McLaren CEO Ron Dennis Says Finances In Good Shape McLaren CEO Ron Dennis said that his Formula 1 team "may not be having much success on the track but its finances have rarely been stronger." McLaren reported an "impressive swing back into profit last year thanks to the rising revenues from the sport and sponsorship." From a loss of about £3M in '12 because of "increased research and development spending," the McLaren Group raced to an £18.8M pre-tax profit last year. Turnover increased from £249M to £268M. INDEPENDENT
Auto racing's life-and-death battle for fans, ratings, and relevance This Road & Track article by Marshall Pruett talks about the dying sport of auto racing because of the aging fan base. However, it fails to propose what the real solution is. The only solution, and we do mean the only solution, is to engage the youth of this country in the sport. And we mean put them behind the wheel so they can compete at a very affordable level.
The only way to do that is to get go-kart racing to be a recognized sport in high schools and colleges. But the power brokers of the sport are not visionary enough, or care enough, to make it happen. They prefer to make all the excuses in the world rather than address the root cause. They're rich and happy.
And until they do the sport will continue to decline. You don't need to look past IndyCar's grand finale at Fontana with 6,000 in attendance and 0.18 TV rating to know that putting lipstick on a pig isn't going to fix the problem.
IndyCar stars highlight Dan Wheldon Memorial Classic
Fontana winner Tony Kanaan will be amongst the IndyCar stars participating in next weekend's Dan Wheldon Memorial.
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 11, 2014) - The Verizon IndyCar Series championship has concluded, but many of INDYCAR's biggest stars have one more race on the schedule this season. The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge returns on Sept. 20 to New Castle Motorsports Park, where participants will race to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.
The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge is comprised of corporate-sponsored teams consisting of one professional driver and three amateur drivers for a timed two-hour event beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 20. Gates open at 7 a.m. ET and admission is free. All professional drivers competing in the event will participate in a free public autograph session from 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. for all spectators attending the event.
Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing will drive for Almin Aguri in the debut FIA Formula E race Saturday in Bejing. The Tokyo, Japan native won the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and captured two pole positions this season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He also made 90 Formula 1 starts from 2002-2008, including 21 for Super Aguri in 2007 and 2008.
IndyCar Series has formula right I grew up a little over two hours down the road in Indianapolis. In addition to being around high school basketball and cornfields, growing up in Indiana means you're surrounded every May by my favorite sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. And, of course, if you were to make a Buzzfeed list about sports in Indiana, you'd have to put the 500 alongside Peyton Manning, Reggie Miller and the 1954 Milan High School basketball team that inspired the movie "Hoosiers."
As a kid, I heard stories about Andretti, Foyt, Mears and Unser. And one of my most cherished memories is meeting Helio Castroneves at a local car dealership and then going back the next year so he could sign the picture of the two of us.
Papis, Davis and Dick gone from Rahal team The Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar team has undergone a dramatic restructuring of its engineering department, with Bill Pappas, Mitch Davis and John Dick leaving according to AUTOSPORT.
All three were relatively new arrivals; recruited over the course of 2013 and '14 as part of a broader plan to reinforce the team's technical strength.
Pappas and Dick were poached from Dale Coyne Racing to serve as Graham Rahal's engineer and RLL's head of R&D respectively, while Davis joined from Ganassi's satellite team to serve as overall crew chief.
IndyCar's Sam Schmidt Has Built A Small Motorsports Empire From His Wheelchair
This story appears in the September 28, 2014 issue of Forbes Life.
At the dawn of the new millennium, January 6, 2000 wasn't a particularly eventful day, but for race car driver Sam Schmidt it was life-changing. Schmidt was testing his Indy Racing League car at Walt Disney World Speedway, a 1-mile tri-oval track in Orlando, Florida, for a race later in the month. "It was going well; we were quick," he recalls. "It was the first run of the year, so it was important to get off on a good foot."
But at high speed in the middle of turn two, the car hit a bump, bottomed out and spun suddenly, backing into the outside concrete retaining wall. Dr. William Pinsky, a pediatric cardiologist at OchsnerHealth System in New Orleans, witnessed the crash. "It wasn't a particularly hard hit with a lot of breakage coming off," he says. "But as the car drifted toward the inside of the track, you could see Sam's head wasn't moving. We hoped it was a concussion, but it turned out to be a lot worse."
NASCAR on FOX Analysts Dissect 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup The 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's updated version of the playoffs, kicks off this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with the Challenger Round as 16 drivers embark on their quest for this year's championship.
Below, NASCAR on FOX analysts Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds weigh in on several topics integral to this year's championship:
ON WHETHER THERE IS A CLEAR-CUT FAVORITE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP: "Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske placed all their drivers in the Chase, and those six drivers have won 17 of 26 races in 2014, including the last four. We haven't been to Chicagoland yet this year, but I relate it a bit to Kentucky, and Brad Keselowski won Kentucky. Keselowski is on the mark now and is my favorite to win. Missing the Chase last year was a wake-up call for him and his team after winning the 2012 title, then not winning a race until October and missing the Chase in 2013. That disappointment was a huge motivation for them. Since the beginning of this season, they've been fast everywhere -- in practice, qualifying and in the race." --Larry McReynolds
IMSA fiddles with equivalency rules again IMSA has confirmed a series of Balance of Performance adjustments to three of its four classes ahead of next weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans event at Circuit of The Americas.
The penultimate round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season sees a number of changes in the Prototype class.
The HPD ARX-03b gets a 1.2 mm larger air restrictor but at a 40 kg minimum weight increase, while the debuting Ligier JS P2 HPD will be in the same configuration (32.5×2 mm and 940 kg).
Set your VCRs Formula E's much-anticipated season begins Saturday in Beijing -- you can watch it live on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 a.m. ET exclusively on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports Go, with a replay airing Sunday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. ET -- and there is much to discuss and dissect. There will be 10 teams with two cars each on the grid, with Andretti Autosport considered the early favorite given its experience with street racing, especially in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Zytek Engineering changes name Leading UK motorsport and powertrain specialist Zytek Engineering will officially embrace its new company name and branding from 1st October 2014. Following the separation of the Zytek Group of companies during 2014, Zytek Engineering Limited will change its name to Gibson Technology Limited. Zytek Automotive, based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, is now wholly owned by German company Continental AG.
Bill Gibson, founder of Zytek and owner of Gibson Technology, is pleased to announce, "We are very excited about the new branding of the company but want all our customers and suppliers to understand that we have made these changes to clarify our identity following Zytek Group's separation and we can assure them that everything else here at Repton will remain totally unchanged. I intend to ensure that we remain at the forefront of the motorsport world, in both current and new technologies."
Nissan To Remain In V8 Supercars Despite Losing Norton Sponsorship Nissan Motorsport "has guaranteed it will race four Altimas in next year’s V8 Supercars championship, despite losing one of its major backers." Software company Norton said on Wednesday it will not "renew its sponsorship agreement with the team beyond this season and is pulling out of V8s altogether after seven years" AAP
Mouser Electronics Sponsors Team China In New Formula E Race Series Semiconductor and electronic component distributor Mouser Electronics, Inc. announced its sponsorship of the China Racing Formula E Team in the Formula E racing series. Mouser is sponsoring the China Racing Formula E Team in partnership with its partners Molex and Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. Team China Racing is the first national racing team authorized by the Ministry of Sports of China. Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung, a veteran of the int'l auto racing circuit, will be driving the Mouser-sponsored Spark-Renault SRT_01E. He will be the only local Chinese driver in the season opener in Beijing. Mouser Electronics
NASCAR Revs Up Multiplatform Chase For The Sprint Cup Promotion NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup promotion kicks into full gear today with appearances by the 16 qualifying drivers and corresponding social media activation. The "Chase Across North America" media tour is highlighted in posts and images via the #MyChaseNation Twitter hashtag. It features the drivers in 16 cities and three countries, with one driver visiting the following: every Chase track market, L.A., Mexico City, San Antonio, Toronto, N.Y. and Bristol, Conn. TV appearances include Kevin Harvick on ESPN, Jimmie Johnson on CNBC's "Power Lunch" and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." SportsBusinessDaily.com
Today's activation is part of the NASCAR's "most comprehensive promotion" of the Chase to date. The effort "includes TV advertising, digital promotions, driver appearances, track marketing and a social media campaign and is designed to raise awareness of the new Chase format in hopes of keeping the interest of existing NASCAR fans and attracting casual fans." SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
Verstappen has first Formula 1 test After trying a Formula 1 car for the first time a few weeks back during a promotional Show Run in Rotterdam, Max Verstappen had his first proper test at the wheel of a Formula 1 car today.
The 16 year old Dutchman, who will race alongside Daniil Kvyat next year for Scuderia Toro Rosso drove the 2012 STR7 car at the Adria International Raceway, about two hour’s drive away from our Faenza factory. The track was still damp in the morning after overnight rain and Verstappen’s first few runs were done on Intermediate tires, but conditions improved enough for him to switch to slicks later in the day. He did a mix of short and long runs as well as trying his hand at other features of a race weekend, such as pit stops and start launches. By the end of the day he had completed 148 trouble free laps of the 2.702 kilometer long track.
Toyota NASCAR Quotes Chicagoland TOYOTA TRIO TO TRY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP: This weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Chicagoland Speedway will kick off this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Three Camry drivers -- Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth will compete in this year’s championship contest and are looking for a win in Chicago to advance to the next round of the new Chase format that includes 16 drivers and four playoff rounds. Both Busch and Hamlin earned spots in the Chase with victories during the season’s first 26 races, and Kenseth made the Chase based on his position in the point standings.
CHASES OF PAST: This year’s showing in the Chase for Camry drivers -- having three Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) drivers compete for the title -- equals the most Toyota drivers in the Chase. It matches the three Camry drivers that competed for the title in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The previous best end-of-year performances by Toyota Chase drivers have been runner-up results by Hamlin (2010), Clint Bowyer (2012) and Kenseth (2013). In 2003, Kenseth won the championship -- the last year before the Chase was instituted.
CHICAGO RESULTS: Toyota drivers have earned eight NASCAR victories at Chicagoland Speedway, including three NSCS triumphs, four NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) wins and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) checkered flags. Toyota driver Busch has seven NASCAR victories at Chicagoland -- one NSCS (2008), three NNS (2008, 2010 and 2013) and three NCWTS (2009, 2010 and 2013) -- and is the only driver to win in all three series at the 1.5-mile track. Kenseth opened the 2013 Chase with a win at Chicago after leading 89 laps (of 267) and Busch finished in the runner-up spot after leading 67 laps last year.
Matt Kenseth won last year's race at Chicagoland.
TOYOTA’S 10 YEARS IN NASCAR: Toyota is celebrating its 10th anniversary in NASCAR this year. Here is another highlight from Toyota’s first 10 years in the sport. Toyota driver Matt Kenseth wins the first race of the 2013 Chase with a victory at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 15, 2013).
NOTES, QUOTES & NUMBERS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS): Toyota’s Ed Laukes (Vice President, Marketing, Performance and Guest Experience) earned a degree in business administration from Chicago’s DePaul University … Nick Odell, front tire changer on Kyle Busch’s No. 18 team, is from Springfield, Ill., and will pit for Busch in all three races this weekend … Toyota is the official vehicle of Chicagoland Speedway and will serve as the pace car for the weekend’s races.
Mark Miles (L) says IndyCar and the Speedway are now profitable
The IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are on track to be profitable for the first time in more than five years.
The series and track, which are owned by Hulman & Co., have been losing money for years, but a combination of eliminating some positions and generating new revenue through increases in ticket and sponsorship sales helped the company's Hulman Motorsports division return to profitability.
"We had a very good year and turned the corner," said Mark Miles, Hulman & Co. CEO, who declined to discuss specifics regarding the company's financial performance.
Marchionne to become Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will step down as chairman of Ferrari as of Oct. 13 and will be replaced by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Fiat said in a statement today.
The departure of Montezemolo, 67, was widely expected after escalating clashes between the two executives over strategy and the role of Ferrari within the Fiat group.
Ferrari is a key component of Marchionne’s plans to expand in luxury cars to better compete with Volkswagen, which owns Lamborghini among its stable of high-end nameplates.
Formula 1 teams have once again rejected the idea of bringing customer cars back to grand prix racing.
With attempts to bring in a budget cap or radical cost control having failed, there were fresh discussions at the Italian Grand Prix about other options to help the smaller teams. One suggestion discussed during a meeting of F1's Strategy Group was for chassis to be removed from the list of parts that teams must make themselves. If this happened, it would open the way for smaller outfits to buy cars from the bigger manufacturers.
EVENT – Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 (200 laps / 300 miles) TRACK – Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval) DATE – Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014
Quotes | Kevin Harvick
“Chicago is a great track because it’s got a lot of character. It hasn’t been repaved like a lot of places we go so we really have to search around to find grip and get through the bumps. For us, as drivers, we enjoy having that opportunity to have multiple options during the race. The JR Motorsports guys ran well there earlier this year so I’m confident we will unload with a car capable of winning.”
Notes | No. 5 Team
CHICAGO STATS: In 10 Nationwide Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Harvick owns two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. He also earned a pole award at the track in 2010.
Juan Pablo Montoya — the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner who returned to open-wheel racing after seven years in NASCAR — shares his insights on and off the track with USA TODAY Sports during the season. Montoya, 38, spoke with USA Today's Jeff Olson after he had some time to reflect on the IndyCar finale.
This Verizon IndyCar Series season was kind of funny. It was up and down, good and bad, and triumphant for one of my teammates and for all of Team Penske.
Championships on the line at Miller Motorsports Park
Tooele, Utah – The Pirelli World Challenge concludes its 25th anniversary season with a return to Miller Motorsports Park, where five of the six championships are set to be decided. GT, GT-A and GTS have a pair of 50-minute sprints for Rounds 15 and 16 of the season. The second race for these categories serves as a makeup event for the weather-postponed first race at St. Petersburg in March. Touring Car, Touring Car A and Touring Car B-Spec close out their seasons with Rounds 13 and 14, both 40-minute sprints. Here's where things stand heading into this title-deciding weekend.
Pirelli World Challenge GT: O'Connell Seeks Three-Peat; Skeen Looks For First Crown
Mathematically, there are five drivers still in the running for the Championship but the two drivers currently sitting first and second – Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C. – will battle for the GT class crown. O'Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, holds a 42-point lead over Skeen, in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra (1376-1334). O'Connell looks to secure his third straight GT class championship, while Skeen seeks his first.
Singapore GP: Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Simulator "The track is mega and the race starts at about 20:00, so it’s really unique," says Lewis Hamilton of the spectacular night race in Singapore. Join Lewis on a virtual lap of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team simulator with this AR1.com YouTube video.
Dodge knocks off $15K to spur sales of pricey new Viper Since the Viper's splashy reintroduction at the 2012 New York auto show, the two-seat sports coupe has moved fast everywhere except where it matters most: off dealer lots.
In fact, Viper sales have been so low for so long that some Chrysler Group dealers mockingly refer to the car as the "Vedsel," a reference to Ford's ill-fated Edsel.
But today Dodge said it has a plan to boost Viper sales.
The brand will cut $15,000 from the sticker price of the more than 600 unsold Vipers on dealer lots. It also will offer $15,000 coupons to recent Viper buyers to trade in their 2013 or 2014 Viper on another one or to buy an additional Viper, and it will open Viper sales to all Dodge dealers.
Johnson feeling better; helmet cooling system failed at Richmond Hendrick Motorsports has gone through Jimmie Johnson's car from Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway and the team announced Wednesday night that the cooling system failed.
Johnson suffered from dehydration Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway and needed five liters of intravenous fluid after the race. He is feeling much better, according to the team, and is set to race this weekend in the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
The HMS crew had looked through the car and all of the car components initially appeared to be working correctly on the hot and humid night. But on Wednesday afternoon, the team found that the cooling system had faltered.
Verizon IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and newly crowned 2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves are the latest drivers to put the 2015 Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights car through its paces. The trio shared driving duties during a two-day combined road-circuit and oval test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway September 5th and 6th. The combination of the Dallara IL-15 chassis and Advanced Engine Research's 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine earned rave reviews from the rotating roster of experienced drivers during the latest chapter in an extensive test program prior to the 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season.
Marchionne forcing di Montezemolo out In his decade at the helm of Fiat, Sergio Marchionne usually gets what he wants, including the $4.35 billion takeover of Chrysler sealed earlier this year. But now he's facing a mini-rebellion in Italy over the future of Ferrari, the iconic sports car maker owned by Fiat.
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari's longtime chief, is heading for the exit after clashing with Marchionne over strategy, according to a report in Bloomberg News citing people familiar with the situation. Di Montezemolo may leave later this year, although the timing remains unclear and there has been no agreement on a severance package. Fiat and Ferrari representatives declined to comment.
NASCAR Richmond TV rating ABC's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 6, earned a 3.0 U.S. household rating, averaging 4,920,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media.
The rating and viewership were down from last year's race, which earned a 3.3 rating and averaged 5,153,000 viewers.
Greenville, S.C., led the nation's metered markets with a 7.6 rating, while Indianapolis was second at 7.4. Richmond (6.9), Greensboro, N.C., (6.6) and Nashville, Tenn., (6.2) completed the top five.
Champions scheduled to participate in Chris Griffis Memorial Test Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda champion Florian Latorre are among the drivers scheduled to participate in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on Sept. 13-14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The test features all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, offering teams in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires the opportunity to audition drivers and gain a head start on their 2015 seasons. Also expected to test is Parker Kligerman, who will drive an Indy Lights car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Penske marks 400th motorsports win A week after celebrating its Verizon IndyCar Series driver and entrant championships in Southern California, Team Penske principals marked the organization's 400th victory in all forms of motorsports in the stock car race at Richmond, Va.
"For me it's a special time," team owner Roger Penske said. "I think we said that when we moved everybody under one roof (in Mooresville, N.C.), where we could cross-pollinate. We moved people from NASCAR to INDYCAR and vice versa, even over-the-wall guys. That's been an opportunity."
DAYTONA Rising September Project Update During the last month, Daytona International Speedway continued to move forward with the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Key areas of the new motorsports stadium are beginning to take shape. Below is a breakdown of key accomplishments since the last update as well as upcoming construction activities.
Vertical Transportation: • Installed escalators and elevators at West and East ends of the project • Ongoing masonry near the West end of the project as well as in the center • Continued concrete pours on metal decks • Ongoing steel deck and detailing throughout the project • Began installation of curbs in West end and just east of the start/finish line Injectors: • Began pouring concrete stairs for the far west Injector • Finalizing structural steel installation
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