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DATE News (chronologically)
08/20/11
ta

Ebben Captures Hometown Trans-Am Series Win at Road America
Local driver Cliff Ebben, of nearby Appleton, Wis., earned his second-career Trans-Am Series win today in front of the hometown crowd at Road America, part of the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase. Daniel Ramoutarsingh, of La Romain, Trinidad, and Carlos de Quesada, of Coral Gables, Fla., completed the podium.

Cliff Ebben passes Tony Ave for the lead (photo credit: Mike Callahan)Ebben started second in the No. 36 McMahon Group/StumpfFord/Lamers Ford Mustang and spent much of the race chasing down Trans-Am Series Drivers’ Championship point leader Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C. At one point, Ave led by more than seven seconds over Ebben. But twice, Ave’s substantial lead was negated due to two full course cautions. This allowed Ebben to stay within striking distance.

Ave led the first 21 of the 25-lap race. On lap 21, Ave’s No. 4 Lamers/Beebe Racing Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette ran over some something on the track and the car’s left front tire started to go down.

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08/20/11
f1

Karthikeyan set for HRT return in India
Narain Karthikeyan
(GMM)  Narain Karthikeyan will return to the cockpit of the HRT race car at his inaugural home grand prix in October.

Despite being recently replaced at the Spanish team by Red Bull sponsored Australian Daniel Ricciardo, Indian Karthikeyan said on Saturday that he will be driving at the new Buddh circuit in New Delhi.

"It was always a dream for me to race in formula one and race in front of my home crowd," said the 34-year-old at a press conference in India.

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08/20/11
irl
alms

Baltimore Fixes Its Streets for 175 M.P.H. Speed Limit
LONG before a snarling pack of Indy cars makes mad dashes up to 175 miles an hour down Pratt Street, a thoroughfare soon to become a straightaway, Martyn Thake will have sweated a lot of details. Consider the lowly manhole cover.

Mr. Thake, the director of operations for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix on Labor Day weekend, says the racecars have such potent ground effects — the aerodynamics that make them adhere to the track at high speeds — that they could pull off unattached manhole covers as the cars whiz past.

“They’d become 200-pound Frisbees,” Mr. Thake said of the covers during a recent interview in his fourth-floor office at the B & O Warehouse, near what is to become the pit lane.

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08/20/11
f1

Ecclestone says TV deal is a good one
Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has been quick to deflect flak from the decision to award Sky co-rights to F1 in the future, after the public complained about the reduction in viewing on terrestrial TV.

BBC and ITV have shown the whole season in recent years with the former taking over from the ad-funded channel in 2009, however a drain on resources at the BBC prompted them to seek out Sky to share the cost from next season onwards.

Ecclestone is no stranger to controversy down the years, but wanted to set the record straight with many feeling that it was his decision to reduce the amount of races shown free on the BBC.

He revealed to the Daily Mirror, "They (the BBC) had a contract in force already, from 2012 all the way through to 2014. They got to grips with Sky themselves.

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08/20/11
f1

Button escapes traffic fine
Jenson Button is said to have avoided a traffic fine by charming a traffic warden with his 170,000-pound McLaren racing car.

The Formula One ace parked his car outside Hugo Boss in Sloane Square but did not seem to have correctly paid and display before making his way into the shop with a friend.

The 31-year-old's black McLaren sports car soon caught the attention of motor fans, who gathered around to have a look at the vehicle while Button was treating himself to designer goods.

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08/20/11
wsr

Wickens wins first Silverstone race 


Robert Wickens
After qualifying on pole, Carlin driver Robert Wickens went on to win the race and regain top spot in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series overall standings. Daniel Ricciardo finished second on his return to the circuit where he made his Formula One debut just a few weeks ago, after outfoxing Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports) towards the end of the race. American Rossi completed the top three, which did not feature a single European driver.

It is fair to say that Robert Wickens left his opponents with little to be cheerful about in qualifying. The Canadian is something of a specialist when it comes to qualifying, and he duly scored his fifth pole of the season ahead of Alexander Rossi and the ISR pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon. The latter managed to record his best qualifying result of the season.

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08/20/11
irl

Wheldon tests new IndyCar at Barber
To a casual observer visiting Barber Motorsports Park on Friday the sleek, black car speeding around the track probably looked like a cross between a stealth fighter and the Batmobile.

It definitely would not have looked like any Indy car that has ever raced at the 2.38-mile road course.

A technical crew from the IZOD IndyCar Series leased the track Friday for a closed test session for the new car that IndyCar will use in 2012, bringing along Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon to drive it.

"Obviously from a visual perspective it's incredibly different," Wheldon said. "It's very eye-catching."

The new car will have a completely new chassis and Dallara-designed outer shell, known as an aero kit, as well as a new engine. It will be the first new car for the series in almost a decade.

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08/20/11
irl

Castroneves buys Ft. Lauderdale home ahead of IndyCar race
Perhaps in anticipation of the planned/rumored IndyCar race in this town, Helio Castroneves bought a four-bedroom, three-bath home at 325 Seven Isles Drive in Fort Lauderdale from Marc Schoenfeld and Lydia Schoenfeld for $1.1 million on July 26.

The Schoenfelds paid $2.036 million for the property in June 2005. The 4,825-square-foot house, which was built in 1972, is in Fort Lauderdale East. It is located in the Seven Isles subdivision.

Castroneves a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a race car driver under Team Penske. He races in the IndyCar series. According to BlockShopper.com, there have been 4,570 sales in Fort Lauderdale during the past 12 months, with a median sales price of $156,456.

Comment
08/20/11
wsr

Wickens Rossi 1-2 at Silverstone UPDATE
Robert Wickens
Alexander Rossi

A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, Given that Canadian Robert Wickens and American Alexander Rossi are as fast as Daniel Ricciardo in the World Series by Renault, why all the talk of Ricciardo going to F1 but not Rossi or Wickens?  Steve Stoner

Dear Steve, You are right, both Wickens (Canada) and Rossi (USA) are F1 material, but they need another year of grooming before they are ready.  Both have shown the speed, though Rossi still makes too many mistakes, perhaps because he has to carry his car and is sometimes driving over his head.  Both have the measure of their teammates.  We expect to see Wickens doing some F1 testing next year and Rossi may as well.  Of course money is always an issue.  In Rossi's case since the USA is Ferrari's biggest market, can you imagine how popular Rossi (Italian name) would be both in Italy and in the USA if he were to eventually replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari?  It would be the shot in the arm the USA needs to make F1 popular again, the likes we have not seen since Mario Andretti won the F1 title in 1978. One would think that this idea has not been missed by both Bernie Ecclestone, and the Circuit of Americas, both of which need F1 to succeed in the USA.  Mark C.

08/20/11 

It’s almost become customary for the outcome of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series qualifying session to be decided in two parts. The drivers had a first run on worn tires to find their marks on the Silverstone circuit this morning (Saturday).

Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) set the first target time, but Albert Costa (Epic Racing) gradually upped the pace. The Spaniard topped the provisional time sheets with a lap in 1m 46.150s ahead of Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsport), Robert Wickens (Carlin), Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) and Daniel Ricciardo (ISR) as the drivers came in to shod new tires.

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08/20/11
f1

Perez says he's fully recovered
Sergio Perez says the summer break enabled him to completely recover from his violent accident at Monaco, with the teams enjoying a three week holiday after the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Sauber man has never driven an F1 car at Spa-Francorchamps before, but he is confident of a strong result following his success in previous categories.

"After quite a long break when everybody was on holiday, it is nice to get back into the car again and to the race rhythm," the Mexican commented.

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08/20/11
Track News

Buddh International Circuit - Construction Update
Click here to see photos of the Indian GP circuit.  It appears questionable whether it will be ready in time to host the Indian GP on October 30th.

Comment
08/20/11
automotive

GM looks to shaft its customers
General Motors Co. is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over a suspension problem on more than 400,000 Chevrolet Impalas from the 2007 and 2008 model years, saying it should not be responsible for repairs because the flaw predated its bankruptcy.

The lawsuit, filed on June 29 by Donna Trusky of Blakely, Pennsylvania, contended that her Impala suffered from faulty rear spindle rods, causing her rear tires to wear out after just 6,000 miles.

Seeking class-action status and alleging breach of warranty, the lawsuit demands that GM fix the rods, saying that it had done so on Impala police vehicles.

But in a recent filing with the U.S. District Court in Detroit, GM noted that the cars were made by its predecessor General Motors Corp, now called Motors Liquidation Co or "Old GM," before its 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout.

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08/20/11
nassprint

Stewart still mum about Danica
Tony Stewart met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed a few items, and was asked about Danica Patrick, the transcript in part:

CAN YOU ADDRESS THE DANICA SITUATION?
Stewart: "It's like I've always said when we have something to tell everybody we'll tell them but there's nothing to tell yet. I know there's a lot of speculation but there is nothing to really talk about yet."
I'VE HEARD FROM MANY SOURCES
Stewart: "I don't care about your sources. When we have something to talk about we'll talk about it. I promise we won't leave any of you guys out I promise."

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08/20/11
nassprint

Hamlin talks about TRD engines
Denny Hamlin met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed a few items, and was asked about running TRD [Toyota Racing Development instead of JGR engines] engines for the first time:

What do you think about the decision to use the TRD engine beginning this weekend?

Hamlin: "We talked about asking TRD (Toyota Racing Development). You have to understand, this is a big favor to ask a manufacturer to provide engines for us for the rest of the year. It's a lot of manpower, a lot of work had to be done, especially within JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing). There's a lot of work that had to be done to get this engine imported into our car. So, we were going to have to ask and pull a lot of favors to do it. We just asked them if they'd be willing to do it and they did. I was behind it 100 percent. I felt like it was the right thing to do.

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08/20/11
nnw

Earnhardt says Patrick already successful in NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was noncommittal on reports that Danica Patrick will race full time for his JR Motorsports Nationwide Series team next year, but he has been impressed with Patrick’s performance on the track.

An announcement of Patrick’s plans for 2012 is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to the reports. The announcement is expected to be made in Phoenix.

“There ain’t been no announcement yet, so I don’t know why you would go report that,” Earnhardt said Friday at Michigan International Speedway, when asked about Patrick’s status. “We’ve enjoyed working with her and would love to keep working with her. When there’s something to announce, they’ll announce it, and we’ll just wait until that happens, I guess.”

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08/20/11
irl

Mario Andretti says Power did nothing wrong
Mario Andretti at his winery in Napa Valley
American racing legend Mario Andretti believes that Will Power's outburst following last weekend's controversial finish to the Loudon IndyCar Series race will not harm the series' image.

The 1978 Formula 1 world champion and four-time IndyCar champion Andretti said that Power had done nothing wrong.

"I didn't see a single element that was totally negative," Andretti told Autosport. "Will Power flipping the bird... I thought that was the best part of the day!"

"It was a bad call by the officials when they went green and the track was clearly wet," he told Autosport. "Slicks and the wet, and you have stagger on the wheels... if you spin the wheels, the car is almost going to turn around by itself."

For more from Mario Andretti about last weekend's New Hampshire race, see this week's issue of AUTOSPORT magazine.

Comment
08/19/11
nnw

Villeneuve and Tagliani to start 1-2 in Montreal
Former Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve thrilled fans in his native Canada Friday afternoon, as he captured the pole for Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal. The circuit is named for Jacques’ late father.

Villeneuve posted a lap of 95.835 miles per hour in the No. 22 Dodge Challenger normally driven by Brad Keselowski. That speed was tops among the 46 drivers setting times and gave the popular Canadian his first NNS pole in seven career starts - conveniently at a Canada race to help slumping ticket sales.

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08/19/11
automotive

100 greatest cars of all-time
100. 1997 Acura Integra Type-R: Hand-ported heads, 8,000-rpm redline, and the best-handling front-drive chassis ever. It's still the ultimate sport compact.

99. 1991 Ford Explorer: It defined the 1990s with its ubiquity and made the SUV the standard family hauler. Its rep has fallen, but its impact hasn't faded.

98. 1993 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo: Though it never sold in huge numbers, this was the first import capable of being modified to make (and withstand) 1,000 horsepower.

97. 1968 Datsun 510: A Japanese box on wheels that could beat Porsches in SCCA races. It was a half-price BMW 2002 and a model of simplicity producing greatness.

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08/19/11
nassprint

NASCAR Watkins Glen TV rating UPDATE The final TV rating for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen last Saturday on ESPN was a 1.3 with 1.913 million viewers watching.

08/17/11 Watkins Glen TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Monday, Aug. 15, earned a national household coverage rating of 1.6, averaging 1,896,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was originally scheduled to be run on Sunday, Aug. 14, but was postponed until 10 a.m. Monday morning because of rain. ESPN televised a similarly rain-delayed race at Watkins Glen in 2009 and that race earned a 1.7 rating when run on a Monday. The last two years that the race has been run and televised as scheduled, 2010 and 2008, it earned a 3.6 rating.

Comment
08/19/11
irl

IndyCar New Hampshire TV Rating UPDATE The final TV rating for the New Hampshire IndyCar race was a 0.9 with 1.277 million viewers watching.

08/15/11 The overnight TV rating for the Izod IndyCar Series MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 from Loudon, NH on ABC Sunday was a 0.9

Comment
08/19/11
alms

Graf sets pace in opening ALMS practice
Klaus Graf set the fastest time Friday morning in the first official practice for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America – the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The German turned a lap of 1:54.134 (127.681 mph) in Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing’s Lola-Aston Martin coupe that he will drive with Lucas Luhr.

The Muscle Milk squad is hoping for a bit of redemption after losing last year’s race two turns from the checkered flag. Friday, Graf  went 1.212 seconds quicker than Steven Kane in Oryx Dyson Racing’s Lola-Mazda coupe. Guy Smith, quickest in Thursday’s test session, was third Friday at 1:57.241 (124.298 mph) in the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda he will drive with Chris Dyson.

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08/19/11
f1

Petra Ecclestone -- I'm Not Spoiled, I'm Privileged
Petra Ecclestone is purging her $85 million mega-mansion of everything reminiscent of Candy Spelling ... from the expensive chandeliers to fireplaces and even wall lights ... TMZ has learned.

Ecclestone recently invited 4 major antique dealers to check out the 57,000 square foot Holmby Hills mansion and bid on anything they could move out of the place.

Sources close to the situation tell TMZ ... Petra was NOT a fan of the way the home looked when Candy was living there ... and now she's on a mission to rid the place of everything from the Spelling era so she can start over from scratch.

One of the dealers invited in to the antique event was Jan's & Co. Fine French Antiques -- which picked up several Baccarat crystal chandeliers, a 19th century Edwardian style marble fireplace, the set of 4 French Louis XV style gilt-bronze wall lights from the dining room ... and more.

In total, we're told Jan's walked away with close to $1,000,000 in goods.

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08/19/11
gp3
fil

Q And A with Conor Daly
Conor Daly
You have had a really interesting season with dual programs in the US and Europe, do you think it was the right decision for you?

Definitely that’s a yes, and a resounding yes. I absolutely loved the first three Indy Lights races and they were followed by a severe reality check in Europe. I have never had to work so hard to be competitive as I did in GP3. I had to actually keep my frustration under cover because, I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was struggling to be competitive, but the margins were so small it just seemed so difficult to put all the pieces together to qualify well and then race well. I’m still trying to pull the qualifying together but in the races I’m now enjoying being able to race with the front runners.

With just four races to go in GP3, has it been more difficult than expected and what has been the difficult part of GP3?

Probably, yes! We expected it to be difficult because everything was so new, and I had to learn everything from the circuits, to the way people work and how teams operate and how the events are run, which is very different to what we do in America. It was a lot to handle with the information flow almost becoming “overload” in the early races. We always thought that it would be towards the end of July before I began to feel that I was getting the hang of things, what we didn’t expect was that it would be quite as difficult as it was at the start of the season.

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08/19/11
irl

Power leads Sonoma IndyCar test
Twenty IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, including Ho-Pin Tung for Dragon Racing and Giorgio Pantano for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, participated in a test Thursday at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Aug. 28 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Will Power – won from the pole there last year – posted the quickest unofficial lap time of 1:19.04 on the 12-turn, 2.303-mile course in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.

Power will look to become the first repeat IZOD IndyCar Series winner in Sonoma. The race has had six different winners (Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti and Power) in as many races.

“We are trying to find our pace,” Power told IndyCar.com. “We've been struggling on road courses of late but this track is pretty consistent and that will help us. I always enjoy coming out here.”

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08/19/11
irl

Empty seats at oval tracks make IndyCar look like a loser
I saw an estimate that put the crowd at New Hampshire Speedway at 30,000 for last Sunday’s IndyCar race.

As my old sports editor once said about an obviously-inflated attendance figure at a Vanderbilt football game, a lot of those fans came disguised as empty seats.

When the TV cameras panned the gaping New Hampshire grandstands, a thought occurred to me: the last time I saw a race crowd that skimpy was at last month’s NASCAR Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway.

A couple of days later Dover Motorsports pulled the plug on its 11-year-old track in Gladeville, Tenn.

Dover decided to cut its losses and furl its flags, and reportedly there’s similar consideration being given to the IndyCar Series’ future at New Hampshire.

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08/19/11
irl

Barnhart has assembled another Kangaroo Court
IndyCar announced late yesterday the makeup of its panel to hear appeals of the results of last Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and it’s very much a disappointment.

Instead of asking, say, a retired judge from the Indianapolis area to adjudicate, Brian Barnhart appointed three people – one of whom has a conflict of interest and two others connected with an organization that was fired for incompetence by the previous CEO of the Indy Racing League, Tony George.

The three-member panel will hear appeals the week of Aug. 22 from Newman-Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing of the order of finish of Sunday’s race that was restarted when it was raining and in which there was a serious crash.

At the end of the day, Barnhart, as president of competition for IndyCar, had ruled that the restart should never happened and the final finishing results would be the order that the cars and drivers were in before the restart.

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08/19/11
nnw

NASCAR's days in Montreal may soon be over UPDATE There will be no word on the future of Montreal’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race for a few more weeks, according to the promoters of the event.

The fifth annual NAPA Auto Parts 200 runs on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday and Saturday, the final race in the five-year contract between promoter International Speedway Corp. and its subsidiary, Stock-Car Montréal, and Park Jean Drapeau, in which the racetrack lies.

Organizers of the race last fall began discussions with the Quebec government for a tourism-department grant of $500,000 to promote the race beyond Quebec’s borders to bring more fans in for the 74-lap race. That sum presumably would have been matched by the federal government.

But in early July, the provincial government turned down the request, saying that promoters hadn’t provided sufficient data to show that the race has a positive economic impact on the city and province.

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08/19/11
alms

IRS after ALMS team owner
Cadillac Ranch has re-opened after a team of IRS investigators took over the restaurant for the afternoon to sift through boxes full of corporate paperwork.

The search warrant used to take evidence from the downtown restaurant was one of several obtained by the IRS, said Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart.

When asked what other locations were searched, Alverson said one was the corporate headquarters of Cadillac Ranch Group in Dublin, Ohio.

IRS officials would not disclose the nature of their investigation. But the IRS typically investigates allegations of income tax fraud, employment tax fraud and money laundering.

A federal judge has ordered the case to be sealed from the public, said Craig Casserly, public information officer at IRS offices in Columbus, Ohio.

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08/19/11
irl

IndyCar low on American Star Power
Many Americans like to see American drivers in American-based car racing series (i.e. Americans are Xenophobic).

When a U.S.-based series is overrun with drivers from other countries, those fans tend to feel cheated. It is not that fans dislike anyone who is not American racing in the U.S., it just seems wrong to fans when Americans are not the majority of drivers and champions in an American-based series.

It would be the same as if more than two-thirds of the drivers in Formula One racing were Americans. That would be strange to European fans.

So, the question often asked is, “Why aren’t there as many Americans racing in the IndyCar Series as there are international drivers?”

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08/19/11
irl

Kanaan's engineer quits
Much-respected IndyCar engineer Michael Cannon has quit as Tony Kanaan’s KV Racing Technology engineer because of a personality clash with the Brazilian driver. “The two of us, we didn’t gel,” Cannon said.

Comment
08/19/11
v8
nassprint

Waltrip team loses yet another key person
Steve Hallam has accepted the role of Managing Director of Walkinshaw Racing overseeing both the Toll Holden Racing Team, and the Bundaberg Racing Team. Hallam is currently Executive Vice President of Competition for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR, and prior to that was Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing. Hallam will start his role at Walkinshaw Racing at the beginning of 2012 once he completes his current commitments with Michael Waltrip Racing  v8supercars.com.au

Comment
08/19/11
nassprint

NASCAR Tire test ends at Martinsville
For the second straight day, Martinsville Speedway was turned into a half-mile laboratory. #31-Jeff Burton and four other NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers - #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #6-David Ragan, #2-Brad Keselowski and #47-Bobby Labonte - finished up a two-day tire test at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday. The goal was to help Goodyear come up with a better racing compound for this fall's TUMS Fast Relief 500.

"Goodyear is always trying to make tires better and they work hard at building different compounds, different rubbers, different constructions," said Burton who has 21 victories in 18 years of Sprint Cup racing. "They do a lot of lab testing, but really, this is the best place to test, at the race tracks. We've been picking out the tires we like and then we confirm what we like and don't like on long runs. So we've made a lot of 10 and 20-lap runs and a bunch of 75-lap runs to confirm what we like. That is our main objective to being here."

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08/19/11
nnw

Villeneuve plays second fiddle to Danica Patrick
In the world of professional sports fame can be a cruel and all too fleeting mistress.

Take Jacques Villeneuve, this country’s only Formula One world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner.

There he stood on Thursday in the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in his home town, playing second fiddle to Danica Patrick, owner of one career win in the IZOD IndyCar Series and none in NASCAR.

The 29-year-old Patrick was clearly the star of the afternoon dog and pony show put on to promote Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In that race, Patrick will be driving the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet — owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. — and Villeneuve will be driving Roger Penske’s No. 22 Dodge.

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08/19/11
irl

5 racing series featured during Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma
The Grand Prix of Sonoma will be headlined by the 7th annual visit by the IZOD IndyCar Series, which has seen six different winners over the past six years in Sonoma. Team Penske's Will Power will battle to become the first repeat winner on the serpentine circuit, while points leader Dario Franchitti will also look for his second win in Sonoma. Sausalito's JR Hildebrand will look for his first INDYCAR win at Infineon Raceway as well.

In addition to the 75-lap INDYCAR main event on Sunday, the weekend will boast double-header main events for the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge and Formula Challenge, as well as feature races for the Star Mazda Championship and Historic Grand Prix.

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08/19/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Maria de Villota
    Kubica says 'we'll see' amid comeback speculation
  • F1 cheaper than cricket for Indian sponsor
  • Paffett 'not bitter' about di Resta's F1 success
  • De Villota in talks for F1 test seat
  • Raikkonen tips friend Vettel to keep title lead
  • BBC 'held the cards' in split Sky deal - Ecclestone
  • Ecclestone: It’s very important to be in India New

Kubica says 'we'll see' amid comeback speculation
(GMM)  Robert Kubica has answered "we'll see" amid expectations he might be fit enough to return to formula one in the coming months.

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08/19/11
track news

SAFER walls coming to The Rock
The Rockingham Speedway, which hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup races from 1965 to 2004, is taking a huge step toward once again hosting big-league racing as SAFER "soft wall" barriers will be installed next month.

The energy-absorbing system will be installed in two phases, in mid-September and late December, covering all four turns of the one-mile oval and the inside of the backstretch wall.

The most common estimate of the SAFER barrier cost is $1 million per mile. "Yes, that's expensive," said Robert Ingraham, the track's general manager, "but nothing's more expensive than having someone hurt."

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08/19/11
irl

New car upgrades driver protection
The cockpit of the new IndyCar is much safer
During its annual preseason meeting two years ago, INDYCAR safety consultant Dr. Terry Trammel singled out Justin Wilson as a driver susceptible to high vertical G force loads upon impact because of his height and the design of the IZOD IndyCar Series car that came online in 2003.

“Unfortunately, he proved us right in a field study,” Trammel said of the 6-3 Wilson, who suffered a compression fracture of the T5 vertebra in a single-car incident at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier this month.

Fortunately, upgrades incorporated into the 2012 IndyCar, based on recommendations by INDYCAR through its ongoing testing program, will increase the protection of drivers.

The cockpit is longer and wider than the current Dallara Automobili monocoque, which allows for additional padding to protect the driver upon impact. There is 3 inches of Expanded Polypropylene foam behind the driver’s seat and 1.5 inches under the seat. Also, a “floating headrest” works in conjunction with the mandatory HANS device attached to the helmet.

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08/18/11
ta

Peterson tops speed charts in Trans-Am
Doug Peterson, of Rochester Hills, Mich., was fastest in SCCA Pro Racing Tran-Am Series Round Six practice today at Road America, as part of the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase. Cliff Ebben and Simon Gregg were second and third, respectively.

After a three-race hiatus, Peterson needed only three laps to turn the session’s top time with a 2:07.803 (114.025 mph) around the 4.048-mile road course. After he completed his fourth lap, Peterson lost the motor in his No. 87 3Dimensional.com Jaguar XKR. However, despite the blown motor, his time held up throughout the 45-minute practice session thanks to his familiarity with the track.

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08/18/11
ga

Alex Gurney tops Grand-Am practice in Montreal
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and Alex Gurney paced opening practice Thursday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Saturday’s Montreal 200 with a top lap time of 1:33.706 (104.074 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley. The timed two-hour Montreal 200 sprint is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. local time this Saturday, August 20, and can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

“We’re pretty happy,” Gurney said. “I think we rolled off the truck pretty quick and just kept making little gains, a good day overall. You never know what everyone else is doing but it was a pretty good day for us.  We made a lot of little subtle improvements.”

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08/18/11
alms

ALMS Thursday Road America Notebook
Moved to Home Page as a feature article.

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08/18/11
irl

Another call for Barnhart to be axed
A reader writes, Brian Barnhart still doesn't get it. He puts Jerry Gappens on the appeal committee!  The promoter of the race has a vested interest in having his fans feel like they saw the "real winner" win.  He is not unbiased.  What is he going to choose between the American guy who pseudo-won and was announced as the winner at the track, or the Spanish guy who really did win?  Get serious.

Then now they say that the review will only effect the top three positions??  Give me a break.  They should rule on how the race actually finished.  If they do revise the first three spots, then there will be two tiers in the history books: the real finishers (1,2,3), and the faux-finishers (the rest of the order).  Sounds like Barnhart got some "counsel" from Roger Penske, and needs to protect Will Power.

The race finish should simply be the order the cars were in after they crossed the line after the brief green, the Danica spin, etc. then the yellow flag after that.  It's not rocket science.

It is SO bush league the way Indy car runs things... Dean Abramson

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08/18/11
IRL

Another broken back in IndyCar
Rahal Letterman Lanigan IZOD Indy Car Series driver Pippa Mann has been diagnosed with an end-plate fracture of the C7 vertebrae as a result of Saturday’s accident during practice for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The injury was not apparent on the initial x-rays and was discovered during a follow-up MRI done in Indianapolis through the Indy Car medical staff, and the results were confirmed by Dr. Terry Trammell.

The injury is not expected to keep Mann from making her next scheduled Indy Car start, which is slated for to come at the Kentucky Indy 300 on October 2. RLL is currently scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway with Mann - who won the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights event at Kentucky - on September 13.

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08/18/11
starmazda

Andretti to run Veach in Star Mazda
Andretti Autosport announced today it has added driver Zach Veach to its Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear lineup at Infineon Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Veach will drive the #77 Team Zakosi Data Backup car for the two events, joining the team's full-time entrant Sage Karam for a two-car effort.

Veach currently competes in the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda with Andretti Autosport and will continue his quest for the championship title at Road America and the Streets of Baltimore, in addition to his time in the Star Mazda machine. Veach has secured three USF2000 pole positions and one race win, along with eight top-10 finishes, putting him in third place in championship points.

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08/18/11
f1

Airtel becomes Indian GP title sponsor
Leading global telecommunications company Bharti Airtel has joined forces with this year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, being revealed as the title sponsor for the October 28-30 event. With the race just over two months away, F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone expressed his delight at completing another vital step.

"I am very pleased with our association with Bharti Airtel which has demonstrated that they are the very forward thinking company that I believe and was the reason for seeking their help in promoting Formula 1 in India through their 200 million plus customers," he explained on Thursday morning.

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08/18/11
nassprint

Said: "We Settled Our Differences"
Boris Said told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he and Greg Biffle spoken via telephone Tuesday and cleared the air after their post-race confrontation at Watkins Glen international the previous day.

"We talked about it today, and I think we settled our differences," said the California native, who threatened to "go see him at his house and (give him)... a freakin' whooping" after Biffle confronted him following the race. "We had a long talk and I think we're okay. Maybe now we'll be lovers, not fighters." Said insisted he was serious about fighting the Roush Fenway driver, saying, "If could have gotten to him (after the race), I'd have beat his ass. It's a good thing I didn't get to him. I had a bunch of people text me his address, and I would probably have been over there today if he hadn't called me."

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08/18/11
irl

Andrettis to chat with media and fans worldwide
Mario, Michael and Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport, together with INDYCAR and Ortsbo, the world's leading real-time experiential language platform, will host three generations of the legendary Andretti racing family - Mario, Michael and Marco Andretti - as they chat with racing fans and media around the world in up to 53 languages during a live video streaming and interactive fan event fuelled by Ortsbo's Guinness World Record Holding platform, Live & Global (www.ortsbo.com / www.liveandglobal.com). 

The chat will be broadcast live at 9 a.m. Pacific (GMT - 8) on August 27, 2011 from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., the site of Marco Andretti's first win. The event will feature a live audience and will be streamed around the world.   

"This event with INDYCAR and Ortsbo will be a very unique way of reaching millions of racing fans around the world," said Michael Andretti, president and CEO of Andretti Autosport. "This technology is the latest in the growing social media platform and really gives a worldwide opportunity to actually ask questions to my dad, Marco and myself. It is exciting to have the event at Infineon Raceway, the track on which Marco won his first IZOD IndyCar Series race. We look forward to being a part of this new and exciting program."

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08/18/11
irl

Sonoma open test today
Race fans will be treated to a free preview of the Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma today, as 11 race teams from the IZOD IndyCar® Series will take part in a one-day test session at Infineon Raceway.

The test is being held in advance of the series’ only visit to Northern California for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Aug. 26-28. This marks the seventh consecutive year of INDYCAR racing in the Sonoma Valley, and the track has seen six different winners over the past six years.

Race fans will be admitted FREE to the test session, which will span from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They will be allowed to watch the test session from the main grandstand, wander around the paddock and attend the noon press conference (space permitting). The Raceway Café will also be open for lunch.

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08/18/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Liuz Razia
    Vettel holidays on Ecclestone's yacht
  • Renault owner Lopez 'expected more' from Heidfeld
  • Razia in talks for Team Lotus race debut at Interlagos
  • 'Sad' to see 'superman' Schumacher struggle - Ecclestone
  • Alonso has fond memories of Hamilton pairing
  • Ecclestone watches female driver de Villota test F1 car
  • Chandhok denies ruling out Indian GP race seat
  • Former F1 owners sue Ecclestone for $100m
  • Austin calls off Red Bull/Coulthard F1 demo
  • Kolles: HRT better off than many

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