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DATE News (chronologically)
11/10/11
irl
Lotus Pushes First IndyCar Track Test Back To January  SPEED.com reports that the first scheduled track test for the new John Judd-built 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 Lotus engine, originally set for December 13-15 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, has now been moved to an undetermined date in January.

With the Chevrolet and Honda factories commencing their track testing programs in October with their respective partner teams in attendance, the disparity in learning curves between those factories and Lotus was always going to be hard to overcome.

But with Lotus facing an even smaller window of testing time--possibly as little as eight weeks between the first track test and the first race in late March—its teams could be at an even greater disadvantage. Speed.com

11/10/11
ga
MSR back with Ford in 2012  Michael Shank Racing is looking forward to the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season, and confirmed Thursday that the team will once again utilize Ford power in the squads Riley Daytona Prototype effort.

2012 GRAND-AM season is the ninth consecutive Daytona Prototype campaign for the team, which has partnered with Ford in GRAND-AM competition since 2008.

The relationship got off to a fast start when Michael Shank Racing driver Ozz Negri scored the pole in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona in its first event with Ford. Since then, the team has claimed two race victories (2008), three consecutive Pro-Am championships (Mark Patterson 2009, John Pew 2010 & 2011) and a fourth place result in last year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona with the No. 23 Daytona Prototype. More ...

11/10/11
f1
Perfect weather for Abu Dhabi GP  Very pleasant viewing conditions are anticipated for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with rain no factor for Yas Marina’s third Formula 1 event.

The UAE round is unique in that it is the only twilight race on the calendar, with the red lights going out shortly before dusk and the checkered flag falling under floodlights.

Ambient daytime temperatures will remain in the high 20s across the weekend, never falling any lower than 15°C (59°F) at night, with good visibility throughout. A 10mph wind speed of Thursday will gradually drop to just 6mph by race day.

This weekend marks the first time that Abu Dhabi has not hosted a season’s final race since it joined the calendar; after Sebastian Vettel led home a dicing Mark Webber and Jenson Button in 2009, the German dramatically sealed a maiden title last year.

11/10/11
gp2
GP2 'Finals' event this weekend  
Alexander Rossi will be one of two Americans in the race, which is full of very talented young drivers
This weekend sees GP2 briefly burst back into life as Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina plays host to the first ever Finals event. The double-header will run alongside the Formula 1 race, taking place as a non-championship event and serving as warm-up for 2012.

Abu Dhabi GP2 Final: The line-up:

Rapax
#1 - Dani Clos (ESP)
#2 - Mihai Marinescu (ROM)
Addax
#3 - Jake Rosenzweig (USA)
#4 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR)
Lotus ART
#5 - James Calado (GBR)
#6 - Esteban Gutiérrez (MEX) More ...
11/10/11
track news
SMI happy about 2011 results so far  Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s financial results have exceeded company expectations for the first nine months of 2011, even with it not including $772,000 of ticket revenue taken in from the race at Kentucky Speedway.

The company will record that revenue at a later date when fans who missed the race due to traffic and parking problems exchange their tickets for another SMI event.

Through September, the company has turned a profit of $47.6 million from continuing operations, an increase of 15.4 percent from the $41.3 million earned for the first nine months of 2010. More ...

11/10/11
Racing News
Two powerboat racers killed during Key West event  UPDATE #2 Jeff Tillman was a St. Louis area racer who competed in sports cars, Indy Lights, Grand Am, the Daytona 24.  Tragically his teammate died while driving a grand am car at homestead over ten years ago.  Jeff Clinton was killed in a practice session accident March 1st, 2002 at the Grand Am event at Homestead.

11/10/11


11/10/11 Two racers were killed when their boat barrel-rolled and landed upside down in Wednesday’s opener of the Key West Super Boat World Championships.

Big Thunder Marine owner/throttleman Bob Morgan of Sunrise Beach, Mo., and driver Jeffrey Tillman of Kaiser, Mo., were pronounced dead at Lower Keys Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Big Thunder, a 46-foot Skater with four 1,200-horsepower engines, crashed in Key West Harbor during the race’s third lap in front of spectators at Mallory Square.

Paramedics jumped from helicopters and pulled the victims onto a rescue boat, which transported them to an ambulance on shore. The boat’s cockpit was crushed and one of the sponsons torn off. More ...

11/10/11
irl
Ho-Pin Tung: China IndyCar race will be amazing  
Ho-Pin Tung became the first Chinese driver to race in IndyCar at Infineon Raceway in August
Bob Heathcote/AR1.com
More than 50,000 people packed Olympic Park – between the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube venues made famous during the 2008 Summer Olympics – in Beijing in early September to watch a midweek pit stop demonstration.

Ho-Pin Tung, who a few weeks earlier became the first Chinese driver to compete in an IZOD IndyCar Series race, wasn’t surprised by the turnout. China, which plays host to an annual Formula One race in mid-April and for the first time in 2011 two rounds of the FIA GT1 World Championship in September, is a burgeoning motorsports market.

“The China automotive industry is experiencing explosive growth and it is just smart to begin establishing our brand and business roots in the China marketplace,” INDYCAR Commercial Division President Terry Angstadt said. More ...

11/10/11
irl
IndyCar announces first-ever race in China  
A beautiful waterfront setting for IndyCar.  It will be huge
A first-ever IZOD IndyCar Series race in China is among four international destinations announced today by INDYCAR for the 2012 season.

The IZOD IndyCar Series will race on a 3.87-mile street circuit in Qingdao, China - the Yellow Sea coastal city of 8.7 million between Beijing and Shanghai that played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics Sailing competition. INDYCAR also will sanction 2012 events in Toronto, Ontario, São Paulo, Brazil, and Edmonton, Alberta.

"As the world global economy continues to grow and evolve, China, the world's second-largest economy, has become a top priority with most American businesses and the sponsors that are committed to INDYCAR," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "Last year, at our sponsorship summit, China was the No. 1 place our sponsors wanted to go outside of the United States. More ...

11/10/11
AMA
James "Bubba" Stewart  wins Knucklehead of Week Award  UPDATE
James "Just Call me Stupid" Bubba Stewart.  Imagine Bubba's face when the off-duty officer pulled out his badge.  Too funny....
Courtesy Orange County, Fla. Corrections Department
Motocross star James "Bubba" Stewart, accused in March of trying to use flea market-bought flashing lights to pull over a vehicle containing actual law officers, pleaded no contest this morning to a misdemeanor related to the case.

The plea agreement calls for Stewart to perform 75 hours of community service but adjudication of guilt was withheld because he is a first-time offender.

He will be fined $500 and will be on probation for a year.

Stewart, initially charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer — a felony —pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of using flashing or rotating lights on a motor vehicle.

He declined comment after a brief hearing at the Osceola County Courthouse.

03/31/11 Two-time AMA Supercross champion James Stewart Jr. was arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer Monday near his home in central Florida. More ...

11/10/11
f1
Abu Dhabi GP sold out again  
Sold Out
At 6pm tonight local time, organizers of the FORMULA 1TM ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX announced that the 2011 race weekend had sold out. The announcement marks a sell-out event for the third consecutive year, since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debuted on the Formula 1 Championship calendar in 2009.

“We take a genuine sense of pride in the fact that 50,000 fans will pack out our grandstands again this year,” said Richard Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit. “We believe it is a reflection of the very special event that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit has become.” More ...

11/10/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE #2 More updates shown in red below.

11/10/11 Updates shown in red below.

11/10/11
  • Pastor Maldonado
    Maldonado happy to keep Barrichello as teammate
  • Abu Dhabi F1 talks 'more important than race'
  • D'Ambrosio looks around but no Virgin decision yet
  • Raikkonen finally confirms Williams talks
  • Boss blames drivers for Sauber's slow pitstops
  • Rosberg extends Mercedes contract for 2013 and beyond
  • Force India to decide 2012 lineup before Brazil New
  • Banker fell in love with F1 lifestyle New
  • Raikkonen rumors stalk Barrichello, Sutil in Abu Dhabi New
  • Spanish fan admits to having Webber's Monza wing New
  • Schumacher not in future talks with Mercedes yet New
  • Hamilton says Whitmarsh claim 'rubbish' New  More ...
11/10/11
f1
Abu Dhabi GP -  Yas Marina - A lap with Sebastian Vettel  
11/10/11
nassprint
Goodyear expects good racing at Phoenix  After two on-track test sessions on the reconfigured and repaved Phoenix International Raceway, as well as extensive work done by PIR officials in recent weeks, the new track surface appears to be ready for a great weekend of NASCAR racing action. Goodyear started out the on-track process of preparing for this week's race with a tire test at PIR on August 29-30. Participating in that test were #14-Tony Stewart, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Kurt Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #99-Carl Edwards. More ...
11/10/11
nassprint
David Reutimann surprised by firing  
David Reutimann
David Reutimann said Tuesday he had no idea he was about to be fired last week and that he expected to be with Michael Waltrip Racing at least through the end of his contract in 2012. Reutimann said his representatives are working with MWR to resolve his contract situation. "That was certainly a pretty big surprise," said Reutimann. "Last week was a rough week for sure. It was pretty rough all through the race weekend (at Texas). You go through different emotions. Sometimes you're upset. Sometimes you're angry. It flip-flops around time to time. It's just a bummer to be in this situation, but there's nothing I can really do to change it." Reutimann said he was told the change came at the request of sponsor Aaron's.

"I had no indication," said the 41-year-old Reutimann, who is 28th in points after finishing 18th and 16th the past two years. "They never told me my job was on the line or in jeopardy." Reutimann is being replaced next year by Mark Martin and team owner Michael Waltrip in the #00. Reutimann doesn't know what he will do next season. His first choice would be to remain in the Sprint Cup series, but understanding the options are few he would be willing to drop down to the Nationwide Series or Truck Series. ESPN

11/09/11
ga
Super Weekend at the Brickyard included in new GRAND-AM endurance championship  The inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard is more than eight months away, but the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series already has placed the race among its elite events by including it as the exciting finale of its new North American Endurance Championship for 2012.

GRAND-AM officials announced Nov. 9 that the Super Weekend at the Brickyard on Friday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will join the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway and the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on June 29-July 1 at Watkins Glen International in the prestigious endurance championship.

The North American Endurance Championship is a special championship within the 13-race GRAND-AM schedule for 2012. Teams in both the Daytona Prototype and production-based GT classes will compete, with championship winners being crowned after the race on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix road circuit at IMS. More ...

11/09/11
f1
Double DRS zone for Yas Marina  
Two DRS zones will be on offer for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, promising much overtaking on a track where passing has traditionally been notoriously difficult.

Yas Marina debuted on the Formula 1 calendar in 2009 although, as demonstrated by the inability of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber when trying to overhaul Vitaly Petrov in last year’s championship finale, overtaking spots are sparse. However, this weekend’s penultimate round of the campaign promises more on-track action.

The first DRS zone will be the long back straight between Turns 7 and 8, which gradually thins towards its end; for this area, the detection beam – measuring whether a chasing car is within the necessary one second window – will be placed before the hairpin, in the spot of the 2010 crash between Schumacher and Liuzzi.

As soon as the first DRS zone ends, a second detection beam will be positioned in the middle of the Turn 8-9 chicane, with the next activation zone coming between the fast-sweeping Turn 10 and tight left-hander at Turn 11.

11/09/11
nassprint
Keselowski calls NASCAR's implementation of Fuel Injection a disaster  [All other racing series have been using fuel injection for decades with no problems, but it seems antiquated NASCAR can't get it right.]  Don’t include Brad Keselowski among the fans of the new fuel injection systems that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars will employ beginning with the 2012 Daytona 500.

Keselowski said he believes that NASCAR felt pressure to make the change from carburetors to fuel injection because of public perception on whether it is environmentally friendly.

He said it would not save fuel as many believe and said the performance is lacking.

“I think it’s a disaster,” Keselowski said after a fan appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “It’s got less throttle response. It’s harder to get to start. It takes a computer to start the damn thing.

“It’s a pain in the ass. I don’t see where the fans get anything from it. … There’s a whole list of issues.” More ...

11/09/11
tv news
Wind Tunnel Sunday  Leo Hindery, Jr. will be LIVE in the Wind Tunnel studio with Dave Despain this Sunday to talk about the recently announced Formula 1 race in New Jersey of which he is the Executive Chairman.

We had scheduled to speak with 2011 Formula 3 Italia Rookie Champion, Michael Lewis, last week but postponed that interview until this Sunday. He will check in from Italy where he is preparing to test a Ferrari F1 car…an opportunity he earned for claiming that rookie title. FYI, his father is famed USAC Midget team owner, Steve Lewis. More ...

11/09/11
automotive
GM's 3Q earnings drop 15%  General Motors made $1.7 billion in the third quarter, down 15% from a year earlier, as profit margins failed to keep pace with rising revenue.

After seeing profits in all four global regions in the second quarter, the automaker lost money in South America and in its long-troubled European region. Nearly all of GM’s profits came from North America, where a more competitive cost structure and a recovering U.S. sales environment led to a $2.2-billion operating profit. Overall, revenue grew 7.6% to $36.7 billion in sales from $34.1 billion a year earlier. More ...

11/09/11
miscellaneous
Petty Holdings Adds Exotic Driving Experience  Combine some of the world’s finest automobiles with a track specifically designed for drivers to safely experience their awe-inspiring acceleration, speed and handling and you have “Exotic Driving Experience”, the latest offering from Petty Holdings.

Best known as owner and operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in the stock car ride and drive business, Petty Holdings has applied its expertise in delivering safe, accessible, exciting automotive entertainment to develop an experience allowing anyone with a driver’s license the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a “supercar” – a rarified class of automobile. More ...
11/09/11
nascar
NASCAR HOF Posts Fifth Straight Month Of Attendance Declines  The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority today reported the September attendance for the NASCAR HOF was 13,054, down 21% from last September and "the fifth straight month of year-to-year declines in the number of visitors." Since the facility opened in May '10, "only one month of attendance was lower; 12,391 people visited in February of this year" Bizjournals.com
11/09/11
f1
Grosjean to drive in Abu Dhabi and Brazil  The possible return of Frenchman Romain Grosjean seems a little step closer. He will drive the Lotus Renault R31 in Friday´s first practice session.

Grosjean was last seen driving a F1 car back in 2009, when he took over the race seat from Nelson Piquet, whose career was destroyed by Flavio Briatore. Unfortunately the Frenchman came into a team in deep trouble and the car didn´t perform as well. Since Robert Kubica´s injury during a rally race in February, Lotus Renault have used first Nick Heidfeld then Bruno Senna to fill the seat. But it is more and more likely that Robert Kubica will not return this season, and very unlikely it will happen next year too, so putting Grosjean into the race seat makes sense. The question is, who he will replace, if any. More ...

11/09/11
nassprint
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take part in Daytona EFI test  NASCAR has scheduled a special test for Nov. 15 at Daytona International Speedway to find ways to eliminate the two-car drafting that has become prevalent at restrictor-plate tracks. Six to eight teams will be in attendance and NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the teams will work on a variety of combinations of restrictor plates and spoilers to give teams a good baseline package to bring back for the preseason test in January. Among the drivers participating will be #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and one other driver from Hendrick Motorsports.

"Apparently, they put this test together last minute for a reason," Earnhardt said on Tuesday from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We'll go down there and they'll let us know exactly what they're wanting to do, what they're trying to accomplish, what they're trying to try. I want to be able to give them the best feedback I can to give them the solutions they're looking for so that we can, with confidence, go into Daytona in February and expect to put together a great show for the fans that will be there and that will be watching on TV."

Earnhardt expects much of the emphasis to be on running with a smaller spoiler, which several drivers said made the two-car draft more difficult during a recent fuel injection test at Talladega Superspeedway. ESPN

11/09/11
irl
Q & A: James Hinchcliffe on his first IndyCar season  
Newman/Haas driver James Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe, the 2011 IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award winner, enjoyed a stellar debut season in North America's premier open-wheel racing category. The 24-year-old Canadian piloted the No. 06 Sprott Inc. Newman/Haas Racing entry to numerous top-10 finishes, including three season-best fourth-place finishes at Long Beach, Loudon and Kentucky.

Placing 12th overall in the final point standings, James collected rookie honors despite missing the opening round of the season at St. Petersburg. The Toronto-born racer looks back on an eventful year.

Q: IndyCar Rookie of the Year – what does that title mean to you?

James Hinchcliffe: “It means quite a bit. It was obviously the goal from the start of the year, but from the start we were on the back foot after missing St. Pete. The team was super motivated to try and still end up on top, and I think that it says a lot about the effort we put up. It's cool because it's the only title you can just go for one time. The only downside is now some people are calling me Roy Hinchcliffe! I had a lot of fun battling with JR, and I want to congratulate him on a really strong year.” More ...

11/09/11
irl
IndyCar news tidbits  IZOD IndyCar Series driver Townsend Bell will team with X Games gold medalist and two-time Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust for the Sodikart USA/Gphactory Karting Team (owned by former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler) in the Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax on Dec. 1. The karting race will be on a purpose-built track adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show…Tony Kanaan, the fifth-place finisher in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, is getting in some virtual laps with the Dallara Automobili simulator in Italy this week.
11/09/11
usac
fil
Clauson eyeing scholarship "renewal"  Bryan Clauson is inching closer to a repeat of the USAC National Drivers Championship as he continues to find success in the final stint of his season.

Clauson, who earned a scholarship to compete in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season with Sam Schmidt Motorsports by winning the USAC National Drivers Championship, wrapped up a series of races on the West Coast with a sweep in Peoria, Ariz., and a strong showing at Perris Auto Speedway on Nov. 5-6.

With two USAC national races remaining, he hopes to remain atop the National Drivers Championship standings and again receive the USAC/INDYCAR scholarship.

"Going out west, we knew it was crunch time to finish up the National Drivers Championship, which we were barely leading," Clauson said. "And we knew if we were going to want to come back with the scholarship that this was a big western swing for us." More ...

11/09/11
irl
IZOD IndyCar Series drivers form INDYCAR karting lineup  Two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will join fellow series drivers Graham Rahal, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jay Howard, Alex Tagliani and Tomas Scheckter in comprising the INDYCAR team that will compete against NASCAR drivers in the Stars race of the inaugural Indy Karting Classic on Dec. 11.

Already confirmed for the NASCAR team are Tony Stewart, AJ Allmendinger and Austin Dillon. They'll participate on the circuit with IAME Parilla X30-powered racing karts.

The event at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is in conjunction with the International Motorsports Industry Show and will feature five other categories (from Kid Kart to TaG Senior) following World Karting Association rules.

11/09/11
ga
Grand-Am announces 2012 schedule  GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series competitors will compete for an exciting new three-race endurance championship, highlighting the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule announced today.

The inaugural North American Endurance Championship will feature the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on June 29-July 1 and the Rolex Series' three-hour debut race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27 during the inaugural "Super Weekend at the Brickyard."

The 13-race schedule also includes GRAND-AM's first visit to Detroit - the automotive capital of the world - on June 2, and the return to many of North America's premier circuits, including Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal; Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.; Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio; Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.; Homestead-Miami Speedway; New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.; and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. More ...

11/09/11
motogp
Repsol Honda end 2011 on top in Valencia test  The second and final day of testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia saw Respol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner once again finish first and second on the timing sheets.

Under perfect conditions with no wind and an air temperature of 20 degrees, Dani completed 45 laps and recorded the day's fastest time with a 1'31.807 on lap 12. Team mate Casey did 33 laps on his RC213V and logged the second fastest time of the day on his 15th lap with a time of 1'31.968.

This final testing day of 2011 saw both riders fine tuning elements of their 2012, 1000cc machine. As well as testing the new 2012 Bridgestone tires, both riders worked on general set up of the machines, Dani also worked on engine mapping and rear shock set up, and Casey focused on reducing chattering in the front. Feedback from both riders will be taken back to HRC in Japan, to further develop the RC213V in preparation for the next test, taking place at the end of January 2012. More ...

11/09/11
irl
Power medically cleared to get back in IndyCar  Will Power has received medical clearance to get back in a race car and will test the new IndyCar next week.  He will drive for two days at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Power has been sidelined since breaking a vertebra in the 15-car accident that killed 2-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon in the Oct. 16 IndyCar season finale.

It's the second time Power has broken his back in an IndyCar accident, and the Penske Racing driver has grown increasingly vocal about safety improvements. More ...

11/09/11
f1
Ecclestone testifies in German court  Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told a German court on Wednesday he had paid a former BayernLB banker to stay quiet and keep tax authorities at bay while acquiring the rights for his sport five years ago.

Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former employee of Germany's second-largest public sector Landesbank, is on trial, charged with selling Formula One rights in return for a bribe, with the involvement of Ecclestone.

Gribkowsky is charged with bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion in a deal that cost the bank 66 million euros ($92 million) with him pocketing about 32 million euros as part of a bribe, according to prosecutors. More ...

11/09/11
irl
"Car Town" commemorative Dan Wheldon car  INDYCAR is partnering with Cie Games, a leading developer of high-quality social and mobile games, to offer fans of its Facebook game "Car Town" a commemorative Dan Wheldon car to honor the late two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion.

Due to the outpouring of support from the Car Town community and INDYCAR, a tribute car in memory of Dan Wheldon was created so that players could express their condolences in the game. The limited release 2011 Lionheart #1 Dan Wheldon car with the St. George's Cross design also honors his British heritage. Players can add the commemorative Dan Wheldon car to their collection by completing an in-game purchase and earn bonus experience points, which help them progress through the game. All proceeds from the sale of the car will go to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund. More ...

11/09/11
automotive
Toyota recalls 550,000 vehicles for steering issue  Toyota has recalled 550,000 vehicles around the globe for a potential defect that could impact steering capabilities.

The fix involves a replacement for the crankshaft pulley on V6 engines. Toyota said if the problem isn’t corrected, the belt for the power steering could become detached from the pulley, making it tough to steer.

About 80 percent of the vehicles being recalled are in the United States.

Affected vehicles include the 2004 Avalon, the 2004-05 Camry and the 2006 Highlander HV. Within the Lexus brand, the 2004-05 ES 330 and RX 330 are being recalled, along with the 2006 RX 400h.

No accidents have been reported thus far, according to Toyota.

11/09/11
f1
AT&T Williams Confirms Abu Dhabi Test Line-Up  AT&T Williams today confirmed that the team will run Valtteri Bottas and Mirko Bortolotti during the young driver test days in Abu Dhabi on 15, 16 and 17 November 2011.

Valtteri Bottas is currently the team’s Official Test and Reserve Driver. In addition to his AT&T Williams duties this year, Valtteri also took championship honors in the GP3 Championship with the ART Team after a convincing set of race wins. Valtteri will drive the FW33 on days one and two of the test. The final day’s running will be undertaken by reigning Formula Two champion, Mirko Bortolotti. Mirko joins the team as part of the reward package for winning this year’s Formula Two title. More ...

11/09/11
nhra
John Force and Freightliner announce multi-year deal  John Force Racing, Inc. today announced a multi-year agreement with Portland, Ore.- based Freightliner Trucks where the 17-time NHRA Funny Car championship team will begin to rotate their entire fleet of trucks to Freightliner Cascadia® trucks. In addition to the NHRA race team trucks the agreement will also carry over to the John Force Travelin’ Road Show and the John Force Racing Sponsorship Midway program.

“I could not be more excited about this deal. For one this deal was put together by the new president of JFR, Robert Hight, and secondly for an old truck driver to partner with Freightliner Trucks is about as big as it gets. We have done truck shows with Castrol in the past but to represent Freightliner Trucks in the future makes me very proud. I am looking forward to making appearances at the big truck shows with another big name associated with Freightliner Trucks:  ‘The King’ Richard Petty. He is one of my heroes and I can’t wait to represent Freightliner Trucks with him,” said John Force, the CEO of John Force Racing, Inc. More ...

11/09/11
f1
Caterham to keep green and yellow Lotus livery  (GMM) Team Lotus will retain its green and yellow identity in formula one next year despite being reborn as Caterham.

Group Lotus and the Tony Fernandes-led team jointly announced on Wednesday that the bitter naming dispute and legal battles have been called off.

The deal, ending amicably according to a media statement, results in Renault becoming Lotus in 2012 and Team Lotus adopting the name of Fernandes' recent acquisition Caterham, a niche British lightweight sports car maker.

It means full control of the historic Lotus name finally falls into the control of Dany Bahar, the Group Lotus chief. More ...
11/09/11
f1
Toro Rosso denies Red Bull help in 2011 gains  (GMM) Franz Tost has rubbished suggestions Red Bull has helped its junior team Toro Rosso to stride forwards at the end of 2011.

In the lucrative battle for sixth in the constructors' championship, former Minardi squad Toro Rosso - 100 per cent owned by Red Bull - has sped past the pace of its rivals Force India and Sauber.

According to reports, the difference between sixth and eighth in the constructors' title standings is up to $10 million. More ...
11/09/11
gp2
Esteban Gutierrez in Abu Dhabi for the GP2 Special event  
Esteban Gutierrez
To achieve a good result and to apply what was tested on the training in Barcelona, Spain, are Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez’s objectives on his last GP2 performance of the year.

The 5.554 km Yas Marina circuit of Abu Dhabi will host this weekend the 2011’s final event of the Formula 1 feeder series, where French team Lotus ART will take part with Esteban at the wheel.

“I will be finally in action this weekend in Abu Dhabi. All the team will be there and that is positive as we will be able to feel the work and the environment within the team, in preparation for the next season.

“This event will not award any points and for that reason we will seek to take advantage of the race time and to fight for the top positions; we are going to do our best effort and will try to enjoy the race, as it is the last event of the year”, said Esteban.

Gutierrez thinks qualifying will be critical this weekend, since the Abu Dhabi track is somewhat difficult in terms of overtaking, hence the importance of starting from the front positions.

“Basically we are going to try and be competitive to be among the top drivers; that is the goal, I think we can fight for the front positions and that is what we are going to be focused on, using this event as a part of our preparation.

“Overtaking is difficult on this track, as we could see in other races, and that means qualifying is going to be critical on the first race, while race two will pose a big challenge if we start from the middle of the grid; it’d be a big challenge to gain positions”, he remarked.

With the last event of the year taking place in Abu Dhabi, Esteban takes this weekend as a fundamental part of his preparation for season 2012.

“It is a very positive feeling. We knew that after Monza we had this final event where you can experiment a little, considering the series will not race in Asia this year, which is why this event is critical.

“The fact that we are here together with the F1 also adds value to our race because the atmosphere is practically the same as usual”, said the driver.

To achieve a good result and to apply what was tested on the training in Barcelona, Spain, are Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez’s objectives on his last GP2 performance of the year.

The 5.554 km Yas Marina circuit of Abu Dhabi will host this weekend the 2011’s final event of the Formula 1 feeder series, where French team Lotus ART will take part with Esteban at the wheel.

“I will be finally in action this weekend in Abu Dhabi. All the team will be there and that is positive as we will be able to feel the work and the environment within the team, in preparation for the next season.

“This event will not award any points and for that reason we will seek to take advantage of the race time and to fight for the top positions; we are going to do our best effort and will try to enjoy the race, as it is the last event of the year”, said Esteban. More ...

11/09/11
autogp
Serenelli targets 2012 Auto GP commitment  Giancarlo Serenelli was among the drivers taking part in the latest Auto GP test in Magione. The driver from Venezuela went on track on both days with Ombra Racing, in order to have all the time to work with the team and get acquainted with the 550 bhp boasted by the Zytek engine. He had a steady improving trend on both days, and the experience definitely boosted his confidence in the Series as the right choice for a next step in his career. Serenelli is one of the most interesting South American drivers: already a two time-champion of the F.Latam Challenge (2008 and 2010) he is on the way to securing the title a third time (he leads the standings with a 64 points gap with just two races to go) and for 2012 he is looking for a top-notch scenario and a quick and challenging car: after driving Auto GP in Magione he knows that the Series can provide both. More ...
11/09/11
nassprint
NASCAR Tire testing at Vegas on Monday and Wednesday  Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are testing tires for Goodyear today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The two-day test will conclude on Wednesday as the speedway was reserved for other activity on Tuesday. Among those testing Monday were #43-A.J. Allmendinger, #20-Joey Logano, #27-Paul Menard and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. Allmendinger drives the #43 Best Buy Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports. While a crewman admitted there's not much technical data to gain during a tire test, his driver viewed it as an opportunity to sharpen his skills. "We're just working with Goodyear, testing different tire combinations today," Allmendinger said. "We're working on a tire for next year's race here. I've struggled on the mile-and-a-half tracks and Las Vegas is my worst. This place is tough. It's my Achilles' heel. So any time you can be in a car here, that helps. But it's better to be coming here from Texas, where we did pretty well on Sunday (10th place) as opposed to coming here from a short track like Martinsville, for instance. I can take what I learned Sunday and it will help me here, especially since we only race here once a year. Any extra laps I can get here are good."

The Goodyear tire tests are not open to the public. Tickets for the LVMS 2012 NASCAR Weekend, including the March 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 and NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 (March 10) may be purchased online at www.LVMS.com or by calling the ticket office at (702) 644-4444 LVMS

11/09/11
f1
Fernandes team confirms switch in team name, Lotus dispute resolved  
Fernandes team will now run under Caterham name
Proton, Group Lotus, 1Malaysia Racing Team and its owner Tony Fernandes are delighted to announce that the legal dispute in the English Courts relating to the "LOTUS" and "TEAM LOTUS" brands has now ended amicably with the parties agreeing settlement terms earlier this month.

The terms of the settlement are confidential but the deal sees the "LOTUS" brand reunited under the sole ownership of Group Lotus. This includes the rights to the "LOTUS" and "TEAM LOTUS" names in Formula 1 motor racing.

1MRT will race in the 2012 Formula 1 season under the name "CATERHAM F1 TEAM" and will use a “CATERHAM” chassis. More ...
11/09/11
f1
Bernie Ecclestone 'lied' about F1 bribe? Bernie says he's innocent  UPDATE
Ecclestone says alleged bribe was a loan payment
Bernie Ecclestone: I have nothing to fear from Formula One court case

A characteristically bullish Bernie Ecclestone claimed on Tuesday there was “no chance” of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs opening an investigation into his complex financial affairs, insisting that he had nothing to fear from his turn over the next two days as the star witness in Germany’s biggest post-war corruption trial.

It remains to be seen whether Ecclestone’s optimism is justified.

As Formula One decamps once again to the Middle East and the richest plum of all in the shape of Abu Dhabi there is little doubt where this week’s main showdown takes place and it is not at the glittering $1 billion Yas Marina circuit.

All eyes will be on a packed courtroom in Munich where the murkier side of the sport and the enormous sums of money which pump through it like so much crude oil will come under severe scrutiny. More ...

11/09/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday  
  • Red Bull team services Mark Webber
    Red Bull has fastest pit crew in F1 - analysis
  • Lotus signs Renault's Nielsen before Caterham rebirth
  • Piquet to wave checkered flag in Brazil
  • Ferrari expects no wing 'fluttering' in Abu Dhabi
  • Massa happy to have Ferrari's support for 2012
  • Vettel apologized for ignoring India go-slow - Horner
  • Toro Rosso could not have kept Vettel - Tost
  • Officials coy amid ongoing Bahrain axe rumors More ...
11/08/11
f1
Californian Michael Lewis to test a Ferrari next week  While Formula One's young-driver test next week at the Abu Dhabi circuit will receive a lot of attention, Californian Formula Three racer Michael Lewis is set to drive a Ferrari F60--the Scuderia's 2009 F1 car--at the Vallelunga track near Rome. The test is his prize for being the top rookie in the 2011 Italian F3 Championship.

The Italian motorsport authority, the CSAI, has arranged the test-drive award since 2008, and it is clearly aimed at promoting local talent. In previous years tests were given to the top three finishers, but this year, the CSAI chose only overall champion Sergio Campana and rookie winner Lewis. More ...

11/08/11
nassprint
NASCAR Texas TV Rating  UPDATE ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 6, earned a final 'cable' 3.4 household coverage rating, averaging 4,726,000 viewers [4.846 million in 2010], according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was the same as for last year’s race, which also aired on ESPN.  ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas on Saturday, Nov. 5, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,430,000 viewers. The rating was also the same as for the 2010 race, which also aired on ESPN2. ESPN

11/07/11 ESPN earned a 2.8 overnight TV rating for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500, up 3.7% from a 2.7 for the same race last year.
11/08/11
Track News
York wins prestigious racing PR award  Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center official Bill York was announced as the winner of the 2011 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations.

The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80.

"I admired everything that Jim Chapman stood for and tried to emulate all of his skills," York said. "He was the real, true professional PR man. I'm elated that I even had the opportunity to know him and to work with him for many years. The things that I learned by watching Jim through the years certainly influenced how I worked with the media." More ...

11/08/11
fil
Gustavo Yacaman Signs with CMN Sports  
Gustavo Yacaman
CMN Sports, a division of Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN), the nation's leading multicultural event marketing agency, today announced that 20-year-old professional race car driver Gustavo Yacaman has signed with CMN Sports for exclusive representation of all sponsorship opportunities. A rising star in the world of auto racing, the Colombian-born Yacaman will spring into the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.

Yacaman, who is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese, is scheduled to participate in a test drive for Andretti Autosport on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Palm Beach International Raceway in West Palm Beach, Florida. More ...

11/08/11
f1
Pirelli to test new tires in Abu Dhabi  Pirelli will supply Formula 1 teams with two extra sets of dry-weather experimental soft tires for use during Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice day on Friday.

Additional prototype tires will be available to use at next week’s young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit, which takes place 15-17 November, after the grand prix weekend.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery explained: “At this point in the season, our emphasis is obviously on refining our tyre choices for next year, which is why we are seeing some new tyres during free practice here and the young driver test. With very limited opportunities for testing during the season, this is important for us to collect information as we develop our strategy for 2012, which will feature tyres that are a bit different from this year’s range.”

The official tires for the weekend are the Pirelli medium (prime) compound and soft (option) compound tires.
11/08/11
f1
Ferrari flat out on new car  (PVM) Ferrari have admitted that they are now working flat out on development for their 2012 car, with design resources at Maranello fully committed to the project and the forthcoming race weekends in Abu Dhabi and Brazil dedicated to testing elements for the new car.

Ferrari’s technical director Pat Fry revealed, “The design office is now concentrating solely on next year’s car and that work is at a reasonably advanced stage in terms of mechanical components and the car’s bodywork.”

The Englishman added, “As for what we are doing at these last two races, we will continue to work on developing new concepts for next year’s car. Some of the work takes as its starting point the very final development of this year’s car and some of it comes from the new design. This is valuable in terms of getting an understanding of different work methodologies and also gives us an early understanding, particularly in terms of the car’s aerodynamics and how to set up the car.” More ...
11/08/11
IRL
track news
Infineon Raceway 2012 schedule confirms IndyCar return  *The complete major event schedule for Infineon Raceway in 2012:
· 24 Hours of LeMons – (March, tentative)
· West Coast Moto Jam – May 4-6
· Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival – June 2-3
· Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – June 22-24
· NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel – July 20-22
· NHRA Sonoma Nationals – July 27-29
· Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Aug. 24-26
· FIA World Touring Car Championship – Sept. 21-23
· Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge – Oct. 6-7
11/08/11
motogp
Repsol Honda Team leads the way  Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were back in action at Valencia circuit today on the new RC213V. Dani Pedrosa set the fastest lap time with 1'32.186 on his final lap of 40 and Casey Stoner who did 42 laps, finished closely behind him with a 1'32.322, recorded on lap 34.
The 1000cc prototype included some new parts after feedback from both factory riders when they tested the bike in Brno in August.

Temperatures reached 20 degrees C and no wind. More ...

11/08/11
f1
Ferrari revising front wings  After making themselves look like bumbling fools with a fluttering front wing on Felipe Massa's car in India, Ferrari will bring a modified version of its Red Bull Racing-style front wing to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Ferrari is experimenting with flexible wings but can't seem to 'copy' Red Bull, let alone innovate for themselves.

11/08/11
f1
Bruno Senna on F1 & Brazil's Love of Motor Racing  Bruno Senna is currently racing for Lotus Renault, after being drafted into the team to replace Nick Heidfeld. Following in the footsteps of his celebrated Uncle, Bruno finally broke into Formula One in 2010, driving for the Hispania Racing Team, where he debuted at the at Bahrain Grand Prix. In the following Q&A Bruno speaks of his joy at being back in F1, outlines his plans for the future and tells us why motor racing is so important to Brazilians.

How pleased are you to be back racing in Formula One?

I'm extremely pleased. Of course, it was my objective. It was a difficult, sad feeling not to be racing. I lucked into this great race seat, where I am learning a lot and am getting better. More ...

11/08/11
nassprint
Hendrick released from hospital  NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick has been released from the hospital, a week after he was injured when his private plane ran off the runway during a landing. Hendrick was released Monday afternoon.

An evaluation in Charlotte last Tuesday showed Hendrick had four broken ribs and a broken shoulder. He was admitted to the hospital to better manage his pain.

Hendrick, his wife and two pilots were on the Gulfstream G150 that had brake issues upon landing Monday night at Key West International Airport. The plane was co-owned by Jimmie Johnson and normally shuttled the five-time defending NASCAR champion and his family to and from races.

Linda Hendrick sustained minor cuts and bruises. The two pilots were not injured.

11/08/11
f1
2011 F1 Season Pit Stop Analysis  The combination of DRS and Pirelli tires has made 2011 a bumper year for Formula One, but not just in terms of on-track passing maneuvers. The characteristics of the Pirelli tires, designed to improve the racing, have also seen the total number of pit stops rise steeply - so far, there have been an average of 58 stops per race. Slick pit work has always been important in Formula One, but the frequency with which the pit crews have been in action this year has brought both speed and consistency to the fore. 

How many pit stops have there been so far in the 2011 season?

There have been 1013 trips through the pits in the 17 races so far this season. Of these, 25 were accounted for by penalties - 21 drive-through and four stop-go's. This leaves the total number of pit stops in the 2011 season at 988.  More ...

11/08/11
racing news
Michigan Motorsports HOF honors 2011 inductees  The 2011 induction banquet of the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame was held Sunday afternoon at the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Mount Pleasant. The affair was attended by 300 people.

Accepting their awards included oval track drivers Marv Carman, Jerry Makara, John Doering, Jr, and Doug Finley as well as drag racer Doug Kalitta, engine builder Doug Flannery, and author Allan Brown. More ...

11/08/11
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday  
  • Luca di Montezemolo
    Ferrari corrects Montezemolo's F1 'quit threat'
  • Young drivers pay dearly for Abu Dhabi seats
  • Montezemolo happy to hear Raikkonen rumors
  • Market waits for last pieces in 2012 driver puzzle
  • Spy Coughlan's F1 return 'a scandal' - Montezemolo
  • Nielsen joins Team Lotus as Sporting Director
  • Jalinier replaces Rey as Renault Sport President  More ...
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