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Are new penalties a way for cash strapped IndyCar to generate revenue?  UPDATE INDYCAR announced today that it has withdrawn the $10,000 in-race penalty issued to the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry of Graham Rahal and suspended the $10,000 in-race penalty issued to the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry of James Jakes.  Both penalties were issued during the May 26 Indianapolis 500.

Upon post-race review of video and timing and scoring data, INDYCAR officials determined that the No. 15 car did not violate Rule regarding blend out procedures for exiting pit road.

INDYCAR officials determined that the No. 16 car did not comply with Rule during a pit stop on Lap 39 of the race.  However, officials have suspended the fine provided the member does not engage in similar violations in the future.  Should there be future violations of the rule by the member, INDYCAR shall re-instate the fine and additional penalties. More ...

Overheard in Detroit - Saturday (Update)  UPDATE After his dominating win here in Detroit Saturday, rumor has it that Dale Coyne will put Mike Conway back in the car when the series finishes the next series of three ovals.  That means look for him in Toronto. Jim Campbell, GM's head of motorsports, paid a visit to the media center to congratulate Honda and say hello to a number of the reporters on hand, even after Honda again ate their lunch in Saturday's IndyCar race.

06/01/13 The first IndyCar doubleheader of 2013 was on tap today in Detroit.  We will have a separate report on that event.  Most impressive so far this weekend was Mike Conway who stepped into Dale Coyne's No. 18 with no practice and qualified 2nd for Race 1 and put it on pole for Race 2 on Sunday.  Dale Coyne was very happy with his performance and likewise Conway told us that he was impressed at how fast the Coyne car was right out of the box. 

Of course Mike Conway has no interest in running oval races so he will not be in the car the next three races.  Rumor has it that Pippa Mann might get that ride.  Of course she ran for Coyne as a third entry in the Indy 500 so we rate that rumor as very strong. More ...

Briscoe rejoins Team Penske?  
According to the Saturday Detroit Free Press, Ryan Briscoe has rejoined Team Penske.  See clipping from today's newspaper. 

Did we miss something?
Who will replace Hildebrand?  Panther owner John Barnes drove that point home Friday by saying “three or four” drivers will join the team in the coming weeks for job interviews keyed toward 2014.

This week’s candidate is Ryan Briscoe, who doesn’t have an IndyCar ride this season.

“You can know how they perform with other teams, but we want to see how they react with our team, our sponsors and the soldiers,” Barnes told The Star at Belle Isle Park, site of this weekend’s IndyCar doubleheader. “It’s a test.” More ...

Hildebrand's IndyCar ride under review (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3 Ryan Briscoe has been named driver of the National Guard entry this weekend at Detroit but SPEED.com reports that veteran Oriol Servia is expected to be in the car for the remainder of the season, which is what AR1.com originally rumored.

Servia, who could not be reached for comment, has been Hildebrand's teammate in the partnership of Dreyer & Reinbold and Panther the past two years so it was assumed he was leading candidate since DRR has shut down its IndyCar operation for this season. But sources tell SPEED.com that a legality issue in dissolving the partnership needs to be sorted out and that's why the 38-year-old native of Spain won't be in No. 4 this weekend.

05/30/13 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with this announcement.

05/30/13 The driver of Panther Racing's No. 4 National Guard-sponsored Chevrolet figures to be revealed Thursday when IndyCar Series teams arrive at Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix.

J.R. Hildebrand has been that driver since the beginning of the 2011 season, but he has had a difficult start to this season. He ran over Will Power's car under caution in the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Fla., and crashed by himself on lap four of last weekend's Indianapolis 500.

The latter miscue was particularly troublesome given all the military dignitaries at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the team race. It was one of the lowest moments for the Panther team that joined the Indy Racing League in 1998. More ...

Marussia to announce Ferrari deal in Canada (2nd Update)  UPDATE #2 Our European sources tell us to update this rumor to 'strong.'

05/29/13 (GMM)  A 2014 Ferrari engine deal for Marussia is expected to be announced on the sidelines of the Canadian grand prix next month.

The team was weighing up between the Italian marque and Mercedes, because current engine supplier Cosworth is not building a turbo V6 for the new rules.

"It is clear that the price will be an important factor," Marussia chief executive Andy Webb said this year, "because the cost will be significantly higher than the current engines."

It is believed that, of the three engine manufacturers in F1 next year, Renault's V6 will be the most expensive package, while Ferrari is the cheapest. More ...

2014 F1 Silly Season starts early  Although still early in the season, the topic of driver moves for 2014 is not off the table. An issue clearly on Sky F1’s David Croft’s mind during the Team Principal press conference as Christian Horner was quizzed about Mark Webber’s status at Red Bull, while Franz Tost was asked about whether Ricciardo or Vergne could usurp that seat, should it become available. The catalyst for this talk is Mark Webber; all speculation about seats for 2014 can be traced back to him as whispers have rippled around the paddock since the Multi 21 affair in Malaysia.

With events at The Malaysian Grand Prix adding to the already fractious nature of the relationship between Vettel and Webber, speculation about the Australian’s replacement has been rife ever since, with the possibility of it being Kimi Raikkonen at the forefront of the rumors. Lotus seems like a perfect team for Kimi, they complement each other. Eric Boullier gives him space to be himself while he delivers the goods. More ...

Williams eyes switch to Mercedes power (3rd Update)  UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

05/26/13 (GMM)  Toto Wolff has confirmed reports Mercedes is in talks with Williams about the supply of engines in 2014.

Widespread and authoritative reports from the Monte Carlo paddock insist the deal for the currently Renault-powered British team to change suppliers next year is now done.

Wolff, Mercedes' motor sport boss, admitted that the German marque looked for a new partner following news McLaren is switching to Honda power for 2015. More ...

Ford eyes F1 return  
Would Cosworth again do engines for Ford?
(GMM)  German-language publication Speed Week has named Ford as a potential candidate to return to formula one after the new V6 rules debut in 2014.

Honda, having pulled out at the end of 2008, has already announced its return with McLaren in 2015, but Toyota and BMW have denied speculation they are also tempted by the sport's incoming, automobile industry-relevant engine rules.

Speed Week, however, is now mentioning Ford.

Ford bought Sir Jackie Stewart's team in 1999, rebranding it Jaguar Racing, but pulling out of F1 at the end of 2004.

The Milton Keynes based team was subsequently sold to current champions Red Bull and their engine manufacturer, Cosworth, to Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe.

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