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DATE News (chronologically)
04/28/16
f1

Sauber to go belly up (5th Update)
UPDATE #5 
Monisha Kaltenborn running Sauber into the ground
Monisha Kaltenborn running Sauber into the ground

Sauber's head of track engineering Tim Malyon has left the Formula 1 team after just over three months in the job, Autosport reports.

The former Red Bull engineer joined the team in January as a replacement for Giampaolo Dall'Ara.

But his last race was the Chinese Grand Prix and he will officially leave the team at the end of the month.

It is the second high profile departure for the Swiss team after technical director Mark Smith left on the eve of season.

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04/27/16
v8

V8 Supercars to take flights with Virgin
UPDATE 
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Virgin Australia today announced it has become the naming rights partner of V8 Supercars for the next five years, with fans set to benefit from the airline's new V8 Supercars travel platform.

The V8 Supercars Championship will become known as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

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04/26/16
f1

Honda designing 'new concept' F1 engine for 2017
Current Honda engine has turbo between the Vee
(GMM) Honda is working on an all-new engine concept for 2017.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, despite the fact McLaren's engine partner has made clear progress this year after the nightmare start of the works collaboration in 2015.

"The car feels good and we're definitely heading in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing and working hard to bring more improvements and power for us to see further progression," said British driver Jenson Button.

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04/24/16
automotive

Musk's Secret Plan to Curb City Traffic
Elon Musk - changing the world one vehicle at a time
Elon Musk - changing the world one vehicle at a time
Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is working on a self-driving vehicle he says could replace buses and other public transport in order to reduce traffic in cities. But he’s keeping the development a secret.

"We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations,” Musk said Thursday at a transport conference in Norway. “Autonomous vehicles are key,” he said of the project, declining to disclose more. “I don’t want to talk too much about it. I have to be careful what I say."

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04/23/16
nassprint

New NASCAR title sponsor???
Who will replace Sprint?
Who will replace Sprint?

As you know, 2016 marks the final season for Sprint as NASCAR title sponsor. The relationship of course began in 2004 when Nextel replaced longtime series sponsor Winston. A 2005 merger between Sprint and Nextel ultimately resulted in the rebranding of the sponsorship as the NSCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.

Fast forward to 2016, and NASCAR is looking for a replacement.

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04/23/16
irl

Chevy teams sandbagging to save tires in Alabama
Are the Chevy teams sandbagging?
Are the Chevy teams sandbagging?
In the interest of saving money, IndyCar and F1 have imposed strict limits on the number of sets of tires each car gets for a race weekend. That restriction has basically turned Friday practice into a 'stroker ace' exercise as teams run easy and limit their laps to save tires for qualifying and the race.

On Friday Hondas dominated the top-10 on the time sheets.A.J. Foyt Racing teammates Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth were 1-2 in both the second practice session and the overall time sheet, with James Hinchcliffe third. The fastest Chevrolet, driven by Sebastien Bourdais, was fourth with fellow Chevrolet driver Will Power fifth.

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04/22/16
f1

Ferrari may bail out Sauber to pave way for Alfa-Romeo return (3rd Update)
UPDATE #3 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Ferrari president Marchionne told Autosport if Alfa Romeo does make a comeback, it will do so either as part of the Fiat Chrysler organisation, or with the Scuderia itself.

When asked about the speculation regarding an Alfa Romeo/Sauber tie-up, Marchionne said: "There are perhaps other alternatives for Alfa if they wanted to come back into the race.

"It is a very close cousin of Ferrari, and you should start looking at your family first before you start looking outside."

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04/22/16
nassprint

Audi to NASCAR (Update)
UPDATE This rumor from a month ago is downgraded to 'false' today. "We will continue to focus our efforts on racing in IMSA/PWC, WEC (above) and DTM," an Audi of America spokesman told RACER. "There are no considerations to enter NASCAR by Audi."

03/23/16 While many have speculated that Audi is looking to enter Formula One, NASCAR.com's Matthew Dillner says the German manufacturer is preparing to enter stock-car racing with NASCAR. "I've heard rumors for two years of Audi entering #NASCAR and know the interest has been there," Dillner tweeted on Tuesday. "My prediction is that it will happen."

Comment
04/21/16
f1

F1 to green-light Red Bull canopy instead of Halo?
Red Bull's partial canopy concept
Red Bull's partial canopy concept
Red Bull's canopy could become the preferred option for 2017 - when it's expected that increased head protection will become mandatory in Formula 1.

Currently the 'Halo' concept proposed by Mercedes and trialled by Ferrari during pre-season testing has gained the most support from those within the FIA, but Red Bull believes its solution not only offers greater protection, but is visually more acceptable.

The FIA's Charlie Whiting has now agreed to let Red Bull trial its version - which is more similar to a fighter-jet canopy - during opening practice for the Russian Grand Prix next weekend, pending the results of further testing due to take place in Friday.

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04/21/16
automotive

VW to offer to buy back nearly 500,000 U.S. diesel cars (Update)
UPDATE VW to offer "substantial payout" to car owners and buy-back in US deal over emissions cheat scandal. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. 

04/21/16 Volkswagen AG and U.S. officials have reached a framework deal under which the automaker would offer to buy back almost 500,000 diesel cars that used sophisticated software to evade U.S. emission rules, two people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

The German automaker is expected to tell a federal judge in San Francisco Thursday that it has agreed to offer to buy back up to 500,000 2.0-liter diesel vehicles sold in the United States that exceeded legally allowable emission levels, the people said.

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04/20/16
F1

F1 to move to three engines per year in 2018
Formula 1's engine manufacturers have agreed to the idea of limiting drivers to three engines per year from 2018 as part of their push to deliver reduced costs reports Jonathan Noble of Motorsport.com.

Ahead of talks between teams later this month to discuss changes to F1's power unit regulations, the manufacturers think the best way to reduce costs and help performance converge is to cut back on the number of engines allowed per season.

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04/19/16
automotive

VW's 'defeat device' software developed at Audi in 1999, report says
German carmaker Audi created so-called defeat devices which cut emissions in 1999, years before parent company Volkswagen used them to cheat diesel emissions tests, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported today.

VW, Europe's largest automaker, admitted in September it had manipulated the engines of around 11 million diesel cars, including its VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat brands.

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04/19/16
automotive

Apple to build EV car in Germany
A German newspaper reports that Apple has set up a secret lab in the capital to build its self-driving car. The Local asks how believable the rumors could be.

Apple has long been believed to be building a self-driving car in secret to compete with the widely-publicized version from Google.

But the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Monday reported that the tech giant has turned to Berlin as the site of an undercover lab to work on the project, citing anonymous "informed sources".

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04/19/16
nassprint

No more Boogity Boogity?
Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Waltrip
AR1 is hearing that 2016 may be the final season for FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip.

The 69-year-old NASCAR Hall of Famer has of course been with FOX since the network began its NASCAR coverage in 2001. He was apparently not all that enamored with the decision to replace longtime partner Larry McReynolds with Jeff Gordon this year. We'll see how this progresses in the coming months. 

AR1 Staff Report 

 

Comment
04/19/16
nassprint

Sprint Cup could get heat race
Steve O'Donnell
Steve O'Donnell
NASCAR would consider eventually bringing heat races to Sprint Cup after the format made its debut in the Xfinity Series at Bristol last weekend. NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said feedback would be sought from race promoters about the reception of heat races, which will be used again Saturday at Richmond International Raceway and two more times this season.

"I think it's something we'll continue to look at," he said.

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04/18/16
motogp

Jorge Lorenzo to jump ship to Ducati (2nd Update)
UPDATE This rumor is updated to 'fact' with today's announcement that Lorenzo will ride for Ducati starting in 2017.

04/13/16 UPDATE 
Jorge Lorenzo eyeing move to Ducati?

Lin Jarvis says with each day Jorge Lorenzo doesn't confirm his plans for 2017 the chances of him re-signing for Yamaha reduce.

The Yamaha racing managing director believes the longer Lorenzo takes to make a decision on staying with the Japanese manufacturer or moving to Ducati only adds weight to the theory he will leave for the Italians at the end of the 2016 season.

On the eve of the season opener in Qatar Yamaha confirmed both Valentino Rossi and Lorenzo received a new two-year contract offer at the same time with Rossi signing immediately but the reigning MotoGP is yet to make up his mind.

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04/18/16
irl

Overheard at Long Beach - Sunday (Update)
UPDATE 
Big Crowd in Long Beach

Big Crowd in Long Beach
We spoke to Long Beach race boss Jim Michaelian after the race Sunday and although he didn't have all the numbers yet, it was the biggest 3-day crowd in Long Beach history since the late 90s. "Friday was really strong" said Michaelian.  

The Long Beach Press Telegram estimated the attendance at 175,000.

04/17/16 A lot of talk about the entry list for the 100th running of the Indy 500. As we speak we hear Conor Daly still has no confirmed sponsor for the Indy 500 (the Jonathan Byrd sponsor he has now moves to the Bryan Clauson car for the Indy 500), but we hear it will happen, nor does Pippa Mann (but we hear it will happen), nor does Luca Filippi (but we hear it will happen).

SPM's 3rd car is still not confirmed, nor is Stefan Wilson at KVSH. Even though this is the 100th running and with all the hoopla, it still looks like they will barely get to 33.  

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04/18/16
Irl

IndyCar eyes Oklahoma City race (2nd Update)
UPDATE #2 Organizers of the IndyCar street race scheduled for its first running in Boston this September have gained approval from the Oklahoma City council to attempt to gain an open wheel race there.

Joe Mattioli, a former Pocono Raceway executive working with Boston Grand Prix promoter Mark Perrone, told USA Today Sports on Sunday that they were granted exclusive rights on Tuesday to develop plans for a race there, perhaps as early as 2018. The effort is being made independent of IndyCar and remains in its nascent stages.

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04/17/16
irl

Overheard at Long Beach - Saturday (Update)
UPDATE Further to what we reported Saturday with regard to common bodykits in 2017 comes this USA Today report by Brant James/USA Today - Officials from IndyCar and manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda are discussing potential 2017 changes for the controversial aerodynamic body kits introduced last season.

IndyCar chairman Mark Miles told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday at the Grand Prix of Long Beach that a uniform kit to be used by both manufacturers is among numerous options under consideration. He hopes to have a plan for next season finalized by the end of May to provide the manufacturers ample design time and maximize developmental expenditures.

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04/16/16
irl

Overheard at Long Beach - Friday Afternoon (Update)
UPDATE We added the image (below) of what we think IndyCar will implement instead of a halo or full canopy - the Red Bull concept of a big windscreen.

Scenic Long Beach
Scenic Long Beach
04/15/16

The crowd Friday was big, but not the biggest we have ever seen at Long Beach. With that said, it was bigger than any race-day 'oval' track crowd on the IndyCar schedule except the Indy 500, so what does that tell you. We talked to GP President Jim Michaelian who could not quote exact figures yet, but would only say with a smile on his face, "did you see that crowd out there?"

Speaking of big events, we are led to believe a very large crowd is expected for the Grand Prix of Boston despite zero partnership from the city of Boston. How is it that Bernie Ecclestone gets cities to pay $25 to $50M per year to support an event and IndyCar can't get them to cough up even $5M? The answer? The TV numbers. 50 million people watch an F1 race worldwide and that is great publicity for the city. IndyCar put the Boston GP on NBC Sports Network and they might get 0.5M to watch...i.e. little value to the city so why should they help?

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04/16/16
f1

Mercedes to re-sign Rosberg before they make him 2016 champion
2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg to be re-signed
2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg to be re-signed

(GMM) Nico Rosberg is on course to secure a new contract to keep racing at Mercedes beyond 2016.

That is the news of Britain's Telegraph newspaper, reporting from the scene of the Chinese grand prix where the German driver could extend his winning streak to six consecutive races.

"The finer details of his new contract are yet to be ironed out," wrote correspondent Daniel Johnson in Shanghai, "but Telegraph Sport understands the outcome is a formality."

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04/15/16
irl
wscc

Overheard at Long Beach - Friday Morning
Typical southern California weather is blanketing the Long Beach GP race course this weekend and Friday morning has dawned sunny and the current temperature is 61-degrees F. There isn’t a better street course race in the country than the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. There’ always plenty of action on the 1.963-mile, 11-turn circuit near the water’s edge. The IMSA sports cars are currently on track practicing.

The talk in the paddock is still around the aero kits, however, here at Long Beach Honda will not be at as much of a disadvantage because this track puts a premium on mechanical grip. Of course there are two camps - the Chevy camp who says "we beat you fair and square, stop whining Honda teams and work harder to catch us" - and the Honda camp who says "the aero kits are a waste of money and have made the racing worse, we should get rid of them."

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04/14/16
irl

Grace Autosport to run more than just Indy 500?
UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to false today. Stefan Wilson has emerged as prime candidate for the third KVSH Racing seat at the 100th running of the Indy 500, after Grace Autosport’s negotiations with the team ended reports motorsport.com.

The Kevin Kalkhoven/Jimmy Vasser/James Sullivan-owned team was in serious discussions to run the Grace Autosport car for Katherine Legge and as recently as two weeks ago, Kalkhoven believed a deal was close.

However, Vasser told Motorsport.com this week that talks had ended, although he would not state on the record why the deal foundered.

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04/13/16
f1

Marchionne to replace Ecclestone?
Sergio Marchionne
Sergio Marchionne
Sergio Marchionne is tipped to be about to take over as the CEO of Ferrari SpA, in addition to his role of President and as the CEO of the now separate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The current Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa is expected to be retired.

The theory behind the idea is that Marchionne's' presence will boost the company share price, which was launched at $52 a share in the IPO late last year, rose to an unrealistic $60.97 in early trading and then dropped gradually until it hit $31.66 in February. It has since bounced back to the current price of $41.94. Marchionne (63), who has been in charge of Fiat since 2004, and who engineered the unlikely takeover of Chrysler, which was completed in 2014, is due to retire from FCA at the end of 2018, but may stay on at Ferrari beyond that. Felisa is 68 and has been running Ferrari since he replaced Jean Todt in 2008. Marchionne has already made his presence felt in Formula 1 circles, doing all the decision-making and leading the opposition to the Formula One group in F1 politics.

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04/13/16
Irl

Four drivers, including Vickers, in frame for SPM 500 seat (2nd Update)
UPDATE #2 
Since Tony George took his hammer to the sport, it's all about buying a ride
Since Tony George took his hammer to the sport, it's all about which driver can raise enough money to buy a ride

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt says NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and the late Justin Wilson's brother, Stefan, are still possibilities for the team's third car in the Indy 500.

The team owner, whose other candidates include - but are not confined to - trusty veteran Oriol Servia and Verizon IndyCar Series sophomore Gabby Chaves, told Motorsport.com: "The same four or five guys have been circling the sandbox for the last 45 days. One week one of them will be all fired up and there'll be LOIs [letters of intent] exchanged…and then nothing happens and it's left hanging.

"We seem to be spending a lot of time on it at the moment, which I hoped not to be doing by now, but that's the nature of the business. So let me put it this way: as of this morning, the door's still open to all!" 

Schmidt, whose team took pole at the 2011 Indy 500 with Alex Tagliani, confirmed that rookies Vickers and Wilson remain in the running for the third SPM seat on Memorial Day Weekend.

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04/12/16
irl

City wants to tear down IndyCar tire factory
IndyCar tires to get new home?
IndyCar tires to get new home?
Akron wants “new ideas and new vision” for the aging, massive former Firestone headquarters and factory, including possibly relocating Bridgestone’s IndyCar race tire facility -- and even tearing down the iconic building.

The city on Monday said it wants to find a new developer for the city-owned property at 1200 Firestone Parkway. The 750,000-square-foot building, now largely empty, is more than 100 years old.

The city said redevelopment of the site will serve as a catalyst for the Firestone Park area. It also raised the possibility that the building could be demolished.

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04/12/16
automotive
f1

Ferrari CEO to quit
Sergio Marchionne (R) to fill-in temporarly
Sergio Marchionne (R) to fill-in temporarily
Ferrari is facing a major loss this week as its CEO is rumored to be leaving the company.

Ferrari The sports car manufacturer will soon by searching for a new boss as current CEO Amedeo Felisa is likely to announce his retirement this week when Ferrari names a new board of directors.

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04/08/16
F1

F1 to implement Saturday qualifying races
Ecclestone fishing for ways to stop the runaway Mercedes borefest
Ecclestone fishing for ways to stop the runaway Mercedes borefest
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a Saturday qualification race is being considered as part of a potential Grand Prix weekend shake-up for the 2017 season.

Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt gave in to pressure from teams to revert to 2015 qualifying from China, with the elimination system drawing criticism in Australia and Bahrain.

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04/08/16
automotive

Uber Recruits Top Ford Engineer For Driverless Car Efforts?
Uber’s apparent plans for driverless cars appears to be gaining steam after it announced the hiring of Ford director of global electronics and engineering Sherif Marakby. Marakby will oversee “manufacturer strategy and integration efforts,” although there is no indication of what he will actually be doing.

The issue here is that fact that Uber refuses to confirm whether it is actually working on a literal driverless car. There are a number of indications that it is looking into the idea of autonomous vehicles, as there are rumors of the ride-sharing company shopping for cars in Germany.  

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04/08/16
f1

Teams signal tentative approval for new F1 qualifying format UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' as 100% of the team owners have now rejected the new format.

04/05/16 Team bosses have shown some tentative support for the revised qualifying format proposed by the FIA to be discussed and voted upon during another meeting between the F1 stakeholders on Thursday.

With elimination qualifying receiving another drubbing on social media by fans and by teams in the paddock during the Bahrain Grand Prix, a crunch meeting between FIA President Jean Todt, commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and the team bosses took place ahead of the race but yielded no formal solutions.

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04/06/16
irl
f1

Emerson Fittipaldi Reportedly Facing Bankruptcy (Update)
UPDATE Fittipaldi International Marketing put out the following statement:

Emerson Fittipaldi is very disappointed with the latest news as a result of a broadcast from a single TV station in Brazil. He has been offended in his honesty, integrity and honor.

Mr. Fittipaldi wants to clarify that his group is going through some financial difficulties as many other companies and people are in Brazil in light of the local ongoing economic and political turmoil. His office and his team have been and will always be open and accessible to anyone at the same address, as they have been for more than 20 years.

As every Brazilian, Emerson Fittipaldi believes all issues will be solved in the near future. He trusts this political and financial crisis Brazil is going through, will be solved soon. This scenario – recession and high interest rates – is a major cause to the problems Mr. Fittipaldi is facing. In addition, it is very important to note that his assets are larger than his debts therefore this is not a bankruptcy case.

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04/05/16
f1

F1 calendar to expand to 22 races if Vegas added
Bernie Ecclestone says he is prepared to swell the Formula 1 calendar to include as many as 22 races as part of a plan to introduce a second American race, potentially in Las Vegas, to the schedule.

The F1 calendar has steadily grown over the last few years from 17 races back in 2000, to 19 as recently as last year to this season's record 21 events, which accommodates the returning German Grand Prix and the new Grand Prix of Europe to be held on the streets of the Azerbaijan capital Baku.

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04/05/16
fe

Andretti team to hook up with BMW in Formula E (Update)
UPDATE 
Andretti driver Robin Frijins spins out in Long Beach
Andretti driver Robin Frijns gets together with another car in Long Beach
U.S. Formula E team Amlin Andretti has recently been linked to a tie-up with BMW, but a full-fledged participation by the German marque "could be many years off," a team official told HJ Mai of Sports Business Global.

Andretti co-Team Principal Roger Griffiths confirmed that the team continues to talk to BMW about a possible partnership, but was cautious about revealing any details.

"I can't talk about what the current status is," Griffiths told SBD Global following Saturday's Long Beach ePrix.

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04/04/16
f1

Azerbaijan set to change F1 race start time (Update)
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with the announcement:

Baku City Circuit (BCC) confirmed this weekend that the start time for the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE - the first ever Formula 1 race to be held in Baku. Azerbaijan -- has been moved forward by one hour to 5pm as a result of the Azerbaijani government's decision to scrap Daylight Saving Time (DST) from this year onwards.

This time change was approved by FOM over the weekend and was directly linked to the fact that the abolishment of DST meant that the original start time of 6 pm would have seen the race taking place too close to the 8:14 pm time of sunset in the Azerbaijani capital.

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04/03/16
irl

Phoenix IndyCar date to change in 2017 (Update)
UPDATE The Verizon IndyCar Series has work to do before it returns to Phoenix International Raceway, but make no mistake about it: IndyCar will be returning to this fabulous short track in the desert.

Who says? PIR president Bryan Sperber.

Standing a few feet from where race winner Scott Dixon was being honored in victory lane, Sperber said open-wheel racing’s first race here since 2005 was a success. And best of all, it exceeded expectations.

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04/02/16
irl

Saturday Overheard at Phoenix (Update)
UPDATE Real quick, we're about two minutes from the command to start engines here at Phoenix. I asked Dale Coyne on pit road just a few minutes ago if Luca Filippi was signed for the entire 2016 season. "Not yet," was his response although he did note that they working towards a full-season effort.

Brian C. reporting from Phoenix International Raceway 

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04/01/16
irl

Friday Overheard at Phoenix (2nd Update)
UPDATE 
A change in approach has helped the Ganassi Ford GT program to take a step forward
A change in approach has helped the Ganassi Ford GT program to take a step forward
After IndyCar qualifying I bumped into Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull. I asked Hull a few questions about the different racing series CGRT is competing in this season.

To start, although the team has fielded five entries in the Indianapolis 500 previously, Hull ruled out that possibility this year saying the team is simply too busy to take on the project. One of the reasons for that is the new Ford GT program the team is running in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship.

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04/01/16
irl

Chaves close to landing Indy 500 seat with SPM
Gabby Chaves
Gabby Chaves
After this morning's IndyCar practice session, I bumped into 2015 IndyCar Sunoco Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. The Colombian of course was expected to return with Bryan Herta Autosport in 2016 before funding issues arose. Herta ended up merging his team with Andretti Autosport with Alexander Rossi filling the vacated #98 Honda seat.  

Chaves tested with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports here at Phoenix last month filling in while Mikhail Aleshin had visa issues. I asked the 2014 Indy Lights champ if there was any progress on him finding a ride for this year's 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

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04/01/16
automotive

Rumors of Citroen DS brand coming to North America
Citreon DS5
Citroen DS5

Automobile Magazine is citing a "well-placed source" at PSA Peugeot Citroen, DS' parent company, that claims the brand would announce its entry to the United States on April 5.The timing gels with previous reports, but in that case, it was merely Bonnefont chatting about the US market. This anonymous source is actually saying the US market would be a focus of PSA's global expansion.

This isn't necessarily a surprise. PSA has been hinting that its DS brand could come to the US for a long time. We reported on the possibility in October 2014, and again in September 2015. We previously said it might take until 2020 for the brand to cross the Atlantic. An announcement in 2016 doesn't necessarily rule out that timeline, but it also doesn't guarantee it.

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03/31/16
automotive

Speed limits to be axed on the Nurburgring in April
Last year during the VLN Endurance Championship Nurburgring an accident led to the death of one spectator after Jann Mardenborough’s Nissan GT-R lost control, flipped over a fence and crashed into the crowd of onlookers.

Thus the famed circuit decided to make some modifications to the course and also impose speed limits on three different sections of the Nordschleife. The company in charge of administering the circuit also came up with a safety improvement plan that resulted in the installation of new retaining fences and a number of track improvements to eliminate bumps in the road surface. The strategy also includes a new spectator-restricted zone which is expected to help prevent additional injuries or death among fans.

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03/30/16
v8

Manufacturers Holden, Nissan, Volvo Expected To Re-Sign With V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars
Holden, Nissan and Volvo "are all expected to remain in V8 Supercars next year" when the future generation of the sport is unveiled in an era "that could feature two-door cars powered by six-cylinder engines," according to James Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH.

The three manufacturers "are close to re-signing with the sport" for '17. Holden (Triple Eight Racing and the Holden Racing Team), Nissan (Nissan Motorsport) and Volvo (Garry Rogers Motorsport) are all "off contract at the end of the year" and have been considering their future in the "new look Supercars field."

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03/30/16
irl

Townsend Bell secures Indianapolis 500 ride (Update)
UPDATE Townsend Bell is likely to be qualifying for his ninth-straight Indianapolis 500 this year with his sixth different team - and it may be the best ride of his career.

RACER.com's Robin Miller reports that the Indy 500 specialist, sports car racer and television analyst for NBCSN is close to being announced as the driver of a fifth Andretti Autosport car.

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03/29/16
F1

F1 to nix faster car idea
(GMM) F1 could be about to hit reverse on its move to speed up the cars for 2017.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, April 30 is the date on which the sport is tipped to approve technical changes including the widening of the cars for next season.

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03/28/16
f1

Verstappen can be free agent for 2017
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
(GMM) Just as details of Max Verstappen's Red Bull deal emerge, the Dutchman has thrown some praise in the direction of Ferrari number 1 Sebastian Vettel.

Writing for the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport, Luigi Perna suggested that a clause in the 18-year-old's current contract means he would be free to switch to another camp for 2017 unless he is promoted from Toro Rosso to the senior team.

"Will the Cavallino (Ferrari) finally take a risk with a young driver or renew for a fourth year with Kimi Raikkonen, pleasing Vettel?" Perna wondered.

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03/26/16
f1

Stephen Ross, Qatar Sports Investments Seek Control Of F1 from CVC (3rd Update)
UPDATE #3 
Stephen Ross
Stephen Ross
Formula 1 motor racing could be about to get new owners after US private equity firm CVC was understood to have agreed a price for the sale of its controlling stake in the $8.5 billion business.

Bernie Ecclestone, who runs the sport and owns a slice of Formula 1’s owner Delta Topco alongside CVC, told The Mail on Sunday that two bidders had agreed a price with CVC for its 35 per cent stake in the business. CVC’s stake comes with conditions which allow it to outvote other shareholders.

‘There are two people who want to buy,’ said Ecclestone. ‘Actually, two of the people have agreed the price. It’s just a question of whether CVC wants to sell or not.’

Interested parties are thought to include China Media Capital and RSE Ventures -- the US group, headed by US billionaire Stephen Ross, which owns the Miami Dolphins football team.

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03/24/16
irl

Indy 500 to sellout (Update)
UPDATE The 100th Indianapolis 500 has resonated where it matters most: Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s ticket office.

Track president Doug Boles said staff members are processing tickets at the fastest pace in years.

"We have already sold more reserve tickets to this Indianapolis 500 than we did for the 2015 race," Boles told IndyStar. "So if the race was today, the crowd would be bigger than last year’s crowd, and we have (66) days to go.”

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03/24/16
irl
nasx

Eurospeedway eyes IndyCar or NASCAR race
The two-mile oval at the Lausitzring is expected to be brought up to date in the next two years. Rumor has it that the circuit bosses have had conversations with IndyCar and NASCAR. Roger Penske recently spoke out against IndyCar going overseas, so don't expect it to be an IndyCar event, as Roger calls the shots.

Comment
03/24/16
automotive

Vacuum cleaner maker developing an electric car
Sir James Dyson
Sir James Dyson
Dyson, the company known for its vacuum cleaners, is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.

The company, which makes a range of products that utilize the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumors it was building one.

But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.

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03/24/16
automotive

Jaguar working on a new electric car
At the New York International Auto Show Wednesday, Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum said to AutoGuide that “Within two years, we’ll have something that’s not driven by a petrol engine.”

He then jokingly said it'd have “just a couple of hamsters.”

No one at Jaguar has yet confirmed if they are indeed actually working on an electric car but of course they are. Every manufacturer is.  Electric cars are the future.

Comment
03/24/16
f1
nassprint

F1's Kimi Raikkonen to NASCAR in 2017
Raikkonen won nothing in NASCAR, and never will.  Why would he go back?
Raikkonen won nothing in NASCAR, and never will. Why would he go back?
If rumors hold any weight, the sun is setting on Kimi Raikkonen's Formula One career, and he may look to land in NASCAR. He started racing again with the Ferrari team in 2014 (after racing with them from 2007 to 2009) and has just three podium finishes in 39 races.

For the last year, many have speculated that Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo has his eye on Raikkonen's seat for 2017.

In the past, he raced in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series.

It's his NASCAR experience -- one race in each the trucks series and Xfinity series in 2011 -- that is fueling the latest rumors.  

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03/24/16
f1

Bahrain qualifying could be 'musical chairs' hybrid (Update)
UPDATE 
Ecclestone (L) says ridiculous Musical Chairs qualifying may continue
Ecclestone (L) says ridiculous Musical Chairs qualifying may continue

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed reports the controversial 'musical chairs' qualifying format could actually have survived the 2016 season opener.

After the farcical debut session in Melbourne last Saturday, team bosses got together before Sunday's race and voted unanimously to scrap it ahead of Bahrain.

"I was also confused as it was the first run and all the variables couldn't have been predicted, like how everything was decided in Q3," F1 supremo Ecclestone told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday. "We can improve."

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03/24/16
f1

Williams to switch to Honda power?
(GMM) Rumors Williams could be set to switch to customer Honda power for 2017 have been denied.

After a woeful 2015, Honda has made a step forward with its exclusive works partner McLaren this year, new director Yusuke Hasegawa says.

"We had reliability and both drivers were happy with the car," he is quoted by Austria's Laola1 after the Australian grand prix. "The power unit is not yet strong enough so we need to increase the performance." 

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03/23/16
irl

Carlin to enter car in 2016 Indy 500
Trevor Carlin
Trevor Carlin

The Carlin team are looking into entering this year’s Indianapolis 500, providing it can set up a programmed with an existing team to assist them.

Carlin have ambitions to move into the Verizon IndyCar Series, and have three entries in 2016 in the supporting Indy Lights championship for Felix Serralles, Ed Jones and Neil Alberico, with a fourth car not impossible for some races.

But having set up a new facility in Florida to aid the American side of its extensive operations, Carlin are seeking an early entry into IndyCar, with the 100th running of the Indy 500 their preference Indianapolis 500, providing it can set up a program with an existing team to assist them

“We’d be ready to help and can put a great team together for someone if it happens,” said team owner Trevor Carlin to Racer.com. “The aspiration for IndyCar is still there, and we like to do things in a step by step manner.

“We’ve made a commitment to America, we’ve expanded from two Indy Lights cars last year to three and have the ability to run a fourth, and we’ve now moved into our own facility in Florida in Delray Beach, so from that perspective, all we’ve done is grow and build our program here to keep moving the team forward.

“If we were able to begin a relationship with IndyCar at Indianapolis this year, it would be fantastic, and even if that does not work out, it is still our goal to enter the series as soon as it is feasible to do so.” The Checkered Flag

AR1.com Indy 500 Car Count Table

TeamConfirmedTBAConfirmed DriversPossible Add'l Drivers
Chip Ganassi Racing40Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Max ChiltonNone
Team Penske40Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Simon PagenaudNone
Andretti Autosport41Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz, Alexander Rossi Chaves, Howard, Ku. Busch, Ky. Busch, or Truex
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports21James Hinchcliffe, Mikhail Aleshin Howard, Ky. Busch, Truex or Davison
A.J. Foyt Enterprises30Takuma Sato, Jack Hawksworth, Alex Tagliani None
Dale Coyne Racing40Conor Daly, Luca Filippi, Bryan Clauson(Jonathan Byrd Racing), Pippa Mann None
KVSH Racing22Sebastien Bourdais, Matthew Brabham (Pirtek Team Murray) Servia, Ky. Busch, Truex or Legge(Grace Autosport)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing20Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot None
Ed Carpenter Racing30Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter, JR Hildebrand None
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing11Sage Karam T. Bell, Davison, or S. Wilson(Fan Force United)
Carlin Motorsports01NoneTBA
Total296  


Comment
03/23/16
track news

Circuit of The Americas to be sold
COTA owners looking to get out before they lose their shirt to Bernie
COTA owners looking to get out before they lose their shirt to Bernie
Circuit of The Americas LLC reported Wednesday completing an $81 million debt financing after months of speculation that the massive racetrack and concert venue has been seeking a buyer.

The Austin company that operates the facility in Southeast Austin raised the capital from 18 investors, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing indicates that the financing was done “in connection with a business combination transaction such as a merger, acquisition or exchange offer.”

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03/23/16
f1

Red Bull to produce own F1 Power Unit
Could Red Bull really compete with the deep pockets of the major car manufacturers?
Could Red Bull really compete with the deep pockets of the major car manufacturers?
Rumor’s have descended upon F1’s world of engine manufacturing…

That right! As I’m sure you divulged from the title rumors surround another possible attempt for Red Bull to  produce their own engine but was very quickly dismissed as not worth pursuing according to their motorsport adviser Helmut Marko.

In the previous week, the prestigious British car manufacturer Aston Martin hinted at a possible partnership with Red Bull…

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03/22/16
nasx

Busch will be fined for Fontana post-race, saying NASCAR fixes races (Update)
UPDATE (Editor's note: Below, is a letter from a reader). 

Dear AR1:

Longtime reader here. I love the variety of racing you guys cover and the insight you give that other sites seem to shy away from.

I saw the rumors section quote Kyle Busch made about NASCAR “fixing races.” Although I admire Mr. Busch’s supreme talent and commend him for having the stones to say what he did my first reaction was: Kyle, you would know.

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03/22/16
nassprint

Penalties coming for Danica, Kyle Busch, Kahne, Pearn?
After Kyle Petty accused NASCAR of fixing races he never won a race again. Does Kyle Busch face the same fate?
After Kyle Petty accused NASCAR of fixing races he never won a race again. Does Kyle Busch face the same fate? He will get a monetary penalty, but the 'silent' penalty may be much worse
Does NASCAR's competition brass fine Danica Patrick for walking on a hot race track during the Auto Club 400? Do they believe Kasey Kahne's explanation of what happened in the wreck with Patrick? Do they fine Kyle Busch for an in-car radio rant (XFINITY race)?

Patrick walked up toward Kahne's car under caution and held out her hands in a "what was that?" fashion as Kahne drove around under caution after turning her and sending her hard into the Auto Club Speedway wall. NASCAR instituted a rule in 2014 after the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy -- Ward, in a non-NASCAR sprint-car event, walked on to a track and was struck and killed by Tony Stewart, who has said he did not see Ward until the last moment -- and has fined drivers for leaving the area of their cars to motion at drivers as they pedal under caution.

Last year, Jennifer Jo Cobb was fined $5,000 for walking up the track during a Camping World Truck Series race at Dover. Sprint Cup fines are typically larger than truck fines, although whether Patrick walked far enough up the track for NASCAR to consider fining her will likely be discussed this week.

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03/21/16
f1

Ecclestone looking for new TV rights deal in USA
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he is in talks with “several stations” about taking over from NBC Sports as the U.S. broadcaster of Formula One which today held its season-opener in Australia.
 
NBC began broadcasting F1 in 2013 and its contract was due to come to a close at the end of this year. Ecclestone says he agreed to extend it by 12 months but adds that he is already in negotiations about the following years.

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03/21/16
irl

Toronto pitlane to be flipped (Update)
UPDATE This rumor, broke by AR1.com during the St. Petersburg race weekend, is upgraded to 'fact' today.

Organizers of the Honda Indy Toronto revealed today a modified track layout (below) and announced that tickets are now on sale for renewal customers.

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03/21/16
f1

Zak Brown could succeed Ecclestone (update)
UPDATE A correspondent has claimed that F1 "could be poised for a big change at the top," according to THIS IS F1.

Luis Vasconcelos, writing for Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, claimed that sources have told him CSM Group CEO Zak Brown "could be set to take over" from F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone."

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03/18/16
f1

Hitzinger linked with Red Bull F1 engine foray
(GMM) Rumors that Red Bull could build its own F1 engine are firing yet again.

Team boss Christian Horner has always rejected the speculation on the basis that engine manufacturing is not a "core competency" of the energy drink-owned outfit.

But many thought Thursday's news of a collaboration with the British luxury carmaker Aston Martin was a sign that Red Bull's search for an engine partner may be over.

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03/17/16
irl

Tagliani to run third Foyt car at Indy? (Update)
UPDATE (Editor's Note: As you read here first on AR1 last week, Alex Tagliani will drive a third Foyt entry in this year's 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. This rumor is upgraded to fact. Announcement below)

Alex Tagliani and AJ Foyt Racing are reuniting for a Month of May doubleheader.

The Canadian will drive the team's No. 35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

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03/17/16
f1

Expect a major F1 shuffle in 2017
Claire Williams
Claire Williams

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said that there will be a number of team shuffles in 2017, as at least three-quarters of the starting grid are out of contract at the end of the season.

The most high profile drivers that are out of contract at the end of the year are Nico Rosberg and former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Williams believes that the amount of ‘out of contract’ drivers will cause a major shake-up, especially with teams circling the most sought out racers.

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