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The TMS IndyCar attendance has dwindled so much that there are now sections of grandstands you can shoot a cannon into and not hit anyone
With reports surfacing this week that the Izod IndyCar Series is interested in a race at Circuit of the Americas in 2014, Texas Motor Speedway boss Eddie Gossage says such a scenario is unlikely because the Texas market can't support that level of saturation.
“No, it's not possible,” he told Autoweek on Friday.
Shoot-from-the-hip Gossage was already unhappy after IndyCar's previous management team cut a deal to race this year on the streets of Houston, and “It remains to be seen if two [IndyCar races] can survive [in Texas]. You know, Houston has already failed twice with CART/Champ Cars, essentially the same thing [as IndyCar now], in this century.”
Miller on the return of IndyCar to Cleveland Q: The subject of Indy cars returning to Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport comes up in the mailbag 2-3 times per year. Is Mike Lanigan actively trying to resurrect the race or is he just sitting on the promotional rights? I notice that he was able to find a title sponsor for an untested venue in Houston. Bill Carsey
RM: Mike has said repeatedly if he could find a title sponsor like Shell, he’d be back at Burke Lakefront faster than he could light a cigarette. And he’s promoted races at Houston before. I always thought Honda might want to move its race from Mid-Ohio to Cleveland but I think anybody who comes along with a good sponsor could try and get a race.
Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti revealed to RACER, the early stages of a search for a new works program to campaign in the United SportsCar Racing series is underway.
"I think it's great that [the ALMS and Grand-Am] are uniting," he said. "Are we looking at it? Absolutely."
"I'm not going to do it just to do it," he declared. "The only way we'll do it is if it's a funded deal; it has to be a factory effort, because it's the only way you do well these days. We work very closely with Chevy in the IndyCar Series, and our last [sports car] deal was good while it lasted, so you have to continue in that direction if you want to win. We don't have anything to announce right now, but we're talking to people. We definitely want to do it."
Hamilton to Ferrari? (GMM) Anthony Hamilton, the father of Mercedes driver Lewis, has been at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters this week.
That is the claim of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, as the already intense 2014 'silly season' steps up into an even higher gear.
Hamilton snr no longer handles the career of his 28-year-old son, who switched from McLaren to Mercedes over the winter, but the driver said in Hungary that he has been in close contact with his father recently.
Ferrari Considers Returning To 24 Hours Of Le Mans F1 team Scuderia Ferrari "is reportedly planning a return to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race," according to the SID. The team "will decide by the end of the year if it will compete in the LMP1 category with its own prototype" in '15. Ferrari "has serious intentions to compete in another racing series in addition to F1."
At Le Mans, Ferrari would compete against Porsche, Audi and Toyota. Japanese manufacturers Nissan and Honda "are also considering participation in the French race." Ferrari "has won the classic endurance race nine times." The Scuderia "participated with its own factory team for the last time in 1973." SID
The Korean GP was always one of the least favorites
The AFP reported South Korea "is seen as a logical move to be left off the list, as the Yeongam circuit south of Seoul has lost money since it first hosted Formula One in 2010, and local authorities are unwilling to cover losses." India "has struggled to find a widespread following." The Indian government, meanwhile, "is keen on taxing drivers during their time in the country as a proportion of their earnings rather than profit." Ecclestone is said to have agreed to pay a flat-rate sum for this year's race to meet government demands, but is seen as "unlikely to comply" in 2014 given the other candidates to host races. AFP
07/30/13 (GMM) The Korean grand prix looks set to join India in F1 exile, as Bernie Ecclestone trims the 2014 calendar to a maximum of 20 races.
It has been reported that Austria, Russia and New Jersey are to be added to the current 19-race schedule.
F1 calendar to expand from 19 to 20 races? NJ again dead? (5th Update)UPDATE #5 Few proposed races have had as troubled a history as the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey. It was originally due to take place this year but the brakes were put on that plan when Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt revealed that Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone had torn up the contract after the organizers missed payment deadlines.
A new agreement was signed in May this year and just when it looked like the race was on track for 2014 it came to light that in fact there is the small matter of the organizers needing to find $100m before it gets the green light. They have already run out of time according to Niki Lauda, one of Ecclestone's closest confidantes.
Speaking to Austrian television station ORF, Lauda recently said that "the New York Grand Prix in New Jersey that was supposed to take place this year, has not taken place because of a lack of money in America.” He added that "as far as I know it has already been taken off the calendar again."
Despite the grandstands being empty, IMS thinks this event can stand on its own. Indy fans could care less about sports car racing.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway likely will host a sports car race when Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series reorganize for the 2014 season, but it might not be on NASCAR’s stock car weekend as it has been the past two years.
New IMS president Doug Boles confirmed to The Indianapolis Star that there are several dates being discussed, including a possible pairing with the IndyCar Series for a doubleheader in early May.
No deal for Charlotte race move to Las Vegas Apparently the Las Vegas odds were not that good after all.
NASCAR confirmed Friday the deadline has passed without receiving a formal request from Speedway Motorsports Inc. owner Bruton Smith to move one of his Sprint Cup Series race dates from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2014 season.
In May, Smith told WBTV in Charlotte there was “a 70 percent chance” he’d move Charlotte’s fall Cup race to the track his company owns in Las Vegas.
Deal for new Concorde Agreement struck A deal concerning the 2013 Concorde Agreement appears to have been reached between the Formula One Group and the FIA, following Saturday morning talks conducted by Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt at the Hungaroring.
The agreement dictates the commercial aspects of the sport, and binds together the teams, the commercial rights holder and the governing body. The previous deal lapsed at the end of 2012, with all teams bar Marussia entering this season under individual contracts with Formula 1 supremo Ecclestone.
Ferrari to buy out Allison's Lotus contract (5th Update)UPDATE #5
(GMM) Ferrari looks set to buy out the remainder of former technical director James Allison's Lotus contract.
That is the claim of Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper, following reports the Briton is definitely headed to Maranello.
Correspondents Luis Vasconcelos and Heikki Kulta report that Allison neared an agreement with Honda, initially to build a test car ahead of the Japanese manufacturer's return as works engine supplier to McLaren in 2015.
Luhr to run for Sarah Hartman Racing at Sonoma (Update)UPDATE
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) will expand with partner RW Motorsports to a two-car IZOD IndyCar Series team for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 25.
With the combined efforts of Rotondo Weirich (RW) and Muscle Milk, American Le Mans Series (ALMS) LMP1 championship points leader Lucas Luhr will race his first laps in an open wheel car for SFHR.
“Bringing RW Motorsports to the top level of open wheel racing has long been a dream of mine, and through our partnership with SFHR, it has always been the intention to see that idea come to fruition,” Steve Weirich, owner of RW Motorsports, said. “Lucas [Luhr] has great strengths as well and I am looking forward to bringing a driver of his caliber to the IZOD IndyCar Series. Sonoma is a great venue for us as well as IndyCar and we know the synergy of this entry will produce a great result.”
Continental close to deal to become USCR's sole Prototype tire supplier RACER Magazine rumors that the new United SportsCar Racing organization is closing in on a deal that would make Continental Tire the sole provider for all of its prototypes starting in 2014.
Continental currently provides its product for Grand-Am's Daytona Prototypes and GTs, its tin-top Continental Tire Series, and the American Le Mans Series Prototype Challenge class. Current ALMS P2 tire vendors have been notified of the pending change.
Reached for comment by RACER at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this week's Brickyard Grand Prix event, Grand-Am/USCR CEO Ed Bennett provided a statement on the status of negotiations.
Kosachenko no longer at Caterham - report (GMM) Oksana Kosachenko has reportedly left Caterham. She joined the team as commercial director, in charge of acquiring new sponsors, earlier this year, after ending her duties as Vitaly Petrov's manager.
However, citing a source, the Russian website f1news.ru said Kosachenko has now left the team after both sides agreed to terminate the contract early.
"Apparently, the initiative came from the leadership of the team," the report said.
Kosachenko reportedly denied the report, while Caterham declined to comment.
A "typically teasing comment" from F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone set alight speculation as to "who might succeed him at the helm of Formula One," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. The answer "may be no farther than the four walls of Ecclestone’s modest headquarters in London’s fashionable Kensington district" in the shape of the woman who "has been at his side throughout most of the running battles that have littered" Ecclestone's career.
Ecclestone's Chief Legal Officer Sacha Woodward-Hill is "rarely seen and relatively unknown," but she is Ecclestone’s "right-hand woman," and "one of very few people in the F1 organization who has his complete trust."
FIA to abolish side-impact crash test - report (GMM) F1's governing will abolish the side-impact crash test, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reports.
Until now, the individual teams have been responsible for coming up with solutions to pass the test, mandatory for the homologation of the chassis.
But correspondent Michael Schmidt reports that, having collaborated with world champions Red Bull, the FIA has now developed a standard side crash structure that must be fitted to every car from the 2014 season.
F1 to join the 'roll of shame' in England Kevin Eason reported F1 "could now join a roll of shame that includes Starbucks and Google, who have been targets for the anger of politicians."
British PM David Cameron "is waging a campaign against corporate tax avoiders while the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is also pushing countries to update their tax laws to pull companies into line."
Davison to drive for Dale Coyne? (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. RACER has confirmed Australia's James Davison will make his IndyCar Series debut at Mid-Ohio driving the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, and will also take part in the official pre-race test on the road course just prior to the event as we previously rumored.
Mid-Ohio Indy Lights 2009 - James Hinchcliffe, left, James Davison, center, and J.R. Hildebrand, right
Australian IndyCar hopeful James Davison will test with Dale Coyne Racing at Mid-Ohio this week, but will it lead to a race drive later?
Davison, cousin of V8 Supercars stars Will and Alex, has been in the US since 2005 chasing his open-wheel dreams.
The car he will pilot is the same chassis that Mike Conway took to a win and a third place at the Detroit event earlier this month.
He will join the team for a test session at Mid-Ohio on Tuesday local time, and is excited to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar.
ESPN, Turner out of NASCAR; NBC to pay $4.4B (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 NBC will pay $4.4B over 10 years for rights to ESPN's entire NASCAR package, plus half of Turner's six races, according to sources familiar with the deal. That represents a significant media rights increase for NASCAR over the more than $2.28B paid by ESPN and Turner Sports combined for the same number of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in their current 8-year agreements. This comes after NASCAR received a more than 30% increase in its earlier deal with Fox that covers the first half of its season.
While NBC and NASCAR would not confirm financial terms, they did discuss other details of their new deal, which will see races return to NBC in '15. Deal terms have NBC picking up the rights to the final 20 races of the Sprint Cup Series season, which encompasses all of ESPN's package and half of Turner's six-race package. Seven of those races will be carried on the NBC broadcast channel; 13 will be available on NBC Sports Network. NBC also picks up rights to the last 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events – four of which will be on NBC and 15 on NBCSN. Turner's other three races, as well as 14 Nationwide Series races, still are available; Fox Sports is viewed as the most likely suitor for these races. The increase is significantly less by percentage than the renewals networks paid for the NFL and MLB recently, sources said. Last year, ESPN, Fox and Turner paid agreed to an increase that doubled the average annual payout for their MLB packages. And the NFL saw average annual increases in the 50% to 65% range in 2011.
Georgina Prodhan reported Dietrich Mateschitz, who founded Red Bull with two Thai partners in 1984, is one of Austria's richest people," with a net worth of $7.1B, according to Forbes. Bernie Ecclestone is worth about $3.8B. Of course his daughters Tamara & Petra Ecclestone spent $3.5B In 9 Years, otherwise Ecclestone might be worth more. Reuters
Among the lavish, opulent, and ridiculously expensive things the two sisters spent their money on, are Petra’s £12 million wedding and Tamara’s £1 million crystal bathtub. They spent the entirety of their trust in less than ten years.
Here is a running tab of some of their latest expenditures:
Ecclestone, Red Bull, agree deal for 2014 Austria GP (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 OSTERREICH reported "not everyone in Spielberg is cheering." Resident Ombudsman Karl Arbesser "was surprised and highlighted previously voiced concerns." He said that "he does not know how the Red Bull Ring could host a grand prix under its current regulations." Restrictions in regards to noise and attendance numbers "have to be considered." Currently the Ring has the approval to host a maximum attendance of 40,000 on only 10 days per year. The noise is another issue. At the DTM race, noise was allowed to reach a maximum of 84 dB. Arbesser said that "he could not imagine F1 cars are complying with this number." OSTERREICH.
MOTORSPORT TOTAL's Haidinger also reported "it is not clear who will pay the millions in grand prix fee." Last year, Red Bull Motorsport Dir Helmut Marko said that his employer would not qualify as a financier. Marko: "It would have to be paid by the government like everywhere else." MOTORSPORT TOTAL
Barracuda Racing to release Tagliani? Despite having to embarrass himself parading around a fairgrounds in a Beaver suit, Alex Tagliani could be out of the Barracuda Racing IndyCar for the Wednesday test and next weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio according to Curt Cavin of the Indy Star. The team could use next week as a trial for a ride-buyer -- as Panther Racing has -- in preparation for 2014.
Is NASCAR again trying to smother IndyCar on TV Historically whichever TV network or cable network CART, the IRL and now IndyCar go to, NASCAR is sure to follow.....100% of the time.....just look at the history.
Because NASCAR brings the TV ad revenue that IndyCar cannot and with the big dollars needed by the networks, they soon forget all about growing IndyCar. Some people are still naive enough to think NASCAR isn't in a fight to death with IndyCar, and they are winning.
NASCAR’s reported shakeup with its TV deal could have huge implications for open wheel racing.
NASCAR helps those in need (Update)UPDATE Brian Vickers' victory last week could provide a boost to his long-term future at Michael Waltrip Racing. "It definitely helped," Vickers said. "How could it not?" Vickers, who won last Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race for MWR at New Hampshire, is in discussions with the team about a full-time ride next season. He has been driving part-time for Waltrip's team for the past two seasons, and has a full-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series. Vickers says he's optimistic about a deal coming together because he, Waltrip and sponsor Aaron's all want it to happen -- but he knows it would be unwise to assume anything until a contract is in place. Vickers says the team is exploring the possibility of adding other sponsors to help split the bill with Aaron's. Associated Press
07/16/13 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, The rumor is that everything happens in NASCAR for a reason, at least they do at very opportune times. So when Vickers won Sunday I was happy. Then I got to thinking, why did he win? And then I discovered the answer.
Michael Waltrip Racing is waiting on word from sponsor Aaron’s on whether it will return next season and whether it wants Vickers as its driver. It didn’t hurt that Vickers won the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Aaron’s primarily sponsors the 26 races that Mark Martin is running this year as well as select events for Vickers (who has nine races overall) and Michael Waltrip (three).
Considered by many as the best driver on the F1 circuit, Alonso can't be happy that Ferrari cannot give him a car good enough
(GMM) Fernando Alonso's manager has rubbished speculation the Spaniard might soon tire of Ferrari's failure to win a title.
Former F1 driver David Coulthard suggested recently that Alonso, regarded by many as the most complete driver in F1 at present, might leave the famous Italian team if it fails to deliver him a championship-winning car in the near future.
"That's nonsense," Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad is quoted by DPA news agency.
"I would not advise a change of team for not winning (a title since joining Ferrari)," he insisted.
Kaltenborn could exit as Russians arrive (GMM) Monisha Kaltenborn could be the big loser of Sauber's Russian rescue deal.
Sonntagszeitung newspaper reports that the ailing Swiss team's new partners, all linked to the Russian Federation, are planning to inject a staggering $500 million into Hinwil.
According to Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper, that will pay off the team's crippling $110 million debts and lay the foundation for a sound future, with Russian teen Sergey Sirotkin scheduled to be at the wheel in 2014.
Question: I went to see “Turbo” today and really enjoyed it. My grandkids went, too, and loved it. It gave me hope that a new generation could be hooked on IndyCar. It also made me think about Randy Bernard and some of the things he did for the sport. They include: Turbo, doubleheaders, Pocono, getting rid of the awful IRL name, replacing Brian Barnhart with Beaux Barfield, and getting the new ultra-competitive car produced. There might have been some things he messed up, but he really did some great things that could impact IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 for years to come. (Paul, Indianapolis)
Answer: You are so right about that, and I have tried to point out the Randy Bernard initiatives as they come to fruition. There are others, too, including the work getting at least another engine manufacturer in the sport. Curt Cavin, Indy Star
Could Roger Penske be close to running a Porsche LMP1? (No)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Despite a series of recent rumors linking the fabled U.S. team with a factory Porsche LMP1 program for next year, Penske Racing's Tim Cindric has denied that such plans are in works.
Speaking to SPEED.com in an exclusive interview Thursday, the team president, who oversees the organization's championship-winning NASCAR and IndyCar programs, says a return to sports car racing for 2014 is not currently in the cards.
Mercedes' Wolff 'secretly recorded' and 'Blackmailed' amid F1 war (Update)UPDATE
(GMM) Former HRT boss Colin Kolles tried to blackmail Mercedes chief Toto Wolff earlier this year, it has emerged.
We reported earlier that a conversation between Austrian Wolff and a then-unnamed former F1 team boss was "secretly recorded" and then threatened to be used against him.
Bild newspaper had said Wolff spoke negatively about his own boss, Ross Brawn, colleague Niki Lauda, and also Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche, whilst divulging details of his clashing co-ownership of the Williams team.
NASCAR Set To Announce Series Of Changes To Competition, R and D (Update)UPDATE NASCAR plans to automate its rule book and revamp its appeals process in a wide-ranging effort to bring more clarity to race teams and fans. The governing body outlined several initiatives Monday it expects to implement in its three major series before the start of the 2015 racing season. The effort started eight months ago and will be an ongoing process to keep up with technology and fan interests, said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations.
That includes converting its rule book from a word document to computer automated-design drawings that can be easily accessed by race shops to see what's allowed and what isn't. Penalties will be specifically spelled out for each type of infraction. When a rule is broken and a team appeals, NASCAR wants more experts on the panel instead of some who might not have as strong a background regarding the infraction.
Sochi may not host Russian GP for long In London, Tom Cary reported the inclusion in the deal of the St. Petersburg-based State Fund of Development of Northwest Russian Federation "has led to speculation that Sochi, a Black Sea resort and the host of next year’s Winter Olympics, may not end up being the venue for the Russian GP in the long term." Telegraph
Honda to run engine before 2015 (Update) UPDATE #1 This rumor is downgraded to 'false.' Honda has no plans to run its new Formula 1 engine on track before the start of pre-season testing in 2015.
The Japanese manufacturer will return to F1 as engine supplier to McLaren for the second season of the new regulations and is scheduled to fire up its engine on the dyno for the first time this autumn.
But contrary to rumors it might take advantage of not competing in 2014 to test on track either in an F1 car or a test mule, Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai insists it has no intention to do so.
(GMM) Embattled Sauber could have its engine power switched off permanently on the day after the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix.
Germany's Die Welt newspaper reports that the Swiss team is now EUR 15 million behind in its due payments to customer engine supplier Ferrari.
The report said Ferrari has issued Sauber an ultimatum: pay at least EUR 8 million of the overdue bill by 29 July - the first day of the 'summer break' - or have the supply of 2.4 liter V8 engines switched off.
Overheard in Toronto - Sunday Everyone seems happy to have Lee Diffey, Jon Beekhuis and Steve Matchett in the NBC Sports Network booth. Matchett and Varsha are excellent together for F1. Matchett knows how to keep a viewers interest. Let's hope someone is watching.
Matchett said, “I’m very excited to be joining NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar team this weekend. I’ve never visited Toronto before, and to do so at the same time as the IndyCar series comes to town made this an unmissable opportunity. I’m really looking forward to being reunited in the booth with Townsend Bell. He always brings a wealth of firsthand racing knowledge to the broadcasts, and I’m keen to learn all I can from him. The racing strategies used in IndyCar, the different technologies and the equipment made available to the teams are all new to me. I can’t wait to touch these cars and to see how everything works.”
Munoz to replace Briscoe (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' this morning. Panther Racing announced today that reining Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Carlos Munoz will drive the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet during Sunday’s race two of the Honda Indy Toronto. Munoz is replacing National Guard driver Ryan Briscoe, who sustained a broken right wrist during the first race of weekend on Saturday and is not medically cleared to drive. Today’s race will be Munoz’s second career IndyCar Series start after the 21-year-old started on the front row of the 97th Indianapolis 500 and finished runner-up, earning him top rookie honors.
“Carlos is a tremendous young driver with a great deal of talent,” Panther Managing Partner John Barnes said. “We’re excited that he was available to drive the National Guard Chevrolet today on such short notice, and I’m sure this will be a great learning experience for him. We’re obviously wishing Ryan (Briscoe) a speedy recovery, but also very happy to make the most of this opportunity with Carlos today.”
Childers to be Harvick crew chief Sources say that Budweiser signed off with Stewart-Haas Racing in the last month after opting not to introduce a fourth different driver in seven seasons. Although Stewart-Haas Racing and Kevin Harvick declined to name a crew chief for the #4 team, Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Rodney Childers has been mentioned as the lead candidate. Fox Sports
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