Amp reducing sponsorship on overrated Earnhardt Jr's car Four years after making waves in NASCAR by signing on as the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Amp Energy is phasing its brand off the car of the sport's most popular driver. PepsiCo is expected to announce this week that Diet Mountain Dew will replace its Amp Energy brand as Earnhardt's primary sponsor for 16 races in 2012. The company has the primary sponsorship rights for 20 total races on the #88 car, and Amp will serve as an associate sponsor while also appearing on the hood for the other four races.
The shift is a major downsizing in the sponsorship between Amp, an upstart energy drink, and Earnhardt, the sport's biggest driver. Pepsi, which owns Amp and Mountain Dew, has one year left on its contract with Earnhardt and Hendrick Motorsports, and the company's executives believe that Diet Mountain Dew, which is one of the fastest-growing soft drinks, stands to benefit more from Earnhardt than Amp. Pepsi and Hendrick Motorsports are expected this week to unveil a new paint scheme for the #88 car for next year's Daytona 500. Sports Business Journal
James Jakes came to America to live out his dream. He's turned out to be a quick learner
James Jakes came to America as a very green rookie: never having driven IndyCars, never having seen an oval, and certainly not running in this competitive of a field. This weekend, however, it was a coming out party in which the personable Englishman finally got to show his true skills.
Jakes gave a first show of his talent in qualifying where, not only did he make the Firestone Fast 12 for the first time this year, but continued his pace to put up a time that gave him 8th position, his best qualifying of the year. He even beat out his seasoned teammate Sebastien Bourdais by 6 spots on the grid. Both drivers went on to run the Sunday morning warm up in 4th and 5th positions, again with Jakes leading the way.
The race started out great for both drivers. Jakes had his best start of the season and worked his way up to 3rd place on the tough 2.9 mile Motegi road course. However, with success came heartbreak as Jakes was on his way to a coveted podium finish when he stalled the engine on the exit of his last pit stop. He dropped back to 18th due to this mishap but fought back to finish 13th. Ultimately, it was a great weekend for James Jakes and the team showing serious promise and setting the pace for 2012.
Indy 500 era ends as riding mechanic Kennelly dies at 97 What is believed to be the final link to the treacherous but colorful era of the "riding mechanic" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been severed with the passing of Joe Kennelly, who died Friday, Sept. 16. He was 97.
There are now no pre-World War II on-track participants still living.
Kennelly, born in Seattle but an Indianapolis resident since childhood, rode in the 1936 Indianapolis 500 with former motorcycle racing standout Johnny Seymour, whose sixth and final "500" start came while driving a car which had several local connections. Owned by driver Shorty Cantlon, an Indianapolis resident at the time, the Miller-powered car was sponsored by Sullivan & O'Brien, a downtown automobile dealership which had been in existence for only three years.
Iowa Speedway president resigns Iowa Speedway president Jerry Jauron is resigning after 3½ years.
Jauron told The Associated Press on Monday he is leaving to become a general manager at Urbandale, Iowa-based C & L Companies, a motorsports manufacturing company.
Jauron oversaw the Iowa Speedway during a period of significant growth with addition of NASCAR Nationwide and Trucks series races. The track's annual IndyCar race also grew into one of the more popular stops on the open-wheel circuit.
IndyCar series still defending embattled race director While IndyCar Series chief executive Randy Bernard continues to resist calls for the resignation of his embattled race director Brian Barnhart, a leadership expert feels that keeping the status quo might be causing unwanted and serious side-effects within the organization’s rank and file.
John Wright, president and managing director of the Canadian Management Centre, looked at two recent incidents involving IndyCar race control in New Hampshire and Baltimore, the statements made by the people involved in the controversies, and the actions taken by the series in response. He came away with some concerns about the leadership being displayed by Barnhart, which may be creating a climate within the organization that erodes trust and integrity.
When you are a leader — especially of something like this — there is an assumption of a high level of expertise and confidence and that’s why you can make those decisions,” Wright said.
Iowa to run two NASCAR Truck races in 2012 The Iowa Speedway says it's added a second NASCAR Trucks series race for next season.
The track released its 2012 schedule Saturday, which includes truck races on July 14 and Sept. 15.
The NASCAR Nationwide series will visit Iowa's short oval on May 20 and Aug. 4. The IndyCar series will make its annual stop on June 23.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told The Associated Press earlier this summer that the series was discussing a possible doubleheader in Iowa. But track officials say they don't yet have any information on a possible second date.
Kentucky test sets stage for final two IndyCar races The driver who has won the race at Kentucky Speedway has gone on to win the IZOD IndyCar Series championship three times (Buddy Lazier, 2000; Sam Hornish Jr., 2006; Scott Dixon, 2008) in the past decade.
By all accounts then, Will Power and Dario Franchitti should make the most of a scheduled eight-hour test Sept. 23 at the 1.5-mile oval. Neither has won at the track.
The title contenders, who are separated by 11 points heading into the Oct. 2 race, are among the 11 drivers who will participate in the testing, which will welcome spectators at the Administration building above Turn 3. Of course, tickets to the race weekend will be available for purchase.
Power honored to win Andretti Trophy again It was Respect for the Aged Day in Japan - a national holiday - and Will Power did his part.
"Mario (Andretti) is the ultimate driver to me," Power said of the legendary Indy car driver who's 41 years his senior. "Even now that he's older, he still gets in a race car and wrings its neck. He just amazes me."
Andretti, who relishes his role as the driver of the "Fast Seat in Sports" two-seater a select IZOD IndyCar Series races, would appreciate the compliment from the driver who for the second consecutive year earned the road/street course trophy named in his honor. Andretti amassed 52 open-wheel racing victories under USAC (33) and CART (19) sanction, including the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Among other statistical accolades is a streak of 16 seasons with at least one victory.
Baltimore Grand Prix organizers seek to raise $1.5M Baltimore Grand Prix organizers are looking to raise $1.5 million from current investors as they ramp up preparations for the racing event’s second year in 2012.
Baltimore Racing Development LLC has already raised $423,000 for the offering, according to a Sept. 16 Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors in the event's first year listed on Baltimore Racing Development's newest filing include Baltimore Grand Prix CEO Jay Davidson and Peter J. Collier, chief operating officer. Walker Mygatt, a managing director at Constellation Energy Group Inc. Constellation Energy Group Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Thayer to become CFO of Exelon after Constellation mergerBaltimore-area businesses still on the mend 10 years after 9/11Constellation aims to make solar panel program affordable for homeowners Follow this company , David Rather, owner of Mother's Federal Hill Grille, and Kenneth Banks, president of Baltimore's Banks Contracting Co., are also listed.
SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series officials announced today the creation of the new Trans-Am Global GT (GGT) class for racecars such as the Porsche GT3 Cup, Ferrari 430 Challenge, as well as the potential to include other similar vehicles. The new category is effective immediately.
Three Porsche racers - Tim Gray, Scott Tucker and Gary Stewart - have competed thus far in the 2011 Trans-Am championship as part of the Trans-Am 2 (TA2) class. However, series officials determined a new and separate class would more accurately represent those cars' heritage and international racing pedigree.
The former TA2 Porsche drivers have now been separated out into the new GGT category, putting Gray into the GGT points lead with 220 points ahead of Tucker with 137 points, and Stewart with 121 markers heading to the Road Atlanta finale on Sept. 30. Additional GGT Porsche entries and at least one Ferrari are anticipated to compete at Road Atlanta.
Ten years after crash, Alex Zanardi has new source of adrenaline
Come the middle of September, Alex Zanardi is prepared to be peppered by one question, the same question he's been asked for years and years.
What do you remember about Sept. 15, 2001?
Zanardi savors a second of silence over the phone from his home near Venice. Composing his English with his unmistakable Italian accent, he responds.
"The first thought that will go through my mind in the morning when I open my eyes will be very much related to my current dreams," said Zanardi, "rather than to my past nightmares."
Ten years ago, Zanardi suffered one of the most horrific crashes in the history of auto racing at the American Memorial in Lausitz, Germany (The event was renamed from the German 500 after Sept. 11). He lost control of his car coming out of a pit stop, sliding onto the track perpendicular to 200-mph traffic, and was T-boned by Canadian driver Alex Tagliani.
Bentley eyes Dakar Rally campaign One of the biggest surprises of the Frankfurt Motor show was the revelation of Bentley considering a Rally Raid program. During the launch of a new car it was confirmed that the famous English marque is working its first SUV and when the car is launched (likely to be 2013-2014) it will instigate a new motorsport program. “There will be a return to motorsport, we just are not sure when yet or whether it will be on slick tires or off road tires” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Racecar Engineering at the Show. He went on to reveal that the Dakar rally could be somewhere that the new SUV could compete and be marketed.
It is thought that Bentley could inherit much Dakar know how from Volkswagen’s motorsport department which has won the famous cross country rally four times and is unbeaten since 2009. VW stopped it’s rally raid project to focus in the Polo WRC. Previously it had been thought that the only event the Bentley was looking at was the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Childress still looking for sponsorship for Bowyer
Richard Childress said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that until Bowyer tells him his deal with Michael Waltrip Racing is done he will continue to work to find sponsorship for the driver of RCR's #33 Cup car. "Honestly, we're still trying today,'' Childress said. "We both agreed if an opportunity comes for him he needs to take it. But yes, we're still trying to put something together this week and last week.'' Childress said he has a list of four or five drivers, including Bowyer, to drive the 33 in 2012. He said several sponsors are interested for any of the drivers.
Childress would not mention other drivers that might fill Bowyer's seat should sponsorship be found. But the prime candidates are Brian Vickers, Mark Martin and possibly David Ragan if he loses his ride at Roush Fenway Racing due to lack of sponsorship. Childress didn't rule out putting grandson Austin Dillon into a Cup ride for a few races with another driver filling out the rest of the season. But the plan for Dillon is to put him in a full Nationwide Series car next season with Childress' other grandson Ty Dillon replacing him in the #3 Bass Pro Shops ride in the Truck Series. Childress said there's a chance if he doesn't stay at four Cup teams that the 33 crew could drop down to Nationwide for Dillon. ESPN
The IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights will return to Iowa Speedway for the sixth consecutive year on June 23-24, the racetrack announced.
Marco Andretti held off former Andretti Autosport teammate Tony Kanaan by 0.7923 of a second to win the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer in June in a spirited battle the final 20 laps on the 0.875-mile oval. Kanaan was the 2010 race winner.
Josef Newgarden won the Sukup 100 Firestone Indy Lights race.
Current season ticket holders will receive renewal information in the mail soon. Season tickets will go on sale Nov. 3. Visit www.iowaspeedway.com or call 1-866-RUSTY-GO to secure seats.
What the heck is Piquet Jr. doing racing trucks? When Kevin Harvick announced he was shutting down his Camping World Truck Series team to put more focus on winning a Sprint Cup championship, four-time champion Ron Hornaday wasn't the only driver affected. The closing of Kevin Harvick Inc. after this season also leaves Nelson Piquet Jr. looking for a ride, and the rookie would like to stay with the trucks.
"I'm still searching for a Truck team," said Piquet, who finished third in Friday's Truck Series event at Chicagoland Speedway. "It's not easy to find a Truck team at the level of KHI. If I knew which one it was, I'd have picked it a long time ago. So we're trying, seeing what our options are, seeing what's best available around."
DePhillippi Wins Star Mazda Season Finale, Vautier Wins 2011 Championship
Leading the entire way from the pole, Team Pelfrey racer Connor De Phillippi, of San Clemente, CA, won his fourth race of the season driving the #11 Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
JCD Motorsports driver Tristan Vautier, of Grenoble, France, who led the championship since the first of his four victories - in Round 2 at Barber Motorsports Park - finished 5th in the #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda, scoring enough points to win the 2011 championship and the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship to race in the 2012 Indy Lights series.
Kia Racing Wins First-Ever GRAND-AM Road Racing Championships After just two seasons and 20 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) races, Kia Motors America's motorsports program achieved championship status today when the No. 10 Infinity Audio Forte Koup crossed the finish line in seventh place and earned Nic Jönsson and Kia Racing the Driver and Team titles, respectively, for the 2011 CTSCC in the Street Tuner (ST) class.
Kia and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports entered the season finale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with narrow three-point leads in both standings and co-drivers Jonsson and Michael Galati used the Forte Koup's braking, handling and fuel-efficiency advantages on the 13-turn circuit to battle a field of more than 30 competitors during the 2.5-hour race, propelling Kia to its first-ever GRAND-AM road racing championships.
Wind Tunnel Sunday All guests this week will be in the Wind Tunnel studio. Drag racing champions, Don Garlits and Darrell Gwynn, will stop by to talk about their renewed on-track rivalry. FOX Sports and SPEED NASCAR analyst, Larry McReynolds, will be here to break down the first race in this year’s Chase for the Sprint CUP.
Featured Interviews Don Garlits & Darrell Gwynn (Drag Racing Champions) Expert Analyst Larry McReynolds (FOX Sports & SPEED NASCAR Analyst)
(L to R) Tomczyk, Ekstrom and Mortara celebrate Audi 1-2-3
Audi, Audi, Audi - only 14 days after the one-two-three triumph in the rain battle at Brands Hatch the brand with the four rings again took the whole podium at a DTM race in similarly difficult conditions. At Oschersleben, Mattias Ekstrom (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) triumphed in front of leader of the standings Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and rookie Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg).
For Audi this marked the 60th victory in total in the most popular international touring car series, the sixth in the current season and an important step toward another DTM title. With a sensational recovery Martin Tomczyk managed to advance to second place after having started from position 14, extending his overall lead by nine points before the last two races. Consequently, the Bavarian driver living in Switzerland will already have the first match ball and chance of securing an early title win for Audi at Valencia (Spain) on October 2.
Alexander Rossi, one of the fastest young drivers in Europe looks set to become the next American in F1
American Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports) came out on top in the weekend’s second FR 3.5 Series race at the Paul Ricard HTTT, taking the flag ahead of Daniel Ricciardo (ISR). Third-placed Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) also had every reason to be cheerful, the Frenchman collecting 15 points to cut Robert Wickens’ (Carlin) championship lead to just two points after the Canadian suffered a blowout, leaving the title race wide open ahead of the season finale in Barcelona in October.
The teeming rain and two spins did not prevent Vergne from taking pole position in morning qualifying ahead of Rossi. Thankfully the forecast was brighter for the start of the race, prompting the whole field to opt for slicks.
Stoner storms to victory at Aragon Casey Stoner took another 25 points home at the Gran Premio de Aragon as the Australian took his eighth win of the 2011 season, with Dani Pedrosa taking second and Jorge Lorenzo third. Casey Stoner claimed another victory at the MotorLand circuit on Sunday, giving the Australian his eighth win of the season and Repsol Honda their 100th win. The important victory puts the Australian 44 points clear of defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing). Dani Pedrosa finished the round in second place behind his team mate, while Lorenzo made his way to the final podium spot.
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) finished 6 seconds behind Lorenzo to take fourth, a strong finish for the Italian considering he ran off the track on his first attempt at passing the YZR-M1 of Ben Spies on lap 9. The Yamaha rider had a great start off the outside of the first row, leading into turn one in front of fellow front row starters Stoner and Pedrosa, but the two Honda riders got past him by lap two, and the American finally finished the race in fifth place.
A full schedule of double-duty driving didn’t hurt Brad Keselowski, who won Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in a prelude to his debut Sunday in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Keselowski won his third Nationwide race of the season and the 15th of his career, cruising to a decisive victory over Carl Edwards, whose chances at a victory evaporated when his No. 60 Ford ran out of fuel moments before a scheduled pit stop on Lap 124 of 200.
Once recovered, Pastrana to focus on NASCAR Travis Pastrana was difficult to miss Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. There was only one figure in the Sprint Cup garage hobbling on crutches, wearing a pink cast around his right foot, and signing autographs for an ever-expanding group of fans.
The motocross and rally star was at a NASCAR track for the first time since suffering a broken right foot and ankle trying to land a difficult motorcycle trick during the X Games in late July. That injury scuttled not only Pastrana's plans to make his Nationwide Series debut that weekend in Indianapolis, but also the entire limited schedule he had planned to run for the team he co-owns along with Michael Waltrip.
You do not win a world title these days with an Adrian Newey car
(PVM) The brains behind some of the most successful Formula 1 cars in history, Adrian Newey will remain in Formula 1 as long as he enjoys himself and admits he is very proud of what his Red Bull team has achieved.
Newey told AutoBild about his conditions to stay in F1, “As long as I enjoy it and there are always new challenges, I will continue.”
Which is probably not what Red Bull’s rivals want to hear as they watch Sebastian Vettel head towards another world title, in the Newey penned RB7.
Beyond Payroll signs on as HVM sponsor Private label payroll solution, Beyond Payroll Inc., has signed on to sponsor the HVM Racing team for the remainder of this season & will continue to sponsor the team throughout the 2012 IndyCar season.
Private Label Payroll Solution Teams Up With HVM Racing
"All of us here at Beyond Payroll are excited to be part of the racing fraternity. Being our first sponsorship endeavor we couldn't have picked a better team than HVM Racing to work with." says, Mike Evans, co-founder of private label payroll solution, Beyond Payroll. Mike was born and raised in Indiana, the heart and soul of Indy car racing, so naturally "when the opportunity to work with the HVM Racing team presented itself, we jumped at it."
Home favorite Vergne reigns supremeUPDATE Albert Costa and Daniel Ricciardo have both fallen foul of the stewards following this afternoon's opening race at Paul Ricard, with the Spaniard being disqualified and the ISR man dropping from fifth to sixth place on the overall classification.
Epic Racing's Costa had finished the race in second place, trailing ultimate winner Jean-Eric Vergne by just 1.037 seconds at the chequered flag. However, his car was found to be 2kg underweight following in-depth scrutiny, resulting in exclusion.
On the other hand, Ricciardo was deemed to have exceeded the track limits during the race, with officials therefore opting to add ten seconds to his overall time.
09/17/11 After taking pole position, Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) led from start to finish in Race 1 at the Paul Ricard HTTT to close the gap on FR 3.5 Series championship leader and Carlin team-mate Robert Wickens (Carlin) to a mere 17 points with only three races remaining. Albert Costa (Epic Racing) took second but was later disqualified after his car was found to have exceeded the minimum weight in the post-race checks. As a result, Wickens was promoted one place to second, with Brendon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz) taking third.
NASCAR denies 'crashgate' affair NASCAR officials said on Saturday there is no evidence to support allegations that Paul Menard spun out intentionally to bring out a caution and affect the finish of last weekend's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.
Spokesman Kerry Tharp said officials listened to audio of Menard's radio transmission before he spun out with 16 laps remaining and found nothing to indicate he did anything deliberately.
"Yeah, it's behind me,'' Menard said after qualifying second for Sunday's race. "If they had something I'd love to see it. I'm glad they said that (it was over) and we're moving forward.''
Q&A with Renault's Eric Boullier Renault's team boss Eric Boullier and tech director James Allison reviews the Italian GP weekend and look ahead to next weekend's race in Singapore...
Eric Boullier: Q: Reflecting on the Italian Grand Prix, how satisfied were you with the team's performance? EB: In the race we had some bad luck from the word go; Vitaly was caught up in an incident but there was nothing he could do about it. It was a shame he didn't get the opportunity to demonstrate his strong pace because inevitably, from the position he lined up on the grid, we expected him to be right up amongst the points. The real positive to take away from Italy is the fact that the car is delivering more, which will allow our drivers to finish higher; both Vitaly and Bruno qualified for Q3 so that was very pleasing. It was satisfying to see Bruno have a good race after he had to avoid the cars involved in the crash at the first corner. His result will undoubtedly bring him some credibility.
IndyCar in desperate need of new car Paul Tracy didn't call the current IndyCar a Crapwagon for no reason.
Scott Dixon's qualifying run today at Motegi - 1m38.3918s Joao Paulo Lima de Oliveira's Formula Nippon qualifying run from earlier this year - 1m35.012s
The slug they call the current IndyCar is over 3-seconds per lap slower. So what product is IndyCar selling? A main even series or a support series? Based on lap times it should be a support series to Formula Nippon
Miguel Molina claimed his first DTM pole position by the narrowest of margins at Oschersleben as he beat Bruno Spengler by just a thousandth of a second. The Spaniard, who has not even scored a point this season, had never previously qualified higher than fourth, but took his old-spec Abt Audi to the top spot in a time of 1m22.317s.
Spengler, the last man to set a time in Q4, was slower than Molina in sector one, but pulled back almost all the time in the remainder of the lap and only just missed out. Behind them Oliver Jarvis and Mattias Ekstrom made it three Abt cars in the top four, the latter giving himself too much work to do after a poor opening sector in Q4.
Stoner shatters lap record taking ninth pole This afternoon in Aragon, Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner claimed his ninth season pole position and with it smashed his own lap record by almost half a second.
After a difficult day yesterday at the Alcaniz track, when FP2 was cancelled due to an electrical short circuit, all riders made the most of today's longer morning session. In the afternoon when track temperatures were 12 degrees higher than the morning, Stoner fine tuned his bike for an intense final twenty minutes of qualifying.
Planned concert at MIS a failure Jackson, Michigan locals believe that this weekend’s MiFest concert, being held at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), is a looming fiasco. Event organizers are talking about 10,000 tickets sold, which – as IndyCar fans know – would make it look like no one showed up inside of a stadium that seats over 100,000 people. Today the organizers, citing slow ticket sales as well as a desire for “...a more intimate feel...” cancelled its third stage, and told 8 bands to stay home this weekend.
Singapore GP: Karthikeyan on Friday, Hulkenberg not (GMM) Narain Karthikeyan will warm up with a Friday practice session in Singapore before racing in his native India next month, HRT announced on Saturday.
It was already expected that the 34-year-old, despite losing his full time race seat to Daniel Ricciardo earlier this season, would return to the cockpit for the inaugural Delhi grand prix.
And he will re-acclimatize with the initial practice session in Singapore, the Spanish team said.
"It is great to have Narain back in the car as it will give him critical seat time before he drives at the Indian GP," said team boss Colin Kolles.
Singapore GP nears sell-out With less than two weeks to the 2011 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, 95% of this year’s targeted grandstands sales have already been achieved and suites are 98% sold out.
Since August 19th the Singapore GP has increased the inventory at Pit, Connaught, Padang, and Stamford Grandstands as well as the Premier Walkabout by 2,000 tickets to meet the strong demand. This brings the total available inventory per day to 72,000.
Even with the increased capacity, a total of seven ticket categories are now sold out. The Premier Walkabout, Turn 2 Grandstand, Republic (Turn 3) Grandstand, and Connaught Grandstand tickets are no longer available for sale, in addition to the previously announced sell-out of Stamford Grandstand, Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand, and three-day Zone 4 Walkabout. Limited availability remains in Pit, Turn 1, Padang and Bay Grandstands, as well as single-day.
New ‘Unlimited Racing Championship’ Series Announced
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n today announced its association with the Unlimited Racing Championship (URC) as the new “Heritage Series” for the 2012 season and beyond. The URC will feature identically built NuArt CanAm cars reminiscent of the “glory days” of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am) from the 1960-70s.
The NuArt CanAm cars are purpose-built from the ground up and engineered for safety, aerodynamics, driver comfort and speed. These magnificent cars feature spectacular 700+ horsepower, big-block V-8 motors and state-of-the-art aerospace quality components with an emphasis on safety.
Honda adds test riders to home race Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce that for the very first time in history there will be eight Honda riders racing in the MotoGP 4-stroke class at the Twin Ring Motegi on 2nd October.
In addition to the riders participating in every Championship round (Repsol Honda Team: Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner, San Carlo Gresini Team: Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama, LCR Team: Toni Elias), HRC test riders Shinichi Ito and Kosuke Akiyoshi will also race in Motegi.
Ito will be a wild card entry in a HRC Team while Akiyoshi will ride alongside Toni Elias for LCR, through their participation in the Japanese Grand Prix, HRC hope to bring courage and show support for the East Japan area.
Reno race plane crash kills, mutilates spectators RENO, NEV. – A World War II-era fighter plane flown by a veteran Hollywood stunt pilot plunged Friday into the edge of the grandstands during a popular air race, killing three people, injuring more than 50 spectators and creating a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris.
The plane, piloted by 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, spiraled out of control without warning and appeared to disintegrate upon impact. Bloodied bodies were spread across the area as people tended to the victims and ambulances rushed to the scene.
Authorities were investigating the cause, but an official with the event said there were indications that mechanical problems were to blame.
Maureen Higgins of Alabama, who has been coming to the air races for 16 years, said the pilot was on his third lap when he lost control.
Hinchcliffe and Servia 1-2 in final Motegi practice Newman/Haas Racing drivers James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servia checked in first and second in the 60-minute practice session prior to the three rounds of PEAK Performance Pole qualifying at Twin Ring Motegi.
Hinchcliffe, a rookie driving the No. 06 Sprott entry, had a best lap of 1 minute, 39.1074 seconds on the 2.983-mile, 14-turn course. Servia, in the No. 2 Telemundo car, had a best lap of 1:39.1413.
Qualifications for the Indy Japan are scheduled for 2 a.m. (ET).
Dixon leads Ganassi 1-2 in 2nd Motegi practice On another warm and rather humid day, Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti beat their rivals at Team Penske in practice session 2 on the 2.9-mile road course.
Franchitti led for almost the entire session, but a hot lap by Dixon--just as the checkered flag waved--put the Kiwi on top of the charts with a 1:38.771, much faster than the 1:39.4745 set by Will Power to top Friday's running.
Setting his best lap on Lap 3, Franchitti ended the session with a quick time of 1:39.168, with Team Penske's Will Power close behind in third with a lap of 1:39.309. However, no one is showing their full hand yet. There's more to come.
Audetto backs Auto GP expansion plan The intercontinental expansion planned by Auto GP for 2012 keeps getting plaudits. The Series announced an extended calendar for next year, with 8 events and three intercontinental trips to Brazil, USA and Japan: this means that, F1 aside, Auto GP will be the only open-wheel Series to touch three continents next season. It's an ambitious plan, that has already been given praise from the highest levels of the motorsport world.
The last to express his backing for the concept was Daniele Audetto, one of the most appreciated managers in motorsport. In the last 40 years Mr. Audetto was a constant presence in the nerve centers of Formula 1: he was Sporting Director at Ferrari in 1977 when Niki Lauda won the World Championship, and then he took on top managing roles (both sporting and business ones) in Lamborghini, Arrows, Renault and Super Aguri. Mr. Audetto, who now lives in Spain, was in Valencia to pay a visit to the Auto GP paddock, and had a chat with Mr. Coloni about the plans for 2012. Here are his thoughts on the Championship:
Too bad IndyCar not returning to Motegi road course
The Motegi road course is better than the oval
IZOD IndyCar Series aces have praised the Motegi road course as one of the most impressive tracks on the series' calendar. Yet the IndyCars will not be returning after this year. What a loss as the Japanese really support the IndyCar series.
Will Power said he was very impressed with the quality and layout of the track. "It's a very, very nice circuit," he said. "It's smooth, flowing. It's one of the nicest circuits we've been to all year."
His only concern was a lack of potential for overtaking. "I think it is going to be tough to pass," said the Australian. "I think Turn 11, after the long back straight, that's a potential area. Maybe down in Turn 3. It seems like it's going to be hard to pass."
Power's teammate Helio Castroneves, who was second today, was even more complimentary about the course.
NASCAR Richmond TV RatingUPDATE ABC earned a 3.7 final Nielsen rating and 6.167 million viewers for last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Wonderful Pistachios 400 from Richmond Int’l Raceway, which was the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Those figures are up 19.4% and 16.6%, respectively, from the same race last year. Heading into the Chase, Sprint Cup telecasts (excluding rainouts) across Fox, TNT, ESPN and ABC have averaged a 4.2 rating and 7.052 million viewers, up 7.7% and 9.6%, respectively, from a 3.9 rating and 6.432 million viewers at the same point last year.
09/14/11 ABC's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 10, saw a 19% rise in ratings from last year's race along with a 17% rise in viewership, according to the Nielsen Company. The telecast earned a 3.7 rating, up from a 3.1 for last year's race that also aired on ABC, and averaged 6,167,000 viewers. ESPN PR
'Crashgate' scandal hits NASCAR It was a scandal that shook one of the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning bodies to its core. It ended the careers of some prominent figures in the sport and went from the racetrack to the courts where even today, years after the incident, some remnants remain.
It began innocently enough. During the F1 race in Singapore in September 2008 Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr., crashed hard enough to force the safety car to be deployed. The ensuing caution period benefitted Piquet’s Renault teammate at the time Fernando Alonso who would go on to win the race after starting well back in the field.
Although there were whispers immediately after the event concerning team orders, the talk died off and the incident was soon forgotten.
Pedrosa tops first Aragon practice The opening session of track action for the premier class at the Gran Premio de Arag¢n saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa lead the pack ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. Pedrosa continued his recent great form upon returning from injury, topping the opening free practice session at the Motorland circuit with a best lap of 1’50.281. Yamaha Factory’s Lorenzo had topped the session with a 1’50.730 with five minutes to go until the Repsol Honda rider took back the lead in the final minutes, relegating the World Champion title defender to second.
Last year’s race winner Stoner set the pace early on under bright sun and climbing temperatures to end the session in third behind the Spaniards, with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli following the Championship leader by a margin of 0.087s and ahead of fellow Italian and rival Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) in fifth.
Rossi confirms he will race in Japan Valentino Rossi has confirmed he will ride at Motegi in October, ending months of speculation that safety concerns could derail the Japanese event.
Rossi was one of a number of riders reluctant to commit to travelling to Motegi until the situation - and safety - of the region was assured following the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March.
The Italian confirmed in a pre-race press conference at Aragon that he would ride at Motegi however, a stance which now seems to reflect the majority of the MotoGP paddock.
Hulkenberg to skip Singapore track cleaning exerciseUPDATE
Nico Hulkenberg has reiterated that he hopes to make a Formula 1 racing return with Force India next year, but also repeats that the Silverstone team originally known as Jordan will make no announcement until December.
Having been dropped by Williams in favor of Pastor Maldonado, the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix pole-sitter has featured in a selection of Friday Free Practice sessions this season, taking turns to drive the cars of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.
'I hope I can race with Force India but the team will not decide it before December so I must wait,' the 24-year-old German said via his personal Twitter account.
A dozen teen-age male students huddled around Ana Beatriz in the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing garage, half-listening to the interpreter's explanation of the steering wheel while fixing their eyes on the IZOD IndyCar Series driver from Brazil.
"I don't think they were expecting a female race car driver," their teacher from the Bunsei University of Art High School in Utsunomiya said, "and such a lovely and personable one at that."
A few feet away, teammate Giorgio Pantano was similarly pointing out the functions of the multitude of buttons on his steering wheel. Polite smiles and light applause (not giggles and wrapped attention) were his reward on Friendship Day at Twin Ring Motegi.
Power fastest on Friday at Motegi The IndyCars were on track in Motegi for their only practice session on Friday on the road course in Motegi under slightly overcast skies and a temperature of 93 degrees with some humidity. A lot of Japanese IndyCar fans are on hand for a Friday and they love seeing the cars on the road course instead of droning around in circles on the dizzying oval.
Mario Andretti on his way to victory at St. Jovite, Canada in 1968
Many times, Mario Andretti stared across in wonder at Windsor.
Thursday, he finally got to see the city up close and personal.
The only driver to win the Daytona (1967) and Indianapolis 500 (1969) 500 races, as well as a Formula One world title (1978), Andretti, 71, was in town to help the brother-sister act of Michelle Cecile and Steve Kipping, proprietors of Kipping Tire on Ouellette Ave., celebrate 20 years with Firestone.
Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Andretti had plenty to say about the state of North American open-wheel racing, as well as the recently-announced departure of Danica Patrick, the face of IndyCar racing, from Andretti-Green Racing for the supposedly greener pastures of NASAR beginning with the 2012 season.
Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk car - More photos on our Home page
Klaus Graf and Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing fired the first salvo at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday with the fastest lap in a two-hour test session for the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patr¢n. Graf set a time of 1:16.293 (105.603 mph) in the Aston Martin-powered Lola coupe that he will drive with Lucas Luhr.
Muscle Milk is trying to run down Dyson Racing for the LMP1 championship in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. Graf sits second in the drivers’ standings behind Chris Dyson and Guy Smith by 24 points; class winners this weekend will earn 25 points.
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