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Pirelli World Challenge could return to running combined GT and GTS races in selected events later this year, according to WC Vision President and CEO Greg Gill.
The sprint race championship, which separated its two primary classes in 2015 due to the influx of GT3-spec machinery, is now faced with a reduced grid of GT cars this year, following the conclusion of the Cadillac and Acura factory programs and several teams exiting the class.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
03/09/18 Word in the paddock here in St. Petersburg, Florida where the IndyCars are kicking off their season, is that veteran Oriol Servia will soon be announced as a third driver for the Rahal team in the Indy 500.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today with Conor Daly announced to drive the US Air Force #17 Dale Coyne Honda in conjunction with Tom Burns Racing in the Indy 500.
Daly drove for AJ Foyt last year
03/05/18 Word is that Conor Daly will have a ride in the Indy 500 after all. The CBS Amazing Race co-star with Alexander Rossi is riding a wave of popularity from the show and to not have him in the Indy 500 would be a lost opportunity for IndyCar. The guy sacrificed a lot for IndyCar on that show, even having to milk a Camel, but he and Rossi came up short in the semi-finals and went home empty handed.
British energy drinks company in talks to buy Force India (3rd Update)
Look for the pink cars to become black and gold
UPDATE So it wasn't a 'false' rumor after all. Rich Energy is heading a consortium to buy the F1 team and the move would see it extend its rivalry with market leader Red Bull to the world of motor sport.
Founder and chief executive William Storey said that being in F1 will help the firm, which sells its namesake premium energy drink in 23 countries, to expand its presence around the world.
“F1 is the perfect platform for the brand, motorsport is all about a fast, glamorous lifestyle. It works for Red Bull,” he added.
Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen has stated that he would love to drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series after he has finished racing in Formula One. The Dane stated that whilst he would not make a one-off appearance like Fernando Alonso did at the Indianapolis 500 last year, he does wish to race full-time in the series someday.
Magnussen was asked in an interview with Crash.net about the possibility of racing in IndyCar in the future. Magnussen went on to say that the idea was something that he had dreamt about but would only pursue after his term in Formula One.
Steve Lauletta is leaving his post as president of Chip Ganassi Racing after CGR hired Doug Duchardt (formerly with Hendrick Motorsports) as its chief operating officer in January and is believed to be taking over most of the duties Lauletta was overseeing.
Lauletta joined CGR in 2007, and will step down at the end of March. However, he will remain with the organization through the end of the season as a consultant.
IndyCar looking for major power boost from next engine
Current Honda IndyCar engine. If IndyCar would come out with a screaming engine like F1 used to be, fans will flock back to the sport. But electric cars are the future, so IndyCar is beholden to the manufacturers.
IndyCar's president of competition and operations Jay Frye says a new engine formula with a significant power increase could be introduced as soon as 2020 writes David Malsher of Autosport.
The current 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, which produces from 550-700bhp depending on the boost used at each track, has been in place since the start of the 2012 season, when IndyCar also switched to the DW12 chassis.
IndyCar's new 2018 car includes a return to a spec aero package after three years of manufacturer aerokits, and it will continue with this car for at least three years.
It could be married to a significant engine upgrade as soon as 2020.
Recall last year when it was rumored the Andretti team would be switching to Chevy and AR1.com stated we did not see the logic in that given Honda teams have been dragging around a parachute for years as a result of their inferior bodykit.
It is almost universally thought in the paddock that the Honda engine was slightly more powerful than the Chevy so with IndyCar going to spec bodykits for 2018, why would Michael Andretti be switching to Chevy when the Honda should have an advantage in 2018.
After reverse engineering Tesla Model 3 Germans admit they have been schooled
The German manufacturers admitted the Tesla was better designed than their cars
A few weeks ago, we reported on two Tesla Model 3 vehicles spotted in air freight inbound for Germany. We assumed that they were purchased on the used market by a German automaker to be reverse-engineered and benchmarked.
Sure enough, a report from Germany now confirms our suspicion and gives us insights into the German effort to learn from the Model 3.
German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that an unnamed German premium automaker paid ‘about 185,000 Euro’ (~$230,000) before transportation and customs for the Model 3.
Cosworth Needs An OEM Partner For IndyCar; Could Ford Fit The Bill?
Ford is not doing that well financially, and with IndyCar's small TV numbers, what incentive would they have to race in IndyCar? They have stated they want to race with cars that look similar to their street cars. NASCAR and IMSA fit that bill
British automotive engineering firm Cosworth has expressed its interest in again supplying engines for IndyCar racing in the United States, with the company’s Managing Director of Powertrains, Bruce Wood, telling Motorsport.com: “If we could find the right OEM to fund it, going back to Indy would be appealing.”
“We have a fantastic motor racing heritage and Cosworth is keen to go top-flight racing again with the right OEM partner,” Wood says. “We’re constantly in talks with people in IndyCar. You can do it very economically, compared to other categories, and you don’t need to own a team."
Cosworth’s interest in IndyCar could provide an opportunity for Cosworth’s longtime partner and one-time owner, Ford Motor Company, to reenter America’s premier open-wheel racing series. As recently as last year, rumors had circulated that Ford was looking to join rival automakers Chevrolet and Honda as an engine supplier in the series, but those rumors were shot down by executives like then-CTO Raj Nair and then-Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak.
The next IndyCar. IndyCar just doesn't know it yet
IndyCar didn't design the concept for their next generation IndyCar, but it's already done for them. Initially inspired by Grand Prix cars of the 60’s Chris Beatty wanted to explore what a contemporary vision of these great racers might look like combined with modern day safety developments.
He wanted to create a design that removed the heavy reliance on over the body wing generated downforce and instead focus on mechanical grip with a degree of ground effect generated from the under-body.
Desperate to get headlines like they got with Fernando Alonso in 2017 at the Indy 500, it would seem IndyCar helped Danica Patrick get a ride in the 2018 Indy 500.
An Indianapolis Star report confirmed the rumors that the series itself, led by Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, helped pair Patrick and Ed Carpenter Racing. While the report didn’t say how far the series was involved in landing her with ECR, it did say that they were seeking out suitors and opened doors.
Who will drive Dale Coyne's 4th car in the Indy 500?
Daly is hoping to win the Great Race with Alexander Rossi
Dale Coyne sometimes runs 3 and sometimes 4 cars in the Indy 500. This year he has two confirmed so far for Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi, and Pippa Mann is expected in a 3rd car.
As for a 4th car, word is that if Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly win The Great Race on CBS (they are currently leading with 2 legs to run) they will split the $1 million prize and Daly will have $500 K to fund his ride.
Who will Danica drive for in the Indy 500 (3rd Update)
Ed Carpenter will run Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, the final race of her career
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. By complete accident Danica Patrick revealed that she will drive for Ed Carpenter Racing at the 102nd Indianapolis 500, her career finale.
During Daytona 500 media day on Wednesday evening, Patrick was asked when she'll start preparing for Indy. Her answer: "I didn't have time to meet up with Ed and the people," Patrick said before pausing. "Did I say that? Whoops. I've never done that in my career.''
It was widely assumed that Patrick would land at ECR, as Carpenter's team was the only one that would confirm even having talked with Patrick at this point.
Bratches, Carey and Brawn, running F1 into the ground?
Morgan Stanley forecast that Formula 1 "will burn up" $216.1M of net losses over the next three years, according to Christian Sylt for FORBES.
The "grim outlook" was disclosed in a recent report from the bank. It follows the news that F1's revenue in '17 "crashed" by $18M to $1.8B fueled by the loss of the German Grand Prix and several sponsors including insurance firm Allianz and financial services company UBS.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The World Endurance Championship has accepted a request by the Fuji Circuit to move the event to a new date in order to avoid a clash with the United States Grand Prix, allowing Fernando Alonso to contest the race.
Two-time Formula 1 champion Alonso will contest the upcoming WEC 'Super Season' with Toyota alongside his F1 commitments with McLaren. However a date clash between the Six Hours of Fuji and the US GP meant he would miss round four of the WEC season.
Zak Brown lands a Dell computer B2B associate sponsor deal
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. McLaren has confirmed a multi-faceted, long-term partnership with Dell Technologies, the world's largest privately-controlled technology company.
Dell Technologies, which consists of seven global brands – Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream and VMware – will bring its deep technology expertise to all McLaren Technology Group companies, including McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies, as well as benefitting McLaren's esports programme, World's Fastest Gamer.
Will this be Jimmie Johnson's final year? Once you hit 40 you do slow down.
Will the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season be the final season during which seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, 42, drives the #48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports as a full-time driver? One former full-time Cup Series driver thinks so.
Regan Smith, 34, said on NASCAR Race Hub that he believes the 2018 season, which is set to be Johnson’s 17th season as a full-time driver in the sport dating back to 2002, will be his final season as a driver in the sport.
Chase Carey and team are making changes and the old-timers hate change
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Formula 1 has announced European races will now starting at 3.10pm, except for the French Grand Prix, which will start at 4.10pm local time to avoid a clash with the World Cup group game between England and Panama.
The races will now start 1:10 minutes later than usual - to allow broadcasters to better incorporate the pre-race build-up if their programming starts on the hour.
A statement issued by F1 said: "Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterize the minutes before the start of each Grand Prix.
NASCAR's Starting An Online Racing League With A Six-Figure Payout
F1 and NASCAR understand the connection of online racing with young fans. IndyCar turned its back on a huge deal that would have transformed the sport
NASCAR teams are working on an online racing league where they would draft players to compete for a six-figure payout, according to a report from Sports Business Daily. The league would take place on iRacing, a subscription simulator that even professional drivers practice on, and likely be broadcast online.
Sports Business Daily reports that Rob Kauffman, a chairperson for the Race Team Alliance that acts in the interests of NASCAR teams, said the online league is in the works. The report didn’t say how many races the league would have, and it also hasn’t been decided whether they’ll be on weekdays or on race weekends.
Lexus eyeing DPi entry with Andretti or Oreca (Update)
Is Michael Andretti looking to get back into IMSA with a factory Lexus deal?
UPDATE Andretti COO Rob Edwards told RACER the team continues to search for manufacturers that could make it possible for Andretti to make a return to top-tier sports car racing.
"If the right deal's there, that's where we want to be," he said. "My first races in the States were at Daytona, and the paddock's healthy. Just being there on the Friday, the health of that series is very good and we're always keen to talk with manufacturers that would want to partner on something new."
It would appear one such manufacturer is Lexus says AR1.com.
01/31/18 TRD President and General Manager Dave Wilson says Lexus has continued to keep DPi in its “field of vision” amid increased speculation of the luxury automaker joining the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to compete with the top GM brand - Cadillac, and top Honda brand - Acura.
F1 rules makers must have their heads where the sun doesn't shine if they believe active suspensions will reduce cost. They will however accomplish one F1 goal, to engineer the driver right out of the car eventually
(GMM) Mercedes has reportedly suggested that active suspension should be reintroduced in F1.
The suggestion follows news that some teams including Red Bull will no longer be able to use a 'trick' involving clever systems to lower ride height in corners.
The controversy has been the subject of discussions within the F1 technical working group, with two proposals on each end of the suspension spectrum proposed as a result.
The first is a return to simple suspension layouts with dampers and springs, while the other is the re-introduction of radical 'active suspension' which was last seen in 1993.
“It’s only the first day, so it’s nothing,” said Valentino Rossi, on the first day of his 23rd season of Grand Prix racing.
True, lap times from the first of three days of testing here at Sepang - topped by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa - don’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to predicting what will happen during the 2018 MotoGP world championship. But in fact today wasn’t nothing at all, for the MotoGP championship as a whole, because something very big happened during Rossi’s media debrief.
This is pure speculation on our part, we'll say that right up front. We have been analyzing the TV scene to try and figure out what new TV deal IndyCar may sign.
One thing that has been making us scratch our head is how did Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly end up on The Amazing Race? IndyCar drivers have done Dancing With The Stars in the past, because IndyCar has some races on ABC and that show is on ABC.
Amazing Race is one of the highest rated shows on the biggest network - CBS.
Nationwide Set To Announce PSA Deal With Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Update)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been with Nationwide for years
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Nationwide has signed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a multiyear PSA, continuing a longtime association with the retired driver and customer of the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Nationwide had a PSA deal with Earnhardt from '08-14 before ending that to focus fully on its primary sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports. The insurer is rekindling the personal deal with Earnhardt after his retirement.
Nationwide will focus on using Earnhardt in a similar way that it has used Peyton Manning, with speaking engagements to employees and customers on top of some consumer-facing activation, and slowly introducing a focus on financial services to relate to his retirement.
Will the Hulman-George family finally take IMS public?
Are the Hulman-George family thinking about floating an IPO and going public with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? What about the IndyCar series? Why else would a private entity be ringing the closing NASDAQ Bell today?
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square.
In honor of the occasion, Allison Melangton, Senior Vice President, Hulman Motorsports, will ring the Closing Bell.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers dating Danica Patrick (4th Update)
Danica Patrick dumped little Ricky Stenhouse for QB Aaron Rodgers, now it is confirmed
UPDATE Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers may seem like the most random sports couple ever, but there is a deeper connection than some people realize. As Patrick explained to For The Win on Thursday, their friendship actually dates back to 2012 at the ESPY Awards, and they've been in touch ever since.
"We've just been sort of friends the whole time, kept in vague touch and seen each other at the ESPYs almost every year, and other places," Patrick said. "So one thing led to another, and we realized how similar we were, and yeah, that got the ball rolling."
Danica To Unveil GoDaddy Daytona 500 Car Next Week
Can Danica keep the wheels on the car in the Daytona 500?
Danica Patrick said that she is looking to unveil her Daytona 500 ride within the next week, and GoDaddy CMO Barb Rechterman said the company is working on signing Patrick to a full PSA deal beyond the two races it will sponsor her.
GoDaddy and Patrick on Thursday announced a reunion for the Daytona and Indy 500, and Rechterman said the company will shoot a non-Super Bowl TV spot with Patrick that will debut at a to-be-determined time, along with promoting her on its digital and social media channels.
Toyota to pull out of floundering NASCAR Truck Series
The Truck series is not healthy whatsoever
Was the announcement of ThorSport Racing and Toyota parting ways on Tuesday a sign of a Toyota exit from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series? The writing on the wall sure gives that impression. And if Toyota is backing away from the series, is the spec engine to blame?
NASCAR has pushed for a spec engine built by Ilmor Engineering for the Truck series. It is based on a Chevrolet engine. The engine will be an option for Truck Series teams this year and is expected to be the mandated engine next year.
Yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz showed off two new straight-six-powered AMG models, the CLS53 and the E53. According to Ola Kallenius, R&D chief at Mercedes, more straight-sixes are inevitable. Speaking at a roundtable interview, Kallenius confirmed that Mercedes is essentially doing away with V6s in favor of its new M256 straight-six.
The reason? It's tied to the rise of the inline-four, according to Kallenius.
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