Northeastern Supply to sponsor Allgaier Northeastern Supply, one of the nation’s leading regional distributors of plumbing, heating, HVAC, air conditioning, water systems and hardware supplies will return to team sponsorship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 19th consecutive year in 2012. The Baltimore, Maryland-based company will return as an associate sponsor with Turner Motorsports for the fourth straight season and in support of the #31 Brandt Farm Equipment team and driver Justin Allgaier.
“Our NASCAR program has grown significantly over the years, and because of the strong support our racing program receives from our customers and vendors each year, it was a no-brainer to make it 19 straight seasons of such activity in 2012,” said Steve Cook, Northeastern Supply’s President and CEO.
12-Race Indy Lights calendar announced A diverse calendar featuring 12 races divided among ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses highlights the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights schedule announced today by INDYCAR officials.
"Our goal is to prepare Firestone Indy Lights drivers to become successful IZOD IndyCar Series drivers," said Tony George Jr., manager of business development for Firestone Indy Lights. "We've seen how this has worked recently with drivers having success after graduating from the series. The 2012 schedule continues to help us reach that goal by helping our current drivers gain experience and succeed on all types of racing circuits."
Karun Chandhok is hoping to dovetail a third driver role in Formula 1 next season with a sports car campaign in the new World Endurance Championship according to Autosport.
The Indian, who appeared nine times as a Friday driver for Team Lotus this year as well as racing in Germany, accepts that it is very unlikely he will land a full-time cockpit for 2012. However, he is hoping to secure another third driver role, possibly for the renamed Caterham team, as well as racing in sports cars.
"There are some opportunities to continue as a Friday driver and obviously I still want to be in F1," Chandhok. "To get a race seat in F1 is almost impossible for 2012, so I don't think that's going to happen. But it's very clear that I must go racing again, because standing on the sidelines for another year can't be good for me. That will also help me if there are F1 race opportunities in the future.
Roush Yates teams up with Impact Roush Yates Performance Products has reached a distribution agreement with Impact by MasterCraft Safety to create a 1,500 square foot safety center within Roush Yates Performance Products' Mooresville, N.C. retail center. This partnership will continue Roush Yates' goal of offering "one stop" shopping for drivers and pit crews throughout the racing spectrum.
"We're very proud to be associated with a great company like Impact," said Roush Yates CEO Doug Yates. "This new partnership certainly broadens our reach and product offerings as a whole, which should further underscore the fact that Roush Yates Performance Products is truly a complete solution center for any racer of any caliber or series." The safety center will be staffed with personnel well versed in the intricacies of critical safety matters such as helmet fitment, custom race suit measurements, and choosing the proper restraints for specific genres of racing.
Phoenix Racing made a big hire on Wednesday night as team owner James Finch reached an agreement with 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch. Busch agreed to drive the #51 car for Phoenix Racing in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. Busch has had his share of embarrassments in the last few months, getting into a heated argument with a reporter, amongst other things. That led to his departure from Penske racing, and the opening for him to sign with Phoenix. After a few weeks of talks, and a meeting in Charlotte Wednesday, Finch and Busch agreed to a deal.
Now Phoenix Racing has a cup champion, and a chase driver behind the wheel. Finch says has already talked with Busch about his past. "He lost a job and he's lost several million dollars, and so I think that's been a wake up call. I told him, I said Kurt it's about winning racing. you need to watch your temper and your mouth," Finch said. "I hired him for his foot and not his mouth. hopefully we can get him controlled. He's got a long way to come. He's got to show people he's going to be a driver. And show NASCAR that he's a driver, and he's going to do what's expected as a driver." More at WJHG.com.
Hulkenberg: We definitely have the strength to build another competitive car
Nico Hulkenberg received the best possible Christmas present last week when he was announced as a Sahara Force India race driver for 2012
Having made his F1 debut with Williams in 2010 he has spent the past season as a reserve driver, and while his track mileage was restricted to Friday morning practice, he has learned a lot. We asked him for his thoughts on his new role.
How excited are you to have the Sahara Force India race seat for 2012? “I’m lucky that the year of being a reserve driver is over and now hopefully I’m looking forward to a brighter future. I did 14 free practice sessions, which kept me very sharp, and kept me in there. I think also if you look at all the lap times, I have been close to – or even in front of – the race drivers. Establishing myself in F1 is the initial goal, not just for one year, but for many more years. And then we’ll see where it goes.”
2012 Race Schedule pages updated Our 2012 major race schedule pages have been created - use the schedule button on our main menu if using a web browser. For our iPad app customers the schedules are not ready yet.
Zanardi: Hamilton has learned his lesson Former Formula One driver and Champ Car racer Alex Zanardi believes Lewis Hamilton will come back stronger next year following a troubled 2011 campaign.
The 2008 World Champion has suffered his worst season in F1, according to himself, finishing fifth in the Drivers' standings. He was involved in a number of high-profile incidents on the track and also admitted that some personal problems contributed to his poor form.
Zanardi, who drove for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams in the 90s, feels the 26-year-old Hamilton will put all his woes behind him and perform to his usual high standards next year.
Motorsports Hall of Fame announces 2012 finalists Finalists for the next enshrinees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame have been determined. The class of 2012 Inductees will be announced early in the year. Who will be selected? In the Open Wheel category, nominees on the ballot include veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach, four-time Indy winning owner Chip Ganassi, American auto racing impresario Carl Haas, and two-time Indy 500 winner "The Flying Dutchman" Arie Luyendyk, Other names being considered by the Voting Panel are Pat Patrick who served as the first president of CART and whose teams won 3 Indy 500s, Danny Sullivan who "spun and won" at Indy in 1985, and Alex Zanardi who captured CART titles in 1997 and 1998.
Nashville Superspeedway will be available for race team testing in 2012 Dover Motorsports, Inc. has announced that Nashville Superspeedway, the company's track in Lebanon, Tenn., will be available for race team testing beginning in January 2012. The 1.33-mile, concrete oval played host to 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series races, 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and eight IndyCar Series races from 2001 to 2011.
"Nashville Superspeedway is a world-class facility and lies within driving distance of most race teams' headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.," said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "We anticipate strong interest in the facility as a test venue." Nashville Superspeedway will begin taking reservations for testing in 2012 immediately more information at nashvillesuperspeedway.com
Front Row still working on driver lineup Last season, Front Row Motorsports team owner Bob Jenkins and general manager Jerry Freeze put together a team of #34-David Gilliland, #38-Travis Kvapil and #55-J.J. Yeley and were able to deliver solid efforts for the NASCAR team located in Statesville, NC. Gilliland drove in all 36 Cup races last year in the #34 Taco Bell Ford with one top-five finish -- an impressive third-place in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- and two top-10 finishes. Kvapil competed in 29 races in the #38 Long John Silver's Ford car but did not crack the top 10. Yeley ran a limited schedule for the team. None of the three drivers are under contract for 2012, but Freeze said the team intends to have all three back because they are the type of drivers the team needs at this stage of its development.
USA Congress ends Ethanol Subsidies IndyCar and NASCAR back the Ethanol industry that shifts food crops to the production of oil, while millions starve around the world, the United States has finally ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually, and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.
Congress adjourned for the year on Friday, failing to extend the tax break that's drawn a wide variety of critics on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Critics also have included environmentalists, frozen food producers, ranchers and others.
The policies have helped shift millions of tons of corn from feedlots, dinner tables and other products into gas tanks.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth praised the move.
Dalton Kellett to Drive for Pabst Racing Services in 2012 Pabst Racing Services has signed Canadian Dalton Kellett to drive for the team in the 2012 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda.
The Queen’s University of Engineering student Finished 3rd in the 2011 Ontario Formula Ford Championship points standings, after missing the first four events. Kellett brings a storied history in the karting ranks and plans to make his mark on the Mazda Road to Indy Program. Kellett added, “I am very excited to be working with Augie and Pabst Racing Services for the 2012 season. I have a steep learning curve ahead of me but I am very confident that myself and the team will thrive off each other to make the 2012 season a very successful one.”
Grand-Am smells blood as yet another ALMS team to run Rolex 24
With no live TV package one ALMS team after another are having a serious look at the Grand-Am series. It appears the France family has spent Don Panoz into the ground, and with the French run ACO dissing the Petit LeMans race for the World Endurance Championship series, the ALMS is having a bad off-season.
Are the vultures beginning to circle the ALMS as one after another ALMS team goes over to support Grand-Am's biggest race, the Rolex 24? North America's most experienced and successful endurance racing team, Risi Competizione, is returning to the 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time since 2004 with a new association, a new car and what promises to be one of the strongest GT Ferrari driver line ups ever assembled.
Risi will join forces with, and be supported by, two of the key members of the Ferrari North America dealer network and Ferrari Challenge racing series, Ferrari of Silicon Valley and Ferrari of Ontario. Risi Competizione with American Canadian Racing will enter two Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am cars in next month's twice-round-the-clock classic. The 50th anniversary of the 24-hour race will be run between January 26 and January 29, 2012.
Las Vegas calamity saps IndyCar momentum IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard racked up a number of accomplishments early in 2011 but was buffeted by challenges late in the year—most notably a crash at a Las Vegas race in October that left one driver dead and the future of the series mired in uncertainty.
Bernard, hired in March 2010 to replace Tony George, helped usher in specifications for a new engine and chassis package that is to debut in 2012 and helped broker deals with Chevrolet and Lotus to join Honda as series engine suppliers.
Bernard also helped broker a deal to retain Italy-based Dallara as the series’ sole chassis maker and helped retain Firestone as the series’ tire maker just as Firestone was threatening to leave.
Jarno Trulli believes that he and Caterham F1 team-mate Heikki Kovalainen will be able to score points next season, having failed to do so during the squad’s two-year inception under the Lotus guise. With the addition of KERS for the 2012 campaign, the Italian driver says his target is no longer simply hopeful but also ‘realistic’.
"Things are getting really promising," Trulli explained to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. "We'll finally have the KERS that we didn't have last year, that's a big help. I remember when I didn't have it at Toyota, it was a problem that made the difference.
Top NHRA drag-racing team taps Persian Gulf driver Al-Anabi Racing, a leading team in the NHRA's premier Full Throttle drag-racing series, said Wednesday that Khalid alBalooshi would drive one of its two top-fuel dragsters next season.
The team is owned by Sheikh Khalid Al Thani, a member of the ruling family of Qatar, and alBalooshi is a native of Dubai who has been racing Al-Anabi dragsters in the NHRA's second-tier series and internationally.
According to his own defense documents Mr. Ecclestone sent secret payments via third parties in Switzerland in order to disguise their source.
Mr. Ecclestone admits $44m (£27m) was paid by him and his family trust to German investment banker Gerhard Gribkowsky but denies it was a bribe. He claims it was the result of a subtle "shakedown" on him by Mr. Gribkowsky who was threatening to take unfounded allegations about him to the tax authorities.
Mr. Gribkowsky is facing criminal charges relating to the payments in Germany. In London Mr. Ecclestone, his family trust Bambino Holdings, his lawyer Stephen Mullens together with Mr. Gribkowsky are being sued in the civil courts.
Lotus IndyCar Engine running in test car The first official Lotus IndyCar engine fire up in new car took place on 22nd December at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma under the watchful eye of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro and technicians from the team. Pleased with the overall results, the team have now prepared the engine and car for shipment to the US where full testing will begin in January.
Claudio Berro said: “The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up - Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I’m very encouraged by what I see."
Properly installed catch fencing at an IMS track with the fencing and cables installed trackside.
This video is the best evidence we have yet that the improper installation of the catch fencing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) is likely what killed Dan Wheldon. You can clearly see the pole bend as his head impacts the pole. Given that the car was flying along parallel to the fence, had the fencing been on the inside (trackside) of the poles instead of outside it is very unlikely Wheldon's head would have hit the pole the way it did. The car would have skimmed along the fencing before falling to the track. IndyCar would be well advised to not race on any track that has the fencing improperly installed like LVMS. In fact if we were an insurance company, we would never insure a race with the catch fencing installed backwards like this.
Heikki Kovalainen says he will remain with Caterham in the near future if the Norfolk squad's on-track performance continues to improve. The Finn is yet to score a point since joining the team in 2010 and, despite admitting that the move was never going to be fruitful in the short-term, he has started to ponder his future beyond next season.
"It depends on the car's performance," Kovalainen told Turun Sanomat when asked if he will stay with Caterham after 2012. "I cannot give an exact probability of continuing in a percentage, but if we go higher up the order next season, with the average development continuing, then the percentage will be high. Otherwise, the percentage will be small."
Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats to Sponsor Austin & Ty Dillon in 2012 Bass Pro Shops will continue its partnership with Richard Childress Racing in 2012, serving as a primary sponsor of both Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Impala in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ty Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats will be the primary sponsor throughout the year on the No. 3 truck during Ty Dillon’s first full season in the series. The No. 1 outdoor retailer leader will also be the primary sponsor for five races of Austin Dillon’s rookie season in the Nationwide Series and an associate sponsor throughout the season.
Oryx Racing ditches ALMS for Rolex Series Oryx Racing, which partnered with Dyson Racing for a full LMP1 campaign in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, is striking out on its own with a full Grand-Am Rolex Series season planned in an Audi R8.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, the team made its debut on U.S. soil in 2011 with drivers Humaid Al Masaood (ABOVE) and Steven Kane and won overall at Baltimore. Saeed Al Mehairi joins those two for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
F2000: Series Adding Announcer, Live Internet Audio The long time voice of Lime Rock Park, Greg Rickes, has joined the 2012 Formula Race Promotions-operated Atlantic Championship Series, F2000 Championship Series and F1600 Formula F Championship Series as the official traveling play-by-play public address announcer and victory podium MC.
With a planned live internet audio stream of all races in 2012 Championship, the continuity and knowledge Rickes brings will be a welcome addition to all three series.
Interest in the Championships is at an all-time high, with the F1600 Series expanding from 10 to 12 races in its sophomore season; F2000 returning for a seventh year with 14 races and a field that is more competitive than ever; and the Atlantic Championship Series, debuting for 2012 with a three-weekend, six-race schedule.
"I just want to get back to having fun in the racecar." Those were the words spoken by Kurt Busch just a few days after the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas. Today, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion is well on his way toward that simple goal as he's teamed with Phoenix Racing to run the full 2012 Sprint Cup schedule. "I'm very happy to join Phoenix Racing and after entertaining a lot of quality offers, there's no better place for me," said Busch, winner of 24 Sprint Cup races, as well as the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the 2011 Gatorade Duel and the 2011 Budweiser Shootout. "We're going to run the full schedule together, and we're going to have fun doing it. It's going to be old-school racing, where we show up, race hard and go for the win. And if we don't win, we'll go back to the shop, work hard and do it all over again next week. That's the way we all started racing, and it's great to get back to that."
Q & A with Firestone Indy Lights driver Anders Krohn. Topics include the 2011 season and his biggest surprise of the year. You also might get a hint of what 2012 will hold for The Viking.
Q: The 2011 season was a learning experience for you, but it was not without some top-five finishes. What event will you look back on as your best race of 2011, and why? A: There were so many races that could've been our best one, but for whatever reason the top results failed to materialize this past season. My two best races of 2011 must be the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Baltimore Grand Prix, both of which I was leading at some point. The finishes weren't what Belardi Auto Racing and I had hoped for, but we were at least fighting for the win
Q: You raced with Belardi Auto Racing in Firestone Indy Lights this season. Being a rookie driver on a rookie team, how was your experience? A: The Belardi team has been like a family to me, and I can only say great things about every single team member. Brian Belardi was the one who made all this happen, and I will be eternally grateful for that. While we didn't achieve the results we had hoped for, it certainly wasn't through lack of trying! I would like to wish them all the best for the 2012 season.
Test in Misano for Ghirelli, Nagulin, Campana and La Rosa
Christmas is just two days away, but the Auto GP teams keep working hard. With the 2012 season starting as early as March 10 in Monza there isn't much time to spare in order to be ready for the fight, so all the Auto GP outfits are working at full steam both at the workshops and on track.
The latter was the case of Lazarus and MLR71 who went testing at the Misano World Circuit on 20 and 21 December with two cars each.
Victor Carbone, a graduate of Miami’s St. Brendan High School, is only 19. But he already knows full well the dangers of his sport.
The reminders are everywhere.
Carbone’s team owner, Sam Schmidt, is paralyzed from the shoulders down as a result of an accident during testing in Orlando on Jan. 6, 2000.
Carbone’s favorite racer, Ayrton Senna, died after a wreck in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Even Carbone’s first Indy Lights win, on Oct. 16, 2011, was overshadowed by tragedy later that day on the same Las Vegas race track. Dan Wheldon, 33, was pronounced dead shortly after a 15-car crash at the IndyCar World Championship.
Grand Prix takeover plan awaiting investors' vote The organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix are awaiting a vote from shareholders on a proposed company takeover that would greatly dilute their ownership — but could save the race from bankruptcy.
More than two-thirds of shareholders have voted in favor of the plan in which former Goldman Sachs and Constellation Energy executive Felix J. Dawson would assume leadership of Baltimore Racing Development Inc., the company that ran the Grand Prix, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. But investors must still ratify an operating agreement between the parties, and the company's five managers must approve a contract with Dawson, the sources said.
Under the plan, Dawson's investment firm, Wilkes Lane Capital, would give Baltimore Racing Development $3.3 million and control 58 percent of the company. Baltimore Racing Development is facing more than $12 million in debt, with more than $5 million of that past due. City officials have given the company until Dec. 31 to enter into a payment plan on approximately $1.9 million in unpaid taxes and other city obligations.
(GMM) For Adrian Sutil, the cloud of his exit at Force India could have a scarlet lining.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has admitted that, with Felipe Massa's position to be evaluated during the course of 2012, the fabled Italian marque already has an eye on a couple of German drivers.
Before Montezemolo's comments, reports had linked German Sutil, 28, with Ferrari, either for a switch after a single season with Williams, or off the back of a year on the reserve bench.
"Clearly we are planning for the future," Bild newspaper quotes the Ferrari president as saying.
The newspaper thinks Sutil is a candidate, but Montezemolo also mentioned another of the former Force India driver's countrymen by name.
"I like Rosberg, as a clear-headed man and someone who is getting better and better."
Red Horse Racing Signs with Joe Gibbs Racing Engine Program Red Horse Racing has signed an agreement to participate in Joe Gibbs Racing's engine program for its NASCAR Truck Series teams beginning with the 2012 season. As part of the agreement JGR will also provide the Red Horse Racing program with additional technical support.
JGR's engine program provides engines for NASCAR Truck Series and Nationwide Series teams. JGR has been one of NASCAR's most dominant teams in the Nationwide Series over the past four seasons with three owner's championships to its credit (2008-2010). Over that four year span, JGR has won an amazing 59 races, with 143 top fives and 205 top-ten finishes.
IndyCar returning to single race format at TMS IndyCar will return to Texas Motor Speedway for the 16th consecutive season on June 9, 2012, reverting to a single-race format with the Firestone 550.
TMS experimented with the Firestone Twin 275s last season, with two full-field races that each carried half the points and purse. It was the first time IndyCar used the format.
"We ran twin races this year, but it required more than an hour break between races to allow teams the ability to change engines and make other necessary changes to the cars," TMS president Eddie Gossage said in a news release. "In listening to the fans, that hour break was simply too long. We're glad we tried the unique format, but we always listen to the fans' input to hopefully enhance their experience in the future."
The world's oldest running motor vehicle has been sold at auction for an astonishing $4.62 million (R36.5-million), more than double the pre-sale estimate, as two bidders chased the price up in a three-minute bidding war.
The 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout drew a standing ovation as it was driven up onto the stage at Friday's RM Auction in Hershey , Pennsylvania - to prove that this 127-year-old car really does run! - and attracted a starting bid of $500 000, which was immediately doubled to $1 million.
Encouraged by the applauding crowd, the bidding went swiftly up to $4.2 million (R33 million) - 4.62 million (R36.5 million) including the 10 percent commission - before the car was knocked down to a unnamed buyer.
Contracts for I-71 work near Kentucky Speedway awarded The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded a contract to improve Interstate 71 and other roads near the Kentucky Speedway — scene of a massive traffic jam last July during the track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
After the traffic debacle, which resulted in delays on I-71 of up to six hours, both the track owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. and the cabinet announced that improvements would be made to prevent a recurrence.
Last week the cabinet awarded the contract to Sunesis Construction Co. of West Chester, Ohio, for $3,708,082. A news release from the cabinet said Sunesis was the lowest of five bidders, and its bid was $220,183 below the cabinet’s estimated cost.
IndyCar announces 15-race Preliminary 2012 schedule A first-ever event in China and two venues that return after multi-year absences highlight the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule for 2012 announced today.
The 2012 season, which will feature the return of engine manufacturer competition and a new universal chassis produced by Dallara Automobili, kicks off Sunday, March 25, with the eighth Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The IZOD IndyCar Series again presents the most diverse schedule in motorsports with the challenges of races on temporary street circuits, permanent road courses, superspeedways and short ovals in four countries.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard addressed a number of the off-season issues and topics involving the IZOD IndyCar Series in a wide-ranging interview with Indianapolis radio station 1070 AM The Fan and show “The Ride with JMV.” Bernard's replies are below:
Q: So the schedule will be out…when?
Randy Bernard: The schedule will be out Thursday, with no surprises. There will be one TBA at a later date, to be announced in early February, as the last race of the year.
Q: Explain the reasons for the delay.
RB: We had planned to make the announcement on the day of the last race at Las Vegas for more publicity, but when we did that, we had the tragedy…that put the schedule on hold. We didn't know if we could run Vegas. It put us in a vulnerable position. I will promise you we'll have a schedule done in September next year. We won't have it with the last race as a publicity stunt.
We'd been keeping the teams up to date on where the races would be, so the sponsors understand it. Most races have tickets on sale already. We're not keeping it from anyone. Tomorrow we're formalizing it.
NASCAR drug lab data stolen NASCAR confirms that data theft involving Aegis Science Corporation included information on members of the NASCAR community. Information on the theft can be found below.
Although Aegis provides NASCAR with laboratory drug testing services, absolutely no drug or medical records pertaining to NASCAR were on the laptop or drives. Among material on the laptop and external drive was a 2009 file that primarily listed names and social security numbers of individuals involved in the sport.
While there appears to be no identity theft to date, NASCAR is taking every precaution possible to address this situation including contacting all individuals whose names appear on the file. Aegis also is providing outreach and consultation.
Bullins To Lead Discount Tire Dodge Nationwide Series Team Penske Racing announced today that Jeremy Bullins has been named crew chief of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Bullins makes the move from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently served as race engineer for the No. 29 car entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“We are pleased to welcome Jeremy to the Penske Racing team,” said Roger Penske. “His experience and engineering background will allow him to integrate well with our approach to preparing our race cars and executing at the track. We are excited for Jeremy to lead the No. 22 team and to continue with the winning tradition that has been established over the last two seasons.”
Flying Lizard Motorsports announced today the entry of the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in GT for the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 28-29.
The No. 45 will be run in conjunction with Wright Motorsports. The driver lineup is Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA), Mike Rockenfeller (Germany), and Seth Neiman (USA). Bergmeister and Long are Porsche factory drivers and co-drivers of the team's No. 45 Porsche in the American Le Mans Series. Rockenfeller has been an Audi Factory driver since 2007; this will be his first race with the Lizards since the 2004 Rolex 24, in which he finished second in GT in the No. 74 Porsche. Neiman is Flying Lizard team principal and drives the team's No. 44 ALMS Porsche.
Allmendinger to Drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012
Penske Racing has named AJ Allmendinger as the driver of the team’s No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007, is coming off a strong season that saw him finish 15th in the series standings while battling for a position in the Chase for the Championship. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results in 2011 while driving the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing and drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012,” said Allmendinger. “I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race. It is a privilege for me to represent such iconic and respected brands as Shell and Pennzoil, AAA and Dodge. I am honored to join Penske Racing and I will do my very best to continue to build on the standard of excellence established across the organization.”
American Wayne Rainey will forever be remembered as one of Yamaha’s greatest stars in an era of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix where talent, technology and speed combined to create some of the most captivating seasons of racing seen in the sport. As a three time 500cc world champion between 1990 and 1992 Rainey’s mastery of steering the ferocious two-stroke machines and his unrelenting determination to always be the best mark him as one of the principal figures of a phase in which names like Lawson, Doohan, Gardner, Schwantz, Kocinski and Mamola entertained millions worldwide. Rainey would eventually rise to the very top of the road racing tree thanks to his exquisite motorcycle handling, dirt-track background and uncanny ability to steer the YZR500 with the rear wheel.
Infineon Raceway recycles 267 tons Infineon Raceway has reaffirmed its position as an industry leader in recycling, collecting more than 58 tons of materials during the 2011 Big O Tires Racing Season.
The raceway partnered with the Conservation Corps North Bay to collect 116,881 pounds of materials during the 2011 season, which included the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar® Series and AMA Pro Road Racing event weekends. The raceway has collected more than 267 tons of materials (534,815 pounds) since the inception of its recycling program in 2004.
Randy Bernard's stewardship of the Izod IndyCar Series has been controversial at times, but one of the series' leading team owners, Chip Ganassi, said Tuesday he supports Bernard. Bernard is wrapping up his second year as the series' chief executive, a season marred by the death of Dan Wheldon in a 15-car crash at the last race Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bernard, hired to reverse a drop in IndyCar's popularity following a bitter, 12-year split among series participants, heavily promoted the Las Vegas race, one of several steps he's taken in a bid to grow IndyCar's following. IndyCar also plans to introduce a new race car starting in 2012.
Detroit Grand Prix seeks volunteers Racing is back in Detroit after a four-year hiatus, and organizers are looking for some help.
The Detroit Grand Prix Association is seeking 450 volunteers to assist with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix--in return for credentials for all three days’ activities, access to parties, free meals and more. To volunteer, you must join the association, and there is an annual $15 membership fee.
Four series will battle on the 2.1-mile road course--the Izod IndyCar Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series and the Firestone Indy Lights Series.
The event is June 1-3, 2012, on Belle Isle, a scenic island in the Detroit River. Check out www.detroitgp.com for details.
Last minute gift idea For those of you looking for a last minute holiday gift for a racing friend or colleague that will be used more than any other gift you can buy them, see our Home page where we are running a holiday discount special. The special is for new subscriptions and renewals. If they are already a subscriber you can buy them an extension. In both cases they will receive an email that a gift was purchased for them by you.
Changes announced on Briscoe's car Team Penske today announced two changes to the previously-named No. 6 car team that competes in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
For the 2012 racing season, the team will switch its numbers and will compete as the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet with driver Ryan Briscoe. In addition, Jonathan Diuguid has been named the new race engineer for the No. 2 team as it prepares for next season.
Diuguid has been with Penske Racing since 2005 when he joined the organization as a member of the Penske Porsche sports car team. He has served as a data acquisition engineer, a design engineer and race engineer in the team’s Porsche American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and GRAND-AM Series Daytona Prototype programs. Most recently, he worked as a data acquisition engineer for the Team Penske No. 6 car team with Briscoe for the past two IZOD IndyCar Series seasons.
Best Buy onboard with Roush Best Buy has announced it will switch from Richard Petty Motorsports to Roush Fenway Racing, serving as a primary sponsor for nine races.
While Best Buy has been rumored to move full-time to Matt Kenseth's as yet unsponsored No. 17 entry, with Crown Royal re-evaluating its plans at the end of 2011, Best Buy will be on board the car for seven races. It will be primary sponsor for two of Carl Edwards' races.
Max Jones joining Earnhardt Ganassi Max Jones is joining Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Jones most recently was president and general manager at Richard Petty Motorsports but left RPM in the fall of 2010. He is expected to serve as team manager at EGR, a role previously held by Tony Glover from 2000 until he was released at the end of the 2011 season. Jones was a longtime general manager at what is now Roush Fenway Racing and before then had a successful road-racing career. He was also a former co-owner of Yates Racing. Fox Sports
Long Beach Grand Prix winner Mike Conway has signed with AJ Foyt Racing to drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Conway brings strength on the road courses to the AJ Foyt Racing team. In 2011, he qualified in the top-10 six times on the road and street circuits, which is also where his four top-10 finishes came.
“With the Series having twice as many road courses as ovals, we looked for a driver who is fast on those tracks and Mike has certainly proved himself in that area,” said A.J. Foyt. “I’m looking forward to working with him,” adding with a chuckle, “I may even be able to give him a little advice when it comes to the ovals!”
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing turns to Honda Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will have plenty to celebrate this holiday season. At the top of the list is the team's multi-year American Le Mans Series LMP1 deal with Honda Performance Development (HPD) to run its HPD ARX-03a in its challenge for the overall Championship.
The deal is part of a multi-faceted, long-term relationship between CytoSport - Greg Pickett's health and nutrition company and the makers of Muscle Milk - and American Honda, that includes Muscle Milk's title sponsorship of the Honda factory motocross team now known as Team Honda Muscle Milk.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, who is entering its third full season of competition in the ALMS in 2012, will also be celebrating the continued support of long-time partner Michelin as its tire supplier as well as the return of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr to its driver lineup.
Lotus sets first IndyCar test date Simona de Silvestro climbs in the 2012 Dallara Automobili chassis and exclaims “I could sleep in here it’s so big.” A few feet away at the HVM Racing shop, “Pork Chop” rests on stands, destined to be a show car.
The Swiss driver, who completed her second IZOD IndyCar Series season with HVM Racing in 2011, affectionately dubbed the chassis “Pork Chop” during an exasperating season. With prospects for a brighter 2012, will she name the next-generation car?
“Last year was the first time I named them and it was not the greatest year I’ve had, so I’ll have to think about it,” said de Silvestro, who missed two races – one because of injury and another because of issues while re-entering the U.S. – and had one top-five finish. “If we go to St. Pete and have a really good race, maybe a good name will come out of it.”
Audi R8 LMS ultra to fight for World Champion’s title in 2012
The new Audi R8 LMS ultra will also be competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship next year. Two vehicles of the brand new customer sport race car will be independently fielded by Team WRT in the world’s highest-caliber GT racing series.
Successful ascent: when Audi in the 2009 season initiated its customer sport program with the R8 LMS for the GT3 class, this class was one of four major GT categories. Meanwhile the GT3 is not only making its mark nationally but increasingly on an international level as well. Following the inception of a FIA European Championship for GT3 models in 2006, there will also be a FIA GT1 World Championship exclusively held for GT3 vehicles in the future. Consequently, the Audi R8 LMS ultra will be able to compete in the world’s top racing class for GT vehicles and, in the 2012 season, fight for a world champion’s title of its own for the first time.
Motorsports Hall of Fame announces 2012 finalists Finalists for the next enshrines into the Hall of Fame have been determined. The class of 2012 Inductees will be announced early in the year.
In the Open Wheel category, nominees on the ballot include veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach, four-time Indy winning owner Chip Ganassi, American auto racing impresario Carl Haas, and two-time Indy 500 winner “The Flying Dutchman” Arie Luyendyk.
Other names being considered by the Voting Panel are Pat Patrick who served as the first president of CART and whose teams won 3 Indy 500s, Danny Sullivan who “spun and won” at Indy in 1985, and Alex Zanardi who captured CART titles in 1997 and 1998. Check back next week when another category will be announced!
Cooldown Lap: Daytona Rolex Series Testing Another major player for the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series took to the stage for the first time Monday at Daytona International Speedway, as the Riley DPG3 took its first laps in preparation for the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona. NASCAR regular AJ Allmendinger joined John Pew at the wheel of the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley.
In addition, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing had the first public test of its new No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype. Two-time DP champs Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty were joined by Memo Gidley, who was announced as the team's third driver for the Rolex 24.
Other Daytona Prototypes at the special invitational session were the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP of Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor; the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Darren Law, David Donohue and Christian Fittipaldi; and the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Terry Borcheller, JC France and Max Papis.
Gidley Joins GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing for 50th Rolex 24 Two-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and lead drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, will be joined by winning sports car driver Memo Gidley for the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The January 26 – 29 race is the 50th anniversary of the endurance event, and also the debut race for the team’s new No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype.
The team made the announcement of its complete driver lineup for the 2012 Rolex 24 during the first of a two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), where Gurney, Fogarty and Gidley will take their first laps on the 3.56-mile DIS road course in the new Corvette. Gidley replaces five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson who partnered with Gurney and Fogarty in the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” in the last four runnings of the Rolex 24.
G-Oil Joins With Tayler Malsam, TriStar for 2012 The NASCAR world got a bit greener today. G-Oil, America's first and only API and USDA certified bio-based full synthetic motor oil, announced that it will sponsor driver Tayler Malsam and the TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry team for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"G-Oil wants to demonstrate to consumers that our American-made green racing oil can stand up to the rigors of NASCAR competition," said Jeffrey Loch, President and CMO of Green Earth Technologies, Inc. "Remember, 'G-Oil' is not just on the car-- it is IN the car," said Loch.
Q & A with Romain Grosjean Q. Romain, it has been 10 days since you were confirmed as a Lotus Renault GP driver for the 2012 season. What have been the major changes in your life since you found out that you will be driving for the team?
Romain Grosjean: The big change is that I wake up every morning very happy! Other than that I can now focus fully on next year and prepare myself physically for Formula 1. I came to Enstone last week and it was great to visit the factory as a Formula 1 race driver.
Q. You have mentioned the physical preparation needed for the challenge of Formula 1. Have there been any significant differences in your approach to training?
RG: My training has remained very similar, but I must now focus more on strengthening the neck as this is essential for a Formula One driver and a difficult area to train. The main problem with training in winter is trying not to get too cold outside!
FSMG Names Ackerson Interim SPEED President FOX Sports Media Group has announced Emmy Award winning producer Scott Ackerson will serve as interim president of SPEED, beginning Jan. 1.
“We're fortunate to have someone in-house with Scott’s production and leadership skills ready to step in as interim president at SPEED,” said FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill. “Moving forward, every program at SPEED has to be of the same high quality you’d find on FOX Sports, and Scott can make that happen. In addition to overseeing all of FOX Sports’ studio production, Scott led the most successful, most-watched, NFL pregame show for 17 years, and his many talents will benefit SPEED on-air immediately.”
Saab files for bankruptcy Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy on Monday, giving up a desperate struggle to stay in business after previous owner General Motors Co. blocked takeover attempts by Chinese investors.
Saab CEO Victor Muller personally handed in the bankruptcy application to a court in southwestern Sweden, ending his two-year effort to revive the carmaker that over more than six decades has become known for its rounded sedans and quirky design features.
The Vanersborg District Court was expected to approve the application later Monday.
Conquest seals OAK LMP2 deal Conquest Endurance announced today that it has become the importer and distributor for the OAK-Pescarolo cars in the United States. The newly formed entity is a subsidiary of the Conquest Racing Team managed by Eric Bachelart.
Conquest Endurance will start off on the right foot as they partner with OAK Racing and in particular with Onroak Automotive, the manufacturer department of the French team. OAK Racing is based in Le Mans close to the mythic circuit of La Sarthe. The OAK-Pescarolo has been one of the most successful LMP2 chassis in recent years. In 2010 these machines achieved a second place finish at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the Le Mans Series LMP2 manufacturer title. In 2011 the OAK-Pescarolo LMP2 cars ended third at the 12 Hours of Sebring and second at Petit Le Mans.
After Obama bails out GM with American money, GM to outsource more jobs to China
A billion dollars of American taxpayer money being used to build a giant tech-center in China so more jobs can be outsourced from America to China
The second phase of the General Motors China Advanced Technical Center, the most-comprehensive advanced automotive technology development center in China, remains on track to open in the second half of 2012.
Adjacent to the GM China International Operations and GM China Headquarters in Shanghai, the second phase of the two-phase ATC will focus on advanced design, vehicle engineering, advanced powertrain development, urban mobility and manufacturing processes. Construction began in late summer and is about one-fourth complete.
Audi is tackling the 2012 motor sport season with an extended leadership team. Dieter Gass (48) will reinforce the squad led by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich as of January 1. The native of the German state of Hessen will assume the newly created role as Head of Racing Commitments.
"We’re facing a particularly challenging racing season with two high-caliber and intensive programs in the DTM and in the new FIA World Endurance Championship with numerous overlaps of calendar dates, new strong competitors and the development of new technologies," says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We gave some thought to areas in which we might be able to benefit from reinforcements in order to meet the challenges that have continued to grow. One of the results of these considerations, among others, is this new position for centralized optimization of our racing commitments which we’ve been able to superbly fill with Dieter Gass."
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