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DATE News (chronologically)
07/13/14
irl

IndyCar to change drive-thru penalty rules
Look for potential changes to drive-thru penalties in the open-wheel series, according to a report by FoxSports.com's Bruce Martin.

IndyCar president of competition Derrick Walker said he and other series officials will take a look at the inordinate number of drive-thru penalties thus far in 2014, and make changes if deemed appropriate.

Walker told Martin that in hindsight, many of the drive-thru penalties thus far this season may not necessarily have merited that kind of punishment.

"There are some instances where the drive-thru is too harsh a penalty for the infraction," Walker told Martin. "For example, jumping the restart or the start. A drive-thru penalty can ruin a driver’s chances of contending for a victory and that is not what we are trying to do.

"A more appropriate penalty may be to have that driver give up three or four positions on the track rather than have him serve the drive-thru and either be at the end of the lead lap or a lap down."

Walker said any changes to drive-thru penalty situations likely won't come until 2015.

"The drive-thru penalty will get a thorough review in the off-season and I would like to see it changed to a more appropriate penalty for some infractions," Walker said.

"The good thing about a drive-thru penalty is it serves as quite a deterrent to not do that again," Power told Martin. "If you only penalize a driver three or four positions for jumping the start then I might take that gamble to gain an extra position if they don’t call it."

Comment
07/13/14
irl

IndyCar to race in Iowa again in 2015
Verizon IndyCar Series CMO C.J. O'Donnell said that ticket sales "were positive this year" at Iowa Speedway for last night's Iowa Corn Indy 300. The tiny grandstands "were about two-thirds full" for the race. IndyCar and Iowa Speedway officials met yesterday morning to "discuss, in part, their scheduling future together." O'Donnell: "It'd be a little premature to give a specific date for Iowa next season. But every indication at this point is it's going to be good to go." DES MOINES REGISTER

Comment
07/13/14
f1

F1 to race on streets of London (5th Update) UPDATE #5
Ecclestone wonders how serious the politicians really are
Despite Britain opening its roads to racing, Bernie Ecclestone has cast doubt over the possibility of a London Grand Prix.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron paved the way for F1 to hit the streets of London when he gave local authorities the power to close public roads for street racing.

And although Ecclestone admits this is a "step in the right direction", the F1 supremo says there are still a lot of other hurdles that need to be overcome.

He told Press Association: "In the past we spoke to the old mayor and all sorts of people.

"It just depends on what we can come up with commercially because how are we going to fund it?

Read more & Comment...
07/13/14
il
irl

Chaves to move up to IndyCar in 2015? (Update 1) UPDATE
Gabby Chaves here celebrating an Indy Lights pole position at Mid-Ohio in 2013.
One of the teams we know Gabby Chaves has spoken with about a possible move to IndyCar next year is Dale Coyne Racing. While DCR is happy with its two driver arrangement of Carlos Huertas and Justin Wilson, the team has run three cars for numerous races in the past. Could Chaves parlay a 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship into a ride in the big cars with DCR?

Brian C. reporting for AR1

Chaves
07/12/14 Current Indy Lights points leader Gabby Chaves is targeting a move into IndyCar in 2015.

The Colombian, who turned 21 on Monday, extended his points lead to 11 over main rival Zach Veach with his dominant win at Pocono last weekend, and said that after nearly two seasons in the Road to Indy's second tier, he is almost ready to take the final step.

"For myself as a driver, I think next year is the year I have to move up," he said.

Read more & Comment...
07/10/14
f1

F1 set to strip Mercedes F1 of 130 HP advantage and trick suspension (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Via a conference call, Boullier added: "It was not based on any team action, it was an FIA action.

"We had been warned at the weekend something could come of this. We got this letter from Charlie Whiting, a technical directive.

"Most of the teams, if not all the teams on the grid, are using this kind of suspension system which better connects the vehicle's dynamics.

"I think some teams may have been extreme, which is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of this system."

Read more & Comment...
07/08/14
irl

Stick a fork in yet another IndyCar oval race, it's done?  Maybe Not (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
With few winning Americans in IndyCar, American fans stay away in droves. Sage Karam is American and from nearby Nazareth.  Did IndyCar make sure he had a ride for Pocono?  Of course not.
Traffic may have been an issue on certain roads and highways in the Poconos as the Fourth of July weekend came to a close on Sunday night.

But it wasn't a problem outside Pocono Raceway in Monroe County.

First, a very fast Pocono IndyCar 500 — the fastest 500-miler in the open-wheel brand's history according to average speed — concluded around 3:30 p.m., well before the heart of the mass exodus home from Pocono resorts and campgrounds was underway.

Second, the crowd at Pocono Raceway, generously estimated by press box veterans at about 20,000, quickly dispersed following the race won by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/14
f1

Who are the new owners of Caterham?
(GMM)  Caterham is the latest hotbed of formula one rumors.

Because the true identity of the team's new owners has not been disclosed, plenty of speculation is flying around.

Names reportedly linked to the Swiss-Middle Eastern investors include former Group Lotus chief Dany Bahar, touted Lotus F1 savior Mansour Ijaz, and even none other than Bernie Ecclestone.

"All the names going around are false," new team 'advisor' Colin Kolles insisted, according to Speed Week.

Read more & Comment...
07/07/14
f1

Kolles returning to F1 with Caterham - report (Update) UPDATE We failed to upgrade this rumor to 'fact' when it was recently announced.

07/02/14
Colin Kolles
(GMM)  Colin Kolles is set to return to the pitwall as a F1 team boss.

Until now, it has been clear that the former HRT and Force India chief is in fact leading a Romanian project for an all-new F1 team, the Ferrari-linked Forza Rossa, who were waiting for the official green light from the governing FIA.

But the very latest reports are that Germany-based Romanian Kolles is actually getting involved at Caterham.

The major German daily Bild claims Kolles, 46, is becoming a motor sport consultant to the green-colored team, as the struggling backmarker loses the support of its founder Tony Fernandes.

It is believed the Leafield-based team has been bought, including its reported EUR 20 million in debts, by a consortium of Swiss-based Arabs.

Read more & Comment...
07/06/14
irl

Overheard at Pocono - Saturday 2 (Update) UPDATE #2 Correction, Jack Hawksworth was not cleared to drive as reported below.  In fact he is still in the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

07/05/14
Gabby Chaves
It's about 3:45 p.m. ET here at Pocono Raceway. The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Series race is about to begin. Belardi Auto Racing's Gabby Chaves is on pole.

Unfortunately, there are only 8 starters in today's Pocono Indy Lights 100, which is far from an ideal scenario on a 2.5-mile track. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying will begin at 5 p.m. ET.

Also, keep in mind that the Lights race is the only 1 scheduled for today. Yes, the paying customer at Pocono today will get IndyCar qualifying, a few practice sessions and an Indy Lights race with 8 cars on a 2.5-mile track. Tomorrow, there is only the IndyCar race. And Pocono Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky wonders why ticket sales aren't very good?

Read more & Comment...
07/06/14
f1

Grosjean on move as Lotus shifts gear
Who will Grosjean drive for in 2012?
(GMM)  Romain Grosjean could be left out in the cold as Lotus looks to change gear for 2015.

It is now an open secret that the Enstone based team intends to switch from Renault to Mercedes customer power at the end of the season.

"I can't confirm it yet," Mercedes' Toto Wolff smiled to British television Sky on Saturday.

Less clear is the reason for the move.  Certainly, Lotus - fourth overall in both 2012 and 2013 - has struggled notably for reliability with Renault's underpowered turbo V6.

Read more & Comment...
07/05/14
automotive
f1

Newey could design Infiniti supercar
Newey to follow in footsteps of Gordon Murray?
(GMM) One of Adrian Newey's first non-F1 technical projects could be an Infiniti supercar.

The sport's highest paid and most highly rated engineer is stepping into a mere 'advisory' role for Red Bull, having admitted his frustration with ever-tightening technical regulations.

Newey said at Silverstone that the trend of the rules is in the direction of a single-make series, like a glorified GP2, and "We're already, in my opinion, in grave danger of getting close to that".

So the 55-year-old's main office next year will not be in Red Bull's F1 factory, but in the new 'Advanced Technologies Centre', where according to speculation he could begin work on an America's Cup yacht design.

Read more & Comment...
07/05/14
f1

Sauber to stay with Ferrari power in 2015
Kaltenborn claims Sauber will stick with Ferrari engines
(GMM) According to word from Silverstone, Lotus is poised to announce its switch from struggling Renault to leading Mercedes power for 2015.

The Enstone based team, fourth overall in the last two years, has languished this year but reportedly plans to revive its fortunes with Mercedes.

"The (Renault) engine is still fragile," Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado told F1's official website at Silverstone. "There are stupid things that are costing you time and resources."

Lotus' new Mercedes deal has been made possible by customer McLaren's switch to works Honda power for 2015. Force India and Williams are Mercedes' other teams.

Read more & Comment...
07/03/14
f1

F1 Owner CVC To Sell 'A Large Part' Of Controlling Stake In Sport
F1 owners CVC Capital Partners "are to sell a large part" of their controlling 35.5% stake in the sport as they "face up to life after" CEO Bernie Ecclestone, according to Paul Weaver of the London GUARDIAN.

The new investors will “have a view on the value of the sport,” according to an insider. Decision makers at CVC have decided that Ecclestone "must go even if he wins his court case in Munich, where he is fighting bribery charges." They are convinced that Ecclestone, who will be 84 in October, "will continue to be an embarrassment, with HM Revenue and Customs likely to ask further questions about his complex tax affairs, which formed the basis of a Panorama investigation."

The identity of Ecclestone’s successor "is unknown," but reports that it could be Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner "are wide of the mark." It is felt that he "does not have the corporate background that is required for the job." GUARDIAN

Comment
07/03/14
irl
il

Stef Wilson to run some Lights races in 2014?
Stefan Wilson
This is an incredibly poorly-written article from the Rome Observer. However, it seems to suggest, that Stefan Wilson may take part in some Indy Lights races for Fan Force United later this season. Of course, Wilson announced last week that he will run the full 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule for Fan Force United. While they left open the possibility Wilson might compete in some races this year, team and driver were non-committal.

Well, this article suggest it could be Indy Lights races. Granted, no firm races were given, and it also should be noted that Fan Force United has a Lights driver, Scott Anderson, who the team confirmed in January.

We'll continue to follow this story and see if anything develops.

AR1 Staff

Comment
07/03/14
f1

Raikkonen to retire at end of Ferrari deal?
It has not been a happy homecoming for Kimi Raikkonen at Maranello.
This ESPN F1 article notes that Kimi Raikkonen plans to retire at the end of his current Ferrari deal, which expires after next season. The 2007 World Champion will be 36 at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

We here at AR1 rate Raikkonen highly, and his record in F1 speaks for itself. His 20 wins place him in the top-15 on the all-time list, and when he's on, the Finn is as good as anyone.

But the issue with The Kimster has always been just that: he's not always on. Contrarily, when things are a little amiss, Raikkonen can be temperamental and withdrawn. And as we saw towards the end of his first stint at Maranello, the results can be rather ugly.

After the 2009 season, Raikkonen had worn out his welcome with Ferrari, and was replaced by Alonso. He took a two-year hiatus from F1, and returned in 2012 with Lotus. Two successful seasons at Lotus made Raikkonen appealing to Ferrari again.

Read more & Comment...
07/03/14
f1

Ferrari offers Brawn EUR 5m for F1 return
(GMM)  Ferrari has set its million-dollar sights on luring Ross Brawn back to formula one.

That is the claim on Thursday of the Milan daily Corriere della Sera, reporting that the 59-year-old has been offered EUR 5 million per season if he comes back to the sport with a prominent role at the famous Italian team.

Brawn stepped back from F1 at the end of last season, having led the Mercedes team to the cusp of its current dominance.

Read more & Comment...
07/03/14
irl

John Barnes sues the United States?
Panther Racing lost the lucrative National Guard sponsorship after last season. However, the ugly saga appears to be dragging on, with no end in sight.
You know, we consider ourselves pretty knowledgeable about the ways of the world here at AutoRacing1. But just when you think you've seen it all, what happens? Panther Racing owner John Barnes decides to sue the United States of America.

Yes, you read that correct. In the ongoing saga over the National Guard sponsorship moving from Panther to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2014 season, RACER's Robin Miller is reporting that Barnes is now "suing the United States of America."

This, of course, begs the question: can you actually sue the United States of America? And is Barnes, who for years talked openly about the honor of representing the fine people of The National Guard, suing the United States of America, because he wants what's best for the troops?

Read more & Comment...
07/03/14
f1

F1 teams also battling to buy into sport
(GMM) Formula one teams may not just be competing for trophies and sponsors, according to a report by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Speculation that F1's largest shareholder, CVC, might be looking to sell its commercial rights holding are ever-present in the paddock.

The latest rumors are that four separate groups are currently interested, after "a fifth in the Middle East has dropped out", correspondent Michael Schmidt reports.

"One of the interested parties," he wrote, "is a consortium led by Red Bull.

Read more & Comment...
07/02/14
irl

Huertas' Car Fails Post Race Inspection UPDATE
Carlos Huertas on his way to victory Saturday.
[This just in from INDYCAR, regarding Huertas. We have upgraded rumor to fact.]

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, July 2, 2014) - INDYCAR announced today post-event infractions from the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 1, which was held June 28 at Houston's NRG Park.

INDYCAR officials have fined Dale Coyne Racing for a pair of technical violations on its No. 18 Verizon IndyCar Series entry driven by Carlos Huertas. The entrant was found to have violated Rule 14.6.4.18 (Rear Wing Height) and Rule 14.7.2 (Fuel Cell Capacity) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook. The team was fined a total of $10,000 - $5,000 for each infraction. INDYCAR officials determined that the infractions did not impact the finishing order of the race or final position of the offending team.

Read more & Comment...
07/02/14
f1

Caterham up for sale, Fernandes out of F1? (5th Update) UPDATE #5 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

07/01/14 A Swiss-Middle Eastern consortium is understood to be behind the takeover of Caterham F1, in a deal that will be confirmed in the coming days.

It’s believed that the consortium members, including interests from Dubai, intend to keep a low profile. The deal was brokered by a former F1 insider who will retain a role as an advisor.

As previously revealed here current team principal Cyril Abiteboul is expected to return to Renault’s Viry engine division with the full support of Red Bull. His initial task will be to give the beleaguered organization some direction as it prepares to upgrade the current engine for 2015.

Read more & Comment...
07/02/14
f1

Kolles bringing Albers as new Caterham boss (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

07/02/14
Christijan Albers
Caterham has refused to comment on reports that former Formula 1 driver Christijan Albers has been appointed as CEO of the team when quizzed on the matter by GPUpdate.net.

According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Tony Fernandes has sold the team to a consortium of businessmen from the Middle East and Albers will now be named as the new boss in time for this weekend's British Grand Prix. Albers was unavailable when contacted by GPUpdate.net.

Colin Kolles – former Team Principal at Force India and HRT – has also been recruited as a consultant, it is alleged. Kolles was most recently linked to Forza Rossa, the new Romanian team that was looking to join the sport in either 2015 or 2016.

The report adds that Caterham will make an official announcement later today.

Fernandes dropped a firm hint that he was looking to leave F1 last week, when he tweeted: "F1 hasn't worked, but love Caterham Cars."

Read more & Comment...
07/02/14
f1
wrx

Raikkonen to drive World RX after Ferrari fires him
Kimi headed to World Rally Cross?
Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen says he would like to try World Rallycross at some point in the future. Well that should be soon as Ferrari is expected to fire him.

Speaking to reporters during the recent Austrian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said he would be open to sampling this branch of the sport.

"Rallycross would be very nice to try, it looks good fun - similar to rally but against each other," said the Finn.

"Obviously I enjoyed rallying a lot, it's a very difficult sport and a good challenge.

"I think it's good to do different things because you always learn something and it's good fun also."

Comment
07/02/14
f1

Red Bull planning its own F1 engine? (5th Update) UPDATE #5 (GMM)  F1 engine supplier Renault has denied it is being bought out by disgruntled partner Red Bull.

Team boss Christian Horner is back on the offensive this week, insisting the French marque even had years of warning about its now-struggling turbo V6 project.

"We sat down with Renault to express our concerns about the direction it was going in autumn 2012," he told reporters on Tuesday.

There have been suggestions Red Bull's patience has finally run out, but the lack of alternatives - with F1's only other engine suppliers being arch-rivals Mercedes and Ferrari - is obvious.

Read more & Comment...
06/30/14
f1

Palmer to F1 in 2015
GP2 Championship leader
Jolyon Palmer
has told Sky Sportstalks are progressing about a Formula 1 race seat in 2015.

The Briton is yet to test an F1 car, but has impressed in GP2 this year starting the season in style with five podiums in the first five races, including two victories to open up a healthy advantage at the top of the standings.

The 23-year-old’s qualifying pace has also been impressive, having secured himself a frontrow start for every Feature Race this season and he has revealed he is now in negations about an F1 race seat.

Read more & Comment...
06/30/14
f1

Schumacher's medical records stolen (Update) UPDATE
Reports say Schumacher's medical records may have been stolen and offered for sale. Quite sickening, if true.
(GMM) Investigators may be even closer to solving the theft of Michael Schumacher's medical records.

The Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick reports that investigators are now looking elsewhere, having found that the doctor's letter was not taken or copied by staff of the university hospital in Grenoble, where Schumacher was in a coma.

Instead, French police are reportedly now looking across the border, into Switzerland, Sonntagsblick claims.

It is believed chief prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat suspects that it was during Schumacher's recent two-hour ambulance transfer between Grenoble and Lausanne that the medical summary was photographed.

Read more & Comment...
06/29/14
irl

Foyt's foul mouth is going to cost him money
The Archie Bunker of IndyCar Racing, AJ Foyt, can expect to be have his bank account reduced by IndyCar
A.J. Foyt should expect to hear from IndyCar after making profane comments on national television.

Foyt's driver, Takuma Sato, had just crashed with the lapped car of rookie Mikhail Aleshin during Saturday's first race of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Foyt seemed to call both of them "a bunch of (blank-blank) idiots."

Those choice words came just after Foyt said Marco Andretti "blocking for his own damn car is a bunch of crap."

Andretti was nearly a lap down as he ran in front of Sato, the race leader who had James Hinchcliffe charging from behind.
Twitter blew up as Foyt sounded off.

Read more & Comment...
06/28/14
irl

IndyCar doing best to ruin the new body kits (Update) UPDATE
IndyCar is reducing downforce of the underbody in the worse possibly way - a hole in the undertray in the worse possible place
In a story first broke by AR1.com back in May, leave it up to IndyCar to take away the area of the new body kits that could have radically changed the look of the cars.  They put a hole in the floor of the car just in the area of the undertray that currently has no bodywork above it.  It is in this area that most of the changes to the look of the car were to be.  But now there can be no development in this area because of the hole.

Instead of reducing downforce by making the exit of the tunnels at the back smaller, they are going to put a hole in the undertray.  A simple $100 insert reducing the area of the tunnel exits would have the same effect.

Read more & Comment...
06/27/14
irl

Overheard in Long Beach - Friday (Update) UPDATE #2
Houston promoter Mike Lanigan is clearly not happy with his event's television situation.
Below, you will see our Friday update from this year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, when AR1 reported that there were talks behind the scenes to get more IndyCar races on network television. While you're at it recall Brian Carroccio's interview with Long Beach promoter Jim Michaelian from this past March.

Now, check out this AP article from today where Houston promoter Mike Lanigan tells Jenna Fryer that "we're told that they're may or may not be a change with who IndyCar is going to deal with," in regards to the series' television partner. Lanigan does concede that "it's NBC Sports for next year," but is not willing to say much beyond that.

This is interesting, particularly when you consider that NBC Sports' contract with IndyCar is through 2018. And when you then take into account what Michaelian told Brian C. about Mark Miles working on an "over-the-air" broadcast deal for Long Beach and AR1 President Mark C. reporting that Long Beach would possibly be on network next year.

Read more & Comment...
06/26/14
irl

Fan Force United to run Stefan Wilson full-time?
Fan Force United ran Jean Alesi in the woeful Lotus engine at the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
This Robin Miller RACER article says Fan Force United is working to put together a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series effort in 2015 with Stefan Wilson. The team currently runs Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires with Scott Anderson. Their last IndyCar Series start was the 2012 Indianapolis 500 when they fielded a car for Jean Alesi.

Comment
06/26/14
f1

Ferrari eyeing F1 turbo supplier switch
Rumor has it that American made Honeywell turbochargers are not cutting the mustard.  Rest assured Ferrari has bigger problems than that.
(GMM)  Just like struggling world champions Red Bull, fellow F1 grandee Ferrari is also looking for a way out of its engine problems in 2014.

Unlike Red Bull, however - who rely on separate partner Renault for its turbo V6 power - Ferrari makes both its chassis and engine under the same Maranello roof.

But that's not to say Ferrari does not also lean heavily on others.

For instance, Autosprint is reporting that Ferrari has commenced talks with potential alternative suppliers for components of its struggling formula one engine.

Read more & Comment...
06/25/14
f1

Hamilton back to McLaren? (Update) UPDATE
Alonso when he was screwed by McLaren in 2007
After how he was treated last time at McLaren under Ron Dennis Fernando Alonso will never go back to the Woking outfit.  Never.  However, the Fernando Alonso to McLaren rumors have resurfaced while reports have also emerged that the team have put feelers out for Lewis Hamilton.

The Woking squad have once again struggled this year and speculation is rife that Jenson Button, who joined the squad from Brawn GP in 2010, is likely to be dropped.

However, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier recently insisted they are likely to offer him a new one-year contract, but the latest reports claim the team are stepping up their attempts to lure Alonso back, which will coincide with their switch to Honda engines next season.

Alonso moved to McLaren in 2007, but he left after just one year at the squad following a fallout with then team principal Ron Dennis, who is now the team principal again.

Read more & Comment...
06/24/14
f1

Renault's F1 engine project 'for sale'
(GMM)  The rumors surrounding troubled engine supplier Renault continue to swirl.

The French marque had a nightmare race weekend in Austria, beginning with paddock rumors of a split with Red Bull, worsened by yet another failure for Sebastian Vettel, and ending with a stinging rebuke by Christian Horner.

"Seven cars in the top ten have a Mercedes engine.  That says it all," said Horner.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport cited sources estimating the horse power deficit at between 40 and 70bhp.

Read more & Comment...
06/24/14
f1

Button could be shown McLaren exit
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button has played down increasing speculation about his future in F1.

The sport's most experienced active driver is out of contract at the end of 2014, but McLaren boss Eric Boullier said recently he thinks a new deal for the 34-year-old is likely.

That may not be right.  Britain's Times and Daily Mail newspapers are reporting the real likelihood that next weekend's Silverstone race could be Button's last ever British grand prix.

With McLaren's works Honda era beginning next year, and the Woking based team needing to shine after two disappointing seasons, champions including Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are all being linked with the team for 2015.

Read more & Comment...
06/23/14
nassprint

Mid-Ohio eyes NASCAR Cup race
In Ohio, Rob McCurdy reported Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust wants the track "first in line" if NASCAR ever was to add a road course to the Sprint Cup Series schedule. It is "unlikely the most popular series in America will be adding a 37th points-paying weekend." But if NASCAR "decides it wants to add diversity to its schedule and lose a couple of ovals in favor of road racing, that would be Mid-Ohio’s opening." One way to "be ready for a Sprint Cup race is to put on the best events it can, be it IndyCar or the NASCAR Nationwide Series for which it will host for the second straight year in August." Rust "wants to grow the profiles of both races in the media and in ticket sales to show just how vital Mid-Ohio can be to a series" MANSFIELD NEWS JOURNAL

Comment
06/23/14
nassprint

Could Road America, Iowa Speedway Be Added To NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule?
NASCAR officials "have not ruled out changing race dates" for the '15 Sprint Cup Series, and many people this past weekend "wondered aloud ... if Road America and Iowa Speedway could land on the next schedule," according to the AP. There has "been little talk of adding new venues to the calendar," but Road America President George Bruggenthies still "is trying to land a Sprint Cup series race."

Bruggenthies, whose track currently hosts a Nationwide Series race, on Saturday said, "Certainly, every year, we prepare the facility for a Cup series race -- more, better barriers, always with that in mind. Will it happen? All I can tell you is, I hope so. But we're certainly aware that the schedule is the challenge. We think that road racing has good ratings on TV, which is important for the series."

Speculation this past weekend focused on Road America and Iowa "replacing races at Pocono Raceway and Dover International Speedway." But Pocono President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky said that he had "heard nothing about Pocono losing one of its two races." Igdalsky: "That's ridiculous. Who made that up?" AP

Comment
06/23/14
v8
nassprint

Richard Childress Eyeing Move Into V8 Supercars (Update) UPDATE V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said he had no knowledge of Childress' interest. Childress' interest follows on from the much publicized negotiations between V8 team Dick Johnson Racing and IndyCar Team Owner Roger Penske, who has investments in Australia through his truck distribution business. V8 Supercars

06/23/14 NASCAR Team Owner Richard Childress is "reportedly eyeing a move into V8 Supercars," according to the AAP. Childress is "said to be looking to buy a team in Australia or at least establish a technical partnership with an outfit in the category." Childress and Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines COO Richard Gilmore "confirmed to motoring.com.au their interest but did not reveal specifics."

Childress said, "Rumors, damn rumors. I'll add some truth to those rumors."

Gilmore said that with NASCAR "expected to introduce technical advances in engine development" in '15 or '16, "the move Down Under would be beneficial." Gilmore: "If that happens, we see NASCAR becoming more closely aligned with V8 Supercars and using similar engine technologies." AAP

Comment
06/23/14
f1

Mercedes to rein in drivers?
Toto Wolff concerned about the fierce intra-team at Mercedes.
See this AR1 Hot News item. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has expressed concern that the intra-team battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton is hurting the overall team effort. While Rosberg managed to lead a 1-2 finish this weekend in Austria, the team failed to earn pole position for the first time this season. Further, the gap between Mercedes and the rest of the field has closed over the last three Grand Prixs, after Hamilton captured victory in the Spanish Grand Prix by 50 seconds.

Wolff noted that it might behoove the team to focus more on keeping opponents at bay, and wrapping up the Constructors' Championship before allowing the team's drivers to have at it.

Will we see Mercedes take measures to manage their drivers? Could said measures further affect a season that many in F1 have deemed boring? If the team tries to rein in its drivers, will the already somewhat frosty relationship between Rosberg and Hamilton further deteriorate? What will be the reaction of the drivers to any such team orders?

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06/22/14
nassprint

M&Ms back with Busch in 2015
from FoxSport's Tom Jensen's Twitter about some recent Joe Gibbs Racing rumors: JD Gibbs confirmed that M&Ms will be back with Kyle Busch on the #18 next year (2015).

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06/22/14
f1

Red Bull assured of losing seasons in 2015 and 2016
(GMM)  Renault has tipped rumors about its future to eventually "disappear".

In the paddock at Red Bull's own circuit this weekend, rumors have been swirling strongly that the reigning champion team is planning to dump struggling Renault in order to build its own bespoke F1 power unit.

And a related rumor is that, if that does happen, Renault could simply quit F1 altogether.

Responding to the rumors in Austria, Renault Sport F1 chief Jean-Michel Jalinier insisted: "We have a three-year supplier contract with Red Bull Racing, which runs to the end of 2016.

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06/22/14
f1

Vettel to name car Alpo
Sebastian Vettel has always affectionately named his Red Bull cars that carried him to 4-straight world titles, using such female names a 'Suzie', 'Hungry Heidi', 'Kinky Kylie' and 'Abbey'. 

Rumor has it that he is going to name this year's car that keeps breaking down and making him look like an idiot 'Alpo' after the dog food.

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06/20/14
automotive

BMW preparing up to $5.4 billion in cost reductions
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has hired management consultants from McKinsey to help draw up cost cuts aimed at saving between $4 billion to $5.4 billion (3 billion to 4 billion euros) a year, a German business magazine has rumored.

Reithofer is disappointed with costs at the company's Mini brand and for the BMW 1-series compact car, Manager Magazin said.

In a statement on Wednesday, BMW said in order to remain competitive amid rising costs, the company would seek to lower annual expenses "by several hundred million euros a year," but that is a far cry from the $5.4B rumored.

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06/20/14
f1

F1 'Silly season' gearing up
(GMM) The 'silly season' is yet to hit its highest gear in 2014.

Two early protagonists, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, spent time on Thursday dismissing the rumblings about their respective futures.

A wild rumor in Canada had suggested Finn Raikkonen might be ousted by Ferrari due to his poor performance since returning to the Italian team this year.

"The media says what it wants, but they don't tend to know what's really going on," he is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 at the Red Bull Ring.

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06/19/14
irl

IndyCar to lose another American (Update) UPDATE Seven-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today that their development driver Sage Karam will join Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the driver lineup of the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Prototype (P) for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International June 29.

Karam competed twice with CGRFS earlier this season in a second Prototype fielded in the TUSC Rolex 24 At Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.  He was most recently part of CGRFS’ No. 02 Prototype driver lineup with Verizon IndyCar Series Team Target drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, who earned the most points from Sebring’s three segments toward the season-ending $100,000 Patr¢n Endurance Cup for the P class with a sixth-place result.

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06/19/14
f1

Caterham says it's staying, Ferrari threatens to quit (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 (GMM)  Luca di Montezemolo on Thursday hit reverse gear, after he was quoted as having threatened to pull Ferrari out of formula one.

The Italian marque's president made the clear warning last week to the respected Wall Street Journal, as he insisted that any Le Mans foray for Ferrari by 2020 would be at the expense of F1.

Montezemolo has been highly critical of the new shape of the pinnacle of motor sport, and has reportedly written a letter to Bernie Ecclestone asking for a meeting with all the major stakeholders to discuss the future.

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06/17/14
f1

Nurburgring to host F1 race each year
Nurburgring
(GMM)  The fabled Nurburgring is set to ramp up its presence on the F1 calendar.

Currently, the circuit and another German venue, Hockenheim, annually alternate a single spot on the sport's schedule.

But earlier this year, the insolvent Nurburgring secured its future when it was sold to a Dusseldorf automotive group called Capricorn.

Boss Robertino Wild said at the time that the Nurburgring would "basically go as it was before".

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06/16/14
nnw
irl

Comcast Xfinity To Replace Nationwide What does it mean for IndyCar? (Update) UPDATE So the company that owns NBC may be sponsoring a NASCAR series? Does not bode well for IndyCar on NBC Sports Network.  As we stated, wherever IndyCar has gone with their TV deal over the last 18 years, NASCAR follows them in and brings in all their sponsor dollars and overshadows IndyCar.  IndyCar is then forced to go elsewhere and then NASCAR is there too. NASCAR would love to see IndyCar dead.  However, they love that big check the Hulman George family writes them after every Brickyard 400.  Instead of writing a check to IndyCar teams for a Labor Day IndyCar season ending 400-miler, they write a check to IndyCar's #1 enemy.  Go figure.

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06/15/14
irl

Fuzzy's to drop IndyCar?
Rumor has it that Ed Carpenter may be losing Fuzzy's Vodka at the end of the season as Fuzzy Zoeller has decided to pull out of IndyCar.  Why?  AR1.com is not even sure this rumor is correct, but if we had to guess, it's because the TV ratings are too low.

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06/15/14
irl

Eddie Cheever III going NASCAR route
Eddie Cheever Jr. came up through the European open-wheel ranks to run Formula One and capture the 1998 Indianapolis 500. His son, Eddie Cheever III, was taking the same path. But, earlier this year, Cheever abruptly diverted course and made a significant career change when he discovered the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The Euro Series emulates American-made, NASCAR-style racing with full-bodied, sedan-style cars with races in England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. With the Formula One dream out of the way, Cheever hopes this new path takes him to the United States, where his stock-car training will be elevated. [And he is smart enough not to be forced to buy his ride in IndyCar]

Cheever hopes to have a NASCAR K&N Pro Series ride in the near future. K&N has been a major pipeline to NASCAR's national series in recent years."My goal is to become a professional driver," Cheever said. "If I'm good enough and have resources, Sprint Cup driver would be my dream." Daytona Beach News-Journal

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06/15/14
f1

Malone Launches $4 Billion Bid For Formula One Through Liberty Global
A "controversial" billionaire is in the running to buy a significant stake in F1, according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. John Malone, the biggest individual landowner in the U.S., has launched a $4B bid "​for almost half the F1 business through his Liberty Global company​,​ along with Discovery Communications."

Negotiations "are said to be at the earliest stages" with the bid falling $1B short of the ​share ​valuation put on F1 by CVC Capital Partners, the City-based private equity group ​and the sport’s controlling shareholder. ​One of America's "most powerful" media entrepreneurs, Malone "clearly sees F1 as a potential addition to his stable​ of cable television outlets​" LONDON TIMES

BLOOMBERG's Sherman, Campbell & Duff reported talks with CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. continued "and a deal may not be reached." CVC owns about 35.5% of F1 and bankrupt Lehman owns 15.3%. The acquisition "would give Liberty Global and Discovery sports content to go along with their other European cable-TV assets." Discovery "boosted its stake" in Eurosport Int'l, a European sports media group, to 51% earlier this year. The two companies together "bought U.K.-based TV company All3Media last month." Despite the valuation gap, "the sides have made progress toward a deal in recent weeks." Representatives for CVC and Liberty Global, controlled by Malone, "declined to comment." Spokespeople for Lehman and Discovery "also declined to comment" BLOOMBERG

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06/14/14
f1
nassprint

Danica Patrick 'possible' for Haas F1 seat - boss (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Danica to F1?  Bernie Ecclestone called her an 'appliance'
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' like it really had any possibility of becoming reality.  Of course not.  Danica Patrick said she is flattered that her name keeps coming up to go racing in Formula 1, but for now, at least, it's a non-starter. In a wide ranging interview with The Toronto Sun outside her motorhome at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, Patrick said her plate is full right now just trying to master the #10 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, where she is halfway through her second season in the big stock cars. The offer to go F-1 racing came from her NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas, who plans on entering the open-wheel fray in the 2016 season with an all-American team.

At the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal last weekend, Haas said Patrick would be considered as a driver for the team. Patrick, however, admitted she might have jumped at the opportunity 10 years ago, but her life has changed a lot since then and that she hasn't been asked by Haas or anybody else what her thoughts were on the subject. "I agree that anything is possible, but nobody has said anything to me," she said. "I am happy where I am at right now as far as racing goes. I am just starting to get the hang of Sprint Cup racing." Patrick didn't, though, absolutely rule out going back to open-wheel racing if the right offer came along. "Out of respect for Gene, if he came to me I would certainly listen, but I am almost getting too old (32) to start a third career," she said. More at Toronto Sun

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06/13/14
f1

Hamilton to Ferrari?
Lewis Hamilton
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton has been spotted this week visiting Ferrari's Maranello headquarters.

Reports of the Mercedes driver and 2008 world champion's visit were carried by authoritative publications including Corriere dello Sport, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Autosprint, as well as the respected Ferrari blogger Leo Turrini.

La Gazzetta, however, insisted the 29-year-old Briton's visit had nothing to do with the fabled Italian marque's formula one team.

The report said Hamilton was simply in town "to enrich his substantial collection of Ferraris" -- probably the ultra-rare 'LaFerrari' supercar.

Read more & Comment...
06/13/14
f1

Caterham behind in engine, gearbox bills - Backmarker team finished? (3rd Update) UPDATE #3
If Caterham is gone, who are they going to get to clean the track on Friday mornings?
(GMM)  Caterham's F1 foray could be coming to an immediate halt, if the latest rumors are to be believed.

A couple of weeks ago, team owner Tony Fernandes - who has been notably absent from the F1 paddock in 2014 - denied reports he has put the team up for sale.

"It is, however, true that the group is actively searching for additional investment as it seeks to fulfill ambitious plans to develop," Caterham said in a statement.

And a new statement issued by Caterham confirmed that it has sold its stake in the joint Alpine sports car project to Renault.

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06/12/14
irl
nhra

NHRA, IndyCar, Ford and Toyota
We already know that Ford is pulling out of NHRA after this year and Toyota doesn't want to sponsor any more funny cars.

We also know that Honda wants a third engine supplier in IndyCar.

AR1.com sources tell us that Toyota may get into IndyCar to help Honda.......And Honda may become the supplier to John Force replacing Ford. We also suspect that Toyota knows NASCAR will never let a foreign (Japanese) company win the Sprint Cup title, so it's time to race where they have an equal chance.

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