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DATE News (chronologically)
09/15/11
alms
Chris Dyson A Lap of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca  
09/15/11
nassprint
2012 Watkins Glen NASCAR date set  The Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver marked the finale of the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International and the historic road course is already looking ahead to 2012. WGI is proud to announce that during the weekend of August 9-12, The Soul of American Road Racing will host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 27th consecutive time on Sunday, August 12.  The Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide and Canadian Tire 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series races will both return on Saturday, August 11.  Moved from the traditional weekend a season ago, this is the second-consecutive year that Watkins Glen International is set to host NASCAR the second weekend of August.

“This announcement is just our first step in revving up for the 2012 season at Watkins Glen International,” said Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup. “Many have called our 2011 Sprint Cup race the best of the NASCAR season and we have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding the fan-focused improvements we made to our legendary facility.  We cannot wait to host our fans for what will undoubtedly be an exciting weekend and part of another outstanding season at The Glen.”

09/15/11
irl
Latest IndyCar news in brief  
  1. Quake shakes teams at Motegi
  2. Everyone a winner to Helio
  3. Moves at Team Penske
  4. Foyt team deals with Texas wildfires
  5. Franchitti revs up a classic
  6. Hinchcliffe learns Motegi - the hard way
  7. Fund set up for family of Chris Griffis More ...
09/15/11
irl
Danica burns bridges with race series that made her  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Can someone go tell the Princess to suck it and have fun in a top 20 car next year? That will be the funny thing about watching her in cup...her finishing position will be similar to her IndyCar finishes on road courses. Her and Dale Jr. are perfect 'backmarkers' together - all show and no go.  Brandon Stevens

09/15/11 Talk about burning your bridges with the series that made you.  After putting her foot in her mouth regarding radiation dangers in Japan this week, Danica Patrick took a cheap shot at Brazilian IndyCar drivers in an AP interview, which did not go over well on Twitter in the immediate aftermath.

"Oddly enough, I would say that the older I get, the more aggressive I get. Is that weird?" she told the AP in Richmond. "I didn't start like a Brazilian driver and go out 'Whoooo' and hit everything and figure it out later. I started out much more patient with other drivers and patient with myself and respectful.

"Now I'm much more of the attitude – and it's probably because I have fenders these days – but much more of the attitude 'Don't mess with me. I will hit you back,'" she said.

Tony Kanaan, who was Danica's teammate for years at Andretti Green and knows her limitations as a driver was furious and shot right back by saying she's good enough to be a Brazilian driver.

“She didn't start like a Brazilian because she is not capable of such a thing. Never will be,” Kanaan said on Twitter late Wednesday night.

He tweeted later, “I think I will start like a Brazilian this weekend. Hahahahahaha.” More ...

09/15/11
nassprint
Kenseth Says Still No Word on 2012 Sponsorship  The Chase is not all on Matt Kenseth's mind. A couple of months ago, primary sponsor Crown Royal announced its departure from the team after the season and, so far, there is still no word on which company or companies will adorn the hood and quarter panels of the #17 Ford. "I am sure they are working on it as hard as possible back in the sales and marketing department at Roush Fenway Racing," Kenseth told News/Talk WSB. "That's really the only thing I know. I don't know of anything that right now they have and I don't know of anything they are close to getting signed up. I wish I did. I am going to worry about racing these next 10 weeks, doing the best job I can to win a championship for Crown Royal and I'll let them worry about it." WSB Radio
09/15/11
gp2
Bruno Michel: “GP2 is pure racing. The best driver always wins”  A worthy 2011 Champion
"2011 has been another great GP2 season, with Romain Grosjean proving himself worthy to sit with our previous champions: hopefully he will soon join the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock and Pastor Maldonado in the F1 paddock. GP2 has a long history as the strongest feeder series for F1. We’ve had 11 drivers on the current grid coming through our ranks and a total of 45 drivers who were given a chance in F1 since 2005 after having proven their worth in our Series, and I'm sure we will see more drivers promoted from GP2 once again next year.”

Reflecting on the design and challenges of the GP2/11 car
"The first year of the GP2/11 car has been a great success, as anyone who watched the racing this year will have seen. We considered many new options during the design period of the car, including movable wings or KERS, but decided against them as we felt it was not in keeping with the spirit of our series. Although they could have enhanced the power of our car it could have been an issue safety-wise. The philosophy of our car is not about how powerful it can be. Our aim is to design the car that will be as close as a F1 car in terms of behaviour and thus give the drivers the opportunity to learn how to handle an incredibly complex machine. More ...
09/15/11
IRL
Mears says IndyCar on upswing  He lost his desire to drive in 1992, but four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears has never lost his passion for IndyCar racing.

Despite a decade-plus of feuding and fighting, instigated by Tony George with the creation of the Indy Racing League in the mid 1990s, Mears has remained loyal to the sport.

Not many have.

The feud pitting the IRL on one side and CART, which had been the sanctioning body of IndyCar since 1979 on the other, divided teams, sent drivers scurrying to NASCAR, sponsors packing and, perhaps most importantly, turned off fans. More ...
09/15/11
nassprint
More attendance woes for NASCAR Hall of Fame  Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell by 35% in July from a year earlier, continuing a trend of declining results. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, operator of the $200 million publicly funded stock-car museum, reported the figures at its board meeting Wednesday. In July 2010, 33,452 people visited the hall of fame. Attendance declined to 21,910 in July 2011, the first month of the new fiscal year. July marked the third month of attendance slips of 30 percent or more in year-over-year comparisons.

Those figures offer a barometer of interest in the hall of fame, which opened in May 2010. For May 2011, attendance was 30 percent below the previous year (25,034 visitors compared with 35,090 in May 2010). In June 2011, crowds dropped by 39 percent to 17,604 visitors for the month. Visitors authority board members didn't discuss the hall of fame results during their meeting. A recent update to City Council included questions and discussion of whether ticket prices could be hurting attendance. Charlotte Business Journal
09/15/11
IRL
News from Motegi - Thursday  From Sao Paulo by way of Zurich, Helio Castroneves arrived at Twin Ring Motegi needing a shave but otherwise ebullient. The Team Penske driver was among the judges for the Miss Universe Pageant on Sept. 12 in Brazil.

Leila Lopes of Angola was crowned Miss Universe 2011 from a field of 89 competitors. The 60th anniversary pageant, hosted by NBC "Today" anchor Natalie Morales and the Bravo network's Andy Cohen, was broadcast live on NBC and distributed to about 170 countries.

Castroneves was joined by broadcaster Connie Chung, Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana, actresses Vivica Fox, Lea Salonga and Adrienne Maloof, and 2003 Miss Universe Amelia Vega as judges.

Castroneves astutely said he found his own Miss Universe, girlfriend Adriana Henao, a few years ago and he appreciated the “amazing opportunity” in his home city that plays host to an IZOD IndyCar Series race. More ...
09/15/11
IRL
Tremors felt at Motegi  

No damage to the 2.983-mile race course, on which IZOD IndyCar Series drivers will competeSept. 18, was reported. Twin Ring Motegi is 86 miles north of Tokyo. Japan’s Meteorological Agency said such tremors are common following the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left almost 20,000 people dead or missing across the northeastern coast.
09/15/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  
  • Singapore
    Singapore set for hazy grand prix
  • Stewards missed 'blatant' Schumacher block - Daly
  • Whitmarsh confirms teams eyeing F1 stake
  • Boullier admits 'plan B' talks with Cosworth
  • Marko says 'too early' to decide Toro Rosso lineup
  • De la Rosa happy at McLaren for 'coming years' More ...
09/14/11
irl
Newman/Haas seeks success at Motegi  
Oriol Servia
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) will compete in their eighth race at Twin Ring Motegi and first on the road course. It will be the team’s third event in Japan since 2002. In 2009, in their return to the track after a six year hiatus, the team finished third and fourth with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia, respectively. In 2010, Rahal qualified 16th and finished eighth while Hideki Mutoh qualified 17th, ran as high as second in front of his home crowd and finished 14th. In the team’s five CART races on the unique, egg-shaped oval from 1998-2002 they earned one win with Michael Andretti in 2000, while Christian Fittipaldi finished third in 1999 and fourth in 2001 but were contenders for the win at least two other times. Oriol Servia will pilot the No. 2 Telemundo entry while James Hinchcliffe will pilot the No. 06 Sprott entry for NHR. More ...
09/14/11
irl
IndyCar Motegi schedule - Eastern Time  
Weekend Schedule (Eastern Time):

Friday September 16th –

Practice 1: 2:00am – 3:30am (Friday Afternoon in Japan 50% Chance of Rain 88°F)

Practice 2: 8:00pm – 9:00pm (Saturday Morning in Japan Overcast 84°F)

Practice 3: 11:00pm – 12:00pm (Saturday Morning in Japan Overcast 86°F)

Saturday September 17th –

Qualifying: 2:00am – 3:20am (Saturday Afternoon in Japan 40% Chance of rain 88°F)

Warm Up: 8:00pm – 8:30pm (Sunday morning in Japan Overcast)

Race: 12:00pm (Sunday Afternoon in Japan Tropical Storm 19 threat 90 degrees and humid)

The race will be broadcast Saturday September 17th starting at 11:00 PM ET live on VERSUS.

09/14/11
automotive
Alfa again delays U.S. return  Alfa Romeo has delayed the U.S. introduction of several key models by at least another year and has canceled plans to build a mid-sized SUV at Chrysler Group's factory in Toledo, Ohio.

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester, in a presentation to financial analysts in Frankfurt on Wednesday in connection with the Frankfurt auto show, said Alfa Romeo was scaling back its global expansion plans.

Wester's announcement marks the latest in a series of delays of the U.S. return of Alfa Romeo, the sporty brand of Fiat S.p.A. His remarks came one day after Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne offered a gloomy assessment of Europe's debt crisis, saying the European common currency could come off the rails if political leaders don't resolve the lingering crisis soon. More ...

09/14/11
f1
gp2
gp3
Group Lotus weekend results  
FORMULA ONE – ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

Bruno Senna
Bruno Senna scored his first ever F1 points on his second outing for Lotus Renault GP. It marked the first time since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix that the Senna name has appeared on the points list. The Brazilian finished in ninth place, improving one position on where he started, while team-mate Vitaly Petrov’s race ended at the first corner. The Russian, who started an impressive seventh, was battling Nico Rosberg through Turn 1 when Vitantonio Liuzzi lost control of his HRT, spun backwards across the grass and smashed into three cars at the chicane, destroying Petrov’s car and his race. Senna, who lost positions during the Turn 1 melee and pitted on lap 2 for soft tires, dropped to 18th and gained nine positions during the remainder of the race. More ...
09/14/11
motogp
Provisional 2012 MotoGP calendar released  
Date Country Circuit
15 April Qatar* Doha/Losail
29 April Spain (STC) Jerez de la Frontera
6 May Portugal (STC) Estoril
20 May France Le Mans
3 June Catalunya Catalunya
17 June Great Britain Silverstone
30 June Netherlands** Assen
8 July Germany (STC) TBC
15 July Italy Mugello
29 July United States*** Laguna Seca
19 August Indianapolis Indianapolis
26 August Czech Rep. Brno
16 September San Marino Misano
30 September Aragon Motorland
14 October Japan Motegi
21 October Malaysia Sepang
28 October Australia Phillip Island
11 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo

*|Evening race
** Saturday Race
*** Only MotoGP class
STC (Subject to the contract)
TBC (To be confirmed)

09/14/11
racing news
Cosworth congratulates Ford on winning Rally Australia  The Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team enjoyed a sensational return to winning ways at Rally Australia last weekend as Mikko Hirvonen triumphed ahead of fellow Fiesta RS WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala after 26 special stages over three days.

Cosworth, whose state-of-the-art electronics systems are a key performance feature of the Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car, would like to extend its congratulations to the team for a second rally win of the season. More ...
09/14/11
automotive
1969 Camaro Named Best Chevy of All Time  
Nearly 125,000 Chevrolet fans have spoken, naming the 1969 Camaro the “Best Chevy of All Time.”

As part of Chevrolet’s Centennial celebration, fans were asked to vote for their favorite vehicle from Chevrolet’s 100-year history. During the four-round, elimination bracket, the 1969 Camaro garnered 25,058 of the 124,368 votes cast, edging out the 1970 Chevelle SS in the final round.

Tom Peters, Chevrolet Design director, believes the ’69 Camaro is not only one of the best vehicles in Chevrolet’s history but one of the best vehicles ever. He is a little biased, however, having owned the same 1969 Camaro for nearly 20 years. More ...

09/14/11
irl
alms
Inaugural Grand Prix Exceeds Expectations  By Danielle Chazen

The crowds were larger than anticipated and the response was more positive than could ever have been expected during the nascent year of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Baltimore Racing Development predicted the Labor Day weekend race would inject $70 million into the economy of Baltimore City through visitor spending on hotels, food, entertainment and transportation. With a three-day crowd of about 160,000, that number is likely a realistic one. 

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the race had been successful in changing the way the world saw Baltimore, in addition to the attendees' contributions to the city's economy.

"We had an opportunity to shine on an international stage," Rawlings-Blake said. "The naysayers certainly had their day and still the race started. The naysayers have been silenced. It was an exciting race. It was a challenging course." More ...

09/14/11
f1
Button 'a phenomenal talent' says Schumacher  (GMM)  Jenson Button is a "phenomenal talent", according to F1's seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.

The Mercedes driver was speaking after Monza, where he was heavily criticized by many of his peers for his attacking defense during a duel with Lewis Hamilton.

Button had a ring-side view of the battle between his McLaren teammate and Schumacher.

"He was moving across to the left and then to the right, which I don't think was all that bright," said Briton Button, according to the Sun. More ...

09/14/11
f1
Organizers promise to pay India GP tax bill  (GMM)  Organizers of the Indian grand prix have allayed fears the inaugural event might be called off next month.

The country's government has refused to ease its demands that teams pay hefty customs taxes to import their equipment, despite FOTA chief Martin Whitmarsh warning at Monza that the stance could lead to a boycott.

The race's non-government organizers Jaypee stepped in on Tuesday by revealing they have "in principal approval" for a customs exemption.

And if the exemption is not ultimately granted, Jaypee is promising to foot the bill.

"If required, as per the law of the land, (Jaypee) will pay customs duties and taxes", the organizers said in a statement reported by the Press Trust of India.

The tax bill is estimated at less than US $2 million.

09/14/11
v8
V8 Supercars race from Surfers live on SPEED  V8 SUPERCARS Australia has pulled off another international coup with a lucrative TV deal to stream images of October's Armor All Gold Coast 600 into more than 80 million North American homes.

The Gold Coast-based series will today announce US television network Speed will send a full commentary and production team to the Bathurst 1000 and the GC600 to broadcast the races live in North America in prime time.

The announcement is a major shot in the arm for the Gold Coast's struggling economy. Speed is available in almost 84 million homes across the US and Canada and is set to promote both events heavily in the coming weeks, as is its parent FOX network. More ...

09/14/11
superleague
Superleague forced to cancel Brazil races  Superleague Formula Series’ two scheduled rounds in Brazil this October will no longer go ahead after the championship received news from circuit bosses that Goiânia will not be ready to host its event.

Goiânia had been expected to hold the third round of the nations cup series on 8/9 October but the FIA-sanctioned championship has since been notified that the planned resurfacing of its 2.37-mile layout will not be completed in time. More ...

09/14/11
irl
Firestone Motegi preview  
Race Distance: 187.929 miles/302.442 kilometers (63 laps around the 2.983-mile/4.801-km 14-turn permanent road course).

Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Saturday, September 17, at 11:30 p.m. ET on VERSUS, the IMS Radio Network and XM Radio 94 and Sirius Radio 212.

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
* Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 748, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires) with one additional set for rookies and entries outside of the top-10 in points;
* Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 342, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires);
* Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 436, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend. More ...

09/14/11
f1
Q&A with Renault’s Carlos Tavares  
Carlos Tavares
At Monza Renault announced that the partnership with Red Bull has now been extended for a further five seasons. The company’s recently appointed chief operating officer Carlos Tavares speaks about the new deal and Renault’s Formula 1 involvement.

What are your personal feelings on this announcement ?
Tavares
: It is very important. First and foremost, it is a sign of a reciprocated confidence between two world champions. We have decided to commit to working together for a period of time not often seen in Formula 1. I would say this is a very stable and far-reaching undertaking. We know that in this world, the stability of high level technical teams working together produces results. We also know that there is a very driven creativity in Red Bull’s technical team, particularly in aerodynamics. We believe that the engine isn’t simply a power unit or a means of producing torque, it can also have characteristics that can allow for formidable aerodynamic packaging. So this collaboration has the dual aim of wanting to stay as the best engine in the field, but also to make sure its characteristics allow the chassis team to optimize the chassis aerodynamics. More ...

09/14/11
nassprint
NASCAR fans will be able to watch Chase races online  NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports will announce plans Wednesday to air nine of the 10 Chase races live online, allowing fans to view the end of the Sprint Cup season in ways never before available.

Fans can view the nine ESPN races via NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy and ESPN’s WatchESPN.com platform and the free WatchESPN app, beginning with Sunday’s Cup race from Chicagoland Speedway.

The lone Cup race fans won’t be able to view online will be the Oct. 15 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That race airs on ABC, which does not air events live online to protect its affiliate stations. More ...

09/14/11
motogp
MotoGP returning to Argentina in 2013  MotoGP will make a return to Argentina in 2013, it has been confirmed following meetings between race organizers and sporting commercial rights holder Dorna. The race will be staged at the Aut¢dromo Termas de Río Hondo and will be the largest event the circuit has ever hosted.

A three-year agreement was signed in Paris on Tuesday, with Dorna having consulted with the Argentinean government as well as the Governor of the Santiago del Estero province. Also present were Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Enrique Meyer, the country’s Minister for Tourism.

For now, it is being stressed that the agreement is subject to renovation work which must be carried out at the venue in order for the circuit to comply with MotoGP’s current safety standards. MotoGP last hosted an Argentine Grand Prix in 1999, with Kenny Roberts Jr. winning for Suzuki in Buenos Aires.

09/14/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • India Circuit
    India GP ramps up security after Delhi bomb
  • 'No decision' yet over India GP tax threat
  • Chandhok still waiting for India race-seat decision
  • Red Bull now Renault's works team - Horner
  • Porsche 'welcome' on F1 grid says Montezemolo
  • Red Bull has great car for every track - Massa More ...
09/14/11
automotive
Volvo outlines future direction  
Click to watch video (Windows PCs only)
Volvo Car Corporation's technological future is based on two in-house developed strategies:
  • A Scalable Vehicle Architecture (SPA) which in principle means that most Volvo models can be built on the same production line irrespective of vehicle size and complexity.
  • A new engine range consisting solely of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

The innovation program also includes a new 8-speed automatic transmission - and later in 2011 testing of a new Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) will start on public roads.

"We're now taking our technological future into our own hands. Both our new architecture and the new engine range will enable us to be on par or even beat our competitors in crucial areas such as driving dynamics and fuel efficiency," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation. More ...

09/14/11
motogp
Dani Pedrosa feeling better  
Dani Pedrosa
The Honda rider, currently fourth in the World Championship, is also optimistic over his ever-improving levels of fitness.

“I have very good memories of the Grand Prix of Arag¢n; last year we started well and we had a good race,” says the Sabadell rider. “I'm satisfied with our performance over the past few weeks and I feel better every day. This week I've been able to rest and recover some energy and now I'm really looking forward to this race. More ...

09/14/11
dtm
Schumacher and Rosberg unveil DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe  
The DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé will succeed the AMG Mercedes C-Class, which is the most successful veh
The DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe will succeed the AMG Mercedes C-Class
Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg unveiled the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe for the 2012 DTM season at the IAA in Frankfurt, alongside Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division, and Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

The new car is based on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé, which was launched worldwide in the summer of 2011, and is the first DTM car from Mercedes-Benz to be built around a new, improved safety concept, developed in collaboration with the ITR e.V, the DMSB (Germany’s motor racing governing body) and the DTM manufacturers. The new car incorporates a state-of-the-art carbon fiber monocoque with a roll cage made ​​of high-strength steel. Moreover, each vehicle is equipped with six energy-absorbing crash structures, giving the driver additional protection to the front, rear and sides. More ...
09/14/11
alms
ALMS teams race toward finish line  The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n closes its season with two of its biggest races of the year –this weekend’s ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patr¢n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda in two weeks. This weekend, competitors in Monterey won’t just face the daunting prospect of six hours racing around one of the world’s renowned circuits. Championships also are on the line as you can see below… More ...
09/14/11
v8
Gold Coast Surfers V8 Supercar track construction begins  
The mammoth task of constructing the 2.96km Surfers Paradise street circuit for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 – October 21-23 – is well and truly underway, with the first spectator bridge being put into place overnight.

Queensland Minister for Sport – Hon. Phil Reeves MP – was joined by V8 Supercars Acting CEO, Shane Howard and Peter Lawlor MP - Member for Southport – to inspect progress this morning.

"The first spectator bridge being installed really signifies the event is coming closer," said Reeves. "It is an exciting time to see this precinct grow from being a public road into one of the world's most iconic street circuits. More ...

09/13/11
nassprint
Tempers flare after the race with Busch and the media  UPDATE
Kurt Busch rips into media
NASCAR said Monday it does not plan to take disciplinary measures after driver Kurt Busch's unsavory interactions with two media members following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. And, in an apparent effort to clear the air, the Penske Racing driver contacted the reporters individually Monday; both reporters confirmed that Busch had apologized. Busch shouted expletives at one reporter on pit road who tried to ask about his ongoing rivalry with Jimmie Johnson (the drivers had two on-track scrapes Saturday) and had to be physically restrained by Penske Racing teammates. NASCAR, which promotes a "boys, have at it" approach to on-track discipline, indicated it wasn't going to entirely sweep Busch's actions under the rug. "No disciplinary action is planned," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "But we will be following up and discussing with Kurt this week." USA Today

09/12/11 Apparently, Kurt Busch's anger over his incidents with Jimmie Johnson didn't end on the race track. It spilled over to two members of the media afterward. He went after NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer after the race was over when he was questioned about his incident with Johnson during the race. When all 12 drivers were brought into the media center to talk about making the Chase, Busch went to the rear of the room where Menzer was seated and attempted to start Round 2. Although words were exchanged, the two were separated by NASCAR public relations director Kerry Tharp. More ...
09/13/11
irl
Danica afraid, should stay home  UPDATE #2 Randy Bernard is confident the IZOD IndyCar Series’ final scheduled race at Twin Ring Motegi this weekend will be contested in a safe environment, despite concerns voiced by superstar Danica Patrick over lingering radiation levels and earthquake aftershocks in Japan.

“If I did (have concerns), I wouldn’t be sending everyone,” Bernard said during a teleconference from Indianapolis on Tuesday. “This is a responsibility that I had to take as CEO of INDYCAR, and I think that we did a significant amount of research and evaluation.

“We started with the State Department and made sure that they cleared it. We had Dr. (Terry) Trammell do a thorough investigation on it, and we have also listened to a lot of the response from Motegi and what they have been able to learn. And everything that we have learned has come back the same way –that it’s, that, Motegi is very good.” More ...

09/13/11
f1
Daly feels Schumacher should have been penalized  
Button passed Schumacher with ease but his teammate Lewis Hamilton could not find a way past
Derek Daly who was an FIA Steward at the Italian Grand Prix this past weekend thinks that Michael Schumacher should have been penalized for his blocking of Lewis Hamilton. Schumacher's aggressive defensive style of driving is expected but while the FIA did warn him in the early stages of his battle with Hamilton, on Lap 20, Daly believes he stepped over the line with a blatant double block move on the approach to the first Lesmo corner.

"On Lap 20, Race director, Charlie Whiting, asked the stewards to look at an incident between Massa and Trulli at the second chicane. While looking at the slo-mo video of this incident, I missed the Schumacher/Hamilton incident that happened at that moment. When I looked at it again at home, I believe that Schumacher should have been given a drive though penalty. He was warned repeatedly and this style of driving is not what you want the future generation of drivers to perfect. We as stewards probably let Charlie down with this one" said Daly.

09/13/11
f1
Wickens in Straight-Line F1 Action  Robert Wickens sampled Marussia Virgin Racing’s MVR-02 Formula One car for the first time on Tuesday as the 22-year-old Canadian Reserve Driver undertook straight-line aero testing for the team at Vairano in Italy.

Wickens, who currently leads the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series, spent the weekend with the team at the Italian Grand Prix before heading to Vairano for Tuesday’s test outing – one of a limited number of straight-line in-season tests permitted to each Grand Prix team.

“It was great to work with the team in this way,” said Robert on his first opportunity to drive the MVR-02.  “Driving the car is obviously a natural step in my progression and education as a reserve driver with Marussia Virgin Racing.  Like all drivers I’m eager for seat time and the work we did today undoubtedly plays an important role for the team in its aerodynamic development program.  It was a good day and I was happy to sample the car for myself, albeit in a straight line, having watched Timo (Glock) and Jerome (D’Ambrosio) behind the wheel for the past couple of months!” More ...
09/13/11
irl
Wheldon: Talent level far higher in IndyCar than NASCAR  
IndyCar drivers have won many NASCAR races and championships, but a NASCAR driver has never won a single IndyCar race
English-born Dan Wheldon embraced IndyCar's $5 million challenge to win the season-ending race— and, in doing so, took a jab at auto-racing's No. 1 grabber of television ratings.

If Wheldon, a non-regular on the Izod IndyCar Series, wins the Oct. 16 world championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he'll win $2.5 million for himself and $2.5 million for a fan.

But there is a catch. "You have to start very last, and you have to win the race," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told Wheldon during Tuesday's news conference in Indianapolis.

"That's fair," replied Wheldon, who will drive a car jointly entered by Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Bryan Herta Autosport. More ...

09/13/11
nassprint
Danica gushes about NASCAR  
Danica Patrick knows what side her bread is buttered on now - the NASCAR side
Danica Patrick didn't make her decision on racing full time in NASCAR until this season. The seed was planted much earlier: In her stock-car debut at Daytona International Speedway in February 2010, Patrick rebounded from a spin and soldiered to a sixth in an ARCA race.

"I had so much fun, I still get excited about it," she says. "It was the first time I got to bump and bang, and it was like, 'This is fantastic. I'm bumping. Yeah! This is really fun.'

"I guess I kind of knew then it's what I wanted to do."

She still spent the rest of 2010 vacillating over whether IndyCar or NASCAR was her future. More ...

09/13/11
fil
Schmidt Motorsport's Indy Lights director dies  Indianapolis-based Sam Schmidt Motorsports is mourning the loss of veteran Firestone Indy Lights team manager Chris Griffis, who died Monday evening following a pickup basketball game in the Indianapolis area. Griffis was 45.

Team owner Sam Schmidt, who lives in Las Vegas, called off plans to fly to Japan for this weekend's Izod IndyCar Series race to come to Indianapolis to be with Griffis' family and team members. Indy Lights teams are not competing at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit this weekend.

Schmidt's team won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 with Alex Tagliani driving, and its Indy Lights program, led by Griffis, is the most successful in series history.

Team drivers Josef Newgarden and Esteban Guerrieri are 1-2 in Indy Lights points this season with a combined eight wins in 12 races. Schmidt's team also fields the car shared this season by Noblesville drivers Conor Daly (road courses) and Bryan Clauson (ovals). Indy Star

09/13/11
irl
With the Grand Prix, Baltimore caught a 'Big Fish'  

They ran a Grand Prix through the streets of Charm City recently, and if you looked closely, some people say, those were dollars you saw spewing from the exhausts of those high-performance engines. Those are the kinds of dollars that spread all throughout the downtown area, to local establishments and small businesses. Soon, we'll begin to hear the story of the economics of the Izod IndyCar event. I'm told we should be interested in that story — the one about economics and racing.

However, the real story is not about the cars, the race or even the dollars. It never is. It's the picture of the Big Fish that Baltimore hooked. Did you see the picture?

What picture, you say? A mentor of mine once provided this valuable learning experience about sports business. He asked: "Have you ever walked into someone's home or office and they show off their prized photo — you know, the one of the guy standing on the dock proudly holding the big fish at the end of the hook?" "Sure," I said.  More ...

09/13/11
automotive
Bosch develops regenerative brakes for electric cars  The range of hybrid and electric vehicles is set to grow significantly in the years ahead. To achieve the targeted fuel savings and range, these vehicles must, among other things, recover as much energy as possible from braking so that this can be used for electrical propulsion. Bosch is currently developing regenerative braking systems that, in tandem with the powertrain, enable optimum recuperation. “Ideally, all braking operations will be used in their entirety for energy generation,” says Dr. Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. “In situations where the electric motor's brake torque is not sufficient, the hydraulic braking system provides support. This goes unnoticed by the driver.” Bosch offers two types of regenerative braking systems – solutions that interact with classic vacuum-based brake boosters and vacuum-independent systems.

With today’s vehicles, the brake booster uses a vacuum to boost the power applied by the driver. The vacuum is generated by either the internal-combustion engine or a vacuum pump. However, hybrid vehicles switch off the internal-combustion engine as often as possible and electric vehicles do not have one at all. These vehicles therefore use either an electric vacuum pump or a vacuum-independent braking system. More ...

09/13/11
automotive
Bosch and Mercedes team to design and build electric car motors  Robert Bosch GmbH and Daimler AG have concluded negotiations and signed an agreement for the establishment of a 50/50 joint venture. The aim of the joint venture is to develop and manufacture electric motors. The contract is subject to approval by the responsible antitrust authorities. The new company will operate under the name EM-motive GmbH. It will be headquartered in Hildesheim, where a manufacturing site will also be located.

The joint venture’s development site will be located in the Stuttgart area, where both parent companies are headquartered. Some 100 associates will begin working for the joint venture in the fourth quarter of 2011. EM-motive GmbH will be headed by two executives of equal status from each of the parent companies.

The cooperation between Bosch and Daimler in the area of e-mobility aims to pool expertise and utilize synergies to speed up the development of high-quality traction machines for electric vehicles with batteries, fuel cells or range extenders. More ...

09/13/11
nassprint
Yeley Gets the Nod for the No. 38 in Chicago  J.J. Yeley will get the call to drive the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford once again, this time at the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Chicagoland Speedway. The Geico 400 race weekend will be Yeley's third time piloting the No. 38 Ford Fusion since joining Front Row Motorsports in July. He has two top-25 finishes with that crew so far this season, finishing 23rd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and 25th at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. 

The No. 38 team is 40 points outside the top 35 in owner points and wants to eliminate that gap before season's end to guarantee a starting position for the beginning of the 2012 season.

Yeley has three previous Sprint Cup starts at the Joliet, Ill., track. His best career finish is 10th (2006). More ...

09/13/11
nnw
Dillon will use the #3 in Nationwide Series in 2012  The return of Nationwide Series teams to Richard Childress Racing also signifies the return of the venerable #3 Chevy of Dale Earnhardt to competition full time in 2012. The merger between Kevin Harvick Inc. and RCR will enable KHI's existing teams, the #2 car with Elliott Sadler and the #33 with a cast of current Sprint Car drivers, to compete in the NNS along with Childress' grandson Austin Dillon. Dillon, 21, drives the #3 Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series. Dillon competed in four Nationwide non-companion events for KHI this season. Dillon's brother Ty will take over the driving duties in the #3 truck next season. Fox Sports
09/13/11
ASA
Chrissy Wallace wins ASA Track Championship  Chrissy Wallace did something no other female Late Model driver has ever done in ASA competition over the weekend. She clinched the ASA Late Model championship at her home track of Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Saturday night. In turn, that also put her back in the lead for the West Region track championship, which consists of hundreds of drivers from multiple tracks. Now, the 23-year old daughter of NASCAR driver Mike Wallace has another fete left to accomplish this year - the ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil National Championship. But, she's going to have to wait until October to find out the results for the West Region and National championship as other ASA Member track have seasons that are still in progress. Wallace has made no secret of her desire to return to the NASCAR ranks in either the Camping World Truck Series, or the Nationwide Series. Utilizing her ASA Championships at a catalyst makes perfect sense. chrissywallace.com
09/13/11
irl
Some drivers wary of Japan radiation  Forgive Ryan Hunter-Reay and other Izod IndyCar Series drivers if they're not sure what to believe about safety concerns in Japan, a country still reeling from earthquake and tsunami damage six months ago.

On one hand there's Danica Patrick, who last week brought the issue to the forefront with comments during a NASCAR event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. If radiation exposure isn't a concern, she said, contaminated food is.

On the other hand is Takuma Sato, a Japanese driver who told IndyCar.com from Tokyo there should be "no hesitation" about making the trip to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit even though it's located just 90 miles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Then there are MotoGP riders who are concerned and U.S. State Department officials who aren't. MotoGP postponed its spring race to Oct. 2. More ...

09/13/11
nassprint
2012 Vegas Cup date moves a week  Nevada’s largest annual sports weekend has a new date for 2012. Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Weekend is scheduled for March 9-11, 2012, a week later than in recent years.

Again in 2012, the Kobalt Tools 400 is scheduled to be the third stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour. The 2012 event will mark the 15th visit of NASCAR’s most elite series to Las Vegas’s 1.5-mile superspeedway.

The Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event will precede the NASCAR Sprint Cup event on Saturday, March 10. Stratosphere Pole Day for the Kobalt Tools 400 will be held Friday, March 9. More ...

09/13/11
f1
Proposed F1 projects in Mexico, Argentina and South Africa  
Tavo Hellmund
A little more than a year ago, when plans for a local Formula One circuit were announced out of the blue, many people in Austin wondered: who the heck is Tavo Hellmund?

Now, Hellmund, who had to scrap and scrounge for sponsors in his days as an open-wheel racer, is apparently becoming well-known in the high-rolling world of Formula One.

During a recent conversation at the Circuit of the Americas office downtown, Hellmund revealed that he and his special events and sports production company, Full Throttle Productions, are doing consulting work for proposed Formula One projects in Mexico, Argentina and South Africa. More ...

09/13/11
f1
The Girls from Fukushima  
Kamui Kobayashi
The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit Japan on 11th March this year will not be forgotten. It will take years to rebuild the affected regions, and words alone cannot describe the harm and sorrow of the people who have lost their loved ones.

For the Sauber F1 Team, with Kamui Kobayashi being the sole Japanese driver in the current Formula One World Championship, the approaching Grand Prix in his home country will be a very special event. On the race weekend in Suzuka, 7th to 9th October 2011, the two Sauber C30-Ferraris will again be carrying the same message they did at the season’s opener in Melbourne.

我々の祈り、日本に届きますように。

This literal translation of this is:
“May our prayers reach the people in Japan.”  More ...
09/13/11
irl
NBC Sports hires key executive  
Mark Lazarus has bolstered his executive team at NBC Sports Group, hiring former ESPN executive Rob Simmelkjaer at SVP of NBC Sports Ventures, a unit that comprises NBC-owned businesses like the Alliance of Action Sports, the American Century Golf Championship, the ADT Golf Skills Challenge, the Heads Up Poker Championship and the National Dog Show.

Rob Simmelkjaer
Simmelkjaer also will lead international business development at the sports group — drawing on his experience managing ESPN/Disney’s Olympics relationship as ESPN’s VP International Development and Corporate Projects — and he will also oversee its stake in Universal Sports.

He reports to Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics and EVP Strategic Partnerships at NBC Sports Group. Meanwhile, Lazarus also promoted Earl Marshall to CFO; he had been CFO of the NBC Sports Cable Group. He will have oversight of the NBC Sports Group consisting of NBC Sports, Olympics, Versus (which has the NHL, IndyCar and Tour de France), Golf Channel, the 11 regional sports networks and digital assets and report to Lazarus. Deadline.com More ...

09/13/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Jaime Alguersuari
    Alguersuari not happy with Webber's new deal
  • Vettel not worried about Japan visit
  • Sauber angry after Ferrari gearbox failures
  • Alonso warns Vettel to expect 'hard' racing
  • No more 2011 car development now - Alonso
  • Title tilt unlikely until 2013 - Brawn
  • Vettel eyes pole record, breaking records of all F1 greats
  • Former Minardi press officer dies
  • US GP promoter Hellmund sued
  • Vettel's Ferrari interest 'very good' - Agnelli
  • Perez to test 2009 Ferrari this week
  • Button says McLaren 'listening more' now  More ...
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