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Ferrari to test 2012 parts at remaining races  
Stefano Domenicali
Stefano Domenicali has revealed that Ferrari will attempt to get a head start on winter testing over the remaining four races of the season, but insists the main objective is still to win races.  Ferrari is no longer in the running for the constructors' championship and Fernando Alonso dropped out of contention for the drivers' crown in Singapore.

The team has won just one race this season and has vowed to improve in 2012 with a "more aggressive" car. But with just three pre-season tests next year instead of four, there will be pressure on teams to produce a car that works straight out of the box, and Domenicali has revealed that Ferrari is using the remaining races this year to test new concepts for 2012. More ...

2012 LeMans: Diesels slowed  The ACO has announced a significant reduction in performance of the diesel-powered LMP1 cars for 2012.

Issued in a technical bulletin on Monday, the ACO has cut the power of the turbo diesels by 7 percent, reducing the size of the air restrictor by 1.6 mm and taking away 200 mbar of boost. Fuel capacity has also been reduced from 65 to 60 liters.

These wholesale changes, which will not be in effect for next month’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup season-ending Six Hours of Zhuhai, comes in the wake of the continued unrest in the current balance of performance from gasoline-powered teams, which have been unable to match the pace of their diesel counterparts this year's Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. More ...

Button's performance getting to Hamilton psychologically  
Hamilton not dealing well with his teammate beating him
Lewis Hamilton has been embroiled in controversy for much of the 2011 season and his troubled yet subdued performance at the Japanese Grand Prix suggests it is taking a toll on his driving.

Sunday's race at Suzuka was arguably the first time in his Formula 1 career that Hamilton has delivered an uncompetitive personal performance.

His McLaren was off the pace in the first half of 2009 but Hamilton regularly transcended its potential in the races, almost always got more from it than his team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen. More ...

Franchitti could make history at Las Vegas  
Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti admits he won't consider what he's accomplished in his racing career until after he's retired and looks back at what he's done.

But the Scotsman's record in the IZOD IndyCar Series over the last three seasons has certainly impressed those who know the sport, including legendary drivers and the ones who compete with him week in and week out.

"It's tough to win period and to win multiple championships is always difficult and (Dario's) done a great job," said four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, who won six Indy car championships (CART and USAC) in his storied career. "He's always been a smart runner and keeps out of trouble and that's what it takes to win championships. When you have strong competition, you always have top teams that run up front. That's always the way it's been over history. There are always guys who can run fast and hard, and you have to try to outthink them and run smarter than them and you have to have lady luck on your side also." More ...

2012 Indianapolis 500 tickets go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 11  
2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon
Tickets for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 11.

The 96th edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, 2012.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30, and fans have three ways to purchase tickets:

Online: Visit the Tickets section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

Phone: Call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.

In person: Visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. More ...

Tickets now on sale for Toyota GP of Long Beach  
Mike Conway took the win in 2011
Get ready for turbocharged excitement for the whole family! Tickets for the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set to run April 13-15, 2012, go on sale today at 9 a.m.

Ticket prices remain unchanged from the 2011 Grand Prix. The 2012 event will again feature the IZOD IndyCar Series®, with great drivers such as three-time series champ Dario Franchitti, Long Beach winners Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal expected to return to battle wheel-to-wheel on the famed 1.97-mile, 11-turn seaside street circuit. The 2012 IndyCar season will also see the introduction of the all-new Dallara IndyCar powered by 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines from Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus. More ...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says racing at Talladega has become 'silly'  
Dale Earnhardt Jr. not a fan of tandem racing
Count Dale Earnhardt Jr. among those drivers who would prefer to see the two-car tandem style of racing at Daytona and Talladega disappear forever.

Despite that, you would still think that Junior would be a big fan of racing at Talladega Superspeedway, a track he dominated early in his Cup career.

Five of Junior's 18 career wins have come at Talladega, a track that surely has more members of Junior Nation per square foot of grandstand than any other. More ...

Cars pushing other cars, rule needed?  During a late caution at Kansas Speedway most of the field pitted, but #29-Kevin Harvick did not. This was with about 50 laps to go. Harvick was trying to save fuel. Behind him on the track was #98-Austin Dillon, making his first Cup start. Dillon is the grandson of car owner Richard Childress and technically was in a car owned by Mike Curb. Still, Dillon saw Harvick and came up and pushed Harvick, helping him save fuel. NASCAR stepped in and told Dillon to stop. Wait a minute you say, the rule is clear that it can't be done only on the last lap? Well, in a way, you are right and you are wrong. I [Dustin Long] talked with a NASCAR spokesperson after the race and here's what happened. More ...
Kansas announces sellout, fans don't show up  UPDATE While we finished with strong attendance for all three of our events this past weekend, our Chase for the Sprint Cup event yesterday was not a sellout.  We want to ensure that we are not misleading your audience, and others in the sports business industry.  Kansas Speedway

[Editor's Note:  Originally Sports Business Daily reported the race as a sellout.  That has now been corrected.]

10/10/11 A sellout crowd of 82,000 attended yesterday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway said the track. The Nationwide Series race at the track on Saturday "drew an estimated 68,000 fans, the sixth-largest crowd for the series in 30 races this season." Track officials said that the crowd of 20,000 for Friday's Camping World Truck Series race "included 7,000 walk-up fans." Track President Pat Warren: "We were up significantly this year over last year." 

The speedway, which previously packaged all NASCAR tickets with its IndyCar race, "started selling [ticket] packages for individual race weekends last season before adjusting the rules again this year, allowing fans to buy tickets for each, individual race"  Sports Business Daily

[Editor's Note: How embarrassing is it when that many seats were empty during both races - thousands.  Entire sections were nearly empty.  Obviously they had a massive ticket giveaway but these people simply decided it was not worth showing up.  Given that, the track would have been better off not mentioning the sellout unless the place looked full.]

Court ruling spells trouble for British split TV deal  (GMM)  Britain's highly controversial new split television rights deal appears in doubt following a ruling last week of the European Court of Justice.

The Telegraph reports that the court showed a green light to the use of foreign digital TV decoders within the United Kingdom, meaning viewers might be able to avoid paying for Sky's subscription coverage.

"We'll wait and see what happens," said Bernie Ecclestone, suggesting that he might in reaction allow pubs to show grands prix free of charge.

"As far as we're concerned the most important thing is to get the largest number of viewers possible to watch F1.  We'll adapt," added the F1 chief executive. More ...

Tech 3 Yamaha and Andrea Dovizioso reach agreement for 2012  The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with Andrea Dovizioso for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

The 25-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the French-based Tech 3 Team having proven to be one of the fastest and most consistent performers on the grid since his MotoGP debut in 2008.

Five podium finishes, including four second places in 2011, have put Dovizioso in a fantastic third place in the World Championship standings with just three races remaining. More ...

NASCAR chairman Brian France optimistic during sluggish economy  
Brian France
NASCAR chairman Brian France said Sunday he's not oblivious to teams' financial concerns, but he remains optimistic the economy will not cause long-term problems for the sport.

"I've always said I'm not an economist," France said, "but I know what you know, and it's very difficult out there for companies, and people in general, and that has an impact on us."

"We'll see in the offseason teams thinking about moving up that didn't want to because there wasn't availability or they couldn't make an event," France said. "I hope everybody comes back, I hope everybody gets what they need to compete, but if the economy is difficult, it does allow opportunities for others. I guess that's the only silver lining to it." More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Hamilton claims he can't see well through his mirrors
    Sorry Hamilton admits mirror visibility problem
  • Press, pundits - Vettel on track to F1 greatness
  • Red Bull's Marko promises 'proper' title party
  • Webber admits 'no choice' but Red Bull stay
  • Witness backs Ecclestone's blackmail claim - report
  • No more Mr. Nice Guy?
  • Toro Rosso fined €5,000 for loose wheel
  • Success means lower budgets for Red Bull - Mateschitz  More ...
American Rossi making next step toward F1 seat  UPDATE
Alexander Rossi is a real talent (we have told our readers this for the past 4 years) and will be the next American in F1.  However, he should be replacing Felipe Massa at Ferrari (Rossi is American but his name is Italian and the USA is the biggest market for Ferrari) not racing for backmarker Team Lotus when he does make the step up.  Hopefully Bernie E. will see to it that the right thing is done.  We expect Rossi in GP2 or FR3.5 in 2012, he will race in the US Grand Prix in November of 2012 and move into F1 full-time in 2013 if he does well next year.
According to our European sources, Rossi may race in the World Series by Renault (FR 3.5 Series) series again next year because the new 2012 will be about the same speed as the GP2 cars and the Renault Series appears to graduating more drivers to F1 than GP2 right now.  Rossi won the 2011 World Series by Renault - FR 3.5 series Rookie Championship and secured third place in the Drivers’ Championship at the season finale in Barcelona, Spain. His team, Fortec Motorsports, took 2nd place in the Constructors’ Championship.  Fortec is aiming to expand from 2 cars this year to four cars in 2012.

09/27/11 Team Lotus has today confirmed that Alexander Rossi, lead driver in the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program and one of the standout race-winning performers in the 2011 World Series by Renault, will be taking part in the upcoming GP2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona with the Formula One team’s GP2 counterparts Caterham Team AirAsia. The team will be confirming the other drivers for the two tests shortly.

Alexander is a key driver in the Anglo/Malaysian’s squad’s roster of future talent and recently spent the Singaporean Grand Prix embedded with the team to further his experience of motorsport’s highest level of performance. Today’s announcement that Team Lotus is supporting his participation in the first day of the test in Jerez (29th September) and both days in Barcelona (19th / 20th October) will give the young American, the only US driver currently holding a Super License, the chance to step up from World Series by Renault to GP2, the acknowledged F1 feeder series. More ...

British F3
Checkered flag falls on a vintage British F3 season  The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series season was rounded off in fine style at Silverstone today, with Alexander Sims claiming victory in the reverse-grid sprint race and Carlos Huertas snatching a popular maiden win in the final race of the year, and the last of his British F3 career.

Championship second was settled in favor of Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, with third going to Huertas. Both will join champion Felipe Nasr next month in Spain for a prize test drive in a Renault World Series car. More ...

Barber offers discounts to early IndyCar race ticket buyers  Tickets go on sale Monday for the 2012 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Legacy at Barber Motorsports Park.

Zoom Motorsports, which promotes races at Barber, is offering a 20 percent discount for anyone who buys tickets until Wednesday.

Tickets for the March 30 - April 1 race weekend for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Rolex Grand Am Series will be available starting at 11 a.m. by going online. Fans can immediately print out their tickets.  More ...

Wickens Wins Formula Renault 3.5 Series Title  
Champion!  Robert Wickens is quickly enjoying the word having wrapped up the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series title in Spain on Sunday, beating France’s Jean-Eric Vergne to the crown by nine points, 241 to 232. 

The 22-year-old Canadian, a reserve driver for Marussia Virgin Racing in Formula One, is celebrating his first European open-wheel racing championship after finishing runner-up in the F2 Championship and GP3 Series in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Wickens’ title triumph, his first since winning the 2006 Formula BMW USA Championship, comes with the prize, courtesy of Renault, of a half-day test in the Lotus Renault GP R31 Formula One car.  The Toronto resident will participate in the scheduled ‘F1 Rookie Test’ at the Yas Marina International Circuit next month immediately following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.  More ...

Fiery crash mars Bathurst 1000  UPDATE

Bathurst crash as seen on Australian TV.  David Besnard was lucky to walk away
10/09/11 Ford driver David Besnard walked away from a fiery crash which has marred the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar event.

Besnard hit a tire bundle hard on the 112th lap of the 161-lap endurance event, spilling fuel which then ignited along the track.

The Jim Beam Racing Falcon was engulfed in flames but quick-thinking marshals doused the inferno and Besnard got himself out of the car unharmed.

Advertisement: Story continues below With 114 laps completed, Holden's Garth Tander and Nick Percat held a narrow lead over Jamie Whincup and Andrew Thompson.

Ford's Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards sat third with stable-mates Paul Dumbrell and Dean Canto just behind them.

GM recalls 6,006 Corvette Coupes for rear hatches  General Motors Co. said Saturday it is recalling 6,006 new Chevrolet Corvette Coupes in North America that might fail to meet a federal safety standard covering rear hinges.

The issue was discovered in early September, and GM halted shipment of the vehicles for three days as it investigated. The recall covers 2011 and 2012 models — including 5,755 in the United States and 217 in Canada.

GM said the issue could allow the rear hatch to separate from the vehicle in a crash. Dealers will replace both rear hatch hinges. GM notified dealers last month of its plan.

Massa wants Hamilton penalized  UPDATE McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has apologized to Felipe Massa for their contact during this afternoon’s Japanese Grand Prix, with the pair coming together on the run towards the final chicane. The 2008 Champion went on to finish in fifth place at the checkered flag, admitting that the race was a ‘disappointing’ one.

"This was a disappointing race for me, but it was a great day for Jenson and the whole team. Jenson did a remarkable job today - he really deserved this victory, but it wasn’t a great one for me. Still, I’m going to keep my head up and look ahead to the next race where I’ll hopefully have another chance.

"Clearly, our car has the pace to win, but I wasn’t able to compete today so I’ll go away and look at the data to work out how I can come back and be competitive in Korea next weekend. More ...

Sponsor dollars will shrink 2012 NASCAR field  Lack of sponsorship. It's a phrase that's become a gut-wrenching reality for even the biggest teams in the Sprint Cup Series. And as the 2012 season gets closer, the absence of sponsor dollars has left drivers and teams scrambling. And potentially shrinking.

Let's start with Richard Childress Racing, which as of now looks to run three cars full-time in 2012. RCR has four cars this season. The minus-1 is a result of Clint Bowyer's departure to Michael Waltrip Racing, a move that came about because of — you guessed it — sponsor woes.

Bowyer locked in 5-Hour ENERGY as a sponsor for 2012 and initially approached RCR with the deal, but the financial package the company offered apparently wasn't enough for Richard Childress to keep Bowyer in house. More ...

Costa wins final World Series by Renault race of 2011  While Albert Costa won his first World Series by Renault race Sunday in Barcelona, Canadian Robert Wickens was crowned champion without ever completing a single lap.  Frenchman Jean Eric Vergne 2nd was third overall and Alexander Rossi 3rd.

Wickens was taken out in a first lap incident that involved 7 to 8 cars opening the door for second in the standing, Vergne, to steal the crown in the final race.  But it was not to be as Vergne retired on lap 17, while lying 12th, which would not have been enough to overtake Wickens in the points standings. More ...

Cheng Takes Third Straight Victory  
David Cheng
Ford The Pacific F2000 Series Presented by Corsa Car Care held the penultimate race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the Vintage Auto Racing Association, Silver State Challenge event with the season finale to be held Sunday. In addition to the 2-liter cars this weekend, the Pacific Formula F Super Series, it its inaugural season, will hold rounds seven and eight.

Driving for PR1 Motorsports, David Cheng collected his third consecutive victory, coming off back to back wins at Infineon raceway in rounds 9 and 10.

During qualifying which was held under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid seventies, Conner Ford took his Les Schwab, Western Nevada Supply, Keniston, JF Excavating & Grading, PR1 Van Diemen right to the top of the timesheets, picking up right where he left off prior to his two race hiatus. Ford’s lap of 1 minute 25.156s bested PR1 teammate David Cheng by just 0.210 of a second. More ...
IndyCar’s Vitor Meira, Tony Kanaan finish Ironman event  Vitor Meira and Tony Kanaan are now Ironmen. Both drivers finished one of the most grueling human endurance races in under 13 hours.

The Ironman World Championship includes a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike ride through hot ancient lava fields and a 26.2-mile marathon.

Meira clocked in at 12 hours, 24 minutes and 2 seconds; Kanaan finished in 12:52:40. Meira 1,407th and Kanaan was 1,486th overall out of a total of 1,918 triathletes.

Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  
  • Pirelli Tires
    Simple solution keeps heat in Red Bull tires
  • Hamilton must work on 'attitude problem' - Mansell
  • Rookies di Resta, Perez, unwell at Suzuka
  • Boss helps Kobayashi climb Suzuka grid
  • 'No reason' Vettel can't beat F1 records - Lauda
  • 'Little reason' to eye F1 exit - Mateschitz
  • Button mused 'options' before McLaren stay More ...
Wickens and Vergne prolong the suspense  

Starting from pole, Robert Wickens (Carlin) led all the way to strengthen his grip at the top of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series standings. The Canadian now leads the championship by nine points from team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who climbed up from ninth on the grid to finish second and keep the title race alive until Sunday and the season’s final race.

Wickens went faster than anyone in a qualifying session disrupted when Brendon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz) went off, the Canadian chalking up his seventh pole of the season ahead of Albert Costa (Epic Racing) and Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports). With a large oil spill making conditions tricky, championship challenger Vergne was unable to improve on ninth place. More ...

Wickens wins Rossi third in Barcelona  
Alexander Rossi
American driver Alexander Rossi brought home 12 valuable championship points with his 4th place finish from the opening race of World Series by Renault - FR 3.5 at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain today, elevating him to third place in the Drivers’ Championship. 

In the morning track conditions were a little tricky as an incident early into the qualifying session had left oil on the tarmac. In an intensely close fought battle between the top three contenders, and with less than 0.7 seconds spanning their times, Alexander qualified in P3 on a new set of tires with a time of 1:33.048 to sit on the second row of the grid for the afternoon’s race. More ...
british F3
Magnussen storms to F3 pole  Kevin Magnussen stormed to his seventh Cooper Tires British Formula 3 race win of the season this afternoon at Silverstone to retake second place in the championship and equal the victory tally of champion Felipe Nasr.

It was a copybook performance from the 19-year-old Dane, the Carlin man leading all the way from pole position and extending his advantage over his pursuers with every passing lap. Along the way to his eight-second victory, Magnussen stole the lap record for the 3.7-mile Grand Prix circuit. More ...

Edwards secures Nationwide pole in Kansas  Results More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Mark Webber
    Button, Webber target F1 seats for 'a lot more' years
  • Button eyes Le Mans in 2012
  • Crash shows perfection of Vettel's season - Alonso
  • Hamilton penalties 'not bad luck' - Alonso
  • Briatore eyes F1 return in 'marketing' field
  • Schumacher is 'helper' at Mercedes - Briatore
  • Rivals set to out-spend d'Ambrosio for Virgin seat
  • Webber is Vettel's 'perfect number 2' - Frentzen
  • Frentzen plays down fitness in F1
  • Red Bull avoided repeat of 2010 'wing-gate' at Suzuka New
  • F1 to discuss latest problems in Bahrain New
  • Schumacher brushes off final corner incident in qualifying New
  • Hamilton blasts Schumacher over "dangerous" driving New
  • Kamui Kobayashi promoted to seventh New More ...
Detroit welcomes Grand Prix back  
Turbocharged IndyCars will return to Detroit.  Note to IndyCar: This 2001 turbocharged Champ Car is a proper looking IndyCar, not that hideous looking thing Dallara rolled out for next year.  One step forward, two steps back.
Officials are waving a green flag for the Detroit Grand Prix next summer on Belle Isle. The return is expected to be formalized during a press event at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday involving Mayor Dave Bing and others.

Last month, the City Council approved a request from racing officials, clearing one of the first hurdles in bringing the race back to Belle Isle on June 1-3.

The SPEED channel said the race is scheduled June 3.

"I am thrilled that this event is returning to Detroit and Belle Isle," Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. It has significant impact, brings people to the city, and it's a source of pride for everyone in Detroit." More ...

Waltrip signs Bowyer to 3-year deal  UPDATE
Waltrip and Bowyer
Added Q&A questions with Waltrip and Bowyer below.

10/07/11 Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing made their long-rumored relationship official Friday as MWR announced Bowyer had signed a three-year deal to drive the No. 15 car sponsored by 5-Hour Energy beginning in 2012.

Bowyer has four wins, two poles, 30 top-fives and 90 top-10s in 210 career starts – all 210 for Richard Childress Racing.

“It’s a big day for me,” Bowyer said. “Obviously, I’ve been with RCR since Day 1. I owe a lot to Richard, but it’s time to move on. Today is the day.” More ...

Button makes a clean sweep at Suzuka  
Jenson Button
As he did in both practice sessions on Friday, Jenson Button led the way in the final session Saturday morning before qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Button took first position with a 1m31.255s. His McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton ended up second quickest, half a second back.

Sebastian Vettel (1:32.122) looked to be carrying more fuel en route to third quickest lap, fractionally quicker than Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:32.279). Mark Webber was fifth quickest (1:32.401) in the second Red Bull, two hundredths ahead of Felipe Massa with the second Ferrari.

Webber took a new engine for FP3, his sixth Renault of the permitted eight. More ...

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