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DATE News (chronologically)
12/04/13
irl

Kanaan learning on the job with new team
Tony Kanaan
Less than 48 hours after unveiling his bas relief image on the Borg-Warner Trophy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony Kanaan started his on-the-job orientation with his new employer, Chip Ganassi Racing, during a team test at Sebring International Raceway.

Despite joining a new team, there was familiarity for the Brazilian in his first on-track session. Longtime engineer, Eric Cowdin was on the pit stand as were drivers he considers friends. Kanaan was even familiar with the Chevrolet twin turbocharged engine that was affixed to the No. 8 NTT DATA car for the first time.

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12/04/13
f1
nassprint

F1 and NASCAR scheduled in Texas for same day in 2014
Formula One and NASCAR will be racing deep in the heart of Texas on the same day next year.

The FIA, international motorsports' governing body, released its 2014 calendar Wednesday, placing the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin on Nov. 2. That's the same day as the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, a three-hour drive from Austin.

"It's a foolish move by Formula One," said Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway. "Our two NASCAR Sprint Cup races draw the two largest crowds in Texas sports. It isn't the smartest move to try to compete with that. I'm sure regardless of what they say publicly, the folks at the Austin track are pulling their hair out over this one. They don't have any say over their date."

Comment
12/04/13
nnw

Richard Petty Motorsports signs Dakoda Armstrong
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced today its signing of 22-year-old Dakoda Armstrong, who will assume driving duties of the No. 43 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). The multi-year contract marks an ongoing commitment towards winning as the RPM team looks to build upon recent success.

WinField, Armstrong's primary sponsor during his tenure with Turn One Racing and Richard Childress Racing, will continue its sponsorship for the majority of the 2014 season; Fresh From Florida will sponsor the remaining three races. Furthering continuity for the No. 43 race team, Crew Chief Philippe Lopez will again oversee Armstrong from the pit box.

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12/04/13
Racing News

Bruno Senna To Make Brazilian Stock Car Debut
Bruno Senna will make his Brazilian Stock Car Championship debut at Interlagos on December 15th.

Senna, who took two victories in the GTE Pro class of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship and another in the GTE Am class, will race alongside Valdeno Brito and Popo Bueno in a GT Team Raizen-sponsored car. It will mark the first time a member of the Senna family has competed in the series.

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12/04/13
nassprint

Rick Allen named lead NASCAR announcer for NBC Sports
NBC Sports Group announced that Rick Allen has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the lead race announcer for NBC's upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series coverage, beginning in 2015. Alongside Allen in the NBC Sports Broadcast booth will be current driver Jeff Burton, who announced yesterday that he also will be joining NBC's multi-platform NASCAR coverage.

"I met Rick early on in his career and it has been fun to watch him develop into one of the most talented voices in motorsports," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. "His energetic delivery, great voice, and ability to bring the best out of his analysts have led him to this well-earned position of covering NASCAR's most-watched events."

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12/04/13
irl

Mark Miles on IndyCar TV ratings, new markets and improving IMS
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles told attendees at the ’13 Motorsports Marketing Forum in Las Vegas yesterday that fans of IndyCar, which is owned by Hulman, can “think about the Middle East and South Africa, India and other places in South America” as possible markets for the series.

Miles: “I think there’s enormous opportunity. About a year’s time will tell if I’m right. … When we started talking about it, the phones started ringing, I’m going from here to London pursuant to that. And there’s lots of interest now. We’ve got to have the right partners, they have to understand the economics and it has to make sense.”

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12/04/13
nassprint

Jimmie Johnson Sees Sponsor Exposure Value Rise During '13 Championship Run
Austin Carp of the Sportsbusiness Journal reports that Jimmie Johnson was again the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in terms of sponsor exposure during race telecasts and replays, garnering $142.6M in exposure value during the ’13 season, according to an analysis of data from sponsorship measurement firm Joyce Julius. The $142.6M figure is up significantly from ’12, when Johnson saw just over $100M en route to a third-place NSCS finish. Kyle Busch finished second this season with $98.1M, up from eighth place last season ($52.6M).

Brad Keselowski, who finished second last season in exposure with $73.8M en route to his NSCS championship, fell to fifth in value in ’13 with $70.3M. Matt Kenseth, who did not rank in the top 10 in exposure last season, finished third in ’13 with $90.8M.

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12/04/13
Rallycross

2014 FIA World Rallycross Calendar
IMG Motorsports, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, and the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (“FIA”) have released the 2014 calendar of events for the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.

Following the FIA’s decision at September’s World Motorsport Council meeting to approve the formation of the World Championship in 2014, the parties have agreed to a new calendar for next year, which has been approved at today’s Council meeting in Paris.

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12/04/13
fe

Rio replaces Hong Kong in Formula E
Formula E Holdings, promoters of the new FIA Formula E Championship, today confirmed its 2014/2015 calendar featuring 10 city-centre events spanning four continents.

The calendar was submitted to the FIA during its World Motor Sport Council in Paris, France, and will run from September 2014 to June 2015. Beijing will remain as the host venue for the world’s first ever fully-electric race commencing on 13th September 2014 – one week earlier than previously planned.

After the opening round in Beijing, the 10 teams and 20 drivers will remain in Asia for Round 2 with Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia on 18th October 2014. Round 3 will now see the championship head to Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro and the second largest city of Brazil. Rio replaces Hong Kong which will instead be considered as a candidate city for the following Formula E seasons.

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12/04/13
irl

Kanaan gets first test with Ganassi today (Update) UPDATE
Tony Kanaan
After the morning session at Chip Ganassi Racing’s test at Sebring International Raceway, Tony Kanaan and CGR’s managing director Mike Hull discussed their first day testing together. Hull also touched on the team’s new relationship with Chevrolet, which the team announced it would be switching to for the 2014 season.

Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IndyCar Series, offered his thoughts on the partnership as well.

Mike Hull: (On Chevrolet) “Well, whenever you enter into a new partnership you want to get off to a good start, and today is not necessarily the first day of this partnership because we’ve been working with Chevrolet since we made the announcement some time ago, but we’re happy to be on the race track with Chevrolet today. It’s not so much a comparison about where we’ve been, it’s about how we’re going to work moving forward with our new partner. That’s really the key for us, and what that is creating and opening up the communication streams that we had between our four drivers and our team itself in combination with the team of people at Chevrolet.”

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12/04/13
f1

Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial postponed
The NJ race will have one of the best skylines possible.
The Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, a Formula One World Championship race slated for June 2014 on the streets of Weehawken and West New York, N.J., has been postponed. GP America executive chairman and promoter Leo Hindery, Jr., and his team are working on restructured financial arrangements for a 2015 race.

Hindery acknowledged the challenge of completing the intricate financial structure for the event, which will run on a 3.2-mile temporary street circuit along the Hudson River, with the New York City skyline as the backdrop.

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12/04/13
f1

Final 2014 19-race F1 schedule
Formula 1's final calendar for the 2014 season has been confirmed by the FIA World Motorsport Council.

As expected, Korea, Mexico and the planned Grand Prix of America in New Jersey have dropped off the 22-race provisional calendar published by the FIA in September.

The future of the New Jersey race is uncertain as this is now the second time the race has been removed from the calendar having dropped out of the 2013 season, but Ecclestone says he thinks it will happen in 2015.

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12/04/13
irl

NBCSN to Air 13 IndyCar Races During 2014 Season
The majority of the 2014 IndyCar schedule will get infomercial type TV ratings on NBC Sports Network
All 13 races, which include the final 11 races of the season, will also be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

Following NBCSN's coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the series shifts to Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. NBCSN will then present live coverage of the final 11 races on the IndyCar schedule, including the Firestone 600 from Texas Motor Speedway on June 7 in primetime, followed by the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader on June 28-29.

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12/04/13
automotive

Lotus Cars Opens New Dubai Showroom
Lotus Cars Middle East (the distributor for Lotus cars in the Middle East) is partnering with Trading Enterprises (part of the Al-Futtaim Group) to open the new showroom in Dubai called Lotus Dubai.

It is the latest showroom in the Lotus Cars Middle East portfolio, the first Lotus showroom in Dubai, and commences an exciting and ambitious plan to strengthen the Lotus brand across the region by developing its operation in both existing and new markets over the next 24 months.

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12/04/13
nassprint

Mobil 1 renews with Stewart-Haas
Tony Stewart says ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart made the announcement that Mobil 1 will continue its relationship with him and his team while hosting the year-end edition of "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor on Stewart's Chevrolet for 11 races.

Comment
12/04/13
track news

Rebuilt Daytona could host soccer, football
One day, the rebuilt and improved Daytona International Speedway may be the world center of more than just racing.

Lesa France Kennedy, chief executive officer of Daytona's parent company International Speedway Corp., said NASCAR's most famous race track could host other events such as international soccer and college football games once the Daytona Rising project is completed in 2016.

"NASCAR is always going to be our primary revenue driver, but we're going to look at some other things," Kennedy said Tuesday at the NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, which kicked off Champion's Week.

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12/04/13
nassprint

Jeff Burton joins NBC Sports as NASCAR analyst
Jeff Burton
One day after joining Michael Waltrip Racing for a part-time testing and driving role in 2014, Jeff Burton has become the first member of NBC Sports Group’s new, on-air talent team for NASCAR.

“Jeff Burton was always the first person we would seek out when there was breaking news or an issue that needed to be covered throughout our previous contract with NASCAR, so he was the first person we called for this role,” said NBC Sports and NBCSN executive producer Sam Flood in a statement.

“His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport. He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started.”

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12/04/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Crowd cheers Vettel after doing donuts in India
    Force India still to name Hulkenberg's teammate
  • Ferrari tester tips 2014 advantage for Red Bull
  • Brundle: F1 to experience 'total calamity' in early 2014
  • Vettel and the RB9, a winning combination
  • Vettel quizzed Todt over doughnut rules New

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12/03/13
irl

Miles doesn't eat his own Purina
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I almost barfed when I read this quote by Mark Miles, “I think it's good for IMS and good for IndyCar because it's going to get us a whole lot more eyeballs,” said Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company when talking about putting all the Indy Speedway races and qualifying on ABC.

"We think we've put together a good lineup with our TV partners and I'm especially happy with how May turned out. I think it's important for us to focus on all the things we can do to promote our drivers and racing during our biggest month.”

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12/03/13
irl

2014 IndyCar TV schedule underscores focus on Indy 500
Many in the IndyCar paddock are beginning to agree that the IndyCar brass only care about the Indy 500 so the rest of the series remains small and never again threatens the Indy 500.  The 2014 TV schedule underscores that theory with Indy getting the majority of the ABC air time with just about all the other races stuck on NBCSN and its meager ratings.

The IndyCar Series is shifting all of its race programming (see related article) in the month of May, when it holds the Indianapolis 500, to ABC in '14. The series worked out a deal to shift qualifying from NBC Sports to ABC/ESPN this year. ABC will show the series’ new road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10, qualifying on May 17 and May 18 and the Indy 500 on May 25. NBCSN will televise Carb Day, which is the final practice before the Indy 500.

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12/03/13
nassprint

Johnson disagrees with Donovan McNabb
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson appeared on FS1’s “Fox Sports Live” to discuss the recent comments from the net's Donovan McNabb that Johnson is “not an athlete” because he "sits in a car and he drives.” Johnson said, “Our sport’s been dealing with this for a long time and I feel like we’ve been winning people over each and every year, and I’m excited to win Donovan over. I really think that we can because he clearly has a microphone and people listen, and he’s a great influence to people.”

Johnson added, “I’d love to change his mind.” He said, “When you understand the forces that are put on a driver’s body, you understand the heat that’s involved, the hand-eye coordination that’s involved, the mental aspect that’s involved -- it’s a far different animal. We’re wearing heart-rate monitors in the race cars and we’re averaging 140-150 beats a minute for 3-4 hours. So there is definitely an athletic requirement to drive a race car.”

FS1's Charissa Thompson noted McNabb was not on last night's show for Johnson to directly address him because he was "on vacation with his family." “Fox Sports Live,” FS1

Comment
12/03/13
nassprint

NASCAR Fans Vote Injured Driver/Owner Tony Stewart Onto '14 Videogame Cover
NASCAR today announced that driver Tony Stewart "won a competition fueled by social media to appear on the cover of next year's NASCAR '14 video game," according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. Stewart "beat Jeff Gordon in the final round with 69% of the vote." He had the "highest vote total in all five rounds of the bracket-style competition and never had less than 64% in any matchup."

That Stewart won "wasn't a huge surprise -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn't eligible for the contest after appearing on last year's cover -- but that he prevailed by such a large margin was notable." Even more impressive was "how Stewart accomplished the feat without having a personal presence on social media."

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12/03/13
f1

Hulkenberg returns to Sahara Force India with multi-year deal
Mallya and Hulkenberg
Sahara Force India is delighted to confirm that Nico Hulkenberg will return to Sahara Force India in 2014 after agreeing a multi-year deal.

The 26-year-old German is no stranger to Sahara Force India having spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the team. The already strong working relationship will ensure a smooth transition as the team moves into the new era of Formula One

Sahara Force India’s full 2014 driver line-up will be announced in due course.

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12/03/13
f1
irl

F1 Continues To Be 'Premium Playground' For Sports Sponsorship
[Editor's Note: When you have a huge TV audience sponsors pay huge sums of money to sponsor the sport.  Worldwide F1's TV ratings dwarf even NASCAR.  Meanwhile IndyCar sticks with NBCSN instead of putting all of its races on ABC/ESPN (that would include ESPN International worldwide distribution), hence sponsors don't come and the teams rely on ride buyers.  A broken business model.  If you think small, you will remain small.  IndyCar will remain small under current ownership.]

The 2013 F1 season may have seen the departure from the series of at least two big sponsors -- Vodafone and LG Electronics -- "but the arrival of many other groundbreaking partnerships proves that the series continues to be one of the premium playgrounds for sports sponsorship," according to Brad Spurgeon of the N.Y. TIMES.

Corporations "flock to it to cultivate a variety of products, services and company objectives, depending on their needs of the moment." In interviews with several major sponsors of individual teams, races and the overall series, "a leitmotif of satisfaction, development and efficiency emerged."

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12/03/13
automotive

Porsche issued warning on Paul Walker's death car
The sports car Paul Walker died in was so gnarly to drive … Porsche WARNED its dealers, in writing, about letting just anyone drive the vehicle … because it’s hyper sensitive to road conditions.

TMZ obtained a copy of a memo sent from Porsche HQ to multiple dealers in the Midwest back in 2004 … right before the $500K Carrera GT went on sale — and it explains how ridiculously powerful the car is, but also that … “this vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side.”

In the doc, a Porsche exec says, “You need to be aware of what type of road surface you are on (dips; pot holes, seam heights, etc.)”

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12/03/13
uscc

Greaves Forgoes Full Season TUSC Entry
Greaves Motorsport will not mount a full-season attack in next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship as originally planned.

The British squad, which had outlined plans to field one of its Zytek Z11SN Nissans in the Prototype class, will forgo the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona but still intends to take part in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, entry pending.

“The normal paying drivers that we’d like to go with us are not happy with the rules and have safety concerns,” team principal Tim Greaves told Sportscar365. “So far, nobody’s prepared to pay for Daytona.

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12/03/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Newey wants change
    GP2 could match F1 cars' speed in 2014 - Scalabroni
  • Alonso manager plays down McLaren deal 'fiction'
  • Newey: weight limit rule must change
  • Ross Brawn will decide F1 future next summer
  • Jackie Stewart ends 45-year relationship with IMG
  • Ferrari feedback unearths $729m Red Bull budget error
  • Vettel and Webber put helmets up for auction
  • Pressure on Lowe and Wolff to replace Ross Brawn

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12/03/13
nassprint
nascar

Behnke to head NBC's NASCAR production
NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement with Emmy Award-winning sports television producer and executive, Jeff Behnke, who joins NBC and NBCSN in January as Vice President of NASCAR Production. Operating out of Charlotte, N.C., Behnke will serve as the day-to-day leader in all areas, marking the first time that the head of a network NASCAR production team will be based in the racing hotbed that is home to many of the sport's most prominent figures. The announcement was made by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.

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12/02/13
irl

Paul Page returns as Indy 500's voice
Paul Page
Paul Page is the new radio voice of the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series, although he's technically the old voice.

Not old as in age, although he will admit to turning 68 last week. But Page held the position from 1977 to '87 before moving to the television side of racing.

Page replaces Mike King, who stepped down last month.

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12/02/13
irl

Franchitti presents at Autosport Awards
Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti presented John Surtees with a Gregor Grant Award for lifetime achievement during the annual Autosport Awards in London on Dec. 1.

Surtees is the only person to have won world champions on two and four wheels. He won multiple titles in 500cc competition in the 1950s before moving to Formula One, where he won the 1964 World Championship with Ferrari.

Franchitti told Autosport that he would like to remain involved in a team role with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

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12/02/13
irl
Karting

Kanaan teams to win karting event
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan teamed with Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Giaffone, Rafael Suzuki and Gaetano di Mauro to win the 500 Milhas de Beto Carrero in Brazil last weekend.

It's the ninth win overall for Kanaan and Barrichello in the event, which was formerly known as the Granja Viana 500.

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12/02/13
nassprint

NASCAR tracks: The fewer seats, well, all the better (Update) UPDATE Talladega Superspeedway officials on Wednesday confirmed that the track "will see its seating capacity reduced to approximately 80,000 seats by next season," according to Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer. The "largest change will come from the recent demolition of the Allison Grandstands, a large swath of seats located on the backstretch of the 2.66-mile speedway which had a seating capacity this season of 18,000." Many of the track's frontstretch seats in recent seasons have "been tarped over while the speedway still sold tickets -- usually at lower price -- for the backstretch."

The track's listed capacity as recently as '07 was 147,000 grandstand seats, while the listed capacity this season was 109,000. Talladega in the coming months "will make several additional improvements to the frontstretch, including better sightlines and upgrades to its Sprint Vision capabilities -- the portable giant TVs which provide closeups and replays to fans in attendance." The move is the "latest by several tracks to reduce capacity while also improving the fan experience for those in attendance." CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

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12/02/13
nassprint

Richard Petty Motorsports Hires Trent Owens as Crew Chief
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced today the hiring of one of the sports most talented crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Trent Owens has been assigned as the leader of Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Ford team beginning immediately. Owens has made his name known in the NASCAR Nationwide Series over the past seven years as a crew chief at both Braun Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports. The 38-year-old is a five-time winner on the Nationwide circuit with five different drivers. This will be Owens first full-time opportunity to be a crew chief at the Sprint Cup level.

The North Carolina native comes to RPM most recently from Turner Scott Motorsports where this past season he was the crew chief for rookie sensation Kyle Larson. Owens led Larson to 17 top-10 and nine top-five finishes that culminated in an eighth-place finish in his first year in the Nationwide Series. Owens also made the calls when Larson won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races earlier this year. In his Nationwide Series career with both veteran drivers and rookies, Owens has amassed 129 top-10 and 57 top-10 finishes in just under 250 races. Sammy Johns, Vice President of Competition and Race Operations at RPM believe that Owens will be a great match for Almirola.

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12/02/13
uscc

DeltaWing Group sues Bowlby and Nissan
The Delta Wing consortium, led by Don Panoz, has filed a lawsuit against its former designer Ben Bowlby and former engine-supplier Nissan for “damages and injunctive relief arising out of theft of confidential and proprietary information, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contracts, unjust enrichment, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.”

This comes less than two months after the Bowlby-designed Nissan ZEOD RC made its first demonstration run at Fuji. The lawsuit seeks to prevent Nissan from using any “‘delta' or wing-shaped” vehicles.

A complaint was filed and entered into the system of the superior court of Jackson County, Ga., on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, by Delta Wing, LLC, a business owned by Chip Ganassi, and Delta Wing Project 56, LLC, a business with multiple owners, including Ganassi and general manager Don Panoz.

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12/02/13
track news
nnw
irl

NASCAR's Purchase Of Iowa Speedway Raises Some Eyebrows In Industry
NASCAR last week was identified as the buyer of Iowa Speedway, and the purchase "had to raise industry-wide eyebrows" as the track has been "critically acclaimed but, apparently, financially strapped," according to Ken Willis of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL.

Iowa Speedway hosts three NASCAR-sanctioned events, and since NASCAR "obviously schedules those events, the conflict-of-interest guardians must be wondering why NASCAR would make a purchase that will eventually lead them into such a legal minefield."

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12/02/13
nassprint

Dollar General Expands Support Of JGR
Dollar General and Joe Gibbs Racing announced Monday they have expanded their partnership agreement for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer will increase its sponsorship to 27 races with Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 team, up from 17 in 2013. As one of the top contenders for the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Kenseth celebrated seven wins in 2013 – more wins than any other driver in the series.

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12/02/13
f1

Newey admits their dominance made 2nd half boring
Even Red Bull's design guru Adrian Newey says the second half of 2013 was "slightly boring" given his team's dominant showing.

Returning to the track after the summer break, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel hit their stride as the German claimed nine consecutive victories - a new record - to bring his tally for the season to 13.

It was ensured both the German and his team won the titles for a fourth season in a row.

However, it also made for a drab end to the season as Vettel's wins were not hard fought but rather went unchallenged, a very different story to the first half of the campaign.

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12/02/13
irl
uscc

Davison chooses to get paid to drive rather than 'buy' an IndyCar ride
[Although he drove one IndyCar race in 2013 and showed he is quite capable, Australian James Davison has decided paying to drive is ludicrous - a broken model.  Instead Davison will get paid to drive, just as it should be if the sport is considered professional and not amateur. And as long as IndyCar sticks with NBCSN and its low TV ratings, teams will continue to rely on ride-buyers to stay afloat and IndyCar will continue to look amateurish and continue its downward spiral.]

TRG-AMR has secured the first hot shoe for its Aston Martin Vantage program, with the signing of James Davison for next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Sportscar365 has learned that the 27-year-old U.S.-based Australian will compete in the entire 11-round TUDOR Championship in one of TRG’s planned two-car Aston Martin Vantage GT3 operation in the GT Daytona category in 2014.

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12/02/13
motogp

Marc Marquez undergoes surgery to improve breathing
This afternoon 2013 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez had a successful surgery to correct his nasal bridge in order to improve his breathing through the nose. This operation was necessary due to a deviated septum that produced a respiratory obstruction preventing him breathing properly.

Marc decided to have this procedure during the brief break in his schedule. The surgery took place at the Universitari Quiron Dexeus Hospital and was carried out by Dr. Angel Chartre, Chief of the Internal Medicine of Hospital Universitari Quiron Dexeus and Dr. Miguel Conti, otorhinolaryngologist at the facility.

Marc must now rest and will be inactive for one week.

Comment
12/02/13
irl

Franchitti struggled with retirement decision
Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti wants to stay with Ganassi Racing, just not behind the wheel

Dario Franchitti made his first public appearance since his career-ending accident Sunday night in London, telling the audience at the Autosport Awards show that he wants to remain with Ganassi Racing in some form.

“(Retiring) wasn’t an easy thing to do; it’s not been an easy thing to deal with,” Franchitti said while presenting an award. “I spent a couple of days thinking of ways to get around it. I thought, ‘There’s got to be a way.’ Sadly, it became pretty apparent pretty quickly there wasn’t.

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12/02/13
wec

Mike Conway joins Toyota Racing
Mike Conway
Toyota Racing is pleased to announce the signing of Mike Conway as test and reserve driver for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Mike, 30, will support the work of existing drivers Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin, all of whom are confirmed as race drivers for next season.

His role in 2014 will see him contributing to the development program of the team’s new LMP1 car, with tests due to begin in January.

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12/02/13
roc

Race Of Champions 2013 cancelled due to Thai unrest
The Sports Authority of Thailand and the organizers of the 2013 Race Of Champions have announced that the event cannot take place as planned on December 14-15 due to the current political situation in Bangkok.

Our thoughts are with the Thai people during this difficult period and we wish that a peaceful solution will soon be found. The Race Of Champions has been held all over the world for 25 consecutive years and we are currently looking at options of repeating the success of last year's event in Bangkok on another date.

Fans who have already purchased tickets for this year’s Race Of Champions should contact Thai Ticket Major or their ticketing agent for further information on refunds.

Comment
12/02/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday (Update) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

12/02/13
  • Grosjean not sure about Lotus funding
    Grosjean not sure if Lotus budget in place
  • Sutil calls orange Force India 'a carrot'
  • Lauda tips Brawn to return in new F1 role
  • Webber's performance 'shocking' in 2013 - Schumacher
  • Kovalainen vows to be 'more ready' for 2014 chance
  • Top three teams to test 2013 cars in December
  • Massa admits wife wants him to retire
  • Thinner Ricciardo still shedding kilos for 2014
  • 2014 car 'related' to title-winning Red Bull - Newey
  • British teenager Parry wins McLaren F1 test New
  • Whitmarsh downplays engine speculation New
  • Ward may have given up on Presidency, but he has not given up New

    Read more & Comment...
12/02/13
nassprint

NASCAR TV Ratings flat for 2013 (Update) UPDATE NASCAR says it is happy that the decline in TV ratings has subsided and have been averaging 5.8 million viewers per race for the past three years.  "From an overall number; it's a good number and strong number," said Steve Herbst, NASCAR VP of broadcasting and production.  "Consistency is something we are looking for all the time. We are pleased where we are."

They should be pleased with that number.  The series they would love to put out of business, IndyCar, averages maybe 200,000 viewers per race on NBC Sports Network, making NASCAR 29 times more valuable to a TV advertiser.  No wonder IndyCar is dying on the vine from lack of sponsorship.  But IndyCar is happy depositing the NBCSN check rather than putting all its races on ABC so the series has some hope for growth.  The series should be sold to the France family who know how to grow a motorsports property.

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12/02/13
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12/01/13
f1

Bahrain F1 Circuit Runs Tests To Prepare For Night Grand Prix Next Season (Update) UPDATE
Bahrain
Reuters
reported the "track floodlighting for the F1 race will involve 495 lighting poles, ranging in height" from 10-45m, and be "suitable for high definition TV broadcasting." Reuters

12/01/13 Bahrain circuit officials tested a new floodlight system last weekend as part of their "plans to turn their 10th-anniversary Formula One Grand Prix into a night race next year," according to THE NATIONAL. Bahrain Int'l Circuit CEO Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa said, "I believe that there can be no better way for us to mark our 10th anniversary in F1 by demonstrating our long-term commitment to the sport through this significant investment."

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12/01/13
f1

Horner Says Team's Success Won't Scare Away TV Audience
When a fan's favorite driver gets beaten week in and week out by a superior driver like Vettel, of course eventually they lose interest in following their favorite driver.  No one likes to follow a loser.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that the team is not worried about F1 "becoming a turnoff for fans after Sebastian Vettel won a fourth straight title," according to Panja & Duff of Bloomberg.

Vettel "was jeered at races in Belgium, Italy and Singapore," and average TV audiences have declined 5.4% in his native Germany this season. Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier said F1, which gets about one third of its $1.4B annual income from TV rights, risks "killing the show" should Red Bull continue dominating.

Germany's RTL network said in an email that "its average race viewership dropped to 5.28 million because of falling audiences in the last three races after Vettel clinched the title early." In Spain, the average race audience on Antena 3 TV plunged by 49% compared with last year, falling to 3.4 million in the last four races.

Horner: "I can see why people get perhaps frustrated with it but I think that the racing has been very good. The fastest way to become unpopular is to start winning." Bloomberg

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12/01/13
irl

Fast & Furious star Paul Walker killed in ex-Rahal Porsche Carrera GT
This is the most detailed and graphic article about the tragic death of Fast and Furious Star Paul Walker.  As it turns out, according to IndyCar driver Graham Rahal's Facebook page, he was the previous owner of the car before Roger Rodas, Walker's friend who died with him in the car.

Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said. A 45 mph speed limit sign was attached to the light pole knocked down by the Porsche.

The car, which sold for $450,000 when new, is a notoriously difficult vehicle to handle, even for professional drivers, according to Autoweek magazine. A top driver called it "scary," the magazine reported Sunday. It is powered by a V-10, 610-hp engine.

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12/01/13
f1

2014 cars will be tough to drive says Button
Button worried he cannot handle 2014 cars
Jenson Button  is expecting the 2014 cars to be more difficult to drive due to increased torque and less downforce - a prospect that he does not find exciting.

The new engines will be fitted with fuel flow restrictors and lower rev limiters, but will still produce a similar level of power when combined with the energy recovery boost systems. However, they will also produce significantly more torque, which is set to increase the chances of wheelspin at low revs and make the cars more of a handful.

Button has driven McLaren's 2014 car in the team's simulator, and while he believes such work will be important, he said drivers will only really know what they are up against when the cars hit the track in January.

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12/01/13
f1

Ken Gregory (1926-2013)
The death has been announced of Ken Gregory (87), one of the most significant men in motor racing during the 1950s and early 1960s. As Stirling Moss’s manager, he was a major influence on the career of one of Britain’s most famous sportsmen. He also, with Sir Stirling’s father, Alfred, ran his own team, the British Racing Partnership. In both capacities he paved the way in which motorsport has developed, particularly when he became the first person to secure full sponsorship for a Formula One team. He was later to become a successful publisher and to run his own airline.

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12/01/13
irl

Helio Castroneves, Julian Leal win Juan Pablo Montoya's kart race
IndyCar's Helio Castroneves and GP2 driver Julian Leal shared the wins in Juan Pablo Montoya's charity kart race on the streets of Medellin in Colombia on Saturday.

Montoya's third annual Race of Stars was broadcast live on Colombian television. All proceeds went to his Formula Smiles Foundation, which raises money for underprivileged children in Colombia.

Future Penske IndyCar team-mates Castroneves and Montoya were joined in the entry by NASCAR Sprint Cup racers Joey Logano and Kurt Busch, plus leading Colombian talents such as Indianapolis 500 sensation and 2014 Andretti Autosport IndyCar signing Carlos Munoz.

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11/30/13
f1

Ecclestone turns to spin doctor
Bernie turns to The Doctor
Bernie Ecclestone is considering hiring the leading spin doctor Richard Woods as he fights to maintain control of Formula One, the sport he has built into a global empire over almost four decades.

Woods has been regarded as F1's foremost media advisor since his time as the FIA's director of communications, when he worked alongside the body's former president Max Mosley between 2002 and 2009. In the summer of 2009 he media managed Jean Todt's successful presidential campaign and still works for the FIA in a consultative capacity.

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11/30/13
nhra

Popular former Funny Car driver "240 Gordie" Bonin dies
Gordie Bonin
Former NHRA national event-winning Funny Car driver “240 Gordie” Bonin, the world championship runner-up in 1977, died Nov. 29. He was 65.

According to a post on his Facebook page, Bonin had been admitted to a Las Vegas hospital recently, suffering from heat-stroke symptoms. He had been released from the hospital and was in a local hotel, where his body was discovered early Friday evening.

Bonin earned his famed nickname in the 1970s when his Bubble Up Trans Am was a steady performer in the rare 240-mph zone. The Red Deer, Alta., driver first burst onto the national event scene in 1972 with a surprise runner-up at the U.S. Nationals in the Pacemaker Vega with Edmonton, Alta.-based partners Ron Hodgson and Gordon Jenner.

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11/30/13
f1

Is the Newey/Vettel combination beatable?
Will the RB10 dominate like the RB9?  Of course the RB9 was not dominant in the hands of Mark Webber.  It was the driving genius of Sebastian Vettel that was the difference.  Adrian Newey' design genius combined with Vettel's driving genius may be an unbeatable combination.
Christian Horner says next year's Red Bull RB10 will share the DNA of this year's dominant RB9.

2014 will see a complete overhaul of the engine regulations, requiring a chassis redesign within a set of heavily tweaked aerodynamic regulations. But Horner said his chief technical officer Adrian Newey will still use concepts from the car that won 13 of 19 races this year.

"I think Adrian would describe it as RB10 being a cousin of RB9," he said. "There are elements that are going to carry over and the DNA of RB10 will come out of RB9. Of course, it's a much different engine and exhaust solution, but aerodynamics are still going to play an important role next year."

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11/30/13
f1

Williams Formula One team loses race engineer to Toro Rosso
Williams Formula One chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar is quitting the team to join Scuderia Toro Rosso -- leaving the door open for Ferrari's Rob Smedley to take over his job at Williams.

The move could be considered a move up, as Williams finished ninth out of 11 teams in the Constructors' Championship, while Toro Rosso finished eighth.

Briton Smedley, 40, once worked with the Williams touring car outfit. He has been linked with a return to the team for some time, long before Felipe Massa emerged as a candidate for a 2014 race seat.

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11/29/13
f1

Only 32 men have ever been World Driving Champion
Only 32 men have ever held the title of World Driving Champion.  They are (Click to enlarge):

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11/29/13
fe

TV Asahi acquires broadcasting rights for Formula E
TV Asahi have today announced the acquisition of the exclusive Japanese broadcasting rights for the FIA Formula E Championship.

The multi-year agreement will see the Japanese network show live coverage of all Formula E races - together with extensive coverage of the practice and qualifying sessions - across its terrestrial, satellite and cable channels. Based in Tokyo, TV Asahi boasts a network of regional channels and a potential reach of 51.4 million households, largely thanks to its coverage of major sporting events. It is now regarded as one of the most popular and widely watched networks in Japan.

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11/29/13
irl

It's time for IndyCar to be sold, what about the Red Bull X1? (Update) UPDATE
The Red Bull X1 would be too sexy for IndyCar to adopt.  They prefer the current ugly 'Walrus' Dallara that has driven fans to click to another TV station as soon as they see it.  Making a car like the Red Bull X1 safe enough for ovals would be difficult.
Reader Mike Earle takes it one step further, Dear AR1.com, IndyCar needs the sexiest car on the planet racing on tracks all over the world including a heavier focus on NA. Good for red bull, good for the sport of IndyCar racing, an amazing show for the public, and add in some celebs and bingo… we are back in business as the coolest form of motorsport on the planet. Red Bull with private equity support and this can be done. First year teams would need to have two cars 'given' to them to get started. Original founding teams get the benefit of the free chassis offer to mitigate the risk of participation in a brand new series. Grid is full with high end teams who have previous experience in fielding professional packages, series generates immediate interest as the car is highly unique which in turn will help broadcast TV get on board. If the Hulman family was to sell the name and series there would still be a 500 and they could have a seat on the new board (just as they demanded in the era of cart and Tony George). 

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11/29/13
f1

Lotus confirms Grosjean and Maldonado
Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado [28] will join the Enstone squad alongside Frenchman Romain Grosjean [27] for the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Pastor – a veteran of 58 Grand Prix starts, including pole position and victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix – has driven for Williams F1 Team since entering the sport at the start of the 2011 season.

Romain has raced for Lotus F1 Team since the start of the 2012 season, having previously driven for the Enstone outfit in its former guise of Renault F1 Team during the final seven races of the 2009 season, in addition to serving as third driver for the team in 2011.

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11/29/13
wec

Toyota sweeps front row in Bahrain
Polesitters, from left, Nakajima, Wurz and Lapierre
TOYOTA Racing locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying for the Six Hours of Bahrain, the final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima took pole position and will be joined on the front row by the second-placed #8 of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin.

This season’s qualifying format requires two drivers from each car to set a minimum of two flying laps each. The grid is decided by the combined average of each driver’s fastest two laps.

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11/29/13
roc

Felix Baumgartner to race at ROC
The Race Of Champions is set to feature its fastest ever competitor as ‘Space Dive’ record-breaker Felix Baumgartner has signed up to race in ROC 2013 at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium on December 14-15.

The world held its breath last year as a live YouTube audience of eight million people saw Baumgartner jump to Earth from 39km up in the highest ever manned balloon flight. Along the way he set a record for the fastest ever freefall and became the first man to accelerate through the sound barrier without a vehicle.

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11/29/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 More updates shown in red below.

 
Austria sells out in three days
11/29/13
Updates shown in red below.

11/29/13
  • Austrian GP sells out in three days
  • McLaren not sure Mercedes to have best engine in 2014
  • F1's financial situation 'alarming' - Schumacher
  • Lead Sauber engineer flees to Force India
  • Bahrain confirms 2014 night race
  • Whitmarsh: Red Bull spending has 'distorted' 
  • Bahrain tests lighting for night race New
  • Mandatory pitstops proposed for 2014 New

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11/28/13
uscc

Pecom Abandons U.S. Plans, AF Corse Enters Two Ferraris
Pecom Racing will not take part in next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, according to AF Corse team principal Amato Ferrari.

The AF Corse-run squad, owned by WRC-turned sports car racer Luis Perez Companc, had been evaluating a switch to the TUDOR Championship with its P2-class Oreca 03 Nissan.

However, a full-season program has been ruled out for 2014, allegedly due to the yet-to-be-finalized set of Prototype regulations and the disparity between the Daytona Prototypes and P2 cars in pre-season testing at Sebring and Daytona.

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11/28/13
wec

Toyota leads Day 1 in Bahrain
TOYOTA Racing set the fastest time in both sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit as practice began for the Six Hours of Bahrain, the final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Both sessions featured a TS030 HYBRID at the top of the standings, with the #7 leading the way in the afternoon before the #8 took the honors in the evening.

The final race event for the TS030 HYBRID fittingly features all six TOYOTA Racing drivers, with Kazuki Nakajima returning in the #7 alongside Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre after missing Shanghai due to Super Formula commitments.

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11/28/13
f1

Cosworth says a painful $10M loss goodbye to F1
Last weekend was the end of an era for Formula One and it was hard to avoid it. Viewers of the season-ender were reminded almost every few minutes that it marked the last race for Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber and, slightly less frequently, that the current V8 engines will be dropped for a V6 powertrain next year. However, there was another departure which was given far less coverage: the exit of engine manufacturer Cosworth.

In truth, Cosworth's exit has been more of a long goodbye and an article in the Daily Telegraph by Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt reveals the impact of this. Last year it lost its engine supply deal with Williams leaving it with only two clients in F1 - HRT and Marussia which scored no points. HRT shut its doors at the end of 2012 and next year Marussia is switching to Ferrari which is what has driven Cosworth out of F1.

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11/28/13
fe

Chandhok aims for Mahindra Formula E drive
Mahindra's paint scheme
Mahindra Racing will enter the new Formula E electric racing series next year with ex-Formula One racer Karun Chandhok set to drive for what will be the only Indian team on the grid.

The $16.2 billion Mumbai-based Mahindra Group said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with Formula E Holdings to join the series starting in China in September, with races in 10 leading cities including Berlin.

Mahindra are the eighth team to be announced so far.

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11/28/13
f1

Brawn: new F1 rules make it right time to go
Ross Brawn
Following months of speculation about his future, Ross Brawn confirmed on Thursday morning that he is to leave Mercedes and hand over running of the team to its executive directors Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe.

Rather than feeling that his decision has left Mercedes on the back foot, he thinks that it was better for the outfit's future success that the transition took place now.

"The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as team principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success," said Brawn, who will remain with the team until December 31.

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11/28/13
f1

Mercedes confident without Brawn
Ross Brawn (L)
Ross Brawn confirmed on Thursday morning that he is to step down as team principal, handing over the running of the Mercedes F1 outfit for the start of the new era of regulations from 2014.

Mercedes' chairman of the board of management Dieter Zetsche believes that Wolff and Lowe will be able to push the outfit on in its bid to win the world championship.

"Last winter, we restructured the management of our Formula 1 activities, with the support of Niki Lauda," he said.

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11/28/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Whitmarsh's team a loser again
    F1's biggest spender is Red Bull - Whitmarsh
  • Fire brigade called for Mercedes V6 incident
  • Webber deletes criticism of Red Bull colleagues
  • Haug doubts Mercedes can break Vettel dominance
  • Montezemolo slaps Alonso with Twitter ban

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