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DATE News (chronologically)
09/09/11
nassprint
Atlanta NASCAR TV Rating  ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 6, earned a 1.8 national household coverage rating, averaging 2,161,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was originally scheduled for Sunday night, Sept. 4, but was pushed to Tuesday due to rain and effects from Tropical Storm Lee. Last year's race, which was run and telecast as scheduled, earned a 3.9 rating. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta on Saturday night, Sept. 3, earned a 1.4 national household coverage rating, averaging 1,857,000 viewers. The rating was the same for the 2010 race.
09/09/11
gp3
Trummer tops dramatic practice session  The final round of the GP3 Series continued this afternoon with the second practice session at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Simon Trummer eventually claimed the top spot with a time of 1:45.103 set on his very last lap. The Swiss driver beat out Tom Dillmann who had been top for the majority of the incident filled session. Lotus ART’s championship contenders Valtteri Bottas and James Calado watched the session from the pits choosing to save their tires for qualifying tomorrow.

The field hit the track in scorching hot conditions, and it was MW Arden who was quickest straight out of the pits with Williamson setting the fastest time ahead of his teammate Trummer until Dillmann set a time to beat, going nearly one second quicker than the leading pair. More ...
09/09/11
alms
ALMS Baltimore TV Rating  UPDATE The final TV rating for the ALMS race on ABC was a 0.6 with 757,000 viewers tuned in.  IndyCar had egg on its face once again with its Versus TV rating that brought only 591,000 viewers, 28% lower than what the ALMS delivered for the city of Baltimore.  Thankfully the IndyCar race was also broadcast on ESPN International around the world.  Although we have no hard numbers for viewership globally (because IndyCar prefers to look like a loser by just having the Versus numbers) we suspect that if you tally all 160 countries the overall viewership would be 16 million (100,000 per country) or 8 million if you assume 50,000 per country.  Either way it dwarfs the hideous Versus number of 0.59 million.  After harping on this with Randy Bernard he finally told AR1's Mark Cipolloni in Baltimore last weekend that next year they will be publishing the global number for each race and then IndyCar will begin to look like a winner, instead of a loser.

09/06/11 ABC's tape delay broadcast on Sunday of Saturday's American Le Mans race, earned a 0.5 TV rating. That is one-half of one-percent of the national TV audience of 115 million households.  So about 575,000 households were tuned in, which equates to over 600,000 viewers.
09/09/11
f1
Whitmarsh admits boycott threat over India tax issue  (GMM)  Martin Whitmarsh on Friday played down reports the inaugural Indian grand prix could be called off due to a tax issue.

But the McLaren principal, who doubles as the chairman of the teams association FOTA, admitted that the issue needs to be sorted before the F1 circus can commit to travelling to Delhi next month.

The BBC reports that, with the issue currently unresolved, teams and drivers will have to pay big tax bills to the Indian government.

"You don't go somewhere if you're going to be penalized," he said.  "We have been unable thus far to get assurances from the Indian tax authorities that this manner will be resolved in a satisfactory manner.

"But I don't believe (the race) is seriously under threat.  I am sure this will be resolved," Whitmarsh added.

09/09/11
f1
McLaren to take on Red Bulls at Monza  (GMM)  Monza looks set to be a battle between Red Bull and McLaren.

The McLarens, led by Lewis Hamilton, were quickest in the first dry and sunny practice session ahead of the Italian grand prix, before championship leader Sebastian Vettel edged ahead in the afternoon on Friday.

"I think we can challenge the Red Bulls this weekend, but it's going to be a hard race," said Briton Hamilton.

Vettel admitted that the high speed Autodromo is not a layout that "traditionally suits" his Red Bull car "but we were happy with the car today". More ...

09/09/11
f1
Kubica set for driving return in October  (GMM)  Robert Kubica could be back at the wheel in the next month.

The injured Pole's manager Daniele Morelli told reporters at Monza that he no longer has "any concerns" about Kubica's recovery in the wake of his latest surgery.

"It's good news," added the Italian.  "The nerves must complete their recovery.  But it's just a question of time."

Morelli said that in October "we think he can put on a helmet to give a message on what he can do".

He added that Kubica, seriously injured in a February rally crash, will likely give that message "in a simulator or a road car".

And "Renault have given us assurances that there is a (F1) seat (on reserve) for Robert."

09/09/11
irl
Officials: Baltimore Grand Prix boosted hotel, parking revenue  The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix gave the local economy much of the boost officials hoped for — though organizers say they will seek to spread the benefits to more businesses next year.

The street race helped pump up weekend revenues at a sampling of hotels by 44 percent compared with Labor Day weekend last year, according to preliminary counts. It also drove average room rates for those hotels up 55 percent and more than doubled the take at city-owned parking garages.

The figures, compiled by the research firm Forward Analytics, were released Thursday by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Racing Development, the private group that produced the three-day event.

The mayor, who championed the Grand Prix, said the event exceeded her expectations. More than 100,000 tickets were sold, data from Ticketfly showed.

"I saw the event as an opportunity for my city, the city I love, to shine," Rawlings-Blake said Thursday at a news conference, surrounded by race and business officials. "I was on a high all weekend, knowing that people all over the world could see the city. This was about giving Baltimore an opportunity to shine."

Forward Analytics and the city tourism bureau, Visit Baltimore, expect to release a comprehensive analysis of the race's economic impact next month.

In pitching the event, Baltimore Racing Development projected an economic impact — including hotel room bookings and food, entertainment and shopping revenues — of some $70 million.

Tom Noonan, president and chief executive of Visit Baltimore, said he believed that some hotels met their goals. "People were very, very happy" with the race's outcome — as were the hotels, which could charge higher rates than usual.

The jump in revenue at the 11 hotels surveyed, all but one of which are downtown, will likely be mirrored in the larger sample to be considered in the final report, Noonan said. That analysis will incorporate Smith Travel Research numbers on rates, revenue and occupancy for all downtown hotels.

Some hotels reported that they were able to sell out rooms on a weekend that otherwise would see their facilities just half full.

At the Inner Harbor Marriott at Camden Yards, the race "exceeded our expectations," said Onahlea Shimunek, the general manager. "Three weeks out, we were sold out for Saturday," she said.

The hotel also sold more food and beverages than expected, she said.

The city-owned Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel also reported strong results, according to a city official. Compared to the four-day Labor Day weekend in 2010, the hotel booked 473 more room nights, a 29 percent jump. It also raised its average rate by about $100 a night, a 73 percent increase, and saw a bump in revenue of $276,000, a 124 percent rise. Its food and drink sales from Sept. 2 to 5 totaled more than $155,500, two and a half times the previous year's Labor Day take.

For area restaurants, Grand Prix business was hit or miss, officials acknowledged Thursday.

Noonan said business boomed for some restaurants, including Kona Grill, Regi's American Bistro, Morton's The Steak House and Capital Grille. But he said officials and businesses could do a better job of promoting sections of the city beyond the racecourse area.

Bill Irwin, an operator of Slainte and Kooper's in Fells Point, and an early and ardent supporter of the Grand Prix, said in an interview that business ended up being flat. He said potential customers were scared away by reports of traffic snarls.

Tony Foreman said his Harbor East restaurants did business ranging from flat to decent. "We have a terrific crowd of interesting visitors to entertain, which was great fun," Foreman said in an interview. "Unfortunately we were missing many of our regular loyal local clients who said they were intimidated about the traffic message in the local media."

Michelle Torres, a spokesperson for Phillips Harborplace, echoed the feelings of many restaurant owners, even the disappointed ones. "It was a learning experience," Torres said in an interview. "We'll all do better next year."

Baltimore Racing Development said Thursday that it paid local contractors more than $3 million to help stage the event.

Figures released by NBC earlier in the week showed the Grand Prix averaged 591,000 viewers on Sunday, short of promoters' claims that it was the most-watched IndyCar race in the history of the cable channel Versus.

A July race in Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada, was watched by 642,000 USA viewers. Baltimore officials in May 2010 estimated a [worldwide ] television audience of 3.5 million for the Grand Prix.

But Rawlings-Blake said the television coverage succeeded in giving people worldwide a glimpse of what Baltimore has to offer — which, she said, could pay off in increased tourism. Baltimore Sun

09/09/11
irl
Organizers trumpet Baltimore Grand Prix success  Initial data suggest that last weekend’s inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix auto race may have boosted area hotel revenues by 44 percent over last year’s Labor Day weekend.

VisitBaltimore on Thursday announced the preliminary numbers, which were generated by Forward Analytics. More than 100,000 tickets were sold for the race.

The early figures reflect responses from 11 hotels encompassing 3,000 rooms, including one near the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

As city officials await a full economic report that is to be released by Oct. 1, several in the business community said they were enthused about the race’s first year. More ...

09/09/11
gp2
Pic powers to Monza GP2 pole  Charles Pic has claimed his third pole position of the year, pipping local hero Luca Filippi to the post (and handing the Italian his fourth P2 in a row in qualifying) in this afternoon's scorching qualifying session in Monza, with Fabio Leimer claiming third with a time which was just one tenth off pole.

Pic's best lap time of 1:32.349 took the wind out of his rivals' sails just seven minutes into the session, although it wasn't for a lack of trying: 19 drivers were within a second of pole on the fast, flowing circuit, but the Frenchman's rivals were just unable to close the gap as the clock wound down to zero. More ...
09/09/11
wrc
Raikkonen excluded from World Rally standings  Kimi Raikkonen has been excluded from the World Rally Championship’s final standings of 2011 after failing to take part in this weekend’s Rally Australia. The Finn, Formula 1 World Champion of 2007, had signed up to contest seven events, two of which had to be outside of Europe.

The situation has occurred as Raikkonen’s Ice1 Racing squad is officially entered in the WRC class, meaning it must take part in the events it nominates at the start of the season. Despite entering the rally of Jordan earlier in the season, failure to be present in Australia results in not just the championship exclusion but also a fine of €16,200 (just over £14,000).

A stewards’ statement reads as follows:

‘Having considered the provisions of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship Sporting Regulations and specifically article 7.3.8, the stewards decide to require the team Ice 1 Racing to pay the entry fee to the organizers of the 2011 Rally Australia, to pay the FIA a fine equal to the amount of the registration fee being €16,000 to exclude Ice1 Racing from the classification of the championship.’

09/09/11
f1
Senna fined €12,000 for pit lane speeding  Bruno Senna has been fined €12,000 (£10,400) for two separate pit lane speeding incidents during second practice at Monza on Friday afternoon. With a speed limit of 60 kilometers per hour (37.3mph), drivers are fined 200 euros for every kilometer they are found to be over the limit by.

FIA stewards first handed the Renault driver a fine of €3,200 for travelling at 75.9km/h (47.2mph) 50 minutes into the afternoon session, with a second fine of €8,800 coming for being clocked at a velocity of 81.7km/h (50.7mph) just 28 minutes later.

The Brazilian, who impressed by qualifying a career-best seventh on the grid for his F1 return in Belgium a fortnight ago, eventually pulled out a fastest lap of 1:25.325 for tenth position - one place and just over one tenth of a second ahead of team-mate Vitaly Petrov.

09/09/11
irl
Wirth to do Honda IndyCar bodywork kits  Wirth Research is to extend its alliance with Honda Performance Development to encompass an IndyCar bodywork program from 2013.

Nick Wirth's organization has already collaborated with Honda on the Acura/HPD LMP1 and LMP2 sportscar projects that achieved championship success in the American Le Mans Series.

Although that program has now concluded, a statement from HPD and Wirth said that the firms were "evaluating several high profile new sportscar projects."

The major new development for the HPD/Wirth partnership is in the IndyCar Series, where teams racing with Honda engines when the championship introduces its new car next year will receive chassis development support from Wirth. Then when alternative aerodynamic kits are permitted from 2013, Wirth will design the Honda bodywork package. More ...

09/09/11
f1
Horner tells Ferrari: Talk is cheap  
Christian Horner
Talk is cheap and any Formula One team is only as good as its last race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said on Friday in a put-down to Ferrari’s declared plans for a new era of domination.

Speaking ahead of the Italian team’s home grand prix at Monza, Horner recognized that reigning champions Red Bull lacked the illustrious pedigree and 60-year history of the sport’s glamour team.

But he also made clear that Red Bull already had what Ferrari, for all their past achievements, were striving to create.

“It’s been a great run for us,” he said of a season that has so far seen Red Bull start every race on pole position and win seven out of 12. More ...

09/09/11
f1
McLaren wants Button for rest of career - Whitmarsh  
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button will still be a McLaren driver in 2012, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said on Friday.

Confirmation of the deal, however, is overdue, with the 31-year-old's management pushing McLaren to simply trigger the option in his existing contract.

It is believed that McLaren on the other hand would like Button to commit now to a longer term deal, so that he is not available for the 2013 season when seats at Ferrari and Red Bull will open up. More ...

09/09/11
fil
Larrison to Contest Firestone Indy Lights Race at Las Vegas with Andretti Autosport  Andretti Autosport announced today that Mike Larrison will join its Firestone Indy Lights lineup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the IZOD IndyCar World Championship weekend on Oct. 16. 

Larrison, a native of Avon, Ind., began his racing career in motocross at age four and quickly recorded multiple American Motocross Association championships as he progressed through the various classes. He eventually moved from motocross to karting and won five Midwest karting championships in the span of six years. In 2007 and 2008, Larrison competed in the Indy Karting Series and secured two championships and 14 race wins. 

His racing portfolio also contains an USAC regional rookie of the year title. In 2010 Larrison secured a win at Slinger Speedway in Slinger, Wisc., in the Xtreme Sprint Series and captured the series' "Most Improved Driver" award. He currently holds 11th place in driver point standings in the 2011 Xtreme Sprint Series.  More ...

09/09/11
f1
Italian GP: Vettel pips Hamilton in practice 2  World Driving champion Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the second Friday practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, just beating McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel posted a time of 1m24.010s to just nip Hamilton by 0.036s.

Multi-time Italian GP winner Michael Schumacher was third quickest in the Mercedes just 3/10th off the pace.  Ferrari's drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso improved from the morning, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Mark Webber was sixth quickest in the second Red Bull. More ...

09/09/11
irl
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Driver Pippa Mann Cleared To Return To Indy Car  Putting together an Indy Car after a crash is a fairly big undertaking, but it pales in comparison to getting the human body back up to speed after a big hit.

But despite suffering an impact of more than 110 g’s at New Hampshire Motor Speedway less than four weeks ago, Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Pippa Mann has fought hard to recover from her injuries and was medically cleared this week to return to IZOD Indy Car Series competition. Mann was injured on August 13 when her car spun and had hard contact with the concrete wall at NHIS during practice for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. Chief among her injuries was an end-plate fracture of the C7 vertebrae, which showed up on an MRI exam conducted upon her return to Indianapolis. More ...

09/09/11
f1
Pirelli to involve FIA over tire camber saga  (GMM)  Pirelli could involve F1's governing body to ensure the safety of its tires.

At Spa two weeks ago, the tires on some cars - notably the Red Bulls - worryingly blistered.

The cause of the problem was traced to aggressive front camber angle, as Adrian Newey confirmed that Red Bull had slightly breached Pirelli's recommendation about not exceeding 4 degrees.

It was then rumored that Pirelli would clamp down for Monza and beyond with a 3.75 degree guideline, but also rumored in the paddock are more cautious recommendations of 3.5 or 3.25 degrees. More ...

09/09/11
f1
Lauda signs new sponsor for red cap  (GMM)  Niki Lauda has signed a replacement for his departed cap sponsor.

The great triple world champion ended his deal recently with the embattled Money Service Group.

But on Friday he was showing off his new red cap emblazoned with the logo of the Abu Dhabi investment company - and Mercedes GP co-owner - Aabar.

"We are proud to team up with one of the living legends of the sport," said Aabar board chairman Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaii.

09/09/11
gp3
Muller sets GP3 pace in Italy  
Nico Muller
The eighth and final round of the 2011 GP3 Series kicked off this morning with the first of two Friday practice sessions at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with Nico Muller topping the times sheets. The early morning session took place under clear blue skies and rising temperatures, and Muller claimed the top spot with a time of 1:43. 961 ahead of Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.

The field hit the track with Pirelli P Zero hard compound tires, and it was MW Arden’s Simon Trummer who led the way early on, along with title contender Nigel Melker for RSC Mücke Motorsport. As the drivers got to grips with the high-speed full throttle track the times swiftly dropped, and by midway through the session Quaife-Hobbs was top with Trummer bumped to second. Alexander Sims showed early pace in third for Status Grand Prix. More ...
09/09/11
f1
Renault renews with Red Bull for F1 engine supply  
Red Bull-Renault
Red Bull Racing and Renault Sport F1 are pleased to confirm the extension of their successful partnership for a further five years. The new fuel efficient 1.6L V6-turbo power unit to be introduced from 2014 will be incorporated in the framework of an enhanced collaboration.

Building upon the existing world-championship winning partnership, Renault Sport F1 will continue to supply V8 engines and KERS Motor Generator Units to Red Bull Racing for 2012 and 2013, with the new agreement repositioning the relationship between Red Bull Racing and Renault to a premium technical co-operation.

Within the new agreement, a technical joint venture will be setup, in which Red Bull Technology and Renault Sport F1 will collaborate to develop innovative technical solutions for the V6-based power unit that will be introduced from 2014. Red Bull Technology and Renault Sport F1 will contribute their respective know-how, experience and specialist personnel to the project to achieve a competitive and reliable power train to be used by Red Bull Racing and other customer teams. More ...

09/09/11
f1
Italian GP: McLaren's 1-2 in practice 1  
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the times in the opening practice session on Friday for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.  His best time of 1m23.865s put him nearly a second clear of McLaren teammate Jenson Button.

Championship leader Red Bull, which has only won at this track with its junior team Toro Rosso in the wet with Vettel at the wheel, saw Sebastian Vettel third quick over a full second behind Hamilton. Teammate Mark Webber was fourth.

Adrian Sutil completed the top five for Force India ahead of crowd favorites Alonso and Massa in Ferraris. More ...

09/09/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  
  • Hamilton's wrecked McLaren at Spa
    'Aggressive' Hamilton knocked unconscious in Spa crash
  • Mercedes plays down Monza victory hopes
  • Abu Dhabi a Toro Rosso sponsor, not buyer - Tost
  • Pirelli moves further to limit camber
  • McLaren gambles again with big Monza wing
  • Vettel revives winning 'smiley' tradition
  • Brazilian Nasr eyes F1 with Raikkonen's manager
  • Sponsor good news for Toro Rosso, not Alguersuari
  • New steering still has problems - Trulli More ...
09/09/11
nastruck
No Darlington Raceway in 2012 for truck series  NASCAR's trucks won't return to Darlington Raceway next season, but the departure apparently has nothing to do with Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina.

Darlington spokesman Jake Harris said Wednesday that while the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series would run on Mother's Day weekend next season, the Camping World Truck Series would not. Harris said the track worked with the truck series to find a useable date. Harris said Darlington would seek to bring the trucks back, if possible, in 2013.

The truck series leaving was not connected to the series bringing NASCAR racing back to Rockingham, which at one time was Darlington's sister track at International Speedway Corp.

09/09/11
racing news
NASA's technology contributions to auto racing  NASA has launched a new interactive online program that allows race fans to learn about the many contributions the agency has made to the racing industry. The "Rockets to Race Cars" site allows users to navigate through the NASA garage and learn about heat-resistant paint, fire-resistant materials, the development of better brakes and several other agency spinoffs that have helped the racing community.

NASA has partnered with several racing organizations to test their cars, while also using proven agency technology to make the racing industry safer and faster. For example, the Penske Racing team partnered with NASA in 1996 to find a way to keep their drivers more comfortable during races. Using scrap material from the Space Shuttle's Thermal Protection System (TPS) blankets, they were able to cool the driver's cockpit by 30 to 50 degrees. Race cars around the nation now regularly use the material. More ...

09/09/11
USAC
Wally Pankratz to teach racing lessons at Toyota Speedway  Multi-time open wheel racing champion, hall-of-famer, and one of the most respected driving coaches on the west coast, Wally Pankratz, has opened up shop to teach racing technique one-on-one at Toyota Speedway.

Pankratz will concentrate on teaching in USAC midgets, tiny, high-powered, open-wheel, single-seaters that are the perfect tool for speed, set-up, car control, and tire management.  "They're the perfect place to train, they just respond so nicely to adjustments, a new driver can make a change and really feel it," said Pankratz.  "That's the best kind of instruction there is, it fosters self-confidence and a direct, personal  understanding of what's going on under the driver." More ...
09/09/11
f1
Italian GP Preview  
Alonso takes popular win for Ferrari in 2010
F1 heads to the home of Ferrari when it hits Monza in Italy for what promises to be one of the most thrilling races of the year.

There’s probably only one person in the world who would say that Sebastian Vettel’s second consecutive Formula One World Championship isn’t done and dusted, and that’s Vettel himself. The German has said that he’s not assuming anything, this despite is 92-point lead over next-best Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.

With that in mind, Vettel will be wanting to drive home the dominance he’s shown throughout the year when the Formula One circus heads to the Monza circuit in Italy this weekend. He's won here before, too, albeit back in his Toro Rosso days. The track, steeped in history, has got two DRS zones and is renowned for its long straights and high speeds – 75% of the lap is spent at full throttle – so we can expect a real thriller. More ...

09/09/11
automotive
Video: Sneak Peek at Ferrari 458 Spider  Ferrari has released a video of its 458 Spider ahead of its public début in Frankfurt next week. Although the Ferrari 458 Spider is due for its public unveiling in Frankfurt in just a few days’ time, the car has been unveiled to members of the press in the Italian marque’s hometown of Maranello.

While the 458 Spider is pretty much identical to the coupe under the skin, it does feature a lightweight folding aluminum roof. Ferrari reckons it has a few benefits for the car, not least of which is the fact that it weighs 25kg less than a rag-top would. It also retracts quicker, with the roof needing just 14 seconds to go from open to closed and vice versa.

09/08/11
tv news
Wind Tunnel Sunday  UPDATE They’ve added a couple more guests to Sunday’s line-up. Rob MacCachren is a veteran off-road racing champion and is in the hunt for this year’s TORC Pro 2 title. SPEED will be televising the upcoming TORC event in Chicago next Thursday September 15th. As the Rolex Series prepares for their season finale next weekend, Hurley Haywood from the accomplished Brumos Porsche Racing team will stop by to talk about the team’s effort to claim the GT class championship after spending the past several years racing Daytona Prototypes.

Featured Interview Brad Keselowski (Sprint CUP Title Contender)
Featured Interview Rob MacCachren (Veteran Off-Road Racing Champion & TORC Pro 2)
Featured Interview Hurley Haywood (VP, Brumos Porsche – Rolex Series GT Title Contender) More ...

09/08/11
ga
Wayne Taylor looking for home field advantage  GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team Wayne Taylor Racing prepared for its ultimate "home game" in 2012 by continuing testing Sept. 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard.

Ricky Taylor drove the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Dallara/Chevrolet on Wednesday, handing the wheel to Max Angelelli in the rain-shortened session Thursday for Wayne Taylor Racing, which is based just 8 miles north of IMS.

A third day of testing for GRAND-AM drivers and teams has been added from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday due to unseasonably cool, windy and wet conditions today and Wednesday. Daytona Prototypes and GT cars from the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand Sport and Street Tuner cars from the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge are testing. More ...

09/08/11
irl
Mario Andretti to sign autographs  
Mario Andretti
Racing legend Mario Andretti will sign autographs Saturday at the opening of a new auto care store in Noblesville, IN.

Andretti will sign autographs from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the opening of Firestone Complete Auto Care, 13129 Tegler Drive, near the Hamilton Town Center mall.

Also at the opening, the Bigfoot monster truck will destroy cars in demonstrations at 4 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Andretti, who has retired from racing, is one of two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. He is the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), the Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship. Andretti's partnership with the Firestone brand spans four decades; he is a longtime test driver for the company.

09/08/11
nassprint
Patrick wants to make Cup debut at Daytona  
Danica Patrick - Superstar
Danica Patrick thinks it would be nice if she got her NASCAR Sprint Cup career started at the Daytona 500.

The IndyCar star, who is moving to NASCAR full time next season, will run a limited Cup schedule in a car owned by Tony Stewart next year. She will mostly race at tracks where Stewart expects her to struggle, which makes Daytona even more attractive to her.

"I think it would be a good start," she told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. "It would be nice if the Sprint Cup debut was at a track where I have the opportunity to finish well, especially given the idea that we're going to go to tracks that are going to be challenging and probably ones that I'll do the worst at, but I don't know yet." More ...

09/08/11
irl
nassprint
2012 Fontana tickets on sale Monday  With the highly anticipated return of 5-wide NASCAR racing and the thrill of record-setting INDYCAR open-wheel racing under the lights at Auto Club Speedway, now is the time to secure the best available seats to Auto Club Speedway’s 2012 NASCAR and INDYCAR races. 

Beginning Monday, Sept. 12, race fans can purchase tickets to the NASCAR Auto Club 400 race weekend, March 23 - 25, 2012 and the IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend scheduled Sept. 14 - 15, 2012 at Auto Club Speedway. More ...

09/08/11
irl
IndyCar suspends Safety Team member  INDYCAR announced today that it has suspended a member of  its Holmatro Safety Team for two events for not following on-track protocol during the start of the Sept. 4 IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix.

The safety team member, whom INDYCAR will not identify, was driving a safety truck when it pulled into Turn 1, narrowly missing the field as it was accelerating after taking the green flag.  The truck had been readjusting tire barriers on the pace laps of the event, and was to move to its station between Turns 2 and 4. More ...

09/08/11
irl
Barber sets 2012 IndyCar date  In only its second year, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy was named the “2011 Event of the Year” by the Alabama Tourism Department as more than 79,000 spectators from 41 states and five countries watched the IZOD IndyCar Series race.

It undoubtedly will be a contender for the award in 2012, too. Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports announced that the race weekend on the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course will take place March 30-April 1. That's a week earlier than this year's event.

This agrees with our rumored 2012 IndyCar schedule.

09/08/11
track news
Chicagoland announces 2012 NASCAR dates  Chicagoland Speedway today announced that the facility, for the second consecutive year, will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during the 2012 season on September 15 and 16. In addition to the September race weekend, NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series will visit Chicagoland Speedway on July 21 and 22.

“We are honored to have been selected once again to host the debut race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway. “It is certainly a privilege to host the start of the playoffs for one of the most watched and followed sports in the United States. Being chosen to host the debut race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has proved to be an incredibly compelling platform for our fans and partners. We look forward to building on the momentum and excitement from our inaugural 2011 Chase weekend that is taking place on September 16-18.” More ...

09/08/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday 2  
  • Delhi terror no problem for F1 - Chandhok
  • Alguersuari to launch own album
  • Di Resta says 2012 decision due 'later'
  • F1 boss Gallagher leaves Cosworth
  • Second title 'much more relaxed' - Alonso More ...
09/08/11
f1
Virgin team signs solar energy sponsor  Hot on the heels of Jerome D’Ambrosio’s home Grand Prix in Belgium, Marussia Virgin Racing is pleased to announce a new partnership with Belgian company Soleco ahead of this weekend’s final European round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship in Italy.

Based in Opglabbeek, Soleco is an environmental company that transforms sunshine into electricity through photovoltaic systems such as solar panels and inverters. Soleco pledged their support to Jérôme after he, along with other drivers from the Gravity Sport Management stable, made a personal commitment to offset the carbon footprint associated with his Formula One racing career. More ...

09/08/11
dtm
Video: 2012 BMW M3 DTM Concept Car  BMW is gearing up for its first test alongside rivals with its 2012 DTM car, which will take to an open track for the first time next week. The M3 DTM, which with the manufacturer will return to the championship next year, will join Audi and Mercedes at the Lausitz circuit on Monday and Tuesday.

09/08/11
dtm
Video: 2012 Mercedes DTM - sneak preview  Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett presents a sneak preview of the new DTM car ahead of its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.  Mercedes GP drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will reveal the German car maker's 2012 DTM car at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

09/08/11
nassprint
Roush team may be forced down to three cars  Roush Fenway Racing is running out of time in finding enough sponsors to remain a four-car Sprint Cup team next season.

The organization needs to find sponsorship for half a season for Carl Edwards and a full season for Matt Kenseth and David Ragan. And it’s September.

That gives it only a few more months to finalize deals for 2012.

“Things are getting pushed back farther and farther, and so we’re still juggling – the goal is still to have four cars,” Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark said Sunday. “But we don’t have clarity what it’s going to look like.” More ...

09/08/11
nassprint
NASCAR to hold fuel injection test  NASCAR will hold fuel injection tests Oct. 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 30 at Martinsville Speedway.  Teams will be allowed to test fuel injection Oct. 4-5 at the open Phoenix test but with the other three tests already scheduled, they might not trek that far. These will be the first industry-wide, open tests since July in Kentucky.

NASCAR will implement fuel injection starting with the 2012 Daytona 500. NASCAR plans to have three days of open testing in January at Daytona so all teams have plenty of time to prepare. Fuel injection is only coming to the Sprint Cup Series. Scenedaily.com

09/08/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Domenicali
    2011 development to stop after Singapore - Domenicali
  • Ferrari will not have Newey-like structure - Domenicali
  • Massa contract 'safe' for 2012 - Domenicali
  • McLaren boss Whitmarsh defends Button
  • Vettel vows to 'fight hard' despite huge lead
  • Domenicali 'mistaken' about Vettel quality - Berger
  • Vettel admits big pay-day at Monza
  • Only four current drivers better than Schu - Berger
  • Busy time in F1 sponsorship world
  • Good weather forecast for Monza
  • Pirelli confirms 'more cautious' camber advice
  • Trulli not sure of Japan nuclear safety
  • Trulli says 2012 Team Lotus stay 'settled'
  • Pirelli to do less private testing in 2012
  • Fernandes returns to pitwall at Monza
  • Massa tips Mercedes for Monza surprise More ...
09/07/11
ga
Audi To Build R8 LMS Race Car For GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Class  
After dissing the ALMS, Audi has announced its commitment to build a version of its successful R8 LMS race car for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, adding another major manufacturer to its highly competitive production-based GT class.

GRAND-AM has worked with Audi on the project since August 2009, making several visits to Germany to meet with the manufacturer. The car is expected to begin testing in the fall, with its competition debut expected at the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2012. More ...

09/07/11
racing news
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Partners with SapientNitro for New Mobile Application  
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced that they have launched one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing.  The new application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.  The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three touring series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Rolex GRAND-AM Series.

In addition, CGRT re-launched their team website by adding an element that allows individual websites for each of their teams but with each team URL having the ability to swipe directly from one to another. More ...

09/07/11
Team USA
Alberico Named as 2011 Team USA Scholarship Winner  Junior formula car up-and-comer Neil Alberico will be proudly representing the Red, White, and Blue of the U.S.A this fall, after being selected as a Team USA Scholarship winner this past weekend (September 3-4) at the Baltimore Grand Prix. As one of three racers earning the prestigious award in 2011, the Californian will take part in the historic Formula Ford Festival and the world-renowned Walter Hayes Trophy in England this coming October and November.

Over the past several months Alberico has increasingly made a name for himself as a rising talent in motorsports. Only one year removed from karting full-time, the Californian is now living in England and racing in the highly competitive MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. Going head-to-head against some of the top young talent from not only England, but throughout Europe, Alberico has impressed onlookers with his skill - scoring two top-fives and 11 top-10s – and poise in and out of the car. Not surprisingly, this caught the attention of Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw. More ...

09/07/11
V8
SPEED Bringing Bathurst 1000 to Viewers Live  V8 Supercars expanding international reputation has been endorsed by US network SPEED sending a full commentary and production team to cover the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Armor All Gold Coast 600 for telecast throughout North America.

Both prestigious V8 Supercar events will be broadcast live and in prime time on the SPEED network which is available in almost 84 million homes across North America. The intensifying interest in V8 Supercars throughout North America is a gleaming endorsement of the sport.

The signature events will also be broadcast live on Seven and live in full high definition on 7mate across the country, as well as in full HD throughout North America. More ...

09/07/11
nassprint
Calif. man pleads guilty to $13.5M NASCAR fraud  A 64-year-old man has pleaded guilty to mail fraud in Los Angeles after he was accused of bilking family and friends out of $13.5 million in a Ponzi scheme.

Eliott Drescher pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud Tuesday in federal court. He's scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 19 where he faces up to 20 years in prison. More ...
09/07/11
irl
Video: Will Power and Mario Andretti - Part 1  
09/07/11
irl
Video: Will Power and Mario Andretti - Part 2  
09/07/11
irl
Video: Will Power and Mario Andretti - Part 3  
09/07/11
irl
Video: Justin Wilson update  
09/07/11
ga
Gurney enjoys first Grand-Am test at Speedway  GRAND-AM drivers and teams prepared for the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard in July 2012 by testing Wednesday, Sept. 7 on the Grand Prix road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Testing also is scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, with Daytona Prototypes and GT cars from the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand Sport and Street Tuner cars from the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Fans are welcome to watch GRAND-AM testing Thursday for free from the South Terrace grandstands adjacent to the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.

GRAND-AM will make its IMS debut Friday, July 27, 2012 as part of the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard. Separate races for the Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will take place that day on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix course at IMS, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series action also on the oval during the four-day event from July 26-29. More ...

09/07/11
irl
Mutoh returns to series for Motegi  
Hideki Mutoh
Hideki Mutoh will drive the No. 17 Honda Formula Dream AFS/SSM car in the Indy Japan: The Final on the road course at Twin Ring Motegi next week.

Mutoh, a Tokyo native who has made 52 IZOD IndyCar Series starts, will team up with Alex Tagliani, who drives the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins entry for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

"I am really looking forward to working with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Motegi," said Mutoh, who has competed in Super GT this year. "Though this is only one race, it means a lot to me to be able to race in front of my home crowd again. This has been a tough year for Japan and I hope we can bring some excitement to the many fans.  More ...

09/07/11
irl
Panther confirms Buddy Rice return  Buddy Rice will return to Panther Racing in the No. 44 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka entry for the IZOD IndyCar Series races at Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion ended a two-plus-year series hiatus in May, making his first career start for Panther in the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 (qualified seventh; finished 18th). He will team with JR Hildebrand, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points leader, who drives the No. 4 National Guard car.

"Everybody at Panther is extremely excited to have Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka and a champion like Buddy Rice back with us for the last two races of the season," team managing partner and CEO John Barnes said. "Those guys bring so much to this team and we owe Buddy and Fuzzy's Vodka a ton of credit for the success we had this year at Indianapolis, and we feel we've put together a race-winning package for both Kentucky and Las Vegas. More ...

09/07/11
irl
Versus fails IndyCar again  The Baltimore Grand Prix Sunday averaged 591,000 viewers on Versus, according to figures released by NBC, and it was NOT the most watched IndyCar race in the history of cable channel Versus, as promoters claimed and some published as fact.

Let me repeat that last part: It was not the most watched IndyCar race in Versus history.

The history of IndyCar racing on Versus is only one year old, but a race in Edmonton in July was watched nationally by more viewers than Baltimore's. That telecast delivered 642,000 viewers.

The 591,000 viewers is in line with what I predicted yesterday using preliminary ratings and TV homes as a rough yardstick for viewers. And it is a far cry from the 3.5 million viewers mentioned in this press release from the city in May 2010 heralding the Grand Prix agreement. It is about one-sixth that audience. More ...

09/07/11
f1
11 dead in attack on F1 host city Delhi  (GMM)  On the month before the city's inaugural Indian grand prix, New Delhi is on Wednesday reeling from one of its worst terrorist attacks.

Bloomberg reports that at least 11 people are dead and scores injured after a briefcase bomb exploded outside the capital's high court.

With the government ordering a state of high alert, the Press Trust of India says a Pakistani militant group has claimed responsibility.

"It was a devastating scene," said a lawyer who was working at the court.  "I saw bodies, people with broken arms and legs and flesh on the floor." More ...

09/07/11
f1
Camber limit for Monza reduced  Pirelli has informed teams that their recommended camber limits for the Italian GP will be more conservative following the Spa tire debacle.

There was plenty of finger pointing following the Belgian Grand Prix after several drivers suffered blistering on the outside shoulder of their front tires during qualifying. Some teams, with Red Bull leading the way, called on Pirelli and the FIA to allow them to replace the front rubber for the race, but the request was denied.

Red Bull responded by pitting both their drivers early in the race, but the team's technical chief Adrian Newey admitted afterwards that he feared for the safety of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. More ...

09/07/11
f1
Renault announces four new sponsors  Renault has announced partnerships with no less than four new sponsors on the run-up to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The collaborations come after Bruno Senna was added to the driver line-up as a substitute for Nick Heidfeld, who has since parted company with the Enstone outfit.

All were announced via the Lotus Renault GP website on Wednesday, those who are partnering the outfit are pharmaceutical group Auden McKenzie, Brazilian telecommunications giant Embratel, Brazilian petroleum company OGX and Gillette, manufacturer of razors and personal care products whose logos will appear both on the front wing of the cars and throat position of driver overalls. More ...

09/07/11
nassprint
Kentucky Speedway gets 2012 Sprint Cup race date  NASCAR's Sprint Cup racing series will return to the Kentucky Speedway. Track officials revealed Tuesday that on June 30, 2012 the track will host its next major race. Before a State Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday, Mark Simendinger, the track's general manager said NASCAR is satisfied scenes like what happened earlier this summer won't happen again. However, the senators had plenty of tough questions of their own. Among the thousands of people who got tied up in traffic on the way to the Kentucky Speedway's inaugural Sprint Cup race was State Senator Bob Leeper (I-Paducah).

"I was one of those people," Leeper said. "I have my tickets here." Simendinger once again took full responsibility for the traffic mess. "We do not want to have this issue again," Simendinger said. "I can't stress that to you guys enough." Simendinger said the track and state transportation officials think they can avoid similar parking and traffic problems in the future with planned improvements - more parking, more lanes and better traffic flow. "I want enough parking, enough lanes, I want them moving fast enough so that, and we didn't build this track and we're not spending all this money to just be ok," said Simendinger. More ...

09/07/11
f1
Video: Driven by Desire - The Desiré Wilson story  
09/07/11
irl
Power's surge makes race of IndyCar  
Will Power
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
A month ago, it appeared as if Dario Franchitti would run away with the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

The three-time and reigning series champion held a 62-point advantage after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. But three races later, Franchitti’s lead is just about gone.

After Sunday’s win in the Baltimore Grand Prix, Team Penske’s Will Power lurks five points behind the Chip Ganassi Racing driver with three races left.

“I have to have a very good next three races and I will be doing everything I absolutely can to make sure I do,” Power said. More ...

09/07/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Felipe Massa
    Massa 'one of best ever teammates' - Alonso
  • Grosjean 'now ready' for F1 return - Boullier
  • Perez admits Monaco crash was big setback
  • Webber pass too risky and 'stupid' - Berger
  • Ralf S. and wife to split, Button opens restaurant
  • Briatore to blame, not Schumacher - Herbert

Massa 'one of best ever teammates' - Alonso
(GMM)  After defending the talents of world champion Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso now insists his teammate Felipe Massa is also a top driver. More ...

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