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Brandon Wagoner wins Miami Indy Lights race
Brandon Wagoner driving for the Davey Hamilton team held off repeated challenges from James Hinchcliffe to win the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka 100 Indy Lights season finale on the 1.485-mile Homestead Miami Speedway by 0.7 seconds.  Wade Cunningham was third.

JK Vernay wrapped up the Indy Lights title but was never in contention for the lead today.

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Audi in front at halfway mark of Petit LeMans
It was Audi-Peugeot-Peugeot at the halfway mark of the Petit LeMans ALMS race at Road Atlanta.  See the full standings.

5 Hour Standings

Pos Num CL Driver Car Laps Behind Gap
1 7 P1 Tom Kristensen Audi R15 218 --- ---
2 07 P1 Marc Gene Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 218 -1.235 -1.235
3 08 P1 Pedro Lamy Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 217 -1 lap -1 lap
4 1 P2 Marino Franchitti HPD ARX-01c 212 -6 laps -5 laps
5 37 P1 Clint Field Lola B06/10 AER 211 -7 laps -1 lap
6 8 P1 Paul Drayson Lola B09 60/Judd 204 -14 laps -7 laps
7 9 P1 Benoit Treluyer Audi R15 203 -15 laps -1 lap
8 6 P2 Lucas Luhr Porsche RS Spyder 203 -15 laps -11.730
9 95 LMPC Burt Frisselle Oreca FLM09 200 -18 laps -3 laps
10 55 LMPC Mark Wilkins Oreca FLM09 200 -18 laps -19.103
11 35 P2 Jacques Nicolet Pescarolo P01/Judd 199 -19 laps -1 lap
12 52 LMPC Ryan Lewis Oreca FLM09 198 -20 laps -1 lap
13 89 LMPC Chapman Ducote Oreca FLM09 196 -22 laps -2 laps
14 61 GT2 Giancarlo Fisichel Ferrari 430 GT 195 -23 laps -1 lap
15 3 GT2 Antonio Garcia Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 195 -23 laps -8.321
16 45 GT2 Patrick Long Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 195 -23 laps -1.401
17 92 GT2 Bill Auberlen BMW E92 M3 195 -23 laps -0.800
18 62 GT2 Toni Vilander Ferrari 430 GT 195 -23 laps -3.931
19 01 GT2 Scott Sharp Ferrari 430 GT 195 -23 laps -4.615
20 4 GT2 Emmanuel Collard Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 195 -23 laps -0.484
21 911 GTH Romain Dumas Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid 194 -24 laps -1 lap
22 04 GT2 David Murry Doran Design Ford GT 193 -25 laps -1 lap
23 17 GT2 Bryan Sellers Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 193 -25 laps -9.347
24 44 GT2 Darren Law Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 193 -25 laps -11.497
25 16 P2 Chris Dyson Lola B09 86/Mazda 192 -26 laps -1 lap
26 54 GTC Jeroen Bleekemolen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 187 -31 laps -5 laps
27 02 GT2 Guy Cosmo Ferrari 430 GT 186 -32 laps -1 lap
28 63 GTC Duncan Ende Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 184 -34 laps -2 laps
29 77 GTC Andrew Davis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 182 -36 laps -2 laps
30 40 GT2 Craig Stanton Doran Design Ford GT 181 -37 laps -1 lap
31 88 GTC Jerry Vento Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 181 -37 laps -0.716
32 28 GTC Loren Beggs Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 181 -37 laps -16.789
33 69 GTC Kris Wilson Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 177 -41 laps -4 laps
34 23 GTC Bill Sweedler Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 161 -57 laps -16 laps
35 90 GT2 Andy Priaulx BMW E92 M3 158 -60 laps -3 laps
36 12 P1 Chris McMurry Lola B06 10/AER 157 -61 laps -1 lap
37 99 LMPC Christian Zugel Oreca FLM09 152 -66 laps -5 laps

tv news

Wind Tunnel Upcoming Guests
Featured Interview      2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion
Featured Interview      Emmett Hahn (Promoter, Chili Bowl Midget Nationals & Founder, ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series)

10/10/2010                    (NOTE, Dave Despain will be on vacation this week)
Guest Host                  Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)
Featured Interview      Tony Cotman (Project Manager, 2012 IndyCar)
Featured Interview      TBA

Featured Interview      Kevin Harvick (Sprint CUP Title Contender)
Featured Interview      TBA

Featured Interview      Don Miller (Former CUP Crewman & Team Owner)
Featured Interview      TBA

Featured Interview      TBA
Featured Interview      TBA


Briscoe tops Miami warm-up
Pos Driver / Team No. Time Speed Diff Gap
1 Ryan Briscoe Team Penske No. 6 00:25.3160 211.171 --.---- --.----
2 Helio Castroneves Team Penske No. 3 00:25.3954 210.511 0.0794 0.0794
3 Raphael Matos de Ferran Dragon Racing No. 2 00:25.4162 210.338 0.1002 0.0208
4 Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Racing No. 10 00:25.4306 210.219 0.1146 0.0144
5 Dan Wheldon Panther Racing No. 4 00:25.4326 210.203 0.1166 0.0020
6 Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport No. 7 00:25.4396 210.145 0.1236 0.0070
7 Will Power Team Penske No. 12 00:25.4553 210.015 0.1393 0.0157
8 Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 00:25.4733 209.867 0.1573 0.0180
9 Alex Tagliani FAZZT Race Team No. 77 00:25.4782 209.826 0.1622 0.0049
10 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport No. 26 00:25.4975 209.668 0.1815 0.0193
11 Ed Carpenter Panther Racing No. 20 00:25.5041 209.613 0.1881 0.0066
12 Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosport No. 11 00:25.5340 209.368 0.2180 0.0299
13 Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 00:25.5346 209.363 0.2186 0.0006
14 Graham Rahal Newman/Haas Racing No. 02 00:25.5664 209.103 0.2504 0.0318
15 Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing No. 22 00:25.5822 208.973 0.2662 0.0158
16 Vitor Meira A.J. Foyt Enterprises No. 14 00:25.6111 208.738 0.2951 0.0289
17 Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold Racing No. 24 00:25.6233 208.638 0.3073 0.0122
18 Takuma Sato KV Racing Technology No. 5 00:25.6289 208.593 0.3129 0.0056
19 Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher Racing No. 67 00:25.6517 208.407 0.3357 0.0228
20 Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 00:25.6760 208.210 0.3600 0.0243
21 Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology No. 32 00:25.6883 208.110 0.3723 0.0123
22 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport No. 37 00:25.6886 208.108 0.3726 0.0003
23 Simona De Silvestro HVM Racing No. 78 00:25.7142 207.901 0.3982 0.0256
24 E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology No. 8 00:25.7794 207.375 0.4634 0.0652
25 Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas Racing No. 06 00:25.8448 206.850 0.5288 0.0654
26 Bertrand Baguette Conquest Racing No. 34 00:25.8703 206.646 0.5543 0.0255
27 Sebastian Saavedra Conquest Racing No. 36 00:25.9567 205.958 0.6407 0.0864


Stewart calls for change to boring NASCAR qualifying
Sprint Cup qualifying can be a tedious exercise at Talladega Superspeedway. Forty-something cars taking two laps each around the 2.66-mile track one at a time can take hours in an exercise that draws very few fans.

Tony Stewart wouldn't mind seeing qualifying shortened by having multiple cars on the track at the same time. Stewart was in Talladega on Tuesday to help promote the upcoming AMP Energy Juice 500 on Oct. 31. He said that if he's one of the cars that qualifies late in the session he usually has time to take a nap while other drivers qualify. Multiple cars on the track at once would speed things up, he said.""Two's a no-brainer," he said. "Three might be harder."NASCAR recently switched to such a qualifying format for the Camping World Truck Series with two trucks on the track at once. The Mountain Dew 250 truck race at Talladega on Oct. 30 will use that format. Stewart said it would be relatively easy to do the same thing for Cup qualifying. Stewart started the day at a state trooper checkpoint on Highway 231 in Pell City. Drivers were pulled over and if they had a valid license, registration and insurance and were wearing seat belts they got free tickets to the October race from Stewart, who is also a deputy sheriff in Fayette County. Stewart is one of this year's 12 drivers competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. But after the first two races he's in 10th place, 162 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. That’s partly because he rolled the dice while leading the first race at New Hampshire and ended up running out of gas less than two laps from the finish. He said Tuesday he doesn't even know where he is in the standings and focuses entirely on whatever race is next. Stewart, who is a team owner at Stewart-Haas Racing, also talked about the difficulties that talented young drivers have breaking into the sport and finding sponsorship."I blame the car owners for that," he said. "I blame every car owner who had development drivers."Car owners, he said, signed up young drivers for development programs and then couldn't provide them with full-time rides when they were ready to move up."What were you developing them for?" Stewart asked. "Now they're sitting out there without a ride."  AL.com


Pedrosa surgery a success
Dani Pedrosa underwent surgery today to fix a titanium plate to the fractured left collarbone he suffered in a fall yesterday during free practice for the Grand Prix of Japan. The two-hour operation at the Dexeus University Institute Hospital in Barcelona was a success and Pedrosa is now recuperating. The surgeon in charge, Dr. Xavier Mir, said afterwards that the procedure went very well but that it is still too early to predict possible time scales for Pedrosa’s recovery.

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Cosworth confirms three F1 teams for 2011
(GMM)  Three teams will continue to be powered by Cosworth engines in 2011, the independent British company has announced.

At Monza, an agreement "in principle" was reached between the Northampton based marque and Lotus to end their current engine deal.

That termination has now been signed, paving the way for Lotus to switch to Renault power for 2011 and 2012.

"Cosworth's support for Lotus Racing will cease at midnight on 30 November 2010," confirmed Cosworth.

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Ave takes 6th Trans-Am win at Road Atlanta
Newly crowned series champion Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., picked up his sixth career SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series victory on Friday afternoon at Road Atlanta, coming out on top in a seesaw battle with polesitter Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C.

Driving the No. 4 Boden Masonry/Lamers Racing/McMahon Group/Optech/PME Chevrolet Corvette, Ave vaulted from third on the starting grid and into the lead on Lap 1 of the 36-lap race. His lead would be short-lived however, as Skeen reclaimed the lead on Lap 5 and appeared to be well on his way to victory in the No. 81 ECR Chevrolet Corvette.

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Andrea Dovizioso on pole at Motegi
Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso put in an immaculate performance in qualifying today to take his first ever MotoGP pole position and give himself the best possible chance for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Japan. The 24-year-old Italian continued the form he has shown throughout this weekend, moving up from second place in the two practice sessions yesterday and this morning, to take top spot in the qualifying shoot-out. Dovizioso’s rivals did their utmost to unseat him from pole in a gripping last few moments this afternoon, but it wasn’t enough and the Italian took his 14th Grand Prix career pole (9 x 125cc, 4 x 250cc) and his first in the premier class.

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Yamaha confirms Lorenzo for two more years
Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd is delighted to announce that it has reached an agreement with Jorge Lorenzo whereby the Spaniard will remain with the factory for the next two years.

23-year-old Lorenzo, who joined Yamaha in 2008, has won an impressive seven races so far this season and is on target to take his first premier-class crown. He currently leads the standings by 56 points with five rounds remaining.

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2011 Milwaukee IndyCar ticket pricing released
Ticket Pricing
SATURDAY, June 18, 2011

(General Admission All Seats)

Adults $25.00
Kids 12 - 18 $10.00
Kids Under 12 -Free-

SUNDAY, June 19, 2011

(Reserved & General)

400 Level Reserved $80.00
300 Level Reserved $65.00
200 Level Reserved $45.00
100 Level General Admission $35.00

South Terrace
Stands AA/BB/CC
Upper Reserved Rows 13-25 $45.00
Lower General Admission Rows 1-12 $35.00
Stands DD EE FF
Upper Reserved Rows 10-19 $45.00
Lower General Admission Rows 1-9 $35.00

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Former Drag Racer Commits Suicide
Lenny Woods, a black businessman whose name graced the groundbreaking Stone Woods & Cooke Swindler drag car racer in the 1960s, was found dead in his failed California Ford dealership Tuesday after an apparent suicide. He was 64 years old.

Woods' father, Tim Woods, had founded the drag racing team in the late 1950s with a manager at his successful construction firm, Fred Stone. After driver Doug Cook joined the team in 1961, the trio became famous for their Swinder, which sported the body of a 1941 Willys coupe and a supercharged Oldsmobile engine.

The team launched the "gasser wars" of the 1960s, essentially a barnstorming group of drag racers that would run several races a week and taunt each other in drag racing magazines to gin up interest. The Swindler won hundreds of races, and thanks to the ingenuity of the team became the iconic ideal of gas-powered drag racers from that era, including the model toy version from Revell that has sold millions of copies.

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Wheldon sues Panther Racing UPDATE One day after word broke that former Indy 500 and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon was suing his current team, Panther Racing, over unpaid wages in Marion County (Ind.) Circuit Court, both sides have resolved the matter according to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star.

Both Cavin and IMS Radio Network reporter Kevin Lee (who both work together on WFNI-AM's "Trackside" radio show) are also reporting that there's still a possibility that Wheldon may return to Panther next season. Rumors have persisted that the British racer may be taking his services elsewhere in 2011.

10/01/10 Wheldon and Panther Racing apparently won't be parting on the best of terms after this race. Filing as DW Motorsports, Wheldon has a lawsuit pending in Marion County Superior Court against Panther Racing LLC and John Barnes Racing. The suit, apparently involving a contract dispute between the British driver and team owner John Barnes, was filed Aug. 18. The Indianapolis Star


Pippa Mann wins 3rd Lights pole of year
Qualifying Friday for the Fuzzys Ultra Premium Vodka 100 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 1.485-mile Homestead Miami Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, and speed:

1.  (11) Pippa Mann,  186.597
2.  (26) Charlie Kimball,  186.343
3.  (32) Brandon Wagner,  186.027
4.  (49) Philip Major,  185.899
5.  (77) Wade Cunningham,  185.827
6.  (2) James Hinchcliffe,  185.808
7.  (10) Gustavo Yacaman,  185.483
8.  (27) Martin Plowman,  185.471
9.  (4) Sean Guthrie,  185.436
10.  (22) Adrian Campos Jr.,  185.346
11.  (34) Henry Clarke,  184.921
12.  (7) JK Vernay,  184.614
13.  (36) Daniel Herrington,  184.328
14.  (40) Dan Clarke,  184.094
15.  (29) Dillon Battistini,  183.804
16.  (24) Arie Luyendyk Jr,  183.497
17.  (18) Rodrigo Barbosa,  181.045

Racing News

McCormick Paces Opening Cayman Interseries Practice
Jim McCormick, in his first race behind the wheel of the No. 6 Porsche Cayman S that pays tribute to the legendary Sunoco/Penske Porsche 917-30, paced the field Friday in the opening day of practice for the Cayman Interseries at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Cayman class is running in the HSR Homestead Historic Races that are part of the season-ending IZOD IndyCar Series weekend at the South Florida facility.

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Karam clinches USF2000 championship
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Team Comfort Revolution car for Andretti Autosport, clinched the 2010 USF2000 National Championship driver championship after winning the first race at Road Atlanta on Thursday, Sept. 30. Andretti Autosport won the USF2000 team championship title, with a lead of more than 100 points in the team point standings. 

Karam also won the VP Fuels Rookie of the Year award. Including the final race at Road Atlanta, Karam scored nine victories in 12 starts this season. 

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De Phillippi Wins Star Mazda Road Atlanta
On a very fine day indeed for motor racing, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear wound up its 20th anniversary 2010 season with an ending that could scarcely have been scripted better by Hollywood; pole-sitter Connor De Phillippi won his first race of the season, from the pole, and clinched the much-coveted 'Rookie of the Year' award, along with 3rd in the championship racing the #11 JDC Motorsports / MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Skip Barber Mazda.  His drive was a study in excellent execution and he led from start to finish, crossing the finish line with 4.5 seconds in hand over the 2nd-place finisher.

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Martin to start at the back again
The No. 5 Chevrolet of Mark Martin will have to start in the back for Sunday's Price Chopper 400 because a fuel-pump malfunction forced the team to change the engine during Friday's practice session at Kansas Speedway.

Martin, who is not in the Chase this season, didn't complete a lap in practice. He realized the car had a fuel pick-up issue and returned to the garage.

Drivers must move to the back before the start of the race, regardless of where they qualify, if the team changes the engine.

Sunday will be the second consecutive race that Martin will have to start at the rear of the field. The right rear shock absorber failed a post-qualifying inspection last weekend at Dover, which forced Martin to move to the last row. He finished 12th.


Mazda, Ford and Chrysler sales rocket upward
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported September sales of 18,580, an increase of 30.5 percent compared to last September. Year-to-date sales through September, 2010, stand at 174,770, and are outpacing last year's sales at this time by 9.1 percent (up 9.6 percent DSR).

Ford said today that sales of its cars and trucks in the U.S. increased 46.3% in September. Sales increased 40% for Ford F-Series pickups, 48% for its Focus compact sedan and 47% for its Fusion midsize sedan over last September. “The key to our success in the U.S. market is the relentless cadence of new vehicle, powertrain and technology introductions,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a statement.

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Will Power draws first blood in Miami
Points leader Will Power drew first blood in his battle to beat Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti for the 2010 IndyCar title. However, Dario was only 0.0413s behind in a session that saw all drivers separated by just 6/10th of a second on this 100% throttle track.  Scott Dixon set the 2nd fastest time, but he did it on just his 2nd lap out of the pits, which leads us to believe he may be sandbagging.

Ryan Briscoe was third.

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Plowman tops opening Indy Lights practice
Pos Driver / Team No. Time Speed Diff Gap
1 Martin Plowman AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport 27 00:28.7340 186.051 --.---- --.----
2 Arie Luyendyk Jr. Alliance Motorsports 24 00:28.8396 185.370 0.1056 0.1056
3 Charlie Kimball AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport 26 00:28.8507 185.299 0.1167 0.0111
4 James Hinchcliffe Team Moore Racing 2 00:28.8972 185.001 0.1632 0.0465
5 Adrian Campos Jr. Team Moore Racing 22 00:28.9234 184.833 0.1894 0.0262
6 Brandon Wagner Davey Hamilton Racing 32 00:28.9535 184.641 0.2195 0.0301
7 Pippa Mann Sam Schmidt Motorsports 11 00:28.9635 184.577 0.2295 0.0100
8 Dan Clarke Walker Racing 40 00:28.9761 184.497 0.2421 0.0126
9 Wade Cunningham Sam Schmidt Motorsports 77 00:28.9822 184.458 0.2482 0.0061
10 Daniel Herrington O2 Racing Technology operated by Genoa 36 00:28.9949 184.377 0.2609 0.0127
11 Gustavo Yacaman Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing 10 00:29.0543 184.000 0.3203 0.0594
12 Sean Guthrie Andersen Racing 4 00:29.0794 183.841 0.3454 0.0251
13 Henry Clarke Davey Hamilton Racing 34 00:29.1336 183.499 0.3996 0.0542
14 Dillon Battistini Bryan Herta Autosport 29 00:29.1780 183.220 0.4440 0.0444
15 J.K. Vernay Sam Schmidt Motorsports 7 00:29.4371 181.608 0.7031 0.2591
16 Philip Major Sam Schmidt Motorsports 49 00:29.5105 181.156 0.7765 0.0734
17 Rodrigo Barbosa PDM Racing 18 00:29.8567 179.055 1.1227 0.3462


GM sales up for September
September combined total sales for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac increased  22 percent to 172,969 units, driven by a combined 39 percent rebound in retail sales compared with last September. Each brand saw retail increases in excess of 21 percent, led by Buick, where retail sales were up 96 percent for the month.

September’s results also reflect an effective and quick model-year transition – a dramatic departure from last year’s changeover. Of GM’s retail sales for the month, 53 percent were new (2011) model year vehicles – almost double last year’s 27 percent. Dealer stock at the end of the month included 75 percent new model vehicles, compared to just 30 percent last year.

“We said our goal for this time of year was to achieve an orderly transition from past model to the new model year, and we’ve achieved that,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “This helps us lower our overall selling costs and positions us to come out of the gates quickly during the new model year.”

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Pedrosa falls, breaks collarbone UPDATE “Obviously this has been a really bad day for us,” Pedrosa said. “It was a strange crash in only my second full lap, in a slow section of the track. I tried to stop the bike as usual but I knew something was wrong and couldn’t avoid going down.

“After the crash I knew immediately that I was injured because it was very painful. I had a big impact in my left ankle and also my collarbone was broken as I hit the track - so obviously it feels very unlucky because recently we have had really good results.

“I’ve been very healthy through the pre-season and through the year and we had been working a lot to get to and stay at the maximum level. Another injury to contend with is really not what I needed - I don’t feel as though I deserve it.

“Anyway, once the doctors had checked everything here, we decided it was best to go back to Spain for the operation. I hope it goes as well as possible and that I can return to racing soon.”

Repsol Honda Team Manager Toshiyuki Yamaji added: “For Dani it’s obviously very disappointing that he has suffered this injury. At any time this wouldn’t be good, but Dani was in excellent form and so the timing - at the start of three races in close succession - is very unfortunate.

“We have looked closely into the reasons for the crash and hope that Dani can return to fitness and to racing quickly.”

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Lamy keeps Peugeot on top in morning practice
Peugeot’s two diesel-powered 908 HDi prototypes kept up the pace at Road Atlanta with the fastest two times in Friday morning’s official practice for Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA 2. Pedro Lamy’s best lap of 1:07.723 (135.021 mph) was 0.487 seconds better than Anthony Davidson in the second Peugeot.

The French manufacturer is the defending champion at Petit Le Mans. It will tackle fellow diesel power Audi for the third straight year at Road Atlanta. The best of the Audi R15 TDIs was the car of Dindo Capello at 1:09.852. The car crashed with damage to the left-front section of the car. It damage did appear limited to just the bodywork, however.

There is plenty of time for repair with qualifying set for 3:15 p.m. ET.

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BMW to recall 350,000 luxury cars
BMW has said that it will recall up to 350,000 luxury cars worldwide due to a problem with brakes.

BMW said the recall was in response to a fault with the power braking system, but the cars were not unsafe

The recall affects V8 and V12 engine cars in the BMW 5, 6 and 7 ranges, and Rolls-Royce - a BMW subsidiary - built between July 2001 and November 2009.

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Cosworth and Lotus Racing sign termination agreement
Cosworth and Lotus have today signed the termination of Lotus Racing’s engine supply agreement following completion of the deal which was established in principle and announced after the Italian Grand Prix on 12th September 2010. Cosworth’s support for Lotus Racing will cease at midnight on 30th November 2010.

Lotus Racing has enjoyed a successful season with Cosworth and has enjoyed excellent performance, reliability and support from their engine supply. The decision to bring the partnership to an early termination has been driven by the team's desire to solve reliability and performance issues unrelated to the Cosworth engine. Lotus Racing and Cosworth have agreed settlement terms satisfactory to both parties to secure an early termination of the agreement.

Cosworth wishes Lotus Racing success in the future, and will continue to supply engines to AT&T Williams, Virgin Racing and HRT in 2011, thereby supporting 25% of the teams in Formula One.


Vettel to be 'aggressive', Webber 'defensive' - Marko
(GMM)  Red Bull's two drivers will take different approaches to the last four races of 2010, team consultant Helmut Marko has revealed.

Mark Webber is 11 points clear at the top of the drivers' championship, while his teammate Sebastian Vettel - 21 points further adrift - is also still in the running.

"With Sebastian we will take an aggressive strategy, while with Mark we can be safer and let him drive more defensively," Dr Marko is quoted by Germany's Auto Bild.

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Valentino Rossi tops opening MotoGP practice in Japan
The Fiat Yamaha Team made a flying start to the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi today in a close-fought practice session, with Valentino Rossi making a welcome return to the top of the time sheets and Jorge Lorenzo finishing the day in third.

Rossi was expecting this track to be particularly hard on his shoulder so he was delighted to find himself in less pain than last time out and feeling much stronger on the bike. The Italian used an upgraded engine specification for the first time today and his feedback was positive, finding particular improvements in the higher gears. He was fast from the very start of the session and then put in a blistering final lap to finish on top, two-tenths ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.

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track news

Rain slows repaving, but crews ahead of schedule
Bill Braniff, who is the project manager for Daytona International Speedway's historic repaving effort, is a master of mathematics and engineering. When asked for the time-date status report of Daytona's humongous asphalt mission, Braniff used his fingers to count it out.

"July, August, September," he said, holding up three fingers, followed by, "October, November, December. We are at the halfway point."

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IndyCar news tidbits
If Randy Bernard has his way, the Izod IndyCar Series will stage this weekend's season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway without off-track fanfare. "I want the focus to be on (championship contenders) Will Power and Dario Franchitti, so we have nothing planned," the Indy Racing League's chief executive officer said Thursday. "We can deal with the news of the sport later on."

Power takes a 12-point lead over Franchitti into Saturday night's Cafes do Brasil Indy 300. This marks the fifth consecutive year IndyCar has seen its points race go to the final weekend, hence Bernard's desire to celebrate that.

The champion officially will be crowned Sunday night at the W Hotel in South Beach. In advance of today's practice and qualifying, Bernard addressed several issues: The season-ending race for 2011. Bernard said he remains optimistic a deal will be struck with the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority to hold the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., is the other option.

"I have a great relationship with the people there," he said of his years growing professional bull riding in Las Vegas. "I'm confident I have a great business plan to do the same thing here. I know the power of Vegas."

Engine and aerodynamic specifications for 2012.

The goal was to have the engine specs by today. Some details remain unresolved, but Bernard said project manager Tony Cotman is close to giving potential manufacturers everything they need to make a decision by the mid-November deadline to commit.

"Will we get more (than Honda)? That's a good question," he said. "The proof will be in the pudding. I doubt anybody plays their cards until we write the rules."

Criticism of the artistic look of the series' new champion's trophy, designed to give series sponsor Izod a unique look.

The vertical design from sculptor Ted Gall features a stainless steel man with outstretched arms balanced on a wheel. That piece is mounted on a wooden base. The previous trophy was deemed outdated because it had "Indy Racing League" on it, a name that is being phased out.

"With what Izod is doing for the series, I can live with anything," Bernard said. "But I understand why traditionalists might not like it. It's different, that's for sure." The Indianapolis Star


Driver pairings for Gold Coast V8 Supercar race
The entry list for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 is taking shape as the countdown to the Gold Coast’s biggest party continues to count down.

Just 22 days now remain until the October 22-24 event hits the streets of the Gold Coast, with the teams revealing their driver pairings for the third endurance event of the 2010 V8 Supercars Australia Championship Series this week.

Dario Franchitti, who recently said the Armor All Gold Coast 600 has the potential to be the greatest touring car race the world has ever seen, will pair with Steve Johnson while Johnson’s team mate and championship leader James Courtney will share the driving duties with Jim Beam Racing’s regular co-driver Warren Luff.

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'No value' in beating Schumacher now - Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has admitted it is no longer a special feeling to beat seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.

When the 41-year-old German announced his return to formula one for 2010, McLaren driver Hamilton said it will be "an honor and privilege" to go wheel to wheel with one of his childhood heroes.

"He is one of the sport's greatest competitors, a legend -- it will be great to compete against him," said the 2008 world champion, whose F1 career began the season after Schumacher initially retired four years ago.

"It doesn't matter whether I win or lose.  The fact I will be able to drive alongside Schumacher is something I can carry all my life," added Hamilton.

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Decision to focus on Alonso 'right' - Montezemolo
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo has spelled out Felipe Massa's supporting role in the 2010 world championship, showing no regret for the decision to put the "focus" of the Ferrari challenge on number 1 driver Fernando Alonso.

Speaking at the Paris motor show on Thursday, the Ferrari president urged Brazilian Massa to show a better performance at the decisive races, having struggled with the F10 recently.

"I have waited for Felipe with great perseverance in the last four races," Montezemolo is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I want a strong Massa who will shave points off the rivals," he added.

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Mayfield claims Brian France had it in for him
If anything the Mayfield case is airing all of NASCAR's dirty laundry and Mayfield is trying to make NASCAR and their leader, Brian France, out as hoodlums
Jeremy Mayfield claims that NASCAR Chairman Brian France had him black-flagged during the 2006 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and that NASCAR officials were upset with him in 2009 for signing a sponsor they were courting, according to a court filing late Wednesday.

Mayfield made those claims in asking U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen to reconsider a May 2010 ruling that dismissed his lawsuit against NASCAR over a May 1, 2009 drug test that NASCAR says was positive for methamphetamines.

The filing is another step in the appeals process – asking the judge to reconsider the decision before actually filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In his request, Mayfield also asks that he be allowed to amend his lawsuit against NASCAR to include those new claims, which he alleges show that NASCAR illegally interfered with his team business affairs and that France disliked him and had personal malice against him.

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Power enjoys being in right place
Will Power watched the 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series championship-deciding race from a suite at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which played out like a 90-minute inspirational video for the Australian driver to push physically and mentally to be in a similar position this year as Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe.

He'll be on the grid Oct. 2 in the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, aiming to realize that goal. Power takes a 12-point lead over reigning series champion Dario Franchitti into the 200-lap race under the lights. There are a number of scenarios in which Power can clinch - foremost finishing ahead of his lone competitor in the field of 27.

Power's 587 points have been amassed through five victories on road/street circuits and top-10 finishes in 13 of the 16 races. He's also accrued 29 bonus points from a series-record eight pole starts and race laps led.

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Franchitti looking forward to next accomplishment
Franchitti looking forward to next accomplishment: Whether the Indianapolis 500 or the IZOD IndyCar Series championship-deciding fray at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, Dario Franchitti looks forward to the next race. As a competitor, it's always about next.

"The first Indy 500 was amazing and to win that championship in the last corner of the last lap was pretty exciting," the open-wheel racing veteran says of the 2007 season. "To come back last year and win (the championship) again was something. It's always about the next race though, isn't it?

"It's all about what we can do this next race."

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Connor De Phillippi Wins Star Mazda Pole at Petit Le Mans
In a qualifying session limited to two laps by the simultaneous arrival of rain and a red flag, MAZDASPEED Driver Development Ladder Connor De Phillippi took his first pole of the season by a .488-second margin over series champion Conor Daly.  De Phillippi, driving the #11 JDC Motorsports / MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Skip Barber Mazda, set his quick time of 1:20.101 (114.156 mph) on Lap 2, crossing the finish line two seconds ahead of the red flag that, per IMSA regulations, brought timing to a halt and the field into the pits.  Starting alongside him will be Conor Daly, series champion with seven wins and nine poles so far this season; he turned a lap of 1:20.589 (113.465 mph) in the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda.

"The JDC Motorsports team told me before the session that with the rain on the way we would only have one shot at a good time and that meant putting the hammer down on Lap 1," said De Phillippi.  "They judged the situation with the rain and the tires perfectly and I'm very happy to be on the pole for the first time, especially in the race that will decide the winner of Rookie of the Year.  Being on pole is a huge thing both strategically and mentally for a driver, and we've been fast the last couple of races and in practice leading up to this race, so I'm feeling good about my chances tomorrow."

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Team USA

Skip Barber National Drivers Win Team USA Scholarship
After much anticipation, the winners of the 2010 Team USA scholarship were announced this afternoon at Road Atlanta. Skip Baber’s own Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles are the winners of fully paid entries in the 2010 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Heyes Trophy at Silverstone in October and November.

Earlier this year, both drivers participated in the Skip Barber Karting Shootout and received scholarships for their season as MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development competitors. Pigot is currently leading the points championship in the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Series presented by Mazda by twenty points and will be defending his title this evening in race one of two at Road Atlanta this weekend.

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Roush Fenway Signs Trevor Bayne
Roush Fenway Racing announced it has signed up-and-coming NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne. The 19-year old has started all 28 races in the Nationwide Series this season, running to 10 top-10 finishes and five top fives. After getting acclimated in the series, Bayne has totaled three poles, nine top 10s and five top fives in his last 14 Nationwide starts. He is currently ranked seventh in the Nationwide Series standings.

“We are pleased to be able to sign a driver of both Trevor’s caliber and character,” said team owner Jack Roush. “Trevor has exhibited a distinctive ability to run fast, up front and compete side-by-side with veteran drivers in a relatively short amount of time. We feel that he possesses all of the tools necessary to grow into a top-level driver and we look forward to working with him to hone his skills as we move forward down the road.”

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Audi tops opening practice for Petit LeMans
Marcel Fässler set the fastest time for Audi Sport in the first official practice session for Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA 2 on Friday. The Swiss factory driver turned in a lap of 1:09.579 (131.419 mph) in the Audi R15 TDI that he is sharing with Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer. Fässler is the only one in the trio who has raced at Road Atlanta – albeit in a GT2 Corvette last year.

Fässler went just 0.059 seconds quicker than Peugeot’s Marc Gene, driving one of the factory’s two Peugeot 908 HDi with Alexander Wurz and Anthony Davidson. Audi’s second entry of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish sat third thanks to Capello’s lap of 1:10.735 (129.271 mph).

A great deal of the one-hour session was on a wet circuit thanks to early-morning showers. Twenty-seven of the 45 cars set times with the full field set to go out in what looks like a drier afternoon session starting at 2:35 p.m.

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RCR Statement Regarding loss on appeal of NASCAR Penalty
The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the September 29 decision of the NASCAR appeals committee to uphold the penalty on the No. 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team following the September 19 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

"I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision knowing how the appeal system is structured. We proved beyond a reasonable doubt how the car was found to be out of tolerance after the race. Knowing how the system works, I brought a check with me to cover the cost of the appeal hearing and we have already submitted our request to appeal to the chief appellate officer. That being said, we will not let this be a distraction to the primary goal of one of our teams winning the Sprint Cup Series championship. We owe it to our fans and our sponsors to stay focused and bring the championship back to RCR. We will have no further comment on the matter until the appeal is final."


Opening Soon: 2011 Camaro Convertible
The Camaro will have a soft-top convertible
The 21st century rebirth of the Chevrolet Camaro opens a new chapter when the 2011 Camaro Convertible premieres at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on Nov. 17. 

The Camaro Convertible will arrive in Chevrolet showrooms in February 2011. Starting price will be $30,000, including $850 destination. (Full details will be released later this year.) 

“The Convertible will make the all-new Camaro, already a smash-hit, even more desirable to a greater range of drivers,” says Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.

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Fiat considers selling Ferrari shares
(GMM)  According to a rumor at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday, Italian carmaker Fiat is considering selling some of its shares in Ferrari and the famous formula one team.

The rumor emerged a few days ago based on a report in the Corriere della Sera newspaper, suggesting Fiat wants to raise money to increase its stake in Chrysler to 51 per cent.

Fiat, who currently own 85 per cent of Ferrari, has denied the rumors that it is prepared to reduce its shareholding to a controlling 51 per cent.

The other significant Ferrari owner is Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala.

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IndyCar on Versus a slow painful death
Q: How many years are left on the Indianapolis 500 TV contract with ABC, and can you see Jeff Belskus and Randy Bernard trying to move the coverage to NBC once the Comcast takeover is finalized?

Phil, West Lafayette, IN

RM: ABC's contract expires following the 2011 race and I know Randy has talked with FOX and NBC. The key to NBC is Comcast, which as you pointed out is in the process of buying 51 percent of NBC, and has discussed changing VERSUS to NBC Sports. We all know the current TV contract (eight more years on VERSUS) is a slow, painful death but getting out of it appears impossible. Speedtv.com


League blamed for devastating American Open Wheel Racing bids adieu
Adieu Indy Racing League. Thanks for splitting apart the open-wheel world, which allowed NASCAR to move in as the top racing series in the country. Hopefully, you'll take all that baggage with you.

The 2010 IndyCar Series closes out this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Will Power and Dario Franchitti separated by a dozen points for the championship going into the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300.

It'll also be the last IRL and/or IndyCar Series event at Homestead, long a schedule staple. It also will mark the end of the IRL/IndyCar Series relationship with International Speedway Corp., which owns Homestead and Auto Club Speedway.

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Floundering Mercedes team looks to add talent
Norbert Haug has again confirmed Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will stay at Mercedes in 2011 but also revealed the team is looking to recruit some new talent ahead of next season.

Mercedes has had a difficult return to F1 since taking over the championship-winning Brawn team over the winter. It is currently a solid fourth in the constructors' championship but has lost ground to its rivals as the season has progressed.

Haug said that next season would see the team mount a more serious challenge on the title, but to do so might require some new members of staff.

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di Montezemolo happy with F1 team's comeback
Luca di Montezemolo
Luca di Montezemolo has stressed that Ferrari’s recent pace is due to nothing more than much hard graft, both at circuits and its Maranello base, after a strong start to the campaign which was followed by a mid-season dip in form.

Following Fernando Alonso’s season-opening victory in Bahrain over half a year ago, the Scuderia would not win again until their controversial success at Hockenheim in late July; this has since been followed by double successes for the Spaniard in Italy and Singapore.

“These wins are down to the work of the team and have not just dropped out of the sky through luck,” company Chairman di Montezemolo commented on the team website.

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Not talented enough to become a comedian
Kamui Kobayashi
Kamui Kobayashi, who was only yesterday, Wednesday, in Tokyo to be appointed as an honorable international ambassador as “Sports Tourism Master” by the Japan Tourism Agency, which belongs to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, is looking forward to his home race, the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on October 10th.
What does your home race mean to you?
Kamui Kobayashi:
“Returning to race in Japan as a Formula One driver means a lot to me. I had a taste of it last year when I stepped in for Timo Glock at Toyota for the Friday practice sessions. This was at short notice, but for this year’s race a lot of supporters are going to be there. There has been a “Kamui Kobayashi” fans corner set up between turns two and three. It has more than 2000 seats and has been sold out for quite a while. I managed to buy tickets for friends and I hope they will be having fun.”

What are your expectations for the race in Suzuka?
Kobayashi: “After a good qualifying the outcome of the race in Singapore was, of course, disappointing for me. I hope in Suzuka we have reason to be happy on both Saturday and on Sunday. We all think the circuit should suit our car pretty well.”

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Lotus Racing meets with Proton to resolve row
In a bid to alleviate the public confusion surrounding the ongoing matter between Lotus Racing and Proton / Group Lotus, Lotus Racing shareholder and Deputy Team Principal Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun recently had the opportunity to meet Proton Adviser Tun Dr Mahathir. The meeting was to discuss the matter in person and agree a future course of action for Lotus Racing.

Lotus Racing believes it is acting within its own rights, and as a result of this meeting, the team will now refrain from making any further comments on the matter. This action is upon advice from Tun Dr Mahathir, and it is out of our respect for him that we will act upon his wishes as he has supported us since our inception, and his backing has been invaluable in our growth.

We are very grateful for having had the opportunity to put forth our case and have complete trust that a fair review will be made, and a decision on the matter will be announced in due course.  Lotus Racing PR


Superleague heads to new track in China
Less than three seasons since its inaugural race, Superleague Formula by Sonangol will make its first appearance outside of Europe this weekend when the championship travels to Ordos International Circuit in China.

Superleague Formula will be the first international series to compete at the all-new 2.331-mile, 18-turn circuit, ensuring that this year’s championship protagonists will each be as inexperienced as the next.

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) makes the trip to Inner Mongolia riding the crest of a wave after snatching the championship lead from Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) last time out at Portimao. But the Italian knows anything less than another excellent weekend could cost him dearly.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Renault looks set to retain Petrov in 2011
  • Suspended jail term for F1 spy Stepney
  • FIA have stopped Red Bull's illegal car - Hamilton
  • Difficult season making Mercedes 'grumpy' - Haug
  • Teams agree operational budget cap for 2011 and beyond
  • City of Rome will not pay for grand prix - promoter
  • No further delay after Korea GP construction accident

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