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DATE News (chronologically)
11/17/11
irl

Bryan Herta Autosport Confirms Partnership with Lotus for 2012
Bryan Herta
A partnership between Bryan Herta Autosport and Lotus Motorsport was officially unveiled today during a press conference held at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Bryan Herta was on hand for the announcement which will see the Indianapolis 500 winning team enter the IZOD IndyCar Series as a full-time participant in 2012 utilizing the Lotus V-6 powerplant.

“Obviously, this is an incredibly exciting step for us,” said Herta. “Our goal all along has been to build our foundation to eventually compete as a full-time entrant in the series. To partner with Lotus, which has such a rich history and tradition in racing including at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is just tremendous. All of us are looking forward to working closely with Lotus to support their efforts.”

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11/17/11
nassprint

Mayfield was seen at trucking company where trailers were stolen
Jeremy Mayfield was spotted in the cab of a tractor trailer and some of the furniture stolen from the trucking company where he was seen has ended up in his home, a police search warrant says.

Police raided the former NASCAR driver's home on Nov. 1 after they got a tip that stolen items were there. They found some meth and Mayfield was later indicted on a felony drug charge.

Related: Click here to read the search warrant (pdf file)

The police also found $100,000 worth of stolen items – and now a trucking company says that furniture they had was found in the stolen loot, according to a search warrant.

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11/17/11
nassprint

More stolen goods found on Mayfield's property
Investigators returned to Jeremy Mayfield’s home with another search warrant Wednesday morning, this time seizing furniture from his home on Hudson Chapel Road in Catawba.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office first served a search warrant on Mayfield’s home on Nov. 1, with officers from Lincoln and Iredell counties. While at his home, they took photos of items at Mayfield’s house, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

Wednesday’s search warrant was issued by the Hudson Police Department.

“When we served our search warrant, the victims IDed it as theirs,” he said of the furniture. “Hudson police had probable cause from a case in February.”

Reid called the items “high dollar furniture,” that were primarily chairs and couches.

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11/17/11
MacauGP

Roberto Merhi handed another penalty in Macau
Roberto Merhi has been handed a further seven-place grid penalty for crashing into Felix Rosenqvist in first qualifying for the Macau F3 Grand Prix. After a day of drama for Merhi, who was more than 1.6 seconds quicker than his nearest rival in first qualifying but then crashed his car and was given a penalty for crossing the pit lane exit lane, the Spaniard is now facing a 10-place drop on Saturday.

He was given a three-place penalty for the pitlane line infringement, and the further seven-place punishment is because he was deemed to have 'caused a collision' when he crashed.

Merhi slid into the back of Rosenqvist in the wet conditions in first qualifying - with the pair being forced out on the stop.

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11/17/11
irl

First of 2012 chassis delivered to Dallara in Indiana
Dallara Automobili is shipping two 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis per day from its Italy headquarters to its Speedway, Ind., temporary facility through next week to fulfill the initial batch ordered by teams.

Dallara associates will complement with items delivered to the U.S. technical base -- wiring looms, radiators, etc. -- for team pickup starting Dec. 15. Engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda are continuing on-track evaluation with their own Dallara chassis through mid-December. The next session is scheduled for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., at the end of the month.

Dallara officials expect to move into their new design and production facility on Main Street in Speedway, Ind., in early January.

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11/17/11
irl

Lotus announces factory partner IndyCar teams
Robbie Buhl, Dennis Reinbold, Keith Wiggins and Bryan Herta
Lotus Motorsport announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport and HVM Racing will utilize its twin turbocharged V-6 engine for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

Additionally, engine supply partnership agreements will enable Lotus Motorsport to build long-term technical and commercial, marketing and promotional collaborations with the three teams.

Last November at the automotive show, Lotus announced it would join Chevrolet and Honda as engine manufacturers for 2012. Group Lotus, based in Norfolk, England, has competed in a variety of motorsports series, including Indy car racing, since Colin Chapman founded the company in 1948. Jim Clark drove a Lotus chassis to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500. A partner with KV Racing Technology the past two seasons, this will be the first time Lotus has produced an engine for Indy car competition.

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11/17/11
irl

Briscoe advocates closed cockpits for IndyCar's future
As advocated by AR1.com immediately after Dan Wheldon was killed, and after Cristiano da Matta was hit in the head by a deer, and after the F2 driver was killed by a flying wheel, and after Felipe Massa was nearly blinded by a flying suspension part, Ryan Briscoe believes IndyCar should be open to the idea of a closed cockpit future as it works to improve safety following the death of Dan Wheldon.

Double Indianapolis 500 winner Wheldon lost his life when his car flew into the catch fencing in a horrific multi-car crash in the season finale at Las Vegas a month ago.

Briscoe escaped an aerial crash of his own at Chicagoland in 2005, and hopes the Wheldon tragedy spurs significant changes.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it does take a tragedy as a bit of a wake-up call," he said in an interview with Racer.

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11/17/11
f1

Rossi happy and not happy with first day behind wheel
Jody Egginton: "It has been another good day. Alexander familiarized himself with the car very quickly and adapted to the new tires comfortably which meant we could make progress all day. Our initial runs were to get him used to the car and settled with the tires and the team.

“Part two of the run plan was the second part of the damper program that we ran yesterday, which provided us with some very interesting data and Alexander gave excellent feedback on the changes we made. We also gained some good data regarding the rear suspension work in general. We then progressed to working on some of prototype Pirelli tires which reconfirmed what we learned earlier in the week which was good. We then did some performance runs on two compounds – on the supersoft tires he put in consistent laps although we felt we didn’t extract the optimum time due to the red flag that was shown. He  has done a brilliant job on his day’s running and he now has a basis on which to build upon.

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11/17/11
wec

Audi R8 LMS ultra to be launched in 2012
In 2012, the Audi R8 LMS ultra will succeed the successful R8 LMS GT3 sports car with which R8 LMS customers have won 115 races and 12 national and international titles in the space of just three years.

Improving a totally successful vehicle yet again: This was the challenging task specified for the engineers of Quattro GmbH. Audi’s wholly owned subsidiary that has been responsible for the customer sport program as of this season pursued a clear aim for this project. "Our customer teams provided us with valuable suggestions and stated their wishes for the various fields in which the car is used," says Werner Frowein, Managing Director of Quattro GmbH. "We have close ties to our customers and analyzed their suggestions and wishes worldwide, and subjected the R8 LMS to further development in many details. In the R8 LMS ultra we consistently implemented all the performance measures which ensure that we’ll be able to continue to offer an intercontinental competitive and attractive race car in the future."

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11/17/11
irl
nassprint

Penske Racing Partners with Shoes for Crews
Penske Racing is proud to announce that it has partnered with Shoes For Crews, an industry leader in slip-resistant footwear.  Under the terms of the new agreement, Shoes for Crews will become the official safety shoe provider for Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“Shoes for Crews is excited to begin this new partnership with Penske Racing,” said Jim Dugan, Shoes For Crews Executive Vice President. “We look forward to not only working directly with Penske Automotive Group and the Penske Racing teams but also the opportunity to develop relationships with many of the organization’s partners as well.”

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11/17/11
irl

HVM Racing Announces Partnership with Lotus for 2012
HVM Racing is proud to officially announce its partnership with Lotus, world-renowned sportscar manufacturer, for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

The iconic, British-based company was the obvious choice for Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing team owner. He has known the companies involved for many years through his racing background in Europe, winning in all categories, including Formula 3000 and competing in Formula One. Wiggins attested that the HVM team aimed to execute this partnership from the start.

"Despite the choices, once it was apparent that Lotus would produce an engine, it was a clear decision for us to run with them," said Wiggins. "I have great respect, confidence and enthusiasm in the product they will produce. I have good historical knowledge of the companies involved and their abilities. Being the first team to commit reflects this and being an integral part of the Lotus development process is important to the re-establishment of HVM as a leading team, this time in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

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11/17/11
f1

Vergne tops Thursday afternoon in Abu Dhabi
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1m38.917s
2. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1m40.897s
3. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m41.347s
4. Olivier Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.513s
5. Max Chilton Force India-Mercedes 1m41.575s
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.049s
7. Mirko Bortolotti Williams-Cosworth 1m43.277s
8. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m43.686s
9. Alexander Rossi Lotus-Renault 1m44.283s
10. Jan Charouz Renault 1m44.470s
11. Stefano Coletti Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.545s
12. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1m45.839s
13. Robert Wickens Virgin-Cosworth 1m45.934s
14. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1m46.348s


Comment
11/17/11
f1

Vergne tops Thursday morning in Abu Dhabi
While all other drivers were running develop test laps testing new pieces for next year, Red Bull driver Jean-Eric Vergne was in qualifying trim and headed the final morning of the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, setting a best mark just 0.436s off Sebastian Vettel's pole position time for last weekend's Abu Dhabi GP in the same car.

The Frenchman, who also topped the first two days of the test, improved on his best time by over a second to top the times by 2.430s from Ferrari's Jules Bianchi.

Oliver Turvey returned for McLaren after sitting out yesterday's running in favor of Gary Paffett. He ended the morning ahead of Force India returnee Max Chilton, who was fourth fastest overall.

While all other drivers were in the car already earlier this week, American Alexander Rossi, driving an F1 car for the first time since a tryout for BMW Sauber in December 2009, made his first appearance for Team Lotus. After spending the early running familiarizing himself with the car, he ended up a very impressive fifth fastest ahead of Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez. Given this is really his first time in an F1 in anger it proves that young Rossi is F1 material and will be the next American in F1.

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11/17/11
Macaugp

Merhi takes Provisional Pole Position for Macau F3 GP
Robert Merhi fast, but crashed
Roberto Merhi secured provisional pole position during a wet qualifying session for the “SJM” Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on Thursday, but his session ended in disappointment after he crashed into another car and put himself out.

With rain falling for the start of the 30-minute first qualifying session, drivers were keen to deliver their fast lap while the track was in its best condition.

And it was Merhi who led the way early on, moving to the top of the session after 10 minutes and then improving on his best to deliver a lap that was 1.675 seconds quicker than nearest rival Marco Wittmann.

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11/17/11
Macaugp

Wittmann Heads wet Macau Grand Prix Free Practice
Marco Whitmann
Marco Wittmann topped the times during an incident-filled opening practice session for the “SJM” Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, which took place on a wet Guia circuit on Thursday morning.

Early morning rain had left the track soaked before the first session, and the downpour intensified as the cars took the track for their first laps of the weekend.

Despite the difficult conditions, drivers were able to complete a lot of running and the only moment early on was when Hironobu Yasuda ran wide at the Melco hairpin twice in his Three Bond Racing car.

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11/17/11
automotive

U.S. boosts estimate of auto bailout losses to $23.B
The Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.'s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.

The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.

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11/17/11
nassprint

Gordon named the 2011 NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year
Jeff Gordon
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon has been named the 2011 NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year.

Gordon is the first three-time recipient of the award, but this marks the first time he is the sole recipient. Gordon and Darrell Waltrip were named co-persons of the year in 1997. Gordon also shared the title when Hendrick Motorsports was named Persons of the Year in 2004.

Other past recipients include Joe Gibbs, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and Tony Stewart for their influence on the NASCAR community, as well as admirable charitable efforts.

"We are thrilled to name Jeff Gordon the 2011 NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year," said Jay Pfeifer, Editor of NASCAR Illustrated.

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11/17/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Ecclestone: Austin is history
    Austin off 2012 calendar 'for sure' - Ecclestone
  • 'Pay drivers' say Abu Dhabi test money well spent
  • Petrov slams Renault and admits exit 'possible'
  • Luiz Razia to drive Lotus on Friday in Brazil
  • Top F1 bosses think Alguersuari deserves seat
  • Boss - Hamilton 'underestimated' Button
  • Glock admits need to 'Google' 2012 teammate Pic
  • Ferrari focuses on engine components

    Read more & Comment...
11/16/11
f1

F1 Young Drivers Test - Just  bring money
Robert Wickens - one of the few drivers not paying to test
Since its inception in November 2010, the Young Drivers Test at Yas Marina has been billed as providing a glimpse at the "future of Formula One".

Yet this year some teams have been accused of using the three-day program as a means of making money rather than a means of discovering a future world champion.

The program comes to a close today, with 25 fledgling drivers expected to have taken to the track at some stage since Tuesday morning.

Some of them, such as Robert Wickens, the Canadian driver, undoubtedly deserve to be here: the 22 year old was afforded the chance to test on Tuesday with Renault after winning the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship.

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11/16/11
nassprint

Lally out of #71 ride; Bliss in
Andy Lally has parted company with the TRG Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, with just one race remaining in the 2012 season. Lally was unavailable for comment today, but team owner Kevin Buckler confirmed the move, saying that veteran Mike Bliss will be in the #71 Ford this weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway.

"Mikes a great qualifier, and we need to have a good run this weekend," said Buckler. "I'm not sure right now whether we will be able to run the entire race, but we're about 3/4 of the way there (on sponsorship)." Buckler declined to speak specifically on reasons for the driver change, saying, "Let's jut say we're having some internal issues with who's driving the car this weekend, and leave it at that. We're working around some issues with Andy, but that's really all I want to say about it."

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11/16/11
automotive

2012 Volt Moves Into California’s HOV Fast Lane
In California single occupant Volt drivers can use the HOV lanes
A Low Emissions Package that qualifies the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car to access California’s High Occupancy Vehicle traffic lanes will be standard on all models sold in the Golden State early next year.

"HOV lane access is a coveted perk in California,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “The low-emissions Volt will be a strong draw for drivers who commute daily in the most-congested driving environments in the United States.”

Owners of a 2012 Volt with the Low Emissions Package will be eligible to apply for one of 40,000 available HOV lane stickers issued to vehicles that qualify as a California Enhanced, Advanced Technology – Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle.

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11/16/11
irl
ga

Power, Castroneves to help Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix ticket launch
Team Penske drivers Will Power and Helio Castroneves will help the launch of ticket sales for the return of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Nov. 22.

The drivers  will visit Detroit to celebrate tickets going on sale and will be on site at the Grand Prix office in downtown Detroit to field calls from ticket buyers and help sell tickets to the event during the morning.

"In both 2007 and 2008 the Grand Prix welcomed over 100,000 fans to Detroit over the course of the three-day weekend," said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "This is a great event for the Motor City and all of southeast Michigan and we will provide even more family entertainment and great racing for our fans as we bring the Grand Prix back to Belle Isle. Our region has been through some difficult times the past few years and we are excited to keep ticket prices the same as they were four years ago and we encourage everyone to secure their seats early and take advantage of the opportunity to buy your tickets from Helio or Will on November 22nd."

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11/16/11
irl

Panther Racing re-signs JR Hildebrand for next two seasons IndyStar
JR Hildebrand
Panther Racing has exercised its two-year option on JR Hildebrand's contract, ensuring he will drive the No. 4 National Guard entry for the 2012 and 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series seasons.

Hildebrand, 23, the reigning Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, recorded two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

His first full season was eventful, highlighted by a runner-up finish in the Indianapolis 500. A week later, he tore the ACL in his left knee during a media event at Texas Motor Speedway, but bounced back two weeks later and recorded his best career qualification effort (fourth) at Iowa Speedway. In September, he broke a bone in his hand during an incident in the Baltimore race, but again responded the following race with a seventh-place result at Twin Ring Motegi. He also suffered a bruised sternum and a concussion in a crash at the final race of the season.

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11/16/11
nassprint

Nemechek runs 203mph at Daytona test....alone
Joe Nemechek, a driver/car owner, reached 203 mph without a drafting partner during Tuesday's test session at Daytona International Speedway. The day was supposed to belong to NASCAR as it tested various setups in an effort to break up the two-car tandem draft. But instead, Nemechek was the talk of the garage and what it might mean for qualifying if Tuesday's changes are implemented for the Feb. 26 Daytona 500. "We were changing the restrictor plates and all kinds of stuff," Nemechek said. "I mean, (the speed is) just the product of putting more horsepower to the back tires. I think we're going to be quite a bit faster when we come back here for qualifying day. It's going to be interesting. All the teams are going to have to do some more homework." Nemechek was testing with Triad Engine Development, a North Carolina-based company. "We were using a 1 1/16-inch plate and a 3-inch radius spoiler," Triad Racing Development head engine builder Jon Dysinger said. "This was better than we expected."  Daytona Beach News Journal

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11/16/11
nhra

Kenny Bernstein retires from racing
Six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein has turned the final page and closed the book on his career as a competitor and NHRA racing team owner. 

“My wife Sheryl and I have come to a place in our lives where we want to pursue other interests,” said Bernstein. “We have poured our hearts and souls in motorsports for over 30 years and that’s a full time job. It consumes you and there is very little time to relax.

“We are very proud of our accomplishments through the years and it’s been a great ride, but we’re interested in being able to travel at will, we want to spend some time on the golf course, and we’ve recently taken up fly fishing, which we really enjoy.

“It’s time to enjoy life while we still have our health.”

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11/16/11
f1

Video: New Jersey F1 promoter on Wind Tunnel
Leo Hindery, Jr., promoter of the 2013 Formula One Grand Prix of America in New Jersey, joined Dave Despain last Sunday on Wind Tunnel on SPEED.

Hindery discussed brokering the deal, how the event will be paid for, its expected economic impact on New York and New Jersey, the course’s layout and other issues.  Here is a video clip of the interview on SPEED.com.

Comment
11/16/11
f1

Abu Dhabi Young F1 Driver Test - Day 2 UPDATE
Day 2 final times

Pos Driver Team Time Behind
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1m40.188s +0.000s
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m40.279s +0.091s
3. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.756s +1.568s
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1m42.367s +2.179s
5. Johnny Cecotto Jr Force India-Mercedes 1m42.873s +2.685s
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m43.637s +3.449s
7. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1m43.734s +3.546s
8. Kevin Korjus Renault 1m43.776s +3.588s
9. Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1m43.944s +3.756s
10. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.808s +4.620s
11. Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 1m46.644s +6.456s
12. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1m46.698s +6.510s
13. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1m48.646s +8.458s


11/16/11 Morning times:

Pos

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1m40.188s 17
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1m40.838s 45
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1m42.548s 38
4. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m42.645s 23
5. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m43.637s 47
6. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1m43.734s 43
7. Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1m44.323s 44
8. Kevin Korjus Renault 1m44.425s 38
9. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.947s 41
10. Johnny Cecotto Jr Force India-Mercedes 1m45.475s 39
11. Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 1m46.728s 37
12. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1m48.397s 21

Comment
11/16/11
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN
NASCAR Championships to be Determined in Miami
The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series seasons will end and championships will be determined this weekend at South Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway and both races, as well as selected practice sessions, will appear on ESPN networks. Sunday’s Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN will conclude the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup while Saturday’s Ford 300 on ESPN2 will wrap up the Nationwide Series season. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.

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11/16/11
f1

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

11/16/11
  • Now how would I know where Mullens went?
    F1 trial twist as Ecclestone deputy fails to show
  • Construction halts as 2012 US GP crisis deepens
  • Abu Dhabi test not just about young drivers - Sauber
  • Ferrari keeps focus on solving 2012 wing 'fluttering'
  • Pirelli says not to blame for Vettel tire failure New
  • India and Red Bull collect wins for F1 at awards New
  • Ferrari's quit threats not serious - Whitmarsh New 

    Read more & Comment...
11/16/11
macaugp

Eastern promise for British Formula 3 men
British Formula 3 Champion Felipe Nasr leads a host of junior track talent into battle this weekend in the Macau Grand Prix, the grueling and unpredictable F3 race held around the streets of the former Portuguese colony.

Many of the top teams from the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will be in action in Macau, where battle commences tomorrow (Thursday) ahead of Saturday’s qualification race and Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Read more & Comment...
11/16/11
irl

Why has AR1.com been silent?
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Although you have pointed out that the new IndyCar exposes the drivers head to impacts more than the existing car, and that IndyCar should investigate canopies over the cockpit for safety, AutoRacing1.com has not been highly critical of IndyCar' 'pack' racing since Wheldon's death, even though your publication for years called IndyCar drivers 'sacrificial lambs' because of the danger IndyCar was willing to put on its drivers in an attempt to out-do NASCAR and artificially create photo finishes on the ovals.  What's up?  Are you getting soft?  Dave Hacker

Dear Dave, Indeed for years we have called IndyCar drivers 'sacrificial lambs' due to the high number of injuries we have seen since 1996 when the series focused on oval racing and 'pack' racing.  Watching that accident in Las Vegas was horrifying and underscored just how helpless those 'sacrificial lambs' were.  But we don't blame Randy Bernard, because IndyCar has been 'sacrificing' the driver's safety way before he arrived on the scene.  We do have full confidence that Bernard will see to it that its drivers are never 'sacrificial lambs' again. So our comments have been more focused on what areas IndyCar needs to look at going forward - canopies, showing videos of how good CART's Handford Device oval racing was (no pack racing, but lot's of passing), getting off the high-banked ovals, standing starts on road courses, higher more protective sidepods, etc.  Mark C.

Comment
11/16/11
irl

Bourdais: speaks about IndyCar's 'pack' racing
Sebastien Bourdais
“It’s not a secret that I would like to do the full season next year, but it has to be the right circumstances,” Sebastien Bourdais told SPEED.com from his home in France the night before the Las Vegas IndyCar finale.

As he shared, his desire to win more Indy car championships was tempered by concerns over how close cars ran on the 1.5-mile ovals.

“You have the new car coming and maybe the style of racing on the ovals will be different. I’ve talked with Dale [Coyne] about next year, and there could be some other opportunities, but there are still many variables. But if it makes sense, I would like to race in America again. We will have to wait and see.”

After the Vegas debacle he still wants to return fulltime to IndyCars, but not to their 'pack' racing formula.

“I would say my desire to race in IndyCars has not changed since Las Vegas,” he said. “It’s actually looking better now than before. Before, I had big reservations about the one-and-a-half [mile ovals] and now I think we will never see that type of racing again. That takes a big chunk of the risk out of the equation and makes everything a lot better. After what happened, I don’t think we can go back to the way it used to be.”

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11/15/11
automotive

Cosworth named UK Manufacturer of the Year 2011
Cosworth has received two top honors at The Manufacturer of the Year Awards for 2011.

Judges selected Cosworth as both SME Manufacturer of the Year, and overall UK Manufacturer of the Year based on their innovation in manufacturing and engineering, financial success and growth in supplying the aerospace and automotive markets.

Cosworth’s commitment to its employees, strong partnerships with customers and suppliers and a proactive interest in the growth of UK manufacturing were highlighted as key factors in the award.

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11/15/11
ga

Chevrolet Unveils 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype
Chevrolet unveiled its 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype at Daytona International Speedway today. The Corvette Daytona Prototype will make its competitive debut in the 50th anniversary of the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series Rolex 24 at Daytona next January 26 - 29, 2012.

"Racing and performance are the founding principles of Chevrolet, and bringing the Corvette Daytona Prototype to GRAND-AM is a tremendous opportunity," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "The opportunity for innovation is what makes the Daytona Prototype Class such a good fit for Chevrolet. Sports car and endurance racing is an outstanding platform for manufacturers like us to test and learn. The design of this race car incorporates iconic Corvette styling cues and will be immediately recognized by sports car enthusiasts and fans of GRAND-AM Road Racing. We are excited to see the Corvette DP compete in the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona next January."

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11/15/11
nnw

Danica Patrick's Team Penalized For Rule Infractions  at PIR
Danica Patrick spins in Phoenix
Getty Images for NASCAR
NASCAR announced today penalties and fines to the No. 7 team that competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.

The No. 7 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series rule book.

The infraction occurred during the race on Nov. 12.

As a result of the violations, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until March 28, 2012.

Comment
11/15/11
nascar

Attendance declines for NASCAR HOF
Attendance figures for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte:
2010
May – 35,090
June – 28,435
July – 33,452
August – 23,539
September – 16,445
October – 27,555
November – 18,585
December – 14,636
Total – 197,737

2011
January – 23,177*
February – 12,391
March – 15,881
April – 20,618 **
May – 25,034
June – 17,604
July – 21,910
August - 16,703
September - 13,054

Comment
11/15/11
track news

Austin circuit suspends construction, state pulls funding support UPDATE The State of Texas has withdrawn its commitment to help pay for Austin’s Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix. Further, even if the State wanted to help, there is not current application for funding on file. The application submitted by Circuit of the Americas back in July for $25 million of the state's Major Events Trust Fund (METF) was withdrawn in September.

In a statement issued at noon Tuesday, State Comptroller Susan Combs cites the high profile and very public disagreement that has emerged between Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions and the investor group funding the Circuit of the Americas track.

According to the State Comptroller’s statement: “The recent announcement of an annual Formula 1 race in New Jersey is a concern, as additional races have the potential to reduce the number of attendees to a Texas race, thereby decreasing the economic impact. Additionally, the reports of a slowdown in construction at the Circuit of the Americas, and recently publicized disagreements between the race rights-holder and the circuit developers have prompted speculation about whether the Austin race will even occur.”

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11/15/11
nhra

Ford wins first NHRA title since 1982
It’s official: Ford Motor Company has won the 2011 NHRA Manufacturers Cup award – its first since 1982 and the second earned by Ford’s iconic Mustang model in a major racing series this year.

Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, accepted the award during the NHRA Full Throttle Series banquet in Hollywood, Calif. on Monday, once the final points were tallied.

This is Ford’s fourth NHRA Manufacturers Cup award. Besides 1982, the Blue Oval also brought home the title in 1964 and 1965.

“This is a special honor to accept in a special year at Ford,” Allison said. “The Manufacturers Cup is another honor in what has been a truly remarkable year at Ford Racing.”

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11/15/11
nassprint

NASCAR Phoenix TV Ratings
ESPN's live telecast of the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 13, earned a 3.3 household coverage rating, averaging 4,766,000 viewers [in 2010 there were 4,201,000 viewers], according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up 13% from last year's race, which also aired on ESPN and earned a 2.9 rating. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix on Saturday, Nov. 12, earned a 1.3 household coverage rating, averaging 1,757,000 viewers. The rating was up from a 1.2 for last year's race, which also aired on ESPN2.  ESPN

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11/15/11
irl

Dixon supports Vegas street race
Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon has lent his support to the suggestion of IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard that IZOD IndyCar Series next year's season finale in Las Vegas could become a street race.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway was confirmed earlier this year as the concluding round of the 2012 IndyCar schedule, which still has yet to be finalized. However, the track's future position on the calendar was thrown into doubt by Dan Wheldon's fatal accident at the track last month. Bernard subsequently asked IndyCar drivers via Twitter whether they would be in favor of a Vegas street race, such as that run by the Champ Car World Series in its last season of operations, and met with widespread support. Two-time champion Scott Dixon firmly endorsed the idea.

"I'd definitely support it," the New Zealander, a two-time IndyCar champion, told AUTOSPORT. "I think it's a good solution. It's been done before, and I think it would be a better fit than what we've done this year." Racer.com

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11/15/11
fil

Clauson again wins Indy Lights scholarship
Bryan Clauson will get another season as an Indy Lights racer.

The USAC short-track standout clinched his second USAC National Drivers Championship – and the scholarship to compete in Firestone Indy Lights – with a sixth-place finish in the USAC Sprint Car race at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

“It was a busy year with a lot of ups and downs, and to lock down and get the job done late in the year to put this thing away was just awesome,” the 22-year-old native of Noblesville, Ind., said. “ I couldn't have done it without my great car owners, Tony Stewart, Mike Curb, and Corey Tucker or all the great crew guys that I get to work with.”

Clauson will try to become the first driver since Billy Boat to win three-straight Turkey Night Grand Prixs at Irwindale, Calif., later this month, as well as lock up his second consecutive USAC Midget title. He will officially receive his $40,000 prize and his INDYCAR scholarship for winning the National Drivers Championship at USAC’s “Night of Champions” Banquet on Dec. 9 in Indianapolis.

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11/15/11
irl

Lotus looking to sign 'works' IndyCar team
Bryan Herta Autosport, which won this year's Indianapolis 500 with the late Dan Wheldon, and HVM are reportedly among the teams in contention to land a factory deal with Lotus when the manufacturer joins the IZOD IndyCar Series next season.

AUTOSPORT reports that five teams are in negotiations to use the British sports car maker's new Judd-built turbo engine, but that Bryan Herta's and Keith Wiggins' teams are best poised to take over the official role previously held by KV Racing Technology. KV is switching to Chevrolet next season.

"We are talking to teams at a good level, and I can confirm that we have had close discussions with Herta, HVM and Dreyer & Reinbold," said Claudio Berro, director of Lotus Motorsport. "There are two types of deal on offer. One is a lease contract and one is a support deal, a commercial agreement, which would mean a team racing its car in green and yellow. I think we can have that." Racer.com

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11/15/11
irl

Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing Announce Multi-Year Sponsorship Agreement
Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that the two organizations have entered into a multi-year extension of their partnership. Novo Nordisk will remain the primary sponsor of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing entry, driven by Charlie Kimball in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Kimball, 26, from Camarillo, Calif., is the first licensed driver with type 1 diabetes in the history of INDYCAR to race at the highest level of the series. Diagnosed in 2007, he monitors his blood sugar before, during and after each race. Charlie also uses the Novo Nordisk insulin Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) and NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) to help manage his diabetes, administering it with a pre-filled insulin pen device called FlexPen.

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11/15/11
f1

Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test - Day 1
Jean-Eric Vergne ended his first day of on-track running for Red Bull Racing on top of the timesheets in the Abu Dhabi young driver test for up and coming F1 drivers.  Air and track temperatures were hotter than during the grand prix, hitting 32˚C and 45˚C respectively, as testing takes place during the day, rather than in the afternoon and evening.

The 21-year-old Frenchman, who finished second in Formula Renault 3.5 this year improved on his fastest time of the morning to set a best lap of 1m40.011s during the final hour of running.

This was almost a second over Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi.

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11/15/11
tv news

Wind Tunnel finale Sunday
This is the season finale of the Wind Tunnel and will mark the conclusion of the show’s 9th year on the air. In addition to focusing on the NASCAR finale, they will discuss the 3 biggest racing stories of the year as shared by various racing analysts, personalities, and fans.

Featured Interview        2011 NASCAR Sprint CUP Champion
Expert Analyst              Larry McReynolds (FOX Sports & SPEED NASCAR Analyst)
Expert Analyst              Ray Evernham (SPEED NASCAR Analyst)
Expert Analyst              Adam Alexander (Host, SPEED Center)
Expert Analyst              Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter)

This Week’s Races:

·        Sprint CUP finale in Homestead
·        Nationwide Series finale in Homestead
·        Camping World Truck Series finale in Homestead
·        44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000

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11/15/11
motogp

Ducati's Nicky Hayden undergoes wrist surgery
Nicky Hayden
Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden underwent surgery on Monday 14th November to speed up the healing process on his right wrist, which was injured in a crash at the November 7th Valencia Grand Prix.

During the operation, which was carried out at the Fremont Sports Therapy and Surgery Centre in Fremont, California, USA, Dr. Arthur Ting placed a small screw in Hayden’s fractured scaphoid. The radial styloid, which is also fractured, was not treated.

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11/15/11
irl
nnw

Something told Hornish not to enter IndyCar $5M challenge
Hornish wins at the line in 2002 Chicago IndyCar race.  He doesn't miss the dangers of 100% throttle 'pack' racing
The events of Oct. 16 made Sam Hornish Jr. even more thankful for the extra family time, and strengthened his conviction that jumping to NASCAR when he did was the right call.

Dan Wheldon died that day in a horrific 15-car crash in the IndyCar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Teammates at Panther Racing early in their IndyCar careers, Hornish and Wheldon battled for victories and championships as opponents in later years.

"Especially around Indy cars, I always tried to distance myself from a lot of the other drivers because I didn't ever want to have to feel sorry for them - whether I was beating them or there was a wreck. I never wanted to take that into the car with me, that that was my friend or whatever," Hornish said. "But I will say Dan was one of the very few guys in racing that I would consider my friend. He was always pretty good to me."

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11/15/11
dtm
f1

Christian Vietoris chooses DTM instead of F1 test
Christian Vietoris was actually due to link up with the Lotus Renault GP team for this week's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, but he has now pulled out. Instead, he will be spending Tuesday to Thursday taking the new DTM AMG Mercedes C Coupé out for the first time at the Monte Blanco circuit in Spain.

On the final race weekend of the DTM season at Hockenheim, Vietoris accepted the invitation by Renault team boss Eric Boullier to take an F1 test. "He offered me the chance, so of course I said yes," Vietoris revealed to Motorsport-Magazin.com at the time. "There were no promises about next year; it was simply a reward for the solid season that I've had."

However, Vietoris is more than happy to miss out on the F1 trial to be involved in the DTM testing with Mercedes and to secure a long-term future with the manufacturer. "For me, the DTM has priority," Vietoris told Motorsport-Magazin.com. The indications are that Vietoris will now be lining up for Mercedes once again in next year's DTM.

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11/15/11
f1

Coulthard slams Button/KERS conspiracy theory
After beating him most of the year, some pundits claimed McLaren slowed Button's car purposely to give teammate Hamilton a chance to win
(GMM)  David Coulthard has slammed suggestions his former team McLaren might have artificially slowed down Jenson Button in Abu Dhabi to help Lewis Hamilton recover his lost form.

Hamilton has lost the points battle with his teammate Button this season, but he at least returned to the top step of the podium on Sunday by finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso.

It notably buoyed the 2008 world champion's spirits, after his running feud with Felipe Massa and his split with girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger saw him worryingly downbeat at recent races.

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11/15/11
nastruck
nnw

Piquet to race Nationwide and Truck Series doubleheader
Nelson Piquet Jr will compete in both the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series as the 2011 NASCAR season comes to a close at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida this weekend. Nelson has excelled at the intermediate-style tracks on the circuit this season, earning five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 12 starts on 1.5-mile tracks.

Nelson will close off his first full season of the truck series in the Kevin Harvick Inc #8 Piquet Realty Chevrolet Silverado. After 24 of 25 races Nelson sits 10th in the championship and is ready for an all out battle on the oval with Joey Coulter for the rookie of the year honors, The 134 lap Ford 200 truck race will take place at 8pm Eastern Time this Friday 18 November.

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11/15/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Massa under pressure
    Button happy to win McLaren battle in 2011
  • Sauber says Raikkonen needs 'top car' for F1 return
  • 2007 enemies in 'unholy alliance' against Vettel
  • Vettel's pitwall contribution 'enlightening' - Marko
  • Ferrari says Red Bull also fluttered in Abu Dhabi
  • Villadelprat says Ferrari wrong to stick with Massa
  • Renault set to begin 2012 season without Kubica
  • Irvine races into court over Milan brawl
  • Ecclestone comments endanger 2012 US GP funding
  • Williams tests top-exit exhaust system

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