Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
RCR plans to run #07 at Daytona  Richard Childress Racing will run a fourth car in the 2010 Daytona 500, the #07 Chevy that finished 21st in the 2009 Cup owners' standings with driver Casey Mears, a team spokesman said on Wednesday. But beyond that, the car's schedule will be determined by sponsorship, the lack of which put Mears on the job market at the end of 2009. Mears will drive the car at Daytona, where it's a guaranteed starter in the lucrative season opener, "unless he gets another full-time ride," the RCR source said. If Mears isn't available, another driver would be selected. The car's crew chief is also to be determined after Doug Randolph, who was Mears' crew chief at the end of the season, this week began working as #71-Bobby Labonte's chief mechanic at TRG Motorsports. The source said that RCR is in "serious talks with a number of potential sponsors and we're still aiming towards fielding that car full-time in 2010." NASCAR.com
No decision on 2010 NASCAR TV announcers  So, who is going to be announcing where? Remember that Bill Weber lost his job at Turner after a public incident last summer. Ralph Sheheen filled in for Weber. Lenny Daniels of Turner told [Dustin Long] no decision has been made yet but Sheheen remains a candidate for the job. John Wildhack, executive vice president program acquisition and strategy for ABC/ESPN said that no decision has been made on the ESPN/ABC announcing crew as of yet. Hampton Roads
Grand-Am Daytona Testing Day 2  Two dozen GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 teams came away from a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway impressed with the Pirelli tires they will be using in 2010 competition. Their season begins with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.

A primary reason for the two-day session was to allow Rolex Series competitors the opportunity to have their first test with the 2010 Pirelli tire. Many competitors said they were pleased, overall.

"Perfect!" said Max Angelelli, driver of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara.

"The tires are great!" said Bill Auberlen, testing the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 for the first time. "We ran entire stints, and a stint-and-a-half, and we virtually lose no lap time. I think Pirelli knew what they wanted to do, and they achieved it. Everyone's all smiles." More ...

Grand-Am Daytona Testing Day 1  All 24 cars that were entered for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 December Test Days, a two-day Pirelli Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway, participated Tuesday in preparation for next month's Rolex 24 At Daytona, held on Jan. 30-31, 2010.

Some teams - including Action Express Racing (Daytona Prototype) and ZMG, Magnus Racing and Turner Motorsport (GT) - were on track with cars for the first time. While Rolex Series veterans and former Daytona race winners like Scott Pruett, Max Angelelli, Buddy Rice, Sylvain Tremblay and Bill Auberlen returned, drivers like Jade Buford, Bob Doyle, Paul Dalla Lana and Derek Johnston made their first on-track appearances in Rolex Series cars.

Other drivers, such as Ryan Dalziel, Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Josh Hurley, Johnny Mowlem and Dominic Cicero were roaming the garage area and pit lane talking to teams about the potential of running the 48th annual Rolex 24. More ...

Kansas Speedway Announces Time, Broadcast for Indy race  Kansas Speedway announced today that the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 on May 1, 2010, which is running for the first time in May, will be broadcast on ABC with coverage starting at 12:30 PM CT.

“Our fans have asked for an earlier start time for our IZOD IndyCar Series race and we worked with both the series and broadcast partners to secure an earlier time,” said Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger. “The IZOD IndyCar Series has put on a great show at Kansas Speedway in the past and we’re looking forward to being a part of the month of May for the first time.”

Tickets for all Kansas Speedway races go on sale Dec. 15. Fans have several ticket options for 2010, which include purchasing individual tickets for the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 (May 2, 2010), purchasing a weekend-only package for the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods (Oct. 3, 2010) and Kansas Lottery 300 (Oct. 2, 2010), or purchasing a season ticket that includes all of these races and the new Track Pass that allows fans access to driver introductions, Sprint FanWalk and the opportunity to sign the start/finish line for each Sunday event.

To purchase Kansas Speedway tickets, call 866.460.RACE or log onto www.kansasspeedway.com. Kansas Speedway continues to offer free parking and allows fans to bring in a 6x6x12-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and drink.

racing news
Danica Patrick to launch fragrance  Today SA Fragrances have announced the signing of a deal to create fragrances for IndyCar driver, Danica Patrick. The first fragrance is due for launch in early 2010.

"We are honored to be partnering with Danica Patrick. Her success in the racing world combined with her striking beauty has made her both a role model and mainstream, global icon. Danica deserves a beautiful fragrance that is as special as she is and that is what SA Fragrances has created. The launch and continued promotion of Danica Patrick for Her will include a huge sampling initiative, a major online campaign and event marketing at racing and other venues. Danica's fragrance will immediately be recognized as the hot new fragrance of 2010”, said Jon Klein VP Sales SA Fragrances. More ...

Campbell named GM of Chevrolet  Susan Docherty, GM vice president Sales, Service and Marketing announced today that James M. Campbell, 45, has been named general manager - Chevrolet, effective immediately. In his previous assignment, Campbell was responsible for GM's Fleet and Commercial Operations.

"Jim has a strong track record of building relationships and partnerships with dealers and customers, and deep Chevrolet experience," Docherty said. "His energy, drive for results and willingness to take risks are great assets for leading the growing global Chevrolet brand."

Before running GM's Fleet and Commercial Operations, Campbell held various positions in field sales, retail incentives, marketing and customer relationship management.  He has played important roles in many product launches including the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Colorado and Corvette. More ...
Glock defends switch to Manor/Virgin  (GMM)  Timo Glock has defended his decision to race with the new Manor/Virgin team, but admits that he is not likely to be near the top of the grid in 2010.

After an abortive start with Jordan some years earlier, the 27-year-old German revived his formula one career with a GP2 title in his pocket and a Toyota race seat in 2008 and 2009.

But with the Japanese giant now pulling out, Glock - although also linked strongly with the Renault team - announced his switch to the start-up team Manor. More ...

TV rating up for NASCAR banquet  Coverage of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on SPEED scored an average Nielsen Household Rating of 0.65 (484,000 households), it’s highest number in three years. The four-hour event peaked at a 0.79 (588,000 households).

Live coverage of the ceremony, in its first year ever on the network, was up 44 percent year-to-year among Households and 52 percent among Men 18-49.

“We’ve seen some very encouraging NASCAR ratings trends on SPEED this year,” said network President Hunter Nickell. “Getting a solid number out of the gate with the Awards Ceremony has us very excited about with this event can become in the very near future for the network and for the sport.”

GM’s Ecotec 2.4L Engine Awarded Ward’s North American ‘10 Best Engines’  
GM Ecotec 2.4L
GM’s Ecotec 2.4L I-4 has been awarded Ward’s Auto World magazine’s 2010 “10 Best Engines” for North America. The direct injected engine with variable valve timing helps deliver segment-best highway fuel economy in GM’s popular new crossovers, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The engine also debuts in the all-new Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans next year.

Ward’s reviewed 34 engines from 13 automakers in the competition. Winners were chosen based on several factors, including power, NVH, fuel efficiency, new technology and comparative data for similar engines. More ...

McLaren and Koni extend deal  Koni will continue to supply the McLaren F1 team with shocks in 2010.

"KONI's FSD is intelligent damping," explains Jonathan Neale, Managing Director for McLaren Racing. "FSD thinks for us - so it gives the drivers greater confidence and means they can drive through corners with maximum commitment - something you're always looking for when you're pushing a racing car to operate at its limit."

"Its collaboration with KONI will continue into the 2010 season. The Dutch manufacturer of shock absorbers will be working with the team as the challenge of no refueling is thrown into the balancing act. With cars needing to finish a Grand Prix without refueling in the pits next year, some 150 kilograms of fuel will be carried by each driver as the red lights go out, with lap times therefore dropping on average by 5 seconds in the early stages; with aerodynamics and overall car balance therefore being majorly affected, McLaren hopes to make the most of KONI's frequency selective damping (FSD) system.

Oak Racing takes over as Pescarolo Sport LMP1/LMP2 constructor  OAK Racing has reached an agreement with Pescarolo Sport (Sora Group) to take over the manufacturing side of its business.  Consequently, the development and construction of the chassis, bodywork and spare parts of the Pescarolo LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes is assumed by OAK Racing, as well as all commercial activities.

The technical development of the prototypes will come in collaboration with the engineering office of Pescarolo Sport. Work has already started and a program of wind tunnel testing is planned for January to ensure that the prototypes are configured for the 2010 regulations and to continue the aerodynamic development undertaken in 2009.

Jacques Nicolet, President of OAK Racing:

“This agreement allows us to proceed with the development of all the existing chassis and, in particular, to continue the search for more performance. We have strong ties with the brand and the spirit behind the creation of these cars and we absolutely want to continue that. This is a new challenge for OAK Racing. We take on this task with the same dedication and efficiency that we have showed so far, and with the technical support of the men of the Pescarolo Sport design department. Pescarolos are very good cars which demonstrate their qualities every season and I am sure they have a big future ahead of them.”

A busy week for F1 in Monaco  (GMM)  Monaco is this week the scene of a busy and important few days for formula one.

The major players of the motor sporting world are in the Principality from Wednesday for the Motor Sport Business Forum, to be opened with a speech by Tony Fernandes.

The AirAsia airline boss is expected to confirm reports that he has decided to remain team principal of the new Malaysian-owned Lotus outfit.

Other notable figures at the rostrum will be Virgin's Alex Tai, who is expected to soon be confirmed as the boss of the new Manor/Virgin team, and the bidder for the Renault team, Gerard Lopez.

According to the sport's new governance structure, the F1 Commission is also meeting on Wednesday, where rule changes for 2010 could be agreed unanimously, ahead of the World Motor Sport Council in Monte Carlo on Friday.

One of the points of interest of the latter meeting will be the publication of a final race calendar for 2010.

Later on Friday, and after a series of other unofficial meetings connected with F1, the governing body's black-tie gala and prize-giving evening will be held in Monaco.

British GP tickets off to record-setting start  (GMM)  Ticket sales for next July's British grand prix have got off to a record-breaking start, organizers of the Silverstone race revealed.

Because of the failed Donington deal and the protracted talks with Bernie Ecclestone, the Northamptonshire circuit could only begin selling tickets this week.

But just under 6,500 were snapped up in the past 24 hours, an "overwhelmed" circuit managing director Richard Phillips confirmed in a statement. More ...

Long Beach GP: Michaelian talks about Versus  
Jim Michaelian
AR1's Scott Morris, on the scene at the PRI show this week, had a very enlightening chat with Grand Prix of Long Beach President Jim Michaelian:

I asked him how he felt about the Versus deal, and how the GPLB and the City of Long Beach feels about not being on network TV, when their event is clearly the marquis race property next to the Indy 500. He said quite simply, that the stature of their event can afford them some patience. With the current news of the Comcast-NBC buyout, he says he thinks their event, with all of the equity they have will be well positioned to regain a network broadcast spot as that deal evolves.

He also said that he is confident in Versus commitment to their catchy terms of "cross-pollination" and "super serving the viewer" and being more than just snazzy slogans.

He said the reasons they are not on network has more to do with a situation that is out of their control, than it does a Versus deal or not. He said they have ABC issue because of the NBA playoffs starting right that weekend, so they weren't going to get it on ABC anyway, and that was the only option. He said ESPN in the long run probably would have fared better in ratings over the short run, but that with what Versus has done with the NHL, he said that he was willing to be patient and give it a chance. Their history is with open wheel, and it's part of their identity. So they could not just abandon that. He said the city of Long Beach agreed, and they are moving forward, committed to the long term relationship with IndyCar.

He said specifically that he knew from the start that this was not a "SpikeTV deal", and commented that the results Versus has produced with the NHL, which essentially went bust a few years back, lend a great deal of credibility and confidence to the relationship.

So now we have it right from the mouth of their biggest race promoter, and Jim is the kind of guy who is not really known to candy-coat things.

Petit LeMans race part of 2010 Intercontinental Cup  The 13th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will be part of a three-race “Le Mans Intercontinental Cup” that will link the globe’s three Le Mans-style series in 2010, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said today. Entrants in LMP1 will be eligible for the Intercontinental Cup with the second leg set for the annual 1,000-mile classic at Road Atlanta on October 2.

Officials from the ACO, the governing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, announced the formation of the Intercontinental Cup. It lays the groundwork for a minimum six-race championship in 2011 that will feature races in Europe, the United States and Asia. More ...
SPEED quotes on Danica's NASCAR foray  The wait is over.  IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick today announced her 2010 plans to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series on a limited basis while simultaneously competing for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.  Patrick is scheduled to make her stock car debut Feb. 6 in the ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway, which will be broadcast on SPEED. Below are reactions from SPEED on-air personalities regarding Patrick’s long-awaited decision:

“How do you define success? Is it how much money Danica will make or how many races she’ll win? If it’s how much she’ll make, it will be a huge success.  If it’s how many races she’ll win, it won’t be successful at all.  I don’t expect her to win more stock car races than she’s won IndyCar races, which is one.  But in terms of her financial security and opportunity to try a new racing challenge, it’s a great thing to do.  Her ability to continue to do the IndyCar thing while testing the stock car waters is perfect.  If I were her, I would have done the exact same thing but I would have done it with some fairly realistic expectations about the outcome.

“It will be a huge interest builder, should attract some female fans and should attract some younger fans.  To me, it appears to be a win-win for everybody, including IndyCar, who gets to hang onto her for another three years.” More ...

Kahne talks about his switch to Fords in 2010  Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion, will be making his on-track debut with the manufacturer during a Goodyear tire test next week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.  Kahne, who finished 10th in the recently concluded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, recently spoke about Richard Petty Motorsports switching to Ford.

KASEY KAHNE – No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion – YOUR TEAM HAS GONE THROUGH A LOT OF CHANGES THROUGH THE YEARS, BUT THE 9 CAR HAS ALWAYS WON.  THAT SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR GUYS.  “Yeah, I think it shows that we’re used to changes and used to them always throwing something new at us and just kind of taking care of our business and taking care of the things that we can control.  As a driver, I try to do the best job I can with things I can control, and I know Kenny Francis and all the guys on our team do the same thing.  So it’s nice to have that type of a team that realizes, ‘Let’s do the best we can at what we can control,’ and, other than that, we’ll get what we get.” More ...

NASCAR gets their Girl  
Danica Patrick and her GoDaddy.com Chevy
IndyCar driver Danica Patrick confirmed today that she will make a foray into NASCAR racing next season, driving for JR Motorsports in select Nationwide Series races in 2010.

Patrick plans to debut with the team in the Automobile Racing Club of America Series at Daytona, and NASCAR says she has approval to drive in all Nationwide and Camping World Truck series races.

Patrick, who competes full time in the Izod IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport, will be sponsored by GoDaddy.com. The team and driver made the announcement Tuesday in her hometown of Phoenix. She will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series with Tony Eury Jr. as the crew chief. The team has not decided on a set number of 2010 races. More ...

Roush announces crew chiefs  Roush Fenway Racing announced its 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief lineup today.  Mike Kelley will remain with Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Copart/Fastenal team as Edwards seeks his second Nationwide Series championship in four years.  Kelley was moved to the No. 60 team for the final three races of 2009 and racked up one win, two top-fives and three top-10s.  Longtime Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Ben Leslie will be paired with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. as he embarks on his first full-time NASCAR season and competes for Rookie-of-the-Year.  Eddie Pardue has been tapped to lead Colin Braun and the No. 16 Con-way Freight crew.  Braun moves to the Nationwide Series after two full-time Camping World Truck Series campaigns and is also running for Rookie-of-the-Year.  Braun’s former crew chief, Mike Beam, has been named competition director of Roush Fenway Racing’s Nationwide Series operations.   

"I am looking forward to my new responsibilities and challenges,” said Beam.  “It will be my task to make sure all of Roush Fenway's Nationwide teams are performing at a level to compete for the 2010 championship, as well as either Colin or Ricky winning the Rookie-of-the-Year title.  We certainly have the drivers, teams and support from the Ford Motor Company which will make our Nationwide entries capable of continuing Roush Fenway’s success in the series." 

“I’m looking to Ben Leslie to provide stability from his 15-plus year NASCAR experience and give guidance to rookie driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and team,” added team owner Jack Roush.  “The addition of Beam’s position will provide more leadership capacity to our already successful on-track programs and day-to-day production efficiencies.”   

New ALMS rules align with ACO rules change  The first wave of 2010 rule additions and modifications for the American Le Mans Series’ prototypes and GT classes were recently sent to competitors by IMSA, the Series’ sanctioning body. Key focus areas were safety, pit stops and refueling, performance, leader lights and class distinctions and LMP points distribution.
Helmets, fire suits and restraint systems for both drivers and crew members are central points in the initial listing of regulations. All drivers in the LMP and LMPC classes will wear the same helmets worn in the Formula 1 World Championship among other FIA-sanctioned events. More ...
Edmonton race to go ahead despite losses  The Edmonton Indy will go ahead in 2010 despite the fact this year's race lost millions of dollars and next year's event isn't likely to be any more profitable.

Edmonton city council voted unanimously to honor the final year of its three year contract with the Indy Racing League but refused to say what the future holds for the race beyond next year.

"Every councilor realizes that we can't be a city that doesn't honor our commitments," said Coun. Kim Krushell. "Yes, we're moving forward with 2010. Are we happy about losing dollars? No."

The Edmonton Indy lost $3.9-million this year, which was less than the $5.3-million the race lost in its first year of operation.

The city may also look to the federal government to step up to the financial plate much like it did with the city of Montreal and the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race.

Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel says he expects losses to be fewer next year, adding not enough sponsorships or corporate booths were sold for this year's race.

Mandel says he can see a future for the race beyond 2010, calling it a valuable tourist attraction.

Rosberg would welcome Schumacher as teammate  (GMM)  Nico Rosberg has revealed he would welcome sharing a Mercedes GP garage next year with the most successful driver in F1's history.

The 24-year-old German's comments, to the Swiss specialist publication Motorsport Aktuell, will only intensify speculation that countryman Michael Schumacher is contemplating a sensational return to the grid he departed at the end of 2006.

"It would be a very interesting challenge, and a super lineup," Rosberg, who has already been named as Mercedes' first driver for the 2010 season, said.

The former Williams driver, however, denied that has willingness to have 40-year-old Schumacher as a teammate indicates the move is therefore likely to happen.

"Honestly, I have no idea," he said.

Dennis rules out a return to McLaren's Formula One team  Ron Dennis has ruled out a return to Formula One with McLaren's new all-British driver line-up, insisting that the company's focus on developing its own range of road cars is essential to its long-term future.

Dennis is leading the scheme, but recently a number of reports had speculated that he favored a return to the role of team principal for McLaren, which will have 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 champions Jenson Button driving for it next year.

Dennis ruled out such a move at the Autosport Awards, also saying of the road car project: "It is really a development of the brand. When I look at the achievements of Ferrari and what we intend for McLaren, it is absolutely categorically the right thing for us to plough our own furrow. It is a win-win situation for everyone." SportsPro Media
NASCAR-Mayfield case to continue  A U.S. District Court judge has turned down NASCAR's request to halt the pre-trial discovery phase in a lawsuit brought against the sanctioning body by suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield. NASCAR had asked for the suspension of the investigative phase of the case until a judge can rule on a NASCAR motion for a judgment based on pleadings already submitted. The decision, issued Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen, means that depositions and production of documents will not be delayed because of the NASCAR request. The judge still needs to rule on the motion for judgment itself. In another ruling issued Monday, the judge set the date for a deposition of NASCAR Chairman Brian France for Jan. 19. The judge also ruled as moot requests by NASCAR and France's ex-wife Megan France, that they not be forced to produce documents under seal in litigation between her and Brian because Mayfield's attorneys indicated they would not seek those documents. He did grant a motion stipulating that in Megan France's deposition, she cannot be asked about the documents in that lawsuit or about the divorce agreement. SceneDaily
No 'sentiment' as Ecclestone saves British GP  
Ecclestone used Donington to get what he wanted out of Silverstone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone insists he is taking a financial hit by agreeing a new deal for the British grand prix.

The website of the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph also quoted the 79-year-old F1 chief executive as saying Silverstone will "make a fortune" from the 17-year agreement.

Asked if he could make more by offering the race to another host nation, Ecclestone answered: "Definitely, a lot more, an awful lot more.

"There are other places desperate for races but there was no more money in Europe."

Earlier this week, the British billionaire expressed frustration with the protracted talks over Silverstone's new deal.

He now adds: "I got fed up with the whining and moaning.  It has taken too long, but now Silverstone can get on with it for years to come and make a fortune."

Ecclestone also played down reports he made key concessions, amounting to tens of millions, in order to safeguard the calendar's historic British event.

"I didn't have any special sentiment because it was Britain, but if people think I helped then that's nice."

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Around the 'net: F1 on Tuesday Dec. 8th
  • Buemi not disappointed to lose Toyota option
  • Now Schu's manager hints at Christmas delay
  • Stefan invites Toyota staff to join team
  • Silverstone plans new layout for British GP
  • Bridgestone reveals more tweaks for 2010 tires
    Alonso plays down effect of F1 refuelling ban
  • Donington still hoping to sell circuit lease

Around the 'net: F1 on Tuesday Dec. 8th
(GMM)  Jenson Button receives an award from the British PM Gordon Brown:


Silverstone's new 'Arena' layout that could be used for the 2010 British grand prix:


Jean Alesi to Le Mans (French):


F1's new Australian TV deal includes online rights:
http://mumbrella.com.au/ten-extends-f1-broadcast-rights-to-include-online-mobile-and-iptv-13697 More ...

Wilson to Sign Autographs at CKI booth  The Championship Karting International series has confirmed that IndyCar star Justin Wilson will do an autograph session at their booth space during the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, Florida. With the PRI/CKI Karting All-Star Classic taking place on the evening of December 10th, Wilson will be live at the Championship Karting International booth #706 on Friday, December 11th between the hours of 11:00am and Noon.

Born in Sheffield, England, Wilson started his racing career at a young age and currently competes in the IndyCar Series. During competition in the Champ Car World Series from 2004 to 2007, Wilson claimed four victories. In 2003, Wilson competed in the Formula One World Championship with Minardi and Jaguar and two years prior to that, won the Formula 3000 championship. More ...

racing news
Michaelian among 40 key panelists at Motorsports Forum  
Jim Michaelian
Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian is among an influential list of more than 40 top executives from the motorsports industry and beyond who will be participating as a featured panelist in the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum North America (MSBF-NA) at the Orlando Hilton, December 8 - 9. 

Michaelian will be one of six executives participating in the panel entitled "Building 'The Show' - Event Promoters." The hour-long session is one of eight panels at the MSBF-NA, which includes a full two-day agenda of presentations, networking opportunities, panel discussions, unprecedented keynote speakers and more. More ...

Summerton to test F2 car  
American Jonathan Summerton will test an F2 car at Portimao, Portugal (Algarve) this coming Saturday.

Formula Two is running a winter test program in Spain and Portugal where drivers will also have the benefit of running on two circuits forming part of the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship.

Tests will take place at the following venues/dates:

Valencia, Spain December 3-4
Portimão, Portugal December 11-12

The tests are open to any driver, subject to F2 approval.  New drivers will receive a detailed briefing on the F2 cars and operating systems.  All drivers will have full F2 support including F2 race engineers, data support, and on board cameras.  Each driver will have three sets of tires per day, including two new sets.  Drivers are welcome to bring any family, advisors and guests.  Full F2 hospitality will be provided.

racing news
Daly Academy launches Driver Development and Management company  Derek Daly Academy is pleased to announce that after two years of being asked for it – here it is; The Complete Champion Model driver development and management structure (CCM). CCM is the most comprehensive development and management structure for drivers available today that removes hope from being the strategy for parents and investors. CCM will be made available through Derek Daly Academy on a limited basis. More ...
IRL extends deal with PEAK  The Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, today announced an extension of its partnership with Old World Industry's PEAK Performance Motor Oil brand.

The PEAK Performance Motor Oil partnership includes the IZOD IndyCar Series' PEAK Performance Pole Award in conjunction with the brand's many retail partners, including AutoZone, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Pep Boys, among others.

PEAK Performance Motor Oil is available at more than 10,000 retail locations around the country with the series logo featured prominently on its packaging. PEAK Performance activates its IZOD IndyCar Series partnership featuring Danica Patrick via national TV, print, and radio advertising campaigns as well as in-store promotions. Additionally, the PEAK Performance Antifreeze brand serves as entitlement sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series annual visit to the Chicagoland Speedway. More ...

Stefan GP hopes for eventual F1 entry  (GMM)  The Serbian outfit Stefan GP is hopeful of eventually joining the formula one grid.

Headed by the businessman Zoran Stefanovich, who runs a Belgrade based engineering company AMCO, the team unsuccessfully applied for one of the openings on the 2010 grid, and was recently linked with a takeover of the withdrawing Toyota's entry.

Sauber, however, has instead been granted the thirteenth and final opening on the 2010 grid, but Stefan GP said in a statement it is "confident" of "eventually" racing in F1.

"SGP Team is confident the FIA will eventually green-light (the) SGP team entry in (the) formula one championship," read the statement posted in English.

"However, SGP Team (wishes to) express satisfaction with (the) fact that (the) Sauber entry in the 2010 FIA formula one world championship has been successful."

Stefan GP revealed that Stefanovic met in Belgrade on Monday with Toyota Motorsport GmbH boss John Howett, about a "cooperation opportunity".

Haug not promising driver announcement soon  (GMM)  Christmas may pass before Mercedes GP completes its 2010 driver lineup.

With Nico Rosberg already confirmed for one seat, the identity of his eventual teammate is the subject of speculation intensified by persistent rumors linking Michael Schumacher with a return to the grid.

But the German carmaker's competition boss Norbert Haug told the German news agency DPA on Monday that the Brackley based team will "have to live" with the attention for now.

"We need time and I cannot promise today that the present will be unwrapped before Christmas," he said.

Kyle Busch Wins 42nd Annual Snowball Derby  Kyle Busch showed up at a small local track and showed everyone how it is done, winning the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Busch came from third starting position in the 300-lap annual race and took the lead late from 2005 Snowball Derby winner Eddie Mercer, along with a fat $22,500 winner's check. Mercer held on to finish second with NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Steven Wallace placing third. There is nothing more a driver can do to validate their "hype", than showing up on an off weekend, getting into a car you have never seen, on a track you don't know, and race against those who do it everyday, and taking it to them. $22,500 is a pretty decent payday for a weekend of fun while you are on vacation.
Derek Daly Academy announces driver development services  The Derek Daly Academy has announced the release of The Complete Champion Model driver development and management structure (CCM). The Daly group touts their CCM program as the most comprehensive development and management structure for drivers available today, removing "hope" as the primary strategy for parents and investors.
CCM will be made available through Derek Daly Academy on a limited basis.

“During American and European seminars over the past two years in particular, the question kept coming up; why don’t you set up the ideal driver development and management structure? Well - here it is”, said founder, Derek Daly. “Just like most sports today, we are now in a far more specialized arena. The amount of seminars available for drivers these days has ballooned and the information is invaluable. What CCM does however is add its unique perspective on what driver development requires, include generally available professional services, and package and manage the development of the athlete”….said Derek.

For the past seven years, while being deeply involved with driver development from karting to open wheel race cars, CCM evolved through real life and practical experiences combined with the information contained in Derek’s book about driver development; Race to Win.  The combination was then wrapped in a systematic structure that creates a proven path for drivers, parents and investors, etc.

There are many managers, coaches and driver assistance programs available to drivers but until today, there has never been a true driver development and management structure combination developed to systematically develop motorsports athletes in the way that CCM can. “Motorsports is one of the most complex, expensive, dangerous and emotionally engaging sports in the world. It’s the emotionally engaging sector that gets parents and investors into trouble because they don’t have a structured path to follow as they invest in their athletes”, said Derek. “I’ve seen this first hand, I’ve witnessed sponsors and investors become disillusioned, I’ve had conversations of despair and these conversations have accelerated the creation of CCM”.

Derek has one of the most diverse backgrounds in motorsports today that has encompassed competing and coaching from Formula Ford to Formula One. Derek also spent twenty years as a television broadcaster. The CCM program will be made available to drivers on a very limited basis in 2010.

Derek Daly Academy (DDA) was founded in 1996 by Derek Daly and operated from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. DDA operated a racing school and corporate entertainment facility until 2006. In addition to a race school, DDA created specialized programs for such notables as; Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel, Pete Sampras, and John Oates.

For more information and/or interview requests with Derek please contact:

Teri Thomas teri@motorvationllc.com

Brabham Honored With BRDC Fairfield Trophy  Le Mans 24 Hours victor and American Le Mans Series Champion David Brabham was honored for his outstanding performance in 2009 with the Fairfield Trophy at the annual British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Awards in London today.

Brabham is currently enjoying a rare trip back to Australia to compete in the final round of the MINI Challenge at Homebush yesterday, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for his father, Sir Jack’s first of three Formula One titles in 1959.

Although unable to attend the event in person, the British race elite and BRDC Members at the ceremony, held at the InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane, London, were treated to a special video message from David and Jack in Australia. More ...
Ecclestone happy with new British GP deal  Bernie Ecclestone says he is happy that the long-running saga involving the British Grand Prix has come to an end.  On Monday, the owners of Silverstone and Ecclestone agreed a deal to host the race at the Northamptonshire circuit for the next seventeen years, ending an 18-month period of uncertainty.  Speaking after Monday's announcement the F1 supremo welcomed the resolution.

"I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with Silverstone for the retention of the British Grand Prix," said Ecclestone.  "This will ensure that Great Britain will remain on the Formula 1 calendar for many years to come, which is something I have personally always wanted to see happen.  The team at Silverstone already knows how to organize a good event, so now everyone can look forward to next summer at Silverstone," he added. More ...

Hamilton relieved British Grand Prix is saved  On Monday morning the British Racing Drivers' Club revealed that the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been saved for the upcoming 17 years. Former British Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton was happy to hear the 'fantastic news'.
Ron Dennis receives lifetime achievement award  Former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the prestigious Autosport Awards in London last night. Dennis was given a special Gregor Grant Trophy - named after the founding editor of the famous motorsport weekly - in recognition of his lifetime commitment to motorsport.

After successfully building up the McLaren marque over the past three decades, particular attention was paid last night to his outstanding work with a league of world champions - such as Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton - many of whom achieved their greatest successes under Dennis' stewardship. More ...

17-year British GP deal for Silverstone  UPDATE (GMM) The operators and owners of the Silverstone circuit on Monday jointly revealed that an agreement to host the next 17 British grands prix has been reached.

The news was announced on Monday morning from London's Grosvenor House Hotel, following a long period of uncertainty about the oldest event in the modern world championship.

Part of the deal will be the redevelopment of the Northamptonshire facility's aging pit and paddock facilities.

"We've always had five year deals and never been able to get the investment we needed to redevelop," said managing director Richard Phillips.

"17 years gives us the ability to invest and move forward."

12/07/09 The British Grand Prix has been saved following a new deal agreed between Silverstone chiefs and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The news was confirmed today by Silverstone Circuits Limited, with the contract to run for the next 17 years.

It ensures the oldest race on the F1 calendar retains its place in motor sport history, with Silverstone able to step into the breach following Donington Park's failure to meet its obligations.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said: "We've always had five-year deals and never been able to get the investment we needed to redevelop.

"But 17 years gives us the ability to invest and move forward.

"We've always had the belief the British Grand Prix was an important cornerstone of Formula One but, with Bernie, you're never quite sure.

"At the end of the day, though, you have to have a British Grand Prix.

"We've now got to sell a lot of tickets, to get out there and do similar sorts of numbers as we did this year when we had 230,000 people there over the three days, and promote the event."

Phillips described the deal as "peace in our time" between the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, and Ecclestone.

"The relationship with Formula One Management has been improving," added Phillips.

"There's a good working relationship with him now and we don't have any issues." Sporting Life

Rossi fears MotoGP snoozefest  
Valentino Rossi
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi fears next season's new six-engine restriction will turn MOTOGP into a SNOOZEFEST.

The new cost-cutting rule means teams will only be allowed to use half a dozen engines for the entire 18-race championship and mirroring the restrictions at the end of this season, the Italian believes performance will be sacrificed in order to gain durability.

Critics hit out as Rossi's Yamaha was limited for the final seven races of this season - as teams were only permitted to use five engines.

With spiraling costs and only 17 bikes currently signed up for next year's championship, Rossi believes riders will ease off the throttle to conserve their engines and ruin the spectacle for fans: "Maybe next year a lot of bikes are waiting in the pits in practice to save the engine, and already there are not a lot of bikes. Also is a big problem is crashes. In a normal season you make a minimum of five crashes. And when you crash 80 per cent of time the engine is finished because of stones or the throttle stays open," he said. News of the World
Surfers suing A1GP  Australian Premier Anna Bligh is taking legal action to recover the £1million given to A1GP boss Tony Teixeira after his series failed to show at the Gold Coast event last month.

The fees were paid as a deposit for the cancelled A1GP race which was due to be part of the SuperGP event. Despite Teixeira issuing a statement that the money would be returned, along with a charitable donation for the problems caused, the cash has still not been returned forcing the Australian Government to launch legal action.

"Clearly we are dealing with people who can't be relied upon and that is why we are not going to rely on their word," said Bligh.

"While I am encouraged to see them making statements that they will pay it back we will be taking legal action to ensure that happens. We are a creditor of this company and we will be exercising our legal rights."
track news
2010 Chicagoland tickets on sale today  Our ticket sales options at Chicagoland Speedway have changed – and with change comes lots of questions. Here’s a quick guide on the new options you’ll have in time for the 2010 season.

First, ask yourself this question: Which events do I want to see?

If your answer is “All of Them,” check out the On Sale dates below: More ...

Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Di Grassi eyes 2010 debut with Renault or Virgin
  • Hulkenberg ended F1 test with sore neck
  • Schumacher/Mercedes rumors continue to grow
  • Four bidders for Renault team takeover - Ecclestone
  • Length of new British GP deal to be known Monday
  • Around the 'net: F1 on Monday Dec. 7th
  • Sauber to pair experienced driver with newcomer

Di Grassi eyes 2010 debut with Renault or Virgin
(GMM)  Lucas di Grassi has confirmed reports linking him with a seat with the new Manor/Virgin team next year, but says staying at Renault is also a possibility.

GP2 regular di Grassi, 25, completed the 2009 season as the reserve driver for Renault, who have so far signed only Robert Kubica for 2010.

"I am waiting for Renault before I know which team I will race for," the Brazilian, who at the weekend won the Granja Viana kart race with Felipe Massa, is quoted as saying by the Globo website.

Having driven Renault's R29 at the young driver test at Jerez last week, he added: "The priority if they continue is Renault, but if not for sure I prefer Manor."

Quoted by France's Auto Hebdo, di Grassi continued: "I think Manor, or now Virgin, is the best of the new teams.  But most important is to find an available seat.

"If this is not with Renault or Virgin then (it will be) somewhere else.  I'm speaking with several teams," he added. More ...

Q&A with Marcos Ambrose & Tony Cochrane  
Marcos Ambrose and Tony Cochrane
Press Conference Transcript - Australian NASCAR driver and two-time V8 Supercar Champion Marcos Ambrose and Tony Cochrane, Executive Chairman of V8 Supercars Australia

QUESTION: Marcos, firstly welcome back to Australia. Just tell us a little bit about what you've been doing since you got back a week ago. You've been hiding down in Tasmania so give us an idea of what you've been doing?

MARCOS AMBROSE: Thanks, just great to be here in Homebush. It looks like a wonderful event. The Sydney market has always been very hard to crack for Australian motorsport. I think this event will solidify what the series is all about in this market.

There were a lot of people here yesterday (Saturday) and it was great to see the rock concert go off well as well last night so congratulations to Tony and all the guys that put this together because it's a pretty amazing event. More ...
Brawn BGP001 voted Car of Year at Autosport Awards  The Brawn GP BGP001 has been voted as the Racing Car of the Year at the AUTOSPORT Awards.
The super-swift white and day-glo yellow machine, which powered Jenson Button to this season's world championship, beat off the challenge put to it by Red Bull Racing's RB5.

The award was presented to Brawn design team members John Owen and Russell Cooley by 1996 world champion Damon Hill.

"It was our intention to be successful during 2009, and that is what made us determined over the winter," said Owen.

"It was a wonderful distraction - it quite easy in a way to focus on our job, because we never stopped to wonder what might happen if we didn't survive. We trusted in Ross [Brawn] and Nick [Fry] to save the team."

Schumacher comeback “More than a rumor” says Ecclestone  Bernie Ecclestone has heated up the debate about Michael Schumacher making a comeback at the wheel of one of Ross Brawn’s Mercedes F1 cars next season with some enigmatic comments in the Times tonight. The 79 year old said it would be “magic”, if Schumacher returned and suggested that this was beginning to gather some momentum.

“I would personally doubt that he’s going to make a comeback but, having said that, it’s maybe getting a bit stronger than a rumor,” he said. Of the possible contenders for the seat, which may well include Robert Kubica when Renault disposes of its team, he said that choosing Schumacher would be a “no brainer”

“Well you’d have to pick Michael wouldn’t you,” he said. “There’s no discussion about that. It’s the obvious thing. Whether or not this is going to happen, I don’t know. If I was Michael I wouldn’t do it, but I’m sure he knows he could get the job done.”

The fact that this is still going on, with no denials from either Mercedes or Schumacher, indicates that they are looking at it from every angle.

Penske donates $25,000 to Brienne Davis scholarship  Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Foundation announced Roger Penske has donated $25,000 toward the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship for one qualified female to attend UTI's NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. The Penske award is part of the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund for women pursuing careers in the automotive industry. Davis, a UTI graduate and Sprint Cup official, died tragically in 2008. "The automotive industry needs outstanding people, like Brienne Davis, who are dedicated to top-notch service," Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, said. "This scholarship was created to provide more opportunities for women committed to pursuing technical excellence through a career in the motorsports and racing industries." In addition to the $25,000 scholarship, the Foundation, through the support of The NASCAR Foundation and the NASCAR family, will also be awarding three $10,000 Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarships to women who wish to attend one of UTI's nine automotive campuses across the United States. The deadline for scholarship applications is Dec. 31, 2009. More information about the scholarships is available on the UTI Foundation Web site at www.utifoundation.net. Penske Racing
Hamilton fires warning shot at Button  Former Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton aims to take the title back from new teammate Jenson Button next season.

Hamilton, who won the world title in 2008, is joined at McLaren in 2010 by current champion Button after his decision to leave the Brawn team with which he won the world crown.

Hamilton said: "You are always working with your team-mate but clearly both of us want to win.

"We will do what we can to work as a team. Otherwise he (Button) wants to keep his world championship and I want to take it back."

São Paulo to host IndyCar opener  UPDATE #3
Anhembi Convention Center
35,000 grandstand seats are expected to be erected for the race, plus VIP suites.  The media center will be at the Anhembi Convention Center.  The IRL will brings around 900 people team and series personnel to the event.

We hear that on December 15th the IRL will announce the location of a test.

There is very little time to make this event happen.  The big Carnival in 2010 falls on the second week of February, which offers little time after that to have the circuit ready in March.

12/04/09 Shown to the right is the 2.28-mile Samb¢dromo Sao Paulo street course the IndyCars will race on in March.

11/25/09 Count Raphael Matos as one of the IZOD IndyCar drivers excited about opening the 2010 season in Brazil.

"I'm very excited. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil, it's very similar to New York, and having a race on the streets of Sao Paulo will be huge for our series. Everybody in Brazil knows about IndyCar and it's quite popular in Sao Paulo. Street races in big cities are very impressive and the fans of Brazil will really be able to experience just how powerful and fast the IndyCars are. It's going to be very fun."

11/25/09 The city of São Paulo will stage the opening round of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

Scheduled for March 14, the event represents the return of Indy-style racing to Brazil thanks to the partnership between the São Paulo municipality, the Indy Racing League and TV Bandeirantes and BandSports.

"The arrival of the IZOD IndyCar Series confirms São Paulo's nature of staging great worldwide events. It is a gift to the citizens of São Paulo who will be able to watch up close great racecars and drivers.  It is also a great opportunity for business for the city that becomes the capital of motor racing in Latin América," said Mayor Gilberto Kassab. More ...

GM stabilizing despite leadership shuffle; Chrysler plan stalling out  Nearly six months after exiting bankruptcy, Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. present a clear, but puzzling, contrast.

Chrysler has a charismatic, focused leader, Sergio Marchionne, who laid out an ambitious and detailed plan to recapture lost glory, profits and market share. But sales remain in free fall. Redesigned vehicles are months, even years away.

It may face mission impossible, but Marchionne's leadership team is ready to run through walls.

GM Chairman Ed Whitacre jettisoned Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson and took his title on opening day of the Los Angeles Auto Show, dampening buzz around the 2011 Buick Regal and triggering new anxiety among employees who already have endured substantial turmoil. More ...

Danica doesn't have to enter Daytona ARCA race to test  Several sources have made a big deal about the fact that Danica hasn't filed an entry for ARCA testing at Daytona International Speedway December 18, 19 and 20, intimating that since she hasn't registered for the test, she won't test, and if she won't test she can't run the Daytona ARCA race in February, and if she doesn't run the ARCA race, NASCAR won't approve her to run the NASCAR Nationwide race a few days later. Don Radebaugh, longtime ARCA public relations director, says that Danica doesn't have to file any sort of advance notice for the test. She can enter "the same day. There is no deadline." As for what car she would drive, there are already at least seven cars entered with "TBA" under the driver's name. Another source suggests Patrick will participate in a "secret" Daytona test before the end of the year. At the moment, Daytona has no such test on the books. If she tests at Daytona, it will likely be with ARCA. Can she race the ARCA race in February, without testing? "We do not take a position on that matter until we have an official entry," Radebaugh says. Certainly Danica has experience on big speedways, but not in stock cars. Both NASCAR and ARCA have long made it clear that Daytona drivers need to have drafting experience on a superspeedway in stock cars before they can race. So even if Danica did have a private test, she would need to learn drafting in a pack of cars, and the ARCA test will be the only opportunity for that. Orlando Sentinel
Yoong takes non-driving role at Lotus  
Alex Yoong
(GMM) Alex Yoong has been assigned a senior role with the new formula one team Lotus.

It was rumored in September that the 2002 Minardi racer and Malaysian, who is now 33, might be a part of the Malaysian-owned outfit that is set to bring the famous Lotus name back to the grid next March.

Lotus has announced that Yoong, who in recent years has raced predominantly in A1 but contested a few GP2 Asia races in 2009, will be head of driver development for Asia.

Nino Judge, who made the original application to take his F3 team Litespeed to formula one next year with the Lotus name, will be Yoong's European counterpart.

"These new senior appointments will be a great boost. The team have achieved many important milestones and we are on track to be on the grid in Bahrain next year," said team boss Tony Fernandes.

Yoong contested 18 races with Minardi in 2001 and 2002 but scored no points.
Le Mans Series confirms 2010 calendar  During the Prize Giving Ceremony of the Le Mans Series last evening at the Le Mans circuit a revised provisional calendar was announced. Weeks of rumors and guessing came to an end when the organizers were able to announce the final circuits on the five-race calendar for 2010.

After the annual pre-season test at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on March 7-8 the opening race weekend will take place at the same circuit on April 10-11. Unlike the rest of the season the race at Paul Ricard will not be a six hour long race. For the first ever Le Mans Series race at the French circuit the race distance will be extended to an eight hour race. The race is planned to start late in the morning with a finish at 7 pm.

As confirmed before the second race of the season will take place at the famous Spa-Francorchamps on May 8-9. The third race of the season will again be held in Portugal on the Portimão circuit. This time however the start of the race will be earlier in the day, with the finish of the race still set to take place at night. The Portuguese round will take place on July 16-17, one month after the Le Mans 24 Hours. More ...

Lotus F1 announces 3 new appointments  Lotus F1 Racing announced on Sunday three senior appointments to its team as the Malaysia-based motorsport team gears up for its debut season in the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) Chief Operating Officer, Mia Sharizman Ismail was appointed Lotus F1 Racing's Head of Operations (Asia), former Malaysian F1 driver Alex Yoong as Head of Driver Development (Asia) alongside United Kingdom-based Litespeed Formula 3 Team Principal Nino Judge as the Head of Driver Development (Europe).

Lotus F1 Racing Team Principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, in a press release here, said: 'These new senior appointments will be a great boost for Lotus F1 Racing. The team have achieved many important milestones and we are on track to be on the grid in Bahrain next year.' More ...

Massa and Di Grassi defeat Barrichello’s team at Granja 500  Ferrari star Felipe Massa and Renault third driver Lucas di Grassi won the 2010 edition of the Granja Viana 500 Mile race on Saturday in Cotia near São Paulo. The Formula 1 duo was joined in the outstanding Brazilian endurance race by Stock Car Light frontrunner Julio Campos, who lined up along with Massa on his maiden victory in the event back in 1997. After almost 11 hours of action, Massa crossed the star-finish line waving his arms as he was rocking his first son Felipinho, born last Monday in São Paulo. Former BAR and Toyota driver Ricardo Zonta led the Techspeed squad to second spot, beating Rubens Barrichello’s superteam by less than 10 seconds. More ...
Surfers government won't back race unless international  UPDATE Sports management guru Chris White will take over from Terry Mackenroth as the new chair of the SuperGP event.

Mr. White was yesterday named interim chair of the Government-owned Gold Coast Motor Events Corporation, which has a 50 per cent stake with IMG in the annual festival.

Mr. Mackenroth's $40,000 contract officially ended yesterday after the former deputy premier resigned during this year's A1GP debacle.

Mr. White is a former lawyer who worked for Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor's legal firm and founded International Quarterback, which represents athletes Michael Clarke, Grant Hacket and Mark Schwarzer, as well as Surfing Australia. More ...

New Dodge CEO says NASCAR program can help  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, So the new boss of Dodge thinks that NASCAR is the place to sell his products because 30% of the fans are between 18 and 34 years old. Hmmm. Well that is probably close to the population demographic as a whole. So how that makes NASCAR special is kind of beyond me.

But more importantly, what Dodge models aside from the Challenger does Mr. Gilles think these people are going to purchase. Especially based on the crap wagons that run in circles every week?

He says they are the sports car brand but neither their current line up or the excuse for race cars that NASCAR runs spell sports car to me.

Back in the days when the cars were racing versions of real models sold in show rooms there was obviously a very strong case for involvement in the sport.

But as a consumer I fail to see any connection other than some kind of brand loyalty between the pathetically ancient machines in NASCAR and the (pathetically ancient) cars Dodge currently sells.
And as for brand loyalty, that went out the window with the boiler plate cars that race now. My guess is that driver loyalty trumps brand loyalty nowadays as teams switch from manufacturer to manufacturer on a regular basis. More ...

Bell, Rice, Speed, and Smith to lead Tony Kart USA  Phoenix, AZ – The Championship Karting International Series is pleased to announce a star-studded Tony Kart – FA Kart lineup to the PRI-CKI Karting All-Stars Classic in Orlando this coming Thursday night. 

Leading the charge will be 2006 event champion, 2004 Indy 500 winner, and 2009 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner Buddy Rice who is also a distributor for the Tony Kart brand in the Western half of the United States. 

He will be joined by Team Red Bull NASCAR driver Scott Speed, who won the pole and finished 3rd in last year’s Karting All-Stars Classic event.  The former Formula One driver is known to be able to get up to the pace instantly in a kart and can be considered an event favorite.

The IZOD IndyCar series is also represented in the Tony Kart lineup with Townsend Bell, who finished 4th in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and karts regularly near his home in Southern California. More ...

racing news
Stefanik Gives Home State Fans Reason To Cheer  PROVIDENCE, RI . . .  Mike Stefanik gave Rhode Island race fans bragging rights on Saturday night as the 51-year-old from Coventry, R.I., claimed the 40-lap TQ-Midget Coffee Cup main event at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Stefanik, 51, a seven-time NASCAR Modified Tour champion and two-time Camping World East champion, was the only Ocean State entry in the field of more than 40 cars that tackled the indoor concrete oval.

“This is incredible,” Stefanik said. “This win is so sweet. When I looked over the entry list and saw guys like Billy Pauch, Lou Cicconi Jr., Davey Hamilton, Ted Christopher, Frank Fischer entered to race, it got me all pumped up.”

Stefanik never raced a TQ-Midget indoors until last March, when the indoor series debuted at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. More ...
Paffett can't afford to buy his F1 ride  Gary Paffett admits a lack of "a fair few million pounds" is set to keep him out of a 2010 Formula One race-seat. Paffett, who spent this past week testing for McLaren, is eager to make the move up to F1 race driver, however, finances are keeping that dream at bay.

"We have been looking (at F1), but even with all the new teams coming in, it's not easy to get a race seat," the Brit told Autosport.

"It seems like most of the new teams require you to have a fair few million pounds in the bank, or that much sponsorship to give the team, so it's more difficult to get a race-seat even though there's more available.

"The teams are struggling budget-wise and it's not easy to lay your hands on a lot of money. We've been looking at opportunities, but there don't seem to be that many available." More ...

racing news
BMW announces Motorsport Program for 2010  Having bid farewell to Formula One, BMW will intensify its involvement in GT and touring car racing in the forthcoming year. The company released details of its 2010 motorsport program on Saturday at the BMW Sports Trophy Award Ceremony in Munich (DE). The BMW M3 GT2 will see action in selected GT races, primarily the 24-hour classics. The BMW drivers will fight for victories in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and will be setting their sights on the titles. BMW will continue its successful promotion of young talent in the Formula BMW Europe and Formula BMW Pacific series, which feature on the same bill as Formula One races. Customer racing also remains an important component for BMW Motorsport: a BMW Z4, which complies with GT3 regulations, will be added to the range of products for private teams.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen says: "I am pleased that we are able to offer our fans an attractive motorsport program in the first year since our withdrawal from Formula One. In production car racing, BMW has enjoyed countless triumphs throughout the course of its long racing history - whether with close-to- production touring cars or imposing GT sports cars. We want to follow on from this success in 2010, in both the World Touring Car Championship and the ALMS. In addition, our program will include works entries at 24-hour classics for the first time since 2005. Promoting junior racing drivers remains an important pillar of our activities: Formula BMW Europe is once again a permanent feature in the general Formula One program, and we will also be supporting talented youngsters in Formula BMW Pacific as they take their first steps in single-seater racing. More ...
Feds probe stalling reports in 2 Toyota models  Federal safety officials have opened a probe into two models of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles after drivers reported that their cars stalled in traffic, sometimes at highway speeds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted a document late this week launching the investigation into Toyota's Matrix and Corolla cars. It's just the latest in a recent string of quality-related issues for the Japanese automaker.

The document cited 26 complaints from drivers of 2006 model year Matrix and Corolla vehicles. Consumers "allege stalls occurring randomly while driving, including some on highways and some in intersections," the agency stated. More ...

Ford to issue more stock  Ford Motor Co. will issue up to $1 billion in new stock, according to documents filed by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after the markets closed on Friday.

In the filings, the Dearborn automaker said the proceeds will be used for "general corporate purposes."

Ford has been periodically issuing new shares to whittle away its debt, which remains a competitive disadvantage after its cross-town rivals, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, eliminated much of their debt during their bankruptcy reorganizations earlier this year.

DTM and Japanese GT Series to synchronize rules  A delegation from the DTM-organizing ITR will travel to Japan to discuss the possibility of allowing the German touring cars and Super GT machinery to race together in the future, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine reports.

A number of options are believed to be on the table. One would be to equate the performance of DTM and Japanese GT500 cars to allow them to run together. A move towards Super GT regulations by the DTM, which is due to introduce new rules in 2011 or '12, could be another.

The GT Association, which runs Super GT, is unlikely to be willing to change its rules, given that a new formula is in the process of being phased in. Either move could give the German touring series the third manufacturer necessary to secure its long-term future. More ...

E.J. Viso to test Dreyer & Reinbold IndyCar  EJ Viso will test for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing next week at Sebring International Raceway. The team says it has no firm plans to run the 24-year-old Venezuelan beyond that, but team boss Dennis Reinbold hinted to Racer.com it was possible.

"This time of year you always explore options and, of course, we are still interested in re-signing our drivers from last year as well, said the team's co-owner. "The opportunity to run EJ in this test is exciting to us. He is a young driver with a lot of talent that we have gotten to know over the last couple of years."

Labbe named Crew Chief for Menard  Richard "Slugger" Labbe will be the crew chief for Paul Menard and the No. 98 Menard's Ford in 2010. A formal announcement is expected from Yates Racing on Monday.

Labbe parted ways with TRG Motorsports on Thursday to accept the new role.
Labbe was touring the Yates shops on Friday and was introduced as "Menard's new crew chief," several sources confirmed to FOXSports.com

Labbe most recently worked with Bobby Labonte at TRG. The 40-year-old Saco, Maine native worked with Terry Labonte when he won the 1996 Cup title and led Michael Waltrip to his win in the 2003 Daytona 500.

Menard just completed his third full season on the Cup tour in 2009. He finished 31st in the point standings with an average finish of 26.9. His best effort last season was a pair of 13th-place finishes at Texas and Talladega in the spring. He led seven laps throughout the season.

Menard's previous crew chief Larry Carter parted ways with the organization at season's end.

RPM-Yates merger is a done deal  Petty-Yates Merger supposedly a done deal: Richard Petty Motorsports officially became a Ford operation on Thursday. The merger deal was signed between principals from RPM and Yates Racing and the appropriate paperwork was filed with Ford Motor Company. Richard Petty Motorsports brings three additional teams to the table, the #9, #19 and #43. Ford officials have said repeatedly what a coup it was to gain #9-Kasey Kahne, who finished 10th in the Sprint Cup point standings, into the fold as well as 28-year-old #43-AJ Allmendinger. #19-Elliott Sadler will also join the driver roster which included #98-Paul Menard from the former Yates organization. RPM is currently operating out of Statesville, N.C. The former Yates Racing buildings in Concord, N.C. are currently being remodeled to accommodate all four teams. That move is scheduled for Speedweeks in February. FoxSports
Vitantonio Liuzzi Added to SSC East PRI Line Up  The Performance Racing Industry trade show and Championship Karting International program are excited to announce the addition of Formula One star Vitantonio Liuzzi to the PRI/CKI Karting All-Star Classic. Liuzzi will be aboard a CRG chassis under the SSC East tent.

Liuzzi, who drives for the Force India Formula One team, is a multi time karting champion from back in the day. Starting karting at the age of nine, he won the 1993 Italian Karting Championship and was the vice-champion in the 1995 Karting World Championship. Liuzzi would get redemption in 2001 when he was awarded the World Championship after an aspiring drive in Germany.

“Vitantonio Liuzzi is a major player in the motorsports world, and we welcome him to the PRI event,” expressed Director of Operations Kevin Williams. “Having Formula One represented at the event is something that we have worked towards this season and are excited to have Vitantonio on board. He will be a treat to watch.”

With support from William Rast Racing, the racing and sport lifestyle division of the premium denim brand William Rast, Liuzzi will travel to the United States to compete. Working with Dave Davies’ SSC East squad, Liuzzi will have a strong chance at being the first Formula One driver to claim the PRI title.  William Rast CEO Coin Dyne says, "We are excited that Antonio will participate in the race. As one of the great karting champions of all time, his contribution to the sport has been immeasurable.  Both as a personal friend of Tonio, and as a fan of the sport, William Rast is proud to take part in this event.”

The PRI/CKI Karting All-Star Classic will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net affiliation of cable networks.  Both the Karter and All-Star Divisions of the race will have their own dedicated half-hour broadcasts that will air in a minimum of 86 million households. Last year’s PRI event, with re-air dates, was viewed in more than 700,000 households helping bring karting to the mainstream media. The Karter division from the 2009 event will air on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 4:30pm local time while the All-Star division will be broadcast on Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 4:30pm.

The 2009 PRI/CKI Karting All-Star Classic will take place at the annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando, Florida. With the event taking place on the evening of Thursday, December 10th, Fox will be in attendance producing an hour long broadcast bringing karting to the mainstream medium of television early in 2010.

Stay tuned to www.championshipkartracing.com for up-to-date information, photos and results.  The PRI show is held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from December 10th  – 12th with the PRI/CKI Karting All-Star Classic taking place on the evening of December 10th.  Admission to the event is free for PRI attendees and exhibitors with PRI show credentials. (press release)

Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Teams Set For December Test  At least two dozen GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 teams are expected to get a head start on the 2010 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona when they participate in a two-day test, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8-9, at Daytona International Speedway. The test will be the first for competitors on the 2010 Pirelli tires.

Already entered in the test are 24 teams, including 10 Daytona Prototypes and 14 GT cars. TRG has three cars entered in the test, with Team Sahlen, Michael Shank Racing and Spirit of Daytona Racing each set with two cars.

The test will mark the debut of the Action Express Racing entry, with Terry Borcheller and Joao Barbosa set to drive the No. 9 Porsche Riley. The team has a technical partnership with Brumos Racing, the defending winners of the Rolex 24, with David Donohue and Darren Law moving to the No. 59 Porsche Riley, where they will be joined by five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood.

Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia were also part of the winning lineup for the 2009 Rolex 24, but will co-drive the No. 90 Boy Scouts of America Porsche Coyote. Spirit of Daytona will have a second Porsche Coyote at the test, the No. 09 for Rolex 24 Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco winner Derek Johnston and Guy Cosmo. Johnston, the champion of the British Radical series, won a seat in a Daytona Prototype for the Rolex 24, and the team he will join for the race will be determined after the test.

Three-time Rolex 24 winner Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will have two-time Daytona Prototype champion Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX Riley, which is expected to have BMW power at the test.

Other Daytona Prototypes entered include a two-car Ford Riley entry for Michael Shank Racing, the No. 6 for Mark Patterson, Ricky Taylor and Michael Valiante, and the No. 60 for Ozz Negri and John Pew; the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara for Brian Frisselle and 2005 Rolex 24 winners Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli; the No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola of Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn; and the No. 77 Doran Racing Ford Dallara of Memo Gidley, Brad Jaeger and Michel Jourdain.

The test will mark the first appearance of perennial GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge powerhouse Turner Motorsport in the Rolex Series. Bill Auberlen is set to test the team's No. 94 BMW M6. Also testing a BMW M6 is Miracle Sealants Team PR1, with Max Hyatt and Thomas Merrill in the No. 32 entry.

GT championship contender Stevenson Motorsports will debut its No. 97 Camaro GT, with returning drivers Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell.

Four teams will test five Mazda RX-8s, including the No. 40 Dempsey Racing entry of Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster. Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi, Jeff Segal and Sylvain Tremblay will test the No. 69 SpeedSource FXDD entry, and Jordan Taylor and Jade Buford are in the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports IDEMITSU Racing Oil Mazda. Team Sahlen will roll out its new Mazdas, the No. 42 for Will Nonnamaker and Joe Sahlen, and the No. 43 for Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker.

TRG leads a solid contingent of six Porsche GT3s with a three-car entry. Defending Rolex 24 GT winner Andy Lally is joined by Tim George Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 67 Porsche GT3; Seth Neiman, Thomas Sadler, Mark Thomas and Johannes van Overbeek are in the No. 66; and Peter Bassett and David Fry in the No. 68.

Other teams fielding Porsches are Magnus Racing, with John Potter and Craig Stanton in the No. 44; ZMG, with Shane Lewis and Richard Zahn in the No. 17; and Guardian Angel Motorsports, with Bob Doyle, Tim Evans, Bruce Ledoux and David Quinlan in the No. 18.

Fans can view all the testing action with access to the Sprint FANZONE and garage with a track-tour only ticket from Daytona 500 Experience for $10.  Fans who have already purchased a 2010 Rolex 24 ticket will receive free Sprint FANZONE/garage admission for the test. The Oldfield Grandstand will also be open free to race fans with access through the lobby of the Daytona 500 Experience. (press release)

JEGS Re-ups NASCAR Sprint Cup Contingency Program, Adds Nationwide Series  JEGS Mail Order will reach more drivers than ever before in 2010 as the high-performance parts giant celebrates its 50th anniversary with a lucrative contingency program with NASCAR's top two series. JEGS officials announced they will extend the company's deal with the Sprint Cup Series to a fourth season, while adding the Nationwide Series for the first time in 2010.

"Our company philosophy always has been to support the racers first," said John Coughlin, JEGS Vice President. "By offering a contingency program to all the Sprint Cup and Nationwide drivers we can reach the most teams and be seen by more of our customers across the board than any individual sponsorship.

"My three brothers and I are drag racers but we're fans of all different kinds of motorsports and we love NASCAR racing as much as anyone. Our customers also are fans or in some cases are involved themselves in all the different levels of NASCAR racing so it was a natural move for us to get involved. We couldn't be happier with the response we've gotten from NASCAR nation. Like the NHRA, NASCAR has a very loyal following that supports the sponsors that support the sport."

JEGS stickers began showing up on NASCAR racecars as soon as its initial contingency program was announced before the 2007 season. Since then, several drivers have carried the familiar yellow-and-black JEGS logo to winner's circles from Daytona to Sonoma.

"It's great to go to NASCAR Sprint Cup races and have the drivers, crewmen, and team owners come up and say 'thanks' for being a part of their sport," Coughlin said. "Now we can add in the Nationwide teams as well and that's exciting.

"Nationwide Insurance in based right near here in Columbus, Ohio, and although they're a publicly-traded entity, they're very much a family-oriented business just like we are at JEGS Mail Order. There's a lot of synergy between our companies and hopefully this new deal only strengthens our relationship with Nationwide and the drivers themselves. (press release)

Comcast merger buzz has no mention of IndyCar...anywhere  This is just one article of many that we have read that have no mention of IndyCar as a prime Comcast programming property. In fact, we cannot find anything outside the specialized racing media that has mentioned it at all. This seems disappointing to us, considering all of the emphasis on IndyCar being something that Versus (Comcast) values as a premium feature of their programming, and being a featured element in building their network. So in all of these articles, where you see NHL or Tour deFrance, you should also see IndyCar mentioned as well. Someone's PR department needs to get on top of this one...

Article from insidetv.aol.com

As we reported yesterday, cable giant Comcast has reached a deal to buy NBC from parent company General Electric. Whether or not the agreement makes financial sense is something for business folks to worry about, because television fans have a more important question on their minds: how will it affect their shows? Will it, in fact, be Comcastic?

While who owns the network may not seem all that important at first glance (quick: who owns CBS?), directives from the parent company often filter into programming, from the overt (such as the incessant cross-promotion between Disney-owned networks ESPN and ABC) to the more subtle (the parody version of GE that exists on '30 Rock'). And Comcast does have a history of hands-on tinkering with their properties; witness the fate of TechTV, which once was a popular niche channel before Comcast bought it, merged it into G4 and then phased it completely out of existence. More ...

Kevin Mirocha ends Valencia test on top  Germany's Kevin Mirocha set the fastest time of the afternoon as the final day of testing in Valencia drew to a close, the 18-year-old finishing ahead of the British pairing of Jolyon Palmer and Dan Clarke.

Mirocha, who only joined the test for the day, could only manage tenth in the morning session but improved throughout the day to finish fastest with a superb lap of 1:26.633.

Mirocha's effort deprived Jolyon Palmer of the top spot, but the Briton rounded off an impressive two days by setting the second fastest time, having finished inside the top three in every session in Spain.

Ex-A1GP driver Dan Clarke finished with the third fastest time, less than two hundredths of a second slower than Palmer's benchmark. It capped an impressive day for the 26-year-old, who had gone fastest in the morning and been running second for much of the afternoon.

Johan Jokinen - who has topped the timesheets for much of the test - could only manage fourth as the conditions and track cooled in the afternoon. It nevertheless ends a highly successful test for the young Dane, who spent the season competing for the Kolles and Heinz Euro F3 team.

Benjamin Lariche improved by more than half a second in the final session to set the sixth fastest time. Impressively all top six finishers went quicker than Robert Wickens pole time of 1:27.488, which he set during the opening round of the 2009 season.

Belgium's Benjamin Bailly set the seventh fastest time of the day after an impressive run early on in the session. Ricardo Teixeira rounded out the top eight, finishing less than two hundredths of a second faster than Formula Palmer Audi pilot David Rotar in ninth. Jordan King was tenth, the 15-year-old recovering from a spin at Curva 3 to finish ahead of FPA Champion Richard Plant and Poland's Natalia Kowalska.

Jack Clarke was the only other spinner of the day at the tricky Curva 12, although the Briton was able to continue without suffering any damage to his car.

Official Formula Two Test, Valencia, Day Two:

1. Kevin Mirocha, 1:26.633s
2. Jolyon Palmer, 1:27.128
3. Dan Clarke, 1:27.183
4. Johan Jokinen, 1:27.226
5. Jack Clarke, 1:27.272
6. Benjamin Lariche, 1:27.316
7. Benjamin Bailly, 1:27.739
8. Ricardo Teixeira, 1:27.991
9. David Rotar, 1:28.007
10. Jordan King, 1:28.470
11. Richard Plant, 1:28.836
12. Natalia Kowalska, 1:29.868

Conor Daly added to PRI Karting Classic  MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly will  join the already impressive entry list for the annual PRI All Star karting classic in Orlando, Florida, December 10th 2009. Daly will drive a DeFrancesco Racing Alonso FA kart with Rotax power. Daly will return to his karting roots for only the second time this season having qualified on the front row of the grid of the Mazda Robo-Pong 200 enduro in Newcastle, Indiana in September.

Daly finished third in the 2009 Star Mazda championship presented by Goodyear. In 2008 Conor won the Walter Hayes Formula Ford Trophy in England for Team USA, the Ontario Formula Ford Rookie of the Year title driving for Brian Graham Racing and the Mazda Skip Barber National championship. Conor is sponsored by: Mazda, INDECK, The College Network, Merchant Services LTD and Tom Lange Company. Conor has additional support from; Aprilia Motorcycles, Optima Motor coaches, Pace American trailers, Sick Tea, St. Vincent Sports Performance and Arai helmets. (press release)
GM Reconsidering Dealership closings.  General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC are offering to spare some of the more than 2,000 dealerships slated for closure in the automakers' drastic cost-cutting plans.

GM and Chrysler said Thursday they may reinstate some dealerships if Congress agrees to drop proposed legislation to reverse the planned closures.

Both automakers took advantage of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process this year to cull their dealer networks and retain fewer but more profitable stores.

In GM's case, the dealer cutbacks also reflected its decision to close or sell the Hummer, Saturn, Pontiac and Saab brands.

But hundreds of dealers protested to their representatives in Congress -- the same people who in many cases had blasted the automakers for running bloated operations.

GM's proposal -- one of the first initiatives announced since Chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. took over the management on Tuesday -- is part of a broader plan to resolve complaints raised by dealers. Both GM and Chrysler have shrunk most operations, cutting jobs and reducing wages for executives and benefits for salaried employees, union workers and retirees.

Chrysler agreed to establish a binding appeals process for the 789 dealers it shuttered in June, giving them a chance to reopen.

The move is a reversal for Chrysler, which for months insisted it would not hear appeals.

By contrast, GM heard hundreds of appeals, reversed itself in about 70 cases and provided $600 million to help dealers wind down their operations.

GM is offering to provide Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers slated for closure face-to-face meetings to review specific reasons their franchise agreements were not being renewed, and binding arbitration if a dealer remains unsatisfied.

The arbitration process would focus on whether GM used business criteria in deciding which dealerships would close.

"GM values its dealer body and recognizes the contributions they are making to the future viability of the company, the critical role they play in satisfying customers and their importance to communities across the country," said Susan Docherty, GM's head of U.S. sales.

GM said it would start implementing its proposal in January if Congress dropped the legislation.

The National Automobile Dealers Association said it appreciated "the good faith and constructive dialogue" with GM and Chrysler, but said GM's plan does not include a "sufficiently meaningful process" that could lead to a "reasonable opportunity" for a dealer to be reinstated.

"We will also continue to work with Congress on the pending 'dealer rights' legislation in the event a non-legislative solution cannot be achieved on this important issue which affects thousands of people's jobs and lives and their communities," NADA said in a statement.

Congressional leaders said the proposals didn't go far enough." It is positive that GM and Chrysler are offering a chance for rejected dealers to meet and appeal their company's decision," said Katie Grant, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. But "arbitration must allow for consideration of all information that dealers and the company want to present and not be limited to a narrow set of criteria that predetermines the outcome."

Chrysler said in a statement that if the independent three-person panel reviewing appeals found in the dealer's favor, the dealer would be allowed to reopen, either in their previous market area, or in an available area.

The Auburn Hills automaker also agreed to face-to-face meetings with dealers whose operations were closed.

In addition, Chrysler said it would repurchase eligible parts inventory at 68 cents on the dollar --the average transaction price for parts sold among dealers between June 9 and Sept. 10. It will send letters to the dealers by Dec. 10.

Chrysler also said that while it has not "closed the door to further discussion" with dealers, the process outlined Thursday "fully addresses concerns that Congress and the discontinued dealers have raised: it provides transparency, a right of appeal, and opportunities to join the new dealer network." Detroit News

Ho-Pin Tung hoping Lopez buys Renault  (GMM)  Ho-Pin Tung's manager has confirmed that the Chinese driver's involvement with a potential team buyer was the reason for his test at the wheel of a Renault this week.

Although it was previously believed the parties were cooperating to buy the French carmaker's F1 single seater factory at Enstone, it now emerges that David Richards/Prodrive and the Mangrove group are in fact competing for the takeover.

Overseeing Mangrove is a Luxembourg-based capital group called Genii, run by Gerard Lopez, reports on Friday said.

Lopez is also involved with the Gravity driver management company, which handles nine hopefuls including the Dutch-born Chinese Tung, who turned 27 on Friday.

Confirming Lopez's interest in buying the Renault team, Tung's manager Bert Winkler told formule1.nl: "That is the reason Ho-Pin was allowed to test (at Jerez).

"This is an exciting time for us.  Should they (Genii/Lopez) really support the team, a future for Ho-Pin in formula one would be possible," he added.

"A lot of things now have to fall into place.  It's time now to cross the fingers and hope the coin lands on the right side," said Winkler.

GM Announces Leadership Changes  To improve accountability and responsibility for market performance in North America and around the world, several key leadership changes were announced today by GM Chairman and CEO, Ed Whitacre.

“I want to give people more responsibility and authority deeper in the organization and then hold them accountable,” Whitacre said.  “We’ve realigned our leadership duties and responsibilities to help us meet our mission to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles.”

Mark Reuss is named president of GM North America.  Reuss was briefly vice president of Engineering after leading GM’s Holden operations in Australia in 2008.  Reporting to Reuss will be Susan E. Docherty, who is appointed vice president, Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing operations.  Also aligned under the new North American group will be Diana D. Tremblay, who is named vice president, Manufacturing and Labor Relations.  Tremblay was most recently vice president of Labor Relations.  Denise C. Johnson is named vice president, Labor Relations.  Johnson was most recently vehicle line director and chief engineer for Global Small Cars. More ...

Alonso 'better' for Ferrari than Raikkonen - boss  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso is arriving at Ferrari because the famous Italian team needs a race driver in the Michael Schumacher-mould.

That is the admission of team boss Stefano Domenicali, as he contemplates Ferrari's 2010 season after deciding to replace the rally-bound Kimi Raikkonen with Spaniard Alonso.

"Ferrari needs someone for the team similar to Schumi," the Italian is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Bild.

Domenicali said Finn Raikkonen, 30, was "very fast, but also very closed". More ...

Toyota sheds 500 jobs at Cologne  (GMM)  500 jobs at Toyota's formula one headquarters have been cut, a spokesman for the Cologne based Toyota Motorsport GmbH has confirmed.

Andy Fuchs, the communications and marketing boss, told the German news agency DPA on Friday that a remaining 150 staff will stay employed for the site's ongoing projects, including sports tuning of road cars and the development of non-F1 racing cars.

The 500 departing staff will receive termination payments and partial salaries for up to a year, he added.

Toyota announced from Tokyo last month that the car making giant will no longer field a team in F1.

Fisi to 'definitely' be 2010 Ferrari reserve  
Giancarlo Fisichella went from being a full-time driver to a bench warmer at Ferrari
(GMM)  Giancarlo Fisichella admits he is keen to keep racing in formula one, but insists he will be Ferrari's reserve driver in 2010.

In the wake of French youngster and 2010 GP2 driver Jules Bianchi's signing by Ferrari for a yet undesignated role, it has been rumored that Roman veteran Fisichella, 36, might be bumped from the "third" seat.

But Fisichella, who completed 2009 as injured Felipe Massa's race replacement after 13 full-time seasons in F1, told Germany's Auto Bild that his 2010 role is clear.

"I will definitely be Ferrari's third driver, regardless of whether I find a racing seat somewhere else," said the Italian.

Fisichella said he would like to add to his grand tally of 231 races next year, but insists he is not desperate.

"My manager (Enrico Zanarini) is working on it," he revealed.  "If it works, I'm happy.  If not, it's no problem.

"I have done more than 230 races and I don't want to start completely from scratch with a new team," he added, referring to Lotus, USF1, Campos and Manor, all of which have race seat vacancies for the 2010 season.

With Sauber now granted a 2010 team entry, Fisichella has been linked with a race seat there, because of the Swiss team's use of a Ferrari powertrain in 2010.

Earnhardt not involved with Danica talks  Negotiations to bring Danica Patrick to NASCAR are ongoing with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race team, but the driver said he has not participated in the talks and isn't certain she will drive for his Nationwide Series team.

JR Motorsports is co-owned by Earnhardt and Rick Hendrick, and both said the Patrick talks are being handled by Earnhardt's sister, Kelley. Earnhardt announced Thursday that Kelley Earnhardt and his cousin, Tony Eury Jr., have been given ownership stakes in the organization.

Kelley Earnhardt has been the driving force in the team's bid to bring Patrick to a part-time NASCAR ride.

"It's still sort of in the negotiation stages," he said. "Her and my sister are, I guess, managing that entirely. I have not been in any way, shape, or form involved." More ...

Hulkenberg happy with extra mileage ahead of 2010  Nico Hulkenberg was the only driver in Jerez this week who is currently signed up by a Formula 1 team to race in 2010. The 22-year-old joined the Williams team for two days of testing at Jerez in order to get used to the F1 car again and work on the set-up of the car ahead of the 2010 Formula 1 season. Speaking about his two-day test with the team Hulkenberg said: "We've had two positive days at Jerez. It was good for me to get back in the car and get some laps in before next year. I covered a lot of mileage, which I was pleased about, and I got used to driving the F1 car quite quickly, which I wasn't really expecting as it's been quite a long time since my last outing. The car felt good and we fitted in a lot of set-up work, so I'm happy with the two days."
Fernandes to be keynote speaker at Monaco Forum  Tony Fernandes, Team Principal of the new LotusF1 team and one of the main investors in the venture through his Tune Group company, will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the 2009 Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco.

Fernandes, who is also the CEO of successful airline AirAsia, is expected to further details about the team and its ambitions in Formula 1. He will also be able to talk about the team’s unique partnership with the Malaysian Government and the marketing plan behind bringing the Lotus name back F1 for the first time since 1994.

Sebring announces 2010 inductees  The Sebring Sports Car Racing Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2010. Former Sebring winning drivers Phil Walters, John Morton, Hurley Haywood and Derek Daly, former official and promoter Reginald S. Smith and tire manufacturer Michelin join the prestigious Hall of Fame next March.

The induction ceremony takes place on Friday, March 19th, the day before the 58th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, at the Four Points by Sheraton Chateau Elan Hotel overlooking the famous Hairpin Turn at Sebring International Raceway. Dedicated to preserving Sebring’s extensive sports car racing history, the Sebring Hall of Fame was formed in 2002 at the 50th Anniversary celebration of America’s premier sports car endurance race. More ...

GM of Canada Acquires Full Ownership of CAMI Automotive  General Motors of Canada Limited today announced that it will acquire 100 percent ownership of CAMI Automotive Incorporated (CAMI) through a purchase transaction to buy shares currently owned by long-time partner Suzuki Motor Corporation.

CAMI recently led GM’s highly successful North American launch of the all-new Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain and is rapidly expanding capacity to meet the strong customer demand for these popular and fuel-efficient compact crossovers. More ...
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • Young drivers end F1 testing for 2009
  • FIA grants Sauber final 2010 team entry
  • Around the 'net: F1 on Friday 4/12
  • Button wants Hamilton challenge - Ross Brawn
  • Raikkonen's Citroen switch now official (UPDATE)
  • Ecclestone believes Renault to stay in F1

Young drivers end F1 testing for 2009
(GMM)  Daniel Ricciardo impressed the F1 world by setting the Jerez circuit's fastest lap of the entire year on Thursday as the Young Driver session concluded.

At the wheel of what is arguably the fastest car in formula one at present - the Red Bull - the 20-year-old Australian's dominant pace also marked an end to the sport's limited testing program for 2009.

Riccardo, the reigning British F3 champion, was easily quicker than Thursday's entire field of 15 fellow hopefuls in Spain, leaving him in prime position to be the team's reserve driver for the 2010 season.

Also likely to secure a reserve driver role next year is the Mercedes-contracted DTM driver Paul di Resta.

"I'd love to go straight into a race seat, but you have to be realistic these days," said the 23-year-old Scot.

Further down the time sheets for Toro Rosso were the Red Bull hopefuls Brendon Hartley and Mirko Bortolotti, but team boss Franz Tost played down rumors they are vying to replace 2009 race driver Jaime Alguersuari.

"They are talented and if they do well in other racing categories in 2010, I think they have a good chance of being up to the required standard to make it into formula one in 2011," he said. More ...

Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help