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DATE News (chronologically)
11/24/10
f1

Vettel set to rock Berlin
New world champion Sebastian Vettel will fulfill another dream on Saturday when he drives his Red Bull Formula One car down Berlin’s Fan Mile and in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate. The 23-year-old, who became the youngest Formula One world champion when he picked up his fifth Grand Prix title of the season nearly two weeks ago, will drive his car – dubbed ‘Randy Mandy’ – through the German capital.

Vettel’s Red Bull team have organized the event which will see Germany’s new champion go full throttle in front of the capital city’s most famous landmark.

“When I am world champion, I want to drive my ‘Randy Mandy’ along the largest fan zone in Germany,” Vettel has said in the past.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
automotive

Volt gets 60 MPG EPA rating
When the 2011 Volt begins arriving in Chevrolet showrooms over the next few weeks it will have an all-new fuel economy label to go with its unique propulsion system.

With its ability to operate completely gasoline- and emissions-free for 25 to 50 miles and then continue indefinitely with its range- extending engine, the Volt’s energy efficiency depends on how you use it.

Because the Volt works like no other car before it, General Motors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collaborated to design a new label to help consumers understand what to expect when they drive the Volt.  Before plug-in cars like the Volt, calculating fuel economy was simply a matter of filling the tank with fuel, driving the vehicle and dividing the distance by the amount of fuel consumed.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
nascar

Chevy despises NASCAR's kit-cars
Terry Dolan, manager of Chevrolet Racing, recently addressed a variety of topics during an interview at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.  One topic was why no Camaro in NASCAR.

“As we launched Camaro, we brought back an iconic production car to our portfolio. Part of what makes Camaro is the styling and the look of that vehicle. When we introduced it at the (various) auto shows, consumers originally were able to look at the brand and say that it replicates what they know Camaro to be.

“As we look at NASCAR, we wanted to maintain the integrity of the iconic brand and the brands that we race with. We just didn’t feel we could accomplish that vision by adapting the car to the common template format that we have here in this sport. We’ll always look in the future and see what opportunities exist, but within today’s boundaries, it just didn’t feel like it was the right business decision for us to make.”

“Part of the iconic design of that car is the overall lines of the roof of the greenhouse and the sale-panel area. And for all the right reasons, as NASCAR has evolved the Car of Tomorrow to provide a safer zone for the driver, trying to adapt our smaller-roof coupe car to the larger roof sedan design just didn’t keep the integrity of the exterior design of the vehicle. We looked at it and we modeled it and we stepped back and we evaluated it, and felt for now it wasn’t the right decision for us to make.”

Comment
11/24/10
cc

CART's Safety Team Changed Racing
Those of us who have followed racing for decades know that the sport we love claimed the lives of many drivers over the years.  Now, though still very dangerous, it is much less likely to result in fatalities or permanently debilitating injuries.  That change didn't just happen by chance; it was the result of a concerted effort by many people, most notably by racing engineers and medical professionals associated with CART and the CART Champ Car Safety Team.

In his book, "Rapid Response," Dr. Steve Olvey says "In the 1960's one out of seven drivers died in the major forms of auto racing, including Formula One."  In a December 2009 article by Gordon Kirby, Tony Cicale is quoted as saying "When I first got involved in CART somebody was getting maimed or killed every weekend, or close to it."

In the mid-1970's Wally Dallenbach, then a driver, insisted that USAC should employ a traveling medical team, and USAC hired Dr. Stephen Olvey.  Dr. Olvey recruited two other doctors to share the duty of traveling to races so that there could be a consistent and knowledgeable medical response to racing accidents.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
f1
dtn

Mario Theissen to leave motorsport post at BMW
After more than 12 uninterrupted years, a changeover at the head of BMW Motorsport is in the offing. On 30 June 2011, BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen will pass on the baton to his successor Jens Marquardt and retire from his post. 43-year-old Marquardt will join the company on 1 January 2011, going dual with Theissen for the first six months of the year to familiarize himself with his new task. This will ensure the seamless execution of the 2011 racing program and preparations for the 2012 DTM project.

“We have planned and prepared this changeover very carefully,” explains Theissen. “With the realignment of BMW Motorsport and the decision in favor of the DTM project, the path to a successful future on the race track has been mapped out. Now is also the best time to entrust the leadership of BMW Motorsport to new hands. I have no doubt that in Jens Marquardt we have found the right man for this exciting task and I look forward to our time working together. On 1 July 2011 he will be perfectly equipped to take over the reins.”

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
f1

Newey slams 'petty' rivals' complaints in 2010
Adrian Newey
(GMM)  Adrian Newey has nominated 2010 as the worst season in his long formula one career in terms of "petty finger pointing" from rival teams.

As the Red Bull car designer's RB6 model dominated the timesheets this year, some of the team's championship rivals complained about alleged technical illegalities.

"It wasn't a distraction, but it was an annoyance.  I've got to say I've never known a season quite like this one for the petty finger pointing that's gone on in the paddock," Newey told Red Bull Racing's official website.

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11/24/10
f1

Barrichello likes aggressive approach
Rubens Barrichello
Formula One's most experienced driver, Rubens Barrichello, says that he is pleased about the aggressive approach his Williams team is taking with its 2011 car design.

"I feel good. I feel that the team is doing a good job on what they're doing for next year," said the Brazilian on the Autosport website. "The approach for next year's car seems to be quite aggressive, which is good. I'm up for it, I like it."

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
irl
f1

Kanaan, Barrichello seek another karting win
Longtime friends Tony Kanaan and Rubens Barrichello are teaming up again for the annual Granja Viana 500 go-kart race in their native Brazil on Nov. 27.

Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, and F1 standout Barrichello have teamed with various drivers to win eight of the previous 13 races. They will partner  with former IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Felipe Giaffone in an attempt to win a record ninth time in the event, which caps off the racing season in Brazil.

IZOD IndyCar Series driver Vitor Meira is slated to drive a pair of karts in the endurance race. He's entered with Christian Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet Jr. in one kart and with his A.J. Foyt Racing team manager Larry Foyt in another. Ana Beatriz is also entered in the race.

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11/24/10
irl

Ho-Pin Tung makes History, FAZZT to run 2 cars in 2011 UPDATE
Ho-Pin Tung
Ho-Pin Tung had the chance to ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a passenger car. He hopes his next visit is in an IZOD IndyCar Series car.

The 27-year-old Tung, who this season has been the reserve driver for Renault F1 and competed in GP2 with the Renault-affiliated DAMS team, made an overture to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series with a two-day outing in the No. 88 FAZZT Race Team car at Sebring International Raceway On Nov. 20-21.

As a compatibility test, there was synergy between car and driver before the lunch break on the first day as times on the 1.67-mile circuit decreased with almost every five-lap stint (he posted 211 laps over the two days). Regular driver Alex Tagliani, team COO and general manager Rob Edwards and chief engineer Allen McDonald - each providing nuggets of input without being overbearing - were duly impressed with the technical adaptation and feedback.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
irl

Brazilian President to attend centennial Indy 500
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be attending next year’s Indianapolis 500, it has been confirmed by IndyCar championship organizers, with the 2011 race set to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500 back in 1911.

The presence of ‘Lula’ will not be his first at an IndyCar event, as the 65-year-old waved the checkered flag at this year’s season-opening race in São Paulo.

“We are very happy with the relationship we have established with Brazil,” said Terry Angstadt, President for IndyCar’s commercial division.

“Since President Lula has always supported the IZOD IndyCar Series, it is an honor for us to invite him to the historical centennial of the 500.”

Comment
11/24/10
f1

Mateschitz: Drivers will receive equal treatment again
Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz has said that newly-Crowned World Champion Sebastian Vettel will not be handed automatic number one status above team-mate Mark Webber when moving into his title-defending season next year.

Vettel triumphed five times en route to a maiden Formula 1 title this season, with victories coming in Malaysia, Valencia, Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. 

However, controversy and driver priority gossip was kicked up first when the pair of Red Bulls collided in Istanbul and again when the team handed Webber's new front wing to Vettel ahead of qualifying at Silverstone.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/10
f1

“There is no secret to overtaking”
Kamui Kobayashi
Kamui Kobayashi has the first full season in Formula One under his belt. Here is how the 24-year-old Japanese reviews it.

How would you summarize your season?

Kamui Kobayashi: “We had a lot of ups and downs, but overall we had a good season. In the beginning we were struggling a lot. This was a pretty bad time. It was hard, and it was very difficult to recover from this situation during the season, because nowadays there is no testing. Despite this, towards the end of the season we were much stronger. The team did a great job to recover from this and I want to thank them for all their work.”

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11/24/10
f1

Sutil confirms ready to sign Force India extension
(GMM)  Adrian Sutil has confirmed his manager's claim this week that he is set to stay with the Force India team in 2011.

The German's manager Manfred Zimmerman said on Monday that his charge has agreed a new deal with the Silverstone based team but not yet signed an actual contract.

Zimmerman said confirmation is due "within the next two to three weeks".

Sutil said: "It would be nice to move into a really top team, but right now there are no such opportunities.

"So I'm very happy to stay with Force India for another season," he is quoted by Bayerischen Fernsehen television.

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11/24/10
f1

Sauber not confirming official 2011 name yet
(GMM)  Sauber is not yet officially confirming its new team name for the 2011 season.

This year, despite the German carmaker pulling out of formula one before the 2010 season, the Hinwil based team was still known as 'BMW Sauber F1 Team'.

Former owner Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) agreed to let Sauber keep the acronym in its official title in order to not jeopardize the team's commercial income due to finishing the 2009 constructors' championship in sixth place.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
Track News

MIS making more updates for 2011
In its continuing commitment to improve the guest experience at the racetrack, a number of construction projects will take place at Michigan International Speedway this winter in anticipation of the 43rd season of racing at the venerable two-mile oval.

Besides the redesign of the track’s scoreboard which was announced two weeks ago, the biggest wintertime project will see three of the silver, general admission grandstands taken down, near the Turn 3 area. This will decrease the track’s capacity by 12,000 seats and have a positive impact on guests. Provisions to re-seat guests who were in those grandstands in 2010 are being made.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
roc

Tanner Foust joins All Star Team for return to Race of Champions
Tanner Foust
X Games Rally gold medalist Tanner Foust will take on the best racers in the world this weekend when returns to the annual Race of Champions for a third time.

"It's a honor to be back at the Race of Champions in 2010," said Foust. "The opportunity to line up against the best drivers in the world like Sebastian Loeb and Michael Schumacher is incredible."

The Rockstar Energy Drink driver, who represented Team USA at the contest in 2008 and 2009, will compete this year alongside Australian motorcycle racing legend Mick Doohan on the All Star Team at Düsseldorf's Esprit Arena on Saturday and Sunday.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
nastruck
irl

Karthikeyan wins NASCAR Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award UPDATE
Deep in the heart of red-neck country, open wheel driver Narain Karthikeyan from India (right) receives his Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Truck Series award.  Imagine that!

11/23/10 “The Fastest Indian in the World” is now also the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Most Popular Driver of 2010. In a huge surprise, Karthikeyan, who has run a total of only 9 out of the 25 race calendar, garnered the most votes in a fan poll held on the NASCAR website.

Beating out veterans and fan favorites like Ron Hornaday and 2010 Champion Todd Bodine, Narain’s Most Popular Driver win proves the power of India in any global arena.  Driving for Starbeast Motorsports, a team whose mission it is to bridge the businesses of India and the United States through NASCAR racing, Narain has been one of India’s most popular sportsmen ever since his debut as India’s First Formula 1 Driver in 2005.

On receiving the award at the NASCAR end of season Awards Banquet in Miami, Narain said, “Racing in NASCAR has been such a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.  From the other drivers to the fans, everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive. I really want to thank all the fans, in India, the US and everywhere else who voted for me.  I am truly honored to receive this accolade.”

[Editor's Note:  What is this open wheel driver from India doing driving part-time in the red-neck NASCAR truck Series?  His dream was F1 but he never quite made it.  Therefore, he belongs in IndyCar where he can showcase his talents better.  His fan base in India is huge, as evidenced by the fact he won the award.]

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11/23/10
ga

Johnson To Race In 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona
Only two days after hoisting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy on the championship stage at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the fifth consecutive season, Jimmie Johnson is already talking about racing in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.

Johnson said on Tuesday's NASCAR teleconference he will be joining GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing for the fourth consecutive year, sharing the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley with two-time Daytona Prototype champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in the 49th running of the endurance classic on Jan. 29-30, 2011. Jimmy Vasser has completed the driver lineup the past three seasons.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
nassprint

NASCAR Homestead TV Ratings UPDATE ESPN earned a final 3.3 U.S. rating and 5.605 million viewers for the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 on Sunday from 1:00-5:01pm ET. While the rating is down 8.3% from a 3.6 on ABC last year, viewership for the series’ finale was flat (5.607 million viewers in '09).

11/22/10 Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race, in which Jimmie Johnson claimed his record fifth straight Sprint Cup title, earned a 3.3 overnight rating on ESPN, up from a 3.2 in '09 on ABC.

Comment
11/23/10
gp2

James Jakes sets the pace in Abu Dhabi
Less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2010 season, the GP2 Series paddock flew back to Abu Dhabi to conduct four days of post-season testing. A mix of old and new faces were behind the wheels of the twenty four cars today, with six drivers coming from GP3 Series, namely Champion Esteban Gutierrez at ART Grand Prix, Vice Champion Robert Wickens at iSport, Roberto Merhi and Simon Trummer at Arden, James Jakes at Scuderia Coloni and Stefano Coletti at Trident. Both Gutierrez and Coletti have already been confirmed as GP2 drivers for 2011.

As the pitlane opened this morning, Rodolfo Gonzalez at Racing Engineering took to the track first, but it was Charles Pic at Barwa Addax who set the early pace with a 1:49.379 lap before Super Nova’s Marcus Ericsson bettered the Frenchman’s lap time by one tenth of a second. With one hour left on the clock, Jakes moved up to P1 but only temporarily as Michael Herck at DPR claimed the top spot a few minutes later - his fastest lap time of 1:48.447 (one tenth faster than Oliver Turvey’s pole position in this season’s last round) was never beaten. The session was briefly red flagged four times as less experienced drivers span on track without damaging their cars.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
automotive
irl

Ethanol drives up food costs, electric is the future
As we have stated repeatedly, Ethanol is not a good alternate fuel and even Al Gore who supported ethanol when he pandered to the farmers, admits he blew it and now says it should not be subsidized.  We will state our opinion once again - electric cars are the future and all of the USA power plants must eventually become nuclear, supplying clean energy to every electric outlet in the USA, including the one that will someday charge your electric car. 

When the USA finally makes a real commitment to install charging stations at ALL commercial establishments, you will see electric car acceptance explode and the cost of batteries driven downward with mass production.  You will also see battery R&D explode resulting in much better miles per charge.

We could see the format of racing change with electric cars to a series of sprint races on a Sunday afternoon, with batteries changed between races.  A format such as what NASCAR uses every May in Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race would work every weekend - The current format consists of a 50-lap segment with a mandatory 4-tire green flag pit stop on lap 25, two 20-lap segments, a 10-minute break, and a 10-lap shootout to determine the winner.

The race series that does this first will see every car manufacturer in the world get involved because they all know that electric is the future.....they all have electric cars under development.  That series will become the test bed for their passenger cars, which is what racing used to be and what it needs to be again.

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11/23/10
nassprint

#83 Tire Changer Update
After getting clipped by Kevin Harvick's #29 Chevy during a pit stop on lap 187 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday, Chuck Efaw, the #83 rear tire changer, spent the night in a nearby hospital and is scheduled to be released today and travel back to his home in North Carolina. A CAT scan showed that he has three avulsion fractures of his lumbar spine, which are stable and should require no surgical procedures. Red Bull Racing

Comment
11/23/10
nastruck

Homestead Truck series TV Rating
According to Nielsen Media Research, despite the points race already being settled, ratings for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Homestead-Miami were up 10 percent year-to-year, with Friday night’s live coverage on SPEED scoring a 0.80 (617,000 households) against last year’s 0.73 (546,000 households). The race, won by Kyle Busch, peaked at a 1.05 (810,000 households; 1.1 million viewers), up 17 percent from last year’s peak of 0.90 (668,000 households).

After early season postponements at Daytona (rain) and Gateway (electrical) put the series in a ratings hole, the Trucks finished strong with viewers, scoring increases in eight of the last 13 events (Pocono up 78%, Darlington up 19%, Bristol up 3%, Kentucky up 115%, Las Vegas up 17%, Martinsville up 41%, Texas up 6% and Homestead). Since July, NCWTS ratings are up 3 percent year-to-year.

Comment
11/23/10
Track News

Austin GP track designers announced UPDATE Here is the official press release:

Formula 1 United States™ developers announced today that Dallas–based HKS, Inc., a leading global architectural design firm and the premier architects of American modern sporting facilities, and Germany–based Tilke Engineers & Architects, the world’s leading designer for racetrack and test facilities, will lead the local and international team assembled for the construction of the world–class, multipurpose facility in Austin, TX, that will be home to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™.

Drawing from their collective experience and passion for sports around the world, HKS Sports & Entertainment Group - with more than 50 years of experience designing state–of–the–art sports venues - and Tilke Engineers & Architects - with more than 25 years of experience building modern–day racetracks - are part of a dynamic team that will construct the future home of the United States’ first purpose–built Formula 1 racetrack. Slated to host its first event in 2012, this much–anticipated Grand Prix facility will provide a fully–integrated architectural and entertainment experience for both event participants and visitors.

Read more & Comment...
11/23/10
automotive

Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac CTS Named to 10Best List
Car and Driver editors today named the Chevrolet Volt and the Cadillac CTS to their annual 10Best list. General Motors was the only American automaker to earn two spots on the prestigious list.

Said Car and Driver editors in the magazine’s January 2011 issue:

Of the Volt:

“To put it simply, the Volt was far and away the biggest surprise to every editor at this year’s 10Best event. None of us imagined that nestling into the glass cockpit would bring the words ‘automotive bliss’ and ‘electric vehicle’ together in the same sentence.

Of the CTS:

“In forsaking the mainstream CTSs, we are saying yes to psychedelic power, yes to organ-shifting g-forces, yes to the great, mind-expanding duality of Cadillacs that make the 0-to-60 sprint about as fast as a Ferrari 599…. These are hard-core performance cars, but they are also Cadillacs, with all of the seamlessness, refinement, and content that implies.”

Comment
11/23/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Norbert Haug
    India GP track eyes 2012 MotoGP race
  • Haug insists 'no contact' with Hulkenberg
  • French GP revival failures frustrate Prost
  • Alonso has congratulated Vettel 'repeatedly'
  • Pirelli wants to boost F1 'show' but duck criticism

India GP track eyes 2012 MotoGP race
(GMM)  India's new formula one circuit may also be used for a MotoGP race.

With a bespoke venue currently being built by the Jaypee Group near the capital New Delhi, India is set to host its inaugural grand prix next October.

Read more & Comment...
11/22/10
nassprint

Layoffs coming at RPM
Richard Petty Motorsports held a meeting on Monday morning to clarify which employees would continue on as the company downsizes from four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to two. According to sources, director of competition and Vice President Robbie Loomis delivered the news and workers were separated into two groups -- remaining employees and those the organization chose to let go. President and general manager Max Jones and director of operations Sammy Johns were also in attendance. With crew chief Kenny Francis leaving to join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing and crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe moving on to Richard Childress Racing with Paul Menard, understandably, many of their men will follow. The #43 team led by Mike Shiplett, which finished 19th in the points standings following a fifth-place finish by AJ Allmendinger on Sunday, is expected to remain intact.

Team co-owner Richard Petty later issued a statement on the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup plans. "Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," his statement read. "RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that is never an easy process for the people involved. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the #43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford. We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future." Potential investor Andrew Murstein from Medallion Financial Group was at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday meeting with team management, Allmendinger and Ford Racing. Foxsports

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11/22/10
f1

BMW says no to F1 return
Mario Theissen made it clear in Macau last weekend that his company was not contemplating a comeback to F1 anytime soon.

"No. It's not on our cards," he told AUTOSPORT. "There was a clear decision by the board to focus on production car racing in the future, and to put together a strong production car program.

"This is what we did with the DTM program and future series overseas. We are fully focused on this and it keeps us busy."

When asked if there was anything that F1 could do to make itself attractive to BMW, Theissen said: "I don't see that in the near future, no."

Comment
11/22/10
nnw

Pastrana to run 7-race Nationwide schedule in 2011
Travis Pastrana is coming to NASCAR in 2011.

After mining gold medals in the X Games, shattering jump records on both motorcycles and automobiles and starring as a cultural icon for the action sports world, the star of MTV's Nitro Circus is ready to turn his attention to America's most popular form of motorsports -- NASCAR.

Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Pastrana announced Thursday the creation of Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that will field cars in the Nationwide Series beginning in 2011.

Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will focus on creating programs that expose the action sports world's fans and participants to NASCAR and develop youth marketing initiatives designed to create greater awareness of both sports.

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11/22/10
f1

Sutil's manager admits 2011 contract not signed yet
(GMM) Adrian Sutil has agreed a new deal with Force India but a contract is not yet signed, the German driver's manager said on Monday.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move elsewhere for 2011, while at the same time others drivers - including the job-seeking Nick Heidfeld and Nico Hulkenberg - are eyeing Sutil's seat with the Silverstone based team.

But Sutil was at the wheel of the Mercedes-powered VJM03 at the Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi last week, and manager Manfred Zimmerman insists that a "fundamental agreement" covering 2011 is already in place.

"Once a contract is signed, we will announce it," Zimmerman is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"This should happen within the next two to three weeks," he added.

At the same time, it is rumoured that ousted Williams driver Hulkenberg's best chance of a continuing job in F1 next year is the reserve role at Mercedes GP.

Comment
11/22/10
motogp

Rossi: Injury much worse than thought
Valentino Rossi admits that his shoulder injuries are worse than he initially feared although the Italian, who switches from the Yamaha to Ducati MotoGP team for 2011, is confident that he will be able to return in time for testing.

With just over two months to go under February testing begins in Malaysia, the clock continues to tick for Rossi although ‘The Doctor’ remains upbeat.

“I’m pretty bad and it’s very painful, but that’s normal in the days which follow an operation,” he explained on Mediaset’s Italian evening television program Striscia la Notizia.

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11/22/10
irl

Tagliani team continues assessment of Tung
Alex Tagliani’s Fazzt team continues to consider Dutch-Chinese protégé Ho-Pin Tung as a possible full-time driver for the 2011 IndyCar Series season, with the 27-year-old – who celebrates his next birthday on 4 December – having tested at Sebring after competing in GP2 for DAMS before being injured this season.

Alex Tagliani “When you look at it from an organizational standpoint, we want to have a combination,” Tagliani began to explain of entering a third car. “If commercially it makes sense and on the operation side it makes sense, then you’re in a win-win situation.

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11/22/10
f1

Vettel in awe of hometown welcome
Sebastian Vettel was 'knocked out' as an estimated 15,000 fans braved the cold on Sunday to welcome him home to Heppenheim.

Fans arrived in droves, waiting for hours, to catch a glimpse of Vettel a week after he became the youngest F1 Champion at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Red Bull racer, who was greeted by cries of 'Sebastian, Sebastian!' as he came onto the stage, was honored in his home town by Heppenheim's mayor Gerhard Herbert, who handed him the golden book of the town, which has a population of just 25,000.

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11/22/10
f1

Schumi 'salutes' Vettel's talent
Michael Schumacher has heaped praise on compatriot Sebastian Vettel for becoming the youngest driver to win the Drivers' Championship.

"I congratulated Seb just after the race, but I wanted to repeat my congratulations," Schumacher told his website.

"His fighting spirit throughout the season and the way he played his trump card in the last race is deserving of praise.

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11/22/10
nhra

Ford honors John Force at Homestead
As part of Saturday activities at Homestead, Ford presented the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award to veteran drag racer and force in racing John Force, who recently won a record 15th National Hot Rod Association Funny Car championship. Force, 61, was surprised with the award by Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. co-founder Henry Ford, during a gathering of Ford champion drivers in the Homestead-Miami Speedway media center. The Spirit of Ford Award is the highest honor Ford awards for lifetime achievement in auto racing. Force is the 24th recipient and joins a stellar list that includes Mario Andretti, Richard Petty, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney. Edsel Ford II said Force's accomplishments off the track-in many areas, including safety and promotion-were as important as his championships in the honor. Force was participating in a panel discussion in the Homestead media center when he was surprised with the award. Also on the panel were Tanner Foust, X Games champion; Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Formula Drift champion); Ken Block (Rally America-World Rally driver) and Jamie Allison, director of Ford's North American motorsports operations. Ford Racing

Comment
11/22/10
nassprint

NASCAR special to be filmed in New York
With the Sprint Cup awards banquet now playing post-season in Las Vegas, after so many years in New York City, NASCAR marketers are trying to find a way to keep tapped into the New York market. However, what to make of this promotion: "No Restrictor Plate," as it's billed. A one-hour, Made-for-TV event to be filmed in New York City Tuesday Nov. 23rd and then later aired during the Las Vegas awards. Kyle Petty will interview the new tour champion, with an 'in-studio audience of select media and avid fans.' And, if NASCAR's New York game plan goes as it typically does, the champ will then do a whirlwind TV show run....and then maybe on to Los Angeles for more of the same...and then up to Las Vegas. NASCAR PR

Comment
11/22/10
automotive

One more hurdle for Volt: Incompetent EPA holds up sales
General Motors has begun commercial production of the Chevrolet Volt, producing cars at the automaker’s Detroit plant  intended for sale or lease to consumers.

But there’s one final problem, one that’s been dragging on for years, that needs to get cleared up.

It’s illegal to sell new cars in the United States without an EPA fuel economy label — and the government still hasn’t figured out how to measure the Volt’s fuel economy. That means no fuel economy label and that means GM dealers still can’t start selling the cars.

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11/22/10
AutoGP
wtcc

Auto GP joins WTCC and Eurosport for seven meetings
Auto GP at Monza this past year
WTCC and Auto GP are pleased to announce they have signed an agreement that will see Auto GP become the partner series of the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the 2011 season. After a successful debut year, the Auto GP Championship is ready to raise the bar, adding one Event to its calendar and joining WTCC on six of the seven season meetings.

As part of the agreement, Auto GP will benefit from an unprecedented live TV coverage of all 2011 race meetings on Eurosport's platform including live broadcast on Eurosport, the n°1 pan-European TV channel, as well as on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Asia-Pacific. In addition, the Auto GP feed will also be included in the WTCC packages distributed across USA (through Speed TV), Russia and Asia. On the six joint events with WTCC, the Auto GP will be produced in native HD, adding even more quality to an already outstanding media offer.

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11/22/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Massa on Pirelli tires
    Massa, Schumacher happy after Pirelli test
  • Mallya's son eyes future in F1 management
  • Maldonado flags 'important news' this week
  • Vettel can break new contract if Red Bull stops winning
  • Red Bull pays Vettel EUR 3m title bonus

    Read more & Comment...
11/21/10
nassprint

Petty says RPM will compete in 2011
Stopping short of saying he has financial investors to keep his Sprint Cup organization afloat, Richard Petty said Saturday that Richard Petty Motorsports will compete in 2011. This came a week after the minority owner of RPM said he was in limbo for next year. Employees at RPM will get an indication Monday morning of how the company will move forward. According to a memo, a mandatory 8:00am/et meeting has been called, with instructions for no one to come to work before then. "We're going to make it," Petty said. "That's all I can say now." A source in the Cup garage said RPM, in order to restructure its financial situation, may have to shut its doors for at least a day, release most employees, then re-open. Petty would not confirm that, saying only "nothing's off the table." Regardless, major layoffs will occur as RPM will shrink from four cars to two after this season, with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the only drivers under contract. Petty would not confirm he has found investors to make it, but several sources in the Cup garage said the pieces appear in place. Ford Racing officials met with Petty for a briefing Saturday. Afterward, Ford spokesman Kevin Kennedy said: "It was a good meeting. We're confident it will get worked out.'' Edsel Ford II, a member of Ford's board of directors, said keeping RPM in the fold is paramount. "We've done everything we can,'' he said. "Quite frankly, a lot of their suppliers have done the same." ESPN

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11/21/10
f1

Pirelli tire test doesn't tell us anything -  Kubica
Robert Kubica has cautioned against drawing any conclusions about performance next year based on the Pirelli tire test.

The Renault driver finished fifth in the standings after the second test - with Fernando Alonso coming out on top - but he does not expect the timings to shed any light on performance in 2011.

"It was the same when we swapped from Michelins to Bridgestones, you have to adapt the car set-up and just get an idea about the requirement of the tire," Kubica told Autosport.

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11/21/10
f1

Pirelli: Absolutely, we'll be ready
Pirelli are confident they will be ready for Formula One when the new season begins in March next year.

Pirelli conducted a successful two-day test in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, with all 12 Formula One teams participating.

Initial reaction from the drivers has been positive, although there were two tires failures, both belonging to Sebastian Vettel, the first of which has been attributed to debris on the track.

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11/21/10
f1

Mateschitz: Vettel will be better in 2011
Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz believes new World Champion Sebastian Vettel will be even stronger when defending his title in 2011 (assuming Adrian Newey again produces the best race car).

Vettel clinched the race victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, winning his maiden Drivers' Championship title by four points ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

And Mateschitz believes Red Bull fans can expect even more from Vettel next season.

"Yes, on condition that we are once again in a position to provide him with a competitive car," the Austrian said in an interview published in Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

Mateschitz also told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the plan from the beginning has been to create an era of F1 dominance akin to that of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, who won five of his titles between 2000 and 2004 with Ferrari.

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11/21/10
f1

Schumacher glad to switch tires UPDATE Michael Schumacher likes a race car with tires that have good grip at the front.  He is cautiously optimistic the new Pirelli F1 tires will help put him back at the front of the grid.

"They have a very different combination," he said when asked if the Pirellis seemed more suited to his style. "Whether [or not] you can say the front tire is now stronger and that's going to suit my style, what is very important is how next year's car is going to suit these tires. That's very important. But for the first step, from what we have seen here, I feel positive about the tires."

He emphasized that the adaptation to the new tires was still at a very early stage and that fine-tuning was required on both sides

"I was quite happy with the first test. A lot of positive feedback so we can now start to do the detailed work on the car," said Schumacher. "The tires performed reasonably consistently and were good. I'm sure they're making some small adjustments for the future, but all in all I'm quite happy."

11/19/10 Nico Rosberg has hinted that – contrary to popular belief – Mercedes Grand Prix’s saving grace will not be the new Pirelli tires in the 2011 season, with the German having finished Abu Dhabi testing eighth on the Yas Marina timesheets.

It is widely known that team-mate Michael Schumacher – who will be driving on Saturday – is highly keen to switch onto new tires for next season, although Rosberg appeared less convinced after ending the first day 1.6 seconds off Felipe Massa’s pace.

“As a team, and particularly the engineers, we did a really good job to be well prepared for this week's Pirelli test, with the work back at the factory and the support here at the track proving invaluable,” German Rosberg began.

“That really helps once you get the tires on and we were able to focus precisely on the setup direction and have found various improvements. It's a good start; however, there is obviously still some way to go before we get the best out of the tires.”

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11/21/10
irl

Tickets on sale for Honda Indy at Mid-Ohio
The IZOD IndyCar Series will help Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course celebrate its 50th anniversary season with the running of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 7.

Tickets for the fifth IZOD IndyCar Series race on the road course go on sale Nov. 22 and can be purchased by calling 800-MID-OHIO (643-6446) or visiting www.midohio.com. The first 50 orders are entered to win one of two $50 gift certificates or one of two $50 Sunoco gas cards.

VIP Race Passes grant fans access to all six spectator events as well as dozens of other weekends throughout the year and are priced at $199 each through Dec. 23. A special 50th Season of Racing commemorative gift pack comes with all VIP Race Passes and there is free shipping on all tickets through Feb. 28, 2011.

Dario Franchitti won the 2010 race on his way to claiming the IZOD IndyCar Series championship for the second consecutive year.

TrueSports Inc., owner of the track, announced promotional offers, fan contests, celebrations and more are planned throughout the year to commemorate the track’s past. Fans can enter to win one of dozens of prizes by visiting www.midohio.com through Dec. 23.

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11/21/10
irl

No Ford in IndyCar
Jamie Allison, Ford's director of North American motorsports, said the manufacturer currently has no interest in joining competitor Chevrolet as an engine-provider to the Izod IndyCar Series and will concentrate, he said, on "production-based racing."

Ford currently support programs in NASCAR, the NHRA, and professional rally and drifting domestically and internationally, but wouldn't benefit from expanding into open wheel racing, Allison said.

"We were approached. We had conversation. We gave our feedback," Allison said. "We see affinity of our customers with production-based racing and the showcase on our technology. That's why we're focused on the platforms we have today, and today is a sign of all the excitement regenerating in the new rally car and rally cross, X Games. We plan to take advantage of putting our cars, as well with the technology in our cars, to showcase what we do. I'm sure Indy is right for many manufacturers, but at this time our priority is to focus on the stuff we have."

Chevrolet and Lotus announced recently their intention to join Honda as engine-providers beginning in 2012.

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11/21/10
f1

Ricciardo Has no idea what is next for him
Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo says he currently has no idea what is in store for him in 2011 despite his impressive performance in this week's Formula 1 rookie tests in Abu Dhabi. The Red Bull reserve was on top by a comfortable margin throughout the two days of testing, and ended up beating Sebastian Vettel's grand prix pole time by over a second - although track conditions had improved since the race weekend.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if he knew what his next step would be, Ricciardo said he had spoken to Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko as soon as the test finished, but that there was no news yet.

"I actually spoke to him after the last run, just to inform him of how it all went," said Ricciardo.

"And I asked him if he's got any news for me. But he genuinely said nothing has come up yet, there's nothing even close to being confirmed.

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11/21/10
MacauGP

Mortara wins back-to-back Macau GPs
Edoardo Mortara grabs lead at the start
Edoardo Mortara secured his place in the history books on Sunday when he became the first man to win the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix for a second time.

The Signature Racing driver fought back from third place at one point in the incident-filled 15-lap event to head home team-mate Laurens Vanthoor, with Prema Powerteam’s Valtteri Bottas taking third at the checkered flag.

Mortara had led away cleanly from pole position at the start and defended well into Lisboa, holding off Daniel Abt who had jumped ahead of front-row starter Vanthoor.

But almost immediately the safety car was called out following a start-line accident as two cars stalled on the grid – and others crashed avoiding them.

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11/21/10
nhra

Force addresses Coil's departure
Drag racing icon John Force will deal with mixed emotions this weekend when he attends the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, final event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a guest of Ford Motor Company.

Coming off a scintillating victory last week in the Auto Cub NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif., that delivered his 15th Funny Car championship and his team’s 17th in the last 21 seasons, Force is having to deal with the unexpected departure of friend and crew chief Austin Coil, who submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

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11/20/10
track news

Daytona repaving hits overdrive
When project manager Bill Braniff was asked if he could see light at the end of the Daytona International Speedway repaving tunnel, he just laughed. "Yes, and I know that light is not a train," Braniff joked Thursday, standing near the exit of Daytona's pit road.

Braniff is senior director of construction at North American Testing Company, a subsidiary of International Speedway Corp., which owns Daytona and 12 other major racing facilities in North America.

On Saturday, DIS president Joie Chitwood III plans on giving a news conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway to provide a detailed review of the Daytona repave project for media attending NASCAR's Championship Weekend. At this point, no test dates have been announced for December. NASCAR and Grand-Am have tests scheduled in January.

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11/20/10
nnw

Logano edges Busch for Nationwide pole at HMS
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Joey Logano and Kyle Busch have battled all season long in the Nationwide Series, with both drivers gaining the upper hand at different points during the year. But for the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Logano has the early edge on Busch after grabbing the pole for the Ford 300 by just .005 seconds on his teammate (Race Lineup).

Logano will roll off first for a career-high eighth time this season thanks to a lap of 171.499 mph. Four drivers later, Busch hit the 1.5-mile track and came up just short of the pole with a lap of 171.472 mph. They were the only two drivers to eclipse the 171 mph mark.

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11/20/10
nastruck

Busch wins at Homestead, clinches truck series' owners title
Kyle Busch ran away from Ron Hornaday Jr. after a restart with four laps left in Friday night’s Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and won the race by .577 seconds over last year’s series champion.

In winning for the eighth time in 16 starts this season and the 24th time in his career, Busch locked up the owners’ championship for his No. 18 Toyota in his first year as an owner in the series.

"This is so cool, to come out here and win in our last race the way we did," said Busch, who is still looking for sponsorship to sustain his truck team next year. "(Crew chief) Eric Phillips made some great calls and got my head back in the race."

Johnny Sauter ran third, followed by 2010 truck series champion Todd Bodine and Aric Almirola, second in the standings this year.

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11/20/10
alms

Honda twin-turbo V6 completes first test
Highcroft Racing team owner Duncan Dayton tells SPEED.com “We did 435 miles and the engine ran flawlessly.”

The highly anticipated first track test of the 2011-spec LMP2 engine built by Honda Performance Development was a complete success, according to Highcroft Racing team owner Duncan Dayton.

The production-based 2.8 Liter twin-turbo V6, announced last June during the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, complies with the ACO’s new-for-2011 LMP2 rules which call for the use of more road-relevant motors. HPD’s LMP2 engine is wholly unrelated to the brand-new, purpose-built engine it will produce for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

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11/20/10
f1

Alonso, Schumacher fastest on 2nd Pirelli test day UPDATE
Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:40.529 105
2. Michael Schumacher MERCEDES GP PETRONAS 1:40.685 74
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:40.825 66
4. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:41.294 100
5. Robert Kubica Renault 1:41.614 91
6. Gary Paffett McLaren 1:41.622 46
7. Oliver Turvey McLaren 1:41.740 30
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1:41.869 35
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:42.110 43
10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:42.145 97
11. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1:42.416 46
12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:42.777 46
13. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:44.521 83
14. Pastor Maldonado HRT 1:44.768 65
15. Timo Glock Virgin 1:44.783 82

11/20/10 Fernando Alonso took over from Felipe Massa at the Yas Marina circuit on Saturday, topping the timesheets at lunch on Day Two of the Pirelli test.

With the Formula One teams getting their first taste of the new Pirelli rubber in Abu Dhabi over a two-day period, Ferrari opted to run both Massa and Alonso, giving them each a day's working.

Massa was in action on Friday, setting the pace with a 1:40.170, before handing over to Alonso on Saturday morning. The Spaniard continued Ferrari's fun, clocking a 1:40.529 to beat Sebastian Vettel to the P1 slot by 0.296s.

However, Vettel's run was reportedly cut short when the new World Champ suffered another tire failure, the cause of which is believed to be debris on the circuit. He completed just 13 laps.

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11/20/10
nassprint

Kahne to have surgery on his knees UPDATE From Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes, Kasey Kahne:

Q) How are your knees and what is the nature of your off-season surgery?
Kahne:
"The knees are fine. What happened is I was born with what I have, both knees, and the older I get, the more I stay active and run and play basketball and work out and things like that, it's inflamed it and it's just rubbing, I guess, a hole in my kneecaps. So, it's just rubbing against each other and getting to where it's no fun. When I get out of the car, a lot of times I limp around. When I walk around a lot -- if I go to Vegas and walk for a day, I can't walk the next day. It's just a pain, is all it is. It's not bad by no means. It's very simple surgery that we'll get out of the way and be ready to go by January 1. Hopefully, I'll go to the Chili Bowl and be good to go."

Q) When are you going to have the surgery on your knees and do you know how long is the recovery period?
Kahne: "Tuesday morning at 5:30 AM and they say, I think, 35 minutes per knee. Get them done, go home, lay on the couch most of the day. By Thursday I think I will be pretty good so I will be able to eat full on at Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it. I think it will take maybe six weeks and then they will be like 100 percent or close to it."  Toyota PR

11/18/10 Kasey Kahne will be having surgery on both knees in the days following this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is expecting to be sidelined about six weeks, the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota told FanHouse Wednesday. Kahne characterized the operation as "no big deal" and said doctors were just going to clean up the area surrounding the knees. He said he opted to have both knees worked on at once because it was "either six weeks this way, or 12 weeks doing it one after the other.'' While this means Kahne won't be participating in offseason testing -- including the Jan. 20-22 tire test at the newly paved Daytona International Speedway -- he fully expects to be behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for the Feb. 20 season-opening Daytona 500. Motorsports FanHouse

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11/20/10
nassprint

Red Bull layoffs UPDATE Crew chief Jimmy Elledge is out at Red Bull Racing, along with most of the men on the #83 NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Elledge, 40, joined Red Bull a little more than two seasons ago. Elledge said he's "not sure yet" what his plans are for next season. With the understanding that Kasey Kahne was joining the organization and bringing his entourage to the team for 2011, Elledge expected he would be on the way out. He did not have a contract beyond this year.  FoxSports

11/18/10 Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Red Bull Racing laid off a number of crewmembers from its #82 Toyota team Wednesday, in part to clear the way for new personnel expected to join Kasey Kahne when he drives the car full-time in 2011. There is no immediate word on how many crewmen were let go, but sources say crew chief Ryan Pemberton remains with the team. Kenny Francis will serve as crew chief for the team next season. Sirius Speedway

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11/20/10
nassprint

Finally, the too long NASCAR season over
Thank goodness.

After 38 weekends of racing and enough hype, hyperbole and hot air to fill the Hindenburg, the NASCAR season will be over.

And not a moment too soon.

The sport wore out its welcome weeks ago with its contrived championship format and its endless races and lack of pants in the seats and in front of the sets to attest to that more than anything else.

The sport born out of roughnecks and red clay, of red necks, white socks and Blue Ribbon beer, and of legions raised by yes sir, no ma'am and the stinging swish of the switch, has become too corporate, too codified and too coddling of its stars. The common fan is turning away in disgust.

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11/20/10
nassprint

Judge orders Robby Gordon not to use logo
A court order granting an injunction against #7-Robby Gordon for using the logo he developed for his Speed Energy drink could cost him millions of dollars at a time when he's trying to raise money to continue his Sprint Cup team. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford issued an injunction Thursday in favor of Specialized Bicycle Components, which claimed that Gordon's "S" logo for his drink would create confusion with the company's "S" logo. The injunction will keep Gordon from selling product that features logo and from using the logo on his race cars, including his #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Sprint Cup Toyota. The injunction, which was issued three days after a hearing Monday in federal court in Santa Ana. Calif., did not specify when the logos must be removed or when products with those logos must be removed from the marketplace. According to the court filings, Gordon had more than 2.4 million cans of the energy drink produced with the Speed logo with nearly 1.2 million ready for sale. The company is committed to sell more than 1.8 million cans through already negotiated distribution agreements, according to court filings. The one-time production costs for those cans is more than $1.1 million. The cans cannot be relabled and it would take at least 90 days to create a new logo and make new cans, according to Gordon's court filings. By putting the Speed logo on his car for 10 races, the value of that sponsorship has been worth $2.25 million, according to court filings. Gordon had argued that his "S" logo was different from the Specialized logo, and that it should be allowed because the bicycle business is different than the energy drink business and racing business. The judge didn't agree with Gordon. SceneDaily

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11/20/10
f1

‘I would not say we’re fond of each other’
New World Champion Sebastian Vettel has explained how he and teammate Mark Webber engaged in a lengthy discussion following his title-clinching Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, bringing an end to a season which included a coming together between to the two Red Bull drivers in Turkey.

Whilst fighting for the lead in Istanbul, the Australian and German collided to hand an almost certain one-two finish to rivals McLaren. However, the youngest ever Formula 1 title winner is pleased to explain that the relationship with his team-mate has now improved, despite not being ideal.

Immediately after the (Abu Dhabi) race we had a long conversation,” Vettel explained in an interview with the official Formula 1 website. “He came over to congratulate me and we took the chance to speak.

“There have been some things that annoyed me over the course of the year and vice versa. We’ve had the chance to set the record straight.

“I would not say that we have become fond of each other after that conversation, because there have been reasons why we collided, but we respect each other and that is a good basis.”

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11/20/10
f1

All eyes on City Council as F1 discussed
How much worldwide interest has Austin received since plans to host Formula One races starting in 2012 were announced in May?

A lot, judging by the number of places where people watched yesterday’s City Council meeting in which F1-related issues were discussed.

On Twitter, people from Los Angeles; San Francisco; Seattle; Vermont; Portland, Ore., Kansas and Great Britain said they were watching the meeting via live video feed online.

Council Member Mike Martinez said it was the first time he had heard of people from so many places tuning in to watch a meeting.

“London, Spain, Altanta, California … pretty amazing the worldwide eyes that will be on Austin now,” he said.

The live feed on the city’s website cut out sporadically during the F1 discussions, although it’s not immediately clear whether that was related to a surge in traffic. The Statesman

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11/20/10
macaugp

Mortara Dominates Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race
Edoardo Mortara
Edoardo Mortara dominated the Qualification Race for the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Saturday – heading home his Signature team-mates Laurens Vanthoor and Daniel Abt at the end of the 10-lap race that decides the grid for the main event.

The Italian had started from pole position but did not make the best of getaways as he faced an early challenge from front row starter Valtteri Bottas through Mandarin Bend – before then losing the lead to Abt.

However, Mortara was able to move back to the front into Lisboa and from there built up a comfortable cushion – finishing the first lap more than two seconds clear.

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11/20/10
irl

Franchitti reflects of future of IndyCar during TMS test
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti visited Texas Motor Speedway on Friday to conduct an off-season, one-day test session for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. During the lunch break, Franchitti took time to discuss a variety of topics ranging from his championship season to the arrival of the new chassis and engine manufacturers in 2012.

Franchitti, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Honda, captured his record-tying third career IZOD Indy Car Series championship by five points over Penske Racing’s Will Power. He was buoyed by three wins, including his second Indianapolis 500 crown, and 13 top-five finishes in 17 starts.

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11/20/10
MacauGP

Mortara on Pole for Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race
Edoardo Mortara
Edoardo Mortara kept himself on course for an historic Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix double when he took pole position on Saturday morning for the afternoon’s Qualification Race.

With the second qualifying session having been rescheduled for Saturday morning following delays to the program on Friday, Mortara kept himself on top of the timesheets as drivers improved on their early benchmark efforts.

Despite two red flag interruptions – caused when Adderly Fong and then Yuji Kunimoto crashed in the Solitude Esses in separate incidents – Mortara delivered a lap that demoted Signature team-mate Laurens Vanthoor from the top of the timesheets with eight minutes remaining.

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11/20/10
nassprint

Gillett at Homestead, refuses to talk
Foster Gillett appeared at a NASCAR track for the first time since financial problems began consuming his team. As he climbed from the top of the #19 Richard Petty Motorsports hauler, Gillett, the managing partner of the company his father, George Gillett, purchased in August 2007, refused to answer questions that have been on the minds of many - from suppliers to whom RPM owes money to drivers who want to know what their situations are for next year. When asked where have you been, Gillett refused to answer. When asked if his family still had majority interest of Richard Petty Motorsports, Gillett refused to answer.

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11/20/10
f1

Pirelli testing: Day 2 line-up
Following the first day of Pirelli running in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Saturday marks the final day of F1 running before official pre-season testing kicks off next February.


Saturday's Pirelli test line-up is as follows:

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11/19/10
f1

City of Austin to reimburse F1 developer
The Austin City Council cast its first vote Thursday related to Formula One, unanimously agreeing to reimburse developers of the planned racetrack $13.5 million to install large water and sewer lines on and near the site.

Plans have been submitted to build the track on about 900 acres near Elroy in southeastern Travis County. Local promoter Tavo Hellmund intends to hold Grand Prix races from 2012 to at least 2021 , making Austin the first U.S. city to stage such races since Indianapolis in 2007.

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11/19/10
nassprint

NASCAR to meet with ESPN to try and reverse plummeting ratings
NASCAR plans to meet with ESPN officials during the offseason to discuss everything from race times to promotion in an effort to reverse ratings declines, NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France said on Friday in Miami where the series is holding their season finale. NASCAR shifted to consistent 1:00pm ET start times this year, which was coupled with a shift from ABC to ESPN for many race broadcasts. Ratings during the Chase for the Sprint Cup have declined more than 20%. France said, "Obviously, we would like our TV ratings on an upswing. We're looking at all kinds of things to see what's a better formula for us."

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11/19/10
irl

Tony Kanaan panned
In this internet report from a participant after a recent Miami Ironman contest, the writer does not have too many good things to say about Tony Kanaan, but it just may be some disgruntled person who has an axe to grind.

Comment
11/19/10
f1

Vettel likes new F1 tire
World Champion Sebastian Vettel was pleased with the performance of Pirelli’s brand-new Formula 1 tires as the 12 teams sampled the Italian rubber at Yas Marina for the first time on Friday. After Red Bull topped Young Driver testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, the German ended today second on the timesheets to Felipe Massa.

“It was all about the tires today, as this was the first chance we have had to try them out and work with them to develop the car’s setup for next year,” said the German, whose best lap time of 1:40.500 was just over three tenths of a second in arrears of the Brazilian Ferrari driver.

“I think the tires behaved well, better than expected given the short amount of time Pirelli have had, and they’ve done a good job. Pirelli are obviously in the middle of their development and what we used today is not what we will race with, but it was a good start. The circuit was in good condition and we had blue skies all day.”

“It was great to be back in the car after an incredible week,” he continued. “I went to Salzburg on Monday morning for a TV show and press conference and then to the UK to say thanks to the team in Milton Keynes – that was quite emotional.

“It’s nice for me and the team to be able to enjoy our success, but 2011 started today and I was focusing on the tires and getting to know them – I think we have learned quite a lot.”

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11/19/10
f1

Massa tops first Pirelli tire test
Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.170s 94
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.500s 77
3. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m40.874s 94
4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m40.950s 83
5. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.032s 39
6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.425s 91
7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.615s 20
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.778s 81
9. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m42.019s 71
10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m42.859s 20
11. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.124s 78
12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m44.686s 88
13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m45.728s 83

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11/19/10
f1

Williams F1 wins award for hybrid technology
Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) received industry recognition when it won the Powertrain Innovation of the Year award at the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Köln, Germany earlier this week.

WHP’s award made it a clean sweep for the companies involved in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid programme this year, with the car itself winning the award for Car of the Year and the project’s lead engineer, Dr Daniel Armbruster, winning the citation for Design Engineer of the Year.

Williams Hybrid Power’s magnetically-loaded composite flywheel technology helped the GT3 R Hybrid programme achieve noteworthy competition results in 2010, including a number of endurance race successes in Europe, Asia and the US.

Commenting on the award, WHP’s Managing Director, Ian Foley said, “We are very pleased with our tangible achievements on track with the high-profile Porsche project. This week’s award for Powertrain Innovation of the Year at the Professional Motorsport World Expo is an further industry validation of our unique approach to hybrid flywheel technology in the automotive sector. Bearing in mind the exponential growth of hybridisation, we believe that this validation together with promising early signs from our other work for road car and light transport applications will see WHP prosper into the medium term and beyond.”

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11/19/10
f1

Safety car notched up milestone in Abu Dhabi
(GMM) Last Sunday's Abu Dhabi season finale was a significant moment in the history of the F1 safety car.

The first deployment of the sport's permanent safety car was 250 grands prix ago, at Magny Cours in 1996.

"That was my company car," recalled current safety car driver Bernd Maylander, referring to the C36 AMG used for that race in France.

According to Motorsport-Magazin.com, the car deployed for that debut race even featured Maylander's personalized number plate 'S-BM 300'.

Of the 250 races, the Mercedes safety car – spanning nine separate models and currently the gull-wing SLS AMG – was deployed 135 times.

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11/19/10
track news

Iowa Speedway offers layaway on tickets
The Iowa Speedway is offering a new incentive to fans for next season - layaway.
Speedway officials say fans can purchase season tickets for a deposit of just $25 and pay off the rest of the balance in 2011.

Season tickets for the 2011 schedule start as $129 per seat and are the same price as they were this year.

Fans will have the option of paying off their balance in three installments.

The Iowa Speedway will host two NASCAR Nationwide races, a NASCAR Trucks series race and its annual IndyCar event in 2011.

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11/19/10
f1

Pirelli performance on par with Bridgestone
McLaren test driver Gary Paffett reckons the new Pirelli tires are very similar to the old Bridgestone rubber.

With Pirelli replacing Bridgestone as F1's official tire supplier next season, the teams were given special dispensation to hold a two-day test using the new rubber.

Paffett was in action for McLaren on the opening morning on Friday, completing 49 laps of the Yas Marina circuit with a best time of 1:41.588, which put him fifth on the timesheets.

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11/19/10
MacauGP

Macau qualifying postponed
The final qualifying session for this year's Macau Grand Prix has been delayed until Saturday morning, following several delays during Friday's schedule. There was a red flag of more than an hour on Friday morning when the barrier on the approach to Maternity Bend had to be repaired after a crash in a GT support race session. This meant the F3 session was delayed until after World Touring Car qualifying. But more red flags in the WTCC session forced event organizers to move qualifying to Saturday, with darkness beginning to fall on the circuit.

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11/19/10
ga

Veteran Tony Dowe Launches Ferrari Assault on Rolex 24
Veteran motorsports boss Tony Dowe is set to launch a Ferrari 430 GT assault on next year's Rolex 24 at Daytona - aiming to take the Ferrari marque back to victory lane in GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 competition for the first time in nearly a decade.

The man who led the TWR Jaguar squad to overall victory in the 24-hour classic in 1988 and 1990 and a pair of class triumphs in 1992 and 1993, Dowe has assembled a top-line international driver line up for the January race for his Aten Motorsports squad featuring German Dominik Farnbacher, Brit Rob Bell and Danish driver Allan Simonsen.

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11/19/10
roc

Interview with Alain Prost: This Professor is Still Learning
When their glory days dry up, sports stars usually start living the good life they were denied when they competed on a world stage. Not Alain Prost. The Frenchman was ludicrously fit at his F1 peak but today, aged 55, he is ‘one or two kilos’ lighter still – thanks to a grueling program both on four wheels and two.

Prost’s main automotive activity is now France’s Trophée Andros ice-racing series where the cars seem permanently sideways. But he also competes in a dozen cycle races every year at distances up to 200km, similar to the stages of the Tour de France. Easy life? Hardly. But what else would we expect of a man once famously described as having a level of mental discipline beyond the comprehension of most people. 

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11/19/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Van der Garde wins $1.9m in Force India ruling
  • Hakkinen did not write 'tragic hero' Schumacher column
  • Vettel testing new Pirelli tires on Friday
  • Ricciardo still unsure of 2011 role
  • McLaren has 'creative ideas' for 2011 car - boss
  • New F1 tracks must allow overtaking - Todt
  • Team orders to be 'regulated' not banned - Todt
  • Vettel signs first sponsor after 2010 title
  • Maldonado quiet on 2011 Williams deal reports
  • Lotus name dispute escalates with IndyCar deal
  • Alonso gestures showed 'bad education' - Petrov

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