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DATE News (chronologically)
09/09/09
nascar

NASCAR.com launches a new broadband channel
NASCAR.com launched a new broadband channel in partnership with Speed that will include three original Webisode series, event coverage and shoulder programming from the motorsports-centric network, as well as other original content. Turner Sports, which manages and sells NASCAR.com for the sanctioning body, is branding the broadband channel "NASCAR on Speed." In addition to being available on NASCAR.com, the new channel can also be accessed from the NASCAR section of Yahoo Sports as part of Turner's alliance with Yahoo. Programming features on "NASCAR on Speed" include:

* "Victory Lane Fan Finish" with Speed's Kenny Wallace, Jimmy Spencer and John Roberts, who answer questions from viewers after the race.

* "Speed's Race & Chase Preview" with Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Chad Knaus and Steve Byrnes, where they break down the upcoming Sprint Cup Chase race.

* "Speed's Rutledge at Large," in which Rutledge Wood will be hamming it up with drivers at the track.

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09/09/09
nassprint

11 drivers vie for final 8 spots in Chase

Eleven drivers will vie for the remaining eight spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway in the final event of Race to the Chase, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy Rock & Roll 400. (Left to right) Top row: Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch; Middle row: Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, David Reutimann; Bottom row: Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Brian Vickers. (Photos by Getty Images for NASCAR)


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09/09/09
nassprint

Video: Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Preview


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09/09/09
alms

Priaulx, J. Mueller on board for BMW at Road Atlanta
A pair of familiar faces to BMW fans worldwide will join the lineup for BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team for Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. BMW Motorsport drivers Jörg Müller and Andy Priaulx will join BMW of North America Motorsport drivers Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand, Tommy Milner and Dirk Müller to campaign two BMW M3 coupes in the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic on September 26 at Road Atlanta.

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09/09/09
nassprint

NASCAR reiterates argument that Jeremy Mayfield is a public danger
NASCAR wants to keep suspended Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield on the sideline until he completes a substance-abuse policy reinstatement program because it continues to consider him a danger to the public, according to documents filed Tuesday night in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

NASCAR filed its appeal Tuesday to a July 1 injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen that had forced NASCAR to temporarily reinstate Mayfield, whom NASCAR suspended for what it says was a May 1 positive test for methamphetamines. The appeals court granted NASCAR’s request for a stay of the injunction July 24, and Mayfield has been suspended since then.

“It is undisputed that having a methamphetamine user race in NASCAR events, where speeds can exceed 180 miles per hour, puts other drivers, officials and spectators at significant risk of physical harm, including death,” NASCAR states in its appeal filed Tuesday.

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09/09/09
nassprint

ESPN'S NASCAR Ratings Rise for Fourth Straight Week
ESPN's live coverage of Atlanta Motor Speedway's new Labor Day weekend NASCAR races earned the network's fourth consecutive weekend of increased television ratings for NASCAR coverage. A schedule change by NASCAR shifted NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend from Fontana, Calif., where they were held last year.

The live telecast of Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.1, up from the 3.9 rating for last year's NASCAR Labor Day weekend event in California. Atlanta's second race of 2008 was run in October and aired on ABC, but ESPN's telecast this year delivered an average of 5.8 million viewers, more than watched the ABC telecast last year, which aired against NFL football and drew an average of 5.6 million viewers.

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09/09/09
racing news

IRL's Angstadt Announced As Panelist For Motor Sports Business Forum
Terry Angstadt
Terry Angstadt, President, Commercial Division of the Indy Racing League (IRL), will be one of the panelists for the upcoming  inaugural Motor Sports Business Forum-North America (MSBF-NA), preceding the 22nd Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Dec. 10-12.

“I look forward to participating in the inaugural North American Motor Sport Business Forum in Orlando and sharing the IndyCar Series story with panelists and attendees,” said Angstadt.  “The Motor Sports Business Forum has had much success outside of the United States and bringing it to Orlando to feature all of the leaders of North American motorsports under one roof will make it a can’t-miss event.”

Angstadt is one of a number of key players in North American open-wheel racing that will play a role at the MSBF-NA and the Performance Racing Industry show and its accompanying activities.

Kim Green, of Andretti-Green Racing, and fellow IRL promoter Jim Michaelian, the CEO and President of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, also will serve as panel members.  In addition, former Indy car drivers Bryan Herta and Jan Heylen have confirmed their participation in what is sure to be a star-studded 4th Annual PRI CKI All-Star Karting Classic, to be held Thursday night, December 10.

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09/09/09
irl

Q&A with defending Motegi winner Danica Patrick
IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick participated in a Q&A session to discuss the upcoming IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi. The transcript is below.

Q. Danica, the next race on the schedule is a place that is very special to you. Twin Ring Motegi, where you earned your first win last season.

DANICA PATRICK: I never come back to a track as the previous year's winner as an IndyCar (Series) driver. There's a level of confidence that comes with being the defending winner and there's some excitement as well. But just going back to Japan is always nice for me.

Q. Motegi has been a place that you have always run well at. You're first front-row start came there and obviously the first win was there. What about it suits your style?

DANICA PATRICK: I guess what I want out of a race car suits Motegi. The characteristics that I like in a car work well there. That's all I can really pinpoint. There are tracks that you get on well with and there are tracks that you don't and sometimes you have no idea why (that happens). I think that Turns 3 and 4 are the most important turns there and that's the focus. We've always managed to improve car and get it to go around there, and I've always driven for good teams.

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09/09/09
f1

Williams, Force India re-join FOTA
(GMM)  During a meeting on Wednesday at Monza, Williams and Force India were re-admitted to the formula one teams association FOTA.

The two outfits were suspended by the Geneva-based body earlier this year for breaking ranks amid the breakaway row and signing up for the 2010 world championship.

"FOTA ... welcomes back into full membership both Williams and Force India," the organization, chaired by Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo, confirmed in a media statement.

It was also indicated that F1's new teams Campos, USF1 and Manor will be invited to join FOTA in due course, as "all teams competing in formula one" are eligible.

Meanwhile, with the breakaway threats now at an end and a new Concorde Agreement signed, FOTA said it intends to commence talks with Bernie Ecclestone "with the wish to confirm arrangements beyond 2012".

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09/09/09
f1

Stewart loans Tyrrell to Scottish museum
Champion Sir Jackie Stewart will be lending his 1971 championship-winning Tyrrell to the National Museum of Scotland after unveiling a new display at the Edinburgh venue on Tuesday. The Scot celebrates the 40th anniversary of his first World Championship win this year.

Having claimed his first crown with Matra in 1969, Stewart - who turned 70 in June - went on to clinch another two championship with Ken Tyrrell's team in 1971 and 1973; it is the '71 003 model, however, which - as an individual car - has won more Grands Prix than any other in Formula One.

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09/09/09
f1

2008 a pretty good year for F1
CVC Capital Partners has filed the 2008 accounts for its Delta 3 (UK) Ltd subsidiary, the parent company of the Formula One group. These reveal that the revenues of the sport rose by $120m (13% ) to $1.06bn in the course of last year. The company costs rose to $45m, including $30m in salaries for the 250 staff. Delta 3 had to write off $22m as a result of the termination of its agreement with the promoter of the Canadian GP.

The accounts, however, reveal that the 18 races generated an average income of $47.9m, which was a slight improvement over 2007 due to the fact that new race promoters in Singapore and Valencia were paying higher fees and because of new TV rights deals that were agreed.

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09/09/09
nassprint

Robby Gordon to skip Richmond
Last week was a busy yet terrifying week for #7-Robby Gordon. Early in the week, Gordon tested his Hummer H3 in the desert of Arizona. A violent crash sent Gordon to the hospital, calling into question whether he would be able to participate in the scheduled Labor Day racing events. After a thorough examination, the doctors released him stating that it was fortunate to walk away with just a few bruises and a black eye. Despite being hurt, Gordon rallied and prepared himself for the weekend's events. He spent much of the weekend traveling between Crandon, WI for the TORC race and Atlanta, GA for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. On Sunday morning, he made his TORC debut in the #007 Polaris PRO 2WD in Crandon, WI, as a part of THE Off Road Championship series. Gordon put on a great show for the large crowd, but he was unable to challenge Scott Taylor for the race win. Despite having an engine problem, Gordon was able to maintain fourth position until an incident just feet from the finish line caused him to spin and cross the finish line in reverse, resulting in a disappointing 6th-place finish for the team. Gordon then traveled over 1,000 miles to Atlanta, GA, where he raced the #7 Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Toyota to a 16th-place finish in the Pep Boys Auto 500.

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09/09/09
alms

Oreca looking to make big splash at Petit LeMans
If anyone doubts the stature of Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6, ORECA team boss Hugues de Chaunac is quick to point out what it means to his team and why he is entering the Road Atlanta classic. Simply put, he told SPEEDtv.com’s John Dagys, it’s one of the world’s premiere endurance events and worthy of the global praise and adulation it annually receives.

“There’s two main reasons,” began de Chaunac, who will send Nicolas Lapierre and Olivier Panis to drive the AIM-powered ORECA LMP1 into the 12th running of the 1,000-mile/10-hour classic on September 26. “One, we feel we’re going to learn much more in this type of race, being longer than 1,000 kilometers on a difficult track and with stronger competition from Peugeot, Audi and Acura. All of this helps us learn much more than just doing a normal European event. It better prepares us for Le Mans next year.

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09/09/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Ecclestone 'disappointed' Liuzzi to replace Fisi
  • Ferrari calls press to Santander announcement
  • New drivers to get in-season test in 2010
  • Fisichella could still race in 2010
  • Schu back in saddle of motorbike racer
  • Berger pulled out because Toro Rosso not winning team
  • Haug plays down Mercedes engine superiority

Ecclestone 'disappointed' Liuzzi to replace Fisi
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone thinks Force India should have replaced the Ferrari-bound Giancarlo Fisichella with an Indian national.

The F1 chief executive admitted recently he had hoped India, one of the world's burgeoning economies, would have become more involved with his sport.

Ecclestone, 78, clearly attributes India's lack of corporate interest partly due to the fact Force India has so far fielded foreign drivers.

And with Fisichella departing to Ferrari for the last five races of 2009, boss Mallya has decided to replace him with another Italian, the team's reserve driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.

"I was hoping Vijay would give Karun a chance," Ecclestone told Hindustan Times.

The Briton is referring to the Indian Karun Chandhok, a 25-year-old who races in the support series GP2 and has tested with Red Bull Racing.

Ecclestone said of Force India's billionaire boss Mallya: "I'm a little disappointed that he has put the Italian guy (Liuzzi) in.  Whether he has to do this by contract I don't know, but I would have liked to see Karun in the car."

He hopes India can stage its inaugural grand prix in 2011, and believes having Chandhok in the Force India would have boosted that prospect.

"We need to get Karun in the formula one car quickly," said Ecclestone.  "And he has got the talent and the ability, so it's a case of somebody just getting on and doing it now."

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09/09/09
f1

Abu Dhabi race picks up bank sponsor
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), The Number One Bank in the UAE, has signed TODAY a three-year agreement to sponsor Yas Marina Circuit, which will host the 2009 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, one of the most anticipated events in the international sporting calendar, from October 30 to November 1st, 2009.

The Bank will be the Official Bank of the 2009 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Official Partner of Yas Marina Circuit .  Sponsoring Yas Marina Circuit activities for three years and securing the “title of Official Bank of the 2009 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a tremendous honor for NBAD. We believe this will further strengthen NBAD's association with world class events and enable the bank to increase its reach to global audience," said Mr. Abdulla Mohammed Saleh AbdulRaheem, NBAD's Group Chief Operating Officer.

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09/09/09
irl
a1gp

IRL walked away from all this in Surfers
No other race in the world is promoted as well as the annual Surfers paradise event every October.  The IRL walked away from an event that has 30 years of history and weeks of special events leading up to the race, yet they talk about adding venues that might draw 15,000 to 20,000 people on race day and a pathetic Versus TV rating of 0.15 to 0.2 with very little international TV distribution.  The IRL's loss is A1GP's gain.

Over 30 Official Off-track Events will take over the Gold Coast in the lead up to and during this year’s Nikon SuperGP, and today Event Organizers officially released the calendar that will see the Gold Coast come alive during the month of October.

Nikon SuperGP Event Advisory Committee Chairman Ian Cousins joined with Cr Susie Douglas – Gold Coast City Council Economic Development and Tourism Chair - and Surfers Paradise Alliance (SPA) CEO Rowena Howe under the iconic Surfers Paradise arch earlier today to announce the calendar, flanked by colorful performers of the calendar’s signature event – the SuperGP Surfers Paradise Street Parade.

The Street Parade is a joint initiative between the Nikon SuperGP, the SPA and the Gold Coast City Council, and in 2009 will return to its glory days with over 200 performers set to parade through central Surfers Paradise over the Friday and Saturday nights of the event, led by 30 classic muscle cars and complete with stilt walkers, dancers, lyrical performers and percussionists.

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09/09/09
v8

Abu Dhabi announces V8 Supercars
Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) today announced an agreement with V8 Supercars Australia Pty Limited to host the season opening round of Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship at Abu Dhabi’s spectacular new Yas Marina Circuit on 18th-20th February 2010. The three-year deal will see Abu Dhabi centre-stage for the first race of each season of Australia’s premier motor racing series. Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, the operators of Yas Marina Circuit, said that bringing Australia’s V8 Supercars to the Emirate was part of a comprehensive program to offer the general public a broad range of the world’s top racing series.

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09/09/09
racing news

Rahal to support charity auction
Celebrities from the worlds of film, television, music and sports have come together to lend a hand for Hasbro, Inc.’s (NYSE:HAS) PROJECT ZAMBI Celebrity Charity Auction.  PROJECT ZAMBI was started by a group of Hasbro employees to help raise awareness and funds for the estimated 15 million children who have lost parents and relatives to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and around the world.  The online auction will feature custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, collectible elephant models – each signed by one of the participating celebrities.  All money raised from the sale of each elephant will be donated to the organization of the celebrity’s choice that supports children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.

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09/09/09
nassprint

Labor Day weekend night race big hit for Atlanta
Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark reported that the attendance for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 at the track to be between 110,000-116,000 AJC.com.

That figure is nearly double the 60,000 fans who attended the Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500 at the track in March. Clark: "It’s a buzz like we haven't seen around here for a long time" SI.com

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09/09/09
track news

Charity tournament returns to Brickyard Crossing
The 19th Phil Casey Indy Racing Golf Tournament will be held Sept. 28 at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Pediatric Diabetes Center at Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno, Calif., and Target House at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Last year, the tournament raised more than $22,000 and has raised more than 300,000 since its inception in 1990.

"I really want to thank the racers over the years for supporting this event," said Casey, consultant to the Indy Racing League. "The early years proved to be a struggle just to break even, but now with enthusiastic support from the racing community, we are starting to see great results."

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09/09/09
racing news

HANS finds counterfeit parts, sues UPDATE HANS Performance Products has been granted a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and expedited discovery in a suit against Impact Racing Products. The SFI Foundation's motion to become a party in HANS' action against Impact has also been granted. The orders relate to counterfeit HANS Post Anchors that have been discovered at the track in recent weeks. The Federal Court orders require Impact to advise its customers that Post Anchors they have received from them may be counterfeit. Impact is also required to preserve all related products and business records to help identify the source of the counterfeit parts. Post Anchors are a vital part of a racer's head and neck restraint safety system. Genuine HANS Post Anchors provide a robust and reliable latching method to connect racers' HANS Devices to their helmets. HANS PR

08/19/09 HANS Performance Products has found counterfeit Post Anchor parts on a helmet purchased from Impact Racing Products.

Preliminary investigations suggest that counterfeit parts may have been supplied with other helmets provided by Impact. “We are seeking the source of the counterfeit anchors and to establish how widely they may have been distributed,” said HANS CEO Mark Stiles. He continued, “It is extremely possible that counterfeits may have been installed on other helmets, either factory-fitted by a helmet manufacturer or by racers installing replacement parts during equipment changes.”

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09/09/09
irl
nassprint

IndyCar owners support moving up Indianapolis 500 start time UPDATE Tim Cindric hopes he can help make Memorial Day weekend more special for race fans by pushing for a change that would allow drivers to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Cindric, the president of Penske Racing, asked IndyCar Racing team owners in a recent meeting to persuade Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials to push back the start time of the 500 to 11 a.m. so drivers could race there and in the Coca-Cola 600 later that day.

"I think that the Indy 500 needs to be the best drivers in the world," Cindric said. "(They) need to have access to that race. There are so many guys that are NASCAR drivers now that tell me that someday they want to drive in the Indy 500. Right now, there's no path for them to do that without them giving up their day job."

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09/08/09
f1

Vatanen slams FOM and FOTA
Ari Vatanen, who will stand against Jean Todt next month in the FIA presidential election, slams FOM and FOTA for the high cost of racing in f1 today, something Max Mosley fought vigorously to reduce.

"We have races where the stands are half-empty, where they are totally subsidized by the government, and now we are struggling to have races in Germany, France and the U.K.," the former World Rally Champion told Europe's Press Association. "If races are so expensive to organize, making the ticket prices so high that a normal middle-class family cannot see them, it means something is wrong. We are in danger of alienating our fan base and undermining our future.”

FOM has leveraged F1 so far that it must demand huge sanctioning fees from race promoters to break even, while the FOTA teams have fought Max Mosley to try and stop him from significantly reducing the cost of competing in F1.

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09/08/09
f1

A technical look at Monza
In theory, a one stop strategy is quickest in Monza, venue to this weekend’s thirteenth round of the 2009 season, the effect of fuel weight is minimized by the relative absence of hard braking or acceleration. In practice, the quicker drivers plump for two stop strategies because they don’t want to compromise their qualifying performance (and, therefore, their grid position).

The difference between one and two stops is also amplified by the high speeds: refueling typically takes about 28 seconds, including time spent driving along the pit apron, and you cover a lot more ground during half a minute at Monza, where drivers average 150mph-plus, than you do elsewhere.

Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit’s corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit’s configuration and the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. Average turn angle at Monza is 800 which is the 2nd lowest for the Championship and is indicative of the presence of 3 chicanes out of only 7 turns.

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09/08/09
nassprint

Allmendinger’s Team Wins Tissot Pit Road Award
AJ Allmendinger’s team won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday night’s (Sept. 6) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

It was the first Tissot win of the season for the No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports team, which became the 16th different winner of the pit crew competition in the first 25 races of 2009.

Allmendinger’s No. 44 Dodge Charger spent the least amount of time on pit road – 378.165 seconds -- during the 325-lap race at the 1.54-mile track. The team will collect $5,000 from Tissot for the pit crew win.

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09/08/09
irl

Japanese race takes on new role
Twin Ring Motegi is unlike any track the IndyCar Series has visited this year, which will provide a fitting battleground for the championship contenders.

Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske has a 25-point lead over Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti while his teammate Scott Dixon is third, 33 points back.

"It is a tough place, it's demanding," Dixon said. "You still have the main guys running up there. The race car goes off there really bad at some points throughout the race. That is the challenging part."

The 1.5-mile oval features frontstraights each measuring 1,969 feet and 80-feet wide. The frontstretch is banked at 1.7 degrees with the backstretch at 5 degrees. The turns are 10 degrees in banking.

"It is definitely one of the toughest tracks we go to," Dixon said. "It's funny because it is a 1½-mile oval but it is shaped like an egg and very different. Turns 3 and 4 are very difficult but Turns 1 and 2 are so easy and wide open you get a tow going into Turn 3.

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09/08/09
nassprint

The Jeremy Mayfield soap opera continues
Just when you thought it could not get any more bizarre, it does. 

---------------------------------------------------------------

Suspended NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, over the death of his father two years ago.

Terry Mayfield died Sept. 5, 2007, in what police investigators and the medical examiner concluded was a suicidal gunshot wound to the chest, according to investigation and medical examiner reports.

Jeremy Mayfield’s lawsuit, filed late Friday afternoon in North Carolina Superior Court in Rowan County, does not say how Lisa Mayfield was involved in the death of Terry. It only says that “as a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s intentional acts, the decedent Terry Allen Mayfield was killed by a gunshot wound.”

Jeremy Mayfield claims that prior to Terry Mayfield’s death, Terry confronted Lisa about an affair and asked her to leave. Within several days of Terry’s death, Jeremy claims the man Lisa was having an affair with broke up with his girlfriend and moved in with Lisa. It also claims that Lisa Mayfield squandered a loan meant to be used to build a barn.

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09/08/09
tv news

SPEED Hits 74 Million Homes
According to the most recent Nielsen Universe Estimate, SPEED crossed the 74-million U.S. household mark for the first time in network history, after adding 557,000 homes in August. SPEED, which launched on New Year’s Eve 1995 in 3.2 million homes, has added nearly 800,000 homes in the last year.

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09/08/09
f1

Briatore's model wife pregnant
(GMM)  Renault team boss Flavio Briatore's wife Elisabetta Gregoraci is pregnant, the Italian weekly gossip magazine Chi is to reveal in its latest issue.

The publication said the 29-year-old former Wonderbra model learned in August while on vacation in Sardinia that she is expecting a child.

Gregoraci married 59-year-old Briatore in June of last year.

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09/08/09
f1

FIA confirms higher curbs for Monza race
(GMM)  Measures have been taken to dissuade drivers from cutting the chicanes during the Italian grand prix weekend at Monza this weekend.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that 'combination curbs' have been installed at the apexes of turns 1, 2, 4 and 5 - the first two chicanes, known as Rettifilo and Roggia respectively - at the famous venue located north of Milan.

It was explained that the same sort of curbs are also featured at the chicane towards the end of the Nurburgring layout, and also at the new chicane in Barcelona.

F1's official website said the Monza curbs are higher than before "in a bid to stop drivers cutting the track's famous high-speed chicanes".

Comment
09/08/09
f1

Q&A with Jarno Trulli
Is it different for you to be racing in your home Grand Prix this weekend?
For me, the Italian Grand Prix is a very special occasion and I always look forward to this weekend. It's great to drive in front of your own fans and there are always a lot of people supporting me at Monza. In the past we had two Grands Prix in Italy, plus some testing, but this weekend is the only time I will be driving on my home ground this year and I only live a couple of hours or so away in St Moritz so it is really local for me.

Why is Monza such a special venue for Formula 1?
Because it is in Italy and the Italians make it special! Monza is just a very different circuit from any other in Formula 1 because you have the long straights, high speeds, low downforce, heavy braking and the chicanes. It is not the most technical circuit but it is unique in Formula 1. I think the Italian fans make Monza really special as they are passionate about motorsport in general, whether it is Formula 1 or whatever. The Italian Grand Prix is a major event for all Italians and Monza is the home of Italian motorsport.

Do your home fans motivate you more?
It's impossible to be more motivated or to push harder than I am doing! As a driver you do notice when you have more support than usual and you appreciate it, but there's no way you can try any harder. If I wasn't giving 100% at all Grands Prix, I would not be doing my job, so in that sense Monza is just like any other race. Perhaps it would just make it a bit sweeter if I could get a great result...

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09/08/09
alms

Rocketsports to debut Jag at Petit LeMans
RSR is scheduled to debut the Jaguar XKR GT2, the newest entry in the American Le Mans Series, at the famed Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, September 24 - 26.

In preparation for a full championship season effort in 2010, the team plans to enter the last two events on the 2009 ALMS schedule using the track time for testing and development. The car is undergoing extensive system tests at RSR's East Lansing, Michigan facility and is being prepared for a performance evaluation and shakedown prior to Road Atlanta.

The team will be hosting a press conference on Thursday, September 24 at Road Atlanta to officially unveil the car, drivers for 2009, and tire partners. Complete details on the event to follow.

Late September sees the annual return of the American Le Mans Series where the idea started - Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 at Road Atlanta. The 1,000-mile, 10-hour spectacle brings together the world's top sports car teams with automatic berths to the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the line.

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09/08/09
f1

Brawn GP signs one race sponsor deal
Brawn GP announced today a special one-race partnership with Brazilian brewing company Cervejaria Petr¢polis for the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix to be held at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on 18 October.

Cervejaria Petr¢polis has a strong sponsorship portfolio in Brazilian motorsport with their Itaipava beer brand and the partnership with Brawn GP sees the company take Itaipava into the high-profile world of Formula One for the first time.

The Brazilian Grand Prix will bring a global audience to Cervejaria Petr¢polis who currently have a presence in every main racing category in Brazil including Stock Car, Copa Vicar, Stock Jr, Formula Truck and the Itaipava GT Brazil events of GT3, Trofeo Maserati and Copa Renault Clio.

The Itaipava brand will feature on the nose and sidepods of the Brawn GP cars throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend along with branding on the helmets of Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello and his team-mate Jenson Button. Cervejaria Petr¢polis will also activate several sponsorship events in Brazil in the weeks leading up to the race. 

Comment
09/08/09
f1
motogp

Moss: Rossi 'too good' for F1
Sir Stirling Moss says MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi is "too good for F1" and should stick to MotoGP.

"I'm certain Rossi could succeed in F1 if he wanted," the 16-times grand prix winner told Visordown. "If you are good at one motorsport you will be good at the other.

"Rossi has that much talent and understanding of speed I'm certain he could make it in F1, even at the age of 32 when he retires - but personally I would not advise it.

"I think he is too good for F1: he would revolutionize the paddock by bringing in a sense of humor.

"If he seriously wanted to race F1 I'm sure his desire and dedication would see him succeed, but I don't think he should do it as it would be a backwards step.

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09/08/09
f1

Massa says 'dream' is Abu Dhabi F1 comeback
(GMM)  Despite Ferrari saying the Brazilian will be out until next year, Felipe Massa on Tuesday said his "dream" target is the cockpit of his car number 3 at November's 2009 season finale.

In an interview published on Tuesday by Britain's Guardian newspaper, the 28-year-old said he will attend his home race in Sao Paulo in mid October as a spectator.

But in another interview, with Italy's Corriere della Sera also published on Tuesday, Massa revealed that he would like to then travel to Abu Dhabi to relieve his race stand-in Giancarlo Fisichella and conclude a seven-race period of recovery from head injuries.

"In 2010, it's 100 per cent sure I'm going to race but it would be a dream to return at Abu Dhabi on November 1," the newspaper quotes him as saying.

Comment
09/08/09
f1

Liuzzi tests Force India car at UK airport
(GMM)  Vitantonio Liuzzi last Thursday tested Force India's 2009 car at Kemble Airport (UK).

The 28-year-old Italian, who became the Silverstone based team's test and reserve driver last year, was promoted on Monday to replace the Ferrari-bound Giancarlo Fisichella as of this weekend's Italian grand prix at Monza.

Liuzzi drove the Mercedes-powered VJM02 up and down the airport's 2km runway as per the F1 testing agreement allowing some aerodynamic straight-line running during the race season.

Kemble is about a 1.5-hour drive from Force India's English factory.

Comment
09/08/09
f1

Sell out possible for Singapore GP
Singapore GP Pte Ltd have announced that two more categories of tickets to the 2009 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX are sold out.

The three-day walkabout pass, as well as the Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand seats, are no longer available following continuing strong sales. This brings the total tickets sold thus far to 82% of the announced 249,000 capacity (83,000 per day).

The largest grandstand – the Bay Grandstand with well over 20,000 seats - is selling equally strongly. Grand Prix organizers expect the remaining seats in the grandstand to sell out this week.

Additionally close to 2,000 ticket holders have signed up for the lucky draw to attend the drivers’ autograph session taking place on the evening of 24 September at the Circuit Park. Thirty five pairs of special passes are available to all ticket holders. Registration for the ballot ends on 16 September. Details can be found at www.singaporegp.sg/contest/index.php

Comment
09/08/09
nhra

Schumacher, Force Hood, Coughlin, Arana win
Tony Schumacher won Top Fuel at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for a class-record-tying eighth time, Ashley Force Hood became just the third female Pro winner at Indy by scoring in Funny Car, Pro Stock victor Jeg Coughlin won The Big Go for the fourth time, and Hector Arana scored his first Indy win by capturing Pro Stock Motorcycle to seal an amazing day of racing at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

With all of the last-second Countdown to 1 shuffling – which extended all the way into the semifinals – heated emotions, and renewed rivalries, this year's 55th annual Big Go will go into the annals as one of the most dramatic in history, going into the history books with the likes of the legendary 1967, 1982, 1996, and 2004 events. The world's oldest, biggest, richest, and most prestigious drag race lived up to its reputation in spades, and then some. It was that good.

Tony Schumacher

Given the way the decade of Top Fuel at Indy has gone, it should be no surprise that for the fourth time in eight years, the final pitted the only two guys to win The Big Go this decade. Schumacher, a seven-time U.S. Nationals winner, was gunning to tie Top Fuel icon "Big Daddy" Don Garlits as the winningest fuel dragster pilot in event history while Larry Dixon, who won the race in his rookie season in 1995 and two more times since, was gunning for No. 3. In what was a true battle of the class heavyweights, Schumacher ran away from traction-plagued Dixon in the money run, 3.861, 314.17 to 4.20, 228.50.

“I haven’t seen [Don Garlits] yet, but we did a TV segment that I think started the show this morning, and he was cool as could be. He said, ‘I’m pulling for you, and I hope you do it,’ ” said Schumacher. “To have a man of that caliber say something like that is just special. I hope he enjoys it, and I hope he enjoys still coming out because he’s the reason we all do this in such a safe manner. The coolest part is he said, ‘You really showed ’em. You showed ’em, kid, that it’s not about one guy,’ and that’s cool because you know at the beginning of the year it was ‘Schumacher’s not going to win again. He can’t win without Alan [Johnson].’ To beat Alan at Indy under all the pressure, that’s good news; that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t happen every time, but it shows that a great group of people with determination and some serious drive can go out and do anything. We’ve got the right people.

Read more & Comment...
09/08/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  1. Massa in hospital after skull surgery
  2. Massa to push for debris accident improvements
  3. Button buckling under title pressure - Massa
  4. Massa to call first son Felipe
  5. Williams suggests team to re-join FOTA
  6. Rossi not ruling out future F1 switch

Massa in hospital after skull surgery
(GMM)  Felipe Massa is currently in Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital, following more than four hours of skull surgery on Monday.

The operation was to repair damage to his skull by the addition of a titanium plate at the spot the Brazilian was struck by a flying suspension spring during qualifying in Budapest in late July.

Ferrari said the surgery "had a positive outcome" and that Massa will return home to begin his physical preparations for the 2010 season after a short hospital stay.

In an interview published on Tuesday by Britain's Guardian newspaper, the 28-year-old said the surgery is to "close a bone in my head that they had taken away (in Hungary) because it was completely damaged".

"A normal guy can live like this without any problem.  But for a driver, if you have an accident and you have this problem, the recovery is more difficult," Massa explained.

"That's the only reason they won't allow me to race now.  Otherwise I feel the same as before.  I'm going to Europe to use the simulator and drive some go-karts and then I will know very well if I'm 100 per cent," he added.

Massa confirmed that, contrary to his earlier target, he will now no longer be able to make his comeback at his home grand prix in Brazil next month.

He said he has been following recent races live from his Sao Paulo home but that "it will be much worse when I have to watch the race in Brazil".

"It will be difficult to watch it," Massa concedes, "but I will be there."

Read more & Comment...
09/08/09
f1

FIA charges Renault with causing Piquet crash. Denied UPDATE #3 (GMM)  In a letter by Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, the heads of the Renault team have reportedly told F1's governing body that the charge of race-fixing in Singapore last year is not true.

According to the Spanish sports newspaper AS, it is alleged that team boss Briatore as well as Symonds, Renault's long time engineering director, instructed Nelson Piquet during a pre-race meeting to crash on purpose on a specific lap of the night race.

His promised reward was said to be the renewal of his contract for 2009.

Piquet, whose career is closely followed by his famous father, was furious when he was recently ousted by Briatore and in a media statement hinted that "strange situations" had occurred during his tenure.

Brazil's Globo TV, meanwhile, claims that Piquet's spin on the warm-up lap of the Singapore event was a practice for the similar-looking crash that brought out the safety car and boosted his teammate Fernando Alonso to the head of the field.

AS said it is clear that Renault will vigorously deny the claims at the extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris later this month.

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09/07/09
f1

Ecclestone insists Indian GP still on track UPDATE #4 India business magnate Ratan Tata says India is not ready for F1.  "I agree with Sports Minister Gill's view that Formula One is an elitist sport we can do without. Wherever they tried force feeding it to the public like in China and Turkey it flopped. We first need to develop a culture for motor racing and then look to bring Formula One," he says.

09/02/09 (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone is not ready to draw a line through plans for an Indian grand prix, despite the country's government refusing to pay scheduled fees to his company.

Following a request by the 2011 race's organizers for more than $35m in funding to be paid to Formula One Management, the Indian sports minister turned it down on the basis that F1 is not a sport but "entertainment".

"Everybody is entitled to their views.  That's the good or the bad part of democracy," F1 chief executive Ecclestone, 78, is quoted as saying by domestic media on Wednesday.

The Briton said the promotion contract for the F1 race, with construction on a new circuit already underway, remains in place.

"(The race has) been on for a long time.  There's never been any doubt," Ecclestone in London told the Indian news agency PTI.

"The contract has been signed a long time back."

He said he will be on site when the circuit's foundation stone is laid in October.

08/31/09 Sports Minister Gill again has snubbed Mallya, insisting that it was technology and not any sporting skill that determines the outcome of Formula One races.

"I congratulate them for their efforts but our view has been known for the past many many months. Formula One is the most expensive entertainment even in the west," Gill said.

"The technology they use is far beyond anything here. So, our view is clear that we are focused on promoting sports and that's how it should be. The rest, it's a free country, what they want to do here is their business," he added. 

Read more & Comment...
09/07/09
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Moves to ABC for Remainder of Season

One of the most important races of the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is on tap this weekend as the series runs under the lights Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, the race that will determine the 12 drivers who will be in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by Degree V12 at 7 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag is at 7:43 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12.

ESPN’s coverage of the final 11 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ESPN’s coverage from Richmond includes NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m., and a telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice on Friday at 2 p.m., both on ESPN2.

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09/07/09
f1

Gallagher joins Cosworth
Cosworth return to Formula One next season with the new Campos, Manor and USF1 teams and announced today that Mark Gallagher is to lead the firm’s Formula One Business Unit and will represent the engine builder at the track and take responsibility for Cosworth’s relationship with its customers.

Gallagher is the co-founder and managing director of Status Grand Prix, the team that won the A1 Grand Prix championship under the Team Ireland banner this year. He is stepping down from his management duties to join Cosworth.

"The opportunity to lead Cosworth’s Formula One operations is one that I am relishing,” said Gallagher. 

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09/07/09
nassprint

Eury Jr. plans to stay at Hendrick
Tony Eury Jr. said Saturday he plans to remain under the Hendrick Motorsports banner. Eury, who is currently in the second season of a five-year contract with HMS, certainly has plenty of options  even staying in the role he had Saturday night assisting with the #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series. JRM will field two cars in the NNS - the Nos. 88 and 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday that Kelly Bires is verbally committed to replace Brad Keselowski, while a variety of drivers (including Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell) will pilot the #5. When asked if Eury had visited Richard Childress Racing recently to discuss a potential job, he just laughed. "Who said I wasn't up there just to tour the museum?" Eury replied. Eury has spent the last three months since he resigned from his role as crew chief of the #88 Cup car completing a long awaited "honey-do" list. Professionally, he's been working on the development of the new car for the Nationwide Series. He still enjoys the occasional taste of being a crew chief with the #25 Cup car, but adding a full-time deal would preclude him for doing many things that he loves. And what about Eury joining Keselowski at Penske Racing next year, a possibility reported Saturday by The Charlotte Observer? "I'm happy at Hendrick Motorsports," Eury said. "We wish Brad well. We hope he finishes fifth - behind the four Hendrick cars." FoxSports

Comment
09/07/09
nassprint

Roush team searching for sponsors, not Danica
Roush Fenway Racing is still looking for many sponsors for next season. What it is not looking for is sponsorship for Danica Patrick.

Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said time is running out to get sponsorship for the organization's No. 26 team in order to be able to move that group to Yates Racing. Roush Fenway must cut from five to four Cup teams after the 2009 season. It still needs to find half a season of sponsorship for Matt Kenseth on the Cup side as well as sponsors to help field the organization's three or four Nationwide teams.

Smith said the problem in trying to do a multiple-sponsor deal with one team is that the organization can’t guarantee it would run the entire season. Even if a company isn’t interested in a full primary sponsor role, it wants to be with a team that is running the full schedule, Smith said.

Read more & Comment...
09/07/09
nassprint

Wood Brothers plan similar 2010 schedule
They still have four races this year - Kansas City on Oct. 4, Charlotte on Oct. 17, Texas on Nov. 8 and Homestead on Nov. 22 - but the Wood brothers already are considering their 2010 plans. "We'd love to maintain our relationship with Bill Elliott and our sponsors, and run about the same number of races we've run this year," team co-owner Eddie Wood said Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We'd consider it, but it would take a ton of sponsorship money before we tried to run the full schedule again. We're really content with the way things have gone this year." Because of sponsorship issues, the long-time Ford loyalists trimmed their schedule from 36 to 13 races this year. Elliott ran the first eight and David Gilliland was in the #21 Fusion this weekend. Elliott took himself from the car after breaking three ribs in a Wednesday afternoon dirt-bike accident. Ford Racing

Comment
09/07/09
f1

Fisi not auditioning for Massa's race seat
(GMM) Giancarlo Fisichella on Monday insisted he is not using the opportunity of a five-race stint in Felipe Massa's Ferrari as an audition to take over the injured Brazilian's seat permanently.

During a news conference at the team's Maranello base, the 36-year-old Roman - who has already been signed as Ferrari's 2010 reserve driver - said he had spoken about his appointment over the phone with 28-year-old Massa, who will return to the cockpit no earlier than 2010.

"He said he was happy for me and that it had been the right decision to choose me," the Roman told reporters.

"I said I was really sorry for what happened to him and to recover quickly. (I said) when you want the car back, come and take it because it is yours. I hope to achieve what you would have," Fisichella, 36, recalled of the conversation.

Comment
09/07/09
f1

Updates on rear and front wings for Toyota at Monza
Panasonic Toyota Racing travels to another of Formula 1's most historic venues for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend at Monza. The track is high speed and was a venue on the original World Championship calendar, both attributes it shares with Spa-Francorchamps, host of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The Italian Grand Prix is not only hallowed ground for Formula 1; it is also home turf for Jarno Trulli whose best finish at Monza was the fourth place he secured in 2002. Timo Glock has happy memories of the track having won and finished third in the two GP2 races there in 2007.  Toyota's Monza highlights include fifth and sixth place finishes in 2005 while the team has qualified in the top 10 on five of its seven visits. Monza is characterized by long straights and tight chicanes, so the team will bring a similar low-downforce aerodynamic package as used at Spa with some adjustments. After regaining its qualifying form in Spa, the team is aiming for a return to the points this weekend.

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09/07/09
alms

Dixon rejoins de Ferran Motorsports for Petit Le Mans
Scott Dixon qualified on pole for de Ferran Motorsport at Sebring
Scott Dixon
Reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will be reunited with de Ferran Motorsports for this month's Petit Le Mans, round nine of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. The 29-year-old New Zealander will line-up alongside regular drivers - team owner Gil de Ferran and promising young Frenchman Simon Pagenaud - in the no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a for the prestigious 1000-mile/10-hour sportscar showdown held at the Road Atlanta circuit on Saturday 26 September.

It will be Dixon's third appearance in long distance events for front-line de Ferran Motorsports, which has won four of the eight ALMS rounds staged to date in 2009. The 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner made his debut for the team in last year's Petit Le Mans and returned for this year's 12 Hours of Sebring where he qualified on pole position. He currently holds third place in the 2009 IndyCar Series and remains in contention for back-to-back titles having won four races from 15 starts for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. He is the most successful all-time driver in the modern Indy Racing League (IRL) championship having won the overall title twice - 2003 and 2008 - and scored 20 race victories.

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09/07/09
f1

Q&A with Pat Symonds
Renault director of engineering Pat Symonds shares his thoughts on the team's Belgian GP and the upcoming race at Monza.

Q: Pat, a promising Belgian Grand Prix ended in disappointment. Sum up the team's weekend for us...
PS: The Belgian Grand Prix was one of the most puzzling races I've been to for a long time and it was very odd to see a grid that was so mixed up. However, we tried to make the most of it and although it was unfortunate to lose Romain so early in the race, Fernando had the potential to have a good race and looked strong in the early laps. He was fuelled for a long first stint and the car seemed to be working well despite the damage that had occurred on the first lap, which had reduced the car's downforce. Unfortunately at the first pitstop we realized the car was damaged and Fernando had to retire.

Q: Are you pleased with how Romain is progressing as a Formula One driver?
PS: His first race in Valencia impressed me a lot as he continually improved; found the limits of the car; kept out of trouble and had a solid race. In Spa I was impressed with him again, particularly in the wet free practice because it was the first time he had driven a Formula One car in the wet. In qualifying he didn't get a perfect lap and was unlucky with traffic, and then in the race he got caught up in the incident with Button. That was a shame as it would have been valuable for him to gain some more experience in racing conditions.

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09/07/09
f1

Renault reintroduces KERS for Monza
(GMM)  Renault will use KERS at Monza this weekend, the French team confirmed in a race preview on Monday.

Like BMW, the Enstone-based outfit has not fitted the energy-recovery technology to its 2009 package for some time because the compromises were deemed not worth the 6 seconds per lap of 82 horse power boost.

But the high speed and heavy braking at Monza mean KERS will actually be a significant advantage there, particularly in qualifying when drivers can deploy one burst before the start-finish line, and another on the long run to the first chicane.

Renault's engineering Pat Symonds said on Monday that the lap time benefit of KERS at the Italian venue is nearly three tenths of a second "and it's worth even more in qualifying".

Read more & Comment...
09/07/09
superleague

Bourdais wins in maiden Superleague race UPDATE Added photos of Bourdais below.

After failing in F1, in essentially a Panoz Champ Car with a different engine, 4-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais took to the Superleague cars like a duck to water, but not before spinning below
09/06/09 Sebastien Bourdais netted Spanish club Sevilla a €100,000 prize by sensationally winning the Superleague Formula by Sonangol ‘Super Final’ on his championship debut at Estoril.

The Frenchman, who recently lost his place on the Formula One grid, bounced back in the best possible fashion by producing a stunning drive, taking second in race 2 to qualify for the weekend-ending six-car sprint, before going on to win.

Starting from fourth in the five-lap Super Final, he dived past Anderlecht into turn 1 to take third and was into second when Corinthians driver Antonio Pizzonia slid wide and out of the lead in turn 4.

With just Liverpool standing beaten him and a memorable debut victory, Bourdais sliced up the inside of Adrian Valles’ car before the end of the lap and never looked like losing his lead from thereon.

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09/07/09
nhra

NHRA suspends Pro Motorcycle rider
The yearlong suspension of Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera, announced Saturday night, was mandated by the NHRA rulebook, senior vice president of racing operations Graham Light said.

Light said it's important to note Guidera was suspended for missing a test, not failing one, but the penalty is harsh nonetheless.

"That's the policy," he said. "There's absolutely no wiggle room. It's black-and-white."

Comment
09/07/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Rosberg skeptical of new teams' 2010 plans
  • Abu Dhabi eyeing 50,000 crowd for first F1 race
  • Frank Williams with Mercedes at DTM
  • Massa will make 'strong' F1 return - doctor
  • Ferrari did not push for Fisichella test
  • Ralf Schumacher, de la Rosa, deny Force India links
  • McLaren/Mercedes collaboration to continue - spokesman

Rosberg skeptical of new teams' 2010 plans
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg is a driver on the market for 2010 but he says he has not had any negotiations with formula one's three new teams.

"Really, you don't know whether they will actually bring a car to the track," the 24-year-old German is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

"At the moment so much is uncertain (about them)," Rosberg added.  "I think probably some surprises are coming."

The new teams attracting some skepticism are USF1, Campos and Manor.  Auto Motor und Sport suggested recently that USF1 at present is little more than desks and computers at its Charlotte base.

USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor however hints that it is the other two new teams that should be attracting the most negative speculation.

"From our perspective the other two new teams are very, very quiet, but I suppose I'm the wrong person to ask," he told F1's official website.

The Briton admits that the political goings-on earlier this year have delayed preparations for 2010, but he insists that progress on the actual car is on track.

"We should soon have what Americans call a 'roller' - not a complete car, but basically the chassis, with the suspension and gearbox in place - ready to do some full-scale aero tests," said Windsor.

It is rumored that USF1, backed financially by YouTube's Chad Hurley, will base its European operation at the new Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain.

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09/07/09
f1

Force India confirm Liuzzi to replace Fisichella
Vitantonio Liuzzi
The Force India Formula One Team is pleased to announce Vitantonio Liuzzi will assume driving duties of car number 21 from next weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

After evaluating options following Giancarlo Fisichella's switch to the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, Tonio has been promoted to the race seat from Monza onwards. The 28-year-old Italian has fulfilled the team's crucial test, reserve driver and development role from the start of the 2008 season.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal, commented: 'I'm delighted to give Tonio the opportunity to get back into a race seat, which I know he has been itching to do for the past two years. Force India is now in a very competitive position and we need a driver who can continue this momentum. This will be the chance for Tonio to demonstrate to both the team and the field that he has the commitment, speed and professionalism to perform and I am sure he will seize this opportunity.'

Read more & Comment...
09/07/09
track news

Nikon signs to be naming rights sponsor in Surfers
SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton and Nikon Australia General Manager of Sales and Marketing James Murray, have today announced that the photographics company will be the naming rights sponsor of the 2009 Nikon SuperGP.

Regarded as a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology, Nikon will also have the first option on continuing the agreement past the 2009 event.

Nikon SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton welcomed the partnership with Nikon, who was also the naming rights sponsor of the 2008 event.

"The Nikon SuperGP will see a new era of motorsport on the streets of the Gold Coast over the four days and nights, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome a blue-chip international partner in Nikon back to the event on the cusp of the newest installment for the world's best motorsport entertainment festival,” said Hooton.

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09/06/09
f1

UAE F1 race gets shot in the arm
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) yesterday signed a signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Yas Marina Circuit, which is getting ready to stage the 2009 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 1.

Abdullah Mohammad Saleh Abdul Rahim, NBAD's Group Chief Operating Officer, who signed the deal with Richard Cregan, CEO, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, said it was the biggest sports deal for the bank.

"Sponsoring Yas Marina Circuit activities for three years and securing the title of Official Bank of the 2009 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a tremendous honor for NBAD. We believe this will further strengthen NBAD's association with world class events and enable the bank to increase its reach to global audience," said Abdul Rahim.

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09/06/09
nascar

Chevy Boss Promises Continued Support
Chevrolet is in NASCAR to stay, according to Brent Dewar, the new head of General Motors' Chevrolet division, who was at AMS on Saturday to assure his teams and drivers that he was solidly behind them. Although spending cuts have been made because of the automaker's poor financial condition, Dewar said he hoped to maintain the current level of participation at least through 2010 and planned to keep his stable of teams and drivers at the current level. And he said he hoped to be able to spend more in 2011 and beyond when car sales and profits are expected to increase. "We've been in racing from the beginning, and we're in it for the long haul," Dewar said. He said that although dealer inventories are at all-time lows and potential buyers are dealing with credit challenges, he still believes in "race on Sunday, sell on Monday." He also said his company still gets a return on its NASCAR investment, and that the Cup series returns far more for the dollars than the Nationwide and truck series. Racin' Today

Comment
09/06/09
nhra

Kenny Bernstein Racing Copart team up for 2010 season

Six-time NHRA champion and Hall of Famer Kenny Bernstein has named Copart, Inc., an online vehicle remarketing company that sells more than 1 million cars per year, as the primary sponsor of his legendary Top Fuel team beginning in 2010.

Copart sells vehicles using an online auction format at Copart.com, making it easy for people to search for and bid on vehicles from the comfort of their home or office.

"We are thrilled to be announcing this new relationship with Copart," said Bernstein. "We visited Copart headquarters in July and were amazed by the technology that allows buyers from all over the world to bid on an extensive inventory of more than 50,000 vehicles each day."

Buyers can choose from classic, early, and late model cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, jet skis and recreational vehicles - all in a variety of conditions. The vehicles are located at more than 130 facilities nationwide, making it easy to find a great deal nearby.

"This new relationship with Kenny Bernstein is a perfect fit for Copart, as there is a high percentage of do-it-yourselfers and car enthusiasts that follow NHRA who can benefit from our selection of great vehicles," said Copart President Jay Adair. "Kenny Bernstein is a known winner, and Copart buyers also win when they are the highest bidder on a car and get a great deal. We all know that winning is awesome, and we look forward to a winning season with Kenny Bernstein!"

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09/06/09
f1

Renault disqualification would make Rosberg F1 winner UPDATE Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso shrugged off allegations of Renault race-fixing on Saturday when he was welcomed by between 100,000 and 150,000 people in his hometown of Oviedo.

“You never imagine that one day you will be here, before everyone you know, driving a Formula One car. Today that day has arrived and it’s something I’ll never forget,” said Alonso who gave a demonstration drive in his Renault on a specially-constructed temporary track.

09/06/09 (GMM) If winner Fernando Alonso is disqualified from the 2008 Singapore grand prix, Nico Rosberg will retrospectively record his first formula one victory.

To the Berliner Zeitung newspaper in Germany, the Williams driver - who like Alonso also benefitted from the safety car shake-up prompted by Nelson Piquet's crash and finished second - revealed that "there were rumors" about the incident at the time.

"But what I personally think now is, 'Cool!', because it means I can win my first race. Everything is possible," said the 24-year-old.

The FIA's World Motor Sport Council will probe Piquet's controversial crash, and Renault's alleged involvement in a conspiracy, at a hearing in Paris on 21 September.

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09/06/09
f1

Rossi reveals Monza 'talks' with Ferrari
(GMM) It's Felipe Massa's seat, Michael Schumacher was Ferrari's first choice to replace the injured Brazilian, Luca Badoer got the initial nod, and now Giancarlo Fisichella will complete 2009 in car number 3.

But Valentino Rossi, perpetually at the centre of 'will he, won't he' speculation in F1 circles, claims he could have been the occupant of the F60 racer.

The flamboyant multiple MotoGP champion, who won Sunday's San Marino GP, told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport that he "talked with Ferrari" about appearing for the famous team at Monza.

"But to enter formula one without testing is more risky than fun," he concluded. "Without testing it would not have been logical.

"You can't go there and do everything to understand the car in three days."

Rossi, 30, said he also had doubts about how he would have coped physically with MotoGP's four-wheeled equivalent.

"I don't know if I could have finished the race with my neck," he admitted.

Rossi is 30 points ahead of his Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo with four races to go.

Comment
09/06/09
f2

Mikhail Aleshin scores maiden F2 win
Mikhail Aleshin
Mikhail Aleshin scored his maiden victory in Formula Two in the second race at Oschersleben today (Sunday), although he had to fend off the attentions of Andy Soucek and Julien Jousse for the entire race.

The Russian made a decent start from pole but he had Jousse challenging his lead into the first corner. Jousse made a failed attempt down the inside and then lost momentum through turn two, which allowed Andy Soucek to sneak through into second.

Mirko Bortolotti failed to get away cleanly from fourth on the grid, the Italian dropping down the order as a result. Robert Wickens inherited fourth but was unable to challenge the lead trio, instead having to protect his position from a charging Nicola De Marco.

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09/06/09
motogp

Rossi Wins at Home
It took Valentino Rossi just one week to bounce back from his Indianapolis disappointment with brilliant win at Misano on Sunday.
Misano 2009 - MotoGP Race Highlights

World Champion Valentino Rossi delighted the home crowd at Misano on Sunday with his second successive victory at the Italian circuit, to reassert his authority in the MotoGP title race.

A 2.4s win at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini over his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the perfect response to his Indy DNF and Rossi now leads the Spaniard by 30 points in the standings, with four rounds to go.

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09/06/09
f1

Ecclestone hoping to lower ticket prices
Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone (above) pushed for lower costs in F1.  Even though Mosley was dead right, as he always is, he was forced out of the FIA by team owners that are now finally realizing he was right all along
Formula (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that F1's prices both for race promoters and ticket buyers will come down with shrinking expenditure by the teams.

Team spending will continue to plummet in 2010 and beyond with the recent signing of a cost saving agreement, and the F1 chief executive told the latest issue of F1 Racing magazine that this will take pressure off the sport's commercial rights holders.

"When that happens we won't have to produce so much money for (the teams) and, therefore, we can ask for less money from the promoter and the ticket prices will come down.

"We want that to happen as soon as possible," the 78-year-old Briton said.

Ecclestone's comments have emerged at a time when some of F1's traditional promoters are struggling to afford their races, and some new venues in increasingly foreign locations are staging events in front of near-bare grandstands.

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09/06/09
f1

Badoer blames media after losing Ferrari F1 drive
Luca Badoer blames media for sacking
(GMM)  Luca Badoer on Sunday pointed the finger at the media after losing injured Felipe Massa's Ferrari race seat.

Giancarlo Fisichella will race car number three at Monza and for the rest of the 2009 season, after the Maranello team's long time test driver Badoer, 38, was the slowest driver at both the recent Valencia and Spa-Francorchamps rounds.

Badoer however had lost his cool with a British reporter during a press conference at Spa, and earlier said the media corps - some of whom nicknamed him 'Look-How Bad-You-Are' - had been the worst aspect of his return to F1 race action in difficult circumstances.

"Those who write don't understand how much harm they can cause.  The media played a fundamental role in the decision to replace me," Badoer told Italy's Gazzetta Sportiva.

He claims he would have fared much better at Monza, one of his favorite and most familiar circuits, and also hit out at F1's rules that severely limit track testing.

"These rules stop a reserve driver from testing and make him a victim -- it happens only in formula one," said the Italian.

Ferrari has already announced that Fisichella will become the new reserve driver in 2010, and Badoer - who became a team test driver at the end of the 90s - revealed recently that his contract runs out at the end of the year.

"My intention is to stay," he added.  "I am finished with races but my relationship with Ferrari continues."

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09/06/09
nassprint

No third team for Stewart in 2010
Tony Stewart, #14 Office Depot /Old Spice Chevy, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed many things, including:

HAVE YOU DECIDED THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO ADD ANOTHER TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR?:
"No, it's too late to do something for next year. We're two weeks before the Chase and we're going to be very focused on hopefully keeping two cars with a chance to possibly win a championship. We just didn't get far enough down to get something done for next year and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. This is a decision where timing is everything for it and when we do it, it doesn't matter when it happens, but when it does we want it to be the right timing and the right situation." GM Racing

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09/06/09
motogp

Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso re-sign with Honda
HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) is delighted to confirm today that Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso have re-signed for the factory Honda MotoGP team. After the basic agreement announced by HRC at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, the details of the contracts have duly been finalized and both riders signed at the Misano World Circuit during the San Marino Grand Prix weekend.

Pedrosa has agreed a one-year extension to his contract which will see the 23-year-old Spaniard riding for the factory Honda squad for a fifth consecutive season. Dovizioso has signed a deal with HRC for 2010 with options to extend for 2011. With this young and talented pairing, HRC is convinced it has the rider line-up needed to recapture the MotoGP world championship title.

Tetsuo Suzuki, HRC President

“We are very pleased that both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso have re-signed for the factory Honda team and we have total confidence that these two riders possess the talent to help us fight for the MotoGP World Championship. They both have long and successful careers with Honda in Grand Prix racing and we are happy this partnership will continue. Although we have struggled this season, we will continue the challenge until the very last Grand Prix. Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the start of Honda’s participation in the World Championships, we must remind ourselves once again that Honda has been striving to compete at the top level in the world since the day of its founding. As HRC we will, of course, reinforce the development of our machine, and together with every team member, we will continue to fight with Honda’s challenging spirit in our hearts.”

Dani Pedrosa

“This new agreement with HRC is great news for me and I’m very pleased to be staying with the team that I’ve ridden for since 2006. We have now established an effective way of working and I’m confident that we can become even more competitive in the future. The target has always been to win the world championship and that of course stays the same. We have proved before that we can be the fastest and beat the best in the world, and I still believe we can get to a level where we are challenging for that at every race. That is what the whole team must work towards. HRC has a very impressive racing heritage and I still have confidence that they can produce a bike that can win the world championship.”

Andrea Dovizioso

“I’m very happy to be continuing with HRC in the factory Honda team. The experience of being involved with such a prestigious team has been very important for me and, as soon as we began discussing the future, my target was to continue with Honda. My first year as a factory rider has taught me a lot. I’m confident that with the direction we’ve agreed for machine development we can reach a level where we are fighting for victory every Sunday. Honda is a company that has achieved huge racing success and there are a lot of very talented and passionate people behind this effort. I’m sure we have the potential to fight for the world title.”

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