Tagliani to drive in Montreal race Canadian driver Alex Tagliani will drive MacDonald Motorsports’ No. 81 Dodge in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. MacDonald Motorsports is owned by Canadian Randy MacDonald, and the Quebec Dodge Dealer Association will sponsor Tagliani.
Tagliani joins Canadians Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier and Ron Fellows as entrants in the Montreal race. Fellows is the defending champion.
Tagliani was slated to test MacDonald’s No. 81 at Carolina Motorsports Park road course in Kershaw, S.C., on Tuesday.
Jeremy Mayfield's stepmother faces a Sept. 14 court date on assault and trespassing charges after a visit to the suspended NASCAR driver's home Saturday night.
Lisa Mayfield, 48, of Statesville, was charged with simple assault and second-degree trespassing after being taken into custody by police in the town of Catawba. Police say they were called to Jeremy Mayfield’s house after a complaint that someone was intoxicated and pounding on his door.
The matter will be heard in Catawba County District Court, where records list Jeremy Mayfield and four other people as witnesses.
The arrest is the latest chapter in the battle between Lisa Mayfield and her stepson, who has been suspended by NASCAR for violating the sport’s substance-abuse policy.
08/17/09 Catawba ,NC Police have confirmed that they were called to NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's home for a trespassing call on Saturday. Now, Jeremy Mayfield and his wife confirm to NewsChannel 36 that trespasser is Mayfield's former stepmother, Lisa Mayfield. He and his wife say Lisa Mayfield was drunk, banging on their door, and they claim she even threatened to kill them. This is just the latest chapter in the saga between Mayfield and his former step-mother with whom he has been trading insults and lawsuits for the past few months. Lisa Mayfield has sued the race car driver for slander. Mayfield, on the other hand, tells NewsChannel 36 he is putting the finishing touches on his wrongful death lawsuit against his step mother. Mayfield has said publicly he doesn't believe his father committed suicide, as is listed in a 2007 police report, but that he believes his step mother had something to do with this. wcnc.com
GM increasing output General Motors is increasing production at several North America assembly plants in response to increased sales. The company will add shifts, overtime and reinstate forecasted down weeks at select facilities. As a result, GM will add about 60,000 vehicles in the third and mainly the fourth quarter production forecast, ensuring a wide selection of high-quality, fuel efficient cars, crossovers and trucks for customers.
To help meet the increased demand, GM is adding shifts at CAMI, Ontario, Canada where the next generation Chevy Equinox and all-new GMC Terrain are built and Lordstown, Ohio where we build the fuel-efficient Chevy Cobalt. This will bring approximately 1,350 UAW and CAW employees back to the assembly lines. The Chevy HHR and Colorado and the GMC Canyon are also experiencing increased demand. Based on consumer reaction to the Chevy Camaro, Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon and the Buick LaCrosse, we anticipate the need to increase production at our plants will continue.
Moraes returns to KV Racing seat at Infineon KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes will return to racing this weekend at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 22-23, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Moraes, who missed the Mid-Ohio event due to the passing of his father, will be making his second appearance on the 2.303-mile, 12-turn permanent road course. The talented Brazilian, behind the wheel of the #5 KV Racing Technology – Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, was among the fastest drivers in the two races prior to Mid-Ohio, but circumstances beyond his control prevented him from finishing among the leaders. In Edmonton he was in sixth place when an opening lap incident knocked him out of the race.
Hyundai-Kia overtakes Ford If you were shocked by the news from around this time last year that the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group had jumped up to 5th in the global standings of the world's largest car manufacturers, you'll be just as surprised by the latest sales figures that place the Korean automaker this year in the fourth slot, leapfrogging past Ford to slot in (significantly) underneath Volkswagen.
The figures come from the Automotive News Data Center, which places Hyundai-Kia's global sales for the first half of 2009 at 2,153,000 units, just edging out Ford's 2,145,000 units so far this year. Of course, these numbers count the Nissan-Renault Alliance as two separate units, with 1.5 million and 1.1 million units respectively, but if combined they'd knock Hyundai (as well as Ford) out of position with over 2.6 million units. After Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Ford, French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen comes in sixth, just barely ahead of Honda, with Nissan in 8th, Suzuki in 9th and Renault rounding out the top ten. Check out Kia's official press release after the jump. Source: Kia
Upgrades on track at MIS On Aug. 26, the walls will come tumbling down at Michigan International Speedway. The old pit terrace and suites building and Joe Dowdall Media Center will be demolished by none other than Richard Childress Racing veteran Jeff Burton. He'll do it in a bulldozer.
By June 2010, a two-story, solar-powered media center and 31 deluxe suites will stand in place of the old buildings. Eventually the speedway will begin work on Phase Two, which will include an entertainment area for fans and fan-accessible garages and improved infield campsites.
Vickers officially signs to stay at Red Bull Red Bull Racing Team announced that Brian Vickers has signed a multi- year extension to his contract. Vickers will continue to drive the #83 Toyota under the leadership of crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "The team is continuing to prove that it is a consistent force week in and week out," said Jay Frye, Vice President and General Manager of RBRT. "Brian has been here from the beginning and he continues to be a vital piece of the puzzle with regards to our ultimate goal of building Red Bull Racing into a consistent contender." Since joining RBRT at the beginning of the 2007 season, Vickers has racked up a win, eight top-five and 22 top-10 finishes, along with seven poles. "I'm thrilled," said Vickers. "This has been a long time coming, and there is no where else I would rather be. I am looking forward to building on what we have started the last couple of years. It is an interesting experience being with a team from the ground up going through the growing pains, then successes, together. I am so proud to have been able to bring this team their first win." The No. 83 currently sits 13th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points, 12 points out of the top-12. Red Bull Racing
Badoer says Valencia GP to be 'test session' (GMM) Luca Badoer on Tuesday said he will treat his debut as a Ferrari racer driver this weekend as effectively a "test session".
With proper in-season testing totally banned, the 38-year-old Italian had to acquaint with injured Felipe Massa's number 3 F60 with 200kms of "promotional filming" on Bridgestone's ultra-hard demonstration tires at Fiorano on Monday and Tuesday.
Worsening Badoer's challenge, F1 factories have been closed over the August break, meaning it was early this week when he had his first meetings with race engineers.
According to a report on the team's website, "he also spent time in the static simulator, to give him a general impression of the Valencia street circuit".
Morgan-McClure returns to the track at Bristol For Morgan-McClure Motorsports and driver #4-Scott Wimmer, qualifying on Friday for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway will mean more than just making the race. It could signal a return to racing fulltime in 2010. "We really want to make a good showing in qualifying and in Saturday's race," said Wimmer, who last drove for Richard Childress Racing in the Nationwide Series and had driven for Morgan-McClure in 2006. "That can attract some attention and hopefully get some sponsors involved. I tell you, this is a team that deserves to come back." The team that won three Daytona 500s in the 1990s, notched multiple wins at Talladega Superspeedway, and won at Martinsville in 1998 with the late Bobby Hamilton driving had major scale-backs in sponsorship that forced an abbreviated schedule in 2007 and sidelined the team for the entirety of 2008. Alpha Natural Resources, a leading U.S. coal producer with 74 facilities in five states including Virginia, is financially backing the team's second attempt at racing in 2009. Nationwide Series driver Eric McClure failed to qualify a Morgan-McClure car for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega in April. Kingsport Times News
Valencia: Q&A with Toyota's John Howett How do you assess the season so far from the team's point of view? We are more than halfway through the season, having scored several strong results, and we have a competitive car at our disposal. Naturally we want better results and we expected to finish on the podium more frequently, but we are relatively pleased with the fundamental pace of our car. It was very satisfying to start the season so successfully and it was clear we were firmly in the top three for the first four races of the year. We have seen some fluctuations in relative performance since then, we just need to continue to add performance to the car and get the most out of the package that we have.
Has there been a highlight for you so far this season? The all-Toyota front row in Bahrain was a proud moment for everyone in the team and to see two Toyotas leading the field, setting the fastest lap on the way, was really special. Of course, we all wish it had continued like that until the checkered flag but it wasn't to be. We are in a results business so the highlights for me so far have been our podium finishes, particularly in Australia and Malaysia, because these confirmed our belief that we are serious contenders in 2009. There are plenty of opportunities remaining in 2009 so I firmly believe the highlight of the year is still to come.
Bourdais admits he failedUPDATE (GMM) Franz Tost has categorically denied Sebastien Bourdais' claim that the 30-year-old was fired recently via the medium of mobile phone text message.
Frenchman Bourdais, 30, last week accused his former employers Toro Rosso and Red Bull of lacking "style" by not facing him as they broke the news about his ousting in favor of Spanish teen Jaime Alguersuari.
"I told Monsieur Bourdais personally that he is not going to drive any more and did not write any SMS," Toro Rosso team boss Tost told Germany's Sport Bild.
He added of Bourdais: "I can understand that he is disappointed, but his performances were simply not what we expected.
"We wanted an increase in speed from him in his second year and it did not happen," said Tost. "On the contrary: our youngster Sebastien Buemi, in his first season, was better than him."
08/13/09 (GMM) Sebastien Bourdais has accused his former employers of lacking "style" by sacking him by text message.
The 30-year-old Frenchman was told his services were no longer required at the Nurburgring, and he was replaced thereafter by Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari.
"The way they got rid of me was very disappointing," Bourdais, who recently reached an out-of-court settlement with the Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso team, told the French magazine Autohebdo.
"Dietrich Mateschitz was at the Nurburgring but he did not speak with me. He did not call me. Everything was done by SMS, which to me has no style," he charged.
Bourdais, however, admits some blame for his failure to shine in two and a half seasons at Toro Rosso, whose team until 2009 received the basic chassis designed by its parent Red Bull.
He said the car was not built "around a driver", but rather it was the drivers' responsibility to adapt "to the car. That was never my best strength," Bourdais admitted.
HVM Racing to make Firestone Indy Lights debut with Garcia Mexican driver Juan Pablo Garcia will make his Firestone Indy Lights debut with HVM Racing this weekend at Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway.
Garcia will drive the No. 8 HVM Racing car for the team, which acquired the assets of Michael Crawford Motorsports following the 2008 season and will make its series debut this weekend as well.
"When we formed this Firestone Indy Lights team in the fall of 2008, we hoped to run four cars between the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. We'll have three of the four this weekend at Sonoma," said Michael Crawford, the general manager of HVM's Firestone Indy Lights program. "Hopefully, 2010 will be what (HVM owner) Keith (Wiggins) and I thought 2009 would be. We're already preparing for 2010 season, and this is part of the plan. We're excited to get to race."
Garcia, who has driven in A1GP for A1 Team Mexico, has competed in British Formula 3 National Class, and Formula Renault 2.0 series in Europe and South America.
"It hasn't been fun watching from the sideline, but it hasn't been a bad year to sit back and watch," Crawford said. "It's a good chance for us to work with a driver of Juan Pablo's experience and for him to see what HVM Racing is like and what Firestone Indy Lights is like as he weighs his options for the future."
a1gp race loses it's title sponsor Please find below a transcript of an official letter from Greg Hooton - General Manager of the A1GP SuperGP - to the Honorable Phil Reeves - the Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport - which was read by the Minister during this morning's session of Queensland Parliament.
I am writing to inform you that on 14 August 2009 the Partnership Committee of the Gold Coast Motor Events Company (“GCMEC”) resolved to terminate the Naming Rights Agreement for the 2009 SuperGP event with Nitro Distribution Pty Ltd (Nitro) as a result of Nitro’s failure to make payments to GCMEC that were due under the naming rights sponsorship agreement.
GCMEC has been in contact with Nitro regarding its failure to make the payments under the sponsorship agreement. GCMEC has been advised by Nitro that irreconcilable differences between the shareholders of Nitro have resulted in Nitro being unable to meet the full financial requirements of the sponsorship agreement, and that these issues are unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. Rather than continue speculation on the matter the Partnership Committee has decided to take swift action to remove Nitro as the naming rights sponsor for the 2009 SuperGP event. The matter has now been placed in the hands of GCMEC’s legal representatives.
Expanded European TV coverage for Rolex Series Four channels across the European regions of Scandinavia and the Baltics will provide extensive and, at times, exclusive television coverage of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 through 2011, Grand-Am Road Racing officials announced today.
Those in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have grown accustomed to watching unprecedented television coverage of Rolex Series races on Viasat Sport and Viasat Motor in Scandinavia and TV2 Sport and TV2 Sport HD in the Baltics since the beginning of this year. The new multi-year deal continues through the end of the 2011 season and will reach 1.3 million households within the aforementioned regions, with 12 live races and 12 highlight shows.
Front Row: Gary Nixon, Shav Glick, Jay Springsteen, Linda Vaughn, Hurley Haywood, Danny Foster Next Row: Joe Leonard, Mel Kenyon, Tom Sneva, Tommy Ivo Third Row: Don Garlits, Danny Ongais, Bill Simpson Fourth Row: Lyle Shelton, Bill Seebold Fifth Row: Chris Economaki, Carroll Resweber, Ned Jarrett
Racing legends Kenny Bernstein, David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and Joe Weatherly were inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America during an inspirational and emotional ceremony on Wednesday, August, 12, 2009 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit.
In addition to those being honored, several racing notables took part in the proceedings. Track announcer Jim Mueller served as master of ceremonies. Hall of Fame hydroplane racer Mira Slovak read the stirring patriotic “My Creed” by Dean Alfange. Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, whose Lucas Oil Co. supporter nearly every form of motorsports, were on hand.
At this year’s Induction Ceremony, the list of presenters was nearly as impressive as the list of those being honored. Speed Channel’s Bob Varsha introduced Hobbs. Harley-Davidson’s Willie G. Davidson presented Parker. Roger Penske inducted Richter. Hall of Fame stock car legend Ned Jarrett presented and accepted on behalf of Weatherly. Long-time racing broadcaster Ken Squier introduced Wheeler. NHRA President Tom Compton presented Bernstein. And four-time Indy 500 champ Al Unser inducted his son.
Each year, those in attendance are treated to stirring video presentations that document the accomplishments of the honored Heroes of Horsepower. This year was no exception.
With four to go, points race is too close to call:
Graphic showing IndyCar points battle
Many counted out Helio Castroneves in the 2008 IndyCar Series championship race when the Team Penske driver lost the lead and certain victory on the final lap at Kentucky Speedway to drop 78 points behind Scott Dixon. They just didn't mention it in his company.
Castroneves, an eternal optimist, also is a ceaseless competitor. In the next two races, he charged to victory at Infineon Raceway to slice the deficit to 43 points and was the runner-up at Belle Isle to preserve his title aspirations at 30 points back. In the season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Castroneves' all-or-nothing attitude injected heightened suspense and excitement as he roared from the rear of the 28-car field to beat Dixon to the checkered flag by 0.0033 of a second - the second-closest margin of victory in series history.
Castroneves' championship run was tethered to his race result on the 1.5-mile oval - and the finishing order - with the differential after 17 rounds a scant 17 points.
"It was a big task, but we believed and did everything possible," he said.
Another exciting scenario is playing out this season.
With four races remaining, Dixon is in front again but only by three points over Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe. Dario Franchitti, who bested Dixon for the 2007 series championship on the final lap of the final race, is 20 points back to highlight the third-closest 1-3 battle since 2001. The 1-2 gap is the closest over the same number of seasons.
Fisher surprised by gift from sponsor A crowd of extended family and gathered to see Sarah Fisher's reaction when the blindfold was lifted and she saw the gray car with a red bow in the garage.
"Oh, my gosh!" was what they expected and received.
The car, an unpainted 2009 Dallara chassis lacking many of the details that distinguish it as a race car l brought the IndyCar Series team owner/driver to tears.
"That is so awesome. I got a new car," Fisher said. "I felt like I was on the 'Price is Right.' Imagine what we'll do now."
The first order of business is to prepare the chassis in oval configuration for the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 10. Fisher also will compete in the PEAK Motor Oil & Antifreeze Indy 300 on Aug. 29 at Chicagoland Speedway in the team's seven-year-old car.
Brno MotoGP Test The MotoGP teams returned to the Brno circuit today to take part in the final MotoGP test day of the 2009 season. The test went well, though the weather at the spectacular Brno circuit played its part today. After a clear morning two rain showers in the afternoon halted proceedings, with the MotoGP riders sitting in the garages from 2pm to 5pm.
Despite the interruptions Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were still fastest.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN White House to Host ESPN2’s NASCAR Now on Wednesday
NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will originate from the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as President Barack Obama honors three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and other NASCAR stars of past and present. The one-hour program airs at 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and will mark the first time in ESPN’s 30-year history that a regularly-scheduled ESPN program will originate and air in its entirety from the White House.
ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, both former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, will be among the drivers participating in afternoon ceremonies that will include a tour of the White House and photo opportunities. In addition to other former champions, the group of drivers also will include many of the 12 who qualified for the 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Nicole Manske will host NASCAR Now from the White House, with analysis by Brad Daugherty. Jarrett, Wallace and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith also will participate in the telecast.
NASCAR Stars Edwards, Ambrose To Test Doran Racing Daytona Prototype NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose will make their Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Daytona Prototype testing debut Tuesday, driving the Doran Racing No. 77 McDonald's Ford Dallara on the North Course at Virginia International Raceway.
Edwards is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, in solid contention to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He is also running second in the Nationwide Series with two victories. The 2007 Nationwide Series champion, Edwards finished second in the standings of both of NASCAR's top two divisions last year.
NASCAR rep for Sprint killed in accident Sprint VP/Corporate Brand Marketing Tom Murphy, who was the key man behind the Sprint sponsorship of NASCAR, was killed Friday when a boulder crashed through the windshield of his vehicle while he and his family were driving in Colorado.
Sprint released a company statement saying, “Cheerful and enthusiastic, he was a highly effective marketing advocate for Sprint and a beloved member of Sprint’s NASCAR team.”
NASCAR stated, “Tom will be missed first and foremost as a husband and a father. He will also be missed as a leader and an advocate for the Sprint and NASCAR partnership.”
Ranger wins again Andrew Ranger had to contend with a hungry Anthony Simone but held on to win the GP3R 100 in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 action from the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (Que.) on Sunday afternoon, successfully defending his race title from a year ago.
Simone, looking for his first series win, stayed right on Ranger’s rear deck lid throughout a green-white-checkered finish before settling for a runner-up finish. Setting up the two-lap dash to the finish line was a red flag caused by Jason Hathaway’s contact with a retaining wall that track officials needed to repair.
It was Ranger’s fifth victory of the season in the No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford, which establishes a new single-season series record eclipsing Scott Steckly’s four wins of a season ago. It was also Ranger’s fourth win in the last five races, dating back to his triumph at SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C., on July 18.
Audi celebrates 1-2-3-4 victory at the Nürburgring By scoring an impressive 1-2-3-4 win at the Nürburgring, Audi re-captured the lead in the DTM at the beginning of the second half of the season. With title defender Timo Scheider (35 points) and Mattias Ekström (34 points), as many as two Audi drivers are ranking at the top of the standings after six of ten rounds.
The dominating man at the Nürburgring, however, was Martin Tomczyk: The 27-year-old German was in a class by himself throughout the whole weekend. After posting the fastest times in free practice, qualifying and the warm-up, Tomczyk set the pace from the outset in the race as well. With a commanding and flawless drive, he repeated his Nürburgring victory from the year 2007. In total, this was Tomzcyk’s fourth exploit at a DTM race, enabling him to advance to fifth place in the standings.
Study rates NASCAR sponsors In a recent study that rated consumers' recall of NASCAR sponsors, Coca-Cola Co. was a big winner while FedEx ... not so much. FanLab, an Atlanta-based company, did the study to calculate which NASCAR sponsors consumers recalled when not prompted. In the June study of 1,044 consumers - of which 518 self-identified as avid or casual NASCAR fans - Coca-Cola came in fourth. That is a relatively high ranking for Coke, said Brian Evans, FanLab's director of client relations, given the company doesn't have its own car. The beverage giant is, however, the official "non-alcoholic beverage," the "official soft drink" and "official sport drink" of NASCAR. It also sponsors 14 drivers and has its name on two races. The companies that ranked highest have sponsored teams, however, and in some cases, racetracks and winning drivers: Budweiser was first, Home Depot was second and Lowe's third. FedEx, which sponsors a driver, failed to break the top 25 while the "official delivery service" and team sponsor UPS ranked 14th. Aflac, "official supplemental insurance" and a team sponsor, was 23rd. "If you're in the top 20, you're connecting with fans and that program should be working for you," said Evans. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Quote of the Week "I'm frustrated because we should have had a win," Brian Vickers said after losing the Michigan NASCAR Nationwide race on Saturday.
At his hometown track, Michigan-native Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 88 GoDaddy Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag as he crosses the start finish/line ahead of Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Stores Toyota, to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250
Harry How/Getty Images
"I didn't see Brad coming. Kyle Busch was crying like a little girl after the race, and he came up and was whining because I was racing him so hard. I thought this was racing, I thought this was what we were supposed to do. "We were racing for the win, and he's crying about it. I don't know what he wants."
Busch's viewpoint? "Brian hung on my right-rear quarter panel all the way down the front straightaway and gave the win away. He slowed us down so much. He had no idea Brad was coming, and Brad just drove right by both of us on the outside. It was just stupid. If he (Vickers) would have ran his own line up at the top of the track, and I held my line down at the bottom, it could have been a battle between us. Unfortunately you race with idiots and I guess you'll have that sometimes. I'm sure I'm complaining, and I'm whining, and I'm a cry-baby…but that's uncalled for. It's just stupid. He didn't deserve to win. He (Vickers) bobbled in three; I got under him coming off of four, and got all the way down to the grass trying to get away from him, and he just hung on my right-rear quarter-panel side-drafting me and wasn’t paying attention to the mirror. Ever since Richmond (in May), I've had a problem with him (Vickers). This is just another escalation of that."Comment
Mansell drops out of final 2 races Mansell Motorsport and Ultimate Motorsport have today announced that Greg Mansell, the son of Nigel Mansell, the former Formula One World Champion, will not contest the remaining two World Series by Renault rounds at the Nurburgring and Motorland (Aragon).
Barry Walsh, the team owner said “It is of course with regret that we announce that Greg is leaving us, he was a popular team member who showed us that he has a clear talent and progressed from race to race. We wish him all the best in his racing career”
Points system means Vettel title over - Ecclestone
Renault appeal begins in Paris
Donington rejects latest doubts over F1 plans
Renault to confirm Grosjean this week (GMM) No matter the outcome of Monday's Court of Appeal hearing, Renault has scheduled an announcement regarding its driver lineup for this week.
It is understood that, if the Court overturns the French team's suspension from the European grand prix, Romain Grosjean will be confirmed on Tuesday as sacked Nelson Piquet's immediate replacement.
The Court of Appeal meets to consider the team ban in Paris on Monday morning, but the actual verdict will not be known until late Tuesday.
If the Hungarian GP stewards' decision is upheld in full, it is believed the Enstone based team is prepared to wait until Friday to announce officially that Grosjean, 23, will replace Brazilian Piquet beginning at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend.
Britain's Guardian newspaper said French-Swiss Grosjean recently had a seat fitting for Piquet's car number 8 at the Renault factory.
Badoer to drive F60 at Fiorano this week (GMM) Luca Badoer will get a two-day stint at the wheel of Ferrari's 2009 car this week, prior to making his race debut in the place of injured Felipe Massa at the European grand prix.
Massa's intended substitute Michael Schumacher tried to get authorization within the strict in-season testing ban to drive the F60, but not all rival formula one teams agreed.
However, permission in the case of 38-year-old Badoer's two-day test at Fiorano beginning on Monday is not necessary, given that it falls under the category of allowed running "for promotional purposes".
Ferrari confirmed that the Italian's test "will be part of a video shooting", while it is understood that Bridgestone's demonstration-specification of tires - which are much harder than those seen at grands prix and in real tests - will be used.
Former triple world champion and Ferrari champion Niki Lauda told Germany's Sport Bild that he is not looking forward to Badoer's Valencia debut.
"Ferrari will have only one car in Spain: for Kimi Raikkonen. Badoer will barely exist. He will not be good enough," the Austrian predicted.
NASCAR confiscates engines NASCAR takes engines to R&D Center: NASCAR has taken the engines of 11 cars in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway to test at its Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. NASCAR periodically takes engines so it can see how much horsepower they produce.
The engines taken were from the Chevy's of #24-Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports), #14-Tony Stewart (Hendrick), #33-Clint Bowyer (Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (ECRT); Toyota's of: #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota Racing Development), #00-David Reutimann (TRD), #11-Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing); Ford's of #99-Carl Edwards (Roush-Yates Engines), #16-Greg Biffle (Roush-Yates) and Dodge's of: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. (Penske Racing), #19-Elliott Sadler (Richard Petty Motorsports) SceneDaily
False advertising for SPEED? A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Michael Schumacher’s decision to abandon his Formula One comeback, was made about one week ago. However, "Speed" channel is still running TV ads touting the "return of former champion Michael Schumacher" as of today 8/16 well after a week has passed since this plan has been abandoned. I think that is false, deceptive advertising and Speed should be ashamed and maybe the FCC should investigate their misleading advertising policy. There is no way an event over a week old could be explained by some lame ' lead time' excuse. Glenn Tanner
With a perfectly-judged, last-lap, first turn pass during the green/white/checkered re-start of a hard-fought race, Louisiana driver Alex Ardoin took the lead from pole-sitter Rusty Mitchell to win Round 10 of the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the 40th running of the GP3R at Trois Rivières. After qualifying third on the grid in the #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda, Ardoin hounded pole-sitter Rusty Mitchell in the #66 Mitchell Motorsports / Motorola Mazda in the closing laps of the race and, calling on three seasons of experience in Star Mazda Championship competition, scored the second win of his career; his first victory came in the 2007 season-closer at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, finished 4th in the 2008 championship and in 2009 has endured a string of bad luck that would have defeated a weaker personality.
"I really need to thank the JDC Motorsports team, this win is more theirs than mine and without them I wouldn't even be racing, much less taking the podium here in Trois Rivières," said Ardoin. "We had a really good car in the race, but Rusty was driving extremely well and I had to hope for some re-starts to give me a chance to get by. I got my wish in the last few laps when there was a full-course yellow and when they re-started we were all bunched up tight and had to get it done in one lap before the checkered came out. I've always liked this track and the fans in this town so that makes this victory very special to me."
De Silvestro Extends Atlantic Championship Lead Series points leader Simona De Silvestro is now the most prolific woman driver in the 36-year history of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
Already the winningest woman in series history, the woman with the most pole positions and the woman with the most laps led, De Silvestro broke a tie with Katherine Legge for most wins in a single season with her fourth victory of the season and the fifth of her career in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. She also became the first woman to win a race in any class in the 40-year history of the iconic Quebec street race.
Driving the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Macao/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine for Team Stargate Worlds, the 20-year-old Swiss racer started from the pole position and led every lap to win by 0.886 seconds over John Edwards. Jonathan Summerton finished third. De Silvestro now leads the Atlantic Championship point standings by 21 points, 156-135, with three of 12 races remaining.
Michigan to Lower Ticket Prices Strengthening its commitment to race fans, Michigan International Speedway has extended its fan appreciation program by lowering ticket prices in every grandstand for 2010 during the renewal and deposit period. During that time, grandstand ticket prices will be reduced five percent to 63 percent across the board, so a family of four could attend a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS in 2010 on June 13 or Aug. 15 for $50.
This sweeping initiative means a general admission seat will cost $25; a reserved seat will start at $35. It also includes a drop on wristband pricing for the track’s infield camping guests from $100 to $60 during renewals.
“Whether it is improving traffic, investing $50 million on fan enhancements or our Fan Appreciation program we started this year, we have showed our fans how much we appreciate them and they have showed us how loyal they are by continuing to support MIS during these economic times,” track President Roger Curtis said. “People have made sacrifices to come to MIS and this is our way of showing our commitment to every single one of our guests by ensuring MIS is affordable, family entertainment and the best fan experience in any sport anywhere.”
Rossi dominates after teammate falls Valentino Rossi opened up a 50 point advantage in the MotoGP World Championship as Jorge Lorenzo crashed out in Brno when battling for the race lead with the Italian star.
Valentino Rossi got the best of his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo again at the Cardion AB Czech Republic Grand Prix on Sunday with the young Spaniard crashing out with five laps to go, as the pair battled for the race lead, handing Rossi a 50 point title advantage with six races to go.
Alex Tagliani set a series track record and won the pole position in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 qualifying for Sunday afternoon's GP3R 100 at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
Tagliani, a native of Lachenaie, Que., posted a series-record lap time of 68.374 seconds in group qualifying on the 10-turn, 1.53-mile Circuit de Trois-Rivières for an average speed of 80.557 mph as he and DJ Kennington exchanged the top spot on consecutive laps at one point during their 10-minute qualifying session. Kennington's fastest lap was timed at 68.712 seconds (80.161 mph).
It was Tagliani's first series career pole as he bettered JR Fitzpatrick's record of 68.446 seconds (80.472 mph) set a year ago.
“It's really a tribute to my crew,” said Tagliani. “They have not had a lot of time with the car, but they certainly gave me a fast one that turns pretty good.”
Spaniard Andy Soucek has extended his lead in the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship after taking a brilliant win at Donington Park in race one this morning (Sunday). He becomes the first driver to achieve three race victories this season.
Starting from third on the grid, Soucek made a fantastic getaway to lead into the first corner, whilst polesitter Tobias Hegewald dropped down to third behind Mikhail Aleshin. Soucek continued to pull a gap on his rivals behind, setting his fastest lap towards the end of the race, which he went on to win comfortably by nearly ten seconds.
"This was the kind of race you dream about - it was perfect," said Soucek. "From the start I hit the boost at just the right moment and in the right place, and it was fantastic - I don't think I will be able to repeat such a start many times. I'm really pleased, particularly for my mechanic who did a fantastic job repairing my car after my crash yesterday and it was just perfect.
Bernie says greedy F1 teams would take the money and run
Ecclestone mocks FOTA teams
"I was just telling someone the other day that most of them in Formula One are a bit new," F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told Singapore's Today newspaper.
"They haven't served an apprenticeship. They just don't know what we had to go through to build things up in the beginning to what they are today. They want to take whatever they can, as much as they can, and disappear," referring to Honda and BMW's recent departure.
"A couple of them, I think, maybe thought they would like to do something else and be in charge of something. They are not even in charge of anything they are now doing anyway, so how they think they could be in charge of something as big as F1, I don't know. Anyway, it is their opinion."
The guy most people credit for singlehandedly making F1 into the huge sport it is today pointed out that the FOTA eight would have had a very tough time building a racing series that could rival Formula One.
"This business is built now and it is easier to do what we are doing rather than start something again," he said. "I wouldn't want to start a series in opposition to Formula 1, for sure.
"There is no real reason for it; there is no logic in it. Just as I said to people, those who wanted to break away must have been carried away. The trouble is they are more the corporate types. This isn't a corporate business, it is an entrepreneur business."
Lauda thinks Brawn team still favorite to win title "Believe me, their (Brawn GP) success caught me with the same surprise as everybody else. They have managed to come up with a fantastic package that has to be beaten first," Niki Lauda told the official F1 website.
"But since the start of the season all the others have caught up, especially Red Bull Racing with their new aero package, and to my surprise McLaren, with their win (the first for a KERS car) in Budapest.
"Ross Brawn has to keep up with his development speed, but clearly at the moment they are the favorites for both Championships."
The Austrian, though, warns that Brawn GP could face a massive challenge from both McLaren and Ferrari as the season draws to an end as both teams have put their early season woes behind them.
"Of course both teams will develop their car come hell or high water and at the moment McLaren seem to be on a more promising path, as we saw in Budapest. I expect them to raise their game massively for the upcoming races."
Earnhardt slams NASCARUPDATE A day after Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said NASCAR needed a sense of urgency to improve the racing, NASCAR President Mike Helton didn’t sound so urgent and said “there is not going to be a major change to this car.” NASCAR introduced its new car for about half the races in 2007 and has used it full time since 2008.
“There’s always going to be debate on what you would do different, just as there was in previous models of cars that we raced,” Helton said Saturday outside the Sprint Cup hauler in the Michigan International Speedway garage. “We will always have that. The consensus right now ... from our perspective is we’ll look at things that we can do different, do better with the teams and we’re working with the teams.
“I don’t know if that urgency is a term that I would use, I think, realistically and reasonably, because we’re also in a period where urgency can create more havoc or more expense that we don’t need. And, oh by the way, I [believe in] the argument that the racing we’ve got on the race track now is as good as we’ve had in a long time and a reaction from us could interrupt that.”
08/15/09 Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday that NASCAR’s “Car of Tomorrow” needs a tune-up.
Earnhardt, who was in Atlanta to promote the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, said the car, which is now the exclusive vehicle on the Sprint Cup circuit, is safer than the previous car, but it’s not providing the close, competitive racing that fans have come to expect.
But he said the problem can be fixed.
“I feel like we can take this race car and make it provide [exciting] races,” he said. “If I can be honest, I feel like NASCAR has seemingly been reluctant to let this car evolve more freely.”
With the old conventional-style car, teams were allowed to modify the way the bodies were attached to the car and make changes to the chassis. But since the introduction of the new car, NASCAR has held a hard line, refusing to allow teams to alter the cars. Those who have tried have incurred stiff penalties.
Qatar will take 10% stake in VW-Porsche Porsche SE , maker of the 911 sports car, said Qatar will buy a 10 percent stake and take over most of the company's options for Volkswagen AG shares as part of an agreement for the two German manufacturers to merge. Qatar Holding LLC will acquire ordinary shares from the Porsche and Piech families, who own the voting stock, Stuttgart, Germany-based Porsche said Friday.
Toyota tops 'clunkers' sales Detroit's Three automakers lost ground to foreign rivals in the latest tally of "cash for clunkers" sales, as Toyota Motor Corp. dethroned General Motors Co. as the top seller.
Toyota has sold 18.9 percent of vehicles purchased through the clunkers program, surpassing GM, which has sold 17.6 percent. As of Friday morning, dealers had submitted voucher requests for just over $1.5 billion, representing 358,851 vehicle purchases.
Detroit's three automakers sold 42.1 percent of all clunker replacements, which is down from an initial 47 percent of sales -- and slightly below the automakers' 44 percent U.S. market share.
De Silvestro Turns Fastest Open-Wheel Lap in Trois-Rivières History It was a history-making day in qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières as 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Simona De Silvestro took the pole position with a lap at 58.662 seconds (93.280 mph).
De Silvestro’s lap in the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine for Team Stargate Worlds was the fastest ever turned by an open wheel car on the 1.52-mile street circuit, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend. The lap was quicker than a lap of 58.716 second turned by Cristiano da Matta in an Indy Lights machine at Trois-Rivières in 1998 and was also quicker than Jonathan Bomarito’s 2008 Atlantic record of 58.989 seconds.
Wind Tunnel this SundayUPDATE Ryan Newman has been added to Wind Tunnel’s line up for this week. He will be on the phone to discuss his Quad duty at Bristol next week. He’ll be entered in the Whelen Modifieds, Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races next week. We’ll also discuss Michigan with Ryan as well as Stewart-Hass Racing.
08/10/09Featured Interview Mark Martin (Sprint CUP Title Contender, Hendrick Motorsports)
Sprint CUP veteran, Mark Martin, will drop by the Wind Tunnel studio this Sunday August 16th to chat about his quest for CUP title # 1. In his first season driving full-time for Rick Hendrick, Mark has a series high 4 wins, has earned 4 poles, and is currently 10th in the standings.
Expert Analyst Ray Dunlap (SPEED Camping World Truck Series Pit Reporter)
SPEED Camping World Truck Series Pit Reporter, Ray Dunlap, will join Dave Despain in the studio this Sunday to prepare for the big Bristol night race on Wednesday August 19th where series points leader, Ron Hornaday, will be going for a record 6th win in a row.
This Week’s Races:
Sprint CUP and Nationwide in Michigan ALMS at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI NHRA in Brainerd, MN MotoGP in Czech Republic AMA Superbike at VIR in Alton, VA AMA Motocross in New Berlin, NY
Valentino Rossi became the first rider since the introduction of the single-tire supplier rule to dip under an existing pole position record in the Czech Republic on Saturday, taking his third consecutive pole position despite sliding off into the gravel trap with just a few minutes remaining.
Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo qualified second in Brno, continuing his 100% front-row qualifying record for the season.
Valentino Rossi – pole “Pole position is great, but the most important thing is that I’m okay after the crash. I have a bit of pain in my right thumb but that’s all, so I think I’ve been quite lucky. I’ll get it checked out at the Clinica Mobile later but I don’t think it’s anything bad. This weekend only one of the front tires is working well for us, which means we only have four for the weekend, so we’re putting quite a lot of stress on just a few tires. I arrived to brake very deep and just lost the front, it was unlucky. Anyway, we did a great job in the session and being on pole again is important. We have a good race pace and I think it’s possible to be competitive tomorrow.”
A rare qualifying crash for the MotoGP World Champion at Brno did not prevent him from securing pole position for Sunday’s eleventh race of the 2009 season.
Valentino Rossi crash during QP in Brno
Valentino Rossi became the first rider since the advent of the one-tire rule to dip under an existing pole position record in the Czech Republic today, taking his third consecutive pole position despite sliding off into the gravel trap with just a few minutes remaining. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo qualified second, continuing his 100% front-row qualifying record for the season.
Lorenzo had ruled the standings in both previous sessions and it looked like being the same story again this afternoon, as the Mallorcan went straight to the top and then continued to improve his time around the undulating Brno circuit. Sitting just four thousandths of a second off Rossi's 2006 pole position record, Lorenzo looked likely to be the one to smash it but it was the World Champion who did so with a brilliant lap with eight minutes left on the clock, shaving 0.046 seconds off the time he set on the way to second place three years ago, back in the days of 990ccc engines.
Hegewald grabs pole for race one Germany's Tobias Hegewald has taken pole for tomorrow's first F2 race at Donington Park, after recovering from a high-speed excursion earlier in the session at Redgate corner. Russia's Mikhail Aleshin finished in second position, with championship leader Andy Soucek in third. Miloš Pavlovi, Edoardo Piscopo and Kazim Vasiliauskas all briefly held top stop in the early stages, until a mid-session change of tyres led to several changes in the running order. Aleshin took his turn at the top, going quickest after a solid double flying lap run, whilst Julien Jousse slotted into second. The top three were separated by less than a tenth of a second until Hegewald blew the opposition away with just over ten minutes of the session remaining. The 20-year-old's lap of 1:23.486s would not be beaten for the remainder of the session.
After struggling last time out at Brands Hatch, Hegewald will be hoping to repeat his Spa-Francorchamps form, where the German took two pole positions, two wins and set two fastest laps, thrusting himself into championship contention in the process.
Spaniard Andy Soucek moved into third during the final five minutes, whilst Hegewald spun again. The pole-sitter lost control at Goddards, but he wasn't alone in being caught out at the slow final turn. Pietro Gandolfi, Jolyon Palmer and Jens Höing also spun there, but it was an off for Jack Clark at Coppice that eventually brought out the red flags with less than two minutes to go. Jousse hung on to fourth in the end, ahead of Pavlovi and Piscopo. Kazim Vasiliauskas, who set the seventh fastest time, will be demoted two places on the grid following an infringement in free practice this morning. Sebastian Hohenthal and Robert Wickens had to settle for eighth and ninth respectively - the pair were unable to improve upon times set earlier in the session after suffering problems. Brands Hatch race winner Philipp Eng rounded out the top ten. Tobias Hegewald said: "I'm really happy to be back in the top three for qualifying. I had a lot of problems in the test and free practice, but we worked on the car and I worked on myself - that's why we have ended up where we are. Of course when you are on pole you always want to win - you never know what is going to happen in the race, but of course victory is the target for me tomorrow."
Mark Martin Quickest at MIS Happy Hour Mark Martin was quickest during Happy Hour in preparation for Sunday's CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Pole sitter Brian Vickers was second fastest and David Ragan was third.
Other notables include Dale Earnhardt Jr who was 8th fastest in Happy Hour. Earnhardt Jr has not won a race since last year at Michigan, a 43 race winless streak. Prior to that victory Earnhardt Jr was sporting a 70 race winless streak.
Bill Elliot was 7th quickest and will start 9th for Sunday's race. Elliot has seven career victories at MIS and has led an incredible 1009 laps and completed more than 10,000 laps with 29 top 10's.
How much will that success help on Sunday
“That doesn’t mean a thing. It’s all about 400 miles tomorrow” stated Elliot.
Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Fusion
This week Elliot teams with America’s fastest growing auto service brand at this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
The Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford Fusion driven by Bill Elliott will switch from its normal red Motorcraft paint scheme and feature the blue, white and orange colors of Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center.
“We are excited to have Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center sponsor the No. 21 Ford Fusion, especially since Michigan International Speedway is the home track of both Quick Lane and Ford,” said Tom Suttles, Quick Lane Business Manager. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our partnership with Motorcraft. Quick Lane and Motorcraft form the perfect combination of fast, convenient service and the highest quality parts.”
In addition to being the primary sponsor of Bill Elliott’s Fusion this weekend, fans can see the No. 21 Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Fusion at 12 Metro Detroit locations this week.
De Ferran tops first practice Eager to add another of North America’s classic circuits to his victory list this season, Gil de Ferran set the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America. The Brazilian team owner and driver set a lap of 1:49.874 (132.632 mph) in the XM Acura ARX-02a that he will drive with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud.
Kasey Kahne comments on engine change and Toyota DID YOUR TEAM FIGURE OUT WHAT THE ISSUE WAS WITH YOUR ENGINE? "They're saying it was a piston and when NASCAR gives them the OK to take the engine apart and go through it, (we can) kind of see why it happened. Our engine has been really reliable, so I was a little bit surprised."
WAS THAT ONE OF THE NEW R6 ENGINES? "Yes."
DID YOU PUT IN ANPOTHER DODGE R6 ENGINE? "Yeah, another R6 and that's our back-up (engine)."
DO THEY EAT UP MORE GAS THAN THE R5? "No. Our R6's fuel mileage is good. We've been able to get pretty good fuel mileage and not kill the power doing that. Early on, we weren't able to do that, but since we've had some time to work with it, it's actually been getting pretty good(fuel mileage)."
ARE YOU ABLE TO PULL ANY INFORMATION FROM THE 44 OR 43? "We don't use much from them. Everybody uses stuff from us."
WHAT ABOUT THE REPORT THAT YOU HAD A PHOTO SHOOT WITH TOYOTA? "I don't know what the deal is with that. I did my Budweiser photo shoot and obviously you guys know that it was a Toyota. Why? I don't know why it was. I'm Dodge, man. I think I'll be Dodge next year, truthfully. The Gillett's put a car in there to do the photo shoot and I took my pictures and hopefully I don't have to take my pictures again." Dodge Motorsports PR
BMW had hoped to go out a winner The BMW-Sauber team hopes to make up for recent disappointing news by upping its game and claiming more points finishes before the end of the season. The German manufacturer has announced that it will not be part of Formula One in 2010 although team principal Mario Theissen remains determined for success.
With BMW pulling out at the end of the year, the team is currently up for grabs with potential buyers Epsilon Euskadi of Spain and Prodrive of Great Britain favourites to buy the Hilwil-based team, formerly Sauber.
"Clearly we're all disappointed about the decision to withdraw from Formula One," Dr. Theissen said. "The team had established itself at the top in just three years and we would love to have shown that the poor results we've had this season were just a blip.
"Now our work is focusing on the next few months. While efforts are continuing behind the scenes to find a solution for the team, everybody is aware that putting in good performances at the circuits is the best way to advertise their abilities; we want to get back into the fast lane and so the development packages for Valencia and Singapore will be put into practice as planned."
Lorenzo on top for final practice Jorge Lorenzo continued to set the pace in the final free practice session for the Czech MotoGP at Brno ahead countryman Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo lowered the mark to 1m56.458, but Pedrosa was close behind at 1m56.577s.
Honda team confirms both riders for 2010 Mr. Tetsuo Suzuki, the new HRC President and the Managing Director of Honda R&D, Friday met with the MotoGP media for the first time ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
During a press conference at the Brno circuit, Mr. Suzuki was able to confirm that HRC has come to a basic agreement with both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to continue riding in the factory Honda squad next season. The formal presentation of Pedrosa and Dovizioso as factory team riders will take place in due course, once the final details of the contracts are agreed.
Pedrosa and Dovizioso have illustrious Grand Prix careers with Honda and both have won world championships in the smaller Grand Prix classes on HRC machinery. Pedrosa took the 125cc title in 2003 and the 250cc title in 2004 and 2005. Dovizioso won the 125cc world championship in 2004 and HRC is delighted that these strong partnerships looks set to continue into the future.
ALMS Road America Friday Notebook Bryce Miller’s second start in the American Le Mans Series ended with a trip to the top step of the GT2 podium. The Summit, NJ driver is back at Road America this weekend with Farnbacher Loles Racing and Porsche, all eager for a repeat in the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase.
“It is a good feeling to be back. There is a little bit of pressure to reenact the win from last year but this is one of my favorite tracks,” said Miller, who is teaming with Porsche factory ace Wolf Henzler. “This year with the restrictor and two new Corvettes, who came out of the box really well at Mid-Ohio, it will be close racing. Last year was a four-hour race and we experienced temperature changes because we finished with headlights. So this year we will not have as much guess work.”
Miller, Dirk Werner and Richard Westbrook won in a wild finish last year at Road America with the Porsche taking the lead on the race’s final lap.
De Ferran team again quickest There is no sign of slowing down at de Ferran Motorsports. Team owner Gil de Ferran turned in the quickest time during Friday’s test session for the Time Warner Road Race Showcase at historic Road America, a lap of 1:50.773 (131.793 mph) around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit.
De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud can become the first driving duo to record five consecutive overall victories in the history of the American Le Mans Series with a win Sunday. They have not lost a race since taking victory at Long Beach in mid-April, and the XM Acura ARX-02a has been on pole position and set the fastest race lap each of the last three Series rounds.
Summerton quickest at Trois Rivières After two Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda practice sessions on Friday at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Jonathan Summerton continued his recent run of success by finding his way to the top of the time charts.
Driving the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy/NEI machine for Newman Wachs Racing, Summerton posted a best lap at 59.793 seconds (91.516 mph) to lead the session by a scant three thousandths of a second over Simona De Silvestro. Summerton started from the pole position and won the race last weekend at Mid-Ohio and is looking for more of the same this weekend.
“We did a lot of testing,” said Summerton following practice. “That’s all I can say there. Lap times, I’m sure, weren’t reflective of what we could have done. It was a lot of in-and-out testing stuff. At least we’ve learned a lot for the other sessions. I’m excited about tomorrow’s practice and qualifying.”
MIS reverts to free and cheap tickets to lure fans Michigan Int'l Speedway President Roger Curtis Friday appeared on Fox Business and said the race is "not sold out and we won't be sold out, but we're still going to have over 100,000 fans." Curtis noted the prices of "about 25% of our seats" were lowered from last year and the track "made kids 12-and-under free in the general admission sections.” Curtis: "It's our responsibility to show them a great time and you can't just look at price in a vacuum. You have to look at the overall fan experience and enhancing that, adding value"
Lorenzo tops Brno practice Friday MotoGP riders completed the first practice session for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic today. On the famous plunging and climbing curves of the Brno circuit, the Yamaha team was 1-2 with Jorge Lorenzo showing the way.
Todt to meet F1 drivers at upcoming GP (GMM) Jean Todt has accepted an invitation to meet with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association at an upcoming formula one race.
The Frenchman's rival candidate for the FIA presidency, Ari Vatanen, met with the GPDA at a recent grand prix.
"The GPDA have invited me to meet with them and I am very pleased to accept their invitation," Todt said on Friday. "I look forward to the opportunity to talk with them when I visit a forthcoming grand prix."
Todt's comments come one day after Finn Vatanen, a former world rally champion, announced leading members of his prospective FIA presidency cabinet.
Hermann Tomczyk, the leading German motor racing official, is Vatanen's potential deputy president for sport, and Fernando Falco y Fernandez de Cordova and Bernard Tay were also named.
"Together with them, we can bring about the necessary changes to make the FIA more transparent, more efficient and more effective and to increase the benefit for its members.
"Now, it is time for change and together we can achieve this," said Vatanen.
Todt claims he will be not be biased as FIA President
FIA Presidential candidate, Jean Todt, has dismissed suggestions that his links with previous team Ferrari will prevent him from being impartial when ruling on Formula One matters.
Todt, who will go up against Finland’s Ari Vatanen in the October election, today released a Q&A session in which the Frenchman insisted that if elected as FIA president then he would carry out the role with the same amount of professionalism that he did during his years at Ferrari and Peugeot.
“Initially some people suggested that I would be Ferrari’s choice for the presidency, then the media was told that Ferrari didn’t want me, and the Scuderia responded by saying that they were in fact neutral,” he said. “Of course, I completely agree with them.
“They should be neutral as I will be to all the teams if I am elected president.
A1 Team Switzerland and former F1 test driver Neel Jani has been injured in a mountain biking accident which saw the 25-year-old sustain two broken bones and severe concussion after falling and striking his head whilst riding alone on a downhill gradient. The Swiss driver, keeping up to his fitness regime, was cycling at home in Switzerland last week when suspicions arose as he called his mother, without being able to pinpoint his location, in the immediate aftermath of the incident; Jani was only rescued from the spot when a passer by noticed the injured man.
"I don't really remember anything but I must have fallen forward, straight onto my head and shoulders, because my legs were fine," the 2006 Toro Rosso F1 test driver, who has also raced in GP2, explained to the official A1GP website. "I was actually quite happy because I had recorded my best ever time going up the hill! I had been in the forest, which is the most difficult bit of the ride, but as I was exiting the forest and coming down the hill I had a big crash."
NASCAR Nationwide Michigan preview Just like their Sprint Cup counterparts, NASCAR's Nationwide Series will also be at the Michigan International Raceway for Saturday's Carfax 250. Also, as in the case of the Sprint Cup series, the representatives from the big three automakers, located just down the freeway in Detroit, are going to be in full force to collect the bragging rights in victory lane.
PRE RACE NOTES OF INTEREST
When the ESPN2 Network drops the green flag on their coverage of Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Michigan they will be presenting fans with what they feel is a new concept in television motorsports. They're calling this new concept "ESPN's Back Seat Drivers."
Pre-Event Activities Warm Up the Raceway; Racing Starts Tomorrow
For the true motorsports enthusiast there is no event quite like the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races, which start tomorrow (Friday, August 14) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Not only are history's most significant race cars accessible in paddock areas for spectators to admire at close range but also they perform, racing wheel-to-wheel to thrill the crowds, which are expected to exceed 30,000 over the next three days.
The event is a cornerstone of Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week, a veritable feast of things to see and do for car lovers, and utilizes the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca like no other on the facility’s calendar. With practice on Friday and warm-ups Saturday and Sunday mornings, racing begins after noon each weekend day for 15 race groups that span nearly every era of motorsports history.
The 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is nestled among the hills between Monterey and Salinas and features among its 11 turns the signature Corkscrew, which drops five stories from its entrance to the challenging hairpin turn that follows it. For those of the 450 participants who are new to the track, a new- driver orientation was held today, previewing the sights, sounds and smells in which spectators will indulge tomorrow.
“This helps to get the weekend off to a good start,” said Mark Hamilton Peters (Lakeville, Conn.), a private driver coach who -- working like an energetic traffic cop -- orchestrated individual starts for the cars taking to the track. “It helps the drivers who are here for the first time become familiar with the track, so they don’t have to go out cold tomorrow. It takes away the stress of doing the Monterey Historics, which is a big deal in any vintage racing driver’s book.”
Rossi rules out switch to replace Massa (GMM) Valentino Rossi insists he has not been offered injured Felipe Massa's Ferrari cockpit, and nor is he available.
"It is a true shame not to see Schumacher back with Ferrari," the Italian rider said in the Czech Republic, ahead of this weekend's round of the MotoGP series.
"In my opinion he could have been in the fight for victory by his second race."
Rossi, 30, has in former times flirted with a switch to F1 with the Maranello based team, but he said he is not close to making the move now.
"I have spoken a lot with Stefano Domenicali in these last days about the return of Schumi," he is quoted as saying by Italy's Tuttosport, "but I have not received an offer.
"Anyway, I cannot go: I can't race motorbikes and F1 at the same time," Rossi added.
Schu to keep working on race fitness - manager (GMM) Michael Schumacher's manager has refused to rule out the possibility the seven time world champion might return to the wheel of a Ferrari test car in forthcoming months.
"Why not?" Willi Weber is quoted as saying by Sport Bild, having sat in the Geneva press conference this week when Schumacher and his personal doctor said a neck injury prevents the 40-year-old out from immediately replacing Felipe Massa at grands prix.
"Michael can now work in peace and without pressure on his fitness. Then we'll see," Weber added.
Schumacher's doctor Johannes Peil agrees that "test drives away from the public" would be a good next step should the German recover from his injuries enough to put a return back on the agenda.
Schumacher's father Rolf, meanwhile, told Bild-Zeitung newspaper that his son's serious test crash in February convinced him to put aside his motorcycle racing hobby.
"Michael told me he's not going to do any more bike racing," Rolf said, "which was pleasant to hear. Motorcycle racing is so much more dangerous than F1."
Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm, however, responded: "I do not believe that he is going to be racing very soon. But Michael doesn't want to rule anything out completely."
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