Powell joins Tech Sport Racing for 2016 Huntington, NY – Orlando, Florida’s Eric Powell will make a long awaited return to professional auto racing by joining Tech Sport Racing for the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge TCA season. Powell will head up an all-out assault on the championship by piloting one of several Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5s.
Powell, a full-time stunt driver for Walt Disney World, brings an already healthy resume with over 16 years of racing to his credit. Eric’s past experience stems from a wide range of karting prior to racing stock cars for several years and making a transition to road racing in 2006 with a figurative cliff-jump into a Pro Formula Mazda test.
As this article points out, there have been many periods in F1 history where one team or another dominated. Yet it was only recently that fans are saying F1 is boring. As AR1 had predicted, and now it's all coming true, the thrilling scream of the F1 engines is what made F1 exciting. The racing was never close like IndyCar or NASCAR. Now that the 'scream' is gone, the thrill is gone, and F1's fanbase is shrinking.
There is a battle royal raging in Formula One at present. Bernie Ecclestone is facing a collapse in the sport's audience and his response is to blame the power unit manufacturers - particularly Mercedes. "The domination of Mercedes is so strong that a good number of people watch the start of a race and then switch off their televisions because Mercedes have made races boring," Ecclestone told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
"It is not good for the sport. Fans don't want to know before the start of a Grand Prix who is going to win. It's a problem for us at the moment and one that we must resolve."
And it appears many F1 fans agree with Bernie. In a damning verdict, 215,000 fans scored the pinnacle of motorsport as 'boring' in the GPDA backed poll earlier this year. F1 supporters also said the sport had gone from "exciting" to "boring" in just five years.
Tickets are on sale today for a sure-to-be legendary and historic season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans who have not already pre-ordered tickets can visit the IMS ticket office or IMS.com to purchase their seats for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and an action-packed slate of Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR and vintage racing at IMS.
IndyCar: Push-to-Pass Horsepower Increasing for 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series drivers will have more horsepower at their disposal when activating the push-to-pass overtake assist at road- and street-course races in the 2016 season.
INDYCAR announced that turbocharger boost pressure during push-to-pass use will increase from 160 kilopascals (kPa) in 2015 to 165 kPa, equating to a gain of approximately 20 horsepower in the Chevrolet and Honda 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. Normal boost pressure on road and street courses - before the overtake assist is engaged - remains at 150 kPa in 2016.
Canadian Zachary Claman Demelo Joins Juncos Racing for 2016 Indy Lights Campaign Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Zachary Claman Demelo will join the team for the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Claman is the second driver to join the regaining 2015 Indy Lights Champions line up for the 2016 season.
The 2016 Indy Lights season will mark Zachary Claman Demelo’s (Montreal, Canada) first run in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. The Canadian native recently made his official debut with Juncos Racing at the fifth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test. Claman proved to be a strong contender in the Indy Lights series leading the field in the final session and finishing third overall.
Sid Mauldin dies Sid Mauldin, co-owner of the No. 8 Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), passed away last night, December 14, from complications stemming from his courageous fight with gastric cancer. He was 61 years-old.
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has admitted Red Bull could be outpaced by the energy drink team's secondary team in 2016.
Carlos Sainz said recently he thinks it is possible Toro Rosso's switch to 2015-spec Ferrari engines could mean the Faenza team outpaces the still Renault-powered premier outfit Red Bull Racing next year.
"In theory," said the Spanish rookie, "next season we should be ahead of Red Bull. The Ferrari engine has maybe 50 or 60hp more."
(GMM) F1 team Williams will run a new Formula E outfit for Jaguar Land Rover, the Indian-owned British carmaker. Williams "will be responsible for the operational running of the Jaguar Formula E race team", the Oxfordshire based team announced on Tuesday.
"We are delighted that they have chosen Williams Advanced Engineering as their technical partner in this new and high profile chapter in Jaguar's racing history," said Williams' Craig Wilson.
Williams already supplies the all-important batteries to Formula E, the FIA's electric single seater series.
Trulli has confirmed that it will withdraw from the Formula E championship with immediate effect, ending its involvement in the nascent series.
Trulli finished at the foot of the championship in 2014/15, having amassed only 17 points, while technical and supply issues with its Motomatica JT-01 prevented it from competing in the opening two rounds of the 2015/16 season.
Lewis Resigns From Global F4 Racing Team Fort Myers, FL - Global F4 Racing Team announced today that it has accepted the resignation of John Lewis from the operation. Mark Weida has taken over as President / General Manager and Chief Engineer. The new company and team name is now Leading Edge Grand Prix, Inc. after Weida's very successful Leading Edge Motorsports Indy Lights team and will continue to offer the most comprehensive and financially rewarding driver programs for interested drivers with its four car F4 campaign.
Leading Edge F4 will retain all of its personnel, its base in SW Florida and current driver programs in a quest to capture the 2016 FIA F4 United States Championship crown.
Nissan Withdraws from IMSA and moves to PWC Nissan North America will end its factory presence in IMSA for 2016, and focus its North American sports car efforts primarily in the Pirelli World Challenge next year.
A statement from Nissan reads:
"Nissan North America is consolidating its motorsports presence to showcase the Nissan GT-R in the Pirelli World Challenge GT category for the 2016 season.
Formula One has everything a sports league could ever want. It boasts a storied history and a global, high-income fanbase. Its team owners are willing to shell out a combined $2.5 billion to fund their operations, and they do so fully willing to take a loss. And, put simply, F1 features the most exhilarating auto racing on the planet.
Chris Smith of Forbes writes - Yet F1′s investors have watched as the series has shed billions in value over the last few years, and a carousel of potential buyers interested in the undervalued series has yet to deliver a single person who liked what he found when he got a closer look. A deeper examination shows that F1 is mired in structural issues, ranging from financial inequalities among teams to an archaic corporate model, that are very likely the reason the series once valued at $12 billion is now worth just 70% of that.
While some things will change for the Mazda Prototype team in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the full-season driver lineup will remain the same. Behind the wheel of the two Soul Red Mazda Prototypes will be factory drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Tom Long and Joel Miller. Additional drivers for the four endurance races, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona, will be revealed in the near future.
Whether in the DTM, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSCC), or countless other championships: week after week BMW teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories and titles. Away from the track too, members of the large BMW Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The "BMW Motorsport News" allows us to regularly summarize all the action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you are always up to speed.
Toy State Becomes NASCAR Licensee Toy State, a toy industry leader and innovator of licensed and highly-stylized ‘lights and sound' and radio-controlled toy vehicles, has entered into a global licensing agreement with NASCAR.
The relationship will allow Toy State to introduce NASCAR-licensed products specially designed to connect with the next generation of NASCAR fans.
David Ragan optimistic, but still searching for a 2016 ride
With Friday's announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports has named Brian Scott the driver of the organization's No. 9 Ford next season, David Ragan has one less potential option available in his pursuit of a ride for 2016.
Ragan, who spent time with three different teams this past season, was left looking for work after the closure of Michael Waltrip Racing, where he drove the final 26 races of 2015 in the No. 55 Toyota.
Who is having a worse year -- VW or Chipotle? As 2015 fades to black, Volkswagen and Chipotle Mexican Grill probably wish they could get a do-over. Both brands suffered through PR crises this year that have taken a serious toll on consumer perception and whose fallout will likely persist into 2016.
India auto giant buys Pininfarina India automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra has agreed to buy Italian car designer Pininfarina in a deal worth about 168 million euros ($185 million), underscoring the Indian vehicle maker’s international ambitions.
"The legendary high-end design credentials of Pininfarina will significantly enhance the design capabilities of the entire Mahindra group," Chairman Anand Mahindra said in the statement. "Given the increasing design sensibilities of today's consumers, product design will greatly influence customer choice."
Video: Mercedes Cars and Stars Highlights A perfect way to round off the most successful year in the motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz, as Daniel Juncadella is crowned first ever Stars & Cars Champion. In front of 35,612 spectators at the Mercedes-Benz Arena Stuttgart, the Mercedes-AMG DTM driver prevailed over Pascal Wehrlein in the fourth and final round of the day. (Note: first minute of video is useless)
Aston Martin Confirmed as IMSA Partner Aston Martin North America has reached an agreement with IMSA to become an official Automotive Partner, which has seen TRG-AMR confirm a factory-backed GT Daytona class effort to kick off the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The Kevin Buckler-led team will enter a pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring, as part of a collaborative effort with the British manufacturer.
Dirty Diesel should have been banned from vehicles decades ago
Determined to sell diesels in a market with the world's toughest emissions standards, Volkswagen faced a challenge that even its vaunted engineers found impossible to solve.
So they decided to cheat.
That much was made clear last week, as top VW officials in Germany fessed up in broad terms to the motives behind the mischief that has convulsed the company and scandalized the auto industry. But their two-hour presentation to reporters shed little light on what transpired between that fateful decision in the mid-2000s and the unraveling of the ruse three months ago.
COTA lost part of their $25M per year in state funding
A split Austin City Council approved two measures Thursday "that allow the Circuit of The America's racetrack and event venue to apply for state special events incentives."
Officials with COTA "had earlier asked the Texas Major Events Reimbursement Program for economic incentives to host two other events: Moto GP motorcycle races and the Summer X Games." In order to qualify for the state funding, COTA "needed the approval of Austin City Council" Austin BUSINESS JOURNAL
Marcos Gomes clinches Brazilian V8 Stock Cars title after chaotic race in Interlagos
Marcos Gomes is the new Brazilian V8 Stock Car champion. The 31-year-old driver, son of the four-time Stock Car champion Paulo Gomes, is the first ever to repeat his father's feat in the country's most prestigious series. It came the hard way, though: a six-car crash in Turn 4 took out Rubens Barrichello, Beto Monteiro, Rafael Suzuki, Max Wilson, Bia Figueiredo and Allam Khodair. Ana Beatriz and, later on, Marcos Gomes, got back to the track, far behind the leaders.
For Gomes luck, Caca Bueno also involved himself in a smaller crash that damaged his bonnet, and he would finish in 20th place - he needed at least a fourth place finish (in case of a Gomes' DNF) to get his sixth title.
Rosberg 'extraordinarily good' late in 2015 - Prost
Mercedes decided it was Rosberg's turn to win
(GMM) Alain Prost does not think Nico Rosberg needs to leave Mercedes in order to take his next step in formula one.
In recent days, Mercedes' lineup has been the subject of speculation, with boss Toto Wolff saying the bitterness of the feud between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton needs to stop.
"I am good friends with Toto and Niki Lauda," F1 legend Prost told Bild newspaper.
"It's correct that they asked me for advice last season, but I think they have this difficult situation well under control. Although it must not get out of control," insisted Prost, whose relationship with Ayrton Senna famously exploded in the late 90s.
Daniel Ricciardo like most, does not like today's lame F1 engines
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo this weekend got a stark reminder of something he misses about formula one -- the noise.
In his native Perth, the Red Bull driver was demonstrating Sebastian Vettel's title-winning car from 2011, and admitted that the sound its V8 makes compared to the current 'power units' of 2015 is striking.
"I think it's on all of our wish lists," Ricciardo, referring to the need to turn up F1's volume once again and reinstate its "real" sound, told ABC Grandstand.
"When you go to an event and see it live, part of that noise and sound creates an atmosphere and how formula one is now, it just lacks that a little bit," he added.
"It will happen one day soon hopefully and go back to its roots."
(GMM) Nico Rosberg has sympathized with Mick Schumacher, amid the hype surrounding the 16-year-old son of F1 legend Michael.
Fellow German Rosberg, Mercedes' runner-up driver of 2015 and Michael Schumacher's former teammate, witnessed the hype first-hand this weekend as young Mick also attended the end-of-year Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart.
"I hope that it (motor racing) remains fun for him, because that is the thing that matters the most," Rosberg said, according to German media.
Porsche to return full strength at Le Mans Porsche celebrated its outstanding 2015 motorsport season achievements at the traditional Night of Champions gala in Weissach, Germany. During the evening events, Porsche CEO, Dr. Oliver Blume, provided the first prospects for the upcoming season. "On the racetrack we have experienced one of the most successful years in our company's history. For 2016, we are placing emphasis on consistency and will again shift up a gear. We will be the only manufacturer to tackle three of the four classes at Le Mans," he outlined in his speech.
AMA Pro Flat Track Lands COTA Date The world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series will make its inaugural visit to the purpose-built Grand Prix facility on April 9, 2016, running in conjunction with the Grand Prix of the Americas.
"I'm delighted that we are able to bring AMA Pro Flat Track racing to COTA, to complete the ultimate festive weekend of motorcycle sport,” said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. "Today’s MotoGP stars are fascinated with our unique brand of racing and the growing Superprestigio events in Las Vegas and Barcelona are testament to the wide appeal and recent interest in Pro Flat Track racing."
Daytona adds more SAFER barrier to inside retaining walls
Wrecking is racing in NASCAR
Looking ahead to 2016, track president Joie Chitwood III Chitwood says the track will be safer for competitors and fans thanks to additional SAFER barriers and grandstand seats built higher and away from the catch fence.
The Speedway had two chilling moments in 2015. Toward the end of the Speedweeks' Xfinity Series race, driver Kyle Busch broke his leg and foot when he crashed hard into the inside retaining wall.
#9 team will get new crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion parted ways with Richard Petty Motorsports on Thursday. RPM confirmed Manion's departure and is continuing to evaluate potential candidates for the position. Trent Owens will oversee the Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday. Manion most recently worked with Sam Hornish Jr. on the #9 Ford.
RPM announced last month that Hornish would not return the team. On Friday, RPM officially announced that Brian Scott will drive the car. Manion replaced Drew Blickensderfer with the #9 team following the May race at Talladega Superspeedway. Blickensderfer remained with the organization as the Director of research and development and is a candidate for Scott's crew chief. Motorsport
Video: 2016 Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar announcement Dale Coyne announces the partnership with Jonathan Byrd's Racing to run Bryan Clauson in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as well as running Conor Daly for a full season.
Ford worker in Ohio charged with stealing tire sensors, selling them on eBay According to a report on the website of Newsnet 5, an ABC affiliate TV station in Cleveland, Joseph Jankulovich, 48, of Sheffield, Ohio, faces felony theft and receiving stolen property charges related to his alleged theft of Ford OEMS tire sensors from Ford's Avon Lake assembly plant.
An Avon Lake police detective told the TV station that, based on records, he estimated approximately 5,000 sensors were sold, while "Ford estimates they were missing around 8,000."
Bridgestone hikes offer for Pep Boys The new offer by Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone, raises the deal value by $28 million to $863 million for Pep Boys, the companies said.
The new offer comes after Pep Boys said on Wednesday that it planned to terminate its deal with Bridgestone as its board considered Carl Icahn's offer as a "superior proposal."
Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises LP had offered to buy Pep Boys for $15.50 per share.
(GMM) Former F1 driver Alex Wurz's next move in the world of motor racing is now clear.
Recently, the Austrian turned down an offer to become the new team principal at Manor, having decided to retire from competitive racing.
41-year-old Wurz's latest seat has been with Toyota's premier LMP1 project in Le Mans racing, and now Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that he will remain with the Japanese outfit as a consultant and ambassador.
(GMM) Pascal Wehrlein says his chances of moving onto the F1 grid next year at still 50-50.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, has previously mentioned the 50-50 likelihood as he negotiates with Manor for a race seat for the new DTM champion.
But competition for the seats is high, with Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi both bringing funding to the British backmarker in 2015, and now the Indonesian government promising EUR 15 million if Rio Haryanto makes his debut next year.
IndyCar news bits The Indy car that will be "dropped" New Year's Eve during the countdown to welcome in 2016 was unveiled Dec. 11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The car will remain on display at the home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers until the Dec. 31 event. ...
The Grand Prix of Boston powered by LogMeIn announced a partnership with Global Partners' Alltown convenience stores and ExxonMobil that help veterans, active military and first responders in the New England area attend the event. Approximately 50,000 tickets will be given away for Freedom Friday events on Sept. 2, which features the first on-track activity for the inaugural Grand Prix of Boston, as well as family-friendly activities around the Grand Prix site. ...
Brian Scott Signs with Richard Petty Motorsports for 2016
Brian Scott will take over the wheel of the no. 9 Ford in 2016
Richard Petty Motorsports announced their new driver for their no. 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry for the 2016 season, introducing former Xfinity Series standout Brian Scott at a media event on Friday at their shop on Mooresville, NC.
Scott, who spent the last six years racing in the Xfinity Series for such teams as Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing, will make his debut with next week in a Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Dec. 14.
Scott will replace Sam Hornish, Jr. behind the wheel of the no. 9 Ford Fusion in 2016. Scott has recorded 17 Sprint Cup starts and will make a run for Rookie of the Year in 2016.
DeFrancesco joins Carlin's MSA Formula race team line-up
Generation Ganassi driver Devlin DeFrancesco will join Carlin's MSA Formula team for the 2016 season. The 15 year-old has spent the last season as member of the Carlin Academy, preparing for his first season in single-seaters in 2016. DeFrancesco joins already announced driver James Pull.
DeFrancesco has a successful background in karting, with highlights including winning the Canadian National Junior Championship in 2013. DeFrancesco was also also named Vice-Champion of the CSAI Italian Championship and was third overall in the CIK FIA European Karting Championship.
Formula 3 European champion and two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Felix Rosenqvist is to test an Indy Lights car next week.
The 24-year-old Swede will run at the Palm Beach circuit in Florida on Thursday with Pro Mazda title-winning squad Team Pelfrey, which has expanded into Lights after acquiring the 8Star Motorsports team.
Ron Bouchard dead at 67 Ron Bouchard, winner of the 1981 Talladega 500 and the premier series' rookie of the year that same season, passed away Thursday. He was 67.
NASCAR made a statement on Thursday regarding the news, "Ron Bouchard's passion for racing was evident from his very early years in NASCAR. Competition fueled Ron, whether racing modifieds at short tracks across the Northeast or winning rookie of the year honors in NASCAR's premier series. He loved this sport, and made an indelible mark on it, one that won’t soon be forgotten.
Jonathan Byrd's sponsors Daly for season and Clauson for Indy with Coyne
Clauson and Daly
Central Indiana based Jonathan Byrd’s and long time Verizon IndyCar Series team Dale Coyne Racing have partnered to bring a pair of young, American drivers to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar schedule.
Bryan Clauson will drive the No. 88 Dale Coyne Racing/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Honda as a one-off entry for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. This attempt to make the 33 car field will be Clauson’s third, having qualified and raced in the 2012 and 2015 races.
Ford Accelerates Expansion Of Electrified Vehicle Battery Research And Development
As AR1.com predicted many years ago, the future car will be 100% electric power and lithium ion batteries will be replaced by capacitors made from graphene that enable cars to be recharged in a couple of minutes.
Ford is expanding its electrified vehicles research and development program in Europe and Asia this year, creating a "hub and spoke" system that allows the global team to further accelerate battery technology and take advantage of market-specific opportunities.
The global expansion also allows Ford’s Electrified Powertrain Engineering teams to share common technologies and test batteries virtually, in real time, to develop new technology faster while reducing the need for costly prototypes.
Ford - the top seller of plug-in hybrid vehicles and second largest electrified vehicle seller in the U.S. - continues investing in electrified vehicle technology, research and development teams.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In a press conference today at the PRI Show, RJB Motorsports and Metalloid Corporation announced that talented up-and-coming American Michai Stephens will join SCCA champion Clint McMahan as the Sturgis, Mich-based team steps up full-time into the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2016.
Stephens, 23, from Evanston, Ill., gained his introduction to the sport as a 4-year-old when he spied an Indy car on display during a family visit to the Chicago Auto Show. Hailing from a background with no ties to the racing industry, nor the means to pursue his new-found passion, Stephens finally found an opportunity 16 years later, in 2012, when he discovered information about the Skip Barber Racing School’s INDYCAR Academy – aimed specifically at drivers without any previous background in car racing or even karting.
Sunday: The rise of Formula One star Lewis Hamilton
He drives a multimillion-dollar car at well over 200 mph. He wins races all over the globe and the love of millions of fans. He's a three-time world champ and he's only 30 years old. Not bad work if you can get it. That's the life of Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton, who describes his thrilling job and how he got to the top to Charlie Rose on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
"It's like you're strapped to a rocket...how do you control this rocket? It's like a raging bull," Hamilton tells Rose. "It's wild. It's sexy. It's fast."
Formula One cars can make turns at over 100 mph without tipping over. The engineering makes them incredibly expensive. "Nothing can really prepare you for when you get in the Formula One car...a multimillion dollar car and if you crash it, it's going to cost a lot of money and they might not give you another chance," says Hamilton.
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