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DATE News (chronologically)
11/27/11
f1

Charles Pic confirmed at Marussia alongside Glock
Charles Pic
Marussia Virgin Racing has confirmed that Charles Pic will be joining the team for the 2012 Formula 1 season, replacing Jérôme d’Ambrosio. The Frenchman, who will be 22 years of age by the time the new campaign begins, has spent this year in GP2 and achieved two race wins and three second places.

Reports of a Pic to Marussia deal have been all but confirmed for several weeks, not least after the Frenchman was given an extra morning of running in the Young Driver test which took place at Yas Marina after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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11/27/11
f1

Ferrari: Need to give our drivers a better car
Pat Fry
As darkness and a few spots of rain settled on the Interlagos circuit, the Scuderia’s technical director, Pat Fry took a break from his work to talk to the media in the Ferrari hospitality area. As a difficult season comes to a close, the most pressing question was what Fry and his team were doing to ensure next year is much better.

“I think we have learned a lot from this year and I have had to learn how the team works once I joined it,” began the Englishman. “Within our team, there are certain things that work very well and others that have not. At the moment we are trying to concentrate on those areas that need improving. We have made some changes in the aerodynamic department and I feel that has been successful as the work we are doing is more creative than before. Now we must see if we can deliver the goods, but as always we will not know exactly how successful we have been until the cars roll out in Melbourne next year.”

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11/27/11
f1

2012 F1 schedule will drop to 19 races if Austin canned
Formula 1 commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone says that there will be no replacement on the calendar for the United States Grand Prix at Austin if the event is dropped from the 2012 schedule.

Amid ongoing uncertainty about the fate of the Circuit of The Americas event, Ecclestone said in Brazil on Sunday that there will be just 19 events next year if the race is removed at next month's meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

"Everybody will be happy with that, I believe," said Ecclestone when asked about the prospect of there being just 19 races. "The teams complain there are too many races, so we will solve the problem." More at Racer.com

Comment
11/27/11
alms

Rahal team to again run BMW effort in ALMS
Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW
BMW will defend its American Le Mans Series GT titles in 2012 after announcing that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will continue to field a works team in the championship.

The announcement was made Saturday evening by BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt at BMW's Sports Trophy Awards Ceremony in Munich. Newly crowned ALMS champions Joey Hand and Dirk Muller, along with other factory drivers, were recognized for their achievements from the past year at the annual end-of-season banquet.

RLL ran BMW's factory assault in the series this year, winning the teams' and manufacturers' titles, while Joey Hand and Dirk Muller took the drivers' championship in one of its M3 GTs.

No drivers have been announced for the program.

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11/27/11
ga

Nasr to test Daytona Prototype for Action Express
Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner and British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr will get his first taste of American road racing on December 6-7 when he tests for the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona winning team Action Express (formerly Brumos Racing) during an open GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series test at Daytona International Speedway

Nasr was the winner of the 2012 Sunoco Daytona Challenge after scoring the top average point score out of 100 racers who all signed up to the Challenge from the 3 eligible series; the Avon Tires British GT Championship, Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship and the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Nasr's prize is a fully funded drive in the top GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype class at the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. The prize is arguably the biggest in UK motorsport and currently valued at $250,000.

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11/27/11
ga

APR Steps Up to Rolex Series, Becomes First Team to Field Audi R8 LMS
Audi R8, which raced in Europe this year in GT class is coming to the Grand-Am Rolex Series
APR Motorsport is proud to announce that it will become the first team to compete in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with the Audi R8 LMS, when the team takes the green flag for January's 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28, 2012 - and, hopefully, is first to the checkered flag on January 29.

Passion for the Audi brand runs deep at APR. Stephen Hooks, President and CEO of APR, was an aspiring driver and Audi enthusiast who raced Audis in the Motorola Cup - the predecessor to GRAND-AM's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

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11/27/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday
  • Eric Boullier
    Raikkonen on list of 2012 candidates admits Boullier
  • Tost admits driver clean-sweep possible for Toro Rosso
  • Cheeky Vettel celebrates record with Mansell moustache
  • Barrichello juggling five phones to extend F1 career
  • Kolles delighted with HRT's qualifying pace
  • Rain can still be a factor in today's GP finale
  • Red Bull memorabilia auctioned off for charity
  • Team Lotus not officially Caterham F1
  • Randstad Increases Commitment to AT&T Williams

    Read more & Comment...
11/26/11
f1

Kubica's contract over at Renault
After several days of claim and counter claim, Lotus-Renault team principal Eric Boullier has attempted to draw a line under his team’s future relationship with Robert Kubica whose contract with the teams is due to terminate at the end of this year.

On Wednesday a statement assumed to be jointly issued by Robert Kubica and the Renault team suggested the Pole would not be fit to start the 2012 season. On Thursday the story took a twist with Kubica’s manager Daniele Morelli said the statement misinterpreted the position, claiming that his charge had only said he could not be certain of being fit for the beginning of pre-season testing.

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11/26/11
f1

Villeneuve no longer hunting F1 return seat
(GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve on Saturday clarified he is no longer actively looking for a formula one race return.

The last time the 1997 world champion visited grands prix, he was searching hard for a team to accommodate his comeback.

But he insisted to German television RTL in the Interlagos paddock on Saturday that he is in Brazil simply to catch up with his old "contacts".

"For quite some time I've been involved only with NASCAR," said the 40-year-old French Canadian.

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11/26/11
automotive

NHTSA investigates Volt battery fires
Federal officials say they are investigating the safety of lithium-ion battery in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt after a second battery fire following crash-testing of the electric car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that three Volt battery packs were crash-tested last week. In one instance, the battery caught fire afterward, and in another the battery emitted smoke and sparks.

Last May, a fire erupted in the battery of a Chevy Volt that had been damaged during a government crash test three weeks earlier. Last week's tests were an attempt to replicate the May fire.

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11/26/11
automotive

Famous Ferrari designer Sergio Scaglietti dies at 91
Sergio Scaglietti
Sergio Scaglietti, a sports car designer whose hand-shaped Ferraris of the 1950s and 1960s were regarded as the most elegant forms of transportation to grace pavement and the most valuable collector cars in the world — commanding multimillion-dollar sums at auction — died Nov. 20 in Modena, Italy.

He was 91. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo announced Mr. Scaglietti’s death in a statement, noting that he was “a man who had his name forever connected to the Prancing Horse,” the Ferrari logo. No cause of death was reported.

Mr. Scaglietti, the son of a carpenter, was regarded as the Italian automotive industry’s modern-day Michelangelo — a sculptor whose medium was metal. He was known as Ferrari’s “maestro of aluminum.”

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11/26/11
f1

Brazilian GP: Vettel tops Practice 3
Sebastian Vettel
Gunning for a record number of pole positions in a single season later today, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was fastest at the end of final practice (3) at Interlagos with a time of 1m12.460s for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, the final race of the 2011 season.  He beat the McLaren of Jenson Button and his teammate Mark Webber.

Lewis Hamilton was just 0.162s down in fourth spot in the second McLaren, ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in fifth, Adrian Sutil sixth and Nico Rosberg in seventh.

Michael Schumacher ended up eighth in the second Mercedes, with Paul di Resta ninth and Felipe Massa rounding out the top 10.

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11/26/11
irl

Management Shuffle For DRR and Conquest UPDATE Team owner Eric Bachelart recently hired ex-DRR team manager Larry Curry to manage his Conquest team on a part-time basis.  We suspect his son Matt is along for the ride.  The Currys have bounced around from team to team since Curry was fired after he was caught stealing from a team and spent time behind bars.

Larry Curry and his son are out at DRR
10/31/11
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl have taken the first step with their plans to revitalize the Indianapolis, IN.-based team after dismissing team manager Larry Curry and his son, Matt, who served as Justin Wilson's race engineer.

Dreyer & Reinbold won with Buhl driving during its debut season in 1999 and has shown sparks of competitiveness in recent years, but after two largely fruitless seasons with veteran driver Wilson in the cockpit--and rookie Ana Beatriz struggling at most rounds this year--DRR’s owners made the hard decision to overhaul its management and engineering staff with the new 2012 Indy car formula just around the corner.

Read more & Comment...
11/26/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Barrichello wonders about future
    Team harmony still on rocks after FOTA meeting
  • Veterans say Barrichello deserves to know 2012 plans
  • Chance of Vettel hat-trick in 2012 'very high'
  • Fittipaldi slams F1 after finding door closed
  • Massa gives 2011 performance 'very low score'
  • Massa to obey team orders during home race
  • Sponsor deal doubts not worrying Maldonado

    Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
F2000

2012 F2000 Schedule Set
The F2000 Championship Series 2012 schedule will see the popular tour visit seven different tracks in North America, with double race weekends at each. For the seventh straight year, the Championship will open at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in April, followed by a May trip to Road Atlanta with Formula Drift, Lime Rock Park on a spectator-heavy Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey Motorsports Park at the end of June with ARCA, and then onto Mid-Ohio in late July, before Summit Point at the end of August. The season finale will take place at Watkins Glen International in October.

Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
F1600

F1600 Expands Schedule for 2012
Following a successful inaugural 10-race run in 2011, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series will keep the momentum, expanding to 14 races in 2012, over seven double-race weekends. The Formula F cars will start the year in April at VIRginia International Raceway, then it’s Road Atlanta, followed by Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park, supporting ARCA at New Jersey Motorsports Park in late June, and then onto Mid-Ohio in late July, followed by Summit Point in August and the season finale at Watkins Glen International in October.

Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
nassprint

NASCAR fines Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch curses all the time, do they really think a $50K fine will make a dent in his wallet?
NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch $50,000 for his actions during the Nov. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR determined that Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing - inappropriate hand gesture; abusive language) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book.

In issuing the penalty, NASCAR cited Kurt Busch's "poor judgment in making an inappropriate hand gesture" when he drove his car into the garage early in the race after it experienced transmission problems.

In addition, NASCAR said Kurt Busch showed "disrespect towards a media member," an incident that followed similar inappropriate media confrontations earlier in the season. NASCAR (Related Story)

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11/25/11
tv news

Sky Sports to launch dedicated HD F1 channel
Sky Sports will create a dedicated High Definition F1 channel for the 2012 season, during the first term of its multi-year deal to broadcast the sport across a wide range of platforms. Every practice, qualifying and race session will be shown live, with the UK-based company also promising a ‘behind the scenes’ angle for fans.

It has also been confirmed that the channel will be made available free of charge for customers who already subscribe to Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 or the HD pack.

"Formula 1 followers are hungry for more and we want to give them the ultimate experience. It's not just every minute of every race but a channel devoted to Formula 1," explained Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports.

Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
f1

Rain could cause 'surprises' in Brazil
Michael Schumacher  predicts that there could be "some surprises" if wet weather affects the rest of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

After a completely dry day of running for Friday practice, Saturday afternoon and Sunday's race are forecast to be wet. With setup time for rain likely to be limited and the short circuit meaning cars are more closely matched, Schumacher says that there could be some different results if the forecast rings true.

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11/25/11
IRL

Tagliani will not return to Sam Schmidt team
Alex Tagliani
Alex Tagliani has confirmed to the French Montreal media that he will not be back with Sam Schmidt next year. Tagliani was not happy with the way Sam Schmidt was running the team in 2011 and the straw that broke the camel's back was when Schmidt put Dan Wheldon in the car for the season finale. We all know how that turned out.

Those sentiments were also those of his race engineer Allen McDonald, who left the team halfway through the season for Andretti Autosport. RDS.ca

We have removed Tagliani from the Sam Schmidt team on our 2012 IndyCar Silly Season page.  Tagliani is rumored headed to Bryan Herta's team.

Comment
11/25/11
nassprint

Roush clarifies Ragan comments
Jack Roush
Jack Roush constantly is juggling a bunch of balls but he could be excused for being a little sleep-deprived on Monday morning. So on Tuesday evening, Roush was compelled to reach out and make sure his feelings for David Ragan hadn't been misconstrued in comments that Roush made in a media briefing on Monday morning in conjunction with the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series banquet.

Roush expressed his "disappointment and frustration" at Ragan not fulfilling his potential in a five-year stint driving the #6 Ford, which may come to an end if Roush Fenway Racing is unable to secure sponsorship. Tuesday night, Roush said part of the frustration came -- and he's expressed the same emotion in a variety of situations throughout his lengthy ownership tenure -- from his own failure to turn the proper keys.

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11/25/11
nassprint

Harvick gets new crew chief
Kevin Harvick
Richard Childress Racing has made organizational changes to its competition department in preparation for the 2012 NASCAR season. Long-time RCR crew chiefs Shane Wilson and Gil Martin have taken new assignments with the 14-time championship-winning organization. Wilson has been named the crew chief of the #29 Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy John's team with driver Kevin Harvick after three seasons in the same position with RCR's #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team. Martin, the #29 team crew chief since May 2009 and a crew chief at RCR since August 2000, has been named director of team operations, reporting to director of competition Kent Day. Further personnel changes within RCR's competition department will be announced in the coming weeks. Richard Childress Racing

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11/25/11
nassprint

Vickers says he has options for 2012
Brian Vickers
Brian Vickers won a race and qualified for NASCAR's Chase For The Sprint Cup during his five-year tenure with Red Bull Racing. Now that the two-car organization's run in the Cup Series appears to be over, however, Vickers finds himself looking for work. "I'm working on several options right now in the Cup Series that I'm very excited about, but until they're done they're not done," Vickers said Sunday after finishing 17th in the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead. "I'm looking forward to hopefully continuing a strong career here in the Cup Series. I love this racing and I love what I do, especially with everything I went through last year. It taught me just how much I really do love it." Scene Daily

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11/25/11
f1

Brazilian GP: Hamilton tops practice 2
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the second free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

World champion Sebastian Vettel was second for Red Bull, just 0.167 seconds off Hamilton's pace, and just ahead of RBR teammate Mark Webber. Vettel is the best bet for pole tomorrow as he aims to break the tie he has with Nigel Mansell for most poles in a season, but Hamilton will make it hard for him.

Fernando Alonso fourth for Ferrari, with Michael Schumacher fifth, once again beating Nico Rosberg.

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11/25/11
wrc

WRC's Vladimir Antonov arrested in London
World Rally Championship commercial chief Vladimir Antonov was arrested in London last night.

City of London Police have confirmed the arrest of two men, following the issue of a Europe-wide arrest warrant. Antonov and his business partner Raimondas Baranauskas are expected to appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court later today.

The pair will be questioned as part of an investigation into the asset-stripping of Bankas Snoras, a Lithuanian bank of which Antonov was a 68 per cent shareholder.

Convers Sports Initiatives, the firm which owns the commercial rights to the WRC and is backed by Antonov, hasn't commented on the situation since last week, when it insisted its business was unaffected by the situation at Bankas Snoras. Autosport

Comment
11/25/11
f1

Brazilian GP: Webber fastest in practice 1
Mark Webber topped the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix at a dry and sunny Interlagos in Sao Paulo.

Webber's lap of 1m13.811s was just fast enough to beat the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel. Just 0.214 seconds covered the top 4.

The Ferraris were 5th and 6th with Felipe Massa ahead of Fernando Alonso who had an engine failure four minutes from the end.

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11/25/11
autogp

Auto GP to feature longer Race 2 with pit-stop in 2012
At the Auto GP Headquarters everybody is working at full steam to prepare an amazing 2012 season: for the first time in its history the Championship will travel outside Europe to hold rounds in Brazil and USA, becoming the only one-make Series to do so. Anyway, the intercontinental calendar won't be the only bit of news for next year: the aim of Auto GP Organization is to hold a Championship that, while maintaining the strong points of the first two editions, will improve both the show on track and its peculiarities as the best learning tool for talents who are aiming to GP2 and F1.

With those objectives in mind, Auto GP has decided to make some changes to its sporting regulations, meaning some major news concerning the second race of each weekend. In 2012, Race 2 will be extended to match the same mileage of Race 1 and will see the introduction of a mandatory pit-stop, as it already happens in Race 1, giving the teams the chance to try different race strategies in the Sunday race also.

Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Boullier calls Morelli a liar
    Renault hits back as Kubica rift deepens
  • Brazil win 'not a high priority' - Alonso
  • 2012 Bahrain return safe for now - Ecclestone
  • Security tight as F1 returns to Brazil
  • Alguersuari says Toro Rosso duo 'deserve' 2012 stay
  • Heidfeld 'can imagine' life after F1
  • Race return or F1 exit, Hulkenberg warns
  • Dispute in Austin almost certain to kill F1 race

Renault hits back as Kubica rift deepens
(GMM)  A growing rift between Robert Kubica and the Renault team has deepened further.

Read more & Comment...
11/25/11
f1

Ecclestone not accepting counter-offer for 2012 US GP UPDATE
What, now you want to pay after jerking me around?
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone insists a US grand prix in Texas next year remains unlikely, despite race organizers announcing they are now "ready" to pay the sport its overdue sanctioning fee.

With the Circuit of the Americas project reportedly dying, the organizers issued a statement on Thursday announcing they are willing to make "an immediate cash payment".

"He (Ecclestone) hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands," said founding partner Bobby Epstein.

"We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving."

Read more & Comment...
11/24/11
Announcement

Special Black Friday apparel deal for AR1.com subscribers
Stange Apparel & Marketing Co. is pleased to announce a Black Friday special for the following Merchandise Sites of shopnewmanhaasracing.com, shoporiolservia.com, and shophinch.com

Stange is making this offer to all autoracing1 members :  Place any order from now until Sunday November 27th and get FREE FREIGHT shipped anywhere in the US. Stange Apparel & Marketing Co. can ship your orders all over the USA, Canada and Internationally.




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11/24/11
f1

Brazilian grand prix preview
The 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship draws to a close at Interlagos at Brazil on Sunday with the title pretty well done and dusted.

After his demise last time to that mystery first lap puncture, Sebastian Vettel will be out to put his only retirement of the season well behind him and should be fired up to set a new pole-positions-in-a-season record before romping off to his last hurrah for the year.

But Interlagos has a habit of throwing a spanner in the works - think last years qualifying with Nico Hulkenberg's shock pole, Hamilton beating Massa to the title on the last lap a few years ago and look at how many dark horses appear in the roll of honor below.

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11/24/11
wec

17 teams given automatic invitations for the 2012 Le Mans
Taking into account the results of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours as well as the Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series Championships, seventeen teams have been given automatic invitations to take part in qualifying for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.

As laid down in the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s sporting regulations, entrants can obtain an invitation for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours due to their results in the events and series agreed by the ACO in keeping with the automatic selection process. Seventeen teams have benefitted from this system, which represents the possible entry of 23 cars maximum out of the 55 places available at the start of the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The following teams have won these much sought-after invitations.

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11/24/11
gp3

Daniel Abt ends Valencia test on top, Daly leads PM session
Daniel Abt
Today marked the final day of GP3 Series second post-season testing at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, and the teams were greeted with sunny but cool conditions in the morning. There were some new faces in the paddock with GP3 runner-up James Calado returning for the day with reigning champions Lotus ART alongside Aaro Vainio. Gabby Chaves joined Status Grand Prix and Alex Fontana joined Tech 1 Racing.

Marlon Stockinger switched to Status Grand Prix, Yuri Grigorenko switched to Marussia Manor Racing, Tom Blomqvist moved to Carlin and Dmitry Suranovich to Addax Team.

When the lights turned green the drivers were quick to hit the track on Pirelli P Zero slick tires. An early red flag caused by Yuhi Sekiguchi going off in his RSC Mücke Motorsport car paused proceedings, but once back underway it was Matias Laine who took control of the timesheet. Except for a brief spell when he was knocked off the top spot by rookies Daniel Abt and Tio Ellinas, the young Finn held on to P1 for the first hour of the session.

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11/24/11
f1

Manager slams Renault claim Kubica not ready for 2012
Robert Kubica
(GMM) Robert Kubica's manager has angrily denied Renault's claim that the Pole ruled himself out of F1 for the start of the 2012 season.

In a media statement on Wednesday, the team said Kubica has confirmed "it is still too early for him to commit to driving in the 2012 championship".

"I came to the conclusion that I am not yet certain to be ready for the 2012 season," the 26-year-old driver was quoted as saying.

But according to Reuters, Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli on Thursday accused Renault of twisting the driver's words.

Read more & Comment...
11/24/11
nassprint

Martin, Waltrip to share No. 55
Old man Martin still plugging away in NASCAR
The familiar No. 00 car is going away next year as Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip’s Toyota Camrys will carry the number 55 during the 2012 and 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons.

The number commemorates Charlie Loudermilk’s founding of Aaron’s, Inc. in 1955.

“This is a new era for the Aaron’s Dream Machine,” said Aaron’s Chief Operating Officer Ken Butler. “Our new driver lineup with Mark and Michael created a good opportunity for us to make more changes, including the car number. Every one of our employees knows the significance of the number 55 in our company, and I know they will have pride watching that number compete on Sundays while flying our colors.”

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11/24/11
roc

2010 Champion of Champions Albuquerque returns
Filipe Albuquerque
Reigning ROC Champion of Champions Filipe Albuquerque will return to defend his title at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena next month.

Albuquerque shot to prominence after winning last year’s Race Of Champions at the same venue, defeating newly-crowned Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in the semi-final before seeing off multiple world rally champion Sébastien Loeb in the best-of-three Grand Final (pictured).

Once a Red Bull protégé, the Portuguese driver’s career had appeared to have tailed off until his surprise win, as he spent 2010 racing in Italian GTs. Indeed, Albuquerque only qualified for the Race Of Champions by winning the summer’s qualifying event ROC South Europe for Portugal alongside fellow countryman Alvaro Parente.

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11/24/11
usac

Jim Rathmann suffers massive stroke, dies UPDATE
Jim Rathmann led 100 laps of the 1960 Indy 500 on way to victory
Jim Rathmann, winner of both the 1960 Indianapolis 500 and the international 500-mile "Race of Two Worlds" in 1958 at Monza, Italy, died Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Rathmann passed away in a hospice in Melbourne, Fla., nine days after suffering a seizure at his home. He was 83.

Rathmann, who was inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007, already was a three-time runner-up in the "500" (1952, 1957 and 1959) when he scored his greatest victory. And if the 1960 race, with its record 29 lead changes, was not the finest "500" ever held, there can be no question that Rathmann's epic two-hour duel with defending winner Rodger Ward continues to stand out as the Speedway's greatest sustained two-man battle of all time.

For the entire second half of that never-to-be-forgotten classic, Rathmann and Ward were rarely any more than a few feet from each other, exchanging the lead 14 times between them. That number could have been considerably more had not tire wear played into the equation. Long before the days of computer-generated race strategies, two-way radio communication, spotters, and Pace Car-led pack-ups during caution periods, these two wily veterans pretty much had to figure it out for themselves, aided only by a pit board message flashed to them every minute or so.

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11/24/11
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • When the BMW F1 team launched in 2007 Vettel (top left) was part of the team as Friday driver
    Vettel's talent not obvious at BMW - Heidfeld
  • Senna still unsure as Kubica continues recovery
  • Hamilton 'sure' Massa fans to make Brazil 'tough'
  • Lotus not risking prize money for Razia debut
  • Two drivers not using safer visors after Massa injury
  • Softer 2012 tires to benefit Ferrari - Hembery
  • 'Liegate' scandal's Dave Ryan returns to F1
  • Brazilian GP Growing chance of rain on race day 

Vettel's talent not obvious at BMW - Heidfeld
(GMM)  Nick Heidfeld has admitted that Sebastian Vettel's forthcoming dominance was not obvious when the back-to-back world champion's F1 career began four years ago.

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11/23/11
f1

Brazil will be Massa's 100th F1 race for Ferrari
Felipe Massa
The Brazilian Grand Prix will be especially significant for Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and not just because of the obvious correlation that it is his home race. When he makes the short trip from home to the Interlagos circuit on the outskirts of Sao Paolo this weekend, he will be preparing to tackle his 153rd Grand Prix and more significantly his “century” of race starts in the red race suit of the Prancing Horse.

“This will be a very important weekend for me, as it will also mark the end of the tenth year since I first raced in Formula 1, although not ten years of competition, as I was a Ferrari test driver in 2003,” says the Paulista.

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11/23/11
wec

Brundles teammates for LeMans
Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle will join forces with son Alex at next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Brundle, 52, and son Alex, 21, will pilot the Nissan-powered Greaves Motorsport LMP2 prototype, which won its class and finished eighth overall in this year's installment of the legendary race. Brundle Sr. spearheaded Nissan's official works entry for Le Mans in 1997 in the R390 GT1. He also has taken victory at Le Mans previously, notably winning in the Silk Cut Jaguar in 1990. Brundle said the prospect of sharing with his son would make one of the world's greatest races even more special.

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11/23/11
gp3

Daniel Abt sets the pace in Valencia
Lotus ART’s Daniel Abt dominates Day 1 of post season testing at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo

The second post season GP3 Series test kicked off today in Valencia, and once again there were a lot of fresh faces in the paddock. The new batch of drivers hoping to impress teams and grab a coveted 2012 race seat included Japanese F3 champion Yuhi Sekiguchi and Formula Arbath vice-champion Patric Niederhauser. And along with the newcomers some more familiar names returned to the GP3 field including American Conor Daly at Carlin.

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11/23/11
track news

NHMS Announces Plans for Museum
Stock cars, vintage open-wheel cars, dragsters and motorcycles all have a spot in the history books when it comes to racing in the Northeast, and now, all of these forms of motorsports will be featured in the new state-of-the-art Northeast Motorsports Museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Racing History Preservation Group and “The Magic Mile” announced the beginning of fund raising efforts to create a 20,000-square-foot motorsports museum on Rt. 106 in Loudon, N.H. The announcement was made by Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway, RHPG president Dick Berggren, New England fan favorite and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Craven.

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11/23/11
nassprint

RCR Announces Personnel Changes
Richard Childress Racing has made organizational changes to its competition department in preparation for the 2012 NASCAR season.

Long-time RCR crew chiefs Shane Wilson and Gil Martin have taken new assignments with the 14-time championship-winning organization.

Wilson has been named the crew chief of the No. 29 Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy John's team with driver Kevin Harvick after three seasons in the same position with RCR's No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team. Martin, the No. 29 team crew chief since May 2009 and a crew chief at RCR since August 2000, has been named director of team operations, reporting to director of competition Kent Day.

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11/23/11
f1

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

11/23/11
  • Pedro de la Rosa
    HRT convinced de la Rosa to leave McLaren contract
  • Brawn to consider 2013 with Schumacher mid next year
  • No eyes for Vettel as Ferrari happy with Alonso
  • More police after attack as Button returns to Brazil
  • Massa urges Barrichello to announce retirement
  • Mentor denies Vergne made 'better than Webber' comments
  • Kubica comeback delayed New
  • F1 'not the right place' for Volkswagen New

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11/23/11
f1

Video: Step inside the circuit with McLaren's Hamilton and Button
It is the last race of the season. Join Johnnie Walker and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as they round up the year, share their thoughts on the upcoming Sao Paulo race and their plans off-season as they look forward to 2012.



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11/23/11
starmazda

Hawksworth signs with Team Pelfrey for Star Mazda Championship
Team Pelfrey has signed 20-year-old Englishman Jack Hawksworth for the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear season.

Hawksworth adds even more momentum to the surging team, which had an extremely successful 2011 season with drivers Connor de Phillippi and Nick Andries who finished second and third in the points standings, respectively—a finish that was enough to take the 2011 Team Championship. Overall, the team won four races, had 13 podium finishes, captured three poles and posted the fastest race lap five times.

"We are delighted to welcome Jack to Team Pelfrey," team manager Geoff Fickling said. "He is exactly the type of driver our team looks for - quick, intelligent, dedicated, and easy to work with. It's great that he's made the decision to pursue a career of it in the states, and we look forward to great things this coming year, and feel that Jack has an extremely bright future within the Mazda Road to Indy."

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11/23/11
irl

Power calls for elimination of high-banked ovals
Pack Racing and photo finishes are common on high-banked 100% throttle tracks for IndyCars
IndyCar driver Will Power said he believes high-banked ovals should be removed from the series.

"I'd rather not race on high-banked ovals," he said. "I just think all the high-banked ovals are designed for NASCAR, not Indy cars. NASCAR (cars) are three times the weight, they have less tire on (the) track and compared to IndyCar, really has no downforce."

When asked if IndyCar drivers would boycott racing on high-banked ovals, Power said: "I don't think we should have to do that. IndyCar itself as a series should make the right decision, and safety always has to come first. I'm sure they will make the right decision."

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11/23/11
ga
nassprint

Lally drops to lowest rung on France family ladder
Andy Lally
The France family owns four race series (from lowest to highest in value) - Grand-Am, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup series.  When you come to race the Frances will place you in the series that you can afford.  New drivers or new sponsors usually start from the bottom and work their way up. Older drivers, or drivers who run short of money, usually work their way down the ladder before hanging it up altogether.

Andy Lally will return to the Grand-Am Series in 2012 after spending the last season in NASCAR. Lally will drive for Magnus Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series GT division next year.

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