Phenomenal Forecast for Ford Championship Weekend On Sunday, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host a one-race shootout to decide the closest Sprint Cup Championship race in Chase history. Denny Hamlin enters Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 19-21) with a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend are available starting at $55 via HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com and (866) 409-RACE.
With Homestead-Miami Speedway annually selling tickets to fans in over a dozen countries and all 50 states, a global NASCAR fan base is set to enjoy Ford Championship Weekend in temperatures ranging from 65 degrees to 81 degrees under the Florida sunshine. All three of NASCAR’s premier racing circuits—the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series—will crown Champions in South Florida. Parking is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and fans can bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches.
Infineon Raceway partners with Panasonic Infineon Raceway and Panasonic Corporation of North America, industry leader in integrated electronics and energy technologies, have entered into a multi-year relationship, marking the launch of the Sonoma Valley facility’s comprehensive sustainability initiative, officials from both companies announced today.
The centerpiece of the Panasonic collaboration will be a major solar-electric-power-generating installation at the raceway with a capacity of more than 350 kilowatts, along with a new dual-sided, solar-powered LED display board along Highway 37.
Panasonic will assume a charter sponsor role in the raceway’s new green performance program in an agreement that runs through 2015. That initiative will significantly enhance the facility’s existing sustainable practices in its daily business operations, while at the same time communicating a clear message to the raceway’s customer base about the performance benefits of green transportation technologies.
Honda welcomes Lotus to IndyCar Statement from Erik Berkman, Honda Performance Development President, regarding the addition of Lotus Cars to IZOD IndyCar Series competition, beginning in 2012 (See Home page for feature article):
"This is exciting news. Lotus Cars has a long and distinguished record in motorsports, and will add to the worldwide appeal of IZOD IndyCar Series racing. Congratulations to Randy Bernard and the entire IndyCar Series staff. They have returned multiple-manufacturer competition to IndyCar racing following a lengthy absence, and we appreciate the efforts and dedication that helped make this possible.
Craig Gore owes everyone A tearful Craig Gore (a former Champ Car team sponsor with Aussie Vineyards) was inducted into the Order of the White Shoe yesterday after managing to get enough of his 92 creditors to agree to the largest personal insolvency agreement in Australian history.
Creditors of the Gold Coast businessman yesterday approved the proposal that will see Gore (aka Jackson Morgan-Phoenix) repay $3.3 million of a $495 million debt over three years.
''It is a win, win,'' Gore's trustee, Max Prentice, from BPS Recovery, said of the win, win, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, loss. Gore has guaranteed to pay his creditors a return of at least 0.66¢ in the dollar . Only eight creditors voted against the agreement.
As a sweetener, creditors will get a 30 per cent stake in a company through which Gore will be required to conduct all of his business activities for the next three years.
All GP2 Series teams fruitfully ran one of their new cars at Paul Ricard Today was an important milestone in GP2 Series history: for the first time the twelve teams entered in the category for 2011-2013 ran their brand new GP2/11 cars at circuit Paul Ricard under clear blue skies and on a 3D configuration track.
Only one car per team was used for this shakedown during which fast times were not the priority. The paddock also welcomed two new teams: Carlin and Team Air Asia who chose to run with Max Chilton and Johnny Cecotto Jr respectively.
12 race 2011 Indy Light schedule announced Three challenging new venues and the return of the Milwaukee Mile highlight the diverse 2011 calendar for Firestone Indy Lights.
The 2011 schedule will again feature 12 races divided among six ovals, five temporary street circuits and one permanent road courses.
"Our goal is to prepare Firestone Indy Lights drivers to become successful IZOD IndyCar Series drivers," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Firestone Indy Lights. "The 2011 schedule achieves that goal by helping our drivers gain experience and succeed on all types of racing circuits."
Petrov likely to sign 2011 deal in December - manager (GMM) Vitaly Petrov's manager is confident the Russian will be able to sign a new contract for the 2011 season within weeks.
Amid the 26-year-old's mixed rookie season, Renault has openly mused the possibility of a change of teammate for the highly rated Robert Kubica for next year.
But the well-financed Petrov had a more solid finish to the recently-concluded 2010 campaign, and reports suggested the Kremlin might add to his coffers now that Russia is embarking on a F1 circuit project.
"Since (Russian president) Vladimir Putin became a formula one fan, Petrov has even more support in his pocket," Nick Heidfeld, a potential suitor for the second Renault cockpit, told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Petrov's manager Oksana Kosachenko on Thursday acknowledged the likelihood of a new deal.
Mortara on provisional pole position for Macau Grand Prix
Edoardo Mortara secured provisional pole position for the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Thursday – but reckoned it was still too early to read anything into the times.
The Signature driver, who is hoping to become the first man in history to win the blue riband F3 race twice, got steadily faster through the session before knocking closest rival Valtteri Bottas off the top of the timesheets with 11 minutes remaining.
Almost immediately after Mortara set that provisional pole position time, Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar crashed at Fishermen’s Bend – leaving his car stranded near the barriers on the inside of the track and bringing out the yellow flags.
Fiat Returns to the United States with the New 500
Fiat is making its comeback to the North American market at the L.A. Auto Show (Nov. 17-28) with the new 500. The new Fiat 500 is being introduced in one of the most rapidly growing segments in North America and offers Italian design, value and efficiency, all smartly calibrated for the US market. Produced in Mexico and proposed at a starting price of $15,500, this segment A "four seater" has an ideal size for the city and features a brand-new 1.4 liter MultiAir engine, innovative Blue&Me hands-free communication system and seven airbags supplied as standard (two in front, two window-bags, two side bags and one for protecting the knees). This package is adapted with high quality characteristics calibrated for the U.S. market, including the brand-new six-speed automatic transmission.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton went in to the season finale at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi last weekend with only a slim chance of taking the 2010 drivers crown, but his determination to win the race was just as strong as ever. He performed exceptionally well all weekend, qualifying second and finishing the race in the same place, but despite missing out on the crown, he was happy with the way things went....
A great result in Abu Dhabi - but was it a case of ‘what could have been'?
We had a great car in Abu Dhabi, yeah. It was probably the best car we'd had all season - the balance was just perfect, the car felt strong in the high- and low-speed corners and the tire deg was good - so I felt like I could push on every lap. Unfortunately, I came out just behind Robert Kubica after my tire stop, and it was just too difficult to make a pass stick around this place, even though I gave it my absolute best effort.
Jenson Button concluded his first season as a McLaren driver by taking third place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend. It was his seventh podium of the year and while he only finished fifth in the standings, 26 points behind his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, he was still generally pleased with 2010.
Abu Dhabi may have seen you lose the coveted number one from your car, but it was a good end to the season, wasn’t it?
It was. It was an extremely satisfying race, and it was a fantastic season. To qualify fourth, race hard, run at the front and finish on the podium in the final race of the season not only demonstrates a few things to me personally, but it also shows that, as a team, we have the momentum and fighting spirit to take us into the winter feeling very positive.
Premat recently tore up yet another Audi in this accident, in which he escaped unscathed
Alexandre Premat has been canned by the Audi DTM team and will be replaced by Darryl O'Young for the DTM finale in Shanghai at the end of November.
Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich said differences of opinion had led to Premat losing his seat.
"The decision to give Alexandre Premat leave of absence before his contract expires wasn't an easy one for us," said Ullrich. "Unfortunately, though, opinions on important topics most recently differed too much. We would like to thank him for his work during the past four years and wish him all the best for his future career."
Kanaan to test de Ferran Dragon car, no ride dealUPDATE "It's difficult to speculate on that," de Ferran told this week's AUTOSPORT magazine when asked about the chances of him signing Kanaan. "Tony is a free agent, a guy who's been at the top end of the grid for a long time, so he's an asset to any team. Given his experience, we were interested in his views on how we're developing our car so he kindly agreed to the test."
Kanaan, who was set to fly to Brazil after the test to continue chasing sponsorship, added: "I'm still looking for a job. I don't know what else to do but racing, so this was a great opportunity that Gil gave me. There's not a lot to read into - it's not like we have a deal. If I can help him, then who knows? Even if I don't end up racing for him, I helped a friend and I spent a day on the track."
11/14/10 Tony Kanaan will move from one Florida race course to another next week when he tests a de Ferran Dragon Racing car at Sebring International.
Kanaan, who participated in the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship on Nov. 13, accepted team president and managing partner Gil de Ferran's invitation to get behind the wheel Nov. 15. After eight-plus seasons with Andretti Autosport, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion is a free agent.
Bravo to IndyCar and Randy Bernard A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Wow! Just when you think that there is little to get excited about regarding IndyCar, along comes this wonderful news. 2 new engine suppliers (see rumors page)...and both with storied histories in the sport.
This is truly a coup for the series in general and Randy Bernard in particular. Now if he can get a few body kit suppliers to give us some different and exciting looking cars we are surely in for an exciting 2012 season.
The artists impression of the Chevy looked really tasty! I can't wait to visit the LA Auto Show and see what Lotus has up it's sleeve. Bravo IndyCar and Mr. Bernard! Ray Masters, Hawaii
Piquet Jr., Fittipaldi to pair in Granja Viana 500 Mile Former Renault F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and ex-IndyCar star Christian Fittipaldi will join forces in this year’s edition of the traditional Granja Viana 500 Mile karting race. The duo decided to challenge Rubens Barrichello’s hot favorite team on November 27th at Granja Viana International Karting track after regular Fittipaldi team mate Mario Haberfeld have announced that will miss the event due to personal commitments. "I’m glad we have reached a deal. So far we have always raced against each other, never as partners", said Fittipaldi, who is currently racing in the national series Stock Car and Trofeo Linea.
A couple of days after the huge disappointment of the outcome of this season's last race, which still hurts, I want to talk to you. I felt, just like you and the whole team that the goal we have been pursuing over the whole season even when others had written us off was even closer after Saturday afternoon's qualifying.
Unfortunately a wrong evaluation from the pitwall during a crucial stage compromised the race, preventing the conquest of the title. The five marvelous victories by Fernando and the team weren't enough to reach our goal. This is the law of sports.
Coil resigns from John Force Racing Two days after winning a record 15th NHRA Funny Car world championship with John Force, Hall of Fame crew chief Austin Coil has resigned from John Force Racing and plans to take at least a year off before returning to tuning race cars.
"I've decided to take some time with my wife, which I haven’t for the last 26 years, and then I suspect at some point, I'll be hanging out my shingle to go racing again because I feel great, and I'm having a good time every day," said Coil, who also won championships with driver Frank Hawley (1982-83).
Coil was emphatic that his decision had nothing to do with the larger role that Mike Neff has taken in tuning the Castrol GTX Mustang this year.
Ricciardo still on top in Abu DhabiUPDATE Daniel Ricciardo completed his domination of the Formula 1 rookie test in Abu Dhabi, by setting a time 1.3 seconds faster than world champion Sebastian Vettel pole position lap for last Sunday's grand prix. But don't let these times fool you. Teams will typically run the car light so the test driver looks brilliant and a potential sponsor then signs on the dotted line.
Overall Times Wednesday Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.102 77 2. Jerome D'Ambrosio Renault 1:38.802 83 3. Sam Bird MERCEDES GP PETRONAS 1:39.220 82 4. Gary Paffet McLaren 1:39.760 84 5. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:39.916 93 6. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:40.543 91 7. Paul di Resta Force India 1:40.901 27 8. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:40.944 81 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:40.974 61 10. Yelmer Buurman Force India 1:41.178 67 11. Davide Valsecchi HRT 1:43.013 32 12. Luiz Razia Virgin 1:43.525 70 13. Josef Kral HRT 1:44.143 61 14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1:44.312 41 15. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Lotus 1:45.723 49
Daniel Ricciardo continued to dominate the timesheets on the second morning of Formula 1 rookie testing at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. And today he went even faster, posting a time just 0.154 seconds off Sebastian Vettel's pole position time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix giving you some idea just how quickly even a rookie can adapt to an excellent car.
Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi was able to show his speed for the first time after spending Tuesday concentrating on aerodynamic work. He set the second-fastest time, just over a second off Ricciardo.
CORE autosport to contest LMPC class in 2011 CORE autosport confirmed today its entry into the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. A title-winning operation in IMSA’s 2010 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, CORE is moving up the prototype ladder to the LMP Challenge class in the American Le Mans Series. Its new cars are scheduled to arrive at the CORE autosport headquarters within one week.
“This deal has been in the works for awhile and I am pleased to announce that we will be running an LMPC car in 2011,” states team principal and driver Jon Bennett. “The LMPC class is the next logical step for us after capturing the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship. Although we made the decision to buy two cars our primary objective is to run a solid one-car program. Then we will evaluate bringing the second car online under the right circumstances.”
Johnson’s Team Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Phoenix Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 team won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s (Nov. 14) Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
The No. 48 crew, out of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, picked up the top prize as a result of Johnson’s Lowe’s Chevrolet spending the least amount of time on pit road (170.246 seconds) and finishing on the lead lap during the Kobalt Tools 500. The team’s effort helped Johnson post a fifth-place result in the season’s penultimate race.
Washed-up Hakkinen sticks foot in mouth again (GMM) Michael Schumacher is a "tragic ex-hero" who should return immediately to retirement. That is the view of Mika Hakkinen, who was once named as the only rival the seven time world champion truly feared.
The Finn has issued a harsh critique of Schumacher in a column for the Munich newspaper TZ, despite the pair always referring to each other with the greatest of respect.
"Michael is for me now a tragic ex-hero," 42-year-old Hakkinen wrote after the final race of Schumacher's comeback year; the only full season in the German's entire career that did not net even a single podium.
"I ask myself why on earth he got back into the cockpit. There is the most successful man in motor sport driving down in the pack and making a ridiculous mistake in Abu Dhabi that almost cost him his life," he added.
Q and A with Williams' Sam Michael The Williams Formula One team achieved their goal in the recent Abu Dhabi grand prix, the 2010 season finale, when they finished ahead of their closest rivals, Force India, to secure sixth place in the constructors championship. Here the team’s technical director, Sam Michael, reviews the weekend and explains just why the sixth placed finish was so crucial....
How important was it for AT&T Williams to take sixth place in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Force India? Of course we want to do our best at every race because that's the business we're in. However, it's also important to consolidate your position in the constructors’ championship because it is has a direct bearing on the FOM income you receive for the following season. Retaining sixth was therefore very important.
David Coulthard has explained how Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber spent an hour together in order to talk over the events of the 2010 season shortly after the German clinched his maiden Formula 1 title in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Having shot from third in the drivers’ standings to lead for the first time, Vettel becomes the sport’s youngest ever title winner as Australian team-mate Webber plummets from the runner-up spot to third in this season’s final order.
“Anyone who says that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber do not respect each other, or that they are not on speaking terms, has not been privy to the scenes that I have witnessed over the past 36 hours,” Scotland’s Coulthard, a Red Bull driver between 2005 and 2008, said in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
Record TV audiences for F1 finale make NASCAR look miniscule [Editor's Note: Take note of the audience for the F1 finale - even small countries like Italy drew numbers 4 times of that for NASCAR and NASCAR races in the USA, which has a huge TV base. Worldwide just the F1 finale alone drew more viewers than NASCAR did all season. Make no mistake, open wheel racing is still king of the racing world.]
Formula One Administration (FOA) has confirmed record television figures for Sunday’s title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, into which headed four drivers with a chance of clinching the World Championship title.
Never before have a quartet of F1 competitors remained in contention for the title at the last race of the season although – with a Spaniard, German, Australian and Englishman all in with a shot – TV viewing figures confirmed worldwide excitement levels.
Invited dignitaries prepare to move the first shovel of soil
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally constructed as a testing facility for the burgeoning American automobile industry, so when Dallara was selected to continue building the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis, it was only natural for the Italian company to return to Speedway, Ind.
On Tuesday, Dallara broke ground on their first facility outside of Italy, just blocks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The factory, located on Main Street in Speedway, will allow the 2012 safety cell to be developed, tested and produced in Indianapolis.
Gian Paolo Dallara, founder of Dallara Autombili, said of the building:
"Our design for the 2012 IndyCar Series safety cell is innovative, green, cost effective and faster than ever before. The safety cell will be designed in Italy meanwhile the development, the tests and the production will be done right here in the heart of Speedway, the home open wheel racing. Our continual engineering evaluation of the chassis will take place in Speedway. We are excited to become an integral part of this community that is so steeped in racing tradition and motorsports advancements."Read more & Comment...
DVD, book: Le Mans 2010 an exceptional year! Christmas is barely two months away and now is the time to start thinking about it. Ask Father Christmas to slip into his bag the following items that will delight all lovers of the Le Mans 24 Hours: the DVD of the official film of the 2010 event (19.90 euros) and the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours annual (49 euros) the must-have book for all Le Mans fans.
Recently crowned FIA Formula Two Champion Dean Stoneman was fifth fastest at the end of the first Formula One young driver test at Abu Dhabi today (16 November).
The young Briton recorded a competitive 1:41.522s in the closing stages of the day to move into fifth overall, fractions behind Esteban Gutierrez, who was recently confirmed as Sauber's official test driver for 2011.
Impressively, his benchmark time eclipsed the best practice efforts of both Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenberg when they competed in F1's season finale at the Yas Marina track two days ago - Barrichello recording a 1:42.316s and Hülkenberg a 1:41.934s. He was remarkably just one tenth of a second shy of Hülkenberg’s qualifying effort, which the German driver set in the second part of the session.
U.S. Grand Prix clears another hurdle The Austin Grand prix site has been approved to begin clearing trees, etc. Promoters of the event, Full Throttle Productions, have been told by F1 officials to have the circuit ready by June 2012, although the race will not be assigned a date until late 2011.
The promoters’ attorney, Richard Suttle, also said that, after analyzing new flood plain data, it was determined neither the track nor any of the parking would fall in the 100-year flood plain at the site southeast of Austin.
Next up for the project is the City Council. Promoters are still hoping to break ground in December.
Quotes from ESPN NASCAR Analysts on NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale NASCAR’s 36-race season comes to a close in South Florida this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 21. ESPN will have a live telecast of the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at 1 p.m. ET as the close championship battle involving Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick is decided.
On two episodes of NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, following the most recent race at Phoenix, ESPN analysts and former NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Dale Jarrett and Ricky Craven discussed the championship battle and the chances of all three drivers, who are separated by just 46 points.
NASCAR transporter gets caught up in 34-car accident One day after the transporter and motor coach for Furniture Row Racing were heavily damaged in a major accident on northbound Interstate 25 in Colorado, team general manager Joe Garone said that all systems are in place for this weekend's Sprint Cup season finale in Homestead, Fla.
The accident, which involved 34 vehicles on the icy highway, occurred Monday at approximately 8:40 a.m. near Larkspur, Colo., 40 miles south of the team's race shop in Denver. The Furniture Row vehicles were returning from Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix.
The two Furniture Row race cars for this weekend's Cup event will be transported from the race shop to south Florida in the team's test transporter. Once the test transporter arrives at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richard Childress Racing will provide the No. 78 Furniture Row team with a fully-loaded racing transporter.
Rossi recovering from shoulder operation February 1st 2011, the date of the next Official MotoGP Test, is firmly fixed in Valentino Rossi’s mind as the Italian begins his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery which took place on Sunday. The normal recovery period following a procedure such as the one undergone by Rossi is 90 days, but with 79 until the Sepang Test the schedule is tight.
In an interview with Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport Doctor Alessandro Castagna of the Milan Humanitas Institute, who along with Doctor Giuseppe Porcellini performed the operation, explained his view on the chances of Rossi being fit to ride the Ducati in Malaysia.
“It usually takes 90 days and he has 79 until the first Test. I’m sure that if everything goes smoothly and there are no complications he can be ready for it,” said Dr Castagna.
Domenicali says Ferrari must move on The very few hours of sleep that he managed were certainly not enough for Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali to overcome the disappointment of the negative end to the 2010 Formula One world championship with Fernando Alonso losing the crown due to a bad strategy call that left him caught up behind the Renault of Vitaly Petrov for most of the season finale at the Yas Marino circuit in Abu Dhabi.
However, despite his lack of sleep and total disappointment at the outcome, it didn’t dim the usual lucid judgment of the Scuderia chief.
“What happened was a negative episode but it can’t cancel out all the good things that we’ve seen this season,” said Domenicali as he left Abu Dhabi. “We owe the fact that we returned to fight for the title until the end to the great work on the 2010 car that we already began at the end of last year. It’s also down to our cohesion and the capacity to react that we showed in the most difficult moments of the season.”
Horner praises Webber and Vettel Christian Horner has praised Mark Webber for an ‘unbelievable year’ of which he should be ‘very, very proud’ – and despite his previous confession that the future for Red Bull Racing is Sebastian Vettel, he has tipped the popular Australian to ‘come back even more motivated and stronger next year’.
“Take nothing away from Mark – he’s had an unbelievable year,” the Englishman underlined of what has been comfortably Webber’s finest campaign in the top flight to-date. “Mark can be very, very proud of what he’s achieved. We’re all very proud of what he’s done – he’s been an awesome competitor.
“He’s taken this championship into the last race. He led during the summer, and he could well have won it himself at different stages of the year. Overall, he’s been a big part of the success of this team, and he has pushed Sebastian to the limit. They’ve been so close on so many occasions.
To write Schumacher off 'would be foolish', say team bosses He might have endured what was by-and-large a frustrating F1 comeback campaign – and one that culminated in near-decapitation in Abu Dhabi last weekend – but rival team bosses have warned that it would be ‘foolish’ indeed to wrote off Mercedes Grand Prix star Michael Schumacher in 2011.
Having gradually begun to re-establish himself as a competitive and credible performer at the highest level over the final third of the season, Schumacher’s maiden outing in Abu Dhabi certainly went off with a dramatic bang, albeit not the kind he might have been hoping for. Nonetheless, as the dust now starts to settle on what has been a truly remarkable year in general, a more accurate assessment of his return can be made.
With the German legend having seemingly finally silenced all of the doubters who claimed he would not be back for another crack of the whip in 2011 by way of his late-season upturn in form, ‘Schumi’ will clearly be hoping for considerably better results next year than he achieved this time around.
Chevrolet Volt wins another Car of Year Award The Chevrolet Volt is the AUTOMOBILE Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year. The award will be presented to Joel Ewanick, GM U.S. Marketing Vice President, on Wednesday at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
In naming the Volt their Automobile of the Year, AUTOMOBILE Magazine editors wrote:
“This is the most sophisticated, most important vehicle on the road today. It won’t just change what we drive, but also how we drive. Owners will plug in at night, heat or cool their cabin before they leave the garage, and adopt new driving styles to maximize their electric range. Then, when the battery is depleted, they’ll mindlessly motor on; free of the limitations that accompanies pure electric vehicles.”
Usain Bolt, world-record holder and gold medal winner at the Olympic Games over 100 and 200 meters, experienced a special day in Maranello, where he tested a 458 Italia and 599 GTB Fiorano on the circuit of the Prancing Horse. The sprinter was excited in the cars as a passenger next to the test-drivers Dario Benuzzi and Raffaele De Simone, while later on he completed some laps himself behind the wheel. At the end of the day he couldn’t hide his adoration for the 458 Italia. "It’s a little bit like me, very reactive and determined!"
Later on Bolt joked about the high heartbeat provoked by test-driver Dario Benuzzi, who showed him how to control the car on a wet track. “I was really scared, but it was a good scared. I’m excited like a child.”
Phoenix TV ratings continue NASCAR plummet A tight race for the Chase For The Sprint Cup did not improve NASCAR’s television ratings as ESPN earned a 2.5 rating for the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup race from Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway with the race averaging 4.2 million viewers.
The rating was a 24 percent drop from the 3.3 earned last year when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race aired on ABC. When taking into consideration only those homes that receive ESPN, the rating was 2.9.
None of the nine Chase For The Sprint Cup events this year have done better than those in 2009, and on average, Chase ratings are down 22.9 percent. When not including the Charlotte race, which aired on ABC, the Chase is down 24.7 percent for events that were on ABC last year and on ESPN this year.
The Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 drew a 1.2, up from a 1.1 last year when it also aired on ESPN2.
Buick Unveils 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist Fuel-Saving Technology Buick unveils the 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist,™ a new fuel-saving technology that increases fuel economy by 25 percent compared to the four-cylinder/six-speed powertrain in the 2011 LaCrosse. The eAssist technology provides class-leading highway fuel economy of 37 mpg, while maintaining the luxury, performance and value expected from Buick's flagship sedan. The eAssist system becomes the standard powertrain on LaCrosse starting next summer. The system uses a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability to improve LaCrosse fuel economy by an estimated 25 percent.
Our driver policy was the catalyst for Ferrari's error Red Bull Racing chief technical officer Adrian Newey has pointed to the energy drinks-backed outfit’s policy of not backing one of its two drivers over the other during F1 2010 as the key factor in Ferrari’s scrambled strategy that ultimately cost Fernando Alonso glory in Abu Dhabi last weekend. On paper, Alonso should have walked it. Eight points ahead of Mark Webber arriving at Yas Marina for the season finale and 15 clear of Sebastian Vettel, had the trio taken the checkered flag in the same order as that in which they qualified, the Spaniard would have been crowned for a third time.
With Vettel dominating proceedings from the front, Alonso just needed to stay exactly where he was – fourth – to lift the laurels, but in paying too much attention to the pursuing Mark Webber and covering the Australian’s early pit-stop with one for the Oviedo native too, Ferrari committed the fatal error of not taking into account their driver’s position in the race relative to the other Red Bull driver.
In focusing too much upon one RBR rival, they let the other one in.
For all the pre-race talk of Webber needing to rely upon his team-mate’s support to clinch the trophy, in the circumstances it was he who indirectly secured Vettel the title, by taking Ferrari’s eye off the ball in terms of who they should be paying attention to.
And that, contend both Newey and Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, could not have happened had they done what many believed they ought to have done in Brazil and switched the order around at Interlagos to place all of their eggs in Webber’s basket.
“Obviously, with hindsight they made a mistake,” Newey reflected of Ferrari’s calamitously misguided strategy. “If they’d stayed out, Fernando would probably have finished fourth – but at that stage it wasn’t clear.
“It depended on whether they wanted to cover Mark for the championship or Sebastian for the championship – that’s where our policy of allowing the drivers to compete got us into the position where they had to worry about two of our drivers and not just one.”
“It didn’t work out for them,” concurred Horner. “They probably tried to cover us with what we were doing with Mark. Mark was at the back of the queue – we had to take a risk. He said the tires were starting to go. We just went for it and took an early stop.” Yahoo! Eurosport
World Champions return to Red Bull Hangar 7 Christian Horner, Adrian Newey, 2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and six-times grand prix winner Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing – the 2010 Formula One Constructors’ Champion – arrived at the Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg yesterday straight from Abu Dhabi, where they were greeted by a traditional Austrian band and a standing ovation.
Later that evening the four took part in Servus TV’s ‘Sport und Talk’ alongside David Coulthard, Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger, before attending a celebration event at the same venue, attended by more than 1,000 guests.
This morning Christian, Adrian, Sebastian and Mark took part in a press conference attended by journalists from all over the world. They talked about their success, which included nine wins, four one-two finishes, 15 poles and two World Championship titles.
Chevrolet Volt Named Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year Motor Trend magazine, one of the world's premier automotive authorities, today named the Chevrolet Volt the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
“We expected a science experiment, but this is a moon shot,” Motor Trend editors wrote for the January 2011 issue. “The Volt delivers on the promise of the vehicle concept as originally outlined by GM, combining the smooth, silent, efficient, low-emissions capability of an electric motor with the range and flexibility of an internal combustion engine. It is a fully functional, no-compromise compact automobile that offers consumers real benefits in terms of lower running costs.”
Ricciardo fastest F1 rookie so far in Abu DhabiUPDATE Overall Times for Tuesday Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:39.616 83 2. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1:40.725 85 3. Antonio de Costa Force India 1:41.381 77 4. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:41.432 88 5. Dean Stoneman Williams 1:41.522 70 6. Mikhail Aleshin Renault 1:42.073 58 7. Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:42.489 93 8. Paul di Resta Force India 1:42.736 28 9. Sam Bird MERCEDES GP PETRONAS 1:42.985 67 10. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin 1:43.518 36 11. Pastor Maldonado HRT 1:43.750 108 12. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:43.894 59 13. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1:44.924 83 14. Rio Haryanto Virgin 1:49.439 21
11/16/10 Thirteen drivers were in action in the pre-lunch session and Daniel Ricciardo, driving Red Bull's double winning RB6, posted the best time of 1:40.803 in the first session.
The 21-year-old Australian completed 46 laps around the Yas Marina Circuit and his time was nearly two seconds better than that of the next fastest man on the track Paul di Resta. Ricciardo's time is a really good effort as Sebastian Vettel posted a 1:39.394 to grab pole for Red Bull during Saturday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying.
AM Times 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull RB6 1:40.803 46 laps 2. Paul di Resta Force India VJM-03 1:42.736 28 laps 3. Oliver Turvey McLaren MP4-25 1:42.933 47 laps 4. Sam Bird Mercedes GP W01 1:43.201 38 laps 5. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR5 1:43.392 42 laps 6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber C29 1:43.410 37 laps 7. Mikhail Aleshin Renault R30 1:43.661 37 laps 8. Jules Bianchi Ferrari F10 1:43.894 28 laps 9. Dean Stoneman Williams FW32 1:44.051 30 laps 10. Antonio Félix da Costa Force India VJM-03 1:44.704 20 laps 11. Pastor Maldonado Hispania F110 1:46.278 59 laps 12. Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus T127 1:46.910 48 laps 13. Rio Haryanto Virgin VR-01 1:49.439 21 laps
Flying Lizard team back with ALMS in 2011 Flying Lizard Motorsports announced today preliminary details of its 2011 racing program. The Sonoma, Calif.,-based independent team will return to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, fielding two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs – the No. 45 and No. 44 – in the GT class for the nine-race season.
“2010 was a phenomenal year for the ALMS, and GT was clearly the place to be,” said Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard team principal and driver of the No. 44 Porsche. “We fought a long, tough battle all season, and came away with the drivers’ championship. All credit goes to some very tough racing by Joerg (Bergmeister) and Patrick (Long), and an incredible performance by the crews at every single event this year.”
Q and A with GP3 series boss GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel talks in-depth about the past twelve months in the life of the new category, and what we can expect for 2011.
Bruno, what will you remember of the first GP3 Series season? I think the first season has exceeded all of our expectations. We had a full grid of thirty cars, with some of the best young talents currently working their way up the racing ladder. We knew before the season even begun that we had given the teams a reliable and powerful car that was a great teaching tool for the drivers. Combined to their skills and eagerness, this car has offered us some fine racing and real talents have emerged, starting with our first Champion, Esteban Gutierrez.
GM raises IPO price range General Motors Company today announced it has increased the estimated price range for the offering of 365 million shares of common stock to be sold by certain of its stockholders to $32.00 to $33.00 per share from the previously estimated price range of $26.00 to $29.00 per share.
How did we know Vettel was F1's best? A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, You called Sebastian Vettel F1's greatest driver of this era way back when he drove for lowly Toro Rosso. How did you know? Renee Richardson
Dear Renee, First he buried his teammate Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso (made him look silly really) but the clincher for us is when he won in the wet at Monza that same year in a car (Toro Rosso) that was a back of the grid machine. It was on that day we concluded he could be the next Ayrton Senna, who made a similar splash in F1, also in the wet his rookie year at Monaco. The rain separates the great drivers from the wankers. Our prediction has come true and as he matures beyond his young 23 years of age he will only get better. Mark C.
World champion Sebastian Vettel heads ROC show Sebastian Vettel will celebrate becoming the youngest world champion in the history of Formula 1 in front of his home fans at The Race of Champions in Düsseldorf later this month.
The 23-year-old will drive his triumphant RB6 round the ESPRIT arena on November 27-28, thrilling the crowd with doughnuts and plenty of smoke. This will form part of a busy line-up of shows supporting The Race of Champions.
Vettel will be accompanied by a selection of stars on two wheels and four. The Red Bull FMX riders will show off their motocross antics courtesy of a line-up including 2008 X-Fighters champion Mat Rebeaud, New Zealand’s Nick Franklin and Sweden’s Daniel Bodin. Chris Pfeiffer Streetbike Freestyle Rider will also return to perform his daredevil moves.
Tuesday Dallara breaks ground in IndyUPDATE Today's ceremony on Main Street in Speedway will be far from a routine groundbreaking to start construction of a new factory.
For the people involved, the new Dallara plant may represent a new era in a town trying to revitalize 100 years of history, a needed spark of popularity for the IndyCar racing series, and U.S. growth for the European race car manufacturer.
Executives of the town, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar and Dallara will grab about 30 ceremonial shovels this morning on the site at 1201 Main St to mark the beginning of construction of a $7 million factory and engineering center for the legendary Italian automaker.
And it becomes the first time Dallara has moved production from its home in Parma, Italy.
GM returns in Force in Grand-Am The phrase "General Motors is back" has been getting a lot of use in racing circles over the past week, and as GM road racing boss Mark Kent shared with SPEED.com, it applies to more than open-wheel competition.
While IndyCar fans have Chevrolet's return to look forward to in 2012, followers of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series will only have to wait until January to see GM's homecoming in the Daytona Prototype and Grand Touring categories.
As one of the original auto manufacturers to embrace the Daytona Prototype concept, General Motors earned six manufacturers' championships from 2004-2008. With the venerable small-block V8 engine at the heart of its efforts, GM used the Rolex Series as the cornerstone for promoting its Pontiac brand through road racing, earning four DP titles with its engines and two GT titles using GTO- and GXP-bodied cars built by Pratt & Miller.
Jones closes gap in USAC national title race Levi Jones claimed his second USAC national championship, winning the AMSOIL National Sprint Car title with a second-place finish in the 31st Pacific Coast Nationals at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. captured Saturday night's 30-lap sprint car race, leading the final 23 laps after race leaders Bryan Clauson and Damion Gardner tangled on Lap 7. Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind., led all 30 laps of the USAC Mopar National/Western Midget race.
Infineon, Iowa IndyCar tickets go on sale Tickets for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 26-28 at Infineon Raceway go on sale Nov. 15.
Fans can purchase individual or weekend tickets as well as special ticket packages for all 2011 major events by calling 800-870-RACE, visiting an account representative at Infineon Raceway or by purchasing tickets online at www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Camping is also available for all major events.
Infineon Raceway's 2011 Track Pass offers tickets to all major events, plus season-long VIP parking, a Pre-Race Pit & Track Pass for NASCAR, garage pass for the IZOD IndyCar Series, a hot lap around the road course and more. The cost is $399, which represents more than a 50 percent savings.
Wheldon to compete in SKUSA SuperNationals Dan Wheldon, the 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 champion, finished fourth in the TaG Senior division of the USA SuperNationals karting event last year. He hopes to be in contention for the victory during the 14th edition of the event Nov. 17-21 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
"I couldn't be more excited to be participating in SKUSA SuperNationals again this year," Wheldon said. "I have to say that this race is one of my absolute favorites. It is really a testament to the level of competition. The talent participating is so great that you really do feel like you are at a professional-level racing event.
"And having Las Vegas host America's premier karting event makes SuperNats a destination for the participants and the fans alike. I'm telling you, it's going to be a great time, and I look forward to bringing in a win in the National Guard/Arrow/BTK kart."
Jensen team to run Ostella in Indy Lights Jensen MotorSport is pleased to announce our entry in the Firestone Indy Lights Racing Championship.
The team is also pleased to announce the signing of talented young Canadian driver David Ostella to a long-term contract that will include driving one of our Indy Lights cars in the 2011 championship season.
Canada based Jensen MotorSport has a long storied history in North American open-wheel racing. During the past 15 years, the team has competed in championships including Firestone Indy Lights, the Atlantic Championship and Formula BMW Americas. Complementing our race competition, Jensen MotorSport has enjoyed considerable success with driver development, including training many of North America’s top young racing talents during the past 10 years.
Andretti Autosport Signs Sage Karam Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed Sage Karam to drive in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship series. Comfort Revolution, a mattress manufacturer, has signed on as the primary sponsor for the entry.
The announcement marks Andretti Autosport's debut in the Star Mazda series and gives the team entries in each level of IndyCar's 'Road to Indy' development program, which includes the USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Karam, a 15-year old native of Nazareth, Pa., won the 2010 USF2000 driver championship with Andretti Autosport, scoring nine victories in 12 starts during the season. He also helped Andretti Autosport clinch the USF2000 team title, its first championship since re-branding in 2009.
As the championship winner, Karam received a sponsorship package from Mazda valued at $350,000 to help him advance to the Star Mazda series in 2011 as part of the 'Road to Indy' program.
Danica has a bulls-eye on her back [Editor's Note: We saw it with other open wheel drivers - NASCAR drivers taking them out of races to make them look inferior and their drivers superior. Yet these yellow-back cowards don't dare try IndyCar for fear of looking like monkeys and backmarkers.]
The stock car education of Danica Patrick provided some graduate school lessons in bumping and banging at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday.
"I feel like I have a target on me," Patrick said at one point during a long day on the one-mile oval.
Patrick finished 32nd, seven laps down, after tagging the wall with 43 laps to go while running in 25th. She had to make an unscheduled pit stop to change tires and repair the damage, and that's where she lost most of the extra laps.
Her car lost traction and became loose while running below Michael Annett through turn one. She lost control, nearly spun and hit the wall with the right rear of her car, but was able to continue until making the emergency stop.
Earlier, Patrick got shoved around and did some of her own shoving with two other drivers, Tony Raines and Alex Kennedy.
Patrick gave some payback to Kennedy, hitting his rear bumper as she shot past on one lap just before she hit the wall.
"There's some people out here that haven't played fair today," she said on her radio just before the wall-banging incident. motorsports.fanhouse.com
Sacked Hülkenberg: I heavily regret leaving Williams Nico Hülkenberg has released a brief statement after manager Willi Weber announced on Sunday that his driver would not be remaining at Williams next year.
Much speculation has surrounded the drive of last year’s GP2 Champion, which looked to have been strengthened by his Brazilian Grand Prix pole position.
“I heavily regret that because I would have been happy to stay with Williams,” the 23-year-old German stated on his personal website.
“I want to thank the team for a great time and I wish Williams all the best for the future.”
Williams is yet to confirm its line-up for 2011 although 2010 GP2 title winner Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela remains a firm favorite.
Kumho tests new control tire for F3 Euro Series Korean tire manufacturer Kumho, supplier to the Formula 3 Euro Series since 2003, has revealed a control tire ahead of the 2011 season which will be made available to the teams from the first official test session onwards.
Of late, two days of testing have been staged at the Vallelunga circuit on the outskirts of Rome during which Dutchman Renger van der Zande helped Kumho trial four different tires – two of them being completely new compounds and two being those already used in the championship.
“The tire which has been chosen in the end is incredibly good,” said van der Zande, who managed to rack up some 900 kilometers (560 miles).
Williams re-sign Barrichello, sack Hulkenberg The AT&T Williams team today announced that Rubens Barrichello will continue to drive for the team in 2011. The team’s second driver will be confirmed before the end of the year.
Rubens Barrichello enjoyed a successful first season with Williams, and his 18th in the sport. The Brazilian drove his FW32 into the qualifying top ten a total of 13 times and claimed 10 points scoring finishes over the year, all of which helped the team move forward to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship at yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Formula 3 Euro Series champion Edoardo Mortara is packing his bags ready for a week in Macau, where he aims to take a back-to-back victory. This weekend’s Macau Grand Prix is the most prestigious event on the junior single-seater calendar, where Formula 3 champions from around the world come to compete.
Previous winners include Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Mortara. No one has ever won it twice. It is Edo’s target to achieve this record.
With a second place in 2008 and victory in 2009, the 23-year-old already enjoys the most impressive record of any driver at this demanding 6.2km street circuit, which has hosted Formula 3 racing since 1983. At 2mins 10.732secs, Mortara also holds the lap record.
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