Spies Fastest in Wet Aragon Practice The Grand Prix of Aragon got off to a slow start today with mixed weather and half wet, half dry track conditions resulting in few riders venturing out in the morning session. Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies waited until the afternoon’s fully wet second practice to venture out, a key protagonist in an early flurry of fastest riders he then became the man to beat. The Texan was clearly comfortable on a good wet set up, completing the day 0.066 seconds ahead of Dani Pedrosa.
Ben Spies Position 1st - Time 2.00.219 - Laps 16
“It was a good wet session so we’re happy with it, the bike feels good and we’re quick. We got a good setting with the bike sorted and we got some new information with the electronics so we’ll see what happens tomorrow with the weather. As long as everything keeps going smoothly then that’s all we need!”
GM, Ford jointly developing 9- and 10-speed transmissions General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are jointly designing nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions for use across their lineups in a bid to boost fuel economy.
GM is leading design of a nine-speed gearbox for use in front-wheel-drive vehicles, said three people familiar with the companies' plans. Ford is taking the lead on a 10-speed transmission for rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as pickups, SUVs and performance cars, the sources said.
The companies began work on the transmission program early this year, one supplier source said. They still are in the design phase and likely won't be prepared to start production before 2015, the source said.
Shelby Sued Usually Shelby headlines are followed by Shelby suing someone, but here's one where the someone is suing Shelby American.
Stephen Becker has been an authorized Shelby dealer since 2007, having sold and delivered 49 cars between 2007 and 2010, according to the suit. Becker has sold various Shelby cars for many years before that and says he has known Shelby since 1977.
Last year, the suit says, Shelby Automobiles, Inc. changed vendors for the car bodies from a Mexican supplier to one in South Africa, raised prices on the cars and failed to deliver cars that were ordered.
NJ promoter happy race on 2013 calendar “I am proud that years of hard work have brought us to this point and we look forward to bringing world-class Formula One racing to New Jersey,” Grand Prix of America promoter Leo Hindery Jr said in a statement from the venue.
“The support we have had from elected officials like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the mayors of Weehawken and West New York, a committed property developer and a great management team has been incredible. They have stuck by us through this process, and we owe them our thanks. The Grand Prix of America will be a special and historic race for New Jersey and New York, for the drivers and, most importantly, for the dedicated fans of Formula One racing.
No driver is bigger than McLaren A defiant Martin Whitmarsh has vowed that "no-one is bigger than the team" as McLaren turn their attention to a future without the departing Lewis Hamilton.
One of the longest running transfer sagas in Formula 1 history finally came to an end on Friday when it was confirmed that Hamilton would join Mercedes at the end of the season, with Sergio Perez taking his seat at McLaren.
The highly-rated Mexican has signed a multi-year deal with the British team and Whitmarsh believes there is no reason why McLaren cannot continue to prosper when Perez switches from Sauber.
"He is the most exciting young talent in Formula 1 today," Whitmarsh told Sky Sports F1 HD.
Dario and Marino Franchitti Join Level 5 for Petit Le Mans Reigning Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti is returning to Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda for the season finale of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and three-time 500 winner will join younger brother and sports car ace Marino behind the wheel of the No. 95 Level 5 Motorsports Honda Performance Development ARX-03b P2 car at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.
The Franchitti brothers will pair with regular Level 5 driver and team owner Scott Tucker in the 1,000-mile/10-hour race on Saturday, Oct. 2.
Grand-Am, not ALMS, not IndyCar, lands Austin date Circuit of The Americas today announced that it will be one of the new locations joining the GRAND-AM Road Racing series in the coming year, with an event planned for March 2, 2013, at the new purpose-built Grand Prix venue in Central Texas.
Established in 1999, GRAND-AM Road Racing has a large U.S. fan base, with nearly 20 million adults following the series. GRAND-AM sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, which deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America. Both series are televised in the United States and Canada on the SPEED network and distributed globally through ESPN International. GRAND-AM’s popularity with television audiences has been growing, and it’s enjoyed the highest percentage growth of any major motorsports series on television over the past five years.
The noose around IndyCar's neck tightens NBC Sports Network averaged 292,000 viewers for its nine Izod IndyCar Series race telecasts this season, down 27% from last year and marking IndyCar’s worst mark since it moved to NBCSN. IndyCar’s cable TV viewership is also down 62% from the series’ final year on ESPN/ESPN2 in ’08. IndyCar’s five telecasts on ABC averaged 2.5 million viewers, down 17% despite an increase for the series marquee race -- the Indianapolis 500. The end to two ABC races this season were moved to ESPNews: the June 3 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix had long delays due to the track coming apart and the June 16 Milwaukee Indyfest had a long rain delay. Austin Karp, THE DAILY
[Editor's Note: So viewership is down 62% through year 4 of the 10-year TV deal Tony George and his team signed with Versus. If that rate continues, after 10 years viewership will be down 100% (i.e. zero fans left) and Tony George's vision (remember 'Vision' Racing and the I am Indy hats?) will be complete. CART, which was bigger than NASCAR, and what is left of the sport of IndyCar Racing, will be no more.]
Chris Economaki dead at 91UPDATE INDYCAR and the world of motorsports have lost a true friend with the passing of Chris Economaki. The Dean of American motorsports journalists, Chris dedicated most of his life to reporting the sport of auto racing and telling the stories of the heroes of our sport. He was truly one of a kind. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
09/28/12 The Dean of American Motorsports Journalism has died. Chris Economaki, who began selling single copies of National Speed Sport News at age 14 and eventually became the publication's editor, a position he held for 60 years, died early [Friday] morning at age 91. His column, the Editor's Notebook, was the most read feature in National Speed Sport News for six decades, and while Economaki's contribution has been minimal in recent years, the Notebook, as it is called by readers, continues to be the most meaningful read in the newspaper, which debuted in 1934 when Economaki was 13 years old.
Economaki was also well known for his unique, recognizable voice, which he used first as a track announcer and later through nearly 40 years on television. He worked with ABC's Wide World of Sports, he was with CBS and ESPN, and it can be said he was one of the catalysts in bringing racing to television. It is not an oversimplification to say he knew racing and knew how to speak about it. Economaki worked races around the world for ABC through the 1983 season when he made the jump to CBS where he appeared through the mid 1990s.
He also worked worldwide Formula One telecasts for ESPN in 1987 and 1988. Through the years Economaki has received countless awards including the NASCAR Award of Excellence, and been elected to numerous Halls of Fame, most notably the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was preceded in death by his wife Tommye and is survived by his two daughters - Corinne and Tina - and two grandchildren. Arrangements are pending. National Speed Sport News
Takuma Sato will make his sports-prototype debut with OAK Racing at the FIA World Endurance Championship rounds in Asia this October when the team returns to the LMP1 class following its switch to Honda Performance Development engines.
Now contesting the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sato is best known for an F1 career that spanned 92 appearances between 2002 and ’08.
And the 35-year-old Japanese ace has now been lined up to contest the WEC’s final two rounds at Fuji (13/14 October) and Shanghai (27/28) aboard the Onroak Automotive designed and built #15 OAK/Pescarolo LMP1, which is now powered by HPD’s proven AR6-LMV8 powerplant.
Runway Incident Delays Departure of NASCAR Charter A 737 charter jet filled with NASCAR drivers, crew and media members slipped off the runway while taxiing for takeoff at Concord (NC) Regional Airport today, becoming stuck in the mud and delaying its departure for Dover International Speedway. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #27-Paul Menard, #13-Casey Mears, #93-Travis Kvapil, #30-David Stremme and #95-Scott Speed were all on the airplane when it strayed off the runway at slow speed, no injuries were reported. The passengers deplaned without incident, and were transferred to another aircraft.
Simpson Performance Products Acquires HANS Simpson Performance Products, Inc. announced the acquisition of HANS Performance Products. This expands Simpson racing safety products to include the prestigious HANS Device Head & Neck Restraint System. "We are glad to have the HANS Device under the Simpson umbrella of racing safety products," stated Chuck Davies, CEO of Simpson. "This acquisition positions Simpson as the clear market leader in innovative racing safety products. Our total restraint system capabilities now include a comprehensive range of car restraints for all types of racing, including seatbelts, in-car nets, parachutes and the top models of head and neck restraints in the world today. We are excited about the new team we are forming and the growth possibilities for the future."
HANS Performance Products, formed in 1991 by five-time IMSA driving champion Jim Downing and Dr. Robert Hubbard, will be operated in Atlanta as a separate division of Simpson Performance Products. Downing and Dr. Hubbard, inventor of the HANS Device, will continue to provide engineering experience and support to Simpson and its HANS division. Simpson PR
Layoffs at IndyCar teams KV Racing Technology, which at this point will go from being a three-car team this year to having just one car in 2013, released more than two dozen employees, including team manager Tom Wurtz. The resignation of general manager Mark Johnson was announced as well.
Other IndyCar teams are more in the cost-savings mode. Panther Racing and Ganassi Racing were among those laying off non-essential personnel. But many of those people will be hired back in January as season preparations ramp up.
F1 stepped noses and double-DRS out for 2013 The stepped noses seen on most of this season’s Formula One cars - and deemed ugly by many - are very likely to disappear next year, thanks to a change in the FIA’s technical regulations allowing teams to cover them with special fairings.
The revised rules, just published by Formula One racing’s governing body, give details of the ‘modesty panels,’ which can be used to smooth the transition between the low nose and the high chassis. The fairings will not affect the car’s aerodynamics or impact-protection properties.
Schumacher's future still undecided Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 future is yet to be determined as the 2012 season enters its final six races, with Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn confirming that contract negotiations are ongoing with the seven-time Champion.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has been heavily linked with a switch to Mercedes for the 2013 campaign, but Brawn insists that Schumacher is 'very involved' in the decision to either continue in the sport or signal a second retirement.
"It is still under discussion, I'm afraid," Brawn explained to BBC Radio 5 live. "I can't comment very much on that, but Michael's been a huge asset to the team. He's really taken us forward.
Earnhardt, Jr., Talks The Chase, His Championship Favorites & Football
Slowed now that NASCAR banned his trick rear suspension on his Hendrick Racing car
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, took time out of his busy schedule to visit with the NASCAR Race Hub this evening.
The North Carolina resident joined host Steve Byrnes and talked about his Chase prospects, the way his team is coming together and his love of football. Earnhardt, Jr., also talked about his early championship favorites, and how he is striving to be among them come season’s end.
KV Racing Technology co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser announced today that team General Manager Mark Johnson has resigned.
Johnson, one of the most experienced and respected motorsports executives, assumed the general manager position six races into the 2006 season. He went on to lead the team for the next seven seasons. Johnson’s leadership skills were never more evident than in 2008, when he oversaw the integration of KVRT from the Champ Car World Series into the IZOD IndyCar Series following unification. Under Johnson’s guidance, KVRT was the highest ranked team to make the transition and the only transition team to finish in the top-10 in the standings. Over the next five years, KVRT became one of the top-teams in the series, winning poles and competing for podium finishes, year in and year out. Among the KVRT drivers benefiting from Johnson’s vast experience are: Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Oriol Servia, Rubens Barrichello, E. J. Viso, Townsend Bell, Takuma Sato, Mario Moraes and Tomas Scheckter, to name a few.
Hoosier Tire Founder Bob Newton Dies The racing community lost a true legend Wednesday when Bob Newton, the founder of Hoosier Racing Tire, died at the age of 84.
Newton started his career in the motorsports business as a race car driver in the 1950s, racing successfully at small asphalt tracks in Northern Indiana. Not satisfied with racing on street tires, which weren’t built with race cars in mind, Newton came up with the idea to design tires specifically for racing.
In 1957, with the support of his wife, Joyce, Newton began producing his own racing tires by re-treading street tires with softer tire compounds. The business was based inside an abandoned horse barn in South Bend, Ind., and quickly began selling tires to local racers.
Bentley Continental GT3 Leaked Ahead of Paris Debut
Bentley Continental GT3
With the Paris Motor Show just around the corner, more and more new models break cover early and show us their faces. Some of them come as a surprise to be honest. For example we never thought we’d see a racing version of the fat and heavy Bentley Continental GT, but here it is! Please welcome the Bentley Continental GT3.
Even though the idea of a racing Continental GT sounds like putting a big cow in a track suit, but we have to say, it looks really cool with those fancy racing bumpers and wide fenders and big wing. The word is the Continental GT3 is not just a show car. Bentley is actually planning on getting back to the world of motorsport, and endurance racing – and at the top of the list Le Mans 24 hours – sounds like a viable option.
Details of the Continental GT3 are yet to be revealed, but chances are the car is powered by the new V8 engine. The W12 is a bit too big and too powerful for GT3 regulations.
Melbourne to push Ecclestone for better race deal Organizers of the Australian Grand Prix are aiming for a lowered race fee when the event’s current contract comes to an end in 2015. Since 1996, there has been constant pressure applied from environmental campaigners and, in particular, taxpayers.
This year, the state government of Victoria contributed to 56.7 million Australian dollars (£36.3m) to ensure that the race remained on the streets of Albert Park, which since its debut has hosted the season-opening Grand Prix in all years bar two.
“My aim is to negotiate something that will cost the taxpayer less,” Major Events Minister Louise Asher told the Australian press, without mentioning a figure.
USF2000 champion Brabham earns Team USA scholarship Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda 2012 champion Matthew Brabham has been selected as a winner of the Team USA scholarship.
Brabham, 18, who received the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship to graduate to the 2013 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, traveled to England this past weekend to begin preparations for his European debut.
Brabham will contest the final two rounds of the Formula Renault BARC UK Championship on the Silverstone National circuit on Oct. 6-7. He will also challenge for the Formula Renault BARC Winter Series, which will comprise two races at Brands Hatch on Oct. 20-21 and two races at Rockingham on Nov. 10.
Level 5 Motorsports Acquires West Race Cars Level 5 Motorsports, a successful multi-car team in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, strengthened its commitment to entry-level prototype racing by recently acquiring leading sports prototype racers constructor West Race Cars of Atlanta.
The purchase was announced today by officials of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
West Race Cars builds the WR1000 and WX10 used in the L2 prototype class of IMSA's Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series. Level 5 Motorsports is a leading team in prototype racing and is contending for the 2012 championship in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n P2 class.
NHRA Announces Official Sponsors NHRA announced it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Old World Industries, LLC, naming Peak Antifreeze, BlueDEF TM Diesel Exhaust Fluid, and HERCULINER official sponsors of NHRA beginning in 2013.
As part of the agreement, NHRA will feature the following Old World Industries brands as “official” status:
2012 IndyCar TV ratings plummetUPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I read your post and have to agree, painfully. As a former open wheel racer and team owner, I am as hard core as it gets, and as loyal of an IndyCar fan as there is… but… I am pretty much done with it. I used to get excited about watching or attending a race, now I really don’t care if I miss one and honestly realized I did not even bother to set the DVR to grab them this year. How sad is that? There is simply nothing in the product that makes me want to sit and invest 2-3 hours of my life to watch an event on their schedule. From time to time I find time in airports etc to watch an event online but even then, the cars are horrible to look at and the broadcast does not give me that rush of hearing a screaming v8 at 15K rpm or more like the turbos of old afforded us.
Castroneves moves on to next round Helio Castroneves and his professional dance partner Chelsie Hightower will compete for another week on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars."
The couple received a total score of 21.5 of 30 from the three-judge panel for their Foxtrot on the Sept. 24 show. Combined with fan voting through multiple platforms, they were among the 12 couples who were safe from elimination as part of the Sept. 25 results show.
The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said he got the opening-week jitters out of the way with a solid Foxtrot and can concentrate on his next performance on Oct. 1.
American Le Mans Series and Grand Am prepare for 2014 with the ACO
(L to R) Scott Atherton (ALMS President and CEO), Frederic Lenart, (ACO General Manager), Don Panoz (ALMS Founder and Vice Chairman of the Board of the ALMS Grand-Am merger), Gérard Neveu (FIA World Endurance Championship General Manager), Pierre Fillon (Automobile Club de l’Ouest President), Vincent Beaumesnil (ACO Sports Manager), Jim France (Grand-Am Founder and Chairman of the Board of the ALMS Grand-Am merger), Ed Bennett (Grand-Am CEO) and Frederic Henry-Biabaud (ACO Steering Committee member)
Following the recently announced merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n and GRAND-AM Road Racing, leadership of the new organization met in Le Mans, France, last weekend, with the executive teams of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
ACO President Pierre Fillon welcomed Board Chairman Jim France, Vice Chairman Don Panoz and their respective leadership teams for meetings to address the future of endurance racing. In particular, France, Panoz and their staffs shared perspectives on the combined ALMS/GRAND-AM series, the WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the various technical aspects that will define the unified series’ debut in 2014.
“Last weekend gave the management team of our newly formed company an opportunity to enjoy face-to-face conversations with leaders from the ACO and WEC,” said ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton.
“We were eager to introduce Jim France and (GRAND-AM President and CEO) Ed Bennett to Le Mans, and the warm reception and hospitality provided by the ACO provided a positive and productive first impression. The meeting also served to establish a dialogue regarding a number of things on the horizon for the ALMS and GRAND-AM for the remainder of this year and next, and a look ahead expectantly to our unified series in 2014. The ACO and WEC provided us with overviews and perspectives on our current relationship and their priorities for the future. We concluded with a joint discussion of the opportunities for future collaboration. For a first meeting, it couldn’t have gone better.”
The unified series leadership and those of the ACO and the WEC will convene additional meetings to continue the development of their strong partnership and its impact on premium sports car endurance racing in North America and abroad. The next meeting will be in the United States in the near future.
Burton says he wasn't concerned about his job at RCR
As Jeff Burton struggled in the #31 car the last two seasons, even Burton himself couldn't avoid hearing the rumors that he might be replaced. His car owner, Richard Childress, when pressed on the issue by the media, would merely say that Burton had a contract for 2013, almost leaving the door open that, well, contracts are made to be broken. The obvious candidate to replace Burton was Kurt Busch, whom Childress talked about how much he'd like to have if a sponsor would step up for him. But Busch signed Monday with RCR affiliate Furniture Row Racing, and that should make Burton breathe easier about 2013. But it won't - because Burton wasn't wasting time thinking it would happen.
"I never worried about being replaced," Burton said Tuesday during a Charlotte Motor Speedway media day at the RCR shop. "I never woke up in the morning saying, 'Damn, I might not drive the 31 car next year.' Because I knew all those things weren't true. The fact that I was in the conversation bothered me." Sporting News
The Williams team had a disappointing weekend in Singapore with a double DNF. Chief Operations Engineer, Mark Gillan, gives us his thoughts...
Q. Mark, please sum up your emotions after a fast, but ultimately disappointing Singapore Grand Prix for Williams F1. MG. In brief it was an extremely frustrating weekend. It was what I would call a character building weekend, with the high expectations following a front row qualification and fast race pace ultimately dashed due to a double DNF and a risky strategy call.
German MotoGP Race Is Not In Danger The motorcycle world championship (MotoGP) race at the German Sachsenring racetrack "is not in danger, despite a complaint of alleged illegal financial support from the state government," according to the SID. The complaint at the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, "concerns the granting of financial support" of €1.5M ($1.9M) from the State of Saxony to the Sachsenring racetrack. The complaint "was issued by competing racetrack Lausitzring."
Sachsenring operator SRM Assistant Board Chair Jan Hippold said, "We are not happy about the complaint, but we have to deal with it. However, I don't see any problems for next year." The financial support money "was supposed to finance necessary upgrades of the racetrack," which hosts the only German MotoGP race. The State of Saxony "is not allowed to transfer the money to the racetrack until the case is resolved," which could take months. The Sachsenring "had to get a loan to finance the necessary upgrades." SID
NASCAR CEO France fights to keep divorce private The head of the closely held company that stages NASCAR races is fighting to keep the public out of hearings and documents related to a battle with his ex-wife over their high-dollar divorce settlement.
Tuesday's oral arguments before the state Court of Appeals in Charlotte, N.C., mark the second time the court has heard NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France's reasons to close court proceedings generally open to the public.
NASCAR Brickyard date set for July 28th The 20th annual Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will take place Sunday, July 28, 2013 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 20th of 36 events in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The prestigious race will take place on the same weekend as 2012, according to a schedule released Sept. 25 by NASCAR.
For the second consecutive year, the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will form the cornerstone of the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 25-28, which also will include a NASCAR Nationwide Series event and two GRAND-AM Road Racing races.
All of the top stars of the Sprint Cup Series will race at IMS for one of the most coveted victories in the sport, including four-time event winners Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, two-time IMS winner Tony Stewart and popular Dale Earnhardt Jr.
AdvoCare To Title Sponsor Fall Sprint Cup Race At Phoenix AdvoCare has signed on to be title sponsor of the Nov. 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, which marks the penultimate race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The fall race at PIR had been title sponsored by Kobalt Tools the past two seasons and Checker Auto Parts from '99-'09. AdvoCare also serves as title sponsor for the Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Whiting declares Austin track race ready Circuit of The Americas today announced that it has been declared ready to host the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ by Charlie Whiting, who directs racing, safety and technical matters for the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the sanctioning body that oversees international motorsport. Whiting visited the Central Texas sports and entertainment venue as part of a scheduled pre-race inspection and approved the circuit for “Grade 1” status, which is the highest distinction awarded to a motorsports venue. The passing grade clears the way for the circuit to conduct Formula 1 racing this fall.
Whiting’s visit comes approximately two months before Formula 1 racing is set to return to the United States, Nov. 16-18. All Formula 1 circuits must be inspected and approved by Whiting before they can conduct Grand Prix racing, and the motorsports veteran spent approximately two hours touring the Austin facility along with representatives of Circuit of The Americas, general contractor Austin Commercial and German track architects Tilke GmbH. Whiting had rave reviews for the entire venue and the work completed since his last visit to the circuit in August 2012.
Fisker Karma meets 2025 Fuel target Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended-range (EVer), today announced that the company's flagship Karma sedan already surpasses its 2025 fuel economy target under Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards - recently finalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
"It's a testament to the disruptive power of technology that a premium luxury sedan like the 2012 Fisker Karma beats its fuel economy target for 2025 - today," said Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz. "We applaud NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the Karma, we have brought to market the technology that these regulations are designed to encourage, and we're pointing the way for the rest of the industry."
NASCAR New Hampshire TV RatingUPDATE ESPN’s live telecast of the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 23, earned a 'final' 2.6 household coverage rating (2.2 U.S. rating), averaging 3,516,958 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was down from a 3.1 for last year’s race.
ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 22, earned a 'final' 1.1 household coverage rating (1.0 U.S. rating), averaging 1,406,370 viewers. The track was hosting a fall event for the Nationwide Series for the first time so no direct ratings comparisons exist.
09/24/12 ESPN finished with a 2.2 overnight TV rating for NASCAR’s Sylvania 300, the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. That figure is down 8% from the same race last year.
NASCAR Unveils 2013 Sprint Cup Schedule Feb. 16 Daytona Int’l Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla. Feb. 24 Daytona Int’l Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla. March 3 Phoenix Int’l Raceway Avondale, Ariz. March 10 Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, Nev. March 17 Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tenn. March 24 Auto Club Speedway Fontana, Calif. April 7 Martinsville Speedway Martinsville, Va. April 13 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas April 21 Kansas Speedway Kansas City, Kan. May 5 Talladega Superspeedway Talladega, Ala. May 11 Darlington Raceway Darlington, S.C. May 18 Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. May 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, N.C. June 2 Dover Int’l Speedway Dover, Del. June 9 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Pa. June 16 Michigan Int’l Speedway Brooklyn, Mich. June 23 Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, Calif. June 29 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, Ky. July 6 Daytona Int’l Speedway Daytona Beach, Fla. July 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. July 28 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis, Ind. Aug. 4 Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Pa. Aug. 11 Watkins Glen Int’l Watkins Glen, N.Y. Aug. 18 Michigan Int’l Speedway Brooklyn, Mich. Aug. 24 Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tenn. Sept. 1 Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, Ga. Sept. 7 Richmond Int’l Raceway Richmond, Va. Sept. 15 Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, Ill. Sept. 22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. Sept. 29 Dover Int’l Speedway Dover, Del. Oct. 6 Kansas Speedway Kansas City, Kan. Oct. 12 Charlotte Motor Speedway Charlotte, N.C. Oct. 20 Talladega Superspeedway Talladega, Ala. Oct. 27 Martinsville Speedway Martinsville, Va. Nov. 3 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas Nov. 10 Phoenix Int’l Raceway Avondale, Ariz. Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead, Fla.
Hunter-Reay beats Keselowski for 3rd Qtr DOTY IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay convincingly beat NASCAR's Brad Keselowski in the voting for the Third Quarter Driver of the Year. The elite panel of 21 broadcasters and journalists gave ten first-place votes to Hunter-Reay, who totaled 138-points, while Keselowski had six first-place votes and totaled 105-points. In the third quarter, the Texas-born Hunter-Reay, who drives for Andretti Autosport had wins at Toronto and Baltimore but didn't overcome first-quarter Driver of the Year, Will Power, until the championship boiled down to the IndyCar finale at Auto Club Speedway.
Erica Enders, the NHRA's Pro Stock driver, was third in the points and garnered two first-place votes and 55 points. Antron Brown, who races in the NHRA's Top Fuel division, was fourth with 39 points. Denny Hamlin was the only other driver to receive a first place vote was fifth with 34 points. Nineteen first-place votes were cast. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting. In its' 46th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique.
The panel of 21 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Three panelists did not vote this time. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Hunter-Reay will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a time and place to be determined.
Canal+ Looks To Take F1 TV Rights From TF1 In France Pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ has "made an offer" to take the F1 TV rights in France from TF1. After the UEFA Champions League, Ligue 1 and the Top14, another "major sporting competition could fall in the hands of a pay-TV channel." The "serious offer" made by Canal+ for the F1 rights from '13-15 is causing TF1 to seriously consider letting go of the rights. TF1 had been wanting to keep the rights at a lower cost than the current €40M ($51.6M) annually it has to pay.
The sport "does not attract audiences like it did during its golden age," and they now plateau at 3 million viewers. Canal+'s interest in F1 is "an indirect consequence of beIN Sport's appearance in the landscape." The Qatari broadcaster took a chunk of Canal+'s Ligue 1 rights as well as TF1's Champions League rights. If beIN Sport is not a candidate for the F1 rights, it is because on Sundays at 2pm local time, "the time of European Grand Prix," it already broadcasts a Ligue 1 match. JDD
As F1 abandons European tracks, opportunity opens for IndyCar In Dubai, Gary Meenaghan reported that Singapore is "only an example of recent decisions" that indicate F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is still "searching for the winning formula that blends big money venues with breathtaking maneuvering." Many believe he "values the prestige and the pound more than he does the on-track action." Look at the '13 provisional calendar: For the second successive season, a track close to the sport's European base has been removed. Last year it was Turkey, which was "unconditionally loved, it seemed, by everyone except Istanbul's residents."
This year the European Grand Prix in Valencia was removed despite "having finally produced a race worth watching" in June when Fernando Alonso won from 11th place on the grid. Neither could "afford the fees that Asia and the Middle East can offer," and so the result is the sport's traditional hub "has never been as poorly represented on an F1 schedule for more than 40 years." THE NATIONAL
Singapore Expects To Profit More From Extension With F1
Singapore said that its F1 race will "cost less to host in the coming five years and draw more visitors," according to Chen & Amin of BLOOMBERG. Singapore, the first to stage a night race for the Grand Prix, expects expenses to drop about 15-20%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The cost of the race is about S$150M ($122M), with the government co-funding 60% of the amount.
CIMB Research Pte Economist Song Seng Wun said, "Singapore is careful where it spends its money. F1 costs the taxpayers a ton of money. It wants the race to stay but it doesn’t want to be taken to the cleaners by the F1 group." The event "will help boost tourists" as Singapore forecasts arrivals to rise to 17 million, and tourism spending to reach $30B ($24.4B) by '15. F1 has attracted more than 150,000 int'l visitors over the past four years and generated more than $140M ($114M) annually from the event.
Singapore Trade Minister S. Iswaran said, “For the extended term, we expect benefits to remain at least at this level." He added that lower costs will come from "optimization of infrastructure, operational efficiencies in race organization and revised terms with the race promoter and Formula One administration.” BLOOMBERG
The Singapore F1 Grand Prix Provides RTL And Sky With Strong RatingsUPDATE TF1's broadcast of the Singapore Grand Prix "largely seduced the public" with 2.9 million viewers and a 21% market share for individuals four years and older. The numbers indicate an increase of 300,000 viewers from last year's event, and also registered "great results amongst the male audience, with a 32% share." LEBLOGTVNEWS.com
09/24/12 The Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the year's only night race, "obtained high ratings" for both free-to-air TV channel RTL and pay-TV channel Sky in Germany, according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETR.de. RTL's broadcast of Sunday's two-hour race "was watched by a very strong" 5.19 million viewers. The peak audience came at 4pm CEST, "as almost 5.7 million people watched Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel cross the finish line." Overall, RTL's race coverage obtained a 33.3% market share and a 29.9% share in the marketing relevant target age group 14-49. In addition, 370,000 people watched pay-TV channel Sky's broadcast of the race, which translates into a 2.4% share. QUOTENMETER.de
Road Atlanta Nissan DeltaWing Testing The Nissan DeltaWing has completed three successful evening test sessions at Road Atlanta in preparation for its American race debut next month at Petit Le Mans.
Reigning American Le Mans Series PC class champion Gunnar Jeannette and inaugural Nissan GT Academy winner and 24 Hours of Le Mans podium finisher Lucas Ordonez completed three consecutive days of twilight running at the 2.54 mile Georgia circuit to prepare for their upcoming Nissan DeltaWing race debuts.
Kurt Busch Talks About Move to Furniture Row Racing for 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch announced today on SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub that he has taken over as driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row entry for the 2013 season, moving on from Phoenix Racing.
SPEED NASCAR Race Hub host Steve Byrnes sat down with Busch in an exclusive interview about his new ride. Here is what he had to say about 2013.
Kurt Busch: This has been a warm and fuzzy type of day; I did sign a new contract today and I kind of wanted to make you guys aware of my next year’s plans. I’m going to be with Barney Visser and Furniture Row Racing. I wanted to give a SPEED exclusive here.
Bernard to announce IndyCar schedule on SPEED's "Wind Tunnel" IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Monday morning via Twitter that he will reveal the 2013 series schedule on next week's Wind Tunnel show on SPEED, which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern.
"We look forward at releasing the schedule live on @SPEEDWindTunnel next Sunday night." tweeted Bernard.
McLaren boss says US harder sell than Asia McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has warned the United States will prove a much tougher nut to crack than Asia as Formula One prepares for its latest bid to win over the huge potential market.
The glitzy, Europe-based motorsport heads to Austin, Texas, in November and will add New Jersey to its schedule next year, after successfully establishing itself in the Asia-Pacific region with seven races this year.
Barrichello to race in stock car event in Brazil IZOD IndyCar Series driver Rubens Barrichello will participate in a stock car race in Brazil later this year.
The Brazilian, who finished 12th in his first IZOD IndyCar Series season, reached a deal with a team to drive in the final race of the year at Interlagos on Dec. 9.
Barrichello will earn more than $100,000 for competing but will donate the money to the charity he runs with KV Racing Technology teammate and longtime friend Tony Kanaan that supports underprivileged children in Brazil.
Sato finishes ninth in Formula Nippon Round 6 Takuma Sato, who competed for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this season, started 14th and finished ninth in Round 6 of the Formula Nippon season at Sportsland Sugo. He was driving Honda-powered Swift for Team Mugen.
Joao Paulo de Oliveira, who competed in the Indy Japan in September 2011, also was among the 18 entries using Honda engines and Bridgestone tires. He placed sixth. The finale of the 26th season is Nov. 4 at the Suzuka Circuit.
Dallara Automobili announced last week that it will design and supply all the cars to the new Japanese Championship - Super Formula for 2014. It will replace Formula Nippon. The new car should have its first shakedown test in mid-2013.
Newgarden to be featured on INDYCAR 36 Remember those home videos that you begged your parents never to play in public? Well, Josef Newgarden isn't so fortunate.
The IMS Productions crew went deep into the archives (deep is 2005 for Newgarden) for an interview with the budding karting star at New Castle Motorsports Park. The clip is part of the latest episode of "INDYCAR 36" that will be broadcast Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. (ET) on NBC Sports Network.
The 12th episode of the show, which goes behind the scenes during IZOD IndyCar Series race weekends, features the freshman Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver in Southern California for the season finale. The production crew joined Newgarden at the infield care center as INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger checked his broken finger suffered at Sonoma three weeks earlier and also accompanied team members at In-N-Out for dinner among other segments.
Catch Helio on Dancing with the Stars tonight Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves has joined the cast of "Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars," which premieres tonight on ABC. The Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series driver is looking for his second Mirror-Ball Trophy to go along with the one he won in 2007.
Helio will be trading his firesuit for the Fox Trot alongside his professional dance partner Chelsie Hightower tonight. Be sure to tune in at 8 p.m. (ET). And don't forget to vote for Team Helio online, via text or phone (800-868-3404).
Gatorade Extending Deal At ISC Tracks Gatorade “dropped its title sponsorship” of the annual Daytona 500 qualifying races earlier this year, “but the PepsiCo brand plans to extend its sponsorship of NASCAR’s victory lane at 12 racetracks,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal with ISC will see the brand “continue to be associated with one of NASCAR’s most visible locations, Gatorade Victory Lane.”
The company will “have branding in victory lane at ISC’s 12 Sprint Cup tracks and have the location described as Gatorade Victory Lane on radio broadcasts from those facilities.” Gatorade also “will receive tickets and hospitality at the tracks.” Financial terms of the “new, multiyear deal” were not available. The last deal, which included the Gatorade Duels title sponsorship, “was a 10-year agreement valued at more than $2 million a year.”
Wind Tunnel Extra: Mario Andretti - One Gallon of Fuel So, how much would racing legend Mario Andretti have paid for a gallon of fuel on multiple occasions? Killing time during a long plane flight, he took the time to figure it out: Watch Video
Motorsports This Week on ESPN NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series at Monster Mile The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will race at the Monster Mile, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, this weekend with events on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30. ESPN will have a live telecast of Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race, with NASCAR Countdown at 1 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 2:15 p.m. Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race also airs on ESPN, with NASCAR Countdown at 3 p.m. and the green flag at 3:45 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.
Announcers: Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick (Sprint Cup); Marty Reid (Nationwide Series); analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree. Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown (Sunday): Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty (analysts).
Loss of trick rear suspension hurting Dale Jr. We predicted that Dale Earnhardt Jr. would become a backmarker again once NASCAR took away the Hendrick teams trick rear suspension. The way it worked fit his driving style.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was disappointed but not surprised by his 13th-place finish Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt wasn’t happy with his car all weekend in practice, started the race 14th and struggled all day.
NASCAR “I didn’t like the car in practice and didn’t really like it all weekend,” he said following the Sylvania 300. “The thing just wouldn’t roll through the center (of the turns) very good. You’ve got to get through the middle and my car just never turned all weekend.”
After two Chase for the Sprint Cup races, the Hendrick Motorsports driver remained seventh in the Chase standings, 26 points behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson. He isn’t out of the running for the title, but for a driver who has 18 top-10s in 28 races this year, his performance at New Hampshire was disappointing.
GM Sells 2-Millionth Vehicle in China in 2012 General Motors and its joint ventures sold their 2-millionth vehicle in China this year on Sept. 21, the earliest date in the calendar year they have reached the milestone and the third time in GM’s history in China.
On Nov. 4, 2010, GM became the first global automaker in China to reach 2 million annual sales. Last year, it achieved the milestone on Oct. 17.
“This is another important accomplishment for General Motors in the world’s largest vehicle market,” said Kevin Wale, president, GM China, and chief country operations officer, China, India and ASEAN. “Despite the temporary slowdown in sales growth in China, GM has continued to experience strong demand for our unequalled lineup of passenger and commercial vehicles.”
2012 F1 title chase becoming two-horse race now (GMM) With six races to go, F1 2012 is becoming a two-horse race, according to former grand prix driver Karl Wendlinger.
Before pole sitter and runaway race leader Lewis Hamilton's McLaren gearbox failed on Sunday, his boss Martin Whitmarsh had admitted the outcome in Singapore would be crucial to the world championship.
Indeed -- instead of being 27 points behind with six races to go, the Briton now trails Fernando Alonso by a whopping 52 points.
Hamilton said afterwards that he will "never give up".
Toyota team will try to put it to Audi again in the desert heat
TOYOTA Racing follows up its dominant victory in Brazil with a visit to the Persian Gulf for the Six Hours of Bahrain, the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Earlier this month, Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre won from pole position at Interlagos in just the third race for the TS030 HYBRID. The #7 car was transported to Bahrain directly after the Sao Paulo race.
With Kazuki Nakajima on Super GT duty in Japan this weekend, Alex and Nico again share the #7 car in the desert heat of Bahrain, on a track familiar to both drivers and the TOYOTA Racing team.
Status GP to test Cullen at Jerez and Estoril in preparation for GP3 in 2013 Status Grand Prix is to test Formula Ford graduate Ryan Cullen as he prepares for a planned move into the GP3 Series next season.
The 21-year-old from Somerset, who is sixth in the British Formula Ford Championship, will drive at the four days of official post-season GP3 tests with Status GP – at Jerez in Spain on the 24th and 25th October and Estoril in Portugal on the 6th and 7th November.
Cullen will drive one of the 2012-spec GP3 Series cars with Status GP as the teams in the series all await delivery of the exciting new 400bhp racer that will form the basis of the Formula 1-supporting category from 2013-2015. He has already had a simulator session with the team.
Chevrolet claims two wins in US Sonoma: Chevrolet won both races in the first visit ever WTCC event in the USA. Yvan Muller and Rob Huff won a race each, and are now tied in points in the Drivers’ championship.
Muller and Huff completed a one-two success in Race 1 after Alain Menu was forced out of the lead by technical problems, sustained after contact with Gabriele Tarquini at the start of the race. Huff won Race 2 after a drive-through penalty dashed Muller’s hopes of a double. Alain Menu, who started Race 2 from 10th, finished in 4th position.
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