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Briatore selling $25m New York apartment
As Flavio Briatore faces exclusion from Formula 1 (pending the outcome of his case against the FIA next month) and possible ousting from Queens’ Park Rangers football club, it’s no surprise he’s in a hurry to downsize his property portfolio.

He had this New York apartment on the market for $38m previously, but has now slashed its price by over a third to $25m (£15.32m / €16.66m).

Flavio Briatore at One Beacon Court

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NHRA announces 2010 tech regs
NHRA has announced its technical initiatives for 2010, which are designed to improve safety as well as reduce unwanted downtime at events due to leakage on the track.

Highlighting the changes in 2010 will be the implementation of a new Eject Helmet Removal System in all four Professional categories, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, and in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. The system uses an inflatable bladder located in the top of the helmet to make removal of the helmet by safety personnel after an incident easier and safer.

In addition, all participants in the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will be required to use an Electrimotion Safety Shut-off Receiver. The device, when used in conjunction with the Electrimotion Shut-off Transmitter and Electrimotion Safety Shut-off Box, will automatically shut off fuel and ignition as well as deploy the parachutes once the driver has passed the finish line if the driver has not done so already. The system will activate when the car passes a wall-mounted transmitter.

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Abu Dhabi Tire Challenges
Bridgestone heads to Yas Marina for the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on October 30 - November 1, where the medium and soft compound Potenzas will be exploring this exciting new 5.5 km circuit.
This is the final race of a thrilling season which began in Melbourne in March. The combination of medium and soft has been seen previously this year in Belgium and Italy.

Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "It is wonderful for us to be ending the season at a fantastic new venue and all credit to everyone involved with the Yas Marina circuit for creating a superb new facility to be seen by millions of television viewers around the world. The Middle East is a strategically important market for us and we will be welcoming a large number of important customers and guests to this race."

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said:

What are the challenges of Yas Marina?

"This will be the first ever race meeting at this circuit so it is very much a step into the unknown. Of course, we work very closely with the circuit and teams with simulations and evaluations of the layout, and we have been working with a sample of the track surface. We will also have some data from the GP2 Asia Series test which takes place the week before the Grand Prix. In terms of expected lateral forces we can say that the circuit is similar to Valencia. The track surface is similar to Barcelona or Fuji. Our ambient temperature predictions place Abu Dhabi as being similar to Bahrain. The track is new so very dark in colour, meaning it could get quite hot. We expect to see a lot of surface evolution."

What are the primary tyre performance considerations?

"The circuit layout is a typical stop and go street course so there will be traction demands. As with any new surface we can expect the possibility of graining early in the weekend. We have brought the medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres as they sit in the middle of our tyre range. It is difficult to know exactly what the temperatures will be, especially the track surface temperature with such a dark new surface."


Soucek tops Barcelona test day
Andy Soucek finished the official Formula Two test day at the top of the timesheets today (Monday 26 October) having set a blistering 1:38.910s lap time at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Spaniard ran in the top five for most of the day but he left it until the final ten minutes of the final session to set his unbeatable benchmark time. The champion’s effort relegated Miloš Pavlović down to second after the Serbian had held top spot for much of the final hour.

Robert Wickens attacked Soucek's time in the final moments and set his fastest lap of the day on his final tour of the 2.9 mile Grand Prix circuit. The Canadian fell short of the ultimate pace but he set an impressive time on his seventh lap on new tires, which left him third overall.

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Video: Senna first laps around Yas Marina


Firms fear loss of F1 Grand Prix at Donington UPDATE The ongoing saga regarding the future of the British Grand Prix could be nearing its conclusion. The deadline to meet the contractual commitments to host the race starting next year has now passed with no comment from the circuit.

Donington confirmed on Friday that its hopes of raising £135m to complete the redevelopment of the circuit had been unsuccessful and that they would be in breach of contract should they fail to resolve the issue by 12.00 GMT.

“Despite higher than expected levels of interest and very positive early indications, the bond has failed to secure enough subscription ahead of today's deadline,” read Friday’s statement. 

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Q&A with Force India's Stevenson
Q: You visited the Abu Dhabi track in April. What were your first impressions?
AS: It was far from complete when I visited but we could certainly see the work that was going on and how much it had progressed from pictures we had been sent earlier in the year. For me it was good to go and visit and see exactly what was happening because it quashed a lot of rumors in the press that said it might not be completed in time. You could clearly see it was well on schedule.

Q: You've now seen pictures of the finished product. How do you think it looks?
AS: I think it's phenomenal. It's taken circuit design to another level, and whether it will ever be matched again, we'll have to wait and see. It's a luxury for F1 to be handed something like that, and I really hope the whole thing is a success.

Q: What do you think of it as a race venue?
AS: From what I've seen of the circuit I think it will be a very good race track. I think the safety aspect of it is very, very good. The FIA and the circuit designers do their homework, they've got all the information they need, and they're not going to design something into it that they shouldn't have. I think it will prove to be an incredible race track.

Q: There's been a lot of talk about the pit exit tunnel, which is very tight. Do you have any concerns?
AS: There's a lot of talk about it because it's different, but when we actually get there and go through it, it won't be such a big issue. The one thing that might be a little bit difficult is the temperature of the track, because it's going to be very different in the tunnel. But I like to think it won't be too much of a problem. Brazil has a dangerous pit exit, and if you drive flat out, you crash. It's all part of the driver's skill to get in and out safely, so the drivers have to have the same mentality in the Abu Dhabi tunnel.

If someone hits the barrier, there is a crane that can lift the car out of the way. The track is also eight meters wide at that point - there's a lot of room - and it releases the cars out on to the track at high speed in a completely safe environment, and that is what it was designed to do. It certainly makes it totally original. If it wasn't a tunnel, nobody would be questioning it - I think it's just the fact that the whole thing has got a roof on and you get a claustrophobic feeling!

Q: Logistically, do you have any concerns about the weekend?
AS: It's all fairly straightforward. As a team we're really looking forward to going there. To have the luxury of the facility that's on offer there, how could we not look forward to going? We're going to be spoiled by the garages. They've even gone to the extent of air conditioning them, so it's going to be difficult next year in Malaysia! It just shows the extent that they've gone to with everything. The detail is phenomenal.


Toyota to decide on Glock fitness on Tuesday
Toyota will decide tomorrow whether or not Timo Glock will be fit enough to race at this weekend's inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after missing the recent Brazilian Grand Prix thanks to a back injury. Glock crashed heavily during qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix on 3 October, and was expected to be out of action for the season-ending race in the UAE, but Toyota remains hopeful that he has recovered sufficiently.

The German was replaced by Kamui Kobayashi in Brazil, and following a commendable performance, is expected to be returned to the cockpit should Glock be unable to race. The Japanese driver is also reportedly in the running for a race seat at the team for 2010, while Timo Glock has been linked with a move away from the Japanese manufacturer, possibly to Renault.

Along with his injured back, Glock also suffered a deep 5cm cut on his left leg in the qualifying crash, when he careered into a tire barrier after running off-track at the final corner at Suzuka. Following initial medical exams, doctors predicted a four-week recovery period, making a comeback at this weekend's race a possibility. manipeF1.com


Raikkonen set for final Ferrari race
Kimi Raikkonen will make his final start as a Ferrari driver this Sunday in Abu Dhabi as the team and rivals McLaren Mercedes battle over third position in the constructors’ championship. Raikkonen, who has yet to conclude a deal to race next season, is keen to end what has been a difficult season on a positive note.

"The race in Abu Dhabi will be my last grand prix with Ferrari and as usual I will give it everything to gain the best possible result," he said. "We’ll try to conclude this difficult year with a good result, hoping that it will be enough to gain the third place in the constructors’ championship, McLaren took over in Brazil.

"It will be difficult, because the competition is very strong. Furthermore in Brazil the two titles have been assigned, so maybe there are certain drivers, who will risk a little bit more, as everything has been decided already. 

Raikkonen has been vocal over the decision to abandon development of the F60 challenger and decision to focus on the 2010 car, something that also surprised McLaren, but he is also keen to reflect on his success with the Italian team ahead of his final start.

“It’s time for me to say goodbye to the guys at Ferrari after three years together,” he said. “I’m proud of the things we achieved, especially the drivers’ title in 2007 and the constructors’ title in the same year and in 2008.

“This season the car wasn’t as competitive as we wanted, but at least we managed to win one race and we gained a certain amount of points.” f1live.com


Rossi asks Ferrari for another F1 test
(GMM)  Valentino Rossi has asked Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali for another test at the wheel of the famous team's formula one car.

The Italian, who last weekend successfully defended his latest MotoGP title, conducted a series of Ferrari tests some years ago but ultimately decided against switching full-time.

Rossi told reporters his latest test would be to celebrate his title.

"I have already asked Domenicali via text if I can have another test," he revealed.

The flamboyant rider, however, will turn 31 next February, and his Yamaha boss Davide Brivio thinks the chance of a switch to motor racing's top four-wheeled category is now remote.

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tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup only has four races to go and this weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NASCAR’s longest track, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, for 500 miles on Sunday, Nov. 1. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the AMP Energy 500 airs on ABC beginning with NASCAR Countdown at noon ET. The race’s green flag is at 1:19 p.m.

Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.

Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham in the ESPN pit studio.

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Goodyear’s 17 inch tire - more testing planned UPDATE #2 Goodyear is set to test the larger tire it is developing on Dec. 8-9 at Phoenix International Raceway. Roush Fenway Racing, which did the test at Richmond earlier this month, will again do the test since it has a car to accommodate the larger dimensions.(Roanoke Times)
10/10/09 That new, larger 17-inch NASCAR racing Goodyear?

No time table yet, Goodyear and NASCAR say.

In fact NASCAR seems a bit testy about the whole thing, for some reason.

Dale Inman, Richard Petty's crew chief for most of his 200 NASCAR victories, and now still a key player in the George Gillett-owned Richard Petty Motorsports operation: "They say it's not coming until 2011, so I'm not worrying about it right now."

And, well, there is apparently more than just a little behind-the-scenes debate about it, to listen to car owner Jack Roush.

Goodyear just tested it on the track, at Richmond, for the first time officially, with two NASCAR teams, both out of the Roush Ford camp.

And Goodyear's Stu Grant says the results were positive, and more testing is planned, with Roush on the point.

But listen to Roush's own reaction to the prospect of racing a new, larger tire:

"There is no 17-inch tire coming….and you can quote me on that.

"It would be too expensive….it's unnecessary…

"There is maybe only one tire company in the world that could do that, as seen by me.

"And based on my conversations with NASCAR, I don't think there is any 17-inch tire coming.

"The things that Goodyear is learning through the 17-inch-tire excursion, or experiment, is intended to benefit the tires we have today." MikeMulhearn.net

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Ex-official to probe A1GP fiasco
One of the men behind the original Gold Coast Indy has been given the job of reviewing this year's race and reporting back to the Queensland Government about its future.

Premier Anna Bligh this afternoon announced David Williams would start his review of the SuperGP event within hours.

Mr. Williams, who was a former board member of the original Gold Coast Indy Car Grand Prix from 1989 to 1996, will have until the end of next month to compile a report where to from now for the event.

Ms Bligh said Mr. Williams was one of 'Queensland's most experienced event managers' and in previous work had shown no difficulty in being 'critical'.

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Founder angry new F1 teams 'disturb' Sauber plans
Peter Sauber
(GMM)  Peter Sauber has expressed anger that the future of the Hinwil based formula one team he founded in the early 90s is currently in serious peril.

Although sold by the withdrawing carmaker BMW to the mysterious Qadbak consortium, the team does not have a place on next year's grid, after the FIA transferred its entry to the new Lotus outfit.

At that time, the Qadbak deal had not been finalized, and the three currently vacant team slots had already been allocated to the new USF1, Manor and Campos teams.

Williams has vetoed Sauber's application for a guaranteed 14th entry for 2010, meaning the Swiss based camp is left hoping that one of the new teams' plans fall over in the near future.

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Abu Dhabi return for Glock '90pc' certain - manager
Timo Glock
(GMM)  The chance that Timo Glock will be fit to return to the wheel of his Toyota in Abu Dhabi this weekend is "90 per cent", according to the German driver's manager.

Glock, 27, had to sit out the recent Brazilian and Japanese grand prix due to the injuries he sustained in a Suzuka qualifying crash.

He has been receiving treatment for the leg and spinal injuries at the renowned Bad-Nauheim Sportklinic in central Germany, and Glock revealed last week that he is "ok" and a decision about his participation in the 2009 season finale will be made on Tuesday.

On Monday, Glock is scheduled to have medical tests to assess his return to fitness.

According to his manager Hans Bernd Kamps, Glock's chances of racing this weekend are "90 per cent", the German news agency DPA said.

If not given the green light for Abu Dhabi, Glock's number 10 Toyota will again be raced by team reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi.


Hamilton would welcome Button as teammate
Lewis Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton insists he wouldn't mind sharing a garage in 2010 with F1's new world champion Jenson Button.

Although the dispute is nearing a resolution now, McLaren was named as a possible alternative team for the 29-year-old Briton as he rowed with his current employer Brawn about a higher fee for next season.

Countryman Hamilton, who wore the number 1 on his Mercedes powered car throughout this season, is said to have been unenthusiastic about some of the other drivers linked with McLaren for 2010: namely Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

But 24-year-old Hamilton said: "I'd welcome Jenson as my teammate.

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racing news

Quotes of the Week
"Now I’ve been able to experience this dream, for which we all worked so long and hard, for the second time in a row – and thanks to the Audi squad, the Abt team and my family.  Gary Paffett was a strong rival and won four races. But for as long as I’ve been contesting the DTM the driver with the highest points score has always been the one to become champion ..." 30-year-old Timo Schneider moved and with tears in his eyes after winning the 2009 DTM title by scoring more points than his rival.


Keselowski to test for Penske
Brad Keselowski will continue to gain Sprint Cup Series seat time with the #12 Penske Dodge during the Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3. This will be the second time Keselowski gets to work with his future employers since he was signed by the team on Sept. 1. Keselowski joined the #12 team and crew chief Roy McCauley last month at Daytona along with David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose. Goodyear officials used that test to help establish a baseline for the November test. Goodyear has opened testing to the entire Cup garage and hopes to attract at least 30 teams in an effort to set up drafting to closer simulate race conditions to prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. In Keselowski's absence, Kelly Bires will test the #88 Chevy for the Nationwide Series test at Talladega Superspeedway. FoxSports


F1 statesmen push for Brawn knighthood
Ross Brawn

(GMM) Two of F1's elder statesmen are pushing for a knighthood for Ross Brawn.

The 54-year-old Briton played a leading role not only in Michael Schumacher's titles at Benetton and Ferrari, but he also conquered the 2009 drivers' and constructors' championships with his own name above the garage door.

"Royal recognition is all too rare in our sport, but it would be well deserved if offered to the right man.  And to honor Ross would be only right and proper," F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying by the Sunday Express.

A knighthood, presented by the Queen, is a high British honor by which recipients may preface their name with the title 'Sir'.

"I believe 100 per cent that Ross should be honored with a knighthood," said Murray Walker, the famous British F1 commentator.


Ecclestone slams Brawn amid Button dispute UPDATE (GMM)  Jenson Button's dispute with Brawn is nearing its end, the new world champion's manager Richard Goddard has revealed.

The 29-year-old Briton is said to be unwilling to take the number 1 to the team's 2010 car in the absence of a substantial pay increase, having agreed to slash his retainer amid the management buyout last winter.

Reports of the disagreement had reportedly fuelled McLaren's interest in signing Button, but Goddard told the Mail on Sunday newspaper that he now expects a deal with Brawn to be reached within weeks.

"I understand the team are about to make us an offer and, as previously
stated, Jenson wants to stay with Brawn," he said.

The newspaper added that the offer is "close to" the amount Button is seeking: 8m pounds sterling.

Team boss Ross Brawn agrees that Button deserves a pay-rise.

"(His current) contract is not the salary of a world champion, not the salary of a team that is in a much stronger position than it was 10 months ago," he told BBC radio's Sportweek program.

Asked if he is 100 per cent sure Button will be driving next year's Brawn, he added: "You're never 100 per cent, but I'd say 99 per cent."

Brawn said he aims to have the situation clarified by mid November.

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First-ever Abu Dhabi F1 race sold out
Yas Marina Circuit, the organizers of the first ever Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, today announced that the event is sold out.

“We’ve had an amazing response locally, nationally and internationally and every ticket has been sold,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

“This will be an historic race of firsts: The first F1 race at Yas Marina Circuit; the first day into evening F1 race - with only one driver who will forever be recognized in F1 history as the winner of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

“For all the fans attending the event, we aim to give them a truly memorable experience.”

Approximately 50,000 spectators will be hosted in Grandstands around the 5.5km Formula 1™ track. Yas Marina Circuit is packed with unique and innovative features: - every Grandstand seat is under cover, a first for any Formula 1™ circuit; The Yas Hotel straddles the track, allowing guests to experience the sensation of race cars passing underneath; cars exiting Pit Lane re-enter the circuit via a tunnel; and drivers who miss their braking point at the end of the longest straight in Formula 1™ traverse a run-off area beneath the West Grandstand.

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track news

FIA's Patrick Behar impressed with Abu Dhabi
Yesterday at 22:27:
Patrick Behar Arrived in Abu Dhabi this evening ....tomorrow at the circuit...will see what and how we can do it.

2 hours ago: Patrick Behar
Abu Dhabi did a splendid job....not only the facilities are splendid, but the track is amazing, with that down hill toward a "stadium" all in blue and green beautiful...and then the 1.3 km long straight....hope the race will be fun here, should be....

6 minutes ago: Patrick Behar
It is even nicer at dusk, the sun setting on the track with the hotel all light up in blue...watch it from Friday onwards on the tube and you can be your own judge!!! never the less I maintain, they did a SPLENDID job here....more tomorrow. Walk and ...drove the track a dozen times to mark emplacements for photographers.

Source: Facebook


SuperGP needs a good crowd on Sunday
The Gold Coast SuperGP crowds have continued to slide, however Queensland Sports Minister Phil Reeves believes a surge today will save the event.  Yesterday only 58,823 people turned out to the event, compared with 83,337 last year.  Despite the drop, the embattled Mr. Reeves said the event was doing well.

"Today has gone terrific," he said.

"Generally tourism is down across the country about 8 per cent. Most events and sports events have been down generally because of the global economic crisis.

"Because of the uncertainty with the economic crisis and the uncertainty about the A1GP, that would have impacted slightly.

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Toyota Takes Second Nationwide Series Title
When Kyle Busch's Camry crossed the finish line second in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Memphis Motorsports Park, it enabled Toyota to clinch its second consecutive NNS manufacturer's championship in just its third year of series competition.

This marks the fifth time that Toyota has earned a NASCAR manufacturer's title since its NASCAR entry in 2004. Last year, Toyota captured its first NNS title, and in each of the past three years (2006, 2007 and 2008) Toyota has won the manufacturer's championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).

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Piquet warns Renault: apologize or be sued
(GMM)  Nelson Piquet Snr has threatened legal action against Renault if the French carmaker does not apologize.

Earlier this year, the former triple world champion's son was fired by Flavio Briatore, before the team's boss was ousted amid the crash-gate scandal and banned for life from involvement in motor racing.

Until the flamboyant Italian's star began to fade, Renault towed the line and even backed Briatore's decision to pursue legal action against the Piquet family.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Piquet Snr now wants a public apology.

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Hamilton does not dream of Ferrari switch
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton does not share Fernando Alonso's dream of driving in formula one with Ferrari.

When the Spaniard announced his 2010 switch to the famous Italian team, he said it had always been his dream.

"I don't feel the same way," Briton Hamilton, who was paired at McLaren with Alonso in 2007 before winning last year's title and penning a long term contract, said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Everyone who grows up watching formula one chooses a car," the 24-year-old explained.  "Some liked the Jordan, the yellow car, some prefer the red car, others the silver one.

"I always just liked the silver car," Hamilton said, referring to the livery of his works Mercedes-powered McLaren.

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Ecclestone pushing for Melbourne night race
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone is once again applying pressure on organizers of the Australian grand prix.

The F1 chief executive, after pushing for a night race but instead succeeding in debuting the 'twilight' concept for this year's Melbourne event, wants an even later start time for the 2010 edition.

A new contract was signed prior to this March's running of the race at Albert Park, and it is believed the 5pm start time is expressly mentioned in the document, while the necessity for artificial lighting is not.

Drivers this year complained about long shadows and sun glare as evening fell towards the end of the race, but Ecclestone hailed the concept as much better for F1's bulk European television audience.

But he told Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun that he is now in talks with organizer Ron Walker about an even later race start.

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racing news

FIA Elects World Council Members
Following the election of the FIA President, the FIA General Assembly elected remaining members of the FIA World Councils to serve for the next four years.

The new composition of the World Council for Automobile Mobility & Tourism and the World Motor Sport Council is as follows:


FIA President
Jean Todt (France)

FIA Deputy President for Automobile
Mobility & Tourism

Brian Gibbons (New Zealand)

Vice Presidents for Automobile Mobility
& Tourism

Region I
Carlos Barbosa (Portugal)
Franco Lucchesi (Italy)
Danijel Starman (Slovenia)

Region II
Gus Lagman (Philippines)

Region III
Ignacio Gonzalez Fausto (Mexico)

Region IV
Victor R. Dumot Martinez (Paraguay)
Jorge Rosales (Argentina)

Region I
Zoltan Kovacs (Hungary)
Werner Kraus  (Austria)
Niklaus Lundsgaard Hansen (Switzerland)
Peter Meyer (Germany)
Sebastiá Salvad¢ (Spain)
Maria Spetz (Sweden)
Thierry Willemarck (Belgium)
Guido van Woerkom (Netherlands)

Region II
Mike Harris (Australia)
Geoff Lange (New Zealand)
HH Tunku Mudzaffir (Malaysia)
Setsuo Tanaka (Japan)
Bernard Tay (Singapore)

Region III
Robert Darbelnet (USA)
Earl Jarrett (Jamaica)
Tim Shearman (Canada)

Region IV
Iván Dib¢s (Peru)

FIA President
Jean Todt  (France)

FIA Deputy President for Sport
Graham Stoker (United Kingdom)

Vice Presidents for Sport
Jose Abed (Mexico)
Michel Boeri (Monaco)
Morrie Chandler (New Zealand)
Enrico Gelpi (Italy)
Carlos Gracia Fuertes (Spain)
Mohammed Ben Sulayem (UAE)
Surinder Thatthi (Tanzania)

Shk Abdulla Bin Isa Alkhalifa (Bahrain)
Garry Connelly (Australia)
Vassilis Despotopoulos (Greece)
Luis Pinto de Freitas (Portugal)
Zrinko Gregurek (Croatia)
Wan Heping (China)
Victor Kiryanov (Russia)
Henry Krausz (Dominican Republic)
Vijay Mallya (India)
Hugo R. Mersan (Paraguay)
Radovan Novak (Czech Republic)
Lars Österlind (Sweden)
Vicenzo Spano (Venezuela)
Teng Lip Tan (Signapore)

President of the International Karting Commission
Nicolas Deschaux (France)

President of the FOM
Bernard Ecclestone (United Kingdom)

President of the FIA Manufacturers' Commission
François Cornelis (Belgium)



Haug confirms Kovalainen is toast
Heikki Kovalainen isn't smiling much anymore.  McLaren will not renew his contract
McLaren's Norbert Haug has not made a secret out of the fact McLaren is searching for a new driver in 2010. The team is searching for a hungry, motivated and focused team-mate for former F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

A number of drivers have been linked to the Woking based team. Drivers such as Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and lately world champion Jenson Button. According to Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug one of them, Kimi Raikkonen, is an option but not the only option for the team. "Kimi is an option, but there are lots of options around," Haug told Autosport. "One thing is for sure though - guys who are out for money are not the right ones for us - whoever it may be. "I won't name anyone, but we want to have full commitment from someone who is success-oriented, not someone saying 'I am a big name, pay me a lot of money and I will drive for you.' 

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racing news

Montezemolo gives Todt warning
Formula One Teams' Association chairman Luca di Montezemolo has urged new FIA president Jean Todt to be "open and constructive" in dealing with his organization.

Di Montezemolo's comments are a veiled reference to the lack of communication and obstacles thrown in the teams' way by Todt's predecessor Max Mosley. Mosley's 16-year reign came to an end on Friday as Todt swept into power after a landslide election win in Paris over campaign rival Ari Vatanen, taking the vote 135-49.

"I would like to send my best wishes to Jean in his new role as I have always appreciated his ability, dedication and commitment," said Ferrari president Di Montezemolo. "I am sure, under his guidance, the Federation will be rejuvenated and will restore a climate open to dialogue and constructive collaboration with the teams and FOTA, thus ensuring stability of the regulations and the whole environment."

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Filippi and Valsecchi quickest in pre-season first testing day
Daniel Zampieri
Max Chilton
The third GP2 Asia Series will open next weekend as Formula One inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix support race. Prior to this grand event, the GP2 Asia field gathered this week for a two-day test session held at the Yas Marina circuit. It is the first time that the much-anticipated venue welcomes racing cars and its beautiful layout has already procured good sensations for the drivers.

The morning session was all about learning the 5.555km long track, but on a very dirty track and high temperature, many racers chose to go for installation laps and then patiently wait for the most daring to put rubber on the track. Davide Valsecchi at iSport topped the timing sheet ahead of veteran Luca Filippi at Meritus while rookie Christian Vietoris at Dams rounded up the Top 3. Other rookies Alexander Rossi (Ocean Racing Technology), Sam Bird (ART Grand Prix and Daniel Zampieri (Piquet GP) all finished in the Top 10.

Davide Valsecchi (iSport International): “We were fastest this morning and we had a great pace again this afternoon. But the track conditions between this morning and this afternoon changed drastically, especially with the temperatures dropping 10°C. This morning, the track was not that dirty, but it lacked a lot of grip. When I went out on new tires this afternoon, the sun was already down and the track was a little bit colder so it was much quicker. We should see again slower times tomorrow morning.

It’s a beautiful setting here. Yesterday, when I was running around the track I saw grandstands everywhere. It’s very impressive: you have one every corner and I really hope that it will be full for the race. My favorite part of the track is in sector 1, after the start/finish line. The corners there are really fast. The end of the very long straight in sector 3 with the big braking point is also extremely important because I think this is where you can overtake. And I have to say that the track lightning system is excellent: we can even see clearer than during the day!”

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GP2 drivers like Yas Marina circuit
Twenty three GP2 Asia Drivers experienced the exciting Yas Marina Circuit, the venue for the inaugural Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during a test event held today.

As part of the official preparations, the drivers are testing their cars on the track this weekend.

Following their first practice session, the drivers had the following to say:

“Combination of the layout, and some very fast corners, very slow corners, a mixture between long straights – it looks very promising in terms of a racing show.”

“It’s my first time in Abu Dhabi, it’s nice and sunny. I have a smile on my face, and when you see this very nice track you will understand why.”
Christian Vietoris (GER) (DAMS) – Vice Champion F3 Euro Series 2009

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Winterbottom, Tander win Saturday SuperGP races
Garth Tander leads Mark Winterbottom during the second race - both drivers secured a win and a runner-up spot today
Today’s first two 150km V8 Supercar races on the streets of Surfers Paradise did not disappoint today, with plenty of action on the streets of Surfers Paradise for the third day of the 2009 Nikon SuperGP.

Mark Winterbottom continued his blistering pace of yesterday by placing his #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon on pole after the Top Ten Shootout this morning before taking victory in the opening 150km stanza, with the Holden Racing Team pair of Garth Tander and Will Davison in third.

Winterbottom started on pole for leg two with Tander beside, however after a frenetic start Tander was able to take the lead and maintain that position through a safety car-free 34 laps to claim the victory this afternoon. Will Davison was third.

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Rossi secures pole position with Sepang record
Valentino Rossi powers out of a corner on one wheel as he heads for pole position
Valentino Rossi will start the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in pole position, as he bids to secure the 2009 World Championship at Sepang on Sunday.

A best lap of 2’00.518 in MotoGP qualifying secured Valentino Rossi pole position for Sunday’s race at Sepang, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa completing the front row.

The Italian broke his own previous pole record at the circuit – recorded on a 990cc machine in 2006 – by 0.087s and lapped 0.569s faster than his Fiat Yamaha team-mate Lorenzo.

Lorenzo, who crashed on his MotoGP race debut at the track last season, was followed onto the front row of the grid by Pedrosa.

The Repsol Honda man had been the fastest in practice, but was unable to match the blistering pace set by Rossi, finishing a further 0.167s behind Lorenzo.

Casey Stoner, who won the race at Sepang in 2007, will head up the second row after lapping at almost a full second slower than Rossi, while Loris Capirossi secured fifth spot on the grid on his Suzuki GSV-R.

Toni Elías (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all came through inside the top ten as well.



Rider Nation Team Lap time
1 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 2'00.518
2 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 0.569
3 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 0.736
4 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team + 0.937
5 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1.198
6 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1.400
7 N. HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team + 1.462
8 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 1.580
9 C. EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1.677
10 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1.756
11 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team + 1.844
12 M. KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing + 1.917
13 A. ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing + 2.341
14 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 2.514
15 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 2.570
16 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 3.010
17 G. TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 3.356

track news

IMG's successful partnership with Queensland
Martin Jolly, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of IMG Asia Pacific, trackside today had the following statement to make in relation to IMG, the event and the partnership between the Queensland Government and IMG.

"IMG has been in partnership with the Queensland Government for the past 15 years and through this period has together created Australia’s biggest motorsport festival," said Jolly.

"Annually the event has attracted on average 280,000 spectators to the Surfers Paradise circuit, beams images of the Gold Coast to a worldwide television audience and injects $60.9 million into the local economy each year. This event employs in excess of 25 permanent staff, who work year round on the event and furthermore generates just over 550 casual full-time jobs for contractors each year for Gold Coast and Queensland residents.

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Schu tipped for role under Todt's FIA rule
Newly elected FIA president Jean Todt
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher has been tipped for a role at the FIA alongside his friend and former Ferrari boss Jean Todt.

Todt was on Friday elected to succeed Max Mosley as the Paris based Federation's new president, and seven time world champion Schumacher was present as the votes were counted in the French capital.

"He is like a son," Frenchman Todt, 63, was quoted as saying by the Scotsman newspaper.  "There has always been a place for him next to me and there still will be."

And despite the bitter battle waged by Todt's opponent Ari Vatanen, outgoing president Max Mosley hinted that the 57-year-old Finn might also find a role at the FIA.

"Jean Todt will have to see if he can find something for him to do," the Briton told USA Today.


F1 doesn't need British GP - Ecclestone
Ecclestone tells Silverstone to pay up or go pound sand
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone insists he is prepared to scrub Britain's name from the 2010 calendar if Silverstone does not want to pay the going rate for its formula one race.

With Donington's chances now all but over, it had been expected that the F1 chief executive might move to safeguard the British grand prix by reaching an alternate deal with the race's traditional venue.

But after a Silverstone spokesman said Ecclestone's current offer is not "commercially viable", the British billionaire hit back: "No one is forcing them to take it.

"This is business.  We have offered them a deal," he told the Daily Express newspaper.  Do we need a British grand prix?  No."

Ecclestone disputes that Silverstone, scene of F1's very first world championship event in 1950, should enjoy protected status as one of the sport's "traditional" venues.

"Italy is a traditional race because they have always raced at Monza," he argued.  "Monaco is traditional as they have always had the same track.

"Britain and France have raced at three different circuits.  They want a cut-price deal because it is traditional.  That's not traditional to me.  Britain is not protected," said Ecclestone.

"I would like a new plane because it's traditional as I have had one for 40 years but no one is offering me a cheap deal.  That's not how it works."

Meanwhile, The Times newspaper reports that Donington's breach of contract may cost the circuit up to 15 million pounds sterling in cancellation fees.


Cochrane wants full control of Surfers race UPDATE #2 undefined

10/23/09 This weekend's SuperGP crowds will be the litmus test of the V8 Supercars' pulling power as Premier Anna Bligh yesterday flagged the Gold Coast's premier motor sport event was likely to undergo a drastic overhaul for next year.

A review into the handling of the SuperGP could result in IMG being sacked as event organizers, and the V8s taking over top billing, or another international race signed to replace A1GP. goldcoast.co.au

Yesterday's crowds were down on last year, with 48,284 turning out compared with the 63,124 at last year's Friday session, but all indicators are that the weekend crowds will come out in force.

Ms Bligh arrived in pit lane yesterday afternoon, promising a 'comprehensive and rigorous' review into the A1 debacle and laying down the challenge to the V8 Supercars to prove they were worthy of headlining the event from next year.

"I'm disappointed about the circumstances leading up to this event," she said.

"We'll be looking at everything from the lead-up to the event, looking at the performance of the event over this weekend ... I'm not going to pre-empt the outcomes of the review."

V8 Supercars boss Tony Cochrane has declared his series would provide the draw card and stability the Gold Coast needed.

He pleaded with the Premier to allow the series to headline the SuperGP in future years.

"I think its only fair to see what happens this weekend. I am very confident and we are happy to be judged on that."

While Ms Bligh said interest in the SuperGP had soared since the V8s stepped up to the plate, she was reluctant to say if the State Government would support a V8 Supercar-headlining event on the Gold Coast in future years.

"Let's have a look at what happens this weekend," she said.

Sports Minister Phil Reeves accompanied Ms Bligh on her pit lane walk to meet all the V8 drivers, along with Mr. Cochrane, SuperGP boss Greg Hooton, Gold Coast Motor Events Corporation chairman Terry Mackenroth and Gold Coast MPs Peter Lawlor, Peta-Kaye Croft and Margaret Keech.

Mr. Reeves said A1GP had already been served a letter of demand by GCMEC, which terminated the five-year contract with the embattled series and reserved its right to seek compensation for damage caused by the A1's 11th-hour no-show.

SuperGP boss Greg Hooton was -- up until this week -- the go-to man for all things SuperGP but he has now taken a back seat.

Late yesterday he released a statement on crowd figures, saying he expected the weekend to boom and that his team was 'working around the clock' to attract more people to the race.

"Given the uncertainty of the event, people did not have a great amount of time to sort a four or five-day holiday on the Gold Coast but the weekend is do-able," he said.

10/22/09 V8 SUPERCARS boss Tony Cochrane has urged the Queensland Government to hand control of the Surfers Paradise event over to his organization in a bid to secure the long-term stability of the iconic race.

Currently overseen by government-owned Queensland Events and IMG, the Gold Coast motorsport carnival was on the brink of collapse this year before V8 Supercars stepped up to rescue the event after the A1GP debacle.

Cochrane yesterday said V8 Supercars were more than ready to take the reins moving forward.

"Of the 14 rounds of the championship, we run six ourselves, including Bathurst," he said yesterday. "We are egomaniacs for control and we don't have much control this week. That is the one part of the puzzle I am struggling to cope with, to be honest.

"In all honesty, of course we would love to have it (complete control over the event).

"We are a very stable organization that does deliver what we promise.

"If we got the opportunity, we would deliver on what we promised and it would turn into a very successful and stable event going forward for many years to come.

"This event has 19 years of history. It has been through some tough times and it has been through some great times.

"I believe it has got a fantastic future on the Gold Coast."

The Queensland Government pours $11.6 million of funding into the Gold Coast event but Cochrane believes his organization could stage an almost identical carnival with the V8 Supercars as the headline act for around $3 million.

"If you take the international component out of it, it proves what you can run this event for," he said.

"You are paying an awful lot for that international component.

"If it is not working for you, then perhaps what should be questioned is do you need the international component?"

Cochrane expressed disbelief that the SuperGP was allowed to disintegrate into such a farce, with the A1GP cars pulling out a week before the event was supposed to begin.

"I am on the record saying for a long time that I thought A1GP was in huge trouble," he said. After you see that much smoke, only an idiot would come to the conclusion 'ignore all that, it is going great guns'. Their cars have been locked up under a marshal warehouse law since the end of May.

"I can tell you that if I had all our cars locked up for four or five months I would have 1600-odd people in this championship murdering me."

Cochrane was supremely confident the Gold Coast race could continue to go from strength to strength under V8 rule.

"We have been through this before," he said. "When Formula 1 left Adelaide, in that city they went through a huge period for a year or two where they just couldn't believe they had lost it.

"They couldn't believe it could ever be replaced and thought that was the end of a motorsport street race in that city. The truth is we talked them into doing the very first of our V8 Supercars street races back 11 years ago.

"In the first year we had about 160,000 people there and had tremendous success.

"This year in March we had nearly 280,000 people there.

"It has just grown over the 11 years into a fantastic event and it is now the No.1, the biggest event annually, in the state of South Australia by a country mile.

"There is a good illustration of where I think V8 Supercars has stepped into the role, has done a great job and really built the business."

While the open-wheel cars have added a touch of overseas glamour to the Coast event over the past two decades, Cochrane argues it is the V8s that have been the backbone. goldcoast.com.au


Mayfield on ESPN
Suspended for drug use, NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield tells reporter Steve Delsohn, in Mayfield's first one-on-one nationally televised interview, that NASCAR is using his situation to scare the sport's marquee drivers who he says use drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine. The interview airs on Outside the Lines on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 9:00am/et on ESPN.

Some quotes from Outside the Lines: "I wish I could sit here and say 'No, it's not over,' but realistically, I would have to have a sponsor, or own my own team, or find a ride, and all those are virtually impossible with the baggage that comes along with me now." -- Jeremy Mayfield, on whether his NASCAR career is over.

"No, they could never be confused for methamphetamine in a confirmation." -- Dr. Anthony Butch, director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, which performs drug testing for U.S. Olympic athletes, the NFL and the NCAA, on whether a combination of Adderall and Claritin-D could cause a positive test for methamphetamine.

"You use me as an example to let everybody know who may have already tested positive for marijuana, cocaine or whatever, that they haven't got anybody for, and it puts the fear of God in everybody in the whole sport. I was a good example, a good pawn who wasn't going to cost them any money at all. I was worth more to them as a failed drug test then I am as a driver, owner for my own team." (excerpts from ESPN)


Silverstone tried to save Brit GP
Damon Hill, the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, the owners of Silverstone, has warned that the circuit will not automatically revert to hosting the British Grand Prix in the event of Donington Park failing to meet its final deadline on Monday to produce the necessary £135m funding to host the race.

Although Donington's hopes of delivering on its 17-year contract to promote Britain's round of the Formula One world championship were yesterday hanging by a precarious thread, Hill warned that the race's destiny was in the hands of Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One commercial rights holder. Hill hinted that the future of the race depended on the 79-year-old billionaire offering a financially viable long-term contract to Silverstone to guarantee the future of the oldest race on the world championship calendar.

"Silverstone will be delighted to help assure the future of the British grand prix provided that a commercial deal which makes proper sense can be reached with the commercial rights holder who, to a large extent, is dictating the agenda in this matter. There has been ongoing dialogue on this score for quite some time, but we are not blithely assuming that Silverstone will automatically hang on to the British grand prix."

As far as Donington Park is concerned, the promoters at the circuit near Derby, who have retained an unrealistically bullish optimism in trying to raise the necessary funds to stage the race, yesterday came close to throwing in the towel with the stark admission that the bond flotation had been a failure.

Donington Ventures Leisure Limited admitted the news was "an unexpected blow to staff and management" in a statement released after it was reported earlier that bankers had abandoned efforts to raise the money through subscription to the bond due to a lack of interest from the world's financial institutions.

"Donington Ventures Leisure Limited can confirm that a bond for £135m to cover the cost of the F1 redevelopment at Donington Park has been unsuccessful," said the statement. "Despite higher than expected levels of interest and very positive early indications, the bond – which was launched with Citigroup last week – has failed to secure enough subscription ahead of today's deadline."guardian.co.uk


Lime Rock to host electric vehicle race
On Friday, October 30, one of the more interesting inter-scholastic competitions you’ll ever see comes to Lime Rock Park. It’s called the Connecticut Electrathon Challenge.

Each year, high school and college students design and build electric racers, then head to the autocross course at Lime Rock to see which team can complete the most laps in precisely one hour.

Champions are recognized in five different divisions, and in the most recent race here at Lime Rock (May 15), the Old Lyme High School team no. 5 was the overall winner, completing 114 laps (close to 25 miles) on one charge of their battery pack.

The cars are ingeniously designed single-driver machines. Some are three-wheelers, some are four, but they’re all aerodynamic in the extreme, and look very cool.

Lime Rock fans are welcome to come watch the Connecticut Electrathon Challenge races, held on the upper autocross course Friday, October 30, beginning around 8:00 in the morning. Pick out your favorite school and cheer them on to an “electric green” victory!


Todt is new FIA Pres UPDATE Jean Todt has been elected President of the FIA for a four-year term by the FIA General Assembly at its annual meeting in Paris.

The FIA membership voted as follows:

For Jean Todt: 135
For Ari Vatanen: 49
Abstentions/invalid votes: 12

Voting in the General Assembly was made by secret ballot. The votes were counted in private by the FIA legal department, under the supervision of scrutineers proposed by the two presidential candidates and designated by the General Assembly.

The entire voting procedure was supervised by an external Huissier de Justice (French state-appointed public witness).

The following were also elected as part of Mr. Todt’s candidacy list:

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Lorenzo leads the way at Sepang
Jorge Lorenzo set the standard at Sepang on Friday afternoon, kicking off the weekend with the fastest lap time in the first MotoGP practice.

A margin of 0.064s separated Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in Free Practice 1 of the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix weekend, as the Fiat Yamaha rider recorded the quickest time in the opening MotoGP session.

On the weekend in which Valentino Rossi could seal the 2009 World Championship title, it was his team-mate – who trails the Italian by 38 points in the standings – who set the pace in humid conditions, with the ambient temperature reaching an energy-sapping 31°C.

Lorenzo set a best lap of 2’02.180 in a tight session, with the top four riders – including Rossi – breaking the 2’03 barrier.

Stoner followed Lorenzo closely, with Dani Pedrosa just over half a second further down at third in the order as Rossi came in fourth, registering a time 0.684s off Lorenzo’s. It was the perfect start to the weekend for the Spaniard, whose crash at Phillip Island last weekend all but ended his hopes of wrestling the title from Rossi.

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Tost relieved Loeb's F1 flirt over
(GMM) Franz Tost is relieved that Sebastien Loeb's opportunity to make a one-off formula one debut in a Toro Rosso at Abu Dhabi did not eventuate.

The team's Austrian boss said he would have agreed to owner Red Bull putting the multiple world rally champion at the wheel of a Faenza based car.

"If Red Bull wanted something like that for marketing reasons, then it would of course have been done," Tost told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

But he insists the idea made "little sense" from a "sporting point of view".

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Rome still wants F1 race
Rome has not given up on trying to organize a Grand Prix in the city.

The Italian capital's hopes took a backwards step earlier this month when Bernie Ecclestone enthused about prospective new F1 venues in Korea, India and New York.

But when asked about Rome's desire for a street race in the EUR district, the sport's Chief Executive answered: "There are too many places wanting to have a race. We will see."

On Thursday, however, Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno told reporters he "would like to start the preparations for 2012, hopefully putting the event on during the summer months," according to the AP news agency.


Daytona Int'l Speedway expanding family friendly areas
The Local 6 Orlando News reported this story on this evening's news:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway is building a new interactive fan area adjacent to the backstretch grandstands outside Turn 3.

Construction has begun and will be completed in time for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14. Included in the 136,000-square-foot area will be a go-kart track, a children's play area, a Ferris Wheel, show cars and a fan hospitality area called the SPEED Trackside Tavern, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reported.

The enhancements will necessitate the removal of 12,000 of the easternmost seats in the 57,000-seat backstretch grandstand phased in during the 1990s. They will be used at other International Speedway Corporation facilities in the future.

The work follows enhancements announced earlier that include:
•Two additional gate entrances on the front stretch in the area of the old dog track.

•Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the front stretch grandstands.

•New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4.

•New signage, landscaping and area lighting.

•Raising of the height of the catch fence from 14 to 22 feet. The estimated two miles of fencing will stretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 and from Turn 2 to a gate near the entrance to Turn 3.

•Construction of a quarter-mile dirt motorcycle flat track outside Turns 1 and 2.
Also, a new start time has been set for the 500. It will begin shortly after 1 p.m., 2½ hours earlier than 2009 and the earliest start since 2003.


Almirola files lawsuit against EGR
Aric Almirola has filed paperwork in North Carolina Superior Court indicating that he has a breach-of-contract dispute with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Almirola, who competed in seven Sprint Cup races this year for the team before his #8 Chevy car was parked because of a lack of sponsorship, filed the notice in the Charlotte court last Friday 10-16, asking for 20 days to file a complaint in the matter. This type of request results in a summons to the other party and typically is filed to start a civil action but the person hopes the matter gets settled before having to file the lawsuit specifics. Almirola indicates that the nature of his claim is breach of contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Almirola filed two notices, one against EGR and DEI and another against Chip Ganassi Racing and team co-owner Teresa Earnhardt. Almirola had a contract with DEI, which merged its Cup operation with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2008 season to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He has until Nov. 5 to file an actual complaint. "We're disappointed at the situation with Aric but are hopeful that we will come to an agreement soon," EGR spokesman John Olguin said. Almirola has 26 career Sprint Cup starts, with a career best finish of eighth at Bristol in March 2008. He drove in 17 races in 2007 and 2008 as he shared the ride with Mark Martin in the #8 Chevy at DEI. SceneDaily


SMI Pays dividend
In this current time of slim profits and non-existent dividends, Speedway Motorsports Inc. declared a quarterly cash dividend of 9 cents per share of common stock on Wednesday. The quarterly dividend will be payable Dec. 11 to shareholders of record at the close of business Nov. 20, 2009.

SMI is the operator of race tracks that play host to 12 Sprint Cup events – Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It also owns Kentucky Speedway which host an Indy Racing League event.


Tagliani to run Texas Nationwide Race
Canadian open-wheel driver Alex Tagliani is scheduled to make his second Nationwide Series start in the O’Reilly Challenge, driving the No. 81 Dodge entry for MacDonald Motorsports. Tagliani competed in the Champ Car World Series (formerly known as Championship Auto Racing Teams) from 2000-’08 and finished among the top 10 in the championship on six occasions. He currently competes in the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, and is now trying his hand in NASCAR’s national series. His first Nationwide Series start came earlier this season at Montreal, where he finished 26th. Tagliani already has competed at TMS once this year, but it came in an open-wheel car as he finished 14th in June’s Bombardier Learjet 550k.
(Editors note: after running Texas in an IndyCar and CART at speeds over 235mph, running around the place in a Nationwide Series car will likely just put him to sleep...)


Montoya celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with special paint scheme
As living evidence  and recognition of the continued growth of diversity in NASCAR, Sprint Cup Series driver and Colombia native Juan Pablo Montoya will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a special paint scheme on his No. 42 Target car. In his third season with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Montoya has had his most successful season having qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup and already surpassing career highs for top-five and top-10 finishes. With Montoya celebrating the Hispanic culture in one of the largest Latino markets in the country and his success this season, a look inside his impact in the Hispanic community and how Latinos have responded to his success this season.


Kyle Busch goes for a hat trick in Texas
Kyle "TRIPLE YOUR PLEASURE" Busch will attempt to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series – in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O’Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. Considering his overall success at TMS, the incredible feat is not out of the question. In Sprint Cup competition, he has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races here. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California’s Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race.


Michael Waltrip in another car accident...
It was not long ago that Michael Waltrip was involved in a car accident where it was rumored that alcohol was suspected, but since he fled the scene, was never directly alleged. Now, we get breaking news of another incident that seems to imply that there was alcohol involved, but since he was below the legal limit, was not charged. This is partly speculation on our part, but the story does allude to this. This is the story as it appears on thatsracin.com:

Michael Waltrip was involved in a collision with a motorcycle Wednesday evening and was cited by Mooresville police, according to a police report.

Waltrip, who lives in eastern Lincoln County,

Waltrip, 46, who also owns a racing team and is a part-time TV commentator on racing shows, was driving a Lexus that collided with a Harley Davidson shortly before 8 p.m. on Perth Road, according to police. The report says Waltrip was trying to make a U-turn at the time.

The motorcyclist was treated at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. Waltrip was cited for failure to yield but was not injured.

WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner, is reporting that Waltrip underwent a field sobriety test after the wreck but passed the test. His alcohol blood level was below the .08 legal limit in North Carolina.

WCNC-TV also contributed.


Glock's Abu Dhabi return decision set for Tuesday
(GMM) The decision about whether he is fit enough to return to the Toyota cockpit in Abu Dhabi will be taken on Tuesday, Timo Glock has revealed.

p The German had to sit out last weekend's Brazilian grand prix not only with his cut leg, but also a spinal injury, both incurred when he crashed heavily at Suzuka during qualifying two weeks earlier.

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Is IndyCar anti-American?
For the first time in the 100 year history of IndyCar racing not a single American won an IndyCar race. Solution: American drivers with the talent to win consistently driving for a team that has the ability to win races and challenge for the Championship, but does the IRL really care?

racing news

Todt: Vatanen asked Bernie for support...
With less than 24 hours to go before the FIA presidential elections, Jean Todt claims rival candidate Ari Vatanen tried to convince Bernie Ecclestone to support his campaign.

FIA members will decide on a new president on Friday and the campaigns from Todt and Vatanen have been littered with accusations of 'personal attacks' and 'dirty tactics'.

Vatanen has been vocal about his unhappiness with outgoing president Max Mosley's decision to back his rival. However, Todt claims the Finn also tried to get senior figures in F1 to support him.

"I know my competitor went to see Bernie [Ecclestone] as well," Todt told The Guardian. "He wanted to try and convince Bernie to support him. Bernie said no. There are a lot of others he tried to convince."

The Frenchman also questioned the Vatanen camp's decision to reveal that they have the support of the majority of those in the Middle East.

"I felt disappointed when the other side announced they had 80% of the votes in the Middle East," he said. "That is untrue. It's not good. If you are talking about transparency, and saying things must be clean, how can you give wrong information?"
"I will not give you a figure but a large majority is in our favor. I have never met Prince Faisal. But I hope I will meet him soon and show I can deliver a good job. If I am elected I want everyone to participate. One of my challenges will be to work well with Jordan and others who did not support me. I want to start from a blank sheet." planetf1.com

racing news

Sir Jack Brabham honored in Surfers
The first day of the Nikon SuperGP has got off to a honorable start today, with the number one ticketholder and three time Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham inducted into the Gold Coast sporting Hall of Fame in pit lane this morning.

Brabham received the honor in the Pirtek Australian Legends pits of the Nikon SuperGP, with Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame representative Daphne Pirie formally inducting Brabham, who is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first F1 championship.

The Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame is Queensland’s first dedicated sports museum and presented Brabham with the “Legend of the Gold Coast”, with Brabham only the third to receive the award, joining international Rugby League player Peter Gallagher and Australian Invincible cricketer Sam Loxton.

"It is quite an honor to be inducted by the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame," said Brabham.

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Entry List for GP2 race in Abu Dhabi
Christian Vietoris (D)
Edoardo Piscopo (I)
Piquet GP
Vladimir Arabadhziev (BG)
Daniel Zampieri (I)
Barwa Addax
Max Chilton (GB)
Luiz Razia (BR)
Marcus Ericsson (S)
Sam Bird (GB)
Rodolfo Gonzalez (VEN)
Super Nova
James Jakes (GB)
Josef Kral (CZ)
Davide Valsecchi (I)
Johnny Cecotto (VEN)
Plamen Kralev (BG)
Luca Filippi (I)
Diego Nunes (BR)
Alexander Rossi (USA)
Fabio Leimer (CH)
Roldan Rodriguez (E)
William Bratt (GB)
Michael Herck (B)
Giacomo Ricci (I)


Rahal looking for a way back to IndyCar
Bobby Rahal's passion for IndyCar racing hasn't waned over the past 12 months. On the contrary, attending IndyCar Series races this season was mentally challenging (unrelated to son Graham's results in the No. 02 McDonald's car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing).

Bottom line: Sponsorship that fell through late in the game kept Rahal Letterman Racing off the grid full time in 2009, though the team principal and longtime compatriots long to return to the action.

"We're working hard to put cars on the circuit next year," said Rahal, who won the Indianapolis 500 as a driver (1986) and car co-owner (2004) among an arm's-length list of accomplishments. "It's always a little difficult to be on an IRL weekend and not have a team there. It's a change for us. Having said that, I want to make sure when we do come back it's properly funded because we've done it the other way and it's A. no fun and B. you can't put your best foot forward.

"And as I said, there's nothing more competitive than this series so why wouldn't you want to be a part of that? It wasn't our choice not to be in it this year, but unfortunately the events conspired against us and it's just a matter of 'OK, how do we get back?' ' More at IndyCar.com


Without IndyCars SuperGP first-day crowd numbers drop
There has been a massive drop in crowd numbers as the SuperGP got off to a sluggish start today. The first day crowd figures were down 20 percent with only 40,798 people attending today’s race compared to 56,362 last year [Editor's Note: 40,796 is highly inflated.  Perhaps 5,000 real race fans were there.]

SuperGP chairman Terry Mackenroth blamed the drop in numbers on the global financial crisis.

"I was not surprised by the downturn in numbers, that has been happening across major events all year," he said. "I think it is a healthy crowd."

"Thursday is traditionally a quieter day. I think we should wait until the V8s get out there. It's too early to say whether the loss of the Indy has impacted on crowd numbers." [Editor's Note: The race was all about "Indy" in the 25 years that CART built it up and made it what it was.  The IndyCars are now gone and so too are the people.]


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Loeb doubts another GP chance will arise
  • Williams thanks fire-fighters after factory blaze
  • Vatanen also asked Ecclestone for backing - Todt
  • Button 'almost' drove for free in '09 - Brawn
  • 'Pure-Mercedes' name for Brawn turned down
  • USF1 eyes Kyle Busch for 2011 race seat
  • De la Rosa not ready to sign Campos deal
  • Liuzzi snatched back stolen steering wheel
  • Engineering staff upset with Brawn bosses - report

Loeb doubts another GP chance will arise
(GMM)  Sebastien Loeb has admitted the opportunity of making his formula one debut in Abu Dhabi was probably a one-off.

The multiple champion of world rallying had hoped to race for Toro Rosso in the 2009 season finale, but was not granted a mandatory Super License by the governing FIA.

But Loeb, 35, insists he had "accepted" team owner Red Bull's offer of the seat.

"Finding an opportunity like that again seems very unlikely," said the Frenchman.

However, he said he would be happy to do some more F1 testing "if my (Citroen) boss lets me go".

Loeb said he is not surprised the FIA decided against granting him the credential, despite his vast experienced in motor sport, including at the wheel of F1, GP2, and Le Mans sports cars.

"The regulations for getting it are very precise.  I do not meet any of the conditions stipulated in the regulations.  So it's logical that I failed to obtain such a license," he said.

"It's the rule, the decision of the FIA.  There's no crying foul," he added.

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A1GP series cancels Australia season opener UPDATE #2 On the eve of the Gold Coast's Nikon SuperGP last night motor-racing heavyweight Tony Cochrane took the opportunity to let the A1 organizers know what he really thought of them.

The V8 Supercar boss was not afraid to show his disdain for A1GP, saying it was the V8 Supercars that had done the Australian thing and stepped up to the plate.

"They (A1 organizers) let the fans down, they let the people of Queensland down and they can go off wherever they want now," he said.

"We've done the great Australian thing to do and when someone is in trouble you jump in.

"I have told Terry (Mackenroth) more times than either of us care to remember that people come here for the V8s.

"I've always believed we could take it on ... but we would have liked a bit more notice."

Mr. Cochrane then went on to hit out at skeptics who predicted thousands of tickets would be refunded since the announcement the A1 cars had pulled out.

He said only 93 had been refunded and there had been strong ticket sales since.

"We love a fair dinkum challenge and I have a huge belief in standing up to injustices," said Mr. Cochrane.

"It's very disappointing everyone is jumping on the minister. He called me on Thursday and has been working overtime for 48 hours to make this happen.

"A lot of people have found the tree and bought the rope and are dead keen to hang somebody.

"But this weekend is going to be great."

Outgoing SuperGP boss Terry Mackenroth also spoke at the welcome and said he had washed his hand of the whole debacle.

"I think we should put it behind us for the moment," he said.

"There will be plenty of time for navel-gazing but it's not my problem because I've resigned.

"I would like to thank the board of the V8 Supercars for stepping up to the plate.

"Tony Cochrane has told me for years that people only come here to watch the V8s and at the end of the weekend we'll know who is right."

The pair was speaking at the official welcome for the SuperGP held at Conrad Jupiter’s.

The Premier Anna Bligh usually speaks at the event but pulled out weeks ago. She was yesterday in Rockhampton where bushfires have been threatening homes.

The welcome was attended by politicians, councillors and of course, V8 drivers who were all looking forward to the event.

"It's exciting and a great opportunity to showcase what we're about," said V8 driver Craig Lowndes.

"It's tough on us, it's three quarters of the race we've just done in Bathurst but it's going to be terrific."
10/17/09 Please see below for an official media statement from the Gold Coast Motor Events Company followed by official statements from the Queensland Government, A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and A1GP Australia

The Gold Coast Motor Events Company (GCMEC), after pursuing A1GP World Cup of Motorsport for some time regards final confirmation, have as of 9.00am this morning terminated the agreement between the Nikon SuperGP and the A1GP series, due to A1GP’s failure to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Nikon SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton said that whilst it was obviously disappointing that GCMEC has had to terminate the contract, plans have been put in place to ensure a full, new-look, program for when the 2009 Nikon SuperGP commences on Thursday October 22.

“GCMEC and the Minister have worked with V8 Supercars, to develop the new race program which will now be rolled out at the event,” said Hooton.

“This program comprises of four 150km V8 Supercar races, two over each day of the weekend, seeing an unprecedented amount of V8 Supercar racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise.

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Daytona Fan Fest Announced
DAYTONA BEACH -- Daytona International Speedway confirmed its Preseason Thunder Fan Fest dates as Jan. 15-16.  The top NASCAR stars will be in attendance as race fans get a preview of Speed Weeks 2010 and the Daytona 500.

"The NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests have become a great opportunity for fans and drivers to interact," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "What better way to get pumped up for the new NASCAR season than spending time with the stars of the sport at NASCAR's most storied race track."

For more information, call the Speedway at 800-748-7467.

Events scheduled at Daytona International Speedway through Speed Weeks 2010:

NOV. 2: Goodyear tire testing (Sprint Cup)

NOV. 5-8: Historic Sportscar Racing

DEC. 8-9: Grand-Am testing (sportscars)

DEC. 18-20: ARCA Series testing

DEC. 28-30: Daytona KartWeek By Cometic Gasket (go-karts)


JAN. 8-10: Rolex 24 At Daytona testing; Roar Before The Rolex 24

JAN. 15-16: NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest (NASCAR driver appearances) Speed Weeks

JAN. 30-31: Rolex 24 At Daytona (sportscars)

FEB. 6: Daytona 500 qualifying; Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Series race; Budweiser Shootout

FEB. 11: Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying races

FEB. 12: NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race

FEB. 13: Camping World 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race

FEB. 14: Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
(from original article appearing on news-journalonline.com)


NASCAR slams Roush for engine violation
NASCAR has fined Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series crew chief Eddie Pardue $30,000 and docked driver Matt Kenseth 100 Nationwide Series points as well as team owner Jack Roush 100 points for violations of the sealed engine rule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

NASCAR officials termed the violations a clerical mistake.

Engines of all race-winning teams are inspected after the race. If the team is sealing the engine for use in another event, the engine is inspected after the last event the engine is used. In a rule implemented this year to cut costs, teams cannot go more than three consecutive races without using a sealed engine.

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Craig volunteers for WTCC position UPDATE Andrew Craig writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, There is a factual inaccuracy in the story and I would be very grateful if you would correct this as soon as possible. I have not been “hired” by anyone. My work on the FIA Touring Car commission is voluntary as are all such roles at the FIA.  Andrew Craig

[Editor's Note: As President of CART at the time, Andrew Craig had to deal with the challenges of “the split” from day one of his time at CART, the simple fact is that when he left the company it had over $100 million on its balance sheet ( zero when he arrived) and was throwing off $25 million pretax each year. It had full grids of competitive cars. It was struggling with its TV ratings but I think that IndyCar would be absolutely thrilled to have those ratings today. He was indeed at the “forefront of the open wheel war” but he was not around when three years after he had left; the $100 million in cash, the profits and most of the teams…..had vanished.  Up against the voodoo economics of the IRL (free Hulman George family money pumped into the business with complete disregard for corporate governance) for which it had little chance of succeeding.]

10/21/09 He was at the forefront of the open wheel war that saw open wheel racing decline and crash in the USA. Now returning to the racing world, after orchestrating the CART IndyCar World Series IPO and a controversial exit from CART several years back, Andrew Craig been hired by the Touring Car Commission. The TCC is the FIA's organizational arm that  runs the World Touring Car Championship. Craig's hire was announced today at the World Motor Sport Council meeting.

"I am very much looking forward to being involved and in supporting the Commission chairman, Jonathan Ashman, in developing WTCC for the future," Craig told AUTOSPORT. "I think that the FIA with Jonathon Ashman, Marcello Lotti and Eurosport and have created a virtuous circle where all parties have mutual interests and benefits; hence the success of the WTCC. I am sure there is a lot more to come."


Gainsco DP Car to appear at Moonshine Festival
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (October 21, 2009) —GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing clinched its second Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Team and Driver Championships less than two weeks ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and primary team sponsor GAINSCO Auto Insurance hasn’t slowed down one bit. The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance racing show car – an exact replica of the 185-mph Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype that carried GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty to the 2007 and 2009 championships – will maintain a busy touring schedule for the rest of the year. Its next stop is this weekend’s 42nd annual Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville, Ga.

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2009 Star Mazda honors champions
The Chateau St. Julien winery in the California's famed Carmel Valley recently hosted series awards banquet honoring the 2009 champion and award winners of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Taking top honors was 2009 Champion Adam Christodoulou, who won a hard-fought battle for the title in one of the most competitive seasons in Star Mazda history.

With a total 2009 Star Mazda Championship prize fund of $1.5 million, including a fully-sponsored ride in the 2010 Atlantic Championship and various cash and other awards at each event.

The Top-3 Finishers collected a total of $971,000 between them, which is impressive for a support series that is a couple of rungs below IndyCars.

Christodoulou tallied three wins, two poles and nine podium finishes for JDC Motorsports / Molecule / AlpineStars / Miller Milling Company, and garnered championship and 'Rookie of the Year' honors, along with checks of $100,000 and $10,000 respectively. As the top Racing for Kids driver, he also added another $1,000 check to his treasure chest of cash and awards, which was matched in a donation of the same amount by Racing for Kids to the children's hospital of Christodoulou's choice.

The big prize presentation of the evening was a MAZDASPEED driving suit and helmet that will be his uniform for a full-season sponsorship in the 2010 Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Christodoulou has plans to test with several Atlantic teams in the coming weeks in making his choice for 2010.

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FIA Releases 2010 Provisional Schedule
The FIA World Council has agreed that the Monaco Grand Prix move forward one week to May 16. The FIA has approved in principle a proposal to swap the dates of the Abu Dhabi and Brazilian grands prix, pending agreement with the promoters of both events.

The FIA is expecting confirmation from Formula One Management about the grands prix in Canada and Britain shortly.

The latest calendar is below. The final calendar will be adopted at the December meeting of the WMSC.

2010 FIA Formula One World Championship

March 14 -- BRN Bahrain
March 28 -- AUS Australia
April 4    -- MAL Malaysia
April 18    --CN China
May 9      --E Spain
May 16    --MC Monaco
May 30    --TR Turkey
June 13    --CDN Canada**
June 27    --E Europe (Valencia)
July 11      --GB Great Britain*
July 25      --D Germany
August 1  --H Hungary
August 29 --B Belgium
Sept 12    --I Italy
Sept 26    --SGP Singapore
Oct 3      --J Japan
Oct 17    --ROK Korea*
Oct 31†  --UAE Abu Dhabi*
Nov 14†  --BR Brazil


Acura to offer customer ALMS/ELMS package
This week, Honda Performance Development (HPD) Race Team Manager Roger Griffiths verified speculation on the offering of an HPD package for sale to interested parties in European LeMans competition.

"Certainly the two [2008-spec] P2 cars, if you had your checkbook with you, you could be going racing in Europe or over here. The Highcroft car is literally as it finished Laguna Seca last year. It’s virtually race prepped and ready to go. It’s available if somebody wants to go racing next year, and the same for the de Ferran car. They are both ready to go racing.”

SPEEDtv.com reported in August that HPD was planning to lease their 3.4L LMP2 V8 engines for ALMS competition. However, as Griffiths details, they are now extending that offer to European teams as well.

“Yes. That is the intention. We’ve talked about it a lot and finally decided that yes, we could do it. We’ve basically said that we can support up to four engines running. By that, what we mean is that we could have four cars or four cars running, whether that be in a Lola chassis or a Courage chassis or in an Acura chassis. We could have two cars running in Europe, two cars running in the States, or any combination thereof. That’s what we’re prepared to support.”

HPD is working on a Lola package for Acura engine as well, says Griffiths.

"We’ve had a lot of discussion with Lola already about the installation of the engine in the Coupe chassis. It’s not too difficult for us to do because obviously it ran in the original Fernandez car, the Lola open-topped car. Talking with Julian Sole over at Lola, it’s a very straightforward thing for us to put the engine in the back of that car if someone so desired.”

Griffiths adds that this is not the typical deal, and comes with comprehensive support from a winning team.

“It’s not just an engine. It comes with the track support engineers. It could well be the guy that looked after Gil de Ferran’s car at [Laguna Seca] last weekend could be looking after the car running in Europe next year. It’s not just the engine, it’s the whole customer support package that comes with it.”

Griffiths also stressed that HPD will only be offering lease programs.

“We don’t sell engines. There’s a lot of what we refer to as ‘I.P.’ within the engine, ‘intellectual property,’ and we would never let an engine outside our control. It’s a huge investment. It’s millions and millions of dollars that have been invested in these engines and we’re not about to give that up for someone to go and copy. The conversations we’ve had with the racing teams in Europe, and we have been approached by a few people, has been based around running the whole LMS calendar, including Le Mans, plus some testing. We’ve worked out a price for those guys based on a number of engine rebuilds and the track support that goes with it.”

“We are probably a little more expensive than some of the other manufacturers that supply engines out there, but what we have is a race winning package. We’ve proven that. We were the only car out there that was able to beat the Porsche [RS Spyder]. Our view is that if you want to go out there and beat the Porsches, you need an Acura.”


RCR Crew Chief Reorganization
Richard Childress Racing continues to retool team leadership with its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams.

Following this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Todd Berrier will take over the crew chief duties of the No. 31 Caterpillar team with driver Jeff Burton while Doug Randolph assumes Berrier’s duties on the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s team with driver Casey Mears. Starting this week at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, Dan Deeringhoff will replace Randolph in his return to the No. 29 Holiday Inn team with drivers Burton, Clint Bowyer and Stephen Leicht in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Scott Miller, who has led the No. 31 team since 2005, will move fulltime to the director of competition position he was named to in September. Minimal changes will also be made among crew members for the No. 07 and No. 31 teams. The crew chief position for RCR’s development program will be named later.

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News about Canada, Britain races due soon - FIA
(GMM)  News about the Canadian and British grand prix for 2010 is expected "shortly", F1's governing body said on Wednesday.

The FIA issued a media statement following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

There, a new provisional calendar featuring 19 races was approved, with Montreal still subject to "contract negotiations", despite a report in the French language La Presse insisting that a tax obstacle has now been cleared.

Donington, meanwhile, is facing a deadline of this Friday to prove its financial ability to host the 2010 British GP, with Silverstone waiting in the wings.

"The FIA is expecting confirmation from Formula One Management about the
grands prix in Canada and Britain shortly," the governing body said.

It was also agreed that Brazil will stage November's season finale instead of Abu Dhabi "pending agreement with the promoters" about the date switch, while Monaco's slightly earlier race date was rubber-stamped.

"The final calendar will be adopted at the December meeting of the (council)," said the FIA.


VW to buy half of Porsche by 2010
Europe’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen, has said it is to buy 49.9% of sports car maker Porsche by the end of 2009 for about 3.9bn euros (£3.54bn;$5.8bn).

In August VW and Porsche agreed the details by which VW will merge with its German compatriot by 2011.

VW had initially been set to buy a 42% stake in Porsche by the end of this year for 3.3bn euros.

The deal will end months of acrimony between the two firms, and would end Porsche’s failed efforts to buy VW.

racing news

How Jean Todt will be elected to FIA Presidency
This Friday will see voting take place in order to determine who will become the new FIA President. The change will see the first modification to the leadership of the Formula One governing body for the first time since 1993, when Max Mosley stepped in to take the reigns from Jean-Marie Balestre.


Latest F1 news in brief
  • Raikkonen's pay demands 'much too high' - Howett
  • Red Bull engine decision still looming
  • 'Five or six hundred' attend champ Button homecoming
  • Silverstone reveals small profit for 2008
  • Other teams also oppose 14th entry - Head

Raikkonen's pay demands 'much too high' - Howett
(GMM)  Toyota will not reach a deal with Kimi Raikkonen for the 2010 season unless he drops his exorbitant pay demands, team president John Howett insists.

The Cologne based team has made Finn Raikkonen, 30, an offer, Briton Howett revealed last weekend in Brazil.

"He gave us back a figure that is much too high," he is quoted as saying by the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

"He says he has two options, so we are going to wait," Howett added.

It is believed that Raikkonen will receive about 25 million euros from Ferrari for agreeing to end his 2010 contract, while his management is asking about the same amount from both McLaren and Toyota.

Red Bull engine decision still looming
(GMM)  After the Brazil GP deadline came and went, Red Bull is now expected to finalize its choice of engine supplier for 2010 by next weekend's Abu Dhabi season finale.

The energy drink company's motor sport adviser Helmut Marko said at Interlagos that the decision had been delayed for about another week, but Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Abu Dhabi is actually the new deadline.

The magazine said the FIA has now approved the application for a fourth Mercedes engine supply, but the German marque's exclusive partner McLaren is currently vetoing the Red Bull deal.

It is said that McLaren's decision hinges on Mercedes' precise plans for a closer involvement with Brawn, but Marko said: "Time is running out."

With Mercedes out of the picture, Red Bull's choice is between either staying with Renault or - like Williams - switching to Cosworth.

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American Rossi to make GP2 debut UPDATE Ocean Racing Technology will go on the newly constructed Abu Dhabi circuit from October 23 for the next round of tests in preparation for the impending 2009/10 GP2 Asia Series Championship, the first races of which will be held on the same circuit just one week later. The Portuguese team believes this first test and races will be the ideal time to collect important data for the upcoming GP2 championships, particularly the GP2 Asia Series, which will resume in February 2010 after a lengthy winter break.

Following their good tests at Jerez, Fabio Leimer and Alexander Rossi have landed the two available drives at Ocean Racing Technology for the upcoming test and race. After a brilliant beginning to his single seater career in the USA where he was crowned in Formula BMW, American driver Alexander Rossi successfully continued his career in Europe in 2009, mainly in the Formula Master championship, a category whose last champion was Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer.

Jose Guedes and Tiago Monteiro stress that the upcoming test and the races at Abu Dhabi will enable them to look further into their driver selection process for the next upcoming season. “We liked Fabio Leimer competitiveness and we decided to give him another experience, this time in race. Fabio Leimer is a young talent who proved his value by clinching the Formula Master’s title, a series where Alexander Rossi, only 18 years old, also secured excellent results as he ended up 4th for his first year in the championship and whereas he had to adapt himself to Europe at the same time,” Tiago explained. “He will take the wheel of a BMW Formula 1 single seater in December and he sees this opportunity to race in the GP2 Series as a crucial step to get to grip with such powerful cars like the one of the GP2 Series and of F1.” 

José Guedes explained the team’s strategy: “With these tests and races, the team enters into its second phase but it is too early to make final decisions yet as the GP2 Asia Series will resume in February 2010. Most of the teams consider these first two races as a test, which does not mean we are not aiming high! We will put our cars in the hands of two drivers we think will be in good conditions to help us start the championship off on the right foot.”

10/20/09 Look for young American sensation Alexander Rossi to make his GP2 debut in this weekend's GP2 Asia race in Abu Dhabi, one week ahead of the inaugural F1 race on the same track. He will be using an old car and driving for the Ocean Racing Team, but recall that Rossi, driving for the American Eurointernational team owned by Dr. Antonio Ferrari, mopped up the best young drivers from around the world in the Formula BMW world championship a year ago. We peg Rossi as America's next best bet to make it into F1 with the talent to actually win the F1 world title someday.

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