to finish third.

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08/04/13
irl

Afternoon Update from Mid-Ohio
I was just over near the Schmidt Petersen garage area, where they are feverishly working to get Vautier's backup car ready for today's race. The team also changed engines, thus will take the 10-grid spot penalty and start 21st.

Speaking of rushing to prepare cars, you might remember Charlie Kimball wrecked the #83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda in yesterday's morning practice. The #83 team then feverishly rushed to fix the car with help from Target Chip Ganassi Racing crewmen. I asked one of the #83 crew guys if they were close to not having it ready yesterday. He simply smiled and said, "We got it ready in time."

The Pirelli World Challenge cars are about to begin their race. Green flag for the Izod IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is in about 2 hours ten minutes. More to follow......

Brian C. reporting from Mid-Ohio

Comment
08/04/13
dtm

Historic one-two victory for Audi in Russia
A great debut for the DTM in Russia. The first event of the most popular international touring car series attracted 45,000 fans to Moscow Raceway over the weekend. On Sunday, spectators cheered for a dominant victory by German driver Mike Rockenfeller with his Audi RS 5 DTM. After 74 laps, the Audi driver, who had started from pole position, crossed the finish line with a margin of 1.3 seconds from his fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom, who finished second, and thus secured the historic maiden DTM race win in Russia. Augusto Farfus also stepped on the podium for finishing third with his BMW M3 DTM. Driving a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Gary Paffett was classified fifth behind Audi driver Adrien Tambay.

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08/04/13
irl

Late Morning Update from Mid-Ohio (Update) UPDATE The morning warm up for the Izod IndyCar Series is coming to a close. The teams have had limited running due to two red flag sessions, one from Tristan Vautier. Vautier appeared to lose control of the #55 Angie's List Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports Honda as he spun in his own oil on the uphill climb to turn 4. EJ Viso also had a brief off, and I am searching for confirmation as to what exactly happened.

The session has now gone checkered with Justin Wilson posting a fast time of 1:06.99 in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda. 

One thing I will note is that with more than four hours before the green flag, the crowd seems very robust. The hill over at turn 3 had many viewers for the IndyCar warm-up, and it was crowded in the paddock this morning. While I have no attendance numbers, the crowd "looks" good.

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08/04/13
IRL

Mid-Ohio Tristan Vautier update
We caught up with Tristan after he returned to his paddock after a fiery crash in early morning practice. Tristan informed us that he first heard “metal sounds”, and was trying to park the car. “For some reason” he said, the throttle stuck, and off into the wet grass and tires he went.

The car didn’t look “that bad “when it was towed in, but the team had a fresh engine out by that time. The do have a road-race backup car sitting on the ramp of the hauler too.

-- Tim Wohlford, reporting from Mid-Ohio!!

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08/04/13
f1

Lower ticket prices for Indian GP, fans skeptical
The 2014 Indian GP will not feature in the F1 calendar, but this year's race tickets were up for sale starting Saturday.

The ticket rates for the race at the Buddh International Circuit that will take place on October 27 range from Rs1,500 to Rs21,000. The race weekend will be from October 25 to 27.

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08/04/13
f1

Pirelli wants another 1000km team tire test
(GMM)  Paul Hembery has admitted he would like to organize another 1000 kilometer tire test, although the last one with Mercedes' 2013 car was highly controversial.

Indeed, F1's official supplier and the Brackley based team were officially reprimanded for the Barcelona session.

But if the FIA's clarified guidelines are followed, Pirelli's contract with the sport actually permits tire tests with individual teams, and motor sport boss Hembery admitted he is keen to organize another.

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08/04/13
nastruck

Blaney scores another impressive truck win at Pocono
Up and coming development driver Ryan Blaney produced two great restarts, during a double green-white-checker scenario, to win the Pocono Mountains 125 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the Pocono Raceway. Blaney earned his second series win in only 20 series starts. He led a race high 20 laps of the scheduled 50, which became 54 laps, around the raceway'...s 2.5 mile triangular shaped configuration.

Driving a Ford owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, Blaney finished a mere 0.271 seconds ahead of Miguel Paludo who scored a personal best finish. German Quiroga, Joey Coulter and Ross Chastain, in a second Brad Keselowski Ford completed the top five. 

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08/04/13
irl

Good Morning from Mid-Ohio
Beautiful morning here at Mid-Ohio. The sun is shining, there is no humidity and nary a cloud in the sky. If there is a day to score a good "walk up," crowd, today is it.

The three IndyCar two-seaters are currently on the track. Check back in with AR1 for updates throughout the day.

Brian C. reporting from Mid-Ohio

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08/04/13
nassprint

John Henry buys Boston Globe
New York Times Co., which put its Boston Globe newspaper up for sale this year, agreed to sell the publication to John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, for $70 million in cash. The deal is $40 million short of the $110 million in pension liabilities said to be owed by the Globe properties collectively known as the New England Media Group, and is expected to close in 30 to 60 days. The sale also includes the Globe website, the Boston.com website, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, a 49 percent stake in Metro Boston, and the Globe's direct-mail marketing company GlobeDirect, the New York Times said in a statement.

Henry is also the principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, one of the largest sports, media and entertainment companies in the world. In 2010, FSG bought Liverpool Football Club, the 18-time English soccer champion, and its Anfield stadium. The company also owns the New England Sports Network and a 50 percent share in Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR racing team. Bloomberg

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08/04/13
irl

New Sonny's Branding
Bob Yarmuth, Sonny’s CEO and the new branding for Sonny’s BBQ
Long time IndyCar supporter, Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, one of the nation’s leading barbecue restaurants, is updating its image by tapping into its roots. 

Sonny’s, the third largest barbecue chain in America, debuted its new logo two weeks ago at its annual convention in Orlando, and debuts to the racing world this weekend on the #18 Sonny’s Indy Car here at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The 45 year old chain will proudly carry the new logo on James Davison rookie debut for the Sunday Honda Indy 200.

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08/04/13
irl
nassprint

Gordon belittles IndyCar (Update) UPDATE After making comments regarding the differences between NASCAR and IndyCar attendance, four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon tweeted late last night that he “never meant to take a shot at anyone.”

Further elaborating on the topic, he also tweeted: “I love #IndyCar just wanted to recognize how fortunate we are to get the crowds that we get in @NASCAR.”

08/02/13
Jeff, I cannot win anymore, Gordon belittled the Pocono IndyCar crowd above
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan said Jeff Gordon unfairly picked on IndyCar on today.

At Pocono Raceway for NASCAR qualifying, Gordon compared the hefty crowd there today with what he saw last month (considerably fewer people) for the first IndyCar Series race at the eastern Pennsylvania track since 1989.

“I am very, very appreciative of this sport and this series that we are in because when you drive in that tunnel for an IndyCar race, and you drive in here for a NASCAR race, you get a perspective of how big our sport is,” Gordon told reporters.

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08/04/13
irl

Franchitti to stay with Ganassi in 2014
Dario Franchitti, who is riding a career-long, 23-race winless streak, confirmed today to The Indianapolis Star that he will return to Ganassi Racing in 2014.

"Definitely," he said before qualifying sixth at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "I've always said that if my pace is still there and I'm still enjoying (driving), I'll stay."

Our 2014 Silly Season page already had it as 'fact' that Franchitti would be back with Ganassi.

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08/04/13
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Roger Penske will join us from Mid-Ohio following the day’s IndyCar Series event. This will be Roger’s 8th appearance on the program…making him one of the most frequent guests in the show’s history.

Kyle Petty will join us from Pocono to talk about Sunday’s Sprint CUP race.

In addition, Dave Despain will share his recent experience attending the 3-day Skip Barber Racing School at the Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC.

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08/03/13
usf2000

Alberico Vaults to Second in the Points Chase with Two Mid-Ohio Wins
Neil Alberico (center) was dominant
Neil Alberico has had his share of disappointments this season, failing to finish in three of the first four races, but since then the 20-year-old from Los Gatos, Calif., has been on a tear. Two victories today – one on a diabolically wet track this morning and one in warm, dry, sunny conditions this afternoon – have vaulted the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing contender to second place in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with five races remaining.

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08/03/13
promazda

Brabham Equals Single Season Win Record with Dominant Run at Mid-Ohio
Brabham (center) wins again
Matthew Brabham bounced back from a disappointing weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks ago by scoring a convincing victory today in the first leg of the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.

The third-generation racer from Boca Raton, Fla., qualified on the pole for the fifth time in 11 rounds of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. He then led throughout the 20-lap race to claim his eighth win of the year and equal the record for wins in a single season established by last year’s champion Jack Hawksworth.

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08/03/13
irl

Saturday Afternoon Report from Mid-Ohio
We bumped into Conor Daly here at Mid-Ohio. He's been spending a fair amount of time around the A.J. Foyt pit area, and has been wearing an ABC Supply hat today. However, don't read too much into that.

Daly said that while he is "keeping all his options open," his primary focus remains in Europe and F1. If he can win the GP3 title, he would move up to GP2 next season. If not, he says he will continue to focus on Europe, but again noted there were no real certainties.

The Brownsburg, Indiana native also talked about the budgets involved with GP3 and GP2. He noted that GP3 was about 650,000 euros, while GP2 was about 1.7 million euros. According to Google Currency Converter $1 dollar currently equals 0.75 Euros. So, for GP2 Conor would need over $2 million dollars.

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08/03/13
automotive

Acura releases yet another NSX track teaser video
Once a concept, now a prototype. The new NSX takes to the test track before appearing at the Indy 200 Mid-Ohio race tomorrow.



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08/03/13
wc

Video: Team Cadillac drivers cut up Jordan Taylor
Team Cadillac drivers Johnny O'Connell, Andy Pilgrim and Jordan Taylor take a light hearted lap of Mid-Ohio.



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08/03/13
tv news

FOX Sports 1 continues Speed's all-NASCAR slant
With the launch of FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, just days away, NASCAR coverage is poised to take center stage with LIVE coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Series from Michigan at 12:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 17 -- Day 1 of the new FOX Sports 1. Here is a look at additional LIVE NASCAR coverage scheduled for that historic day:

• NASCAR SPRINT CUP PRACTICE (Michigan 8:30 a.m. ET, LIVE)
• NCWTS QUALIFYING (Michigan 9:30 a.m. ET, LIVE)
• NASCAR SPRINT CUP FINAL PRACTICE (Michigan 11 a.m. ET, LIVE)
• NCWTS RACING (Michigan, 12:30 p.m. ET, LIVE)

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08/03/13
nassprint

Rain washes out Pocono Sprint Cup practice
Rain washed both Sprint Cup Series practices Saturday, meaning teams will head into Sunday's race without any post-qualifying practice at Pocono Raceway.  NASCAR originally had scheduled two 50-minute practice sessions for the Cup teams prior to the Camping World Truck Series race, which has a listed 1:21 p.m. ET green flag.

The track was not dry for the 9 a.m.-9:50 a.m. practice session, and the planned 11:30-12:20 session was called because the rain only stopped at 11:15 a.m. It typically takes at least two hours to dry the 2.5-mile track surface.

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08/03/13
promazda

Brabham takes Pro Mazda pole at Mid-Ohio
Brabham did an imitation of this grandfather as he hit on all 3 of the girls
Tim Wohlford/AR1.com
Matthew Brabham took his fourth pole this season in Pro Mazda. He beat out Brazilian Nicolas Costa by 0.073 seconds with Scott Anderson in third. Most recent winner in Pro Mazda Shelby Blackstock was fourth with Diego Ferreira rounding out the top five.

Juan Piedrahita was sixth ahead of Kyle Connery, Zach Meter, Kyle Kaiser and Lloyd Read. Winner of race one at Mosport Spencer Pigot will start from eleventh on the grid. Race one of the Pro Mazda weekend will commence at 4:20 p.m. ET. Race two will be Sunday at 10:05 a.m. ET.

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08/03/13
IRL

Mid-Ohio Indy Lights qualification report
Gabby Chavez made the most of a drying track to qualify for the pole for tomorrow’s Indy Lights race. Peter Dempsey qualified second, and rookie Jack Hawksworth qualified third. Rounding out the top five were Carlos Munoz and rookie Zach Veach.

Rookie Sage Karam had an early off in turn 1 when he slipped on wet pavement under the pedestrian overpass. His team got him out with a couple of minutes remaining, and he was able to post a 9th place starting spot.

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08/03/13
irl

IndyCar Qualifying from Mid-Ohio
Real quick update here from Mid-Ohio. The Ganassi crew has repaired the #83 car for Charlie Kimball. Group 1 has rolled off for Izod IndyCar Series qualifying. Drivers participating in Group 1 are Helio Castroneves, EJ Viso, Sebastian Saavedra, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, James Davison, Justin WIlson, Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe, and Josef Newgarden

Brian C. reporting from Mid-Ohio

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08/03/13
irl

Afternoon Update from Mid-Ohio
I just went by the Ganassi pit area, and the crews were hard at work repairing the #83 Novo Log Flexpen Honda of Charlie Kimball. Note, I use the plural as the #83 crew was being assisted by members of the #9 Target crew. No official word yet on whether the #83 machine will or will not be ready for qualifying

I also stopped by the AJ Foyt pit area. The ABC Supply guys were fixing some body damage on Takuma Sato's Dallara Honda. However, the atmosphere was much less strained and a crewman told me Sato would absolutely be ready for qualifying at 2 p.m.

Firestone Indy Lights qualifying is on track now. More later.....

Brian C. reporting from Mid-Ohio

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08/03/13
IRL

Morning Update No. 2 From Mid-Ohio
Josef Newgarden lead early Saturday's IndyCar morning practice, followed by Marco Andretti, EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe.

The track was still green from rains that started last night and continued into the morning hours (about 12 hours), and had wet spots for this practice session. The session was interrupted three times -- Sato went off in the turn 2 "Keyhole" turn at the start of session. Later both Kimball and Hinchcliffe had shunts, with Hinchcliffe's trip into the turn 10 tires ending the session.

The weather forecast for tomorrow's race does NOT call for rain. On the other hand, it wasn't supposed to rain last night....

Practice Results

Rank Car Driver Name Engine Time Speed Diff Gap
1 67 Newgarden, Josef HONDA 01:06.6536 121.956 --.---- --.----
2 25 Andretti, Marco CHEVY 01:06.7244 121.826 0.0708 0.0708
3 5 Viso, EJ CHEVY 01:06.7339 121.809 0.0803 0.0095
4 27 Hinchcliffe, James CHEVY 01:06.7810 121.723 0.1274 0.0471
5 19 Wilson, Justin HONDA 01:06.9410 121.432 0.2874 0.1600
6 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan CHEVY 01:06.9524 121.412 0.2988 0.0114
7 9 Dixon, Scott HONDA 01:06.9599 121.398 0.3063 0.0075
8 3 Castroneves, Helio CHEVY 01:07.0782 121.184 0.4246 0.1183
9 11 Kanaan, Tony CHEVY 01:07.0794 121.182 0.4258 0.0012
10 78 De Silvestro, Simona CHEVY 01:07.0841 121.173 0.4305 0.0047
11 4 Servia, Oriol CHEVY 01:07.1549 121.046 0.5013 0.0708
12 12 Power, Will CHEVY 01:07.2463 120.881 0.5927 0.0914
13 55 Vautier, Tristan (R) HONDA 01:07.2890 120.804 0.6354 0.0427
14 77 Pagenaud, Simon HONDA 01:07.4313 120.549 0.7777 0.1423
15 6 Saavedra, Sebastian CHEVY 01:07.5849 120.275 0.9313 0.1536
16 15 Rahal, Graham HONDA 01:07.6899 120.089 1.0363 0.1050
17 18 Davison, James (R) HONDA 01:07.7466 119.988 1.0930 0.0567
18 7 Bourdais, Sebastien CHEVY 01:07.7529 119.977 1.0993 0.0063
19 16 Jakes, James HONDA 01:07.7681 119.950 1.1145 0.0152
20 10 Franchitti, Dario HONDA 01:08.1657 119.251 1.5121 0.3976
21 98 Filippi, Luca (R) HONDA 01:08.5362 118.606 1.8826 0.3705
22 20 Carpenter, Ed CHEVY 01:08.5779 118.534 1.9243 0.0417
23 83 Kimball, Charlie HONDA 01:10.3230 115.592 3.6694 1.7451
24 14 Sato, Takuma HONDA 01:15.4948 107.674 8.8412 5.1718


- Say goodbye to Speed Channel. I don't mean, "Watch it fade away." I mean, say Goodbye in two weeks, completely. Racing-related staff is being fired, and long-standing shows are winding up with only 2 more shows left in most cases. Even programs like "My Classic Car" are gone in 2 weeks.

The programming decisions are being made by Fox execs in Los Angeles, and we all know how LA types feel about auto racing -- they'd rather watch soccer, which is what we'll be seeing a lot of on Fox in the future. Fox angered most in the racing community when it first came into NASCAR, moving programming to channels that weren't available in many places, openly seeking to "not feature" cars whose sponsors didn't buy ads on Fox, and in general making themselves hated in media centers. And in its first race, it broke from the Dale Earnhardt Sr wreck early to cover XFL football -- and was caught flat-footed by the news that followed. It took them years to recover from those early mistakes.

Worse yet for race fans, rumor has it that ESPN is looking for some soccer programming, like NBC and Fox have coming on their channels. ABC/ESPN won't be a part of NASCAR starting 2014, and there is no word on ABC's coverage of the Brickyard 400 past 2014. It is tough to imagine that they'll suddenly devote more resources to IndyCar while they cut NASCAR coverage.

*******************

We caught up with Bryan Herta this morning before first practice, to talk about his first-weekend driver Luca Filippi. "It's a matter of managing expectations" he said, which is now a bit more difficult after fast runs yesterday. However, smiles abound in that pit.

Likewise Dale Coyne is happy with James Davison's performance so far this weekend. "He hasn't been on the track in an open wheel car in four years" Dale explained, and "It's difficult to jump in mid-season when everyone else is in mid-season form."

*******************

Mid-Ohio people tell us that their date is locked in for next year. This isn't surprising, since the track is an easy trip for Honda officials who have a huge manufacturing presence in Ohio. It's also an easy trip for the Firestone people in Akron. And more than a few big-whig GM people are making the trip from Detroit as well.

-- Tim Wohlford, reporting from Mid-Ohio!!

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08/03/13
irl
usf2000

Morning Update From Mid-Ohio
Practice 3 for the Izod IndyCar Series just concluded. There was very little on track action as the session was marred by three red flag periods. See AR1 reporter and global icon Tim Wohlford's practice wrap in Hot News for more.

Speaking of Tim, he had the pleasure of camping out here at Mid-Ohio last evening and confirm for you that it rained much of the night. The track is still drying in places and many of the drivers complained during the session that the track had zero grip. Depending on how the track changes before 2 p.m., this should make for an interesting qualifying session this afternoon.

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08/03/13
dtm

Rockenfeller wins DTM pole in Moscow
Mike Rockenfeller
Audi's Mike Rockenfeller has become the Moscow Raceway's first DTM pole-man in the most bizarre of circumstances after receiving a helping hand from President Vladimir Putin.

Q4's one-lap shootout, initially delayed, was eventually cancelled due to a two-hour airspace closure as it emerged President Putin was due to fly overhead, meaning the circuit's Air Ambulance would be unable to take off if needed.

As a result, the times in Q3 and below assemble the positions for tomorrow's grid.

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08/03/13
f1

Di Montezemolo sounds off on F1
Luca Di Montezemolo sounds off
Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo went on record saying that while his team must still work hard to straighten up this year's F1 championship, la very much looks forward to a reduction of aerodynamic importance in 2014.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della sera, Montezemolo reiterated that every at the team must keep their heads down and try to resolve the current situation. He also said to understand Fernando Alonzo’s frustration, given that the Ferrari F138 was perhaps the best car at the beginning of the season, but that the lack of improvement put the team in a difficult situation.

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08/03/13
irl

Pink Panther (Update) UPDATE
Oriol Servia's Pink Panther
Panther Racing returned this weekend to its "pink camo" livery to honor female soldiers serving in the National Guard. Firestone has joined the team in honoring females serving in the military and has created a pink sidewall tire that will replace the traditional black primary Firehawk tires.

"I've never driven a pink race car before and I can't wait," said Oriol Servia, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car. "As a kid I always liked the Pink Panther, so hopefully we can be sneaky like the Pink Panther this weekend."

The Ohio National Guard is led by Maj. Gen Deborah Ashenhurst, the only female adjutant general, who will join the team this weekend to help celebrate the key role females play in the military.

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08/03/13
f1

"Drivers come and go" - Does di Montezemolo mean Alonso or Massa? (Update) UPDATE
Is Montezemolo setting us up for Alonso's departure to Red Bull or Massa's retirement?
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo has cast doubts over Felipe Massa’s future at the Scuderia after warning the Brazilian that he needs to up his game if he wishes to stay for 2014. 
Massa, whose contract expires at the end of 2013, has raced for Ferrari since 2006, but his recent results have left much to be desired, with a dip in form after what had been a strong start to the season.

Montezemolo has warned the Brazilian that his results must improve if he is to remain at the Maranello based squad next year.

“Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy,” Montezemolo told Corriere della Sera. “But in the past days, we were very clear with him: both he and us need results and points. Then, at some point, we will look one another in the eye and decide what to do.”

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08/03/13
Team USA

Eight Candidates in Contention for 2013 Team USA Scholarships
For the 24th straight year, a selection of talented young American drivers will vie for prestigious Team USA Scholarships which will potentially allow them to follow in the footsteps of former winners such as Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly.

Eight candidates have been identified from a variety of racing series. Ultimately, two winners will be selected to contest a couple of traditional end-of-season events in England – the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, which regularly attracts more than 100 Formula Ford contenders and has been won three times by Team USA Scholarship representatives in the past five years (Conor Daly in ‘08, Connor De Phillippi in ‘09 and Tristan Nunez in ‘12.) Each weekend will comprise three races. Additional opportunities will be announced at a later date.

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08/03/13
irl
F1600

Vautier's girlfriend also a racer
19-year old Ayla Agren
French rookie IndyCar driver Tristan Vautier's girlfriend is from Norway and is also here in the USA racing.

Ayla Agren has been driving since she was 7 years old. She started driving go-karts, and has competed in the World, European, Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian championship. This in addition to the European leading karting series called WSK. 2012 was her first season in Open wheel racing. She competed in the Skip Barber summer series, and brought home 4 podiums.

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