Ecclestone misses the boat when it comes to the USAUPDATE
Alexander Rossi (top) and Conor Daly (above) will be ready for F1 in 1 and 2 years respectively
A reader writes to agree with AR1.com and reinforce the notion that F1 will fail again in the USA without Americans in car capable of winning. Dear AR1.com, Bernie Ecclestone may well be right when he says that "America wants to see a profit before they start something significant in motor sports. Without a doubt though, he knows that without an American F1 driver, its doubtful that F1 will be successful in the US.
The only way to grow Formula One in America is to have national pride wrapped around it, period. National pride only gets activated with a home grown success story. This is the same formula for any successful sports franchise - its all about the elite athlete. Cars engines and locations are needed ancillaries but NOT the success anchor.
The NFL & NBA understands that its future elite athletes must be invested in and developed; they even have a system in place starting in high school to do this. American open wheel motor sports does NOT grasp this basic fact. The need for an American hero has never been greater in IndyCar and F1. Successful sports franchises are fueled by human drama stories and hero's. The attendance at Las Vegas for the IndyCar final proved that there are no significant current hero's worth watching.
Audi to start its own racing series in China in 2012
Audi will be permanently present in the world’s largest sales market in motorsport as well. Starting in 2012, the Audi R8 LMS Cup as an exclusive one-make racing series will underscore the company’s leading position in the premium segment in China. Audi Sport customer racing China will be responsible for the operational activities.
In 2012, Audi is setting a milestone in China’s still young motorsport tradition. The world’s first exclusive one-make cup for the Audi R8 LMS will be held in the fast-growing Chinese market. In October, with a growth rate of 61.7 percent compared to the same period of the prior year, Audi experienced a new record month in China. The next top performance followed in November, reflecting a 68.8 percent increase compared to the same prior-year month.
After three days of heavy activity last week on the Sebring short course, IZOD IndyCar Series engine manufacturers wound down two-months of intensive testing by pressing the new McLaren ECU and its associated electronics into service.
“We now have the McLaren (TAG-400i) ECU up and running on the cars,” said Will Phillips, INDYCAR’s VP of technology. “We appreciate the patience the manufacturers have shown in getting it into the development stream, and they’ve been incredibly helpful.”
Austin race has official page on F1 website The United States Grand Prix scheduled near Austin in November has an official page on the Formula1.com website.
The page includes a diagram of the Circuit of the Americas, information about Austin and more. Some information has yet to be confirmed, including where grandstands will be located and specific times for the race, qualifying and free practice, scheduled for Nov. 16-18.
The number of laps has also not been confirmed. However, the sporting regulations dictate that a Formula One race distance be the smallest number of complete laps to exceed 305 kilometers (about 190 miles). Circuit of the Americas is about 5.5 kilometers long (3.4 miles), so a race of 56 laps is likely.
After weeks of uncertainty, Formula One races at the circuit under construction in southeastern Travis County were confirmed for 10 years on Dec. 7.
Interview with HRT's Luis Perez-Sala Following the recent exit of Colin Kolles, former Minardi driver Luis Pérez-Sala has taken up the reigns at HRT F1. The 52-year-old Spaniard, who scored a sole World Championship point during his career, discusses the task ahead of him, the team's overall ambitions and ponders when a second driver is expected to be confirmed.
You arrived at HRT in July as a sporting adviser and now you are the Team Principal, what are your feelings and how are you taking on this new task you are presented with?
This past July, the owners of HRT offered me the opportunity of advising them in this project they were embarking on and it felt an interesting challenge. This new step from advisor to Team Principal is a very important one and it is a great honor for me that the new owners have placed their trust in me to take on the bigger responsibility that comes with this job.
It is an important challenge to be at the head of this team, even though it is a small one, and build a project that would be viable in the future and one that we can all feel proud of. It is a nice challenge. I will try to contribute my experience so that the goals we’ve set ourselves become a reality, never forgetting to be humble and knowing that we have a lot to learn and much work to do.
Audi USA President Explains Chevy Volt 'Idiots' Comment It's a pretty rare thing to hear the president of a major corporation speak their mind in public. But Audi of America's Johan de Nysschen did just that recently, and got slammed to the mat on the basis of a few choice words - namely, using the term "idiots" to describe Chevrolet Volt buyers.
But that's not the whole story - in fact, the explanation given today of that comment and de Nysschen's views on electric cars was contained, in kernel form, in the original story that led to the explosion on the web. But the typically low-depth, high-speed nature of Internet sensationalism saw little more than a parroting of the "idiot" term around the web.
GM responds to Audi's "Volt is for idiots" remark We've already seen Audi's Johan de Nysschen walk back comments he made that the Chevrolet Volt is "a car for idiots." Before de Nysschen's official response, we asked GM if Bob Lutz wanted to get into the fray (who, us, trying to cause a fight?). No such luck, but GM spokesperson Rob Peterson had a few words about de Nysschen comments:
Very surprised Mr. de Nysschen was so quick to insult the intelligence of electric vehicle and Volt enthusiasts. Not so surprised that Audi is taking a bold stance given their entrenched diesel position. EVs will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and tailpipe emissions – if that's being "hoodwinked by our government" then count me in.
Next time, we'll bring some boxing gloves, see if we can't turn this up a notch.
Brabham's son to contest USF2000 series Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing has announced that Matthew Brabham will drive for the team in the 2012 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda season.
The team has been very busy during the off-season testing drivers from all corners of the globe. The team recently concluded their tests of 10 drivers for the 2012 USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda.
Team owners Dominic and Nicholas Cape have fielded a team every year since the series’ inception in the early 1990’s. In 2011, Petri Suvanto claimed the driver championship and Rookie of The Year honors. The Capes have never seen this much interest in competing in the series.
Jason Ratcliff (L) Was Kyle Busch's (R) crew chief in the Nationwide Series where they had great success. Don't they look cute in pink? OK, you can stop laughing now.
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Jason Ratcliff has been named crew chief for its #20 Sprint Cup Series team, replacing Greg Zipadelli who is leaving the organization to pursue an opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing [Competition Director]. "We appreciate everything Greg has done for us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. He has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team which allows Greg the opportunity to pursue a director of competition position with Tony (Stewart)," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We also felt that the timing was right to bring Jason (Ratcliff) to our Cup operation. He is a proven leader with a tremendous track record in our Nationwide program and we think he and Joey will work well together."
Zipadelli Named Competition Director for Stewart-Haas RacingUPDATE
Tony Stewart (L) and Greg Zipadelli (R) back together again
Greg Zipadelli's move to Stewart-Haas Racing as competition director was a much anticipated and expected one. However, his temporary role at Danica Patrick's crew chief for her limited Sprint Cup schedule in 2012 was a late addition to his job description.
Zipadelli addressed his planned work with Patrick during a teleconference on Friday.
Q. Zippy, is one of your big jobs right now to get the 10 team kind of put together and is there any chance that you would end up crew chiefing that at least for the 500? ZIPADELLI: Yeah, I think that is the plan now. I mean, I will start immediately as soon as this afternoon, working on putting some of those pieces together. I know Matt Borland has done a really good job of keeping that going already, so they're not behind. And as far as Daytona, yes, Daytona test and Daytona 500, right now it looks like I'll be there to do that and just see ‑‑ most important is that we find the right person long‑term for that position.
Audi Sport is intensively preparing for the 2012 sports prototype season. A test team has started the next trial phase of the LMP1 sports car for the 2012 season in the United States this week.
After the previous tests of the further development of this year’s Le Mans winning car took place behind closed doors, Audi is now going into public at a race track for the first time. Since this Saturday, Audi Sport has been running tests with two vehicles at the Sebring (Florida) circuit. The second LMP1 sports car serves to compare the test results. Taking turns at the wheel of the two development vehicles are the 2011 Le Mans winners, the Swiss Marcel Fässler, the German André Lotterer and the Frenchman Benoît Treluyer. Also involved in the tests are Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish, who were last victorious at Le Mans in 2008.
The 2012 GP3 Series provisional calendar revealedUPDATE GP3 organizers have confirmed they are working on adding the series to the Monaco Grand Prix support bill for the first time next year. The series revealed its 2012 calendar on Friday afternoon, including support events at seven of the European grands prix. That number will rise to eight is plans to race in Monaco are successful.
12/16/11 The GP3 Series has today unveiled its provisional 2012 race calendar. Seven rounds have been confirmed for the season, with an eighth race weekend in Monaco still awaiting approval. All of the events will support the Formula One World Championship, and will run alongside big sister series GP2.
The Series will kick off its third season in Barcelona, Spain on 11-13 May when the Formula One European campaign kicks off. Our ten teams, including newcomers Trident Racing, will then head to Monte Carlo (tbc) on 24-27 May. After a three week hiatus GP3 will then return to action in Valencia for Round 3 of the Series on 22-24 June. Once again July is the busiest month of the season with three rounds in Silverstone, Hockenheim and Budapest before a month long summer break. Spa-Francorchamps is the setting for the penultimate round, and the season will conclude at historical Autodromo di Monza in Italy on 10-11 September.
Dallara commits to fix their lemonUPDATE Dallara is offering an alternative suspension arrangement for its DW12 IndyCar, to better optimize weight distribution. Dallara officials said the company will absorb the costs associated with producing the new suspension components.
"As requested by IndyCar, Dallara will design an alternative set of suspensions to move back two inches the front wheels and one inch the rear wheels,” said Andrea Toso, head of research and development for Dallara's IndyCar design team. “Both front and both rear suspensions will be available for the teams from the catalog and can be utilized in any combination front to rear at all the events. Teams will take delivery of their cars with the current set of suspensions and, should they decide to start the season with the alternative set, they can get free of charge replacement based on the return of the current set."
2012 Sauber to be launched at Jerez test (GMM) Sauber on Friday revealed that its 2012 car will be ready for the first test ofthe pre-season.
The Swiss team announced in a statement that the Ferrari-powered C31 will be launched at Jerezon 6 February, the day before the start of the official group test at the southern Spanishcircuit.
Hinwil based Sauber has retained 2011 drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez for next season.
With the C30, they secured seventh place in the constructors' world championship in 2011,scoring more points than Toro Rosso, Williams and F1's three newest teams Caterham (nee Lotus),HRT and Marussia (nee Virgin).
Force India confirms Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg for 2012
Paul Di Resta
Sahara Force India Formula One Team today confirmed that Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will form its line-up for the 2012 season.
Paul continues with the team for his second season in a race seat, while Nico steps up from his role as reserve driver. Together they form one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “I am delighted to present our line-up for the 2012 season. In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.
“I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season. His speed, maturity and racecraft confirmed that we were right to believe in him and we look forward to working with him again next year.
Montreal event tabbed as Nationwide's Top Race of 2011 The Napa Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was named Top Race of 2011 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. NASCAR announced accolades in several categories Tuesday based on discussions with national series directors and NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications managers.
The race saw Australian Marcos Ambrose, who had a history of heartbreaking losses in Montreal, win an incident filled event after having to start from the back row because he had missed qualifying
Ambrose had arrived at the track moments before the start after a frantic trip by plane, helicopter and boat with Carl Edwards and some other drivers who were pulling double duty that weekend with a Sprint Cup event in Michigan.
Turner Motorsport Announces Two-Car BMW Effort for Rolex 24 Will Turner announced that Dirk Müller, Jörg Müller and Dirk Werner will drive for Turner Motorsport's 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona effort. The three BMW Motorsport drivers will join Bill Auberlen, Billy Johnson, Paul Dalla Lana, Michael Marsal and Boris Said in two Prep 2 GT class BMW M3s for Turner's third run for a Rolex watch in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
"For the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona I wanted to assemble the strongest BMW driver lineup I could," Turner said. "I think the 2012 Turner Motorsport roster stands on its own as one of the strongest ever. I want to thank BMW Motorsport for their support and assistance. Last year we ran strong in the opening hours of the race before gearbox problems set us back. This year we return with two M3s on the back of a very successful 2011 Grand-Am season that included two GT victories. With luck we will add the team's biggest victory to date."
Changes for restrictor plate racing at preseason testingUPDATE NASCAR has issued a new technical bulletin to its Sprint Cup teams, detailing major changes to cooling systems for 2012 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to better regulate tandem drafting. According to Chris Paulson, president and owner of C&R Racing Inc. -- which manufactures nearly all of the radiators used in NASCAR's premier series -- the sanctioning body will be significantly reducing the size of the radiators and changing the location of the grille openings before the cars return for Daytona testing in January. "Sprint Cup Series director John Darby is implementing a two-gallon maximum radiator size," Paulson said.
"So in other words, the big, huge five-gallon radiators everybody's running will be down to two. And that accumulator can was a one-gallon max volume. It's going down to a half-gallon-sized can." The idea is to make the cooling systems less efficient, Paulson said, forcing the cars to run in open air to keep water temperatures down.
Question marks surround 2012 IndyCar calendarUPDATE The schedule was published here, but now it has been removed and the page blank.
12/16/11 Late Thursday IndyCar released its provisional 2012 schedule on its website, with 15 race weekends posted and similar to what AR1.com has been rumoring for months. However there are still some serious question marks.
The season is set to open with the first round on the streets of St. Petersburg March 25,
There's been a question as to whether Texas Motor Speedway would continue on the schedule given the debate over 1.5-mile, high-banked ovals in the aftermath of Wheldon's accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
MSR takes delivery of new Riley DP3 and IndyCar Dallara cars While the calendar might show there are still some 44 days until the green flag flies for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona, and a further two months until the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season, it is already 2012 for team owner Mike Shank. Shank, who confirmed plans this week for a full-season 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series campaign with stand-out pairing John Pew and Ozz Negri, has a very full calendar as he prepares for what promises to be a very busy 2012.
Shank has committed to launching an IZOD IndyCar Series effort in 2012 in partnership with NASCAR racer AJ Allmendinger and Columbus businessman Brian Bailey, and will manage the program in parallel with his GRAND-AM effort. Both sides of the effort are set to see significant benchmarks this week as the team eagerly greets two new cars to the squad’s 20,000 square foot bespoke shop just outside of Columbus.
V8 driver Jason Richards dies after cancer fight, aged 35
V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards has died after a 14-month battle with cancer. Richards died at his Melbourne home last night, V8 Supercar officials and Holden have confirmed. The New Zealander was 35. Richards had been fighting a rare and aggressive form of cancer called adrenocortical carcinoma.
Just over a year after being diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of the disease, he died at home with his wife Charlotte beside him.
Richards fought as hard as he could and refused to give up on his racing career until he was too weak to drive.
GP2 Series 2012 season calendar unveiled The GP2 Series organizers have revealed their 2012 calendar today which will consist of twelve rounds in total. Eleven of them will be support events of the official Formula One World Championship whilst one round will be a standalone event. Two new venues have been added to the otherwise familiar circuits: Sepang and Singapore.
The Series will see its eighth season open for the first time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 23rd. Although the GP2 Asia Series raced in Sepang in 2008 and 2009, it is a new venue to the GP2 Series calendar and it will be the first time the GP2/11 cars have raced on this demanding track. The thirteen GP2 teams will then fly to Bahrain for back-to-back rounds in Sakhir, the first one as support event to F1 on April 20-22 followed by the only standalone event of the season on April 26-28.
IndyCar president of operations Brian Barnhart has quashed claims that Dan Wheldon's fatal accident at Las Vegas in October could be attributed to IndyCars running on 1.5-mile, high-banked ovals.
The suitability of IndyCars to tracks such as Las Vegas and Texas has been subject to intense scrutiny since Wheldon's crash, with the series confirming last week that it was backing out of plans to race at Las Vegas next year.
Barnhart, who announced the initial findings from the investigation into Wheldon's crash earlier Thursday, said that the incident at Las Vegas was not triggered by the banking, but by the fact that the drivers could run flat-out on the full width of the track.
"Each track should be taken into consideration on an individual basis, not simply by banking alone," he said. "IndyCar and Champ Car have successfully carried out many races over the years at tracks that meet the definition of high-banked ovals.
IndyCar wants more team cooperation IndyCar officials have said that they expect more cooperation from teams and drivers in testing to ensure that they have a full understanding of how cars behave in pack conditions in order to avoid a repeat of Dan Wheldon's fatal crash at Las Vegas.
Speaking at today's announcement of the initial findings from the investigation into the accident that claimed the life of Wheldon in October, IndyCar president of operations Brian Barnhart said that understanding how the cars functioned in race conditions was critical in restricting the opportunity for similar accidents in the future.
IndyCar reviews Wheldon accidentUPDATE A reader writes, The conclusion of the report was basically it was just bad luck that Wheldon was killed. A canopy over the driver is not an option. OK, I guess they have to kill off a few more of their star drivers before anything is done. NASCAR had the same mentality with the HANS Device until their biggest star, Dale Earnhardt was killed. Then they finally mandated it. I wonder if a casket company wants to sponsor an IndyCar car? They can paint the car to look like a coffin with 4 wheels. Mordichai Rosen, LA. California.
12/15/11 A comprehensive review of the racing accident that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon is complete, INDYCAR announced Dec. 15.
Wheldon, the 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, suffered a non-survivable head injury Oct. 16 in a 15-car crash in Turn 2 of Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the final race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Comments on the Las Vegas Accident Review Dennis Reinbold, Co-Owner Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: "It's good to see that the accident review has been released and we have more answers about Las Vegas. I know that there were a number of meetings following up after Las Vegas to really look into the issue and see what could have been avoided. I believe that the report stated the events accurately and that several factors coincided to produce a "perfect storm". We really need to commend IndyCar for continuing to try to find ways to make the cars safer. We keep striving for safety and that's the number one goal."
Robbie Buhl, Co-Owner Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: "IndyCar has been very proactive since the series was started in the mid-90's and they have always looked at making things safer with the facilities, the racecars and the safer barriers. That is a path that IndyCar will continue on and it's good to see the accident review and hopefully we'll improve our safety standards from things that we have learned from this."
American Joey Hand joins BMW's DTM squad for 2012 season
American Joey Hand will drive for BMW in DTM next season. Five of the six places available for the Bavarian brand in DTM are now occupied. Earlier, German Martin Tomczyk, Canadian Bruno Spengler, Brazilian Augusto Farfus and Briton Andy Priaulx confirmed. 32-year-old Hand is not exactly a newcomer to the ranks at BMW: Last season he won, together with Dirk Müller, the GT title in the American Le Mans Series with a BMW M3, run by BMW Rahal Letterman team. Earlier this year he triumphed with a Riley-BMW at the 24 Hours of Daytona and joined BMW GT squad in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he, Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx finished third in the GTE-Pro class. Last week Joey Hand did the last test of the year at the Monteblanco circuit in southern Spain, his first experience with the BMW M3 DTM. Hand will be the first American to drive in the DTM series. Autosport
Did Dallara mimic 1981 CART IndyCar?UPDATE Another reader (Dan Gurney's son) writes, Not sure where Kurt Wilhelm was in 1981 but he obviously wasn't paying attention. Look up the 1981 Pepsi Challenger AAR Indy Eagle and see for yourself. It was one of the best if not THE best car on the grid that year. Everyone at AAR is extremely proud of that car and anyone who raced it will tell you the same. Ask Rocky Moran and Geoff Brabham what they thought of it on a road course. It didn't matter if it was at Indy or Michigan or the Glen or Riverside it was a force to be reckoned with! Justin Gurney
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Is the new Dallara really new? Or is it a rehash of the 1981 Eagle (pictured right), seen here in Indy qualifying in 1982 driven by Desire Wilson?
It did not work very well then either. Kurt Wilhelm
TAG Heuer Eyewear sticks with Kurt Busch TAG Heuer Eyewear announced Thursday that it has re-signed 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch to a multi-year contract extension in his role as an ambassador for the company and its eyewear products. Busch, who joined the TAG Heuer family at the beginning of 2010, works effectively to bring exposure to the brand and its products as well as aid in retailer development. Busch exclusively wears TAG Heuer sunglasses and is featured in Eyewear print, billboard, in-store and Internet advertisements. He will continue to display the TAG Heuer Eyewear logo on the racing helmet that he wears in NASCAR competition (as well as in other forms of motorsports). In 2011, TAG Heuer created a Kurt Busch collector edition sunglass that was made available at U.S. retailers.
"Kurt has truly been an excellent ambassador for the TAG Heuer Eyewear brand," said Guillaume Pottecher, president of Premiere Vision, the U.S. distributor for TAG Heuer Eyewear.
"TAG Heuer is affiliated with leading personalities and properties around the sports and entertainment world and Kurt fits that role perfectly. He is unquestionably one of the premier talents in NASCAR and in his work for us on every occasion he has gone above and beyond what we could expect of him. We very much look forward to the future together with Kurt." SPEED
Kellogg Company Returns as a Primary Sponsor of Edwards' No. 99 Ford Roush Fenway Racing and Kellogg Company have announced the multi-year extension of their NASCAR partnership. Kellogg will serve as a primary sponsor of the No. 99 Ford for four Sprint Cup races in 2012, teaming its famed Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal and Cheez-It® crackers with perennial championship contender and fan favorite Carl Edwards.
Kellogg has been involved with NASCAR for many years, including serving as a primary sponsor of the No. 99 Ford with Roush Fenway for the past two seasons. Edwards finished as runner up in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup and has accumulated 19 wins during his stellar Cup career. He also has 89 top-five finishes, 144 top-10 finishes and 10 pole awards in just over 250 starts.
Richie Evans to be featured in one-hour special He wasn't born and raised in the South like several of his NASCAR Hall of Fame predecessors. The majority of his racing took place in the Northeast and he wasn't a household name like many NASCAR legends, but New York's Richie Evans will be immortalized alongside those stock car heroes in the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Evans, recognized as the "king of Modified racing," captured nine NASCAR Modified championships in 13 years, including a streak of eight consecutive beginning in 1978. He won an estimated 475 feature races, earning him multiple track championships throughout the Northeast. Evans' life and career was cut short, however, when he was fatally injured in 1985 during a practice session at Martinsville Speedway. Afterward, the 44-year-old's #61 became the first and only car number retired in any NASCAR division.
SPEED and NASCAR Media Group celebrate the life and accomplishments of "The Rapid Roman" in a one-hour biography special premiering Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 pm/et. Evans will be inducted into the third class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 20 alongside Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman and Glen Wood. Much more at SPEED
Lender begins foreclosure proceedings on Mayfield's property Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's financial troubles got worse this week as his mortgage lender has begun foreclosure proceedings on his approximately 400-acre property in North Carolina. Mayfield took out a $3.1 million mortgage in July 2006, and his lender alleges that he has failed to make his payments, according to the foreclosure filed Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Newton, N.C. That has resulted in the lender, Carolina Farm Credit, to call on Mayfield to pay the balance of $2.387 million plus more than $340,000 in interest and fees, according to the filing. A hearing on the foreclosure is set for Feb. 7. More at SceneDaily
Eligible drivers announced for the Bud ShootoutUPDATE Drivers eligible for the 2012 Shootout include:
2011 Top 25 Driver Points Tony Stewart Carl Edwards Kevin Harvick Matt Kenseth Brad Keselowski Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon Denny Hamlin Ryan Newman Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Clint Bowyer Kasey Kahne AJ Allmendinger Greg Biffle Paul Menard Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose Jeff Burton Juan Pablo Montoya Mark Martin David Ragan Joey Logano Brian Vickers
APR Motorsport is proud to announce the driver pairing of Dion von Moltke and Dr. Jim Norman in the team’s Audi R8 GRAND-AM for the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season.
When he slides behind the steering wheel of the APR Motorsport Audi R8 GRAND-AM, von Moltke, from Coral Gables, Fla., will return home to the team in which he started his professional driving career. Von Molkte competed with APR in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in 2008 and 2009, taking three wins before moving to the Daytona Prototype ranks in 2010. The South African, also a student at Florida International University, returns to APR with a wealth of endurance racing experience under his belt with finishes at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
Jacques Villeneuve driver of the #22 Discount Tire Dodge, speaks with crew chief Todd Gordon (L), in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Getty Images for NASCAR
Penske Racing is still conducting its search for a driver of its No. 22 car, but it now has a crew chief to replace the departed Steve Addington.
Todd Gordon, who guided Penske’s full-time Nationwide team to six wins in 2011, will be crew chief of the No. 22 Cup car in 2012.
Penske hopes to have similar success with Gordon as it did in promoting Paul Wolfe last year. Wolfe won the Nationwide Series title in 2010 with driver Brad Keselowski and then guided Keselowski to a fifth-place finish in Cup points in 2011.
“Our first priority is always to look within the walls of Penske Racing when making personnel decisions,” said team owner Roger Penske in a news release. “We want to reward success. The path we are taking with Todd mirrors what we did with Paul Wolfe. … We think Todd can get the job done in the same manner.”
Permanent race facilities have far higher start-up costs than temporary street circuits. But the mistake street circuit race promoters make is not having the right financing in place to carry it through the early years to overcome the startup costs. Business 101 folks.
Two months before the start of the Baltimore Grand Prix, the race's organizers, desperate for cash, entered into a $1.1 million loan they believed was necessary to save the event.
But the two-month loan — which allowed the lender to collect more than $500,000 in interest and other charges — ended up draining funds needed to pay city taxes, the former CEO of Baltimore Racing Development says.
Now, with Baltimore Racing Development facing large debts, some are complaining about the loan's terms and asking why the lender was paid while taxes — including more than $450,000 in city amusement and admissions taxes — and other debts were owed. The lender, Virginia-based Thermopylae Sciences & Technology, also received perks such as race-day executive suites and free food and drink for dozens of guests.
Infineon Raceway Tickets Go On-Sale to Public Infineon Raceway officially opens its ticket office on Thursday, Dec. 15, for the 2012 Big O Tires Racing Season, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar® Series and AMA Pro Road Racing. It’s one of the most comprehensive motor-racing schedules in the country.
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series highlights the upcoming race season, June 22-24, as NASCAR returns for the 24th year to tackle the twisting road course. Tempers and sheet metal are sure to fly.
Former F1 driver JJ Lehto sentenced for fatal boat crash Former Finnish Formula One driver and Le Mans winner Jyrki Jarvilehto, who raced as JJ Lehto, was sentenced on Wednesday to two years and four months in jail for a drunken boat accident which killed his friend.
Finland's Lansi-Uudenmaan district court said that Jarvilehto was drunk and speeding on his boat in June 2010, when it hit a bridge support pillar in a canal in Raasepori, southern Finland.
Jarvilehto denied he was driving the boat when the crash happened, although the court said the victim's injuries indicated he was a passenger and Jarvilehto was the driver.
Stewart tops INDYCAR stars in kart race by CHEATINGUPDATE #3 Another reader adds, Dear AR1.com, I too was extremely surprised that he won the race, especially over Allmendinger who is a regular on the WKA national karting circuit on his off weekends (similar to our friend Dan Wheldon) and a multi-national champion.
Weight is everything in karting. As little as 10 lbs can cost you up to a second a lap on some tracks, so minimum weight limits is highly regulated in karting. Personally, I would say there is absolutely no possible way Stewart would beat Allmendinger if he was 30 lbs heavier than Allmendinger….unless he was cheating with tire prep.
Ride-Buying rampant in F1 Former Benetton-Renault F1 pilot Jean Alesi has admitted that he can understand sponsors favoring Romain Grosjean's return to the top flight, even though the two drivers he replaced supposedly came with backing of their own.
GP2 Series champion Grosjean was confirmed late last week as the second driver at Benetton successor Lotus Renault GP for 2012, and Alesi underlined the support his countryman had received from existing team supporter TOTAL in grabbing the seat ahead of either Vitaly Petrov or Bruno Senna. Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, had previously been announced as the team's first signing.
“Grosjean is a beginner and he had a chance a few years ago, but France needs a French driver and I know he will have the support of TOTAL, so why not?” Alesi, an ambassador for the Enstone team, told the Norwich Advertiser newspaper.
Black Swan Racing dives into LMP2 class After two exceptional seasons in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n`s GT Challenge category, Black Swan Racing owner Tim Pappas is eyeing LMP2 for 2012. Pappas and teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen recently tested an Oak-Pescarolo from Oak Racing at Sebring International Raceway as the two-time defending GTC Champion begins the process of selecting a chassis and engine combination to contest the 2012 season.
"This is the first time I`ve driven anything out of a GT car, showroom stock or similar production-based car," Pappas said following the test. "It was incredible. I`ve never had anything that had that level of downforce and technical aspects. It`s still just unbelievable.
"I think most people, who would look at a prototype car from a fan`s perspective, would be incredibly surprised at how easy these cars are to drive."
Toro Rosso announces 2 new drivers for 2012 Scuderia Toro Rosso will have a completely new driver line-up for the 2012 Formula 1 season, made up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. It will be the first time since the team’s 2006 debut that it will begin the year with an all new line-up. Both drivers have come through the Red Bull Junior Driver program and the decision to promote Daniel and Jean-Eric to Scuderia Toro Rosso was taken by the team in conjunction with Red Bull.
Franz Tost: “I am pleased that we have been able to reach an early decision on our drivers for next year, because it means we can all give our full attention to 2012, without any distractions. Over the past year, both Daniel and Jean-Eric have proved their worth and I expect them to make a significant contribution to the team’s performance next year. Daniel has the benefit of having actually raced in Grands Prix for much of this year, while Jean-Eric proved he could adapt quickly to the demands of driving a Formula 1 car. As they have both worked with the team and its engineers very recently, this should allow us to get up to speed right from the start of winter testing in a couple of months time. I must also thank Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari for all their hard work over the past three seasons. They have delivered some excellent performances which have helped the team move forward and develop. We wish them well for the future. However, one has to remember that when Scuderia Toro Rosso was established in 2005, it was done so with the intention of providing a first step into Formula 1 for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver program. It is therefore part of the team’s culture to change its driver line-up from time to time in order to achieve this goal.”
FIA Veteran Gabriel Cadringher Named GRAND-AM Chief Technical Consultant Gabriel Cadringher will take 30 years of expertise working at international motorsports' highest levels to GRAND-AM Road Racing in 2012 in the role of chief technical consultant, GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe announced today.
In his new role, Cadringher will work closely with Managing Director of Racing Operations Mark Raffauf and the GRAND-AM competition department to support implementation of many new engineering-based initiatives including aerodynamics, engine and turbo technologies. GRAND-AM and NASCAR also will benefit from the deep respect of the global motorsports community that Cadringher brings to this position.
"GRAND-AM and NASCAR have developed a comprehensive and synergistic strategy that should add several new elements in the future, and Gabriel is an important addition to support that future vision," GRAND-AM Chief Executive Officer Ed Bennett said.
Colin Kolles parts company with HRT F1 team Colin Kolles will leave the HRT team after reaching an agreement to end their cooperation, the Spanish squad announced on Wednesday. The team said the move was "due to the new direction that the team has taken and the decision of the new management to move the team headquarters to Spain".
Kolles will leave the squad on December 15. He had been HRT's team principal for the past two seasons.
"HRT F1 Team would like to thank Dr. Colin Kolles for his work and dedication throughout these past two years and wish him the best in his future projects," said the team in a statement.
Christopher Zanella ends second test day on top Christopher Zanella ended the second and final day of official Formula Two testing as the leading driver to conclude and impressive display by a host of talented international drivers.
The 22-year-old, who recorded two wins on his way to second in this year?s F2 championship, used the cooler morning temperatures to set a best time of 1:37.075s, which remained unbeaten by the narrowest of margins.
German Markus Pommer continued to impress to record the second fastest time of the day, this time in the final stint, with Romanian Mihai Marinescu going third fastest. European F3 Open champion Alex Fontana finished fourth overall with Italian Edoardo Liberati completing the top five.
Once again the second test day saw all the sessions closely contested along with some superb debut drives including that of teenager Matheo Tuscher.
Erwin re-ups with RPM #43 crew chief Greg Erwin has re-signed with Richard Petty Motorsports. Erwin joined the #43 team prior to the Brickyard 400 in July and led Allmendinger to a career-high 15th-place finish in the points standings. FoxSports
Scott Speed Joins Leavine Family Racing Scott Speed has joined Leavine Family Racing (LFR) for a limited 15-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for 2012 in the #95 Ford. A veteran of all three of NASCAR's premier national touring series, Speed joins Leavine Family Racing after making 13 Sprint Cup starts with Whitney Motorsports' in the #46 Ford. Speed will be competing in his fifth Sprint Cup Series season. The California native competed full-time with Red Bull Racing in 2010; earning two top-10 finishes and leading 21 laps. "We are pleased to have Scott Speed join our team," team owner Bob Leavine said. "We, as a team, want to give Scott the equipment and the resources he needs to win and that is what I believe he will do for us in return. Scott is a proven driver. He was the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti and has a lot to offer our program as a teammate and a competitor."
Dallara 2012 IndyCar delivery schedule "We planned for 60 and we’re almost there,” said Stefano de Ponti, CEO and general manager for Dallara. "I think we have 55 or 56 orders and the first 15 will be delivered Thursday.
"It’s about what we expected, between 50 and 60, and everything is right on schedule.”
Chip Ganassi, Penske Racing, Andretti Autosport, KV Racing Technology, HVM, Rahal/Letterman, Dreyer & Reinbold, A.J. Foyt, Dale Coyne, Panther Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Bryan Herta, AFS and Michael Shank will each receive one car Dec. 15.
DOY panel picks Tony Stewart Tony Stewart was voted both 2011 Driver of the Year and Fourth Quarter winner, respectively, by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists. Unlike this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, decided in a tiebreaker, the voting in the Annual - as well as the fourth quarter - were landslides. Stewart was also voted Driver of the Year in 2005 after his second NASCAR Sprint Cup title. The Columbus, Ind., native put on a performance not seen before in the Chase with five wins in the season's final 10 races in the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy. Journalist and broadcasters, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver, gave Stewart 15 votes, Carl Edwards, Dario Franchitti, Jason Meyers and Del Worsham all received one vote. In the quarterly voting Stewart beat Edwards and Meyers (162-73-51, respectively) getting all but one of the first place votes. DOTY
Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Unveils 2012 GRAND-AM Plans Five-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series Champions (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today its season-long program for 2012, including their engine manufacturer partnership and driver line-up for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Long-time partner TELMEX returns as the primary sponsor of the No. 01 Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley piloted by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the most-successful driving duo in GRAND-AM history, who return for their sixth consecutive season with CGRFS.
BMW Power returns for a third consecutive season through the support and assistance of BMW of North America, LLC and Dinan Engineering. The 5.0-liter BMW M S62 V8 power plant has driven the team to 14 Daytona Prototype class victories in 24 races over the last two seasons.
Monras leads the way on day one of F2 winter testing Miki Monras ended the opening day of official Formula Two testing at Barcelona as the quickest man against an impressive field of 18 new and returning drivers.
The Spaniard, who finished fourth in this year’s F2, made use of fresh tires and cooler temperatures during the first 55-minute session to set a 1:35.950s which wasn’t bettered throughout the day.
Romanian and F2 race-winner Mihai Marinescu finished second for the day with 2011 F2 runner-up Christopher Zanella third overall.
The test, which was split into four sessions, also saw more than half the field making their F2 debut with newcomers including GP3 driver Vittorio Ghirelli, two-time McLaren Autosport Award finalist Scott Malvern and German Markus Pommer among those to impress.
Another Ethanol debacle As IndyCar and NASCAR do a money grab and pander to the Ethanol fuel industry, the American taxpayer continues to get raked over the coals by believing in the Ethanol folly.
'We'll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years." —George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union address
Years before the Obama Administration dumped $70 billion into solar and wind energy and battery operated cars, and long before anyone heard of Solyndra, President Bush launched his own version of a green energy revolution. The future he saw was biofuels. In addition to showering billions of dollars on corn ethanol, Mr. Bush assured the nation that by 2012 cars and trucks could be powered by cellulosic fuels from switch grass and other plant life.
To launch this wonder-fuel industry, the feds under Mr. Bush and President Obama have pumped at least $1.5 billion of grants and loan subsidies to fledgling producers. Mr. Bush signed an energy bill in 2007 that established a tax credit of $1.01 per gallon produced.
Di Resta, Alguersuari, hint F1 careers set to continue (GMM) Two formula one drivers on Tuesday hinted strongly that, despite not yet having official confirmation, they are staying on the grid in 2012.
Paul di Resta, the most successful rookie this year, was asked by F1's official website if it is true that he will be staying at Force India next season.
"I can't say anything," said the Scot, ahead of boss Dr Vijay Mallya's scheduled December 15 announcement about the Silverstone based team's 2012 lineup.
"The only thing that I can say is that I am still working closely with the team and helping with the new car," added di Resta.
"I will do some simulator work over the next week and hopefully by then Dr Mallya and his board will have made up their minds about their 2012 driver lineup."
Yamaha remembers Eddie Lawson Yamaha have been fortunate to see some of the greatest and most talented road racers in the history of the sport throw their legs over the formidable machinery from Iwata and none more so than ‘Steady’ Eddie Lawson, who claimed a total of three 500cc World Championships with Yamaha and helped evolve Yamaha’s two-stroke technology during the 1980s.
Born on March 11th 1958 in Upland, California, Lawson was the ‘hot-shoe’ (a term given to the most exciting youngster on west coast dirt-tracks) during a purple patch for American motorcycling with the likes of Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola and Freddie Spencer decimating the international scene and names like Rainey, Schwantz, Kocinski, Roberts Jnr to come. That Lawson stood out and was immensely successful (AMA 250cc and Superbike crowns to his credit before heading into the GP world championship) was already a testament to his skill, coolness, consistency and overall ability that seemed to have little in the way of weaknesses. Eddie made his Grand Prix debut in 1983 with Yamaha on the OW70, the second V-4 for the firm and the first to adopt Yamaha’s new Deltabox Aluminum frame, as a protégé to Roberts and was swift with his adaptation finishing 4th in the championship with four podiums.
Juncos Racing Looking to Regain Star Mazda Championship Title in 2012
Following news of Juncos Racing's move to Indianapolis and expansion into the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the team is more fired up than ever to regain the championship title in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Juncos Racing won its first ever Star Mazda Championship in 2010 with Mazda Road to Indy driver Conor Daly and along the way, broke every record in the book including most pole positions (9) and podiums (12) won in a single season and the tie for most races won in a single season (7). Now going into its fourth season of competition in American formula car racing, the thriving young team is determined to claim its second series title in 2012.
Top 10 NASCAR diecasts of 2011 Jeff Gordon's #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy and Kevin Harvick's #29 Budweiser Chevy were the best-selling 1:24 scale die-cast cars of 2011, according to a top 10 list released by Lionel NASCAR Collectables. However in a surprise showing, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne clinched the third sport as his #21 Motorcraft Daytona 500 Win Ford made the cut. While Gordon's AARP Chevy was the best-selling die-cast car, Dale Earnhardt Jr. tops the list as the driver garnering the most die-cast sales in 2011. Earnhardt cars claimed spots four, seven and nine. Another Earnhardt also made the list of heavy hitters. Dale Earnhardt's #96 Cardinal Tractor Ford was introduced in July as the first release in the company's NASCAR Classics line - a series of historical die-cast which have never before been made. The result? Collectors loved the #96 car so much; it shot to the sixth spot on the list of 2011 best-sellers.
NASCAR will use HD instant replay system Telestream, the leading provider of video transcoding and workflow automation systems, announced that it has created a new High Definition (HD) instant replay system for NASCAR race control officials. Developed for the start of the 2012 racing season, Telestream's new Replay multichannel video player combines with its Pipeline HD video capture system to provide instant capture and display of 18 high definition 720p camera feeds. This allows race officials to instantly see detailed information to make rapid decisions about on-track aspects of the race. Telestream's Pipeline HD video capture system simultaneously acquires multiple camera feeds in high-quality Apple ProRes 720p as well as other HD and SD formats. Video feeds are delivered to shared storage where they are available for immediate playback, editing during capture, or transcoding to other file formats. Telestream's Replay multichannel video player provides instant, synchronous multichannel playback of multiple HD camera feeds for simultaneous review and analysis of incidents from different camera angles. The player also allows officials to easily locate any camera and scrub forward or backward through any portion of the event video. Telestream
France named one of most influential, IndyCar likely to grow Sports Business Journal has named its annual list of 50 most influential persons in sports business and the only representative from motorsports is NASCAR CEO Brian France. He is 17th on the list, moving up from 18th last year. According to Sports Business Journal, "No sport was punished more by the recent recession than NASCAR. Attendance, TV numbers and sponsorship declined. But France is charting the way forward with a five-year plan designed to build the sport's young and multicultural fan base, improve its digital and social media offerings, raise its driver profiles and enhance the race-day experience." Sports Business Journal
Other Sports Business Journal Motorsports Survey Results
Biggest challenge facing NASCAR in the year ahead
Mainstream appeal of drivers
Rising cost of sponsorships
Grade Brian France’s performance as chairman and CEO of NASCAR
Property best positioned for growth
IZOD IndyCar Series
American Le Mans
Sponsor that does the best job activating around NASCAR
Biggest challenge facing the IZOD IndyCar Series in the year ahead
Marketing its drivers
Grade Randy Bernard’s performance as CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series
Bowyer will test at Walt Disney World Speedway Michael Waltrip Racing's new #15 5-hour ENERGY team is ready to hit the track this week in preparation for the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. New driver Clint Bowyer and crew chief Brian Pattie will visit Walt Disney World Speedway in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to test the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It marks the first test for the new driver-crew chief combination. The test also begins a busy off season for the team that will test at New Smyrna Speedway and Daytona International Speedway in January. Michael Waltrip Racing
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