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DATE News (chronologically)
12/03/12
f1
F1 Team McLaren Generated €28M Profit In '11  F1 team McLaren "has released its financial numbers for the '11 fiscal year in which it generated a profit before taxes of €28M," according to Sylt & Reid of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. McLaren "was also able to increase its revenue by 16% to €212M."

The reason for this increase was "on one hand a bigger share of F1's marketing revenue, and on the other hand a higher payment from title sponsor Vodafone." The telecom company transferred around €57.5M to the England-based team in '11, which is 15% more than the previous year. The team's profit went almost completely (€25M) into the coffers of the McLaren Group, in which Founder Ron Dennis and Bahrain-based holding company Mumtalakat each own 50%. The expenditures of the team also increased by 11.2% to about €184M in '11.

In addition, German automotive company Daimler sold the last 16% of its once 40% stake in the company in '11. It sold its last shares for about €37M to the McLaren Group. However, through its sponsorship deal with the team and as the team's engine provider, Daimler "still invested around €47M in the team in '11." Motorsport Total
12/03/12
f1
De Villota released from hospital  Maria de Villota has been released from hospital following her latest operation at the end of last month.  De Villota underwent a seven-hour operation in Madrid in late November.

It is expected to be the penultimate time she has surgery after her dramatic accident earlier this year.

The final operation will take place once she has recovered from her latest procedure.

12/03/12
automotive
Saleen 351 announced with 700 HP  
The new 700 HP Saleen
Hot on the heels of Steve Saleen regaining his namesake brand comes the first model announcement since the news was released. Making his announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the well known man of Mustangs announced the Saleen 351 Mustang.

"Since regaining the Saleen brand, I really want to bring it all together with the heritage that Saleen is known for", said Steve Saleen. "With the current Saleen [302] Mustang model it provides all the right features to bring back and update the S351 model." More ...
12/03/12
irl
Former CART boss Andrew Craig rules out IndyCar management role  Former CART boss Andrew Craig has ruled out returning to American single-seater management as part of the IndyCar Series' organization reshuffle.

Reports in America had identified Craig as one of a number of potential targets for IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 owner Hulman and Company as it restructured following the split with Randy Bernard.

But Craig said that while he saw "great potential" in IndyCar at present, he would not be interested in returning. More ...

12/03/12
irl
starmazda
Franchitti, Hawksworth earn BRDC Honors  Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and Star Mazda Champion Jack Hawksworth were among the honorees of the British Racing Drivers Club at its annual awards on Dec. 3 in London.

Franchitti, who won his third Indianapolis 500 title in May, was awarded the Earl Howe Trophy as the highest-placed British driver in the Indy 500, or the British driver who has established the most meritorious performance of the year in North America.

Hawksworth, who clinched the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in record-setting fashion, was awarded the Henry Surtees Trophy for the most outstanding performance by a BRDC Rising Star.

12/03/12
irl
Rain washes out IndyCar test at Auto Club Speedway  Rain postponed the planned test session at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway for four Chevrolet-powered teams on Dec 3. The test has been rescheduled for Dec. 4.

Andretti Autosport, Team Penske, Dragon Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing are all on hand for the test, with drivers expected to include AA's Marco Andretti, Penske's Will Power and Helio Castroneves, Dragon's Sebastien Bourdais and owner/driver Carpenter.

12/03/12
irl
IndyCar closes entertainment office in Southern, California  IndyCar officials "have decided to close the small Santa Monica, Calif., office designed to assist with contacts in the entertainment industry." IndyCar Entertainment "opened two years ago at the direction" of then-IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. ICE "assisted with several projects, including the animated DreamWorks movie 'Turbo' scheduled to be released in July." ICE consisted of a three-person staff led by IndyCar Senior VP/Media & Entertainment Sarah Nettinga.

The following is the statement from IndyCar:

“As we look ahead to 2013, INDYCAR is focusing resources on our core business objectives, growing television ratings and event attendance, and therefore has decided to close our Los Angeles operation and realign those resources to better achieve these objectives. Our partnership with DreamWorks on the animated feature Turbo remains a top priority for the upcoming season and will be handled internally by our marketing, sales and public relations staff here in Indianapolis, which is where the relationship originally began and where much of the day-to-day work has continued to reside.” INDYSTAR.com

12/03/12
irl
Al Unser Jr Becomes Official Spokesman for Swipe4TheKids  
IndyCar racing champion Al Unser Jr has driven himself to success and knows a “win” when he sees one. Now an Official Spokesman for youth enrichment funding program Swipe4TheKids, he demonstrates that this recently launched program will provide our generations youth with tools for their own success.

Swipe4TheKids provides resources to underfunded youth arts, music, sports, and academic community programs by partnering with local businesses. Swipe4TheKids receives funds from participating businesses through portions of the merchant services fees they pay when customers make electronic payment transactions. The program then distributes the funds to local youth programs in need of resources. Businesses participate at no extra cost, and customers are happy to support the businesses that support the children in their community. More ...

12/03/12
irl
Veteran Engineer Eddie Jones Joins RLL Racing  Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Eddie Jones has joined the team as race engineer for the second 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series program the team is working to finalize. Most recently Jones spent over 15 years with Team Green/Andretti Autosport as a race engineer in Indy Lights, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series and moved to KV Racing Technology in 2012 to be Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello’s race engineer.

“Our intention all along was to build our engineering department and Eddie is one of the best out there.” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “Given his track record, which is impressive, we are obviously very pleased that he has chosen to join our team.  He will be the race engineer for the second program we expect to have, but in the meantime before we finalize that, Eddie will contribute daily to our overall engineering effort.  I have always been impressed with the way he goes about his business, his personality and his strength as of a team player. His addition is a very important part of our future success.” More ...

12/03/12
FIL
Andretti signs up Veach for 2013 Indy Lights program  Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed 17-year-old Zach Veach to compete in Firestone Indy Lights alongside 20-year-old Carlos Munoz. Veach will pilot the No. 12 K12 entry for the 2013 season, which includes the Freedom 100 held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I'm glad to have Zach [Veach] back with us for 2013 and to see him step up to a [Firestone Indy] Lights car is great, it means the [Mazda Road to Indy] ladder is working," said Michael Andretti, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Andretti Autosport. "He's been with us for each step of the ladder so far and we've continued to be impressed by him. We're looking forward to seeing his talent develop even further this season." More ...

12/03/12
alms
wec
DeltaWing wins Pioneering & Innovation Autosport Award  
DeltaWing
While it may not have been eligible for silverware at the 24 Hours of Le Mans or Petit Le Mans, the Nissan DeltaWing’s contribution to motorsport innovation has continued to be recognized with Autosport Magazine awarding the car its Pioneering and Innovation Award at the prestigious Autosport Awards in London overnight.

Concept originator Ben Bowlby was presented with the prize overnight by the car’s chief development driver Marino Franchitti at the black-tie event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The unique Nissan DeltaWing features the performance of contemporary Le Mans sportscars but consumes only half their fuel and tires, using half of their power, aerodynamic drag and weight. More ...
12/03/12
wsr
Magnussen switches to DAMS for 2013  Kevin Magnussen will contest his second season in Formula Renault 3.5 with DAMS, the Dane opting to switch teams after a debut campaign with British-based Carlin.

The 20-year-old McLaren protege finished seventh in the standings at the end of his rookie year, claiming one victory in Belgium. He also drove for McLaren at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver test in November, posting the fastest time of the week.

Magnussen will be joined by Norman Nato at the squad, with the latter stepping up from Formula Renault 2.0. It was also confirmed on Monday that race winner Arthur Pic and Brazil's Yann Cunha will form the line-up at new team AV Formula.

12/03/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Monday  
  • Peter Sauber awaits start of 2013 testing
    Sauber looks ahead to first test of 2013
  • Buemi eyes Force India, Lotus seats for 2013
  • Perez had 'taste' of McLaren-like pressure in 2012
  • 'Vettel always wins' in Newey cars - Marko
  • Alonso 'has problems' when he loses - Marko
  • Nurburgring 'confident' of 2013 German GP
  • Montezemolo hits out at Ecclestone, Schumacher
  • Alonso counts himself among greatest ever drivers
  • Cuquerella hints HRT adventure definitely over
  • Vettel wants F1 return for Austria
  • Ease of Vettel's titles 'abnormal' - Gene
  • We owed our fans an answer, says Alonso
  • Jake Dennis wins F1 test with McLaren
  • Massa was worried about getting Ferrari axe More ...
12/03/12
wsr
New FR3.5 team confirmed, Pic to drive  UPDATE
Arthur Pic won an Fr3.5 race in Moscow this past year
Arthur Pic, younger brother of F1 driver Charles Pic, will lead AV Formula’s maiden assault on the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2013 after signing a deal to race for the Spanish squad in the ultra-competitive single-seater championship.

Headed by former racing driver Adrian Valles and renowned engineer Philippe Gautheron, AV Formula will join the premier Renault-backed series next year when Arthur's experience of the 530bhp Dallara-built machine will be vital as the Spanish-based outfit looks to hit the ground running. More ...
12/02/12
Formula E
Formula E Adds Rome As World Championship Host City In '14  Rome will be "the backdrop for a race in the new Formula E world championship in '14. The series is being "backed by McLaren, which is supplying cars powered exclusively by electric energy." AFP
12/02/12
f1
DHL Boss Says F1 Sponsorship Is Less Than Half The $57M Figure Reported  German logistics company DHL "is spending less for its F1 sponsorship than previously assumed." DHL Head of Corporate Brand Marketing Wolfgang Giehl said, "It is less than half of the amount that I've read in the media."

The investment of the subsidiary of the Deutsche Post AG is less than $30M annually. Previous media reports estimated DHL's F1 sponsorship to be valued at around $57.5M a year. Giehl did not rule out the possibility of Deutsche Post entering an additional racing series besides F1 and the World Touring Car Championship. He said, "I could imagine a third one. In addition, Formula E is certainly interesting, and we will closely follow its development." Motorsport Total
12/02/12
racing news
Conor Daly wins round 5 in India  American Conor Daly won round five of the MRF Challenge 2012 Championship being run at the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi, India this morning, Sunday, December 2nd. Having qualified on the pole during the weekend's only qualifying session on Friday, Daly took command of the race right from the green lights, pulling away to a three second cushion when a pace car took control of the field during an accident clean up. When the race restarted Daly pulled away from the field winning by 3.4 seconds and scoring maximum championship points. More ...
12/02/12
f1
Luca di Montezemolo says Bernie Ecclestone is senile  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has slammed Bernie Ecclestone for calling Ferrari's request for clarification over Sebastian Vettel's driving "a joke".

Ecclestone reacted angrily to Ferrari's approach to the FIA asking whether Vettel had overtaken Jean-Eric Vergne under yellow flags on lap 4 of the title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said: "It's a complete joke. What they [Ferrari] are saying in that letter is wrong. I don't think there needs to be any action taken. It's completely and utterly wrong."

Montezemolo, however, has responded to Ecclestone's comments with some harsh words of his own. More ...
12/02/12
v8
Final 2012 race results and standings for V8 Supercars  
TOP TEN in Sydney
1 Will Davison
2 Craig Lowndes
3 James Courtney
4 Tim Slade
5 Jamie Whincup
6 Jonathon Webb
7 David Reynolds
8 Steve Owen
9 Jason Bright
10 Steven Johnson
11 Rick Kelly
24 Tim Blanchard

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER RACE 30 OF 30
1 Jamie Whincup
2 Craig Lowndes
3 Mark Winterbottom
4 Will Davison
5 Tim Slade
6 Shane Van Gisbergen
7 Garth Tander
8 Lee Holdsworth
9 David Reynolds
10 James Courtney
14 Rick Kelly
22 Todd Kelly

12/02/12
f1
Pirelli hopes for '8-10 years' in F1  
Pirelli F1 tires
Tire-manufacturers Pirelli confirmed the brand’s intention to remain in Formula One for “8-10 years”.

Talking to ESPN, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery said the company’s board are happy to continue within the sport after the expiration of the current deal at the end of the 2013 season.

“I think most people would think you need to do 8-10 years really in a sport to be able to activate your involvement in an activity right down to the point of sale,” said Hembery. More ...
12/02/12
f1
No joy in Valencia  
Ferrari says goodbye to disappointing 2012 car
Ferrari’s traditional end of season sign-off, the Ferrari World Finals, has been the scene of some triumphant scenes in the last decade, but not today.

Over 15,000 Ferrari fans are in Valencia to see the last rounds of Ferrari’s own racing series and to see a demonstration run of the F1 car.

Fernando Alonso will attend the event, but there is not much to celebrate after the team missed the drivers’ title by 3 points, having enjoyed an advantage of over 40 points after the summer break. He will drive the unloved F2012 car for the last time. More ...
12/02/12
f1
Wolff: Dropping Senna not financial suicide  
Williams told Senna to keep his money, they want a driver who can win
Williams director Toto Wolff insists that the team hasn't committed commercial 'hara-kiri' following its decision to replace Bruno Senna for the 2013 F1 season.

The team has elected to forego Senna's financial backing from Brazil in order to promote test driver Valtteri Bottas into a race seat, leading to speculation about the impact that the decision could have on its budget for the new campaign.

However, Wolff insisted that the team wasn't taking a financial risk in putting Bottas into a race seat at Senna's expense, with the Finn having brought his own backing to the team. More ...
12/02/12
nassprint
irl
Penske offers to run Stewart in Indy 500  UPDATE So should Stewart take up Penske's offer?  Stewart has never won the crown jewel of IndyCar racing – his best finish is a 5th with 64 laps led in 1997. He's also never won the Daytona 500, going 0-14.

So how about this proposal: if Stewart wins the 2013 Daytona 500, he takes Penske's offer. Only Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt have won both races. Mario was the first and his Daytona win came in 1967, and he won at Indy in 1969. Stewart would have the opportunity to be the first driver to win both in the same season, and if he prevents his 0-fer streak from getting one closer to Dale Earnhardt's in Daytona, why shouldn't he go for it in Indianapolis?

Of course, there are many logistics to sort out if Stewart was to take Penske up on his offer; namely sponsor conflicts (Mobil 1 vs. Shell Pennzoil) and the time juggling that would be required to maintain a regular Sprint Cup Series focus while getting in as much seat time as possible in Indianapolis. More ...
12/02/12
alms
BMW switches to Z4 for 2013 American Le Mans Series  
BMW will no longer be using the BMW M3 GT in ALMS next year. Instead, BMW Motorsport and BMW of North America will turn to the new GTE version of the BMW Z4 GT3.

“This change in model shows that we are focusing fully on the BMW Z4 as an all-encompassing GT car,” said Marquardt.

“The BMW Z4 GT3 has been very successful on the GT3 scene in recent years, and has proven its ability to win races. I am confident this car will also play a major role as a GTE car in the ALMS.”

The BMW M3 GT has been in action in the ALMS since 2009. It was with this car that BMW and BMW Team RLL won the team and manufacturer titles in the GT class in 2010, and then completed the hat-trick – driver, team and manufacturer titles – in 2011. In total, the car won seven races in four seasons.
12/02/12
f1
HRT not on FIA's 2013 entry list  UPDATE (GMM) HRT is missing from the FIA's official entry list for 2013.

It was already known that the Spanish team has not signed the crucial Concorde Agreement for next season and beyond, and that staff had been told in Brazil the outfit will fold within a week if a buyer is not immediately found.

A brawl reportedly broke out at HRT's Madrid headquarters after the Brazilian grand prix, when mechanics returning from Sao Paulo were due to receive redundancy compensation.

F1's other eleven teams were all listed on the FIA's 2013 entry list, published by the governing body on Saturday evening.

It is not the final version, however, as several teams have yet to inform the FIA of their driving lineups.

12/01/12 (GMM) HRT is missing from the FIA's official entry list for 2013.

It was already known that the Spanish team has not signed the crucial Concorde Agreement for next season and beyond, and that staff had been told in Brazil the outfit will fold within a week if a buyer is not immediately found.

A brawl reportedly broke out at HRT's Madrid headquarters after the Brazilian grand prix, when mechanics returning from Sao Paulo were due to receive redundancy compensation.

F1's other eleven teams were all listed on the FIA's 2013 entry list, published by the governing body on Saturday evening.

It is not the final version, however, as several teams have yet to inform the FIA of their driving lineups.
12/01/12
Racing News
Daly 2nd and 4th in India  American Conor Daly finished in second and fourth place this morning in the third and fourth rounds of the MRF Challenge 2012 Championship being run at the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi, India.

After starting from sixth on the grid Daly quickly made his way towards the front eventually finishing second when Britain's Tom Gladdis was penalized for a jump start. More ...
12/01/12
f1
2013 could be Williams' breakthrough year says Maldonado  
Pastor Maldonado
Pastor Maldonado believes 2013 could be a "breakthrough" season for Williams as they attempt to become regular podium visitors.

"The goal is to be more competitive next year and have a car that is consistently in the points and challenging for podiums," said the Venezuelan.

"This year we showed excellent pace at a number of tracks such as Barcelona, Monaco and Abu Dhabi, but we didn't have the consistency to maintain that at every grand prix. More ...

12/01/12
f1
Domenicali: 'Ferrari weren't out to belittle Vettel'  
Domenicali
After the biased British F1 media made a mountain out of a molehill with their original stories, and a fire storm of negative chatter on the internet, Stefano Domenicali has defended Ferrari's decision to ask the FIA for clarification, adamant it was never their intention to "belittle" Sebastian Vettel.

In the wake of Sunday's title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix, footage emerged appearing to show Vettel passing Jean-Eric Vergne under yellow conditions.

Receiving "tens of thousands of queries" from their tifosi, Ferrari asked motorsport's governing body for clarification the incident. More ...

12/01/12
f1
Haug admits Mercedes failed  
Poor Michael Schumacher's F1 return was ruined by an inferior Mercedes car
Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug says his team's development was "not good enough" in 2012, but expects it to do better in 2013.

At the Chinese Grand Prix this year Mercedes won its first race since returning to the sport in 2010, but after a mid-season slump it finished five of the final six races without scoring a point. Haug said the drop in performance was for several reasons, one of which was the team's late adoption of a Conada-effect exhaust.

"I think the team showed last year that over the winter we built quite a good car, but definitely since the middle of the season in the development race we have not been good enough and, in hindsight, we should have started much earlier with Coanda exhaust because it gives you a benefit if you can manage it properly," Haug said. More ...

12/01/12
f1
Co-Founder Is Bullish on Grand Prix in Texas  Bobby Epstein is the chairman of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the new track where the U.S. Grand Prix was staged on Nov. 18. Epstein attended his first F1 race at the age of 19 in 1984, in Dallas, where he was living with his family. He is now the majority owner of Prophet Capital, a private investment company based in Austin that he founded in 1995. He is also the promoter and co-founder of the U.S. Grand Prix, having signed the 10-year deal to bring Formula One to Austin this year. Despite a decades-long history in the United States, the U.S. race had not been run since 2007, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where it had been held since 2000. The first race in Austin, won by the British driver Lewis Hamilton, was a public success, with 117,000 fans attending. Epstein spoke recently with Brad Spurgeon of the International Herald Tribune. More ...
12/01/12
irl
Dallara Indy Lights car a downsized version of their IndyCar  So what do you do if you rolled out a new IndyCar that many consider the Edsel Ford of our time (i.e. goofball ugly), so ill handling it took thousands of hours of re-engineering to fix its inferior design, so uninspiring and so ugly that attendance and TV ratings plummeted, so expensive to maintain that team owners revolted and pushed for Randy Bernard's ouster? 

Why of course you do it again.
Dallara DW12 to 2014 Indy Lights comparo. (Photo: Dallara/Marshall Pruett)

In this Speed.com article we see that  Dallara has proposed to build a 7/8th scale version of its DW12 to serve as the final stepping stone on Mazda’s Road To Indy ladder program.

“We heard [the selection] was coming for September, then October and now we hear it’s going to be soon,” Dallara CEO Stefano dePonti said while speaking from Dallara’s new production facility in Speedway, IN. “There’s been some changes at IndyCar recently, so we know they postpone it, but we feel very good about what we proposed."

And if Dallara-loving Brian Barnhart has his way again, instead of the new Indy Lights race car being built in the USA by an American firm employing American workers, IndyCar will award the Lights contract to Dallara and history can repeat itself.

11/30/12
irl
Kiwi takes reins of KV racing IndyCar team  A Hamilton, NZ man who left New Zealand for the world of American motorsport has taken the reins of a top racing team in the 2013 IndyCar world series.

Steve Moore, 37, a former Melville High school student, left for the United States 15 years ago with a dream to work fulltime in the motorsport industry.

He has worked for KV Racing Technology for the past six seasons and is busier than ever in his new role.

"We are a professional race team in the IndyCar world series that races all over the USA, Brazil and Canada," he said. More ...

11/30/12
racing news
Sales Swell At PRI Trade Show Friday  Friday is traditionally the biggest sales day of the three-day PRI Trade Show and this year’s 25th rendition was true to form as sales swelled throughout the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

Attendees arrived early on Friday morning and remained consistent throughout the day.

“We’ve had a great show at PRI,” said Jeff Clark, of Roush-Yates. “It’s always been a great showcase for us and again in 2013 with the new season ahead of us.  The new products we’re bringing out have been well-received at the show.  We’ve seen people come with checks in hand for deposits on engines where sometimes they may get a business card and call you two or three times and the business wasn’t confirmed.  PRI has given us that ability to showcase a true sale and we’re very, very happy with it.” More ...

11/30/12
f1
Lehto facing manslaughter charge after boat crash  UPDATE #2 Former grand prix and sports car driver JJ Lehto has been freed of all charges for his part in the boat accident that killed a friend in 2010.

Last year, Lehto had been sentenced to two years and four months in prison after a court found he was drunk and speeding on his boat before crashing into a bridge support pillar in Finland in July of 2010. Lehto, 46, had appealed the sentence, claiming he was not steering the boat, but instead sitting in the back when the accident occurred.

The Finn, has now been cleared of all charges. More ...

11/30/12
f1
Red Bull pays FIA $3.26M  Red Bull had to pay a $3.26 million charge on Friday for next year's Formula 1 World Championship as part of the move to increase the FIA's revenue from Formula 1 teams.

Each team must now make a basic $500,000 payment, with the constructors' champions then paying $6000 per point scored and every other team paying an extra $5000 per point.

The full scale of fees for the 12 F1 teams is: More ...
11/30/12
fil
F2000
Tim Paul Signs with AJ Foyt Racing for Indy Lights in 2014  
Tim Paul
Open-wheel racing and former midget and sprint car driver Timothy Paul of Mahopac, New York, has signed an agreement to race in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2014 for AJ Foyt Racing. Prior to the 2014 season, Paul, who has run competitively in the F2000 Championship Series, will spend 2013 competing in both F2000 and USF2000 in a CellMark Paper-sponsored entry to gain the maximum amount of seat time possible.

“2013 is going to be a turning point for me. We really need to focus this year and put our program together in a whole new way to compete where I think we should, near the front of the field,” said Paul. More ...

11/30/12
automotive
Lotus sues fired CEO for lavish spending on homes, helicopters  
Dany Bahar
Group Lotus said ousted CEO Dany Bahar stuck the British carmaker with the cost of his luxury lifestyle including a chauffeur, helicopter travel and 10 wristwatches.

Lotus is seeking to recoup about 2.5 million pounds ($4 million) for unauthorized expenses and overpaid salary and bonuses, according to its October court filing in a lawsuit over Bahar's departure.

The claim came in response to Bahar's own U.K. lawsuit against Lotus and Malaysian parent company DRB- Hicom, which seeks 6.7 million pounds for wrongful dismissal. More ...

11/30/12
usf2000
USF2000 Announces Partnership Extension with Mazda  PALMETTO, Fla. – The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda today announced that Mazda has reaffirmed its alliance with the series with an extended agreement through 2014. A pioneer in helping young drivers move up the ranks, Mazda has been a vital partner of USF2000 since 2010 with its exceptionally reliable MZR powerplants, Mazda Road to Indy scholarship package and off-track training program.

“We are so proud to be a part of the Mazda family,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “What Mazda does for young racers is unparalleled, and what they offer our series is simply amazing. Their Mazda Road to Indy scholarship program and training is in a class of its own and, on top of that, they provide our teams with MZR engines that are low cost and reliable. In three years, we have not had one engine failure. More ...

11/30/12
nassprint
New Sprint Cup car to feature carbon fiber hoods, decklids  NASCAR will allow teams to use carbon fiber hoods and decklids on the new 2013 Sprint Cup car as it tries to give teams more options for creating downforce.

The hoods and decklids have been made of steel in the past. In an attempt to make the cars drive better, NASCAR is reducing the weight of the 3,400-pound Cup car by 160 pounds for next season — 100 pounds on the right side and 60 pounds on the left.

"Carbon fiber is definitely a lot lighter so it definitely is going to take the center of gravity and help move it down because of that — that definitely is a positive, for sure," driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart said. More ...

11/30/12
nassprint
Stewart-Haas Racing re-signs sponsors for Ryan Newman for 2013  Stewart-Haas Racing has re-signed four sponsors for a total of 10 races for Ryan Newman for 2013, giving Newman sponsorship for 28 of the 38 races.

WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will all return as primary sponsors of Newman’s No. 39 Chevrolet, joining Quicken Loans, which announced in October that it would sponsor Newman for 18 races next season.  WIX Filters will sponsor Newman for three races — March 24 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., July 14 at New Hampshire and Oct. 20 at Talladega.

Outback also will sponsor three races — April 27 at Richmond, July 6 at Daytona and Nov. 3 at Texas. More ...

11/30/12
automotive
AAA calls for suspension of E15 gasoline sales  Leading road travel group AAA on Friday called on the U.S. government to suspend the sale of gasoline with a higher blend of ethanol fuel, the latest opposition against increasing the use of biofuels in transport.

A lack of public awareness about the risks of using 15 percent ethanol, known as E15, in older cars could cause problems for motorists, according to an AAA study published Friday. The current standard is 10 percent, or E10.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 in 2011 for cars and light trucks made since model year 2000, spurring opposition from automakers, service station owners and oil refiners who fear it may damage older engines, leaving them exposed to legal action from motorists. More ...

11/30/12
f1
Latest F1 news in brief - Friday  UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

11/30/12
  • Ecclestone miffed
    Ecclestone, FIA, say Vettel will stay 2012 champion
  • F1 is 'a world without pity' - Grosjean
  • Pic breaks record for most times overtaken
  • Chilton positive over Marussia race seat
  • Hamilton tipped for success at Mercedes
  • Vettel overtaking saga 'now closed' - Ferrari New
  • Luca di Montezemolo says Ferrari must start 2013 with a race-winning car New More ...
  • 11/30/12
    nassprint
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. Again a Winner with NASCAR's aging fan base  The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced, on behalf of all NASCAR fans who voted, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been crowned the 2012 NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver. The award, given annually since 1956, is Earnhardt Jr.'s 10th consecutive honor and was presented to him today during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nev.

    This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other driver to be presented the award 10 consecutive years. Elliott is still the all-time leader with 16 overall. After fans voted from February to September, the top 10 drivers that earned the most votes were reset to zero. Drivers Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were all finalists who fans voted for during the final 10 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. After more than 934,000 votes were cast this season, Earnhardt Jr. proved once again to be the fans' favorite even though he is not capable of winning much. It is a sad state for the sport of NASCAR that its aging fan base, still lovers of Dale Sr., allow Dale Jr. to ride on his fathers coattails all these years. More ...
    11/30/12
    f1
    My Day With Niki Lauda  I was not that surprised when I heard that Ron Howard, the acclaimed American film director and the man behind such movies as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon, has now turned his attention to the story of Niki Lauda, the incredible Austrian Formula One racing driver who, having won a world title, all but died in a crash in 1976 that led to severe facial and head burns, and the loss of an ear.

    A year later, having been read the last rites, he took a second world title and then, in 1984, a third title, making him one of the greatest drivers of all time, and this despite such horrific injuries. More ...
    11/30/12
    ga
    Aston Martin, TRG Combine To Broaden Iconic Brand’s Footprint In North America  Aston Martin, TRG are combining To Broaden Iconic Brand’s Footprint In North American Sports Car Racing.

    The highly-competitive Vantage GT3 will compete alongside Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet, Audi, BMW and other manufacturers beginning with the season’s second event March 2 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

    Yet another iconic, world-wide brand – Aston Martin – comes to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2013. The highly-competitive Vantage GT3 will compete alongside Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet, Audi, BMW and other manufacturers beginning with the season's second event March 2 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. More ...
    11/30/12
    irl
    Graham Rahal looks ahead to Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama  
    Graham Rahal kicks up some dirt at Barber this past April while driving for Chip Ganassi's 'B' team.
    Although the excitement of the Indy racing season is still a few months away, driver Graham Rahal said that he is already preparing for and looking forward to the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

    "We are doing some testing, but it's sorta quiet right now," Rahal, who was in town this week for a visit to Barber, said. "It's nice to take a step back and relax a bit, because it will get busy soon enough. It will be insane in just a short time."

    Rahal will be racing in the Honda Grand Prix on April 5-7 as the newly signed member of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL)--a team his father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time Indy car champion Bobby Rahal, co-owns with "CBS Late Show" host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Michael Lanigan. TBC Retail Group will be Rahal's primary sponsor while Valvoline will be a major associate sponsor. More ...

    11/29/12
    ga
    New GRAND-AM GX Class Gets Mazda6 As First Diesel-Powered Vehicle To Compete In Rolex 24  It's official. Mazda North American will field a Mazda6 in GRAND-AM's new GX category beginning with January's Rolex 24 At Daytona.

    Mazda's announcement came amidst the glitz and glamour of this week's Los Angeles Auto Show. The race car will be powered by the manufacturer's SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine and will mark the first time a diesel-powered vehicle of any type has competed in America's premier, twice-around-the-clock event.

    Mazda will be seeking its 24th class victory in the Rolex 24, having most recently won in 2008 and 2010. More ...
    11/29/12
    nassprint
    NASCAR Champions week in Vegas next up  NASCAR returns to Las Vegas for the postseason Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week -- a star-studded, entertainment-filled celebration for the series champion and NASCAR fans.

    The week includes a fanfest and a Victory Lap down the world-famous Strip, culminating with the highly anticipated NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. This year's annual awards will take place at the Wynn on Nov. 30 with SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio providing live coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

    Earlier this year, NASCAR announced the annual Cup Series event -- and all of Champion's Week -- will return to Las Vegas for the next three years.
    11/29/12
    irl
    Upcoming IndyCar test dates  UPDATE ZOD IndyCar Series teams are fitting in the final rounds of on-track sessions before the Dec. 14 close of testing.

    Drivers participating in a Chevrolet day Dec. 3 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., include reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport, championship runner-up Will Power and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing and Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing.

    Fifteen drivers are scheduled to be on the Sebring International Raceway short course either on Dec. 12 or 13 or both, including Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe, Power and Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro of KV Racing Technology, Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing, Oriol Servia of Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Alex Tagliani of Barracuda Racing, Simon Pagenaud of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, A.J. Foyt Racing with a driver to be named, and Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. More ...
    11/29/12
    ga
    Nelson Piquet Jr. joins Action Express for Daytona  Action Express Racing has finalized its lineup for January's Rolex 24 At Daytona, adding former F1 and current NASCAR racer Nelson Piquet Jr., veteran sports car racer Mike Rockenfeller and British F3 racer Felipe Nasr to its squad. Full-time AXR drivers Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi continue alongside Brian and Burt Frisselle for the 24-hour event. The final driver assignments for team's two cars will be set after January's Roar Before the 24 test session.

    “After the Roar, AXR will finalize its driver and car assignments, as it works to produce the best chemistry among it's two cars for the best overall results, an advantage other teams do not have,” said team manager Gary Nelson.
    11/29/12
    nassprint
    Mayfield evicted  Authorities in North Carolina have seized an unfinished home and land belonging to former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield.

    Catawba County Sheriff's Sgt. Kerry Hayer told the Hickory Daily Record ( http://bit.ly/VgHjIC) that deputies changed the locks on the door of the home in Catawba on Wednesday.  Carolina Farm Credit received an order earlier this month transferring the land and buildings to the company. Court records show the bank bought the land for $1,725,000. Mayfield had a court date scheduled in Catawba County for Dec. 3 on charges of one count of felony possession of methamphetamine, one count of felony obtaining property by false pretense and three counts of felony possession of stolen goods or property.

    11/29/12
    nassprint
    2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS Unveiled  
    Chevrolet today opened a new chapter in its storied racing history, unveiling its eagerly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car. Powered by the legendary small block V-8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevrolet’s newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona, Fla.

    The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.

    “As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day. More ...

    11/29/12
    irl
    Castroneves to drive No. 3 Hitachi car  Following a strong debut season as a sponsor with Team Penske in the IZOD IndyCar Series, Hitachi has announced that it is continuing its’  partnership with the most successful team in the history of open-wheel racing in 2013.

    Hitachi will serve as the primary sponsor for nine races – including two doubleheader race weekends – on the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series.

    “Hitachi is a world-class company that proved to be a terrific partner for us this past season,” said Roger Penske. “With the technical support Hitachi provides to Chevrolet in its IndyCar engine program, this relationship represents a winning formula on many levels.” More ...

    11/29/12
    nassprint
    5-Hour Energy's NASCAR Deal A Game-Changer For Brand  
    Clint Bowyer was sponsored by 5-Hour Energy
    Becoming a sponsor of Michael Waltrip Racing’s Sprint Cup Series team in '12 helped 5-Hour Energy generate close to $30M in retail sales. The deal allowed the company to get major displays in Walmart, and create a program in which retailers were able to place their logo on the 5-Hour Energy car’s deck lid in exchange for prominent displays of 5-Hour Energy in their retail outlets. That allowed the company to justify its more than $10M sponsorship of the car and team. Speaking at the ’12 Motorsports Marketing Forum, 5-Hour Energy President & COO Scott Henderson said, “This is probably the second biggest spend outside of our general TV advertising. It’s a big deal to us.”

    According to research firm Joyce Julius, 5-Hour Energy got more than $200M of media exposure, and that was about double their entire media budget for the year. Henderson: “Even if you put a fudge factor on there and cut it by 10 percent or something, it’s definitely worth it.” More ...

    11/29/12
    irl
    Hulman & Co. CEO seeks new IndyCar management structure  
    If not for the fact he had to deal with the competing IRL being run with voodoo economics, Andrew Craig might have been the most successful CEO CART IndyCar ever had.
    One of Mark Miles’ first objectives as new CEO of Hulman & Co. was reaching out to IndyCar sponsors and team owners. By all accounts he’s been busy doing that since being hired Nov. 20.

    Miles also has been busy contemplating who will succeed Randy Bernard as IndyCar Series CEO. Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus is serving as interim IndyCar Series CEO and he has intimated that he could continue in that role. But sources tell IBJ that Miles will move to hire a new IndyCar czar, one with a solid racing background and considerable sponsor contacts. The thought is that the job of series CEO is too big for someone who needs to be focusing on the Speedway. More ...

    11/29/12
    irl
    Autodesk and INDYCAR Form Three-Year Technology Partnership  Autodesk, Inc., the leader in cloud-based design and engineering software, and INDYCAR, the auto racing sanctioning body behind such famed events as the Indianapolis 500, have signed a three-year technology partnership.

    INDYCAR's engineering and operations group will use Autodesk Digital Prototyping applications to design and engineer product innovations for chassis designs, parts and components. (Photo: Business Wire)

    The partnership will provide broad access to Autodesk software offerings, including Autodesk Product Design Suite, Autodesk Simulation 360, Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite and Autodesk PLM 360, to IZOD IndyCar Series teams and drivers that compete in the fastest and most diverse racing series in the world. More ...

    11/29/12
    nassprint
    Top NASCAR Execs Discuss How To Face Day-To-Day Challenges  On the final day of the '12 NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum hosted by SBD/SBJ, top industry execs yesterday explored the elements that go into managing a successful operation as well as the day-to-day challenges they face. Each exec stressed people management and retention as two of the biggest day-to-day challenges. Richard Childress VP/Competition Mike Dillon said the hardest part of his job is "keeping good people." Dillon: "That’s what it takes to win, and you really want to keep them happy. They want to win and that’s a hard battle to keep those attitudes up.” Hendrick Motorsports President & COO Marshall Carlson pointed to the human element of management as the most difficult. He said, “Letting folks go. That’s the toughest thing I have had to do in my role. Also keeping people engaged and motivated is a challenge.” More ...
    11/29/12
    irl
    State Senator Proposes Dissolving City Of Detroit  
    Like the rest of Detroit, the Detroit GP track was falling apart during last year’s race.  Now there is a call to dissolve the entire cesspool (sorry city) into the county by the Republicans.  That won't sit well with the taxpaying citizens  in the county who will see their tax bills rise to pay to support the inner-city welfare recipients, food stamp recipients, drug dealers and murderers.  Whether this would help or hurt the Detroit GP would remain to be seen.
    It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.

    WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city.

    “If we have to, that is one idea we have to look at. We really have to look at everything that is on the table,” Jones said. “Again, if this goes to federal bankruptcy, every employee down there will suffer, the city will suffer and the vultures will come in and take the jewels of Detroit and they will be gone.” More ...

    11/29/12
    f1
    Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday  UPDATE #2 (GMM)  F1's governing body has sided with Red Bull, after Ferrari on Thursday wrote the FIA a letter that might have changed the outcome of the 2012 world championship.

    Ferrari's letter of "clarification" followed the emergence this week of video footage that apparently showed Sebastian Vettel illegally passing a Toro Rosso during the title-deciding Brazilian grand prix.

    But media outlets including the Telegraph said the FIA had already responded on Thursday by declaring there is "no case to answer".

    And race director Charlie Whiting was on Thursday quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "Between the last yellow light and the green light, there was a green flag being waved.

    "Vettel responded to the flag and did everything right."  More ...

    11/29/12
    roc
    f1
    Vettel's Red Bull Racing F1 car heads for ROC 2012  Newly-crowned triple Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will provide a thrill for fans in Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium as one of his victorious Red Bull Racing F1 cars headlines the array of shows at ROC 2012 on December 14-16.

    Vettel became the youngest man in history to win three F1 world championships in Sunday’s incident-packed Brazilian Grand Prix. Despite suffering an early spin and being sent to the back of the field, the German staged a great recovery in the rain to sixth place, enough to pip title rival Fernando Alonso by just three points. More ...
    11/29/12
    alms
    CORE autosport to defend ALMS PC championships in 2013  With the final American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season set to be run in 2013, CORE autosport will attempt to score its third consecutive Prototype Challenge (PC) team and driver championships, starting at Sebring next March.

    Success in the ever-competitive PC class - with single-make engines, transmissions and chassis - comes down to driver talent and preparation, and the Rock Hill-based organization has elevated those aspects with rigorous processes and procedures. More ...
    11/29/12
    irl
    IndyCar's failed Road to Indy leads to sports cars  UPDATE
    Miles Maroney and Connor De Phillippi
    Miles Maroney and Connor De Phillippi grew up racing together in Southern California, were Karting teammates on more than one occasion and have been great friends for as long as they have been alive. Some of the best American Open Wheel racers over the past decade or more have had to pursue their racing dreams elsewhere, as the Road to Indy is essentially a dead end long before IndyCar, especially for Americans without a pile of money. For Connor and Miles their dream was F1 or Indy Car 100%, but they are trying to forge careers in this Sport, it is no hobby and it is a life's work, literally!

    Toward the end of this 2012 racing season Miles Maroney also made his Porsche GT3 "debut" at Road America in late August in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge and finished up the season at VIR in September and Petit LeMans last month. More ...

    11/29/12
    automotive
    Ford's 2013 lineup of crate engines  
    Ford Racing Engineers have developed a ready to run crate engine that is perfect for street rods, restored muscle cars or Kit Cars. The engine is equipped with Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold, Holley 650 carb and MSD distributor.
    Racers and enthusiasts have long looked to Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) to fulfill their need for speed. The 2013 Ford Racing catalog is now stocked with fresh new options for every enthusiast budget and application. The updated lineup debuting at the Performance Racing Industry show this week includes new four-cylinder and V6 EcoBoost crate engines plus classic small-block, modular and contemporary Coyote V8s along with wheels, suspension and brake parts.

    Build your own Cobra Jet
    Racers who couldn’t get on the list for one of the limited-production 2013 Mustang Cobra Jets can now build their own starting with the RPP Aluminator XS crate engine. The 5.0-liter Aluminator XS is based on the naturally aspirated engine that was offered in the 2013 Cobra Jet earlier this year. Anyone interested in building a fast 5.0-liter-powered Ford vehicle for the track now has a ready-to-install option with more than 500 horsepower and the capability of 7,700 rpm. More ...
    11/29/12
    ga
    AIM Autosport Announce 2013 Rolex Driver Line Up  
    Emil Assentato
    After the November 26th announcement of the No. 61 Ferrari 458 Italia GT GRAND-AM addition to the AIM Autosport organization, AIM Autosport is proud to announce the return of the No.69 Team FXDD 458 Italia. Through contesting two cars in the battle for the 2013 Rolex GT Sports Car Series Championship, the organization plans to create an even stronger Ferrari footprint in the prestigious series.

    Reigning 2012 GT Champion and Truman Akin driver, Emil Assentato is getting ready for the Roar Before The Rolex 24, set to take place on January 4-6, 2013 in anticipation of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Assentato will be driving the returning championship winning Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia. The driving duties of the No.69 will be shared by long-time friend and previous guest driver of the 2012 season’s long distance races at The Glen and Daytona. More ...

    11/29/12
    motogp
    MotoGP postpones Argentina round a year  UPDATE Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta travelled to Argentina on Tuesday to confirm the inclusion of a race at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on the 2014 MotoGP calendar. The decision was recently taken to delay the event by 12 months and its place is now looking like a formality after the commercial rights holder's successful visit.

    "I travelled to Argentina to learn more about the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and to appreciate the work they are doing at the track," said Ezpeleta. "The layout will be fast, with a very original design, so I wanted to congratulate Governor Zamora, the Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer and the organizer, for their work in creating a great circuit." More ...

    11/29/12
    irl
    Tickets on sale for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg  Tickets for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- the season-opening race for the IZOD IndyCar Series for the third consecutive year -- on March 22-24, 2013, are on sale.

    Helio Castroneves, who won for the third time on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn scenic street circuit in 2012, will return to defend his victory. Team Penske teammate Will Power, who started on the pole, also will be back to kick off the 19-race season and attempt to supplant Ryan Hunter-Reay as the series champion. Their title duel went to the final race, with the Andretti Autosport driver securing his first championship by a scant three points. More ...

    11/29/12
    racing news
    Flurry of Activity Hits Race Industry Week As PRI Prepares To Open In Orlando  Four major conferences and seminars began today, while two others finished up their three-day schedule as a flurry of Race Industry Week activity hit the Orange County Convention Center Wednesday in anticipation of the opening day of the PRI Trade Show on Thursday in Orlando, Florida.

    The International Council of Motorsport Sciences (ICMS), the Winning The eRace Digital Marketing Conference for Racing Businesses, the Race Track Business Conference and the first of two EFI University seminars began today in Orlando, joining the on-going Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) and Claude Roelle’s Optimum G Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Seminar to make up the busiest day in Race Industry Week history, which is run conjunction with the PRI Trade Show that will run Nov. 29-Dec. 1. More ...

    11/29/12
    nassprint
    Four Sponsors Renew With Stewart-Hass Racing  Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has signed extensions with four of its partners through 2013 that will account for a total of 10 races on the No. 39 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

    WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will all return as primary sponsors of Newman and the No. 39 team in 2013, joining Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online mortgage lender. Quicken Loans announced in October that it will be the primary sponsor of Newman and the No. 39 team for 18 races in 2013, up from nine races in 2012. More ...

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