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Hinchcliffe wins Chicago Lights race  James Hinchcliffe held off Pippa Mann by 0.0159 of a second - the third-closest margin of victory in Firestone Indy Lights history - to win the Chicagoland 100.

Mann, who led her first laps of the season in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, recorded a career-best finish and led three Sam Schmidt Motorsports drivers across the line. Philip Major also posted a career best to finish third and series championship points leader J.R. Vernay was fourth.

Hinchcliffe, who started 13th, was driving the high line and caught Mann on Lap 66 following a Lap 63 restart. It was his third victory of the season (first on an oval). More ...

Daly wins race and title  Conor Daly has won the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with a win from the pole in this afternoon's Round 12 at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.  Driving the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda, Daly to a record-breaking streak of nine poles and seven wins, the Indianapolis native had such a points lead that he technically became the champion the moment the race started, but rather than play it safe and cruise to the checkered, Daly led every lap to cross the finish line 0.764 seconds ahead of the 2nd-place finisher, Venezuelan racer Jorge Goncalvez who started from the outside of the front row in the #9 Team Apex / Wabash Capital Investments Mazda.
American Ben Spies shocks MotoGP paddock  
Ben Spies
He may be a newcomer to MotoGP but he certainly has been impressive straight out. American MotoGP rookie Ben Spies upset the establishment on Saturday in Indianapolis by putting his 2nd tier Yamaha on pole.

Ben Spies will start a MotoGP race from pole position for the first time on Sunday at Indianapolis after the rookie laid down a fantastic hot lap in qualifying. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie posted a best time of 1’40.105 on his 26th of 28 laps, delighting the home crowd and enjoying another highlight in what has already been an eventful weekend following confirmation of his factory ride for 2011.

Spies was 0.220s quicker than Championship leader and last year’s race winner Jorge Lorenzo who took his Fiat Yamaha M1 machine round in the second fastest time, and there was further joy for the American fans as Nicky Hayden took his first Ducati front-row place with third. Hayden was just a hundredth of a second behind Lorenzo on the timesheet in a typically action-packed and frantic hour-long session. More ...

Front wings not flexing in Belgium - rivals  (GMM) Bosses of the McLaren and Mercedes teams on Saturday signaled the end of F1's latest flexible bodywork saga.

New FIA tests to ensure the rules compliance of the front wings and floors are taking effect this weekend and at Monza in two weeks, after Red Bull and Ferrari's cars came under the spotlight. More ...
AutoRacing1.com iPhone App  UPDATE Did you miss the launch of our iPhone app?  Here is an abbreviated User Manual for the AutoRacing1 App.

AutoRacing1.com is pleased to announce that its Apple iPhone Application (App) has been launched and is available to download for free from the iPhone app store for anyone who has an iPhone, iTouch or iPad.  Use this link, or search for AutoRacing1 or AR1 in the iPhone app store to find it.

Get the latest racing hot news, rumors, feature articles, video of the week and photos of the week delivered right to your Apple device anywhere in the world.  Automatic updates throughout the day are pushed to your device on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am, Automotive News and more.

Already subscribed to the AutoRacing1.com website? Then the AR1.com app is free to download and use with all the latest news.

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Wickens wins at rain soaked Spa  Robert Wickens has not given up on title hopes: starting from pole position, he managed to keep the lead after having damaged his nose cone under torrential downpour and took the win after the clock counted down. Series leader Esteban Gutierrez having finished fifth, the Canadian can still hope to chase the Mexican for the GP3 Series title.   

The Race 1 at Spa started with a bang: while Wickens pulled away from pole at the starting lights keeping Adrian Quaife-Hobbs at bay, Josef Newgarden stalled on the grid and mayhem ensued. Doru Sechelariu was the first casualty having to swerve to avoid the stranded Carlin car and ending up in the start/finish straight wall. At the same time, Status GP’s Daniel Morad and Tech 1 Racing’s Stefano Coletti then collided going into turn one, only for Morad to then clash with Addax Team’s Pablo Sanchez Lopez. Atech CRS GP’s Vittorio Ghirelli and Manor Racing’s Adrian Tambay were next to spin and the first safety car of the race was deployed for the next lap. More ...

Crash damage sidelines Risi Ferrari  UPDATE Following his accident at Mosport International Raceway this morning in the Risi Competizione Ferrari F430, German driver Pierre Kaffer was taken to the Lakeridge Health hospital in Bowmanville for precautionary observation and checks.

He has now been released and is on his way back to the track, having been declared free of serious injury. 

The chassis was substantially damaged in the impact, and the No. 61 car has been withdrawn from the race.  It will be returned to the team’s base in Houston for repair. More ...

Vettel: I screwed up  
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel blamed himself for making mistakes in Q3 that cost him a higher grid position than fourth for the Belgian Grand Prix.

"There was a bit of rain in the first corner and my first try in Q3 wasn't good enough, simple as that," said Vettel. "I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning of the first sector and lost momentum."

Despite a lower than usual grid position for the German this season, Vettel says he still has a car good enough to be faster than the rest of the field on Sunday. More ...

Dumas tops Saturday practice  Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas was quickest again at Mosport International Raceway on Saturday in the first official practice for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The reigning overall champion at the 24 Hours of Le Mans set a lap of 1:07.489 (131.168 mph) around Mosport International Raceway for Muscle Milk Team CytoSport in its Porsche RS Spyder. More ...
Alonso blames poor Spa result on tire strategy  Fernando Alonso blamed Ferrari's failure to maximize the potential of their car during Belgian Grand Prix qualifying on the wrong tire strategy.

Alonso, who topped Friday practice but qualified in 10th, said Ferrari did not have enough fresh sets of soft tires.

"In final qualifying I had one new set. We put it on at the end as we thought it was best but it rained," he said.

"Everybody had two new sets of soft tires but I didn't. The performance of the car wasn't for 10th." More ...

Maldonado closer to title with Spa Feature win  Pastor Maldonado has collected his sixth, and toughest, win of the season in today's feature race at Spa Francorchamps, benefiting when polesitter Jerome d'Ambrosio stopped late in the race and then hanging on against a huge push in the closing laps to win by just 0.2 seconds from Alvaro Parente and Romain Grosjean.

The Venezuelan had to work had all day for the victory: he held station behind d'Ambrosio when the lights went out and fought off a huge push from title rival Sergio Perez, who got a storming start from seventh on the grid to P3 just behind Maldonado and ahead of Oliver Turvey out of Ste Devote, while behind them Dani Clos was delayed by a stalled Fabrizio Crestani and then ran over the rear wheel of Sam Bird: the pair were out on the spot, prompting a safety car to remove their vehicles. More ...

Webber not worried about running out of tires  (GMM)  Mark Webber on Saturday said he is not worried about running out of useable tires in Belgium.

Earlier at Spa-Francorchamps, where wet and changeable weather has featured regularly so far this weekend, Bridgestone admitted it is worried about drivers running out of rain tires.

Each car is restricted to 3 sets of extreme wet compounds and 4 intermediates for the entire weekend, and so far those tires have only been lasting a few laps before graining and degrading.

But after securing pole on Saturday, championship leader Webber played down the situation. More ...

News briefs from Spa: Saturday  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso on Saturday said he is not worried after qualifying just tenth for the Belgian GP.

"This was the least important qualifying of the year because of the weather.  Anything can happen so our goal is still the podium and victory," the Ferrari driver told Spanish media.


Timo Glock has lost his impressive 17th on the Belgian GP grid with a five-place penalty for impeding HRT's Sakon Yamamoto in qualifying.

"Can anyone explain why Timo gets a penalty for holding up Yamamoto but Trulli gets nothing for hitting Lucas (di Grassi) under yellows?!" said the Virgin team on Twitter. More ...

Daly wins record 9th pole  
Conor Daly
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
Continuing his record-breaking pole position streak, championship points leader Conor Daly scored his ninth pole of the season for this afternoon's Round 12 of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.  The young American turned a lap of 1:15.342 (117.496 mph) in the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda.

Starting alongside Daly, in his first-ever appearance on the front row of the Star Mazda starting grid, is Venezuelan racer Jorge Goncalvez with a lap of 1:15.481 (117.280 mph) in the #9 Team Apex / Wabash Capital Investments Mazda.  Both drivers turned their quick time on Lap 3 of the session, as did 3rd-place qualifier French racer Tristan Vautier with a lap of 1:15.504 (117.244) in the #38 Andersen Racing / Moulin TP / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais / Fontanel Mazda.  Vautier has scored two wins this season, but several finishes outside the top-10 have dropped him to 6th in the championship.  More ...

Just when you thought the Mercedes team was already horrible  It has been confirmed ahead of qualifying in Belgium that Nico Rosberg will take a 5-place grid drop penalty prior to Sunday’s race.

With Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher already set to start ten places further down the Spa grid due from where he qualifies today, to his aggressive move on Rubens Barrichello in Turkey, Rosberg takes his punishment for a gearbox change.

Both Mercedes works cars therefore take grid penalties for this weekend’s race.

Wealthy ISC wants poor Montreal citizens to pay for their promotion  UPDATE ISC wants the state / national governments to pay for its lack of promotion.  An annual $1/2 million would be one of the largest marketing/advertising budgets for a promoter in the entire Nationwide series.

To put it in perspective, assuming an overall sales tax/ bed tax of 10% and the average amount a new attendee spent in Montreal was $750 per  person, they would need draw an extra 6,500 spectators from amongst the "`NASCAR is the American middle-class,' said Pierre Bellerose, vice-president of Tourisme Montreal. `The F1, that's the international jet-setter.'"

It is really amazing that the France family believes it is entitled to government largess for a race which loses money.  Why doesn't Lesa France and Jim France, personally, just get out there and sell tickets one-on-one?  It's hard work, but someone has to do it ... might as well be the CEO and Chairman of the company.

08/27/10 The [filthy rich] 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." More ...

Hulkenberg close to new Williams deal - manager  
Nico Hulkenberg
(GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg is close to agreeing a deal to remain with Williams for his second season in formula one, manager Willi Weber said on Saturday.

Earlier at Spa-Francorchamps, 23-year-old German Hulkenberg said talks about staying with the famous British team are not yet taking place.

"I have a contract with the team, but there are options that need to be redeemed," he said.

Manager Weber has now told the Cologne publication Express: "Nico is doing so well that Frank Williams wants to extend his contract.

"Maybe (it will happen) even here in Spa, but I will not pre-empt Sir Frank," he added.

NASCAR offices building big money losers  The owners of the NASCAR Plaza office tower have defaulted on a $95 million loan, according to a lawsuit filed by Regions Bank, which is urging fellow project lender Wells Fargo & Co. to do whatever it takes to collect, including foreclosure. The uncertain future of the 19-story, 390,000-square-foot office development is perhaps the largest example yet of growing stress in Charlotte's commercial real estate market. Earlier this summer, Regions initiated foreclosure proceedings against the 302,000-square-foot EpiCentre complex uptown, prompting the property's owners to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. NASCAR Plaza is one of four office towers added to the Charlotte skyline in just over a year. It was developed by Indianapolis-based Lauth Group Inc. and opened in May 2009, next to the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. More ...
Virgin: We are in F1 for long haul  Virgin Racing has reiterated that it is in F1 for the long term and has dismissed recent rumors that the squad won’t be around in 2011.

Concerns about the outfit have intensified following comments made by F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, who said he wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of the new teams didn’t make it to the end of the season.

Virgin Team Principal John Booth reassured reporters yesterday though, ahead of this Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, that Sheffield-based outfit is okay. More ...

Juncadella tops eventful qualifying session at Spa  Tech 1 Racing’s Daniel Juncadella has claimed his first GP3 Series pole position today in one of the most unpredictable qualifying sessions of the season.

It was all about the tricky track conditions in this morning’s qualifying session. When the lights went green half of the field went out on wets, and the other half went out on slicks due to the fact that part of the Belgian circuit were wet whilst other parts had dried out.

Rio Haryanto was the first man in action for Manor Racing and it looked like the team had made the right choice with wet weather tires – the Indonesian initially topped the timing sheet heading up an all wet weather tire top ten. More ...

Webber tops final practice in Spa  
Mark Webber

The rain finally stopped for awhile and in a session run largely in the dry, Red Bull's Mark Webber turned the fastest lap in final practice for Sunday's Belgium GP at Spa.  Webber's lap of 1m46.106s topped Lewis Hamilton's McLaren time of 1m46.223s, who ended up 2nd ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, 0.290s down on his teammate,  with Button fourth, Kubica fifth, Alonso sixth, Massa seventh and Sutil in eighth position.

A rain shower slowed the action towards the end of the final 60-minute practice session on Saturday morning, but there was frantic activity inside the Red Bull garage. More ...

HRT return for Chandhok not imminent  
Karun Chandhok
(GMM)  It is believed Karun Chandhok will not return to the Hispania cockpit until at least the end of October. In Belgium this weekend, the Indian rookie is missing his third consecutive grand prix, with successor Sakon Yamamoto reportedly wielding more lucrative sponsors.

According to the rumor mill at Spa-Francorchamps, Chandhok's sojourn will definitely be prolonged throughout the forthcoming Monza, Singapore, Suzuka and Korean rounds. That leaves just Brazil and the Abu Dhabi finale.

The 26-year-old, in Belgium on Friday on radio commentary duties for the BBC, is signed up to demonstrate a Red Bull in Korea's new Yeongam circuit next Saturday.

"It was a while since I drove an F1 car so I decided why not," Chandhok said. More ...

Rivals must capitalize at Red Bull's weakest tracks  (GMM)  Mark Webber thinks the rest of the 2010 championship will be played out in two parts. The championship leader admits that at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, and then in two weeks at Monza, the Red Bull's Renault V8 might struggle to keep up with more powerful engines.

"I think Monza will be our weakest circuit of the remaining seven," said the Australian.

"Spa is (also) a big horse power circuit and we are lacking a bit in that department," Webber acknowledged.

"But if we can come away from the next two races with a good tally of points it would set us up nicely for the remaining five tracks, which we believe play to our strengths," he added. More ...

McLaren denies vetoing Red Bull engine deal  
(GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh has denied that McLaren has inserted a fresh veto against Red Bull's desire to be powered by Mercedes engines in 2011.

German reports this week said a deal between the currently Renault-powered team and Mercedes is possible for 2011, but Norbert Haug on Friday revealed that McLaren - still with an exclusive contract - has "put in the veto".

"Well, I've heard the rumors but that's it," McLaren team boss Whitmarsh said at Spa-Francorchamps.

He therefore denied that McLaren has vetoed a Red Bull/Mercedes deal, also hinting that he does not even have that power. More ...

Grey and blue skies above Spa on Saturday morning  (GMM)  A cold but so far dry day has dawned at Spa-Francorchamps. An hour before the final practice session on the day of Belgian GP qualifying, some blue sky and sunshine is present above the famous track, which is damp from overnight rain.

But also visible is a lot of white and grey cloud, and a weather forecast predicting possible rain.

Indeed, the teams' pitwall radar screens already show showers in the surrounding Ardennes region, and there was a lot of rain after Friday's practice sessions and into the night.  But when compared with Sunday's forecasted heavy rain, the outlook for Saturday is in fact much better, and some locals say a dry day at Spa is a real possibility.

"We're expecting a mixture of everything for the rest of the weekend," said Renault's chief engineer Alan Permane.

Teams discuss pre-2011 winter test in Bahrain  (GMM)  F1 team managers met on Friday to discuss the possibility of a pre-season test in Bahrain prior to the 2011 season opener.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the meeting at Spa-Francorchamps was to determine the testing agreement for next year.

Pirelli is entering F1 next year, and all the teams will get their first taste of the Italian rubber at Abu Dhabi in the days immediately after this season's final race.

And the organization of another special group test is now on the table for Bahrain, immediately prior to the 2011 season opener next March. More ...

Ferrari using same front wing as in Hungary  
Massa's Ferrari
(GMM)  Ferrari's front wing design has not yet been tested by the FIA at Spa-Francorchamps.

On Friday, the governing body - having introduced a more stringent flexibility test for the Belgian event - declared legal the wings on the McLaren as well as Red Bull's controversial RB6.

But alongside the Red Bull accusations, there have also been suggestions the Ferrari wing has been bending too much towards the ground at recent grands prix.

"On our part we have not changed anything, we have the same parts (wings) as in Hungary," Fernando Alonso is quoted by the Italian press. More ...

Barrichello replaces Heidfeld as GPDA president  (GMM)  Rubens Barrichello is the new president of the formula one drivers' union, the GPDA.

The existing president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, Nick Heidfeld, has had to vacate the role now that he is Pirelli's full time tire development tester.

Heidfeld was previously permanent Mercedes' reserve driver, but the 33-year-old German will no longer travel to all the grands prix.

The GPDA therefore met at Spa-Francorchamps and voted in Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello, 38, who this weekend is celebrating his 300th career grand prix.

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