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Vegas: Danica Patrick tops practice 1 UPDATE Danica Patrick served notice Thursday that she is ready to battle for the win in Sunday's IZOD INDYCAR World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com machine posted the fastest speed of the day with a sensational 224.719 mph lap on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval north of the Las Vegas Strip.

Patrick, in her final IZOD IndyCar Series race, led the Andretti Autosport contingent that included Ryan Hunter-Reay in third, Mike Conway in fifth and Marco Andretti, who was seventh in his 100th IndyCar start.

At one point during the one-hour practice, the Andretti Autosport team sat in positions one through four on the speed charts. The four drivers worked well in traffic and showed impressive performance in hot conditions.

"It's friggin fast out there," said Patrick, driving the No. 7 Team GoDaddy car. "It's almost Indy speeds out there. Nothing would let me turn the page than winning here."

Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (223.888; third), Mike Conway (223.558; fifth) and Marco Andretti (223.509; seventh) joined her in the top 10.

Dario Franchitti and Will Power, who will decide the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series championship between them, were ninth and 14th, respectively.

10/13/11 Departing IndyCar driver Danica Patrick turned the fastest lap in practice 1 for Sunday's IndyCar finale.  After this weekend Ms. Patrick becomes a NASCAR driver full-time.  There is a Indy Lights practice session today followed by practice and qualifying on Friday.



Car Driver Speed Diff. Gap
1 7 Danica Patrick 224.719 0.0000 0.0000
2 2 Oriol Servia 224.026 0.0765 0.0765
3 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 223.888 0.0918 0.0153
4 9 Scott Dixon 223.689 0.1139 0.0221
5 27 Mike Conway 223.558 0.1285 0.0146
6 3 Helio Castroneves 223.519 0.1328 0.0043
7 26 Marco Andretti 223.509 0.1339 0.0011
8 6 Ryan Briscoe 223.482 0.1369 0.0030
9 10 Dario Franchitti 223.465 0.1388 0.0019
10 38 Graham Rahal 222.869 0.2053 0.0665
11 83 Charlie Kimball 222.854 0.2070 0.0017
12 82 Tony Kanaan 222.635 0.2315 0.0245
13 67 Ed Carpenter 222.375 0.2607 0.0292
14 12 Will Power 222.220 0.2782 0.0175
15 06 James Hinchcliffe 222.197 0.2807 0.0025
16 14 Vitor Meira 222.021 0.3006 0.0199
17 5 Takuma Sato 221.960 0.3075 0.0069
18 78 Simona de Silvestro 221.847 0.3202 0.0127
19 30 Pippa Mann 221.679 0.3392 0.0190
20 17 Wade Cunningham 221.648 0.3427 0.0035
21 8 Paul Tracy 221.459 0.3641 0.0214
22 77 Dan Wheldon 221.440 0.3663 0.0022
23 77 Alex Tagliani 221.426 0.3678 0.0015
24 4 JR Hildebrand 221.360 0.3753 0.0075
25 24 Ana Beatriz 221.271 0.3854 0.0101
26 44 Buddy Rice 221.002 0.4160 0.0306
27 57 Tomas Scheckter 220.950 0.4219 0.0059
28 11 Davey Hamilton 220.577 0.4645 0.0426
29 34 Sebastian Saavedra 220.535 0.4693 0.0048
30 22 Townsend Bell 220.392 0.4856 0.0163
31 19 Alex Lloyd 220.287 0.4976 0.0120
32 59 EJ Viso 219.877 0.5447 0.0471
33 18 James Jakes 219.565 0.5806 0.0359
34 15 Jay Howard 219.466 0.5920 0.0114


DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "We have some work to do on the Target car. I wasn't happy where we were to start today. Lots of work to do to get the car where we need it to be for the race on Sunday."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "I think it was a pretty marginal start to the weekend for us really. The race is going to be interesting that's for sure. We made a lot of changes to both cars but nothing really changed where we were at on the time sheets. We'll go back and discuss it and see what we can come up with for qualifying."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Dr Pepper TEN): "The Dr Pepper TEN car had a strong practice today - this is the car to win the race. Now we just need to capitalize on what we have. It's be great to win in my 100th career start."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team Go Daddy): "It's friggin' fast here. Almost a 225 lap is like Indy speeds. The track is nice and smooth and we'll be three-wide out there, which will be exciting. The race is going to be crazy and the crashes will be spectacular. Nothing would let me turn the page better than winning here."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing): "Yeah, you could tell with Danica and I talking, it's so fast. It's just so fast and so close to each other, it's exciting. The fans are going to get a good show. It's kind of crazy. It's great that the track is smooth, you can be consistent and try to keep your car in line and follow the car in front when you're three wide. Like Kentucky with the bumps, for example, it is more difficult because you never know where the car is going to land. Here it is great because it is smooth. Because it's smooth it allows everybody to be really close, we're talking three wide, I'm sure at some moments we will be four wide. It's not just one row, it's going to be like five rows of three wide and five more rows of three wide. There's really no room for error. It's exciting, I'm sure on TV and that the fans here will have a great show." (You've got fourth in the points locked up, how does that align with the goals you set for yourself at the start of the season?): "It's an amazing position to be in. I've never been at a race where I have nothing to lose in terms of points. I only have a good show to put out there and go for the win. The whole team feels very happy to finish this way. We can try to be a little more risky on strategy and the setup of the car a little more edgy and the driving too. We are very excited about the opportunity."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "It was a pretty good first outing. We ran pretty well as a team. I think we have great race cars. We were good at Kentucky in the race too. We were able to run in similar conditions as Sunday's race. It's going to be hot and it's going to intense for 200 laps."

MIKE CONWAY (No. 27 Team Grime Boss): "We were okay today. It is going to be a crazy race on Sunday.  This place is fast. I wasn't too fast by myself, but we were better in the draft. We'll see how things go in Friday's practice and qualifying."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "The No. 38 Service Central car feels really good. I think we're pretty quick on our own and in a tow we just ran out of gear, so we didn't get the big lap time we were looking for. At the end of the day it's just practice, and we'll keeping working on getting a good race car. All four of our cars quick, but so are a lot of the other teams so we'll really need to be on our game for the race on Sunday."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir & NovoLog Flex Pen): "It was a really good start to the weekend for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. We got comfortable running in a pack, running high and low and working our way through traffic. At the end of our session we were really quick, but lap times are kind of irrelevant when cars are running in a pack like they were. We'll continue to work at it, but I think we have a really good race car. The No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen car should be running in the top 10 pretty solidly all day on Sunday."

TONY KANAAN (No. 82 GEICO - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It was a good start. The GEICO - KVRT - Lotus car was pretty good out of the box and we ran very consistent laps under traffic. We still have a couple of things to try tomorrow before qualifying, but I'm happy with how the 82 was handling today. Tonight we have a parade down on the strip and it will be very cool for all the fans and the visitors that are here in Vegas to check our cars."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It was a productive first day. We really needed to find some speed after Kentucky, so we made a few changes. The car worked well in traffic and we now need to work on preparing for qualifying tomorrow. The Las Vegas facility is very clean and impressive. The track is very high banked and smooth so I hope it's going to be a good weekend for us."

E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus: "What a nice track to finish the championship on. I really enjoyed running on it. It is quite high banked and you can pretty much run flat through the first corner out of the pits. We made make a few changes to the car and then it was feeling pretty good, however shortly after we got a fluid leak and finished early. I am looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow and having a good qualifying."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing): "It's going to be one hell of a race. That's probably the most exciting practice session I have ever been in. The track is awesome. Actually, maybe it's not awesome because it leaves us so much grip and so much freedom to put the cars where we want that we are giving each other much less margins out there. With Kentucky being so bumpy the cars move around a lot more so you didn't see that as much. It's going to be a show. I think qualifying is going to be a little more important because the further back you get, the more manic it's going to get. Hopefully we can start in the top-10 and work our way forward in the race."

PIPPA MANN (No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): "It was a good feeling getting out on track today - we were able to run some competitive laps and despite a slightly interrupted practice session, we gathered some worthwhile data. I'm pretty confident we'll have a good race car on Sunday, as I was able to run inside and outside of people out there on the track and set some fairly decent times in clean air, so I'm really looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."

JAY HOWARD (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): "I think today was a good start and we're just going to keep pushing and looking for more speed. Having a teammate here will allow us to try a greater number of changes as we try to find time, and allows us to gather valuable data that will help us move forward. I am really looking forward to the rest of the race weekend and representing Service Central as well as R66T and Cyrca on the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan car."

TOWNSEND BELL (No. 22 Dad's Root Beer/DRR): "We've got a great car balance wise and we were really pleased in that practice session, we learned a lot. I'm feeling much better about our chances after that practice. It was lively with E.J .Viso blowing up right in front of me. You don't see that very often in the series, so that was a challenge, but everything was OK and went smoothly."

ANA BEATRIZ (No. 24 Team Ipiranga/DRR): "The Ipiranga car was okay. We just kept improving it throughout the practice session. It was a little disappointing to start out with, but we worked on making it better. It's very tight right now. The goal is to continue to work on it and I think we will be good."

DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 11 HP Everybody On/DRR): "We had improvements from when we first pulled out to where we ended. On the last run, I didn't have the opportunity to get traffic, so I was by myself when I did my fastest lap time, which was a decent time. We definitely have something to go by and we have some hope."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske): "It was a good start today for the Guidepoint Systems car. It's my first time here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we took our time to get to know the track and I think we have a pretty good idea where we need to go for the weekend."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda): "We had a good practice today. The IZOD Team Penske car had good speed and we feel good about our chances this weekend. It's definitely going to be an interesting race."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "We still have some speed to find in the Verizon car but it was a decent start for us today. It's good to get some laps in here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and we'll be working hard to get the most out of the car in practice and qualifying tomorrow."

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): "We had a pretty good day. I didn't put in any major lap times and we spent a lot of time running in traffic and feel really good about where we're at. Just in a general sense, the racing this weekend is going to be crazy. The number of cars out there that could run side-by-side, from being three-wide from one pack to another was pretty intense and was almost easy as long as you could stay aware of where cars are around you. The race is going to be really exciting for the fans and in the end that's what we're all here for."

BUDDY RICE (No. 44 Fuzzy's Vodka Panther Racing): "It was a good day for us in the Fuzzy's Vodka car. The car feels good, and we'll make a couple more adjustments for tomorrow heading into the practice and the qualifications. We'll see if we can't qualify closer to the front than we did in Kentucky, that way we can be more racy at that start and I think that will make a big difference where we end up."


Michael Shank reveals 2012 IndyCar plans in Vegas
Michael Shank announced on Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that his team will expand operations by launching an IZOD IndyCar Series effort starting with the 2012 season. The team, MSR Indy, has purchased a 2012 Dallara IndyCar and is set to take delivery on December 15. MSR Indy will be based at Michael Shank Racing’s 20,000 square-foot shop located outside of Columbus, Ohio. The team will also continue to stage a full season Daytona Prototype campaign in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

Michael Shank has formed MSR Indy by establishing a pair of partnerships that grew out of long-term business relationships. Columbus area businessman Brian Bailey has joined the MSR Indy effort as a principal partner.

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McLaren prepares for 700th start
This weekend’s 2011 Korean Grand Prix marks the 700th Formula 1 race for McLaren, which celebrated its 174th victory at Suzuka courtesy of Jenson Button.

Established by Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander took the team to its first race win at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, with Emerson Fittipaldi clinching the first Drivers’ Championship for the now Woking-based outfit in 1974.

The team has housed a number of World Champion drivers and famed Team Principals Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis before current head Martin Whitmarsh took the reins in 2009.

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How Power can dethrone Franchitti
Possible scenarios for how Will Power could dethrone two-time defending IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti in Sunday’s season-finale at Las Vegas.
  • If Franchitti finishes first or second, he wins the title.
  • If Franchitti finishes third, Power would have to win the race and all three bonus points.
  • If Franchitti finishes fourth through seventh, Power would have to win the race.
  • If Franchitti finishes eighth, Power could finish first or second and must win two bonus points.
  • If Franchitti finishes ninth, Power could finish first or second.
  • If Franchitti finishes 10th, Power could finish in the top three and must win all three bonus points.
  • If Franchitti finishes 11th, Power could finish in the top three and must win two bonus points.
  • If Franchitti finishes 12th, Power could finish in the top three and must win one bonus point.
  • If Franchitti finishes 13th or 14th, Power could finish in the top three.
  • If Franchitti finishes 15th, Power could finish in the top four and must win one bonus point.
  • If Franchitti finishes 16th or 17th, Power could finish in the top four.
  • If Franchitti finishes between 18th and 24th, Power would have to finish in the top five.
  • If Franchitti finishes 25th or worse, Power would have to finish in the top six.


Cosworth previews the Korean GP
Cosworth’s Formula One Circuit Tracker for this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix is now available for download by clicking the PDF link/icon below.
The ‘Cosworth Circuit Tracker’ takes a look at the Korea International Circuit from an engine's eye view with more topical insights direct from the race track.
Cosworth also details specific metrics that are intended to give an ‘at-a-glance’ look at the demands placed on the engine.

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Caterham Team AirAsia to test three drivers for GP2 in Barcelona
Caterham Team AirAsia is pleased to announce Luiz Razia, Alexander Rossi and Rodolfo Gonzalez will test for the team in Barcelona next Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the GP2 Final race in Abu Dhabi in November.

The team’s existing links with Team Lotus Third Driver Luiz Razia will continue when the Brazilian ace returns to the car for day one alongside Alexander Rossi who will complete two full days of testing. The young American, who has just returned from Barcelona after finishing third in the Drivers' Championship in the 2011 World Series by Renault - FR 3.5 series, impressed the team in Jerez last month after adapting well to the new GP2 car in his first outing in GP2. Joining him on the second and final day of testing will be Barcelona based Venezuelan driver Rodolfo Gonzalez, who drove for Trident in this season’s GP2 championship.

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A lap around South Korea track with Sebastian Vettel


New book says General Motors wanted to merge with Ford
A new book chronicling the financial collapse of General Motors and Chrysler in 2008 reveals new details about just how desperate the situation was for the giants of the automobile industry. New York Times reporter Bill Vlasic's new book, "Once Upon A Car," relates the fiscal turmoil facing General Motors in the months leading up to the financial collapse.

"[In] July of 2008, the CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, decided to approach Bill Ford and Alan Mulally, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Ford Motor Company, about a merger. The way I describe it in the book is, 'this would have been the moment when the Big Three would really have become the Big One.' [It was] completely out of character for GM to do this and turned down flat by Ford Motor Company," Vlasic told WKAR.

General Motors and Chrysler both filed for bankruptcy and were "bailed out" with an infusion of government loans.  Vlasic said there's no reason for the Big Three to not be competitive in the global car market.


Superleague Formula Series pulls out of Chinese rounds
Superleague Formula Series has been forced to pull out of its scheduled trip to China later this month after terms between the championship and local authorities could not be reached.

The nations cup series was expected to contest rounds in Beijing on October 29/30 and Shanghai a week later, before also making its first appearance in South Korea on November 12/13. But with negotiations at deadlock, the championship has been left with no other option than to abandon the Asian races and end its 2011 campaign early.

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IndyCar taking big gamble on Vegas UPDATE Related article from Sports Illustrated - - Rumors of IndyCar's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

True, open-wheel racing in America is a world removed from its heyday. It's lost the war against NASCAR and the bitter 1996 split between CART and what's now called IndyCar created casualties - small crowds, terrible television ratings, insulting purses at major events - that might never rebound.

But peel away the thick layers of negative perception and apathy shrouding IndyCar and what's revealed is an edgy series rife with many of the qualities the weary NASCAR fan has long complained is missing.

There's a compelling title race between three-time champion Dario Franchitti and perpetual bridesmaid Will Power headed into Sunday's season finale at Las Vegas. In many respects, the Franchitti-Power rivalry resembles something close to the animosity that lingers in NASCAR between Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

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Travis Pastrana ready to race in ROC again in 2011
American action sports sensation Travis Pastrana will compete at the 2011 Race Of Champions, to be held at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena on December 3-4.

The event will be one of Pastrana’s first competitive appearances since he smashed his right foot and ankle while attempting a motorcycle trick at July’s X-Games. The accident forced him to delay a planned switch to NASCAR until 2012 but this month he finally had the pins removed. The American won’t be able to walk for a few more weeks but he is adamant he will be ready for ROC 2011 regardless.

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Video: Inside the Singapore GP
Join Johnnie Walker and F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button at the biggest event on the racing calendar - the Singapore Night Race.


Spark Joins Chevrolet’s U.S. Small Car Lineup in 2012
2013 Chevy Spark
Chevrolet hopes to excite first-time buyers and city residents when the Spark mini car joins the brand’s small car family next year in the United States and Canada. The Spark is a five-door, four-passenger hatch that is on sale in Chevrolet markets around the world.

“For young, urban dwellers, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark can be their key to the city,” said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy. “Spark’s vibrant exterior and interior colors make a statement, but it is a practical car, too. Affordable, maneuverable and very fuel-efficient, Spark will be easy to own and easy to drive.”

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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Vettel offered to pay for delivery of new wing
    Vettel offered to pay for new Suzuka wing
  • Webber 'pushes Vettel hard enough' - Lauda
  • Buemi must beat teammate for Brazil practice laps
  • Vettel celebrated title with Suzuka 'donuts'
  • F1 world expecting much better Korea GP
  • Red Bull can drop point and still win team's title
  • Alonso and Hamilton better than Vettel - Briatore
  • Di Resta not sure Force India sale to affect future
  • Williams settles dispute over Coughlan signing

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Grime Boss to Sponsor Mike Conway at Las Vegas
Andretti Autosport announced today that Grime Boss, a brand of heavy-duty hand-cleaning wipes manufactured by Nice-Pak, will serve as the primary sponsor for the No. 27 IZOD IndyCar Series entry, driven by Mike Conway, at the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships on Oct. 16 in Las Vegas.

Nice-Pak, founded in 1957, is the global leader in the design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of premium quality branded and private label wet wipe products. Headquartered in Orangeburg, NY, Nice-Pak has a track record of introducing innovative products for personal care, baby, health, hand sanitizing, beauty and household applications.

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Lupe Fiasco To Perform At IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Kick-Off Party
GRAMMY® Award-winning platinum hip-hop recording artist Lupe Fiasco will perform at the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Kick-off Party at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino's WET REPUBLIC Thursday, Oct. 13.

Fiasco, whose chart-topping single "Out of My Head" from his latest album, Laser, joins "Good Charlotte," "Los Lonely Boys," "Nuttin' But Stringz" and "82nd Airborne All-American Chorus" in a recently announced line-up of musical entertainment designed to please fans of all genres during the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.

The party begins at 9 p.m. following the IZOD IndyCar Series Parade Presented by Verizon which takes place on Las Vegas Boulevard starting at 7 p.m. The 34 drivers featured in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships will drive their race cars up and down Las Vegas Blvd. and then make their way to WET REPUBLIC to join Fiasco and fans in the kick-off celebration.

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Hildebrand gets thrill from Thunderbirds
J.R. Hildebrand
National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand knew he was in for the ride of his life at Nellis Air Force Base on Tuesday, where the United States Air Force Thunderbirds gave the 23-year-old rookie the opportunity to fly in one of their F-16 fighter jets. What he didn't realize, however, was that nearly as soon as they'd taken off that Captain Nick Holmes, fittingly the Thunderbirds pilot No. 4, was going to allow the reining Indy 500 Rookie of the Year to fly the plane himself.

"It seemed like soon as we got up on the air, the pilot says, 'Hey man, you wanna fly the plane?" Hildebrand said. "I was thinking, 'Are you kidding me?'"

While Hildebrand was allowed to maneuver the jet during the ride, the real flying was done by Capt. Holmes, who took JR on a ride that included barrel rolls, a full loop, aileron rolls, flying inverted (upside down), a mock bombing run and pulling a 9-G turn - a move that earned Hildebrand a 9-G pin, a commemorative pin for the few who have pulled 9 Gs in an aircraft. The flight average roughly 500 mph while they reached a speed just under Mach One flying over the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountains.

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What's at Stake: IZOD INDYCAR World Championships

Oriol Servia
Oriol Servia is in a championship points no-man's land.

He can't challenge for third or higher and can't fall out of fourth place no matter the outcome of the Las Vegas Indy 300, which is the marquee event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda on Oct. 16.

Given that Servia didn't compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010, it's not all that disappointing to be locked in the top five. It's security in the knowledge that Newman/Haas Racing and the 37-year-old Spaniard have overachieved this season. He has four top fives, highlighted by a pair of runner-up finishes.

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Power out to 'seal the deal'
Will Power
"Win the race," Will Power says matter-of-factly.

Yes, that would solve everything for the Verizon Team Penske driver in his multi-season pursuit of the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Win the season finale on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 16 and with a little help, he wrests the title from Dario Franchitti, who has held it the past two seasons and three of the past four.

The plan is simple enough. The execution, of course, is another matter. And with 33 other cars on the oval running inches apart, Power can't get lost in the pack.

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Krohn Racing Undertakes Testing Program for 50th Anniversary Rolex 24
Krohn Racing has launched its test program in preparation for the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, scheduled for January 28-29, 2012.

The Braselton, Georgia-based team will commence with a two-day test, October 25-26, at the 3.56-mile, 12-turn superspeedway road course circuit at Daytona International Speedway.

The 50th Rolex 24 is the start of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Series schedule. The balance of the calendar is yet to be announced.

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NASCAR shrine posts 4th straight month of attendance declines
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority today reported the August attendance for the NASCAR HOF was 16,703, down 29% from 23,539 the previous year and "the fourth consecutive month, year-over-year attendance has declined." Comparable attendance for the months of May, June and July this year "fell 30 percent or more below the 2010 totals." The August attendance figure was included in results reported at CRVA's monthly BOD meeting. BIZJOURNALS.com


MGM Grand joins KVRT - Lotus for Las Vegas race
KV Racing Technology – Lotus announced today that MGM Grand Hotel & Casino has joined the team as primary partner of Takuma Sato’s No. 5 MGM Grand – KV Racing Technology – Lotus car for the 2011 IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas, October 13-16 at the Las Vegas Speedway.

“I am very pleased to announce that MGM Grand is joining our team,” said KVRT – Lotus co-owner Jimmy Vasser.  “As a resident of Las Vegas I am very excited that our team has partnered with such a local icon for this race.  We look forward to having a great on-track result with MGM Grand at the IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas.”

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New iPhone app now available
After much negotiation with Apple they finally approved our new version of the iPhone app that fixes the problem we previously had with Google Ads constantly popping up.  Delete the old version 1.1 from your iPhone and go to the app store and search, download and install AR1 for iPhone version 1.2.  We apologize for this update taking so long but Apple is very stringent on what they will and will not allow. 

And for you iPad users, of course you should download AR1 for iPad.


McLaren wants to re-sign Hamilton too
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has faced a difficult season thus far, having been involved in a number of incidents and incurring an array of penalties from the stewards. The Woking squad feels it has let the 2008 World Champion down in terms of car pace, but hopes to extend Hamilton’s contract, just as it did with Jenson Button last week.

"Lewis is his own biggest critic," said McLaren Managing Director Jonathan Neale. "He desperately wants to win and he’s understandably not happy when either his team mate beats him or someone else is winning the race or the championship. So after seeing the title slide away this year to Red Bull, he’s tough on himself and very disappointed.

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Sahara buys major interest in Force India F1 team
Sahara India Pariwar, a leading promoter and patron of sports in India, today announced an equity investment in the Force India Formula One Team, India’s only F1 team.  Subsequent to subscribing to new shares, Sahara India Pariwar will be investing approximately USD 100 mn into the Force India Formula One Team. With this investment both the Sahara India Pariwar and Dr. Mallya will own 42.5% each in the team. The Mol family’s equity will be at 15%.

The new logo of the Sahara Force India F1 Team, as the team will now be called, was jointly unveiled today by Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara and Dr. Vijay Mallya, at a press conference in New Delhi.

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IndyCar ladder series to test on Indianapolis road course
The Mazda Road to Indy, the official ladder series for IndyCar, will get a jump start on 2012 later this month 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.

Testing will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET both days with each series receiving a 60-minute session in the morning and a 75-minute session in the afternoon.

“Many of our top teams will be at the test with multiple cars and full crews, including engineers," says Star Mazda president Gary Rodrigues. "This is a great opportunity for drivers interested in competing in the Mazda Road to Indy to experience the cars, decide what level is appropriate and get an early start on the 2012 season. And the format, with two sessions each day for two days, makes it possible for drivers to test with different teams and find the one where they feel most comfortable."

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DeltaWing transmission to be USA made
The Project 56 DeltaWing assault already brings together some of the biggest names in American motorsport – now a major US supplier has been selected to produce the transmission components for the unique car.

The Chicago-based EMCO Gears will manufacture the unit that will transfer the 300 horsepower from the 1.6 liter turbocharged engine to the rear wheels.

A 75-year-old family-owned business, EMCO originally specialized in commercial gears but entered the racing business in the 60s when it first made gears for AJ Foyt.

The Texan had broken a gear and had asked McDonnell Douglas to make a replacement for him – they in turn, referred him to EMCO who manufactured gears for McDonnell Douglas at the time.

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Grand-Am beats ALMS to Detroit
Although ALMS put a press release out today that they want to join IndyCar in Detroit after 2012 but now comes this press release from their arch-enemy - GRAND-AM will be racing into the Motor City in 2012, with the announcement of the return of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

GRAND-AM's Rolex Sports Car Series will partner with Penske Motorsports and the IZOD IndyCar Series in the June 1-3 weekend on the picturesque 14-turn, 2.1-mile circuit located on Belle Isle, a city park on an island in the Detroit River adjacent to downtown. The Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge featuring the Rolex Series will be held on Saturday, June 2.

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ALMS wants to get in on IndyCar Detroit action
Following Wednesday’s announcement regarding the return of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n President and CEO Scott Atherton shared plans for the Series to be part of the 2013 edition of the race. A scheduling conflict between the 2012 race and the test day for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will prevent North America’s premier sports car championship from placing Detroit into its June TBD date.

“While we enjoyed being a very successful part of the renaissance of this great race on Belle Isle in 2007 and again in 2008, the 2012 Detroit race and the Le Mans test day next year share the same date on the calendar, creating a direct conflict which could not be resolved for 2012,” Atherton said.

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Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix to be held in June 2012
Belle Isle aerial
Chevrolet today announced a multi-year agreement with the Penske Corporation and INDYCAR to bring professional motorsports to the Motor City for the first time in four years. The first Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be held June 1-3, 2012 at the picturesque 2.1-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.

“Chevrolet has a long, storied history in Indy car racing,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “This year we celebrated the shared centennial of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500. We're excited to see that history continue with the help of Penske Corporation and INDYCAR bringing back open-wheel racing to Detroit in 2012.  This city is a natural for racing – it put the world on wheels and the roar of engines is something that simply belongs here."

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Vettel eyes 'laps of honor' as 2011 calendar races out
Vettel gives his customary "I am No. 1" salute after winning his 2nd consecutive world title
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel on Wednesday said he intends to enjoy the rest of the 2011 season in winning style.

The 24-year-old German is about to experience the rare joy of having concluded a successful campaign as the unassailable defending champion with plenty of races to spare.

"It's different to Abu Dhabi 2010," he told Germany's Sport Bild, referring to last year's season finale when he emerged as the surprise champion.

"This year there are four grands prix to go; basically, four long laps of honor ahead of me.  I can enjoy my second title much, much more," said Vettel.

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Vegas will see more IndyCar 'pack' racing
When the two Izod IndyCar championship contenders contemplate Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of this weekend's title-deciding clash, they imagine the race unfolding like some of the fast and furious finishes at Chicagoland Speedway.

"I have a feeling this is going to be easy, easy flat (on the accelerator), which makes it very much pack racing," Will Power said during Tuesday's teleconference previewing the season's final race. Power is 18 points behind series leader and two-time defending champ Dario Franchitti.

Adding to the drama should be Honda engines stripped of about "40 horsepower or so," Power predicted, citing Nevada's higher altitude. "That makes it even more so (pack racing). To me, it's going to be Chicagoland."

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Baltimore GP will again be Labor Day weekend
The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to the city on Labor Day weekend 2012 for the second Baltimore Grand Prix, race president and promoter Jay Davidson confirmed Tuesday.

IndyCar is expected to make the official announcement Friday in Las Vegas, where the season concludes Sunday.

"We're absolutely excited," Davidson said of having the race return for the three-day weekend Aug. 31-Sept. 2, "just based on the crowd we had here for the inaugural event and the people hanging around on Sunday after the race, just enjoying the day.

"And I think it has a nice symmetry with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend kicking off the summer and our race on Labor Day weekend."

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NASCAR Truck Vegas preview
The elite of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be bringing their high energy tail gate party to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Saturday's running of the Smith's 350 is expected to be the latest round of truck intensity that this series is famous for. The entry list is a perfect blend of series veterans who knows how to get the job done combined with the younger generation of drivers who are looking to launch their own careers to higher elevations on the NASCAR ladder.

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Poor economy will continue to wear on NASCAR teams
Even during a tight points race, the economy and its impact on NASCAR remains a key issue with the start of next season a little more than four months away.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France, speaking to reporters this past weekend at Kansas Speedway, said the economy "will continue to have some impact on us."

Questions remain about how many cars some teams will field next season. Roush Fenway Racing has four cars but lacks sponsorship and could cut back to three cars at some point.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Schumacher and Vettel
    Experts say Schumacher-like Vettel era unlikely
  • Sutil, Heidfeld hope for F1 seats in 2012
  • Report - F1 might benefit from permanent F1 steward
  • FOTA unity threatened by spending agreement debate
  • Wickens turns sights to 2012 F1 debut
  • Vergne to drive in FP1 in Korea
  • Mercedes signs multi-year Puma deal

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IndyCar Motegi and Kentucky TV ratings
Versus continues to be a noose around IndyCar's neck with graveyard TV ratings, lower than infomercials.

Ed Carpenter's win at Kentucky Speedway on Versus Oct 5th drew a 0.1 rating with 188,000 viewers.  The race started prime time at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Sunday.

The 0.1 rating makes Kentucky the second-lowest rated IndyCar race this season, behind only the 112,000 who tuned in to watch the race at Motegi on Sept. 18 in the middle of the night Saturday night/Sunday morning.  The Sunday repeat of the broadcast drew 109,000 viewers for a total of 221,000 viewers, so overall Kentucky drew the fewest viewers for what was arguably IndyCar's most exciting race of the year.  Seems IndyCar fans could care less about the oval races.  And if fans are not watching, what is in it for sponsors?

We predicted the day the 10-year contract was signed with Versus that it would be a major mistake......and it was.  One can only hope ratings will improve when the channel gets rebranded as the NBC Sports Network.


Hawk to be grand marshal at Vegas
Action sports icon Tony Hawk will add another adrenaline-filled experience to his fabled resume when he visits the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda on Oct. 16.

The legendary pro skateboarder and entrepreneur will serve as Grand Marshal for the Las Vegas Indy 300, the main event of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.

Hawk will deliver the most famous words in motor sports "Drivers, start your engines," before the IZOD IndyCar Series season finale on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For the sixth year in a row, the IZOD IndyCar Series champion will be determined in the final race of the season.

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racing news

SAE International to partner with F1 schools in USA
F1 in Schools™ announced today that SAE International has taken on F1 in Schools USA and will be forging ahead with plans for the 2012 competition. The move follows a successful tie-up for F1 in Schools with SAE International earlier this year, when SAE International hosted the USA F1 in Schools National Finals alongside the successful Formula SAE at Michigan International Speedway.

SAE International will build on the success of the USA F1 in Schools program which has been established for over eight years, producing two F1 in Schools World Champions along the way. SAE International will undertake all elements of the F1 in Schools program, promoting it to schools throughout the USA, administering the registration process for competing schools, staging regional final events across the country and hosting the USA F1 in Schools National Finals, which will select the National Champions, who will then compete on the world stage at the F1 in Schools World Finals.

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100th start for Marco Andretti
Andretti's Dr. Pepper Ten sponsored car for Las Vegas
Marco Andretti may have had the toughest task of any young open-wheel driver in history.           

The 24-year-old Nazareth, Pa., driver had to follow his grandfather and father in the sport. That may not sound too difficult unless your last name is Andretti.           

Marco came to the IndyCar racing in 2006 after his grandfather, Mario, one of the world's all-time greatest drivers and a racing icon, and his father, Michael, an IndyCar legend and the third winningest driver in the sport's history, had established their prestigious careers.           

Now, this Sunday, Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships, Marco will reach his own career accomplishment when he starts in his 100th IZOD IndyCar Series event.           

The youngest Andretti will drive the new No. 26 Dr Pepper TEN car in the 200-lap season finale at the fast, high-banked 1.5-mile oval north of the famed Las Vegas Strip, as he seeks his second 2011 victory with Andretti Autosport.

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Izod IndyCar Series Stars at Macy's
Macy’s Fashion Show Mall Welcomes the entire field of drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series Including Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, and Indy 500 legend Mario Andretti

WHO: Macy’s and IZOD welcome IZOD IndyCar Series race car drivers Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, and Indy 500 legend Mario Andretti to Macy’s Fashion Show Mall.

WHAT: Fans and customers alike are invited to a fun-filled event to meet the IZOD IndyCar Series stars in person and receive their autographs.

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tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
IndyCar Series Season Finale Live on ABC from Las Vegas
The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season will come to a close at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 16, with Dario Franchitti and Will Power set to battle for the series crown. The IZOD IndyCar World Championship event will air live on ABC with the telecast presented by Sunoco. The pre-race show airs at 3 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 3:45 p.m. Marty Reid will call the action with former IndyCar stars Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever providing analysis. Pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little and Vince Welch.

Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup Continues at Charlotte
The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for a pair of prime time races. Both races, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions, will appear on ESPN networks. Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be the fifth race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and will air live on ABC.

Telecast schedule (all times Eastern):


Time Event Network
Oct. 13 2 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series practice ESPN2
Thu., Oct. 13 3:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice ESPN2
Thu., Oct. 13 7 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 3 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 4:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup practice ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 6 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup practice ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 7 p.m. NASCAR Countdown ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 7:30 p.m. NASCAR Nationwide Series race (GF 7:46 p.m.) ESPN2
Sat., Oct. 15 7 p.m. NASCAR Countdown presented by NAPA ABC
Sat., Oct. 15 7:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500, (GF 7:46 p.m.) ABC

Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake.
ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage: Tim Brewer
NASCAR Countdown: Mike Massaro (host); Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty (analysts).

NASCAR Now Schedule
The one-hour weekend edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will air on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Michael Yam will host with analyst Ricky Craven while reporting from the track in Charlotte will be David Newton and Ryan McGee. On Monday, Oct. 17, NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program will air at 2:30 p.m. with Craven joining ESPN NASCAR analyst Rusty Wallace and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith as panelists with host Allen Bestwick.


Time Show Host Network
Tues., Oct. 11 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2
Wed., Oct. 12 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2
Thur., Oct. 13 8:30 p.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 14 5:30 p.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2
Sat., Oct. 15 10 a.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2
Mon., Oct. 17 2:30 p.m. NASCAR Now Allen Bestwick ESPN2

NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series

With only three events remaining in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, the series competes this weekend in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix.

Coverage of qualifying airs Sunday, Oct. 16, at 12:30 a.m. ET (late Saturday night) on ESPN2, while eliminations action airs at 7 p.m. NHRA fans can watch the entire day of eliminations on ESPN3 starting at 2 p.m. and Friday night qualifying on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. Paul Page anchors for ESPN with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff will report from the pits.

Motorsports on Other ESPN Platforms
ESPN.com -- RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Saturday, Oct. 15, RacingLive! Charlotte will kick off to coincide with ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com motorsports writer David Newton will be on hand at Charlotte.

ESPN Radio -- Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from the site of the race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.


How much will fan win in Vegas from $5 million
Dan Wheldon and a yet-to-be-announced fan will split $5 million if Wheldon wins Sunday's season-ending Izod IndyCar Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Or will they?

Under the terms of the GoDaddy Challenge's insurance policy, the $2.5 million that each party receives will be awarded in the form of a 40-year annuity, with 40 annual payments of approximately $62,500.

Depending on the tax bracket, that's about $45,000 a year.

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De Ferran replaces di Grassi for Surfers Paradise V8 Supercars race
Gil de Ferran
A late change ahead of the Armor All Gold Coast 600, October 21-23 has been forced upon the MOTHER Energy Drinks Racing team – with Brazilian Lucas di Grassi being replaced by countryman Gil de Ferran – a former Indianapolis 500 and double IndyCar Champion.

De Ferran – who raced at Surfers Paradise on seven occasions for a best result of fourth in his final appearance – was a Team Penske legend – winning the Champ Car Title for the Champion American team in his first year in 2000, then going back to back in 2001.

His crowning glory though was the 2003 victory in the Indianapolis 500 for The Captain-Roger Penske.

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Video: FR 3.5 Wickens vs Vergne Crash
Jean Eric Vergne & Robert Wickens were neck to neck in the 1st corner (fighting for the championship in the final race of the season in Barcelona) but the later damaged his right front suspension on his rival and couldn't turn for the next corner. Nathanael Berthon was the innocent victim and had a big crash.


Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Whitmarsh eats his words
    Whitmarsh admits mirror problem for Hamilton
  • Whitmarsh agrees to repeal Vettel's 'crash kid' jibe
  • Webber up to speed with Vettel in races - Gene
  • Vettel targets 'sleep' for week after title
  • F1 to suffer 'drop of interest' in season finale
  • Button now targeting second world title
  • Wickens: I’m ready for F1, but no money

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Events surround IZOD INDYCAR World Championships
Planning and programming logistics for the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda in Las Vegas have been ongoing for seven months, and on- and off-track elements have been incorporated into a week-long festival of speed and entertainment.

Now, it's showtime.

In conceptualizing the composite event, INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard sought to engage visitors, race ticket-buyers and residents of Nevada and neighboring states by complementing the IZOD IndyCar Series championship-deciding race Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with complimentary entertainment away from the racetrack. Vegas was the first -- and only -- choice.

"Las Vegas is an entertaining city and when you put on a great event like the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships and you have two men fighting it out for the championship with Will (Power) and Dario (Franchitti), I think it's important for us to make sure that we give everything we can to our fans," Bernard said. "There will be a lot of activities and a lot of different opportunities to mingle with the drivers during the week.

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Q&A with Williams' Mark Gillan
Q. How would you sum up the performance of the FW33 at Suzuka?

Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: Nobody in the team is happy with the current performance of the FW33, and this weekend's race in Suzuka was no exception. This was my first race in charge at the track and I'd like to thank the race team for their excellent effort and dedication throughout the weekend.

Q. Neither car completed its intended run plan on Friday. How did that affect the rest of the race weekend?

MG: We had a few problems in both P1 and P2 which hampered our test program and precluded us from testing a couple of aerodynamic updates. However we did get information on a number of other test items which will feed into the development process for both this year's car and the FW34.

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Q&A with Renault's Eric Boullier
Q. Would ‘satisfied’ or ‘pleased’ be the best word to describe the team’s exploits in Japan?

Eric Boullier: I would have to say that I was satisfied. We set foot in Japan with high hopes just a fortnight after what can only be explained as a weekend of misery in Singapore. We thought Suzuka would be a circuit that the R31 would take to naturally. In some respects we were right; we were on the pace all weekend long, but unfortunately we didn’t make the headlines as we might have hoped. After a good qualifying performance I was hopeful, even confident, that we would make real inroads in the top 10 and could push for a double points finish but, as it turned out, it was tale of two halves. On one hand, Vitaly drove well on a two-stop strategy and everything seemed to work for him. On the other hand, Bruno had a tricky start and never really recuperated the lost time – even the emergence of the safety car didn’t help. It was one of those days for him.

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