Asian Le Mans Series secures Daniel Poissenot as Race Director The Asian Le Mans Series has confirmed Daniel Poissenot as its Race Director for its 2013 inaugural season. Poissenot was race Director of the legendary 24 Heures du Mans for 12 years, working for the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, creator and organizer of the event.
Poissenot's involvement in Le Mans dates back to 1988. He was responsible for the smooth running and track safety, then he became the race director of the last twelve editions of the 24 Heures du Mans. He has also been the ACO Deputy General Manager for 10 years in charge of the sport department. He was also Race Director of the first Asian Le Mans race in Okayama, Japan in 2009.
Mark Thomas, Managing Director, S2M Group (promoter of Asian Le Mans Series): “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Daniel Poissenot to be the Race Director of the Asian Le Mans Series. His wealth of experience in Le Mans racing globally and specifically the 24 Heures du Mans will serve us well as we establish good management and governance to the new Series. Ultimately, we want to achieve exciting but fair racing within a safe environment and I am confident Daniel can help us achieve this”.
Ed Carpenter Racing Celebrates First Anniversary This Week
Carpenter celebrates win at Fontana
Ed Carpenter Racing celebrated its first anniversary in the IZOD IndyCar Series this week and much has occurred since the team’s initial press conference last November at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Owner/driver Ed Carpenter established a solid first-year program that culminated with a sensational last-lap victory in the season finale’s MAVTV500, at the Auto Club Speedway on Sept. 15.
Carpenter and contingent of veterans fought off the bigger, established teams of Andretti, Ganassi, Penske and others to capture the coveted 500-mile contest in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevy on the fast Fontana two-mile oval.
Biaggi retires on top Max Biaggi, who earned his second World Superbike championship this season, announced his retirement from the sport today at the Vallelunga circuit on the outskirts of Rome, where the 41-year-old began his motorcycle racing career.
After winning his second World Superbike crown one month ago at Magny-Cours (the sixth world title of his career), the press conference convened at the start of this week by the Italian rider was surrounded by considerable speculation about his future; whether he would retire, continue another year with Aprilia, move to Ducati in Superbike or even return to MotoGP.
2013 Daytona Preseason Thunder Dates Daytona Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 10-12. The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval. The new-look cars will conduct test sessions between 9am and 5pm each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from 12noon until 1pm.
Two test dates added at Charlotte Preparations for the rollout of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car continue with a great deal of excitement and NASCAR has secured two additional dates at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Dec. 11-12 and Jan. 17-18 - as an option for those teams that want to supplement their new car testing schedule. These tests do not count against a team's 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing allotment. NASCAR announced last month that beginning in 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will be permitted to conduct up to four tests per organization at tracks that host series events.
"We've put together an aggressive and extensive testing schedule for the new car and we are pleased with how things are progressing," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition. "We have the opportunity to provide teams with a couple more optional test dates at a mile and half race track as we look to provide the most exciting and competitive racing that we possibly can. The Daytona Preseason Thunder testing will give teams the chance to prepare their cars for Speedweeks and the running of the Daytona 500. The new car has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation and we're looking forward to seeing it in competition next year." NASCAR
da Costa tops Abu Dhabi Young Drivers test Day 2 Antonio Felix da Costa set the pace in the Red Bull RB8 on the second day of the Young Driver Formula One test in Abu Dhabi.
The team continued to prepare for the last two races, and gave its Portuguese protégé some mileage as he focused on aero work, trying new parts.
“It's been another good day,” he said. “Again, we did a lot of mileage, which is good for me and for the team. On a day like this, when the conditions are perfect for testing, and with two Grands Prix to go, I think the team needs to make the most of it, and today I think we did that.
Stoner looks to bow out on a high in Valencia The 2012 MotoGP World Championship comes to a conclusion this weekend in Valencia for the last round of the season, with the Repsol Honda Team hoping to finish the championship on a high.
The final rider's championship positions were decided in Australia, with Dani Pedrosa in second and Casey Stoner third, but the Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana is more than just the final race for them both. Pedrosa will want to finish his best season in MotoGP to date (6 wins and 14 podiums) by adding another victory to his tremendous performances in the second half of the season. After dominating in Phillip Island two weeks ago, Stoner is almost back to 100% and will want to close his successful career by winning his final race.
Carson: Council hearing will examine Porsche driving center plans Plans for Carson City, California's Porsche Experience Center are rounding their final lap.
A review of expected environmental impacts, including significant air quality problems during construction, is set for City Council approval Wednesday night. Council members also will hold a public hearing on necessary land-use changes so driving courses can replace a golf course, former landfill and apartments.
A rendering shows the proposed 53-acre Porsche Experience Center in Carson. The project calls for a museum displaying historical vehicles, driving skills courses, driving simulators, a high-end parts and service area, a restaurant and a "human performance center." (parkerb)
If the project clears the hurdles Wednesday night,, construction will begin soon on the 53-acre center that includes driving skills courses, a vehicle museum and other high-end facilities along the San Diego (405) Freeway on Main Street.
Changes at IndyCar shouldn't affect Belle Isle Grand Prix Randy Bernard is out. Could Tony George be in?
Rumors regarding the IZOD IndyCar Series have been tumbling about in a motorsports clothes dryer since Bernard stepped down – more likely was dismissed – as CEO of the Indianapolis-based open-wheel series Sunday.
We know this: Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. President and CEO, has been appointed interim CEO of IndyCar.
Kvyat quickest at Estoril post season test Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat set the pace on day one after posting the quickest lap time overall with a 1:30.902. Marussia Manor Racing's Tio Ellinas was fastest in the morning session and second in the afternoon, a tenth behind the MW Arden driver.
The final post-season test was hosted in glorious sunshine and warm temperatures at Circuito do Estoril, Portugal. As the drivers made their way onto the circuit to set installation laps, it was Lotus GP's Alex Brundle who set the early benchmark an hour into the session. There was an early red flag after Mario Marasca (Trident Racing) spun at turn eight. Once the session resumed, Ellinas jumped to the top of the timesheets, a tenth quicker than Brundle and David Fumanelli (MW Arden), with Lewis Williamson (Atech CRS GP) close in pursuit.
Jackie Stewart: F1 and Austin ‘a very, very good fit’
Former Formula One driver Jackie Stewart doesn’t need to talk about racing. His record speaks for itself: 27 Formula One victories, three world championships, success in other racing series and numerous accolades, including a knighthood in 2001.
But because of his success, not to mention his still-infectious Scottish accent, people still listen to the 73-year-old when he speaks about Formula One.
Stewart is scheduled to speak in Austin next week at an event hosted by the British Consulate-General Houston that will highlight the contributions Great Britain has made to motorsports. The invitation-only event is among the festivities surrounding the inaugural Formula One race at Circuit of the Americas in southeastern Travis County.
Ecclestone Bribery Charges Could Cause Havoc Across F1 Circuit
Ecclestone built F1 up and now could bring it down
Prosecutors in Munich are "considering whether to charge F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone for bribery" in connection with $44M he paid to a banker in '06-07, according to Crawford & Stevens of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The long-awaited decision is "expected in the coming weeks." An indictment of Ecclestone, known in F1 as "Supremo," would likely "force him out of the sport."
More worrisome for F1, Ecclestone's legal troubles "threaten to upend the multibillion-dollar racing circuit's ties to major sponsors, teams and fans." Ecclestone said last week he takes the allegations "very seriously" and is "absolutely" not guilty. He "has acknowledged making the payment," but said that he only did so "because he was blackmailed."
NASCAR Texas TV RatingUPDATE ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 4, earned a 2.9 final household coverage rating (2.5 U.S. rating), averaging 3,943,274 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race earned a 3.4 household coverage rating, meaning this year's numbers are down 15%.
Greensboro, N.C., led the nation with an 8.7 rating, with Charlotte second at 7.2. Greenville, S.C., (6.9), Norfolk (5.8) and Birmingham (5.7) rounded out the top five.
Proposed C$400M Canadian Motor Speedway In Ontario Approved For Groundbreaking
The Ontario Municipal Board yesterday "rejected all appeals against the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie, opening the door for groundbreaking" on a C$400M, 65,000-seat facility near the Peace Bridge, according to Michael Clarkson in a special to the TORONTO STAR. The land has been purchased and "it’s believed the major investors are from Kuwait." Construction is "expected to take 18 months." CMS Partner & Exec Dir Azhar Mohammad said that track officials "will try to attract NASCAR and other auto racing events, as well as rock concerts."
Current McLaren not to Button's liking The MP4-27 is unlikely to be remembered fondly by Jenson Button in years to come with the Briton admitting the car doesn't really suit him.
After finishing the 2011 season as runner-up to World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Button finds himself sixth in the Drivers' standings with only two races left in what has been a strange year for him personally.
Although he won two races - the opening Australian GP and the Belgian GP - he has managed to be on the podium on only three other occasions.
Autosport reports that Tony Fernandes is to step down as team principal of Caterham before the end of the season so he can focus more on developing his road car business.
"On the racing side we have come to the conclusion that it is better if someone else takes over the team principal role to move forward," he said in a joint interview with AUTOSPORT's sister publication Autocar.
"We are definitely better at business than finding tenths of seconds around a lap.
"It was right for us to lead the team initially and set a template of how it should be. That vision is now set and the team is ready to move forward to the midfield."
Q and A with Williams' Mark Gillan The Williams F1 Team finished fifth (Pastor) and eighth (Bruno) in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - the team's biggest points haul in the last few races – but it still came away from Yas Marina knowing there could have been more. Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan reflects on what was an exciting weekend of racing.
Q: Describe your emotions after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: are you pleased to have scored 14 points, or disappointed not to have scored more? MG: To be honest both. We are delighted to get 14 points and have both cars home in the points, but also equally frustrated as without the KERS failure, which occurred after the first safety car period, Pastor could have come home with much more and a podium was certainly achievable.
Abu Dhabi: Magnussen leads Young Driver Test Day 1 Six teams stayed on in Abu Dhabi to test young up and coming F1 drivers, teams from the fast McLaren Mercedes team to the backmarker Caterham team (those poor drivers).
Suzuki to Exit U.S. Car Market After Almost Three Decades Suzuki Motor Corp. will pull out of the U.S. car market after almost three decades, following Saab Automobile and Isuzu Motors Ltd. (7202) among automakers making their exits after failing to earn profits in the country.
Suzuki will stop the sale of new automobiles in the U.S., though it will continue offering motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and boat motors, the Hamamatsu, Japan-based carmaker said in a statement today. The company’s U.S. distributor filed for bankruptcy protection in Santa Ana, California as part of the reorganization.
Sonoma announces 2013 schedule The 25th annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend highlights a diverse schedule at Sonoma Raceway for the 2013 motor-racing season.
In addition to NASCAR, the Big O Tires Racing Season will also include the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar Series, FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival.
Dollar General expanding sponsoring of Joe Gibbs Racing As many companies are trending away from full-season sponsorships in the Sprint Cup Series, Dollar General is moving toward a 36-race commitment. CEO Rick Dreiling said the discount retailer will increase its spending on NASCAR for the sixth consecutive year, backing Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth for 17 races starting with next year's Daytona 500. That's up from 12 races this season. "Our goal is to grow into a full-time Cup ride," Dreiling told USA Today Sports. "But it's a little soon to commit if that's going to be next year or two to four years from now. That's all down the road." Dollar General also will sponsor a full-time car fielded by JGR for Brian Vickers in the Nationwide Series next season. Dreiling, who wouldn't disclose figures but called the deal part of an "orderly, methodical growth," said stock-car racing is the company's only national sports sponsorship because of internal marketing research that indicates its customers are 30 times more likely to be NASCAR fans than average consumers. Team owner Joe Gibbs said Home Depot, which has been sponsoring the No. 20 since 1999 but scaled back to 24 races this season, will pick up the other 19 races for Kenseth in 2013. JGR still is seeking more primary sponsorship in Sprint Cup to expand to a fourth car, but it will grow on the Nationwide Series in 2013. Vickers will drive one of three full-time cars next season on the second-tier circuit for JGR, which fielded two full-time Camrys this year. USA Today
NASCAR says no problem with Texas restarts NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton broke almost a year-long vow not to listen to talk radio on Monday morning. "In three minutes, I was done," Pemberton said with a laugh. That's because fans were outraged that #48-Jimmie Johnson, #2-Brad Keselowski or both jumped a restart, meaning they left early to gain an advantage, and weren't penalized in the closing laps of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Pemberton said for a driver to be penalized it has to be an obvious violation as it was earlier this year in the Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis with Elliott Sadler. He said that wasn't the case in either situation on Sunday involving the two drivers battling for the championship.
According to NASCAR rules, the second-place car can't beat the first-place car to the start-finish line on restarts. Johnson, according to television replays, beat Keselowski to the line on the final restart by anywhere from a few inches to a foot. Pemberton said when it's that close NASCAR is reluctant to make a call because you don't know whether the leader manipulated that or not. "When you went to double-file restarts this is what you had,'' he said. "You can't govern the restarts to the transponder, because then you're into regulating someone getting to the line and rolling out of the gas and getting the guy on the outside black-flagged. If anybody thinks those games don't happen, then it's obvious they're not paying attention." ESPN
SPEED Special Kurt Busch The Outlaw Reveals All Sides of Enigmatic Champion
Many things have been said about NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch – champion, competitor, racer… enigma. There might be one more as well – outlaw.
From Zero Point Zero Production, the Emmy Award-winning producers of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, national cable television network, SPEED (Twitter: @speed), presents an hour-long special about one of NASCAR’s most interesting drivers – Kurt Busch The Outlaw. The special premieres Thurs., Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Shake-up at IndyCar has no impact on Grand Prix of Baltimore planning IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard's ouster will have no effect on plans for the third Grand Prix of Baltimore, organizers said.
"We had strong ties with Randy," said Tim Mayer, general manager of this year's race. "But we have strong ties with a hundred other people who work there. Like Randy, they see the Grand Prix of Baltimore as not only a great event but an event with a long-term future."
Bernard's stint with IndyCar came to an end in late October, when the board of directors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — owner of the IndyCar series — met to address increasingly rampant speculation about his future. He submitted his resignation not long after, bringing to a close a strange year that saw improved racing but increased internal strife for a circuit struggling to regain its former prominence. J.P. Grant, who helped form Race On LLC and salvage this past year's race in Baltimore, said he has not spoken to IndyCar's interim CEO, Jeff Belskus. But after traveling to Indianapolis in September to hash out a deal with Bernard and his deputies, Grant has no concerns about support from the sanctioning body.
Pigot, Johnston to Test Double R Racing Formula 3 Car at Pembrey
Hot on the heels of a sensational victory in Sunday’s Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford extravaganza at Silverstone, the Team USA Scholarship will proudly add another string to its bow later this week when two talented young American drivers will have an opportunity to test a Formula 3 Dallara-Mercedes for Double R Racing at Pembrey Circuit, a renowned 1.456-mile test track situated near Llanelli in south Wales.
Spencer Pigot, 19, from Orlando, Fla., who earned Team USA Scholarships both in 2010 and 2011, will be joined by 2012 candidate Sean Johnston, 21, from Mt. Shasta, Calif., who dominated this year’s IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge – in his very first season of racing – and also impressed during the Team USA Scholarship shootout at California’s Auto Club Speedway aboard Allen Berg Racing School FR1600 cars in September.
India and China to race for glory at ROC Asia The two most populous nations on Earth will be in the hunt for glory at ROC 2012 as Team India and Team China have joined hosts Team Thailand in the line-up for ROC Asia on Friday 14 December at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.
The four-way competition will seek to find Asia’s fastest nation, with the winners going on to race against the best drivers in the world in the ROC Nations Cup and the Race Of Champions itself.
FIA Increases License Fees for drivers too Motorsports governing body FIA "will not only increase the starting fees for F1 teams, but also the license fees for F1 drivers," according to Roman Wittemeier of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. F1 drivers need a so-called super license that allows them to drive in the racing series. McLaren F1 Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "The proposed increase would lead to a basic fee of €10,000 ($12,800) for the super license plus €1,000 ($1,280) for each world championship point." Whitmarsh shows understanding for FIA's "idea of increasing its revenue" in that manner. Besides, as team principal he is not concerned with super license fees. McLaren driver Jenson Button, who won the world championship in '09, said, "When I won the title, it became really expensive. I had to pay an estimated €1M ($1.28M), if I remember correctly." Button added, "I don't think it's a good idea that drivers have to pay different amounts for their super license. If you get a regular driver's license, you don't have to pay more if you drive more kilometers or a faster car. However, the title was worth every single penny." Motorsport-Total.com
RTL Obtains Season-High Ratings For Its F1 Grand Prix Of Abu Dhabi Broadcast German private TV channel RTL "obtained season-high ratings for its broadcast of Sunday's F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL.de. A total of 7.18 million viewers tuned in on Sunday afternoon to watch Kimi Raikkonen celebrate his first F1 victory since '09. This number equals a 38.8% market share. In the target group, RTL's F1 broadcast "was the most-watched program of the day." The race attracted an average 2.76 million viewers or a 36.1% share. DWDL.de
SPAIN: HOYCINEMA.com reported that Antena 3's broadcast of the almost two-hour race was watched by an average audience of 6.647 million viewers and "an extraordinary" 44.3% market share. The market share numbers show an increase of 17.1 points from the '11 numbers for the same race, which was televised by La Sexta. HOYCINEMA.com
FRANCE: NOUVELOBS.com reported that TF1's broadcast of the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi "registered its best audience of the season" with 3.8 million viewers and a 25% share. The peak audience even reached 4.7 million. NOUVELOBS.com
GM secures $11 billion line of credit General Motors Co said it clinched an $11 billion revolving credit facility, further strengthening the largest U.S. automaker's balance sheet.
The new funds replace GM's $5 billion credit facility which matures in 2015. The facility offers better pricing and terms as well as the ability to borrow in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, GM said in a statement today.
Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies
Tim Wardrop, one of open-wheel racing's most respected engineers, died Oct. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 62.
The British-born Wardrop is probably best known in the United States for serving as the engineer for Arie Luyendyk when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Luyendyk established the still-unbroken all-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying speed records. Qualifying on the second day of time trials in 1996 - the final year until 2012 for turbocharged engines - Luyendyk recorded four consecutive laps at an average speed of 236.986 mph and a single lap at 237.492 mph. A couple of days earlier, during practice, Luyendyk had turned an unofficial lap at an astonishing 239.260 mph.
Renault and Caterham Group Announce A Partnership To Design And Build Sports Cars Renault and Caterham Group today announced their decision to join forces in pursuit of a common project: to design develop and build future sports vehicles. This agreement reflects a similar passion and expertise in sports and motorsports vehicles.
The future vehicles will be distinctive, differentiated, and carry the respective DNA of Alpine and Caterham Cars, the automotive division of Caterham Group. They will be built at the Alpine plant in Dieppe, Normandy, in France.
Caterham Group will own 50% stake in the Automobiles Alpine Renault company, currently 100 % held by Renault SAS. The Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, which will be resulting from this partnership, shall be created in January 2013. It will be managed by Bernard Ollivier.
Motorsports Governing Body FIA Imposes Hefty Fee Increases For F1 Teams Motorsports governing body FIA "has drastically increased the fees for F1 teams," according to Jens Marx of the DPA. F1 teams that win "will now be asked to pay up for their success." For the first time in F1 history, teams will have to pay FIA for their accumulated world championship points and their success.
The basis for the calculation of the fee is the team's result of the previous year. Teams will have to pay $5,000 for each championship point. The winner of the constructors' title will have to pay $6,000 per point. In addition, each team will have to pay an increased starting fee of $500,000. The starting fee used to be $399,800. Red Bull accumulated 650 points during the '11 season, which means "the team would have had to pay $4.4M in order to compete this season."
However, the distribution of F1's TV money is based on the constructors' championship standings, which means Red Bull generated between $50M-$60M last season. The new fees provide FIA with additional revenue of $16M. The fees for the '13 season have to paid by Nov. 30. DPA
GT3 Cars Are Allowed To Start In The European Le Mans Series In '13 Racing series governing body ACO "wants to increase the number of cars competing in the European Le Mans Series," according to Markus Luttgens of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. In order to do so, the ACO will allow GT3 cars to start in the ELMS in '13. Even though discussions about a possible merger of ACO's GTE category and the FIA-sanctioned GT3 series have been currently underway, GT3 cars will be allowed to start in the GTC category in the ELMS. The new GTC category is explicitly for GT3 cars. In addition, the ELMS will also have the categories GTE-Pro and GTE-Am as well as the prototype categories LMP2 and LMPC (formerly known as Formula Le Mans) Motorsport-Total.com
Tristan Nunez Earns Stunning Walter Hayes Trophy Victory at Silverstone
American Tristan Nunez victorious
Just a few days after celebrating his 17th birthday on Halloween, Tristan Nunez produced a sensational performance in his Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray GR08 to win this afternoon’s Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final at Silverstone. The youngster thereby emulated the performances of fellow Team USA winners Conor Daly in 2008 and Connor De Phillippi in 2009. It was also the sixth victory for Cliff Dempsey Racing.
Teammate Jack Mitchell Jr. also produced a creditworthy performance by finishing 10th among an extremely strong 120-car entry which included former three-time winners Peter Dempsey and Joey Foster and Superleague Formula champion and Le Mans Series P2 winner John Martin.
Loss of fuel pressure did in Hamilton McLaren has verified that it was a fuel pressure problem which took Lewis Hamilton out of the lead in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. When leading the race on Lap 20, the 2008 World Champion was forced to pull onto the grass at Turn 15.
“I’m gutted,” he said bluntly, having also dropped out of the lead in Singapore. “I’d had really good pace all weekend and I feel certain we could have won today. I had a fuel pressure problem – it was very sudden, I was just entering a corner and the car just died on me. The only mistake I made all weekend was having a brief moment on Lap 2, when my brakes weren’t fully up to temperature and I locked up into Turn 8. After that, everything was going really well. The car was a dream to drive, I was cruising and pulling away.”
Hamilton jealous of Vettel Lewis Hamilton, jealous that Sebastian Vettel is the No. 1 driver in F1 today after winning two straight titles and looking to make it three straight, says Vettel has been "lucky" in his World titles as he has had "dominant" cars.
After a sluggish start to the season, Red Bull have once again emerged as the favorite with their RB8 pulling away from its rivals.
And it is because of that "dominant" car that Hamilton reckons Vettel has been one very lucky chap.
HRT steering issued caused scary accident in Abu Dhabi The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was marred by a frightening accident for the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. The German, fighting from the back of the field after Lap 1 contact with Romain Grosjean, flew over the top of Narain Karthikeyan and slammed into the barriers after the Indian suffered a steering issue.
“Unfortunately the chance of points was gone after the first-lap incident with Romain, after which I had to come into the pits for a new nose,” explained Rosberg, who like Karthikeyan was able to walk away from the impending Turn 16 shunt unscathed.
Dodge hopes to return to NASCAR The chief of Dodge Motorsports is hopeful that the manufacturer will return to NASCAR in the not too distant future. "Going forward, we're going to take the year off, evaluate the potential," Ralph Gilles told ESPN.com after a panel discussion on the future of motorsports at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show. "We also did a lot of data mining. Part of the issue our management team wanted was, what are we really getting out of NASCAR? We only have two cars out of a huge field. Are we getting our money's worth? Ironically, this year we got beyond our money's worth. How you can replicate that? I don't know. That's what we're looking at right now." The matter of returning to the sport, whether that is in 2014 or another year in the near future, is finding an organization as strong and viable as Penske Racing. The lack of such a team left Dodge with little option but to pull out in 2013. "The Dodge brand is interested," Gilles said of a return. "It would be hard to replace Roger [Penske], because Roger has a long-term deal with Ford. The capacity isn't there to have that right now. It's going to be tough, but we'll have to look at it." Gilles said the move toward more brand identity with the 2013 car could help expedite Dodge's return ESPN
Red Bull to take tactical option of starting Sebastian Vettel from Abu Dhabi pitlaneUPDATE A statement issued by the FIA a few hours ahead of the race revealed that Red Bull has replaced the gearbox of the car, made changes to the suspension and had also fitted new gear ratios to those submitted after second practice.
Sebastian Vettel has his work cut out for him Sunday
11/03/12 Red Bull boss Christian Horner has confirmed that Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP from the pitlane.
Although Vettel has been demoted to the back of the grid in the wake of his exclusion from Saturday's qualifying session due to a fuel irregularity, the team are set to take up the tactical option of starting the World Champion from the pitlane in order to give the German a better chance of overtaking around one of the most restrictive circuits on the F1 calendar.
"If they start Vettel from the pitlane then they can change loads of things on the car," confirmed Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz. "They could change his tires, his gearbox and even give Sebastian a new engine. They could also change his wing level to make it easier for him to overtake."
Mark Webber said he is ready for some 'local difficulties' within the Red Bull team in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he will push to win and not consider supporting team-mate Sebastian Vettel's bid for the drivers' world title.
The Australian made this clear after qualifying second behind Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and one place ahead of Vettel.
Asked if he expected to have to obey team orders, that might request him to concede his position to title leader Vettel, Webber gave a steely response.
Lawyers: Texas comptroller committed state funds to MotoGP race State Comptroller Susan Combs last year committed more than $40 million from a state events trust fund to a MotoGP race planned at the Circuit of the Americas in southeastern Travis County, according to attorneys for motorcycling legend Kevin Schwantz.
The $4.6 million a year for 10 years — which had previously been unreported — is in addition to a controversial $250 million in state funds that Combs appeared to commit to attract Formula One to the circuit, Schwantz’s attorneys claim.
Paving starts for key road for F1 traffic On Friday — just two weeks before Austin’s inaugural Formula One race weekend — workers began paving a new, three-lane road that will be key to traffic management for the race.
“It’s critical, absolutely,” said Mike Gabel, engineering project manager for Carlson, Brigance & Doering. “Failure is not an option.”
Gabel is overseeing a .6-mile extension of Kellam Road to connect it with Pearce Lane and Circuit of The Americas’ main boulevard at the north end of track. Although the circuit has contingency traffic plans if the extension is not completed in time, circuit officials have previously estimated that the road could cut traffic delays significantly.
F1 circuit sues former web host over Hellmund video Almost two weeks ago, thousands of Circuit of the Americas email subscribers received a message touting “Must See — Circuit of the Americas History Video!”
Those curious enough to click on the link — perhaps as many as 12,000, according to the circuit — saw what looked like a mistake: a 12-minute YouTube video of former circuit partner Tavo Hellmund talking during several press conferences and interviews.
Johnny Sauter grabs second straight Truck Series victory at Texas
A happy Sauter
Getty Images for NASCAR
For a Yankee from Wisconsin, Johnny Sauter is fast developing an affinity for the Lone Star State.
Passing Parker Kligerman with 10 laps left, Sauter won Friday night's Winstar World Casino 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to claim his second victory of the season. Both of Sauter's wins have come at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.
Sauter finished 2.199 seconds ahead of Kligerman, who came home second. Nelson Piquet Jr. ran third, followed by Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon, who trimmed six points off series leader James Buescher's advantage with two races left in the season.
Kevin Harvick had a lock on the front of the field in Saturday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, but there was plenty of action behind him.
The class of the field in the 200-lap, 300-mile Nationwide Series race, Harvick won handily, crossing the finish line 1.628 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Ryan Blaney, who made the most of a pit stop for tires on Lap 178.
Pole-sitter Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who erased the six-point lead Elliott Sadler held when the race began. Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion, is tied with Sadler with two races left in the season and holds the tiebreaker, most wins.
Hamilton snr tips son to win title for Mercedes (GMM) Lewis Hamilton's father and former manager Anthony has tipped his son to win the title for Mercedes within three years.
After six years, 20 wins and a title, McLaren careerist and long-time team driver Hamilton, 27, has decided to join the famous 'Silver Arrows' in 2013.
"I am sure Lewis will be champion at Mercedes in three years," father Anthony, who was sidelined as manager by his son a few years ago, told the German news agency SID.
"Lewis is very happy with his move and looking forward to the new challenge," he added, referring to speculation the British driver might already be regretting his decision due to Mercedes' current performance slump.
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