While Mercedes is sandbagging, Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari something to cheer out, at least for one day, by putting Ferrari at the top of the time sheets in Friday practice for the Mexican GP on supersoft tires.
Vettel's lap of 1m19.790s was enough to nip Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton by just 0.004s who put up a 1m19.794s also on supersoft tires.
Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was third 0.435s in arrears and just ahead of the 2nd Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Flying Lizard Motorsports Announces GTS Program and Porsche Motorsport Partnership As part of a continued expansion of its customer racing program, Flying Lizard Motorsports has confirmed it will be adding a two car entry to its Pirelli World Challenge efforts for 2017, entering two Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR race cars in the Grand Touring Sedan (GTS) class. Flying Lizard's continued relationship with Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) will strengthen the effort, becoming a part of the North American Young Driver Development program.
"This just feels right to see Flying Lizard Motorsports back again with a Porsche program," said Program Manager Darren Law. "We have had so many successful and memorable races with Porsche. Much of my driving career has been with Flying Lizard Motorsports, so I am happy that we will have the opportunity to join forces with Porsche for the upcoming season."
As the automotive industry moves to 100% electric cars more and more racing series will feel compelled to move to boring silent electric race cars. This will be the death knell of motorsports.
Red Bull Global Rallycross will continue to position itself at the forefront of motorsport technology with the creation of an all-electric vehicle series for the 2018 season. Electric vehicles will be added to Red Bull GRC race weekends as a distinct, standalone series, joining the Supercar and GRC Lites classes in the series' race program. Red Bull GRC, in conjunction with USAC (United States Auto Club), will serve as the governing body for the new series.
"Red Bull Global Rallycross is pleased to add to our rallycross platform an electric series," said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. "The 2018 season will be a landmark year for us as we welcome electric vehicles to the grid for the first time. The electric car is one of the hottest topics in the automotive industry, and manufacturers across the globe have recognized its immense potential. We want to embrace this technology by welcoming it into our series as we continue to grow and expand.
Look for Autonomous Technology will be deployed gradually Autonomous driving technology is available now, but self-driving cars won't be ubiquitous for a number of decades, stakeholders and policy experts concluded at a panel discussion yesterday writes Ariel Wittenberg of E&Enews.
Already, cars on the roads are equipped with features like emergency braking and lane departure warning systems that rely on the same types of artificial intelligence systems that self-driving cars will ultimately use.
But the deployment of fully autonomous cars will be stagnated, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President and CEO Mitch Bainwol said during the panel, which was hosted by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE).
Video: Data Acquisition New IndyCar teammates Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves are among the drivers explaining data acquisition in a fresh film from SAFEisFAST.com.
Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves are now IndyCar teammates for Team Penske, but they’re also coming together to teach aspiring race car drivers about data acquisition in the latest video from SAFEisFAST.com.
Onroak Automotive acquires Crawford Motorsport Division Onroak Automotive has committed to North American operations in Denver, North Carolina, with the acquisition of Crawford Motorsport Division, the current exclusive USF4 manufacturer in the USA.
Onroak Automotive will now operate directly from the North Carolina based factory for Ligier LMP2, DPi, LMP3 and CN activities in North America.
Onroak Automotive will also continue to support and invest in Crawford’s Motorsport activities with the Crawford F4 program and USF4 championship.
Mazda Motorsports and Andersen Promotions Reach Agreement for INDYCAR to Sanction MX-5 Cup Series
IndyCar will now sanction saloon cars
Mazda Motorsports and Andersen Promotions announced today that the parties have reached an agreement for INDYCAR to sanction the Mazda MX-5 Cup series beginning with the 2017 season. The Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires is the signature spec series for the Mazda Road to 24 (#MRT24), the sports car counterpart to the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires (#MRTI).
In both programs, series champions earn a Mazda Motorsports scholarship to advance their racing careers. The MX-5 Cup season champion earns a $200,000 scholarship. New for 2017, the MX-5 Cup Rookie-of-the-Year will earn a $50,000 scholarship. In total, MX-5 Cup pays more than half-a-million dollars in prize money and scholarships.
Hamilton pips Vettel in opening Mexican GP practice
Lewis Hamilton fastest in the superior Aldo Costa Mercedes
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday's opening 'track cleaning' practice for the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico 2016, as low temperatures and low grip dominated proceedings around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Hamilton's best time - set on the medium Pirelli tires - was just 0.079s better than Sebastian Vettel's, the Ferrari driver's recorded on the soft-compound rubber, i.e. the Ferrari is really out to lunch compared to the Aldo Costa designed Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen consolidated a strong start to the weekend for the Scuderia in third, also on the soft tires, while Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg used the supersofts to go fourth and fifth respectively.
Red Bull GRC positions itself to benefit from the move to electric cars
Red Bull Global Rallycross will continue to position itself at the forefront of motorsport technology with the creation of an all-electric vehicle series for the 2018 season. Electric vehicles will be added to Red Bull GRC race weekends as a distinct, standalone series, joining the Supercar and GRC Lites classes in the series’ race program. Red Bull GRC, in conjunction with USAC (United States Auto Club), will serve as the governing body for the new series.
“Red Bull Global Rallycross is pleased to add to our rallycross platform an electric series,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “The 2018 season will be a landmark year for us as we welcome electric vehicles to the grid for the first time. The electric car is one of the hottest topics in the automotive industry, and manufacturers across the globe have recognized its immense potential. We want to embrace this technology by welcoming it into our series as we continue to grow and expand.
Rosberg and Perez get a laugh out of Bernie's proposals
In the wake of Bernie Ecclestone’s call for F1 to up the ante by surrounding the tracks with walls, Nico Rosberg says there are “ten other areas” the sport should rather focus on.
The F1 supremo recently spoke about what he would like to do in Formula 1 to improve the show.
He told Reuters: “In those (the old) days, and it can’t happen again, people would come to a race and think somebody could get killed. Today they know they come to a race and nobody is going to get killed. Which is good.
The first practice session of the day for Moto3 saw damp patches of the newly-resurfaced Sepang International Circuit hamper early lap times, before the moisture dried off and times began to fall. MotoGP had a dry FP1 – topped by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – before a downpour during Moto2 saw track conditions worsen dramatically. With track changes and the new surface designed to deal with the inclement South East Asian weather, and Turn 15 especially changed and now off-camber, the grid could get a full taste of the new asphalt in wet and dry conditions on day 1.
Apparently winning 3rd tier class at LeMans didn't help Ford's sales
CEO Mark Fields defended Ford Motor Co.’s outlook of a “much weaker than normal” second half of the year as the company reported a 56 percent decline in third-quarter net income to $957 million today.
"I would call our approach realism -- not optimism, not pessimism" Fields said in a call with financial analysts today. "It’s realism."
Fields said that as North American sales growth slows, Ford foresees "a tough and more competitive pricing environment” with increased incentives. But he added that the market is flattening at a high sales volume, not declining sharply.
Good News- Mercedes to keep their 'dirty' diesels out of the USA Mercedes-Benz won’t offer a diesel-powered C-Class in the United States.
The automaker was to start sales of a C300d during 2016 but has since scrapped those plans. The C300d was to be powered by a turbocharged 2.1-liter inline-4 delivering 201 horsepower to all four wheels.
Speaking with Car and Driver, Mercedes said the extra hoops diesel cars now have to jump through for U.S. certification mean it will only focus on vehicles with higher demand for diesel powertrains, such as large SUVs.
Mike Wallace testifies in assault trial (Update) UPDATE A Mecklenburg County judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case against three men accused of assaulting NASCAR driver Mike Wallace and his daughter after a June concert at PNC Amphitheater.
District Judge Ronald Chapman stopped the trial after learning that two potential witnesses in the trial violated the judge’s order and remained in the courtroom to hear testimony. The case began Tuesday and had been expected to run into Friday.
A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said prosecutors will retry the case.
Williams to announce 2017 drivers on Nov. 3rd Williams will announce their 2017 driver line-up at their Grove headquarters on Thursday November 3.
Despite reported interest from Renault, Valtteri Bottas is widely expected to stay at the team, with Canadian rookie - and new European F3 champion - Lance Stroll set to come in as his team mate in place of the retiring Felipe Massa.
Williams, who are currently fifth in the constuctors’ standings, eight points behind Force India, have fielded the same driver line-up since the beginning of 2014. Only Mercedes have kept the same driver pairing for longer.
Farmers Insurance To dump Kasey Kahne's NASCAR Cup Ride After '17
Perennial backmarker Kasey Kahne
Farmers Insurance and Hendrick Motorsports have both confirmed that the L.A.-based insurer will not renew its primary sponsorship of the NASCAR team's No. 5 Sprint Cup Chevrolet after its deal expires following the '17 season.
Farmers originally came aboard with HMS' No. 5 driven by Kasey Kahne in '11 for 22 races in a deal that sources valued between $10-15M annually. Farmers, which is represented in motorsports by Just Marketing Int'l, eventually extended its deal in ‘14 through the '17 season, while reducing to 12 primary race sponsorships and serving as an associate sponsor for all other races.
Toro Rosso announces partnership with KIO Networks Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce a new partnership with Mexican IT company KIO Networks. At the Mexican GP, their logo will appear prominently on the nose and barge boards of both cars.
Franz Tost, Team Principal commented: "Last year's Mexican Grand Prix proved to be a great success, providing an amazing show. It's a real pleasure to welcome KIO Networks on board for this race on their home soil, establishing a good new connection with such a high profile IT company. We look forward to enjoying together what we are sure will be another exciting race weekend for the many passionate fans filling the grandstands here."
ARCA Unveils Superspeedway Challenge Slate TOLEDO, Ohio -- ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards officials have released the 2017 General Tire Superspeedway Challenge schedule featuring eight races across seven states at seven superspeedways.
"These tracks provided exciting race action in our inaugural season and just as we hoped, the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge came down to the end," said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. "We can't wait to get back to these tracks to see what the 2017 season will bring. We know it will be worth watching."
Video: The Red Bull Racing 1.92 Second Challenge: Get Mellow! - Max Verstappen We build up to our Red Bull TV documentary The History of the Pit Stop: Gone in 2 Seconds. It's Max's turn to see what he can do in 1.92 seconds. Comment
Video: Championship Rivals - F1 Memory Game Challenge A decade after retirement, do old rivalries still stay?
Former McLaren F1 drivers David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen reignite their Championship Rivalry in the UBSF1 Mind Memory challenge. Can the Formula 1 legends identify the tracks they once raced on and with whom they shared the podium with?
Witness the Formula one drivers relive some of their most successful and iconic races in the second UBSF1 challenge.
Video: Button looks ahead to Mexico Speaking ahead of the Mexico GP, McLaren-Honda’s Jenson Button and his race engineer Tom Stallard share their thoughts on Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – a track famed for it’s high altitude, hot temperatures and passionate fan-base. Comment
Video: Rising Stars - Getting To Know Formula Renault 2.0 Established in 2006, Renault’s Northern European Cup is now in its 11th season as a competitive racing series. Mobil 1 The Grid travelled to Germany’s Nurburgring to meet Ralph Weishaupt, General Manager of the series, to meet the drivers and learn more about the competition known today as Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Lando Norris, Max Defourny and Jehan Daruvala also feature. Comment
UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Talladega, the sixth race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 2.19 final rating and 3.6 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon - down 15% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (2.6, 4.2M) and down 27% and 28%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (3.0, 4.8M). [Editor's note: Did you expect anything different? NASCAR is hanging from the same NBCSN noose as IndyCar.]
Joey Logano's win ranks as the lowest rated edition of the race since at least 2000 and the least-watched since at least 2001, falling below the previous marks set last year. Even with the lower numbers, Talladega delivered the highest rating and viewership of this year's Chase For the Cup, edging the previous marks of 2.1 and 3.4 million. It ranks as the highest rated and most-watched race since Darlington on NBC Labor Day weekend (2.8, 4.6M). Sports Media Watch
Speedway Motorsports earnings benefit from Battle at Bristol SMI this morning announced a mixed bag for its Q3 earnings report, as admissions revenue for core events was down but profit from non-core events was up sharply on the back of the Battle at Bristol college football game. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, total revenue was $170.7M, up 16% from last year's $144.41M, thanks to the Tennessee-Virginia Tech football game on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
SMI reported in [Wednesday's] earnings that it profited between $5-6M from the game. SMI President & CEO Marcus Smith followed up in the earnings call by saying that SMI is ""pleased with the results of the game" and is "certainly working to that goal"" of adding more major, non-core events of this nature as a result.
Sunday will mark four-time champion Jeff Gordon's final scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Gordon will be driving the blue-and-silver #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend. His career began on Nov. 15, 1992, at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Richard Petty's final start. From 1992 through 2015, Gordon made 797 consecutive starts and racked up 93 wins, 325 top-five and 475 top-10 finishes in addition to his four championships.
This weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway will be his eighth race filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016. On Nov. 1, 2015, Gordon led the final 22 laps at Martinsville Speedway en route to his ninth win at the Virginia short track and his 93rd career Cup victory. The defending race winner leads all active Cup drivers in wins (nine, third on the all-time list), poles (seven, second on the all-time list), top-five finishes (29), and laps led (3,779, second on the all-time list).
NASCAR would consider moving up race start times because of weather
Fans would prefer an early start time if it meant getting the race in
On Tuesday night, Major League Baseball announced it was moving the start time of Wednesday's World Series Game 2 an hour earlier based on rain in the forecast. Fox adjusted its TV schedule to accommodate the change. So when bad weather is predicted, why can't NASCAR do the same for its events? Well, it can -- under the right circumstances.
"Every situation is unique, but we would consider altering a scheduled race start time due to weather, especially if we thought it would benefit fans," said Steve Herbst, NASCAR senior vice president, broadcasting and production, in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.
Without Cup drivers like Kyle Busch propping up the Xfinity and Truck series both would cease to exist on their own merit. Who would watch?
By most standards, the NASCAR Xfinity Series model has been broken for years.
And to the dismay of the few remaining Xfinity loyalists, Tuesday's long-awaited NASCAR announcement on new participation guidelines will do little to remedy an embarrassing problem that has resulted in sparse crowds, measly television ratings and tedious events.
Beginning next year, Sprint Cup drivers with more than five years' full-time experience will be limited to a maximum of 10 races in the Xfinity Series and seven events in the Camping World Truck Series. Sprint Cup heavyweights, such as 2016 series champion Kyle Busch, will also be barred from Chase playoffs and the Dash 4 Cash programs in both circuits.
So when Busch and Joey Logano are not dominating selected Xfinity races next season, the door will remain open for Cup drivers such as Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon to trophy-grab with their Sprint Cup crews, equipment and engines.
Audi's withdrawal from the LMP1 class at the end of the season will have no effect on Toyota's participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship.....for now.
The Japanese manufacturer, which is coming off its first win in nearly two years at Fuji Speedway, has reaffirmed its commitment to 2017, which will see a pair of updated TS050 Hybrids do battle with Porsche's expected two-car entry in the championship. But hybrid vehicles days are numbered as we outlined recently. They are just a transition technology between internal combustion engines and full electric motors.
Servia trying to put together full-time ride for 2017
Oriol Servia always seems to land a ride for the Indianapolis 500, but not much else recently in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
So the Spaniard has set his mind to putting together his own fulltime ride for 2017. Servia estimated recently he's more than halfway toward securing the necessary funding.
"I live in Los Angeles and I find it very similar to the movie industry," said Servia, 42, whose last full season was in 2012 with Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "You need a producer who hires a director and hires the talent and finds the money to produce it and hopefully makes money at the end of the day. In a racing program, you need talent, which is the guys working their asses off; you need someone paying, which is the sponsor, which also hopes to make money by selling more of their product either through the exposure or the deals put together. I like being there in the middle, I really do."
F4 U.S. Champion Das Entered To Make European Formula 3 Debut This Weekend
Opportunities continue to unfold for Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda competitors. Inaugural F4 U.S. Championship titleholder Cameron Das of Brooklandville, Maryland, is slated to make his European racing debut Saturday during the BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk, United Kingdom.
The one-off season closer allows teams to evaluate potential new drivers for the 2017 season, offers additional mileage for current BRDC British F3 drivers and permits drivers looking to get their first experience with the F3 car to enter.
"The competition here is really competitive. I'm very excited to be participating in this year's Autumn Trophy," Das said.
NASCAR to still allow Cup drivers to prop up failing lower series
Will anyone attend the Xfinity and truck races if no Cup drivers are in them?
NASCAR today announced its driver participation guidelines for the '17 season, limiting the number of events a Cup series driver can race in the lower Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience will be eligible to run a maximum 10 Xfinity races and seven truck races, and they will be ineligible to compete in the final eight races in each series.
Drivers earning Cup points in '17 also are not eligible for the Xfinity and truck races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR PR
Tony Kanaan says that Honda will be the major beneficiaries of Chip Ganassi Racing's switch from Chevrolet next season, but that the move is also good for IndyCar as a whole writes David Malsher and Charles Bradley of Motorsport.com.
The Ganassi team is returning to Honda in 2017 after three years with Chevrolet, in which Kanaan's teammate Scott Dixon won the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. However, despite Chevy beating Honda 14-2 in terms of victories in 2016, Kanaan believes Ganassi can help redress that balance in the season ahead. He also told Motorsport.com that he expects the rivalry with Andretti Autosport to be HPD's top team will further push engine progress.
"Honda is the one that's benefiting most out of this whole deal," said Kanaan. "Having two teams like this, we're going to raise the bar. Having more good drivers with feedback, Honda can do more for the engines.
It's official, Audi dropping its 'dirty diesel' LMP1 program for clean Formula E
Audi's 'dirty' diesel LMP1 program is history
Audi is realigning its motorsport strategy. The premium brand will terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season. Instead Audi is taking up a factory-backed commitment in the all-electric Formula E racing series.
Speaking to 300 employees of the motorsport department on Wednesday morning, Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler put this strategic decision in the context of the current burdens on the brand, pointing out that it was important to focus on the things that would keep Audi competitive in the years ahead.
Video: 2016 Mercedes DTM Season For the more than half a million fans who watched the 18 races live at one of the nine tracks hosting the DTM 2016, this past season featured a brilliant debut winner, a fantastic quadruple success, spectacular charges through the field, impressive rookies and much more besides. We look back at the top moments for the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team during the 2016 campaign. Comment
Video: #QuizTime The mechanics are perhaps the unsung heroes of the Silver Arrows F1 team. We traveled with them to the US Grand Prix at Austin, Texas, and put their knowledge of Formula 1 to the test with a quiz. Did they answer all our questions correctly? Comment
Video: Amazing 'Garage Experience' The whir of the wheel guns, a conversation between a driver and his engineer, the roar of an engine starting up - F1 fans can now experience all of these sounds thanks to an authentic audio sequence from Bose. The Mercedes AMG Petronas Garage Experience presented by Bose made its debut at the 2016 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. The fans enter a virtual version of the Silver Arrows garage and are subjected to a new dimension of motorsport experience, just as if they were standing in the middle of it all. In the run-up to the race weekend at Austin, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton also tried it out and experienced the sound of racing as never before.
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