McLaren aims to build two new factories as MP4-12C production ramps up
The British Formula One team McLaren is planning to invest millions of pounds to build two new factories in the UK over the next three to five years. McLaren intends to build facilities to house its growing division McLaren Applied Technologies, which uses Formula One technology to develop products outside the motorsport, such as bicycles.
The company is already moving into supercar production with the MP4-12C and will officially open a new plant to build the cars later this year.
Ron Dennis, the executive chairman of McLaren Group, said: "We intend to build two more factories over the course of the next three to five years. We will grow our technology and we will grow our brand.
"That is our clear cut goal. We are on a journey."
Mr. Dennis said the plants will "house greater levels of resource" for Applied Technologies and McLaren "recognized its the division's potential".
Baltimore: Working toward the unknown The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix may be the most challenging race in 2011 for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n for a single reason – the unknown. Only days before the first on-track session at the new 2.1-mile street circuit along the city’s Inner Harbor, team engineers continue to do their homework in trying to find any information that may prove beneficial in the lead-up.
“As the engineer of the car, you have to pick up any piece of information you can find about that circuit to try to be ahead of the game,” Dyson Racing’s Peter Weston said. “I personally used Google Earth to do a point-to-point study of the track. I did straight length distances between the corners to ascertain what gear we will be in when we arrive at a certain corner.”
Webb rejoins Jensen MotorSport for Baltimore, Las Vegas Following an impressive debut in Firestone Indy Lights, British race driver Oliver Webb will rejoin Jensen MotorSport for the Baltimore Grand Prix and Las Vegas season finale.
"Oliver is very professional and clearly has the speed and natural talent to win races and championships" said Jensen MotorSport President Eric Jensen. "Our engineers Remi Lanteigne and Adam Marchitto worked extremely well with Oliver during our one-off for the Edmonton Indy, and our team is thrilled to expand this relationship with view to a championship run for 2012."
Webb posted a third-place finish in his debut race with the Jensen team and finished fifth in the second race at Edmonton.
The 20-year-old native of Manchester, England will drive the No. 12 Team Jensen race car as teammate to David Ostella for the Canadian-based team.
Following the Baltimore race, Webb will begin an oval testing program to prepare for the 2011 season finale on the high-speed Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
IZOD IndyCar Series to live stream Race Control via Verizon Wireless Beginning with the Sept. 4 Baltimore Grand Prix, the IZOD IndyCar Series will provide a live streaming video glimpse into Race Control during the remaining races this season.
One camera will provide fans with a view of the inner workings of Race Control via the INDYCAR Mobile application available from Verizon Wireless.
"The IZOD IndyCar Series fully supports (Race Director) Brian Barnhart and the entire team in Race Control," INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said. "They have, by far, one of the most difficult jobs in all of sports. We believe that they have followed the rulebook well, and it's important to bring this element of transparency to their job. We feel that by providing a behind-the-scenes view into Race Control, fans, teams and sponsors can truly understand how this dedicated, professional team works together to ensure safety, competitiveness and entertainment value."
NASCAR targeting younger fans by connecting with college students on campus Faced with an aging fan base and a need to develop more young fans, NASCAR hired a college marketing agency to promote the sport across 12 college campuses nationwide.
University Directories, a North Carolina-based marketing agency with a network of student employees across more than 40 colleges, developed a college ambassador program called NASCAR U Crew. Two students on campuses stretching from the University of New Hampshire to Florida International and Virginia Tech to Arizona State will develop a series of at least 10 on-campus events designed to raise awareness of the sport and drive student attendance at races at nearby tracks.
?This is about getting in front of students directly and getting them to try NASCAR,? said Steve Sweeney, NASCAR?s director of consumer marketing. ?This is a test for us.?
Goodyear to return to Bristol for September tire test Goodyear officials will return to Bristol Motor Speedway next month to continue development of a race tire suitable for the 0.533-mile concrete track, but the move is not in response to concerns following Saturday night?s Irwin Tools Night Race, according to Goodyear officials.
The test, scheduled for Sept. 27-28, had been planned well in advance of the race, officials said.
Teams expected to participate are Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (Jamie McMurray), Richard Petty Motorsports (Marcos Ambrose), Germain Racing (Casey Mears) and Furniture Row Racing (Regan Smith).
Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle described the tire provided Saturday night as ?awful on this race track? after struggling to a 31st-place finish.
?The rubber it puts down just doesn?t make for good racing,? Biffle said, noting that, ?the tire we had a couple generations before this was way better.
?Hopefully Goodyear will look at it and we will have something new next time.? Scenedaily.com
Speed adds replay of F1 race due to hurricane With Hurricane Irene leaving nearly one million East Coast homes without power and forcing the evacuations of thousands over the weekend and into this week, SPEED is changing regularly scheduled programming on Friday in order to offer a second replay of the Belgian Grand Prix from Spa-Francorchamps. The replay will air Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Replays of all three NASCAR national touring series events from Bristol ? NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Wednesday at noon ET), NASCAR Nationwide Series (Thursday at noon ET) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (aired earlier today) ? will air as scheduled as they do all season.
LeMans to avoid conflict with F1 Next year, the Le Mans 24 Hours will be held a week later than in 2011 after an assessment of various factors, including the sporting and political calendars.
After a 2-year break, the test day was reintroduced in 2011. In 2012, it will take place on Sunday 3rd June two weeks before the race instead of in April, which usually precluded F1 drivers from participating. This will enable the teams to set up home inside the circuit, and they will not have to dismantle their hospitality units etc before the blue riband event in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Vincent Beaumesnil, Automobile Club de L’Ouest Sports Manager: “In 2011, the test day was held on 24th April due to the introduction of the new regulations, which meant that manufacturers had to build new cars for the LM P1 and LM P2 categories. It was essential to allow them to test their cars on the 24-Hours circuit well before the race itself. This time, in agreement with the entrants, it has been decided to organize the test day again because of its technical and sporting utility, but shortly before the event to minimize its budgetary impact on the teams and organizers.”
Ferrari blame tire problems for Spa result Stefano Domenicali says that Ferrari was unable to challenge for victory in the Belgian Grand Prix because it doesn't have the pace on harder compound tires.
Ferrari struggled badly early in the season when running the hard compound tire, with Fernando Alonso leading the Spanish Grand Prix on soft tires before eventually finishing a lap down after a hard tire stint. The team claimed to have solved the problem after being more competitive from the European Grand Prix onwards, but it suffered once again at Spa as Alonso fell off the pace in the final stint and eventually finished fourth.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC Drag Racing’s Biggest Event, NASCAR Doubleheader at Atlanta
The biggest event of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season will have 11 hours of coverage on ESPN2 this weekend with the running of the 57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Expanded qualifying and eliminations telecasts will culminate with five consecutive hours on Labor Day Monday, the final day of competition.
ESPN2’s coverage begins Sunday, Sept. 4, at 11 a.m. ET with a three-hour qualifying program. More qualifying coverage airs for two hours starting at 5 p.m.
Monday’s non-stop action kicks off at noon with eliminations and finals. In addition to the ESPN2 telecast, fans can watch the entire day of eliminations for all classes live on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, starting at 11 a.m.
Each Labor Day weekend, NHRA racers and fans descend on Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the biggest, oldest, richest, and most prestigious drag race in the world. They say that no career is truly complete without a win at drag racing’s grandest event. The fabled strip is regarded by many as one of the smoothest on the circuit, and the stakes are indeed high. This event is the final race for Full Throttle teams to earn points toward making the Countdown playoffs and the six-race run to the Full Throttle championships. The NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series also will compete at the event.
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould, John Kernan and Dave Rieff report from the pits.
Baltimore survives Hurricane, Grand Prix race is on Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference Aug. 28 that no injuries or widespread damage was reported in the city after Hurricane Irene rode up the East Coast over the weekend.
That's good news for organizers of the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, which will be held Sept. 2-4 on the 2-mile, 13-turn street circuit that abuts the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
INDYCAR director of operations Bill Van de Sandt said "everything is back on schedule." There's no standing water on the streets, and even the Orioles-New York Yankees game scheduled for Aug. 27 was to be made up Aug. 28 as part of a day-night doubleheader.
Almost all the course infrastructure is complete, including installation of more than 2,200 concrete walls that line the course and safety fencing. Firestone Indy Lights cars are first on track Sept. 2 (10:45 a.m. ET), followed by the initial IZOD IndyCar Series practice session at 12:05 p.m.
The first event of the race week is a meet and greet/autograph session with two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Macy's Columbia (10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy.). IndyCar
Marco Andretti gets new sponsor for 2012 Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. and Andretti Autosport announced today that RC Cola will power Andretti Autosport's No. 26 entry for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season, driven by Marco Andretti, as part of a multi-year partnership.
Since its launch in 1905 (then know as "Royal Crown Cola"), RC Cola has been a soft drink that embodies individuality and entrepreneurial spirit. RC's crisp, clean taste distinguishes it from other colas and has become a favorite of cola drinkers throughout America.
Car livery and additional details on the partnership will be unveiled at a later date. The No. 26 Team RC Cola car will debut at the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener March 23-25 on the Streets of St. Petersburg. 2012 will be the sixth year Andretti Autosport and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have joined together to field an IndyCar.
Kubica in good spirits after final operation Robert Kubica underwent one last scheduled operation in Italy today (Sunday), aimed at recovering the full mobility of his right elbow. The surgeons are happy to report that they have been able to complete 100% of their task and did not encounter any complications. They have described the outcome of the operation as “a total success”.
On waking up, it was immediately clear Robert was in good spirits. Why? Well, as soon as he opened his eyes, he asked for the results of today’s race!
He will now rest in hospital for a few days before resuming his rehabilitation and training program.
Keselowski slams Danica on Twitter NASCAR officials strive to maintain a family appeal. The television and radio commercials are folksy, race-day announcers continually stress positive news, and pre-race shows are full of patriotic singers and conservative politicians.
It’s no wonder some NASCAR followers, and at least one prominent driver, have mixed emotions about the branding of Danica Patrick.
Yes, Patrick is talented and she has the crossover appeal that the sport badly needs.
But her sexually suggestive advertising campaigns are downright crass, especially when contrasted to the wholesome images driven home in other NASCAR commercials.
Stoner wins Indy MotoGP race Casey Stoner was the clear victor at the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, leading by nearly five seconds ahead of Pedrosa and Spies. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) took the early race lead, until team mate Casey Stoner overtook the Spaniard on lap seven and stretched his lead in front of the pack to remain unchallenged for the remainder of the race. Stoner extends his Championship lead to 44 points ahead of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) with this win, his first ever podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A bad start for Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) from second on the grid found the Texan down in ninth position, after his poor start was made worse when he and Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) touched heading into turn one, pushing Spies wide. The 25 year old methodically made his way back through the field and into third position by lap sixteen. The pace set by Spies would have been quick enough to fight for second position, though his poor start kept him from catching Pedrosa, who crossed the line second in front of the American.
Stoner wins Indy MotoGP race Casey Stoner stormed to his seventh victory of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, taking the checkered flag almost five seconds ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa. America’s Ben Spies completed the podium, producing a spirited comeback after a disastrous opening lap.
As the lights went out at the American venue, it was Pedrosa who made the best of getaways once again. The Spaniard jumped in front of Stoner at the first corner, with the latter falling back to third behind Jorge Lorenzo just moments later. Front row starter Spies endured a terrible first sequence of corners, quickly finding himself back in ninth after a near-miss with works Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso.
Pineiro secures third successive F2 win Ramon Pineiro stormed to a third successive victory after winning today's (Sunday) second FIA Formula Two race at the Red Bull Ring.
The young Spaniard took the lead from pole-sitter Christopher Zanella at Turn 2 on the first lap, and in similar style to yesterday, went on to build a comfortable lead to take the checkered flag. Mirko Bortolotti further strengthened his championship charge with a second place while Romanian Mihai Marinescu claimed his second successive podium finish.
Zanella, starting on pole after Mirko Bortolotti's post-qualifying penalty, made a good start, but Pineiro attacked the Swiss driver into Turn 2, with Zanella subsequently going wide. 19-year-old Pineiro then took the lead while Bortolotti also found his way past into second.
Wind Tunnel SundayUPDATE Kevin Schwantz has had to cancel his Wind Tunnel appearance tonight due to a travel conflict. SPEED’s Scott Russell will take his place from the Indy MotoGP race.
08/27/11 Dave Despain will be back in the studio this Sunday fresh off his 5-week Arctic Adventure.
Featured Interview - Steve Letarte (Sprint CUP Crew Chief, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) Featured Interview - Kevin Schwantz (1993 MotoGP World Champion) Expert Analyst - Randy Pemberton (SPEED NASCAR Analyst) PLUS: - Lyn St. James (1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year)
This Week’s Races: · CUP, Nationwide, and Camping World Trucks in Bristol · F1 in Belgium · IndyCar in Sonoma, CA · MotoGP in Indianapolis · AMA Motocross in Southwick, MA
Mercedes backs inaugural Indian GP The Times of India is reporting that Mercedes-Benz India will be the official automotive sponsor of October's inaugural Indian Grand Prix. According to the report, the company will provide official cars at the event in New Delhi.
The newspaper quoted Manas Dewan, Mercedes-Benz India general manager, as saying: "Mercedes' association with Formula One goes back a long way. There is a huge market for this sport and India is no different. There is already a lot of excitement for the Indian Grand Prix and it will only increase by the day."
Tickets have just gone on sale for the October 30th race, which will be the first Formula One race in the country.
Hamilton: It was not my fault Even though his reckless driving results in wheel banging with other cars all the time, Lewis Hamilton does not believe he was at fault for the incident which ended his Belgian Grand Prix just over a quarter of the way through. After passing the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi, the McLaren attempted to take the racing line approaching Les Combes, although contact left the 2010 winner spearing into the Armco barrier.
“I'm not really quite sure, to be honest,” Hamilton told BBC Sport when asked to explain his version of events. “I just remember hitting in the wall and I hit the wall pretty hard. It’s a bit unfortunate for the team because we were in a good position.
“As far as I was concerned, I was ahead of whoever it was I was racing and then I got hit by and that was my race over. That's motor racing. There have been a lot of races where we haven't finished this year, so that is just another of them.
“For whatever reason, we were massively slow on the straights - massively, massively slow - and I guess that's really what got us into that position.”
(GMM) Red Bull had serious concerns about tires before finishing first and second in the Belgian grand prix.
That is the claim of team boss Christian Horner, who asked the FIA for permission prior to the Spa-Francorchamps race for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to be allowed to change their qualifying tires due to blistering damage.
Charlie Whiting, and leading rivals including McLaren and Ferrari, refused to oblige.
"It is a fantastic result but we had to be quite conservative," Briton Horner told German RTL television in Belgium.
Video: Hamilton Kobayashi Huge Race Accident at Spa Hamilton told BBC, "I'm not really quite sure what happened, to be honest. I just remember hitting in the wall - I hit the wall pretty hard. A bit unfortunate for the team – we were in a good position and as far as I was concerned I was ahead of whoever it was I was racing and then I just got hit by them and that was my race over. That's motor racing. There has been a lot of races where we haven't finished this year, so that's just another one of them. I think we were struggling. For whatever reason we were massively slow on the straight, massively, massively slow and I guess that's really what got us in the position really. Everyone was just pulling away from me on the straights and I was only able to keep up on the infield. I think we probably had a little bit too much downforce on. Nonetheless we were in a good position still – we were still able to challenge and I got past one of the Ferraris. We maybe have been able to have at least got a podium."
Senna documentary moves Kanaan Tony Kanaan still cries when he watches "Senna," the documentary on Formula One champion Ayrton Senna making its U.S. debut this week. The movie is showing at Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
"It's an amazing documentary," Kanaan said Saturday at Infineon Raceway, where the Izod IndyCar Series is racing. "It's like they knew he was going to die. It's so real."
The movie is filled with conversations with Senna, who died in a crash May 1, 1994, while leading the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Considerable attention is given to Senna's fierce rivalry with Alain Prost, particularly as they fought for world championships as McLaren teammates.
Equipment failure sent Senna's Williams car off the circuit in the Tamburello turn.
"I cried a lot the day that he died," said Kanaan, who was at the Imola track that weekend. "I went to his funeral, and I didn't even go to my dad's funeral. It's the only funeral I've ever been to."
Michael Andretti, who was Senna's teammate in 1993, hasn't seen the movie, but he rented the Keystone theater Tuesday night to take all Andretti Autosport employees. Indy Star
Stanaway shows if you are F1 material you can win in your GP3 debut
Pole sitter Richie Stanaway drove a brilliant race today to win on his GP3 Series debut weekend. The New Zealander finished 4.007 seconds ahead of his teammate James Calado to lead the second Lotus ART 1-2 of the weekend. The result ensured that Lotus ART sealed the teams’ title for the second season in a row with one round remaining.
When the lights went out Stanaway briefly lost the lead to Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller, but the young driver kept a cool head and fought back to regain his place at the front and from then on the race was sewn up. Stanaway built up a commanding lead, which was as much as 6.1 seconds midway through the race, to take the victory. Series contender Alexander Sims had another disappointing morning when a first lap clash ended his race prematurely.
Robby Gordon planning to start and park without more sponsorship Robby Gordon plans to start and park in all but three of the remaining Cup races unless he can get additional sponsorship, he said at Bristol Motor Speedway. Gordon said he planned to run the entire race at Chicago, Texas and Phoenix because he has enough sponsorship for those races. If he gets more sponsorship, he'll run more races. Gordon also continues to build the energy drink company he created to help fund his racing programs. So, wouldn't it be better if Gordon skipped some races and be better prepared for the ones he ran instead of starting and parking most of the time? "If you don't come to the race track, you don't learn,'' Gordon said. "If you don't come to the race track, I can't help it that we can't find a sponsor to pay for right now. I can't help that. I've tried. Trevor Bayne doesn't have any sponsors on his car and he won the Daytona 500. That's the reality of it. We've tried hard, and this is what I love to do, so I'm going to continue to fight the fight. Virginian-Pilot
When Martin Hines' mother said he could have a kart in a bid to end his desire to become a speedway rider, she didn't realize what she was starting. Her son went on to revolutionize and dominate karting as a driver and manufacturer. Along the way he discovered and nurtured F1 stars, including David Coulthard, Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Davidson, and future stars Gary Paffett and Oliver Rowland. He even introduced Princes William and Harry to the delights of karting.
Martin is the world's most successful kart driver with 17 major championships including three world titles and five European, the last of which he won at the age of 56 after beating cancer.
It’s time for Danica Patrick to build a resume on the racetrack
Danica Patrick is going to have to start winning races. Sex only sells so long in racing
If you didn’t know Danica Patrick was coming to NASCAR full time long before Thursday’s announcement in Phoenix made it official, you just weren’t paying attention.
From a marketing standpoint, Patrick’s move to stock cars embodies the same consummate logic with which she has built an indelible brand in the IndyCar Series. Quite simply, it was time to find greener pastures. Green, as in the color of money.
To be blunt, the bloom is off Patrick’s rose in IndyCars. Patrick’s only win in 111 starts came three years ago in Japan. She has shown no fondness for or mastery of the road courses that make up a substantial portion of the schedule.
Luca Filippi sprints to Spa victory Luca Filippi snatched a second win in the 2011 season at the wheel of the Scuderia Coloni car in an action packed sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Italian who drove flawlessly from P5 on the starting grid was joined by Jules Bianchi and Josef Kral on the podium.
As the lights went off, poleman of the day Kral made a perfect start to keep the lead, but it was Johnny Cecotto who made the strongest impression on the rest of the field. The Venezuelan chose the right side of the straight line from P9 to pass Fairuz Fauzy on the inside of Turn 1 and take P2. Further down, Filippi overtook both Dani Clos and Fairuz Fauzy to come out in third place at the end of the first lap.
As Kral stayed in control and built up a 2.9s gap with Cecotto, the Ocean driver was fighting hard to keep an overzealous Filippi at bay. The Italian passed the Venezuelan at Eau Rouge, but Cecotto fought back and regained his position quickly. Behind the battling duo, the action was just as intense with Bianchi overtaking Clos on the last corner, the Spaniard having just lost a position to newly crowned GP2 Series Champion Romain Grosjean. At the entrance of Turn 1, Bianchi made a move on Grosjean but ran a bit too wide and lost a position to Clos.
HRC clarify position on racing at Suzuka After sections of the media misunderstood comments made by HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Racing Corporation would like to clarify its position on the possibility of hosting the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka instead of Motegi.
In an open call with International media on Monday 15th August in Brno, Nakamoto stated that, although he personally likes the Suzuka circuit layout, it would not be possible to race there instead of Motegi because the circuit does not hold the correct FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) homologation to host a MotoGP race.
GP2 Series: Romain, congratulations. You are the 2011 GP2 Series Champion. How does that sound?
Romain Grosjean: Finally! It’s just fantastic. We’ve had a really hard season with such a high level of drivers and teams. I think that professionally and personally, this has been a very important season. The team Dams has been really open-minded to listen to me and my suggestions. They worked really hard. They work very hard I can tell you. We made some mistakes. Sometime they made them, other times I made them. That’s normal in a season. But at the end of the day, we managed to get everything right in the last four races. It’s true that I have had a bit of luck as well, but in every championship, you need to get that as well to make the difference. Today I am very pleased. I can see that the team is very emotional and that’s important for a driver to feel that everyone is behind him. It has been a very special season...
GP2 Series: How important is this title in your career?
Romain Grosjean: I want to say that at the beginning of the season, my management did not tell me to win the Series. I’m a bit older than some of the drivers and I have more experience so my personal goal was to grab the title. But I knew also that I wanted to push Dams and help them to get back at the top. What they were missing when we started working together is not missing anymore. And I think they are the strongest team of the Series this season. I am proud of what we have accomplished. I wanted this title very much because it was missing in my career. Now it’s in the pocket. It’s an amazing feeling.
Randy Bernard brings Buzz, Excitement back to IndyCar
The racing circuit has lost millions of fans since the 1990s. Bickering among racing teams, track owners and promoters robbed the industry of energy and direction. The field was embarrassingly mediocre some days. Your grandmother could qualify.
Stands are often empty. Tracks lose money. Too many of the sport's remaining fans are old. The sport needs promotion, innovation, sponsorship and TV time.
I don't know whether Randy Bernard will bring the IndyCar circuit back to the roaring days of A.J. Foyt and the Unser family. But the former bull-riding impresario is changing the rules, creating buzz, selling the sport to new audiences and making it part of the 2010s instead of the 1970s.
Tristan Vautier wins Star Mazda pole in Sonoma French racer Tristan Vautier, the current points leader in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, set the tone for the weekend with the quick time in both of yesterday's pre-qualifying practice sessions for Round 9 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. And in this afternoon's qualifying session, he and the JDC Motorsports team orchestrated his fourth pole of the season with a perfectly-timed tire change and a clear lap, resulting in a track record time of 1:28.516 in the #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda.
"Qualifying was very tight and I have to thank the JDC team for giving me a good car and exactly the right strategy on tire change and the timing of my quick lap," said Vautier. "The track is quite hard on tires, and it will change a lot between qualifying and this afternoon's race because of the temperature, so we have to decide if we make any adjustments or leave the car as it is. It's going to be a very intense race and to win you must do not only drive fast, but do everything exactly right. This is very hard, but the team is working very well together and we feel confident."
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) has yet to finish on the podium in two career starts at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, but his new pole position record of 1'38.850 indicates that may soon be changing. The Australian will start from pole position for the seventh time in the 2011 season.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from pole least year, qualified second behind Stoner with a 1'39.373, while Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) bettered his morning pace with a new bike set up by nearly one second with a best lap of 1'39.629, giving him the final spot on the front row.
Some things never change. As you walk around the hospitality and pit areas at an IZOD IndyCar race you can still find Mario Andretti signing autographs more than five decades since he drove his first racecar in competitive open wheel racing.
Andretti, the most versatile American racecar driver in history, is at age 71, theoretically, long retired. But that's hard to prove.
Over four decades beginning in the 1960s he won four Indy Car championships and became the only driver in motorsports history to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), the Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (1978).
He won 52 Indy Car races (second on the all-time list) and set numerous Indy Car records that still stand — including pole positions won (67), race-laps led (7,595) and most career Top-3 finishes (144).
And now he's excited to return to Baltimore — a city he has long visited to quench his love for crabs — for next weekend's first Baltimore Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas stamped his authority on the 2011 GP3 Series once again this afternoon with a commanding win in Race 1. The Finn finished 6.495 seconds ahead of his teammate and pole sitter James Calado to lead a Lotus ART 1-2.
When the lights went out Bottas pulled away well to snatch the lead of the 12-lap race from Calado. Behind the ART duo Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs put a move on Melker exiting La Source hairpin to take third, and the Series contenders then entered into a furious battle for the final podium spot. Title contender Alexander Sims made a storming start moving up from sixteenth to ninth by the end of lap one.
Vietoris wins as Grosjean seals the 2011 GP2 Series title It’s a beautiful day in Spa for Christian Vietoris and Romain Grosjean: the German racer drove flawlessly in tricky conditions to take his first win of the season while the Frenchman clinched the seventh GP2 Series title after he finished third in today’s feature race. Jules Bianchi finished second.
The track was dry at the start of the race today in Spa, and Vietoris got away perfectly from pole position. The German then kept the lead, building a two second gap between him and his closest rival Bianchi who had passed Luca Filippi at the start. Further down, Grosjean made a blazing start from seventh to take third place. With the news of title rival Giedo van der Garde being pushed off track at Turn 1 and him rejoining last, Grosjean’s road to glory looked wide open from then on.
The weather forecast announced some rain to come and the teams chose to stay out on track as long as possible until the heavens opened. On lap 13, as the first raindrops fell from the sky, some of the drivers from the back of the field re-entered the pits to switch to wet weather tires, and a lap later, everyone else pitted as well. The Top ten rejoined the track in the same order, and it was then that the safety car came out after Julian Leal spun and stopped at the top of Eau Rouge.
Ramon Pineiro secured his second successive win in the FIA Formula Two Championship after dominating the first race at the Red Bull Ring today (Saturday).
The 19-year-old Spaniard started on pole, made a great start and never looked back as he comfortably built a lead at the front. Austro-Italian Mirko Bortolotti finished second to increase his lead at the top of the drivers' standings, while Mihai Marinescu finally claimed his maiden F2 podium after holding off a charging Alex Brundle.
NASCAR tightening up technical rules A new NASCAR rule, or rather a stricter interpretation of the rules, was just issued to Sprint Cup teams. And reaction is mixed among crew chiefs, who worry the new rule - in part designed as a cost-limiting rule -- might further inhibit technological innovation on the stock car racing trail. The new rule requires teams to submit not only all car parts for pre-race week inspection at the sport's Concord, N.C., R&D center but also to submit all 'tweaks' in designs. The rule is in part a response to:
• the oil-pan issues the Joe Gibbs teams had in June at Michigan, where all three teams showed up Friday with a new oil pan design which NASCAR officials didn't like. • the Clint Bowyer/2010 playoff controversy over the chassis design of his Loudon, N.H. race car. • and three, the possibility that a team could slip into the chase with a good run at Richmond (the last race of the regular season) by using a car with unapproved modifications not discovered until well after the race.
The new rule further tightens the technological 'box' that Cup teams must work within these days. And teams have long complained about how tight that box already is. NASCAR Cup director John Darby says "It's just a better way to do business - before a car owner has to invest a lot of money in a part, we can approve it, because they make the big investment. MikeMulhern.net
Simon Pagenaud was called up by HVM to stand in for its regular driver, Switzerland's Simona De Silvestro, during practice for IndyCar's Sonoma Grand Prix yesterday (Friday). Simona was held up by a technical problem with US Customs at the airport on her return to the country after visiting her family in Europe. The young lady driver will replace Simon once she arrives at the Californian circuit. Simon Pagenaud was in Spain testing for Peugeot Sport when he was contacted by his manager Derrick Walker who told him that HVM's Keith Wiggins would need his services to drive the N°78 Dallara.
"Driving racing cars is my job, and it's a job I love," said the French driver as he arrived in the paddock at Sonoma. "Everybody knows that I want to race in IndyCar next year, so I'm up for any opportunity I can get to drive, especially when it's for such a good team as HVM…"
08/26/11 On Thursday, HVM Racing was forced to make a quick and smart decision as its star driver, Simona De Silvestro, experienced travel complications coming back to the United States from her home country of Switzerland.
After testing at Infineon Raceway last week with other drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series, De Silvestro traveled home to visit with family and friends. Upon trying to return to the U.S., she encountered a technical issue with CBP. The team is now working diligently to resolve the issues but at the same time, does not want to risk missing valuable track time.
Kentucky Speedway buying land for more parking The rows of tobacco and corn growing on land across from Kentucky Speedway will be replaced next year by rows of cars. This week the speedway bought a large tract near Ky. 35 in Gallatin County from Jo Wischer. The 84-year-old Florence resident wouldn't talk Thursday about how much the speedway paid - which according to a deed filed with the Gallatin County Clerk's office was $1.5 million - for the "couple hundred acres," but said she knows how it intends to use the property. "The speedway will be taking care of parking with it," Wischer said. A fleet of earth-moving equipment was staged next to the weather-beaten tobacco barn on the 219-acre property formerly owned by Wischer. The tract includes 144 acres north of Interstate 71. Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger declined comment Thursday except to say that details would be forthcoming next week. Cincinnati Enquirer
Video: Tom Cruise turns laps in Formula One carUPDATE
08/23/11 Tom Cruise may have made a name in motorsports as NASCAR driver Cole Trickle from the 1990 film ‘Days of Thunder’, but last week the actor turned laps in a very different racecar as he got behind the wheel of a Red Bull Racing F1 car at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in California.
Cruise spent last Monday driving the car under the guidance of former Formula One driver David Coulthard of Great Britain.
“Tom’s the real deal. I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver,” Coulthard told RedBull.com. “His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is.”
James Calado takes maiden GP3 pole James Calado took his first GP3 pole position for Lotus ART after an epic battle for pole position at Spa-Francorchamps today. The British driver finished just 0.088 seconds ahead of his teammate and Series leader Valtteri Bottas proving that the reigning champions are still the team to beat this season.
Heavy rain overnight meant the drivers faced difficult conditions for this morning’s qualifying. The weather is notoriously changeable at the Belgium track, and in the end it came down to which team had the best tire strategy. The track was damp but drying when the lights turned green, and the field headed out on track on wet weather tires.
Pineiro beats Bortolotti for pole in Austria Ramon Pineiro claimed pole position for today's (Saturday) first FIA Formula Two race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring after putting in a late surge to fend off Mirko Bortolotti and Christopher Zanella.
The top three were covered by 0.212 seconds in the closely fought session which also saw the top 10 covered by a mere second. Romanian Mihai Marinescu qualified fourth, with Alex Brundle's late effort securing him fifth place for today's round 11 which gets underway at 13:45 (local time). Miki Monras starts sixth while Luciano Bacheta on his F2 debut qualified an impressive seventh.
Once again the drivers' were greeted with glorious sunshine at the newly revived 4.3km Austrian track with Marinescu leading the way followed by Zanella and Austro-Italian Bortolotti.
Webber tops drenched final practice in Belgium Mark Webber has remained at the top of the timesheets in what was a saturated final practice session at Spa on Saturday morning. After a selection of drivers took turns to lead the way, the Australian headed Lewis Hamilton as Alguersuari, Button and Vettel completed the top five. Saving tires, Ferrari ended the period in 23rd and 24th places.
On his 35th birthday and now re-signed with Red Bull until the end of the 2012 season, Webber led the way with a lap time of 2:08.988, with the track continuing to dry after heavy rain soaked the circuit once again. The first times, set by the Toro Rosso duo, came half an hour into the session and were 22 seconds slower than the leading pace of yesterday.
Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce that Mark Webber’s contract has been extended for another year, meaning the Australian will continue to drive for the team in 2012.
Mark Webber said: “I want to continue racing at the top in Formula One so it’s a no-brainer to remain at Red Bull Racing for another year. My motivation to achieve the best results possible both for myself and the team is still very high. Over the past five years, we have worked hard and proved that we can design and build a competitive and championship-winning car, and I’m looking forward to putting the car and myself on the limit again each and every race weekend in 2012.”
Christian Horner said: “When we sat down and started talking about 2012, it was immediately obvious that Mark and the team wanted to continue our successful relationship. This meant agreeing an extension for 2012 was very straightforward. Mark knows the team well, having been with us since 2007, and his motivation, fitness and commitment is as high as it has ever been. The pairing of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel is a very strong one, they push each other hard and we are extremely happy the pairing will remain unchanged for a fourth season.”
Stoner: 'Indy worse track we race on' MotoGP Championship leader Casey Stoner, who was quickest during the afternoon on Friday at Indy, said that the surface was the worst of any MotoGP circuit.
"This afternoon the track was slightly better and of course the lap times improved with more bikes on track and cleaning it up, but I'm still not comfortable on this surface," he said.
"It's incredibly slippery and the track is certainly my least favorite of the whole season. It's very tight, slippery and the new surface is pretty bad, it's not just the dirt on the surface but there seems to be something strange where the two surfaces join, some grease of some sort that creates more issues."
So if the riders don't like it we expect MotoGP will not renew their contract with the Speedway and the two USA races will be Monterey, CA and Austin, Texas. So what should replace MotoGP on the Indy road course. Without a doubt the IndyCars. The Speedway is the birthplace of Indy Cars. The Indy 500 on the oval in May, and the race on the road course, in say, September, would be two totally different races, but it would showcase the diversity of IndyCars and you could expect at least 100,000 for the road course race, which would be a big success. Therefore, IndyCar won't do it. They prefer to invite the Grand-Am cars, which are so slow it's like watching paint dry. Instead they will choose to race in Fontana, Milwaukee or Chicagoland where you could shoot a cannon into the grandstands and not hit anyone.
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