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SMI profits down, but still huge  Speedway Motorsports' ticket revenue for the year dropped 15.6 percent through September and its operating profits dropped 41.4 percent, according to its third quarter financial statement released Wednesday.

For the last three months – which primarily were Sprint Cup weekends at Bristol, Atlanta and New Hampshire – the ticket revenues dropped 13.5 percent from $45.8 million to $39.7 million.

The financial results through September include virtually all of the SMI races this season with the exception of the Charlotte race weekend in October and Texas this weekend. SMI owns tracks at Bristol, Atlanta, New Hampshire, Texas, Sonoma (Calif.), Kentucky, Las Vegas and Charlotte.

SMI officials remain optimistic even though total revenues for the year through Sept. 30 have dropped from 8.8 percent from $460.0 million to $419.3 million. More ...

Quotes of the Week  "I've been coming here for more than 40 years, not just for the race," Ecclestone told Reuters on Sunday at the Brazilian GP when told of Jenson Button's near mugging. "I've run on the beach here in the morning early with watches on and never been mugged, never seen anyone being mugged.

"Normally like in America or anywhere you go there are people getting mugged. In London, it's a funny thing you know - surprising in Oxford Street the number of people that get mugged there hourly," he declared, referring to the crowded central shopping thoroughfare.

Ecclestone, who got into hot water last year when he suggested Adolf Hitler was a man "who got things done", said Button might have kept out of trouble by qualifying higher up the grid. More ...

Video: Kyle Busch spins, then tempers kick in  
Red Bull tactics now turn to drivers' title victory – Marko  (GMM)  With the constructors' title now in the bag, Red Bull will turn its attention to securing the drivers' crown next weekend in Abu Dhabi.

In Brazil, with Sebastian Vettel behind on points but still mathematically in the hunt for the championship, the team rested on owner Dietrich Mateschitz's "sporting ethos" and refused to play a team strategy in Mark Webber's favor.

But with just Abu Dhabi now to come in six days, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso still leading the standings by 8 points, a different approach to the season showdown may be necessary.

"We will be considering how to approach Abu Dhabi, both technically and tactically," admitted motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko on German RTL television after the Brazilian grand prix. More ...

Team game would have been wrong 'this weekend' - Horner  
Christian Horner
(GMM)  Christian Horner has left open the possibility of a position switch in Abu Dhabi next weekend, if it means a Red Bull driver wins the drivers' title.

Had Mark Webber been ushered past his teammate Sebastian Vettel at Interlagos, the Australian would now be just one point behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with one race to go.

Instead, with Vettel at the top of the podium but still 15 points behind, Webber's gap is eight.

But if Vettel is once again running ahead of Webber in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, and that result would mean Red Bull misses out on the drivers' title, it seems clear that a team strategy will be deployed. More ...

Lorenzo over Stoner in season finale  
(L to R) Stoner, Lorenzo and Rossi
Jorge Lorenzo signed off a hugely successful 2010 campaign with a ninth win of the year on Sunday, taking victory at Valencia in front of a delighted home crowd. The MotoGP World Champion, who before this weekend had never won at the circuit in any of the three classes in which he had competed there, eventually crossed the finish line 4.576s clear of Casey Stoner, who was followed onto the podium by Valentino Rossi.

Despite the margin of victory it was far from a straightforward win for the 23 year-old Spaniard, who did magnificently to avoid crashing when he touched bikes with Marco Simoncelli early on. Motivated even further by the moment Lorenzo determinedly pushed on and rode brilliantly to end his season in the perfect manner.

In second place and ending his four-year partnership with Ducati Stoner had led the race for much of the contest, but with eight of the 30 laps remaining he was unable to prevent Lorenzo taking over. The Australian, who had displayed blistering pace in practice and qualifying to take pole, selected the harder rear compound tire for the race whilst his fellow podium finishers both went with the medium option. More ...
team usa
Team USA Drivers Claim Podium Finishes  Silverstone, England – Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles both earned fine podium finishes during today’s Heat Races for the Walter Hayes Trophy Race Meeting at the 1.639-mile Silverstone National circuit.

Under dramatically different weather conditions compared to Friday, Pigot secured second on the grid for Heat One on a track which was still extremely slippery after heavy overnight rain. A couple of hours later, by which time the sun was shining and the track was completely dry, Serralles also secured an outside front row starting position.

Temperatures remained cool but the action on the track was typically intense as almost 120 Formula Ford drivers contested a total of six Heat races which will determine the starting positions for tomorrow’s pair of Semi Finals. More ...

Button describes close call as Sauber mechanics are also held up  
Q: How are you feeling?

I'm fine. No problem.

Q: What happened?

We rocked up at the traffic lights and we were three rows back. Our driver, as always, stops early and doesn't pull up right behind the car in front. We looked to the right and we saw a few guys gathering on the side of the road just at the entrance to a building. They were just stood there, they looked a bit suspect but I didn't think anything of it.

Richard (Goddard, his manager) noticed one had a baton hanging down from his arm and I noticed one guy was playing around with something in his trousers and it was a gun. As soon as I said that the driver looked across, they saw him look and started running across towards the car. So we angled the car floored it through what didn't look a big enough space. We got between six cars, ramming every single car to get past, got through in the end and got away, but looking behind there were two guys with hand guns, quite simple looking ones and one guy with what looked like a machine gun. More ...

RPM will finish out season with four cars  Richard Petty Motorsports has the financial backing to finish the season and is working toward running a two-car Sprint Cup car operation in 2011, vice president of competition of Robbie Loomis said on Saturday. "It's been amazing to me, the support from owners and drivers who have come up and been able to help keep us going ... past crew chiefs," Loomis said after the final Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's race. "People have really been supportive of helping us continue along and get to a better place."

Among those helping RPM is former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham, who still has a minority ownership stake in the team after selling what was then Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007. Gillett later merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports. Gillett's recent financial difficulties surrounding the sale of the Liverpool soccer club left the racing team so strapped for money that two weeks ago there were questions of whether RPM could pay the bills necessary to finishing the season. Since then minority owner Richard Petty has been looking for investors to retake majority ownership from Gillett and keep the team afloat through the final race of this season. Loomis said the latter no longer is an issue. More ...

Sauber confirms engineer gun attack  (GMM) A Sauber spokesperson on Sunday confirmed reports that multiple team engineers were robbed at gunpoint whilst returning to their Sao Paulo hotel on Saturday evening.

The news comes as rumors suggest the future of the Interlagos event is in doubt over the security issue, after the car taking Jenson Button from the track on Saturday narrowly escaped a similar attack by smashing through traffic.

According to German media, the team spokesperson said the Sauber attack involved three engineers.

"They had stopped at a traffic light and were approached by five men.

"One of them had a gun. They stole bags, personal items, mobile phones and cash."

And Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi told BBC radio that he was mugged for his watch in Sao Paulo recently.
Lotus engine switch not Cosworth's fault - Gascoyne  (GMM)  Lotus did not split with Cosworth because the British supplier's engine was not good enough.

That is the claim of Mike Gascoyne, after deciding to break a longer contract with Cosworth ahead of 2011 to agree deals with Renault and Red Bull.

As did HRT and Virgin, Lotus has used the Xtrac gearbox that came bundled with the Cosworth engine in 2010 and was disappointed with the unit's performance and reliability.

Gascoyne told redbull.com: "Unfortunately this year their (Cosworth's) partner let them down very badly.  We struggled all year and frankly they haven't got on top of it even now."

Instead, Lotus will use a Renault engine attached to a Red Bull gearbox next year and beyond.

"Cosworth were certainly a victim of something that wasn't their doing.  Certainly the reliability of the drivetrain package was the driving factor in our decision to change," added Gascoyne. More ...

Peugeot wins at Zhuhai in China  
The start as Peugeot takes command immediately
The rain finally cleared and sunny conditions greeted participants and fans in Zhuhai today for the start of the ILMC final 1000km race. Peugeot held the top two positions on the grid, followed by the #7 Audi in third, driven by Rolex Testimonee and eight-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and co-driver Allan McNish.

Ambiance at the track picked up 1000-fold for race day, as fans streamed in, food stands went up and marching bands took to the track grounds to set the stage for the ILMC finale. At the same time as the Michelin man made rounds behind the grandstands, a long Chinese dragon danced along the start line, delighting the fans and wishing good luck to participants in this brand new race, the first endurance event China has ever seen on local grounds. Spectators lined up outside the Porsche stand for free supporter flags, while others snapped pictures of the latest models from Peugeot, on display in the public area. Display cars and live local music were paired with corn on the cob, shish kebabs and even an unexpected European treat: sauerkraut and sausages. More ...
Blue skies for race but dark cloud over Brazil GP  (GMM)  There are blue skies above Interlagos on Sunday morning, but a dark cloud above the future of the Brazilian grand prix.

While there is no threat of rain falling on race day at the circuit on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, more stories about the threat of armed muggers were doing the rounds in the paddock.

The skilled driver of Jenson Button's bullet-proof Mercedes B-class managed to smash through traffic when threatened by robbers wielding bats and machine guns on Saturday evening after qualifying.

But half a dozen Sauber engineers were reportedly less lucky, having been relieved of their briefcases in the same area on the route from Interlagos to Morumbi. More ...

BMW to build hybrid supercar  
BMW Hybrid Supercar concept will now move to an actual production car.  Electric propulsion is the future of the automobile as now every auto manufacturer in the world has one or is designing one.  Hence why when IndyCar announced their new car without any hybrid element it became clear they were out of touch with the future of the automobile.
BMW, the world's largest maker of luxury autos, will build its first hybrid supercar as part of a broader effort to create more fuel-efficient vehicles and underline its technological prowess.

The Vision Efficient Dynamics model, which accelerates to 62 m.p.h. in 4.8 seconds while emitting 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, will go on sale in 2013, the Munich, Germany-based carmaker said Friday. The car will be priced below the company's Rolls-Royce models, development chief Klaus Draeger said.

CEO Norbert Reithofer is developing the hybrid supercar and the electric-powered Megacity auto to help meet tighter environmental regulations and to boost sales to 2 million vehicles by 2020 from 1.4 million this year. The new sports car, which has doors that open upwards, is powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine and two electric motors. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  
  • Jenson Button shaken
    Hulkenberg's pole prize could be HRT demotion
  • Button in gun attack after bad day at Interlagos
  • Boullier confirms F1 talks with Group Lotus
  • Glock not confirming Virgin seat for 2011
  • Vettel will 'never be friends' with Webber
  • Peter Sauber eyes return to retirement
  • Sunny weather in Brazil Sunday
  • Di Grassi fined for pit lane speeding More ...
Button escaped armed attack  The McLaren Formula One team said Saturday that driver Jenson Button has escaped unscathed from an apparent armed robbery or carjacking attempt in Sao Paulo.

Jenson and his entourage emerged unscathed, reportedly because their police driver was able to get away. The incident is extremely worrying for all F1 personnel.

According to U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail, Button said: "We were going back from the track and were outside a shanty town and moving slowly on a busy road. I saw a dog come out. It was very cute. The next thing I saw was a man with a gun. Our guy angled the car and floored it.

"That's when we saw six men, all of them brandishing machine guns. My driver was a legend. It was very scary. I don't know whether they knew who it was they were ambushing. I said, 'Isn't that a gun?' and as soon as I said that, the driver angled the car. I am glad I didn't have my girlfriend Jessica with me--she would have been terrified." More ...

Cosworth's first pole since 1999  The Brazilian GP pole by Hulkenberg is Cosworth’s first pole position since the 1999 French Grand Prix when Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello claimed pole position for Stewart Grand Prix. Coincidentally Brazil is also the scene of Cosworth’s last F1 victory, with Giancarlo Fisichella’s Jordan in 2003, while the last time a Williams Cosworth was on pole position for a race was in 1983 with Keke Rosberg – in Brazil. As if those stats are not enough, today’s date is exactly 17 years since the late Ayrton Senna claimed pole position for his last ever Grand Prix race win – in a Cosworth powered McLaren.

Hulkenberg and Barrichello are using fresh engines because Cosworth has had no engine failures all year.  On 1/4th the budget it's good to see minnow Cosworth beat the giants on this day.

Cosworth celebrates memorable pole position with AT&T Williams  Cosworth is celebrating a memorable pole position with the AT&T Williams team following Nico Hülkenberg’s impressive performance in qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos.

This result marks the first pole position performance for the 2.4 liter V8 Cosworth CA2010 engine since Cosworth’s return to Formula One this season after a three year absence as an engine supplier. Hülkenberg’s pole position was supported by a strong run to sixth position by team mate Rubens Barrichello. More ...
Brad Keselowski clinches NASCAR Nationwide Series championship  Another Michigan native won a NASCAR championship this weekend when Brad Keselowski, of Rochester Hills, clinched his first Nationwide Series title in dominating fashion following a third-place finish at Texas.

Keselowski’s Nationwide Series title also gives another Michigan resident, team owner Roger Penske, his first championship in NASCAR.

Keselowski now becomes the fourth driver from Michigan to win a NASCAR touring series title, joining the likes of Johnny Benson, Jack Sprague and Benny Parsons. Benson, from Grand Rapids, won the 1995 Nationwide Series and 2008 Camping World Truck Series titles. Parsons, from Detroit, is Michigan’s only NASCAR Cup Series champion with a title in 1973. Sprague, originally from Spring Lake, was the Truck Series champion three different times in 1997, 1999 and 2001. More ...

Horner says 'no doubt' Webber staying in 2011  
Christian Horner
(GMM)  Christian Horner on Saturday played down reports Mark Webber might leave Red Bull after the 2010 season.

After his disparaging comments earlier at Interlagos, Australian Webber had also played down the rumors about his future, but did not entirely rule out the possibility of not driving for the energy drinks-owned team next year.

But team boss Horner told the BBC: "There is no doubt in our minds that Mark will be driving for us next year.

"We've provided him with a great car and lots of support.  He's got a contract.  Why would he want to be anywhere else?" More ...

Initial 2011 ILMC dates announced  
March 19, Sebring 12 Hours (USA)
May 8, Spa (B)
June 11-12, Le Mans 24 Hours (F)
July, TBA (Europe)
Sept. 11, Silverstone (GB)
October, TBA
November, China (venue TBA)
Stoner storms to pole in Valencia  Casey Stoner put on a stunning display in his final qualifying session with Ducati to take pole position for the last race of the 2010 season at Valencia, posting the only sub-1’32” lap of the weekend so far in a strong 45-minute run. The Australian’s hot lap of 1’31.799 left him 0.331s clear at the top of the timesheet, and came after he had dealt with an early run-off as he pushed hard for his fourth pole of the campaign.

World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, sporting a special edition helmet for the final-round occasion, followed Stoner onto the front row with a best effort of 1’32.130 on his Fiat Yamaha M1 having led for a large portion of the session. More ...

Kubica tops practice 3 in Sao Paulo  Robert Kubica set the fastest time in final practice for this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, on a wet Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Rainmeister Sebastian Vettel was 2nd quick in his Red Bull-Renault followed by Lewis Hamilton's McLaren, and the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.  More ...

Renault, Cosworth write to F1 about 2013 engine rules  (GMM)  Renault and Cosworth have written a letter to the FIA as F1 struggles to find agreement over a new engine formula for 2013.

The FIA is pushing hard for turbocharged 4 cylinder engines with exhaust-heat KERS capabilities to replace the current normally-aspirated V8s, and aiming to rubber-stamp the rules at the World Motor Sport Council in December.

Superficially, the engine makers support the sport's 'green' direction but are concerned about initial costs and then a development arms race.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Renault and Cosworth-powered teams last week signed a letter to the FIA pointing out the weaknesses of the proposed new rules. More ...

Hunter-Reay tests at Barber trying to find some speed  
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Barber Motorsports Park has always been a difficult road course to master. It was intended to be that way.

For the Andretti Autosport team in the IZOD IndyCar Series, it was difficult enough that they returned to Barber last weekend for some post-season testing.

The objective was to find the Goldilocks set-up -- the formula for setting up the car that's not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  That's not easy to do, said Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who tested at Barber with teammate Marco Andretti.

"There's so many elevation changes that really play tricks on what you're trying to achieve," he said.  A car set up to run well through the first several turns won't run as well through the high-speed turns down the backstretch. More ...

tv news
Sunday on Wind Tunnel  
Featured Interview Larry Dixon (NHRA Top Fuel Points Leader)
NHRA Top Fuel points leader, Larry Dixon, heads to the season finale next week in Pomona, CA hoping to clinch his 3rd Top Fuel title and break the current streak of Tony Schumacher, who has won the past six championships.

Expert Analysts Bob Varsha & David Hobbs (SPEED Formula 1 Anchors)
SPEED’s Bob Varsha and David Hobbs will stop by to re-cap the Brazilian Grand Prix and preview next week’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

This Week’s Races
CUP, Nationwide, and Camping World Trucks in Texas
F1 in Brazil
World of Outlaws World Finals in Charlotte
MotoGP season finale in Valencia, Spain

All Peugeot front row in Zhuhai  The final outing of the 908 HDi looks very promising with the two fastest times during their successful qualifying session this Saturday in front of the Audi driven by Tom Kristensen. In GT1, the fastest time was made by the Japanese Sekiguchi driving a Lamborghini.

At the start of the 1,000 km of Zhuhai, which will start tomorrow, Sunday, 7th November at noon local time (5:00 in France/4:00 in UK) the Chinese public will see only blue at the front of the grid. For their final race in the 908, Peugeot's drivers set the bar high early in the qualifying session held this Saturday, despite the difficult track condition following heavy rain that has been falling since Thursday. More ...
Interlagos track sodden before Saturday practice  (GMM)  90 minutes before Saturday morning practice, plumes of spray are pouring from the rear of the local F3 cars at Interlagos.

Weather forecasts of a very wet day have so far proved correct, with the skies dark and grey and more heavy showers predicted in the gap between F1 practice and qualifying at 2pm.

"Qualifying could be a lottery," former driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard wrote in his Telegraph column. More ...

Brawn: We now understand the car better  
Ross Brawn
Mercedes GP Team Principal Ross Brawn has said that the team now has a significantly more comprehensive understanding of its car in comparison to earlier this season, with performances having seemingly improved in recent races despite no significant updates being installed.

“It has just been consolidation and often when you are introducing a lot of new things, particularly with no testing, it makes the Friday and Saturday practice quite difficult,” Brawn commented in Friday’s FIA press conference at Interlagos. More ...

suttleAustin F1 attorney is no dummy  
If you click on the photo at right, you’ll see that the book tucked under the arm of attorney Richard Suttle is “Formula One Racing for Dummies.” Suttle represents the promoters of the proposed Austin Grand Prix Formula One race.

He had the book with him Wednesday night when he addressed the city Environmental Board. While explaining some F1 basics to board members, Suttle said that he was still learning about the sport and then held up the book.

That gesture drew some laughs from the board members. A few hours later, the board unanimously voted to approve the variances Suttle was seeking for his client.

When asked today for a comment, Suttle quipped, “I wish I was fishing.” The Statesman

Stoner tops final practice in Valencia  Casey Stoner led the way in the third free practice at Valencia on Saturday morning, timing in with a best lap of 1’32.664 to also mark the fastest time of the weekend so far. The Ducati Team rider topped the session by a gap of 0.281s over Dani Pedrosa, as the Australian consistently ran below the 1’33” marker.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa made an improvement of just under a full second on his previous best time to record the second fastest lap of the session as he joined Stoner under the 1’33” benchmark, whilst Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) was third on the timesheet at almost half a second off the number one spot. The World Champion’s best lap of his weekend remains his FP2-topping effort from Friday afternoon. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  
  • Mark Webber
    Major sponsor Philips to leave Williams
  • Name change not important insists Lotus' Gascoyne
  • Interlagos expected to stay wet on Saturday
  • Horner tells Webber to put focus back on track
  • Trulli plays down talk of NASCAR switch
  • Title defeat will make Vettel stronger - Stewart
  • FIA to increase maximum F1 stewards penalty
  • HRT announces deal with former Telefonica boss  More ...
Toyota Takes Fifth Straight Truck Series Manufacturer's Title  When Kyle Busch finished first Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway, it enabled Toyota to clinch its fifth consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship. Toyota has won the NCWTS manufacturer’s championship each year since 2006, along with a pair of driver’s titles for Todd Bodine (2006) and Johnny Benson (2008).

Bodine, who currently leads the NCWTS standings by 230 points, is seeking to capture Toyota’s third series driver’s title.  Overall, this is the eighth time Toyota has earned a NASCAR manufacturer’s title since the start of the 2004 season. More ...

Brazilian GP: Friday Quotes  


Lewis Hamilton (4th, 1:12.656): "The car felt good today - I'm getting everything out of it - but I still felt it needs just a little more downforce. Still, I'm optimistic for qualifying tomorrow - especially if it rains, which I'm told it probably will. This year's car is much better than last year's car in the wet, so I feel confident that if it rains we should be able to fight for the front row. In terms of pure pace in the dry, the Red Bull looks very quick. But a number of factors will play a part in deciding how things pan out in the next two grands prix - weather, engines, reliability - so it's all still up for grabs."

Jenson Button (7th, 1:13.206): "We spent today playing about with the balance. The car feels good in high-speed corners, but we still need to work on the front end of the car in low-speed corners. Towards the end of today's running, on higher fuel, the car felt pretty good, which was encouraging. The weather forecast says it looks like rain tomorrow, so it'll be interesting to see how that affects qualifying. I think our race car should be good - and that's important because Sunday should be dry. Hopefully, our race set-up won't be too compromised by the anticipated wet conditions in qualifying tomorrow." More ...

Renault confirms Petrov rear wing problem  Renault has verified that a fault with the car’s rear wing caused the accident which saw Vitaly Petrov sustain a heavy impact in first practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In an almost identical moment to that of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari in 2004, the Russian’s car speared off the track at the high-speed Ferradura corner, with its right-hand side being destroyed against the tire barriers.

“We lost quite a lot of time this morning after my accident and that obviously had a knock-on effect this afternoon as well,” commented the frustrated Vyborg man.

“It’s been a difficult day for me but I have enjoyed driving this circuit, which gives the driver quite a lot of challenges. We need to work hard tonight to ensure that we can make up for the problems we had today.”

Weekly NASCAR cheaters report  UPDATE NASCAR fined Billy Ballew Motorsports crew chief Richie Wauters $2,500 for having an unapproved air filter housing, found by NASCAR officials during pre-qualifying inspection Oct. 29 at Talladega. Wauters, crew chief for Aric Almirola, also was put on probation through December.  NASCAR also indefinitely suspended Truck Series crew member John Loper Jr. and fined him $2,500 for unauthorized duplication of a NASCAR annual credential. NASCAR did not identify Loper’s team.

Whitney Motorsports will appeal the suspensions issued as part of its penalty for having weight pellets in the lower A-frames of its No. 46 Chevrolet on opening-day inspection last week at Talladega Superspeedway.

The appeal will be heard Tuesday morning, team owner Dusty Whitney said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

11/04/10 NASCAR has issued penalties to the #46 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. The #46 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR required rules); and 20-2.3A (unapproved added weight location and unapproved added weight – lower A-frames were filled with weight pellets) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Thomas Tucker has been fined $50,000 and indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Car chief Richard Boga and team manager Tony Furr have also been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Driver Michael McDowell and car owner Dusty Whitney have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and owner points, respectively. NASCAR PR

Rain on way to Interlagos for Saturday  (GMM)  Rain is on the way to the Interlagos circuit. After a late shower or two in Sao Paulo on Thursday, Friday's track action at the Brazilian circuit took place in warm and dry conditions.

But the rain clouds are now gathering once again and forecasts suggest the night will be a wet one.

The threat of rain will continue throughout the night and into the morning, and – reminiscent of qualifying at Interlagos a year ago – heavy showers on Saturday are possible. More ...

Lorenzo on top as final weekend gets underway in Valencia  The season final MotoGP race at Valencia got underway this afternoon and World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ended the day well in command of proceedings, setting a blistering final lap in the second free practice session.

After the bad weather that has blighted the two last rounds, the Valencian sunshine presented a welcome change and raised paddock spirits on this final outing of the year. Lorenzo had a strong morning practice session, coming in second behind Casey Stoner, but the 23-year-old made some significant steps this afternoon and his final lap put him into the 1'32s, two tenths ahead of Stoner in the combined standings.



Rider Manu. Nat. Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'32.690
2 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'32.897
3 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'33.466
4 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1'33.468
5 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'33.470
6 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1'33.528
7 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1'33.535
8 Marco Melandri Honda ITA 1'33.568
9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'33.661
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1'33.684
11 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1'33.782
12 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'33.927
13 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 1'33.954
14 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1'34.154
15 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1'34.248

Senna movie set for 2011 release  “Senna”, the documentary film about the life of Ayrton Senna, will be released in June 2011 in the UK.

The film opens in Japan next month to coincide with the Japanese Grand Prix. It is being screened at Suzuka on the weekend of the race.

The earlier release date for the Japanese market reflects the continued popularity of Senna in Japan.

Two foreign-language trailers for the film have appeared so far: More ...

Reduced cost and more track time for 2011 FIA F2  The price of competing in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship has been confirmed at just £225,000 + VAT for the 16 races over eight events, a major reduction from the already remarkably low £275,000 cost of the 2010 season.  Furthermore, the race weekend schedule has been enhanced to provide substantially more track time to help young drivers learn and gain experience, with the two Friday 30 minute practice sessions each now increased by 50% to 45 minutes, and the second Sunday race being increased from 30 minutes to 40 minutes, like the first Saturday race. More ...
HRT has new 'financial backer' says Ecclestone  UPDATE (GMM)  HRT is ready to announce some important news about its future, team boss Colin Kolles confirmed at Interlagos on Friday.

Earlier at the Brazilian circuit, Bernie Ecclestone said one of his contacts - "a financial backer" - is getting involved with the struggling Spanish team.

"There should be some (press) release very soon," Kolles confirmed to Reuters.  "I think Mr. Ecclestone knows what he is saying."

Indeed, he said "a few" announcements are scheduled for the following days, amid speculation the team is set to use the services of Cologne based Toyota Motorsport.

Another of the possible announcements, to tie up with the gearbox deal with Williams, is the employment of the British team's Finnish test driver Valtteri Bottas. More ...

Dodge Charger nose approved  The new Dodge Charger nose has been approved by NASCAR for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season. The development of the Charger nose has been a cooperative effort by Dodge Motorsports Engineering and Penske Racing and gives Dodge better brand identify for the Charger while remaining within the NASCAR approval process. “With the introduction of the all-new 2011 Dodge Charger for the street, we worked closely with Penske Racing to develop the Dodge brand identity while maintaining neutral aerodynamics within the NASCAR rules,” said Dave Bailey, Senior Manager of Dodge Motorsports Engineering. “Coupled with NASCAR’s new common lower nose for 2011, the revised front end carries the image and character of the Charger forward in true Dodge performance fashion.” Dodge PR
Elliott Sadler has new ride for 2011  Elliott Sadler, who currently drives for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Cup series, will drive full-time in NASCAR's Nationwide Series in 2011 for Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler was completing a deal Thursday night which will allow him to compete for the Nationwide championship next season in a Chevy fielded by KHI. KHI has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway to announce a "2011 program." Charlotte Observer
Alonso deserves third drivers' title - Fittipaldi  (GMM)  Emerson Fittipaldi has hit out at claims Fernando Alonso will not deserve the 2010 title if he wraps it up either in Brazil or next Sunday in Abu Dhabi - Claims put out by the jealous British media who may yet again see their drivers beaten soundly.

The Spaniard is leading the world championship by 11 points, but some pundits see 7 of those points as ill-gotten due to the Hockenheim team orders affair.

But Brazilian Fittipaldi, a double world champion like Alonso, insists the Ferrari driver will fully deserve his 2010 spoils.

"If he wins it will be because he is the best," the 63-year-old said at Interlagos.

"There have always been team games that are played," he told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca. More ...

F1 in Brazil but already planning hop to finale  (GMM)  F1 teams are set to embark on perhaps the "most difficult" logistical challenge in the sport's history.

That is the claim of Red Bull's team manager Jonathan Wheatley, when contemplating the forthcoming hop from Brazil to Abu to complete the 2010 season.

So-called 'back-to-back' races usually take place within Europe, but Brazil to Abu Dhabi is a 16-hour flight, with the countries separated by six hours in terms of international time zones.

When the checkered flag waves at Interlagos late on Sunday afternoon, there will be mere days before the garages must be fully up and running at the Yas Marina track in the United Arab Emirates capital. More ...

Brazilian GP: Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Practice 1  
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the opening free practice session of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in his Red Bull Renault.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso was only 12th with Ferrari apparently electing to take it easy this early in the weekend.

Alonso parked his car out on track in the final minute of the session due to concerns over the engine, though the team had already stated that it will change the engine in his car before this afternoon's FP2. More ...

GM says it can make $13B a year  Executives appearing in a series of videos posted on the Internet Thursday cast the post-bankruptcy automaker as a fresh, remade company with less debt, lower labor costs and a business strategy designed to keep making money even during downturns.

The videos, posted on the website www.retailroadshow.com, is the foundation of GM's pitch as two teams of executives embark today on a "road show," presenting their case to investors in major cities before its initial public stock offering, Nov. 18.

GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell will lead one team and Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, a former Wall Street analyst, will lead the other. More ...

Toyota quarterly profit quadruples to $1.2 billion  Toyota's second quarter profit more than quadrupled on a sales recovery despite lingering worries about the quality of its cars, especially in the key U.S. market, after massive recalls.

Toyota reported July-September profit of 98.7 billion yen ($1.2 billion) today, up dramatically from 21.8 billion yen profit a year earlier but lower than analysts expected. Quarterly sales rose 5.8 percent to 4.807 trillion yen ($59.5 billion).

Ecclestone comments have 'no effect' on Virgin - boss  (GMM)  Virgin team boss John Booth on Friday hit back at Bernie Ecclestone's latest stinging criticisms.

Stating that only Lotus deserves to be in F1, the sport's chief executive had referred to the new teams as "cripples" and called on Sir Richard Branson to "put some money" into the British team that bears his brand's name.

"I cannot understand his motives for saying that," Booth is quoted by the Yorkshire Post.

"Is it to embarrass Sir Richard Branson, one of the country's leading entrepreneurs?

"He's said so many things over the course of the year that it no longer has any affect on us," he added. More ...

Nurburgring wants to keep hosting F1  (GMM)  The Nurburgring wants to continue to host formula one beyond 2011.

The current contract, with the German circuit annually alternating with Hockenheim, is set to run out next year.

Nurburgring Automotive managing director Joerg Lindtner told the German news agency DPA that talks will be held with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"We believe that formula one makes sense from an economic point of view and that's why we want to have it here," he said.

Malaysian F1 team confirms Renault deal  UPDATE See related rumor.  The F1 team currently known as Lotus announced on Friday it will be powered by Renault engines in 2011.

But a dark cloud has moved above the future identity of the Tony Fernandes-headed outfit, with the press release not mentioning the word 'Lotus' even a single time.

Rather, the team – locked in the naming dispute with the Proton-owned Group Lotus - said the new engine deal "is a clear sign of the strength of the Anglo-Malaysian team's ambitions".

And the official quotes attributed to bosses Fernandes, Mike Gascoyne and Riad Asmat all made reference to Lotus simply as "the team".

At the same time, Red Bull announced that it has extended its engine deal with Renault for another two years, including additional branding on the energy drink owned team's cars.

It is believed the French carmaker's president Carlos Ghosn has travelled to Brazil for this weekend's event, amid new rumors Renault is rethinking its commitment to F1.

Currently, it owns only a minor share of the Enstone based team that bears its name, having sold to Genii Capital at the end of last year. More ...

Red Bull renews with Renault  Red Bull Racing is pleased to announce it has agreed a two-year extension to its current partnership with French engine manufacturer Renault. In recognition of the renewed partnership, Red Bull Racing will feature greater Renault visibility starting from this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The Renault logo will appear on the noses of both RB6s and its name will be on the visors of both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber’s race helmets.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, said: “We’re pleased to announce this extension. We have always enjoyed a very straightforward relationship with Renault and they have supported us extremely fairly during the past four seasons, contributing to our thirteen grand prix victories so far. The relationship continues to evolve and we look forward to working with them during our 2011 Formula One World Championship campaign.”

What happened to all the talk of NASCAR gaining on the NFL?  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Three years ago the NASCAR 'groupie' cheerleaders (the media that covers NASCAR) were writing stories of how NASCAR has the 2nd highest TV ratings of all sports programming behind football and gaining.  Now three years later, following three years of plummeting TV ratings under the dictatorship of Brian France, these cheerleaders are scratching their posteriors trying to figure out what happened?  And now they don't have Jim Hunter to tell them what to write about every week. And we no longer hear anything about NASCAR's international expansion, and how they were going to conquer the world.  The cheerleaders have finally been silenced and all is right again in the world of motorsports.  Yehuda Rubenstein
De la Rosa hopes HRT seals Toyota deal  (GMM)  Pedro de la Rosa has reinforced his desire to return to the F1 grid next year with an improved Hispania team.

After losing his Sauber drive but remaining in the fray with the Pirelli tire testing role, the Spaniard has admitted he is now watching with interest as HRT develops its "sporting" project ahead of the 2011 season.

"I would be thrilled," Spanish media reports quote him as saying, "but before I say anything else their sporting project needs to be clear.

"From there we can begin to move but there is no rush," added the 39-year-old. More ...

Alonso hopes Red Bull maintains driver 'equality'  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso has admitted cheekily that he fully backs Red Bull's apparent reluctance to adopt a strategic approach to the 2010 championship showdown.

At Interlagos on Thursday, the comments of Red Bull team members Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and boss Christian Horner appeared to reflect a lack of harmony and agreement about how to approach the final two races of the season.

At Ferrari, championship leader Alonso is being fully backed by Ferrari and his teammate Felipe Massa, and the Spaniard admitted that he is enjoying the situation unfolding at Red Bull.

"We are focused on ourselves and not what our rivals do," he is quoted by El Pais newspaper. More ...

Webber apologized for Korea smash admits Rosberg  (GMM)  Nico Rosberg has revealed that Mark Webber apologized after taking him out of the recent Korean grand prix.

A controversy was sparked after the Yeongam incident when Rosberg said he thought it was "crazy" Webber did not press the brakes after hitting the wall.

Those comments apparently motivated Gerhard Berger to opine on Red Bull-owned Austrian television Servus TV that Webber might have been trying to deliberately take out one of his championship rivals.

That controversy inevitably developed when the F1 circus convened at Interlagos on Thursday. More ...

F1 histrionics hit high gear at Interlagos  (GMM)  F1's histrionics have hit a high gear in Sao Paulo.

First, local newspaper Folha de S.Paulo and a prosecutor flagged the ludicrous possibility that local driver Felipe Massa risks years in jail if he defrauds the public by giving up the win for his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso this weekend.

But no less dramatic were the goings on at Red Bull, with Mark Webber admitting it is "f***ing obvious" that team bosses are more emotionally supportive of his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian's comments are not only a reaction to Red Bull's apparent reluctance to back him over Vettel with two races to go, but Gerhard Berger's claim that he tried to deliberately take out his rivals in Korea two weeks ago.

Asked if he was surprised to see the Austrian's comments aired on a Red Bull-run television station, Webber answered: "Absolutely." More ...

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