Preview: IndyCar heads to Kentucky After finishing second in last week's race at Motegi, Japan, Will Power reclaimed the top spot in the point standings. Dario Franchitti's eighth-place run there put the two-time defending series champion 11 points out of the lead.
Power also earned the Mario Andretti Trophy for winning this year's road/street course title. It's the second straight year the Team Penske driver has won the honors.
"It's an honor to win the Mario Andretti road course award again," Power said. "Now we need to keep going and finish the season strong on the ovals."
New 2012 Dallara No big numbers -- yet Dan Wheldon acknowledged briefly allowing his mind to wander to four months earlier at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the improbable quickly and stunningly became the story complementing the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500.
Two-time 500 Mile Race winner has a nice ring to it in conversation, and now Wheldon sat on pit lane of the hall of automotive innovation behind the wheel of the next-generation IZOD IndyCar Series that will be one of the storylines of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, May 27, 2012.
"Any time you come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always good, and when you come as the reigning Indianapolis 500 champ, it's special," said Wheldon, who overtook the crumpled car of rookie JR Hildebrand exiting Turn 4 of the final lap to take the checkered flag last May. "The first time I was back here since winning the race I was on the road course, so it's nice to be back on the oval."
Three More Grandstands will be Replaced at The Glen
The three grandstands at the base of the esses, that have been there since the 60s, will be replaced
Watkins Glen International was a hotbed of activity leading into and during the 2011 season as a sweeping $3.1 million capital improvement project made extensive changes to the legendary road course. The 2012 season promises to be another busy year at The Glen, both on and off the track. The International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ: ISCA) Board of Directors (BOD) has approved approximately $1.5 million of funding to replace three more grandstands at WGI. This latest capital improvement project will bring the amount invested into The Soul of American Road Racing since 2001 to just over $30 million.
“We have been focused on our Fan Plan over the last several seasons and this is just the next step in enhancing the experience we offer here at The Glen,” said Watkins Glen International president, Michael Printup. “The feedback we have received about this year’s improvements has been overwhelmingly positive and we are ecstatic to further address our fans’ needs. These new grandstands will not just be more comfortable, but also offer new sightlines that fans in those seats have never experienced. It’s going to be another great year at The Glen in 2012.”
NASCAR New Hampshire TV Rating ESPN's live telecast of the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 25, earned a 3.1 household coverage rating, averaging 4,235,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up 19% from last year's New Hampshire race, which also aired on ESPN and earned a 2.6 rating. The telecast also saw double-digit growth in key audience demographics, including a 28% rise in the Male 18-34 demographic and a 20% rise in the Male 18-49 demographic. The audience also saw 33 percent of growth in the Persons 55+ demographic. ESPN
IndyCar slaps Castroneves with $30K fine INDYCAR has fined driver Helio Castroneves $30,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the season for actions following the Sept. 18 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi.
Castroneves was penalized for use of improper, profane or disparaging language in reference to officials for comments he made toward the Race Director via Twitter after he was penalized for passing under a local yellow on the final lap on the 2.983-mile road course.
Because of the public display of his actions, Castroneves will be able to work off the fine by making a series of public appearances on behalf of INDYCAR throughout the remainder of the season.
Castroneves may contest the penalty as prescribed in the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook. A protest/appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.
NASCAR Driver TV Exposure -- Chase Start Although he is off to a slow start in this year's Chase, Kyle Busch's regular season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series could not have gone much better in terms of television exposure for himself and his sponsors. Altogether, Busch's presence during TV coverage of the first 26 Cup Series races helped deliver $57.8 million of exposure value to his sponsors, nearly $14 million more than the next most brand-friendly driver, Jimmie Johnson.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons — Busch's sponsors as a group appeared for 21 hours, five minutes, 45 seconds (21:05:45) during live and replayed race telecasts. Also contributing were a season-leading 251 mentions of Busch's sponsors.
Caterham Team AirAsia To Test Four Drivers in Jerez GP2 Test After finishing sixth in the GP2 2011 Teams Championship two weeks ago Caterham Team AirAsia is now turning its focus to the forthcoming GP2 tests in Spain, in Jerez and Barcelona. The team will test on Wednesday and Thursday this week in Jerez and then in Barcelona on 19th & 20th October, before the last GP2 race of the season in Abu Dhabi which will support the F1 Grand Prix in November.
This week in Jerez four drivers will share the wheel of the Caterham Team AirAsia cars – Portuguese GP3 driver Antonio Felix da Costa, managed by Tiago Monteiro and former F1 rookie driver Yelmer Buurman will test on day one. Alexander Rossi, lead driver in the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program and Team Lotus test driver Ricardo Teixeira will be driving on day two.
Lotus ART and Esteban Gutierrez renew their alliance for 2012 Lotus ART is happy to announce that Esteban Gutierrez will be the official driver for its race team competing in the 2012 GP2 Series. Since the first day of their collaboration in 2009, Lotus ART and the Mexican driver have fulfilled their joint objectives. The first champion in the history of the GP3 Series in 2010, Esteban was one of the best rookies in the GP2 series, where he brought home his first win in 2011. This extension of the partnership between Esteban and Lotus ART is the logical continuation of a fruitful collaboration. The first step in the 2012 project will take place in the form of tests at Barcelona, in which Esteban will participate, on October 19 and 20 as well as with Abu Dhabi races in November.
Wheldon indicates new IndyCar will be faster Dallara’s new 2012 Indy car chassis still has plenty of testing to do, including its first run on the oval at Indianapolis on Tuesday, but the IR12 chassis has proved to be a pleasure to drive from the outset, according to its chief test pilot, Dan Wheldon.
With his Indy 500-winning Bryan Herta Autosport team running the car, and 2012 Project Manager Tony Cotman and INDYCAR VP of Technology Will Phillips crafting the testing plans, the 2005 series champion was enthused after putting the IR12 through its paces on the 2.6-mile Indianapolis road course in early September, and again up last week during a solid two-day run on the tricky .875-mile oval at Iowa.
“We had a really good test at Indianapolis on the F1 track,” he said. “We did 400 miles on the day, and that was really a success, I feel. Tony Cotman and Will Phillips have a very structured goal for each test, and they stick to it. They evaluate everything that happens before moving to the next step, and that kind of development process is just what the car needs.”
Senators question $3.6M for Kentucky Speedway Republican state senators questioned Tuesday why the state was spending $3.6 million to widen roads and build a pedestrian tunnel to help ease traffic congestion around the Kentucky Speedway for its Sprint Cup race on June 30.
Traffic woes ensnared thousands of NASCAR enthusiasts during the inaugural race at the speedway in July. Many ticket buyers were unable to attend the event because they were stuck in traffic outside the Gallatin County track. Among them was Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, who called for legislative hearings to address the traffic mess.
Mark Simendinger, the speedway's general manager, told the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday that the track made several mistakes.
Traffic wasn't moved quickly enough off Interstate 71 and Ky. 35, there weren't enough parking places and the parking lots weren't managed effectively. There also was a shortage of staff, he said.
Katie Kenseth in wreck practicing for Better Half Dash The wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth left Charlotte Motor Speedway by stretcher early Monday evening after a crash at the race track during a practice session for a charity race next month. Katie Kenseth crashed in to what typically is the pit stop wall in a driving school bandolero vehicle after taking a sharp turn. Her husband rushed to check on her, and emergency track officials loaded her onto a stretcher. Other NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell and David Ragan were also in attendance to watch their wives and girlfriends practice for the inaugural Better Half Dash on October 15. The charity race will benefit Speedway Children's Charities and Motor Racing Outreach and will feature a 25-lap race on the front stretch quarter-mile oval before the Bank of American 500. WCNC
Monday night, Kenseth tweeted, "That didn't turn out so well. Katie and I are home, she has a broken scapula and some bumps and bruises. Thanks for all the well wishes."
A home Grand Prix is always a very special and emotional race for any driver, and many have claimed just seeing their fans can give them extra impetus. However, for Kamui Kobayashi his return to Suzuka, where the team scored its best result of 2010, will be very poignant after the devastation caused to Japan this year. The country’s sole Formula One driver shares his thoughts about the situation his beloved country has found itself in, his initiatives to help the victims and their families, his season so far and the next race.
Kamui, what is your personal impression about the current situation in Japan?
Kamui Kobayashi: “After the news we received in March about the disaster became worse and worse, I think the way the country has recovered so far is impressive. This is because Japan received a lot of help from outside and also because the Japanese are very strong people and have given each other an awful lot of help and support. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but the progress has been remarkable.”
Audi Sport’s Romain Dumas waited until the second-to-last lap Monday to set the fastest time in the second day of testing for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:08.394 (133.696 mph) lap at Road Atlanta. The Frenchman set the time in the diesel-powered Audi R18 TDI that he will share in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour race with Timo Bernhard and Marcel Fassler.
Dumas’ time ended what had been a day of dominance for Peugeot Sport Total, which sat 1-2 for most the afternoon. The No. 7 entry of Sebastien Bourdais, Anthony Davidson and Simon Pagenaud ended Monday second at 1:08.569 (133.355 mph). The second Peugeot of Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz sat third at 1:09.311 (131.927 mph).
Tomas Scheckter to drive for Sarah Fisher Racing at Las Vegas Tomas Scheckter says though an IZOD IndyCar Series team offered him the opportunity to compete in more races there was a comfort level with Sarah Fisher Racing that was difficult to dismiss.
So that potential deal became a one-race partnership with the Indianapolis-based team -- the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- in the green and white No. 57 Angie's List Special.
Scheckter will be teamed with Ed Carpenter -- former teammates at Vision Racing -- who also is competing in the No. 67 Dollar General car this weekend in the Kentucky Indy 300. Carpenter, the 2010 pole sitter at Kentucky Speedway, has been the race runner-up the past two seasons. He tested at the 1.5-mile oval Sept. 23.
Pescarolo wins last Le Mans race The final round of the Le Mans Series took place at the Estoril circuit in Portugal Sunday and saw the two LM P1 titles won by two different teams. The Pescarolo team completed its comeback to Le Mans by winning the driver’s title, while the team’s title went to the Rebellion Racing team.
The race got off to a flying start after the number 13 car of Rebellion Racing snatched second place from the Pescarolo-Judd. Unfortunately, with its cars in first and second place, the leading car, number 12, being driven by Neel Jani was pushed into the garage due to gearbox problems.
With two hours down, the remaining Rebellion Racing car lost the lead to Emmanuel Collard of Pescarolo after the second round of pit stops Once in the lead he immediately upped his pace, setting a new fastest lap.
NASCAR puts Team Penske in its place The car of Kurt Busch did not pass prerace inspection the first time through Sunday morning, and NASCAR sent a message to the team to stop having small issues in technical inspection. NASCAR did not release the car until 10 minutes before the engines were fired for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Penske Racing team fixed the rear-end issue and the car rolled out to pit road following the national anthem. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said after the race there would be no penalties for Busch's Penske Racing team. After the race, team owner Roger Penske indicated Darby was sending a message to his team. "The problem was we had been the last two or three weeks late getting through tech," Penske said. "Then if we had a little bit of a problem, we had to go back through again and they said, 'We've had enough of you going back through for just little things.' Scene Daily
Ocean Racing testing at a wet Jerez in southern Spain
After wrapping up its 2011 season of the GP2 Series two weeks ago at Monza, Ocean Racing Technology is already turning toward 2012. This week, the Portuguese team will be taking part in the first off-season tests at Jerez, September 28 and 29, before heading to Barcelona for a second session scheduled for October 19 and 20, and finally, on to Abu Dhabi for an exhibition race the same weekend as the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
At Jerez, four drivers will share the wheel of the Ocean Racing Technology cars: Antonio Felix da Costa, Stephane Richelmi, James Calado, and Yuki Shiraishi. For Ocean's CEOs, Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes, "The objective of these tests is to determine which drivers will be part of the team in 2012, but also to experiment with several technical solutions that we generally did not get a chance to test in the regular season. Regarding the drivers, the four that we selected are all excellent and have different levels of experience but they all have their speed in common. We are certain that these two days will be productive."
Renault fined for misleading Senna Renault has been fined €7,500 (£6,500) for providing Bruno Senna with inaccurate information during the Singapore Grand Prix. The night race in Marina Bay proved to be the worst of the year for the Enstone-based team, with Senna finishing 15th as team-mate Vitaly Petrov struggled to 17th behind the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen.
An official report from the FIA-appointed stewards, released at 11:45pm local time and regarding an incident which took place 70 minutes into the race, was released after Renault informed Senna that the car ahead – the Sauber of Sergio Pérez – was on the same lap; Senna, who was actually a lap down, duly tried to overtake and contact was made between the two cars.
Danica Patrick is proof that people with no exceptional talent can be financially successful. Look at Snooki, who has no real talent; she is making millions
Would the fact that Danica Patrick is racing make you buy a ticket to see her race? A lot of people seemed to think that was the case in IndyCar, and now that she is leaving to race in NASCAR, a lot of those people are concerned.
The folks in NASCAR are ecstatic that she is coming. They think that Danica will sell a lot of tickets for NASCAR races.
Recently, Danica announced that she had signed a deal with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports to race the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2012. In addition, she will drive a Sprint Cup car in about a half-dozen events provided by Tony Stewart.
Not very surprising, the first Cup race on her schedule is the season-opening Daytona 500.
Hopefully, she will not show up for the Daytona 500 in the same seven-inch spiked heels that she wore for the announcement of her plans for 2012. I found that so amazing that I just had to get that in.
Dorel to Make Child Safety Seats With IndyCar Technology
Dorel Juvenile GroupA prototype of the Dorel safety seat, which employs foam technology commonly found in IndyCar racecar seats
You have to wonder why nobody thought of this before.
Watching IndyCar drivers walk away from 200 m.p.h. crashes, executives at Dorel, the child car seat manufacturer, asked whether the technologies that protected racecar drivers in crashes could be applied to child safety seats.
A collaboration with an IndyCar supplier is bearing out answers. Dorel is developing seats that use a proprietary foam used in IndyCar seats called expanded polypropylene, or E.P.P., which is proven to be more resilient and shock absorbent than other foams.
E.P.P. is one of only two foams approved for use in IndyCar seats, and it is the one that is preferred, said Jeff Horton, director of engineering for the Indy Racing League, the body responsible for safety research. “We promote the E.P.P. 100 percent,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s the best crash absorption we have.”
The first day of testing for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda belonged to Peugeot as its two diesel-powered Peugeot 908 factory prototypes finished 1-2 on Sunday afternoon at Road Atlanta.
The No. 7 Peugeot Sport Total entry of Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais and Anthony Davidson turned a best lap of 1:08.291 (133.898 mph) in the day’s second session. The second Peugeot of Stephane Sarrazin, Franck Montagny and Alexander Wurz was just 0.519 seconds behind.
Audi Sport Team Joest’s two Audi R18s sat third and fourth, paced by the No. 2 entry of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. Their car set a best lap of 1:09.440 (131.682 mph).
Audi starts quick at Petit LeMans testing Audi Sport Team Joest and Romain Dumas set the quickest time in Sunday's first test session for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – a 1:09.555 (131.464 mph) lap in the R18 TDI’s first laps around Road Atlanta.
A total of 20 cars turned laps in the two-hour session with a five-hour run set for the afternoon. Many drivers commented on the amount of traffic for a test day but it’s a nice tune-up. Fifty-three cars are expected to start Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour finale of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.
Dumas – teaming with Marcel Fassler and Timo Bernhard – was just 0.046 seconds ahead of the Peugeot 908 and drivers Simon Pagenaud, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Bourdais.
Singapore fireworks as Massa shoves HamiltonUPDATE
There were more than just fireworks in the Singapore skies
Lewis Hamilton didn't comment on his collision with Felipe Massa which earned him a drive-through penalty during the Singapore Grand Prix.
"Congratulations to Seb on a great drive - he drove fantastically all weekend," Hamilton said. "And well done to Jenson, too - he showed what was possible from our package by really getting the maximum out of it. He nearly brought home the victory too - so I'm encouraged that we can continue to challenge for wins for the rest of the season.
"I had fun picking off cars after my penalty, but it was frustrating to once again be down the field when I felt we had a car that could have challenged up at the front. For me, this weekend was a bit of a missed opportunity. As always, though, I'll put it behind me - I'm already looking forward to Suzuka!"
09/25/11 (GMM) There was fireworks in the sky after the Singapore night race and then fireworks in the paddock between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.
Brazilian Massa, highly critical of Hamilton's aggressive driving in the past, was annoyed with the McLaren driver after a qualifying incident and then enraged after the race.
Grant Lynch, left, Executive Director of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, congratulated its two newest members, John Force, center, and Kenny Bernstein, who will be officially inducted in May 2012.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame has announced today that NHRA greats Kenny Bernstein and John Force will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with NASCAR’s Richard Childress.
“Congratulations to the Class of 2012. Kenny and John have shown a competitive fire in their sport that earned them this International honor, “said IMHOF Executive Director Grant Lynch. “Both have shown their gift behind the wheel and as car owners. Kenny, Richard and John are true pioneers in their sport and have sealed their place in motorsports history.” Lynch added, “The three 2012 Inductees bring personality, individuality and uniqueness to the IMHOF induction.”
Valtteri Bottas salutes his Donington win today, flanked by Will Buller (left) and Menasheh Idafar
The battle for second place in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will go down to the final rounds of the championship at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time after a pair of dramatic damp Donington Park races today.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas won the sprint race for Double R and Mercedes, and Danish driver Kevin Magnussen took the win in the streaming wet 40-minute feature race for Carlin and Volkswagen, setting the scene for a dramatic finale as five drivers bid to end the season as runner-up to new champion Felipe Nasr. The championship second and third-place drivers will join Nasr at a free half-day test in a World Series by Renault car at the Spanish MotorLand Aragon circuit on 28 November.
Vettel can sit home and he will still win the 2011 F1 title
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko was as cool as a cucumber on Sunday as Sebastian Vettel closes on the 2011 championship. The German driver needs just a tenth place at Suzuka in two weeks to win his second successive world title.
And Vettel can only lose the championship if McLaren's Jenson Button wins not only in Japan but also the four races after it. That the Briton can do it is "not likely", Red Bull consultant Marko told German television Sky in Singapore.
"In this field there is no one else strong enough to win the last five races," added the Austrian.
UNITUS Racing, left to right - Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Niemann Pest and Tony Griffin.
2010 F1 in Schools World Champions, UNITUS Racing, from South East High School, Bradenton, Florida and James Madison Middle School, Roanoke, Virginia returned to defend their title at the 2011 F1 in Schools World Finals held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. It was an intense week of competition and the team were delighted to take third place on the podium this time.
Amanda Clark, Mark Nanney, Niemann Pest and Tony Griffin, formed UNITUS Racing to compete in the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge in USA. Last year they won through Regional Finals in their home country, and then won the USA F1 in Schools title, to secure a place at the World Finals, where they beat the opposition to be crowned 2010 World Champions. Their national success was repeated this year, booking them a place at the World Finals for a second consecutive year.
Randy Bernard sits at the epicenter of everything IndyCar, so much so that the sport's CEO seldom sleeps and seldom sees his family.
Stress comes with the job, but his second year on the job has been full of it. There's the impending loss of Danica Patrick to NASCAR, criticism of Izod IndyCar Series officiating, the introduction of a new car and engine for 2012, and the pressure to deliver a new high-profile race next month, the Izod World Championship he created for Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Somehow, the former leader of Professional Bull Riders motors along at the head of this Indianapolis-based series.
NASCAR changes Phoenix schedule; Goodyear chooses tire NASCAR has eliminated a scheduled Sprint Cup practice on Thursday of race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11-13. Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to participate in an open test at Phoenix Oct. 4-5. Those testing sessions were scheduled because the track has been reconfigured and resurfaced since NASCAR's last visit. The Thursday practice apparently was eliminated because of the October testing opportunities. Teams are approaching the Phoenix race as one of the most important in the Chase not only because it is the next-to-last event but also because the new surface will make most notes from previous PIR races virtually obsolete. SPEED
Goodyear has selected its tire for Phoenix International Raceway. Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager/Worldwide Racing, said that when the Sprint Cup tour returns to PIR for the two-day test, Oct. 4-5, teams will use the same left-side tires as they did at Indianapolis. They also will go with a right side similar to what they used in Indy in terms of construction, compound and mold, but with a little different gauge and tread thickness for heat resistance. Fox Sports
NASCAR prohibiting teams from greasing bumpers at Talladega Along with changes to the size of the restrictor-plate and the pressure release valves of Sprint Cup cars there is another change mandated by NASCAR that will affect the racing there next month. In the technical bulletin issued to teams this week outlining the changes at Talladega, there was also a note that "the addition of lubricants to the rear bumper cover will not be permitted." To keep the pushing car from spinning out the lead car in the two-car tandems, teams have used everything from grease, to ointment to cooking spray to keep the bumpers from getting locked up when they meet. Charlotte Observer
Rupert Svendsen-Cook wins British Formula 3 race one at Donington Park Rupert Svendsen-Cook claimed his second British Formula 3 win of the season by leading a tightly-contested opening race from lights to flag at Donington Park.
Svendsen-Cook converted his third pole position of the year into an immediate lead with an expert start. He gradually edged away from Carlin team-mates Carlos Huertas and Jack Harvey to win by just over three seconds after 21 laps of racing.
"I had fantastic pace and a really strong car," said Svendsen-Cook. "I felt complete confidence to really push and was so completely in control. My target is second in the championship and this is a great step towards that."
Cheng Takes Pole and Victory in Round Nine at Infineon
Infineon Raceway is the site for rounds nine and ten of the Pacific F2000 Series Presented by Corsa Car Care. In addition to the 2-liter cars this weekend, the Pacific Formula F Super Series, it its inaugural season, will hold rounds five and six.
Qualifying began under sunny skies with temperatures in the low seventies and that began a spirited duel for the pole between Bob Negron, Fengshuimebaby.com/Terri Negron, Negron Racing Van Diemen and David Cheng, PR1 Motorsports, Van Diemen. Negron made an overnight gear change and David Cheng just returned from Malaysia where he competed in the 12-hour Scirocco R-Cup Enduro, finishing second 12 seconds back. Cheng finally seized the pole with a lap of 1:43.039 on his eighth lap with Negron also posting his best time on his eighth lap but 0.895s off the pole time.
Team Lotus push their car back to the garage in Singapore
Team Lotus and Renault Sport F1 have confirmed that their existing engine deal is to be extended for a further year to the end of 2013 and the end of the V8 engine formula, with the aim to continue working together when the new engine regulations come into force. Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will also provide the Anglo-Malaysian squad with KERS systems for the first time for the duration of the agreement.
Tony Fernandes, Team Lotus Team Principal: “Having established an incredibly good working partnership since the first days of our agreement we are absolutely delighted that Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology will be playing such an integral role in the ongoing development of our team until at least 2013, and then we are aiming to keep working together when the new rules are introduced. They are both passionate, dedicated teams of people with whom we have a growing relationship that is creating a number of exciting opportunities for us for the future. They share our vision for where we want to take our team, and we are very proud to have their power pushing us forward.
Title looks set for Suzuka finale now (GMM) The world championship on Saturday looked set to move on to Japan, after two of Sebastian Vettel's mathematical protagonists qualified well in Singapore.
Red Bull's Vettel delivered his customary pole, but the fact that his teammate Mark Webber and McLaren's Jenson Button were second and third on the grid is problematic if the young German wants to secure his crown on Sunday.
Singapore GP qualifying update Do not bet against World Champion Sebastian Vettel to win another pole after a strong Q2 effort over half a second faster than Jenson Button in the McLaren. The 10 drivers that have made it through to the final shootout:
Sebastian Vettel Jenson Button Mark Webber Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg Lewis Hamilton Adrian Sutil Paul di Resta.
Jani wins pole for 6 Hours of Estoril for Rebellion team Neel JANI secured the pole position for tomorrow's 6 hours of Estoril, placing the #12 Lola-Toyota in the first position on the grid with the fastest lap time of 1'30''118. It's the 5th pole position in 5 LMS races for Nicolas PROST and Neel JANI in the Lola-Toyota #12. The pole position provides them one more point in the LMS LMP1 Drivers' classification; and the team has extended their lead in the LMS LMP1 Teams' classification to now 3 points advantage. Jean-Christophe BOULLION with the Lola-Toyota #13 secured 3rd position on the grid with 1'30''792 as his best lap time.
Rain expected Saturday at new HampshireUPDATE Rain moved through overnight more quickly than expected. There is now just a 40% chance of isolated showers today. Sunday's forecast calls for a 20% chance of rain.
09/24/11 The forecast calls for a steady rain early in the morning then remaining cloudy throughout the day with a few showers. The overall chance of rain 70%. The Sprint Cup Series has 2 practice scheduled. The Camping World Truck Series will also try to qualify and race.
Michelin would return to F1 tire war (GMM) Michelin might consider returning to formula one if the rules allow it, the French marque's motor racing boss Nick Shorrock said on Friday.
The Clermont-Ferrand manufacturer entered the sport in 2001 in competition with Bridgestone, but left five years later when the then FIA president Max Mosley limited the sport to just one tire supplier.
"We are following with interest the evolution of FIA regulations," Shorrock is quoted as saying by the Italian source AGI.
Singapore GP: Webber tops Practice 3 Mark Webber ended practice 3 for the Singapore Grand prix on top having found more time overnight. Jenson Button was a very close second ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but you can't help feeling Vettel had more pace than he was able to show since he was repeatedly blocked on his fast laps. Likewise for Lewis Hamilton down in fifth.
Indy 500 historical TV Ratings A reader ask, Dear AR1.com, You have written on numerous occasions that Tony George destroyed IndyCar racing by splitting the sport in half and essentially killing it. A long time ago you published the historical Indy 500 TV Ratings that showed how good the Indy 500 TV ratings were before Tony George came in and did his destruction. Can you please publish them again? Dave Duncan
Dear Dave, Here you go...... Notice how good those CART years were. Anton (Tony) George's legacy will be his creation of the IRL and how it nearly destroyed what was the biggest racing series in the USA.
MILLER: It's Time For Standing Starts This isn’t going to be a rant about Brian Barnhart’s non-penalty on Dario Franchitti. And it’s not going to harp on the boring parade at Japan. Nor will it spend much time lampooning Barnhart’s see-no-evil call on Sebastien Bourdais for drop kicking Ryan Hunter-Reay into the sand trap.
And Helio has already said enough about his over-the-top penalty.
No, today’s sermon will focus on the sorry start at Motegi, the embarrassing starts and restarts at many street/road courses this year and the overall joke of impersonating a professional racing series when the green flag waves.
Standing Starts and IndyCar racingUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Can you please point me to these articles where you campaigned for Standing Starts and Push-To-Pass in CART/Champ Car? Bob Delker
09/23/11 Longtime readers of AutoRacing1.com know that we were relentless in lobbying Champ Car to implement standing starts and push-to-pass. After years of work, Champ Car finally implemented both with great success, something we are proud of.
Over the weekend, Randy Bernard revealed on Twitter that he posed the question in a meeting with the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers of whether the Series should move to standing starts on road and street courses in 2012. He reported that 16 of the 26 drivers in attendance voted in favor of the shift.
Roush Fenway Remains Confident for Chase With one race in the books, Roush Fenway Racing remains in solid contention for the Sprint Cup title, as the series rolls into New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second of 10 Chase races. The organization turned in a robust performance last week in the Chase kickoff at Chicagoland, winning the pole and seeing Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth combine to lead 85 laps; while each contending for the victory.
Edwards finished fourth and moved to third in the points standings; 10 points out of first, while Kenseth – despite winning the pole and leading 46 laps - finished 21st after running short on fuel. He is currently 11th in the standings; 24 points out, but still in more than viable contention.
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