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DATE News (chronologically)
10/07/11
f1

Japanese GP: Friday Press Conference
TEAM REPRESENTATIVES
Giorgio ASCANELLI (Toro Rosso)
Pat FRY (Ferrari)
James KEY (Sauber)|
Paddy LOWE (McLaren)
Adrian NEWEY (Red Bull)
Naoki TOKUNAGA (Renault)

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10/07/11
irl
alms

Tickets on sale Monday for Toyota GP of Long Beach
Mike Conway took the win in 2011
Turbocharged excitement is right around the corner! Tickets for the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to take place April 13-15, 2012, go on sale Monday.

The 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature the return of the heart-pounding sound of twin-turbocharged IndyCars! The IZOD IndyCar Series is introducing an all-new Dallara IndyCar that will be powered by brand-new 2.2-liter turbocharged engines powered by Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus. Iconic names like Andretti, Rahal, Castroneves, Franchitti and Power will be behind the wheel of these new machines!

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10/07/11
irl

Odds for IndyCar Vegas finale
The IZOD IndyCar Series is ready to get in on the action as the MGM Resorts International Race & Sports book has set the odds for the October 16 IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship Presented by Honda at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti has been installed as a 9/5 favorite to win the race as the three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion attempts to win his fourth series title and his third in a row. Franchitti takes an 18-point lead over Team Penske driver Will Power, who is a 2/1 favorite to win the race.

Target/Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon’s odds have been set at 4/1. Dixon claimed the A.J. Foyt Trophy as the Oval Track Champion with his third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway on October 2. 

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10/07/11
alms

Most Successful Race in History of Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga. - The results are in and the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is in the record books as one of the most successful races in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n (ALMS). Indeed it also drew more spectators to Road Atlanta than any other weekend of the track’s 41-year history. Beginning with the camper and motor coach crowd that arrived for opening day on Wednesday, Sept. 28, the four-day attendance figure amounted to 131,400 spectators according to the promoter.

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10/07/11
irl

Bernard, Wilson serve Buddy Walk co-chairs
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Andretti Autosport Firestone Indy Lights driver Stefan Wilson will serve as honorary co-chairman of the 14th annual Buddy Walk®, to be held Saturday, Oct. 8 at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, which benefits Down Syndrome Indiana.

Wilson, who won the most recent Firestone Indy Lights race at Kentucky Speedway on Oct 2, has donated the visor he used in that race as one of the silent auction items

The Buddy Walk® is a 2.6 mile no-fee walk along the canal beginning at Celebration Plaza in White River State Park.

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10/07/11
irl

Q and A Cindric-Hull teleconference
IZOD IndyCar Series team executives Tim Cindric and Mike Hull participated in an INDYCAR teleconference earlier today to preview the Las Vegas Indy 300, the headline event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championship Presented by Honda.

Selected quotes are below.

Q. Gentlemen, it seems like I ask this question to you every year, but what is it about the two organizations you work for and oversee that keeps putting drivers in positions to win the title? Mike, we'll start with you.

MIKE HULL: Thank you, Arni. I don't know, listening to all of that between Tim and myself and Penske Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing, man, if you listened to that you'd be derailed.

I don't know, it's not easy to answer that question. I think what it actually is, though, it's a team of people for us that work well together, and we continue to work well together. We're surrounded by great drivers, great sponsors, and certainly a great owner who devotes ‑‑ who all together devote their tireless energy to continuing to win together, and I think it's as simple as that.

And secondly, racing in IndyCar racing against a team like Penske Racing is what motivates us at Chip Ganassi Racing because of what Penske Racing has accomplished over time. We've only ‑‑ we're only at the tip of the iceberg on that. We're just really starting, whereas Penske Racing has been doing it a lot longer than we have and certainly very successfully, and it's fun and a pleasure to race IndyCars together with these guys.

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10/07/11
irl

Panther links up with Chevrolet power for 2012, beyond
Two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing announced tat it will reunite with Chevrolet to run the new Chevy IndyCar V-6 racing engine beginning next season.

All of Panther's 15 IndyCar Series victories and both of its IZOD IndyCar Series championships were captured with GM engines.

"I just couldn't be more excited that Chevrolet has decided to return to IndyCar racing and obviously it's a natural fit for Panther to have Chevrolet powering our cars once again," Panther Racing Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes said. "We've got a long list of race wins and championships together and we're looking forward to continuing our successful partnership starting in 2012. Chevy races to win, and so do we, so we're ready to get to work and pick up right where we left off."

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10/07/11
irl

Sebastian Saavedra back with Conquest for Vegas finale
Conquest Racing announced today that Sebastian Saavedra will return as the driver of the #34 Bogota es Mundial car for the IZOD IndyCar World Championships presented by Honda at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The Colombian driver will be part of a record-breaking 34-car field as the IndyCar teams say goodbye to their current chassis and take them out on the track once more before they are retired and exchanged by the new 2012 cars.  The one of a kind event will be the season finale for the series and will take place on October 16th.

The Conquest Racing crew and Saavedra reunite after competing in the first fifteen events of the 2011 Season and will look to close out the year on a high note at the 1.5-mile oval.  They will be looking to improve on their best result of the season, which came at the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil, where they finished 11th.  For Saavedra it will be the first time that he races at the Nevada track but the young driver is no stranger to winning on ovals as he took the checkered flag at various tracks in both of his years in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.  This year he will be looking to make #34 the lucky number in Las Vegas and give the Conquest crew a top result to finish out the year. 

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10/07/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

10/07/11
  • Massa says Hamilton thinks he is a rock star
    Hamilton 'behaves like a superstar' - Massa
  • Sutil, Barrichello still in dark over 2012 seats
  • Button fastest, Vettel crashes but title race almost over
  • No precautions for nuclear risk insists Alonso
  • Formula Nippon faster than F1 backmarkers
  • Massa thinks Red Bull's race pace out of reach New 
  • Williams team has difficult Friday New
  • Vettel admits focus slipped before crash New
  • Mercedes races into 2012 with 'a lot' of tech bosses New
  • 2012 Red Bull to be 'an evolution' - Newey New
  • Mercedes struggling at Suzuka New

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10/07/11
motogp

A look back at Kenny Roberts
Yamaha clinched their first premier class world championship in 1975 and a few years later a fiercely talented Californian named Kenny Roberts placed the United States on the Grand Prix map from 1978-1980 with three consecutive titles to make Yamaha a major player in the 500cc category.

Roberts' legacy is felt on several levels but was concreted in two ways. The first is through his feel and sensitivity for machine set-up that honed Yamaha's two-stroke technology and through subsequent upgrades (Deltabox frames) and models until Yamaha adopted its historic V-twin engine configuration. Yamaha essentially became a world-force in racing thanks to the Modesto-based athlete.

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10/07/11
f1

Button again fastest in 2nd Japanese GP session
Jenson Button
Jenson Button once again set the pace in the second free practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Friday.

The McLaren man's best time of 1m31.901s was 0.174s quicker than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were third and fourth fastest,

Felipe Massa was half a second off the pace in fifth ahead of Michael Schumacher for Mercedes. The seven-time champion was the last man within a second of Button.

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10/06/11
irl

NBA and NFL stars join IndyCar for charity event in Vegas
Celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sports will join the stars of the IZOD INDYCAR Series in raising money for two charities at The INDYCAR Blackjack Tournament presented by AirMed at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Friday, Oct. 14.

NFL Hall of Famers Warren Moon, Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk will join actors Ricardo Antonio Chavira (Desperate Housewives) and Benito Martinez (The Shield) in the two-hour tournament held on the casino floor.

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10/06/11
track news

Watkins Glen expand family camping
Watkins Glen International is proud to announce that due to demand and fan feedback, the family camping area that was introduced during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend will expand in 2012.  The popular area will nearly double in size and continue to feature reserved weekend campsites while offering a quieter, more laid back and family friendly experience.  This camping option will only be available during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at The Glen event weekend, August 9-12.

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10/06/11
f1

Button tops opening practice in Japan
Jenson Button
Jenson Button led a McLaren one-two in opening practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, while soon to be world champion for a 2nd time Sebastian Vettel crashed.

Vettel was third fastest in the session and was trying to go faster when he ran wide at Degner One and hit the barriers, but the car did not sustain too much damage.

Button was quickest for much of the session and set his best time on his final lap with a 1m33.634s.

He beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.091s in front of Vettel, with Fernando Alonso fourth and Mark Webber fifth quickest.

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10/06/11
irl

Professor B on the 2012 IndyCar
Versus broadcaster Jon Beekhuis talks about the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series car.



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10/06/11
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Top Fuel Points Leader, Spencer Massey, is fresh off his 4th win of the season and will stop by to talk about the pursuit of his first series championship in just his second full season on the circuit.

Retired auto executive, Bob Lutz, will make his first Wind Tunnel appearance to talk about the state of the auto industry. Bob spent time in top-management positions with Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors where he retired in 2010.

And SPEED’s Bob Varsha will be here to re-cap this Sunday’s Japanese GP and get us up to speed on any news and notes from the world of Formula 1.

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10/06/11
track news

To fill gaps ISC plans to widen seats at tracks in 2013
International Speedway Corp. plans to increase the size of seats at several tracks in 2013 as it looks to continue to battle the economy and other factors contributing to lower ticket revenues.

ISC executives laid out that long-term plan during a conference call with financial analysts to discuss the company’s third-quarter earnings, which show an increase of 9.3 percent in overall profits but a decline of 12.4 percent in admissions revenue and 3.9 percent in overall revenue.

ISC controls 20 Cup events (18 points races, the Budweiser Shootout and the Daytona 500 qualifying races) at its tracks – Daytona, Talladega, Phoenix, Michigan, Kansas, Martinsville, Richmond, Darlington, Watkins Glen, Auto Club (Calif.) and Homestead.

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10/06/11
automotive

VW recalls 168,000 cars for fuel leaks
Volkswagen of America is recalling 168,000 2009-2012 diesel vehicles over concerns fuel injector leaks could start an engine fire.

The German automaker said in a notice posted Thursday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website it is calling back its 2009-2012 Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Golf and Audi A3 that have its 2.0 TDI diesel engine. The recall includes 161,144 VWs and 7,131 Audi vehicles. No fires, crashes or injuries have been reported.

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10/06/11
irl

Rahal, Castroneves appear in national magazines
Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal are featured in general interest magazines out this week. While Rahal( in Cosmopolitan Magazine) displays a designer watch prominent in the photo, Castroneves (in ESPN The Magazine's "Bodies We Want" issue) shows a whole lot more.

"First of all, I'm honored to be in the magazine," said Castroneves, who joins more than 20 other athletes who were captured all natural in poses related to their sport. "There are so many amazing athletes. I was just so surprised because I'm not the type of guy — 6 foot tall, broad shoulders - that I thought they would want."

The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, who's 5-7 and about 145 pounds, laughs at what was proposed by photographer Luis Sanchis on the set that included a tire swing.

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10/06/11
irl

INDYCAR offers shuttle service in Las Vegas
INDYCAR fans travelling to the IZOD IndyCar World Championships have a hassle-free, eco-friendly option of getting to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on race day.

For $30, fans can catch a round-trip luxury shuttle ride from one of six hotels located on the Las Vegas Strip to the LVMS and back, while enjoying complimentary snacks and beverages on board.

The shuttles are provided by Bauer Transportation and Green Fuel Technologies, partners with INDYCAR in the Race to Energy Independence - an initiative focused on educating INDYCAR fans on energy-saving programs.

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10/06/11
irl

Looking back at IndyCar championship battles
Dario Franchitti's strategy in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is simple, though not necessarily easy: Keep rival Will Power in his rearview mirrors.

Accomplish the feat for 200 laps and Franchitti will claim his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series title and become the third driver to win three straight Indy car titles. Falter and with a win and a little help, the door opens for Power to secure his first IZOD IndyCar Series crown.

Power knows his task is daunting but not impossible.

"We need to focus on winning the race," said Power, who in 2010 took the points lead into the season finale only to fall five points shy of the title. "We have to put 100 percent into winning the pole, leading the most laps. As much as (the 19th-place result at Kentucky) is disappointing, it's not going to help us thinking about it. What's going to help is us working even harder to turn up with something special at Vegas."

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10/06/11
irl

Kentucky IndyCar injury update UPDATE #2 The two Izod IndyCar Series crew members injured in Sunday’s race at Kentucky Speedway are recovering from surgeries.

Injured Panther Racing crew member Erik Scheumann returned to Indianapolis today after successful surgery on his left leg at UK Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.

The inside rear tire changer was struck by his team’s car, driven by JR Hildebrand, when the brakes locked entering the pit box.

D.J. McMahon, the KV Racing Technology chief mechanic who broke his knee in a pit road incident with HVM Racing’s Simona De Silvestro, had surgery today at OrthoIndy in Indianapolis. He appeared to land awkwardly after making contact with the sliding car. Indy Star

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10/06/11
usf2000
starmazda

IMS to host Road to Indy test
Mazda Road to Indy teams will get a jump start on 2012 when INDYCAR hosts a two-day test open to USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda Championship and Firestone Indy Lights teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course on Oct. 28-29.

The Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test is dedicated to the memory of Chris Griffis, the team manager of Sam Schmidt Motorsports' Firestone Indy Lights team, who died unexpectedly on Sept. 12.

"Chris was pivotal in bringing so many young drivers to Firestone Indy Lights and cultivating talent from both Star Mazda and USF2000 levels," said Tony George Jr., manager of business development for Firestone Indy Lights and a key figure in starting the Mazda Road to Indy. "For 10 years, Chris used off-season testing to court and promote young driving talent. This test is designed to give everyone an opportunity to attract and develop drivers in the way Chris pioneered it. "

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10/06/11
MacauGP

“SJM” Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix entry list
FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup , the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix is sponsored by the “SJM” for the first time.

In recognition of the importance of the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix, as well as it being the FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup - which is exclusive to Macau - the FIA has established the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. The final rounds will be held here at the Macau Grand Prix, with Saturday’s Qualification Race and Sunday’s Grand Prix each counting as a round.

The 58th running of the prestigious Macau Grand Prix looks set to be one of the best yet, with a host of Formula 3 champions and junior single-seater aces from other categories set to compete for the biggest prize in Formula 3. Leading the 30-strong line-up is a five-car entry from French outfit Signature, which helped Audi DTM ace Edoardo Mortara become the first double winner of the event last year.

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10/06/11
f1

New intrigue on eve of Red Bull's 2011 triumph
Vettel's winning Red Bull car in Monza
(GMM)  Even with the 2011 world championship all but over, the intrigue races on.

A few weeks ago at Monza, Mark Webber crashed and Adrian Newey's dominant RB7 was lifted off the track by a crane to the delight of the photographers below.

The photos and videos triggered rumors of an illegal floor, while the front wing went mysteriously missing.

"We only got half of it back.  The other half is probably at Maranello," joked Newey, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

More seriously, the report said Red Bull's competitors are once again concerned about the flexibility of the 2011 car's floor, which in the detailed Monza photos showed scratches only in the areas not measured by the FIA scrutineers.

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10/06/11
nassprint
irl

Iowa Speedway hopes to be next to land NASCAR Cup date
Doug Fritz has heard the feedback from Iowans who want a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in their state, and the new CEO at Iowa Speedway is motivated to deliver it to them.

But, as a longtime industry veteran, Fritz understands the challenge of cracking into the 36-race Cup schedule.

"It's a little tricky. It's not an easy process," says Fritz, who was named to his new position last week at the 0.875-mile, Rusty Wallace-designed track about 35 miles east of Des Moines. "It's doable. It's going to take some work. And we're going to put in the effort."

NASCAR has no interest in more than 36 dates, and its "realignment" scheduling policy makes it nearly impossible for tracks to lose races as long as they want to keep them (races are moved only when tracks petition NASCAR to approve such changes).

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10/06/11
track news

ISC cites scheduling changes for drop in revenue
ISC today cited NASCAR scheduling changes and "macroeconomic challenges" for a year-over-year dip in Q3 income and revenues. Total revenues for the period were $150.3M, down from $160.2M for the year-ago period. Operating income was $20.5M, compared to $21.6M in Q3 '10. The NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events held at Chicagoland Speedway in Q3 '10 will be held in Q4 in '11. The Sprint Cup event in Kansas and the Nationwide event at Chicagoland in Q3 '11 were previously held in Q4 '10 at the company's Auto Club Speedway in California.

Comment
10/06/11
f1

Video: Suzuka 1989 Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna
Commentator blames Ayrton Senna for accident but if you watch overhead video closely it was Alain Prost who turned in too early on purpose to try and prevent Senna from passing him.  The proper turn-in point  Prost would have taken normally had to be later to even make the corner.  This accident was clearly Prost's fault and that is what upset Senna the most - he was disqualified by Jean-Marie Balestre (French like Prost) for getting a push restart and missing the chicane, which handed the championship to Prost.  Senna was the true world champion that year if not for this incident.

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10/06/11
nassprint

Day Two: NASCAR Test At Phoenix International Raceway
On-track preparations for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are officially complete as teams concluded a two-day test session on Wednesday. This second day of testing hosted 35 teams on the newly repaved and reconfigured one-mile oval. There were a variety of reactions to the new track, but change seems to be the one constant that drivers have seen to the 47-year-old facility.

"As we ran the track, it got a lot better with rubber," said #99-Carl Edwards. "As treacherous as this place was in the Goodyear tire test, as tough as it was to drive, it got better the whole day. I think we have a lot to look forward to once the track gets more rubber on it. To me it's going to be pretty amazing to be the penultimate race and have all those opportunities for something crazy to happen, it could shake everything up. I don't know how all those dynamics are going to work out. I think as we see the other series run, we'll learn where the problem spots are."

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10/06/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Dr. Helmut Marko
    Marko doubts rivals to find 'philosopher's stone'
  • Renault considered team ownership return with Grosjean
  • Slim Webber still pushing to shed grams
  • Suzuka weather 'lovely' after Wednesday rain
  • Di Resta to raise voice once future secure - manager
  • Vettel hits out at fake social media profiles
  • Suzuka from an engine builders view point
  • 'Hamilton meeting' played down at Suzuka

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10/05/11
nassprint

What drivers are saying about Phoenix track resurfacing
KYLE BUSCH, No.  18 M&M's Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What do you think of the new Phoenix track surface?
"Certainly, it's a lot better than what we're accustomed to here a couple weeks ago doing the Goodyear tire test.  With everything and the speeds we've been running here are more indicative to what we expected to run on the new asphalt with the surface and everything.  It's been good.  Having 30 cars here rather than five and the temperatures being about 20 degrees cooler, it's made it for a lot better conditions."

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10/05/11
irl

IndyCar says Danica Patrick's departure "doesn't hurt us"
Danica Patrick
By Jeff Olson, Special for USA TODAY

She insists her popularity isn't the only thing putting eyes on the Izod IndyCar Series, but there's no denying Danica Patrick has affected attendance and television ratings in a series desperate for both.

Now that Patrick has one race left in her seven-year IndyCar run before joining NASCAR full-time in 2012, officials and drivers wonder about her significance on a series stressed by low ratings and ticket sales.

They also wonder who, if anyone, will replace her.

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10/05/11
track news

NJ Motorsports Park emerges from Chapter 11 stronger than before
New Jersey Motorsports Park recently officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, just a few months after announcing its reorganization plan. The plan moved quickly from the start, which included a formal announcement on March 7, 2011.

The confirmed plan included restructuring of debt and company equity, including an investment of $2,100,000 from NEI, LLC, the new majority and managing ownership group headed by Lee Brahin and Richard J. Valentine, and the payment and restructuring of all unsecured debts.

With the reorganization now complete, NJMP has now turned its attention towards preparing promotions for an exciting 2012 racing season, future capital development and new business opportunities.

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10/05/11
irl

Ortsbo and IZOD IndyCar Series Host Interactive Live & Global Fan Event
On the eve of the last race in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, Championship Contenders Dario Franchitti and Will Power will chat with racing fans and members of the media worldwide about their season-long battle for the overall title during a live, video streaming and web chat hosted by INDYCAR and Ortsbo, the world's leading real-time experiential language platform. Members of the media and fans who register at www.indycarliveandglobal.com will interact live with the drivers in up to 53 languages via Ortsbo's Guinness World Record-holding platform, Live & Global (www.ortsbo.com / www.liveandglobal.com).

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10/05/11
irl

Fisher's ill-timed comments cast shadow over IndyCar victory
It was a great story for the IndyCar Series at Kentucky Speedway on Sunday.

After 113 tries, lovable Ed Carpenter finally won an open-wheel race, by edging series powerhouse Dario Franchitti.

Better yet, Carpenter won while driving a car owned by another fan favorite, Sarah Fisher.

Then Fisher stepped to the microphone in winner’s circle, and for some inexplicable reason began talking about the departure of the team’s primary sponsor, Dollar General.

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10/05/11
racing news

Pit stop drama at Zolder UPDATE The pitlane victim from the Belcar Race at Zolder last weekend died yesterday evening in the Hospital at Zolder. The accident happened as Hans Thiers came in for his regular stop and the brakes from his Ferrari F430 suddenly faded away, knocking down one of his team members and a Dutch visitor. According unconfirmed news agency reports, the victim was also being involved in the team.

10/02/11 There was  pit stop drama at Zolder Sunday afternoon, as the Ferrari of Hans Thiers lost it's brakes coming in for a routine stop in the Belcar Endurance Race, (the title was won by Goossens/Soulet in a Porsche GT3) and it knocked down three people, two from his own team, and one "spectator" who is being treated for life threatening injuries. See Video

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10/05/11
irl

IndyCar test drivers like new car UPDATE Nobody knows these cars better than Wheldon, the two-time Indy winner and 2005 points champ. Without a full-time ride this season, series officials hired the Englishman to do most of the tests. He's run on Indianapolis' road course, last week spent three days as the first driver on Indy's historic 2.5-mile oval in the new car and is convinced series officials and engineers got this car right.

"It feels good. It feels like you'd expect it to react and it feels like a race car around there," Wheldon said. "To be quick, you'll have to get the car down to the white line and up to the apex in the corner, but what I really like is how reactive it is."

"I think there will be quite a lot of testing and whoever it is will make sure it's reliable," Wheldon said last week. "I think that's what we achieved. It definitely requires a slightly different technique with the turbocharged engine. What's great about this is it will level the playing field."

"Drivability will be harder, so that will make drivers and teams work a lot harder to set up the car," Dixon said. "But if you miss it, you're going to miss it by more."

10/05/11 In this AP article, drivers have this to say about the new 2012 IndyCar:

"We've got a totally new package of technology, it's closer to what people use in their cars," Scott Dixon said after Tuesday's session at Mid-Ohio. "It's a lot lighter, it's more nimble and to me, it's more up-to-date."

"The seating is a big safety improvement," said Dixon, a New Zealand native. "There's 3 inches of foam surrounding the cockpit before you even put the seat in, so things like what happened with Justin Wilson at Mid-Ohio earlier this year, I think, will be eliminated and you won't have those big forces being pushed through the drivers."

"I like the turbochargers," said Will Power, an Aussie who drives for Team Penske. "When we ran them in Champ Car, you could really tell how much force you had on them and the sound is really cool."

One thing you won't hear drivers say is how good looking the car is with the Dallara bodywork.  On the internet it's the laughing stock of motorsports.  Those hideous bulges in front of the rear wheels have got to go.

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10/05/11
irl

Carpenter adds another accomplishment
Ed Carpenter
Ed Carpenter already etched his name into the Firestone Indy Lights record books as a full-time competitor in the series when he won the first Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Several years removed from that accomplishment, he made series history again at Kentucky Speedway

Carpenter, who raced in the in the INDYCAR-sanctioned series from  2002 and 2003 Indy Lights series and finished third in the points championship both years, became the first full-time series graduate to score an IZOD IndyCar Series victory. 

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10/05/11
irl

INDYCAR's Ironmen take on in-season challenge
During their recent trip to Japan, Vitor Meira and Tony Kanaan built a survey of the 2.983-mile Twin Ring Motegi circuit into their road work for the day - a brisk run around mountaintop venue.

It's all part - one-third actually - of their preparation for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 8.

Both IZOD IndyCar Series drives have competed in multiple Ironman 70.3 events, including the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Fla., in November. This will be their first full Ironman competition - 2.4-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, followed by a 112-mile bike along the lava fields of the Kohala Coast and finally a 26.2-mile run on the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway.

Meira and Kanaan were invited to participate in the 33rd annual event by the World Triathlon Corporation, owners and organizers of Ironman, that features a field of 1,800 - professionals and amateurs who qualify or are selected by lottery - in men's and women's age groups from 18 to 74.

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10/05/11
irl

Deadline to enter GO DADDY INDYCAR Challenge approaches
The checkered flag for entries for the GO DADDY INDYCAR Challenge is about to fall.

Entries for the contest, in which a lucky fan will split a $5 million jackpot with 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon should he win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 6. The winning entrant will also receive a trip to Las Vegas to watch Wheldon compete in person.

The odds won't be in Wheldon's favor as he'll start the 200-lap race from the rear of the star-studded field of 34 cars in the No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins car jointly entered by Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian.

But if Wheldon takes the checkered flag, he and the sweepstakes winner will pick up their checks in Victory Circle.

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10/05/11
irl

IndyCar Rookie title to be decided at Las Vegas
The IZOD IndyCar Series championship isn't the only title that will be decided at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year award will be decided in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.

California's JR Hildebrand and Canada's James Hinchcliffe also have had highlights in their inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series seasons, and the Firestone Indy Lights graduates will take their Sunoco Rookie of the Year duel - six points separation -- to the 1.5-mile Vegas oval.

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10/05/11
irl
nassprint

Pair up IndyCar and Sprint Cup?
Sunday’s IZOD Indy Car Series race at Kentucky Speedway may have been the last for the open wheel series in the Bluegrass State.

Despite yet another riveting race that featured a photo finish with Ed Carpenter scoring his first career victory over Dario Franchitti, the 2012 Indy Car Series schedule does not have Kentucky on the calendar.

In fact next year’s slate will feature only five oval tracks with Kentucky and New Hampshire Motor Speedway dropping off the slate. So the series that was founded as an all-oval circuit in the aftermath of the open wheel split between CART and the IRL, has now dwindled to only a handful with the majority of the schedule now comprised with road courses and street circuits.

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10/05/11
nassprint

General Mills renews with RCR
Wheaties® will become a co-primary sponsor of Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 Chevrolet with driver Jeff Burton beginning in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The multi-year program will continue General Mills' primary sponsorship with RCR for key races and associate positioning for the balance of each season with the No. 31 team. The famed Wheaties brand will be replacing Cheerios as the focus of the sponsorship. Wheaties has a proud history of fueling and celebrating sports performance. In addition, Wheaties shares a rich history with RCR, as Dale Earnhardt was the first NASCAR driver to be featured on a Wheaties box and he drove a Wheaties car for the 1997 All-Star Race. RCR began its current relationship with General Mills in 2008 with the No. 33 Chevrolet and driver Clint Bowyer, sponsored by its Cheerios® and Hamburger Helper® brands.

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10/05/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

10/05/11
  • Ecclestone sure India GP track will be ready
    Ecclestone sure India GP to run without problems
  • Red Bull denies Japan food contamination reports
  • 2012 Red Bull to 'surprise' F1 paddock - Newey
  • One DRS zone, not two, for Japan GP
  • Hamilton's father plays down management criticism
  • Valencia mayor reveals Ecclestone talks
  • Vettel's success hurting Webber - Marko
  • Work finally resumes at 2012 US GP site
  • Webber denies giving up on 2012 championship New
  • Button signs new 'multi year' McLaren contract New
  • Marko eyes Vettel contract extension to 2016 New

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10/05/11
automotive

BMW introduces 5 Series hybrid
It's been a long time coming, but BMW has finally introduced its ActiveHybrid5 to the market

BMW has taken the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems to the next level with the introduction of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 - another series-produced model in which a combustion engine and electric motor join forces to enhance both efficiency and the brand’s driving experience.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 brings together a BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engine, an electric drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox for the first time. The latest generation of BMW ActiveHybrid technology also adds precisely controlled energy management to the mix.

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10/05/11
wsr

Rossi confident going into WSR season finale
Alexander Rossi is one of the fastest young drivers in Europe right now.  He will make it to F1 in a year or so, but first he must have more mistake-free races
For the season finale of the 2011 World Series by Renault season, American driver Alexander Rossi heads to the spectacular city of Barcelona in southern Spain this week. He sits in fourth place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship with 138 points, while his Fortec Motorsports team are in second position in the Teams competition with 185 points.

Following a faultless win by Alexander at Paul Ricard last month, and despite the team losing its appeal against both Fortec drivers exclusion from race two at Silverstone where Alexander finished in second place, he remains in a strong position to contend a top three finish in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 title fight.

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10/05/11
roc

ROC Legends to race in Düsseldorf
A special ROC Legends race between some of the greats from German and Dutch motorsport will take place before the Race Of Champions at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena on Sunday December 4, 2011.

The event will be run as a precursor to the individual Race Of Champions and feature a four-man field consisting of Formula 1 racers Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jos Verstappen and Hans-Joachim Stuck plus world rally veteran Armin Schwarz. Each driver will race against each of the others in a round-robin group stage before the two with the best results go through to a head-to-head final.

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10/05/11
nassprint

Day One: NASCAR Test At Phoenix
Among the grocery list of items needed to repave a one-mile race track located just outside of Phoenix: 23,000 tons of asphalt, 7,000 cubic yards of concrete and 600 pounds of rebar. Combine all of that, and you have cars on the race track in Arizona, and the first opportunity for a full-scale NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test on the newly repaved Phoenix International Raceway.

Testing on the repaved and reconfigured one-mile Phoenix oval kicked off Tuesday, the first of a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session. This was the first opportunity for most teams to test the new track surface following the five-driver Goodyear tire test in late August.

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10/05/11
irl

Sunday's IndyCar Race Left Fans Wanting More
Wasn’t that a thrilling finish to Sunday’s race?

Two cars go wheel-to-wheel for twenty laps, neither driver able to clear the other. And in the end the defending champion loses by a nose.

No, not the Dover race. The one in Kentucky. The IndyCar race.

If you happened to tune in to the end of the IndyCar race on Sunday, you saw what NASCAR dreams of seeing at each and every one of its races -- Ed Carpenter going wheel to wheel with Dario Franchitti for the final five laps of the race.

It was the guy who never wins against the defending champion, the little team owned by Sarah Fisher versus Big Brother. Wherever IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard was watching it from, he wasn’t sitting down.

The odds are that a few fans might have switched over to the IndyCar race from the third race of the Chase for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup. Around that time, Jimmie Johnson was looking like he had just been toying with everyone the last two weeks and was ready to stomp the crap out of the field and claim title No. 6. Insider Racing News

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10/05/11
f1

McLaren re-signs Button
Jenson Button
McLaren has officially confirmed the much-expected news that Jenson Button will be remaining with the Woking outfit, with a new multi-year contract having been signed. The precise number of years remains unknown at present.

Button joined McLaren as World Champion at the start of 2010 and has so far achieved four of his 11 career wins with the team, with two of those being at this year’s Canadian and Hungarian Grands Prix. 2012 will mark the Frome driver’s 13th season in the sport, having debuted with Williams in 2000.

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10/05/11
wsr

Yelloly returns to Formula Renault 3.5 for Barcelona season finale
Nick Yelloly
Nick Yelloly will make a welcome return to Formula Renault 3.5 this weekend to contest the final season rounds at the Circuit de Catalunya with Pons Racing.

Preparing for only his third World Series by Renault (WSR) race weekend after joining the premier single-seater category at Silverstone, the Solihull star has set the bar with impressive pace and performance that underlines his ability as one of Britain’s brightest young racing talents.

The 20 year-old proved his potential from the moment he got behind the wheel of the Pons Racing Formula Renault 3.5 at Silverstone in August. Setting the second fastest time in only his first practice session was followed with a sixth place finish in his inaugural race, but unfortunately the result was disallowed when the car was deemed to be underweight owing to a suspected faulty re-fuelling machine.

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