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Hinch takes over Conor's Seat? UPDATE The USAF sponsors in Conor's paddock are dead sure, military sure, that no such deal will be made. They are extremely pleased with Conor's interactions with them, and have a lot more planned for the coming week.
05/20/18 Latest rumor to sweep the paddock -- Hinch takes over Conor Daly's ride in exchange for 3 future rides and enough cash to keep Conor off of his parent's couch for a while. Conor and Hinch have been (are?) room mates to avoid the parents' couch situation.....
In a TV interview, Conor said he's not going anywhere.
Romancini to replace Fittipaldi in Indy 500 (Update) UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' with today's news that Dale Coyne has decided on Zach de Mello to replace Fittipaldi.
Mario Romancini - 2010 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year
According to AR1.com sources in Brazil, Brazilian Mario Romancini has an outside shot at the Dale Coyne ride for Indy, replacing the injured Pietro Fittipaldi.
Recall that 30-year old Romancini drove in Indy Lights in 2009 and in 2010 drove IndyCars for the Conquest Racing team in 11 events. That year he finished 13th in his rookie season in the Indy 500, the highest finishing rookie, earning him Rookie of the Year.
General Motors Co. may follow Ford and Chrysler and abandon the American passenger-car market in favor of all SUVs, according to Morgan Stanley.
The maker of Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac sedans might mimic Ford Motor Co., which is keeping only the Mustang muscle car in the lineup, and Fiat Chrysler, which no longer manufactures sedans in the U.S., Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said Friday.
You will soon be able to bet on NASCAR and IndyCar races (Update)
Miles thinks it will increase interest in IndyCar
UPDATE NASCAR said “We are aware of the Supreme Court’s decision on PASPA and will continue to monitor what the ruling will mean for individual states and our sport."
IndyCar president Mark Miles said in a statement that Monday's ruling provides an opportunity for further engagement with fans.
"We’ll listen to ideas which can grow our fan base and make our series even more engaging," Miles said. "While it’s too early to comment on anything specific, we will approach all conversations moving forward with the primary goal of protecting the integrity of our sport."
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The FIA has told Ferrari to change how the mirrors are fixed to the Halo or don't come back with them.
05/11/18 Rumor in the paddock has it that several teams have formally complained to Charlie Whiting about the Ferrari interpretation of the ruling allowing mirrors to be mounted on the Halo device.
Ferrari are the first team to adopt the design, with images shown on TJ13 yesterday. The end of last month the FIA sent out a ruling to the teams allowing them to remount the rear view mirrors on the halo so long as they stayed within the regulatory ‘box’. Their solution includes a winglet mounted high on the car, enhancing performance to the rear wing much in the same manner as last year’s shark fin mounted T Wings.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the FIA and ACO’s proposed set of new prototype regulations is “compelling” to the British manufacturer, as discussions continue for a possible Le Mans return.
It comes as a draft version of the ruleset, which will go into effect beginning with the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship season, is expected to be released next month.
Speaking to journalists at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Brown indicated that the so-called “GTP” concept, which would provide significant styling cues from production cars, along with the allure of running in the top class, are two of the key selling points.
UPDATE It looks like Liberty Media has zero interest in buying NASCAR based on comments of Liberty executives on a quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts Wednesday.
“NASCAR is a fairly different franchise for us,” said Chase Carey, who runs Formula One for Liberty. “You look at the fan base; the regionalization of it in the U.S. is not really even a broad-based U.S. sport.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Plans for an inaugural Formula 1 race in Miami have been approved after the city’s commission voted in favor of hosting a round on the calendar from 2019 as part of a 10-year-deal to host the race until 2028.
Thursday’s decision has given the city the green light to enter further negotiations with new F1 owners Liberty Media to agree upon the finer details of a race contract.
Reports in the Barcelona paddock claim that Williams chief designer Ed Wood has left the Grove outfit.
Wood joined Williams from Prodrive in 2006, where he had also served as chief designer, having previously spent spells at Ferrari as an R&D engineer and Renault where he was a senior development engineer.
Valtteri Bottas will keep his seat, as will Raikkonen and Ricciardo
Despite all the rumors to the contrary, we here at AR1.com expect the 2019 F1 Silly Season to be a non-event.
We predict Mercedes will keep Bottas because he is no threat to Hamilton but still can get regular points and is getting better.
We expect Raikkonen to stay at Ferrari because he is doing well and Vettel is very comfortable with him, so it is a safe proposition. We can't imagine Vettel will want Riccardo in that seat but he's not gonna say that obviously.
Sources in the MotoGP paddock believe that Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo has told the Italian firm that he won’t remain with them for the 2019 MotoGP season, opening the door for the five-time world champion to make the switch to Suzuki for next year.
The Spaniard has had a rough time so far in his tenure at the Italian manufacturer, struggling to come to terms with the disadvantages of the Desmosedici machine and yet to take a race victory. His last win in the premier class came in his final race for Yamaha back at Valencia in 2016, going 21 races since without a victory in his longest dry spell by far since his debut in 2008.
Ford may be forced to race its SUVs in NASCAR (Update)
Ford is deep-sixing cars like the Taurus it races in NASCAR. How long before NASCAR has to switch to racing Ford Explorers?
UPDATE Ford last week announced drastic plans to drop most of its passenger car lineup in North America in order to focus on utility-type vehicles, i.e. SUVs, pickup trucks and commercial vans.
Under the plan, the only cars the Blue Oval will sell will be the Mustang and a new Focus Active (a soft-roader version of the redesigned 2020 Focus.) The transition is expected to be completed around 2020.
“We’re going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with areas that destroy value,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said during the company's first quarter earnings call last week.
Outback's sponsorship of Stewart-Haas may end next year
Adam Stern of Sports Business Daily says Outback may not renew its contract with Stewart Haas Racing after 2018. He says they have quietly moved from being primary sponsor to just an associate this year, with its deal coming up for renewal.
You can be almost positive it's due to plummeting NASCAR TV ratings.
UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. “I have only had talks with Red Bull - since last year we have been open with each other,” said Ricciardo when asked in the pre-race press conference whom he has spoken to regarding a 2019 seat.
“I think through the media as well, everyone is aware they [Red Bull] are interested in keeping me. We have had some talks regarding that. I am aware of other reports but there hasn’t been anything else. They’re not true. At least up until now, certainly not.”
Neel Jani in 2007 in Champ Car. Ready to try a real race car again
Former Champ Car driver and current Porsche factory ace Neel Jani says he would welcome a chance to revisit open-wheel racing in America reports racer.com.
Fresh off shattering the outright lap record at Spa Francorchamps in Porsche's 1100hp 919 Evo LMP1 machine, the 2016 Le Mans winner and FIA WEC champion has taken a renewed interest in IndyCar after seeing how much fun the racing has been with the low-downforce 2018 universal aero kit installed.
Who said you can’t go home? NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth will return to the organization where he began his storied NASCAR career, piloting Roush Fenway’s flagship No. 6 Ford Fusion for a part of the 2018 season. Kenseth will also have a new home away from home, with the team announcing a multi-year partnership with Wyndham Rewards, the award-winning loyalty program of Wyndham Hotel Group, as a new primary on the No. 6.
Ford has already said the upcoming Mustang Hybrid will be “all about delivering V8-like performance with more low-end torque” and now we’re starting to learn how much power the model could actually have
According to Motor Trend, the Mustang Hybrid will likely be equipped with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. This isn’t too surprising but the publication goes on to say an electric motor will be sandwiched in between the engine and the car’s transmission. Speaking of the latter, the model could have a ten-speed automatic gearbox instead of a continuously variable transmission like the Fusion Hybrid.
Car giants Nissan, Renault in talks to merge fully (Update)
Carlos Ghosn oversees both today
UPDATE Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan alliance, said he is open to a merger of the two companies—something he has long opposed—but added that there may be other alternatives once he eventually retires.
“I’ve been opposed [to a merger] for a very long time because I’ve seen how much damage mergers have done into the industry,” he said, citing the example of the merger between Daimler, Chrysler and Mitsubishi Motors two decades ago that ultimately dissolved.
Global Rallycross Action. More motorsports series are created each year. Eventually it's all going to implode because the FIA and ACCUS does nothing to stop what is sure to be the eventual collapse of motorsports. We should be seeing series merge and consolidate, instead we see the exact opposite. There are only so many sponsors to go around
Unfortunately, a trail of unpaid bills has forced Global Rallycross to cease operations for the 2018 season. With its inaugural season having taken place in 2011, nobody expected GRC to fold this fast. But that appears to be what happened.
There were rumors circulating for weeks that the series was having serious money troubles.
But a report from SpeedSport on Tuesday noted that New York’s Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, confirmed that an Global Rallycross event that was supposed to be in June has been cancelled. It then explained that it was informed that GRC was ceasing operations entirely.
Checking the official Red Bull Global Rallycross webpage revealed the entire 2018 schedule was mysteriously absent.
Lancaster National Speedway later issued a tweet saying GRC intended to reorganize and start back up in 2019, but reiterated that this year would be a bust.
Ford is deep-sixing the poor selling Taurus passenger car
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
02/12/18 Following his Ford team's dominating performance in Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona Int’l Speedway:
“We can’t really use [having the oldest body] as an excuse,” Penske said of Ford’s on-track performance. "There’s no reason to. I think we thought the same thing coming out of St. Petersburg last year in IndyCar, that we might not have the power Honda had, and yet we won 10 races. I keep reminding the team that. We’ve got to race all year. We’ll have a new body next year."
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship team Scuderia Corsa has claimed that they are interested in putting together a full-time effort for the Verizon IndyCar Series. The team will make their debut in the series in next month’s Indianapolis 500 with Oriol Servia at the wheel of their #64 car in conjunction with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The team’s owner, Giacomo Mattioli, stated his intentions in a recent interview with RACER, saying that he would love to have his team compete in both IMSA and IndyCar in the future and that he was using his team’s upcoming debut at Indianapolis in May as the first stage toward achieving that goal.
UPDATE The final number was 185,000 over 3-days, up from 183,000 in 2017. Not quite the 200,000 Kevin Kalkhoven was hoping for, but a nice increase nonetheless, and as we said before, beats the 7,000 Phoenix got the previous weekend.
04/15/18 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Long Beach GP owner Kevin Kalkhoven told AutoRacing1.com last night that with the perfect weekend weather attendance is looking great and there is a decent chance the race will have a total 3-day gate of over 200,000.
After Phoenix drew around 7,000 IndyCar needed some good news and Long Beach always seems to deliver. Kalkhoven, Jim Michaelian and their staff are second to none and the Long Beach race showcases the sport at its best.
Both in Cup and Xfinity the Chevy teams have zero chance to win with the horrible Camaro body
Shortly after the reveal of a new production model of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro earlier this week, a source reached out to Kickin' the Tires with information and other evidence indicating Chevrolet is seeking design change approval from NASCAR for a new nose on its Xfinity Series version of the iconic car.
"We saw photos of it last week and should get more information soon," said a source familiar with the change. "They had one at the R&D Center last week, so we know it is happening but we haven't been told when. It is probably early because what they had at R&D was a production car, so however long that process takes."
Davison to drive 3rd Foyt car in 500 (Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement by AJ Foyt Racing, David Byrd (Sponsor) and Davison himself.
James Davison last year at Indy
Last year he replaced the injured Sebastien Bourdais in the Indy 500 and led late before finding the wall, and this year Australia's James Davison is rumored to drive for A.J. Foyt Racing in the 500 with backing from David Byrd.
The Byrd family, who are in the food service and hotel businesses, have supported a number of drivers over the years, most recently the late Bryan Clauson.
Dreyer & Reinbold to announce Hildebrand for 500 (Update)
JR Hildebrand in 2017. Was announced Thursday as the 2nd D&R driver
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. JR Hildebrand has been confirmed as the second Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry for the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
04/11/18 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team owner Dennis Reinbold will make an announcement concerning the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday during an INDYCAR media teleconference.
If any track needs restrictor plates to cut speeds and blown tires, it's Texas, not Charlotte.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. NASCAR will use an aerodynamic package for its May 19 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway that will include an engine restrictor plate and front aero ducts that will move the air to the side of the car before it hits the front wheel.
The package, which also includes a six-inch spoiler equipped with additional six-inch "ears" at the ends, was used in the 2017 Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis. The Xfinity Series will use the package at Michigan, Pocono and Indianapolis this year.
NASCAR originally signed a two-year deal with a two-year option with Monster, but the sides worked to shorten the option in light of NASCAR’s desired change. NASCAR COO Steve Phelps said changing the current model would be akin to what the EPL did in ’16, when it went from having one title sponsor to a handful of official partners that get league assets, including one lead brand in EA Sports. Adam Stern/SBD
Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Muller, who in his 31 months in the job has slashed budgets and worked to salvage the German automaker’s reputation following the diesel-emissions scandal, is expected to resign as early as this Friday.
The company released a muddled statement referring to “personnel changes” and stating that Muller “showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes.” German news reports are more direct: Muller will step down, and his likely replacement is VW division chief Herbert Diess, who joined VW in July 2015 after a 19-year career at BMW.
CVC Capital Partners, the former owner of Formula 1, is "among a group of financial institutions chasing a deal to take control of MotoGP," according to Espinoza, Ahmed & Allen of the FINANCIAL TIMES.
The Luxembourg-based private equity group "is considering a deal to buy a significant stake in Dorna," which has the exclusive rights to promote and manage MotoGP, according to "multiple people with knowledge of its intentions."
Current and prospective IMSA DPi manufacturers have voiced support for hybrid technology in the next-wave of prototype regulations, although stressing that it must be a semi-or fully spec system in order to prevent a “pandora’s box” of development that has severely impacted LMP1.
Manufacturers met with officials from the FIA, ACO and IMSA at Sebring last month for the latest LMP1/DPi technical working group, as discussions continue towards a potential common global prototype platform for 2021/22.
NASCAR Expects To Eventually Negotiate Extension With Monster As Title Sponsor (10th Update)
Is Monster Energy one more and done?
UPDATE It's official, the extension is for one year only and if NASCAR TV Ratings continue to plummet Monster will likely be gone after 2019.
04/10/18 Monster Energy and NASCAR are expected to announce an extension of their sponsorship agreement today. The energy drink company had signed in December 2016 a two-year deal for 2017-2018 with an option to extend the deal. The sides have agreed to an extension, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, and an announcement is expected today on the length of the new deal. Bob Pockrass/ESPN
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