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DATE News (chronologically)
12/09/12
v8

Stewart would like to drive Aussie V8 Supercar
Tony Stewart wants to drive a real race car
Tony Stewart expressed his desire to race a V8 Supercar at the unveiling of the 2013 Chevrolet SS which is based heavily on the next generation Holden VF Commodore. At the bells and whistles launch in Las Vegas Stewart told Speedcafe that he has been approached several times by Paul Morris to have a crack at a V8 Supercar in the shared driver races.

"Paul Morris keeps inviting me out to have a go in one. I don't know if Austin would work but I would love to have a chance to drive one. I'd love the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one," Stewart said.

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12/09/12
f1

Lewis Hamilton Says Goodbye To McLaren After 14 Years
Lewis Hamilton says $31M per year deal from Mercedes was not why he left McLaren
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton "walked out of the McLaren headquarters on Friday after delivering a heartfelt and candid farewell speech to the workforce who supported his journey to F1 stardom," according to Malcolm Folley of the London Daily Mail. Hamilton was "granted a dignified departure by McLaren, a rare privilege in a sport renowned for being heartless when drivers switch allegiance."

He said, "It was the hardest decision I've ever made." He added, "It is to do with the process of growing up, of leaving home. That's why I am taking the next step, to grow as a driver and as a human being." Hamilton "has been lured from McLaren to Mercedes by more than the simple economics of a three-year contract worth £60M ($92.6M)." He "is attracted by the challenge of attempting to become the catalyst for the Mercedes team's development" -- and future success -- under Englishman and Mercedes F1 Team Principal Ross Brawn.  Daily Mail

Comment
12/09/12
nhra

President of HANS comments on drag and short track track safety
Jim Downing, the former sports car driver and principal of the HANS device (head and neck support) said that short tracks and drag strips are deficient due to "lack of proper safety equipment." Downing, president of HANS Performance Products said, at the IMIS Safety and Technical Conference in Indianapolis that driver fatalities on those tracks have been increasing because those types of tracks lag the safety equipment required at the bigger ovals.

Downing based his opinion on a Charlotte Observer study titled "Death at the Track," in the years 1991 to 2001 the total number of driver deaths from crashes was 144. During the ten-year period after Earnhardt's death, the total rose to 171, an alarming increase of 27 driver fatalities due to racing accidents.

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12/09/12
nassprint
IRL

Top NASCAR Money earners
Here are the top 15 money earners for the 2012 season (not including any driver's individual salary or endorsements). Compare and contrast that to what IndyCar drivers earn. For their sake NASCAR needs to buy IndyCar:

1. Brad Keselowski, $12,106.255.10
2. Jimmie Johnson, $10,469,436.13
3. Matt Kenseth, $8,802,778.50
4. Denny Hamlin, $8,330,409.89
5. Clint Bowyer, $7,993,802.38
6. Tony Stewart, $7,932,181.54
7. Greg Biffle, $7,416,099.27
8. Kyle Busch, $7,202,891.00
9. Jeff Gordon, $7,195,279.06
10. Kevin Harvick, $6,926,597.02
11. Kasey Kahne, $6,332,313.36
12. Martin Truex Jr., $6,169,590.33
13. Ryan Newman, $6,054,711.00
14. Carl Edwards, $5,923,325.00
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr., $5,816,567.42

Comment
12/09/12
f1

Walker says Vettel can beat Schumacher's records
Former commentator and broadcaster Murray Walker believes Sebastian Vettel can surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula 1 world titles, arguing that the 25-year-old has ‘at least another ten’ seasons in the sport ahead of him.

The Red Bull driver claimed a third title in 2012, putting him level with Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and the late Ayrton Senna.

"He is very likely to beat Schumacher’s record," Walker explained to Britain's Metro newspaper. "It was unthinkable until recently but records are there to be beaten and usually are. Vettel is a lot further on in his career at 25 than Michael was and he has got at least another ten, maybe 15 years ahead of him.

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12/09/12
f1

Vettel receives trophy at F1 gala
Sebastian Vettel and team manager Christian Horner receive their trophies
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was officially presented with his third straight Formula One World Drivers' Championship trophy at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Turkey on Friday evening, having sealed a third successive title with Red Bull in 2012.

"It’s a fantastic feeling to be here and to be able to take this trophy back home for another year. As I said last time, it isn’t something you want to give back," said Vettel. "Winning the title with Red Bull three times in a row makes us all feel very proud.

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12/08/12
alms

2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for Supercup Based on Type 991
Porsche 911 Type 991
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the most successful race car in the world. Since 1998, 2,395 units of the near-street-stock race vehicle for customer sport have been produced. The new edition of the 911 GT3 Cup is the motorsports version of the future showroom model 911 GT3 (yet to be introduced) and as such is the first race car that is based on the seventh generation of the sports car icon (Porsche 911 – type 991) from Zuffenhausen.

The new 911 GT3 Cup will be run exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2013. The rest of the Porsche makes cups and challenge cups around the world, including the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, will compete in the current 911 GT3 Cup racer for 2013, switching to the new car in 2014.  The new car for one-make racing made its debut on the occasion of the end of motorsport season “Night of Champions” celebration at the R&D Centre in Weissach.

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12/08/12
ga

Pagenaud Joins Team Sahlen for ROLEX 24 Hours at Daytona
Team Sahlen is proud to announce the addition of Simon Pagenaud to their driver line-up for the ROLEX 24 Hours at Daytona.  Simon will be paired with the “Wayne & Dane Show” of Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron in the #42 BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype.

The Frenchman comes to Team Sahlen with a full breadth of Endurance Racing Experiences from around the world.  Simon contested the American LeMans series within the LMP2/Lmp1/ lmp Class for three seasons with DeFerran Motorsports then Highcroft racing capturing 9 victories.  The capstone being the 2010 Driver’s Championship. Additionally Simon drove for the Factory Peugeot Team in the LMP1 class.  His time within the LMP1 class resulted in 2 Spa 1000km overall victories, the 2010 Overall Pole Position at LeMans, and a 2nd in the 24h of Le Mans marking the closest finish in the Le Mans history.

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12/08/12
wec

Porsche LMP1 Sports Prototype to be run by Weissach-based Works Team
At the Weissach Motorsport Center outside of Stuttgart, preparations for the running of the new LMP1 sports prototype at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship are progressing at high revs. For this project, the infrastructure was considerably expanded. A new workshop building and an office complex have been completed.

“The first rollout of our new LMP1 car is planned for mid-2013,” announced Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Research and Development, on Saturday on the occasion of the end of season “Night of Champions” celebration.

“The car will be run by our own works team based here at Weissach,” said Hatz.

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12/08/12
f1

Red Bull to light up Bologna in Ferrari's backyard
The area around Bologna in Italy area has a pretty rich racing history, what with motorcycle manufacturer Ducati hailing from the heart of the city and the cars of a certain scarlet-hued outfit emerging from up the Autostrada in Maranello, but not since the days when nearby Imola hosted grands prix have the people of Emilia-Romagna been treated to two full-on days of F1 action.

That will change this weekend, however, when Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso fire up the engines of a couple of cars at the Red Bull Speed Days in the city.

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12/08/12
f1

Horner: Red Bull must improve
Christian Horner
Christian Horner also says Red Bull must improve in order to attempt to defend its world championships in 2013.

Sebastian Vettel's drivers' title combined with Red Bull's constructors' championship this year means that the team has won both titles for three consecutive seasons. However, Horner says the team can't afford to relax if it wants to be in a position to defend those championships at the start of next season and must make sure it is stronger than this year.

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12/08/12
f1

Mateschitz: Toro Rosso must improve
Dietrich Mateschitz
Scuderia Toro Rosso owner Dietrich Mateschitz has called on his junior team to raise its game after a disappointing 2012 season.

The Red Bull co-owner admitted that he was dissatisfied with the ex-Minardi outfit's progress after it scored only 26 points and slipped down to ninth in the constructors' standings.

AUTOSPORT understands that unhappiness with the team's progress was one of the factors that led to James Key replacing Giorgio Ascanelli as technical director midway through the season.

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12/08/12
fil

Hawksworth Lands Ride With Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ (SSM) Indy Lights team will embark on the quest for its seventh Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2013 with the signing of 21-year-old British racer Jack Hawksworth.

Hawksworth dominated the 2012 Star Mazda series where he broke series records for the most wins, poles and fastest laps on his way to capturing the championship.

“I am delighted to confirm that I will be competing in Firestone Indy Lights with SSM,” Hawksworth said. “The team’s success speaks for itself and I am relishing the opportunity to work with this team and help them achieve the best results possible in 2013.”

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12/07/12
irl

Forrest Lucas, co-founder of Lucas Oil, eager to expand IndyCar reach
With all due respect to the rest of the world, Forrest Lucas is glad American Ryan Hunter-Reay won the IndyCar championship.

Lucas is the co-founder of Lucas Oil, which among other things has the naming rights to the Indianapolis Colts' football stadium. He has a long history of involvement in racing, from sponsoring race teams and building tracks to sponsoring races and creating racing television programming.

Though his products are sold in 26 countries, Lucas couldn't have been happier when Hunter-Reay became the first American since Sam Hornish in 2006 to win an IndyCar title.

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12/07/12
f1

Kubica: “No Chance of Me Coming Back Soon”
Robert Kubica has stated in an interview that there is no chance of him returning to Formula One in the near future.

The Polish driver, who suffered a horrific injury in 2011 whilst racing a rally car, last raced in F1 at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Renault (and now Lotus). After his accident during the winter break, Kubica underwent many operations on his right arm, and was fortunate not to lose his hand such was the extent of the injury.

In 2012, Kubica has made a tentative return to competitive racing, taking part in many rallies in Italy in the past few months. It has been a successful venture, with Kubica winning the events by a considerable margin, causing many to have hopes of a return to Formula One in the near future, with Pirelli keen on hiring him as their test driver.

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12/07/12
irl

Indycar announces replacement for Star Mazda series
INDYCAR, sanctioning body of the Mazda Road to Indy development series, today announced the creation of the Pro Mazda Championship. The series will be owned and operated by Andersen Promotions - administrator of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda - and will fill the opening vacated by the Star Mazda Championship.

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12/07/12
nassprint

Toyota to sponsor Richmond races
Two of Richmond International Raceway’s three spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be sponsored by Toyota. RIR, one of NASCAR’s most venerable and popular tracks (its first Cup race was in 1953), recently announced its multi-year sponsorship package with Toyota.

The ToyotaCare Nationwide Series 250 will be on Friday night, April 26, and the Toyota Owners Sprint Cup 400 will be on Saturday night, April 27. In recent years RIR’s sponsorship deals included Pontiac, Chevrolet, Crown Royal, Federated Auto Parts, Air National Guard, Virginia Tourism, Exide, Miller and Wonderful Pistachios. The 3/4-mile track will host the K&N East Pro Series on Thursday night, April 25.

“This Toyota partnership allows us to align with a premium brand that has been supporting NASCAR for nearly a decade,” said RIR president Dennis Bickmeier. “These multi-year entitlements will allow RIR to continue delivering the high-quality events our fans have enjoyed for 60 years. To put on these NASCAR spectacles, we require two core ingredients: the fans and the sponsors—both of which drive our business and allow us to provide top-notch events.”

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12/07/12
f1

Bernie Ecclestone has warned the European venues they could lose their races
[Editor's Note: Bernie pulls this all the time one of these days it will come back and bite him.] Bernie Ecclestone has warned European venues to shape up or risk losing their grands prix as they do not have a "God-given" right to stage a race.

New locations have been added to the calendar in the last few years, with F1 moving away from its traditional heartland in Europe to venues such as Abu Dhabi, Singapore and India.

Ecclestone expects the trend to continue and has told the European venues to improve or risk disappearing from the calendar.

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12/07/12
IRL

Indy and Lotus sever ties
INDYCAR announced today that it has released Lotus from its contract to supply engines to the IZOD IndyCar Series.

p "We appreciate the effort that Lotus made in helping return manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series," said Brian Barnhart, president of operations and strategy, INDYCAR. "However, Lotus has made a business decision not to return in 2013 and asked for its release. We wish them well and would welcome their participation again in the future."

Aslam Farikullah, Lotus Chief Operating Officer, said, "Lotus is grateful to INDYCAR for the opportunity to compete during the 2012 season and for the support provided throughout. The decision not to continue was not an easy one and Lotus does not discount the possibility to re-enter the series at some time in the future. For the time being, Lotus will focus on core business activities as a leading sports car manufacturer and world class engineering consultancy."

The series will move forward with Chevrolet and Honda as engine manufacturers for the 2013 season. Per the IZOD IndyCar Series rules, each engine manufacturer must be able to supply 60 percent of the field of entrants.

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12/07/12
nassprint

Charlotte testing open to fans
Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will test their new 2013 cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 11 and 12. As part of a special off-season treat, race fans are invited to view the two-day test session from the grandstands, free of charge. Teams expected to participate in the test include Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and Wood Brothers Racing. Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a break for lunch at noon. Each day, the Ford Grandstand on the frontstretch will open at 8:30 a.m. for the public to enjoy the on-track debut of the new 2013 cars. Fans should enter through gate 5B, by the main ticket office. CMS

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12/07/12
nassprint

Keselowski, Bowyer not eligible for shootout
There's a saying in racing that it's not where you start, it's where you finish. But that doesn't necessarily ring true for NASCAR's preseason exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR decided prior to the start of the 2012 season to go back to its traditional eligibility requirements for the Shootout  pole winners from the previous year and past Shootout winners. That means the top two drivers in the 2012 standings  #2-Brad Keselowski and #15-Clint Bowyer  aren't on the list of 22 drivers eligible for the 2013 event. Not since 2004, when 2003 champion Matt Kenseth did not win a pole, has the Shootout been run without the previous year's Cup champion. The event used to be sponsored by Budweiser, which originally had also sponsored NASCAR's pole award. When Coors took over the pole award sponsorship in 2009, the eligibility rules changed and continued to change annually. A new sponsor and a new format for the Feb. 16 event are expected to be announced soon. Sporting News

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12/07/12
nassprint

NASCAR names top performances of 2012
No one saw this coming. No one. Brad Keselowski won his first race in 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway, running a part-time schedule with single-car team Phoenix Racing. It was a nice story in a long season, one that ended with Jimmie Johnson winning the championship. His second victory came in 2011 at Kansas Speedway while in his second full season with Penske Racing. That win moved him into 21st in points. Again, a feel-good story to weave into the year; one that culminates with Tony Stewart capturing his third title. Big-picture speaking, Keselowski's yearly career followed a similar story arch. Flashes of brilliance wherever he drove  be it the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series or his thus far brief tenure in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - all followed by a premier series title by two no-doubt-about-it NASCAR legends: Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. From the first primetime Daytona 500 through Keselowski and owner Roger Penske’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, the 2012 season was filled with drama, intrigue and more than a few "Top Performances." Here are a few of them, and as always, the choices are always up for welcome discussion.

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12/07/12
irl

Release date set for IndyCar DreamWorks project
Turbo is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 13, 2013 when the series is racing in Toronto, Canada. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Turbo.

INDYCAR restated its commitment to the project earlier this month despite announcing it would close its office in Los Angeles.

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12/07/12
irl

IndyCar TV pilot on hold
IndyCar’s effort to have a reality television show is, in baseball terms, standing on first base. A pilot has been shot. The next step would be deciding to make it a reality.

Hunter-Reay isn’t sure he wants that because the concept centers on three driver wives, including his wife Beccy. Emma Davies Dixon and Bronte Tagliani are the others.

“I think the concept definitely has legs,” Hunter-Reay said. “But one thing I know about reality TV is, to hang onto the audience, you need drama. Drama at the racetrack — or at home — is something you don’t want. Drama sells, and I don’t want drama.” Indy Star

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12/07/12
irl

Mark Miles meets IndyCar family at Championship Celebration
IndyCar’s new voice spoke Thursday, though not to an audience. That’s not Mark Miles’ style, and this wasn’t his moment in the spotlight.

But to those in the sport, meeting and greeting the person now charged with leading Indianapolis’ auto racing industry was key to attending the Championship Celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Miles delivered in his introduction to team owners, manufacturer officials, drivers and, well, anyone involved with the sport.

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12/07/12
autogp

2013 Auto GP car impresses at Barcelona
The 2013 Auto GP racecar left a strong impression in the first day of collective testing at Barcelona. Driven by reigning Champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and followed on-track by the personnel of Coloni Motorsport, the new car clocked the fastest lap of the day in 1:32.857, 1.182 seconds quicker than the best 2012 model. The Italian-based organization was thus rewarded with a successful run after the tough job done so far. In addition to the crude speed, the car also proved reliable and consistent, logging 42 laps with no issues.

Vittorio Ghirelli was the fastest man of the field using the 2012-spec car. The Roman, fielded by Super Nova and at his maiden Auto GP experience, topped Daniel De Jong (Manor MP Motorsport) and Sergio Campana (Zele Racing). All three will return on-track tomorrow, while Kimiya Sato is set to leave earlier. The Japanese man, driving for Euronova, rounded out the top-5. Another driver will be leaving - 6th-placed Rodolfo Gonzalez will hand his Manor MP car to Jordan King. Giacomo Ricci ended up in 7th, and despite having driven only on older rubber, he proved the steady improvement of MLR71 for the joy of Team Owner Michele La Rosa.

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12/07/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Austria steps up as Turkey's 2013 hopes fade
  • No Formula 2 in 2013
  • Late 2013 Red Bull 'not a problem' - Newey
  • Webber - Red Bull 'knows' I can beat Vettel
  • Kaltenborn not eyeing Ecclestone's top job

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12/06/12
ga

France’s Pagenaud Readies For First Rolex 24 At Daytona With Team Sahlen’s Daytona Prototype Debut
The "Wayne and Dane" Show is adding a marquee name to its first-ever Daytona Prototype lineup. World-class endurance driver Simon Pagenaud will join Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron in Team Sahlen's No. 42 BMW Riley for January's 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Never shy about creating a presence, Team Sahlen's cars are among the most recognizable in GRAND-AM. The New York organization announced its move from GT to Daytona Prototype earlier this year.

The signing of the Frenchman Pagenaud, the 2010 American Le Mans Series LMP champion, significantly burnishes the first-year DP team's credentials. Pagenaud was the top qualifier for the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2010 and finished second overall for Team Peugeot Total in 2011.

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12/06/12
f1

Adrian Newey admits to being 'frustrated' by RB8
Adrian Newey
Adrian Newey admits he found the Red Bull RB8 "very frustrating" as he struggled to understand the car in the early stages of the season.

Having dominated in 2011, Red Bull found the start to 2012 much tougher as it only won three of the opening 13 races. The team went on to take both the drivers' and constructors' championships after Sebastian Vettel won four races in a row from Singapore onwards but Newey admitted that it was a testing start to the season.

"We came out with a car which had flashes of pace," Newey told Servus TV. "Sebastian won in Bahrain, Mark [Webber] won in Monaco. But we didn't have the level of consistency we wanted, and as an engineer that was very frustrating because the truth is we didn't properly understand the car and what was happening.

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12/06/12
nassprint

As always, a NASCAR driver wins Driver of Year
Brad Keselowski was voted the 2012 Driver Of The Year by an American panel of motorsports broadcasters and journalists who favor NASCAR drivers every year. Keselowski was a near-unanimous choice in the annual award, after winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and the first as an owner for Roger Penske.

"To be honored with the 2012 Driver Of The Year is a great way to cap off our championship season," said Keselowski, who also won the fourth-quarter vote. "The list is definitely a 'Who's Who' in the history of racing. It gives me great pride to see my name there with the likes of Mark Donohue and Mario Andretti, drivers who have transcended one particular discipline or series, and are considered some of the best to ever sit in a racecar.

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12/06/12
f2

2013 F2 season cancelled
MotorSport Vision, promoters of the Formula 2 championship, have announced the series will not run in 2013 after just four years of existence.

The limited success of the series, however, has forced MSV boss Jonathan Palmer to cancel the championship after only four seasons.

"As the FIA intended, F2 has always provided outstanding value and equality for its competitors," Palmer said in a statement.

"However, it has become progressively clear that the single operating team concept that enables these benefits has compromises that have, overall, reduced its appeal to drivers."

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12/06/12
nassprint

Michael Waltrip Racing to partner with Arshot at SPARC UPDATE NASCAR team Owner Michael Waltrip Tuesday announced that he and his team "will be investors in the Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex, or SPARC, being developed” on the site of Cooper Stadium in Columbus, according to Steve Wartenberg of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Waltrip said of discussions with Arshot Investment Corp. principal and SPARC developer Bill Schottenstein, “He had me from racetrack. Having my hands on designing and helping to build a racetrack is very exciting.” Waltrip and Schottenstein “both declined to say how much the team invested.” The SPARC complex “will include a half-mile racetrack with 8,500 seats, a 50,000-square-foot office building for the research center, 1,900 parking spaces, a hotel and meeting center, and four or five sites for restaurants or stores along Mound Street.” Waltrip said that it is “unlikely, but possible an actual NASCAR race could take place at SPARC,” adding that the “limited number of seats at SPARC would make it difficult.” COLUMBUS DISPATCH

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12/06/12
gp3
f1

GP3 Series completes goal with two champions in Formula 1 in 2013
Since its inception in 2010, the ultimate goal of GP3 Series was to make it the perfect stepping stone for young drivers to graduate to GP2 and then to Formula 1. Within just three years, this objective has been achieved following the recent announcements that GP3's inaugural champion Esteban Gutierrez and his successor Valtteri Bottas will both race in Formula 1 in 2013.

Gutierrez was named test driver for Sauber F1 following his GP3 success in 2010 and graduated to GP2 in 2011, clinching third place in the 2012 season. The Mexican was rewarded at the end of the year with a full time drive with the Swiss outfit and became the first GP3 Champion to climb to the impressive heights of F1.

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12/06/12
nnw

Brian Scott Slated for NASCAR Nationwide Series Ride with RCR
Richard Childress Racing has signed a multi-year agreement with Brian Scott to be the driver of the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet Camaro for  the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

Scott, 24, of Boise, Idaho, has twice finished in the top 10 of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings in three full seasons of competition. He finished eighth in 2011 and ninth this past year. He finished 14th and was runner-up in the series' rookie of the year standings in 2010. Phil Gould, car chief for the No. 2 team in 2012 and with previous experience at RCR as a car chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been promoted to crew chief for the team.

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12/06/12
irl

IndyCar: Interim CEO Jeff Belskus 'is the man right now'
There should be no confusion about plans for IndyCar leadership after Mark Miles, the new CEO of Hulman & Company, meets with many of the sport’s constituencies today during a series of get-togethers as part of the 2012 celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Interim CEO Jeff Belskus won’t keep the job, and Miles said he won’t take it.

“With Randy (Bernard's) departure we welcome and are appreciative of Jeff’s willingness to step in as interim IndyCar CEO, but that is an interim situation,” said Miles, who officially starts his new job Dec. 17. “He is the man right now who is going to make the decisions that are necessary to be made going into the 2013 season.

“It should be clear that he has the authority and the responsibility, but we don’t think that’s the long-term situation. So, we’ll be looking for a leadership change deliberately.”

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12/06/12
alms

ALMS Has a Rebellion on Its Hands
Was an overall victory at Road Atlanta the first of many to come for Rebellion Racing in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n? We may soon find out.

The Swiss squad will compete as a full-time entry in the 2013 ALMS championship with one of its Toyota-powered Lola coupes. Sports car racing in North America is getting a proven winner as evidenced by a three-lap victory in the ALMS’s 2012 finale at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Andrea Belicchi, Nico Prost and Neel Jani drove the car at Road Atlanta. Jani earned pole position for the race and also set the fastest lap in the 1,000-mile enduro.

“This is great news and we welcome everyone at Rebellion Racing back to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n with open arms,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “The team's presence as a full-season entry will provide ALMS fans with not just another world-class competitor but a fascinating championship fight in our premier P1 class. This news - with more to follow – only adds to the anticipation for a great 2013 season.”

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12/06/12
nassprint

Richard Childress and Jeff Burton Unveil the 2013 No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton and team owner Richard Childress unveiled the 2013 No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS on Wednesday, December 5 at the new Caterpillar Visitors Center located behind CAT's world headquarters in downtown Peoria, Ill.

Before signing autographs for over 300 fans in attendance and taking a tour of the world-class facility, Childress and Burton unveiled the newly-remodeled Chevrolet SS race car featuring the well-known Caterpillar colors that Burton will pilot during the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season beginning at Daytona International Speedway in February. Throughout the afternoon, the 80' hauler that transports the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet across the country was on display for guests to walk through and each fan that attended received a free 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule poster.

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12/06/12
irl
alms

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Announces Super Drift Challenge - at Night!
For the first time in its 39 years, the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, 2013, will offer night racing with the inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday nights during race weekend.

The Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge, which will take place at 7 p.m. both nights on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.

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12/06/12
nassprint

Johnson Tops Keselowski In Driver Exposure Value
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson led all Sprint Cup drivers in terms of exposure value for his sponsors during race telecasts this season, tallying over $100M, according to data from sponsorship measurement firm Joyce Julius. Johnson led Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski -- who ranked second in exposure -- by over $26M. Johnson also easily topped Kyle Busch’s tally of $68M in exposure last season, which led all drivers. Busch finished eighth this season with over $52M in exposure. Carl Edwards saw a sharp drop in exposure this season. After finishing second in the Cup standings in '11, Edwards finished third with just over $64M. However, after missing the Chase this season, he fell to 14th with close to $32M. Jumping into the top 10 in exposure this season were Denny Hamlin (No. 3), Kasey Kahne (No. 7), Clint Bowyer (No. 9) and Greg Biffle (No. 10). Falling out of the top 10 were Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.

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12/06/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Will A1-Ring get a race?
    F1 reserves 2013 date for another European race
  • Red Bull can be Ferrari-like 'myth' too - Vettel
  • Vettel frowns upon fans' Bruno Senna abuse
  • Briatore joins Montezemolo in Schumacher criticism
  • No London grand prix at Olympic stadium
  • McLaren had fastest car of 2012 - analysis
  • 2014 aerodynamic regulation changes dropped
  • Pirelli: Higher degradation levels in 2013

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12/05/12
irl

NASCAR can't buy IndyCar soon enough
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Two months ago today you published an article saying NASCAR should purchase IndyCar.  One of the best ideas I ever heard.  Maybe IndyCar drivers would then get paid to drive instead of buying their rides.  NASCAR appears to be the only hope now as what few fans IndyCar had left are gone as a result of the Randy Bernard termination.  Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.

Dear Mordichai: If in fact, the Hulman-George family intends to operate INDYCAR as they have in the past, then read our article from two months ago suggesting NASCAR should buy INDYCAR, then click here and familiarize yourself with INDYCAR's only hope for survival.  And while we're on the subject, let us remind you that before other publications ran similar, not as comprehensive forms of what we wrote, you heard the idea here first on AR1.

However, if the Hulman-George family intends to operate INDYCAR as a professional business, in a professional business manner, they'll end the policy of assisting their mortal enemy, and the Brickyard will wind up exactly where it belongs: on the ash heap of racing history.   

Thanks for reading and writing, Brian Carroccio, IndyCar Columnist, AR1

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12/05/12
nassprint

NASCAR submits rules package to teams
NASCAR provided teams with the long-awaited rules package for the new car that will debut in the 2013 Daytona 500 in February. The first test with the package, which was distributed Tuesday, will be held Dec. 11-12 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. About 14 drivers so far are on the list to test, but teams will be allowed for this session only to bring in multiple drivers and additional cars to participate. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said there are a few minor things the governing body continues to work on to improve the handling of the cars around each other, but added this basically is the package teams will have for Daytona.

"We've told them what splitters and spoilers they'll use," said Pemberton, noting the splitters will have a different shape to improve aerodynamics. "They know what they need for suspensions and stuff like that."

Getting the final rules package has been a concern for several team owners. Pemberton said the package was the culmination of more than a year of research and testing to find what will improve cars being able to pass and race better around each other. The front grandstand at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be open and free to the general public. ESPN

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12/05/12
irl
nassprint

As predicted by AR1.com Stewart turns down Penske’s Indy 500 offer
As predicted by AR1.com when Roger Penske pulled the PR stunt because we knew NASCAR would never do anything to help their #1 enemy,  Tony Stewart turned down a chance to race for Roger Penske in the Indianapolis 500.

The three-time NASCAR champion said Wednesday at the International Motorsports Industry Show that he wouldn't attempt to race in both the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

"As much as I would like to do it, we just don't have the time to do it proper," Stewart said. "The IRL is so competitive now, you're not going to just show up like drivers used to do in the past and be competitive. These guys don't leave anything on the table there. You're not going to stroll into the Indy 500 with these guys who race every week and be as competitive as they are."

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12/05/12
v8

Pepsi Max To Sponsor Ford Performance Racing's Top Two Falcons


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12/05/12
f1

F1 Signs Partnership With Luxury Watchmaker Rolex As Series' Official Timekeeper
Luxury watchmaker Rolex revealed that "it will become F1's official timekeeper starting with the '13 season," according to Norman Fischer of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. As a result of the deal, the Rolex logo "will appear at all racetracks and at several turns during F1 races."

Rolex CEO Gian Riccardo Marini said, "Over the last 50 years both Rolex and Formula 1 have grown into world-leading aspirational brands, and there will be many fantastic opportunities that we can enjoy together."

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12/05/12
wtc

FIA bans diesel engines from WTC
From 2013, diesel cars will no longer be accepted in the Championship.

New Technical Regulations for 2014 Super 2000 cars were agreed in principle by the WMSC to provide for more spectacular cars with bigger aerodynamic devices and greater performance through weight reduction and power increase, while maintaining similar costs. More technical freedom will be allowed in order to cancel the current system of waivers and balance of performance. However, a balance of technology between front and rear wheel drive cars (balance of technologies) will be maintained.

The Brazilian event in Curitiba has been removed from the 2013 calendar.

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12/05/12
wec

FIA announces WEC changes
In 2014 new LMP1 technical regulations will come into force. Strict equivalence between diesel and petrol engines will be applied and monitored. Petrol and diesel fuels with more bio-content have been decided.

From 2013, a limitation on the number of permitted engines for the LMP2 category and tires for LMP2 and GTE Am will be imposed in order to help reduce costs.

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12/05/12
F3

The 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship calendar
The 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship calendar is confirmed as follows:

Date Nat. Venue
Mar 23-24 ITA Monza
Apr 12-14 GBR Silverstone
May 04-05 DEU Hockenheim
May 18-19 GBR Brands Hatch
Jun 01-02 AUT Red Bull Ring
Jul 06-07 DEU Norisring *
Jul 20-21 NLD Zandvoort *
Aug 17-18 DEU Nurburgring
Sep 14-15 DEU Hockenheim
Oct 26-27 FRA Paul Ricard

* date subject to confirmation

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12/05/12
f1

Austin officials say they’re trying to move 2013 F1 race date
Officials with Circuit of the Americas are trying to move the date of next year’s Formula One race to avoid a scheduling conflict with a University of Texas home football game.

Meeting today in Istanbul, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council released a 2013 calendar that keeps the Austin race on Nov. 15 through 17.

That date sets up a collision course with University of Texas football, which has a home game against Oklahoma State scheduled for Nov. 16.

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12/05/12
nnw

NASCAR reinstates suspended crewman
NASCAR has reinstated Nationwide Series crew member Ryan Hess after completion of a prescribed recovery program following his suspension for violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, the sanctioning body announced Wednesday.

Hess was working with MacDonald Motorsports and driver Jason Bowles as a mechanic and gas man when he was suspended.

Following the violation of the substance abuse policy, which typically is the failure of a random drug test, NASCAR requires the competitor to meet with a substance abuse professional, who then prescribes a recovery program that must be completed before the they are reinstated.

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12/05/12
IRL
alms

Andretti Sports Marketing will only assist with '13 Grand Prix of Baltimore
Andretti Sports Marketing has signed a deal with Grand Prix of Baltimore organizers Race On LLC "to return for the 2013 event."

Andretti will "play a smaller role" for next year's race, "leaving much of the preparations" to Race On. The promoter will handle race-day operations and national sponsorship sales next year after handling "most organizational aspects" of this year's event. BIZJOURNALS.com

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12/05/12
irl

Hunter-Reay to carry No. 1 with 'twist' in defense of title
No. 28 is significant to reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay because of the estimated 28 million people globally afflicted with cancer. No. 1 is significant in Indy car racing, identifying the reigning series champion's car.

For the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season, Hunter-Reay will run a combination of both numbers on the Chevrolet-powered Andretti Autosport car with primary sponsorship from DHL. The No. 1 will be bisected by 28. The team unveiled the liveries for its three full-season IZOD IndyCar Series cars Dec. 5 at its Indianapolis facility.

"It is a huge honor to have earned the right to run the No. 1," said Hunter-Reay, who a day earlier was announced as one of the 16 finalists for the Mario Andretti Trophy as the SPEED Performer of the Year. "All of us at Andretti Autosport see this as a tremendous opportunity to leverage our sponsors, brands and message for 2013 and beyond. We certainly do not underestimate the task. I assure you we are already hard at work and will do everything possible to earn the right to carry the coveted No. 1 in future years as well."

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12/05/12
IRL

Andretti team signs multi-year agreement with DHL
1carimage
DHL, the global market leader in the logistics industry, will now be speeding into the 2013 racing season as full primary sponsor on the Chevrolet piloted by recently-crowned IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Indianapolis based Indy car race team Andretti Autosport and DHL recently announced the new agreement which takes the successful partnership into its third consecutive season.

"We couldn't be more pleased to welcome DHL back to Andretti Autosport, and this time as a primary sponsor and defending champion," said John Lopes, Chief Marketing Officer, Andretti Autosport. "As a global industry leader, DHL is a brand that we are proud to have in our organization. We look forward to many more wins together."

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12/05/12
autogp

Sixteen drivers to hit the track for Barcelona Auto GP test
The roster for the Auto GP test scheduled for Thursday, December 6 and Friday, December 7 at Barcelona is now complete and features 8 teams and 16 drivers. In addition to reigning champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who will be focusing on the development of the new car, and to the already-cofirmed Euronova (Yoshitaki Koruda, Kimiya Sato), Ombra (Luca Defendi), Super Nova (Vittorio Ghirelli, Antono Spavone) and Virtuosi UK (Andrea Roda) , four more squads rounded out the entry-list.

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12/05/12
IRL
nassprint

Kick NASCAR out of Indy
A reader writes, Dear AR1, could not agree more with the article on your home page today that goes over the history of IndyCar and NASCAR and makes the case for kicking NASCAR out of the Indy Speedway. It was a horrible decision to ever let the enemy into IndyCar's Mecca. You will never see IndyCar racing at Daytona. Danny Moore

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12/05/12
irl

Andretti team announces 2013 IndyCar lineup, RHR to run No. 1
INDIANAPOLIS - The open-wheel race team Andretti Autosport announced their 2013 INDYCAR line up today at an event held at the team's Indianapolis-based racing headquarters. With a full-time stable of three IZOD IndyCar Series entries, two Firestone Indy Lights entries, two Star Mazda entries and entries in USF2000, team owner Michael Andretti will again claim credit to having the only team competing in every step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
1carimage 27carimage25carimage

The reigning IZOD IndyCar Series Championship team will be led into 2013 by a familiar trio of IndyCar drivers as Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti and will return for full-season efforts. Hunter-Reay, who clinched the 2012 Series Championship in a season-finale showdown at Auto Club Speedway in September, will showcase the honors that come with being the champion by running the No. 1 on his DHL Chevrolet for the 2013 season.

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12/05/12
f1

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

12/05/12
  • Newey 'a little late' with 2013 Red Bull
  • Backer says Bottas not like other pay-drivers
  • Marussia not offered 2013 Concorde Agreement deal
  • Button wants improved tires New
  • Rolex becomes F1's official timekeeper New

Newey 'a little late' with 2013 Red Bull
(GMM) Team boss Christian Horner has admitted car designer Adrian Newey is "a little late" with next year's Red Bull.

The Briton made the admission on the Red Bull-sponsored Austrian television channel Servus TV.

Pre-season testing for the 2013 season will begin in Spain in early February.

The fact the RB9 is running behind schedule is undoubtedly due to the fact that, while many other teams turned their attention to next year during the 2012 season, Red Bull continued to develop its title-winning RB8 right up until the recent Interlagos finale.

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12/05/12
automotive

Pent up demand drives auto sales up UPDATE
KIA MOTORS AMERICA ANNOUNCES BEST-EVER NOVEMBER SALES AND 27TH CONSECUTIVE MONTHLY SALES RECORD
Kia Motors America (KMA) has been one of the fastest-growing car companies in the U.S. over the last five years[1], and November saw the brand achieve its 27th straight month of record sales with 41,055 units sold.

PORSCHE REPORTS 71 PERCENT INCREASE IN SALES, BEST SALES MONTH EVER
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), importer and distributor of Porsche sports cars, Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera four-door sports sedan line-up in the United States, today announced a record November 2012 sales of 3,865 vehicles.

MBUSA POSTS ALL-TIME SALES RECORD WITH NOVEMBER SALES OF 32,649
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported an all-time sales record with November sales of 32,649 for combined sales of Mercedes-Benz, smart and Sprinter models, up 15.6% and delivering a record year-to-date total of 273,622 up 14.5%.

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12/05/12
automotive

BMW 3 Series Wins 22nd Consecutive Car and Driver 10Best Award
The sixth-generation BMW 3 Series has been named to the Car and Driver 10Best Cars list for 2013, marking the 22nd consecutive 10Best win for the BMW 3 Series. It is the only car to achieve such an unbroken string of wins.

“To receive this honor for 22 years straight shows how consistently the BMW 3 Series has delivered on the promise of The Ultimate Driving Machine,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “The 3 Series has been named to Car and Driver 10Best Cars through three complete generations and has now continued its streak into a fourth generation. We are committed to producing cars worthy of this sort of recognition.”

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12/05/12
dakar

Robby Gordon enters Hummer in Dakar
Robby Gordon
Fresh from Dakar 2012 where he was ranking 2nd overall, Robby Gordon enters with a Hummer which, following preliminary checks, fulfills all regulatory requirements. The American will be at the starting line on 5 January and adds his name to the list of contenders for the title.

Robby Gordon has been simmering away for several weeks whilst awaiting the official confirmation of his participation in Dakar 2013. Whilst the necessary checks were being carried out on a Hummer that had been disqualified in 2012, the American looked on from afar at the crews who would be competing for the title in a few weeks’ time.

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12/05/12
wec

Porsche announces factory Le Mans entry
Porsche has announced that it will field a factory team in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours – marking the first factory assault on the French classic since it took overall honors back in 1998.

Two cars, based on the latest incarnation of the Porsche 911, will be run by long-time Porsche outfit Team Manthey in the GTE class of the World Endurance Championship next year – which will include a run in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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12/04/12
irl

IMS willing to adjust Indy 500 schedule if Tony Stewart wants in
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are willing to adjust the Indianapolis 500’s schedule if Tony Stewart -- or any other NASCAR high-profile driver -- is interested in participating in both Memorial Day weekend races.

The issue of the 500’s starting time is again front and center now that Roger Penske has publicly invited Stewart to drive one of his team’s cars at Indy. Penske made the comment at Friday’s NASCAR awards ceremony in Las Vegas, then reiterated that he’s serious about it.

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12/04/12
nassprint

Davis Buys No. 30 Sprint Cup Operation
A new NASCAR team, Swan Racing, will take the track at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February 2013.
Led by NASCAR’s newest team owner, Brandon Davis, Swan Racing will compete fulltime in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, fielding the No. 30 Toyota driven by David Stremme.

Davis, CEO of independent oil and gas company Swan Energy Inc., and a dirt-modified driver in the United States Modified Touring Series, purchased the assets of Inception Racing earlier this year.

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12/04/12
automotive

Tesla was cash flow positive last week, CEO Musk says
Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric vehicles led by billionaire Elon Musk, was cash flow positive last week, the CEO said Monday in a posting on Twitter.

"Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week," Musk, 41, wrote in the message to his more than 112,000 followers. "Continued improvement expected through year end." Musk’s message, which was re-posted more than 500 times by Twitter users, provided no additional information.

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12/04/12
irl
nassprint

IndyCar drivers like idea of NASCAR's Tony Stewart in Indy 500
If NASCAR's Tony Stewart accepts Roger Penske's offer to drive in next year's Indianapolis 500, that would be fine by some IndyCar drivers.

"That would be awesome. I hope he does it," Will Power, one of Penske's regular IndyCar series drivers, said Tuesday during a break in testing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Penske, whose cars have won a record 15 Indy 500s, made the offer at NASCAR's season-ending banquet last week.

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12/04/12
irl
nassprint

Penske's Indy 500 offer drawing interest
Roger Penske is crafty, and he loves IndyCar, so he managed to turn the talk to his beloved Indianapolis 500 before the Sprint Cup Awards banquet Friday night was over by offering three-time NASCAR champion #14-Tony Stewart the chance to drive for him next May. Although Stewart has yet to publicly respond to Penske's offer, Indianapolis Motor Speedway started an online petition where fans can encourage the two-time Brickyard 400 winner to accept the ride.

Should Stewart pass, drivers were using Twitter on Monday to inform Penske they wanted the seat. Among them were Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Kyle Larson, Conor Daly, who spent this year in Formula One support series GP3, and NASCAR driver #55-Brian Vickers, who tried to put together an Indy 500 deal last May but was stymied by IndyCar's engine shortage.

"I'm serious about Indy. Would do it in a heartbeat, was not just tweeting to be funny," Vickers said Monday. And broadcast partner ABC seemed amenable to discussions with IMS about moving up the start time of the 500 to accommodate Stewart (or Vickers or Casey Mears or AJ Allmendinger or Danica Patrick or Sam Hornish Jr. - because there's a list of NASCAR drivers with open-wheel experience who could theoretically now be thinking about trying to run both the IndyCar race and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600).

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12/04/12
nassprint
irl

Auto Racing falling out of favor with Americans?
What do auto racing, soccer, tennis and golf have in common? All received less than 5 percent in a recent poll asking Americans to name their favorite sport. A Rasmussen Reports poll released Sunday found that football, not surprisingly, was far and away the national pastime in the United States (53 percent said it was their No. 1 sport to follow). Baseball was a distant second with 16 percent. Basketball (11 percent) and hockey (6 percent) were next, but none of the other sports reached the 5 percent mark. The poll did not specifically name the percentage for auto racing but mentioned it along with soccer, golf and tennis.  SB Nation  Have race fans become tired of NASCAR's over saturation of the market with NASCAR everywhere you turn - a major turnoff.

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12/04/12
nassprint
irl

Keselowski earned over $12M, 29 drivers over $1M
Broken down into three sub-categories it was $6.2 million in race winnings, $150,000 in “special prizes,” and series sponsor, Sprint, topped it up with a bonus of over $5.7 million. Keselowski won five races.

Yet the 28-year old driver’s take wasn’t a record and it was less than the $12,671,071 take by Tony Stewart last year. And, of course, Stewart, as an owner, did not have to split that purse with anyone.

Five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, who finished third in the standings, was second in earnings with a total of $10,469,426. Of that his race winnings of $8,129,639.00 was the most of all drivers this year. He tied Keselowski and Denny Hamlin for the most wins, five. Also he had four poles tying him at Kasey Kahne, who also had four poles.

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12/04/12
irl

Focus forward to 2013, Power says, at Chevy test
Eleven weeks had passed since Will Power left his crippled race car and broken heart in a garage at Auto Club Speedway.

The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car fell three points shy of securing his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship after the combination of a crash in the season finale and a fourth-place finish by his title rival gave the crown to Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.

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12/04/12
irl

New buzz around IndyCar Series and a possible new oval on the way
The IndyCar Series has had a pretty bumpy ride over the last few years with a dwindling fan base, low TV ratings, the death of rising star Dan Wheldon and more recently, a management fiasco. But IndyCar may be turning the corner.

There's a new buzz around IndyCar now, starting with team owner Roger Penske offering Tony “Smoke” Stewart a ride in next year's Indy 500.

“It's a great buzz and of course when you get someone like Roger Penske offering someone a ride it gets a lot of people's attention,” said Belskus.

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12/04/12
Racing news

Former Toyota Atlantic driver and 'Malcolm in the Middle' star Frankie Muniz hospitalized after stroke
Former Malcolm In The Middle star Frankie Muniz has been released from hospital after suffering from a stroke.

The 26-year-old American actor and musician is recuperating after being admitted to hospital on November 30.

Muniz, who shot to fame as a child star on the US TV hit, told fans of his stroke on Twitter.

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12/04/12
irl

Servia, Panther DRR Rejoin Forces for 2013
Oriol Servia
Panther DRR is excited to announce that veteran driver Oriol Servia will be returning to the team for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Chevrolet will continue to power the Spaniard's no. 22 car in what will be Servia's second year with the Indianapolis-based team.

Panther DRR welcomes the consistency and is poised to build on the momentum created during 2012. After a switch to Chevrolet engines at the beginning of May, the team quickly showed what it was capable of with a fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500. Servia followed up that performance by recording Top 5 finishes on the street courses of Detroit and Toronto and the short oval of Milwaukee, proving his versatility. Over the course of the season, Servia charged through the field to pass a record 107 cars.

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12/04/12
f1

Racer Magazine's top-10 F1 drivers of 2012 UPDATE Changed title from Autosport Top-10 to Racer Magazine Top-10.

12/04/12
Fernando Alonso - F1's best
1 Fernando Alonso
2 Lewis Hamilton
3 Sebastian Vettel
4 Nico Hulkenberg
5 Kimi Raikkonen
6 Jenson Button
7 Mark Webber
8 Daniel Ricciardo
9 Sergio Perez
10 Pastor Maldonado

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12/04/12
track news

DIS Renovations Could Include Replacing 53-Year-Old Grandstands
Some Daytona grandstands are from 1959
The 53-year-old grandstands, restrooms and other fan areas of Daytona Int'l Speedway “appear destined for demolition as the Speedway moves forward on a planned major renovation and expansion of its entertainment complex,” according to Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. Documents from the St. Johns River Water Management District note that the “frontstretch grandstands -- built when the Speedway opened in 1959 -- would be ‘removed and reconstructed.’"

The plans “spell out a reconstruction project for 108 acres along International Speedway Boulevard to revamp the way rainfall is managed and improve the treatment of stormwater.” The documents also “note new fan entrance areas, parking spaces along the grandstands, and other changes, including the grandstand demolition and replacement, which would be spaced over several years.”

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12/04/12
irl

IndyCar Series Starting To See Some Positive Signs Amid Turbulent Offseason
Thursday's celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Izod IndyCar Series championship “will be a welcome respite from the controversy that's engulfed the series since the season ended in September,” according to Jenna Fryer of the AP. IndyCar's management has been “nothing short of a disaster since the season ended with the Hulman & Co. board of directors stumbling along until CEO Randy Bernard was let go” in late October.

That prompted team owner Roger Penske to call into question the BOD's "credibility over the Bernard firing," while fans were "threatening to never watch another race again." However, Penske last week generated "some positive press" for the series when he offered a ride in the '13 Indianapolis 500 to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

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12/04/12
track news

Toyota Signs On To Title Sponsor Spring NASCAR Races At Richmond Int'l Raceway
Toyota has signed on to title sponsor Richmond Int'l Raceway's spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races (April 26-27). The races will be known as the Toyota Owners 400 (Sprint Cup), which will celebrate the company's car owners, and the Toyota Care 250 (Nationwide), which will focus on its auto service departments. The company has done midway display activation at Richmond in the past and was the official pace car of the track in '12.

RIR President Dennis Bickmeier said, "This takes it to another level. This central Atlantic region is an important one for Toyota. There is local buy-in from the dealers and region, as well." The company also co-sponsors the Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma in June. Bickmeier said that Richmond and Toyota have talked about activation plans, but those will not be developed until next year. Ford, Chevrolet and other auto manufacturers can still buy display space at Richmond before races. RIR's spring Sprint Cup race was previously title-sponsored by Federated Auto Parts in '12, Wonderful Pistachios in '11, Air Guard in '10 and Chevrolet from '00-09 (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

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12/04/12
wec

HVM and Status team up for WEC
HVM Racing and Status Grand Prix are teaming up to field a joint entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship sports car series in 2013, officials from both teams announced Dec. 4.

HVM and Status GP will combine their technical and commercial resources and strong road-racing pedigrees to run a Lola Coupe in the LMP2 class of the eight-round WEC, which comprises the Le Mans 24 Hours and six-hour races in Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Middle East.

The team will operate from both HVM’s base in Indianapolis and Status GP’s headquarters near the famed Silverstone circuit in England, continuing to develop the Lola LMP2 design that earned a pole in the final WEC race of 2012, at Shanghai.

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12/04/12
nassprint

Furniture Row Racing to Establish Own Over-The-Wall Crew
Kurt Busch spins his Furniture Row Chevy at Martinsville
Furniture Row Racing has taken another major step in a continuing effort to strengthen its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.

The Denver-based organization, which showcases the No. 78 Chevrolet driven by 24-time Cup winner Kurt Busch, announced today that it will develop, train and oversee its own over-the-wall pit crew starting with the 2013 season.

Furniture Row Racing has been utilizing over-the-wall crews employed and trained by other NASCAR teams, most recently with crewmen from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

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12/04/12
starmazda

Star Mazda Series may be terminal? UPDATE Hearing the series is not terminal and that they have several potential buyers and will be making further announcements later this week.

12/04/12
Gary Rodrigues  put out this letter to Star Mazda Championship teams, drivers, sponsors and partners today.

Re:  Series Announcement

Dear Friends,

After 22 years of growth and a proud record of helping young motor racing talent build careers in the racing industry, we regret to advise you the Star Mazda Championship will not continue into the 2013 racing season under its present ownership.

It has unfortunately not been possible to secure sufficient support to keep the current program going. The assets of the Series are being offered to qualified buyers at market price, in the hope that a company or group will be able to marshal the resources to continue this groundbreaking program for many years to come.

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12/04/12
irl

Niche Productions & Graham Rahal and his Free Mobile App
Niche Productions is pleased to announce that for a limited time, the official Graham Rahal mobile application is available for free. Available on both the iPhone and Android, the app allows fans to connect with Rahal, view exclusive content, and keep track of his Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr activity all in one place. Event updates including races and special appearances with the Graham Rahal Foundation are also included.

“We thought this would be the perfect time to do something for the fans,” said Rahal. “Now that the word is out that I’ll be racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) beginning next season, we couldn’t think of a better way to keep people up to date and involved as we prepare for the 2013 season.”

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12/04/12
nhra

Matco Extends Deal With Brown & DSR
Matco Tools and Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) became marketing partners in 2000 and that relationship will continue in 2013 with a contract extension to serve as the primary sponsor on the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster for 2012 NHRA world champion Antron Brown.

Matco is a manufacturer and distributor of premium quality automotive equipment, tools, and tool storage for professional technicians.

“Matco Tools is pleased to continue our relationship with Antron Brown and Don Schumacher Racing,” said John Green, vice president of marketing at Matco Tools. “Our employees, distributors, and customers look to Antron and the Matco Tools’ racing team as a part of our family and we look forward to another year of high visibility generated through this racing partnership.”

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12/04/12
racing news

Finalists Named for Mario Andretti Trophy
Mario with the trophy
In one of the strongest and most diverse fields in the history of the award, 16 racers from 13 different series have been nominated for the seventh annual presentation of the Mario Andretti Trophy as the SPEED Performer of the Year.

“This might be one of the most difficult decisions to date,” said Andretti, the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship. “Every year, a few racers seem to elevate themselves above the rest, but this is a season loaded with extremely strong and passionate performances that all deserve consideration.”

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12/04/12
irl

Fuzzy's Triple Crown" To Pay Possible $1 Million Bonus
INDYCAR announced that Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka will be the major sponsor for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series "Triple Crown," featuring the Indianapolis 500, Pocono INDYCAR 400 and the MAVTV 500.

Known as the "Fuzzy's Triple Crown," the three-race oval track set will award a $1 million payout to any driver who can win all three prestigious events. A driver that wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus from Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka.

"Adding the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka name to the Triple Crown further highlights an exciting and historic Indy car racing tradition that returns to the sport in 2013 after more than two decades," said Jeff Belskus, CEO of INDYCAR. "This is a further statement about the potential that Fuzzy's sees in our sport and the $1 million award makes the 'Fuzzy's Triple Crown' another must-win prize, alongside the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship and the Indianapolis 500, for an IZOD IndyCar Series driver."

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12/04/12
autogp

2013 Auto GP car breaks cover
Photos courtesy AutoGP
In addition to the high-quality team and driver roster making it on-track at Barcelona, the Catalan track will also host the debut of the brand-new Auto GP car for 2013, featuring an highly-revamped package. The car is already traveling towards Spain after being completed at the Auto GP Italian headquarters in Passignano sul Trasimeno. The first batch of photos was also made available. The revised aerodynamics made it closer to the current F.1 car in order to optimize the air flow and increase the downforce.

The new package is set to be validated and confirmed at Barcelona, while a new steering wheel and new pedals were also implemented. The improvement in terms of lap times - according to the data from the Auto GP simulator - should be around 1.5 seconds compared to the current-generation chassis.

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12/04/12
irl

Desperate IndyCar officials encouraging Tony Stewart to compete
With the IndyCar Series losing fans in droves this past year and with many more saying they will never watch another IndyCar race again over how Randy Bernard was terminated, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are trying to encourage Tony Stewart to compete in next year’s Indianapolis 500 to hang onto the thread of a lifeline Roger Penske threw them at the NASCAR banquet in Las Vegas.

They started an online petition based on Roger Penske’s public invitation to Stewart at Friday night’s NASCAR awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

Penske said he has a car available to the Columbus, Ind., native who has won three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.

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12/04/12
f1

Billionaire Lim to Build Race Track City Bordering Singapore
Billionaire Peter Lim
Billionaire Peter Lim said he plans to build a motorsports-themed development, including a Formula One-compliant racing test track, in Malaysia’s southern-most state bordering Singapore Source: Meriton via Bloomberg.

Singapore, which hosts F1 night races in the city’s downtown, agreed in September to continue the annual Grand Prix for another five years. Neighbor Malaysia has a permanent race track at Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur for its annual F1 race, which it opens up to amateur drivers during the rest of the year. That’s a four-hour drive from Singapore.

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12/04/12
irl

Indy 500 Winning Team Owner Bryan Herta to Offer Free Online Advice
Bryan Herta
Bryan Herta is one of the most recognizable characters in American auto racing. An accomplished driver and team owner, Herta has never shied away from helping other youngsters to follow in his footsteps, as evidenced by his personal support of the Team USA Scholarship – of which he was a recipient in 1991 – as soon as he achieved professional status himself. Starting today, Herta will continue in that vein as he becomes the latest Online Instructor for the Road Racing Drivers’ Club’s acclaimed www.SAFEisFAST.com initiative.

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12/04/12
roc

Reigning champion Ogier partners Grosjean for Team France
Romain Grosjean
Team France will have a strong line-up at the 2012 Race Of Champions as reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’ Sébastien Ogier returns to defend his title alongside Formula 1 star Romain Grosjean. The French duo will team up for their home country at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium in the ROC Nations Cup on December 15 before competing for individual glory in the Race Of Champions on December 16.

Ogier has already climbed that summit, having fended off all comers to win the Race Of Champions on his ROC debut last year. In the Grand Final, he defeated Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen 2-0 to seal the ‘Champion of Champions’ title. That capped off a glorious year in which he won five World Rally Championship rallies, narrowly missing out on the title. In 2012 he switched to the Skoda Fabia S2000 in preparation for Volkswagen’s WRC arrival in 2013. First he aims to double up at ROC Bangkok.

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12/04/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Me friends with Bernie? 
    Montezemolo, Ecclestone 'will be friends again' - Briatore
  • Van der Garde waiting for Caterham's decision
  • Valencia hoping for F1 return in 2014
  • Marko on Austria GP return - 'never say never'
  • Pirelli wants 'medium-term' F1 stay
  • F1 Makes Money From Collapsed Theme Park Project In Dubai
  • Silverstone moves deal with weather better New

Montezemolo, Ecclestone 'will be friends again' - Briatore
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has kept a war of words with Luca di Montezemolo running.

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