OnStar today announced that it is responding to repeated consumer requests by offering its industry leading safety, security and connectivity services for non-GM and older GM vehicles already on the road. A standalone rearview mirror packing all of OnStar’s core technology will be available this spring through consumer electronics retailers, and is compatible with most top-selling vehicles from major manufacturers.
The OnStar retail product offers the key features that have made OnStar’s “blue button” an icon, including Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.
Baltimore ALMS Grand Prix race gets TV deal The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix will get TV coverage on two major networks, thanks to a new deal struck by American Le Mans Series, ESPN and ABC.
Le Mans said it has reached a multi-year deal with the two networks, both owned by the Walt Disney Co., to broadcast its races, including the Baltimore races this September. The Le Mans race will be shown live on ABC.
Not only will the city get free PR on two major television networks, but the deal includes a two-hour documentary that will air on ABC on Sept. 11. ESPN3.com will also live stream coverage of the Labor Day weekend race.
Best Buy renews sponsorship with RPM Richard Petty Motorsports got welcome news with the renewal of Best Buy as primary sponsor of AJ Allmendinger’s No. 43 Ford for the coming season.
The agreement, announced Tuesday by RPM and Best Buy, extends the consumer electronics retailer’s sponsorship of the car through 2011. Best Buy will serve as Allmendinger’s primary sponsor for 24 points races and two non-points events (the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race at Daytona in February and the Sprint Showdown and/or Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte in May, depending on eligibility).
The deal includes Best Buy’s placement as an associate sponsor on the No. 9 Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose. Other sponsors, among them Valvoline, the U.S. Air Force and Paralyzed Veterans of America, will take turns on the hood of Allmendinger’s car for the remaining 12 points races.
Star-Studded Lineup For Ganassi At Rolex 24 The Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates organization's Christmas card sent out last month was a keeper.
Lining up for a group photo were drivers Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray - and team owner Chip Ganassi.
GRAND-AM Road Racing got one of those cards.
Tuesday, GRAND-AM - and its fans - got a belated Christmas gift from Ganassi's group, in the form of a star-studded lineup for the upcoming (Jan. 29-30) Rolex 24 At Daytona, one encompassing two cars, eight drivers, three racing disciplines and a return appearance by McMurray, the reigning Daytona 500 champion.
Ray Evernham joins Hendrick Companies as consultant
Jeff Gordon fans would love to see him reunited with Ray Evernham
Rick Hendrick isn't the reigning five-time champion owner because he skimps on talent. And now, he's bringing aboard a huge name ... but not to do the job many would like to see done right.
As initially rumored at Homestead, Hendrick will be bringing on legendary ex-owner/ex-crew chief Ray Evernham to serve as a consultant for Hendrick Companies. Now, while fans of Jeff Gordon may have visions of the glory days returning -- Gordon and Evernham won three titles in four years under Hendrick from 1995 to 1998 -- slow down. Stop, in fact. Take a deep breath, and then read the following sentence:
Ray Evernham will not be involved with the racing side of the business. Again, he will NOT be involved with the racing side. Sorry, Rainbow fans.
Per a news release, Evernham's company Ray Evernham Enterprises "will consult on special projects related to Hendrick’s core businesses. In that role, REE’s initial focus will be development of the Hendrick Performance retail brand of high-performance parts, vehicles, products and related services." Yahoo! Sports
On the long special of the day, motorcycle rider Marc Coma was victorious for the 12th time in his career on the Dakar. Cyril Despres holds on to the race lead by a small margin, whereas outsiders Paulo Goncalvez and Olivier Pain did their chances a whole world of good. Carlos Sainz held onto the lead in the car category, despite the stage victory of VW teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah, who only slightly closed in on the Spaniard. Vladimir Chagin scored the 58th stage victory of his career on the Dakar as his Kamaz took command in the general standings.
The sharp increase in mileage to be covered thrust the Dakar riders into a new dimension of the race. The change in terrain, demanding more subtle navigational skills than on the last two stages, gave rise to a number of different scenarios.
Nashville reducing NASCAR ticket prices A new year and a new NASCAR season brings new reduced ticket prices for fans of Nashville Superspeedway. Single event tickets for NASCAR events at Nashville will go on sale this Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8 a.m. Fans can take advantage of the new reduced ticket prices by reserving their seats in advance to receive the best pricing available. Tickets for NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Nashville on April 23 and July 23 start at $30, while tickets for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on April 22 and July 22 start at $25. Nashville has also increased the age and reduced the price on all junior tickets for fans 14 and under. Juniors can attend any of the four NASCAR events for just $10 when purchased in advance. Tickets purchased at the gate will increase by $5 for juniors and $10 for adults per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-RACE-TIX or online at NashvilleSuperspeedway.com
Dallara Unveils New Simulator The new Dallara simulator isn’t your iracing.com or Wii console. It can’t be compared to another unit because, well, there isn’t anything quite like it.
Occupying a 40 x 40 foot, two-story room at Dallara headquarters in Parma, Italy, it contains more than 5,900 feet of fiber optic cable, has 16 monitors to visualize data, employs a Dolby Surround 5.1 audio system, and checks in at more tons than a fleet of IndyCars.
Yeah, there’s nothing quite like it, which is the point of the rig developed by Dallara in conjunction with Ferrari. Oh, and the simulator, which was recently inaugurated, will have a twin when the Dallara facility in Speedway, Ind., is up and producing the IndyCar rolling chassis. IZOD IndyCar Series officials, teams and drivers -- along with suppliers -- will have access to the rig.
Dale Earnhardt Inc. GM Jeff Steiner leaves organization Jeff Steiner, who had been executive vice president and general manager of Dale Earnhardt Inc. since April 2009, has left the organization to pursue other opportunities, Steiner and the organization confirmed. DEI has not named a replacement.
Steiner oversaw the transition of DEI from a race-team operator to a racing consultation and support company through its Earnhardt Technologies Group, which did work for more than 30 teams during the 2010 season.
Steiner, who also oversaw the licensing of Dale Earnhardt with programs such as the Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 3 Wrangler car and the Intimidator roller coasters, said Monday that he is pursuing other opportunities in racing. He and his wife also own Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises in North Carolina.
New Lotus Renault website to launch soon As part of Renault F1 morphing into Lotus Renault the team has launched a predominantly black and gold website for service in their new era.
The team announced: “Over the Christmas break we have been busy working on our brand new website, which will bring you all the latest news on Lotus Renault GP. The whole website won’t be launched until the end of the month, but we will have a blog in the meantime to keep you up to speed with all the news from Enstone.”
GM sales up again General Motors dealers reported 223,932 total sales in December, a 16-percent increase from a year ago for the company’s four brands. The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 27 percent higher than a strong December a year ago. For the calendar year, total sales for GM’s four brands increased 21 percent to 2,202,927, while retail sales rose 16 percent for the year. GM’s four brands sold 118,435 more vehicles this year than the company did with eight brands in 2009, and will gain total and retail market share for the year.
The December total sales result includes an anticipated reduction in fleet sales to rental companies. For the month, overall fleet sales represented 17 percent of GM’s total sales.
Ford loses 'recommend' rating Consumer Reports has pulled its much heralded "recommend" tag for the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX in its February issue, available on newsstands today.
The influential magazine, in fact, did not recommend any of the six 2011 SUVs tested and featured in the issue. The others are the Chevrolet Tahoe and Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as the more luxurious Porsche Cayenne and Infiniti QX56.
Pulling its recommendations for the Ford Motor Co. crossovers came down to Ford's new telematics system, known as MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch, said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn. Testers found the system unwieldy, difficult to use and requires drivers to take their eyes off the road, he said.
SPEED to provide testing coverage for unemployed NASCAR fans SPEED and SPEED.com are presenting 23 hours of live testing coverage from Daytona Jan. 20-22 as the Sprint Cup Series engines roar back to life in the month of January for the first time in three years. John Roberts and Jeff Hammond host SPEED's on-air coverage from the studio above Victory Lane at Daytona. Steve Byrnes, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip will offer analysis throughout the practice sessions with reporting by Bob Dillner and Krista Voda. SPEED.com is presenting live streaming of all on-track activity with the exception of 3-5 p.m. ET Thursday, and will feature a rotation of on-air personalities. Daytona testing coverage gives fans their first extended look at the new race surface at Daytona International Speedway -- a surface the racers expect will add to the level of excitement in February. SPEED schedule for Daytona testing (all times Eastern and live unless otherwise indicated):
Junior Johnson starts team Junior Johnson has launched a race team that he hopes will propel his son, 17-year-old Robert, eventually to the Sprint Cup Series. The elder Johnson, who was enshrined in NASCAR's Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural 2010 class of inductees, will run Junior Johnson Racing from shops on his 278-acre estate in Hamptonville, N.C. Keith Barnwell, JJR's executive vice president and general manager, said Monday he was standing amidst 800 head of cattle outside one of the two buildings the elder Johnson -- who scored 50 victories as a driver, 132 as an owner and six Cup championships in his legendary career -- had converted into his son's race shop. "We're going to run the full K&N Pro Series East and maybe the West Series' finale at Phoenix," Barnwell said. "On some of our off-weekends, we'll be running some UARA and Whelen All-American Series late model races. Johnson has hired two veteran mechanics with K&N Series experience, Craig Hermann and Robbie Harrison, to work on the operation. Barnwell said some Toyota stock cars have been purchased from the Red Bull Racing Team and that he and Johnson were in the process of making a final decision on what manufacturer they would align themselves with. NASCAR.com
Antiquated NASCAR has young fans running for the exits 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup races suffered ratings declines in 2010. Yes, 26.
Three of those races in which ratings increased were on Fox — Phoenix, Talladega and Darlington — one was on TNT (Daytona) and one was on ABC (Bristol). However, except for the summer Daytona race on TNT, which had a ratings increase of 16%, every increase was 6% or lower. Sixteen of the 26 races that had ratings declines in 2010 suffered double-digit drops. Fox's broadcast of the Las Vegas race had the poorest showing compared to 2009, falling 32%. Overall, 11 of the 16 races with double-digit drops were on ESPN, three were on TNT and two were on Fox. (Fox's other double-digit drop was the pothole-discombobulated Daytona 500 which was down 16%.)
Nine of those 11 ESPN double-digit drops were for races that were moved from ABC in 2009 to ESPN in 2010. We've already debunked the theory that cable impacts television ratings significantly, but ESPN's New Year's Day BCS ratings just may give credence to the possibility that, for whatever reason, people just don't watch sports on cable as much as they do on broadcast television.
What does that mean for NASCAR? Well, that remains to be seen. CNBC's Darren Rovell tweeted last week that NASCAR had the oldest median age of viewers when compared to the big four professional sports leagues. And the loss of the under-49 demographic has nothing to do with which channel races were broadcast on, as during 2010, Fox's David Hill noted the sharp decrease his network saw in younger viewers. Yahoo! Sports
[Editor's Note: We have told you for years that NASCAR's 'managed racing' along with 1950's technology cars has zero interest with today's young people. Zero. And we told you it would eventually come back to bite them in the posterior. That day is upon us. In fact it was upon us 3 years ago, which is when the NASCAR popularity plunge began.]
Falken Tire teams up with Walker Racing for ALMS go
Falken Tire Porsche
Falken Tire and Derrick Walker will join forces in the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. Walker Racing, one of motorsports’ most successful operations, is heading race operations for Team Falken Tire in the coming season.
Starting with the bold decision to purchase its own Porsche and manage its own team for the 2009 season, Falken has taken a nonconventional approach to its racing program. Falken's first full season championship effort took place in 2010. To date the program has shown signs of strong success by qualifying on the front row three times in 2010, but it has yet to achieve its ultimate goals of winning races at the GT level.
Cadillac Poised for Return to World Challenge Following meetings with World Challenge technical and competition staff and an announcement by the brand in late December, Cadillac will return to racing in 2011 with a race-prepared version of its CTS-V Coupe competing in the World Challenge Championships, North America’s top production-based racecar series. The brand returns to the series it competed in from 2004 to 2007.
Cadillac captured the GT Manufacturer’s Championship in 2005 and 2007 and the GT Driver’s Championship in 2005 with the CTS-V Sport Sedan and will field two teams in the upcoming 2011 World Challenge GT season with the CTS-V Coupe. The CTS-V line, which also includes the CTS-V Sedan and CTS-V Wagon, was recently named to Car and Driver magazine’s 10 Best list for 2011. Johnny O’Connell, a three-time GT1 champion in the America Le Mans Series, and Andy Pilgrim, who won the 2005 World Challenge GT Driver’s Championship in a Cadillac, will be behind the wheel of the CTS-V racecars.
Domenicali: I nearly resigned after Abu Dhabi Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said an interview with La Repubblica, “After Abu Dhabi I raised the issue [of resignation] to myself. I wondered if it was right or not, if I stayed. But I came to the conclusion that resigning would be a mistake. I know the team and I think I am the right person to capitalize on all that we have sown in recent months. From an organizational point of view, in Maranello, we have changed almost everything and I am sure we will soon see the results of the hard work.”
Asked if he had any nightmares after the Abu Dhabi, Domenicali replied, “No nightmares. I fell asleep only on Tuesday, two days later.”
The Ferrari F1 team boss pointed out, “In a position like mine at Ferrari, you have to be ready for anything. Especially if after two years you fail to bring home some results. From this point of view, I always felt a great support from the president of the company and shareholders. And I’ve always worked with the desire to reciprocate this trust."
Bucknum signs with Mitchum Motorsports P1 Groupe announces that sports car veteran and multi-time race winning driver, Jeff Bucknum has signed an agreement to drive for Mitchum Motorsports in the team’s Chevy Camaro for the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series. This is an opportunity for Bucknum to take another step with a brand that he has a successful history with and means a great deal to him and his fans around the world. "I am excited that Jeff Bucknum will once again be behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series" said Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing. "Jeff is not only an outstanding driver but also a great Camaro ambassador. I am glad he will be part of Chevrolet's Grand Am program in 2011."
Jeff Bucknum is the son of sports car legend Ronnie Bucknum. Bucknum will be driving with Mitchum team driver Joey Atterbury. "I am so excited to have signed on with Mitchum Motorsports to race the Camaro for the 2011 Race Season,” said Jeff Bucknum. “Over the last few years I have focused my whole career on racing the Camaro and I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to continue that with Chris Mitchum’s team. I have known Chris for years and he is not only one of the hardest working guys, he is also one of the most genuine!”
Speed TV seasons starts off with AMA this weekend A new race season starts on SPEED, Saturday, Jan. 8 with the biggest Monster Energy AMA Supercross event of the year, Anaheim 1; live from Southern California’s Angel Stadium of Anaheim at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. To set the table, an encore presentation of Bubba’s World – Season Two of James ‘Bubba’ Stewart’s hit reality series – kicks off the evening with five episodes leading into the broadcast starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 P.T.
Anaheim 1 also represents the first of seven live AMA Supercross races in 2011, the most in network history. Those SPEED broadcasts include Phoenix (Jan. 15), San Diego (Feb. 19), Atlanta (Feb. 26), Indianapolis (March 12), Seattle (April 16) and Las Vegas (May 7). In addition, the March 5 Daytona show is a same-day delay presentation with both Supercross and Lites.
Fiat, Yamaha partnership officially over The four-year Fiat-Yamaha MotoGP partnership has come to an end. A message on the team's official Twitter page @fiatyamahateam states that it won't be updated and confirms “The team will change title sponsor and therefore it won't be "Fiat Yamaha Team" anymore.”
The team's official website also confirms the agreement is over.
Despite winning all three MotoGP titles in 2010, and retaining new world champion Jorge Lorenzo for next season, Fiat's departure had been expected due to Italian superstar Valentino Rossi's switch from Yamaha to Ducati.
Look for Fiat to sponsor Rossi's new team, Italian MotoGP Ducati, which is a better fit for the Italian carmaker.
Giedo van der Garde has ruled himself out of contention for the few F1 seats left on the market for 2011 after inking a deal to remain with the Barwa Addax team in the supporting GP2 Series.
"I am happy to have cleared up next year's plans and would like to thank the Addax team for its confidence," van der Garde commented, "The GP2 Series will be racing with a brand-new chassis in 2011, which means everyone will start from scratch with the set-up of the car. A new chassis obviously brings a great challenge, so I am extremely motivated to fight for the championship and continue to work on my ultimate goal, which is to race in a competitive F1 seat."
Alonso loses temper with Portuguese paparazzi (GMM) Fernando Alonso has landed himself in a controversy within the Spanish-language media.
After arriving in a private jet for a holiday on the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo, the Ferrari driver lost his temper with a group of paparazzi photographers as he walked through the airport.
A video shows the 29-year-old telling the group in Spanish: "The first photographer or camera I see in the next days, I will leave the next day and tell everyone that Porto Santo is a disaster.
"Ok? So please leave us alone," added Alonso, who gestured with a thumbs-down.
The Formula One circus will land in India come October 2011. We went to see how work was progressing on the brand new Jaypee circuit and spoke exclusively to VP Mark Hughes
The most populous tourist route in India runs from Delhi Airport to Agra, location of the Taj Mahal. It’s a tricky journey of about 180 kilometers, and like most roads in India, is one-way – unless of course there is something coming in the other direction. Driving it is not for the faint-hearted, which is why most tourists either take the bus or have a private taxi, in which they sit in the back with their eyes closed.
However, that is all about to change with the introduction of Formula One to India. A new circuit, under construction in Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida, just outside the main city of Delhi and on the way to Agra, will be served by a brand new, six-lane highway. It is being built and paid for by the Jaypee Group, developers of the F1 facility, to make life a bit easier for both the racing fraternity and the local community at large.
Ford Mercury brand terminated The last Mercury, a Mariner, rolled off the line on Oct. 3, although more are being produced for government agencies.
As of today, the Mercury name disappears from dealerships, marking the end of a once-heralded brand that was a step up from Ford, the everyday people's car.
Today, few recall that Mercury once was beloved as a stylish and powerful ride. It had roles in movies ranging from "Rebel Without a Cause" (James Dean was behind the wheel of a customized 1949 Mercury) to "On His Majesty's Secret Service," in which James Bond's love interest drove a souped-up red 1969 Cougar XR-7 known as the Eliminator.
BAIC is bidding to acquire Italy’s Pininfarina Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp (BAIC) is bidding to acquire Pininfarina S.p.A., an Italian car design firm and coachbuilder, eeo.com.cn reported Tuesday, citing an executive at BAIC’s passenger car division.
"I just came back from Italy last week and have communicated with the technical staff at Pininfarina about the design proposal of the Saab models,” the person said. “Pininfarina is the most successful overseas car design company in China. BAIC has been collaborating with it on development of models based on the Sabb technology and will display an all-new concept car with the Sabb genes at next year’s Shanghai auto show, while Pininfarina will be responsible for the contour design of the car.”
Carlos Sainz leads the Car Category after Day 1 in his VW
Victoria to Cordoba Bikes, Quads: 192km; Cars, Trucks: 222km
After the ceremonial start on New Year’s Day today (January 2) saw the first day of racing in the 2011 Dakar Rally. The task – a relatively easy by the Dakar’s usual standards with a timed stage of 192km for the bike and quad runners, and a longer 222km for the cars and trucks. However, with only a day gone many front runners have already hit trouble, with lost time and some (very) early retirements.
Bikes: Faria To The Fore
For many of the 160 or so bikers who left the start for the day at Victoria it was a voyage into the unknown. While the new 450cc bikes stipulated by the rules have been phased in over the last year it was the first time many of the front runners had taken them on the Dakar. The switch, however, changed little at the top of the times, with reigning champion Cyril Despres leading through the opening checkpoints.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada loved 1978 Formula Atlantic race, but....... While the proposal of a new stadium/sports complex for the city of Hamilton, in Ontario Canada, is certainly garnering media attention both locally and nationally, there was a time back in 1978 when an auto race provided the citizens and the government of the city an event rife in controversy, both on and off the track.
Race Hamilton was held early in August 1978 on the streets of the city’s downtown core — Main, King, York, Bay, MacNab, and Park. The race was proposed to the city in May 1977 by Larry Russell and his company, Triess Promotions. The downtown circuit was the final route for the Formula Atlantic cars, as a course going up and down the Clairmont Access or along the former Highway 102 between McMaster University and Dundas was considered not viable.
Kimi Raikkonen said in 2010 he conducted an interesting experiment to see if he would miss Formula 1 and it turns out that the Finn did not miss it at all as his stint in the World Rally Championship (WRC) made him a stronger driver.
Quoted by Autosport Raikkonen said, “I didn’t miss Formula 1 at all this season. Before the start of this year I thought it would be interesting to see if I missed it at all, and in fact I didn’t.”
The 2007 F1 World champion says of his rally season away from Grand Prix racing, “For sure I have improved as a driver this season. Rallying is a lot harder than F1, certainly for me. If you can drive on some of the roads we did this year, you can drive anywhere.”
Ducati has no plans to copy Yamaha Ducati team boss Vittoriano Guareschi says there is no intention to turn the squad's bike "into a Yamaha" despite the arrival of Valentino Rossi and his crew.
"They're acclimatizing well; they like our craftsman-like soul, after so many years with the Japanese," Guareschi told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Jerry gives me ease of mind. Generally there's serenity: we just need to improve our bike, not turn it into a copy of the Yamaha."
"We have gone in the direction that Valentino pointed us in," said Guareschi. "The lap times were not too encouraging, so to say, but after seeing what condition his shoulder was in we felt reassured. Our bike must be handled strongly, and he had little strength in Valencia."
Kyle Busch gets married Kyle Busch exchanged vows with his beautiful fiancée, 24-year old Samantha Sarcinella, on Friday Dec. 31 in Chicago. The service was attended by 300 of their close family and friends, including many in the NASCAR community. The wedding reception followed at the Chicago Cultural Center, as the newly named Mr. and Mrs. Busch and guests celebrated their marriage while also using the opportunity to ring in the New Year together. The couple will take a two-week honeymoon before returning home to North Carolina. They have requested fans follow them both on their respective Twitter accounts for special news about the wedding. Twitter.com/KyleBusch and Twitter.com/SamanthaBusch. KyleBusch.com
Rubens Barrichello looks for more from Williams in 2011
Rubens Barrichello told AUTOSPORT next year's Williams F1 car will be more aggressive as the team aims to move up the grid.
"I'm so positive that I can see the team growing, but I'm possibly not the right person to question," said Barrichello. "I can see only the good signs, and I'm changing the bad signs. I've been pinpointing things exactly with the car, and with that they can help everyone in the team to go forward. Next year's car is definitely in aggressive mode. But it's about whoever makes the tires work better.
"It's a make-or-break type of thing. If you think that the Honda was not a very good car, we had a terrible 2008 season, and whenever they put the slicks on at the end of the year, the car improved itself. It was a car that if it was fighting for sixth position, it was already fighting for fifth. And then they made such an upgrade it went to first.
Another Aussie looking to make a future in NASCAR Andrew Hagen is helping dig tunnels under the tropical city of Brisbane, not far from where he grew up in Australia. A few weeks ago, he was living in White Lake, pursuing a dream of making it as a NASCAR driver. Hagen, 24, isn't giving up. He returned Down Under in November to see his family and make some seed money. He will be back in Michigan in the New Year to resume his racing career, competing in the Must See Racing Extreme Sprint Series, one of the fastest short-track oval series in the country. In the past Hagen drove in the Super Late Model Series at tracks like Toledo Speedway and Auto City Speedway in a car owned by Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski. Hagen said he would like to run the series again, doubling it up with his dirt and pavement sprint-car program. "It's going to get busy on the track," said Hagen, a regular in the Michigan International Speedway media room since arriving in the U.S. a couple years ago. "Every time you get behind the wheel of a racecar is valuable. You learn something different." Right now, Hagen is working 20-hour shifts under Brisbane. He drives a truck hauling dirt out of the tunnels. "It's not glamorous but the pay is great," Hagen said. "Driving a truck underground at night is a little crazy but it all helps." Hagen drove a couple of sprint-car races late in the 2010 season, one at Berlin Raceway near Grand Rapids and the other at Anderson Speedway in Indiana. He will drive next year for Don and Suellen Wilshe, owners of Wilshe Motorsports Bio-Based USA team. Detroit Free Press
Mercedes F1 team building new simulator Mercedes Grand Prix boss Ross Brawn has admitted it didn't help a lot that the team was unable to offer Michael Schumacher any runs in a top simulator in 2010. The team however is building a new one, although it won’t be available to use by the Mercedes Formula 1 drivers until 2012.
“It's true that it certainly didn't help Michael in 2010 that he didn't have a top simulator to use to get more virtual mileage in the car,” Brawn told Germany's Auto, Motor und Sport. “A new simulator is currently under construction although it won't be fully operational until 2012.
“Daimler is currently building the simulator. It is a very complicated project as this technology is not simply for sale somewhere.”
SUV, Truck Sales outselling Energy Efficient Cars Stable gas prices mean more consumers have been willing to buy more trucks and SUVs. In fact, Edmunds.com says they've sold better than compact cars and hybrids this year.
Edmunds says truck sales are expected to be up 14.9 percent, and SUV sales up 21.3 percent over last year. Midsize car sales are expected to be up 7.8 percent over 2009. Hybrid sales are down 8.1 percent, and compact car sales are up just 1.1 percent.
Andretti Autosport Sebring test preview SPENCER PIGOT, #8 TEAM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CAR "I'm really looking forward to my first event in USF2000 and with Andretti Autosport. It's been a long off-season and I can't wait to get back in the car. It's going to be a steep learning curve coming from Skip Barber, but we will be working hard throughout the Winterfest to prepare for the main series in March."
ZACH VEACH, #7 TEAM ZAKOSI DATA BACKUP CAR
"I'm really looking forward to the Winterfest, especially after being out of a car for about a month. With everything I learned last season and over the break, I'm excited to see what we can accomplish in Florida. It is going to be great to be back with the Andretti crew and Sage Karam as well as working with my new teammate Spencer Pigot."
(GMM) The 2012 US grand prix could be good news for the son of an Irish former formula one driver.
57-year-old Derek Daly drove in the late 70s and early 80s for the likes of Tyrrell and Williams, later becoming a US citizen after switching to the CART series and settling in Indiana.
Also famous as a motor racing commentator for American television, Daly has a US-born 19-year-old son Conor Daly who has risen through the ranks and has recently been racing in the Star Mazda open-wheeler series.
"The biggest boost to his career could be Austin, Texas," Daly told the Austin American Statesman, referring to the scheduled US grand prix of 2012.
Kovalainen had better stop smoking that happy weed. He's become delusional
Heikki Kovalainen believes Team Lotus has the potential to haul itself up the grid and fight at the very top in the future. Indeed the Finn is confident the F1 newcomer can make the kind of progress that Red Bull Racing has made in recent years and eventually take on the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.
“I think that this has to be our target and I think we need to set ourselves high goals,” Kovalainen said in an interview with paultan.org.
“I don’t want to be just with an average team at the back of the grid. We want to get better and I know that the people in this team know what it takes and what we need to put in place to be able to do that.
VW team ready for start of Dakar 2011 Before the “Dakar” start News from the Volkswagen Team Wolfsburg (30 December 2010). The countdown has started: The Volkswagen team’s preparations for the almost 9,600 kilometer desert classic in Argentina and Chile are in full swing just two days before the Dakar Rally starts. While the entire crew put the four works entered and prepared Race Touareg 3 through their paces a final time at the roll-out before the “Dakar” starts on New Year’s Day, the navigators take a last opportunity to study the maps.
The systems ‘go’ the four Race Touareg 3 are “Dakar” ready At the gates of the Argentina capital Buenos Aires the four Race Touareg 3 crews tuned themselves to the “Dakar” in a final test run. Along a near ten kilometer long loop on closed-off minor country roads Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (E/E), Nasser Al-Attiyah/Timo Gottschalk (Q/D), Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford (USA/ZA) and Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) put the powerful 310 hp cross country rally prototypes to the test for a final time. The four crews each completed about ten trouble free laps. “The roll-out was enormously important to get the feel for the car again just before the ‘Dakar’ starts,” says Mark Miller, who celebrated a podium finish after finishing second and third in 2009 and 2010 respectively with Volkswagen. “We are ready and our Touareg is as well.”
Navigation Depth of information increases, the nights get shorter The co-drivers are faced with plenty of new things with regard to navigation during the 2011 Dakar Rally: new rules and, compared to previous years, less concrete information beforehand. The closer the Dakar Rally comes, the more the information increases about the forthcoming special stages. “In contrast to previous years the organizer has released hardly any information about the stage lengths,” says Lucas Cruz, co-driver with Carlos Sainz, who starts the “Dakar” as defending champion. “We only receive the detailed information on 31 December at technical scrutineering.”
The Volkswagen navigators derive the possible route from the exact length of each liaison and special stage as well as information concerning the predicted average speed. For this purpose publically accessible tools like maps or digital computer models such as Google Earth are consulted. “If we know the lengths and average speeds we can find out more precisely what sort of terrain awaits us.” Close and detailed inspection of the maps begins with the information being released on 31 December – and the nights for the navigators get longer in view of the workload just immediately before the actual start of the Dakar Rally. “The bulk of the work awaits us, however, in the night before the next stage when we receive the road book,” says Cruz.
Austin F1 organizers make good on promise to break ground in late 2010
Benito Hinojosa of Austin Geologic drills for a soil sample at the planned F1 racetrack Thursday. Heavy-duty work on the 970-acre tract southeast of Austin began this week, nearly seven months after plans for the Formula One track were announced.
Not long after the stunning announcement in May that Austin had landed a Formula One race, organizers said they hoped to begin moving dirt by December in order to complete construction in time for the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix race in 2012. Then months slipped by without much happening on the site.
Until this week, that is, when groundbreaking (video) finally got under way on the 970-acre tract southeast of Austin.
The construction activity cannot clearly be seen from FM 812 or the other adjacent roads: The future racetrack is too far away and hidden by hilly terrain and vegetation.
But inside the property, on a rise near what is slated to be Turn 11, the first wave of heavy machinery was at work Thursday.
The small fleet from Ranger Excavating included a Cat 966H front-wheel loader, which weighs more than 50,000 pounds, several large trucks and a trencher being used to help build the silt fences that are used for sediment control. A drilling machine was busy taking core samples of the black earth.
Ross Brawn has dismissed speculation that he is ready to stand down as Mercedes GP team principal.
There have been plenty of reports claiming that the Brackley-based outfit's restructuring plans for 2011 will mean Brawn's influence will be "limited to a specific area". Others have suggested that the 55-year-old could retire altogether.
However, Brawn insists he's not ready to quit just yet.
"I will not resign until this team is successful," Brawn said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor Und Sport.
Vainio moves to GP3 Former karting star Aaro Vainio will move up to GP3 in 2011. The 17-year-old will remain with French team Tech 1 Racing, which took him to fourth in this year's Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.
Ford recalls 14,737 pickups and crossovers Ford is recalling almost 15,000 vehicles, including some 2011 F-Series pickups, 2011 Lincoln MKXs and 2011 Ford Edges, to fix an electrical short in a body-control module that could cause a fire.
Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that modules built during a six-day period by a supplier could be faulty. So far, no injuries, crashes or fires have been reported.
The body-control modules keep checks on all systems from oil pressure to coolant temperatures. In this recall, it was a shared module that affected all three models.
Ford will inform owners of the recalled vehicles before Jan. 10, according to a filing with NHTSA.
Dealers will inspect and replace the module if necessary, free of charge. Owners can contact Ford at (866) 436-7332 to find out if their vehicles are affected.
Danica Patrick to appear at GoDaddy.com Bowl parade, game Racecar driver Danica Patrick is extending her stay in Mobile for the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Not only will Patrick be the featured speaker at Wednesday's GoDaddy.com Bowl Mayor's Luncheon at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, she will serve as grand marshal for the Greer's/Press-Register Mardi Gras parade that night.
The following day, she will make 2 appearances at the GoDaddy.com Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, performing the pregame coin toss as well as presenting the championship trophy to the winning team afterward.
Dakar Rally opens 2011 Robby Gordon schedule Robby Gordon roams around his shop about three weeks before his 2011 season kicks off with the Dakar Rally, and he has a group of mechanics working on his Hummer for that event and a smaller group working on a Sprint Cup car for the Daytona 500.
The three Dakar support haulers, with millions of dollars worth of equipment, were ready a month earlier and left by boat for South America. The actual race vehicles needed to be finished in a week so they could be put on a hauler to Miami and then shipped as air freight to Argentina.
For a guy who finished 34th in the Sprint Cup standings in 2010 and has had his share of spats with sponsors in the last year, Gordon is surprisingly upbeat on what lies ahead for him and his 50 employees in 2011.
Roush moves Nationwide shop, in dire straights for money It's been hard enough for big-name drivers to get sponsorships in the Cup Series (see: Gordon, Jeff) and Roush Fenway Racing is learning that it's also pretty tough to get sponsorship for other drivers in the Nationwide Series too.
Roush recently announced that it was consolidating its Nationwide Series operation into its own building complex. Why?
From NASCAR.com: The spokesman said Roush Fenway would maintain the lease on the Mooresville facility but is moving its three remaining Nationwide teams to Concord in hopes of fostering a more beneficial information exchange, similar to what the RFR Cup teams enjoyed with RPM, as three Roush Fenway's teams made the 2010 Chase.
Stewart tips di Resta to join 'best ever' grid in 2011 (GMM) Sir Jackie Stewart has tipped fellow Scot Paul di Resta to make his formula one debut in 2011.
24-year-old di Resta, the new DTM champion, was Force India's reserve and Friday driver in 2010 and is being considered for a race seat with the Silverstone based team next season.
Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Nico Hulkenberg and others are also linked with the two Force India drives, but triple world champion Stewart insisted: "I don't see any reason why Paul shouldn't be on the grid next year.
"He's impressed everyone with what he's achieved during his Friday test sessions with Force India this year, and he's fast," the 71-year-old told Edinburgh Evening News.
State removes unusually high Austin F1 job estimates The state comptroller’s office today removed numbers from its economic development Web site that appeared to show that the Formula One race scheduled to begin in Austin in 2012 would create far more jobs than previously stated.
We wrote about the unusually high numbers on Friday. According to calculations posted earlier in the week on the comptroller’s site, texasahead.org, hosting the F1 race would directly produce 3,770 new jobs, and indirectly create another 1,075.
Those numbers were far different than estimates distributed by local promoter Formula One United States Grand Prix, which this past summer predicted that it would employ about 1,500 workers to build the $200 million facility east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and hire about 1,200 temporary workers to staff three-day race weekends.
GM stock hits $35.32 per share A group of Wall Street analysts enthusiastically resumed coverage of General Motors stock on Tuesday -- sending the stock to its highest closing price since the automaker emerged from bankruptcy and returned to the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 18.
The reasons for owning General Motors stock vastly outweigh the risks, the analysts wrote in a flurry of reports that helped GM's stock close at $35.32 per share -- 72 cents, or 2%, higher than its close on Monday.
Acura Yacht Club returns as sponsor for St. Pete GP Thrill-seeking boaters can now rejoice. After a one year hiatus, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announces that the Acura Yacht Club will be making a return to the 2011 race. Located on private floating docks in St. Petersburg marina, at turns 10 and 11, the members-only club offers boat owners the chance to watch the event in the lap of luxury. The elegant Monaco-style dock layout is exclusive to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which takes place March 25-27, and includes numerous benefits such as paddock passes, closed circuit video feed and access to other event sites.
Acura will also continue in 2011 as title sponsor of the Acura Sports Car Challenge, which will feature North America’s top production-based sports car championship, the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Championships. The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will kick-off the 2011 World Challenge season, with top drivers competing for Driver, Manufacturer and Team Championships in the individual GT, GTS and Touring Car categories in a two-round event. Round One is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, while Round Two is on Sunday, March 27.
Tesla Motors stock plummets by 15.1% Shares in electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. fell 15.1 percent to $25.55 Monday after a 180-day, post-initial public offering restriction on certain stock sales expired and allowed investors to unload their positions. The price has stayed well above its $17-a-share IPO price.
Next up - Daytona testing Jan. 20-22 The next on-track activity for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be January’s three-day test at Daytona. The session, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Sunday, Jan. 23 is the rain date. The 2011 edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will help teams further acclimate to the new pavement, plus speed their preparation for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20.
All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions begin at 9:00 am/et and end at 5:00 pm/et, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1:00 pm/et. Fans seeking to rev up their new year can do so at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona – the companion event to the January test.
Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity, fans can enjoy three Fan Fest sessions in Daytona’s Sprint FANZONE – from 5-7 pm, and 7-9 pm, on Friday, Jan. 21 and from 5-7 pm, on Saturday, Jan. 22. Driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions are planned. Fans also can watch each day’s testing at no cost, beginning at 9 am.
HRT to announce major sponsor According to Hispania Racing team owner Jose Ramon Carabante the HRT team will soon announce a major sponsor. A company that is among the top five most important companies in Spain the Spaniard told Spanish radio station Radio Marca.
Speaking about the positive news for HRT Carabante said: “We will soon announce a major sponsor. Negotiation are well-advanced at the moment. It is one of the five most important companies in Spain,” Carabante told Radio Marca.
Still no ride for Paul Tracy in 2011 Guess which active driver below still does not have a ride in IndyCar in 2011? The stats were compiled and combined from CART, Champ Car and IRL record books. Despite all the good news coming out of IndyCar for 2011 and beyond, some top name drivers still must bring their own sponsorship to have a ride.
100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 to be honored on 2011 U.S. stamp The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 will be honored on a United States Postal Service commemorative stamp that will go on sale in May 2011.
The Indianapolis 500 is one of 25 subjects highlighted in the USPS 2011 Commemorative Stamp Program, which was unveiled Dec. 28. The stamp will be a "Forever Stamp," always equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce letter regardless of price changes in the future.
Award-winning illustrator John Mattos created the stylized, art deco illustration of Ray Harroun driving the Marmon "Wasp," winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, on the Indianapolis 500 Forever Stamp. Text along the bottom of the stamp reads "Indianapolis 500," with small type along the bottom of the stamp opposite the year 2011 reads "100 YEARS OF RACING."
Mayfield will appeal drug case Suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield, as expected, will appeal a judge's decision that ruled in favor of NASCAR in his lawsuit over a May 1, 2009, drug test that he says was a false positive for methamphetamines. Mayfield filed the notice of appeal last Thursday in federal court and has 40 days to file the actual argument for his appeal. Depending on how quickly briefs are filed in the case, a hearing could come in May in Richmond, Va., but more than likely it will come no earlier than September. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen ruled Mayfield had given up his right to sue through various waivers he had signed to compete in NASCAR and questioned whether Mayfield had the evidence to support his claims that NASCAR erred in ruling he tested positive for methamphetamines. Sporting News
The Ethanol Time Bomb [Editor's Note: This article talks about NASCAR's choice to use E15 fuel despite Ethanol being wrong on so many levels. The criticism applies equally to IndyCar series, which are equally as guilty of poor judgment. The decision will come back to haunt both series. Why did they do it? When in doubt, follow the money.]
It was December 2, 2010 when NASCAR Chairman Brian France made the announcement that NASCAR was switching fuels in 2011 to a 15 percent corn ethanol blend under the American Ethanol banner.
"NASCAR and American Ethanol are ideal partners," said France. "American Ethanol's new partnership with NASCAR is much larger and more ambitious than a typical sports sponsorship. Here we have an entire industry looking to NASCAR to communicate its message that America is capable of producing its own renewable, greener fuel."
In 2011, NASCAR will be using television and radio to communicate exactly that message. TV viewers will see and hear about American Ethanol during every single race weekend for the ten months of the season. While France may have believed he was reaping a bumper crop of sponsor dollars, he may in fact have put NASCAR squarely in the middle of a raging national energy debate.
How GM Almost Lost The Corvette Trademark By Using Wikipedia In 2008, Jim M. Sweeney sought to register the trademark CORVOLTTE for "electric vehicles, namely, automobiles". General Motors opposed registration saying it would cause confusion with its mark CORVETTE. Through laziness, GM almost lost their trademark by using Wikipedia.
The three-judge board ruled on December 10, 2010 in favor of GM, but in its decision the court rebuked the automaker saying they failed to provide proof of fame of its mark and also failed to submit properly into evidence its registration for the CORVETTE mark for "automobiles".
The decision goes on to say that basically GM was lazy in its defense of its trademark CORVETTE and that the favorable ruling was in part due to the applicant Sweeney who admitted that GM owns the registration for CORVETTE mark for automobiles and that GM has used that mark since 1952.
Randy Bernard didn't like a lot of things he saw with the IRL, so he is changing it, including the series name to IndyCar and merging the statistics from AAA and CART
SPEEDTV.com/Marshall Pruett: What’s the biggest complaint and compliment you hear about the series from drivers?
Randy Bernard: Dealing with the press…no, just kidding. The biggest complaint from the drivers was that they wanted more input, so they created a committee to bring their suggestions to IndyCar. The biggest compliment was probably from Dario Franchitti. He told me five different times that the best thing that we've done is change from IRL to IndyCar.
The other one is what we’re doing with our history books. When you talk about all open-wheel drivers – legends and current – the fact that we are going to roll all the statistics up and combine them, so IndyCar statistics will go back for a hundred years, is something I know they appreciate. I think IndyCar fans—CART, IRL, AAA; you name it—will appreciate that too. We have statisticians putting it together right now. They’re combining them as we speak. By the time the new season gets here, you should see a new combined set of IndyCar statistics in our media guide. I think it’s important.
I think if someone breaks one of AJ Foyt’s records, that's huge news. And it’s not being disrespectful to [the legends]… they want it too, they want to see their records recognized for being so great, which they are. And I think that we try to hide that. It was open-wheel racing before the IRL was created, by God, and we need to make sure we go back to that and we combine everything and make sure we honor those legends that have been such a big important part of our history. And if someone breaks one of those records, it’s a huge, huge accomplishment. I think the real open-wheel purist is going to love that. This is long overdue, in my book.
Lorenzo tips Stoner, Rossi and Spies as his biggest challenge in 2011 MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has tipped Honda's Casey Stoner and American Ben Spies as his biggest rivals for the 2011 title.
"As things stands now I'd say Casey/Honda is the bigger threat," said Lorenzo. "The Japanese manufacturer is ahead compared to Ducati (where Valentino Rossi landed), but then everyone would say that after the Valencia test. Experience, however, suggests to wait for the first race of the year in Qatar. The red bike has great potential and has demonstrated that with Stoner these years."
HP-Tech Announces 2011 F2000 Effort with RFR HP-Tech Motorsport has announced it will contest the 2011 F2000 Championship Series season with at least two new RFR (Ralph Firman Racing) F2000 cars. The Florida-based team has already signed aspiring Venezuelan drivers Giancarlo Potolicchio and Robert La Rocca and is in the process of building brand new RFR chassis.
Potolicchio, just 18 years old, is coming off winning the Venezuelan F1600 Championship in 2010. Teammate Robert La Rocca is 21 years old, and brings various regional SCCA wins from the past year in a Formula Continental HP-Tech entry to the F2000 grid and is looking to move up the motorsports ladder.
“The team goal is to promote the new RFR car in the F2000 Series while being a contender for the title,” said Jorge Herrera, team president.
“I think coming into the Series, which is new to us, with an entirely new chassis, will be the biggest challenge. However, we have two really good drivers and a very experienced team.”
Hamilton troubled by unhappiness in personal life Lewis Hamilton pointed to problems in his personal life as a contributing factor to his failure to recapture the Formula One title and said he is trying to banish "outside intrusions" from his mind in 2011. Reflecting on a tough season that he rated as a six out of 10, the 2008 world champion gave a rare insight into issues troubling him away from the track and said in a radio interview he hopes to "smooth everything off."
Hamilton did not specify what was bothering him, but the McLaren driver's season began in March amid the fallout from the high-profile decision to drop his father, Anthony Hamilton, as manager.
Hamilton won just three out of 19 races as he finished fourth in the 2010 drivers' championship.
Formula Palmer Audi shuts down after 13 years When the FIA wanted to re-inaugurate the Formula Two championship, they turned to one man: Jonathan Palmer. A former F1 driver, Palmer raced in 87 grands prix for such teams as Williams and Tyrell, went on to commentate for the BBC, and owns and operates a handful of racing circuits around the UK. But his real qualification for the FIA contract was the Formula Palmer Audi series.
Palmer started the series in response to demand for a financially accessible but professionally-run feeder series for aspiring F1 drivers. Racing car constructor Van Diemen (now owned by Panoz) provided the spec chassis, and Audi its 20-valve 1.8-liter turbo four. The series ran for thirteen years, over the course of which such drivers as touring car champion Andy Priaulx and former F1/current IndyCar driver Justin Wilson found their footing, but it's now come to an end.
Todd Gordon Named Crew Chief for Penske Racing No. 22 NNS Team Penske Racing has announced that experienced crew chief Todd Gordon has been named as the crew chief for the defending NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) championship-winning No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge team for 2011.
Gordon, who most recently served as race engineer for Diamond-Waltrip Racing in the Nationwide Series, will take over the team that earned Penske Racing’s first NASCAR championship last season with driver Brad Keselowski claiming six wins, five poles and a series single-season record 26 top-five finishes. Gordon will be paired with Keselowski as the No. 22 team will once again pursue the Nationwide Series title in 2011.
Pirelli wraps up 2010 testing Formula One’s newest addition, Pirelli, has been hard at work this month with a scheduled five day testing session at the Bahrain International Circuit, where former Sauber driver and McLaren tester, Pedro de la Rosa was hard at work behind the wheel alongside former Renault driver, Romain Grosjean for a total of almost 3000 kilometers of testing.
The five day session didn’t go completely smoothly however with a sandstorm interrupting part of their session, however they were happy enough the results and now look ahead to the next test which will take place early next year at the Abu Dhabi circuit.
"I think this goes to show that, wherever you are in the world, uncertain weather can arrive in a variety of forms, but Formula One is all about expecting the unexpected, and we were able to quickly react to these changing circumstances by extending our test,” said Paul Hembery, motorsport director.
Tissot extends MotoGP contract Dorna Sports and Swiss watchmaker Tissot announced that they have extended their long-standing partnership as the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of MotoGP. The partnership began 10 years ago.
Commenting on the news, Francois Thiébaud, President of Tissot said, “At Tissot, we strive to produce top quality products for our clients all over the world. MotoGP is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and, hence, is a perfect match for our brand. We look forward to our continued work together in the future.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports commented, “At Dorna Sports, we are extremely proud to have extended MotoGP’s long and productive relationship with Tissot, the world’s largest producer of traditional Swiss watches and we look forward to continuing our excellent partnership in the coming years.”
Ford brings stop-start system to U.S. cars in 2012 Ford will equip many of its U.S. cars and SUVs with stop-start technology, beginning in 2012, that automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, cutting down on fuel use and emissions.
The technology, which Ford calls Auto Start-Stop, will be available with either manual or automatic transmissions. A Ford spokesman says engineers are still developing the technology so it will keep the pressure up in the automatic transmission fluid when the engine is stopped. The fluid pressure is needed for the transmission to operate properly.
GRAND-AM Announces Top 10 Moments From 2010 The 11th season for GRAND-AM Road Racing yielded several great stories in its Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Influenced by suggestions from fans, officials, teams, drivers and others in the industry, below are the top 10 stories from 2010.
Ganassi Racing's Pruett, Rojas Enjoy Record-Breaking Season: Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas enjoyed the most dominant season in GRAND-AM history, winning nine of 12 races en route to their second Daytona Prototype championship in three years - Pruett's third - while TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates won its fourth team title since 2004. In addition to victories, the team set records for podium finishes and team laps led, and Rojas led all drivers with four poles. (Click here for photo.)
Jennifer Jo Cobb on CNN's 'Anderson Cooper 360' Tuesday, December 28 NASCAR driver and team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb appeared on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" this week to discuss extreme living with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The interview was recorded in New York City on December 21 and is tentatively scheduled to air on Tuesday, December 28.
Cobb's fast-paced lifestyle made her a natural focus on the subject of extreme living. As a team owner and driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series, she is ready to thrash out the thrills, risks and rewards associated with stock car racing. The interview will focus on the on-track and off-track exploits of the driver's lifestyle.
Luca Filippi is still trying for a Formula 1 drive for 2011 even if it means returning to the role as test driver. Filippi, who was a front runner in the GP2 series a couple of years ago and was also official tester for Honda F1 team in 2008. Should his F1 ambitions fail, he has a plan B which is to contest the Auto GP series, formerly the Euro Formula 3000 series.
The Italian is quoted by the Auto GP website saying, “I’m seriously working to find a place in F1, no matter if it’s as a test driver. I already did that for Honda F1 in 2008, and I think that with what I’ve shown throughout my career I should be linked to an F1 team today. You know, last year after finishing 2nd in GP2 Asia a Formula 1 deal seemed really close for me, so I don’t feel that I can already call it quits. Anyway I must also be realistic and to be fair I can’t see that happening at the moment, too many things have to fall in place.”
Too early to overstate Vietnam GP chances - ministerUPDATE #2 "My mission is usually to inform interested parties about Formula 1 and what it takes to build a race track to FIA F1 standards and organize a GP," Geist said. "I would say that of all my informative meetings maybe 10 per cent develop into a serious concept. In Vietnam, my job was purely informational."
"On a related note, The Russian GP venue near Moscow is 50 per cent ready, I would say, we can expect the opening in 2012," he said. "I will assist the Russians until then."
12/20/10 (GMM) The Vietnamese government has played down the possibility of a formula one grand prix in the southeast Asian country.
It was reported last week that Hans Geist, linked in the past with F1 forays in Russia, Austria and Bahrain, has proposed a $150 million project to Vietnam's ministry of planning and investment.
The proposal is for a formula one circuit to be built near Nha Trang Bay in central Khanh Hoa province in three years.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment subsequently confirmed that a working session with Geist took place.
Kanaan (L) and de Ferran (R) are hoping for the best in a sport dominated by just two teams
To help the team remain upbeat, and to make the most out of being let go by the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team, Tony Kanaan is waxing that he can win races with the small De Ferran Dragon Racing team, even though it has not come even close to a win so far.
"I remember we went to Sebring on the test. I asked Gil, 'where are the guys?' He said, 'this is it...' I was like, 'oh, okay...'" Kanaan joked.
"Obviously it has been eight, almost nine, years with a big team. So it took me a little bit to get used to it. But in a funny way, I think it's great. It's a big challenge for both of us."
The 2004 IndyCar champion said he would not have signed for De Ferran Dragon if he did thought winning was out of the question.
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