Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)

Stewart's Midget goes for a swim
From the too funny department, Tony Stewart's USAC Midget guys recently finished putting together a brand new midget for Levi Jones to drive. We’ve been told it had the first of a new Chevy engine configuration that was supplied by GM.

As most of you know, midgets do not have starters on them so they must be push started. They pushed her out to the parking lot behind the shop, one of the mechanics strapped in and another one got the push truck.
Off they went across the parking lot. Unfortunately, as the new engine sputtered to life for the first time, the throttle stuck wide open and off she went! Across the lot, jumping the curb and taking a swan dive into a retention pond!

Somebody said he was giving the car a "Water Tunnel Test" instead of a Wind Tunnel Test.


FIA hatches five-year plan to save Formula One
After decades of building the most expensive cars in motor sport, Formula One is to suffer a culture shock as the FIA plans radical cost-cutting measures and the imposition of standardized parts over the next five years in an attempt to save the sport from pricing itself out of existence.

Documents obtained by The Times reveal that a crisis summit called by Max Mosley, the president of the FIA, with the ten team principals in Geneva next week will involve discussions on a range of radical new technical regulations designed to cut team budgets drastically and end the culture of “money no object” engine and chassis design. The FIA's initiative follows suggestions made by Mosley and by Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One commercial rights holder, last week and reported exclusively by The Times that they want to cut costs “dramatically” in the sport.

Among the measures now proposed is the introduction of standard engines from the beginning of the 2010 season, built by teams themselves at a fraction of present costs or produced by a single supplier or contractor. A second new engine regime will start in 2013 with power trains (engine and gearbox) incorporating heat and exhaust recovery systems and achieved at a development cost far lower then present budgets. Cars will also be required to have a chassis with many more “common parts” and will include standard suspension systems, wheels and underbodies.

Read more & Comment...

Stewart: Hamilton beginning to crack
Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart believes the cracks are once again beginning to show in Lewis Hamilton's demeanor, just as the Formula One season enters its decisive period.

"The Japanese race demonstrated that Lewis is still very young, in only his second season, and although he comes across as very cool in interviews, he doesn't always have the same level of mind management when he's racing," Stewart said.

Stewart was speaking in his role as an RBS Ambassador and said he felt that Hamilton's arrogance got the better of him in Japan, as he blew a pole position to ultimately finish in 12th.

"Hamilton's approach in that first corner was slightly arrogant to other drivers. He braked far too late, ran deep into the run-off area, almost collided with Kimi Raikkonen, and was later punished by the stewards with a drive-through penalty.

"That was the 'make it happen' moment of the race. Lewis didn't make it happen for himself; he made it happen for everybody else by taking himself out of contention.

"Lewis Hamilton can still win the championship, but not if he drives the last two races the way he drove in Japan."


NASCAR penalizes Nationwide Series crew chief Paul Wolfe
NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the No. 00 Toyota driven by Josh Wise, has been fined $5,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for carburetor venturis that exceeded the specified size at the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

The infraction was discovered during opening-day inspection Thursday.


Risi's inside track to the Monterey ALMS race
Risi Ferrari
Adriano Manocchia/AR1.com
The 2008 American Le Mans Series closes this weekend with the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patr¢n, or the “Last Waltz” as Risi Competizione Technical Director Rick Mayer calls it. Although Risi cannot win its second straight GT2 championship, there is plenty on the line at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Ferrari in the hunt for its second straight manufacturer title. How can the Ferrari teams best put the Prancing Horse in position for a repeat championship? Mayer gives us a few clues.

The Track
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has several long medium- to high-speed corners and a low top speed of 240 kph or 150 mph, one of the lowest top speeds of all the tracks we run. Sections of the track are similar to street tracks but with elevation changes. The surface is relatively smooth as the weather is very consistent all year round. General grip level is typically low.

The big issue at Laguna is that sand surrounds the track edges, as opposed to grass at most permanent road courses. As the higher downforce cars run near the edge of the track (or unintentionally off track) the sand is sucked onto the track which makes the track low grip and slippery and not always predictable. A moderate wind will also bring sand onto the track. Shortly after the start, the track will only have one racing line; it’s difficult for GT2 cars to go off line to pass (or get passed by faster classes) and have any grip. If you go, or are forced, off line it takes several laps to clean the tires.

Read more & Comment...

Mann, Plowman conduct first test with Panther
Panther Racing's recently-announced tandem of Pippa Mann and Martin Plowman got their first chance to put a Firestone Indy Lights car through its paces during a two-day test Oct. 8-9 at Sebring International Raceway.

"I enjoyed these two days of testing from the get go," said Plowman, 20. "We started with the setup that the previous Panther drivers used here at Sebring and gradually fine tuned it to my driving style."

Mann, 24, who is slated to become the first female driver in Panther's history to start a race, agreed with her teammate.

"I was very pleased with the whole operation," Pippa said of her crew. "The Panther team really impressed me with the professionalism and how they made me feel comfortable in the car."

The Firestone Indy Lights team took to the track a day prior to Panther's No. 4 Delphi National Guard team, which utilized half a day Oct. 9 and all of Oct. 10 as a warm-up for new driver Dan Wheldon, who is set to make his official return to the team at Surfers Paradise, Australia on Oct. 26. Firestone Indy Lights veteran Bobby Wilson also tested Panther's Honda-powered Dallara.

"Everything was very positive, both for the drivers and the crew," team co-owner John Barnes said. "This is part of the reason we felt it was important to get our drivers signed early - we want to be fully prepared and ready to win another championship when the 2009 season begins."


IndyCar Series teams load in for 7,800-mile trip to Australia
One by one, IndyCar Series teams headed to the Indianapolis International Airport on Oct. 14. Under cloudy skies, they dropped off cars and equipment to be loaded onto two 747 airplanes. The next time they see the equipment it should be under sunny skies along the beachfront streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia.

The enormous undertaking of transporting the necessary racing goods for the 24 cars that will compete Oct. 24-26 in the Nikon Indy 300 actually began immediately after the Sept. 9 race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Nearly 500 Firestone Firehawk tires, 90 55-gallon drums of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol and three Delphi Safety Team vehicles were trucked out to Los Angeles where they were loaded onto a ship. The ship left port Sept. 17 and arrived in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 9.

At the airport in Indianapolis, two days before the 747s are scheduled to take off, John Dininger, coordinator of operations for the IndyCar Series, supervised the organized chaos as the parade of transporters arrived and a half-dozen forklifts moved crates.

Read more & Comment...

RLR/Andersen Racing to Move to RLR's Headquarters
The latest news from RLR/Andersen Racing's Firestone Indy Lights team features a new location, a new lead engineer and a promotion.

The Palmetto, Fla.-based team announced today that its two-car Firestone Indy Lights team will relocate to Rahal Letterman Racing's (RLR) IndyCar headquarters in Hilliard, Ohio on or about Dec. 1. 

Andersen Racing is the official development team of RLR. Its Firestone Indy Lights team worked out of RLR's shop in suburban Columbus, Ohio this summer to save travel costs, but will be based there full-time in 2009.

Read more & Comment...

Yas Marina Circuit Launch
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) today proudly unveiled Yas Marina Circuit, the home of the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in an unique Art Exhibition at the Emirates Palace, where it will remain until the end of November.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was amongst VIP guests and regional and international media who attended the opening of a unique exhibition showcasing Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. The exhibition features a selection of images of Yas Marina Circuit’s facilities that have been transformed into pieces of art.  Philippe Gurdjian, CEO of ADMM and the project’s creative director, guided guests through distinctive features of a track that is set to become a highlight of the Formula 1™ race calendar from 2009.

Highlights of the exhibition include the stunning Yas Marina Hotel with the track running right through it, the Sun Tower 60 meters above the track allowing VIP guests the perfect view of the action and the Marina with a Yacht Club.  The Yas Marina Circuit is being developed by ALDAR Properties as part of the overall development of Yas Island.

Read more & Comment...

Championship weekends for Magnussens
Sunday was a big day for Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and son Kevin. Eight days after winning his first American Le Mans Series championship, Jan Magnussen captured his second Danish Touring Car championship after winning the season-ending race at Jyllandsringen. It came less than an hour after 16-year-old Kevin won the Danish Formula Ford championship.

The younger Magnussen posted his 11th victory in 13 events. The proud father added the DTC title to the one he secured for Peugeot in 2003.  So far this season, he and Johnny O’Connell have won eight times this year in GT1 for Corvette Racing.

While Jan Magnussen completes the American Le Mans Series this weekend with the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patr¢n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Kevin Magnussen will drive in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.


Q&A with Renault's Bob Bell ahead of Chinese GP
The ING Renault F1 Team’s Technical Director, Bob Bell, looks back on the team’s outstanding performance in Fuji. After yet another unexpected win by Fernando Alonso, the team is now upbeat and will aim for more podiums, possibly even an additional win.

Bob, the ING Renault F1 Team won its second consecutive race. You must be delighted?
Totally. Fernando and Nelson had magnificent races and their results had nothing to do with luck. We’ve now confirmed the progress made with the R28 since the start of the season and our two victories are a testament to the work carried out at the factory and the track – a fantastic reward for the whole team.

How do you explain the team’s return to form?
It’s a combination of several factors. First of all, we have placed great emphasis on constantly developing our car and we have taken several new parts to each race this season. For example, in Singapore the new front wing worked perfectly and we also have a much better understanding of the chassis and how to extract its maximum potential. The result of this progress is that the drivers have more confidence in the car and can now go and find that extra bit of performance that makes the difference.

Where is the R28 in comparison with the rest of the competition today?
I think we are still behind Ferrari and McLaren in terms of pure performance, but on the other hand, we now have an advantage over BMW. In race conditions we are closer to the level of the leaders as we are better at managing the use of the tires and so we are close to achieving our double objective: finishing the season in fourth place with the third fastest car.

You talk about the use of the tires in race conditions – this wasn’t a strong point of the R28 at the start of the season?
That’s true, but we’ve been able to reverse that tendency.

Read more & Comment...
British F3

SRO Announces sponsorship deals for British F3 / GT
Stephane Ratel Organization (SRO) sealed a number of key sponsorship agreements on behalf of its two leading UK based domestic motor racing championships.

In a three year deal, US tire manufacturer Cooper Tire, will become the title sponsor and tire supplier of the prestigious British F3 International Series. The agreement will last through till the end of the 2011 season.

SRO also concluded an agreement which sees Avon Tires, owned and manufactured by Cooper Tire, extend their title sponsorship agreement with the fast growing British GT Championship. The Championship showcases the likes of super sports cars Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini in head-to-head battles at Britain’s leading circuits.

Read more & Comment...

Rahal auctions off Newman tribute helmet for charity UPDATE #3 Legendary actor and racer Paul Newman left a lasting legacy with his generosity and charitable acts, and his spirit of giving has lived on in those that were touched by him.

Graham Rahal was part of Newman’s Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team for just two seasons, but he experienced first-hand how you can affect the world around you by reaching out on your own.

In that spirit, the 19-year-old IndyCar Series driver auctioned off a very special piece of his own racing memorabilia last week, selling his helmet from this year’s event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course that carried reproductions of movie posters from some of Newman’s most-loved films.

The auction, conducted on the Internet auction site Ebay, ended Monday with a final winning bid of $40,900. The proceeds will go toward the new Flying Horse Farms camp in Ohio, which is part of the Hole In The Wall Camps program for sick children that was started by Newman.

"I cannot express how happy I am that the helmet auction raised $40,900 for the Flying Horse Farms,” Rahal said. “Paul Newman set such a tremendous example of the impact that can be made by giving back and doing what you can for others.  I hope he would have been proud of what I was able to accomplish with the help of Troy Lee and that this will help Flying Horse Farms move one step closer to being able to bring some happiness to future campers." RLR PR

10/13/08 With about 2 hours to go on the bid, the highest bid is up to $18,600.

10/08/08 Added photos of helmet on eBay below.

10/07/08 The helmet that Graham Rahal wore during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is up for auction on the online auction site eBay.

This one-of-a-kind helmet was designed as a tribute to Paul Newman and commissioned by the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver. It was signed by Newman and Rahal along with Troy Lee, who designed the helmet.

The helmet features a collage of some of Newman's most famous movie posters including The Hustler, The Sting, The Long Hot Summer, Cool Hand Luke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Slap Shot and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Proceeds from the auction, which runs through Oct. 13, will benefit Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with serious illnesses and a provisional member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which was founded by Newman in 1988.

Flying Horse Farms will open in 2010 in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, 15 miles from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.


Haug slams Massa's antics
McLaren Mercedes Norbert Haug has put the blame for Lewis Hamilton's disappointing Japanese grand prix on title rival Felipe Massa.

Hamilton spun on the opening lap of an eventful grand prix in Fuji after being shunted by the Ferrari driver as he attempted an overly ambitious passing move.

Due to the timing of the British driver's spin he was forced to wait for the entire field to filter past him before rejoining the race - putting him dead last as Massa continued.

The Brazilian was handed a drive-through penalty for his role in the incident.

And despite Hamilton also being penalized for apparently forcing Massa's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen off the road at the first corner, Haug was quick to blame Massa for the McLaren man's poor showing.

"A chaotic start and one lap later Felipe ruined Lewis' race when he first ran wide and then cut the chicane short and pushed Lewis into a spin," he said.  "The next grand prix [in China] will be held already next weekend and neither Felipe nor Ferrari benefited too much from the result.  Despite Felipe's action, Lewis still leads the drivers' championship."


No Cup car changes in '09
There will be no rules changes for the Sprint Cup Series car in 2009, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Monday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

“We’re going to remain firm on our rules,” Pemberton said. “There’s no rule changes coming along.”

“We’re pleased with the progress teams have made,” Pemberton said. “As the teams have made their improvements, maybe early on they were looking for rule changes, but as they found things to get their drivers and teams competitive, they have come back and said, ‘OK, let’s stay the course on the rules and regulations, and we’ll get another year under their belt.’”


Will turbo revolution stick this time around?
At the Paris auto show this month, Chevrolet will unveil a new sedan called the Cruze, powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. Ford has been touting its upcoming EcoBoost technology for both cars and trucks. BMW is selling turbocharged sixes and V8s. And Mercedes R&D boss, Thomas Weber, just announced that every Mercedes will come with at least one turbocharged engine by the end of 2010. I think We’ve seen this movie before.

It was after the last fuel crisis in the early Eighties, when turbocharging first hit the technological big-time as an important fuel-saving technology. Ford put turbocharged four-cylinders in Mustangs and Thunderbirds. Chrysler developed all manner of turbocharged Chargers, Shadows, Daytonas—even minivans. Buick built a variety of turbo V-6s, including the memorable GNX. And let’s not forget the turbocharged Saabs, Volvos, and five-cylinder Audis.

There were also performance turbos from Porsche, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Mazda. But the big promise of the turbo was efficiency: Turbocharge a small engine and get big-engine power while retaining small-engine fuel economy. Sounded great, but by the end of the Eighties, most of these mainstream turbos had disappeared. Will this second turbo revolution have a different ending? More at Car and Driver


Bourdais blasts Massa after penalty UPDATE Added photo below of Bourdais battling Massa on Sunday.

Bourdais was holding off Massa on Sunday
10/12/08 Toro Rosso's Bourdais, who is fighting to keep his place in Formula One next season, was exiting the pits after his second and final stop at the start of lap 51 when he and Massa tangled at the first corner.

The Brazilian spun his Ferrari before continuing.

The race stewards deemed that Bourdais, who had the inside line to the right-hand corner, had caused the collision, and hit him with a drive-through penalty, which became a 25-second penalty as it was imposed after the race.

The Frenchman, who initially finished sixth, was eventually classified tenth, and said that he didn't understand Massa's conduct.

"I did everything I could not to run into him, and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn't exist, like I wasn't there," Bourdais fumed.

"What am I supposed to do, evaporate? It's just a little bit of respect. You give each other room and then everything goes right; if you don't, for sure it's going to be an incident."

Massa benefited from Bourdais' penalty by being bumped up to seventh and is now five points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren with two races remaining.

Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion with plenty of experience of title chases, said he found it hard to understand why Massa took what he felt was "an unnecessary risk".

Read more & Comment...

Bridgestone ready for China
Straight from the excitement at Fuji Speedway, Bridgestone heads to the highly technical and challenging Shanghai International Circuit for the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix, round seventeen of the FIA Formula One World Championship. There’s no chance for any rest for Bridgestone Motorsport, as they leave Japan straight for China with the Chinese Grand Prix taking place on 17-19 October. Shanghai is one of the more recent circuits on the calendar, a grand prix first took place here in 2004 on the Hermann Tilke designed track, and it has numerous challenges over its 5.451km.

Shanghai has two long straights and sixteen corners of varying types. Heavy braking, extreme lateral loads and high demands on traction are just some of the factors that Bridgestone’s hard and medium compound Potenza tires will encounter. Turns 2 and 7 are likely to induce tire graining, whilst the high lateral G-forces generated through the sequence of turns 7-8 will place strong demands on the tires’ construction and heat durability.

Read more & Comment...

GM not only Chrysler suitor
Cerberus Capital Management LP began entertaining offers for Chrysler less than a year after acquiring the smallest and most vulnerable of Detroit's automakers.

In recent months, as the industry's outlook has worsened, Cerberus officials have discussed deals involving Chrysler LLC with General Motors Corp. and with the Renault-Nissan alliance, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. They also have had contacts with Fiat SpA of Italy and India's Tata Motors, the sources said.

After news of the GM-Cerberus talks broke Friday, Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli confirmed to employees Monday that the company was talking to potential partners.

"I can tell you that we have approached and have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities with Chrysler," he said in a note to employees.

Sources close to the negotiations say most of the discussions have been on hold since the recent turmoil in the financial markets.

Read more & Comment...

Surfers V8 Supercar entry list
Car Number/Driver Name/Team
1. Garth Tander -- Toll Holden Racing Team (H)
2. Mark Skaife -- Toll Holden Racing Team (H)
3. Jason Richards -- Sprint Gas Racing (H)
4. James Courtney -- Jeld-Wen Motorsport (F)
5. Mark Winterbottom -- Ford Performance Racing (F)
6. Steven Richards -- Ford Performance Racing (F)
7. Todd Kelly -- Jack Daniel’s Racing (H)
9. Shane Van Gisbergen -- SP Tools Racing (F)
11. Shane Price -- Jack Daniel’s Racing (H)
12. Andrew Jones -- Team BOC (H)
14. Cameron McConville -- WOW Racing (H)
15. Rick Kelly -- HSV Dealer Team (H)
16. Paul Dumbrell -- Autobarn Race Team (H)
17. Steven Johnson -- Jim Beam Racing (F)
18. Will Davison -- Jim Beam Racing (F)
25. Jason Bright -- Fujitsu Racing (F)
26. Marcus Marshall -- IRWIN Racing (F)
33. Lee Holdsworth -- Valvoline Cummins Race Team (H)
34. Michael Caruso -- Valvoline Cummins Race Team (H)
39. Russell Ingall -- Supercheap Auto Racing (H)
50. Andrew Thompson -- PWR Racing (H)
51. Greg Murphy -- Sprint Gas Racing (H)
55. Tony D’Alberto -- Rod Nash Racing (H)
67. Paul Morris -- Supercheap Auto Racing (H)
88. Jamie Whincup -- Team Vodafone (F)
111. Fabian Coulthard -- Glenfords Racing (F)
777. Michael Patrizi -- Ausdrill Ford Rising Stars (F)
888. Craig Lowndes -- Team Vodafone (F)
021. Kayne Scott -- Team Kiwi Racing (F)

(F) signifies Ford Falcon BF, (H) signifies Holden Commodore VE
All V8 Supercars use Dunlop tires


Ferrari still struggling with KERS
(GMM)  Ferrari is still lagging behind with development of a KERS system for 2009.

The Italian team's engine boss Gilles Simon admitted last month that Ferrari is "struggling" with the technology, raising the prospects that the 2009 car will debut without an energy-recovery system.

The situation led to Force India, Ferrari's F1 customer, shopping around for a new supplier, with business director Ian Phillips confirming in Japan that its Maranello based partner is being "non-committal" about next year's package.

"I can not deny that we are lagging behind," Ferrari's technical director Aldo Costa is quoted as saying by Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

He admitted that Ferrari's progress with KERS is behind that of "most teams".

"Let me just say that I would prefer if our system was already in the testing phase.  We now have to do a lot in a short time frame."

Costa added that Ferrari is targeting the debut of its KERS system for a group test in mid-January that "we really must not miss".

He said: "During the battle for the world championship we have put a lot of effort into the F2008, and now we must also focus on next season."


World's press slams 2008 title chargers
(GMM)  F1's two main championship challengers headed from Fuji to Shanghai following the Japanese grand prix amid a wave of press criticism.

The sport's title protagonists at this time of the season are usually being prepared for looming heroism, but their antics at Fuji Speedway has left sections of the media wondering about the credentials of the next champion.

"2008 threatens to exist in the memory as the year of missed opportunities; a wasted championship," Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport charged.

Corriere dello Sport explained: "Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton in Japan continued their desperate attempts to lose the title."

Read more & Comment...

GMAC to allow only best to finance cars
GMAC LLC, the consumer finance arm of General Motors Corp., will limit auto loans to customers with credit scores of at least 700, making it harder for some customers to buy a car or truck. GMAC also raised by 0.75 percent the rate it charges auto dealers for making loans that aren't part of special incentive programs, the Detroit-based company said today in a statement. Most loans will be limited to 60 months, according to a letter sent to dealers.

Credit is being curbed to customers as GM and GMAC battle speculation about their survival. Sales at the automaker are down 18 percent this year, and GM may face bankruptcy as the credit crunch drives down business, according to Standard & Poor's analyst Robert Schulz. GMAC in June had to arrange more than $60 billion of credit for itself as foreclosures put the firm's home mortgage unit on the brink of failure.

Read more & Comment...
racing news

Quotes of the Week UPDATE #2
"I'm also bemused that those who sit in judgment have no understanding of what it is like to sit in an F1 car. They have no experience of what you can and can't do in race situations, what you are and what you are not aware of on the circuit. In the 20 years I've been involved in F1 as a driver and spectator I don't think I've seen so many penalties in one season. It's political correctness gone mad. An important point is being missed: these guys are racing tooth and nail. Things happen when racing at 200mph. The drivers are gladiators in cars. It's what they get paid for, what they enjoy. I understand the concern about safety but this is getting ridiculous. We might as well dig two grooves around each circuit, put two cars side by side like a Scalextric set and let someone control the action from the pits. The authorities are losing the plot." Mark Blundell, Formula 1 ITV Analyst, former Formula 1, Sports Car and CART driver

"The team managers I spoke to after the race all said that FIA race director Charlie Whiting had briefed them in Singapore and again in Fuji that the car exiting the pits has right of way. If the teams cannot believe the race director, what hope have the rest of us and the wider public got? The FIA styles itself as the referee in this sport, but surely it cannot afford to keep sending out such mixed messages." James Allen, ITV, Formula 1 commentator

"It’s still difficult to believe what we have done today! Winning in Singapore was unexpected, but we benefited from special conditions. Today we won again on a circuit that was not supposed to suit us. The team has really done a remarkable job to fight back this season and we are now the third strongest team. It’s unbelievable and I am extremely happy this evening." Fernando Alonso, 2 times World Drivers Champion, Renault, winner of the Japanese Grand Prix

"I did everything I could not to run into him, and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn't exist, like I wasn't there. What am I supposed to do, evaporate? It's just a little bit of respect. You give each other room and then everything goes right; if you don't, for sure it's going to be an incident. You've got everything to lose and nothing to win. He was going to pit in three laps. I was ahead of him, and he was going to finish behind us anyway. Why would you even think about doing something like that? I don't understand." Sebastien Bourdais, Formula 1 driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso, slammed Felipe Massa after he saw a solid points finish ruined by a post-race 25-second penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix. Massa benefited from Bourdais' penalty by being bumped up to seventh and is now five points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren with two races remaining.

Read more & Comment...

McLaren to dig deep
Ron Dennis
If Max Mosley has proof Dennis leaked his sexcapades to the News of The World as some suspect, McLaren will never win it all - paybacks are a bitch
Ron Dennis, the McLaren team principal, has called on everyone at the team to give Lewis Hamilton the best possible chance of securing the Formula One drivers' championship.

The 23-year-old Englishman failed to capitalize on a golden chance to extend his lead over Ferrari's Felipe Massa at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday when he finished 12th, having started in pole position.

Fortunately for Hamilton, Massa could only manage to collect two points from the race having finished eighth before being promoted to seventh following Sebastien Bourdais' penalty.

Hamilton and Massa came together on the second lap at the Fuji Speedway circuit when the Brazilian ran wide at the chicane before colliding with Hamilton when trying to regain his place, and Dennis believes that the outcome of the race was not as bad as it might have been for Hamilton.

He said: "All in all, as far as the championship is concerned, I guess things could have been worse, but there is no getting away from the fact it was a disappointing weekend.

"However, Lewis is still five points clear in the drivers' championship with two races to go. I know that our whole team will dig deep from here on in. The fact is Hamilton is a great driver, we will fight for the world championship but sometimes it is a bit of an uphill struggle."

Stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty when he was deemed to have impeded Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner at the start of the race, and Dennis admitted he was dumbfounded by the decision.

He added: "It was a very challenging day. We were a bit surprised that Lewis was given a penalty in respect of the first-corner incident, simply because we have all seen similar incidents that have triggered no such penalty.

"Drivers miss breaking points and run wide. These things happen. Everyone had the same problem. As far as we are concerned, it was just a racing incident. We were in very good shape for the race, so it is very frustrating." The Herald


Blundell calls F1 Race Stewards a joke
I'm also bemused that those who sit in judgment have no understanding of what it is like to sit in an F1 car.

They have no experience of what you can and can't do in race situations, what you are and what you are not aware of on the circuit.

In the 20 years I've been involved in F1 as a driver and spectator I don't think I've seen so many penalties in one season. It's political correctness gone mad. An important point is being missed: these guys are racing tooth and nail. Things happen when racing at 200mph. The drivers are gladiators in cars. It's what they get paid for, what they enjoy.

I understand the concern about safety but this is getting ridiculous. We might as well dig two grooves around each circuit, put two cars side by side like a Scalextric set and let someone control the action from the pits. The authorities are losing the plot.

Read more & Comment...

Lap of China by Alex Wurz
Shanghai Circuit
"The city of Shanghai is a bit too hectic for my taste, however the Shanghai International  Circuit is a very impressive facility and an  interesting challenge for the drivers and  engineers.

"The lap itself is fairly typical of a Herman Tilke design with a huge range of corners, starting  with Turns 1 and 2 which combine to form what  seems like a never-ending right-hander. You  arrive in seventh gear at 300kph (186mph)  and you only start to brake when you turn into  the corner. You can't brake very hard, so you're  braking for a long time as you slow the car  down to second gear. To be quick around the  whole circuit you need to have a neutral  handling car, which generally results in  oversteer through here.

"You approach Turn 3 over a little jump downhill. It's a left-hander and can be first or  second gear, depending on your gear ratios.  At this point the tires are still very stressed  from the long first corner, so you're sliding a lot  and it's difficult to make a good exit, which is  very important because Turns 4 and 5 are flat -out kinks and are followed by a straight.

Read more & Comment...

Heidfeld: Lewis has yet to learn his lesson
Nick Heidfeld believes Lewis Hamilton's rash move on Kimi Raikkonen in Sunday's Japanese GP is proof that the McLaren driver hasn't learnt his lesson from last year.  In 2007 Hamilton was on course to win the World title, holding an impressive 17-point advantage over Kimi Raikkonen with two races remaining.

However, nerves and rash decisions cost the Brit his shot at the title, allowing Raikkonen to walk away with it by one point in the Brazilian GP.  And this year Heidfeld fears Hamilton is repeating those same mistakes after an impetuous start in Japan on Sunday saw him handed a drive-through penalty for pushing Raikkonen off the track.

Read more & Comment...

The official F3 entry list for the 2008 Macau Grand Prix
2008 Macau Grand Prix. Here are the drivers' names:

Driver - Nationality - Car - Engine - Team
Carlo Van Dam (NL) (Dallara-Toyota) – Tom’s
Kaisuke Kunimoto (J) (Dallara-Toyota) – Tom’s
Oliver Turvey GB( (Dallara-Mercedes) – Carlin
Jaime Alguersuari (E) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Carlin
Brendon Hartley (NZL) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Carlin
Marcus Ericsson (S) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Carlin
Edoardo Mortara (I) (Dallara-Volkswagen) – Signature
Cong Fu Cheng (CHN) (Dallara-Volkswagen) – Signature
Mika Maki (FIN) (Dallara-Volkswagen) – Signature
Jules Bianchi (F) (Dallara-Mercedes) – ART
James Jakes (GB) (Dallara-Mercedes) – ART
Nick Tandy (GB) (Mygale-Mercedes) – JTR
Renger Van der Zande (NL) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Prema
Stefano Coletti (MNC) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Prema
Atte Mustonen (FIN) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Raikkonen
Roberto Streit (BR) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Raikkonen
Michael Ho (MAC) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Raikkonen
Max Chilton (GB) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Hitech
Walter Grubmuller (A) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Hitech
Roberto Merhi (E) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Hitech
Kei Cozzolino (J) (Dallara-Toyota) – Tom’s
Koki Saga (J) (Dallara-Toyota) – Le Beausset
Masaki Matsushita (J) (Dallara-Mugen) – Ombra
James Winslow (GB) (Dallara-Mugen) – Ombra
Sam Bird (GB) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Manor
Kazuya Oshima (J) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Manor
Jon Lancaster (GB) (Dallara-Mercedes) – Manor
Daniel Campos (E) (Dallara-Mercedes) – HBR
Basil Shaaban (LIB) (Dallara-Mercedes) – HBR
Laurens Vanthoor (B) (Dallara-Volkswagen) – RC
Nicola De Marco (I) (Dallara-Volkswagen) - RC

(*) All drivers will use the Dallara F3 chassis but one: Nick Tandy, he will use his regular Mygale chassis. There will be 4 different engine manufacturers: Toyota (4) (last years winner's with Brit Oliver Jarvis) - Mercedes (20) - Volkswagen (5) - Honda (Mugen)(2)


GM to close Grand Rapids stamping plant
General Motors Corp. plans to close its Grand Rapids stamping plant by the end 2009, GM told workers today. The 73-year-old plant that stamps parts for SUVs is just the latest to fall under the axe as GM works to cut $10 billion in costs as part of a plan to have enough cash to sustain itself through the current economic downturn.

Earlier in the day, GM said it would accelerate the closure of its Janesville, Wis., plant to Dec. 23, more than a year earlier than originally planned.

Earlier this month, the company said it would accelerate to Dec. 23 the closure of its Moraine, Ohio, SUV plant.


IMSA statement on Road Atlanta fuel protest
The protest filed Saturday morning at Petit Le Mans and Road Atlanta by the entrant of the No. 9 car has been withdrawn. The owner has contacted IMSA's Chairman of the Stewards to make his decision known. As a result, the provisional results are considered official and IMSA considers the matter closed.


Flying Lizard team savors title
Flying Lizard Porsche at LeMans this year
So it’s true after all…the best things do come to those who wait. There is no need to tell that to anyone at Flying Lizard Motorsports now that the Sonoma, Calif.-based team finally has its GT2 championship. After a pair of runner-up and third-place title finishes in its first four years in the American Le Mans Series, the season trophy resides with Flying Lizard; or at least it will after this weekend’s Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patr¢n.

The Series’ top Porsche team in GT2 wrapped up both the driver and team championships at Petit Le Mans nine days ago. Jörg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler secured the drivers crown with a runner-up finish at Road Atlanta (with Marc Lieb). The result also put the Lizards far enough ahead where Tafel Racing can’t gain enough points at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to change the team order.

“It’s very satisfying and exciting winning both the drivers and team championships,” said Flying Lizard principal and driver Seth Neiman. “Petit Le Mans was as tough a race as any race that has occurred in the American Le Mans Series. It’s just now dawning on us what we accomplished. The crash with the No. 46 left everyone with a lot of mixed feelings and exhaustion when we left the track. Since then we started to realize that we finally had captured the championships.”

Read more & Comment...
racing news

Thousands of fans pay tribute to Lola's 50th Anniversary
On Sunday October 12th, an estimated 10,000 spectators packed the streets of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, England to support Lola Cars landmark 50th Anniversary parade of racing cars. The impressive display of 16 cars represented the marque's most iconic models from the past half century through to Lola's all-new 2008 designs.

Some of Lola's most successful drivers were reunited with the winning line-up of cars supporting Lola's Golden celebration. The Lola legends included John Surtees OBE, Richard Attwood, Hugh Dibley, Teddy Pilette, Chris Craft, Mike Blanchet, James Weaver, Julian Bailey, Anthony Reid and Peter Ashdown. Current racers included Le Mans Series driver Mike Newton, Malaysian A1 Grand Prix driver Fairuz Fauzy and Danny Watts.

At midday and in brilliant autumn sunshine, Councilor Saeed Akthar, the Mayor of Huntingdon, waved the Union Jack to officially start the parade from Lola's state-of-the-art headquarters in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The roadside was packed with spectators from start to finish as the snake of 16 cars travelled up the 1.6 route via the local ring road and in to the historic market square where Oliver Cromwell rallied his troops during the Civil War.

Heading up the parade was the all-new RML MG-Lola LMP2 Coupe dressed in the patriotic red, white and blue livery, followed by Lola's latest track day car B07/90 which had Jonathan Djanogly, MP for the Huntingdon constituency enjoying a passenger ride with sportscar driver Calum Lockie. Other star participants included a Lola T70 Mk111B that cemented the marque's status in world motorsport during the 1960's, Sir Jackie Stewart's 1967 Indy 500 Lola T92 driven by Lola owner and Executive Chairman Martin Birrane and the Mark 1, the first car built by Lola driven by James Leslie, son of the late, great David Leslie.

At the end of the route the cars parked up in a specially constructed paddock area that had been assembled in Huntingdon's historic market square. As the crowd eagerly awaited a glimpse of the first Lola cars to enter the paddock they were treated to a display from the Blue Vision Huntingdon Majorette team and a demonstration from the Huntingdon Olympic gymnast club, that trained Louis Smith who recently claimed a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Motorsport presenter and personality Tony Jardine hosted a number of interviews on the Town Hall balcony overlooking the packed out paddock area, with Martin Birrane and the founder of Lola cars, Eric Broadley joining racing legend John Surtees for an enthralling Q & A session. Lola has been located in Huntingdon since 1970 and continues to be an important business for the local community. In recognition of the town's support, David Monks, Chief Executive of the District Council, presented Martin Birrane and Eric Broadley with a commemorative scroll in front of the applauding audience that had filled the market square.


MARTIN BIRRANE - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, LOLA "Lola means so much to so many people. It has been a real pleasure to show the people of Huntingdon this exceptional collection of designs.

"The fact that personalities such as John Surtees came to Huntingdon today shows terrific devotion to the Lola name. The company celebrated 50 years today but tomorrow will be hard at work creating new projects in a wide variety of industries. Lola are now much more than just a motorsport company with key customers in Aerospace, Defense, Automotive and Communications. I believe that the next 50 years are going to be just as exciting as the first 50."

JOHN SURTEES - FORMER LOLA DRIVER "This was a superb event and a great way to mark 50 years for a company that is very close to my heart. Like any relationship there were ups and downs both on and off the track but the fact remains that Lola build world class racing cars.

"When I was involved in A1 GP the job Lola did was very good indeed. Martin (Birrane) saved Lola and his business sense and skill have seen it through the tough times to where it is now, back at the top in world motorsport."

HUGH DIBLEY - FORMER LOLA DRIVER "I loved driving Eric's (Broadley) cars. They were very practical and usually very quick. I also tested the safety of the cars a few times too, especially when I flipped a T70! That was a biggy. The engine came to rest in a tree and the cockpit about 300 yards away. Interesting times. I wish Lola a very happy birthday!"

JAMES WEAVER - FORMER LOLA DRIVER "I have driven quite a few Lola's but the one I drove today (the B2K/40) was not one I actually competed in. I did test it at Phoenix in 2000 but I was more familiar with the LMP675 MG car that Lola built. That was a great car, ahead of its time in many ways.

Martin Birrane has done a fine job in directing Lola in what is a very volatile industry and it was an absolute pleasure to be here today to witness this very fun event and see some great old colleagues."

TEDDY PILETTE - FORMER LOLA DRIVER "I always enjoyed racing Lola cars. The T400 that I won the F5000 title with in 1975 was a truly great car and I just loved driving it. Eric was a genius designer and to recognize what he and now Martin Birrane have achieved is a real honor to be part of."

TONY SOUTHGATE - FORMER LOLA DESIGNER "What a thrilling day. Meeting so many old faces was very nice. The variety of Lola's that were in the parade was excellent and for the company to be celebrated like this in front of its own people in Huntingdon made for an unforgettable day."


Musings from Fuji UPDATE The whole grid is pissed off at Hamilton so this is going to be interesting if he tries to do the dive-bomb again.  Some drivers may feed him a wheel and stick him on his head and let him think about it.  If Massa wins in China and Hamilton is second and Ferrari has a 1-2 in Brazil, Massa clinches. If it comes down to Brazil, will Hamilton pull a Senna or Schumacher and take Massa off?  Can you say Riot in Rio?

10/13/08 It has to be so very clear to Ferrari that they really need Alonso as their regular two drivers are just not doing the job.  Alonso was surprised to win last year with McLaren, but Renault? They were what, 15th on the grid last year.  Way back.  I have come to the conclusion that Alonso is the best guy on that track overall in terms of car development, race driving, strategy.  And he has a ton of money that will follow.  I expect he will stay with Renault next year.  They are a pretty dialed in team, especially when Alonso is driving.  Why would he swap what he has for Honda whom are terrible?  This is a great year for Alonso.  He has clearly proven his worth and what he did as well for McLaren.

Hamilton is an idiot.  He learned nothing from throwing the championship away last year.  Japan this year was like Brazil last year.  He took lots of unnecessary risks.  He just does not have it in his constituency to play it safe.  He was fine if he followed Kimi into the first turn.  Massa started 5th.  So what does he do?  Freak out and dive-bomb Kimi and start a mess for himself not to mention a lot of others.  Hamilton can compare himself to whomever he wants but I am pretty clear that prior World Champions who are running for points know how to play it safe to get there.  He doesn’t.  This arrogant little guy is going to screw it up again.  Hamilton is lucky Kimi isn’t a dirty driver because Hamilton gave Kimi every opportunity to simply collide with him in the first turn and hand a big points advantage to Massa. 

Yeah, Bourdais kind of got screwed but in every series I have ever raced in with the Championship coming down to the wire in the drivers meeting they always tell you to be careful not to take out the championship contenders. I don’t know that he really had anywhere to go but clearly he got racy with Massa at the wrong time in the race and the season. Ira Fierberg


24 drivers entered for Surfers IndyCar race
The IndyCar Series will make its first visit to Australia following the February unification of American open-wheel racing under the IndyCar Series banner. Unification led to increased competition in 2008 with a record-tying nine drivers winning races during the 17-race season. In addition to Australia, the IndyCar Series also competed in Edmonton, Canada for the first time in 2008. In 2009, the series will add Long Beach, Calif. and Toronto to its schedule.

Familiar territory
Although the 2008 Nikon Indy 300 is the first IndyCar Series event in Australia, half of the drivers in the 24-car field have previously competed at Surfers Paradise. Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Bruno Junqueira, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Oriol Servia, Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson have combined to make 49 starts.

Past winners eye chance to repeat
Dario Franchitti, Bruno Junqueira and Ryan Hunter-Reay are winners of previous races at Surfers Paradise. Franchitti won in 1999, Hunter-Reay in 2003 and Junqueira in 2004. In addition, IndyCar Series team owners Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser have wins on the circuit. Can one of these past winners become the second two-time winner in Australia? Can one of these owners return to Victory Lane with their driver?

Home cooking
Three IndyCar Series drivers will feel very much at home during the Nikon Indy 300. Will Power hails from Toowoomba, just 2 ½ hours from Surfers Paradise. Ryan Briscoe grew up in Sydney, and 2008 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was born in Australia before growing up in New Zealand. Additionally, Power’s No. 8 car features primary sponsorship from Aussie Vineyards. Will one of the hometown heroes prevail Down Under?

Musical chairs
The Nikon Indy 300 will serve as an excellent opportunity for several drivers to acclimate themselves to new surroundings heading into the 2009 season. Following the final championship race of 2008, several drivers changed teams. 2007 series champion Dario Franchitti returns from a one-year absence and will debut in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry. Dan Wheldon moves from the No. 10 car to Panther Racing’s No. 4 entry, and Vitor Meira moves from the No. 4 car to the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing entry. What kind of first impression will these drivers make with their new teams?

Getting ready for 2009
The Nikon Indy 300 will allow teams to get a head start on preparations for 2009. While getting acclimated to new drivers and new personnel, teams also will be looking to maximize speed on street courses. The first two races in 2009 – St. Petersburg and Long Beach – will be contested on street courses. Without the pressure of championship points on the line, will teams test different setups that could give them an advantage in 2009?

Entry List

Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant
2 A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Vision Racing
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Team Penske
4 Dan Wheldon Emberton, England Delphi National Guard Panther Racing
5 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain CDW/KV Racing Technology KV Racing Technology
6 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Team Penske
7 Danica Patrick Roscoe, Ill. Motorola Andretti Green Racing
8 Will Power (R) Toowoomba, Australia Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia KV Racing Technology
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing
10 Dario Franchitti Edinburgh, Scotland Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Brazil Team 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing
14 Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 Buddy Rice Phoenix Dad’s Root Beer/DRR Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
17 Ryan Hunter-Reay Boca Raton, Fla. Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Rahal Letterman Racing
18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing
19 Mario Moraes (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Dale Coyne Racing
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Menards/Vision Racing Vision Racing
23 Townsend Bell San Luis Obispo, Calif. EMU Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Blockbuster Andretti Green Racing
27 Hideki Mutoh (R) Tokyo Formula Dream Andretti Green Racing
33 E.J. Viso (R) Caracas, Venezuela PDVSA HVM Racing HVM Racing
34 Jaime Camara (R) Goiania, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing
36 Alex Tagliani Lachenaie, Quebec Conquest Racing Conquest Racing
02 Justin Wilson (R) Sheffield, England McDonald’s Racing Team Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
06 Graham Rahal (R) New Albany, Ohio Hole in the Wall Camps Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing


Lauda 'disappointed' with Hamilton
(GMM)  Former triple world champion Niki Lauda, usually an admirer of the current championship leader, said after Fuji that he is "disappointed" with Lewis Hamilton.

Briton Hamilton, 23, escaped the Japanese grand prix with a slightly diminished 5 point advantage over Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

But the McLaren driver's run to just twelfth place rekindled memories of last season, when he dramatically lost a huge points advantage at the final two races.

"I am disappointed with Lewis," Lauda told n-tv.de.  "He threw away the championship last year in the same way -- with absolutely unnecessary risks."

The Austrian legend is presumably referring to the first corner incident in Japan, for which Hamilton was penalized after boldly trying to re-pass Kimi Raikkonen and flat-spotting his tires to the canvas.

Hamilton was later tapped into a spin when trying to pass title rival Felipe Massa, who was penalized for the collision.

"On a day when he needed to stay out of trouble, he clashed with not one Ferrari but both," wrote the correspondent for the British newspaper The Mirror.

His on-track habits aside, Hamilton is also commonly criticized for his brash public image.

Even the Briton on Monday admitted that there are plenty of unfavorable quotes attributed to him doing the rounds at present.

He said: "For sure, it's not easy to always say or do the right thing, and when you're constantly being scrutinized it can be particularly difficult."

tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
The Chase is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Martinsville on ABC

Historic Martinsville (Va.) Speedway hosts the only short track race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of 500 laps of fender-banging action on the half-mile track with a high definition telecast Sunday, Oct. 19, beginning at 1 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will air live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying from Martinsville on Friday, Oct. 17, at 3:30 p.m., as well as practice earlier that day at noon. Same-day coverage of final practice airs Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be lead announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will be pit reporters with two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Tech Center.

The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, with 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

The race will re-air Monday, Oct. 20, at 9 a.m. on ESPN Classic.

Craven, Evernham, Said on NASCAR Now Monday Roundtable Discussion

The Monday, Oct. 20, edition of NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information show, at 5 p.m. ET will feature host Allen Bestwick leading a roundtable discussion of the latest NASCAR news and races. Panel members will include former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ricky Craven and ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Boris Said.

Read more & Comment...

Hamilton boasts that title is his
Despite his disappointment of blowing the race in Japan, the ever cocky Lewis Hamilton said afterward, “We are still leading and we are still going to win."


Jacques Laffite tests Renault F1
(GMM)  Former grand prix winner Jacques Laffite, 64, has tested a modern Renault formula one car.

At the Paul Ricard circuit, the Frenchman - who raced 180 times in the 70s and 80s and is now a commentator for the broadcaster TF1 - drove last year's Renault R27.


Q&A with Michael Andretti
Michael Andretti
With Andretti Green Racing taking over the running of the US team in A1GP this season, A1GP caught up with team boss and racing legend Michael Andretti at Zandvoort for an exclusive chat to discuss his thoughts ahead of the season.

Michael, you’ve announced that your IndyCar drivers, Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti, your son, will be your lead drivers this season, but you aren’t sure who will drive where yet. I guess you’re pretty excited?

MA: “I’m very excited. I mean that was the big carrot for us really when we initially were in contact about this series, because in our series [IndyCar] it’s very difficult to get miles for our drivers because of the testing limitations and this is a great opportunity to put our guys in a really difficult series racing on road courses. From that stand point it was really good for us, as well as from the team side in getting our Andretti Green brand out there on a solid, international platform. This is a great, great way to do it.”

I know you don’t know how it is going to work yet in terms of drivers, and who is going to do each race yet, but how do you go about making that decision? Are you planning to do a roughly even split between the two?

MA: “I don’t know yet. Part of it is going to be scheduling and the other is just going to be who is more influential and begs me more! You know, every weekend one of them is going to be bummed out!”

Read more & Comment...

Raikkonen: Both McLarens hit me
Lewis Hamilton pulls one of his unfair dive-bomb moves on Kimi Raikkonen at the start that forced Raikkonen wide and the Race Stewards penalized Hamilton for it with a drive-through penalty
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen has claimed that both McLaren drivers hit his car during the Japanese Grand Prix.

He got a good start and to the lead entering the braking zone for Turn 1. However he was forced to run wide at the first corner after pole-sitter Hamilton out-braked himself, allowing Kubica and Alonso to pass them both.

“I got a pretty good start but then braking into Turn 1 I was trying to turn and there was first one McLaren and then a second,” Raikkonen explained to Autosport.

“Both hit me and I had nowhere to go other than straight. I lost many places and had some damage on the front, I got back on circuit but was behind people.”

Read more & Comment...

Magneti Marelli signs on with A1GP
A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is delighted to announce that Magneti Marelli is to be the official technical partner of the series for the 2008/09 season. Under the terms of the agreement, A1GP will utilize Magneti Marelli electronic systems in many key areas of the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars.

Using the Magneti Marelli modular design engine and gear control system, A1 Teams will benefit from increased data logging capability, 100% real-time telemetry cover, and reliable integration with all other control units on the car. The system currently controls the gearbox, data logging and all steering wheel functions.

Read more & Comment...

Latest F1 news in brief
  • Hamilton says Massa crash 'deliberate'
  • Coulthard fit for China after Fuji crash
  • Alonso vows to help Massa win title
  • Major Williams backer in strife
  • 'All resources' focused on 2009 - Honda boss
  • Renault, Honda, Toyota to improve F1 engines
  • 2009 Canada GP rescue unlikely - Nick Fry
  • Kimi drops out of 2008 championship hunt

Hamilton says Massa crash 'deliberate'
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has accused his championship challenger Felipe Massa of deliberately colliding with him during Sunday's Japanese grand prix.

Ferrari's Massa, now lagging 5 points instead of 7 behind the McLaren driver, was penalized for tipping Briton Hamilton into a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field at Fuji Speedway.

"I did the corner normally and he came back very aggressively and hit me.  I think that was pretty much as deliberate as can be," Hamilton, 23, told reporters in a briefing some time after the end of the race.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis' reproaches against Brazilian Massa were more subtle, but the Mercedes chief Norbert Haug left the press in little doubt as to his suspicions.

Comparing Massa's penalty with that of Hamilton's botched first corner, the German said: "Lewis harmed nobody, but Felipe spun his direct championship rival and I doubt that is what the spectators want to see."

27-year-old Massa strongly denied that his move could be compared to the controversial title tactics of his mentor Michael Schumacher.

But he said even Hamilton's finger pointing will not hurt their amiable relationship.

"I will not do something to destroy something on purpose," Massa said.

In fact, Massa predicted that a few days of calm will alter his rival's perception of the incident.  It was obvious after the race that Hamilton was furious with the events.

Referring to the stewards' controversial decision to penalize his attack at the first corner, Hamilton admitted: "My personal disappointment will be with the start and the second will be with the way I'm treated.

"Everyone braked late and I just went a bit wider than everyone else and, for some reason, I got a penalty for that.  I can't honestly understand that."

Dennis adds: "The thing that really got to him was the penalty -- it really did.  He was bitterly complaining about it in the car."

Coulthard fit for China after Fuji crash
(GMM)  David Coulthard has brushed aside fears he might have to miss the penultimate race of his long formula one career.

The veteran Scot crashed heavily at the start of Sunday's Japanese grand prix when his Red Bull single seater sustained a suspension failure.

The 37-year-old was subsequently spotted taking off his racing boot and sock and inspecting a sore foot, mere days before the start of practice for the subsequent Chinese grand prix in Shanghai.

But Coulthard told reporters in Japan: "The impact was pretty hard, but I'm fine and I'll have no problem being ready for China."

Coulthard, whose fiancée Karen is pregnant with their first child, admits his decision to retire after next month's Brazilian grand prix flashed into his mind as he headed for the Fuji Speedway barrier.

"I thought to myself, 'Come on, don't hurt yourself now -- you've only a couple more races to do!'" Coulthard smiled.

Read more & Comment...
tv news

Rusty Wallace to be guest on Live with Regis and Kelly UPDATE A reminder that this program will be shown on Tuesday, October 14.

10/11/08 Rusty Wallace will be a guest on Live with Regis and Kelly on Tuesday, October 14.  The show airs at 9:00 am - 10:00 am in most time zones.  The network varies.  Please check your local listings for your time zone.


Tony Schumacher wins 14th of season
Victories by Tony Schumacher, Cruz Pedregon, and Dave Connolly at the 3rd annual NHRA Virginia Nationals capped an historic weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park in which performance records and career bests were shattered in qualifying and eliminations and the races for the NHRA POWERade championships became both more clear-cut and closer.

Tony Schumacher

Schumacher won his 14th race of the season and pulled to within inches of a sixth Top Fuel championship while Pedregon and Connolly each beat the incoming points leaders in eliminations to keep themselves and a small group of other hopefuls in the running in Funny Car and Pro Stock following the fourth of six events in the 2008 Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Schumacher and the U.S. Army team has now reached 10 straight final rounds – every single one since the NHRA switched to the 1,000-foot distance in Denver in July – and won for the eighth time in that span when he outdueled Hillary Will, 3.81, 316.08 to 3.84, 3.07.08, in the final.

Entering the event, no Top Fuel dragster had recorded an elapsed time in the 3.7-second range but Schumacher changed all that in a hurry beginning in Friday evening qualifying where he became the first in the zone with a 3.771 and followed it with five more, including three straight in the opening rounds of final eliminations to reach his 17th final round of the season's first 22 events. Schumacher, who sports a 15-1 record in the Countdown playoffs, now leads by 212 points and can clinch the championship by merely qualifying in Las Vegas.

Read more & Comment...


Andrie Hartanto Makes It Two In A Row
Andrie Hartanto
Ryan Cristobal
Buttonwillow, CA – Andrie Hartanto became the only two time winner at the Buttonwillow round of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship on October 12, 2008.  Hartanto was driving the Red Zone Performance/Prima Racing Acura TSX and had won the previous round at Thunderhill Raceway in August.  Hartanto’s win was not an easy task however thanks to the efforts of Curt Simmons in the Stevens Creek Dodge SRT-4 and Andy Chittum in the BTM Motorwerke /Le Mans Karting BMW 328ti. 

Simmons in the Dodge was very fast in the race and looked strong enough to take the win but an axle problems five laps into the race ruined his chances.  Chittum qualified in second and started next to the pole sitter, Hartanto.  At the green flag, Chittum stormed to the lead and started to pull away.  Then on lap two a mistake left the door open and instantly Hartanto and Simmons passed the BMW.  Chittum went from first to third in the blink of an eye and it looked like a win may be a distant memory.  A few laps later Simmons suddenly pulled over with a broken axle bringing Chttum to second position.  Chittum was relentless driving “like there was no tomorrow” as he put it.  He was catching up to Hartanto by about a second a lap.  The qualifying speed pace may take its toll on the tires and brakes but Chittum had no choice but to try anything to capture his fist win and to try to stop Hartanto from becoming a multiple race winner. 

Read more & Comment...

Massa blames Hamilton for racing incident
Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa has blamed Lewis Hamilton for their collision in the Japanese GP Sunday.

"He [Hamilton] braked very late and I braked very late, and then I was a little bit wide in the first part of the corner," explained Massa. "Then he had my inside line and pushed me a little bit wide in the gravel, and then I went with the wheels on the gravel but the next corner was on the left.  Then we just touched each other, so in my opinion it was a racing incident.  But we had a drive through and we paid, and it is a bit difficult to speak after the race when we have already had the drive through."

"For sure I did not intentionally drive into Lewis, I had two wheels on the gravel. I could not stop the car and I was on the gravel because he pushed me into the gravel."

"We braked very late into Turn 10. He tried to pass me and then I was a little bit wide in Turn 10 and he put the car on the inside, and I was on the outside.

"Then he pushed me a little bit close to the gravel. I put two wheels on the gravel, he closed the door and then we touched. The next corner was already in my favor, but because I was on the gravel I could not do anything and we touched. That is it.

"I have a good relationship with Lewis, and I will not do something to destroy something by purpose," he said. "That is true."


Speed chokes, Allgaier wins ARCA title
Justin Allgaier raced from ninth to first to win the dramatic and wild Hantz Group 200 by Belle Tire and Federated Car Care Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway. The Springfield, Illinois driver also went from third to first in points to earn a national championship.

Allgaier, in the final event of the season, maneuvered underneath Matt Carter 12 laps from the finish and drove away to earn his sixth ARCA RE/MAX Series victory of the year and eighth of his career. With a little help from Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Allgaier also earned the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series national championship.

"This is unbelievable," said Allgaier from the championship stage. "We came in hoping to protect our third place position in points - we had Frank (Kimmel) right behind us. We came in with nothing to lose, so we did what we do every week; we raced as hard as we could and went for the win. As things turned out, it also brought our team the championship. I'm so proud of all these guys on this crew; they're the reason I'm up here tonight. I am so relieved this is over. Now we can really focus on the Nationwide races at Texas and Homestead. This really helps with the confidence."

Allgaier, in the family-owned No. 16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-AG Tech-Auto Xpress Chevrolet, needed some help from championship contenders' Speed and Stenhouse, who were one-two in points before the race started, with Allgaier trailing both, 110 points out of first. Allgaier got the assist he needed when Speed's wrecked Red Bull Toyota went away on a hook while Stenhouse's Aflac Ford left on a flatbed truck.

It started on lap 27 when Stenhouse, running third right behind Speed, got into the back of Speed headed into turn three. Speed drifted up the track and clobbered the wall, causing extensive damage to the right-side.

"He (Stenhouse) was on my bumper and he pushed me flat out until I hit the wall," said Speed. "And then the car was completely undrivable; it wasn't even close. It was so bad from hitting the wall; I couldn't do anything with it. Stenhouse started it and he isn't going to win this championship with that attitude. That was ridiculous; that was the most blatant thing I ever saw in my life. Honestly, it's just ARCA; that's just how it is."

Read more & Comment...

Foyt Racing Tests Driver and Sponsors at MSR Houston
Vitor Meira
A.J. Foyt Racing had a busy day down at MSR Houston testing both its new driver, Vitor Meira, and its sponsor ABC Supply.

The day started out with six ABC Supply guests testing an old IndyCar. The oval car was retrofitted to drive on a road course. A section of the 2.38 mile road course was coned off to create a small oval-like course. The guests then took turns making runs of five and ten laps each.

"Today was great," A.J. Foyt said. "The ABC guys had a lot of fun and the weather was just perfect."

After the ride of a lifetime, Meira went out to show the guys how it's really done. Foyt made sure to point out how much better the professional was at driving, bringing out a laugh in everyone.

"See how he gets on the gas there?" Foyt asked the ABC Supply guests, "That's how it's supposed to be done."

Read more & Comment...

Harvick/Edwards feud continues UPDATE This AP story shows photos of the confrontation between Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards at Lowe's Motor Speedway last Thursday.

10/10/08 A day after his public altercation with Carl Edwards in the Nationwide Series garage, Kevin Harvick said Edwards might have messed with the wrong guy. 

“You just gotta be careful who you wanna pick a fight with,” Harvick said. “If you want to pick a fight with the wrong person, sometimes it turns around and bites you, no matter how big and tough you think you are.” 

Harvick’s comments came a little more than 24 hours after he and Edwards engaged in a physical shoving match that knocked Edwards onto the hood of Harvick’s No. 33 car and ended with Harvick’s friend Jeff Smith dragging Edwards away in a headlock. 

“Obviously, it’s pretty well-documented everything that happened,” Harvick said. “Best thing I can tell you is we were in our pit stall and just protected our turf.”

Read more & Comment...

Until proven guilty, Castroneves has support of Penske
Penske Racing continues to support Helio Castroneves in his federal tax evasion case and will wait at least a month to decide what path to take with its IndyCar Series driver lineup for next season, team owner Roger Penske said.

Castroneves and his sister, Kati, his former business manager, face six counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy in a case that centers on unpaid taxes on $5.5 million in income. Attorney Alan R. Miller has also been charged in the case.

Penske said the team wasn't planning to field its No. 3 car in this month's IndyCar Series race in Surfers Paradise, Australia, if a judge had not granted Castroneves permission to travel internationally. The terms of Castroneves' bail were adjusted Friday, allowing the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner to participate in the final race of the year, to be held Oct. 26.

Read more & Comment...

'Too many penalties' - Berger
Gerhard Berger
"There are too many penalties; too many guilty ones," former race winner and Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger said after Sunday's Japanese grand prix.

Not only were championship contenders Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton on the receiving end of the stewards' deliberations, Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais lost his points for colliding with Massa after a pitstop.

"What am I supposed to do?" the Frenchman said. "Roll out the red carpet?"

Lewis Hamilton's drive-through penalty for pushing Kimi Raikkonen wide at the first corner surprised his McLaren chiefs.

"We've all seen similar first corner incidents that triggered no such penalty," Ron Dennis noted.

BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was less convinced, pointing the finger at Hamilton rather than FIA officials.

"I thought Hamilton would have learnt his lesson from last year," the German driver told motorsports-magazine.com.

"He was told by his team in the last race to go steady. As far as I can see from the replay, the scrap on the first corner wasn't necessary."

Toyota's Jarno Trulli is apparently also unimpressed, vowing to ask Hamilton at the Shanghai drivers' briefing why he ignored blue flags at Fuji for more than a lap.

Massa, meanwhile, penalized for the incident at turn 10, hit back at intimations that he deliberately punted Hamilton into a spin.

"In my opinion it was a normal running accident," said the Brazilian.


Hamilton admits he choked again
Lewis Hamilton pulls one of his unfair dive-bomb moves on Kimi Raikkonen at the start that forced Raikkonen wide and the Race Stewards penalized Hamilton for it with a drive-through penalty
As he did last year when he threw the F1 title away by choking at the end, Lewis Hamilton has admitted he had a day to forget after finishing in 12th place in the Japanese grand prix despite starting from pole position.

The McLaren driver made a number of errors and got caught up in tussles with both Ferraris on a day when he was trying to protect his championship lead by driving over aggressively after having been warned by the Race Stewards in the drivers meeting about exactly that.  All the other drivers complained about Hamilton's driving tactics.

He saw that lead cut by a further two points by the end of the race after Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished in seventh place.

But Hamilton says he has already moved on from the disappointing result and is focused on trying to win the Chinese grand prix next week.

He said: "Obviously, I'm not happy after a result like today's - but I'm already getting over it and tomorrow will be another day.

"There are positives to take from today; I've only lost two points to Felipe in the drivers' championship, so it's definitely not over. Now I'll forget today ever happened and move forward; we've got two more races to go and my target is still to win both of them."


Biased FIA penalizes Bourdais instead of Massa UPDATE “The start seemed like a big mess, but fortunately I survived it. The incident with Massa? I was coming out of the pits, he turned in, I was on the curb and there was nowhere else I could go and I was racing him for position. It was a good showing today for me, running consistently in the top five with only one mistake in what was a tough race. All in all, a very eventful race and I am happy to have scored three points."

10/12/08 The Ferrari biased FIA Stewards are trying everything in their power to help Felipe Massa close the gap to Lewis Hamilton.  After the Japanese Grand Prix they penalized Sebastien Bourdais 25 seconds for a collision with Felipe Massa. The additional time meant that Bourdais loses his sixth place, falling to 10th behind Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld.

The decision was biased in that most observers thought that the investigation into the incident would see that Massa should be punished as Bourdais appeared to be ahead when the collision occurred.


Massa closes gap to five points
(GMM)  A post-race stewards investigation further reduced Lewis Hamilton's championship lead following the Japanese grand prix.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished the Fuji race eighth, but he was promoted to seventh when stewards applied a 25-second penalty to Sebastien Bourdais' finishing time for their collision at the end of the pitlane.

With Hamilton out of the points following a pitstop and penalty for his botched first corner, it means Brazilian Massa closes to within five points of the Briton with just two races to go in 2008.

"I made a mistake and I paid for it," said Hamilton, referring to the early incident with Kimi Raikkonen.

Massa was also penalized at Fuji, for an overtaking move that punted Hamilton into a spin.  Hamilton believes his own penalty for pushing Raikkonen wide was less deserving.

"We both got the same penalty but I didn't hit anyone and he did, so I guess that's just the name of the game," the 23-year-old said.

tv news

Mike Joy and Kirby Chambliss on Wind Tunnel UPDATE A reminder that Mike Joy will be the guest co-host and Kirby Chambliss joins Dave Despain and Mike as the featured interview on Wind Tunnel tonight.

10/10/08 Mike Joy, Host of NASCAR on FOX and commentator for SPEED’s Barrett-Jackson coverage, will be the guest co-host on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain this Sunday.  Mike will share his thoughts on the championship battle for NASCAR's Chase for Sprint Cup.  In addition, Mike will get us ready for this week’s Barrett-Jackson Inaugural Collector Car Event in Las Vegas which will be broadcast on SPEED.

Kirby Chambliss, American pilot in the Red Bull Air Race World Series, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel.  As a 5-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, Chambliss is in his 4th season racing in this unique series. In 2006, Kirby won the series championship and currently sits 3rd in the standings, heading into the upcoming season finale in Perth, Australia.

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain airs live on Sunday night at 9:00 pm - 10:00 on ET on SPEED.

tv news

Weekend USA TV Reminders UPDATE The final TV reminders for Sunday are shown below.
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix
12:00am-2:30am (L) SPEED
NASCAR Sprint Cup Replay Bank of America 500 Lowe's 
3:00am-5:00am (R) ESPN2
NASCAR Sprint Cup Replay Bank of America 500 Lowe's 
10:00am-1:00pm (R) ESPN Classic
NHRA Raceday Richmond, VA 
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
KONI Challenge Series Tooele, UT 
11:00am-1:00pm (9/21/08) SPEED
NHRA Qualifying Richmond, VA 
11:30am-12:30pm (R) ESPN2
Star Mazda Millville, NJ 
1:00pm-2:00pm (9/14/08) SPEED
ARCA RE/MAX Hantz Group 200 Toledo
2:00pm-4:00pm (L) SPEED
Inside Grand Prix Japan 
4:00pm-4:30pm (R) SPEED
Formula 1 Replay Japanese Grand Prix 
4:30pm-7:00pm (R) SPEED
SPEED Report 
7:00pm-8:00pm SPEED
NHRA Virginia NHRA Nationals Richmond, VA
7:30pm-10:30pm (SD) ESPN2
NASCAR Victory Lane Lowe's 
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Mike Joy (Host, NASCAR on FOX)
Kirby Chambliss (2006 Red Bull Air Race World Series Champion) 
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV programs, see TVRacer.com

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help
AutoRacing1 Inc. BBB Business Review