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DATE News (chronologically)
12/16/14
f1

Ecclestone regains control of F1
Bernie Ecclestone
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has won his battle to retain control of Formula 1 after ex-Diageo CEO Paul Walsh "walked away from plans to become chairman of the F1 board," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES.

F1's major shareholder CVC Capital Partners co-Founder Donald Mackenzie lined up Walsh as chairman with exec duties, with a brief to loosen Ecclestone's "grip on the running of the motorsport." But a "carefully laid plan" to install Walsh as chairman at last Monday's board meeting was put "on hold at the last minute," and the issue was not discussed.

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12/16/14
f1

Mexican-Based Telecom America Movil Partners With Ferrari F1 Team
Ferrari
Ferrari F1 announced that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with Mexican-based telecom America Movil, which has a presence in Latin America and Europe, according to F1 TODAY. The agreement, which assigns to America Movil the designation of sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari, extends to its principal brands, including Telmex, Telcel and Claro.

Starting from the '15 season, the brands' logos will be visible on the Scuderia cars and on the race suits of its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and its test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez. F1 Today

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12/16/14
irl

Top Andretti Shock Engineer Joins Coyne Team
A blast from the past - CART Mexico City 2002, 400,000 on race day, from left, Kool team members Travis Abel, Steve Challis, and Stuart Kenworthy
PLAINFIELD, Illinois - Dale Coyne Racing has been hard at work filling the long off season with projects and personnel additions as they keep an eye toward a competitive 2015 season.

Several new team members have joined the Dale Coyne Racing team this fall in preparation for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar World Series.  The most recent addition is Stuart Kenworthy who will head up the shock and damper department. 

"Stuart brings a wealth of experience from his years at Andretti, Quantum and Chip Ganassi Racing," commented Team Owner Dale Coyne.  "We look forward to his contribution and ongoing development in this highly competitive sector of our sport."

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12/16/14
nassprint

Kurt Busch - My ex-girlfriend is a trained assassin
Patricia Driscoll (L) - trained assassin
Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend is in court to get a restraining order against him - but the NASCAR driver is fighting back with what he says is proof she's a certified badass who couldn't possibly be afraid of him.

Patricia Driscoll testified in a Dover, Delaware court Tuesday about Kurt's alleged attack on her after one of his races in September. As we've reported ... Driscoll claims he choked her inside his motorcoach.

But sources close to Busch tell TMZ Sports his legal team has submitted a YouTube video of Driscoll as evidence. The video entitled "Pocket Commando" -- was posted earlier this year, and shows her at a gun range, showing off marksman skills and talking about the company she owns ... Frontline Defense Systems.

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12/16/14
usf2000

Lloyd driven by dream to follow road to IndyCar
Coming from the same Australian home town as IndyCar champion Will Power is bound to do Jordan Lloyd no harm as he chases his dream of racing in the popular open-wheel series in the United States.

Lloyd said he had spoken with Power about racing and that the IndyCar powerhouse was a great source of support.

Ben Gersekowski is another Toowoomba driver hoping to break into the IndyCar Series in coming years so who knows, maybe there could be three drivers from the Garden City on the grid at the famous Indianapolis 500 in the near future.

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12/16/14
il

Hargrove To Test 8Star's Indy Lights Car
Scott Hargrove
Scott Hargrove will be one of the first to be assessed for a drive with 8Star Motorsports in the 2015 Indy Lights Series Presented by Cooper Tires in an official test at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway on Wednesday.

Canada's Hargrove drove a Kart for the first time when he was 13 years old, planting the seed that would lead him to high profile successes in the US and overseas.

As a recipient of the 2013 Team Canada Scholarship, the young charger proudly represented his home nation in the prestigious Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in the United Kingdom and acquitted himself well by finishing fourth in a super-competitive field consisting of 57 of the world's brightest young racers.

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12/16/14
uscc

Hand to team with Pruett in #01 Ganassi Ford
Joey Hand replaces Memo Rojas in the trademark #01 Ganassi car
INDIANAPOLIS (December 16, 2014) – Seven-time IMSA Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today partner Ford and their EcoBoost engine technology will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 01 in the Prototype category for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) season-long effort with drivers Scott Pruett and talented veteran road racer Joey Hand. Both Ford and Hand step into their new roles with the team as part of multi-year deals.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

Ford’s Rich Sports Car History: Ford's history with sports car racing stretches back to the 1960's, with its legendary factory effort at the 24 Heures du Mans. Today's factory effort plays an important role in developing Ford Motor Company's EcoBoost technology. Ford's twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 raced to three wins with CGRFS, including a win in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, seven podiums and more than 15,000 endurance racing miles in its first season of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition in 2014. In fact, the Sebring win was Ford’s first overall win as a manufacturer since 1967.

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12/16/14
nassprint

Sprint to end NASCAR title sponsorship after 2016
Sprint will conclude a 13-year run as NASCAR title sponsor after 2016
Sprint announced on Tuesday that it will not extend its sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beyond 2016. The significant changes within Sprint and the highly competitive business environment it is in led to a decision not to extend its Cup Series entitlement position following the 2016 season.

"We are proud of our association with NASCAR's top series but have made the decision not to extend our sponsorship beyond the next two years," Sprint's vice president-Marketing Steve Gaffney said. "As we look to the future, Sprint is focused on investing in maintaining a competitive edge and providing consumers with the best value in wireless."

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12/16/14
f3

American Santino Ferrucci paces Valencia F3 test
From Autosport -- American Santino Ferrucci set the fastest time in Tuesday's Formula 3 testing at Valencia as he continues his programme with Mucke Motorsport.

The 16-year-old from Connecticut, who raced with EuroInternational and then Fortec Motorsport this year, is tipped to join the Berlin team for 2015 although nothing has been announced.

Ferrucci leapt to the top of the order with a few minutes remaining to pip Dane Mikkel Jensen, who took over at Van Amersfoort Racing from Monday pacesetter Alessio Lorandi.

Jensen, the ADAC Formel Masters champion, had two days of testing with Mucke last week as he weighs up his 2015 plans.

McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner George Russell and beaten finalist Alexander Albon were third and fourth respectively with Carlin and Signature, with BRDC Formula 4 champion Russell fastest until the closing minutes.

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12/16/14
pro mazda

Burkett joins Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing is pleased to announce that Daniel Burkett has joined the team for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Burkett will drive the No. 2.

Canadian Burkett, 19, has been racing for more than half of his life, getting his start in karting in his native Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 2011, he competed in the World Championships of Kart Racing and was named Rookie of the Year by ekartingnews.com. 

In 2013 and 2014 he competed in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda racking up numerous top-five finishes. In 2014, he also competed in the Atlantic Championship Series, winning seven of the 10 events and the championship.

“My goal main goal entering 2015 is to develop my skills and learn as much as possible from the Cape brothers,” Burkett said. “They've developed so many great drivers over the years and it’s an honor to be a part of their organization. We will see what happens in my rookie year of Pro Mazda, however I'm confident that I can be in the top-five every race, fighting for the win.”

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12/16/14
f1

Red Bull trophies found in a lake
From the Daily Mail -- Some of the trophies stolen from Formula One team Red Bull's factory have been found dumped in a lake, it has been revealed.

More than 60 trophies were stolen after a gang of six men used a vehicle to ram the front entrance of the team's building in Milton Keynes at around 1.30am on December 6.

Thames Valley Police said that around 20 of the prizes were recovered from Horseshoe Lake near Sandhurst Monday after being spotted by a member of the public.

Detective Constable Chris Oakman said: 'We estimate about 20 trophies have been recovered, but we are liaising with Red Bull to establish the exact number, as some of the trophies are damaged.'

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12/16/14
fe

Piquet pleased with first podium
Nelson Piquet, Jr.
Nelson Piquet Jr. was satisfied with his performance in the Punta del Este ePrix after scoring his and China Racing’s first podium finish.

The Brazilian led the opening lap after jumping pole man Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti) at the start. But a brush with wall on the opening lap slightly damaged his car, which would leave him powerless to prevent first Vergne and then the e.dams-Renault drivers Sebastien Buemi and Nico Prost from passing him.

However, following his car-swap the balance returned, and with Prost penalised for excessive energy usage and Vergne forced out with damaged suspension, second place was confirmed.

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12/16/14
irl

Reader feedback from IndyCar schedule article
Brian,

Great article. Indy car would make a great MBA case study on how not to succeed in business (taking into consideration the amount of sponsorship and  TV ratings prior to the split in 1996.) Some of these decisions are so poor that its beginning to make Tony George look smart! (LOL)

Regards,
John Swope
Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Comment
12/16/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Montezemolo thinks Vettel can make Ferrari #1 again
    Haas to bid for failed Marussia's assets
  • Vettel to replace Alonso 'the right choice' - Montezemolo
  • Mercedes ready to compromise amid engine dispute
  • F1 news about Gutierrez, Frijns, Nielsen
  • Fisichella completes F1 demo in Bologna


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12/15/14
wec

Wayne Taylor Racing Targeting LM24 LMP2 Effort
The Wayne Taylor Corvette DP is not qualified to compete at LeMans.  They will have to acquire a proper race car for LeMans
Wayne Taylor is hopeful of having his team be on the grid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after gaining an automatic invite to compete in the LMP2 class next year.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype squad received the news Monday from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest that it has been awarded one of two "at large" entries from IMSA to take part in the twice-around-the-clock French endurance classic.

With its Corvette DP not eligible to compete in the French endurance classic, the team is now working to finalize a Le Mans-only effort with a yet-to-be-determined LMP2 car.

"I'm working on putting a program together to do it," Taylor told Sportscar365. "We got the offer and it's always difficult to get an entry to Le Mans But it's still in the very early planning stages."

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12/15/14
f1

Alguersuari says Formula 1 is 'a big GP2' at 100 times the price
Jaime Alguersuari
Ex-Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari says Formula 1 is now less of a challenge for rookies, describing the top echelon as "a big GP2".

Alguersuari became the youngest driver to start a Grand Prix when he debuted in 2009 aged 19, a record that will be beaten by 17-year-old Max Verstappen next year.

Given the recent rule changes, which include the switch from V8 engines to turbo V6 power units, Alguersuari – now racing for Virgin in Formula E – says the task for newcomers is totally different.

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12/15/14
automotive

Burt Reynolds Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am sells for $450k
Julien's Auctions, the auction house to the stars concluded a whirlwind two-day auction of The Collection of Award Winning Actor Burt Reynolds. The exciting auction event featuring personal effects, career memorabilia, and a museum-caliber fine art collection took place at the Palms Casino Resort Thursday and Friday with bidders from around the world bidding high and bidding often.

Burt Reynolds, best known as a leading film star, has had a storied career both on the big and small screen. Aside from his award winning portrayals of some of the world's most iconic characters in film and television, Reynolds is also a businessman who has owned a football team, a dinner theatre, a working ranch and even a museum.

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12/15/14
nassprint

Kurt Busch to appear in Del. court tomorrow
An attorney for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch says that the former Sprint Cup champion will appear in a Delaware courtroom tomorrow for his hearing related to a protection from abuse petition filed by his ex-girlfriend.

Attorney James Liguori told The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) that Busch must report to the Kent County Family Court by 9 a.m. local time and that his hearing is one of 11 total hearings at the court tomorrow.

Busch's hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 2, but it was postponed as he would be returning to the U.S. on that day after competing in Italy.

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12/15/14
f1

Gene Haas to bid for collapsed Marussia's assets for his new F1 team
The American tycoon Gene Haas has revealed that he will be bidding for the assets of the collapsed Marussia Formula One team when they are put up for auction on Tuesday at its former factory in Banbury.

The team closed their doors in November and missed the last three races of the season. To pay their bills, administrators are selling nearly 1,000 items including steering wheels, gearboxes, race suits and even the 2013 chassis.

It is of particular interest to Haas as he is launching an F1 team in 2016. After revealing that he is considering locating it in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, he said: "We have got the Marussia auction list so I think we will be bidders for some of that stuff."

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12/15/14
f1

Mercedes parade and horrible engines send F1 popularity tumbling
Despite the German Mercedes engines and team dominating F1 in 2014, and despite a German driver (Rosberg) battling for the F1 title, the German F1 fans are quickly finding F1 boring. All that money they are spending on those horrible sounding hybrid engines is sending fans headed for the exits and the TV channel switched to something more exciting, such as basket weaving 101.

F1 "is experiencing increasing resistance from fans in Germany," according to the SID. A representative survey, conducted by Nuremberg-based research institute puls, found that 31% of Germans who have a general interest in sports "do not care about F1." A further 39% said that "their interest in the series has decreased." Only 6% reported their interest in the sport increased, while 24% said nothing has changed.

German free-to-air TV channel RTL reported its F1 viewing numbers "decreased during the '14 season." The 19 races attracted an average audience of 4.36 million viewers and had a market share of 28.2%. In '13, RTL's F1 broadcasts obtained a market share of 31.9% as an average of 5.28 million viewers tuned in. SID

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12/15/14
nassprint

2/3rds of NASCAR drivers to start Sprint Unlimited race (It's not very special anymore)
Coming off an exciting 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, NASCAR announced Monday all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona Int'l Speedway.

The 75-lap, non-points race will once again kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season Saturday, Feb. 14 and will feature an expanded field of drivers based on new eligibility requirements.

A minimum of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are eligible to participate in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. In addition to the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup participants, the field also will include 2014 Coors Light Pole Award winners, as well as former Sprint Unlimited race winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time in 2014. Any remaining spots will be filled by drivers highest in 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship points who are not already eligible.

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12/15/14
nassprint

Vickers to miss start of 2015 Sprint Cup season
Vickers
Brian Vickers will miss the start of the 2015 NASCAR season after undergoing surgery Saturday to repair a hole in his heart.

In a statement, Vickers said he began feeling ill late last week and went to the hospital for tests, which revealed his body was rejecting the artificial patch he had for a previous heart problem.

Michael Waltrip Racing has not named a replacement driver for the start of the season and it is unclear how long Vickers will be out.

"I have faced obstacles before and it has made victory that much sweeter and I know that will be the case again,'' the 31-year-old said. "I will need plenty of time, rest and rehab, but this temporary setback will not stop me from pursuing my dream of becoming a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.''

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12/15/14
track news

Auto Club Speedway promotes from within, names new President
Dave Allen has taken over as the new president of Auto Club Speedway. Allen was previously the vice president of sales and marketing for the two-mile oval outside Los Angeles. In his new role as president, he replaces Gillian Zucker, who recently exited the motorsports arena to become president of business operations for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

Allen will control the entire operations of both ACS and its drag-racing facility, Auto Club Dragway. He will report to John R. Saunders, president of track owner International Speedway Corporation.

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12/15/14
f1

Gutierrez gets Ferrari testing role
Esteban Gutierrez
Maranello, 15 December 2014 – Ferrari announces that, as from next season, Esteban Gutierrez will become part of the Scuderia workforce. After two years competing in Formula 1 at the wheel of Ferrari-powered cars, the young Mexican has now been chosen for the job of test and reserve driver, a role in which his experience will be put to good use in the area of car development.

"While confirming our full confidence in a formidable race driver pairing, made up of four times World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, a past champion with Ferrari, I am pleased to welcome Esteban Gutierrez," commented the Scuderia's Director General and Team Principal, Maurizio Arrivabene. 

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12/15/14
wec

10 teams invited to 2015 24 Hours of LeMans
Taking into account the results in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, the Asian and the European Le Mans Series and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, 10 teams have won invitations to take part in qualifying for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours. This represents a possible entry of 13 cars out of the 56 places available on the grid for the race on 13-14 June.

Two invitations for:

• AF Corse: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM GTE Pro category and second in the LM GTE category in the European Le Mans Series - one invitation in LM GTE Pro and another to be chosen between LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am.
• SMP Racing: victory in the LM GTE and GTC categories in the European Le Mans Series - one invitation in LM GTE Am and another to be chosen between LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am.
• Team AAI: victory and second place in the GTC category in the Asian Le Mans Series - two invitations in LM GTE Am.

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12/15/14
f1

Dennis gives Alonso no-out for three years
McLaren executive chairman Ron Dennis says Fernando Alonso's new McLaren-Honda Formula One contract is three years with no exit clause.

Dennis was quoted by Spain's El Mundo Deportivo as saying Alonso has a clear "three-year contract."

"There is no exit clause, or any other inventions of the media that were published in the past days," Dennis said.

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12/15/14
wec

Gibson Reveals New LMP2 Car
The first Le Mans contender to carry the name associated with the Gibson brand will feature a host of improvements that will ensure the car remains at the forefront of the LMP2 category. It is the latest development of the ultra competitive Zytek chassis, which won its class at Le Mans this year, as well as in 2011 and has been an overall victor at some of the most famous race circuits across the world. Eight of the last 10 European Le Mans Series races have also seen the chassis take pole position.

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12/15/14
f1

Contract between Robin Frijns and Caterham expires
The contract between the 23-year-old Dutch race driver Robin Frijns and 1Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT), the company holding the race license of Caterham F1 Team, expires today (15 December 2014). Frijns was part of the team during the 2014 Formula One campaign as their Test and Reserve Driver.

Robin Frijns: "I'd like to say thank you and goodbye to all the people at Caterham F1 Team, whom I have worked with over the past twelve months. I keep my fingers crossed that there will be a future for the team in Formula One in 2015 and beyond. Especially I'd like to thank former team principal Cyril Abiteboul whom I consider to be mainly responsible for giving me the chance to become a part of the team."

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12/15/14
nassprint
irl

Congress cuts Guard's ad budget for racing
Dale Jr.  won last year's Daytona 500 but the win wasn't enough to save the lucrative National Guard sponsorship
Congress has stripped funding for the Army National Guard's sponsorship of motor sports following revelations that advertising on race cars did little to generate recruits.

Lawmakers cut the Guard's advertising budget by $13.8 million, the same amount the service had requested to sponsor race cars, said Maj. Earl Brown, a Guard spokesman.

"Aggressive recruiting is key to maintaining the strength of our military, but Congress has a responsibility to ensure that every taxpayer dollar spent produces measurable results, especially in an environment of diminishing recruiting budgets," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said in a statement. McCaskill led a Senate panel that examined Guard spending on recruiting and contracting.

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12/15/14
f1

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

12/15/14
  • Lauda prays to god Mercedes gets to keep its locked in advantage so no one can catch them
    Ecclestone says no F1 action on Youtube
  • Magnussen can win titles after 2015 'pause' - Dennis
  • Lauda not sure how F1 engine row will end
  • 'No sense' to try F1 comeback - Kubica
  • Korea endangers sports car race for Hulkenberg
  • Alonso rules out Le Mans in 2015
  • Ferrari should resist 'revolution' - Todt
  • Verstappen 'too young' for F1 - Todt
  • Decision to oust Vergne 'difficult' - Tost
  • Alonso-McLaren 'mess' could be looming - Villeneuve
  • Williams steals Steve Nielsen from Toro Rosso New
  • Tax Dodger Lewis Hamilton shouldn't have won SPOTY New
  • Hamilton eyes seven more years in F1 New


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12/14/14
motogp

Marquez ends 2014 with dirt track win
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez has ended a spectacular year in style by winning Saturday night's Superprestigio DTX in Barcelona. The MotoGP World Champion came out on top following an entertaining battle with Jared Mees, the reigning AMA Grand National Champion, as Kenny Noyes completed the podium.

A star-studded line-up consisted of no less than ten World Champions from various motorcycle disciplines around the world, with the competition being split up into the Superprestigio and Open categories as well as featuring talents of the future in the Junior tier. At the end of the night, eight top riders from across Superprestigio and Open went to battle in the 12-lap Superfinal, with proceedings taking place in Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi for the second time within the space of a year.

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12/14/14
f1

Marussia equipment on the block (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 The assets of "collapsed F1 team Marussia are to be sold at auction," according to the BBC. The team "ceased trading in early November, nearly two weeks after being placed in administration, making about 200 staff redundant." Administrators FRP Advisory confirmed the Banbury-based team "had folded after failed efforts to find a buyer."

Among the items being sold off in an online auction are "race and show cars, trailers, testing gear and office equipment." While the '14 Marussia race cars are "part of the sale, their engines are not included." Auctioneers have "not put a reserve price on any of the items." Marussia became the "second F1 team to be placed in administration this autumn after the Caterham team also folded in October." The auction "takes the form of a live webcast and online sales" and runs from Dec. 16-18 and on Jan. 21.

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12/14/14
uscc

Tequila Patron ESM Runs First Laps in Honda ARX-04b prototype coupe
Tequila Patron ESM attacked the 2015 sports car racing season today by running the all-new Honda Performance Development ARX-04b Honda prototype coupe for the first time. Tequila Patron ESM principal Scott Sharp was first inside the enclosed cockpit racing machine.

"This HPD coupe is very exciting for us, there has been so much anticipation building up to our first laps," said Sharp. "Huge thanks to the entire Tequila Patron ESM team, HPD and Wirth for their efforts in getting the coupe delivered, built and on-track today. We’ve spent many months getting to this point - our hard-working crew, the HPD engineering team and Wirth have been non-stop these last few weeks. They’ve made huge gains on the car, in addition to the logistics and behind the scenes planning. This has been a long process, but we’re super excited about today, tomorrow and the future.

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12/14/14
fe

Sarrazin leads Punta del Este testing
Formula E teams spent Sunday testing in Punta del Este
Venturi driver Stephane Sarrazin posted the quickest time of in-season testing at Punta del Este, narrowly edging out yesterday's race winner Sebastien Buemi.

The Frenchman set his best lap of the day in the final minutes clocking a 1:14.649s, over a tenth clear of Buemi.

Sarrazin said: "It's been a good day after a disappointing race yesterday. We had the speed but I made a mistake and could have picked up some good points. Today we worked on some big set-up changes as there's normally no time and we've not wanted to risk it before a race. With the track rubbering in, everything came together. It's been a very positive day."

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12/14/14
f1

Discount offer for Bahrain F1 tickets begin
The Mercedes parade in Bahrain this past year
BAHRAIN International Circuit (BIC) yesterday kicked off its early bird discount offer for tickets for the 2015 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Tickets can now be purchased at 20 per cent discount.

The Formula One extravaganza is scheduled to take place from April 17 to 19 next year at 'The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East' in Sakhir. It will be the fourth round of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The fantastic offer on all ticket prices is available for a one-month period only, starting from today to January 14 next year.

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12/14/14
nassprint

Additional changes to NASCAR pit rules
There was a meeting this week between NASCAR and the sport's various pit crew coaches regarding the new pit road rules for 2015. The main story line we've seen emphasized this week is the fact that NASCAR is no longer going to enforce a lug nut rule. But that isn't the only thing to come out of that meeting. There are other new rules and ways of enforcement that could have much more drastic impacts on races.

The big move for next season is the removal of more officials from pit road. Starting at Daytona, a new video system will monitor pit road, and penalties will be called from a central video-review location. That means far fewer "judgment" calls by officials. Cut and dry video evidence will rule. And the one area that nobody in the media has mentioned that will be affected the most is crews jumping from the wall early. The rule for when crews can leave the wall goes like this: teams are allowed to be on the ground in their pit stall as soon as their car crosses the back line of the stall directly behind their own.

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12/14/14
roc

Team Nordic win the ROC Nations Cup
Team Nordic's Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg win Nations Cup
Team Nordic's Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg are celebrating after they took a stunning victory in the 2014 ROC Nations Cup at Bushy Park Barbados.

On a hot afternoon in the Caribbean, legends from many of the world's biggest motor sport series teamed up in pairs to battle for national and regional pride. They raced a mix of cars – including the Ariel Atom Cup, Audi R8 LMS, Stadium Super Truck, VW Polo RX, KTM X-Bow, ROC Car and Euro NASCAR – on a purpose-built parallel track at Bushy Park Barbados.

Before the racing the drivers unfurled a banner in conjunction with the institute for advanced research into brain and spinal cord injuries ICM in honor of ROC's absent friend Michael Schumacher as he continues his recovery from his skiing accident. Michael and fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel had won a record six consecutive ROC Nations Cup titles prior to today's action.

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12/14/14
uscc

Porsche Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup
Porsche has confirmed its driver lineup for next month’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The German manufacturer will again enter a pair of Porsche 911 RSRs under the Porsche North America banner as it seeks back-to-back class wins.

Fred Makowiecki, Joerg Bergmeister and newly appointed factory driver Earl Bamber will be in one car, with Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Marc Lieb set to pilot the second GT Le Mans class entry.

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12/14/14
nassprint

Lawsuit against Bowyer dismissed
Clint Bowyer
South Dakota courts have no jurisdiction over a lawsuit between Kustom Cycles and NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer, according to the South Dakota Supreme Court's reversal of a circuit court ruling. The underlying lawsuit involves a motorcycle Kustom Cycles built for Bowyer who, in addition to racing in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, is also a motorcycle enthusiast. According to the Supreme Court brief, Bowyer first met Brian Klock, owner of South Dakota-based Kustom Cycles - which does business as Klock Werks - at a NASCAR race in Florida in 2008, then again in Arizona shortly thereafter.

Bowyer hired Klock to design a custom motorcycle that would match his 1949 Mercury. As payment, Bowyer let Klock film the motorcycle driving on the NASCAR track and gave Klock and his friends special access to a Daytona race. Bowyer also attended a four-hour photo shoot and allowed Klock to use his name and likeness for promotional purposes, the opinion said.

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12/13/14
fe

Buemi wins Punta del Este ePrix as Vergne runs out of juice
Sebastian Buemi
PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY - Sebastien Buemi clinched e.dams-Renault's first win of the season in the 2014 Formula E Julius Baer Punta del Este ePrix with Nelson Piquet Jr. and championship leader Lucas di Grassi completing the podium places.

The Swiss driver fended off Jean-Eric Vergne in the final stages of the race as the Andretti driver pulled over to the side of the track on the penultimate lap.

Buemi said: "I knew he was going to use his FanBoost, clearly we took it a little bit too safe in the last few laps when he started to catch me because I was still trying to save energy. It's a bit silly right now but that is what it is. Then at the restart I locked the rear wheels twice in the chicane so it was a bit on the edge. I knew he was going to be fast but I don't know what happened to him in the end. I'm really happy with today's result."

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12/13/14
fe

Vergne, Heidfeld, Duran win FanBoost
It's shaping up to be a fabulous day for Jean-Eric Vergne
Jean Eric-Vergne of Andretti Formula E, Venturi Racing's Nick Heidfeld and Amlin Aguri's Salvador Duran have won FanBoost for today's Punta del Este ePrix. The drivers will receive a five second 30kw boost in power that they can use at any time during today's ePrix.

F1 veteran Vergne, who is making his Formula E debut, won pole position earlier today. Heidfeld, who nearly won the inaugural Formula E race in September at Beijing, will start today's race 8th, and look to score his first points finish of the season 

Duran, like Vergne is making his Formula E debut. The Mexican driver will begin today's race 15th.

AR1 Staff Report

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12/13/14
fe

Senna excluded from qualifying -- revised grid
Bruno Senna
Bruno Senna has been excluded from Punta del Este ePrix qualifying after his Mahindra Racing team was found to be working on the car within five minutes of the session's starting time. Senna had qualified eighth, however, the penalty means he will start today's race last.

Below is a revised grid:

1. Jean-Eric Vergne, Andretti Formula E
2. Nelson Piquet, China Racing
3. Nico Prost, e.dams-Renault
4. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault
5. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
6. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT
7. Jarno Trulli, Trulli GP
8. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi Grand Prix
9. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT
10. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing
11. Servia, Dragon Racing
12. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri
13. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi Grand Prix
14. Antonio Garcia, China Racing
15. Salvador Duran, Amlin Aguri
16. Michela Cerruti, Trulli GP
17. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
18. Jerome D'Ambrosio, Dragon Racing
19. Matthew Brabham, Andretti Formula E
20. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing

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12/13/14
irl

Top-10 IndyCar drivers of 2014
Racer magazine has published their pick of the top-10 IndyCar drivers of 2014.  They are:
  1. Will Power
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  3. Helio Castroneves
  4. Scott Dixon
  5. Tony Kanaan
  6. Simon Pagenaud
  7. Juan Montoya
  8. Josef Newgarden
  9. Sebastien Bourdais
  10. Carlos Munoz


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12/13/14
NasX

RCR Hires Todd Parrott as its XFINITY Series Competition Director
Todd Parrott, suspended twice by NASCAR for violating their substance abuse policy, is back
Richard Childress Racing has hired industry veteran and championship-winning crew chief Todd Parrott as its Competition Director for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, effective immediately.

Parrott brings a wealth of experience to RCR with 20 years as a crew chief in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. During that time, he won 31 races while earning 144 top-five and 230 top-10 finishes. Through a span of 606 starts, he also led teams to 23 pole awards and finished in the top-five driver points standings six times.

His best season was in 1999 when he led Dale Jarrett to the Sprint Cup championship.

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12/13/14
fe

Bird to start Punta del Este ePrix
Sam Bird celebrating his win three weeks ago in Putrajaya
Putrajaya ePrix winner Sam Bird had an accident during qualifying for today's Punta del Este ePrix. While it was believed that Bird may not be able to start today's race, Virgin Racing has confirmed, the Brit's car will be ready to go. Bird is provisionally scheduled to start 18th.

AR1 Staff Report

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12/13/14
uscc

Ganassi, Rojas Part Ways (Check not big enough)
His Telmex/Telcel check no longer big enough to buy his ride with Ganassi, Rojas looks to take his money to another team
Memo Rojas will not return to Chip Ganassi Racing for next year's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the team having ended its relationship with him.

Additionally, Rojas’ Scuderia Telmex (Telcel) funding will not return to the team either in 2015.

Rojas spent eight years with CGR and together with co-driver Scott Pruett, scored 30 wins, four Rolex 24 at Daytona overall titles and three championships in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series. This year, the pairing won three races at Sebring, Long Beach and Austin.

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12/13/14
fe

Vergne wins Punta del Este pole UPDATE
Jean-Eric Vergne
In his debut for Andretti Formula E, Jean-Eric Vergne has won pole for today's Punta del Este ePrix in Punta del Este Uruguay. With a lap time of 1:15.408 the Formula 1 veteran was more than a tenth quicker than China Racing's Nelson Piquet in 2nd.

Winner of pole position in Beijing and Putrajaya Nico Prost was third, with his e.dams-Renault teammate Sebastien Buemi fourth. Virgin Racing's Jaime Alguersuari was fifth.

Three drivers (Virgin's Sam Bird, Dragon's Jerome D'Ambrosio and Andretti' Matthew Brabham) were not classified in the session.

Below is the provisional grid for today's ePrix.

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12/13/14
irl

Indiana State Taxpayer Dollars Used To Prop Up Ed Carpenter/Sarah Fisher racing
Not able to get any meaningful sponsors on their own with 0.3 TV ratings on NBCSN, CFH Racing has to be propped up by taxpayer dollars
It's not enough that Indiana taxpayers are being forced to subsidize the Hulman-George family's Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the tune of $100 million. The state's Economic Development Corporation is also propping up CFH Racing, co-owned by Tony George's step-son, Ed Carpenter, Jr., and Sarah Fisher with a dubious sponsorship. From the team's press release:

Indiana Secretary of State Victor Smith joined CFH Racing co-owners Sarah Fisher and Ed Carpenter in announcing a partnership in which the Indiana Economic Development Corporation 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.

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12/13/14
f1

Will Caterham return to F1? Sport needs Friday morning track cleaner
Will Caterham and its lineup of ride-buyers return to F1 in 2015 so they could clean the track on Friday morning for the rest of the competitors?
The Caterham F1 Team had an interesting 2014 season. First they were in, then they were out and then back in again – it was all a bit like the Hokey Cokey – but is there a future for the Leafield-based team?

Caterham entered into the championship in 2010 as Lotus Racing and had a solid but unspectacular debut campaign. They managed to finish ahead of both Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing F1 Team, the other new entries for the season, and looked to have a good platform on which to build on. Such was the ambition that team principal Tony Fernandes had one of Colin Chapman's hats to throw into the air, just as Chapman used to, if they managed to win a race.

The following season was supposed to be the year that the Lotus Racing – now named Team Lotus – would score their first points. Jarno Trulli managed to record a 13th place finish in the season opening Australian Grand Prix and it looked as though points could be a real possibility at some point in the season.

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12/13/14
f1

Honda's F1 engine woes underscore the lunacy of the latest engine formula
F1 is tarnishing the 'Ferrari brand' like a cheap watch as it gets its lunch eaten week in and week out on the race track by Mercedes.  Enzo Ferrari must be rolling over in his grave.
The new F1 engines are so complicated that engine manufacturers struggle to keep new versions running.  F1 fans loved the sound of the simpler, more reliable screaming engines of the past.

Do fans care one iota about all that sophistication and electronic wizardry under the bonnet?

Absolutely not.  In fact they despise the sound of the new engines.  They are a complete waste of money, are bankrupting smaller teams, and as you will see in attendance next year, sending fans heading to the exits as the most sophisticated of engines, Mercedes, parade nose-to-tail at the front.  All that's missing are the floats to turn F1 into an official parade.

Speaking to reporters at a special media conference called to announce McLaren's 2015 driver line-up on Thursday McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said work to fix the myriad of electrical problems in its Honda engines was ongoing after the car completed only three slow laps over two full days of testing in Abu Dhabi recently.

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12/13/14
uscc

Corvette Daytona Prototypes to Feature New Look in 2015
The new Corvette DP resembles the C7 street car.  That of course only matters if any fans are watching
The Corvette Daytona Prototype program for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will have a new look in 2015 as Chevrolet has developed new Corvette DP bodywork that reflects styling cues of the C7 Corvette Stingray production car.

The new-look bodywork will hit the track for the first time Monday as Action Express Racing - last year's winner of the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype title - tests at Daytona International Speedway ahead of the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25. Multiple Corvette DPs also will test in the C7 bodywork during the annual pre-Rolex Roar Before the 24 from Jan. 9-11 at Daytona.

"The relationship Chevrolet's racing programs have to our auto production lines is extremely important. That relevance of race car to showroom is a hallmark of our racing heritage," said Mark Kent, Chevrolet Director of Racing. "The success of the Corvette Daytona Prototype program is a point of pride for Chevrolet. Having the Corvette C7 DP competing for overall victories enhances the perception of the Corvette brand and allows America's sports car to compete for overall victories in North America’s most important endurance events."

The frontal area sees a striking change in design from the previous generation Corvette DP, including updates to the hood surface, headlights and radiator inlet area. The rear window area also has been updated.

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12/13/14
automotive

Toyota's free piston engine is brilliant - the future (Update) UPDATE Added video of how the engine works


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12/13/14
nassprint

As attendance dwindles NASCAR tracks continue removing seats
Fans are leaving and they ain't coming back
The removal of seats at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway came as no surprise. Both tracks had plenty of empty pockets of grandstands, and Charlotte wasn't even selling sections of its stands in 2014.

Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR's epicenter.

But it's par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats.

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12/13/14
f1

Bahrain agrees McLaren share sale to Dennis (Update) UPDATE
Dennis and Ojjeh
(GMM)  McLaren has denied Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Ron Dennis has bought back majority ownership of the Woking based team.

The F1 supremo told business journalist Christian Sylt earlier this week that Bahrain's investment vehicle Mumtalakat has "sold the shares to Ron".

"He has got to pay for them by a certain date," Ecclestone was quoted by Forbes.  "If he doesn't pay he will obviously take them back but at the moment Ron would own the company."

Ecclestone hinted the same was also true of Dennis' long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh, but he said McLaren was in good hands as it enters the Honda era.

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12/12/14
f1

Verstappen chooses 33 as car number
Max Verstappen has confirmed that he will use #33 as his race number in Formula 1.

Verstappen, 17, will become the youngest driver in Formula 1 history when he debuts with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso next season.

Having made his practice and test outings with a temporary number, he revealed his permanent choice via Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Verstappen's team-mate, Carlos Sainz Jr., has already chosen #55 as his number

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12/12/14
f1

Alonso: McLaren contacted me a year ago
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso says McLaren contacted him about a return to the team over a year ago, with the squad's determination to sign him a key factor in his move from Ferrari.

After several months of speculation Alonso was confirmed as a McLaren driver for 2015 on Thursday, with the Spaniard lining up alongside fellow World Champion Jenson Button.

"I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me," said Alonso.

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12/12/14
f1

Ecclestone: Bahrain can block Qatar race
Bernie Ecclestone says agreements with current Middle Eastern races could prevent Qatar from joining the Formula 1 calendar.

The F1 supremo recently described Qatar as a nation "ready" to host the sport, with both a circuit and street race being evaluated.

But Ecclestone has revealed that Bahrain, on the roster since 2004, can effectively block additional races from being held in the region.

"It was an idea I thought would work," Ecclestone commented.

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12/12/14
F2000

New Hoosier Tires for F1600 and F2000
Formula Race Promotions, operators of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series and F2000 Championship Series, and Hoosier Racing Tire announced today an updated tire for both F1600 and F2000 for the 2015 season at a press conference during the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis.

The F1600 Series, expanding from 14 races to 21 races, but on a similar seven-weekend schedule, will move to radial tires, while keeping its maximum six tire rule. The rule will cover all three races per weekend and the single qualifying session.

The new F1600 tires will also feature a slotted tread pattern.

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12/12/14
fe
r2i

Brabham to run Punta del Este ePrix
Matthew Brabham

Matthew Brabham will race in tomorrow's FIA Formula E Punta del Este ePrix in Uruguay for Andretti Autosport. The Mazda Road to Indy standout made his Formula E debut in the most recent ePrix in Putrajaya, and wasn't scheduled to run in Punta del Este.

However, an illness to regular Andretti Formula E driver Franck Montagny means Brabham will be in the #27 car tomorrow, with Formula 1 veteran Jean-Eric Vergne piloting the #28 entry.

AR1 Staff Report

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12/12/14
usf2000
r2i

Parker Thompson joins JDC Motorsports
MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – JDC MotorSports' quest for a run at the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title is taking an important first step, with the Minnesota-based squad confirming the signing of up-and-comer Parker Thompson.

The Canadian will make his full-time Mazda Road to Indy debut in 2015 with impressive results already on his young racing resume having won several karting championships and top championship finishing positions when competing in karting championships worldwide.

Since joining the Mazda Road to Indy driver development system, JDC MotorSports has strived to not only win races and championships, but also to develop future stars of motorsports.

The renowned junior formula car squad has done just that over the years, and believes it is poised to do it again with the addition of Thompson to its USF2000 line-up.

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12/12/14
promazda

Garett Grist Completes Juncos Racing Line-up for 2015 Pro Mazda
Juncos Racing is pleased to announce Garett Grist will join the team for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Grist is the fourth and final driver to commit to the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship winning team.

Canadian native Garett Grist, 19, returns to the Pro Mazda Championship after completing an impressive rookie season in 2014, recording three poles and three wins with Andretti Autosport. Grist made his first run with Juncos Racing at the 2014 "Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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12/12/14
irl

Kimball back with Ganassi and partner Novo Nordisk
Charlie Kimball
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that Novo Nordisk and Verizon IndyCar Series race winner Charlie Kimball will return for their fifth season with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing (NNCGR) to begin a new multi-year deal.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

Diabetes Community Hero: Charlie Kimball has made a strong impression on the diabetes world and was dubbed by Time Magazine as a "rock star in the diabetes community." For his community service efforts, Kimball received the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service, which is considered the "Nobel Peace Prize of community service awards." Kimball has also been featured in the New York Times, Men's Fitness, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and PARADE Magazine for his work in the world of diabetes. Novo Nordisk and Kimball made headlines in 2009 by sending out the first-ever pharmaceutical-branded tweet via the program's @racewithinsulin account.

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12/12/14
il

Jones moves to Indy Lights with Carlin
FIA Formula 3 European Championship racer Ed Jones will step over to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires next season, moving across the Atlantic with the team that has taken him to F3 podiums in 2014. The 19-year-old claimed two podiums in a curtailed FIA F3 season and is the first driver to be announced in Carlin's new Indy Lights team.

Jones has had some previous experience racing in the U.S, having competed in the Florida Winter Series at the start of the 2014 season. Racing alongside the likes of Max Verstappen and Ferrari Academy drivers Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello, Jones took eight podiums, one pole position and three fastest laps.

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12/12/14
roc

Countdown to ROC 2014: Race Of Champions in numbers
ROC FACTS

ROC 2014 in Barbados will be the 26th annual end-of-season Race Of Champions since its first event in Paris in 1988.

Bushy Park Barbados is ROC’s first host venue in the Americas – and the 11th overall – along with such prestigious host venues as London’s Wembley Stadium, the Stade de France in Paris and Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium.

The track for ROC 2014 at the Bushy Park Barbados is 2.3 kilometers long and 6.5 meters wide.

ROC’s unique crossover bridge is made up of concrete, gravel and tarmac and weighs a total of 560 tones – equivalent to over 100 elephants.

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12/12/14
uscc

WeatherTech Racing Completes Driver Line-up with Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis
WeatherTech Racing has added Andrew Davis to the driver line-up of the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing GTD Porsche prepared by Alex Job Racing for the North American Endurance Championship events of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Davis completes the line-up with season regulars Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen. Shane Van Gisbergen rejoins the team for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Jan. 22-25.

Davis is the 2011 Rolex Series GT Champion and brings a resume that includes nine wins, 25 podiums and five pole positions to the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche.  Davis will join the team starting at the Roar Before the 24 weekend in preparation for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. Davis reunites with former Brumos Porsche teammate Leh Keen.

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12/12/14
nassprint

Richmond 'Bubba' gets jail time
James Dennis, the true definition of a NASCAR Bubba, sits atop the Richmond fence
James Dennis, the NASCAR 'Bubba' who climbed the fence near the end of the Richmond race in September, has been sentenced to jail according to information released today by the Henrico County, Virginia General District Court. The incident while wildly dangerous, ended up being one of the main talking points as the race itself was quite boring. Richmond was supposed to provide action on the track that night but it was unable to do so in what was the final race before the start of the 2014 chase.

Mr. Dennis plead not guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and guilty to one count of being drunk in public.  He was found guilty on both counts, and sentenced to 12 months in jail, with 11 of those months suspended.  The suspended sentence means Mr. Dennis will actually only serve one month in jail.  Mr. Dennis was also fined a total of $200.00 and ordered to pay total court costs of $266.00.

I am deeply in regret of what I did. I want to apologize to everyone. It was just stupid,” Dennis told WTVR-Richmond after appearing in court the Monday after the Saturday night race. "I got hung up in the moment. Cool race. I guess we never grow up."

Mr. Dennis was apparently celebrating a recent birthday while attending the race.

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12/12/14
f1

Q and A with new McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso
Alonso and Dennis at press conference
Joining McLaren-Honda shows huge belief and commitment. Could you talk us through that the process that brought you to your decision, and tell us what it was that persuaded you McLaren-Honda was the best team?

First of all, I have to say that my first go kart was a McLaren Honda replica, I was three years old. When it was announced this partnership was coming back together last year it was already quite attractive option. It was a tough decision for me, leaving Ferrari which is obviously quite an important step for any driver's career. But I joined this project because it is the one I believe can give me the best results and a third world championship. I visited the factory in Japan and the McLaren factory and I saw enough things to give me the necessary trust and confidence that many good things will come. Obviously this started one and a half years ago, so I have to say thanks also to Martin Whitmarsh, to Eric [Boullier], to Ron [Dennis], to Yasuhisa [Arai] for all their convincing conversations. I am extremely happy already to be part of this partnership. Now it is time to work; hopefully we can bring back some good results as soon as possible.

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12/12/14
nassprint

Stewart to have fifth surgery on leg
Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart walked into the Performance Racing Industry trade show Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center, which was a big deal given the physical stress his injured right leg has endured over the past 16 months. Stewart recently had the fourth of what will be five planned surgeries last week. "I don't look like I'm walking really good, but I was on crutches two days ago," he said.

"It's nice to get off crutches again. I'm looking forward to the day my leg doesn't hurt anymore. I think that's coming sooner rather than later."

Stewart said the final surgery will remove the rod in the leg he broke in August 2013 at a dirt track race in southeastern Iowa. He acknowledged that the injuries haven't healed as quickly as doctors wanted to see, which is why the current rod, along with a small ring to help blood flow, was inserted in a prior surgery.

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12/12/14
nassprint

Dale Jr. rides Dale Sr's coattails to the top
Dale Jr's Daytona car
It's official. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Daytona 500 Race Win die-cast isn't just the best-selling car of 2014; it's also the best-selling die-cast in the history of Lionel Racing. Lionel Racing - The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR - unveiled its annual top 10 list today and, as projected, Earnhardt's Daytona win car ruled them all. "When the NASCAR season kicks off with Dale Jr. winning the Daytona 500, it's a safe bet that die-cast sales across the board will skyrocket," said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel Racing.

"His win really set the tone for our year overall - we have had a very good season." Earnhardt's on-track success this season resulted in the driver also clinching spots two, three, five, six, and 10 - a feat largely driven by his wins at Pocono Raceway and the popular National Guard/Superman special paint scheme. While Earnhardt dominated, other drivers did make some noise. The return of the iconic #3 Chevy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series helped propel Austin Dillon's Dow Automotive Chevrolet SS to the fourth spot.

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12/12/14
nassprint

Danica needs 'The Call' in 2015
Danica is a NASCAR marketer's dream.  Her contracts are up in after 2015.  Will she get 'the call' and win in 2015?
Danica Patrick showed some flashes of improvement in 2014, but she'll need to move the needle even more in 2015 if she is to have a viable future at the Cup level beyond next season.  While success at the sport's top level is certainly a team and organizational effort, the responsibility rests with her to improve the only element of that team over which she has control – herself.

It's not the equipment.  Beginning in 2006, the only year that a Hendrick Motorsports' (HMS) engine and chassis combination didn't win the season title was in 2012, when Brad Keselowski took Roger Penske's Dodge equipment to the championship.  Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is the lead partner / customer of HMS.  That's eight of the last nine years.  Let's face it, if you were starting a Cup team today, why wouldn't you choose to partner with HMS?

It's not the team.  SHR has won Cup Series championships two of the last four years.  Co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have demonstrated that even in the midst of success, changes can and will be made to constantly strive for improvement, as evidenced by Darian Grubb's dismissal in 2011 after winning a championship, the complete switch of the personnel from the #10 and #41 teams with three races remaining in this year's Chase for the championship and the recent off-season addition of famed car architect Rex Stump from HMS.

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12/12/14
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Ecclestone, like most fans, realizes that the thrill of F1 is gone with the current engines.  He proposes bringing back screaming engines.
    Ecclestone to propose V10 comeback for F1
  • Ecclestone admits races in Korea, Qatar unlikely
  • Walsh unlikely to 'rein in' Ecclestone
  • Alonso addresses 'unfinished business' at McLaren
  • Dennis admits controversial driver choice 'painful'
  • Ricciardo Reignites Prospect Of Holding Australian GP At Night


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12/12/14
USTCC

Arsham/Sheehan Win the 2014 USTCC Championship
Gary Sheehan and Ali Arsham celebrate their championship with their crew.
Napa, CA – The driving team of Ali Arsham and Gary Sheehan won the 2014 Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) championship with a second place finish at the final race of the season on November 16, 2014 at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California. 

The team had a 35 point lead over the second place BMW M3 and a 46 point lead over a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and a Mazdaspeed 3 that were tied for third place.  That meant that the team had to finish the race in order to score enough points to secure the championship.

The GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/ Powerbuilt Tools Hyundai was on provisional pole on Saturday but was beaten by two tenths of a second during Sunday's qualifying session which meant that they would start in second place.

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12/12/14
irl

Chevrolet to have advantage over Honda again in 2015
Chevrolet IndyCar program manager Chris Berube confirmed Thursday that the company will have 12 entries in the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series.

All but confirmed are four cars from Team Penske, three from Ganassi Racing and two each from CFH Racing and KV Racing Technology. But that's only 11.

The 12th is expected to come from Chip Ganassi's team by way of a car for Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights champion who finished 10th in this year's Indianapolis 500.

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