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DATE News (chronologically)
01/01/14
automotive

Fisker founder, former directors sued by investor over collapse
Henrik, Fisker
Fisker Automotive Inc. founder Henrik Fisker and the hybrid carmaker's former directors were sued by investor Atlas Capital Management LP over $2 million in losses it allegedly suffered in the bankrupt company's collapse.

Fisker misled investors about its financial health by failing to disclose problems with a government loan and keeping secret a 2011 safety recall while the company raised money, according to the complaint filed Dec. 27 in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del.

Had Atlas known the truth, it "would not have purchased or otherwise acquired its Fisker securities, or, if it had purchased such securities, it would not have done so at the artificially inflated prices which it paid," lawyers for Atlas said in the filing.

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01/01/14
automotive

Fiat agrees to buy remaining stake in Chrysler
Italian carmaker Fiat said on Wednesday it had signed an agreement to buy the remaining 41.46 percent stake it does not own in its U.S. unit Chrysler from the VEBA Trust.

In a statement, Fiat said VEBA, a voluntary employee beneficiary association, would receive an overall $3.65 billion for the stake.

In view of the financial structure of the deal Fiat said it would not need to make any capital increase through a rights issue.

The deal is expected to close on or before January 20, 2014, it said.

Comment
01/01/14
uscc

A new era at Daytona for Corvette
A new beginning for Corvette Racing is on the horizon with a new car set to debut in a new season for a new championship. The Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway will be the site of first public laps for the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The Jan. 3-5 test is a dress rehearsal for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona – the first race for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

The two Corvettes will compete in the TUDOR Championship’s GT Le Mans class for the full season. After winning back-to-back driver’s, team and manufacturer’s titles in the American Le Mans Series’ GT category with the venerable Corvette C6.R, the C7.R has big shoes – errr, tires – to fill. The C6.R won 55 races around the world: four at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 51 in the American Le Mans Series.

"It will be fantastic to finally see the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on the track alongside our competition in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship," said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing. "This should be another season of the extremely competitive GT racing that we have become accustomed to seeing. The C7.R is the result of a massive amount of teamwork between our Corvette design team at Chevrolet, Pratt & Miller Engineering and GM's Powertrain group. We hope their collective efforts will provide Corvette Racing a successful debut season with the C7.R."

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01/01/14
uscc

Spirit Of Daytona Signs Valiante and Westbrook
Looking to return to the team’s winning ways, Spirit of Daytona Racing has signed Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook as full-season drivers for the team’s 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship campaign.

Joining Spirit of Daytona Racing for the season opening Rolex 24 At Daytona will be 2013 DTM Champion and 2010 Rolex 24 winner Mike Rockenfeller.

Spirit of Daytona Racing was the first to take to the track with the all-new Corvette DP in 2012, bringing the iconic American nameplate its first victory with a pole-and-win weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in the second race of the year. Spirit of Daytona Racing went on to lead more than 300 laps and score three overall victories in 2012, including a win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Valiante and Westbrook.

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01/01/14
nassprint

Some Daytona Testing to be Televised
The 2014 version of NASCAR cars and trucks take to the track at Daytona for preseason test sessions, with FOX Sports 1 providing 12 hours of coverage over three days from Jan. 9-11. The NASCAR on FOX team of Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Mike Joy call the action while NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are on the track Jan. 9-10 (1:00 pm/et to 5:00 pm/et, Live), with Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits and Jeff Hammond reporting from the garage. Setting up camp in the garage area, host Rick Allen and analyst Hermie Sadler offer a location for drivers, crew chiefs and other personalities to talk over the day's storylines. NASCAR Nationwide Series tests air on FOX Sports 1 from 3:00pm/et to 7:00pm/et on Saturday, Jan. 11, with Allen, Hammond and Phil Parsons in the booth, and Sadler, Dillner and Ray Dunlap reporting from the pits.

Comment
01/01/14
f1

Manager reveals 'good news' about injured Schumacher
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher is now in a "stable" condition, his manager Sabine Kehm told reporters outside the hospital in Grenoble on Wednesday.

"The good news for today is there's no significant changes," she said on the first day of 2014.

However, Kehm warned that seven time world champion Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, remains in a "critical" condition.

"Michael is monitored all the time but his condition was stable all night," she is quoted by Bild newspaper.

As for whether the great German's life remains in danger, Kehm answered: "I'd rather not comment."

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12/31/13
f1

Schumacher not travelling at speed when he fell
Inevitably there has been speculation that Michael Schumacher was testing the limits when he fell while skiing in the French Alps on Sunday, especially as his accident happened off-piste.

However, the former champ was not travelling at speed – and had just helped a friend who had already fallen.

“I think after having spoken with several people who have been with Michael at this moment, Michael and the group have been skiing on slopes that were normal slopes,” his long time spokesperson Sabine Kehm reported today.

“Then there is a blue slope and a red slope, and in between there was a part which was deep snow, and Michael went into that. From everything the people told me, he was not even at high speed, because it seems that he even helped a friend who just had fallen on the piste.

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12/31/13
automotive

Cops can use radio waves to halt cars
[Editor's Note: Recall our review of the book Zapped, by Alan Wilson, when reading this news report] Finding a safe way to stop fleeing cars has been a difficult problem for law enforcement for a long time. Police have tried everything from spike strips to PIT maneuvers to bring fleeing villains to a halt. Now, however, a British company has a slightly more high tech idea: radio waves.

The company, known as E2V is working on a system called RF-Safe Stop that projects radio pulses which overwhelm and shutdown engine electronics. The system is in essence a small radar transmitter that uses specific radio frequencies to create an effect similar to an electromagnetic pulse.

The BBC reports that in testing the system has been able to shut down slow moving cars and motorcycles at a range of up to 50 meters. It may not be a flying car, but still I am pretty sure this is the 17th sign that we are in fact living in the future.

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12/31/13
f1

Video: F1 2014 - What Will the Cars Look Like?


Comment
12/31/13
f1

Inquiry launched into Schumi fall
The Albertville public prosecutor Philippe Quincy has confirmed that an inquiry had been launched to determine the causes of the skiing accident during which Michael Schumacher was critically injured.

The seven-time World Champion fell and hit his head on a rock while skiing with his son at Meribel on Sunday morning.

He was then airlifted to the University Hospital of Grenoble where he underwent a neurosurgical intervention and was placed in a medically induced coma.

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12/31/13
f1

Journalist Dressed as Priest Tries to Enter Schumacher's Room
According to Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm a journalist disguised as a priest attempted to enter the injured seven-time World Champion's hospital room. 

"Apparently a journalist dressed as a priest had tried to gain access to Michael's room," said Kehm. "I wouldn't have ever imagined something like this could happen." 

For more, see this article from The Guardian.

Comment
12/31/13
irl
usac

Andretti remembers Granatelli
Granatelli with Andretti in Spain in 1970 as Mario does a one-off F1 race
Andy Granatelli, a flamboyant race car driver turned businessman who became a household name with TV commercials for his STP fuel and oil additives, died Sunday at a Santa Barbara, Calif., hospital. He was 90.

Granatelli died of congestive heart failure, his wife, Dolly, said.

Over the course of his career, he was inducted into 19 engineering and motorsport halls of fame, including, in 2002, the hall of fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A natural promoter, he designed and owned cutting-edge cars raced at Indy and marketed his achievements with flair, decking himself and his crew out in pajama-like white suits covered with red STP stickers.

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12/31/13
f1

World waiting for next Schumacher news on Tuesday (Update) UPDATE
Michael Schumacher
Former motor racing champion Michael Schumacher's condition has improved slightly after an operation to relieve pressure on his brain, his doctors have said.

A new scan taken overnight showed signs that he was "better than yesterday", but he was still "not out of danger", doctors said.

The seven-time Formula 1 champion suffered head injuries on Sunday in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

He was put in a medically-induced coma.

An initial scan on Monday night showed "an improved situation" and indicated a window of opportunity for a second operation, doctors said.

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12/31/13
uscc

Scuderia Corsa Ferrari announces driver lineup for the Rolex 24
Giacomo Mattioli, team principal of the 2013 Grand-AM Rolex GT champion Scuderia Corsa racing team today announced, “I am pleased to share with you that we will have a very talented group of drivers in our three cars at The Rolex 24 at Daytona. Thanks to the Ferrari Factory, Toni Vilander will be joining Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal in the #63 Ferrari 458 Italia together with Lorenzo Case’. John Farano and David Empringham will join Rod Randall and Ken Wilden in the #64. I am also pleased to have Francisco Longo and his Via Italia team returning to Daytona with us in the #65.”

"We are very excited to see such a strong representation for Ferrari at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the historic first event of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship," said Marco Mattiacci, President and CEO of Ferrari North America. "After winning last season's GRAND-AM GT championship and the second manufacturer's championship for Ferrari, Scuderia Corsa has assembled three strong contenders for Daytona and we look forward to watching the Ferrari 458 Italias aim for victory."

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12/31/13
f1

Schumacher family thanks fans for support
Michael Schumacher's family has thanked fans for their support as the seven-time world champion remains in a critical condition following a skiing accident.

Schumacher is in intensive care at a hospital in Grenoble after suffering serious head injuries during a fall at the French resort of Meribel on Sunday. He underwent surgery overnight but doctors stressed that he was still in a critical condition on Monday morning.

Fans and fellow drivers took to social media to wish Schumacher well and express their support for his family. In a statement issued by Schumacher's press officer, Sabine Kehm, the family thanked both the doctors involved and the many fans offering support.

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12/31/13
nassprint

Richard Petty reflects on the impact of Andy Granatelli
Petty's 1972 STP Dodge Charger
Andy Granatelli, who passed away at 90 years old yesterday in a California hospital, will always be remembered in the open-wheel world for helping to revive the Novi engine in the early 1960s, rocking the Indianapolis 500 with his turbine-powered cars, and kissing Mario Andretti on the cheek after their famous Indy victory in 1969.

But in the NASCAR world, his biggest claim to fame will always be the $250,000 deal he struck as chairman of STP with seven-time Winston (now Sprint) Cup champion Richard Petty, which effectively transformed the sponsorship aspect of the sport.

From the beginning of the partnership in 1972 through the end of Petty’s driving career in 1992, STP was there to back NASCAR’s “King” on his car, which often sported both STP’s day-glo red and the famous shade of “Petty blue.”

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12/31/13
f1

Da Costa deserves seat more than Kvyat - Razia
Antonio Felix da Costa
(GMM)  Antonio Felix da Costa deserved to move up to formula one in 2014.

That is the view of Brazilian driver Luiz Razia, who almost secured the Marussia race seat this year, before running into sponsorship issues.

Portuguese da Costa, 22, was the hot favorite to replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso for next season, until backer Red Bull actually plucked the Russian teenager Daniil Kvyat straight out of GP3.

Razia told Brazil's Totalrace that he thinks da Costa, who was a frontrunner in Formula Renault 3.5 this year and has now been signed as a F1 test driver, deserves the Toro Rosso seat more.

Read more & Comment...
12/30/13
usac
irl

Andy Granatelli dies at 90 (3rd Update) UPDATE #3


12/30/13 An obituary written by Robin Miller for Racer.com.

Andy Granatelli and the famous kiss he planted on Mario Andretti at Indy in 1969
Granatelli Trivia

One of the last things Rocky Marciano did before his death was a car commercial. The world heavyweight champion (1952–1956) was on a visit to Chicago. He was coming from a dinner at Granatelli's home where he reportedly gave Granatelli's son boxing lessons after he was being picked on in school. Marciano died hours later in a plane crash.

Andy Granatelli was famous for purchasing the small automotive repair chain Tuneup Masters. He renamed the company "Andy Granatelli's Tuneup Masters" and opened locations in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. This was done largely through the acquisition of other small automotive chains. The company was never franchised and remained privately held until the late 1980s, when it was sold to Cardis (Carquest Autoparts). Cardis, a Cerritos-based distributor and retailer of automotive parts, bought TuneUp Masters from Granatelli's group in a cash and stock deal then valued at up to $53 million, with at least $40 million paid in cash. At the time of sale they had approximately 150 stores. Andy followed the marketing success of his STP decal branding by affixing the TM decal to every car serviced. The chain was famous for offering complete automotive tune-ups for $49.95, flat rate, with no extra charges for parts. This was a popular price and led to tremendous growth throughout the 1980s. Eventually the chain was sold, probably due to the increasing complexity of cars, and the difficulty of offering comprehensive service for such a low price. The business model was changed from flat-rate to a base flat-rate, with additional charges for a list of add-ons such as air filters. This business model was much less effective, because the cost to customers rapidly increased.

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12/30/13
uscc

MSR Announces Partnership with CRC Industries
Pataskala, Ohio (30 December 2013) – Michael Shank Racing is pleased to announce a new marketing and technical partnership with CRC Industries for the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

The team will carry branding from CRC Industries as well as put a wide range of products from CRC Industries varied offerings directly to use as part of the team’s IMSA race effort.

Michael Shank Racing is preparing for an 11th consecutive season in Daytona Prototype competition, with the team retaining full-season pilots John Pew and Ozz Negri for 2014. The team will campaign a brand new powerplant this year, as the Ford EcoBoost motor is set make its IMSA competition debut in the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 25-26.

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12/30/13
uscc

Wayne Taylor Set to Race with Sons at Rolex 24
Ricky Taylor
After signing Ricky and Jordan Taylor for his Prototype effort in 2014, Wayne Taylor is set to come out of retirement to drive with his sons in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Sportscar365 has learned the two-time Daytona 24 hours winner is planning to join 24-year-old Ricky and 22-year-old Jordan, plus team veteran Max Angelelli, in WTR’s Corvette DP for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

The Taylor brothers were previously announced as full-season drivers for the No. 10 Corvette DP.

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12/30/13
f1

German legends shocked by Schumi accident
Chancellor Angela Merkel joined sports legends and millions of Germans on Monday in expressing shock at Formula One great Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident, as his family thanked well-wishers for their support.

The retired German seven-time Formula One champion remained in a critical condition a day after he suffered a severe head injury in an off-piste skiing accident in the French Alps.

Merkel declared herself “extremely shocked along with millions of Germans” by the news, according to her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

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12/30/13
f1

Niki Lauda in 'shock' over Michael Schumacher's fight to stay alive
The former Formula One world champion Niki Lauda has expressed "disbelief " that Michael Schumacher is lying critically ill and in an induced coma in Grenoble after hitting his head on a rock in a skiing accident at the weekend.

Like Schumacher Lauda is a former Ferrari great who won two of his three titles while representing the Scuderia. He said: "I find it completely shocking and unexplainable why this great driver, who won seven championships in over 300 races and stayed alive, could have something like this happen to him. It's tragic.

"He was the greatest driver of them all, with seven titles. Only the great Juan Manuel Fangio comes close to him, with five. He was the perfect racer, with speed, instinct and a great technical understanding."

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12/30/13
IL

Indy Lights Field Taking Shape
It’s been an encouraging off-season thus far for the top rung of The Mazda Road to Indy. After a 2013 season that saw as few as eight cars at many rounds, there are already that many confirmed driver and team entries for the 2014 Indy Lights season Presented by Cooper Tires. Below, we take a look at the confirmed drivers for this season.

2013 Pro Mazda Champion and 2012 USF2000 Champion Matthew Brabham will pilot the #83 Mazda Speed/United Fiber and Data entry for Andretti Autosport. Brabham, of course, was sensational this past season in Pro Mazda scoring 11 wins in 14 starts. Brabham will join Zach Veach at Andretti Autosport. The 19-year old Stockdale, Ohio native will pilot the #12 Replay XD entry in his second Indy Lights campaign with Andretti.

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12/30/13
wc

Air Dates Announced for Pirelli World Challenge Broadcasts on MAVTV
The air dates for the re-broadcast of 2013 Pirelli World Challenge season races on MAVTV has been announced. The first broadcast, scheduled for January 2, 2014, will show GT/GTS Rounds 1 and 2 from St. Petersburg, Florida.

On November 18, MAVTV signed an agreement with WC Vision to re-broadcast Pirelli World Challenge 2013 season races on the network starting in January 2014. The agreement features over 40 hours of Pirelli World Challenge racing on the network as each race will air either four or fives times over a Thursday to Sunday schedule.

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12/30/13
uscc

Huff to race Starworks LMPC in TUDOR USCC enduros
Rob Huff
Rob Huff has signed to race for Starworks Motorsport in selected rounds of the 2014 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC).

Huff – the 2012 WTCC Champion – returned to the endurance racing scene in December, helping Rotek Racing to an emphatic win in the 2013 25 Hours of Thunderhill in California.

Fresh from victory lane, the Newmarket-domiciled racer is set to return to American shores to pilot a Starworks ORECA FML09 LMPC car in selected rounds of the inaugural USCC season, as part of an all-star driver line-up featuring British GP2 Series runner-up Sam Bird.

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12/30/13
uscc

Duo will pilot No. 54 in Tudor United SportsCar Championship
Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will team up once again for CORE autosport in the Prototype Challenge class, driving the No. 54 ORECA FLM09 in the new 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Braun and team owner Bennett are on a mission to win CORE’s fourth-consecutive PC Team Championship, while seeking their first drivers’ titles. Since partnering in 2012, Bennett and Braun have co-driven to 12 podium finishes in the PC category, including five race wins. After three consecutive American Le Mans Series championships, CORE autosport will enter the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, which brings together the ALMS and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series into one championship.

The duo will turn their first laps of 2014 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24, the traditional test days at Daytona International Speedway, January 3 – 5. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will begin in earnest on January 25-26 with the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09 PC
“I’m so glad Colin is co-driving with me again in 2014. He’s been a real asset to the team from the minute he came on board. His on track performance speaks for itself and he’s been an excellent coach for me as I continue to hone my race craft. With Colin and I back together for the first season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship I don’t see any reason why we can’t make it PC Championship number four.

“Since we’re starting fresh with the new Tudor series, I thought we’d go back to the No. 54, which I’ve been running since I started racing and in IMSA Prototype Lites. It’s brought me good luck before, so let’s hope it keeps coming.”

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09 PC
“It feels great to be back with this CORE autosport team and with Jon as my co-driver. Over the past two years I’ve seen what this team is capable of and winning the team championship the past three years shows that I’m with a championship-caliber team, which is where every race car driver wants to be.  This team really has become like family and I am very glad to be keeping our tight knit group of guys together for 2014 as well.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jon over these past two seasons and it’s really a bonus to be driving with someone that’s a close friend. We have a lot in common and it’s been a lot of fun watching him grow as a driver.  I really believe 2014 will be a big year for both Jon and I with our sights set on winning the team championship as well as our first drivers championship together.”

Comment
12/30/13
f1

Schumacher suffers from cerebral hemorrhage, now in critical condition (5th Update) UPDATE #5
Schumacher skiing in 2007 when he was still a Ferrari driver
Leading neurosurgeon Christopher Chandler said the hematoma and bruising the seven-time Formula One World Champion suffered during a skiing accident could cause "ferocious swelling".

"An intra-cranial hematoma is a blood clot, which causes swelling and pressure on the brain," said Chandler, who is a consultant with the London Neurosurgery Partnership.

"The scenario may be that he had a blood clot in his brain that required immediate removal, which would explain the surgery.

"By bilateral lesions, I suspect they mean contusions or bruising to the brain. That bruising of the brain, which you can see on a scan, causes ferocious swelling and that is really serious.

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12/30/13
f1

Schumacher in 'hour by hour' fight for life
Michael Schumacher in fight of his life
(GMM)  Michael Schumacher continues to fight for his life "hour by hour" after a high speed skiing crash.

The day after the German's helmeted head struck a rock whilst he was skiing with his son in the French alps, grave-faced doctors at a hospital in Grenoble delivered an update to massed ranks of mainstream reporters.

"For the moment we cannot say what Michael Schumacher's future is," one doctor admitted in French.

"We can say that his condition is life-threatening," he added.

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12/30/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Schumacher
    Schumacher fighting for life after skiing fall
  • Massa claims to be 'as fast' as Alonso
  • Only normal car will prove 'legend' status for Vettel - Alonso (He already did)
  • Prost admits new turbo era 'fascinates me'
  • More on Schumacher

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12/29/13
uscc

67 Entries for Roar Before Rolex 24
IMSA has released a draft version of the entry list for next weekend’s Roar Before the 24, the final official pre-season testing opportunity before the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

ENTRY List: Click Here

The provisional list, which still has a number of to-be-announced drivers, features 67 entries, including a class-high 27 cars set to take part in the GT Daytona category.

Some of the surprise drivers to be on the list include Graham Rahal (BMW Team RLL), Wayne Taylor (Wayne Taylor Racing) and Shane van Gisbergen (Alex Job Racing).

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12/29/13
autogp

Former F1 designer Sergio Rinland joins Puma for 2014 Auto GP season
Former Formula 1 designer Sergio Rinland has been recruited as a partner by new Auto GP outfit Puma 3 M-Sport.

Rinland will take control of the team's operations and lead its car development ahead of what will be its first campaign in the series.

He was present when the team completed its first run at Vallelunga last month.

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12/29/13
f1

Study reveals best driver in history paid little
Vettel underpaid relative to those he annihilates
Every year the annual list of F1 salaries is published by Business Book GP. Here we take those figures from the last four years and compile them to reveal the top-twelve highest earners during the period from 2010-2013. Note all figures exclude any external endorsements.

What F1 drivers have earned from 2010-2013 – Top 12:#
1. Fernando Alonso Euro110m
2. Lewis Hamilton Euro62m
3. Jenson Button Euro51m
4. Felipe Massa Euro40m
5. Nico Rosberg Euro37m
6. Mark Webber Euro32.2m
7. Sebastian Vettel Euro32m
8. Michael Schumacher Euro24m*
= Kimi Raikkonen Euro24m***
10. Heikki Kovalainen Euro9m *
11. Rubens Barrichello Euro7.7m **
12. Timo Glock Euro6m *
= Jarno Trulli Euro6m **

*includes 2010-2012 only
**includes 2010-2011 only
***includes three years only (i.e. Raikkonen didn't compete in F1 in 2010 and 2011 - although he still got paid by Ferrari in 2010).

# Figures exclude external endorsements.

Comment
12/29/13
nassprint

Stewart discusses progress with leg injury
Tony Stewart, still recovering from the last of three surgeries to repair his leg, will be in the Expo Hall at Memorial Coliseum even though he can't drive his black #2 Munchkin midget in the 16th Rumble in Fort Wayne, IN. Event organizer Tony Barhorst has declared the weekend "A Salute to Tony Stewart" in honor of Stewart's devotion to short-track racing, and he'll sign autographs for a couple of hours today and Saturday. In between, he'll watch his pal Lou Cicconi, the 2013 International Supermodified Association champion, wheel the Munchkin around, and wish it could be him.

"You know, when I first got hurt, I was hurt bad enough that it didn't really feel like that I had that sense that I was missing it," Stewart says. "But now that I'm closer to being healed, and ready to go, the more anxious I am to be in the car. But, I've got a good friend of mine that's going to drive the car, and you know, to me, I still get to go. I still get to compete as a car owner. So I'm still looking forward to it." And come February, to getting back in the car again. The last surgery was a couple of months ago, and the timetable has him back in the car in time for the Daytona 500.

Read more & Comment...
12/29/13
racing news

Notable motorsports deaths in 2013
Jan. 7 - GEORGE WALTMAN, 87
Feb. 8 - PHIL REMINGTON, 92
March 29 - ART MALONE, 76
April 1 - RALPH SANCHEZ, 64
May 16 - DICK TRICKLE, 71
June 12 - JASON LEFFLER, 37
June 22 - ALLAN SIMONSEN, 34
July 14 - BILL WARNER, 44
Aug. 3 - KRAMER WILLIAMSON, 63
Aug. 7 - BARBARA SIGNORE, 80 (Wife of Jay)
Aug. 17 - ROGER MILLER, 44
Aug. 19 - FLOYD GANASSI, 87
Aug. 20 - PEGGY BISHOP (Co-Founder of IMSA)
Sept. 27 - GEORGE BIGNOTTI, 97
Oct. 11- MARIA DE VILLOTA, 33
Oct. 15 - SEAN EDWARDS, 26
Nov. 15 - KURT CASELLI, 30
Nov. 30 - ROGER RODAS, 38 (Died with actor Paul Walker)

Comment
12/29/13
f1

Newey: Our car was too good for the fragile 2013 F1 tires
The Newey Designed Red Bull excels when the tires can keep up
Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey admits that the 2013 Formula 1 season fell into his team's hands after Pirelli's mid-season tire change.

Despite Sebastian Vettel's eventual domination of the world championship, Newey felt the team was in a close fight until Pirelli returned to its 2012 tire construction for the second half of the season.

"There was no guarantee that we were going to come out with a good car this year, and everyone has been chipping away at it," Newey said. "It is the fifth season of this band of regulations -- which is an ever-tightening band to work in.

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12/29/13
f1

Crisis? What Crisis? F1 in denial as many teams will struggle to survive in new
The running costs of the Red Bull Energy Station exceeds the budget of the smaller F1 teams
Glamorous, high-tech and hugely profitable: With the lure of races from Monaco to Singapore, Formula 1 just keeps on giving so far as the money men controlling the motor sport are concerned.

The business, in which private equity firm CVC is the largest shareholder, had turnover of $1.35 billion in 2012 and generated an operating profit of $426 million once payments to its 11 teams had been deducted.

That might suggest unconstrained happiness up and down the paddock but appearances are deceptive. Behind the luxury brands, the celebrity guests and the lavish hospitality suites, many of the smaller teams are battling to survive.

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12/28/13
racing news

Indoor Races return to Atlantic City, Trenton added
NAPA Kknow How Atlantic City and the Battle Of Trenton Indoor races presented by PRC Industries/ Angela House Charity, Indoor races. The two Len Sammons Motorsports Productions events are scheduled two weeks apart. Indoor racing inside Atlantic Citys Boardwalk Hall is now in its 12th consecutive year of action. Dates are Friday and Saturday January 24 and 25, 2014.

The highlight race is the 2014 "Gambler's Classic" a 40 lap TQ / Microsprints feature race for the top 25 cars that qualified through a series of heat and consolation / last chance races. The Trenton schedule calls for Twin 20 lap features for the TQ Midgets and compete program of Slingshots on Friday, Feb. 8 and a compete program for TQ Midgets and Champ Karts on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, NJ. Seeaarn.com for more details on the races.

Comment
12/28/13
f1

Formula 1 - McLaren woes caused by 2012 panic
The Woking based McLaren team failed to take a podium finish this year for the first time since 1980, despite ending 2012 as F1's pacesetter.

Whitmarsh now believes the team went fundamentally awry in summer 2012, when it over-reacted to a performance dip and decided it had to take a new direction with its '13 design. "Last year we had a quick car. And if we had had more operational reliability then we could have won the championship," Whitmarsh told AUTOSPORT.

"Around mid-year, when we were making decisions about this year's car, I guess we had a slight dip in our performance.

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12/28/13
f1

After ‘Rush’, F1 safety hits the screens
Niki Lauda's crash in 1976
Francois Cevert had the most piercing blue eyes, the presence of a movie star and a Gallic charm that melted hearts wherever he went.

Those eyes, that gaze glimpsed through the visor slit of a 1970s helmet, are still haunting in the Formula One documentary '1; Life on the Limit' due to be released in selected British cinemas in January and then further afield.

A pitlane heart-throb, the Parisian was a hero of more carefree times - one moment escorting Brigitte Bardot or playing the concert piano and the next risking his life in the most dangerous and glamorous of arenas.

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12/28/13
racing news

Kristensen Elected to FIA Institute Executive
Tom Kristensen (C)
Nine-time Le Mans champion Tom Kristensen has been elected to the FIA Institute Executive Committee by the organization’s General Assembly, which met in Paris today.

The Executive Committee plays a pivotal role in providing overall direction to the activities of the FIA Institute, deciding on the organization’s strategy and selecting the projects to be undertaken.

Kristensen said: "I'm delighted to become an Executive Committee member of the FIA Institute. The work that the FIA Institute does in motor sport safety and sustainability is vitally important and I hope that my experience as a driver can help contribute to that."

Read more & Comment...
12/28/13
v8

V8 Supercars - Global Superstars?
Ford's V8 Supercar
The Australian V8 Supercars series is in an odd position. It is one of the best series in the world: more physically muscular than BTCC, more visceral than NASCAR, and more dramatic than Formula One (which isn’t hard). And this year was a transitional year – whilst NASCAR was struggling with the temperamental Gen-6, the V8s’ Car Of The Future (COTF) was a brilliant success, leveling up the championship and bringing new manufacturers in smoothly. And with Volvo joining next year, the series appears to be in rude health. But on the other hand these  are tricky times. Ford has announced it’s Falcon model will be no more by 2016, and Holden will be gone by 2017. The series’ formula of brutish V8 saloons is under threat. Surely they can’t be on the verge of having to give up all that has made it successful?

Read more & Comment...
12/27/13
f1

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

12/27/13
  • How many more teammates will he destroy?
    Todt, Lauda support 'double points' rule
  • Webber got 'tired' of Vettel's winning - Vergne
  • Ferrari 'not necessarily' good move for Vettel - Ecclestone
  • Winning won't drive Red Bull out of F1 - Ecclestone
  • Sahara Force India welcomes technical partnership with Motegi Racing New
  • 'Common engine' would end Mercedes F1 involvement New
  • Fernandes warns of five-team F1 future New
  • Ferrari: F1 2014 secrets revealed New 

Todt, Lauda support 'double points' rule
(GMM)  Not everyone in formula one is opposed to the sport's new 'double points' innovation.

In fact, even the president of F1's governing FIA is not sure what all the fuss is about, as speculation increases that the rule could even be repealed.

"Well, so much is said, but really it's not such a dramatic change," Jean Todt told the Spanish sports daily AS.

"For me, the introduction of the new 1.6 liter engine with a 40 per cent fuel reduction is much more important.  And our priority is to reduce costs.

"I think the change of points in one race is not a revolution," the Frenchman insisted.  "It's a small change and nothing more."

And even Mercedes' powerful duo, chairman Niki Lauda and sporting boss Toto Wolff, are not opposed to the rule that aims to keep the title alive by awarding double points in the Abu Dhabi finale.

Triple world champion Lauda even told Speed Week that he backs Bernie Ecclestone's idea to expand the double points beyond the 2014 finale.

"More bonus points should be given in the last third of the season," he said.

Wolff agreed: "A (higher) distribution (of points) for regions or continents would make sense."

Meanwhile, Wolff revealed that Lewis Hamilton has applied to the FIA to race his lucky number 44 for the rest of his F1 career.

Webber got 'tired' of Vettel's winning - Vergne
(GMM)  Mark Webber quit formula one because he got tired of being beaten by teammate Sebastian Vettel.

That is the claim of Jean-Eric Vergne, who drives for the second-tier Red Bull team, Toro Rosso.

Frenchman Vergne told Spain's El Confidencial newspaper that he is now over the disappointment of missing out on the departing Webber's seat at the premier Red Bull Racing team to his 2013 teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Vergne, 23, was asked if he thinks Australian veteran Webber, who is heading to Le Mans with Porsche, quit F1 because he got "tired" of spraying champagne on F1 podiums.

"I don't think he got tired of that," Vergne answered.  "He got tired of his teammate winning all the time.  And another year of the same made no sense to him.

"He would not even be happy if his team continued to win everything -- you have the same car but you're beaten every weekend by your teammate.  You would get tired of that," he added, "even when you are on the podium.

"I think Mark is a very good driver and a true competitor," Vergne explained, "but things were not going as he wanted.

"If your teammate is always beating you ... the goal is to win, not finish on the podium," he added.

Vergne was also asked about F1's sweeping changes for 2014, and he admitted that the move to the new turbo V6 engine will be "the main issue" for the season.

But he added: "There are many other changes.  The (blown) exhausts will be gone, the tires will be harder.  Traction will be extremely difficult and sometimes it will seem like children learning how to drive!"

And Vergne tipped Pirelli to recover from its tumultuous season, despite the fact Nico Rosberg suffered a high-speed blowout whilst testing a 2014 prototype in Bahrain recently.

"I think they will do a good job.  First of all the tires must be safe," said Vergne.  "They will be more conservative."

Ferrari 'not necessarily' good move for Vettel - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Sebastian Vettel has been voted sportsman of the year by European news agencies.

Organized by the Polish news agency PAP, 21 European outlets cast their votes and the Red Bull driver emerged with more points than tennis' Rafael Nadal, and British athlete Mo Farah.

Vettel's latest victory is despite widespread claims that the German is only dominating F1 because of Adrian Newey's design genius.

But rival Felipe Massa told Brazil's Totalrace: "It (Vettel's dominance) is because of his talent, no doubt.

"He is an excellent driver who deserves everything he has achieved.

"Many people say he wins only because he has the best car.  He does (have the best car), but the work he has done is amazing and if he continues to have a competitive car, he will win more," added Massa.

Vettel's new status as arguably F1's very best driver is also supported by his traditional ally and friend Bernie Ecclestone.

The 26-year-old driver's popularity, however, is another matter, particularly after he was repeatedly booed on post-race podiums in 2013.

"He created this reputation himself when he went ahead of Mark Webber in Malaysia," F1's chief executive told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Now some see him as a person that really he is not.  But I don't think he did anything wrong to Mark."

Vettel has committed his medium-term future to Red Bull, but Ecclestone thinks the German will eventually move elsewhere.

"He is young and he won't stay for forever where he is," the 83-year-old Briton said.

"The problem is that all the drivers want to finish their careers at Ferrari, which isn't good," Ecclestone argued.

"I think he should go to the team that can help him win more titles, and that will not necessarily be Ferrari."

Winning won't drive Red Bull out of F1 - Ecclestone
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone is not worried Red Bull's run of dominance will drive the brand out of formula one.

The energy drink company's premier F1 team and its lead driver Sebastian Vettel have won the past four drivers' and constructors' championships -- so dominantly in 2013 that many questioned the spectacle of the latest triumph.

But when asked if Red Bull is so successful it may eventually tire both of winning and the sport in general, F1 chief executive Ecclestone answered: "I don't think so.

"Dietrich Mateschitz is so competitive, he loves racing, he likes when his car wins," the 83-year-old told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The successes of recent years also mean his team has earned much more than some of the others.

"Not only that, where else is he going to find as good a platform to advertise his brand?" Ecclestone wondered.

Red Bull is among the teams with the very highest budgets in F1; so high that many others are struggling to pay their bills in a difficult economic climate.

Ecclestone has little sympathy.

"The teams are spending too much," he said.  "Look at the top teams; they have a huge number of staff, 700 or more, no one knows the exact numbers.

"All these people to put two cars on the grid on Sundays.  It's ridiculous," Ecclestone added.

At the same time, teams are struggling to attract big brands to their sponsorship liveries, while F1 has managed to do deals with companies like UBS and Rolex.

Asked why the teams are failing to do the same, Ecclestone answered: "I don't know -- ask them."

Meanwhile, when asked to tip the 2014 winner, he responded similarly: "I don't know.  I think next year will depend most on the engine.

"The winner will be the one with the best engine."

Sahara Force India welcomes technical partnership with Motegi Racing
Sahara Force India is delighted to announce the beginning of a new technical partnership with Motegi Racing, the high performance wheel brand.

The new partnership will see the team’s 2014 car fitted with wheels carrying the iconic Motegi Racing brand. Sahara Force India will also benefit from Motegi Racing’s knowledge in wheel technology to help drive forward performance.

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: “I’m very happy to announce our partnership with Motegi Racing. 2014 is a landmark year for Formula One with so many changes to the regulations and in order to be competitive we have to focus on developing all areas of the car. It gives me great confidence to have the expertise and experience of Motegi Racing supporting us at such an important time. Our technical team will be working very closely with them to enhance the performance of our wheels.”

Jody Groce, President Wheel Pros LLC: “We are very excited about the partnership with Sahara Force India as part of our growth at the highest level of global motorsports. This is a milestone achievement for our company as we prepare to supply our Motegi Racing wheels to compete at the pinnacle of racing technology in Formula One. It’s an interesting time to be involved in Formula One and we are honored to become Sahara Force India’s technical wheel partner as the sport prepares for one of the most significant technical transformations in its history. This program provides the perfect technical platform to communicate the continuous evolution of the Motegi Racing brand. Motorsport is a proving ground for our technology to hone the performance authenticity of our brand.”

'Common engine' would end Mercedes F1 involvement
Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche has admitted that the German giant would pull out of F1 before entering an arrangement to produce engines with a rival.

The comment was made during an end-of-year interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, when Zetsche was asked whether Mercedes' technical partnership with Renault could see the two parties working together in F1, particularly with the introduction of the all-new turbocharged V6 'power units' in 2014 set to push costs higher and higher.

Despite the alliance between the Three Pointed Star and the Renault-Nissan group set to expand on the road car side in the next year, however, Zetsche was adamant that there could be no collaboration on the track, as F1 – and motorsport in general – was a key component in Mercedes' marketing strategy as it attempts to set itself apart from its rivals.

"While we do cooperate…. part of our marketing is motor sport and the engine is a core competency - we want to show that we can build the best engine,” he claimed, “A common engine has sometimes been discussed in F1 but, if it came to that, it would time for us to leave.”

2013 proved to be Mercedes' most successful season to date since returning to F1 as a constructor, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton claiming three races win between them, and sharing the qualifying battle with eventual champions Red Bull, ironically powered by Infiniti-badged Renault engines. After the disappointment of 2012, when it followed back-to-back fourth places in the constructors' championship with a drop to fifth, Zetsche acknowledges the improvement.

“We made a new start in F1 four years ago and battled for a top three place in the constructors' championship right away,” he reflected, “Unfortunately, 2012 was catastrophic from our point of view with only fifth place, so we made a few basic changes. Of course, our aim is to win the drivers' and teams' world championships but you can neither buy nor guarantee that in this sport. Therefore, 2013 was a positive season, and second place, from my point of view, is a base from which to improve further.”

Mercedes continues with an unchanged driver line-up in 2014, but will operate under the combined guidance of Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff following Ross Brawn's decision to leave the team and take a sabbatical from F1.

Fernandes warns of five-team F1 future
Caterham team owner Tony Fernandes has issued a stark warning about the future of the F1 world championship if rivals do not heed the call to rein in their spending habits.

Viewing the F1 world from the opposite end of the grid to the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes, the Malaysian also has a different outlook on the struggle to keep a team on the grid, let alone be competitive and challenge for world titles, and warns that the split between the 'haves' and 'have nots' could eventually lead to the sport being reserved for an elite few, but a shadow of its former self.

Fernandes has long been an outspoken critic of the free spending that characterizes the F1 world and, along with others such as Force India's Vijay Mallya, has called on the sport to find a way of policing the profligacy before the smaller teams are driven to the wall in their attempts to remain on the grid. Even though the end-of-year announcements from the FIA and World Motor Sport Council hinted at cost capping measures to start in 2015 [see separate story], the Malaysian is keen to point out the severity of the situation as it stands right now.

"I don't think there is [a cost crisis] - there is one," he told Reuters around Christmas, "You hear about people not having been paid, suppliers taking a long time to be paid. These are certainly not happy days. At the end of the day there may be only five F1 teams if it carries on the way it is."

Much has been made in recent weeks about the possibility of teams fielding three cars. The suggestion, not a new one by F1 standards, would become reality if entry numbers fell below a certain level, with race contracts stipulating a minimum number of cars on the grid. Should it come to fruition, such a field would almost certainly not include Fernandes' Caterham operation – or the likes of fellow midfield and back-of-the grid runners such as Marussia, Sauber, Force India and even multiple world champion Williams.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, current champions Red Bull, mass manufacturer-owned Mercedes and Ferrari, and multi-faceted McLaren would appear safe, with each having a budget in excess of $200m and enjoying the sort of on-track success that begets a bigger share of revenue from the sport in a self-perpetuating cycle.

All eleven teams shared around $750m of the income generated by the sport last year, but the bulk of the revenue still goes to its shareholders, led by private equity firm CVC.

Precise rules regarding the proposed cost cap will be drawn up by mid-2014 but, until then, the teams – who briefly appeared in control of their own fate via the self-imposed Resource Restriction Agreement - will be left to their own devices at a time when the FIA-mandated introduction of a new engine and powertrain will push costs back up. crash.net

Ferrari: F1 2014 secrets revealed
The 2014 Formula 1 season marks the end of V8 engines as they’re replaced with smaller units but what else has changed for the sport?

The 2014 regulations will see one of the most significant engine changes in the sport's history.

Video: Ferrari's 2014 F1 secrets revealed

The change from 3.0-litre V10 to 2.4 liter V8 engines for the 2006 F1 season was the last major change in engine regulations.

The switch from a 2.4-litre V8 naturally-aspirated engine to a 1.6-litre, V6 turbocharged engine will change several technical characteristics of F1 cars. The energy recuperation system will be more advanced while the driver will be able to boost engine power via the battery for up to 30 seconds.

WHAT'S CHANGING

The cars that emerge at the end of January 2014 for the start of pre-season testing will be very different to previous models as there are significant changes to chassis and engine regulations.

Chassis changes for 2014:
• The front wing will be narrower and the nose of the car will be much lower
• The rear wing has been reduced in size

Fuel restrictions
• A maximum fuel-flow rate of 100kg an hour (Compared with a maximum fuel flow in 2013 in the region of 160-170kg/hour)
• A maximum of 100kg of fuel to be used through a race.

ENGINES ARE DEAD; LONG LIVE THE 'POWER TRAIN'

According to F1 engineers, engines are now referred to as power-trains, to emphasize the importance of energy recovery. The engines will have a single turbo.

There are now two electrical motors rather than one, driving an energy recovery system that has twice the power and 10 times the capacity of Kers (now referred to simply as ERS - Energy Recovery System, because it is regenerating more than just kinetic energy).

According to the FIA, Kers produced 60kW that could be used for 6.7 seconds per lap. In 2014, ERS will have 120kW for just over 30 seconds a lap.

One of the electric motors works like the current Kers. When a driver brakes, a generator captures energy and converts it into electrical power, which is stored in a battery. This can then be re-applied during acceleration to boost performance.

ENERGY RECOVERY

A second electrical motor is attached to the turbo. Normally a turbo has a wastegate on the exhaust, which releases excess energy if the pressure becomes too great. Instead of a wastegate, the motor will convert excess energy into electricity.

The electrical energy can be used immediately or to recharge the battery pack. This second motor is new technology and it is an area that has been left open for F1 to innovate.

Ferrari explains what it takes to comply with new regulations in a great video!

Comment
12/27/13
uscc

TRG Confirms Driver Lineup for Aston Martin GS Entry
TRG-AMR announced this week the driver lineup for the first of its expected two Aston Martin Vantage GT4s that will compete in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

The California-based team has named Max Riddle and Kris Wilson to pilot the No. 07 entry for the full 12-round championship, which kicks off on Jan. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

“Everyone is starting to work together as a team and I know that my crew guys are really proud to be working with these two drivers,” team principal Kevin Buckler said.

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12/27/13
nassprint

Johnson 3rd in voting for Male Athlete of the Year
Jimmie Johnson's sixth Sprint Cup championship wasn't enough to earn him the Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year award, which wound up going to the Miami Heat's LeBron James. The leader of the "Heatles" earned 31 of 96 votes cast in a poll of news organizations, enough to beat out Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in second (20 votes) and Johnson, who finished third with seven votes. Nonetheless, the Hendrick Motorsports driver didn't seem too perturbed by coming up short in winning the award, which has been given out annually since 1931. In fact, he took the loss in stride on Twitter, even taking time during a tweet on the subject to deliver an apparent jab toward all of the people who look down upon his job as un-athletic. He tweeted, "So I'm told the @AP or @AP_Sports ranked me as the 3rd best athlete of 2013 .. not bad for a non-athlete". NBC Sports

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12/27/13
uscc

Burton Racing Announces 2014 Driver Line Up for IMSA Campaign
After taking a big victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the way to securing the 2013 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) Team and Driver Championships, Burton Racing will look for another strong season as the team is set return to IMSA competition in 2014 with a two-car line up.

The team is pleased to announce the return of Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra to share the driving duties in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i machine as the duo look to stage a successful championship defense in 2014.

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12/27/13
automotive

NHTSA Reaffirms Model S 5-Star Safety Rating
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reaffirmed the 5-star safety rating of the Tesla Model S overall and in all subcategories for Model Year 2014, confirming the highest safety rating in America. While Tesla is awaiting feedback from NHTSA regarding their investigation of recent fire incidents, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), recently concluded its review of the incidents, finding no manufacturer-related defects or need for further action.

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12/26/13
f1

Vettel hoping 2014 rules don’t spread out the field
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is hoping the 2014 regulation changes will not spread out the field, after several seasons of close racing up and down the grid.

The German driver won two of his four world titles at the final race of the season and the field spread has been quite small in comparison to previous eras in the sport. Many are expecting the new engine regulations to widen the gaps between teams.

Vettel hopes that the sport doesn’t become less competitive as a result of the technical changes. “Next year with a lot of things changing it is difficult to predict how it impacts on the racing,” he told AUTOSPORT.

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12/26/13
f1

Yas Marina chief to work on Russian GP
Ex-Toyota F1 team manager Cregan's Rasgaira consultancy company has entered into a three-year deal with Sochi promoter Oleg Zabara.

"The combined, impressive experience that the international consultants have, their understanding of the Formula 1 world, and the desire to do the F1 Russian Grand Prix at the highest level guarantee a good result of our teamwork," said Zabara.

"The knowledge and experience which we will get in the course of this co-operation will ensure not only the hosting of a world-class grand prix, but also effective use of the autodrome in Sochi all year round."

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12/26/13
f1

Luca di Montezemolo slams F1's lack of testing
Luca di Montezemolo
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has slammed Formula 1's lack of testing as a 'joke'.

"It is a joke," said di Montezemolo during a lunch with media at Fiorano. "We have been forced to invest a huge amount of money in these terrible machines, artificial, instead of testing here [at Fiorano] and Mugello.

"If somebody has no money to do tests, it is better to race in GP2, in go karts or go and play basketball. I want to do testing to first of all give new drivers the possibility to drive cars and get experience.

"But I also want to give more opportunities to the public because from one race weekend to another it is silent in F1. There is nothing, nothing.

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12/26/13
f1

Todt defends double points system
Jean Todt
FIA president Jean Todt insists that the double points system does not mark a major change in Formula 1.

The rule, which will see double points awarded at the final Grand Prix of next season, has come in for a huge amount of criticism. Former and current drivers, along with others, have slammed the idea.

However, Todt has come out in defense of the system, essentially by trying to play down its importance and pointing to other significant matters.

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12/26/13
f1

Ticket sale for Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix starts on March 4, 2014
Formula Sochi announces the date of Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix ticket sales launch. Tickets will be available from the 4th of March 2014 – exactly 222 before the main race. Promoter’s website, which will be launched in February, is planned to become the main platform of the tickets sale.

Publication of the sales launch is the last news item of the departing year 2013, which has been a year full of bright events for Formula 1 fans. FIA Calendar publication became the landmark event, which officially confirmed the Russian Grand Prix date – October 12, 2014. Millions of Formula 1 fans from Russia put this date into their personal calendars and received a final confirmation that their dreams are coming true.

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12/26/13
uscc

Team Sahlen to Field Porsche Caymans in ST Class
After withdrawing from Daytona Prototype competition, Team Sahlen has returned to its roots for 2014, announcing a two-car program for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

The longtime GRAND-AM entrants, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in professional sports car racing next year, will enter a pair of Porsche Caymans in the ST class for drivers Joe Sahlen, Joe Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker and Will Nonnamaker.

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12/26/13
wec
ELMS

Chris Dyson Targeting WEC, ELMS Drives
Chris Dyson (L) with his father Rob
While the immediate future of his family’s team remains unclear, Chris Dyson isn’t ready to put his racing career on hold.

As revealed by Sportscar365, the two-time American Le Mans Series champion is eyeing potential prototype drives in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series next year, with the goal of adding another title to his resume.

“I always want the goals of the team to align with my own and for the last 12 years, that’s been the case. But my Dad has been encouraging me to go and be receptive to any opportunities that I can come up with myself,” Chris Dyson told Sportscar365. “Thankfully there’s folks out there that are interested.”

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12/26/13
usac

History of Marchbanks Speedway, aka Hanford Motor Speedway
Mario Andretti at Handford in 1967
This is an excerpt on the history of Marchbanks Speedway, a racetrack just south of Hanford, Calif., that went by several names and layouts over its two-decade life.

Marchbanks, aka Hanford Motor Speedway, remains little known today but was the first superspeedway west of the Mississippi, and hosted big-name NASCAR and Indy Car races in the 1950s-60s. These days, the track ceases to exist physically and its history lives online only in scattered references on racing forums and enthusiast sites.

"Hanford falls into that category of "What Might've Been" along with Ontario and Trenton. Who knows? It remains one of the most mysterious race tracks of all time. Little known. Little remembered.”

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12/25/13
nassprint

NASCAR changes spoiler height for Daytona
NASCAR tweeted Monday afternoon that they have altered the spoiler size that teams will use February in Daytona.

"NASCAR notified Sprint Cup teams today that the spoiler size for the January DIS test and the 2014 Daytona 500 event week, including the Sprint Unlimited, will be 4.5 inches tall. This is .5 inches taller than previously. NASCAR says the taller spoiler size should allow for a little more rear down force which should make the cars a little more stable."

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12/25/13
Announcement

Santa on a wild slide
Santa on a wild slide

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
--Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Comment
12/24/13
wc
uscc

McLaren MP4-12C Set for PWC Debut, TUSC GTD in 2015
The McLaren MP4-12C is set to make its North American debut next year in the Pirelli World Challenge, with the British manufacturer also preparing a GT Daytona-eligible model for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2015.

This year, the mid-engined GT3 car claimed three championships, 23 wins and 62 podiums out of 107 races. After a thunderous 2012 season, the MP4-12C was expected to peak but the competition hadn’t been sitting still.

While the 2014 GT3 regulations are frozen, minor improvements, mainly to improve reliability, are planned, according to Andrew Kirkaldy, managing director at McLaren GT, who has also confirmed additional customer interest, particularly in North America.

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12/24/13
irl

Jack Hawksworth is as good as top-five IndyCar driver, says leading engineer
Hawksworth in Dale Coyne's #18 at Sebring
IndyCar
Cullingworth's Jack Hawksworth proved himself to be ‘as good as any of the current top five championship drivers’ as he took to the track in an IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

The gifted 22-year-old Bradford-born ace set a scintillating pace as he endeavors to maneuver himself into contention for a seat for next year's series.

Having taken the States by storm in speeding to the fiercely-contested Star Mazda Championship crown during the course of a record-breaking rookie campaign across the Atlantic in 2012, Hawksworth continued to shine in 2013, tallying a hat-trick of triumphs, a brace of pole positions and six podium finishes for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports en route to fourth position in the Firestone Indy Lights title standings, one step further up the US open-wheel ladder.

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12/24/13
irl

IndyCar files lawsuit against Sao Paulo race promoters (Update) UPDATE The IndyCar Series has "filed a lawsuit" against Radio e Televisao Bandeirantes Ltda., the promoter of an IndyCar race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, "seeking to recover a seven-figure sanctioning fee that was due this summer," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL.

The case was "transferred Dec. 12 from Marion Superior Court to a federal court in Indianapolis." Despite "troubles with the promoter," IndyCar officials have not given up on returning the series to Brazil. Though the lawsuit does not "reveal how much IndyCar is seeking and series officials are not commenting," a source said that IndyCar is seeking just under $10M for the annual sanctioning fee.

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12/24/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
  • Sainz Jr.
    Sirotkin expects Friday seat for Russian GP
  • Mercedes rules out F1 cooperation with Renault
  • Sainz hopes son on road to F1
  • Salo defends Pirelli after Rosberg blowout
  • Formula One Facing Cost Crisis As Smaller Teams Are Struggling To Survive
  • F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone Says Double Points Rule Could Be Voted Down Next Month

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12/23/13
f1

Engine manufacturers fear Honda challenge
The current engine manufacturers fear they may face a considerable disadvantage to Honda over the course of 2014 as the Japanese manufacturer is not yet obliged to the engine freeze before it enters competition in 2015.

The Japanese manufacturer earlier said it was anxious that it could fall behind as the Formula One's current engine suppliers can build race experience with the new turbo engines throughout 2014. Honda meanwhile is set to only enter F1 in 2015 even though they are already hard at work on their 1.6l V6 turbocharged engines.

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12/23/13
wec

VIDEO: Inside Porsche's 919 Hybrid Technology
Next year will see the introduction of completely new rules for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Find out about the technical challenges in the new WEC regulations for the Porsche 919 Hybrid, the German manufacturer’s weapon of choice for 2014.



Comment
12/23/13
uscc

Porsche Factory Drivers Named for 2014 Porsche North America
Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) have announced the factory drivers who will compete for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the PORSCHE NORTH AMERICA CORE autosport-prepared Porsche 911 RSR GT-Le Mans class entries.

Car no. 911 will be driven by Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria), while car no. 912 will compete with Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) at the helm, with two additional Porsche factory drivers – Patrick Pilet (France) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) - joining the teams for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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12/23/13
irl

Scott Dixon relishes Kiwi summer
Scott Dixon is back home in New Zealand for a well-deserved break after winning the 2013 IndyCar championship.

It's been five years since Dixon has had a Christmas down under, so he's relishing time off the track and catching up with old friends.

"It's a lot of reminiscing - having a few beverages and just sort of relaxing," says Dixon. "I don't fare too well in the sun - I go pink and then I go white again, so I try stay out of the sun as much as possible."

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12/23/13
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Heikki Kovalainen
    Kovalainen facing Christmas with uncertain future
  • Lotus thinks most F1 teams struggling
  • Raikkonen to get first taste of 2014 Ferrari
  • Philosophy tweak helps Vergne stay at Toro Rosso
  • Alonso admits 2013 not best season as driver
  • Allison best technical boss since Brawn - Montezemolo
  • Formula 1 Could Be Set For Float In New Year After CVC Failed To Buy IMG
  • Ferrari gives Alonso and Raikkonen a 220-mph incentive to win F1 title

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12/22/13
irl

Major Safety changes coming to the overpriced IndyCar
Since the introduction of the ugly 'Walrus' looking IndyCar, fans have stayed away in droves as predicted.  Now we find it needs safety improvements.
In the name of safety, numerous updates and modifications are coming to the IndyCar Series' Dallara chassis designed before the start of the 2014 season.

According to a Marshall Pruett report in RACER.com, the entire fleet of IR-12s will be required to undergo a number of safety modifications beginning in mid-January. All teams must have the changes applied to their primary cars prior to the first race of the season at St. Petersburg (Fla.) in March.

In addition, the changes must be applied to the backup cars by the Indianapolis 500 in May.

According to RACER:

The series and Dallara have contracted Indianapolis-based Aerodine Composites Group to carry out the modifications, which include the addition of approximately 20 pounds of cladding to the cockpit sides and reinforcing the cockpit ring (opening).

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