Third Annual Motorsports Show Biggest, Best Yet The third annual International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) came to an end at 4 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, Dec. 10. And, while packing up to head home, exhibitors, attendees and show officials offered rave reviews for the hardcore racing trade show.
“There was a point on Friday when I looked at my watch and it was 10 a.m., and the next time I looked at my watch it was 4:30 p.m.,” said John Harper of Concord, N.C.-based Brown & Miller Racing Solutions. “No breaks for lunch, bathroom or anything. It was easily the busiest day I’ve had at a trade show in years. We were very impressed with the show this year. There were a lot of visitors through our booth all three days. Good, quality people from all over the country. We saw people who are really into racing who we can develop relationships with.”
Daytona 500 to start after 1 PM The Daytona 500 is expected to begin shortly after 1 p.m. ET for the third consecutive year after NASCAR’s move to earlier, more consistent start times reports scenedaily.com.
Although NASCAR has not released official start times for the 2012 season, NASCAR has set a tentative 1 p.m. start time for the 2012 season-opening race Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway.
Last year, the green flag waved at about 1:29 p.m. ET.
The race is one week later than usual as NASCAR looks to tighten up its season by a week and avoid any potential conflicts with the Super Bowl.
SPEED President Nickell Resigns Hunter Nickell, President of SPEED, is leaving the network at year’s end. During Nickell’s tenure, SPEED reached several significant milestones, adding nearly 16 million homes to its current Nielsen Household reach of 84 million homes in North America.
Nickell will finish several projects with SPEED over the next few months and continue to explore opportunities within the FOX Sports Media Group. An interim replacement will be named shortly.
"It's unfortunate that Hunter is stepping away after all that he's done for SPEED,” said FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill. “He's a man of great character, a true gentleman and he's served FOX tirelessly for many years. Speaking for everyone at FOX and News Corp., his spirit and dedication will be missed."
Sage Karam to Compete for 2012 Championship with Andretti Autosport
Andretti Autosport announced today it will welcome back driver Sage Karam for his second season in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear in 2012. Karam will drive the Star Mazda car with support from Comfort Revolution, a leading distributor and marketer of high-end sleep products.
In his debut season in the competitive Star Mazda series, Karam had a total of seven top-five finishes, including three podiums, and secured two pole positions throughout the year. In June, Karam led 93 of 98 laps around the Milwaukee Mile to record his first victory of the season. He won his second race with a 7.8-second lead at Iowa Speedway. The up-and-coming young driver ultimately finished fifth in championship points standings and received the prestigious Rookie of the Year title.
Lotus to switch to black and gold livery for its IndyCar, GP2 and G3 teams
The old John Player Lotus colors are coming to IndyCar
Lotus has announced that the teams it works with outside Formula 1 will switch to black and gold livery for 2012 to bring them in line with the grand prix squad's image.
Amid the dispute over the rights to use the Lotus name in F1 this year, Tony Fernandes' Team Lotus used traditional Lotus green and gold, while the Group Lotus-backed Renault team ran in the black and gold colors made famous when the original Lotus F1 operation had John Player sponsorship. But the Group Lotus-sponsored teams in IndyCar, GP2 and GP3 all ran in green and gold.
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar now says that for 2012 black and gold will become the standard livery for Lotus motorsport. Fernandes' renamed Caterham squad is keeping green and gold colors in F1.
Daly fast in Spain American, Conor Daly set the fastest time of the Spanish based Euro F3 Open championship cars during today's winter test session in Valencia, Spain. Driving for British based, Team West-Tec, who won the 2011 team championship, Daly completed an untroubled day other than having to deal with traffic on his final new tire run.
“This car is very different to the GP3 car and it really feels good. It’s a little frustrating to have such a good day but not see the ultimate lap time,” said Daly. “My best timed sectors during the new tire run would have put me faster than the pole position time when they raced here but I got caught up with traffic.”
“He did what we expected,” said Team West-Tec partner, John Miller. “He never put a foot wrong the whole day.”
Group Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar has signed a new four-year contact to lead the firm following a meeting with the management of Lotus’s parent company Proton last week. His previous contract had been due to expire in 2012.
“The Proton dedication to our plans has always been solid, and the decision to extend my contract a year early is a signal of that commitment,” said Bahar.
Bahar arrived at Lotus in October 2009 and spent the first year of his stay developing an ambitious five-year business plan that was presented at the 2010 Paris motor show. It included six all-new models ranging from a new city car to an Aston Martin Rapide-sized luxury sports saloon.
Joy Fair, stock car racing legend, dies Joy Fair, a Michigan native and legendary stock car driver who won numerous championships at Midwest tracks, has died, Dave DeHem, president of the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club, said Saturday. Fair was 81.
Fair, who began his racing career in 1949, competed at many tracks, including Mount Clemens and Flat Rock. He drove in several different series, including ones sanctioned by NASCAR, USAC, ASA and ARCA.
"Joy was a legend not only in Michigan but also in the entire Midwest as the driver of the school bus-yellow No. 1 car," DeHem said.
Arrangements were unknown early Saturday afternoon.
ARCA Announces 10-Race SPEED Television Schedule for 2012 Just hours before tonight's 59th annual ARCA Racing Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, ARCA held its annual end-of-season press conference. The series released its 2012 television schedule, among other announcements.
Officials from ARCA and SPEED jointly announced the 2012 SPEED television schedule for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, comprised of 10 events to be televised live or same-day delayed on the popular network. SPEED in-race analyst Phil Parsons, host for this evening's banquet, was on hand for the announcement.
SPEED will kick off its live flag-to-flag ARCA coverage at Daytona International Speedway with the 49th running of the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 18.
SpeedSource Announces Driver Lineup For Rolex 24 SpeedSource has set its driver lineup for the No. 70 MAZDASPEED RX-8 in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Joining full-season drivers Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito will be James Hinchcliffe and Marino Franchitti . Both are Mazda alums, Franchitti from the American Le Mans Series and Hinchcliffe from Formula Atlantic and Star Mazda.
Hinchcliffe competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2011, placing 12th in the final point standings. He captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award with four fourth-place finishes among seven top-10 finishes. He also finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship with three victories.
Dallara will deliver the first 15 of these hideous looking things this week
Dec. 15 will be a preview of Christmas Day with 15 IZOD IndyCar Series teams taking delivery of a corresponding number of Dallara DW12 chassis.
The second batch of the next-generation car for entrants, again totaling 15, will be ready for pick-up by Jan. 16. Team testing commences in mid-January with their aligned engine manufacturers. Open Tests will be announced soon, and the 2012 season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 25.
The universal chassis were shipped from Dallara Automobili's facility in Parma, Italy, to its temporary building in Speedway, Ind. -- across the street from its new technology center.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez: “Formula One is a completely different world”
Although he was unable to end the year as Formula 1’s best rookie, Sergio Perez impressed many as he raced for Sauber. The Mexican - who turns 22 in a fortnight’s time - shares his feelings over a season which included 14 World Championship points, a best result of seventh and the biggest crash of his career so far.
Are you happy with your rookie season? Well, I’m happy in terms of the speed I had but I’m not happy in terms of results and points. Also, because of my accident I missed two races – Monaco and Canada – in which the car and the team performed very well. After I got back into the car it still took me a few more races until I was really a hundred percent again. But, regarding my overall performance in F1, I think I can be happy with my rookie season.
SAFER barrier tethers need inspecting The Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier system currently in place at all NASCAR facilities has significantly reduced driver injuries, but the aging nylon tethers may need to be replaced soon, according to the man who developed it. Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska, said the SAFER barriers have three major components: structural steel tubing, closed-cell polystyrene foam blocks and nylon retention tethers.
The foam blocks begin to lose their effectiveness for dissipating energy after about five years, Sicking said. But the nylon tethers are also affected by the elements, particularly sunlight. And since most of the tracks installed their SAFER systems between 2003 and '04, the tethers are now in need of inspection.
"Almost all of the tracks have replaced the foam once," Sicking said. "I've informally inspected the tethers during my walks around the tracks. And the tethers are now reaching a point where they need to be looked at."
AR1.com takes you on a lap around Circuit of Americas
A lap of Circuit Of The Americas by AutoRacing1.com on rFactor in the 2011 Red Bull F1 car. No KERS, no DRS, no driving aids or traction control. A couple of little mistakes. Probably could be a half second quicker with this setup, but overall the faster lap turned by anyone to date.
It had to be written Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, It had to be written, the truth. And thank you for writing it in this article. It is indeed time to stop living the lie that IndyCar can only survive if it continues to race on oval tracks. You guys continue to be a breath of fresh air. Marvin Davis
What happened IndyCar? A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Based on these concept images, Dallara was supposed to deliver an IndyCar that was to look along these lines. How is it that we instead ended up with the most hideous looking race car in the history of the sport with the 2012 car? Look at the new Formula Nippon car designed by Swift I think. Now that 'look' is what the new IndyCar should look like. Mike, Ohio
Dear Mike, Good question. IndyCar wanted to reduce the chance of two cars interlocking wheels thereby launching a car into the air, so they added bodywork both in front and behind the rear wheels and as a result created an abomination - not only does the car handle poorly, it's slow down the straight and looks bad. One step forward and two steps back.
Remember, Dallara also designed the 2010 HRT F1 car - the slowest car on the grid by a wide margin. Instead of giving the contract to an American company like Swift or Elan/Panoz, they gave the jobs away to Italy and to a firm that designed the outgoing 'crapwagon' (as everyone called it) and ended up creating the mess they now have. It was Brian Barnhart that lobbied hard to sole-source the new IndyCar to Dallara. Amazing isn't it? Mark C.
The Audi R8 GRAND-AM successfully passed its baptism by fire. The new model was fine-tuned at the Daytona race track (U.S. state of Florida) during its final test on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ready for the North American market: The development of the next customer sport race car from Audi Sport customer racing has been completed. The car will be delivered to the first customers by January. The new Audi R8 GRAND-AM is based on the extremely successful Audi R8 LMS that has scored more than 110 victories and 13 titles. From this GT3 race car quattro GmbH developed a vehicle for the Grand Touring class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in the USA and subjected it to final testing at Daytona.
Sebastian Vettel collected the Formula 1 world champion's trophy for a second straight year at Friday's FIA Gala in New Delhi's Kingdom of Dreams.
FIA president Jean Todt presented Vettel with the award, while Bernie Ecclestone handed the constructors' trophy to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Jenson Button and Mark Webber also received their trophies for finishing second and third in the standings.
"It's great to be here in India at the FIA Gala to collect my second drivers' championship trophy," said Vettel. "I have had the trophy in my house all year and didn't want to give it back, so this means a great deal to me.
FIA ratifies 2012 rule changes Following the recent meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in New Delhi, India, the FIA has confirmed a number of Formula One rule changes for the 2012 season, most of which were already public knowledge. The FIA is clamping down on engine mapping and exhaust positioning to effectively outlaw blown diffusers. There will be tougher side impact testing and new cars must now pass all crash tests prior to on-track testing.
Following the recent meeting of its World Motor Sport Council in New Delhi, India, the FIA has confirmed a number of Formula One rule changes for the 2012 season, most of which were already public knowledge. The FIA is clamping down on engine mapping and exhaust positioning to effectively outlaw blown diffusers. There will be tougher side impact testing and new cars must now pass all crash tests prior to on-track testing.
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Changes to the 2012 Technical Regulations
- All engine standard ECU set up and control parameters, which were formerly contained only within a Technical Directive, are now contained within the relevant parts of the Technical Regulations. - The exhaust tailpipes are now strictly regulated in order to ensure that the aerodynamic effect exhaust gases have on the car is kept to an absolute minimum. - Better marking of in-car emergency switches operated by marshals are now stipulated. - The side impact structures will now have to be subjected to a further (upward) push-off test.
Ford to recall Fusions, Mercury Milans over wheel studs Ford Motor Co. said Friday it is recalling 130,000 Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans over concerns that the wheel studs could crack and cause the wheels to fall off.
The recall covers 128,616 2010 and 2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milans with 17-inch steel wheels. At least six incidents in which wheels came loose have been reported.
Ford is also recalling 2,940 steel wheels that were sold to dealers and used as replacement parts.
The Dearborn-based automaker said the steel wheel mounting pads may have been faulty and the wheel mounting face on rear brake discs may not have been attached properly.
Romain Grosjean will race alongside Kimi Räikkönen at Lotus next season – leaving Bruno Senna to look elsewhere if he wants to continue his Formula One career.
Grosjean, the 25-year-old two-times GP2 champion, competed in seven grands prix during the 2009 season – but will get a proper shot at F1 with the Enstone-based former Renault team next year, and with the 2007 world champion as his team-mate.
The announcement of the Frenchman leaves both Russian driver Vitaly Petrov and Senna hoping for other options in order to progress.
Yet Senna, who himself replaced Nick Heidfeld midway through last season, is upbeat about his situation.
As a doting father, Bernie Ecclestone supplied his elder daughter with the money to fund the recent purchase of her £45m London house. But the Formula One supremo could not bring himself to sit all the way through a single episode of the free-spending 27-year-old's recent three-part Channel 5 reality show, Tamara Ecclestone: Billion $$ Girl.
"I watched one of them," he says with a despairing sigh. "I don't know if it was the first or the second. Not all of it."
He frowns at the memory of what he saw, and explains how Tamara had ignored his advice. "I told her: 'If you portray yourself really as you are, it's wonderful. But they aren't going to let you. They're going to wind you up, for sure. There'll be things you'd rather they didn't show that they'll show, and all the things you'd rather they showed, they won't. Because that's the sort of show it is.' I said: 'You don't need the money. I don't see a lot of reason for it.' But I think she got talked into it. She believed the show was going to be about Tamara in normal life."
Interview with Renault's Romain Grosjean Romain Grosjean will make his F1 return with Lotus Renault GP next season, having signed a deal to join Kimi Raikkonen at the squad. The 2011 GP2 Champion talks about his experiences in the sport so far, what it will be like to race alongside a former title winner again and how well he expects to fair throughout the campaign...
Romain Grosjean, Formula 1 race driver for 2012 - how does that sound?
A Formula 1 driver! Wow! It’s a dream come true. It’s difficult to find the right words to describe what I feel. It’s quite simply fantastic and I can’t wait to be at the start of the Australian Grand Prix on 18th March next year!
When you heard you were to drive FP1 in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, you described it as feeling like a child at Christmas - this must be a whole new level of excitement?
When I got back into the car two years afterwards, I compared that sensation to the way a child feels on Christmas Day. Now that I’ve got the seat for next year I still have difficulty expressing everything I feel. It’s a bit like a flame that been lit inside me that’s growing in intensity. I know it’s going to make me feel happy every day and I’m fully aware of the chance I’ve been given to get back into Formula 1 - it’s extraordinary!
F1 Nose camera tweaks for 2012 season Formula 1 teams will be more restricted in terms of how much they can exploit the positioning of nosecone cameras in 2012, with a ‘minimum standard’ being outlined.
Lotus Renault GP Technical Director James Allison believes that outfits up and down the pit lane have been using the placement of these mounted cameras to improve overall downforce levels, but it has come at the cost of television footage.
"Recent seasons have seen the FOM nose cameras located in a manner clearly aimed at promoting the performance of the front wing rather than to deliver effective TV pictures," he explained. "A new article (20.3.4) has been introduced to ensure a minimum standard for the field of view of any nose mounted camera.
"A similar minor change is made to the roll hoop camera location to ensure that a clear picture is not sacrificed on the altar of downforce."
Jay Leno puts 10,000 miles on his Chevy Volt America's favorite and funniest car buff JAY LENO surprised automotive enthusiasts gathered at the LA Auto Show when he drove his Chevy Volt on stage to celebrate 10,000 miles on the electric grid. Jay has yet to use the original tank of gas from when he bought the vehicle last year!
Unfortunately Conor Daly won't have the best indication of the difference between a GP3 race-car and a (top) F3 race-car run by top F3 Euroseries race-team. With all due respect to West-Tec, but they are not......
The Euro F3 Open is definitely NOT the F3 Euroseries but a Spanish F3 series. Its run in conjunction with the Spanish Open GT series. Although its Spain based, both series are run throughout Europe (see the detail below.)
Chevrolet’s IndyCar Return Means New Engines For Future Passenger Cars With 2012 just around the corner now, Chevrolet is hyping up its return to IndyCar where they haven’t been racing for six years. Their return also means the development of a new engine for the racing series, where they hope to take what they learn on the track and apply it to their passenger vehicles.
Their upcoming IndyCar campaign will be powered by a brand new, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 powerplant that runs on renewable E85 ethanol fuel. The excitement and buzz surrounding the program couldn’t be more optimistic, as Chevrolet hopes to transfer a lot of that technology to the street in their upcoming production models.
Webb joins Schmidt for Firestone Indy Lights Twenty-year-old Oliver Webb has signed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, the reigning Firestone Indy Lights entrant champion, for the 2012 season.
The Knutsford, England, native comes to the Firestone Indy Lights series after competing in the World Series by Renault in 2011 for Pons Racing. He also made four Firestone Indy Lights starts throughout the 2011 season with Jensen MotorSport, scoring his first podium in Edmonton when he finished third in his series debut.
"The decision to move to the U.S. for Indy Lights was a tough one to make," Webb said. "However, the efforts of Sam Schmidt and the team made it much easier. We have been in contact with Sam for a couple of years now, and after securing a podium in my Indy Lights debut, I was keen to have a full test program with Sam and the guys. I completed a two-day test and very quickly decided it was the right move for my career toward the top end of motorsport. I look forward to challenging for the 2012 title with SSM."
Anderson to race in USF2000 with Belardi Auto Racing 2011 Skip Barber National Series champion Scott Anderson will join Belardi Auto Racing's USF2000 team for the 2012 season.
"I feel like the team I signed with needed to be as motivated as I am to win, and I just think that out of all the teams I spoke with and tested with Belardi is the most motivated of them all," he said. "Had it not been for the scholarship through the MAZDA program, I would probably still be struggling to find funding for next season. I'm very thankful I was able to have the option of joining such a strong team (because of the scholarship money). "
Anderson, a Colorado native, began his career racing karts. He spent five years karting until he moved on to Skip Barber Racing regional series in 2009. During his first year in the Skip Barber series, Anderson drove in the Western Series where he finished third in the championship and claimed the Rookie of the Year.
INDYCAR expands technical staff Daniel Louks, who had been an assistant engineer for the No. 5 KV Racing Technology-Lotus driven by Takuma Sato, has joined the sanctioning body as an engine support engineer.
He'll be tasked with checking engine manufacturer compliance with the series' rules and ECU status among other duties. Louks also will oversee the application of a torque sensor new for the 2012 season, which will keep track of power levels between the three engine manufacturers.
More honors for Franchitti, Power, Newgarden IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti, Will Power and Firestone Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden have been selected to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters All-American Team.
Franchitti, who won his third consecutive championship for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Power, the series' runner-up, were selected as the open-wheel drivers, while Newgarden was selected as an at-large entry.
Bryan Clauson, who competed in Firestone Indy Lights events, was honored in the short-track category.
The full team, and the winner of the Jerry Titus Award, will be honored Jan. 8 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis.
Darian Grubb joins Joe Gibbs Racing Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Darian Grubb has been named crew chief for its #11 FedEx Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. "Darian is a great addition to our organization and person to lead our #11 FedEx team," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Obviously he has proven the ability to guide a team to a championship and we are excited to have him working with Denny (Hamlin) toward achieving that goal here at Joe Gibbs Racing."
Grubb is coming off an impressive championship run with driver Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing which included winning five of the 10 Chase races en route to capturing the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. He spent the past three seasons as crew chief for Stewart on the No. 14 car after the driver left JGR to start his own race operation. Prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Grubb spent six years with Hendrick Motorsports; rising through the organization's engineering ranks and gaining invaluable crew chief experience.
"I'm thrilled to join Joe Gibbs Racing," said Grubb. "The chance to work with Denny is something I'm excited about. When you sit down with Joe and J.D. Gibbs you can't help but be excited about this opportunity and the team aspects of JGR. There is no question about the level of support you get here and I'm looking forward to working with everyone across the entire organization." Joe Gibbs Racing
Lotus Renault GP team boss Eric Boullier believes that Romain Grosjean will play an important role in helping the outfit move back towards the front of the Formula 1 grid, with the Frenchman being revealed as the squad’s second driver for 2012.
The news comes soon after 2007 Champion Kimi Räikkönen announced his decision to join Renault, meaning the team will compete with a brand new driver line-up for the upcoming campaign.
"I’m delighted that Romain Grosjean will side Kimi next year," said Boullier. "Romain has shown a lot of maturity in the past 12 months both through his GP2 Series victory and his development as third driver with us.
"We were impressed when he drove for us in first practice in Abu Dhabi and Brazil. We are confident that drafting him in to one of our seats will help us in our rebuilding process. I would like to thank Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna for their contribution to the team’s performance this year and I wish them all the best for the future."
Launch of 2012 Singapore Grand Prix tickets Monday
65,000 general admission tickets for the 2012 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will officially be released for sale from December 12, 2011. This is in addition to 10,000 Paddock Club and hospitality suite tickets that were released earlier this month. As in previous years, general admission tickets will be released across two phases: the early-bird phase (12 December 2011 to 30 April 2012), as well as the regular phase (from 1 May 2012).
This year, fans can look forward to new schemes and improved initiatives, which offer more savings for the fifth installment of the street race held on 21, 22 and 23 September. Over 98% of the tickets on offer are priced the same or lower than 2011.
Malvern and Slaghekke to join F2 test in Barcelona 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Champion of Great Britain Scott Malvern and runner-up Jeroen Slaghekke will take part in official Formula Two winter testing next week after being awarded a prize test to join the two day session in Barcelona.
Two-time McLaren Autosport BRDC Award Finalist Malvern claimed this year's prestigious Formula Ford title by winning a record 18 of the 24 rounds - 13 of them consecutively. Meanwhile, 19-year-old Dutchman Slaghekke secured second spot with three wins and a further 12 podiums.
The Race Drivers Fitness Program Friday (Today) "Racecar Driver Fitness" will be presented by Jim Leo tomorrow at the IMIS show, 12-1pm, room 132. Drivers receive a free 30 page training manual and special guest is World of Outlaw and Kasey Kahne Racing driver Joey Saldana!
Hendrick NASCAR's most valuable team During the past month, Rick Hendrick has been in a plane crash and seen the end of his NASCAR team’s five-year reign as Sprint Cup champion. Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing.
Despite those setbacks, Hendrick remains optimistic. And ready for a new racing season in 2012.
A look at the Hendrick Motorsports portfolio offers ample cause for optimism. Even as Hendrick nurses four broken ribs and a broken clavicle at home in Charlotte, his driver line-up gets stronger. In addition to his three returning Chase For The Sprint Cup qualifiers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and the recently dethroned champion, Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick adds 12-time Sprint Cup race winner Kasey Kahne next season.
IndyCar joins Super Bowl celebration IndyCar is revving up the engines to be part of the big show surrounding Indianapolis' Super Bowl.
Most Hoosiers are familiar with the iconic sights and sounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Now, thanks to a special program Super Bowl weekend called "Super Cars," more than 150,000 football fans visiting central Indiana will get to see 36 specially-painted IndyCars up close.
"We're taking something very Indianapolis and we are kind of re-branding it for each football franchise, so no matter who you cheer for, this will make for a great photo op while you are in town for the Super Bowl," said Jeff Robinson, Super Bowl Host Committee.
Watkins retires from FIA Professor Sid Watkins has retired from his role as president of the FIA Institute. The former Formula 1 doctor was made president of the organization when it was formed, but has stepped down in favor of former deputy president Gerard Saillant. Garry Connelly takes on Saillant's old position.
Watkins will remain involved with the institute as honorary president.
"It has been an honor and a great pleasure to lead the Institute since its establishment," said Watkins. "I am very proud of our achievements and our plans for the future, both in terms of motorsport safety and sustainability. I look forward to continue making a modest contribution to these in my new capacity as honorary president."
Gaughan to Compete in Limited Schedule for RCR Veteran NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan will compete in 10 races on the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 33 Chevrolet Impala, and in eight races on the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, driving RCR's No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado.
Gaughan, 36, is the 2002 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year and competed fulltime in the Nationwide Series in 2009 and 2010, earning one pole and 17 top-10 finishes in 71 career starts. He finished ninth in the 2009 driver championship point standings and 11th in 2010. The two-time NASCAR Camping World Series West champion (2000-2001) has also earned eight victories and 63 top-10 finishes in 187 Truck Series starts, finishing 12th in the 2011 driver championship point standings. Gaughan was also part of the five-driver lineup that won the GT3 division of the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.
IMSA Partners with Indy-Based GRand Solutions International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) executives announced today they have forged a strategic partnership with Indianapolis-based GRand Solutions, a sports management and consulting firm, in an effort to raise awareness and strengthen its three developmental series – the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin.
Founded in 1969, IMSA currently sanctions five popular road-racing series. The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites and two GT3 Cup Challenge series compete throughout North America and are designed to prepare drivers and teams for competition in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n – another IMSA-sanctioned championship.
IndyCar cancels 2012 Vegas finale INDYCAR announced today that the IZOD IndyCar Series will not race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2012.
The series was scheduled to close its 2012 season at the speedway on Oct. 14, but INDYCAR and speedway officials said considerable testing with the new car is needed prior to returning to the facility.
"We feel we need to give our technical team ample time to conduct thorough testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, once we complete our ongoing investigation into the 15-car accident during the Oct. 16 race at the track," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR.
With the completion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) wrapped up the 2011 racing season. Overall, CGR teams claimed 11 victories across the three major touring series in which they compete (NSCS, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series), highlighted by the organization’s 13th and 14th overall Championships.
Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon teamed for a third season as Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers, and they quickly picked up where they left off in 2010. Franchitti drove to his third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series Championship with four overall wins, while Dixon posted two wins and a third-place finish in the championship standings. It marked the third consecutive season that both Franchitti and Dixon finished inside the top-three in the championship standings. With the title, Team Target has now captured four consecutive IZOD IndyCar Championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and nine open wheel championships (including 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003). The result not only gave Franchitti his fourth career title, but his fourth consecutive Championship, as he spent the 2008 season in NASCAR driving for Chip Ganassi. TCGR led in 12 of 16 races on the IZOD IndyCar Series season, leading 1,074 of 2,111 laps (51%).
Elmhurst, Ill. native and 1965 Daytona 500 winner, Fred Lorenzen was honored by the Illinois General Assembly today at Chicagoland Speedway for his accomplishments as a NASCAR driver between 1958-1972.
“Fred Lorenzen was an icon of NASCAR and the racing world,” Illinois State Representative, Dennis Reboletti said. “He is an Illinois sports legend and we recognize him for his lifetime of accomplishments.”
“Fred Lorenzen is a true NASCAR and Illinois sports legend, and we’re thrilled to be a part of today’s presentation honoring his accomplishments,” said Scott Paddock, Chicagoland Speedway president. “Fred was one of the first pioneers of NASCAR and his contributions have helped to make it the great sport that is today.”
Red Bull Racing closes today Red Bull Racing's five-year run as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team will come to an end today, when the last of approximately 150 employees will be laid off and the competition shop shut down, presumably for good. After 284 Sprint Cup starts, over 106,000 competitive laps and two victories, the team informed its remaining employees this week that Thursday will be the final day of operation. A memo was distributed by the team's Human Resources Manager outlining severance procedures and establishing a schedule for exit interviews. After a brief team meeting &. the team will raffle off sheet metal, mementos and photos that have hung at the Red Bull shop and distribute cases of Red Bull to departing employees. "We know it will be a difficult day for everyone," said the memo, "as a large number of employees will be exiting the facility." Sirius Speedway
Team Lotus (Caterham) Confirms John Iley Appointment Team Lotus has today confirmed that John Iley, one of the leading aerodynamicists in global motorsport, has joined the team as Performance Director, heading up all aerodynamics, CFD and related activity for the team and reforming the successful partnership he previously enjoyed with Mike Gascoyne at Jordan and Renault F1.
John joins from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes where he was Head of Aerodynamics and will start with the team, which will be running as Caterham F1 Team from December 14th 2011, in June 2012. A graduate of Imperial College, London, John made his start in motor racing with Brun Technics, a British design office working for the Eurobrun F1 team and worked on the design of the Brun-Judd C91 sports car during 1990. Early in 1991 he was hired to be the aerodynamicist on the Allard J2X sports car and then joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1995 as an aerodynamicist. By 1998 Mike Gascoyne had also joined Jordan and promoted John to Chief Aerodynamicist where they worked together on the team’s most successful F1 chassis before he and Mike moved to Renault F1 in 2002. From there he moved to Ferrari and finally McLaren before making the move to Caterham F1 Team in 2012.
The American made Panoz DP01 Champ Cars are now in Europe running in the Superleague series. Instead of blowing money on the new IndyCar chassis that has diabolical handling and is the ugliest race car ever built, IndyCar should have had Elan produce an updated version of this car
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, With all the concern in regards to looks, appeal, performance and additional costs of the new IndyCar, a question needs to be raised as unpopular as it may seem: where are all the Champ Car Panoz DP01s? how quickly would it be to adapt the new engines to this chassis to create the performance parameters desired? Just a thought. Larry Mayor
Dear Larry, Unfortunately most are over in Europe running in the Superleague Series with a screaming 750 HP V12 nestled behind the driver. Most agree it's a beautiful car and let's not forget that it went around Laguna Seca faster than a Toyota F1 car. Some probably remain in mothballs here.
Ironically that car was designed and built right here in the USA by Elan technologies instead what IndyCar did - they had a foreign company (Dallara - Italy) design and build the new IndyCar, sending money and jobs abroad. This from a company that says it wants more American participation. Mark C.
FOTA alliance crumbles as Sauber, Toro Rosso depart (GMM) The teams alliance FOTA looks set to dwindle to just seven members, as Sauber confirms it is pulling out amid speculation Toro Rosso will shortly follow.
With HRT already a non-member, the latest development follows last week's news that the biggest-budget Ferrari and Red Bull teams had pulled out.
International media reports quoted official spokespeople for Swiss based team Sauber as confirming that notice has been given to FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh.
"The reasons were communicated to the teams of the association, but they will not be made public," Germany's Sport1 reported, citing a team official.
Roush Yates partners to improve engine productions capability Roush Yates Performance Engine Group today announced it has partnered with Rottler Manufacturing of Kent, Wash., in a program that will provide better machining capabilities for all engine blocks manufactured internally for Roush Yates' grass roots racing engine customers.
According to Roush Yates Performance Engine Group general manager Jon Giles, Rottler was specifically sought out due to numerous advancements offered by the Rottler F69A, a programmable and automatic machining center. The unit features dual operating systems. The first (the Rottler System) is for easy programming of common jobs, while a second CAD/CAM system is for advanced CNC programming for making parts, engraving names, and much more.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Announces New Driver for 2012
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) announced today the signing of 20-year old All-American Nashville, TN native, Josef Newgarden, to pilot the No. 67 entry for SFHR in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar ® Series season. Newgarden competed in the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2011, capturing five wins and ten podium finishes, clinching the series points championship with one race remaining in the season.
"First of all, I'd like to thank Andy, Sarah, and Wink for providing me with this opportunity," said Newgarden. "It's a perfect fit. SFHR and myself have a lot of the same qualities, and I'm really looking forward to working with everyone throughout the year. I'm sure we're going to have great chemistry, and I'm excited to get 2012 rolling."
Daytona Rolex Series Testing Day Two Spirit of Daytona, SunTrust Racing and Action Express Racing continued to work with the new Corvette Daytona Prototypes Wednesday as a two-day GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series test concluded in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for Jan. 28-29, 2012.
The four Corvette DPs showed steady improvement throughout the test, with some posting their fastest laps in the final hour. Darren Law ran an unofficial lap of 1:41.687 in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP co-driven by David Donohue, followed by the No. 9 Action Express entry of Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France, the No. 10 SunTrust DP of Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor, and Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP.
Even in a tough economy, the fact that Matt Kenseth is riding into the off-season with a blank quarter-panel is a mystery. With Crown Royal's last sponsorship dollars having been poured from the glass, Kenseth's #17 Roush Fenway Racing team is looking toward 2012 from a rather lonely position. The team does not have a major sponsor for next season, and time is rapidly running out. Kenseth said he remains hopeful that his Fords will carry major sponsorship when the team reports to Daytona International Speedway in February. "I think they'll find something," he said. "I think we have too competitive of a team to be unsponsored. From my standpoint, it's frustrating because I don't know how the whole process works. But, from a driver standpoint, if you perform well and don't act like an idiot too much, things are good. SPEED
Porsche launches GT3 Cup challenge for 2012 Porsche has announced details of its GT3 Cup Challenge for 2012, which will have a new six weekend, 12 race calendar and culminate in a season finale alongside the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship - and supporting the British Touring Car Championship - at Silverstone on October 6/7.
Open to any 911 GT3 Cup race car from the 2009 model year or earlier, the series is designed to be a perfect stepping stone for drivers aiming to move up to the Carrera Cup GB in subsequent seasons. It is also ideally suited to younger racers with some sponsorship backing, as well as competitors graduating from track days. The series is open to drivers with a National B race license.
The FIA Formula Two Championship is delighted to announce its superb calendar for the 2012 season, which will once again be dominated by current Formula One circuits, including a maiden visit to the Hungaroring near Budapest in September.
Following a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council today (Wednesday 7 December), the calendar for the championship's fourth season was formally approved. The series will again be contested over eight double headers (16 races) - all taking place on current, former or testing F1 circuits.
House panel to hold hearing on Volt A House panel will hold a hearing next month on the Chevrolet Volt and the Obama administration's investigation into fire risks in the extended-range electric vehicle.
The announcement came as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday he believes the Volt is safe. He denied that the government withheld news of a fire in a crash-test vehicle to protect Detroit-based General Motors Co.
"I believe the Volt is safe to drive," LaHood told reporters after testifying before lawmakers on an unrelated matter.
Ford denies authorizing search for Mulally successor Ford Motor Co. is denying a Wall Street Journal report suggesting a search has been authorized to find a replacement for CEO Alan Mulally, who is expected to step down in the next couple of years.
"The story is false," said Ford spokeswoman Karen Hampton, confirming the board has not sanctioned any external searches for candidates, nor has any outside agency been hired to seek candidates.
Mulally, as a guest on the "Fox and Friends" morning show Tuesday, said, "There's always going to be speculation about succession plans but it's absolutely not true."
FIA announces F1 tweaks Changes for F1 announced by the FIA were:
Confirmation of the requirement for exhausts to exit out of the upper rear bodywork "in order to ensure that the aerodynamic effect exhaust gases have on the car is kept to an absolute minimum" - a ban on the downforce-boosting technology known as "exhaust-blown diffusers" which has dominated development in the last two seasons
The re-introduction of one three-day in-season test
A reduction in the maximum race time, in the event of a grand prix being suspended after the start, to four hours from eight. The maximum racing time is still two hours.
A change to the safety-car rules which will allow all lapped cars to un-lap themselves before a re-start.
Taking shortcuts during practice or qualifying, for example to save fuel, has been banned
A new exciting event at LeMans - The ACO Festival The 2012 season on the Le Mans circuits will consist of fourteen meetings! The year will be marked by a new highlight – the ACO Festival!
Once again the motorbike riders will kick off the season in 2012 on the Le Mans circuits with the French Superbike Championship, and the kart drivers will have the honor of bringing down the curtain in the home of French motor sport with a round of the French 125 Kart Championship for Karts with Gearboxes.
The high point of the year will obviously be the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours (16th – 17th June), the blue riband event of the new FIA World Endurance Championship, two weeks after the test day (3rd June).
Hinchcliffe was surprised by Neman/Haas announcement Izod IndyCar Series rookie of the year James Hinchcliffe said he was surprised to learn of Newman/Haas Racing's decision late last week to close its doors.
“My immediate reaction was shock, for sure,” Hinchcliffe said in a statement released on Tuesday by his management company. “I obviously was somewhat aware of the fact that the team had recently received some bad news about potential sponsors, but it's Newman/Haas.”
“You just sort of always assume that they will find a way to make it work,” Hinchcliffe said. “The new cars had been ordered and the engineers were into their preparation. So for sure it was a shock.”
Pattie hired as Bowyer's crew chief at MWR Michael Waltrip Racing announced Monday that Brian Pattie will serve as crew chief for Clint Bowyer's No.15 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry in next year's Sprint Cup Series.
"Brian is someone who has been on our radar for a very long time," said Waltrip. "He brings a strong technical background, along with great leadership and Chase experience. We have high hopes for Brian, Clint and the 5-hour Energy team heading into 2012 and we think this is the perfect mix of talent, experience and leadership."
Bridgestones airless tire (above) is one step improved over Michelin's Tweel (top) tire they prototyped in 2005
Although it'd be unfair to say that tires are one of the more old-fashioned aspects of your modern car - since tire manufacturers spend millions constantly developing them - they do have their flaws.
Your typical pneumatic tire is liable to suffer punctures, which can either be inconvenient or downright dangerous depending on where and when one happens.
A tire that relies on air then is a flawed concept - but what if you could remove air from the equation?
Bridgestone has been working on just that, and has announced the development of the non-pneumatic (airless) concept tire. Not only will you finally be free of punctures, but the company also says the tire is more environmentally friendly than the regular black rings of rubber.
An added challenge for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in 2012 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will have a bigger on track presence in the American Le Mans Series next season with the team fielding a LMP Challenge class entry alongside its LMP1 program, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Drivers Memo Gidley and Mike Guasch, who both are based locally, near the team's Benicia headquarters, will lead the team's effort in the Challenge class, which features the Michelin-clad ORECA-Courage FLM09 prototype.
The team's expansion is the next step in its plans of growing and building a successful racing business. For the first time in its history, it will enter two cars in the series, after fielding a single entry in what were two successful full seasons in the ALMS the last couple of years.
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