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Power back in IndyCar at Barber Monday  Will Power tested the new IndyCar for Chevrolet Monday for the first time since breaking his back in the IndyCar Series finale last month at Las Vegas.

Power ran 115 laps at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, and was scheduled to test again Tuesday.

"Physically, I felt absolutely fine, great, no soreness at all where I hurt my back," Power told AP News. "I felt bloody good." More ...

Grand-Am: Series to end 2012 season at Lime Rock Park  Grand-Am on Monday completed its 13-race, 2012 schedule by adding Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., as the final race of the season. The series last week released the majority of its 2012 calendar, which did not confirm a host for the final race.

"Lime Rock adds yet another layer of tradition to our 2012 schedules," Grand-Am president Tom Bledsoe said. "This will be the finishing touch to a full season of racing at history-rich venues."

The NJ race now moves to May, a much better month weather-wise.  The heat in mid-summer has been oppressive the last few years. More ...

Former Firestone Indy Lights Drivers Davison and Yacaman  Former Firestone Indy Lights race winners James Davison and Gustavo Yacaman took their first steps-80 laps each-to jumpstart their careers from Mazda Road to Indy drivers to IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. Davison and Yacaman tested the 2011 No. 27 and No. 28 cars, respectively, on Nov. 10 at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla.

Like others in INDYCAR, Davison and Yacaman have worked their way through ranks of the Mazda Road to Indy driver development program before securing an IndyCar test. Davison, a 26-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, finished second in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear before moving up to the Firestone Indy Lights in 2008 and 2009. More ...

Dempsey Racing, Silicon Tech Racing join forces for LMP effort  
Patrick Dempsey (Top) and the STR car
The LMP Challenge class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n continues to grow with the addition of a high-profile team for the full 2012 championship. Dempsey Racing and Silicon Tech Racing (STR) announced a new partnership that will see Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing contest the full ALMS schedule. The effort marks the first foray into the American Le Mans Series for Dempsey Racing – owned by Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey.

Dempsey and Joe Foster, co-owner of Dempsey Racing, are joined in the 2012 ALMS program by Henri Richard – STR team principal and a three-time winner in the Series including an LMPC victory at last month’s Petit Le Mans.

“We’ve been seeking to expand our program base for some time and we firmly believe that we’ve arrived at the correct opportunity with Henri and his Silicon Tech Racing partners,” Dempsey said. “Next year will be a big step for Dempsey Racing as we continue to work with our long term manufacturer partner Mazda and expand into the ALMS. We have long term, international aspirations, and long term international partners like Silicon Tech Racing and Mazda will help us achieve those goals.”  More ...

Vettel keener on trophies than money  
Vettel likes to collect trophies
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has revealed one of his greatest joys is receiving a "nice trophy" on the formula one podium.

Also a collector of his numerous winning helmet livery designs, the back to back world champion admitted on Monday that taking home a new "cup" from a grand prix is better than mere money.

"I could give up anything, but not the trophies," said the 24-year-old, who in his 80 F1 races has won 21 times and stood on 35 podiums.

"When you've put everything into it for two hours, whether you are rewarded with a big or a small check really doesn't matter -- but a nice cup makes a difference," he told SID news agency. More ...

Edwards, Roush Fenway take narrow points lead into Homestead finale  Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards held his ground with a second-place finish in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Race at Phoenix International Raceway and will take a three-point lead into next week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Roush Fenway now heads into the final event of the season holding the points lead in both of NASCAR’s two major divisions; the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. More ...
Team Lotus Adds Rodolfo Gonzalez To Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test  
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Team Lotus has confirmed that Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez will be joining Alexander Rossi and Luiz Razia for the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit, 15th – 17th November 2011.

Gonzalez will drive on the 15th, Razia on the 16th and Rossi on the 17th.

Riad Asmat, Team Lotus Group CEO: “We worked with Rodolfo last year at the same test and he performed well for us in the step up to F1. With Rodolfo, Alexander and Luiz we have three talented up and coming drivers who will be keen to learn as much as possible, as well as show us they have the pace and temperament to succeed in Formula One.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez: “I am really pleased to be back with Team Lotus again in Abu Dhabi. Last year I learned a lot in the time I had with the team, and another year on I am sure I can keep developing on and off track with this opportunity.”
Latvala wins Rally GB, Loeb champion  Last man standing Jari-Matti Latvala takes victory in Rally Great Britain after champion Loeb and rival Hirvonen crash out

Jari-Matti Latvala emerged as the last man standing to win the dramatic WRC season finale in the Welsh forests of Rally Great Britain.

It was Latvala's first victory of the season but proceedings were highlighted by the title fight between new world champion (for the 8th year on the trot) Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen who retired his Ford on Friday after crashing on Friday afternoon. Latvala and Loeb had until then been swapping the lead in a thrilling title battle. More ...

Only three can win without best car - de la Rosa  
Pedro de la Rosa
(GMM)  Only three current F1 drivers can win grands prix without sitting in the best car.

That is the claim of McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who hailed Lewis Hamilton's return from poor form to win the Abu Dhabi grand prix on Sunday.

"I had the feeling he always had a few tenths in his pocket, and his pace on the hard tires was very strong," the veteran Spaniard is quoted by EFE news agency.

"For me, Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso are the only drivers who can win grands prix without having the best car on the grid," added de la Rosa.

A happy Hamilton said after winning on Sunday that beating his old nemesis Fernando Alonso made the victory feel even more special. More ...

Pirelli to probe Vettel's 'unusual' tire problem  
Pirelli Tires
(GMM)  Pirelli will investigate the tire problem that caused Sebastian Vettel's only retirement in an otherwise almost flawless 2011 season.

Having started from pole and spun at the second corner of the race, the German's Red Bull was badly damaged by the time he got the shredded tire back to the pits.

Pirelli announced that the "sudden deflation" will be investigated.

"It certainly seems to be a very unusual incident and we've already been to look at the place with Sebastian: there seems to be no reason that is immediately obvious and the set of tires was one that he had already used for qualifying," said motor sport director Paul Hembery. More ...

Road to second Baltimore Grand Prix full of twists  
Revenue from big crowds could not overcome the startup costs a street race like Baltimore has
It was a party unlike any Baltimore had ever hosted during the usually sleepy Labor Day weekend, with candy-colored cars speeding noisily around the Inner Harbor to the delight of crowds drawn to the city's inaugural Grand Prix.

But behind the scenes, event promoter Baltimore Racing Development was falling into financial and organizational disarray. Two months later, the city faces something of a morning-after dilemma: Does Baltimore continue dancing with BRD, which owes $1.5 million in taxes and unpaid services, or change partners for future races?

"They're not at home in their living room playing with toy cars," said Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos, the city's point person for the Grand Prix. "If they can't get it together, they need to get out of the way or let someone else run it." More ...

Tony Kanaan on the future for IndyCar  
racing news
Death continues to haunt racing  
Guido Falaschi
First it was Dan Wheldon in IndyCar and over the past month a number of drivers in various forms of racing lost their lives doing what they love.  After losing three hydroplane drivers this weekend in Key West, and a Rally driver in Belgium, racing lost another driver today.

Argentine driver Guido Falaschi was killed in a crash at Juan Manuel Fangio track during the final lap of a race in the most popular motor sport competition in the South American country.

Race officials and a doctor confirmed the death Sunday of the 22-year-old Falaschi in the event known as Turismo de Carretera. More ...

racing news
Two killed in Rallye Du Condroz  Two Spectators lost their lives in the Rallye Du Condroz when a Dutch Rally driver lost control of his car and hit a stone wall very hard. The impact was so severe that both Julie Herta(25), a cousin of a famous soccer player in Belgium, and Guy Hautot (65) were both killed by flying bricks from the stone wall. Patrick Snijers won the Rallye Du Condroz, but his fellow countryman Freddy Loix refused to compete any further in the event, as spectators were too close to the cars at some stages.
Tesla breaking records  California's Tesla tries to establish a new electric record at Zolder on Monday with Xavier Maassen at the Wheel. Last week Tesla established a new eclectic record with Maassen at Spa, when he lapped the circuit in 3m11.50s. which is an average of 135.05 km/h.
Maldonado and Alguersuari given post-race penalties  Pastor Maldonado and Jaime Alguersuari have both been hit with time penalties following Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. After sharing their points of view with FIA race stewards including former driver Derek Warwick, the Venezuelan and Spaniard were punished for ignoring blue flags.

Like Bruno Senna, Maldonado had already taken a drive-through penalty for obstructing quicker cars during the race, but he was soon investigated again for holding up the dicing Felipe Massa and Mark Webber. Alguersuari’s investigation was not revealed until after the race, although both men suffered similar fates. More ...

Happy Hamilton wins race but Button wins McLaren battle  
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton declared himself "ecstatic" on Sunday as he looked to put his miserable 2011 season behind him.

But while the 2008 world champion - who has been in a depressed mood at recent races following his split with girlfriend Nicole - won in Abu Dhabi, his McLaren teammate Jenson Button had arguably a bigger reason to smile.

Third placed Button, wearing a "Movember" moustache this weekend and without the use of KERS in the race, sealed the lid on the 2011 McLaren points battle as he can no longer be beaten in the standings by Hamilton.

Fittingly in F1's quest for ultimate glory, the Briton said he was "relatively happy". More ...

Zhuhai 6 Hours: Bourdais and Davidson win for Peugeot  The seventh and last round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup ended with a brace of doubles, one by Peugeot, outright winner of the Zhuhai 6 Hours, and the other by BMW in LM GTE Pro. However, the German cars’ performance was not enough to prevent Ferrari from retaining its manufacturers’ crown in LM GTE Pro.

Although the LM P1 titles were already awarded before the Zhuhai 6 Hours the two main protagonists in the category, Peugeot and Audi, went at it hammer and tongs for the beauty of the sport and the prestige of victory in the only race held in China, the biggest car market in the world. More ...

Calado wins Abu Dhabi Race 2  
James Calado
James Calado proved Lotus ART was right to sign him for the 2012 season: on his GP2 Series debut at Yas Marina Circuit, the Brit scored his first win at the 2011 GP2 Final sprint race in Abu Dhabi. Calado kept the lead at the start from reverse pole and never surrendered despite huge pressure first from GP3 graduate Antonio Felix Da Costa and then from the experienced Marcus Ericsson. The Swede had to settle for second place ahead of teammate and GP3 graduate Tom Dillmann. Calado and Dillmann will both receive prize money from Pirelli for finishing as the two highest-placed GP3 graduates.

When the light went out, Calado kept his nearest rivals at bay and was still in the lead after the first corner. Ericsson was already up to third from P5 and all over Felix Da Costa, but the young Portuguese driver defended his position well. The Swede had to wait until Lap 8 before he could get past. The Ocean driver was then under the threat of a charging Luiz Razia whilst Ericsson set his sights on Calado. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday  
  • Jarno Trulli
    Manager denies Trulli's 2012 seat in doubt
  • Abu Dhabi offers to house F1 teams
  • Austin hits back at Ecclestone pessimism
  • Branson still involved after Virgin name change
  • D'Ambrosio admits Virgin in talks with Pic
  • Rare praise from Webber as Vettel matches pole record
  • Longer DRS might not prevent boring Abu Dhabi race
  • Pirelli seeks to confound teams with new 2012 approach
  • Horner not worried Monza fans took Webber wing
  • Red Bull not signing proposed cost agreement - Marko
  • Hamilton tips Rosberg to keep edge over Schumacher
  • Officials make a case for the 2012 Bahrain GP More ...
racing news
3rd racer dies after second crash at Key West  UPDATE A third offshore powerboat racer has died after racing at the Key West World Championship.

Roderick Cox, a spokesman for Super Boat International, confirmed Saturday that Joey Gratton, of Sarasota, Florida, died at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

He and teammate Stephen Page, the owners and driver of Page Motorsports, rolled over during the final lap of Friday's race.

Officials said Page, of Fort Myers, Florida, was admitted to Lower Keys Medical Center in good condition. Page has since been released from the hospital. More ...

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday  UPDATE Update show in red below.

  • Romain Grosjean
    Grosjean considered quitting racing in 2010
  • Massa's 2012 wing still 'fluttering'
  • Maldonado set for second F1 season with Williams
  • McLaren and Ferrari urge Williams to sign Raikkonen
  • F1 unlikely to tweak qualifying format
  • Bosses back F1 to survive Eurozone crisis
  • Tech bosses agree to blown exhaust ban
  • Ecclestone sure about Bahrain return, not Austin debut New More ...
Ecclestone accused of 'beggaring belief' with evidence  
Bernie doing what Bernie does best
Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone's evidence to a Munich court about alleged bribes paid on the 2006 sale of the motor sport has been called into question.

The other party in a civil case Mr. Ecclestone is facing has described the billionaire's explanation for the $44m (£27m) "bribe" he paid to German investment banker Gerhard Gribkowsky as "beggaring belief".

The statement came in response to Mr. Ecclestone describing how he was the victim of a "subtle shakedown" by Mr. Gribkowsky.

Mr. Ecclestone admitted paying the money but denied it was a bribe. He claimed the investment banker threatened to report him to the tax authorities if he did not pay the money. More ...

Volt catches fire weeks after crash  Following a fire in a Chevrolet Volt several weeks after a crash test, government officials are weighing the need for new safety rules that could require first responders to drain electric vehicles’ batteries after a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today it had investigated a fire that occurred this spring, after the Volt extended-range electric vehicle underwent a 20 mile-per-hour, side-impact test for its five-star crash safety rating. The crash punctured the Volt’s lithium-ion battery, and after more than three weeks of sitting outside, the vehicle and several cars around it caught fire. No one was hurt. More ...

2012 FIA World Endurance Championship Schedule  
Tentative 2012 Calendar
17 March: 12 Hours of Sebring (USA)
5 May: WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
3 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans test day (FRA)
16/17 June: 80th Anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA)
25 August: 6 Hours of Silverstone (GBR)
16 September: 6 Hours of Sao Paulo TBC (BRA)
30 September: 6 Hours of Mount Fuji (JPN)
20 October: 6 Hours of Bahrain (BAH)
11 or 18 November: 6 Hours of TBA (CHN)
Peugeot and BMW on pole at Zhuhai, China  Peugeot has dominated practice since Friday and Anthony Davidson drove this home by bagging pole in LM P1. In LM GTE Pro, Jörg Müller’s fastest time has kept BMW’s title hopes alive.

Davidson again proved that when it comes to flying laps he’s the expert! He showed it again today with a time of 1m 21.769s just 7/100s quicker than team-mate Stephane Sarrazin. Peugeot has locked out the front row for tomorrow’s Zhuhai 6 Hours.

Yet again since the start of practice on the Chinese circuit Audi suffered in comparison with their main rivals as has been the case throughout the 2011 ILMC. The gap closed as they racked up the kilometers, but the German LM P1 prototypes still finished qualifying behind the Sochaux cars. But, as Davidson warned afterwards, the battle in the final round of the year will be an intense no-holds-barred one. More ...

Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton tops final practice  
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice session at Yas Marina for tomorrow's Abu Dhabi GP with a best lap of 1m38.976s.  He beat the Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel (1m39.403s)and Mark Webber (1m39.427s).

Jenson Button turned a lap of 1m39.439s, good enough for fourth, and almost half-a-second down on his teammate's time.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was fifth ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in sixth and the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa in seventh spot. More ...

Leimer sails to 2011 GP2 Final Race 1 win  
Leimer fist pump after dominating win
Fabio Leimer claimed his maiden GP2 Feature Race win today at Yas Marina Circuit. The Swiss racer took a lights-to-flag victory with a dominant drive, and in spite of his closest rival Luiz Razia's best efforts to try and reduce the gap, Leimer remained in perfect control of his Racing Engineering machine all race long and was never in danger. Jolyon Palmer in third pocketed his first GP2 podium finish.

When the lights went off, Leimer launched from pole position perfectly. Behind him, Dani Clos made a slower start from P2 and then found himself caught in between Josef Kral and Razia. With no space to go to at Turn 1, Clos and Kral came together ending the Rapax man’s race prematurely and sending the Czech into a spin. The incident allowed Razia and Palmer to get past and free to chase Leimer. But the Swiss drivers pace proved to be difficult to match for Palmer who in turn had to look into his mirrors to try and keep a charging Esteban Gutierrez at bay. More ...
Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to serve as Grand Marshals  As part of their Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will visit Homestead-Miami Speedway as it hosts the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, the Ford 400, and join NASCAR in honoring America’s troops and military families. NASCAR, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will recognize service members and military families from the local community at a special BBQ lunch prior to the race. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will also invite a military family to join them as they serve as Grand Marshals for the championship race to lead the pre-race ceremony and offer the most famous words in racing: “Gentlemen, start your engines.” More ...
CORE autosport to return to ALMS  CORE autosport is preparing for lightning to strike twice in American Le Mans Series (ALMS) competition.  Team founder and driver Jon Bennett and team manager Morgan Brady have decided to re-enter their two Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) cars for the 2012 ALMS season.

CORE autosport’s success came quickly after its debut at Sebring in March 2011. Over nine races, the team racked up two wins, 10 podiums and three pole positions, claiming the ALMS LMPC team championship and the first and second spots in the LMPC driver championship. More ...
track news
Overbuilt MIS to eliminate grandstands  To avoid the embarrassment of huge sections of fans dressed as empty bleacher seats, Michigan Speedway will reduce the capacity of their grandstand (A total of five of the silver grandstands will be removed) to about 85,000 seats.

That is a reduction from a high of 137,243 grandstand seats at the track in 2005, which puts them about where they were at in 1996 when CART was still racing there and putting on some of the greatest racing in the history of the track and of IndyCar.

They also repaved the track, so could IndyCar return?

“This is one of those these things we were told, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ We paved it. Let’s see if they come,” said track boss Roger Curtis. More ...

Technical Issues and Red Flag Hamper Rossi and Gutierrez  Technical issues in the earlier practice session saw Alexander Rossi lose valuable time on track ahead of the qualifying session and with 18 cars covered by just one second competition is as fierce as ever. Traffic caused more delays for Rossi before he set his quickest sector times just as a red flag hindered his fastest lap. With just 3 ½ minutes to go he unfortunately ran out of time to improve his lap time and will start from fifteenth on the grid for Saturday's race.

Team Manager Phill Spencer ″We qualified P4 and P15 so I have mixed feelings about the session. We had a slight problem with the throttle on Alexander's cars this morning which we fixed in time for qualifying but unfortunately he lost some track time. Both cars were on their fastest laps when the red flag came out but it seemed Luiz was making the most of every opportunity and was really happy with the car. All in all I am pleased for Luiz and a little disappointed for Alexander as we all know he is capable of a much better qualifying result. We will fight from where we start tomorrow - a podium is definitely in our reach and as long as we can make some progress I will be happy.″ More ...

2012 SCORE Desert Series Sked announced  Preparing to celebrate its 39th year as the world’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, SCORE International today officially announced the finalized schedule for the five race 2012 SCORE Desert Series.

SCORE’s 2012 season will culminate with the massive 45th anniversary celebration of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.  The season will start in Southern Nevada with the 18th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. More ...

Montoya set to return to Ganassi for 2012 season  
Juan Montoya, exceptional talent, career wasted - running as a backmarker in NASCAR
Throughout his career racing in the United States, Juan Montoya has competed for exactly one car owner -- Chip Ganassi. They won the old CART title together, won the Indianapolis 500 together, and it was Ganassi who brought Montoya to NASCAR. So it should come as no surprise that the Colombia native has agreed to return to Ganassi's No. 42 car on the Sprint Cup tour next season.

Montoya's current contract with his race team, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, ends after this season. Although there was never any real threat of Montoya winding up anywhere else, the driver confirmed Friday that he would be back in the red and white Chevrolet in 2012, likely meaning that he had signed a contract extension. The Ganassi team traditionally does not announce extensions. More ...

DTM 2012 schedule  
April 29        Hockenheim (D)
May 6          Lausitz (D)
May 20          Brands Hatch (GB)
June 3          Spielberg (A)
July 1          Norisring (D)
August 19      Nurburgring (D)
August 26      Zandvoort (NL)
September 16    Oschersleben (D)
September 30    Valencia (E)
October 21      Hockenheim (D)
Tracy: I’ll quit if I don’t have full-time ride  
Paul Tracy
You always know when you’re about to get a zinger from Paul Tracy. His eyes light up and the corners of his mouth curl into a grin and he lets loose with — whatever.

This time it was about his possible retirement from Indy car racing, which is now officially not happening as the result of an interview he did last week with Marshall Pruett of speedtv.com, in which he said he intends to race full-time in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.

Three weeks earlier, in the aftermath of the racing crash at Las Vegas that killed Dan Wheldon, Tracy had appeared on Canada AM and said he was seriously considering calling it a career because his wife and his mother had both asked him to stop.

“So, what was their reaction (to the Pruett story)?” I asked him last Saturday at Action Honda out in Scarborough, where he’d gone to support Rick Hansen’s 26th Anniversary Man in Motion Relay. More ...

Alonso 'annoyed' at lost track time  
Fernando Alonso has admitted that he was left frustrated by his Turn 1 accident in second practice at the Yas Marina Circuit this evening, with the Ferrari driver losing valuable track time as a direct result. Despite this, the Spaniard ended the day as the third fastest man behind the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

"Just as was the case in India a fortnight ago, again here in Abu Dhabi, I lost a bit of time: there it was the engine that left me standing at the side of the track and here it was an off-track excursion," said Alonso. "It’s not that there’s a particular problem with grip at Turn 1, but if you touch the curb when braking then you do lose some grip. More ...

Joe Gibbs & Kyle Busch press conference  Toyota Racing Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway - November 11, 2011
Kyle Busch. #18 Interstate Batteries Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement: "First of all, obviously this has been quite a trying week for myself and my wife (Samantha Busch) and everybody at M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Interstate Batteries -- all the above. For me, I'm upmost apologetic to everybody that has been going through this situation and there's no one to blame but myself. I'm here today to basically say that I apologize to everyone involved in this ordeal. Joe (Gibbs, team owner) has been a huge supporter of mine through all of this and I can't say enough about him, all the folks at JGR, all the guys on my M&M's team and we're here to say we want to learn from this. We want to move on. Certainly there's some remorse from my side and to be apologetic to the M&M's brand and all of those folks that put their heart and soul into this NASCAR program for years, and we want to continue that relationship down the road. There's an opportunity for me to become a better person, to grow and learn from this and I'm looking forward to those days. Knowing that, I'm sure I've lost respect with my team, with my sponsors, with my peers, and I understand those consequences. I understand my actions last weekend were uncalled for, were disrespectful and that I'm here to make sure that I can continue on in a positive manner and make it to where everybody believes in me from this week forward. That's about it."(see full transcript at Toyota Racing
track news
2012 Road America schedule announced  Road America has released its 2012 Schedule with a line-up of ten public events for its 57th season. The schedule features AMA Pro Racing, the American Le Mans Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series with GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Road America's signature July vintage weekend will return with a new event title: The Hawk with Brian Redman. Additional event-specific schedules and details will be posted when available. The full 2012 season schedule is listed below:

May 18-20            Spring Vintage Weekend
June 1-3            SUBWAY SuperBike Doubleheader (AMA Pro Racing)
June 8-10            Vintage Motorcycle Classic (AHRMA)
June 14-17          WeatherTech® Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints®
June 21-23          NASCAR Nationwide Series /GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series
July 12-15          The Hawk with Brian Redman (vintage cars)
August 16-18        The American Le Mans Series
August 19            Corvette World Tribute
September 7-9        Fall Vintage Festival
September 20-23      SCCA National Championship Runoffs®

Season Passes are now available at three discount levels: $320, now through Nov. 30, 2011; $410, Dec. 1, 2011-Feb. 15, 2012; and $450, Feb.16 - May 20, 2012. Individual event tickets and camping will be available for purchase beginning November 16, 2011. Kids 12 and under are admitted free with an adult. Tickets and additional information can be found online at www.roadamerica.com or by calling 800/365-7223.

Why Interstate Batteries is sponsoring the #18  When Mars pulled out of the last two 2011 races earlier this week, Interstate Batteries decided to step in to support Joe Gibbs Racing - a relationship that has lasted 20 years. Interstate Chairman Norm Miller described the decision this way: "We feel NASCAR took the appropriate action with Kyle, and we think he will become a better person for it. We also understand and honor Mars' reasons for stepping back for these last two weeks of the season. As founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing, we felt it was the right thing to do to support JGR, Kyle and the #18 team during this difficult time." Interstate Batteries Facebook
Aerodynamic testing at Daytona Tuesday  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are scheduled to test at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to evaluate and prepare aerodynamic baseline packages for the January 12-14, 2012 Preseason Thunder Test at DIS. Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15th from 10 am - 5 pm/et. Teams scheduled to participate include: Hendrick Motorsports (two cars with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aric Almirola); Roush Fenway Racing (two cars with drivers David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose); Joe Gibbs Racing (one car with driver Joey Logano), Michael Waltrip Racing (one car with driver Martin Truex Jr.), and NEMCO Motorsports (one car with driver Joe Nemechek). A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. DIS PR
Outback Steakhouse Joins Stewart-Haas Racing  Award-winning Outback Steakhouse, with more than 750 locations nationwide, has formed a partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas. Outback Steakhouse will be the primary sponsor of SHR's #39 team and driver Ryan Newman for two races in 2012, and when not serving as a primary sponsor, will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post of the #39 Chevrolet Impala. Outback Steakhouse joins the U.S. Army, Quicken Loans and Tornados as primary sponsors of the #39 team.

"We're thrilled to partner with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman who are recognized for their leadership and performance on and off the track," said Mike Kappitt, chief marketing officer, Outback Steakhouse. "It's especially meaningful to us to continue Outback's longstanding commitment to supporting troops and their families by being a sponsor on the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet." More ...
Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch but  Joe Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch over the drivers' road rage incident in the Truck Series race at Texas. But Gibbs says Busch will face more punishment from the race team, including financial penalties. Busch will run Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway without primary sponsor M&M's. The company did want to sponsor Busch for the final two races of the season, so Joe Gibbs Racing longtime partner Interstate Batteries will be on the car [#18 Toyota]. Busch was suspended by NASCAR last weekend for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution early in the truck race at Texas. He also was fined $50,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year. Associated Press
Whitmarsh and Domenicali tell Williams: “sign Raikkonen”  Principals from two teams who Kimi Raikkonen won races for advised Frank Williams to sign the former world champion.

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh and Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali gave the advice to Williams in today’s press conference.

Whitmarsh said: “Try and sign him. Kimi, we all know he is quick.

“I think people underestimate how intelligent he can be. I hope that he is hungry. I am sure he hasn’t lost the capability to thrill us in Formula 1 so I think it would be fantastic for Formula 1. More ...

Montreal race organizers seek funding to line NASCAR's pockets  Octane Management president Francois Dumontier says that while his company has assumed financial responsibility for next year's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, he will continue to seek government funding.

"We never ended the discussion with the government from last summer, and now it's a different group that will have the discussion," Dumontier said last week. "When we announced that the event would be maintained, the levels of government welcomed it as a good thing.

"We signed the agreement (with NASCAR) to continue the race knowing we didn't have any public funding," Dumontier added. "But the event is important for Montreal and Quebec, and for sure in the next few weeks I will have those discussions." More ...

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

  • Hamilton tells Massa to grow up
    Hamilton tells nemesis Massa to 'be a man'
  • Rosberg happy to stay patient with Mercedes
  • Crucial FOTA meeting called off in Abu Dhabi
  • Texas quiet but F1 'nervous' as corruption saga deepens
  • Webber reveals Renault interest for 2012 season
  • Blown exhaust saga set to heat up again
  • Alonso says 2011 season 'best in my life'
  • Buemi can ease rumors with 'super race' - Tost
  • Ecclestone discovered daughter’s £12 million wedding bill much later
  • Schumacher not looking for 2013 team switch - Haug New
  • Troubled times for Force India chief's airline New
  • Michael attends first race in new McLaren role New More ...
Leimer takes maiden GP2 pole in Abu Dhabi qualifying  
Fabio Leimer
Fabio Leimer fought long and hard today to grab pole position in the final stages of an ultimately extremely close qualifying session. Already fast in this morning’s free practice session, the Swiss from Racing Engineering set his best laptime of 1:49.363 with five minutes left on the clock after recovering from a spin at Turn 19 earlier in the session.

Dani Clos at Rapax was the first one to top the timesheet when the pitlane opened, but Arden’s Josef Kral wasted no time in breaking under the 1m50s barrier and, half a second clear of his nearest rival. The Czech driver’s laptime remained unbeaten for most of the session leaving the rest of the field busy to try and close the gap. Leimer and Clos were next on the list of drivers under 1m50s, the Spaniard ending a mere 0.02s behind Kral. More ...
Ricci and Marroc penalized  The 2011 GP2 Final opened this morning at Yas Marina Circuit with a forty five minute free practice. During this session, GP2 returnee Giacomo Ricci and rookie Nicolas Marroc ignored yellow flags. As a consequence, both drivers were handed a ten grid place position penalty for tomorrow’s feature race.

Ricci at Super Nova ended P10 whilst Marroc at Ocean Racing Technology finished P23 in today’s free practice.

Marussia Virgin Racing confirms drivers for Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test  Marussia Virgin Racing is pleased to announce that Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Charles Pic and Reserve Driver Robert Wickens will join the team for next week’s Young Driver Test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi from 15-17 November.

Adrian will get the test underway on the first morning (Tuesday) as his reward for being the best classified Marussia Manor Racing driver in the 2011 GP3 Championship. After carrying out two straight-line aero tests for the team earlier in the year - in Idiada, Spain and at RAF Cottesmore, UK - this will be Adrian’s third foray behind the wheel of the MVR-02 but his first outing in the car at a Formula One circuit. More ...

Abu Dhabi GP: Button tops opening practice  
Jenson Button
McLaren's Jenson Button turned the fastest lap in opening practice for Sunday's penultimate round of the 2011 F1 season in Abu Dhabi.  His time was 1m40.263s. 

Mark Webber split the McLarens with his final hot lap of the session. Lewis Hamilton was third in the 2nd McLaren and the trio are covered by just 0.140s.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth and Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were 5th and 6th for Ferrari.

Adrian Sutil was seventh in the Force India, with Nico Rosberg eighth for Mercedes, Paul di Resta ninth and Jamie Alguersuari rounded out the top 10. More ...

Zhuhai 6 hours free practice 2 : Peugeot 1-2  

Results (Click times to enlarge)

Zhuhai 6 hours free practice 1 : Peugeot on top  
Peugeot chasing down Audi in Zhuhai Friday
It was on a dry track and a temperature of 19°C for the first free practice session of six hours of Zhuhai. In the 90 minute session Peugeot dominated by setting the two fastest times.

Stephane Sarrazin was the only driver under 1'22''(1'21''999) half a second ahead of the second 908, followed by both Audis. For the record, the pole position for Montagny and Sarrazin in 2010 was 1'21''868. The first petrol powered LM P1 prototype was the Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota.

In LM GTE Pro, where BMW can still maintain a little hope for the weekend, the two German M3 has just set the two best times, #55 (Farfus-Müller) being fastest. The #59 Ferrari of Luxury Racing (Makowiecki-Beltoise) was third. More ...

Esteban Gutierrez on top in 2011 GP2 Friday practice  
The experienced GP2 drivers like Gutierrez were fast in opening practice
It was the perfect start to the 2011 GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi for Lotus ART’s Esteban Gutierrez. In the forty five minute long practice session, the Mexican crushed the rest of the field after he clocked in a best lap time of 1:50.458 in the first third of the session with his closest rivals unable to match his pace.

The teams were greeted by dry and warm conditions this morning for the practice session of their last outing in 2011. All twenty six cars fed onto the track as soon as the lights turned green. The first fifteen minutes saw a three-way battle for the top spot between Dani Clos at Rapax, Fabio Leimer at Racing Engineering and iSport’s Tom Dillmann. The GP3 graduate eventually topped the timing sheet just as Julian Leal lost control of his Trident car and slid into the barrier at Turn 19 which ended his session prematurely, prompting the yellow flags. More ...
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