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DATE News (chronologically)
12/13/12
starmazda

Pro Mazda Championship Announces Partnership with Cooper Tires
Andersen Promotions, owner and administrator of the Pro Mazda Championship, today confirmed a key component of the series’ infrastructure by welcoming Cooper Tires as the Official Tire and presenting sponsor. The Mazda Road to Indy series will now be known as the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with a three-year agreement in place.

The newly formed series was officially announced on December 7 to fill the opening vacated by the Star Mazda Championship. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires represents the second step on the driver development ladder system established in 2010 and sanctioned by INDYCAR with drivers transitioning from the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to Pro Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and, ultimately, the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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12/13/12
irl

Rahal completes third test day at Sebring
Graham Rahal, 23, completed a three-day test with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway short course.  After two days of interrupted testing due to rain, the team was able to complete 105 laps today to bring their three-day total to 205 laps with a best lap time of 53.480. 

“Today was good in the sense that we tried a lot of things but unfortunately I think there is something in the car that has caused several issues all day, whether they be handling issues or braking issues that we could not get a handle on,” said Rahal. “We changed everything out that we could possibly think of but I think it’s something that we will have to find back at the shop. Unfortunately we had a role reversal from the last couple of days where we felt the car was pretty good. The guys did a great job because we changed a lot of things in a short period of time today, really threw it at them and they responded well. They changed more in one day than I can ever remember changing; it was pretty busy.”

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12/13/12
ga

Austin puts Grand-Am tickets on sale
GRAND-AM is coming to Circuit of The Americas March 1-2, 2013!

2-day tickets, which are now on sale, are just $59 for reserved seats in the Main Grandstand, Turn 1 or Turn 15 (including Paddock access). 2-day on-site parking passes are $30!

GRAND-AM tickets will include the ability to get up-close to American muscle cars and the hottest imports as well as some of the best and most recognized names in motorsports via:

Garage and paddock area
GRAND-AM Fan Zone access
Continental Tire Series Autograph Session and Fan Walk 
Rolex Series Driver Autograph Session
Pre-Race Grid Walk 

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12/13/12
irl

Kanaan: Barrichello's departure big loss for IndyCar
Barrichello and Kanaan
Rubens Barrichello has yet to confirm his departure from IndyCar. He will drive for the Medley-sponsored team in Brazil's stock car series next year because he couldn't find sponsorship to drive for one of the better IndyCar teams. His loss figures to be significant.

Why? Because his year spent in IndyCar was deemed internationally vital to the sport, particularly in Brazil, which hosts an IndyCar race in Barrichello's hometown (Sao Paulo) and is home to a major series sponsor (Apex Brazil).

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12/13/12
nassprint

Front Row Motorsports announces 2013 plans
Renewals of long-time partnerships will have Front Row Motorsports poised to run its most competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season ever in 2013, with the team announcing new agreements with drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland and Josh Wise. The team will also continue its relationships with manufacturing partner Ford Racing and engine builder Roush Yates Racing Engines.

Front Row Motorsports enters its fourth year teaming with Gilliland, Ford and Roush Yates - relationships that have brought stability and growth to the still-young team entering its fifth full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. Race winner Ragan joined the line-up for the 2012 season, helping the team earn its best average finishes and the best year-end point rankings for the #34 and #38 entries in Front Row history.

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12/13/12
nassprint

Keselowski has no plans to keep his title trophy at home
Brad Keselowski, the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, said Tuesday he has no plans to keep his title trophy at home.

"It's not at my house, it's at Penske Racing on display for the team guys," Keselowski, 28, said during a break in testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I don't keep trophies at my house," Keselowski said, according to a transcript provided by Ford Racing. "I don't believe in building a shrine to myself. It's kind of weird."

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12/13/12
f1

Bernie Ecclestone's muggers jailed for stealing £2m from tycoons
The robbers who stole from Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone have received jail sentences for accumulating at least £2m from their victims.

The gang, often referred to as the 'Millionaire Muggers', were believed to be behind a robbery, which involved stealing £200,000 worth of jewelry from Ecclestone, who was seriously injured after the heist.

Gulam Gani, 47, was handed 18 years in prison for his involvement, while Nicholas Lewis, 34, will serve 20 years and Shaun Wallace, 30, will have to spend 15 years behind bars.

All three were convicted of conspiracy to rob at Southwark Crown Court but none were prosecuted for the attack on Ecclestone due to a lack of evidence.

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12/13/12
f1

Ecclestone wants F1 to shed one more team
(GMM) With HRT bowing out of formula one, Bernie Ecclestone would be happy to see the sport lose one more team.

"I'd rather have 10," the F1 chief executive told Reuters on Thursday. "I never wanted 12."

HRT's departure leaves just 11 teams on the grid for 2013. It emerged recently that the struggling backmarker Marussia is the only team on the 2013 entry list that is yet to be offered a new Concorde Agreement deal.

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12/13/12
nassprint

Hamlin wrecks in test at Charlotte, concerned about 100% throttle racing
Denny Hamlin’s test session ended after just 40 minutes Wednesday and he left Charlotte Motor Speedway with a bit of a limp after a crash while testing NASCAR’s new Sprint Cup car.

Hamlin wrecked between Turns 1 and 2, crushing the right front of his car during the final day of a two-day open test session at the 1.5-mile track. Hamlin bruised his knee but was not seriously injured.

Hamlin said his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was an old chassis from early 2012 that had been fitted with a new fiberglass body.

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12/13/12
f1

Haug-Tied, Mercedes and Haug part ways
Norbert Haug failed to make the Mercedes F1 team into a winner
After more than 22 years as Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Daimler AG Vice President Norbert Haug will conclude his career at the end of 2012. His contract will come to an end by mutual agreement with the Board of Management. Preparations for the forthcoming season continue as planned.

Norbert Haug has led the Motorsport division of Mercedes-Benz since 1 October 1990. In that time, Mercedes-Benz and its partners won six Formula One world championship titles and took 87 Formula One victories. In the DTM, Mercedes teams won a total of 32 titles under Haug's leadership. Since the first title win in 1992, Mercedes-Benz has won 54% of all DTM races and about 60% of all DTM titles (drivers/manufacturers/teams). During that period of time Mercedes-Benz has competed in 986 races in total (Formula One, Champ Car, GT, Group C, Formula 3) under Haug's leadership and won 439 of them (45.4%).

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12/13/12
f1

Team Principals vote Alonso the best
Alonso (above) and Vettel the two best drivers in F1
Fernando Alonso has been voted as the driver of the year by Formula 1's team bosses in AUTOSPORT's annual team principals' top ten poll.

The Ferrari driver, who lost out on the world championship by just three points to Sebastian Vettel, dominated the voting this year.

AUTOSPORT asked each of F1's current team principals to pick their top ten drivers for the season, with points being awarded under the current scoring system of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1

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12/13/12
roc
irl

Transcript: Ryan Hunter-Reay Race Of Champions Conference Call
Ryan Hunter-Reay
THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everybody, to today's INDYCAR conference call. We're pleased to be joined by 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, Ryan HUNTER-REAY who will represent the series and Team America in the Race of Champions in Thailand later this week. Ryan, thanks for taking the time to join us today.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Thanks for having me on.

THE MODERATOR: For those of you who don't know, the Race of Champions brings together the biggest names in worldwide Motorsports and pits them together in identical cars on a track inside a stadium. Ryan, first, how did the opportunity to race in the Race of Champions come about?

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12/13/12
roc

Drivers arrive in Bangkok for ROC Asia and ROC Thailand
Many of Asia’s finest drivers have gathered at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium for ROC Asia and ROC Thailand, the opening events of this weekend’s ROC 2012 on Friday December 14.

The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

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12/13/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • Alonso says Ferrari has to push the rules to beat Red Bull
    Vettel will not forget Ferrari's behavior - Marko
  • Ferrari must push the rules to beat Red Bull - Alonso
  • Nurburgring and Hockenheim in running for 2013 race
  • Schumacher could race again 'in two years' - Todt
  • Sauber declares 2012 car 'ready' to test
  • Todt - not up to me to revive French GP

    Read more & Comment...
12/12/12
nassprint

Sprint Cup Testing Concludes at Charlotte
Kasey Kahne topped both test sessions Wednesday
Rhonda McCole/AR1
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wrapped up two days of testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday as teams took to the 1-5-mile oval for their first opportunity to shake down the new 2013 Sprint Cup cars.

16 teams took to the track during the two-day test leading up to the start of the 2013 Sprint Cup season in February. Although it was the first time many of the drivers had been behind the wheel of the new cars, the improved models got rave reviews from drivers and crew chiefs alike.

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12/12/12
irl

Ten things IndyCar needs to do
Dear AR1.com, I think the article you published today about the ten things IndyCar needs to do is pretty much spot on.  However, I would add one more - implement standing starts on all the road and street circuits immediately.  Barry Millikan

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12/12/12
ga

Grand-Am drivers impressed with COTA
Several Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams enjoyed a head start at Grand-Am’s newest venue, participating in the first unofficial test at Circuit of The Americas, site of round two of the upcoming season.

“The track is beautiful, and the circuit is amazing,” said Bill Auberlen, who tested BMWs in both series for Turner Motorsport. “It’s a real driver’s course. We’re going to see a fantastic race when we come back here in March.”

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12/12/12
roc
irl

Hunter-Reay ready to roll at Race of Champions
Ryan Hunter-Reay was set to roll of pit lane Dec. 12 at Sebring International Raceway in the Andretti Autosport-prepared car for his final day of testing of 2012. The exercise, while benefitting preparations for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season, won't impact his next on-track adventure.

The reigning series champion will join other motorsports stars from around the globe to compete this weekend in the Race of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand. The event is being staged for the 25th consecutive year.

Drivers will battle head-to-head in identical machinery on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way around Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers also will pair up for the ROC Nations Cup.

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12/12/12
irl

Christmas a special time for IndyCar drivers
As the father of a young daughter, Helio Castroneves knows the importance of Christmas to a little boy or girl.

That's why he and Team Penske teammate Will Power joined members of the Indianapolis Colts to help 40 deserving children shop for Christmas gifts for their families and friends at an Indianapolis Meijer store on Dec. 11.

"My daughter understands Christmas and talks about Santa, so when you see the smile of the kids as they are choosing gifts for their families and friends, it makes you feel good," Castroneves said.

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12/12/12
irl

Sebring test allows new KV teammates to work out details
Simona de Silvestro introduced Tony Kanaan to individuals associated with a sponsor as "my new teammate." Soon she'll drop the "new."

De Silvestro, who competed the previous three IZOD IndyCar Series seasons with HVM Racing, joined KV Racing Technology and Kanaan in late October for the 2013 season. They've tested the Nos. 11 and 78 cars at Barber Motorsports Park and Texas Motor Speedway in advance of closing out the year at Sebring International Raceway this week.

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12/12/12
irl

Rahal completes another 51 laps at Sebring
Graham Rahal, 23, completed his second day of testing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway.  The track was wet from an overnight thunderstorm and morning sprinkles and steadily began to dry near noon. The team began testing in earnest after a lunch break and continued until showers brought an end to the test day at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET after Rahal had completed 51 trouble-free laps with a best lap time of 54.20s (The best Champ Car time around the same track was 49.9s). 

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12/12/12
IRL

Third child for Carpenter
Ed Carpenter Racing celebrated the addition of its newest team member Thursday evening with birth of a little boy, Cruz Smith Carpenter, at 6:05 p.m. EST with a weight of eight pounds and ten ounces.

Cruz is the third child of proud parents Ed and Heather Carpenter and both baby and mother are doing well this evening. The newest Carpenter joins an older sister, Makenna (5), and older brother, Ryder (3), as part of the ECR racing team.

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12/12/12
irl

Sam Schmidt Motorsports Adds Equity Partner
Ric Peterson
INDIANAPOLIS - Sam Schmidt, former IndyCar driver and owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM), and Ric Peterson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oculus Transport Ltd., today announced the formation of a new partnership between the two as owners of SSM’s Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series race teams.

SSM won its sixth Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2012 with driver Tristan Vautier. IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Simon Pagenaud finished fifth in the championship standings for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports and took home Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors

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12/12/12
irl

Belskus Talks About Upcoming IndyCar Season, Developing Strategic Plan
Interim IndyCar CEO Jeff Belskus has “made a positive impact within the series in just a matter of weeks,” according to Marshall Pruett of SPEEDTV.com. The longtime Hulman & Co. exec has been “tasked with leading the IndyCar Series after Randy Bernard’s dismissal, and until recently, was expected to hold onto the IndyCar CEO role.” But Belskus now “heads into the upcoming 2013 season with plenty of work to do and an undetermined amount of time to make progress.” Below are excerpts from Q&A with Belskus.

Q: If there was one takeaway message from the recent IndyCar CEO change, it’s that the concerns of the car owners need to be the concerns of the person in charge of IndyCar. The actionable concerns. How can this be addressed going forward?
Belskus: They are an important stakeholder for us and we have many important stakeholders; the tracks are important, the sponsors are important, our fans are important, but the team owners certainly are up there. I hear them. And I know they've got a dilemma and I know they need help and we’re committed to doing what we can to help them. So what I really think the problem is, is that we need a better way to interact with them, a better process to interact with them. It doesn't exist within the sport today in a more organized forum, if you will, so we’re going to work here with coming up with good ideas with them in terms of how we interact on an ongoing basis so that they know that they're being heard and that we're responding hopefully as well.

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12/12/12
racing news

2013 Chili Bowl grows
With the first days of the mercury dipping below freezing comes the undeniable sign that Emmett and Lanny’s gift to the racing world will soon be upon us as the countdown to the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire comes under the 30 day mark.

With the first loads of clay being moved in starting December 11, 2012, the pre-entry list for the 2013 edition of the “Ultimate Indoor Race” debuts with 113 entries.

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12/12/12
irl

New Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles ready to dig in and make changes to IndyCar
Mark Miles
Highlights from an IBJ.com interview with New Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles:

Mark Miles will be careful and calculated, but I expect him to have the IndyCar staff overhauled by July. For the record, Miles doesn't see Tony George taking a management position with IndyCar or the IMS.

It’s clear that the buck for all matters pertaining to the series and Speedway will stop on Miles' desk.

During our conversation, Miles, who will work out of the Speedway’s corporate office at 16th Street and Georgetown Road, was not hesitant to weigh in on any number of topics concerning the Speedway’s infrastructure and operations. He didn’t talk like someone interested in deferring or deflecting questions—or responsibilities.

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12/12/12
f1

Hockenheim 'ready' to host German GP in 2013
Hockenheim
A spokesperson for the Hockenheimring has explained to GPUpdate.net that the circuit is ready and willing to host the German Grand Prix in 2013, with the scheduled Nürburgring venue recently going into administration amid financial problems.

Last month, local media reported that there will be no Grand Prix at the Nürburgring next year after talks with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone were inconclusive. If the situation is not resolved, Hockenheim has expressed its ability to stage the German event.

"We are ready to have F1 at Hockenheim in 2013 but there are no further conversations about it yet," the spokesperson told GPUpdate.net on Wednesday.

Hockenheim hosted this year's German Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso claiming victory. The 2013 event, still penned in for the Nürburgring, will take place on July 7

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12/12/12
f1

Texas State comptroller authorizes $29.3 million for Formula One
State Comptroller Susan Combs has approved payment of $29.3 million from the state Major Events Trust Fund to organizers of November’s Formula One race, slightly less than what a group affiliated with Circuit of the Americas had requested in July.

The $29.3 million covers expenses related to hosting the U.S. Grand Prix on Nov. 16-18, including traffic management, temporary grandstands, other seating and a sanctioning fee to Formula One Management to host the race.

The amount authorized by Combs isn’t based on actual tax revenue generated by the event. It is an estimation of tax revenue made by the comptroller’s staff and the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee.

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12/12/12
automotive

Honda to recall 871,000 vehicles for roll-away issue
Honda Motor Co. will recall 871,000 vehicles that could roll away after the ignition key has been removed, including 807,000 in the United States, the company said today.

The automaker said a part in the ignition interlock could become damaged or worn, enabling the key to be removed even if the vehicle's transmission lever has not been shifted into park.

"If the transmission is not in park and the parking brake is not set, the vehicle could roll away and a crash could occur," the company said in a statement.

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12/12/12
automotive

Ward's 10 Best Engines of 2013 Announced
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Ward's 10 Best Engines, the premiere industry honors for car and light truck engines, have been announced for 2013. For the first time in seven years, the list is comprised entirely of gasoline-powered engines, with no hybrid, all-electric or diesel powertrains to be found.

While this result might seem to go against the grain of the industry's push into alternative fuels and propulsion systems, Wards Auto editors who judged the awards see the list as proof there is significant innovation still happening in the development of traditional gasoline engines, making them more fuel-efficient and refined than ever.

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12/12/12
roc

Bangkok track ready to ROC
News image
Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium is officially ready to ROC following the completion of construction work on the track for the 2012 Race Of Champions.

The event, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

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12/12/12
irl
nassprint

Don't blame Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
When Tony Stewart announced his decision last week to decline Roger Penske’s offer of a ride in the Indy 500, a chorus of boos rained down on him from an otherwise friendly crowd.

But the boos and criticism of Stewart were misguided. It’s not Stewart’s fault he won’t race at Indianapolis.

So who’s to blame? The government – of course.

For more than 60 years the Indianapolis 500 was always held on Memorial Day, May 30, no matter what day of the week it fell on – except if it fell on a Sunday. Then it was held on Saturday or Monday.

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12/12/12
nassprint

Home Depot's Husky to be primary sponsor on the #20 in 2013
The Home Depot announces it will utilize the home improvement store's proprietary tool brand, Husky, as the primary sponsor for the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota in each of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2013 season. Through this partnership The Home Depot looks to reward its customers through Husky Days of Giving, a Facebook contest offering the chance to win great Husky products daily as well as a grand prize to be awarded at the end of the promotion. Fans can enter once daily between now and December 24 for their chance to win. Husky will be the primary sponsor on JGR's #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 20 races during the 2013 season and will remain the associate sponsor when Dollar General serves as the car's primary sponsor. Joe Gibbs Racing PR

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12/12/12
f1

Hamilton needs 'six months to make impact'
Lewis Hamilton thinks he can make Mercedes into a consistent winner
Lewis Hamilton believes the Mercedes car he will drive next season is a second slower than it should be and that it will take at least six months for him to make a noteworthy impact on the pace of the 2013 Sliver Arrows car.

"I think it's far too early to say because I've never even driven the car," Hamilton commented about his chances next season during an interview with Sky Sports News.

"It looks like (at the final race) in Brazil Mercedes were 1.1 seconds behind so we've got a long, long, steep hill to climb. But I don't think that's impossible, I think the guys have great, great potential and that's why I'm going there.

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12/12/12
f1

Formula 1 - Sauber passes 2013 crash tests
Sauber has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal it has passed all the mandatory crash tests for its 2013 car. The Swiss squad said on Wednesday morning that the C32, the chassis the team will use during the 2013 season, was now fully homologated to begin testing next year.

Cars must pass all crash tests before they can take to the track in testing. The rule was introduced at the start of 2012.

"The C32 chassis and safety structures have passed their FIA safety tests. So, fully homologated and ready for winter testing," said Sauber on Twitter.

Winter testing kicks off at the Jerez circuit on February 5.

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12/12/12
irl

IndyCar driver Oriol Servia gives Humana employees rides around Louisville
There was a different kind of vehicle zooming around downtown Louisville Tuesday afternoon.  IndyCar driver Oriol Servia was giving rides to associates at the Humana headquarters.

It's all to celebrate the partnership between Humana and "Racing for Kids"--any Humana employee who donated a certain amount got to take a ride in the IndyCar.

The charity uses race cars and drivers to bring attention to the needs of sick kids and the hospitals that care for them Humana has supported Racing for Kids since 2004.

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12/12/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • Get over it.  19 races is just fine says Bernie
    2013 calendar could drop to 19 races - Ecclestone
  • Todt plays down Ecclestone-Ferrari spat
  • Frijns could split F1 with DTM in 2013
  • Jaguar scraps $1m Williams supercar
  • 20-race F1 calendar 'on the limit' - Webber
  • Di Resta hoping for top team switch in 2014
  • Red Bull 'worried' before 2012 season - Newey

    Read more & Comment...
12/11/12
f1

Adam Parr Says F1's 'Unequal' Revenue Split Needs EU Probe
Former Williams team Chair ADAM PARR said that the "European Commission should examine terms F1 has promised top-ranked teams Ferrari and Red Bull to see if the payments are anti-competitive," according to Alex Duff of Bloomberg.

Parr said, "There’s a strong case that an unequal division of power and money to a subset of teams is unlawful." He is not convinced  F1 "is organized with the right principles of fair competition." Parr, a former lawyer, first made such comments in a comic book called “The Art of War,” which was published Nov. 29 and is about his five years in Formula One. He said he quit Williams because "rightly or wrongly" he felt that F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "was withholding an offer of new terms to the nine-time champion while he was managing its affairs."

Parr said that "teams are unwilling to complain to the 27-nation European Union’s exec arm about preferential treatment" because they are "highly dependent on goodwill" from the commercial rights holder. Bloomberg

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12/11/12
irl

RACER announces plans to produce official IndyCar Fan Guide
The countdown to the start of a new racing season is always one of the most keenly anticipated parts of the year for racing fans and, for many years, RACER readers were able to build on that interest and get their questions about the year ahead answered in one place through our series of Official Fan Guides. For 2013, that opportunity will be renewed.

"We have reached an agreement with the IZOD IndyCar Series marketing team to once again publish the Official Fan Guide for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series," explains RACER founder, CEO and Executive Publisher Paul Pfanner. "We produced these guides for IndyCar from 2004-'09, and many of our readers will recall that we also published Fan Guides for the CART series, beginning in 1996."

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12/11/12
alms

More accolades for DeltaWing
The Los Angeles Auto Show came to a close on Sunday with the revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing race car widely acknowledged as a major show highlight.

The car that captured the imagination of fans and media at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and October’s Petit Le Mans appeared at the Nissan stand for the duration of the LA show which ran from November 30 through to December 9.

During that time, the unique project continued to receive major industry accolades including the Autosport Magazine Pioneering and Innovation Award in London on December 2.

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12/11/12
irl

Rain slows Rahal on first test for RLL
Graham Rahal, 23, completed his first day of testing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) today at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway. It was also his first time to drive an RLL-prepared race car on a road course after competing in one event for the team – the 2010 Indianapolis 500. TBC Retail Group is primary sponsor of the No. 15 Dallara-Honda-Firestone entry while Valvoline is a major associate sponsor.

Rahal completed 49 trouble-free laps of testing with a best lap time of 54.730 in low-grip, changing track conditions. Light showers in the morning led to a day of testing in damp-to-dry-to-wet conditions and an afternoon shower at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET brought an end to the day.

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12/11/12
f1

Williams defends Senna/Bottas strategy
Williams has defended its decision to make Bruno Senna sacrifice practice mileage to Valtteri Bottas in 2012 after promoting the Finn to take Senna's place in the race team next season.

Senna knew from the outset that he would have to hand his car to Bottas on most grand prix Friday mornings, but regularly argued that the loss of running was hampering his form.

The Brazilian often struggled in qualifying and was dropped at the end of the 2012 Formula 1 campaign.

He ultimately sat out 15 of the year's 20 practice one sessions for Bottas. Team-mate Pastor Maldonado in contrast ran in all sessions.

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12/11/12
usf2000

USF2000 and Cooper Tires Association Extended Through 2015
A vital component in the growth and success of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is its partners and the series is extremely pleased to announce an extension with the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company through 2015. Cooper Tires has been the Official Tire and presenting sponsor of the INDYCAR-sanctioned Mazda Road to Indy series since 2010.

“Not only does Cooper Tires build the absolute best tires for formula cars, they provide unequaled at-track support and have been a true and loyal partner to the USF2000 Championship in countless ways,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “Chris Pantani [Director of Motorsports for Cooper Tires] and his staff are the best, and we are fortunate to have this long-term affiliation with Cooper Tires.”

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12/11/12
automotive

MUSCLE CARS: You Only Live Twice
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Regarding your latest feature article on your home page, While I’m saddened by the prospect that we may lose what has become a new golden age of muscle cars, it’s not total doom and gloom as the article makes CAFE compliance appear to be. It is not necessary for everyone to convert to plastic electric econo-trash-boxes, just to meet the 54.4 CAFE average.

My 2012 VW Passat already beats that with real world fuel economy. No Hybrid technology, no plug in electric pulling down an antiquated power grid, just a clean burning diesel. It’s not a cramped slug econobox either. The Passat is a surprisingly large/midsize family car. It’s TDI engine is quiet, powerful and incredibly fuel efficient. With only modest restraint, I have achieved over 800 miles per tank on several occasions. I drove over 950 miles from Maryland to Orlando on slightly less than 20 gallons of diesel. 4 passengers, trunk packed and in perfect comfort the entire way.

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12/11/12
automotive

Chrysler ordered to rehire workers caught drinking, smoking pot during lunch
The Chrysler Group announced today that the 13 employees from their Detroit Jefferson North Assembly Plant who were fired for getting caught drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana during their lunch breaks have had their jobs reinstated by the company as ordered by a legal arbitrator – helping to illustrate when a brutal failure the legal system often proves to be in the US.

This whole ordeal began in 2010 when reporters from Fox 2 Detroit caught workers from the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit drinking what was clearly alcohol and smoking what looked to be marijuana during their lunch break – only to return back to work after getting drunk and high during lunch. As a result of the Fox 2 Detroit investigation, 2 employees were suspended and another 13 were fired for their gross misconduct in the middle of their shift.

Comment
12/11/12
f1

F1 winter test details emerge
The F1 winter test schedule will, as expected, take the eleven remaining teams to Spain for the month of February.

According to their respective websites, the circuits in Jerez and Barcelona will again share the pre-season preparations, with the southern circuit hosting the opening session between 5-8 February, before the circus decamps to the Spanish GP venue at the Circuit de Catalunya for two subsequent tests, between 19-22 February and 28 February-3 March. The format mirrors that used in 2012, and excludes the previously favored test venue at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

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12/11/12
f1

Webber recovering well from leg surgery 
Mark Webber is recovering well from a successful leg operation, with the Australian undergoing surgery late last week to remove a final piece of metal support.

Webber broke his right leg in a bike crash during his own Tasmania Challenge four years ago, leading doctors to insert a number of pins to aid the recovery process.

Following the planned surgery, Webber has been recovering at home. In 2013, he will contest a 12th season in Formula 1, his seventh as a driver for Red Bull Racing.

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12/11/12
f1

New Concorde deals could be 'unlawful' - Parr
(GMM)  The way Bernie Ecclestone agreed better deals for top teams like Ferrari and Red Bull could be "unlawful", former Williams chairman Adam Parr said on Tuesday.

Having resigned in March, the Briton has now all but confirmed rumors he was pushed out of formula one by its F1 chief executive Ecclestone.

Parr said the 82-year-old had made it clear to Williams' board that a favorable Concorde Agreement deal would not be forthcoming while he was at the helm.

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12/11/12
f1

Boulanger becomes motorsport boss at Renault
Arnaud Boulanger has been appointed as the new Director of Motorsport at Renault Sport. The Frenchman is taking over from compatriot Jean-Pascal Dauce, with the latter joining Alpine Caterham as its Engineering and Project Vice-President.

Boulanger has twenty years of Formula 1 experience to his name. He began his Renault Sport career in 1992, before taking charge of Benetton's test team in 1995. For 1997 and 1998 he acted as Chief Race Engineer, later becoming head of R&D at Renault F1. He then headed up the Process Engineering and Reliability department.

Boulanger's new role will range from F1 work to the organisation of main feeder category World Series by Renault and national Formula Renault championships.

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12/11/12
f1

McLaren will have no problem forgetting Hamilton
McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael says the team will "move on quickly" from the loss of Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

Hamilton leaves to join Mercedes following six seasons with the team in Formula One and a further seven as part of the team's driver development programme. While admitting that Hamilton's departure would be "a loss to McLaren", Michael said such changes are regular occurrences that teams learn to deal with.

"Of course it's a loss to McLaren but just like if anybody leaves, whether it's a driver - there have been some very big, famous names leave McLaren before in terms of drivers - and you don't dwell on it," Michael told James Allen on F1. "You move on quickly because Formula One's all about change management."

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12/11/12
f1

Andy Cowell to take over as chief of Mercedes' Formula 1 engine arm
Andy Cowell will replace Thomas Fuhr as head of Mercedes' Formula 1 engine arm from the start of 2013.

Fuhr, who has been managing director of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains since 2009, is leaving for a new job outside motorsport.

Cowell is currently the group's engineering director, resposible for Mercedes' current and 2014 F1 engines plus its KERS.

At present Mercedes supplies engines to McLaren and Force India as well as its own works F1 team. Autosport.com

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12/11/12
irl

Helio Leads Kanaan, Barrichello At Brazilian Stock Car Finale
Helio Castroneves advanced from the 22nd starting position to finish 14th in the Stock Car Corrida do Milhao (Stock Car Million Race) – the season finale of the Brazilian stock car series -- Dec. 9.

Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Peugeot for Shell Racing, was 18.669 seconds behind winner Thiago Camilo (who received the one million Brazilian Reais) over the 27 laps at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace at Interlagos in São Paulo, Brazil. Caca Bueno, who started on the pole and finished third in the race, won the 12-round series title for Red Bull Racing.

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12/11/12
arca

10 ARCA races in Speed in 2013
Officials from ARCA and FOX Sports Media Group jointly announced at the International Motorsports Industry Show the 2013 television schedule for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, comprised of 10 events to be televised live or on a same-day delay on SPEED.

The 2013 ARCA television schedule will open on SPEED on Saturday, February 16. Live flag-to-flag coverage of ARCA's 50th consecutive annual event at the world-renowned Daytona International Speedway will begin at 4:30 p.m.

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12/11/12
nascar

A NASCAR Gangnam Style Parody


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12/11/12
tv news

Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC
NASCAR Season Review Programs Air Thursday

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series seasons will be reviewed in a pair of half-hour programs airing Thursday, Dec. 13, on ESPN2. The season which saw Brad Keselowski win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship will be reviewed at 3:30 p.m. ET, preceded at 3 p.m. by a review of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season in which Ricky Stenhouse Jr., won his second straight championship.

Waltrip on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner and part-time driver Michael Waltrip will appear in the episode of the ABC-TV program Extreme Makeover Home Edition that airs Monday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET. The Christmas-themed episode features a family that has fostered more than 30 children, including adopting a family of five siblings.  The NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ female dance troupe also is featured.

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12/11/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • HRT Belly-up?
    Unpaid supplier says HRT in liquidation
  • Too early to say di Resta slump a 'pattern' - Szafnauer
  • Sutil still 'negotiating' with Force India
  • Supporter Ramirez admits Perez a 'child'
  • Barrichello 'torn' between Indy and stock car for 2013

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12/10/12
f1

Hobbs on F1's move from Speed to NBC
As there is no such thing as a brief conversation with David Hobbs, I found myself with way more than I could use from our chat Thursday afternoon regarding Formula One, the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and the move of coverage from Fox and Speed to the NBC family next year.

On NBC: (The network secured the rights last month and announced Hobbs would join Leigh Diffey and Steve Matchett on broadcasts)

I think the change to NBC will be another hopefully brick in the wall of trying to cement Formula One in this country. From what they’ve said to me they’ve really gone all out. They’re going to make a bigger show of it than Fox did the last few years. I think we’ve been kind of definitely suffering from being second-tier to NASCAR; all their real interest is in NASCAR, and I don’t think they were just outbid, I think they were outbid on purpose. I don’t think they particularly wanted it. They overspent big time on baseball and NASCAR and they need all the programming they can get to try and recoup some money with advertising. Speed channel will go away at the end of next year. It will be Fox Sports One. And there will be no Speed channel.

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12/10/12
ta

2013 Trans-Am schedule
The Trans-Am Series has released its’ new expanded 2013 schedule. In total, the series will attend 11 venues next season, an increase of three over last year’s eight-venue, ten-race format.

The series also announced collaboration with three other racing series over the course of the year, partnering with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), NASCAR, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) and the SCCA.

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12/10/12
nassprint

Eury Jr. named Stremme's crew chief
Tony Eury Jr. will be the crew chief for Swan Racing's Toyota driven by David Stremme for the 2013 season. The move comes just days after the new team, owned by Brandon Davis, was formally announced. "We have a long-term vision for Swan Racing and the addition of Tony Jr. is another step in that process. Tony brings a world of experience to Swan Racing and will be part of our long-term success," said Davis. "I am really impressed with the team Swan Racing is building and I am proud to be part of it," said Eury. "I am looking forward to working with David Stremme behind the wheel and with competition director Steve Hmiel."

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12/10/12
f1

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

12/10/12
  • Schumacher should have stayed retired says Ecclestone
    Schumacher should not have returned - Ecclestone
  • Red Bull Ring can host 2013 race - Marko
  • Vettel, Raikkonen, break the rules in Turkey
  • Webber has leg surgery in Australia
  • Spain to host all three winter tests
  • Toro Rosso must improve - Mateschitz
  • Ecclestone eyes vodka brand for F1 sponsor deal
  • Kubica rules out F1 return for now
  • Renault: Red Bull are our No 1 priority
  • Newey: Harder to find gains for 2013 New
  • Newey: No surprises with 2013 Red Bull New

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12/10/12
dtm

Audi signs "King of the Norisring"
Jamie Green
A spectacular transfer in the most popular international touring car racing series: After eight years with Mercedes-Benz, one of the most experienced and successful present-day DTM drivers is switching to Audi. Jamie Green has contested 83 DTM races to date, having won eight of them and clinching the top spot on the grid on six occasions. He finished the 2012 season in third place of the championship. In doing so, the Briton was the only driver to have scored points in all ten races while retaining his chances of winning the title all the way to the end.

"There’s no doubt about Jamie Green being one of the best DTM racers currently in the field," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "He proved this in 2012 and was more or less able to choose the manufacturer he wanted to compete for in the DTM - we’re delighted that he has opted for Audi and convinced that with his experience and speed, he’ll truly be strengthening our DTM squad."

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