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Trevor Bayne to remain a 2nd tier driver  
2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne can't raise enough sponsorship to buy a full-time Cup ride
Trevor Bayne is resigned about doing another full season in NASCAR’s second-tier series instead of moving full time to Sprint Cup next year as he’d hoped. Roush Fenway Racing confirmed this week that the 22-year-old Tennessee native will stay in Nationwide, next year with backing from AdvoCare. The health-and-wellness company has sponsored Nationwide driver Austin Dillon the past two seasons but didn’t want to advance with him to Cup in 2014.

“My will and desire and goal is still a full-time Cup ride, but Jack couldn’t do that next year without a full-time sponsor,” Bayne said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “And it’s really hard to get a Cup sponsor right now. This [new deal] lets us build and grow forward with AdvoCare. To me, it’s worth it to build that long-term relationship. It would be different if I was coming back to Nationwide just for the sake of running Nationwide, but that’s not the case at all. More ...

Crew chief Rodney Childers leaving MWR for Stewart-Haas  Rodney Childers is leaving Michael Waltrip Racing and is expected to be named the crew chief for Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

Childers confirmed he was leaving Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Childers had joined MWR in 2009 after spending three years at Gillett Evernham Motorsports. He currently is the crew chief for the No. 55 team, which has used multiple drivers — Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip — the last couple of years. More ...
First team re-ups with Honda  Schmidt Peterson Motorsports/Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports is the first IZOD IndyCar Series team to re-sign with Honda Performance Development, which will supply a new 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine for the 2014 season.

"On behalf of fellow team owners Ric Peterson and Davey Hamilton, we are extremely pleased to have inked our deal for the future with Honda this early in the process," co-owner Sam Schmidt said. "We are confident in their plan moving forward and believe that their package will be capable of competing for wins and the championship in 2014. This is also a testament to the commitment by all of our commercial partners and team members to maintain continuity and loyalty." More ...

Kurt Busch offered extension by Furniture Row Racing  
Kurt Busch being courted by many
Kurt Busch  has been offered an extension from Furniture Row Racing.

The contract comes five days after FOXSports.com broke the news that the 2004 champion had received an offer from Stewart-Haas Racing to pilot a fourth car in 2014. Although Busch was offered a deal from FRR earlier this year, he opted to wait and ‘kick the tires’ before making a final decision.  Busch, who is currently ninth in the point standings but sans a win, didn’t seem concerned about his plans for next season. Right now he said his “main goal is making the Chase.” More ...
SHR's Zipadelli talks about expansion, Busch and Childers  Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing, met with the media at Bristol along with Mark Martin, who is subbing for Tony Stewart the rest of the season, part of the questions dealt with 2014 plans for SHR:
Pirelli investigating Vettel tire problem (Update)  UPDATE
Sebastian Vettel
Pirelli says that the punctures experienced by drivers during free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix were most likely caused by debris on the track surface.

Both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso endured tire problems at similar places on the circuit, while Giedo van der Garde, who crashed just after Vettel had developed his puncture around the exit of Stavelot, also claimed that driver error was not a factor in his incident.

With Alonso calling for a ‘careful analysis’ of the situation, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembrey has moved swiftly to assuage driver fears of a repeat of the tire failures that plagued the British Grand Prix. More ...

IndyCar issues fresh engine update prior to Sonoma  INDYCAR issued a fresh engine update prior to this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. EST, Sunday, NBCSN). All cars but one are either on their fourth or fifth engines. Once teams change to a sixth, further penalties will apply.

There have not been the same number of engine grid penalties issued this year as last, but there are still five races remaining. Thus far, Andretti Autosport, Team Penske, KV Racing Technology, A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Barracuda Racing have only had one engine penalty issued for unapproved changes. Panther Racing, Dragon Racing, and Ed Carpenter Racing have yet to be hit with one. All other teams have two or more; Chip Ganassi Racing, between its three cars, has taken a series-high six grid penalties. More ...

Daly sets the early pace in Spa-Francorchamps  
Conor Daly
Following the four week break, GP3 Series returned to action at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for Round 6 of the 2013 season. The 45 minute session got underway in warm temperatures with glorious blue skies at a circuit notorious for its changeable weather conditions. There is one change to the driver line-up for this weekend with Alexander Sims stepping in at Carlin to replace Eric Lichtenstein this weekend.

The ART Grand Prix duo of Jack Harvey and Facu Regalia led the que of 27 drivers onto the track as the field completed their first laps on scrubbed Pirelli tires. Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas was first to clock a time in the 2m08s until Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus bettered his time by a mere 0.032s. More ...
Hunter-Reay tops opening IndyCar practice in Sonoma  
Rank Car Driver Engine Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Laps
1 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan Chevy 01:18.6814 109.124 0.0000 0.0000 6 6
2 3 Castroneves, Helio Chevy 01:18.6976 109.101 0.0162 0.0162 4 7
3 10 Franchitti, Dario Honda 01:18.8124 108.942 0.1310 0.1148 4 7
4 25 Andretti, Marco Chevy 01:18.9740 108.719 0.2926 0.1616 4 5
5 4 Briscoe, Ryan Chevy 01:19.0182 108.659 0.3368 0.0442 4 12
6 19 Wilson, Justin Honda 01:19.0318 108.640 0.3504 0.0136 3 12
7 7 Bourdais, Sebastien Chevy 01:19.0834 108.569 0.4020 0.0516 3 8
8 5 Viso, EJ Chevy 01:19.0976 108.549 0.4162 0.0142 3 7
9 98 Hildebrand, JR Honda 01:19.1567 108.468 0.4753 0.0591 14 15
10 27 Hinchcliffe, James Chevy 01:19.1968 108.413 0.5154 0.0401 4 10
11 67 Newgarden, Josef Honda 01:19.3398 108.218 0.6584 0.1430 2 8
12 12 Power, Will Chevy 01:19.4268 108.100 0.7454 0.0870 3 8
13 15 Rahal, Graham Honda 01:19.4952 108.007 0.8138 0.0684 13 14
14 16 Jakes, James Honda 01:19.4977 108.003 0.8163 0.0025 11 11
15 9 Dixon, Scott Honda 01:19.5009 107.999 0.8195 0.0032 4 7
16 55 Vautier, Tristan(R) Honda 01:19.5590 107.920 0.8776 0.0581 1 12
17 6 Saavedra, Sebastian Chevy 01:19.5990 107.866 0.9176 0.0400 14 17
18 78 DeSilvestro, Simona Chevy 01:19.6014 107.862 0.9200 0.0024 2 12
19 18 Davison, James(R) Honda 01:19.7624 107.645 1.0810 0.1610 9 14
20 11 Kanaan, Tony Chevy 01:19.8950 107.466 1.2136 0.1326 3 10
21 14 Sato, Takuma Honda 01:19.9330 107.415 1.2516 0.0380 10 12
22 77 Pagenaud, Simon Honda 01:20.0155 107.304 1.3341 0.0825 6 11
23 83 Kimball, Charlie Honda 01:20.2088 107.046 1.5274 0.1933 5 10
24 20 Carpenter, Ed Chevy 01:20.2279 107.020 1.5465 0.0191 3 13
25 97 Luhr, Lucas(R) Honda 01:20.9336 106.087 2.2522 0.7057 10 11
Bird bags GP2 pole in Spa, Rossi 5th  
Sam Bird
Sam Bird is a happy man: the Brit was quickest in today’s qualification in Spa pocketing his first pole position of the season with a lap time of 1:56.957 set in the first ten minutes of the session. Fabio Leimer and James Calado completed the top 3.

The session opened under blue skies and on a dry track which meant all twenty-six drivers could put their Pirelli Soft tires to the test of the Belgium track. Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, but Marcus Ericsson bettered the Venezuelan’s time to claim top spot. Calado improved as well and went four tenths quicker than the Swede. It was then Leimer’s turn to go fastest, one tenth better than the Brit. More ...
Boss rejects Raikkonen-to-McLaren rumor  (GMM)  McLaren has played down rumors Kimi Raikkonen might be in the running to return to the British team in 2014.

The 2007 world champion was already linked with Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari, but at Spa-Francorchamps Jenson Button made it known that the option on his contract for 2014 is yet to be activated by McLaren.

And Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said McLaren is also yet to take up the option on Sergio Perez's contract. More ...

TV Ratings For Premier League on NBC Sports Network  Last Saturday the world's most watched sports league made a successful debut on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Saturday's network game between Swansea City-Manchester United game averaged 792,000 viewers. The four NBC Sports Network telecasts Saturday and Sunday averaged 356,000 viewers. By comparison an estimated 195,000 viewers watched the most recent IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio.

Considering the Premier League's opening weekend outperformed last year's same weekend on Fox Soccer and ESPN, shows there is potential for NBC Sports. The network did use some creative marketing, and ran numerous hours of auxiliary programming in the lead-up.
NASCAR Trucks to make history in Canada  History will be made over the Labour Day weekend when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport), the first time this series has raced in Canada.

This event also marks the first time in 13 years that series has raced on a road circuit. The series also made history this year when it raced on the dirt-surfaced Eldora Speedway in Ohio, the first time since 1970 that any NASCAR-sanctioned race has been held on a surface other that pavement. More ...

Vettel tops 2nd practice for the Belgian GP  Unlike the morning practice session, Friday afternoon was bright and sunny for the 2nd practice at Spa for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.  Despite missing the end of the 90-minute session due to a right-rear puncture of his Pirelli medium tire with 20 minutes remaining, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was fastest pretty much throughout the session and ended up on top with a time of 1m49.331s.

His teammate Mark Webber was second just 0.059 sec behind.  Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari) were 3rd and 4th and Jean Eric Vergne rounded out the top-5 for Toro Rosso. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday (Update)  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Spotlight now on Ferrari
    Silly-season spotlight shining on Ferrari
  • Next races to determine 2013 title outcome
  • Hulkenberg not worried about Spa tire danger
  • Former 'nutcase' Grosjean better in 2013 - Webber
  • Bitter Sutil tells Hamilton to 'grow up'
  • Kovalainen admits mind on F1 race return
  • Whiting refuses to allow more practice starts New
  • Suzuka signs new F1 contract through 2018 New More ...
Stefano Coletti leads the way in Spa GP2 practice  
Stefano Coletti
GP2 Series leader Stefano Coletti set the quickest lap time of today’s free practice session in Spa-Francorchamps. In the dying minutes, the Monegasque driver edged James Calado out of the top spot with a time of 1:58.386, a shy five hundredths quicker than the Brit. Fabio Leimer completed the top three.

The 2013 GP2 season resumed this morning in Belgium after a four week summer break. The session opened in cool temperatures and on a drying track following morning-long drizzle. The twenty-six drivers fed to the track as the pitlane opened on the Hard compounds. Alexander Rossi was quick to set the early pace, but it was Robin Frijns who was the first driver to break under the 2min barrier. The Dutchman who is back at the wheel of the Hilmer car this weekend improved on Rossi’s lap time by nine tenths. Frijns went even quicker on his following attempt and lapped the 7.004km track in 1:59.126. More ...
Alonso tops opening practice at Spa  Fernando Alonso was fastest for Ferrari as practice opened for the Belgian GP at Spa Friday morning. In typical Spa style the session opened with a wet track that dried as the session progressed.

Paul di Resta was 2nd quick for Force India ahead of his teammate Adrian Sutil.

Sergio Perez was 4th for McLaren ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. More ...

Updated iPhone app available  
Lewis Hamilton reading F1 news on his AR1 iPhone app?
Version 2.2 of the AR1.com iPhone app is now available from the App Store.  Version 2.2 includes some minor bug fixes and the data now loads faster.

And don't forget to turn notifications on in the iPhone app if you want a notification whenever we post something new or update something.  You can customize the notifications to suit your needs.

We are also working on a significant interface change to our iPad app.  We think you will like it much better.  Stay tuned for that.....
Firestone sad to lose Indy Lights contract  Today is a bittersweet day for everyone at Firestone Racing. The Firestone brand has been synonymous with Indy Lights for more than two decades. We believe in the importance of a strong ladder system to develop the next generation of open-wheel stars as well as mechanics, engineers, team managers and other key personnel. We are proud to have been part of developing the careers of many Indy Lights series graduates.

We are glad to see Andersen Promotions bring its expertise and passion to reinvigorating the Indy Lights series. The change in tire supplier will not impact Firestone Racing’s commitment to continuing to deliver the highest quality product to the teams and drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series through 2018. We look forward to welcoming future Indy Lights drivers as they make the move to the IndyCar Series. More ...

Video: Shell relives the world of F1 in 1955  
Alonso and Massa
Today Shell offered media the opportunity to relive the budding years of Formula One, taking over a 1950s cinema in Malmedy for a special screening of its ‘1955 Belgian Grand Prix’ film.

Scuderia Ferrari official drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa joined guests at the retro venue to be immersed in a bygone era, surrounded by vintage 1950s cars, traditional cocktails and a boogie-woogie band in the evocative setting. More ...
Red Bull still has lots of options for Webber replacement  Christian Horner  is not ruling out any drivers for next year's Red Bull drive, including Kimi Raikkonen, saying the media would be surprised at some of the offers he has received.

After Raikkonen's management said he would not drive for Red Bull next year, Daniel Ricciardo became the logical choice based on previous comments made by Horner. But the Red Bull team principal stressed that a deal has not yet been signed and no driver has been completely ruled out.

"I wouldn't rule anything out at the moment," he said. "Until we finalize who is going to take the second seat there is nothing more to say. More ...

INDYCAR forms partnership with International Soap Box Derby  [Editor's Note: Mark Miles clearly gets it.  He is making all the right moves to build the full IndyCar ladder system.  Of course AR1.com recommended this 10 years ago.] Racing greats such as Tom Sneva, Cale Yarborough, Denny Zimmerman, George Snider and Eldon Rasmussen started their journey to the Indianapolis 500 and Indy car racing behind the wheel of a Soap Box Derby racer.

Now a new generation of future Indy car racers will have a chance to follow their tire tracks.

INDYCAR has formed a partnership with International Soap Box Derby, which will bring the excitement of Indy car racing to the thousands of young people who participate in Soap Box Derby events across the country. More ...

Challenge of Indy car racing intrigues Luhr  
Lucas Luhr (L)
Lucas Luhr said there is one thing about his No. 97 RW Motorsports/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Indy car that is  particularly noticeable.

"It's nice to see your front wheels again," said Luhr, a five-time American Le Mans Series champion, who will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut this weekend in the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Luhr logged a few reconnaissance laps Aug. 13 on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course during a manufacturer/team test, and got extended track time during an Aug. 21 Open Test to prepare for the race weekend. More ...

Belgian GP: Thursday Press Conference  
Vettel talks to media
Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde, Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean joined Sebastian Vettel for Thursday's press conference at Spa.

Q: Jules, can we start with you? Ten races into your Formula One career you've got some solid results. Do you feel you're established as an F1 driver now?

Jules BIANCHI: Obviously the first part of the season has been really good for me and the team. The second part a bit more difficult. Now we're going into the last part and I feel confident. I was really happy with the first result we had but we still need to push and improve. More ...

Indy Lights cars to ride on Cooper Tires instead of Firestone  Andersen Promotions, which will license and operate the final step on the Mazda Road to Indy in 2014, today announced that Cooper Tires will become the Official Tire of the new Indy Lights Series. The five-year agreement will continue through the 2018 season with extension options. Cooper Tires will now be the Official Tire of the entire ladder system with partnerships already in place for the first two rungs of the ladder also run by Andersen Promotions – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – providing continuity to drivers as they make their climb toward the IZOD IndyCar Series. More ...
NASCAR 'White Elephant' loses another $1.6M  The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $1.6 million during the fiscal year ended June 30, results disclosed in newly released annual financial figures compiled by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The $200 million auto racing museum, which opened in May 2010, has run deficits since its inception.

Members of the visitors authority’s executive board learned of the results last week, followed by the NASCAR Hall of Fame advisory board. The visitors authority runs the publicly owned hall of fame, located in uptown Charlotte, next to the convention center. More ...

RealStreet Staffing to Sponsor Baltimore Pit Lane  Organizers of the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT today announced that RealStreet Staffing – a leading employment and recruiting firm for construction, engineering and architecture professionals – will serve as the official Pit Lane Sponsor for the 2013 event. The sponsorship will include prominent signage not only in Pit Lane but also in other high-profile track areas including Turn 7 and the straightaway between Turns 7 and 8.

“We know there is a strong relationship between sports and the construction industry we represent,” said RealStreet Staffing President, Judy McGovern. “This partnership with the Grand Prix of Baltimore represents a valuable opportunity to reinforce that relationship and build our brand recognition with a targeted audience on a local, regional and national level. We are proud to be an official sponsor of the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT.” More ...

Alonso insists 'zero problems' with Montezemolo  
Fernando Alonso
(GMM)  In the apparently unwell Kimi Raikkonen's absence, it was left to the other drivers on Thursday to talk about the 2014 'silly season'.

The big rumor is that Finn Raikkonen, also courted by Red Bull and Lotus, could be poised to return to Ferrari.

"I have no problem with having any teammate," Fernando Alonso is quoted at Spa by the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

But according to the wilder rumors, it could be Alonso himself who is not wearing red in 2014. More ...

Grid grooves at Spa worry Vettel  (GMM)  Drivers and engineers were surprised on Thursday when they inspected the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Diagonal grooves have been cut into the asphalt covering the entire upper half of the starting grid, from first to twelfth places.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said championship leader Sebastian Vettel is worried the grooves might disadvantage those who qualify best for the Belgian grand prix.

"There is probably a disadvantage for the start, because you will have less tire on the track," said the German.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt asked F1 race director Charlie Whiting for an explanation. More ...

Hulkenberg 'ready' for Ferrari move  (GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg on Thursday insisted he is "ready" should Ferrari call him up for 2014.

Earlier, Germany's Welt newspaper said negotiations between the Italian team and the Sauber driver have begun.

At the same time, Britain's Guardian newspaper said Ferrari will decide after this weekend's Belgian grand prix, and then Monza a fortnight later, whether or not to replace Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Asked at Spa on Thursday about the rumors, Hulkenberg - who switched from Force India to the Ferrari-powered Sauber over the winter - told the broadcaster Sky: "I would feel ready and I do feel ready." More ...

Sick Raikkonen skips Spa spotlight  
(GMM)  With speculation over his future at melting point, Kimi Raikkonen called in sick on Thursday.

Earlier, as the F1's media spotlight prepared to shine on the Finn as he chooses between Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari for 2014, Reuters correspondent Alan Baldwin described the 2007 world champion as "the least garrulous" driver on the grid.

And yet, Baldwin added, he is "the man everyone is talking about" ahead of the Belgian grand prix, the first race after F1's forced August slumber.

Raikkonen's media rounds would have been packed to the rafters on Thursday, but the 33-year-old is not yet at Spa. More ...

Kyle 'Rowdy' Busch Refuses To Lose  About to be lapped 20 laps from the finish, Kyle Busch took advantage of a late caution to regroup and charge back to his fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night.

Busch’s deciding pass of Ryan Blaney came on the 195th of 200 laps around the .533-mile track, but he was challenged at the checkered flag by defending UNOH 200 winner Timothy Peters.

The pair of Toyota Tundras crossed the start-finish stripe literally side-by-side with Peters - who had held a two-second advantage when the night’s fourth caution waved on lap 179 - crashing into the inside barrier. More ...
Ferrari plans more hybrids to follow LaFerrari supercar  Ferrari plans more hybrid vehicles to follow the 1 million euro ($1.34 million) LaFerrari as the manufacturer works to attract more wealthy buyers to the brand.

"I don't believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids," Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the manufacturer's headquarters in Maranello, Italy.

Fiat Group's supercar unit will also look at expanding sales beyond vehicles, such as licensing merchandise with its prancing-horse logo. "We have a lot of parallel activities that can increase revenues without being obliged to produce more cars," Montezemolo said. More ...

tv news
Wickens and Rockenfeller to be guests on 'The Racing Insiders'  “The Racing Insiders” continues to roll out top-notch guest talent as well as tackle the very latest issues in motorsport at the same breakneck pace that the industry itself exists in. Race fans from all over will be able to take part in another excellent discussion about upcoming events and hot topics, including insight from the following guests:
  • Robert Wickens, a Canadian racing driver currently driving in the DTM for STIHL Mercedes AMG.
  • Mike Rockenfeller, successful German race car driver, former Le Mans 24 Hours winner, and Audi factory driver competing in DTM More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Domenicali (L) knows his Ferrari crew has produced too slow a car to win title
    Sirotkin could test in Ferrari simulator - Kaltenborn
  • Raikkonen admitted Ferrari move at Finnish party - report
  • 2013 could now be Vettel-Hamilton head-to-head
  • Kovalainen to drive Caterham at Spa, Monza
  • Domenicali gives team a pep talk, but it won't hide the fact his Ferrari is too slow More ...
Tesla looking to open future plants overseas  Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk said the electric-car maker intends to add factories in Europe and Asia, anticipating volume gains from a planned mass-market battery car.

The company this year plans to make at least 21,000 of its $70,000 Model S premium sedans at its Fremont, Calif., plant, and double that in 2014.

While the factory has capacity to produce as many as 500,000 vehicles a year, the addition of a smaller electric car priced about half that of Model S will require additional plants, Musk said. More ...

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