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DATE News (chronologically)
12/03/15
f1

Renault announces return to Formula 1 in 2016
Renault is back
Renault is back
From CEO Carlos Ghosn:
Following the September announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent with Lotus, teams at Renault continued to evaluate the possibility of a return to Formula 1. Particular attention was paid to competing successfully with its own team in a financially sound way starting in 2016.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win--even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Lesa France Kennedy named Forbes' Most Powerful Woman in Sports
Lesa France Kennedy
Lesa France Kennedy
Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation, was named Wednesday as the Most Powerful Woman in Sports for 2015 in a survey conducted by Forbes.

Kennedy, who currently oversees 12 speedways that host NASCAR national series events, received the most votes from an eight-member panel assembled by the New York-based business magazine. The 54-year-old executive has topped Forbes' list in previous votes, including the 2009 balloting.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Brian France blazes ahead in continuing bid to evolve NASCAR
Brian France
Brian France

Brian France was digesting a hurried lunch and morsels from a just-concluded media forum as a helicopter was prepped to whisk him from Homestead-Miami Speedway. At the other helipad was a business meeting with family members that could alter the sport his clan had overseen since 1948 writes Brant James of USA Today.

The 53-year-old series chairman and third-generation caretaker of a sanctioning body formalized by his late grandfather, "Big" Bill, and forged into a major league by his late father, Bill Jr., Brian Zachary France has, in 12 years in charge, overseen some of the most transformative, modernizing times in the history of a sport created by rapscallions and rascals hauling illegal liquor. For that, he is at once celebrated and chided, perspective pending, but from all angles scrutinized.

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12/03/15
pwc

Calvert Dynamics Announces 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Program with Porsche
Davis and Calvert
Davis and Calvert
Calvert Dynamics today announced its two-car GT and GT Cup 2016 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) program, in association with Phoenix Performance. Andrew Davis joins the team in a 2016 Porsche 991 GT3R in the GT Class, and Preston Calvert begins his sophomore GT Cup season in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry.

The 2015 PWC season featured Phoenix American Motorsports and Calvert Dynamics powering to the 2015 GTS Team Championship and contributing to Ford’s Manufacturer Championship, with three drivers, and wins by teammates Andrew Aquilante and Kurt Rezzetano. Together, Aquilante and Rezzetano achieved 12 podiums, and 29 top ten finishes out of 34 starts, all while acting as both drivers and crew chief/technicians for their own cars.  Preston Calvert drove in both GTS and GT Cup Classes, earning rookie of the year honors in GTS and finishing fifth in the GT Cup standings.

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12/03/15
gp2

GP2: Latifi quickest on Day 2 at Yas Marina
Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi topped the second day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit: at the wheel of a DAMS car, the Canadian clocked in a laptime of 1:47.860 in the final stages of the evening session. Norman Nato and Sergey Sirotkin completed the top three.

Day 2 of post-season testing opened at 12.00 in hot temperatures and with the twenty-four cars on Medium tires. Some familiar faces returned to the field whilst some drivers switched teams. It was Richie Stanaway who set the pace in the opening minutes for Carlin, but Pierre Gasly who has switched to RUSSIAN TIME for the day, went top with a laptime 0.244s better than the New Zealander. However, the Frenchman did not sit pretty at the top for too long after Latifi (DAMS) found some extra pace. P1 was then claimed by Negrao at the wheel of the Rapax car with a laptime of 1:49.103.

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12/03/15
nassprint

NASCAR Chase Viewership Finishes Down From '14
The first season of a new NASCAR Sprint Cup TV package ended on a high note for the series, but the overall viewership for the Chase for the Sprint Cup dropped off compared to recent years. The Chase moved from ESPN and ABC last year to NBC and NBCSN this season. While last year's Chase was free of weather delays, two races in '15 -- Charlotte and Phoenix -- saw rain delays, moving coverage from NBC's broadcast channel to the NBCSN cable net. But the '15 rain-delayed races still ran during weekend windows and did not have to move to a weekday window.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Kauffman Hopes To Create More Stable Model For NASCAR Teams With Franchising System
Rob Kauffman
Rob Kauffman
RTA Chair Rob Kauffman yesterday talked about laying the groundwork for changes in NASCAR’s ownership structure and why he thinks those changes will leave the sport in a vastly improved condition writes Adam Stern of SportsbusinessDaily.com. Kauffman, speaking during a rare one-on-one interview at the '15 Daytona Rising/NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, maintained the position he took last month with SportsBusiness Journal that he is cautiously optimistic a charter system will be implemented in time for the '16 campaign.

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12/03/15
pwc

Caldwell Named Director of Operations for PWC
David Caldwell
David Caldwell
AUSTIN, Texas -- WC Vision LLC, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge, are pleased to announce that David Caldwell has joined the series' Competition Department as Director of Operations.

Caldwell, 43, has an outstanding resume in the motorsports world including serving as Pirelli World Challenge technical program manager for General Motors leading the GT (Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3), GTS (Camaro Z/28) and TCB-Spec (Chevrolet Sonic) programs. With Caldwell's leadership, General Motors has earned multiple drivers and manufacturers championships in GT, GTS and TCB-Spec classes.

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12/03/15
cart
f1
nassprint

New Foyt, Andretti, Petty Book Coming Out
Andretti and Foyt honored at Daytona in July 2007

Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced the release of "FOYT, ANDRETTI, PETTY: America's Racing Trinity," by award-winning author Bones Bourcier, on Wednesday.

Twenty years after they hung up their helmets, the names A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and Richard Petty remain synonymous with the sport they carried to new heights. They rose to fame just as the American media began to legitimize auto racing, and gave the nation characters as compelling as any in sports or entertainment.

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12/03/15
f1

Grosjean set to start work at Maranello
Ferrari 'B' team driver Romain Grosjean
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean is preparing to get to work on his future as soon as this month -- by travelling to Maranello.

After a tough few months for the financially-ailing Lotus team, the Frenchman is switching to the new Ferrari-linked American project Haas for 2016.

Grosjean admits 2015 - particularly the latter half - has been difficult.

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12/03/15
f1

Red Bull set for Friday announcement, will run wrist-watch engines
Red Bull to run Swiss Watch engines. Hilarious
(GMM)  Red Bull looks set to lift the lid on its future on Friday.

As the fireworks marked the end of the season in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, Christian Horner suggested his McLaren counterpart Ron Dennis "won't be happy" when the former quadruple world champions finalize their engine deal for 2016.

It is believed Horner was referring to speculation the long-time McLaren sponsor Tag-Heuer will take on the naming rights of Red Bull's unbranded Renault engines.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Stewart files counterclaim against insurance company
Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart's attorney countered an insurance company's claim that its policy does not cover Stewart in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. Brian Gwitt, Stewart's New York-based attorney, filed the claim Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Axis Insurance Company stated in court documents in September that it should not be held responsible for damages Stewart might have to pay the Ward family.

The family filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 against Stewart, seeking unspecified damages for the death of their 20-year-old son. Axis claimed in documents that clauses in its policy with Tony Stewart Racing precluded it from paying any damages. Stewart's counterclaim states that various clauses show that Axis should be responsible for such damages.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Marlowe close to sale of stake in BK Racing
Social media has grown to become the megaphone for all things these days, from breaking news and marketing products to communicating with friends and even showing off what's for dinner. But using the medium to advertise the sale of a professional sports team? That's one of the few things that hadn't been done - until recently, that is. NASCAR team investor Anthony Marlowe said last week that his plan to sell his 10 percent stake in BK Racing via Twitter is bearing fruit.

Marlowe, who joined BK Racing last year from now-defunct Swan Racing, is believed to be the first sports team owner to advertise the sale of a stake in a team on the social media platform. And according to Marlowe, the current "lead sled dog" for the sale found out about the opportunity from two tweets he sent out in recent months.

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12/03/15
nassprint

Hendrick Motorsports names new Manager of Aerodynamics
Diane Holl is the new manager of aerodynamics for Hendrick Motorsports. Holl, 51, joined HMS last month after eight seasons at Michael Waltrip Racing where she served as Director of Vehicle Design. After earning her degree in mechanical engineering, the Guildford, England native's career started in Formula 1 with Ferrari as a chassis designer in 1987.

Holl returned to England in 2002, where she worked with the McLaren Group as Principle Engineer. She returned to the U.S. five years later to join MWR. Holl replaces Kurt Romberg, who has since taken a similar role at Roush Fenway Racing. Motorsports

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12/03/15
nassprint

RTA, NASCAR nearing deal on franchising
A new system that would award guaranteed spots to NASCAR race teams could be put into place by the start of 2016. NASCAR chief operations officer Brent Dewar and Race Team Alliance chairman Rob Kauffman both said Wednesday they are "cautiously optimistic" that a deal would get done in time for next season. They spoke during separate sessions of the SportsBusiness Journal Motorsports Marketing Forum, an annual event that coincides with championship week. It appears that any animosity between NASCAR and the RTA from its inception in 2014 has gone away.

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12/03/15
f1

Video: McLaren F1 MP4-X Concept Car
A concept car like no other. McLaren harnessed the most cutting-edge, avant-garde technological solutions that exist in the world today to create a racecar that could exist in the distant future.



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12/03/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Ecclestone gets power to fix F1
    FIA gives Ecclestone 'mandate' to fix F1
  • Coulthard urges Ecclestone to keep F1 on 'free' TV
  • Mercedes could survive without Hamilton, Rosberg - Hakkinen
  • Mercedes may terminate Hamilton or Rosberg
  • Vettel labels Ferrari's season a 'miracle'
  • Hulkenberg admits improvement required
  • Sainz Jr. relieved efforts have been noticed
  • McLaren reveals Formula 1 concept car

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12/03/15
track news

Road America planning new winner's circle, retail center
Road America
Road America
Road America has a handful of building projects on the drawing board track president George Bruggenthies told the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal.

Among them are safety improvements required for the Verizon IndyCar Series, a new winner's circle - "something a little more fan friendly," Bruggenthies said - as well as a retail center and expansion of the path that opened up viewing areas on the back side of the course.

Among the items up for consideration by the Road America board of directors is expansion of the trail opened this year along the inside of the track from the Carousel toward Canada Corner. That section of the 525-acre property had little access through the track's first 60 years.

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12/03/15
f1

World Council green-lights Todt and Ecclestone to make drastic F1 changes (Update) UPDATE To help struggling Renault and Honda, the FIA also said a similar level of in-season engine development would be allowed in 2016 through the current system of 'tokens', which had been due to go down to 25 but would remain at 32.

The allowance will then drop to 25 in 2017 and 20 in 2018, which will discourage any new engine manufacturers from entering F1.

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12/02/15
scca

Derrick Walker Confirmed as New SCCA Pro Racing President
Derrick Walker
Derrick Walker
SCCA Pro Racing has named Derrick Walker as its newest president, handing the operations for the sanctioning body to the respected motorsports veteran beginning January 1, from his Indianapolis-based office. Walker replaces Robert Clarke, who will serve as SCCA Pro Racing's Chairman of the Board.

Walker most recently served as President of Operations and Competition of the Verizon IndyCar Series, after spending more than 40 years in racing in roles including mechanic, engineer, operations manager and team owner.

"I have always been impressed by the work that SCCA Pro Racing has done over the years, and know that racing in the United States would not be where it is without it," Walker said. "I'm looking forward to joining SCCA Pro Racing at a great time, to make a difference for Pro Racing and the motorsports industry."

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12/02/15
f1

Formula 1's Spanish Audience plummets 61.5% in one year
Spanish fans are turning away from F1 in droves as Mercedes buts on their 1-2 parade in horrible sounding cars
Spanish fans are turning away from F1 in droves as Mercedes buts on their boring 1-2 parades in horrible sounding cars
Fernando Alonso's "McLaren crisis, the lack of competition between the teams and the supremacy of the same team (Mercedes), year after year, has reportedly weakened the Spanish audience's interest in Formula 1," according to LIBERTAD DIGITAL. 

Broadcaster Antena 3's coverage of F1 drew less than 25 million viewers, its worst figures since '03. In '14 the broadcaster's F1 coverage drew a total of around 65 million viewers. LIBERTAD DIGITAL


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12/02/15
nassprint

Lesa France Kennedy Promises "Brand New Experience" At Daytona
The new Daytona Int’l Speedway will not only show what a motorsports facility can be, but will provide a blueprint that other facilities can build on, said ISC CEO and NASCAR Vice Chair Lesa France Kennedy during a presentation that opened Day 2 of the Daytona Rising/NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum in Las Vegas. "Our fans are going to have a brand new experience,” she said. “It will be a true, modern motorsports stadium. Something like we haven’t seen before."

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12/02/15
f1

One change on final F1 calendar
Next year's United States and Mexican GPs will be held back-to-back, in the only change to the final version of the Formula 1 calendar ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council. (We have updated our 2016 F1 schedule and our composite schedule.)

Final 2016 FORMULA 1 CALENDAR:

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12/02/15
wec

Tequila Patron ESM Signs Cumming and Derani
Chris Cumming and Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani join the world-class Tequila Patron ESM driver roster of Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Ryan Dalziel for the nine-race 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) season. The six drivers will compete in identical Tequila Patron-sponsored Liger JS P2 prototypes.

"Tequila Patron ESM is very excited to welcome Pipo and Chris to the team and our 2016 WEC championship aspirations," said Sharp, owner/driver Tequila Patron ESM. "Both drivers are excellent additions to our effort, bringing great speed, commitment and motivation. We can't wait to get started!"

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12/02/15
wtcc

Ford designers explain aero features of the new GT
In a video (below) released by Ford Performance on Tuesday, Ford’' Garen Nicoghosian, exterior design manager, Ford Motor Company, and Bernie Marcus, aerodynamicist, discuss the design and aerodynamics of the all-new Ford GT.

The car will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016, with its competition debut coming at the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona from Jan. 30-31.

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12/02/15
gp2

Matsushita tops Day 1 of GP2 test
Nobuharu Matsushita under the lights in Abu Dhabi
Nobuharu Matsushita under the lights in Abu Dhabi
Nobuharu Matsushita dominated day 1 of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit: the Japanese ace set the quickest laptime of both sessions at the wheel of his ART Grand Prix car. Nicholas Latifi and Pierre Gasly completed the top 3.

Day 1 of post-season testing opened this morning with the twenty-four drivers on Pirelli Medium tyros. After a series of installation laps; thirty minutes into the session, Matsushita set the best laptime in a 1:49.180, three tenths quicker than teammate Oliver Rowland. Alex Lynn moved up to P2 on the one hour mark with Norman Nato also able to improve enough to edge out Rowland from P3this morning with the twenty-four drivers on Pirelli Medium tires.

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12/02/15
nassprint

Burnett, Downey Convinced NASCAR-Themed Drama Can Be Mainstream Hit
Positioning NASCAR as a property rife with the sort of compelling human drama that makes for great TV, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey yesterday expressed confidence that their planned series on the sport can be a mainstream hit, writes Adam Stern of SportsbusinessDaily.com.

Kicking off the '15 Daytona Rising/NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum at The Mirage in Las Vegas, the married duo revealed that the series, which was originally announced this past season, could be ready to debut in late '16 or if not early '17. The duo, who were joined on stage by NASCAR VP/Entertainment Marketing & Content Development Zane Stoddard, said that a writer for the series has been selected, but they did not reveal the writer or the names of any actors being sought. However, they did note that one example of a storyline viewers can expect to see is NASCAR life through the eyes of drivers' wives. Downey compared that to a scene out of their highly acclaimed series, "The Bible," on History Channel, in which they recreated the story of the prophet Abraham preparing to sacrifice his own son, only showing it from the vantage point of Abraham's wife.

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12/02/15
nassprint

Pemberton leaving NASCAR, to be replaced by Miller
UPDATE 
NASCAR announced today that Scott Miller has joined the organization as Senior Vice President of Competition, responsible for managing all competition efforts related to technology, inspection, rule development and officiating across NASCAR's wide portfolio of racing. Miller will report directly to Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell, and work closely with Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefanyshyn. All three are based at NASCAR's Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. Miller most recently served as Executive Vice President of Competition at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR).

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12/02/15
irl

Piers Phillips Joins Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as General Manager
Piers Phillips
Piers Phillips
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today that Piers Phillips has accepted the team's General Manager position.
 
Phillips brings a wealth of racing experience to the SPM team. Most recently, the Northampton, United Kingdom native was Team Manager/Technical Director for Brabham Racing. Before that, his 15-year racing career included positions in both management and engineering, at Impact Engineering Solutions, Strakka Racing, SEAT Sport UK and Fred Goddard F3.

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12/02/15
gp3

GP3: Leclerc tops day one of testing
Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc
Monegasque rookie Charles Leclerc was fastest overall on day one of testing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The ART Grand Prix tester’s best lap of 1:55.209 was almost half a second clear of his nearest opposition Antonio Fuoco (Trident) – which was set in the afternoon session. Matthew Parry – also having made the switch to test for the 2015 runners-up squad Trident; was quickest in the morning.

The opening day of testing got underway in very hot conditions. The 21 drivers fed onto the circuit to set installation laps with Campos Racing’s Steijn Schothorst first to set the pace in the 1m57’s. Koiranen GP’s Matevos Isaakyan improved to take P1 before an early red flag due to Brazilian rookie Pedro Cardoso stopping on track.

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12/02/15
f1

Which Mercedes driver will be World Champion in 2016?
Has Mercedes anointed Rosberg to be the 2016 champion?
"I think being world champion sounds a lot better than winning the race".

That was Lewis Hamilton's reply in the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix press conference when both Mercedes drivers were asked which of them would go into the winter break the happier man. Nico Rosberg's three victories on the bounce have all come with the footnote that Hamilton had already wrapped up the world championship at the U.S Grand Prix in late October. Hamilton's response was a gentle reminder of that fact to the German in Abu Dhabi.

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12/02/15
gp2

GP2 Test for Ellinas
Tio Ellinas
Tio Ellinas
Just over a week since his FIA WEC rookie test, Tio Ellinas will today test Russian Time's car at the GP2 post season session at the Yas Marina circuit. Ellinas' deal, initially for one day's running, was set up by Strakka Racing, the Silverstone-based team that manages and ran the Cypriot in Formula Renault 3.5.

"We are currently working with Tio on options for next year," says team principal Dan Walmsley. "Part of that is to evaluate GP2, a category Tio has already tasted with a short run of outings in 2014. It's a one day test but we may extend this to two."

Meanwhile Strakka Racing is talking to six drivers about filling its two Formula 3.5 V8 for 2016. "After the Aragon testing where Strakka was consistently one of the quickest car every day, including Tio topping the times overall on the Friday, interest has been growing with around half a dozen drivers talking seriously about a seat. The plan is to announce the first of these in the coming weeks," adds Walmsley.

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12/02/15
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Kvyat most impressive young driver in 2015
    Kvyat most impressive young driver in 2015
    Verstappen, Kvyat most impressive - Hakkinen
  • Zetsche backs Lauda, Wolff to stick together
  • Raikkonen 'closer to end' of F1 career - Webber
  • Williams must improve for 2016 - Bottas
  • Renault announcement now imminent - report
  • Haryanto, King upbeat over Manor outings
  • Marko: Toro Rosso pair 'exceeded expectations'
  • Current F1 cars much easier to drive - Smedley

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