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DATE News (chronologically)
12/25/10
ga

Sascha Maassen joins Spirit of Daytona Racing for Rolex 24
Sascha Maassen
Spirit of Daytona Racing announced today its third driver for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30. Three-time American Le Mans Series class champion Sascha Maassen of Germany will join Antonio Garcia of Spain and American Paul Edwards in the No. 90 Chevrolet-powered Coyote DP for North America's prestigious endurance race.

With a diverse sports car background, Maassen has been no stranger to Victory Lane, winning the ALMS GT championship in 2002-2003 and the ALMS LMP2 championship in 2006. His signature victories include two 24 Hours of Le Mans class wins (2003-2004), five 12 Hours of Sebring class wins (2001-2004, 2010) and five Petite Le Mans class wins (1999-2000, 2002, 2004, 2006).

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12/25/10
Announcement

Merry Christmas
In observance of Christmas Day AutoRacing1.com will not be publishing any news today.  We wish all of your family a Merry Christmas, or Merry whatever else you and your family celebrate during this wonderful holiday season.

Comment
12/24/10
Racing News

HANS device tested for astronauts
What do HANS device inventor Dr. Robert Hubbard, NASA and NASCAR have in common? [Editor's Note: The HANS Device was first used by Champ Car and IndyCar but you would think NASCAR invented it.  Typical.] All three are collaborating in an effort to improve crash restraints for astronauts. The first series of crash sled tests was recently undertaken at Wright Patterson Air Force Base using a dummy fitted with a prototype restraint for use during NASA launches and landings. Dustin Gohmert of the Crew and Thermal Systems Division of NASA directed the tests. The new head restraint resulted from a collaboration first undertaken in 2008 at Texas Motor Speedway, where officials from NASA's Johnson Space Center and Hubbard met with NASCAR officials to discuss the use of the sanctioning body's data base for assessing crash injury dynamics. NASCAR subsequently provided data taken from recorders in race vehicles, which facilitates the development of injury criteria for astronauts by using computer modeling in conjunction with the real world experience from NASCAR competition. The prototype HANS-type head restraint for astronauts is comprised of a round collar and yoke made from carbon fiber. The helmet and neck ring of the space suit fit to the round collar and yoke, a single unit to be held in place by an astronaut's shoulder belts. NASCAR

Comment
12/24/10
motogp

Yamaha MotoGP still searching for new title sponsor
The Yamaha MotoGP team has yet to find a new title sponsor for the upcoming 2011 MotoGP championship. The team who dominated MotoGP since 2008 saw title sponsor Fiat end its support following Rossi's departure to Ducati.

Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis has said he is working hard to secure a title sponsor for his team but isn't worried yet as the start of the new season comes closer every day. Jarvis told MCN: “We are looking to find a replacement title sponsor. We still have a few irons in the fire and it is not too late. The season starts close to the end of March and I’ve been in situations before where we’ve started back in 2007 running blue bikes before we signed Fiat.

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12/24/10
f1

Formula 1 Super License for best F3 drivers
In 2011 the FIA has launched a new race calendar for the best Formula 3 drivers called 'FIA International Formula 3 Trophy' with famous F3 races such as Zandvoort and Macau involved. The FIA furthermore announced that the three best-placed drivers will be awarded with a Formula 1 Super License.

In addition to the 'Masters of Formula 3' at Zandvoort and the tradition-rich Macau Formula 3 GP, the Trophy comprises the new Formula 3 race in South Korea and the revived F3 meeting in Pau, Southern France, as well as the Formula 3 races at Spa-Francorchamps and Hockenheim. The season kick-off will be held within the framework of the Formula 3 Euro Series (DTM season kick-off) at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg.

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12/24/10
automotive

Toyota goes from bad to worse UPDATE Toyota agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit tied to a fatal August 2009 accident near San Diego that killed four members of the same family, elevated concerns about possible unintended acceleration and triggered recalls of more than 5 million vehicles in the U.S.

The settlement amount was disclosed by Larry Willis, an attorney representing Bob Baker Lexus, a Lexus dealership, in El Cajon, Calif., which is also a defendant in the case.

Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer, his wife Cleofe Lastrella, a brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella, and their 13-year-old daughter Mahala, were traveling in a 2009 Lexus ES, which the dealership loaned them while their vehicle underwent repairs.

Saylor reported, in a chilling 911 call moments before the fatal crash, that the car accelerated beyond his control. The parents of Saylor and the parents of his wife and brother-in-law have agreed to drop the lawsuit in exchange for the payment.

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12/24/10
f1

Texas trying to inflate nos. to justify lining Bernie's pockets
The state comptroller's office said Thursday that the agency may remove information posted on a new state Web page touting the benefits of bringing Formula One racing to Austin in 2012 that appears to assert that the event will generate nearly 5,000 jobs a number triple previously published estimates.

The new figures appear on texasahead.org , a site controlled by Comptroller Susan Combs' office that provides information about economic development opportunities in Texas. Combs has been a driving force behind bringing F1 racing to Texas.

The section of the website devoted to Formula One went live this week. On it, the comptroller's office projects the economic impact the race will have on the area. Such calculations are crucial because they form the basis for millions of dollars in government incentive payments to the event.

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12/23/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Now Mansell backs Group Lotus in F1
  • Ukraine capital Kiev plans $1bn F1 track
  • Red Bull asks for cost agreement exception - Mosley
  • Red Bull wins battle of funniest Xmas card
  • Raikkonen's father dies at 56
  • Coulthard tipped for F1 race commentator role
  • Spa boss doubts d'Ambrosio to make impact
  • HRT is 'long term project' insists owner Carabante

    Read more & Comment...
12/23/10
automotive

Video: Man arrested for driving 195 mph in Corvette
A man who posted YouTube videos of himself speeding down Oklahoma City-area freeways in his high-powered Chevrolet Corvette has been arrested by Highway Patrol troopers.

Capt. Chris West says the patrol used the videos to track down Dee Albert "Cody" Replogle of Oklahoma City and arrest him Monday on two complaints of reckless driving. The 30-year-old Replogle has not been charged and has been released on bail.

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12/23/10
f1

Successful seat fittings for Perez and Kobayashi
Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi both visited the Sauber factory this week for a seat fitting. The Sauber F1 drivers for the 2011 Formula 1 season had to get their seats in place for Sauber's C30, powered by Ferrari engines.

Sergio Perez, who will enjoy his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain this March, was in the Hinwil factory for his seat fitting on Wednesday, Kamui Kobayashi was doing the same on Thursday.

Sergio Perez is going to spend Christmas with his family in Mexico before he moves to Switzerland in January. Kamui Kobayashi is looking forward to spending the holidays in Japan.

On the 31st January 2011 the Sauber F1 team will launch its C30 in Valencia ahead of a three-day test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.

Comment
12/23/10
f1

Team Lotus unveils abandoned livery
Team Lotus' black and gold livery will be used on a show car
Team Lotus has released images of the black and gold livery it had planned to run in 2011 before Renault announced that it too would paint its car in the John Player Special colors.

Team Lotus set up a competition at the end of last season for fans to design its 2011 livery in black and gold and received a large response. However, when Group Lotus announced it was sponsoring Renault next year, the Enstone-based squad immediately unveiled a black and gold livery of its own.

As a result Team Lotus will again run in the traditional green and yellow colors, but still went through with the competition anyway. The winner was Raphael Campos who took inspiration from Emerson Fittipaldi's championship-winning Lotus 72D that was the first car to run with JPS sponsorship.

The team will paint a show car in the colors next year.



Comment
12/23/10
f1

Stick a fork in Team Lotus, it's done
The family of the late Lotus founder Colin Chapman sided with Malaysian-owned sportscar maker Group Lotus in a row over use of the marque in Formula One.

Clive Chapman, whose father's cars won races and championships in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, spoke out in a statement against plans by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes to revive the illustrious Team Lotus name next season.

"During 2010, the Chapman Family, as and when appropriate, made it clear to those involved that it would prefer that the Team Lotus name should not be used in Formula One," he said.

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12/23/10
irl
alms

Baltimore Grand Prix ticket sales speed past 20,000
Baltimore Grand Prix organizers said Thursday more than 20,000 tickets have been sold to fans in 33 states and Puerto Rico for the 2011 Labor Day weekend street race.

Tickets went on-sale to the general public Dec. 9. That followed a private pre-sale the prior week.

Jay Davidson, CEO of Baltimore Racing Development LLC, said heading into 2011 with more than 20,000 tickets sold “is incredible.”

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12/23/10
irl

Briscoe To Visit "Frozen Tundra" on Sunday
Thanks to a special birthday gift from one of Team Penske’s key sponsors, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe will enjoy a special holiday experience this weekend.

Briscoe, the native of Sydney, Australia who will drive the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske car in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, will get a chance to experience an American football fan’s dream on Sunday, December 26. Briscoe will attend the Green Bay Packers home game against the New York Giants at frigid Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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12/23/10
irl

IndyCar champs set for Phoenix charity event
Famous racers will come together for the fourth-annual Wheels of Wellness charity event in Phoenix, Ariz., in mid-January. The event precedes several days of classic-car auctions in the Phoenix area.

The lineup includes 2009 IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race. Bobby Rahal and AutoWeek contributor Denise McCluggage will be a part of the Legends of Motorsports panel at the event, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 16. 

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12/23/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday (UPDATED) UPDATE See update in red below.

12/23/10
  • Montezemolo predicts future Ferrari seat for Vettel
  • FIA to propose F1 'windscreen' to protect drivers
  • D'Ambrosio admits to buying Virgin seat
  • Flammini pushing ahead with Rome GP for 2013
  • Ukraine targets F1 with high-spec circuit New

    Read more & Comment...
12/23/10
gp2a

GP2 cars back at Yas Marina Circuit next November
Following yesterday’s GP2 Series 2011 calendar release, we would like to add that the GP2 Asia Series will be back in Abu Dhabi next November as part of the official Formula One support series. Therefore, Yas Marina Circuit will host two rounds of GP2 Asia Series this year – the first one next February as part of the 2011 season (fourth season) and the second one on November 12-13 as part of the 2011-2012 season (fifth season) and alongside Formula One.

Comment
12/23/10
Dakar
nassprint

Robby Gordon readies for Dakar Rally
2011 marks the 33rd running of the international test of endurance and determination known as the Dakar Rally, which for the third consecutive year will take place in the South American countries of Argentina and Chile after security threats in Mauritania in 2008 caused the ASO, the race organizers, to move the race from Africa. With more than 9,500 km (5,903 miles) to be completed from January 1st to 16th, 2011, the Dakar Rally is easily the "world's most grueling race." Based on fourteen stages, known as "specials", the winner of the rally is the team with the shortest elapsed time over the fifteen day event. The terrain that competitors traverse is extremely difficult. Most of the competitive specials are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks among other elements. To be successful at the Dakar Rally, a team must possess three things: state of the art equipment, first rate driving and navigational skills, and true determination and perseverance. The slightest mistake by man or equipment can cost a team valuable seconds in their effort to achieve the ultimate objective: winning the Dakar Rally.

Known as one of the best off-road racers in the world, Robby Gordon will be participating in his seventh Dakar Rally and piloting the #303 Speed Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer. Gordon will depend on his navigator, Kellon Walsh, to maneuver through the ever changing terrain of the cross country race. Team Hummer will be fielding two entries in the rally-raid. A formal announcement regarding the second HUMMER entry will follow early next week. More at Planetrobby.com

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12/23/10
automotive

Insurance monitoring could make American drivers moving chicanes
It sounds like Big Brother, but a high-tech gizmo that tracks your driving could bring you a big discount on car insurance.

Progressive Insurance is unveiling its Snapshot discount program in Michigan this week. The program involves installing a monitoring device on your vehicle that records how much you drive, how fast and when — and how hard — you hit the brakes. Depending on how those factors add up, drivers can get up to a 30 percent discount.

The program already saves Tiana Kennedy more than 15 percent on coverage for her silver BMW. The 35-year-old Easter Seals clinician does lots of driving for her job.

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12/23/10
automotive

Electric Vehicles Seen as Key to Achieving Energy Independence
Seven out of ten Americans say that it is important to expand the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs) as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, according to results from the latest Market Strategies International E2 (Energy + Environment) Study.  However, while 70 percent agree that it is important to expand the use of EVs, fewer than half (43 percent) see themselves personally driving one in the next ten years. 

Market Strategies’ E2 (Energy + Environment) Study is a national survey designed to gain an understanding of American’s attitudes and opinions about energy and environmental issues and how they intersect.

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12/22/10
alms

Lizards set full season ALMS lineup
Flying Lizard Motorsports announced today the driver lineup for the 2011 American Le Mans Series season. Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) will return in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and Seth Neiman (USA) and Darren Law (USA) will team up again in the No. 44.Driving together for the Lizards in the No. 45, Bergmeister and Long have won the ALMS GT drivers’ championship the last two years: 2009 and 2010.  Bergmeister is five-time ALMS GT drivers’ champion (2005-2006 and 2008-2010); three of those titles were driving with Flying Lizard (2008 through 2010). Long has won the ALMS GT drivers’ title three times, all with Bergmeister: 2005, and 2009-2010.

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12/22/10
f1

Renault statement on Petrov plus Q&A
Vitaly Petrov
Lotus Renault GP is delighted to announce that Vitaly Petrov will complete its driver line-up for the 2011 and 2012 Formula 1 seasons. He will partner Robert Kubica next year.

Gerard Lopez, Chairman of Lotus Renault GP, commented: "We're delighted to have Vitaly on board for another two years. Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver. It was just a matter of putting everything together during the same weekend, race after race, and this will be his target for 2011. Also, thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula 1. Over the past few months, we've established close links with this country and with some of its strongest companies. We're looking forward to building on this special relationship and turning it into a very successful adventure over the next two seasons."

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12/22/10
starmazda

Juncos Racing Announces Driver Lineup for 20
Juncos Racing has officially confirmed its driver lineup for the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.  The four young and diverse talents that will represent the 2010 championship winning team in 2011 are Tatiana Calderon, Martin Scuncio, Joao Horto and Gustavo Menezes.

  Tatiana Calderon, 17, first competed with Juncos Racing five years ago as an eager young go-kart driver and reunited with the team once again last year for her rookie season in the Star Mazda Championship.  By the third race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the Colombian racer had already delivered her first top-ten of the 2010 season, and by the second half of the year, she was consistently competing with the front-runners to take five additional top-ten finishes.  The former teammate of 2010 Star Mazda Champion Conor Daly will return to the series this season stronger than ever and ready to seize her first victory.

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12/22/10
nnw

RAB to run Wallace
RAB Racing with Brack Maggard and veteran driver Kenny Wallace are teaming up to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. Wallace, who has over 20 years of experience in stock car racing, will make his debut for RAB Racing driving the #09 Toyota Camry beginning on Saturday, February 19, 2011, in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Currently, RAB Racing has 16 races with primary sponsorship, beginning with the University of Northwestern Ohio at Daytona International Speedway in February. Additional sponsors include Federated Auto Parts and Family Farmers, a coalition of corn and soybean farmers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the remaining 18 events. --RAB Racing

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12/22/10
f1

Petrov staying at Renault for next two years
(GMM) Vitaly Petrov is staying at Renault for two more years, the newly-rebranded Enstone based team announced on Wednesday.

Now calling itself Lotus Renault GP, the team said in a statement that 2010 Russian rookie Petrov is retaining his seat alongside Robert Kubica not only for 2011 but also 2012.

"Last season, he showed on several occasions that he clearly has the potential to deliver," said team owner Gerard Lopez, who also confirmed that Renault is "looking forward to building on (its) special relationship" with Russia.

Said Petrov, 26: "In many ways, 2010 was about learning. 2011 will be about performing."

Comment
12/22/10
nnw

BRANDT will sponsor Allgaier
Turner Motorsports announced that BRANDT will serve as primary sponsor of the #31 Chevy, driven by Justin Allgaier during the 2011 racing season. Allgaier, who finished the 2010 season fourth in the NNS championship points standings, joins Turner Motorsports in 2011 for his third full season of Nationwide Series competition. BRANDT, located near Allgaier's hometown in Illinois, was founded in 1953 to help Illinois farmers adopt new technologies for their operations. Today, the Springfield, Ill.-based company is a global enterprise consisting of three operating divisions: Specialty Formulations, Retail Agronomy and Dealer Support. This will mark BRANDT's first endeavor as a primary sponsor with a NASCAR team. -- Turner Motorsports

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12/22/10
f1

Q and A with Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher joined the Mercedes Grand Prix team on December 22nd 2009, his official return to Formula 1. The seven-time Formula 1 world champion was unable to finish on the podium in 2010 but is very motivated to continue his Formula 1 career with Mercedes in 2011.

Michael, today one year ago you signed the contract with Mercedes GP Petronas. What can you tell us about the preparations for next year?
It's going very well and everybody is working very hard on our preparations for the 2011 season. The whole team is motivated and we are confident that next year will take us a good step forward. The guys at Mercedes GP in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart are really powering a lot.

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12/22/10
ga

Aussie Daniel Erickson to drive in Rolex 24 at Daytona
Daniel Erickson will step up to motorsport’s big league next month when he competes in America’s iconic sports car race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The 23 year-old Aussie will co-drive a Primus Racing Crawford-Chevrolet in the 49th running of the twice-round-the-clock classic on January 29-30 at the legendary Florida racetrack.

Erickson was thrilled at the prospect of sharing the racetrack with some of his motorsport heroes in the world-famous event.

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12/22/10
IRL
NASCAR

Add wind power to ethanol boondoggle
After 30 months, countless TV appearances, and $80 million spent on an extravagant PR campaign, T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the obvious: The wind energy business isn't a very good one.

The Dallas-based entrepreneur, who has relentlessly promoted his "Pickens Plan" since July 4, 2008, announced earlier this month that he's abandoning the wind business to focus on natural gas.

Two years ago, natural gas prices were spiking and Mr. Pickens figured they'd stay high. He placed a $2 billion order for wind turbines with General Electric. Shortly afterward, he began selling the Pickens Plan and countless fools believed him. It reminds us of another boondoggle - ethanol.

For the umpteenth time, the future power in the world is nuclear. The French have shown the world how to re-use nuclear waste from nuclear power plants so there is almost none. A single Nuclear power plant produces huge amounts of power 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year and can do so for 100 years if properly maintained. And in those 100 years the plant produces zero, count them, zero carbon emissions. The same cannot be said for solar, wind, or any other kind of power the world produces. Either they only work some of the time, or they produce such little or dirty power it's killing us.

And the future of the automobile is electric. Every car company now sees that and are investing huge amounts of R&D on them. Imagine the day when all of our power comes from nuclear plants and all cars charge at night (when drain on the power utilities is nil) for use the next day. And now some math even Obama can understand (recall his insane campaign slogan - change even you can believe in). Zero carbon emissions plus zero carbon emissions = zero.

And so where are we going with all this? Well we do not have to tell you that ethanol is a major boondoggle, just read all the articles we have referenced. So where is electric in the plans for IndyCar and NASCAR? We only hear about their ethanol affiliation. Have they no foresight? We like to follow this simple motto, and it never fails us - When in doubt, just do what's right!

Comment
12/22/10
nassprint
irl

Ethanol Losing Favor With Everyone UPDATE #2 U.S. automakers and ethanol producers are headed for a showdown over how much corn should be allowed in the nation's gas tanks.

Detroit's Big Three — along with Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., and every other major automaker — filed suit Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to block a federal plan to allow fuel stations to start selling E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. All models on the road can travel on E10, a 10 percent blend. Most fuel pumps carry E10.

A waiver granted by the Environmental Protection Agency in October would allow the higher blend of ethanol to be sold for cars built in the 2007 model year and newer.

Automakers argue that allowing E15 for some vehicles will confuse consumers and could damage older vehicles. They have urged more testing before E15 can be sold at the pumps.

"We want to be sure that any new fuel will not increase air pollution, harm engines or endanger consumer safety," said Michael Stanton, president and CEO of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

Boat manufacturers and lawn equipment makers joined automakers in the suit. [Editor's Note: Another article explaining why ethanol is a big boondoggle.  Electric is the future folks, that is where all car companies are focusing their R&D] 

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12/22/10
nascar

Kyle Busch on top 50 dirtiest players list
NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch has joined a dubious list of professional athletes after being named as one of the top 50 dirtiest players of all time in any sport.

The list, compiled by Complex Media, takes into account the number of penalties and seriousness of the offences.

The No. 1 public enemy in sports according to CM is — drum roll please — hockey player Marty McSorley for his 3,381 NHL penalty minutes and for his vicious hit on Donald Brashear back in 2000.

Busch, by comparison, is a relative angel coming in at No. 38 on the list. The only other NASCAR driver to make the list — Carl Edwards — is at No. 48.

To put it all in context, however, ear-biting convicted rapist Mike Tyson was only No. 40 on the list.

Comment
12/22/10
USTCC

Increased exposure and prize money for 2011 Nitto Tires USTCC
Napa, CA – The Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) have announced several improvements for the 2011 racing calendar.  The changes revolve around new support from an old friend, Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA).  NASA’s support has allowed the series to increase its prize money structure for 2011.  Other changes include new sponsors that will help pay a tow fund for competitors to race at selected spectator events.

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12/22/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
  • End of Lotus Racing 'a shame' - Fernandes
  • Whitmarsh better at managing champion drivers - Dennis
  • F1 deal is birthday and Christmas present - d'Ambrosio
  • Van der Garde eyes 'plan B' after Virgin setback
  • Schumacher snubbed in magazine's top 50 drivers list
  • Survey shows EUR residents oppose Rome grand prix
  • Pirelli tires are improving - Grosjean

    Read more & Comment...
12/21/10
irl

Attracting new fans will be key for IndyCar
Many in the auto racing industry realize the sport has a lot of older racing fans and attracting younger spectators is a priority. Count 1978 World Driving Champion Mario Andretti among them.

“It’s cyclical. It’s life,” Andretti said recently. “There is a cycle of life for drivers. You’ve got drivers that obviously have been around a long time. Sooner or later they’re going to retire. They almost start all over. The same thing with fans.

“But I think the job of the organizing bodies, such as IndyCar, NASCAR, so forth, is to always try to find ways to connect the fans, such as making maybe the drivers more available to the fans, opening up sometimes the pit area to allow the fans to come closer to the race cars and visit,” he continued. “Anything to become fan-friendly, if you will. All these things have a way of really working in a positive way.”

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12/21/10
irl

Simona Returns To HVM With New Sponsor
“Yes, we’ve signed a multi-year agreement with a sponsor to secure Simona’s future," HVM Racing team owner Keith Wiggins tells SPEED.com

“We’ll have an official announcement and press conference in January but that’s all we can say.”

Asked if it was a company from de Silvestro’s homeland of Switzerland or an American entity, Wiggins replied: “It’s from this side of the water and it’s going to be exciting to bring this company into our sport for the first time on a full-time basis.

“Imran (Safiulla, who is also Simona’s manager) was instrumental in putting this deal together and it’s great because now we can continue to build her brand.

“Her ability and personality greatly helped land this marketing opportunity.” SPEEDTV.com

Comment
12/21/10
nhra

NHRA drivers on radio tonight
Funny Car driver Ashley Force Hood, National Dragster “Be a Member” winner Leo Shaver, Competition Plus editor Bobby Bennett along with the NHRA's Alan Reinhart will join host Joe Castello, live tonight at 7 p.m. ET on WFO Radio NHRA Tuesday. To listen live or on-demand following the show, go to WFORadio.com.

On tonight's WFO Radio, Funny Car driver Ashley Force Hood, who finished third in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car point standings, will take center stage to discuss her favorite holiday, Christmas. Ashley will reveal her favorite Christmas traditions as well as discuss her 2010 season and testing plans for 2011.

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12/21/10
irl

Team Penske's Power Gets Married in Hawaii
Will Power and his new wife Elizabeth Cannon during sunset on a beach in Hawaii
Photo courtesy of Michael Andrews/Penske Racing
Coming off the best IZOD IndyCar Series season of his career, Verizon Team Penske driver Will Power is also enjoying a pretty memorable offseason. On Friday, December 17, Power married his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Cannon (now Power), in Maui, Hawaii.

Power first met Cannon, who hails from Texas, when he came to the United States from his native Australia to race in 2006. The two worked together at Walker Racing and they began their courtship inside the high-speed world of open-wheel racing. Cannon now works as a public relations representative for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series while Power has established himself as one of the rising stars of motorsports following a runner-up finish in the 2010 series championship.

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12/21/10
EuroF3

The path to Formula One following in Hamilton's slipstream
At the end of the 2010 season, the Formula 3 Euro Series produced a second Formula One champion in Sebastian Vettel, the youngest Formula One world champion ever. In 2008, ex-Formula 3 Euro Series champion, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, gained motor racing's finest accolade, the Formula One World Championship title. Since its inauguration in the 2003 season, the Formula 3 Euro Series has become a springboard for Formula One.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council intends giving Formula 3 additional kudos with the launch of a new competition - in 2011, six existing Formula 3 events will be replaced by the new FIA International Formula 3 Trophy. The three highest-placed drivers will qualify for a Formula One Super License, and perhaps one day will follow in Hamilton's footsteps. In order to be eligible for this new competition, drivers are required to have contested a full season in one of the Formula 3 championship series.

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12/21/10
f1

No KERS for Virgin, Hispania
Virgin and Hispania will not use the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems in 2011, according to their engine supplier Cosworth.  KERS, originally introduced in Formula One in 2009 in an attempt to improve overtaking, will make a comeback next season after teams opted not to use it in 2010.

However, Cosworth general manager for F1 operations Mark Gallagher told F1 Fanatic that Virgin and Hispania won't be among the teams that will use the system next year.

"At the moment Williams are the only one of our customers who are going to be using KERS in 2011. Virgin and HRT are not," Gallagher said.

"Both those teams have expressed an interest in KERS for 2012."

Comment
12/21/10
Racing news

Third generation Hill in motor racing lineup
Josh Hill, the son and grandson of two Formula One motor racing champions, will be part of an international assault on the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand this summer.

Hill, 19, will be one of 10 overseas competitors among the 16 drivers confirmed for the series from January to March.

He will be accompanied by his father, 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill.

His grandfather, Graham Hill, was a two-time F1 champion and also won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe in 1965 and 1966.

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12/21/10
irl

Castroneves coming to advertising near you
Expect to see a lot more of Helio Castroneves. No longer shackled by restrictions on tobacco advertising, one of IndyCar's most popular drivers will truly be set free this season.

Obviously that's a good thing for Castroneves, but it's a good thing for the series, too.

Other than Danica Patrick, no one causes a stir in the paddock like him -- not reigning champ Dario Franchitti, not former champ Scott Dixon, not even third generation namesake Marco Andretti.

Patrick became mainstream because of savvy marketing. Castroneves got there through a force of personality and a fortunate run on "Dancing with the Stars." He's now earned more championships on the dance floor than he has in a race season, but no one can take away his three Indy 500 victories, 19 other wins nor his 34 poles.

Imagine how big he could have gotten over the last decade if he could have actually done a commercial or two.

Because of a long-standing sponsorship deal between Team Penske and Phillip Morris (and its Marlboro brand), Castroneves was paid handsomely, but also silently.

When big tobacco and the government started cutting their deals, it meant marketing went underground. When the cigarette makers had to take their logos off the cars, it meant they had to be eliminated from the promotional materials, too. It affected what the drivers could and couldn't do even off the track.

Well, the deal has run out and Team Penske is turning to a variety of companies to sponsor not only Castroneves, but also Ryan Briscoe and Will Power.

Coming aboard a new-look Penske livery will be Izod, Shell-Pennzoil, Meijer and the Auto Club of Southern California, while Verizon remains.

It's a bold new world for Castroneves and the team.

"I'm dying to be in a commercial," Castroneves said in a recent conference call, adding, "I'm not a good actor, but I know I can dance. Hopefully we'll be able to do something, and it will be a lot of fun."

Over the weekend, the Brazilian native got to be part of a holiday event for kids in Indianapolis because of the team's new partnership with Meijer.

"For us over the 10 to 11 years that I've been with Penske, we were not able to be doing these kind of events, obviously because of our association with Phillip Morris," he said. Mansfield News Journal

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12/21/10
gp2

GP2 Series 2011 season Calendar
The GP2 series is proud to unveil its 2011 calendar which consists of nine rounds, all events part of  the official Formula One support series. As previously announced, next season will see thirteen teams  fight  for  the  crown  with  newcomers  Carlin  and  Team  Air  Asia  joining  the  field  and  ART Grand Prix renamed Lotus ART.

Our Series will see its season begin for the first time in Istanbul, Turkey where the Formula One Championship  will  open  its  European  campaign.  Following  the  F1  calendar,  the  GP2  Series  will then move to Barcelona and Monaco in the last two weekends of May. After a break, the action will return to Valencia Street circuit at the end of June, and July will be busy with three rounds – the first at Silverstone, then at Nurburgring and Budapest back-to-back. After the summer breather, the Series will return to Spa-Francorchamps on the last weekend of August. Finally, the 2011 season will be concluded in Monza, Italy on 10-11 September.

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12/21/10
f1

Is Tavo Hellmund the next Chris Pook?
A British expatriate, Pook brought the emerging glitz and glamour of Formula One into a major metropolitan area in the U.S. for the first time with the creation of the Long Beach Grand Prix. Who would have thought the streets of Long Beach would quickly rival the revered Watkins Glen as the best showcase for Grand Prix greats? Or that racing would convert the gritty seaport town’s domain of lowlifes and longshoremen into the home of glistening seaside hotels, condos and shops?

Hellmund, the son of a Mexican father and an American mother, intends to turn an unlikely tract of scrubby land just outside of Austin into a permanent home for F1 in the U.S. At a time when F1 is the most expensive sport in the world, if not the most glamorous, Hellmund has figured out how to bring in $200 million in private investment and $25 million in state money to build what promises to be a spectacular circuit and to host F1 near a toll road running through the most desolate stretches just outside Austin’s city limits. The nearest town is a tiny burg known as Elroy.

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12/21/10
alms

Luis Diaz visits Lola
After competing with the Fernandez Racing Lola LMP2 car in 2007, Spanish born Mexican racer, Luis Diaz will get another chance to shine in the 2011 ALMS with Level 5 Motorsports.

32-year-old Diaz visited the Lola factory last week to meet Lola engineers and is highly motivated for the coming season, as he told www.lola-group.com

Lola: “Luis, it’s great to see you here in Huntingdon with a really professional team in the shape of Level 5 Motorsports – you must be delighted?

Diaz: “It’s a great opportunity for me and I have never been this involved with a team from the beginning. The first thing that I had to do after they told me that I was going to be his driver was to come to Lola and meet you guys in person and see how you build the cars. I think that’s very motivating for me to be so close to the team from the beginning and I am very excited about it. I think it’s very important for them to have a very motivated driver.”

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12/21/10
irl

John 'Ando' Anderson dies of heart attack UPDATE #2 Obituary: Anderson, John
December 20, 2010
John Keith Anderson Known to many as "Ando", passed away December 16, 2010 at age 65. John, a native Australian, is survived by his parents Marjorie and Victor Anderson of Sydney Australia, sister Patricia Anderson, and his loving wife of 38 years, Lesley Anderson of Zionsville. John, prominent in the Motorsports industry, possessed an infectious personality and was loved by anyone with whom he came in contact. He was a team manager and strategist for many premier Indy Car, Champ Car, and ALMs racing teams, including Curb Motorsport, Galles Racing, PacWest Racing, A.J. Foyt, Andretti Green, and DeFerran Motorsports. He was a winner of many championships and races, including several Indy 500s. John was a private pilot and loved to fly his plane all over the country. Ando had a very happy, adventurous spirit and loved life, which made him a beloved character to all who knew him. Visitation for John will be held Thursday, December 23, 2010 from 6 to 8 pm at Flanner and Buchanan Zionsville Funeral Center, with a memorial service to follow at 8:00. A celebration of John's remarkable life will be held on January 10th. Details will be published at a later date. Services will also be held in Sydney, Australia at a later date. Online condolences may be made at www.flannerbuchanan.com Updated arrangements will be published at that site as they become available. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, P. O. Box 6069, Indianapolis, IN 46206, or Riley Children's Hospital Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St., Ste. 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

12/16/10 Not many people involved in auto racing don't have at least one enemy. But John Anderson bucked that trend.

Anderson, who died in Indianapolis on Thursday at age 65, was one of racing's good guys, a larger than life character who made everyone he came in contact with smile or laugh.

The native of Australia came to America in 1981 to work for VDS Racing and held management roles for several U.S.-based teams, including A.J Foyt Racing, Team Green/Andretti Green Racing and De Ferran Motorsports. But he was best known as the heart and soul of Bruce McCaw's PacWest Racing Group, the team he built and led from 1993-2000.

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12/21/10
Racing News

Audi to compete in 12h race at Bathurst
The 2011 motorsport season opens with a genuine highlight for Audi: On February 6, Audi race experience Team Joest contests the 12-hour race at Bathurst with two Audi R8 LMS cars. The event at Australia’s most famous race track rings in the extended program for the AUDI AG GT3 sportscar.

The customer sport program started in 2009 with the Audi R8 LMS was restructured for the 2011 season. Further development of the Audi R8 LMS, sales and marketing of the cars and the technical support for customers and importer teams worldwide were transferred to the quattro GmbH.

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12/21/10
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday (UPDATED) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

12/21/10
  • Ferrari to promote 'good people' for 2011 charge
  • Bortolotti disappointed by Ferrari axe
  • Rule changes to make racing 'spectacular' - Alonso
  • French body FFSA discusses 'major events' with minister
  • Ecclestone stole F1 from teams - Dennis
  • Virgin announces d'Ambrosio and Glock for 2011 New
  • F1 cars to have 'tea tray' front wings in 2013 New
  • Red Bull voted team of the year by ESPNF1 New

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12/21/10
f1

Vettel: It’s impossible to please everybody
2010 Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel refuses to be drawn into debate on whether Red Bull Racing favored him, over team mate Mark Webber, in the final stages of the championship battle.

The team, owned by Austrian billionaire Dieter Mateschitz, declined to bring into play team orders when Webber looked their best bet to take the title. For this they were at the receiving end of much criticism from all quarters, particularly the media.

Ultimately the 2010 champion team were proved correct in their decision as Vettel triumphed at the final race in Abu Dhabi, overcoming a massive nine points deficit to Fernando Alonso, while Webber’s challenge faltered.

It was also revealed recently that Webber raced the final four races with a hairline fracture on his shoulder, without the knowledge of his team.

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12/21/10
nassprint

SPEED Will Not Be The NASCAR TV Network
It's been lots of fun watching the changes at SPEED since former Fox Sports chief David Hill took over the day-to-day senior management of the network. He recently put veteran TV executive Patti Wheeler in charge of both the programming and production departments.

With Wheeler's extensive NASCAR background and Hill's affinity for the sport, the rumor that SPEED would become a full time NASCAR TV network was suddenly supercharged. Now we know that is not going to happen. In fact, we know a lot more about what Wheeler and Hill are planning.

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12/21/10
f1

Mansell glad to see return of John Players colors
Nigel Mansell says he is delighted that Renault Lotus will return to Formula 1 sporting the iconic black and gold livery made famous first, in the seventies, by Colin Chapman’s team in the days of Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Petersen and Mario Andretti.  In the eighties, after several years away from F1, John Player Special (JPS) returned to sponsor Lotus with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Elio de Angelis and Mansell himself in the team at the wheel.

Mansell, the 1992 F1 world champion, told Lotus Enthusiast website, “I am delighted to see the return of Group Lotus to Formula One through their acquisition of an equity stake in Renault F1. It is particularly pleasing for me to see the union of Lotus and Renault again and the return of the iconic black an gold colors as driven by the late greats Ayrton Senna and Elio de Angelis, Johnny Dumfries and of course, myself in the 80’s.”

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12/21/10
lmes

ACO lays out ILMC regulations
On 29th November the ACO published the calendar of seven races on three continents. On Friday 17th December the Club also unveiled the final version of the Le Mans 24-Hours technical regulations that will apply from 2011 onwards.

REGULATIONS

In addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours, the 2011 regulations also apply to the ILMC, the ALMS and LMS Series. The overall philosophy behind them aims at continually improving the following fundamental aspects: safety, environmental protection, a level playing field from both a sporting and technical point of view and cost capping.

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12/21/10
f1

Marussia Virgin Racing announces Jerome D’Ambrosio to partner Glock
Jerome D’Ambrosio
The Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One team is delighted to announce that it has signed rising talent Jerome D’Ambrosio to partner Timo Glock in 2011.

Last month, the 25 year old Belgian successfully concluded an evaluation role with the team, which saw him take part in the Free Practice 1 sessions of the Singapore, Japanese, Korean and Brazilian Grands Prix. In addition, he conducted a further half day program at the wheel of the VR-01 race car during the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test following the concluding round of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

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12/20/10
irl

A bad week for Rafael Matos
Can't help but feel sorry for IndyCar driver Rafael Matos.  Two days he unrepentantly lost his father and today Tony Kanaan was announced to take over his seat at de Ferran Dragon Racing.

“This has been a bad time for me,” an emotional Matos said as he fought back tears. “I lost my father two days ago, and this announcement with Tony doesn’t really matter right now; everything will be OK there, I believe. It is a great team and I love driving for them; becoming an IndyCar driver was always my dream and what I work [towards] for 15 years. To lose my seat in a circumstance like this—I needed to bring funds—is hard, but I have the trust of the team owners, which matters the most to me. They believe in me.”

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12/20/10
irl

de Ferran Dragon Racing Announcement Transcript
MODERATOR: Welcome and happy holidays, everyone, to this INDYCAR teleconference in which de Ferran Dragon Racing president Gil de Ferran has a significant announcement to make.

Without further ado, I'll hand the floor to you, Gil.

GIL de FERRAN: Thank you very much, Paul. It's a great pleasure for me to be speaking here with you today and announcing a driver for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. The driver will be Tony Kanaan. I know there's been a lot of speculation out there. But I'm here to confirm that we have reached an agreement and he'll be our driver for 2011.

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12/20/10
automotive

Mapshare added to TomTom iPhone app
TomTom, the world's leading provider of location and navigation solutions, announces that its newest update to the TomTom App for iPhone, version 1.6, includes Map Share.  With this addition, TomTom continues to deliver the most up-to-date and accurate maps.  The latest version of the TomTom App for iPhone can be purchased on the Apple App Store starting today.

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12/20/10
track news

State OKs tax incentives for Kentucky Speedway
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority has approved incentives for the Kentucky Speedway ahead of a much anticipated NASCAR Sprint Cup race in July.

The action makes Kentucky Speedway, which is undergoing an $82 million expansion, eligible for up to $20.5 million in tax rebates over a 10-year period.

Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement Monday that the Sprint Cup race will have an annual $150 million economic impact in Kentucky. He said that would be great news any time, but especially during the current economic recession.

To accommodate the Sprint Cup race, scheduled for July 9, seating capacity is being expanded from 60,000 to 102,000, and parking and camping areas are being enlarged.

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12/20/10
racing news

Cayman Interseries Announces 2011 Race Event Schedule
A combined schedule of HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing) and SVRA (Sports car Vintage Racing Association) weekend events at legendary North American road courses highlight the 2011 Cayman Interseries race schedule, which was announced today by officials from series owners Napleton Porsche of Westmont.

“When we met with our competitors late in the 2010 racing season they made it clear they wanted a solid schedule of race events on legendary and famous U.S. road courses,” said Napleton Porsche General Manager Ron Barnaba. “We were able to achieve this for 2011 only through the great cooperation of Ken Fengler and HSR and Peter McLaughlin and everyone at SVRA.  The end result is an outstanding schedule of eight races, anchored by HSR and SVRA events, along with one and possibly two more feature races at additional premier venues.”

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12/20/10
starmazda
irl

Star Mazda joins INDYCAR weekend at Barber
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will be part of INDYCAR's event weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on April 9-10.

Star Mazda teams will join Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series on the race schedule during the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama on April 10 as well as INDYCAR's spring training event at a road course to be named.

It will be the first of many opportunities during the season for drivers and teams to build relationships around INDYCAR's Mazda Road to Indy program.

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12/20/10
f1

More evidence Sauber becoming the de facto Mexican F1 team
With behind the scenes involvement by the richest man on the world, Carlos Slim, the Sauber F1 team is expected to eventually run two Mexican drivers, Sergio Perez and GP3 champ Esteban Gutièrrez , and be the de-facto Mexican team.  Now comes word that Sauber Motorsport has agreed a partnership with Interproteccion. The Mexican insurance group will become a Sauber F1 Team Premium Partner on 1st January 2011, and its logos will be displayed on the rear wing endplates of the Sauber C30-Ferrari, the drivers’ overalls and team clothing.

Interproteccion is Latin America’s leading insurance group and has its headquarters in Mexico. Boasting over 30 years of experience, Interproteccion is present in more than 100 countries around the world.

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12/20/10
irl

de Ferran Dragon Racing Confirms Tony Kanaan for 2011
Tony Kanaan and Gil de Ferran
de Ferran Dragon Racing today confirms that it has signed the exceptional driving skills of Brazilian star and 2004 Indy Car Champion Tony Kanaan to compete in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar series.

de Ferran Dragon Racing President and fellow countryman, Gil de Ferran – both a friend and long time on-track rival of Kanaan– is delighted to have secured the services of such a successful driver for the young team.

“This is a great signing and a major coup for de Ferran Dragon Racing,” said de Ferran. “It is fantastic that we have Tony on board; he is a proven Champion and brings with him a great record of successes on the track. Tony has consistently placed at the sharp end of the field for more than a decade and shows no signs of letting up. I am sure his contribution to the team, both in terms of speed and experience, will be invaluable to our development and future success.”

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12/20/10
track news

Trivia Question on Daytona repaving UPDATE John G. Callanan is the winner of the Trivia question.  Kyle Petty won the ARCA 300 race on the Sunday prior to the Daytona 500 that year and was the first winner on the repaved 2.5-mile oval.  Buddy Baker was the 2nd winner, having won the first of two 125-mile Daytona 500 qualifying races on Thursday.  Darrell Waltrip was the 3rd winner, having won the 2nd 125-mile qualifying race. 

On Friday defending F1 World Driving Champion and CART star Mario Andretti amazing lapped the field in winning the IROC race over Cale Yarborough.  Still smarting over Mario's domination in the 1967 Daytona 500, the NASCAR media in attendance were so miffed by his domination again that there was zero, we repeat, zero articles published on this win the following day.  And so goes the bias by the NASCAR-groupie American motorsport media toward open wheel racing.

12/20/10 The Daytona Speedway was recently repaved, the first time since late 1978.  Trivia question - who were the 1st and 2nd drivers to win a race on the resurfaced 2.5-mile oval in 1979?  Send your answers to feedback@autoracing1.com

The first person who answers correctly will get 3 free months added to their subscription.

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12/20/10
f1

Cosworth congratulates Sir Frank Williams
Sir Frank Williams
Cosworth would like to extend its congratulations to Sir Frank Williams who was presented with the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC’s prestigious Sports Personality of the Year show held at the LG Arena in Birmingham last night.

The Helen Rollason Award is bestowed on individuals for outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity. The trophy was presented to Sir Frank’s team partner Patrick Head by former Williams driver and 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill.

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12/20/10
nassprint

Roush Fenway Racing Names Steve Newmark President
Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Steve Newmark has been named president of its multi-car racing organization. Newmark will succeed Geoff Smith in the position; Smith is retiring at the end of December after serving in the role for the previous 13 years.

Newmark, who previously was a shareholder at the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, joined the organization as senior vice president of business operations in April. He brings an innovative skill set and fresh approach, highlighted by extensive NASCAR and outside sports and entertainment experience, to the position.

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12/20/10
Racing news

Kumho Tire Introduces Revolutionary iPhone/iPad app
Kumho Tire USA, one of the leading tire manufacturers in the world, announces the launch of "Kumho Tire Drive" – an All New, free racing game for video game and auto enthusiasts alike.  With the launch of "Kumho Tire Drive", Kumho Tire USA becomes the first ever global tire manufacturer to develop and publish a multi-car racing game application for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch and iPad products.

Developed by Retired Astronauts Collective, best known for creating addictive interactive apps for iPhones, "Kumho Tire Drive" lets the gamer become a Kumho sponsored driver and race for points and worldwide recognition.  Being a Kumho Tire Racer just went from a far-fetched dream to absolute reality as drivers get in, buckle up, and put the pedal to the metal for the ride of their lives.  Gamers will feel the adrenaline pumping through their veins as they experience unbelievable speed and ultra high performance in their Kumho Tire equipped supercar.

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12/20/10
f1

F1 delivers big TV ratings in 2010
One of the most exciting seasons in Formula One history proved to be a ratings success for free-to-air broadcasters in Europe’s five biggest television markets, according to analysis by SportBusiness Intelligence and Eurodata TV Worldwide.

In France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, a cumulative average television audience of 24.86 million viewers watched each race in 2010, a 15-per-cent increase on 2009 and the highest race average since 2006.

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12/20/10
ga

Level 5 Enters Two Cars, All-Star Lineup in Rolex 24
Level 5 Motorsports owner / driver Scott Tucker announced today that the team will once again field two entries in the  Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season-opening event for the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, Jan. 29-30. The team returns with a pair of BMW-powered Riley Daytona Prototypes and hopes to improve upon last year's podium finish.

Level 5 has entered the No. 55 with Tucker and longtime co-driver Christophe Bouchut sharing the driving duties with Mark Wilkins and Luis Diaz. Bouchut, a former winner of the Rolex 24 (1995) surpassed the 100 professional race victories mark during the 2010 season. Wilkins, who has three starts with Level 5, most recently drove for AIM Autosport in the Rolex Series. Diaz is new to Level 5, but is no stranger to GRAND-AM road racing. He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2004-2006 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series seasons.

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12/20/10
ga

Mazdaspeed, ModSpace team up for 2011 season
Mazdaspeed Motorsports on Friday said it is teaming up with ModSpace for the 2011 racing season.

Official details of the partnership have not been released. But Mazdaspeed and ModSpace will have a supporting role with the No. 16 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda that runs in the American Le Mans Series. The Mazda-powered Lola was revealed at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando, Fla., last week wearing the ModSpace logo on the side.

The partnership will also support a Mazda RX-8 in Grand-Am’s GT championship and a Mazdaspeed 3 in the Continental Tire ST Championship.

“Mazda and ModSpace have a similar mind-set which will allow us to work effectively as a team,” said John Doonan, Mazdaspeed team development manager. “While many partnerships take months of negotiations to determine if there is a fit, with ModSpace, we were able to develop a mutually beneficial plan in just a few days.”

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12/20/10
karting
irl

Di Grassi wins, but IndyCar hopeful shines in Massa’s kart event UPDATE AR1.com customers who are using our iPhone app can watch the spectacular passes Bia makes to win in our video section, available from the iPhone app home page.  The iPhone app video section contains all the videos we have published in 2010.

The only woman in the race, Bia Figueiredo, gives the boys a clinic on driving and wins Race 2
12/19/10 Lucas di Grassi won, but IndyCar ace Bia Figueiredo stole the show by grabbing the second heat at the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champions at Arena Sapiens in Florianopolis, Brazil. Di Grassi failed to finish the Sunday race, but the 25 points he collected with his victory on Saturday were enough to give him the first spot on the aggregate results even tough Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello and Bia Figueiredo have scored the same amount. Final positions were defined according to the race 1 order at the checkered flag.

For the first time Felipe Massa’s promoted event was split in two days. Di Grassi achieved the race 1 on Saturday night and seemed to be on the way to his first victory in Florianopolis when was forced to withdrawn with a broken pipe after being hit in the back by Antonio Pizzonia. The lead changed all the time and Jaime Alguersuari, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello were about to win the double-header dispute until Bia, who had started only 11th and was the sole female presence in the field, started moving up in he 28-lap race.

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12/20/10
nnw
irl

Patrick's attempt at NASCAR panned by drivers
Danica Patrick
Kyle Petty, who is now retired, had this to say about Danica Patrick.

"She's not Dario Franchitti and she's not Tony Stewart. She's not really shown over there [in the Indy Racing League] and won races and done stuff over there numbers-wise,” said Petty during the Sight and Sound which marked the unofficial start of the 2010 NASCAR racing season.

Petty also added, “She's just a marketing machine. Let's look at the facts and be blunt about it. If she gets in that car and doesn't win races, it's not the car, it's not the engines and it’s not the team.”

Petty finished with, “The only impact she'll have on the sport is she wasted two or three years on a car that a good driver could have been in and could have been developing.”

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12/20/10
f1

Alonso feels new F1 rules will lead to better races
Fernando Alonso
"Obviously every year normally Formula 1 changes rules to make it more spectacular, to have more overtaking maneuvers and to have a better show," said Alonso in an interview provided by the Ferrari press office (see below).

"It's true that in 2011 there are two big changes to the regulations, which is the KERS and the rear wing that we can move when we have an overtaking possibility. I think these two combined give us a speed advantage that is quite big compared to the car in front.

"So I'm confident that next year, finally, the rules will help overtaking and we will have a better show for everybody."

"One of the most important is the tires, which normally change the behavior of the car, so we have to make sure that Pirelli is well coordinated with our car," said Alonso.

Read more & Comment...
12/19/10
f1

Sport could survive without F1 name - Montezemolo
(GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo thinks formula one could survive without its famous name.

The sport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone dismissed as "complete nonsense" the Ferrari president's latest threat of a team-led series breakaway.

But Montezemolo, who in 2009 led the revolt against departed FIA president Max Mosley's budget cap plans, told international reporters last week that F1 is unlikely to proceed unchanged when the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2012.

"We need to think about what to do," the Italian is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.  "It can not go on as it is now."

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12/19/10
f1

Alonso and Massa will start 2011 as equals
(PVM) Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed that both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will start the 2011 Formula 1 season on equal footing despite speculation that Alonso was now the de facto team leader.

During a recent press lunch at Maranello, Montezemolo said, “If I think one of my two drivers not in a position to win the championship, I will change it. But to start I want two drivers capable of winning.”

Alonso has largely impressed the team management, the tifosi and importantly the Italian media in his first season as a Maranello driver. His rise within the team has coincided with Massa’s loss of form, the Brazilian being put under increasing pressure to perform in 2011.

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12/19/10
racing news

Ferrari Driver Academy open to all for a fee
(PVM) The once exclusive Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), which rewarded promising young racing drivers on merit, is going commercial and will now be open to all young aspiring race drivers at a fee starting in 2011.

The Academy’s “headmaster” Luca Baldisserri explained, “The Ferrari Driver Academy 2011 will be developed in three stages. The first called the base, then the intermediate and finally the advanced. [In January] we’ll start with the basic course.”

He added, “I will assess the people one by one as we will not admit students who wish to attend the course only for curiosity. We want candidates to meet our standards. Only after this screening process will the young aspirants be invited to Maranello. The cost has not been decided yet.”

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12/19/10
f1

Virgin Racing happy to keep Glock for 2011
Timo Glock
Marussia Virgin Racing boss John Booth has revealed that he had no doubt that Timo Glock would sign again for the team, while indicating that discussions are underway with a number of drivers to possibly replace Lucas di Grassi. Team principal Booth told The Star, “For me personally, I never had any lingering doubts that Timo was going to stay. There were a lot of statements coming out about his future so it is a big boost to the team to have that sorted out.”

According to recent reports there are host of drivers lining up to partner Glock and replace Brazilian driver Di Grassi who failed to impress in his rookie season.

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12/19/10
automotive

Tesla buyers lining up
Tesla Model S
Tesla says more than 3,000 would-be buyers have plunked down $5,000 reservation fees to get in line for its next model, the all-electric Model S. The first versions will be built next year, crash tested and deliveries will start in 2012, Tesla says in a corporate filing.

In the meantime, Tesla says it is busy building an electric version of the RAV4 crossover with Toyota and has been delivering prototypes since July. It has a $9-million contract with Toyota.

Tesla is also making 1,500 electric powerplants for Smart and 500 for Mercedes-Benz to go into its small A-class vehicle. As a result, Tesla has doubled its engineering workforce since the start of the year. It now numbers more than 400, it says in the filing.

Tesla now has 1,400 of its electric roadsters in countries around the world. It says they have cumulatively logged 8 million miles.

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12/19/10
f1

Webber: #1 on car won’t make Vettel faster
Mark Webber feels confident that he will be given an equal chance to compete with newly crowned Formula 1 champion, his Red Bull Racing team mate Sebastian Vettel in 2011 and has gone as far as saying that the number 1 on the means very little.

Speaking during a promotional tour in Thailand the Australian said, “Full credit to Seb to have the No 1 on his car, but come first practice in Bahrain, that won’t make him go any faster.”

On the scrapping of team orders, Webber does not believe he will have to give way to Vettel in the new season, “The team know the best way to defend our championship is to put both their feet forward in the best possible way,” Webber said at a promotional visit in Thailand. “That is why we achieved so much as a team.”

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12/19/10
f1

Ron Dennis in bitter attack on Ecclestone
Bernie the book
McLaren executive chairman Ron Dennis has accused Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone of stealing the sport from the teams in Susan Watkins’ biography entitled “Bernie”.

Watkins spent nine years chronicling “Bernie” and got unprecedented access to the inner world of the Formula 1 supremo while interviewing some of the key players in Formula 1.

Dennis took over as McLaren team principal in 1981 and since then guided the team into the F1 power house that it is today. Along the way he oversaw F1 world titles won by Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton.

Watkins, whose husband is the legendary Sid Watkins the F1 doctor who revolutionized grand prix medical conditions at circuits, quotes Dennis in her book making some strong allegations about Ecclestone.

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