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DATE News (chronologically)
05/10/15
irl

Dracone back for Detroit???
Francesco Dracone
Dale Coyne Racing driver Francesco Dracone will not be in the car for the Indianapolis 500. However, the Italian, who has competed in all five Verizon IndyCar Series events of 2015 so far, tweeted that he may be back for the Detroit round with the team.

When asked about the possibility he might run at Detroit, Dracone simply tweeted "working on it."

AR1 Staff Report

Comment
05/10/15
f1

Lauda hears rumors of cars with 'extra tank'
(GMM)  The issue of 'fuel flow' has returned to the formula one paddock.

A few races ago, we reported that the FIA was clamping down on monitoring the maximum allowed fuel flow limit, amid suspicions top manufacturers may have found a loophole.

It was suspected some teams - perhaps Ferrari and Mercedes - had found a way to increase fuel flow at certain moments whilst always ensuring the FIA's fuel flow meter was not alerted.

Read more & Comment...
05/08/15
nasmex

What is the future of NASCAR Mexico?
After three races of the season 2015 NASCAR Mexico season, we've seen some thrilling battles on the track, giving few reasons for anyone to doubt the future of the series. However, rumors have been going around since last year that its days days are numbered. But the whispers of demise continue in the paddock.

NASCAR Mexico has no title sponsor at the moment. Toyota supported the series until 2014 and has carried out budget readjustments to take on the first part of the schedule with fewer staff operating and a smaller group of officials. The COO of NASCAR Mexico, Juan Carlos Ortiz, admitted in an interview with Motorsport.com that the situation is not ideal, but neither are they close to dying out.

Read more & Comment...
05/08/15
f1

Ferrari chief Rivola 'dismissed' - reports
(GMM)  Ferrari is without its sporting director Massimo Rivola in Spain this weekend.

Italy's La Repubblica claims he was "removed from his duties" during the three-week break between Bahrain and Barcelona.

"Two other team members - the logistics manager and a cook - were suspended," the newspaper added.

Rivola was reportedly close to Ferrari's new star driver Sebastian Vettel, so the news is being interpreted as the first sign of trouble under the new Maurizio Arrivabene-led regime.

Read more & Comment...
05/07/15
automotive

Apple working on something big, as in a car
Apple goes to great lengths to maintain secrecy around future products. As was the case with iPod, iPhone, iPad and Watch, Apple knows that being able to introduce a product to the world for the first time on stage is one ingredient for success. Consumers love surprises and Apple is a master magician. While much of that secrecy comes in the form of employee non-disclosure agreements, extra security and new doors around Apple HQ, the amount of money Apple is spending on developing these new products is public, listed as research and development (R&D) in its financial statements. Taking a look at the increased amount of money Apple has been pouring into R&D beginning last summer, it is looking increasingly likely management gave the green light for Apple's next big project.

Read more & Comment...
05/06/15
irl

Meira to drive for Dale Coyne at Indy
Racer.com's Robin Miller rumors that he hears Vitor Meira might drive one of Dale Coyne's Hondas in this year's Indy 500.  Meira has driven Hondas in the past for AJ Foyt Racing so the relationship is already there.

Comment
05/06/15
nassprint

Danica Patrick to move to Roush Fenway Racing
From Racer.com:
Q: Miller, you can have my idea. A win-win for IndyCar, Danica's future, the Indy 500 and GoDaddy want worldwide coverage. Since the Indy 500 TV feed is seen around the world, put GoDaddy's marketing director on making a one-time ride at next year’s 100th running with Danica and a top team. She commented she wants another shot and always ran good at the Speedway. All parties would like all the coverage and media hype they get plus the TV time during the race. Everyone knows GoDaddy's colors! To me it would really jazz up the 100th running even more, plus IndyCar gets much needed publicity. It would put some more butts in the seats for the 2016 race. If you can sell it, don't forget me down here in Lawrenceville, Ga. Enjoyed talking to you at Barber. There is a future for IndyCar in the south. 

Read more & Comment...
05/06/15
f1

New Manor car not due until Belgium
(GMM)  Another half a dozen races may pass before Manor is ready to debut a 2015 car.

So far in 2015, the former Marussia team has fought back from near collapse and administration with a hurriedly-modified version of last year's car.

It is fitted with last year's Ferrari engine, which is significantly down on power compared to the impressive 2015 unit running in the back of the works car and Sauber.

But simply turning up in 2015 so far has qualified Manor for its $50 million in official prize money from last year.

Read more & Comment...
05/05/15
f1

Hamilton moving to Ferrari from Mercedes? (Update) UPDATE Lewis Hamilton's failure to re-sign with Mercedes has led to speculation he is vying with Valtteri Bottas for a Ferrari seat, something Maurizio Arrivabene has denied.

Hamilton revealed in March that a new deal with the Brackley outfit was all but done, stating that the negotiations were "99.6 percent" complete.

After splitting with his advisors last year, the 30-year-old now represents himself, and prior to the Chinese Grand Prix he indicated that a new contract had been delayed due to this fact.

Read more & Comment...
05/04/15
f1

Iran to build $85m F1 track (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 There are reports that F1 chiefs are "able to increase the calendar to a maximum of 25 races" without needing permission from world motorsport's governing body, the FIA.

Proposed Iran F1 track
05/03/15 According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Masoud Soltanifar, Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, there are plans to build a "Formula 1 circuit" on Qeshm Island, said by some to be the location of the Garden of Eden.

The claim was made during a visit to the island, Soltanifar saying that "Formula 1 has a great future in Iran", based on the fact that many young people have an increasing tendency for driving.

Read more & Comment...
05/03/15
nassprint

Parsons selling #98 team?
Phil Parsons declined comment on Saturday regarding the sale of the #98 Phoenix Construction Ford. Sources told motorsport.com the #98 team struck a deal with Jay Robinson on Wednesday night. Robinson, who fields the #62 Premium Motorsports Chevy with Brendan Gaughan (and a 2nd part-time team, #66), could not be immediately reached for comment. Josh Wise currently pilots the #98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford, which currently lists Mike Curb as the owner. Motorsport.com

Comment
05/02/15
irl

Honda to fire Wirth? (2nd Update) UPDATE
Andretti (R) shown here with his wife Jodi, is not happy that the IndyCar aero kit experiment turned out to be a complete waste of money, not increasing the fan base one iota.
Agreeing with comments made below, IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti told Motorsports.com, "All I can say is that I've been talking about this from day one. I said, Guys, you're doing two things: You're putting a huge expense into the series, and you're messing with our product on the race track, which I think is the best product out there.'

"You can only lose in this scenario - you're not going to gain. Now we have a split field. Why? Millions and millions of dollars have been spent by manufacturers and the teams, and I don't see that it has put one more person in the stands.

"Chevy is the one that's pushing it," Andretti said. "Honda would rather spend the money on promoting the series than spend it on these kits."

It is not an option to return to the original Dallara aero kits, he said. "The Dallara was never meant to face any competition. You're not going to run it."

Read more & Comment...
05/01/15
irl

HP and Avaya to sponsor Pagenaud for Indy 500 (Update) 
Avaya Cars
UPDATE
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  Team Penske announced today that it has partnered with Avaya as a team sponsor for the 2015 season in both the Verizon IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Simon Pagenaud will pilot the No. 22 Avaya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet for at least four Verizon IndyCar Series events in his first season with Team Penske, including the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24. Avaya will also adorn the side of the No. 2 Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 9.

Read more & Comment...
05/01/15
f1
irl

Late start for F1 plays right into the hands of IndyCar
With the leaked rumor that F1 won't start its 2016 season until April and with AR1.com maintaining for the past 10 years that IndyCar must start their season in January if they are to end it by Labor Day, 2016 could turn out to be the year IndyCar makes hay. If they start in January, IndyCar will have no open-wheel competition for three whole months early in the year. Racing fans, and especially open wheel racing fans and media are starved for content at that time of year and IndyCar could make hay while the sun shines.

Comment
05/01/15
irl
nassprint

Jeff Gordon to race in 2016 Indy 500
Jeff Gordon will "do the double" on May 24 by driving the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 and then fly to North Carolina to race his regular stock car in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the same day. I think this is wonderful because it's going to give him a taste of what the Indy 500 is all about. All he'll have to do is look in his rear-view mirror and see 33 Indy cars behind him, all snorting to be turned loose. He'll get the fever. You watch. Gordon has said he will retire from the Sprint Cup circuit after this season but he never said he was retiring from motor racing. I predict he will race in the 2016 Indianapolis 500, which will be the 100th renewal of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. In fact, he could already have a deal with Roger Penske. Remember where you heard this. It'll happen. Norris McDonald/Toronto Star

Comment
04/30/15
f1

2016 F1 calendar (Update)
UPDATE 
Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is not denying the accuracy of a "leaked" 2016 race calendar.

On Wednesday, organizers of the Australian grand prix triggered the story by announcing that the Melbourne opener next year will be held in early April.

It will be the first time in three decades that the season will begin so late.

"I'm not bothered by the (April 3) date," said race chief Andrew Westacott. "I'm very pleased to have it confirmed so early," he told local Fairfax Media.

Read more & Comment...
04/29/15
nassprint

Danica Patrick to win pole or race soon
Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick will lose her primary sponsor and longtime benefactor next season as GoDaddy will not return to NASCAR, USA TODAY Sports is reporting.

Patrick, 33, is in the final year of her contract at Stewart-Haas Racing and now in search of a primary sponsor for next season.

Look for Danica to win a pole or a race in the near future to help her land a new sponsor for next year.

Comment
04/27/15
nassprint

Talladega qualifying to feature two cars on track at same time
Qualifying will have a different look this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, as NASCAR debuts its new format for restrictor-plate tracks.

Instead of group qualifying – which has drawn some concerns since it was implemented at those tracks – NASCAR will go with a revamped version of single-car qualifying.

Read more & Comment...
04/27/15
irl

Speedway Kits to be delayed?
What will the new 'speedway' aero-kits look like? According to AR1's Lucille Dust the teams are just as curious as the fans.
Good morning from Birmingham, AL. It's the day after what many are considering the most exciting IndyCar race in years and I wanted to drop a brief line regarding a subject I spoke about with many of the teams yesterday.

With the month of May upon us, Honda and Chevrolet will reveal their 'speedway' aero-kits in a test next Tuesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was our impression that all the teams would be taking part in the test, but we're now not sure of that. Many of the team members I spoke with essentially said they were not sure when the kits would be made available to them. This, of course, begs the question: they haven't received them yet?

Anyway, suffice to say that the speedway kits are a bit of a touchy subject. The fact I got so few clear answers from the teams, tells me this is probably going to add a lot of strain to what is already a difficult month for the teams. And it stands to reason, that the smaller the team, the more the strain will be felt.

Read more & Comment...
04/27/15
f1

Merhi to focus on FR3.5 title after Barcelona (Update)
Roberto Merhi
UPDATE (GMM)  Roberto Merhi has confirmed his F1 future is clouded beyond next weekend's Spanish grand prix.

The rookie has only been racing for the resurrected Marussia team on the basis that he may be replaced at any time once a suitable 'pay driver' is found.

So Merhi, 24, kicked off his Formula Renault 3.5 season in Spain at the weekend, admitting: "I have no idea of the future beyond the Spanish grand prix.

"So far I was the race driver, let's see what happens next," he is quoted by El Confidencial.

Read more & Comment...
04/26/15
nassprint

BK Racing, Tommy Baldwin Racing considering merger
Chatter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage this weekend has a potential merger between BK Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing being considered, CATCHFENCE.com has learned. Both teams have struggled thus far at NASCAR's top level this season, but the merger would combine resources, assets and personnel with hopes of lifting the on-track performance of their drivers.

Another possible scenario is BK Racing simply acquiring Tommy Baldwin Racing, sources say. Currently, Tommy Baldwin Racing fields the #7 Chevy for Alex Bowman, while BK Racing fields three cars for rookie candidate Jeb Burton, Matt DiBenedetto and veteran JJ Yeley. Bowman drove for BK Racing in 2014, but left the team to join TBR.

Read more & Comment...
04/25/15
irl

Window World to sponsor Daly?
AR1 thinks Conor Daly's Indy 500 car might look like a DW12/Honda Aero Kit version of this
AutoRacing1 heard through the grapevine that we would know the sponsor for Conor Daly's Indy 500 effort with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced earlier today, by the number of his car. Well, the number 43 in racing certainly calls to mind images of the STP car driven for many years by NASCAR legend Richard Petty. But we don't believe the sponsor will be STP.

Rather, our information suggests Daly is likely to be backed by Window World, a leader in outdoor home remodeling products. The North Wilkesboro, NC based company of course sponsored John Andretti in three straight Indy 500s from 2009-2011, with Richard Petty Motorsports partnering Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2009, then Andretti Autosport in 2010 and 2011 to field the entry.

Read more & Comment...
04/24/15
f1

Revamped Valencia could return to F1 calendar
Valencia
(GMM)  Valencia could be set to return to the F1 calendar.

The streets of the Spanish port city hosted five grands prix until 2012, but those race organizers subsequently faced accusations of corruption.

So it is now a Singapore multinational called ARC Resorts that has proposed a new six-star hotel, casino, concert area, shopping Centre and other facilities for the Marina area, intended to be the "best resort within a city in Europe".

Read more & Comment...
04/22/15
f1

Kvyat on thin ice at Red Bull
Kvyat already looking over his shoulder
Red Bull's Driver Program is notorious for its ruthlessness, and with a new batch of their backed drivers making it to F1 this year, the pressure automatically ramps up on all of them to remain relevant. Not all will succeed though, so who's likely to feel the heat this year? Formula E's rapid growth in popularity has been largely fuelled by high-profile drivers signing up in a more relaxed environment than the ultra-serious and career defining world of Formula 1. Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld & Takuma Sato were all names to get people watching for the very first round, but the revolving door policies at some of the teams since then has seen the series explode with drivers who found themselves cast aside from the F1 paddock.

A quick look at names that have joined in recent races include Scott Speed, Jean-Eric Vergne & Vitantonio Liuzzi, while the likes of Karun Chandhok, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi & Antonio Felix Da Costa have been signed up from the start. What do all these men have in common?

Read more & Comment...
04/22/15
f1

Raikkonen considered quitting after 2014
Kimi Raikkonen
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen considered returning to F1 retirement after his disastrous 2014 season, according to a Spanish sports daily.

In Bahrain, the Finn bounced back from a slump by running reigning world champion and championship leader Lewis Hamilton close for victory.

It came after an horror 2014 for Raikkonen, who was thrashed by his now-departed former Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso.

"He wants to stay at Ferrari, 100 per cent," a source close to the 2007 world champion is now quoted as saying by the Spanish daily Marca.

Read more & Comment...
04/21/15
f1

Ferrari set for engine power boost in Barcelona
Ferrari to get engine boost in Barcelona, but will Mercedes respond with even more?
(GMM)  Ferrari is preparing to unleash more horse power in Spain.

Reports are doing the rounds that the Maranello team will debut an upgrade for its turbo V6 'power unit' in June for the race in Canada.

But Germany's Bild newspaper said a new specification will in fact make its bow in Barcelona in just under three weeks' time.

The report said it could boost Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen's 2015 car to the tune of 20-30 horse power, giving the SF15-T "almost as much power as Mercedes".

Read more & Comment...
04/20/15
irl

Chevrolet Dominates again, will Honda surrender?
The Verizon IndyCar Series season so far has been dominated by Chevrolet power. The new Chevy aero kits seem to have an advantage out of the gates as they've dominated the speed charts in almost every practice session this season and also all three qualifying sessions throughout the year so far. At St. Pete, they took home the top six spots in the finishing order and had seven cars inside the top 10 when the checkered flag few on the season opener.

Read more & Comment...
04/19/15
f1

Baku to replace Monza in 2016
If F1 drops race at Monza, look for Ferrari to drop F1
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday confirmed F1's newest host nation is Azerbaijan.

It was already known that the sport's chief executive had inked a deal for a street race in Baku, the capital of the oil-rich former Soviet country.

But earlier this week, it emerged that the Formula One Group had published a human rights policy vowing to respect "human rights in all of our activities".

Read more & Comment...
04/19/15
irl

Overheard in Long Beach - Saturday (Update) UPDATE CORRECTION - Dear AR1.com,  read your column late last night and appreciate the positive tone. One correction. Our city contract runs through 2018 meaning we have 3 additional years after this event under our current agreement. Jim Michaelian, President Toyota GP of Long Beach

04/18/15 Another great day in Long beach is over and there's a lot of scuttlebutt to cover so let's get right into it. Two important dates are coming up for this race and Bernie Ecclestone still wants an F1 race here.  The Grand Prix's contract with IndyCar expires after this year and their contract with the city expires after 2017. While the contract renewal with IndyCar is of course a given, Bernie is known to work behind-the-scenes, so he may still try and pry the race away from IndyCar. 

With that said, GP president Jim Michaelian told me that their political hand has been played and he's not worried.  He fully expects the city to renew with them. Kevin Kalkhoven said Friday was a record crowd so everything is looking up in Long Beach.

Read more & Comment...
04/18/15
f1

Hamilton-to-Ferrari rumors fire in Bahrain (Update) UPDATE Lewis Hamilton celebrated his win at the Australian Grand Prix by ordering a new LaFerrari. The seven-figure, 950-horsepower hybrid hypercar is made by rival manufacturer to the team for which he drives. If he does replace Raikkonen at Ferrari, which we highly doubt, he'll already be driving the right car on the highway.

04/18/15
Could they be teammates in 2016?
(GMM) As the long wait for his new Mercedes contract rolls on, rumors are filling the Bahrain paddock about Lewis Hamilton's red-colored future.

It is suggested the reigning world champion, championship leader and two-time 2015 race winner has made contact with Ferrari about becoming Sebastian Vettel's next teammate.

"It would be great to see Lewis at Ferrari," F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said. 

"Whether Sebastian would want that, I really don't know. But if Lewis went there, it would be great for the sport -- 100 per cent," he added in Bahrain.

Read more & Comment...
04/18/15
irl

Rocky Moran breaks thumb, Daly in? (Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' now. AR1.com can now confirm that Daly will indeed replace Moran in the #18.

04/18/15
Might Conor Daly be racing at Long Beach this weekend?
AR1 can confirm that Rocky Moran, Jr. broke his thumb yesterday, and will not the race #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

We also know that Dale Coyne Racing will field the #18 car this weekend, and while we cannot confirm who will be in the car, Conor Daly was in the DCR pit area with his helmet this morning. And we got word that Daly is in pole position to replace Moran for the weekend.

Brian C. reporting from Long Beach

Comment
04/18/15
irl

Overheard in Long Beach - Friday
Lovebirds Courtney Force and Graham Rahal in the IndyCar paddock Friday
It's great to be back in Long Beach! In talking to Toyota GP of Long Beach president Jim Michaelian the 41st running of the 2nd best street race in the world (behind Monaco) continues to hit on all cylinders.  Friday's attendance under sunny southern California skies was fantastic and let's remember, Friday is not a 'free' day like at other venues.

"A hell of a lot of people pay $30 to be here today," Michaelian told AR1.com.  "Yes there are some free tickets given out by sponsors of this event, but they are in exchange for people buying something in their stores. We also added a 2nd day of Robby Gordon's Super Truck series, which is very popular.

Read more & Comment...
04/18/15
f1

Renault to buy Sauber?
Will Renault buy cash-strapped Sauber?
According to our sources here in the Long Beach IndyCar paddock, Renault may be close to buying the Sauber F1 team, even though the team currently uses Ferrari engines. 

If true, and Sauber becomes the defacto Renault factory team, will Red Bull, who is very unhappy with Renault's engines these days, be willing to play second fiddle to the 'factory' team knowing the 'factory' team is likely to always get the best engines?

Read more & Comment...
04/18/15
irl

IndyCar to South Africa (Update 2) UPDATE #2 Here in Long Beach we have once again heard rumors that IndyCar is eyeing a potential street race in Johannesburg for 2016. If true IndyCar will have a political lobbying battle on their hands because Bernie Ecclestone is eyeing an F1 race in South Africa, and when it comes to backdoor political maneuvering, Ecclestone has no equal - not to mention loads of money to grease the right pockets. With that said, we think it could be a good addition to the IndyCar calendar, so stay tuned. Mark C. reporting from Long Beach

12/31/13 After speaking with some high-level motorsports figures in South Africa, we have some new information regarding the possibility of IndyCar racing in South Africa.

For one, an official from MotorSport South Africa (the FIA auxiliary of South Africa) confirmed that IndyCar requested and were granted preliminary approval in May to hold an event at Phakisa Freeway in 2015. This official did not know if progress had been made on the commercial end.

Read more & Comment...
04/15/15
f1

Shanghai unsure of F1 future
Race title sponsor UBS did not renew for 2016
Organizers of the Chinese Grand Prix say they are unsure whether the race will remain on the Formula 1 calendar when its current contract expires at the end of 2017.

China joined the calendar in 2004 and organizers claim that this year's event drew 145,000 spectators across the course of the weekend.

But Yang Yibin, manager of race organizer Juss Event, says that the city's government will analyze whether Formula 1 significantly contributes to Shanghai's position on the international stage.

Read more & Comment...
04/15/15
f1

Raikkonen on track for 2016 Ferrari deal
Kimi Raikkonen
(GMM)  Kimi Raikkonen is on track to securing a deal to stay at Ferrari beyond 2015.

When he rejoined Maranello from Lotus for 2014, the Finn signed a two-year contract.

Raikkonen, 35, struggled last year but is happier with this year's car alongside his new teammate and friend Sebastian Vettel.

"I could not imagine a better driver pairing," team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said in China last weekend.

Read more & Comment...
04/15/15
f1

No quick fix for Renault piston fault
Vettel smiles, happy to be rid of the Renault engine that broke down on him constantly in 2014
(GMM)  A fault with the piston design of Renault's 2015 engine has been identified, according to the French broadcaster Canal Plus.

Problems across both Renault-powered teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, marred the French marque's weekend in China last weekend.

Boss Cyril Abiteboul departed Shanghai saying he hoped a fix could be identified and put in place in time for Bahrain, despite the turnaround of mere days.

But the latest news is alarming, as Canal Plus reports that the issue is in fact a fundamental flaw with the actual piston.

Read more & Comment...
04/14/15
f1

Only Button had new diffuser in China - report
(GMM)  Fernando Alonso demonstrated his "good mood" by happily racing a step behind teammate Jenson Button in China.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, revealing that the specification of the Spaniard's McLaren-Honda in Shanghai was not quite up to speed with the sister car.

The report said only one version of a new diffuser was brought by McLaren to China, and Alonso "generously" let teammate Button have it aboard his silver car.

Read more & Comment...
04/14/15
f1

Horner Says Threat Intended To Make Renault Step Up
Christian Horner
Christian Horner
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that Red Bull Owner Dietrich Mateschitz's "threat to quit" F1 is an "attempt to make Renault improve its engine," according to the BBC. 

Mateschitz said last week that Red Bull would quit F1 if it "could not get a competitive engine." 

Horner: "If you look carefully at his comments, he is encouraging Renault to step up and do the job properly." 

Renault F1 Managing Dir Cyril Abiteboul said Renault "shared Red Bull's 'frustration'" at its "lack of performance."

Read more & Comment...
04/13/15
irl

IMS to add swamp buggy racing

Swamp Buggy Racing in New Orleans
Rumor has it that since IndyCar is not smart enough to end its season on Labor Day weekend at the Indy Speedway oval as a 400-miler that would draw some 200,000 fans and be the grandest finale the series ever had, the speedway has decided to make a mud bog in the infield and bring in Swamp Buggy Racing instead.

Word is that they were so impressed with how well the IndyCars slithered in the swamp land at NOLA and threw up some spectacular mud rooster tails, they can bring in the IndyCars to be swamp buggies for a weekend and put on a great show.

IMS has brought in every other series they can think of in an effort to dilute the aura around the Indy 500, and the only thing missing from their repertoire is swamp buggy racing.



Comment
04/13/15
f1

Mercedes helped Williams catch Ferrari
(GMM)  Mercedes is manipulating the balance of power among its customer teams, according to a Spanish media report.

El Pais newspaper said Williams, Lotus and Force India each pay around EUR 25 million per season for the German marque's F1-leading turbo V6 'power unit'.

But the report said not everything is equal.

That is despite both Williams and Mercedes denying Felipe Massa's claim recently that the Grove team might not be fully up-to-date with the latest engine developments of the works team.

Read more & Comment...
04/11/15
irl

Changes to the IndyCar schedule for Sunday
We're getting word down here at NOLA Motorsports Park that the schedule may be moved around tomorrow due to the weather. Specifically, we hear everything might be moved up one hour. However, we have not received a revised schedule as yet, and wonder how television will play into all this.

We'll pass along more info as we receive it.

Lucille Dust reporting for AutoRacing1

Comment
04/11/15
f1

Red Bull eyes F1 television rights
Dietrich Mateschitz
(GMM)  Rumors continue to swirl around the future of Red Bull in formula one.

The former world champions are struggling so far in 2015, pointing fingers at engine supplier Renault but also grappling with chassis issues.

At the same time, the energy drink company is threatening to pull out of the sport.

The threats follow hot on the heels of claims Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull's billionaire mogul, might be shaping up to bid for the sport's commercial rights.

Read more & Comment...
04/10/15
f1

Lotus-linked company 'in liquidation'
Romain Grosjean
(GMM)  There are reports of financial trouble at Lotus' team owners.

The Luxembourg newspaper L'Essentiel reports that Gravity Sport, the driver management arm of Lotus' team owner Genii, was placed in voluntary administration at the request of its minority shareholder.

The minor shareholder has a 33 per cent stake, with the rest held by Lotus team owners Gerard Lopez and Eric Lux.

According to the reports, Gravity - handling the careers of Romain Grosjean and others - is EUR 26 million in debt, even though Genii reportedly insists it remains able to continue operating.

Read more & Comment...
04/09/15
f1

Lewis Hamilton could blow $175m Mercedes mega-deal - Button
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has been warned by former teammate Jenson Button he risks blowing his £90million (NZ$175m) Mercedes mega-deal.

The comments come after the world champion has admitted his long-running contract talks have stalled due to disagreements around the finer details.

Last month Hamilton said negotiations were "99.6 per cent" completed but he now describes the acres of legal jargon as a "pain in the backside".

Having said for weeks that a deal was only days away, the 30-year-old has finally conceded it now won't get done before this weekend's third round here in China - and probably not the following race in Bahrain only seven days later.

Read more & Comment...
04/09/15
f1

Red Bull and/or Renault to quit F1 for IndyCar?
Mateschitz could pull his Red Bull brand from F1 and also convince Renault to come along to IndyCar where the rules ensure everyone has a fighting chance to win. IndyCar certainly could use the boost both would bring to the series.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz again has stated, this time even stronger, that his company will quit Formula 1 if his teams cannot get a competitive engine.

"We'll only stay in Formula 1 if we have a competitive team, and we need a competitive power unit for that," Mateschitz was quoted as saying by the Austria Press Agency on Thursday.

"If we don't have one, we can race with the best car and the best drivers and still have no chance of competing for victory."

"Of course Renault can also weigh its options, including a pull-out," Mateschitz said.

"As a manufacturer, it's your task to deliver a competitive power unit.

"If you can do that, it's great. If, for whatever reason, you can't do that, you should pull out.

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04/09/15
irl

The Indy 500 'might' get one bump on Bump Day
Will Bump Day again be so boring it'll put Tony Kanaan to sleep?
Thirty-four is the Indianapolis 500's magic number.

That's 17 entries for Chevrolet, 17 entries for Honda – and no more.

Whether officials from the two IndyCar Series manufacturers reached those numbers individually or in collective agreement, they're each committed to five additional entrants from the group participating at NOLA Motorsports Park this weekend.

Some of these car-and-driver combinations have been identified, others still must be. But don't be taken by the firm, final tally. It's based largely on economics.

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04/08/15
automotive

Ferrari planning six-cylinder Dino revival?
The Ferrari family has a range-topper in the LaFerrari, and now the lineup is about to grow in the opposite direction. Senior features editor Jonny Lieberman recently learned from a source familiar with Ferrari's plans that the Prancing Horse brand will add a model powered by a twin-turbo V-6 to compete with such cars as the Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and new McLaren 570S.

The car would cost around $180,000, which is right in line with the pricing of its intended competition. That's also a good deal less than the roughly $200,000 starting price of the hard-top convertible Ferrari California T, the Italian sports car maker's current lowest-priced car that's powered by a twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8.

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04/08/15
irl

Did Chevy pull a fast one? (Update) UPDATE
Question: So, Chevrolet was penalized 128 manufacturer points for "non-minor" changes to 11 of its 12 engines following the St. Pete race. Does this smell of cheating? Jeff, New Albany, Ind.

Answer: No, it doesn't, at least it doesn't to me. It smells more of a concern for a component, perhaps a valve spring (and Chevrolet confirmed that today). Look, a change requires a penalty, and obviously Chevrolet accepted that. It's certainly better to take the points penalty rather than have engines break later on. Chris Berube, Chevrolet's IndyCar program manager, said an issue was found during durability testing, and the change was made "as a precaution." Here's the quote from Jim Campbell: "We identified a batch of valve springs that, due to a process change at one of our suppliers, may fracture before the full mileage requirement. We notified IndyCar of the issue and obtained approval to change the valve springs. Eleven of our 12 engines were updated following the St. Petersburg race. Based on lower accrued mileage, the current plan is to address the 12th engine after the race at Barber Motorsports Park." And about those points: 128 of them. Do you really think that given the strength of the Chevrolet teams that the deficit to Honda won't be made up? In fact, I predict Chevrolet will be on top of the standings by the 500, maybe sooner. My question is, who has the engine that didn't get the fix? Curt Cavin/Indy Star

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04/07/15
motogp

Honda could run Casey Stoner in MotoGP
Stoner testing for Honda
Repsol Honda has left open the possibility of fielding a wildcard for Casey Stoner later this year despite overlooking the Australian as a substitute for the injured Dani Pedrosa.

Team manager Livio Suppo has confirmed to Italian media that the team discussed the possibility of Stoner standing in for the Spaniard, who underwent arm surgery last week.

Citing Stoner's lack of recent competition and unfamiliarity with the upcoming circuits, Honda has instead elected to use its test rider Hiroshi Aoyama to fill the role.

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04/07/15
irl

Lack of IndyCar wing parts after St. Pete?
One rumor making the rounds is that there is a shortage of front wing parts for some IndyCar teams after all carnage in St. Petersburg and that IndyCar may allow teams who are out of replacement parts to run the old wings in New Orleans this weekend, but they will not score points if they do.  You can bet the fabricators are working overtime to crank out replacement front wings in time for this weekend.

$Cha-Ching, $Cha-Ching, $Cha-Ching.

Comment
04/06/15
nassprint

Jeff Gordon -- Hey Tom Cruise ... Bring Back Cole Trickle!
Tom Cruise as Cole Trickle in Days of Thunder
It's been 25 years since Cole Trickle punked Russ Wheeler and took the Daytona 500 ... but according to Jeff Gordon, it's time to get his ass back on the track ... in a "Days of Thunder" sequel!

FYI -- after the movie came out in 1990, there were rumors that Cole was loosely based on Gordon (even though it was really based on the late NASCAR driver Tim Richmond).

So, when we saw Gordon out in D.C. today -- we had to ask how he felt about a possible remake ... and JG was all about it.

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04/06/15
irl

Could the Indianapolis 500 be electric by 2030?
"One reason NASCAR is so successful is because they have kept technology out of the sport.  F1 introduced high-tech hybrid engines that eliminated the thrill of their signature 'screaming engines' and fans are leaving the sport in droves. Ditto for sports car racing. The future of passenger car propulsion may be electric, but it will probably mean that motorsports will someday cease to exist because there simple will not be enough fans to support it. Quiet electric car racing is boring - period! The day motorsports becomes an engineering endeavor and not a skill-based driving endeavor is the day motorsports ceases to be a sport." Mark Cipolloni, President AR1.com
Formula E just completed its two-race tour of the United States with events on the streets of Miami and then Long Beach, bringing in mixed reviews.

There are many fans who love the innovation that comes with electric cars opening a new frontier of racing, but a lack of speed, along with lack of a battery charge and the torturous sound of slot-car racing, are issues that keep the sport from being mainstream motorsports.

These are early days for electric car racing and there remains much to improve upon the product.

By comparison, the Indianapolis 500 is the world's oldest and most historic automobile race. In addition to the legendary heroes that have raced and won the Indianapolis 500, it is also a race that at one time was a proving ground for the automotive industry. Such innovations as the rear-view mirror, disk brakes, seat belts and fuel injection were either borne or developed from the Indianapolis 500. Even in latter day Indy 500s, tire technology and electronics have been part of the technology transfer from racing to today's passenger cars.

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04/05/15
f1

Rumor - Alonso over-medicated after crash
Alonso leaves hospital after 3 days
(GMM)  Yet another rumor about the Fernando Alonso saga has emerged.

Michael Schmidt, the highly respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, claims the McLaren-Honda driver may have been over-medicated in the wake of his controversial Barcelona testing crash.

The Spaniard had brows furrowing on Thursday in Malaysia when he denied being knocked out in his crash against Barcelona's inside wall on February 22.

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04/04/15
fe

Buemi's pole under review UPDATE Sebastien Buemi has been penalized for exceeding maximum power usage and will start the Long Beach ePrix 10th. Daniel Abt will start from pole position. This rumor is upgraded to 'Fact.'

04/04/15 We're hearing from  that Sebastien Buemi's pole position is still under review. Word out of Long Beach is that the FIA has moved Buemi to the back of the grid for the ePrix, but team principal Alain Prost is arguing the case. This could explain the report on the Formula E website, which was taken down about a half hour ago.

Anyway, we will continue to follow the story and pass along information as we receive it. 

AR1 Staff Report

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04/03/15
irl

Tagliani to land Indy 500 ride
Alex Tagliani
2011 Indy 500 polesitter Alex Tagliani is close to adding his name to the entry list for this year's "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The French-Canadian started 24th and finished 13th for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing at last year's Indy 500, and with rumors circulating about the 41-year-old joining a Chevy-powered team for the month of May, Tagliani says he expects to join the field of 33.

"I really want to do the 99th Indy 500 this year and the 100th next year, and doing it with a great team to go for my first win is something really exciting for me," Tagliani told RACER. "We aren't going to announce everything at this moment, but I think it will be something that is very good for our sponsors and our fans." Racer.com

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04/02/15
f1

Manor's one-car Sepang race deliberate - report
(GMM)  Manor has dismissed as "nonsense" rumors it only had the ability to run one car at a time last weekend in Malaysia.

The governing FIA and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had reportedly warned the resurrected former Marussia team after Australia that another weekend spent silent in the pits would not be tolerated.

Engines duly fired at Sepang, but only Roberto Merhi actually took to Sunday's grid, as the sister car driven by Will Stevens succumbed to a "fuel system" problem before qualifying that could not be fixed for the race.

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04/01/15
irl

IndyCar signs deals for Monza, Nurburgring, Hockenheim, Spa and San Marino
IndyCars will soon be going thru Eau Rouge at 250 mph
Rumor has it that with the introduction of the next generation IndyCar designed by Adrian Newey, many of the European tracks that host or hosted F1 races have decided to replace their F1 races with IndyCar races.

With the new IndyCar sounding as thrilling as F1 used to, and with the new look of the X1 IndyCar, all the track promoters in Europe have decided that want that 'scream' back with races that cost 1/10th what Bernie Ecclestone gets for an F1 race.

Monza, Hockenheim, Nurburgring, Spa and San Marino have already signed and it is rumored two or three more will in the next week.

One track owner, who did not want to be quoted said, "Bernie can take those boring sounding F1 cars and high sanction fees and go pound sand in the Middle East."

Comment
03/31/15
irl

IndyCar eyeing return to Cleveland?
In the heyday of CART Cleveland worked - note huge grandstands.  But once Tony George started the IRL, split the sport and essentially killed it, the few fans that are left will not put up with substandard facilities.
According to this Racer.com article, there is a sponsor interested in sponsoring an IndyCar race again at Burke Lakefront airport and former promoter Mike Lanigan is interested. 

However, unless they schedule it during a time of year that is not so oppressively hot and humid, the race will again fail for that very same reason.

You cannot put race fans in cheap, uncomfortable high school bleachers in the hot sun and humidity like they did before and expect them to return.

Comment
03/30/15
f1

Report of $231m deal for Hamilton a joke - Wolff (3rd Update)
Hamilton to become 3rd highest paid driver
UPDATE #3 Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are set to sign a new deal which will see the current championship leader staying with the Anglo-German outfit until 2018.

It's believed the three-year deal is worth a total of $96m excluding potential bonuses for race wins and championship victories.

His annual salary could therefore reach upwards of $45m, made up of a basic salary of $32m and bonuses exceeding $12m if he wins another title.

It's the first time the Briton has negotiated his own deal after splitting with his management team last year. Contract talks started in November but will finally come to an end this week according to sources.

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03/29/15
nassprint

Could the Chevy Malibu return to NASCAR?
With Holden winding down its production ventures for 2017, the departure of the rear-wheel drive, 6.2-liter V8 powered Chevrolet SS will soon be upon us. That means the bowtie brand will no longer be interested in promoting it by using it as the body for their NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, so they will have to find a replacement.

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03/29/15
irl

Overheard at St. Petersburg - Saturday wrap
It was a picture perfect day Saturday in St. Petersburg and a nice crowd was on hand.

Although the new IndyCar aero kits have a lot of bits and pieces, only a small number of them are adjustable.  The remainder are fixed and cannot be tampered with in anyway.  The rear wing of the Honda for example, has two movable elements (out of three) and each front wing has one.  Rumor has it that the speedway aero kits have less elements and the rear wing is very small.

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03/28/15
irl

Overheard at St. Petersburg - Saturday morning
56-year old ex-IndyCar driver Roberto Moreno is making the rounds in the IndyCar paddock here in St. Petersburg, Florida and word is he would like to land a ride for the Indy 500. 

We spotted Dan Wheldon's sister Holly here watching the race in her brother's adopted home town.

Word is that Simona de Silvestro is working on sponsorship for an Indy 500 ride.

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03/28/15
f1

Malaysia could switch to a night race
Storm clouds gather over the Sepang circuit Saturday.  The skies soon opened up
(GMM)  Malaysia is looking into switching to a night race format in the future.

Organizers of the now 17-year-old Sepang race have been in talks with Bernie Ecclestone about extending the contract beyond this year.

A deal is now close.

"We have made an understanding to our stakeholders that we extend by three years and that doesn't seem to be an issue," said circuit boss Mokhzani Mahathir on Saturday.

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03/28/15
f1

Ferrari adds EUR 100m to F1 budget
Ferrari spending big money to catch Mercedes?
(GMM) Ferrari is closing the gap to dominant Mercedes in more ways than one, according to reports.

The fabled Maranello marque has made a big step forward over the winter, leapfrogging Red Bull and Williams to become clearly the second force in 2015.

"The Ferraris look great," said reigning world champion and Melbourne winner Lewis Hamilton on Friday in Malaysia. "They really do."

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03/27/15
irl

Overheard in St. Petersburg - Friday
Ryan Hunter-Reay still trying to find speed with the Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay still trying to find speed with the Honda
The new IndyCar season is finally underway with a healthy crowd assembled on Friday around the streets of St. Petersburg.  Of course Friday is a free day so attendance really does not mean much.  With Chevy stacked with the best teams a lot is riding on the new aero package for Honda as a way to help some of their minnow teams run up front with the Chevy teams.  But with Chevy dominating the opening practice session, the Honda engineers look a bit worried.

Word is that Dale Coyne will almost definitely run Pippa Mann for the Indy 500 but we do not know who his third driver will be since Dracone’s deal is only for the first four races.

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03/27/15
f1

Red Bull eyes future as engine maker (Update) 
Christian Horner looking for an alternate engine?
UPDATE
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today as Christian Horner denied that Red Bull has any intention of building their own engine.

"Well, first of all we have no intention of being an engine manufacturer. We have an amount of resource that we try to supplement and assist Renault where we can. We have a strong simulation group. We have strong facilities and cfd capacity within Red Bull Technology.

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03/27/15
f1

Renault likely to quit F1
Cyril Abiteboul
Cyril Abiteboul
Cyril Abiteboul says Renault is currently considering its options in Formula 1, which could include a collaboration with the Toro Rosso team or quitting F1 altogether.

In the wake of Red Bull and Renault's increasingly bitter spat following a disappointing start to the 2015 F1 season, it emerged that Renault may opt to change its strategy by going into a full partnership with an existing team, with Toro Rosso named as the most likely candidate.

However, though Renault Sport Managing Director Abiteboul did nothing to dismiss this, he emphasized that there is also the potential of the manufacturer exiting F1 altogether if it feels it is not 'delivering value' for the brand, particularly in the wake of Red Bull's criticism.

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03/27/15
irl

Andretti to run Wilson at Indy (Update)
Justin Wilson is smiling broadly
UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact' with this announcement:

Andretti Autosport confirmed today that Justin Wilson will join its Verizon IndyCar Series program for part of the 2015 season. The 36-year-old veteran driver will pilot the No. 25 Honda for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis as well as the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Wilson has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 11 seasons, totaling seven wins, 26 podium finishes, eight pole positions and 700 laps led.

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03/27/15
f1

F1 Drivers could get extra engine for 2015
(GMM)  Drivers may be allocated an extra engine to use throughout 2015, it emerged on Friday.

Bernie Ecclestone sat down with team bosses in Malaysia and reportedly agreed that the new-in-2015 limit of just 4 'power units' per driver for the whole championship can now be lifted to 5.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said problems with the new '4 engine' rule become obvious in Melbourne, where Red Bull and McLaren each lost a power unit at the very first race of 19.

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