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DATE News (chronologically)
09/02/11
irl
alms
Baltimore Grand Prix CEO: 'We're going to tweak lots of things'  Baltimore Grand Prix CEO Jay Davidson said Friday organizers have started thinking about what to change with the racing event moving forward.

When it comes to the event itself, Davidson said many things will be different next year. The inaugural “Festival of Speed” kicked off Friday and will last through the weekend.

“We’re going to tweak lots of things,” Davidson said in an interview. “Obviously we’ve had some bumps.” More ...

09/02/11
irl
Baltimore Grand Prix: Grandstand tickets sell out  Baltimore Grand Prix organizers said Friday that all 27,000 grandstand tickets have sold out for the three-day inaugural event this weekend.

The Grand Prix, with its festival-like atmosphere, concerts and races, is expected to draw near 120,000 people in all, Baltimore Grand Prix CEO Jay Davidson said Friday.

But for those without a ticket, there’s still a way to attend.

Davidson said there’s “close to an unlimited amount” of ground admission tickets left. Ground admission tickets range from $25 for a one-day pass on Friday to $65 for all three days. Tickets for kids 12 and under are $50 for a three-day pass. More ...

09/02/11
irl
alms
Baltimore restaurants, hotels embrace Grand Prix  The days leading up to Baltimore’s inaugural IndyCar race, Judi DiGioia was, frankly, a little worried, about whether the thousands of racing fans descending on downtown Baltimore would fill the tables at Morton’s steak house, where she is sales and marketing manager.
DiGioia isn’t stressing anymore.

Since noon Friday, the restaurant along the 2.1-mile race course has been busy booking last-minute reservations as race fans arrive in Baltimore and start checking out the available restaurants. About 90 diners have made reservations for Friday night and the list for Saturday night is above 300, which has DiGioia smiling.

“All of a sudden, the adrenaline started to pop,” she said. “We’ve been taking reservations all day for tonight and tomorrow.” More ...

09/02/11
f1
Bernie hits back at TV critics  Bernie Ecclestone told a leading Lib Dem MP he was “not realistic” after being challenged for switching most grand prix coverage to Sky.

The new deal from next season means the BBC will show only 10 live races, half the championship, while Sky will televise the whole series but on their subscription-only sports channel.

Bernie Ecclestone said the move was forced on the BBC because of cost-cutting. But Don Foster quoted him as saying: “The BBC brought Sky to us with the idea of a joint contract. It was not us who made that decision.”

He then told him: “I am alarmed that there is such a gulf between your stories.”

Yet Ecclestone said last night: “It is not realistic; he clearly does not understand the situation.

“We would have loved to have stayed with the BBC but they could guarantee nothing.”

09/02/11
TV News
Wind Tunnel Sunday  Duncan Dayton was a keynote speaker this week at The National Press Club in Washington D.C. for a press conference on green racing. There he showcased the DeltaWing Project 56 which is a radical and energy efficient race car that is being built in conjunction with Ganassi’s Ben Bowlby, Dan Gurney and All American Racers, Highcroft Racing, and Don Panoz. The car is scheduled to race in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Emerson Fittipaldi will drop by to share his thoughts on this year’s Formula 1 season, future of IndyCar, and share a story or two about his good friend, Ayrton Senna. More ...
09/02/11
f1
Heidfeld and Renault officially split  UPDATE (GMM)  An out of court settlement between the team and axed driver Nick Heidfeld has cleared the way for Renault to sign Bruno Senna for the rest of 2011.

A media statement said German Heidfeld, who had hoped to return to the R31 in Singapore after a London High Court hearing, has reached "an amicable settlement" with Renault.

The 34-year-old and the team have therefore "chosen to part company with immediate effect", with Renault boss Eric Boullier describing it a "swift and reasonable solution". More ...

09/02/11
IRL
Final Baltimore Friday Notebook  

Drivers will have 15 total pushes of the Honda overtake assist - an ECU software alteration employed by Honda Performance Development - each lasting 18 seconds during the Edmonton Indy. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout. There is a 10-second recovery period between pushes. One overtake assist push is available for the final practice session.

***

Each entry receives six sets of Firestone Firehawk primary (black sidewall) and three sets of alternate (red sidewall) for the race weekend.

The primary tires are the same spec used in June on the Toronto streets. The alternate is new for this year. The rain tire is also new for this year, and this is the last time this particular spec will be used this season; a different rain tire will be used if needed at the Twin Ring Motegi road course. More ...

09/02/11
fil
Newgarden tops Indy Lights practice in Baltimore  Championship points leader Josef Newgarden was quickest in the lone Firestone Indy Lights session (1 minute, 27.5145 seconds) in the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong car to lead four Sam Schmidt Motorsports drivers at the top of the time sheet. Conor Daly was second (1:28.0619), followed by Victor Carbone and Esteban Guerrieri.

"I think everyone did a great job of prepping for the track and going through the simulations before getting here, so it seems that we at least have a strong starting package for us as a base for the race this weekend," Newgarden said of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports contingent. "We really just need to be focusing on progressing that as time allows us to this weekend. I'm looking forward to the challenges of this place. It's bumpy in some spots and smooth in others, so it's going to be a fun circuit to race on for sure and will provide interesting challenges for everyone." More ...

09/02/11
IRL
Baltimore Friday Afternoon Update  RELAX, BALTIMORE! Now that the cars are on the track, there are smiles all around. Any anxieties about the track seem to be fading, and -- get this -- the stands are full to WATCH PRACTICE! IndyCar staffers joked to one another that, prior to the race cars running on the track, the crowd cheered anything that moved, including volunteers on golf cars.

**************

The first practice of the Indy cars in Baltimore is in the books. Like their Indy Lights and ALMS peers, they found the track to be challenging and bumpy. Ryan Briscoe, EJ Viso and Scott Dixon found the wall, as the bumps seemed to toss drives already already struggling to learn the brand-new course.

**************

Justin Wilson continued to recover. Word in the paddock is that he's wearing a "clam shell" device to keep his (considerably tall) body supported during the healing process. No one can say for sure which impact caused the injury, as he suffered one impact as he was launched into the air and another when he came down. And no one can say for sure that his seating arrangement in the car -- he doesn't exactly have a seat, in order to allow him to fit -- hindered either. Hopefully, the new FIA specs that are reflected in the new 2012 chassis will make such problems a thing of the past.

**************

The Firestone Indy Lights practice is over, with Josef Newgarden and Connor Daly the fastest two in practice. Both had huge smiles on their face, describing the track as a lot of fun to drive. The concrete portions are the bumpiest of the year so far, but the newly-paved asphalt sections are very smooth. Former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Willie T. Ribbs (yes, this is a 1980's flashback!) is entered in this race, and his pace was 10 seconds off of the fastest lap of Newgarden. Given the bumpiness of the course, no doubt he's gonna be a little sore too.

**************

The first ALM practice is in the books, and aside from the teams noticing the bumpiness, things went well. The Lola B09 Mazda of Dyson and Smith lead P1 and were fastest overall. -- Tim Wohlford, reporting from Baltimore
09/02/11
alms
Smith leads opening ALMS practice  
Guy Smith
Guy Smith’s name will go down in the record book as the driver who set the fastest time in the first practice session at the Baltimore Grand Prix for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The British driver posted a 1:31.202 (80.525 mph) lap in Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola around the 2.1-mile, 12-turn street circuit through Baltimore.

Smith was 0.599 seconds quicker than Intersport Racing’s Kyle Marcelli, the quickest of the LMP Challenge cars at 1:31.801 (79.999 mph). The young Canadian was only 0.227 seconds clear of CORE autosport’s Gunnar Jeannette in another LMPC entry. More ...

09/02/11
automotive
BMW experiments with laser headlights  Headlamp technology is rapidly advancing, and as LED lights become commonplace, many wonder what’s next. BMW suggests lasers, which could offer new safety and function.

Compared with today’s LED headlamps, BMW’s laser-cut lights have intensity a thousand times greater than that of LEDs while consuming about half the energy.

Though the intensity is much brighter, the light poses no risk to humans, animals or wildlife when used in car lighting, BMW says.

The light will not be emitted directly but go through a conversion to make it benign. The resulting light would appear bright and white in color.

BMW will use the new technology on its i8 concept, a part of the premium concept line aimed at sustainability. The i8 will make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt auto show later this month.  AutoWeek

09/02/11
irl
alms
Baltimore Grand Prix fans flood grandstands before first race  Powerful engines thrummed in the Baltimore Convention Center and tens of thousands of racing fans wandered through a maze of grandstand Friday morning as spectators and drivers awaited the first races of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Organizers delayed the start of racing by four hours, due to last-minute issues with the metal fences surrounding the downtown streets that have been transformed into a race course for the three-day festival.

The green flag waved just before 1:30 p.m. and the USF 2000 cars roared around the track for practice laps. Organizers had initially said the delayed practice would begin at noon. The reason for the additional hold up was not immediately apparent. More ...

09/02/11
IRL
Baltimore Friday Noon Update  Just keep reminding yourself – this is a new race, and glitches can be expected. Add to the mix a hurricane last weekend, and you just know that things will be behind schedule.

Local Baltimore residents have been hearing for months that the race promoters had – putting it politely – their problems getting this race on the track, and are very anxious not to look bad in front of the world. The traffic jams added to regular traffic woes. On top of that, some beautiful trees were cut down to facilitate the race, infuriating some of the locals.

Drivers and teams were supposed to arrive this morning to a track that was ready to go hot at 6:00 am. Instead, no on-track activities were possible until after lunch, and a revised schedule soon was abandoned too. Track officials blame the delay on last week’s hurricane, when the fences were taken down before the winds hit. Qualification for USF2000 and Star Mazda – cars driven by raw teenage rookies -- was cancelled, and teams were told they’d have maybe 30 minutes to practice on a track that absolutely no one had been on before. When USF2000 took the track the predictable spins and crashes happened. More ...
09/02/11
nassprint
Five NASCAR Drivers Decline President Obama's White House Invitation  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, SB Nation's Jeff Gluck is clueless, or he's just another mainstream media liberal ...  This is interesting from a cultural perspective. If you're going to ridicule Americans for loving NASCAR as many liberals do, don't expect their stars to lend their names and faces to a photo op for a liberal president.  The sneering condescension of the left for "NASCAR Dads" has not gone unnoticed among the ranks of drivers - most of whom have a pretty good PR sense when it comes to their fans. Like C&W singers for example, the bond between a driver and his fans is very close and it is not surprising that since most fans of NASCAR have strong feelings against the president, that drivers would forgo the opportunity to be a prop in  his re-election campaign.  As for Gluck's "patriotism" shot - is he really equating patriotism with being an extra in a campaign commercial for a candidate they don't support?  Besides, I don't recall hearing that argument during the Bush years when dozens of lefties from every walk of life dissed Bush by either turning down invitations, or by showing up and "speaking truth to power." Politics is politics and what's good for one side, is good for the other.  You go, boys !!!!- I'm your newest fan. Glenn, Palos Verdes Estates CA

09/02/11 President Barack Obama will honor NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and the 11 other Chase drivers from last year in a White House ceremony on Wednesday – but nearly half of the 2010 playoff contenders won't be there.

NASCAR said Thursday that five drivers – Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart – will not be attending the White House visit due to "schedule conflicts."

They must be very busy people. Regardless of one's political views, the president is still the president – and an opportunity to speak with the leader of the free world is a rare and special one. More ...

09/02/11
motogp
Lorenzo tops hot Misano practice Friday  
Results Practice 1

Pos

Rider Time Nat. Bike Team
1 Jorge Lorenzo 1'33.929 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
2 Casey Stoner 1'34.005 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Dani Pedrosa 1'34.205 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Marco Simoncelli 1'34.444 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Ben Spies 1'34.466 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Andrea Dovizioso 1'34.989 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
7 Alvaro Bautista 1'35.023 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
8 Hector Barbera 1'35.111 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
9 Hiroshi Aoyama 1'35.282 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
10 Colin Edwards 1'35.301 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Valentino Rossi 1'35.331 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
12 Randy De Puniet 1'35.418 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Nicky Hayden 1'35.419 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
14 Karel Abraham 1'35.423 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Cal Crutchlow 1'35.622 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
16 Loris Capirossi 1'35.826 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
17 Toni Elias 1'36.196 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP

09/02/11
irl
alms
Baltimore Friday morning update  UPDATE #2 The second revision of the initial practice day for the Baltimore Grand Prix has IZOD IndyCar Series cars on the 2-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit from 4-5:30 p.m. (ET).

IZOD IndyCar Series teams were scheduled for 2 hours, 15 minutes of on-track time. Firestone Indy Lights drivers will have their first practice at 2:55 p.m.

Delays were caused because of safety fencing that was taken down in preparation for Hurricane Irene last weekend, which is being re-installed. Safety of the drivers, crews and spectators is paramount. Downtown didn't sustain any damage from the hurricane that roared up the East Coast.

Further revisions might be necessary, according to INDYCAR president of competition and operations Brian Barnhart.

09/02/11 Wall construction and fencing is still yet to be completed.  Last weekend's hurricane required some stuff to be taken down so instead of moving forward they went backward for a couple of days and hence the delay this morning.

09/02/11 Skies are a bit overcast at the moment but should clear soon.  Activities are delayed this morning because of first year construction delays.  USF2000 was supposed to be the first series on track at 8 AM and now they will not be on track until noon.  First ALMS practice is now 1:20PM with qualifying at 5:05 PM and first IndyCar practice is at 2:50 PM and then again at 6:05 PM to 7 PM (all times Eastern).

Izod IndyCar Series drivers "found a number of flaws" with the Baltimore Grand Prix course during Thursday afternoon's track walk. The drivers "brought up varying concerns," with Graham Rahal noting that there is "a lot of work still being done" ahead of Sunday's race. Ryan Hunter-Reay said, "The location is perfect. It's an amazing area, and I hope the race works. I also hope I like the track". Race organizers "estimate the three-day attendance for the inaugural event" at 100,000-200,000 but based on what we see here already early Friday morning, we think it will be closer to 200,000 than 100,000.

Preparations for the race "created havoc" on Thursday for members of the Orioles and Blue Jays who were "trying to get to" Camden Yards for an afternoon game that was originally scheduled for 7:05pm ET. Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista said that it "took around 40 minutes to cover a mile." When the game started, there were "only around 5,000 fans" at the ballpark according to the AP.

09/02/11
autogp
Valencia, Free Practice 1: Filippi leads the pack  
Luca Filippi
There couldn't have been a better way for Luca Filippi to return to Auto GP. The Italian driver, who missed the Oschersleben round as he had a clashing commitment in GP2, immediately took the lead in Valencia, closing the first Free Practice session with a 1'24"170 that allowed him to bring the SuperNova car at the top of the timesheet. Behind him was Fabrizio Crestani: the Lazarus driver posted the second quickest time but was still 4 tenths adrift from Filippi, just ahead of Adrian Campos Jr.: the Spaniard had high expectations for this weekend and immediately managed to make the most of the special feeling he has with his home track with a 1'24"610.

Sergei Afanasiev was the best placed DAMS driver, following the top three with a 1'24"861 that was enough to keep behind Adrien Tambay and Adam Carroll: the Campos Racing duo were split by just a 0"018 gap and preceded championship leader Kevin Ceccon, who posted a 1'24"983 that allowed him to keep Rio Haryanto and Giovanni Venturini behind. Some set-up changes that didn't word were the reason behind the 10th position for Fabio Onidi, with 1'25"429. More ...
09/02/11
ga
Photo of new Riley Grand-Am car  Grand-Am on Thursday revealed images of the Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype, the first car designed to meet the DPG3 regulations.

The race series developed the DPG3 regulations to offer more potential for brand character and design. Grand-Am approved designs from Coyote, Dallara and Riley, but Riley is the first to produce images of its new car.

The photo shows a smaller greenhouse around the driver as well as changes that fit new regulations calling for a more upright nose and higher tail. More ...

09/02/11
irl
Team Penske confident heading to Baltimore  Team Penske looks to build on its momentum at inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix .

Street Savvy: Team Penske has enjoyed its share of street racing success over the years and it looks to continue to add to its achievements on the streets this weekend. The team has claimed seven wins on temporary street circuits like the one in Baltimore since the beginning of the 2009 season.

For the Record: Team Penske has produced 30 street course victories among its 158 all-time race wins. The current driver lineup of Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe is responsible for generating 12 of those 30 street course victories (Power – 6, Castroneves – 5, Briscoe – 1). More ...

09/02/11
irl
Video: Simona and Pork Chop  A little humor to start the day.

09/02/11
autogp
Auto GP has Worldwide plans for 2012, that will lead to its demise  
Auto GP start
The Auto GP series uses the cars from the former A1 Grand Prix Series.  Now they are about to take on an international calendar  that will cause costs to skyrocket and lead to the same fate as A1 Grand Prix - death.

With just one month to the end of the Championship, with the Valencia and Mugello rounds that are going to be the title deciders, for Auto GP it's already time to think about 2012. The Auto GP staff is already at work on the plans for next year, aiming to a further growth for a Series that in just two seasons already became one of the most appreciated in motorsport. The calendar obviously is one of the key aspects of this plan, and looking to the 2012 dates Auto GP has opted for some major changes.

The aim for next season is to pass from a European to a Worldwide calendar, with three intercontinental trips to Curitiba (Brazil), Sonoma (USA where not a single soul would buy a ticket to see Auto GP) and Suzuka (Japan), touching three continents and top-notch venues (Sonoma is one of the best tracks of the IndyCar calendar and Suzuka is renowned for making the history of recent F1). This intercontinental program is part of a project that should see an even tighter cooperation between Auto GP, WTCC and broadcaster Eurosport: according to this plan, Auto GP will race alongside the World Touring Car Championship through the whole season in 8 events, one more than in 2011. More ...

09/02/11
irl
Traffic woes in Baltimore  Thursday afternoon it took one of our staff about 45-50 minutes to go a couple of miles from the Convention Center to the theater where Tony Kanaan was showing “Senna”.  Tonight, it took him over an hour to drive 8 miles to his hotel.  This was in spite of the best efforts of an army of Baltimore’s finest doing traffic control.

If the interest on the part of the media is any indication – over 700 media requests – then this race could be one of the best-attended in a long time.  However, with the memories of Kentucky’s recent NASCAR event still on our mind (and in the news today), I’m sure that this will be a major topic of conversation.
09/02/11
irl
IndyCar drops Milwaukee, to add Road America?  Forget Milwaukee. Focus on Elkhart Lake.

The IZOD IndyCar Series, which returned to the Milwaukee Mile in 2011 after a one-year absence, will be off the schedule in 2012, CEO Randy Bernard confirmed Thursday.

The Father's Day weekend event met with considerable fanfare from drivers and die-hard fans but lived up to the hype only in that it was an entertaining race.

The lack of momentum, mistakes of a rookie promoter, confusion and apathy in the marketplace and a race morning bout of bad weather all led to big disappointment and a substantial financial hit for the promoter. More ...

09/01/11
irl
Simona back in States, Will drive  After a week of uncertainty, HVM Racing is thrilled to announce that primary driver, Simona De Silvestro has arrived back in the United States and will drive the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in this weekend's Baltimore Grand Prix.  

Last week, De Silvestro was questioned and sent back home as she attempted to enter the U.S. by the Customs and Border Protection during her return from her home country of Switzerland. Facing this situation, HVM Racing was forced to make a fast and smart decision. They enlisted the help of French driver Simon Pagenaud, who piloted the No. 78 car to a P15 finish in last weekend's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. More ...
09/01/11
irl
Video: Watch and hear the 2012 IndyCar at Indy  
09/01/11
irl
Centerplate Plans to Serve 55,000 Fans at the Baltimore Grand Prix  Centerplate, the leading hospitality provider to North America's premier events, is serving as hospitality host for The Baltimore Grand Prix September 2nd through 4th. Centerplate, at the Baltimore Convention Center, has been preparing for the event for several months and anticipates serving over 55,000 fans over the race weekend.

The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix will encompass a 2-mile temporary street circuit traveling through the heart of Baltimore's Downtown, rushing past the scenic Inner Harbor and racing around the Baltimore Convention Center. The race weekend will feature a blend of world-class racing and entertainment, highlighted by the American Le Mans Series Race on Saturday and the IZOD IndyCar Series Race on Sunday.  More ...
09/01/11
motogp
Capirossi to retire at end of season  Loris Capirossi will retire from professional motorcycle racing at the end of 2011, announcing the decision during this afternoon's press conference at Misano. The multiple MotoGP winner explained that it was far from easy to make the decision, but felt it was the best path to take after a challenging season for the Pramac squad.

"It’s an important moment in my career, and the decision I made has come about after a lot of reflection," said Capirossi, who has achieved 99 podium finishes during his 22-year World Championship career. "I’m happy that after 25 years, of which 22 were in the World Championship, I’m at a point where I can still have a smile on my lips as I part ways, even if it’s difficult to think that I won’t be riding a bike next year. More ...

09/01/11
nassprint
Bowyer discusses contract situation  From a #33-Clint Bowyer article on SPEED: "I'm still working on my deal to return to RCR next year. But it's all about sponsorship. These things take time and you can't just jump in with both feet  you've got to be patient and wait on the sponsorship search to pan out for you. Unfortunately, the media, and they're just doing their jobs, asks me every weekend and throughout the week about the status of my contract negotiations. Then rumors get started and folks start speculating about things they really know nothing about. In my opinion, that only complicates my situation and confuses all parties involved. But that little speech probably will go in one ear and out the other by the time we hit the track this weekend. I wish I could push the pressure to get a deal done aside that easily, but I certainly have been busy. The Chase is priority one now - it comes before this contract mess. I want to be in the Chase and I think our Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet deserves a spot. We've still got a shot and we intend to do everything in our power to make that happen. Despite all the speculation and uncertainty, I'm 100-percent focused on performance when I climb into that race car each weekend. There's no reason to think otherwise at Atlanta this weekend. We've got a mission & and it's to make our way into the Chase." SPEED
09/01/11
fil
Globetrotting Daly back on home soil  MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly, an American teenager on a mission, plans to continue his march at the front of the Firestone Indy Lights field this weekend in Baltimore, MD. Just five days ago he enjoyed his best European results of his rookie season at the ultra fast Spa Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium.  For the globe-trotting teenager the Grand Prix of Baltimore is part of a nine country swing over an eight week period. By far the most travelled young American driver, Daly is running a five race limited Indy Lights schedule in support of his European racing effort. This season Daly has chosen what is perhaps the most difficult path possible, combining a full European schedule with a limited Firestone Indy Lights program of five races. Incredibly, after the first three Indy Lights races of the season, Daly left the series as the championship leader after winning on the streets of Long Beach in April. More ...
09/01/11
nassprint
Dale Jr. re-signs with Hendrick thru 2017  Hendrick Motorsports and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep Earnhardt behind the wheel of the #88 Chevys through the end of the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "We're excited to have everything formalized and announced," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Junior and I had a handshake agreement months ago, and we let other people work out the finer points from there. It was as simple and smooth as it gets. My feelings haven't changed since the day he first signed with us. I'm committed as ever to putting him in the best possible situation to be successful and compete for wins and championships."

Earnhardt, 36, has earned 18 Sprint Cup race wins since joining the circuit full-time in 2000. The Kannapolis, N.C., native has won the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and two Nationwide Series championships. In NASCAR's national touring series, he has a combined 41 points-paying victories. "It's great to have it all wrapped up so quickly and far in advance," said Earnhardt, who currently is ninth in the Sprint Cup standings. "Rick and I were on the same page from the first time we talked about it, so there wasn't any sense in waiting. There were never any questions or hesitations from either of us. It was just, 'Yeah, let's do it.' I'm really happy at Hendrick Motorsports and enjoy working with everyone here. The team's been very competitive this season, and we're all excited about the direction of things. I want to make sure we're giving our fans something to cheer about for a long time." Earnhardt originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports in June 2007 for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. That contract was set to expire at the end of 2012. Hendrick Motorsports
09/01/11
nassprint
Fastenal signs multi-year deal for Carl Edwards  Fastenal announced today that it has signed a multiyear agreement with Roush Fenway Racing to become a primary sponsor of Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Fastenal will be the primary on Edwards’ No. 99 for 17 Cup Series races in 2012, starting at Daytona International Speedway. The company will also sponsor two additional Roush Fenway entries in a yet to be determined 2012 Cup Series race, putting three Fastenal-branded Fords on the track during a single event.

Fastenal, a regular primary on Edwards’ No. 60 Nationwide Ford Mustang since 2010, will continue its association with one of NASCAR’s elite drivers. During his stellar career, Edwards has racked up 19 wins along with 80 top fives, 133 top 10s and nine pole awards in just over 250 career Sprint Cup Series starts. He has secured his position in the 2011 Chase for Sprint Cup NASCAR ‘playoff’ for the sixth time in seven attempts and has led the Sprint Cup point standings for the majority of the season. More ...

09/01/11
f1
Whiting happy after India track inspection  (GMM)  Charlie Whiting inspected the Buddh circuit on Thursday and indicated that the new Delhi venue is on track to host India's inaugural grand prix next month.

The September 1 inspection was earmarked as central to the circuit's mandatory homologation by the governing FIA.

The Times of India said Whiting "stated that the progress was more than satisfactory and exceeded expectations from when he last visited the site."

The FIA official also reportedly "expressed confidence that the inaugural Indian grand prix will be a huge success".

09/01/11
nascar
Judge dismisses NASCAR as defendant  NASCAR has been dismissed as a defendant in a lawsuit over the firing of a teacher following the filming of an explicit video shot two years ago at a Charlotte high school.  Providence Day School teacher Kathryn Taylor, a 37-year employee and director of summer programs who was 64 years old at the time of her firing, had filed suit against her school, NASCAR and the NASCAR Media Group over her dismissal.

NASCAR and NASCAR Media Group were dismissed as defendants following a hearing earlier this month in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, according to court documents. More ...

09/01/11
track news
Silverstone installs charging stations  As part of its latest development program, Silverstone owners the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) have installed two of the most advanced electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to offer visitors a chance to charge their cars’ batteries at no cost.

“This is one of the first steps in our plan to become a focal point for showcasing EVs and educating the public about the capabilities of electric cars,” says Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited.

“The introduction of these charging points means that EV drivers within a 60-mile radius of Silverstone can attend some of the premiere events on the racing calendar and, should they prove popular, we intend to install many more.”

With each charging point able to support two cars at once, EV drivers will be able to reach Silverstone from locations such as Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Oxford and North London without the need to recharge en route.

The charging stations can be found both in the public car park next to the circuit’s main entrance and outside the new Innovation Centre.

09/01/11
irl
Will Power's strength is clearly on the street  
Will Power
If you want to talk about street and road courses, Penske driver Will Power is the man to start with.  Over his seven-year career, Power has won 14 races — 13 of them on the twisting roads. But the 30-year-old Australian says dominating the streets isn't something that comes naturally. It's a skill he's been working on for more than three decades.

It takes about a decade of just doing street races to perfect the skills," he said. "I grew up doing that. The U.S. is the only place for ovals. But it was in the Champ Car Series in 2006 and '07 that turned me into a really good street-course driver. In Champ Cars, street and road courses were all we did. There were no ovals, just a lot of laps on the street." More ...

09/01/11
irl
IndyCar Sonoma TV rating  Versus continues to fail IndyCar.  The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Sonoma on Aug 28 on VERSUS drew a 0.3 TV rating with 431,000 viewers

Contrast that to the IndyCar race at Hampshire on August 14 that got a 0.9 rating on ABC with an average of 1,277,000 viewers.

VERSUS coverage of the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 7 got a 0.2 rating with 309,000 viewers.

09/01/11
alms
Corvette Racing well prepared for Baltimore event  
Compuware Corvettes
Before the first practice session at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix begins, Corvette Racing's twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars will already have made dozens of laps on the downtown street circuit – thanks to sophisticated computer simulations.

The first race on the 2.1-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit is a journey into the unknown for American Le Mans Series teams. With limited practice time before Saturday's two-hour race, every second on the track is precious. In order to maximize the Corvettes' performance, the engineering team has analyzed the layout and developed chassis setups on a virtual track. More ...

09/01/11
f1
New Renault sponsors but Senna denies paying  UPDATE Genii Capital and WWI Group have the same mailing address in Luxembourg, hmm.....

Address Genii Capital: http://www.genii-capital.com/Genii-Capital-Contact.html
WWI Group: http://www.wwigroup.com/en/contact/index.php?

Bruno Senna bought his Renault ride by bringing two new sponsors to team
08/31/11
(PVM) It would have taken a sharp eye to spot the new logos on the Renault R31 during the Belgian Grand Prix, but OGX and Gillette decals found prominent placing on the black and gold cars, coinciding with Bruno Senna’s debut for the team despite his denial that money has changed hands for the race seat.

In Belgium, Senna was adamant that he was not paying for the drive, telling Auto Motor und Sport, “If you look at the team then there are no new logos on the car or on myself. That is definitely not the reason why I’m sitting in the car. I’m there because the team has faith that I can do a good job.”

We did look [carefully] at the cars and discovered the new partner logos, which appeared for the first time at Spa without the usual fanfare press release. More ...

09/01/11
irl
IndyCar news bits  An IZOD IndyCar Series championship preview, featuring team owners Roger Penske (Team Penske) and Chip Ganassi (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), will be streamed live at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sept. 3 on INDYCAR Mobile. Text INDYCAR to 3406 to download the Verizon Wireless app. ... Newman/Haas Racing senior engineer Craig Hampson, a graduate of the University of Maryland, will host engineering students from the school for a behind-the-scenes look at the IZOD IndyCar Series during the race weekend. … J.R. Hildebrand will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Orioles-Toronto Blue Jays afternoon game Sept. 1. … The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards is hosting a special exhibit celebrating on the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 (cars, helmets, and memorabilia).
09/01/11
irl
Charities benefit from events  The Hard Rock Café plays host to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers for a meet and greet from 6-8p.m. Sept. 2 (601 E. Pratt Street). A silent auction of racing memorabilia and music-related item swill benefit the Al Unser Jr. Children's Charitable Foundation.

Olivia Newton-John and Terrell Owens co-host Pink and Blue for Two at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Rams Head Live (20 Market Place). Auctions benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center and the Baltimore Cool Kids Foundation. Newton-John and the Kelly Bell Band perform, plus food and beverages. More ...

09/01/11
irl
Conway seeks advantage on Streets of Baltimore  
Conway won on the streets of Long Beach.  Can he do it again in Baltimore?
Mike Conway figures he has a small advantage over the other 27 drivers who he will compete against at the Baltimore Grand Prix this weekend.

Conway and Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing are the only IZOD IndyCar Series drivers to get an advance look at the track (on foot and passenger car tour) that abuts the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

On his visit a couple of weeks ago to unveil his No. 27 Team Buffalo Wild Wings livery and sponsor program, race organizers even made up a faux street sign for the driver whose surname is the same as the short section of the course coming out of a hard left-hand turn that leads to pit lane/Turn 6. More ...

09/01/11
f1
20-Race 2012 Formula 1 calendar, no Turkey GP  UPDATE April 2012 might still be a bit early to re-install the F1 GP of Bahrain ... is this a chance for Turkey to get the go ahead after all? (see below):

The dust hasn't settled yet in Bahrain, on the contrary ... see the latest news of the past 24 hours ... :

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/31/MNBI1KUB1I.DTL
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c2c33d46-d3c7-11e0-bc6b-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1WgGzhJle
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/09/01/bahrain.death/
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/world/middleeast/01bahrain.html

08/31/11
Date Venue
18 March Australian GP
25 March Malaysian GP
15 April Chinese GP
22 April Bahrain GP
13 May Spanish GP
27 May Monaco GP
10 June Canada GP
24 June European GP
8 July British GP
22 July German GP
29 July Hungarian GP
2 September Belgian GP
9 September Italian GP
23 September Singapore GP
7 October Japanese GP
14 October Korean GP
28 October Indian GP
4 November Abu Dhabi GP
18 November US GP
25 November Brazilian GP
09/01/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Bruno Senna bought his Renault ride by bringing two new sponsors to team
    Senna debut delivers two sponsors for Renault
  • Berger scolds Mercedes' team orders at Spa
  • Alonso hints Vettel and Newey welcome at Ferrari
  • FIA releases arduous final calendar for 2012
  • Todt to propose Friday practice for testers only
  • Alesi happy with Spa/France alternating proposal
  • D'Ambrosio says Glock 'reference' at Virgin
  • McLaren should 'forget' 2011 title now - de la Rosa
  • Alguersuari hopes future rumors now stop
  • Gribkowsky lawyers asks for F1 scandal to end More ...
08/31/11
irl
Newman/Haas team analyzes Baltimore Street Circuit  The Baltimore Grand Prix will mark the inaugural race for the IZOD IndyCar Series here. A new layout will provide an added challenge to teams and drivers this weekend and Telemundo driver Oriol Servia and Sprott driver James Hinchcliffe are looking forward to the new challenge. The layout incorporates some of the city’s most popular attractions including Pratt street, the scenic Inner Harbor area and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Newman/Haas Racing Chief Engineer Craig Hampson, who is also Hinchcliffe’s race engineer, describes the team’s approach to the weekend.

“This is obviously a new circuit for everybody,” said Hampson. “One immediately thinks "San Jose" (*See below) because we have to cross railroad tracks – twice -- and it has a hairpin. Since I went to the University of Maryland, I still have friends in the area. One was kind enough to do a pretty thorough recon for Newman/Haas, so we have a decent idea of the track surfaces. But until the complete circuit is built and we run on it to find all the bumps we won't really know. The pit lane is going to be a real challenge here. It’s very short, and the entry to the pits is a bit of a maze.” More ...

08/31/11
irl
Mouser Sponsors Chinese Racer Ho-Pin Tung as Indy Newcomer Makes History  Mouser Electronics, Inc., a top design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components, congratulates IndyCar's newest driver Ho-Pin Tung on his run at the Indy Grand Prix Sonoma. Tung, who raced in the #88 Mouser Honda IndyCar, made racing history on Sunday as the first driver from the People's Republic of China to qualify and race in an IndyCar event. For more information, visit http://www.mouser.com/indy .

"It's been a true pleasure to work with Ho-Pin; he's an extremely talented driver and his involvement has become an integral part of our successful business strategy," says Larry Johannes, Mouser Vice President of Strategic Marketing. "Our partnership with Ho-Pin, Jay Penske and Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) embodies Mouser's commitment to high performance."

08/31/11
irl
Firestone Baltimore preview  
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
* Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 804, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires);
* Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 366, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires);
* Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 468, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend.

The alternate tire program, part of the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2009, calls for a second tire specification at a road- or street-course race weekend using the same construction as the primary specification, but with a softer tread compound to provide more grip and faster lap times while trading off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages. Firestone's alternate tires are easily identified by their bright red sidewalls. More ...

08/31/11
f1
USA GP date confirmed for 2012  The FIA and the World Motor Sport Council released a confirmed calendar for the 2012 Formula 1 season today.

The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ is coming to Circuit of The Americas™ on November 18, 2012!

The inaugural Austin race could very well decide the outcome of the 2012 season, as it will be the second-to-last race of the season, running back-to-back with the Brazilian Grand Prix.

08/31/11
irl
Highlights of Daly/Scheckter media conference  IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tomas Scheckter and Firestone Indy Lights driver Conor Daly participated in an INDYCAR teleconference to preview the Baltimore Grand Prix. A full transcript and MP3 audio of the call is available at www.indycar.com/media. Selected quotes are below.

Q. Conor, just talk a little bit about coming back to Baltimore and racing for the final time in the 77 car.

CONOR DALY: I'm really looking forward to it. I think my year in Europe has kind of ‑‑ it's been a struggle and it's been difficult. We keep improving every weekend, but it's been nice to ‑‑ it's been really nice actually to come back and jump in the Indy Lights car because it's gone well for us. To me it's a lot of fun car ‑‑ quite a fun car to drive, and yeah, I mean, the Sam Schmidt team gives me a great car, and I'm just really looking forward to the weekend. I love street courses, and I hear this one is pretty good. More ...

08/31/11
irl
Panther Racing signs engineer Mike Cannon  Panther Racing announced via Twitter on Wednesday that it has signed highly rated engineer Michael Cannon. "He will join Technical Director David Cripps to help strengthen our entire staff," the team stated.

This should boost J.R. Hildebrands chances of winning the IndyCar rookie title this year.  Hildebrand leads the rookie standings, but Newman/Haas Racing's James Hinchcliffe has closed to within three points of him with four races to go.

08/31/11
alms
Duncan Dayton presents Delta Wing car in Washington  Highcroft Racing President Duncan Dayton's keynote speech about the Project 56 DeltaWing assault for Le Mans at the National Press Club in Washington DC today
08/31/11
irl
Kanaan back with KV Racing in 2012  UPDATE #2 Tony Kanaan will remain with KV Racing Technology for the next two years after signing a contract extension with the team he joined this season.

08/28/11
Tony Kanaan
Contrary to the Indy Star article, Tony Kanaan said on TV today that he has not signed for next year yet.

08/28/11 Tony Kanaan has signed a contract to return to KV Racing Technology, team owner Jimmy Vasser told the Indy Star at Infineon Raceway, site of today’s Izod IndyCar Series race. Kanaan came to the Indianapolis-based team this year after parting ways with Andretti Autosport and failing to secure sponsorship with De Ferran Dragon Racing, which split up as a result.
08/31/11
irl
More upset people over IndyCar officiating  UPDATE #3 Another reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, The letter below from a fan where they say ‘If anything, he (Pantano) should have been dropped one spot behind Bourdais’ and ‘Unprofessional: Barnhart must be canned’ is another example of the blind (Reinbold) leading the blind (fans that are not knowledgeable about the rules).  The fan can certainly be forgiven, but not Reinbold.

Dennis Reinbold is a team owner and the entrant of IndyCar No.# 22 and subject to the rules and regulations of IndyCar.  Reinbold is the one that should be sanctioned and fined for bringing the series into disrepute, just the same as Will Power received for visually doing the same thing Reinbold has done verbally with the rarely seen ‘double bird’ salute.

Reinbold says he doesn’t like ‘getting screwed’. 

Well I don’t like Reinbold screwing IndyCar by totally misrepresenting the rules and the facts simply because his driver was correctly penalized.  Instead of taking his criticisms and allegations behind closed doors to both Barnhart and Bernard, as a professional would do and as he is required to do by the rules, instead he does his own version of the double bird by bringing the series into disrepute.  He whines to the public and intentionally misleads fans not knowledgeable about the intricacies of the actual rules. More ...

08/31/11
gp2
Coletti: I was close to being paralyzed  Stefano Coletti has revealed that he escaped paralysis by a narrow margin after his crash in the Saturday GP2 Feature Race at Spa.

While approaching Pouhon corner in wet conditions, Coletti’s Trident car was launched over the back of Mikhail Aleshin’s Carlin before making contact with the Armco barrier. With a destroyed floor, Coletti retired from the race in the run-off area.

“In the end no operation for now,” the Monegasque driver said via his personal Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon. “My back is getting better, but the doctor today told me that I was very close to being paralyzed!”

It has already been confirmed that the 22-year-old will miss the GP2 season finale at Monza next weekend.

08/31/11
irl
Virtual lap of the new Baltimore Grand Prix Circuit  
08/31/11
irl
alms
Baltimore happenings for Grand Prix  If you're in Baltimore for the Grand Prix or you're simply a local looking for something to do, there's plenty to keep you occupied: driver appearances, concerts, attractions and more.

Racer sightings

Adobe Road Wine Dinner: With champion driver Marc Bunting and others competing in the Baltimore Grand Prix. Preview the Team Baltimore Racing show car. Wednesday, Morton's The Steakhouse, 300 S. Charles St. $125. mortons.com

Al Unser Jr. and other IndyCar series racers: Appearing 7 p.m. Wednesday; chance to win tickets with Izod purchase. Macy’s, 10300 Little Patient Parkway, Columbia. macys.com

Danica Patrick and Mike Conway: Appearing 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Buffalo Wild Wings, 10391 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills.

Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay: Appearing 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Buffalo Wild Wings, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd., White Marsh.

Dario Franchitti: Appearing 6-9 p.m. Friday at Radcliffe Jewelers, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville. He’ll be promoting the TW Steel line of watches. The event will also feature an auction benefiting The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. RSVP required; email name, phone and any guests to rsvp@radcliffejewelers.com  More ...

08/31/11
nassprint
irl
Kentucky Speedway's 2012 Cup date set, IndyCar to return  Bruton Smith returned to the microphone after Tuesday's news conference outside Kentucky Speedway's corporate offices to deliver one more announcement.
It wasn't a small one, either.

Kentucky Speedway's spot on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be June 30.

"Cancel everything that you have planned," said Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. "Don't do anything other than be here."

The Quaker State 400 again will anchor a tripleheader weekend at the speedway. The weekend again will include NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series races. More ...

08/31/11
IRL
Tony Kanaan happy at KV but still misses Andretti teammates  It's probably just the muscle memory of sweeping a Sharpie across a poster, hat or T-shirt several thousand times over the course of eight years. Tony Kanaan has signed many autographs this season and accidentally included an 11, the number he drove to 14 victories and a championship for Michael Andretti from 2003 to 2010. Yet the pen slips might serve as reminders that, despite a split laden with bickering, Kanaan finds no vindication in outpointing his former teammates.

"It's not that we parted ways and that made me faster," said the 2004 Izod IndyCar Series champion, who was left rideless late last year by a sponsor departure. "It's not like, 'Yeah, you guys lost it!' I never had that feeling. I was really sad. I miss them because I was there for a long time, and I had to learn how to move on." More ...
08/30/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Vettel 'definitely' headed for 2011 title - Sutil
  • No fear of Monza after Red Bull's Spa speed
  • 'No plan B' as van der Garde eyes 2012 F1 debut
  • Time since 2008 title tilt 'intense' admits Massa More ...
08/30/11
cart
Former CART IndyCar inspector dies  Jay Crawford Jr., 82, of Oregon, Ohio, passed away Sunday, August 28, 2011 at his residence, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Toledo, Ohio on June 24, 1929 to Jay Sr. and Dorothy (Stock) Crawford. Jay was a graduate of the former Macomber High School and served in the US Army in the Korean War. On June 26, 1953, he married Bettie Miracle. Jay was employed as a boilermaker with Local 85 for 42 years. He spent the last 15 years working with the William Ferrel Company and Catalytic Construction, retiring in 1992. In 1983, Jay began working with the technical inspection division of Championship Auto Racing Teams. Jay and Bettie spent many years traveling the racing circuit with Championship Auto Racing Teams. He also enjoyed fishing and traveling throughout the world with Bettie. His true passion was attending his granddaughters many sporting events. Jay is survived by his wife of 58 years, Bettie; son, Michael and daughter-in-law, Deb; grandchildren, Kristin, Kaitlyn, and Kimberly Crawford, and sister, Joan Pickerel. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Dorothy Brown. Friends may call at Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon Chapel, 440 S. Coy Road, on Tuesday, August 30, from 2:00-9:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home. Memorials may be directed to Hospice of Northwest Ohio. www.egglestonmeinert.com
08/30/11
f1
Video: Schumacher passes 9 cars on Lap 1 at Spa  Michael Schumacher's Start from P24 in Spa. He overtook 9 cars on the first lap.  This is why Indy Car needs to go standing starts on road courses. With new car and news engine coming  in 2012 standing starts is the way to go. Watch Schumacher bob and weave his way from last at Spa at the start. Great driving great reflex's and car control.

08/30/11
nassprint
NASCAR Phoenix tire testing completed  Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers - Johnson, Edwards, Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch - completed a two-day Goodyear tire test at Phoenix International Raceway on August 29-30. The tests ran from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day and provided NASCAR's official tire manufacturer with data and feedback on PIR's new racing surface following the August 12 completion of the track's first major paving project since 1990. The research gathered from the tests will assist Goodyear in selecting a tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at PIR on November 13. In February, Phoenix International Raceway announced details related to the 47-year old NASCAR facility's first major track pavement project since 1990. Construction began in March with the removal of the facility's former racing surface and the subsequent installation of a new race track. Monday and Tuesday's tests offered all five drivers their first runs on a new surface that included a series of changes implemented to promote side-by-side racing. One such change, the alteration of PIR's signature back-stretch dog-leg to include banking and elevation variances, improved what Kurt Busch referred to as the "fun factor" at PIR.
08/30/11
nassprint
Earnhardt Jr., says he doesn’t care about making the Chase  Dale Earnhardt Jr., continued his winless streak Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

It’s now been 117 races since Earnhardt has visited victory lane in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Despite some strong runs early in the season, since Kansas in June, Earnhardt has not finished inside the top five.

Saturday night was another disappointing race for Earnhardt. After starting 22nd, he was never in contention. He lost a lap that he was able to make up but was never able to climb up in the field and finished 16th. More ...

08/30/11
nassprint
Bristol TV ratings plummet  The live telecast of Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was an anomaly for determining viewership and ratings due to effects of Hurricane Irene and other factors that split the telecast onto ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. The race aired in much of the country on ABC, but due to Hurricane Irene, many local stations on the East Coast pre-empted the race telecast for news about the storm. The race also aired on ESPN in eastern states from South Carolina to Maine as a backup for viewers in areas where hurricane news could possibly pre-empt the race, and on ESPN2 in eight markets where NFL pre-season games were airing. Only the ABC portion of the audience can be measured by the Nielsen Company and the race earned a 3.0 household U.S. rating, averaging 5.067,000 viewers. Last year's race, which aired on ABC around the country in normal fashion, earned a 4.4 rating. ESPN's live telecast of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,439,000 viewers. Last year's Bristol race, which also aired on ESPN, earned a 1.6 rating. ESPN
08/30/11
nnw
Kevin Harvick Inc. Announces Competition Changes  Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today changes to the organization’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program.

Effective immediately Chris Carrier has been named crew chief of the No. 33 team, replacing David Hyder who has been released from his position. For this weekend’s events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Carrier will continue his role as crew chief of the No. 8 team which competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to assuming the duties with the No. 33 team. Crew chief for the No. 8 team will be named at a later date.

08/30/11
nassprint
Yeley to drive No. 38 Ford  Front Row Motorsports' No. 38 Ford will have a different look at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway this weekend, hitting the track with a new sponsor and a different driver. Front Row driver J.J. Yeley will take the wheel of the No. 38 Vampt Ford for Sunday's AdvoCare 500, introducing the NASCAR audience to Vampt malt beverages.

Vampt Beverage Corp.'s initial product offering includes two agave-infused, ready-to-drink malt beverages - Vampt SMOOTH TALKER™ and Vampt MIDNIGHT WARRIOR™ - available in select markets, including Atlanta this fall. Both the nectarine SMOOTH TALKER™ and citrus MIDNIGHT WARRIOR™ flavors have 8-percent alcohol by volume, offering less sweetness and more alcohol content than other malt beverages.

The one-race deal has Yeley swapping rides with teammate Travis Kvapil, who will drive the No. 55 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the weekend. Yeley has seven Sprint Cup Series career starts at the 1.54-mile oval in Hampton, Ga. His best finish at the track is 15th (2006).

08/30/11
irl
alms
Baltimore needs Grand Prix to be a hit  UPDATE Looking where they put the pit road for the Baltimore street circuit, there are no grandstands, just one at the far end.  This is the location that many fans like to sit.  This is quite unfortunate really, but still the track is a good one.  They better have an abundance of large TV screens for the fans to see the pitstops.

08/29/11
Let me start by saying I'm rooting hard for the Baltimore Grand Prix.

I hope this weekend's big IndyCar race through the downtown streets is a huge success that drowns out all the whiners. I hope the city makes money and the bars and restaurants make money and we don't see any cars crash and go spinning into the Inner Harbor, which tends to upset the tourists climbing onto their water taxis.

I hope race organizers get the 120,000 or so spectators they're hoping for and Baltimore becomes known for throwing a great road race, instead of for how many bodies they find on our streets.

But, boy, has this race been slammed by bad publicity so far.

First, you had folks who live and work downtown complaining about the street repairs and traffic congestion caused by race preparations. More ...

08/30/11
irl
alms
Ahead of Baltimore Grand Prix, Pit Row Is Filling With Lawsuits  As reported by The Times on Aug. 18, potholes and other undesirable obstacles are being paved over for the Baltimore Grand Prix, which will be held on city streets here over Labor Day weekend. Yet two recent lawsuits have called into question whether the promoters that persuaded IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series to stage races here can actually foot the bill.

The lawsuits also highlight how, in the name of expanding interest in their sports, racing organizations are often willing to entrust their brands to untested promoters.

Behind the Baltimore suit is Steven Wehner, the local entrepreneur who spearheaded the grand prix initiative and who charged earlier this month that the promoter, Baltimore Racing Development — known as B.R.D. — defaulted on scheduled payments to buy his 10.2 percent share of the organization. Mr. Wehner is seeking a lump-sum payment of $750,000, including interest and lawyers’ fees. More ...

08/30/11
track news
Tracks spared hurricane damage  Hurricane Irene proved to be more than a hindrance to several NASCAR tracks over the weekend, but officials at Richmond, New Hampshire and Dover expect upcoming race weekends to go off without a hitch. Although Richmond International Raceway suffered no major damage, as of Monday morning the area around the track remained without electricity. Richmond is scheduled to host the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series event on Sept. 9, followed by the Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Sept. 10. Turner said track officials are confident the facility will be ready to host the more than 90,000 fans expected to attend each evening. In three weeks, the series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. According to NHMS director of communications Kristen Costa, the facility had minimal damage. At Dover, senior director of communications Gary Camp said track officials had enough lead time to stow important items. "We had no damage here at the track, fortunately," Camp said. NASCAR.com

The Baltimore street circuit for this weekend's IndyCar and ALMS races was also sparred any major damage.

08/30/11
automotive
Gordon Murray Joins Group Lotus  
Gordon Murray was a great F1 designer
Murray was chief designer at the Brabham F1 team when he came up with the 'fan car' - the Brabham BT46B, which exploited the rules by having a large fan at the rear which sucked air from under the car to improve downforce - the team argued that it was to extract heat from the flat-12 Alfa Romeo engine. Niki Lauda won the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, the car's debut, after which it was banned.
Group Lotus is delighted to announce the appointment of Gordon Murray to the Lotus Advisory Council. Murray will work alongside automotive industry icons Bob Lutz, Tom Purves, Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göschel and Frank Tuch to advise Group Lotus on current and future development.

The purpose of the Lotus Advisory Council is to give advice and guidance on strategic issues such as product strategy, technology, quality, brand, marketing and distribution for Group Lotus.

It’s a little known fact that when Gordon began his motorsport career in 1969 he actually wanted to work for Lotus but a chance meeting with Brabham designer Ron Tauranac lead to him working for Brabham where he was later appointed Chief Designer by team boss Bernie Ecclestone.

During his time in F1, Gordon was responsible for designing many Grand Prix winning cars and was heralded by many as leading the way in terms of innovation and pioneering new technologies.

More recently Gordon established Gordon Murray Design to develop an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream®.  The design and prototyping of their T.25 Petrol and T.27 Electric Ultra Compact City Cars has been central to both the development and validation of this process.

Commenting on the appointment Group Lotus Chief Executive Dany Bahar said: “Gordon has never been afraid to trail blaze, take risks and do things differently, these are attribute that we are very familiar with and very proud of at Lotus. With his incredible and unique motorsport and design experience he will complement the existing council line up perfectly. We’re very much looking forward to working with him."

Gordon Murray said: “For years I’ve been a huge admirer of Lotus, I have great respect for the legacy that Colin Chapman created and I think what Dany and the team are doing is a really good thing for the brand. He’s taking the strength from Chapman’s principals and taking the business to the next level whilst still keeping the general ethos – not an easy task! I’m really looking forward to contributing to Group Lotus during this exciting time.”

08/30/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Button wants to stay at McLaren
    Investors to 'bombard' CVC over F1 bribery scandal
  • Button wants McLaren to trigger 2012 contract
  • Press says Vettel strolling to early second title
  • Buemi's father insists new Webber deal 'no surprise'
  • Kolles staying at HRT in 2012 - advisor Sala
  • 'Emotional' Heidfeld reaction 'surprised' Renault
  • Renault team owner Lopez open to Spa buy-out

Investors to 'bombard' CVC over F1 bribery scandal
(GMM)  Investors in F1 rights owner CVC are set to ask tough questions at a forthcoming meeting, the Financial Times is reporting.

One "large European investor", concerned about the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery affair involving Bernie Ecclestone, confirmed he will be asking some of those questions at the meeting in September. More ...

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