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DATE News (chronologically)
08/26/10
automotive

Toyota recalls 1.13M Corollas
Toyota recalled 1.13 million Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks today because their engines may stall, the latest in a string of quality problems at the Japanese automaker.

The recall covers vehicles from the 2005-2008 model years sold in North America. Three accidents and one minor injury have been reported, though Toyota said a link to the engine issue has not been confirmed.

The automaker said vehicles with 1ZZ-FE engines may contain a defective engine control module, the computer that regulates the performance of the engine. In some cases, a crack may develop on the module’s circuit board, which could prevent the engine from starting, harsh shifting or an engine stall.

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08/26/10
irl

Planters to sponsor Tony Kanaan
Planters, Kraft Foods' longtime leader in the salted snacks category, will take its place alongside 7-Eleven this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway as the primary sponsor of the #11 car driven by 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan. 

The car, which traditionally features a familiar green-and-white paint scheme, will sport a new blue-and-white livery during the weekend as part of a larger Planters marketing activation. 

Planters and Kraft Foods are longtime associate sponsors of Andretti Autosport's Team 7-Eleven car, enjoying a relationship that is now in its eighth season of IZOD IndyCar competition. 

Kanaan, who hails from Brazil and makes his home in Miami, Fla., has won 14 series races during his career, including one earlier this season at Iowa Speedway. Kanaan, who will look to make his 128th consecutive series start at Chicagoland, ranks among the best drivers all-time in series history, having won races in seven of his eight fulltime IZOD IndyCar Series seasons.

7-Eleven Planters Car

Comment
08/26/10
nassprint

Smith, Furniture Row Racing Agree to Contract Extension 
Furniture Row Racing announced today that Regan Smith has signed a contract extension through the 2012 season to drive the team's No. 78 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, is currently in his second season driving for the Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing team. Last year he competed on a part-time basis, entering 20 races. The 26-year-old native of central New York is running a full schedule this season and will do the same in 2011 and 2012.

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08/26/10
f1

News briefs from Spa: Thursday
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher finally issued a personal apology after their wheel-to-wheel duel in Hungary, Rubens Barrichello told ranks of reporters on Thursday.

The veteran Brazilian, who was the centre of attention at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of his milestone 300th grand prix, had earlier revealed that while Schumacher might have apologized with a website statement, the seven time world champion had not said sorry in person.

"I received a message from him today, an SMS," said Barrichello in Belgium.

"I just said thank you, no problem.  I accepted it, wished him a good weekend, life goes on," added the 38-year-old.

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08/26/10
f1

Renault F1 signs minor sponsor
Renault F1 has confirmed a new link-up with EFG International on Thursday afternoon at Spa, with the global private banking group having signed up for the remaining seven races of the 2010 season.

As a result of the tie-up, logos of the Zurich-based group will now be seen on the sidepods of the R30s driven by Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.

“We are delighted to welcome EFG International to the Renault F1 Team’s partner network for the remainder of this season,” said Renault F1 Chairman Gerard Lopez.

“EFG is probably the leading bank in historic motor racing and is a respected premium brand.”

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08/26/10
automotive

Bugatti Veyron has lead in speed contest
Clocking 268 m.p.h., Bugatti reclaimed the title of world's fastest production car last month with its new Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. Is the elite Volkswagen division worried about losing the record to upstart Shelby SuperCars, which took the honor away once before? Not really. Executives say they've set their sights higher.

"It's not that we have to target Shelby," says John Hill, Bugatti's sales chief for North and South America. "It's about how do we go further with what we have developed."

But at Shelby SuperCars, founder Jerod Shelby is raring to take back the speed crown -- and he has a prototype that could do it.

"Bugatti is like Goliath," the auto entrepreneur says. "We're David."

Such is the state of competition among companies making cars that can rocket to speeds more than three times the legal speed limit. Appealing to only a few hundred megarich customers, supercarmakers have turned back to the oldest page in their marketing book: Who goes fastest?

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08/26/10
automotive

Auto sales to keep slipping
The recovery in auto sales is sputtering, with forecasters expecting August sales to show a continuation of the uncertain trend seen since March.

Compared with last August, when the government's cash for clunkers program fueled a spike in demand, monthly sales are likely to be down sharply.

But some forecasters believe the selling pace may have slowed even since July, when the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales totaled 11.54 million cars and light trucks.

August sales estimates range from as high as 11.8 million light vehicles to fewer than 11 million.

Some forecasters are now trimming their annual forecasts amid growing expectations that the economy will recover very slowly.

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08/26/10
irl

Scheckter to drive for Conquest Racing
Tomas Scheckter
Conquest Racing is welcoming a seasoned IZOD IndyCar Series veteran this weekend to its team with Tomas Scheckter signing on to pilot its #36 Dallara at Chicagoland Speedway for the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.

The South African brings with him tons of experience gained over the course of his 100 plus starts in the open-wheel racing series. Since his first Indy car race in 2002, he has gone on to claim 43 top-tens including a couple of wins and has led over 1300 laps.

“I’m very happy to be joining Conquest Racing,” expressed Scheckter, who has made four starts this season with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. “Eric (Bachelart) and I have been talking for quite a while and when this opportunity to drive for them came up, I immediately took advantage of it.

“I know some of the guys on the team for having worked with them in the past and I am really looking forward to working with them again as well as with everyone else. We’re coming together a little bit at the last minute but I am confident that we can come out with a good result, there are a lot of good people on this team.”

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08/26/10
nnw

Offended by Danica-mania
Danica on the FHM cover in one of her 'sex' poses
For better or for worse, Danica-mania is heading to Dover International Speedway next month.  The track is taking full advantage of Danica Patrick's upcoming Nationwide Series race at Dover on Sept. 25, prominently featuring her on billboards and hosting a free question-and-answer session with her prior to her first race at the speedway.

The biggest question is, "Why?"

Female drivers have competed at Dover before. Anyone remember Shawna Robinson or Erin Crocker? They weren't featured on billboards.

However, the hype that surrounds Patrick is not because of her out-of-this-world driving skills. Rather, it is because of her cover-girl looks, which should offend all drivers, male or female.

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08/26/10
f1

Former Spa winners
42 Formula 1 Grands Prix have been staged at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps since 1950 although only 28 percent of pole-sitters have been able to convert that into race victory. Winners over the years include the only triumph for the Eagle team in 1967 followed by the first of 168 McLaren wins one year later.

Spa Grand Prix winners:

2009
Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari
2008 Felipe Massa – Ferrari
2007 Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari
2005 Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes
2004 Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes
2002 Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2001 Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
2000 Mika Häkkinen – McLaren-Mercedes
1999 David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes
1998 Damon Hill – Jordan-Honda
1997 Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
1996 Michael Schumacher – Ferrari
1995 Michael Schumacher – Benetton-Renault
1994 Damon Hill – Williams-Renault
1993 Damon Hill – Williams-Renault
1992 Michael Schumacher – Benetton-Ford
1991 Ayrton Senna – McLaren-Honda
1990 Ayrton Senna – McLaren-Honda
1989 Ayrton Senna – McLaren-Honda
1988 Ayrton Senna – McLaren-Honda
1987 Alain Prost – McLaren-TAG
1986 Nigel Mansell – Williams-Honda
1985 Ayrton Senna – Lotus-Renault
1983 Alain Prost – Renault
1970 Pedro Rodriguez – BRM
1968 Bruce McLaren – McLaren-Ford
1967 Dan Gurney – Eagle-Weslake
1966 John Surtees – Ferrari
1965 Jim Clark – Lotus-Climax
1964 Jim Clark – Lotus-Climax
1963 Jim Clark – Lotus-Climax
1962 Jim Clark – Lotus-Climax
1961 Phil Hill – Ferrari
1960 Jack Brabham – Cooper-Climax
1958 Tony Brooks - Vanwall
1956 Peter Collins – Ferrari
1955 Juan Manuel Fangio – Mercedes
1954 Juan Manuel Fangio – Maserati
1953 Alberto Ascari – Ferrari
1952 Alberto Ascari – Ferrari
1951 Giuseppe Farina – Alfa Romeo
1950 Juan Manuel Fangio – Alfa Romeo

Comment
08/26/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Haug exit claims 'complete nonsense' - Mercedes
  • Epsilon Euskadi yet to complete 2011 F1 budget
  • Rain forecast for whole Belgian GP weekend
  • Spa not Barrichello's 300th GP - report
  • Mosley admits F1 return for Briatore 'possible'
  • Mercedes resisting engine party push - Marko
  • Toro Rosso lineup cannot relax yet - Marko
  • Brawn too 'busy' to win 2010 title - Schumacher
  • Verstappen to attend Spa GP with son

Haug exit claims 'complete nonsense' - Mercedes
(GMM)  Mercedes has rejected suggestions that Norbert Haug might be moving on.

In his Auto Plus column, French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet said he had heard from unconfirmed sources that Haug, Mercedes' motor sport vice-president, could be called on by the German marque "for other duties".

But a Mercedes GP source said the news is "complete nonsense".

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08/26/10
lmes

HPD Wins at Hungaroring
Honda Performance Development's successful 2010 sports-prototype campaign reached new heights this weekend as Strakka Racing took its HPD ARX-01c to the overall Le Mans Series victory Sunday at the 1000KM of Hungaroring.  It marked the first time a team, car and engine from the LMP2 class has posted an outright victory in Le Mans Series competition.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, Highcroft Racing and HPD continue to lead the American Le Mans Series Championship with three victories and four additional podium finishes in seven races this season.

In Hungary, the Strakka HPD started from the pole with driver Danny Watts. "The car was just working exceptionally well," Watts recounted.  "This sort of circuit really suits us.  It's tight and twisty and the LMP2 cars are lighter and more nimble through the corners."

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08/25/10
irl

Q&A with Jay Howard and Stefan Wilson
I
Jay Howard will use boxing to train
ZOD IndyCar Series driver Jay Howard and Firestone Indy Lights driver Stefan Wilson participated in a Q&A session to discuss the 2010 season and the return to oval racing this weekend at Chicagoland.  Below are select quotes from their interview.

JAY HOWARD:

2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion Jay Howard will make his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series start this weekend in the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway for Sarah Fisher Racing in the No. 66 Service Center car.

Howard started from the pole and finished third at the 1.5-mile racetrack during his 2006 Firestone Indy Lights championship season. Catching up with Howard, who last competed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 8.

Q. Part of your workout regimen includes boxing. What's that discipline like?

JAY HOWARD: "Karting is a great way to keep sharp for sure, although I find it works a different muscle group compared to the IndyCar. In karting, you use more of your body. Being strapped into the IndyCar, this really restricts your movement, penetrates the shoulder and arms a lot more than in a kart.

"One of the reasons I think boxing is such a great training tool for IndyCar is exactly what I just mentioned. It penetrates deep into the shoulder muscle and arms, especially with the additional conditioning exercises we do after an hour of boxing. I aim to be in the ring at least once a week with Dave Lewter (who is a former professional fighter) at minimum. I will ramp that up over the off-season to two times.

"Another huge benefit to boxing is the hand-eye coordination. Especially once you start getting tired, it's important to keep focus. Dave loves to hit me at any opportunity he gets."

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08/25/10
automotive

Just when you think you heard it all
A Cincinnati woman was simultaneously masturbating with a sex toy and watching a pornographic video while driving last week, according to cops who arrested her on assorted criminal charges.

Colondra Hamilton, 36, was pulled over last Tuesday evening in a traffic stop triggered when cops noticed she was driving a 2008 Pontiac with overly tinted windows.

That’s when officers noticed that Hamilton’s pants were unbuttoned. And she had a vibrator in her lap. Questioned by cops, Hamilton admitted to engaging in auto erotic manipulation, and revealed that she had also been watching a porno movie that was playing on the laptop of a friend in the passenger seat, according to an Elmwood Place Police Department report.

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08/25/10
irl

Quote of the week
“I have a younger brother named ‘Honda [Power] and an older brother named Horse [Power]" said IndyCar driver Will Power after winning at Sonoma on Sunday. The Izod IndyCar Series points leader has reiterated that he’s being called by his real name, not some fictitious one that works well with his motorsports career.  “I was named after my grandfather, William Steven Power,” he said. “My name is William, but everybody called me Will. So it’s Will Power.” Apparently, some people did not catch on to the coincidence of his name until he became a professional race-car driver.  “It’s amazing [that] no one ever gave me crap at school,” he said, laughing. “They just called me Power or Will. “But yeah, it’s only when I became a race driver that people started to catch onto this ‘Will Power’ thing. No one calls me just ‘Will,’ it’s ‘Will Power.’

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08/25/10
nascar

NASCAR reinstates substance abuser
NASCAR reinstated former driver Randy LaJoie on Wednesday following his suspension for a failed drug test.

LaJoie was suspended in June for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. He said at the time he had smoked marijuana in May, and in reinstating him, NASCAR said he successfully completed a counseling program.

"I am thankful to NASCAR for reinstating me for competition, and grateful to my friends and family who supported me through this time," LaJoie said in a statement.

"This has been a tremendous learning and growing process for me, and I have come through it a stronger, better person. I am looking forward to returning to work, and continuing to prove to NASCAR, my colleagues, my family and my friends that this was an isolated incident that I have put behind me." ThatsRacin.com

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08/25/10
nnw

Bourque to make Nationwide debut
NASCAR driver Pierre Bourque will make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this coming Sunday August 29th at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, QC driving the #61 Avaya entry prepared by Specialty Racing out of Statesville, North Carolina. 

This is the latest step in what has been a very busy racing season for Bourque in 2010.  He has competed every scheduled event on the NASCAR Canadian Tire series and sits eleventh in the overall standings.  Bourque can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the #61 Avaya Car.  “This is a tremendous opportunity and real thrill for me” said Bourque.  “I can’t think of a better place to make my first Nationwide Series run than here in Canada and on this fantastic track” he added.

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08/25/10
nassprint

Only two cars for RPM in 2010
Richard Petty said Tuesday that the main focus at Richard Petty Motorsports will be on two cars next year. The organization is running four teams this season, but Kasey Kahne is leaving to join Red Bull Racing next year before heading off to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Also, Paul Menard leaves after this season to join Richard Childress Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports signed #43-AJ Allmendinger to a multi-year contract extension and added Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford to its lineup for next season. Petty said the organization could add another car "if something falls out of the sky, then naturally we're open.'' Roanoke Times

Comment
08/25/10
irl

Andretti happy with Randy Bernard UPDATE We failed to note that the Michael Andretti Foundation organized the Grand Prix Salute event attended by Mario Andretti below.  To date, the total amount raised at the event has not been determined as receipts are still being tallied, so the $150,000 figure mentioned below is also a bit premature, but Michael Andretti is very proud of the work his Foundation does.

08/23/10 The patriarch of one of America’s most important motorsports' families is pleased with IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard ‘s performance thus far.  Bernard joined the Indy Racing League, with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the IZOD IndyCar Series, on March 1, 2010. Bernard previously served as the CEO of Professional Bull Riders, Inc.

“It’s a breath of fresh air. Here is a man that I have learned so far is very calculated and has learned in a short time what is important about our sport and our discipline; how much value there is in the heritage that this sport possesses. Bernard embraces all of that and is smart enough to see the value of all of that," said Mario Andretti.

When the open-wheel community was split from 1996-2007, Andretti was an outspoken critic of the Indy Racing League.

Andretti was in Sonoma participating in a variety of race-related events such as attending the Grand Prix Salute of Sonoma at the Andretti Winery, which raised $150,000 for children’s charities, getting back behind the wheel as part of the Indy Racing Experience Two-Seat Ride program, and presenting the inaugural Mario Andretti Road Championship trophy to Will Power.

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08/25/10
f1

Red Bull and Ferrari outsmart clueless McLaren
McLaren has admitted that it has no better understanding of the Red Bull's low-riding front wing ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix than it did in Hungary.

Front wings have been a contentious issue at the last two rounds of the season where photos and video footage of the Red Bull and Ferrari showed the endplates running very low to the ground. By running the wing lower the car has more downforce and rival teams demanded a clearer ruling on the issue.

At this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix the wings will be subjected to more stringent tests during FIA scrutineering, but all of the teams appear to be confident that they will not have to make any changes. McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale said his team had been working closely with the FIA to make sure the MP4-25 passed the test but admitted it would have to wait and see what happened with its rivals.

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08/25/10
irl

New sponsor for Tagliani
TorcUP onboard with Alex Tagliani
TorcUP USA is proud to announce the sponsorship of the FAZZT Race Team and Driver Alex Tagliani in his Honda Powered #77 IndyCar for the balance of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.

As a proud sponsor and supporter of FAZZT and "TAG" the TorcUP logo and "Tools For Studs" branding will be evident on the car and team uniforms as well as in the stands at events!

For more information on the FAZZT Race Team and Alex Tagliani visit:
www.fazztraceteam.com and www.tagliani.com

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08/25/10
f1

Austin F1 track could reap millions UPDATE The proposed Formula One track that will be the site of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin could hold 130,000 to 140,000 fans, race promoter Tavo Hellmund said Tuesday.

"It will be the biggest thing Austin has ever had," Hellmund said, adding that 50,000 of those fans could be seated in grandstands while the rest could sit on the grounds, stand or stroll around the track .

Hellmund revealed those details while speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 400 people at the Headliners Club in downtown Austin. He spoke at an event staged by the Urban Land Institute that sparked " an overwhelming response to tell you the truth," said David Knoll, director of the institute's Austin district council.

Hellmund touched on a variety of topics during the speech, including Austin's ideal location for an F1 race because of its proximity to Canada, Mexico and South America. If a couple of young Mexican drivers pan out in the next few years, Hellmund said, many of the F1 fans that head to Austin could come from outside the United States.

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08/25/10
automotive

And you thought the USA has bad traffic jams?
A 60-mile traffic jam near the Chinese capital could last until mid-September, officials say.

A jammed section of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou highway in Huailai.

Traffic has been snarled along the outskirts of Beijing and is stretching toward the border of Inner Mongolia ever since roadwork on the Beijing-Tibet Highway started Aug. 13. The following week, parts of a major road circling Beijing were closed, further tightening overburdened roadways.

As the jam on the highway, also known as National Highway 110, passed the 10-day mark Tuesday, local authorities dispatched hundreds of police to keep order and to reroute cars and trucks carrying essential supplies, such as food or flammables, around the main bottleneck. There, vehicles were inching along little more than a third of a mile a day. Zhang Minghai, director of Zhangjiakou city's Traffic Management Bureau general office, said in a telephone interview he didn't expect the situation to return to normal until around Sept. 17 when road construction is scheduled to be finished and traffic lanes will open up.

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08/25/10
nassprint

Kyle Busch Tests, will race, TORC Series race UPDATE Last week Kyle Busch ran three races at the Bristol Motor Speedway and made NASCAR history by winning all three of them. It marked the first time any driver has won events in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup on the same weekend at the same track.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be taking a well deserved weekend off before they wind down their regular season before the Chase starts. That actually turned out to be somewhat of a dilemma for Kyle Busch. He only has one scheduled race this week: the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event Friday night at the Chicagoland Speedway.

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08/25/10
automotive

Video: Spectacular Highway crash at over 100 mph UPDATE Twenty minutes prior to this crash, police had arrested and released the driver for charges including possession of alcohol, drug paraphernalia and drug abuse after he was found with a 15-year-old girl in a parking lot. Dayton Daily News

08/25/10 During morning rush hour traffic on I-675 in Dayton, Ohio a 19 year old in a 87 Pontiac Firebird was speeding in excess of 100mph and passing traffic on the left shoulder when he hit a guardrail and going airborne into a concrete overpass support breaking his car into 4 major chunks and thousands of other tiny bits causing the entire highway to be closed for more than 5 hours. The teen was ejected from the car on impact and was airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital where he (was at last check) in the ICU in critical condition.



Comment
08/25/10
automotive

The McLaren MP4-12C Tours North American Dealerships
The McLaren MP4-12C
Following the successful North American debut of the McLaren MP4-12C at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, McLaren Automotive will begin a launch tour of its selected North America dealership locations. Prospective customers will have the opportunity to see the 12C in the metal and speak to the team responsible for groundbreaking newcomer.

A Supernova Silver McLaren 12C, Titanium Silver 12C and the XP13 rolling chassis were presented to over 1,000 guests at the Pebble Beach event by a McLaren Automotive team including Managing Director Antony Sheriff and Design Director Frank Stephenson. Visitors to the McLaren Automotive display included Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger and world-famous car collector, Jay Leno.

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08/25/10
f1

Schumi: I can win another title
Michael Schumacher and his Mercedes team are focused on making next year's car a winner
Michael Schumacher has reiterated that he not only hopes but truly believes that he can win an eighth World Championship.

The German has been criticized for returning to the sport after a three-year absence, with his results not meeting the expectations of many fans and pundits, with the former Ferrari man yet to stand on the podium in 2010. However, Schumacher insists his return was not a mistake.

"[It was not a mistake] because I enjoy what I'm doing and because I believe in being able to reach my goal - to win the title," he told the official Formula One website in a joint interview with Bernie Ecclestone.

"I have to accept that it will take time. Of course we all in the team believed that we would be more competitive this season. Unfortunately that's not the case," he added.

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08/25/10
alms

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to Race in the USA and China UPDATE
Porsche factory drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France), along with former Porsche factory and current Audi pilot Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) - winners of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans - return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) as teammates in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid for the October 2 Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta.

The innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid features two electric motors on the front axles, each developing 60 kilowatts to supplement the 480 horsepower normally-aspirated rear-mounted engine.

At the 1,000 mile or ten hour race (whichever comes first) which serves as the finale for the American Le Mans Series season, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will not be eligible for points, as hybrid technology is not yet included in the GT regulations.

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08/25/10
f1

Belgian Grand Prix from an Engine's Perspective
Spa's famous Eau Rouge
Spa-Francorchamps is steeped in motorsport heritage and is one of Formula One’s most beloved and challenging race tracks, nestled neatly in the Ardennes forest. Together with the next race on the calendar, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the Belgian Grand Prix is the most demanding event of the year for engines.

At little over 7km in length, Spa is unquestionably the longest track on the calendar and places an emphasis on outright engine power with its composition of medium-high speed corners and long straights, including notable elevation changes. It also has the second highest average speed of the season.

In stark contrast to the fast sections such as Eau Rouge, Raidillon and Blanchimont, the first corner drivers have to negotiate is the slow La Source hairpin which belies the high-speed demands that are to come for the remainder of the lap.

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08/25/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Villeneuve expects 13th team decision within August
  • Grosjean is Renault reserve driver at Spa
  • Ferrari congratulate Barrichello for milestone
  • Schu would 'certainly win' with Red Bull - Ecclestone
  • Raikkonen says Vettel 'nicest guy' in F1
  • Webber form 'surprised' Vettel in 2010 - Lauda
  • Qatar still planning to join F1 calendar

Villeneuve expects 13th team decision within August
(GMM)  The FIA's decision about the vacant team entry for 2011 will be made within the next few days.

"The decision will made at the end of the month," 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is quoted by La Presse Canadienne.

The French Canadian is bidding to return to F1 with his own team next year in collaboration with the Italian outfit Durango.

He is currently preparing for a NASCAR race in Montreal.

"I hope nothing is announced during the race weekend," said Villeneuve, 39.  "I don't want to spend my weekend discussing formula one.

"But if there is a positive outcome, I will put all my efforts into building this team," he added.

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08/25/10
automotive

Feds to probe 3 million Jeeps over fire risks
Federal safety officials have opened an investigation of 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees over concerns that defective fuel tanks could cause fires in crashes.

The investigation is in response to allegations made last year by an auto safety group that the placement of the gas tank behind the rear bumper and below the rear axle could make the SUV vulnerable to spillage during a rear end crash.

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08/25/10
automotive

U.S. intensifies investigation into Toyota Corolla stalling
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is intensifying its investigation into stalling Toyota Corolla models. According to the Associated Press, the agency has opened what it calls an engineering analysis into 1.8 million Corolla and Matrix models sold between 2005 and 2007. So far, NHTSA has received around 163 complaints about stalling in those vehicles.

Comment
08/24/10
f1

Video: 1971 Questor GP - Part 1


Comment
08/24/10
f1

Video: 1971 Questor GP - Part 2


Comment
08/24/10
f1

Video: 1971 Questor GP - Part 3


Comment
08/24/10
f1

Video: 1976 Japanese Grand Prix


Comment
08/24/10
racing news

Video: Huge Crash at Slovakia Ring - Ferrari flips
Yet another huge accident this year, this one happened this weekend at the Slovakia Ring as one car flew over the barriers and caught fire. Watch the 2nd video as the hapless safety crew is oblivious to the accident as they stand on the track with their teeth in their mouth.  The driver appeared to burn to death as they stood there like mummies.  Fortunately the driver only suffered some burns, but other than that he is ok.

The occurred while there were marshals and the safety crew on the track, trying to tow away another race car, which was involved in a race-start accident! 

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08/24/10
irl

IndyCar Oval qualifying altered beginning at Chicagoland
The Indy Racing League has revised its qualifications procedure for the four IZOD IndyCar Series oval events to close the 2010 season in response to accommodating expanded entrant lists.

The second sentence of Rule 8.2(F)(1) is amended and reads as "A qualifications attempt is the total of two consecutively timed laps." The remainder of the oval qualifying rules remains unchanged.

Previously, the average speed of four timed laps was used to set the starting grid.

The average speed of two consecutively timed laps, following two warm-up laps on the 1.5-mile racetracks, will be implemented Aug. 27 (1 p.m. local time) at Chicagoland Speedway in the run for the PEAK Performance Pole Award.

A season-high 29 cars (outside of the traditional 33 for the Indianapolis 500) are entered for the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 on Aug. 27-28 at Chicagoland Speedway. Races at Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 4), Twin Ring Motegi (Sept. 19) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2) follow. An average of 26 cars was entered in the three oval events this season outside of the Indy 500.

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08/24/10
nassprint

Reutimann’s Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Award at Bristol
David Reutimann’s pit crew pocketed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

It was the second Tissot win of the season for Reutimann’s No. 00 crew, which moved into a four-way tie for third place in the weekly pit-road competition. Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 continues to lead the Tissot standings with four wins

The weekly Tissot winner receives $5,000 from Tissot plus a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

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08/24/10
nassprint

Vickers Q&A update medical condition
Brian Vickers
“Most of you know about the blood clots I had, the pulmonary embolisms, the clot in my left leg and clots in the lungs. During that process, I also had a clot that went to my left finger. The only way for a clot to get there from where they were created was through my heart from the right atrium to the left atrium. It’s called a PFO (Patent foramen ovale). It’s a hole between the two atriums, and it’s pretty common — about 25 percent of people have this hole. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to diagnose and very intrusive to diagnose, so a lot of people don’t find it. My clots were bigger than normal and that’s why I had a pulmonary embolism. If you have a clot in the right atrium, it can jump through that hole if the hole is active. The clot can go to your left atrium. The risk with left atrium is it is a little smaller, more confined, the risk of heart attack is increased a bit, but the primary concern is a stroke. After the left atrium, the clot goes to your left arm or your brain, so I got really lucky. Mine went to my left arm, so I didn’t have a stroke. I had a difficult decision to make — whether or not to close the hole in my heart. I met with some doctors at Harvard and some in Charlotte, and we came up with a theory that I had May-Thurner Syndrome. That is when a vein and artery are pinched and slow the blood flow in that region. So there was a third factor induced, which was the racing, whether the carbon monoxide or double duty at Talladega, we will probably never know for sure. During the process of closing the hole in my heart, they looked for May-Therners, and confirmed I did have it. The heart surgery (July 12, 2010) went so well that he decided to put the stint in the next day (July 13, 2010). They put a stint in the vein to open it back up to prevent me from being in the position to have another clot. “A lot has happened since I saw you last. I have had heart surgery and a stint put in — never thought I would have had either at age 26 — and both went extremely well. I am on Coumadin and Plavix still and I will be for the rest of the year, so I am still out of the car. But they gave me full clearance for next year. I will be back next season, and back in the car in January. The doctors feel that I am in the best shape of my life. I’ve got two issues I never knew about fixed, and it has been a breath of fresh air to me to know what caused this, or part of what cause it, because it wasn’t one thing. That was a looming question mark for us. So not only did we figure out what it was, but we were able to fix it. I did clear and pass all the genetic blood testing so that had nothing to do with my clots. I am going to be back in the No. 83 and very excited to be back with Red Bull.”

Read more & Comment...
08/24/10
automotive

Talk Show Host to be First Corvette Engine Builder
Todd Schnitt’s fifth Corvette will be unlike any he has had before because he will personally help build the 638-horsepower supercharged small block engine for his ZR1 supercar  at the General Motors Performance Build Center.

Schnitt, host of a Tampa-based syndicated radio show, purchased the recently announced optional Corvette Engine Build Experience. He will be on the line at the PBC in Wixom, Mich., on Monday, Aug. 30. 

As part of the Corvette Engine Build Experience ordering option, a special Chevrolet concierge is coordinating all arrangements with Schnitt. After the build is completed Monday, the engine will be tracked and sent to the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky., where Schnitt’s ZR1 will be assembled with his engine shortly thereafter.

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08/24/10
f1

Indian GP track designers seek team input
Constructors of the new Indian Grand Prix circuit have turned to the Formula One teams for advice on the building of the track as they target a slot towards the end of next season's calendar.

The facility on the outskirts of New Delhi is in the early stages of development, with the hope it will be completed in just under a year's time.

The developers have at least adopted a sensible policy of sounding out the teams before plowing ahead with the circuit as they look at ensuring excitement and its success.

Mark Hughes, vice president of constructors JPSK Sports, said: "We have worked very closely with Hermann Tilke who came up with the initial design.

"We have also shared the design with some of the Formula One teams to put it into their simulators.

"They have come back with some recommendations on how to modify it to make it a little more exciting. We have come up with a formula to build it."

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08/24/10
f1

Mansell to be steward as Spa rain looms
(GMM)  Nigel Mansell will reprise his F1 stewarding duties this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

The 1992 world champion debuted in the official role, alongside three of the sport's regular stewards, at Silverstone in July.

-

An early weather forecast is predicting the possibility of rain throughout the Belgian grand prix event.  "When didn't we see water at Spa?" said Felipe Massa on Tuesday as he left his native Brazil after the August break.

"Actually it can be very good fun in the wet," added the Ferrari driver.

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08/24/10
irl

Video: Dan Wheldon's flip at Infineon


Comment
08/24/10
f1

F1 news briefs: Tuesday
(GMM)  Renault and Mercedes will be without their regular reserve drivers at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

Nick Heidfeld has become Pirelli's permanent tire tester, while Renault regular Ho-Pin Tung is recovering from a back injury sustained recently during the GP2 race in Hungary.

The Chinese may be fit enough to return to action at Monza in three weeks.

-

The FIA has moved to detract F1 drivers from cutting the Les Combes chicane during this weekend's Belgian grand prix.  Three bumps, similar to the ones in Barcelona, Valencia and Monza, have been placed across the run-off area.

-

Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta will not be driving the VJM03 during Friday morning practice at Spa.

"We've got some work to do on the new blown floor and the low downforce package so it's natural we need to give the race drivers the additional time," said the Scot.

He will be back in action at Monza.

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08/24/10
f1

New front and rear wings for Williams
Williams will be introducing new versions of its front and rear wings in Belgium this weekend, with Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenberg heading to the legendary track after both scoring last time out in Budapest.

Currently seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, Williams sits just seven points in arrears of Force India and is therefore engaged in a contest for sixth which also involves Sauber, which is in-turn 17 points behind the Grove outfit.

“Spa is a fantastic circuit and a definite challenge for the engineers and drivers,” Williams Technical Director Sam Michael explained.

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08/24/10
f1

Race 300 for Barrichello!
Rubens Barrichello
Spa, home to this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, is a fantastic circuit and a definite challenge for the engineers and drivers. Sectors 1 and 3 require low drag, while Sector 2 requires maximum downforce, so a well compromised set-up is crucial for getting a quick lap time. Spa is a real driver’s circuit and one of the greatest layouts F1 has on the calendar.

The Williams team will have new front and rear wings, plus some mechanical changes for the FW32 for this race and they are also looking forward to celebrating Rubens Barrichello’s 300 Grand Prix event, an impressive achievement!

“Spa is a great racing circuit. I took my first pole there and have won at Spa while racing in the lower categories so I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a challenging track and I imagine it will be even more so now we are carrying full tanks,” he said.

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08/24/10
f1

Updated diffuser for Ferrari
The short Formula 1 holiday is already over. The two weeks of total shutdown, as agreed with all the other teams, officially came to an end at midnight on Sunday and Monday morning everyone was working again at full throttle. Indeed, there is no time to lose given that the Belgian Grand Prix, the thirteenth round of the 2010 World Championship is looming.

The two F10s which will be used by Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are currently in the car assembly area at the Gestione Sportiva, where they are being built up in the initial configuration that will be used in free practice. There are also some new aerodynamic components being introduced for this race, most significantly an updated version of the diffuser: these will be tested on track on Friday and then the data will be evaluated and a final decision taken regarding their use in qualifying and the race.

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08/24/10
f1

Vettel's main concern at Spa Francorchamps
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is confident about Red Bull's chances at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, but has some concerns over the car's top speed on Spa Francorchamps long straights.

The Red Bull is widely believed to have the highest levels of downforce on the F1 grid but is down on straight-line speed and power from its Renault engine. The uphill Kemmel straight and final sector of the lap at Spa Francorchamps reward high straight-line speed, and it is on these parts of the track that Vettel expects to be less competitive.

"I love Spa, it has some of the best corner sections in Formula One, they're long, fast-flowing and suit our car," he said. "We were very competitive in the race there last year, but we lost out in qualifying a bit. Our weakness will be the long straights and, with uphill sections too, we know it won't be easy for us, but I am optimistic for the race."

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08/24/10
irl

Video: Forbes Magazine on Danica Patrick


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08/24/10
fil

Battistini signs with Palm Beach Indy Racing
Palm Beach Indy Racing has signed Dillon Battistini to drive its No. 37 Indy Lights Series entry for this weekend’s Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Battistini caused a sensation when he won his first oval race at Miami Homestead and went on to win the most races of any driver in the Indy Lights Series in 2008, including the prestigious Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis 500 weekend.

The 37 car will be run with the assistance of Sam Schmidt Motorsport and will be engineered by Don Bricker who previously engineered Battistini with great success at Panther Racing.

Battistini who has been working toward a full Indy Car program is hopeful this will be a platform for next year and delighted to be called up by Ron Dixon the Team Principal at Palm Beach Indy Racing.

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08/24/10
f1

Mosley tips leader Webber to win 2010 title
Max Mosley is trying to impose his views on the FIA decision
(GMM)  Mark Webber has been tipped to still have his championship lead when the checkered flag waves at the end of November's 2010 season finale.

Even though Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are all still within a mere 20 points of the Australian title leader, Max Mosley thinks the 33-year-old is ready to be world champion.

"He is very experienced and mentally strong," the long-time former FIA president is quoted by Germany's Welt newspaper.  "He has the makings of a champion.

"He has improved once again this year as a driver, and is in the best car.  I also think the public likes his story -- a man who fought for years and could now be rewarded for this admirable energy," added Mosley.

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08/24/10
f1

Ferrari drivers must be punished too - Mosley
(GMM)  It would not be adequate to only penalize Ferrari at next month's World Motor Sport Council disciplinary hearing.

That is the opinion of Max Mosley, ahead of the September 8 meeting that was called to assess the Italian team's allegedly illegal use of team orders during the German grand prix.

With Ferrari already handed a $100,000 fine by the Hockenheim stewards, it is suggested that a satisfactory outcome might be a further sporting sanction but one that allows drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso to keep their championship points.

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08/24/10
f1

Raikkonen predicts strong weekend for Ferrari
Former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen thinks Ferrari could be set for a competitive weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Finn, whose Belgian grand prix win last year was his final victory in formula one, admitted that the famous track is one he will miss now that he is a rally driver.

"It would have been nice to drive there," Raikkonen admitted in an interview with Turun Sanomat.

"It is a great track and was always nice to race there," added the 30-year-old, who won the event four times.

Raikkonen even won last August, with the generally uncompetitive 2009 Ferrari.

"Of course, you have to have a good car, and even though the Ferrari last year was not a top car, it was good enough," he said.

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08/24/10
f1

Hamilton not in Melbourne for court date, pays fine UPDATE
Lewis Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton swerved a conviction but not a $500 fine after a court hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The 2008 world champion, who did not travel to Australia for the hearing, was arrested, charged and summonsed for driving dangerously near the Albert Park circuit during March's grand prix weekend.

He was represented by a lawyer in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, who pleaded guilty on the 25-year-old Briton's behalf.

Lawyer Sandip Mukerjea said the McLaren driver, who addressed two letters to the court, suffered "embarrassment, humiliation and distress" over the incident due to the widespread media coverage.

In one of the letters, Hamilton said the incident was due to a "momentary lapse of judgment" that had caused "immense" publicity that was a "form of punishment".

He also insisted that he was "in control of the car at all times".

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08/24/10
racing news

Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Detroit
This week’s 22nd Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony in downtown Detroit will be the biggest induction celebration in the history of the organization with two full days of events at the Detroit Science Center (DSC) and the Fillmore Theater, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 24 – 25.  Visit www.mshf.com or call 248-349-RACE (7223) for information and tickets.  Members of the media are welcome to cover all of the activities.

With Honorary Chairman Chip Ganassi presiding over a formal black-tie induction ceremony at the Fillmore on Wednesday evening that will serve as the culminating event of the two days, the 2010 induction class is an illustrious collection of motorsports legends and pioneers.  The list includes NHRA mechanical genius Dale Armstrong, Sprint Car Champion, Indy driver and stunt driver Joie Chitwood, NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki, AMA Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath, the dean of racing broadcasters Ken Squier, Trans-Am Champion Jerry Titus and USAC Sprint and Midget Champion Rich Vogler.

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08/23/10
nassprint

Kyle Busch - what would Dale Earnhardt do?
Kyle Busch, fresh off his history-making weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, sat down with host Steve Byrnes for the Monday night edition of NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED (7 p.m. ET). He talked about his run-in with fellow driver Brad Keselowski, the state of his Cup team as the Chase approaches and a new sponsor for his Truck team. Below are a couple of quotes from the interview:

On tangling with driver Brad Keselowski on track:

“… that’s part of racing … short-track racing at Bristol. I worked on the guy for 12 or 15 laps to try to pass him, passed him clean, moved up in front of him in order to block his run or do a slide job, whatever you want to call it, cause my spotter said I was clear. He hits me in the back end, puts me in the wall and I thought to myself, ‘What would Dale Sr. do? What would Tony Stewart do? And who is the guy who just did it to me?’ So, those three questions were answered getting into Turn 3 and I had my mind made up and did what I did in order to try to win the thing.”

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08/23/10
irl

IndyCar needs to divorce Versus UPDATE A reader chimes in - Dear AR1. I'm glad I was not the only one ready to throw things at my TV yesterday. The SportsTalk item (below) summed up some of the frustrating happenings but by no means all of them. First off....the show spans an agonizingly long 3 hour time slot. Now don't get me wrong, I think there should be enough time to have good pre and post race segments. But 3 hours! The casual viewer will be put off by this and even the die hard, which I used to be, will find this to be an eternity especially given the banal and uninteresting garbage we are forced to sit through before the flag drops. The interviews and other items are just plain boring and repetitive. Pure fluff and filler. Two and half hours of concise and well edited action is more than enough for any one.

Then we get to the "action"...or lack of. As mentioned in the article, it was amazing how long it took these experts to figure out what had happened in the start shemozzle. Aren't these guys there? Or are they in a studio somewhere else. Even if they were then the producer should have picked up on this within seconds of it happening...not minutes. And the interview with Barnes was as stated, simply unreal.

Following the usual 5 lap yellow we got down to the race and ...nothing. No passing, no excitement, lap after lap of follow my leader. Our intrepid producer and commentary team then focused on some mid pack action while the ticker showed that suddenly Power had opened up a few second lead and Castroneves had been passed by Franchitti.

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08/23/10
motogp

SPEED coverage of MOTOGP at Indy
SPEED returns to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway Aug. 27-29 with plans to support its live coverage of the United States Grand Prix MotoGP weekend at the Brickyard with three days of fan interaction at the SPEED Stage and Party Pit.

Located between Turns 9 & 10, the SPEED Stage and Party Pit will offer hourly prizes, rider interviews, autographs sessions and live Indianapolis MotoGP coverage on the SPEED Jumbotron from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Already confirmed for appearances and autograph sessions: Ralph Sheheen, Greg White, Jason Britton of Stealth Rider, Kevin Schwantz, Roger Hayden, Kenny Noyes.

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08/23/10
nascar

Reader thinks Busch feat a farce
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, It amazes me that NASCAR is in a media frenzy because Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Truck Race, the Nationwide Race and the Sprint Cup race. They act like it is a great accomplishment rarely seen in motorsports. Well it is rarely seen in motorsport, and for good reason. In Champ Car you couldn't compete in Atlantics if you lost your rookie status. In F1 you can't compete in GP-2 or GP-3 if you compete in the Formula 1 Championship. People in Moto GP don't compete in 125cc or Moto2. There are many more examples. Why is it that Sprint Cup competitors are allowed to compete (read: shoot fish in a barrel) in the feeder series? What is it about NASCAR fans that allow this? Mark Bartlett

Dear Mark, The Nationwide and Truck Series would die quickly if the Cup drivers did not compete.  The France family keeps them going this way to keep sponsors tied up under their umbrella so they are not available to other forms of racing.  Their goal is to monopolize USA motorsports (like the NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, etc.) and if you tie up all the sponsors in their 4 series (Grand-Am, Trucks, Nationwide, and Cup) you take away the lifeblood of the other series and they die a slow death.  So every year you will see certain Cup drivers in these series to keep them alive (fans follow these series because of them) and keep the tourniquet tight around the neck of everyone else.  Mark C.

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08/23/10
irl

Racing legend Andretti crowns Power as first Road Champion
Mario Andretti relayed a few cautionary tidbits - based on experience -- to Will Power a few days before formally presenting the inaugural Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy and a $50,000 check to the Team Penske driver in Victory Circle following the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma."You have to enjoy it while you can; it never lasts long," said Andretti, who won 23 road course races during his distinguished career. "Right now, he's on a roll and God bless him. It's wonderful to see."

Power, who outdistanced Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti for the award, also maintains the overall championship points lead heading into the final four races of the season.

"Even though he has the points lead, you don't rest," Andretti said, "and that's the beauty of IndyCar. To win the overall championship, you have to be proficient on all sides of what it has to offer. That's what I really enjoy about the series since it started having the mix (in 2005) of ovals and road courses. As a driver, that always was the ultimate challenge."

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08/23/10
irl

Power focuses on final four races, overall title
Will Power engaged in some playful banter regarding his name that fits a race car driver like, well, a driving glove during the news conference following his victory in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 22.The fifth win of the IZOD IndyCar Series season, which provided a 59-point margin in the championship standings, lifted some weight off his shoulders. But while he could briefly revel in the victory from the pole on the 2.303-mile Infineon Raceway course, William Steven Power hasn't altered his mind-set entering the final four-race stretch in pursuit of his first championship.

"I don't think this championship is almost mine," he said. "There's a lot of racing to go. Four races, a lot can happen. Really, whatever the buffer is, you can lose a lot of that in just one race. I'm going to race those ovals like I want to win the championship. I think I got enough experience now and I think we'll be very strong."

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08/23/10
f1

Toyota was heading for good season in 2010
(GMM) Toyota was reportedly heading for a competitive season in formula one this year until the Japanese carmaker decided to pull out of the sport altogether.

The Cologne based team had completed its 2010 car, dubbed the TF110, when the shock decision to withdraw at the end of last season was made.

Timo Glock, now at the back of the grid with Virgin, has said earlier this year that - according to the data - he might currently be fighting for the 2010 title had Toyota stayed another season in F1.

"When we stopped the development, we had 20 to 30 points more downforce (with the new car) than the last version of its predecessor," Toyota's technical Pascal Vasselon has told Auto Bild in Germany.

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08/23/10
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Nationwide Series Goes North of the Border Live on ESPN2

ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Sunday, Aug. 29, as the series goes road racing north of the border at the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at 2 p.m. with the race’s green flag at 2:48 p.m.

Also from Montreal, ESPN2 will televise NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. as well as final practice earlier that day at 11:30 a.m.

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08/23/10
f1

SPEED Quotes: USGP Austin Promoter Hellmund on Wind Tunnel
Hellmund: ‘I think the most important thing for American fans … for a true, natural terrain road course, kind of like in the ‘60s, you’re going to be able to see a lot of the track.’

‘We don’t want to do this event for five, six, seven or even 10 years. The idea is for the Grand Prix to be here for the next 40 years.’

Tavo Hellmund, promoter for the recently-announced Austin USGP, was a guest Sunday night on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED in his first major national interview regarding the 2012 date.  The Austin grand prix will return Formula One to the United States for the first time since Indianapolis dropped the date after the 2007 race.  Following is the transcript from the interview in which Hellmund describes the various intended uses for the yet-to-be-built Austin facility, the course layout, length and number of turns, as well as other aspects of the new venture.

Despain: Tell me a little about your own racing history.  You won races in several series. How serious were you about making a career as a driver?

Hellmund: I was pretty serious.  I did all the short track stuff here as a kid and then I went overseas really … tried to do the open wheel stuff and went over with the impression that there were two types of drivers – slow, rich ones and fast, poor ones – and I got a wake-up call when I got to Europe and realized there were a lot of really fast, rich ones too.

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08/23/10
irl

Playboy, IZOD and IndyCar
Finally, Playboy taps a large motorsports series… well sort of. Playboy isn’t new to racing and has supported many events including the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup and they offer up sponsorship to many teams in a variety of leagues. What has been unseen from them though is any involvement with a large series, until now.

Recently, IZOD’s official Trophy Girl Cameron Haven (former Playboy model) and Playmate Kimberly Phillips (Miss September) appeared in a photo shoot sporting the new IZOD Winning Car Series collection. They bared most to demonstrate how ‘hot’ the line could look under the right circumstances. The IZOD Winning Car Series collection focuses on vintage-style tees that celebrate the first Indianapolis 500 winner, the 1911 Marmon Wasp, the 1939-40 Maserati, and the 1948 Novi, as well as other Brickyard-inspired designs.

Many are wondering why Playboy and the IZOD IndyCar Series have decided to better promote their “assets”. Actually, the more I think about it the more I think it’s a smart one. Playboy wins as part of any motorsports series and IZOD wins because these models make their clothes look less bland.

Comment
08/23/10
EuroF3

Fifth success for Edoardo Mortara
Race 1

With his fifth victory of this season, Edoardo Mortara (Signature) extended his lead in the points’ standings of the Formula 3 Euro Series. Currently, the 23-year old Italian has 23 points more than Marco Wittmann (Signature), who is runner-up in the drivers’ classification. At the 4.307 kilometers long track of Zandvoort, located in the North Sea dunes, Mortara scored a lights-to-flag victory. Finn Valtteri Bottas (ART Grand Prix) and German Marco Wittmann occupied second and third place respectively.

Race 2 - Teammates Edoardo Mortara and Marco Wittmann disagreeing about the same part of the tarmac
Willem Staat

Mortara laid the foundation for his success at the start when he immediately took the lead. Behind him, Valtteri Bottas, who has already won the ‘Masters of Formula 3’ at Zandvoort twice, pipped Marco Wittmann on the way to the first corner and thus claimed second place. In this order, they crossed the finish line after 19 laps. Behind Alexander Sims (ART Grand Prix) and Roberto Merhi (Mücke Motorsport), Columbian Carlos Muñoz (Mücke Motorsport) was the best-placed rookie in sixth place.

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08/23/10
nnw

NASCAR still debating Nationwide policy
Possible changes to eligibility requirements for the Nationwide Series title may be getting a second look, sources told Sporting News. The sanctioning body had contemplated making full-time Sprint Cup drivers ineligible to win the Nationwide championship and had discussed that possibility with the relevant teams. Recently, however, there are indications the restrictions against Cup drivers may not happen, based on what NASCAR has been telling the teams that would be directly affected by such a policy. NASCAR is still holding meetings on possible changes and hasn't made a firm decision. Currently, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard are the only drivers doing full-time double duty. Edwards says he plans to run a full Nationwide schedule next year, even if he's not eligible for the title. Track owners are all for the participation of Cup drivers in Nationwide events, because it helps put fans in the grandstands. And there's an undeniable coattail effect, where Cup drivers can help raise sponsorship money that also provides opportunities to younger, less experienced drivers. Sporting News

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08/23/10
nnw

NASCAR wants cash from Canadian government
The organization that operates NASCAR races in Montreal is asking the federal and provincial governments for $1 million to help improve the races in the city.

The International Speedway Corporation (ISC) is asking for the money for two years to help provide greater visibility for the Gilles-Villeneuve course among U.S. clients, QMI Agency has learned.

Francois Dumontier, Montreal's NASCAR and Formula 1 promoter, would not confirm the request for funding, but he acknowledged there is a plan to give Montreal better visibility in the racing world.

"We want to do a promotion on the American courses to attract people here," said Dumontier. "ISC is the owner of 12 other courses and holds a hundred races across the United States. This direct promotion can be very efficient."

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08/23/10
f1

Webber not committed to F1 beyond 2011
(GMM)  Mark Webber cannot guarantee he will still be on the formula one grid in 2012 -- especially if he wins the world championship before then.

The sport's current championship leader, and with his four victories the winningest driver so far in 2010, has signed a new deal to stay with Red Bull next year.

But he told Brazil's weekly Esporte Espetacular program: "I cannot guarantee that my head will be in the same place in 2012.

"For sure I want to go for the championship.  I know that it changes people's lives, changes the person and I want to know how it feels," said the 33-year-old Australian.

Read more & Comment...
08/23/10
f1

F1 inks sponsor deal with Swiss bank UBS
(GMM)  A sponsorship deal between formula one and UBS, the Swiss based global financial services company, was announced on Monday.

UBS is headed by chief executive Oswald Grubel, who previously brought the Swiss bank Credit Suisse to F1, and was a BMW-Sauber board member.

"The global reach of F1 complements the many local activities we support," said Grubel.

The deal will be formally launched at the Singapore grand prix next month.

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