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DATE News (chronologically)
08/30/12
irl
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Andretti ready to see how many fans show up for GP of Baltimore  Michael Andretti, wearing his promoter's hat, stopped for a chat in the Baltimore Convention Center on Thursday afternoon. The IndyCar owner, who has taken on the job of organizing the Grand Prix of Baltimore this weekend through his company Andretti Sports Marketing, looked relaxed.

"We're as ready as we've ever been for any event that we've ever done," he said when asked about preparations for the weekend festivities that kick off Friday morning when the gates open at 7:30 a.m. "The track is on schedule. It's all good."

Or, it's almost all good. There is one mystery yet to be solved. More ...

08/30/12
USAC
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Video: 500 Miles by Heywood Banks  Video about the Indy 500 put together by ESPN.

08/30/12
irl
INDYCAR Fast Forward: Sonoma  High energy highlights from the 2012 GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.

08/30/12
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Zach Veach, 17, moving up the ladder in Indy car racing  
Zach Veach
Everyone knows there are major differences between 17-year-old race car drivers and 30-something race car drivers. But it couldn't be better illustrated than the activity of Star Mazda driver Zach Veach Wednesday and IndyCar drivers Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who are in the midst of a championship fight during this Grand Prix of Baltimore weekend.

Wednesday afternoon, Power, 31, spent his time doing media interviews at a luncheon in downtown Baltimore, while Hunter-Reay, who will be 32 in December, also took the opportunity to take a nap before getting ready for a sponsor activity Wednesday evening. More ...

08/30/12
f1
Q and A with McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh  
Martin Whitmarsh
Fresh from Formula One racing’s annual summer break, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh can’t wait for the on-track action to begin this weekend in Belgium. During a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 'Phone-In' session on Thursday, Whitmarsh discussed the close battle for the title, upgrades and the thorny issue of team orders…

Q: McLaren had a great couple of races just before the summer break. What do you think prompted the turnaround for the team and will you be able to carry that forward?
Martin Whitmarsh:
I hope so - and I believe that we can. But I think, as we’ve said a few times this year, this season is very difficult to predict. There are a number of reasons for this. We came out of the box fairly quickly, arguably slipped a little bit behind and we have pulled back up again. We have got to be aware that Formula One this season, with relatively stable regulations, is extremely competitive. More ...
08/30/12
TV News
Wind Tunnel Sunday  Wind Tunnel will be LIVE an hour earlier this Sunday, 8:00pm ET.

Bob Varsha will co-host with Dave Despain in the Wind Tunnel studio. Robin Miller will have a report from the IndyCar race in Baltimore, MD.

In addition, we’ll talk to NHRA Funny Car rookie, Courtney Force, who is on the verge of clinching a spot in the ‘Countdown to the Championship’ in just her first season driving nitro funny cars for her dad, 15-time Funny Car champ, John Force. Courtney is currently 6th in the standings and has one win on the season. The series will be in Indianapolis this weekend for their biggest event of the year, the 58th Annual U.S. Nationals. More ...

08/30/12
nassprint
RPM to return in 2013  Richard Petty Motorsports will remain a part of the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 despite a loss of manufacturer money and limited sponsorship, the co-owner told ESPN.com. Petty said he hopes to have a new deal with Ford in the next three weeks, but acknowledged it probably won't be as good financially since much of the manufacturer's money that went to RPM is going to Penske Racing. Penske is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Petty did say that RPM currently has enough sponsorship to put two Cup cars on the track next year. "We've always been here, so we're going to be here,'' the Hall of Fame driver said. Petty wasn't so adamant on whether his driver lineup -- Marcos Ambrose in the #9 and Aric Almirola in the famed #43 -- would remain the same. Ambrose appears safe -- he's won this year and is safely inside the top 20 in points at 16th. Almirola signed a one-year deal and is 22nd in points. "We'll see," Petty said on his driver lineup. "Right now, everything we've got going is in the air, just like it has been the last three or four years." ESPN
08/30/12
f1
Alonso: Rain would be better for Ferrari  Fernando Alonso says a wet race may offer Ferrari a better chance of victory in Belgium, with the Spaniard remaining cautious over his team's potential in dry conditions. Ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix, the double World Champion holds a 40-point lead over Red Bull's Mark Webber in the Drivers' standings.

"When your car is competitive and you are good on that weekend, maybe a dry race is better because it is more consistent," he explained during Thursday's Shell media gathering.

"If you are quick you are 99 percent on the podium, which would be a good result for us already. If you are not competitive, I am sure wet conditions are a help because you can do more, like choose the right tire at the right moment. More ...

08/30/12
f1
Salazar named as driver steward for Belgium  Eliseo Salazar has been revealed as the FIA's driver steward for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, aiding the decision making process for on-track incidents.

Hailing from Santiago, Chile, Salazar's Formula 1 career spanned from 1981-83, during which time he drove for March, Ensign, ATS and RAM. His best result was a fifth place finish at the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix, a race won by Didier Pironi.

Salazar has also contested IRL and WRC events, plus taken part in the Dakar Rally and 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2000, Salazar picked up a podium finish in the Indy 500.

08/30/12
f1
Rivals scoff at Alonso's 'not favorite' claim  (GMM)  Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on Thursday scoffed at Fernando Alonso's claim he is not the runaway favorite for the 2012 title.

With Ferrari's Alonso commanding a 40-point lead over his chasers with now less than half the season to go, the Spaniard insisted at Spa that his car is "clearly the slowest" compared to the Red Bull and McLaren.

"We have a points advantage, but a performance disadvantage, so I don't think we are any favorite," said Alonso.

McLaren's Hamilton smiled as he suggested his former teammate is playing an obvious psychological game. More ...

08/30/12
f1
Video: F1 car unleashed on streets of NJ  Red Bull Racing's Show Car recently completed a second All-American adventure. Driven by David Coulthard, the 2011 Championship-winning RB7 toured Liberty State Park and its spectacular views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The RB7 then moved on to one of the main arteries linking New York and New Jersey - the Lincoln Tunnel. Wrapping up its American vacation, the RB7 became the first Formula One car to lay rubber on the Grand Prix of America streets in West New York and Weehawken, New Jersey, bringing residents out of their homes to catch the historic sight.

08/30/12
wec
Date change for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours  The 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours will take place on 22-23 June. It is a very important running of the greatest endurance race in the world as it will celebrate its 90th anniversary! The test day will now be held on Sunday 9th June.

The dates of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, initially scheduled for 15-16 June, have been put back by a week at the request of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in order to harmonize the world calendar of motor racing events.

Thus, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the FIA’s partner in the World Endurance Championship, has decided to put back the blue riband event on its own calendar by seven days. More ...

08/30/12
f1
Russian gov't no longer backing Petrov - manager  (GMM)  Vitaly Petrov's manager has admitted the Russian driver's F1 career is hanging in the balance.

Oksana Kosachenko, who has managed the 27-year-old's career at Renault and Caterham since 2010, told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that the government has pulled its financial backing.

The R-Sport website said Petrov has lost the government-linked sponsors Russian Helicopters and Lada.

"We have now lost government support," Kosachenko is quoted as saying. More ...

08/30/12
f1
Whiting admits Schumacher drive-through wrong in Hungary  
Michael Schumacher screwed in Hungary
(GMM)  Charlie Whiting has admitted Michael Schumacher should not have been given a drive-through penalty in Hungary recently.

After the Mercedes driver stopped his engine after lining up in the wrong grid spot, he then sped in the pitlane to await the re-start.

Stewards gave Schumacher, 43, a drive-through penalty for the speeding, but FIA race director Whiting has now admitted the punishment was wrong, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. More ...

08/30/12
Racing News
It took racing world to innovate a new, safer football helmet  
Kudos to Chip Ganassi
(SI.com) Here's a question for you: What was the last innovation in football helmets? If you can't come up with an answer, you realize part of the problem. Yes, there have been improvements -- better padding, weight reduction, and such -- but little in the way of true innovation.

It took an outsider to even try. Simpson-Ganassi Helmets is located a few miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in a non-descript warehouse along with a number of other racing outfits. If you're a racing fan, especially IndyCar, those names will be instantly familiar to you. Bill Simpson is a long-time innovator in racing equipment, known as the "Godfather of Safety," while Chip Ganassi owns racing teams that have won at Indy and Daytona. Together, they've set up a company to apply Simpson's years of experience in racing equipment to the modern football helmet. More ...

08/30/12
irl
2012 Virtual Lap: Baltimore GP  Watch a virtual lap of Baltimore. Thanks to Immersion Media for the video.

08/30/12
f1
The challenge of Spa  
Spa
The Belgian Grand Prix is the first of the final nine races, which fly at the sport in an incredible 13 frenetic weeks. As Renault Sport F1 engine engineer David Lamb explains, there is perhaps no greater challenge on the calendar than the one facing F1’s power units at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.

“The challenge of Spa really is Eau Rouge and Raidillon,” he divulges. “The compression at the bottom of Eau Rouge isn’t a massive problem as the vertical g-forces squash everything in the car down, so all the fluids are pushed down. This ensures that the pick-ups at the bottom of the oil and fuel tanks are covered. The problem comes at the crest at Raidillon, when the vertical G makes the car go light and your stomach feels like it’s going to come out of your mouth. That’s the biggest problem, because the vertical G lifts the fluids up and that can expose the fuel pump and the oil system entry. More ...

08/30/12
motogp
Casey Stoner undergoes successful surgery  Today in Australia, Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner received surgery to his ankle, which was damaged after his crash in qualifying for the Indianapolis GP 12 days ago.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Lam's team in Sydney's North Shore Private Hospital. Doctors are pleased with how the operation went, and now must wait during this initial recuperation period to see how the ankle is healing.

With no complications or need for Casey to stay in hospital, he has returned home and HRC will endeavor to share information on Casey's recovery as it is known.

08/30/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

Melanie Fiona and Sebastien Vettel
08/30/12
  • Vettel must qualify better for 2012 title - Marko
  • Danner thinks Schumacher has agreed new deal
  • No testing means 'no bright stars' in F1 - Domenicali
  • 'Kicked by Piquet' Salazar to be Spa steward
  • Sebastian Vettel stars alongside Melanie Fiona in 'Watch me Work' New
  • Wet start in Belgium New More ...
08/30/12
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Chinese driver Fong joins Firestone Indy Lights  UPDATE
IndyCar will need a Chinese driver like Fong if it plans to give a race in China another try
Adderly Fong Chun-Yu, born March 2, 1990, is a Hong Kong Chinese racing driver. His career started in 2004. He is currently competing in the British Formula Three Championship with Sino Vision Racing and AutoGP with Ombra Racing.

08/29/12 Brooks Associates Racing will rejoin Firestone Indy Lights, fielding its No. 8 car for Hong Kong driver Adderly Fong in this weekend's Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Fong, a veteran of British Formula 3, Auto GP and sports car racing, will make his U.S. racing debut with the team in hopes of racing in Firestone Indy Lights full time in 2013.

"My team and I remain dedicated to helping drivers compete in the U.S. and I'm thrilled that Adderly has joined us for this race," said team owner John Brooks. "He did really well in the test, and is a strong competitor for the series."

08/29/12
automotive
Montezemolo predicts record Ferrari sales, profit this year  Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said demand for the company's supercars continues to rise despite the debt crisis in Europe, fears of a new recession in the United States and a slowdown in China's economy.

"From the latest data I've seen, we are on track to make this year another record year," Montezemolo told Automotive News Europe here on Monday

In 2011, Ferrari set new highs for unit sales (7,195) and operating profit (321 million euros), resulting in a 14 percent operating margin. Through June, Ferrari's sales were up 7 percent to 3,664 compared with the first six months of 2011. More than a quarter of Ferrari's first-half sales were in the United States. More ...

08/29/12
nhra
NHRA Announces 2013 Schedule  
Date Track Location
Feb. 14-17 Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 22-24 Firebird Int'l Raceway Chandler, Ariz.
March 14-17 Auto-Plus Raceway Gainesville, Fla.
April 5-7 The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, Nev.
April 19-21 zMAX Dragway Concord, N.C.
April 26-28 Royal Purple Raceway Baytown, Texas
May 3-5 Atlanta Dragway Commerce, Ga.
May 17-19 Heartland Park Topeka Topeka, Kan.
May 30-June 2 Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Englishtown, N.J.
June 14-16 Bristol Dragway Bristol, Tenn.
June 20-23 New England Dragway Epping, N.H.
June 27-30 Route 66 Raceway Joliet, Ill.
July 4-7 Summit Motorsports Park Norwalk, Ohio
July 19-21 Bandimere Speedway Denver, Colo.
July 26-28 Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 2-4 Pacific Raceways Kent, Wash.
Aug. 15-18 Brainerd Int'l Raceway Brainerd, Minn.
Aug. 28-Sept. 2 Lucas Oil Raceway Clermont, Ind.
Sept. 13-15 zMAX Dragway Concord, N.C.
Sept. 19-22 Texas Motorplex Ennis, Texas
Sept. 27-29 Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Ill.
Oct. 3-6 Maple Grove Raceway Mohnton, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 7-10 Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Pomona, Calif.
08/29/12
nassprint
Earnhardt Jr. wrecks in Kansas testing  Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was treated and released from the Infield Care Center at Kansas Speedway this morning Wednesday, August 29, after a hard crash during the second day of a scheduled Goodyear tire test at the speedway. Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports Chevy reportedly suffered a right-front tire failure and made heavy contact with the outside wall. The car was severely damaged, but Earnhardt walked from the Infield Care Center under his own power. He is one of eight drivers testing on the newly repaved 1.5-mile tri-oval today, as Goodyear researches a new tire compound for use at the speedway. In addition to replacing the track's aging asphalt, crews reworked its 15-degree banking to new, variable degree banking ranging from 17-20 degrees. Godfather Motorsports
08/29/12
irl
IndyCar remove P2P delay  INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, has removed the activation delay to the overtake assist for this weekend's Grand Prix of Baltimore.

The push-to-pass system has been utilized at Toronto and Edmonton with an activation delay of 5 seconds introduced at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 5. The delay was reduced to 3.5 seconds for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 26. The system will have no delay for the final road/street race of the 2012 season at Baltimore. More ...

08/29/12
f1
Verstappen to make racing return in October  
Verstappen
Jos Verstappen will return to racing at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 R in October, competing in an invitational GT race on the streets of Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan. The 40-year-old, whose Formula 1 career spanned eight seasons and included two podium finishes, hopes that it could lead to further outings in the future.

"It seems like an exciting challenge," said Verstappen. "I had to think about it, but it sounds interesting. GT racing is booming internationally, so perhaps it will provide a good perspective on the future. If I like it, maybe there will be something afterwards." More ...

08/29/12
racing news
Jarett Andretti Earns Oswego Speedway Rookie of Year Honors  Jarett Andretti, the third-generation racer, keeps collecting accolades in his young, but fast-paced racing career. His latest award is the Rookie of the Year Award at the famed Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway in the ultra-fast supermodified class. Jarett, grandson of Aldo and son of John Andretti, has competed at the track all summer while also racing other short track racers such as 410 non-wing sprint cars and midgets in Indiana on both pavement and dirt. His experience in both New York and Indiana has Andretti eager for more.

"It already has been a great year for me with a lot of new racing experiences," said Andretti. "We started in January racing in the 24 Hours of Daytona and this summer I have lived out of my suitcase going from Indiana to New York racing the fastest short track cars in the world. I've really learned a lot this summer, especially racing with cars with a lot more horsepower. Winning the Rookie of The Year Award at Oswego is just a bonus." More ...

08/29/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

Petrov
08/29/12
  • Manager warns Petrov may quit F1
  • Button tips Hamilton to stay at McLaren
  • Title chase entering decisive phase at Spa - Lauda
  • Massa ousting 'inevitable' now - Zanardi
  • Manager denies Hulkenberg not paid in 2012
  • Marussia to use Williams KERS in 2013 New
  • New Jersey race will be 'like a three-day Super Bowl' New More ...
08/29/12
f1
Q&A with Pat Symonds  
Pat Symonds
Q: Talk us through the highlights of the 2012 season so far from the Marussia F1 Team point of view.

Pat: I think our season has been one of continual improvement. We can certainly say that the start of the season was very difficult for us and from that we have experienced a lot of new heights - getting our wind tunnel program working, delivering performance to the car in a cost-effective way, improving our procedures. It is important to remember that we’re a very new team, and therefore there is an awful lot to be addressed. But I think rather than a single highlight there is just a continual improvement - a slow march forward towards the leaders and our direct competitors. Those are the things that give us some confidence in where we are heading. More ...

08/29/12
nassprint
Stewart: "Not bad for a 41-year old who doesn't work out"  
Stewart throws his helmet with two hands like a girl
Tony Stewart got to drive a tank Tuesday afternoon, and chuckled a little at the obvious jokes about whether he wanted to roll over a Matt Kenseth car or if the tank could shoot helmets.

The jokes came at Stewart’s expense, three days after Stewart threw his helmet at Kenseth’s car after they wrecked battling for the lead Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stewart’s helmet hit the hood of Kenseth’s car.

A little surprised at the attention his helmet toss Saturday night generated—and very much over it—Stewart could joke a little about his helmet-tossing ability while also trying to cool any talk of a Stewart-Kenseth rivalry. More ...

08/29/12
nassprint
Kansas Speedway Goodyear Tire Test  Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams took to the newly reconfigured Kansas Speedway today and the reviews are in  and they have been pretty positive as teams navigate the variable banking for the first time. "I think they did a really nice job repaving," said Matt Kenseth. "Drivers aren't huge fans of repaves, especially being the first ones on the track, by this afternoon the cars were more comfortable on the track. I think the repave is awesome." Regan Smith agreed. "We've seen quite a few of these this year already. They did a pretty good job with this one."

For Dale Earnhardt Jr., the day was about getting some time on the track. "It's nice to get out on the track. It's nice to see the track. I like this place," said Earnhardt, Jr. "The banking will add speed to the race track and one and two definitely have more banking. This should be a fast little race track."
Kenseth, who holds the track record of 180.856 mph set back in 2005, expects a new track record this fall. "We're already running, the last lap was 30.30 or something," said Kenseth. "You know it's going to be faster when everybody runs in qualifying runs. I expect it to be the high 28s in a qualifying run." More ...
08/28/12
nassprint
All is well at the Hillbilly Thunderdome  Famed promoter and showman P.T. Barnum would have been delighted by the Saturday night extravaganza at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Track owner Bruton Smith and his lieutenants certainly were.

After much hand-wringing and debate among drivers and fans over the alterations to the track configuration, the IRWIN Tools Night Race produced all the crowd-pleasing elements of the circus big-top.

In addition to the pre-race suspense and theatrics, there were 13 cautions, 13 different leaders and all sorts of drama.

It’s a testament to the talent level of the NASCAR stars that they were able to adapt so quickly to the changes. More ...

08/28/12
irl
IndyCar teeters, despite excellent racing on the track  As I reminded my readers in a "Fumes" column (on Autoextremist.com) a couple of months ago (June 6, 2012), IndyCar is once again teetering on the brink of open dissension, or at least shaky ground, as animosity between the team owners and the series leader has boiled to the surface. Thanks to Robin Miller's consistently laser-sharp reporting, it is apparent that a few IndyCar owners want IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard out, suggesting that his lack of fundamental knowledge of the sport has finally caught up with him and that it's time for a change. Now I happen to think Randy Bernard has done a superb job given the circumstances and the mountain of crap he inherited, but could he stand to have a right-hand guy with deep connections to the sport? Yes, of course. And with the addition of that person I think Randy should be given every opportunity to finish the job he signed up to do. More ...
08/28/12
automotive
Fired CEO Bahar Files Claim Against Lotus  Dany Bahar, sacked as chief executive officer of unprofitable British sports-car maker Group Lotus Plc. in June, filed a claim against the company and its Malaysian parent DRB-Hicom Bhd. (DRB) for wrongful dismissal. 

Bahar, 40, is seeking 6.7 million pounds ($10.6 million) from Lotus for alleged unlawful early termination of his employment, DRB said in a Kuala Lumpur stock exchange filing yesterday. The Malaysian company’s lawyers in the U.K. were notified of the claim on Aug. 23, it said. More ...

08/28/12
irl
Chevy Previews the Baltimore GP  For the final time this season, the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 teams and drivers will take on the challenges of street-course racing in the Grand Prix of Baltimore on the Streets of Baltimore. With Chevrolet clinching the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship at Sonoma, and Will Power claiming his third consecutive Road Course Championship title, the battle for the overall Driver’s Championship and Oval Championship will take center stage in the two remaining races.

"Congratulations to Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske on their win at Sonoma Raceway,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “With that ninth victory of the season, Chevrolet was able to clinch the IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers' Championship. We are proud of the accomplishment for Chevrolet, our technical partners and all of our teams that have put in a tremendous effort in our return to IndyCar competition. More ...

08/28/12
irl
Junqueira to Substitute for Newgarden in Grand Prix of Baltimore  
Bruno Junqueira
Veteran Bruno Junqueira will drive the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Baltimore as a substitute for the team’s full-time driver, Josef Newgarden, who was injured in last weekend’s IZOD IndyCar Series race in Sonoma, Calif.

Newgarden had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken left index finger suffered in a violent crash on lap 65 of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. He and team officials are focused on the IZOD IndyCar Series 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway, September 15 for his return. More ...

08/28/12
irl
Zanardi eyes Indy 500 go  Alex Zanardi has again expressed interested in racing in the Indianapolis 500, an event he never took part in despite his huge success in Indy car racing.

The former grand prix driver, who lost his legs in a Champ Car crash at the Lausitzring in 2001, is about to compete for Italy in the handbike categories at the London Paralympics next month. Although fully focused on his current ambitions, Zanardi says he is open to a return to racing for the first time since 2009 – either in a top-line series like DTM or in a big event like the Indy 500. More ...

08/28/12
fil
Swift Files 2014 Indy Lights Proposal  Of the primary companies vying for the contract to build the next-generation Firestone Indy Lights car, California-based Swift Engineering has a lot of positives for the Firestone Indy Lights Series to consider.

Of the three potential Indy Lights constructors SPEED.com has chronicled so far, Swift is the only outfit with an existing, turnkey solution to offer for the car that’s due to arrive for the 2014 season, and also ticks the “Made in America” box the series desires. More ...

08/28/12
irl
alms
Grand Prix Of Baltimore Attendance Expected To Be Down From '11  Grand Prix of Baltimore organizers said that they "expect attendance to be down for this year's race." Race GM Tim Mayer said sales for the Labor Day race are "not completely dissimilar to last year" at this point. Mayer "declined to say how many tickets have been sold at this year’s Grand Prix." Organizers also "advertised tickets at a reduced rate on Aug. 21 through online discount site Living Social," and the site sold "nearly 5,000 tickets to the race," at prices ranging from $9-90 BIZJOURNALS.com
08/28/12
nassprint
NASCAR Bristol TV Rating  UPDATE ABC’s live telecast of Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was the most-viewed summer race at Bristol for ESPN or ABC and earned a 3.7 final rating, averaging 5,905,051 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.

The viewership mark was set despite the race being pre-empted on ABC in Buffalo, Detroit, Rochester and Tulsa by NFL preseason games and in Miami due to hurricane coverage. The race telecast aired on different channels in those markets that are not included in the national rating.

The rating was up from a 3.4 rating for the 2010 race, which was run and telecast as scheduled. More ...

08/28/12
irl
Lexar and Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Up Again in Baltimore  
Lexar sponsored Ganassi Honda
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) and Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, will continue their partnership in Baltimore this weekend with the second of two primary paint schemes for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season on the No. 10 Honda of Four-time and Defending INDYCAR Champion and Three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti.

The No.10 Lexar Honda debuted earlier this year in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 in April, where Franchitti started on the front row and finished fifth.  The second paint scheme will be seen at the Baltimore Grand Prix on the streets of Baltimore on Sunday, September 2 (2:00 PM ET, NBC Sports Network).
08/28/12
dtm
Zandvoort 2012 DTM accident pit lane  Four trackside mechanics were injured when a racing car caught a cable under their feet and flipped them into the air.

The men were working in the pits when the high-speed vehicle driven by Ralf Schumacher powered past.

They were launched skywards when the former F1 driver's Mercedes struck a fuel cable.

The accident happened during a practice session for a touring car race in Zandvoort, Holland, this weekend.

The crew members were taken to hospital by ambulance but three were released and one was kept in for observation. More ...

08/28/12
f1
On Board Lap of New US Grand Prix circuit, Austin, Texas  This is a lap of the new Circuit of the Americas, due to host the US Grand Prix on November 18 2012. The lap is set using the final, pre-launch version of Codemasters F1 2012 game, driven by Creative Director Stephen Hood and presented by F1 commentator James Allen.

08/28/12
nassprint
NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer, Team Featured in Special Program  NASCAR fans can go behind-the-scenes with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer and the Michael Waltrip Racing team in a one-hour special program airing Sunday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC.

Catching Speed, produced by award-winning NASCAR Productions, is a glimpse into how a team prepares during the week for a big race like the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The show focuses on the No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota team during the week and throughout the race in Indianapolis. Fans will be able to listen to crew chiefs and engineers in competition meetings, pit crew members during pit practices and mechanics working on the car – all in preparation for Indy. More ...

08/28/12
automotive
Toyota says fired IT contractor hacked into company secrets  Toyota's U.S. manufacturing company has accused a fired computer worker of cracking into its proprietary plans for parts prices and designs, downloading the information and sabotaging Toyota's internal computer software.

The automaker late last week filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Ky., against Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed, a former IT contractor of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. More ...

08/28/12
f1
Verstappen jailed, to be released  UPDATE #5
Jos Verstappen
Magistrates in Roermond will not be ruling over a case of vandalism involving former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen. The situation has been declared inadmissible after an error was made by the public prosecutor.

Verstappen was summoned by the prosecution on suspicion of destroying two telephones as well as a purse and jewelry. For such minor offences, the public attorney should have offered a settlement – such as a fine – before taking the case to court.

Also taken into account by the judge was the massive media exposure and negative consequences this has had for the personal and business interests of the 40-year-old.

Earlier this year, Verstappen was also suspected of manslaughter after he was accused of deliberately driving a car into his ex girlfriend. That case has already been stood down through a lack of evidence. More ...

08/28/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  UPDATE Update shown in red below.

08/28/12
  • Caterham
    Caterham must improve aerodynamics 'a lot' - Kovalainen
  • Di Grassi involved in FIA's 'Formula E' plans
  • Alonso 'a step ahead' of all rivals - Fisichella
  • Ferrari fires up V6 on test bench
  • Wolff backs three-car teams New More ...
08/28/12
automotive
GM suspending over priced Chevy Volt output  General Motors is halting, for a month, the manufacture of its over-priced because of White House intervention Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car.  At $40,000 the car is too expensive and should have been made in one of GM's China plants and sold for $25,000. 

Automotive News, citing unnamed sources, reports the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will suspend production from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15.

Leaders of the UAW told the plant's 1,500 union workers about the scheduled downtime last week, the source said.

It would be the second interruption in production for the Volt, which can go 38 miles on battery power before needing a recharge from its gasoline engine. GM late Monday disputed published reports that the move is because of slow Volt sales. GM sold 10,666 Volts through July, way up from the 2,870 sold during the same period a year earlier.

"We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We're gearing up for production of the new Impala," Chevy spokesman David Darovitz said in an email.  Yeah right.  10,000 sales.  Pathetic.

08/28/12
nassprint
Stewart's helmet toss raises questions about fan demands  It was celebrated in Australia, cheered in Tennessee and viewed countless times on YouTube. While Tony Stewart's helmet toss thrilled some and enraged others, it created a buzz Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart's action toward Matt Kenseth after they wrecked was the type of emotion many fans said had been lacking in NASCAR. In a race with 13 cautions, 10 for accidents, Stewart provided the night's highlight.

The clip of Stewart's two-handed toss even made "Play of the Day'' on an Australian TV newscast with the announcer quoting a line from "Talladega Nights.'' More ...

08/28/12
ustcc
Larry Bani Wins Tight Race at Thunderhill  
Larry Bani leads
Larry Bani won his first Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) race ever at Thunderhill on August 19, 2012 driving the GoGoGear.com / Universal Technical Institute BMW M3.  Bani, who was last year’s iGrille Top Rookie, became the fourth different race winner in as many races this season.  Finishing only one second behind Bani was the Roger Kraus Racing Honda Prelude of Chris Lock who was also the iGrille Top Rookie of the race.  Lock was followed by theTNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 of Felipe Cabezas. More ...
08/27/12
wec
#50 Corvette excluded from 6 Hours of Silverstone  Following scrutineering, Larbre Competition’s #50 Corvette has been excluded from the result of yesterday’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at Silverstone after being initially classified second.

The GTE Am result has been modified accordingly due to the non-conformity of a safety device, namely the validity date of the car’s fire extinguisher.

Jack Leconte, Team Manager: “The problem arises from the team installing the wrong fire extinguisher during the car’s preparation prior to the race. Larbre Competition accepts the stewards’ decision and will work hard to modify its assembly procedures during the installation of safety equipment. I am convinced that strengthening these already stringent checks can only improve the team’s performance over the second half of this year’s World Endurance Championship.”
08/27/12
irl
Josef Newgarden & Sebastien Bourdais Crash at Sonoma 2012  
08/27/12
nassprint
Stewart won’t be fined for throwing helmet  NASCAR will not penalize Tony Stewart for throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car during the race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday afternoon.

The sanctioning body, which has been more lenient on driver behavior the past several years, did not penalize Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine for throwing his helmet at another competitor’s vehicle earlier this month at Pocono.  NASCAR did confiscate Stewart’s helmet.

“I don’t give a crap,” Stewart said after the helmet throw. “The hell with the helmet.” More ...

08/27/12
nnw
Helicopter belonging to Food City crashes after Friday's Food City 250  UPDATE The body of the Food City pilot killed Friday in a helicopter crash in a lake near Bristol Motor Speedway was recovered Monday. Bill Starnes, who had been shuttling people to and from the Nationwide Series race at BMS where Food City was the race sponsor, crashed the helicopter into South Holston Lake in Abingdon, Va., on Friday night.

The Bristol Herald-Courier reported on its website that his body was recovered in about 80 feet of water and brought to the surface Monday at about 3 p.m. Eastern, according to the Virginia State Police. Starmes was the only person aboard the Bell 407 when it crashed, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

08/25/12 A helicopter belonging to grocery store chain Food City crashed into South Holston Lake in Virginia not long after Friday's Food City 250 Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway in nearby Bristol, Tenn.

No NASCAR officials were on board. According to television station WJHL, only the pilot of the helicopter was involved in the wreck. Virginia State Police told the television station there is still an active "search and rescue" operation going on overnight. More ...
08/27/12
irl
Auto Club Speedway INDYCAR Test Open to Public  The stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series will be out in full force, shaking down their cars at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in preparation for the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships on Saturday, Sept. 15 under the lights.

The test is open to the public from 5 pm – 8 pm with viewing from the East end of the open-air Terrace Suites above Pit Road. The garage area and Pit Road will not be accessible during the test. More ...

08/27/12
irl
Championship key for Power - Remain calm, get wins  For two-thirds of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Will Power was nearly invincible.

The pole sitter in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car appeared to be a pit stop away from securing his third consecutive victory on the Sonoma road course, which would have made him the fifth driver (including himself at Brazil in late April) in the past decade to win at the same venue three years in a row.

But Power, who swept the three bonus points for earning the pole and leading a field-high 57 laps, lost the lead for good during the final service sequence that bridged a full-course caution. He entered pit lane under green with a 7.2271-second lead over teammate Ryan Briscoe on Lap 64. Briscoe, driving the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske entry, pitted a lap later under yellow and beat Power to the blend line to retain the point. More ...

08/27/12
Racing News
FIA creates an electric race car series  The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has reached an agreement to license the commercial rights of the FIA Formula E Championship to a consortium of international investors, Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH).

Formula E is a new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades.

FEH, the new promoter, has as anchor investor London-based entrepreneur Enrique Banuelos, and as CEO and shareholder former MEP and racing team owner Alejandro Agag, who has a long experience in the motor sport business. Also associated with the project are Lord Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, and Eric Barbaroux, Chairman of the French electric automotive company "Electric Formula". More ...
08/27/12
IRL
Newgarden injured at Sonoma  UPDATE Hearing Newgarden did suffer a broken finger (s) and is questionable for Baltimore.

08/26/12 Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) settled into a progressive march through the pack of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, but their work was cut short when an incident with Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais knocked Newgarden out of the race.

On lap 65, Bourdais went off course in front of Newgarden. Bourdais then quickly veered back onto the track in front of Newgarden. The two cars collided sending Newgarden nose-first into the Turn-8 tire wall.

Newgarden was assisted from the car by the IndyCar Holmatro Safety Team and taken to the track’s medical center. The rookie driver injured his left index finger and will be evaluated further when he returns home to Indianapolis. More ...
08/27/12
f1
Ecclestone gets married in Switzerland  (GMM) 81-year-old Ecclestone has used the August break to marry for the third time.

British newspapers the Daily Mail and the Sun report that F1's famous chief executive married 35-year-old Brazilian Fabiana Flosi, who formerly worked on the marketing of the Brazilian grand prix, at his ski chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland.

The reports said Ecclestone's daughters Tamara, 28, and Petra, 24, and their mother Slavica, were in Los Angeles at the time.
08/27/12
f1
Alonso F1's strongest driver now - Schumacher  (GMM) Michael Schumacher has named Fernando Alonso the strongest active formula one driver.

Schumacher, whose run of five consecutive titles was broken in 2005 by Spaniard Alonso's Renault breakthrough, said the 2012 championship leader is developing "even beyond himself".

"There are phases like that when everything seems to work out, but he has worked for it," the great German said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Schumacher, 43, therefore admitted that Alonso is currently also better than F1's reigning back-to-back world champion, the 25-year-old German Sebastian Vettel. More ...
08/27/12
f1
Ferrari fastest pit crew in 2012 - analysis  (GMM) Ferrari, whose Fernando Alonso is leading the world championship, is also the team with the fastest pit crew so far in 2012.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport has found that the Italian squad's tire-changing crew is on average a touch under two tenths faster than reigning champions Red Bull per pitstop.

It is a remarkable turnaround for Maranello based Ferrari, who were reportedly in the pitstop "midfield" in the same mid-season ranking a year ago.

In 2011, Mercedes' was the fastest pit crew, but now the Brackley based squad is just fourth, more than three tenths slower than Ferrari and also behind Force India. More ...
08/27/12
f1
All eyes on Lotus for high speed double header  (GMM) All eyes will be on Lotus' already-competitive black and gold E20 at high speed Spa and Monza.

Technical boss James Allison confirmed recently the Enstone based team intended to debut its so-called 'double DRS' system in Belgium.

Sky television pundit Ted Kravitz said the device, so far only tested in Friday practice sessions, works at any point of a circuit over 150mph.

Historic Spa and Monza, the F1 double-header taking place over the next two weekends, are among the fastest circuits on the calendar. More ...
08/27/12
f1
Williams upbeat despite 'underwater' shares  (GMM) Williams remains upbeat about its share market situation, despite the Telegraph newspaper saying the team is financially "underwater".

That is a financial expression, prompted in the famous British team's situation because its shares floated at EUR 25 last year but are currently trading for just EUR 23.

"The market is down as well," Williams' chief executive Alex Burns said.

"We always said it would be a long-term investment. I'm still confident we can deliver good value for shareholders," he added. More ...
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