Andretti Technical Director Returning To Schmidt SPEED.com reports that Allen McDonald, technical director for the championship-winning Andretti Autosport team, is leaving the team to re-join Sam Schmidt.
McDonald earned a win at the 2007 Indy 500 and the 2007 IndyCar Series championship with Dario Franchitti.
He will leave Andretti to become Alex Tagliani's race engineer at the FAZZT Race Team, which was purchased by Schmidt just weeks before the start of the 2011 season.
Scenes from Dakar Scrutineering and Practice In Lima, the spectators have been hurrying to the Dakar Village and the scrutineering site, where the favorites in the truck category were in attendance during the second day. The riders and crews of the 35th Dakar are already focused on the 8,500 kilometers of roads, tracks and dunes that they will have to tackle to reach Santiago.
After an already busy introductory day, the technical and administrative scrutineering for the Dakar 2013 continued with the arrival of some of the contenders to the crown. Firstly, it was the turn of the leading lights in the truck category who came through the gates of the waiting park to submit their vehicles to the race officials. Early in the morning, the Kamaz team arrived all together at the site. The setbacks experienced on the 2012 edition now belong to the past for the team with ten wins, who are especially counting on Eduard Nikolaev and Ayrat Mardeev to reacquaint themselves with success. The Russian team now has a captain whose aura should energize the group, because Vladimir Chagin is making his debut as a team manager: "It's a new start for me. It's almost as if I was starting my first rally all over again," said the seven times winner of the event. The assurance of the "Tsar" could make his rivals tremble, but Gerard De Rooy, the title holder, gave short shrift to the idea that he was weighed down by responsibility: "In reality, it was last year that the pressure was strongest. Now we have seen the level we reached and know what we are capable of, but we are also aware that it can all change dramatically in an instant on the Dakar. I know I have the best race number, but that is only worth something on the first day. After that, the road will be a long one".
AIM announces drivers for Rolex 24 Team principals Andrew Bordin and Remo Ferri announced today the complete driver lineups for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 24 – 27, where the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari F458 will be driven by Emil Assentato, Anthony Lazzaro, Nick Longhi and Guy Cosmo while the all-star squad of Jeff Segal, Max Papis, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander will drive the debuting No. 61 R.Ferri AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari F458.
Scuderia Corsa has added legendary GT driver and six-time ALMS champion, Olivier Beretta to its driver lineup for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team, which helped Ferrari win the GT manufacturers title in 2012, recently announced its participation at Daytona 24H with two cars.
“I am very happy to have Olivier back with us for Daytona” said team principal Giacomo Mattioli on having Beretta behind the wheel of his #63. “His level of experience and success in endurance racing is unsurpassed and makes him a great addition to our team once again. Scuderia Corsa is made up of true competitors, and we plan to give the Daytona fans an exciting race.”
USF2000 2013 driver lineup begins to take shape The driver lineups for several teams competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda have begun to take shape.
Canadian Stefan Rzadzinski will race for JDC Motorsports in USF2000 alongside Michael Johnson, team officials announced on Jan. 3. Rzadzinski, who has also raced in Firestone Indy Lights, competed in a limited Star Mazda schedule with JDC Motorsports in 2012.
Pabst Racing Services announced Dec. 28 that they have secured three drivers for the 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship class in INDYCAR's Mazda Road to Indy. Canadian Dalton Kellett will return for his second season with the team and will be joined by Jason Wolfe and 15-year-old Canadian Jesse Lazare.
Hunter-Reays welcome first child Ryan Hunter-Reay's memorable 2012 got an additional memory with the birth of his first child with wife Beccy - Ryden Hunter-Reay on Dec. 28.
Ryden weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19.5 inches
"I thought we would be dealing with this in mid-January, so it was unexpected," Hunter-Reay said. "His name is Ryden because my wife Beccy really wanted him to have the initials RHR. He's amazing. It was such an amazing experience. He was born on Dec. 28, which is my car number, so I guess it was meant to be. The first time through is a magic experience but as a dad standing alongside, it was very nerve-racking."
Velocity Wayne Taylor Racing’s New Primary Sponsor A brand new primary sponsor will adorn the No. 10 Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype of Wayne Taylor Racing, featuring co-drivers Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor, as it begins its quest to win the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship – the global customer engagement firm Velocity Worldwide.
With headquarters in New York, London, Dublin and Belfast, Velocity Worldwide has converged all digital and traditional communication channels into a single, unique platform called Darius. The Darius platform helps companies and brands create a continual conversation “eco-system” that enables them to meaningfully engage with and measure all interactions with their target audience.
Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has been named the third co-driver alongside 2013 full-time teammates Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor when the newly christened No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette Dallara DP for Wayne Taylor Racing takes to the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course for the 51st running of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Thursday’s announcement came on the eve of the annual Roar Before the 24 test days Friday through Sunday on the 12-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona road circuit. The Rolex 24 is set for Jan. 26-27.
Fiscal Cliff Deal Scales Back Upfront Tax Hits On Daytona Int'l Construction Buried in the 154-page deal reached by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff was a "section renewing 31 business tax extenders, including a seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes," according to a front-page piece by Dinah Voyles Pulver of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL.
The extension allows car, truck and motorcycle racing facilities across the nation to "continue fully depreciating new capital assets" over seven years. ISC Senior VP & CFO Dan Houser yesterday said it is a "very positive development," especially given the proposed changes to ISC-owned Daytona Int'l Speedway. DIS officials last year "announced plans for a massive renovation and expansion on their 663-acre complex, including the demolition and reconstruction of the grandstands, and an entertainment complex that could include up to 2 million square feet of retail space, nightclubs and movie theaters."
NASCAR Doesn’t Need Sellouts When the Government Hands Them $70 Million So you think it’s a big deal that numerous seats are empty at most tracks when NASCAR contests its races? Well, in an odd piece of news related to government officials in Washington playing political poker with the country’s budget, the Daytona Beach, Florida based stock car racing organization will receive $70 million as part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement.
According to a report from ABC News, the money comes as an extension of a “seven-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”
The $70 million amount is an estimate of lost tax revenue if current tax credits, which are scheduled to expire, are extended for a year. In other words, had the deal not been reached, NASCAR tracks would have owed $70 million more in taxes. Now, they will essentially get a pass on paying those taxes.
Versus, now NBC sports Network, has been a noose around IndyCar's neck just as AR1.com predicted when the 10-year deal was announced
Based on his verified Twitter account, ousted IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is not enamored with NBC Sports Network.
On Wednesday, Bernard linked to a Deadspin piece titled “Nobody Is Watching NBC Sports Network,” calling it “[v]ery interesting.” The Deadspin article cited a recent report on this website chronicling poor ratings on NBCSN.
Bernard then re-tweeted the following comment from WRTV sports anchor Dave Furst: “If by ‘interesting’ you mean ‘telling,’ then yes.” When another commenter asked if Bernard had struck the deal with NBCSN, he responded “[N]o sir!”
Pastrana to Drive Roush Fenway’s No. 60 Nationwide Ford Full-Time in 2013
Action sports legend Travis Pastrana will make the move to full-time NASCAR racing in 2013, driving Roush Fenway’s historic No. 60 Ford Mustang in all 33 events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
“I am extremely excited about making the move into full-time NASCAR competition in 2013 and equally thrilled to have the opportunity to make that move with Jack Roush and the team at Roush Fenway Racing,” said Pastrana, a four-time rally champion, motocross champion and multiple X Games gold medal winner.
Firebird Int’l Raceway Shutting Down Firebird Int’l Raceway will be shuttered at the end of April.
Firebird Int’l Raceway officials were recently notified that its lease on the Gila River Indian Community property will not be extended or renewed.
“After almost 30 years, it’s incredibly sad to know that we are looking at the end of Firebird International Raceway,” said Charlie Allen, president and owner of the facility since it opened in 1983. “But let me tell you, it’s been a heck of a great ride.”
Shane Hmiel To Get Back Behind Wheel At The Rock Ever since Shane Hmiel's accident left him paralyzed while attempting to qualify for a United States Auto Club race in Terra Haute, Ind. on Oct. 9, 2010, his road to recovery has been nothing short of miraculous and has served has an inspiration to many.
Doctors initially told Hmiel and his family that he had a 10 percent chance to live and that he would never walk or breathe on his own again. He wasn’t supposed to ever move his fingers again. He wasn’t supposed to ever move his arms again. He wasn’t supposed to ever move his toes or his feet again.
But he has defied the odds and overcome all those things.
Parkway closes on NASCAR Plaza purchase Parkway Properties Inc. closed on its $100 million purchase of the NASCAR Plaza building earlier this week, its third uptown office acquisition in 2012.
Last month, the Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment trust completed its $47.4 million purchase of the 525 North Tryon building in uptown Charlotte. Earlier in the year, the firm purchased the Hearst Tower from Bank of America Corp. for $250 million.
With its trio of uptown properties, Parkway now owns 1.7 million square feet of office space in the submarket. Parkway executives talked with analysts about their strategy for Charlotte late last year.
NASCAR today unveiled its much anticipated new website that emphasizes a cleaner, simpler design and dominant, full-screen imagery. The site's debut comes a year after the sanctioning body bought its digital rights back from Turner and follows an eight-figure investment in a new digital division.
The site will make written news secondary to digital illustrations, informational graphics and video. The top module, an image that covers the entire screen, will rotate through two to three features at any one time. Above it are a series of tabs for topics ranging from standings to drivers. NASCAR developed the site with SapientNitro. It will release a suite of mobile and tablet applications at a later date. Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal
Rzadzinski Reunites with JDC MotorSports for USF2000 Championship Campaign JDC MotorSports is excited to announce that Edmonton, Alb., junior formula car standout Stefan Rzadzinski will be part of its multi-car title
challenge in the 2013 edition of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
The 19 year-old Rzadzinski will make the move to USF2000 Championship competition this coming season, reuniting with JDC MotorSports after his Mazda Road to Indy debut last season via a part-time Star Mazda Championship effort with the multiple championship-winning squad. The talented Canadian, who enters the 2013 campaign with wins in Skip Barber Racing and the Ontario Formula Ford Championship on his resume, will be part of a highly-regarded line-up under the JDC awning, and focused on adding to his victory tally and challenging for both the Rookie of the Year and overall title honors. Prior to the start of the USF2000 Championship in mid-March, Rzadzinski will also take part in the series operated six-race Winterfest championship in Florida.
Bennett and Braun for Rolex 24 Two-time American Le Mans Series PC class championship runner-up Jon Bennett is set to make his Rolex 24 debut at Daytona this year with regular ALMS co-driver, Colin Braun.
The CORE autosport duo will join forces with Doran Racing's Dr. Jim Lowe and former Champ Car champion Paul Tracy in the newly upgraded No.77 Riley-bodied Dallara-Ford DP.
Rebellion Racing confirms Belicchi for 2013 EBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that the team has renewed the contract of Andrea Belicchi for their 2013 campaign.
The Italian driver has been part of the team since the beginning and has successfully driven in GT, LMP2 and LMP1 with the Swiss team. In 2012, Andrea won two rounds of the LMP1 Endurance Trophy at Silverstone and Shanghai in the FIA World Endurance Championship on top of four other podium finishes in the year.
Deal with flip-flopping Firestone big gamble for Mark Miles The recent agreement between Firestone and IndyCar to maintain the tire maker as the open-wheel series’ sole tire supplier through 2018 is an interesting one on several fronts.
First, the Dec. 21 announcement of the deal came just four days after Mark Miles had been installed as Hulman & Co.’s new CEO overseeing IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He told me a week before the announcement it was one of the first big issues he had to get nailed down.
The lingering tire supplier issue was making more than a few IndyCar constituents antsy heading into the new year, and Miles was certainly eager to relieve that angst.
Still, I’m surprised Miles didn’t take a little more time with this decision. Especially with the Hoosier Racing Tire Co. begging to get a shot at the contract.
GM Sells 1 Million 30 MPG-Plus Vehicles in 2012 General Motors is the first U.S. automaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in its home market in a single year that get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway test cycle.
“Our investments in advanced powertrains are clearly paying off, and our smaller vehicles are resonating with customers,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “In 2013, we'll introduce new diesel, eAssist and plug-in vehicles in the United States and expand the availability of turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
“This will give us the most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers in the industry.”
Fiscal Cliff Deal Includes $70M NASCAR Tax CreditUPDATE The NASCAR racing series, which is based in Daytona Beach, will receive a $70 million break in the new deal, higher than the $40 million originally thought.
According to a report by ABC News, the money comes as an extension of a “seven-year cost recovery period for certain motorsports racing track facilities.”
The $70 million price tag is an estimate of lost tax revenue if current tax credits, which are scheduled to expire, are extended for a year.
The racing industry isn't the only eyebrow-raising benefactor of the fiscal cliff deal, as Hollywood movie producers, Puerto Rican rum makers and even algae growers are getting some breaks in the deal.
COTA Announces New Marketing Partners Circuit of The Americas has announced its roster of inaugural corporate partners for the new purpose-built motorsports and entertainment facility in Central Texas. COTA hosted the 2012 United States Grand Prix Nov. 16-18, which was the second most-attended Formula One race of the season with more than 117,000 fans attending the race itself and 265,000 spectators visiting COTA over three days.
In 2013, Circuit of The Americas will host four new motorsports series, including MotoGP, V8 Supercars, GRAND-AM Road Racing and American Le Mans and the World Endurance Championships, in addition to its prestigious Formula One event. COTA will also open its highly anticipated Tower Amphitheater, the largest outdoor entertainment venue in Central Texas, which will host a variety of national touring shows booked by Live Nation, the world's largest live music and entertainment company.
Dakar Rally Statistics With the Dakar Rally about to start, here are some stats for you to ponder:
The number of titles up for grabs on the Dakar, in the bike, quad, car and truck categories.
10: The record number of victories on the event, held by Stephane Peterhansel with 6 titles on a bike and 4 in a car. Vladimir Chagin holds the record for victories in a single category, with 7 in the truck category.
14: The amount of day’s racing on the Dakar 2013. Timed specials will be raced on each of the stages, from 5th to 19th January with 20th January devoted to a winners’ ceremony in Santiago in Chile.
Ecclestone: "I'm not guilty" F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone on the sport itself and his legal battle: "I’m relaxed and innocent. I’ve still got a lot of ideas and, after 3 years of Red Bull domination, a change at the top would do the sport good – perhaps it’ll be Ferrari again" Bernie Ecclestone isn’t going anywhere and is starting to flex his muscles again.
Interviewed by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the F1 supremo assured everyone that he isn’t worried about his possible court case in Germany, relating to jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky: "I would be (worried) if I was guilty!” Bernie said. “But I’m not! Are they trying to entrap me? I don’t know and I don’t care! All I know is that people try anything when money is involved!”
Ecclestone gives Ferrari his backing , "I hope they can win in 2013" Bernie Ecclestone commenting on Fernando Alonso's year— He’s already forgotten about his disagreements with the team from Maranello, "Montezemolo is still a friend and I’m convinced that he didn’t really intend to say the things he said about me, about my age and my ability to continue to work. I’m happy – it’s just ‘role playing’!”
He’s also optimistic about the new Concorde Agreement, “we should be able to reach agreement soon”, and denies that he’s ‘an ally’ of the Red Bull team: "All I said was that they deserved to win the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles again and that I didn’t agree with the stance Ferrari were taking with the appeal against the alleged and non-existent rule infringement by Vettel at Interlagos.”
SpeedSource Named Official Engine Builder of Pro Mazda The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires has contracted the services of SpeedSource Race Engineering as the Official Engine Builder and Technical Consultant of the newly formed Mazda Road to Indy series which fills the opening vacated by Star Mazda. The Coral Springs, Fla., company will begin the remanufacturing of all Mazda Renesis rotary engines currently used in the championship to 2013 specifications and also provide internal modifications to ensure parity between engines and greater longevity of a season or more.
In addition to a long and notable history of racing under the Mazda banner, SpeedSource is the exclusive engine supplier of rotary engines to Mazda-powered GRAND-AM Rolex GT teams and is currently developing the Mazda SKYACTIV-D compound turbo diesel motorsports engine for the 2013 GRAND-AM GX class. Founded and led by accomplished driver and team owner Sylvain Tremblay in 1995 to provide full-service race services and custom components to club level and professional drivers, the company operates out of a 50,000 square foot facility that houses both development and racing applications.
JRM Signs Great Clips to 28-Race Sponsorship deal for Kahne, Sweet
JR Motorsports announced today significant developments in its 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series plans, as Great Clips Inc., the world’s largest hair salon brand, has signed a primary sponsorship agreement for 28 races next season. The partnership brings Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet to JR Motorsports, adding to a lineup that already includes Regan Smith, the series’ most recent winner, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
This will mark the 13th year Great Clips has used the Nationwide Series to market its brand, making it the series’ longest-running sponsor. Kahne has a long-standing relationship with Great Clips dating back to 2003 when the company served as primary sponsor for the up-and-coming driver for three seasons. The company also recently announced a sponsorship of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013.
Doran Racing confirms Rolex 24 lineup, Paul Tracy back
Paul Tracy is back!
Dr. Jim Lowe is preparing to start the New Year right as he heads down to the official three-day Roar Before the 24 test, at Daytona International Speedway beginning January 4, 2013. The Neurosurgeon from Villanova, Pennsylvania, will once again team with Paul Tracy behind the wheel of the No. 77 Doran Racing Ford Dallara Daytona Prototype led by Kevin Doran of Lebanon, Ohio. The team has confirmed they're running a Gen 3 Ford Dallara in the 2013 GRAND-AM North American Endurance Championship consisting of three endurance races held within the GRAND-AM Rolex Race Series beginning with the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona, scheduled for January 26, 27, 2013.
Grand-Am to announce 2014 class structure Speed.com reports that the class structure for the 2014 unified sports car championship for the merged American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM will come on Jan. 4 at Daytona International Speedway, during the annual "Roar Before the Rolex 24" pre-season test for Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series competitors.
NASCAR digital moving to Charlotte hub Charlotte’s burgeoning sports media industry adds another major player this week as NASCAR.com moves from Atlanta to a sleek new operations center in uptown.
Based on the eighth floor of the 20-story NASCAR Plaza office building at South Caldwell and East Stonewall streets, the hub will operate the motorsport group’s web operations and other digital products – including mobile apps expected to be rolled out in coming weeks – beginning Thursday.
Already, about 50 people have been hired for the operation and another 20 jobs will be filled in the first quarter, says Colin Smith, NASCAR Digital Media’s managing director.
Video: Patrick Racing Natural Gas Initiative Embracing natural gas as a safe and abundant transportation fuel, the legendary Patrick Racing Team has entered into an agreement with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron (ALMS), to identify development and testing opportunities for the fuel system to power the Series' Prototype Challenge class beginning in the 2013 season.
The following video explains Patrick Racing Natural Gas Initiative. Pat Patrick, Team Manager Jim McGee and Pegasus Marketing's Ralph Hansen are featured. Six minutes of video that will give you reason to ask even more questions, which is its intent. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Salt Walther diesUPDATE #2A press release from IMS: Charismatic Indianapolis 500 veteran David "Salt" Walther, died Dec. 27 in Northwood, Ohio. He was 65.
Walther, from Dayton, Ohio, made seven Indianapolis 500 starts from 1972-79, with a best finish of ninth in the rain-shortened race in 1976. But sadly he is probably best remembered for suffering major injuries in a spectacular accident at the start of the 1973 Indianapolis 500.
Walther, whose nickname "Salt" was courtesy of some pun-loving boyhood classmates who were amused by his surname, was aware of racing from his earliest memories. His father, George Walther, was a Dayton industrialist who fielded "500" cars in the 1950s and 60s for Troy Ruttman, Carl Williams, Mike Magill and others, while giving rookie tests to such notables as Johnny Rutherford, Elmer George, and most famously in 1958, five-time World Champion Juan Manual Fangio.
Kia Motors Announces Google Maps Integration to Enhance In-Car Connectivity Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced it will work with Google to provide content and search-based solutions enabled by Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for the second-generation of the automaker's innovative UVO eServices telematics system. These new solutions will initially be introduced on the new 2014 Sorento CUV. The immediate integration of Google solutions will utilize Google Maps and Google Places to acquire driving directions and locate Points of Interest (POIs) in a seamless and organic manner. KMA and Google look forward to continuing to work together to bring innovative navigation solutions to enhance the connected car experience. Press Release
Glock: McLaren wind tunnel work a boost Timo Glock says the aerodynamic work that has been carried out by his Marussia team at McLaren's wind tunnel 'looks very positive' for future seasons, with the German driver hopeful of moving up the Formula 1 grid in 2013.
The Banbury-based outfit first entered the sport as Virgin Racing back in 2010, competing with a solely CFD-designed car. Since then, it has substantially widened its research methods, something which fills Glock with optimism.
"I think the wind tunnel work paid off since we went to McLaren, and that looks very positive for the future," he said. "It was a difficult year in 2012 with a very difficult start; going to Australia with no testing. But I think since then we've improved the car quite a lot.
2013 Toro Rosso 'very different' - Ricciardo (GMM) This year Toro Rosso car is "very different" to the 2012 model, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed.
Ricciardo and his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne finished last season eighteenth and seventeenth consecutively, with the Faenza based squad ahead only of the sport's three newest teams in the constructors' standings.
23-year-old Ricciardo has acknowledged the pressure to improve in 2013.
Doran Racing Confirms 2013 Plans Doran Racing will field a Gen 3 Ford Dallara during the 2013 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series North American Endurance Championship, beginning with the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Dr. Jim Lowe will team with Paul Tracy, Colin Braun and Jon Bennett for the Rolex 24 and Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. Lowe and Tracy will drive for Doran at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the final NAEC event in 2013.
Max Papis (with wife Tati) - IndyCar and sports car driver turned NASCAR coach
Max Papis, who gained fame in central Ohio when he raced for Bobby Rahal in CART, was hired to help Austin and Ty Dillon (grandsons of Richard Childress) last week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during a Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series test.
"We work out together. I show them the strengths and weaknesses of what helped me to become who I am," Papis said of some of his duties.
"We do a lot of analysis of how we talk, how we approach the business, the mental and physical aspect of the racing. When I show up to the races, 80% of the job is done. We are preparing ourselves really well before. I'm really proud to see the improvement both kids had. I got them at the beginning of the season, and they were really shy. I saw a lot of changes, and we are just in the beginning."
The N.C. Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a Mecklenburg judge's order unsealing the secret documents in NASCAR Chairman Brian France's legal battle with his former wife. The appeals court ruling is the latest twist in Brian and Megan France's efforts to keep secret the details of their legal wrangling and the contents of their separation agreement.
Brian France has sought to scrap the agreement with his ex-wife that calls for him to pay the mother of his two children millions of dollars as well as more than $40,000 a month in alimony and child support. The NASCAR chairman claims Megan France breached their confidential separation agreement.
Brian and Megan France also had sought to have the court hearings closed to the public. The appeals court ruling Monday upholds Mecklenburg District Judge Jena Culler's ruling in August 2011 unsealing the documents in the Frances' litigation. Culler also overturned an order by a former judge sealing the documents in 2008. More at the Charlotte Observer
Phoenix Racing gearing up for many changes in 2013 As the clock winds down on 2012, Phoenix Racing, based in Spartanburg, is looking ahead to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and it's going to be a season full of changes.
“One of the biggest changes is the change in the Chevy body styles,” Hendersonville's Steve Barkdoll, general manager of Phoenix Racing, said. “Sprint Cup is going to the Chevy SS and Nationwide to the Chevy Camaro. For a small team like us, that creates a lot more work, and our guys in the shop are doing an incredible job. They've been working non-stop to get ready for the season, and we've already got a couple of new cars in the shop that look really sharp.”
Just like last year, Phoenix Racing will be using multiple drivers.
Top open wheel prospect Kyle Larson wants NASCAR over IndyCar
Kyle Larson - why buy an IndyCar ride when he can be paid to drive
One of open wheel racing's top young drivers is headed to NASCAR where he can be paid to drive rather than to IndyCar, which has little sponsorship and he has to buy his ride. More evidence NASCAR needs to buy IndyCar.
Kyle Larson wants to race in NASCAR because he wants to follow the path of such star drivers as Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.
The 20-year-old Larson competed in more than 125 races—including 29 victories—in 2012 racing everything from Dirt Late Models to winged Sprint cars to Camping World Truck Series events. Not even 10 percent of his races came in the series where he won the title as Larson captured the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East crown.
Finding the AR1 apps A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, We got two iPhones, an iPad Mini and an iPad in our house for Christmas. Do you have apps in the Apple app store? Jane Millburn
Dear Jane, Yes we have an app for the iPhone as well as the iPad. Just go to the app store and search for AR1. Once you download it you can sign in with the same credentials as you sign into our website. The app will remember your credentials thereafter. Enjoy. Mark C.
Fatigue 2nd most likely cause of traffic accidents. Twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when people talk on cellphones or send text messages while driving, according to a study released by the National Safety Council. But a new study shows that driving tired is the 2nd most leading cause of traffic accidents and 17% of all traffic fatalities are caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
American drivers are more likely to drive while drowsy according to new data presented by AAA. Based on a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in seven licensed drivers ages 16-24 admitted to having nodded off at least once while driving in the past year and one in ten of all licensed drivers who confessed to falling asleep during the same period.
These new findings echo data from a 2010 AAA Foundation study of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data that estimates that young drivers age 16-24 were more likely, by some 78 percent, to be drowsy at the time of the crash as drivers age 40-59. This earlier analysis also revealed that one in six deadly crashes (17%) involve a drowsy driver, making it one of the leading contributors to traffic crashes.
Nico Hulkenberg had a seat fitting for Sauber's new C32 chassis this week, beginning his transition phase from Force India.
Hulkenberg, who has two Formula 1 seasons under his belt, met with engineers and sat in a base tub at the outfit's Hinwil factory. The 25-year-old will race alongside Esteban Gutierrez next season, the Mexican graduating from feeder series GP2.
Bernie Ecclestone has spoken for the first time about how his reign as Formula One’s chief executive could be threatened if he is charged in a bribery case in Germany surrounding the $1.6bn sale of the motor racing series to private equity firm CVC in 2006.
The case concerns a $44m bribe Mr. Ecclestone allegedly paid to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, to wave through the sale to CVC.
Mr. Ecclestone says CVC “will probably be forced to get rid of me if the Germans come after me. It’s pretty obvious, if I’m locked up”.
Red Bull's technical director Adrian Newey says there is no guarantee that his team will be able to maintain its advantage into 2013.
Red Bull won its third consecutive constructors' and drivers' championships this year and by the end of the season had one of the fastest cars on the grid. Next year's regulations will not change a huge amount from 2012, meaning Red Bull can continue to develop the RB8 into the RB9, but Newey said his team is not getting complacent.
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen was happy with the decision to limit the use of the Drag Reducing System (DRS) in the 2013 Formula One season, saying that it is a sensible decision that will improve safety.
DRS allows drivers to get a boost in performance by opening a flap on the rear wing has always been restricted to certain areas of the track, but had been available more freely in both practice and qualifying.
However, at the final World Motor Sport Council meeting of the year the FIA decided to ban free use of DRS in practice as well as qualifying and will impose the same restrictions that in place for race days during those sessions.
Five questions with Baltimore Race On's new vice president
Debbie Bell - Race On's vice president for sales and marketing
The goal for Race On is clear: To make the Grand Prix of Baltimore a long-term fixture, the company must generate significantly more money from Baltimore businesses and fans.
Enter Debbie Bell. The former director of corporate sales and sponsorship for the Orioles has been named Race On's vice president for sales and marketing, officially becoming the first full-time employee of the promotion company founded by financier J.P. Grant and construction executive Greg O'Neill. She's been on the job for about two weeks, spending much of her time trying to drum up enthusiasm — and persuade business owners to set aside some of their 2013 budget to help support the Labor Day weekend auto racing festival.
"Formula E" Electricity-Powered Racing Series In Talks With London As Debut Venue Organizers of a “revolutionary series that will race cars powered only by electricity have approached Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, to make the capital the venue for the first ‘green’ grand prix," according to Kevin Eason of the London Times. The series is sanctioned by the FIA and organizers are calling the project “Formula E.” Spanish investor and former EPL club Queens Park Rangers Chair Alejandro Agag is “behind the series.” He has “already signed up Rome and Rio de Janeiro and is negotiating with cities from Beijing to Los Angeles for races.” Africa also is “on the list, with Marrakesh, in Morocco, and Cape Town both showing interest.” But Agag wants London to be the "first host of Formula E.”
Danica Patrick’s arrival signals changes at Stewart-Haas Racing Our NASCAR offseason analysis series continues with a look at Stewart-Haas Racing, where Danica Patrick is set to embark on her first full season of running the Sprint Cup Series. 2012 In The Rearview
After Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman combined to win three of the first six races, 2012 appeared to have all the makings of being Stewart-Haas Racing's year. But that thought quickly went south, as the team won just once more and was never able to maintain its early season magic.
Stewart ended the year a rather mundane ninth overall, while Newman suffered through an 11-race stretch where he finished no better than 12th and missed the Chase for the fifth time in seven years.
Are Lotus race simulators junk? Kimi Raikkonen doesn't believe the new Lotus race simulators will be much use to him ahead of next season, saying that he does the majority of his testing on actual circuits.
Romain Grosjean used Lotus's new simulator at Enstone for the first time ahead of the US grand Prix last year, after the team invested substantial funds in order to bring the facilities up to the same standards as those of their rivals.
Grosjean commented at the time that he hopes it would help "for testing the things that we don't have time to test on track", but the 2007 World Champion Raikkonen isn't convinced by the new training facility.
Nigel Mansell the used car dealer What does a retired grand prix CART IndyCar star do to fill his days on leaving the world of motorsport? For Jody Scheckter it’s all about organic buffalo farming, Carlos Reutemann prefers the world of Argentine politics and Sir Stirling Moss narrated a toddlers’ telly show. By comparison, Nigel Mansell’s latest venture seems a little mundane: 20 years after winning the Formula One world championship he is opening a used-car dealership in Jersey.
Any islanders with upwards of $6,000 in their pocket can head to the historic Art Deco building in St Helier that is being renovated and from January will be home to the Mansell Collection. There, either Leo Mansell or, if they are lucky, his father, will help source their dream car, while they browse “Our Nige’s” trophies and race-winning cars in a new museum. For motorsport fans it sounds like a dream come true, but surely Nigel could find a more exhilarating pastime?
Webb returns to FR3.5 with Fortec British racing driver Oliver Webb has today confirmed his plans for the 2013 season, announcing that he will join Fortec Motorsports to compete in the World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Series. BRDC Superstar driver Webb joins 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion, Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, to complete a competitive driver pairing for the British-based team.
Cheshire-born Webb has a strong relationship with Fortec Motorsports having spent two successful seasons contesting in the Formula Renault championship in 2008 and 2009, before remaining with the team to progress to British Formula 3 in 2010. The 2010 season with Fortec saw the former MSA Team UK driver and current BRDC member claim three wins, 14 podiums, and eight fastest laps en route to finishing third in the championship behind current Formula 1T driver Jean-Eric Vergne.
More on some NASCAR TV shows Rumors include the end of the Trackside series on SPEED which was drastically changed last season into an unwatchable mess. Shows like RaceDay, RaceHub and Victory Lane are set to return. Bob Varsha is stepping into the former Leigh Diffey role and handling sports cars on SPEED beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Diffey departed SPEED for NBCSN where he will handle Formula One and IndyCar telecasts.
There have been no announcements on the TNT and ESPN portions of the Sprint Cup Series TV package changing hands. Rumors include FOX wanting the six TNT races and NBC perhaps interested in the ESPN package. You may remember that ESPN also televises the entire Nationwide Series. The current TV deal expires after the 2014 season. Daly Planet
How CORE autosport's Morgan Brady built the top PC team in the U.S. In April of 2010, CORE autosport founder Jonathan Bennett showed his new team manager Morgan Brady into an office at Composite Resources, Bennett's manufacturing company. 'Call me when you have a race team,' Bennett said. That's a lot of faith to place in someone you met at a gym wearing an American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n shirt, but Bennett made a shrewd choice in Brady who has since delivered back-to-back PC championships for CORE.
Brady made his own leap of faith when he met Jon. The mild-mannered business owner's second statement upon meeting Brady was 'I'm going to start an ALMS team in Charlotte.' It was a bold declaration, but a tour of Bennett's Composite Resources operation convinced Brady this was a real opportunity to build a successful race team.
Stewart to run the Chili Bowl Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) announced that three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #14-Tony Stewart has joined the star-studded field of entrants for the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Center, which kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 8 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 12. Stewart finished 10th in last year's finale after not participating in the event for three consecutive seasons (2009-2011). This year, he returns to action in the TSR #14 Chevrolet Performance/Spike/Chevy in the most prestigious Midget race of the year.
The annual Chili Bowl, which takes place inside the typically fan-packed confines of the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway, will see Stewart and more than 200 drivers attempt to qualify for one of the coveted spots in Saturday's 50-lap A-Main finale. Each driver will participate in a qualifying program and accumulate points.(TSR), some other drivers with NASCAR connections include: J.J. Yeley, Bobby East, Cole Whitt, Dakoda Armstrong, Tracy Hines, Justin Allgaier, Billy Pauch, Kevin Swindell, Bryan Clauson, Tim McCreadie, Brad Sweet, A.J. Fike, Kyle Larson, Tyler Walker, Brad Noffsinger, P.J. Jones.
Toyota to pay customers up to $1.4 billion total to settle unintended-acceleration Toyota said today it has agreed to settle a class action related to its 2010 recalls for unintended acceleration that is valued at between $1.1 billion and $1.4 billion.
The automaker said it plans to take a $1.1-billion accounting charge to cover the settlement.
Meanwhile, a law firm representing plaintiffs that sued Toyota estimates that the settlement could cost Toyota between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion.
Either way, it is among the largest settlements of its kind.
GM races with VW for 2013 China crown as Toyota struggles Volkswagen AG will vie with General Motors for the sales crown among foreign automakers in China next year, gaining share as Japanese carmakers led by Toyota Motor Corp. struggle to recover amid a territorial dispute.
VW, whose luxury Audi sedans are popular with Chinese bureaucrats, hasn't held the lead in the country since 2004 and will probably sell 2.7 million vehicles in the country next year to GM's 2.65 million, helped by eight new or revamped models including the Santana, Golf, Skoda Octavia and Audi Q3, according to industry researcher JSC Automotive Consulting. GM's new offerings include the Cadillac XTS and three Opel models.
Q&A: ALMS Driver Tommy Milner From his debut in 2006 at age 20, driving for the Panoz factory team, to his move to Rahal Letterman Racing and BMW Team RLL followed by his now budding career at Corvette Racing, Milner has gone from “Tom Milner’s son” to one of America’s brightest sports car talents.
He won the hearts of the Corvette nation with a GTE Pro win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011 and continued to fill the trophy case in 2012 with his first four ALMS race wins and an ALMS championship. What else is Milner hoping to add to his resume?
Question: Has anything changed for you since becoming a 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n GT champion?
Veteran IndyCar engineer Lee Dykstra is set to join Juncos Racing in the role of race engineer for the squad's second Firestone Indy Lights season
Dykstra, former engineer to IndyCar drivers James Hinchcliffe, Raphael Matos, and Graham Rahal, brings a high level of experience to the growing team. During Dykstra's previous five seasons as engineer he helped claim a championship, three runner-up championships, 17 wins and 14 poles within the Indy Lights and Champ Car Atlantic series. Dykstra's also served as Director of Technology for the Champ Car World Series, as well as president of Special Chassis Inc., and of Dekon Engineering.
Russian GP firm hails track progress Organizers of the first Russian Grand Prix have announced that the new Sochi track is firmly on target, with the race control complex in the "final stages" of construction.
Sochi will host its first Formula 1 race in 2014, with the circuit being created within the complex that will be used for that year's Winter Olympics.
A statement from circuit operating company Formula Sochi said that the race control building was nearing completion, with "exterior and interior works and installation works" on the pit complex to get underway next spring.
Robby Gordon unlikely to run NASCAR in 2013UPDATE "With Robby's attention towards the 2013 Dakar Rally and the inaugural season of Robby Gordon OFF-ROAD's Stadium SUPER Truck Series (SST), there has been a lot of speculation regarding his future NASCAR plans. We are all focused on providing an exciting kick-off to the 2013 SST season at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ on April 6th. At the same time, we would never rule out the possibility of running selected NASCAR events." RGM/Spokesperson Alison McCabe
12/19/12 Robby Gordon, who raced his way into the Daytona 500 last year as part of a light NASCAR schedule, is not scheduled to do any NASCAR racing in 2013. Spokesperson Alison McCabe said she doesn't think Gordon will participate in NASCAR due to his involvement in his new racing project, Robby Gordon's Stadium Super Trucks series. The 12-race off-road stadium series will debut April 6 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The Stadium Super Trucks series will be televised by NBC and the NBC Sports Network. Sponsorship woes with his self-owned team led to him racing only three times in 2012: the season-opener at Daytona, race No. 2 at Phoenix and the road-course race at Sonoma. He failed to qualify for early-season races at Las Vegas and Fontana. As the World Turns Left
317-acre recreational retreat proposed at DEIUPDATE Despite opposition from neighbors concerned about traffic and noise, Teresa Earnhardt, wife of the late racing great Dale Earnhardt, received a permit this week to create a 317-acre outdoor activities center on rural N.C. 3 in Mooresville. Dick Brolin of Piedmont Design Associates in Mooresville spoke for Earnhardt at an hour-long public hearing in Statesville Thursday night called by the Iredell County Board of Adjustment. Earnhardt sat in the audience but didn't address the board, which approved the permit 6-0. Brolin said the site has nearly 5 miles of trails -- basically "farm roads" used for existing farming operations on the property. Parking for 300 people is planned, with overflow parking available on numerous grassy areas, he said.
Charlotte lawyer Ben Ellis, also representing Earnhardt at the hearing, said the site would be available only to those with memberships, who would then have to make reservations. Activities also could be made available to horseback riding and fishing clubs and such non-profits as schools and the Girl Scouts, he said. Charlotte Observer
Jarrett's son to play baseball with Charlotte 49ers Zach Jarrett, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, was one of eight baseball players signed by UNC Charlotte during the early commitment period for the 2014 season. Jarrett, 17, played third base for the Hickory High (N.C.) Red Tornadoes for coach David Craft, and was a prep teammate of current 49er Tyler Barnette. He also was a participant in the State Games after an All-Northwestern Conference season and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. He posted 15 RBI in 62 plate appearances with a .355 batting average. He was also rated as a national "high follow" by Perfect Game Crosschecker. A two-sport star at Hickory, Jarrett was a member of the varsity basketball team which finished as the state runners-up in the 3A classification. Charlotte Observer
NASCAR's Trevor Bayne is stepping out of the fast lane and settling down. The Knoxville area native and 2011 Daytona 500 champion has announced his engagement on Twitter. "Well Ladies and Gentlemen, she said yes," Bayne tweeted. The message was accompanied with a photo of Bayne and his fiance, Ashton Clapp, at a ski slope. Bayne's father confirmed the engagement via text message to WATE 6 Sports on Saturday. Rocky Bayne said Clapp is also from the Knoxville area and said no wedding date has been set. WATE
Norisring rescheduled - fans can attend both DTM and F1 New dates for the 2013 DTM calendar: as response to the changes on the 2013 Formula 1 calendar, the most popular international touring-car series also has adapted its calendar for the coming season. To make sure that the German car racing enthusiasts aren’t forced to make a choice between the German Grand Prix and the DTM highlight at the Norisring, due to the new date for the Formula 1 event, the tradition-rich race at Nuremberg’s street circuit has been rescheduled and will be held a week later than originally planned - on 14th July.
This change results in another three alterations: due to logistic reasons, the race at Zandvoort’s dune circuit will now be held on 29th September - as penultimate round of the season - between the race at Oschersleben (15th September) and the traditional season finale at Hockenheim (20th October).
Video: Christmas at Ferrari Take a look back at Ferrari's festive celebrations at its Maranello factory. It's a day for the children here in Maranello, as once a year at Ferrari it's all about them. Today is their party, the Kids Christmas, a traditional event that takes place every year as part of the Christmas festivities. It is held in a marquee erected alongside the Product Development Centre building and inside there are a whole host of games, attractions and stages which play host to a series of performances all aimed at the very youngest Ferraristi.
Honda Red Riders Rewards program to continue American Honda proudly announces the continuation of the Red Riders Rewards program for 2013, with more than $5 million in earnings available to racers. For the upcoming racing season, the Red Rider Rewards program will provide Honda owners with thousands of opportunities to earn payouts at more than 1500 race events across the United States including motocross, off-road events, dirt track, ATV and road racing. There's even contingency for the exciting new CBR500R. Riders on CRF150Rs will benefit from industry-leading payouts in both off-road and MX events.
Ford issues predictions for next wave of automotive electronics innovation State-of-the-art sensing, computing and communications systems are not only quickly changing consumer expectations in people’s everyday lives, but are driving innovation in the automotive industry at an incredible pace in preparation for the future.
“Ford was founded on the innovative spirit of Henry Ford, and the opportunity today to reinvent the driving experience excites us just as it probably would have him,” said Paul Mascarenas, vice president and chief technical officer of Ford. “Technology is enabling Ford to bring a new level of awareness and intelligence that will dramatically enhance our customers’ time behind the wheel.”
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