Jay Howard to team with Graham Rahal for Indianapolis 500 Graham Rahal doesn’t yet have a team announced for the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series season, but he apparently has a teammate for the Indianapolis 500. Jay Howard confirmed that he will race alongside Rahal in the 500, but neither driver would reveal the team.
“Maybe in a couple of weeks,” Howard said.
Both have Service Central as a sponsor. Rahal’s program is for the season; Howard’s is just for the 500.
Howard, the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion who ran five races with Sarah Fisher Racing this season, said he is excited about his 2011 program.
“I am signed up for the 500 with a very good team and a very good car,” he said. “I’m very, very happy with what’s going on there. If someone said to me . . . do you want to re-sign the way you were (at SFR), same deal, five races, or do you want this deal for one race, I’m definitely, all day long, going to choose this deal.” AutoWeek
Danica Patrick Confirms Partial NASCAR Schedule for 2011 Danica Patrick made it official Friday afternoon here at Charlotte Motor Speedway that she will again run a partial NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule along with her full-time job competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
While all the specifics have yet to be worked out, she could run up to 14 Nationwide Series races that wouldn't conflict with the IndyCar schedule or other contractual obligations.
Her JR Motorsports team did confirm she will compete in first four races of the 2011 season -- at Daytona, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Bristol, Tenn., where she will compete for the first time on the challenging half-mile track.
Until the IndyCar Series confirms its final race of the season, JR Motorsports team isn't ready to release her exact stock car schedule in the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet.
Action Express Adds Brumos Racing No. 59 to fold Action Express Racing is pleased to announce exciting new plans in the works for the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season. Following its inaugural year in 2010, the No. 9 Action Express Porsche V8 Riley team will be expanding its effort for 2011 to include a second Action Express DP entry. The former Brumos Racing No. 59 Riley will be converted to the Porsche-based V8 powerplant by Lozano Brothers and will compete next season in Action Express colors.
Rosberg: I hope the asphalt holds up in Korea Mercedes man Nico Rosberg fears the newly laid asphalt at the Korea International Circuit might not ‘hold up’ next weekend when the 5.621 kilometer track hosts its first ever round of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The circuit only got the official green light on Tuesday this week - following a two-day track inspection by FIA Formula 1 Race Director and Safety Delegate Charlie Whiting, and while Rosberg is enthusiastic about the event, it seems he has he reservations too.
"It will be an exciting challenge to race at the new Korean circuit. It looks great from the pictures that we have seen and I hope that the asphalt holds up as it has only been put down very recently," he said.
“It is always interesting to learn a new circuit and generally I get up to speed quickly so I'm looking forward to it."
No gearbox penalty for Hamilton in Korea - Whitmarsh (GMM) Lewis Hamilton will not be taking a five-place grid penalty in Korea next weekend, his team boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed.
The McLaren driver moved five places down the Suzuka grid due to an unscheduled gearbox change before qualifying, and he then finished the Japanese race without third gear that further dented his fading championship hopes.
It is believed a dog-ring failed in Hamilton's replaced gearbox, but Whitmarsh said in Japan that he was "confident" it could be fixed without incurring another five-place penalty for Korea.
But he also told reporters at Suzuka that the second issue would not be a problem for Korea, despite the new gearbox potentially not lasting the mandatory four races.
Justice is served, Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let's go racing boys! DW snubbed Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races and three championships on the track, lost a popularity contest among his peers that stung more than any other defeat in his illustrious career.
Snubbed by the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting committee in his campaign to be included in the second class, Waltrip was clearly hurt by his exclusion. The color drained from his face as he watched the five names called - David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett and Bud Moore - and although he gamely spun his chair away from the podium and toward the cameras to work an hour-long, live television program, he was wounded.
Waltrip took to Twitter immediately after leaving Wednesday's announcement - "just having a small pity party right now," he posted - and was still smarting a day later. Instead of celebrating his selection Thursday, he played golf with younger brother Michael.
"My feelings are hurt," Waltrip told The Associated Press in a candid conversation Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"Do I take it personal? No. I can't. I couldn't live in this community if I did. I take it as that group of people that voted on those five guys had a stronger connection to their past and to those five guys than they did to me and what I did."
A polarizing driver because of his flamboyant personality and many feuds, he's found the audience is equally divided in his second career as an analyst for Fox. He openly and unprofessionally cheered for his younger brother to win the Daytona 500 in the network's 2001 debut.
His childish, utterly stupid, "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let's go racing boys!" scream at the start of every race exposes his lack of judgment, and his outspokenness has angered many in the industry.
Hayden: It was nasty - and I mean nasty Nicky Hayden was shocked by conditions in practice at Phillip Island today and he said the wind was the big issue, rather than the rain. Despite that though, he was on the pace and finished up third overall – albeit almost half a second off pace-setter Jorge Lorenzo.
“Those were nasty conditions... I mean nasty,” Hayden said. “It wasn't so much the wet but the wind. It was really strong and for me it took a little while to get comfortable with being blown around so much.
“Other than that the bike worked well in the wet. We made a little bit of a change to help the bike turn, keeping some weight on the front, for the second run and I was able to go okay. My pace wasn't too bad.
Newman's team pretty well set on sponsorship From a Stewart Haas Racing Transcript, Mobil 1 Sponsorship Announcement:
Q: Tony, is the 14 car now totally sold as far as primary sponsorship for 2011, or are you still looking for more? Can you update us on the 39 as well? Are Army and Tornados returning?
TONY STEWART: "Everything is good on the 39 car there with Tornados and U.S. Army coming back. We're in good shape on the 14 car now. This has fulfilled what we're looking for to fill the void for Old Spice next year. It allows us to now put that project behind us. We're still always looking for new partners. You never stop in that category. You're always looking to bring new people into the sport and even if it's not at a co-primary position, you're always looking for associate sponsors. So the search, necessarily, isn't over. But this does fill the void from the Old Spice brand leaving at the end of the year. On Ryan's car, we're still looking for some associate sponsorship also, but we're very happy that Tornados and U.S. Army are coming back again. Exciting to have new partners that have come into the sport that are excited and happy with what we're doing and that want to return. So very happy with the way things are going right now." Stewart Haas Racing
Lorenzo tops opening day at Phillip Island After a delayed start due to wet weather conditions the MotoGP class completed the opening practice of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Friday, and newly-crowned World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was the quickest rider around the circuit. Setting the standard with a time of 1’41.146 the Fiat Yamaha rider underlined his pre-stated determination to round off his title-winning 2010 campaign in winning style.
Casey Stoner was next up at 0.334s down on Lorenzo’s time as the Australian, who has won at his home circuit for the past three seasons, brought his factory Desmosedici GP10 home ahead of Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden. The American was 0.151s off Stoner as the riders began to see a dry line forming towards the end of the hour-long session.
Massa happy with Ferrari's full support amid trough
(GMM) Felipe Massa insists he is happy with the Ferrari team's "100 per cent" support during his current trough.
The Brazilian has been in the headlines of late; struggling with the F10 car, relegated to a subordinate role for Fernando Alonso's title charge, and urged to get up to speed by his bosses.
Some Italian media interpreted recent comments by Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali - including the Ferrari's president's claim that he has "waited with great perseverance" for an improvement - as an 'Italian ultimatum' for Massa.
But reporting on the team's official website from Brazil, the 29-year-old insists Montezemolo and Ferrari are actually fully supportive.
Shane Hmiel to undergo more surgery Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel remains in critical but stable condition while sedated at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and is scheduled for more surgery Friday for injuries suffered in a Silver Crown accident Saturday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.
Hmiel has responded to command by moving both arms and doctors attending him are encouraged but remain guarded. He appears to have no head trauma but suffered fractures of both the neck and back, according to a U.S. Auto Club news release.
He has surgery scheduled for Friday to put a stent in a torn artery, according to a Facebook page designed to update fans on his recovery. The 30-year-old Hmiel already has undergone neck and back surgeries. He also suffered spinal cord injuries, according to the family, and since they are not mentioning anything about movement in his legs, it's possible he may have paralysis from those spinal cord injuries.
USF2000 National Champion Karam up for award USF2000 National Championship winner Sage Karam is a semifinalist for the Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year. SI Kids looks for a young athlete who excels in sports, the classroom and in his/her community. The winner will be featured on the cover of SI Kids, honored at Sports Illustrated’s annual Sportsman of the Year awards celebration in New York City and will appear on Cartoon Network’s “Hall of Game.”
Karam, 15, from Nazareth, Pa., recently finished his first season with Andretti Autosport in the USF2000 National Championship series. Karam scored nine victories in 12 starts. In addition to the driver championship title, he also won the VP Fuels Rookie of the Year award. The series is sanctioned by IndyCar.
Off the track, Karam volunteers with Operation Smile and the Michael Fux Foundation and is an honor student. Vote for Karam through Oct. 18 at www.SIkids.com.
McMillan joins O2 Racing O2 Racing announced Oct. 12 that veteran race engineer Dave McMillan has joined their team for the 2011 season.
McMillan, a native of New Zealand, has worked with drivers such as Jeff Simmons, Al Unser III, Phil Giebler, Marco Andretti, Jay Howard, Jonny Reid and Charlie Kimball in his seven years in Firestone Indy Lights and led his drivers to eight poles, eight wins and 23 podium.
"This action is part of O2 Racing's long-term focus on team,” O2 Racing owner Mark Olson said.
“Motorsport is a team sport, and a team is a group of like-minded individuals who are all willing to do whatever it takes to build something bigger than themselves, individually. Getting Dave on board now for off-season testing and for the 2011 campaign is a key element of our approach to the 2011 championship.”
Barbosa officially awarded Force For Earth Hard Charger Firestone Indy Lights driver Rodrigo Barbosa didn’t expect to receive a postseason award for his 2010 season, so he made plans to leave Miami before he could collect the Force For Earth Hard Charger Award.
“I was surprised when I got the call to tell me (I had won),” the Brazilian said as he accepted his award from two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr on Oct. 14 in Indianapolis.
Driving for his second Firestone Indy Lights season with PDM Racing, the Brazilian improved the most positions during the season to collect the award and its $5,000 prize. He credited his team for helping him achieve the award.
“PDM and I did a great job together,” Barbosa said. “We made a big improvement with the ovals and on the road courses, too. I hope we are working together again next year and can do a better job for next year.”
Former driver Simmons engineering success for Franchitti
Working through the myriad of potential setups of an IZOD IndyCar Series car to maximize its potential on street/road courses and ovals, Target Chip Ganassi Racing engineer Chris Simmons has one constant: driver Dario Franchitti.
“Working with Dario is like having another data acquisition system on the car, he’s so experienced and knowledgeable,” says Simmons, a former Indy Lights competitor and USF2000 national titlist. “The feedback is so clear and concise. It makes mine and Eric’s (Bretzman, Scott Dixon’s engineer) job easier for sure.”
The Simmons-Franchitti duo has won the IZOD IndyCar Series in both years of their association, though the communication and trust foundation was laid years earlier.
“One of the impressive things with Dario is how much he is willing to look at himself to find improvement,” Simmons says. “It’s just not us working on the car. It’s looking at what Scott (Dixon) does and what we’ve done in the past both on the car and driving-wise to find out how we can make the car go faster.
Reigning Formula Star Mazda champion, Conor Daly, completed his first two days of GP3 testing in Estoril, Portugal today with the tenth fastest time overall. He completed a total if 153 laps with Manor Motorsport over the course of two days in what he says is an "interesting and steep" learning curve.
"The car is very good with a lot of lateral grip in the corners. The biggest issue I have is being able to get the best out of new Pirelli tires. I just can't find that sweet spot on new tire runs yet", said a frustrated Daly. On used tires on day one, Daly was on top of the time sheets for most of Wednesday afternoon’s session. The top 18 cars on day two were covered by less than one second. Daly will do a further two days testing with the Status Grand Prix team in Jerez, Spain, October 19th & 20th.
Rookie Lewis Williamson tops Day 2 in Estoril There was a new driver in Portugal today for the second day of post-season testing, and he certainly caught the attention of the GP3 paddock. 20-year old Brit Lewis Williamson topped the times sheets this afternoon with his best laptime of 1:31.431, two tenths quicker than Nigel Melker and this morning’s fastest man Antonio Felix Da Costa.
There were a few driver changes for day two: Rio Haryanto swapped back to his old team Manor Racing, and was replaced at ART by Matias Laine. Ivan Lukashevich was back in his #5 Status GP car; Miki Monras swapped to Tech 1 Racing and was replaced at Addax by local man Felix Da Costa, who in turn was replaced by British driver Richard Bradley at Carlin. Julian Leal joined Addax Team, European Formula BMW Champion Robin Frijns joined MW Arden for his first taste of a GP3 car, Marlon Stockinger replaced yesterday’s quickest man Nico Müller at Jenzer and Lewis Williamson joined Atech CRS GP.
Q and A with Serio Perez What was the purpose of your visit here in Hinwil? Sergio Perez: “I came here to meet my future team and also to find out where I am going to live here. I want to be very close to the factory and to spend as much time as possible with them in my first season. I’m looking forward to having this experience and succeeding with the Sauber team. I think they’re a great bunch of people; they received me very, very well, and I am really happy. I did quite a lot of work with the engineers as it is good to get to know each other. All in all it was a very nice experience.”
What was your impression of the factory? “It is a great factory, it is really huge. It seems that here you’ve got all the environment and resources which are needed to build a competitive Formula One car and to succeed. I hope everything goes well with preparations for the next season, and then we should have a good car.”
USGP update Tavo Hellmund, founder of U.S Grand Prix promoter Full Throttle Productions LLP, addressed the Real Estate Council of Austin on Wednesday and said a traffic study will be completed within 30 days.
According to the Community Impact newspaper, Hellmund said the study conducted by Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. and Graham Lake-Grange is almost complete, and that he will make "three or four" additional "big announcements" regarding the yet-to-be constructed facility just outside of Austin. Those announcements are expected to include events other than the Formula One race, which Hellmund wants to launch in 2012.
Branham Named Managing Director Of Communications For GRAND-AM GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today that Herb Branham has been named the sanctioning body's Managing Director of Communications, effective immediately. Branham moves to GRAND-AM from NASCAR, where he was the Director of Written Communications.
Branham, 55, has been with NASCAR since 2001 and will retain a portion of his duties with that organization. His emphasis, though, will be with GRAND-AM, where he will report to President Tom Bledsoe.
For most of the recently completed 2010 season, Branham headed GRAND-AM's public relations efforts in an interim role, concentrating on increasing media coverage on both the national and in-race market levels. Also, since 2009, Branham has worked on the production of the organization's postseason awards banquets.
Deal reached to stage Russia GP in 2014 - Putin (GMM) A deal to host at least seven Russian grand prix in Sochi beginning in 2014 has been reached, the country's president Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday.
"An agreement with the (sport's) organizing company has been reached," he told investors in the Black Sea resort city, according to the state news agency Ria Novosti.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was reportedly also in Sochi to sign the contract.
"In order to organize the work properly, we should create a management company here, in our country. It should consist of private national companies," Putin added.
Jenson Button reviews his Japanese GP weekend, draws confidence from his pace and insists he can still win the title...
Q: Was fourth place a realistic reflection of your Japanese Grand Prix weekend? JB: "It probably was yeah, for better or for worse. I think I could have extracted a bit more from the car if I'd been fuelled for just a single lap in Q3. I can understand why the team felt it was wiser to fuel for two laps, but my first run was good enough, and, with the fuel I could have saved, I would have been ahead of Robert Kubica and in a better position to challenge Fernando.
"If we'd switched to the Option when the others were making their switch to the Prime, then we'd probably also have had a better race. But, as you say, that's hypothetical, and I don't think we could have achieved anything higher than third without a little bit of luck on our side.
"I'm pleased that our race pace was good, but we need to make sure, for Korea, that we've got all the upgrades working on our car if we're going to fight for the victory."
Lewis Hamilton is rethinking his belief that in life we all make our own luck after a rather unlucky Japanese GP.
Q: After a weekend like Suzuka, what positives do you take away from the weekend? LH: "It's funny, I've never believed in luck; I've always believed you make your own luck. But that belief has been stretched a bit over the last four grands prix. I go racing with my heart, and I race hard, but that approach hasn't paid off too well for me recently. But every experience is a learning experience, and I'll certainly learn from these experiences and put that knowledge to good use in the future.
"That's one positive. Another is just the simple fact that I got to the flag, scored some points and kept my world championship challenge on track. We've seen how this year's championship is very much a battle of consistency, so every single point is valuable.
Hartley tops Renault test, American Rossi 2nd New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley led the way as Formula Renault 3.5 testing came to a close at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday. Following the 2010 season finale on Sunday, the teams have stayed on for two days of post-season running before heading to Motorland Arag¢n after the weekend.
Not present for the final two races of this year’s campaign, Hartley has travelled to Barcelona for two chiefly damp days of running at the venue, where he was driving for P1 Motorsport.
The Kiwi was accompanied on-track by a mix of old and new faces, with Daniel de Jong driving a Formula Renault 3.5 car for the first time after starring in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races at the weekend.
• Rosberg thinks dominance not fully recognized • Praise from Jordan as Schumacher urges team unity • Sergio Perez to make Sauber test debut next month • Ricciardo will win in F1 says 2010 team boss • Sauber ousting 'hurt' admits de la Rosa • Webber happy to settle for second at Suzuka • Abu Dhabi expects season finale sellout • Putin in Sochi to sign 2014 F1 race contract
Chevy takes Volt on 12 city tour In anticipation of the official launch this November, Chevrolet is offering drivers a sneak-peek at what the Volt is all about. Volt Unplugged, a 12 city coast-to-coast tour, gives consumers a chance to kick the tires, grip the steering wheel and take the extended-range electric vehicle for a spin. During the tour, a convoy of Volts will make their way from Seattle to Chicago, participating in multiple activities along the way. At each stop, everyday people will have the opportunity to test-drive the car and meet the engineers and designers. The tour will demonstrate all aspects of the car, from the charging experience to long trips in a variety of climates and terrains. A battery pack provides between 25 and 50 miles of pure electric range and a gasoline-powered engine extends that range to as much as 310 miles. Stops on the tour will also include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Miami, Washington D.C., Orlando, Raleigh and New York City.
Danica knows not to fool with NASCAR's dictatorship Danica Patrick is giving a strong endorsement to the idea of organizing a drivers association in IndyCar racing. Patrick says IndyCar drivers met at Mid-Ohio last weekend and talked about a formal alliance to give them more of a voice on safety, competition and other issues in the sport.
But Patrick, who is preparing for Saturday's Nationwide series race at Michigan International Speedway, wisely sidestepped a question about the need for a similar organization in NASCAR. Drivers' past attempts to form something similar to a union in NASCAR have led to conflicts with the sport's leaders. AP Story
Photos of Dream Lineup of 33 Indianapolis 500-Winning Cars Photos of 33 Indianapolis 500-winning cars lined up Oct. 12 on the front straightaway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The iconic cars were aligned in the traditional 11 rows of three that comprise the starting lineup of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The incredible array of machinery ranges from the Marmon “Wasp” that Ray Harroun drove to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 to the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda that Dario Franchitti drove to Victory Circle this year.
These photos celebrate of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 in 2011. “The Most Important Race in History” is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2011.
33 Winning Cars in Photo Shoot (actual position on grid as viewed head-on from Turn 1)
2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That class consists of: David Pearson - 94%; Bobby Allison - 62%; Lee Petty - 62%; Ned Jarrett - 58%; Bud Moore - 45%.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 31 others representing all facets of the NASCAR industry, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2011. The announcement was made in the Great Hall inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Nico Müller quickest for Jenzer in Estoril GP3 test Nico Müller dominated in both post-season test sessions at Circuit Estoril in Portugal today, showing the rest of the field that he means business in his fight to become the next GP3 Series champion.
There was a mixture of old and new faces in the GP3 paddock today, as the teams gathered for the first time since the season finale in Monza just over four weeks ago. As expected it was the seasoned drivers who dominated the majority of the morning session, whilst the rookies got to grips with their new machines in the rising Portuguese heat.
After making the switch to Addax Team for the test, Roberto Merhi spent nearly all of the session sitting pretty at the top of the time sheets until Müller set his quickest time of the day 1:32.581 to take the number one spot with just a few minutes remaining. GP3 podium finisher Miki Monras was quick to get to settle in at his new team Addax and finished the session second whilst ART Grand Prix’s James Calado made an impressive debut for the French outfit finishing in third spot – the quickest rookie of the morning.
F1600 Formula F Championship Series Launched Alongside F2000 for 2011 The group behind the successful F2000 Championship Series has announced the latest addition to North American open-wheel racing: the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, launching for the 2011 season. With the highest car count over the last four years on the open-wheel landscape, the F2000 Championship Series has positioned itself as a step on any ladder and a destination for established veterans. The F1600 Formula F Series will lend itself to the same concept.
"With five successful seasons of F2000 behind us we are expanding our program with the new for 2011 F1600 Formula F Championship Series,” commented Series Managing Director Michael Rand. "The demand for this new series has grown and with our structure and personnel in place we are perfectly positioned to present an excellent schedule of events for both F1600 and F2000, with F1600 serving as the stepping stone for future F2000 competitors."
China auto sales growth slows as demand moderates China's auto sales slowed further in September as a boom fueled by tax breaks and subsidies faded.
Official figures for the month, delayed by a weeklong national holiday, showed total sales rising 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.56 million vehicles, down from 18 percent in August, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Tuesday.
Sales rose 16 percent in July and 21 percent in June, but have generally slowed since spring.
Passenger car sales rose 19.3 percent to 1.2 million vehicles, the group said on its website.
Q and A with Williams' Sam Michael Williams technical director Sam Michael dissects the team's performance at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Q. You had an upgrade package on the FW32 at Suzuka. Did the new parts perform as you expected? SM: "We ran new front and rear brake ducts on the FW32s in Suzuka. These items were the last of our upgrade components that we will deliver this season. The new parts worked well so we ran them on both cars for the race."
Q. How did the wash-out on Saturday affect the team's preparations for qualifying and the race? SM: "Not having the usual time available to us in third practice reduced the amount of time we had running with lower fuel loads to prepare for qualifying. That would have been the same for the other teams as well, however."
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The braces are gone. Smooth lines are in.
The cars of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have a different, more natural look in 2011, with changes on the front of the cars featuring a single molded piece instead of the current two-piece splitter held in place by metal braces.
NASCAR officials aren’t expected to release the final version of the new nose for the 2011 Sprint Cup cars to team until next week. Until then, teams such as Stewart-Haas Racing have already been busy working with what they expect to be something close to the finished product.
The 2011 front end of the Chevrolet was on display when Tony Stewart unveiled his 2011 car sponsored by Mobil 1.
“There still could be some subtle changes to it,” Bobby Hutchens, director of competition for SHR, said Tuesday, “but for the most part, I think what you see there from a visual standpoint will be what you see next season.”
Fontana TV ratings continue NASCAR's plummetUPDATE The drop continues a trend this year during the Chase with New Hampshire falling 28 percent from 3.2 to 2.3, Dover dropping 23 percent from 3.1 to 2.4 and Kansas down 28 percent from 3.2 to 2.3. The Nationwide Series race on Saturday earned a 1.1 rating on ESPN2 and averaged 1.47 million viewers. That is the same rating as a year ago on ESPN2. Sprint Cup Ratings have been down for three straight years as fans lose interest in NASCAR 1950's technology cars and managed racing.
10/12/10 Sunday's race from Auto Club Speedway posted a 2.3/5 overnight rating on ESPN, down -26% compared to last year's 3.1/6 when the race aired on ABC. There were 5.95 million viewers in 2009.
GP3 testing: Estoril line-up Wednesday signals the start of winter testing for GP3, as the series prepares to move into its second season in 2011. The venue is Portugal’s Estoril and the test will run until Friday afternoon. All three cars of each team can be run between 9 am and 12 noon plus 2 pm and 5 pm across the three days.
GP3 test line-up: Estoril, Portugal – October 10-13:
New IndyCar a little bit like F1 Tony Cotman, the former ChampCar series technical guru is now in charge of implementing the new rules and regulation for the 2012 IndyCar series. According to his blog on Racer.com, Cotman has provided some details about the new technical rules, most of which we already knew.
Cotman confirmed that the team would be allowed to use an inline 4-cylinder or V6 engine making 550 HP on ovals and 700 HP on road and street circuits.
The door is open to use standing starts for the road circuits events, something Champ Car used with great success.
The new Dallara-based cars would not be equipped with a starter but will use an anti-stall device. That should help cut down on 30-40 percent of the yellow flags.
The new cars will also be fitted with a manual clutch located behind the steering wheel, and only two pedals, as used in Formula 1.
Bowyer’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award at California Clint Bowyer’s crew captured the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race (Oct. 10) at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
It was the third win of the season for the No. 33 crew, which moved into a four-way tie for second place in the overall Tissot standings with six races remaining. Jeff Gordon’s crew continues to hold on to a one-race lead with four wins.
Along with $5,000 going to the weekly winning pit crew, the team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.
Third Witness Comes Forward to Support Race-Fixing Claims Against Brian FranceUPDATE "Is the Michael Miller behind www.blackflagbzf.com the same Michael Miller who was disbarred on May 12th of this year?"
Could the disbarred attorney be a different "Michael J. Miller"? Not likely. The address with the North Carolina Bar and the registration of the domain name for blackflagrbzf.com are the same (1900 South Boulevard, Suite 304, Charlotte, NC). Hmmm.........
10/11/10 A lawsuit brought by embattled stock car driver Jeremy Mayfield against NASCAR in 2009 is raising some serious legal issues for the organization's chief executive.
In a recent motion filed in federal court, Mayfield accused NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian Z. France, while under the influence of alcohol, of ordering race officials to take Mayfield out of competition in a 2006 race. In support of that motion, Mayfield attached sworn statements from France's former in-laws, Vince and Sandy Garcia. The Garcias claim that during the 2006 "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard" in Indianapolis, France called NASCAR President Mike Helton and ordered him to "black-flag" Mayfield from his home in California, where France had been drinking that day and was under the influence.
Q&A with Vaughn Gittin Jr. - Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., driver of the Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang, won the Formula Drift championship in the seventh and final round of the season at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night. Gittin Jr. talks about what the championship means, the thrill of being named Driver of the Year and what his off-season plans consist of.
VAUGHN GITTIN JR. – Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang – CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP. HAS IT SUNK IN YET? “This championship has been seven years in the making. It is something I have wanted since my first Formula D event in 2004. It is something that everybody that shows up for the series wants. For me to have this huge trophy in my hand, it is a feeling that is unbelievable. It is a great feeling of success and all the hard work and dedication that me and the team and everyone that has supported me. It has been an incredible, epic, ground-breaking year.”
Bobby Labonte to drive for brother Terry in Labonte Stavola car at Charlotte Bobby Labonte will drive for his older brother, Terry, in the Bank of America 500 Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Terry, a two-time NASCAR Cup champion, is co-owner of Stavola Labonte Racing. He failed to qualify for the organization’s first race last month at Richmond. He asked Bobby – who will be first in line for the past champion’s provisional, if needed – to drive for the team this weekend. Terry will drive again next month at Texas.
Pigot, Serralles Begin Testing for the Formula Ford Festival
Serralles and Pigot on the Brands Hatch start line
American teenagers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles today completed their first day of testing with Cliff Dempsey Racing. The pair will make their overseas racing debuts in this weekend’s famed Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
Both drivers completed almost 200 laps on the short but challenging 1.2-mile "Indy" circuit during a sparsely attended open session which offered an excellent opportunity to learn about the track and their Ray GRS08 Formula Ford Kent-engined cars. Ideal weather conditions also proved conducive to competitive lap times.
"I’m delighted with them, although to be honest it’s what I expected," said team owner Cliff Dempsey, who guided Josef Newgarden to Formula Ford (Kent) Festival honors in 2008 and claimed Walter Hayes Trophy honors at Silverstone with fellow Team USA Scholarship drivers Conor Daly and Connor De Phillippi in 2008 and 2009, respectively. "I love running these Team USA Scholarship guys. They’re superb young men, in and out of the car, and it’s truly a pleasure, a privilege, to be running them.
Michigan Readies as the U.S. Prepares for Electric Vehicles
Solar powered canopy charging station at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant
More than 5,300 home and workplace charging stations are planned to be installed in Michigan as the state prepares for the introduction of new electric vehicle technology. General Motors and its partners are teaming up to help give Chevrolet Volt buyers more options for charging their vehicles.
DTE Energy pledges to install 2,500 240V home charging stations for plug-in vehicles, and Consumers Energy is matching that pledge. The utilities will cover up to $2,500 of the cost of the charging station and installation. GM's Voltec 240 V home charging station is priced at just $490 plus an estimated $1,475 for installation. The city of Lansing Board of Water and Light will provide an additional 25 charging stations to its customers and by the end of 2011, General Motors plans to have almost 350 charging stations in place for employees at its facilities in Michigan, with more than 100 already installed.
O2 Racing Secures the Services of Dave McMillan O2 Racing Technology is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, it has secured the services of race engineer Dave McMillan for the 2011 season. With seven years' experience in Firestone Indy Lights, engineer Dave McMillan has scored 8 poles, 25 "top 5" starts, 8 wins, and 23 podium finishes with Jeff Simmons, Al Unser III, Phil Giebler, Marco Andretti, Jay Howard, Jonny Reid, and Charlie Kimball.
Team Owner, Mark Olson states:
“This action, and a couple of other important and imminent hires, is part of O2 Racing’s long term focus on ‘Team’. Motorsport is a team sport, and a team is a group of likeminded individuals who are all willing to do whatever it takes to build something bigger than themselves, individually. Getting Dave, and likely one or two others, on-board now for off-season testing and for the 2011 campaign is a key element of our approach to the 2011 championship. I’d like to be the first to officially welcome Dave to the Team.”
2011 USF2000 Schedule Is Released Today officials of the “Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda” released an exciting 2011 schedule for the series, which is part of both the Road to Indy and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver development programs.
Continuing its mission to stage its races at high-profile events, the 2011 schedule has grown to 14 races at eight events, which is an increase of two races from 2010.
The 2011 season opener is on St. Patrick's Day in March when the series supports one of the world's most prestigious endurance sports car races, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring, Fla. It closes in September when it is part of the Labor Day extravaganza at the brand-new street course event at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
With loss of IndyCar, The Glen to host 3 Grand-Am races Sports car fans have come to expect some of the most exciting racing of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge seasons to take place at Watkins Glen International and 2011 should be no exception. A total of three GRAND-AM sanctioned races will be held at the Soul of American Road Racing during the 63rd year of racing in Watkins Glen. The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will pair-up for an electrifying weekend of racing during the 30th Running of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 3-5, and the Rolex Series will return for the Crown Royal 200 during the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 11-14.
IZOD rates IndyCar season an '11 When it comes to assessing the first season of the IZOD IndyCar Series, Mike Kelly, Executive Vice President of the Marketing Group for Phillips-Van Heusen, believes it is off the charts. Kelly is the man behind the promotion and sponsorship of the IZOD IndyCar Series and it was his vision that resulted in one of the best corporate marriages with a professional sports league in recent history.
“On a 1-to-10 it’s an 11,” Kelly said. “It’s beyond what we expected from the beginning but we also put in more than we expected from the beginning. On a business level, the return on investment is off the charts. I can’t compare it with anything else we have going and in our corporation we have some amazing things going on in China and Europe, with Tommy Hilfiger and with Calvin Klein we have some very cool things. But on a product by product return for return basis this is by far our most productive effort. It’s unbelievable.
“We’re involved with the NFL, the New York Giants and other things but this one, no matter where I present it, when I present it, people’s jaws just drop and say, `I had no idea.’ That is part of the beauty of it. This is an unpolished gem right now and we are putting some shine on it, getting attention. We’re getting lucky. We’re getting a return.” IZOD.com
Mobil 1 new part-time sponsor for Tony Stewart ExxonMobil signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing beginning in 2011. The new agreement allows ExxonMobil to build on Mobil 1's "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" designation and demonstrate its ongoing commitment to NASCAR. "With Mobil 1's long tradition of partnering with world-class race teams around the globe, we are proud of our new association with one of NASCAR's top drivers," said Nigel Searl, vice president marketing, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company. "We look forward to helping Stewart-Haas Racing secure a Sprint Cup Series championship and add to the list of successful teams that Mobil 1 has supported for more than 30 years."
Mobil 1 will serve as the co-primary sponsor of the #14 Chevy with Office Depot, the "Official Office Products Partner of NASCAR." Mobil 1 will be prominently featured on the hood of Stewart's car for 11 races, while taking a high-profile associate role in the remaining 25 races, as well as the two non-point races. In addition, ExxonMobil will provide Mobil 1 lubricant technology and engineering support to Stewart-Haas Racing and Mobil 1 will be an associate sponsor of Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy, which is also fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing.
Wheeler Tabbed Head of Programming & Production for SPEED
Motor sports television veteran Patti Wheeler was named Executive Vice President of Programming & Production, it was announced today by SPEED President Hunter Nickell.
“Beginning Nov. 1, Patti will take the lead in two crucial areas at SPEED,” Nickell said. “Program development is key to any network’s continuing evolution, and with our substantial commitment to a live network presence at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events headlining a massive motor sports production schedule, bringing in someone with Patti’s credentials and experience strengthens the entire SPEED team.”
F1 teams want equal tires for all Formula One teams have agreed that everyone will compete on a level playing field when it comes to the use of Pirelli tires.
Pirelli will take over from Bridgestone as the sport's official tire supplier next year and there have been fears that some teams could get one over their rivals by forming a close relationship with the Italian manufacturer.
According to Autosport, the teams held a "lengthy meeting at the Japanese Grand Prix" and "agreement was reached for there to be total transparency of tire development.
Long Beach tickets on sale Tuesday Tickets for the 37th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach go on sale Tuesday. Long Beach's largest event takes place from April 15-17 next year and will again feature the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series including 2010 champion Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Danica Patrick and Scott Dixon.
Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $26 for Friday General Admission to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in the grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages also are available, along with handicapped seating, IZOD IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a variety of Hospitality Club packages.
FIA approves Korea circuit for inaugural raceUPDATE #2 (GMM) Charlie Whiting on Tuesday gave Korea's new formula one circuit the thumbs-up.
The leading FIA official had been at the Yeongam site since Monday for the track's final readiness inspection, amid speculation it was not ready for its inaugural event next weekend.
But, based on a media statement issued by race organizers KAVO, the major wire agencies AFP, AP and Reuters said Briton Whiting approved the circuit on Tuesday.
However, legitimate doubts remain, particularly after rain fell on the newly laid and curing top layer of racing asphalt overnight.
A photograph reportedly taken at the circuit on Monday show a bridge over the start-finish straight still under construction, while the circuit's main access road is apparently not yet sealed and the entire site not fully fenced.
Chateau Elan / Braselton, GA – Hours after concluding the 11-weekend, 13-race 2010 season with a dramatic win from the pole by MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder driver Connor De Phillippi -- a flawless drive that also secured him 'Rookie of the Year' honors -- the drivers, teams, crew and officials of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear (along with the Skip Barber Nationals Presented by Mazda and USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda) gathered at the Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA for the 2010 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder Awards Dinner.
Daly to take part in GP3 Winter testing Reigning Formula Star Mazda champion, Conor Daly, will test with Manor Motorsport and Status Grand Prix at the upcoming GP3 winter test session's at Estoril, Portugal, October 13th - 14th and Jerez, Spain, Oct 20th - 21st.
After his record setting Star Mazda season, Daly is exploring what might be the next best move for his professional career. It will be his first time in a GP3 car, but from what he learned attending the final rounds of the 2010 championship in Monza Italy, in September, Daly very much looks forward to his upcoming experiences.
"This is an important test for me as I will work directly with some outstanding European teams and I will get to compare myself directly with some of their proven talents" said Conor. "I want to learn and absorb as much as possible as we work through what might be the best move for my career".
Shane Hmiel critical after accidentUPDATE #2 Here is a video of his accident:
Shane Hmiel suffered two compression fractures in his neck and two in his back following a violent wreck during qualifying at Terre Haute Action Track Saturday while driving a United States Auto Club Silver Crown car.
His father Steve Hmiel, director of competition for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, texted to FOXSports.com: “Head looks promising, heavily sedated so hard to tell about waking up. No feeling in legs but might get better.”
The elder Hmiel, who left Auto Club Speedway Saturday night and is at the hospital with his son, added Shane remains in ICU in critical condition.
Red Bull's driver rivalry in spotlight for title fight (GMM) With McLaren's charge fading and Fernando Alonso going it alone for Ferrari, the rivalry between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will be in the spotlight during the now three-race run to the 2010 world championship.
Red Bull's racing duo, although separated by 14 points, are right in the fight for the drivers' championship; an individual's prize that often sees teams back one driver over the other.
This year has seen Vettel and Webber swing between being the obviously favored son to the downtrodden number 2 driver, but team boss Christian Horner has once again reinforced their status of equality.
With Alonso charging alone with the – albeit reluctant – support of Felipe Massa, the competitive rivalry between Webber and Vettel, and the fact the pair are obviously not friends, is a problem for Red Bull.
2011 Formula Renault 3.5 calendar Organizers of Renault’s Formula Renault 3.5 series, which was won by Russian Mikhail Aleshin in Barcelona on Sunday, have revealed the dates on the 18-race calendar of 2011. Starting at Spain’s Motorland Arag¢n in mid-April, the season will conclude at the Circuit de Catalunya on the same October weekend next year.
The 2011 schedule also includes a return to Italy’s Monza, which was last on the calendar in 2008. Seven of the nine events will be part of Renault’s World Series package although the pairs of Monza and Monte-Carlo races support World Touring Cars and Formula 1, respectively.
Other changes include Brno’s Czech Republic round being dropped as the French event switches from Magny-Cours to Paul Ricard.
2011 Formula Renault 3.5 calendar:
Rounds 1 & 2 Motorland Arag¢n, Spain – 16-17 Apr Rounds 3 & 4 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 30 Apr-1 May Rounds 5 & 6 Monza, Italy – 14-15 May Rounds 7 & 8 Monte-Carlo, Monaco – 28-29 May Rounds 9 & 10 Nürburgring, Germany – 18-19 Jun Rounds 11 & 12 Hungaroring, Hungary – 2-3 Jul Rounds 13 & 14 Silverstone, Great Britain – 20-21 Aug Rounds 15 & 16 Paul Ricard, France – 17-18 Sep Rounds 17 & 18 Barcelona, Spain – 8-9 Oct
Howard-McLaughlin shine karting race Izod IndyCar Series driver Jay Howard and Bill McLaughlin Jr. won Sunday's RoboPong 200, a go-kart race at New Castle Motorsports Park. Graham Rahal and Conor Daly finished second, Robby Seward and Jacob Knueven third, and Will Power and Simon Pagenaud fourth.
Russian Mikhail Aleshin secures Renault World Series title
Rarely has a championship been so hotly contested. The stakes were high in this last race of the season, but the challenge was very straightforward. Tech 1 Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Carlin’s Mikhail Aleshin each had to finish ahead of the other to claim 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series title. Throughout the race, Daniel Ricciardo led Mikhail Aleshin. But just three laps from the finish the Russian found the opening he needed. In so doing he claimed not only the 2010 Drivers title, but also the tryout with Renault F1 Team in Abu Dhabi this November. Meanwhile, ISR’s Esteban Guerrieri won his sixth race of the season ahead of Tech 1 Racing’s Jean-Éric Vergne.
Just to add to the excitement of this final showdown, this morning’s qualifying session took place under persistent rain. The timesheet continued to change, but it was Esteban Guerrieri who eventually came out on top. The Argentinean claimed his third pole of the season while, in second, Daniel Ricciardo contented himself with an advantage over Mikhail Aleshin, fifth, behind Comtec Racing’s Greg Mansell, third, and Pons Racing’s Daniel Zampieri, fourth.
Five-time world motorcycling champion Mick Doohan has joined the stunning array of motorsport superstars to sign up for the 2010 Race of Champions in Düsseldorf, Germany on November 27-28.
The annual end-of-season competition brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s most prestigious disciplines and pits them head-to-head in identical machinery. Now Doohan has joined a driver roll call that already includes seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost, seven-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Tom Kristensen, X-Games legend Travis Pastrana and 2010 F1 title contender Sebastian Vettel.
The winner of over 50 top-flight motorcycle grands prix, Doohan has a wealth of experience inside the cockpit too, even testing a Williams F1 car in 1998. He made his first appearance at The Race of Champions last year in Beijing and he has also taken part in the two all-new ROC Legends races held in Portugal over the last two summers, reaching the semi-final in 2009.
Doohan said: “It took me a while to make my ROC debut but now you just can’t keep me away! The Race of Champions is always a fun event, where it’s great to meet up with friends old and new from the world of four wheels. While it’s friendly off the track, it’s the opposite when we’re at the start line with our engines revving. So I will do my best to show them they should underestimate us bikers at their peril…”
Francis joins Kahne at Red Bull in 2011 Crew chief Kenny Francis will join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing in 2011, Francis and Kahne confirmed to ESPN.com Sunday. "Of course he's coming," Kahne said with a grin, following a fourth-place finish in the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Francis confirmed the move amid the clanging of wrenches during post-race teardown, but chose not to comment further. "I'm going, but that's all I want to say right now," he said. Kahne signed a one-year contract with Red Bull, and in 2012 will move to Hendrick Motorsports. Red Bull sources said myriad scenarios -- answers they won't have until later -- will decide Francis' future past 2011. He could stay at Red Bull, or he could go with Kahne to Hendrick, sources said. ESPN.com
NASCAR testing ban to continue in 2011 NASCAR officials have just held a briefing for Sprint Cup crew chiefs, just a 2011 heads-up, no big Q&A. The current pre-race testing ban next season will likely continue, with a few exceptions:
-- The just-announced Daytona 500 test in mid-January, on that new asphalt; -- A pre-race test at Kentucky Speedway, which will be new to the Cup tour next summer; -- and a possible test at Phoenix International Raceway, if that track is repaved following the Feb. 27th Cup race.
Goodyear would like to do a tire test on the new Daytona surface in December, but it's unclear when that new asphalt project will be completed. Daytona officials are still shooting for a Jan. 1st finish. Team owners here say if Goodyear can't get a December test in, the tire maker will have to use some type or version of tires from its current inventory, because the volume of tires Goodyear will have to have for SpeedWeeks is enormous - 6,000 tires, each made by hand. So much of Goodyear's early-season inventory has to be in production starting this fall. Stu Grant, Goodyear's racing boss, says "We know that we've got to be ready by the 20th of January and be there (at Daytona) with a lot of tires, and hopefully our race tire. Based on our Talladega tests (that track was just repaved in 2006 ), we're going to start building tires the last week of October. Hopefully that will be our race tire. MileMulhern.net
Daimler recalls 85,000 vehicles in U.S., citing steering flaws Daimler AG, the worlds second- largest maker of luxury vehicles, told the U.S. its recalling more than 85,000 Mercedes-Benz models over a steering flaw that may make the cars difficult to control.
The voluntary recall affects 2010 C-Class Model 204 and E- Class Model 212, and 2010-11 E-Class Coupe/Cabriolet Model 207, the German carmaker said in a report sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The power steering system in the subject vehicles may fail due to the loss of power steering fluid, Daimler said in the report, dated Oct. 4. Owners may not have sufficient control of the vehicle in areas, such as parking, where maximum power steering is required, and could lead to a vehicle crash.
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