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DATE News (chronologically)
01/04/10
atlantic
Mathiasen Motorsports Formula Atlantic Team for Sale  Mathiasen Motorsports has decided to discontinue its Motorsports racing activities and is selling all of its racing and shop equipment including its Kenworth truck and Sooner trailer, pit carts, golf cart, office furniture, computers, work benches, cabinets, steel racks, machine tools, supplies, radios and other hardware, and it’s large inventory of spare Atlantic parts including a Swift tub, suspension, gear box, front and rear wings, noses, gear ratios and spring sets, set-up equipment , lifts and stands and Pi electronic equipment. Everything is Championship caliber maintained in excellent condition and can be inspected at its race shop in Brownsburg, IN, a short drive from the Indianapolis airport. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of high quality parts and equipment at very reasonable prices to either upgrade or establish a new team in open wheel, motorcycle, or other Motorsports racing activities.

Owner would prefer to sell everything in bulk. Certain items are not divisible. Any reasonable offer will be considered. Interested parties should contact Mark Giuffre, Team Manager, at 317-205-4271 or  e mail at mgoof74@comcast.net

01/04/10
irl
Rahal Tests a Lamborghini Gallardo for Autoweek Magazine  Newman Haas Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal and Mac Morrison's reviewed Underground Racing's Lamborghini Gallardo for the Dec. 28 issue of AutoWeek magazine.  The link also includes a video of Graham, who was fighting an E. coli infection at the time.

Rahal, who was born on January 4, 1989, is celebrating his 21st birthday today.
01/04/10
ga
Sick Edmondson also steps down from Grand-Am  GRAND-AM Road Racing (GRAND-AM) announced today that President Roger Edmondson is taking a leave of absence, effective Jan. 4, 2010, to address personal health issues.

GRAND-AM has grown and flourished under Edmondson's leadership since its inception in 1999. Tom Bledsoe will assume the day-to-day leadership role for GRAND-AM and continue to be supported by the management team including Vice President of Competition Dave Spitzer, Managing Director of Competition Mark Raffauf and Vice President of Marketing & Communications Kevin Hindson. Additionally, GRAND-AM continues to have the full backing and resources of NASCAR, which purchased GRAND-AM in 2008.

Bledsoe has fulfilled the role of Chief Operating Officer for GRAND-AM during the past eight years and has held the position of Treasurer for NASCAR since 1993. In his elevated role within GRAND-AM, Bledsoe will continue to provide strong leadership as its Chief Operating Officer and chair the GRAND-AM Management Committee.

01/04/10
irl
Andretti Autosport signs Hunter-Reay  
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport has signed Phillips-Van Heusen and its IZOD brand to team with driver Ryan Hunter-Reay during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season and outlined the first phase of Hunter-Reay's program.

The initial focus of Hunter-Reay's effort in the #37 IZOD entry will be the 2010 Indianapolis 500 and will also include a number of other key series events before and after the month of May. The total number and location of those races has not yet been finalized.

The second phase of Hunter Reay's Andretti Autosport program is targeted at running the full IZOD IndyCar Series schedule and is still in development. More ...
01/04/10
tv news
SPEED announces live Barrett Jackson Coverage  SPEED, the definitive network for NASCAR, high-performance competition and the automotive lifestyle, is set for 39 hours of live coverage from the 39th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction from Westworld in Scottsdale (Ariz.) starting Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The annual ‘no reserve’ auction will anchor six-consecutive broadcast days on SPEED, and will be highlighted by some of the rarest and most desirable collector cars within the marketplace today. This week-long fete has been considered by some in the industry as the defining barometer for the direction of the collector car marketplace each New Year. More ...
01/04/10
tv news
SPEED Live Coast to Coast in January  Beginning with unprecedented live twin-bill coverage of the USHRA Monster Jam event from Atlanta’s Georgia Dome (7 p.m. ET) and the season-opening AMA Supercross event from Anaheim (10 p.m. ET) on Jan. 9, SPEED rolls into 2010 with a full slate of live event programming in January.

On Jan. 15 & 16, SPEED will be live from Daytona Beach as NASCAR drivers kick off the racing season with NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, with Daytona 500 winners Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. among the drivers scheduled to appear. More ...
01/04/10
irl
Bourdais nominated for Driver of Century  
Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver and four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais is among nine drivers in the running for ESPN's Driver of the Decade, which will be awarded on Jan. 11 based on a vote from their panel of experts. 
Bourdais was the first open wheel or NASCAR driver to ever win four consecutive titles (2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007).  Overall, four in a row is very rare in professional sports in general.  In his five seasons in Champ Car, he went from Rookie of the Year to four-time champion and amassed 31 wins and 31 poles (42.4 percent each) as well as led a total of 2,103 laps out of a possible 6,905. More ...
01/04/10
nassprint
Furniture Row Racing Fills Three Key Positions  Furniture Row Racing announced today that it has filled three key positions as the Colorado-based NASCAR team prepares to run a full Sprint Cup schedule in 2010 with driver Regan Smith.

Ryan Coniam has been promoted to crew chief while Mark McArdle joins the team as managing director of competition and Pete Rondeau, also new to the team, will serve as car chief for Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet Impala.

“What's exciting about Ryan, Mark and Pete spearheading three essential areas is that it brings a special synergy to Furniture Row Racing," said team general manager Joe Garone. "I worked with Mark back when we helped start PPI Motorsports in the Cup series. Ryan and Regan worked together at Ginn Racing  and Mark and Pete were teammates at Richard Petty Motorsports. We have good chemistry which most likely will shorten the all-important learning curve. The addition of these three individuals has generated a new wave of optimism to our team.”

Coniam, 30, a native of Burlington, Ontario (a Toronto suburb) joined Furniture Row Racing in early November following two years as a race engineer at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). During his stint at MWR he was the race engineer for Michael McDowell's entry in 2008, and the past year he was liaison between MWR and Germain Racing while overseeing the race engineering duties for driver Max Papis.

Coniam began his engineering Cup career in August 2005 with MB2 Motorsports and worked the following two seasons with the race team, which eventually merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. A 2000 mechanical engineering graduate from Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, Coniam is a former sprint car racer in the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions series.

“I am both excited and humbled to have been offered a position that I have dreamed about,” said Coniam, son of Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Warren Coniam. “With the driving talent of Regan plus the resources at Furniture Row Racing, I am full of confidence that we can achieve success in 2010.”

McArdle, a successful veteran of Indy Car and Stock Car racing, previously worked at Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as vice president and managing director of competition.

The 52-year-old La Crosse, Wis. native was a renowned engine builder and technical specialist in Indy Car Racing, dating back to 1986. He was the engine builder for two of Penske Racing’s Indianapolis 500 victories -- Rick Mears in 1991 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1993. McArdle later joined Ilmor Engineering and served as the engine builder for the Mercedes Benz pushrod engine project that powered Al Unser Jr. to the Indy 500 win in 1994.

McArdle moved to stock car racing in the fall of 1999 as technical director with PPI Motorsports. After two years at PPI, he became general manager of Yates Racing Engines from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2003. He joined Evernham Motorsports (now Richard Petty Motorsports) in May 2003 where he directed the team's engine program for more than six years, and at the end of the 2007 season was named managing director of competition.

“I am full of enthusiasm and eagerly look forward to this new endeavor,” said McArdle, who has been involved in 18 career Cup wins in various capacities. “What is appealing is the team’s unyielding commitment to build on its already solid foundation.”

Rondeau, 44, joins Furniture Row Racing from Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as the team's director of research and development since July 2005. Prior to his employment at Richard Petty Motorsports, which was formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Rondeau worked at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (2001 to May 2005) and Jasper Motorsports (1998-2001). During his three-plus years at DEI, Rondeau's positions included the crew chief role for both Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

"It's an exciting time at Furniture Row Racing and I am happy to be joining the organization," said Rondeau, a native of Saco, Maine. "This is a great opportunity and can’t wait to kick off the 2010 season at Daytona." (press release)
01/04/10
f1
Crashgate appeal verdict to be known Tuesday  (GMM)  The Tribune de Grande Instance will on Tuesday declare the outcome of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds' legal bid to overturn their bans from motor racing.

The Paris court heard the case, instigated by ousted Renault boss Briatore who was banned by the FIA for life over the so-called crashgate scandal, and supported by the team's engineering director Symonds who was banned for five years, in November.

As well as the annulment of his ban, which would likely safeguard his role with the English football club Queens Park Rangers, 59-year-old Briatore is seeking 1 million euros in damages. More ...

01/04/10
f1
Raikkonen - 'perhaps I'll go to Monaco GP'  (GMM)  For now at least, Kimi Raikkonen has eyes only for his new rally foray.

The Finn agreed a settlement with Ferrari this year to end his contract early, turned down a solid McLaren offer, and subsequently signed up with Red Bull backing to do the full 2010 World Rally calendar at the wheel of a Citroen C4.

Asked in an interview published in German by the Red Bulletin, 30-year-old Raikkonen admitted he is currently not overly interested in F1.

"Perhaps for fun I'll go to the (2010) Monaco grand prix.  As it looks now, I would get another F1 cockpit.

"But do I want it?" wondered the 2007 world champion, who won 18 of his 157 career grands prix since 2001.

"What's happening in formula one at the moment are unpleasant things; manufacturers leaving one after another or selling their teams.

"I'm glad I don't have to worry about it (F1) at the moment," Raikkonen said.  "In a year, we'll talk." More ...

01/04/10
f1
Windsor unhappy with summer shutdown  UPDATE (GMM)  Peter Windsor is unhappy that, as in 2009, F1 factories will again shut down this August.

The move, introduced by the FOTA team alliance last year, was billed as a cost-saving initiative.

But some teams including Williams complained that the shutdown only increased costs by subsequently requiring a more intensive effort to catch up on lost time.

USF1 sporting director Windsor wrote in his blog that the August shutdown is to happen again in 2010, following a team meeting earlier this year.

"I was impressed to hear the McLaren guys say that it was a waste of time and that most of their staff had found it all very frustrating, but sadly these were lone voices: the majority of the teams, led by Red Bull, it seemed to me, are firmly committed to the summer shutdown," he said.

Windsor added that the August shutdown will be particularly frustrating for Charlotte based USF1, because unlike in Europe, "August for Americans is just another working month in which some people maybe take a week or two away".

He also said the US is "much more industrious than the UK" in general, with business halted for Christmas and New Year's days, but Europe basically shut down until today.

"That's 16 valuable days lost in the too-short life of the F1 European winter," said Windsor. More ...

01/04/10
f1
Ron Dennis dismayed by F1 politics  Following a career which saw him involved in Formula 1 for over three decades, Ron Dennis quietly departed early last season following the controversial 'Liegate' scandal involving the McLaren team. Now head of the company's road car division, McLaren Automotive, the Englishman has criticized the numerous negative judgments made during his time in the sport.

Having lead McLaren to various Constructors' titles plus Drivers' trophies for Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton, Dennis is undoubtedly one of the most successful team leaders ever to grace Formula 1; it is with this knowledge in mind that the man himself is disappointed at various off-track controversies.

"It was a minor indiscretion by junior members of the organization that got amplified into a bigger issue," Dennis described 'Spygate' during an interview with Esquire magazine. "It wasn't the way it was portrayed. As always, with the passing of time, the truth will come out. More ...

01/04/10
f1
Q&A with McLaren's Button and Hamilton  For 2010 McLaren will field a driver line-up likely to fill rival teams with fear and/or envy - reigning world champion Jenson Button, who arrives from Brawn GP, and Lewis Hamilton, winner of the 2008 drivers’ title with McLaren. With preparation for the new season well underway, the team’s press office caught up with both men to get their thoughts on the year ahead…

Q: You’re now officially a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver - how does it feel?
Jenson Button:
Obviously, it’s fantastic to be part of one of the most famous names in Formula One. But it’s also exhilarating: I’d been at the same team for seven years so this is a big cultural change for me, and something that I’m really looking forward to.

There are a lot of new faces to remember and lots of names to learn - and that’s all got to be done alongside the engineering and limited testing we have ahead of the 2010 season. But I’m loving every minute of it - the atmosphere within the team feels fantastic, and I’ve already started to feel at home here. I can’t wait to get out in the fantastic new car the team has built for me! More ...
01/04/10
dakar
Dakar: 250 miles for today's 3rd stage  441 km are on the menu of the third stage of the Dakar, which will see - for the first time in this 2010 edition - all categories of vehicles follow the exact same route. Once just won’t hurt... the contenders will start with a 259 km liaison before entering the core of the race with a timed section of 182 km only, i.e. the shortest timed section in this year’s edition but one that will provide contenders with a very technical trail and the first off-road sections with a chain of white sand dunes of about 30 km to cross towards the end of the stage. The contenders will also have to be mindful of the sandstorms that often blow in the region and might give the slowest ones a pretty tough time! One comforting thing though: the Fiambala bivouac is right at the finish of the special stage. More ...
01/04/10
dakar
Dakar Rally: Day 2 Video Summary  
01/04/10
automotive
BMW at the 2010 Detroit NAIAS  
BMW Z4 sDrive35is
BMW will unveil the BMW Z4 sDrive35is at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, 16–24 January. With its 250 kW/340 hp straight-six power unit featuring BMW Twin Turbo Technology and High Precision Injection as well as BMW's optional seven-speed Sport Automatic, the BMW Z4 sDrive35is accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.8 seconds. And with BMW EfficientDynamics this significant increase in power and performance goes together with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 9.0 litres/100 kilometers, equal to 26.1 mpg US. BMW will also showcase the other models and concepts including BMW Concept ActiveE, MINI Concept Beachcomber and MINI Moke.

The Z4 sDrive 35is pictured above uses Munich's existing 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six, tweaked to produce 335bhp and 332lb ft of the twisty stuff all the way from 1400-4500rpm. That's one flat torque curve, and a 29bhp jump over the regular sDrive35i. The six-pot is mated to BMW's paddle-controlled seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, driving the rear wheels. More ...

01/04/10
f1
McLaren to test new car at Valencia  (GMM)  McLaren's 2010 car will be tested for the first time at Valencia at the beginning of February, the British team has announced.

Called the MP4-25, it will bear the number 1 for team newcomer and world champion Jenson Button, and run alongside its rivals at the initial Spanish group test.

"I really cannot wait to get out to Valencia and get my first run in the MP4-25 -- I think that's when it will finally sink in that I'm a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver," Button said in a team statement.

The 29-year-old Briton's countryman and teammate Lewis Hamilton confirmed he will also be at the first test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, located about 20km from the Valencia port. More ...

01/04/10
f1
Alonso to make Ferrari debut at Valencia  (GMM)  Fernando Alonso will reportedly make his debut at the wheel of a Ferrari single seater on 1 February.

The news agency Europa Press said the event will take place alongside the other F1 teams as the winter test ban ends at Valencia.

The report said the 28-year-old Spaniard will drive on all three days of the session at the permanent Ricardo Tormo circuit, located 20km from the port city.

01/04/10
f1
Peter Sauber looks beyond 2010  (GMM)  After rescuing the team he founded almost two decades ago, Peter Sauber insists the Hinwil based outfit will not be a one-year wonder.

In the wake of former owner BMW's withdrawal from the sport, the 66-year-old Swiss told the NZZ am Sonntag weekly that his planning is for the next "three to five years".

"I would not have embarked on this adventure in order to operate from year to year.  It is quite clear that we must think about the medium and long term," said Sauber.

Sauber sold the team to BMW at the end of 2005, and until mere months ago totally ruled out ever again sitting on the pitwall as a team boss.

He said he stepped in at short notice as the Qadbak buyout collapsed in order to rescue jobs and protect the high-tech facility in Hinwil.

"At the moment it's important to bring stability and restore certainty to the employees.  After that we will look to bring ourselves forwards -- in every sense." More ...

01/04/10
f1
VIDEO: A Celebration Of BMW's 10 Years In Formula One!  17 years after winning the World Championship in 1983, BMW returned to Formula One as an engine supplier. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team celebrated ten victories, 17 pole positions and 45 podium finishes between 2000 and 2005. In 2005 BMW acquired the majority share in the Swiss Sauber AG and sent its own team into battle for the first time the following year. To date the BMW Sauber F1 Team has 304 World Championship points to its name. In 2008 Robert Kubica claimed the teams maiden pole position in Bahrain, while the 24-year-old and his team-mate Nick Heidfeld achieved a magnificent one-two at the Canadian Grand Prix in the same year.

01/03/10
irl
Brazilian Food and Drinks are Doing Great Business in IndyCar  ABBA, the Brazilian Association of Food and Beverage Exporters and Importers is showing a very positive balance of its participation in the IndyCar Series, where they were able to execute commercial promotion actions as part of the partnership between Apex-Brasil and the Indy Racing League. Final figures totaling an estimate of the businesses that the event could have generated for the sector are not available yet. However, some ABBA associates are showing partial numbers that offer a glimpse of how big the American market can potentially be for this sector of the Brazilian Industry.

Just Mr. Z, a Brazilian company that has positioned itself as the world largest manufacturer of beef jerky, expects to increase its exports to the United States by close to US$ 17.4 million dollars during the next 12 months, as a direct result of contacts made during the IndyCar races. More ...

01/03/10
f1
Renault targeting 2011 title  The Renault team will be aiming for a gradual rise to rostrum places during the 2010 season with a title challenge planned for 2011, according to Bob Bell. The Northern Irishman, who stood in as Team Principal following the sudden departure of Flavio Briatore last year, stresses that the Genii Capital-owned squad remains pragmatic.

After returning to Formula 1 in 2002 and clinching fourth overall in the Constructors' Championship, Renault's fall to eighth in 2009 was naturally viewed as a huge disappointment for the Enstone outfit, which claimed double championship successes courtesy of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella's efforts in both 2005 and 2006. More ...

01/03/10
f1
Ferrari spends the most in F1  The five car manufacturers that owned formula one teams last year needed to sell more than 25,000 cars to break even on their investment in the sport, according to new research.

Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Renault and Toyota spent a total of €608 million ($970m) on F1, but in the year to date they sold 1.7 million fewer vehicles than in 2008, leading to the latter three car manufacturers cutting their involvement in the sport.

F1's industry monitor Formula Money calculated the number of cars the manufacturers needed to sell in order to cover their cost of competing by dividing their budgets for the sport by the amount of revenue generated per car sold.

Ferrari, which has been competing in F1 longer than any other manufacturer, leads the field by a considerable margin when it comes to covering its costs. The Italian marque makes €275,000 per car sold, and so only needs to sell 153 vehicles to break even on its €42m investment in F1. In the nine months to the end of last September, it sold 4680 cars, 346 fewer than in the same period the previous year. However this 6.9 per cent fall was the smallest in percentage terms of any of the car manufacturers that owned F1 teams. More ...

01/03/10
racing news
Best Quotes of 2009  
Oh, man, that was a gray time period, trust me. I tell you, until I'm old, I will never forget seeing Milka Duno climbing out of her car and being envious of the speed she put on the clock…and then thinking, 'How has it come to this? I'm looking at Milka and thinking, ‘Wow! You are an awesome driver. Ryan Hunter-Reay, IZOD poster boy and the oft-rumored fourth car for Andretti Autosport, on his car for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 - a Vision Racing machine with which he struggled mightily to put in the field.

"This year, with my luck, if I had a duck it would drown."  AJ Foyt, IndyCar team owner, AJ Foyt Enterprises, commenting after his driver Ryan Hunter-Reay ran into the back of a slowing Raphael Matos during the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen

"In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done.  In the end he got lost, so he wasn't a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it... so either way he wasn't a dictator."  Ecclestone also sharply criticized democracy claiming: "It [democracy] hasn't done a lot of good for many countries - including this one."  Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association More ...

01/03/10
f1
Sauber keeps BMW in official name for now  (GMM)  Peter Sauber has "not decided" when an application to change the name of his Hinwil based formula one team will be made.

In the wake of BMW's withdrawal and the collapse of the Qadbak buyout, the 66-year-old Swiss stepped in to rescue the team he founded in the early 90s.

But in conversation with the Swiss weekly NZZ am Sonntag, Sauber revealed that formalizing a new name for the team is "one of my smallest problems".

"The team is currently called BMW Sauber F1 Team, because we registered ourselves as such with the FIA, and that's how we will line up.

"It is not decided at present when we will submit an application for a change of the name," Sauber, whose 2010 car will use a Ferrari powertrain, added. More ...

01/03/10
f1
Mercedes drivers to share winter test days  (GMM)  The pre-season test days scheduled by Mercedes GP will be split evenly between the team's race drivers, Norbert Haug has confirmed.

Germany's Bild newspaper revealed that Michael Schumacher, who turned 41 on Sunday, will drive at four separate winter tests prior to his grand prix return in mid March.

They will take place at Valencia, Jerez, Jerez (again) and Barcelona, and Mercedes' competition director Haug denied that seven time world champion Schumacher will enjoy the bulk of the 15 test days.

"No.  I think it (the testing) will be divided fairly between both the drivers," he said, also referring to the German's 2010 teammate Nico Rosberg.

01/03/10
f1
Toro Rosso needs 'good second driver' - Berger  (GMM)  Former co-owner and boss Gerhard Berger has advised Toro Rosso to look for a new teammate for Sebastien Buemi.

The Faenza based team has confirmed the Swiss youngster for 2010, but although the Spanish rookie is expected to secure the second seat, Jamie Alguersuari is yet to have his own extended contract officially announced.

Berger, formerly also a ten-time grand prix winner with prestige teams including Ferrari and McLaren, said the selection of Buemi's teammate this year is crucial.

"The possibility of great success with this team does exist," 50-year-old Berger, a close friend of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"We showed that (potential) in 2008 with Vettel.  It depends on the drivers," Berger added.  "Buemi is a talent, but Toro Rosso needs a good second driver, otherwise they could trip up."

01/03/10
f1
Button, Barrichello, show off new team uniforms  
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Driver Jenson Button
(GMM)  The first photos of 2009 teammates Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello wearing the official gear of their new employers for this year have emerged.

Due to their contracts with Brawn GP that expired only after December 31, the pair's respective new looks had been unable to be displayed until 2010.

Reigning world champion Button's photo, showing him inside McLaren's car preparation area at the Woking factory, accompanied a New Year message posted on the team's website.

On Twitter, the 29-year-old Briton wished his followers a happy new year "from Hawaii". Jenson's New Year Welcome

Barrichello, meanwhile, posted his own photo to his Twitter page, showing the Brazilian wearing the 2009-specification overalls of the Williams team.

Also posted by the 11-time grand prix winner was a photo of his family vacation to Disneyworld.

The expiry of more 2009 contracts also meant images of Kimi Raikkonen wearing his new Red Bull/Citroen race suit emerged, while the Spanish media said Fernando Alonso's Ferrari deal has now officially come into effect.

01/03/10
automotive
Bad year for biofuel ends on a dour note  An alternative fuel for diesel engines is off to a shaky start this year though it emits fewer pollutants and cuts down on petroleum use because it's made from environmentally friendly waste and vegetable oil.

A federal tax credit that provided makers of biodiesel $1 for every gallon expired Friday. As a result, some U.S. producers say they will shut down without the government subsidy.

Biodiesel's woes come on top of a year of problems for the fledgling biofuel industry -- an irony given the push to cut down on greenhouse gases and ease the nation's need for foreign oil. A key driver for the alternative fuel -- the high cost of oil -- disappeared as diesel prices dropped 18 percent since the beginning of the recession. Then in March the European Union placed import-killing tariffs on biodiesel and other biofuels. More ...

01/03/10
dakar
Dakar Video Update: Day 1  
01/03/10
dakar
Spectator dies at the Dakar Rally  This CNN article details the death of a racing spectator of the Dakar Rally:

A woman watching the Dakar Rally in Argentina died Saturday after a vehicle in the event went off the track, striking her and other fans, race organizers said.

Sonia Natalia Gallardo died Saturday afternoon at a hospital in Cordoba, Argentina, race organizers said in a statement on the event's Web site.

The others who were hit were being treated for "slight injuries," the statement said.

The incident, which involved German driver Mirco Schultis and Czech partner Ulrich Leardi, occurred in the race's first stage, from Buenos Aires to Cordoba, the organizers said.

Schultis and Leardi were driving in a 4x4 Desert Warrior truck, according to the Web site.

Tomas Fragueiro, a photojournalist with Argentina's La Voz del Interior, witnessed the accident and told CNN that he helped police and medical teams take care of the victims.

"I was in the internal zone of the 30-kilometer curve where most reporters were standing," said Fragueiro in a telephone interview.

"Security did not include the security tapes required in most races and [Gallardo] was standing outside a safety zone," he said.

Race officials offered their condolences to the victim's family and called for organizers and authorities to "exercise the greatest care and keep within special 'spectator zones.' "

Established in 1978, the Dakar race is an intrepid, off-the-beaten-path rally that involves modified vehicles. Known for its strenuous itineraries, the race first took place from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, and later moved to other regions of the world.

This year's Dakar race is in South America for the first time. The race spans from Argentina to Chile from January 1 to 17. cnn.com

01/02/10
f1
F1 designers call for track changes  Two of Formula 1’s leading car designers believe radical changes to circuit layouts are needed to spice up the show.

Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey and his Williams counterpart Sam Michael agree that the major rule changes instituted in 2009 yielded disappointing results, but feel circuit rather than chassis design is the key to improving the spectacle. More ...
01/02/10
f1
Horner thinks Red Bull may be team to beat in 2010  What Red Bull Racing achieved in F1 2009 was one of the most impressive comings-of-age ever seen in the sport, as the team dramatically transformed itself from a midfield contender capable of battling for the odd podium and almost more famous for its parties, into a genuine, bona fide world championship contender.

“I think it was a fantastic year for the team and a massive step forward,” affirmed the energy drinks-backed outfit’s team principal Christian Horner, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio. “It was a season in which we won our first grand prix and went on to win five others, had four one-two finishes and challenged for the championship until the penultimate round – it’s been a great year. More ...
01/02/10
dakar
Dakar: The overall route  The route designed for the 2010 Dakar on the territories of Argentina and Chile promises to each kind of driver a sequence adapted to their qualities. The long stay in the Atacama Desert will be the climax of a 9000 kilometers loop through the continent. But the global balance of the course with varied difficulties force all to be consistent and careful to the end. More ...
01/02/10
dakar
Dakar: First Special Stage begins  After a first link stage of 400 km, which was 52km longer than initially planned, the title holder in the bike category, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) kicked off proceedings by starting the first special stage, now reduced to 168 km, at 9.30 as scheduled. Two minutes later, he was followed by the winner of the Dakar in 2007, Frenchman Cyril Despres... More ...
01/02/10
dakar
Dakar makes symbolic start in Argentina  On New Years Day thousands have gathered at the Obelisk in the center of Argentina’s capital for the symbolic start of the Dakar Rally.

Competitors made a 215-mile drive to the city of Colon. The real racing on the 5,600-mile journey across Argentina and Chile begins Saturday for more than 350 drivers in cars, motorbikes, quads and trucks. The finish is back in Buenos Aires on Jan. 16.

The rally was moved to South America in 2009 because of safety concerns and the possibility of a terrorist attack in Africa. More ...

01/02/10
f1
Anthony Davidson: I deserve to be in F1  
Anthony Davidson
“The money is an issue today as it always has been,” the 30-year-old told Crash.net Radio. “It’s always been a rich man’s sport, but it’s more so now than ever before. I’ve been told by a few teams already that if I had €5 million I’d be in, so I checked and I couldn’t find it; I looked down the back of the sofa, looked in my wallet, a few moths flew out but that was it – and on a serious note that’s the position I’m in.

“With a lot of the bigger teams pulling out and only two main manufacturers left, it’s difficult times and they’re all looking for money, unfortunately. There’s no other way you can look at it apart from looking at different sports, and it is the equivalent of Manchester United having a paying football player to play on their side – it just wouldn’t happen. That’s what’s happening in F1 at the moment. More ...

01/01/10
f1
Rosberg shows his stupidity  It seems Nico Rosberg is less intelligent than we once thought, trying to say that Michael Schumacher is responsible for legitimizing many of the 'win-at-all-costs' approach seen in F1 today.

“It is Michael Schumacher who started this, like at Spa, when Mika Hakkinen tried to overtake him and he ran him off the track,” the German is quoted as having said by F1 Fanatic shortly after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2009 season finale, alluding to the race ten years ago when the German native squeezed his Finnish rival virtually onto the grass as they diced for the lead at 200mph, effectively offering him the choice of either backing off or else causing a huge accident. “When the guy behind has made a decision to pass and the guy in front then moves over, it is very dangerous. You cannot do that. That was the first time I remember it being a dangerous issue.”

Maybe Rosberg forgets that it was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost who started these antics when they ran each other off the road years before Schumacher did it.  It appears Rosberg has already started to play mind games to get under his teammate Schumacher's skin.  That's a pretty dangerous game to play since this might lead Schumacher to not share his setup secrets with Rosberg and then proceed to bury him his young German teammate on the race track, which will destroy his self confidence and his career.

01/01/10
f1
Mercedes targeting top three spot  Newly-owned Mercedes GP will be aiming for a top three championship position as it heads into its season of title defense in 2010. Having completed a magical season to win both F1 titles after narrowly surviving the pull-out of Honda a year ago, Sporting Director Nick Fry remains realistic as the new decade approaches.

"I think for 2010 we have to aim for a top three place in the Constructors' Championship and of course we need to win races," the Englishman explained. "It's very difficult to go beyond that because we don't know at this stage what our competition will do.

"I think Ferrari will be very strong, I think McLaren-Mercedes will also be very strong, maybe Red Bull with Sebastian (Vettel) again, so until we can see where they have developed their cars we won't know exactly where we are but if we're not in the top three I think we're all going to be extremely disappointed."

01/01/10
announcement
Happy New Year  The staff at AutoRacing1.com (AR1) would like to wish each of you a very Happy New Year. 

Despite the global recession 2010 is shaping up to be a banner year.  F1 will be most exciting in its 60-year history with a returning Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes doing battle with fellow title contenders Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

IndyCar is still bogged down with a TV package no one watches and an antiquated car and engine, but will visit new venues in Brazil and Alabama, the finalization of the new car and engine rules, a new title sponsor in the way of IZOD and stronger team/driver lineups.  The focus will again be on the two strong teams, Target Chip Ganassi and Penske Racing. Obviously the return of Danica Patrick will be the main headline at AGR, but with father Michael as sole owner of the team now will this be the year that Marco Andretti can live up to expectations? Can Ryan Hunter-Reay make a run for the title now that he is in top equipment?

NASCAR has been floundering because it's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., still can't challenge for wins despite having the best car, but will get a uptick from sexy Danica Patrick.  Can anyone stop the potent pairing of Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus from winning 5-straight titles?

ALMS has lost most of its manufacturers in the LMP classes, which forced them to merge LMP1 and LMP2, but the GT2 category will be the most exciting in ALMS history with Ferrari, Corvette, Porsche and BMW doing battle.

Not many changes in Grand-Am, but while it is saddled by the ugliest cars in all of racing, the competition on the track is second to none.

The 2010 season can't get started soon enough.  Bring it on!
12/31/09
ga
Magnus Racing unveils strong driver lineup for Rolex 24  The No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car raised some eyebrows with its form during the Rolex Sportscar Series’ December test at Daytona International Speedway, leading to much speculation about the team’s driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. With help from Porsche Motorsports North America, Magnus Racing is proud to announce their driver lineup for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Magnus Racing’s full-season drivers John Potter, from Salt Lake City, Utah and Craig Stanton, from Long Beach, California, will be joined by drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen and Richard Lietz.

Bleekemolen, twenty-eight years old from the Netherlands, is the reigning two-time series champion in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The Supercup utilizes a similar Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, giving Bleekemolen vast experience in the same kind of car he will drive in the Rolex 24. Endurance racing is also a specialty of Bleekemolen, as he co-drove the winning Porsche RS Spyder at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 2008. Bleekemolen was also at one time the driver for Team Netherlands in the A1GP. More ...
12/31/09
dakar
Q & A with Volkswagen's Lutz Meyer  

Q. What is the golden rule for a logistician at the Dakar Rally?

Lutz Meyer - Volkswagen's logistics expert: Very clearly, you always need to have a plan B in the back of your mind. This is particularly important if anything unforeseen should happen. But even in advance it helps to constantly look for organizational alternatives because the amount of equipment and spare parts is always larger than the cargo space - so, when loading the various trucks, maximum efficiency is crucial.

Q. What makes Dakar logistics such a complex task?

LM: Normally, logistics means coordinating a material supply process in the best possible manner. At the Dakar this means arriving at the bivouacs on time with spare and wearing parts. That's why it's necessary to thoroughly do our homework in advance, every item – no matter how small – must be captured on to-do lists and then systematically ticked off. Anything we forget during our preparations can turn into a huge problem on location because we can longer make any corrections then. More ...

12/31/09
f1
automotive
Lotus to offer Limited Ed Exige to celebrate F1 launch  
Lotus plans on producing only 40 Exige S Type 72s for Britain and Europe, with another limited run in Japan and maybe USA
Lotus Cars has announced it will build a special edition Exige S to celebrate the brand’s return to the Formula One grid next season.

The model’s name, Exige S Type 72, is meant to inspire memories of the famous Lotus Type 72 racecar that won 20 races, three constructors’ championships and two drivers’ titles between 1970-75. If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because Lotus released a Type 72 edition of the Elise S2 a few years ago, though that did not coincide with a Formula One comeback.

The Lotus Type 72 won 20 races between 1970-75.
The Lotus Type 72 remains one of Formula One’s classics, combining groundbreaking aerodynamics, the legendary Cosworth DFV engine and a beautiful livery. It is the car that Jochen Rindt drove to his championship in 1970 and the car he died in at Monza that same year. (His drivers’ title remains the only posthumous one in Formula One history.)

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus and manager of the Formula One team at the time, also spearheaded the adoption of outside sponsorship in the sport. The Type 72’s livery was derived from the black and gold packaging of the team’s main sponsor, John Player Special cigarettes. More ...
12/31/09
f1
Fake Sauber announcement fools media  UPDATE (GMM)  A Twitter page in the name of F1 team founder, owner and boss Peter Sauber has fooled sections of the international media.

The page hosted on the popular micro-blogging website claimed on Tuesday that a teammate for Kamui Kobayashi would be "announced next week".

The news was picked up and reported by multiple outlets, including the official Dutch formula one broadcaster RTL 7, and the website of the major French daily Le Figaro.

But on Thursday, some other specialist sources including Brazil's Grande Premio website revealed that the Twitter page in the 66-year-old Swiss' name is in fact a fake.

12/31/09 (GMM)  Sauber will announce its second driver for the 2010 season next week.

Peter Sauber, the formerly BMW-owned team's boss and founder, wrote on his Twitter page: "Second driver to be announced next week.  The team is ready to work.  Happy New Year."

Japan's Kamui Kobayashi, a refugee of Toyota's former F1 program, was announced as the Hinwil based team's first race driver for 2010 two weeks ago.

Team incumbent Nick Heidfeld, who was part of Sauber's outfit in collaboration with BMW since 2006, had hoped to secure the second seat at Mercedes GP.

Also believed a frontrunner for the second Sauber cockpit is Pedro de la Rosa, and the Belgian Bertrand Baguette is tipped for the reserve role.

12/31/09
racing news
Remembering those we lost in 2009  They are already testing stock cars at Daytona, the prototypes will spring to life for the 24 Hours, short track racers will head to New Smyrna.  So prior to kicking off motorsports 2010, a pause to reflect on those who left us in 2009.

1967 NASCAR Rookie of the Year and 1966 winner of the Firecracker 400 Sam McQuagg died at age 73.  We lost Jack McCoy at 72, a multi-time Winston West winner, together with journeyman 60’s and 70’s NASCAR entrant Dick May.  We also lost Benton Woodward, Jr., former NASCAR driver at age 79.

In short track racing we said farewell to Lou Blaney, sprint and dirt modified star, and the father of Dale and Dave.  Former Carolina Clash champion Ed Gibbons died at 46 in traffic accident.  Matt Hawkins, just 21, died of an accidental gunshot.  He was an ARCA and USAR winner, and Southern All Star Super Late Model champ.  Former Nationwide series driver Kevin Grubb, 31, took his own life.  His career ended after being banned by NASCAR in 2006 for substance abuse.  Alex Beaumont, 1988 Late Model champion at Delaware International Speedway, died of heart failure at 55.  Wayne Patterson, Late Model champion at Southside Speedway and two time South Boston champ, died in a road accident at age 60.  Frank “Rebel” Mundy, NASCAR pioneer and AAA stock car champion in 1955 passed away this year at 91.  Midwest veteran George Anderson died at age 80.  Pat Wohglemuth, Sr., a champ at Flemington and Morristown, left us at age 74.  South Carolina dirt late model competitor Phillip Seifert died suddenly of cancer at age 30.  Jack Reilley, the 1965 Baer Field stock car champion passed on this year, as did veteran ARCA owner Bobby Jones, at 62.  At 76 veteran dirt late model owner Raye Vest passed on.  He had been car owner for Rick Eckert since 1995, and was a fixture at World of Outlaw events.  For years John McCarthy manned the pits at Star Speedway in New Hampshire, and he left us this year.  Rupert Porter, founder and promoter of Anderson Speedway in South Carolina, died at age 73.  Mike Johnson, former owner and promoter of 311 Speedway and Ace Speedway in North Carolina died at 64 after a long illness. More ...

12/31/09
automotive
Best and worst vehicles of the decade  


Worst

The Pontiac Aztek was perhaps the ugliest car stamped in the past 10 years. Tool and die makers must have thought the sheet metal plans were some crude joke. A few General Motors Co. executives have told me privately that the Aztek was a vehicle that tested well with consumers during development. Every time someone at GM asked consumers if adding something else to the vehicle was a good idea, the answer was yes. People loved the idea of the Aztek, just not its execution.

And really, the Aztek wasn't awful. It rides and handles well. But it was a victim of trying to be everything to everyone -- a task that, if you've ever tried, never works out.

Best

The Ford Mustang: Redesigned in 2005, the Mustang struck a chord that hadn't been heard in decades. The retro styling drew from the car's heritage, and Ford masterfully managed that image with limited-edition models and the return of the Shelby GT 500. The 2008 Mustang Bullitt is one of my favorite cars of the decade because it's just awesome. More ...

12/31/09
f1
Vettel says hype around Schumacher will subside  Sebastian Vettel insists that the current hype regarding the return of seven-time F1 title winner Michael Schumacher will disappear when the 2010 season kicks off in Bahrain.

"His return is good for F1," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now this is obviously the main point of conversation, and the entire world is talking about it. But I think that once the engines start again and the season begins, there will certainly be more important things to focus on."

“It certainly won't be easy for him," he said. "But if you look at him, he really is still in great shape. He's always been active. Naturally a lot will depend on the car's performance. Let's wait at least until the Bahrain GP to understand what will happen."

12/31/09
f1
F1 drivers body double  


12/31/09
f1
Bernie tips Vettel as next World Champion  
Bernie Ecclestone elated by Schumacher's return - of course he would be, higher TV ratings mean more revenue for F1
Bernie Ecclestone told German newspaper Bild that Michael Schumacher's biggest rivals in 2010 would be, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, and Sebastian Vettel, who he predicts will be the next world champion.

"Without a doubt, the young ones will want to beat Schumacher," said Ecclestone. "He will make sure of that. That's the appeal of all of this."

"I was of course a little surprised - I didn't really expect that he would drive for Mercedes, but now I'm just simply very, very happy," said Ecclestone.

"He wouldn't have come back had he not been thinking of victory. He really does seem very motivated.

"It is good for everyone, very good actually. For the media, for the fans and for the sponsors - but I cannot express it in numbers. It is impossible to calculate.

"Don't forget, next year we have four current or former world champions in the shape of Alonso, Hamilton, Jenson Button and Schumacher on the starting line. I can't remember the last time that happened."

12/31/09
karting
NASCAR and IndyCar stars go karting in Daytona  Most professional race car drivers know that the one week they're guaranteed a vacation is this week between Christmas and New Year's.

Most professional race car drivers. There are some, though, that's can't stand the downtime. They spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway at Daytona KartWeek, the largest gathering of kart racers in the country.

Dan Wheldon
Shawn Payne/IRL
"I have an absolute massive passion for karting," said IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon, former Indy Racing League champion and winner of the Indianapolis 500. "I always have. I started when I was four years old. My father raced karts, my mother was in charge of timing and scoring."

It remains a family sport for Wheldon: The St. Petersburg resident was at the track with his wife, Susie, and their 11-month-old son.

Wheldon isn't the only big-name racer competing in karts. NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray were racing.

"It's all about staying active," Allmendinger said. "These are some of the hardest vehicles to drive at a high level. Does it carry over into a Cup car? No. I'm not going to come back here and be a lot better in the Daytona 500 because I've been in a go-kart, but it just helps so much to stay active.

"It's either this, or stay at home eating all day. I work out every day of my life, but nothing can simulate actually racing."

It isn't all fun, though.

"This is not 'kick back and relax' time," McMurray said. "This is very serious and very high-stress." More at Orlando Sentinel

12/31/09
f1
Lauda not betting on eighth Schumacher title  
Niki Lauda one of the Schumacher doubters
(GMM)  Niki Lauda believes Michael Schumacher will be competitive in 2010, but he's not prepared to bet on it.

The 60-year-old returned successfully from retirement in the 80s to win the last of his three titles, and thinks Schumacher will also be back on the pace after a three-season break.

But in Bild newspaper, Lauda warned: "Everything depends on the car, and at the end of last season Vettel had the best one.  What is for sure is that there are many more strong drivers in the field now than in Schumacher's last years.

"There's no question he can keep up.  But I'm betting no money," added the Austrian. More ...

12/31/09
f1
Queen to also honor Ross Brawn  UPDATE (GMM)  Ross Brawn will be presented with an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by the Queen.

The 55-year-old's royal chivalry rank, confirmed with the publication of the New Year Honors list on Thursday, is in honor of his 30 years of service to motor sport, culminating in his eponymous team winning the 2009 world championship.

Ross Brawn
Brawn's British driver this year, the 2009 world champion Jenson Button, is to be made an MBE (Member of the British Empire); the same initial chivalry rank as awarded to Lewis Hamilton a year ago.

"This really is the crowning glory to what has been the most incredible year of my life," said the 29-year-old.

12/30/09 (GMM)  Along with Jenson Button, Ross Brawn is also to be singled out by the Queen in her traditional New Year Honors list.

It emerged before Christmas that Button, the new F1 world champion, is to become a Member of the British Empire (MBE) -- the initial chivalry class.

The Daily Telegraph now reports that Brawn, the eponymous boss of the Brackley based team that also won the constructors' world championship this year, will be similarly honored.

But the newspaper did not say if Brawn, 54, will also receive an MBE, or a higher honor, such as an OBE or a knighthood.

12/30/09
ama
Edmondson leaving AMA for health reasons  A recent press release from AMA Pro Racing has announced CEO Roger Edmondson will leave the organization due to “unforeseen health issues.” AMA Pro Racing execs David Atlas, Tom Bledsoe and Chris Harris will fill in, with Edmondson “available to consult.” Edmondson has been at the center of controversy as the leading figurehead of the Daytona Motorsport Group’s takeover of the AMA racing efforts, most notably in the AMA Superbike roadracing series. - MCUSA Ed

Roger Edmondson will be leaving his position as Chairman, Managing Member and Chief Executive Officer of AMA Pro Racing effective January 1, 2010.

Edmondson, a pioneer in motorcycle racing and one of the original Managing Members of the AMA Pro Racing organization, will be leaving to deal with some unforeseen health issues that necessitate his full attention. Edmondson will available to consult with the management of AMA Pro Racing but his official duties will be reallocated among the other current Managing Members, David Atlas, Tom Bledsoe and Chris Harris. More ...

12/30/09
automotive
BMW returns a six-cylinder 7-series to North America  In continuing its fuel-efficient efforts, BMW will reintroduce a six-cylinder 7-series for the North American market at next month's Detroit auto show.

The 2011 BMW 740i and the 740Li will be powered by a twin-turbocharged I6 producing 315 hp at 5,800 rpm and 330 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 rpm and 4,500 rpm. Compared with the engines found in the 135i, the 335i and the 535i, the 7's force-induced I6 boasts 15 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque power increases.

A six-speed automatic transmission routes power to the rear wheels. More ...

12/30/09
automotive
GM statement regarding Saab inquiries  UPDATE #2 UPDATE General Motors announced a stay-of execution for Saab...for now. GM announced that they will fulfill orders for the new 9-5 and 9-3 Cabriolet. However, this does not mean that GM has abandoned plans to SAAB despite a failed recent bid by Dutch supercar maker Spyker.

"We are preparing a wind-down process. At the same time, we are open to options to bids that come in," a Saab spokesman said.

GM is apparently still entertaining potential buyers for Saab. A revised Spyker bid is in play, as well as American company Merbanco, Inc. There has been speculation that the fine cars that Saab makes might not entirely go to waste, with GM possibly transferring the new 9-5 sedan to the Buick name.

12/20/09 Following Friday's announcement that GM will begin the orderly wind down of Saab, GM has received inquiries from several parties.  We will evaluate each inquiry.  We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed. GM PR



12/30/09 undefined

12/20/09 Following Friday's announcement that GM will begin the orderly wind down of Saab, GM has received inquiries from several parties.  We will evaluate each inquiry.  We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed. GM PR
12/30/09
f1
No Campos seat for Piquet in 2010 - Audetto  (GMM)  Campos, F1's new Spanish team, will not be accommodating Nelson Piquet in 2010.

It has been revealed that reports claiming a three-year deal for the 24-year-old 'crashgate' conspirator, because the Brazilian's famous father bought into the team, were not true.

But the Italian newspaper La Stampa said it is true that Piquet and Campos have been in contact, aided by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone and triple world champion Piquet Snr are well acquainted, dating back to their title efforts at the Brabham team more than 20 years ago.

"In fact," said Campos' Daniele Audetto, "we received an offer from Piquet.

"We have nothing again Nelsinho, even though he was involved in the accident scandal.  He is a good driver, fast and experienced.

"But, having signed Bruno Senna, we cannot have two Brazilians.  And the supposed 15 per cent investment would be less than what other drivers could bring; Italian, Russian, Chinese, German, to name a few nationalities.

"There are ongoing negotiations that will go on until all the details are defined," Audetto added.

12/30/09
automotive
Toyota has most recalls for 2009  In a first, Toyota led the U.S. auto industry in recalled vehicles this year, thanks to its largest safety-related problem since it began selling vehicles in the United States. The Japanese automaker has struggled with the fallout from the recall of 4.3 million Toyota and Lexus models for unintended acceleration linked to fatal crashes.

Toyota told federal officials earlier this month it would start fixing the vehicles now, but some repairs would not be ready until March.

According to a Free Press analysis of federal data, automakers recalled 15.2 million vehicles in 2009, a sharp jump from 8.6 million in 2008. More ...

12/30/09
motogp
Pedrosa has operation in Barcelona  
The Spanish rider has had a screw removed from his left hand during surgery at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus of Barcelona.

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa had an operation last Wednesday to remove a screw from his left hand, which was inserted to aid his recovery from a fracture. The procedure has also freed Pedrosa’s extensor tendons, allowing him to improve the mobility of his left wrist.

Head of the Hand Surgery Unit of the Orthopaedics Department of the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus, Doctor Xavier Mir, performed the operation.

Pedrosa was discharged from the hospital last Thursday, and should be able to start his full recovery in two weeks, according to Doctor Mir.

12/30/09
f1
Canadian GP plans on track  After a year's absence, the Canadian Grand Prix will return to the Formula One calendar in June after Bernie Ecclestone signed a new five-year deal. François Dumontier, the new boss of the event spoke to ESPNF1's Daniel Bastien about the challenges that lie ahead.

Daniel Bastien: Why was it so important to bring the Canadian Grand Prix back to the F1 championship?
François Dumontier : The comments made by the teams, the manufacturers, the drivers, by people in Formula One... It wasn't fake when people said Montreal is a destination extremely appreciated by all in F1. On the world scene, it's notoriety. You know, only 19 cities in the world have a grand prix, so we can be very proud and happy. As for the global visibility which Montreal receives through television coverage, I think that was a priority beyond the economic aspect of it all.

The Canadian Grand Prix has sold out year after year, why is there so much enthusiasm?
Indeed, that is what we have seen over the last several years : whether there is a United States Grand Prix or not, the Canadian Grand Prix has always been very popular and that is in great part due to our fans. I often say that we are lucky here in [the Province of] Quebec because we have fans that are connoisseurs and are passionate about motorsport. More ...

12/30/09
irl
karting
Wheldon stay sharp with go-karts  Daytona Beach - It had the feel of an all-star motorsports event.

In the starting lineup was 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who was lined up behind former Coke Zero 400 winner Jamie McMurray.

Further down the starting grid was five-time Daytona 200 champion Scott Russell and Richard Petty Motorsports driver AJ Allmendinger. Five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood was watching the action at the fence.

"This is a big race," said Wheldon, who started racing go-karts at the age of 4.

The four drivers competed in the World Karting Association's touch-and-go, or TAG, final on the sprint course inside Daytona International Speedway. More ...

12/30/09
f1
Schumacher not a 'traitor' - Piero Ferrari  
Piero Ferrari
Ferrari
(GMM)  Piero Ferrari has distanced the famous marque from claims within Italy that Michael Schumacher is a "traitor".

65-year-old Ferrari, the only living son of the Maranello based team's founder Enzo Ferrari as well as a company executive and shareholder, admitted that team figures feel "a little bad" that Schumacher is returning to F1 with Mercedes in 2010.

"We feel a little bad, because Michael was ours," he said of the seven time world champion, according to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Schumacher, to turn 41 on Sunday, had verbally agreed a new three year deal to be a non-racing consultant with Ferrari in 2010, but had yet to actually sign a contract. More ...

12/29/09
track news
Kentucky Speedway founders seek another hearing in antitrust case  Kentucky Speedway founders have reversed their course and decided to continue their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR over its refusal to put a Sprint Cup date at the track.

Although co-founder Jerry Carroll said Dec. 18 that the antitrust lawsuit was over, the founders met a Monday night deadline to request another hearing in the case, keeping the lawsuit alive and possibly delaying when the track might eventually get a Sprint Cup date.

The founders are asking for a another hearing in front of a three-judge panel or a hearing in front of all 24 judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District. A three-judge panel from the district issued an opinion Dec. 11 affirming a district court summary judgment ruling in favor of NASCAR and sister company International Speedway Corp. in the antitrust case. More ...

12/29/09
automotive
GM recalling '05-'07 Corvettes  
GENERAL MOTORS IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2005 THROUGH 2007 CORVETTE AND MODEL YEAR 2006-2007 CORVETTE Z06 EQUIPPED WITH A REMOVABLE ROOF. THE ADHESIVE BETWEEN THE ROOF PANEL AND THE FRAME MAY SEPARATE. IF THERE IS A PARTIAL SEPARATION, THE DRIVER MAY NOTICE ONE OR MORE SYMPTOMS, SUCH AS A SNAPPING NOISE WHEN DRIVING OVER BUMPS, WIND NOISE, POOR ROOF PANEL FIT, ROOF PANEL MOVEMENT/BOUNCE WHEN A DOOR OR HATCH IS CLOSED, OR A WATER LEAK IN THE HEADLINER.  More ...
12/29/09
alms
Endurance of another kind  American Le Mans Series stars Oliver Gavin, Johnny Mowlem and Guy Smith are among the membership of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) that will contest this year's London Marathon on April 25 in support of the children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent in the UK. All three are avid runners, and not surprisingly long-distance running is part of their training program for endurance racing.

Corvette Racing’s Gavin, in particular, is a marathon man having raced in both the Paris and London marathons since his first race in 2002.

A number of fellow BRDC participants are familiar names to American Le Mans Series fans – Andy Priaulx, Darren Turner, Peter Dumbreck and Richard Westbrook among them.

To learn more and to donate to the CLIC Sargent cause, visit http://www.justgiving.com/BRDC-marathon-legends.

12/29/09
f1
Ferrari chief: F1 must improve for us to stay  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1, The timing of this is announcement is very suspicious and just plain wrong.  Here we are, going into a new season with a new FIA president, new rules and new teams and all he can talk about is leaving the sport and what is wrong with F1. This is the time to be positive.

Having said that....Is it all roses...of course not. We know that the ridiculous situation with Herman Tilke must be resolved. This man cannot keep designing tracks that are plain boring, embarrassingly expensive icons of excess. Likewise Bernie needs to remember where the roots of the sport are and stop his never ending hunt for the almighty Dollar. Fans need to have more access to the cars and drivers. And most importantly, the cars need to be able to pass each other. How friggin' hard can any of that be?

But these are matters to be discussed behind closed doors in an atmosphere of cooperation not conflict. Yes Ferrari are synonymous with F1 but that does not mean that F1 cannot continue without them. It will be different but still alive. The more relevant question is, can Ferrari thrive without F1? Sounds like he is positioning himself to gain influence in decision making by threatening to take the ball away....again. While I supported this stance with FOTA while Max was in charge, I feel it is very self serving in this instance.

As for the pretty girls in pit lane comment. There are more than enough of those hangers on already. I for one would rather see real race fans walking the grid than the bimbos and self aggrandizing money men and celebrities. Time for all of these team owners to shut up and get on with the job at hand. Lately between Montezemolo, Branson, Fernandes and a few others all we are getting is PR seeking noise. Gentlemen PLEASE shut your mouths and start your engines! Ray Masters, Hawaii

12/28/09 The Italian manufacturer is committed to F1 until the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2012, but di Montezemolo maintains that should the current unhappiness regarding cost-cutting measures and rules changes persist, the Maranello-based outfit will look to exit the prestigious motorsport.

"I want F1 to improve between now and 2012, when we sign a new Concorde Agreement, and if not we will have motivation somewhere else," di Montezemolo is quoted by Autosport as saying at a Christmas function.

"I have been to Le Mans and I was impressed. We cannot accept huge gaps between drivers and the press and public. In the past the pits was full of good looking girls, now it's like a concentration camp. And we need to overtake!"

"There are a lot of answers needed. We need good people at the FIA. [FIA president Jean] Todt is a good person and knows F1, and I'm sure his priority is to recreate a different dialogue and atmosphere. Bernie [Ecclestone] is coming to the end of his career, but I am sure he will look ahead. And FOTA has been very useful. There needs to be a strong triangle between the three parties," the 62-year-old added. planet-f1.com

12/29/09
irl
Castroneves and Girlfriend Adriana Henao Welcome Baby Girl  Penske Racing IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves and his girlfriend, Adriana Henao, received a very special gift this holiday season as Henao gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Monday, December 28. Mikaella Castroneves was born at 4:15 p.m. ET Monday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Baby Mikaella, the couple’s first child, weighed seven pounds and three ounces at birth and measured 19 inches long.

“We are so happy that Mikaella is finally here!” said Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion for Team Penske. “She is absolutely beautiful and she already has dad running around like crazy. Adriana and the baby are both doing great and we want to thank everyone for their good wishes. This is one holiday season we will never forget!”

12/29/09
racing news
Local lad puts it to Schatz and Stewart down under  Local Sydney driver Ian Madsen has won the biggest race of his career by defeating the world’s best Sprintcar racer Donny Schatz at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway this evening.

Madsen claimed victory in the $10,000 to win Hogs Breath Café International ahead of Schatz and Marty Perovich in one of the best races seen at the venue for some time.

For the majority of the 30-lap journey Madsen, Schatz and Australian Champion Garry Brazier were engaged in a titanic battle for the top three spots. More ...

12/29/09
irl
Why more road courses for IndyCars?  A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Why has the IRL IndyCar series morphed into what CART/Champ Car was right down to the increase in road courses....even to the point that the IndyCar series ladder system is now all road racing series and the road to NASCAR is through the Midget/Sprints/Champ Dirt oval route?  Isn't this a bit hypocritical given we had to get back to where CART was in 1995 but in doing so they destroyed the entire sport?  Who is going to be held responsible for this travesty?  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

Dear Mordichai, The video below explains why IndyCar had to reduce the number of oval races on its schedule.  The crash and bodily damage was horrific.  As for who should be held responsible?  Well there are a lot of people to blame, including the greedy car owners who jumped ship to the IRL, but the primary architect of the biggest mistake in the history of auto racing, Tony George, has been fired by his own family, which underscores how they feel about what he did.  Someday a book needs to be written about just how much damage he did as we don't believe people realize the extent of the travesty. The IRL is trying to recover, but we're not sure the damage is reversible. Maybe. Mark C.

12/29/09
irl
IndyCar Series in Times Square  The IZOD IndyCar Series takes over the famed Times Square billboard in New York City.

12/29/09
f1
Schu would have raced third Ferrari - Gene  (GMM)  Different rules could have seen Michael Schumacher return to F1 in 2010 with Ferrari.

That is the belief of Marc Gene, the famous Italian team's Spanish test driver.

He wrote in his column for the El Mundo newspaper that Ferrari pushed hard for a rule-change so that a third car could be entered for Schumacher next year.

Instead, the 40-year-old has ended his 14-year Ferrari association and signed with Mercedes GP.

"Without a doubt, it hurts us at Ferrari to see him in different colors, because of his part in our best history," Gene, 35, wrote.

"I am convinced that if the regulations had allowed us to have a third car, Michael would be with us next year.

"But it's not to be and so we must applaud him, fear him and - mainly - work hard to beat him.  At Ferrari we are ready, nobody doubts that.  Alonso and Massa make a very strong team," added Gene.

12/29/09
f1
No title sponsor yet for 2010 Australian GP  (GMM)  The Australian grand prix is yet to sign a title sponsor for its 2010 event.

The Melbourne race was previously backed and named after the Dutch bank ING, who early last year announced it would no longer be involved with formula one beyond 2009.

March's Australian GP at Albert Park made a $40m loss, and the local Herald Sun newspaper said the lack of a title sponsor for the 2010 event will cost taxpayers even more.

But the race organizer’s chief executive Drew Ward insists Melbourne could successfully host the event without a title sponsor.

He also said efforts to attract corporate interest is a "work in progress". More ...

12/28/09
karting
nassprint
McMurray and Allmendinger to run at Daytona Kart week  Hundreds of go-kart racers from across the country will spend their holidays at the Daytona International Speedway participating in World Karting Association races on three different courses. The Speedway's three-ring circus includes its famous 3.56-mile road course, the Sprint track in Turns 3 and 4 and the newly constructed quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2. For the third straight year, Jamie McMurray, is expected to return to his racing roots during Daytona KartWeek. AJ Allmendinger, who drives a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, is also expected to compete in the karts. Meanwhile, Volusia Speedway Park is hosting the second day of its Christmas In Dixie dirt racing program. Those races are sanctioned by the American Kart Racing Association.(Daytona Beach News Journal)
12/28/09
dakar
Robby Gordon ready for Dakar  Just days until the start of the highly anticipated 2010 Dakar Rally, Robby Gordon and Team Hummer are preparing to head south to Argentina. The Hummers are flying like always, except they are soaring above the clouds at 40,000 feet. The #302 of Robby Gordon and #326 of Carlo de Gavardo left the team's race shop in California on Saturday, December 19th to be transported to Argentina via airfreight while the team's support vehicles left the shop in late November to be shipped to Argentina by sea freight. With the support vehicles and the Vanguard Hummer shipping in early November, it allowed the team to focus on the final details of the Monster / Toyo Tires Hummer and the build of the Chile Hummer for arguably the most grueling event in motorsports. Following Gordon's first-in-class finish and third-place overall result in 2009, Gordon is more determined than ever to compete for the overall victory in his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Hummer H3 in the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally. 2010 will mark Gordon's sixth appearance in the rally endurance race, and just the fifth appearance for Team Hummer.
Traditionally run throughout Europe and Africa, the 2010 Dakar Rally will take place in South America for just the second time in the rally's 32-year history. Competitors will race on a 5,592-mile (9,000 kilometer) course while navigating across some of the world's highest sand dunes and mountains. The event kicks off on January 2 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Competitors race over the Andes Mountains, across the Pampas plains and through the merciless Atacama Desert. After 14 strenuous stages, the competitors will return to Buenos Aires as they race to the finish. At the completion of the event, the heroes of the competition will celebrate in the village of San Carlos de Bolivar before returning to Buenos Aires for an even bigger celebration on January 17. Race Coverage of the Dakar Rally will be covered at robbygordon.com, planetrobby.com, dakar.com and Twitter. Versus will provide coverage throughout the United States. A 30-minute daily program featuring highlights from that day's racing will be aired on Versus daily at 3:30pm with a replay airing later in the day. The show is set to air daily from January 3rd through January 18th, check your local listing for exact show times. A 60-minute recap show featuring all fourteen stages will air on Versus on Sunday, January 24th at 3:00pm.(RGM)
12/28/09
nassprint
Memorial Service Arrangements Set for D.J. Richardson  Funeral arrangements have been made for former Richard Childress Racing pit crew member Donald “D.J.” Richardson, Jr., who passed away December 25 in Massachusetts.

The viewing will be Tuesday, December 29, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Silas F. Richardson and Son Funeral Home in Leominster, Mass. The funeral will be Wednesday, December 30, at 11 a.m. at St. Marks Church in Leominster, Mass. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund for his three children is being established, with details to follow as soon as possible.

Details of a memorial service in North Carolina are pending and will also be made available as soon as possible.

Richardson passed away from complications of the H1N1 virus. He joined RCR in July 2009 and finished the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as the rear-tire changer for the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala SS team. The Massachusetts native began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with Andy Petree Racing in 1999. He also worked for Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Braun Racing.

12/28/09
f1
Windsor: USF1 tight-lipped on purpose  USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor says work is on schedule for the Charlotte-based F1 team, despite the fact that the F1 newcomers have remained tight-lipped over preparations for the 2010 campaign.

While fellow newcomers Campos, Lotus and Virgin have all revealed at least one driver for the new season and have started to release information about plans for 2010, USF1 has come under fire for its silence in recent months – with doubts being raised as a result that the team won’t make the season-opener in Bahrain.

However, speaking in a blog on the new USF1 website – which went live over the Christmas period – Windsor insisted that the team has been going about its business in private with work ongoing on the 2010 F1 machine. More ...

12/28/09
f1
Ecclestone hopes Klien gets Sauber race seat  (GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has crossed his fingers that Christian Klien is chosen to be Kamui Kobayashi's teammate at Sauber in 2010.

Klien, 26, has been the Hinwil based team's test driver for the past two years but faces stiff competition for the race seat from incumbent Nick Heidfeld and hopefuls including Pedro de la Rosa.

The Austrian, who prior to becoming a tester contested 48 grands prix with Jaguar and Red Bull, said recently he is holding off signing a 2010 deal with Le Mans team Peugeot because he is hoping for a F1 seat.

"If Christian gets the Sauber cockpit it would be great," F1 chief executive Ecclestone told the Austrian national broadcaster ORF during a winter vacation at the exclusive Lech am Arlberg ski resort.

"I have always supported Christian, it would definitely be a good team for him," the British billionaire added.

12/28/09
f1
Video: Meet USF1's Peter Windsor  
12/28/09
f1
Video: Meet USF1's Ken Anderson  
12/28/09
f1
Court Announces New System for F1 Appeals  The Congress of the FIA International Court of Appeal (ICA), made up of independent elected judges from 18 countries, met in Monaco on 11 December to discuss and adopt a new system for nominating judges for appeal hearings in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

From the start of the 2010 Formula One season, in agreement with the FIA and the teams, it has been decided to ‘co-opt’ judges proposed by F1 teams to rule upon hearings relating to F1. 

These appeals will be heard by a panel comprised of the ICA’s existing elected membership plus these ‘co-opted’ judges.  Elected ICA Judges will form a majority of any panel. More ...

12/28/09
f1
Latest F1 news in brief  
  • 2010 Mercedes car to be launched in Stuttgart
  • Schumacher's return not universally popular
  • Todt's FIA to tackle Schu favoritism claims
  • Todt says F1 still too expensive
  • Vettel agrees new points system not radical
  • Schu not bookmakers' favorite for 2010 title
  • Ralf Schumacher 'ready' for F1 return
  • Around the 'net: F1 on Monday Dec. 28th

2010 Mercedes car to be launched in Stuttgart
(GMM)  After the collapse of plans for a common 2010 car launch event, the newly rebranded Mercedes GP team looks set to reveal its new single seater in Stuttgart late in January.

The German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag said the event will probably take place at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Unterturkheim.

Both Michael Schumacher and his countryman and teammate Nico Rosberg will be present.

Bild am Sonntag also said Schumacher, to turn 41 this coming Sunday, is not scheduled to test the car until 10 February at Jerez.

The first group test of the winter pre-season period will take place more than one week earlier than that at Valencia. More ...

12/27/09
karting
CKI and WSK announce key appointments  The Championship Karting International program and WSK North America are pleased to announce key personnel in high profile positions at both series. Joining both the Florida Cup and WSK North America Series will be the new Head Technical Inspector and long-time industry member Don Moormeister. Joining Moormeister will be veteran flagman Matt Long as he will transfer to the Race Director position.

“Both Don and Matt are very well known and respected in the industry and bring a lot of experience to the series,” stated Director of Operations Kevin Williams. “These two members will be key players within the series and will start at the first event at the Homestead/Miami Speedway in January.” More ...

12/27/09
racing news
Schatz wins, Stewart 7th down under  
The American trio of Tony Stewart, Donny Schatz and Tim Shaffer during the parade laps at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway
Paul Carruthers
Four-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz continued his winning ways with victory in the Valvoline Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix at Sydney’s Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway this evening.

Driving the Garry Rush-owned Pick’n’Payless entry, Schatz started the night off in flying fashion by setting the fastest time during qualifying before finishing second in his heat race.

Schatz’s team boss in the World of Outlaws Series, NASCAR Legend Tony Stewart, was coming to grips with a rain soaked ‘heavy’ track during the early part of the evening before starting from the back row in the main event. More ...

12/27/09
motogp
lmes
Rossi turns down Alesi offer  MOTOGP world champion Valentino Rossi has turned down an offer from former Formula One driver Jean Alesi to race with the Frenchman in the Le Mans 24 hour next June.

'The truth is that when Vale starts the season, he wants to solely concentrate on bikes. He will compete in rallies and speed events only after the end of the season,' manager Davide Brivio told Sunday's Gazzetta Sportiva.

Rossi, who has competed in several events on four wheels as he ponders one day switching sports, was due to race in the Mexico Rally in March but Brivio said his participation was now in doubt as it comes too close to the start of the MotoGP season.

12/27/09
f1
Schumacher letter to Ferrari fans  
You won't be seeing Schumacher in Ferrari red any longer
In an open letter to Ferrari fans distributed through the Italian media, Michael Schumacher says that Ferrari will always have a place in his heart.

"For 14 years I was a part of Ferrari and for 14 years Ferrari was a part of me," he said. "A sizeable chunk of Ferrari will always stay in my heart. I will always think of the warmth, the strength and the dedication I received for so many years from Italian Ferrari fans.

"I have felt welcomed by you, and I have tried to give you joy and passion when I fought on the tracks and rejoiced with you after victories."

"I have found many friends and learned a lot in the years I spent at Ferrari," wrote Schumacher. "I carefully observed the way to face things and have often underlined this attitude in Germany: no moaning but rather trying to see the beauty and the goodness in what's unavoidable, and rejoicing.

"Now a new chapter begins for me. I will race on the track against Ferrari with the utmost respect. I'm convinced these will be hard battles. Indeed, I'm certain Ferrari will be able to show its historical strength because I know what these guys are able to do.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me. I'd be happy if, besides the two Ferrari drivers, you'd carry on giving me a bit of your unlimited liking."

12/27/09
f1
Button second in 2009 European sportsman poll  
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button has placed second in the annual awards poll contributed by members of the European Sports Press Union.

The new world champion and Briton was awarded 81 points by journalists working for numerous European news agencies, behind the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (135 points).

Just 8 points behind Button, 29, was the Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen.

Michael Schumacher won the European sportsman of the year title in 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2003.  Kimi Raikkonen placed second in 2007.

12/27/09
f1
Montezemolo: “We have to look to the future and a true Formula 1”  
Click to watch video
A year that has been hectic, off the track as well as on, could not end without President Montezemolo’s evaluation of the current situation in Formula 1 and its prospects for the future.

“A complicated year from a political point of view is coming to an end and we now clearly want to look to the future,” said the President, when he met journalists for the traditional end of year dinner.

“The previous management of the FIA did a great deal of good, especially in such crucial areas as safety, but in most recent times, there were too many problems which led to serious consideration being given to Ferrari leaving Formula 1 – that was the feeling of our Main Board – and, along with the other teams in FOTA, there was a move towards establishing a different race series. I don’t want to go over those old arguments now. More ...

12/27/09
f1
Schumacher photos  
Falcon2000EX seats 10
Interior
Interior
Galley
His modest house
His modest house
His private island
Here are some photos that depict Michael Schumacher's lifestyle.  One is of Schumacher's jet.  We love the paint design. It looks like an abstract of a racing car, with the engines as the rear wing, a drivers helmet just in front of that...etc.

Look at the interior photos. It's not the biggest jet (like a Gulfstream or the gorgeous Dassault Falcon 7X) but its nicely appointed and has a 4,000 mile range at Mach 0.8

Notice the carbon fiber countertop and the carbon fiber accents throughout, and the very comfortable brushed suede fabric.

Then there is his house in Dubai. The land was gifted to him by Dubai's Crown Prince. It is on one of the islands in the man-made archipelago called The World, where he has a lot of famous neighbors including Briatore, Rod Stewart, and reportedly Tiger Woods.

This in addition to his two homes on Lake Geneva.

We guess all this style and luxury was too boring for him and he had to get back in a racing car.

We wonder if Jimmie Johnson or Dale Jr. has this kind of style. Well, they would need to have Michael's money first, and they don’t even come close. In addition to this, consider that Michael has given a way a significant part of his fortune to charity, most notably a big donation to the relief effort for the Indonesian Tsunami disaster. So in just about every respect, Michael is in a class of his own.
12/27/09
f1
Schumacher's wife supports his comeback  While most personality's in the paddock have welcome Michael Schumacher's return to Formula 1 with Mercedes Grand Prix there is probably just one person's opinion that could stop Schumacher's comeback. Fortunately though his wife Corina supports Schumacher's decision. "It's true that Michael's decision to compete in Formula One races again is very unexpectedly turning our family life upside down," Corina Schumacher said at the German's official website. "When he told me that Ross (Brawn) had called, however, I immediately felt that he was on fire again. As a matter of fact, Michael's passion for racing is enormous and without this deep passion all that would not have been possible. This passion made Michael who he is today.

"I got to know him as a racing driver and, even then, I always had every confidence in him. He knows exactly what he's doing and he knows as well that I'm always supporting him. Michael simply needs challenges - that's just the way he is. I can really understand his decision and, to be honest, I actually think it's great!" More ...
12/27/09
f1
USF1 car also designed without wind tunnel  (GMM)  A second 2010 formula one car has been designed without the aid of a wind tunnel.

A minor spat between the new Virgin and Lotus teams erupted earlier this month when Virgin designer Nick Wirth said his single seater for next year had benefited only from computational fluid dynamics technology.

"I am from the aviation business, mate.  You've got to have a wind tunnel," said Lotus' Tony Fernandes.

USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor, however, has now revealed that the new American team's 2010 design has also not yet seen the inside of a wind tunnel.

Referring to Wirth's comments, he wrote in a blog entry on the new USF1 website: "The same thing (CFD) applies to our car, although we see this as a logical process for a new team rather than something about which to be particularly excited." More ...

12/27/09
racing news
2010 Race Schedules  Our 2010 composite race schedule can now be found from our main race schedule page - see main menu above.
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