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DATE News (chronologically)
12/11/14
f1

Ecclestone Says F1 Governors Handed Power To Top Teams For $40 Million
Ecclestone says the FIA sold the farm for $40 million so the insane can run the asylum
Formula One's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that auto racing's governing body accepted $40 million in return for setting up a new body which gives six leading teams a say in key decisions.

The revelation was made in a media briefing by Mr. Ecclestone to sports reporters at F1's headquarters in London on Thursday. Forbes was also in attendance and will present below the first part of the almost verbatim transcript from the meeting with the second section soon to follow.

Mr. Ecclestone's revelation concerns the Strategy Group, a controversial rule-making structure which first met in October last year. It comprises the F1 Group, which is run by Mr. Ecclestone, governing body the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and six leading teams. In 2014 they were Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Williams and Lotus. Giving the participants more say should be applauded but instead it has attracted criticism from the teams which are not members of the group.

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12/11/14
f1

Ecclestone: Woman can be next F1 boss
Sacha Woodward-Hill
Bernie Ecclestone believes one of his most trusted female aides could succeed him as Formula One supremo, almost a decade on from suggesting a woman's place was in the kitchen rather than a race track.

Sacha Woodward-Hill is a name relatively unknown to those outside of Ecclestone's plush Knightsbridge offices from where many of his deals have been done over the years.

But as chief legal officer, she has steered the 84-year-old Ecclestone through numerous trouble spots and court cases, including his bribery trial in Munich earlier this year.

Asked directly about Woodward-Hill at an end-of-season briefing, Ecclestone said: "Perhaps if I controlled the board I would probably say it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a woman being the chief executive.

"If I died there are enough people in the company who could continue running it, the way we have set things up."

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12/11/14
wsr

Formula Renault 3.5 inks new Monaco event deal
The Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) and Renault have signed a new three-year deal which ensures the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship will continue support the Monaco Grand Prix.

As the curtain raiser for the F1 Grand Prix, since its inception, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series race has become a major event in the open-wheel panorama.

Succeeding Formula Renault, present since 1972, then the French carmaker’s single-make 'sedan' categories, the F1 driver development program proposed by Renault Sport offers hopefuls a chance to shine in front of the sport's powerbrokers on a legendary circuit.

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12/11/14
WoO

Steve Kinser will drive for Tony Stewart Racing in 2015
Steve Kinser
Legendary sprint car driver Steve Kinser isn't retiring after all.

His boss, Tony Stewart, said the 60-year-old Bloomington driver will compete in about 40 World of Outlaws races for Tony Stewart Racing in 2015.

Stewart said Thursday that it was an easy conversation to have with the seven-time WoO champion.

"Did I have to talk him into it?" Stewart said at the Performance Racing Industry trade show at the Indiana Convention Center. "We had to talk him down from more races."

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12/11/14
irl
nassprint

Stewart supports another "double" for Busch
Former Verizon IndyCar Series champion Tony Stewart said he would endorse another attempt at "the double" (Coca Cola 600 and Indy 500 in same day)from Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch.

"I'm 100 percent supportive if he wants to do that again," Stewart said. "I thought for somebody that had not been in an IndyCar to go over there, and as tough as the IndyCar Series is right now, to have a performance like that was unbelievable. He did a phenomenal job."

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12/11/14
irl

Rahal talks wedding plans
Rahal and Force
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal was one of several guests who appeared at the INDYCAR display at the Performance Racing Industry trade show at the Indiana Convention Center.

He was asked about his recent engagement to NHRA star Courtney Force and joked he'll have no role in the planning.

"(Future father-in-law John Force) said he's buy me a Lamborghini if we didn't have a wedding and then he said he'd give us a certain amount of money if we held it in his backyard to make it less expensive," Rahal said. "That's not going to happen."

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12/11/14
irl

CFH Racing lands deal with State of Indiana
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith joined CSH Racing co-owners Sarah Fisher and Ed Carpenter in announcing a partnership in which the state will be an associate sponsor on CFH Racing cars for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season-concluding GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

"Indiana is recognized as the motorsports capital of the world and we're building a reputation we like to say as 'a state that works,'" Smith said during the brief ceremony at the Performance Racing Industry trade show at the Indiana Convention Center. "This Hoosier team has delivered on the racetrack and it mirrors our state's success in building an economy and business environment that is attracting billions of dollars in investment."

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12/11/14
irl

Conway will not return to CFH in 2015
Instead of buying a ride in IndyCar, Conway will be paid handsomely to drive for Toyota in WEC.
File this one as "no surprise," but official – Mike Conway will not be back for a second season at CFH Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Given the number of date clashes between IndyCar and the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2015, a divorce almost seemed inevitable – if long-delayed for the driver who sought to continue to do both.

CFH team co-owner Ed Carpenter confirmed the Englishman's departure during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis.

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12/11/14
nassprint

NASCAR will let teams regulate lug nuts during pit stops in 2015
One rule that stands out as a game changer will be the fact that NASCAR is letting teams regulate lug nuts during their stops. Basically, NASCAR won't penalize or monitor missed lug nuts or lug nuts that get knocked off during a stop. The new rule...or lack of rule, could be a huge gain for teams that want to gamble. Everyone knows that it doesn't take all 5 nuts tight to keep a tire on. The tricky part is how many nuts does it take? There are stories floating around pit road of teams that have come into victory lane with 1,2 and 3 nuts on a wheel, and everyone is amazed. Every situation is different and every situation could have a different outcome, but hitting only 3 or 4 nuts per side could speed up a stop and if teams are willing to gamble on that then it could pay off. In the past, teams had to make sure all 5 nuts were on the studs and if an official were to see a nut get knocked off they would hold the car until the nut was put back on. Changers were very aware of the rules and hit nuts with a speed they could control. Jack men were also aware of the rule and MOST would wait on the left side for all 5 to get hit. Now, all that changes.

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12/11/14
nassprint

Proposed 2015 NASCAR testing dates for Sprint Cup Series
When NASCAR announced in September it was banning all private team testing, the perception was teams would not likely see the opportunity to do much on-track testing. NASCAR at the time said it hoped to incorporate more teams into the 12 to 15 tire tests done each season by Goodyear but that plan seemed to hit logistical roadblocks in recent months. The finished product, outlined in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rulebook, actually provides teams many opportunities to test on series tracks in the coming season.

At Atlanta, an extra testing day has been added to the regular weekend schedule. In addition, an extra day of open testing has been added to Goodyear tire tests at Charlotte; Richmond; Kentucky; Indianapolis; Dover; Darlington; Chicago Bristol; Homestead; Kansas; Phoenix; and Auto Club Speedway:

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12/11/14
IL

It's official, Mazda to power Indy Lights in 2015
New Mazda powered Indy Lights car
(INDIANAPOLIS) - Mazda announced the addition of Mazda-power in the all-new 2015 Dallara Indy Lights chassis at the annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. This was the latest development in its ongoing commitment to motorsports, which includes the Mazda Road to Indy, the most comprehensive driver development system in the world.

While most noted for success in sports cars, Mazda has been active in open-wheel, formula-car racing since 1984.  In recent years, that has developed into the Mazda Road to Indy, where aspiring racers can advance upwards along a logical progression from karts all the way to the Verizon IndyCar Series.  In 2014, Mazda powered both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.  For 2015, Mazda adds Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

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12/11/14
nassprint

Kyle Busch undergoes surgery
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch underwent surgery on his left foot on Thursday morning and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2015 NASCAR season in February. The scheduled procedure to relieve inflammation was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina, according to a team release from Joe Gibbs Racing.

Busch is coming off a 2014 season when he finished 10th in the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. In 36 Cup starts, he posted one win (Fontana), nine top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and three Coors Light Pole Awards.

JGR shuffled its crew chief lineup for 2015, pairing Busch up with Adam Stevens, who is making the move up from the Nationwide Series. Dave Rogers, who was Busch's previous crew chief, will work as Denny Hamlin's crew chief in 2015. NASCAR.com

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12/11/14
irl

CFH Racing adds sponsor
It was recently announced at the PRI Show in Indianapolis that Indiana Economic Development Corporation will be an associate sponsor on the #20 and #67 CFH Racing IndyCars in the 2015 Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indianapolis 500.

AR1 Staff

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12/11/14
f1

With no Mercedes engine, Horner plays down RBR's 2015 chances
Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned that it will be difficult for teams to catch up with Mercedes next year.

Mercedes dominated the 2014 season, winning 16 of the 19 races and claiming pole 18 times as they secured the double with Lewis Hamilton winning the Drivers' Championship.

With no major rule changes for next year coupled with the deadlock in talks over the possible lifting of the engine freeze, Mercedes are expected to once again have a clear advantage over their rivals.

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12/11/14
imsa
uscc

IMSA, VP Racing Fuels Announce Multi-Year Extension
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced an extension of its partnership with VP Racing Fuels, Inc. as the Official Fuel Supplier and a Proud Partner of IMSA and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

VP Racing Fuels, Inc. fueled the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.  VP also is the Official Fuel Supplier of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda, and will continue to serve as the exclusive provider of racing fuels for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.

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12/11/14
uscc

DEKRA Joins IMSA As Official Technical Partner
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and DEKRA North America, Inc. today announced a multi-year agreement that makes DEKRA the Official Technical Partner of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, as well as a Proud Partner of IMSA.

DEKRA also will become the title sponsor of the DEKRA Green Challenge Award which is presented to the most environmentally clean, fast and efficient GT Le Mans (GTLM) competitor at each TUDOR Championship race. The DEKRA Green Challenge award is determined through Green Racing protocols established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International as part of an overarching strategic alliance with IMSA.

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12/11/14
f1

Ron The Revisionist
This ought to be an interesting pairing
(Editor's note: with the return of Fernando Alonso to McLaren, we seem to have a bit of revisionist history from one Ron Dennis. In the text below Autosport, the McLaren boss mentions that Alonso's then-teammate Lewis Hamilton was not entirely to blame for the 2007 'Spygate' scandal.)

"To go back to that period, you look at this young guy, understandably perceived by many people as the chosen one," he said.

"But [he was] also someone who had immaturity, and really, who struck the first blow?

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12/11/14
uscc

IMSA Releases 2015 Sporting Regulations, Technical Regulations To Competitors
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today delivered its 2015 sporting regulations and technical regulations to teams entered to participate in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2015 in advance of the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 three-day test at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 9-11.

"We requested and received feedback from the TUDOR Championship paddock and the overwhelming desire was to establish consistency as we enter our second season," said Scot Elkins, IMSA Managing Director, Technical Regulations. "Today’s release of the 2015 rules and technical regulations is the result of extensive open dialogue with our competitors. That dialogue will continue throughout and following next month’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test and into the 2015 TUDOR Championship season.

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12/11/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Retired F1 driver Frentzen now drives a hearse
    Caterham still in fight for F1 survival
  • Verstappen expects age controversy to continue
  • From F1 to hearse driver - Frentzen
  • Hamilton advantage to be 'short-lived' - Rosberg


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12/10/14
nassprint

Brian France Says No Changes On Tap For Chase Format
NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France today said that there would be "no changes to the championship format" for the Sprint Cup Series in '15. As a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, France said, "We're obviously pleased with everything. And there may be some adjustments down the road. They'll be very small. Nothing, for '15, nothing anybody would notice."

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12/10/14
irl
roc

Hunter-Reay prepares to take on world at Race of Champions
Ryan Hunter-Reay
It might be a fun, get-to-know-you all-star event, but once helmets are strapped on it transitions to a serious competition.

That's Ryan Hunter-Reay's assessment of the Race of Champions, which he'll participate in Dec. 13-14 at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados.

The event brings together some of the world's greatest drivers from major disciplines - the Verizon IndyCar Series, Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP and NASCAR - for head-to-head contests in identical machinery on a parallel course.

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12/10/14
il

Chaves wins awards, races in Colombia
Gabby Chaves
Gabby Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, was named Colombia's "Driver of the Year" and "Star Driver" a few days after he teamed with Juan Gonzalez and Juan Alzate to win the 6 Hours of Bogota sports car race Dec. 6 at Autodrome Tocancipa in Colombia.

The trio covered the 250 laps on the 1.68-mile circuit with a two-lap advantage over the second-place team. Chaves also co-drove to victory in the Super GT class (fifth overall) with Juan Piedrahita (seventh in 2014 Indy Lights standings with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian), Diego Mejia and Oscar Tunjo. Chaves co-drove to the class victory in 2013.

"I am very happy to be closing out 2014 with a bang," said Chaves, a native of Colombia who lives in Miami. "The 6 Hours of Bogota is regarded as one of the most important endurance races in South America, and to be able to not only win the overall race but in two classes is just amazing.

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12/10/14
f1

F1 Teams To Meet To Replace F1 Chair Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
F1 teams "will this week be consulted on who will become the new chairman of their sport, as the current incumbent is stepping down to battle a long-running illness," according to Christian Sylt for the London INDEPENDENT.

In the long term the new chairman will lead the committee which decides who replaces F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, "when he decides to stand down, however, he does not represent a threat to the F1 chief executive."

Current F1 Chair Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, an Austrian businessman, is "undergoing treatment for a curable illness." One of the candidates "is understood to be Paul Walsh, the former head of drinks group Diageo." Independent

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12/10/14
irl

GP2 veteran Coletti to test IndyCar
Stefano Coletti
Add Italian Stefano Coletti to the list of potential Verizon IndyCar Series hopefuls, as he'll test for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at Sebring next week.

Coletti, the GP2 Series veteran who lives in Monaco to avoid taxes, will join fellow GP2 ace Davide Valsecchi - a past series champion - at next week's test. He revealed the news on Twitter late Tuesday evening.

The opportunity for Coletti exists to showcase his skill set to the team as it seeks a replacement, almost certainly, for Russian Mikhail Aleshin.

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12/10/14
fe

Formula E: A Tale of two cities
Sam Bird and Lucas di Grassi have been the class of the field in Formula E so far.
Two races in and already two drivers have established a gap over the rest in the FIA Formula E Championship. These are round one winner, and current points leader, Lucas di Grassi and victor last time out Sam Bird.

Just three points separates the Audi Sport ABT man from his Virgin Racing rival. They have both appeared on the podium each time out thus far, with Bird inheriting third in Beijing when Daniel Abt was punished for exceeding his energy consumption, while di Grassi charged through the field at Putrajaya, making up for crashing in qualifying with a storming drive to second.

The level of consistency shown by both drivers has moved them well clear of the chasing pack. In fact, both men have more than twice as many points as the driver in third – Franck Montagny. The Andretti racer has been one of the most entertaining to watch so far this season, forcing his way to second in Beijing. He was on a charge in Putrajaya too and was well inside the top-10 when he took one too many risks and had his nose cone dislodged. The lengthy pitstop that followed dropped him out of the points.

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12/10/14
irl

Ganassi announces NTT Data to sponsor Kanaan in 2015
NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that driver Tony Kanaan will pilot the No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. The 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner scored his first win for the team at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in 2014, and will continue the legacy of the No. 10 car which boasts 20 wins from Kanaan, Dario Franchitti (13) and Dan Wheldon (6) dating back to 2006.

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12/10/14
gp2

GP2 Series 2015 season calendar and teams unveiled
The 2015 GP2 Series calendar was confirmed today and will once again consist of eleven rounds in total, all support events of the Formula One World Championship. Just as in 2014, eight rounds will be held in Europe with three overseas events to complete the calendar.

The eleventh season of the GP2 Series will open in Sakhir on April 17-19. The action will then move to Europe with its first stop in Barcelona on May 08-10 before going to Monte Carlo on May 21-23. Four weeks later, the season will resume on June 19-21 in Spielberg, followed by Silverstone on July 03-05 and Germany (venue TBA) two weeks later, with Budapest back-to-back before the summer break.

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12/10/14
irl

Brother-In-Law Of Tony George Indicted By Israeli Officials For Plotting The Bombing Of Muslim Holy Sites
Adam Livvix
In a bizarre terrorist plot striking close to home, the 30-year old, younger half-brother of Laura George, wife of former Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George, has been indicted by Israeli officials for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Israel. Adam Livvix, formerly of Marshall, Illinois, reportedly took up residence in Palestinian-controlled cities on the West Bank after entering Israel on a tourist visa in March, 2013 according to the Jerusalem Post while on the run from U.S. authorities on drug-related charges.

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12/10/14
r2i

Support Series Confirmed for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Andretti Sports Marketing and the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana confirm a world-class lineup of races for the 2015 event weekend, April 10-12, 2014. In addition to the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will showcase continuous on-track action from the Mazda Road to Indy (MRTI) ladder program, International Motorsports Association (IMSA) and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).

Providing support for the headlining Verizon IndyCar Series race will be: Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BF-Goodrich Tires. MRTI will feature two of the three steps of the open-wheel ladder system with Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda.

"We are thrilled and honored to add a world class lineup of racing series for our inaugural event to compliment the featured Verizon IndyCar race and look forward to working with our longtime friends at Andersen Promotions, IMSA and SCCA to produce a great weekend of racing action," said Tim Ramsberger, Andretti Sports Marketing Vice President and Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana General Manager.

"We at Andersen Promotions are very pleased to be able to bring our Mazda Road to Indy program to the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana for the inaugural event. Having visited the NOLA facility during our 2014 Cooper Tires Winterfest, we found it to be a terrific venue with a strong staff in place, and working with our longtime friends at Andretti Sports Marketing is an added plus," said Dan Anderson Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. "New Orleans is a special city and our drivers, teams, sponsors and staff are looking forward to a wonderful weekend in April!"

First-time fans have the opportunity to watch some of the most exciting racing series compete on the 2.67-mile track at NOLA Motorsports Park. Race organizers anticipate announcing a detailed event and race schedule sometime in early to mid-January 2015. 

"SCCA Pro Racing in conjunctions with its long-term partner Mazda are thrilled to be bringing the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup series to NOLA Motorsports Park next April to the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana," said Robert Clarke, President of SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. "What a fantastic setting and facility to host one of the most competitive racing series in the world.  We could not be more eager for April 10th to arrive!"

"We can't wait to see all these different cars and drivers take to the revamped NOLA Motorsports track," said Kristen Energon, President of NOLA Motorsports Park.  "The great variety of support series from sports cars, smaller open-wheel racers and of course Verizon IndyCar will give our fans an amazing show, with almost non-stop action on the track!"

Tickets to the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana can be purchased at GPofNOLA.com or call (888) 996-4774. Fans can also purchase tickets on-site at the Karting Facility at NOLA Motorsports Park. Three-day reserved upper level grandstand tickets purchased before December 31 will also receive a free weekend IndyCar Paddock Pass (a $40 value).

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12/10/14
f1

McLaren to announce driver lineup on Thursday
(GMM)  The long wait for news about McLaren's 2015 driver lineup finally appears to be over.

The British team has invited select members of the press to an "important and exclusive media event" at its Woking headquarters on Thursday morning.

Given the already long-delayed decision, and heavy criticism from the public, press, pundits and fans, the event must finally be the announcement of Fernando Alonso's contract and the identity of his Honda-powered teammate.

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12/10/14
Track News

Atlanta removing 17,000 seats, Charlotte 41,000
Atlanta Motor Speedway's parent company, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., announced Tuesday that they will remove 17,000 seats from the track's grandstands. The company anticipates using those areas for premium hospitality, advertising and other facility purposes. Their sister track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is losing 41,000 seats.

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12/10/14
irl

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana expected to bring big business to Jefferson Parish
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is scheduled for April 2015, but hotels and restaurants are already looking forward to a huge economic impact.

Watch video

Businesses in Jefferson Parish are gearing up for the event, the first American-based open-wheel racing event at the Nola Motorsports Park.

Organizers expect the event to attract a crowd of 80,000.

It is estimated that the event will generate $100 million over three years.

Janine Dazet of the Holiday Inn expects 100 percent occupancy.

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12/10/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Palmer quickly realizes winning the GP2 title doesn't get you an F1 ride unless you buy it. Open wheel racing should be renamed to "Have money will drive racing"
    Working in F1 'easier' than F3 - Verstappen
  • F1 'reality' frustrates GP2 champ Palmer
  • Nasr says Sauber a 'serious' F1 team
  • Todt eyes 'one or more' new teams if costs cut
  • Ferrari, Renault see 'loophole' in freeze rules
  • Newey to stay 'in the loop' in 2015
  • Diageo Calls F1 Participation 'Extraordinary Opportunity' To Promote Responsible Drinking


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12/09/14
irl

Target Chip Ganassi Racing announces Dixon for 2015 (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Scott Dixon will be the only Target sponsored car in IndyCar now
Three-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will return for a 14th season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, though he will be one of only two drivers piloting the red and white bulls-eye cars next year.

Target will go from two sponsored IndyCar entries to just one in 2015 as the retailer shifts spending to promoting its drivers. Target also sponsors Kyle Larson, who just wrapped up NASCAR's top rookie honors in the Sprint Cup Series.

"We are just reallocating dollars, there's no difference in anything else," said Dan Griffis, vice president of experiential marketing and alliances at Target. "I would put our investment in racing as the only full-time sponsor in both IndyCar and NASCAR, against any other sponsor in the sport."

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12/09/14
irl

Preparations for IndyCar opener in Brazil 'rolling along'
The Brasilia track was a real dump, so let's hope the upgrades help
In spite of concern in recent Portuguese-based media reports, the Verizon IndyCar Series is on schedule to open next season in Brasilia, the Indianapolis-based project manager said Tuesday.

Tony Cotman, president of NZR Consulting, said he has reviewed recent photos of the reconfiguration of the Autodromo International Nelson Piquet circuit, and he will be on site next week to make sure the work is on schedule.

"Everything is rolling along," Cotman told The Indianapolis Star. "There's still a lot of work to do in a short time, but there should be no reason not to get it done." 

The debut race in Brazil's capitol - the Brasilia Indy 300 - is set for March 8. The permanent road course that opened in 1973 will be one of two new circuits on IndyCar's 2015 calendar, with NOLA Motorsports Park hosting its first series race April 12.

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12/09/14
automotive

Tesla stock drops with oil prices, but will it bounce back?
Tesla Motors Inc. customers are rich enough to keep buying luxury cars whatever the cost of a tank of gasoline. So the oil rout probably won't hammer the stock for long.

The 14 percent decline in Tesla shares since the Thanksgiving holiday through Monday was driven by concerns that falling oil prices will dry up demand for the company's cars, analysts said.

That speculation is overblown, said David Whiston, an auto analyst with Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. Since Tesla is selling cars that can top $100,000 to very wealthy people, the price at the pump is not a prime motivator in that consumer's purchase decision, he said.

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12/09/14
automotive

Nissan recalls 470,000 SUVs, cars globally to fix potential fuel leaks
Nissan Motor Co. is recalling about 470,000 SUVs and cars globally, including 143,000 in North America, for possible fuel leaks.

Nissan is recalling the vehicles from the 2012-15 model years because fuel pressure sensors may not have been sufficiently tightened during production. That could lead to a fuel leak over time due to heat and vibration, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents posted online by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The affected models have direct-injection engines.

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12/09/14
fe

Salvador Duran to drive for Amlin Aguri in Punta del Este
Salvador Duran
Salvador Duran joins the Amlin Aguri Formula E Team line-up for the first South American race in Punta del Este.

The Mexican driver will replace Katherine Legge and race alongside team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa. Duran has previously competed in the A1GP Series, World Series by Renault 3.5 and British F3.

Salvador Duran said: "I'm delighted with the opportunity to join the Amlin Aguri team and am very grateful to embark on this new venture with an exciting new team in a brand new sport. This innovative championship signals a new era for motorsport and I'm looking forward to getting involved. I have been following the team and the championship closely and I can see that this car reacts differently which is a fantastic challenge. I am a big fan of both clean energy and this new electric technology and I believe innovation from this series will help develop transport solutions that will make a big difference to the lives of people right across Latin America and the world."

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12/09/14
uscc

Fogarty, Heinemeier Hansson Join Tequila Patron ESM
Riviera Beach, Fla., – Dec. 9, 2014 –The Tequila Patr¢n ESM team completes its driver lineup for the 2015 sportscar racing season. Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek return as full-season co-drivers of the two Tequila Patr¢n-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-04b coupes. They will be joined by Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Tequila Patr¢n ESM submitted two full-season entries to compete in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) along with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Tequila Patr¢n North American Endurance Cup races.
American Fogarty, a Gold-ranked racer, will co-drive with Brown and van Overbeek. Silver-ranked Danish racer Heinemeier Hansson will co-drive with Sharp and Dalziel.

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12/09/14
nassprint

Edwards, Hornish with new teams at tire test
Carl Edwards will make his debut for Joe Gibbs Racing in a tire test today at Charlotte
It may just be a tire test, but Carl Edwards sees it as a "huge" opportunity as he prepares to make his first appearance behind the wheel on behalf of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Edwards is one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers scheduled to take part in this week's Dec. 9-10 Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, joining Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Hornish Jr. and a Richard Childress Racing driver yet to be named.

"It's a new rules package, it's a new car (and) I'm trying a new seat. Everything's different. New crew chief," Edwards said last week while in Las Vegas for the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony. "... It can't be more new. I've been sitting there thinking about how I'm going to buckle in and how I'm going to go out there and drive the car and I'm nervous about it. I truly am."

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12/09/14
nassprint

Only France and Henry make 50 most influential list
Sports Business Daily has come out with its list of 50 Most Influential people who shape the industry and make the moves that cause everyone else in sports to react.

1. Adam Silver, NBA
2. John Skipper, ESPN
3. Robert Kraft, The Kraft Group
4. Bud Selig / Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball
5. Roger Goodell, NFL
6. Sean McManus, CBS Sports
7. Ari Emanuel / Patrick Whitesell, WME-IMG
8. David Levy, Turner Broadcasting System
9. Gary Bettman, NHL
10. Brian France, NASCAR

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12/09/14
uscc

Bourdais back with Action Express Racing
Celebrating a Rolex 24 win last year
IndyCar veteran Sebastien Bourdais will again be part of AXR's defense of the Cup in 2015.

Bourdais, who helped AXR in three of their four endurance podium finishes in 2014, will co-drive the team's No. 5 Corvette DP in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

"It is very exciting to be able to return with Action Express Racing in 2015," said Bourdais in a release. "Having teammates with the credentials of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi is an opportunity you seldom receive in racing, and one I cherish.

"Hopefully we will repeat as the [NAEC] champions, and start by returning to Victory Lane in the Rolex 24 At Daytona as we did last season."

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12/09/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Ecclestone's secret is out - he loves watching a Mercedes 1-2 parade every race
    Mercedes stopped 'lousy' 2014 season - Ecclestone
  • Button resorts to jokes as McLaren wait continues
  • Mercedes eyes Friday role for Wehrlein in 2015
  • Mercedes 'surprised' by 2014 dominance
  • With superior Mercedes car Hamilton can't miss beating Senna's records
  • Hulkenberg makes Porsche test debut
  • Many reasons for gap to Fernando Alonso - Kimi Raikkonen
  • Newey will still attend races


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12/08/14
automotive

Ford considers CVTs as way to improve fuel economy
Ford is considering giving the continuously variable transmission another try.

"We've had some experience with CVTs and it wasn't all good," said Raj Nair, Ford's global product development chief, during a media event here. "They are getting better. And we are taking another look, particularly in the low torque applications. There may be some [potential] there."

Ford does not have an automatic transmission for its smallest engine, the 1.0-liter three-cylinder in the Ford Fiesta SFE. That car is available only with a manual transmission. Fewer than 5 percent of cars sold in North America are equipped with manuals, according to IHS Automotive.

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12/08/14
nassprint

Who will be Danica's next crew chief
The late-season crew chief swap among Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick seems to have worked well for Busch but not Patrick. Busch got Patrick's crew chief, Tony Gibson, for the final three races and finished no worse than 11th in those events. "It was great to get back to an old-school crew chief," Busch said. "Real refreshing. (Gibson) understands the car and is able to finesse it in a way to where you're not relying so much on simulation as well as the engineering side of things." Patrick got Busch's crew chief, Daniel Knost, who has an engineering background. Patrick finished no better than 18th in her three races with Knost.

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12/08/14
r2i
irl

Chaves to test for Herta
Gabby Chaves celebrates victory in the 2014 Freedom 100
2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Champion Gabby Chaves will test for Bryan Herta Autosport, December 17th at Sebring International Raceway. This will be Chaves' second test this offseason as the Colombian previously tested for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports.

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12/08/14
industry news

Canadian Motor Speedway opens corporate offices
From Sportsnet.ca -- Canadian Motor Speedway investors are making significant progress in discussions with Ontario Provincial Ministries to clear final site plan conditions for Canada’s first world class oval speedway designed by racing legend Jeff Gordon, that connects to a fully integrated road course, research and development park and major entertainment complex in the Town of Fort Erie Ontario.

As part of the developers’ on-going commitment to the community, CMS marked a critical milestone on the projects’ time line this week with the opening of a corporate office in The Town.

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12/08/14
automotive

Video: Ferrari FXX K on Track at Yas Marina F1 Circuit
In conjunction with the feature article on our Home Page on the awesome Ferrari FXX-K, here is a video of it in action.



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12/08/14
IL

Braille Battery Added to Indy Lights Partners Line-Up
Andersen Promotions is pleased to announce a long-term partnership agreement with Braille Battery as the Official Battery of Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires. The Braille MICRO-LiTE ML20C Lithium battery will power the all-new Dallara IL-15 race car through 2020. Braille MICRO-LiTE Lithium batteries were developed in Formula 1 and share components with the lithium batteries used exclusively in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

"We are very pleased to welcome Braille Battery to our outstanding group of partners and to provide our competitors with their high performance batteries and technology," said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. "With our new partnership in Indy Lights, Braille Battery is now entrenched in the full Mazda Road to Indy ladder which will benefit our teams across the board."

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12/08/14
nassprint

A risk that won a championship
2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick speaking at Friday evening's NASCAR banquet
Kevin Harvick's gracious keynote speech Friday night as reigning champion at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards touched all the bases for acknowledging the people who helped him reach stock-car racing's pinnacle, 14 years after his tenure in the big leagues began. But his seven-minute oration also included a poignant moment of brutal honesty.

Last offseason, Harvick was transitioning from the only Sprint Cup team he'd ever driven for, leaving Richard Childress Racing for new terrain at Stewart-Haas Racing -- a move, he said, that left him "scared to death" as he entered the next phase of his career. It turns out, the man who would become his championship-winning crew chief was approaching a similar crossroads, coming close to making a decision with sport-altering implications.

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12/08/14
fe

Vergne to drive for Andretti
Jean-Eric Vergne
The Andretti Formula-E Team will place Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne behind the wheel of the No. 28 electric-powered machine for Round Three of Formula E competition in Punta del Este.

"It's not often that you get to race at this time of the year," said Vergne. "I am really looking forward to this opportunity, especially given its location in a place like Punta del Este. Although I have no experience in this new series, I am excited about the prospect of racing in Formula E, and racing for such a prestigious team as Andretti. As always, the main objective of the weekend is to stay out front and finish the year on a high note. The weekend will be a little like a journey into the unknown, but it is a journey that I am thoroughly looking forward to!" 

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12/08/14
fe

Formula E honored at Autosport Awards
The new all electric racing series was honored at the Autosport Awards
The FIA Formula E Championship was awarded the prestigious Pioneering and Innovation Award at the world-famous AUTOSPORT Awards last night.

Held at London’s five star Grosvenor House Hotel, the world’s first all-electric single-seater championship joins an illustrious list of winners of the Award, which include the SAFER barrier system, the HANS driver safety device and the Nissan GT Academy.

The black tie event is one of the most celebrated evenings in the motorsport calendar attracting a host of past and present motorsport stars including newly-crowned Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

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12/08/14
irl

IndyCar travels with the NASA Orion Capsule
NASA had recently marked a test flight with the Orion capsule and it went pretty successfully. The capsule was known to land in the Pacific Ocean after it had managed to accomplish a height of about 3,600 feet along with two of our planet's orbits. The surprising thing that you are probably not aware of is the fact that IndyCar played a major role in making this happen.

A website explained in detail that the engineers at NASA made use of the IndyCar data from certain blind incidents that dated back to a session in 2003. This helped them to design a system that could handle increased accelerations in case they happened and it would be particularly helpful for the future crew members in Orion. A portion of this data consists of information gathered from the crash data recorders located on cars and the ear accelerometers that are used by the drivers.

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12/08/14
irl
f4

IndyCar the dream for young British racer offered 2015 Formula 4 drive
Piers Hickin knows open wheel racing in Europe is a bigger money pit than the USA
An 18-year-old racing driver is taking the fast route to the top in motorsport after being offered a place in the new Formula 4 Championship next year.

Former Winston Churchill School pupil Piers Hickin, who lives in Knaphill, cannot wait to take his seat in the Motorsports Association-backed category, which will follow the same calendar as the British Touring Car Championship.

His selection to race in one of two Scorpio Motorsport cars follows a successful season in the Formula Renault Championship with the team.

Piers was also selected for the McLaren Performance Academy, based at the Formula One team's Woking headquarters, and his junior racing career has not been too different from the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

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12/08/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Marko expects thieves to melt F1 trophies for silver
    McLaren denies 2015 driver decision 'problem'
  • Grosjean still eyes move to top team
  • Marko expects thieves to melt F1 trophies for silver
  • Bianchi's condition unchanged - father
  • Vettel, Raikkonen among richest Swiss residents
  • Collapsing teams 'gave nothing' to F1 - Trulli
  • Lowe vows to improve Mercedes reliability
  • Bullish Massa targeting 2015 title
  • Kobayashi to test 'Super Formula' in Japan
  • Russian Grand Prix wins 2014 Race Promoters' trophy
  • Haas: A lot of pitfalls in F1


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