Polesitters get no respect anymore A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Regarding Mr. Cox's article title "Polesitters get no respect anymore," there is one easy solution. Two words - Standing Starts. Ian Ashdown.
Baltimore Sun turns anti-Grand Prix (Update)UPDATE Dear AR1.com, Sounds like the NASCAR family has gotten to the Baltimore media like it has in so many other cities to kill an IndyCar event. The IndyCar management still doesn't realize the taxicab league wants them dead and will do everything in their power to undermine them. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles
Dear Mordichai, can you prove those allegations? It is funny though how the Baltimore Sun was behind the race big time and all of a sudden turned negative. Mark C.
09/11/13 Three recent articles published by the Baltimore Sun saying the race should be axed:
The name made famous by Mario still rules American motorsports
Andretti Autosport could tie a longstanding record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year, and it has nothing to do with speed.
In 1996, the first year of the Indy Racing League, officials were scrambling to fill the Indy 500′s traditional field of 33 and got a massive helping hand from Andy Evans. Evans’ Team Scandia fielded a record seven cars. At this point, Andretti Autosport is potentially on a pace to field six full time cars in 2014. While most of Scandia’s entries were scrubs Andretti’s team would be nothing but top talent and rising stars.
Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay are confirmed with sponsorship in place, it’s possible that Go Daddy and James Hinchcliffe will be back and E.J. Viso’s sponsorship appears secure as well. Given that Viso’s sponsorship package is rumored to be in the $10 million range he can have his pick of the available ride buys and would have a hard time improving his lot in 2014.
Iowa Speedway CEO Steps DownUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, is this an example of yet another IndyCar oval going belly up? I noticed attendance was way off this year. Out of the 380,000 or so fans that IndyCar has left after Tony George's destruction of the sport, how many of them are oval track fans? Apparently not many. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.
09/11/13 Iowa Speedway officials yesterday "hustled to calm any potential fears about the racetrack’s financial health or future after confirming the departure" of its CEO Doug Fritz and a pending refinancing deal, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Speedway employees "were told Tuesday morning about the departure" of Fritz, the man "hand-picked as CEO" in Sept. '11. Speedway officials confirmed yesterday morning that Fritz "had left the company and that a refinancing deal was in the works." Speedway Owner & Chair Conrad Clement acknowledged the "existence of some financial issues." Track co-Owner Rusty Wallace "vowed that a race schedule would be finalized" for next year.
Ferrari confirms Raikkonen (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 BBC Sport reports that the 33-year-old, whose contract with Lotus runs out at the end of the season, "signed a one-year deal with an option for 2015"
Kimi Raikkonen at Spa with Ferrari in 2007
Kimi Raikkonen says he "cannot wait" to be reunited with the Ferrari team from the 2014 Formula 1 campaign after putting pen to paper on a two-year agreement.
The Finn, who raced for the Italian marque between 2007 and 2009 before taking a short sabbatical, made a popular return to the sport with Lotus at the beginning of 2012, impressing the paddock with his rapid and consistent performances.
After Red Bull's decision to promote Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus' inability to provide the assurances he has been seeking for the 2014 season, Raikkonen opted to return to the squad where he claimed his sole title in 2007, partnering Fernando Alonso. "I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years," said Raikkonen. "I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.
"I can't wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves."
Double World Champion Alonso also acknowledged the 33-year-old's impending arrival, explaining: "I’d like to welcome my new travelling companion: together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge."
09/11/13 (GMM) Ferrari on Wednesday announced the highly-anticipated news that Kimi Raikkonen will rejoin the Italian team in 2014.
In a brief statement at the end of a frenzied period of media speculation, Ferrari said the Finn - who won his world title in a red car in 2007 - will be Fernando Alonso's teammate "for the next two racing seasons".
"Welcome back, Kimi!" read the headline at the Maranello based team's official website.
NAPA, 5-Hour Energy Reviewing Relationship With MWR Following NASCAR Sanctions Two of Michael Waltrip Racing’s sponsors are “reviewing their relationships" with the team following its "attempt to manipulate the finish" of Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Int’l Raceway, according to Jenna Fryer of the AP.
NAPA Auto Parts today posted on its Facebook page that it is "disappointed that a partner would make 'such a significant error in judgment.'" NAPA is the sponsor for Martin Truex Jr., who was “kicked out of the Chase for the Sprint Car championship when NASCAR sanctioned MWR for its actions in Saturday night’s race.” Fellow MWR Driver Clint Bowyer’s sponsor 5-Hour Energy “tweeted it is reviewing its sponsorship relations internally” AP
NASCAR News Bits The 2013 NASCAR silly season took a rather interesting turn following the September 4th press conference that said veteran Cup driver Jeff Burton will not be returning to the #31 Richard Childress Racing, (RCR), Chevrolet in 2014. Apparently available sponsorship had a lot to do with this decision and also hampered the RCR effort to expand to a four car operation.
During that press conference, Burton said: "I strongly believe in the #31 team as to what we can achieve this year, and for the team in seasons to follow. However, the financial realities for next year were obvious to both Richard and me. So, we talked about it and both made the decision to make this move for the team's future."
Scott Dixon calls for race director Beaux Barfield to be fired (2nd Update)UPDATE #2
Dixon and Franchitti (left)have called for Barfield's (right) head, but a review of the calls by IndyCar management shows no inconsistencies in the officiating
Whatever issues there are in NASCAR, there's plenty in IndyCar, too.
The past two races — at Sonoma and Baltimore — has seen friction between race control and drivers and Scott Dixon was fined $30,000 by IndyCar for saying race director Beaux Barfield should be fired.
It's a pivotal moment for Dixon who sits 49 points behind Helio Castroneves for the series lead.
"It's not my job to fix the issues, but the issues need to be fixed," Franchitti said. "It's been happening all year. It's something that needs to be addressed. It's a shame we're talking about it. We should be talking about the excellent racing."
Montezemolo in Frankfurt: “Investments of two billion over next five years”
Luca di Montezemolo: "Maybe it would have been better, if there had been fewer boos for Vettel: congratulations to him and to Red Bull"
The launch of a new Ferrari is always a special event and all the more so when the car is actually called...Speciale! Officially unveiled this afternoon by President Luca di Montezemolo and Managing Director Amedeo Felisa and the Vice President Piero Ferrari, the new special series model was immediately the centre of attention for the media at this the opening day of the International Motor Show.
President Montezemolo also took this opportunity to make an important announcement regarding the future of the company. “In the next five years, we will invest two billion Euros, all self-financed,” he said. “The figure does not include investment in Formula 1, the technology and know-how from which is however transferred to the road cars, as was very much the case with the 458 Speciale.”
Ward to be candidate for FIA presidency (2nd Update)UPDATE #2
The election contest for the presidency of motorsports governing body FIA "is only three days old but already the gloves are off," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Former FIA Foundation Dir General David Ward, who is also an FIA presidential candidate, is "to file a complaint to the organization’s ethics committee" about the efforts by Jean Todt, the sitting president, to "distort the election process."
Ward said that Todt has been "travelling the world to garner support ahead of the start of the election, declared open only last weekend." It is the first in "what is likely to be a series of bitter volleys." Todt is thought to be "in a strong position as the incumbent" to gain re-election but many believe that his "globe-trotting to FIA clubs, who will have the vote in December, could prove to be an Achilles’ heel." Ward has "close relations with many clubs and will also have a clear insight" into the running of the organization. LONDON TIMES
V8 Supercars Agrees To Remain At Sydney's Homebush Stadium Sydney Olympic site Homebush stadium "will be the home to V8 motor racing for the next three years under a multi-million dollar agreement," according to Rothfield & Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Former TV exec and V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton "negotiated the deal," which could include a "twilight race finishing at 8:30pm," with the New South Wales Government. Talks are "under way with broadcaster Channel 7 about prime coverage which would provide another massive boost to Australia's fastest growing spectator sport."
DeltaWing Racing Cars announced today that Al Speyer has joined the DeltaWing organization as President and Chief Operating Officer. Speyer’s initial focus will be on integrating all of DeltaWing’s activities, preparing for 2014 and transitioning DeltaWing into a new organization for long term growth.
Speyer joins DeltaWing following a 39-year career at Bridgestone/Firestone, retiring earlier this year as Executive Director of Motorsports. Speyer directed the company’s return to racing in 1993 and oversaw all aspects of the program. During his tenure, the Bridgestone/Firestone brand dominated American open-wheel racing and set new standards for product performance, customer support and overall team image. Firestone brand sales correspondingly made very significant market gains.
Kubica escapes massive crash (Update)UPDATE Watch Kubica almost kill a man, some cows and himself. It is time he retire before he kills himself or someone else.
09/10/13 Former F1 driver Robert Kubica has escaped unhurt from a massive accident during testing for his European Rally Championship return in Poland this weekend.
AUTOSPORT reports that Kubica rolled his Citroen twice, causing severe damage to the car. The question remains when will Kubica give up rallying? It almost killed him once. There are only so many times you can cheat death.
Franchitti reunites with Clark's Indy winner for Goodwood
Jim Clark dominating the 1965 Indy 500
Dario Franchitti is happiest when he's driving a race car.
A student of the sport, Franchitti has grown to appreciate the history of those who came before him. That's why he jumped at the chance to drive participate in the Goodwood Revival on Sept. 13.
Franchitti will drive the Lotus 38 driven by Jim Clark when he won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 around the road course as part of the event's tribute to Clark. Other drivers slated to participate in the Clark tribute include Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and John Surtees.
Quest for record speed at Indy starts with Firestone test
Measuring tire stagger
Six IZOD IndyCar Series teams and Firestone Racing officials kept an eye on the present and future of the Indianapolis 500 on Tuesday, Sept. 10 during a Firestone tire test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Six drivers turned laps on the 2.5-mile oval, and engineers from teams and Firestone pored over the extensive data with the long-term goal of developing tires that will help drivers break the all-time speed records for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" set in 1996 by Arie Luyendyk.
Star-Gazette racing writer recovering from accident
Star-Gazette reporter and photographer Ron Levanduski will undergo surgery Wednesday for injuries suffered during a vintage car race at Watkins Glen International.
Levanduski was photographing Sunday’s New York State Governor’s Cup event for Historic Trans-Am cars from the Boot of the Glen’s 3.37-mile long course when the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Bill Bryant of Fruitland Park, Fla., slammed into the “toe area” of the Boot, where Levanduski was working.
NASCAR Richmond TV rating ABC’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 7, saw an increase in viewership from last year’s race.
The telecast was viewed by an average of 5,153,453 people with a U.S. household rating of 3.3, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race, which also earned a 3.3 rating, had an average viewership of 5,078,987 (contrast and compare that to the 380K viewers IndyCar gets on NBC Sports Network and you begin to understand why the teams have to rely on ride buyers.)
NASCAR : Live by the gimmick, die by the gimmick Well, now that it's all over but the shouting, accusations and hand-wringing, NASCAR has a major issue on its hands going into its much-touted "Chase" for the Sprint Cup championship, the grandiose, manufactured culmination to its season that it hangs its hat on every year. One of its teams - Michael Waltrip Racing - gamed the system. In the old days it was called cheating, but in this day and age of euphemisms and politically correct doublespeak, where everyone not only gets to compete but gets a hug and a trophy, too, we have to search for other terms. I'll let someone else search for those softer words, because what Clint Bowyer did Saturday night in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway - at the behest of his crew chief and under orders from the powers that be at MWR - was flat-out cheating. Bowyer spun his car out to cause a caution flag so that he could help another team driver - Martin Truex Jr. - get into the Chase.
Formula E unveils Spark-Renault electric racing car All 10 teams and 20 drivers will use the car, which can accelerate from 0-100kph in three seconds, when racing starts in 2014.
The McLaren-designed electric powertrain will produce 133kw during races, generating a top speed of 220km/h (140mph). Italian firm Dallara designed the car’s monocoque chassis, made from carbon fiber and aluminum.
Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams F1 Team, is responsible for the design and supply of the batteries and their battery management systems, while Michelin will supply tires for the championship.
Video: Berlin welcomes Formula E The German capital of Berlin officially welcomes the FIA Formula E Championship to the city to announce it is to become a host venue for the inaugural season. The event sees the Formula E prototype car driving through the streets by test driver Lucas di Grassi, followed by a press conference beside the iconic Brandenburg Gate. The race will take place at the former Tempelhof Airport in May/June 2015.
“Right now it's tough to comment on it because I know it's being reviewed. But I do know that based on my opinion inside a race car, and watching and listening and understanding the communication that there was then, it was not entirely an accident.”
-- Ryan Newman on Clint Bowyer's spinout at Richmond
For Ryan Newman, not even joining Richard Childress Racing after five years of intermittent discussions could ease the sting of "the toughest thing I've ever gone through in any kind of racing in my 30 years of driving."
He meant being robbed, as a lot of evidence indicates, of a potential race win and a Chase berth by Clint Bowyer's highly suspicious spinout at Richmond on Saturday night. Newman made that telling statement during Monday's announcement that he'll be joining RCR next season.
Intentional or not, Bowyer's spin while Newman was leading with seven laps to go put Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. into the 12th and final Chase berth, leaving Newman to ride out his lame-duck season with Stewart-Haas Racing.
Today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled on of the most widely anticipated cars in its history – the BMW i8. On most levels, this plug-in hybrid 2+2 sports car is unlike any car ever introduced. It is also announced that the BMW i8 will have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,925 (including destination and handling) when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014.
Bahrain Grand Prix set to become a night race for 2014 (Update)UPDATE
Bahrain to be night race in 2014
(GMM) Bahrain will celebrate its tenth anniversary as a formula one host by staging next year's race under lights.
Although 2014 will not be the tenth Bahrain grand prix, because the race was removed from the calendar in 2011 due to the island Kingdom's civil unrest outbreak, it will be the tenth anniversary of the first race in 2004.
To mark the occasion, circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani revealed earlier this year: "We are looking at many options.
"A night race could be one of them, but it is not the only one. There are pros and cons to doing it."
Bowyer spun out on purpose at Richmond to help teammate (3rd Update)UPDATE NASCAR has penalized the Waltrip team severely - see related article. Truex is out of the Chase and Ryan Newman in.
09/08/13UPDATE #2 NASCAR has announced that it is reviewing the finish to Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Int’l Raceway.
There were several controversial moments near the end of Saturday’s 400-lap event, but the moment NASCAR is believed to be reviewing is the spin by Clint Bowyer with eight laps left that forced NASCAR to wave a caution flag. The resulting caution period and restart allowed Bowyer’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR is reportedly reviewing evidence that Bowyer deliberately spun his No. 15 Toyota in order to help Truex make the Chase. Had it not been for the caution period and subsequent restart, it is likely that Ryan Newman would have won the race and made the Chase instead of Truex.
Two-day Firestone tire test to occur Tuesday, Wednesday at IMS Six drivers will test several compounds and specifications of Firestone’s IndyCar tire at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Tuesday and Wednesday, both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. All but one of them are out of realistic contention for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series title.
Simon Pagenaud, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti will be Honda’s representatives with the three Chevrolet reps Will Power, Marco Andretti and current Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan. Pagenaud is third in points, 70 back of Helio Castroneves with three races remaining in the season.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN The Chase Begins at Chicagoland Speedway The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s playoffs, begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with the GEICO 400. ESPN will have a live telecast on Sunday, Sept. 15, with NASCAR Countdown at 1 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 2:16 p.m. The NASCAR Nationwide Series also competes at the 1.5-mile track on Saturday, Sept. 14, and ESPN2 will air the race at 3:30 p.m., with the green at 3:47 p.m. Also from Chicagoland, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Andretti Leads the Welcome for the Return of FORMULA 1 to Austin In November 2012, more than 265,000 motorsport fans experienced the world’s best drivers and fastest race cars at the new $400 million Circuit of The Americas premium sports and entertainment complex in Austin, Texas. On race Sunday, 117,429 people witnessed former Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claim the top spot on the winners’ podium, making the return of Formula 1 to American soil after a 5-year hiatus one of the sporting events of the year.
Mario Andretti to be honored by Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame
Andretti on the Andretti Straight in the 1977 Canadian GP at Mosport
Photo by Mark Cipolloni/AR1.com
Mario Andretti always loved racing in Canada, even though his most vivid memory is a disappointing one.
It happened in the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix at the old Mosport International Circuit, now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Andretti started from pole after putting up the fastest time ever in a Formula One car on the circuit, qualifying 0.557 seconds quicker than second placed man on the grid, defending world champion James Hunt.
In the race, he was on his way to glory when disaster struck.
“I was leading by a lap with five laps to go and my oil pressure started fluctuating,” he said.
NASCAR Richmond TV rating ABC earned a 2.9 overnight for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond Int’l Raceway, which was the last race leading into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Note the drop in the ratings NASCAR gets once football season begins.
Qualcomm partners with Formula E Qualcomm Incorporated today announced a multiyear agreement with Formula E Holdings (FEH) to become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship, the new international championship featuring racing cars powered exclusively by electric energy. The agreement will allow Qualcomm and FEH to showcase mobile and Electronic Vehicle technologies globally through an exhilarating sport and demonstrate how current and future generations all over the world, can benefit from wireless, sustainable technology on and off the track.
Richard Childress Racing has signed Ryan Newman to drive the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting in 2014. Newman, 35, is a 17-time NSCS race winner with 50 pole awards to his credit; and is the 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 champion. "This is a great opportunity for our team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "I am very proud to have Ryan in our #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year.
We have high expectations for this #31 team. Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I'm looking forward to winning races with him. Luke Lambert will be his crew chief and the team is staying together next year. That team is building momentum to not only finish out this year strong, but to get even better in 2014. Ryan will be a great fit with CAT and RCR in many ways. He's an outdoorsman, a conservationist and is very familiar with CAT equipment as an owner of some of their products."
Between Tony George's "Vision" and the noose around IndyCar's neck in the way of low NBC Sports Network TV ratings, even the Indy 500 winner and the most popular driver in the series has to buy his ride.
This past Friday, the rumor mill exploded when Robin Miller broke the story that Tony Kanaan has a standing offer from Joe Gibbs Racing to go drive in NASCAR for a living. The deal is supposedly a three-year deal with a guaranteed salary. He would drive in the Nationwide Series for a year before moving up to Sprint Cup in 2015. He would have to bring no money and no sponsorship – just his helmet and personality.
Throughout the weekend, there were denials from Joe Gibbs Racing and total skepticism from writers that cover NASCAR – mainly Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press - that such an offer was ever made. What we do know is that earlier this week, Tony Kanaan was at the Gibbs shop near Charlotte. We don’t really know if he was invited or just stopped in on his own. So, let the speculation begin!
Former World Champion Mario Andretti has questioned whether Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen would be able to function effectively as team-mates at Ferrari, amid rumors that the Finn is to return for the 2014 campaign.
Throughout the Italian Grand Prix weekend, speculation grew as to who will complete the team's driver line-up, with Raikkonen, Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta all be mentioned by President Luca di Montezemolo as additional options to Felipe Massa.
However, with turbulent partnerships in mind, led by that of the late Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi, Andretti has cast doubt over Alonso's willingness to accept change.
Lewis Hamilton set fastest lap on newer tires, but mistakes cost him any chance at victory
Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says his team knows where it has gone wrong over the last two race weekends and is hopeful of bouncing back in Singapore.
After taking a run of four consecutive pole positions and a series of strong finishes, including a win in Hungary before the summer break, Mercedes was off the pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari this weekend in Italy. The last two races have required a low-drag aerodynamic package and Mercedes has not been entirely happy with its latest updates compared to the high-downforce specification of the car in Hungary.
O’Ward Sweeps Weekend, Bickers Takes Fourth Win at Buttonwillow
On Sunday Bickers turned the table on Herta
Buttonwillow, Calif. – Round Twelve of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship Series held in conjunction with the Vintage Auto Racing Association during their Oktoberfest event saw newcomer Patricio O’Ward take pole position, fastest lap and victory for the second time in two days and sweep the top honors in the F2000 group while Joey Bickers fought off Colton Herta to take victory and stay in the hunt for the F1600 series title at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Sunday in Buttonwillow, California.
Herta Claims Seventh Victory of Season, O’Ward Takes His Maiden Win
F1600 winner Colton Herta leads Joey Bickers
Buttonwillow, Calif. – Round Eleven of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship Series saw Colton Herta take his seventh win of the season after a race long battle with team mate Joey Bickers in the Formula F1600 group in the early afternoon race while newcomer Patricio O’Ward breezed to his first F2000 group victory, leading Bob Negron and Ira Fierberg to the checkered flag in the Formula F2000 group at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Saturday in Buttonwillow, California. The series will be part of the Vintage Auto Racing Association’s Oktoberfest weekend.
Rivals wave the white flag, admit Vettel too far ahead
(GMM) As he reinforced his dominance on the season with a sixth win of 2013 on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel's rivals acknowledged at Monza the German is on course to be a four-time world champion.
With seven races still to run this year, the Red Bull driver's closest challenger is Fernando Alonso -- and the Spaniard's deficit is 53 points.
That means that if the Red Bull simply comes second for the rest of the year, with Alonso's Ferrari managing an unlikely seven-race winning streak, Vettel will still be champion after November's Brazil finale.
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