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DATE News (chronologically)
08/08/14
motogp

Marquez tops opening practice day at Indy
Pos Rider Bike Nat Time
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1'32.882
2 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1'33.104
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'33.424
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1'33.432
5 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'33.493
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1'33.513
7 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1'33.531
8 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha ESP 1'33.587
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'33.598
10 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1'33.621
11 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1'33.690
12 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1'33.971
13 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GBR 1'33.996
14 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1'34.054
15 Karel Abraham Honda CZE 1'34.912
16 Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha USA 1'34.994


Comment
08/08/14
uscc

Vision For TUDOR Championship Future Class Structure Revealed
Officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today confirmed the structure and specifications for all four of its current TUDOR United SportsCar Championship classes through the 2016 season.

"It is important to all of our stakeholders to have a clear understanding of where the TUDOR Championship is headed from a technical standpoint, which we now have established through 2016," said IMSA Vice President of Competition and Technical Regulations, Scot Elkins. "This will enable our manufacturers to build race cars with these specifications and timelines in mind, and allow our competitors to make fully informed investment decisions for the future."

Read more & Comment...
08/08/14
nassprint

Danica discusses practice crash at The Glen
WHAT HAPPENED?
"I blew a tire. I have no idea. I think it was only two laps, the second lap on tires. So apparently the No. 20 was radioing in saying there was some smoke. I never saw any, but he said he saw it and said ‘you guys should pit.’ Just in the carousel there is so much load on the left-front there that I guess that was the go spot for it. It has been a record horrible day I’m pretty sure."

HOW HARD WAS THE HIT?
"I mean I was actually trying to – I left my left my left hand on the wheel and I went for the gear shifter because I was trying to go down a gear to try to get it sideway so it would just sort of hit the left-side so it wouldn’t go in front. I was going from second, but I was going to second. So I’m just not used to crashing at such slow speeds that I needed first gear to save it. Anyway, I’m sure it would have been not good either way. I just kind of hit my hand. It was one of the slow ones. What a terrible day…"

Read more & Comment...
08/08/14
racing news
irl

Chip Ganassi Feted by Racing Elite at IMRRC Award Dinner
From left, J.C. Argetsinger, Chip Ganassi, Bobby Rahal, with Cameron R. Argetsinger Award
Angelo Lisuzzo
CORNING, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2014) - A number of communities came together on Thursday night to honor race team owner Chip Ganassi at the Corning (N.Y.) Museum of Glass. They included the racing communities of IndyCar, Sports Car and NASCAR, as well as the local New York state communities hosting this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.

Ganassi received the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for outstanding contributions to motorsports at the International Motor Racing Research Center Award Dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International.

Owner of teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Verizon IndyCar and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series, and a former racer in SCCA amateur and pro competition, Ganassi was feted by an elite group of racing dignitaries, industry sponsors and community leaders.

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08/08/14
racing news

First Gear Project Launches Innovative Motorsports Crowdfunding Program
PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In motorsports, funding is often the critical bridge between opportunity and execution.
First Gear Project, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to the automotive & motorsports industries, will help build that bridge by establishing a platform to connect opportunity and funding via WWW.FIRSTGEARPROJECT.COM.  (See related AR1.com article)

The site, which recently expanded from a successful beta phase to being open to the public, has been built to facilitate programs across the spectrum of the industry, from karting to drag racing, from the development of new aftermarket products to the creation of inspiring documentaries. First Gear Project will build a community, encourage new innovations and foster projects as the open marketplace of motorsports ideas meets with the support of the public, friends, family, and sponsors to turn dreams into realties.

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08/08/14
nassprint

Kimberly-Clark extends with JTG Daugherty
Kimberly-Clark Corp. has extended with JTG Daugherty through 2017.
WATKINS GLEN,  N.Y. (August 8, 2014) – Today JTG Daugherty Racing announced Kimberly-Clark Corporation extended their sponsorship of the No. 47 Chevrolet with driver AJ Allmendinger through the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with their SCOTT®, Viva®, Kleenex®, Cottonelle® and Huggies® brands.

“We’re happy Kimberly-Clark Corporation has extended our partnership through 2017,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “This company has been with us for five years now. We have worked hard to align ourselves with their corporate values and business objectives.  We are excited that they saw a positive return on investment and chose to continue to invest in the sport with JTG Daugherty Racing.”

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08/08/14
v8

True color track walk for Sydney Motorsport Park 400
The overwhelmingly successful 'True Color' track walk will be replicated at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 where fans can get up close and personal with the stars and their cars.

Thousands of fans flocked to the main straight at Queensland Raceway when all 25 cars were displayed on the track with their drivers for fans to get a close look at the show.

V8 Supercars was elated with the reception from fans and will now continue the practice at events where it is operationally practical.

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08/08/14
automotive

Senate bill could send automaker employees to life sentences in prison
Congress is proposing to send auto executives and their employees to life in prison if they don't fix their cars.

That's not an exaggeration. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who led a Senate hearing against General Motors CEO Mary Barra in April, is sponsoring the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Enhancement Act (read the entire bill here). It's an effort to prevent the corporate sloppiness that resulted in at least 13 deaths from faulty ignition switches on GM cars.

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08/08/14
promazda
il

Veach, Brabham to throw out first pitch at Little League championship round
Catch Indy Lights race winners Zach Veach and Matthew Brabham throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 2014 Little League Baseball Great Lakes Championship game on ESPN this Saturday!

Saturday, August 9
Little League Baseball Great Lakes Championship Game
ESPN 2:00 p.m. ET

Comment
08/08/14
f1

F1 is shooting itself in the foot
The sport has suffered a crisis of confidence this season, following criticism of its new hybrid engines by some of F1's key players and worries over declining TV audiences.

Boullier believes F1 should be working harder to engage with fans and promote the quality of racing produced by the new regulations for 2014.

"We are shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment, with everyone criticizing, but we have great racing almost every weekend," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

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08/08/14
automotive

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex
Next week, California's Monterey peninsula becomes the undisputed hub for vintage automobile enthusiasts as Monterey Classic Car Week gets underway. Within the collection of unique rendezvous that make up the occasion, there are a number of exceptional events to look out for:

Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex: Thursday, 14 August
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering: Friday, 15 August
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance: Sunday, 17 August, and
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion: Friday, 15 - Sunday, 17 August

Rolex has been Official Timepiece of the Concours d'Elegance and partner of The Lodge, situated on Pebble Beach’s famed 18th fairway, since 1997. The Pebble Beach Concours, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, is globally regarded as the finest event of its kind. Just being invited to participate is honor enough; winning "Best of Show" is beyond dreams.

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08/08/14
irl

Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers Complete One-Day 'parade' in Sonoma
Hunter-Reay tests at Sonoma.  Did he break the track record or was he dog slow. We'll never know because IndyCar failed yet again to provide test times.
Eleven Verizon IndyCar Series drivers completed a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, but as is typical with IndyCar tests, unlike other series, no test times were made available, hence zero fan interest was generated.  Who was fastest?  Who was dog slow? Was it a boring parade around the track or did some of the drivers break the track record? The fans will never know. IndyCar would not know how to keep fans engaged between races if their future depended on it. A task so simple as to provide lap times at every test is beyond their imagination.

A total of five teams tested the 12-turn, 2.38-mile road course in preparation for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Aug. 22-24. It marked the final IndyCar test scheduled for Sonoma before race weekend.

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08/08/14
f1

Q&A with Williams' Pat Symonds
Pat Symonds
Heading into last year’s summer break, Williams were a team in disarray, having scored one solitary point over the opening 10 Grands Prix. It would transpire to be the worst season in their illustrious history.

This year, however, they have been rejuvenated. Several new senior appointments have been followed by the squad’s first pole position in two years and a string of podiums, helping to lift them to fifth in the constructors’ championship. Speaking exclusively to Formula1.com, technical director Pat Symonds, who has led the sweeping changes since arriving last August, reveals some of the secrets behind the transformation.

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08/08/14
irl

Tag Heuer plans major IndyCar-centric marketing campaign
Switzerland-based Tag Heuer has become the official watch of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Financial details of the deal were not released. A sports marketing expert thinks the agreement is likely a three-year deal that pays the series and Speedway about $300,000 annually. The marketing boost the open-wheel series and IMS get from the deal may be worth a lot more than that.

The deal—which was announced Aug. 6—includes naming-rights for the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge, held annually each May on Carb Day the Friday before the Indianapolis 500.

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08/08/14
f1

Outrage as Monza's Parabolica run-off asphalted
The gravel trap around the outside of the Parabolica has been paved over
(GMM)  F1's summer break has not stopped a cry of outrage at news the iconic Parabolica corner at historic Monza has been altered ahead of next month's Italian grand prix.

The Italian magazine Autosprint published a photo depicting works to asphalt the famous gravel trap at the exit of the high-speed curve.

A strip of gravel just next to the track has been left intact, presumably to be completed as a low-grip area like artificial grass.

But the move is highly controversial, given that Parabolica was among the few remaining high-speed corners on the F1 calendar where a mistake is penalized heavily.

Read more & Comment...
08/07/14
irl
uscc

IndyCar team to expand into sportscars
The Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team, which fields entries for 2010 ALMS P1 co-champion Simon Pagenaud and rookie Mikhail Aleshin, is working on joining the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2015, and has targeted a Prototype berth with Honda's new ARX-04b coupe.

"We're looking at complementing our IndyCar program with sports cars due to the level of technologies involved, and with our relationship with Honda Performance Development, sports car racing is a natural route for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to be considering," SPM General Manager Rob Edwards told RACER.

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08/07/14
irl
uscc

James Hinchcliffe Joins Starworks for DP Return at Road America
Canadian motor racing driver James Hinchcliffe joins Starworks regular Scott Mayer for the return of the #78 HPD Riley at the Continental Tire ‘Road Race Showcase’ at Road America, WI, this weekend - round 10 of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Honda Performance Development (HPD) developed a new, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged Daytona Prototype version of the production J35 engine for 2014, with the Daytona Prototype Honda Riley package making its debut at the Sebring 12 Hours with Starworks Motorsport, but with limited success.

Peter Baron, team owner, says of the Daytona Prototype’s return, "Obviously we are all immensely happy about the return of the #78 Starworks HPD Riley. The project was no small undertaking. We were hoping to make an earlier return, but the amount of engineering and detail that went into the redesign took a bit longer than anticipated.  Both HPD and Riley invested a tremendous amount of resources into an initial design that was discussed with the series, but not approved in the end. That cost us a little over a month. But the good news is we have a reliable solution and we are back on track and have a chance to defend our win last year at Road America with Scott!"

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08/07/14
irl

IndyCar Aero kits will 'generate quite a bit of interest'
Honda Performance Development vice president and COO Steve Eriksen believes that fans will clearly see a distinction between Honda and Chevrolet cars through the aero kit program introduced for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

"INDYCAR has defined some boxes, and you have to work within the boxes. But, apart from that, it's pretty open," Eriksen said. "It's so open on the rules that you're going to see quite a bit of variation I think between the cars, the details particularly.

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08/07/14
uscc

IMSA News And Notes: Road America

  • The Race: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
  • The Place: Road America
  • The Date: Sunday, Aug. 10
  • The Time: 2:15 p.m. (ET)
  • The Track: 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course
  • The Race Length: Two hours, 45 minutes
    Qualifying (IMSA.com) - Saturday: 5:20 p.m. (ET)
  • Race (FOX Sports 1) -  Sunday: 6:30 p.m. (ET) - SDD

    Read more & Comment...
08/07/14
uscc

Krohn Closing in on LMP2 Decision
With a move to LMP2 on the horizon, a decision on Krohn Racing's 2015 program is expected to be made in the coming weeks.

The Houston-based squad, which currently fields a Ferrari F458 Italia GTE car in select rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as well as being a late entry in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, is preparing for a move up to the prototype ranks.

Team owner Tracy Krohn and longtime co-driver and mentor Nic Jonsson recently completed a successful test of the Ligier JS P2 HPD at Magny-Cours, with other LMP2 chassis options currently being considered, including the new HPD ARX-04b.

Read more & Comment...
08/07/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • McLaren a test car for Honda
    Sauber to 'stay together' with troubled Ferrari
  • German charity 'surprised' by $1m Ecclestone payment
  • 2014 McLaren 'a laboratory' for Honda car - Boullier
  • Ferrari could learn from Williams experience - Massa
  • Rookie Kvyat hits back at F1 'wimps' criticism
  • Formula 1 Legends: Interview with Mario Andretti


Read more & Comment...
08/07/14
f1

Schumacher file theft suspect hangs himself in jail cell (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  The Michael Schumacher camp is "stunned and shocked" as the story of the F1 legend's skiing crash and recovery took a tragic twist this week.

It emerges that a man detained in Switzerland for stealing the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's medical records in June has hung himself in jail.

"We are stunned a shocked," Schumacher's manager and spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told the German newspaper Bild.

The newspaper said the Schumacher camp did not even know that a suspect in the case, who police confirmed was arrested on Tuesday, had even been detained.

Read more & Comment...
08/06/14
irl

IndyCar Mid-Ohio TV rating
The Mid-Ohio IndyCar Race on NBCSN Sunday from 3:45-5:45 pm ET averaged a horrible 0.25 household rating in the 56 metered TV markets.

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday (3:43-5:48 p.m. ET) averaged 386,000 viewers, up 98% from the same race in 2013 (195,000 average viewers) but still less than an infomercial gets on ABC, which is where all the races should be broadcast.

Overall, NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series through nine races has drawn 398,000 average viewers, up 38% from the 2013 season average viewership through nine races on NBCSN (289,000), both horrible numbers, but moving in the right direction.

Comment
08/06/14
irl
nassprint

Rahal and Earnhardt lose National Guard sponsorship (Update) UPDATE
The loss of National Guard is a $12M loss for the Rahal team
This quote is attributed to Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan:
"We were informed this afternoon that the National Guard will end all sponsorship of motorsports, including both IndyCar and NASCAR at the conclusion of the 2014 seasons.  This is obviously very disappointing news to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing given the significant incremental brand exposure we have worked to produce for the National Guard in our first season together, including various off-track marketing and advertising programs focused on supporting the mission set forth.  We will continue to work hard to uphold the honor and integrity of the National Guard throughout the remainder of the season.  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing would like to thank the National Guard for allowing us the privilege of representing some of the finest men and women, those ‘citizen soldiers’ that protect our freedoms and safety each and every day… as we Focus Forward!"

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08/06/14
nassprint

Sprint calls off T-Mobile merger; names new CEO
Sprint confirmed Wednesday Marcelo Claure will take over as president and CEO of the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S. Claure, 43, had served as founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., a wireless distributor based in Miami and subsidiary of Sprint parent company Softbank. Claure will assume the Sprint CEO role on August 11. The executive shift follows reports that Sprint planned on calling off its merger with T-Mobile, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., because of challenging regulatory hurdles. Both companies had been working on a potential merger valued as high as $50 billion.

Last week, French telecom Iliad confirmed it made a bid to scoop up T-Mobile for $15 billion. In a statement, Claure says he will focus immediately on "competing aggressively" in the marketplace. "While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint."

Read more & Comment...
08/06/14
irl

Indy Car drivers want a better rain tire in 2015
The Firestone rain tire is too hard
Q: It seems to me that Firestone and IndyCar could do a much better job with the rain tires used this year, after the Toronto race and Mid-Ohio qualifying it looks to me like very few drivers can handle the rain with this setup. Call me crazy but I think my 2010 Hyundai Sonata might have had a shot at the Mid-Ohio pole in the rain! I know that horsepower is an issue but frankly a street tire seems to get far better traction. Have any of the talented engineers with English accents tried adjusting or leaning out the air/fuel mixture to cut horsepower in the engine? With all the brains in the paddock somebody must have a solution to end this rain-induced chaos. Maybe you have an idea Robin?
Dave Pisula, Westerville, Ohio

RMiller: The drivers have asked Firestone to make them a badass rain tire for street circuits in 2015 since those are the places that always lack grip or are insanely slippery like Toronto. They can deal with a wet track (like Barber) but Mid-Ohio was damn near flooded before qualifying began so, short of having 2-3 rain compounds like F1, nothing anybody could do but tiptoe around. And IndyCar wants to control costs so one rain tire is all that’s requested from Firestone. Racer.com

Comment
08/06/14
nassprint

NASCAR Pocono TV Rating lowest since '98 (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Excluding rainouts, the 2.8 rating is the lowest for the season’s second Pocono race since at least 1998 (ratings prior to 1999 were not available), trailing the previous low set in 2012. Viewership was also the lowest since at least 2000 (viewership prior to 2001 was not available).

The race continued the season-long trend of declines for NASCAR TV ratings. Of the 18 races that can be compared to last year (excludes rainouts), 17 have had declines in ratings and 15 have had declines in viewership. Versus the comparable telecasts in 2012, 16 have had declines in ratings and 15 in viewership.

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08/06/14
f1

Schu manager Weber slams 'complaining wimp' drivers
(GMM)  Willi Weber, famous for making his fortune as Michael Schumacher's 'Mr. 20 per cent' manager, has joined those decrying the new face of formula one.

"There are many reasons for the decline of formula one," he told Wednesday's latest edition of Sport Bild magazine.

"The fish rots at the head," the German claimed, when asked about the sport's apparent dwindling popularity amid the ever-modernizing era.

"Bernie Ecclestone is much too old to embrace the age of new media.  And FIA president Jean Todt lacks the strength to enforce."

Read more & Comment...
08/06/14
f1

Ecclestone hails 'capitalist' court settlement
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Wednesday hailed the "capitalist system" that saw him escape a bribery trial by paying the German court a record $100 million settlement.

On Tuesday, the judge in Munich rubber-stamped the deal struck between the F1 supremo's lawyers and the prosecutors in the case surrounding a $44 million bribe made years ago to jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Clearly, the fact a figure like billionaire Briton Ecclestone was able to cling to power in F1 and avoid jail simply by dipping into his vast fortune has been highly controversial.

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08/06/14
irl

IndyCar signs TAG Heuer as sponsor
INDYCAR announced today that TAG Heuer, the world-leading luxury Swiss watch brand recognized for its prestigious sports watches and chronographs, has been named the official watch of the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The partnership includes entitlement sponsorship of the TAG Heuer Pit Stop Challenge, held annually on Carb Day before the Indianapolis 500.

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is proud of its long association with TAG Heuer and excited that the partnership has expanded to include the Verizon IndyCar Series," said Mark Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "TAG Heuer is an iconic brand and a perfect representation of the speed, precision, technology and innovation that are the pillars of our sport."

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08/06/14
nnw
nastruck

NASCAR fines Nationwide, truck crew chiefs for violations
NASCAR issued relatively small fines Tuesday for violations last weekend in Nationwide and truck events at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

Jonas Bell, crew chief for Rick Ware Racing driver Carl Long, was fined $10,000 and put on probation through the end of the year after improperly attached weight fell off the No. 23 car during the Nationwide Series event Saturday at Iowa Speedway.

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08/06/14
nassprint

Family sues NASCAR, Pocono over 2012 lightning death
NASCAR blew off a severe storm warning at the Pocono 400 race until the storm got so bad it had to stop the race, and 6 minutes later a fan was killed by lightning in the parking lot, his family claims in court. Brian Zimmerman was killed by lightning at 5:00pm on Aug. 5, 2012, his widow Marion claims in the Court of Common Pleas.

She sued Pocono International Raceway and NASCAR, on Aug. 1. Ten other people were injured by lightning, one of whom sued NASCAR and the Pocono Raceway in July. Zimmerman claims that NASCAR and the Pocono Raceway received a severe thunderstorm warning from the National Weather Service at 4:12pm, but they "did nothing" to stop the race or warn fans until 4:21, when they "attempted to use social media" to warn race fans of the approaching storm. Brian Zimmerman did not have access to social media at the raceway, his widow says.

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08/06/14
nassprint

Grandson of NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates killed in accidental shooting
An 18-year-old grandson of Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates was killed Saturday night in an accidental shooting.

According to The Palm Beach Post, Feliciano Sabates was shot by a 17-year-old when he waved a 9mm gun that the group of juveniles and adults had been passing around the group during a party.

Sabates, known as 'Chany' to his friends, died at the scene in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, apartment. The 17-year-old was charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence. Sporting News

Comment
08/06/14
promazda

Solid Results at Mid-Ohio Enable Pigot to Maintain Pro Mazda Points Lead
Spencer Pigot in front
Lady Luck didn't do Spencer Pigot any favors during last weekend's Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix double-header at the challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, so the talented young racer concentrated on securing some valuable championship points. Pigot consequently holds a 14-point advantage with three races remaining in the hotly contested Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The weekend began well with Pigot showing good speed during both the Thursday test day and the first official practice session on Friday morning. He was fast, too, in the early part of the lone qualifying session. Unfortunately, his team's strategy failed to play out when an on-track incident caused the session to be red-flagged and Pigot was unable to put together a clean lap in the final few minutes. He had to be content with an unrepresentative eighth on the grid for Saturday's first race.

Read more & Comment...
08/06/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Ecclestone listens in court
    'Free man' Ecclestone goes back to work on F1
  • Ecclestone 'a bit of an idiot' for settling
  • Raikkonen to be father
  • Mercedes' Costa rules out Ferrari return
  • Symonds: Williams has third fastest car
  • Video: Red Bull catches fire during demo
  • Bernie Ecclestone proves money can buy happiness
  • Ecclestone seeks to banish tarnished image after 'buying' bribery case acquittal


Read more & Comment...
08/05/14
f1

Q & A: The Ecclestone case
What was Bernie Ecclestone accused of?
The Formula One ringmaster was accused of paying German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky $US44 million ($A47.3 million) in 2006 and 2007 to ensure that shares in Formula One held by BayernLB were sold to Ecclestone's preferred bidder, CVC Capital Partners, now the sport's majority shareholder. Ecclestone admitted paying the money but said it was given to Gribkowsky to end blackmail threats that the banker would hand over information about Ecclestone's tax affairs. Gribkowsky was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in jail in 2012.

Why did the Munich state court drop proceedings against Ecclestone?
Under German law, the outcome of criminal proceedings - in terms of a punishment and in the halting of proceedings - can be negotiated in certain instances to avoid long and costly court cases. After months of inconclusive testimony by several witnesses, Ecclestone's lawyers asked the court last week to end the trial, saying that the prosecution had failed to build a solid case against their client and citing his advanced age. Negotiations then began on a settlement and a figure of $US100 million ($A108.2 million) was agreed after an offer of $US34 million ($A36.6 million) was rejected.

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08/05/14
il

Video: Dallara IL15 Indy Lights Initial Mid Ohio Test Run (Update) UPDATE
Dallara IL-15
The future of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires was in evidence yesterday as 2011 Pro (Star) Mazda champion, 2012 Indy Lights champion and 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Tristan Vautier put the brand-new AER turbo-powered Dallara IL-15 chassis through its paces for the first time during an exclusive test session at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The exciting new car which incorporates advanced electronic controls and all the very latest safety features, was shaken down briefly last week at Putnam Park Raceway, just west of Indianapolis, but yesterday marked its first full day of development testing. The car performed flawlessly, with Vautier taking advantage of perfect weather conditions to complete a total of 85 laps, including a best lap already a half-second faster than Jack Harvey's pole time from the weekend's Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Indy Lights double-header.

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08/05/14
motogp

MotoGP Live From Indy on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO
Unbeaten Marc Marquez
Undefeated Marc Marquez leads the MotoGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP into its second U.S. stop, as the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix airs live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO on Sunday, Aug. 10 (2:00 PM ET).

Marquez, the 21-year-old Honda rider and defending series champion, is the first rider since Italian Giacomo Agostini in 1970 to win the first nine races of a season. Agostini won the opening 10 races that year.

Host Bob Varsha leads the FOX Sports 1 broadcast team, with Ralph Sheheen providing play-by-play, Hall-of-Fame rider Scott Russell offering analysis and Jenny Taft reporting from the pits.

Read more & Comment...
08/05/14
irl

Verizon IndyCar Series Teams Set to Test (Update) UPDATE Eleven drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams will take part in a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway this Thursday, Aug. 7.  This marks the final IndyCar test scheduled for Sonoma before race weekend.

DRIVERS/TEAMS TESTING:
• Andretti Autosport: Ryan Hunter-Reay & Carlos Munoz
• Chip Ganassi Racing: Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan & Charlie Kimball
• Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Graham Rahal
• Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing: Josef Newgarden 
• Team Penske: Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya & Will Power

Read more & Comment...
08/05/14
Racing News

Ramsberger joins Andretti Sports Marketing
Andretti Sports Marketing announces today that veteran event management executive Tim Ramsberger has joined as a Vice President and General Manager of it's growing sports, entertainment and experiential marketing business. Ramsberger brings a depth of experience to his new role including World Cup, Olympic, Disney and IndyCar event management tenure.

Ramsberger most recently served as President of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. His focus will be to further advance the sports, entertainment and experiential event marketing initiatives of Andretti Sports Marketing and it's clients.

Read more & Comment...
08/05/14
tv news
irl

Ryan Briscoe's wife Nicole to Remain With ESPN, Anchor SportsCenter
Nicole Briscoe, wife of IndyCar driver Ryan Briscoe
Nicole Briscoe has agreed to a new contract with ESPN and will become a SportsCenter anchor as well as taking on additional new assignments after her current role as host of ESPN NASCAR Countdown concludes.

Briscoe, who joined ESPN in 2008 and has served in various positions on ESPN’s NASCAR coverage, will assume her new duties in January. In addition to SportsCenter, she also will be part of a variety of other ESPN studio shows.

"I’m very happy with the opportunities that have been presented to me," said Briscoe, who will be relocating to the company’s Bristol, Ct., headquarters. "ESPN is where I want to be, and I’m excited about starting the next chapter of my career as well as a new adventure for my family.

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08/05/14
f1

Judge ends Ecclestone trial after $100m deal
Bernie Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone walked out of court on Tuesday with the corruption scandal that threatened to end his F1 reign and leave him in jail effectively over.

If he is able to get $100 million together within a week, all charges will be dropped.

"Yes," 83-year-old Ecclestone told the judge when asked if he can meet the deadline.

"Thank you very much, I will honor my commitments," he added.

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08/05/14
nassprint

Piquet to make Cup debut at Watkins Glen
Nelson Piquet Jr.
Nelson Piquet Jr. is set to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Watkins Glen International, his first national series start of the season. Piquet, a Brazilian native, will drive the Randy Humphrey Racing #77 Ford in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Since 43 cars are listed for the 43-car event, Piquet will not need to qualify based on his speed in Coors Light Pole Qualifying unless another team files a late entry. The 29-year-old driver competed in two full seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 2011-12, then raced full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013. This year, he's been competing in Rallycross events, including taking the bronze medal at the X-Games in June. Sunday's race also marks the return of the Randy Humphrey-owned organization to the Sprint Cup circuit. NASCAR.com

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08/05/14
racing news

Police Believe Champion Powerboat Racer Faked His Death In Boat Crash
The official story goes like this: Last month, a pontoon boat carrying two men crashed off of Longport, N.J. One swam to shore safely; the other, 44-year-Andrew Biddle, has not been found and was reported missing. But local police now believe that Biddle faked the accident in an attempt to escape prosecution on a series of complaints that he scammed boat buyers.

On Friday, the Press of Atlantic City NJ reported on a flyer distributed by Egg Harbor Township, NJ police. It alleges that the accident was staged by Biddle, who is believed to be "alive and well and on the run."

The flyer, circulated to law enforcement agencies, calls Biddle a "current U.S. and European offshore boat racing champion and has contacts throughout the country and abroad and could be anywhere."

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08/05/14
dtm

Marco Wittmann extends DTM points’ lead with third season win
From left, Farfus, Whitman and Glock
BMW driver Marco Wittmann emerged as the winner from an action-packed DTM race at Red Bull Ring. With his BMW M4 DTM, the 24-year-old won the sixth season round from his fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock. Martin Tomczyk completed the success for BMW by finishing fourth. "I had a very bad start, which made the early stage of the race not particularly easy for me. I had to stay cool and I saved my tires. There was plenty of action in front of me, but I didn’t see too much of it. Today, I was just really lucky," a satisfied Wittmann said. In total, 47,500 fans attended the race weekend in Austria.

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08/05/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Jules Bianchi latest Italian to get crack at F1?
    Only 'emergency' team orders at Mercedes - Zetsche
  • Verstappen not denying 2015 Toro Rosso debut rumors
  • Bianchi not ruling out '2015' Ferrari race seat
  • Perez says Hulkenberg 'strongest F1 teammate'
  • Video: We're all about the racing - Happy Holidays!
  • Symonds - Renault car was better than McLaren
  • Magnussen hails positive impact of teammate Button


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08/05/14
f1

F1 'popularity' meeting called off (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  F1 chiefs have now cancelled until further notice a scheduled meeting of the newly-formed 'popularity working group'.

Originally scheduled for last Thursday, it was called off when Mercedes' Toto Wolff had to see a doctor after falling ill in the wake of his recent cycling crash.

Also central to the new group - tasked with spicing up the F1 'show' amid apparent dwindling popularity - is Force India's Vijay Mallya, who was summoned to an Indian court for tax evasion.

And Bernie Ecclestone has been busy negotiating his $100 million trial settlement in Munich.

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08/05/14
f1

F1's Bernie Ecclestone Could Walk Away From Bribery Trial Tuesday (Update)
Moving on
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone is expected to put the corruption scandal behind him on Tuesday and return full-time to formula one.

The sport's chief executive has been caught up in a German court trial in the opening half of most weeks recently as he fends off accusations he bribed Gerhard Gribkowsky.

A conviction would have ended his F1 reign and could also have seen him jailed, but he appears to have agreed a $100 million settlement with the Munich authorities that will see all charges forever dropped.

Germany's Die Welt newspaper calls it a "second-class acquittal", but it should be enough to satisfy F1 owner CVC's Donald Mackenzie, and F1 stakeholders like Daimler who operate under strict corporate compliance rules.

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08/04/14
il

Harvey Flawless at Mid-Ohio to Notch Back-to-Back Wins (Update) UPDATE A reader points out, Dear AR1.com, If you look at the replay Razia punctured Brabham's left rear tire with his right front wing ending Brabham's race and causing himself to be hit and spun out. Just wanted to clear that up. Mike Griffing

08/04/14
Jack Harvey
Lexington, Ohio - Englishman Jack Harvey today completed his domination of the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio weekend, earning the second of two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victories at the famed road course while also taking both pole positions and logging the fastest lap in each race as an exclamation point. His commanding 12.180-second victory has moved him into second position in the championship with three races remaining.

Harvey, 21, started his #42 Racing Steps Foundation car on the front row next to Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian teammate Luiz Razia. Razia, from Brazil, came under pressure from Andretti Autosport's Matthew Brabham as the green flag fell, with Brabham getting a nose on the inside of Razia going into Turn Four. Unfortunately, Brabham could not make the pass stick, tapping Razia's right rear. The resulting damage ended Brabham's day and put Razia a lap down.

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08/04/14
irl

Strong Qualifying Precedes Unlucky Race for Coyne Drivers
Justin Wilson at Mid-Ohio
IndyCar
Lexington, Ohio - The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Justin Wilson and Carlos Huertas returned to action this first weekend of August at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  A weekend off allowed for some rest and relaxation for the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers but they did spend one day this past week testing in preparation for the Honda Indy 200.  The two and one quarter mile purpose built road course is a change of pace from past weekends with its 13 turns and elevation changes.

Wilson turned very quick laps in the final practice session and ended up running third quickest.  Afternoon downpours forced the Boy Scouts of America crew to change to a wet setup for qualifying which saw Wilson proceed nicely in the first round and would end up qualifying eighth for Sunday’s race.

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08/04/14
nnw

Duno set to make NASCAR debut
Former IndyCar and sports car driver Milka Duno will make her NASCAR debut with a limited schedule of races for RAB Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. With her entry in the team's No. 29 Toyota, Duno will become the first Hispanic female driver in history to compete in a NASCAR national series in the United States.

Venezuelan Duno has been competing in the ARCA Race Series for the past three seasons, while also serving as a TV reporter at Formula 1 events for the Univision Deportes Network.

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08/04/14
irl

Sports editors ignore IndyCar (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, It has been displayed for years now that IndyCar, and open wheel racing know nothing about roots, much less grassroots.

They are simply a business for rich kids to spend daddy’s money. Pretty much a joke of a sport.

Why do you think the media doesn't pay attention? For the same reason that polo isn't a huge media attraction. It is an absolutely amazing spectacle to see a polo match in person, but America doesn't care about the hobbies of the rich. They want to go watch something they could conceivably do themselves. You need compelling stories of everyday people, on a local and regional level.

Until IndyCar recognizes that an investment in the marketplace is required, they will never get any more attention than they are seeing now. Sure, maybe an occasional bump in ratings here and there, but nothing of significant value.

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08/04/14
f1

F1's Bernie Ecclestone Could Walk Away From Bribery Trial Tuesday
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "hopes to walk from court a free man" on Tuesday after negotiating a $100M payment "to settle the criminal bribery case against him," according to David Charter of the LONDON TIMES. Ecclestone will hear if Bavarian judges will accept "the deal he negotiated with prosecutors for the biggest personal financial settlement in German legal history."

It could be "one of the greatest deals" of Ecclestone’s career since it would result in "the dropping of all criminal charges against him." German law allows the settlement for economic crimes. The deal could also satisfy F1 majority owners CVC Capital, which has said that if Ecclestone were convicted "he would be removed from his position as president and chief executive of Formula One Management." LONDON TIMES

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08/04/14
v8

V8 Supercars Race At Australian F1 Grand Prix To Gain Championship Status
The V8 Supercars support races at the Australian Grand Prix "are set to gain championship status next year and retain the elevated importance during the Albert Park event’s new five-year deal," according to Mark Fogarty of THE AGE. Following the renewal of the F1 race from '16-20, Australian Grand Prix and V8 officials "are stepping up efforts to make the V8 races part of the 2015 title series in anticipation of a longer agreement."

But just as upgrading the V8s from their long-standing exhibition status "is feasible because they are being shown on the same TV network" as F1 from next year, continuing to race for championship points at Albert Park during the new agreement "will depend on which network secures" the F1 broadcast rights from '16. Preliminary talks with rights holder Formula One Management "have already started, with Ten believed to be pitching for a renewal in a V8-style combined bid with Fox Sports."

Nine and Seven "are also thought to have expressed interest" in the F1 rights, especially with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo "emerging as a future world title contender" THE AGE

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08/04/14
nassprint

NASCAR Selects IMG To Manage Global Media Distribution
NASCAR today formally announced that it has selected IMG as its int'l media representative, helping the sanctioning body to form a global media distribution strategy. IMG will focus on increasing the sport's footprint, audience base and revenues outside North and South America. All of NASCAR's current int'l broadcast rights, encompassing more than 20 partners in over 175 countries, will expire at the end of the '14 season (NASCAR). Sources said that IMG "will pay an annual rights guarantee and share sales revenue with NASCAR after it recoups its upfront investment." SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL

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08/04/14
irl

Dixon adds to his legacy with another Mid-Ohio win
Scott Dixon
Unfulfilled expectations had marked the Verizon IndyCar Series season of Scott Dixon until he returned to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which just seems to suit the three-time series champion.

Even starting 22nd because of a penalty levied for creating a red flag during qualifications on the rain-soaked road course Aug. 3 didn't dampen his outlook for the 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. And after a 5.3864-second victory over Sebastien Bourdais on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit, Dixon's entire season perspective was turned around. It was his fifth victory at Mid-Ohio in the past eight years and the sixth in a row for a Chip Ganassi Racing car.

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08/04/14
irl

IndyCar champion to be honored in Los Angeles
Fans are invited to mingle with the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series during the INDYCAR Championship Celebration on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles.

The Championship Celebration will take place the day after the title-deciding MAVTV 500 in prime time at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and culminate with the presentation of the Astor Cup and $1 million bonus to the Verizon IndyCar Series championship-winning team and driver.

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08/04/14
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Going Road Racing

The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series go road course racing at historic Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Aug. 9-10 and both races will be televised live. The NASCAR Sprint Cup race airs Sunday, Aug. 10, on ESPN, with NASCAR Countdown at noon ET and the green flag at 1:18 p.m. The NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Aug. 9, airs on ABC at 2 p.m. with a 2:33 p.m. green flag. Also from The Glen, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Nationwide Series qualifying earlier that day at 9:30 a.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider.

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08/04/14
irl

Hinch grows one for Hunter-Reay
Why grow a moustache when you can have a teammate do it for you!
A group of diehard Hunter-Reay fans that call themselves Team Stache got the idea of donating $1,000 to his pet cause of cancer awareness and research. The catch was Hunter-Reay had to grow a moustache.

"Well, I'd have to work a season to do that," the clean-shaven Hunter-Reay said.

His buddy and Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe decided to take one for the team.

"This is for my homeboy Ryan Hunter-Reay who is definitely not as awesome at growing a moustache," Hinchcliffe joked.

He is growing it as a goatee with a soul patch to make it look like an eight to go with Hunter-Reay's No. 28. But Hinchcliffe didn't donate any money.

"I donated my face, my ego and embarrassment is what I donated," Hinchcliffe said.

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08/04/14
irl

Montoya on Mid-Ohio
Montoya at Mid-Ohio
Juan Pablo Montoya has raced the greatest ovals and road courses in the world as a winner in Formula One and NASCAR. He's now raced at Mid-Ohio three times.

"It's not wide enough or long enough, but I think the layout is very technical," he said. "It's very, very easy to get it wrong."

One of the novelties of the track is its surfaces changes by the lap.

"It's weird because it doesn't feel that much different because you're always pushing the car as far as you can go," he said.

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08/04/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Despite losing their shirt on F1, Melbourne renews F1 deal at much lower cost
    Melbourne secures place on F1 calendar
  • Marko eyes F1 debut for rookie Verstappen
  • Glock not looking for F1 return
  • Mercedes not ending contract with injured Schumacher
  • Wolff begins summer break in hospital
  • F1 to 'welcome' Ecclestone court settlement - Lauda
  • Video: F1 2014 Mid-Season Highlights


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