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Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Raikkonen T-Shirt
    Raikkonen gifts 'leave me alone' t-shirts to Lotus staff
  • Bianchi tests Ferrari improvements for Alonso
  • Van der Garde denies Caterham announcement imminent
  • Pirelli names Sutil, Kobayashi as F1 tester candidates
  • Merc should have kept Schu, not Rosberg - Villeneuve
  • DRS makes Villeneuve 'angry'
  • Rain could be headache for F1
  • Q&A with Eric Boullier

Raikkonen gifts 'leave me alone' t-shirts to Lotus staff
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen has turned his newly-famous grand prix-winning catchphrase into a t-shirt for the entire staff of the Lotus team.

The inimitable 'iceman' thrilled his fans with his radio banter - broadcast live on television - en route to the first win of his F1 comeback recently in Abu Dhabi.

And, to mark the Enstone based team's first win since its works Renault days, Raikkonen memorialized his most famous Abu Dhabi uttering - 'Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing' - on the front of t-shirts for the entire Lotus staff.

The 500 t-shirts arrived at Enstone last Friday, according to the BBC.

The 2007 world champion said this week: "I think you can probably find other messages from me in the car if you search Youtube; even from my short time in Nascar."

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier added: "'Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing' has already become a formula one classic!"

Bianchi tests Ferrari improvements for Alonso
(GMM)  Ferrari is still pushing hard to give Fernando Alonso a title-winning Ferrari for the final back-to-back head-to-head with Sebastian Vettel.

With Red Bull and Vettel's qualifying problems allowing Alonso to claw back 3 points in Abu Dhabi, the Spaniard is still 10 points adrift with just Austin and Brazil to go.

And with the red F2012 still not a match for the Adrian Newey-penned RB8, Alonso said after finishing second in Abu Dhabi: "We need to keep working and in Maranello they work day and night to bring new parts."

Indeed, the Spanish sports daily Marca reports that, following two similar straight-line aerodynamic outings recently, Ferrari has been back in action at the Idiada facility in Spain.

At the wheel of the car was Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who as well as being Force India's test driver is also in Ferrari's development 'academy'.

Marca said Bianchi was testing a new rear wing and diffuser, while other Spanish reports said the F2012 featured even more new parts than that.

"With Fernando, you don't have to give him the best car," Marc Gene, another Ferrari test driver, told El Confidencial.

"You just have to give him one with which he can fight the best car, and he will do the rest.

"The team is working hard to give him the best car possible."

Mark Webber, Vettel's teammate but a better friend of Alonso's, said recently that if it rains as the championship showdown looms, punters might be wise to put money on the Spaniard.

Gene said: "The forecast for the US and Brazil suggests that they could be wet races, and we know that the Ferrari has proved a very reliable car when water appears."

The first title showdown will be at Austin's brand new Circuit of the Americas this weekend.

A local meteorologist told the Austin American Statesman newspaper: "The best rain chances come Saturday evening into Sunday, but they are still very slight, about 20 per cent."

Van der Garde denies Caterham announcement imminent
(GMM)  Giedo van der Garde has played down reports he is set to be imminently unveiled as a Caterham race driver for 2013.

The well-backed Dutchman, who this year contested the GP2 championship for Tony Fernandes' team, has also been Caterham's reserve driver in 2012 and has recently been driving the green CT01 in Friday morning practice sessions.

Rumors last week, as van der Garde tested the Caterham in Abu Dhabi, suggested the 27-year-old is now on the cusp of securing a full race drive for 2013.

"Discussions are ongoing," van der Garde is quoted by the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"On both sides there is the intention to keep working together, and I hope to have clarity within two to three weeks."

Because Caterham stands to lose millions in Concorde Agreement earnings due to falling behind Marussia in the constructors' championship, it is rumored van der Garde could oust the team's highly rated paid driver Heikki Kovalainen.

And according to speculation, Frenchman Charles Pic is the favorite to replace Vitaly Petrov, whose Russian funding has reportedly dried up.

Pirelli names Sutil, Kobayashi as F1 tester candidates
(GMM)  Paul Hembery has named a trio of potential candidates to be F1 tire supplier Pirelli's test driver in 2013.

The Briton, who is the head of the Italian marque's F1 program, confirmed that Brazilian Lucas di Grassi's testing contract runs to the end of next year.

"Lucas does a great job for us.  After next year his continuation depends on our decision to stay or not in 2013," Hembery told Brazil's Totalrace.

Jaime Alguersuari was the other Pirelli tester in 2012, but the former Toro Rosso racer is hoping to return to a race seat next season.

"In addition to Lucas, we are evaluating other names in the market like (Adrian) Sutil and Alguersuari."

German Sutil, however, clearly has plans to race next year.  After a season on the bench in 2012, the former Force India driver has updated his official website with the words 'Next destination: Australia'.

What about Kamui Kobayashi?  According to strong rumors, the Japanese could be replaced at Sauber by the Telmex-backed Esteban Gutierrez, or the impressive rookie Dutchman Robin Frijns.

"It's a possibility," said Hembery.  "We'll see what happens with him (Kobayashi).  I imagine he's still trying to get a (race) seat, so we'll wait."

Hembery had even recently mentioned Michael Schumacher's name as a possible Pirelli tester.

"I tried in Japan to convince him," he smiled, "but it didn't work.  I think he wants to go skydiving or something!"

Merc should have kept Schu, not Rosberg - Villeneuve
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve says he does not think Mercedes has made the right choice in pairing Lewis Hamilton with Nico Rosberg next year.

The 1997 world champion does not, however, question the German marque's decision to poach Hamilton from McLaren.

Instead, Villeneuve wonders about his former title nemesis Michael Schumacher's exit.

"Why is he stopping?" the 41-year-old told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.

"I don't understand.  Hamilton-Schumacher would be much better than what they do have for next year," the outspoken Villeneuve insisted.

But German Rosberg insists he is "very happy" with how he has compared against the great Schumacher since 2010, even though the pairing have been more closely matched this season.

"It's true that Michael has had bad luck, but so have I," Rosberg told Germany's Auto Bild.

And in their qualifying head-to-head in 2012, Schumacher and Rosberg have been very evenly matched.

"As far as qualifying is concerned, there is nothing special to say about it," Rosberg insisted.

"For three years I have had the upper hand, which is more than I had expected at the beginning.  I am very happy with it," he added.

DRS makes Villeneuve 'angry'
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve has admitted he is no fan of 'DRS', the moveable rear wing innovation that for the past two seasons has made passing much easier in formula one.

The critics of the 'drag reduction system', however, say it only creates artificial racing, and indeed often deprives the sport of many genuine head-to-heads.

"Every time I see DRS I get angry," 1997 world champion Villeneuve told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell.

"It destroys every good battle.

"What also annoys me is the rule about only changing your line once.  That's the worst one of all," said the 41-year-old former Williams, BAR and BMW driver.

"The rule should be that blocking is not allowed -- that's it," added Villeneuve.

He is therefore critical of the 'new generation' of F1 drivers, saving particular rebuke for Romain Grosjean, who Villeneuve alleges is "totally of control".

"Or what Maldonado did to Hamilton in Valencia," he added.

Villeneuve blames some of that culture on the high standards of today's circuits.

"Today, where the run-off used to be grass, now it's paved.  But that (the grass) often made you withdraw automatically.  Now many are pushing without thinking.

"The young drivers coming into formula one today are not ready.  Playing video games all day, they've forgotten that motor sport is dangerous."

Rain could be headache for F1
Even as they’re scurrying to stage Austin’s inaugural Formula One race next weekend, officials at Circuit of the Americas are keeping one very concerned eye on the skies. Few things can play more havoc with a big event – and with the traffic it generates — than weather. And right now it’s looking a little iffy for what could be the largest sporting spectacle ever held in Austin.

Joe Baskin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said there is no rain in the forecast for Friday, when the F1 teams are practicing. But some weather models show slight chances for showers during Saturday qualifying, and Baskin predicted a cloudy day with highs in the low 70s.

“The best rain chances come Saturday evening into Sunday, but they are still very slight, at about 20 percent,” Baskin said.

Unlike NASCAR, Formula One races in the rain, which often provides more action. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone once floated the idea of installing sprinklers at tracks to create more overtaking, as passing is called.

Races can be suspended and resumed later if it rains too hard. But races must be completed within four hours of the start, and there are no makeup days, such as Mondays.

But a wet day dampens more than just the track. Earlier this month, the circuit had a sobering taste of the effect even a little inclement weather can have on an event.

Then, heavy morning fog turned a fun run at the circuit into a transportation headache. Delays of more than an hour were reported as FM 812 backed up like a clogged kitchen sink. The main artery to the circuit was overwhelmed by an estimated 5,000 people – a fraction of what’s expected for the first Formula One Grand Prix in the United States in five years.

Circuit officials vowed to use the run as a learning experience, which is prudent because things could be worse. Much worse.

The last time a world-class motorsport facility debuted in this state, 15 years ago, rain turned the area around Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth into Carmaggedon for 200,000 spectators. Transportation was so snarled that some fans trudged for miles on two-lane country roads and through muddy fields where cars were trapped waiting, sometimes days, for a tow.

At this year’s British Grand Prix, heavy rains for Friday’s practice sessions turned grass parking lots into mud pits and caused huge traffic delays. Officials from Austin saw the problems first-hand during a trip to the race to watch preparations.

For Austin’s first F1 weekend meteorologists, predicted lows in the 40s and 50s and the highs in the 60s and low 70s.

That’s slightly chillier than the norm for this time of year when the high is usually about 70 degrees and lows are close to 50.

According to the Weather Underground commercial website for the past seven years mid-November has been pretty mild, with only a few days of light rain.

Austin has had some downpours in mid-November in the past 12 years. On Nov. 16, 2004, it rained 1.58 inches followed by a deluge of 3.45 inches the next day. On Nov. 15, 2001, Austin was flooded with 6.81 inches of rain.

The circuit has 17,000 on-site parking spots, the majority of which are grass or gravel. Austin Racetrack Partners recently purchased 30 acres next to the racetrack. If there’s no rain, partner Wally Scott said a grass parking lot there might be able to hold 1,000 cars.

“But if it rains, we’re dead in the water,” said Scott.

In 1997, the opening of Texas Motor Speedway was marred by three inches of rain that fell in the days prior to the race.

Grass lots on the former farmland quickly turned into dark swamps, making 60 percent of the parking lots unusable. Track officials hastily set up three remote shuttle lots and spent $500,000 rounding up 255 shuttle busses for fans.

Not that the plan worked. Cars still became mired in parking lots, traffic backed up for miles, and some fans left their cars and trudged to the track. Things were so bad that track owner Bruton Smith, then 70, hopped out of his ride to try to play traffic cop.

Thanks in large part to the rain, NASCAR didn’t really work in its first stop at TMS. But 15 years after surviving that deluge that track is still up and running, proving that even bad weather can be, well, weathered.


Weekend forecast

Meteorologists predict lows in the 40s and 50s and the highs in the 60s and low 70s, which is slightly chillier than the norm for this time of year, when the high is usually about 70 degrees and lows are close to 50.

There is no rain in the forecast for Friday, but some weather models show slight chances for showers Saturday, and Joe Baskin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, predicted a cloudy day with highs in the low 70s.

The best chances for rain are Saturday evening into Sunday, Baskin said, when the chance for rain is about 20 percent. The Statesman

Q&A with Eric Boullier
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier shares his thoughts on Kimi Raikkonen's Abu Dhabi win and looks ahead to Austin...

Q: How was the response to the victory in Abu Dhabi?

EB: I received over four hundred messages at the track after the checkered flag! It was a pleasant surprise to see that a few of them were coming from our rival teams saying how happy they were for us. It was nice to hear that people in the paddock thought we deserved the victory. Also, standing on the podium as Team Principal of the winning constructor was something really special. It was a very emotional moment. I hope we get used to it very soon.

Q: What was the feeling at Enstone once you returned to the factory?

EB: People are happy and have a new spring in their step; even if the weather outside the factory is very cold now! There's a fantastic feeling of excitement and we have two races yet to go. We did it once and we can do it again this season. It took us time to get this win but we all knew that we could do it. It did arrive at a time when more and more people start working on next year's car, which is good timing.

Q: Is it in some ways an even stronger endorsement of the team for the victory to come so late in the year as it shows Lotus F1 Team can keep the development battle going season-long?

EB: Our team is far from having the biggest budget on the grid, but I see it as an advantage. It forces us to be clever and it is one of Enstone's trademarks. Bringing upgrades in October which made our car faster again and catching the best in the sport on pace proves that this team can deliver.

Q: Talking of delivering, Kimi certainly did the business behind the wheel?

EB: This was maybe a surprise for anyone on the outside of the team that doubted him, but for everyone on the inside it was not. Kimi has certainly made his mark and shown that he's back in Formula 1 and back at his best form. Having him back getting podiums and a win is great for him, great for the team and great for the fans. Moreover, "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing" has already become a Formula 1 classic!

Q: How difficult was it for you on the pit wall seeing his lead disappear with the safety car then watching Fernando [Alonso] relentlessly hounding him to the end?

EB: It was certainly the longest race of my short Formula 1 career! The last twenty-two laps in particular were very long. We could see that Kimi had built and was continuing to build a nice gap but the safety car destroyed that. He built a gap again at the restart, but then Fernando started closing meaning that the last lap was quite scary.

Q: On the other side of the garage can Romain take heart from the pace in the car?

EB: Romain had another learning experience in Abu Dhabi, but he showed that he could deliver well with the strategy we chose after changing tires following the puncture he received on the first lap. He exited the race because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Q: How does it feel for Formula 1 to be heading back to the States?

EB: We as a team are very happy to be returning to the USA especially as we strongly believe that it's a market where Formula 1 should be. We already have some American partners, so it's good to be racing in their home country. It a land of tremendous opportunity for Formula 1 and we hope to build on this opportunity in the future. Also, we took part in the opening ceremony of the track two weeks ago, and the buzz it has generated was quite surprising. I'm sure that America likes Formula 1 more than people think.

Q: Fourth in the championship was our target for the season - we now have more than double the points of the fifth-placed team. Is that a good endorsement of where we stand looking ahead to 2013?

EB: Fourth was obviously the target we set ourselves at the start of the year and that's where we are in the standings right now. Obviously, you can be fourth and close behind third position, or fourth and just in front of fifth. Our position relative to fifth-placed Mercedes is quite flattering. Being fourth and fighting with teams like Ferrari and McLaren - by having a win on the board and a number of podiums - has clearly put us in a position where we could develop a stronger image of a team growing and maturing; a team on the up. This is certainly appealing from a commercial point of view and the numbers of partners joining us this year is a proof of that. On the other hand, fourth is still fourth, and we know how much harder we need to push in developing our resources and the company to ensure we can break into the top three next year. Source: Lotus


Quotes after the Jeff Gordon-Clint Bowyer Phoenix wreck
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 30TH – INVOLVED IN ON-TRACK INCIDENT WITH CLINT BOWYER: ON THE INCIDENT: “Things have gotten escalated over the year and I have just had it.  Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me and he got into me on the back straightaway, pretty much ruined our day.  I have had it, was fed up with it and got him back.”


ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ANY PENALTIES? “They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do.  Just like I had to do what I had to do.”

ON INCIDENT: "Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me. He got into me on the back straightaway, and pretty much ruined our day. I had it. That was it, and got him back."

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Video: Gordon and Bowyer crews fight
Clint Bowyer Gets into Jeff Gordon , then Gordon gets into Bowyer , then both of the crews get into it and a huge fist fight starts!


BMW on course for 2012 sales record after strong October
BMW said it is heading for its best sales year despite a flat European market after the company's October global volume increased by 13.2 percent to 157,618 vehicles.

"We are well on course to achieve a new sales record in 2012 despite the headwind present in some European markets," BMW sales and marketing board member Ian Robertson said in a statement today.

Deliveries of BMW-branded cars rose 15.4 percent to 132,823 last month compared with October 2011, putting the brand ahead of rivals Audi, whose sales rose nearly 14 percent to 123,600 and Mercedes brand, whose sales were up 6 percent to 109,632.

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Wolff weighs in on V6 change
Toto Wolff says Formula One has to follow through on the decision to swap to smaller 1.6 litre turbo-charged V6 engines in 2014.

Like F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the Williams executive director admits he is not a fan of the smaller engines and would rather Formula One have opted to retain the current 2.4 litre V8 units.

"My own personal view is that it should have never happened," he told the latest James Allen on F1 podcast

"It was agreed to make a new engine without having properly analysed how much that engine would cost in terms of development and in terms of research and running it later on."

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Mario Andretti finds a place to park his F1 American Grand Prix dream
Formula One has mooched about America like a hobo, restless and rootless, with neither regular work nor a fixed abode. But Mario Andretti, the Italian-American who was one of the greatest of transatlantic racing drivers, feels that the US Grand Prix has found a new and permanent home in Austin, Texas.

Andretti will be at the Circuit of the Americas next Sunday to watch the excitedly anticipated race. "When I saw the place in June I had my doubts about this ever going ahead," he tells the Observer. "But I've been amazed at the work that has taken place since. There were big difficulties, because the whole project fell into different hands. But there was a passion and a resolve to perform miracles and make it work.

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Pedrosa wins dramatic crash-strewn Valencian GP
Dani Pedrosa
In the final MotoGP race at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took victory in a dramatic race that was marred with awkward conditions and crashes ahead of Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Casey Stoner.

The race was declared wet by Race Direction despite a near dry line having formed, and only Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, his teammate Nakasuga, and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, chose the softer option slick tires, with all others on the hard wets. However, in a twist unseen this season, Pedrosa, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista then decided to start from pit-lane after their sighting lap, with all of them switching to a bike with slick tires.

Pedrosa was carving his way through the pack, whilst many riders that were on wets started coming into the pits to switch to their bikes with slicks, amongst which were Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, Pramac Racing Team’s Hector Barberá, and Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Amid the frantic happenings, Hayden, Avintia Blusens’ Ivan Silva, and Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo crashed out of contention. On lap eight, Lorenzo was leading with Pedrosa in tow, whilst Bradl was running third with Nakasuga and Crutchlow behind. It was however not to be for the young German as he lost control of his bike in Turn 5 and crashed out. With 18 laps remaining Crutchlow efforts were rewarded by getting past Nakasuga, as Pedrosa had a moment and ran wide, putting him over three seconds back on Lorenzo.

Then there was huge drama as the World Champion was highsided off his bike as he was passing back markers, and was fortunate to walk away unhurt. This left Pedrosa in the lead, who also had his work cut out getting past the slower riders. On lap 19 the crashes continued as Barberá also took a tumble, whilst Espargaro teammate Randy de Puniet ran into the gravel. A lap later he was followed Avintia Blusens’ Claudio Corti, who skidded off into the gravel on his Inmotec chassis.

Just as things looked to have settled down, Crutchlow was caught out by the conditions and dropped out of second place. This moved Bautista up into third, although Stoner was catching up quickly in fourth. And with three laps remaining Stoner was all over the rear wheel Bautista and caught him at the end of the lap down the home straight to move into third.

In the end it was Pedrosa who took checkered flag to score his seventh win of the season, with Nakasuga taking the first Japanese podium this year in his second wildcard entry, and Stoner signing off his GP career with the final step on the rostrum. The first non-podium finisher was Bautista, followed by his teammate Michele Pirro, Dovizioso, Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. Espargaro¢ finished in 11th and secured himself the CRT title this season, whilst Bautista consolidated fifth in the championship.

Race Result - Round 18
1 Dani Pedrosa 48'23.819 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Katsuyuki Nakasuga +37.661 JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Casey Stoner +1'00.633 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Alvaro Bautista +1'02.811 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Michele Pirro +1'26.608 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
6 Andrea Dovizioso +1'30.423 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Karel Abraham +1'31.789 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
8 Danilo Petrucci +1 lap ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
9 James Ellison +1 lap GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
10 Valentino Rossi +1 lap ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
11 Aleix Espargaro +1 lap ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
12 Randy De Puniet +2 laps FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Hiroshi Aoyama +2 laps JAP BQR-FTR BQR
14 Colin Edwards +3 laps USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
15 Cal Crutchlow DNF GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
16 Claudio Corti DNF ITA BQR-FTR BQR
17 Hector Barbera DNF SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 Jorge Lorenzo DNF SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
19 Stefan Bradl DNF GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
20 Roberto Rolfo DNF ITA ART Speed Master
22 Nicky Hayden DNF USA DUCATI Ducati Team

Championship standings
1 Jorge Lorenzo 350 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 332 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Casey Stoner 254 pts AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Andrea Dovizioso 218 pts ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Alvaro Bautista 178 pts SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
6 Valentino Rossi 163 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Cal Crutchlow 151 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8 Stefan Bradl 135 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
9 Nicky Hayden 122 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Ben Spies 88 pts USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
11 Hector Barbera 83 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
12 Aleix Espargaro 74 pts ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
13 Randy De Puniet 62 pts FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
14 Karel Abraham 59 pts CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
15 Michele Pirro 43 pts ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 James Ellison 35 pts GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
17 Yonny Hernandez 28 pts COL BQR-FTR BQR
18 Danilo Petrucci 27 pts ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
19 Colin Edwards 27 pts USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
20 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 27 pts JAP YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
21 Jonathan Rea 17 pts GBR HONDA Repsol Honda Team
22 Mattia Pasini 13 pts ITA ART Speed Master
23 Ivan Silva 12 pts SPA BQR-FTR BQR
24 Toni Elías 10 pts SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
25 Hiroshi Aoyama 3 pts JAP BQR-FTR BQR
26 Steve Rapp 2 pts USA N/A Attack Performance
27 David Salom 1 pts SPA BQR-FTR BQR
28 Roberto Rolfo 0 pts ITA ART Speed Master
29 Franco Battaini 0 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
30 Chris Vermeulen 0 pts AUS SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
31 Aaron Yates 0 pts USA N/A GP Tech


Video: Brendan Gaughan German Quiroga Crash


Austin geared up and ready to go
Formula One, take one.

Two and a half years after the surprising news broke that Central Texas would host a Formula One race, after 20 months of construction and $300 million or more spent on the track, Austin this week will find out what it really means to have about 115,000 fans converge from all over the world to watch a grand prix race.

“It’s like having the Super Bowl here,” said Steve Sexton, president of the Circuit of the Americas. “Like having a Super Bowl here every year for the next 10 years.”

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track news

Against all odds, F1 track has been built, ready to host race
Top of turn 1 looking back at S/F line
This week, Austin joins 19 other cities such as Monaco, Shanghai and Sao Paulo on the exclusive, glamorous international stage of Formula One racing.

Just southeast of the city, on a tract of land that was home to rabbits and rattlesnakes just 30 months ago, more than a hundred thousand spectators are expected to watch as some of the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced cars scream around a dazzling, new 3.4-mile racing circuit.

The Circuit of The Americas hosts the United States Grand Prix. Gov. Rick Perry said the race and the racing facility are “an opportunity to change Texas forever.”

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Dovizioso tops wet Valencia warm-up
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso was the man on the pace in a wet warm-up for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana in front of Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi.

The MotoGP grid was met with rain in the morning session, which will have pleased the riders, as the race this afternoon is also predicted to be wet. And it was Dovizioso who led the field with a 1.44’197 ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who has looked in good form at the track all weekend. Ducati Team’s Rossi will have been lifted by his performance in the wet, after his dry pace looked to be suffering.

His teammate Nicky Hayden, who had topped Friday’s wet session, ended the warm-up in fourth, ahead of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo came in seventh, while Repsol Honda Team’s pole-sitter Dani Pedrosa finished in tenth.

Team USA

Brabham Finishes Second, is Moral Victor in FR BARC Finale at Rockingham
Matthew Brabham
Matthew Brabham turned on a virtuoso display in this afternoon’s final round of the Formula Renault BARC Winter Series at the Rockingham Race Circuit, fighting his way into contention for the lead on slick tires in damp conditions before finally having to settle for second place.

The American-born grandson of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham started from ninth on the grid and, after consultation with team principal Cliff Dempsey, boldly elected to run slick tires on an extremely slick surface. Virtually all the other front-runners chose to remain on treaded tires.

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Pedrosa wins MotoGP pole
The Grand Prix of la Comunidad Valenciana will see Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa starting in pole position, Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo 2nd, and Casey Stoner from third in a highly anticipated season finale.

Dani Pedrosa, the only rider who has won at Valencia in all three classes, set a new pole record on his last flying lap (1'30.844) beating Valentino Rossi's old record by 0.158 seconds (1'31.002) which Rossi recorded using qualifying tires in 2006. Dani took his fifth pole of the season.

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Hulkenberg leaving door open for 2014
(GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has left open the door to the 2014 season, intensifying rumors he could be paving a road to Ferrari.

Some have interpreted the German's move from Force India to Sauber for next year as a sideways step, while others think Hulkenberg is laying down a path to his future with the small Ferrari-powered Swiss team.

Indeed, the 25-year-old was linked with Ferrari's works team before Maranello decided to keep Felipe Massa in 2013, but the Brazilian - like Hulkenberg - has only been signed up for a single season.

"I cannot tell you where I'm going in 2014," Hulkenberg told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport. "Formula one is a fast-moving business."

He did admit: "In the long term I want to drive for podiums and race wins and become world champion.


Whitmarsh thinks Mercedes offered Hamilton 'a bit more' money
(GMM) Martin Whitmarsh says he suspects Lewis Hamilton already regrets accepting a bigger-money offer to switch to Mercedes next year.

The McLaren chief answered "I don't know" when asked why he thinks the 2008 world champion decided to leave his boyhood team, but thinks a big factor is Hamilton's desire to spread his wings after six years with the famous British outfit.

But Whitmarsh told F1's official website that money was probably another factor.

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2013 Grand Prix of Alabama tickets on sale Monday
Barber Motorsports Park and ZOOM Motorsports announced today that tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. Monday for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend on April 5-7, 2013. Tickets for the event at Barber Motorsports Park will be available at www.barbermotorsports.com. Fans can order their tickets and immediately print from home. 

For a limited time, fans who purchase early will have a chance to receive an exclusive discount for general admission tickets and paddock passes. To receive the discount, fans can "like" the Barber Motorsports Park fan page on Facebook for a promo code offering 10 percent off to those who buy tickets before Dec. 31.

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NASCAR Struggles to Keep Fans Tuned-in for Entire Race
Even with two drivers within 19 points of each other, with two races to go, NASCAR Sprint Cup race fans aren’t watching TV like they once did. Jimmie Johnson went to Texas with a two-point lead over Brad Keselowski and TV ratings for last Sunday’s race were down 15 percent from last year. In fact NASCAR TV ratings have been dropping for years, but they still dwarf any other form of racing in the USA.

ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 4, earned a 2.9 final household coverage rating (2.5 U.S. rating), averaging 3,943,274 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race earned a 3.4 household coverage rating, meaning this year's numbers are down 15%.

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Late pass lifts Scott to victory at Phoenix
Brian Scott was a quick study. In a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Scott passed NASCAR wunderkind Kyle Larson to win Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

The victory was Scott's first of the season and second of his career, his first win coming at Dover in 2009. But Scott provided only half the drama.

James Buescher and Ty Dillon, the top two contenders for the series championship, both had major trouble, with Buescher blowing a right front tire and crashing hard into the Turn 4 wall with less than three laps left.

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Electric Cars Drive Through Gas Shortage In NY, NJ
Vehicle owners in New York and New Jersey have been struggling to find gasoline since super storm Sandy hit the East Coast. But people with fully electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF are having an easier time charging up and getting to where they need to go.

After Sandy, millions in New York and New Jersey were affected. Offices, homes and subways flooded. Trees tore through structures, and even now with much of the electrical power restored and debris removed, it is not easy to get gas. Long lines at filling stations are forming all across the area. Even at two in the morning, vehicles are backed up for miles.

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NASCAR please buy IndyCar UPDATE #2 Another article that mentions AR1's original idea of NASCAR buying IndyCar.  Having studied the sport closely for 50 years, and given where it is now after Tony George destroyed it, the only hope for the sport is for NASCAR to buy it.  There is no other way out of the hole Tony George put the sport in.

10/30/12 Nate Ryan must read AR1.com (see USA Today article) as he too believes there is real merit in NASCAR buying IndyCar, thereby putting it in the hands of the France Family and getting it out of the hands of the dysfunctional Hulman-George family where it has floundered for years.

10/29/12 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Back on October 5th when you published the article "Is NASCAR the only viable savior for IndyCar" I thought you were nuts - the arch-enemy of open wheel racing would simply kill it off.  Now some three weeks later I think maybe you were right. 

In IndyCar, owners think they are the show and should set policy. That's unlike Formula One and NASCAR, which are ruled by essentially one person who doesn't have to answer to a board or a group of egotistical car owners who think they know best. Not coincidently, both F1 and NASCAR have flourished while IndyCar continues to fall further and further behind both economically and in terms of popularity prior to Randy Bernard's arrival. Finally, after years of failed leadership, it appeared IndyCar had learned the err of its ways and recognized it needed a shakeup – gone was Tony George, the person most responsible for the destruction of the sport.

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Cheerios to Sponsor Austin Dillon in 2013 Daytona 500
Richard Childress Racing has partnered with General Mills® for NASCAR Nationwide Series standout Austin Dillon to make his Daytona 500 debut driving the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet on February 24, 2013, at Daytona International Speedway. The paint scheme for the 55th running of the Great American Race will also mark the NASCAR debut of Buzz, the official SpokesBee of Honey Nut Cheerios.

"My family has so many memories of racing in the Daytona 500 so it is really special to me to be able to make my first Daytona 500 start," said Dillon. "With the support of General Mills and America's Favorite Cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios, I hope to continue RCR's winning tradition on restrictor plate tracks with my pal Buzz on the hood of the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet."

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Grosjean: Austin will not be easy to learn
Romain Grosjean is expecting the Circuit of the Americas to pose a significant challenge to the field next weekend, with the Formula 1 fraternity travelling to the venue for the first time. On the back of a retirement at the Yas Marina Circuit, the Frenchman is keen to make a return to the points scoring positions in America.

"I don’t think it will be the easiest circuit to learn and there are a few fast corners which look like they will be a challenge," the Lotus driver explained. "The first corner certainly looks to be good fun.

"I’ve spoken to (reserve driver) Jérôme (d'Ambrosio) so I have a little idea of what to expect. On top of that I’ve worked with simulations of the track, and it’s easy for me to play Xbox when I am travelling so I can get an idea from that too."

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Bourdais back with Dragon Racing
Dragon Racing has announced that Sebastien Bourdais has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the team in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“It’s a privilege to have Seb once again piloting the No. 7 Dragon Racing entry,” said Jay Penske, owner of Dragon Racing. “2012 was a challenge for us on so many levels, but despite that, towards the end of last season we demonstrated that with the right equipment and strategy, Dragon Racing is a force to be reckoned with. I am truly excited about what can be achieved this coming season and with Seb at the wheel – the best is yet to come”.

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Video: Jack Beckman NHRA Funny Car Explosion
Funny Car driver Jack Beckman suffered a major explosion in his Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger Funny Car during the opening round of qualifying at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.


Latest F1 news in brief - Friday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Alex Zanardi exits garage
    Zanardi at speed
    Willem Staat
    Caterham confirms Abiteboul for top job
  • FIA warns drivers to stop bad language
  • Specialists clear Red Bull over 'rubber nose' saga
  • Coke would tackle F1 with energy drink - Ecclestone
  • HRT must improve car for 2013 - de la Rosa
  • Brazil GP planning retirement send-off for Schumacher
  • Renault suspects supplier to blame for quali debacle
  • Zanardi doubts DTM test prelude to race seat
  • Di Resta not fussed over 2013 teammate
  • 2013 Pirelli tires to be different - Hembery
  • De Villota to undergo more operations
  • Magnussen able to apply for Superlicense
  • Toro Rosso pleased with new 2013 components
  • Button: Flat fee for super license New
  • USGP Marussia Preview New
  • USGP Mercedes Preview New
  • Sauber USGP Preview New

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Exa PowerFLOW Aerodynamically optimized racecar wins IndyCar Championship
2012 IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay
Aided by aerodynamic improvements using Exa Corporation's PowerFLOW simulation results, Andretti Autosport drove into the winner’s circle claiming the 2012 overall IZOD IndyCar Series as well as the Oval Championship titles. The trip to the podium for the overall IndyCar Championship was the first for an American team since 2006.

“This challenging IZOD IndyCar Series truly tests the car’s engineering as we need to adapt to ovals, permanent and temporary road courses from race to race,” commented Andretti Autosport President and CEO Michael Andretti. “Exa’s simulation accuracy and fast throughput were key factors in our success. We were especially thrilled with the aerodynamic performance this year; the insight the PowerFLOW simulations afforded us to analyze and optimize our car virtually between races made an enormous impact on our season.”

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City Council to take up annexing Circuit of the Americas UPDATE In a deal that adds tens of millions of dollars to the property tax rolls, the Austin City Council on Thursday unanimously approved annexing about 1,500 acres in southeastern Travis County that include Circuit of the Americas.

The annexation also extends the city’s regulatory authority on the 3.4-mile racetrack, which is scheduled to host its first Formula One race Nov. 16-18.

The circuit property was valued at $92.2 million this year, with a taxable value of $80.7 million, records show. Annexation will take effect Dec. 17.

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Neighbors oppose F1 helicopter proposal UPDATE Over the objections of South Austin residents and businesses, Austin’s aviation director on Thursday approved a pair of temporary helicopter landing pads for use during the upcoming Formula One weekend.

Two helicopter charter companies plan to ferry race fans from two parking garages, on 300 S. Congress Ave. and 901 S. MoPac Blvd., to the Circuit of the Americas race track east of Austin.

Neighbors objected to the plans, saying the helicopters passing near their homes would be too noisy and telling City Council members they only learned of the plans from reports in the American-Statesman and had no opportunity to protest until it was too late.

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Mouser’s IndyCar Success Is a True Team Effort
We knew we needed a team of dedicated co-sponsors in order to make our IndyCar sponsorship successful. Each sponsor was pivotal in the program’s accomplishments. That list of co-sponsors for the No. 11 Mouser Electronics/KV Racing Technology IndyCar in the 2012 Izod IndyCar Series includes Amphenol, BIVAR, ebm-papst, Fluke, Hammond, Harwin, KEMET, Littelfuse, Molex, Murata, Ohmite, Omron, Panasonic, Phoenix Contact, Sager, TE Connectivity, and TTI.

This year, supplier co-sponsors were invited to join us, along with KV Racing Technology, to participate in a unique campaign around the country. Our guests were taken behind the scenes in the IndyCar world through “Tech Talks” with top engineers, and conversations with KV driver Tony Kanaan, one of the series’ top pilots. With access to the pit and garage areas, our racing team partners got to see firsthand how their components and technology play an essential role in this high-performance sport.

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Testing Underway Next Week In Daytona
Two days of testing for the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona get underway next week. At least 19 GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype and GT teams have announced plans to participate in the Tuesday-Wednesday sessions over Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile, 12-turn course.

Next week's activities, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, will be the first of two tests in advance of the Jan. 26-27 twice-round-the-clock race. The traditional "Roar Before the Rolex 24" – which annually draws upwards of 100 DP, GT and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge cars – follows on Jan. 4-6.

Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona winners Ozz Negri and John Pew will return in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley as well as 2012 GT winners Andy Lally and John Potter in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3.

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EGR's Larson to run final two with Turner; talks about future
Kyle Larson, a development driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, will run the #4 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead Miami Speedway. The 2012 NASCAR K & N Pro Series East Champion, Larson won his first NASCAR title with a sixth place finish in the season finale Saturday at Rockingham Speedway, also taking Sonoco Rookie of the Year honors. Below are a few excerpts from recent NASCAR teleconference:

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Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing renews technical partnership with Quake State
Quaker Chemical Corporation has renewed its sponsorship for 2013 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) in an expanded sponsorship and technical partner role. During the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season, Quaker Chemical spearheaded a research project designed to create proprietary greases and lubricants specifically engineered to combat the forces of friction, heat and wear for the unique demands of the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Team.

Joe Berquist, Quaker VP and Managing Director North America noted, "Our first year in IndyCar with SFHR was a great experience for Quaker. With the 2013 season, we are excited to continue leveraging our technical partnership with SFHR for ongoing product development, research and ideas. SFHR is a first-class organization and their family-centric approach to business is a great fit with Quaker’s culture. Josef Newgarden is a talented, charismatic, and motivated young driver. We are looking forward to a great 2013 season."

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Zanardi completes historic drive in golden BMW M3 DTM
Zanardi talks with BMW crew
At 14:22hrs came the moment many people had been waiting for: in typically autumn weather in the Eifel region of Germany, Alessandro Zanardi (IT) left the pit lane at the Nürburgring (DE) and headed out onto the iconic track at the wheel of the BMW M3 DTM for the first time. Within just a few laps the 46-year-old had slotted seamlessly back into racing driver mode and looked more at home in the car with each of his 32 laps.

This unique opportunity was BMW Motorsport’s way of acknowledging the outstanding sporting achievements of Zanardi, who won two gold and one silver medal on his handbike at the Paralympic Games in London (GB). In keeping with the occasion, the BMW M3 DTM sported a gold livery, specially designed for Zanardi. As well as the Italian’s image on the bonnet, the roof of the car also featured the three medals, which Zanardi won at this summer’s Paralympic Games having lost both legs in an accident in 2001.

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Randy Bernard "The fallout continues" UPDATE Another reader writes, Dear AR1, Regarding Brian Carroccio latest Randy Bernard, the fallout continues piece - What a great article!

In just a few words Mr. Carroccio has summed up decades of IndyCar problems and laid it fairly at the feet of those who bear the responsibility of its demise.

I cannot say I agreed with everything Randy did but in just a short time he turned the sport around and gave many hope that there was a future for IndyCar and it looked bright.

Like those who blame the President for all the problems of our country, there is a faction that place the blame on Bernard for the poor TV ratings, lame looking car and expensive parts.

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Team USA

Pigot, Johnston Impress in F3 Test at Pembrey with Double R Racing
Johnston and Pigot
Team USA Scholarship alumnus Spencer Pigot and 2012 candidate Sean Johnston today enjoyed their first taste of a high-downforce open-wheel car when they tested a Double R Racing Formula 3 Dallara-Neil Brown/Honda at the renowned 1.456-mile test facility at Pembrey in south Wales.

The track was wet at the beginning of the day following overnight showers and the temperature remained cool throughout, but the young Americans were able to sample the car’s spectacular performance on both wet and dry Cooper tires. The pair was joined by young Englishman Oliver White, who was selected by a panel of judges as one of the outstanding talents at the recent Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy events. (WHT winner Tristan Nunez also was invited to the test but was unable to attend due to a prior commitment to a charity event this weekend in his native Florida.)

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NASCAR suspends #38 truck crew chief
Charles J. Henry, crew chief for the #38 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Nov. 7, Henry was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19-4A (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications


IndyCar World Champion Hunter-Reay & Boxer Holyfield 25th Annual Showboats International Rendezvous
Heavyweight Boxing legend Evander Holyfield, 2012 IndyCar World Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and actor Enrico Colantoni will attend the 25th Annual ShowBoats International Boys & Girls Club Rendezvous which will take place November 8-10, 2012 at the beautiful Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. The ShowBoats International Rendezvous is the largest gathering of mega-yachts for charity in the world. The event has raised more than $30 million to date for the organization and the 12,000 at-risk youth it serves.

Throughout the entertainment-filled weekend, guests will have the exclusive opportunity to meet and mingle with World Champion Heavyweight Boxer Holyfield, former Undisputed World Champion in the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions; 2012 Indy Car World Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay; Enrico Colantoni, Canadian actor best known for his roles in the sitcom Just Shoot Me!, and the television series Veronica Mars and Flashpoint.

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tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Leigh Diffey will co-host with Dave Despain in the Wind Tunnel studio this Sunday. Former Indy 500 winner, CART champ, and F1 driver, Danny Sullivan, will co-host via satellite.

Kyle Petty will join us from Phoenix following this Sunday’s penultimate race in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

And we’ll talk to recently crowned 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro East Series Champion, Kyle Larson, who has received high praise from recent Wind Tunnel guests, Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon. This was Larson’s first season racing a stock car and this weekend in Phoenix, he’ll make his 3rd Camping World Truck Series start. His previous two starts resulted in an impressive two top 10 finishes.

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NASCAR Rolling Out New Small Business Platform In Phoenix
NASCAR today at Phoenix Int'l Raceway will debut the Arizona version of its Business Series presented by Bank of America, a small business platform developed to connect local business owners across Arizona with NASCAR Official Partners. The platform, formed in alliance with the Arizona Small Business Association, is designed to facilitate networking, idea sharing, and customizing deals to help address specific small business needs while featuring speakers on small business. The sanctioning body intends the platform to become an annual event.

Official Partners scheduled to participate are Bank of America, Nationwide, Sprint and UPS. The initial event will feature speakers such as ASBA CEO Rick Murray, BofA Small Business Exec Anna Colton, NASCAR team owner-turned-ESPN analyst Ray Evernham and Small Business Network President Jim Blasingame. SportsBusiness Daily


Valsecchi tops final day of Young Drivers test
Davide Valsecchi topped the times for Lotus on the final day of Formula 1's young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

The Italian, who won the GP2 title this year, posted a time of 1m42.677s that was just 0.002 seconds quicker than Antonio Felix da Costa's best overall time on Wednesday for Red Bull.

McLaren's Kevin Magnussen was second fastest at the Yas Marina Circuit, 0.150s behind Valsecchi. Magnussen was back in the car after topping the timesheets on the opening day.

American Alexander Rossi was slowest for Caterham after having to finish his day early due to oil on the garage floor when he returned to the pits after his 14th run.

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racing news

Video: Race Car on Fire, Ken Block Presses on During Rally-X Race
After qualifying first, winning each of his heats and leading the first 5 laps at Global Rally Cross SEMA, Ken Block was forced to DNF due to a FIRE in his cockpit. But before retiring Block drove the piss out of his Ford Fiesta HFHV despite the smoke, and flames.

track news

Tavo Hellmund added as defendant to Circuit of the Americas
Tavo Hellmund
Tavo Hellmund and Circuit of the Americas are back in court.

The circuit, which will host its first Formula One race Nov. 16-18, is seeking a temporary restraining order against the track’s former founding partner.

Hellmund on Tuesday was added as a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month in district court in Travis County against Dallas-based public relations firm Rocket Red.

The circuit is asking that Hellmund be prevented from divulging any of the circuit’s trade secrets, destroying or altering any records in his possession or using any of the circuit’s trademarks. Organizers are also seeking damages, court and attorney fees.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • McLaren stays w/MB
    F1 briefs: Kubica, McLaren-Mercedes and Austin
  • Slim 'quite sure' Gutierrez to race Sauber in 2013
  • Red Bull 'not involved' in qualifying fuel debacle
  • New flexi saga questions 'rubber Red Bull'
  • Boss Abiteboul, racer van der Garde tipped for Caterham
  • Leaving Ferrari was 'a relief' - Raikkonen
  • Whitmarsh: Perez doesn’t understand McLaren pressure New
  • Cyril Abiteboul Promoted by Caterham F1 Team New
  • Senna won't let uncertainty get to him New

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Bubba steals Brad Keselowski's hat, then asks him to sign it
Keselowski and his Miler Lite cap
NASCAR fans (called Bubbas by many) are on their way to becoming the most daring -- at least the most imaginative -- in all of sports.

Last month at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a fan sneaked into Victory Lane with Clint Bowyer's car. He posed for pictures during the hat dance and actually spoke with the Michael Waltrip Racing driver and his owner.

Last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, a fan stole Brad Keselowski's Miller Lite hat from the top of his pit box during practice, tweeted to Keselowski she stole it and then asked Keselowski to autograph it on pit road before the race.

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IndyCar, America's new Edsel
The new IndyCar is the Edsel of its time
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, My hats off to you.  When the new IndyCar was revealed you called it the ugliest racecar ever designed that would send the fans heading to the exits in droves.  Well you were right, TV ratings plummeted this year and attendance was poor at most venues.  Dan Bird

Dear Dan, Yes, the car is butt ugly but being a 'spec' car it races well so the 'show' was good.  Too bad hardly anyone was there to watch it.  It is the Edsel of our era - a car that drove customers from the showrooms about as fast as the new IndyCar drives fans from the sport.  It replaces the 2nd ugliest car ever created by mankind.  We hate to see what the next generation Dallara will look like.  Mark C.

The 'Walrus' is the modern era Edsel

Related article - IndyCar: A Shape Only A Fan Could Love?

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