Three-fourths of ticket buyers to new Speedway road race from Indiana Ticket sales for the inaugural IndyCar road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May are off to a fast start, IMS officials say. The officials expect attendance to hit at least 50,000—the high end of Speedway projections when the event was announced in September.
“We had a very good first week and we’ve had steady interest since,” said IMS President Doug Boles.
As expected, the May 10 race will be attended mostly by locals, with 76 percent of the ticket buyers coming from Indiana, according to Boles.
ESPN Sees Ratings Growth for NASCAR Sprint Cup Telecasts in 2013 ESPN’s telecasts of the final 17 races of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season saw upticks in both ratings and viewership over the 2012 season, with growth for both the full schedule and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
According to Nielsen Media, the 17 races aired across ESPN and ABC averaged a 3.0 U.S. household rating, up from a 2.9 for last year, and averaged 4.8 million viewers, up from 4.6 million last year. Fourteen of the races aired on ESPN and three Saturday night events aired on ABC.
Formula E car completes successful test debut (Added Video)UPDATE
Formula E’s new fully-electric race car, the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, completed is successful test debut recently at the La Ferte Gaucher circuit near Choisy-le-Roi, France.
Unveiled earlier this year (September) at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new single-seater was driven by Lucas di Grassi who will be undertaking the early test and development work. The zero emission car completed around 40 laps over two days with the initial task of checking all systems were functioning correctly. For the test, the car was fitted with a 50kw battery which is a quarter of the maximum 200kw power (270bhp equivalent) the final car will produce.
Kanaan wins fourth Golden Helmet Award in Brazil 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan won his fourth Capacete de Ouro, one of the highest honors given to Brazilian racing drivers by the magazine Racing.
Kanaan, who last won the honor in 2007, earned the award in the TOP category, which is given to the top driver racing in INDYCAR or Formula 1. Helio Castroneves was awarded the silver helmet while Felipe Massa received the bronze helmet.
Created in 1997 for Racing, the primary auto racing magazine in Brazil, the Capacete de Ouro (Golden Helmet) is selected by a vote of Brazilian journalists. The award ceremony took place Nov. 20 in Sao Paulo.
Forza Motorsport 5 launches Nov. 22 with IndyCar Series included The cars driven by reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Graham Rahal are part of the new Forza Motorsport 5 game developed by Turn 10 Studios.
The Microsoft-published game is one of the launch products for the Xbox One console and is available Nov. 22.
"Including open-wheel cars in Forza Motorsport 5 brings Forza fans a whole new world of racing action," said Alan Hartman, studio manager for Turn 10 Studios.
"Players will be able to drive these incredible cars on a collection of world-famous race circuits. In addition, the brand new graphics engine in Forza Motorsport 5, powered by the Xbox One, will let Forza players get closer than ever to these amazing cars and to really build an appreciation for these masterpieces of race engineering."
Brazilian driver Derani joins Mazda Road to Indy Brazilian racer Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani will join Team Pelfrey for the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
Derani, 20, began his racing career in karts, winning the prestigious Paulista Junior championship in 2005. He made the switch to cars in 2009, and since then has been based in Europe, competing in Formula Renault, British Formula 3 and the European Formula 3 series.
He said he chose Pro Mazda to help him reach his goals of competing in the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 in 2016.
Phoenix Racing Names Addington Crew Chief Phoenix Racing announced that Steve Addington will serve as competition director for the team and crew chief of the #51 Chevy for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The move brings experienced leadership to the team that will compete fulltime in 2014 under owner Harry Scott, Jr. "In my opinion Steve is the perfect guy for the job," said Scott. "He is part of the Chevrolet family, the Hendrick family and I feel fortunate that he is now part of our family. I also want to thank Jimmy Elledge for stepping in at a critical time this season and serving as the interim crew chief for the past six races. We look forward to hopefully working with Jimmy again down the road."
"I am thrilled to be part of the Phoenix Racing team and working with Harry," said Addington. "Harry has a vision to make this team a championship contender and I am excited to be part of it." Addington has served as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for ten years and has amassed 20 wins, 66 Top 5s and 105 Top 10s during that time. Scott purchased Phoenix Racing in September of this year from James Finch. Since then a number of drivers have piloted the #51 including Justin Allgaier, Michael McDowell and Kyle Larson. Additional information about the 2014 driver of the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet and its sponsor will be announced at a later date.Phoenix Racing PR
F1 race scores on network TV in USA See what happens when you get a race off of NBC Sports network and onto their main network channel? NBC Sports' live broadcast of the United States Grand Prix on Sunday drew 1.01 million viewers, up 47% vs. last year on SPEED (688,000, but Speed is a cable channel), according to final national data provided by The Nielsen Company. The rating was achieved despite blackouts due to news pre-emptions for severe weather in the Midwest, including the Chicago and Indianapolis markets.
The U.S. Grand Prix from Circuit of The Americas scored a 0.65 household rating (which is really not very good), according to final national data, up 67% vs. last year's race on SPEED (0.39 - cable so......). The audience for Sunday's race, in which four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel scored his eighth consecutive victory, also surpassed NBC's coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix (950,000) in June by 6%.
Renault says goodbye to V8 era After eight seasons, the FIA Formula One World Championship will say goodbye to the 2.4 liter V8 engine formula at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
At the end of the year, the highly optimized, ultra-high output, ultra-high speed, normally aspirated engines make way for the new turbocharged 1.6 liter V6 power units in 2014.
Renault aims to end this season on a high note having become the most successful engine manufacturer of the V8 era, with five Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles (2006-2010-2011-2012-2013) of the possible eight crowns. With 59 wins, 65 pole positions and 55 fastest laps to date with the V8 engine, Renault Sport F1 aims to finish the era in a blaze of glory.
Testing Suspended for Prototype and PC Race Cars at Daytona (Update)UPDATE Scary news is emerging out of Daytona, site of the second two-day test for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as during Tuesday’s first day of testing there were two airborne accidents.
The first involved Spirit of Daytona Racing’s Richard Westbrook, the Englishman driving a Corvette Daytona Prototype (shown right in 2013 configuration at Kansas). Speaking to Sportscar365′s John Dagys, Westbrook told him he had a right-rear tire failure at 195mph on exit to the tri-oval, with that proving the launching pad to a series of rolls after getting airborne.
Daytona International Speedway Test: Day 2 The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s November preseason testing concluded on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway, with six GTLM and 19 GTD teams posting competitive laps in preparation for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26, 2014.
IMSA and Continental Tire officials decided Wednesday morning to suspend testing for Prototype (P) and Prototype Challenge (PC) race cars due to issues that came to light in Tuesday’s sessions. Because of its unique tire and technical package, however, the Elan-powered DeltaWing DWC13 was able to test and Katherine Legge recorded the fastest lap of the day at 1:40.833.
Bernstein Named Al-Anabi Racing GM Brandon Bernstein and Joe Barlam, released Tuesday from Morgan Lucas Racing, have joined Al-Anabi Racing.
Bernstein, a 19-time Top Fuel race winner, joins Al-Anabi Racing as the team’s general manager filling the position vacated by Chad Head one year ago. Prior to joining Morgan Lucas Racing in 2012, Bernstein served as the driver and general manager of his father’s NHRA race team from late in 2009 through the end of the 2011 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Dracone set for Dale Coyne test at Sebring How do you grow a fanbase on the backs of ride buyers? You don't. But because IndyCar's TV ratings are so low (because the IndyCar management prefers to pocket the NBCSN check rather than break the contract and put all races on ABC), the team owners struggle to find sponsorship, so they rely on ride buyers to keep their teams afloat. It's a vicious circle that doesn't have a happy ending.
Francesco Dracone is testing for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring on December 3-4. Dracone, 30, is an Italian with a less than distinguished career in European junior formulas. He was realistically only quicker than Milka Duno – also a member of the Coyne honor roll – in those two starts.
International Motorsports Center in Daytona Beach Becomes New IMSA Home (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, The France Family knows how to run a business. What they are doing with sportscar racing already shows that. To the France Family, please buy the IndyCar series from the Hulman George family before they run it into the ground any further. They have no clue how to grow IndyCar. The results speak for themselves. Patty Clark
11/20/13 A legacy that began when NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and John and Peggy Bishop co-founded the original International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) in 1969 took a step into the future today at the International Motorsports Center (IMC).
IMSA and International Speedway Corporation (ISC) Chairman Jim France – the son of Bill France Sr. – joined IMSA CEO Ed Bennett and NASCAR President Mike Helton to unveil the addition of IMSA logos to signage outside the eight-story IMC building that is headquarters to IMSA, NASCAR and ISC.
Sato inks Formula E test deal Former F1 and current IndyCar driver Takuma Sato has been named as one of the test and development drivers for the new Formula E Championship. The announcement was made on the opening day of the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, where the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car was making its Asian debut.
Sato, who has been competing in IndyCar for the last four years, winning his first race this season in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, is to assist current Formula E tester, Lucas di Grassi in the development of the zero emission car, ahead of the start of Formula E in 2014.
Panther Reaches Multi-Year Partnership Agreement with Charter Media Panther Racing announced today it has reached a multi-year partnership agreement with Charter Media for the 2014 IndyCar Series season. Charter Media specializes in cable television advertising, marketing, production and research and will become an integral part of Panther’s promotional efforts beginning next season.
“Charter is very pleased to be part of the Panther Racing team in 2014,” Phillip Aime, Senior Director of National Automotive Sales & Motorsports Program, said. “Partnering with Panther and the National Guard, plus other sponsors, brings about a great sense of pride and competitiveness that extends throughout Charter’s philosophy on business and customers.”
Tire Explosion Rocks Menard's Chevy on Pit Road (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, It looks the heat caused their Nitrous Oxide bottle to explode. An exploding tire would not blow apart steel, but an exploding Nitrous Oxide bottle will. Now we know where they hide it. J. Miller
Goodyear tires explode all the time on the race track sending drivers into the wall, but this time it blew the whole hub, the brake rotor, everything off the car and would have killed the crewman if he had been 1 foot to the right.
Getty Images for NASCAR
A day after a scary explosion on pit road at Homestead-Miami Speedway, team owner Richard Childress and NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton were still curious about the cause of the fiery incident.
RCR driver Paul Menard had a fire underneath the right rear of his car from a piece of tire rubber that had caught fire. That’s not unusual, and in most instances the team takes the tire off and the tire changer removes the stray rubber that’s on fire and changes the tire as normal.
But the fire grew too intense for Menard's tire changer and suddenly the tire exploded after building up pressure from the heat. Luckily, no one was injured.
Firestone Takes On Title Sponsorship of St. Pete Grand Prix Green Savoree St. Petersburg LLC (GSSP) announced today it will join forces with Firestone for the opening race of the 2014 IndyCar Series season – the newly-titled Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and GSSP, the promoter of the downtown waterfront event, entered a multi-year agreement as entitlement sponsor, beginning with the race on March 28-30, 2014.
“Firestone has been a first-rate sponsor of our event for the past nine years, and we can only express gratitude for having a partner who understands the value of our event,” said Tim Ramsberger, President of the newly christened Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “It speaks volumes about Firestone and what we have built with all of our partners in our wonderful community.”
Fox Sports writer analyzes Danica Patrick’s rookie NASCAR season
She was already a popular, but when the timing and scoring computers somehow showed her on pole for the Daytona 500 Danica Patrick became a NASCAR superstar. The longest autograph line indicate she is a NASCAR legend that the fans worship.
Danica Patrick isn’t thrilled with her rookie year. Don’t be fooled. By all measures that really count with Danica, it was a great year.
She dominated the NASCAR conversation early, especially when news broke that she was rubbing fenders with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. She won the celebrity competition on “Chopped.” And she landed a co-host gig with Trace Adkins on the upcoming American Country Awards.
Not bad for someone who can’t remember which is the accelerator and which is the brake.
Okay, that’s a bit harsh. Patrick proved she can drive a stock car better driver than 99.9 percent of Earth’s population. But her first full season in Sprint Cup proved she really has little business racing against the other 0.1 percent, which, sadly for her, comprises the weekly starting field.
Daytona Test: Day 1 – Nov. 19, 2013 Competitors unofficially bettered the track records for both Prototypes and GT cars at Daytona International Speedway in the first of two days of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing.
Action Express Racing led the Prototype (P) class with a lap of 1:39.623 (128.645 mph) in the No. 5 Corvette DP, while SRT Motorsports led the GTLM class with a lap of 1:47.058 (119.711 mph) in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R.
Motorcycling legend Mick Doohan signs up for ROC 2013 The 2013 Race Of Champions will feature one of the greatest riders in the history of motorcycling as Mick Doohan has signed up for the event at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium on December 14-15.
The Australian dominated his sport in the Nineties, collecting a haul of over 50 wins and five straight 500cc MotoGP world championships for Honda from 1994 to 1998. This glorious run was sandwiched by two serious crashes, the second of which broke his leg in several places and ended his competitive career.
Tickets for the 2014 ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers go on sale tomorrow Wednesday, November 20 at 11 a.m. ET. The weekend-long celebration slated for the weekend of August 15 - 17 of next year will include competition by the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, along with an infield full of family friendly fair rides and food and drink vendors at the world's oldest operating motor speedway, the Milwaukee Mile.
IndyCar Series Road Course Project Completed At IMS (Update)UPDATE
A $5-million reconfiguration project to transform the existing Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis IndyCar Series race Saturday, May 10, 2014 was completed Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. The new layout features more speed and hard braking zones to create more passing and competitive racing. Indianapolis 500 veteran and IndyCar Series team owner Sarah Fisher helped to finish the project on a two-seater paver Tuesday.
11/19/13 Sarah Fisher called it the slowest thing she's ever experienced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The IndyCar Series team owner, who made nine Indianapolis 500 starts in her Indy car career, helped complete the paving of the 2.439-mile road course, on a two-seat paving machine. The road course has undergone $5 million in improvements before it hosts to the Grand Prix of Indianapolis next May.
"They are doing a really accurate job and it's great to see," Fisher said. "That last little stretch of pavement going down on the new course. It's very special. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway always holds a special place in my heart."
CVC's Formula One Stock Flotation On Hold Amid Ecclestone Legal Troubles Plans for a stock market flotation of F1 "remain stalled" as CEO Bernie Ecclestone "faces legal action that could break his long grip on the sport," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Private equity fund CVC said that a flotation "was still its aim, but ruled out any action in the short term to revive plans for a listing."
CVC co-Chair Donald Mackenzie said, "One day we'd like to float the company. We've got no plans to do that in the imminent future." CVC has a 35.5% stake in F1 "having sold down its holding" from 63% last year. CVC put off plans to float F1 in Singapore in the middle of last year "because of market turmoil."
Instead, it "brought in new investors" in the form of U.S. investment groups Blackrock and Waddell & Reed, along with Norway's Norges Bank, in deals that "gave the business an enterprise value" of $9.1B. REUTERS
Santander Says Sponsorship Deal With Ferrari About More Than Color Red Banco Santander Advertising & Sponsorships Head Enrique Arribas said that the company’s sponsorship deal with F1 team Scuderia Ferrari has been “amazingly successful” judging by its advertising ROI. Arribas told SBD Global at the Circuit of the Americas, “We get a return of five euros for every single euro we invest in Formula One, just in terms of brand exposure. As you can see, the Santander logo is everywhere -- on the car, teamwear, motorhome.”
The partnership with Ferrari also allows Santander to develop various promotions in every market it operates, Arribas added. One of those promotions was the “Forza Ferrari Contest” in which Santander asked people to create a video and upload it to YouTube to win a trip for two to the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix and meet the team and the drivers. Santander has been the official sponsor of the Ferrari F1 team since ’10.
Musk belittles small minded NTSB over Tesla fires Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible. If we could have done that with our first product, we would have, but that was simply impossible to achieve for a startup company that had never built a car and that had one technology iteration and no economies of scale. Our first product was going to be expensive no matter what it looked like, so we decided to build a sports car, as that seemed like it had the best chance of being competitive with its gasoline alternatives.
COTA announces new Chief Executive Circuit of The Americas announced on Tuesday that Steve Sexton is departing as its chief executive officer. Jason Dial, company president, will assume the role of CEO. The circuit said the move followed "a carefully planned transition period."
"This was a tough decision for me to make, but the timing is right," Sexton said. “Our team's accomplishments in the last three years have been remarkable, and I am very proud and privileged to have worked with a group of experienced and dedicated individuals, who've proven time and again that nothing is impossible. Our just-completed Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is further evidence of the exceptional experience that the COTA can deliver. And to see the way that the City of Austin, Travis County and the State of Texas have embraced our accomplishments is incredibly rewarding.
Stewart-Haas Racing announces personnel changes Stewart-Haas Racing has reorganized its competition department as the championship-winning race team expands to field four cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2014. The changes are as follows:
Greg Zipadelli has been named vice president of competition where he will manage all four Sprint Cup teams, with each crew chief reporting to him.
Matt Borland has been named vice president of engineering. In this role, Borland will oversee all of the teams technical initiatives and various research and development projects. He will also transition from being an active crew chief to that of a mentor, specifically in regard to the crew chief position on the #41 Haas Automation team of driver Kurt Busch.
Changes at Roush Fenway Racing Roush Fenway Racing has announced it is reorganizing its crew chief lineup in 2014. Mike Kelley, who has served as the crew chief on the #6 NASCAR Nationwide Series team for the past four seasons, will move to the Sprint Cup Series, where he will reunite with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
"Its really exciting to team back up with Mike," said Stenhouse, the 2013 Sprint Cup rookie of the year and two-time NASCAR champion. "Obviously we have a great chemistry and we have had a great deal of success in the past. Scott (Graves) did a great job of guiding us through our rookie season this year and we look forward to continuing that growth next season." Kelley and Stenhouse partnered to win NNS championships in 2011 and 2012.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Homestead TV Racing (Update)UPDATE ESPN’s live telecast of the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 17, the final race of the season, earned a 3.1 'final' U.S. household rating, averaging 5,118,577 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating and audience were up from last year’s race, which earned a 3.0 U.S. household rating and averaged 4,769,427 viewers.
Greensboro, N.C., was the highest-rated market in the nation with a 10.3 rating for the race telecast, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 8.6 and Norfolk, Va., at 6.9. Charlotte, N.C., was fourth at 6.7 and Knoxville, Tenn., fifth at 6.3.
The rest of the top 10 markets were Nashville, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla., at 6.2, Indianapolis at 5.8, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., at 5.4 and Richmond, Va., at 5.2
KVSH Announces Sponsor for Bourdais KVSH Racing announced today that Mistic Electronic Cigarettes will be the primary sponsor for the #11 Chevrolet driven by Sebastien Bourdais during seven race weekends in 2014. Mistic also announced that visulas of Bourdais' livery will be displayed in Circle K stores throughout the country. Circle K will also serve as an associate sponsor on the #11.
This is the second electronic cigarette company to become involved with IndyCar as Blu E-cigs sponsored Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for select races in 2013.
Jack Harvey eyes IndyCar GP3 racer Jack Harvey will test for leading Indy Lights team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports next week as he looks to carve out a future career in IndyCar. The 2012 British Formula 3 champion headed out to the States this week for a seat fitting ahead of a planned test at Sebring.
Harvey, 20, finished fifth in GP3 this season, but the Racing Steps Foundation that supports his career is concerned that his prospects for a future in Formula 1 will be limited by a lack of opportunities.
RSF coordinator Derek Walters said: "The difficulty for any young driver is how he can make his mark and make a living, and it's becoming more difficult. The sport seems to be in a pretty confused state and if we do another year with Jack in GP3, then GP2, then what?
Stefano Domenicali Q and A - The Ferrari boss discusses the United States GP
Domenicali (L) and Pat Fry
Stefano Domenicali discusses the United States Grand Prix with the written press after Fernando Alonso secured second in the Drivers' Championship, whilst Ferrari lost ground to Mercedes in the battle for second and Lotus closed on the Scuderia for third spot in the Constructors'.
Fernando sealed second in the Drivers' Championship with the fourth quickest car, what do you make of his achievements this year? Stefano Domenicali: "For sure it is a great achievement, because being second with all of the problems we had during the season and for all of the second half of it he did a great job. The team did a great job on the track and this is a point to start again because after so many years of being second, it is time to move up a position that is for sure."
Chevrolet Volt Owners Silence California Gas Pumps Electric vehicles, well known for silent driving, also are muting the ding of gas pumps. In less than three years, Chevrolet Volt owners in California have driven more than 130 million all-electric miles, avoiding use of an estimated 7 million gallons of gas – enough to mute gas pumps across the state for nearly eight hours.
More than 40 percent of Volt owners live in California, making the extended-range electric vehicle the top-selling plug-in electric vehicle in the Golden State.
“The Chevrolet Volt is America’s No. 1 selling plug-in with more than 50,000 owners driving electric while achieving fantastic performance numbers,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. “Volt owners have found the Volt is not only fun to drive, but it provides technology, performance and savings where consumers need it most.”
The Name of American Racing: Andretti The official ambassador for Sunday's Formula One U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas (NBC, 2 p.m. ET) was a fellow you may have heard of. His name is Mario Andretti. It's probably fair to say that no driver from any nation in the world has enough fame to compare.
Andretti's racing career, which ran from 1959 to 2000, coincided with a forceful collision between the surging popularity of global motor sport and the steady advance of television. As the cameras rolled, Andretti won just about everything you can win on wheels—most notably the F1 world championship, the most coveted title of all, which he claimed 35 years ago.
Rahal Completed First Test in Preparation for the 2014 IndyCar Series Season Graham Rahal completed a trouble-free day of testing today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway short course in preparation for the 2014 IndyCar Series season. He completed a total of 107 laps with a best lap time of 53.28. It was his first test with new race engineer Bill Pappas and with Honda Performance Development’s new twin turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 engine.
"It was really great to be out here with Bill, (engineer) Eddie (Jones) and all of the guys to go through a list of things to test," said Graham Rahal, 24. "Our setup was vastly different from the last time we were here. It was good to get out and start working and I think we are pretty happy with where we are. We were among the fastest in the morning but I’m not sure where we ended up speed-wise in the afternoon but I feel like we are competitive.
Detroit Grand Prix Generates $46.3 Million in Total Spending in 2013
The 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix generated $46.3 million in total spending for the Metropolitan Detroit region, according to information released today.
The total represents an increase of $1 million in spending from the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, according to a report conducted by sports consulting firm Sportsimpacts, which also provided an analysis report of the 2012 Grand Prix.
Audi reveals it has tested 2014 Le Mans challenger twice already Racer.com reports that Audi has revealed that its 2014 World Endurance Championship challenger has already tested on two occasions.
The German manufacturer has confirmed that the new car, built to the forthcoming fuel formula P1 regulations, ran for the first time before the end of September and has subsequently tested for a second time.
Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: "The car has tested twice up to now. I could say more, but I don't want to."
Arie Luyendyk Jr to test Dale Coyne's IndyCar (Update)UPDATE Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk donned a headset and joined team owner Dale Coyne on the pit stand to watch his son, Arie Luyendyk Jr., get acquainted with the nuances of an IndyCar Series machine and Sebring International Raceway's short course.
Luyendyk, 32, a former Firestone Indy Lights competitor, is intent on competing in the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
"I would have done it a lot sooner, but economically it was tough for a few years to raise the funds to go racing," he said. "But now I feel like I'm in a situation where I'm very marketable and I've always wanted to be back in an Indy car. The goal is to run next year, hopefully a full schedule if we can find the partners, and if not I would love to be back for the Indy road course race and the '500.'
Munoz gets to work after joining Andretti team Carlos Munoz tried to take his first day as a full-time IZOD IndyCar Series driver in stride.
"Just another day at the office, eh?" James Hinchcliffe offered as the 21-year-old Colombian prepared to test for the first time as a full-time member of the Andretti Autosport team at Sebring International Raceway.
It didn't matter to Munoz that his car was unnumbered. He pointed to his name below the Colombian flag on either side of the cockpit.
"I'm excited for this new year," said Munoz, who officially joined the team Nov. 18.
Mackenzie Says CVC Would Fire F1's Ecclestone If He Is Guilty CVC co-Founder & co-Chair Donald Mackenzie today said that the F1 rights holder "would not hesitate to sack" F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "if he had committed a crime in his dealings with a jailed German banker." Mackenzie in a hearing at London's High Court denied that Ecclestone "was being kept in his post because of his importance to the business." Ecclestone is facing a $100M damages claim over "allegations that he sold the business for too little when CVC became the largest shareholder" in '05. REUTERS
Hunter-Reay impressed with Honda power in early going Ryan Hunter-Reay was involved in the early development of 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged V-6 engine as Chevrolet rejoined the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.
The Andretti Autosport driver, who rode that engine to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship and two victories this past season, now is involved in the offseason development of Honda Performance Development's twin turbocharged engine.
Andretti Autosport announced at the season finale Oct. 19 that it would switch to Honda power for the 2014 season. Hunter-Reay joined Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in testing the engine Nov. 18 at Sebring International Raceway.
Bourdais Joins Action Express Racing Action Express Racing has signed Sebastien Bourdais to drive the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP in three endurance events on the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule. Bourdais will co-drive the Corvette DP with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 62nd annual Sebring 12 Hour in March, and the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans race in October.
Bourdais has an extensive history of success in a wide range of categories that stretches between continents. With four consecutive Champ Car titles, Formula 1 and Le Mans race experience, and a Daytona Prototype victory in the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Bourdais brings a depth of technical knowledge along with his natural speed.
Pook: NJ race will help Austin race F1 Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, N.J. Special Assistant Chris Pook said of other F1 races in the U.S. impacting Austin's race, "What’s going to happen is it’s going to create more media awareness. You’re going to get the New York media involved, like The New York Times. When The New York Times starts writing about Formula One and motor racing, the nation starts writing. The same thing with The Wall Street Journal. All these big-market publications, they have a huge impact on the media across the country. That will help, and it will increase the television awareness. Television will go up, awareness will go up, and at the end of the day, it will benefit here (Austin)" AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
113,162 watch Sebastian Vettel make history (Update)UPDATE Circuit of the Americas officials yesterday said that this year’s three-day attendance for the F1 U.S. Grand Prix was 250,324, meaning it "avoided the sophomore slump," according to John Maher of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Austin’s second grand prix was "even more festive than its first." Fans in the main grandstand before the race yesterday "were treated to a virtual dance-off" between the Univ. of Texas Chap Girls and the Cowboys Cheerleaders. The day "started out overcast, but the skies cleared, and the temperature hit 85 degrees by noon." Celebrities seen in the paddock included singer Sting, actors Matt LeBlanc and Antonio Banderas and actress Melanie Griffith. The crowd for yesterday’s race was "announced as 113,162, which would make it Austin’s second-largest sporting event behind last year’s inaugural F1 race." Last year's event "had a three-day attendance topping 265,000." AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
11/17/13 A massive crowd of 113,162 race fans watched Formula 1™ racing’s new driving powerhouse, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, make history, as the 2013 World Champion driver scored his eighth consecutive Grand Prix victory at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). In doing so, the 26-year-old German wunderkind topped the record of seven consecutive wins set by his racing idol, Michael Schumacher, who retired after the 2012 season.
NASCAR Sets Terms For Title Sponsorship to replacement NASCAR is asking $12-15M per year "for title sponsorship of its secondary series," which has been held by Nationwide Insurance since '08, according to Mickle & Lefton of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. NASCAR's asking price is "a minimum 20 percent increase" above the $10M fee that Nationwide now pays. The insurer is "dropping the title sponsorship" after the '14 season. In addition to the rights fee, NASCAR execs are "telling potential buyers they want a 10-year deal that includes a media commitment" of more than $10M "and an activation commitment" of more than $10M, putting the overall annual spend at more than $30M. NASCAR Chief Sales Officer Jim O’Connell, who sold the Nationwide deal in '07, is "spearheading the sales effort." SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL
Helton Hints At Sprint Cup Schedule Change In '15 Season NASCAR President Mike Helton on Friday "appeared open to a long-awaited revamp of the Sprint Cup Series schedule," saying that the "arrival of television partner NBC in 2015 ... could coincide with a different-looking schedule after next year's version," according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. Helton, speaking at NASCAR's season-ending press conference, said, "While we may not think it needs to be tweaked or changed, others (in the industry) have influence on our decision to make it better. And certainly we keep an open mind of that." USATODAY.com.
Austin Dillon Crowned 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I have predicted the last five Daytona 500 pole winners. In 2014 can I keep my perfect streak alive? I predict that 'The Chosen One,' Austin Dillon, driving the return of Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 will sit on the pole for the Daytona 500 and the all the NASCAR Bubbas will cheer and tears will be running down their cheeks in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt Sr. It will be a heart wrenching moment. If not for NASCAR's refusal to mandate the HANS Device, he would still be with us today. Inadvertently they killed their biggest star. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.
11/16/13 Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro, claimed the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) championship with a 12th-place finish in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His title, the first for Dillon and fourth for team owner Richard Childress, marks Chevrolet’s 17th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982.
"On behalf of Chevrolet, congratulations to Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro team on winning the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver’s Championship,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This is extra special following Austin’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2011. Austin and his team demonstrated determination, perseverance and that never-give-up attitude to win their first Nationwide Series championship. Congratulations to Richard Childress and his entire Richard Childress Racing organization on this accomplishment.”
Four-time IndyCar Series champions Andretti Autosport confirmed today that Colombian Carlos Munoz will join the team's IndyCar stable for 2014. The former Firestone Indy Lights standout will join Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay for the Indianapolis-based team's four-car IndyCar squad. Sponsorship details for Munoz's entry will be announced at a later date.
Munoz made his IndyCar Series debut at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 where he earned Rookie of the Year honors for starting on the front row and, after leading the historic race for 12 laps, finishing in the second position. The 21-year-old also competed in IndyCar's Grand Prix of Toronto in July, as well as the season finale at Auto Club Speedway where he competed in both the (formerly) Firestone Indy Lights and IndyCar Series events.
Tudor United Sports Car Championship wraps up Sebring test The No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP led its second consecutive day of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing Sunday at Sebring International Raceway courtesy of a best lap of 1:53.748 (118.367 mph) by Sebastien Bourdais.
“The changes really change the feel of the car, but it doesn’t change its character,” said Bourdais, who got his first taste of the extensive modifications to Daytona Prototypes on Sunday. “It’s a quicker car. I think we’ll gain about three seconds at Daytona. If we balance it, maybe there’s a bit more in it. The rear diffuser really helps set the back of the car down. These cars didn’t have much downforce before, but they have significantly more now.”
Bryan Herta Autosport and Jeffrey Mark Motorsport announced today that Lloyd Read will join the Indy Lights team during the 2014 season.
At the age of six, Read moved to the California to pursue a career in racing. He spent two years in London, where he learned to drive a TAG kart. From 2010 to 2013, Read raced in both the Sports Car Club of America and Formula Car Challenge. He also participated in the Pro Mazda Championship in 2013 and impressed the BHA team when he tested the team's Lights car.
In addition to his racing career, Read earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Saint Mary's College of California. Now age 22, the Wales native spends his time karting, working out, surfing and snowboarding.
Stenhouse Jr. beats girlfriend Danica Patrick for Rookie of the Year
Danica and Ricky flirting
Though Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn't enjoy as much success as he might have liked in 2014, his performance was strong enough to secure Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Stenhouse, who finished 22nd Sunday, beat out girlfriend Danica Patrick for the recognition as top rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "It means a lot, looking at all the other names that have won this award," Stenhouse said.
Martins’ SHR role not yet defined Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli said that Mark Martin's 2014 role with the team "is not completely identified yet," but predicts the veteran will be a valuable addition after ostensibly running his last Sprint Cup for the foreseeable future race on Sunday. Martin may consult or test, but beyond his technical experience, Zipadelli said, Martin could be invaluable to a lineup of vocal, strong-willed personalities comprised of owner Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.
A Look At NASCAR's Unique Approach To Increasing Official Partners' Return On Investment On the Thursday before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, decision makers from a who’s who list of Fortune 500 companies gathered in a meeting space at the trendy Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Sipping Coca-Cola around tables as salsa music beat over the room’s speakers, the Fortune 500 movers and shakers brokering deals were in the room for one reason: NASCAR brought them.
When it comes to sports properties, NASCAR boasts one of the most extensive lists of corporate sponsors. This racing season, the number of official NASCAR partners neared 60. The value a corporation reaps in partnering with NASCAR is vast in the sense that every Sunday, their logo travels around a race track in front of millions of eyes. Yet, in an economic age where corporations have limited budgets to spend on sports marketing, NASCAR recognized that it must provide a greater return on investment for its official partners. “So many partners are looking for return on investment,” said NASCAR’s vice president of partnership marketing, Norris Scott.
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