Baltimore Grand Prix IndyCar race sees ratings dip NBC Sports Network (formerly the 10-year Versus deal signed by none other than Tony George's team) continues to be a noose around IndyCar's neck. Television ratings for NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Grand Prix of Baltimore’s IndyCar race were down from a year ago.
NBC Sports Network’s broadcast of the Sept. 2 race garnered a 0.2 rating among U.S. households. That translates into 247,000 viewers for Sunday’s television broadcast on the cable network, i.e. infomercial territory.
This year’s ratings were significantly lower than those for the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix. That race earned a 0.6 household rating and drew 591,000 viewers on Versus.
The wait is over! This evening all eyes were on the new GP3/13 car which was revealed to the world's media in Monza. The second generation car was unveiled in the GP3 hospitality ahead of the final round of the 2012 season.
As previously announced, the second generation car has a naturally-aspirated 400hp engine compared to the current 280hp and the recent development tests have shown that the car is expected to be at least three seconds faster. The GP3/13 also enjoys a new nose, sidepods and engine cover. The modifications will raise the expectations of the Series and it will provide an even more manageable step to progress up between GP3 and GP2.
IndyCar Title contenders get in track time in Fontana Eight drivers, including IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power, tested the new chassis-engine package Sept. 6 on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval in advance of the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway.
Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, takes a 17-point advantage over Hunter-Reay into the 250-lap season finale (7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 15 on NBC Sports Network). Both will return - along with 20 others - to put in another day on the racetrack Sept. 12.
Italian GP Renault Technical brief The FIA Formula One World Championship visits the Autodromo di Monza this weekend, near Milan, Italy. Often referred to as the sport’s theatre of speed, it has a rich racing history dating back to 1922 and a reputation as one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. A key ingredient in creating the pace of a modern F1 car is its KERS unit.
Ever since its reintroduction, KERS has been far less of a controversial subject than it was in its first incarnation. Under today’s regulations, and having had time to bed itself into the core design of an F1 car, KERS is very much here to stay. As Renault Sport F1 head of track operations Rémi Taffin explains, it is hard to think of an F1 car these days without such a device.
Mayfield vows to return to racing Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was in Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday but his case was continued until Dec. 3. But standing outside of a Catawba County courtroom on Tuesday, Mayfield maintains he's not guilty of the charges and plans to fight the charges and get back into some type of racing.
"That's what I would like to do," Mayfield said. He said he might get into drag racing and maybe run a few dirt races. Mayfield said he's ready to start a new chapter of his life. "We're just trying to get all this behind us and move forward," Mayfield said speaking of him and his wife, Shana. He said he and his wife are doing well. Back in May, Shana Mayfield filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, allowing the couple to remain in their home. Mayfield said he's been doing some consulting work with a couple of race teams but he would not say who the teams are, only that they are friends.
Comments on ALMS and Grand-AM mergerUPDATE #3 General Motors North America President Mark Reuss:
"This is an exciting moment in sports car racing. This merger combines the best attributes of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series to create a singularly focused series. Congratulations to Jim France and Dr. Don Panoz on having the passion for sports car racing and the vision to take it to the next level. The joining of these two series will provide a foundation for Chevrolet to develop technologies and race cars with tremendous relevance to the production vehicles we sell today and in the future."
Dempsey Racing Represents at GRAND-AM /ALMS Merger Announcement Dempsey Racing, in the midst of its biggest year of operation and competition in company history in 2012, was part of the formal announcement of the biggest and most significant development in North American Sports Car racing in this century earlier today at Daytona International Speedway.
GRAND-AM Road Racing’s merger with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was officially confirmed in a Daytona press conference this morning, and Dempsey Racing’s No. 27 Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd P2 was one of four representative sports cars on display at the historic announcement.
GM sets mark in China General Motors and its joint ventures set a new August sales mark in China. Sales rose 7.3 percent from the previous August and 10.8 percent from July to 220,996 units.
All three of GM’s key manufacturing joint ventures set sales records for the month. Shanghai GM’s domestic sales were up 11.7 percent on an annual basis to 110,209 units. SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales in China rose 3.4 percent to 106,500 units. FAW-GM’s domestic sales increased 17.4 percent to 4,117 units.
Statement from Chip Ganassi, Owner, Target Chip Ganassi Racing regarding Alex Zanardi’s gold medal win at the 2012 Paralympics H4 hand bike division:
“Nothing Alex does surprises me anymore. He is a tremendous person and true ‘racer’ at heart. Whether it’s Indy cars or hand bikes, Alex has always been a terrific competitor. We all know he showed that talent when he was part of Team Target here in America, but today he showed the rest of the world his truly invincible spirit. I have had the good fortune to share many victories with Alex over the years but I don’t know that I have ever been so proud of him.”
Rescheduled NHRA U.S. Nationals on ESPN2, ESPN3 Sunday Rain postponed the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Labor Day and the event will now run on Sunday, Sept. 9, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. ESPN2 will air five hours of elimination coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET while ESPN3 will have live eliminations action all day starting at 11 a.m. Paul Page and analyst Mike Dunn will call the action.
NASCAR Atlanta TV Ratings ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Sept. 2, earned a 3.9 household coverage rating (3.4 U.S. rating), averaging 5,557,932 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company.
Last year’s race was weather-delayed and run on a Tuesday, but the rating is even with the 3.9 earned when the race was run and telecast as scheduled in 2010.
ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night, Sept. 1, earned a 1.4 household coverage rating (1.2 U.S. rating), averaging 1,989,407 viewers. The rating has been the same for the race each year since Atlanta Motor Speedway moved its NASCAR events to Labor Day weekend in 2009.
Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Joey Logano and Tim Cindric MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Merrill Cain with Penske Racing. We appreciate everyone joining us for this special Penske Racing media teleconference.
It was announced yesterday that Joey Logano will join the Penske Racing organization in 2013 as he will begin a multiyear agreement to drive the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Joey will join Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent Cup Series combination for Penske Racing next season.
We're excited to be joined by both Joey Logano and Penske Racing president Tim Cindric to discuss the announcement.
The ACO is delighted about the merger between the ALMS and Grand-AM The Automobile Club de l’Ouest is delighted about the rapprochement between the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Road Racing in 2014.
In 2014, the calendars of the American Le Mans Series, organized by IMSA, and the Grand-Am Road Racing governed by NASCAR will merge following an agreement reached between the promoters of both competitions.
The Automobile Club is delighted about this merger, which will increase the already large audience for endurance in North America and at the same time boost its international impact. The quality of the two organizations combined is a guarantee of confidence concerning the perpetuation of the values and prestige of the Le Mans 24 Hours on the American continent, which are indispensable elements for endurance racing.
Some details on the ALMS/Grand-AM merger Peter DeLorenzo from Autoextremist writes, I'll get straight to the point here. I spoke with Don Panoz, the founder of the American Le Mans Series on Monday and he asked me to keep the details of the Grand-Am/ALMS coming together "off the record" until tomorrow's announcement. But since John Dagys has decided to break cover on some of the details tonight (speedtv.com), I can tell you this about the arrangement between Grand-Am and the ALMS.
1. The Panoz Motor Sports Group (ALMS) has been sold to GRAND-AM/NASCAR Holdings LLC. The number? Reportedly around $20 million. It also includes the sale of Road Atlanta and a long-term lease of Sebring International Raceway. A new LLC will be formed going forward for the unified sports car racing entity in the U.S.
2. Jim France (GRAND-AM co-founder and NASCAR Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President) will be the Chairman of the unified series, which does not have an official name as of yet. ALMS founder Don Panoz will be Vice Chairman. And ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton will be President of the new organization. Both Panoz and Atherton are likely to be on the board of directors.
Penske says IndyCar has bigger problems than parts prices
Penske says IndyCar has bigger fish to fry than parts prices
Racing's most powerful team owner understands the tap dance IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has to perform. In an interview with USA TODAY Sports before Sunday's Grand Prix of Baltimore, Roger Penske showed support for Bernard but expressed concern over IndyCar's future.
"Anybody who's had that job, it's a tenuous job," he says. "Because you've got 10 or 12 or 13 or 14 car owners, all with different ideas. We have sponsors, drivers committees. You put all that together, it's pretty hard to have all those people sit at a board meeting and try to make a decision that's functional and also best for the series."
Bernard said Sunday the parts issue was "95% agreed upon" and that owners would see a 20% price reduction on parts from Dallara. But Penske, a billionaire racing mogul, said such issues were nominal compared to the bigger issues facing IndyCar — especially a slide in TV ratings on NBC Sports Network and a lack of scheduling continuity (IndyCar fell from 17 to 15 races in 2012, and it took an 11th-hour scramble to save the Baltimore event).
Reaction to Kenseth and Logano Moves Joe Gibbs Racing on Monday made official what has been rumored for months -- Matt Kenseth takes over the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The move has been speculated since the June announcement that Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Also affected in this shakeup is Joey Logano, current driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who soon thereafter was announced as the driver of the No. 20 Penske Racing Ford for next season.
NASCAR Race Hub, hosted by Steve Byrnes, has the latest on these moves tonight at 6 p.m. ET on SPEED. In the meantime, SPEED analysts Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond, as well as Wind Tunnel host Dave Despain, offer their perspective on the day’s big stories:
IndyCar Series title comes down to the final race again Shouts of "USA, USA" drowned the public-address announcer's remarks as Ryan Hunter-Reay joined the on-stage celebration holding an American flag stretched behind his back.
On Labor Day weekend, the 31-year-old Floridian had to work exceptionally hard for his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series victory of the season after starting 10th in the 75-lap Grand Prix of Baltimore on a 2.04-mile temporary street circuit that invited calamity at all 13 of its turns.
Somehow he avoided the pitfalls - there were nine full-course cautions - and any pratfalls in the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car during a period when sections of the course glistened from a brief shower to not only take the checkered flag in the penultimate race of the season but rise back into serious championship contention.
Logano to Join Penske Racing in 2013 Penske Racing announced today that Joey Logano will join the team in 2013. He will drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Logano, 22, a two-time Sprint Cup Series winner who is currently competing in his fourth full season, will begin a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing.
“I am very excited to join Penske Racing and begin the next phase of my career,” said Logano. “I am looking forward to the opportunity as it will be an honor to drive for Roger Penske and race for wins and championships. I am also proud to represent Shell-Pennzoil as they are a respected global brand that does a great job of activating in the sport on and off the track."
Denny Hamlin Featured in New ESPN NASCAR Commercial After winning his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Denny Hamlin hit the airwaves in a different way this week as the star of a new NASCAR promotional commercial airing across ESPN networks.
Hamlin, who will compete in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at his home track in Richmond in an event that will air live on ABC, is featured in the fourth and final spot in ESPN’s humorous “Nothing Beats First Place” marketing campaign that was launched in mid-July. Drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were featured in the previous three spots.
Volume jumps 60% at Honda, 46% at Toyota; gains of 10% to 14% at Detroit 3 Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the Volkswagen brand and the Detroit 3 posted solid sales gains for August, signaling the auto industry's recovery remains on track despite sluggish economic growth and widespread consumer uncertainty.
The VW brand led the way with a 63 percent jump, its 12th straight month of increases of at least 25 percent.
Honda Motor Co. reported August U.S. sales of 131,321 units, a gain of 60 percent from 2011, when it suffered from quake-related inventory shortages. Volume at the Honda brand jumped 58 percent to 115,675 units; Acura deliveries climbed 73 percent to 15,646 units.
It's official now, Logano out, Kenseth in at JGR Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, has signed with the team to drive the #20 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Dollar General and The Home Depot starting in 2013. "We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle."
Video: Ferrari HY-KERS 2012 Discover the evolution of the HY-KERS project unveiled at Beijing, adapted to a mid-rear engine layout. The objective of this configuration is to create a sports car that increases power while at the same time reducing emissions.
2nd Baltimore GP was about rebuilding, not crowd size Ryan Hunter-Reay won the second Grand Prix of Baltimore, a sloppy race full of fits and starts run before a diminished crowd.
Organizers, though, came away convinced that this year's hastily planned event proved an IndyCar race can work downtown.
"This is a 90-day miracle," said J.P. Grant, the local financier who swept in three months ago to take over the race following the collapse of two previous organizers. "Our goal was to put on a race we could handle ourselves."
Pastrana to Drive Roush Fenway’s No. 60 Ford Mustang at Richmond X Games and Rally Cross champion Travis Pastrana will pilot Roush Fenway’s No. 60 entry in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Speedway.
“It’s a truly awesome opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Roush Fenway No. 60 Ford Mustang,” said Pastrana. “Roush Fenway Racing has a strong background as the most successful team in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and I’m pleased to be driving for a legend like Jack Roush this weekend at Richmond.
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