Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)

Singapore was the big winner
Fernando Alonso was crowned Formula One’s prince of darkness on Sunday, after streaking to the checkered flag at the sport’s first night-time grand prix in Singapore.

The Spaniard’s triumph at Formula One’s 800th race was heralded by customary champagne-fuelled celebrations, the podium jubilation adhering to time-honored motor racing etiquette. But while Renault’s twice former world champion will be forever noted as the Singapore GP’s first winner, the F1 honor roll will not so easily record the biggest winner of the weekend - the South-East Asian city-state whose staging of a spectacular and innovative race has left the motor racing world agog with admiration.

A jewel in the Formula One crown is how the sport’s supremo Bernie Ecclestone described the Singapore race, adding that floodlit events were the future for the sport.

It helped that Sunday night’s race was an action-packed roller-coaster of thrills, drama and daredevil driving.

“In this part of the world, for sure, night races will take off,” the billionaire who owns the sport’s commercial rights said on Sunday. Ecclestone plans to turn the Japanese GP into a night race next.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis raved about the Singaporean extravaganza.

“It is not just a new experience,” he said, “It is a real big step in the history of grand prix racing because it has been done so well.

Read more & Comment...

DEI hosts Dale Earnhardt tribute
Dale Earnhardt Inc. officials will pay tribute to seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, singer Johnny Cash and actor John Wayne at the company's Mooresville, N.C., headquarters during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, as well as offer autograph sessions with the organization's drivers.

The “Dale and The Duke” show car as well as other displays will honor the three Americans.

The event begins Oct. 10, with DEI drivers Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard, Aric Almirola and Regan Smith signing autographs.

Developmental drivers Jeffery Earnhardt (the late Dale Earnhardt's grandson), Trevor Bayne and Jesus Hernandez, as well as Kerry Earnhardt (Dale Earnhardt's son), will be on hand that afternoon to visit and talk with fans, as well as be available for autographs. Taylor Earnhardt, daughter of Dale and Teresa Earnhardt, will also be on hand representing the DEI equestrian division and will be available for photos and autographs.

Read more & Comment...

GM stock hits 54-year-low
General Motors Corp. stock plunged to a 54-year-low Wednesday on the House vote to reject a $700 billion Wall Street bailout, while other auto sector stocks also were hammered.

GM stock fell 12.8 percent to $8.51, losing $1.25 a share, to fall to its lowest close since June 1954, according to the University of Chicago's Center for Research in Security Prices.

GM's market cap fell to $4.8 billion. The S&P 500 fell 8.8 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 9.1 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average -- of which GM is a component -- fell 7 percent or 778 points -- its single largest one-day drop.

Read more & Comment...

'08 Atlantic races to air on SPEED This Fall and Winter
Race fans will have the opportunity to catch the excitement of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda on Sunday afternoons in November and December as officials from the series, Mazda and SPEED today announced that 2008 Atlantic races will be shown on the network.

“With the invaluable assistance of our partners at Mazda, we are pleased to announce that all of our races from an exciting, 35th Anniversary Atlantic Championship will be televised on SPEED later this fall,” said Atlantic Championship President Vicki O’Connor. “This is a homecoming of sorts for Atlantic, as we enjoyed five great years on SPEED earlier in this decade. Television coverage for this season was the last piece of the puzzle for us as we reorganized following the reunification at the top of open-wheel racing in February, and I am thrilled that we are finally able to make this announcement.”

The season-opening race from Long Beach will be the first 2008 Atlantic Championship event to air on SPEED on Sunday, November 9. One week later, on Sunday, November 16, Round 2 from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the first race of July’s doubleheader at Edmonton will be aired. The second half of the Edmonton doubleheader and the first race of the Road America doubleheader are set to air on Sunday, December 14, followed by the second race from Road America and the race at Trois-Rivières on Sunday, December 21. The penultimate round from Miller Motorsports Park and the season finale from Road Atlanta will air on Sunday, December 28.

Read more & Comment...

HVM Racing Indy Lights Program Takes First Laps
HVM took another exciting step forward this afternoon after the HVM Racing Firestone Indy Lights team made its on-track debut at the Putnam Park Road Course in Mount Meridian, Indiana.  Firestone Indy Lights veteran and prospective pilot Andrew Prendeville was behind the wheel during the one-day test session.  Prendeville was joined at the session by HVM Racing Indy Lights General Manager Michael Crawford and HVM Team Owner Keith Wiggins among other key personnel.

“Today was a chance for us to debut our Indy Lights program and evaluate our progress,” said Wiggins.  “It was obvious from Andrew’s lap times that it was successful for everyone involved.  We’re pleased with the quick advancement of this program after making this announcement less than one month ago.”

Prendeville, who has spent the last two seasons in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, logged over 100 miles equaling over 60 laps on the 1.766-mile road course layout.  Prendeville improved his lap times throughout the afternoon and was impressed by the new team.

“I try to keep my expectations low, but I think we easily exceeded all of our expectations today,” commented Prendeville.  “The car handled well and it was fast. We even gained more speed throughout the day and that reflected on how well we worked together. It was a good day.”

Crawford oversaw Monday’s session and was also pleased with the day’s outcome.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better debut,” said Crawford.  “Andrew gave great feedback to the team members who reacted each time by giving him a faster machine.  We’re looking for that type of chemistry from this team as we continue to grow.”

HVM announced at Chicagoland earlier this season that beginning in 2009 they will field two entries in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.  The team’s first event will be a doubleheader April 4 and 5 on the Streets of St. Petersburg.  They will continue to test and announce final driver lineups once confirmed.


Rahal team tests at Indy
The last time Ryan Hunter-Reay had his #17 Ethanol-sponsored Indy Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was making a late-race pass of Hideki Mutoh to earn Indy 500 Rookie-of-the-Year honors with a sixth-place finish.

But the Floridian had a bigger goal in mind on a cloudy Monday, as he turned 88 laps around the cavernous 2.5-mile Indy oval. Last year’s top-rookie honors were unquestionably a feather in the cap, but the team and the driver are now more focused on adding a ring to their fingers.

Ryan and his Rahal Letterman Racing stablemates took part in Firestone tire testing at Indy today, logging more than 200 miles while dodging raindrops that shut the track down for more than an hour. Hunter-Reay and his Ethanol machine had no troubles during the day, allowing the team to gain valuable insights to be used when it chases its second Indianapolis 500 title next season.

Read more & Comment...
tv news

NASCAR Now to air at 6 p.m. today UPDATE #2 The field has been dried and the game is now going to start at 5 p.m. ET. Therefore, the only airing of today's NASCAR Now will be at midnight ET.

09/29/08 Due to the current rain delay of the baseball game, NASCAR Now will air at its regularly-scheduled time of 5 p.m. ET. The show is also scheduled to re-air at midnight ET.

09/29/08 The Monday, Sept. 29, edition of NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information show, has been moved to 6 p.m. ET from its normal 5 p.m. timeslot. ESPN2 has added the playoff-critical Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers to its schedule for today at 2 p.m., with an abbreviated edition of Baseball Tonight to follow.

NASCAR Now will air in its one-hour entirety. The program will feature host Allen Bestwick leading a roundtable discussion of the latest NASCAR news and races. Panel members will include ESPN analysts Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty.

Episodes of NASCAR Now air Tuesday through Friday of this week at 5 p.m. The one-hour weekend edition of NASCAR Now airs Sunday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The weekend wrap-up edition airs Sunday night at 10 p.m. 


We win together, we lose together
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has set the bar high for his drivers in the final races in the 2008 World Championship after the team failed to score points in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

"The objective that we have is clear," said Domenicali. "We have three races to go, we will approach the last three races aware that we need to finish first and second every time. We have the potential to do so, so the target is very clear. It is not easy, but don't forget that we have raced in very difficult situations over the last couple of years, and we were sometimes able to win, sometimes unfortunately to lose but the motivation is still the same. The team is very strong; unfortunately you have the moments such as this Sunday but after two hours we were already motivated and looking forward to going to Japan to attack again."

The team's fortunes were compromised on lap 17 of the 61 lap race when a safety car resulted in half the field making a pit stop. Massa came in first and was released early into the path of a Toyota with the fuel rig still attached. He stopped at the pit lane exit to have it disconnected and eventually had to serve a stop-go penalty.

Kimi Raikkonen had to queue up behind his teammate, rejoined 15th and fought through to fifth place before crashing five laps from home. His performance after the safety car went in suddenly improved after half a dozen laps.

"Maybe at the beginning the tire pressures were a bit too low," explained Domenicali. "When the pressures came up to the right level, he was able to push. He got fastest lap and he was catching up with Lewis (Hamilton), because the strategy was going in the right direction.

Read more & Comment...

A genuine highlight in every sense of the word
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen reviews the first night race in Formula One history, which was also the first Singapore Grand Prix. Theissen is full of praise for the organization up and around the Marina Bay street circuit.

Mario Theissen: "Another spectacular chapter was added to Formula One history in Singapore on Sunday. The 800th Grand Prix in the history of the sport was also the first night race for motorsport's elite class. This premiere was a dazzling success. Compliments to all those involved. It is incredible what the organizers in Singapore achieved over the weekend. The images broadcast around the world were simply fantastic.

"The atmosphere in this mega city is absolutely spectacular. You could sense the enthusiasm ignited by Formula One in Singapore throughout the entire race weekend. Thousands of spectators were spellbound as they followed the action around the brightly lit strip of concrete in the heart of the metropolis. For me, the many unusual aspects of this race make it the race calendar's genuine highlight - in every sense of the word.

Read more & Comment...

Q&A with Lewis Hamilton
Although McLaren Mercedes F1 Team driver Lewis Hamilton was unable to win the first night race at the Marina Bay street circuit at Singapore, the Briton can look back satisfied to his weekend. The youngster seems on course to his first championship title after he extended his lead over Felipe Massa. Hamilton now has 7 points more than the Ferrari driver and this with only 3 races left on the calendar.

Lewis, after almost a week in Singapore, do you feel the team’s decision to keep you on European time paid off?
“Yeah, definitely. We felt pretty confident before the race that it was the right thing to do. And both Heikki and I have got such a good team around us – people like Aki and Adam and Olli – that we knew they’d make the right decision for us. At first, it felt a bit weird being wide awake so late at night; you’ve just got off an airplane, so you’re not really sure what time it is anyway, and your body clock is trying to tell you to sleep when it’s dark, but after a night or two it felt like the most natural thing to do, and it was the most sensible thing to be doing given the times we were driving.”

As you leave Singapore, what were your over-riding impressions of night racing?
“It’s weird, as well as being asked all the time about staying on European time, the question I was most often asked about was racing under lights. But I’ve got to admit it’s something you don’t even notice as a driver. My family was telling me about some onboard footage from my car where you could see my eyes through the visor – they said it was pretty cool, but it shows you that we’re just focusing on the track and the corners, and not much else. I didn’t really notice the lights, but I did think the whole idea of racing at night was awesome.”

Read more & Comment...

Gurney’s Poem a Highlight of Grand-Am Banquet
The annual season-ending Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Awards Banquet always has a few surprises and this year's celebration, which was held Monday, September 22 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, saw none other than GAINSCO's own Alex Gurney nearly steal the show when he entertained the crowd of more than 500 guests with an original poem.

On stage to accept second-place Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Awards with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team owner Bob Stallings and teammate Jon Fogarty, Gurney surprised the house when he read a poem that he wrote for the occasion. Gurney's "'Twas the Night Before the Rolex" followed the same the meter of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," but the subject matter was decidedly different from the holiday classic.

All in good fun, Gurney took friendly jabs at Rolex Series Competitors and Grand-Am Officials, and even some of his own GAINSCO team's personnel. The poem proved to be one of the highlights of the evening as well as great end-of-the-year stress relief after a full season of racing. Gurney, with some help from Fogarty, also cut the last word of the poem and instead opted to congratulate TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas on a great season one final time. 

Read more & Comment...

A1GP Points System Confirmed Ahead of Zandvoort
A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has confirmed a change to its sporting regulations to give all its teams the same chance in the championship as they gear up for the Season Four opening round, A1GP Zandvoort, The Netherlands this weekend.

As confirmed on Friday, all teams competing at the Dutch track will score championship points for the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. However, a change to the sporting regulations means the teams will now just count their best nine event scores. The final points’ standings will now be calculated by them dropping their worst result, which will be the points from the Sprint and Feature races of one event.

The team test scheduled for Snetterton this week will now take place on 2 and 3 October, instead of 1 and 2 October as previously stated. This will allow the maximum time for teams to prepare before practice, qualifying and the races later this week.

For Zandvoort only, the first official practice session has been extended to one hour 50 minutes, beginning at 09.00 on Saturday (4 October). This will be followed by the usual second session at 11.00 – 12.30, before qualifying gets underway at 15.45.

Read more & Comment...

SpeedFreaks and Friends Celebrate the Life of Paul Newman
Beginning with Mario Andretti and ending in his own words of thanks, SpeedFreaks dedicated their full 2 hour show Sunday night to one of the most respected, loved and admired men in motorsports, Hollywood and around the world, Paul Newman.

Actor, Director, Driver, Team Owner, Philanthropist, Father, Husband and just plain racing fan was how many of us knew Paul, but Sunday’s show was a time for his true racing friends to tell us about the ‘PL’ they knew.

Andretti began his comments by saying, "Anyone who was fortunate enough to get to know [Paul] [knew that] he was a guy you could thoroughly enjoy in every sense of the word.” And then Mario went on to laugh about Paul ‘going for it’ on his surf jet and creatively paying Mario back on some overdue debts.

NASCAR star Kyle Petty also had some great stories about the 'guy on the salad dressing bottles'. When talking about how his Victory Junction Gang Camp got started, Kyle told an interesting story of how Paul’s business people denied Kyle and Pattie Petty of a funding opportunity. But when Paul found out about it himself, he told Kyle to just go ahead and start building because he would personally help them.

Further in the interview, Kyle compared Paul Newman’s impressive racing talents to his father ‘The King’ Richard Petty saying, “I’m not sure that the King could even jump back in a race car and pick it up two or three laps into it [like Paul did].”

In addition to Mario and Kyle, other guests in the SpeedFreaks pits included Sports car shoe and close friend to ‘PL’, Christian Fittipaldi; Paul’s Godson, NASCAR and IndyCar driver Stanton Barrett; Indy 500 and Champ Car Champion Gil de Ferran and Paul Newman’s two current drivers, each of whom gave Paul a win this year, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson.

All of the accolades and shared ‘Cool Hand’ Newman stories that were told by these motorsports personalities can be heard by going to SpeedFreaks' media page and downloading the podcast audio, found HERE.

Read more & Comment...
Racing News

Quotes of the Week UPDATE #2 "We win together, we lose together and in that respect the philosophy will not change because of one unfortunate mistake. I don't think a lot of people would want to wear the overalls of the guy who has to manage the pitstop.  We have to have a lot of respect for these guys.  It is very difficult and they have a lot of pressure." Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal, Ferrari, commenting on the mistake the mechanic made when he triggered the green light during Massa's ill-fated pitstop during the Singapore Grand Prix

09/29/08 “Maybe I’m the only one here willing to tell the truth. They haven’t wanted Kyle in the car the last three years. They want a young driver, a 30-year-old, a 20-year-old. But Wells Fargo, our sponsor, says it’s going to stay with Kyle, whatever he does." Patti Petty, wife of NASCAR driver, Kyle Petty, commenting on the ongoing turmoil at Petty Enterprises

"Sometimes God makes perfect people, and Paul Newman was one of them."  Racing Great Mario Andretti in paying tribute to his friend Paul Newman used a quote from Sally Field

“Paul [Newman] and I have been partners for twenty-six years and I have come to know his passion, humor and above all, his generosity.  Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit.  His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary.  His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him.  We will truly miss him."  Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all. Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one's life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance. Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humor, and humanness." Newman Foundation [charity organization]

“This is a fantastic result - my first podium of the season; my first victory and I’m very happy, although I think it will take several days for me to realize what we have achieved. Winning a Grand Prix here just seemed to be impossible because we missed our chance yesterday in qualifying, but we were very fortunate today and it’s a superb result for the team. We chose a very aggressive strategy and we had a bit of luck, but we had the pace and the car was fantastic throughout the weekend.”  Fernando Alonso, 2 times World Drivers Champion, Renault, winner of first ever F1 race run at night in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix. 

Read more & Comment...

McLaren hopes for more wet races
(GMM)  McLaren figures are hoping for forecasts of adverse weather as the 2008 championship approaches a battle of three final races.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton pulled 7 points clear of his rival Felipe Massa in Singapore, causing Ferrari to declare that its objective for the concluding Japanese, Chinese and Brazilian grands prix is for consecutive one-twos.

McLaren's Hamilton can afford to finish second to Massa in all three races and still be champion, but team boss Ron Dennis is nonetheless hoping for inclement weather.

"We believe we have superior wet weather performances and we expect one, maybe two wet races before the end of the season," he said in Singapore, where Massa set a dominant pole position in the dry and was clear of Hamilton before the safety car reshuffle.

Chief executive Martin Whitmarsh added: "I think we've all experienced wet races in Japan, China and Brazil, so we feel well prepared."

After another below-par performance with the F2008 at Monza, Ferrari retreated to its Mugello test circuit and was fortunate to enjoy one day of rain in order to get to the bottom of its issues in the wet.

The Italian team believes it is now better prepared for slippery conditions, but did not get an opportunity to try the setup changes in Singapore as the official action remained dry.


Ferrari pitstop manager to keep job
(GMM)  The Ferrari mechanic who may have cost Felipe Massa the 2008 world championship will not lose his job.

The unnamed employee was in charge of the button that triggered the green light to be shown to Massa in all ill-fated pitstop during the Singapore grand prix on Sunday.

Not only did the premature move lead to the Brazilian driver pulling away with the refueling hose still attached, another mechanic was hurt in the melee.

It also almost certainly cost Massa, 27, not only the race win and a likely lead in the drivers' championship, but also the 2008 title, as Lewis Hamilton pulled out a 7 point gap with three races to go.

But despite the implications of his mistake, the mechanic will keep his job, team boss Stefano Domenicali said on Monday.

"We win together, we lose together and in that respect the philosophy will not change because of one unfortunate mistake," he said.

"I don't think a lot of people would want to wear the overalls of the guy who has to manage the pitstop.  We have to have a lot of respect for these guys.  It is very difficult and they have a lot of pressure," Domenicali added.

Massa suggested after the race that one option for Ferrari is to revert to the standard 'lollipop' system.

Domenicali admits that, after the incident, the other pitstops in Singapore were carried out without Ferrari's controversial 'traffic lights'.

"We will analyze what we did in the other pit stops," he said, although playing down claims that the new electronic system has been constant trouble.

"I remember very well problems with Michael and Rubens (with the lollipop).  So it's not true that we have made more mistakes than in the past."


Schumacher manager sentenced
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's long time manager has been sentenced by a German court.

Willi Weber was found guilty of improperly moving money and assets from his defunct company 'Pole Position Marketing', involved in licensing official Schumacher merchandise, before declaring it insolvent.

Bild newspaper reports that he has been sentenced to a term of one-year probation, plus a fine of 720,000 euros.


Singapore reignites Safety Car rule issue
(GMM)  The appearance of the safety car during Sunday's Singapore grand prix has reinvigorated the debate about the controversial rules.

Because the pitlane is closed immediately upon deployment of the safety car, the regulation can hugely benefit or disadvantage drivers depending on the progress of their race strategy.

For example, in Singapore, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg had to serve stop-go penalties for entering the closed pitlane, because they were out of fuel.

Renault's Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, had to admit his race victory was borne almost entirely out of the luck of the safety car draw.

"If I try to be polite, this rule is not a good one," team founder Peter Sauber told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

It is rumored that most teams want to change the rule, but an immediate shakeup would require an unanimous vote.  Apparently, two small teams have exercised their veto.

The new FOTA alliance of teams, however, is able to change the rule for 2009 with a majority 7 out of the 10 votes.

"A change this season is not possible," BMW-Sauber boss Mario Theissen, who wants the rule to be changed, is quoted as saying by motorline.cc.

Toyota team principal Tadashi Yamashina added: "We have had a lot of intense discussion on this matter, so I think it is time the situation was improved."


Honda winning KERS race so far
(GMM)  As in 2007, Honda is enduring another embarrassing struggle this season, but the rot could be set to end.

At Jerez last week, three more teams - Honda, McLaren and Williams - got their 2009 KERS systems up and running.

BMW apparently struck more problems, Williams was running a very early prototype, as was McLaren.

"Our prototype is about 18 kilograms heavier than what we are aiming for next year," McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

The same magazine reports that Honda is so far the most advanced with its KERS system for 2009.

"The extra boost is already very big," the Japanese team's test driver Alex Wurz said, after doing many laps with the system attached to an interim RA108.


Statement from Newman Wachs Racing
It is a truly sad day following the loss of our friend and partner, Paul Newman, after losing his battle with cancer at his home in Connecticut.

Everyone at Newman Wachs Racing (NWR) would like to send our condolences to the entire Newman family during this trying time. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Paul Newman and Eddie Wachs met when they raced Can-Am together in the mid 1970’s. Over the years the pair remained close friends and formed Newman Wachs Racing in late 2005. They joined the Champ Car Atlantic Series in 2006 and the team was based on the premise of creating opportunities for aspiring young drivers and promoting causes.

Newman first took an interest in motorsports while filming the 1968 movie, “Winning,” in which he played the role of an Indy Car driver. His racing career spans from his first event in 1972 until his death.  He won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995 as a driver in addition to multiple Championships as a team owner.

Read more & Comment...

Acura drivers talk about Petit LeMans
Never before has the American Le Mans Series seen such a star-studded field as the one assembled for its cornerstone event: Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6. Adding to the luster of the greatest sports car drivers in the world are champions from the world of open-wheel. Past Indy 500 and open-wheel champions Gil de Ferran, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are part of the world-class lineup. They recently shared their thoughts on the upcoming 1,000-mile/10-hour classic at Road Atlanta.

Gil De Ferran
De Ferran Motorsports

“I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is meeting the competition. It’s probably some of the finest competition you could get if you went around the world hand-picking drivers and teams to participate. I think for us, as a team, and certainly for me as a driver, to be part of such an elite group is really a great honor. Also when you’re in a situation like this, whenever you do well, it means that much more. So we’ll be trying to do everything we can to have a good race. I mean certainly for me and I know Scott has more experience than I do actually, in the long distance races, but we’ll be doing a lot of learning on the job here as we do our first, I guess, real long-distance race of the year.”

Practicing patience
“I think of the old racing motto: ‘To finish first, first you have to finish.’ Certainly the longer the race, the more obstacles you find to get to the end in a clean fashion. So to exercise patience in traffic is going to be crucial, and I mean to some extent, that has been the case even in the shorter races too. Then it’s probably even more important on this type of race.”

Adding Scott Dixon
“I think Scott is certainly one of the best drivers in the world today. So when we were thinking about it, sort of who will be the greatest guys to have on the car. And his name was certainly on the top of the list and obviously we know each other from other years in the IndyCar Series. I was glad to find fertile ground when we spoke.”

Read more & Comment...

One Tire Rule for MotoGP
Spec tires are coming to MotoGP.  The FIM announced the change to the regulations on the morning of Sunday’s Japanese GP at Motegi.

The decision was made by the Grand Prix Commission “For safety and cost reasons.”

In a statement, the FIM said “The Grand Prix Commission has decided unanimously that there will be a single tire supplier for the MotoGP class from 2009. Proposals to supply the tires must be handed to the FIM and Dorna by October 3rd at the latest. The final decision will be announced by the GP Commission by October 18th at the latest.”

With a deadline of next Friday, at the Australian GP, it gives the two likely bidders, Bridgestone and Michelin, very little time to prepare bids. The winner will be announced at the penultimate round of the MotoGP World Championship in Sepang, Malaysia.


Richard Bahre dies
Richard Bahre, a former NASCAR team owner and track operator, died Saturday morning.
Bahre, 76, the brother of former New Hampshire International Speedway owner Bob Bahre, was recently inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Dick Bahre was the general manager of Oxford Plains Speedway In Maine for more than 20 years. He entered the NASCAR Cup series and Late Model Sportsman division as a car owner in 1981, running the car for a handful of races annually through 1993. Sterling Marlin, Geoffrey Bodine, Morgan Shepherd and Michael Waltrip drove his cars.

He also helped his brother build the New Hampshire track in 1989.

Read more & Comment...

Toyota protest rejected
The protest lodged by Toyota against Sebastian Vettel for an unsafe pit release was rejected by the Singapore Grand Prix stewards and this after they examined the video footage of the incident and talking to both Timo Glock and Sebastian Vettel.


Massa admits lollipop return possible UPDATE Scuderia Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali declared that his team will look into the problems they are suffering with their pitstop light system. Today, the team lost the Singapore victory after Massa received the green light when the fuel hose was still attached to his F2008.  Domenicali declared after the race: "Unfortunately there was a mistake. It was not an electronic system, it was run manually, because normally in that condition when there are a lot of cars coming in that safety car situation. It is better to have like a lollipop but instead of a lollipop you control the green light and unfortunately there was a mistake.

09/28/08 (GMM) Felipe Massa has admitted that abandoning Ferrari's unique 'traffic lights' pitstop solution is an option, following yet another blunder in Singapore on Sunday.

The latest mistake could cost the Brazilian the world championship, after he fell 7 points behind McLaren's title leader Lewis Hamilton by failing to score at F1's first night race.

Massa pulled away from a pitstop too early, ripping the refuelling hose from the rig, knocking over a mechanic, and incurring a penalty for driving into the path of another car.

"It was not a technical failure, but a human one, so the same thing can happen with any system," the 27-year-old told reporters when asked if Sunday's incident might finally compel Ferrari to abandon the 'traffic lights' system.

"Of course we could return to using a lollipop, but today's problem was not about this," Massa added, explaining that because a mechanic pressed a button too soon, the green light on the driver gantry simply came on too soon.

"These things happen," he continued. "We are all human and we can all make mistakes."

Team boss Stefano Domenicali confirmed: "It was Felipe himself who went to console the mechanic who made the mistake."


Dodge debuts new engine at Kansas
Mike Delahanty – Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports from a Press Release:

Q: The Dodge R6P8 engine made its Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Has it been a normal evolution process?
Delahanty: “Our teams started working with the new engine early in the calendar year (2008:. It started with engines on the dynamometer followed by mid-week testing with the engines in actual racecars. This weekend marks the first time that a Dodge team (#2 Kurt Busch/ Miller Lite Dodge from Penske Racing: has rolled it out for Sprint Cup competition. It’s the normal evolution, not just an engine, of any type of new part or technology we introduce into the sport.

Q: How long has the engine been used in cars for mid-week testing?
Delahanty: “Penske Racing has actually been running the engine in cars in mid-week testing for several months. They have done the development, the durability testing and are now confident the new R6 is ready for racetrack competition on Sunday.

Q: What is the status of the progress by other teams with the R6P8 engine?
Delahanty: "Our other teams are following a parallel course with Penske. They have the R6 engines in the development phase building power and also out in the mid-week test vehicles running durability laps. It’s not clear yet how soon the other teams will roll the new engine out in competition. As we’ve said in the past, it’s quiet. That’s a good sign. It will be a period time before the engine is fully phased in because of the number of engines required. Another factor, the R5 (current engine: is a proven durable piece. The new motor is good. The current motor is still good too.”

Q: What is your assessment of the debut of the new engine?
Delahanty: “We are pleased with the initial on-track performance of the new engine. This is another step in the development process toward full implementation during the 2009 season, well ahead of the 2010 mandate from NASCAR.” Dodge Motorsports PR


Wilkerson stops three Force teams
The 21st annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals was one of the most exciting events in the history of Memphis Motorsports Park. High drama, great side-by-side racing, pleasant weather, and championship implications made for an event that fans will remember for years to come.

Funny Car champion Tim Wilkerson spoiled a potential all-John Force Racing semifinals when he turned back family members John Force, Robert Hight, and Ashley Force in consecutive rounds. Like Wilkerson, Top Fuel titlist Tony Schumacher extended his points lead with a decisive final-round victory against Doug Herbert. Countdown to 1 players Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle) climbed up from the lower depths of the top 10 with their triumphant wins.

Schumacher's (pictured right) record round-win and event-win streaks may have ended with a final-round loss to J.R. Todd in Dallas, but his final-round streak is alive and kicking after advancing to his ninth straight final round in a season which has the rest of the class nearly ready to run for second. "The Sarge" left first next to Norwalk winner Herbert in the final round, and the U.S. Army dragster increased its lead over Herbert's SnaponFranchise.com/B.R.A.K.E.S. rail at every increment, 3.880 to 3.979.

"I think I did a good job of driving and Alan [Johnson] did a great job of tuning," said Schumacher. "When we smoked the tires [in the semifinals], Alan knew exactly what it was before we got back to the pits, and it got right down the track in the final. We needed that point lead. Of all the records this year, the one I don't want to set is losing the biggest points lead."

"I've always enjoyed coming to Memphis. We've won it before; we've crashed a few times. We've always performed well here, even when we've gotten beat."

Read more & Comment...

A1GP Announces Partnership with Elite Traveler
A1GP World Cup of Motorsport today announced an exclusive partnership with Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine. Under the terms of the seven figure agreement, Elite Traveler will be the official private jet lifestyle magazine partner for Season Four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport series.

With distribution aboard private jets, mega-yachts and other high-end venues in over 100 countries, Elite Traveler brings luxury brands to the global high-spending market. With a median household income of $2.28 million and mean household income of $5.3 million, the readers of Elite Traveler personify the Private Jet Lifestyle - one for which luxury is a necessity. Elite Traveler readers average 41 trips per year, including 10 intercontinental trips.

A1GP will feature in the pages of Elite Traveler with comprehensive race reports and analysis, pictures of the cars and on-track action and behind the scenes highlights from race weekends, including the pre-race Ignition parties and exclusive insights into A1GP hospitality in Pangea. In the 2008 – 2009 series, the fourth in the history of A1GP, the World Cup of Motorsport will visit 10 countries across the globe, including the Netherlands, China, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, Portugal and Great Britain. There will also be integrated branding and marketing opportunities for the two partners, and copies of Elite Traveler will be available to guests in Pangea.

Read more & Comment...

Statements on the passing of Paul Newman UPDATE #3 “I was deeply saddened to learn of Paul’s death,” Tracy said.  “He’s a man of tremendous character who did so much for open-wheel racing and he will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.  I always enjoyed the rivalry that existed between our teams and I admired how he conducted himself both at the race track and away from it.  One of my most treasured wins came when I was driving for Paul and Carl (Haas) and I’ll never forget the time I spent with him.  I will miss seeing him around and I will keep his family in my thoughts and prayers.” Paul Tracy

09/27/08 “I am extremely saddened to hear about Paul’s passing.  He was a great guy to be with around the track. He was one of a kind.  Obviously I am just thinking of his family and wishing them well while they are trying to deal with this.  It can’t be easy.  He’s going to be missed, not just in the motor racing world but in every area that he participated in, in his life. He affected so many people in a positive way.  I’m going to miss him and am fortunate to have known him.” Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 02 McDonald’s race car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

“It has been a very upsetting 24 hours for the team and my family.  Paul has been a huge part of both my success as well as my father’s and he will be greatly missed.  He was a tremendous man, one that everyone should model their lives after.  My sincere condolences go out to the Newman family.” Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps race car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

"Paul Newman - a real American hero, an inspiration to me in much that I have attempted in my adult life.  Not so much for the parts he played but for the man that he was.  He was one of Hollywood's greatest.  He could not only talk the talk on film but more importantly could walk the walk as a private citizen.  As a young man he was an American hero who served his country in one of the U.S. Army Air Corps' most dangerous assignments in western Europe.  Additionally, his charitable enterprises have generated 10's of millions for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of underprivileged Americans.  He will be never forgotten, may he rest in peace."  Jack Roush on the passing of Paul Newman

09/27/08 "It's certainly a sad day for all of us that knew Paul. He was just a great guy and truly loved everything about racing. He and I shared a true passion for motorsports in general, but specifically IndyCar racing. Some of the fondest memories I have of my career are from the time I spent at Newman/Haas and I'll never forget those. Paul was one of a kind and he will be missed, for sure." Michael Andretti

“Paul Newman was a phenomenal individual who made a profound impact throughout his life.  His acting skills are well-known, but equally impressive was his desire to give back and help those who just didn’t get the same shake out of life that we did. 

“I got to know him through our time helping build Victory Junction Gang Camp and during my handful of races in the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.  We connected as racers, but Paul’s ideas of what we should do for charity is what really resonated with me the most. 

“He set the bar, not only with his giving, but in how he gave.  Whether it was through his own line of food products – Newman’s Own – or his work in helping create the Hole in the Wall Camps, Paul did it right, and he did it with class.  He’ll be terribly missed.” Tony Stewart

09/27/08 Following are statements on the passing of Paul Newman:

“On behalf of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, my wife Bernadette and myself, I want to express our most sincere condolences to Joanne and the entire Newman family on the loss of a great human being.  Paul and I have been partners for 26 years and I have come to know his passion, humor and above all, his generosity.  Not just economic generosity, but generosity of spirit.  His support of the team’s drivers, crew and the racing industry is legendary.  His pure joy at winning a pole position or winning a race exemplified the spirit he brought to his life and to all those that knew him.  We will truly miss him."  Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

"We truly lost a great man.  Most of us knew him as Butch or Fast Eddie from the theater or from our living rooms at home.  He was much more than a great actor.  His legacy will be his six children, his wife, Joanne and all the sick children around the world who desperately needed his help.  Paul was a man of character who cared about the world and the people who lived in it.  Putting a smile on a young person’s face and helping people in need was a virtue he excelled at.  Little did anyone realize a child born of such humble beginnings could affect our lives in so many positive ways.  We should all learn to live by his example.  We will miss him dearly but will never forget him."  Michael Lanigan, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Newman. He was a man of great courage, determination and integrity and gave a lot not only to the world of auto racing, but to the world around us. His generosity knew no bounds and his work with helping children as well as what he achieved with aiding the environment will prove to help people for many years to come. I had the pleasure of driving for Mr. Newman in 1981 and I was richer for the experience. He was a man of class and he was also deservedly very highly regarded for his driving skills. The world is a poorer place today for his passing.”  Bobby Rahal

On behalf of my mother Mari Human George and the entire Hulman-George family at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series, our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of Paul Newman. To all his fans world-wide and those close to him in our racing community, we share a deep sense of loss, but cherish the many fond memories we will forever carry with us." Tony George, the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the founder & CEO of the Indy Racing League


Mladin wins AMA Superbike race in Laguna Seca
Matt Mladin dominated
Bob Heathcote/AR1.com
Mat Mladin concluded the current era of AMA Superbike competition with a convincing victory at Laguna Seca on Sunday afternoon. While far from a nail-biting dogfight to the checkered flag, his conquering ride was perhaps a fitting finale with a series overhaul due in 2009.

After all, the Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki ace is the leading race winner (72) and pole sitter (55) in series history, and he upped his tally in both categories this weekend. The Australian also orchestrated yet another inch-perfect, lopsided victory from pole as he'd done so many times over the years.

The contest was also an appropriate final chapter to the great rivalry between Mladin and teammate Ben Spies. The two have proven to be almost perfectly matched adversaries, but somewhat surprisingly, they rarely duked it out on the track. One rider typically tore off from the start with the other failing to recover from a less than ideal launch. Such was the case again today, as three-time class champion Ben Spies suffered a poor start and spent the early laps dicing up past the likes of Yamaha USA's Eric Bostrom, American Honda's Neil Hodgson and Miguel DuHamel, and finally third works Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden.

Read more & Comment...

Kimi admits title hopes now dashed
(GMM) Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen on Sunday admitted that his hopes of defending the title in 2008 are now over.

The Finn on Sunday recorded yet another failure to score points, crashing out of fifth place after clipping the Singapore street circuit's now notorious turn 10 curbs.

"My situation in the championship was already rather compromised, so this doesn't really make that much difference," Raikkonen, 28, said.

The DNF means he is now 27 points behind McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's championship lead with three races to go.

Mathematically, Raikkonen's title chance is not quite dashed, but he told reporters in Singapore that he is "out of the championship" now.

"It was a pretty small chance (before the race) anyhow," he added.


Peugeot back on track
Less than 24 hours after what looked to be a catastrophic crash, Peugeot’s diesel-powered 908 HDi was back on the track Sunday at Road Atlanta in testing for the coming weekend’s Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6. Nic Minassian brought the Peugeot coupe back into pitlane around 1 p.m. ET as the crew continued to tweak and sort a few remaining issues.

Pedro Lamy was not injured in the Saturday crash, which happened at the final downhill turn (Photo: Martin Spetz / DailySportsCar). He lost control trying to avoid a slower prototype but the car impacted the outside wall multiple times before coming to rest halfway down the frontstraight.

Minassian will drive with Stephane Sarrazin and Christian Klien in Saturday’s annual 1,000-mile/10-hour American Le Mans Series classic. Sarrazin, a Petit Le Mans contestant with Aston Martin Racing, said most of the damage was concentrated on both the front and rear suspension. The monocoque was intact and not damaged.

“Our mechanics did a fantastic job working late yesterday and during the night to have the car prepared for today,” Sarrazin said. “There are still some things that we need to work on. We are trying to work on some of the suspension settings and power steering system.”

Peugeot will fight for overall victory against such manufacturers as Audi, which is unbeaten at Road Atlanta since debuting in 2000, along with Porsche, Acura, Zytek, Creation and Mazda.

Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 is the 10th round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Saturday, October 4 from Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED will televise the race live with XM Satellite Radio airing live race coverage throughout the day on Channel 166. Live coverage from American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring.


B-K Motorsports’ Debuts Lola B08/86 Mazda Coupe
Lola B08/86 Mazda Coupe
B-K Motorsports’ all-new Lola B08/86 Mazda Coupe ran for first time today at Road Atlanta, in testing for next weekend’s Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New Mazda6. Ben Devlin, Gerardo Bonilla and Raphael Matos handled the driving duties of the newest LMP2 contender, and first Coupe to compete full-time in the American Le Mans Series.

The Wisconsin-based team is the first ALMS squad to take delivery of Lola’s B08/80 Coupe, an evolution of the B07/46 open-top prototype that it’s campaigned over the past two seasons. The project to create the closed-top car began in December 2006 under the leadership of Lola designer Julian Sole. While built on the platform of Lola’s successful LMP2 car, the B08/80 features significant enhancements over its predecessor.

Read more & Comment...
Formula BMW

Rossi clinches title in New Jersey
With his second win of the weekend at Thunderbolt Raceway, in Millville, NJ, 17- year old Californian Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) clinched the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship. Rossi is first American to win the title in the five year history of the series and the first driver ever to clinch the championship before the final race of the season. 

Winning eight races from eight poles this season Rossi now stands at the top of the Formula BMW Americas record books with 11 career wins and 10 career poles. 

Starting from the pole, Rossi won Round 14, finishing 8.6 seconds ahead of Formula BMW Junior and Rookie Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) in the 17-lap race. Grenier's fourth podium finish of the season moves him back to second in Rookie points. Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) finished third, for the young Brazilian's second podium finish of the weekend. Vilarinho set the fastest lap of the race (1:29.128 minutes) on lap 16. 

Read more & Comment...

No serious injuries in pitstop blunders
(GMM)  Mechanics hurt in two separate pitstop incidents during Sunday's Singapore grand prix have escaped serious injury.

The most spectacular incident involved championship contender Felipe Massa, who despite getting a green light from Ferrari's unique 'traffic lights' solution pulled away too early.

The Brazilian yanked the fuel hose from the rig and carried it the entire length of the pitlane, and was penalized for unsafely pulling into the path of Force India's Adrian Sutil.

Another victim of the melee was a Ferrari mechanic, who after being knocked to the ground was taken to the circuit medical centre.

"The most important thing is the guy is okay, he is being brought to the medical centre and will see if he has any injuries or not," team spokesman Luca Colajanni told ITV Sport.

Later in the race, the Red Bull lollipop man wrongly gave David Coulthard the signal to drive away from a pitstop, and a team mechanic was hurt.

"He has damaged his ankle ligaments and burned his thumb, but fortunately other than that he's okay," said team principal Christian Horner.


Wurz drove F1 medical car in Singapore
(GMM)  Alex Wurz stepped into an important role at the Singapore grand prix this weekend.

The 34-year-old Austrian may have hung up his racing helmet last year, but he still attends all the formula one events as Honda's test and reserve driver.

When the FIA's usual medical car driver fell ill on the eve of F1's first ever night race on Friday, Wurz was asked to step into the drivers' seat of the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate.

It is understood Wurz was recommended for the substitute role by the full-time safety car driver Bernd Maylander.

"I know all the drivers but especially Alex from old formula Ford days.  Our friendship has stayed and we still talk a lot," Maylander said.


Lost bet sees Williams in tartan
(GMM)  When journalists in Singapore dashed to hear Sir Frank Williams' take on his team's return to the podium, it was impossible to ignore the fact that he was wearing tartan trousers.

"Don't ask," the 66-year-old beamed, having seen his driver Nico Rosberg follow F1's first night race winner Fernando Alonso to the checkered flag.

It emerges that the Grove based team's wheelchair-bound co-owner lost a bet to triple world champion and fellow knight Sir Jackie Stewart earlier this year.

Stewart, also in Singapore in his role as representative for the Williams sponsor RBS, bet Williams at the start of the season that Rosberg would be on the Melbourne podium with the new Toyota-powered FW30.

6 months and fourteen races later, Williams is reluctantly honoring his lost wager - the trousers - at the last grand prix he will attend in 2008.


McLaren to take 'strategic' title approach
(GMM)  McLaren will take a "strategic" approach to minimize risks in its bid to win the 2008 world championship with Lewis Hamilton.

23-year-old Hamilton finished just third in Singapore on Sunday night, but title rival Felipe Massa and pole sitter had an appalling night and did not score points.

Ferrari's latest pit stop blunder leaves Massa 7 points adrift the championship lead of Hamilton, who finished the Singapore grand prix nearly 3 seconds behind the Williams of Nico Rosberg.

"We are strategic in our approach to winning the world championship for Lewis, as is he," McLaren boss Ron Dennis said.  "We make no secret of that.

"The most important thing is to stay out of trouble.

"You have to finish the races, we want to finish all the races in the top three, and when it becomes critical to win races then we will take greater risks," Dennis added.

Sunday's result means Hamilton could theoretically allow Massa to win the final three races of the season and still win the championship by achieving second places.


Goodyear establishes a baseline for Indy
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week for a two-day test that was designed to begin the evaluation process for its 2009 tire recommendation for the track. The test, held this past Monday and Tuesday with the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and driver Kyle Petty, has now established a baseline for tire maker's return visit scheduled for October 6-8. "We had two very successful days of testing at Indy," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing. "We ran a wide variety of tread compounds in an effort to understand how each interacts with this car on this track. With NASCAR's involvement, we evaluated several different aerodynamic packages to quantify what impact downforce has on tire performance. And with the help of Goodyear's research scientists, we've begun processes to accurately characterize the track surface and monitor how it may change. This first test was meant to lay the ground work for the second test in early October, which will have 17 cars in attendance. The information gathered at the first test will enable us to evaluate, in more detail, those types of combinations that have the greatest potential. The second test will involve many more cars in an effort to more closely simulate the track conditions of a race weekend." Goodyear PR


Andy Lally wins ARCA pole in NJ
Andy Lally earned his career first SIM Factory Pole Award in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Saturday afternoon, posting a time of 82.266 seconds around the 2.3-mile Thunderbolt Course at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He sits on the pole alongside Parker Kligerman for Sunday's Loud Energy Drink 150, which rolls off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

"I suggested to the team something to try for qualifying and it was probably a bad idea because we were free right out of the box," said Lally. "I think for tomorrow, keeping the tires under you, keeping the brakes under you and keeping the rear under you will be key to winning the race. I think it was an advantage coming into this weekend with prior experience at this track but the drivers in this Series are successful enough and competitive enough at this level that they can pick up on new tracks really quickly and the playing field is leveling out. Everyone picked up speed during their qualifying session except for me. I've been really impressed with about four or five guys and I think they will be pressing for the win tomorrow."

Read more & Comment...
Racing news

Megenbier & Williams Claim Pole Positions for Doubleheader in NJ
Shane Williams, of Capetown, South Africa, and Timmy Megenbier, of Melrose Park, Ill., have both claimed pole positions in the upcoming Jetta TDI Cup doubleheader to be held this Saturday and Sunday at New Jersey Motorsport Park. 

Williams is a guest driver for the weekend races and is from the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup in Germany where he was the mid-season points leader, and Megenbier will be on the pole position for the first time this season.  Saturday’s race will take place at 11:20 a.m. and Sunday’s at 8:30 a.m.

“It was quite exciting.  I knew I did a fast time, but I didn’t really know where I was and when I found out I was on the pole position I was really happy,” said Williams.  “I’m very happy to be in America on the exchange program.  The experience with the cars and the people is really exciting for me.”

Read more & Comment...

Rossi defeats Stoner again, clinches 6th title
Rossi motors to 2-second win over Stoner
With his eighth victory of the 2008 season, Valentino Rossi sealed his sixth MotoGP World Championship title at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan. The Fiat Yamaha rider proved unstoppable at Twin Ring Motegi as he relegated outgoing champion Casey Stoner to second place in the 24-lap race.

Rossi had started from the second row of the grid, and looked to be on the back foot when Stoner took the holeshot and attempted to break away. The top three in the standings, Rossi, Stoner and Pedrosa became embroiled in an early battle for supremacy, narrowed down to a duel on lap five courtesy of a hard overtaking move by Stoner on his Spanish rival. The Ducati rider apologized for the pass, which took place on the run-up to the bridge section of the circuit, but still upped the pace in the ensuing laps –with Rossi hot on his tail.

The definitive pass for Rossi came on lap fourteen, and the Italian was able to do what he had done in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005: clinch the MotoGP World Championship with a race victory.

Read more & Comment...

Pippa Mann moves to USA with Panther Racing
Pippa Mann
Current World Series by Renault driver Pippa Mann has confirmed that she will join former league champions Panther Racing in 2009’s Firestone Indy Lights lineup.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Panther Racing,” Mann said. “Having spent time with them over the summer, I am very impressed with the way in which the entire team works and I look forward to being a part of their 2009 Firestone Indy Lights campaign. Much of this is going to be new to me – especially racing on ovals – but I’m ready for the challenge and know that I’ll be surrounded by a wealth of experience from which I can learn. It’s a truly fantastic opportunity for me and I’m very grateful to everyone who has made this possible. I cannot wait to get started.”

Mann joins former F3 Euro Series driver Martin Plowman as part of the team’s developmental lineup next year. Last season was the first in which Panther had a multiple-car lineup in Indy Lights, and it was also one of the team’s most successful with four victories, a pole position and a combined nine Top Five and 11 Top Ten finishes.

Read more & Comment...

No Malaysia GP night race
(GMM)  The Malaysian grand prix will not be the next night race on the formula one calendar.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, in Singapore for the sport's first ever floodlit event this weekend, is undoubtedly keen on expanding the concept to other races outside the key European time zone.

But Sepang circuit boss Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir has told the local newspaper The Star that Malaysia's F1 contract has been altered simply to accommodate a delayed race start.

"It will still be daylight and about 7pm when the new race finishes and for fans in Europe and Britain, it would be about 10am," said Mahathir, who is also in Singapore.

"We are not going to lose out."

He said Ecclestone "has agreed" that Malaysia does not need to become a night race, mainly due to organizers’' concerns about the cost of installing lights infrastructure.

tv news

Andretti, Fehan, Carmichael and Bourcier to be guests on Wind Tunnel UPDATE Legendary champion, Mario Andretti, has been added as a featured interview on Wind Tunnel.  Mario will pay tribute to his former team owner and friend, Paul Newman, who passed away on Friday, September 26.

09/27/08 Doug Fehan, Program Manager for GM’s Corvette Racing in the ALMS, will be a featured guest this Sunday on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. As the ALMS heads into their season finale next weekend at Road Atlanta, the series will be making racing history as they debut their Green Challenge.

Also joining Dave Despain as a featured guest will be Former AMA Motocross and Supercross multi-time champion, Ricky Carmichael. After retiring from AMA competition at the end of 2007, Carmichael has focused his career on racing stock cars. And next week, he will make his ARCA debut.

Motorsports author and driver talent scout, Bones Bourcier, will also be a featured guest. As a talent scout for Motorsports Management International (MMI), Bourcier scours the country looking for the next racing star. Representing drivers such as Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Kasey Kahne among many others, MMI hosted a driver combine this past Wednesday at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina.

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs live on Sunday night at 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm ET on SPEED.

tv news

Weekend USA TV Reminders UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday are shown below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Monterey Historics Laguna Seca
3:30am-4:00am (R) SPEED
Star Mazda Mosport 
4:00am-5:00am (R) SPEED
Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix
7:30am-10:00am (L) SPEED
NASCAR Performance Kansas 
10:00am-10:30am (R) SPEED
10:00am-11:00am ESPN2
NASCAR in a Hurry Kansas 
10:30am-11:00am SPEED
NHRA Raceday Memphis 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NASCAR Raceday Kansas 
11:00am-1:00pm SPEED
NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman Series Dallas 
11:30am-12:30pm (9/18-21/08) ESPN2
NHRA Race Memphis 
12:00pm (L) ESPN360.com webcast
Lifelock's Greatest Racing Identities 
12:30pm-1:00pm ABC
NASCAR Sprint Cup Camping World RV 400 Kansas
1:00pm-2:00pm (L) -Pre-race
2:00pm-6:00pm (L) -Race ABC
MotoGP 250 Motegi 
3:00pm-4:00pm (SD) SPEED
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix of Japan Motegi
4:00pm-5:00pm (SD) SPEED
AMA Supersport Laguna Seca 
5:00pm-6:00pm (L) SPEED
AMA Superbike Corona AMA Superbike Finale Laguna Seca
6:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Memphis
7:00pm-10:00pm (SD) ESPN2
NASCAR Victory Lane Kansas 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Mario Andretti (IndyCar, F1, NASCAR, Sports Car)
Ricky Carmichael (MX/SX, NASCAR)
Bones Bourcier (Driver Talent Scout)
Doug Fehan (Program Mgr., Corvette Racing) 
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
10:00pm-11:00pm ESPN2

Read more & Comment...

Newman's passion for motorsports started, flourished at Indy
Paul Newman in the filming of "Winning" in 1968 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Paul Newman was introduced to motor racing in 1968 while filming a movie at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and that blossomed into a 40-year passion for the sport that included co-ownership of one of the most powerful teams in the Indianapolis 500 of the last 25 years and his own successful driving career.

Newman, an Academy Award-winning actor and world-renowned activist and humanitarian, died Friday, Sept 26 at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.

Between 1983 and 1995, cars entered by the partnership of Newman and Carl Haas established themselves as a major force in the Indianapolis 500. While never able to pull off a win, the team did score a pair of strong second-place finishes, with Mario Andretti in 1985 and with Michael Andretti in 1991, plus a third in the hands of defending Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell in 1993.

Mario Andretti and Paul Newman in 1992
Time and time again, it appeared that a Newman-Haas driver was destined to win the "500." In 1987, Mario Andretti led 170 of the first 177 laps from the pole, only to drop out late with an ignition problem. It was one of 13 occasions on which a Newman-Haas driver would lead the "500," and one of five in which their laps-led total would be greater than by any other driver in the race.

There are three separate instances, 1989, 1992 and 1995, in which Michael Andretti was forced out while leading. The most devastating loss came in 1992, when he was eliminated after having led 160 of the 189 laps he completed. Between 1984 and 1995, Mario and Michael Andretti combined for an amazing 773 laps in the lead, Mansell accounting for another 34.

Read more & Comment...

Singapore: Saturday Quotes


Felipe Massa (1st, 1:44.801): "I did a fantastic lap in a fantastic car and it was possibly my best qualifying of the season. Given my margin over the others, with hindsight it's easy to say maybe I could have run with slightly more fuel, but we firmly believe we have a very competitive strategy. At every corner, at every braking point I tried to get the most out of the car and I think I managed it. The harder tires have seemed better since yesterday and that's why we went in that direction. The track is very difficult and requires total concentration lap after lap because there is no room for error: it's much harder here than in Monaco. I'm pleased to be the first driver to be on pole for this Grand Prix, taking place in such a special and unusual atmosphere: I hope I can do even better tomorrow."

Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:45.617): "All things considered, this is a good result. Of course, you always hope to be in front of everyone but third place is not so bad. In Q1 and Q2, the car worked very well on the soft tires but in Q3, on the harder ones, it was not so good anymore. Today, it was difficult to choose the best type of tire for the decisive session because the performance difference over the first lap was not so great. I probably suffered a bit because of the time lost this morning with a technical problem which ended my free practice session ahead of time. The track is very demanding with many places where you really feel the bumps and you have to maintain concentration all the time. Tomorrow I will do my best for myself and for the team."

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "A great result this evening, but it is only the first step towards achieving our objective for this weekend. Felipe produced a fantastic lap and Kimi also did a very good job. The F2008 confirmed that it is competitive in qualifying, with half this season's poles going to our drivers. Now we must not get over excited but keep our feet firmly on the ground. Tomorrow should see a long race, riddled with difficulties. In order to win, everything will need to be executed perfectly, right down to the smallest detail."

Read more & Comment...

Singapore: Saturday Press Conference

Q. Felipe, Monaco, Valencia and now here the inaugural night race at Singapore. What an achievement for you.

Felipe MASSA: I think first of all the car was just perfect, you know, so nice to drive smoothly and then I managed to do a perfect lap and that always helps when you have a good car and you don't make any single mistakes in whatever corner you go. That is always a great achievement.

Q. What does it feel like to put in a perfect lap at a venue like this, the first ever night race in the history of Formula One?

FM: It was just a great feeling. When you come into the last corner you say I cannot make any mistake. You are not trying to go on the limit at the last corner as you know everything could be worse than it actually is, so I just made it corner by corner, perfect, not making any single mistake and then when I came to the last corner I said 'maybe I will take it a little bit easier' but I couldn't. I did the last corner quickly anyway but the feeling is so fantastic. When you get the best from the car it is one of the most incredible feelings you can have as a racing driver, so when you achieve what you want it is always a great achievement.

Q. Your thoughts on driving on this track at night?

FM: It is pretty tough. It is a very difficult track. To get every corner right is really difficult. The lights, I mean the visibility, I don't think is a big problem to be honest. We have visibility, so you don't care, you just want to take the best out of the car, so you don't really think whether you are during the night or during the day, you just think about what you have to do. It will be a very difficult race for sure. Concentration will be 10 times more important than a normal circuit, even maybe a little bit more difficult than Monaco as there are more corners, so it won't be easy.

Read more & Comment...

Massa strategy not 'silly' - engineer
(GMM)  Felipe Massa's race engineer has played down suggestions the Brazilian benefitted from a very light fuel load to dominate qualifying in Singapore.

The Ferrari driver was a huge seven tenths of a second faster than fellow front row sitter and championship rival Lewis Hamilton on Saturday night.

But Massa's engineer Rob Smedley, a Briton, said the performance was more about the driver's form than a strategy disparity.

"We hope we have done the right thing with the strategy, we think we have," he is quoted as saying by ITV Sport.

"We haven't gone silly to try and get the pole position and he has just put it all together," Smedley added.

Given the gap to Hamilton, Massa said after qualifying that he would have run more fuel in Q3 "with hindsight".

The scene is nonetheless set for a tussle at the front between the two title protagonists.

But Hamilton suspects the die might already be cast, given Massa's form from pole on the streets of Valencia earlier this year.

"It's unlikely to be able to overtake, so we might see another Valencia," the McLaren driver said.


ALMS remembers PLN
Paul Newman and ALMS boss Don Panoz
The American Le Mans Series paddock remembered Paul Newman on Saturday as a larger-than-life personality and one of the world’s most renowned figures in motorsports. When hearing the news of his passing, stories and memories came flooding as testing began at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6, an event Newman competed in during the 2000 season.

Newman died Friday night at his Connecticut home at the age of 83. An Academy Award-winning actor, Newman was a passionate motorsport enthusiast who finished second overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979 in a Porsche 935 Turbo with Dick Barbour Racing, one of many professional racing accomplishments.

“It’s truly a sad day,” said Don Panoz, founder of the American Le Mans Series and a close friend of Newman. “Paul was one of the most iconic figures not just in motorsports but through his life in general. He was so much more a contributor to the world than a taker. He was a dear friend and will be missed.”

Read more & Comment...

Lime Rock Park Mourns the Loss of Paul Newman
Lime Rock Park lost a legend, a friend and a fan this weekend as Paul Newman, age 83, passed away last night, 26 September 2008, at his home in Westport, CT.  With ten Oscar nominations, countless awards and credits, Newman's film career was well documented for the excellence he created in front of and behind the camera. At Lime Rock Park, Newman was a very competitive racer winning numerous events throughout the years with his last win being this very same weekend in 2007, the Sports Car Club of America NARRC Championship GT1 Class. And today, Lime Rock Park remembered Newman with a moment of silence between race groups.

That legendary career took a new turn in the early 1970's when he took an interest in auto racing while filming Winning. Newman became an active racer, cultivating a second career that many racers would cherish. His passion for the sport was no mere fancy as he became a tremendously successful team owner while also continuing to compete as a driver. In the same way that Newman astounded the critics with his ability to age with grace and perform with vigor deep into his life, he brought that same incredible performance to the track, even setting a record by becoming the oldest Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner at 70 years old.

Read more & Comment...

Toyota Captures NNS Manufacturer's Title at Kansas
When Denny Hamlin’s Camry crossed the finish line first at Kansas Speedway in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Kansas Speedway, it enabled Toyota to clinch its first NNS manufacturer’s championship in its second year of series competition. This marks the third time that Toyota has earned a NASCAR manufacturer’s title since the start of the 2004 season.  In each of the past two years (2006 and 2007), Toyota has earned manufacturer’s titles in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). 

The performance of four teams fielding six Camrys -- Braun Racing, Germain Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing -- all contributed to the first Nationwide Series manufacturer’s title earning Toyota the Bill France Performance Cup.  Camry Nationwide Series drivers have combined to produce 18 victories, 48 top-five finishes, 85 top-10 results and 11 pole positions in the first 30 events of the 2008 season.

“Toyota’s accomplishments are the result of hard work and achievement by all of our race teams -- Braun Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Germain Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing -- working in conjunction with TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) and Triad,” said Lee White, TRD’s president and general manager. 

“All the tireless efforts during the off-season, at pre-season testing and throughout the season, in combination with a talented driver line-up, have produced the exceptional results that yielded this championship.”


Heidfeld, Barrichello penalized
(GMM) Stewards interviewed both Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello after an incident in Singapore qualifying.

Honda's Barrichello was annoyed as he abandoned a flying lap in Q1, because the slowing BMW-Sauber driven by Nick Heidfeld was negotiating the circuit's controversial pit entry.

Brazilian Barrichello, however, cut the pit entry line as he abandoned his interrupted lap, which costs him a 10,000 euros sanction.

Heidfeld, 31, was also penalized for impeding Barrichello, and must move three places down the starting grid to ninth.

"On my second run I was stuck behind Heidfeld, which compromised my lap," 36-year-old Barrichello said.


Sad Bourdais will miss Paul Newman
(GMM) Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais was saddened on Saturday to learn that Paul Newman, the American film star, has died.

Newman, who died of lung cancer at the age of 83, was the co-owner and founder of the Newman/Haas team with which Frenchman Bourdais won numerous Champ Car titles before switching to F1 this year.

"He was a great man and he will be dearly missed, but he has no doubt gone to a better place," Bourdais said in Singapore.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis also knew Newman, and even gave him a test in a Procar many years ago.

"I extend my sympathy at this very sad time to this great man's grieving family and friends," the Briton said.


Furious Alonso rues 'lost chance'
(GMM) Fernando Alonso on Saturday said a mechanical problem during qualifying for the Singapore grand prix cost him his best chance of the season for a strong result.

The former double world champion, who has not won a grand prix for more than a year, has been fast under the Marina Bay circuit's floodlights all weekend, topping the timesheets in a practice session on Friday and again on Saturday.

But despite carrying promising pace into the first segment of qualifying, the 27-year-old Spaniard pulled off the course in Q2, stranding him 15th on the grid at a track completely devoid of overtaking opportunities.

"We haven't been this strong anywhere," Alonso rued to reporters, confirming a fuel feed problem.

"In other races we wouldn't have lost much but here we have lost the biggest chance we had," he added.

Alonso admitted that he was not likely to have been in contention for pole position, but he said a front row berth was within reach.

"The race is lost," said the Renault driver, who was visibly furious when he emerged from the broken R28.


Mario buys Las Vegas condo
Palms Place Racing legend Mario Andretti bought a one-bedroom, 1.5 bath condo at 4381 Flamingo Road in Enterprise for $908,980 from TAS Properties on Sept. 2.

Unit #3402 is one of 599 in the 47-story Palms Place development, which was built in 2007.

Arguably the most successful American driver in the history of racing, Andretti, 68, is also the patriarch of the famed Andretti racing family. Dubbed the "Driver of the Century" by the Associated Press, Andretti was successful on the NASCAR and Formula One circuits, winning the 1967 Daytona 500 as well as the 1969 Indianapolis 500. His success on the Formula One circuit is almost unmatched, including 12 wins and one world championship in 1978.

He's also a four time IndyCar champion (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984) and he competed in the Indianapolis 500 a total of 29 times until his last race on the famed track in 1994. He made history with racing sons Michael and Jeff and his nephew John when all four Andrettis competed in the 1991 Indy 500 before Mario Andretti retired from racing in 1995.

He works with the Andretti Green Racing team with son Michael, and also oversees the Andretti Winery in Napa, Calif. and the Mario Andretti Racing School in Las Vegas.

Michael Andretti also owns condo units 3422 and 3420 in the Palms Place, and Andretti Green Racing member Dario Franchitti owns unit 3412.

Condo sales in Paradise dropped nearly 33 percent in 2007 versus sales in 2006. The median sales price went up though from $375,000 to $512,000.

Address: Highrise 4381 Flamingo Road, # 3402  Buyer(s): Mario Andretti  Seller(s): Palms Place Llc  Sale date: 2008-09-02 Blockshopper


Mallya surprised by India GP delay
(GMM) Vijay Mallya on Saturday expressed surprise about Bernie Ecclestone's comment that India is heading for a spot on the formula one calendar only in 2011.

A race in New Delhi was slated for one year earlier than that, but the F1 chief executive in Singapore insisted "these things take time".

Mallya, head of India's national motor sports federation and also the flamboyant co-owner of the Force India team, said he was surprised to hear about Bernie's comments.

"The track will be ready next year and we will let Bernie decide. I don't know what's on his mind ... but he makes the schedule," the Indian billionaire is quoted as saying by the International Herald Tribune.

racing news

Paul Newman dies
Paul Newman
January 26, 1925 - September 26, 2008
Everyone here at AutoRacing1.com are sad to report that Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing IndyCar team co-owner Paul Newman has lost his battle with cancer and died on Friday, September 26, 2008. 

Newman, age 83, who was co-owner of the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team and raced himself throughout the 1970s and 1980s, died peacefully at his home in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife Joanne Woodward and his five daughters at his side.

Remembering the life and legacy of Paul Newman, Newman's Own Foundation has issued a statement. The statement, from Vice-Chairman Robert Forrester, follows:

"Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all.

"Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one's life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were. True to his character, he quietly devoted himself to helping offset this imbalance.

"An exceptional example is the legacy of Newman's Own. What started as something of a joke in the basement of his home, turned into a highly-respected, multi-million dollar a year food company. And true to form, he shared this good fortune by donating all the profits and royalties he earned to thousands of charities around the world, a total which now exceeds $250 million.

"While his philanthropic interests and donations were wide-ranging, he was especially committed to the thousands of children with life-threatening conditions served by the Hole in the Wall Camps, which he helped start over 20 years ago. He saw the Camps as places where kids could escape the fear, pain and isolation of their conditions, kick back, and raise a little hell. Today, there are 11 Camps around the world, with additional programs in Africa and Vietnam. Through the Camps, well over 135,000 children have had the chance to experience what childhood was meant to be.

"In Paul's words: "I wanted to acknowledge luck; the chance and benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others, who might not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to correct it."

"Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humor, and humanness. His legacy lives on in the charities he supported and the Hole in the Wall Camps, for which he cared so much.

"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person."


Dry qualifications expected in Singapore
(GMM)  Despite rain forecasts earlier this week, and torrential conditions overnight on Thursday, qualifying for F1's first night grand prix in Singapore is now expected to remain dry.

Many drivers had voiced concerns about driving in the rain under lights, most notably GPDA stalwart Jarno Trulli.

Heavy rain greeted the crews as they began landing in Singapore on Wednesday, and looked set to continue as an early thunderstorm hit the circuit on Friday.

The latest reports, however, suggest that the conditions will remain dry, though humid with ambient temperatures expected to reach 32 degrees.


Singapore pit entry altered
(GMM)  The controversial pit entry at Singapore has been modified ahead of Saturday's official action on the new street circuit.

Several drivers voiced their concerns to race director Charlie Whiting after several near misses during Friday practice.

With limited options available, officials elected to extend the pit entry line away from the pits, towards turn 21.

The main problem with the former solution was that cars entering the pits would round the final turn on the racing line, but at significantly reduced speed.

The new solution compels drivers to commit to the pit entry earlier, providing additional warning to those following.

Drivers had also raised concerns over the pit exit, but stewards saw no reason to change the configuration.  Negotiating traffic emerging from the pits is standard practice in formula one, they deemed, with similar pit exits existing at circuits such as Albert Park and Monza.

Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, proved drivers' concerns right about the high curbs at the chicane when he crashed heavily in pre-qualifying Saturday practice.

World champion Kimi Raikkonen had to sit out the final moments of the hour-long session after running into an escape road, while David Coulthard spent most of practice in the pits with a gearbox problem.

As in the second practice on Friday, Fernando Alonso topped the Saturday practice timesheets, ahead of championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, and his Renault teammate Nelson Piquet.


Singapore: Alonso again on top in 3rd practice
Renault driver Fernando Alonso continued his strong run here in Singapore this evening finishing over six tenths faster than the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton in second place. Felipe Massa was third followed by Nelson Piquet, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Robert Kubica and Mark Webber.

Dry and warm conditions greeted the teams and drivers for the second evening of play here at the new street circuit in Singapore where organizers had made a good attempt since last night’s sessions to remove some of the bumps that the drivers complained about.



Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Alonso Renault 1:44.506 + 0.000 19
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:45.119 + 0.613 13
3. Massa Ferrari 1:45.246 + 0.740 16
4. Piquet Renault 1:45.249 + 0.743 18
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:45.386 + 0.880 17
6. Button Honda 1:45.409 + 0.903 20
7. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:45.425 + 0.919 17
8. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:45.450 + 0.944 21
9. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:45.477 + 0.971 19
10. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:45.599 + 1.093 18
11. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:45.689 + 1.183 19
12. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:45.982 + 1.476 18
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:45.982 + 1.476 13
14. Barrichello Honda 1:46.073 + 1.567 21
15. Glock Toyota 1:46.180 + 1.674 23
16. Trulli Toyota 1:46.221 + 1.715 19
17. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:46.482 + 1.976 10
18. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:46.794 + 2.288 6
19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:47.166 + 2.660 14
20. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:47.727 + 3.221 19


Engine change for Kovalainen
McLaren have decided to give Heikki Kovalainen a penalty-free engine change prior to qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The rules allow for one engine switch per season without penalty and Kovalainen has not had one all season, and the team opted to do so this morning after noticing some wear on Kovalainen's Mercedes V8.

"We have changed the engine in Heikki's car as a precaution," said Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug.

"We saw a little bit of usage in the engine and this is a joker engine - so there is no grid penalty applied. The decision was taken yesterday."

"If there was not a free engine rule we would certainly have done nothing, and the chances that we would not have a problem are really high," he said.

"It is a critical time of the year and if you have it available you should use it. We have had very good reliability so far. If you see only a risk of one or two percent, maybe it is even less, then you should use it if you can."


Singapore: Friday Press Conference
Participating: Gerhard BERGER (Toro Rosso), Norbert HAUG (Mercedes), Christian HORNER (Red Bull), Adam PARR (Williams).,


Q. Gentlemen, first of all give us your impressions of the circuit and Singapore as a whole.

Gerhard BERGER: I think it was a great experience today. Different things came together and I think the lighting is very spectacular and going between the houses makes a really fantastic show for the people. The other positive thing is we have seen a lot of people today at the circuit. The grandstands were already quite full and it seems that Formula One can become very popular here. So overall I think it is a great place to be and it is going to be a great place.

Q. And from a technical point of view, Christian?

Christian HORNER: First of all I would like to echo what Gerhard has said. The guys here have done an absolutely unbelievable job. The effort that has gone into this circuit in the last 12 months is nothing short of phenomenal. I think the spectacle of a night race, but not only have we got a night race, we have also got a great circuit, a really challenging circuit.

We have already test driven the barriers today and we can see that it is pretty unforgiving out there. I think it is going to be a real challenge of a race and I think it is going to be a fantastic weekend. Hats off to everybody involved. I think they have just raised the bar considerably for a new circuit and the spectacle of racing at night in a big city such as Singapore is really exciting.

Q. Adam, your feelings? Perhaps from a commercial point of view?

Adam PARR: Well, like Christian and Gerhard I think what has been achieved here is absolutely amazing. I was here between Australia and Malaysia and there was the beginnings of a circuit and the building of the pit lane but what has been done in six months is incredible. From a commercial perspective and from a sporting perspective I think it is just an extraordinary experience and spectacle and that is fantastic for Formula One, so it is very exciting.

Norbert HAUG: Basically the same. First of all thank you to everybody who was involved to make this happen. I think it is a big, big step forward for Formula One. The pictures, the atmosphere is really one of a kind and this gives a completely new experience to all the viewers worldwide but also to the spectators. As Gerhard pointed out, an impressive amount of spectators here today for free practice. That is very positive and the whole scenery I think is unreal. It is like in a movie and I think it is a big, big step.

I think Bernie (Ecclestone, FOM President) pushed very hard, so thanks to him and FOM. It is really a good step forward and I am sure that Singapore will be watched throughout the world over the weekend. The track is very challenging in addition, so it is not going to be an easy one but so far I think we have really gathered the best impressions so far.

Q. Gerhard, how has the win affected the team since Monza?

GB: They are still all drunk. No, I mean it was an unbelievable experience to have the first win with Toro Rosso. I think it was a big push for the team and gave us even a bit more confidence. It was a great day for Red Bull. I think to win in Monza with Toro Rosso was just unbelievable. I think it shows we are going step by step in the right direction. It shows our car is a good car.

It is quick and reliable and now we have a very good experience. We have seen an unbelievably big step from last year to this year. I still believe that in the last four races we can do something good. I know if you go and win people expect it to go on like this. It is very clear our goal is to put one car, and if everything runs fantastic, both cars into the first 10 in qualifying and then collect the big points. But I think we are going to remember for a long time our win from last week.

Read more & Comment...

Rossi to contest WRC rally event
MotoGP World Champion elect Valentino Rossi will be back in a race car at the end of the season, when he contests the WRC Rally GB in December. The Fiat Yamaha rider will turn driver for the day at the event, although the make and model of car that he will drive is as yet undecided.

Rossi was scheduled to compete at the event in 2007, but had to pull out at the last minute to undertake a test with new tire suppliers Bridgestone in Jerez. This year he will be heading straight from the Spanish city to Wales for the rally.

Rossi’s previous appearance at the British round of the WRC series came in 2002, but was a brief sojourn as he crashed out on the first special stage. Since then he has entered one more World Championship event, the 2006 New Zealand event. There the Italian finished eleventh, behind the wheel of a Subaru.

The 29 year-old has also put his name down for the annual Monza Rally event in his native Italy, which takes place in November and normally features a host of faces from the MotoGP paddock on track.


Motegi: Lorenzo takes pole from Stoner
Jorge Lorenzo
Set to run a tribute livery to Lupin III, `the Gentleman Thief´ on Sunday, Jorge Lorenzo stole the show at Motegi with a new pole position record. When all eyes were on Fiat Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi and reigning World Champion Casey Stoner at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, Lorenzo tore up the script in qualifying for a fourth pole position of his rookie MotoGP season.

On course for pole in the final minutes of the Saturday afternoon session, the Spaniard pulled another hot lap from up his sleeve to record a blistering 1´45.543 time in the final seconds of the afternoon run. Having stepped onto the podium every time that he has taken off from the front row –including at the last two races- Lorenzo is a favorite for a spot on the rostrum at the track where he has only finished in the top three on one occasion.

Ducati rider Stoner will start from the front row for the ninth consecutive race, knowing that he could lose the title on Sunday afternoon. The Australian elected against a late attempt at beating Lorenzo’s marker, not emerging from his garage in the final minutes of the session.

Stoner’s future Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden was the highest qualifying Honda rider for his Japanese manufacturer’s home race, completing the frontline. The American made it two Michelin riders on the front row at a track singled out as a Bridgestone track.

Read more & Comment...
Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review