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Alonso rumors still racing on comeback eve (GMM) On the eve of his return to the F1 cockpit, the saga surrounding Fernando Alonso's mysterious Barcelona testing crash continues.
The latest rumors are as wild as should now be expected after a period of intense speculation about the cause of the February 22 incident and the reason for the Spaniard's four days in hospital and subsequent five weeks of recovery.
Before he is grilled by reporters at Sepang on Thursday, the McLaren-Honda driver will be tested by circuit and FIA doctors.
Blancpain GT series coming to the USA Rumor has it that at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend, racing officials from several international companies will be part of a special presentation to media members, manufacturers, sponsors, race teams and drivers to announce 2015 and 2016 racing events in the U.S. and Europe for the Blancpain GT series. As if there was not enough dilution of the motorsports fan base and sponsor dollars in the USA, racing needs yet another series like they need a hole in their head.
Just another nail in the coffin of open wheel racing.
Italian car-manufacturing company De Tomaso, which originally produced various sports cars in the 60s and 70s, has often changed owners since the passing of its founder, Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso in 2003.
In its latest change of proprietorship, the company was acquired last week at an auction in Turin by a consortium which includes the Swiss L3 Holding as well as Lotus owner Genii Capital for a price of 2,05 million euros.
NASCAR could return to single-car qualifying at Talladega After a mostly disastrous run of group qualifying for restrictor-plate races, NASCAR is considering a hybrid version more similar to the traditional format. As first reported Tuesday morning by Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer, there is a strong possibility that single-car qualifying will be used for the May 3 race at Talladega Superspeedway.
IndyCar eyeing Boston street race A Boston group’s plan to bring a Grand Prix race to the Hub is picking up speed as organizers envision a series of events leading up to open-top race cars roaring around the streets of the Seaport District on Labor Day weekend next year.
IndyCar Boston, a group led by former IndyCar executive Mark Perrone, is working with the city and IndyCar to bring the season finale of the 2016 racing season to the streets of Boston starting next year, potentially continuing for years as a regular event.
"We’re working on it, we’re looking to see if it works for the city,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in an interview. “Certainly it would be a great opportunity for promotion of the city."
If Horner decides to do their own F1 engine, it will cost Red Bull a lot of money and the team will be a backmarker for a decade
Current tensions between Red Bull and Renault have prompted speculation that the Milton Keynes outfit may be thinking about designing its own engine.
It isn't the first time such a prospect has been considered, as the possibility was briefly mentioned last summer, although at the time Christian Horner all but ruled it out, stressing that working with a strong partner was preferable.
But as both parties mutually lashed out at each other in the aftermath of a disastrous Australian Grand Prix weekend, the probability may have been once again put on the table by Red Bull management.
Virgin to also take on Tesla Richard Branson has slapped his Virgin brand on trains, planes, spacecraft, and (soon) cruise ships. Are cars next?
Branson is a publicity-loving billionaire who loves fast things. This week he was in Miami, where his Virgin Racing team competed in the all-electric Formula E race. It's a Formula 1 spin-off that features battery-powered race cars capable of going from zero to 60 miles per hour in three seconds.
Bloomberg TV tracked Branson down at the Virgin garage in Miami and popped the question: Where is Virgin going with this?
Kobayashi in talks for Manor seat - report (Update)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Kamui Kobayashi's manager has played down reports the Japanese driver is on the verge of a return to F1.
Chikara Funada, who handles the former Toyota, Sauber and Caterham driver's career, was spotted in the Melbourne paddock last weekend.
28-year-old Kobayashi lost his Caterham seat at the end of last season and for this year has signed up with Toyota in the top Japanese series Super Formula.
But media reports have now linked him with Manor, whose Roberto Merhi does not bring significant sponsorship to the team and remains committed to the Formula Renault 3.5 series later in 2015.
Is there an adequate supply of aero kits parts for the Honda teams?
Recall our Monday report from IndyCar Spring Training noting that there was a shortage of Honda aero kit parts. We learned of this after speaking with Dale Coyne Racing, who were able to outfit Carlos Huertas' #18 car with the kit, but not the #19 car of Francesco Dracone.
Noting his team would definitely be testing at Sebring next week and perhaps one other place. Andretti said the decision of where and how much the team would test would come down to the availability of parts.
Lee then asked "Where do things stand with extra parts by the time we get to St. Pete?"
Sauber and van der Garde to settle? (Update 2)UPDATE #2
Giedo van der Garde
This rumor is upgraded to 'Fact'. Below, is a statement from Giedo van der Garde.
'We have reached a settlement with Sauber and my driver contract with the team has been ended by mutual consent. As a passionate race driver, I feel sad and am very disappointed. I have worked very hard my entire career, ever since starting with go-karts at the age of eight, to live my dream and become a successful Formula One driver. I had hoped at last to be able to show what I am capable of, driving a car for a respected midfield team in the 2015 season. This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over.
I had a valid driver contract for the entire 2015 season and enforceable rights to it. I pushed very hard until last Saturday in Melbourne to get the drive that I was entitled to. This legal process started in 2014 and has taken a great deal of effort. It was never a last minute thing, but it only became public in the last week when we tried to force the team to accept the rulings of a succession of legal authorities and courts.
UPDATE #2 We looked into why Francesco Dracone's #19 Dale Coyne Racing machine ran without the Honda aero kits today at Barber Motorsports Park, while teammate Carlos Huertas ran the aero kit on the #18.
Originally, we were told that the team did not have adequate time to outfit the #19 car with the new kits. However, we later got word that there is a shortage of Honda parts in circulation available to the teams.
Now, is the shortage of parts, something specific to the current test? Or is the shortage something expected to carry over into the season? We weren't able to get the particulars. However, word going round the paddock is that not all teams have adequate access to the necessary parts at this point in time.
Formula E to Geneva??? (Update)UPDATE (Editor's note: This Formula E press release about Swiss law being changed, supports this AR1 rumor about the all-electric series potentially racing in Geneva, Switzerland.)
Formula E may potentially race on the streets of Switzerland in the future following the decision from the Swiss government to reduce the restrictions on motorsport to allow electric racing.
Motorsport has previously been forbidden in Switzerland for decades with the last motor race to be held at the circuit of Bremgarten, near Bern, in 1954. Now, after a historic decision by the Swiss Council of States to adopt a motion by MP Fathi Derder, Switzerland can welcome professional circuit motorsport back into the country.
There is talk at the Barber test that Chip Ganassi Racing driver Sage Karam is in line for more races with the team in 2015. Of course, as of now, the 2013 Indy Lights champion is confirmed only for the opener at St. Petersburg.
How many more races, or which races exactly, we are unsure. However, we will continue to follow up on the matter as the day goes on.
Melbourne to alternate Aussie GP with Sydney? (Update) UPDATE
An "audacious bid" to bring the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix to Sydney and "possibly race it across the Harbour Bridge will be launched by a re-elected Baird government," according to Andrew Clennell of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announced that, if re-elected on March 28, "work would start on taking the Grand Prix off Melbourne." Baird would establish a bid team featuring Rod McGeoch, who led Sydney's successful 2000 Olympics bid, and former News Corp. CEO John Hartigan, the chairman of Destination NSW. The team "would report to government by the end of the year on the economics of the race." Baird is interested in a "minimum three-year bid which would cost NSW taxpayers" up to A$180M ($138M) to stage the event.
Justin Wilson a spectator in 2015? Word has it that Justin Wilson will be in St. Pete for the IndyCar opener in two weeks, but he will not be driving. Not enough money to buy his ride, which is necessary since Tony George divided the sport and essentially destroyed it.
Jeff Gordon is not retiring. The four-time NASCAR champion has said it many times over since he announced that 2015 would be his final full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gordon admittedly is winding his career down but he is by no means calling it quits. In fact, earlier this week Gordon more than left the door open for him to race in 2016.
Earlier this week Gordon was in Texas to promote April’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The event quickly turned into a celebration of Gordon as fans and media asked questions about his career as he shared stories and memories. Friday morning Mike Florek of the Dallas Morning News’ published an article about Gordon in which he addressed Gordon retiring. Gordon’s response is somewhat surprising and something that his fans might get excited about.
UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' now. Following the team's earlier statement regarding the injury that Valtteri sustained to his lower back during yesterday's qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix. It can be confirmed that the scans revealed that Valtteri had suffered has a very small tear in the annular part of a disc in his lower back.
Valtteri has since been evaluated by the FIA's medical team and following a series of tests the FIA Medical Delegate has deemed Valtteri unfit to take part in this afternoon’s race. The team respect the FIA’s decision and will now work with Valtteri ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix to ensure he receives the treatment required to get him back to full fitness.
Formula E to race in Paris? Formula E is likely to race in Paris at some point. When Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag was asked about the possibility of racing in the City of Light he offered the following:
"It's actually neither on or off! We are working on it. We have an open conversation with Paris and we hope it will end up on a positive note. I'm very optimistic, but it's not done."
Van der Garde to race Sauber in Malaysia not Australia
Prediction: Once the F1 teams have left Australia and the jurisdiction of the Australian courts, Sauber will find a way to not let van der Garde drive
(GMM) Giedo van der Garde arrived at Albert Park early on Friday and headed straight into the Sauber garage.
The development followed his lawyers filing a contempt of court action against the Swiss team in which Sauber was instructed to compile a list of its assets currently in Melbourne.
The van der Garde camp, having cleared every legal hurdle so far in enforcing the Dutchman's 2015 race contract, had argued Sauber was doing nothing to facilitate the 29-year-old's participation in the 2015 season opener.
Indeed, Sauber had even argued in court there was "no practical way we can allow (and) facilitate Mr. van der Garde in this new C34 Ferrari which he has not previously" driven.
Ford GT to Debut at Petit Le Mans While Ford has still yet to officially confirm the existence of a race program, its new-for-2016 Ford GT may get a chance to make its on-track debut before the end of this year.
Industry sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Ford is evaluating a potential race debut for its new GTE-spec car at the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-ending Petit Le Mans in October.
The Multimatic-built car, which has been designed around the ACO’s new 2016 GTE regulations, has reportedly already built, but because of the category’s technical differences cannot compete in the GT Le Mans class this year.
(GMM) Already absent in Australia, attention is now turning to whether Fernando Alonso will be back in action in Malaysia in just over two weeks.
Officially, the Spaniard is simply sitting out a 21-day period in the wake of his February 22 concussion.
McLaren-Honda supremo Ron Dennis confirmed that to reporters in Melbourne, but he also refused to say therefore that Alonso will be back in action for Sepang -- a full five weeks after the mysterious Barcelona incident.
On Wednesday, Alonso posted on Twitter a photo of his Malaysia 2007 victory with the caption: "Malaysia ... McLaren".
Prepare to get excited while keeping still and paying attention. An insider close to the GM Lansing Grand River Assembly plant's operations, where the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will be made, tipped autoevolution about the debut of the sixth-gen, telling to "look forward to Memorial Day, give or take a few days."
In 2015, we're commemorating the brave men and women who died while serving the Red White & Blue on May 25th. There's no major industry event that day and the New York Auto Show in April is the place of debut for the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and 2016 Cadillac CT6 flagship sedan.
Considering that the Indy 500-mile race takes place 24 hours before Memorial Day, go figure what "give or take a few days" could actually refer to.
(GMM) Manor has completed the Melbourne grid by signing Spanish rookie Roberto Merhi.
Before the official announcement, it emerged in the Spanish press that the former Marussia team had applied to the FIA for a super license for the 23-year-old.
Merhi has traveled to Australia for his grand prix debut this weekend, but his manager Mark Blundell said he is confirmed only for the "opening rounds" of 2015.
Spanish media reports suggest higher-paying drivers might be in the running later this year, such as Giedo van der Garde, who is currently fighting Sauber in the courts for the right to race in Melbourne.
Coletti to KV (Update 2) UPDATE #2 KV Racing Technology has confirmed that Stefano Coletti will drive the #4 Chevrolet this season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. We have updated our 2015 IndyCar Silly season page (see link above)
AR1.com has learned from its Italian sources that 25-year old former GP2 champion Stefano Coletti has signed with KV Racing and will partner with Sebastien Bourdais in 2015. Coletti will drive the full season and is headed to Indianapolis for a seat fitting, to prepare to test at NOLA on March 14th, followed by other tests in Barber and Sebring before the first race of the season in ST. Petersburg on March 29th.
02/08/15 Word from AR1's Monaco Field Bureau it the Monegasque driver Stefano Coletti, who tested earlier this offseason with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, is on his way to The Big Easy to test with KV Racing Technology. We're not sure yet if Coletti will be testing Tuesday, Wednesday or both of the IndyCar testing days this week at New Orleans Motorsports Park.
Bernie Moreno Companies to sponsor Chaves? (Update) UPDATE Bernie Moreno is Colombian and so is Chaves. Hence the connection. The sponsorship will only be for IndyCar races within a specific radius of Cleveland.
Shay Hazen of MTAF Wheels spoke with Bernie Moreno at the 2015 Cleveland Auto Show recently. Moreno is the CEO of Cleveland-based Bernie Moreno Companies, which last year sponsored the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda piloted by Jack Hawksworth under the Collection Auto Group banner at a host of events. CAG has been rebranded under the Bernie Moreno Companies name. Hazen reports that when she asked Moreno about returning with BHA in 2015, who have signed 2014 Indy Lights Champion Gabby Chaves to replace the departed Hawksworth, she received a "resounding yes."
Is Alonso lying through his teeth like a Cheshire Cat?
(GMM) The theory Fernando Alonso was already unconscious before he crashed in Barcelona two weeks ago is growing stronger by the hour.
Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the key to the mystery could be the on-board footage captured by the Ferrari driven by Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel said immediately after the incident that Alonso's reactions had appeared "strange", but he corrected the record this week, insisting the crash was not so "dramatic" and that he only saw the final moments of it anyway.
2015 Pro Mazda Silly Season (Update 5) UPDATE #5 According to his website, 18-year-old Uruguayan driver Santi Urrutia will test a Pro Mazda car for Team Pelfrey next week. The Pelfrey squad captured the Pro Mazda Winterfest championship last week with British driver Jack Aitken, and won the 2012 Star Mazda title with current IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth.
AR1 Staff Report
02/18/15 Below is an updated list of confirmed entries for the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship Presented By Cooper Tires.
Formula E: Brabham to run for Andretti in Miami???UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to false with today's announcement that Scott Speed run for Andretti Formula E at next weekend's Miami ePrix.
Look for Matthew Brabham to drive for Andretti in next weekend's Miami ePrix
AutoRacing1 is hearing Matthew Brabham will likely be behind the wheel of an Andretti Formula E car in next weekend's Miami ePrix.
The Mazda Road to Indy standout ran for the team earlier this season at Putrajaya and Punta del Este, recording a best finish of 13th at Putrajaya.
Brabham is one of five drivers the team has fielded through 4 ePrix. Charles Pic and Franck Montagny ran the opener at Beijing, where Montagny finished second, and Pic fourth. Montagny also ran at Putrajaya before being indefinitely suspended after testing positive for a derivative of cocaine.
Ferrari test driver Jean-Eric Vergne has run the last two ePrix for the team, scoring pole in Punta del Este, and will drive for the team again in Miami.
Apple in talks with BMW to develop car? A spokesman for BMW AG (BMW.XE) said on Thursday the German carmaker isn't in talks with Apple Inc. to develop a car, denying a press report in German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
According to the report, the two companies were discussing the possibility of working on developing a passenger car and that Apple was impressed with BMW's carbon-fiber electric cars, citing a manager at BMW.
Nice idea, but Formula E wants their own race weekend to promote 'clean' racing. IndyCars are not clean.
A little more than a week from now, the Spark Renaults of Formula E will roll off the grid on a Miami, Florida street-course around the American Airlines arena. A little more than three weeks from now the Dallaras of the IndyCar series will roll off the grid on a St. Petersburg, Florida street-course which includes the city’s airport.
Exactly one month from today, the Spark Renaults of Formula E will roll off the grid on a Long Beach, California street course. 22 days following Formula E, IndyCars will roll off on the same course, albeit a longer version of the Formula E course. One can see the trend emerging.
The proximity in both geography and chronology begs a simple question for 2016: Why not both? Save for a few logistical hiccups, pairing the two series at locations like Miami and Long Beach seems a natural fit.
Schumacher doctor's laptop stolen? (GMM) The office belonging to Michael Schumacher's personal doctor has been burgled.
Germany's Bild newspaper reports that cash, prescriptions and a laptop were among the items stolen from the clinic belonging to Dr Johannes Peil. The report said Peil would not confirm if medical data about the F1 legend or his other patients including Nico Rosberg were on the computer.
It is not the first time medical records belonging to Schumacher have been compromised. As the great German was recovering from his brain injury last year, an employee of a Swiss air rescue company was accused of stealing a medical report. The suspect later committed suicide.
Alonso to miss Melbourne season opener (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Fernando Alonso will sit out next weekend's Australian grand prix.
McLaren announced the news on Tuesday, despite insisting the Spaniard has been checked by doctors in the wake of his Barcelona testing crash and four days in hospital.
The doctors found Alonso "asymptomatic of any medical issue," McLaren said in a media statement, "they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike".
NASCAR Asking For $1B Over 10 Years For Title Sponsorship NASCAR is asking $1 billion over 10 years for its soon-to-be-open Sprint Cup Series title sponsorship, according to sources.
The sanctioning body has hit the market for Sprint's replacement with a price tag of $45 million to $50 million annually in rights fees and the same in activation over a decade, according to sources. Sprint confirmed in December that it would end its 13-year sponsorship of NASCAR's top series after the 2016 season.
Rossi to drive for Coyne in IndyCar? (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 This rumor is downgraded to false, per today's announcement. American Alexander Rossi has secured a ride with the Racing Engineering to contest the 2015 GP2 Championship.
"My ultimate goal still remains F1, and GP2 with Racing Engineering is perfect for these objectives," said the American in a statement.
AR1 Staff Report
Rossi has always had backing from GE and if they stay with him, he's golden.
Racer.com published a photo sent to them by Dale Coyne titled "Last Minute Christmas Shopping," with Rossi sitting in the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda with Coyne and HPS VP Steve Eriksen standing next to him.
With Justin Wilson and Coyne going in different directions for 2015 (Wilson's rumored to be going to KVSH Racing), and a significant investment in personnel and engineering resources for the new season, Rossi appears to have risen to the top of Coyne's shopping list writes Pruett.
"It was fantastic to meet Dale Coyne Racing as well as Steve [Eriksen] and Allen [Miller] from HPD today," Rossi told RACER. "I admire the effort that they're putting in this winter ahead of 2015." [AR1.com: Rossi at Coyne would be a fantastic combination. Rossi has no oval experience, but they are easy to learn compared to road and street circuits and Rossi is fast on those. It will come down to whether Rossi can bring the companies that backed him in F1 (Like General Electric) to come with him to IndyCar.]
12/01/14 According to an interview Alexander Rossi did with Marshall Pruett of Racer.com, Rossi has completely given up on trying to land a ride in F1 where you need to bring a very large check to buy your ride, and is now focused 100% on landing an IndyCar ride for 2015. Americas best and brightest hope for F1 success (having won at every level in Europe) finally realizes the futility in it all. F1 doesn't need an American apparently and there is no one else on the horizon with the financial backing to make it happen.
Rossi has talked to a number of IndyCar teams with open seats and hopes to put together a deal in the coming weeks. Don't be surprised if he tests an IndyCar in the near future and is on the grid for the first race of the season.
Alexander Rossi has confirmed he has had talks with fellow American Gene Haas about driving for his F1 team when it joins the grid in 2016.
Haas, who deferred entry for Haas Formula until 2016 in order to get the correct structure in place, has said he would prefer an form a team with an experienced driver and an American at the helm. Marussia reserve driver Rossi is confident he can do a good job as the latter.
"I am thrilled for Haas," Rossi told Crash.net. "His passion and commitment to enter F1 and bring Americans closer to the sport deserves serious respect. America is growing every year and the amount of support I receive personally is phenomenal. Americans love to have an athlete to get behind and I think having a team in the sport, particularly with someone as well known and successful as Gene would be fantastic."
Justin Wilson to ditch IndyCar for sportscar racing
Wilson likely headed to sportscar racing, a professional series where drivers get paid to drive.
A professional athlete should be paid to drive. They should not be buying their ride. Can I be Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys if I raise enough money? If the answer is yes, then it is not a sport - plain and simple. It is simply a fund raising exercise.
Veteran IndyCar driver Justin Wilson might not land a full-time IndyCar ride for the upcoming season per a tweet from his brother, Stefan.
"Sad to hear that JW might not get a ride in IndyCar this year. 1 of the most talented in series & plays a huge part in push for driver safety."
Wilson was not able to raise enough money to buy his ride at Dale Coyne Racing and Andretti Autosport.
Spec Engine, Constructor Limit Proposed in 2017 LMP2 Regs The shape of the proposed 2017 LMP2 regulations has taken a dramatic twist following last month’s manufacturers meeting in Daytona, with a move to a spec engine and limited chassis constructor involvement now on the table.
Multiple industry sources have revealed to Sportscar365 that the FIA and ACO have proposed the concept of a single engine supplier to be used for LMP2 cars competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European and Asian Le Mans Series beginning in 2017.
IMSA would reportedly still allow multiple engine manufacturers in the Prototype class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, although cars not fitted with the spec powerplant would only be allowed to compete overseas at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Alonso 'going home to rest' - report (GMM) After three nights in hospital and amid swirling speculation about his testing crash, Fernando Alonso is finally going home.
That was the claim on Wednesday of the Spanish sports daily El Mundo Deportivo, reporting that the McLaren-Honda driver is "going home to Oviedo to rest".
Alonso will "not take part in the test this week at the Circuit de Catalunya," the newspaper added, which is "only a precaution to ensure that he arrives in the best physical shape for the first race in Australia".
New video boards may not be ready for May Question: I saw photographs of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway video boards removed. Does that mean the new ones will be in place for May? (Jeff, Speedway, Ind.)
Answer (Curt Cavin Indy Star): Maybe. The video boards have had their screens removed, a fact witnessed by the people who attended last week's IndyCar Series media day at the track. That doesn't guarantee anything, however. IMS is still awaiting state funding approval, and if that comes in a timely manner then the boards will be replaced before the May 7-9 road race weekend. If not, the old boards will be back up. As background, IMS believes new video boards are key to improving the fan experience, which is why it's part of the state funding package. There are about 20 video boards on the property, and the new boards will be placed in roughly the same locations so as to not change the viewing experience for ticket holders who have purchased seats with boards in mind. The boards also will be about the same size as the current ones, albeit HD quality. Unlike Texas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, there won't be any of those massive boards, largely because of cost but also because such a board couldn't benefit enough seats to make it worthwhile.
Racer.com rumors that veteran Verizon IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro is closing in on a drive with the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team for the season opener at St. Petersburg, and could extend the opportunity through Barber Motorsports Park.
De Silvestro parted ways with her longtime manager Imran Safiulla after her F1 foray failed, and it's believed she sought guidance from Andretti executive John Lopes to explore new opportunities in IndyCar, and to secure the funding necessary to land a top drive.
Jones to replace Busch??? (Update) This rumor is downgraded to false, with today's announcement that David Ragan will sub for Busch beginning this weekend in Atlanta. However, the talented Jones will be filling in for Busch in select Xfinity Series events beginning this weekend in Atlanta.
Coyne to run Gonzalez and Huertas in 2015? Houston race one winner Carlos Huertas will be back in the Dale Coyne Racing second car for this week's Sebring IndyCar test. It appears Dale Coyne's two drivers this year may be Huertas and Rodolfo Gonzalez.
Century 21 to sponsor Newgarden at Indy? (Update)UPDATE
Century 21 to sponsor Josef Newgarden at three IndyCar events in 2013.
(Editor's note: This rumor is upgraded to 'fact,' with the announcement below from CFH Racing. Century 21 will serve as primary sponsor for Josef Newgarden at both the Indianapolis 500 and Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and associate sponsor for the season-finale at Sonoma Raceway.)
(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) February 23, 2015 – CFH Racing announced today that CENTURY 21® Real Estate will join the team for the two Verizon IndyCar Series events scheduled to take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The iconic brand and franchisor will be the primary sponsor of Josef Newgarden at the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Additionally, CFH Racing will change Newgarden's entry from the traditional No. 67 to the No. 21, the real estate brand's signature number.
With approximately 6,900 independent offices worldwide, CENTURY 21 has the largest global network in the residential real estate industry. While CENTURY 21 agents are known for doing everything they can to help their clients find their dream home, CFH Racing will work to fulfill the dream of needing to find a home for the 'Baby' Borg Warner, the trophy given to the winner of the Indianapolis 500. Newgarden will be making his fourth start in the world’s largest annual single-day sporting event; 2015 marks the second running of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Rory Byrne is new Ferrari designer's 'guru' (Update) UPDATE
Rory Byrne in 2007
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today and will send chills down the spines of Ferrari's competitors. Legendary Ferrari designer Rory Byrne has returned to Maranello to be Simone Resta's mentor and work with James Allison.
South African Byrne, 71, was a key member of the Ferrari 'dream team' of last decade, when along with Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher, they utterly dominated the sport.
More recently, he had retired to Thailand, but Byrne can now be found once again in the corridors of Maranello.
His new role is supporting Simone Resta, Ferrari's new designer in the wake of the personnel shakeup that saw the likes of Nikolas Tombazis, Pat Fry and others all depart.
Rodolfo Gonzalez to IndyCar? (Update 2)UPDATE #2 We're hearing that Gonzalez will once again be testing at Sebring with Dale Coyne Racing. Considering that we've also heard the team's discussions with Alexander Rossi have possibly fallen through, could it be that Gonzalez is back in the running for a 2015 ride with DCR?
AR1 Staff Report
12/05/14 Added photo of Gonzalez below.
Rodolfo "Speedy" Gonzalez
12/04/14 Below, is a translation from El Periodiquito, which seems to say 28-year-old Venezuelan GP2 veteran Rodolfo "Speedy" Gonzalez will drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series next season, Gonzalez, of course, tested with Dale Coyne Racing on September 22 at Barber Motorsports Park. There were also rumors that he was planning to test again.
We never know what kind of stock to place in these translated articles. Nevertheless, below is the article.
Rodolfo "Speedy" Gonzalez confirmed Thursday that race in the IndyCar Series, the most important single seater racing vehicles in the United States category.
Honda to pick up suspended Chevy driver Busch? (Update)UPDATE The following is a statement from INDYCAR: INDYCAR has not received an application for membership from Kurt Busch, and have no indication that he intends to apply. The series takes domestic violence very seriously, and its rules (including Rule 2.11.3) provide the basis of authority to address personal conduct. INDYCAR is monitoring this situation as it evolves. We will act firmly and strongly in responding to all matters of domestic violence.
02/20/15 Kurt Busch drove for Andretti Autosport in last year's Indy 500 with Honda power. Now that Chevy has dropped Busch after NASCAR suspended him indefinitely, might he run the entire 2015 IndyCar season for a Honda team?
Regan Smith will drive the no. 41 in the Daytona 500 (Update)UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact' tonight. Stewart-Haas Racing named Regan Smith as the interim driver for the No. 41 Chevrolet in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday in the wake of the suspension of SHR driver Kurt Busch on Friday.
In a team release, the organization says that an interim driver for next weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and subsequent races has not been determined.
02/20/15 According to AR1.com sources in the Daytona paddock, rumor has it that Regan Smith will drive the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Chevy in the Daytona 500 in place of suspended driver Kurt Busch.
Stewart-Haas Racing officials are finalizing their plans for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 in the wake of the suspension of SHR driver Kurt Busch on Friday.
NHRA sells 3 tops classes DRO has verified as fact that Tom Compton and the NHRA board hired a financial company in the Los Angeles area more than two months ago to package and sell the top three pro classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock) to an entertainment company. The Agent has the name of the company but has been unable to contact them yet. DRO’s source said today that there is an entertainment company that has agreed to terms. We have been unable to verify that rumor as of 6 p.m. (Central) Wednesday, Feb. 18.
Two new teams for F1 to replace the two bankrupt ones Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says that there could be two new teams joining the competition from next season.
The FIA, the sport’s governing body, announced in December that it was seeking expressions of interest from potential new entrants and has purportedly received applications from two strong candidates.
The first of these is rumored to be from Gene Haas, one half of the successful Stewart-Haas Racing team that competes in the NASCAR series, with the second from former Hispania and Midland team principal Colin Kolles’ StefanGP.
Qatar to break F1 fee record in 2017 (4th Update) UPDATE #4
Note how close Qatar is to Bahrain. And Abu Dhabi isn't far away......nor is Dubai. It will be a cold day in hell before Bernie ever allows IndyCar to get their rumored race in Dubai. Hell will freeze over before that happens.
(GMM) Bahrain has admitted it is in "talks" amid reports neighboring Qatar is about to join the F1 calendar.
Earlier, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said that despite the oil-rich Arab state's interest, nearby Qatar's grand prix aspirations were being blocked by Bahrain.
"They (Bahrain) said to me would I give them a guarantee I wouldn't stage another race in the Gulf, and I said yes," Ecclestone explained recently.
The 84-year-old added that although he arranged for settlement talks between Bahraini and Qatari officials, he was unable to find a solution for now.
Could it be that Tony Kanaan and others will spend lots of 2015 looking up at Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya and the Rest of Team Penske?
There's been a lot of laughing and joking from the Team Penske stable during their meeting with the media this afternoon. Whether, it is Will Power noting that he wanted to keep fans of the edge of their seats, with his three near championship misses prior to last season's title, or Helio Castroneves saying they plan to play rookie tricks on newcomer Simon Pagenaud let the record show: if there is concern over how this team will perform in 2015, none of the drivers in this deep four-car armada are showing it. In fact, Castroneves plain said he expects his competition for the title to come from the gentlemen sitting next to him on the podium.
Yes, particularly in comparison to recent seasons, this looks to be a relaxed bunch people. Could this light-heartedness be a sign of a group that knows they have know they have an edge of some kind with the recent aero-kit testing. Could Castroneves be correct in noting that we are looking at a season long title chase of Penske drivers battling out amongst themselves?
Has even the budget for an Indy one-off become cost prohibitive?
From early morning discussions at IndyCar Media Day, AutoRacing1 is hearing that the budget for a 'one-off' Indianapolis 500 program this year is somewhere between $800,000-$1,000,000. This number assumes you already have a chassis. As one former Indy Racing League driver looking to put together a 500-only program in 2015, "finding the money is the hard part. By comparison, the racing is easy."
McLaren still struggling to run 2015 car - reports (GMM) McLaren-Honda may still be struggling to make progress.
Exactly one month before Melbourne, the new British-Japanese works collaboration hit the track early in Barcelona, the scene of this week's second test before the 2015 season opener.
The official action does not kick off until Thursday, but Jenson Button was in action on Monday after McLaren booked the track for a 'filming day'.
The running of the MP4-30, captured by amateur photographs, seemed to confirm not only that the current silver livery with red flashes is staying for now, but that McLaren is entering another world championship campaign without a title sponsor.
Overheard in Fontana (Update 4) UPDATE #4 Rumor has it we will get the first hint at what the Chevy aero kit will look like, or at least a portion of it, Tuesday.
02/13/15 Recall our reports below from the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Auto Club Speedway of dissension within the paddock over the testing of aero-kits. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe essentially echoed some of this yesterday speaking with Dean McNulty of the Toronto Sun:
Hinchcliffe also isn't happy that two IndyCar teams -- the Chevrolet team at Penske Racing and the Honda team at Andretti Autosport -- got a big jump on the competition by being picked to be in on the testing of the significantly improved aero package as it was being developed.
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