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DATE News (chronologically)
09/20/09
f1

Moss blasts Briatore, Piquet Jr ahead of verdict
British racing legend Stirling Moss has placed the blame for Renault's woes firmly on the shoulders of Flavio Briatore and also accused Nelson Piquet Jr of a lack of professionalism.  Managing director Briatore and head of engineering Pat Symonds have left the French marque over allegations of race-fixing at last season's Singapore Grand Prix.

Piquet is said to have deliberately crashed to allow team-mate Fernando Alonso the benefit of safety-car conditions which saw him take the race win, charges which Renault will not contest.

The squad's fate will be decided at an FIA World Motor Sport Council hearing in Paris on Monday.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/09
f1

Crashgate scandal is ‘tip of iceberg’
Corruption runs deep in Formula One and the only way to stop the rot is for a total break from the existing system, the man hoping to succeed Max Mosley as FIA president claimed yesterday.
Ari Vatanen, the former rally champion who is in a run off with Mosley’s preferred candidate Jean Todt in next month’s FIA presidential election, made the accusation on the eve of today’s ‘crashgate’ hearing in Paris.

The World Motor Sport Council is holding an extraordinary meeting to investigate what some are calling the worst case of cheating in the history of sport -- conspiring to cause Renault driver Nelson Piquet junior’s deliberate crash at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.

“What is happening here with Renault is more than just the tip of the iceberg, it is symptomatic of a wider problem,” Vatanen told Britain’s The Sunday Telegraph. “The image of the sport has been battered recently. “Look at all the leaked dossiers. We have gone from ‘Spygate’ to  ‘Crashgate’ with many other things in between. What the public see is a corrupt sport. They do not trust it and who can blame them.”

Vatanen tells the paper that the WMSC is not the right body to hear the Renault case as members of the board like Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone have “vested interests”.

“For me we must introduce an absolutely independent body to arbitrate in these proceedings. The entire structure of motorsport justice must change,” argued Vatanen.

Comment
09/20/09
British F3

Ricciardo & Chilton claim final F3 wins
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 season was concluded in some style at Brands Hatch today (Sun), with race wins for Carlin team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Chilton. Ricciardo crowned his championship-winning season with a dominant display in the first of the day's races and Chilton brought his British F3 career to a close in the best possible way, with a lights-to-flag win in the finale.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/09
nassprint

Tryson shut out at Penske Shop
Penske Racing crew chief Pat Tryson says he's only welcome at the race shop for the once-weekly debrief meeting. Because Tryson is moving to Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of this season, the team does not want him present during any preparations for 2010. "They want me to focus on this year's stuff and they've got stuff going on at the shop for next year, so they're going to work on that," Tryson said before Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I'll be communicating by e-mail and phones, and I'll be in there for driver debrief on Tuesdays. Tuesday is the only day I'm welcome." It could make things difficult as Tryson and driver Kurt Busch attempt to win the championship this season. But Tryson says he's still committed to the #2 team, and can do a lot of his planning from home. But Penske vice president of operations Mike Nelson said the team is striking the right balance by involving Tryson in this year's planning and keeping him from the shop during preparations for 2010. "It really breaks down to 2009 vs. 2010. He's not there for the discussions that we have about 2010. That's a lot of what we're doing at the shop right now," Nelson said. "The 2009 stuff - that's something that he needs to be involved with and there's no change in his involvement with Kurt.

Comment
09/20/09
alms
tv news

De Ferran on Wind Tunnel tonight
De Ferran Motorsports team owner and driver Gil de Ferran will be a guest on SPEED’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain tonight from Road Atlanta. A four-time winner this year in the American Le Mans Series, de Ferran will team with full-season teammate Simon Pagenaud and two-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon in the XM Acura ARX-02a.

Comment
09/20/09
f1
dtm

No DTM switch for BMW in 2010 - Haug
(GMM)  BMW will not switch to the DTM series after pulling out of formula one at the end of the 2009 season.

That is the claim of Norbert Haug, who is in charge of Mercedes' forays in both F1 and the premier German touring car category.

It had been suggested that BMW might turn to the more affordable DTM championship in 2010, after leaving formula one.

But Haug told the German newspaper Bild that Audi and Mercedes are to remain the only manufacturers in DTM next year.

"Next year there will be no other manufacturers," he said.

It is hoped that new rules for DTM in 2011 will entice more car manufacturers to join the series.

Comment
09/20/09
f1

Massa really won F1 title, not Hamilton
If not for crashgate, Massa would be world champion not Hamilton (above).  Massa was screwed and Hamilton lucked out.
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has hit back at claims he is not a worthy reigning world champion because of the 'crash-gate' revelations.

Felipe Massa was almost level-pegging on points with the 24-year-old Briton for the 2008 crown until Singapore, when the safety car triggered by Nelson Piquet's faked crash - and then Ferrari's famously botched pitstop - ruined the Ferrari driver's race.

Massa, who had dominantly won pole for the night race and was pulling away from Hamilton in the opening stint until the Piquet crash, ultimately lost the drivers' crown by a single point.

It has therefore been claimed that, had Renault not cheated, Massa would now be world champion.

But Hamilton told Britain's News of the World newspaper: "I am a worthy world champion.  I have got the number one on my car and I deserved it." [Editor's Note: Better to be lucky than good]

Read more & Comment...
09/20/09
f1

South Korea readies 'Asia's best track' for F1

YEONGAM, South Korea
: At a spectacular seaside venue, South Korea is spending tens of millions of dollars on its latest foray into world sport -- a Formula One motor racing track billed as Asia's best.

The country has hosted the Olympics, the Asian Games and a football World Cup, but Formula One will be a novelty despite a major domestic auto industry.


Officials, however, are confident the Korean Grand Prix will quickly make its mark after its expected debut next year.


During a recent tour of the site in Yeongam county, 320 kilometers (200 miles) south of Seoul, a giant crane lifted huge concrete blocks as work progressed on a 13,000-seat grandstand.


More seating to accommodate a total of 135,000 spectators will also be built along a 5.6-kilometre (3.5 mile) circuit being constructed on 172 hectares (425 acres) of reclaimed land alongside an artificial seaside lake.

Read more & Comment...

09/20/09
racing news

USA's Alexander Rossi  wins Formula Master Series race
ISR’s Alexander Rossi clinched the 2009 IFM Rookies’ Title today after winning his third race of the season in the last 2009 round of the International Formula Master Series at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy.

JD Motorsport’s Josef Kral, together with team-mate Sergey Afanasiev, secured their team’s title for the second year in a row by finishing second and third respectively, whilst Afanasiev also became this season’s runner-up in the Drivers’ Classification.

Alexander Rossi, ISR
“It’s been fantastic to come out and race in Europe; this year had quite a few ups and downs but it’s definitely been an experience and it’s great to win a title in my first year.”

International Formula Master – Imola
Round 16: provisional top six results

1. Alexander Rossi (USA), ISR (#16)
2. Josef Kral (CZH), JD Motorsport (#3)
3. Sergey Afanasiev (RUS), JD Motorsport (#2)
4. Erik Janis (CZH), ISR (#20)
5. Patrick Reiterer (ITA), Iris Project (#9)
6. Pål Varhaug (NOR), Jenzer Motorsport (#7)



Comment
09/20/09
nassprint

Kahne: Who's in charge at RPM?
Asked who makes the decisions at Richard Petty Motorsports these days, driver Kasey Kahne couldn't come up with an answer. Since the announcement last week of the organization's intent to merge with Yates Racing and the subsequent release days later of former vice president and managing director of competition, Mark McArdle, there seems a lot of confusion surrounding the team's future. Charlotte Observer

Comment
09/20/09
automotive

CPAs say GM safe through 2012
General Motors Co. is a strong bet to survive at least through the year 2012.  The Chrysler Group? Not so much.  And what about the U.S. taxpayers' chance of being repaid all that money loaned to bail out GM and Chrysler? Don't hold your breath.  Those are findings from the first-ever Tom Walsh poll of certified public accountants who run small practices in western Oakland County.

Comment
09/20/09
f2

Wickens clinches pole for race two
Robert Wickens clinched his first pole since the opening weekend in Valencia, setting a time of 1:37.401 seconds in the dying minutes of the session.

Red Bull locked out the front row, with Mirko Bortolotti - who also clinched second spot for yesterday's race - lining up alongside Wickens. Andy Soucek, who was crowned champion yesterday, maintained his good form and will start from third.

Alex Brundle and Kazim Vasiliauskas made the early running as they quickly matched yesterday's pole time of 1:38.4s. It was clear this was going to be a much quicker session as times continued to tumble in the early stages, and it was Milos Pavlovic who then enjoyed a brief spell at the top - the Serbian driver having opted for new tires from the beginning of the session.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/09
f1

PUMA Pit crew Builds Ferrari Car Out of Clothes


Comment
09/19/09
f1

FIA summons Alonso to appear before the World Council
Fernando Alonso will be grilled on what he knew about crashgate
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso has been summoned to Monday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, which is set to consider the so-called 'crash-gate' affair in Paris.

British reports including those in the Guardian and Mirror newspapers said the Spaniard learned about the order to appear last Friday and came as a "huge surprise" to him.

Alonso, 27, denies being involved in the Singapore 2008 conspiracy, but was a major benefactor of Nelson Piquet's deliberate crash as he won F1's inaugural night race.

Piquet's father, the famous triple world champion, said during his interview with FIA investigators that Alonso must have had knowledge of the attempt to fix the race because otherwise his race strategy made no sense.

But it is also suggested that Alonso will be questioned about his relationship with Flavio Briatore, who has stepped down as Renault's team boss but remains a manager of several drivers.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/09
f2
f1

Soucek wins Williams test
Spanish-born racer Andy Soucek secured a test with the Williams Formula One team after becoming the first F2 champion since New Zealander Mike Thackwell in 1984.The test with Williams is a real chance for me to get into Formula One," said the 24-year-old, who has Spanish and Austrian nationality and won the title at Italy's Imola circuit with three races to spare.

Formula Two was revived by the International Automobile Federation this year to offer a low-cost alternative to the GP2 series as a stepping stone to Formula One, with the cars designed by Williams.

"We are looking forward to running him in our Formula One car, and I hope the whole process will help get him to achieve his ambition to compete in the Formula One World Championship," said Williams co-owner Patrick Head. Reuters

Comment
09/19/09
nascar

NASCAR tells crew chiefs to expect no major rule changes
NASCAR officials told Sprint Cup crew chiefs Saturday morning that the moratorium on testing at sanctioned tracks is expected to extend through the 2010 season.

In an attempt to cut costs, NASCAR announced last November that instead of having official NASCAR scheduled tests throughout the year, there would be a one-year moratorium on series-wide testing and teams also would be prohibited from testing at any track that sanctioned a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck and East and West series. Previously, teams could not test on their own at tracks of the series they competed in.

Comment
09/19/09
nastruck

Busch wins another truck race
Kyle Busch won his third consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race -- and fifth of the 2009 season - Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Busch led four times for 75 of 200 laps en route to victory lane. More later.....

Comment
09/19/09
f2

Vasiliauskas wins the race as Soucek takes the title
Andy Soucek
Kazim Vasiliauskas scored a sublime maiden victory of the season in the opening F2 race at Imola today, whilst Andy Soucek clinched the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship with a third place finish.

Vasiliauskas led from start to finish after making a clean getaway from the line, although he did have an anxious moment on the run down to Tamburello for the first time when he ran wide and caught the gravel. He managed to rejoin just in front of second place Mirko Bortolotti to maintain the lead, although he came under intense pressure.

There was trouble further down the field as Julien Jousse, Tobias Hegewald and Nicola De Marco all made contact as they came through Tamburello - the result was a spectacular barrel roll for Hegewald, whilst De Marco ended in the barriers. Jousse was able to continue after a brief trip to the pitlane.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/09
irl
nascar

NASCAR aims to squash IRL on Versus
NASCAR, looking to monopolize USA motorsports, has stepped on and squashed IndyCar racing (CART, Champ Car and IRL) on every TV channel they have tried.  In their latest strike, Versus today announced a multi-year deal with NASCAR to air a fast-paced, up-close HD look at the 12 drivers competing in NASCAR’s 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.  The weekly, half-hour series titled Quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will air on VERSUS on Tuesday nights at 11 p.m. ET, beginning September 22, and will air each week until the conclusion of the 2009 NASCAR playoff season.  This is likely just the beginning for as the years pass, look for NASCAR to dominate motorsports on Versus so the 10-year deal with Versus is looking more and more like a death sentence for the IRL every day. 

Quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, an adrenaline-filled show that offers motorsports fans stunning race footage with an intimate behind-the-scenes perspective, is a milestone in HD sports programming and was honored with a Sports Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Live Event Turnaround” in 2008.  VERSUS and NASCAR will also partner on additional programming opportunities which will be announced when details become available. 

“Just as we’re about to conclude our first year of IndyCar Series coverage, we look forward to the opportunity to extend our racing season through this new partnership with NASCAR,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS.  “VERSUS has become a top television destination for motorsports fans with our in-depth and all-encompassing coverage of the IndyCar Series and we are very excited to launch into a multi-year venture with NASCAR to showcase all the action and excitement surrounding their championship run.”

“We are delighted to partner with VERSUS on our Emmy-award winning Quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series,” said Jay Abraham, Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR Media Group.  “With VERSUS being the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, this is one more way in which NASCAR can reach additional fans with the excitement of our playoffs, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

Comment
09/19/09
f1

Button says he wants to stay at Brawn
(GMM) Jenson Button says he wants to remain with the Brawn team in 2010.

It has been reported that the Briton and world championship leader, having agreed a pay-cut for 2009 after the Honda management buyout, is now pushing for more money for next season and is yet to be made a satisfactory offer.

It is also expected that Nico Rosberg is headed to the Brackley based outfit for 2010, which would mean that either Button or his teammate and F1's oldest driver Rubens Barrichello, 37, must move aside.

Button is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport: "I am completely happy here. At Brawn there is a great atmosphere.

"We have been through a lot together and now finally we are at the top," said the Englishman, who joined the outfit when it was BAR in 2003 before it became the Japanese manufacturer Honda's works team.

"I would like to stay," Button explained. "I also believe that we will continue to be strong next year because we have the best team boss -- Ross (Brawn) will make sure we are still at the front."

Comment
09/19/09
racing news

Motorsports Most Influential Decision-Makers Highlight MSBF
A partial roster including some of motorsports biggest names and decision-makers was announced today for the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum North America (MSBF-NA), December 8-9, as a prelude to the 22nd Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.

International business leaders such as Lesa France-Kennedy, Bobby Rahal, Terry Angstadt, Zak Brown, Kim Green, Lawrence Aldridge, Andy Fuchs are just some of those that will address the foremost marketing and networking event for motor racing’s global commercial community. This high-profile new event represents the pinnacle of the world’s most glamorous sport as a lead-in to PRI Trade Show week.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/09
f1

McLaren pinning title hopes on final update
The McLaren team hopes than a raft of new parts on its car will help Heikki Kovalainen and World Champion Lewis Hamilton to secure third place in the Constructors' Championship before the end of the season. Ferrari currently holds the spot with the Woking outfit fifteen points behind.

With McLaren over a race win in arrears of Ferrari in the standings, the Mercedes-powered team continues to concentrate on overhauling its rivals and Martin Whitmarsh is confident that the goal can be achieved. "Our pace in recent Grands Prix increasingly shows that we have developed the MP4-24 into a pretty decent all-round competitor and we remain confident for the Singapore Grand Prix," the Team Principal commented.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/09
nassprint

Sorenson currently racing for FREE
When Richard Petty Motorsports announced last week a merger with Yates Racing, most considered #43-Reed Sorenson the big loser, since it appeared he was left out of the 2010 driver lineup as a result. He in fact wasn't. He was already gone by that point. Multiple RPM sources confirmed to ESPN.com that team executives approached Sorenson during the summer with a pair of options: (1) Race the remainder of the season for no salary; or (2) take a buyout and go away. Conflicted, frustrated, shocked and confused, Sorenson chose the former. In NASCAR, out of sight is out of mind. And out of mind is out of work.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
nassprint

penskeracing.com to feature unique Chase coverage
Penske Racing’s official web site, www.PenskeRacing.com, will feature in-depth coverage and a unique fan contest through the social networking web site, Twitter.com, over the next 10 weeks of NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup Series championship.

As Penske Racing returns to the Chase this fall with driver Kurt Busch and the No. 2 Miller Lite team, PenskeRacing.com will chronicle all of the excitement and give fans the opportunity to get closer to the action.

On Friday, the team’s web site launched its 2009 Chase coverage – featuring a unique and interactive graphical display on its home page that provides a complete statistical analysis of the 12 drivers participating in the Chase and a breakdown of the Miller Lite team’s performance throughout NASCAR’s 10-week “postseason.”

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
f2

Kazim blazes to maiden F2 pole
Kazim Vasiliauskas stormed to his maiden F2 pole in the first qualifying session at Imola today (Friday), eclipsing his rivals by more than three tenths of a second.

The Lithuanian backed up his earlier claim of wanting to fight for victories, as he set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:38.468s: "I'm really happy," said Kazim. "I see that every time I am improving, and now this is my first pole, I am just so happy. At the first race in Valencia my father told me if you are in the top ten I will be very happy. Now, at the end of the season, I have a pole! Tomorrow I will try to make progress and take my first win of the year."

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
fil

Hinchcliffe hospitalized
Indy Lights driver James Hinchcliffe is in a Toronto-area hospital after an emergency appendectomy today. He had gone to the Emergency Room with severe stomach pain last night / early this morning. Apparently, he’s doing well and should fully recover.

Comment
09/18/09
f1

Engines could be in short supply in 2010
A  year ago Formula 1 had six engine manufacturers involved. Ferrari provided engines for six cars; Renault and Toyota for four cars each and Mercedes, BMW and Honda were supplying two cars each, although Honda had started the year with four cars. By the end of this year we will have lost Honda and BMW and perhaps others as well. We will have gained Cosworth, although this is a very different organization to the old Cosworth F1 team. The departures began in 2003 and accelerated in 2004 when Ford sold the business and there were further changes at the end of 2006 when Cosworth left F1, having run out of customer teams, as the manufacturers offered teams more than an independent manufacturer was able to do.

Among those who have departed in recent years are the company's main F1 man Bernard Ferguson (now consulting), and a string of engineers including former F1 designers Nick Hayes (who is working with Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR), Rob White (now at Renault F1), Alex Hitzinger (now at Red Bull F1), Simon Corbyn (now chief experimental engineer at Rolls-Royce) and Andy Cowell, the last-named who went with a number of others to Mercedes in the winter of 2006/2007 and is credited with the recent success of the Mercedes-Benz F1 engines. Also gone are engineers Jon Hilton (now running Flybrid Systems), Geraint Castleton-White (now at Lotus Cars Ltd) and John Marston (now with the FIA).

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
gp2

Petrov clinches Portuguese pole
Barwa Addax Campos and Vitaly Petrov came out on top to ensure the best qualifying position at the Portimao circuit on Friday. After the final session of the year, the Russian beat Dani Clos to the top spot with Champion Nico Hülkenberg completing the top three runners.

The Russian's best time of 1:30.819 was set with just two minutes remaining: Hülkenberg and Clos crossed the line soon after to put themselves within a tenth of the top spot, but ran out of time as they tried to find a fraction more on their first visit to the technical new circuit.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
roc

Beijing to be bigger an better
This year’s Race of Champions will be the biggest ever, after organizers confirmed that it will feature an extra third day of action on a track that will be the longest and fastest ever to be built in a stadium. 

The event format will also be changed, with the traditional ‘winner-takes- all’ system being altered and group qualifying stages being introduced. With 50% more space in the Bird’s Nest stadium than last year’s Wembley Stadium venue, the parallel circuit built in China will be almost 20% longer, while wider lanes will enable competitors to take corners quicker. Track designer and former WRC rally winner Michele Mouton says the new layout, which will be built by laying more than 4,000 tons of gravel and asphalt over protective bamboo boards, presents a completely different challenge to previous ROC circuits. “There’s a big difference between this track and the others,” she commented.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
nassprint

Martin signs contract extension through 2011
Mark Martin has signed a contract extension to run a full schedule with Hendrick Motorsports through 2011.

Martin begins the Chase for the championship Sunday at New Hampshire International Raceway as the points leader in the Sprint Cup Series. He earned the top spot with four victories this year.

It's been a resurgent year for 50-year-old Martin, who originally was going to drive just one full season for Hendrick. But his performance has been among the best in NASCAR, and it's led him to agree to drive longer.

Hendrick said GoDaddy.com will be the primary sponsor of Martin's No. 5 car starting next season. The deal is for 20 races a season.

Comment
09/18/09
f1

FIA official knew about crash-gate last year
(GMM)  A high ranking FIA official reportedly knew about the 'crash-gate' allegations as long ago as the 2008 season finale in Brazil last year.

Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper on Friday published a transcript of Nelson Piquet Snr's August 17 interview with Quest investigators, commissioned by F1's governing body, about the scandal.

In the interview, Piquet revealed that after learning from his son about the deliberate crash only days after the September 2008 event, he told his former Brabham colleague Charlie Whiting "the whole story".

Today, Whiting is the FIA's safety and technical delegate and F1 race director and starter, and therefore the first point of contact between formula one teams and the Paris federation.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
f2

De Marco goes quickest in free practice two
Nicola De Marco produced a stunning last minute lap to set the overall pace during second free practice at Imola today (Friday).

The Italian was in a leery mood throughout the 30-minute session and recovered from some lurid moments early on. The 19-year-old had earlier looked to be setting the benchmark time until a moment in the final sector scuppered his lap. He responded well late on to take top spot away from Kazim Vasiliauskas.

Vasiliauskas led for much of the session as the Lithuanian's reputation continues to rise during his maiden full season of single seater racing. Like De Marco, Milos Pavlovic also set a last ditch lap to end up third ahead of Mikhail Aleshin - the top four drivers were separated by just 0.152s.

Championship leader Andy Soucek improved to take fifth, whilst Philipp Eng saw off a late attack from Germán Sánchez to maintain sixth position. Spaniard Sánchez put in an impressive performance to set the seventh fastest time - his best session result of the season.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
f1

More Singha for Suzuka
Even though we are owned by an energy drink company, we recognize the value of a good beer. Red Bull Racing is therefore pleased to announce that existing supplier, Singha Beer, the longest established beer from Thailand, is increasing its support of the team for the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix, by upgrading to ‘Race Partner’.

The expanded relationship will see the Singha logo appear on the RB5 cars and on the drivers’ race suits over the Grand Prix weekend at Suzuka.

Voravud Bhirombhakdi, Strategic Partnership and Event Manager of Singha Corporation and the fourth generation of the Singha family commented: “Singha Corporation has long been the biggest supporter of Thailand’s motorsport. Becoming a Race Partner with Red Bull Racing will place Singha on the international motorsport scene, which is in line with the company’s international market expansion.”

Comment
09/18/09
gp2

GP2 ready for season finale
Last week in Monza Nico Hülkenberg was crowned the fifth GP2 Series Champion and became the first driver to claim the title before the final round of the season. Although Vitaly Petrov put in a good fight, there was almost nothing he could do to stop Hülkenberg from securing the title. But there is still one crown to be claimed: the Teams’ Championship and the battle between Series leaders ART Grand Prix and 2008 Champions Barwa Addax Team is still raging.

As the points gap is only thirteen, both Hülkenberg and Petrov – along with their teammate Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi - will have to keep pushing and help their respective squad to come victor from this ultimate challenge of the 2009 season. The Teams’ showdown will take place this weekend in Portimao, Portugal. This is the only stand- alone event of the season and GP2 is visiting this venue for the first time.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
track news

Bruton Smith sues Concord, Cabarrus County
Marcus Smith, the son of Lowe’s Motor Speedway mogul Bruton Smith defends the lawsuit filed by his father against the city of Concord and Cabarrus County. The suit claims the city and county failed to pay $80 million dollars for roadway and other improvements around the speedway and the ZMax dragstrip. “We’ve been here for 50 years,” Marcus Smith, the President of Speedway Motorsports Inc. said. “It’s the investment in the infrastructure around the speedway is what we are looking for and what the initial bargain was with the city and county.” Bruton Smith had threatened to pack up the track and move it out of Concord if he did not get some financial help with road improvements. The suit claims letters and agreements were drawn up by the local government promising the money. However, Cabarrus County Commissioner Coy Privette says while others in government may have made promises, “the Cabarrus County Commissioners have never acted officially on any proposal to give him a dime.” At an outdoor concert tonight in Concord, residents said they could not see giving Smith any more money. “No, he doesn’t deserve that,” said Barbara Fink. “I think he has had more than his share,” she added. The city and county now have 30 days to respond to the allegations in the suit. Bruton Smith was out of town and could not be reached for comment on the suit. WCNC.com

Comment
09/18/09
nhra

NASCAR Night at zMAX Dragway at LMS
Some of the fastest drivers, car owners and mechanics ever to turn left will give it their all to go straight on Tuesday, Aug. 25, as NASCAR Night returns to zMAX Dragway. Last October more than 100 NASCAR industry personnel descended on the Bellagio of drag strips to take their street cars down the concrete quarter-mile. This year, there's a new twist-participants can race anything they wish down the drag strip, making this a true "run what you brung" event. In addition to some of the NASCAR industry's brightest battling at zMAX Dragway, the evening will include passes by the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock teams of Greg Anderson and Jason Line, Nitro Drag Bikes and Pro Mods. More information on the event at LowesMotorSpeedway.com.

Comment
09/18/09
irl

IRL supports Versus position
The IndyCar Series issued the following statement regarding the ongoing carriage dispute between VERSUS and DirectTV:

We have been in constant communication with our television partner VERSUS regarding its negotiations with DirecTV. Talks have been ongoing and, while we're hopeful for a speedy resolution, we do not expect coverage of the Indy Japan 300 on DirecTV this weekend.

As announced earlier in the week, there will be comprehensive streaming coverage on indycar.com. We could not be happier with the partnership we have forged in just over a year with VERSUS and look forward to a long and healthy relationship. Both VERSUS and the IndyCar Series share the frustration of DirecTV subscribers and we are hopeful that the two sides will continue talks and that DirecTV subscribers will have the ability to view IndyCar Series coverage for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Comment
09/18/09
alms

De Ferran team Petit LeMans preview
de Ferran Motorsports is hoping to add to its growing roll of honor as the 2009 American Le Mans Series moves to Road Atlanta for this year's running of the annual Petit Le Mans classic on Saturday 26 September.

The ambitious team - founded little more than a year ago by double IndyCar champion and former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran - has been the pacesetter in the 2009 ALMS championship with four race wins, six pole positions and six fastest laps from the eight rounds held to date.

As well as all of the front-line ALMS regulars, the Petit Le Mans entry includes several of the top European teams venturing across the Atlantic for the prestigious 1000-mile/10-hour sportscar showdown held at the challenging 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit. Fresh from its victory at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours, Peugeot is fielding two of its diesel-engined coupes while defending Petit Le Mans champion Audi returns to the States with two of its diesel turbo prototypes. Neither has raced in ALMS since the season opener in Sebring - a race that saw the no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a grab pole position on its debut. Further top class competition comes from the French-based petrol-powered Oreca squad.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/09
irl

Motegi Friday Notebook
This is the seventh IndyCar Series event held at Twin Ring Motegi. Danica Patrick is the defending race winner. Helio Castroneves won the Peak Performance Pole Award last year. Four former IndyCar Series winners at Twin Ring Motegi -Dan Wheldon (2004-2005), Helio Castroneves (2006), Tony Kanaan (2007) and Patrick (2008) - are entered.

***

Mario Moraes carries a load of momentum into the Indy Japan 300 on Sept. 19 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Moraes, who arrived in Japan last weekend to adjust to the 13-hour (from Eastern Daylight Time) time difference and experience the culture, is among nine IndyCar Series drivers who will compete on the 1.5-mile oval for the first time. At Chicagoland Speedway on Aug. 29, Moraes recorded an IndyCar Series-high third-place finish in the No. 5 Azul Tequila/Votorantim/KV Racing Technology car.  He finished fourth on the Infineon Raceway road course a week earlier.

"After the last two ovals (Kentucky and Chicagoland), we know we have a very fast car and even though the layout of the track in Motegi is different I am confident we can have a good race," he said.

The race will mark the first race at Twin Ring Motegi featuring a unified field. In the wake of unification of open-wheel racing under the IndyCar Series banner in 2008, the race dates for Twin Ring Motegi and Long Beach fell on the same weekend. The IndyCar Series regulars competed in Japan while the transitioning teams participated in the Champ Car finale.

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09/18/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Korea takes another step towards F1 race
  • Singapore plays down crash-gate scandal link
  • Piquet ready to launch court action against Briatore
  • 2010 Canada GP saga: one more false start
  • Massa aims for kart race return in December

Korea takes another step towards F1 race
(GMM)  South Korea has taken another step towards hosting a round of the formula one world championship.

Earlier in September, the organizers Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) said they had lined up nearly half of the necessary funding for building and operating the circuit, which is already under construction south of Seoul.

More good news emerged this week from the South Jeolla province's National Assembly this week, in the form of a government bill to provide support, according to the JoongAng daily.

KAVO said the news is important because it means legislators "have finally reached consensus over the impact" of the F1 race.

The bill reportedly provides the funds ($73 million) and the necessary legislation to complete the track and organize the event.

South Korea did not appear on the leaked provisional 2010 F1 calendar that was doing the rounds at last month's Belgian grand prix.

Read more & Comment...
09/17/09
f1

New Lotus boss plans to step down soon
(GMM)  The AirAsia airline chief Tony Fernandes has revealed he does not plan to be the new Lotus outfit's long-term team principal.

The entrepreneur and millionaire was this week named by the FIA as the head of the new Malaysian-owned Lotus F1 Team that is set to debut in 2010.

"The team principal (position) is not something that is going to be permanent," he told the Reuters news agency.  "I am going to get it (the team) to a stage and then someone can do it full time, properly."

Malaysian Fernandes, 45, explained that he will fulfill the top role until Lotus makes its formula one return at the 2010 season opener, and will likely hand over to his successor either then or after a "couple of races".

He admitted that while the bulk of the team will be Malaysian nationals with an eventual base at the Sepang circuit, Lotus will probably "buy in experience" for the job of team principal.

"I think it would be good that the team principal is Malaysian but it might be a tall order to be a (Malaysian) team principal straight away," said Fernandes.

He also revealed that Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy, who currently races in the World Series by Renault and has also contested GP2 and A1GP, is a candidate for a 2010 race seat.

Comment
09/17/09
nassprint

Fans Can Attend NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony
For the first time in NASCAR history, fans have the opportunity to join drivers, team owners and industry leaders as they celebrate the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

This year’s awards ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 4 at Wynn Las Vegas.

Approximately 300 tickets will be available to the top 12 teams and drivers, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track operators and NASCAR partners to use for fan promotions.

Fans will account for 25 percent of the audience.

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09/17/09
alms

Oreca's 2010 season starts now
Team ORECA’s 2010 gets under way this weekend with two days of testing in advance of next week’s Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Team boss Hugues de Chaunac, who knows a thing or two when it comes to winning races in the American Le Mans Series, is sending an AIM-powered ORECA 01 prototype to contest the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta. The outing serves as the first step in ORECA’s program for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We have decided to do the race because Petit Le Mans is one of the key races to have the best possible preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours,” said de Chaunac, who oversaw Viper Team ORECA’s GTS victory in the 1999 race. “We are going to learn a lot. The track is difficult. The level of the competition is very high with all our competitors. The fight will be hard and the pressure will be great. But we are upbeat to come to this race and to compete in P1.”

Read more & Comment...
09/17/09
track news

Gossage says cancer in 'complete remission'
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage says his cancer is in "complete remission" and that he's feeling better than ever. Gossage hasn't disclosed the type of cancer he has, which was diagnosed last fall.

A showman known for his enthusiasm and promotional stunts, Gossage took a leave of absence in June after the IndyCar Series race at the track. He returned to work in August and made his first public appearance Thursday to promote the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the track's next race Nov. 8.

The 50-year-old Gossage was smiling and at ease, and wore a Sprint Cup cap on his mostly bald head that resulted from chemotherapy.  USA Today

Comment
09/17/09
f1

USF1 CFD study
USF1's first chassis has been revealed on a SpeedTV.com webcast. CFD images of the new machine were shown to viewers of the Wind Tunnel program in the USA during an interview with the teams key players.

Anderson revealed that the new car should be in a rolling condition next month, when more detailed technical work will be carried out.

There have been widespread rumors recently surrounding the new teams progress yet as these images show design work is reasonably advanced.

For the full interview with Anderson and financial backer Chad Hurley watch the following video with Krista Voda (who rather amusingly confuses CFD with possible paint schemes) and Bob Varsha.

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09/17/09
f1

Eddie Irvine says cheating normal in F1
Eddie Irvine has hit back at what he deems the sanctimonious posturing of former drivers and figures in Formula One by claiming that cheating has always gone on in Formula One and that the current furor over Renault’s alleged ‘race-fixing’ is simply the governing body “going on a crusade”.

Renault have been called to answer charges by governing body, the FIA, of ordering Nelson Piquet Jr to crash. Yesterday their team principal, Flavio Briatore, and director of engineering, Pat Symonds, departed the sport under a cloud after the team decided not to contest charges of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

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09/17/09
f1

Lauda, Stuck, call for hefty Renault penalty
(GMM)  Former German F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck on Thursday said the crash-gate affair had left him "speechless" and called for an unprecedented draconian penalty.

"If Mercedes must pay 100 million euros for the lying affair, then Renault should have to pay 500 million for this," he told the German newspaper Bild.

On British BBC radio, ex Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine said cheating was common in his day and urged the World Motor Sport Council not to go overboard and push out an important team.

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09/17/09
nastruck

NASCAR Truck New Hampshire preview
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be playing a major role, this Saturday, in the big racing weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Heluva Good 200 is expected to be the latest live wire event from NASCAR's racing truck division at a facility that is considered to be a short track. Making this 1.058 mile oval even more interesting is the fact that the track is completely flat on the straightaways and is accented by progressive banking in the turns that only measures two to seven degrees. That also means that brakes, and the conservation of them will be a major factor in this race.

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09/17/09
f1

Investor claims Lotus F1 “commercially viable”
Malaysia’s participation in the Lotus F1 team is commercially viable as it will generate benefits for all parties involved, according to Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, an investor in the 1Malaysia F1 Team.

The 1Malaysia F1 Team is running Team Lotus F1, which was accepted as the 13th and final entry on the grid last week, joining other newcomers Campos, Manor, US F1 from the 2010 season.

Kamarudin, who is deputy chief executive officer of AirAsia, is investing in 1Malaysia alongside Datuk Tony Fernandes and S.M. Nasaruddin S.M. Nasimuddin.

Read more & Comment...
09/17/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Richards 'not contacted' about Renault boss job
  • Ecclestone 'sorry' after Renault chief departures
  • Ghosn holding fire on 'crash-gate' reaction
  • Alonso says Ferrari move not '100 per cent'
  • Heavy consequences await departed F1 chiefs
  • Briatore departure a 'noble gesture' - Galliani
  • Piquet vows to keep fighting Briatore

Richards 'not contacted' about Renault boss job
(GMM)  David Richards has denied he is in talks with Renault about stepping in to replace the departed team boss Flavio Briatore.

Richards, the Prodrive chief and a former boss of Renault's previous guise Benetton, has been mentioned among other names including Alain Prost and GP2 team boss Frederic Vasseur as potential candidates for Briatore's job.

It was even reported on Wednesday that Briton Richards, 57, had visited Renault's Enstone headquarters for talks.

But in a newspaper article, it is reported that "Richards told The Times he had not been contacted by the French company as of last night."

The Swiss newspaper Blick said Prost, the quadruple world champion and former owner and boss of an eponymous team, is "right at the top of the list" to succeed Briatore as Renault F1 managing director.

Ecclestone 'sorry' after Renault chief departures
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has said he was "surprised" by the news and "very sorry" to see his friend and business partner Flavio Briatore leave formula one in disgrace.

"I'm very, very sorry that he's ending his association with formula one," the F1 chief executive, who frequently travelled to races with the flamboyant Italian and co-owns the football club Queens Park Rangers with him, said after hearing that Briatore had fallen on his sword over the 'crash-gate' scandal.

"I feel sorry for him.  Obviously, I'm surprised at what has happened, and I'm taken by surprise that they've decided to walk away," Ecclestone, 78, added.

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09/17/09
f1

Canon to sponsor Brawn in Singapore
Brawn GP is pleased to announce a new partnership with Canon Singapore Pte Ltd for the Singapore Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, which will be held under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday 27 September.

The showcase event, which hosted Formula One's first night race in 2008, will see the iconic Canon branding on the sidepods of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello's Brawn-Mercedes cars throughout the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

Comment
09/16/09
f1

Lauda calls 'crashgate' the worst thing in history of F1
Nicki Lauda
Former F1 champion Nicki Lauda told Mail Online that  crashgate is "the worst thing that has happened in Formula One.

"There is only one other incident that comes near - Michael Schumacher parking his Ferrari on the racing line at Monaco in 2006 to block Fernando Alonso's last qualifying lap."

"But, really, even that is not comparable.

"This time it was about manipulating a race. There was also the obvious danger to Piquet, other drivers and spectators.

"Why did Piquet do it?

"Remember, he was a young driver - more of a child than a man - and was put under pressure by the team who told him what he must do in order to get a new contract. When I drove we were men and would have said no.

"Yes, the McLaren spying scandal two years ago was extremely serious but mechanics have always discussed technical data among themselves.

"This, though, is new. The biggest damage ever. Now the FIA must punish Renault heavily to restore credibility in the sport."

Comment
09/16/09
nassprint

Red Bull Racing extends partnership with Toyota
Red Bull Racing has extended its partnership with Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series. The agreement continues a three-year relationship where Toyota has supported Red Bull Racing Team's progression from a start-up organization to a berth in the championship-deciding Chase.

"Our partnership with Toyota has been a critical element to the success of Red Bull Racing," said Jay Frye, RBR vice president and general manager. "Both Red Bull Racing and Toyota share a common goal of being a championship-contending team.

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09/16/09
f1

Media says Renault admit to race-fixing
(GMM)  The media read between the lines of Renault's short media statement issued on Wednesday.

Announcing that the bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds "have left the team", Renault said it "will not dispute" allegations they conspired with Nelson Piquet to rig the outcome of the 2008 Singapore grand prix by faking an accident.

The German press agency DPA said the team had "effectively admitted to race-fixing" ahead of the September 21 hearing of the World Motor Sport Council.

There, in Paris, the Council has the power to impose a range of penalties, including the team's lifetime disqualification.

"Renault will almost certainly plead for clemency ... as they will claim the actions of two men should not affect the employment of nearly 700 other staff within the team," said the Daily Telegraph.

Read more & Comment...
09/16/09
track news

ISC axes 50 more staff
ISC has cut about 50 jobs in its corporate offices and other business units, with some of those cuts "handled through attrition." ISC Dir of Marketing Communications Lenny Santiago said, "It is important to note, however, barring any further major erosion in the economy, we anticipate no further significant position reductions."  Daytona Beach News Journal

Comment
09/16/09
f1

Briatore, Symonds, leave Renault team
(GMM)  Renault boss Flavio Briatore and his engineering deputy Pat Symonds "have left the team", it was announced in a short media statement on Wednesday.

The Enstone based outfit, owned 100 per cent by the French carmaker Renault SA, also revealed that it will "not dispute the recent allegations" about the 2008 Singapore grand prix at the World Motor Sport Council hearing on 21 September.

It is a dramatic change of position for Renault, whose Briatore said at the previous Monza and Spa-Francorchamps races that he denies Nelson Piquet's claims about his Singapore crash being deliberate.

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09/16/09
nassprint

Discount Tires moves to Penske
Just days after announcing his move from JR Motorsports in 2010, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing have signed Discount Tire as their sponsor for 26 Nationwide Series races next year. Keselowski will drive the #22 Dodge full time in the Nationwide Series next year along with a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Discount Tire will also be an associate sponsor on Keselowski and teammate Kurt Busch's Sprint Cup Series cars. Additionally, the company will have a presence on all three Penske Racing cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A full announcement is expected later this week. Discount Tire currently sponsors David Ragan's Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series ride. The partnership has been in place since the start of the 2007 season.  FoxSports

Comment
09/16/09
nassprint

Morgan-McClure Motorsports Shop for sale
Due to a lack of sponsorship, the once familiar #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevy has been absent from the NASCAR game since the end of the 2007 season. And the latest news involving Southwest Virginia's team is reflective of the grim economic climate in the sponsor-driven sport. The entire 18-acre MMM complex, located just off Interstate 81, has been listed for sale with Barnett Commercial Realty of Martinsville, Va. The listed price is $8.5 million. According to team co-owner Tim Morgan, MMM fans still have reason for hope. In fact, Morgan continues to search out potential sponsors for a return to the track to the Sprint Cup Series.

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09/16/09
track news

Abu Dhabi promoters to finally get control of track
The organizers of Abu Dhabi's first Formula 1 Grand Prix will officially take over the track at the end of this week, its CEO confirmed. The move will mark the first in a series of handovers from developer Aldar to the organizers, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), Richard Cregan told Arabian Business.

"It's actually going to be handed over in the next couple of days," Cregan said. "The track will be handed over first and then all of the buildings will be handed over as they are commissioned. That's going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

"Now we know the track has been delivered, we need to work on the finer points and go around and check the detail and make sure that all of the safety features are according to the FIA schedule."

Comment
09/16/09
nnw

JR Motorsports hires Bires
Kelly Bires has signed a two-year deal to drive in the Nationwide Series for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports program.  Bires replaces Brad Keselowski, who will join Penske Racing's Sprint Cup program in 2010.

The 25-year-old Bires has made 66 Nationwide starts since 2006, with 11 Top 10 finishes, including a career-best fourth-place finish at Nashville in April while driving for Kevin Harvick Inc.

Earnhardt called Bires a "talented" driver and is eager to give the Wisconsin native an opportunity to showcase himself.

JR Motorsports fields both the No. 88 and the No. 5 car in the Nationwide Series. There has been no decision on which car Bires will drive next year.

Comment
09/16/09
f1

Singapore GP Renault talk exposes Piquet as wanker
British newspaper The Times has published the full transcript of the Renault F1 pit-to-car radio communication in the lead-up to and aftermath of Nelsinho Piquet’s controversial accident in last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. It makes for interesting reading...

Pat Symonds: “I can tell you now we are not three-stopping.”

Symonds: “Don’t worry about fuel, because I’m going to get him (Fernando Alonso) out of this traffic earlier than that.”

Piquet: “What lap are we in? What lap are we in?”

Renault engineer: “He just asked ‘what lap are we in?’”

Symonds: “Yeah, tell him that he’s about to complete lap eight.”

Symonds: “No, just tell him, he is about, he’s just completing, he’s about to complete lap eight.”

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09/16/09
f2

Soucek targets F2 title at Imola
Andy Soucek
Andy Soucek is just one race victory away from taking the inaugural FIA Formula Two Championship and the Spaniard is hoping to wrap things up in Imola this weekend (18/19/20 September).

As F2 arrives in Italy, Soucek holds a commanding 32 point advantage with just four races and 40 available points remaining in the 2009 season. The four-time race winner may not even need to stand on the top step of the rostrum to take the crown, but Soucek is determined to win the championship in style.

Mikhail Aleshin took his maiden victory last time out in Oschersleben and the Russian racer is now Soucek's main championship challenger. Aleshin is two points ahead of his Red Bull Junior Team colleague Robert Wickens, who in turn is two points in front of Julien Jousse in fourth place. Mirko Bortolotti and Tobias Hegewald are fifth and sixth respectively as just ten points separate the five drivers battling for second in the standings.

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09/16/09
gp2
f1

GP2 champion eyes 2010 move into F1
Nico Hulkenberg hopes GP2 title is his ticket into F1
(GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg, who at Monza last weekend secured the 2009 GP2 championship, expects the achievement to be his ticket onto the formula one grid.

"I hope and think so," the 22-year-old told Germany's Sport Bild.  "It looks good," he said in a separate interview with Auto Motor und Sport.

On paper, the German's chances do look good: he is Williams' test driver and the British team has an 'option' to put him in a race seat in 2010, and he is managed by arguably the most successful driver manager in F1 history, Willi Weber.

"We are negotiating with several teams," Weber told the German news agency DPA.  "Williams has an option."

Read more & Comment...
09/16/09
tv news

NASCAR at Richmond Earns 3.5 Rating on ABC
ESPN on ABC's telecast of Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway earned a final national household rating of 3.5, averaging 5,535,209 viewers while airing at the same time as a record-setting college football telecast on ESPN. The rating was up from the 3.0 rating for last year's rain-delayed race that aired on ESPN. Last year's Richmond race aired on ESPN after being rained out on Saturday night and run on Sunday afternoon. The race aired on ABC in 2007 and earned a 4.2 rating.

ESPN2's live telecast of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, up from the 1.0 rating earned last year when the race was run on Sunday after having been rained out on Friday night. The race earned a 1.4 rating in 2007 when it was run and telecast as scheduled. Friday night's telecast averaged 1,669,692 viewers  ESPN

Comment
09/16/09
f1

88% of F1 tickets for Singapore sold
The Singapore Formula One race is slightly more than a week away and while it was a sold-out inaugural race last year attracting some 100,000 spectators, that will not be repeated this year.

Organizers are only offering 83,000 seats this year, and as of today, 88 per cent of tickets have been sold.

With the poor economy, race organizers were already expecting slower ticket sales this year. Despite that, they managed to ramp up sales, which are picking up as the race approaches. Five categories, including the walkabout tickets, have been sold out.

Last year, the very last ticket was sold on race day on Saturday and organizers are hoping the same this year.

Comment
09/15/09
track news

NASCAR schedules two Milwaukee races
With the IRL turning their back on the Milwaukee Mile in 2010, it looks like the long history of open wheel racing in Milwaukee is over as NASCAR takes over completely.

The historic Milwaukee Mile, on the verge of losing all national-level racing because of continuing financial problems, is on the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series schedules announced Tuesday.

The track, a part of State Fair Park, technically does not have a promoter to put on motorsports events, only a promoter-designee. Historic Mile LLC has a letter of intent with State Fair Park that allows it to negotiate on behalf of the Mile and has until Sept. 29 to secure races and demonstrate that it can operate the business.

What conditions might need to be met between now and the June 18-19 NASCAR race weekend are unclear.

“All I can say is that our discussions with the promoter have gone very well and Milwaukee is currently on the 2010 schedule; like all other events on the schedule there is a sanction in place,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in an e-mail. JSOnline.com

Comment
09/15/09
nascar

NASCAR announces 2010 schedules
NASCAR's new Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck tour schedules for 2010 have been released, and the question now may be which events will Danica Patrick consider running.
  And there are a few changes.
  Among the highlights:
    -- The Cup tour will be basically the same as 2009; the Nationwide tour will return to Montreal in late August; and the Truck tour will drop California and add Pocono.
    --  Daytona pole runs will be Saturday Feb. 6, the same day as the Shootout.
    --  Dover's spring race will move to May 16, rather than after the Charlotte 600.
    -- Phoenix and Texas will swap spring dates, moving the Texas race from the first weekend in April to later in the month. 
    -- The Cup tour will have four off weekends, including Easter April 4. 

Read more & Comment...
09/15/09
automotive

Renault Unveils Four Electric Concept Cars
The four electric concept cars on show in Frankfurt provide a preview of Renault's range of vehicles due to be released from 2011. In line with the brand's Renault eco² environmental policy, Renault Z.E. electric vehicles are poised to be marketed on a large scale with a view to taking a decisive stand on the environmental front.

Comment
09/15/09
racing news

Todt reveals full presidential team
Jean Todt
With the role of FIA President set to change this year for the first time since 1993, Jean Todt faces rivalry from 1981 World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen. Upon revealing his team on Tuesday, the 63-year-old released the following statement:

'On Friday the FIA opened submissions for the FIA Presidential election and I am pleased to confirm that I have formally submitted my complete candidacy team.

In accordance with the statutory requirements of the FIA, the list includes a Deputy President and seven vice-presidents for Sport; a Deputy President and seven vice-presidents for Automobile, Mobility and Tourism; and a President and five members of the FIA Senate.

I am delighted to have the support of what I believe is a dynamic leadership team with outstanding experience and knowledge of all the issues central to motoring and motor sport today. It is also a team representative of the entire FIA with members from across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America.

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09/15/09
nascar

Tony Eury Sr. hospitalized
JR Motorsports crew chief Tony Eury Sr. is resting comfortably in a hospital after being involved in a two-car accident Sunday afternoon near China Grove, N.C., according to a news release issued by the team. Eury Sr., who is the crew chief for Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series, was treated overnight at Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast for minor injuries and is scheduled for release today, the statement said.

Comment
09/15/09
f1

Italian Grand Prix Debrief - Q&A with Jarno Trulli
Jarno Trulli
Did the Italian Grand Prix weekend go as expected for you?
In the end it was the kind of tough weekend we were expecting. We knew our car was not particularly suited to Monza so we didn't expect to repeat our form in Spa, when I was on the front row of the grid. Obviously it was disappointing not to score points because that was our target and if things had gone differently that was possible.

How was your qualifying lap?
I was really happy with my lap in second qualifying; it was very good. We knew it would be very difficult to make it into the top 10 and I was really, really close to doing that. The car felt pretty good and I preferred the medium compound tires over one lap. I did my fastest lap of all on those and then had a stint on the soft tires at the end of the session. It just wasn't possible to do the same lap time and we didn't quite have the speed to make it into the top 10, unfortunately.

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09/15/09
f1

Lotus involves Malaysian gov't and carmaker Proton UPDATE This Sun Daily article gives you more info on this new team.

09/15/09 (GMM)  The new 'Lotus F1' team, cleared by the FIA to make its debut in 2010, involves the Malaysian government and the country's national car maker, Proton.

Coinciding with the announcement on Tuesday, Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak posed for photographs in the government headquarters with figures for the project including those involved with the local airline AirAsia.

"We are also now evaluating the qualifications and suitability of six short-listed drivers both local and international, and we hope to officially introduce you to our two drivers by October 31," the prime minister told local media.

Read more & Comment...
09/15/09
f1

Smoke haze to be visible during Singapore GP
(GMM)  Darkness and floodlights will not be the only challenge faced by F1 drivers in Singapore next weekend.

Environment minister Yaacob Ibrahim admitted on Tuesday that the visible smoke haze in the city-state will inevitably be the subject of international media scrutiny when the formula one circus congregates for the formula one event.

He said the problem is caused by scrub fires and forest clearing in Indonesia, and said the Singapore government has offered to help Indonesia tackle it.

Comment
09/15/09
irl

Vitor Meira to test at Indy
Meira will return to the cockpit of the No. 14 ABC Supply car when the Foyt team tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway September 30th. The test will be Meira’s first time back behind the wheel of an Indy car since he broke his back when he and Raphael Matos crashed in the Indianapolis 500 in May. “We’re not going for any track records, I just want to give him some seat time so he can adjust to being back in a race car after being out for so long,” said Foyt. Foyt also indicated that Meira will not be competing in the final race of the season. Foyt said, “I don’t have the people to put together the proper effort for both Ryan and Vitor. When I made the deal with Ryan, I had told him he’d have a ride for the rest of the season because I didn’t really know if Vitor would be ready. And even though Vitor has been cleared to drive, the more I thought about it, I don’t think having his first race back being at Miami is the best thing for Vitor. There’s a lot of risk and not that much to be gained. We want to get a good start on 2010 with Vitor and do more testing over the winter so I think it’s in all of our interests to have him focus on next year.”  Foyt Racing

Comment
09/15/09
automotive

Porsche announces it is developing electric sports car
Speaking publicly for the first time at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Porsche’s new president and CEO, Michael Macht, revealed that Porsche is considering and working hard on an electric-powered sports car that would meet the high demands of the Porsche brand. 

“I am also convinced that one day Porsche will have an electric sports car in its line-up,” said Macht at the company’s press conference today.  While he cautioned that so far the available battery technology is not “sufficient to meet Porsche’s strict requirements,” he said “our engineers are already working hard on this challenge.” 

“An electric sports car would therefore only make sense for Porsche if it offers performance and a cruising range similar to that of current sports cars in the market,” he said. “We are therefore taking the first step in this direction with a full hybrid – in the Cayenne, the Panamera and maybe in the not too distant future also in a racing car or a production 911. Why not?” Macht pointed out that Porsche has a long legacy with hybrid technology as it was exactly 109 years ago that Professor Ferdinand Porsche built the first fully functioning car with hybrid technology.

[Editor's Note:  You see it in the newspapers regularly now, and it is as we predicted - new electric cars are being announced weekly to replace pollution causing fossil fuel cars, and nuclear power plants are gaining a wider acceptance, to replace pollution causing fossil fuel power plants.

Comment
09/15/09
f1

BMW Sauber F1 Team statement on today's FIA press release
"We are pleased to confirm that the FIA has indicated that we may have a place in the 2010 Formula One World Championship. The team expects to line up on the grid for the first race of the 2010 season.”

BMW AG, based in Munich, Germany, is pleased to announce today that Qadbak Investments Ltd, a Swiss-based foundation which represents the interests of certain Middle East and European based families, has agreed to purchase the BMW Sauber F1 Team, based in Hinwil, Switzerland. The contract was signed today (Tuesday).

Comment
09/15/09
f1

Latest F1 news in brief

Briatore's head on the block in 'crash-gate'

Button in complex talks over future with Brawn

Another false start: 2010 Canada GP still not on

Stewart says no to FIA presidency bid

Vatanen not allowed on grid at Monza

Head says Cosworth an 'option' for Williams

Briatore's head on the block in 'crash-gate'
(GMM)  The French carmaker Renault has reportedly offered to replace the boss of its formula one team, Flavio Briatore.

The offer, made to the sport's governing body ahead of the 21 September hearing into the 'crash-gate' affair, was interpreted by the Spanish newspaper AS as being a move to appease the World Motor Sport Council.

Evidence about the case that has leaked to the press does not bode well for Renault, whose bosses Briatore and Pat Symonds are accused by sacked driver Nelson Piquet of ordering him to crash deliberately in Singapore a year ago.

Diario AS said Renault has offered to oust Briatore in favor of Frederic Vasseur, a boss of the GP2 team ART.  Fascinatingly, Vasseur is in business with Nicolas Todt, the son of the FIA presidential candidate Jean.

Another rumored potential replacement for Briatore is Alain Prost, and the four time world champion said at Monza: "I only know that there is a rumor, we'll see what happens."

There are other strong signs that Briatore is set to bear the brunt of the blame for the alleged order to crash.

Britain's Times newspaper reveals that, like Piquet Jr, the team's engineering director Pat Symonds has also been offered immunity if he cooperates fully with the FIA.

Symonds hinted strongly in his recent interview with FIA stewards and Quest investigators that he knows much more about the affair.  He told them at the time that he did not want to answer incriminating questions because he preferred to "reserve" his position.

One assumption would be that Symonds is prepared to talk only under the cover of immunity.

The newspaper also said the investigators believe Piquet's claims are "reasonable, on balance".  And Max Mosley told the Guardian: "Certainly the data from the car indicated that something very unusual had happened on the corner where he crashed."

The FIA president also agreed that "it would" be very unusual if Piquet and his famous father are risking jail sentences by criminally perjuring themselves about the events at F1's inaugural night race.

Transcripts of Renault's radio traffic in Singapore has also come to light, depicting Briatore reacting stridently to the news that Piquet, 23, had crashed.

"Fu**ing hell ... my every fu**ing disgrace, fu**ing, he's not a driver," the Italian said.

Read more & Comment...
09/15/09
f1

Lotus, not Sauber, wins final spot on 2010 grid
(GMM)  The garage currently occupied by BMW-Sauber will be replaced by a Malaysia-owned 'Lotus F1 Team' in 2010, formula one's governing FIA announced on Tuesday morning.

But the Paris federation also gave hope to the Hinwil based team, who had also applied for the thirteenth and final 2010 entry in the wake of BMW's decision to quit the sport.

The FIA described Sauber's application as "impressive", but said Lotus had been selected for the definite 2010 entry because "there are still uncertainties" about the former team's future ownership.

Listen as Mike Gascoyne outlines plans for Lotus return

Sauber has instead been awarded the "14th place" in the 2010 pitlane, even though at present the sporting regulations and Concorde Agreement allow a maximum of 13 teams.

But the 14th place entitles Sauber "to fill any vacancy that arises on the 2010 grid", and in the meantime the FIA will "urgently" commence talks with F1's existing teams about expanding the grid to 28 cars in time for next season.

Regarding Lotus, the FIA said a company called 1Malaysia F1 Team has won the 13th entry for a Norfolk (UK)-based and Cosworth-powered team to be headed by Tony Fernandes and technical director Mike Gascoyne.

Fernandes is currently chief executive of the Malaysian airline AirAsia, a sponsor of the Williams team.  The FIA said that in future, Lotus F1 will be based at Sepang.

Comment
09/14/09
f1

Pat Symonds offered immunity in drive to uncover events before ‘crash
The decision by the FIA to offer Pat Symonds, the director of engineering at the Renault Formula One team, immunity from punishment in the “Crashgate” scandal follows two interviews of him by stewards at the Belgian Grand Prix last month in which Symonds refused to comment on or deny claims made against him.

However, he did admit, in an important answer, that the subject of causing a deliberate crash in the Singapore Grand Prix last year had been raised in a meeting with Nelson Piquet Jr, the former Renault driver. “Nelson had spoken to me the day before and suggested that,” he told the stewards. “That’s all I’d really like to say.”

Symonds refused to discuss Piquet’s claims that he had told the Brazilian on what lap and at what point on the circuit to crash and nor would he go into further detail about what might have been said during a tactical meeting with Piquet just before the race, which was also attended by Flavio Briatore, the Renault team principal.

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09/14/09
alms

Risi shines brightest on sports cars biggest stages
Risi's Rick Mayer (left): "With this same core group of drivers, they’ve all won these long races and they know what it’s like to keep your pace and really watch their mirrors."
It takes a special kind of team to even win one of the world’s great endurance classics – the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. To win four in succession is about as tough and as rare as it gets. Risi Competizione enters the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 with eyes toward a mind-blowing fifth consecutive endurance victory.

Jaime Melo, Pierre Kaffer and Mika Salo already have won at Sebring and Le Mans this season in Risi’s Ferrari F430 GT. Melo and Salo are the defending GT2 winners at Road Atlanta, and they won at Sebring and Le Mans in 2008 with Gianmaria Bruni.

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09/14/09
alms

First look at Drayson Lola Judd LMP1
The sports car world is taking in the first looks at Drayson Racing’s brand new Lola B09/60-Judd prototype that will make its debut at the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. The eye-popping, British green coupe turned its first laps last week at Silverstone.

Team owner Paul Drayson, the UK’s Minister of Science and Innovation, will drive in the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic with Jonny Cocker and Rob Bell on Saturday, September 26 at Road Atlanta.

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09/14/09
nnw

Rusty Wallace Racing makes crew chief changes
Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced today that effective immediately, the team's Director of Competition, Wes Ward and Lead Engineer, Dale Ferguson, will assume interim co-crew chief duties for RWR's No. 62 entry and driver, Brendan Gaughan.  They replace Brian Berry at the helm of the No. 62 team.

Stated team owner, Rusty Wallace, "This was a hard decision for us to make.  Brian (Berry)'s a good person and a good crew chief.  There are just times when the communication between a driver and crew chief doesn't work out quite right and this was one of them.  We're in a performance-based business and we owe it to our sponsors and our team to do everything we can to improve our level of performance.  I'm confident that Wes (Ward) and Dale (Ferguson) will do a great job while we evaluate our options going forward."

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09/14/09
irl

Conquest Racing Goes Mobile with QMobile
Conquest Racing fans can now get the latest information on their favorite team and driver at the tip of their fingers. Conquest Racing along with mobile developers JMango announced today the launch of the QMobile by JMango Conquest Racing mobile phone application.

With its focus on bringing fans closer than ever to the team and the on track action, the application features the latest Conquest news, information on the team, its members and driver, photo galleries and results.

“We’re thrilled to be entering the ‘mobile’ world,” said Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart. “With the technology offered by cell phones today, this is definitely the way of the future. It’s an innovative and fun way to bring us closer to the fans and a great means for them to follow us wherever they may be. I encourage all our fans to download the application, as I’m sure they’ll enjoy it.

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09/14/09
nassprint

Tryson moves to MWR
Kurt Busch crew chief Pat Tryson will leave Penske Racing to become crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. at Michael Waltrip Racing next year, MWR officials announced today in a news release.

Tryson earned his fifth Chase berth as a crew chief on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway and will join MWR upon the conclusion of the season.

“Michael Waltrip Racing has really come onto the scene this year and the progress they have made over a very short time is impressive,” Tryson said. “I believe that I can contribute. MWR is doing everything they can to get the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota back into victory lane and that’s what my focus will be. Martin is a talented driver and we’ll be doing everything we can to make that happen.”

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09/14/09
imsa

IMSA Announces Continued Partnership with West Race Cars
The International Motorsports Association (IMSA), Elan Motorsports Technologies (EMT) and West Race Cars (West) have officially agreed to a three-year partnership in the IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire series, with West continuing as the exclusive manufacturer for the Lites Two (L2) class through 2012.

IMSA and West have reached an agreement to extend West’s participation in the IMSA Lites series, putting special emphasis on the growth and expansion of the L2 class. The West WR1000 has been the exclusive car in the L2 class since 2006, with the new WX10 being introduced for the 2010 season.

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09/14/09
irl

IRL to offer free streaming of Motegi
IndyCar Series fans unable to attend the Indy Japan 300 can still watch all the on-track activity from  Twin Ring Motegi via live streaming on the internet. Every practice sessions, PEAK Performance Pole qualifying and the Indy Japan 300 will be available for free on the Indy Racing League's official website, www.indycar.com.

Race day activities will be available via IndyCar Race Control presented by iRacing.com, which immerses the viewer in the on-track action with in-car camera views, real-time telemetry, Timing & Scoring and more. Again, it's free but fans must sign up at http://indycarnation.indycar.com/racecontrol/ .

Fans located in countries around the world that do not receive IndyCar Series event telecasts will be able to purchase a full television broadcast of IndyCar Series races on indycar.com for $3.99.

The IndyCar Series broadcast rights-holder partners, working together with the IndyCar Series, are making the telecasts available online, direct to fans in countries where no one has the rights to telecast the IndyCar Series on broadcast, cable or pay TV.

In countries where the rights are contracted to a broadcast or cable partner, the pay-per-view online product is not available, however, fans will still be able to watch IndyCar Race Control for free.

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09/14/09
track news

Giuffre brothers show interest in Milwaukee Mile
With time running out for Historic Mile LLC to reach agreement with the State Fair Park Board to promote auto racing at the Milwaukee Mile, an unsuccessful suitor said he would like the chance.

Frank Giuffre, who with his brother, Dominic, ran the track from 1983-'91, said Friday that his group is ready, willing and able to take over. As proof, he released letters from TCF Bank and Tri City National Bank that express support for setting up a $10 million credit facility in support of auto racing at the track.

"I want to talk to the State Fair," Giuffre said. "But there has to be a process."

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09/14/09
irl

IndyCar Series spans globe for Japan race
By land, sea and air, the IndyCar Series is en route to Japan for the Sept. 19 Indy Japan 300.

The 13,000-mile round-trip adventure has been a topic on Bill van de Sandt's day planner since he joined the Indy Racing League as director of operations in January.

In sync has been Firestone Racing, which began the multi-point preparations for manufacturing and transport of Firestone Firehawks and support equipment for the 23-car entrant list to Twin Ring Motegi more than five months ago.

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09/14/09
irl

IndyCar Championship race heads to Far East
Note to IndyCar Series championship contenders Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti: It's beneficial to start up front. Though all three are aware of that fact, they haven't been too successful in accomplishing a strong starting spot at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval.

Team Penske's Briscoe, who takes a 25-point lead over Franchitti into the Indy Japan 300 on Sept. 19, has started 15th and 13th in his races on the mountaintop track, with a high finish of ninth (2008). In his 2007 series championship-winning season, Franchitti started seventh and finish third. Those were highs among his four races.

Dixon, who trails Briscoe by 33 points, started from the pole in the inaugural IndyCar Series race in 2003 (his first championship season), but finished 15th. Last year, in his second title season, Dixon started second and finished third. In between were highs of second (start in 2006) and fourth (finish in 2007).

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09/14/09
nassprint

Petty Says RPM, Yates Racing Deal A Buyout Not merger
The deal that brought together Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing for next season is more of a buyout than a merger, minority owner Richard Petty said on Friday.

"We're basically taking over their deal," the seven-time Sprint Cup champion said before qualifying at Richmond International Raceway. "As far as I know all of that whole operation will be Richard Petty Motorsports."

Petty said George Gillett Jr., who declined to comment earlier Friday, would remain the controlling owner. He said Robbie Loomis, the executive director of race operations at RPM, will continue to run day to day operations.

Read more & Comment...
09/14/09
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
The Chase is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from New Hampshire on ABC

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 300 laps on Sunday, Sept. 20, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by Degree V12 at 1 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag is at 2:15 p.m.

ESPN’s coverage of the final 11 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ESPN’s coverage from New Hampshire includes NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m., and a same-day telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice on Saturday at 6:45 p.m., both on ESPN2.

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09/14/09
irl

Inside Track: Indy Japan 300


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09/14/09
irl

2010 Indianapolis 500 tickets on sale now
Tickets for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, scheduled for Sunday, May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now.

Fans have three methods to purchase tickets, as Race Day ticket prices start at just $20:

.Online: Visit the Tickets section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

.Phone: Call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.

.In person: Visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street.

Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Read more & Comment...
09/14/09
f1

Canada resolves dispute with Ecclestone
Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc. today announced that the commercial dispute between it and Formula One Administration (FOA), which had been ongoing since last fall and led to the cancellation of the 2009 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix, has now been settled.

Normand Legault, President and CEO of Grand Prix F1 du Canada Inc., said: "I am very happy, and fully satisfied, with this outcome. I have always been confident of being able to resolve the dispute, given the in-depth understanding I have had to develop of the Formula One racing situation in Canada. And I am especially pleased that an announcement is forthcoming to the effect that the Canadian Grand Prix will be back on the FIA calendar as of 2010. I never doubted that the Canadian race would regain its rightful place on the FIA schedule, and my discussions with F1 management led me to believe that the event would return soon. The race is important not only for Formula One, but also for the teams, manufacturers and sponsors. I am also happy for the Canadian Grand Prix's many fans, because they are true F1 enthusiasts who appreciate the real value of the spectacle and the competition."

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09/14/09
f1

Barrichello not guaranteed future at Brawn
(GMM)  Even two wins in three races has not been enough for Rubens Barrichello to secure a definite future at the Brawn team.

The British team makes no secret of wanting to keep championship leader Jenson Button on board for 2010, but as for the longest-serving driver in F1 history, chief executive Nick Fry answered at Monza: "We'll see.

"We're very much concentrating on each race now and they are both doing a brilliant job.  Let's leave it at that for the moment," he added.

However, team boss Ross Brawn has suggested previously that Button alongside Barrichello, who is 37, is a lineup that would serve the Brackley squad well beyond November's Abu Dhabi finale.

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09/14/09
f1

Santander extends McLaren deal
Banco Santander extends its Corporate Partnership with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team, with the high profile Santander branding present on all four of the team’s drivers. Since the start of our winning relationship in 2007, Santander has seen its brand awareness rise in the UK from 20% to 82%, supported by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and its drivers, including reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton. This increase has coincided with the Santander Group’s move to bring together Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley to operate under the single Santander brand.

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, said: “We are extremely pleased to have extended our hugely successful global Partnership with Santander. As one of the world’s leading banks, with a significant presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and the United States and other countries, Santander is a great ‘fit’ with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and our triumphs on the global stage of Formula 1. “The year 2009 marks Santander’s third season of association with our sport, and during this time they have successfully title-sponsored three of the most prestigious and historic races: the British, German and Italian Grands Prix. We are very proud of our relationship with Santander and to be part of their ever-expanding Formula 1 involvement. We welcome, and wish them well with, their other activities - including, but not limited to, the afore-mentioned race sponsorships.”

Comment
09/14/09
f1

Alonso knew about Singapore crash - Piquet Snr
(GMM)  For the first time, Fernando Alonso has been implicated as being part of the Nelson Piquet 'crash-gate' scandal.

Piquet's famous father and namesake is quoted by the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport as suggesting the Spanish racer "knew everything" about the deliberate crash in Singapore last year.

The crash triggered the safety car and activated Alonso's unusual low-fuel strategy.  The 27-year-old went on to win the race but at Monza last weekend he denied he knew about the allegations until news of the scandal broke.

FIA president Max Mosley also said at Monza that there is no information that Alonso knew about the deliberate crash.

Read more & Comment...
09/14/09
f1

No KERS for Renault for next two races
(GMM)  Renault will not use KERS at the next two formula one races, Spanish race driver Fernando Alonso revealed after the Italian grand prix.

The 27-year-old admitted he had been disappointed with the performance of the energy recovery system at Monza, where Renault had expected it to be useful on the long straights of the Italian circuit.

Before Monza, Renault had long ago abandoned KERS in 2009, and it appears that the boost button will again be missing from the R29 at least at the forthcoming Singapore and Suzuka rounds.

"We are not going to have it (KERS) in Singapore and Suzuka, because they are circuits with a lot of corners, especially Singapore," Alonso is quoted as saying by the AS newspaper in Spain.

He confirmed that Interlagos, the penultimate race of the season in Brazil before the finale in Abu Dhabi, is the next circuit on which Renault could theoretically decide to use KERS.

Comment
09/14/09
f1

Force India to keep same drivers in 2010
(GMM)  Vijay Mallya insists there is no reason for Force India to reconsider its current driver line-up ahead of the 2010 season.

The Silverstone based team headed into the Italian GP with former test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi as German regular Adrian Sutil's new teammate.

They are enjoying a run of form with the heavily improved VJM02 car, and team co-owner and boss Mallya admitted that the boost in competitiveness has sparked plenty of interest from other drivers.

He is quoted by Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell as revealing that "at least ten drivers" approached him based on the team's form at Spa and Monza, and some of them were "very famous F1 drivers", without mentioning any names.

Read more & Comment...
09/14/09
f1

Hamilton's ex-girlfriend pulls out of 'F1 Rocks' UPDATE (GMM)  After Sunday's Italian grand prix, Lewis Hamilton denied reports he has split with his pop-star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.

It was reported earlier that day that the 31-year-old American and Pussycat Dolls singer pulled out of the forthcoming 'F1 Rocks' music concert at the Singapore GP because her British boyfriend had broken up their relationship.

"That's bullsh*t," 24-year-old Hamilton said before leaving the Monza circuit.  "We are still together."

09/13/09 (GMM)  Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger has reportedly pulled out of a formula one music concert at the Singapore grand prix in two weeks because she has broken up with world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper said the 31-year-old American had been due to act as host for the new-concept 'F1 Rocks' event by introducing acts including Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas.

But a source told the tabloid that Hamilton has ended the relationship due to the pressure on him to get married.

"The last thing Nicole wanted to be doing is anything to do with formula one now -- so she immediately pulled out of F1 Rocks," the source said.

Comment
09/14/09
score

Robby Gordon wins off-road race at Primm
Robby Gordon competed in the fourth of five SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series races, the Primm 300 in Nevada on Saturday, Sept 12th and after finishing 2nd, was declared the winner after a complete data tracking review, finishing at 4 hours, 49 minutes, 18 seconds, just ahead of Rob MacCachren, 4:50:20. More at race-dezert.com

Comment
09/14/09
nassprint

New Ford engine debut at Charlotte
Ford plans to debut its new engine next month at Charlotte. It will be used by at least one Ford team not in the Chase. Whether all the Ford teams will be using the new engine at the start of next season, though, is a question. "This is more a team decision than a manufacturer's because the budgets are in their hands on how they do it,'' said Brian Wolfe, Ford Director of North American Motorsports. "We always kid internally that the biggest problem the new engine has is the old engine is so good.'' Roanoke Times

Comment
09/14/09
f1

Mateschitz criticizes Renault, writes off 2009 title
Dietrich Mateschitz
(GMM)  Dietrich Mateschitz has contradicted Red Bull Racing's boss and drivers by admitting that the team's 2009 world champion challenge is now over.

With a poor race at Monza on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel dropped to 26 points behind drivers' leader Jenson Button, while Red Bull now trails Brawn by more than 40 points with just 4 races to run.

Asked by the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten if Red Bull's challenge is over, the team owner Mateschitz answered: "Actually it was (over) even before Monza.

"It's because our engine is inferior and the fact the rules limit each driver to eight engines for the year."

Read more & Comment...
09/14/09
track news

IMS available now at iRacing.com
An exact digital version of the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway is available now to members of iRacing.com's virtual racing service on the personal computer.

iRacing's millimeter-accurate reproduction of The Brickyard is priced for iRacing members at $25. The track package includes the 2.5-mile, four-cornered oval that first opened for racing 100 years ago and is the venue every Memorial Day weekend for the Indianapolis 500 and since 1994 is host to the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in July. Also included is the 2.534-mile road circuit originally built to accommodate the United States Grand Prix Formula One race and the 2.621-mile layout that each August welcomes the Red Bull Indianapolis GP round of the MotoGP motorcycle world championship.

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