Holmatro renews with IndyCar through 2017 Holmatro Incorporated, the global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality hydraulic products and rescue equipment, announced today that it has renewed its partnership with INDYCAR as the Official Rescue Tool Supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights through 2017.
Holmatro, which has provided trackside support at every IZOD IndyCar Series race since its January 1996 event at Walt Disney World Speedway, also has extended its entitlement sponsorship of the Holmatro Safety Team through the 2017 season.
Dillon Wins Truck Series Pole Ty Dillon will lead the field to the green flag after topping qualifying for Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Dillon turned in a lap of 177.357 mph in the afternoon session to secure his second career truck series pole. Tim George scored the outside pole with a lap of 177.028 to give Richard Childress Racing a clean sweep of the front row. James Buescher (176.611 mph) was third, followed by Kyle Busch (176.583 mph) and Nelson Piquet, Jr. (176.353 mph).
IndyCar explains final decision on Baltimore track
Quotes from BEAUX BARFIELD (President of Competition, INDYCAR): “The grinding was a good effort. They wanted to try it and I don’t blame them. From feedback I was getting from the teams with the grinding, I was very sure I was going to stick with my chicane program. The two together certainly look likes what we needed to get this race going.”
How does this affect tomorrow’s schedule?
“We lost some time today, but I think that was some good quality time at the end there. With the proper chicane that we will install tonight, that will make the track different enough that they’ll be able to go out and adapt to it pretty quickly and we’ll have a good productive session in the morning. So, no schedule changes. Tomorrow’s schedule will remain unchanged as far as I’m concerned. We will be out there late constructing the chicane tonight, but we have a good plan in place, much like we did when we brought the tires out. We will have to move some walls around to get some room to lay the asphalt in. The asphalt is on its way. It will be a slightly different chicane from last year because last year we had a three-curb chicane and this year it will be two and a layout identical to what the tires laid out just now. So we can go out and use the rubber laid down as a good guide for how we’re going to lay the curbs out. On a different note, but certainly related, the qualifying groups for IZOD IndyCar Series will be set based on tomorrow morning’s practice times. None of the times today counted to the separation of the groups.”
Vautier paces Indy Lights practice in Baltimore Almost a month hiatus from racing gave Tristan Vautier time to ponder and prepare for the final two Firestone Indy Lights races of the season.
In a heated duel with Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri for the championship, the freshman Firestone Indy Lights driver arrived at the Grand Prix of Baltimore seven points arrears. Also in the mix are Sebastian Saavedra of Team AFS (37 off the pace) and Gustavo Yacaman of Team Moore Racing (47 points behind). Yacaman is the defending race winner on the temporary street circuit.
Vautier paced the initial practice session on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn course with a lap of 1 minute, 28.2387 seconds in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car.
Power tops practice 2 in Baltimore A 30-minute session completed the first day with defending race winner and IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power pacing the 25 entries with a lap of 1 minute, 21.4572 seconds in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car.
"It's the same for everyone and it's another street course that we have to learn to be quick at," said Power, who enters the penultimate race of the season with a 36-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
Simon Pagenaud, who clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at Sonoma, was second quick (1:21.4883) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car.
Rahal appointed Chairman of USA Bobsled & Skeleton Foundation Today the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) was honored to announce the appointment of Robert “Bobby” Rahal as chairman of the recently launched USA Bobsled & Skeleton Foundation (USABSF) during a press conference at the Baltimore Grand Prix in Baltimore, Maryland. USBSF CEO Darrin Steele initiated the foundation more than two years ago, and has focused on identifying a chairman to lead the USABSF before the official launch.
“It took more time than we wanted to start this program because we insisted on waiting for the right person to lead it,” Steele said. “Bobby Rahal was definitely worth the wait.”
In addition to making a personal contribution to the USABSF, Rahal is charged with actively identifying additional foundation prospects to assist with fundraising and development of the sport on a national level.
IndyCar might reinstall chicane for bumpy Baltimore trackUPDATE #3 The grinding did not do enough. They are putting a chicane up.
08/31/12 Barfield just announced that they have a change in plan. The city has a grinder onsite and they will attempt to grind the track during the lunch break. The consultant thinks they can fix it with grinding. If not they will go with the chicane.
08/31/12 Article updated with more quotes below.
08/31/12 IndyCar Race Director Beaux Barfield just told AR1.com and other media here in Baltimore “Last year, I know there were some unofficial tests performed (on the front straight). When drivers had some clear laps, they sent them straight through the (Pratt Street) chicane. The feedback from the few drivers who tried that was we should come back without the chicane. That’s what happened, and immediately after letting cars on track (today), we saw that it wasn’t doable."
Referring to the San Jose Champ Car race in 2005 Barfield said, "I know from events we’ve had in the past with railroad tracks in play that railroad tracks can change overnight. I know the (light) rail hasn’t been active, but my point is from last year to this year, it could have changed a lot with the way those tracks settle. So based on driver input and looking at the video, I thought it was appropriate to end the session early, talk to some drivers directly, get some input and come up with a plan.
IndyCar Mobile to offer access to drivers' meetings INDYCAR fans will go behind-closed-doors in September, as the IZOD IndyCar Series pre-race drivers' meetings at Baltimore and Auto Club Speedway will be streamed for the first time, exclusively through INDYCAR Mobile.
While these meetings are traditionally open only to competitors, INDYCAR Mobile will allow fans to view Race Director Beaux Barfield relaying instructions for the races on the temporary street course in Baltimore on Sept. 2 and the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval on Sept. 15. Both are significant as the series' heated championship battle takes center stage, and contenders will express opinions and pose questions during the drivers' meetings.
IndyCar Mulls Options, Nurses Bruises! IndyCar and Grand Prix of Baltimore officials announced that they’ll install the chicane that was omitted this year, in order to slow the cars down before they hit the railroad tracks. This will certainly slow down the speeds through the bumpiest sections, but won’t eliminate the bumps. The City of Baltimore is working on some surface grinding to address the worst of the remaining bumps.
Meanwhile, the owners and drivers are talking about their experience. Simon Pagenaud, whose car did a 4-tire lift a la Dukes of Hazzard, said that in another car he would’ve been injured by the event. Bruno Junqueira was talking about the old Vegas street course before practice, and had a heckuva headache. Rumor is that Charlie Kimball’s car lost an engine (which is true, he did lose an engine) due to bumpiness, but team and Honda officials won’t comment on that last part. It is true that cars were bottoming out, including the skid plates on the bottom of the motor.
Even the Mazda F2000 and Star Mazda drivers were talking about getting airborne. The first practice for Indy Lights was cancelled, and the second was cut short after an accident that was probably caused by the rough track. The ALM cars were all bouncing around, but seemed to be better equipped to deal with the situation. -- Tim Wohlford, reporting from BALTIMORE!!
Dyson’s Smith Quickest in Opening Baltimore ALMS Practice Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith set the quickest time in the opening practice for the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT. The Briton’s lap of 1:25.899 (85.496 mph) in the No. 16 Lola-Mazda led Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Klaus Graf by 0.289 seconds.
Such a close gap between the Dyson car and Muscle Milk ARX-03a is nothing new in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. Smith won two weeks ago at Road America over Muscle Milk’s Lucas Luhr by 0.083 seconds. Muscle Milk and its drivers lead the Dyson contingent for the ALMS’ P1 drivers, team and manufacturer championships.
Rights holder of MotoGP in talks with Austin MotoGP rights holder Dorna is in negotiations with the Circuit of the Americas about a race in 2013, according to a Dorna spokesperson.
In an email to the American-Statesman, Ignacio Sagnier, Dorna's communications manager, declined to provide any further details of talks but said MotoGP's first draft for next year's race calendar would likely be released in two weeks at the San Marino race.
Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein was noncommittal, emailing, "We are excited by the strong interest we're seeing from a variety of motorsport series and are in the process of evaluating the 2013 calendar. We're optimistic that we'll reach our goal of offering fans a full schedule of major events."
Haryanto sails to pole in Spa Rio Haryanto has grabbed his maiden GP2 pole position in treacherous conditions to top a very wet qualifying session this afternoon in Spa Francorchamps, setting the pace throughout to lead home Lotus teammates James Calado and Esteban Gutiérrez.
The Indonesian's best time of 2:17.535 put him on pole by over a tenth in a session where he seemed to be able to improve at will, while his rivals slithered and slid all around the fabled circuit.
Once again the weather caused delays to the start of the session, but Haryanto was the first man on track and was soon setting the pace for his rivals, with Giedo van der Garde and Calado his main competitors on the timesheets. But whenever the others got close, the Indonesian seemed to find something else to improve his times as the session wound on.
NASCAR still reviewing pit designs after Martin crash No changes are planned for the first race on a high-speed oval since Mark Martin's violent collision with a pit wall at Michigan International Speedway, but NASCAR is reviewing tracks' pit designs. Martin was uninjured after his No. 55 Toyota skidded off Turn 4, down the pit road and into a wall opening at a sharp angle just behind the driver's-side door. The odds are slimmer that a car could squeeze through an opening in the same way during Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "Michigan had an incredibly large (pit) opening compared to some racetracks, probably twice the opening that the Atlanta openings are," vice president of competition Robin Pemberton told USA TODAY Sports. "Each (track) is unique, and sometimes it'll take a unique change to prevent something. We are in the process of looking at everything as we go forward." more at USA Today
Baltimore GP IndyCar Practice 1 led by Andretti Marco Andretti topped the red-flagged morning practice for the IndyCars on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. The session was shortened because now with the chicane removed the main straight along Pratt Street is very bumpy due to the higher speeds. Drivers are meeting with race officials to decide the best course of action.
Belgian GP: Practice 2 a total washout Heavy rain all day in the Ardennes meant there was very little running on the Spa-Francorchamps track. The morning practice was very wet but almost all drivers set times. In the afternoon all the teams opted to spend most of the time in their garages because the rain was so hard. Some times were set. There is a more promising forecast for the rest of the weekend, so few saw any point in risking damage by running hard on the saturated track on Friday afternoon.
Cars flying through air in BaltimoreUPDATE #2 Drivers are out of their cars and have gone into a meeting room to talk with officials about what to do. We would be surprised if they run anymore this session. Drivers were talking about it hurting their backs when they are landing over the bumps and it's going to break half shafts if something isn't done. Talk now is possible paving the bumps, grinding or reinstalling the chicane. Paving seems to be the best scenario but could not be done until tonight.
08/31/12 Crews are increasing the ground clearance and softening the suspension of the cars to compensate. Track went green again but will go red in 5 min. to seek driver feedback on whether they can race.
08/31/12 The Indy Cars took to the track Friday morning here in Baltimore and on the slow out lap cars were already getting all four wheels off the ground on Pratt Street. We watched Simon Pagenaud launch nose high through the air after hitting the uneven pavement of one of the cross streets. Charlie Kimball also ended up against a barrier The track has gone red as officials figure out what to do. More later...... -- Mark C., reporting from BALTIMORE!!
IndyCar Pulls Plug on Practice at Camden Yards! Well, it’s a road course. But even by that standard, the Grand Prix of Baltimore surface is beyond the pale. IndyCar officials threw a red flag 32 min into first practice section, and demanded immediate input from drivers. Justin Wilson had already told his crew that the one bump “...feels just like the one at Mid Ohio that broke his back.” Numerous TV shots showed cars leaving the ground, grinding into pavement, getting squirrely and sideways from bumps, etc. The worst section is where promoters paved over the light rail tracks – it literally looks like a Dukes of Hazzard rerun, sans the good music. After a few minutes consideration, the cars were returned to the paddock. Among those with no practice time were Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Alex Tagliani, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Charlie Kimball. MORE TO COME.
DRS usage for the Belgian Grand Prix will come on the Kemmel Straight, as it did last year. However, this will only be if Sunday’s race happens in the dry.
By placing DRS at Kemmel, drivers will be able to use the device along what is Spa’s longest straight section, preceding Les Combes which is a popular location for overtaking. The detection point comes on the run downhill towards Eau Rouge.
As practice started on Friday, rain lashed the Ardennes venue. Should such conditions remain on Sunday, which is possible, DRS usage would not be permitted.
Ford accused of infringing on fuel-injection patent in F-150 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. was accused in a lawsuit of infringing a 2008 patent covering a fuel-injection system in its F-150 trucks.
Ford allegedly began selling vehicles, including the F-150, that incorporated the patent's fuel system design after telling the inventor the company had no interest in the technology, according to the complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by TMC Fuel Injection System LLC. The company, based in Wayne, Pa., is seeking a court order barring Ford's conduct, in addition to unspecified damages.
Leimer on top in soaking Spa practice Fabio Leimer has got the season restarted in fine style by claiming the top spot in this morning's very wet free practice session at Spa Francorchamps, ignoring the miserable conditions to lead home Nigel Melker and Johnny Cecotto by almost a second in a red flag affected session.
The Swiss driver set the best time of 2:22.580 with six minutes remaining in the session, while his Dutch rival crossed the line just behind him on track, but 0.960 seconds behind on the stopwatch: when Cecotto lost his rear at Pouhon in the treacherous conditions one minute later, the red flags were out and the session was over.
Marussia Manor Racing's Tio Ellinas quickest in Free Practice Cypriot driver Tio Ellinas set the initial pace in the opening session for Round 7 of the 2012 GP3 Series at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. Carlin's Antonio Felix Da Costa was second, with Lotus GP's Daniel Abt third.
The forty-five minute practice got underway with cool track temperatures of 13 degrees as the rain hammered down on and off through the session. Matias Laine and Robert Visoiu were first out to test track conditions as the GP3 Series returned to on track action after the summer break.
The Carlin drivers of Felix Da Costa and William Buller took turns of heading the standings in the early part of the session with Abt and the third Carlin of Alex Brundle also in the mix. The session was red flagged when Atech CRS GP returnee and home favorite, John Wartique, spun during the challenging Eau Rouge corner. The Belgian driver made contact with the tire barrier which caused a premature end to his session.
Auto GP reveals updated 2013 carUPDATE While Sonoma, the final round of the season and the first USA race in Auto GP history, is approaching, for the championship staff it’s already time to focus on next year as the technical department of Coloni Motorsport is working on a major technical update for the Series machinery. The areas touched by the update will be so many that the outcome could be considered a new car in many ways, and surely a much quicker one: the 2013 Auto GP will be on average 1”5 per lap quicker than the current one, an improvement that will bring it on a par with the top feeder championships in motorsport.
“We want to give our drivers an even better tool to prepare themselves for the leap to Formula 1” said series organizer Enzo Coloni.
“The talents taking part in our Series are already facing many of the challenges they’ll find in F1: we have pit-stops, three different tire compounds, an overboost system that can get them used to KERS, and this performance upgrade will bring their driving style even closer to the one they’ll have to adopt on an F1 car.
Organizers need to make 2nd Baltimore GP count If it's possible to look back on last year's inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix without dwelling on the economic backlash that turned it into a financial 50-car pileup, it was a pretty cool event.
The downtown area was packed all weekend and race organizers estimated that close to 150,000 fans from near and far showed up for three days of IndyCar and American Le Mans Series racing. It all went off without a hitch, until they started counting the receipts. Now, it's time to find out whether the novelty has worn off or the race will catch on big-time and become a second Preakness-like celebration at the other end of each summer.
A.J. Foyt, Indy car racing's all-time winningest driver (67) and championship record holder (7), is now 77. He's had open heart surgery, and in January went through an illness that nearly killed him. But here he is, alive, opinionated and planning to get his race team back among the top teams in the IndyCar Series.
In a recent one-on-one interview Foyt talked about many things, among them why the 1977 Indy 500 win was special to him beyond making him the first driver to win the race four times, the recent announcement that he'll field a car for minority driver Chase Austin in the Indianapolis 500 next May and a recent staph infection following same-day surgeries to remove bone spurs from his artificial knee and repair a rotator cuff. The infection made him so sick he lost 41 pounds in two weeks and thought he was going to die.
Graham Rahal has an App Niche Productions has launched the first-ever driver app for IndyCar with the "Official Graham Rahal Mobile Application. Available on both the iPhone and Android, the app allows fans to connect with Rahal, view exclusive content, and keep track of Graham's Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr activity all in one place along with special in-app opportunities like communicating with Graham, gaming, sponsor coupons, and hidden driver meet-ups.
“I've enjoyed sharing information about my travels and foundation while communicating with fans via Twitter and other social networks,” said Rahal. “Reaching fans on their mobile device was a logical next step. Having them share their photos and experiences with me and other fans takes it to a whole new level.”
Class of 2012 Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America A strong and energetic contingent of friends, family, fellow legends and motorsports and automotive industry insiders converged in downtown Detroit Wednesday night to usher an illustrious group of seven motorsports icons representing the Class of 2012 into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization’s 24th Annual Induction Ceremony at the historic Fillmore Theater.
The accomplished Class of 2012 class includes event attendees Ed Pink (Drag Racing), Derek Bell (Sports Cars) and Ricky Johnson (Motorcycles) who were joined by friends and family members that touchingly memorialized and enshrined deceased inductees Pop Dreyer (Historic), Neil Bonnett (Stock Cars) and Vic Edelbrock Sr. (At Large). Inductee Danny Sullivan (Indy Cars) was forced to miss the event after an unexpected schedule change kept him in England on a television shoot, but he was capably represented by AutoWeek Editor and Associate Publisher Dutch Mandel who both inducted and accepted the honor for his friend and the 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner.
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