Earnhardt crew treated after wreck Six pit crew workers for Dale Earnhardt Jr. were involved in a car accident Sunday morning on the way to Phoenix International Raceway, but all of them were expected to work the Checker Auto Parts 500 Sunday afternoon, team officials confirmed. All six men were treated and released at the PIR Infield Care Center after their vehicle was T-boned at an intersection near the track. Crew chief Lance McGrew was not in the accident and didn't want to speak about the incident Sunday morning when approached at the #88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevy hauler in the Sprint Cup garage. Earnhardt will start 18th in Sunday's race. ESPN
Kubica crashes in Rally debut Formula One star Robert Kubica crashed out of the Sicilian Rally Taormina-Messina at the weekend after completing the opening day in eighth place and in the lead of his class.
The Pole, driving a DP Motorsports Renault Clio R3, rounded off Friday's short opening day of the rally leading class R3C, five-tenths ahead of local driver Paul Wise in a similar car. But on the stage which followed, Saturday's SS3, Kubica crashed into a wall, damaging his car's right-hand front corner, which resulted in his retirement.
Before starting SS3 Kubica, 24, was happy with the way the event was progressing. "I like the tests and the people have been very welcoming," he said. "Yesterday I did not attack, I was trying to learn about driving the car - today is a longer challenge. The only unknowns are the pace notes, I hope to get used to driving in this way. I must learn to listen."
Canadian Tire series to share date with Honda Indy After dismal attendance in 2009 due to lack of promotion, IndyCar will have some company for next year's race in Toronto. NASCAR has announced that the Canadian Tire development series will share a weekend with the Honda Indy Toronto. The circuit, which revealed its 2010 schedule Saturday, will run 13 races at 13 different tracks spanning six provinces.
"All of the facilities we visit are top notch which certainly enhances our product," George Silbermann, NASCAR's managing director of racing operations, said in a statement. "I think the great race fans of Canada will enjoy another exciting season in 2010."
The Canadian Tire race will be held July 17, the day before the IndyCar race on the 1.721-mile temporary street course at Exhibition Place.
We cannot imagine how these cars will look on the Toronto street circuit. They should paint one of the cars to look like a taxicab, because it will probably be almost as quick around the track as one. The upside is that it will make the IndyCars look really fast on a street circuit...
Scott team withdraws from MotoGP The Scot Racing Team, after winning the World Championship in the 250cc class with the rider Hiroshi Aoyama on Honda, has been forced to withdraw from the MotoGP class. Despite the close agreement between the team and the rider Alex de Angelis of San Marino, Honda has declared itself unable to deliver the bike due to expired time limit relevant to the request.
Cirano Mularoni Team Manager: "After the happiness of winning the world championship in the 250cc class for me and for the whole team this is a great disappointment, that no reward for all the work done over the years. Now we just have to concentrate on the Moto2 project”.
From the next racing season on, Formula Le Mans owners (ORECA FLM monotype prototype / 420 BHP GM engine) will have the grand opportunity to take part in Le Mans Series 1000 km races in Europe. The FLM are also announced in Northern America within the “ALMS” starting in 2010.
The 2009 model will undergo minor modifications with an “Endurance Kit” including an engine intake restrictor in order to position this “economic prototype” at some distance from the LMP2, but nevertheless in front of the GT2 pack.
The cars will participate in their own FLM Championship within the Le Mans Series races including a specific ranking, a separate podium ceremony and a dedicated FLM?ORECA motorhome at each meeting. Registrations to the 2010 FLM Championship are already open as the available seats are limited and due to the fact that regular LMS contestants have priority.
Nadeau looking to go racing in 2010 Jerry Nadeau, who suffered a head injury in a crash at Richmond in 2003 and has not competed in NASCAR since, was at the track Friday. He's trying to find funding for a Grand Am ride for next season. Roanoke Times
Fenning replaces Wingo David Ragan doesn't expect Jimmy Fennig to be his crew chief in 2010. "Yeah, I would say there will be some change in the crew chief role,'' Ragan said on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "As far as who and when and all that stuff, that's to be determined. We still feel like we don't want to lose focus on the last two races and start planning for 2010 too early. As soon as the checkered flag falls on Homestead all of our thoughts will be on 2010 and preparing a stronger team.'' Ragan said Fennig, who has been at Roush Fenway Racing for 13 years, wants to head up an R&D department for the organization. "He's been a teacher and crew chief and mentor and really taught me a lot the last couple of years,'' said Ragan, in his third full season in the Sprint Cup series. "Ninety percent of what I know today I learned from Jimmy Fennig. A lot of things are changing at Roush Fenway. I'm sure right after Homestead, Jack Roush and general manager Robbie Reiser will make those decisions.'' Fennig said he is waiting for management to tell him what he will be doing next season. ESPN
Sauber 'waiting patiently' for 2010 entry (GMM) The Hinwil based Sauber team is "waiting patiently" to know if it will be able to keep racing in formula one in 2010.
"We are waiting patiently for our starting place," team founder Peter Sauber is quoted as saying by Switzerland's Blick.
The 66-year-old is referring to the FIA's declaration last week that "urgent clarification" is being sought as to Toyota's "legal position" following the Japanese carmaker's decision to withdraw from F1.
"This will have a direct bearing on the admission of any future 13th entry," F1's governing body had said.
Before Toyota's withdrawal, Sauber occupied only the 14th team place in F1, which according to the FIA in September meant it was poised to "fill any vacancy that arises" on a 2010 grid that will accommodate a maximum of 26 cars.
It is understood that, in the wake of BMW's withdrawal, the team's takeover by the Qadbak consortium will only be formalized when Sauber is granted an official 2010 entry.
$2 million Bugatti crashes into lagoonUPDATE This video was recorded by a Facebook user who appears to be taping it with a phone or digital camera just at the right moment. Warning, they do swear appropriately at the event. Incredible.
The driver, Andy House, isn't just the man who crashed his Bugatti Veyron. He's also the man who owns the repaired Ferrari Enzo crashed by actor Eddie Griffin.
House himself confirmed to us he owns the Enzo crashed by Griffin. Ironically, the business House owns is Performance Auto Sales, which sells repaired exotic cars. According to House he's one of the largest salvage auto dealers in the world.
Being an expert on the topic, we asked him if he'd consider the car salvageable. House's response:
"Not sure if the car is salvageable yet, have not had a chance to go survey the damage."
According to House, this wasn't a company car he was planning to sell but rather a personal car and, despite the Bugatti lake accident, he's not done with the car yet, telling us
"It is by far the nicest car that I have ever owned, looking to replace it now!"
The Veyron itself was released to the insurance company earlier today and, despite claims to the contrary, he insists he was not talking to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the time of the crash.
Can you imagine his insurance bill now?
Wrecker driver Gilbert Harrison, with MCH Towing, pulls a Bugatti Veyron, one of the world’s fastest production cars, from the water by the north frontage road of Interstate 45 near Omega Bay on Wednesday afternoon
11/14/09 LA MARQUE — The owner of one of the world’s fastest production automobiles accidentally drove his fine-tuned, French-built car into a saltwater lagoon Wednesday.
The man, who police said was from Lufkin, was uninjured after escaping the partially submerged Bugatti Veyron as it came to rest in about 2 feet of saltwater.
The two-seater, with 16 cylinders and four turbo chargers, can reach speeds of more than 250 mph. New models sell for about $2 million.
The man, who refused to give his name, was looking at real estate in Galveston.
About 3 p.m. a low-flying pelican distracted him as he traveled north on Interstate 45 just south of the hurricane levee near Omega Bay.
The man jerked the wheel, dropped his cell phone, and the car’s front tire left the frontage road and entered a muddy patch, which foiled his attempt to maneuver away from the lagoon.
The Veyron’s powerful engine gurgled like an outboard motor for about 15 minutes before it died.
Police and firefighters blocked the frontage road until MCH Towing employee Gilbert Harrison carefully winched the car away from riprap and onto the soft, muddy bank. Galveston News
Force Hood top qualifier at Pomona On a night when Robert Hight won his first funny car world championship Ashley Force Hood grabbed the top spot in qualifying at the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals positioning her Castrol GTX Mustang team to hold onto the No. 2 position in the Full Throttle point standings.
Force Hood was paired with Hight and she made a tremendous 4.059 second pass at 310.20 mph racing past her father for the top spot while Hight cruised to championship with a 4.067 second run also at 310.20 mph.
“I knew when we rolled up we were going to run something special. All the guys on the team were like we are going to buckle you in extra tight. They were kind of joking with me about it. They get excited when there is a good number out there. You can’t try every run because conditions are great all the time. We were in the field tonight and we were locked out of the championship so there was nothing to lose. My team loves it when there is that kind of scenario,” said the 2007 rookie of the year.
Waltrip signs extension with Toyota Toyota Racing Development and Michael Waltrip Racing announced on Saturday that they have signed a multiyear contract extension through 2012.
MWR was one of the first Toyota teams when it started Sprint Cup racing in 2007. It was a rough first year for Waltrip with a fuel scandal the opening weekend at Daytona and several missed races. With the help of investor Rob Kauffman, who bought half the team in October 2007, Waltrip was able to stabilize the finances of his organization.
Aflac and LMS to honor motorsports media Aflac and Lowe's Motor Speedway will once again honor the best in motorsports media with the annual Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin. The 2009 Awards will be presented during the Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Tour in January 2010. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Catlin Awards, which were created in honor of motorsports media pioneer Russ Catlin. The Awards are presented to individuals who capture the passion, excitement and compelling stories of motorsports through distinguished journalism. Russ Catlin Award winners receive a special plaque to commemorate their achievement along with a $1,000 scholarship to the school of their choice, paid by Aflac. As in years past, professors and faculty from the Indiana University School of Journalism provide an independent review of all entries to determine the winners. The categories for the 2009 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence are: * Writing entries for daily newspapers * Writing entries for other forms of written media (internet, weekly, etc.) * Broadcast entries for local radio and television * Broadcast entries for national radio and television * Photojournalism entries Entries must be postmarked by December 4, 2009. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com/aflacaward. Breaking Limits
U.S. Army reduces sponsorship of Newman's #39 he U.S. Army Accessions Command announced that the U.S. Army will continue its sponsorship of Tony Schumacher's Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and will return as a primary sponsor of Ryan Newman and the #39 Chevy for 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2010, down from 23 races in 2009. Newman and co-owner Tony Stewart have experienced Soldier greening at different Army posts, including Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Benning, Ga. They also visited Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and met with the Golden Knights parachute team. It's a partnership that extends the U.S. Army's role as a primary sponsor since it first entered the sport in 2003. "It's an honor driving the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet and representing the men and women who serve and protect our country," Newman said. "And much like them, we're never satisfied. We want to achieve more, and the dedication, teamwork and passion of the Soldiers who defend our country is all the inspiration we need to deliver on the racetrack. There is no group of people more dedicated to service and committed to excellence than the men and women of our armed forces." In addition to serving as the primary sponsor for 15 races, including the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the U.S. Army will serve as an associate sponsor on the #39 car for the remaining races. The U.S. Army will also serve as an associate sponsor on Tony Stewart's #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy, with yearlong placement on the car's B-post. US Army Racing
Toyota and Mobil Oil deal ExxonMobil and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unveiled a new technological partnership in which ExxonMobil will provide its Mobil 1 racing oil technology and products to TRD- supported NASCAR teams. Kicking off at the start of the 2010 NASCAR season, TRD-supplied NASCAR engines will be filled with specially modified motor oil based on the same technology available to consumers in Mobil 1 Racing oils, which were unveiled in April. The TRD-specific motor oils will deliver outstanding power via unique low-friction synthetic lubricant technology combined with boosted levels of anti-wear additives to protect and extend the life of engine hardware. Formally announced before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the collaboration will pair Mobil 1, the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR," with one of NASCAR's top engine manufacturers. With this new partnership, ExxonMobil's racing oil technology will now provide performance and protection for the TRD-supported Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR teams. Toyota PR
NASCAR rated with 5th best Drug Testing in sports The Wall Street Journal examined antidoping policies of 22 major sports or governing bodies and gave them a "clarity quotient" based on the presence of a policy, its accessibility to the public, severity of sanctions for offenders and administration of the code itself. A score of 100 is the gold standard, below 50, insufficient. NASCAR's policy is rated 5th of 22 with a score of 90.
NASCAR: Has nine racing series with close to 2,000 drivers. The misuse or abuse of any drug or alcohol is a violation. Even prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that may cause a driver "to have a competitive advantage or diminished or impaired ability to perform" on the day of the event are banned. Competitors are subject to out-of-season testing, preseason testing, random testing and testing for cause. Positive test result means an indefinite suspension. Competitors are offered a treatment program to undergo and afterward may seek reinstatement. No drivers' union to contend with and an obligation to protect spectators allow for strict policy.
The four sports ahead of NASCAR: International Boxing Federation / U.S. Boxing Association; International Olympic Committee; International Tennis Federation; International Association of Athletics Federations (track & field). Wall Street Journal
Last race for Jim Beam on the #7 car Robby Gordon and the #7 team welcome Jim Beam back to the hood of Gordon's Toyota to mark the sponsor's final appearance in the five season partnership. In honor of Veteran's Day, Operation Homefront will serve as an associate sponsor. Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency and morale assistance to U.S. troops and their families. Robby's Remarks "Jim Beam has been a great partner for the past five years," said Robby Gordon. "I would like to thank them for their support through the years. They have been with me since we started the team in 2005, helping build our Cup team and aiding in its success. In the spring race at Phoenix, we had a really good car and had a great run going. Unfortunately we were ultimately caught up in an accident, which ruined our chances of a strong finish. Hopefully, we'll have a strong car this weekend that can bring home a great finish to show our appreciation and celebrate our partnership with Jim Beam." More info at robbygordon.com. RGM PR
Brian France fights to keep case quiet NASCAR chairman Brian France filed a civil complaint against his ex-wife, Megan France, last year, a few months after the couple divorced in Florida. They married in California in 2005. Lawyers persuaded Mecklenburg County, NC Judge Todd Owens to seal the court file from public inspection, an unusual move in a court system that typically allows widespread access to courtrooms and documents. On Friday, France's attorneys petitioned a Mecklenburg judge to bar the public from the courtroom as arguments in the case unfold. It's unclear exactly what the dispute involves, but the matter is being heard in family court and apparently involves domestic issues. France's attorneys argued Friday that a confidentiality agreement is at the heart of the case, and that it shouldn't be breached in open court hearings. More at the Charlotte Observer
Richard Petty says with merger nearing completion Richard Petty said the Richard Petty Motorsports-Yates Racing proposed merger is still in the hands of the lawyers, but with the likelihood of it happening, RPM had to begin its staff reductions this week. Sources indicated more than 150 people were laid off earlier this week or were told they would be laid off after the season ends next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM, which fields four teams, and Yates, which fields two, announced in September they planned to merge - and with NASCAR's four-team limit, the staff reductions were anticipated. "If we're going to do what we're going to do, we've got to start somewhere," Petty said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "This is basically where we're starting." Many of those laid off were in the engine shop and the car manufacturing department, sources said. The new organization will use Roush Yates Engines and likely will be based in the current Yates shop in Concord, N.C. - about 45 miles from the current RPM shop in Statesville, NC. "I think we're moving there to the [Yates shop near the] airport," Petty said. "As far as I know. Tune in next week." SceneDaily
It seems that the USA is as close as we will get to a grand prix this year with an truly all star kart race in Las Vegas.
Nelson Piquet Jr will race in an all-star karting event next weekend, competing in the Superkarts USA Super Nationals event in Las Vegas, racing in the 125cc gearbox kart class for Intrepid Kart Technology.
"I'm really excited about this race and am so happy that Intrepid invited me to drive for the team," said Piquet.
"It came about after they supplied karts for the Monaco Kart Cup and after that I went to visit them at the factory in Italy, where they have a very impressive set-up.
"Karting is one of my favorite types of racing and I'm so looking forward to driving one of the fastest karts around in this race."
Also competing in the event will be seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and Toro Rosso F1 driver Sebastien Buemi.
2010 Atlantic Schedule announced The 37th season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will once again take North America’s longest-running open-wheel driver development series to classic road racing facilities throughout North America.
“With another strong schedule for 2010, the Atlantic Championship will once again be the top open-wheel training ground in North America,” said Atlantic Championship President Ben Johnston. “We’ve got a great mix of facilities lined up for next year. We are again grateful to the American Le Mans Series for sharing their stage with us for a majority of our weekends in 2010, as well as to all of our terrific promoters for welcoming us back to their facilities.”
As it did in 2009, the 2010 Atlantic season will get underway at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. as part of the festivities for the prestigious Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida for the American Le Mans Series. The 2010 Atlantic season-opener is slated for Friday, March 19.
After hosting the Atlantic season finale in 2009, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is scheduled to host Round 2 of the 2010 championship on Saturday, May 22, once again alongside the American Le Mans Series. It will be the 31st Atlantic Championship race at the venerable road circuit in Monterey, Calif.
CarQuest renews with Hendrick No. 5 CarQuest Auto Parts has extended by two years its deal with Hendrick Motorsports as the primary sponsor in select races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin. Per the new agreement beginning in '10, CarQuest will be the primary sponsor in eight points races per season. When not serving as the primary sponsor, CarQuest will be a major associate sponsor of the car. CarQuest began its relationship with Hendrick in '02. Hendrick Motorsports PR
Autotecnica announces its participation in Star Mazda Today, Autotecnica announces its participation in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Three Star Mazda cars have arrived today at Autotecnica’s dedicated 2,500 square foot racing facility. One driver is already confirmed and will soon be announced by the team.
Team Manager Enrico Diano states, “Rigorous testing will begin in late December in Florida and will continue into 2010 as part of our development and full driver training package. Winning is our expertise and we will push hard right out of the box to be competitive. We’ve always set the example with our first-class operations and services and look forward to continuing this in the Star Mazda series with our new clientele.”
ISC Agrees To Sell Staten Island Property ISC Thursday announced an agreement to sell its 676-acre parcel of property on Staten Island, New York, to KB Marine Holdings LLC. The agreement consists of KB Marine's purchase of 100% of the equity membership interests of 380 Development LLC, an indirect subsidiary of ISC and owner of the land, for a total sales price of $80M. The agreement calls for the transaction to close no later than February 25, 2010.
SPEED Report Highlights for Sunday The SPEED Report (Sunday, 7 p.m. on SPEED) will feature an exclusive interview with drag racer Doug Herbert, who is teaming with championship-winning NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham on a Dodge-powered Land Speed Record streamliner with a goal of going more than 500 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2010.
The inspirational LSR project was born out of mourning, as Herbert was searching for a way to strengthen the once-strained relationship with his own father, speed pioneer Chet Herbert, after Doug’s young sons, Jon and James, were killed in a tragic car accident in 2008. Unfortunately, with the healing father-son project underway, Chet Herbert passed away in April at the age of 81 after a battle with pneumonia.
Canadian team owner joins F1 support series Canada is to be represented in the team owner ranks at Formula One™ Grand Prix events in 2010 after businessman Teddy Yip’s race team, Status Grand Prix, secured an entry for the newly launched GP3 Series.
Status GP, based near Silverstone in the UK, is one of 10 elite race teams to be selected to compete in the pan-European championship established to identify Formula One™ stars of the future in 280hp turbocharged single-seater race cars. The GP3 Series races will be run in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators at seven Formula One™ events, including the long-standing British, German and Italian Grands Prix.
The 27-year-old Yip, from Vancouver, BC, is the majority shareholder of Status GP, which has shown its open-wheel championship pedigree by winning the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title this year with its A1 Team Ireland entry, as well as previously scoring a race victory with the A1 Team Canada car. His team-ownership exploits are following in the footsteps of his father, Teddy Yip Sr, whose Theodore Racing team competed in Formula One™ from 1977 to 1983.
FOX Sports and SPEED NASCAR Analyst, Darrell Waltrip, will be our guest Co-Host on Wind Tunnel this Sunday November 15th via satellite in Franklin, TN. As the NASCAR season winds to a close, we’ll get DW’s thoughts on the year and look forward to the finale when the Camping World Trucks, Nationwide, and Sprint CUP champions will be crowned.
Featured Interview Ben Spies (2009 World Superbike Champion)
Recently crowned 2009 World Superbike Champion, Ben Spies, will be a featured guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday. As a rookie in the series this year, Spies impressed his bosses at Yamaha enough to land him a full-time seat in MotoGP next year alongside fellow Texan, Colin Edwards. We’ll talk to Ben about his record-breaking year and look ahead to his rookie season racing prototypes in 2010.
Featured Interview Terry Angstadt (President, Commercial Division of the Indy Racing League)
Terry Angstadt, President of Indy Racing League’s Commercial Division, will also be a guest on Wind Tunnel this Sunday as we talk to him about the new title sponsorship deal he put together for the IndyCar Series...now called, the IZOD IndyCar Series.
This Week’s Races: Sprint CUP, Nationwide, and Camping World Trucks in Phoenix NHRA season finale in Pomona, CA
Barrichello targets to extend his record at Granja Viana 500 Reigning Granja Viana 500 Mile champion Rubens Barrichello has announced that will once again line up along with his long time pals Tony Kanaan (Indy Racing League), Felipe Giaffone (Formula Truck) and Renato Russo (Stock Car Light) in this year’s endurance race. The main Brazilian kart event will he held at Kartodromo Granja Viana near São Paulo on December 4th and 5th.
Barrichello and Kanaan won so far eight out 12 editions of the race. The first free practice has been scheduled to next Monday, when drivers and teams will get to grips with the 1,1 km circuit. Barrichello will be also behind the wheel of a second kart, but the names are still to be unveiled. "Only the number 72 is OK. Granja Viana is a big fun, but also a competition and we have to make sure we have the right drivers in both karts. With the new rules, a driver should be replaced every time he pits, so it will be very important very fine-tuned team”, Barrichello said.
The main opposition to Barrichello and Kanaan’s plans to extend their domination should come from Felipe Massa-led squad. Lucas di Grassi and Stock Car local ace Pop¢ Bueno are already confirmed in the team and two other drivers should be named shortly. Massa won the first edition back in 1997 and got his second title in 2002 when joined Barrichello and Kanaan team.
More layoffs at IMS and IRL Another 10 people in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway organization lost their jobs Thursday as the downsizing continued amid a stressed financial situation.
The cuts were shared between the Indy Racing League and IMS Productions, raising the week's total to about 25 people.
A statement released by the company linked the layoffs to "a tough global economy," but it's clear the new IMS regime, led by Jeff Belskus, is heeding the call to become more efficient.
That process started last winter when then-president Joie Chitwood organized the closing and razing of the Brickyard Crossing Inn, which was used sparingly when the track was inactive. Additional adjustments are expected next week as aspects of the business are outsourced.
"All of our business units have been impacted by the tough global economy," Fred Nation, executive vice president of communications, said in the release. "We will continue to address these challenges by improving the operational performance of our companies."
3M extends partnership with NASCAR 3M and NASCAR announced an agreement for 3M to expand the categories for which it holds exclusive NASCAR marketing rights to include bandages, first aid supplies, braces, supports and hot & cold therapy products. For nearly 10 years numerous 3M products associated with automotive, industrial, professional and home use applications have been designated as exclusive NASCAR licensed products with the rights to use NASCAR-themed marketing elements in advertising and promotional materials. The 3M products range from hearing protection to automotive care and refinishing products, adhesive tapes, abrasives and many more. With this expansion of the agreement, 3M Nexcare bandages and first aid tapes, ACE, Futuro and Tru-Fit support devices and certain other 3M medical products will be permitted to carry the prestigious NASCAR mark on packaging, promotional elements and related media. 3M's association with motorsports spans decades and has taken many forms over the years. In addition to holding multiple NASCAR Officially Licensed product categories, 3M is a long-time sponsor of NASCAR racing as primary sponsor for Roush Fenway Racing's #6 3M Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR PR
HANS continues to find counterfeit post anchors Court ordered discovery proves counterfeit HANS post anchor issue in IMPACT RACING Products' helmets is more far reaching than originally reported. HANS Performance Products is continuing its free anchor replacement program both direct and through its authorized dealer network. HANS Factory Trained Dealer, Racing Radios has been servicing the NASCAR teams and leading support in NHRA comes from Factory Trained Dealer Simpson Performance Products. Simpson CEO Chuck Davies said, "Like the people at HANS, we take safety very seriously. Racers trust our products and we're proud our trackside services are able to help racers."
HANS CEO Mark Stiles said, "We didn't create this situation but it is vitally important that racers have full confidence in their HANS Device." He continued, "We have always been impressed with Simpson Performance Products' commitment to safety and service. They have helped tremendously to minimize any concerns our customers may have. " As the 2009 season comes to an end, HANS is encouraging all racers to make a special effort when they inspect their gear for the 2010 season. Details of the program, other information and program updates are available at hansdevice.com, by calling HANS direct at 1-888-HANS-999, or by contacting one of the 200 authorized North American HANS factory trained dealers nationwide. HANS PR
NASCAR weekly cheaters reportUPDATE Living Legends treasurer accused of stealing: The stepdaughter of legendary NASCAR engine and car builder Ray Fox was arrested Tuesday after police said she embezzled more than $20,000 from an auto racing organization headed by her stepdad. Deborah Sue Burdick was charged with grand theft after South Daytona investigators said she pilfered about $21,000 from the Living Legends of Auto Racing, according to an arrest report. Living Legends, founded in 1993, recognizes, honors and promotes the pioneers of beach and stock car racing. The organization has more than 600 members from around the world, according to its Web site. The 56-year-old Burdick, who was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail on Tuesday afternoon on $10,000 bail, did not return a phone message. Police said she had been siphoning the money since April 2006. Fox, now in his 90s, was an early NASCAR engine and race car builder, as well as an engine inspector in his later years. He is also president of Living Legends of Auto Racing, based in South Daytona. He did not return a call for comment. Based on police reports, it's not clear why the money was taken. Burdick's husband told detectives she provides financial assistance for her son. Two Living Legends board members told investigators that Deborah Sue Burdick's gambling problem is why she stole, the report states. When Burdick was confronted by Coolidge at a board meeting in August about the $7,500 check, Burdick said "she needed the money," and she did not have her mother "or anyone to turn to," the report states. Daytona Beach News Journal
11/10/09 NASCAR announced penalties for the car No. 1 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a violation that occurred during post-race inspection last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. The team was penalized for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (front of the car did not meet the required height specification; too low in post-race inspection). Crew chief Kevin Manion was fined $50,000 and remains on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Car owner Teresa Earnhardt and driver Martin Truex Jr., were penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR), the #1 team was also docked 25 driver/owner points after Chicago for the car being too high.
F1's new teams making progress (GMM) Crash-testing of the new Lotus F1 car is now taking place, technical boss Mike Gascoyne has revealed.
After USF1 denied reports it is not yet crash-testing parts for its 2010 single seater, it was revealed that the Dallara-built Campos car had passed the crucial front and side-impact tests.
"The (Campos) car is in good shape," confirmed 2010 driver Bruno Senna. "I have sat in the monocoque for a seat fitting and tested the power steering system."
Not to be outdone, Gascoyne said the Malaysian-owned Lotus chassis is also making good progress, despite being the last of the four new teams to receive an official entry for next year's world championship.
Alguersuari frustrated with young driver test rules
(GMM) Jaime Alguersuari is frustrated that formula one rules will prevent him from taking part in next month's Jerez testing.
The 2009 Sporting Regulations provide for three days of 'young driver training' in December.
But only drivers with less than three F1 races under their belts are eligible, meaning that 19-year-old Alguersuari, who made his formula one debut mid-season without any prior circuit testing, is not eligible.
The Spaniard is frustrated that his 2010 rivals including Nico Hulkenberg are allowed to run, while fellow teens Brendon Hartley and Mirko Bortolotti test for Toro Rosso.
Alguersuari is yet to be re-signed by the Faenza based team for 2010.
Spain's AS newspaper reports that he has written a letter to the Spanish motor sport federation, arguing that the FIA should allow him to take part in the young driver test.
Fisher renews sponsor for 2010 AAA Hoosier Insurance announced Nov. 10 that it has renewed its contract with IZOD IndyCar Series driver/owner Sarah Fisher and Sarah Fisher Racing.
AAA Hoosier Insurance will continue to be a personal sponsor of Fisher and will remain an associate sponsor on Fisher's No. 67 Honda-powered Dallara for both the 2010 and 2011 Indianapolis 500.
Additionally, Fisher will continue to serve as the official spokesperson for AAA Hoosier Insurance.
"We are very proud to be moving into a 4th and 5th year partnership with AAA," said Fisher. "Their ongoing support of SFR illustrates both sides of a successful partnership. As the 'Indiana Tradition' continues, I am ecstatic about their confidence in our team and its plans moving forward. They have believed in us since the very beginning."
AAA Hoosier Insurance added Fisher in 2007, quickly becoming prominent in collateral materials throughout much of Indiana by way of billboard, television and radio advertising. Since that time, AAA Hoosier Insurance and AAA Hoosier Motor Club have leveraged the partnership by cross-promoting Fisher and her team through the organization's Teen Driver Program, Public Service Announcements, involvement in the Miracle Ride to benefit Riley Hospital for Children and through the annual RTV6 Toy Drive presented by AAA Hoosier Insurance. The Toy Drive initiative begins later this month.
"Sarah has been a great spokesperson for AAA Hoosier Insurance and we have enjoyed our association with her and Sarah Fisher Racing," said Steve Vernick, Vice President of Insurance for AAA Hoosier Motor Club. "She has helped us build the AAA Insurance brand in a highly competitive marketplace. She is a very disciplined and skilled athlete as well as a successful businesswoman. She also possesses the traits and values that are Hoosier 'traditions.' In short, Sarah is a fantastic person and we are very happy to continue our relationship with her."
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson will join Jim and Monica Sexton of Z-Line Designs furniture and NASCAR star Kyle Busch at an event in Miami on Nov. 19 to raise funds for Operation Helmet.
The event, which will be held at Nikki Beach Club on South Beach, is a fundraiser for Operation Helmet, which provides helmet upgrades for U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jack Arute, a IndyCar Series commentator for ESPN on ABC and VERSUS, will serve as emcee for the event, which includes a silent auction with scores of valuable gift items including a private jet flight to Las Vegas with accommodations for two at Caesar's Palace and two tickets to a spectacular concert featuring Cher as the Grand Prize.
Also on the auction block will be two "Indy Racing Experience" two-seater rides; two suite level tickets and hospitality at the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Wilson is also donating items from his 2009 season to help the cause.
"I'm very excited to help out Operation Helmet," said Wilson, who finished ninth in IZOD IndyCar Series point standings and claimed Dale Coyne Racing's first win in 2009. "I know my helmet is a very important piece of safety equipment and I want to make sure that the soldiers have what they need to be safe."
IZOD is already activating It looks like they will be a good partner, as its only been a few days, and they are already working their end of the deal. Kudos all around.
Maybe Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal will follow in the spike marks of Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson with cameo appearances on HBO's "Entourage."
The IZOD IndyCar Series drivers proved their mettle Nov. 9 as they participated in the Budweiser and "Entourage" Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. It was among the first activation elements by IZOD, which last week became the title sponsor of the series.
"It was a lot of fun being out here with the IZOD people and I think this just shows the bonus that they will add to our series," said Rahal, whose group was the overall winner. "It was great for me to be able to come out and play and enjoy myself with these guys. We played far better than our handicaps may show and had a lot of fun, which is what counts.
"It was a great experience and I look forward to continuing to do these things."
Hunter-Reay, whose group included actor Joe Pesci, and Rahal mingled with the cast of the hit series and A list celebrities including "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm, James Denton of "Desperate Housewives," Greg Kinnear and Don Cheadle.
The golf and poker tournament helped raise funds and awareness of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.
"We're just trying to create opportunities, especially for at-risk youth," said Wahlberg, an actor and co-executive producer of "Entourage." "A lot of people don't have the opportunity to really get a second chance, so we try to create an opportunity for kids. We try to send them to school, try to send them to camp, try to give them positive role models."
On Nov. 7, Hunter-Reay participated in the 13th Alice Cooper Pro-Am Golf Tournament at the Rancho de Los Caballeros Golf Club in suburban Phoenix.
NASCAR run out of town... International Speedway Corp., which abandoned its plan to build a race track on a 676-acre parcel in Staten Island, N.Y., in 2006, has reached a conditional agreement to sell the land to KB Marine Holdings, ISC announced Thursday in a news release.
ISC bought the property for $114 million in 2004. The agreement announced Thursday is for $80 million and is scheduled to close Feb. 25, 2010. KB Marine has the opportunity to receive a $5 million credit to the sales price if the closing date occurs on or before December 31.
“We are very pleased to announce the execution of this agreement as it has been our intention to find a buyer interested in redeveloping this site to its highest and best use, which would be for port-related and logistic activities,” said Brian K. Wilson, ISC’s Vice President of Corporate Development.
Before abandoning the project in 2006, ISC spent about $150 million, including $114 million for the land, $9 million for land improvements, $11 million for costs related to the development of the speedway and $16 million for capitalized interest and property taxes. ISC has spent about $25 million since then in upkeep (including addressing environmental concerns with the fill) and property taxes, ISC chief financial officer Dan Houser said.
Total net proceeds, including the tax benefit, will provide ISC approximately $110 to $115 million in incremental cash flow, the company reported.
That money will be used to further strengthen cash reserves and pay down debt, and it also could be used for the casino project at Kansas Speedway, Houser said. ISC officials are hopeful that the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board will decide at its Dec. 1 meeting to award the casino contract to ISC and partner Penn National Gaming.
ISC officials want to build the casino first and then later add in a hotel, and that has caused some concern from the lottery commission. Houser said there are enough hotel rooms currently in the area, and that not having the hotel in the first phase would not result in the area losing out on lodging taxes nor decrease activity in the casino.
If ISC is awarded the casino, it has pledged to petition NASCAR to have two Sprint Cup weekends at Kansas Speedway starting in 2011. ISC has not indicated which of its tracks would lose a Cup date for the realignment. scenedaily.com
Richard Antinucci on his 2009 IndyCar experience This season I achieved one of my lifetime goals. I managed to race in the IndyCar Series for five straight events.
As a kid, I used to watch Emerson Fittipaldi battling it out with Mario and Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Mears. What great battles. Those were the days. Ever since then I've aspired to be either an IndyCar driver or a Formula One racer. In a nutshell, I aimed for the top.
There were times this year, especially early on, when I wondered if I'd ever get a break in the top-flight series. We were still in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and things were looking tougher than ever. I had no funding and was therefore at the back of team's priorities. These are still times where teams need sponsorship or funding of any type. So you can imagine how powerless I felt.
I actually thought for a while that I'd be sidelined all year. Then Greg Beck and Steve Sudler came into my life. I was at the Indy 500 as a spectator and Steve and Greg shouted my name. I turned around and had a talk. The rest is history. They gave me the biggest break of my career - five straight IndyCar races from Watkins Glen to Sonoma.
I hope and believe that our partnership will continue to grow into the 2010 season. With adequate funding, we'll soar up the grid. No doubt. I plan to cement myself in the IndyCar Series and fulfill some of my other lifetime goals. I want to be champion.
Ed Carpenter talks about his solid year with Vision Racing Ed Carpenter on his year of solid showing with Vision Racing:
While we achieved some new highs as a team and made definite progress this past season, the end result wasn't up to our standards either. But you probably knew that already, so let me break it down for you on a personal level.
The obvious high for me this season was the race at Kentucky. We have been working for a long time to win a race, and getting that close really reaffirmed to the team that we can win, and that we are doing the right things to get to that point. But we did not win, so we still have some work to do to make it happen.
Another positive achievement for the team was that we completed the third-most laps of all cars. The Ganassi cars of (Scott) Dixon and (Dario) Franchitti were the only cars to complete more. However, with that stat I would have expected to finish higher than 12th in the standings. I was disappointed not to be in the top 10 in points, but I was happy for my team and mechanics to be able to complete that many laps. That stat says a lot about our team's preparation and the quality of team that we have become.
Qualifying in the season finale at Homestead was certainly a bright spot, but it was also a "what could have been" moment because we did not back up our qualifying performance in the race. When we start up front, we must finish up front. It's as simple as that…we must capitalize on those types of things.
The biggest low for me this season came at St. Pete. I made a mistake in season opener that gave us our only DNF of the year. That was not how I wanted to start our season, and I plan on not repeating that next year.
Switching gears, as I look back on the season it's difficult to come up with any one humorous or funny thing that's happened over the year. We have so much fun as a team no matter where we go and I think that's evident on our Facebook page, Twitter feeds and team web site.
We have a great core of guys, many of whom have been with the team since the beginning, so we get along very well…probably a little too well at times. And we've had quite a bit of fun bringing our fans in on it this year, too.
It was also fun to watch our Indy Lights team get some victories with James (Davison) and Daniel (Herrington) and really improve each race weekend. Our Indy Lights operation partnered with Bryan Herta Autosport, which was a real bright spot for the organization this year and I think it raised our overall game. What they were able to do in just one season was impressive.
That said, I feel good about the outlook for 2010. We are establishing a lot of continuity on the team, and are keeping our core group of people together, which will allow us to continue growing and improving as a team.
Next year's schedule starts mostly with street courses, so I am really trying to focus on that as I prepare over the off season, including some of the karting events that I've been competing in.
The reality is I need to maximize my results in those early races next year until we get to an oval where I feel like we can compete for wins.
Obviously, we'll be taking the good with the not-so-good from 2009 and we'll set our sights on 2010. This year we proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to win and to consistently achieve positive results. In 2010, we just have to do it. No pressure.
USF2000 Series Names Cooper Tire Just three weeks after the announcement of the revival of the USF2000 National Championship, the Indy Racing League-sanctioned series has its first sponsor.
Dan Andersen, chief executive officer of the series, announced today that Cooper Tire & Rubber Company will be its presenting sponsor and exclusive tire supplier for the next four years.
The company, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, will provide slick and rain tires co-branded COOPER/F2000 for the series’ entrants. A minimum of three sets will be available for purchase per car at each event, and a minimum of four sets of tires per car will be available at official test dates. Cooper will provide trackside mounting service and tire engineering support at each race and test. The company will also present the winner of each race’s pole position with $500, which will be called the “Cooper Tires, Don’t Give Up a Thing Award.”
Lotus F1 Racing's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne is confident the outfit will be the best of Formula One's new teams despite its late addition to the 2010 grid.
Campos Meta, Manor GP and US F1 were joined by a fourth addition to the 2010 grid in mid-September when it was announced the historic marque of Lotus was to return to F1 for the first time since 1994. sportinglife.com
The FIA granted Lotus the 13th slot on the grid from next season ahead of BMW Sauber and Epsilon Euskadi following an intensive selection and due diligence process.
Gascoyne returns to F1 with 20 years of experience in the sport behind him after working with Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and most recently Force India.
He is aware of the challenges facing Lotus over the winter, but is confident the team will be in good shape when it competes in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14.
"We can't hide from the fact that we are late to the party but we have already made good progress since our entry was confirmed in September," Gascoyne told Press Association Sport's www.thesportbriefing.com.
"We already have a model running in the wind tunnel, we have just laid up our first chassis and our nose box is going through its first crash tests, but we still have a lot of recruitment to undertake between now and the start of the season.
"It is not only the challenge for developing the car, but we need to establish an entire race team, which is no small task."
He added: "Our initial aim is to be the best of the new teams and I would like to think we are already on our way to achieving that goal.
"We have to be realistic but our aim during 2010 will be to head the group of new entries and continually reduce the gap between our performance and those of the established teams."
A privately funded project, Lotus will be jointly owned by Malaysian companies Tune Group and Naza Group, and a baseline annual budget of around £55 million has been confirmed.
Lotus contested 491 grands prix from 1958 to 1994, winning 79 en route to seven constructors' titles, helping iconic names such as Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi become world champions.
The team is re-entering the sport during a 12-month period that has seen major manufacturers Toyota, BMW and Honda all withdraw their involvement.
Gascoyne believes the entry of new independent teams will be crucial as Formula One attempts to adapt to its changing circumstances.
"Recent economic trends have forced all businesses to rethink their approach and all Formula One teams - and manufacturers - have taken big steps in recent years to reduce their budgets," he added.
"The result of these efforts has allowed new independent teams to enter the sport, irrespective of the recent unfortunate decisions by some car manufacturers.
"Adaptation to changing circumstances is the key to long-term survival and I think this is the sort of evolution process that Formula One is experiencing at the moment."
FIA discusses lack of F1 overtaking While most of France was on holiday, remembering the Armistice at the end of World War I, the FIA was busy yesterday with an international seminar to examine the issue of overtaking in motor sport. The event was attended by FIA technical experts, circuit designers, technical directors, senior engineers and drivers from F1, NASCAR and IRL as well as other major championships. The aim of the seminar was to share the latest research and to examine recommendations to improve overtaking opportunities. Issues discussed included aerodynamic design solutions, circuit design and layout and potential new sporting regulations to create more opportunities.
The FIA will prepare a report based on the findings of the seminar and subsequent expert group discussions, which will be widely disseminated in a consultation with the international motor sport community.
We hear that among those present were Michael Schumacher, Gil de Ferran, Sam Michael, circuit designers Hermann Tilke and Clive Bowen. Grandprix.com
FIA condemns leaked Briatore documents (GMM) The FIA on Thursday reacted angrily to media reports about Flavio Briatore's forthcoming appeal against his lifetime ban from motor racing.
The British newspaper The Guardian had quoted from legal documents relating to the November 24 hearing in Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance.
Among the claims is that the FIA under its former president Max Mosley was "blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge" in imposing its penalty against the ousted Renault boss.
"The FIA condemns the selective leaking of extracts from Mr. Briatore's pleadings", part of a statement issued by F1's governing body, now headed by Jean Todt, said.
"The FIA rejects the allegations made in these leaks and confirms that the decision to impose a sanction against Mr. Briatore was made by an overwhelming majority of the attending World Motor Sport Council members," it added.
"In respect for the authority of the French court, it would be entirely inappropriate for the FIA to comment further on this matter in advance of the hearing," said the FIA.
Without France family money, Brumos drops to 1 car Without a healthy budget from the France family to get drunk driving drug addict J.C. France in a decent ride, Brumos announced they will drop to one car for 2010.
Brumos Racing did a bookend of the Grand-Am Rolex Series. The team won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona then ended the year by winning the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Brumos is the only team that has entered a car in every Grand-Am race since the inception of the Daytona Prototypes in 2003, and plans to field a one-car team in 2010, but apparently assist another team with its DP effort.
Brumos team owner Dan Davis said: "In response to the current economic climate, we have chosen to focus on one car for 2010, and we are very pleased to have David Donohue and Darren Law as our full-time No. 59 car drivers."
The NASCAR Engine Conundrum and COT This articles talks about the marvelous Car of Tomorrow, which we have called he Car of Yesterday...
So how about this new Ford engine, the FR9?
Greg Biffle says he expects it to run either here or Homestead next week in one of the Jack Roush or Doug Yates cars. It performed admirably at Talladega last week, the restrictor plate version. That bodes well for next season's Daytona 500.
And certainly it's way overdue to run on an 'open' track. It should have been in some Fords back in the spring, or early summer, or late summer, or early fall, to work the kinks out. You can do all the in-house testing you want, but the real test is out on the track. Biffle, while "really excited" about the new engine, says "it's going take a little while" to get it in all the Fords next season. He's figuring by mid-summer.
Aerolab teams with Lotus Aerolab, an aerodynamic engineering company, has confirmed a new partnership deal with the Lotus Formula 1 team.
The deal will see Aerolab and parent-company Fondtech help the new Norfolk-based team in the design and development of next year's car.
"We are very enthusiastic about the new partnership between ourselves and Lotus F1 Racing," said Aerolab's managing director Jean-Claude Migeot.
"I am also confident in the potential of our team as well as the future synergy between Lotus F1 Racing, Fondtech and Aerolab."
The company has previously worked with Toyota, Renault and Force India in Formula 1.
"It's great to be working alongside Jean-Claude and his staff again," said Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne.
"The teams I've been involved with before unquestionably benefited from Aerolab's resources and know-how so it was an easy decision on my part to renew that relationship when it came to Lotus F1 Racing.
Together, I'm hopeful of producing a competitive package that will compare favourably against the established order in 2010." Autosport.com
Petition started to support Spa Just under two months ago, it emerged that Spa's racing license had been suspended by the local Council of State until 2026, due – it was claimed – to 'seriously inadequate and incomplete' measures having been taken to address noise levels following complaints from residents.
The revelation sent shockwaves through the F1 paddock, with the annual Belgian Grand Prix arguably the favorite race of the season for drivers, teams and fans alike. The prospect of what is by common consent one of the greatest circuits in the world slipping off the schedule again – as happened in 2003 and 2006 – is one that has upset many of the sport's aficionados, but residents insist they are anything but opposed to the event taking place.
Toro Rosso designing own car for 2010 Scuderia Toro Rosso will be designing and building its own cars in 2010 at the old Minardi factory in Faenza. The design work on the new car is being done by a team in Faenza led by the team’s technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. The team’s chief designer will be 35-year-old Ben Butler, who began his career with an apprenticeship at Lotus Engineering before joining Stewart Grand Prix in 1998. He remained with the team when it became Jaguar Racing and was then transformed into Red Bull Racing. In 2006 he was seconded to Scuderia Toro Rosso and has been working as the STR cars in recent years. He became the chief designer at the team on September 1. Among others who have been recruited to the team are Canadian James Blake, formerly of Bombardier and McLaren, and a number of aerodynamic staff including Niccolo Petrucci and Victor de Oliveira, both from Brawn, and Mitchell Russian from Renault. The STR aerodynamic and CFD group is based in Bicester, in the old Jaguar wind tunnel which was built in the original Reynard Racing Cars building. Ironically, this is next to the Wirth Research facilities where the Manor F1 car is being constructed, although Nick Wirth is designing his F1 car without using any wind tunnels, believing that the job can be done entirely with CFD these days. The F1 world will be watching with interest to see if Wirth is right. In theory CFD is much more efficient than wind tunnel work as the computers can run automatic tests 24 hours a day and try out many more things without the need to create physical models.
The only question is whether the results equate to what happens on the race track. Joe Saward Blog
Volkswagen Steals Toyota's Crown The U.K.’s Guardian explains, "Volkswagen-Porsche has overtaken Toyota to become the world's largest car manufacturer as the German group benefits from state-backed stimulus packages around the globe." VW has "produced 4.4 million vehicles so far this year, outstripping its Japanese rival which has seen four million cars roll off production lines since January."
Ironically, VW reached the milestone in part by taking over Porsche – which it was forced to do after Porsche failed in an attempt to take over VW earlier this year.
"Of course," Autoblog notes, there is "some number play involved" in the Guardian’s numbers. "We're talking about the combined entity VW-Porsche, which has built 4.4 million cars to date, which is roughly 400,000 beyond Toyota's mark. However, Toyota halved its production earlier this year and shut down all its plants in February." VW also "benefited much more than Toyota from the European cash-for-clunkers programs," though Toyota saw more sales than VW spurred by the U.S. version of the car-swap program.
Alonso must earn status at Ferrari - Massa (GMM) Felipe Massa insists he is not worried that Fernando Alonso is set to arrive at Ferrari and assume a Michael Schumacher-style 'number 1' role.
He told Brazil's Jovem Pan FM radio that while he considers fellow 28-year-old Alonso a "great driver" and "one of the best in formula one", he is not worried about having to play second fiddle.
"Whoever comes to Ferrari is always going to be a very strong driver, because they (Ferrari) always have the best ones," said Massa, who next March will return from a more than seven month grand prix absence due to injuries sustained in Hungary this year.
Since becoming a race driver at the famous Maranello based team in 2006, he has been teammate to the highly rated Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.
USF1 lodges $440,000 F1 entry fee (GMM) The president of the FIA Senate has revealed that USF1, the new American formula one team for 2010, has lodged its entry fee to contest next year's world championship.
Charlotte (US) and Alcaniz (Spain)-based USF1, headed by journalist Peter Windsor and veteran engineer Ken Anderson, has been dogged by rumors recently questioning its ability to make it to the grid.
American Nick Craw, who twice officially toured USF1's North Carolina headquarters in recent months, is the newly elected FIA Senate president under Jean Todt.
When asked on the Speed Channel program Wind Tunnel about the USF1 rumors, he said this week: "In the old days we never used to count an entry as being real until the check arrived and it cleared, and of course entry fees were not refundable.
"If you want proof as to whether USF1 are going to be there or not, they sent their entry fee in about 10 days ago, and the number is close to $440,000, so they're going to be there and they're going to make us proud," added Craw.
Button pay-raise demands 'not outrageous' - manager (GMM) Jenson Button's management appears unmoved after Ross Brawn offered to give the new world champion more freedom to earn money through personal sponsorships in 2010.
As the parties face off over wage negotiations for next year, team boss Brawn indicated this week that while a pay-rise is unlikely, the 29-year-old Briton could instead be offered a "higher proportion of driver freedom".
British media reports claim that Button earned about 3 million pounds sterling in 2009, and wants between 6 and 8 million next year amid rumors of a possible switch to McLaren.
"We are not asking for anything outrageous," his manager Richard Goddard told the Express newspaper in the wake of Brawn's comments.
Banned Symonds joins Briatore's FIA appeal (GMM) Pat Symonds is joining Flavio Briatore's appeal against his ban from motor racing, according to a British newspaper.
Symonds, Renault's former executive director of engineering, was banned by the FIA for five years, while team boss Briatore received a harsher life ban for refusing to acknowledge his role in the crash-gate scandal.
It emerged last month that Briatore, who maintains his innocence, is challenging the ruling and seeking 1 million euros in damages in Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance high court, with a hearing set for November 24.
The Guardian, citing legal documents, said Symonds will be party to Briatore's appeal, arguing that the FIA conducted its disciplinary hearings "in an improper fashion".
"The decisions to carry out an investigation and to submit it to the World Council were taken by the same person, Max Mosley, the FIA president," Briatore's appeal statement said.
It added that former president Mosley "assumed the roles of complainant, investigator, prosecutor and judge", and made a connection between the outcome and Briatore's role in the earlier FIA/FOTA political war.
Bernie Ecclestone's eligibility to vote at the World Motor Sport Council hearing is also questioned by Briatore, due to the F1 chief executive's political desire to "be hostile to" the Italian as well as see Renault escape major sanctions.
ARCA approves use of NASCAR Nationwide cars for 2010 season Officials with the Automobile Racing Club of America announced Wednesday that chassis currently used in the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be eligible for its Re/Max Series in 2010.
ARCA also said the 105-inch wheelbase cars used in the Camping World East and West series will be approved for the Re/Max Series, too.
The 105-inch wheelbase chassis will be approved for all ARCA tracks, except Daytona and Talladega.
Intersport racing announces 2010 driver Intersport Racing has named Patron GT3 standout Mitch Pagerey to drive their American Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) car for 2010. Pagerey brings a winning resume to Intersport Racing, the American Le Mans Series' longest running privateer team starting in 100 Series events. Last month, Intersport Racing was the first team to purchase the new American Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) chassis.
"I'm really looking forward to running the new prototype," said Pagerey. "In a GT car your limits are typically dictated by the car. Whereas in a prototype the car requires the driver to seek out the limit. I feel ready for that challenge."
"My focus for 2010 is solely on the LMPC season," Pagerey continued. Joining Intersport is a fantastic opportunity for me. When I first met Jon and Clint [Field] I immediately felt at ease. Their level of commitment to ALMS is remarkable. Certainly, starting in 100 races proves that. For me it is a pattern of success that I want to be a part of. Watching Jon and Clint all these years and now having the opportunity to run with them is truly an honor. I'm going to do everything I can to show I am up to the task."
Clint Field had these comments on the addition of Pagerey. "Mitch shows great poise and appears to be a pretty quick study. We were very impressed with his run at Laguna Seca. He was extremely quick and posted some impressive lap times. I think Mitch is the perfect fit to head up our new LMP Challenge program."
Intersport continues to build during the off-season and expects more announcements in the near future.
"As I said when we announced our purchase of the Challenge car," noted Clint, "our commitment to IMSA and the American Le Mans Series is not only unwavering, it is stronger than ever. We are working hard in the off-season to expand our effort and grow the team. IMSA and the ALMS continue to offer the right platform that will grow sports car racing in North America. That gives us the confidence to continue to invest our racing dollars with the Series."
"For me, the ALMS GT Challenge was a great experience and the perfect place to start," Pagerey added. "Ultimately I like the endurance format of ALMS. It was always my intentions to move up to this series, though I thought it would take another year. The addition of the prototype Challenge class bridged the gap and… well… here we are. It all made sense."
Earlier this year, in a progressive step designed to keep ahead of the rest of the industry, the ALMS announced the overhaul of its four-class structure beginning with the 2010 season. The four classes will be Le Mans Prototype (LMP), Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC), Grand Touring (GT) and Grand Touring Challenge (GTC).
American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton proclaimed: “Our sport has always been about evolution, and our plans for 2010 and beyond reflect it. I think the American Le Mans Series is ideally positioned to benefit from the current and future focus of all auto manufacturers. Recent announcements by major auto manufacturers and our government leaders confirm that racing series which provides opportunities to showcase and develop relevant new technologies - with an emphasis on the environment - are the future. We have never been more confident in our positioning and look forward to expanding our green racing initiatives to better serve the teams and manufacturers competing with us."
The new class structure is designed to retain the core attributes of what has made the ALMS the most successful professional sports car racing series in the world - world class Le Mans prototypes and GT cars - while also adding new high-value opportunities that expand the accessibility of this platform to new participants
"The new Challenge classes shows us the Series is listening," continued Field. "We see the LMPC car has the perfect addition to our LMP1 program and an extension of our IMSA Lites program. Our program can now provide a true path of growth for drivers who want to succeed in sports car and endurance racing. With the addition of the LMPC car we now provide fully supported programs in three steps… IMSA Lites, LMP Challenge, and our flagship prototype, LMP1."
LMP Challenge, an exciting new class, was introduced earlier this year in Europe through the collaborative efforts between the ACO and ORECA/DPPI. The ORECA-Courage FLM09 that comprises the class has a minimum weight of 900 kilograms similar to its LMP brethren, but its 450 hp is considerably less than the LMP cars, which range from 500-700 hp. The LMP Challenge car is a true Le Mans prototype, but represents an affordable “value engineered” entry to Le Mans prototype racing. The FLM 09 is a very sophisticated race car with a full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes, and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting. All LMPC cars will race on single-supply Michelin tires.
The ALMS class change is supported by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organization that operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans and establishes the rules and regulations for Le Mans style racing worldwide.
LMP1 and LMP2 cars will compete as a single LMP class in 2010 with exception of the endurance classics - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans Powered by MAZDA6 - that will continue to adhere to the ACO technical rules for LMP1 and LMP2. Among the LMP race cars eligible worldwide will be the Acura ARX-02a, Acura ARX-01b, Ginetta-Zytek 09HS (hybrid), Lola B09/86 Mazda, Lola B06/10, Radical SR9, Porsche RS Spyder, Audi R15 TDI, Peugeot 908, Aston Martin Lola and Pescarolo.
One of the founding teams of the American Le Mans Series, Intersport Racing has established itself as a premier independent team in sports car racing. The Dublin, Ohio-based team has taken on mightiest of factory prototype teams in recent seasons and posted noteworthy class victories in that span including an LMP1 triumph at Detroit in 2008 and 2006 at Sebring.
Team owner Clint Field won 2005 P2 class championship, three years after father Jon accomplished the same feat. Clint also reigns as the youngest prototype champion in Series and IMSA history.
In 2008, became first prototype team in Series history to campaign on cellulosic E85, a pioneering effort in the Series’ Green Racing initiative and the first privateer team to start in 100 American Le Mans races.
The team campaigned the full-season in 2009 with a Lola B06/10-AER with the father-son combination serving as the primary drivers.
Brunelli makes moves in NASCAR diversity program Jessica Brunelli is poised to take yet another step towards her ultimate goal of a career in NASCAR, after the Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle development driver was not only chosen to take part in the 2009 NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Combine in Radford, Va., but wowed program officials with her speed and professionalism.
Since as long as she can remember, the 16 year-old Brunelli has wanted to race cars. Given her grandfather crewed on dragsters and her dad raced for few years when she was youngster, that is not much of a surprise. What has caught people off guard is how talented the Hayward, Calif., driver is behind the wheel at such a young age.
First getting behind the wheel at the age of 10 via local and regional karting, it was not long before Brunelli found herself making multiple trips to victory. Following two IKF Region 11 regional karting championship titles, the 13 year-old Californian made her car racing debut in fine fashion, winning Rookie of the Year honors in Skip Barber Regional competition. While Brunelli further showcased her road racing skills via some Formula BMW testing, she soon found herself focusing on the oval ranks.
John Force Racing shop and museum to open to the public The home shop and museum of 14-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force will be open on Thursday (Nov. 12) and Friday (Nov. 13) from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The John Force Racing Museum is filled with trophies, race cars, memorabilia and hundreds of photos spanning the thirty year career of John Force as well as all his drivers including points leader Robert Hight, 2008 rookie of the year Mike Neff, daughters Ashley Force Hood, Brittany Force and Courtney Force.
Fans will also be able to see the John Force Racing shop during this midday opportunity. While the teams will be busy at Auto Club Raceway qualifying for the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals fans can see behind the scenes where Force’s stable of Mustangs are worked on when they travel to the West Coast.
“This is a great chance for our fans to stop by and see some of John’s great memorabilia, winning race cars including Robert Hight’s LA Dodgers Mustang from last season and unbelievable photographs. We really only open the shop and museum to the general public a couple times a year. Fans can spend a couple of hours here and then head to the racetrack and see great racing action,” said Craig Hoelzel, manager of the JFR RaceStation.
The John Force Racing shop is located at 22722 Old Canal Road, Yorba Linda, Calif., 92887, (714) 921-1651.
Speed World Challenge returns to Long Beach The SCCA SPEED World Challenge will once again bring its signature brand of wheel-to-wheel sports car racing to the historic 1.97-mile street course at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-18, 2010.
For the first time, the World Challenge race will feature cars from both the Touring Car (TC) and GT classes. Since the World Challenge began running at Long Beach in 2006, only the GT class has raced. The TC and GT classes will be scored separately, and trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers in each class.
2010 tickets on sale for Infineon Infineon Raceway has turned Friday the 13th into a lucky day for race fans, as tickets for the 2010 Big O Tires Racing Season go on-sale to the public on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (PT).
Whether it's the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (June 18-20), NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series (July 16-18), IZOD IndyCar® Series (Aug. 20-22), motorcycles (May 14-16), or more, fans can reserve their favorite spot at the Sonoma Valley facility for 2010.
In addition, PINKS All Out, the popular program on SPEED, returns to Infineon Raceway in 2010 after a one-year hiatus, Sept. 17-18. The raceway will begin accepting competitor entries on Nov. 13. Cost per entry is $60, and only 500 competitor entries will be accepted.
Another Atlantic Defector...UPDATE #2 Dear AutoRacing1.com, Our team, Brooks Associates Racing, decided to enter into a agreement with Markus and his sponsor for the 2008 Formula Atlantic season after testing together in November of 2007. Markus and his sponsor were hundreds of thousands of dollars short of the necessary operating budget to run the full season. With this being the case we came to a agreement for the team to keep the majority of the prize money and any end of season money that might be awarded to the team. These points were discussed with Markus and his sponsor prior to signing the agreement, and Markus subsequently entered into an Agreement reflecting these very provisions.
Under that agreement, Markus was entitled to the $2,000,000 toward a CHAMPCAR ride to be awarded to the Championship winning driver by CHAMPCAR. As we all know, before the season began, CHAMPCAR ceased to exist. Markus and his sponsor knew this award was no longer available and no contract revisions reflecting this reality were requested or made.
It is unfortunate that Markus has chosen to make claims that are not consistent with agreement into which he freely entered, and that he continues to lash out to a team that guided him to the 2008 Formula Atlantic Championship. Despite the inadequate budget brought by Markus and his sponsor, and the financial difficulty this brought to the team, throughout the 2008 season Brooks Associates did what was necessary to put together a team that brought Markus the Championship.
Our team did everything we said we would in our agreement. I strongly believe that those who have known me, both as driver and a team owner will attest to my honesty and commitment to my driver's needs, and Brooks Racing Associates will continue to give up-and-coming drivers the opportunity to move their professional careers forward. John Brooks
[Editor's Note: We apologize to John Brooks for not following up with him before publishing the first update.]
11/10/09 We are being told that the reason why Brooks sold his equipment and didn’t return to the Atlantic Series was that he ran away with Markus Niemela’s $250k from winning the 2008 championship. Markus is a kid, and that money was due to be paid to his investors, so that he couldn’t pay them the $250k almost killed his career. Brooks was broke, so his only solution was keeping Markus’ prize money and selling his Atlantic equipment.........at least that is one side of the story
11/10/09 Brooks Associates Racing, a long-standing competitor in developmental series racing, announced plans to compete in Firestone Indy Lights in 2010.
The Tucson, Ariz.-based team, which won the 2008 Champ Car Atlantic title with Finnish driver Markus Niemela, recently acquired a Firestone Indy Lights Dallara chassis from Guthrie Meyer Racing and plans to begin testing potential drivers shortly.
“After winning the 2008 Atlantic Championship, we have taken the last year to review all of our opportunities in North American racing series,” said team owner John C. Brooks. “We wanted to examine the various series to see where we could best continue our history of preparing young drivers for successful futures in professional motorsports. The Firestone Indy Lights series is such a clear steppingstone to America’s premier open wheel series (The IZOD IndyCar Series), that it meets our objectives and our drivers’ objectives as well”.
Brooks, a former driver who was named the series’ Team Owner of the Year in 2005, founded his team in 1995 and has fielded cars for drivers such as Neimela, Al Unser III, Andreas Wirth, Ronnie Bremer and Kevin Lacroix. The team scored victories in 2005 (Denver with Wirth), 2007 (Portland with Lacroix) and 2008 (Utah and Atlanta with Niemela).
"We are delighted to welcome another quality team to our grid for the 2010 championship, " said Roger Bailey, Executive Director of Firestone Indy Lights. "Brooks Associates Racing has shown the ability to be a championship contending operation in other forms of motorsport and we fully expect them to continue that success in the Firestone Indy Lights."
Aussies refuse to move F1 start time The 2010 Australian Grand Prix will not be the season opener once again and once again the event will start at 5pm local time. Unlike the recent Abu Dhabi event that started in twilight conditions and continued into the night, the Albert park event will see the drivers facing twilight conditions in the final fifteen or so laps with no artificial lighting to help guide the way.
While people down under are not overly impressed with F1 ringleader Bernie Ecclestone’s demands to hold their annual event in a time more suited for the European fan base than the fans they are actually racing in front of, live, they tolerated the latter change of time. However, now Ecclestone is saying that their efforts were not good enough and the Aussie event needs to be held even later.
Formula Two race winner Mirko Bortolotti has been called up to test for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team in Jerez, Spain on 2 December. Bortolotti will become the second F2 driver to experience Formula One machinery this season after impressing in the F1 feeder series during 2009. This year's F2 champion Andy Soucek will test with Williams next month as part of his prize for wining the title.
Next month's test will be Bortolotti's second taste of Formula One machinery, as he tested with the Scuderia Ferrari team at the end of 2008 as part of his prize for winning the Italian F3 title. The 19-year-old set an unofficial lap record of 59.111s around Ferrari's Fiorano circuit in the F2008 car - eclipsing his testing rivals that day by more than a second, as well as beating previous efforts during the season set by Kimi Räikkönen, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene.
Cosworth confident new F1 teams OK Cosworth has total confidence that all outfits will make it to the grid for the opening Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain next March.
With critics doubting that all new names will be seen in the Sakhir pit lane at the start of the upcoming season, Cosworth - who will also be powering Williams once again - do not have any worries about the immediate future.
"We are aware of what the teams are doing, both technically and financially, and we are impressed," Mark Gallagher, Cosworth's General Manager of F1, explained to Autosport. "They are doing everything that we would expect of a team at this stage and we have no reason to have any doubts that they will be ready.
NASCAR announces schedule for 2009 Champion's Week NASCAR has announced the schedule of activities for the 2009 Champion's Week celebrations in Las Vegas, culminating with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 4.
On Dec. 2, NASCAR will host the Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This event includes a free-admission fan event, plus a charity roast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Gates open at 9 a.m. Access to the speedway’s Neon Garage begins at 11 a.m. This portion of the event includes a red-carpet walk by the champion and the other drivers in the 2009 Chase For The Sprint Cup, car displays, live music, reduced-price concessions and a raffle drawing.
IMS releases PR Director Ron Green, the director of public relations for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was released from his position Tuesday as part of what is expected to be a significant staff reduction at the historic facility.
Green, a Beech Grove native, spent 11 years with the Indy Racing League and IMS, often serving as an official spokesman for the companies.
IMS CEO Jeff Belskus, who took leadership from Tony George in July, said last week that adjustments were necessary to offset recent financial losses. Indy Star
WIX Filters Inks Deal with Richard Petty Motorsports WIX Filters has signed on with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as an associate sponsor of the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, WIX is offering their customers the unique opportunity to join the WIX team to cheer the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Banking 500 in October 2010 and the ability to treat their best customers or salespeople to a once in a lifetime race weekend. The associate sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports provides WIX secondary brand placement on the #43 car, and driver and pit crew suits, pit box and car hauler for the entire 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It also puts WIX as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup paint scheme for the October 2010 NASCAR Banking 500 at Charlotte. Camp and Assoc
Aric Almirola has filed a lawsuit in North Carolina Superior Court alleging that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. have breached their contract with him. Almirola, who drove in seven Sprint Cup races this year for the team before his car was parked because of a lack of sponsorship, filed the complaint last Thursday. DEI had announced last year that Almirola would run a full season in 2009, but the organization later merged its Cup operation with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The complaint does not detail the circumstances surrounding the breach-of-contract claim and asks the court to refer the matter to arbitration. Almirola had filed two notices of a claim last month, and he had until Thursday to file the actual complaint. He is dismissing his claim against Chip Ganassi Racing and EGR co-owner Teresa Earnhardt but proceeding in the one against EGR and DEI. The team had no comment. SceneDaily
Brad Parrott Released From RAB Racing RAB Racing announced today that Brad Parrott was released from his duties as crew chief on the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, effective immediately. Car Chief Ben Gable will assume those responsibilities for the final two races of 2009. A permanent replacement for 2010 will be named at a later date.
Contact: Jessica Caulder; RAB Racing w/Brack Maggard; Public Relations Representative; 704 788-7811 Shop; 704-788-7806 Fax; 803 240-5807 Cell; JCaulder@teamrab.com
Super Spies shines at Valencia test Ben Spies played a starring role on the second day of MotoGP testing in Valencia today, the Texan producing another confident and assured performance on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
Making only his fifth appearance on board Yamaha's YZR-M1 machine, the 25-year-old continued his seamless transition from World Superbikes to finish with the fourth quickest time.
Spies again resisted the temptation to experiment with different settings today, the reigning World Superbike champion taking full advantage of improved conditions to dedicate more time on adapting his riding style to suit the YZR-M1 machine.
Ronnie Peterson Museum Closes Organizers of the Ronnie Peterson Museum are keeping ronniepetersonmuseum.com on line and are considering a mobile museum to replace the one that has had to close here in the 10-time F1 GP winner's home town Sunday.
Peterson, who won the Oct. 7, 1973 USGP at Watkins Glen, is perhaps best known for his sliding driving style and for being Mario Andretti's supporting driver during the Nazareth, Pa. driver's World Championship season in 1978. "SuperSwede," 34, died Sept. 11, 1978 of injuries from a starting line accident in the Italian GP at Monza Sept. 10.
Ronnie Peterson Museum Association Chairman Joakim Thedin told pitpass.com that the hometown exhibition was unable to obtain local or national government funding. The non-profit museum has had several underwriters since Peterson's daughter, Nina, cut the ribbon May 31, 2008.
"We've had over 14,000 visitors and brought in 1.8 million Kronen to the local community," said Thedin. "We've had visitors from Italy, Brazil, Germany, USA and England and from near and far in Sweden - people who have placed Orebro on the map. They (politicians) don't really understand how much Ronnie is admired around the world and how many times Orebro's mentioned with Ronnie in books and magazines."
Gordon benefits from Johnson crash, looks to Phoenix Only two races remain in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. According to Jeff Gordon, hundreds of “whew” moments remain, as well. Gordon, who gained 80 points on the lead in Texas due to Jimmie Johnson’s accident early in last Sunday’s race, now sits third in the standings and 112 behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate heading into Sunday’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway. First and foremost on Gordon’s mind is avoiding the many pitfalls that can occur during a race weekend.
“A lot can happen in these final two races,” said the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. “There are hundreds of moments that you have as a team every single weekend that maybe don’t materialize, or that don’t get seen by the public or even the media. But we see it. There are close calls all the time, and it can happen at any time...I get through every race and think, ‘whew, we survived this moment or that moment.’”
Gordon has fared well at the Arizona track, collecting one win, three poles, eight top-fives and 15 top-10’s in 21 starts at the one-mile facility. There have been “highs” at the track including his first win at Phoenix in 2007, and there have been “lows” for the No. 24 Chevrolet Impala SS team including a 25th-place finish in April after losing a lap due to a pit road penalty. This Sunday, Gordon and Team DuPont are in search of another peak performance in The Valley of the Sun.
“Phoenix has certainly been on our radar because it’s a track that’s been hit or miss for us,” said the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. “I’m a little disappointed in how we performed earlier this year, and we certainly need to improve on that this weekend. A lot still has to happen if we are going to realistically battle for the championship in the season finale. But we need to make sure we do everything in our control to secure as many points as possible this weekend.”
Which entails surviving hundreds of ‘whew’ moments.
One of the new entries confirmed in Formula 1 for next season, Campos Meta presented the Brazilian newcomer Bruno Senna as its first driver during an official launch event held today at Parque Tecnologico Fuente Alamo, in Murcia. The Spanish city is a former driver Adrián Campos partner in the project that enabled the creation of the first F1 team in the country.
The day before Bruno visited Dallara’s factory in Italy and started working in the settings of the car he will drive on his début year in Formula 1. Tomorrow the 26 year-old driver is expected to undergo the usual medical tests required in F1 and also take part in a social event in Madrid along with Hollywood star Scarlett Johanson.
Championship Atlantic team bolts to Indy Lights Brooks Associates Racing, a long-standing competitor in developmental series racing, announced plans to compete in Firestone Indy Lights in 2010.
The Tucson, Ariz.-based team, which won the 2008 Champ Car Atlantic title with Finnish driver Markus Niemela, recently acquired a Firestone Indy Lights Dallara chassis from Guthrie Meyer Racing and plans to begin testing potential drivers shortly.
Dale Sr. honored by NCMA The North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) announced today that Dale Earnhardt Sr. will be the 2010 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award Recipient. Earnhardt will be honored on January 25th, 2010 at the NCMA’s 4th Annual Motorsports Industry Awards Banquet. Past recipients have included; Benny Parson’s (2007), Richard Petty (2008) and Richard Childress (2009). In addition, 10 Industry related organizations were announced to be awarded at the upcoming banquet for their 2009 achievements and contributions to the industry. The announcements were made during the NCMA’s Annual Membership Luncheon held at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord. Born in Kannapolis, North Carolina on April 29, 1951 Dale Earnhardt is one of the most recognizable names in all of motorsports worldwide. With seventy-six race wins and seven championships (Tied for most all-time with Richard Petty) Earnhardt is one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, winning both as a driver and team owner. He was recently selected to the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame joining just four other inductee’s (Bill France Sr, Bill France Jr, Richard Petty, and Junior Johnson.) Earnhardt was selected to receive the award for more than his remarkable on track success. Dale Earnhardt shaped a generation of NASCAR. He was respected by millions of fans, business associates and family. He was named the “Intimidator” for his fearless driving style, but his heart and giving ways often went without fanfare or public accolades. As big as he became, Earnhardt never forgot his humble North Carolina roots. He influenced the on-track and off- track growth of the sport. His tragic death in 2001 led to tremendous changes in safety that surely has saved drivers lives in today’s auto racing. The North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards Banquet (NCMIA) presented by Senn Dunn Motorsports Insurance will be held January 25, 2010 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC.
CKI announces sponsor for PRI All Star Karting Classic Championship Karting International is pleased to announce that luxury watch-maker BRM Manufacture has become an associate sponsor for the upcoming PRI/CKI Karting All-Stars Classic. As part of the sponsorship, BRM will provide custom watches to the winning driver and the winning team principal of the Karting All-Stars Classic All-Star Finale.
Each watch will feature a PRI/CKI Karting All-Stars Classic logo inscription and will be custom made to the same exacting standards that all of BRM’s products are measured against. "Every race is a race against time. Many watch manufacturers have paid tribute to the world of Motorsports, but none has created a wristwatch able to match the feeling of raw power emanating from a high performance engine. BRM makes timepieces for the true racing enthusiast. Wear a GT on your sleeve," comments Frederic Gasser, President and Director of North American Operations for BRM.
“We’re happy to welcome BRM Manufacture on board for the PRI/CKI All-Stars Karting Classic. It’s yet another great way to add reward kart industry distributors, teams and the high-profile drivers for their commitment and competitive efforts at PRI,” states CKI Director of Operations, Kevin Williams. “I hope the beautiful watches our champions earn will stand as a reminder of the event for years to come – and serve as added incentive for other competitors to come back next year for a shot at winning this great race.”
The PRI/CKI Karting All-Stars Classic will be held at the annual PRI Show, December 10th, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. After PRI, CKI will gear up for the 2010 season. It will be offering two series in 2010; a three-event 2010 WSK North American Series Florida Cup in January, February, and March and a six-event 2010 WSK North American Series National Championship with events beginning in April and running through October. CKI is associated with the European-based WSK international series; the debut of WSK North America in 2010 marks WSK’s expansion, in conjunction with CKI, into the North American karting community. The Series is sanctioned by the World Karting Association, under the WSK banner. For more information, visit www.championshipkartracing.com.
Sarah Fisher is a success story IndyCar should celebrate
Sarah Fischer at her Homestead announcement
Izod IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher is a lot like the little engine that could. She just keeps plugging along.
Today, Fisher renewed her contract with AAA Hoosier Insurance. AAA will continue to be a personal sponsor of Fisher and will remain an associate sponsor on Fisher’s No. 67 Honda powered Dallara for the 2010 and 2011 Indianapolis 500.
The cheers for this deal should go far beyond the walls of Fisher’s small shop on the city’s northwest side. It’s great for the entire IndyCar Series. There have been few sponsors that more heavily activate their deal than AAA has with Fisher. You can’t drive on Interstate-465 without seeing a AAA-Fisher billboard, and their television ads run frequently in the region.
“We are very proud to be moving into a fourth and fifth year partnership with AAA,” said Fisher, who was is in Las Vegas for the AAPEX and SEMA tradeshows on behalf of a handful of her other partners. “Their ongoing support of SFR illustrates both sides of a successful partnership.”
Listening to AAA executives gush about Fisher’s affect on their business has to warm IndyCar higher-ups’ hopes for a brighter future.
“She has helped us build the AAA Insurance brand in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Steve Vernick, vice president of insurance for AAA Hoosier Motor Club. "She is a very disciplined and skilled athlete as well as a successful businesswoman. She also possesses the traits and values that are Hoosier ‘traditions.’ In short, Sarah is a fantastic person and we are very happy to continue our relationship with her.”
Fisher is a shining example of what can be accomplished if you stop whining about your lot in life and get busy trying to make it better.
She also has shown that it’s better to take your hammer to work with the idea of building yourself up, and not tearing others down. ibj.com
The European reports had added that while the 21-year-old Swiss rookie's teammate Jaime Alguersuari is likely to also be retained, the Spanish teenager has not yet signed a contract.
"We have re-signed Buemi for next season, but we have not yet signed Jaime," the spokesman confirmed to BBC Sport.
Alguersuari said in Spanish reports that he expects to stay in 2010.
"I hadn't done almost a single kilometer (of testing) when I debuted so it was like going to the slaughter-house," he explained in an interview with EFE news agency, referring to stepping into the ousted Sebastien Bourdais' car mid-season.
"But I am satisfied with what I did, especially towards the end. I hope that next year I have less technical problems," said Alguersuari
Auto sales surge 72% in China Powered by tax cuts and stimulus spending, China's October auto sales soared 72% from a year earlier, outpacing U.S. sales for another month, according to data reported Monday.
Automakers sold a total of 1.2 million cars and trucks, the government-sanctioned China Association of Auto Manufacturers announced.
That was down from September's 1.3 million but well ahead of the 838,000 vehicles sold in the United States in October. China's sales this year rose to 10.9 million vehicles, compared with 8.6 million in the United States, according to Autodata Corp.
France wants broadcasters to cull criticism NASCAR chairman Brian France says he wants TV broadcasters that work NASCAR events to call the sport like those in other sports do and limit their areas of criticism.
France made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Roanoke Times before Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The sport has been battered by critical comments from TV broadcasters the past two weeks, starting with a roundtable discussion in The Roanoke Times with Larry McReynolds, Jimmy Spencer and Kyle Petty. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston posted a blog entry questioning some of their comments.
Last week, Poston wrote a blog entry criticizing comments made by ABC's broadcasters about the racing at Talladega.
Sunday, France spoke publicly for the first time on the issue.
''Clearly, this is a sport that has a lot of opinions," France said. "Most other sports channel their thoughts and criticisms differently. That is an unusual thing that we have, to have people within the sport openly just criticizing 1/8NASCAR3/8 as we go along, but maybe that's something very unique in NASCAR that no other sport has to sort out. We'll sort it out."
France noted that he is not against all forms of criticism.
''We welcome criticism on calls that are made, strategy, policy; that goes with the territory," he said. "What we'll ask the commentators to do, they're professionals, and to look at how other professional commentators call other sports. They work with professional networks. They are professionals in their own right. At some point they have to be professionals and that will be that."
France said he did not contact any officials from ABC or ESPN about last weekend's Talladega broadcast. He also noted he did not see the entire race.
France also spoke about other subjects. He defended the level of competition in the sport.
''I think we're getting better and I think it's very good," he said. "I think we've had some great races at like Loudon and even Dover, places that are not known as having our most exciting races, but they were.
''I think if you look at it on balance, we're very pleased with the competitive level of things. It's easy to get off track when you look at how good Jimmie Johnson has been, how dominant he's been and sort of forget that there's been lots of hard-fought passing and racing that has gone on, but there has. We're quite pleased with it ... finishing up in 2009."
France also discussed the Chase, which is in its sixth season. The Chase has not provided the drama as the first year in 2004 when Kurt Busch beat Johnson by eight points and Jeff Gordon by 16 points.
''No question that we would prefer to have it come down like it did the first year where more than one driver and certainly three or four would really have a shot going down the stretch," France said. "Jimmie Johnson, we could not have forecasted or predicted how dominant he would be.
''He is just incredibly dominant and so you can't change a format because somebody has just been so dominant. You'll go up against your own creditability when you start doing that. So you have to be, I think, measured in how you respond to wanting to get it like everybody else does. But you know, the Super Bowl doesn't always get the two best teams. It doesn't always get the last-minute finish of who is going to win.
''That's just the nature of ebb and flow of a national sport. We'll look at that with those kinds of things to think about as we get down the road." thatsracin.com
Schuey's first championship car for sale Michael Schumacher's first Formula One world championship-winning car is up for auction at internet sellers ebay, with the 1-million dollar mark passed on Tuesday. The Benetton B174 was driven by Schumacher in 1994 when he won the first of a record seven world titles. The seller said it has undergone a complete overhaul and is "in racing condition."
According to the auction page, there were 51 bids by 1030 GMT Tuesday with the highest bid at the time at 711,050 euros (1.063 million dollars). The auction runs until November 16.
"For sale is the F1 race car, with which Michael Schumacher won his first Formula One Drivers' Championship at the Adelaide GP of Australia," said the seller with the username thunder-cobra.
A large number of spare parts goes with the package. The car is currently in Toronto, Canada, the seller said. Earthtimes (note: we searched for this on eBay Motors and could not find it)
Versus-DirecTV Remain At Distribution Impasse More than two months after their contract ended, Versus and DirecTV remain at distribution loggerheads, their impasse showing no signs of subsiding.
However, a pair of external factors - negotiations toward a long-term expanded distribution package with Dish Network and the potential union of Comcast with NBC Universal - could exert pressures that facilitate a resolution.
Versus Comcast’s national sports service has been off the No. 1 DBS provider's air since their contract expired on Sept. 1. In the meantime, the parties have continued to negotiate a four-year deal, but remained locked in their stances over price and positioning, while Versus continues to ring up Nielsen advances.
Cosworth expands F1 staff Cosworth has hired experienced F1 engineer Gerry Hughes to be the head of its team liaison next year. Prior to joining Cosworth Hughes was employed with the abortive Lola F1 team and then worked on the development of KERS for Lola's LMP1 project. Last year he was technical director of the championship-winning A1GP Team Ireland, having moved there when Super Aguri F1 closed down. He had joined Super Aguri in 2005 as worked as chief race engineer and head of research & development.
His career began with an MSc at Cranfield University in 1993-1995. He then joined Williams Touring Car Engineering Ltd and was race engineer to Jason Plato and Alain Menu. In 1999 he moved to Prodrive and worked with the championship-winning Ford Team Mondeo operation before being transferred to Ford's Jaguar F1 operation in the summer of 2000 where he race engineered Eddie Irvine. He then moved on to join Jordan in 2003 as head of race and test engineering until the team was sold to Midland and he moved to Super Aguri.
Q & A with Bridgestone's Yasukawa Q. How would you evaluate the 2009 season from Bridgestone's perspective?
Hiroshi Yasukawa - Director of Bridgestone Motorsport: The 2009 season took place in very difficult economic circumstances but within the sport of Formula 1 we saw fantastic competition. It was great to see so many race winners and such close racing from the cars on track, despite all of the changes. We continued to provide fair service to all of the teams who this year had new challenges with many rule changes.
The return to slick tires was met with a positive response from the teams and the many millions of fans around the world so this was very good for us. The story of Brawn Grand Prix and Jenson Button winning the Constructors' and Drivers' Championship titles was also remarkable and it was a great pleasure to be a part of it.
MotoGP unveils 2010 calendar The FIM have today announced that the 2010 Grand Prix events in France, Italy and Czech Republic will be held a week later than originally scheduled, whilst Great Britain swaps places in the order with Italy. The San Marino event will be held a week earlier.
Reserve Circuit should any of the below fail to materialize: Motorland Aragon Circuit
Google to pay Barrichello $500,000 for online libel
Button absent as Brawn celebrate in local town
Toro Rosso confirms Buemi, no Alguersuari deal 'yet'
After F1 exit, Toyota staying in NASCAR
December 'young driver' test lineup takes shape
Senna insists he's no F1 pay-driver
Google to pay Barrichello $500,000 for online libel (GMM) Rubens Barrichello has won a legal case against the internet giant Google.
The official Sao Paulo government gazette said the formula one veteran is to receive $500,000, because the Google-hosted Brazilian social networking service hosted hundreds of false profiles bearing Barrichello's name.
The damages will almost certainly rise above $500,000, because Google faces additional $590 fines for each day the profiles continue to be online.
When checked on Tuesday, many of the profiles cast the 37-year-old Paulista in a negative light, including some depicting him as a 'tartaruga' (turtle).
According to O Globo, he would not comment on the case, but his lawyer is said to have confirmed that the damages will be donated to the Instituto Barrichello Kanaan charity.
Google did not comment, but Brazilian reports suggested the damages are unprecedented for online libel.
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