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DATE News (chronologically)
09/20/10
Automotive

Video: Fiat: “Don’t Touch My Car"
Share the road? Get real. Never underestimate the spiteful pride residing within a Fiat owner’s heart.



Comment
09/20/10
TV News

Video: Suzuki: “Walkin’ the Dog"
You want to go for a ride, but the missus wants you to take Fluffy for a walk. We’re sure you can compromise. Suzuki proposes a solution with the GSXR-1000.



Comment
09/20/10
f1

Video: “Ferrari Fuel for the Road"
A classic 60-year synoptic round-the-world tour of Shell and Ferrari’s racing relationship. Pure moto-porn.



Comment
09/20/10
nassprint

SPEED Quotes: Larry McReynolds on Wind Tunnel
Larry McReynolds, former crew chief and current NASCAR analyst for SPEED and FOX Sports, was a guest on Sunday’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.  Among issues discussed were McReynolds’ pick for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Jimmie Johnson’s championship potential, whether Tony Stewart can bounce back from Sunday’s disappointing finish and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s recent performance.  Following are excerpts from the interview:

On whether the Chase contenders’ aggression level Sunday at Loudon was good strategy:
McReynolds: “I think in particular, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who had good race cars all weekend long but just didn’t have a good qualifying lap, wanted to get up through there as quickly as they possibly could.  I think this is going to be the nature of this Chase throughout the entire 10 races.  These guys know the competition is so tight right now that you’re not going to be able to sit back there and cruise eighth through 12th and win this championship."

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
automotive

GM recalling 20,000 Cadillac CTS, CTS-V models
General Motors Co. is recalling more than 20,000 2009-2010 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V models to replace the glove box to reduce the risk of leg injuries in crashes.

In April, a contractor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a frontal-crash test on a 2010 Cadillac CTS. The passenger crash test dummy showed a higher than acceptable leg injury reading when the dummy hit the glove box door.

NHTSA's contractor conducted a retest on Aug. 25 and found an even higher reading, prompting the recall.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
irl

Franchitti claims A.J. Foyt Oval Championship Trophy
A motorsports history aficionado, Dario Franchitti has a special interest in fellow Scot Jim Clark.

While visiting the Formula One race in Monza, Italy, earlier this month, Franchitti purchased some unpublished photographs of 1965 Indianapolis 500 winner Clark to supplement his collection. This week, he'll have a rare - and unquestionably special - occasion to drive the '500'-winning Lotus on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of a Road & Track magazine series focusing on the 100th anniversary of the race.

"I never thought I'd get to drive that car," two-time Indy 500 winner Franchitti said. "I got to stand next to it one day, and that was pretty intense, so being able to drive it will be very special, particularly at the Speedway."

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
irl

Two contenders take championship battle to season finale
Dario Franchitti and Will Power to square off in Miami
Quick mental calculations following the Indy Japan 300 on Sept. 19 made Will Power briefly grimace.

Sure he was pleased with the third-place finish - his highest on an oval in a 38-race IZOD IndyCar Series career - that retarded further erosion of his championship lead over Dario Franchitti heading into the season finale. But couldn't the margin for a season-long success story (five victories and eight pole starts) be just a little more comfortable?

"Of course it couldn't be 14 or it couldn't be 13, it has to be 12, which means if Dario wins the pole and leads the most laps he wins the title without winning the race," Power said. "I just have to finish ahead of Dario."

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09/20/10
f1

No Friday Singapore running for di Resta
Force India F1 Team’s test and reserve driver Paul di Resta will have to sit out practice at the Singapore Grand Prix this week, it has been confirmed, as the team has some new parts it wants to evaluate ahead of the fifteenth round in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

di Resta, who is also competing in the DTM this season, has taken part in first practice on a Friday eight times so far this year, his last run coming two weeks ago at the Italian Grand Prix.

“Unfortunately I won't be out in Singapore as it's such a crucial race for the team, with so much to play for in the championship and a few new parts on the car,” explained the Brit.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
racing news

Just Marketing Exec hit with nasty lawsuit
Jane Kaupp says in a $5 million Manhattan Supreme Court suit that John Church repeatedly threatened to kill her, her husband and kids and sink her career with the publishing giant once she cut him off in June.

The 40-year-old blond beauty's suit says only that she started a "personal relationship" with the Indiana motorsports marketing big wheel in January 2008.

Church didn't take the end of the relationship well, the suit says, reacting with "Fatal Attraction"-type stalker tactics that included trying to contact Kaupp's parents, husband and baby-sitter in a twisted attempt to stay in her life.

On Aug. 19, the suit says, he "abusively and excessively" texted, emailed and phoned her about 110 times before noon. He then called and hung up 29 times that same day. The threats have made Kaupp's husband and kids "fear for their safety."

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
f1
gp3

Sauber hires GP3 champ Gutierrez
Mexican Esteban Gutierrez and Peter Sauber
Sauber Motorsport has signed up the 19-year-old Mexican Esteban Gutierrez as its Formula One test and reserve driver for 2011. Gutierrez has already worked with the team during the 2010 season as an affiliated driver. In November he will be in the cockpit of the C29 for the test drives following the season final in Abu Dhabi. He gleaned his first Formula One experience behind the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.09 at the Young Driver Days in Jerez in December 2009.

Gutierrez took a comfortable victory in the 2010 GP3 Championship, in which he was racing for ART. He notched up three pole positions, was on the podium a total of nine times and won five of the 16 races.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
superleague

Vervisch bags $110K as title race takes another twist
In just his second Superleague Formula by Sonangol race weekend, Frederic Vervisch (Liverpool) claimed the $110,000 prize for winning the dash-for-cash Super Final after a superb standing-start and then a brilliant defensive display to hold off the charging John Martin (Beijing Guoan) and Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht).

Starting from fourth on the grid, the young Belgium made an incredible getaway to dive into the lead at turn 1 as pole man Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) made a slow start and was then touched into a spin by Tristan Gommendy (Olympique Lyonnais) which ended both drivers’ races.

For the remainder of the five-lap event, Vervisch, who, unlike his two adversaries was on old tires, fought desperately to hold off the Beijing and RSC Anderlecht drivers, using his superior pace out of the last corner to stay out of their reach on the start/finish straight, before they closed up to his tail again in the twisty sections of the circuit. He crossed the line with an advantage of just 0.471 seconds at the checkered flag for a memorable win.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
irl

30% fee increase killed IndyCar race
The loss of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Watkins Glen International raises many questions. Chief among them: Why did it happen?

Also, where does the Glen go from here with open-wheel racing, whose roots were so firmly planted there from the track's start in the late 1950s?

On Sunday, WGI President Michael Printup candidly weighed in on how, after a six-year run, the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States left the Schuyler County facility and what might lie ahead.

"It's just very disappointing these cars aren't going to be racing here next year," said Printup, who took over for Craig Rust as track president a month before the 2009 IndyCar race. "Craig put about $3.5 million in capital improvements just to get the race to come here."

Read more & Comment...

09/20/10
TV News

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
The Chase Is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Dover

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship continues Sunday, Sept. 26, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 400 miles at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and ESPN will have a live telecast presented by Burger King. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at noon ET on ESPN2 with the race telecast on ESPN at 1 p.m. The race’s green flag is at 1:15 p.m. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m.

ESPN2’s season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series continues at Dover with a telecast of Saturday’s 200-mile race presented by CiCi’s Pizza. NASCAR Countdown airs at 3 p.m. with the race telecast at 3:30 p.m. The green flag flies at 3:45 p.m. Also from Dover, ESPN televises NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at 10:30 a.m. on race day and final practice at 1 p.m. on Friday.

Read more & Comment...
09/20/10
Racing News

Video: Megane Trophy Silverstone - Caroline Grifnee Flips
A fan captured this video and added his own commentary.



Comment
09/20/10
WSR

Video: Massive Start Crash - Daniel Ricciardo flips
The start of the Formula Renault 3.5 race at Silverstone saw this unbelievable accident at the start. Polesitter Jon Lancaster gets it all wrong and loses control. He hits championship leader Daniel Ricciardo who flipped over.  TV Commentary is in German.



Comment
09/20/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Grosjean hoping for full-time Pirelli test role
  • Virgin to 'evaluate' d'Ambrosio in Friday practice
  • Alonso not criticizing Sauber for de la Rosa exit
  • Five title contenders with five races to run
  • Raikkonen's Renault interest 'flattering' - Boullier
  • Newey's latest creation smashes Suzuka F1 record
  • FIA team selection process 'too slow' for Stefan GP
  • HRT to survive debut season insists boss Kolles
  • Di Resta has 'good chance' of F1 seat - Haug
  • Todt discusses F1 with Bolivian president

Grosjean hoping for full-time Pirelli test role
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean has admitted he is hoping to be appointed the full-time replacement for departed Pirelli tire tester Nick Heidfeld.

Heidfeld left the role after his third Pirelli tire test at Jerez late last week because he is returning to the formula one grid with Sauber.

Former Renault racer and GP2 driver Grosjean, 24, will replace the Sauber-bound German when F1's incoming official tire supplier moves its 2011 program to the Monza circuit this week.

But it has not been confirmed that the Swiss-born Frenchman will be staying in the role beyond his Italian outing.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
nhra

Dixon Takes 11th Top Fuel Win, Pedregon Dominates Funny Car
Larry Dixon stormed to his 11th victory of the season in the Top Fuel final, while Cruz Pedregon was dominant all weekend in earning his first Funny Car win of the 2010 campaign as Toyota drivers swept the Nitro classes in Sunday’s NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series’ O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.

Dixon’s win is his third consecutive and second in a row in the opening two rounds of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.  It also extends his championship lead to 85 points with four races remaining.  The two-time Top Fuel champion traveled a difficult path to victory, defeating the current second, third and fourth-place drivers in the title race in Cory McClenathan, Tony Schumacher and Doug Kalitta.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
irl

Moraes released from hospital
Mario Moraes was released from a Japan hospital Sunday following a frightening crash into the Turn 2 wall in the Izod IndyCar Series race at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.  Tests showed no injuries.

Comment
09/19/10
dtm

Di Resta and Spengler score a 1-2 for Mercedes-Benz
Paul di Resta
Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) celebrated his second win in a row in the eighth DTM season round at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. After 50 laps at the 3.696 kilometers long track in the region around Magdeburg, he crossed the finish line in first place with his AMG Mercedes C-Class. Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) completed the 1-2 for the manufacturer from Stuttgart. Mattias Ekström (Audi) secured the final podium slot at Oschersleben by finishing third. In fourth place, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) only just missed out on a podium finish. The best-placed driver of a 2008-spec car was Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who ended up fifth ahead of his fellow Audi driver Alexandre Prémat. Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) and Martin Tomczyk (Audi) also scored points in seventh and eighth place respectively.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
motogp

Colin Edwards signs 2011 Monster Yamaha Tech3 contract
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team is delighted to announce that Colin Edwards has signed a new one-year contract to ride for the French-based squad in the 2011 MotoGP world championship.

Next year's Monster Yamaha Tech3 line-up will feature a blend of vast experience and young potential with Edwards partnering highly-rated British rider Cal Crutchlow.

The 36-year-old has raced for Herve Poncharal's Tech3 squad since 2008 and during that period the popular American has produced his best form in the MotoGP class. He finished top non-factory rider last season by finishing fifth in the overall stangings and is currently 11th in the 2010 rankings with a best result of seventh position in Laguna Seca, Brno and Misano.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
f1

Kimi's return: When in doubt follow the money
Renault's F1 chairman Gerard Lopez says the team will have to weigh up the cost before reaching a decision on whether to sign former Champ Kimi Raikkonen.

Earlier this week, the news broke that Raikkonen, who left F1 at the end of 2009 in favor of joining the World Rally Championship, had approached Renault enquiring about a 2011 race-seat.

Renault, though, do not have the financial clout to offer Raikkonen a contract in line with what he was earning during his days with Ferrari.

Added to that, the team in fact signed a paying driver this season in Vitaly Petrov, who brought in much-needed funds through his Russian backers.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
motogp

Stoner breaks winless streak
Casey Stoner took his first victory of the 2010 campaign at Arag¢n on Sunday, converting his pole position at the Spanish circuit into a well-deserved win. The Ducati Team rider finished 5.148s ahead of Dani Pedrosa, with Nicky Hayden completing the podium for his first top-three result of the year after a magnificent last-lap overtake on Jorge Lorenzo.

Starting from pole Stoner held his position going into the first turn, but usual rapid starter Pedrosa dropped to fifth as the riders bunched up in the tight opening curve. The Repsol Honda rider fought back in the early stages of the race however to climb to second behind Stoner, and the gap between the two fluctuated throughout.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
f2

Kazim Vasiliauskas wins Valencia F2 season finale
Lithuania's Kazim Vasiliauskas signed off his 2010 season in style by clinching a lights-to-flag victory in the F2 final round at Valencia today.

Mechanics worked through the night to repair Vasiliauskas' car for today's encounter, after it was heavily damaged following a race one collision with Kelvin Snoeks. The Lithuanian driver repaid the team's hard work by securing pole position for the season finale, which he converted into an untroubled race win to end his 2010 campaign on a high.

Behind Vasiliauskas, Jack Clarke maintained his front row grid position to secure a well-deserved second place - equaling his best F2 result to date - whilst newly-crowned champion Dean Stoneman made up two places from his sixth place starting position on the opening lap, before battling his way past Ivan Samarin to clinch his 13th podium of the season.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
f2

Vasiliauskas seals final F2 pole of 2010
Kazim Vasiliauskas bounced back from a dramatic barrel roll crash in race one to claim his second pole position in the final qualifying F2 session of the year in Valencia today (Sunday).

The Lithuanian driver set his quickest time in the second half of the session on fresh rubber, beating Briton Jack Clarke and India's Armaan Ebrahim - who set identical times around the 4km Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

The possibility of rain in the second half of the session meant there were divided strategies during the 30 minutes, with newly-crowned champion Dean Stoneman and vice-champion Jolyon Palmer opting to complete their qualifying effort on new tires earlier than the rest of the field.

Read more & Comment...
09/19/10
nassprint

Mears plans full run in 2011
Casey Mears says he's locked in with Germain Racing for next season. GEICO Insurance will sponsor the #13 Toyota for 18 races in 2011, but the team is currently searching for additional sponsorship. "We're going to run all the races," Mears said. "Honestly, I've been impressed with crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker and the guys. They build fast race cars." FoxSports

Comment
09/19/10
irl

AJ Foyt V arrives
Former IndyCar driver AJ Foyt the 4th and his wife Kasey are celebrating the birth of their first son, aptly named AJ Foyt V. 

Comment
09/19/10
nassprint

Gordon comments on sponsorship issues
Jeff Gordon, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed sponsorships on Friday:

Q) HAS THE SPONSORSHIP THING BEEN DISCOURAGING FOR YOU WITH NOT HAVING DUPONT THE WHOLE SEASON AND THE WALMART THING, ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT A DRIVER OF YOUR CALIBER IS EVEN IN THIS POSITION?

Gordon: "I'll be honest, as a driver, it's not something that I put a lot of thought into. I mean, I certainly would like to see us with a sponsor that could be really good for our organization. Good for the sport and good marketing and wants to be a part of our program and get behind it. Right now, my focus is on driving and trying to go out there and be as good as we can be in the Chase. That is pretty much the message that has been sent to me through Rick (Hendrick) is don't worry about it. We have got a lot of people working hard on it and it'll come together. The Walmart thing was a little disappointing because I feel like everybody was wanting to see that company in this sport for a long time and we would have loved to have represented them. But, I'm so excited to be involved with DuPont and Pepsi and sponsors that we have had for a number of years. I think we still have some things that are going to come together." Team Chevy transcript

Comment
09/18/10
nassprint

Stewart comments on sponsorship issues
Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed sponsorships on Friday:

Q) IN YOUR SEARCH FOR SPONSORSHIP, HAVE YOU BEEN FORCED TO TRY NEW APPROACHES OR APPROACH DIFFERENT KINDS OF COMPANIES THAT YOU DIDN'T NECESSARILY THINK YOU WOULD TRY TO REACH OUT TO?

Stewart: "I think you always have to be that way. I think you always have to think outside the box. When you're selling something, and you go in there with the same approach that everybody else has, what makes your organization stand out from theirs? I think that's kind of the way we thought about it from day one because we were a new company anyway, so it was easy to start with new ideas and a new approach."

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
nhra

NHRA's Allen Johnson DQ'd UPDATE Statement from Allen Johnson: "I went to a late dinner last night with my family and had a few alcoholic beverages with my meal. I felt no ill effects from the alcohol I consumed. This morning, when I learned I had been chosen for a random alcohol and drug test by the NHRA, one of many I have taken and passed over the years, I took it immediately, even though I had 24 hours in which to take the test. Unfortunately, a trace amount of alcohol registered in my system, leading to my disqualification.... "I fully support the NHRA's zero tolerance policy in regards to alcohol and I understand their decision in this matter. I would like to apologize to the NHRA, my fans and to my sponsors for any disappointment that I have caused. I love drag racing and would never do anything to purposely disrespect the sport or its fans.

09/18/10 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson was disqualified from this weekends O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C. after he failed a breathalyzer test Saturday morning.

In a statement released Saturday by the NHRA, Johnson registered a .027 blood-alcohol level during the test administered at the track prior to when the third round of Pro Stock qualifying was scheduled to begin.

Under NHRA's rules, Johnson was subsequently barred from any further participation in the event and his previous qualifying times were thrown out.

Johnson had qualified seventh following Friday's first and second round of qualifying. He is currently second in the Pro Stock standings with one victory in three final round appearances in 2010.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
tv news

Sunday on Wind Tunnel
Featured Interview      Roger DeCoster (Team Manager, KTM U.S. Motocross/Supercross)

Motocross/Supercross legendary racer and team manager, Roger DeCoster, will be a featured interview on Wind Tunnel this Sunday September 19th. After winning numerous titles with Suzuki, most recently with rookie Ryan Dungey who won both Supercross and Motocross championships this season, DeCoster has decided to move on to run KTM’s U.S. Supercross and Motocross operations.

We’ll talk to Roger about that move and get a preview of next week’s Motocross Des Nations...an event that his U.S. team has won 18 of the last 27 years.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
f2

Stoneman wins Williams F1 test drive
Dean Stonema
F2
British driver Dean Stoneman has clinched the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship in Valencia, Spain today (Saturday 18 September) to secure a prize test drive with the Williams Formula One team.

The 20-year-old from Southampton emerged triumphant from a season-long battle with fellow countryman Jolyon Palmer to be crowned the first British F2 title winner since Formula Two Series Director Jonathan Palmer lifted the European Championship trophy in 1983.

As his prize for securing the Formula Two crown, Stoneman will earn a full test with the Williams F1 team. He will also qualify for an FIA Superlicense, required to compete in Formula One Grands Prix.

Stoneman secured the honors in the opening race at this weekend’s Valencian season finale, cruising home to a comfortable ninth place finish to build up an unassailable 27 point lead over his rival Palmer, who finished seventh.

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09/18/10
f2

De Marco clinches race one victory in Valencia
(L to R) Will Bratt, Nicola De Marco and Armaan Ebrahim atop the race one podium
F2
Italy’s Nicola De Marco took a commanding victory in the opening FIA Formula Two Championship contest at Valencia today (Saturday 18 September), as Britain’s Dean Stoneman secured the 2010 title with a top ten finish.

After securing pole position in qualifying, De Marco controlled the race from lights-to-flag to secure his second victory of the season, following a maiden win at Brno, Czech Republic in July.

The Italian faced constant pressure during today’s encounter from Briton Will Bratt, who made up two places from his fourth place grid slot to move into second off the start line before staying on De Marco's tail throughout the race.

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09/18/10
motogp

Stoner takes MotoGP pole at Aragon
Casey Stoner took his first pole since the season opener in Qatar with the top time in qualifying on Saturday at Aragon, setting a scorching pace on the Spanish track. The Australian became the first and only rider to get under the 1’49” mark so far this weekend on board his Ducati Desmosedici GP10, when he posted a best time of 1’48.942 on his penultimate lap of the session.

Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will start from the front row of the grid for the 15th successive race after maintaining his fantastic qualifying record, which stretches back to the Malaysia round last year. The Fiat Yamaha rider was 0.309s off Stoner with a best time of 1’49.251.

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09/18/10
nassprint

Kenseth’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Richmond
Note: this article was inadvertently placed on our rumors page a few days ago.  Matt Kenseth’s pit crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night’s (Sept. 11) Air Guard 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.

It was the third Tissot win of the season for the No. 17 over-the-wall crew out of the Roush Fenway Racing stable. The win moved Kenseth’s crew into a second-place tie with Jamie McMurray’s crew in the Tissot standings. Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 crew continues to lead the pit road competition with four wins.

The weekly-winning crew receives $5,000 from Tissot plus a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
f1

Sauber: New front wing and diffuse
Sauber will introduce a new aerodynamic package at next week's Singapore Grand Prix - a revised package, including a new front wing and a new diffuser, in Singapore.

"Singapore is the start of the last five races of the season, which are all flyaways. It's a tricky, technical circuit, one that is traditionally quite bumpy, so mechanical grip and mechanical set-up are important," Technical Director James Key said.

"It's probably the street circuit which is closest to Monaco in terms of the nature of the corners and the extreme high downforce levels. Of course, it's a night race and unique in that respect.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
automotive

Toyota settles suit over high-profile California crash
Toyota Motor Corp. has settled what is widely regarded as the most serious lawsuit of the hundreds of claims the automaker faces.

The company has agreed to settle the suit brought by relatives of four family members killed in a high-speed crash near San Diego that galvanized attention around safety flaws of the company's vehicles and led to the recalls of millions of cars, the Los Angeles Times said in a story posted on its website Friday night.

The August 2009 crash killed California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor, 45, along with his wife, Cleofe, 45, their daughter Mahala, 13, and Cleofe's brother Chris Lastrella, 39.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
irl

IndyCar Motegi Saturday Notebook
This is the eighth IZOD IndyCar Series event held at Twin Ring Motegi. Scott Dixon is the defending race winner and also won the Peak Performance Pole Award last year. Dixon (2009,) Danica Patrick  (2008), Tony Kanaan (2007), Helio Castroneves (2006) and Dan Wheldon (2004-2005) are past winners of the event who are entered in the event.

***

KV Racing Technology drivers Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes have an extra set of eyes watching them during the Indy Japan 300.

Oriol Servia, who finished fourth in last year's Motegi race with Newman/Haas Racing, is serving as driver consultant for the team.

Read more & Comment...

09/18/10
f2

Nicola De Marco takes first pole of 2010
Nicola De Marco secured his first pole position of the season in first qualifying
F2
Italy's Nicola De Marco has clinched his first pole position of 2010 in qualifying one at Valencia today (Saturday), with Benjamin Lariche and Armaan Ebrahim completing the top three.

Briton Jack Clarke initially set the pace during the 30 minute session, becoming the first driver this weekend to dip below the 1m28s barrier to hold provisional pole at the halfway point ahead of title protagonist Jolyon Palmer.

However, a second run for the drivers on fresh tires prompted a flurry of fast times, with the top ten places changing hands numerous times.

Read more & Comment...
09/18/10
irl

Briscoe keeps Team Penske on top in Motegi
Ryan Briscoe
Ron McQueeney/IRL
Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe led the 25-car field for the 2nd IndyCar practice in Motegi, Japan with a lap of 200.894 mph (27.2382 seconds). Teammate Helio Castroneves (200.609 mph) was second in both sessions.

All four Andretti Autosport cars cracked the top 10 in the afternoon session, led by Tony Kanaan (200.276) in third. Danica Patrick was fourth (199.904), while Marco Andretti (199.248) was eighth and Ryan Hunter-Reay (199.026) ninth.

IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power was sixth (199.663), while Dario Franchitti -- who enters the 200-lap race 17 points off the pace -- was next on the chart (199.494). Power was quickest in the first session. E.J. Viso was fifth quick (199.828) and two-time Indy Japan 300 winner Dan Wheldon was 10th (198.947).

Read more & Comment...
09/17/10
irl

Power tops opening Motegi practice, Sato crashes again
Takuma 'Crash' Sato on his way out of the pits to wad up yet another Dallara Honda
Ron McQueeney/IRL
There was a collective gasp from the large crowd at Twin Ring Motegi assembling for practice-qualifying day as the No. 5 Lotus car for KV Racing Technology spun and backed into the SAFER Barrier between Turns 1 and 2 early in the morning session.

Takuma Sato was checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive. An oil line failure spewed oil onto the rear tire, causing the car to spin. The Holmatro Safety Team laid a chemical substance to soak up oil from the start/finish line all the way to the point of impact.

Read more & Comment...
09/17/10
irl

Indy 500 winner Franchitti to present Camaro Pace Car
2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Dario Franchitti will present the keys of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis 500 Pace Car No. 1 to Bruce Barhydt of Apex, N.C., winner of the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Sweepstakes, at noon Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's famed "Yard of Bricks."

Barhydt and his wife, Barbara, recently moved from Indiana to North Carolina and are longtime Indianapolis 500 fans. Franchitti, who earned his second Indianapolis 500 victory May 30 driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, will be available for interviews after presenting the car to the Barhydt's, posing for photos and taking them on several ceremonial laps.

The replica Pace Car No. 1 is the same Chevrolet Camaro SS, featuring a 400-horsepower, 6.2-litre V8 engine and custom Indianapolis 500 design trim inside and out, that Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George drove throughout the month of May.

Comment
09/17/10
f2

Vasiliauskas fastest in rain-hit second session
Kazim Vasiliauskas topped the timesheets in a rain-hit FIA Formula Two Championship second practice session in Valencia today (Friday 17 September), the Lithuanian setting a storming early pace to finish almost three quarters of a second clear of the rest of the field.

With the session starting dry, Vasiliauskas made the most of the early running and rose to the top on his first flying lap. Afanasiev briefly demoted him, but he responded with a quicker time to dip into the 1m28s bracket, just as rain started to fall on the 4km Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

That prompted most of the field to come into the pits, only for the rain to abate slightly and confuse the issue as to whether slicks or dry tires were the best option. The rain did however freeze the times as the track became significantly slower, effectively making the session a five-minute shootout.

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09/17/10
racing news

Audi helicopter crash UPDATE Audi is saddened by the helicopter incident that took place this morning near the summit of Pikes Peak. Today's film crew was shooting a test run of the "Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak," a joint program involving Audi, the Electronic Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University. The goal of the project involves ascending Pikes Peak autonomously without a driver behind the wheel to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced driver assistance systems and GPS. The car was not involved in the incident.  Audi PR

09/17/10 At least three people were injured when a civilian helicopter crashed about a half-mile from the summit of Pikes Peak Friday morning.

The crash occurred shortly before 8 a.m. at an elevation of 13,800 feet near the junction of the Pikes Peak highway and the Pikes Peak Cog Railroad.

A Pikes Peak ranger said that the injured were part of a crew filming an Audi "driverless" car.

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09/17/10
motogp

Pedrosa tops Friday practice at Aragon
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was fastest overall in today’s two opening MotoGP practice sessions as the Grand Prix of Aragon - which is a brand new event on the world championship calendar - got under way. In the morning Pedrosa wasted no time in laying down his marker for the weekend by heading straight to the top of the timesheets and staying there for almost the entire 45-minute period, finishing a healthy 0.411s ahead of second placed rider Nicky Hayden. Andrea Dovizioso also slipped smoothly into his stride, joining Pedrosa at the head of the times in the first half of the morning session before dropping back to eighth on his second outing from the pits.

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09/17/10
f1

New updates for Ferrari in Singapore
There is never much time for winning teams and drivers to celebrate in the world of Formula One with the next race always not that very far away and thus is the case for Ferrari and Fernando Alonso, who won their home Grand Prix in Italy only a few days ago.

While the excitement that came with Fernando Alonso winning his first ever home event for the Maranello based squad, the Singapore grand prix is calling so they had to  change their focus almost immediately to round fifteen on the calendar, the first of the final five fly away events.

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09/17/10
f1

Alonso evasive on number 1 role at Ferrari
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso was evasive on Friday amid suggestions he is clearly Ferrari's number 1 bet to be 2010 world champion.

After the Hockenheim team orders affair, it is claimed the Spaniard might be considered the title favorite, given that rivals Red Bull and McLaren appear less inclined to favor one driver over his teammate.

"Each team will be giving 100 per cent with both their drivers for the common good of the team," Alonso, whose Ferrari teammate is Felipe Massa, is quoted by Marca newspaper from a sponsor event.

"Felipe Massa will be giving everything and it's the same with McLaren and Red Bull," he insisted.

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09/17/10
f1

Kolles: Hispania not in dire straights
Colin Kolles has denied claims that Hispania sat out most of Friday's running in Italy due to unpaid bills.

While it has been widely reported that Hispania are financially in trouble, the rumors gathered momentum in Monza when Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto missed the bulk of Friday's running.

And although the team's Friday press release claimed it was because of 'fuel system' problems, whispers in the paddock suggested it was anything from unpaid engine bills to Kolles himself stopping their running due to his own salary not being paid.

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09/17/10
f2

Lariche sets the pace in Valencia
Frenchman Benjamin Lariche set the pace in the opening Formula Two free practice session at Valencia today (Friday) after posting an impressive late flying lap around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

It was Jack Clarke that led the field initially in the 30 minute session, the Briton over a second clear of the rest of the field until his time was surpassed by Austria's Philipp Eng.

The pair briefly traded times, before Eng managed to regain his advantage halfway through free practice and looked set to end the session at the top of the timesheets until a storming lap catapulted Lariche up the field into first place.

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09/17/10
roc

Carl Edwards to race for Team USA at ROC 2010
Team USA will head to the 2010 Race of Champions in Düsseldorf on November 27-28 with a formidable line-up after NASCAR great Carl Edwards signed up alongside countryman Travis Pastrana, the 11-time X-Games gold medalist who announced his participation last month.

The annual end-of-season competition brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s most prestigious disciplines and pits them head-to-head in identical machinery. Now Edwards and Pastrana have joined a driver roll call that already includes seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost, six-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Tom Kristensen, 2010 F1 title contender Sebastian Vettel and three-time world touring car champion Andy Priaulx.

The dazzling host of motorsport superstars will not faze Edwards, who took pole position at last weekend’s NASCAR race at Richmond. He has a glowing list of honors in America’s biggest series, with nearly 50 wins and counting, as well as the 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Driver’s Championship. At the American’s debut appearance at The Race of Champions, at Wembley in 2008, he knocked seven-time world F1 champion Michael Schumacher out of the individual event.

“I really enjoyed my first trip to The Race of Champions and I’m delighted to be going back,” said Edwards. “It’s a great opportunity to mix with the best drivers from all the biggest series of motorsport around the world. I’ll be aiming to knock out some more megastars while Travis and I will give it everything to try and bring the ROC Nations Cup home to the USA.”

Check out Edwards, Pastrana and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon talking about The Race of Champions on ESPN at this link.

The Race of Champions has been staged every year since 1988, founded by IMP President Fredrik Johnsson and Michèle Mouton, the world’s most successful female rally driver. This year’s event will take place on a specially constructed tarmac circuit with two parallel lanes winding their way round Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena.

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09/17/10
f1

Cosworth reveals 'several contacts' with Red Bull
(GMM)  If Red Bull had known in advance the performance of Cosworth's engine, the British marque and F1's title leading team could be working together now.

That is the opinion of Cosworth's managing director Tim Routsis, who has revealed that talks between the independent Northampton based engine maker and Red Bull took place a year ago.

Instead, the RB6 is fitted with the Renault V8, which according to Red Bull is significantly down on power compared with the industry leading F1 engines.

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09/17/10
nascar

Danica Patrick to also enter Sunoco 150 at Dover
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, will attempt to tackle the monster twice with the announcement today of her intent to enter the Sunoco 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover on Sept. 24. She'll be behind the wheel of the No. 83 JR Motorsports entry in the Friday afternoon race scheduled to take the green flag at 4:45 p.m.. The Sunoco 150 at Dover serves as the season finale for NASCAR's top developmental series, and a champion will be crowned when the checkered flag falls!

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09/16/10
irl

Video: Mutoh and Sato talk Japan


Comment
09/16/10
irl

Video: Drivers preview the Japan Indy 300


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09/16/10
irl

A.J. Foyt Oval Championship Trophy on the line
Dario Franchitti takes a 27-point lead over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon into the Indy Japan 300 - the final race to determine the inaugural A.J. Foyt Oval Championship Trophy winner.

The award honoree -- like the Mario Andretti Road Course Champion -- was selected by fan vote on indycar.com. Team Penske's Will Power received the road/street course trophy from Andretti last month at Infineon Raceway.

Dixon won the race last year, and Franchitti was 1.4 seconds behind in second. Franchitti has accumulated 228 points from victories at Indianapolis and Chicagoland plus top-five finishes at Kansas, Texas and Kentucky. Dixon won at Kansas and had top-10 finishes at the other five ovals.

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09/16/10
irl

Sato chose 4 wheels over 2
KV Racing's Takuma Sato
Years before Takuma Sato climbed into a race car for the first time he was a champion racer on two wheels.

"I was so keen on motor racing when I was a boy, but you need to be in the right environment to do motor racing," said Sato, who will compete in the No. 5 Lotus entry for KV Racing Technology in this weekend's Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. "You can't simply decide to do it like football or track and field. My parents didn't have any idea about racing, so I never had any opportunity to do any racing until I was 19 years old.

"I was really crazy about motor racing, particularly after seeing Suzuka and the Japanese Grand Prix in 1987 when I was 10 years old. I just stood there. It was a big shock to me. Since then, I was a big fan of F1 and motor racing."

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09/16/10
irl

Full-page ad with Danica slaps IndyCar in the face
I’m not sure which is more surprising; the fact that race car driver Danica Patrick is one of the featured speakers at the Get Motivated Business Seminar at Conseco Fieldhouse Oct. 25, or the description of Patrick event marketers chose to put in a full page ad appearing in the Indianapolis Star this week.

First, Patrick, as popular as she is, seems just a bit out of place next to Zig Ziglar’s other sports star supporting cast. Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw have eight Super Bowl championships between them. OK, even if sports stars aren’t my role models, these guys have really produced at a high level. They may have something to teach the business types out there from Dilbert to Hilbert.

But I’m not sure Patrick’s resume proves she has much to depart. The title over her name in the ad, and presumably the thrust of her talk is “What it takes to be a winner.”

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09/16/10
f1

Grosjean replacing Heidfeld as Pirelli tester
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean will replace departing test driver Nick Heidfeld at Pirelli's next formula one tire test.

Because Heidfeld has signed to return to racing with Sauber in Singapore and beyond, the Italian marque said the German will no longer work with F1's 2011 tire supplier "to avoid favoring any individual team".

The 33-year-old's last outing with Pirelli was this week at Jerez over two days.

And the 2011-2013 official supplier's next outing will be at Monza next week, with former Renault driver Grosjean at the wheel of the Toyota.

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09/16/10
irl

Writer hammers IndyCar
In his latest Autoextremist column, longtime motorsports pundit Peter DeLorenzo hammers the IRL for choosing the path they did with their new car.  Most feel the ICONIC committee was orchestrated by Brian Barnhart to get the Dallara/Honda, which he was on record as saying the new car was going to be even before there was any consideration to opening it up for bid.

DeLorenzo writes, "These guys blew it. Making a decision based on fundamentally keeping the status quo intact and reducing costs is nothing more than blatant, head-in-the-sand thinking. Oh, and believe me, I can just hear the IndyCar honchos and owners now, as in, "Who cares what that jack-off has to say? It isn't his money that's involved. I don't see him scrambling around looking for sponsorships. It isn't his ass on the line every month." And they would be right - misguided and focusing on disparaging the messenger - but right, because I don't have any skin in the game.

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09/16/10
nassprint

Front Row sues Conway and Extenze
Front Row Motorsports is suing its former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Biotab Nutraceuticals, which sells Extenze, over alleged non-payment of part of a $5.4 million sponsorship deal for Conway to drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2010. The lawsuit was filed Monday in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. A Front Row Motorsports spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, which asks for damages to cover the $2.754 million that will eventually be due under the terms of the contract, payment of $734,201 in sponsorship fees, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses for services rendered and $135,000 advanced to Conway as part of his base compensation. "It's really unfortunate that they've made some pretty outrageous allegations against us and the good thing is we'll have our day in court, and the truth will all come to light in the months ahead," Conway said in a phone interview Tuesday. "Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the specifics."
According to the complaint and contracts attached as exhibits, Extenze was to pay Conway's marketing company Exclaim $5.4 million in 50 weekly installments of $108,000, and that money was then to be sent to the race team. The $5.4 million was designed to cover the first 15 races, and then Extenze would have the option of funding the remaining 21 events through revenues generated by a product placement contract. The team would get 15% for product placement at dollar stores, retail stores or wholesale auto parts stores.

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09/16/10
f1

Q&A with Lewis Hamilton after Italian GP
Lewis Hamilton at Monza
Lewis Hamilton reviews his Italian GP, which ended almost as soon as it began after he crashed on the opening lap...

Q: There's not much to say about Sunday's race, is there?

LH: Not really. It's one of those experiences that happens in motor racing sometimes. It's always so disappointing, because your adrenalin is really flowing and then, immediately, it gets cut short right when you're in the heat of battle. But, like I say, these things happen - it's not the first time my race has ended on the first lap, and it probably won't be the last, unfortunately.

Q: How do you cope with that? Is it easy to deal with the disappointment?

LH: In bad situations - and they've happened to me before in my career - you need to soak up all the lessons that need learning. You absorb that information, put the bad experience to one side, use the benefits and just move on. I got up on Monday morning and I was already focused on the next race, improving the car, and closing in on the world championship. You can't dwell on the negatives - we are still in a good position, and we need to capitalize on that.

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09/16/10
alms

Two Jaguar RSRs for Petit LeMans
JaguarRSR will run two Jaguar XKR GT2s in the 13th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the season finale of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, and announces the driver lineup for the #33 car which will include Paul Gentilozzi, Butch Leitzinger and Tomy Drissi.

"The Petit Le Mans event obviously holds significance for our program as it was where we debuted the Jaguar GT last year," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "In over a year's time, we have made a lot of progress. Success at Petit Le Mans is important to us as it represents one of the toughest endurances tests in the United States. Having a second car there not only doubles our chances, but also allows us to expand our program in anticipation of the 2011 season."

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09/16/10
f1

Q&A with Adrian Sutil
Adrian Sutil
Adrian Sutil was disappointed after failing to score in Italy, however, the Force India driver is intent on returning to the points in Singapore...

Q: You lost some places on the first lap. What went wrong?
AS: I was just in the wrong place everywhere! The start was not particularly good, and in the first corner I think it was Rubens Barrichello who went a bit wide, and I had to react to avoid an accident. I was already somewhere outside, trying to do the chicane. I lost three positions and didn't have a good exit out of the corner into the other chicane, and lost another two positions there. Then I went off the circuit at Parabolica when I was on the outside of Tonio.

Q: That put you more or less last. Is that why you decided to get the tire change over with?
AS: The race was nearly over, as I was behind everybody. I did one more lap and came into the pits. The tires were OK, but as I had to overtake all the slower cars we thought it was better to get the stop out of the way and get some free air and try a whole race on the hard set.

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09/16/10
gp3

Rossi pleased with strong 2010 campaign
American Alexander Rossi will have to win more races next season if he wants to make it to F1.  This year his title winning teammate Esteban Gutierrez simply outperformed him at most events.
Alexander Rossi is naturally disappointed to have missed out on this year’s inaugural GP3 crown although the American, who celebrates his 19th birthday next Saturday, is content with his overall progress this year as the intended journey to Formula 1 continues.

Competing alongside Mexican Champion Esteban Gutiérrez and Brazil’s Pedro Nunes at ART Grand Prix, Rossi finished the year as the team’s second highest-placed runner and a solid fourth in the championship standings.

“As a driver, my ambition is to win,” commented Rossi, who resides in Italy. “Of course I would have liked to win the Drivers’ Championship but you can’t have everything all the time. I have a lot to look forward to and many successes from this year to build on.”

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09/16/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen manager says Renault seat 'possible'
  • Webber insists not asking for number 1 status
  • Webber backtracks on 'harsh' Monza review
  • Cost-cutting 'not possible' in today's F1 - Briatore
  • Pirelli to announce Heidfeld successor this week
  • Australian GP costs taxpayers $50m - report
  • Aus government defends huge F1 race loss

Raikkonen manager says Renault seat 'possible'
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen's manager has confirmed he contacted Renault about the 2007 world champion returning to formula one next season.

Earlier this week, the reports did not reveal whether it was his management team or the Finn himself who approached team boss Eric Boullier about being Robert Kubica's 2011 teammate.

"It's true, I spoke with Boullier," Steve Robertson told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

Raikkonen, 30, switched from Ferrari to world rallying for 2010, and it had been expected that he would continue his new challenge for at least another year.

But according to the well-respected Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio, Raikkonen is aiming to maintain his high income for 2011, given that his Ferrari contract finally runs out soon.

Said Robertson: "We want to explore all the possible options for next year.  Kimi and I asked Renault what is the situation."

Turun Sanomat reporter Heikki Kulta insists the most possible outcome for Raikkonen in 2011 is a continuation of his rallying foray.

"There are all sorts of rumors," Robertson continued.  "I've even heard that Kimi could go to NASCAR, but that is definitely not an option."

In the event that Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel win the 2010 championship, Raikkonen's return to F1 could push the number of world champions on the 2011 grid to an impressive six.

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