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DATE News (chronologically)
09/29/11
alms

Pagenaud puts Peugeot back on top
Simon Pagenaud and Peugeot Sport Total struck back Thursday night with the fastest time in the day’s third practice for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. The young Frenchman set a lap of 1:09.027 (132.470 mph) on the final lap of the two-hour practice at Road Atlanta in the diesel-powered Peugeot 908 that he will share with Sebastian Bourdais and Anthony Davidson.

Peugeot is looking for a third straight overall victory in the 1,000-mile/10-hour classic that also serves as the final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Patr¢n. Pagenaud’s time was a scant 0.080 seconds faster than Audi Sport Team Joest’s Romain Dumas in the first of Audi’s R18 coupes. Stephane Sarrazin in the second Peugeot was third at 1:09.186.

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09/29/11
irl

Ugliest IndyCar in history makes Indy oval debut UPDATE #3 Yet another reader writes, Dear AR1,While I am not impressed with the appearance of the 2012 Indy Car ("fugly-wagon"), I am more concerned with it's designed lack of performance, and what that bodes for the future of the series.  When IndyCar made a commitment to continue to race at Texas Motor Speedway, the new car, and I believe the series was doomed.  Any car with enough performance to really challenge the driver on road courses and at Indy, will have too much performance to be run at Texas (see CART 2001). 

So we are doomed to years of more momentum racing on banked ovals designed for momentum racing with underpowered cars (i.e. NASCAR).  So unless the series can find a way to bring the engines up to 850-1000 HP, which frankly is doubtful, I can’t see any of the old fans returning to Indy Car, or significant numbers of new fans.  The reason is that the thing that made Indy Car great, raw power that pushed drivers to the limits of control, is no longer a part of the series.  To see the top American Open Wheel Series become inferior to third tier European feeders and Asian feeder series makes me sad. Al MacKrell, Austin, TX

Dear Al, Not so fast.  The fact that the current IndyCar gets smoked by a Formula Nippon car is disheartening for sure.  However, the new car is turbocharged which allows for the best of both worlds.  On the ovals HP will only be 550 or so to keep speeds in check.  On the road courses the boost pressure will be increased and HP will rise to 750.  While not as fast as an F1 car by any stretch of the imagination, it will be faster than the existing cars.  Weight is its enemy.  An IndyCar is heavy, partly due to the ban on exotic lightweight materials, but also to build in protection for when you hit the wall on ovals.  The safety tub around the driver must stay intact.  So if the car is slower than GP2, blame it on weight required for oval track driver protection more than anything.  Mark C.

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09/29/11
automotive

Saab parent company to sell Spyker luxury brand to U.S. firm
Saab parent company Swedish Automobile plans to sell its Spyker luxury-sports-car brand to U.S. private-equity firm North Street Capital for about $44 million.

Spyker has been careful to point out to European news sources that the agreement has not been made final.

Swedish Automobile had originally signed a deal with British company CPP Global in February to sell Spyker, but the agreement fell through in June.

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09/29/11
irl

IndyCar title contenders not feeling championship pressure at Kentucky
Will Power is in a familiar spot with two IZOD IndyCar Series races remaining. What's different is the championship front-runner's mind-set, which developed through the down-to-the-wire chase in 2010 to now be consistent with the two other title contenders.

Power is focused on the body of work of Verizon Team Penske - the qualifying and race set-ups, error-free pit stops, race management and, of course, the results - and not the competition. 

Entering the penultimate race of the 2010 season, the Verizon Team Penske driver led Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing by 17 points. The gap was whittled to 12 points with one to go, and Power fell five points shy of his first title following contact in the season finale that netted 25th place on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval.

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09/29/11
tv news

Michael Waltrip to join brother Darrell
Fox has added former driver and current team co-owner Michael Waltrip to its prerace show for 2012 with Jeff Hammond moving from the “Hollywood Hotel” studio to the pits and garage.

Waltrip will join brother Darrell Waltrip and host Chris Myers in the studio for the prerace show, according to a Fox news release.

Fox will telecast the first 13 races of the season and typically has had a one-hour prerace show.

Comment
09/29/11
f1

Bernie could care less about FOTA
Ecclestone (R) talks to Reed Bull boss Christian Horner
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has labeled the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) "unnecessary", insisting its members' financial interests are best served by him.

FOTA was established in 2008 to give the teams a single voice in issues affecting the future of the sport.
In the end it came to an agreement with the FIA and has since enjoyed a more harmonious relationship, but it is currently pushing for a bigger share in the Formula One Group's profits under the next Concorde Agreement.

When asked in a recent interview on the official F1 website what he thinks of FOTA, Ecclestone responded: "I try not to think of them."

He added: "It is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It's just more of what they don't have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources."

Comment
09/29/11
ta

Ave Takes Eighth Consecutive SCCA Trans-Am Series Pole
Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., completed this afternoon's final SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series qualifying session of 2011 in the same position he has in each of the previous seven qualifying sessions.
Ave took his eighth consecutive pole position in the No. 4 Lamers Racing/Beebe Racing/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette. Ave's best lap of 1:18.561 (116.393 mph) established a new Trans-Am track record at Road Atlanta. He goes in search of his seventh victory of the season - and his second in a row at Road Atlanta - in Friday's race.

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09/29/11
wc

O'Connell, Foss, Povoledo Take Road Atlanta World Challenge Poles
Johnny O’Connell, of nearby Flowery Branch, Ga., led a General Motors top-five grid sweep for Friday’s Pirelli World Challenge Championships season finale race, the Cadillac World Challenge Grand Prix of Road Atlanta. Eric Foss, of Dallas, Texas, and Aaron Povoledo, of Toronto, Ontario, earned the GTS and Touring Car poles, respectively.
Driving the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, O’Connell turned a record 1:21.896 (111.653 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile circuit and was the only driver to break the 1:22 barrier en route to his second pole of the season.

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09/29/11
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Kyle Larson has been tearing up the country’s short-tracks lately…winning 3 of the 4 races in last week’s 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora in addition to winning the famed Belleville Midget Nationals earlier in the summer. Some on the scene are comparing him to former USAC stars, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Ricky Carmichael will be here to preview the upcoming Monster Energy Cup Supercross event in Las Vegas on October 15th. And as SPEED prepares to cover this year’s Bathurst 1000 LIVE, we’ll talk to 5-time Bathurst winner and 3-time Australian V8 Supercars champion, Craig Lowndes. Craig will be calling in from Australia where he has been racing the Australasian Safari this week. He is currently 2nd in the V8 Supercar standings.

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09/29/11
alms

McNish squeaks Audi on top in Friday afternoon practice
If qualifying Friday for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is as good as Thursday’s second practice session, fans at Road Atlanta will be in for a thrill. Audi Sport Team Joest’s Allan McNish set the fastest time of the hour-long session for the finale of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n by 0.002 seconds – only a matter of inches over the course of a lap – ahead of Peugeot Sport Total’s Stephane Sarrazin.

McNish will drive his diesel-powered Audi R18 with Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen in Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour enduro. The Audi vs. Peugeot battle has been the main event at the race since 2008. Even the gap from McNish to Audi teammate Romain Dumas in third was just 0.016 seconds.

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09/29/11
track news

Sports partnership executives Schoeb, Merna join IMS
Experienced sports marketing and sales executives Brent Schoeb and Patrick Merna have joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, focusing on corporate partnership and sales services for the facility and its events.

Schoeb will serve as the director of corporate partnerships, overseeing the IMS corporate partnership sales strategy and corporate partnership sales team. Merna will serve as manager of corporate partnerships service and activation, serving as the main contact between IMS clients and all IMS departments in areas including facility signage, media advertising, hospitality, retail and market promotions, Web advertising and event specific sponsorships.

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09/29/11
irl

Hear the sound of the 2012 IndyCar turbo V6


Comment
09/29/11
irl

Another NASCAR team member suspended for drugs
NASCAR has suspended a crew member for a Trucks Series team for violating its substance abuse policy.

Michael McLaughlin, a licensed crew member for the No. 23 team in the Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.

McLaughlin also was found on Tuesday to have committed actions detrimental to stock car racing.

In a statement, Joe Denette Motorsports says it stringently adheres to a zero tolerance policy concerning substance abuse. JDM has released McLaughlin and stands behind the actions taken by NASCAR.

Comment
09/29/11
tv news

ESPN’s NASCAR coverage ratings up sharply over ’10
Ratings discussions are like talk about politics, music or the best Mexican food: no matter what position you take on the issue, somebody's going to have a problem with it, and nobody's much interested in hearing what the other side has to say about what's right and what's wrong.

But in this case, we may have some agreement, because we've got some good news. Ratings for the Loudon race on ESPN were up an impressive 19 percent over last year, with nearly 560,000 more viewers checking out Tony Stewart's win than the 2010 race. (The Chicago race couldn't be compared because it was a rainout and run on a Monday.)

More statistical goodness: ESPN saw increases in key demographics ranging from 18-to-34 males (up 28 percent), 18-to-49 males (up 20 percent) and viewers aged 55 and above (up 33 percent -- hey, they finally figured out how to work the fancy HD TVs!).

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09/29/11
nassprint

Kahne to test in Hendrick's No. 5 car at Charlotte
Apparently driver Kasey Kahne was really speaking from the heart during Bank of America Motorsports Career Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Come Oct. 17, he'll be working two jobs -- if only for one day. Kahne revealed following the event at the Hall that he will test for the first time in the No. 5 Chevrolet he will drive next year for Hendrick Motorsports on that Monday following the Saturday night Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kahne, who is finishing out this season driving the No. 4 Toyota for the soon-to-be-defunct Red Bull Racing operation, said he will receive his first opportunity to drive his car of the future during a fuel-injection test at CMS. He also said he expects it to be his only opportunity to test in the car before moving from Red Bull to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season.

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09/29/11
alms

Sarrazin leads Peugeot 1-2 in opening Petit LeMans practice
Stephane Sarrazin
Two-time and defending race-winner Stephane Sarrazin led a Peugeot 1-2 in the first official practice for Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda on Thursday morning at Road Atlanta. The Frenchman posted a best lap of 1:09.603 (131.374 mph) in the diesel-powered Peugeot 908 that he will drive with Franck Montagny – Sarrazin’s teammate the last two years – and Alexander Wurz.

Sarrazin was 0.124 seconds quicker than Simon Pagenaud in the second factory Peugeot. Audi Sport Team Joest’s Marcel Faessler was third at 1:10.562.

The session was halted for approximately 30 minutes following a heavy crash between Olivier Pla’s Oak Racing Oak Pescarolo prototype and JDX Racing’s Will Langhorne. Track and IMSA officials had to repair barriers and fencing as a result of the incident.

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09/29/11
nassprint

Daytona testing dates set for January
NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 12-14. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions begin at 9 am and end at 5 pm, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Race fans can also rev up their new year at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest - the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest driver sessions - from 5-9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12 and from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 13.

The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder.

Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. DIS PR

Comment
09/29/11
gp2

Fabio Leimer dominates Jerez tests
Fabio Leimer
The final session of a two-day 2011 post-season test took place today at Circuito de Jerez. Twenty-six drivers sat behind the wheel of the GP2/11 car. While Arden International, Scuderia Coloni and Super Nova Racing did not change their line-up for today, the other teams welcomed new faces, including newcomers Rupert Svendsen-Cook at Racing Engineering, GP3 graduate Tom Dillmann at Barwa Addax, Giovanni Venturini at Dams, and Yuki Shiraishi at Ocean Racing Technology.

The morning session opened in cooler temperatures than the day before. Javier Villa set the early pace but his best laptime was soon improved by the Coloni pair Fabio Onidi and Kevin Ceccon. At the half hour mark, it was yesterday’s fastest man Fabio Leimer at Racing Engineering who took advantage of better grip to claim again the top spot and his laptime of 1:26.701 remained unbeaten until the checkered flag, one tenth quicker than Onidi. GP3 graduate Nigel Melker finished a mere five hundredths from the Italian proving that he is adjusting well to his Arden machine on his second day of testing with the British team. Villa, Ceccon, rookie Felix Da Costa, Jules Bianchi, Sam Bird, Max Chilton and Julian Leal rounded out the top ten.

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09/29/11
karting

Entry List for Felipe Massa annual charity kart race
1 - Felipe Massa (Formula 1)
2 - Rubens Barrichello (Formula 1)
3 - Bruno Senna (Formula 1)
4 - Lucas di Grassi (Formula 1)
5 - Vitantonio Liuzzi (Formula 1)
6 - Jaime Alguersuari (Formula 1)
7 - Pastor Maldonado (Formula 1)
8 - Adrian Sutil (Formula 1)
9 - Jules Bianchi (GP2 Series-Formula 1)
10 - Jorge Lorenzo (MotoGP)
11 - Tony Kanaan (IndyCar)
12 - Helio Castroneves (IndyCar)
13 - Bia Figueiredo (IndyCar)
14 - Vitor Meira (IndyCar)
15 - Pietro Fittipaldi (LLM-Nascar)
16 - João Paulo Oliveira (GT Series - Japan)
17 - Cacá Bueno (Brazilian Stock Car-Trofeo Linea)
18 - Pop¢ Bueno (Brazilian Stock Car-Trofeo Linea)
19 - Christian Fittipaldi (Trofeo Linea)
20 - Marcos Gomes (Brazilian Stock Car-Trofeo Linea)
21 - Leonardo Nienkötter (Trofeo Linea)
22 - Antonio Pizzonia (Brazilian Stock Car)
23 - Ricardo Zonta (Brazilian Stock Car)
24 - Xandinho Negrão (Brazilian Stock Car-GT3 Brazil)
25 - Max Wilson (Brazilian Stock Car)
26 - Luciano Burti (Brazilian Stock Car)
27 - Allam Khodair (Brazilian Stock Car-Trofeo Linea)

Comment
09/29/11
alms

Greg Pickett returns for Petit Le Mans
Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing team owner and driver, Greg Pickett will be returning behind the wheel at this weekend's season ending Petit Le Mans.

Pickett, who has not raced since Sebring in March, has been preparing his return and following his stint during Wednesday's test session at Road Atlanta decided that it was time to get back in the cockpit in a competitive environment alongside Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr.

The American was all smiles after putting in the equivalent of a race stint aboard the Muscle Milk Aston Martin LMP1 coupe. Prior to Wednesday's test, his last laps in the prototype car came in early May during a private test session at Road Atlanta.

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09/29/11
autogp

Filippi: "Title is still within my reach"
Luca Filippi
It's a really magic moment for Luca Filippi: with an amazing second half of 2011 with Scuderia Coloni, the Italian driver took second place in the GP2 overall classification, ending the season on a high with a win on home soil in Monza, performances that made him the driver that everybody wants for 2012. Luca is now ready to add even more "magic" to this wonderful year: this weekend he will be in Mugello to challenge for the Auto GP title, and while he knows that starting at -15 from the lead it won't be easy, he is ready to give all he has, as he explains:

"Some could think that after ending the GP2 season on such an high note I could be lacking motivation, but it's a completely wrong assumption. I really want this title and I will race as hard as I can to clinch it. What happened in GP2 has only positive sides: it gave me great confidence, and knowing that with Scuderia Coloni I'm part of a long term project gives me a great feeling. You know sometimes you race with a team and, even if performances are good, at the end of the season it's just 'bye bye'. With them it's different, we have a project together, it's a new feeling and I like it".

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09/29/11
fil

Jensen MotorSport hires GP2 engineer
Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce that Raul Prados - one of the top race engineers in the Formula 1 feeder series GP2 – will  join our Firestone Indy Lights Championship racing team for the 2012 season.

Raul Prados (31) has been Race Engineer for the Carlin GP2 team in the 2011 season. Previously, Raul was Race Engineer for the successful iSport team including winning the 2010 GP2 Asia championship with his driver David Valsecchi. A native of Valencia Spain, Raul has a University degree in Mechanical Engineering, and extensive engineering experience with top teams in various European formula championships.

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09/29/11
alms
lmes

The build-up gets under way!
The Audi team practices pitstops
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
The Audi-Peugeot, Ferrari-BMW duels top the bill in the Petit Le Mans, which will be run this coming Saturday. Several other teams, though, will be out to prevent the four makes from clinching the titles in the sixth round of the 2011 ILMC.

The weather forecast is looking good for this year’s Petit Le Mans. The violent storms that often hit the Atlanta region at this time of the year are not expected to upset the 14th running of the American event. In these conditions, there’s a strong possibility that the record for the race, which dates from 1999, when the Panoz LM P1 roadster, entered by the circuit owner Don Panoz and driven by D.Brabham-Bernard-Wallace, covered the 1000 miles (1609 km) in 8h 56m 31s, will be beaten.

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09/29/11
nassprint

Hamlin seeing sports psychologist
Denny Hamlin said Tuesday he's been working with a well-known sports psychologist in an attempt to improve his attitude and outlook. Hamlin has been in a miserable slump since the penultimate race of last season, when poor fuel mileage at Phoenix figured heavily in his failure to wrest the championship away from Jimmie Johnson. Although he was still the points leader heading into the final race of the year, he had a poor weekend and Johnson won his fifth consecutive title. Many have speculated he's not been the same on or off the track since the Phoenix race, and Hamlin admitted Tuesday he struggled with the pressure of the championship race. Hamlin was initially reluctant to elaborate on whom he was working with, but eventually revealed it was Rotella and he had been referred to him by team owner Joe Gibbs. He did not say how long he's been working with Rotella. ESPN/Associated Press

Comment
09/29/11
nassprint

Tire Testing at Bristol
Marcos Ambrose was one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars who participated in a tire test at Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday. With swarms of creative Goodyear engineers taking notes, Ambrose and company experimented with a variety of tire compounds. "I think our objective here is to get a tire that works on the bottom of the track and on the top. That makes for a better race," said Ambrose, moments after his long and laborious session. Jamie McMurray, Regan Smith and Casey Mears also took laps at BMS Tuesday.

Tires were a major story at BMS last March, as numerous Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams experienced problems with a new right-side tire compound in the first practice session. Facing pressure and criticism, Goodyear officials responded the following morning by bringing in new tires which allowed drivers to go through the corners without having problems with tire wear. Tires were not an issue at BMS' August race, though some hardcore fans complained about the lack of action. Goodyear officials have worked overtime to find the most effective tire-combination since the Car of Tomorrow was introduced in 2007. There have some headaches along the way, but the racing has remained competitive for the most part. The tire test, which is closed to the public, concluded Wednesday.  Bristol Herald Courier

Comment
09/29/11
tv news

Fox Sports Chief David Hill: It's about the athlete, not the car, stupid
David Hill, 65, a married father of four, is presiding over his 18th season of the NFL on Fox. Hill was interviewed on the Fox lot in West Los Angeles and he had this to say about focusing on innate objects instead of the athlete/driver (like IndyCar is doing with their new car).

What about NASCAR? Some people think the momentum has stalled. Do you agree?

Hill: There was a serious problem about three or four years ago with the “car of tomorrow,” which everyone was talking about. They were talking about safer barriers. They were talking about HANS devices. They were talking about cars, and should it have a wing and what have you. People don’t follow auto racing to hear about widgets. The role of the driver as driver hero is why people follow the sport. No one goes out to buy a T-shirt with a photo of the crew chief on the front. And the focus, all of us are guilty: NASCAR and the broadcasters moved the focus away from the driver as hero and moved it to an inanimate object. The car. And the tires. And the veevlefitzers and the dingleflappers and, you know, straight through copper ashtrays and the ignition key and all that stuff. What we did this year, we made a conscious effort to totally back down about the car — we didn’t talk about the car. We talked about the driver. What it takes: the courage, the reflexes, the fact that they lose 12 pounds during a race through the exertion they have to put themselves through. And guess what, the ratings started to come back.

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09/29/11
irl

Firestone Kentucky Preview

Firestone Tires
Race Distance:
300 miles/482.803 kilometers (200 laps on the 1.5-mile/2.414-km superspeedway oval).

Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. ET on VERSUS, the IMS Radio Network, XM Radio 94 and Sirius Radio 212. The live qualifying show airs at 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 1 on VERSUS.

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
* Each entry receives eight sets (32 total tires) for the race weekend, plus rookie drivers and those outside the top 10 in points are eligible for an additional set to be used in the first practice session only; 1,100 total tires are available.
* Firestone is bringing a new tire specification to Kentucky, featuring the same tire body construction run at Texas' 1.5-mile oval in June, paired with new tread compounds at all four tire positions intended to provide similar grip and performance characteristics as the Texas race tires. This updated tire spec was made available to teams that tested recently at both Kentucky and Las Vegas. The same spec will be used at the season finale in Las Vegas.
* Tire stagger: A single stagger of approximately 0.45 of an inch is available. Stagger is measured by the diameter difference between the right rear and left rear tires, with the right rear larger by design to make a racecar naturally want to turn left.

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09/29/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Red Bull boss Mateschitz
    Red Bull has no plans to sell two F1 teams
  • Horner, Ecclestone not writing off Webber
  • Chandhok lost 26kg to chase F1 dream
  • F1 must accept move from Europe - de la Rosa
  • No KERS or 'big jump' for Virgin in 2012 - Glock
  • 2012 Pirelli tires in action this week
  • Amul Official Partner of the Sauber F1 Team at Indian GP
  • Mercedes wants tighter control over RRA New
  • Ferrari shows signs of pen-man envy New

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09/28/11
v8

Scott Dixon pulls out of Gold Coast V8 Supercar race
Kiwi IndyCar star Scott Dixon has decided to pull out of the V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 and will be replaced by five time LeMans 24 Hour race winner Emanuele Pirro as Shane van Gisbergen's co driver.  Dixon will put the birth of his second child over a Gold Coast 600 drive.

Comment
09/28/11
irl

Record field entered for Kentucky IndyCar race
The 29-car entry list for Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at Kentucky Speedway. The largest starting field ever for an IndyCar race at Kentucky Speedway is 27 set in 2000 and equaled last year.

Car No.-Driver-Hometown-Car Name- Entrant
2 – Oriol Servia – Pals, Spain – Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing - Newman/Haas Racing
3 – Helio Castroneves – São Paulo, Brazil – Cintas Team Penske – Team Penske
4 – JR Hildebrand (R) – Sausalito, Calif. – National Guard Panther Racing – Panther Racing
5 – Takuma Sato – Tokyo – KV Racing Technology – Lotus – KV Racing Technology – Lotus
6 - Ryan Briscoe - Sydney, Australia – Transitions Adaptive Lenses Team Penske – Team Penske
7 - Danica Patrick – Roscoe, Ill. – Team GoDaddy – Andretti Autosport
9 - Scott Dixon – Auckland, New Zealand – Target Chip Ganassi Racing – Target Chip Ganassi Racing
10 - Dario Franchitti – Edinburgh, Scotland – Downy – Target Chip Ganassi Racing
12 - Will Power – Toowoomba, Australia – Verizon Team Penske – Team Penske
14 - Vitor Meira – Brasilia, Brazil – ABC Supply Co A.J. Foyt Racing – A.J. Foyt Enterprises
17 - Wade Cunningham (R) – Auckland, NZ – Air Ride Pallet AFS/SSM Racing – AFS/Sam Schmidt
18 - James Jakes (R) – Leeds, England – Acorn Stairlifts – Dale Coyne Racing
19 - Alex Lloyd – Manchester, England – Boy Scouts of America – Dale Coyne Racing
22 - Townsend Bell – San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Valspar - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
24 - Ana Beatriz (R) – São Paulo, Brazil – Team Ipiranga -Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
26 - Marco Andretti – Nazareth, Pa. – Team Venom Energy - Andretti Autosport
27 - Mike Conway – Bromley, England – @FollowAndretti - Andretti Autosport
28 - Ryan Hunter-Reay – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda - Andretti Autosport
30 - Pippa Mann (R) – Ipswich, England – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
34 - TBA – Conquest Racing - Conquest Racing
38 - Graham Rahal – New Albany, Ohio – Service Central – Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing
44 - Buddy Rice – Phoenix – Fuzzy’s Vodka/Panther Racing – Panther Racing
59 - E.J. Viso – Caracas, Venezuela - PDVSA – KV Racing Technology- Lotus – KV Racing Technology – Lotus
67 - Ed Carpenter – Indianapolis – Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing – Sarah Fisher Racing
77 - Dan Wheldon – Emberton, England – Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports – Sam Schmidt Motorsports
78 - Simona De Silvestro – Thun, Switzerland - Nuclear Clean Air Energy HVM Racing - HVM Racing
82 - Tony Kanaan – Salvador, Brazil – GEICO – KV Racing Technology – Lotus KV Racing Technology – Lotus
83 - Charlie Kimball (R) – Camarillo, Calif. – Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen - Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing
06 - James Hinchcliffe (R) – Toronto – Sprott Newman/Haas Racing – Newman/Haas Racing

Comment
09/28/11
alms

Dumas again puts Audi on top in testing for Petit LeMans
Dumas again fast in the Audi R18
For the second time in three days of testing, Audi Sport’s Romain Dumas set the fastest lap of the day ahead of Saturday’s 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. The Frenchman set a lap of 1:09.550 (131.474 mph) in Wednesday’s two-hour session at Road Atlanta in the Audi R18 that he will share with Timo Bernhard and Marcel Faessler.

A total of 55 cars posted times in the final day of testing prior to official practices for the 2011 finale of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. The top four diesel-powered cars – two Audis and two of Peugeot Team Total’s Peugeot 908s – were within 0.484 seconds around the 2.54-mile circuit.

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09/28/11
f1

Interview with Renault's James Allison
Lotus Renault GP arguably endured one of its most difficult race weekends of the season in Singapore, with drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov coming home in respective 15th and 17th places. Technical Director James Allison reflects on the event, assesses the current weak points of his team's chassis and looks ahead to 2012.

Does the team understand why the car is under-performing on twisty tracks?

Anybody can spot that we have suffered very poor performance at Monaco, Hungary and Singapore. It is much harder to say with any precision just what it is about our car that can impact performance at these low speed tracks. Neither is it clear why Singapore was notably worse than either Monaco or Hungary. The simplest explanation is that there is not enough downforce in low speed corners.

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09/28/11
Racing news

RRDC launches ground-breaking "Safe is Fast" web site
The Road Racing Drivers Club announces the launch of http://www.safeisfast.com/ – a ground-breaking Web site devoted to the education of racing drivers. The world’s top champion drivers offer a collection of inside secrets not found anywhere else.

Access to the SAFE is FAST Video Symposium is FREE (upon registration).

Supported by the FIA Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, this comprehensive site is an invaluable tool for up-and-coming racing drivers, as well as established ones, to hone their skills and learn from the best in the world.

Hosted by RRDC President Bobby Rahal, SAFE is FAST features more than 30 RRDC members and other industry experts in some 90 minutes of high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. Here’s a sampling:

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09/28/11
wc

Johnny O'Connell, Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (Weber photo)O’Connell’s Cadillac, Foss and Povoledo Fastest In Pirelli World Challenge Practice
Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., turned the fastest lap of the day in his Cadillac CTS-V to lead the Pirelli World Challenge combined practice on Wednesday at Road Atlanta in preparation for Friday’s Cadillac Road Atlanta Grand Prix. Eric Foss, of Dallas, Texas, and Toronto’s Aaron Povoledo were quickest on the day in the GTS and Touring Car class, respectively.
O’Connell topped the GT time charts with a 1:22.886 (110.320 mph) in the No. 3 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe during afternoon practice after turning the third-quickest time in the morning session. O’Connell’s lap around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile circuit was just 0.110-second quicker than second running Mike Skeen.

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09/28/11
track news

Road America tunnel gets Hawk name
Road America, Inc. has announced an expanded partnership with Carlisle Brake & Friction (CBF) that will focus on their recently-formed Hawk Performance Products Group. The group, which includes the brands Hawk Performance, Cragar, and Black Rock, will enhance its presence at the legendary circuit through two opportunities: entitlement of Road America's renowned July vintage racing event, and naming of the landmark tunnel into the paddock. Road America's partnership with CBF began in June of 2011 with the naming of the Hawk Performance Bridge, a pedestrian walkway which spans the track from the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex to the outside of Turn 12, just past the exit out of the Carousel Turn.

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09/28/11
irl

Transporters on parade in Cincinnati
The public is invited to check out IZOD IndyCar Series transporters Sept. 29 as they are staged at the corner of 6th Street and Race Street in Cincinnati for a parade to Kentucky Speedway.

The display opens at 5:30 p.m. and the parade to the speedway will begin at 7 p.m.

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09/28/11
irl

Four drivers to battle for Foyt Trophy at Kentucky
Overall, Scott Dixon says he's had an "average" season in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. Though a solid third in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship - 59 points behind front-runner Will Power - three early-season incidents robbed him of points that potentially would have sliced that gap.

Dixon's run on the five ovals, however - from the .875-mile Iowa Speedway to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway - has been anything but average. Four top-five finishes, including a pair of runner-up spots in the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway, have provided Dixon with a 17-point cushion in the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy chase entering the Kentucky Indy 300 (the final points-scoring race for the award).

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09/28/11
track news

Super Weekend At Brickyard Is New Twist In 2012 NASCAR Schedule
As part of today's officially announced 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, the expanded Brickyard 400 weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dubbed Super Weekend, stands out as one of the new twists of next year's 38 week race schedule.

The anchor event for Super Weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the 19th annual running of the 400-mile Sprint Cup event which will be named in 2012 the Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard. The race will be run on Sunday, July 29.

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09/28/11
nassprint

NASCAR releases 2012 Cup schedule
NASCAR on Wednesday announced the 2012 schedule for the Sprint Cup Series, with a lineup featuring a number of adjustments from the 2011 edition.

"We believe the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will once again provide fans with what they've come to expect every season -- the world's most exciting and competitive form of motorsports," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said.. "Next year's schedule has a few adjustments that we think will be good for the fans and good for the overall flow of the season. One thing will remain constant, however, and that's the intense competition we see week in and week out from our drivers and race teams."

One of those adjustments takes place during NASCAR's playoffs -- the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup -- and could affect the strategy during the championship run. Talladega Superspeedway's Chase event moves up two weeks to Oct. 7, becoming the fourth race in the Chase. Often labeled as the wild-card track in the Chase, Talladega's grueling test is now staged during the first half of the Chase.

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09/28/11
gp2

Fabio Leimer tops GP2 Day 1 test
Leimer fastest on Day 1
The first 2011 post-season testing opened today at Circuito de Jerez under clear blue skies, warm temperatures and in slightly windy conditions. Today’s entry list comprised of a total of twenty-seven drivers who ran around the Spanish track on Pirelli P Zero hard compounds for this first day. Among them, seven GP3 Series graduates including the 2011 top 4 drivers: reigning Champion Valtteri Bottas at Lotus ART, runner-up James Calado at Ocean Racing Technology, third-placed driver Nigel Melker at Arden International and fourth place finisher Nico Muller at Dams. Also joining from GP3 was race winner Rio Haryanto at Dams, Simon Trummer at Arden International and Antonio Felix Da Costa at Caterham Team AirAsia.

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09/28/11
irl

IndyCar parade planned for Las Vegas Strip
In less than three weeks, the world's fastest, most versatile race car drivers roar into Las Vegas for the inaugural IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

To kick off the week of competition and celebration, the famous Las Vegas Strip will close as the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series get behind the wheel of the cars they'll drive in the 200-lap race Sunday, Oct. 16, for the IZOD IndyCar Series Car Parade Presented by Verizon down Las Vegas Blvd. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Fans can catch a view of their favorite drivers including Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti from either side of Las Vegas Blvd. between Monte Carlo Resort and Casino and the Flamingo hotel.

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09/28/11
nastruck

NCWTS Ratings Up at New Hampshire and for the Year
According to Nielsen Media Research, SPEED coverage of last Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from New Hampshire Motor Speedway scored a 0.69, up five-percent from last year’s equivalent New Hampshire race (0.66). 

Saturday’s race marked the third consecutive Truck Series race to post a year-to-year overall ratings increase.  With six races remaining this season, ratings for the series are up eight-percent overall versus last year at this point and up four-percent over SPEED’s record-setting 2009 season when compared with equivalent dates.

With only six races remaining in the 2011 season, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for Saturday’s race.  SPEED provides live coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda, followed by live race coverage at 8 p.m. ET.

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09/28/11
irl

IndyCar weekend a dress rehearsal for Kentucky parking fixes
Traffic was a nightmare at the recent Kentucky NASCAR Sprint Cup event
Kentucky Speedway officials believe the traffic and parking problems that infuriated fans for the inaugural Quaker State 400 in July will not be an issue for this weekend's races.

Major parking and road improvements aren't complete, but changes will be evident when fans arrive for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday and the Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series races Sunday.

"This is not going to be a Sprint Cup Series crowd," general manager Mark Simendinger said. "But even though it's not, it's probably our best chance at a dress rehearsal. So we're going to go ahead and take it, and we're going to be doing some of the things that we're going to try for Sprint Cup weekend."

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09/28/11
irl

New V6 IndyCar engine not as deafening
IndyCar's 2012 car arrived on the sport's biggest stage Tuesday, turning its initial laps on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's oval track.

The arrival was noted by a different sound.

The hushed tone from Honda's new 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 engine is much smoother on the ears than the manufacturer's 3.5-liter normally aspirated V8. Eventually, there will also be Chevrolet and Lotus engines.

For now, Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who is testing IndyCar's new equipment, likes what he can't hear.

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09/28/11
nassprint

.NASCAR Using Social Media To Promote '12 Cup Schedule Release
NASCAR today will unveil the '12 Sprint Cup Series schedule via its social media and digital outlets. The schedule will first appear on NASCAR.com, followed by a Twitter Q&A session from noon-1:00pm ET involving the official NASCAR feed (@NASCAR) and Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) (NASCAR).

Details of the schedule have "been trickling out." There "don't seem to be any big surprises, but a notable omission has been the Kentucky date." Still, it is "clear the speedway will continue to host Cup races"

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09/28/11
nassprint

Pattie Petty Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis
Pattie Petty, the wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, has revealed that she has Parkinson's disease. It was confirmed through a new test at the University of Kansas Hospital. Petty talked exclusively with FOX 4 medical reporter Meryl Lin McKean, and says Parkinson's won't stop her efforts to build a camp in Kansas City for kids with chronic illnesses. Petty is the sunny personality beside husband Kyle, and behind Victory Junction, a camp for sick kids. Petty noticed mood changes in recent years, and she linked them to the death of their son, Adam, in a crash 11 years ago.

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09/28/11
irl

Fans tell IndyCar to lose the hideous sidepods
The 2012 IndyCar is already being called The Walrus
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, With regard to the ugliest IndyCar in history news item, INDY Car just doesn't get it.  It's all about the audience.  Lose the horrible side pods and the high airbox.  (Why does a turbocharged car need an airbox anyway?)  While they're at it, bump up the boost so it's back to 900 HP, add a blown diffuser, KERS and... Oh, I forgot, some other HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL motor sport series is already doing that!  F1 is SO GOOD at making their cars and drivers appeal to a mixed audience.  If you think about it, they successfully market to an incredibly diverse demographic, psychographic and geographic audience.  They attract fans from the poorest countries to the richest.  They keep improving their cars every season, and every year they add new markets.  Indy Car can't even attract an audience at two of America's best road circuits- Laguna Seca and Road America- even running with ALMS.

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09/28/11
motogp

Shinichi Ito to compete for Honda, showing support for East Japan
In recognition of the hard times that his countrymen and women are experiencing, Honda Racing test rider Shinichi Ito will take part in this weekend's Japanese GP to help bring encouragement and hope to those in the East Japan region.

The forty-four year old from Miyagi Prefecture who witnessed the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami first hand, came out of retirement and won this year's Suzuka 8 Hours and Honda's 24th victory in the endurance classic and will take part in the Motegi race on a factory Honda RC212V.

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09/28/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Felipe Massa gets a tire change after Hamilton cut down his right rear with his front wing
    Hamilton still respects Massa after clash
  • Mateschitz ready to celebrate Vettel title
  • Vergne confirms Toro Rosso Friday role to begin soon
  • Schumacher 'can't go on' predicts Damon Hill
  • Red Bull makes 'Vettel 2011 champion' t-shirts
  • Ecclestone defiant as teams bemoan 2012 calendar
  • Newey makes the difference says ex Ferrari boss
  • Doctor says Kubica will return to F1
  • Concerns still linger over first Indian GP

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